US 3771560 A
This invention is directed to a positively driven oscillating valve for directing the flow of diced ice from a single ice making machine to either of two receivers, and includes an S-shaped transfer tube that is cantileverally and oscillatably supported at its ice-receiving end and has its opposite free end operatively connected to positive motor driven means to oscillate the free end from one discharge outlet to another. Electrical controls are provided to cause the valve to be operated on a selective priority demand basis with respect to the two receivers.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Conti et al.
[ 1 Nov. 13, 1973 ICE DIVERTER VALVE AND CONTROL SYSTEM THEREFOR  Inventors: Robert F. Conti; James D. Donham;
Michael P. Gosnell, all of Easton, Pa.
 Assignee: Follett Corporation, Easton, Pa.
 Filed: Apr. 21, 1972  Appl. No.: 246,476
 US. Cl. 137/609  F16k 11/14  Field of Search 137/609, 610
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,581,768 6/1971 Conti 137/610 3,527,252 9/1970 Cook et al. 137/608 3,545,474 12/1970 Brown 137/610 2,998,828 9/1961 Hare 137/625.48 X 3,089,515 5/1963 Bochan 137/610 3,132,669 5/1964 Feldsted....' 251/347 X 3,174,806 3/1965 Barber et a1. 137/610 X 3,395,731 8/1968 Kauffman 137/610 3,463,193 8/1969 Yost 137/625.48 3,682,575 8/1972 Guddal l37/625.48
Primary Examiner-Samuel Scott Attorney-Thomas E. Tate [57} ABSTRACT This invention is directed to a positively driven oscillating valve for directing the flow of diced ice from a single ice making machine to either of two receivers, and includes an S-shaped transfer tube that is cantileverally and oscillatably supported at its ice-receiving end and has its opposite free end operatively connected to positive motor driven means to oscillate the free end from one discharge outlet to another. Electrical controls are provided to cause the valve to be operated on a selective priority demand basis with respect to the two receivers.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented Nov. 13, 1973 3,771,560
5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented Nov. 13, 1973 3,771,560
5 Sheets-Sheet 2.1
Patented Nov. 13, 1973 3,771,560
5 Sheets-Sheet :1
Y Patented Nov. 13, 1973 v 3,771,560
/\ 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Paten ted Nov. 13, 1973 5 Sheens-Sbeet 5 LIMIT SWITCHES RIGHT RECEIVER ICE SUPPLY OFF 0N BIN LEVEL CONTROL FULE MPTY I PRIORITY SELECTOR SWITCH LEFT RECEIVER ICE SUPPLY OFF ON I l l CONTROL ICE DIVERTER VALVE AND CONTROL SYSTEM THEREFOR RELATED APPLICATION This invention is an improvement over that disclosed and claimed in Robert F. Conti U. S. Pat. No. 3,581,768 for Ice Diverter Valve.
THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to new and useful improvements in apparatus for handling material, such as diced ice, and particularly seeks to provide a novel valve and .control system therefor, for diverting the flow of continuously produced diced ice from a single duct source to either of two receivers through separate ducts, preferably on a preselected priority control basis.
I-Ieretofore, most automatic ice makers normally have deposited their output by gravity into a storage cabinet positioned therebelow and could not supply a storage cabinet or other unit situated at a remote location. More recent ice making machines, such as that disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 3,371,505, are capable of delivering their output through a tubular duct to a remote storage unit and can be used to supply ice to a plurality of separate storage or dispensing units through the-use of suitable diverter valves and control systems.
One such device is disclosed in above-mementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,581,768, in which a combined oscillatable diverter valve and a reversible lost-motion, toggleaction driving mechanism are used for this purpose.
Such devices are desirable in order to use the idle production time between peak demand periods of com mercial ice making machines where their output must be sufficient to meet peak demands, even though the time periods between such peaks require little or no ice production. Thus, if at least some of the otherwise idle production capacity of such machines could be used to fill and refill a secondary receiver while still keeping a primary receiver filled, the over-all production effecicency of the ice making machine would be increased substantially.
Also, it frequently may be more economical to use a single large capacity ice making machine to supply ice to a plurality of storage locations rather than to have a separate smaller capacity ice maker for each separate storage location. For example, an installation normally requiring two 300-pound daily capacity ice machines, each with its own individual storage or dispensing unit, could be as well or better serviced at a lesser cost by a single 600- pound ice machine with controllable means to divert the output from one storage unit to another according to demand. Such installations may be required, for example, in large cafeterias or other restaurants that are subject to peak loads, where there may be a soda fountain for the dispensing of iced soft drinks plus the need for separate storage of ice to be used to keep cold dishes prechilled at a separate dispensing counter prior to table service.
