US 3371824 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 5, 1968 D. D. 6055 3,371,824
BEVERAGE DISPENSER CABINET Filed Aug. 1. 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 r I" \LIIIYIIIIIIIIIII March 5, 1968 n. D. 6085 3,371,824
BEVERAGE DISPENSER CABINET Filed Aug. 1, 1966 2 sheets-sheet 2 United States Patent C 3,371,824 BEVERAGE DISPENSER CABINET Donald D. Goss, Marblehead, Mass., assignor to H. P. Hood & Sons, Inc., Boston, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Aug. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 569,359 11 Claims. (Cl. 222105) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A beverage dispenser cabinet for storing and dispensing beverages of the type which are bulk packaged in flexible plastic bags includes a body member with a re movable front wall having an opening receptive of the bag spout, interfitting means removably lock the front Wall and body member in assembled relation against the liquid pressure of the beverage. The front wall may form separate upper and lower portions, with the upper portion being separately removable to provide front access to the cabinet when the beverage bag is partially emptied;
For beverage bags having flexible spout means, the front wall opening is a gap beneath said front wall, and the cabinet has yielding pinch means for opening and closing the spout.
This invention relates to a device for storing and dispensing beverages of the type which are bulk packaged in flexible plastic bags.
Beverages such as milk can be hygienically and economically packaged in bulk by means of plastic bags. The sealed bags collapse as the beverage is Withdrawn without air entering the bag to come into contact with the beverage. However, because of their lack of rigidity, these plastic bags are currently sold with supporting paperboard cartons which support the plastic bags in proper position for dispensing. When the beverage is exhausted, the paperboard carton and plastic bag are discarded. Because the cost of these paperboard cartons is relatively high, beverages packaged by this method do not provide the cost saving inherent in the use of bags as containers.
Objects of the present invention are to provide a cabinet for storing and dispensing beverages which permits beverages to be both packaged and delivered in bulk in inexpensive plastic bags, which permits easy insertion and removal of a plastic bag, which permits even and positive dispensing of the beverage without unsanitary handling, and which is reusable, simple and inexpensive to manufacture, and adaptable with minor modifications to a variety of types of plastic bags.
In accordance with the present invention, the reusable dispenser cabinet for liquid beverages packaged in flexible plastic bags having attached spout means comprises a body member with rear, two side and bottom walls, and a removable front wall, said front Wall having an opening receptive of said bag spout means, said front wall and body member having interfitting means removably locking them in assembled relation against liquid pressure of said beverage. Preferably said side walls have ribs abutting said front wall for Vertical alignment.
Other and further novel features and advantages will be apparent from the following description of specific embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is a view of a fiexible plastic bag of the type having an attached valve spout extending therefrom;
FIG. 2 is an embodiment of the invention adapted for use with this type of bag;
FIG. 3 is a section, to enlarged scale, on line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a modification, to reduced scale, of the embodiment of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a view of a novel plastic bag having an outwardly extending dispensing spout formed therein;
FIG. 6 is a partial front view of an embodiment of the invention adapted for use with this type of bag;
FIG. 7 is a section, to enlarged scale, on line 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a section, to enlarged scale, on line 8-8 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a third embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a front view, to reduced scale, of the embodiment of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a section, to enlarged scale, on the line 11--11 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a side view of the removable front wall of the cabinet of FIG. 9; and
FIG. 13 is a partial front view of the wall of FIG. 12.
Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a flexible plastic bag 1 of the known type having spout means comprising an attached valve 2 extending therefrom. The bag is formed from two sheets of plastic material, the edges of the bag being heat-sealed hermetically to enclose the beverage placed therein. As shown in FIG. 3, the valve 2 has a sealing flange 3 which is heat-sealed to the bag 1, a stem 4 upon which are located a pair of parallel mounting flanges 5, and an actuator 6 slidable in the stem to open and close the valve.
