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Publication numberUS3565287 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1971
Filing dateSep 12, 1968
Priority dateSep 12, 1968
Publication numberUS 3565287 A, US 3565287A, US-A-3565287, US3565287 A, US3565287A
InventorsJohnston Mack S
Original AssigneeJohnston Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beverage dispensing and measuring unit
US 3565287 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Mack S. Johnston Rolling Hills, Calif. [21] Appl.No. 759,352 [22] Filed Sept. 12, 1968 [45] Patented Feb. 23, 1971 [73] Assignee Johnston Enterprises, Inc.

Kalispell, Mont.

[54] BEVERAGE DISPENSING AND MEASURING UNIT 1 Claim, 2 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl. 222/26, 222/249 [51] B67d5/l8 [50] FieldofSearch 222/2628; 222/28, 38, 76, (Inquired); 222/25, 26, 30, 249, 250

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,777,293 10/1930 Curtisetal. 222/38 2,755,966 7/1956 Lindors 222/76 419,778 1/1890 Kendall 222/249X 1,939,899 12/1933 Hurlbrink 222/249X 3,216,627 11/1965 Best et a1. 222/249 FOREIGN PATENTS 211,134 4/1940 Switzerland 222/249 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerHadd S. Lane Attorney- LeBlanc & Shur ABSTRACT: The dispensing unit has a cylindrical container carrying a free-floating piston movable between opposite ends of the container. A four-way, two-position valve communicates with a beverage source under pressure, a beverage dispensing faucet and a pair of conduits which connect at opposite ends of the container. When the valve is shifted to one position, beverage flows from the beverage source through the valve into one end of the container and displaces the piston toward the opposite end of the container to drive the beverage from the container through the valve to the faucet. When the valve is shifted to the other position, beverage flows through the valve into the opposite end of the container to displace the piston back to its original position and discharge beverage from the container through the valve to the faucet.

PATENIED IFEB23 lsn INVENTOR MACK s. JOHNSTON BEVERAGE DISPENSING AND MEASURING UNIT The present invention relates to a dispensing unit for beverages under pressure and particularly relates to a device for dispensing a measured quantity of a beverage under pressure. 1

in the dispensing art, beverages under pressure are often discharged through a faucet which is controlled by a two-position valve. For example, in dispensing beer through a tap, beer under pressure from one or more kegs is supplied to a faucet. A valve is provided in the faucet and a handle is movable between positions opening and closing the valve whereby the beer may be selectively dispensed through the faucet. A measured quantity of beer issuing from the faucet cannot accurately be obtained by manual operation of the valve handle in the usual fashion.

By providing a container, for example an eight or ten ounce glass, below the faucet and filling the container tothe top or the indicated level in the usual manner, only an imprecise quantity of beer can be obtained. in most instances, repeated manipulation of the valve is necessaryto obtain even this imprecise quantity of beer. Moreovenoverfilling the glass or container receiving the beer such that it overflows or fills the container beyond the indicated level is both wasteful and uneconoinical.

it has thus been found desirable to provide a dispensing unit for dispensing a measured quantity of a beverage under pres sure. in the past, timing devices have been employed for maintaining dispensing valves open for a predetermined time. The quantity of beverage actually dispensed by devices of this type, however, is subject to the flow rate of the beverage through the faucet which may vary with varying pressure and other operating conditions. An electrically actuated device has been developed for dispensing a measured quantity of beverage under pressure but this device is rather complex, expensive, and relies on an external power source. This latter type device, moreover, is generally not readily adaptable to existing beverage dispensing systems.

The present invention provides a device for dispensing a measured quantity of a beverage under pressure which position or the other, a measured quantity of beverage is obtained and this without requiring further attention by the operator to the dispensing unit. An additional feature hereof provides a pair of counters at opposite ends of the containers. As the piston is arrested against each container end, it engages a pin which actuates the counter to indicate that a measured quantity of beverage has been drawn. Thus, by summing the counter indications, the number of measured quantities or glasses of beverage drawn can be readilycomputed.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved device for dispensing a measured quantity of a beverage under pressure.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a device for dispensing a measured quantity of beverage under pressure which is readily and easily adaptable to existing beverage dispensing systems.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a device for dispensing a measuredquantityof a beverage under pressure which is operated by pressure subsisting in the dispensing system.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device for dispensing a measured quantity of beverage under pressure which is easy to operate, has a minimum number of moving parts, is economical to manufacture, and repeatedly provides a like measured quantity of beverage.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a device for dispensing 'a measured quantity of a beverage under pressure wherein the number of beverage units dispensed can be readily and accurately counted.

