|Publication number||US3181739 A|
|Publication date||May 4, 1965|
|Filing date||Mar 29, 1963|
|Priority date||Mar 29, 1963|
|Publication number||US 3181739 A, US 3181739A, US-A-3181739, US3181739 A, US3181739A|
|Inventors||Dye James E|
|Original Assignee||Dye Sheet Metal Products Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (18), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
May 4, 1965 J. E. DYE 3,181,739
ICE DISPENSER Filed March 29, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 t 5 :2: J I
JAMES 5 Dy:
May 4, 1965 J. E. DYE 3,181,739
ICE DISPENSER Filed March 29, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 a I /8 I, /4
Z INVENTOR BY dfl/vfs 6 Dy:
am QM MM United States atcnt H 3,181,739 Patented May 4', 1965 3,181,739 ICE DISPENSER James E. Dye, Athens, Ga., assignor to Dye Sheet Metal Products, Inc., Athens, Ga., a corporation of Georgia Filed Mar. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 269,053 9 Claims. (Cl. 222-158) This invention relates to fluent material dispensers and more particularly to apparatus for rapidly filling a plurality of containers with a predetermined quantity of fiuent material such as crushed ice.
At sport arenas, gymnasiums, ball parks, theaters and like public areas the demand for soft drinks fluctuates during the event. For instance, demand is lower when the game or event is proceeding, but suddenly increases when there is an intermission or a lull in play as fans or patrons clamor for refreshment. At most sport stadiums, hawkers move among the fans selling soft drinks and refreshments so that where the volume of drinks sold is large, many individual drinks must be prepared during the event. For these reasons, it is desirable for concessionaires at such events to be able to dispense a large volume of individual drinks uniformly and accurately within a short period of time. It is a general practice at events of this nature to serve the drinks in disposable paper or plastic cups, rather than bottles or cans, so that the discarded drink containers can be simply swept up after the event and disposed of.
In order to use an ice dispenser of the kind provided by this invention most efficiently and to quickly and accurately prepare a large volume of individual drinks, an assembly-line is preferably organized comprising several work stations. drink cups are placed in a positioning and transporting member, such as a tray or wire rack or the like. The
At the first work station a plurality of cups are then moved to the second station where a predetermined amount of crushed ice is dispensed into each cup, as by an ice dispenser of the type provided by this invention. The rack containing the iced cups is preferably moved from there to a third station where drink syrup is dispensed from a plurality of nozzles into the several cups. Thereafter the cups are each filled with carbonated or plain water and rack of filled cups may be moved to a final station where each cup is lidded in one operation as by apparatus as set forth in the commonly assigned copending application to Williams, Serial No. 127,582, filed July 28, 1961, now Patent No. 3,099,119.
The prepared drinks are now ready for sale at the concession stand or by the hawkers. Preferably when the drinks are hawker distributed, the hawkers simply attach carrying handles or straps to the racks containing the filled and lidded drink cups, thus eliminating all necessity of individually handling the drinks prior to their sale.
It is an object of this invention to provide an ice dispenser capable of dispensing a predetermined amount of ice to each of a plurality of drink cups.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an ice dispenser of the character described, that is compact, simple to operate, and has a short reloading cycle.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an ice dispenser that is adjustable to increase or decrease the amount of ice dispensed into each cup during operation of the device.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an ice dispenser that can'easily be disassembled for cleaning.
These and further objects of this invention will be more clearly set forth in the following detailed description in which particular reference is made to the attached drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated.
In the drawings: 7
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view of the ice dispenser;
FIGURE 2 is a top view of the ice dispenser partly broken away to show the operation of the apertured slide member;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, showing the apertured slide in the dispensing position;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIGURE 2, showing the apertured slide in the loading position;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the sleeve assembly; and
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view similar to FIGURE 5 showing the adjustability of the bottom plate with respect to the side wall.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, an ice dispenser 1t) embodying the principles of the invention is shown in side elevation in FIGURE 1 resting on a work surface such as a counter top 12. The ice dispenser 10 preferably comprises a generally rectangular hopper 14 defined by opposed side walls 15, end wall 18, and an apertured bottom plate 20. As shown, the hopper 14 is supported above the work surface by legs 22 secured to the opposed side walls 16 at the corners thereof as by welding. The major portion of the ice dispenser is preferably constructed of wear and corrosion resisting material such as stainless steel, although other materials such as aluminum or plastics could be substituted therefor.
