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Publication numberUS3724984 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 3, 1973
Filing dateSep 22, 1970
Priority dateSep 22, 1970
Also published asCA981980A, CA981980A1, DE2125881A1, DE2125881B2
Publication numberUS 3724984 A, US 3724984A, US-A-3724984, US3724984 A, US3724984A
InventorsJernigan T
Original AssigneeEskimo Pie Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Extruder nozzle distribution plate with a plurality of valve controlled grooves
US 3724984 A
Abstract
A method and nozzle assembly for producing confection bars severed from lengths of the confection in a plastic state that are extruded from a multiple compartmented nozzle assembly in which a distribution plate is fitted between the feed tube or tubes supplying the confection and nozzle assembly. The distribution plate contains passages which each lead from beneath the outlet end of the feed tube and extend across the plane of the plate to an aperture passing through the bottom of the plate into communication with each of the different nozzle compartments with the passage configured to control to the desired degree the amount of confection that flows to each of the multiple nozzle compartments.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Apr.'3,1973

wnlttid States Patent 1 1 Jernigan 3,054,143 9/1962 Stenger 1,384,601 7/1921 Costello, Jr

2,679,216 5/1954 Grondona. 2,818,034 12/1957 Kinkead Thomas L. Jernigan, Center Cross, Va.

[73] Assignee: Eskimo Pie Corporation, Richmond,

2,952,873 9/1960 Porter 3,262,153 7/1966 Mercer et a1 3,392,685 3,572,257

e mam .w i BM 81 67 99 1... l/ 73 Sept. 22, 1970 Primary Examiner-James R. Boler App]. No.: 74,329

Attorney-Beveridge & De Grandi 22 Filed: 1

Related US. Application Data a nhee u mmnomhh f.mo n w fie D cu unfih 0n b b wknw nbru flam msfl mm n i .1 ellds 1 c u e d umma efn c m dmm e m m h wbb n O r. C e fof mmwam y i e e m o n b e h m d ac e c evm P seflme w S u e m ofinma hoeum eo Zf aht Z ae dSt o wnm w ea fl p h dflmm sd nv d.wnn em et e ae m d LI n'- omsnrl kf mmc .mmcm e .I. c e w n ohahhhmh AfiPPPtPtP 1 N MOO-NW3 1 3 H 0/54] r l ,1 D. 4 9 3 3 A Q U 4 3 2 M wfi wm nz m B 1 2. 2 2% n 8 2 2 2 0 8 4. N L m 2 n UH HSQ 2 .533 f 4 2 Q. o .475 H u "W 0 n. 1: Mia m T, mom m .1 u 8 O mm 7 82 5 1& n C C VH9 d m% S Ld I II l U MF 1 1] 3 2 8 6 5 55 .1. r1 [.1

f mm en. m6 .mm b mu fiw s mn ue mm m D. c

m mo n0 .1 mm n t m m f n mm. m o b m I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS configured to control to the desired de gree the amount of confection that flows to each of the multi- Nelson et ple nozzle compartments.

425/463 ....53/202- X Harmon et a1........................425/463 4 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures 3,196,809 7/1965 2,673,675 3/1954 Anderson 2,656,570 10/1953 PATENTEDAPRB ms SHEET 1 OF 6 FIG] INVENTOR THOMAS L. JERNIGAN PATENTEUAPR 3 I975 SHEET 2 BF 6 FIG} PATENTEDAFR 3 197a SHEET '4 [1F 6 INVENTOR THOMAS L. JERNIGAN ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAFM 1973 3.724884 sum 5 or 6 6| 82 64/75 "I. my 71 so a:

i 58 H010 70b fiiii. 1 DIEM 62 lfulnkwmigfl 76 U 62 Hill INVENTOR THOMAS L. JERNiGAN BY 3M4 4 11%;

ATTORNEYS PMENTEMR 3 I975 FIG. I?

\NVENTOR THOMAS L, JERNIGAN BY {gmdy 4 Y QM ATTORNEYS WITH A PLURALITY OF VALVE CONTROLLED GROOVES METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING CONFECTION BARS This is a Continuation-in-Part Application of application Ser. No. 820,168 filed Apr. 29, 1969, now abandoned entitled Frozen'Confection Extruder Nozzle Assembly.

This invention relates to an improved nozzle assembly for producing confection bars having an intricate cross sectional design of different confections fed from different feed tubes or tobars extruded from multiple orifices from a single feed tube and particularly to a distribution plate that distributes the confection from the single or multiple feed tubes to the different compartments comprising the extruder nozzle assembly.

