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Publication numberUS3610482 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateMar 21, 1969
Priority dateMar 21, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610482 A, US 3610482A, US-A-3610482, US3610482 A, US3610482A
InventorsLeon R Van Steenburgh Jr
Original AssigneeManitowoc Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice-dispensing bin
US 3610482 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Leon R. Van Steenburgh, Jr.

Manitowoc, Wis.

[21] Appl. No. 809,068

[22] Filed Mar. 21, 1969 [45] Patented Oct. 5, 1971 [73] Assignee The Manitowoc Co., Inc.

Manitowoc, Wis.

[54] ICE-DISPENSING BIN 18 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

[52] 11.8. CI 222/413 865g 33/20 [50] Field of Search 222/413,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,595,588 5/1952 Lee et a1. 62/73 2,969,650 1/1961 Eschenburg et al. 62/73 X 3,187,958 6/1965 Swart 222/227 3,417,903 12/1968 Callen 222/238 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney-Brown, Jackson, Boettcher & Dienner ABSTRACT: In the ice-cube-dispensing bin, a film of water is permitted to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes. The stored ice cubes, thus prevented from sticking together, may be dispensed from the reservoir by mechanical means preferably comprising an auger. The stored ice cubes remain generally clear and generally uniformly sized and shaped.

PATENTED OCT 5197! SHEET '1 OF 3 PATENTEDUBT 5:97:

SHEET 3 0F 3 ICE-DISPENSING am BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to an ice-cube-dispensing bin which is designed to be built into a cabinet in association with icecube-forming apparatus of the type having an outlet from which ice cubes are discharged.

Throughout the present disclosure, and in the appended claims, the term ice cubes is used as in common parlance to refer to generally uniformly sized compact solid pieces of ice, which may be of cylindrical, spherical, or other form as well as of cubical form.

lce-cube-forming apparatus, in a number of forms, are widely used in hospitals, restaurants, taverns, and other establishments where substantially constant supplies of ice cubes must be maintained to satisfy steady or fluctuating demands. Since these apparatus usually are capable of forming ice cubes at an intermittent rate, it is common to provide means for storing a generally constant quantity of ice cubes which have been discharged by an ice-forming apparatus and to employ suitable level-sensing means to regulate the output of the ice-forming apparatus. Conventionally, the ice cubes are stored in an insulated bin, in order to retard melting of the stored ice cubes.

In an insulated bin, the stored ice cubes have a tendency to adhere to each other and to form large undifferentiated masses of ice. It often is necessary to use an ice pick or other tool to break up such masses of ice to permit separated ice cubes to be removed from the bin. It is difficult to remove the ice cubes from the bin by means of an auger or other mechanical means, because the moving parts of the auger or other mechanical means have a tendency to freeze to adjacent stationary structure of the bin and to the stored ice cubes. Operation of the auger or other mechanical means thus is impaired.

Usually, the ice cubes formed by an ice-cube-forming apparatus are generally clear and are generally uniformly sized and shaped. However, when ice cubes are stored in an insulated bin, they may have a tendency to whiten and to toughen. If they have been separated by means of an ice pick or other tool, they are likely to have fragmented edges and other irregularities. Whitened or roughened ice cubes and irregularly sized and shaped ice cubes are unsatisfactory for use in beverages and for many other purposes.

This invention is addressed to fulfilling the need for an icecube-dispensing bin, in which ice cubes may be stored in such a manner as to be capable of being dispensed readily by means of an auger or other mechanical means, and in which stored ice cubes remain generally clear and generally uniformly sized and shaped. Such an ice-cube-dispensing bin should be designed to be built into a cabinet in association with icecube-forming apparatus having an outlet from which ice cubes are discharged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide an ice-cubedispensing bin in which ice cubes may be stored in such a manner as to be capable of being dispensed readily by means of an auger or other mechanical means.

It is another object of this invention to provide an ice-cubedispensing bin in which stored ice cubes remain generally clear and generally uniformly sized and shaped.

In accordance with the principles of this invention, the foregoing objects may be attained in an ice-cube-dispensing bin in which the stored ice cubes are permitted to melt slowly and a film of water is permitted to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes. The film of water prevents the separate ice cubes from sticking together and forming large undifferentiated masses of ice. The film of water also substantially eliminates whitening and toughening of the ice cubes and forms a barrier to minimize the penetration of odors. It has been found that even without insulation ice cubes may be stored for several hours without appreciable melting. There is no significant disadvantage in permitting the stored ice cubes to melt slowly. Known ice-cubeforming apparatus are capable of replenishing the supply of ice cubes and permit a generally constant supply to be maintained without difficulty.