As best shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, the bottom edge of each of the vertical walls 16 and 18 is bent inwardly as to form a substantially horizontal flange 24. The flange 24 is completed around the loading side 26 of the ice dispenser 10 by the horizontally directed bottom edge 28 of a brace 30 which is secured, as by welding, to the side walls 16 adjacent the loading end of the hopper. The brace 30 preferably terminates at its upper end in an outwardly and downwardly directed skirt 31 which cooperates with the side walls 16 to define the hopper entrance. The apertured hopper bottom plate 20 is secured to the hopper side walls 16 by removable fasteners or bolts 32.- uls best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 3, a plurality of bolt holes 33 are formed in vertical rows in the walls 16 so that the bottom plate 20 can be raised and lowered for purposes more fully set forth hereinafter. The openings or apertures 34 formed through the bottom plate 20 are preferably circular and are located in a rectangular pattern as best shown in FIGURE 2, the space 36 included between any four adjacent apertures 34 in a rectangle being only slightly an aperture.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated, a relatively thin apertured slide member 38 is received beneath the bottom plate 20 for sliding support on the horizontal flange 24. The slide 38 has generally circular apertures 4-0 formed therein having diameters approximately equal to, but preferably slightly smaller than, a
that of apertures 34. The apertures 40 in the slide 38 are equal in number to apertures 34 and are placed in a pattern that is substantially identical in size and shape to that of apertures 34 on plate 20. The length and width of the slide 38 are less than the length and width of the bottom plate 20 by amounts sufiicient to allow the slide to be diagonally reciproca'ble between aposition wherein each slide aperture directly underlies a bottom plate aperture and a position wherein each slide aperture directly underlies a space included between adjacent bottom plate apertures or included between adjacent bottom plate apertures and edges 42 of the bottom plate (shown in FIG- URES 3 and 4,respectively, and in FIGURE 1 in solid and dotted lines, respectively) greater than the width of As best illustrated in FIGURE 2, the slide 38 is conveniently reciprocated between the two aboveimentioned positions by moving the slide handle 44 in a horizontal plane in a direction diagonal to the longitudinal extent of the ice dispense-r 16. Slide handle 44 is preferably formed as an integral extension of the slide 33 and pro jects through a slot 46 in one side wall 16 of the hopper 14. The side edges 48 of the handle 44 are oriented in the direction of reciprocation of the slide and cooperate with the ends of the slot 46 to aid in orienting the reciprocation of the slide. The handle 44 preferably has a slotted, hand receiving opening 50 formed thercthrough and may have a sleeve 52 of hand cushioning material secured thereto for the protection of the operator during periods of accelerated use of the ice dispenser.
The distance between the upper surface 54 of the bottom plate and the upper surface of the slide 38 is bridged by a plurality of sleeve members 56. Each sleeve 56 is generally cylindrical and has an integral annular flange 58 extending radially from the outer periphery thereof as to be substantially flush with the upper end of the associated sleeve 55. As shown in FIGURE 1 and FIG- URES 3-6, an annular recess 60 is formed in the upper surface of the bottom plate 29 surrounding each aperture 34. The width and depth of each recess 60 is such that each sleeve 56 when inserted through an aperture 34 and pushed downwardly, seats in the recess as to have the upper edge of the sleeve and integral flange 58 substantially even or flush with the upper surface of the bottomplate 20.
As best shown in FIGURE 5, each sleeve 56 is provided with volumetric capacity indicating markings 62. The sleeves are conveniently constructed from a flexible, self-lubricating plastic material such as polyethylene; however, it is Within the purview of the invention that other materials such as metal or paper could be used.
