US 2755000 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 17, 1956 E. PARRE HEATER FOR DRY INGREDIENT DISPENSERS Filed July 20, 1954 W WP D w e 1 9 m w 9 1 m rm 7 W11 Y 5 w w HEATER FOR DRY INGREDIENT DISPENSERS Edwin Parre, Aurora, 111., assignor to Stoner Mfg. Corp., Aurora, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application July 20, 1954, Serial No. 444,473
12 Claims. (Cl. 222-1294) The invention relates to improvements in beverage vending machines and is particularly concerned with machines of the kind that mix and dispense a hot beverage.
Hot beverage vending machines are provided with a source of hot Water supply that is delivered in measured quantities to a mixing bowl into which is delivered aslo, one or more measured quantities of dry powdered ingredients such as coffee, cream or sugar. The structure is such that the dry ingredient dispensers are located above the mixing bowl and there is a tendency for steam rising from the hot water to coagulate the dry ingredients at the discharge openings or nozzles of the delivery means. In other Words, the moisture or relative humidity of the air surrounding the dry ingredient discharge nozzles is raised sufficiently to cause caking of the dry ingredients at the nozzles and such caking over a period of time results in the delivery to the bowl of less than the measured quantity of such ingredients or in the delivery of an excessive amount in instances where an accumulation of coagulated ingredients breaks loose and falls into the mixing bowl. Various methods and means have been attempted with varying degrees of success to avoid this situation. For example, the vending machine is equipped with a blower that maintains a constant flow of air from outside of the machine downwardly past the ingredient discharge nozzles for the purpose of carrying away steam. Also, the nozzles have been equipped with closures that open for each vending operation, and with scrapers. Although these devices and methods are successful in preventing coagulation caused by steam, coagulation will occur if the relative humidity of the outside air is high. It has been found that if the vending nozzles and/ or a portion of the ingredient containers in the area of said nozzles are heated slightly, the relative humidity of the air in the region of the vending nozzles is lowered and the moisture deposit on and around the vending nozzles is eliminated entirely. A somewhat similar result could be obtained by heating the air stream passing over and around the vending nozzles but such practice is not entirely suitable because of the high wattage required and, further, because the air stream is utilized to cool various components of the vending apparatus. It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a machine for mixing and vending hot beverages with novel means to prevent coagulation of the dry ingredients.
The present invention involves the accepted fact that a rise in one degree temperature will result in disproportionate greater decrease in the relative humidity. By way of example and not limitation, let it be supposed that the normal dry bulb temperature Within the area of the dry ingredient dispensers is 90 degrees and the wet bulb temperature at that point is 88 degrees, the relative humidity is 90 per cent. Should the dry bulb reading be increased to 91 degrees with the wet bulb reading remaining at 88 degrees, the relative humidity will drop to 88 percent. A rise of 4 degrees in the dry bulb reading to 94 degrees will reduce the relative humidity to 79 percent. Clearly, the decrease in relative humidity is nitecl States Patent ice very rapid as the dry bulb temperature increases. Consequently, the addition of a small amount of heat in the area of the dry ingredient dispensing nozzles will reduce the relative humidity of the air to a point Where it is insuflicient to cause coagulation of the dry ingredients. It is, therefore, another object of the invention to provide novel means to increase the dry bulb temperature in the area of the vending nozzles so as to decrease the relative humidity in said area and thereby prevent dry ingredient coagulation.
Another object is to provide novel low wattage heating means, in combination with air circulating means, to resist dry ingredient coagulation.
Another obiect is to provide a novel structure in a hot beverage mixing and vending machine for heating selected portions of the machine Where coagulation of the dry ingredients normally occurs.
Another object is to provide a hot beverage mixing and vending machine with novel means to heat so much of the total volume of air circulating within the machine cabinet as comes into contact with the dry ingredient vending nozzles so as to reduce the relative humidity of such air and prevent coagulation of dry ingredients within and on said nozzles.
With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in the form, proportion, size and minor details of the structure may be made Without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.
For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of my invention, I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.
Referring to the drawings in which the same characters of reference are employed to indicate corresponding or similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of the hot beverage mixing and vending machine embodying the present invention and showing parts in elevation.
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a dry ingredient container mounting bracket, showing a heating element mounted therein.
Fig. 3 is a plan view of a portion of the mixing and vending machine, showing the dry ingredient containers and a modified form of heating unit associated therewith.
Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 4-4 of Fig. 3.
Referring to the disclosure of the invention as embodied in Figs. 1 and 2, the hot beverage mixing and vending machine includes a normally closed cabinet 11 having a horizontal partition 12 therein dividing it into an upper compartment 13 and a lower compartment 14. The lower compartment 14 contains various component parts of the vending and control apparatus which are not pertinent to the present disclosure but which includes a mixing bowl generally indicated at 15, open at its top and suitably formed to receive the open end of a hot water supply conduit 16. The conduit 16 is adapted, during machine operation, to deliver a measured quantity of hot water to the mixing bowl 15.
