Title:
Liner, preferably made of film material
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liner to be introduced into a container has a liner wall made of a film material and a filling spout connected to the liner wall. A discharge spout is also connected to the liner wall. The discharge spout has a housing with movable holding elements for securing the discharge spout on a container. The holding elements are snap-on elements. A ring is secured to the container so as to surround a container opening. The holding elements engage the ring attached to the container for positionally securing the discharge spout on the container.



Inventors:
Buscherhoff, Bernd (Steinfeld, DE)
Hartmann, Siegfried (Ibbenburen, DE)
Application Number:
10/904303
Publication Date:
06/16/2005
Filing Date:
11/03/2004
Assignee:
NORDENIA DEUTSCHLAND EMSDETTEN GmbH (Emsdetten, DE)
Buscherhoff Spezialverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG (Steinfeld, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/105, 222/107
International Classes:
B65D25/16; B65D51/22; B65D77/06; (IPC1-7): B65D35/28
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NGO, LIEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GUDRUN E. HUCKETT DRAUDT (WUPPERTAL, DE)
Claims:
1. A liner to be introduced into a container, the liner comprising: a liner wall made of a film material; a filling spout connected to the liner wall; a discharge spout connected to the liner wall; wherein the discharge spout has a housing with movable holding elements for securing the discharge spout on a container.

2. The liner according to claim 1, wherein the holding elements are snap-on elements.

3. The liner according to claim 1, comprising a ring adapted to be secured on the container so as to surround a container opening, wherein the holding elements are configured to engage the ring for positionally securing the discharge spout on the container.

4. The liner according to claim 3, wherein the housing has an area provided with a polygonal outer shape.

5. The liner according to claim 4, wherein the ring has a polygonal inner shape matching the polygonal outer shape, wherein the polygonal outer shape of the housing is configured to engage the polygonal inner shape of the ring so that the discharge spout is secured against rotation.

6. The liner according to claim 5, wherein the polygonal outer shape is octagonal and wherein the polygonal inner shape is octagonal.

7. The liner according to claim 1, wherein the discharge spout comprises a protective device to be opened upon first discharge from the liner and further comprises a cutting device for opening the protective device.

8. The liner according to claim 7, wherein the discharge spout has a closure flap and the cutting device is attached to the closure flap.

9. The liner according to claim 8, wherein the closure flap is configured to provide metered emptying of the liner.

10. The liner according to claim 7, wherein the protective device is a membrane.

11. The liner according to claim 7, wherein the cutting device is a perforation blade.

12. The liner according to claim 11, wherein the perforation blade is integrated into the closure flap and, when actuating the closure flap, the protective device is cut by the perforation blade.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a liner, preferably made of a film material, that is to be placed into containers, for example, barrels and the like. The liner comprises a filling spout as well as a discharge spout that is insertable, for example, into a wall of the container.

Liners of the aforementioned kind are known and serve, for example, for receiving liquids or other materials that, in many cases, must be stored and transported particularly carefully and, in many cases, also in a sterile environment. In regard to the storage possibilities of such materials by means of the liner but also in regard to emptying or filling the liner, special measures are required in order to avoid contamination. This holds true, in particular, when materials for human consumption, for example, fruit juice concentrates, are to be stored.

Liners of conventional configuration are provided with a discharge spout for emptying the liner, in particular, spouts made of plastic material. The discharge spout is provided with a closure lid and is to be connected to the wall material of the liner. Requirements with regard to hygienic or sterile storage and transport conditions however cannot be fulfilled in this connection. It is not sufficient for this purpose to subject such liners with adapted discharge spouts to irradiation because subsequent handling can lead to germs and the like reaching via the discharge spout the product stored within the liner.

The risk that germs and the like reach the product that is being stored is caused in many situations by damages that originate at the discharge spout.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a liner having a discharge spout that is suitable to a high degree to transport and store materials for human consumption.

In accordance with the present invention, this is achieved in that the liner of the aforementioned kind is provided with a discharge spout having a housing with movable holding elements for securing the discharge spout on a container.

In this way, a liner is provided that is excellently suitable to store and transport sensitive material, for example, foodstuffs and the like, because the housing with the movable holding elements secures the discharge spout securely on the container so that during transport the risk is significantly reduced that the discharge spout and also the liner will become damaged which, in consequence, could enable germs to reach the interior of the container.

Preferably, the holding elements are snap-on elements so that the liner with its discharge spout can be placed into the interior of the container and, subsequently, by carrying out easy assembly steps, the discharge spout can be inserted simply into the wall of the container causing immediate securing of the discharge spout on the container wall by means of the snap-on elements. When the discharge spout has over portions thereof a polygonal housing shape, preferably an octagonal shape, it can interact with a ring having a matching shape provided on the container wall so that not only in the longitudinal direction of the discharge spout but also in a rotational direction a securing function is realized, and, in this way, the discharge spout is additionally protected. Preferably, a protective device is provided additionally that is to be opened upon first use of the container, in particular, by means of a cutting device that opens, preferably cuts, the protective device upon first use (first discharge of the contents). The protective device is opened only when emptying and first use of the discharge spout are imminent; in this connection, upon first use of the discharge spout and thus at the beginning of a discharge process of the liner, the cutting device is activated and the protective device is opened.

