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Publication numberUS3419052 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1968
Filing dateJan 9, 1967
Priority dateJan 9, 1967
Publication numberUS 3419052 A, US 3419052A, US-A-3419052, US3419052 A, US3419052A
InventorsMorine Richard Lewis
Original AssigneeFood Equipment Dev Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic dispensing apparatus
US 3419052 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 31, 1968 R. L, MORINE AUTOMATIC DISPENSING APPARATUS Sheet of 4 Filed Jan. 9, 1967 INVENTOR. RICHARD L. MORINE A ATTORNEYS BAWQSZ Sheet Filed Jan. 9, 1967 mE mm 2 & mm IL 4 m H G M 7, H G I F m M 5 H G H F.

ATTORNEYS Dec. 31, 1968 R. 1.. MORINE AUTOMATIC DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed Jan. 9, 1967 Sheer.

'INVENTOR. RICHARD L. MORlNE ATTORNEYS- Dec. 31, 1968 R. l... MORINE AUTOMATIC DISPENSING APPARATUS Sheet Filed Jan. 9, 1967 ZN'VENTOR. Ffi 6. RICHARD L. MORINE ATTORNEYS United States Patent 0 3,419,052 AUTOMATIC DISPENSING APPARATUS Richard Lewis Morine, Mentor, Ohio, assignor to Food Equipment Development Corporation, Mentor, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Jan. 9, 1967, Ser. No. 607,936

15 Claims. (Cl. 141--102) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A dispensing system for dispensing predetermined quantities of a fluent material onto moving material receiving surfaces. The system includes a dispensing valve having a shutoff valve and an oscillated dispensing member. The shut-off valve and the dispensing member are actuated by air cylinders controlled by an electric timing circuit responsive to a sensing element which senses the approach of a material receiving surface. The timing circuit is adjustable and is arranged to cause the dispensing valve to be actuated any selected number of times at substantially any time interval following the sensing of the material receiving surface.

The present invention is directed to the dispensing art and, more particularly, to an improved apparatus for dispensing variable amounts of fluent material at predetermined time intervals.

The invention is especially applicable for dispensing batters in baking pans and will be described with particular reference thereto; however, it will be appreciated that the invention is capable of broader application and could be used to dispense a wide variety of material into or on any type of receiving surface or container.

Generally, most present day bakeries must produce a wide variety of products. For this reason, a number of different types of batters must be dispensed into pans of varying sizes and shapes. For the most part, the larger bakeries have met this problem by establishing separate plants or production lines for each product. The automation of these plants or production lines is thus relatively simple, since the equipment must be designed to handle only a limited type of batter a few different pan and deposit sizes. However, in the smaller bakeries, especially those of the custom order type, the limited size of the runs of any one product makes it economically impossible to have separate production lines and equipment .for each product. As a consequence, in the smaller bakeries a great deal of dispensing and conveying work must be done manually.

Although a limited amount of dispensing and conveying equipment capable of handling a variety of batters and pan sizes is available, this equipment is generally diflicult and time consuming to readjust when switching from one product to another. Additionally, this available equipment usually requires manual control of the pan conveying apparatus and manual actuation of the dispensing apparatus.

One problem involved in the design of a system which can be used for dispensing a variety of different batters in varying quantities is the provision of a dispensing valve which will not unduly work the batter and which will handle both light and heavy batters.

The present invention overcomes the above problems and provides a dispensing system which can handle a variety of types of batters and can be readily adjusted to automatically dispense substantially any desired quantity into any size or shape of pan automatically. The system is arranged so that it can be readily moved from one production line to another, thus facilitating its use for a variety of separate operations.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention,

an improved dispensing system is provided for use with a conveyor adapted to convey a plurality of material receiving surfaces past a selected location at a predetermined fixed speed. This system includes an adjustable dispensing valve means adapted to be positioned above the conveyor at the selected location. Means are provided for actuating the dispensing valve to cause it to deposit material onto the material receiving surfaces. These means comprise a sensor for sensing the approach of a material receiving surface on the conveyor and generating a signal indicative thereof. An adjustable timing means responsive to the signal is provided for causing the dispensing valve means to dispense a predetermined amount of material after a predetermined time period. Additionally, selectively operable adjustable timing means are provided for causing the dispensing valve to dispense additional quantities of material at predetermined time intervals following the dispensing of said first quantity.