It is another object of this invention to provide an ice-cubedispensing bin, as described, in which the stored ice cubes are dispensed mechanically, preferably by means of an auger, whereby the ice-cube-dispensing bin may be built into a cabinet, as mentioned, and may be arranged for pushbutton operation for the convenience of users.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of this invention will be evident from the following description, with the aid of the attached drawings, of a preferred embodiment of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ice-cube-dispensing bin embodying the principles of this invention, showing the icecube-dispensing bin in association with suitable ice-cubeforming apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof, on a reduced scale;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows; 7

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 in the direction of the arrows; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view, on a further enlarged scale, taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. 3 in the direction of the arrows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, there is shown an ice-cube-dispensing bin, indicated generally at 10, constituting a preferred embodiment of this invention. For the purposes of the present disclosure, the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10 should be understood as being used in association with conventional ice-cube-forming apparatus 12. The ice-cube-dispensing bin 10 is built into a cabinet 14, and the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12 is suitable mounted on the cabinet 14 above the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10 for purposes to be set forth hereinafter.

In the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12, ice cubes are formed and discharged through an outlet at an intermittent rate. A suitable outlet is indicated generally at 18 in FIG. 3. Specific details of the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12 are not needed for an understanding of this invention and are not included in the present disclosure. Suitable ice-cube-forming apparatus are known in the art, in a number of forms, and specific details of any of these may be furnished readily by those skilled in the art.

The cabinet 14, into which the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10 is built, is constructed, in conventional manner, of rugged sheet metal panels, preferably of stainless steel and is not insulated. The sheet metal panels are reinforced with suitable angle and channel members. The various parts of the cabinet 14 are rigidly assembled together, in part by welds and in part by conventional sheet metal screws or other suitable fasteners, so as to be capable of being at least partly disassembled to give access to the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10. Specific details of the cabinet 14, in addition to those set forth herein, may be readily furnished by those skilled in the art.

The cabinet 14 comprises a horizontal rectangular bottom wall 24, an upright rectangular backwall 26, upright suitably fabricated sidewalls 28 and 30, and an upwardly and outwardly inclined front apron 32. The bottom wall 24 is elevated by means of suitably attached legs 36.

The cabinet 14 further comprises a drainboard indicated generallyat 38. The drainboard 38 includes a rectangular frame 40 suitably attached at its front edge to the top edge of the apron 32 and at its side edges to edge portions of the the grill 42, and a basin 46 suitably supported by the frame 40 around and beneath the grill 42 and the deflecting plate 44. Ice fragments and water spilled onto the drainboard 38 pass through the grill 42 and are deflected by the deflecting plate 44 into the basin 46. The basin 46 opens into a suitable drain (not shown). The cabinet 14 further comprises an upwardly and outwardly inclined splash panel 48 fabricated in one piece with the frame 40 and suitably attached at its side edges to edge portions of the sidewalls 28 and 30.

The cabinet 14 further comprises a hood 50 which overhangs the drainboard 38. The hood includes a horizontal rectangular fixture plate 52, which is suitably attached at its back edge to the upper edge of the splash panel 48 and at its side edges to edge portions of the sidewalls 28 and 30, a generally upright rectangular control panel 54, which is fabricated in one piece with the fixture plate 52 and is suitably attached at its side edges to edge portions of the sidewalls 28 and 30, and a sloping rectangular roof panel 56, which is suitably attached at its front edge to the upper edge of the control panel 54 and at its side edges to edge portions of the sidewalls 28 and 30. The roof panel 56 should be readily removable to give access to the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10.

A rectangular opening 70 is provided in the fixture plate 52. A dispensing spout 72, to be described hereinafter, is associated with the opening 70. The dispensing spout 72 defines an outlet 74 for ice cubes being dispensed.

Among the aforementioned reinforcing angle and channel members of the cabinet 14 are horizontal front and back channel members 76 and 78, at the top of the cabinet 14, and plural angle members 80 at the corners of the cabinet 14. A reinforced framework 84, comprising the channel members 76 and 78, supports the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12 at the top of the-cabinet 14 and above the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10. The ice-cube-forming apparatus 12 is mounted on and suitably supported by the framework 84.

in accordance with the principles of this invention, the icecube-dispensing bin is characterized by bin structure 86, which includes a reservoir 90, defining a substantially enclosed space 88 within which a large quantity of ice cubes may be stored, and by dispensing means 92 for mechanically dispensing the stored ice cubes.