The embodiment of the cabinet shown in FIG. 2 is adapted for use with bags of the type shown in FIG. 1. This embodiment comprises a body member 7 for the bag 1 having an open top, rear wall 40, two side walls 41 and 42, and a bottom wall 9 (FIG. 3) inclined downwardly from back wall 40 to the front of member 7.
The front of the member 7 is closed by a removable front wall 8 which is divided horizontally into separately removable upper and bottom portions 8 and 8". Upper portion 8' is separately removable to provide front access to the upper portion of member 7, as the beverage in bag 1 is dispensed, for use as storage in the refrigerator where top access may be restricted.
Side walls 41 and 42 have a first pair of inwardly directed opposed vertical ribs 43 and 44, respectively, and, spaced therefrom, a second pair of inwardly directed ribs 45 and 46, respectively. Rib pairs 43, 45 and 44, 46 define therebetween a vertical slot receptive of front wall 8.
As shown in FIG. 2, ribs 43 and 44 are provided with a pair of vertical cam slots 13 and 14. The outside edges of these slots are substantially vertical, while the inside edges 13' and 14' of the slots incline upwardly and inwardly to form a carnming surface. Front wall 8 has a pair of headed pins 15 and 16 so located as to fit in slots 13 and 14. Downward pressure on pins 15 and 16 operates on the cam edges 13 and 14' to draw the sides 41 and 42 inwardly to eliminate any sidewise distortion of the sides caused by outward pressure of the beverage in bag 1.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the front wall 8 is provided with a slot 17 extending vertically from its bottom edge to accommodate the valve 2. The mounting flanges 5 on the valve fit on either side of the wall 8, and thereby hold the valve securely for sliding motion of the actuator 6. To accommodate the generally larger sealing flange 3 on the valve, the bottom wall 9 is preferably provided with an opening 18 which accommodates the valve flange 3 and permits the valve to be lowered in the slot 17 as the beverage is dispensed, thereby minimizing wastage of the beverage.
FIG. 4 illustrates a modification of the invention to accommodate two beverage bags. In this modification, the
cabinet has a vertical, front to back, partition 19 and front wall 8 has a pair of vertical slots 17 and 17b disposed on opposite sides of the partition. The remaining parts of the cabinet are otherwise the same as the cabinet of FIG. 2, except that two Openings 18 (not shown) in the bottom wall 9 below slots 17a and 17b are provided substantially as shown in FIG. 3. Two bags 1a and 11), for example of different beverages such as regular and skim milk, can be accommodated, one on either side of partition 19.
A modified cabinet for bag 1 is shown in FIGS. 9l3. Body member 7' again comprises a back wall 40, two side walls 41 and 42 and an inclined bottom wall 9 (FIG. 3). However, removable front wall 8a and the means for its insertion and locking are modified.
Front wall 8a comprises a single panel having hooks 47 and 48 at opposed upper corners adapted to fit over the upper forward edges of sides 41 and 42 to prevent the liquid pressure of the beverage in bag 1 from spreading the sides. If desired, sides 41 and 42, at their forward ends in front of hooks 47 and 48 can be provided with projections 49 and 50, the rear edges of which provide abutment shoulders for hooks 47 and 48.
Sides 41 and 42 have inwardly directed, opposed vertical ribs 51 and 52 located to abut the rear surface of wall 8a for vertically aligning the latter. Wall 8a has, on its rear surface, brackets 53 and 54 located to embrace ribs 51 and 52 to prevent forward movement of wall 8a. Wall St: also has slot 17 for receiving bag valve 2 as shown in FIG. 3.
A novel flexible plastic bag 20 is shown in FIG. 5. Bag 20 is also made from two sheets of plastic material heat-sealed around the edges to form a flange 11. Substantially centrally of one side, a dispensing spout 21 is formed by heat-sealing. The flange 11 extends around and beyond spout 21 to form a pull tab 22 which extends outwardly from the spout 21, and tab and spout are provided with a tear line 23 formed by scoring or otherwise weakening the plastic material so that the dispensing spout 21 may be opened on the tear line 23 simply by forcibly pulling the tab 22. Locating holes 24 are provided on each side of the dispensing spout 21 in the heat-sealed flange 11. The bag is filled with beverage through an edge, preferably the top, of the bag before it is heat-sealed.
