US 3685560 A
Produce to be sliced is added via either or both of a pair of entrance ports for gravity feed onto the upper surface of slicing members. Each slicing member includes a parabolic knife blade that is adjustably and removably mounted within a pressure plate, such that the knife blade can be positioned to any particular location above the surface of the pressure plate within the operative limits of the equipment. By means of a threaded screw attached to each of the blades, they may be positioned as a unit to an exact spacing with respect to the major planar surface of the carrier such that a produce is added through the ports, it is sliced to a thickness determined by the spacing between the blade members and the blade pressure plate surface. A continuous speed control is provided for the power equipment which rotates the carrier and blade member assemblies.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Siegmann  PRODUCE SLICING APPARATUS 51 Aug. 22, 1972 Primary Examiner-Willie o. Abercrombie 7 u W L Hacienda Atto'mey -qeorge J. Netter and Kendrick and Subkow Heights; Calif. [5 Cr 73 Assi ee: Brothers Metal Products, I Inc. 1 gn Momebeui, Calif. Produce 10 be sliced iS via either 01' both of a pair of entranceports for gravity feed onto-the upper  Flled: 1970 surface of slicing members; Each slicing member in- 21] App] 32,994 cludes a parabolicknife blade that'is adjustably and rcmovably mounted within a pressure plate, such that Y the knife blade can be positioned toany particular lou u "146/ I ti above th f f ss c. iguana 13 he operative limits the equipmem By means ofa 1 l may be pcsitionecl as a unit to an exact spacing with  References Cited respect to the major planar surface of the carrier such UNITED STATES PATENTS- t a g p g u de flgq g the g t g is '-:o,a cessermm yespacmg weene 2,796,103 6/1957 Femstem 146/ 124 v bldevmemb'ers and t blade prawn plate surface 1,676,241 7/ 1928 Ayars "146/124 X A continuous speed comm] isprovided for the power fi fi ig 4 /1 3; equipment which rotates the carrier and blade 3:530:95 9/1970 Moriuchi i i6/12s.x member assembhes' SCIains, 5 Drawing Figures i V 2 e 17 14 a/ i Y v52 /6 L /a 1 20 25 I! ll 25 ,2 1 .I: 1 Y
A El v A l 4- is 27 46 .45 w v; 46 -1 I n 4a 1 5 um w Patented Aug. 22, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 WW kw 6 WA w mw E6..d 7 W9 m 1 IL 2 V w W K Putented Aug. 22, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR 056 87 L. 5/66M/4/VA/ BY K6/VDE7/7d SUBKdW Patented Aug. 22, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 5.
5. INVENTOR I 05627 4. 5/6GMAN/V PRODUCE SLICING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The trend in recent years in the produce field has been to supply such things as cut lettuce to the ultimate consumer already cut to selectively desired form and packaged. In particular, institutions such as hotels, schools and the like are desirous of obtaining large quantities of already cut and chopped salads, lettuce, cabbage or other produce which gives rise to the need for slicing or cutting machinery especially adapted for high volume handling of such produce. For example, in the case of lettuce, it is desirable to be able to cut the lettuce in rather thick chunks for certain uses, whereas for other uses it may be desirable to slice it into very fine shreds, which is sometimes referred to as Taco Cut. And, in order to provide the variations in cut desired, it is necessary that satisfactory slicing equipment be accordingly selectively adjustable.
It can also be shown that in the quantity cutting of lettuce, the required speed at which a revolving slicing knife must be moved is dependent upon the thickness of cut, since this determines the amount of frictional force acting in a direction to retard rotation of the slicing knife. However, until applicants advent into the field, produce slicing apparatus, at best, was provided with only a few discrete speeds of operation, thereby making it inefficient in the slicing of large quantities of a'particular size or degree of cutting desired by the ultimate user. Also, in addition to being inefficient in a cut, in making certain types of cuts, unless the cutting speed is relatively precisely matched to the desired cut, there will be a tendency to bruise the produce, thereby decreasing its shelf life and its acceptability by the user.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is therefore provided in the practice of the present invention slicing apparatus for handling large quantities of produce in relatively short periods of time, which can be readily adjusted to provide slicing to any desired thickness, and accomplish the slicing at any predetermined adjustment setting in an optimally efiicient manner. Produce to be cut is added via either or both of pair of entrance ports for gravity feed onto the upper surface of slicing members. Each slicing member includes a parabolic knife blade that is adjustably and removably mounted within a pressure plate, such that the knife blade can be positioned to any particular location above the surface of the pressure plate within the operative limits of the equipment. More particularly, by means of a threaded screw attached to each of the blades, they may be positioned as a unit to an exact spacing with respect to the major planar surface of the carrier such that as produce is added through the ports, it is sliced to a thickness determined by the spacing between the blade members and the blade pressure plate surface.
In addition, a continuous speed control is provided for the power equipment which rotates the carrier and blade member assemblies. Fingertip adjustment of the speed control adjusts the rotative speed of the blade members and pressure plate assemblies in accordance with the requirements of the particular desired cutting operation.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a preferred form of the apparatus in the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the apparatus taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a plan, enlarged view of the slicer and carrier assembly taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a sectional, partially fragmentary view of a portion of the knife and carrier blade assembly taken along the line 55 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Reference is now made simultaneously to both FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing depicting the slicing apparatus of this invention enumerated generally as at 10. A generally upstanding support frame or table 11 for supporting the slicing apparatus has an open undersection from which cut produce is removed or at which containers for the cut produce can be positioned during slicing. A hollow, open sided housing 12 is mounted axially vertically in the center portion of the support 11 and includes on its upper surface a pair of hollow tubular ports 13 and 14 which communicate with the interior of the chamber 12. It is via these ports having enlarged open upper ends 15 that uncut produce to be sliced is added to the equipment. Between the ports 13 and 14 and substantially axially located with respect to the cylindrical chamber 12, a slicer blade assembly shaft 16 is enclosed within an upstanding housing 17, which shaft terminates at its uppermost end in a blade adjustment means 18 to be described in detail later herein.
