US 3719307 A
A reservoir having an inlet end and an outlet is disposed in a housing to receive ice from a chipped ice manufacturing device at its inlet end. A chamber is formed exteriorly of the reservoir at the outlet thereof, and a power operated conveyor is positioned within the lower end of the reservoir to deliver chipped ice from the reservoir to the chamber. Electrically operated controls are connected to terminate operation of the power operated conveyor responsive to a predetermined operation of the conveyor to dispense a desired amount of chipped ice, and a vane pivotally connected to the conveyor is disposed within the chamber to sweep therethrough during operation of the conveyor and positively displace and dispense ice within the chamber laterally outwardly through an opening formed in the lowermost portion of the side wall of the chamber during operation of the conveyor.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 1 March 6, 1973 United States Patent Larson ICE DI PEN IN DEVICE Primary ExaminerSamuel F. Coleman  Assistant Examiner-Larry Martin AttorneyMerchant & Gould Inventor: Arthur G. Larson, Mound, Minn.
 Assignee: McQuay, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.
Oct. 6, 1970 Appl. No.: 78,460
A reservoir having an inlet end and an outlet is disposed in a housing to receive ice from a chipped ice manufacturing device at its inlet end. A chamber is formed exteriorly of the reservoir at the outlet thereof, and a power operated conveyor is positioned within the lower end of the reservoir to deliver chipped ice from the reservoir to the chamber. Electrically operated controls are connected to terminate opera- UNOOW 4 ll 4 8 0 2 2H 7 ,0 3 .66 2 "35 "23 n "u 9 2 22 mu WWUZ 4 3 mm mmwqo nnu3 mmmQ mm2 mmn mme4 Us L11 8 UIF .11.] 218 555 [ll References Cit d tion of the power operated conveyor responsive to a UNITED STATES P predetermined operation of the conveyor to dispense ATENTS a desired amount of chipped ice, and a vane pivotally Hoenisch....
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures connected to the conveyor is disposed within the chamber to sweep therethrough during operation of the conveyor and positively displace and dispense ice within the chamber laterally outwardly through an opening formed in the lowermost portion of the side wall of the chamber during operation of the conveyor.
XXXUX 00020 11/4 244 2 ///9/ 22212 222 2 222 2 3,463,362 8/1969 Garber 3,387,750 6/1968 Stencil........ 2,833,396 5/1958 Knoebler 3,144,965 8/1964 Burton et al PATENTEDHAR 61915 5.719.307
SHEET 2 OF 3 n z I 1 1 INVENTOR. $07? 6: 44mm ICE DISPENSING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to ice dispensing devices, and more particularly to ice dispensing devices adapted to dispense flaked or chipped ice. Prior art devices are normally constructed with a reservoir and some structure for delivering the chipped or flaked ice from the reservoir to a receptacle positioned exterior of the ice dispensing device. Normally such prior art devices included one or more angularly disposed channels or grooves for conveying the ice from the reservoir to an exterior receptacle, such as a glass or the like, with the result that attempts to transport such ice from one direction of movement to another angular direction of movement results in packing or jamming of the ice in the conveying system and, thus, inoperativeness of the dispensing device. A further problem encountered in the dispensing of flaked or chipped ice is that such dispensing devices normally employ generally horizontally disposed augers or ice conveying mechanisms which permit a constant dripping of melted ice from the dispensing spout of the device. A still further problem with prior art devices of the class described is that same fail to provide built-in time delays and fail-safe devices which prevent accidental recycling thereof with resultant waste of ice.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With these problems in mind, the present invention provides an ice dispensing device including a reservoir having an inlet for the reception of a supply of ice from an ice manufacturing device and an outlet. Conveyor means is positioned in the reservoir for delivering ice therefrom to the outlet and means having an opening formed in the lowermost portion thereof forms a chamber which communicates at one end thereof with the outlet of the reservoir for reception of ice from the conveyor. A power operated means is operatively connected to drive the conveyor, and control means, including circuit means, is connected to terminate operation of the power means responsive to a predetermined movement of the conveyor means determined by the amount of ice desired to be dispensed, and means for dispensing ice from the chamber is disposed within such chamber to sweep therethrough during operation of the power means and positively displace and dispense the ice contained within the chamber through the opening formed in the lowermost portion of the chamber during each revolution of the conveyor.
A primary object of the present invention is the provision of a device of the class above described which will positively convey ice from a reservoir through an angular change of direction to a dispensing nozzle without jamming or packing of the ice at the angular change of direction.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device of the class above described which may be adjusted to accurately dispense various desired amounts of chipped ice.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device of the class described which minimizes ice waste, prevents accidental recycle, is simple and inexpensive in construction, and which requires but a minimum of power to operate.