FIGS. 6 to 8 illustrate an embodiment of the invention especially adapted for use with bag 20. This embodiment comprises a front wall 8b with headed pins and 16 engaging cam slots 13 and 14 in ribs 43 and 44 as before. The bottom wall 9a of the cabinet inclines downwardly toward the front edge of the receptacle as before but omits the opening 18 of FIG. 3 which is not useful in the absence of valve 2.
Removable front wall 8b has a yielding pinch valve 26 mounted on its front surface in position to cooperate with the front edge of the bottom wall 9a to regulate flow through the dispensing spout 21 of the bag which extends out of the cabinet through opening 170 comprising a central gap between the bottom of front wall 8b and bottom wall 9a.
The pinch valve 26 comprises a mounting plate 27 secured to the front wall 8b, a bar 28 constituting a movable transverse edge, movable substantially horizontally to and away from the front edge of the bottom wall )a, leaf springs 29 and 30 secured at one end to the bar 28 and at the other end to the mounting plate 27 for urging the bar 28 against the front edge of the bottom wall 911, and lever 31 pivotally mounted at the bottom of the mounting plate 27 and having a crossbar 32 secured thereto to engage the underside of springs 29 and 30 to lift the springs and bar 28 outwardly as the lever 31 is pivoted. A handle 33 is secured to the lever 31 at its upper end. As shown in FIG. 7, the pinch valve 26 is compact, extending only slightly from the front wall 812. Because the lever 31 can supply a large mechanical advantage, the springs 29, 30 can be made very strong to assure effective sealing without requiring the user to exert a large force to open the valve.
The front edge of the bottom wall 9a is provided with a groove 34 which receives the bar 28. Outwardly of central gap 170, groove 34 has upper cam surfaces 34a and 341; which extend forwardly of the front surface of bottom wall 9a. Cam surfaces 34a and 34b serve to move bar 28 outwardly, over and away from spout 21 when the wall 822 is inserted with the bag 20 in position without disturbing the spout. When the lower edges of the cams are cleared, bar 28 snaps inwardly into groove 34 to clamp spout 21 closed. Then tab 22 may be torn at line 23 and the beverage will be available for dispensing by actuating handle 33. Register pins 36 (FIG. 7) are provided in bottom wall 9a to engage locating holes 24 in bag 20 for positive positioning of the bag in the cabinet.
As shown in FIG. 7, the dispensing spout 21 on the bag 20 extends out of the cabinet through the opening and between the bar 28 and groove 34. Below opening 17c and between cam surfaces 34a and 34b, the upper surface of bottom wall 9a can be downwardly tapered as illustrated in FIG. 7 to the groove 34 to provide, if desired, a defined channel for spout 21.
To insert a bag of the type shown in FIG. 5 into the cabinet shown in FIGS. 6 to 8, the front wall 8b is first removed, or at least raised well above the bottom wall 9a of the cabinet. The bag is inserted with register pins 36 fitting through locating holes 24 in the bag. Wall 8b is then lowered. As it descends, pins 15 and 16 enter slots 13 and 14 and eliminate sidewise distortion of the cabinet. The bar 28, upon reaching the cam surfaces 34a and 34b, is forced outwardly, away from spout 21 until it snaps into groove 34 to seal dispensing spout 21. Pull tab 22 is then torn at the tear line 23 to render the beverage ready for dispensing. Dispensing is accomplished by pulling the handle 33 which separates bar 28 from groove 34 and permits the beverage to drain through the dispensing spout 21. The inclined bottom 9a of the receptacle provides a gravity augmented feed and allows all of the beverage in the plastic bag 20 to be dispensed.
