Title:
FILLED AND SEALED BAG HAVING AN EASY POUR SPOUT AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An article of commerce comprising a bag containing a quantity of particulates. The bag includes a sidewall encircling a longitudinal axis and extending along the axis between a bottom closed end and a top closed end. The opposite sides of the sidewall are brought together to form the bottom closed and the top closed end. Both of the bottom and top closed ends extend acutely with respect to the axis such that the bag is parallelogram-shaped in a plane containing the axis and the bottom closed end and the top closed end.



Inventors:
Ours, David C. (Marshall, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/687367
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
03/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/95, 383/210, 383/211, 383/907
International Classes:
B65D5/56; B65D33/00; B65D39/00; B65D65/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASCUA, JES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William H. Honaker (Bloomfield Hills, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article of commerce comprising: a bag containing a quantity of particulates, wherein said bag includes a sidewall encircling a longitudinal axis and extending along said axis between a bottom closed end wherein opposite sides of said sidewall are brought together and a top closed end wherein opposite sides of said sidewall are brought together, and wherein both of said bottom and top closed ends extend acutely with respect to said axis such that said bag is parallelogram-shaped in a plane containing said axis and said bottom closed end and said top closed end.

2. The article of commerce of claim 1 said top closed end is operable to open by separating said opposite sides of said sidewall apart without tearing said sidewall such that said bag is re-closable.

3. The article of commerce of claim 1 further comprising: a first adhesive disposed between said opposite sides along a first portion of said top closed end; and a second adhesive disposed between said opposite sides along a second portion of said top closed end, wherein said first adhesive defines a greater adhesiveness that said second adhesive such that said first portion requires a greater force to open than said second portion.

4. The article of commerce of claim 1 wherein: said top closed end is further defined extending transverse to said axis between a first end disposed relatively closer to said bottom closed end and a second end disposed relatively further from said bottom closed end; and said top closed end is further defined as variably sealed such that an amount of separating force required to open said top closed seal is different at said first and second ends.

5. The article of commerce of claim 4 wherein the amount of separating force required to open said top closed seal is greater at said first end than at said second end.

6. The article of commerce of claim 1 further comprising: a carton having a sidewall and bottom wall wherein said sidewall encircles said axis and extends along said axis between a top end and a bottom end and wherein said bottom wall closes said bottom end to cooperate with said sidewall to define a substantially enclosed cavity, said bag being disposed in said cavity.

7. The article of commerce of claim 6 wherein said carton is further defined as being substantially rectangular in a plane containing said axis and said bottom closed end and said top closed end.

8. The article of commerce of claim 6 wherein said carton is further defined as being formed of one of plastic and paperboard.

9. A method for making said bag of claim 1 comprising the steps of: drawing a web of folded material off of a roll in a first direction along a production line; disposing a sealing bar along the production line at an acute angle to the first direction; and disposing a cutting bar along the production line at an acute angle to the first direction.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising the step of: spacing the sealing bar and the cutting bar from one another along the production line.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/783,141 for a FILLED AND SEALED BAG HAVING EASY POUR SPOUT AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME, filed on Mar. 16, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the packaging for particulate material such as ready-to-eat (“RTE”) cereal. More specifically, this invention is particularly useful in the form of a bag-in-a-box with a re-closable bag.

2. Description of Related Art

The use of a bag and or of a cartons with liner bag for particulate products like RTE cereal is well known. Such cartons are usually formed from a blank of paperboard or similar material comprising sidewalls with top and bottom flaps. The liner is a plastic or coated paper bag which holds the particulate product. The liner can be filled and sealed before or after being placed inside the open carton. The flaps of the carton are then folded and sealed.

Gaining access to the contents of such cartons involves breaking the seal between the top flaps of the carton and pulling open the sealed liner bag. As will be appreciated by anyone who has opened this type of bag, they do not always open neatly and many times can tear in ways that make resealing difficult. Difficult and incomplete sealing can lead to a loss of freshness of the product. RTE cereal. For example, the particulate has a low moisture content and readily absorbs moisture from the air, leading to a loss of crispness.

Once opened, and as the contents are depleted, the liner bag and its contents slide and shift positions in the carton which can cause the opened portion of the liner to become misaligned with the box opening thereby hindering dispensing of product from the carton. This also causes product to drop between the carton and the liner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In summary, the invention is an article of commerce comprising a bag containing a quantity of particulates. The bag includes a sidewall encircling a longitudinal axis and extending along the axis between a bottom closed end and a top closed end. The opposite sides of the sidewall are brought together to form the bottom closed and the top closed end. Both of the bottom and top closed ends extend acutely with respect to the axis such that the bag is parallelogram-shaped in a plane containing the axis and the bottom closed end and the top closed end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings that set forth an exemplary embodiment wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a bag according to the exemplary embodiment of the invention partially opened at a top end;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the bag shown in FIG. 3 re-closed;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the re-closed bag shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a schematic view of the bag showing dual seal zones; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a production line for making the bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

The present invention provides a unique solution to the opening and closing problems encountered with traditional bags and particularly traditional bags in boxes. This unique solution is obtained at little or even no additional cost in equipment, material or labor.

