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Publication numberUS3202114 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1965
Filing dateDec 4, 1962
Priority dateDec 4, 1962
Publication numberUS 3202114 A, US 3202114A, US-A-3202114, US3202114 A, US3202114A
InventorsCameron James K, Welch Parker C
Original AssigneeContinental Baking Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for the production of crumb shells
US 3202114 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 24, 1965 J. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 F|G-I INVENTORS JAMES K. CAMERON PARKER WELCH BY ATTORNEYS Aug. 24, 1965 J. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.3 FIG. 4

INVENTOR. JAMES K. CAMERON PARKER WELCH Mar M41,

ATTORNEYS Aug. 24, 1965 J. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 5 I F'IGI INVENTOR. JAMES K. CAMERON PARKER WELCH BY ATTORNEYS 1965 J. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4. 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS JAMES K, CAMERO N PARKE R WELCH ATTORNEYS Aug. 24, 1965 .1. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 7 6 9 10 I1 12 13 I4 I! 76 77 I5 )9 Z9 Z1 IN VEN TOR.

ATTGRNEYS Aug. 24, 1965 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS Filed Dec. 4, 1962 .1. K. CAMERON ETAL 3,202,114

6 Sheets-Sheet 6 ATTOR N EYS United States Patent 3,202,114 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CRUMB SHELLS James K. Cameron and Parker C. Welch, Charlottesville, Va., assignors to Continental Baking Company, Rye, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 4, 1962, Ser. No. 242,306 Claims. (Cl. 107-54) The present invention relates to a novel and improved method and apparatus for the production of baked goods, and, more particularly, to a novel method and apparatus for the production of a graham cracker pie crust.

Pies having graham cracker crust are becoming more popular with the general public, especially cream pics with a graham cracker crust. The significant feature of a good graham cracket crust is its crum-like texture. The problem, however, in connection with the commercial preparation of such graham cracker pie crusts, has been to produce a high quality crust which retains the crumbly texture of the graham crackers, but which is sufficiently knit together to withstand the successive handling and operations entailed in the mass production of pics.

Heretofore, commercial graham cracker pie crusts have been prepared by employing a fiowable wet mix of graham, graham chacker crumbs shortening and water. The wet mix was plastic enough to be shaped into proper arrangement in the pie plate by conventional means. However, such a wet" mix crust loses its crum-like quality and is a poor substitute for a good graham cracker pie crust.

Another method employed heretofore was the preparation of a dough-like mass of the type used for making the graham crackers themselves. This graham dough was sheeted or rolled thin and placed in its respective pie tins and then baked. The resultant crust, again, failed to have the crumb-like quality of a good graham cracker pie crust.

The present invention has for its object the preparation of a good, crumbly graham cracker pie crust, and is characterized by the preparation of a mixture of graham cracker crumbs and shortening in a relatively dry non-flowable mixture. The mixture is then distributed evenly in a predetermined amount over the bottom and side surfaces of an associated pie plate. The graham cracker mix thus disposed in an associated plate is subjected to a compression force which is operative to knit the graham cracker mix into a cohesive crust ready to withstand subsequent manufacturing operations.

To accomplish this object, the graham cracker mix is preferably placed in a supply hopper having a foraminous depositor grill at the bottom thereof, shaped in the general contour of a pie plate. A depositor blade, shaped for cooperative movement along the inner periphery of the depositor grill, is rotatably mounted in the hopper. With the pie plate disposed beneath the depositor grill and in spaced relation therewith, the depositor blade is rotated a predetermined number of revolutions to effect desposit of the required amount of graham cracker mix on the plate. The pie plate with graham mix thereon is withdrawn from deposit position adjacent the depositor grill in timed relationship with the rotation of the depositor blade, such that the plate moves away from the depositor grill just before the blade stops rotating. This ensures that no graham cracker mix will adhere to the bottom of the grill.

The finished crust should have a firmer texture at the top exposed edge of the crust than elsewhere to prevent damage to the crust at its edges during the manufacture of the finished pie. To accomplish this, the sides of the depositor grill are preferably slanted more 3,202,114 Patented Aug. 24, 1965 steeply than the sides of the pie plate. This results in more graham cracker mix being deposited around the side edges of the plate than on the other portions thereof.

