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Publication numberUS3765569 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1973
Filing dateApr 10, 1972
Priority dateApr 13, 1971
Also published asDE2217380A1
Publication numberUS 3765569 A, US 3765569A, US-A-3765569, US3765569 A, US3765569A
InventorsRimini T
Original AssigneeBras Spa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Beverage dispenser
US 3765569 A
Abstract
A beverage dispensing machine is disclosed of the kind comprising a container, a faucet and a timer for the opening time of the faucet, in which the improvement consists of the provision of a standpipe or tube extending vertically in the container and connected to the faucet, the top end of the vertical tube being at a level above the maximum level in the container, said tube being connected, in turn, with the delivery duct of a pump whose suction duct communicates with the container, the rate of flow of the pump being greater than that of the faucet. The advantage is a greater accuracy in the beverage volumes dispensed and the possibility of dispensing through metering vessels installed within the machine. It is sufficient to adjust the timer in order to regulate the individually dispensed volumes of the beverage concerned.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnite States atent 1 Rimini Get. 16, 1973 BEVERAGE DISPENSER Tito Rimini, Milan, Italy Bras S.p.A., Milan, Italy Apr. 10, 1972 Inventor:

Assignee:

Filed:

Appl. No.:

Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 13, 1971 Italy 21521 8/71 [1.8. CI. 222/70, 222/318 int. Cl B671! 5/08 Field of Search 222/70, 146 C, 318

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1964 Jacobs ..222/318 4/1968 Cornelios 222/70 Primary ExaminerR0bert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerLarry Martin AttorneyB. Edward Shlesinger et a1.

[5 7] ABSTRACT A beverage dispensing machine is disclosed of the kind comprising a container, a faucet and a timer for the opening time of the faucet, in which the improvement consists of the provision of a standpipe or tube extending vertically in the container and connected to the faucet, the top end of the vertical tube being at a level above the maximum level in the container, said tube being connected, in turn, with the delivery duct of a pump whose suction duct communicates with the container, the rate of flow of the pump being greater than that of the faucet. The advantage is a greater accuracy in the beverage volumes dispensed and the possibility of dispensing through metering vessels installed within the machine. It is sufficient to adjust the timer in order to regulate the individually dispensed volumes of the beverage concerned.

7 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure BEVERAGE DISPENSER This invention relates to a dispenser of plain (non carbonated) beverages, more particularly but not exclusively, refrigerated beverages.

There are known in the market refrigerating and dispensing machines for unbottled beverages, which are not carbonated, said machines being composed, substantially and in their more elementary form, of a refrigerating unit, housed in the bottom compartment of the dispensing machine, and of a container (which is generally transparent) superposed to the bottom compartment and in which the unbottled beverage is poured for storage therein.

The container, which is usually closed by a lid which is not sealtight, is connected (in different ways according to the several manufacturers, for example slipped over or superposed in a sealtight manner) to the evaporator of the refrigerating unit, so that the entire mass of the beverage can be refrigerated to any desired temperature.

Once the temperature aforesaid has been reached, appropriate thermostatic devices stop the operation of the refrigerating unit and subsequently provide cyclically to restart the unit in order to maintain such a temperature constant within a certain range to allow for the thermal dispersions in the atmosphere and possible beverage topping-ups.

Appropriate means, inside and outside the container,

keep the beverage stirred in order to improve the heatexchange relationship with the evaporator.

In a few cases such means even spurt the beverage against the walls and the lid of the container, thus creating an alluring effect towards customers to be.

The beverage is drawn through a specially provided port formed through the containers bottom, and which is normally closed and will be called a dispensing faucet.

The faucet is opened and held open manually during the drawing of the beverage and during theentire time which is required in order to transfer any desired amount of liquor from the container into a cup.

Inasmuch as these operations take place under atmospherical pressures, the hydraulic head which causes the beverage to pour out of the faucet is substantially the level attained by the beverage in the container at the instant of tapping.

Since the level (hydraulic load on the faucet, or head) is decreased as beverage portions are sequentially drawn out, the outflow speed of the beverage through the faucet will be consistently decreased (as is known, this is a function of the square root of the hydraulic head) and thus, for a certain flow passage area of the faucet, the rate of flow will also be decreased.

This fact means that in order to dispense a certain amount of the beverage, the dispensing faucet should be kept open during a longer period of time, the lower the beverage level in the container.

