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Publication numberUS3217509 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1965
Filing dateMay 3, 1963
Priority dateMay 3, 1963
Publication numberUS 3217509 A, US 3217509A, US-A-3217509, US3217509 A, US3217509A
InventorsWeil Albert G, Zeuschner Kenneth W, Zeuschner Walter A
Original AssigneeRemcor Prod Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice making and vending apparatus
US 3217509 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 16, 1965 A. G. WElL ETAL I 3,217,509

ICE MAKING AND VENDING APPARATUS Filed May 3, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS.

Maddy W a I W Nov. 16, 1965 A. G. WEIL ETAL 3,217,509

ICE MAKING AND VENDING APPARATUS Filed May 3, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENT RS: aa aw Nov. 16, 1965 A. G. WEIL ET AL 3,217,509

ICE MAKING AND VENDING APPARATUS Filed May 3, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Nov. 16, 1965 A. G. WEIL ET AL ICE MAKING AND VENDING APPARATUS Filed May 5, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 EEFEIGEIKHr/Nq M 5c HAN/5 M zz M United States Patent 3,217,509 ICE MAKING AND VENDING APPARATUS Albert G. Weil, Walter A. Zeuschner, and Kenneth W. Zenschner, Chicago, lll., assignors to Remcor Products Company, Qhicago, ill, a corporation of llllinois Filed May 3, 1963, Ser. No. 277,914

17 Claims. (Cl. 62-320) The present invention relates to making and vending ice and, more particularly, to the making of hard clear ice, the crushing of such ice into pellets of predetermined size and the dispensing, preferably in measured amounts, of the crushed ice.

In the restaurant. and food service industry, and also in the cold drink vending machine industry, there is a great demand for compact efllcient machines that will produce hard, clear ice in substantial quantity and at low cost, and dispense the ice in a predetermined amount suitable for chilling a glass of water or a liquid refreshment.

One such machine is disclosed in the co-pending application of Albert G. Weil and Walter A. Zeuschner, Serial No. 105,999, filed April 27, 1961, now Patent No. 3,165,901 issued January 19, 1965.

The object of the present invention is to provide an improved ice making and vending machine; especially one that is of greater capacity for a given size, or more compact for a given capacity; that is trouble free in industrial service; and that may be constructed to facilitate a wide variety of installations, e.g., on top of or inside a drink vending machine and on top of and under a counter in a restaurant.

A first specific object of the invention is the provision of improved ice making means characterized by a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in a V-shape in the space, or less space than, formerly occupied by a single fieezing plate, whereby substantially to increase the speed of and capacity for ice production.

Another object of the invention is to provide a V- assembly of freezing plates in combination with means for flowing water downwardly over the two plates and means for crushing the slabs of ice formed on the plates, wherein the components are so interrelated that water does not splash or flow into the ice discharging outlet of the crusher, thereby to overcome a serious problem heretofore existing in multiple plate freezers.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved icemalcer comprising a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in a V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of the plates for flowing water downwardly over the plates, and a crusher assembly along the lower edge of one plate having holes at its bottom for discharging water and having a relatively elevated outlet at the side thereof opposite said one plate, the other plate being disposed above the crusher and the one plate and having its lower edge spaced above the lower edge of the one plate inwardly of the crusher assembly whereby water flowing over said other plate discharges onto the one plate and thence into the crusher without splashing or flowing out through the ice outlet of the crusher.

An additional feature of the defined combination is the incorporation therein of a deflector projecting beneath said other plate toward said one plate for insuring discharge of water from said other plate onto a relatively elevated portion of said one plate; the deflector being pivotally movable under the impetus of a slab of ice descending from said other plate to accommodate descent of the slab into the crusher without interference.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved crusher assembly for ice making means 'ice greatly facilitating assembly and repair thereof, the crusher comprising a crusher housing having an inlet aligned with the aforesaid one plate, water drain holes in its lower surface and a sizing bar outlet on the side thereof opposite the plate, the housing being abutted at one end against one wall of the enclosing cabinet of the icemaker, said one wall having a hole therethrough aligned with and of a size approximately equal to the interior of the housing, a crusher rotor insertable in and removable from said housing through said hole and a drive motor operatively united with said motor and detachably mounted on said one wall in sealing relation to said hole; the motor and rotor thereby being serviced simply by detachment of the motor from said wall.

Also, it is an object to provide an improved crusher rotor characterized by a plurality of successively arranged circumferentially spaced crusher members each comprising oppositely extending saw tooth portions having the teeth thereof staggered relative to one another.

A second particular aspect of the present invention is the provision of improved ice vending means especially adapted for and combined with said ice making means to afford a compact assembly satisfying the requirements of a wide variety of installations.

Specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide elevating means for conveying ice discharging from the lower level of an ice maker, or from the bottom of a storage hopper, to the level of the top of the ice maker or hopper for discharge from the top of the assembly. This accommodates an assembly wherein ice maker and/or hopper, elevator means and dispensing means may be of substantially uniform height and arranged in-line, rather than above one another, thereby to provide a compact assembly of minimum height greatly facilitating installation of the machine within vending cabinets, and above and below service counters in restaurants and the like. A dispensing means may be provided at the bottom of a hopper in-line with an ice maker for vending machine and above-the-counter installations, or may be provided at the upper or an intermediate level for a variety of on-the-counter and underthe-counter installations.

Included especially within the objects of the invention are the provision of an in-line combination of ice making means, elevating means and hopper, with dispensing means at the bottom of the hopper, particularly adapted for vending machines; and an in-line combination of ice making means, elevating means, hopper and second elevating means, with dispensing means adjacent the top of the latter elevating means, particularly adapted for under-the-counter installation.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of improved ice elevating means of extremely compact construction comprising a thin flat cylindrical housing of dimensions no greater than the end dimension of the ice maker or hopper having an inlet at its lower end communicating with the ice maker or hopper and an outlet adjacent its upper end, and rotary scoop means in said housing for scooping up ice at the inlet and conveying it upwardly to and discharging it through said outlet.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the following detailed description.

Now, in order to acquaint those skilled in the art with the manner of making and using our improved ice making and vending apparatus, we shall describe, in connection with the accompanying drawings, preferred embodiments of our ice making and vending means and the preferred manners of making and using the same.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the ice maker of the present invention with the cover therefor removed;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical section of the ice maker;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the ice maker;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical section of the ice crusher incorporated in the ice maker, the view being taken substantially on line 44 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURES 5 and 6 are schematic layouts of the refrigerant ducting circuits for the freezing plates of small and large ice makers, respectively;

FIGURE 7 is a vertical longitudinal section of the ice maker, elevator, hopper and dispensing means provided according to the invention, particularly for drink vending machines and above-the-counter installations;

FIGURE 8 is a vertical cross-section of the ice elevating means taken substantially on line 88 of FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 9 is a vertical cross-section of the hopper means taken substantially 011 line 99 of FIGURE 7; and

FIGURE 10 is a vertical longitudinal section of the ice maker, elevator, hopper, second elevator and dispensing means provided according to the invention, particularly for under-the-counter installations.