By providing the adjustable timing means for controlling the actuation of the dispensing valve, the system can be utilzed for dispensing into a variety of pan sizes and with conveyors which move at a variety of different speeds. Note that the setting for the the first timing means depends on the distance from the sensor to the desired location and the speed of the conveyor. If a conveyor of relatively high speed is used then the first timer is adjusted for a relatively short time delay because the time it takes the pan to travel from the sensor to a position beneath the dispensing valve is relatively short. Additionally, by varying the time delay period slightly, the material can be deposited at any loca tion in the pan.

The provision of the second selectively operable adjustable timing means permits the system to be used for filling pans such as cupcake pans or a group of pans mounted in a common frame, or for making a plurality of spaced deposits in a single pan. Note that by adjusting the second timer the depositing valve is caused to dispense additional quantities of material at spaced intervals following the first deposit. Thus, in response to a single pan being sensed the dispensing valve can be caused to dispense a desired number of deposits at any desired time interval.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an improved dispensing valve for dispensing predeterminde quantities of fluent material is provided. This dispensing valve comprises an elongated valve body having an upper portion and a lower portion. A longitudinally extending chamber is formed in the body and is communicated with a supply of material to be dispensed by a longitudinally extending materal receiving opening formed in the upper portion of the body. An elongated material outlet opening is formed in the lower portion of the body. and is opened and closed by an elongated rotatable shut-off valve member positioned in the chamber adjacent the outlet. A dispensing member is also positioned in the chamber and extends longitudinally thereof. This member is mounted for oscillation between a material receiving position and a material dispensing position.

By utilizing an oscillated dispensing member, the material is forced from the chamber by a relatively uniform wiping action as opposed to the relatively harsh action produced by a reciprocated plunger. This is especially important when dispensing material of the nature of cake batters which are damaged by being harshly treated.

An object of the present invention is the provision of a dispensing system which can be easily adjusted to dispense a range of material quantities automatically into a large number of varying pan sizes at spaced intervals.

An additional object is the provision of a dispensing system which is easily adjustable to disepense a variety of fluent materials onto receiving surfaces conveyed therepast at any selected speed.

A further object is the provision of a dispensing arrangement for cake batters and the like which is adapted to be readily moved from one dispensing location to another for use with a plurality of different production lines.

Another object is the provision of a dispensing system which can be utilized to dispense any number of individual deposits onto each of a plurality of discrete receiving surfaces conveyed thereby.

A still further object is the provision of a dispensing system which is adjustable to make any number of deposits at any predetermined time interval.

Another object is the provision of a dispensing system which is simply constructed and reliable in operation.

Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of a dispensing valve which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

Still another object is the provision of a dispensing valve which is capable of dispensing cake batters and the like without unduly Working the batters.

A further object is the provision of a dispensing valve which is easily adjusted to dispense a variety of quantities of material.

Another object is the provision of a dispensing valve which provides a precise metering of material.

These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description used to illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention as read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of the improved dispensing apparatus of the present invention with a portion broken away to show certain of the internal mechanisms;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view taken on line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURES 3 through 6 are cross-sectional views taken on line 3.--3 of FIGURE 1 and showin the depositor valve in various positions during its cycle;

FIGURE 7 is a partial cross-sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 8 is a cross'sectional view taken on line 88 of FIGURE 7; and,

FIGURE 9 is a schematic wiring diagram showing the control system used with the apparatus of FIGURES 1 through 8.

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for the purpose of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for the purpose of limiting same, FIGURE 1 shows the overall arrangement of dispensing apparatus .A comprised of a conveyor B, depositing valve C, and depositing valve actuating mechanism D.