The pie plate, with the controlled amount of graham mix deposited thereon, is then subjected to a gentle compression force, preferably in a form of a hydraulic press. This compressive force completes the formation of the graham cracker pie crust by condensing the graham mix into the form of a pie crust. It will be understood that since more mix is disposed around the sides of the plate, when compressed, the sides and top portions of the crust will have the desired firmer texture.

In order to maintain a sufiicient production rate for commercial operation, the apparatus for carrying out the invention includes a rotatable turret having a deposit station and a compression station. Pie plates are mounted on the turret at one station and passed intermittently through and to the deposit and compression stations to a discharge station, with the operations at the several stations being carried on generally concurrently on the plates travelled thereto, thus assuring highspeed commercial production of graham cracker crusts having the proper crumb-like texture heretofore only achieved in home-baked pies.

Objects and advantages of the invention will be obvious herefrom, or may be learned by practice with the invention, the same being realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an embodiment for the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the turret table and associated mechanisms.

FIG. 3 is a detailed front elevation, partly in section, of the mixture deposit mechanism.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, detailed view (partly in section) of the mixture deposit mechanism in operation with one configuration for the depositor grill.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view illustrating the mixture distribution from the configuration of depositor grill illus trated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional detail view of another configuration of depositor grill.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the mixture distribution from the configuration of depositor grill shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a plan view, partly in section, of the agitator member.

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a portion of depositor grill illustrating the spacing of the grill perforations.

FIG. 10 is a detailed front elevation, partly in section, of the compression die mechanism and associated elements.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged detailed sectional view of the die shown in operative compressing position.

FIG. 12 is a sectional view of a pie plate and finished crust produced by the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the die and cap plate with deflector plate removed.

FIG. 14 is a schematic view of the plate lifter mechanism.

FIG. 15 is a schematic diagram of a suitable pneumatic control system for the present invention.

FIGS. 16 and 17 are schematic diagrams of a suitable electrical control system for the present invention.

General description Referring specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is disclosed a preferred embodiment for carrying out the steps of the invention which includes a rotatable indexing table designated generally 10.

Table 10 is comprised of a support plate 12 having a plurality of spaced openings 14 therein. In the embodiient illustrated, plate 12 is provided with six openings although this number may be varied Without adversely affecting the operation of the invention.

hlounted on support plate 12, concentric with each opening 14, is a pie plate or cup holder 16 having an inner surface 17 corresponding to the general configuration of the conventional round pie plate, and adapted to hold an associated pie plate during the operations of forming a graham cracker pie crust therein.

Each cup holder 16 includes a bottom cup plate It upon which its associated pie plate rests. Cup plate 18 rests freely in a groove 20 formed in holder 16 and is provided with cup plate stem section 22 slidably carried in bottom hub 23 of holder 16 seated in opening 14 of plate 12.

Conventional pie plates P are individually placed in each cup holder 16 by the machine operator for travel to and through the deposit station D and the compression station C on indexing table 10.

When a cup holder 16 and associated pie plate are delivered to deposit station D, a litter rod 24 is raised upwardly in the direction of the arrow, FIG. 4, engaging the terminal end of stem section 22 lifting bottom plate 18 and the pie plate P supported thereon from a position inside cup holder 16 as shown in full lines, FIG. 3, to an elevated position as shown in phantom, FIG. 3.

in this elevated position, plate P is positioned adjacent the bottom 26 of graham cracker mix supply hopper 28. Hopper 28 is provided with a foraminous bottom grill section 39, also formed in the general shape of a conventional pie plate. An abutment 32, adapted to engage the lip of plate P in its raised position, maintains the interior of plate P in spaced relation with the outside face 3! of grill 3%.

With plate P in this raised position, an agitator member 34 rotatably mounted in hopper 28 is actuated, revolving in hopper 23 to force the graham cracker mix through perforations 29 in grill 30 and onto the interior surface of plate P (see FIG. 4). The number of revolutions of agilator 34 is controlled to effect the proper deposit of mix onto plate P.

Referring to FIG. 4, it will be noted that agitator 34 is so constructed that the surface 34A thereof corresponds generally to the shape of grill 3t) and is adapted for travel in close relationship with the several sections of the grill 30 to ensure proper deposit of the mix over the entire inside face of plate P to a controlled depth.

When the proper amount of mix has been deposited onto raised plate P, lifter rod 24 is lowered, returning bottom plate 18 and plate P to position in cup holder 16, and the rotation of agitator 34 is interrupted.