A further requirement for the diverter valves and other equipment to be used in such systems is that they must be constructed and operated in such a manner that the throughput is maintained in a completely sanitary condition while in use and that those parts that are contactable by the throughput must be readily removable by hand, without the use of tools, for periodic cleaning.
The ice diverter valve and controls therefor constructed in accordance with this invention enable such requirements to be met.
Therefore, the primary object of this invention is to provide a novel and improved diverter valve for receiving a continuous supply of ice from an ice making ma chineand selectively directing the ice flow'to any one of a plurality of receivers. 7
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated which includes a single fixed inlet that can be selectively connected to either of two outlets through an S-shaped oscillatable transfer tube or duct having one end coaxial with the fixed inlet and its other end positioned for selective alignment with the desired outlet.
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which the inlet end of the transfer tube is freely oscillatable in, cantileverally supported by and readily removable from a bearing at the fixed inlet.
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated that includes 0- ring or other sealing means for preventing discrete hard particles from entering into the bearing support for the cantileverally supported inlet end of the transfer tube.
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which removable means are provided to restrain the transfer tube against'movement in the direction of ice feed during operation and to permit ready hand removal of the transfer tube during shutdown for cleaning.
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which oscillation of the transfer tube is effected by crank actuating means in which the crank is driven in a single direction in one-half revolution increments.
Another object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated that includes a pivotal gate actuated by the outlet or discharge end of the transfer tube for preventing flow-back of ice from an outlet that is not being used while uncovering the outlet to be used so that ice may be directed there through.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which the driving crank for the oscillatable transfer tube is in the form of a disc having an adjacent pair of symmetrically arranged, diametrically opposed cams for alternately opening or closing a corresponding pair of control switches mounted thereabove.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which means are provided to control the same on a priority demand basis in which the demand for ice at a designated primary receiver always takes precedence over the de- ,mand for ice at any secondary receiver.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which the electrical control means therefor includes a holding circuit to assure closing of the motor relay for a sufficient time to cause full operation of the diverter valve regardless of whether a demand indication or signal from a receiver may be either a single pulse, or a series of successive short pulses that otherwise would cause only an incremental advance of the valve to an ice-jamming position intermediate the two outlets.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which the control means therefor includes a manually settable switch for reversing the priority status of the primary and secondary receivers.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated in which the shutdown of any receiver will create a no-demand condition in the control means whereby to prevent any ice from being delivered thereto until the period of shutdown is ended.
A further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated that may be readily dissambled by hand, without the use of tools, for cleaning.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an ice diverter valve of the character stated that is simple in design, rugged in construction and economical to manufacture and maintain.
With these and other objects, the nature of which will be apparent, the invention will be more fully understood by reference to the annexed drawings, the accompanying detailed description and the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like parts in the several views:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partly in section, of an ice diverter valve constructed in accordance with this invention, the top electrical panel tray having been removed for clarity;
FIG. 2 is a transverse vertical section thereof taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation thereof with portions of the side frame panel removed for clarity;
FIG. 4 is a detail transverse section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and shows the gate for preventing back flow of ice from the disconnected discharge pipe when the other discharge pipe is connected;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail transverse section taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 1 and more clearly shows the operation of the switches for controlling the discharge position of the valve; and
FIG. 6 is a schematic wiring diagram for a typical installation of the valve and shows the current paths after the valve relay is energized by a full signal from the preselected priority receiver, but before the motor has actually started to shift the position of the valve.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings in detail, the invention, as illustrated, is embodied in a two-position ice diverter valve which includes an S-shaped, circularly crosssectioned transfer tube, generally indicated 5, that has parallel offset straight end portions 6 and 7 connected by an intermediate portion 8.
The transfer tube 5 is oscillatably and cantileverally supported at its straight end 6, so that the opposite straight end 7 thereof may be selectively transferred to and from either of two positions for operative alignment with fixed ice delivery pipes, as will be hereinafter more fully described.
Since the supporting frame, per se, obviously is fabricated to support the various elements of this valve as sembly, it is not considered necessary, in this description, to use more than one reference numeral to designate various frame elements wherever they occur, and the reference number 9 will be used throughout for that purpose.
The receiving or intake end 6 of the transfer tube 5 is oscillatably supported in a bearing sleeve or bushing 10 (see FIG. 1) that extends through and is carried by a mounting block 14 removably affixed to a framemounting bracket 15 as by knurled finger screws l6, 16. An anti-wobble or stiffening bracket 17 fits tightly over the upstream end of the sleeve 10 and is removably secured to the mounting block 14 by the finger screws 16.