The actual details of construction of conveyor B are not important to the present invention, :and any conveyor of either fixed or variable speed capable of conveying pans 10 or other material receiving surfaces beneath depositing valve C at closely controlled speeds could be utilized. As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, conveyor B includes four legs 12 mounted on casters 14 and connected at their upper ends by horizontal cross brace members 16. A conventional conveyor belt 18 is driven by rollers 20 which extend between members 16. Conveyor belt 18 is moved at the desired rate through a variable speed motor 22 mounted at the left hand end of the conveyor and connected with the left roller 20' through a sprocket 24 suitably secured to the end of the motor drive shaft and connected by a chain 26 to a second sprocket 28 keyed or otherwise connected to the roller shaft.

Positioned above the central portion of the conveyor is depositing valve C. Depositing valve C includes a main valve body 30 which supports material hopper 34 connected to the top of the valve body through a wedge lock connector arrangement 37. As best shown in FIGURE 3, this arrangement comprises a wedge bar 31 connected to the top of the valve and cooperating with a wedge surface formed on the hopper. The hopper is forced against the wedge bar 31 and thus into snug engagement with the top of the valve by an arm 33 which is pivotally connected at its lower end to the valve body, and at its upper to the hopper. As shown the pivot hole in the upper end of the arm is of oblong shape and arranged so that as the arm 33 is moved counterclockwise a force directed downwardly and to the left is applied to the hopper to cause it to move against the wedge bar 31 and the top of the valve. A bolt or stud 35 is connected to the valve and extends loosely through arm 33 where it is engaged by a wing nut to provide means for locking the hopper in position.

As shown in FIGURE 1, main valve body and hopper 34 are supported in cantilever fashion by a pair of support arms 32 which extend from the drive housing 41. By supporting the valve and hopper in this manner, they can be readily moved into position over any desired conveyor.

Depositing valve C and drive assembly D are mounted on a main base frame 35 provided with casters 36. This arrangement permits this portion of the assembly to be readily moved from one production line to another to permit the apparatus to be used for a variety of different operations. Preferably, the height of the depositing valve is adjustable in any convenient manner such as link assembly 39. Additionally, other methods of varying the height :of the depositing valve readily suggest themselves.

Of particular importance to one aspect of the present invention is the construction of depositing valve C. Because of the nature of cake and cookie batters, etc., the valve must be capable of dispensing the batter without undue working of the batter. Additionally, it must be capable of dispensing variable amounts with precision. As best shown in FIGURES 3 through 7, the depositing valve includes a main longitudinal housing formed in any convenient manner, such as by casting, and provided with a longitudinally extending chamber of generally circular cross section. The opposite ends of the housing are closed by end plates 42 and 44 releasably secured thereto by screws 46. An inlet opening is provided in the upper portion of the body to permit the batter or other material to flow from the hopper into the chamber. A longitudinally extending outlet opening 48 is formed along the bottom portion of the body to permit the material to flow therefrom into the pan or other receiving surface positioned beneath the valve.

A die or orifice plate 50 is held in the outlet opening by the releasable clamp mechanism 52. This permits the die to be readily changed so that dies having different outlet openings and configurations can be used. This permits the apparatus to be utilized for filling a plurality of adjacent pans simultaneously, or making a lateral row of individual deposits at the same time. This is especially desirable when it is required to fill things such as cupcake pans, or when it is desired to obtain more uniform distribution of the material into a large pan. As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, this releasable clamp arrangement comprises two rods 49 which are mounted on opposite sides of the valve and spaced therefrom. A plurality of clamp arms 51 are freely pivotal and slidable on the left rod (as viewed in FIG. 3) and are held in releasable clamping engagement by eye bolts and wing nuts 53 carried on the right rod and passing through bifurcations in the end of the clamp arm. As can be seen this arrangement permits the clamp arms to be moved longitudinally of the valve to position them so as not to interfere with the outlet openings of any particular die or orifice plate used.

Because, as noted above, dispensing valve C must be capable of dispensing exact amounts of batter without undue working or damage to the batter, it is provided with a unique shut-off and dispensing mechanism. This mechanism comprises a cut-off valve member 54, positioned longitudinally of the body 30 and having a reduced end portion mounted in suitable bearings in the end plate 42. The opposite end likewise has a reduced portion 62 which extends through end wall 44 and provides means for rotating the valve element 54. As can be seen in FIG- URES 3 through 6, the valving surface of valve element 54 is of cylindrical configuration and arranged to fit closely with a similarly shaped valve seat formed along outlet slot 48. Additionally, the die 50 is shaped on its upper surface to conform closely to the configuration of the valving surface of element 54. This arrangement permits the valve to close off the flow of batter from the valve chamber with a clean, sharp, non-drip cut-off point.