Table 10 is then travelled stepwise to present the next successive cup holder 16 with a plate P thereon to station C while a plate P having graham mix deposited thereon is travelled to compression station C where the mix is formed by pressure into a cohesive pie crust.

At station C, a compression member 36, comprising a hydraudually-operated piston 33 and crust-forming die 4% is actuated upon delivery of a cup holder 16 and plate P thereto on table 10. The die 40, shaped in the general configuration of a conventional pie plate, is travelled as selected distance into cup holder 16 and against plate P therein. Die thus exerts a compressive force on the graham mix deposited on the bottom and sides of plate P. This compressive pressure exerted by die 40 forms the mix into a cohesive pie crust strong enough to withstand subsequent pie manufacturing operations, yet having the desired crumbly texture.

When the crust has been so formed the die 40 is retracted and the plate P with the finished pie crust thereon is delivered by table 10 to a discharge station where the operator removes the plate P with the crust thereon from its holder 16 and replaces it with an empty plate P for the next cyclic operation of the machine. It

(i ll Turret table u'zecl'icmism Table 19 comprises a support plate 12 fixed to indexing head 76 of indexing unit 78. Head 76 is mounted for rotation about a central vertical axis. Shaft 77 rotatably r supports head 76 and, in turn, is mounted in suitable hearings in base plate 79 seated on an extension 81 of the main machine frame F. To actuate unit 78 periodically to rotate head 76 in timed relationship to the machine, operator unit '73 is provided with a hydraulic actuating cylinder 8%] and a position-locking cylinder 82. Cylinder 8% effects intermittent rotation of head 76 and plate 12 in timed relationship with other portions of the invention. while cylinder 82 ensures that head 76 and plate 12 are stopped in precise, registered position at the several machine working stations so that the graham mix is properly deposited and compressed on an associated plate P.

Unit '78, including head 76, plate 79, and the hydraulic actuating and locking cylinders 80 and 82, is preferably utilized as a unit and is commercially available as a unit from Air Hydraulics Incorporated, Jackson, Michigan, ldozlel 1509 index table.

Mix deposit mechanism At deposit station D, hopper 23 includes a generally cylindrical housing 42 with a suitable cover 44. A dry" nonllowable mix of graham cracker crumbs, shortening, some water and sugar is prepared and periodically placed in housing 42 by the operator when the supply becomes depleted somewhat. If desired, suitable flavoring may likewise be added to the mix. It has been found that a proper mix can be obtained by adding preferably about 2% 70 to 3% by weight of water to the mix. However, a suitable, non-flowable dry mix can be obtained by adding crumbs and shortening only, the only requirement being that the mix does not normally flow.

As described hcreinabove, hopper 28 has a foraminous bottom grill section 30 with closely spaced openings 29 therein of about one-quarter inch diameter in the preferred embodiment. Section 30 is formed in the conventional pie plate shape or in the general form of an inverted, frustum of a right circular cone having a flat lowermost section 46 and an inclined lateral side surface 48 and a lip section 50 (see FIG. 4).

Since the graham mix in hopper 28 is non-fiowable, the mix remains in hopper 28 and does not pass through openings 29 until urged therethrough by agitator 34.

Agitator 34 in turn includes a pair of opposed elongated spider arms 35 and 37, each having a top section 52 coacting with lip 50 of grill 30, an inclined section 54 adapted for coaction with surface 48, and a bottom section 56 cooperating with section 46 of grill 30.

Supporting agitator 34 in hopper 28 for concentric rotation about a vertical axis in spaced relation with grill section 30 is an operating shaft 58 fixed at one end to agitator 34 at the point where arms 35 and 37 thereof are joined in common. A sleeve 59 enshrouds shaft 58 in hopper 28 to prevent contamination of the mix. The other end of shaft 58 is fixed to and rotates wtih output shaft 60 of right angle gear drive member 62. The transverse input shaft 64 of member 62 is secured by flexible coupling 66 to a drive shaft 68 carried by suitable bearing mounts 71 and 72 on machine frame F. Drive shaft 68, in turn, is connected through clutch coupling to gear reducer 72 and a power source, such as, motor 74.

Clutch coupling 70 is preferably of the SF400 type manufactured by Warner Electric Brake and Clutch Co. of Beloit, Wisconsin.

In one embodiment of the invention, shown in FIG. 6, the side surface 33 of grill 30 is disposed at the same angle generally as is the inclined side surface of the conventional pie plate P. In this arrangement, a generally uniform depth B of mix is deposited over the entire inside surface of the plate (see FIG. 6).