Bars of frozen confection, such as ice cream, sherbet and the" like, may be rapidly and economically produced by the extrusion process disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 2,739,545. In this process a mix of the frozen confection, which is in a semi-frozen condition at which the mix is sufficiently plastic to flow but will retain its shape for a moderate period, is extruded from the orifice of a nozzle having the outline shape conforming to the desired shape of the bar. As the extruded length of mix emerges from the downwardly facing orifice of the extruder nozzle, cutters are periodically passed across the lower open end of the orifice to sever slices from the emerging extruded length of soft ice cream or frozen confection. The severed slices of frozen confection fall onto a conveyor surface that is passed below the nozzle and aretransported by the conveyor through a refrigeration compartment at subfreezing temperatures to congeal the slices into hard frozen bars. A' composite bar in which its cross section constitutes a design comprising adjoining, shaped areas made from different flavored or different hued ice cream, can be produced by utilizing-an extruder nozzle in which the passage contains axially extending partitions dividing the passage into separate compartments and feeding ice cream of different hues or flavors from separate feed tubes into the various compartments,

limitation in the complexity of the design is due to the relatively large cross sectional area of the feed tube which must feed the ice cream into each of the compartments and extend into the interior of each compartment as is illustrated in FIG. 2 of U. S. Pat. No. 3,196,809. If the design is quite complex and particularly if the areas of the adjoining portions of the design are relatively small, the physical sizeof the feed tubes is 6 such that a separate tube cannot be inserted into each such as the extrusion nozzle illustrated in U. 5. Pat. No.

3,196,809. As the different flavors or colors of ice cream flow from the separate feed tubes into the adjoining compartments and emerge from the lower end of the adjoining compartments within the nozzle passage, the ice cream from the adjoining compartments is welded together into a composite mass having a cross sectional design which conforms substantially to that existing in the nozzle passage at the lower 'edge of the partitions. When slices are cut from the extruded length of ice cream, the outline shape of the bar conforms to the outline shape of the extruder orifice and the face of the bar displays a multi-hued or multiflavored design conforming to that of the edges of the partitionswithin the extruder nozzle passage.

Although ice cream bars with different cross sectional designs across the face of the bar and extending through its thickness can be produced by the extruder nozzle illustrated in U. S. Pat. No. 3,196,809, the designs must be relatively simple and the different areas of the design mustbe reasonably large. This compartment. Furthermore, since there are but three to four feed tubes available, a separate feed tube cannot be allocated to each compartment if there are a relatively large number of separate areas in the design.

A further problem involves accurately controlling the amount of confection that is flowing into each compartment. The problem is aggravated when the flow from one feed tube is being directed into several compartments. The shape and size of the passage itself and of the nozzle compartment and the nozzle orifice will affect the rate at which the confection flows from the orifice below each compartment. Obviously the rate of flow'should be equalized from the adjoining compartments that create the different areas of the design, so the entire cross section of the, extruded mass moves as a single unit when emerging from the bottom of the nozzle.

When producing small, miniature frozen confection bars by the extrusion method, it is more economical to arrange a number of nozzle tubes side by side and sever a bar from each of the lengths of confection by passing a cutter periodically transversely across each of the multiple extruded lengths, the small severed bars then fall as a group onto a single conveyor plate for transportation through a freezing chamber in the manner disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 2,739,545. All of the .nozzles are fed from a single feed tube and a convenient manner of manifolding the flow to all nozzles and accurately controlling the flow from each nozzle so that eachof the simultaneously severed bars are of equal thickness presentsproblems.

Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide an extruder nozzle assembly for extruding shaped lengths of different flavored or hued frozen confections from which slices can be severed having a complex cross sectional design of different flavored or hued confection i'nintricate and small patterns.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a distribution plate for attachment to the feed .end of a frozen confection extruder nozzle having axially extending internal partitions dividing the extruder passage into compartments conforming to the desired cross sectional design of the extruded mass in which the distribution plate channels frozen confection from the different feed tubes to the different internal compartments of the nozzle.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a distribution plate that channels frozen dessert mix from the various feed tubes to various portions of a frozen dessert extruder nozzle in which the plate can be clamped between the flanged upper end of the extruder nozzle and a cover plate containing the feed tubes.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a variety of distribution plates channeling dessert from feed tubes to a wide variety of arrangements of compartments of a frozen dessert extruder nozzle in which the distribution plates can interchangeably be used on the same nozzle according to the specific arrangement of compartmentation which is chosen for the nozzle.