The means for dispensing the desired amount of batter through the outlet opening 48 comprises a centrally positioned shaft 56 having reduced end portions 64 mounted in suitable bearings formed or mounted in end plates 42 and 44. Shaft 56 is preferably positioned to rotate about the longitudinal center line of the valve chamber. A drive 66 extends from the right end of shaft 56, as viewed in FIGURE 7, through end plate 44 to permit the shaft to be rotated. A longitudinally extending slot 68 is formed in the side of shaft 56 and carries a plunger or wiper blade 70 which is outwardly biased by a spring 72 into engagement with the internal surface of the valve chamber. By utilizing this arrangement the seals and packing normally required are eliminated. Wiper blade 70 could be formed from a variety of materials, however, in the preferred embodiment polypropylene is used to reduce wear on the internal walls of the valve chamber.

As shown in the drawings and as previously discussed, the longitudinal chamber of valve body 30 is preferably of generally cylindrical shape. However, as will become apparent, the chamber could have other configurations, so long as that surface portion of the chamber over which wiper blade 70 is oscillated has all points of substantially equal distance from the center of oscillation of the wiper blade.

The normal sequence of operation of depositing valve C is shown in FIGURES 3 through 6. FIGURE 3 shows the valve with the cut-off valve element 54 in its closed position and the plunger in its uppermost position. When it is desired to dispense the material the shut-off valve 54 is moved to the position shown in FIGURE 4. Shut-off valve member 54 is designed so that when it is in the position shown in FIGURE 4 it just misses the outer surface of shaft 56 by a few thousandths of an inch. This prevents any wear between the two parts while effectively sealing the chamber portion 55 from the remaining portion of the chamber. When the shut-off valve has been rotated to the position shown in FIGURE 4, shaft 56 is rotated clockwise, thus forcing the material in chamber portion 55 through outlet opening 48. When the wiper blade has moved to the position shown in FIGURE 5 it is at the end of its stroke and shut-off valve 54 is then rotated counterclockwise to its closed position as shown in FIGURE 6. Shaft 56 would then be rotated back counterclockwise to the position shown in FIGURE 3, thus causing the wiper blade to draw more batter into chamber portion 55.

As can be seen, it is a simple matter to regulate the amount of material dispensed in any one stroke of wiper 70. This regulation is accomplished by merely adjusting the upper limit of movement of wiper 70 to thereby vary the effective volume of chamber portion 55.

A variety of different mechanisms could obviously be used to rotate shut-off valve 54 and the plunger shaft 56. However, according to the preferred embodiment, these drive means comprise gears 74 and 76 carried on the ends of shafts 66 and 62 and rotated through rack gears 80 and 32 driven by double-acting air cylinders 84 and 86. Any convenient means, such as plant air or an independent compressor and accumulator tank carried on the unit, could be used to supply the necessary air. As shown in FIGURE 8, the supply of air to air cylinders 84 and 86 is controlled by a pair of conventional two-way, twoposition pilot valves 88 and 90. The energization of the solenoid coils of the valves 88 and 90 is controlled by a circuit shown in FIGURE 9, which will subsequently be described.

Mounted on the piston rods of each air cylinder is a switch-actuating arm which contacts limit switches at the end of the stroke of the piston rod. Arm 92 mounted on the piston rod of shaft 86 contacts limit switches LS1 and LS3 while arm 94 mounted on the piston rod of cylinder 84 controls limit switches LS2 and LS4.

Means are provided to control the upper limit of movement of the piston rod of cylinder 84 so that the movement of wiper or plunger blade 70 can be adjusted to vary the effective volume of chamber portion 55. These means comprise a stop arm 96 carried in a slideaway 97 and moved by an adjustable drive 98. As best shown in FIGURE 7, stop arm 96 is provided with an opening through which the piston rod of cylinder 8-4 extends. The lower surface of the stop arm thus provides a stop surface which limits the upward movement of the piston. Arm 96 also carries the limit switch LS2 so that it is always properly positioned with respect to actuator arm 94 no matter what the upper stop position for the piston rod happens to be.