Manually controlled dispensers of the kind concisely described hereinabove are widely used on public bar counters and it is the attendant, who draws the beverage required by a customer.

ln addition to the manually controlled version, there are known also in the trade so-called automatic versions which are adapted, to dispense a preselected volume of beverage, rather than by manually manipulating the dispensing faucet by introducing into a specially provided device, a previously indicated coin.

Dispensers of this latter kind are not intended for use in public bars, but, rather, in communities, offices, schools and the like, that is, whereever a machine is required which is enabled to collect money and to dispense the beverage without the presence or the intervention of attending personnel.

Substantially, these machines are modifications of the dispensers used in public bars, to which a coincollecting device is added (token box), along with a control device for the dispensing faucet, and a device for controlling the volume of the dispensed beverage.

Within the class of the so-called automatic dispensers there can be comprised also those dispensers whose functional cycle of beverage dispensing is completely automatic and is actuated instead of by the introduction of a coin, by the depression of knob or pushbutton.

These machines are intended for those sales points where a considerable service rapidity and uniformity is required.

Recollecting now what has been said about the operation of the manually controlled dispensers, the coin- (or token) dispenser has, in the most general cases, a serious basic problem, that is, of constancy of the volume of the dispensed beverage as the beverage level in the container is varied.

With a view towards solving this problem, a few manufacturers resort to a timer, intended to control and to keep constant the faucet opening time and provide, upstream of the faucet, a submerged pump (under the beverage level) in order to obtain a dispensing operation under a constant and controlled pressure: they have replaced free flow of the beverage under mere gravity pull by dispensing under pressure during a constant time.

Even though it is surmised that the pump pressure (which defines the flow pressure) can be regarded as being independent of the instantaneous level of the beverage within the container, this fact, however, does not correspond to actual truth.

The reduced size of the machine, the position at which the pump can be installed with respect to the free surface of the beverage, the limitations of the speed (and thus of the pressure) that can be on imposed the outflowing stream by the requirement of preventing squirts or whirls in the cup, are reasons why the pressure obtained at the delivery side is always influenced by level differentials, so that the shortcomings are not fully overcome.

Another approach to the problem, according to other manufacturers, is previously to meter the volume of beverage to be dispensed, thus avoiding the necessity of using any timer.

In this type of machine there is installed, within the container and in communication with the faucet, a metering vessel whose capacity is equal to the portion of beverage to be dispensed.

Such a metering vessel is constantly kept full of beverage by a pump (generally, this is the same pump to which stirring of the beverage is entrusted.)

At the instant when dispensing is started, the operation of the pump is discontinued (this is the same device which opens the faucet and simultaneously cuts off the electric circuit which feeds the pump) and the metering vessel is completely emptied, thus transferring into the cup the exact and constant, previously metered beverage volume.

The defect of this approach, which, from a speculative point of view, solves the problem, is the fixd capacity of the metering vessel.

Whenever it is required to vary the volume of beverage to be dispensed, the metering vessel should be replaced and this doubtless is a serious limitation to the system both from the point of view of the manufacturer, and from that of the attendant who are required to provide, and to keep in storage, respectively, a range of different metering vessels.

An object of the present invention is to solve this problem radically, by ensuring an absolute constancy of the beverage volume to be dispensed though the level within the container is varied, while concurrently permitting that such volume can be adjusted, in the sense of increasing or decreasing same, according to the dispensing requirement.

With this object in view, it has been envisaged to provide a beverage dispenser of the kind comprising: a beverage tank, a dispensing faucet on the bottom of said tank and a timing device which is adapted to regulate the faucet-opening time, characterized in that said faucet is connected with a tube which extends vertically within the tank and has its top end at a level above the maximum level admissible for the beverage in the tank, said tube being connected to the delivery duct of whose suction duct is in communication with said container the rate of flow of the pump exceeding that of the faucet aforesaid.

The foregoing and other features, objects and advantages of the invention will become more clearly apparent from the example described hereinafter, the description being given with reference to the single FIG- URE of the accompanying drawing which is a diagrammatical showing of a preferred embodiment of a dispensing machine according to the invention in question.

In the drawing, the numeral 1 generally indicates the subject dispensing machine, which is structurally composed of a bottom compartment 2 which supports a container 3 having a lid 4.

At the bottom of the tank 3 a refrigerator 8 is provided, which, for example, consists of a stainless steel member having an inverted-U shaped cross-sectional outline and houses, soldered to its inside, a coil 9 forming the evaporator of a refrigerating unit of the sealed construction type, housed in the bottom compartment 2 and diagrammatically indicated at 10. The numeral 11 indicates a conventional thermostatic device which controls the beverage temperature. At 12 there is indicated the rotor of a conventional magnetically driven pump which is intended to stir the beverage.