The partition 12 is provided with an opening 17 located above the mixing bowl 15. This opening constitutes the only means of communication between the upper and lower compartments 13 and 14 and is provided primarily for the purpose of admitting measured quantitles of dry ingredients to the mixing bowl during machine operation.
In the present disclosure a plurality of dry ingredient containers 13 are provided within the upper compartment 13. Inasmuch as these dry ingredient containers are identical in their structure and mounting, the description will concern but one of said containers and its mounting, it being understood that said description applies with equal force to the other container or containers and its mounting and that like numerals identify corresponding parts. The container 18 is removably seated in a bracket 18 and, as is best shown in Fig. 2, it consists of a piece of sheet stock suitably offset downwardly at one end, as at 21, and provided on all of its marginal edges with upwardly extending yieldable clips 22. The clips 22 yieldingly bear against the walls of a container 18 positioned on the bracket to frictionally resist its displacement. The downwardly offset portion 21 of the bracket 19 is fixedly secured to the top surface of the partition 12 in any suitable manner such as, for example, by welding, so as to locate the container 13 mounted thereon in a position to discharge its contents directly into the partition opening 17.
Referring briefly to the means provided for delivering measured quantities of dry ingredients from a container 18, said container is provided with an augur 23 which has its shaft projecting outwardly of the container at one end and carries thereon, a clutch element 24 normally engaged with a complemental clutch element 25 on the shaft of a motor 26. The other end of the augur 23 is journaled within a sleeve 27 secured firmly to what might be termed the container front wall 28. The sleeve 27 extends outwardly beyond the front wall 23 and has its diameter sharply reduced to define a discharge nozzle 29. It is sufficient to note that upon each operation of the vending machine, the augur 23 is rotated a predetermined distance so as to cause the discharge through the nozzle 29 of a measured quantity of the dry ingredients containcd within the container 18.
The discharged ingredients fall through the partition opening 17 into the mixing bowl 15. It should be quite evident that when hot water is discharged into the mixing bowl 15, steam rising therefrom tends to pass through the partition opening 17 and come into direct contact with the nozzle 29. This results in the deposit of moisture which causes small quantities of the ingredients to become coagulated during each delivery. Repeated deliveries may ultimately result in the building up of a considerable bulk of coagulated ingredients in and around the nozzle 29. This bulk may retard the delivery of the required predetermined quantity of such ingredients to the mixing bowl 15 or it may result in the delivery to said bowl of an excessive amount should a bulk of the coagulated ingredients break loose from the nozzle.
Such coagulation, resulting from the normal tendency of steam to rise through the opening 17, is avoided by providing in the vending machine suitable blower means, indicated generally at 31, which receives air from outside of the cabinet 11 and delivers it through a duct 32 into the upper compartment 13. The air circulating in the upper compartment 13 escapes downwardly through the partition opening 17, thus creating a down-draft to deflect steam from the opening 17 laterally substantially in the direction of the arrows shown on Fig. 1. Although very effective, insofar as coagulation resulting from steam is concerned, it frequently happens that the relative humidity of the outside air circulated in the area of the nozzle 29 is high. When this situation exists, there is a moisture deposit on the vending nozzles which results in coagulation of the dry ingredients thereon.
Accordingly, an electric heating element 33 preferably is arranged in the downwardly offset portion of the support 19. This element is of a size and shape to substantially occupy the entire volume of said offset area and to lie in contact with the bottom wall 34 of the container 18. When the element 33 becomes heated, as it is at all times, the lower portion of the ingredient container 18, including the nozzle 29, has its temperature raised ap proximately 4 degrees above normal. This increase in temperature of the nozzle 29 has been found to be adequate to reduce the relative humidity of the air coming into contact therewith to a point which will not permit coagulation. As a consequence, a measured quantity of dry ingredients is delivered to the mixing bowl during each operation of the augur 23.
In Figs. 3 and 4 there is illustrated a modified form of structure wherein a heating unit is located above the plane of the nozzles 29 so as to lie directly in the path of air moving downwardly around and past said nozzles towards the escape opening 17. As shown in these figures, the bracket 19 need not be offset to accommodate the heating element. The heating element 35 preferably is substantially tubular in shape and it is mounted at one end on a leaf 36 of a hinge 37 having its other leaf 33 secured firmly to the partition 12. The other end of the heating element carries a leg 39 including a foot portion 41 that normally rests upon the partition 12. This heating element is preferably mounted in the manner described so that it may be swung upwardly away from the dry ingredient containers 18 so as to facilitate removal of said containers for purposes of cleaning or filling al though it should be apparent that it may be mounted in any other accepted manner.