These and other important objects will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following specification, appended claims and attached drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring more particularly to the drawings, wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a counter top chipped ice dispensing device constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in horizontal section as seen generally from the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view as seen generally from the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view as seen from the line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view on an enlarged scale as seen generally from the line 6-6 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of electrical circuitry utilized to control the present ice dispensing device so as to dispense a predetermined amount of chipped ice therefrom.
Referring to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 thereof illustrates a counter top ice dispensing device indicated in its entirety by the numeral 10. Ice dispensing device 10 includes a housing 11 which is adapted to have a reservoir 12 mounted therein. An inlet 13 is formed in a cylindrical side wall 14 of the reservoir 12 adjacent the upper end thereof and is adapted to have mounted thereat a conventional chipped or flaked ice producing device 15 which in turn is operatively connected to a compressor 16 and a condensor 17 in a conventional manner, not shown. A float valve 18, having a conduit 19 connected to a source of water under pressure, is connected to the ice producing device 15 to supply the correct amount of water thereto. A sensing device 20 is mounted to sense the level of chipped ice in reservoir 12 and operatively connected to terminate operation of the ice producing device 15 when such level has been reached.
At the base of cylindrical side wall 14 reservoir 12 is provided with an upwardly diverging cross-sectionally V-shaped bottom wall 25 (see FIG. 4). An outlet 26 is formed adjacent the juncture of the base of cylindrical side wall 14 with bottom wall 25 and defines the radially outer end of an upwardly opening channel 27. Channel 27 is formed in the bottom wall 25 of the reservoir 12 with its longitudinal axis extending generally radially of the reservoir 12 and forms part of power operated means for delivering ice from within the reservoir 12 to the outlet 26. Such power operated means further includes a screw conveyor 28, which is coaxially mounted within the channel 27 and coextensive therewith, and which has one end thereof coaxially affixed to an extended shaft 29. The shaft 29, in turn, is journalled for rotation on the radially inwardly disposed end wall of the channel 27. As seen particularly in FIGS. 2, 3, the other or outer end of the screw conveyor 28 terminates at the outlet 26 and at means 30, having an opening 31 formed in the lowermost portion thereof, which means 30 defines a chamber 32. Means 30 is comprised of a cylindrical wall 33, which extends from side wall 14 at opening 26 on an axis coaxial with respect to conveyor 28, and an end wall 34, which closes the outer end of the cylindrical wall 33 and cooperates with wall 33 to define the chamber 32. A nozzle 35 depends from the side wall 33 at the opening 31 and serves to guide ice from chamber 32 to a receptacle X, shown by dotted lines and positioned below nozzle 35 in FIG. 2. An electrically operated gear head motor 36 is operatively connected to impart rotation to the shaft 29 by means of sprockets 37 mounted fast, on shaft 29 and the output shaft of motor 36 and a link chain 38 retained thereover.
Also forming a part of the conveyor means is an elongated shaft 39 which extends vertically upwardly, coaxially within the reservoir 12 and which is mounted for rotation in the bottom wall 25 generally at the apex thereof. An agitator paddle element 40 is mounted on the shaft 39 for common rotation therewith so as to generally disect the reservoir 12. Independent power means in the nature of a gear head motor 41 is mounted below reservoir 12 within housing 11 to impart rotation to the vertical shaft 39. As can be seen particularly in FIGS. 2-4, channel 27 has an axis in which the inner end thereof is slightly offset with respect to shaft 39. The offset arrangement of the axis of the upwardly opening channel 27 allows the drive shaft 29 to be journaled for rotation so as to bypass the vertical shaft 39 and allow connection of the shaft 29 and shaft 39 to their independent drive motors 36, 41, respectively. Such independent drive mechanisms for the shafts 29, 39 are desirable due to the angular relationship of the axis of shafts 29, 39 and provides for operation of the paddle 40 within the hopper 12 during periods of the screw conveyor 28. This assures that the chipped or flaked ice within the reservoir 12 is maintained in a more or less fluid state so as to prevent bridging and provide a constant supply of ice to the upwardly opening channel 27 during such operation of screw conveyor 28.
During periods of rather infrequent use, flaked or chipped ice normally stored within the reservoir 12, upwardly opening channel 27 and chamber 32 may be subjected to a sufficient amount of heat to cause same to partially melt. This has been particularly objectionable in prior art devices since such melting normally causes a constant dripping of water from the ice dispensing nozzle of the machine. The present device overcomes this problem by disposing the upwardly opening channel 27 in one leg of the cross-sectionally generally V-shaped bottom wall 25. This positions the radially inward end of channel 27 at a lower elevation than the outer end of channel 27 whereby a drain conduit 42, positioned in channel 27 at such lower elevation, acts to drain away any liquid collected within channel 27 due to such melting.