Referring to FIGURES l to 3, the illustrated ice maker in its preferred embodiment is comprised of a freezer plate and crusher assembly to be described in detail hereinafter; a refrigerator operating mechanism 22 including a compressor 23, a condenser 2 2, a solenoid-operated hot gas by-pass valve 25 and other conventional refrigerant handling components; and a water supply section 26 including a sump 27, a water supply control valve 28 and a pump 29. The operating mechanism 22 and the water supply section 26 are essentially the same as disclosed in said co-pending application Serial No. 105,999, and reference is made to that application for a more detailed description. Suffice it to state herein that the mech anism 22 selectively supplies refrigerant or hot gas to the freezer plates of assembly 20 under control of valve 25 and that the pump 2% supplies water to the ice forming surfaces of said plates, excess water draining into the pump 27 for re-circulation by the pump.

The freezer plate and crusher assembly 20 is comprised of a first inclined freezer plate 30 having a smooth flat upper surface bounded at its sides by upright flanges 31, and having a lower surface mounting or forming an evaporator coil 32 over the major portion of the plate. Formed integrally with or secured to the lower edge of the plate 34 is the lower, substantially semi-circular half 33 of a generally cylindrical crusher housing 34, the upper part of which is formed by a quarter circular plate 35. The parts 33 and 35 of the housing 34 are so associated with the freezer plate 30 as to define a crusher inlet aligned with the plate and located at about the median plane of the housing. Directly opposite the inlet, the housing includes a sizing bar 36 forming a restricted outlet from the housing, the bar being comprised of spaced vertical partitions accommodating passage therebetween of nothing larger than bite-sized pellets of ice. In its lower wall portions, the housing part 33 is provided with a plurality of small diameter drain holes 37 accommodating discharge into the sump 27 of excess water flowed over the plate 30. To the extent thus far described, the plate 30 and crusher housing 34 are of construction quite similar to the construction disclosed in the above-identified co-pending application.

At its opposite ends, the crusher housing is provided with upright end walls 33 respectively aligned with and secured to the flanges 31 of the plate 30. Mounted on said walls and flanges is a second freezer plate 40 having a smooth fiat freezing surface bounded at its sides by fianges 41, and an opposite surface forming or mounting an evaporator coil 42. The plate 40 is quite similar to the plate 39, but is smaller to facilitate mounting there of above the plate Stl without increasing the height of the ice maker. The plate ll? is mounted with its lower edge above the lower plate 3%) and with its freezing surface opposed to the freezing surface of the plate 30, whereby the two plates are disposed generally in the form of a V, as illustrated particularly in FIGURE 2. The assembly of the two plates and the crusher housing is suitably mounted by means of one set of flanges 31, 38 and ll on the inside surface of an enclosing wall 43 for the ice maker. Preferably, the plate 36 is disposed at a relatively high inclination to horizontal and the plate 40 is disposed at an opposite and even higher inclination. However, the particular angular relationships of the two plates may be varied without departing from the scope or benefits of the present invention.

The upper edges of the two freezer plates are preferably disposed at the same elevation, and are sufficiently spaced to accommodate entry therebetween of water header means 44. The header 44 may take a variety of forms, but is illustrated herein as comprising a pair of tubes 45, respectively, paralleling the upper edge portions of the plates 3% and 49 and interconnected by a T 46 to which water is supplied from the pump 29. Each of the tubes 45 is provided at the surface thereof facing the adjacent plate 30-40 with a plurality of holes whereby water is discharged from the tubes against the upper end portions of the freezing surfaces and a uniform film or layer of water is caused to flow downwardly over the two freezing surfaces.

Water is supplied continuously to the header 44- throughout the refrigerating cycle whereby a uniformly distributed film of water flows continuously over the whole surface of each plate. The plates, due to their conductivity and the evaporator c-oils thereon, gradually freeze the Water from the bottom up, and this results in the formation on the upper surface of each plate of a slab of hard, crystal clear ice of the highest quality.

All of the water does not freeze on the plates, but flows continuously thereover, whereby a flushing action takes place enhancing the quality of the ice. Excess water from the plate 30 flows uniformly downward along the surface of the plate directly into the crusher housing 34, through the drain holes 37 and into the sump 27, and it is desired that excess water from the plate at) follow a similar course. However, absent due precaution, a

r very substantial problem may be encountered in the case of the latter plate, in that water may tend to flow around the bottom edge of the plate and onto the top of the crusher housing and/or onto the blades of the crusher disposed within said housing with consequent drainage problems and the very marked disadvantage that water will splash on the crusher blades and out through the sizing bar 36 and thus into the ice storage hopper. This of course results in either freezing of a conglomerate mass in the hopper and/or melting of the ice, both of which must be avoided in a practical commercial ice maker.

A first step in mitigating the above described disadvantage is to dispose the plate 4% at such position relative to the plate 30 that water running off the plate 40 falls onto the plate 30 and not directly into the crusher assembly. Consequently, we first dispose the plate 40 so that its lower edge is vertically above the plate 30, not the crusher. However, the lower edge of plate ill cannot be aligned with a point too far above the lower edge of the plate 30 as this produces the problems of (1) decreasing the size of the plate 40 and (2) discharging the slab of ice from plate 40 at such location that it does not fall into the crusher bu simply bridges between the two plates and becomes stuck in such position, whereby it cannot be disposed of and blocks water flow over plate 30 with still further disadvantages. If the attempt is made to compensate for the decrease in plate size by lowering the angle of plate 40, the bridging problem is magnified. Consequently, we prefer to dispose the plate 40 almost upright and to locate its lower edge above the lower edge portions of the plate inwardly of the crusher assembly (i.e., to the left of the crusher housing 34 as viewed in FIGURE 2). Thus, water from plate 4% falls onto plate 30 and is drained off through the housing parts 33 and the drain holes 37 without splashing onto the crusher blades and out through the sizing bar 36.

In addition, or as an alternative to the above described preferred location of the plate 40, we have devised means facilitating maximum size and optimum location of the plate without incurring the problem of water splashing from the plate 40 through the sizing bar 36. Specifically, we pivotally mount a deflector 47 on the crusher housing end walls 38 in the space between the crusher and the lower edge of the plate 49, the deflector normally intersecting the straight line path from the plate 40 to the plate 30 and directing water from plate 40 to a relatively higher location on plate 30 than would otherwise be the case, whereby water from the plate 40 merges with the water on plate 30 and flows uniformly without splashing into the lower half 33 of the housing 34 and out through the drain holes 37. At the same time, the deflector 4 7 is adapted to pivot in a direction away from the freezer plates under the weight of a slab of ice descending from the plate 40, whereby this slab of ice may fall into the crusher housing and will not simply bridge across or become stuck between the two freezer plates. The preferred location of freezer plate 40 in combination with the deflector 47 and the laterally spaced relatively elevated location of the sizing bar 36 assures optimum handling of the ice without the disadvantage of water splashing through the ice outlet of the crusher.

