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Publication numberUS3167098 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 26, 1965
Filing dateAug 28, 1961
Priority dateAug 28, 1961
Publication numberUS 3167098 A, US 3167098A, US-A-3167098, US3167098 A, US3167098A
InventorsHayden Eugene L, Witt Chester J
Original AssigneeMojonnier Bros Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Double filling manifold arrangement
US 3167098 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 26, 1965 E. L- HAYDEN ETAL DOUBLE FILLING MANIFOLD ARRANGEMENT Filed Aug. 28. 1961 United States Patent Office 3,167,098 Patented J an. .26, 1 965 3,1610% DOUBLE FILLING MANIFULD ARRANGEMENT Eugene L. Hayden and Chester J. Witt, Chicago, Ill,

assignors to Mo ionnier Bros. Co., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Aug. 28, 1961, Ser. No. 134,279 5 Claims. (Cl. 141-49) This invention relates generally to fiuid handling apparatus.

In one specific aspect, the present invention relates to apparatus for filling carbonated beverage into vending machine tanks.

In accordance with conventional vending machine practice, carbonated beverages are dispensed from refillable product tanks. Prior to actual filling, these containers are counterpressured or charged with a given amount of carbon dioxide gas in order to prevent foaming of the subsequently introduced, carbonated liquid. As the liquid-gas mixture enters the tank through one valve, the excess carbon dioxide gas from counterpressuring is allowed to escape to the atmosphere through another valve. Certain wasting of the carbon dioxide gas necessarily results. Moreover, counterpressuring is customarily performed as a distinct function separate and apart from the filling operation. This latter procedure has proved inefiicient of operator time.

Therefore, a general object of the present invention is to provide new and improved apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture.

Another object of the invention is to provide such apparatus which is economical to operate.

. Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the type referred to that conserves the counterpressuring gas.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide apparatus for filling a liquid-gas mixture, which apparatus is characterized by rapid, efficient operation.

And yet another object of the invention is to provide apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture in which there is automatic compensation for changes in the vapor pressure of the mixture being filled.

Additional objects and features of the invention per- I tain to the particular structure and arrangements whereby the above objects are attained.

Apparatus in accord with the invention includes a reservoir containing a gas phase anda liquid phase; a first manifold arrangement supplying a liquid-gas mixture from the reservoir to a container at a first pressure; a second manifold arrangement for supplying gas from the reservoir to the container at a second, lower pressure prior to filling with the liquid-gas mixture and for receiving gas from the container during filling of the mixture; and a valve arrangement for maintaining the second pressure between a fixed maximum and a fixed minimum value relative to the first pressure.

In order that the principle of the invention may be readily understood, a single embodiment thereof applied to counterpressuring and filling a carbonated beverage, but to which the application is not to be restricted, is shown in the accompanying drawing wherein FIG. 1 is a schematic view in side elevation of apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention.

Referring now in detail to the drawing, a reservoir or tankindicated generally by the numeral will be seen mounted on supports 12 and provided with an access hatch 14 which is advantageously hermetically sealed in place. For purposes of the present embodiment, tank it) specifically takes the form of an injection-type carbonator, the previously mixed beverage liquid entering the tank 10 through a product inlet line 16 and carbon dioxide gas entering the tank 10 under pressure through a gas inlet line 18.

An adjustable regulator valve 20 is advantageously interposed in the gas inlet line 18 in order to control the rate of flow of gas into the tank 10 whereby to cooperate with the temperature of the incoming beverage liquid in establishing the gas pressure within the tank. During actual operation of the apparatus, inlet beverage liquid is mixed with the incoming carbon dioxide gas so as to absorb quantities of the gas and form a liquid-gas mixture. This liquid-gas mixture describes a liquid phase within the tank 10 whereas the unabsorbed carbon dioxide gas describes a gas phase in the tank 10 overlying the liquid phase. The regulator valve 20 is ordinarily set at a desired value which is allowed to remain undisturbed throughout the run of a given product.

The carbonated beverage from the tank 10 is intended to be filled into a number of individual product tanks or cans, such as the S-gallon vending machine tanks 22 which are shown aligned on a platform 24. In accordance with a feature of the invention, the product tanks are counterpressured and filled at a single station in a multiple-container operation. Accordingly, a product manifold 26 is connected to the tank 10 in communication with the liquid-containing portion thereof, as by means of a product line 28 coupled to the bottom of tank 10 by means of a stub 3i and a T-fitting 32. In addition, a gas manifold 34 is connected to the tank 10 by means of a gas line 36, line 36 communicating with the gas-containing portion of tank 10 through an adjustable regulator valve 38 and fittings 40 and 42. A gauge 44 and a check valve 46 are advantageously connected in series with gas line 36 adjacent the manifold 34. Moreover, a pressure gauge 48 is usefully connected to the fitting 44 for indicating the pres sure in tank 10.