Preferably, the spout has a closure flap with attached cutting device so that upon activation of the closure flap that is expediently configured for a metered emptying of the liner the cutting device is also activated in the sense of opening the protective device. The protective device can be, for example, a membrane and the cutting device can be embodied as a perforation blade for perforating or slitting the membrane. The perforation blade is preferably integrated into the closure flap and can cut upon actuation of the closure flap the protective device; this can be realized, for example, by a conventional lever mechanism. In this connection, a lever is actuated that is connected directly to the perforation blade and cuts the protective device. Subsequently, the closure flap can be actuated by means of this lever, particularly in such a way that the closure flap enables metered emptying of the liner in accordance with the lever position.

The snap-on elements engage expediently a ring that is provided on the container and is embodied to have a polygonal shape and is thus not circular, but instead, for example, octagonal. The ring interacts with corresponding housing parts of the spout in such a way that the spout can no longer be rotated because of its housing wall areas being arranged within the ring opening; moreover, it is axially secured by holding elements on the ring secured on the container. Expediently, the housing wall area of the spout that, after insertion of the spout into the container wall, projects outwardly and is positioned within the ring is configured to have a complementary polygonal shape that, on the one hand, a widening movement of the elastic holding elements is enabled and, on the other hand, a rotational securing action is ensured.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a discharge spout of the liner in accordance with the present intention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section view of the embodiment according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 shows schematically a container into which the liner is to be inserted.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a container with inserted spout of a liner.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the drawings, parts that function in the same way are identified with identical reference numerals. For a better understanding of the drawings, the liner is not shown in its entirety. However, the liner is of a design that is known in the art and, for example, is comprised of a film material forming a liner wall and has a filling member in the form of a conventional spout with screw cap. In its discharge area, the liner is provided with a discharge spout 1 that has at its upper end a rim portion or collar 2 provided with a housing 3 that is comprised of plastic material. The collar 2 is to be glued or fused to the film material of the liner; after gluing or fusing, the discharge spout 1 and the liner material form a unit providing a film liner with filling spout having a screw cap and with a discharge spout which liner is to be inserted into a container, for example, a barrel made of plastic material, as illustrated in FIG. 4. As a whole, such a liner is designed for storing and transporting foodstuffs such as fruit juice concentrate. The discharge spout 1 has a lever 4 connected to a closure flap 5 that is to be rotated by the lever 4. A cutting device 6 is arranged on the lever 4. In the illustrated embodiment, the cutting device 6 is configured as a perforation blade that cuts into a perforation film identified in FIG. 3 at 7 but not illustrated in FIG. 1. The perforation film 7 tightly seals the discharge spout relative to the surroundings when not yet cut or perforated so that special requirements with regard to sterility of the filled-in material, for example, fruit juice concentrate, is ensured in the area of the discharge spout during storage and transport. For this purpose, before filling the liner, the liner has been sterilized in order to be aseptic, for example, by irradiation with gamma radiation so that, subsequently, the protective device in the form of a protective film ensures sterility after the sterilizing process.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, on the closure flap 5 a cutting device 8 in the form of a perforation blade is provided that, in the illustrated embodiment according to FIG. 3, is arranged in the still inactivated state above the protective film 7, i.e., so as to face the interior of the liner, and, upon first actuation of the lever 4, will cut or perforate the protective film 7. This is done upon first use of the discharge spout after filling of the liner, i.e., when the material filled into the liner, for example, a fruit juice concentrate, is needed for subsequent processing etc. The activation of the perforation blade 8 is realized automatically upon opening of the closure flap 5. After slitting of the protective film 7 by means of the lever 4, the closure flap 5 can be moved into different angular positions for realizing a metered emptying of the liner.

As illustrated in more detail in FIG. 4, the container 9 into which the liner has been inserted has an outer wall 10 as well as an opening 11 through which the discharge spout 1 can be pushed from the interior to the exterior. In order to provide an appropriate securing action against rotation, on the outer wall of the container a plastic ring 12 is provided which is illustrated in cross-section in FIG. 5. In the area of the housing 3 to be pushed through the opening 11, holding elements 13 are provided that are embodied as snap-on elements which, when the spout is being pushed through the opening 11, are moved as a result of their own elasticity toward the central longitudinal axis of the discharge spout 1 and, after passing the ring 12, are moved back in order to then engage the plastic ring 12. In this way, the discharge spout is fixed in the axial direction on the container. The plastic ring, in turn, is of a polygonal shape, in particular, of an octagonal shape, and engages with its inner octagonal configuration a corresponding outer octagonal shape of the housing wall area of the housing 3 of the pushed-through discharge spout 1 positioned within the ring 12 so that, as a result of this polygonal configuration, the discharge spout is secured against rotation within the housing wall of the container; this ensures that, during transport or storage of the liner, there is no risk that as a result of external loads acting thereon, for example, as a result of rotation or axial actuation of the discharge spout, the connection between discharge spout and liner could be damaged which, in turn, would lead to germs penetrating from the exterior into the interior of the liner.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the inventive principles, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.