US 3261178 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 19, 1966 KATSUTO OKADA 3,261,173
, FREEZER FOR ICE-CREAM BARS AND THE LIKE Filed March 3, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN V EN TOR.
KATSUTO OKAPA BY Mnmmdfiww July 19, 1966 KATSUTO OKADA 3,261,178
FREEZER FOR ICE-CREAM BARS AND THE LIKE Filed March 3, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 7? F l [:1 G 3 CIJ CJ r:p c3 l 1 IN V EN TOR.
BY K ATSUTO OKADA lfaflmmwrwlflemm y 1966 KATSUTO OKADA FREEZER FOR ICE-CREAM BARS AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 3, 1965 INVEN TOR. BY KATSUTO OKADA [QM and W United States Patent FREEZER FGR ICE-CREAM BARS AND THE LIKE Katsnto Gkada, Tokyo, Japan, assignor to Morinaga Nyugyo Kahushiki Kaisha, Tokyo, Japan Filed Mar. 3, 1965, Ser. No. 436,840 Claims priority, application Japan Apr. 3, 1964, 39/25,643 8 Claims. (Cl. 62-645) This invention relates to the manufacture of frozen confections, such as ice-cream bars, and particularly to a freezer for the manufacture of ice-cream bars in continuous operation.
It is an object of the invention to provide a freezer for ice-cream bars and the like which has a high capacity per mold, and in which the molds are filled with the material to be refrigerated over most of the operating cycle.
Another object is the provision of a freezer for icecream bars and the like in which the molds are readily replaceable so that the bars of different shapes may be made in a production run with a minimum of downtime.
Yet another object is the provision of such a freezer which is simple and virtually foolproof in its operation, and can readily be automatized.
A further object is the economical use of refrigerant and the fullest use of the available refrigeration capacity.
An additional object is the provision of a freezer in which the refrigerant is not mixed with air so that brine may be employed as a refrigerant, yet corrosion of the refrigeration equipment may be held to a minimum.
With these and other objects in view, as will hereinafter become apparent, the invention in one of its aspects provides a turntable that is being rotated by a suitable drive about a vertically extending axis. Several mold assemblies are elongated in a radial direction with respect to the axis of rotation of the turntable, and engaging means on the turntable and on each mold assembly prevent relative circumferential movement of mold assembly and turntable, while permitting relative axial movement.
While moving with the turntable about the afore-mentioned axis, the mold assemblies are axially reciprocated by guides so that each mold assembly moves in a closed path about the axis, and portions of the path are axially offset relative to each other.
A portion of a path is in a refrigerating tank normally filled with a liquid refrigerant, and the mold cavities of each assembly are immersed in the refrigerant. Two other portions of the path extend from the tank obliquely upwardly and outwardly in opposite circumferential directions. Means are provided for filling the mold cavities with material to be refrigerated, for inserting a stick in the partly frozen material and for ultimately unmold ing the frozen material.
Other features and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when considered in connection with the annexed drawing in which:
FIG. 1 shows an ice-cream bar freezer of the invention in plan view;
FIG. 2 shows a sheet metal mold of the freezer of FIG. 1 on a larger scale;
FIG. 3 shows a carrier for the mold of FIG. 2 in a corresponding view;
FIG. 4 illustrates the carrier of FIG. 3 assembled with the mold of FIG. 2 in side-elevational sectional together with other elements of the freezer;
FIG. 5 shows the freezer of FIG. 1 in elevational developed section, the view being partly diagrammatic to illustrate the operation of the freezer and of associated equipment; and
FIG. 6 shows the freezer of FIG. 1 in elevational enlarged section on the line VI-VI.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, and initially to FIG. 1, there is shown a turntable 1 essentially consisting of an inner annular member 11, an outer annular member 12, and spokes 10 radially connecting the members 11, 12. The turntable is provided with a rim drive 84 and is rotated clockwise by the drive, as viewed in FIG. 1.