As previously explained, ice in a flaked or chipped state is particularly difficult to convey and dispense when attempts are made to angularly change the direction of movement thereof since such angular change of movement tends to cause the ice to jam or pack in the passage along which it is being conveyed. Referring particularly to FIG. 4 of the drawings, it will be noted that the angular change of movement of ice along the axis of conveyor 28 to movement of ice axially downwardly through opening 31 and nozzle 35 is considerable. Such angular movement of ice would in all likelihood cause jamming or packing within the chamber 32 if one were to depend strictly on gravity to effect such angular change of movement and to dispense ice from the chamber 32 through opening 31 and nozzle 35. To prevent ice from jamming or packing within the chamber 32, with consequent inoperativeness and/or damage to the ice dispensing machine 10, means are provided for positively displacing ice from the chamber 32 during operation of the conveyor 28. Such means include a blade-like element 45 having one end thereof pivotally secured to the outer end of the screw conveyor 28, adjacent the periphery thereof, as at 46. Blade-like element 45 extends from the pivotal connection 46 through a slot 47 formed in the side wall 33 of chamber 32 in circumferentially upwardly spaced relation to the opening 31.
During each revolution of the screw conveyor 28, wherein a predetermined amount of chipped or flaked ice is conveyed to the chamber 32 through the outlet 26, blade-like element 45 is moved, during approximately the first one-third revolution of conveyor 28,
from a first position (with blade 45 closing opening 31) to a second position (wherein pivotal connection 46 of the blade 45 is adjacent the slot 47). In this second position blade-like element 45 is located substantially exterior of the chamber 32 with the remaining movement of the conveyor 28, during each revolution, causing the blade-like element 45 to again return to its first position wherein same closes the opening 31. During the latter movement, blade-like element 45 sweeps through the chamber 32 so as to positively change the direction of movement and force or displace chipped or flaked ice supplied by the conveyor 28 to the chamber 32 through the opening 31. The sweeping movement of blade-like element 45 through chamber 32 thus prevents jamming or packing of ice from the conveyor 28 within the chamber 32 and positive movement of the ice through opening 31 into nozzle 35. It will be noted that the slot 47 and blade-like element 45 each has a dimension generally equal to the axial dimension of the chamber 32 and that, that portion of the blade-like element 45 adjacent the opening 31, during the above-described first position thereof, has an arcuate configuration conforming generally to the shape of the cylindrical side wall 33. Thus, blade 45 fully closes the opening 31 in such first position and directs any fluid resulting from melting ice within the chamber 32 toward the drain 42 as well as forming a gate against unwanted dispensing of ice in chamber 32 through nozzle 35.
It has been found through experimentation that l /6 ounces is the minimum amount of chipped ice normally required to be dispensed. With this in mind, upwardly opening channel 27, screw conveyor 28 and chamber 32 have been dimensioned in the present machine 10 to dispense such amount (1 k ounces) through the opening 31 during each revolution of the conveyor 28. While this has been determined to be a desirable quantity, it should be understood that any desirable quantity might be provided by those skilled in the art. Control means, including circuit means contained within a housing 50 and illustrated in detail in FIG. 7 of the drawings, are connected to begin operation upon the positioning of a receptacle below the nozzle 35 and to terminate operation of the screw conveyor 28 upon a predetermined operation of such conveyor 28. That is, a single revolution thereof will produce 1 5% ounces of chipped ice at dispensing nozzle 35 while, alternatively, multiple revolutions will produce a greater amount of chipped ice at such dispensing nozzle 35 in multiples of 1% ounce amounts.
Referring specifically to FIG. 7, electronic control means are illustrated having first and second power terminals 51 and 52, adapted to be connected to a suitable source of power. The terminal 51 is connected through a manually operable power switch 53 to a terminal 54 and the terminal 52 is connected to a ground or return line 55. The motor 36 and motor 41 are connected in parallel and one side thereof is connected to the ground 55 while the other side is connected to a terminal 56. The switch 57 is operated by a cam 48 which is mounted on shaft 29 driven by motor 36 so that the cam 48 holds the switch 57 open when the motor 36 is in a pre-determined or normal position and the cam 48 allows the switch 57 to close for the remainder of a cycle by the motor 36. A glass-operated momentary switch has a pair of movable contact arms 60a and 60b, each of which has a normal position and a depressed or operated position imparted thereto by an actuating lever 49 adapted to be engaged by receptacle X or the like. The arm 60a of the glass-operated switch is connected between the terminal 54 and a terminal 61. A normally closed set of contacts 62a, associated with a relay coil 62, are connected between the terminal 61 and the terminal 56. The remainder of the circuitry connected between the terminal 61 and ground 55 is designed to cause the relay contacts 62a to open a given time after power is applied between the terminals 61 and ground 55.