C ontrols A variety of different control systems could be used to control the admission of air to the double-acting air cylinders 84 and 86 and thereby control the position of the shut-off valve and plunger. However, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a system as shown in FIGURE 9 is utilized. This system is arranged to perform the following functions:

(1) Sense the approach on conveyor B of a container to be filled,

(2) Delay the dispensing of material until the container is in position beneath the dispenser valve,

(3) Make substantially any desired number of rows of deposits into any one container regardless of spacing, and

(4) To selectively count either the total number of rows deposited or the number of pans filled during any run.

Additionally, this system is provided with means for manual actuation to make a single deposit or row of deposits, or alternately, to run continuously to dispense rows at any predetermined time interval without regard to the presence or absence of a container.

As shown in FIGURE 9, this system includes means 106 and 108 for sensing the approach of a container. This means could be of a variety of types, such as an electric eye, a limit switch, or a proximity switch; however, as shown it comprises a conventional proximity switch, provided with a pair of sensing elements 106 which when approached by a container causes switch 108 to momentarily energize the relay coil CR1 to momentarily close its switch CR11. Sensing elements 106 are mounted beneath the conveyor belt 18 at a location spaced from the depositing valve (see FIGS. 1 and 2). Although a single sensor could obviously be used, it is preferred to use two sensors positioned at locations spaced transversely of the belt. This avoids the necessity of closely regulating the lateral positioning of the containers. As shown, proximity switch 108 is connected in series with start switch 104 across power lines 101 and 103 provided with a main switch 100 and fuses 102.

Also connected across lines 101 and 103 is a timer TDRl. Timer TDRl is a conventional adjustable timer such as the Cycle-Flex type HPS 17 manufactured by the Eagle Signal Company. In general, the timer includes a motor TM connected through a clutch (not shown) controlled by clutch coil TDRl-C, to an adjustable rotary cam which controls the position of switches 118 and 119. The clutch coil also controls the position of switches 114 and 115, and when energized causes the clutch to be engaged and switches 114 and 115 to be moved to their upper position as viewed in 7 FIGURE 9. After the motor TM has run for the set period of time it drives the adjustable cam through the position where it first moves switch 119 into engagement with its upper contact and then opens switch 118.

Connected between the upper contact of switch 119 and line 103 is a relay coil CR2. Energization of this coil causes it to close switches CR21 and CR2-2. Connected between the lower contact of switch 119 and line 103 through the upper contacts of a selector switch 134 is a counter C2. This counter is a conventional counter such as one of the PCC series sold by the Eagle Signal Company. In general, it comprises coil or solenoid operated mechanical ratchet mechanism which registers one count each time the coil is energized and de-energized. With selector switch in the upper position the counter C2 will register one count for each actuation of proximity switch 108. However, with the selector switch in the lower position, the counter will count the total number of cycles of the depositing valve without regard to the number times switch 108 is actuated.

Also connected across lines 101 and 103 is a second counter C1. This counter functions to selectively control the number of deposits made by the dispensing valve after timer TDR1 times out. In general, this is a conventional counter such as type I-IZ172A6 sold by the Eagle Signal Company. In general, it comprises a clutch coil 126 which when energized moves switch 110 into contact with its upper contact. Also the counter includes a count coil which each time it is energized and deenergized actuates a ratchet wheel and cam mechanism (not shown) which controls the positioning of switches 109 and 111. The clutch coil 126 additionally controls a stop pawl in contact with the ratchet wheel. This stop pawl functions to prevent reverse movement of the ratchet wheel until clutch coil 126 is de-energized.

Connected with the lower contact of switch 111 through a conventional pulse-type limit switch LS1 (such as type 1PD1 sold under the trade name Micro-switch) is a second timer TDR2. This timer is conventional (such as type 5231C001Q-KX sold by Automatic Timing and Controls Inc.) and functions to receive a pulse through limit switch LS1 and, after a regulatable time delay momentarily closes its contact TDRZ-l.