The turntable 1 moves molds in sequence from a filling station 2 through a refrigerant tank 3 past a stick inserting station 4 to an unmolding station 5, and back to the filling station 2. Only two molds 75 are shown in FIG. 1 for the sake of clarity, but it will be understood that the turntable 1 is normally covered by molds which are radially elongated with respect to the axis of rotation for the turntable, and engage corresponding guide openings 13, 13' in the inner and outer turntable members 11, 12. A liquid refrigerant such as brine is fed to the tank 3 through a supply pipe 78 and is returned from the tank to a refrigeration plant by an outlet pipe 79. The refrigerant and the mold moving countercurrent in the tank 3. The unmolding station 5 is connected to a packing station 6 by a conveyor 51 which is approximately tangential to the turntable 1.
As is better seen in FIGS. 2 to 4, each mold 75 consists of a thin metal sheet which is formed with six integral, upwardly open cavities 72 conforming to the icecream bars that it is intended to produce. Each mold 75 is supported on a frame 74, and is releasably secured to the fname by screws 76, 76' on the frame which engage corresponding openings 77, 77' of the mold.
The molds 75 and frames 74 are elongated and longitudinally tapered so that the molds cover the turntable 1 when the frames 74 are inserted into the same. Cylindrical guide pins 71, 71' extend downward from the two ends of each frame and slidably engage the afore-mentioned guide openings 13, 13. The frames and molds thus move with the turntable 1 about the axis of the latter in a path whose axial position is determined by guide rails 81, 81' which are elements of the stationary base of the freezer, as will presently become apparent. Each frame is supported on the rails 81, 81' by coaxial wheels 73, 73 on the two longitudinal end portions of the frame.
The central portion of each frame 74 is apertured for passage of the mold cavities 72, and the longitudinal rims of each mold 75 are turned down to secure the mold against circumferential movement relative to the associated frame 7 4.
The cooperation of the frames '74 with the rails 81, 81', and the turntable 1 is shown in more detail in FIG. 6. The inner and outer annular members 11, 12 of the turntable are mounted on a stationary base 8 of the freezer by means of annular ball bearings 14, 14'. The turntable 1 thus rotates in a plane which is normally horizontal. Where the mold cavities 72 travel through the refrigerant in the tank 3, the guide rails 81, 81' are positioned low enough to permit the guide pins 71, 71'
to be fully inserted in the guide openings 13, 13. In other portions of the mold path, the rails 81, 31 rise to 'such a level as to lift the mold cavities almost completely above the turntable as indicated by broken lines, while driving engagement between the pins 71, 71' and the openings 13, 13' is maintained.
FIG. shows the operating elements of the freezer and auxiliary equipment in a conventional manner, the freezer proper being shown in elevationally sectional developed view.
The filling station 2 consists mainly of a bin for liquid icecrearn mix whose bottom valve is operated by a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator 89 to admit sufficient mix for six bars to a hydraulically operated extruder as which distributes the charge to the cavities 72 of a mold 75 when the mold is positioned by the turntable below the six discharge nozzles of the extruder of which only one is seen in FIG. 5.
The filled molds 75 descend on the guide rails 81, 81' into the portion of the refrigerant tank 3 nearest the outlet pipe 79 where the temperature of the refrigerant is relatively high, and travel through the tank countercurrent to the refrigerant. When the mold cavities 72 reach the central portion of the tank 3, their contents are viscous enough to hold an inserted stick 41 in an upright position in which an end portion of the stick projects above the mold 75. The stick inserting mechanism is known in itself and is operated by a hydraulic or pneumatic motor 85.
During the further travel of the molds 75 through the coldest part of the tank 3, the ice-cream mix is fully solidified. The molds, after leaving the refrigerant tank 3, are briefly immersed in hot Water which is contained in a tank 82 mounted on a hydraulic jack 87. The jack lifts the tank to envelop the molds while the latter travel on an elevated horizontal section of the rails 81, 81'. The heat of the water causes the frozen material to be released from the walls of the cavities 72.
At the unmolding station 5, which is reached next, the mold cavities are vertically aligned with grippers 52 which are mounted on the conveyor 51 and are moved vertically by lifting jacks 88. The grippers engage the projecting sticks 41 and pull the solidified ice-cream bars 90 from the mold cavities 72. The bars are transferred by the conveyor 51 to the packing station where they are released by the grippers 52 when the latter engage a tripping device 63. The dropping bars 90 are guided by a stream of air from a blower 61 into wrappers 62, and the wrapped bars are moved away by a belt conveyor 83.
