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US20020092867: Closable container, and methods for filling containers

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Laurens Last ·
Assignee(s) Itsac N.V. ·
Correspondent MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH, LLP ·
Application Number US10000199
Filing date 11/02/2001
Publication date 07/18/2002
Predicted expiration date 05/04/2020
U.S. Classifications 222/153.01  ·
International Classifications B67B005/00  ·
Kind CodeA1
Related U.S. Application DataCROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
0001 This is a continuation application of PCT/NL00/00291 filed May 4, 2000, which PCT application claims the priority of NL 1011960 filed May 4, 1999 herein incorporated by reference.
Foreign Priority NL1011960 - 05/04/1999 · NL0000291 - 05/04/2000 ·
36 Claims, 13 Drawings


Abstract

A container with a closable opening, comprising a container body which is formed by a wall, in particular a flexible wall, such as a wall made from plastic film, which container furthermore comprises an assembly for providing communication with the interior of the container body. The assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug. The female element has a body which is secured in the wall of the container body and has an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug is used to close off the bore. The male element has a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element is provided with a passage which extends through the tubular bore, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat. The male element furthermore comprises associated closure means for closing off the passage. The body and the male element are provided with interacting coupling means which provide a resistance to the male element being pulled outwards out of the bore.

Independent Claims | See all claims (36)

  1. 1. A container with a closable opening, comprising a container body which is formed by a wall, which container furthermore comprises an assembly for providing a closable communication with the interior of the container body, which assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body which is secured in the wall of the container body, with an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage which extends through the tubular part and with a head which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, the male element furthermore having closure means for closing off the passage, wherein the coupling means are provided for coupling the body of the female element and the male element to one another, which coupling means provide a resistance to the male element being pulled outwards out of the bore.
  2. 21. A connecting assembly for providing a fluid communication, comprising a female element, as well as a male element and a plug according to one or more of the preceding claims.
  3. 22. A method for producing a connecting assembly for providing a fluid communication, which connecting assembly comprises a female element, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body with an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug on the inside, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage, which extends through the tubular part, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, the connecting assembly furthermore comprising closure means and/or dispensing means for the controlled delivery of fluid via the passage in the male element, the male element, on the side remote from the head, having a section which is provided with coupling means, which coupling means are designed to couple the male element to the closure means and/or dispensing means, the method comprising the injection-moulding of the male element in a mould, which mould has a first mould part, with a mould cavity, which shapes a part of the male element, and with a receiving space for a second mould part which can be placed in the first mould part and shapes that part of the male element which is provided with coupling means.
  4. 23. A method for providing a flexible container which is filled with a filling medium and has a closable opening, which container has a container body which is formed by a flexible wall, in particular a wall made from plastic film, furthermore comprises an assembly for providing communication with the interior of the container body, which assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body which is secured in the wall of the container body with an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage, which extends through the tubular part, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, the male element furthermore having closure means for closing off the passage, which method comprises the following steps: if necessary, applying a vacuum to the container body via the bore in the body, from which bore the male element has been removed, and using the plug to close off the container body in a vacuum-tight manner after the vacuum has been applied, placing the male element in the bore, sterilizing the container, with its male element fitted in the bore, for example using a (gamma) radiation treatment, placing the container, or at least the section with the projecting male element, in a sterile chamber, removing the male element from the bore, with the male element remaining inside the sterile chamber, placing a filler needle of a filler-needle member in the bore, which filler needle has a head which can be coupled to the plug present in the seat, and which filler-needle member seals off the bore in the body from the sterile chamber, pressing the plug off its seat and filling the container body, using the filler needle to pull the plug into the seat, and then removing the filler-needle member, placing the male element back in the bore, and removing the filled container from the sterile chamber.
  5. 27. A method for providing a flexible container which is filled with a filling medium, which container has a container body formed by a flexible wall, in particular a wall made from plastic film, and furthermore comprises an assembly for providing communication with the interior of the container body, which assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body which is secured in the wall of the container body with an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage, which extends through the tubular part, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, which method comprises the following steps: using a filling device to fill the container via the bore in the body of the female element, with the male element removed from the bore, which filling device has a plug-actuating member which can be coupled to the plug, and—after the container has been filled—pulling the plug into the seat using the plug-actuating member.
  6. 33. A method for providing a flexible container which is filled with a filling medium, which container has a container body, which is formed by a flexible wall, in particular a wall made from plastic film, and furthermore comprises a connecting assembly for providing communication with the interior of the container body, which assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body which is secured in the wall of the container body and an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage which extends through the tubular part, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, which method comprises the following steps: providing a flexible container body without a connecting assembly accommodated therein, the container body preferably being closed on all sides, subjecting the flexible container body to a sterilizing irradiating treatment, for example using gamma radiation, placing the flexible container in a clean, preferably sterile, room, providing a local opening in the container body and positioning and then fixing the previously sterilized body of the female element of the connecting assembly in this opening, filling the container body via the bore in the body of the female element using a filling device which is present in the sterile room, which filling device has a plug-actuating member which can be coupled to the plug, and—after the container has been filled—pulling the plug into the seat using the plug-actuating member.
  7. 34. A method for providing a flexible container which is filled with a filling medium, which container has a container body, which is formed by a flexible wall, in particular a wall made from plastic film, and furthermore comprises a connecting assembly for providing communication with the interior of the container body, which assembly comprises a female element which is secured in the wall of the container body, as well as a male element and a plug, the female element having a body which is secured in the wall of the container body and an axial bore which extends through the body, from an insertion opening for the male element on the outside to a seat, which extends around the bore, for the plug in the interior of the container body, which plug serves to close off the bore, the male element having a tubular part which fits into the axial bore, and the male element being provided with a passage which extends through the tubular part, and with a head, which is able to interact with the plug in order to press the latter off its seat, which method comprises the following steps: providing a flexible container body without a connecting assembly accommodated therein, the container body preferably being closed on all sides, placing the flexible container in a clean, preferably sterile, room, subjecting the flexible container body to a sterilizing heat treatment, preferably using steam and gamma radiation, providing a local opening in the container body, if this opening was not already present, and placing and then fixing the previously sterilized body of the female element of the connecting assembly in this opening, filling the container body, via the bore in the body of the female element, using a filling device which is present in the sterile room, which filling device has a plug-actuating member which can be coupled to the plug, and—after the container has been filled—pulling the plug into the seat using the plug-actuating member.

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