These and further objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the folminimizes the above-discussed and other shortcomings of prior quantity controlled dispensing units and provides various advantages in construction, mode of operation and result over such prior units. Generally, this is accomplished by providing a cylindrical container carrying a free-floating piston movable between opposite ends of the container and a four-way, twoposition valve for providing a beverage under pressure to the container and selectively discharging the beverage from opposite ends of the container to a dispensing faucet. The valve has an inlet connected to a beverage supply, an outlet connected to the dispensing faucet and a pair of conduits in cornmunication with opposite ends of the container. In use, the valve is shifted to one position permitting beverage under pressure to flow from the beverage supply through the valve to one end of the container and thereby to drive the piston toward the opposite end of the container. Movement of the piston toward the opposite container end displaces the beverage in that end of the container through the other conduit and through the valve to the dispensing faucet while the one end of the container is being filled with the beverage. By shifting the valve to the other position, beverage under pressure from the beverage source flows through the valve and into the opposite end of the container to drive the piston toward the one container end displacing the beverage in the one container end through the one conduit and valve to the faucet. The container and piston, when at either end of the container, define chambers of like predetermined volume which are completely emptied of beverage by the reciprocating movement of the piston whereby a measured quantity of lowing specification, claims and appended drawings wherein:

FIG. .1 is a schematic illustration of a beverage dispensing system employing a beverage dispensing and measuring unit constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the beverage dispensing and measuring unit hereof with parts broken out and in cross section for ease of illustration.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is schematically illustrated a general arrangement of a beverage dispensing system employing the dispensing and measuring unit hereof, which arrangement comprises a beverage source under pressure indicated at 10 which may be a conventional beer keg. It will be understood that the reference herein to beer and associated tapping apparatus for dispensing the beer is by way of example only and that the dispensing and measuring unit of the present invention may be employed with other apparatus for dispensing other types of beverages under pressure. Keg 10 may comprise a conventional beer keg which is pressurized by gas from a gas pressure source 11, the gas communicating with the gas inlet passage of a keg tapping unit 12 of a conventional type via a gas feed line 13. A beer dispensing outlet conduit 14 is suitably connected at one end to the beer outlet passage of tapping unit 12 and, at its opposite end, to a four-way, twoposition valve generally indicated at 16, which forms a portion of the dispensing and measuring unit hereof schematically illustrated at D. Valve 16 communicates with a controlled volume dispensing container indicated at 18 which cooperates with valves 16 in a manner to be described, to dispense a predetermined or measured quantity of beer through a beer dispensing conduit 20 to a faucet 22.

Referring now to FIG. 2, container 18 is generally cylindrical in shape and carries a free-floating piston 24 which is freely movable between opposite ends of the container. An O-ring seal 26, preferably formed of an inert plastic material, is carried about piston 24 within a suitable groove whereby the chambers on opposite sides of the piston 24 and within conminer 18 are sealed one from the other. The piston 24 is illustrated at one end of the container and the face 244 of piston 24, together with the opposite end and cylindrical sidewalls of container 18, define a chamber V having a predetermined or measured volume. When piston 24 is displaced to the opposite end of container 18, in a manner as will presently become clear, the face 24b of piston 24, together with the other end and cylindrical sidewalls of container 18 define a chamber of like volume as the illustrated chamber.

Valve 16 comprises an outer casing 28 housing a rotary ele ment 30 having a pair of arcuate passages 32 and 34. Casing 28 has four nipples 35, 36, 37 and 38 spaced thereabout and element 30 is rotatable by a handle 39 to alternately provide communication between nipples 35, 38 and 36, 37 via passages 32 and 34, respectively or between nipples 35, 36 and 37, 38 via passages 32 and 34 respectively when the element 30 is shifted to the dashed line position shown in FIG. 2.