The inner bore of the bushing 10 is relieved as at 18 in order to provide a pair of longitudinally spaced bearing areas 19, 19 for the cantilever support of the tube 5 by its intake end 6. An 0 ring 20 provides a seal between the bore of the bushing 10 and the adjacent end portion of the tube 5 and prevents contamination of the bearing surfaces 19.
Thus, the transfer tube 5 is both oscillatably and cantileverally supported at its intake end 6 so that it can be positively oscillated by driving connections from discharge end 7 without causing any binding that would resist its oscillation.
An ice receiving nipple 21 is fitted within the entrance portion 12 of the sleeve 10 for connection with the discharge from a diced ice making machine.
The inner or intake end 6 of the transfer tube 5 is freely oscillatable in the sleeve 10 and is provided with a collar 22 rigidly affixed thereto to restrain same against axial displacement in the upstream direction by normally bearing against the discharge end of the sleeve 10 and by being restrained against axial movement in the opposite or downstream direction by a collar 23 carried by a bracket 24 which is also secured by the finger screws 16.
Removal of the transfer tube 5 from its mounting assembly may be readily effected after removing the finger screws 16, 16 and withdrawing the block 14, the bracket 17 and the sleeve 10, simply by moving it is an upstream direction and tilting to clear its discharge end and then moving it in a downstream direction to clear the bracket 15.
The discharge end 7 of the transfer tube 5 is adapted to be oscillated back and forth between either of two fixed delivery pipes or nipples 25 and 26 secured to a suitable frame element and positioned along the locus of the are described by the path of the discharge end 7 as it is oscillated.
To this end, a magnetically-braked, reduction-geared motor, generally indicated 27, is suitably affixed to the frame 9 and is provided with a driven shaft 28 (FIG. 2) upon the outer end of which is mounted a cylindrical cam block 29 and a crank disc 30.
A crank pin 31 extends outwardly from the disc 30 and is pivotally connected to one end of a connecting rod 32, the other end 33 of the connecting rod being pivotally connected to the free or discharge end 7 of the transfer tube 5. Oscillation or wobbling of the connecting rod 32 relative to the axis of the tube end 7 is prevented through the use of a pair of studs or pins 34, 34 secured in diametrically opposed relation to the connecting rod end 33 and which are adapted to reciprocate within vertically aligned slots 35, 35 formed in a guide bracket 36 suitably affixed to the frame.
Obviously, whenever the tube end 7 is operatively aligned with either of the delivery pipes 25 or 26, the other of such is exposed, thus permitting a possible back or return flow of a portion of the diced ice previously fed therethrough. In order to prevent such a back flow, a gate plate 37 is interposed between the discharge end of the tube end 7 and the intake ends of the delivery pipes 25 and 26 and is pivotally mounted intermediate and above the delivery pipes, as at 38. The plate 37 is provided with a central lower generally U- shaped recess 39 (FIG. 4) that spans the associated end of the tube portion 7 and also has a pair of rearwardly extending lugs 40, 40 adapted to be contacted by adjacent wall portions of the tube portion 7 as it oscillates so that oscillation of the tube will effect a corresponding pivoting of the plate 37 and open one delivery pipe 25 or 26 for flow of ice therethrough from the transfer tube while closing off theother of said delivery pipes.
A drip pan 41, having a drain pipe 42, is installed beneath the discharge end 7 of the transfer tubeand the intake ends of the delivery pipes 25 and 26 for catching and removing any drip water that may form from melting at that general location, particularly from any melting that might occur in the transfer tube 5 during idle periods.
Start and stop operation of the motor unit 27 for positive oscillation of the transfer tube 5 is effected through the use of a pair of cam actuated switches and priority control wiring as will be hereinafter more fully described.
To this end, the cylindrical cam block 29 (see FIGS. 1 and 5) is provided with a pair of symmetrically offset, diametrically opposed cam lobes 43 and 44 which respectively contact the corresponding followers 45 and 46 carried by associated leaf spring actuating levers of a pair of normally closed single pole double throw switches 47 and 48 fixedly mounted above the cylinder 29. The actual operation is such that when the cam lobe 43 actuates the switch 47 to open same, the other cam lobe 44 will have moved away from actuating contact with the switch 48 to permit same to close. In this operation, the controls are such that the motor 27 is energized by whichever of the switches 47 or 48 whose respective follower 45 or 46 has not been displaced or actuated by either of the respective cam lobes 43 or 44. In other words, unless the operative status of either switch 47 or 48 is changed by displacement of its actuating follower 45 or 46, it remains in a closed position in which the electrical continuity to the motor 27 is uninterrupted. As soon as either follower 45 or 46 is raised by its respective cam lobe 43 or 44, the resulting switch action de-energizes the motor, which stops after only one-half revolution of its shaft 28. The over-all operational status of either or both of the switches 47 and 48 is determined by the status of the other control elements as will be hereinafter more fully described.