While the invention has been described with reference to the freezing of ice-cream bars, it is evident that the freezer shown may be employed to advantage in the preparation of other frozen confections, and the invention is not limited to the specific materials referred to in the preceding description.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is: I
1. In a freezer for ice-cream bars and the like, in combination:
(a) a turntable mounted for rotation about an axis;
(b) a plurality of molds;
(c) engaging means on said turntable and on each mold securing the mold to the turntable for movement of the mold With the turntable in a closed path about said axis while permitting axial movement of the mold relative to the turntable;
(d) guide means for guiding said molds axially toward and away from said turntable in response to movement of the molds in said closed path;
(e) filling means for filling said molds with a material to be frozen;
(f) a refrigerating tank; and
(g) unmolding means for removing the refrigerated material from said molds, said filling means, refrigerating tank, and unmolding means being circumferentially offset along said path in said sequence in the direction 01f movement of said molds.
2. In a freezer as set forth in claim 1, one portion of said path being in said tank, and two portions of said path contiguously adjacent said one portion and separated by the same extending axially outward of said tank from said one portion and in opposite circumferential directions.
3. In a freezer as set forth in claim 2, stick inserting means for inserting a stick into said material while the associated mold is in said one portion of said path.
4. In a freezer for ice-cream bars and the like, in combination:
(a) a turntable arranged for rotation about a vertically extending axis;
(b) a plurality of mold assemblies radially elongated relative to said axis, each assembly including a plurality of mold cavities;
(c) engaging means on said turntbale and on each mold assembly for preventing relative circumferential movement of said turntable and of said mold assembly while permitting axial relative movement;
(d) guide means axially reciprocating each mold assembly in response to the movement of the assembly about said axis Wit-h said turntable when the latter rotates, whereby said mold assembly moves in a closed path about said axis, said path having a plurality of portions vertically offset relative to each other;
(e) filling means for filling the cavities of said mold assemblies with a material to be refrigerated;
(f) a refrigerating tank;
(g) supply means for supplying a liquid refrigerant to said tank,
(1) one portion of said path being in said tank for immersion of said mold cavities in said refrigerant, and two portions of said path contiguously adjacent said one portion extending from the same obliquely upward and outward of said tank in opposite circumferential directions;
(h) stick inserting means for inserting a stick into one of said cavities while the same is in said one portion of said path; and
(i) unmolding means for removing the refrigerated material from said mold cavities,
(1) said filling means, refrigerating tank, and unmolding means being offset along said path in the direction of movement of said mold assemblies.
5. In a freezer as set forth in claim 4, each mold assembly including a frame member, a mold member integral with said cavities, and releasable means for fastening said frame member to said mold member.
6. In a freezer as set forth in claim 5, said engaging means including a guide member projecting from said frame member in a downward axial direction, said turntable being formed with an opening therein receiving said guide member for movement in said last mentioned direction.
7. In a freezer as set forth in claim 5, said frame member being elongated, Wheel means on each of the two longitudinal end portions of said frame member, said guide means including two guide rails respectively engaged by said wheel means.
3. In a freezer as set forth in claim 4, said turntable including two annular members extending about said axis and radially spaced from each other, each mold assembly including a radially elongated frame member extending between said annular members, and releasable fastening means for fastening said mold cavities to said frame member in a radially extending row, and said guide means including two stationary annular guide rails respectively adjacent said annular members of said turntable and 5 6 wheels means on each longitudinal end portion of each 2,791,890 5/1957 Hoyer 6'2345 frame member, said wheel means respectively engaging 3,024,622 3/1962 Gram 62-381 X said guide rails- FOREIGN PATENTS References Cited by the Examiner 5 918,592 2/ 1963 Great Britain.
UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primaly Examiner.
2,246,941 6/ 1941 Hoyer 62 4 X W. E. WAYNER, Assistant Examiner.