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the side surface 33 of grill 30 is inclined more toward the vertical than is the inclination of the sides of plate P. This configuration results in more mixture being deposited along the sides of plate P, and especially the top edges of the sides, as at A (FIG. 5). When this mixture distribution is compressed by die 40, greater density of crust is realized along the top edges of the finished crust where the greater amount of mix was deposited. This produces a finished pie crust with a stronger top edge section, which is the portion of the crust most generally damaged in subsequent pie manufacturing operations.

Mix compressing mechanism At station C, compression member 36 includes, in addition to inverted frustro-conical die member 40, a cap plate 84 fixed to the top of die 40. Die 40 is preferably formed with a hollow internal cavity 86. An electrical heating element 88, such as the type commercially known as Cal-Rod" unit, is disposed in cavity 86 as shown in FIG. 11. Element 88 is suitably connected to a source of electrical potential. Element 88 is effective to heat die 40 to an elevated temperature, preferably about 130 F. This heating of die 40 assists in ensuring release of the die 40 and mix after the compaction cycle.

To further ensure release of the die 40 and mix so that none of the compacted crust adheres to the die 40 after wtihdrawal of the die 40 from the plate P positioned at station C, the outside operative surface 41 of die 40 is provided with a coating 90 of material having a low coefiicient of friction. It has been found that a coating 90 of silicone rubber for die 40 provides satisfactory results. It will be understood that if any portion of the compacted crust clings to die 40 as the die moves out of the plate P, a defective crust will result. However, heating die 40 and providing the silicone rubber coating therefor ensures proper release without any adhering of the crust to the die.

Crumb excess remover Die 40 is also provided with means for removing any excess crumbs after compaction. To accomplish this, there is provided a crumb deflector plate 92 seated on cap 84 with peripheral sections 94 extending beyond the outside edge 96 of die 40. Sections 94 are provided at their outermost edges with a transverse lip section 98.

The annular side wall 100 of die 40 is provided with a groove or slot 102 therein. A plurality of closely-spaced outlet openings 104 are formed in side wall 100 and extend through side wall 100 into edge 96 while communicating wtih slot 102 as shown in FIG. 11 and FIG. 13. In the preferred embodiment, for the nominal seven-inch diameter pie, there are approximately eighty openings 104 disposed about die 40. For simplicity, FIG. 13 merely illustrates a selected few. Suitable spaced air inlet bores 106 through cap 84 connect slot 102 to a suitable regulated source of compressed air (not shown),

In operation, when, during the cyclic operation of the invention, die 40 has entered its associated plate P at station C, air under pressure is introduced into bores 106 and slot 102, and thence through openings 104. The air discharging through openings 104 blows away any excess graham crumbs onto support table 12 and/or against sections 94 of deflector plate 92 and thence onto plate 12.

Pneumatic and electrical control system FIGS. 15, 16 and 17 disclose a suitable schematic pneumatic and electrical control system for selectively actuating the several machine elements in predetrmined, timed cyclic operation.

At the start of the machine operations, the machine operator actuates line control switch 108 and two-pole start-stop buttons 110 and 112 to complete circuits to the hydraulic pump motor 114 and the agitator motor 74 through their appropriate starter motors 116 and 118, respectively. The circuits energizing motors 114 and 74 remain completed until buttons 110 and 112 are suitably actuated by the machine operator at the end of the machine operations. It will be understood, therefore, that motors 114 and 74 remain energized at all times during the cyclic operation of the several machine elements.

The cyclic operations of the machine are effected by a pair of suitable timer motors 120 and 122. Timer 122 controls the cyclic operation of lifter rod 24, while timer 120 controls the cyclic operation of die member 40. The machine operator sets timers 120 and 122 for the desired timed operation of their associated mechanisms.

At the start of the cyclic operation of the machine, agitator 34 is uncoupled from its associated motor 74. During the timed operation thereof, timer 122, through its associated relay 123 and current converter 125, completes a circuit energizing hydraulic solenoid control valve 124. This, in turn, actuates the hydraulic cylinder 126, extending rod 128 thereof. Rod 128 at its terminal end is attached to lifter rod 24, so that extension of rod 128 raises rod 24 upwardly to dispose a pie plate P in the elevated position shown in phantom in FIG. 4.