An adjustable, pressure relief valve 50 is coupled to the gas manifold 34; and conveniently, the regulator valve 3-8 and the relief valve 50 take the form of conventional, diaphragm valves, valve 38 being adjustable by means of an adjustment screw arrangementSZ and valve 50 being adjustable by means of an adjustment screw ar rangement 54. If desired, a carbonation test connection 56 can be fitted to the product manifold 26 and a 3-way manual valve 58 may be connected in the gas manifiold 34 between valve 50 and the juncture between line 36 and the gas manifold.

Since gas is intended to be directed from the gas manifold 34 into the product tanks 22 for counterpressuring the tanks prior to their actual filling with the carbonated beverage, it is necessary to provide a pressure differential between the product manifold 26 and the gas manifold 34, the product manifold 26 being maintained at the higher pressure. A suitable filling differential is achieved by adjusting the regulator valve 38, as by rotation of the adjustment screw arrangement 52, to achieve a gas manifold pressure, as sensed by gauge 44, which is less than the pressure in tank 10, as sensed by gauge 48. Suitable filling differentials commonly exist in the range of ten to fifteen p.s.i.g. Whenever the pressure in line 36 drops so as to reduce the differential pressure between that line and the pressure in tank It) to some value less than the selected value, the diaphragm in valve 38 responds to open the valve and admit gas from the tank 10 to the line 36. Valve 38 remains closed whenever this differential pressure equals or exceeds the selected value. Thus, valve 38 serves to maintain a minimum or lower limit on the counterpressure in line 36 and thereby in the connecting manifold 34.

Similarly, it is desirable to prevent gas pressure within the manifold 34 from building up above a certain level; and the causes of such potential build-up will become apparent hereinafter. The pressure relief valve 50 is therefore adjusted as by means of the adjustment screw arrangement 54 to relieve at a pressure intermediate the pressure of the gas manifold and the pressure of the tank It). Advantageously, valve 50 is arranged to relieve through a vent tube as at pressures approximately two or three p.s.i.g. in excess of the pressure at which the valve 38 is arranged to close, Hence, valve 543 maintains a maximum or upper limit on the counterpressure in manifold 34. Control of the counterpressure between the upper and lower limits established by valves 33 and 5t) promotes efiicient filling of the product tanks by preventing foaming of the carbonated liquid entering these tanks.

In accordance with an important feature of the invention, the valves 38 and Stl are arranged automatically to compensate for changes in the pressure within tank it) which changes might result from variations in the temperature of the product entering through inlet line 16 or by virtue of a deliberate adjustment of the regulator valve 20 so as to provide a different degree of carbonation in the finished beverage. When the apparatus of the invention is thus arranged, little operator attent on is required during a filling run.

Specifically, the pressure relief valve St) is biased by the summation of a function of the pressure existing in tank and the spring pressure achieved with the adjustment screw arrangement 54; and for this purpose, a conduit 62 is connected between the closed side of the diaphragm of valve 54 and the fitting 40. A regulating valve 63 is coupled between conduit 62 and fitting at to act as a pressure reducer. In somewhat similar manner, the valve 33 is biased by the summation of the pressure at the outlet side thereof plus the spring pressure provided through the adjustment screw arrangement 52, a conduit 64' being con nected between the outlet side of valve 38 and the closed side of the diaphragm of valve 38 for this purpose. As will be recognized, both valves 50 and 33 are therefore biased in accordance with a function of the instantaneous pressure existing in the tank 10. Thus, the actual pressure at which either of these valves operates is subject to variation in accordance with the pressure within the tank whereby automatically to compensate for any such changes and whereby to establish operation of the valves at differential pressures which are constant relative to the tank pressure. Valve 63 is conveniently vented to the atmosphere through a needle valve 65.

Each of the product tanks 22 defines a substantially closed vessel, i.e. closed except for suitable fittings for filling and for dispensing the contents, the tanks 22 advantageously taking the customary, five-gallon capacity commonly used in vending machines. The fittings used in filling include separate fittings for inlet product and counterpressuring gas. So that a number of the tanks 22 can be filled at the same time, the gas manifold 34 is provided with a suitable number of individual gas filling lines 66, each of which is provided at its free end with a double-acting, flow check valve 68. A bayonet coupling 70 is provided in conjunction with each of the flow check valves 68 for facility in coupling and uncoupling the individual gas lines 66 to the respective product tanks 22.

