US 3685744 A
An applicator applies a downward annular spray of water that impinges upon the annular upwardly facing surface at the peripheral edge of a bottom crust of an unbaked pie shell to prepare such surface for being sealed to a top crust by crimping. The applicator has a housing with a circular peripheral flange on one surface defining circular recess into which a spray disc fits. The disc has a grooved surface in contact with the housing for conveying a pressurized mixture of air and water to the peripheral edge of the disc which is provided with transverse --shaped slots that function as nozzles spraying the air-water mixture in an annular pattern.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ludy, Jr.
 3,685,744 Aug. 22, 1972 SYSTEM INCLUDING APPLICATOR FOR SPRAYING LIQUIDS.
William F. L dy, Jr., Stowe. Pa.
Progressive Machine Company, Inc., Spring City, Pa.
Filed: Jan. 18, 1971 Appl. No.: 125,781
' References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,348,011 5/1944 Koppel ..239/552 2,574,635 11/1951 Franzheim ..239/552X AlR SUPPLY WATER SUPPLY FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,037,897 5/l953 France ..239/552 Primary Exumim'r-.- M. Henson Wood, .lr. Assistant Examiner-Thomas C. Culp, Jr. Attorney-Paul & Paul  ABSTRACT An applicator applies a downward annular spray of water that impinges upon the annular upwardly facing surface at the peripheral edge of a bottom crust of an unbaked pie shell to prepare such surface for being sealed to a top crust by crimping. The applicator has a housing with a circular peripheral flange on one surface defining a circular recess into which a spray disc fits. The disc has a grooved surface in contact with the housing for conveying a pressurized mixture of air and water to the peripheral edge of the disc which is provided with transverse X-shaped slots that function as nozzlesv spraying the air-water mixture in an annular pattern.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures CONTROL 7 cmcurr PATENTEDAIJBZZ m2 3 7 4 sum 1 or g CONTROL CIRCUIT INVENTOR.
Q fi ZJPM AT TOR N EYS.
WILLIAM F. LUDY, JR.
SYSTEM INCLUDING APPLICATOR FOR SPRAYING LIQUIDS v v BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION v crimp in order to prevent the pie filling from leaking out during: baking and in order to retain the flavor of the filling in the baked pie. Such seal is achieved by moistening the annular surface of the bottom crust prior to applying and crimping the top crust in place.
F or small scale production, manually moistening the crust is usually relied upon; but this approach .is unof reasons. First of all, the time andlabor expense of such manual operation becomes prohibitive. Secondly, repetitive manual operations introduce a large probability of lack of uniformity from unit-to-unit and this introduces quality control problems complicating production and indirectly having an adverse effect on production economies. p
The advantage is obvious of asystem for automatically and uniformly moistening the annular surface of the bottom crust of a'pie shell during volume production of pies.- It is the primary object of the present invention, therefore, to provide such a system, and an applicator particularly suitable for use therein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION face in order to maximize the efficacy of the seal to be obtained when-the top crust is crimped in place. To produce the annular spray pattern, the applicator has a housing on one surface of which is a circular peripheral flange defining a circular recess. Into this recess fits a circular spray disc with the top surface thereof abutting the one surface of the housing. A plurality of radially extending grooves is present in the top surface of the disc so that a pressurized mixture of air and water injected through a central aperture in the housing travels in the grooves to the periphery of the disc. A series of X-s haped recesses respectively connecting with the grooves are provided in the transverse peripheral edge of the disc abutting the peripheral flange on the housing. The shape of the recesses creates a nozzle-effect which causes the air-water mixture to be sprayed in droplets in an annular pattern that closely matches the annular surface of the bottom pie crust.
The pressurized mixture of air and water is created in a mixing chamber on the housing by selectively connecting the chamber to an air supply and a water supply. Such selective connection is achieved by solenoid operated valves whose operation is synchronized with the movement of the pie shells on the conveyor.