The deflector 47 in its preferred embodiment is a sheet metal member of inverted V-shape pivotally mounted at its apex on a pivot pin extending between the end walls 38. By virtue of its V-shape, the deflector is automatically self-centering under the influence of gravity and defines a deflecting surface which in the normal position of the deflector is inclined downwardly and inwardly from the lower edge of the plate 40' toward a relatively elevated position on the plate 3%. The lower edge of the deflector of course terminates substantially above the surface of plate 31 so it does not interfere with the ice formed on plate 30. The mass of the V-shaped member is such that the force of the water passing thereover will not significantly change its position from normal. However, the mass of a slab of ice descending from the plate 4G will readily swing the deflector out of the way, whereby the slab of ice may gravitate downwardly into the crusher housing. Preferably, the upper part 35 of the housing includes an upstanding tab 48 extending into the interior of the V-shaped deflector to prevent excessive pivoting thereof.

In normal use of the ice maker, the mechanism 22 supplies refrigerant to the coils 32 and 42 of the plates 3% and 4t) normally to refrigerate the plates. For smaller capacity V-plate assemblies, e.g., 100 pounds per 24 hour period, we prefer the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 5 wherein the refrigerant is normally supplied from the compressor 23 and condenser 24 via line 50 and a refrigerant metering means 51, such as an expansion valve or capillary tube, to a central location in the coil 32 adjacent the lower edge of the larger or primary freezing plate 30. The coil 32 comprises a horizontal run extending in opposite directions from the point of introduction of the refrigerant, vertical runs extending upwardly from the opposite ends of the horizontal run, and an undulatory portion extending between and connected at its opposite ends to said vertical runs, the coil extending over the major portion of the plate but being spaced inwardly from the edges thereof. At the center of said undulatory portion, an outlet tap is provided and a line 52 extends from the outlet of coil 32 to the inlet of coil 42 coil 42 being constructed essentially the same as coil 32 and having 6 an outlet from which a line 53 conducts the expanded refrigerant back to the compressor. If desired, an accumulator 54 may be incorporated in the refrigerant circuit, as indicated in FIGURES 1 to 3.

To control the thickness of the slabs of ice formed on the plates 30 and 40, we provide control means comprising a pair of tubes 55 and 56 which have inclined inlets at their upper ends generally juxtaposed to the freezing surface of plate 30, and which extend downwardly, outwardly over the side of the plate 30 and downwardly to the sump 27. Generally, it is the object of this invention to form a thick slab of ice on each plate, not flake ice or snow, and the inlets of the tubes are thus spaced significantly from the surface of the plate 3%. The tube 55 comprises a primary control and the tube 56 a secondary or safety control, and the inlet end of the latter is thus spaced further from the surface of the plate than the tube 55. As ice builds up on the plate 30, the ice and the film of water flowing thereover raise toward the mouth of the tube 55 until eventually the water commences flowing into and downwardly through the tube, whereby the water may be employed to perform a control function relative to the refrigerator operating assembly 22. Specifically, we slit the walls of the two tubes 55 and 56 adjacent but above the sump 27 and insert a sensing or control element 57, such as a thermostat, into each tube to sense the passage of water therethrough. By virtue of this arrangement, when thermostats are employed as the control elements, the thermostats are spaced from and rendered non-responsive to ambient temperature conditions adjacent the freezing surfaces of the two plates, thereby to provide an extremely accurate control function irrespective of thelfrequency or paucity of freezing cycles.

As will be appreciated, water will initially flow through the tube 55 when the ice attains a predetermined desired thickness, whereby the thermostat 57 inserted in the tube 55 will normally perform a control function to initiate an ice harvesting cycle. However, if the tube 55 or the thermostat therein becomes inoperative of malfunctions, ice will continue to build up on the plate- 30 until water commences to flow into and through the tube 56 and over the thermostat 57 inserted therein, whereby the second tube and thermostat will perform a control function, normally to initiate a harvest cycle. Also, the latter thermostat may be employed to energize an alarm or warning device, and/or may operate to turn the ice maker off, whereby the user is notified that the ice maker requires service.

When either of the sensing elements 57 is actuated by virtue of flow of cold water thereover, such element (as disclosed in detail in the aforesaid co-pending application) closes an electric circuit to an electric timer (not shown). The timer automatically operates for a preselected time interval, say 6 minutes, to cause sequential performance of preselected functions in an ice harvesting cycle. Specifically, the timer starts the crusher (which will be described in detail hereinafter) and maintains the crusher in operation for the full timer cycle. The timer also causes substantially immediate de-energization of the condenser cooling means (e.g., the fan illustrated in FIG- URE 3) and the water supply pump 29, whereby the supply of water to the freezing plate is discontinued. Upon de-energization of the condenser cooling means, the refrigerant is no longer cooled, whereby there is a significant build-up of hot gas in the refrigerant circuit. Preferably, an interval of about 30 to 4-5 seconds is provided by the timer to accommodate a significant build-up of hot gas, after which the timer causes energization of the solenoid-operated valve 25, whereupon the hot refrigerant discharged from the compressor, in taking the path of least resistance, flows through the hot gas bypass line 60 to the freezer plates.

As illustrated in FIGURE 5, the hot gas valve 25 and the bypass 6t) communicate with a tubular loop 61 formed or mounted on the marginal portions of the rear surface of the small or secondary freezer plate 441', the loop paralleling the four edges of the plate in circumscribing relation to the evaporator coil 42. The loop 61, at the end thereof opposite the hot gas inlet 6% is connected by a line 62 with a generally similar hot gas loop 63 formed or mounted on the marginal portions of the rear surface of the primary plate 34 in circumscribing relation to the coil 32, The outlet end of the loop 63 is in turn connected to the inlet 59 of the coil 32, whereby hot gas is conducted through the coil 32 and then through the coil 42 and returned via line 53 to the compressor.

Hot gas is supplied to the two plates in the manner above described for an interval of from about 30 seconds up to about 60 seconds thereby to heat the two plates 34 and 4d and cause the two thick slabs of ice to be released from the plates for gravitation into the crusher. At the end of the selected hot gas supply interval, the timer operates to close the hot gas valve 25 and to stop the compressor 23. A time interval is then provided to accommodate crushing of the two slabs of ice and discharge of the same, in the form of bite-sized pellets, through the sizing bar 36. A suitable time interval is about 2 /2 minutes, at the end of which the water pump 29 is again started to provide a water flush over the plates 30 and 4t) assuring discharge of the ice from both plates and flushing of all ice into the crusher. For convenience in the electrical circuitry, the condenser cooling means is pref erably coupled with the pump. One half minute is adequate flush time, and upon expiration of such interval the compressor is again started (i.e., three minutes after it was stopped) whereupon the freezer plates are again refrigerated and a new freezing cycle commences.

Up to this time, the harvest cycle has taken anywhere from about 4 minutes up to about 5 minutes, but the crusher continues to run for the full 6 minute cycle of the timer to insure complete crushing and discharge of the ice. At the end of the 6 minute period, the timer shuts itself and the crusher oif, whereupon the circuit is returned to its initial condition.

The complete cycle of the machine, from the time the compressor turns on at the end of one harvest cycle to the time the compressor turns on at the end of the next harvest cycle, requires no more than about 20 minutes, i.e., an ice producing cycle of about l516 minutes and a harvest cycle of about 45 minutes.

