US 3478535 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 18, 1969 A. PEREZ ETAL 3,478,535
REFRIGERATED CASE Filed Jan. 24, 1968 INVENTORS ARTHUR PEREZ JAMES E. MYERS FIG. 2
ATTORNEY BY X 42 gwaw' United States Patent US. Cl. 62237 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A refrigerated case has a stationary section with a removable front portion and is adapted to receive a movable section. Duct work is furnished between the rear wall and the removable front portion of the stationary section and is adapted to enable the Wheeling in of the movable section over the duct work. The removable portion is removed to enable insertion of stocked movable sections and removal of empty movable sections. The front portion has an air passage ending in an intake opening that cooperates with a discharge opening near the top of the case to provide a curtain of air across the front access Opening.
The invention relates to refrigerated display cases, particularly of the type having an opening enabling unimpeded access to the refrigerated material with a curtain of air flowing across the opening to provide separation between the interior and ambient air.
Refrigerated cases having openings to give unimpeded access to the material are utilized mainly in retail food stores. When stocking these types of cases, the material, or products, are handled manually and placed individually or in small groups on the shelves of the case. This type of stocking operation is undesirable not only because it requires time and labor but also because some products are adversely affected by repeated handling.
With this invention, the refrigerating case is constructed to have a stationary and a movable part or section. The movable section has wheels to facilitate movement and shelves that are stocked with the desired product. The stocking is done at the product source location and the movable sections are moved under refrigeration to the site of the stationary section. The movable sections are of simple and sturdy construction because the refrigerating air is completely carried by the stationary section. The stationary and movable sections have a position in cooperative relationship wherein they operate as a unit with the stationary section having ducts located to allow insertion of the movable section and a removable front portion that cooperatively engages the duct work and also forms the front of the case during use and operation.
The objects of the invention include providing a refrigerated case construction employing a plurality of movable stock-carrying sections interchangeable for cooperative positioning with a stationary section; providing a refrigerated case construction that greatly simplifies handling and introduction of stock; providing a refrigerated case construction using a simply constructed movable section; providing a refrigerated case construction having a movable stock interchangeable with similar sections with the refrigerated air passages defined solely by the stationary section; and providing a refrigerated case construction having a stationary section adaptable to receive movable sections of varying sizes.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description.
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerating case according to this invention showing two movable sections with one movable section in position within the case and one removed from position and showing the removable front portion removed from the case; and
FIGURE 2 is a vertical cross sectional view of the construction of the front portion and one of the ducts shown in FIG. 1 when the case is assembled with the front portion in place for normal operation.
Referring to FIG. 1, a refrigerating case 10 of the type having an opening for unimpeded access to refrigerated material -11 within the case has a stationary section, component or part 12 that comprises a removable front portion 13 and a main portion comprising a rear wall14, end walls 15 and 16, a top wall 17, air ducts 18 and 19, and an air discharge opening 20 across the front'of top wall 17, additional refrigerating air openings 32, and an adjustable rear duct engaging plate assembly 27. Duct engaging plate assembly 27 and air ducts 18 and 19 are constructed of any known material and in any manner known in the art to enable the air ducts and plate assembly to be moved to permit receiving movable sections of different sizes into cooperative position with the stationary section.
Removable front portion 13 is engageable with air ducts 18 and 19 through a duct port 29 that engages the air ducts in substantially air tight relationship, as shown in FIG. 2, and also comprises an air intake opening 31 that receives air from air discharge opening 20 and from additional refrigerating air openings 32 to form an air curtain across the front of the case and an air flow path that substantially encompasses the material to be refrigerated. Front portion 13 includes an upwardly extending air channel 21 that terminates at air intake opening 31 to provide a passage or duct for the air. The air curtain formed between the discharge and intake openings normally extends downwardly from opening 20 to opening 31 with some air flow from openings 32. Adjustable panels (not shown) of any type known in the art are used to vary the size and location of duct ports 29 to receive air ducts 18 and 19 at any selected position along the length of front portion 13.
A means for moving and cooling air of any type known in the art is provided and usually includes a motor and fan assembly 91, a refrigeration coil 92 connected to a refrigeration system (not shown) of any suitable type, and appropriate channels, such as channel 93, in the stationary section to direct the air received through intake opening 31 and air ducts 18 and 19 to the rear wall to flow out of air discharge opening 20 and additional discharge openings 32.
Movable sections 30 are of any movable type that has means, such as shelves 33, for supporting material 11 for refrigeration. The movable section may be supported in any convenient manner and in this embodiment is shown supported on wheels 34 that elevate the movable section sufiiciently and are spaced apart sufficiently to enable the movable section and wheels to pass over air ducts 18 and 19. When the movable section is in its cooperative relationship position with the stationary section any suitable means may be employed to secure the movable section against movement and various known means in the art may be utilized to facilitate placement of the movable section against the rear wall of the stationary section.
An additional shelving means 36 on the stationary section is used to take full advantage of the refrigerating case size and comprises shelves 37, bracket-s 38, and bracket supports 39 connected to the stationary case. The shelving means enables use of the full width of the case when differently sized movable sections are used.
While this specification contains a written description of the invention and the manner and process of making and using it and sets forth the best mode contemplated by us of carrying out our invention, there are many variations, combinations, alterations and modifications of the invention that can be made within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
1. A refrigerating case of the type having an access opening for unimpeded access to material refrigerated within said case comprising:
a movable section comprising a means for supporting the material; and
a stationary section comprising a main portion having an air opening, a removable front portion having an air opening, and a means for moving refrigerated air between said air openings to form an air curtain across said access opening, said stationary section adapted to receive said movable section in a cooperative relationship position and to enable movement of said movable section from into and out of said position when said front portion is removed.
2. A refrigerating case according to claim 1 wherein the stationary section comprises additional air discharge openings in the main portion to create at least part of an air flow path that substantially encompasses the material on the movable section to thereby refrigerate said material.
3. A refrigerating case according to claim 1 wherein the stationary section comprises an air duct engageable with the front portion and extending under the ovable section when said movable section is in the cooperative relationship position relative to the stationary section.
4. A refrigerating case according to claim 3 wherein the air duct is movable to several positions relative to the rest of the stationary section and adapted to receive movable sections of different sizes and the front portion is adapted to engage said air duct in any of said several positions.
5. A refrigerating case according to claim 3 wherein the front portion includes an enclosed upwardly extend ing air channel terminating at the air opening.
6. A refrigerating case according to claim 5 comprising a plurality of air ducts and a plurality of movable sections with the front portion adapted to receive said plurality of air ducts.
7. A refrigerating case according to claim 5 wherein the air discharge opening is located in the main portion ofthe stationary section and the upwardly extending air channel in the front portion terminates in the air intake opening to thereby form the curtain of air flowing downwardly to said air intake opening from said air discharge opening.
8. A refrigerating case according to claim 7 wherein the main portion has additional discharge openings located and adapted to distribute refrigerating air substantially uniformly over the material on the movable section when said movable section is positioned in cooperative relationship with the stationary section.
9. A refrigerating case according to claim 1 wherein the movable section has freely rotatable wheels supporting said movable section with said wheels spaced apart and raising said movable section to enable positioning said movable section over said air duct when said movable seetion is in the cooperative relationship position with said stationary section.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,915,884 12/1959 Hanshalter 62-256 3,166,916 1/1965 Burrows 62-237 3,392,543 7/1968 Miller 62-237 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 6225 6, 298