The switches 47 and 48 are incorporated in a wiring circuit in such a manner, as previously mentioned, as to cause operation of the motor unit 27 to effect oscillation of the transfer tube 5 from one position to the other on a priority basis controlled by the levels of ice in either or both receivers or storage bins 49 and 50, as schematically indicated in FIG. 6 of the drawings. Here the receiver 49 is provided with a sensor, such as a bin level control schematically indicated at 51, and a corresponding bin level control 52 is installed in the receiver 50. Operation of an ice making machine 53 to supply ice to either receiver upon demand is also controlled through the circuitry of FIG. 6. I
In a system such as that described herein, either of the receivers 49 or may be given priority demand status and the ice making machine 53 will continue to operate during the full time that there is any demand for ice at either receiver.
For example, it will be assumed that at startup both receivers are empty and that the right hand receiver 50 has priority demand status. Under these conditions the transfer tube 5 will be in the position shown in FIG. 1 to deliver ice through the pipe 25 and connecting pipes or ducts (not shown) to the receiver 50. The receiver 50 will continue to receive ice until its bin level control 52 operates to energize the relay 55 when the ice has reached the desired level. At this stage, the bin level control 51 of the receiver 49 takes over to cause actuation of the motor unit 27 and oscillation of the transfer tube 5 to its other position for delivery of ice through the pipe 26 and corresponding connecting pipes or ducts (not shown) to the receiver 49.
When the receiver 49 is filled, the bin level control 51 will open to cause shutdown of the ice making machine 53. However, if, during the course of filling the reciever 49, the receiver 50 should again demand ice, as indicated by operation of its bin level control 52, the motor unit 27 will again become actuated to return the transfer tube 5 to its former position for deliveryof ice through the pipe 25 to the receiver 50. After this new demand for ice at the receiver 50 has been satisfied and since there is still a demand for ice at the reciever 49, the motor unit will again be actuated to cause the transfer tube 5 to be oscillated back to its position for delivery of ice through the pipe 26 to the receiver 49. Also, if the receiver 49 should require ice before the receiver 50 does, that too will occur, even though the receiver 50 has preselected priority.
Thus, if there is a demand for ice at either or both receivers, the ice making machine will continue to operate until both demands are satisfied, even though the transfer tube may be oscillated back and forth between its two positions in accordance with the preselected demand priorities of the two receivers.
Furthermore, in an installation of this type, each receiver generally is provided with its own on-off switch so that it can be disconnected for cleaning purposes. If the on-off switch of either receiver is turned to the of position, the control circuitry will work as if the bin level control for that particular receiver indicates no demand, and only the other receiver will be subject to demand control for the reception of ice.
In the event that it is desired to change priority demand control from receiver 50 to receiver 49, a threepole double-throw priority control switch 54 may be interposed in the wiring circuit for such purposes.
With the foregoing explanation in mind, it will be understood that FIG. 6 shows the operative condition of the various bin level controls, diverter valve switches, relays, motor and ice making machine control switches and the priority control switch at the instant that the diverter valve relay was energized by a full signal from the receiver 50. The motor unit 27 has been energized, but the transfer tube 5 has not left its then initial position, nor has the switch 47 become opened due to rotation of the cam cylinder 29. It is further believed that anyone skilled in the art will understand how these various relays and control switches will operate in accordance with the schematic wiring diagram of FIG. 6 as the mechanical operation of the diverter valve progresses from its initial position to its subsequent position, or vice versa. However, it should be mentioned that when either of the switches 47 or 48 is not actively causing operation of the motor, the other thereof becomes part of a temporary holding circuit that holds relay 55 closed sufficiently long to insure that the motor is never de-energized while the transfer tube is in an ice-jamming position intermediate the two discharge pipes 25 and 26 such as would otherwise occur if the demand signals from the bin level control consisted of a series of one or more separate pulses, each of which would actuate the motor relay. Such pulsations of the bin level controls could occur, for example, by the contract of ice pieces with the particular bin level sensor as the ice seeks its own level in the pile thereof. In other words, it is possible for a piece of ice to bounce or be deflected into contact with a'bin level control sensor and accidentally actuate the bin level control, even though the general level of ice in the particular receiver may be within the high-low range desired.