As lifter rod 24 is moved upwardly, a collar thereon engages the actuating arm 132 of a normally open switch 134, closing switch 134 and completing a circuit energizing clutch coupling 70. The energizing of clutch coupling 70, in turn, effects rotation of agitator member 34 to deposit mix on raised plate P.

At the end of the timing cycle, as determined by timer 122, the circuit energizing solenoid valve 124 is interrupted, deactuating hydraulic cylinder 126 which is preferably of the spring-return type. Deactuation of cylinder 126 effects retraction of rod 128 and lifter rod 24, returning plate P with mixture deposited thereon into its associated cup holder 16 on table 10. The return or lowering of rod 24 effects disengagement of switch actuating arm 132 and collar 130, opening switch 134 and thus interrupting the circuit energizing clutch coupling 70. This, in turn, decouples agitator member 34 from motor 74 and stops rotation of member 34 in hopper 28.

It will be noted from the foregoing that the control members are so constructed and arranged that agitator member 34 cannot be actuated until a plate P is in proper elevated position adjacent grill 30. In like manner, agitator 34 continues to rotate as plate P moves away from its elevated position until arm 132 is completely released by collar 130. This continued rotation of agitator 34, as plate P is moving downwardly, ensures that no graham cracker mix intended to be deposited on the plate P will inadvertently adhere to the bottom of grill 30.

It will be understood that while the foregoing operations are occurring at deposit station D, substantially simultaneously at station C the crust compression operations are occurring. At station C, die member 40 is moved downwardly as soon as table 10 has completed its indexing operation. At the end of the indexing stroke of the turret table indexing cylinder 80, the piston rod thereof (not shown) activates a two-pole microswitch 138. Activation of microswitch 138 completes a circuit energizing timer motor 120. The relay 136 associated with timer 120, in turn, completes a circuit actuating hydraulic solenoid control valve 140, actuating hydraulic cylinder 142. This, in turn, extends the piston rod 144 thereof to travel die member 40, secured by cap plate I 84 to the terminal end of piston 144, into operative compressing position in a filled plate P, positioned at station D on table 10. It will be noted that activation of switch 138 also energizes timer motor 122 to raise lifter rod 24 at station D.

To ensure that the table is in proper registered position during the compression and deposit operations, there is provided another microswitch 146, disposed in the path of travel of a bracket 148 and slidable rod 149 mounted for travel with piston 144. Bracket 148 and rod 149 are adapted to engage the actuating arm 150 of switch 146 (preferably two-pole), moving arm 150 thereof in the direction to complete a circuit energizing hydraulic solenoid control valve 152 to actuate the hydraulic locking cylinder 82, to retain head 76 and table in fixed position, thus ensuring that the table 10 is in precise registry on the compression stroke of cylinder 142, thereby preventing any damage to the machine elements by misalignment. In like manner, this ensures that plate P and holder 16 are properly disposed for plate elevation at station D.

Adjacent the bottommost extent of travel of piston 144 and bracket 148 and rod 149, bracket 148 and rod 149 engage actuating arm 154 of a second microswitch 156. This completes a circuit energizing pneumatic solenoid control valve 158, admitting air under pressure to bores 106 to etlect removal of excess crumbs.

In addition, the piston rod of locking cylinder 82 is adapted to activate a microswitch 162 upon movement of the locking cylinder piston rod toward locking position. Activation of switch 162 completes a circuit energizing hydraulic solenoid control valve 164 to activate hydraulic cylinder 80 for returning the piston thereof from its indexing stroke preparatory to the next movement of table 10.

At the end of the compression cycle, as determined by timer 120, the circuits energizing locking cylinder control valve 152 and hydraulic cylinder control valve 140 are interrupted while a circuit energizing hydraulic sole noid control valve 160 is completed. This circuit effects retraction of piston 144 of cylinder 142, preferably of the double-acting type, moving die away from the plate P at station D.

Upon interruption of the circuit energizing valve 152, hydraulic locking cylinder 82 is deactuated, releasing table 10 for indexing. This also completes a circuit through switch 162 and valve 164 to efiect indexing of table 10. By this arrangement, it is assured that table 10 does not index until die 40 has been retracted from operative compressing position in holder 16 at station C. Upon completion of the indexing stroke of cylinder 80, the timed operations controlled by switch 138 are repeated.

To control the temperature of heating element 88, there is provided a suitable detachable thermostatic control member 166, including a temperature sensing probe 168, an adjustable thermostat 170, electrical connector 172, which connects element 88 to the source of electrical potential through heater 174 and its associated control relay 176.