Ice makers may, in accordance with the present invention, be made in a variety of sizes or capacities. At the present, commercially desirable capacities are 100 pounds per 24 hour period, 250 pounds per 24 hour period, 400 pounds per 24 hour period and 600 pounds per 24 hour period. For the 100 pound capacity, we provide a single V-plate assembly comprised of primary and secondary plates having areas of about 260 and 200 square inches, respectively, and a horsepower compressor. For the 250 pound capacity, we provide the same V-plate assembly and a /2 horsepower compressor. For the 400 pound capacity, we can provide two of the described V-plate and crusher assemblies and a single horsepower compressor. For the 600 pound capacity, we can provide three of the described V-plates and a single one horsepower compressor. In the latter two embodiments, we prefer to employ a single operating mechanism 22, a single water supply section 26, a number of hot gas bypass valves equal to the number of V-plate assemblies connected with the respective assemblies, and a control or timer circuit wherein the hot gas valves are actuated sequentially with a hot gas build-up period intervening between sequential actuation of the valves. The manufactoring and economic advantages of utilizing one V- plate assembly in single or multiples to satisfy a variety of requirements is, of course, obvious.

However, if desired, the larger capacity ice makers requiring multiple V-plate and crusher assemblies of the above indicated size may be fabricated from a single V-plate and crusher assembly of larger size; for example,

an assembly having a primary plate area of about 675 square inches and a secondary plate area of about 425 square inches; the 400 pound capacity having a A horsepower compressor and the 600 pound capacity utilizing a one horsepower compressor.

Whether fabricated of three small V units, or one large V unit, the 600 pound capacity machine preferably utilizes a water cooled condenser, While the smaller capacities may employ air-cooled condensers.

Also, both the 400 pound and 600 pound capacities are preferably equipped with a plurality of hot gas by-pass valves, whether constructed of a plurality of small Vs or one large V. If constructed of a number of small Vs, there is a hot gas valve for each V. If constructed of one large V, there is a hot gas valve for each freezer plate. In FIGURE 6, the refrigerant circuit for a single large V is illustrated and will now be described, from which description the operation of a plurality of small Vs will be apparent.

The two freezer plates, indicated at 36a and 4th: respectively in FIGURE 6, are each provided with a refrigerant inlet 58a and 52a, respectively, located centrally of the lower edge portion of the plate. The expansion coils 32a and 42a of the two plates each comprise a horizontal run extending in opposite directions from the refrigerant inlet, a vertical run extending upwardly from each end of the horizontal run and an undulatory reentrant type of coil form disposed between and connected at its opposite ends to said vertical runs, the latter having an outlet adjacent the top center of the plate. The two outlets are interconnected by a pipe 53a through which the expanded refrigerant is returned to the compressor. Due to the size of the two plates and their expansion coils 32a and 42a, each is preferably provided, as indicated, with an individual expansion valve to which refrigerant is supplied from the compressor, whereby the two plates are refrigerated while water is flowed over them.

When the predetermined layer of ice is built up on the plate 30a, one of the thermostats 57 is actuated by virtue of cold water flowing over it to set the timer in operation. The timer, as previously described, preferably has an operating cycle of 6 minutes and the crusher is energized through the full 6 minute cycle. In this instance, however, the timer is constructed to provide a modified sequence of operations. Specifically, the timer initially shuts off the water pump and the condenser cooling means (either a fan or a coolant pump) and dictates an initial hot gas build-up interval of about 60 seconds, following which a first hot gas by-pass valve a is opened to accommodate supply of hot gas to the large or primary plate 3% for an interval of about 45 seconds. Upon opening of the valve 25a, the hot refrigerant, in following the path of least resistance, flows primarily through the valve 25a into a hot gas loop 63a formed or mounted on the marginal portions of the rear surface of the primary plate a, then into the inlet 50a and through the primary plate coil 32a and the return line 53a back to the compressor, whereby to heat the plate 390:, release the slab of ice thereon and cause said slab to gravitate into the crusher.

After the 45 second heating interval accorded plate Etta has expired, the valve 25a is closed and a second hot gas build-up interval of about 30 seconds duration is provided. At the end of this interval, the timer causes a second hot gas bypass valve 251) to open to accommodate supply of hot gas to the secondary plate a. The hot gas is supplied via the valve 25b to a hot gas loop 61a formed or mounted on the marginal portions of the rear surface of the secondary plate Etta, then into the inlet 52:: and through the coil 42a and the line 53a back to the compressor. The duration of secondary plate heating is suitably about 30 seconds, after which the valve 251') is closed.

A particular advantage of the resulting sequential release of the two slabs of ice is that the crusher is not simultaneously loaded by the two large thick slabs, but is 9 only loaded with one slab at a time thereby to reduce wear and tear on the crusher and reduce the power requirements of the crusher drive.

In the presently described embodiment of the invention, the compressor is not stopped as part of the harvest cycle, and freezing is restored after the secondary plate has been heated, simply by turning on the condenser cooling means and the water pump 29. The harvest cycle thus actually consumes only about 2% minutes, although the crusher continues to run for a full 6 minutes. Due to the reduction in harvest time, and the large refrigerating capacity, the total cycle of the machine may be as little as 12 to 15 minutes in the large capacities.

In both of the above described harvest cycles, i.e., the one described in conjunction with FIGURE and the second described in conjunction with FIGURE 6, the water in the sump 27 may be replaced or refreshed by incorporation of a solenoid operated valve (not shown) in the lower regions of the sump. In each case, the timer is equipped with an additional control switch that is closed for a predetermined interval during the time that the water pump 29 is shut off. Depending upon the interval alotted for valve actuation, the sump may be drained either entirely or partially depending upon the degree of hardness of the water or the impurities therein to mitigate build-up in the sump water of impurities consequent upon the selective separating function occurring during the freezing cycle.

The V-plate freezing assembly as above described is particularly compact and economical for the ice producing capacities afforded thereby. In comparison to the single, relatively low angle freezing plate of the ice maker shown in the aforesaid application Serial No. 105,999, the upright V-plate arrangement of this invention increases the ice making capacity of a machine of given freezer chamber size to three times its former capacity. Specifically, due to the provision of two plates in an upright V, the V-plates may be constructed to occupy only onehalf the space previously occupied by a single plate and yet afford an ice producing capacity of one and one-half times that of the single plate. Consequently, in the space previously occupied by one plate, we can now install four plates (two Vs) and increase capacity to three times the former capacity. Productive capacity is further enhanced by the shortened machine cycles provided by this invention. Consequently, we can now produce a large quantity of crystal clear crushed ice in a smaller space than was heretofore required for a lesser quantity of ice. This factor is of great commercial significance in both the vending machine and restaurant industries.

