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Publication numberUS3763662 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1973
Filing dateAug 2, 1972
Priority dateAug 2, 1972
Publication numberUS 3763662 A, US 3763662A, US-A-3763662, US3763662 A, US3763662A
InventorsNichols D
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Twist tray ice maker
US 3763662 A
Abstract
An automatic ice maker wherein a tray is rotatable about a horizontal axis. The ice bodies are formed in the tray with the cavities in an upright position, and upon completion of the freezing of the ice bodies, the tray is rotated to an inverted position. While the tray is being rotated, it is caused to be concurrently twisted as the result of an axial movement of the tray to engage stop means at one end of the tray. Cam means are provided at the opposite end to move the tray to engage the stop means and at the end of the twisting operation to disengage the stop means. Means are provided for causing the tray to move axially reversely to disengage the stop means and permit untwisted final movement of the tray through the harvesting, inverted position back to the upright ice-forming position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 1 ,763,621 Nichols I Oct. 9, 1973 TWIST TRAY ICE MAKER Primary ExaminerWilliam E. Wayner 75 Inventor: Duane c. Nichols, Evansville, Ind. Nemem et [73] Assi nee: Whirl ool Cor oration Benton 3 g Harbo i, Mich. [57] ABSTRACT [22] Filed, Aug 2 1972 An automatic ice maker wherein a tray is rotatable Appl. No.: 277,325

U.S. Cl 62/353, 62/72, 425/440,

, about a horizontal axis. The ice bodies are formed in the tray with the cavities in an upright position, and upon completion of the freezing of the ice bodies, the tray is rotated to an inverted position. While the tray is being rotated, it is caused to be concurrently twisted as the result of an axial movement of the tray to engage stop means at one end of the tray. Cam means are provided at the opposite end to move the tray to engage the stop means and at the end of the twisting operation to disengage the stop means. Means are provided for causing the tray to move axially reversely to disengage the stop means and permit untwisted final movement of the tray through the harvesting, inverted position back to the upright ice-forming position.

11 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to automatic ice makers andin particular to means for controlling the twisting of 'a twist-release ice-forming tray in an automatic ice maker.

2. Description of the Prior Art In my copending application Ser. No. 46,924, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,677,030, issued July 18, 1972, for an Axially Movable Twist Tray Domestic Ice Maker, owned by the assignee hereof, an axially movable twist tray automatic ice maker is disclosed wherein the tray is axially repositioned subsequent to the twisting action by a compression spring restoring the tray to the axial disposition wherein a subsequent ice-forming and harvesting cycle maybe effected. The tray mechanism of said application comprises an improvement over an earlier twist tray mechanism disclosed in United States Letters Patent 3,596,477 of Earl K. Harley entitled Automatic Flexible Ice Tray. In the Harley patent, stop means are provided which are movable relative to the tray to selectively dispose shoulder means for engagement and release of the tray as it is rotated about a horizontal axis. Cooperating means are provided thereon on the stop bar and on the tray for displacing the stop bar as an incident of rotation of the tray.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprehends an improved axially movable twist tray automatic ice maker in which positive means are provided for effecting the axial movement of the tray to prevent further twisting of the tray after a preselected desired twist has been imparted thereto. The invention comprehends the normal release of the tray from the stop means by resilient biasing means and incorporates the positive release means as a further safety means forpositively assuring the termination of the twisting action in the event that the resilient biasing means fails to effect the desired termination. Alternatively, the invention comprehends the utilization of the positive twist terminating means as the sole reverse axial moving means.

More specifically, the invention comprehends the provision in a mechanism for twisting a tray including means for rotating one end of the tray about a longitudinal axis thereof, a stop spaced from the other end of the tray longitudinally thereof, and means for longitudinally moving the tray during rotation thereof to have the rotation of the other end of the tray stopped by the stop whereby continued rotation of the one end causes a twisting of the tray about the axis during a preselected amount of rotation of the tray one end, the improvement comprising means positively driven from the rotating means for positively longitudinally reversely moving the tray to prevent further stoppage of rotation of the other end by the stop and permit further, untwisted rotation of the tray by the rotation means.

