US 3529553 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Hansjiierg G. L. Rutter 25 Glanzinggasse, 1190 Vienna, Austria ] Appl. No. 637,221  Filed May 9, I967  Patented Sept. 22, 1970  Priority May 9, 1966 [3 3] Austria [3 l A 4,383/66  PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF HOLLOW AND CONVEX SHAPED THERMOPLASTIC MASSES SUCH AS CHOCOLATE AND CANDY 24 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl. 107/4, 107/8  lnt.CI A23g 3/12  Field of Search 99/ l 80; 107/1 .1, 4.7, 8.2, 8.4, 54.6
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,475,579 11/1923 Harlan 107/1 2,670,696 3/ I 954 Covert et al. l07/8 German printed application l,2l9.783. June 23, 1966.
Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney-Otto John Munz ABSTRACT: An apparatus for the simultaneous production and packaging of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, such as chocolate, sugar and the like comprising a material container equipped with dispensing means and means to control said dispensing means; a source of heat to plasticize said materials in said container into a fluid melt; means to removably position in sequence and support foil linings under said material container for filling said linings; means to fill said foil lining with said melt from said container; cooling means to cool at least a portion of said foil linings and the fill, maintaining a temperature below 0C. to solidify a shell from the fill adjacent the inner surface of said lining, leaving the core of said fill fluid; and suction means to evacuate the still fluid core from said shells.
SIIeet 1 of 5 C CORE MATERIAL EVACUATING STATION C I 19 0 PRODUCT REMOVING STATION V A FOIL 81 MOLD 1 POSITION STATION I I B MELT DISPENSING 1 STATION INVENTOR HANSJISE'BG G.L.RUTTER Fig 2 ATTO R NEY Patented Sept. 22,1970
Sheet i of 5 MEANS To PRESS DOWN F Means toturn over heat accumulators and to The FOILED SHELL remove the product Means to 52 turn over Means to cool CLOSE a ems MEAN TO OPEN CALIPER LATC H MEANS T0 RECIROCATE ME ANS TO TRIP INVENTOR HANSJ6ER8 e. L. RUTTER ATTORNEY Patented Sept. 22, 1970 I 3,529,553
Sheet 5 of 5 REFRIGERANT VARIABLE FEED CONTROL MEANS INVENTOR HANSJERG G.L. RUTTER ATTORNEY PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF HOLLOW AND CONVEX SHAPED THERMOPLASTIC MASSES SUCH AS CHOCOLATE AND CANDY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Description of the Prior Art U.S. Pat. No. 2,670,696 discloses a system of production of chocolate shells by filling warm chocolate mass into a mold and removing the excess fluid by suction as soon as a solid shell has formed on the wall of the mold. The chocolate shells thus prepared must be knocked out of the mold and subsequently packaged. These time-consuming additional operating steps are to be avoided by the present invention.
The prior art also fills a closed hollow shell, made of foil, with a chocolate mass by means of an injection molding process. In this procedure, the wall of the injection mold is brought to the temperatures of 5C. to -l5C., in order to obtain a uniformly crystalline structure of the cacao butter. However, it is impossible by means of this process to produce filled hollow bodies of half shells from the above-mentioned masses, which shells can later be combined to closed hollow bodies, such as chocolate eggs, for example.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The objects of the invention are:
To provide a process and apparatus for the manufacture of hollow and convex shaped thermoplastic products, including shells and half-shells of edible materials such as cocoa products, chocolate, candies and similar;
To provide the system simultaneous automatic packaging of the products while they are being manufactured, to employ the future packaging foil for the product simultaneously as its mold;
To provide concave shaped bodies of the type described having one side open,
Other objects 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 when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof.
DESCRIETIQN IHFPRE E RE BM QPMFNI The objects outlined, and an economical production are attained, according to the invention by employing a device described above which includes.
with a low temperature cooling step.
which fills the warm, liquid material into a mold open at the top, cools the surface of the mold and after a shell of the material has solidified over evacuates by suction the still liquid core. As the mold a foil mold is used, which later on formsthe packaging. During the production at least a part of the foil mold is in contact with at least one surface of the device cooled to a temperature of below 0C., particularly below -20C.