Still yet another object of the invention is to provide an easy means for controlling the amount of confection which the distribution plate channels from a feed tube to each of the various compartments of the extruder nozzle assembly.

These objects have been attained by developing the described distribution plates that fit against the open top end of the nozzle assembly across the top of the various compartments or individual nozzle tubes that comprise the nozzle assembly. The distribution plate contains passages extending parallel to the plane of the plate with the passages communicating with the lower exit ends of the feed tube or tubes that protrude through a cover plate extending across the top of the nozzle assembly and also communicating with apertures extending through the distribution plate to its lower surface in communication with the underlying compartments or individual nozzles of the nozzle assembly. Preferably valves are installed in the passages to control the flow in an individual passage.

Preferred embodiments of this invention would be described in detail with reference to the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded, perspective view of the nozzle assembly including a distribution plate.

FIG. 2 illustrates a frozen confection produced by severing slices from the mass of confection extruded through the extruder illustrated in FIG. 1 and the remaining drawings.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the assembly with the top cover plate removed.

FIG. 4 is a plan view from above of the nozzle assembly.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view along section lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view along section lines 6-6 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view along section lines 77 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a section along section lines 8-8 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a nozzle assembly and arrangement for producing simultaneously a number of miniature confection bars.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the nozzle assembly of FIG. 9 taken along section line 10-10.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the nozzle assembly of FIG. 9 taken along section line 11-11.

FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective of a small segment of the distribution plate illustrating the valving arrangement in the passages of the plate.

FIG. 13 is a plan view from below of the nozzle assembly cover plate.

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the distribution plate with some of the valve plugs shown in section.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a nozzle assembly for producing composite confection bars.

FIG. 16 is a plan view of the distribution plate of the assembly of FIG. 15 with some of the valve plugs in section.

FIG. 17 is a sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 15 taken along section line 16-16.

FIG. 1 shows all of the elements in the nozzle assembly to which the distribution plate 10 has been adapted for use. The basic nozzle assembly, excluding the distribution plate 10, comprises the tapered housing 11 in the interior passage of which the partition assembly 12 is supported to extend axially along the central passage of the housing 11 and a cover plate 13 with feed tubes 14 overlying the open feed end of the housing 11. The design and arrangement of the housing 11, partition assembly 12 and cover plate 13 with feed tubes 14 is substantially identical to the nozzle assembly shown in U. S. Pat. No. 3,196,809 which has no distribution plate 10 interposed between a cover plate 13 and a top flange 15 of a housing 11 as is illustrated in FIG. 1.

As described more fully in U. S. Pat. No. 3,196,809, the housing 11 has an upper body 16 defined by two pairs of oppositely disposed walls that taper inwardly from the flange 15 extending outwardly around the top open feed end of the housing to the lower body 17 comprising two oppositely disposed sets of parallel and vertically disposed sidewalls. As discussed in the aboveidentified U. S. Pat., the inwardly tapering walls of the upper body 16 compact the ice cream as it flows downwardly along the passage of the housing and into the lower body 17 of uniform cross section and emerges from the lower orifice 18 defined by the inner periphery of the bottom edge of the lower body 17, which in this case conforms to the outline shape of the confection. As described in more detail in U. S. Pat. No. 2,739,545, as the ice cream, or frozen confection, emerges as a vertically depending, extruded length from the orifice 18, the cutters 19 with severing wires 20 located immediately below the lower body 17 are periodically moved toward and away from each other so that the cutting wires 20 periodically pass across the extruded length of frozen confection and sever slices of the confection which drop onto a conveyor (not illustrated) for conveyance through the freezing conveyor (not illustrated). Although the outline shape of the lower peripheral edge of the lower body 17 establishes the shape of the orifice from which the mass of frozen confection is extruded in this shape, the orifice could be defined by some other form of structure at the exit end of the nozzle assembly, such as the orifice plate utilized in co-pending U. S. Pat. application Ser. No. 670,904 of Fox et al. that is assigned to the same assignee as this application.

The partition assembly 12 has partition plates 21 and partitioning fins 22 that, in conjunction with the sidewalls of the housing 11 and possibly other internal partitioning members, form the separate compartments extending axially along the internal passageway of the housing 11 which establish the cross sectional design pattern desired for the frozen confection bar being produced. Horizontally disposed support arms 23 affixed to and extending outwardly from the top edge of the partition walls 21 on opposite sides of the partition assembly 12 rest in the grooves 24 cut in the upper surfaces of the flange 15 (see FIG. 3) and support the par tition assembly 12 so that it extends axially along the passage of the housing 1 1.

