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Publication numberUS3797710 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 19, 1974
Filing dateOct 25, 1972
Priority dateOct 25, 1972
Publication numberUS 3797710 A, US 3797710A, US-A-3797710, US3797710 A, US3797710A
InventorsSoodalter A
Original AssigneeSoodalter A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Machine for dispensing shaped and portioned charges of a food product
US 3797710 A
Abstract
Apparatus for the in seriatim dispensing of shaped and portioned charges of a moldable food product comprising a supply section including a hopper and an interconnecting charging chamber for the containment of the food preliminary to shaping and portioning, a pressure section for pressurizing the food within the chamber preparatory to and during the loading thereof into a metering section, the pressure section including primary and secondary pushers horizontally-reciprocable within the charging chamber toward and away from the metering section in compressing and relieving strokes respectively, the metering section including a charge-shaping drum rotatably confined within a housing and having a diametrically-disposed opening therethrough defining a pair of aligned radially-arranged pockets of alternately increasing and decreasing size according to the movement of a plug limitedly-reciprocable within the opening in the area intermediate the two pockets, the pockets of the drum each communicating through the housing in seriatim first as a receiving pocket with the charging chamber for shaping and measuring a charge of the food loaded thereinto from the charging chamber responsively to the motivation of the pushers and second as a dispensing pocket with atmosphere for dispensing the shaped and portioned charge from the metering section into a suitable receiving means, with the compressing stroke of the pushers maintaining a tension on the food during loading into the receiving pocket and therefollowing during a momentary dwell period as rotation of the drum out of register with the charging chamber is initiated following which the pushers are retracted in relieving stroke as the food charged pocket is completely encapsulated by the cooperant drum and plug and housing is rotated into dispensing position as effected by the loading of the second-to-be-filled pocket and the resultant limited sliding movement of the plug within the drum opening.
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llnited States Patent 1 Soodalter [451 Mar. 19, E974 22 Filed:

[ MACHINE FOR DISPENSING SHAPED AND PORTIONED CHARGES OF A FOOD PRODUCT [76] Inventor: Arnold Soodalter, 134 Tanglewood Dr., Longmeadow, Mass. 01106 Oct. 25, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 300,804

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 222,559, Feb. 1,

Primary Examiner-Stanley l-l. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ross, Ross & Flavin [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for the in seriatim dispensing of shaped and portioned charges of a moldable food product comprising a supply section including a hopper and an interconnecting charging chamber for the containment of the food preliminary to shaping and portioning, a pressure section for pressurizing the food within the chamber preparatory to and during the loading thereof into a metering section, the pressure section including primary andsecondary pushers horizontallyreciprocable within the charging chamber toward and away from the metering section in compressing and relieving strokes respectively, the metering section including a charge-shaping drum rotatably confined within a housing and having a diametrically-disposed opening therethrough defining a pair of aligned radially-arranged pockets of alternately increasing and decreasing size according to the movement of a plug limitedly-reciprocable within the opening in the area intermediate the two pockets, the pockets of the drum each communicating through the housing in seriatim first as a receiving pocket with the charging chamber for shaping and measuring a charge of the food loaded thereinto from the charging chamber responsively to the motivation of the pushers and second as a dispensing pocket with atmosphere for dispensing the shaped and portioned charge from the metering section into a suitable receiving means, with the compressing stroke of the pushers maintaining a tension on the food during loading into the receiving pocket and therefollowing during a momentary dwell period as rotation of the drum out of register with the charging chamber is ini tiated following which the pushers are retracted in relieving stroke as the food charged pocket is completely encapsulated by the cooperant drum and plug and housing is rotated into dispensing position as effected by the loading of the second-to-be-filled pocket and the resultant limited sliding movement of the plug within the drum opening.

9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEUHAR 19 I974 sum 10F 5 FIG.

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MACHINE FOR DISPENSING SHAPED AND PORTIONED CHARGES OF A FOOD PRODUCT This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 222,559 filed Feb. 1, I972.

There are any number of applications where it may be desired to deliver or deposit a moldable material in critically accurate amounts in a rapidly-timed sequence.

The principle may be applied to dispensing predetermined amounts of a food product and this exemplification is specifically made in the light thereof, although the invention has application in the metering of other moldable non-food materials.

The apparatus comprises first, a food product supply section including a hopper and an interconnecting charging chamber for the containment of the food product preliminary to the shaping and portioning operations, second a pressure section for pressurizing the food product within the chamber preparatory to and during the feeding thereof to a third or metering section. The pressure section includes primary and secondary pushers which are horizontal]y-reciprocable within the chamber toward and away from the metering section in compressing and relieving strokes respectively. The metering section includes a metering drum rotatable within a housing and having a diametricallydisposed opening therethrough defining a pair of radially-arranged pockets of alternately increasing and decreasing size according to the movement of a plug which is limitedly-reciprocable within the opening in the area intermediate the two pockets. The pockets of the drum each communicate in seriatim through the housing first in food-receiving position with the chamber for shaping and portioning a predetermined charge of the food product expressed from the chamber responsively to the motivation of the pushers and second in food dispensing position with atmosphere for dispensing the shaped and portioned charge from the metering section into a suitable receiving means under the control of a pittman arm for achieving both the compressing stroke of the pushers and maintaining a tension on the food product first as same is charged into the receiving pocket and a second during a momentary dwell time therefollowing as the drum commences rotation out of registry with the charging chamber.

A crank arrangement is incorporated into the apparatus which envisions a crank motion first with adjustment means for varying the velocity of the stroke and hence the velocity of the machine cycle and second with a motion involving a slight dwell at each end of a rectilinear stroke (i.e. at both points of reversal) so as to allow in one (forward) position the ushers to retain a tension on the product at the completion of the com pressing stroke and for the moment therefollowing when the drum is rotated out of its load receiving position whereat the pocket receives its charge and the so charged pocket is rotated into and within the confines of the housing so as to preclude escape of any of the product from the pocket until it has rotated over to its discharging position.