In like manner, the product manifold 26 is provided with a suitable number of product filling lines 72, each of the lines 72 terminating in a bayonet coupling '74 for cooperation with similarly arranged coupling elements provided integrally with the product tanks. 7

For purposes of affording a more complete understand ing of the invention, it is advantageous now to provide a functional description of the mode in which component parts cooperate. The apparatus of the invention is prepared for operation by adjusting the regulator valve 2tl to provide the desired degree of flow of carbon dioxide gas into the tank 10 for purposes of carbonating the product entering through inlet line 16. Thereafter, the regulator valve 38 and the relief valve 59 are adjusted by means of the adjustment screws 52 and 54, respectively, to provide the desired pressure differentials. For example, valve 38 may be adjusted so that it will be closed at pressures above a value equal to the pressure within the tank 16 less approximately fifteen p.s.i.g. Similarly, valve 5% may be adjusted to open at a pressure equal to the value of the pressure within the tank it less approximately twelve p.s.i.g. The 3-Way manual valve 53 is operated to open gas manifold 34 to the relief valve 51).

With the previously mixed beverage liquid flowing into tank iii and with carbon dioxide gas flowing into the tank 10 through regulator valve 20, a product tank 22 will be connected to gas manifold 34 by means of one of the gas filling lines 66 for purposes of counterpressuring the product tank. Carbon dioxide gas will flow into the product tank until it is at the same pressure as the gas manifold 34. Advantageously, the flow check valves 63 are of the floating ball type whereby this equalization of the pressure in gas manifold 34 and product tank 22 will be indicated by the float ball settling to the bottom of the check valve. At this point, the fiow of gas to the product tank ceases.

After the product tank has been counterpressured, a product filling line 72 will be attached to the tank by means of the coupling 74. Thereupon, the carbonated beverage liquid will be caused to flow from the product manifold 26 into the product tank by the greaterpressure established and maintained in the product manifold. The counterpressuring gas that was previously filled into the product tank will be displaced by the entering liquid, this displaced gas returning to the manifold 34 through the check valve 68. If another product tank has been connected to the gas manifold, this counterpressuring gas will be directed by the product manifold to this other tank. However, should no such tank be attached to the gas manifold, the relief valve 50 will operate to vent the excess gas upon its building up suflicient pressure to operate that valve.

When the initial product tank is full, the float ball in the flow check valve 68 will move to the top of the valve and seat, stopping the flow of liquid into the tank and avoiding passage of liquid into the gas manifold. Both the gas filling line and the product filling line will then be disconnected from the filled tank, and the filled tank will be removed from the platform 24 to be replaced by an empty tank which it is desired to fill. It has been found that a S-gallon product tank can be counterpressured in approximately twenty seconds and filled with product in approximately three minutes.

Because the product tanks 22 are counterpressured and filled at the same station in a multiple-container operation, filling of the product tanks is particularly fast and efficient. Moreover, the carbon dioxide gas which is conserved by re-use in the counterpressuring of other tanks results in an economical procedure.

If during the operation of the apparatus of the invention, the temperature of the mixed but uncarbonated beverage entering through inlet line 16 rises for some reason, the product will take up less of the carbon dioxide gas being introduced into the tank 10 and the pressure within the tank 10 will increase. This increase within the tank 10 will not effect the proper operation of valves 38 and 50 because these valves are biased in compliance with a function of the pressure within the tank 10, as has been described hereinabove. Accordingly, such changes in the pressure within tank 10 are automatically compensated for thereby giving rise to fixed pressure differentials for filling and counterpressuring the product tanks. But little operator attention is concomitantly required in the filling operation.

The specific example herein shown and described should be considered as illustrative only. Various changes in structure and arrangement may occur to those skilled in the art; and these changes are to be understood as forming a part of this invention insofar as they fall withinthe spirit and scope of the appended claims.

are /pas The invention is claimed as follows:

1. In apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture which apparatus includes a reservoir containing a gas phase and a liquid phase at a first pressure, the combination comprising: a first manifold connected to said reservoir in communication with said liquid phase; a second manifold connected to said reservoir in communication with said gas phase; first valve means, including a flow controlling gas valve selectively biased to maintain a predetermined minimum pressure on said second manifold, connected in fluid circuit between said reservoir and said second manifold for passing said gas to said second manifold at a second, lower pressure corresponding with said predetermined minimum pressure; second valve means connected in fluid circuit between said second manifold and the atmosphere for selectively venting said manifold at a third pressure intermediate said first and second pressures; a plurality of gas lines individually connected between a said container and said second manifold; and a plurality of liquid lines individually connected between a said container and said first manifold, a said container being initially connected to a said gas line and being subsequently connected into a i said liquid line in continuation of the connection to the gas line whereby the gas initially charged into said container returns to said second manifold to be redirected into another container or to be vented upon filling of liquid.

