US 3667724 A
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June 1972 R. T. CORNELIUS 3,667,724
SOLENOID ACTUATED DISPENSING VALVE Filed June 10, 1970 INVEN'I'UR. /Q/C///l/0 7 az/va s United States Patent 3,667,724 SOLENOID ACTUATED DISPENSING VALVE Richard T. Cornelius, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to The Cornelius Company, Anoka, Minn. Filed June 10, 1970, Ser. No. 44,925 Int. Cl. F16k 31/05 US. Cl. 251-138 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates generally to a dispensing valve assembly and more particularly to one that includes a switch actuated solenoid for operating the valve, preferably as a post-mix valve.
In my Patent No. 3,455,332, issued July 15, 1969, there is disclosed a post-mix valve which uses an actuating lever to mechanically actuate the two valve elements that regulate the flow of the two fluids that are to be mixed. I have found that there would be consumer demand for a device of that type, but which would require less force or energy on the part of the user to operate.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to this invention, a dispensing device is provided wherein the valve elements are operated by an electric solenoid which is under the control of a selectively actuatable switch within the device.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an electrically operated dispensing device.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a dispensing device or mixing valve that can be operated using a minimum of force or energy on the part of the user.
Yet another object of the present invention is to be able to externally modify the ratio of the fluid ingredients being mixed.
A still further object of the present invention is to insure that the mixing is carried out in a thorough manner so as to avoid the need for possible stirring of the dispensed product or beverage.
Another object of this invention is to provide means by which one of the fluids can be dispensed without energizing the solenoid which normally controls the dispensing of such fluid.
Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying drawing in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.
On the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, of a dispensing device such as a mixing valve provided in accordance with the principles of the present invention, a cover having been removed to facilitate illustration; and
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary diagrammatic view of an auxiliary actuator carried by the cover.
-As shown on the drawing:
The principles of the present invention are particularly ice useful when embodied in a dispensing device or post-mix valve assembly such as illustrated in FIG. 1, generally indicated by the numeral 10. The device 10 includes a valve assembly 11 having a housing 12 composed of portions 12a and 1211 through which two fluid passages extend. One fluid passage has an inlet fitting 13 while the other fluid passage has a similar inlet disposed directly in back of the inlet '13. Each of the fluid passages are under the control of a valve element (not shown) carried on the inner end of an actuator arm 14 that projects from the housing 12, is pivotally supported by such housing, and which thereby opens and closes the associated passage in response to being rocked. One fluid passage is partially illustrated at 15 and the other fluid passage is partially illustrated at 16. It is to be understood that certain advantages of the present invention can be obtained even though only one fluid passage is utilized where no mixing is needed.
An electric solenoid 17 having a terminal 18 is supported on a bracket 19 which is secured as by screws 20 to the housing 12. The bracket 19 also supports a selectively actuatable electric switch 21 on another portion thereof, the switch 21 having terminals 22, 23. The solenoid 17 has a plunger 24 which is provided with means for rocking the actuator arm or arms 14 to a passageopening position, against the force of a biasing spring or springs 26. To this end, there is included a pair of intermediate levers 27, one behind the other, which are pivoted on a pin 28 carried by the housing 12. Further, the plunger 24 carries a hook 29 which embraces the upper ends of the intermediate levers 27 and has a lost motion connection therewith. The intermediate levers 27 have a pair of spaced bearing points 30, one behind the other, for actuating the actuator arms 14. By this construction, each of the intermediate levers 27 has a greater effective length a between its pivot at 28 and the plunger-operated hook 29 than it does have between the pivot 28 and the actuator arm or arms 14.
The electric switch 21 is selectively actuatable and is mounted in fixed position relative to the housing, and the terminals 21, 22 are in circuit with the solenoid terminals such as 18 and with a source of power. The selective actuation of the switch 21 is obtained by a manually movable switch-actuating lever 31 which is also pivotally mounted on the pivot pin 28. The lower end of the switch-actuating lever 31 extends downwardly so that it can be readily pushed rearwardly by the person who holds a glass or other receptacle under the outlet. The upper end of the switch-actuating lever 31 is disposed in a space 32 between the plunger 33 of the switch 21 and a lever limiting means 34. A spring 35 acts between the bracket 19 and the switch-actuating lever 31 to tend to rock the lever 3 1 in a clockwise direction as viewed whereby the upper endof the lever 31 is normally in engagement with the limiting means 34. The limiting means 34 further serve to prevent the lever from hitting the cover that is not shown, and also prevent the upper end of that lever from getting into the space that would be occupied by the cover during its being put on, so that the limiting means thus prevents any such type of interference.