Probe 163 is adapted to respond to the temperature of die 40 and interrupt the current to element 88 when the temperature of die 40 exceeds the limit set on thermostat 173. When the temperature falls below this limit, the circuit to element 88 is re-established. Thus, the temperature of die 40 can be suitably maintained at the desired temperature.

For operator convenience, the several control elements are mounted on a control panel G on the main machine frame F, as shown in FIG. 1.

It should be understood that while the process and apparatus of the present invention are disclosed in connection with graham cracker pie crusts, other materials, such as other types of crackers, cookies, cereal flakes and the like, can be employed with the present process and apparatus with equal facility to form crumb shells for pies.

Thus, there is disclosed a novel method and mechanism for the high-speed production of graham cracker crusts having the desired crumbly texture not possible heretofore in commercially prepared baked goods.

It should be understood that the above description has been made with reference to the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings and that modifications and alterations can be made therein without departing from the invention, except as expressly limited hereinafter in the claims.

What is claimed is:

1. The method of. preparing a graham cracker pie crust comprising the steps of preparing a relatively dry, nonflowable mixture of at least graham cracker crumbs, shortening, sugar and water, said water being added in an amount less than 3% by weight of the mixture, containing said mixture at a source of supply in a container, subjecting said contained mixture to a controlled discharge force and directing the same to etlect deposit of a pro-selected amount of said mixture along the sides and on the bottom of an associated pie plate, and subjecting the entire surface of said deposited mixture at one time to a compressive force to form said crust.

2. The method as defined in claim 1, including the step of depositing more of said mix on the sides of said plate than on the bottom thereof whereby there is formed a firmer texture on the top edge of said finished crust.

3. The method of preparing a graham cracker pie crust as defined in claim 1, comprising the steps of withdrawing said pie plate from adjacent said container in timed relation to deposit to prevent adherence of the mix to the bottom of the container.

4. The method of preparing graham cracker pie crusts comprising the steps of preparing a relatively dry, nonflowable mixture of at least graham cracker crumbs, shortening, sugar and water, containing said mixture in a supply hopper having a foraminous bottom section, travelling a plurality of pie plates seriatim to and past said hopper, moving each of said pie plates positioned thereat and said hopper relatively toward each other to dispose said plate adjacent said foraminous bottom section of said hopper, urging a controlled amount of mixture through said foraminous bottom section and onto the sides and bottom of said pie plate, moving said plate and container relatively away from each other, travelling said filled plate intermittently to and past a compression station, and subjecting said plate to an axial compressive force to form said crust.

5. The method as defined in claim 4, wherein said plate at said compression station is subjected to both heat and an axial compressive force to form said crust.

6. The method as defined in claim 4, including removing any excess mixture from the formed crust upon application of said compressive force.

7. The method of preparing graham cracker pie crusts comprising the steps of preparing a relatively dry, nonfiowable mixture of at least graham cracker crumbs, shortening, sugar and water, said water being added in an amount of 2/2% by weight of the mixture, containing said mixture in a supply hopper having a bottom section, travelling a plurality of pie plates seriatim to and past the bottom of said hopper, moving each of said pie plate upwardly toward said hopper to dispose said plate adjacent said bottom section of said hopper, subjecting said contained mixture to a controlled amount of rotary action to discharge a selected amount of mixture through said bottom section and onto the sides and bottom of said pie plate, moving said plate downwardly away from said hopper, travelling said filled plate intermittently to and past a compression station, and subjecting said plates at said compression station to heat and an axial compressive force to form said crust.

8. Apparatus for the production of graham cracker pie crusts comprising a container for holding a supply of relatively dry, non-flowable graham cracker mix, a grill, means mounting said grill on the bottom of said. container with the openings in said grill communicating with the interior, means for disposing a plurality platessenstint in adjacent spaced relation with said grill, a travelling element, means mounting said element for travel in said container adjacent said grill to urge said mix in said container through said grill and onto said adjacent pie piatenlneans for travelling said element a prc-oclccted amount thereby controlling the amount of mixdeposited onto said plate,fmeans for operating saidelernent in timed relation with disposition of a pie plate adjacent said grill, and presnrre means for eohesively binding said mixttu'einsaid plates intoaformed piecrust.

