|Publication number||US3732917 A|
|Publication date||May 15, 1973|
|Filing date||Jun 25, 1971|
|Priority date||Jun 25, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3732917 A, US 3732917A, US-A-3732917, US3732917 A, US3732917A|
|Original Assignee||Crown Cork & Seal Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (13), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Q United States Patent 1 [111 3,732,917 Deubel May 15, 1973  METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR 1,891,425 12 1932 Kronquest ..-....l65/l20 ALTERlNG E TEMPERATURE ()F I,589,079 6/1926 Johnson et al.. ..l65/l20 CONTAINERS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [75 1 Inventor: Hans Deubel M'lwaukee 2,005,427 12/1969 France ..62/374  Assignee: Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.,
Philadelphia, Pa, Primary Examiner-Charles J. Myhre Assistant ExaminerTheophil W. Streule, Jr.  plied: June 2 Attorney-Woodcock, Washburn, Kurtz and Mackie- ] Appl. No.: 156,617 wicz  ABSTRACT  US. Cl. ..165/l, 165/120, 134/68,
198/33, 62/374 62/64 A double deck can warmer having spray heads  Int. Cl. ..F28f 7/00 mounted above an upper conveyor for conveymg cans  Field of Search 5/120 121 1 in one direction and a lower conveyor for conveying l65/2 l34/62 cans in the opposite direction. The arcuate chute coml 152 & municates with the upper conveyor and the lower conveyor so as to move cans from the upper conveyor to the lower conveyor while effecting an inversion. As  References cued the cans move along the upper conveyor, one end of UNITED STATES PATENTS the cans are sprayed with a warming fluid from nozzles located above the conveyor. As the cans are in- 2,764,274 9/1956 Griswold et al ..l98/33 AD verted the liquid contents are agitated, The opposite Pl'OdZel'lSkl I. ends of the cans are now sprayed warming 2,466,769 4/1949 Herold et al ..l65/120 X from the nozzles located above the lower conveyor.
16 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENIEDHAHSIQH SHEET 1 [IF 2 PAIENIEU HAY 1 5 I973 SHEET 2 BF 2 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR ALTERING THE TEMPERATURE OF CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention When canning or bottling beverages, it is customary to fill the containers with the product at a fairly low temperature, for example 34 F. After the containers are filled, they are usually packed in cardboard cartons for sale and distribution to the public. But before the containers are distributed to the public, the cartons containing the filling containers usually go to the warehouse for storage until sold. In any event, the containers will be subjected to warmer temperatures.
It is a well-known fact that all such containers filled with a cold product and then exposed to a temperature of 75 F to 85 F will sweat resulting in wet and damaged cartons. Where cans are used, the cans may rust. To overcome this objectionable sweating problem, it is customary to attempt to bring the contents of the container up to the dew point temperature which is approximately 70 F. This warming process has been accomplished in the past by running the containers in mass through a bottle and/or can warming machine.
2. The Prior Art In many instances the container warming machine comprises a conveyor with the containers entering one end of the machine and exiting from the other end of the machine. While the containers are conveyed through the machine, they are exposed to a container warming fluid in the 'form of heated water which is sprayed from nozzles located above the conveyor and in some cases below the conveyor as well. In other cases, the heated water is collected in a bath at conveyor level so that the'container end supported by the conveyor passes through the bath.
The prior art bottle and can warming machines are deficient in that the contents of the containers are not warmed efficiently. Where the containers are only exposed to warming fluids sprayedfrom nozzles located above the container, the ends of the containers resting on the conveyor'remain cold. Where the warming fluid is also sprayed from nozzles below the containers or is collected in a bath at container level, the ends of the containers supported on the conveyor are warmed but the central portion of the container as well as the contents wi thin the container are not similarly subjected to the warming fluid. As a result, the warming of the containers is nonuniform and inefficient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with one important aspect of the invention, a uniform and efficient heating of filled containers is accomplished by agitating the container and exposing it to a warming fluid.
In accordance with another important aspect of the invention, the agitation of the container may be achieved by inverting the containers. This inversion may be achieved by providing an arcuate chute communicating with an upper conveyor moving in a direction toward the chute and a lower conveyor moving in a direction away from the chute. Because of the arcuate nature of the chute, containers standing on one end while advancing on the upper conveyor are inverted so as to stand on the other end while advancing on the lower conveyor. When an upper set of spray nozzles for the warming fluid are located above the upper conveyor and a lower set of spray nozzles for the warming fluid are located above the lower conveyor where both sets of nozzles direct fluid along the axes of the containers, both ends of the containers will be warmed since the containers are inverted by the chute. In addition, the contents of the container will be agitated so as to provide a more uniform efficient heating of the containers.