The coils 1A, 2A, 1B, and 2B are the coils shown in FIGURE 8 which control the positioning of the air admission valves 88 and 90. The limit switches LS1, LS2, LS3, and LS4 are the limit switches shown in FIGURE 8 that are actuated by the switch actuation arms 92 and 94 carried on the piston rods of air cylinders 84 and 86.

Also shown in FIGURE 9 is a rectifier 144 and an RC 0 circuit 146.

Operation With the system de-energized and the components in the positions shown in FIGURE 9, one complete cycle of operation would be as follows:

Assume a pan is approaching the sensing elements 106 on conveyor belt 18. As the pan reaches a position immediately above the sensing elements 106, proximity switch 108 momentarily energizes relay coil CR1, thereby momentarily closing switch CR11. This completes a circuit from line 101 through line 107, switch 110, line 112, switch CR1-1, and timer clutch coil TDRl-C to line 103. Energization of the clutch coil causes the clutch to be engaged and connect timer motor TM with its switch operating cam. Energization of the clutch coil also closes switch 114 and moves switch 115 to its upper contact. This provides a holding circuit for the timer through line 116, switch 114, switch 118, and lines 120 and 122 to line 103. The timer times for a period set as determined by the speed of the conveyor and the distance from the sensors 106- to the depositing valve C. When the timer times out, switch 119 is moved to its upper contact completing a circuit from line 101 through line 116, switch 115, switch 119 through relay CR2 to line 103.

Shortly thereafter, the switch 113 opens thus deenergizing the timer motor and the timer clutch coil. This permits switch 114 to open and switch to move to its lower contact. However, the momentary energization of relay coil CR2 causes it to momentarily close its switches CR2-1 and CR22. Closing of switch CR2-1 causes counter clutch coil 126 to be energized and switch 110 moved to its upper contact. This completes a holding circuit for the counter through line 107, switch 110, switch 109, line 128 and coil 126 to line 103.

The momentary closing of switch CR2-2 pulses relay coil 1A which, as can be seen in FIGURE 8, permits air to .be supplied to the bottom of air cylinder 84 to thus move the piston upwardly rotating the plunger or wiper blade 70 to the position shown in FIGURE 3. Upward movement of the piston causes the switch actuating arm 94 to contact limit switch LS2 causing it to close. This energizes solenoid coil 1B through a circuit comprised of line 135, switch LS2 and line 136. Momentary energization of coil 13 causes it to move the air valve 88 to the position in which air is admitted to the bottom of air cylinder 86 moving the piston upwardly and causing the valve 54 to move to the open position as shown in FIG- URE 4. As can be seen in FIGURE 8, upward movement of the piston of air cylinder '86 also causes the switch contact arm 92 to contact switch LS3 causing it to close its contacts LS3A and LS3B. Closure of contact LS3B energizes count coil of counter C1 and the coil of counter C2 while closure of LS3A energizes solenoid coil 2A through line 135, contact LS3A and line 138.

Energization of coil 2A causes valve 90 (see FIGURE 8) to move to the position in which air is admitted to the upper half of cylinder 84 causing the piston to move downwardly and rotate blade 70 clockwise to the position shown in FIGURE 5.

The downward movement of switch arm 94 contacts limit switch LS4 and causes it to move to its upper position, as viewed in FIGURE 9. As can be seen, when limit switch LS4 was in the lower position as shown in FIG- URE 9 the RC circuit 146 was charged through rectifier 144, switch LS4, and line 141. However, now that the switch LS4 is in its upper position, the RC circuit 146 discharges through line 141 switch LS4 and line through solenoid coil 2B. This causes air valve 88 to be moved to the position in which air is supplied to the upper half of air cylinder 86. This causes the piston to move downwardly and rotate shut-oif valve 54 to the closed position shown in FIGURE 6.

When the switch actuating arm 92 moves downwardly it permits limit switch LS3 to open, thus de-energizing counter coil 130 and the coil of counter C2 permitting both counters to move one count. If counter C1 has been set for one count, it will momentarily open switches 109 and 111. Opening of switch 109 de-energizes the clutch coil 126 which permits switch 110 to move to its lower position to thus de-energize counter C1 and establish power to CR1-1 in preparation for the next cycle.

