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Title:
METHOD FOR PRODUCING A CAPSULE FOR PREPARATION OF A DRINK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/006230
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for producing a capsule (1) for preparation of a drink, comprising steps of: step-feeding a band (2) made of a plastic material suitable for thermoforming; producing a first container (3) conforming a first cell (30) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the first container (3) comprises a plurality of through-holes, producing a second container (5) conforming a second cell (50) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the second container (5) is perforable; arranging a dose of product (4) for preparation of the drink in the first container (3); fixing a closing element (6) to the first container (3), so that the first container (3) and the closing element (6) form a first chamber containing the dose of product (4), which closing element (6) is perforable; cutting the band (2) along the edge (30a) of the first container (3) and cutting the band (2) along the edge (50a) of the second container (5); arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5); fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5), so that the second container (5) and the closing element (6) form a sealed second chamber containing the first container (3).

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Inventors:
FACCHINI, Libero (Via Pontebuco 22, San Lazzaro di Savena, 40068, IT)
Application Number:
IB2016/053982
Publication Date:
January 12, 2017
Filing Date:
July 01, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FACCHINI, Libero (Via Pontebuco 22, San Lazzaro di Savena, 40068, IT)
International Classes:
B29C51/00; B65B7/16; B65D85/804; B29C65/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013171663A12013-11-21
WO2013189555A12013-12-27
Foreign References:
US20150175347A12015-06-25
EP2412645A12012-02-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DALL'OLIO, Giancarlo et al. (Invention S.r.l, Via delle Armi 1, Bologna, 40137, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1) A method for producing a capsule (1) for preparation of a drink, characterised in that it comprises steps of:

- step-feeding a band (2) made of a plastic material suitable for thermoforming;

- producing a first container (3), for containing a dose of product (4) for production of a drink, conforming a first cell (30) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the first container (3) comprises a plurality of through-holes dimensioned for retaining in the first container (3) the dose of product (4) and for enabling exit from the first container (3) of a drink obtained by mixing the dose of product (4) with a liquid;

- producing a second container (5), for containing the first container (3), conforming a second cell (50) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the second container (5) is perforable to enable exit of the drink from the second container (5);

- arranging a dose of product (4) for preparation of the drink in the first container (3);

- fixing a closing element (6) to the first container (3), following the step of arranging the dose of product (4) in the first container (3), so that the first container (3) and the closing element (6) form a first chamber containing the dose of product (4), which closing element (6) is perforable so as to enable entry of liquid, suitable for mixing with the dose of product (4) so as to form the drink, in the first chamber;

- cutting the band (2) along the edge (30a) of the first container (3); - cutting the band (2) along the edge (50a) of the second container (5);

- arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5);

- fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5), following the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5) and the step of arranging the dose of product (4) in the first container (3), so that the second container (5) and the closing element (6) form a sealed second chamber containing the first container (3).

2) The method of the preceding claim, comprising a further step of heating a portion (2a) of band (2) and wherein the steps of thermoforming the band

(2) so as to produce the first container (3) and the second container (5) are carried out at the heated portion (2a) of band (2).

3) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of thermoforming the band (2) so as to produce the first container (3) and the step of thermoforming the band (2) so as to produce the second container

(5) are carried out contemporaneously.

4) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of cutting the band (2) along the edge (30a) of the first container (3) and the step of cutting the band (2) along the edge (50a) of the second container (5) are carried out contemporaneously.

5) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5) is carried out by means of a robotic arm.

6) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) is carried out in such a way that the closing element (6) is manually removable from the first container (3) and the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5) is carried out in such a way that the closing element (6) is manually removable from the second container (5). 7) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) is carried out by radio- frequency welding.

8) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5) is carried out by radio- frequency welding.

9) The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) is carried out before the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5). 10) The method of any one of the preceding claims, comprising a step of fixing a transponder to the first container (3) before arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5).

Description:
METHOD FOR PRODUCING A CAPSULE FOR PREPARATION

OF A DRINK

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the technical sector of production of capsules for preparation of drinks. In particular, the present invention relates to a method for producing a capsule for preparation of a drink.

In greater detail, the present invention relates to a method for producing a capsule usable in an automatic machine and containing a product in powder form, leaf form or the like (for example powdered coffee or tea, leaf tea, concentrates or freeze-dried drinks) which is destined to be mixed with a liquid (for example hot water or cold water at pressure) to obtain a drink.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

The prior art discloses a method for producing a capsule for preparation of a drink, which comprises steps of: producing a first container made of non- woven textile (or possibly a pleated filter paper) for containing a dose of product for preparation of the drink; arranging a dose of product for preparation of the drink in the first container; producing by means of moulding (for example injection moulding) of a plastic material, a second container, for containing the first container, so that the second container is perforable to enable exit of the drink from the second container; arranging the first container in the second container.

Further, the known method includes fixing, to the first container and the second container, a closing element made of aluminium and polypropylene coupled sheet, which is perforable. In detail, following the steps of arranging the dose of product in the first container and arranging the first container in the second container, the closing element is fixed to the first container and to the second container so that the first container and the closing element form a first chamber containing the dose of product and so that the second container and the closing element form a sealed second chamber containing the first container.

The above-mentioned method for producing a capsule has a limited productivity: it requires that the first container, the second container and the closing element be produced in dedicated worksites and subsequently assembled to one another so as to form the capsule.