It is believed that my invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages, should be readily understood from the foregoing without further description, and it should also be manifest that while preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are nevertheless capable of wide variation within the purview of my invention as defined in the appended claims.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In a machine for mixing and vending a hot beverage including a cabinet having upper and lower compartments, a dry ingredient container in the upper compartment, dispensing means including a vending nozzle on said container, a mixing bowl beneath the nozzle into which the dry ingredient is to be deposited, said mixing bowl being located in the lower compartment and being physically spaced from the container and vending nozzle, means to deliver hot water to said mixing bowl, air circulating means effective to direct outside air into the upper compartment and downwardly over said nozzle and through the space between the nozzle and mixing bowl, and means to heat said nozzle.
2. In a machine of the character recited in claim 1, in which the heating means is located in close proximity to the nozzle.
3. In a machine of the character recited in claim 1, in which the heating means is positioned beneath the container closely adjacent to the wall containing the nozzle.
4. In a machine of the character recited in claim 1, in which the heating means is located in the path of the air stream moving past said nozzle.
5. In a machine for mixing and vending a hot beverage, a cabinet including a partition dividing the cabinet into upper and lower compartments, a mixing bowl in the lower compartment spaced from the partition, said parti tion having an opening above the mixing bowl, a plurality of dry ingredient containers in the upper compartment, each container having a vending opening terminating above and in register with the opening in the partition so that ingredients from said containers are discharged through the opening into the mixing bowl, means to deliver hot liquid to the mixing bowl, means creating a downdraft in the upper compartment around the vending openings and through the partition opening to prevent the rise of steam into the upper compartment, and means to heat the air flowing around the vending openings so as to reduce its relative humidity and prevent caking of the ingredients around and in said vending openings.
6. In a machine of the character recited in claim 5, in which the partition carries brackets to support and retain the containers in place.
7. In a machine of the character recited in claim 5, in which the partition carries brackets to support and retain the containers in place and the heating means is carried in the brackets.
8. In a machine for mixing and vending a beverage including a cabinet having a dry ingredient container therein, dispensing means including a dispensing opening in said container, a mixing bowl beneath the dispensing opening into which dispensed dry ingredients are deposited, said mixing bowl being spaced from the container and dispensing opening, means to deliver water to said mixing bowl, air circulating means eifective to direct air downwardly past said dispensing opening and through the space between said opening and mixing bowl, and means outside the container adjacent the opening to heat the container in the region of the dispensing opening.
9. In a machine for mixing and vending a beverage including a cabinet having a dry ingredient container therein, dispensing means including a dispensing opening in said container, a mixing bowl beneath the dispensing opening into which dispensed dry ingredients are deposited, said mixing bowl being spaced from the container and dispensing opening, means to deliver water to said mixing bowl, air circulating means effective to direct air downwardly past said dispensing opening and then laterally across the top of the mixing bowl, and means outside the container adjacent the opening to heat the air flowing around the dispensing opening so as to reduce its relative humidity and prevent caking of the ingredients around and in the dispensing opening.
10. In a machine for mixing and vending a hot beverage, a plurality of dry ingredient containers, a dispensing opening in each container, means to dispense dry ingredients from one or more of said containers, a mixing bowl to receive said dry ingredients, means to deliver hot water to said mixing bowl, and means arranged outside the containers adjacent the dispensing openings out of thermal contact with the mixing bowl to heat the containers in the area of said dispensing openings, and means to create a downdraft outside the containers over the heating means and past said openings.
11, In a machine for mixing and vending a hot beverage, a plurality of dry ingredient containers, a base support for mounting each container, a dispensing opening in each container, means to dispense dry ingredients from one or more of said containers, a mixing bowl to receive said dry ingredients, means to deliver hot water to said mixing bowl, and heating means carried by each support in direct contact with the bottom of the container supported thereon to heat the containers in the area of said dispensing openings.
12. In a machine for mixing and vending a hot beverage,
.a plurality of dry ingredient containers, a dispensing opening in each container, means to dispense dry ingredients from one or more of said containers, a mixing bowl to receive said dry ingredients, means to deliver hot water to said mixing bowl, means arranged outside the containers above and adjacent the dispensing openings to heat the containers in the area of said dispensing openings, and means to create a downdraft over the heating means and past said openings.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,299,717 Emmons et a1. Oct. 20, 1942 2,597,063 Catanzano May 20, 1952 2,601,942 Torrese July 1, 1952 2,621,838 Price Dec. 16, 1952 2,660,351 Thompson Nov. 24, 1953