It is preferred that the distance between adjacent bolt holes 33 in the side Walls 16 (FIGURE 6) is substantially equal to the distance between adjacent markings 62 and the length of each sleeve 56 when terminated at a volume marking, is long enough to lightly slidably engage the upper surface of the slide It can easily be seen from the foregoing that the volumetric capacity of the pockets defined by the sleeves 56, the upper surface of the plate 20 and the upper sun-face of the slide 38 can easily be adjusted by truncating the sleeves at the desired volume mark and moving the bottom plate downwardly, by securing the bolts 32 in the proper bolt holes 33. When the sleeves 56 are formed from a plastic material such as polyethylene or the like, they can be shortened by simply cutting with a knife or shipping with a pair of scissors or the like.
It will be appreciated that the ice dispenser of the invention can be simply disassembled for cleaning by lifting the sleeves 56 out of the apertures 34, removing the bolts 32, thus freeing the bottom plate 2%) for removal. After the bottom plate 213 is removed the slide 38 can be removed by grasping it through the apertures therein and lifting upwardly and outwardly from the handle 44 as to withdraw the handle inwardly from the slot 46. The ice dispenser of the invention can then be easily cleaned and reassembled. It should be realized that a user of the device may employ separate sets of sleeves 56 having different volumetric capacities and have the sleeves in each set cut to the proper length for the desired volume as indicated by the markings 62.
It should also be realized that the term cup when used herein generally denotes any container and is not restricted to a frusto-conical container having a substantially flat bottom.
under the hopper 14 in position so that each cup is directly beneath a sleeve. Stop members may be placed on the work surface 12 or associated with the legs 22 to ensure easy and accurate placement of the racks 64. The slide handle 44 is pulled diagonally outwardly (as shown in FIGURE 5) so that the unapertured areas of the slide 38 act as floors for the sleeves 56. A quantity of chipped, milled or cracked ice or the like is scooped or dumped into the hopper. An ice supply can conveniently be located over the hopper or adjacent the end 26 thereof straddling the assembly line. Using a paddle or like instrument, the operator distributes the ice into the pockets defined by the sleeve 56 and slide 38, levels the ice with the top of the bottom plate 29 and may clear the excess ice from the hopper 18 by paddling it onto the apron 31. The handle 44 is then pushed inwardly causing the slide 38 to move diagonally and the apertures 34- to line up with the apertures 40. The ice in each of the sleeves 56 falls into the cups 66. The rack of ice-filled cups is moved along to another work station to be filled with beverage and the handle 4 is pulled outwardly to begin another cycle of operation.
It can be seen that the device of the invention is well adapted to semi-continuous operation to fill large numbers of cups with predetermined amounts of ice. It should also be readily apparent that whereas the invention has been illustrated as a device for loading cups with ice, that it is well-adapted to load other containers with other fluent materials. The versatility of the device of the invention is exhibited primarily in the ease with which the slide may be diagonally moved, as by a left hand while the operator is properly orienting a tray with his right hand or is gathering a charge of ice for the hopper. The diagonal movement of the slide not only allows for ease of operation, but allows a closer spacing of the apertures and, consequently, a more compact device than would be possible with a longitudinally or transversely movable slide. 'l" he versatility is also demonstrated by the novel volumeindicating sleeves which can be cut to the desired length without special tools and by the ease with which the device can be disassembled for cleaning and reassembled thereafter.
Having now fully described as an embodiment of the ice dispenser of the invention and set forth a preferred method of use thereof it should be apparent that many alterations can be made on the embodiment shown without departing from the principles of this invention and that therefore the scope of this invention should be limited only by the following claims.
1. An ice dispenser comprising a substantially rectangular hopper having side walls and a bottom plate, said bottom plate having a plurality of substantially circular apertures therethrough; first means secured to said hopper supporting the hopper above a work surface; second means supporting a substantially rectangular slide member for reciprocal movement beneath the apertured hopper bot tom plate in a plane substantially parallel to said bottom plate, said slide having substantially circular apertures therethrough arranged on said slide in a pattern substantially identical in size and shape to the pattern of apertures in said hopper bottom plate; said apertured slide being reciprocable between a dispensing position wherein each slide aperture is directly beneath a hopper bottom plate aperture and a leading position wherein each slide aperture is entirely non-coextensive with each hopper bottom aperture, said bottom plate apertures and said slide member apertures being arranged in substantially identical rectangular patterns and the slide member being rep le diagonally of said bottom plate in a plane substantially parallel thereto.
2. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 1 additionally comprising means defining a plurality of conduits, a first end of each conduit being aligned with a bottom plate aperture and the second end of each conduit being closely adjacent the upper surface of said apertured slide as to be aligned with an aperture in said slide when the slide is in the dispensing position thereof.
3. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 2 additionally comprising means for adjusting the vertical distance between the apertured bottom plate and the apertured slide member.
4. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 3 wherein the conduit defining means comprise a plurality of hollow cylindrical sleeves.
5. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 4 wherein each sleeve has volumetric capacity markings thereon, said markings indicating low capacities near the upper ends of the sleeves and graduating to higher capacities near the lower ends of the sleeves, whereby the lowermost marking on each sleeve indicates the total volumetric capacity of the pocket defined by the sleeve, the upper surface of the slide member and the top surface of the bottom plate,
6. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 4 wherein each sleeve has a radially outwardly extending integral annular flange thereon at the upper end thereof said flange being flush with said upper end, and wherein said bottom plate has a plurality of annular recesses formed in the upper surface thereof, each recess being located coaxially with a bottom plate aperture, and each having a size to receive the annular flange of one of said sleeves for support, said upper ends and flanges of said sleeves being flush with the upper surface of the bottom plate so as to facilitate accurate loading of ice into the pockets defined within the sleeves between the upper surface of the slide member and the upper surface of the bottom plate and to facilitate removal and replacement of the sleeves.
7. An ice dispenser comprising a substantially rectangular hopper having side walls and a bottom plate, said bottom plate having a plurality of substantially circular apertures therethrough; means secured to said hopper supporting the hopper above a work surface; means supporting a substantially rectangular slide member for reciprocal movement beneath the apertured hopper bottom plate in a plane substantially parallel to said bottom plate, said slide having substantially circular apertures therethrough arranged on said slide in a pattern substantially identical in size and shape to the pattern of apertures in hopper bottom plate; said apertured slide being reciprocable between a dispensing position wherein each slide aperture is directly beneath a hopper bottom plate aperture and a loading position wherein each slide aperture is entirely noncoextensive with each hopper bottom aperture; 9. plurality of hollow cylindrical sleeves defining a plurality of conduits a first end of each conduit being aligned with a bottom plate aperture and the second end of each conduit being closely adjacent the upper surface of said apertured slide as to be aligned with an aperture in said slide when the slide is in the dispensing position thereof; means for adjusting the vertical distance between the apertured bottom plate and the apertured slide member; and said sleeves being composed of thermoplastic material, whereby when it is desired to decrease the volume of ice dispensable through each sleeve, the vertical distance between the bottom plate and the slide member is reduced using the said adjusting means and the weight and correspondingly the volumetric capacity of the thermoplastic sleeves are easily reduced by cutting thermoplastic material from the end of each sleeve.
8. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 1 wherein said slide member has an activating handle secured thereto and including side edges extending from the slide substantially in the direction of reciprocability of the slide member, said handle extending through a longitudinally directed substantially horizontal slot in one of said hopper side walls, whereby said slide handle side edges cooperate with the ends of said slot to direct the diagonal movement of the slide member.
9. An ice dispenser as set forth in claim 1 wherein said slide member supporting means comprises a substantially horizontal flange formed integrally on said hopper side Walls and extending inwardly therefrom beneath said floor plate.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS LOUIS I DEMBO, Primary Examiner.
McCormick 222-429 X
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|US7870974||Jan 18, 2011||32 And Dropping, Llc||Ice bucket having a sliding dispenser|
|US20080256973 *||Apr 7, 2008||Oct 23, 2008||Lisa Miller||Ice bucket having a sliding dispenser|
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|U.S. Classification||222/158, 222/429, 222/485, 222/438, 222/561, 222/288|