In accordance with another important aspect of the invention, the chute may comprise a pair of arcuate, uniformly spaced guides. As an alternative, the chute may comprise a revolving wheel in combination with an arcuate portion of the lower conveyor having a uniform spacing with respect to the wheel. By driving the wheel and conveyor which are maintained in contact with the containers in the chute, the containers may be moved on to the lower conveyor even in the absence of succeeding containers on the upper conveyor.
In accordance with still another aspect of the invention, the containers may enter and leave the warming machine from the same end. Accordingly, the infeed conveyor communicating with the upper conveyor may be located adjacent and above an outfeed conveyor communicating with the lower conveyor at the same end of the apparatus.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS along section lines 4-4 and showing the upper conveyor.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A method and apparatus for warming filled containers in accordance with this invention will now be described in substantial detail with reference to FIG. 1. The container apparatus 10, as shown in FIG. 1, comprises a conveyor means 12 including an upper conveyor 14 and a lower conveyor 16. As the containers .are conveyed through the apparatus 10, they are exposed to a warming fluid 18 which is sprayed from an upper set of nozzles 20 and a lower set of nozzles 22 in a direction generally parallel to the axes of the contain:
ers. The upper conveyor 14 is in communication with the lower conveyor 16 through the arcuate chute 24.
In accordance with one very important aspect of the invention, the containers C, which have been recently filled with cold liquid, are efiicientl y warmed due to an agitation provided by the chute 24. In this connection, it will be noted that the chute 24, which is substantially semicircular, inverts the containers C as they move from the upper conveyor 14 to the lower conveyor 16. Note the arrows on the container C as they rest on the upper conveyor 14 in the upright position. The container C on the lower conveyor 16 are now inverted as may again be seen by reference to the arrows on the containers C. The agitation which results from the inversion assists in providing a uniform and efficient warming of the containers C to the dew point.
The inversion of the containers C as provided by chute 24 is also very important in another respect.
Since the upper set of nozzles 20 are located above the upper conveyor 14 and the lower set of nozzles 22 are located above the lower conveyor 16, the fluid 18 is only sprayed downwardly onto the containers C. But since the chute 24 provides inversion of the containers C, different ends of the containers C are sprayed by the warming fluid.
One end of the containers C are exposed to and sprayed by the warming fluid 18 as the containers C are conveyed on the upper conveyor 14 while standing on the other end and moving toward the chute 24. But after the chute 24 inverts the containers C, the other end is exposed and sprayed by the warming fluid 18 while the containers C, standing on the previously sprayed one end, are conveyed on the conveyor 16 in the direction away from the chute 24. This too assists in achieving a uniform and efficient warming of the filled containers C to the dew point. Note that the containers C did not pass through a warming fluid bath since the waterline is well below the lower conveyor 16.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the containers C enters and leaves the apparatus from the same end. As may be readily appreciated with reference to FIG. 1, the containers C are entering and leaving the apparatus 10 from the left. This aspect of the invention will be described in somewhat further detail subsequently with reference to FIG. 3.
In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the chute 24 comprises a pair of arcuate guide members 26 having a mutual spacing therebetween which is substantially uniform and substantially equal to the height of the containers C. Since the chute 24 is substantially dependent upon a gravity feed in combination with successive cans moving along the upper conveyor 14, a number of containers may remain lodged in the chute 24 at the end of a days run when there are no successive containers C advancing along the upper conveyor 14.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2, gravity feed is assisted to substantially assure removal of all containers C from the chute 24. Except for the chute 24' and the lower conveyor 16', the warming apparatus 10 of FIG. 2 is substantially identical to the warming apparatus 10 of FIG. I. For this reason, similar reference characters are utilized to identify similar elements of the apparatus.
Referring now to the chute 24', note the use of a revolving wheel 28 which is driven in a direction indicated by the associated arrow. The entry to the chute 24' comprises a fixed guide member 30 including a substantially straight portion 32 spaced a substantially uniform distance from another guide member 34. The fixed guide member 30 also comprises an arcuate portion 36 which is spaced a uniform distance from the revolving wheel 28.