A pair of conduits 40 and 42 are connected at one end to valve 16 as at nipples 35 and 37 respectively. The opposite ends of conduits 40 and 42 are connected to the opposite ends of container 18 through the end walls thereof as at 44 and 46 respectively. With valve 16 disposed in the full line position illustrated in FlG. 2, it will be seen that free communication is provided between keg 10 and the lower end of container 18 via conduit 14, valve passage 34, and conduit 42. The opposite end of container 18 is in communication with faucet 22 via conduits 40, valve passage 32, and conduit 20. By rotating the valve element 30 counterclockwise to the position illustrated by the dashed lines in FIG.. 2, the keg 10 is placed in communication with the upper end of container 18 via conduit 14, valve passage 32 and conduit 40. Simultaneously, the lower end of container 18 is placed in communication with faucet 22 via conduit 42, valve passage 32 and conduit 20.

in use, it will be seen that with valve element 30 in either rotary position, the beer under pressure from keg l and communicating with container 18 through one or the other of conduits 40 or 42 displaces piston 24 to the opposite end of container l8 and fills the chamber thus formed with beer. For example, with the lower chamber filled with beer and the valve lying in the full line position, as illustrated in FIG. 2, a measured quantity of beer can be provided faucet 22 by shifting valve 16 to its other position (the dashed line position). In this fashion, beer under pressure is admitted to the upper end of container 18 via conduit 14, valve passage 32, and conduit 40 and this displaces piston 24 toward the opposite end of container 18. By thus shifting valve 16 to the illustrated dashed line position, the beer in the chamber fronting piston face 24a is placed in communication with faucet 22 via conduit 42, valve passage 34, and conduit 20 and the driving action of piston 24 toward the opposite end of thecontainer dispenses the beer in this chamber through faucet 22. As the beer is displaced from this latter chamber, beer is flowing from keg into the chamber fronting piston face 24b on the opposite side of piston 24 until piston 24 is restrained from further movement against the opposite container end. It will be seen that the quantity of beer discharged is the same as the volume of beer in the chamber. With the valve remaining in the dashed line position, further discharge of beer from container 18 is precluded.

To dispense the next measured quantity of beer from the dispensing unit hereof, the operator shifts the valve to its second or full line position as seen in FIG. 2. In this manner, the beer in the chamber fronting face 24!) of piston 24 is placed in communication with faucet 22 via conduit 40, valve passage 32 and conduit 20. Additionally, beer under pressure is provided the chamber fronting face 24a of piston 24 via conduit 14, valve passage 34 and conduit 42 and drives piston 24 toward the opposite end of container 18. This driving action displaces the beer in the chamber fronting piston face 24b through conduit 40, valve passage 32, and conduit through the faucet 22 whereby a like measured quantity of beer is dispensed. When the piston 24 is completely displaced, a predetermined quantity of beer is again located in the chamber fronting piston face 24a which beer is maintained under the usual line pressure ready for discharge through faucet 22 upon the next shift of valve 16. Piston 24 is thus reciprocated by the beer under pressure and a measured quantity of beer is dispensed on each piston stroke. This is accom' plished moreover without the employment of an external power source apart from the gas pressure source normally used in beer tapping systems.

An additional feature hereof provides for counters 48 suitably mounted at opposite ends of container 18 whereby the number of measured units of beer dispensed can be computed. To this end, pins 50 are slidably received through end walls of container 18 and project slightly beyond the end walls within container 18. ln this manner, the displacement of piston 24 against either end of container 18 displaces the associated pin 32 outwardly. Counters 40 are responsive to the outward displacement of the associated pin 32 to step a counting device one digit. Any suitable type of counters well known in the art may be employed for this purpose and it will be appreciated that springs, not shown, bias pins 50 inwardly such that the pins return to a normal position extending within container 18 beyond the associated end wall.