. It should be noted that cabinets according to the invention as described can be inexpensively manufactured from plastic materials, for example by molding. They can be attractively decorated and conveniently sized to fit in refrigerators. They may also be constructed from insulating material for unrefrigerated use if desired. The resulting cabinets are easy to make and convenient to use, and their low cost and durability render continued use by a consumer less expensive than the use of disposable paperboard cartons.
It should be understood that the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration and that the invention includes all modifications within the scope of the appended claims. It will be apparent, for example, that pinch valve 26 can be mounted on front wall 8a and bottom wall 9a substituted for bottom wall 3 in the embodiment of FIGS. 9-13 to adapt that embodiment for use with bag 20.
1. A reusable dispenser cabinet for a beverage packaged in a flexible bag having attached spout means, said cabinet comprising '(a) a body member with rear, two side, and bottom walls, and
(b) a removable front wall,
(c) said front wall having an opening receptive of said bag spout means,
(d) each of said side walls having an inwardly directed rib adjacent its front edge adapted to abut one surface of said removable front wall for alignment when assembled,
(e) said front wall and body member having inter-fitting means removably locking them in assembled relation against liquid pressure of said beverage, said interfitting means being operative to lock and unlock said members by vertical travel of said front wall through a distance substantially less than the height of said front wall.
2. A cabinet according to claim 2 wherein said interfitting means comprises cam slots on said ribs and headed pins fitting therein on said front wall, downward pressure of the pins on the walls of the cam slots bringing the front and side walls into alignment.
3. A cabinet according to claim 2 wherein each of said side walls has two .inwardly directed ribs defining between them a vertical slot for receiving the side edges of said front wall.
4. A cabinet according to claim 1 having an open top and wherein said front wall comprises separate upper and lower portions, the upper portion being separately removable to provide front access to the cabinet for storage when the beverage bag is partially emptied.
5. A cabinet according to claim 1 wherein said interfitting means comprises overhanging hook means on the upper corners of the front wall adapted to fit over the upper edges of the side walls to lock the walls in position against liquid pressure of said beverage.
6. A cabinet according to claim 5 wherein said front wall is adapted to abut the front side of said ribs and has bracket members in its rear face adapted to fit behind said ribs vertically to align said front wall.
7. A cabinet according to claim 7 wherein said bag spout has a mounting flange and said bottom wall below said front wall opening has an opening receptive of said flange.
8. A reusable dispenser cabinet for a beverage packaged in a flexible bag having flexible spout means, said cabinet comprising a body member with rear, two side, and bottom walls, and a removable front wall, said front wall having an opening receptive of said bag spout means comprising a gap between the bottom of said front wall and the top of said bottom wall through which said spout means extends, said cabinet having yielding pinch means at said gap for opening and closing said spout, said front wall and body member having interfitting means removab'ly locking them in assembled relation against liquid pressure of said beverage.
9. A cabinet according to claim 8 wherein said pinch means comprises a movable transverse edge interfitting with a bearing surface on the front of said bottom Wall.
10. A cabinet according to claim 9 wherein said bearing surface comprises a groove in the front edge of said bottom wall, said groove having upper cam surfaces on either side of said gap adapted to lift said edge into said groove with said spout in position.
11. A cabinet according to claim '10 wherein said bottom wall has means for positioning said spout in said gap.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,226,112 12/1940 Blechman 217-62 3,026,005 3/1962 Cook 222 3,116,854 1/"1964 Rabb et a1. 222--183 3,191,810 6/ 1965 Johnston 222185 3,255,932 6/1966 Hunter et al. 222--105 3,297,206 1/1967 Scholle 222--105 STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner.
UIIITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 3 ,371 ,824 March 5 1968 Donald D. 6055 It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 5, line 5, for the claim reference numeral "-2" read -l line 28 for the claim reference numeral "7" read l Signed and sealed this 15th day of July 1969.
(SEAL) Attesm M Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, IR.