As the containers C reach the chute 24, they enter between the guide members 32 and 34 and move, under the influence of gravity feed and the push provided by successive containers, to a point of engagement with the revolving wheel 28. Since the revolving wheel 28 would be incapable of driving the containers C once the containers C reach the point that gravity forces them away from the wheel 28, an additional conveying force must be provided to assure that the chute 24' is empty at the end of a days run. This additional conveying means may be provided by an arcuate end 38 on the lower conveyor 16'. The arcuate configuration of the conveyor portion 38 may be maintained by suitable guide members not shown.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a container warming apparatus is provided comprising a chute 24 the type shown in FIG. 1. The chute 24 communicates with the upper conveyor 14 and the lower conveyor 16 which are driven over sprockets 40 which are intum driven by a conveyor shaft and sprocket coupled to a variable speed drive 44. In order to support the conveying surface of the upper conveyor 14 and the lower conveyor 16 which may comprise chains, a supporting means 46 is provided. The return surface is supported by idler rollers 48. As may best be appreciated by reference to FIG. 4, both the upper convenor 14 and the lower conveyor 16 are wide enough to handle a large number of containers C in side-by-side relationship between fences 49. In many cases, it may be desirable to use a conveyor width of 5 feet or more.
As mentioned previously, the containers C may enter and leave the apparatus 10 from the same end. In this connection, note that an infeed conveyor means 50 which is wide enough to handle two containers C in side-by-side relationship is provided in communication with the upper conveyor 14. Similarly, an outfeed conveyor 52 is provided beneath or subjacent the infeed conveyor 50 and in communication with the lower conveyor 16. By the use of a bar 54, the containers C are urged off the infeed conveyor 50 located superjacent to the outfeed conveyor 52 and onto the upper conveyor 14 in side-by-side relationship as best shown in FIG. 4. An arrangement of a type well-known in the art is utilized to remove the containers C from the lower conveyor 16 and place them on the outfeed conveyor 52.
The warming fluid which is sprayed from both the upper set of nozzles 20 and lower set of nozzles 22 is heated. This may be accomplished by a heater 55 which is located beneath the water line. In the alternative, steam piping may be utilized for use with a steam boiler. In either case, the water is continuously heated and then pumped by means of a pump 56 to main headers 58 and 60 associated with the nozzles sets 20 and 22. Of course, other well known means may be utilized to heat and dispense the warming fluid, all of which are quite familiar to those of ordinary skill in the art.
The apparatus 10 may include additional features. For example, the blower 62 may be provided near the outfeed conveyor 52 for purposes of drying the containers C at discharge. In addition, a safety feature may be provided which will automatically shut the nozzles sets 20 and 22 to off when the conveyor stops. This will prevent overheating of products within the containers and may be accomplished by means well known in the art.
In the apparatus described, the warming fluid in the form of a spray of water may be heated to a temperature ranging from to 160 F. However, in most applications, a temperature of the order of F is satisfactory. Such a temperature permits an efficient warming of the beverage temperature of approximately 34 to 75 F, well above the 70 dew point.
Although the invention has been described with particular reference to containers in the form of cans, it will be appreciated that the invention may be utilized in conjunction with other containers. It will also be appreciated that the invention might be utilized to cool containers by utilizing a cooling fluid rather than a warming fluid. These and other modifications which fall within the scope of the appended claims will occur to those of ordinaryskill in the art What is claimed is: l. A method of warming filled containers comprising the steps of:
exposing one end of said containers to a warming fluid for warming said containers;
directing said warming fluid at said exposed one end of each of said containers in a direction substantially parallel with the container axis extending from said one end to said other end of each of said containers;
inverting said containers so as to agitate the contents within said containers while distributing the heat within said containers from said one end to said other end; i
exposing said other end of each of said containers to said warming fluid; and
directing said warming fluid at said exposed other end in a direction substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of each of said containers.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising the steps of:
conveying said container in a standing position on said other end while exposing said one end to said warming fluid; and
conveying said containers in a standing position on said one end while exposing said other end of said containers to said warming fluid.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said containers are conveyed on said one end in one direction and conveyed on said other end in an opposite direction.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein said steps of exposing the containers at said one end and exposing the containers at said other end comprise spraying said containers with said warming fluid.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein said warming fluid is sprayed downwardly on said containers while being conveyed in said one direction and in said opposite direction.
6. The method of claim 2 further comprising the step of heating said warming fluid to a temperature substantially higher than the temperature of said liquid so as to warm said liquid.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein said step of heating comprises heating said warming fluid comprising water to a temperature ranging from 100 to 160 F.