2. In apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture which apparatus includes a reservoir containing a gas phase and a liquid phase at a first pressure, the combination comprising: a first manifold connected to said reservoir in communication with said liquid phase; a second manifold connected to said reservoir in communication with said gas phase; first adjustable valve means, including a flow controlling gas valve selectively biased to maintain a predetermined minimum pressure on said second manifold, connected in fluid circuit between said reservoir and'said second manifold for passing said gas to said second manifold at a second, lower pressure corresponding with said predetermined minimum pressure; second adjustable valve means connected in fluid circuit between said second manifold and the atmosphere for selectively venting said second manifold at a third pressure intermediate said first and second pressures; means biasing said valve means in accordance with a function of said first pressure whereby automatically to vary the operating point of said valve means in compliance with said first pressure; a plurality of gas lines individually connected between a said container and said second manifold; and a plurality of liquid lines individually connected between a said container and said first manifold, a said container being initially connected to a said gas line and being subsequently connected to a said liquid line in continuation of the connection to the gas line whereby the gas initially charged into said container returns to said manifold to be redirected to another container or to be vented upon filling of liquid.

3. In apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture which apparatus includes a reservoir containing a gas phase and a liquid phase at a first pressure, the combination comprising: first means connected to said reservoir in communication with said liquid phase; second means connected to said reservoir in communication with said gas phase; first valve means, including a flow controlling gas valve selectively biased to maintain a predetermined minimum pressure on said second mentioned means, connected in fluid circuit between said reservoir and said second means for passing said gas to said second means at a second, lower pressure corresponding with said predetermined minimum pres sure; second valve means connected in fluid circuit between said second mentioned means and the atmosphere for selectively venting said second mentioned means at a third pressure intermediate said first and second pressures; and a plurality of gas and liquid lines individually connected between a said container and said first and second mentioned means.

4. The combination according to claim 3 which includes a plurality of gas lines and which fulther comprises a double-acting fiow check valve connected in each of said gas lines to prevent the entrance of liquid into said second mentioned means from the containers connected to said gas lines.'

5. In apparatus for counterpressuring and filling containers with a liquid-gas mixture which apparatus includes a reservoir containing a gas phase and a liquid phase at a first pressure, the combination comprising: first means connected to said reservoir in communication with said liquid phase;second means connected to said reservoir in communication with said gas phase; first valve means, including a flow controlling gas valve selectively biased to maintain a predetermined minimum pressure on said second mentioned means, connected in iluid circuit between said reservoir and said second means for passing said gas to said second mentioned means at a second, lower pressure corresponding with said predetermined minimum pressure; second valve means connected in fluid circuit between said second mentioned means and the atmosphere for selectively venting said second mentioned means at a third pressure intermediate said first and second pressures; means biasing said valve means in accordance with a function of said first pressure whereby automatically to vary the operating point of said valve means in compliance with said first pressure, said biasing means including an adjustable valve means connected in fluid circuit between said gas phase and said second valve means for varying the bias thereon; and a plurality of gas and liquid lines individually connected between a said container and said first and second mentioned means.

References tilted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 260,766 Matthews July 11, 1882 572,779 Theurer Dec. 8, 1896 2,006,393 Hapgood July 2, 1935 2,060,276 Bondurant Nov. 10, 1936 2,140,811 Poole Dec. 20, 1938 2,645,907 Droste et a1. July 21, 1953 2,732,117 Hillis Ian. 24, 1956 2,733,850 Welty et a1 Feb. 7, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,075,639 France Apr. 14, 1954

Patent Citations
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US572779 *Dec 4, 1893Dec 8, 1896The Pabst brewing Companytheurer
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3566930 *May 2, 1968Mar 2, 1971K N Enterprises IncMeans for sterilely transferring blood plasma, serum, biological or pharmaceutical fluids, and the like
US4485856 *Mar 29, 1982Dec 4, 1984Fmc CorporationApparatus for accurately filling beverage cans
EP1095897A1 *Oct 26, 2000May 2, 2001Gimson Engineering Ltd.Method and apparatus for filling a container
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/49, 141/198, 141/58, 141/236, 141/54, 141/39
International ClassificationB67C3/32, B67C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67C3/32
European ClassificationB67C3/32