Title:
POUCH ARRANGEMENT FOR DISTRIBUTING MATERIAL AND METHODS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pouch arrangement includes a distribution aperture arrangement in a gusset member. The gusset member is covered with a removable cover. A zipper closure selectively exposes and closes the gusset member. At an opposite end, a handle arrangement is provided. The pouch construction may be filled with a flowable material through an opening adjacent to the handle arrangement with the zipper unengaged and the gusset expanded and covered by the removable cover. A seal can be applied between the handle arrangement and the gusset to close the opening. The filled pouch is then displayable by resting it on the expanded gusset, with the zipper closure unengaged and the distribution aperture arrangement covered by the removable cover. In use, the removable cover is removed to expose the distribution aperture arrangement. Flowable material is allowed to pass through the distribution aperture arrangement in the gusset. After use, the gusset end of the pouch is closed by engaging the zipper closure.



Inventors:
Haas, Tobin J. (Excelsior, MN, US)
Fuchs, Stephen N. (Corcoran, MN, US)
Campbell, Flint (Roberts, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/100617
Publication Date:
10/16/2008
Filing Date:
04/10/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/61.3, 383/120
International Classes:
B65D33/08; B65D30/20; B65D33/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ATTEL, NINA KAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Perman & Green, LLP (Stratford, CT, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A pouch arrangement comprising: (a) first and second opposed panel sections; each of the panel sections having a first end edge, a second end edge, and opposite side edge portions extending between the first and second end edges; the first and second panel sections being secured to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions to define a pouch construction interior and opposite side edges; (b) a base gusset member having distribution apertures therein; the base gusset member extending between the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end edges across an end of the pouch construction interior; (c) a removable cover member oriented on the base gusset member to cover the distribution apertures; (d) at least one handle aperture extending through the first and second panel sections at a location oriented adjacent to the first end edges; and (e) a zipper closure secured to the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end edges and being selectively closeable and openable to permit selective exposure of the base gusset member.

2. A pouch arrangement according to claim 1 wherein: (a) the removable cover member comprises an adhesively-backed cover member.

3. A pouch arrangement according to claim 1 wherein: (a) the at least one handle aperture comprises at least a first and second hole extending through the first and second panel sections; each of the first and second holes being sized to accommodate an adult-sized human finger.

4. A pouch arrangement according to claim 1 wherein: (a) the at least one handle aperture comprises at least a first and second hole extending through the first and second panel sections; each of the first and second holes being sized 8-20 cm2.

5. A pouch arrangement according to claim 1 wherein: (a) the base gusset member is secured to the first and second panel sections with a pair of angled seals.

6. A pouch arrangement according to claim 1 further comprising: (a) a flowable material located in the pouch construction interior; and (b) a seal securing the first and second panel sections together; (i) the seal being between the side edge portions; and (ii) the seal being located between the at least one handle aperture and the base gusset member.

7. A method of making a pouch arrangement; the method comprising: (a) providing first and second opposed panel sections; each of the panel sections having a first end edge, a second end edge, and opposite side edge portions extending between the first and second end edges; (b) providing a zipper closure secured to the first and second panel sections; (c) providing a base gusset member having distribution apertures therein and a removable cover member oriented on the base gusset member to cover the distribution apertures; (d) securing the first and second panel sections to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions to define a pouch construction interior and opposite side edges; (e) securing the base gusset member between the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end edges across an end of the pouch construction interior; the zipper closure being adjacent to the second end edges and being selectively closeable and openable to permit selective exposure of the base gusset member; and (f) punching at least one handle aperture through the first and second panel sections at a location oriented adjacent to the first end edges.

8. A method according to claim 7 wherein: (a) the step of securing the base gusset member is before the step of securing the first and second panel sections to one another.

9. A method according to claim 7 wherein: (a) the step of securing the base gusset member is after the step of securing the first and second panel sections to one another.

10. A method according to claim 7 further comprising: (a) securing the base gusset member to the first and second panel sections with a pair of angled seals.

11. A method according to claim 7 wherein: (a) the step of punching is done before the steps of securing the base gusset member and securing the first and second panel sections to one another.

12. A method of filling a pouch arrangement; the method comprising: (a) providing a pouch arrangement having: (i) first and second ends and an interior, (ii) a base gusset member having a distribution aperture arrangement; the distribution aperture arrangement being covered with a removable cover; the base gusset member being adjacent to the second end and providing closed second end, (iii) an unengaged zipper closure secured to the pouch arrangement adjacent to the second end, (iv) at least one handle aperture extending through the pouch arrangement adjacent to the first end; (b) at least partially filling the pouch arrangement interior with a flowable material through an opening at the first end; and (c) after at least partially filling, closing the first end by providing a closure across the pouch arrangement and between the at least one handle aperture and the base gusset member.

13. A method according to claim 12 wherein: (a) the step of providing a pouch arrangement includes providing first and second opposed panel sections; each of the panel sections having a first end edge, a second end edge, and opposite side edge portions extending between the first and second end edges; the first and second panel sections being secured to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions to define the interior and opposite side edges; the first end edges defining the first end; and the second end edges defining the second end; and (b) the step of closing the first end includes providing a seal between the first and second panel sections.