To break into bite-size pellets the slabs of crystal clear hard ice produced on the plates 3@4-@, the crusher of each V-plate assembly includes a rotary crusher extending axially through the housing 34. The crusher, in its preferred embodiment, comprises a shaft 65 carrying a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinally successive crushing elements 65 each comprising oppositely extending saw tooth portions 67 which are staggered relative to one another longitudinally of the shaft 65. Each crushing element 66 is preferably comprised of a pair of substantially identical sheet metal members secured to the shaft in opposition to one another. Each member includes a generally V-shaped portion 68 embracing the shaft and an outwardly extending L-shaped leg 69. Adjacent its outer end, the leg 69 is notched in the form generally of saw teeth as shown in FIGURE 4, whereby the L-shape is retained only at spaced locations. The free edges of the retained portions of the L are serrated, thereby to define crusher teeth '76. As above indicated, the retained portions of the L of each associated pair of the members are staggered longitudinally, and the plurality of pairs of such members are spaced circumferentially (e.g., two pairs disposed at right angles) whereby to minimize the loading on the crusher and yet afford an efficient ice crushing function. Specifically, as illus- IU trated particularly in FIGURE 2, only one set of L- shaped portions is in maximum crushing position at any given time.

At the end thereof adjacent the Wall 43, the crusher shaft 65 is coupled to a combined motor and gear transmission assembly 71 which provides a rotary support and drive for the one end of the shaft. At its opposite end, the shaft is slidably received in a bearing 72 secured to the end wall 38 of the crusher housing 34, the shaft extending substantially axially through the housing. To facilitate installation, repair and/or replacement of the crusher, an enlarged hole 73 is formed in the wall 43 in axial alignment with the crusher housing 34, the hole being substantially the same size as the interior of the housing and accommodating slidable passage therethrough of the crusher assembly 65-66. In circumscribing relation to the hole '73, the wall 43 is provided at its outer surface with a plurality of accurately located bolt holes (not shown) facilitating mounting of the motor as sembly .71 in such position that the shaft 65 is axially aligned with the crusher housing and the bearings 72. Upon tightening the mounting bolts for the motor, the assembly 71 is brought into sealed engagement with the wall 43 thereby to close the hole 73. When repair or replacement of the crusher is necessary, all that is required is to remove the motor mounting bolts, whereupon the entire assembly of motor, gear transmission and crusher may be slidably removed from the ice maker via the hole 73.

In use, the motor assembly 71 drives the crusher rotor 6566 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG- URE 2 whereby the sets of teeth 70 each move downwardly past the crusher housing inlet, break pieces of ice off the slab gravitating into the housing, carry the broken pieces of ice upwardly and rearwardly toward the sizing bar 36 and force the ice against the sizing bar whereupon the ice is broken and sized into bite-sized pellets and discharged through the bar 36.

The crushed ice discharging from the sizing bar 36 may be handled in a variety of manners. For example, it may discharge into a storage bin located below the outlet, or into a vending machine hopper-dispenser located below the ice maker as shown in the above-identified copending application. However, it is a particular object of this invention to provide improved apparatus for handling the crushed ice and improved combinations of ice making and vending apparatus greatly facilitating compact arrangement of components for vending machine installations and over and under the counter restaurant installations.

Referring to FIGURE 7, we have shown a particularly compact assembly of ice making and vending machine applicable particularly to cold drink vending machines, but also having practical uses in the restaurant field. As shown, this apparatus is comprised of a V-plate ice maker assembly 20 as above described, an elevator communicating with the outlet 36 of the ice crusher and extending upwardly to approximately the level of the top of the ice maker, a hopper 100 of substantially the same height as the ice maker and elevator communicating at its upper end with the upper end of the elevator, and dispensing means 102 at the lower end of the hopper.

The elevator 80 comprises a thin fiat cylindrical housing 81 of a diameter approximately equal to the end wall dimensions of the ice maker and having spaced parallel end walls 32. The wall 82 adjacent the ice maker is provided adjacent its lower margin with an inlet 83 communicating by means of a funnel 84 with the outlet side of the ice maker sizing bar 36. The other wall 82 is provided adjacent its upper edge with an outlet 85 leading into the interior of the hopper 100.

Extending axially through the end walls 82 and through the hopper 100 is a rotor shaft which is journalled in a bearing 91 on the inner wall 82 of the housing 81 and a motor drive assembly 92 secured to the outer wall of hopper 100. Secured to the shaft within the interior of the housing 81 is a scoop assembly 93 which in the illustrated embodiment comprises a thin strap or plate 94 secured to the shaft 90 adjacent the inner wall 82 and extending radially in opposite directions to adjacent the peripheral wall of the housing 81, and a pair of scoops 95 secured to the outer ends of said plate or strap. Each scoop preferably consists simply of an L-shaped sheet metal member having one leg adjacent and generally parallel to the peripheral Wall of housing 31 and having its other leg extending radially inwardly from the trailing end of the one leg, the scoop being of a width approximately equal to the thickness of housing 31.

The motor 92 drives the shaft in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 8 whereby the free end of the one leg of each scoop may slice into the ice at the inlet 83 and cause a quantity of ice to be loaded into the scoop in the space between the two legs of the scoop and the end walls of the housing, whereupon the scoop will commence to elevate the ice toward the outlet 85. As the scoop rises, it is essential that the same be closed off at its radially inner side to prevent inadvertent or premature discharge of ice. To this end, the housing 81 is provided on its outlet end wall 82 with an arcuate blind plate 86 extending from the outlet 85 in the direction opposite the direction of scoop rotation over an arc of about 90 degrees at a location radially inwardly of the inner ends of the radial legs of the scoops 95, whereby to cooperate with these legs and close the inner side of the sCOOp until the scoop reaches the outlet 85. The blind plate 86 of course is spaced from the inlet end wall 32 of the housing 81 to accommodate rotation of the scoop supporting plate 94.

As each scoop 95 reaches the outlet 85, the radially inner end thereof again is open, whereupon the ice carried by the respective scoop may gravitate into the outlet. To catch and guide the ice an inclined plate or chute 87 extends from the hopper 100 through the outlet opening 85 into an inclined position below the uppermost positions of the scoops 95 to direct the crushed ice into the hopper.

The hopper 101i is simply an insulated box of desired capacity adapted to receive and store the crushed ice. The hopper illustrated is of conventional structure including side and end walls which taper, at least adjacent their lower ends, inwardly toward the dispensing means 1%. If desired, the chute 87 may extend continuously downward to the dispensing means as illustrated in FIGURE 7 to insure accumulation of ice adjacent the dispensing means. Further to assure this result, and also to maintain the crushed ice in a free flowing readily dispensed condition, the shaft 90 preferably carries a rotary agitator 96 within the hopper MPO. As shown in FIGURE 9, the agitator comprises a plurality of outwardly extending arms, suitably four equally spaced radial arms, each provided with a flat plate or paddle 97 at its outer end for breaking-up the ice and maintaining it in free-flowing condition. Also, as shown in FIGURE 9, the side walls of the hopper we may be curved on a radius slightly larger than the paddle arms to facilitate provision of an agitator of the largest practical diameter and passage of the paddles 97 immediately adjacent the dispenser. In its preferred embodiment, the hopper 100 is preferably of the same height and width as the ice maker 20 and the elevator 80, thereby to provide maximum storage capacity with minimum overall machine dimensions.