Downward movement of switch arm 92 also moves limit switch LS1 to the down position. Limit switch LS1 is of the type that momentarily closes when it is held in the down position. If counter C1 has been set for one count closing of switch LS1 will have no effect on timer TDRZ because the switch 110 will be in its lower position and the circuit through timer TDRZ not completed. Thus, not-hing more will happen until a second pan is sensed by sensors 106 and proximity switch 108 actuated at which time the above described cycle of operation will again be repeated. However, assuming that counter C1 has been set for two or more counts, i.e. so that the depositing valve will make two or more deposits in response to one actuation of proximity switch 108, then the counter will still be energized and switch 110 in its upper position. Thus, the closing of switch LS1 by the downward movement of the piston of air valve 86 will cause energization of timer TDR2. As previously mentioned, timer TDR2 is adjustable so that the time between its energization and the time it closes its contact TDR2-1 can be varied. After the set time interval, switch TDR21 is closed and solenoid coil 1A is again energized through switch TDR2-1, line 101 and 135. This causes the same cycle of operations which previously took place with the closing of CR2-2. This cycle of operations will be repeated until counter C1 counts out.

As can be seen, by varying the time setting on timer TDR2 (or alternately by varying the speed of the conveyor) the spacing between the deposits following the first sensing of a pan by sensors 106 can be varied. This aspect of the invention is important since it permits any desired number of deposits to be made at any particular spacing. Thus, :by adjusting the counter C1 and timer TDR2 pans such as cupcake pans, havin a plurality of receiving chambers can be readily and accurately filled.

Means are also provided to permit the system to run continuously without regard to the sensors 106 sensing a pan or material receiving surface. These means comprise a switch 150 in parallel with switch CRl-l. By closing switch 150 timer TDR1 Will be continuously energized to repeatedly actuate the depositing valve in the manner previously described.

Additionally, a normal open switch 152 is provided to permit the timer TDR1 to be momentarily energized to perform a single cycle of operations in the manner described above with regard to closing of switch CRl-l by proximity switch 108.

As can be seen from the foregoing description a highly versatile and simply constructed automatic dispensing system has been provided. Because of the unique arrangement of timers and count control the system can be used for automatically dispensing onto a variety of receiving surfaces moving at any of a wide range of fixed speeds. Additionally, this arrangement eliminates the usual electrical and mechanical connections between the dispenser and the conveyor and permits the system to be used with a wide variety of conveyors.

Another important point to note is that the system, in effect, provides a memory for ease in making future setups. After first determining the timer and dispensing quantity settings for the particular combinations of pan size and conveyor speeds which the bakery uses, the settings can :be recorded for future reference. Subsequently, it is only necessary to make the settings as previously determined and the apparatus is ready for operations.

The invention has been described in great detail sufficient to enable one skilled in the art of dispensing apparatus to duplicate the invention. Obviously, modifications and alterations of the preferred embodiments described will occur to others upon a reading and understanding of this specification and it is my intention to include all such modifications and alterations as part of my invention insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A material dispensing system for use with a conveyor conveying a plurality of material receiving surfaces at a fixed speed past a selected location, said system comprising an adjustable dispensing valve means adapted to be positioned above said conveyor at said selected location, said dispensing valve means including a shut-off valve member and a material dispensing member; means for actuating said dispensing valve, said actuating means including; a sensor for sensing the approach to said selected location of a material receiving surface on said conveyor and generating a first signal indicative thereof, a first adjustable timing means responsive to said first signal for causing said dispensing valve means to dispense a first predetermined quantity of material after a predetermined time delay, and second selectively operable adjustable timing means for causing said dispensing valve to dispense additional quantities of material at predetermined time delay intervals following the dispensing of said first quantity.

2. A dispensing system as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve includes first counting means for selectively counting the total number of material surfaces sensed or the total number of quantities of material dispensed.

3. A dispensing system as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve further includes means for varying the quantity of material dispensed.

4. A dispensing system as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve includes an adjustable counter means for selectively varying the number of additional quantities of material dispensed following the dispensing of said first quantity.

