Patent Issued for Method for Flexible Full Package Deflators and FormerKellogg CompanyNewsRx.com
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Ours, David C. (Marshall, MI); Juntunen, Sharon B. (Portage, MI), filed on May 10, 2011, was cleared and issued on December 4, 2012.
The patent's assignee for patent number 8322117 is Kellogg Company (Battle Creek, MI).
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The subject invention relates generally to a deflator apparatus, and more particularly to a deflator apparatus and method for deflating excess air from and forming a filled or partially filled package of bulk goods.
"In situations where it is necessary to package a quantity of bulk goods within a sealed package, vertical form, fill and seal bagging machines are well known and widely used. An example of such a machine is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,697,403 to Simpson et al. Generally, in such machines, a web of flexible film is formed into a package or pouch. The package includes at least one open end. Through the open end of the package, a product is filled from the machine and thereafter sealed in the bag.
"If not extracted before the sealing process is complete, undesirable quantities of air will remain within the package after it has been sealed. The excess air which remains in the package after sealing is often problematic. For example, the presence of excess air in the flexible package provides an oxidizing environment. This environment can be detrimental to the contents that are contained in the flexible package. Moreover, ambient air typically contains moisture and such moisture can be detrimental to the contents of the flexible package. In addition, during the course of shipping, the excess air creates an unoccupied volume within the shipping carton or case. When this occurs packages containing bulk goods are no longer supported as well by the carton, and are therefore free to move about, the result of which is often damage to the bulk goods. Further, excess air within the package increases the size of the package which will require larger cartons and cases for the package. In addition, a larger package due to excess air may cause cartoner issues by causing loading jams on the cartoner.
"It is known in the art to expel excess air from a package. One example is in U.S. Pat. No. 5,170,609 to Bullock et al. The Bullock patent discloses a deflator apparatus for expelling excess air from a package. The deflator apparatus includes two deflators that are attached to a form, fill and seal bagging machine. Each of the deflators include a flexible wall, fluid-filled bladder that engages and sandwiches the package containing bulk goods to force excess air out of the package. The amount of force applied in the Bullock patent may be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid in the bladder or by producing a bladder having varying thickness so that the pressure applied may vary over different portions of the package.
"A second example of expelling excess air from a package is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,637,177 to Trillich et al. The Trillich patent discloses a deflator apparatus for expelling excess gas from a flexible package. The deflator apparatus includes two deflator halves that are hinged together. When the non-hinged ends are brought together, air is urged from the bottom of the package, which is positioned near the hinged end, toward the top of the package and out. Each deflator half has an inflatable pillow member that may be inflated or deflated to provide varying degrees of compression on the package. Additionally, the deflator may use foam inserts having varying shapes and designs to expel air from the package."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention relates to a deflator and forming apparatus for use in a form, fill and seal bagging machine. The apparatus deflates excess air from and forms a filled or partially filled package of bulk goods. The apparatus includes a first deflator having a pair of first arms that extend from a first base to a first distal end. The first arms are spaced to define a first gap between the pair of first arms. A plurality of first flexible bands extend across the first gap and between the first arms. The apparatus further includes a second deflator having a pair of second arms that extend from a second base to a second distal end. The second arms are spaced to define a second gap between the pair of second arms. At least one second flexible band extends across the second gap and between the second arms. The first and second deflators are spaced from one another and movable relative to one another. The first and second deflators sandwich the package of bulk goods between the plurality of first flexible bands and the at least one second flexible band to remove excess air from the package and form the package.
"The present invention provides a novel deflator apparatus and method for use in a form, fill and seal bagging machine which will expel air from a package before sealing, while alleviating problems encountered by prior methods and apparatuses."
For additional information on this patent, see: Ours, David C.; Juntunen, Sharon B.. Method for Flexible Full Package Deflators and Former. U.S. Patent Number 8322117, filed May 10, 2011, and issued December 4, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=115&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=5748&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20121204.PD.&OS=ISD/20121204&RS=ISD/20121204
Keywords for this news article include: Kellogg Company.
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