The rotor 12 is supported by a body 12a which is housed in a well, placed on the bottom wall of the tank 3 internally thereof, and is driven by permanent magnet 13 which is keyed to the output shaft 14a ofa motor 14. The magnet 13 and the motor 14 are housed in the bottom compartment 2 outside the container 3.

Through the body 12a aforementioned are formed two openings 15a and 15b which are the suction side and the delivery side of the pump, respectively. As clearly seen in the drawings, the suction port 15a is immediately below the hydraulic head of the liquid contained in the tank 3, whereas a vertical delivery duct 15 is connected with the delivery opening 15b.

The delivery duct 15 has its free end 17 directed towards the tank lid and is equipped with two branched radial conduits l6 and 18 which are directed towards the refrigerator 8.

The delivery duct 15, moreover, is connected, via a duct 19, with a vertical tubing 20 having a height exceeding the maximum level 7 which the beverage can reach in the tank 3. The tube 20 has its top end open in the tank 3 and its bottom end is connected in a sealtight manner, by a fitting 21, with a dispensing faucet 22.

The dispensing faucet 22 overlies a supporting plane 5 which is extended from the bottom compartment 2 and on which a cup 6 is intended to rest.

The fitting 21, furthermore, has a radial hole 23, whose function will be explained hereinafter.

A timer 27 governs the opening time of the faucet 22 through the opening or closure of the energization circuit of an actuating means 26, such as an electromagnet, for the faucet 22. At 28 there is indicated a conventional device acting on the timer 27 and adapted to vary the duration of the opening time of the faucet 22.

The operability of the dispensing machine described above is as follows.

The unbottled beverage, as introduced in the tank 3, is initially cooled by the refrigerating unit 10 until the preselected temperature is attained the latter being preset by the thermostatic device 11.

The component part of the refrigerating unit 10 which exchanges heat with the beverage is the evaporator 9 immersed in the beverage concerned.

The thermostatic device 11, whose sensitive member is in contact with the evaporator 9 and thus is enabled to evaluate the temperature of the beverage, cuts off the refrigerating unit 10, when said temperature reaches the preselected value and reinstates the operation cyclically so as to maintain the temperature constant (within a certain range) to allow for heat dissipations towards the atmosphere and for possible beverage topping-ups.

The pump rotor 12, otates rotates submerged (below the beverage level line), due to the magnetic entrainment of the permanent magnet 13, draws the beverage through the suction port 15a and forwards it under pressure into the delivery duct 15. A portion of the beverage returns from the duct 15 directly into the tank 3 in quite conventional a manner, through the free end 17 and the radial ports 16 and 18 of the conduit in question.

The beverage stream emerging from the end 17 of the duct 15 impinges the inner wall of the lid 4 and is broken and fanned out so as to fall down like a shower along the tank walls, thus originating an optical effect which is adapted to catch a possible customers eye.

The beverage stream which flows out of the branch 16 originates a rotary stream about the refrigerator 8 so as to improve the heat exchange between the refrigerator and the beverage.

The beverage stream emerging from the branch 18 has the purpose of holding the actuation temperature of the thermostat 11 constant. For additional clarification in this connection, reference is made to the Model of Utility Pat. No. 128,210 (Italian) in the name of the same applicants hereof.

When the faucet 22 is closed, a characteristic feature is that another portion of the beverage returns from the delivery duct 15 indirectly into the tank 3 via the duct 19, the top free end of the tube 20 and the hole 23 of the fitting 21.

The size of the duct 20, of the duct 19 and the hole 23, and the rate of delivery of the pump are such that the outflow of the beverage through the top end of the tube 20 takes place in the form of a continuous overflow, the liquor falling on the free level surface of the beverage 7, in the container 3, which is always below the upper edge of the tube 20. When, conversely, the faucet 22 is open, a portion of the beverage fed to the tube 20 flows through the faucet and fills a cup 6.

it will be understood that, if the rate of flow of the pump, that is, the volume of beverage fed into the tube 20 in a unit of time is, at any level of the beverage in the tank 3 (especially at the lower levels) always above the rate of flow issuing both through the faucet 22 and the part 23, there will always be an overflow of beverage through the top end of the tube 20, which behaves like a weir, or, as an alternative, as a container, having a constant level.