Compared to the process of U.S. Pat. No. 2,670,696, the production is accelerated, because the solid shell forms very rapidly at the cooled surface. Moreover, a foil mold is used which, after the shell has been manufactured from the mass, serves at the same time as packaging means for the she ll.
In contradistinction to an injection method, it is unnecessary for the foil mold to be in contact with a cooled surface on all sides thereof, and the cooled surface can have a relatively simple shape, thus making the device less expensive.
In a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the invention, a first cooled surface is provided with a channel, the cross section of which is adapted to mate with that of the foil molds, and a conveying device is provided for moving the foil molds along in the channel.
The channel touches only oppositely positioned outer surfaces of the foil mold. The inventor has discovered, surprisingly, that such contact is sufficient for rapidly producing the shells, and that the shells of mass form on all sides with a suffithe inner su face the mold ciently uniform thickness, particularly when the foil molds are metallic.
The channel makes it possible to conduct a continuous molds after the excess mass has been removed by suction. This accelerates the manufacturing process particularly when one or several additional masses are filled as cores into the mass shells.
The second cooled surface may be in communication with conduits through which a refrigerant is flowing. In an alternative embodiment the first cooled surface also is the surface of a heat accumulator. Thereby, a greater versatility of the arrangement is attained. The heat accumulators are brought into contact with a refrigerating device at a predetermined place. Thereby heat is removed from the heat accumulators until they reach the desired low temperature. Then, they receive the foil molds at another location and cool the mass filled therein, heat being transferred to the heat accumulators. The accumulators are sufficiently large to prevent the temperature of the first cooled surface" from increasing unduly. Thereafter, the foil molds are removed from the heat accumulators, and the latter again are brought into contact with the refrigerating unit.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings where like references denote same or equivalent parts:
FIGS. 1 and 2 show schematically in vertical axial section and in a top view respectively, a continuously operating device with a cooling plate and heat accumulators, which receive the foil molds;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section through a foil mold inserted in a heat accumulator, wherein a shell of mass has formed;
FIG. 4 shows a schematic lateral view of a continuously operating device with heat accumulators passing by cooling plates and receiving foil molds impressed into a strip, and FIG. 4a is a view ofa she'll wa l lfthic kness sensor;
FIG. 5 is a schematic lateral view of part of a modified embodiment, wherein individual foil molds are employed and locked inside the heat accumulators;
FIG. 5a is a cross sectional view of a detail applicable to FiGs. 4 and 5';
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of foil molds conveyed along in cool channels;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a refrigerating device comprising two foldable containers, with respective foil half shells;
= device with the foil half shells inserted therein.
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a number of heat accumulators l in the form of metal blocks provided with depressions 3 adapted I to receive the foil molds 2. The foil molds can be produced by embossing in a conventional manner and inserted into the .sion, a small amount of air is retained in the container, or a steel membrane is provided in its wall.
FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the closed refrigerating I A hollow refrigerating table top 5 is in communication with a cycling refrigerant by conduits 11, and has the cooling medium flowing therethrough. By means which are not illustrated, the refrigerant is uniformly distributed across the entire inner surface at the top of the table. The table top is insulated against heat dissipation toward the bottom and the sides by an insulating layer 17. The heat accumulators 1 rest directly on the upper surface of the table top 5. For moving the heat accumulators in a circular path on the table top, a circular carrier plate 19 of insulating material is provided as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2' which has openings 20 corresponding to the positions of the heat accumulators 1. The carrier plate 19 rotates about an axis 21 and thereby slidingly moves the heat accumulators 1 across the table top 5.