5. A dispensing system as recited in claim 4 .wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve includes means for varying the quantities of material dispensed.

6. A dispensing system as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve further comprises first means for moving said shut-off valve member between an open and a closed position, and second means for moving said dispensing member between a material receiving position and a material dispensing position.

7. A dispensing system as recited in claim 6 wherein said first means for moving said shut-off valve member and said second means for moving said dispensing member includes air cylinders controlled by pilot valves aotuated by said timing means.

8. A dispensing system as recited in claim 1 wherein said dispensing valve comprises an elongated valve body adapted to be positioned transversely of said conveyor at said selected location, said body having a chamber formed longitudinally thereof, a longitudinally extending material receiving opening formed in said body for communicating said chamber with a supply of material to be dispensed, an elongated material outlet opening formed in the lower side of said body; said shut-off valve member comprising an elongated member extending longitudinally of said chamber adjacent said outlet opening and adapted to be rotated from a first to a second position for opening and closing said outlet opening respectively, said dispensing member comprising a wiper blade extending longitudinally of said chamber and mounted for arcuate oscillation between a first material receiving position and a second material dispensing position.

9. A dispensing system as recited in claim 8 wherein said means for actuating said dispensing valve includes first means for rotating said shut-off valve member, and second means for oscillating said dispensing member.

10. A dispensing system for dispensing predetermined quantities of fluent material comprising: an elongated valve body having an upper portion and a lower portion, a longitudinally-extending chamber formed in said portions, at longitudinally-extending material receiving opening formed in the upper portion of said body for communicating said chamber with a supply of material to be dispensed, an elongated material outlet opening formed in the lower portion of said body, an elongated shut-off valve member positioned in said chamber adjacent said outlet opening and rotatable between first and second positions wherein said outlet opening is opened and closed respectively, a dispensing member positioned within said chamber above said valve member and extending longitudinally thereof, said dispensing member mounted for oscillation between a material receiving position and a material dispensing position.

11. A dispensing system as defined in claim 10 wherein said shut-off valve member has a generally cylindrically shaped valving surface extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to conform with a similarly shaped valve seat formed adjacent said outlet opening.

12. A dispensing system as defined in claim 11 including a die plate positioned in said outlet opening, said die plate having a surface shaped to conform with the valving surface of said shut-off valve member and forming a continuation of said valve seat when in position in said outlet opening.

13. A dispensing system as defined in claim 10 wherein at least a portion of said chamber is defined by a surface all points of which are equal distance from a line extending longitudinally of said chamber, and wherein said dispensing member extends between said surface and said line, and is mounted for oscillation about said line.

14. A dispensing system as defined in claim 13 wherein said dispensing member is biased into engagement with said surface.

15. A dispensing system as defined in claim 13 wherein said dispensing member is mounted by a rotatable shaft extending longitudinally of said chamber and concentric with said line, and wherein said shut-off valve has a generally cylindrically shaped valving surface extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to conform to a similarly shaped valve seat formed adjacent said outlet, said shut-off valve being positioned relative to said shaft so that when it is rotated to its first position a portion of said valving surface substantially engages said shaft.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1957 Meagher et al. 103124 X 4/1964 Faerber 141-159 X HOUSTON S. BELL, 111., Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2814261 *Apr 7, 1954Nov 26, 1957Denis Meagher WalterMachine for depositing viscous or plastic materials
US3128800 *Sep 27, 1960Apr 14, 1964 faerber
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4417610 *Mar 31, 1981Nov 29, 1983O.G. Hoyer A/SDispenser systems
US5456298 *Apr 29, 1994Oct 10, 1995Handtmann Inc.Portioned metering head for food products
US6595250 *Feb 28, 2002Jul 22, 2003Ideal Manufacturing Sales Corp.Mobile fluid product filling system with fast setup
EP0457495A1 *May 9, 1991Nov 21, 1991Rheon Automatic Machinery Co. Ltd.Dough-discharging apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/102, 141/188, 222/383.1, 141/156
International ClassificationA21C5/00, A21C11/16
Cooperative ClassificationA21C5/006, A21C11/16, A21C5/00
European ClassificationA21C5/00, A21C11/16, A21C5/00C