The dispenser 192 may take a variety of forms, from a simple manually operated flap valve to an automatically operated device for measuring out and dispensing a predetermined quantity of crushed ice. The latter type of device, which is required for automatic drink vending machines, is illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 9. As shown, the device 102 is substantially identical to the measuring dispenser disclosed in said co-pending application, the same comprising a block 103 having a measuring cavity 104- therein selectively alignable with the bottom outlet 12 N5 of the hopper and a discharge outlet 1%, the block being operated by a solenoid 1.97 mounted on the hopper structure and energized via a control circuit in the vending machine upon deposit of a coin and selection of a drink.

Irrespective of the type of dispensing means employed, the apparatus of the invention is provided with electric control circuitry for energizing the motor 92 each time a quantity of ice is to be discharged, whereby the agitator 96 is rotated during the dispensing cycle to insure proper discharge of free-flowing ice from the hopper. Since such circuitry is conventional, and obvious to those skilled in the art, it is not illustrated herein.

Also, the timer normally associated With the ice maker, when utilized in the combination of FIGURE 7 (or the combination of FIGURE 10) is electrically connected with the motor 92, in parallel with the circuitry referred to in the foregoing paragraph, to cause energization of the motor 92 and operation of the elevator assembly 93 and agitator 96 throughout at least the full cycle of operation of the crusher 66.

Referring now to FIGURE 10, we have illustrated a particularly compact combination intended especially for under-the-counter restaurant installations. As shown, this ice making and vending machine is comprised of a combination of a V-plate ice maker 20, a first elevator Siia, a hopper Tilda, a second elevator 86b, dispensing means 102;: and lower compartment means 110, all enclosed within a common cabinet 12G adapted to be slid under a restaurant counter or back bar.

The V-plate freezer 20 is of the same construction as previously described, and the tWo elevators a and Stib are likewise of the same construction as above described, each including a respective scoop assembly 93a93b. The hopper 100a is of construction similar to that above described, except that the same communicates laterally adjacent its bottom Wall with the inlet 83!) of the elevator 80b. In this case, the paddles 97a on the agitator 96a are preferably inclined downwardly toward the inlet 83b to force crushed ice in a free flowing condition into the housing of the elevator 80b. The shaft a and its drive motor 92:: are common to the two scoop assemblies 93a and 93b and the agitator 96a.

In use, ice produced and crushed by the ice maker 20 is elevated by the scoop assembly 93a and discharged into the hopper Nita. From the hopper, the scoop assembly 93b elevates the ice to dispensing means 1692a located adjacent the top of the elevator dill), whereby the dispensing means is disposed immediately beneath the surface of the counter, i.e., the upper surface of the cabinet 12%. The dispenser ItlZa may take a variety of forms, one example of which is the illustrated spout ltia communicating with the outlet 85b of the elevator 84% and having a normally closed manually operated flap valve 107a at its outer end. The motor 92 is operated continuously during each harvesting cycle in conjunction with the crusher motor, and is also energized by appropriate, parallel connected, switch means 198a each time the dispenser valve 10% is operated. Depending upon results desired, the motor 92 may be operated in a variety of manners. For example, the motor may be operated continuously during the time the valve 107a is open to supply any quantity of ice at the will of the operator, as suggested by the container actuated platform 109a and switch ltiSa in FIG- URE 10. Alternatively, the spout 106a may have a predetermined capacity and the motor 92a may be operated for a preselected time immediately following each closing of the valve 1107a, whereby the spout, valve and motor cooperate to discharge a predetermined quantity of ice each time the valve is opened; subsequent to which the spout is again filled.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the combination of hopper a, elevator 80b and dispenser 1532:: may be utilized as a manually filled ice vending device in instances wherein practicable.

In addition to the above described functions performed in the combination of FIGURE 10, the elevator 80b may be utilized in conjunction with the ice maker 2 to supply ice to an extra storage compartment 112 located at the front of the lower compartment area 119, so that the ice maker during low business periods may build up an excess supply of ice for use during peak business periods. In particular, the conventional level responsive switch (not shown) usually incorporated in the ice hopper to stop the ice maker when the hopper is full, may be em ployed in conjunction with a similar switch in the spout 106a to open a trap door (not shown) in the elevator housing 80b and operate the motor 92 until the excess storage compartment 112 is full, as determined by a third switch in said compartment, whereupon the three switches in combination would act to control the ice maker and stop ice production only when the hopper 100a, the spout 106a and the compartment 112 are all filled with ice. Alternatively, the control switch in the hopper 130a could operate a dump valve 114 located between the hopper and the extra storage compartment 112. The latter compartment is suitably a slidable drawer or is provided with a tiltable front door 116 to facilitate access to the ice therein.

With reference to FIGURES l and 3, it is to be note-d that the V-plate assembly 20 and the water section 26 are adapted to be enclosed in cabinet means including side wall 43, a rear wall extending at right angles to wall 43 and a three-sided wall assembly (not shown) consisting of front, side and top walls for enclosing the two components. The refrigerating mechanism 22 is disposed outside this cabinet and thus may be disposed at any location desired to afford the most compact or most compatible assembly for any particular installation. For example, the refrigerating mechanism may be disposed rearwardly of the cabinet as shown in FIGURES l to 3, or it may be disposed under the ice maker assembly 20, as depicted in FIGURE wherein the mechanism 22 is located in the compartment means 110 rearwardly of the ice storage compartment 112, or the same may be disposed to either side or above the ice maker assembly 20. In like manner, the position of the hopper 160 may be varied relative to the elevator 30 to facilitate compact and/or compatible installations.

It is thus believed apparent that all of the objects and advantages of the invention have been shown herein to be attained in a convenient, economical and practical manner.

While we have shown and described what we regard to be the preferred embodiments of our invention, it will be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An ice maker comprising a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over each of said plates, one of said plates overlying the lower part of the other and having its lower edge adjacent but spaced upwardly from the lower edge of said other plate whereby water flowing over said one plate discharges onto the lower part of said other plate, and a crusher assembly along the lower edge of said other plate substantially entirely outwardly from the lower edge of said one plate, said crusher assembly including means for discharging water from its lowest level and for discharging ice at a relatively elevated portion thereof spaced from said plates.

2. An ice maker comprising a first inclined freezing plate, a second generally upright freezing plate overlying the lower part of said first plate, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over each of said plates, the lower edge of said second plate being spaced upwardly from the surface of said first plate and being aligned with a location on said first plate adjacent but spaced upwardly from the lower end of said first plate whereby water flowing over said second plate discharges onto the lower part of said first plate, and a crusher assembly at the lower end of said first plate, said crusher assembly including means for discharging water from the lower level thereof and for discharging ice at a relatively elevated portion thereof spaced laterally away from the lower edges of said plates.

3. An ice maker comprising a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over said plates, a crusher assembly along the lower edge of one of said plates, the other of said plates being disposed above the crusher assembly and the one plate, and a deflector mounted above said crusher assembly and projecting beneath said other plate toward said one plate for deflecting water discharging from said other plate away from said crusher assembly and onto said one plate.

