US20140312078A1 - Closure for Flexible Film Pouch - Google Patents

Closure for Flexible Film Pouch Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140312078A1
US20140312078A1 US14/256,515 US201414256515A US2014312078A1 US 20140312078 A1 US20140312078 A1 US 20140312078A1 US 201414256515 A US201414256515 A US 201414256515A US 2014312078 A1 US2014312078 A1 US 2014312078A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
body
upper member
closure
opening
pouch
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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
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US14/256,515
Inventor
William Tyler Fitzsimmons
David G. Honan
Isaac Haverlick
Shane Yellin
Roger R. Fontain
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Perimeter Brand Packaging LLC
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Perimeter Brand Packaging LLC
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Publication date
Priority to US201361814092P priority Critical
Priority to US201461943533P priority
Application filed by Perimeter Brand Packaging LLC filed Critical Perimeter Brand Packaging LLC
Priority to US14/256,515 priority patent/US20140312078A1/en
Publication of US20140312078A1 publication Critical patent/US20140312078A1/en
Assigned to PERIMETER BRAND PACKAGING, LLC reassignment PERIMETER BRAND PACKAGING, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAVERLICK, ISAAC, FITZSIMMONS, WILLIAM TYLER, HONAN, DAVID G., FOUNTAINE, ROGER R.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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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
    • 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
    • B65D75/5872Non-integral spouts
    • B65D75/5883Non-integral spouts connected to the package at the sealed junction of two package walls

Abstract

A closure that is constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior. The closure includes a body that has a top, bottom, sides, front and back, wherein the body has a body through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, and wherein the body is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side. The closure has an upper member coupled to the top of the body, wherein the upper member has an upper member through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, where the upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel. The top of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis and has a latitudinal axis that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes. The upper member top opening (i.e., the outlet opening of the closure) is asymmetric about the center of the body.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/814,092, filed on Apr. 19, 2013, and also claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/943,533, filed on Feb. 24, 2014. The contents of both such applications are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • This disclosure relates to a closure for flexible film pouches.
  • Flexible film pouches are used to hold and dispense all kinds of liquid, paste and solid products. Examples include drinks, laundry detergent and dog treats. The pouches are made from one or more layers of film. The film is folded over on itself and sealed along three edges. A cut is made in the top edge or at a top corner, and a closure is sealed into the opening. The closure typically has a spout that is closed by a removable cap or lid. The closure should allow the contents to be poured out effectively and efficiently.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present disclosure provides a closure for flexible film pouches. The closure includes one or more of the following features and benefits:
      • The body or fitment portion of the closure can have a funnel geometry. This helps to dispense solids more efficiently, and allows a small fitment to be used to dispense solids with less risk of clogging.
      • The closure outlet opening can be offset toward the front of the closure. Moving the outlet closer to the front places the lip from which the contents pour out of the pouch closer to the side of the pouch. This makes pouring easier. This also provides more space behind the opening for mounting of the lid.
      • The closure can be constructed and arranged such that the front wall of the spout portion of the closure (which becomes the lip when the contents are poured out through the spout) is vertical or close to vertical (say within about plus or minus twenty degrees from vertical). When the pouch is tipped to pour the contents, the lip of the spout becomes the highest point of the spout, from which the contents pour. This moves the pour point out to the end of the spout, making the pour more visible to the user and thus easier to control.
      • The spout can be asymmetrical relative to the center, or the latitudinal centerline, of the fitment or body portion of the closure. This can move the outlet opening forward of center, which facilitates pouring.
      • The spout rim that defines the outlet opening can be in a plane that is not parallel to the plane of the fitment. This feature allows the closure to be used in pouch outlets that are cut at various angles from the horizontal.
      • The tabs at the front and back of the fitment can be angled rather than perpendicular to the fitment ribs. This can align the tabs vertically in an angled pouch cut. One advantage is that the bulges and folds in the pouch caused by the fitment arc more vertically aligned. Such vertical alignment helps the pouch to stand upright.
  • All examples and features mentioned below can be combined in any technically possible way.
  • In one aspect, a closure that is constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior, includes a closure body that has a top, bottom, sides, front and back, wherein the body has a body through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, and wherein the body is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side. There is an upper member coupled to the top of the body, wherein the upper member has an upper member through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, where the upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel. The top of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis and has a latitudinal axis that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes. The upper member top opening is asymmetric about the center of the body.