There are three additional features that enhance the operation of this device when it has the two passages so that it is used as a mixing valve.
Ordinarily, the kinds of fluids that are usually mlxed constitute refrigerated carbonated water and a flavored syrup. As the viscosity and the pressure on the supply of syrup is a constant, the amount of syrup that can be dlspensed in a fixed period of time is regulated by the position of an externally adjustable flow restrictor 36 which extends partially by a selected amount into the downstream portion of the passage 15. By setting the position of the restrictor 36, the Brix of the mixed beverage is thuscontrolled;
The syrup passage 15 extends vertically through the center of a spout 37, while the other or Water passage extends in the space surrounding the lower end of the passage 15. Thus, at the discharge end of the passage 15, the passage 16 is of annular cross section and surrounds the passage 15. Over the lower end of the passage 15, there is provided a multi-orifice nozzle 38 which sprays or finally divides the syrup laterally into the annular stream of carbonated water that surrounds it, thereby ensuring excellent mixing.
There preferably are two intermediate levers 27, one foreach of the actuator arms 14, but both actuated by the hook 29. In addition, there is provided a cam 39 '(FIG. 2) which is pivotally supported on the cover at a point for engaging only one of the intermediate levers 27 near the hook 29. The cam 39 is under the control of a manual lever 40 which thereby can be used to cause the cam to engage and to rock only one of the actuating arms 14. Normally, this is for the purpose of withdrawing only one of the liquids, such as carbonated water.
' For further details of the internal construction of the I p ably supported on said housing for manually actuathaggard swaei (e) a spring acting between said housing and said actuator arm;
(f) an intermediate lever pivoted at its lower end on said housing, 'engageable ,at an intermediate 'point with ,the outer end of said actuator. arm? and driven at its-outer end by said solenoidiplungerj and (g) said-spring and said actuator armlproviding a biasing force, through said intermediate lever, on said 'plunger to retract it when said solenoid is deenergized. 1
2. A dispensing device according, to claim 1 in which said switch has'a case, said case limiting'pivotalmovevalve assembly 11, including the interior of the housing 12 and the inner end of the actuator arm :14, the reader is referred to my Patent No. 3,455,332.
Although various minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within thes of h patent 1 ranted hereon, all such embodiments as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.
I claim as my invention:
1. A dispensing device comprising:
(a) a valve assembly including a housing having a fiuid passage therethrough, said valve assembly including an actuator arm projecting from said housing and pivotably supported by it to open and close said passage in response to being rocked;
(b) a solenoid secured to said housing and having a plunger provided with means for rocking said actuator arm;
(c) a selectively actuable switch disposed in fixedrelation to said housing and connected in circuit with said solenoid;
(d) a generally vertical switch-actuating lever pivotment of said switch-actuating lever. ina switch-engaging direction. 1 3. A dispensing device according to claim 1 including means disposed in fixed relation to said switch for limit ing pivotal movement of said switch-actuating lever lrr'a switch-disengaging direction. 1' I I 4. A dispensing device according to claim .3 including a spring urging said switch-actuating lever to engage said limiting means by whicli"engageii1ent the normal position of said actuating le'v'e'r'is controlled. 5 3 F, i'
5. A dispensing device according to, claim 1 including a hook on said plunger embracing the end of said intermediate lever. 1 ReferencesCited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,132,204 10/1938 Davis 61 al. -251'-232 x 3,221,936 12/1965, s utum 22-2-76X 2,327,366 8/1943 Nampa 25-1 13s x 2,616,607 11/1952 Perkins 251--138 X 3,289,948 12 1966 Fuerst 222-145 3,396,871 8/1968 McCann a. 222-145): 3,102,712 9/1963 Zilk -251-13sx 3,163,177 12/1964 Welty et al. 251-129):
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,17,645 2/1956 France" t 1t 3 251438 ROBERT G.NILSON;Primary;Examiner M l j "Us. 01. XR. 251 130;"137 607'