A diode 65 and a resistor 66 are connected in series between the terminal 61 and a terminal 67 and a second resistor 68 is connected between the terminal 67 and a terminal 69. The terminals 67 and 69 and the dropping resistors 66 and 68 provide the positive voltage source for the remainder of the circuitry. A relatively large filter capacitor 70 is connected between the terminal 67 and ground 55. Relay coil 62, having a diode 71 connected in parallel therewith, is connected to the terminal 67 and to the anode of an SCR (silicon controlled rectifier) 72, the cathode of which is connected to ground 55. A resistor 73 is connected between the gate of the SCR 72 and ground 55. A Zener diode 74 is connected between the terminal 69 and ground 55 so as to limit the peak voltage therebetween to a predetermined level. Four positions of a five position selector switch 75 are connected through four resistors 76-79 to the terminal 69. The fifth position of the selector switch 75 is open. The movable arm of the selector switch 75 is in turn connected to the operated or depressed contact of the arm 60b of the glass-operated switch. The normal contact of the arm 60b is connected through a resistor 85 to ground 55. The arm 60b of the glass-operated switch is connected through a capacitor 86 to ground 55. The arm 60 b is also connected to the emitter of a transistor 87, the collector of which is connected through a resistor 88 to ground 55. The base of the transistor 87 is connected to a voltage divider circuit formed of a pair of series connected resistors 89 and 90 connected between terminal 69 and ground 55. The collector of a second transistor 91 is connected to the base of the transistor 87 and the base of the transistor 91 is connected to the collector of the transistor 87. The emitter of the transistor 91 is connected through a resistor 92 to the gate of the SCR 72.
In operation, a glass is placed in position to receive ice through the opening 31 and nozzle 35, which glass operates the actuating lever 49 and depresses the arms 60a and 60b. When arm 60a is depressed a circuit is completed from the terminal 51 to the terminal 61 and voltage is applied to the electronic control means, as well as to the motor 36 through the normally closed contact 62a. As the motor 36 begins to rotate the camoperated switch 57 closes completing a circuit through the motor 36 to the terminal 54. Thus, even though the glass is removed from engagement with actuating lever 49 and the glass-operated switch arm 60a is allowed to break the circuit, a complete circuit is provided for the motor 36 through the cam operated switch 57 until the motor 36 completes a cycle.
Applying power between the terminal 61 and ground 55 supplies a voltage across the capacitor 70, which capacitor charges to substantially the value of voltage between the terminal 67 and ground 55. Also, because the glass has operated or depressed the glass-operated arms 60a and 60b, the arm 60b is removed from contact with the resistor 85 and moved into contact with the five-position selector switch 75. Because a voltage is present between the terminal 69 and ground 55, the capacitor 86 begins to charge through whichever of the resistors 76-79 is in the circuit. If the five-position selector switch is in the first position the resistor 76 is in the circuit and the RC time of the resistor 76 and capacitor 86 is such that the emitter of the transistor 87 goes sufficiently positive to cause conduction of the transistor 87 before one cycle of the motor 36 is completed. When transistor 87 conducts transistor 91 is biased on and a trigger voltage is applied to the gate of the SCR 72 through the resistor 92. Once the SCR 72 is triggered on, conduction through relay 62 occurs and continues until such time as voltage is removed from between the terminal 67 and ground 55. Conduction through the relay coil 62 causes the contacts 62a to open and break the path between terminals 61 and 56. Thus, as motor 36 rotates to a position where the cam-operated switch 57 opens motor 36 is automatically deenergized, even through the glass-operated switch arms 60a and 60b are still depressed.
The remaining positions of the selector switch 75 may be set for any desired number of cycles of the motor 36, for example two cycles, three cycles, four cycles, and continuous operation. In each case the RC time of the resistors 77-79 and capacitor 86 is slightly less than the time required for motor 36 to make the desired number of turns. In the continuous operating position of selector switch 75, the RC time of the capacitor 86 and the open connection to the switch 75 is infinite so that the relay coil 62 will not be energized and the operation of the motor 36 is strictly dependent upon the operation of the switch arm 60a. In all cases, a complete cycle of motor 36 will always be made because of the circuit between terminals 54 and 56 completed by the cam-operated switch 57. Further, the large filter capacitor 70 retains voltage across the electronic circuitry for a relatively long period of time so that even though the glass-operated switch arm 60a is allowed to open for a short period of time during a cycle the electronic circuitry will not recycle. When a desired amount of chipped ice has been dispensed into receptacle X a liquid may be added to such receptacle X from a conduit 93 having an outlet end positioned within nozzle 35. A button or the like 94 may be depressed to operate either a mechanically or electrically operated valve, not shown but positioned in housing 50, to control the flow of liquid from the conduit 93.