  • Embodiments may include one of the following features, or any combination thereof. The upper member top opening may be located toward the front of the body such that more of it is forward of the latitudinal axis than is rearward of the latitudinal axis. The upper member top opening may have a generally rectangular shape. The upper member top opening may have a rear width at its rear and a front width at its front, where the front width is greater than the rear width. The upper member top opening may be asymmetric about the latitudinal axis.
  • The body through-channel may have at least in part a generally funnel shape, with the bottom opening of the body channel larger than the top opening of the body channel. The generally funnel shape may comprise at least one interior wall of the body that borders the body through-channel being angled toward the center of the body. The body may have two of the angled walls, one toward the front and one toward the rear, where both of the angled walls are bisected by the longitudinal axis. Each of the two angled walls may extend along a majority of the height of the body.
  • The pouch may have two generally parallel side seams, and the pouch opening may be located closer to one side seam than the other, and lie at an obtuse angle to the closer side seam, and wherein the body has a plurality of spaced ribs along its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening. The upper member may have a front wall that defines the front part of the upper member top opening, and wherein the front wall is generally parallel to the closer side seam.
  • The body may have a plurality of spaced ribs that each lie along one of a series of spaced generally parallel lines along each of its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening, wherein the upper member top opening lies generally in a top plane, and wherein the top plane intersects the generally parallel lines at an acute angle.
  • The closure may further comprise a lid that is coupled to the upper member and adapted to be moved between a closed position in which it overlies the upper member top opening and an open position in which it is free of the upper member top opening. The body, the upper member and the lid may all be part of a unitary molded closure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1A-1I illustrate a first example of a closure for a flexible film pouch. FIG. 1A is a top front perspective view with the lid closed; FIG. 1B shows the lid open; FIG. 1C is a top view with the lid open; FIG. 1D is a top view with the lid removed; FIG. 1E is a bottom perspective view with the lid open; FIG. 1F is a side view with the lid open; FIG. 1G is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of FIG. 1F; FIG. 1H shows the closure mounted in a flexible film pouch; FIG. 1I is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1H.
  • FIG. 2A is a top view (with the lid removed) of another example of a closure for a flexible film pouch, and FIG. 2B is a side view thereof, but with the lid.
  • FIG. 3A is a side cross-sectional view of another example of a closure for a flexible film pouch, and FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional view of it mounted in a flexible film pouch.
  • FIG. 4A is a side view of another example of a closure for a flexible film pouch, and FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view of it mounted in a flexible film pouch.
  • FIG. 5A is an exploded view of another example of a closure for a flexible film pouch, and FIG. 5B is a close-up cross-sectional view of a portion of it.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The closures disclosed herein are constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior. The closure includes a body that has a top, bottom, sides, front and back, wherein the body has a body through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, and wherein the body is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side. The closure has an upper member coupled to the top of the body, wherein the upper member has an upper member through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, where the upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel. The upper member can act essentially as a spout. The top of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis and has a latitudinal axis that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes. The upper member top opening (i.e., the outlet opening of the closure) is asymmetric about the center of the body.
  • A first non-limiting example of a closure 10 is shown in FIGS. 1A-1I. Closure 10 is unitary (i.e., it is a single piece). Another example (described below) is made of two pieces that are coupled together. The closure can be made of more than two pieces. All examples can be made by injection molding. The material can be selected for desired properties. High-density polyethylene is one example of a material.
  • Closure 10 has body 12, upper member 14 (which acts as an outlet spout), and lid 16 that is coupled to upper member 14 by hinge 166. The overall shape of body 12 is typically termed “boat” or “canoe” shaped, but that is not a limitation as the body could have any other shape so long as it can be sealed to a film pouch and it defines a lower opening that communicates with the interior of the pouch.
  • In this example, closure 10 is constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior. Closure 10 includes a body 12 that has a top 22, bottom 24, sides 26 and 28, front 30 and back 32. Body 12 has a body through-channel 50 with a bottom opening 51 and a top opening 52. Body 12 is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side. The top 22 of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis 60 and has a latitudinal axis 62 that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center 64 of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes. Upper member 14 is coupled to (e.g., integral with) the top of the body. Upper member 14 has an upper member through-channel 104 with a bottom opening 106 and a top opening 108. The upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel. The upper member top opening 108 is asymmetric about the center 64 of the body.