- satisfactory for high volume production for a number The more important features of this invention have thus been outlined rather broadly in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will also form the subject of the claims appended hereto.. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other structures for carrying out the several purposes of this invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims to be granted herein shall be of sufficient breadth to prevent the appropriation of this invention by those skilled in the art.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF VIEWS OF THE DRAWING For a more complete understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, reference numeral 10 designates a portion of a pie processing system into which the present invention is incorporated. System 10 includes conveyor meansll by which unbaked pie shells 12 are conveyed past applicator station 13. Conveyor means 11 is shown schematically as a conveyor belt 14carrying spacers 15 which accurately locate shells 12 at predetermined intervals on the belt which is driven by an intermittent drive mechanism shown schematically by reference number 16; Not shown in the drawing, but
present in an actual system, are the stations upstream of the applicator station'at which bottom crusts 17 are placed in metallic pie plates 18, and the filling 19 is added. Likewise, FIG. 1 does not show the stations downstream of the applicator station at which the top crust is placed on shells l2 and then peripherally crimped. The operation of drive mechanism 16 is synchronized with the tasks performed at the various stations so that shells 12 move intermittently from station-to-station, pausing long enough at each station for the required operation to take place.
Metallic pie plate 18, as shown best in FIG. 2, typically has frustro-conical side walls 30 terminating in an outwardly extending flat flange 21. Bottom'crust 17 lies within plate 18 and terminates in lip 22 that rests on flange 21 and defines an annular upwardly facing surface 23 which eventually receives and is crimped to a top crust (not shown) at a station downstream fromstation 13, It is surface 23 that is to be uniformly moistened in order to establish an effective seal between the top and bottom crusts.
Applicator 24, located at station 13, is designed to deposit an atomized spray of water on annular surface 23 without significantly diluting filling 19. To achieve this end, applicator 24 comprises housing 25, spray disc 26 and mixing means 27. As shown in FIG. 3, housing is essentially disc-shaped having on'its bottom surface 28 a circular peripheral flange 29 defining a circular recess 30. Central aperture 31 in housing 25 connects the top surface 32 to the bottom surface 28. The housing is positioned properly relative to conveyor means 11 by reason of support bar 33 welded or otherwise fastened to the housing and attached to the chassis, designated by reference numeral 34, which fomis the structural support for the elements of the system.
Spray disc 26 has a circular shape corresponding to recess and fits therein, as seen in FIG. 3, with top surface 35 on disc 26 abutting bottom surface 28 of housing 25, and the transverse peripheral edge 36 of the disc fitting snugly against the inside of flange 29 defining recess 30. Threaded fasteners 45 hold disc 26 attached to housing 25. As shown clearest in FIG. 4, top surface 35 of the disc is provided with a plurality of uniformly displaced diarnetral grooves 37. In one form of the invention, thirty such grooves are provided displaced about 12 from each other. As seen in FIG. 3, these grooves extend from a central region 38 on the disc adjacent central aperture 31 in housing 25 to the peripheral edge of the disc. Nozzle means 39 in the peripheral edge 36 of the disc are adjacent to and connect with respective ones of the grooves 37. The nozzle means 39 are established by X-shaped transverse slots 40 cut into edge 36 as shown in FIG. 4. As a consequence of this arrangement, pressurized fluid, in the form of an air/water mixture injected into central aperture 31 travels radially in the grooves 37 (which are closed by reason of the abutment of surface 35 with surface 28), and exits into enlarged top chambers 41 defined by slots 40. Each of chambers 41 is closed by flange 29 and opens only at narrow restriction 42 into enlarged lower chamber 43. Chambers 41, 43 and restriction 42 function as a Venturi-tube causing the water in the mixture entering chamber 41 to be broken up into fine droplets and sprayed downwardly in a narrow annular pattern 44 closely matching the shape and size of disc 26. The width of the annular pattern as shown in FIG. 3 is a function of the depth of slots 40.
To properly time the injection of a pulse of pressurized fluid into central aperture 31 so that spray pattern 44 impinges upon surface 23, the arrival of a shell at station 13 directly below applicator 24 is sensed by normally-open switch 46 which is closed by spacer 15. Switch 46 is electrically connected to control circuit 47. The closing of switch 46 initiates a cycle in control circuit 47 which causes mixing means 27 to inject the required pulse of pressurized fluid into aperture 31.