9. The apparatus as defined in claim 8, including heat means with said pressure means for facilitating complete release of said pressure means and said formed crust. 1

l0. Apparatus for the production of cracker pie crusts comprising a container for holding a supply of relatively dry, non-flowable graham cracker mix,-a mill, means mounting said grill onthe bottom of saidcontainer with the openings in said grill communicating viithtltc interior, means for disposing a plurality of pie plates seriatim in adjacent spaced relation with said grill, a rotatable impeller element, means mounting said impeller for travel in said container adjacent said grill to urge said mix in said container through said grill and onto said adjacent pic plates, means for rotating said element a preselected number of revolutions for controlling the amount of mix deposited onto said plate, means for operating said impeller in timed relation with the disposition of a pie plate adjacent said grill, a die member, means for positioning said filled pie plates seriatim adjaccnt said die member, means mounting said die for travel into and out of said filled pie plates disposed adjacent thereto to cohesively bind said mixture on said plates into a finished pie crust.

It. The invention as defined in claim 10, including heat means opcmtively associated with said die member for maintaining said die at an elevated temperature to t acilitate complete release of said die and finished crusts upon withdrawal of said die from said plates.

12. The invention as defined in claim 10, including a coating of plastic material on the mixture-engaging face of said die, said plastic material having a low coefficient of friction to onset with said heat means to ensure completerelease of said die and finished crusts.

13. Apparatus for the production of graham cracker pie crusts comprising a container for holding a supply of relatively dry, non-flowable mixture of at least graham cracker crumbs, shortening, sugar and water, said water beingadded in an amountup to3% by weightofsaid mixture, a grill, means mounting said grill on the bottom of said container with the openings in said grill communieating with the interior of said container, an intermittently-travelling turret member, means on said turret for loosely and individually holding a plurality of pie plates, means for indexing said turret about a central vertical axis to travel each of said plates individually to and through a plurality of work stations including a filling and a compression station, means for disposing a pie plate on said turret at said filling station in adjacent spaced relation with said grill, a rotatable impeller, means mounting said impeller for rotation in said container adjacent said grill to urge said mix in said container through grill and onto said adjacent pie plates, means for rotating said element a pro-selected amount for controlling the amount of mix deposited onto said plate, means for interrupting the operation of said impeller until the disposition of a pie plate adjacent said grill, a die member at said compression station, means mounting said die member for travel into and out of tilled pic plates on said turret indexed to said compression station, said die member being operative to cobesively bind ssld mixture in said pie plates into a tlnisbcd pie crust.

llrjhe invention defined in claim 13, lo -hiding operating means inter-relating the movement of said turret, said plate disposing means, said impeller and said die for effecting hlgh speed production of .said pie crusts.

15. Apparatus for the high-speed production of graham cracker piecrusts comprisingin combination ,a container for bolding a supplyof relatively dry, non-flowable mixture of at least graham cracker crumbs, shortening, sugar and water, said water being addedln an amount bill 4% by weight of said mixture, a grill, means mounting'said grill on the bottom of saldcontainer with vthe openings in said.;grillcommunicating with the interior of saidcontainer, a rotatable turrettnc'mbcr, means for indexing .said turret about a central vertical axis, holders on turret for loosely and individually retainmg a pluralityof pie plates contemporaneously on said turret, said turret being operative holders and an associated pie plate to and through a plurality of work stations, including a filling and a compressiois' station, plate lifter means at said filling station for and lowering assoeiatedtholders and into and out of adjacent spaced relationship with said grill, is rotatable impeller in said container, means for rotating said impeller to force said mixture from said container through said grill into an adjacent, elevated pie plate, control means for said impeller rotating means to control the amount of mixture deposited onto an elevated plate, means for interrupting the operation of said impeller until a plate is disposed adjacent said grill, operating means for said plate lifter means, a die member at said compression station, means mounting said die member for travel into and out of filled pie plates on said turret in their associated holders registered at said compression station, said die member being operative to cohesively bind said mixture in said plates into a finished pie crust.

16. The invention as defined in claim 15. including operating means inten'elating the movement of said turret, said plate disposing means, said impeller and said die for elfecting high-speed production of said pic crusts.

11. The invention as defined in claim 15, including heater means opetatively associated with said die memberforheatingsaiddie to facilitate release ofsaiddie and formed pie crust.

18. 111: invention as dcfimd in claim 15, including a coating on said die of a plastic material, said plastic material having a low coefficient of friction to enact with said but means to ensure complete release of said die and finished crusts.