Thus, mechanical apparatus and electronic circuitry is disclosed for dispensing a predetermined quantity of ice into a container, such as a glass or the like, and the electronic circuitry insures that the desired amount of ice will always be dispensed.
What is claimed is:
1. An ice-dispensing device comprising:
a. an ice supply reservoir;
b. an ice dispensing chamber communicating with said reservoir, said chamber having an outlet formed in a lowermost portion thereof;
c. power operated means for moving ice from said reservoir to said chamber;
(1. ice-dispensing means located in said chamber and operable to move from a first position, wherein said ice-dispensing means closes said outlet, to a second position wherein said ice-dispensing means sweeps through said chamber positively displacing ice therefrom to eject the ice through said outlet, and back to said first position; and
e. control means including circuit means connected to terminate operation of said power operated means responsive to a predetermined operation of said power operated means.
2. The structure of claim 1 in which said power operated means comprises:
a. an upwardly opening channel formed in the bottom wall of said reservoir having a longitudinal axis which extends generally radially of said reservoir;
b. a screw conveyor extending longitudinally within said channel;
c. a shaft rotatably mounting one end of said conveyor at one end of said channel; and
d. the other end of said screw conveyor and said channel terminating at said outlet.
3. The structure of claim 2 in which said reservoir includes a cylindrical side wall having a vertical axis and an upwardly opening cross-sectionally V-shaped bottom wall, said channel being formed in one leg of said V-shaped bottom wall and defining a liquid outlet formed therein generally at the lowest portion thereof.
4. The structure of claim 2 in which said means forming a chamber comprises a cylindrical wall extending from said reservoir at said outlet on an axis extending coaxially with respect to the axis of said screw conveyor, and an end wall closing the axial outer end of said cylindrical wall.
5. The structure of claim 2 in which said power operated means includes an electrical motor mounted to impart rotation to said shaft of said screw conveyor and in which said control means includes switch means and switch actuating means carried by said shaft mounted to engage said switch means upon each revolution of said shaft.
6. The structure of claim 5 in which said conveyor means further includes:
a. an elongated shaft extending vertically upwardly coaxially within said reservoir;
b. said shaft being mounted for rotation in said bottom wall of said reservoir;
c. a paddle element carried by said shaft for common rotation therewith; and
d. power means independent of said electrical motor for said screw conveyor for imparting said rotation to said vertical shaft.
7. The structure of claim 4 in which said cylindrical side wall has formed therein a slot which is circumferentially disposed from said opening and in which said means for positively dispensing ice from said chamber includes:
a. a blade-like element having one end thereof pivotally secured to said one end of said screw conveyor adjacent the periphery thereof;
b. the other end of said blade-like element extending through said slot; and
c. said blade-like element being movable during each revolution of said screw conveyor from a first position wherein said blade closes said opening to a second position wherein said pivotal connection of said blade is adjacent said slot and said blade-like element is positioned substantially exterior of said chamber and back to said first position wherein said blade-like element closes said opening.
8. The structure of claim 7 in which said blade-like element and said slot each has a dimension generally equal to the axial dimension of said chamber and in which that portion of said blade-like element adjacent said opening during said first position has an arcuate conformation conforming generally to the shape of the cylindrical side wall of said chamber.
9. The structure of claim 1 in which said ice dispensing means includes a blade-like element connected to said conveyor means and adapted to sweep through said chamber to dispense ice therein through said opening thereof during operation of said conveyor means.
10. An ice-dispensing device comprising:
a. an ice supply reservoir;
b. an ice dispensing chamber communicating with said reservoir, said chamber having an outlet;
c. power operated conveyor means operable to deliver ice from said reservoir to said icedispensing chamber;
d. ice-dispensing means located in said chamber and operable to move from a first position wherein said ice-dispensing means closes said outlet, to a second position wherein said ice-dispensing means sweeps through said chamber positively displacing ice therefrom to eject the ice through said outlet, and back to said first position; and
e. control means including circuit means connected to terminate operation of said power operated conveyor means responsive to movement of said conveyor means.