4. An ice maker comprising a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over said plates for formation of slabs of ice thereon, an ice crusher assembly along the lower edge of one of said plates, the other of said plates being disposed above the crusher assembly and the one plate, and a deflector pivotally mounted above said crusher assembly and projecting beneath said other plate toward said one plate for deflecting water discharging from said other plate away from said crusher assembly toward said one plate, said deflector being pivotally movable to facilitate passage of a slab of ice from said other plate to said crusher assembly.

5. An ice maker comprising a pair of freezing plates disposed generally in V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over said plates for formation of slabs of ice thereon, one of said plates overlying the other and having its lower edge spaced upwardly from the lower edge of said other plate, a water deflector pivotally mounted adjacent the lower edge of said one plate and normally intersecting said edge for deflecting water from said one plate onto said other plate, said deflector being pivotally movable to facilitate passage therepast of a slab of ice, and a crusher assembly along the lower edge of said other plate substantially entirely outwardly from the normal position of said deflector, said crusher assembly including means for discharging water from its lowest level and for discharging ice at a relatively elevated portion thereof spaced from said plates.

6. In an ice maker having means for forming slabs of ice and for discharging the slabs in a predetermined direction, the improvement comprising a crusher assembly including a cylindrical housing having an inlet approximately at its median plane disposed in the path of move ment of slabs of ice, drain holes in its lower surface portions and a sizing bar in the side wall portion thereof opposite said inlet; a rotor journalled in said housing; and a plurality of circumferentially spaced crushing elements on said rotor each comprising oppositely extending saw tooth portions having the teeth thereof staggered relative to one another.

7. In an ice maker having freezing plate means, a crusher, control means for causing slabs of ice formed on the freezing plate means to discharge into the crusher, and cabinet means enclosing the freezing plate means and the crusher; the improvement comprising a crusher housing abutted at one of its ends against one wall of the cabinet means, a hole in said one wall of the cabinet means aligned with and of a size approximately equal to the interior of said housing, a crusher rotor journalled in said housing, and a drive motor for said rotor, said motor being detachably mounted on said one wall of the cabinet means in overlying sealed relation to said hole and being operatively united with said rotor, said rotor being re- 15 movable from said housing through said hole upon detachment of said motor from said wall.

8. In an ice maker having freezing plate means, a crusher, control means for causing slabs of ice formed on the freezing plate means to discharge into the crusher, and cabinet means enclosing the freezing plate means and the crusher; the improvement comprising a cylindrical crusher housing abutted at one end against one wall of the cabinet means, a hole in said one wall of the cabinet means aligned with and of a size approximately equal to the interior of said housing, a crusher rotor journalled in said housing, a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinally successive crushing elements each comprising oppositely extending saw tooth portions having the teeth thereof staggered relative to one another, and a drive motor for said rotor, said motor being detachably mounted on said one wall of the cabinet means in overlying sealed relation to said hole and being operatively united with said rotor, said rotor being insertable in and removable from said housing through said hole together with said motor upon removal of said motor from said wall.

9. In ice handling apparatus, an elevator for conveying ice from a lower level to a higher level comprising a generally cylindrical upright housing having an inlet adjacent its lower edge and an outlet adjacent its upper edge, a rotor in said housing including a rotary plate of a thickness less than said housing disposed adjacent one end of the housing and projecting to adjacent the peripheral wall thereof, a scoop on said plate adjacent the peripheral wall of said housing consisting essentially of an L-shaped blade having one leg generally parallel to and adjacent said peripheral wall and another leg extending generally radially inwardly therefrom, said scoop extending substantially from end-to-end of said housing, and an arcuate blind plate concentric with the peripheral wall of the housing extending from said outlet in the direction toward the free end of said one leg of said scoop at a radial location slightly inward of the radially inner end of said other leg of said scoop.

10. In ice handling apparatus, an elevator for conveying ice from a lower level to a higher level comprising a thin fiat generally cylindrical upright housing having spaced parallel end walls, an inlet in one end wall adjacent its lower edge and an outlet in the other end wall adjacent its upper edge, a rotor in said housing including a rotary plate of a thickness less than said housing disposed adjacent said one end wall and projecting to adjacent the peripheral wall thereof, a plurality of circumferentially spaced scoops on said plate adjacent the peripheral wall of said housing each consisting essentially of an L-shaped blade having one leg generally parallel to and adjacent said peripheral wall and another leg extending generally radially inwardly from one end of said one leg, each said scoop extending substantially from end wall to end wall of said housing, means for rotating said rotor in the direction of the free ends of said one legs of said scoops, an arcuate blind plate concentric with the peripheral wall of the housing extending from said other end wall to adjacent said plate from said outlet in the direction toward the free ends of said one legs of said scoops at a radial location slightly inward of the radially inner ends of said other legs of said scoops for retaining ice in said scoops until the scoops are opposite said outlet, and an inclined chute extending upwardly and inwardly through said outlet beneath the upper position of said scoops.

11. In ice handling apparatus, a storage hopper and an elevator in said hopper, said elevator comprising a generally cylindrical housing having spaced parallel end walls, an inlet adjacent the lower edge of one end wall and an outlet adjacent the upper edge of the other end wall, said other end wall comprising one end of said hopper, other walls of the hopper being inclined inwardly and downwardly for feeding ice toward said inlet, a rotor assembly journaled axially in said housing including scoop means adjacent the peripheral wall of the housing for scooping up ice adjacent said inlet and carrying it to said outlet, and an ice guiding blind plate in said housing including a downwardly and outwardly inclined discharge plate at said outlet and an arcuate portion disposed inwardly of said scoop means and extending from the outlet in the direction opposite rotor rotation for retaining ice in said scoop means until the scoop means is disposed above said discharge plate.

12. In an ice vending machine, a storage hopper and an elevator in said hopper, said elevator comprising a generally cylindrical housing having spaced parallel end walls, an inlet adjacent the lower edge of one end wall and an outlet adjacent the upper edge of the other end wall, said other end wall comprising one end of said hopper, other walls of the hopper being inclined inwardly and downwardly for feeding ice toward said inlet, a rotor assembly journalled in and extending through said hopper generally axially of said housing, said rotor assembly including a rotary agitator in said hopper for maintaining the ice in a free condition and for feeding it toward said inlet and scoop means in said housing adjacent the peripheral wall thereof for scooping up ice adjacent said inlet and carrying it to said outlet, and an ice guiding blind plate in said housing including an arcuate portion disposed inwardly of said scoop means and extending from the outlet in the direction opposite rotor rotation for retaining ice in said scoop means until the scoop means is disposed adjacent said outlet.

13. In an ice vending machine, a storage hopper and an elevator in said hopper, said elevator comprising a generally cylindrical housing having spaced parallel end walls, an inlet adjacent the lower edge of one end wall and an outlet adjacent the upper edge of the other end wall, said other end wall comprising one end of said hopper, other walls of the hopper being inclined inwardly and downwardly for feeding ice toward said inlet, a rotor assembly journalled axially in said housing includ ing scoop means adjacent the peripheral wall of the housing for scooping up ice adjacent said inlet and carrying it to said outlet, an ice guiding blind plate in said housing including an arcuate portion disposed inwardly of said scoop means and extending from the outlet in the direction opposite rotor rotation for retaining ice in said scoop means until the scoop means is adjacent said outlet, dispensing means aligned with said outlet for dispensing a predetermined amount of ice therefrom, and common means for actuating said dispensing means and rotating said rotor assembly.

