Title:
Desiccant Bag With Orientation Indicator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adsorbent material package comprising an elongated pouch having first and second sealed longitudinal ends. A distinguishing orientation marker is integrally formed on one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends for orienting and identifying the package inside the mating assembly of a refrigerant system. The orientation indicator is formed by the same tooling used to cut-off the ends of the package when the package is being manufactured. These distinguishing marks may be configured in the shape of a notch, a ‘V’, a ‘W’, a half-square, a half-circle, or a variety of other shapes. In one exemplary embodiment, the indicator takes the form of a protruding area on one end of the bag, and an indented area on the other end of the bag. In other exemplary embodiments, the orientation indicator comprises multiple notches or holes in one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends of the adsorbent package.



Inventors:
Perrine, Glenn D. (Lewisburg, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/660806
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
09/15/2005
Assignee:
Flow Dry Technology Ltd (Brookville, OH, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/400
International Classes:
B65B61/02; B65D81/26
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEGMAN HESSLER (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adsorbent containing package having first and second sealed longitudinal ends comprising an orientation indicator integrally formed on one or both of said ends by way of tooling used to cut-off said first or second ends.

2. The adsorbent containing package as recited in claim 1, wherein said orientation indicator is configured in the shape of a notch, a ‘V’, a ‘W’, a half-square, a half-circle, or combinations thereof.

3. The adsorbent containing package as recited in claim 1, wherein said orientation indicator comprises a plurality of notches or holes.

4. The adsorbent containing package as recited in claim 1, wherein said orientation indicator comprises a protruding area on one of said ends and an indented area on the other said end.

5. A method of preparing an adsorbent containing package comprising the steps of: (a) sealing first and second longitudinal ends of said package; (b) providing tooling to cut-off said first and second ends; and (c) adapting said tooling to integrally form an orientation indicator on one or both of said ends when said ends are cut-off.

6. The method as recited in claim 5, wherein said orientation indicator is configured in the shape of a notch, a ‘V’, a ‘W’, a half-square, a half-circle, or combinations thereof.

7. The method as recited in claim 5, wherein said orientation indicator comprises a plurality of notches or holes.

8. The method as recited in claim 5, wherein said orientation indicator comprises a protruding area on one of said ends and an indented area on the other said end.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/611,098 filed Sep. 17, 2004.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improved adsorbent package having an integrated identification/orientation marker disposed on one or both ends of the package.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Adsorbent packages are used in the receiver of a refrigerant system for the purpose of adsorbing moisture and other undesirable substances from the refrigerant. An exemplary adsorbent containing package provided for this purpose is shown and described in the present inventor's prior U.S. Pat. No. 6,835,257, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. It is desirable to provide distinguishing marks on the adsorbent package to allow orientation and/or identification of the part to assure that the bag is properly placed into the assembly. In the past, witness marks, ink marks, or marks using other materials have been used to provide the distinguishing orientation indicators on the desiccant package. However, these methods are not entirely satisfactory due to the increased cost of the extra labor and/or manufacturing operations required, and because such methods could introduce unknown contaminants into the refrigerant system. It is with overcoming the foregoing deficiencies in a simple and expedient manner that the present invention is concerned.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The adsorbent material package of the present invention comprises an elongated pouch adapted for filling with desiccant or other adsorbent medium therein. The adsorbent package is typically formed of a porous, non-woven, material such as a spun bonded nylon material, spun bounded polyester material, or polyester felt. In accordance with the present invention, a distinguishing orientation/identification indicator is integrally formed on one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends of the adsorbent package. These distinguishing marks may be configured in the shape of a notch, a ‘V’, a ‘W’, a half-square, a half-circle, or a variety of other shapes. In one exemplary embodiment, the indicator takes the form of a protruding half-circle area on one end of the bag, and an indented half-circle area on the other end of the bag. In other exemplary embodiments, the orientation indicator may comprise multiple notches or holes in one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends of the adsorbent package. In accordance with the present invention, the distinguishing indicator mark is integrally formed on one or both ends of the adsorbent package by way of the same tooling used to cut-off the ends of the bag.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an adsorbent package illustrating an exemplary orientation indicator having a protruding area on one end of the package and an indented area on the other end of the package;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary cut-off tool used to form the longitudinal ends of an adsorbent package, wherein the shape of an exemplary orientation indicator is integrally formed therein;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an absorbent package comprising an exemplary orientation indicator in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an adsorbent package comprising an exemplary orientation indicator in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Exemplary embodiments illustrating the orientation indicators of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. As used herein, the term “orientation indicator” is used interchangeably between the various exemplary embodiments of the present invention to describe the distinguishing identification markers integrally formed on one or both ends of an adsorbent package. As described more fully below, the orientation indicators may be used to identify the position of the bag for insertion into the mating assembly of a refrigerant system (not shown), and to identify the part number of the bag. The orientation indicators may also be used to identify the location of tracer dye, specific desiccant, or other components inside the adsorbent containing package.