14. A method according to claim 12 further comprising: (a) after the step of closing the first end, orienting the pouch arrangement on the second end by standing the pouch arrangement on the base gusset member, the zipper closure being unengaged, and the base gusset member being removably covered.

15. A method of using a pouch; the method comprising: (a) providing a pouch having first and second opposed panel sections defining an interior; a first end; and a second end; (i) at least one handle aperture adjacent to the first end defined by the first and second panel sections; (ii) a seal between the first and second panel sections and being between the at least one handle aperture and the second end; (iii) a stand-up gusset adjacent to the second end and extending between the first and second panel sections; the stand-up gusset having a distribution aperture arrangement; the distribution aperture arrangement being covered with a removable cover member; (iv) an unengaged zipper closure secured to the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end; (v) a flowable material in the interior; (b) removing the cover member to expose the distribution aperture arrangement; and (c) distributing at least a portion of the flowable material from the interior through the distribution aperture arrangement.

16. A method according to claim 15 wherein: (a) after the step of distributing, engaging the zipper closure to secure the first and second panel sections together and block flow of the flowable material through the distribution aperture arrangement in the base gusset member.

Description:

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119(e) to U.S. provisional patent application 60/910,860 filed Apr. 10, 2007. Application 60/910,860 is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates to a bag or pouch arrangement. In particular, this disclosure relates to an arrangement from which a flowable material can be readily distributed by a user. The disclosure also concerns methods for making and using such arrangements.

BACKGROUND

A wide variety of items include materials which, in use, are dispersed or spread over an area. Many of these items are flowable material, such as dry powder or particulate materials including grass seed, plant nutrients, salt pellets, insect dust, and chalk.

In use, such materials are generally dispersed over some materials. For those materials that dispersed over the ground or plants, sometimes mechanical spreading equipment is used. While the equipment can be effective, it is often large, bulky, and is generally only desirable if a relatively large amount of material is to be spread over a relatively large area.

In many instances, mechanical spreading equipment is not appropriate. In addition, mechanical spreading equipment may need to be thoroughly cleaned between uses, which can be inconvenient. In some instances, spreading has involved either hand spreading or spreading with a hand tool. This can be inconvenient and messy.

The assignee has developed a pouch arrangement and methods to address these problems, described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,126,318; 5,882,120; 5,709,479; and 6,375,037, each of these patents being incorporated herein by reference. This disclosure concerns improvements over the pouch arrangement and methods described in the aforementioned patents.

SUMMARY

A pouch arrangement is provided. The pouch arrangement includes first and second opposed panel sections, with each of the panel sections having a first end edge, a second end edge, and opposite side edge portions extending between the first and second end edges. The first and second panel sections are secured to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions to define a pouch construction interior and opposite side edges. A base gusset member having a distribution aperture arrangement extends between the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end edges across an end of the pouch construction interior. A removable cover member is oriented on the base gusset member to cover the distribution apertures. At least one handle aperture extends through the first and second panel sections at a location oriented adjacent to the first end edges. A zipper closure is secured to the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end edges and is selectively closable and openable to permit selective exposure of the base gusset member.

In another aspect, a method of making a pouch arrangement includes providing first and second opposed panel sections, with each of the panel sections having a first end edge, a second end edge, and opposite side edge portions extending between the first and second end edges. The first and second panel sections are secured to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions to define a pouch construction interior and opposite side edges. A base gusset member is secured between the first and second panel sections adjacent to the first and second end edges across an end of the pouch construction interior. The base gusset member has a distribution aperture arrangement and a removable cover member oriented to cover the distribution apertures. The zipper closure is adjacent to the second end edges and is selectively closable and openable to permit selective exposure of the base gusset member. At least one handle aperture is punched through the first and second panel sections at a location oriented adjacent to the first end edges.

A method of filling a pouch arrangement includes providing a pouch arrangement having first and second ends and an interior; a base gusset member having a distribution aperture arrangement which is covered with a removable cover, the base gusset member being adjacent to the second end and providing a closed second end; and an unengaged zipper closure secured to the pouch arrangement adjacent to the second end. At least one handle aperture extends through the pouch arrangement adjacent to the first end. The method includes at least partially filling the pouch arrangement interior with a flowable material through an opening at the first end, and after at least partially filling the pouch arrangement interior, closing the first end by providing a closure across the pouch arrangement and between the handle aperture and the base gusset member.

In another aspect, a method of using a pouch includes providing a pouch having a first and second opposed panel sections defining an interior, a first end, and a second end; at least one handle aperture is adjacent to the first end defined by the first and second panel sections; a seal is between the first and second panel sections and is between the handle aperture and the second end; a stand-up gusset is adjacent to the second end and extends between the first and second panel sections; the stand-up gusset has a distribution aperture arrangement which is covered with a removable cover member; an unengaged zipper closure is secured to the first and second panel sections adjacent to the second end; and a flowable material is in the interior. The method includes removing the cover member to expose the distribution aperture arrangement, and then distributing at least a portion of the flowable material through the distribution aperture arrangement.