14, In an ice making and vending machine, an icemaker comprising a box-like enclosure, generally upright freezer plate means in said enclosure, means for flowing water downwardly over said freezer plate means for forming slabs of ice, crusher means in said enclosure adjacent the lower edge of said freezer plate means for crushing the slabs of ice and having an outlet extending through one wall of said enclosure for discharging crushed ice, an elevator abutted against said one wall of said enclosure and extending upwardly from said crusher to adjacent the level of the upper edge of said freezer plate means, said elevator including housing components comprising a side wall abutted against said one wall and an end wall abutted against said side wall in spaced relation to said one wall and forming therewith an elevator housing communicating at its lower regions with the outlet of said crusher, outlet means adjacent the upper end of said end wall for discharging crushed ice away from said freezer plate means and means in said housing for elevating ice from the lower regions to said outlet means of said housing, and an ice storage hopper abutted against said end wall and extending from said outlet means downwardly to approximately the level of said crusher for storing ice discharged from said outlet means, said hopper including an inclined wall adjacent said end wall and extending diagonally through said outlet means and comprising the means for discharging ice away from said freezer plate means and into said hopper.

15. In an ice making and vending machine, a box-like enclosure, generally upright freezer plate means in said enclosure, means for flowing water downwardly over said freezer plate means for forming slabs of ice, crusher means in said enclosure adjacent the lower edge of said freezer plate means for crushing the slabs of ice and having an outlet extending through one wall of said enclosure for discharging crushed ice, an elevator abutted against said one wall of said enclosure and extending upwardly from said crusher to adjacent the level of the upper edge of said freezer plate means, said elevator communicating at its lower regions with the outlet of said crusher, outlet means adjacent the upper end of said elevator for discharging crushed ice away from said freezer plate means and means therein for elevating ice from said crusher to said outlet means, an ice storage hopper abutted against the outlet means of said elevator and extending from said outlet means downwardly to approximately the level of said crusher for storing ice discharged from said outlet means, a second elevator abutted against said hopper and extending from adjacent the lower end to adjacent the upper end thereof, said second elevator at its lower end communicating with the lower end portion of said hopper, outlet means adjacent its upper end for discharging ice away from said hopper and means therein for elevating ice from the lower end of the hopper to its said outlet means, and dispensing means connected to the outlet means of said second elevator.

16. In an ice making and vending machine, generally upright freezer plate means, means for flowing water downwardly over said freezer plate means for forming slabs of ice, crusher means adjacent the lower edge of said freezer plate means for crushing the slabs of ice and having an outlet for discharging crushed ice, an elevator adjacent said crusher extending upwardly from said crusher to adjacent the level of the upper edge of said freezer plate means, said elevator having an inlet adjacent its lower end aligned with the outlet of said crusher, outlet means adjacent its upper end for discharging crushed ice away from said freezer plate means and means therein for elevating ice from said inlet to said outlet means, an ice storage hopper extending from said outlet means downwardly to approximately the level of said crusher for storing ice discharge from said outlet means, agitator means in said hopper maintaining the crushed ice in free flowing condition, a second elevator adjacent said hopper extending from adjacent the lower end to adjacent the upper end thereof, said second elevator having an inlet adjacent its lower end communicating with the lower end portion of said hopper, outlet means adjacent its upper end for discharging ice away from said hopper and means therein for elevating ice from its said inlet to its said outlet means, a common actuator extending through said elevators and said hopper coupled to the elevating means of both elevators and said agitator means for operating the same conjointly, and dispensing means aligned with the outlet means of said second elevator.

17. An ice making and vending machine comprising: an icemaker including a box-like enclosure, a pair of freezing plates in said enclosure disclosed generally in a V-shape, means adjacent the upper ends of said plates for flowing water downwardly over each of said plates for formation of slabs of ice thereon, one of said plates overlying the lower part of the other and having its lower edge adjacent but spaced upwardly from the lower edge of said other plate whereby water flowing over said one plate discharges onto the lower part of said other plate, and a crusher assembly in said enclosure along the lower edge of said other plate substantially entirely outwardly from the lower edges of said plates, said crusher assembly including means for discharging water from its lowest level and an outlet extending through one wall of said enclosure for discharging ice adjacent the lower part of said one wall at a location spaced laterally away from said plates; and an elevator abutted against and substantially co-extensive with said one wall of said enclosure, said elevator comprising housing elements including a generally cylindrical wall abutted against said one wall and an end wall abutted against said cylindrical wall in spaced parallel relation to said one wall and forming therewith an elevator housing communicating at its lower regions with the outlet of said crusher assembly, an outlet in said end wall of said housing adjacent its upper edge, and a rotor in said housing including a rotary plate disposed adjacent said one wall and projecting to adjacent said cylindrical wall, scoop means on said plate adjacent said cylindrical wall consisting essentially of an L-shaped blade having one leg generally parallel to and adjacent said cylindrical wall and another leg extending generally radially inwardly from one end of said one leg, said scoop means extending substantially from said one wall to said end wall, means for rotating said rotor in the direction of the free end of said one leg of said scoop means for scooping up ice in the lower regions of said housing and carrying it toward said outlet, and an arcuate blind plate concentric with said cylindrical wall extending from said end wall to adjacent said plate from said outlet in the direction toward the free end of said one leg of said scoop means at a radial location slightly inward of the radially inner end of said other leg of said scoop means for retaining ice in said scoop means until the scoop means is opposite said outlet.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 650,569 5/1900 Shaw 222-227 2,502,161 3/1950 Lilly 62-320 X 2,637,177 5/1953 Reedall.

2,730,865 1/ 1956 Murdock.

2,742,196 4/1956 Srether 222-227 2,810,268 10/1957 Charlet 62-320 2,904,268 9/1959 Chappel et a1. 241-235 2,933,219 4/1960 Taniyarna et al. 222-227 2,952,988 9/1960 McLeod 241-36 2,962,869 12/1960 Bartels 62-320 X 2,962,877 12/1960 Chaplik et al. 62-320 3,075,363 l/1963 Conto 62-344 3,136,452 6/ 1964 Mihalek 62-320 X ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3651656 *Dec 31, 1969Mar 28, 1972Schneider Metal Mfg CoAgitator for storage bin of ice cube maker
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US7426945Apr 5, 2006Sep 23, 2008Ice House America, LlcAutomated ice bagging apparatus and methods
US7735527Apr 27, 2006Jun 15, 2010Ice House America LlcAutomated ice delivery apparatus and methods
US7806152Apr 18, 2008Oct 5, 2010Ice House America LlcAutomated ice bagging apparatus and methods
US8245488Apr 27, 2010Aug 21, 2012Ice House America LlcAutomated ice delivery apparatus and methods
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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/320, 222/227, 62/344
International ClassificationF25C5/10, F25C5/00, F25C1/12
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/10, F25C5/002, F25C1/12
European ClassificationF25C1/12, F25C5/10, F25C5/00B