19. The invention as defined in claim 15, including means for removing excess mixture from said finished pie crusts comprising a deflector plate mounted on said die member for movement therewith, extensions on said defleetor plate extending beyond and spaced from the pe riphery of a plate holder at said compression station, air outlet means in said die directed to the periphery of said holder where said tion, means for admitting air under premure to said outlet means when said die is in operative position for blowing excess mixture particles against said deflector plate extensions and away from said finished pie crust.

20. The method of preparing crumb shells for pics from materials such as, crackers, cookies and the like comprising the steps of preparing a relatively ry. noullowable mixture of at least said material crumbs and shortening, containing said mixture in a supply hopper having a foraminoos bottom section, travelling a pluralily of pie plates seriatim to and past said hopper, moving each of said pie plates positioned thercat and said hopper relatively toward each other to dispose said plate adjacent said forsminous bottom section of said hopper. urging a controlled amount of mixture through said ioraminous bottom section and onto the sides and hotto travel each of said pie plates from and to their die is in operative compressing posi- 11 tom of said pie plate, moving said plate and container relatively away from each other, travelling said tilled plate intermittently to and ast a compression station, and subjecting said plate to an axial compressive ioroe to form said crust.

21. line method as defined in claim 20, wherein said plate at said compression station is subjected to both heat and an axial compressive force to form said'crust.

22. The method as defined in claim 20, including removing any exces mixture from the formed crust upon application of said compressive force.

23. The method of preparing a crumb shell for pics from materials such as crackers, cookies and the like comprising the steps of preparing a relatively dry, nonilowable mixture of material crumbs, depositing a controlled amount of said mixture along the sides and on the bottom of the pie plate, and subjecting the entire surface 7 of said deposited mixture to heat and a compressive force attheseme time to formsaid crust, saidheatcusuring complete release of said finished crust and said compreseive force. v

24. Apparatus for the production of crumb shells for pies comprising a container for holding a supply of relatively dry, non-flowabie crumb mix, a grill, means mountingsaidgrilionthebottomofsaid containerwiththe openings in said grill communicating with the interior,

means for disposing! plurality of pie plates serlatim in adjacent spaced relation with said grill. a travelling element. means mounting said element for travel in said container adjacent said grill to urge said mix in said container through said grill and onto said adjacent pie plates. means for travelling said element a pro-selected amount thereby'controlling the amount of mix deposited ontosaid plate, means toroperatingsaid element intimed solution with the disposition oi a pie plaleidlflcent said grill, and pressure means for cohesively ture in said plates intoa formed pie crust.

25. The apparatus as defined in claim-24, incuding' heat means associated with said pressure means for facilitating complete release of said pressure means and said formed crust.

mum w mu Erma UNIIED STATES PATENTS 8i7,488 4/06 l-lutchison 101-1.: 1,330,01s 2/20 Wiilcox 107-5428 1,725,835 8/29 Smith tor-1.5 2,111,021 s/ss Bemis 107-5428 2,220,324 4/42 Tracy tor-1.5 3,022,151 2/62 Dohring 101-5420 WALTER A. SCHEEL, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3307502 *Mar 16, 1964Mar 7, 1967Bradley S Frozen Foods IncPie shell forming unit
US3716319 *Apr 20, 1970Feb 13, 1973Norman HApparatus for forming the crust of a pie
US3751198 *Oct 1, 1970Aug 7, 1973Foodice Engin ParmaCake icing machine
US4973240 *Dec 26, 1989Nov 27, 1990Comtec Industries, Ltd.Multiple die pastry crust press and crust pan handling arrangement
US5503860 *Jun 30, 1994Apr 2, 1996Dadco, Inc.Process of forming dough on a corrugated paperboard preform
US5716658 *Jul 10, 1995Feb 10, 1998Dadco Diversified, Inc.Process of forming dough on a corrugated paperboard preform
US5919508 *Feb 9, 1998Jul 6, 1999Dadco Diversified IncThe finished baked dough product, such as dinner rolls or a pizza crust, may be removed from the oven with the sheet attached thereto, and the baked dough product may be served directly from the sheet.
EP0166042A1 *Jun 25, 1984Jan 2, 1986Miles Ross CherkaskyMethod and apparatus for making deep dish pizza crusts or the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification426/391, 426/556
International ClassificationA21C11/00, A21B5/00, A21B5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA21B5/02, A21C11/006
European ClassificationA21C11/00C2, A21B5/02