  • The upper member top opening 108 is in this non-limiting example located toward the front of the body such that more of it is forward of the latitudinal axis 62 than is rearward of the latitudinal axis. This feature is in part illustrated in FIG. 1G, where central axis 53 of body through-channel 50 is rearward of central axis 109 of upper member through-channel 104. The upper member top opening 108 may have a generally rectangular shape defined by generally rectangular top rim 103. The upper member top opening may have a rear width at its rear 115 and a front width at its front 112, where the front width is greater than the rear width. The upper member top opening 108 may be asymmetric about the latitudinal axis 62 and/or may be asymmetric about body center 64.
  • The body through-channel 50 may have at least in part a generally funnel shape, with the bottom opening 51 of channel 50 larger than the top opening 52 of body channel 50. The generally funnel shape may comprise at least one interior wall of the body that borders the body through-channel being angled toward the center of the body. The body may have two of the angled walls, one wall 54 toward the front and one wall 56 toward the rear, where both of the angled walls are bisected by the longitudinal axis 60. Each of the two angled walls may extend along a majority of the height of the body.
  • The pouch “P” may have two generally parallel side seams 182 and 183 (FIG. 1I), and the pouch opening 186 may be located closer to one side seam than the other, and lie at an obtuse angle (in this non-limiting example, about 110 degrees) to the closer side seam 182. Body 12 has a plurality of generally linear and generally parallel spaced ribs 41-45 along its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening. The upper member may have a front wall 118 that defines the front part of the upper member top opening 108; the front wall 118 is generally parallel to the closer pouch side seam 182. The upper member top opening 108 lies generally in a top plane that intersects at an acute angle the generally parallel lines along which ribs 41-45 lie.
  • The closure may further comprise a lid 162 that is coupled to the upper member 114 and adapted to be moved between a closed position in which it overlies the upper member top opening (e.g., as shown in FIG. 1A) and an open position in which it is free of the upper member top opening (e.g., as shown in FIG. 1B). The body, the upper member and the lid may all be part of a unitary molded closure, or the closure can be made from two or more interconnected pieces.
  • Body 12 defines a number of protruding, generally parallel, circumferential ribs 41-45. These ribs are adapted to help the closure 10 be sealed to a flexible film pouch. The use of ribs such as these on a generally boat-shaped fitment body to accomplish sealing to a film pouch is known in the art. Generally flat front and rear tabs 31 and 33 provide additional flat surfaces and a taper that help to accomplish this seal, as is also known in the art.
  • Upper member 14 is integral with body 12 and is defined by a circumferential or annular wall 102 that defines the exit opening 108 of the closure. In this example wall 102 extends generally vertically when the closure is mounted in the pouch as shown in FIGS. 1H and 1I. Upper member 14 has upper rim 103 which defines opening 108 through which material located in pouch “P” is poured out. Opening 108 is asymmetric about center 64 of body 12. Center 64 lies at the intersection of bisecting longitudinal axis 60 and bisecting latitudinal axis 62.
  • Lid 16 closes opening 108 and comprises top wall 161, closure projection 162, and projecting front tab 164 that allows the lid to be flipped open. Hinge 166 connects lid 16 to base member 12. Inwardly directed closure projection 162 fits into groove 110 in upper member 14, just below rim 103. This arrangement creates a seal that may or may not be designed and constructed to be liquid-tight, depending on the contents of the pouch.
  • Hinge 166 is an integral three-part hinge with a stay-open feature as is known in the art. The center portion has an over the center construction that maintains the lid in the open position.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1H and 1I, closure 10 is preferably mounted at a top corner of pouch P. Pouch P is a flexible film pouch of the type known in the art that is used to hold liquid or pourable solids such as powders and granular materials, and small objects such as dog treats. Such pouches are typically made from two (or possibly more) sheets of film material that are bonded together at opposed edges. The pouch has two sidewalls (sidewall 181 shown) that are sealed along side seams 182 and 183, and top seam 184. The pouch may have a bottom gusset in bottom 185. In this example, pouch P has opening 186 at or close to one top corner. Opening 186 lies at a slight angle from the horizontal of less than 45°; in this case the angle is about 20°. The angle of the opening relative to the horizontal is preferably no more than 45° and can be up to about −20°.
  • Closure body portion 12 is sealed to the pouch in a manner known in the art, typically accomplished by ultrasonic welding or use of an adhesive, as two non-limiting examples. One portion 187 of pouch sidewall 181 is sealed to side 26 of body 12; the other side is sealed in the same manner. Closure 10 is constructed and arranged to be sealed to the pouch in this manner while presenting the top rim 103 at a horizontal position when the pouch is placed on horizontal surface. The rim need not be horizontal and could be at a slight positive or negative angle to the horizontal. The closure is also constructed and arranged to present the outlet opening 108 in a location very close to or intersecting one side seam 182 of the pouch.