At the foil molds feeding station A, pre-embossed foil molds 2 are inserted into the depressions 3 manually or automatically. The carrier plate 19 is shown rotating anticlockwise in the direction of arrow 25. At the material filling station B, the chocolate mass-is filled into the foil molds up to the rim thereof, by means of spouts 27. The pouring spouts may be attached to the underside of a material dispensing container shown in diagram. The container preferably is equipped with valve and automatic controls thereofand is connected by conduits to the spouts 27. During continuous rotation of the carrier plate 19, the heat of the heat-liquefied chocolate mass, as it is poured into the foil molds, is transmitted to the heat accumulators 1 and from there to the table top 5. The heat is withdrawn by the ffrigerant 10. During this process, the mass shells 29 are formed in the foil molds 2, as shown in FIG. 3.
At the core evacuating station C, the still flowable mass is removed by suction by tubes 31. At the foiled product removing station D, the foil molds with the mass shells are removed from the heat accumulators 1 automatically or manually, for example, with the aid of a suction nipple. which lifts the shells out, or with the aid of a knife spatula placed underneath the flange 4 of the foil molds, or by pincers grasping the foil, or by other equivalent means. In order to facilitate this procedure, it is possible to provide the heat accumulators with depressions underneath the projecting rim of the foil.
FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of a continuously operating device, in a lateral view, wherein the heat accumulators 241 rotate in a vertical plane, with the longitudinal paths to be provided between the individual operating stations of the system being shown considerably shortened for easier illustration.
The heat accumulators are solid bodies guided along an endless heat accumulators forwarding track of conventional means, such as chains, belts and guides pushing, pulling, grasping or carrying the accumulators. Along a portion of this track, the heat accumulators slide along the upper and lower surfaces of a cooling plate 33 which has the cooling medium flowing therethrough and produces the same effect as the table top 5 according to FIGS. 1 and 2.
The foil molds 242 may be embossed into a continuous foil strip 34, or they may be produced by other conventional means, such as blister m de foils. The strip is moved forward stepwise in the direction of the left hand arrow of FIG. 4, together with the heat accumulators 1. The accumulators move to the top at G, and receive the foil molds in their recesses. The heat accumulators are moved along underneath the processing stations with the foil molds positioned in these accumulators, in a stepwise manner. Underneath a material dispensing kettle 35, the foil molds are filled to the brim. A suction tube 31 is lowered into the still flowable mass in synchronism with the operating cycle, and removes the mass by suction into a container 37. The tube is then moved upwardly again. A radiant heating device 39 serves for keeping the tube 31 warm. The mass sucked into the container 37 is again heated to the pouring temperature and fed to the pouring kettle 35. The stations illustrated in FIG. 2 are equally applicable to this embodiment.
In parallel to the plane of the drawing, several heat accumulators can be conveyed, each side-by-side with respect to the other one. Accordingly, respectively several tubes 27 and 31 are positioned side by side. Thus optionally the illustration of FIG. 4 is to be considered as one of several parallel units of a system.
If unfilled hollow bodies are to be produced, no additional processing units are required. It is advantageous, however, to provide a vibrating device in the region between the pouring tube 27 and the suction tube 31.
For the introduction of a filling mass as a core, an additional pouring device 41 is provided. Finally, a pouring device 43 may be incorporated for covering the filling mass with a third mass, a cover.
In order to have the second filling mass and the covering mass solidify as rapidly as possible, cooling plates 45 and 46 are arranged behind the pouring devices 41 and 43. These plates have a refrigerant flowing therethrough, same as the cooling plate 33. The plates can be provided very closely above the upper surface of the heat accumulators. Since the chocolate mass does not adhere to deeply cooled metallic surfaces, there is no danger of contaminating the cooling plates.
It is even possible to bring the upper rim of the shell of mass, the flange of the foil mold, and the upper surface of the cover mass, in sliding engagement with the plates.
In the zone between the tubes 27 and 31 wherein the shells are formed from the mass, an insulating plate 47 can be arranged above the heat accumulators, which prevents the molds from absorbing heat from the surroundings.