Referring now to the figures of the application, the exemplary embodiment of the invention includes a bag 10 containing a quantity of particulates 12. A portion of the bag 10 is cut-away in FIG. 1 to reveal the particles. In the exemplary embodiment of the invention, the particles are RTE cereal pieces. But in alternative embodiments of the invention, the particles can encompass large bulk packaged pieces as well as very small bulk packaged pieces. Examples of smaller fill materials include, but are not limited to, the following: agricultural products like seeds, rice, grains, vegetables, fruits; chemical products like fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, raw chemicals, fertilizers; plastics like plastic resin pellets, plastic parts, rejected plastic parts, machined plastic parts; cereals and cereal products such as wheat; a variety of machined parts of all sorts; wood products like wood chips, landscaping material, peat moss, dirt, sand, gravel, rocks and cement. The present invention also finds utilization in bulk packaging of larger fill material including, but not limited to: prepared foods; partially processed foods like frozen fish, frozen chicken, other frozen meats and meat products; manufactured items like textiles, clothing, footwear; toys like plastic toys, plastic half parts, metallic parts, soft toys, stuffed animals, and other toys and toy products. All of these types of materials and similar bulk packaged materials are intended to be encompassed in the present specification and claims by this phrase.

The bag 10 can be made of paper or plastic. The bag 10 can be made from any material now known or subsequently developed that is operable to contain particles.

The bag 10 includes a sidewall 14 encircling a longitudinal axis 16 and extending along the axis 16. The sidewall 14 can be continuous or can include seam, such as shown when comparing FIGS. 2 and 6. FIG. 6 shows a seam 36. The bag 10 extends between a bottom closed end 18 and a top closed end 20. Opposite sides 26, 28 of the sidewall 14 are brought together to form the bottom and top closed ends 18, 20. Both of the bottom and top closed ends 18, 20 extend acutely with respect to the axis 16 such that the bag 10 is parallelogram-shaped in a plane containing the axis and the bottom closed end 18 and the top closed end 20. This plane is shown in FIG. 1, revealing the two acute angles 22 and 24.

The top closed end 20 of the exemplary bag 10 can be opened by separating the opposite sides 26, 28 of the sidewall 14. FIG. 3 shows the bag 10 partially opened. The bag 10 can be opened without tearing the sidewall 14. As a result, the bag 10 is re-closable. FIGS. 4 and 5 show two view of the bag 10 in a re-closed condition.

The structure of the exemplary bag 10 results in a pour spout being defined when the top end 20 is opened. The exemplary bag 10 is also structured to enhance the control over which the top end 20 is opened. Specifically, the exemplary top end 20 is defined by dual seal zones. In other words, the top end 20 is variably sealed. As best shown schematically in FIG. 6, the top closed end 20 extends transverse to the axis 16 (shown in FIG. 1) between a first end 30 disposed relatively closer to the bottom closed end 18 and a second end 32 disposed relatively further from the bottom closed end 18. A first adhesive 34 disposed between the opposite sides 26, 28 along a first portion of the top closed end 20. A second adhesive 38 disposed between the opposite sides 26, 28 along a second portion of the top closed end 20. The first adhesive 34 defines a greater adhesiveness that the second adhesive 38 such that the first portion requires a greater force to open than the second portion. In other words, an amount of separating force required to open the top closed seal 20 is different at the first and second ends 30, 32. Specifically, in the exemplary embodiment of the invention, the amount of separating force required to open the top closed seal 20 is greater at the second end 32 than at the first end 30.

A bag according to the present invention can also be used with or without a box or carton. The exemplary article of commerce also includes a carton 40 having a sidewall 42 and bottom wall 44. The sidewall 42 can continuous or be formed with a seam. The sidewall 42 can be formed as a single piece (with or without a seam) or formed from a plurality of discrete pieces. The sidewall 42 encircles the axis 16 and extends along the axis 16 between a top end 46 and a bottom end 48. The bottom wall 44 closes the bottom end 48 to cooperate with the sidewall 42 to define a substantially enclosed cavity. The bag 10 is disposed in the cavity. The carton 40 is further defined as being substantially rectangular in a plane containing the axis 16 and the bottom closed end 18 and the top closed end 20. The carton 40 can be formed from plastic or paperboard. The carton 40 can include integral closing structures or features, such as flaps, or can be engaged by a separate lid or cover.

Indicia may be included on the pouring spout or carton to provide instructions for opening.

FIG. 7 schematically shows a production line 50 for forming the exemplary bag 10. In an exemplary method for making the bag 10, a web 52 of folded material is drawn off of a roll 54 in a first direction represented by arrow 56 along the production line 50. A sealing bar 58 is disposed along the production line 50 at an acute angle 60 to the first direction 56. A cutting bar 62 is also disposed along the production line 50 at an acute angle 64 to the first direction 56. The cutting bar 62 can be a dual purpose device, cutting and sealing the web 52 to form the bag 10. Likewise, the bar 58 can be a dual purpose device. The bars 58, 62 are space from one another along the production line 50. The production line 50 is flexible in that, if rectangular bags are desired, the bars 58, 62 can be rotated to be perpendicular to the direction 56.

While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.