Turning to FIG. 1, there is illustrated an exemplary adsorbent package 10 comprising orientation indicators 12a, 12b integrally formed on the sealed longitudinal ends of the desiccant bag 10. On the right hand end of the bag 10, it is apparent the orientation indicator 12a is configured into the shape of an indented half-circle area, while on the left hand end of the bag 10, the orientation indicator 12b is configured into the shape of a protruding half-circle area. Although the orientation indicators of FIG. 1 are configured in the form of a pair of indented and protruding half-circle areas, it is understood that many other shapes and configurations may be used on either one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends of the package without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

As described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,835,257, the sealed longitudinal ends of the adsorbent package may be formed via conventional means such as heat sealing, ultrasonic welding, sewing, or other electronic sealing or fusing means. To form the adsorbent package, the bottom portion of the porous bag material is sealed via heat seal, ultrasonic welding, sewing, or other electronic sealing system to form a pouch. Then, the desired desiccant is filled into the pouch. The top longitudinal edge of the packet is fused together to provide alternating hard sealed and relief areas. At the same time, the bottom half of the next succeeding bag in the production run is sealed and the procedure repeated so that successive bags can be made. In this way, the bags are successively sealed together in a strip before they are die-cut apart.

FIG. 2 illustrates a cut-off tool 20 for cutting the ends of each package 10 after the longitudinal ends have been sealed. As shown in FIG. 2, the cut-off tool 20 is a standard male-female punch die set used for cutting the bags apart. In accordance with the present invention, the tool 20 may be adapted to provide integrally formed male-female cut-out regions 12c, 12d for shaping the orientation indicators 12a, 12b (FIG. 1) into the ends of the bag 10 during the cut-off operation. Although the cut-out regions 12c, 12d of FIG. 2 are configured in the shape of a half-circle, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many other shapes, configurations, or multiplicities of shapes may be used without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.

By allowing the orientation indicator to be built into the cut-off tooling 20 for the adsorbent package 10, a separate manual operation is not required, thereby reducing labor and manufacturing costs and minimizing the opportunity for mistakes to be made during the identification and/or marking operation. Since the configuration of the orientation indicator is built into the same tooling 20 used to shape the ends of the package 10, the indicator will always be present during production of the part. This eliminates the need for a costly second operation, and reduces the chance that a mistake will be made in the identification of the part so long as the correct tooling is selected to cut-off the ends of the package 10.

Turning now to FIG. 3, an exemplary orientation indicator 12 is shown configured into the shape of V-shaped notch or concavity and is integrally formed on one of the sealed longitudinal ends of the bag 10. It is understood that the shape and location of the orientation indicator is limited only by the imagination and design of the tooling used to cut and shape the horizontal seams at the end of the bag. For example, the present invention contemplates that the orientation indicator 12 could take the form of a notch, a ‘V’, a ‘W’, a half-square, a half-circle, or a variety of other shapes.

As best shown in FIG. 4, the present invention also contemplates providing the orientation indicator 12 in the form of multiple notches or holes 14 in one or both of the sealed longitudinal ends of the bag 10. In this embodiment, the orientation indicator 12 is configured in the form of a series of specially located holes 14 formed across the longitudinal end of the bag 10. The number and location of the holes 14 can be varied depending on a predetermined code for indicating a variety of specific part numbers associated with different types of adsorbent packages. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the cut-off tooling 20 may be modified in a manner known in the art to integrally form the multiple notches or holes 14 across the sealed longitudinal ends of the package 10 during the cut-off operation.

As described herein, the orientation indicators of the present invention allow for proper orientation of the adsorbent package inside the condenser receiver of a refrigerant system. It is understood that the orientation indicator may be used to signify to the user that a tracer wafer is positioned at one end of the bag. A tracer dye wafer is commonly used to release dye into the refrigerant system and find leaks of refrigerant upon assembly of the entire air conditioning system or upon servicing. The tracer dye wafer is typically placed at one end of the adsorbent package to allow for the quickest possible adsorption into the refrigerant stream. As a result, the orientation indicator of the present invention may be used to show which end of the bag contains the tracer dye wafer and assures that the bag is placed properly into the assembly. The orientation indicator of the present invention may also be used to distinguish bags with different gram quantities or part numbers from one another. Also, the orientation indicator may be used to show that the product has received special inspection.

While the disclosure has been illustrated and described in typical exemplary embodiments, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and substitutions can be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present disclosure. As such, further modifications and equivalents of the disclosure herein disclosed may occur to persons skilled in the art using no more than routine experimentation, and all such modifications and equivalents are believed to be within the scope of the disclosure as defined by the following claims.