At the end of the unit illustrated on the right-hand side of FIG. 4, the foil strips 34 with the mass shells or bodies positioned therein are released by the downward movement of the heat accumulators. Thereafter, the foil strips are divided by cutting in a'conventional manner. The foil edges are closed over the chocolate articles. Beforehand, a cover leaf (sheet) can be placed thereon and secured thereto.
The heat accumulators 1 move from the right to the left in sliding engagement between the cooling'plate 33 and a further cooling plate 56, and thus are pre-cooled again to the required low temperature, The cooling plates 33 and 56, as well as the table top 5 in FIG. 1 have preferable temperatures between -20 and -40C. The plate 56 is insulated against heat absorption at the sides and at the bottom by an insulating layer 57. If the requirements to be met are lower, the cooling plate 56 can also be omitted and can be replaced by an insulating layer protecting the underside of the heat accumulators against the absorption of heat.
In FIG. 5 an additional equipment to follow that of FIG. 4 is shown.
If the edges of the foil molds are to be closed over the bodies of the chocolate mass still within the heat accumulators, individual pre-embossed foil molds are employed in place of foil strips. The device of FIG. 5 is used for performing this process. A closing device 61 is arranged in succession of progress behind the cooling plate 46. It operates against the heat accumulators and closes the edges of the foils. Preferably the closing device is a pressure block discharging the pre-embossed foil molds, one at a time. In order to raise the foil edges before the closing process proper takes place, the bodies of the mass can be pressed downwardly, together with the foil mold, into the opening of the heat accumulators, so that the foil edges are raised at the upper rim of the heat accumulators. In order to provide space for the downward movement of the mass bodies and foil molds, depressions are provided in the cooling plate 33. Plunger pistons advance toward the bodies and foil molds from above and below and take care of the upward and downward motion. It is also possible to feed cover sheets, over which the foil edges are closed.
Closed hollow bodies can be produced by closing two heat accumulators, each of which contains a half shell, upon each other. In this connection, the half shells of mass can be fused by melting at the edges thereof which are still somewhat moist.
The projecting foil edges are then folded together in the clos- The results of the determination of the improper thickness of the shell-wall vary mechanically by linkages, electrically by decrease or delay, respectively, the refrigerant's coolingof the' melt. The means to vary include variable speed motors of the refrigeration and/or the drive system coupled for instance with potentiometers to increase the voltage across the motors as a simple means to accomplish this.
The automation mechanism while applicable also to the embodiment shown in FIGS. I and 2, is specifically illustrated with reference to FIG. 4.
A mold positioning control and a foil lining positioning control position a lining within a mold at the beginning of the operation on the conveyor means.
A step motor 200 causes the conveyor to be stepped to bring the molds beneath the successive stations. The stations are spaced relative to the length of the molds in such a manner that at each stop one mold is placed in succession into the operating areas of each station simultaneously. The electric controls of each station are controlled by a plurality of corresponding switches 202--204 and 206-209, which in turn are controlled by a timing cam 212 driven by an electric motor 214. The melt contained in container 35 is dispensed into the foil-lining of the mold through a solenoid valve 220, the opening of which is energized by switch 202. Container 35 is heated by a heating coil 222 which maintains the melt in its melted condition. The temperature of the melt is controlled by means of a thermocouple 224 or equivalent heat sensor, connected to a heat control circuit 226, which controls the current in the heating coil. Thus an individual foil filled with the melt proceeds preferably through a vibrator to settle down the melt and arrives at the evacuating station underneath container 37. The outlet 31 of this container is positioned so as to be reciprocated vertically into and out of the mold. During the travel from container 35 to container 37, the outer surface of the melt was cooled to solidify a shell only. A switch 206 serves to energize the reciprocating outlet, while the mold stationary underneath, and the same switch means controls the suction pump 228 to evacuate the heated fluid core from the solidified shell.