The flat distribution plate 10, which will be subsequently described in more detail, rests on the top surface of the nozzle housing flange 15 with bolt holes 25a across its face into which the threaded discharge end of feed tubes 14 are sealingly secured by means of a union 27 (see FIG. 5). The lower surface of the cover plate 13 fits tightly against the upper surface of the distribution plate with the bolt holes 25b of the cover plate in alignment with the bolt holes 25 and 25a of the housing flange and distribution plate. The cover plate 13 and the distribution plate 10 are tightly drawn together and affixed to the flange 15 of the housing 11 by means of bolts 28 protruding through the bolt holes 25, 25a and 25b and fastened with nuts 29'. i

The distribution plate 10, typically of a transparent plastic material, is relatively thick and has hemispherically shaped depressions 29, 29a, 29b and 29c of about the same diameter and located directly below the outlet of each of the feed pipes 14, 14a, 14b and 14c, respectively, the depressions extending only partially through the thickness of the distribution plate. In the embodiment illustrated for producing the frozen confection of a design illustrated in FIG. 2, a core pipe 30, having an inner diameter substantially corresponding to the central core 32 of the confection illustrated in FIG. 2, is supported in the bore 31 that extends through the entire thickness of the distribution plate 10 in its center, the upper portion 31a of the bore being slightly larger in diameter so as to form a ledge on which the flanged end of the core pipe 30 rests with the lower end of the core pipe protruding downwardly and extending along the central axis of the partition assembly 12. A groove 33 in the upper face of the distribution plate extends from the depression 29 to the bore 31 to join the outlet of the feed pipe 14 to the core pipe 30.

In a generally similar manner the other depressions in the distribution plate below the feed tubes are connected by one or more grooves or passages along the upper or lower faces of the distribution plate to selected portions of the various compartments within the housing 11 formed by the various axially extending partitions of the core assembly, the wall of the housing 11 and other dividers. As may be best seen from viewing FIGS. 3,and 6, two'grooves 34 and 35 in the upper face of the distribution plate each extend in divergent directions from the depression 29b beneath the feed pipe 14b toward the center line of the plate and each terminates in wells 34a and 25a,respectively, of which the lower portions, respectively, connect with slots 34b and 35b that extend partially across the lower face of the distribution plate on opposite sides of the core pipe 30 in the compartment formed within the partition walls 21 of the partition assembly that establish the diamond shaped area 36 of the confection (see FIG. 2).

Each of the other two depressions 29a and 290 in the distribution plate, between the other two oppositely facing feed tubes 14a and 140, each connect through identically arranged passages to the triangular compartments in the housing 11 established between the partition plates 21 and the walls of the housing 11 that form the outer triangularly shaped portions 37a, 37b, 37c and 37d of the frozen confection. As may be seen best in FIGS. 3, 7 and 8, grooves 38 and 39 in the upper face of the distribution plate each extend in an opposite direction from the depression 29a below the feed tube 14a toward the outer edge of the plate to a point overlying the central portion of the two outer triangularly shaped compartment areas formed between the partition walls 21 and the walls of the housing 11 from which the mix forms the outer triangular segments 37a and 37b of he frozen confection. At this point holes 38a and 39b are drilled from the respective outer ends of the grooves 38 and 39 through the remaining thickness of the partition plate to extend through the lower face of the partition plate into communication with the respective triangular compartments. Similarly grooves 40 and 41 with the vertical holes 40a and 41a at the end of the grooves connect the depression 29c below the feed tube 14c with the triangularly shapedcompartments formed between the partition walls 21 and the wall of the housing 11 that create the other two outer triangular portions 37c and 37d of the frozen confection.