Preferably, the reservoir 90 is vacuum molded or otherwise fabricated in one piece of a rugged high-impact plastic sheet, as shown. The reservoir 90 has an open top and includes a generally flat downwardly and frontwardly sloped bottom wall 94, a steep upwardly and outwardly inclined front wall 96, and a backwall 98 and sidewalls 100 and 102 each curved downwardly and inwardly to the bottom wall 94. The reservoir 90 opens into a suitable drain 104. The walls 94-102 of the reservoir 90 are enclosed by a suitably fabricated sheet metal casing 106. The space between the walls 94-102 of the reservoir 90 and the casing 106 is packed with a suitable cushioning material 108, such as polystyrene foam. The cushioning material 108 should be capable of lending structural support to the walls 94-102 of the reservoir 90. It has been found that the use of polystyrene foam, or an equivalent material, with an average thickness of from 1 to 1 inches, provides adequate structural support for the reservoir 90 to be made of an inexpensive vacuum-molded plastic sheet, as mentioned. Furthermore, the plastic sheet and the underlying cushioning material 108 deaden the sound of ice cubes dropping into the reservoir 90 when the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10 is(' empty or nearly empty.

The aforementioned bin structure 86 further includes lateral wall structure 120 between the open top of the reservoir 90 and the outlet 18 of the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12. The lateral wall structure 120 supports the reservoir 90 and the casing 106 from the aforementioned framework 84 at the top of the cabinet 14. The lateral wall structure 120 includes a generally trapezoidal backwall 122 and suitably fabricated sidewalls 124 and 126. The walls 122, 124 and 126 inclined upwardly and inwardly from the open top of the reservoir 90 toward the outlet 18 of the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12. The bin structure 86 further comprises a suitably fabricated front wall 128, to be described hereinafter. A large quantity of ice cubes may be stored in the bin structure 86, within the space enclosed by the walls 122-126 of the wall structure 120 and the front wall 128, and between the framework 84 at the top of the cabinet 14 and the reservoir 90. The stored ice cubes may be withdrawn from the reservoir by means of the dispensing means 92.

Significantly,

of sheet metal, preferably of stainless steel, and thus are heat conductive. Inasmuch as the cabinet 14 also is not insulated, heat from the surroundings is conducted to the stored ice cubes through the walls 122-126 of the wall structure and through the front wall 128. Consequently, the stored ice cubes are permitted to melt slowly and a film of water is permitted to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes. As mentioned hereinbefore, the film of water prevents the separate ice cubes from sticking together and forming large undifferentiated masses of ice, and the film of water also substantially eliminates whitening and roughening of the ice cubes and forms a barrier to minimize the penetration of odors.

Owing to the inclination, or reverse draft, of the backwall 122 and the sidewalls 124 and 126, the stored ice cubes are prevented from becoming wedged between the backwall 122 and the front wall 128, or between the sidewall 124 and the sidewall 126. As a result, the stored ice cubes are permitted to drop freely within the ice-cube-dispensing bin 10, from the outlet 18 of the ice-cube-forming apparatus 12 to the reservoir 90, as ice cubes are withdrawn from the reservoir 90 by the dispensing means 92, and there is little tendency for the stored ice cubes to adhere together.

The dispensing means 92 for dispensing ice cubes from the reservoir 90 comprises an upwardly and outwardly inclined auger 130 and an elongated trough 132 closely spaced from the auger 130 in parallel relation to the auger 130.

The auger 130 comprises an elongated spindle 134, which is perpendicular to the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90, and an integrally mounted blade 138, which defines a series of continuous helical flights along the spindle 134. The lower end 142 of the spindle 134 is disposed within the reservoir 90 adjacent to the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90, and the upper end 144 of the spindle 134 is disposed above the reservoir 90 and within the hood 50.