A conduit 230 is provided between the containers 35 and 37, and the suction pump simultaneously conveys the evacuated melt from the core through container 37 back to container 35. In order to maintain the melt in its fluid condition, heaters 232 are provided for heating the recycled melt. While one heater is shown provided at conduit 230, another may be installed to heat container 37. After the shell, now empty, passes under continuous cooling from the evacuating station, the thickness of its wall is measured by a sensor 233 to develop a control signal to establish and to correct in the successive shell formation the desired wall thickness. Above mentioned temperature of below 20C. makes the shell harder and resist'ant to shock handling and permits an optimum increase in speed.
If a sensor is applied which actually physically measures the diameter of the core and must be inserted into it, vertical sensor reciprocating means are provided. This is accomplished by a sensor control switch 206 controlled by the common timing cam and a conventional motor. For purposes of describing an operable embodiment, a closed caliper'sensor, illustrated in FIG. 4a, is lowered into the shell, a latch opens on impact with the mold, and releases its arms until they are stopped by the wall of the shell. The arms are connected to sliding taps of a potentiometer connected across the battery, to develop a control signal in a manner well known in the prior art. The output signal is fed to a speed control circuit 234 of motor 236 which drives the refrigerator circulating pump 238. Thus the speed of circulation of the refrigerant is altered to provide temperature necessary to cause creation of a shell wall of the desired thickness.
The shell proceeds from there underneath a series of fill containers 4! and 43 and a cover-providing container 240, each of which is equipped with a solenoid valve, controlled by switches 207, 208 and 209 respectively, which in turn are controlled by timing cam 212. While only one timing cam 212 is shown, it is to be understood that individual, relatively adjustable carns, all driven by motor 214, may be provided for each switch, to permit minor timing adjustments of the operations at each station. The step motor may include conventional means of adjustment of the duration of each stop and to synchronize the stops with the operations of the afore-mentioned switches.
Thus the invention includes means and steps to synchronize the travel of the material through the apparatus with means to control the several steps and stations thereof and to synchronize operably the functions of the various apparatus means and process steps disclosed, by said control means as shown schematically in FIG. 4 as an example only.
While the present invention was described primarily with reference to chocolate and candy products, it is not limited thereto, but other edibles are to be considered included herein.
While various means and steps were described with reference to one or more of the embodiments shown, it is to be understood that such means and steps are not limited to the particular embodiments, on hand of which they were described, but that they may be interchangeably employed also'in the other embodiments as the need for such may arise, whenever applicable.
The latch mechanism illustrated in FIG. 4a as an example only of a wall thickness sensing means, is shown equipped with a spring, which opens the calipers on impact of the latch-arm with the rim of the mold which raises the latch-arm upwards. On completion of the thickness sensing operation, reciprocating means are provided which withdraw the caliper vertically upwards and reload the latch-arm. A biasing spring is provided for this purpose in the latch mechanism. Other conventional means for determining the thickness of the shell wall are to be included as equivalents.
The track in the embodiment of FIG. 1 depicts the platform 19, endlessly rotatably moving over and parallel to the cooling table 5, and carrying the molds with the linings therein, or the foil-linings themselves functioning as the molds. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the endless track means are described to move linearly over the table the molds with the linings inserted therein, or the foil-linings themselves functioning as the molds.
Thus either a foil functioning as a mold or a solid mold, lined with foil, engaged with a rotating platform of FIG. 4 are described as stepwise conveyed through the sequence of stations, and for claim purposes the molds, foil molds and mold linings are equivalent. For claim purposes the rotating platform and endless track are also equivalents.
While some of the embodiments were described in great details and including additional means and steps it is to be understood that such may be employed or omitted optionally as the need for them may exist and that the inclusion of such details shall not detract from the patentability of the broader aspects of the invention.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the 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. 7
1. An apparatus for the simultaneous production and packaging of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, such as chocolate, sugar and the like, comprising:
a material container equipped with dispensing means and means to control said dispensing means;
a source of heat to plasticize said materials in said container into a fluid melt;
This is accomplished by the means to turn over the heat accumulators and product removing control, shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, simply f.i. by impact of the package against the overturned accumulator causing the inlay to drop out, or by other conventional means for removing a package from a mold, such as described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. Preferably for this purpose, the heat accumulators are connected with the rotating chain 49 only at the right end by hinge connections. The heat accumulators 1 are pivoted 180 until they abut a stop 52. Means such as a lever protruding horizontally into the path of the accumulator and positioned to trip the lower forward bottom edge thereof, as the accumulator progresses toward it, will accomplish this object, the accumulator will turn upside down as shown in FIG. 4, and its own impact normally will knock out the package from the mold, and the package will drop on a second tract positioned below. This is depicted in FIG. 5. The packaged chocolate bodies 53 are then transported away by a conveyor belt 55.