In any event, this holding circuit is intended to cause the operation of the valve, either from one psoition of the transfer tube to its other, or to cause it to recycle back to its original position, without permitting a pulsated incremental advance to take place whereby the discharge end 7 of the transfer tube would become stopped in an ice-jamming position intermediate the discharge pipes 25 and 26.
It will be further understood that, for the purposes of this description, the switches 47 and 48, even though they actually are single pole double throw switches, have been described as normally closed because that is the electrical continuity status of the same until that status is changed as a result of the mechanical displacement of the respective followers 45 and 46 by the cam lobes 43 and 44 during rotation of the motor shaft 28. In other words, one side of each of the switches 47 and 48 is normally closed, while its other side is normally open" for the purpose of this circuitry, and the mechanical construction of the switches actually used for the purpose of this disclosure is such that they are spring loaded into the normally closed position from which they are shifted into their normally open positions by displacement of the followers 45 and 46.
It is of course to be understood that variations in arrangements and proportions of parts may be made within the scope of the appended claims.
1. In a valve for diverting a flow of material from a single inlet to either of two selected outlets, a generally S-shaped transfer tube having parallel offset straight end portions; means for oscillatably and cantileverally supporting said transfer tube at one straight end thereof, said supporting means including a frame element and a bearing sleeve removably attached to said frame element, the inner central portion of said bearing sleeve being relieved to define a pair of axially spaced bearing surfaces for oscillatably supporting said one straight end of said transfer tube whereby to prevent binding of said one straight end within said bearing sleeve as said transfer tube is oscillated from its unsupported end by driving means; a tube operably associated with the supported end of said transfer tube for passing material from a supply source into said transfer tube; a pair of discharge pipes mounted in proximity to the unsupported end of said transfer tube and located along the locus of oscillation thereof; and drive means pivotally connected to the unsupported end of said transfer tube for positively oscillating the same from a position in operative alignment with one of said discharge pipes to a position in operative alignment with the other of said discharge pipes, said drive means including a motor having a driven shaft, a crank mounted on said driven shaft, a connecting rod pivotally connected at one end to said crank and pivotally connected at its other end to said unsupported end of said transfer tube, and intermittently effective control means to cause actuation of said'motor in such a manner that said crank is rotated only a half revolution each time said motor is actuated whereby to effect only a single oscillation of said transfer tube from one discharge position to the other.
2. The divertervalve of claim 1 additionally including an anti-back flow gate plate interposed between said unsupported end of said transfer tube and the intake ends of said discharge pipes and pivotally supported above the locus of said discharge pipes, said gate plate being provided at the center of its bottom portion with a generally U-shaped recess spanning the extreme end of said unsupported end of said transfer tube whereby to cause said gate plate to pivot as said transfer tube is oscillated, thereby uncovering the intake of one of said discharge pipes while closing the intake of the other.
3. The diverter valve of claim 1 in which said bearing sleeve additionally includes a seal surrounding the said one straight end of said transfer tube and disposed upstream of the upstream one of said axially spaced bearing surfaces whereby to prevent passage of solid particles from without said transfer tube into contact with said bearing surfaces.
4. The diverter valve of claim 1 in which said means for causing intermittent actuation of said motor includes a first sensor switch operably associated with one of said discharge pipes, a second sensor switch operably associated with the other of said discharge pipes, and a pair of single pole double throw switches separately operable by rotation of said driven motor shaft to cause operation of said motor, all of said switches being electrically connected in such a manner that the closing of either sensor switch can effect start-up of the motor by electrical continuity through whichever of said single pole double throw switches is in a circuit closing status with respect to said motor and the consequent rotation of the driven shaft of said motor will break the continuity established by said whichever single pole double throw switch to stop said motor after said driven shaft has completed one half of a revolution while operating the other of said single pole double throw switches to place same in a circuit closing status for operation of said motor when the other of said sensor switches is closed, said first and second sensor switches being wired to function on a preselected priority demand basis wherein one of said sensor switches always takes precedence over the other thereof whereby to cause said transfer tube to remain at or return to its position in operative association with that discharge pipe that is operably associated with the priority demand sensor switch so long as a demand is indicated thereby, while permitting the other of said sensor switches to cause reverse oscillation of said transfer tube into operative association with the other of said energized when the unsupported end of said transfer tube is at a point intermediate the said discharge pipes due to opening and closing pulsations of said priority demand sensor switch.