8. A method of altering the temperature of liquidfilled containers comprising the steps of:
exposing one end of each of said containers to a fluid having a substantially different temperature than that of the contents of said containers;
directing said fluid at said exposed one end of said container in a direction substantially parallel with the container axis extending from said one end to said other end of each of said containers;
inverting said containers so as to agitate the contents within the containers thereby decreasing the temperature gradient within the liquid from said one end to said other end of each of said containers;
exposing the other end of each of said containers to the fluid; and
directing the fluid at the other end of each of said containers in a direction substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of each of said containers.
9. Apparatus for warming filled containers comprising:
first conveyor means for supporting each of said containers on one end thereof as said containers are moved along a substantiallyhorizontal path exposing the other end of each of said containers;
warming fluid nozzle means extending along and above said first conveyor means for directing warming fluid downwardly onto the other end of each of said containers; second conveyor means for supporting each of said containers on the other end thereof as said containers are moved in a substantially horizontal path exposing said one end of each of said containers;
second warming fluid nozzle means extending along and above said second conveyor means for directing said warming fluid downwardly onto said one end of each of said containers; and
means for inverting said containers as said containers move from said first conveyor means to said second conveyor means thereby agitating the contents of the containers so as to distribute the heat within said containers from said one end to said other end so as to promote efficient warming of said containers.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said first conveyor means comprises an upper conveyor for conveying containers in a standing position on said one end toward said inverting means and said second conveyor means comprises a lower conveyor located beneath said upper conveyor for conveying said containers in an inverted standing position on said other end away from said inverting means. i
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said upper conveyor conveys said containers in one direction and said lower conveyor conveys said containers in the opposite direction.
12. The apparatus of claim ll wherein said inverting means comprises an arcuate chute having sides for guiding said containers, said chute communicating with said upper conveyor and said lower conveyor for moving said containers from a standing position on one end on said upper conveyor to an inverted standing position on said other end on said lower conveyor, said arcuate chute adapted to engage the ends of said containers such that the longitudinal axis of said containers intersect said sides.
13. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said chute is semicircular and said sides comprise fixed arcuate guide members having substantially uniform spacing therebetween substantially equal to the height of said containers from said one end to said other end.
14. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said sides of said chute comprise a revolving wheel member and an arcuate portion of said lower conveyor juxtaposed thereto with substantially uniform spacing therebetween substantially equal to the height of said containers from said one end to said other end, said wheel being driven. so as to advance said containers through said chute in the absence 'of successive containers on said upper conveyor. I
15. the apparatus of claim 11 further comprising an infeed conveyor means communicating with said upper conveyor for moving containers to said upper conveyor and an outfeed conveyor means communicating with said lower conveyor to move containers from said lower conveyor, said infeed conveyor means being superjacent to said outfeed conveyor means.
16. Apparatus for warming the temperature of filled containers comprising:
an upper conveyor for supporting the containers on one end thereof while said containers are conveyed in one direction;
upper nozzle means extending along and above said upper conveyor for directing a temperaturealtering fluid at the other end of each of said containers;
a lower conveyor having a surface for supporting each of said containers on the other end thereof as the containers are conveyed in another direction exposing said one end of each of said containers;
lower nozzle means extending along and above said lower conveyor for directing a temperaturealtering fluid towards said one end of each of said containers; and
inverting means comprising a chute having sides for guiding said containers, said chute communicating with said upper conveyor and said lower conveyor for moving said containers from a standing position on said one end of each of said containers at said upper conveyor to an inverted standing position on said other end of each of said containers on said lower conveyor, said arcuate chute adapted to engage the ends of said containers such that the longitudinal axis extending from said one end to said other end of each of said containers intersects the container guiding sides of said chute.
' r H.- CH? i CERTIFLCATE OF commcuo Patent NO- 3'732'917 Dated May 15 l 1973 'Invcntor(s) 'Hans D. Deubel It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column l, line 12, delete "'filling'f and insert -"filled.
Cpluinn 6 line 47; delete "ll" and insert --l2 4 Column 6, line 52, delete "11'' and ineert' -v -'l2 Sighed and sealed this 27th day ofNoveinber 1973.
[SEAL] I Attes't:
EDWARD NMFLETCHERJR. RENE D. TEGTME EK 'Atfcesting Officer ,Acting' Cqnnniss'ioner of Patents u I I
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|U.S. Classification||165/120, 62/374, 134/68, 62/64, 198/402, 198/525|