The heat accumulators l, in this device, travel with their openings oriented downwardly between the cooling plates 33 and 56. At the left-hand end of the device, they are again turned by 180, so that their depressions face upwardly.
FIG. 6 shows another preferred embodiment which entails even lower manufacturing expenses than the embodiments of FIGS. l5, but yet permits a continuous operation. Two parallel-extending cooling rails 70 are provided which have longitudinal channels 72 for the refrigerant. The rails 70 are arranged side-by-side at a small distance from each other, to form together a channel 74 conforming to the external contour of the foil molds 22. Here the foils and not the rails function as the heat exchangers.
In order to convey the foil molds 2 along the rails 70, entrainment means 76 are provided which move along from left to right in the direction of the arrow in the interspace 78. These entrainment means are driven by devices such as chains, and are guided along guides on the underside of the rails 70.
As in the device of FIG. 4, the foil molds are conveyed underneath the processing stations. It is possible to arrange cool-' ing plates above the rails 70, so that the flanges 44 of the foil molds travel along underneath these cooling plates. Also, an insulating plate can be provided, corresponding to FIG. 4.
The foil molds can be employed as individual pieces; however, this is only recommended in case of very large foil molds. The arrangement of the molds in strips or strip sections of, for example, a length of 1 meter, is preferred. In this case, less entrainment elements are sufficient for conveying a strip section of about 1 meter in length.
It was discovered that the cooling rails suffice, on the one hand, to produce a shell of mass very rapidly and, on the other hand, to impart to the shell a comparatively uniform average thickness.
As shown in FIG. 5a in place of the cooling plates 45 or 46, which cool the filled-in mass from above, it is likewise possible to employ a cooled plunger-piston 48; the surface of this plunger pressing against the mass has the shape of a relief. Thereby, the upper surface of a second or third layer can be shaped during the cooling process. y
In FIGS. 7 and 8, it is shown how the present invention can be applied to the production of larger hollow chocolate bodies, in the present example-chocolate bunnies.
Larger hollow bodies of chocolate have been previously produced in foil half shells inserted in a folding mold; however, this folding mold was not cooled. After the warm mass had been poured into the foil half shells held by the folding mold, this mold was placed into a spinning (centrifuging, slinging) device wherein it was placed successively in all types of positions. As soon as a chocolate shell had formed after some time, the liquid mass was poured out.
In this connection, the difficulty was encountered that narrow mold parts were filled with a thicker shell of chocolate than the wider parts of the mold. For example, in case of chocolate bunnies, the ears were usually entirely filled,
whereby the entire chocolate bunny became top-heavy later on, i.e., it flipped over easily.
The foil mold in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 comprises two half shells, the edges of which are bent outwardly to form a flange 4. A cooling device is provided having two containers which can be closed in symmetry upon each other. The engaging surfaces 82 of the device are provided with depressions 3, which are intended for receiving the foil half shells 2. After the foil half shells have been inserted, the foil flanges 4 contact the surfaces 82 and the upper surfaces 84 of the containers. The containerscan be held in their closed position by means such as a clamping lock 86.
Each container individually is in communication with a cycle of a cooling medium, by way of conduits 88, which medium is moved through the containers in the direction of the arrows.