Rotative power is provided to the shaft assembly 16 via a pulley 1'9, belt 20, a further pulley 21 and electric motor 22. The pulley 21 and belt 20 are enclosed within a guard 23 which is generally elongated and ex tends from the pulley 19 outwardly beyond the outermost reaches of the support 11. A conventional electrical motor speed control 24 provided with input power through leads 25 provides for variable speed control of the motor 22, depending upon the setting of the adjustment knobs 26 thereof. The detailed construction and operation of the motor control 24 is not provided, since it is of generally conventional design. The motor 22 and motor speed control 24 are mounted unitarily to the side of the housing 12.
Attached to the undersurface of the housing 12 top is a hollow, cylindrical drum 27 which opens downwardly and generally encompasses the slicing. members to be described and into which the ports 13 and 14 empty.
Turning now particularly to FIG. 3, each port 13 and 14 is seen to comprise a lower part which is secured within an appropriate opening in the drum 27 and a removable upper part positively positioned by a circumferential bead 28. The inner end of the ports extend downwardly within the drum 27 the same amount.
The shaft 16 is rotatably joumaled within the vertical adjusting means by a bearing 29 disposed within a threaded hub collar 30, the latter, in turn, being tal wall of housing 17. A cap 32 is received within the 1 upper, end of collar 30 to cover the nut 33 that retains the shaft within the bearing. An upstanding member 35 mounted on the upper surface of 17 includes calibrated markings for determining the amount of vertical adjustment of the collar 30 by comparison of the calibrated mark 36 position.
Turning to FIG. 4, the blade pressure plate 37 comprises a generally circular blank with a pair of cutout regions 38 and 39 for accommodating the arms of an S- shaped blade member 40. Referring also to FIGS. 3 and 5, it is seen that the pressure plate 37 has a central thickened mounting boss 41 integral with the blank and including an opening 42 for receiving the shaft 16. More particularly, the boss 41, and thus the entire pressure plate, is secured to the shaft 16 between the shaft shoulder 43 and a nut 44 at the shaft terminus. Accordingly, vertical adjustment of the shaft 16 produces a corresponding vertical positioning of the pressure plate.
The blade assembly 40 includes a generally S-shaped carrier 45 onto which is affixed a blade 46 with its cutting edge extending beyond the periphery of the carof a hub'48 having an elongated shank that is received about a shaft '16. Threaded: member 49, passing through-the carrier and flange, unitize the parts by means of nuts 50 and further include elongated cylindrical' head portions 51 which are received in corresponding openings in the boss 41. That is, movement of the shaft 16 which produces a corresponding movement of the boss 41 does not affect the blade assembly 40, but merely produces a relative motion between the head portions 51 and the boss.
The hub 48 shank has its upper end keyed to the pulley 19 as at 52 and is journaled in the lower wall of 17 by the means 53.
In making an adjustment of the cutting thickness desired, the lever arm 34 is turned to loosen the locking nut 31, after which 30 is positioned to the. desired height as measured on 35, which moves the pressure plate and boss 41 as shown in FIG. 3, vertically up or down as the case may be. This produces a change in the spacing between the upper surface of the pressure plate and the knife edge 46.
"Assuming adjustment of the cutting thickness is made as described in the preceding paragraph, the cutting speed is then set by adjustment of the knobs 26 and the motor 22 is started. Rotation of the pulley 19 turns the hub 48, blade assembly 40 and associated pressure plate 37 in the direction shown by the arrow in FIG. 4, such that the convex sideof the blade will engage the produce to be cut. Produce such as lettuce is then inserted into the tops of the ports 13 and 14 and is cut by the blade edges, after which the cut produce falls out the bottom of the drum 27 into suitable receptacles.
1. Apparatus for quantity slicing of produce such as lettuce, cabbage or the like into selected thickness grades, comprising, in combination:
i a housing; 7 1
a shaft generally vertically arranged within said hous- 1n I firstgournal means interconnecting the upper shaft end to said housing, said means including a collar having external threads for receipt .within a similarly threaded openingin said housing and intemal bearing means for receiving said shaft for rotation while preventing longitudinal movement of said shaft relative to the collar;
a pressure plate mounted onto the lower shaft end for rotation therewith; s 1 blade means received on said shaft above said pressure plate and adapted for rotation with and sliding movement along said shaft; second journal means interconnecting the blade means with said housing for rotation relative thereto while maintaining said blade means at a fixed vertical distance relative to said housing, whereby threaded adjustment of the collar in the housing effects variation of the vertical spacing between the blade means and the pressure plate; and rotative power source means connected to the pressure plate for rotating said plate and blade means. 2. Apparatus as in claim 1, in which there are further provided means mounted on said housing adjacent said collar having spatial markings thereon for providing direct visual indication of the amount of threaded receipt of the collar in the housing and thereby the spacing of the blade means from the pressure plate.
3. Apparatus as in claim 2, in which said pressure plate includes a centrally located mounting boss with at least two openings for slidingly receiving blade means