While the trough 132 may be fabricated to a rounded cross section, as in a conventional screw conveyor, preferably, the trough 132 is fabricated to a channelled cross section. As shown, the trough 132 includes a flat base wall 146 and generally perpendicular sidewalls 148 and 150. The walls 146-150 of the trough 132 are closely spaced from the flights 140 of the auger 130 to permit the auger 130 to convey ice cubes from the reservoir 90 along the walls 146-150. Owing to the inclination of the auger 130 and the trough 132, ice cubes being conveyed by the auger 130 tend to remain in the corners formed by the walls 146-150. The open spaces between the flights 140 of the auger 130 and the corners formed by the walls 146-150 of the trough 132 effectively screen the ice cubes such that only ice cubes that are larger than these open spaces are conveyed by the auger 130. Substantially melted ice cubes and ice fragments resulting from breakage drop through these open spaces back to the reservoir 90 where they will eventually melt and be drained away.

The lower end 152 of the trough 132 is disposed within the reservoir 90, adjacent to the lower end 142 of the spindle 134 of the auger 130, and is formed by a lower end wall 154, which is perpendicular to the base wall 146 of the trough 132 and thus is parallel to the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90. The lower end wall 154 of the trough 132 is spaced from the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90 by an annular member 156. A conventional seal 158, integral with the annular member 156, is dropped through a suitable opening in the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90 and into a suitable pocket 162 in the insulative material 108. The end wall 152 has an opening 164 aligned with the annular member 156 and the seal 158.

the walls 122-126 of the wall structure 120 and the front wall 128 are not'insulated. These walls are made The upper end 166 of the trough 132 is disposed above the reservoir 90 and within the hood 50, adjacent to the upper end 144 of the spindle 134 of the auger 130, and comprises an upper end wall 168, which is perpendicular to the base wall 146 of the trough 132 and thus is parallel both to the lower end wall 154 and to the bottom wall 94 of the reservoir 90. As is best shown in FIG. 3, a portion 174 of the backwall 146, adjacent to the upper end 166 but spaced therefrom, is bent inwardly between the sidewalls 148 and 150, in part parallel to the upper end wall 168 and in part arched away from the upper end wall 168. An inverted generally L-shaped member 176 is welded or otherwise suitably attached to the base wall 146 of the trough 132 in the opening formed in the base wall 146 by the inwardly bent portion 174. The member 176 defines a downwardly sloping shelf onto which the ice cubes are lifted by the auger 130. The inwardly bent portion 174 of the backwall 146 has an opening 178 through which the upper end 144 of the spindle 134 is freely passed.

The upper end wall 168 of the trough 132 has an opening 180 aligned with the opening 164 in the lower end wall 154 of the trough 132. An annular member 182, similar to the annular member 156, is disposed upon the upper end wall 168. A conventional journal bearing 184, integral with the annular member 182, is dropped through the opening 180 in the end wall 168.

The aforementioned dispensing spout 72 is removably mounted to the trough 132 and comprises a wall member 186 and a flanged cover member 188. The wall member 186 is suitably fabricated to include a front wall 190 and perpendicular sidewalls 192 and 194. Preferably, the sidewalls 192 and 194 are bolted to portions of the sidewalls 148 and 150 of the trough 132 adjacent the opening formed in the base wall 146 by the inwardly bent portion 174. As is best shown in FIG. 3, a portion 196 of the wall member 186 extends downwardly through the opening, 70 in the fixture plate 52. An inwardly inclined deflecting lip member 198 is integrally attached to the lower margin of the front wall 190. The flanged cover member is fitted over the walls 190-194 of the wall member 186 between the upper end 166 of the trough 132 and the fixture plate 52. The aforementioned inverted generally L- shaped member 176 is fitted between the sidewalls 192 and 194 of the wall member 186 and completes the structure of the dispensing spout 72.

The aforementioned front wall 128 of the ice-cubedispensing bin is fabricated to include a sloped upper portion 198 and an upwardly and outwardly inclined lower portion 200. The upper portion 198 has an enlarged rectangular opening 202 through which the auger 130 and the trough 132 are passed. The lower portion 200 has a section 204, the outer surface of which may be covered with a suitable insulative material to prevent condensation from forming.

The upper end wall 168 has a pair of spaced generally upwardly directed studs 208 welded or otherwise suitably attached to an integral flange 210 on the front channel member 76 through suitable openings 212 in the flange 210. The upper end wall 168 is supported by the flange 210 with the openings 206 engaged by the studs 208.

An enclosed bearing assembly 214 is suitably attached to the underside of the sheet metal casing 106 containing the reservoir 90. A rotatable mandrel 216 is supported by and joumaled in a suitable bearing (not shown) in the hearing assembly 214. The lower end 218 of the mandrel 216 is extended beneath the bearing assembly 214. The upper end 220 of the mandrel 216 is extended above the bearing assembly 214, through a suitable opening 222 in the sheet metal casing 106 and through the cushioning material 108, and is further extended through the seal 158 and the annular member 156 and through the opening 164 in the lower end wall 154 of the trough 132. As a result, the mandrel 216 is coaxial with the spindle 134 of the auger 130.