In order to produce a hollow body, the containers which have refrigerant passing therethrough and are thereby deeply cooled are flipped open as shown in FIG. 7, the foil half shells are inserted and the containers are closed and locked with the clamping lock 86. Thereupon, the warm chocolate mass is poured into the containers from above and, after a shell of mass has formed, the still liquid mass is removed by suction. Consequently, a closed hollow chocolate body has then been produced to which the two foil half shells adhere. The body is taken out of the container, and the foil flanges 4 are folded over or flanged together, it being feasible to place a lid of cardboard or plastic over the bottom opening before the flange 4 is folded over.
The cooling device can be constructed in such a manner that the heat dissipation is lower at the slightly depressed places of surface 3 shown as representing the bunny ears than at the deeper places representing the belly. This can be accomplished by means such as controlling the feeding of refrigerating medium within each container, or inserting heatcurbing layers between the slightly depressed places of the surface 3 and the refrigerating medium cycle.
The foil lining within which the shell of the.product is formed may be selected from any thermally conductive packaging type material conventionally used by the trade, which meetsthe requirements of the health department as to its inertness, noncorrosiveness, chemical nonreactiv'e'ness with the product, nonpoisonous permanency and similar, such as aluminium foil, foil made of plastic, polyethylene, acrylates', polyesters, styrenes, gelatin, collagen and similar. Since these materials exhibit various resistances to thermal conductivity, the selected one must be correlated with the thermal conditions of the apparatus, for instance by its thickness and/or by corrective temperature changes. The temperatures given in the specification are to be taken with chocolate wrapping materials having conventional heat conductivity and thickness usual to the trade, such as aluminium foil of a' minimum trade wrapping thickness.
TI-IE AUTOMATION OF THE APPARATUS The required viscosity of the thermoplastic melt, as controlled by the melt heat control, is co-determined by its specific gravity, the speed of travel from station to station, the relative cooperating thermal conditions of the refrigerant, and primarily by the thickness of the shell wall required.
For this purpose the shell wall thickness is regularly sampled by a sensor of thickness, such as caliper means, reciprocating vertically the moment the empty core of the shell passes underneath it, into it, to measure the diameter -of the hole, the balance between it, and the diameter of the lined mold to determine the shell-wall thickness.
Other equivalent means of determining the thickness of the shell-wall are metering or weighing of the core melt sucked out of the C station, or of the core-refill material introduced. Conventional metering valves or scales may be inserted for this purpose either at the C station or at the refilling station, registering the values in a voltage output.
means to removably position in sequence and support foil 8. An apparatus for the production of hollow or convexly linings under said material container for filling said shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic linings; materials as claimed in claim 1:
means to fill said foil linings with said melt from said container;
cooling means to cool at least a portion of said foil linings and the fill, maintaining a temperature below C. to solidify a shell from the fill adjacent the inner surface of said lining, leaving the core of said fill fluid; and
at least one foil-mold being a plurality of foil-molds;
said means to cool being a circular table with refrigerant conduit and circulating means;
said means to position and support said foil linings being a circular platform superimposed over said table for stepwise endless rotation; and
suction means to evacuate the still fluid core from said means to position said foil-molds in sequence on the starting shells. end of said platform. 1 I
2. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly, 9. An apparatus f r h production f holl w and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic shaped products h ing h lls made from therm plastic materials as claimed in claim 1, said means to removably posi 1 malfials, as claimed in claim 13 tion and support said linings comprising: said means to cool being an elongated table with an endless track for moving said foil linings;
and further comprising a motor with means to move said track with said foil linings endlessly stepwise;
speed control means of said motor drive;
said means to position comprising a foil lining inserting station at the starting end of the moving track;
said means to heat-plasticize including heat control means;
said means to fill including a melt dispensing station having a dispensing orifice superimposed above said platform with means to dispense said melt controllably into a successive lining at each step of the foil lining movements;
refrigerant-conduit and circulating means;
said means to removably position and support said foil linings comprising an endless track-means for moving along the upper and the lower surfaces of said table with means to convey said foil linings in succession over said table; and
means to position said foil molds in sequence in engagement with the starting end of said track means and to remove them from the discharge end thereof after they passed the said filling, cooling and evacuating means.
10. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 9, said track being provided with a longitudinal channel 74 having a cross section conforming to that of said foil-molds 2, said means to move including means to move said foil-molds in said channel.
11. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 10, the bottom of said channel provided with a longitudinal slot 78;.said means to move provided with conveying fingers 76 moved along the channel and said means to cool said foil linings comprising conduit means and means to circulate a refrigerant through said conduits; and
means comprising means superimposed above, said foil linings with means to evacuate said fluid core from said lining at each step of said track.
3. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials as claimed in claim 2, further comprising:
mold means, one for eachproduct, saitl 'foil linings insertable one into each mold, one for each product; extending from below through the slot.
mold positioning means of said moldsin iiequence on said 12. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly track; shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic said foil linings being of packaging-type thermally conducmaterials, as claimed in claim 9, further comprising means to tive foil material; and lteep mold during production irt cont act at least pne means to remove said foil linings after filling from said first cooled surface maintaining a. temperature of below molds. l 20C. whereby the cooling of the shell is accelerated and 4. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly its resistance to production shocks minimized. shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic 13. An apparatu'sfo'r the production of hollow and convexly materials as claimed in claim 2, further comprising: shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic fluid core heat sensing and heat control means; and materials, as claimed in claim 9, the foil-molds being emmeans to recycle the melt evacuated from said core in a. bossed in a continuous strip fed into the starting position in the fluid state into said melt-dispensing station. longitudinal extension of said channel.
5. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly 14. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic S aped produc s having shells made from thermoplastic materials as claimed in claim 2, further comprising: materials, as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
a shell-wall thickness sensor; and P y of heat accumulators and means to control variably said speed control means to affect said cooling means being a cooling plat 5, 33, 56, with the length of exposure of said filled lining to the refrigerating liquid circulating therethrough. refrigerant, whereby controlling the thickness of the 15. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly solidifying shell. 6 shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic 6. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly materials, as Claimed in Claim 14: h d products h i h ll d from h thermoplastic the cooling plate 33 being positioned substantially horizonmaterials as claimed in claim 5, further comprising: tally; and
a platform; and whereby the path of said foil-linings occurs along the lower means to synchronize the rotation of said track with that of surface of the cooling plate.
said means to position said molds of said means to insert 16. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly said linings and of said means to fill and of said means to shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic evacuate. materials, as claimed in claim 15, further comprising:
7. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly means to position the foil linings into the heat accumulators shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic 1 from below while changing from their path along the materials as claimed in claim 2, further comprising: lower surface of the cooling plate 33 to their path along a shell-wall thickness en or; and the upper surface of the cooling plate 33; and
means to control variably the temperature and circulation means to release the foil molds again while changing from of said means to cool, whereby controlling the thickness their path along the upper surface to their path along the of the solidifying shell. lower surface of the cooling plate 33.
17. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 14, said foil linings embossed one behind the other into a strip 34.
18. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 14, further comprising a second cooled surface 45, 46 with means to cool below C.,-and means to cover the opening of the foil molds by said second cooled surface, after the excess mass has been removed by suction.
19. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 18, comprising means to flow a liquid refrigerating medium for cooling the first and second cooled surfaces through conduits ll, 72, 88, the latter being positioned in a thermally conductive connection with the cooled surfaces.
20. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 18, and means to convey the foil linings in a sliding manner beneath the second cooled surface 45, 46.
21. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic ,materials, as claimed in claim 14, and means to keep said 1 molds in contact with the first cooled surface, while further processing steps are being conducted.
I 22. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 21, and additional means to fill partly prefilled shells with a second mass at 41.
23. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 22, further comprising means to cover the second mass by a third mass at 43.
24. An apparatus for the production of hollow and convexly shaped products having shells made from thermoplastic materials, as claimed in claim 21, and means to close the foil molds by another foil at 61.