The disclosure includes within its scope; empty pouch arrangements with an opening at the first end to be filled with material; pouch arrangements with material filled and stored; pouch arrangements with a seal adjacent to the first end; methods of distributing material utilizing such pouch arrangements; methods of preparing and making such pouch arrangements; and methods of displaying such pouch arrangements in a stand-up configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a first embodiment of a pouch arrangement constructed according to principles of this disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a pouch construction having the same features as the pouch construction of FIG. 1 but being sized in different relative dimensions;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of another embodiment of a pouch arrangement constructed to principles of this disclosure; and

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a pouch arrangement with the same features as FIG. 3 but depicted in a different size.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A first embodiment of a pouch arrangement is depicted in FIG. 1 at 20. The pouch arrangement 20 depicted in FIG. 1 includes a pouch construction 22 made up of first and second opposite panel sections 24, 26. Each of the panel sections 24, 26 has a first end edge 28, a second end edge 30, and opposite side edge portions 32, 34 extending between the first and second edges 28, 30. The first and second panel sections 24, 26 are secured to one another along at least a portion of the panel section side edge portions 32, 34 to define a pouch construction interior 36 and opposite side edges 38, 40.

A base gusset member 50 extends between the first and second panel sections 24, 26 adjacent to the second end edges 30. The base gusset member 50 includes a distribution aperture arrangement 52 therein. In the embodiment shown, the distribution aperture arrangement includes a plurality of apertures 54, depicted as circular apertures 54.

A removable cover member 56 is oriented on the base gusset member 50 to cover the distribution aperture arrangement 52. In one embodiment, the removable cover member 56 comprises an adhesively-backed cover member, such as a label.

At least one handle aperture 60 extends through the first and second panel sections 24, 26 at a location adjacent to the first end edges 28. In the embodiment shown, there are two handle apertures 61, 62 extending between the first and second panel sections 24, 26. Preferably, the handle apertures 61, 62 are sized to accommodate a normal adult-sized human finger, including a gloved-human finger. In some embodiments, the first and second handle apertures 61, 62 are sized between 8 and 20 cm2.

A zipper closure 70 is secured to the first and second panel sections 24, 26 adjacent to the second end edges 30 and is selectively closable and openable to permit selective exposure of the base gusset member 50.

The embodiment of FIG. 2 shows a pouch arrangement 120 with the same features as the pouch arrangement 20 of FIG. 1. The pouch arrangement 120 has a different ratio of length to width than the embodiment of FIG. 1. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the ratio of length to width is about 1-1.5. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the ratio of length to width is about 1.75-2.25. In the particular embodiments illustrated, the ratio of length of width of FIG. 1 is 1.2-1.3. In the particular embodiment of FIG. 2, the ratio of length to width is 1.95-2.05.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 4 depicting pouch arrangement 220 and 320, respectively, the features are the same as the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, with the addition of a pair of angled seals 280, 282 (FIG. 3) extending from the side edges 238, 240 to secure the base gusset member 250 to the first and second panel sections 224, 226. The embodiment of the pouch arrangement 320 shown in FIG. 4 has the same features as the pouch arrangement 220 in FIG. 3. The only difference between the pouch arrangement 320 and the pouch arrangement 220 is the ratio of length to width. For FIG. 3, the ratio of length to width is the same as that shown in FIG. 1 (about 1-1.5, for example 1.2-1.3), and the ratio of length to width in FIG. 4 is the same as that as described above for FIG. 2 (about 1.75-2.25, for example 1.95-2.05).

A method of filling a pouch arrangement includes providing a pouch arrangement, such as the pouch arrangement 20, with the base gusset member 50 being covered with the removable cover 56. The zipper closure 70 is provided in an unlocked or unengaged state, such that the gusset member 50 can be fully expanded. The end opposite of the gusset 50 (being the first end 28), is open, such that the first and second panel sections 24, 26 are not secured or sealed together in the vicinity of the first open end 28. The pouch arrangement interior 36 is filled through the opening at the first end 28. The material flows into the interior 56 and is allowed to expand the gusset 50. Material does not flow through the gusset 50 because the cover 56 is blocking the flowpath through the distribution aperture arrangement 52. After the pouch arrangement 20 is at least partially filled, the first end 28 is closed by securing the first and second panel sections 24, 26 together at a location across the pouch arrangement 20 that is between the handle aperture arrangement 60 and the base gusset member 50. The first end 28 will be closed by typically providing a seal along the portion shown schematically at reference numeral 75 between side edges 38, 40 and near the apertures 61, 62. The pouch arrangement is then usable by displaying it on a shelf by resting it on the gusset member 50, with the zipper closure 70 unengaged, and with the removable cover 56 blocking the aperture arrangement 52.

In use, the user will remove the removable cover 56 from the gusset member 50 to expose the distribution aperture arrangement 52. Material is then allowed to flow through the apertures 54 from the pouch interior 36. After distribution, the zipper closure 70 is locked or engaged to secure the first and second panel sections 24, 26 together, which closes the second end 30 and blocks flowable material through the distribution aperture arrangement 52 in the base gusset member 50.

The above specification, examples and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.