Still more specifically, the invention comprehends such a twist tray mechanism further including means resiliently urging the tray longitudinally reversely to prevent further stoppage of rotation of the tray other end, with the positive longitudinally reversely moving means being operable only in the event the resilient urging means fails to prevent further stoppage of rotation of the tray other end.

The twist tray mechanism of the present invention is extremely simple and economical of construction while yet providing the highly desirable features discussed above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other features and advantages of the invention will connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an axially movable twist tray automatic ice maker mechanism embodying the invention with portions broken away to facilitate illustration of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged diametric section of the positive means for effecting reverse axial movement of the tray; and

FIG. 3 is a transverse section taken substantially along the line-3 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, an axially movable twist tray automatic ice maker generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a flexible tray 1 1 supported for rotation about a horizontal axis 12 by a driver coupling 13 at one end 14 of the tray and a suitable shaft 15 at the opposite end 16 of the tray. Rotation of coupling 13 is effected by a conventional automatic control 17. Control 17 includes an auxiliary housing portion 18 defining a front wall 19.

Tray end 14 is provided with a boss 20 which slidably engages a cam 21 carried on wall 19 to urge the tray axially rearwardly, i.e., to the left as seen in FIG. 1, and cause engagement of a stop 22 on the rear end 16 of the tray with a stop 23 on a support 24 extending fixedly from the control 17. Thus, while control 17 effects rotation of tray end 14 through connector 13, engagement of stop 22 with stop 23 prevents concurrent rotation of tray end 16 thereby effecting a twisting of the tray preselected to free the previously formed ice bodies in the respective compartments 25 of the tray for facilitated harvesting thereof as by dropping the freed ice bodies 26 from the tray in an inverted position thereof as shown in FIG. 3. I

Upon sufficient rotation of tray end 14 to cause boss 20 tc pass beyond the cam 21, the tray is axially released whereupon a coil spring 27 compressed between tray end 16 and distal wall 28 of support 24, urges tray 11 reversely, i.e., to the right as seen in FIG. 1, to move tray top 22 from fixed stop 23 and permit continued free rotation of tray end 16 concurrently with rotation of tray end 14 thereby effecting the harvesting of the ice b dies by the dropping thereof from the tray in the inverted position of and permitting restoration of the tray 0 the upright position of FIG. 1 wherein a subsequent batch of ice bodies may be formed in the compartments 25 by suitable delivery of fresh water thereto. 1

The present invention comprehends the provision in such an automatic ice maker mechanism of means for effectively positively causing the reverse axial movement of the tray subsequent to the termination of the twisting operation. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 2, control wall 19 is provided with a forwardly projecting cam 30 which is rotatable and axially movable with tray end 14. Control 17 includesa generally rectangular drive shaft 31 slidably receivable in connector 13 for rotating the connector while permitting axial movement thereof.

Upon termination of the twisting of the tray, spring 27 normally urges the tray to the right to dispose cam 30 rightwardly to the dotted line position of FIG. 2 wherein the cam 30 may freely pass cam 29 during the rotation of tray end 14 by control shaft 31. Thus, under normal circumstances, cams 29 and 30 do not engage during rotation of the tray and the reverse movement of the tray to terminate the engagement of stop 22 with stop 23 is effected by the resilient biasing spring 27.

However, should the tray hang up and reverse movement not be effected by the spring 27, cam 29 will be in the path of rotational movement of cam 30 whereupon engagement of cam 30 with cam 29 effects a positive reverse axial movement of the tray by a positive reverse axial movement of connector 13, as cam 30 is urged to the right, as seen in FIG. 2, along cam 29 to a maximum retracted position, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 2, whereupon stop 22 is positively disengaged from stop 23 to assure the continued nontwist-rotation of the tray in a normal completion of the ice maker cycle.

The invention comprehends the use of the cams 29 and 30 as the sole means for effecting reverse movement of the tray as desired whereby coil spring 27 may be eliminated in the ice maker structure. However, in the preferred form, the positive cam means 29 and 30 are provided as a supplementary positive axial displacement safety means operating only in the event that the normal operation of coil spring 27 to disengage stop 22 from stop 23 upon termination of the twisting action is not effected.