The flow of the ice cream, or frozen dessert, from the various feed tubes, 14,14a, 14b and 14c into the various compartments within the housing that establish the different segments of the frozen confection bar are readily apparent from the arrows in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. For example, if it be desired that the round core 32 in the center of the confection bar be red in color, the central diamond area 36 be brown in color and the outer triangular segments 37a, 37b, 37c and 37d be white in color, three different flavors of ice cream could be utilized such as strawberry, coffee and vanilla to establish the red, brown and white colorations, respectively. In this case strawberry ice cream would be fed under pressure to feed tube 14 so that strawberry ice cream would flow from the lower end of the feed tube 14 into the depression 29 in the distribution plate 10, thence along the groove 33 into the enlarged portion 31a of the bore and thence vertically through the core pipe 30 into the central portion of the partition assembly enclosed by the partition walls 21. Coffee flavored ice cream would be fed under pressure to the feed tube 14b from the lower end of which it would flow into the depression 2%, thence horizontally along the distribution plate in the two grooves 34 and 35 to the wells 34a and 35a and then along the grooves 34b and 35b in the lower face of the distribution plate 10 to fill the triangularly shaped compartment enclosed within the partition walls 21 surrounding the core pipe 30. Vanilla flavored ice cream is fed under pressure to the two feed tubes 14a and from the lower discharge ends of which the ice cream flows from the two depressions 29a and 29c to the four triangularly shaped compartments formed between the outer surface of the partition walls 21 and the four sidewalls of the housing 11 along the grooves 38 and 39 and their respective connecting holes 38a and 39a from the depression 29a and along the grooves 40 and 41 and through the holes 40a and 41a from the depression 290. The ice cream in the various compartments is forced under pressure to flow toward the lower orifice outlet 18 of the housing and in doing so merges with the ice cream of the surrounding compartments while retaining the shape of the compartment from which the respective flavors emerge and are welded togetherin a composite flow that emerges from the orifice 18 of the nozzle housing as a depending length of extruded ice cream in which the cross sectional design of the face of the severed bar conforms to the shape of the various compartments within the housing at the point where the ice cream emerges from the lower edge of the compartment.

The pattern of grooves, passages, slots and holes described above that are cut in the distribution plate 10 that lead from the depressions in the upper face of the distribution plate below the respective feed tubes into the compartments that are established by the partition assembly, core pipe, dividers etc., that extend axially along the housing from beneath the distribution plate are merely one example of specific passages in a distribution plate that may be used for producing a frozen confection bar having the cross sectional design illustrated in FIG. 2. Obviously many other designs of ice cream bars can be produced by utilizing partition assemblies, core pipes or dividers that are arranged differently. In this event a different arrangement of grooves and passages would have to be cut along the upper or lower faces of the distribution plate to channel a frozen confection from each of the feed tubes into the various compartments in the nozzle housing that establish the cross sectional design of the frozen confection bar sliced from the composite extruded mass emerging from the lower orifice 18 of the housing 1 1.

It can, therefore, be readily seen that a wide variety of frozen confection bars having many different cross sectional designs of a rather intricate nature can be produced utilizing a single tapered nozzle housing similar to the housing 11, illustrated in FIG. 1, in conjunction with a standard cover plate with two, three or four feed tubes of the nature indicated in FIG. 1, in conjunction with different arrangements of internal partition assemblies, cores and dividers supported within the nozzle housing in which separate distribution plates containing the required pattern of grooves, holes and passages cut in the upper and lower faces of the distribution plate so as to channel the flow of frozen dessert from depressions in the distribution plate below each feed tube to the desired compartment or compartments established by the various partitions, cores and dividers that are supported within the central passage of the housing 11. Although the illustrated distribution plate 10 described in this application that fits between the cover plate 13 and the flange 15 of the housing affords a convenient design for the illustrated housing and inner partitions supported by the housing, a housing could be designed in which the distribution plate fitted within the interior of the housing at its upper feed end so that the cover plate would be bolted directly onto the flanges of the housing. The partitions and dividers establishing the compartment could be affixed to and supported from the lower face of the distribution plate fitting within the housing passage and this modified apparatus would perform the same function in substantially the same manner as the described embodiment.

FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of a nozzle assembly that is useful to produce small, miniature confection bars. Six extruder tubes 50-55 are supported in two sets of three each from each of two support frames 56 and 57, the upper, enlarged flange portions 50a 55a of the tubes resting within accommodating recesses in the two support frames 56 and 57. The ends of the support frames 56 and 57. The ends of the support frames 56 and 57 are supported from the lower face of a distribution plate 58, such as by the screw bolts 59 extending through the support frames into threaded holes tapped in the distribution plate 58. A cover plate 60 fits flush with the top face of the distribution plate 58 and is sealingly secured to it by fastenings such as the bolts 61 and screw 62. A feed tube 63 extends through a tapered opening 63a in the center of the cover plate 60 and is sealingly connected to the cover plate by means of the union 64 in the same manner as described for the prior embodiment. The assembled cover plate 60, distribution plate 58 and attached support frames 56 and 57 carrying the extruder tubes 50-55 are supported vertically above a moving line of conveyor plates 65 with the lower ends of the extruder tubes 50-55 slightly above and in line with the line of movement of cutting wires 66 that are supported by a frame 67 of a slicer for reciprocating motion transversely across the bottom of each of the extruder tubes. In this particular embodiment the front row of extruder tubes 50-52 is shorter than the rear row of extruder tubes 53-55 and the cutting wires are supported at different levels. The conveyor extends through a freezing chamber (not illustrated) in which the bars sliced from the extruder assembly are frozen in the manner described in U. S. Pat. No. 2,739,545.