Thus, the sum of the counter indications at opposite ends of container 18 indicates the number of measured units of beer drawn. It will of course be appreciated that a single counter at one end of the container could be employed with the counter set to advance two digits for each displacement of its pin 50 such that a direct reading could be obtained. Alternatively, the counter could advance by one digit for each displacement of its associated pin 32 whereby the actual number of measured units of beer drawn would be twice the counter indication.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalence of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

lclaim:

1. Apparatus for dispensing a measured quantity of beer under pressure comprising; a beer keg, a tapping unit for said keg, an outlet conduit, a source of fluid under pressure in communication with said tapping unit for driving the beer in said keg through said tapping unit into said conduit, a cylinder, a piston movable in said cylinder between the opposite ends thereof, a valve in communication with said outlet conduit, a pair of conduits connecting said valve to opposite ends of said cylinder, dispensing means connected to said valve, manual means for selectively moving said valve between first and second positions, said valve in said first position providing communication between said keg and one end of the cylinder and between the other end of said cylinder and said dispensing means, said valve in said second position providing communication between said keg and the other cylinder end and between the one cylinder end and said dispensing means, said piston being movable when said valve lies in said first position from said one cylinder end to the other cylinder end in response to the flow of beer into said one cylinder end to drive beer from the other cylinder end to said dispensing means, said piston being movable when said valve lies in said second position from said other cylinder end to said one cylinder end in response to the flow of beer into the other cylinder end to drive beer from the one cylinder end to said dispensing means, means for counting the number of times beer is dispensed from the opposite ends of said cylinder including a pair of digital counters for totalizing the number of times the piston moves to opposite ends of said cylinder, a pair of movable elements projecting within said cylinder at opposite ends thereof in the path of movement of said piston whereby said elements are selectively movable by said piston in response to its movement toward opposite ends of said cylinder, each of said elements being connected in driving relation to an associated counter, each of said counters being stepped one digit in response to movement of its associated element.

Patent Citations
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US1777293 *Dec 20, 1926Oct 7, 1930Bronson Minnie ELiquid-measuring device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3913787 *Dec 23, 1971Oct 21, 1975Lawrence DilgerMetering system and control therefor
US3980209 *May 16, 1975Sep 14, 1976Roean IndustriesBulk loading plastic compound dispensing device
US4736873 *Jan 9, 1987Apr 12, 1988Bar-Master InternationalSelf powered liquor metering pump
US5361870 *Sep 13, 1993Nov 8, 1994Courcy Richard RTransmission fluid exchange apparatus
US5871068 *Sep 22, 1997Feb 16, 1999Selby; Theodore W.Device for precise replacement of liquids, before, during, or after operation of a mechanism with method of use thereof
US6019196 *Nov 26, 1997Feb 1, 2000Theodore W. SelbyBag-containing device for precise replacement of liquid before, during, or after operation of a mechanism, and method of its use
US6378657Jan 10, 2001Apr 30, 2002James P. VikenFluid exchange system
US6435307Jul 8, 1999Aug 20, 2002Theodore W. SelbyPrecise replacement of liquids and components in a liquid mixture
US6550496 *Jan 16, 2001Apr 22, 2003General Electric CompanyRotary doser valve
US6779633Dec 18, 2001Aug 24, 2004James P. VikenComplete fluid exchange system for automatic transmissions
US20050133304 *Aug 24, 2004Jun 23, 2005Viken James P.Fluid exchange system for vehicles
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/26, 222/249
International ClassificationG01F11/02, G01F11/04
Cooperative ClassificationG01F11/04
European ClassificationG01F11/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 21, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., 19791 BAHAMA STREET, NORTHRID
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:004945/0279
Effective date: 19880219
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:4945/279
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:004945/0279
Dec 4, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., 45 SOUTH HU
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004640/0257
Effective date: 19841010
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:4640/257
Dec 4, 1986AS06Security interest
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., 45 SOUTH HU
Effective date: 19841010
Feb 13, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS INC.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CONSOLIDATED GOLD ASSETS, INC., A CORP. OF CA.;REEL/FRAME:004361/0104
Effective date: 19801001