  • Front wall 118 of annular wall 102 of upper member 14 is generally vertical when the closure is mounted in the pouch, and is generally parallel to pouch side seam 182. Wall 118 also preferably lies close to seam 182 such that the front, pour edge of opening 108 is close to the edge of the pouch. This facilitates pouring the contents from the pouch. The stay-open feature of lid 16 keeps the lid from blocking any portion of opening 108 and prevents the user from having to hold the lid open while the contents are poured.
  • The body or fitment portion of the closure may or may not have a funnel geometry. This helps to dispense solids more efficiently, and allows a small fitment to be used to dispense solids with less risk of clogging.
  • The closure outlet opening can be offset toward the front of the closure. Moving the outlet closer to the front places the lip from which the contents pour out of the pouch closer to the side of the pouch. This makes pouring easier. This also provides more space behind the opening for mounting of the lid.
  • The closure can be constructed and arranged such that the front wall of the spout portion of the closure (which becomes the lip when the contents are poured out through the spout) is vertical or close to vertical (say within about plus or minus twenty degrees from vertical). When the pouch is tipped to pour the contents, the lip of the spout becomes the highest point of the spout, from which the contents pour. This moves the pour point out to the end of the spout, making the pour more visible to the user and thus easier to control.
  • The spout can be asymmetrical relative to the center, or the latitudinal centerline, of the fitment or body portion of the closure. This can move the outlet opening forward of center, which facilitates pouring.
  • The spout rim that defines the outlet opening can be in a plane that is not parallel to the plane of the fitment. This feature allows the closure to be used in pouch outlets that are cut at various angles from the horizontal.
  • The tabs at the front and back of the fitment can be angled rather than perpendicular to the fitment ribs. This can align the tabs vertically in an angled pouch cut. One advantage is that the bulges and folds in the pouch caused by the fitment are more vertically aligned. Such vertical alignment helps the pouch to stand upright.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a slightly different closure 200 with body 202 and upper member 220. Top opening 222 is more rounded in the front than opening 52, FIG. 1, and is located well forward of body center 214 that lies at the intersection of bisecting axes 213 and 212. Similar to the first example, body 202 has front 204, rear 206, top 208, and bottom 210 that lies in plane 211. Upper member 220 includes top opening 222, front wall 224, lid-engaging projection 226 and top rim 228 that lies in plane 230. Planes 211 and 230 are not parallel and so intersect at an acute angle.
  • The construction and arrangement of this example presents horizontal rim 228 that is at a slight angle to the plane 211 of body 202. Another way to look at this arrangement is that axis 243 that lies along front wall 224 lies at an angle to plane 211 of more than 90° and well less than 180°. The angle between body 202 and upper member 220 is established so that top plane 230 lies along the top the top edge of the pouch (not shown) so as to accommodate the angle of the pouch cut into which the closure is sealed.
  • Another aspect of the closure construction, arrangement and inter-fitting with the pouch is that the center axis 241 of top opening 222 is offset forward from the center axis 242 of the bottom opening in bottom 210 of body 202. This is due at least in part to the fact that opening 222 is not centered in the body. Pushing the outlet opening forward like this facilitates pouring of the contents from the pouch. Pouring is also facilitated by the shape of opening 222. This shape is preferably semicircular at the front part of the rim and more tapered and squared off at the back part of the rim. Opening 222 is preferably but not necessarily asymmetric about its lateral central axis 212. The squared rear wall also provides more width that can be used to anchor the hinge.
  • Closure 300, FIG. 3, has a generally funnel-shaped interior cavity, with the closure entrance opening (at the bottom of the closure) being larger than the exit opening (at the top), and with at least some of the walls between the two openings angled like the walls of a funnel. This shape helps to guide the pouch contents into, through and out of the closure. One result is that a smaller closure can be used with less fear that the closure will be clogged by solid contents being poured out. Also, closure 300 has the front and rear edges of the closure sealing tabs 312 and 314 generally perpendicular to the pouch opening 352 in which the closure is located. In contrast, closure 380, FIG. 4, has the front 316 a and rear 318 a edges of the closure sealing tabs generally vertical when the pouch is standing upright: this arrangement helps to maintain generally vertical creases and perturbations in the pouch which help the pouch to remain upright. Both examples can be made by injection molding. The material can be selected for desired properties. High-density polyethylene is one example of a material.