A trench 68 extends longitudinally along the upper face of the distribution plate 58 from a central point immediately below the open end of the feed tube 63 in both directions to end locations in line with the end extruder tubes. Lateral passages 69-74 of the same depth as the central trench 68 extend laterally outwardly along the upper face of the distribution plate 58 from the central trench 68 to a point immediately above the center of each of the extruder tubes 50-55. At the end of each of the respective lateral passages 69-74 an aperture 69a 74a extends through the thickness of the distribution plate 58 in line with the central axis of each underlying extruder tube, the upper portion of each aperture having a diameter which is larger than the lower portion and the width of the transverse passage, this larger upper portion extending slightly below the bottom of the transverse passage to form valve seats 69b 74b. As may be best seen in FIGS. 11 and 12, a cylindrical valve plug 75, which has a lower cylindrical portion 76 that snugly fits in each of the valve-seats 69b -74b, is installed in each of the valve seats 69b 74b for rotation about the central axis of the plug, a stem 77 of somewhat smaller diameter than the lower portion 76 of the valve plug extending upwardly through access holes 78 in the cover plate 60. A passage 79 extends through the lower portion 76 of each valve plug from an opening 80 in the bottom of the valve plug to an opening 81 in the sidewall of the plug lower portion, the diameter of the passage 79 and end openings 80 and 81 being substantially the same as the width of the lateral passages 69-74 in the distribution plate. The upper end of the valve stem 77 is faced to form two parallel flat surfaces 82 that form convenient means of engagement with a tool for rotation of any selected valve plug 75 within a seat 69b 74b in positioning the opening 81 in the valve plug sidewall to the desired position relative to the adjacent lateral passage. An 0- ring 83 normally is installed between the cover plate 60 and the upper shoulder of the valve plug lower portion 76 to prevent leakage through the cover plate stem openings 78.

three separate portions C C and C of each of the sliced bars can be closely regulated and controlled. Thus, not only can the amount of confection mix be regulated that is flowing through each of the nozzle compartments from which each of the two bars are formed simultaneously but the amount of mix that is,

flowing through each of the three compartments from which each of the composite bars is comprised can be readily regulated to produce uniform bars.

Therefore, although the above descriptive matter and drawings describe and illustrate several embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that the invention as being claimed is not restricted solely to the described embodiments but that it covers all modification and variations which should be apparent to one skilled in the art and fall within the scope and spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A distributor for feeding a confection mix in a plastic state to multiple compartments of an extruder nozzle assembly in which the compartments each constitute a cavity extending axially of a nozzle body open at both ends and a cover plate supporting a feed tube extending therethrough is affixed to the nozzle assembly to extend across the upper end of the cavities, said distributor comprising a distribution plate configured to sealingly fit between said cover plate and said compartments, said plate containing a groove extending across its upper face between a recess in the distribution plate beneath the end of a feed tube and an aperture extending from the groove through the bottom face of said distribution plate into communication with a compartment below, and a valve member having a cylindrical body portion seated for rotation within said aperture with the axis of said body portion coincident with that of said aperture and the sidewall of said body portion extending transversely of said groove, said body portion containing a hole extending from said sidewall area to a lower end of said cylindrical body portion adjacent said aperture and said valve member having a segment extending from the top of said cylindrical body portion through an aperture in said cover plate with the upper end of said segment adapted for engagement with a tool for adjusting the rotational position of said valve member.

2. An extruder nozzle assembly for extruding lengths of confection mix in a plastic condition in which the cross section of said length constitutes an intricate design of different confections, said assembly comprising a nozzle body open at both ends to define an axially extending cavity, a partition extending axially within said nozzle cavity defining separate compartments establishing the different areas of the intricate design, a plurality of feed tubes each connected to pressurized sources of different confections, a distribution plate positionable over the upper end of said nozzle body to extend transversely of said cavity with the lower face of said plate abuttingly overlying the upper edge of said partition to enclose the top of the partitioned cavity, said distribution plate having grooves extending across the upper face of said distribution plate between a recess in the plate beneath the open end of a feed tube and an aperture extending from the groove through the bottom face of said distribution plate into communication with a compartment below, a cover plate having spaced holes through which the lower end of each of said feed tubes is sealingly supported, means for affixing said cover plate and said distribution plate to the upper portion of said nozzle body to enclose the upper end of the nozzle cavity with the distribution plate sandwiched between the cover plate and nozzle body, and a valve member supported for movement relative to said distribution plate, said valve member having a cylindrical body portion seated in said distribution plate at the juncture of said groove and aperture for rotation about the axis of said aperture and a hole extending from a sidewall of said body portion lying across said groove through said body portion to the lower end thereof positioned across said aperture.

