BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to reclosable bags, formed by a horizontal form fill seal (HFFS) process, with zippers, particularly slider zippers in a fin seal.
2. Description of the Prior Art
In the prior art, reclosable bags with a shrouded zipper or a zipper-in-the-fold configuration are well known. Examples of such prior art include U.S. Pat. No. 6,799,890 entitled “Tamper Evident Resealable Packaging”, issued on Oct. 5, 2004 to Schneider et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,347,437 entitled “Zipper and Zipper Arrangements and Methods of Manufacturing the Same”, issued on Feb. 19, 2002 to Provan; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,138,439 entitled “Methods of Making Slide-Zippered Reclosable Packages on Horizontal Form-Fill-Seal Machines”, issued on Oct. 31, 2000 to McMahon et al.
- OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
While these references have been satisfactory in many respects, it is desired that these configurations be modified to include the zipper in a fin seal, or to include a fin seal along with a zipper-in-the-fold configuration.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a reclosable bag, formed by a form fill and seal method and apparatus, wherein the zipper profile is placed in a fin seal.
It is therefore a further object of the present invention to provide an alternative embodiment of a reclosable bag, with both a zipper-in-the-fold configuration along with a fin seal.
It is therefore a still further object of the present invention to achieve these objects within the context of known and established form fill and seal apparatus, particularly horizontal form fill seal apparatus.
These and other objects are attained by providing a reclosable bag wherein the profile and slider are in the fin seal, particularly with the fin seal in a central location on the front wall of the reclosable bag. The profile and slider can be sealed to make the resulting reclosable bag have the profile and clip exposed. Similarly, it could be sealed so that the reclosable bag has the profile and clip shrouded or otherwise sealed into the fin seal. This reclosable bag may also incorporate an easy open configuration by utilizing such methods as perforating, laser scoring, lines of weakness, etc. Further, this can be applied to other zipper styles, such as string zippers or flanged profile zippers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
An alternative embodiment includes the zipper and slider in the top fold with a fin seal formed at a central location in the front wall. By using established form fill and seal apparatus, slider packages can be produced and further can be made in what are known as quarter-fold and center-fold styles.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a reclosable bag.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along plane 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing a reclosable bag with a zipper in a fin seal, with an exposed slider.
FIG. 3 is an alternative cross-sectional view along plane 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing a reclosable bag with a zipper and slider within a fin seal, wherein the fin seal forms a shroud over the zipper and slider.
FIG. 4 is an alternative cross-sectional view along plane 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing a reclosable bag with a zipper, without a slider, within a fin seal.
FIG. 5 is an alternative cross-sectional view of a reclosable bag wherein the zipper and slider are within a fold thereby forming a shroud, and the fin seal is in a central portion on the bag.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the horizontal form fill and seal apparatus forming the reclosable bags of the present invention.
FIGS. 7 and 8 are sectional views of string zippers.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 disclose various configurations of sealing of a sliderless zipper to the fin seal.
Referring now to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals refer to like elements through the several views, one sees that FIG. 1 is a plan view of a reclosable bag 10. Bag 10 includes top edge (or left edge) 12 formed by a first fold, bottom edge 14 (or right edge) formed by a second fold, and side edges 16, 18 formed by seals. By reason of the first and second folds forming top and bottom edges (or left and right edges) 12, 14, the reclosable bag 10 is formed from a single sheet of web 100 thereby forming a front wall 20 and a rear wall 22 (see FIGS. 2-5). At a central location on front wall 20, fin seal 24 is formed from edges 32, 34 of web 100. Within fin seal 24 is zipper 30 formed of first and second interlocking profiles 36, 38 with respective first and second flanges 40, 42. Additionally, a slider 44 can be mounted on interlocking profiles 36, 38, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, so that movement of the slider 44 in a first direction interlocks the profiles 36, 38 together and movement of the slider 44 in a second direction unlocks the profiles 36, 38 from each other as is known to those skilled in the art.
Further, FIG. 2 shows the first and second flanges 40, 42 sealed to edges 32, 34 so that zipper 30 protrudes from the fin seal 24 and slider 44 is clear of the fin seal 24.
FIG. 3 shows the first and second flanges 40, 42 sealed inwardly from edges 32, 34 of web 100 whereby edges 32, 34 extend over zipper 30 and slider 44 to be sealed at seal 54 thereby forming a shroud over the zipper 30 and slider 44. One or more lines of weakness, illustrated as lines 50, 52 are typically provided to provide the user with access to zipper 30.
FIG. 4 shows the first and second flanges 40, 42 sealed to edges 32, 34 within fin seal 24. As the embodiment of FIG. 4 does not include slider 44, the zipper 30 is contained entirely, or substantially entirely, within fin seal 24.
FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment wherein edges 32, 34 are brought together to form fin seal 24 without zipper 30 therebetween. However, zipper 30 is contained within the fold which forms top edge (or left edge) 12. More specifically, flanges 40 and 42 are sealed to an interior of web 100 forming bag 10, proximate to top edge (or left edge) 12. One or more lines of weakness, illustrated as lines 50, 52 are typically provided to provide the user with access to zipper 30.
FIG. 6 illustrates horizontal form fill seal apparatus 1000 wherein the web 100 is supplied from source 110. Consumer product 200 is placed on web 100. Edges 32, 34 of the web 100 are brought together by folders 120, 122 along with longitudinally (or machine direction) fed zipper 30 from zipper supply 130 between sealing bars 140 in order for sealing bars 140 to form fin seal 24. Likewise, the movement of the edges 32, 34 toward each other forms the folds of top and bottom edges (or left and right edges) 12 and 14. In this configuration, outward longitudinal quarters of web 100 form the front wall 20, while the interior or central longitudinal half of web 100 forms rear wall 22. Sealing bar 150 thereafter forms side edge 16 of a given reclosable bag 10 and side edge 18 of a subsequent reclosable bag 10 and likewise separates adjacent bags.
In the case of the embodiment of FIG. 5, the zipper 30 would be supplied upstream from the folders 120, 122 in order to provide the zipper 30 adjacent to the fold of top edge (or left edge) 12. Likewise, apparatus, such as a cutter or a laser scorer, can be used to provide lines of weakness 50, 52.
FIGS. 7 and 8 are sectional views of the sealing of string zipper 80, comprising male and female profiles 82, 84, to edges 32, 34, respectively, by sealing bars 140.
FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 illustrate various configurations of sealing bars 140 for sealing a sliderless zipper, such as a string zipper 80, between edges 32, 34. The seals formed by sealing bars 140 can be above the zipper lock, both above and below the zipper lock, or some combination thereof to create a hinge.
Thus the several aforementioned objects and advantages are most effectively attained. Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed and described in detail herein, it should be understood that this invention is in no sense limited thereby and its scope is to be determined by that of the appended claims.