  • Closure 300 is a single piece design with a lid 306 that is coupled to upper member 304 by hinge 344. Upper member 304 is coupled to (integral with) body 302. Body 302 has a cup-like shape. The overall shape of the body is typically termed “boat” or “canoe” shaped, but that is not a limitation as the body could have any other shape so long as it can be sealed to a film pouch and it defines a lower opening that communicates with the interior of the pouch. Front and rear tabs 312 and 314 provide additional flat surfaces and a taper that help to accomplish the seal to the pouch, as is known in the art. Lid 306 comprises projecting closure bead 342 that snaps over ridge 321 and seats in closure groove 322 to keep the lid closed.
  • Closure 300 has a generally funnel-shaped interior cavity, with the closure entrance opening (at the bottom of the closure) being larger than the exit opening at the top of the upper member, and with at least some of the walls between the two openings (e.g., front interior wall 324 and rear interior wall 315) angled like the walls of a funnel. These angled walls are contrasted with the typical essentially vertical interior closure walls (illustrated in FIG. 3A by dashed lines 371 and 372) of prior art closures. The interior funnel shape helps to guide the pouch contents into, through and out of the closure. One result is that a smaller closure can be used with less fear that the closure will be clogged by solid contents being poured out. The angled walls also help to stiffen the otherwise thin and generally annular walls of the body so that they can withstand the pressure associated with sealing the closure to the pouch without bending in a manner that would affect the seal.
  • Front tab 312 and rear tab 314 each have a peripheral edge that is perpendicular to the ribs (not shown) on body 302. Closure 300 is mounted to pouch P (FIG. 3B) in a cut 352 that is at an angle to pouch top seam 184 and pouch side seam 182; this angle can be but need not be about 45 degrees from pouch top edge 184. In this orientation, the peripheral edges of tabs 312 and 314 are perpendicular to cut 352, and thus at 45 degrees from the vertical when the pouch is standing on its bottom as depicted in FIG. 3B. Because the closure body is boat shaped, and the pouch sidewalls need to conform to this shape as well as seal to the tabs, when the closure is sealed to the pouch the pouch sidewalls bulge and crease at about 45 degrees from the vertical. This may weaken the sidewalls and cause the pouch to buckle.
  • Closure 380, FIGS. 4A and 4B, is similar in construction to closure 300. The main difference between the two is that the peripheral edges of front tab 316 a and rear tab 318 b are angled rather than perpendicular to the fitment sealing ribs. The angle is preferably the same as the angle of the pouch cut 352 in which the closure is sealed. This causes the top of front wall 324 to be forward of where it would otherwise be. One result of this arrangement, as shown in FIG. 4B, is that the tab edges are vertical rather than angled. The bulges and creases in the pouch caused by the pouch sidewalls needing to conform to the boat shape and the tabs are thus vertical rather than angled. Such vertical deformations of the pouch sidewalls may serve to strengthen the sidewalls. As a result, the pouch may stand upright more firmly and be less likely to collapse when stood on its bottom.
  • Another example of a closure 400 is shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. This closure is very similar in many respects to the other closures, except that it is made from two pieces rather than one. The drawings have been labeled primarily to illustrate the differences between this example and the other examples. Closure 400 is made from first piece 401 which includes body 402 and upper member 404. Body 402 has front tab 414 and rear tab 416, and top 418. Upper member 404 includes upper wall 422, rear wall 424 and locking feature 426. The second piece 406 comprises the lid portion connected by a hinge to coupling portion 408 that is adapted to be permanently coupled to first piece 401.
  • Portion 408 is constructed and arranged to sit on top 418 of body 402. Projecting from top 418 is snap-in projecting locking feature 426 comprising legs 427 and 428, which are slightly compressed when portion 408 is pushed onto feature 426 via opening 410. When feature 426 is fully inserted, legs 427 and 428 snap to the normal slightly spread position as shown in FIG. 5B. This locks coupling portion 408 to first piece 401, up against rear wall 424. This is one mechanical means of coupling a separate lid member to the base member; other similar mechanical coupling structures and arrangements could be accomplished.
  • A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that additional modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the inventive concepts described herein, and, accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (18)

What is claimed is:
1. A closure that is constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior, the closure comprising:
a body that has a top, bottom, sides, front and back, wherein the body has a body through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, and wherein the body is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side;
an upper member coupled to the top of the body, wherein the upper member has an upper member through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, where the upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel;
wherein the top of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis and has a latitudinal axis that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes; and
wherein the upper member top opening is asymmetric about the center of the body.