3. in a confection extruder nozzle assembly having a plurality of channels extending axially between an upper cover containing at least one opening through which extends a feed tube connecting to a source of the confection and a lower, open orifice end having the outline shape of the extruded length of confection, the improvement of a distribution plate sealingly fitting between said cover and said channels and containing passages extending transversely across said plate to pass beneath and communicate with an end of said tube with another portion of said passage extending through the thickness of said plate to its lower face into communication with selected ones of said channels, valve means in said passages operable to throttle selectively the flow ofconfection along the respective passages and means for controlling the setting of each said valve means, said passages including grooves extending across the upper face of said distribution plate underlying said cover to pass beneath an open end of said feed tube with other portions of said grooves connecting with an aperture extending through to the lower face of said plate, said valve means comprising a member shaped as a surface of revolution rotatably supported in a conformingly shaped recess in said plate integral with one of said passages, said member being pierced by a hole having its opposite ends positionable to communicate with portions of said passage on different sides of said recess with the cross sectional area of one of said hole ends in communication with the passage being variable in accordance with the rotational position of said member within said recess, the axis of revolution of said recess extending through the thickness dimension of said plate in alignment with said aperture underlying the lower end of said recess of larger cross sectional area to form a seat supporting the bottom of said rotatable member, said hole extending from the bottom of said member in communication with the underlying aperture to a sidewall of said member of revolution for communication with the groove portion of said passage adjoining the sidewall of said recess of revolution, and said valve setting means comprising an extension of said member protruding through said cover.

4. In a confection extruder nozzle assembly having a plurality of channels extending axially between an upper cover containing at least one opening through which extends a feed tube connecting to a source of the confection and a lower, open orifice end having the outline shape of the extruded length of confection, the improvement of a distribution plate sealingly fitting between said cover and said channels and containing passages extending transversely across said plate to The grooved passages extending along the upper face of the distribution plate 58 in the form of the trench 68 with connecting lateral passages 69-74 fulfill substantially the same function as the passages and grooves of the distribution plate of the previously described embodiment in carrying the confection mix from a single feed tube and distributing the mix to the various compartments of the nozzle assembly which includes the extruder tubes 50-55 in the embodiment of the FIGS. 9-14. However, in this particular embodiment the amount of mix that flows into each of the extruder tubes 50-55 is readily controllable by adjusting the position of the individual valve plugs 75 that are seated within each of the lateral passages 69-74. As can be seen in FIGS. 11 and 14, by adjusting the position of the valve plug 75 within the valve seat 70a of the lateral passage 70, so that a portion of the valve passage opening 81 of the valve plug 75 is partially blocked, the mix that is flowing from the feed tube 63 via the passages 68 and 70 into the extruder tube 51 is throttled relative to that which is flowing from the same feed tube 63 to the adjacent extruder tubes 50 and 52, thus making it possible to equalize or adjust the flow of mix from any extruder tube relative to any other tubes. Although the outlet orifice end of each of the extruder tubes 50-55 is indicated to be round in FIG. 9, so as to produce the small cylindrical bars B, bars having other cross sectional shapes are readily produced, such as heart shapes, rectangular shapes, etc., by modifying the shape of the extruder tube lower orifice outlet end. By utilizing the distribution block with valve plugs installed in the manner illustrated in this embodiment, the nozzle assembly can comprise extruder tubes having a variety of difl'erent shaped outlet orifices so as to simultaneously produce bars of a controlled thickness but constituting a variety of cross sectional shapes. Thus this embodiment of the invention makes it possible easily to control the amount of mix that flows from the common feed tube through various extruder tubes having the same or different shaped orifices with different flow characteristics so that the flow rate for all orifices can be synchronized and the severing device will slice bars having a uniform thickness from the lengths of 'mix being continuously extruded from the various extruder tubes of the assembly. The reciprocating motion of the slicing frame 67 is synchronized and the flow of mix is regulated so that a batch of bars is sliced from the length of mix being extruded from the six extruder tubes each time a conveyor plate passes beneath the assembly.