In particular, the first container made of non-woven textile or pleated filter paper is produced in a first site (or indeed by a first company), the second container made of plastic is produced in a second site (or a second company), the closing element made of aluminium and polypropylene coupled sheet is produced in a third site (or by a third company). Further, in a fourth site, or a fourth company, the first container, the second container and the closing element are assembled with a relative product to produce the capsule.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the light of the above, the aim of the present invention consists in obviating the above-mentioned drawback.

The above aim is obtained by means of a method for producing a capsule for preparation of a drink according to claim 1.

The method of the present invention enables producing the first container and the second container in the same production line and starting from the same band of plastic material suitable for thermoforming. Further, the assembly of the capsule is also carried out along the same production line.

The method of the invention advantageously has a greater productivity with respect to the known method and this enables reducing the final cost of a capsule. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Specific embodiments of the invention will be described in the following part of the present description, according to what is set down in the claims and with the aid of the appended table of drawings, in which: - figure 1 illustrates a method for producing a capsule for preparation of a drink, according to the present invention;

- figures 2 and 3 respectively illustrate a lateral view and a perspective view of a capsule that can be obtained with the method of the present invention. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the appended tables of drawings, reference numeral 1 denotes in its entirety a capsule (see in particular figures 2 and 3) for preparation of a drink obtainable with the method of the present invention.

With reference to figure 1 , the method of the invention comprises steps of: - step-feeding a band (2) made of a plastic material suitable for thermoforming;

- producing a first container (3), for containing a dose of product (4) for production of a drink, conforming a first cell (30) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the first container (3) comprises a plurality of through- holes (not illustrated) dimensioned for retaining in the first container (3) the dose of product (4) and for enabling exit from the first container (3) of a drink obtained by mixing the dose of product (4) with a liquid;

- producing a second container (5), for containing the first container (3), conforming a second cell (50) in the band (2) by thermoforming so that the second container (5) is perforable to enable exit of the drink from the second container (5);

- arranging a dose of product (4) for preparation of the drink in the first container (3);

- fixing a closing element (6) to the first container (3), following the step of arranging the dose of product (4) in the first container (3), so that the first container (3) and the closing element (6) form a first chamber containing the dose of product (4), which closing element (6) is perforable so as to enable entry of liquid into the first chamber, suitable for mixing with the dose of product (4) so as to form the drink, in the first chamber;

- cutting the band (2) along the edge (30a) of the first container (3);

- cutting the band (2) along the edge (50a) of the second container (5);

- arranging, following the step of cutting the band (2) along the edge (30a) of the first cell (30), the first container (3) in the second container (5);

- fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5), following the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5) and the step of arranging the dose of product (4) in the first container (3), so that the second container (5) and the closing element (6) form a sealed second chamber containing the first container (3).

The band (2) is preferably made of polypropylene, which is an easy material to eliminate and recycle.

Further the method can comprise a further step of heating a portion (2a) of band (2). In this embodiment, the steps of thermoforming the band (2) so as to produce the first container (3) and the second container (5) are carried out at the heated portion (2a) of band (2).

The step of thermoforming the band (2) so as to produce the first container (3) and the step of thermoforming the band (2) so as to produce the second container (5) can be carried out contemporaneously. The productivity of the disclosed method is advantageously optimised.

The step of cutting the band (2) along the edge first of the first container (3) and the step of cutting the band (2) along the edge (50a) of the second container (5) are preferably carried out contemporaneously. The productivity of the disclosed method is advantageously optimised. The step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5) can be carried out by means of a robotic arm (not illustrated).

The step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) is preferably carried out in such a way that the closing element (6) is manually removable from the first container and the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5) is carried out in such a way that the closing element (6) is manually removable from the second container (5). The capsule (1) obtained is a capsule (1) advantageously completely recyclable after use thereof. In particular the method ensures that the first container (3) and the second container (5) are made of the same material and that the closing element (6) is removable therefrom so as to be able to separate the dose of product (4). Therefore, as the first container (3) and the second container (5) are made of the same material it is not necessary to separate them for elimination.

In fact, the capsule obtainable by means of the known method is non- recyclable: the first container is made of a non-woven textile (or possible of pleated filter paper) and the closing element cannot be fixed to the first container in such a way as to be manually removable therefrom. Therefore the closing element, the first container and the dose of product, after preparation of the drink, are not separable from one another.

In particular, the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) can be carried out by radio-frequency welding. Likewise, also the step of fixing the closing element (6) to the second container (5) can be carried out by radio-frequency welding.

The step of fixing the closing element (6) to the first container (3) is preferably carried out before the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5). Further, the method can comprise a step of fixing a transponder (not illustrated) to the first container (3) before arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5).

The first container (3) and the second container (5) can be produced so as to be reciprocally couplable to one another so as to form a single body. In this case, the step of arranging the first container (3) in the second container (5) comprises the step of coupling them so as to form a single body.

With reference to figure 1 , the method of the invention enables simultaneously producing a plurality of first containers (3) and a plurality of second containers (5) and, consequently, after the automatic insertion (by means of a robotic arm) of each first container (3) containing a dose of product (4) into one of the second containers (5) a plurality of capsules (1) is obtained.

In particular, the plurality of capsules (1) can be counted. Further, the capsules (1) can be arranged stacked on one another and can be transferred to a machine that packages them.