2. The closure of claim 1 wherein the upper member top opening is located toward the front of the body such that more of it is forward of the latitudinal axis than is rearward of the latitudinal axis.
3. The closure of claim 1 wherein the upper member top opening has a generally rectangular shape.
4. The closure of claim 3 wherein the upper member top opening has a rear width at its rear and a front width at its front, where the front width is greater than the rear width.
5. The closure of claim 1 wherein the upper member top opening is asymmetric about the latitudinal axis.
6. The closure of claim 1 wherein the body through-channel has at least in part a generally funnel shape, with the bottom opening of the body channel larger than the top opening of the body channel.
7. The closure of claim 6 wherein the generally funnel shape comprises at least one interior wall of the body that borders the body through-channel being angled toward the center of the body.
8. The closure of claim 7 wherein the body has two of the angled walls, one toward the front and one toward the rear, where both of the angled walls are bisected by the longitudinal axis.
9. The closure of claim 8 wherein each of the two angled walls extends along a majority of the height of the body.
10. The closure of claim 1 wherein the pouch has two generally parallel side seams and where the pouch opening is located closer to one side seam than the other, and lies at an obtuse angle to the closer side seam, and wherein the body has a plurality of spaced ribs along its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening.
11. The closure of claim 10 wherein the upper member has a front wall that defines the front part of the upper member top opening, and wherein the front wall is generally parallel to the closer side seam.
12. The closure of claim 1 wherein the body has a plurality of spaced ribs that each lie along one of a series of spaced generally parallel lines along each of its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening, wherein the upper member top opening lies generally in a top plane, and wherein the top plane intersects the generally parallel lines at an acute angle.
13. The closure of claim 1 further comprising a lid that is coupled to the upper member and adapted to be moved between a closed position in which it overlies the upper member top opening and an open position in which it is free of the upper member top opening.
14. The closure of claim 13 wherein the body, upper member and lid are all part of a unitary molded closure.
15. A closure that is constructed and arranged to be sealed to an opening in a flexible film pouch that has an interior, the closure comprising:
a body that has a top, bottom, sides, front and back, wherein the body has a body through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, and wherein the body is elongated, such that its extent from front to back is greater than its extent from side to side;
an upper member coupled to the top of the body, wherein the upper member has an upper member through-channel with a bottom opening and a top opening, where the upper member through-channel is contiguous with the body through-channel;
wherein the top of the body is bisected by a body longitudinal axis and has a latitudinal axis that bisects and is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, where a center of the body is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal and latitudinal axes;
wherein the upper member top opening is asymmetric about the latitudinal axis and is located toward the front of the body such that more of it is forward of the latitudinal axis than is rearward of the latitudinal axis;
wherein the upper member top opening is asymmetric about the center of the body;
wherein the pouch has two generally parallel side seams and where the pouch opening is located closer to one side seam than the other, and lies at an obtuse angle to the closer side seam, and wherein the closure body has a plurality of spaced ribs along its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening, wherein the upper member has a front wall that defines the front part of the upper member top opening, and wherein the front wall is generally parallel to the closer side seam; and
a lid that is coupled to the upper member and adapted to be moved between a closed position in which it overlies the upper member top opening and an open position in which it is free of the upper member top opening;
wherein the body, upper member and lid are all part of a unitary molded closure.
16. The closure of claim 15 wherein the upper member top opening has a generally rectangular shape, and wherein the upper member top opening has a rear width at its rear and a front width at its front, where the front width is greater than the rear width.
17. The closure of claim 15 wherein the body through-channel has at least in part a generally funnel shape, with the bottom opening of the body channel larger than the top opening of the body channel, wherein the generally funnel shape comprises at least one interior wall of the body that borders the body through-channel being angled toward the center of the body, wherein the body has two of the angled walls, one toward the front and one toward the rear, where both of the angled walls are bisected by the longitudinal axis, and wherein each of the two angled walls extends along a majority of the height of the body.
18. The closure of claim 17 wherein the body has a plurality of spaced ribs that each lie along one of a series of spaced generally parallel lines along each of its two opposed sides, where the ribs are adapted to be sealed to the pouch just below the pouch opening such that the ribs are generally parallel to the pouch opening, wherein the upper member top opening lies generally in a top plane, and wherein the top plane intersects the generally parallel lines at an acute angle.
US14/256,515 2013-04-19 2014-04-18 Closure for Flexible Film Pouch Abandoned US20140312078A1 (en)

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