A further embodiment of a nozzle assembly that is useful in producing a composite bar, in which the cross section constitutes areas of different flavored or different colored confections of the nature generally described for the first embodiment, is illustrated in FIGS. 15-17. The components of this nozzle assembly are substantially identical to those shown in the applicants copending U. S. application Ser. No. 885,104 filed Dec. 15, 1969, now abandoned and entitled Extruder Nozzle Assembly except for the addition of provisions for valve plugs in the passages of the distribution plate. As described in more detail in the aforementioned copending application, the interior of the nozzle body cavity is divided into two different segments 91 and 92 of which the inwardly tapering, upper portion of each is divided into three compartments 91a, 91b, 910, 92a, 92b and 920 by a pair of parallel partitions 93 that extend from the upper, open face of the nozzle body downwardly within the cavity to the point where the walls of the nozzle body become parallel. A distribution plate 94 extends across the upper face of the nozzle body 90 to enclose the upper end of the nozzle body cavities and a cover plate 95, through which the three feed tubes 96, 97 and 98 are supported at spaced intervals in the manner previously described, is positioned across the upper face of the distribution plate 94 and affixed to the nozzle body 90 with the distribution plate 94 sealingly sandwiched between the cover plate and nozzle body. The upper face of the distribution plate 94 has recesses 96a, 97a and 98a located immediately below the open end of the respective feed tubes 96, 97 and 98. Pairs of grooves 96b, 97b and 98b extend outwardly on the upper face of the distribution plate in both directions from each of the respective recesses 96a, 97a and 98a to a point immediately above the three upper compartments 91a, 91b and 91c of the cavity segment 91 and the three upper compartments 92a, 92b and 92c of the other cavity segment 92. An aperture 96c, 97c and 98c extends from the outer end of each of the three pairs of grooves 96b, 97b and 98b through the distribution plate into communication with the underlying six compartments 91a, 91b, 910, 92a, 92b and 920 of the two cavity segments. In the manner described in the immediately preceding embodiment, the upper portion of apertures 96c, 97c and 98c have an enlarged diameter which is greater than the lower portion of the aperture and the width of the grooves to form valve plug seats 96d, 97d and 98d. A valve plug having a passage 79 extending from the lower portion through a sidewall opening 81, in the manner described for the immediately preceding embodiment and with a configuration as indicated in FIG. 12, is seated in each of the three pairs of valve seats 96d, 97d and 98d with the upper stems 77 of the valve plugs extending through holes in the cover plate 95. As described with respect to the immediately preceding embodiment and as may be best seen with respect to the grooves and aperture leading from the central feed tube 97 of FIGS. 16 and 17 of this embodiment, adjustment of the position of the sidewall opening 81 of the passage 79 in the valve plug 75 with respect to the grooves 97b will have a throttling effect on the mix that is flowing from the central feed tube 97 through the grooves 97b and exiting into the central compartments 91b and 92b of the nozzle body cavity segments through the apertures 97c.

As described in the previously referenced copending application, a confection mix under pressure is fed to each of the three feed tubes 96, 97 and 98 and the mix from each of the three feed tubes flows via the grooves and apertures of the distribution plate into the various compartments of the nozzle body from which two extruded lengths having a composite cross sectional design emerge and from which bars are sliced by the reciprocating cutting device previously described. By suitably adjusting the position of each of the six different valve plugs 75, the flow of mix into the various compartments of the extruder body can be easily regulated so that the amount of mix from each of the three separate feed tubes 96, 97 and 98 that constitutes the pass beneath and communicate with an end of said tube with another portion of said passage extending through the thickness of said plate to its lower face into communication with selected ones of said channels, valve means in said passages operable to throttle selectively the flow of confection along the respective passages and means for controlling the setting of each said valve means, said passages including grooves extending across the upper face of said distribution plate underlying said cover to pass beneath said feed tube open end with other portions of said grooves connecting with an aperture extending through to the lower face of said plate, said valve means including a body member supported for 'movement within said passage with respect to an axis of motion of the body between positions establishing maximum and minimum restrictions to the flow of the confection through said passage and means for supporting said body member with said body member axis of motion extending transversely of the thickness dimension of said distribution plate and overlying cover, and said valve setting means comprising an integral portion of said body member in alignment with said body member axis and adapted for engagement by a tool, said cover having an opening in alignment with each said body member integral portion and said body member axis.

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US3878992 *Apr 11, 1973Apr 22, 1975Macmanus JohnDecorating head
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Classifications
U.S. Classification425/131.1, 425/308, 425/553, 425/463, 222/330, 425/573, 141/105
International ClassificationA23G9/28, A23G9/04
Cooperative ClassificationA23G9/285, A23G9/282
European ClassificationA23G9/28D6, A23G9/28D2