Mixing means 27 comprises mixing chamber 48, air supply 49, water supply 50, and the associated circuitry for controlling these supplies. Chamber 48 is preferably non-metallic and is cylindrical in shape being positioned above aperture 31 on surface 32 of housing 25. Boss 51 on bar 33 serves to mount chamber 48 and effect its seal with surface 32 of the housing in a region surrounding aperture 31. Pipe 52 attached at one end to air inlet port 53in chamber 48 is attached at its other end to the outlet of solenoid valve 54. The inlet to valve 54 is attached to a filtered and regulated air supply. Pipe 55 attached at one end to water inlet port 56 in chamber 48 is connected by way of stop-cock 57 to the outlet of solenoid valve 58. The inlet to valve 58 is attached to water supply 50. Each of valves 54 and 58 is simultaneously opened for a predetermined period of time by control circuit 47 after switch 46 is closed, thus furnishing a predetemiined quantity of air and water to chamber 48 each time a pie shell is properly located relative to the applicator.
Summarizing, system 10 is effective to generate an annular spray pattern which is deposited on the annular surface of a pie shell on which a top crust is to be crimped. While the applicator is shown as a part of such system and is disclosed as spraying a mixture of air and water in an annular pattern, it is obvious that other patterns could be achieved, since the spray pattern is determined by the size and shape of the spray disc and housing. The applicator can be used to deposit liquids other than water, such as, for example, paint or glue. Furthermore, the nozzle-means disclosed herein is easily and inexpensively manufactured because a straightforward edge-milling operation can be employed. The spray disc is thus simple in design and inexpensive to fabricate, regardless of the complexity of the shape of the spray pattern. The cross-sectional dimension of the pattern is established by the depth of the X-shaped notches, so that this easily variable parameter is available for achieving whatever dimension a particular application calls for.
What is claimed is:
l. A processing system comprising:
a. conveyor means for conveying the bottom crusts of unbaked pie shells past an applicator station;
b. each of said crusts having at its periphery an annular upwardly facing surface adapted to engage and be crimped to a top crust at a station downstream of said applicator station;
c. an applicator at said applicator station;
d. means for causing said applicator to automatically deposit an atomized spray of water on said surface in synchronism with movement of said conveyor past said applicator station.
2. A system according to claim 1 wherein said applicator is constructed and arranged to deposit said spray in an annular pattern that matches said surface.
3. An applicator for depositing fluid in a predetermined pattem comprising:
a. a housing having on one surface a peripheral flange of the shape of said predetermined pattern defining a recess in said one surface, and having a central aperture connecting said one surface to the opposite surface;
. a spray disc having a shape corresponding to said recess and fitting therein with one surface in abutment with said one surface on said housing;
c. a plurality of groove means between said one surface of said disc and said one surface of said housing extending from a region adjacent to said central aperture in said housing to the peripheral edge of said disc which abuts said flange;
d. a plurality of noule means between said peripheral edge of said disc and said flange, each of said noule means connecting with respective ones of said groove means whereby pressurized fluid injected into said Central aperture travels in said groove means and exits in a spray through said nozzle means in a pattern that matches the shape of the peripheral edge of said disc.
4. The applicator of claim 3 wherein said groove means are in the form of grooves in said one surface of 7. The applicator of claim 6 wherein said transverse slots are X-shaped to form a restriction that acts as a nozzle.
8. The applicator of claim 7 wherein a fluid mixing chamber is mounted on said opposite surface of said housing and is connected to said central aperture.
9. The applicator of claim 8 wherein said mixing chamber is connected to an air supply and a liquid pp y- 10. The applicator of claim 8 including selectively operable control valves respectively connecting air and liquid supplies to said mixing chamber for selectively controlling the spray.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFECE I CERTIFICATE OF l EQTKN Patent No, Dated August Invent or(s) F- It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On title page, [22.], after "Filedz" change -Jan. 18, 1971-- to March 18, l97l.
Signed and sealed this 9th day of January 1973.
Commissioner of Patents l FORM PC4050 (10-69)