A socket member 226 is integrally attached to the lower end 142 of the spindle 134 as an axial extension of the spindle 134. The socket member 226 is slidably fitted over the upper end 220 of the mandrel 216. A radially extending pin 228, integral with the mandrel 216 adjacent to the upper end 220 of the mandrel 216, is seated in a suitably formed axial slot 230 in the socket member 226. As a result, the socket member 226 is keyed to the mandrel 216 for conjoint rotation of the auger and the mandrel 216. The upper end 144 of the spindle 134 is passed through the opening 178 in the inwardly bent portion 174 of the base wall 146 of the trough 132 and is journaled in the journal bearing 184. In this manner, the auger 130 is supported for rotation relative to the trough 132.

The manner in which the upper end wall 168 of the trough 132 is supported by the flange 210 and the manner in which the lower end 142 of the spindle 134 of the auger 130 is associated with the upper end 220 of the mandrel 216, permit the auger 130 and the trough 132 to be lifted from the icedispensing bin 10, together with the dispensing spout 72, after the roof panel 56 of the hood 50 has been removed, as aforementioned, for cleaning and descaling the auger 130 and the trough 132 and for other purposes.

A motor mount 234 is rigidly mounted to the bottom wall 24 of the cabinet 14. A prime mover in the form ofa conventional electrical motor 236 is suitably supported by the motor mount 234. A conventional speed reducer 238 is suitably supported by a suitable framework (not shown), adjacent to the underside of the sheet metal casing 106 containing the reservoir 90. A belt and pulley combination 240 is used to drive the input shaft 242 of the speed reducer 238 from the motor 236. A chain and sprocket combination 244 is used to drive the mandrel 216, at the lower end 218 thereof, from the output shaft 246 of the speed reducer 238.

Preferably, alternative controls are provided for actuating and deactuating the motor 236. As shown, one alternative control comprises a spring-mounted lever 250 installed in the fixture plate 52 and biased to a reset position whereat the motor 236 is deactuated. This control may be arranged in a known manner such that the motor 236 is actuated and the auger 130 rotated when a bucket or the like is pressed against the lever 250. As shown, the other alternative control comprises a pushbutton 2S2 installed in the control panel 54 and biased outwardly to a reset position whereat the motor 236 is deactuated. This control may be arranged such that the motor 236 is actuated and the auger 130 rotated when the pushbutton 252 is pressed. Each control may be arranged, in known manner, to override the other. Suitable circuits for the foregoing controls may be supplied readily by those skilled in the art.

As an added feature, a conventional faucet 270 for running water is shown installed in the fixture plate 52. Flow from the faucet 270 may be controlled by a conventional spring load valve (not shown) which may be actuated by a push button 272 installed in the control panel 54. The pushbutton 272 should be biased outwardly to a reset position whereat flow from the faucet 270 is cut off.

It should be understood that the preferred embodiment of this invention is described solely by way of example and that modifications and improvements within the scope of this invention may be suggested by the present disclosure to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the scope of this invention should be determined from the following claims.

lclaim:

1. An ice-cube-dispensing bin comprising, in combination, bin structure defining a substantially enclosed space having a closed lower end and within which ice cubes may be stored, said bin structure being composed of wall means permitting the stored ice cubes to melt slowly and cause a film of water to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes, dispensing means for mechanically dispensing the stored ice cubes from said bin structure in a direction upwardly from the closed lower end of said bin structure, and wherein said bin structure includes a reservoir fabricated in one piece of a plastic sheet.

2. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 1 wherein said reservoir is supported on polystyrene foam.

3. An ice-cube-dispensing bin comprising, in combination, a bin structure defining a substantially enclosed space having a closed lower end and within which ice cubes may be stored,

said bin structure being composed of wall means permitting the stored ice cubes to melt slowly and cause a film of water to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes, dispensing means for mechanically dispensing the stored ice cubes from said bin structure in a direction upwardly from the closed lower end of said bin structure, wherein said dispensing means comprises an upwardly and outwardly inclined rotatable auger, which includes an elongated spindle and a series of continuous helical flights, and an elongated trough, which is closely spaced from said flights in parallel relation to said spindle, supporting means for supporting said trough in fixed relation to said bin structure and said auger for rotation relative to said trough, and rotating means for rotating said auger relative to said trough.

4. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 3 wherein said trough has a flat base wall and generally perpendicular sidewalls, said walls of said trough being closely spaced from said flights of said auger, whereupon substantially melted ice cubes and ice fragments are permitted to drop through the open spaces between the said flights of said auger and the corners formed by said walls of said trough.

5. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 3 wherein said supporting means comprises upper and lower journal bearing means, a rotatable mandrel journaled in said lower journal bearing means and coaxial with said spindle, and a socket member integral with the lower end of said spindle as an axial extension of said spindle, the upper end of said spindle being journaled in said upper journal bearing means, said socket member being slidably fitted over and keyed to said mandrel for conjoint rotation of said auger and said mandrel.

6. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 5 wherein said trough has upper and lower end walls, said lower end wall having an opening through which said mandrel is extended, said upper end wall being removably supported in fixed relation to said bin structure and supporting said upper journal bearing means.

7. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 3 wherein said rotating means comprises a prime mover and means for rotating said mandrel from said prime mover.

8. An ice-cube'dispensing bin comprising, in combination, bin structure defining a substantially enclosed space having a closed lower end in which ice cubes may be stored, said bin structure being composed of wall means permitting the stored ice cubes to melt slowly and cause a film of water to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes, dispensing means for mechanically dispensing the stored ice cubes from said bin structure in a direction upwardly from the closed lower end of said bin structure, and wherein said bin structure includes upwardly and inwardly inclined lateral wall structure.

9. The ice-cube-dispensing means of claim 8 wherein said lateral wall structure comprises an upwardly and inwardly inclined backwall and upwardly and inwardly inclined sidewalls.

10. An ice-cube-dispensing bin comprising, in combination, bin structure defining a substantially enclosed space having a closed lower end and within which ice cubes may be stored, said bin structure being composed of wall means permitting the stored ice cubes to melt slowly and cause a film of water to be formed between adjacent stored ice cubes, dispensing means for mechanically dispensing the stored ice cubes from said bin structure in a direction upwardly from the closed lower end of the bin structure, and wherein said bin structure includes a reservoir and upwardly and inwardly inclined lateral wall structure above said reservoir.

11. The ice-cube-dispensing means of claim 10 wherein said reservoir is fabricated in one piece of a plastic sheet.

12. The ice-cube-dispensing means of claim 10 wherein said lateral wall structure comprises an upwardly and inwardly inclined backwall and upwardly and inwardly inclined sidewalls.

13. The ice-cube-dispensing means of claim 10 wherein said reservoir is fabricated in one piece of a plastic sheet and said lateral wall structure comprises an upwardly and inwardly inclined backwall. and upwardly and inwardly inclined sidewalls.

14. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 10 wherein said dispensing means comprises an upwardly and outwardly inclined rotatable auger, which includes an elongated spindle and a series of continuous helical flights, and an elongated trough, which is closely spaced from said flights in parallel relation to said spindle, supporting means for supporting said trough in fixed relation to said reservoir and said auger for rotation relative to said trough, and rotating means for rotating said auger relative to said trough.

15. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 14 wherein said trough has a flat base wall and generally perpendicular sidewalls, said walls of said trough being closely spaced from said flights of said auger, whereupon substantially melted ice cubes and ice fragments are permitted to drop through the open spaces between the flights of said auger and the corners formed by said walls of said trough.

16. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 14 wherein said supporting means comprises upper and lower journal bearing means, a rotatable mandrel journaled in said lower journal bearing means and extended into said reservoir so as to be coaxial with said spindle, and a socket member integral with the lower end of said spindle as an axial extension of said spindle, the upper end of said spindle being journaled in said upper journal bearing means, said socket member being slidably fitted over and keyed to said mandrel for conjoint rotation of said auger and said mandrel.

17. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 16 wherein said trough has upper and lower end walls, said lower end wall having an opening through which said mandrel is extended, said upper end wall being removably supported in fixed relation to said reservoir and supporting said upper journal bearing means.

18. The ice-cube-dispensing bin of claim 14 wherein said rotating means comprises a prime mover and means for rotating said mandrel from said prime mover.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/403, 222/413
International ClassificationF25C5/00, B65G65/46
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/002, B65G65/463, F25C2500/08
European ClassificationB65G65/46B, F25C5/00B