Thus, the present invention effectively precludes damage to the control 17 such as by stalling the electric drive motor thereof or damaging the drive gear mechanism. The positive camming means 29 and 30 serve as a safety device supplementing the normal operating means 22,23 only in the event of an abnormal condition of the ice forming cycle. The improved twist control structure avoids the necessity of auxiliary stop bars and the like which may jam and are relatively expensive of construction, while yet providing the improved positive safety feature discussed above.

The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.

I claim:

1. In a mechanism for twisting a tray including means for rotating one end of the tray about a longitudinal axis thereof, a stop spaced from the other end of the tray longitudinally thereof, and means for longitudinally moving the tray during rotation thereof to have the rotation of said other end of the tray stopped by said stop whereby continued rotation of said one end causes a twisting of the tray about said axis during a preselected amount of rotation of said tray one end, the improvement comprising means positively driven from said rotating means for positively longitudinally reversely moving the tray to prevent further stoppage of rotation of said other end by said stop and permit further, untwisted rotation of the tray by said rotation means.

2. The .tray twisting mechanism of claim 1 wherein said means for positively longitudinally reversely moving the tray comprises a first cam movable with said one end of the tray, and a second cam fixed adjacent said first cam to be engaged by said first cam for longitudinally reversely moving said tray as an incident of rotation of said one end of the tray.

3. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 1 wherein said means for longitudinally reversely moving the tray comprises means responsive to rotation of said one end of the tray a preselected amount.

4. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 1 wherein said means for longitudinally reversely moving the tray comprises means disposed at said one end of the tray.

5. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 1 wherein a wall is disposed adjacent said one end of the tray, and each of said means for longitudinally moving said tray and said means for reversely moving said tray include respectively, first and second cam means fixedly carried by said wall means, and a cooperating cam being associated with said tray for selectively engaging said second cam means on the wall means.

6. In a mechanism for twisting a tray including means for rotating one end of the tray about a longitudinal axis thereof, a stop spaced from the other end of the tray longitudinally thereof, and means for longitudinally moving the tray during rotation thereof to have the rotation of said other end of the tray stopped by said stop whereby continued rotation of said one end causes a twisting of the tray about said axis during a preselected amount of rotation of said tray one end, the improvement comprising:

means resiliently urging the tray longitudinally reversely to prevent further stoppage of rotation of said tray other end; and

means positively driven from said rotating means for positively longitudinally reversely moving the tray to positively prevent further stoppage of rotation of said other end by said stop and assure further, untwisted rotation of the tray by further rotation of said tray one end by said rotation means.

7. The tray twisting mechanism of Claim 6 wherein said positively driven means comprises means operable only in the event said resilient urging means fails to prevent further stoppage of rotation of said tray other end.

8. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 6 wherein said positively driven means comprises a pair of confronting cam elements arranged to remain spaced from each other in the event said resiliently urging means urges the tray longitudinally reversely sufficiently to prevent said further stoppage of rotation 9. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 8 wherein said rotating means includes an outer housing, said cam elements comprise a ramp on said housing, and a boss movable with said tray one end.

10. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 6 wherein said positively driven means is arranged to effect said reverse longitudinal movement when the tray is in an inverted position.

11. The tray twisting mechanism of claim 6 wherein said resiliently urging means is disposed adjacent said tray other end and said positively reversely moving means is disposed adjacent said tray one end.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3056271 *May 20, 1960Oct 2, 1962Philco CorpIce makers
US3344685 *Oct 7, 1965Oct 3, 1967Roannais Constr TextilesCam follower
US3580009 *Jan 13, 1969May 25, 1971White Consolidated Ind IncIce maker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5675975 *Aug 2, 1996Oct 14, 1997Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Method for controlling ice removing motor of automatic ice production apparatus
US7437885Oct 26, 2004Oct 21, 2008Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7628031Mar 26, 2008Dec 8, 2009Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7841191Oct 28, 2009Nov 30, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7849707Oct 28, 2009Dec 14, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7891207Oct 28, 2009Feb 22, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7913510Oct 28, 2009Mar 29, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7913514Oct 28, 2009Mar 29, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7946125Oct 28, 2009May 24, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US8096142Oct 28, 2009Jan 17, 2012Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/353, 425/440, 74/56, 62/72
International ClassificationF25C1/24, F25C1/22
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/24
European ClassificationF25C1/24