Thus, the faucet 13 will always be subjected to the same head which is constant and is represented by the height of the tube 11, irrespective of the beverage level in the tank 3.

Consequently, the flow speed of the faucet 13, which is a function, as outlined above, of the square root of the head," will remain constant and, for a certain cross-section flow area of the faucet 13, the rate of flow as dispensed will also be constant.

7 If this rate offlow occurs during the several dispensing operation during a constant time by means of the timer 18, which, when the preselected time is over, deenergizes the electromagnet 17, the volume of beverage transferred from the tank 3 to the cup 6 will be accurately constant as the beverage level in the tank 3 is varied.

By acting on the device 2 8 so tha tthe duration operation of the timer 18 is modified (that is the open time of the faucet 13), the amount of dispensed beverage can be varied, according to the dispensing requirements, for example to accommodate cups of different capacities.

lt is important to oint diii th a't nlliustr atibnBide What is claimed is:

1. A beverage dispenser comprising a container for the beverage,

a dispensing cock at the bottom of said container,

a lid covering said container at its top,

a timing device operatively connected to said cock to open said cock for a predetermined length of time,

a standpipe extending vertically in said container above the maximum level of beverage adapted to be held in said container, and connected at its lower end to said cock to deliver beverage into and through said cock when said cock is opened,

a pump connected atits suction side with said container to draw beverage from said container,

a duct connecting the pressure side of said pump to said standpipe intermediate top and bottom of said standpipe to pump beverage continuously into said standpipe during operation of said pump,

said pump being operative to pump beverage into said standpipe at a flow-rate greater than the flowrate of beverage through said cock when open,

and a second, vertically extending duct in said container operatively connected to said pump to receive beverage therefrom, said second duct being open at its upper end adjacent said lid to project beverage against the inside of said lid and cause circulation of the beverage in said container.

2. A beverage dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein a tubular branch duct is connected to said second duct intermediate its ends and opens into said container.

3. A beverage dispenser as claimed in claim 2 having a refrigerating unit in said container to be immersed in the beverage therein, and wherein said second duct has a second branch duct opening adjacent said unit to create a rotary stream of beverage about said unit.

4. A beverage dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first-named duct is connected to said second-named duct to deliver beverage from the pressure side of said pump to said standpipe.

wherein means is provided for adjusting said timing device to control the time said cock is open.

7. A beverage dispenser as claimed in claim 3 having a thermostat to control the temperature of the beverage in said container.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3119531 *Aug 8, 1960Jan 28, 1964Jet Spray Cooler IncCirculating and dispensing apparatus for beverage coolers
US3379344 *Jun 28, 1966Apr 23, 1968Cornelius CoApparatus for treating and handling a beverage
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6058721 *Apr 10, 1998May 9, 2000Bunn-O-Matic CorporationCold drink system
US6430952Apr 18, 2000Aug 13, 2002Bun-O-Matic CorporationCold drink system
US6619056Aug 12, 2002Sep 16, 2003Bunn-O-Matic CorporationCold drink system
US6912870 *Jun 30, 2003Jul 5, 2005General Electric CompanyRefrigerator and ice maker methods and apparatus
US7306204 *Nov 21, 2002Dec 11, 2007Basf AktiengesellschaftColumn comprising dual flow plates
US7475555Oct 26, 2005Jan 13, 2009General Electric CompanyWater dispenser assembly and method of assembling same
US7869901Jul 27, 2006Jan 11, 2011General Electric CompanyControl systems and methods for a water dispenser assembly
US20040261433 *Jun 30, 2003Dec 30, 2004Gnadinger Errin W.Refrigerator and ice maker methods and apparatus
US20070089450 *Oct 26, 2005Apr 26, 2007General Electric CompanyWater dispenser assembly and method of assembling same
US20070093936 *Jul 27, 2006Apr 26, 2007General Electric CompanyControl systems and methods for a water dispenser assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/641, 222/318
International ClassificationG07F13/06, B67D3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F13/065, B67D3/0012, B67D3/0003
European ClassificationB67D3/00B, G07F13/06B, B67D3/00D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 19, 1981AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BRAS INTERNAZIONALE S.P.A., ROZZANO (MILAN), ITALY
Effective date: 19810603
Owner name: BRAS S.P.A.,
Jun 19, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: BRAS INTERNAZIONALE S.P.A., ROZZANO (MILAN), ITALY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BRAS S.P.A.,;REEL/FRAME:003863/0212
Effective date: 19810603