The charges dispensed by the apparatus may be of any precise desired size and/or weight and means may be optionlly incorporated for imparting such as a spherical or other special shape to the charges.

The food product does not suffer the usual effects of vibration as it is motivated through any of the portioning devices of the known art. Rather it enjoys the feature of not being exposed to any external pressures; the pressures herein are spring fed within the charging chamber, which pressures continue as feeding continues to the point where the empty pocket of the drum is fully charged with a predetermined quanta, at which moment and while the pressure remains constant the rotation of the drum is initiated. Once the charged pocket is out of registry with the charging chamber, the momentary dwell of the pressure means is terminated and the drum continues in its rotation to a product-discharge position so as to place that charged pocket in position for dispensing and the next following empty pocket is in ready-to-be-charged position, there being one pocket in ready-to-be-charged position as the other pocket is in the ready-to-be-discharged position, with the charging of the one being coincident with and responsible for the discharging of the other.

In'the drawings:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are front and rear side elevational respectively of the dispensing apparatus;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged top plan view thereof with certain parts omitted;

FIG. 4 is a forward end elevational view of the metering section;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of one of the wheels or half-parts constituting the drum of the metering section;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of one of the pushers of the pressure section;

FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of another feature of the pressure section;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary rear side elevational view of a modified form of the apparatus;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged side'elevational view of the feed assist means of the FIG. 8 apparatus;

FIG. 10 is an end elevational view of the FIG. 9 feed assit means in a raised position;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the FIG. 8 modified apparatus, with certain parts omitted for purposes of clarity, the feed assist means being shown in a lowered position;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary rear side elevational view of another modified form of the apparatus; and

FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the FIG. 12 modified apparatus with certain parts omitted and others broken away for purposes of clarity.

Referring to the first form of FIGS. 1 7, the apparatus comprises generally a pressure section generally indicated by 110, a supply section generally indicated by 12, and a metering section generally indicated by 14.

Pressure and metering sections 10 and M respectively are each positioned upon a common base 15, with metering section 114 being disposed forwardly of pressure section 110, as viewed in FIG. 1.

Supply section 12 includes an arrangement of vertically-stacked plates 116 so configured as cooperantly to define an interior charging chamber 18 aligned vertically below and in communication with a hopper 20 adapted to contain a supply of a food product P and to hold same therein in a lightly pressurized condition as by a weight means 21 disposed thereabove, which weight means may or may not be spring loaded and serves to direct the food product downwardly from within the hopper to within the charging chamber according to the capacity of the chamber as determined by the positioning of pushers operable therewithin.

The salient point is that the arrangement is such that the chamber is more or less continuously being filled to its capacity from above while the contents therewithin are intermittently being pressured and hence reduced somewhat in volume and are also being intermittently discharged therefrom by loading into the metering section.

The pushers of the pressure section, subsequently to be described, are slidably receivable within chamber 18 and are motivated horizontally therewithin between an extreme rearward position (rearward being at the right as viewed in Flg. 1) and an extreme forward position (forward being at the left as viewed in FIG. 1) with a momentary dwell being allowed at the terminal end of each stroke of the stroking means.

The forward driving of the pressure devices toward metering section 14 effects a loading of food product P from within chamber 18 toward and into the product metering means. The rearward driving of the pressure devices away from the metering section effects a refilling of the food product into the charging cavity.

Linear reciprocation of pressure means 22 is achieved by a crank arrangement which includes a pair of spaced crank arms 24, organized for functioning unisonly by virtue of each being pivotally linked at its inboard end to a cross-head 26 extendable transversely of the pressure means and each being eccentrically connected at its outboard end to the side of a respective one of a pair of spaced annular drive plates 28 keyed upon a common shaft 30 rotated by such as a conventional worm and gear, not shown, operatively connected in known manner to a drive shaft 32 of a reversible drive motor 34.

The crank arms include turnbuckle arrangements whereby the arms may be adjusted relative to their respective drive plates for varying the velocity of the stroke and hence the velocity of the machine.

Each time the cross-head reaches an end to its stroke, it starts from a momentary stroke of rest or dwell at the dead center position and the velocity then increases during approximately one-half of its stroke and subsequently decreases until the cross-head again comes to a momentary state of rest or dwell at the opposite end of the stroke where dead-center is again passed.

A cam 36, on the periphery of one of the drive plates 28 imparts motion to a limit switch follower button movable in a plane coincident with the plane of motion of the cam wherefore the limit switch effects reversal of drive motor rotation for driving first in one and then in opposite direction.

Cross-head 26 is rideable in parallel slots 40 in plates 16, the slots being of dimension to accommodate to the stroke of the pressure means, which stroke may be varied by judicious adjustment of the turnbuckles on the crank arms, as aforesaid.

An extension 42 of one end of cross-head 26, best seen in FIG. 3, extends outwardly beyond it respective adjacent crank arm 24 and has a depending plate 44 fixed thereto and having a lower end integral with one end of a horizontally-disposed stationary rack 46 slidably mounted upon a slide 48 secured to base 15, with which rack a pinion 50 is operatively connected to product metering means 14. See FIG. 3.

The pressure means includes a pair of primary pushers 52 and a secondary pusher 54 sandwiched therebetween, each slidably related to the others and to a carrier 56 which is in turn slidably related to plates 16.

Carrier 56 envisions a pair of upstanding side walls 58 interconnected by a transverse web wall 60 with an ear 62 projecting outwardly of each side wall 58 for riding along a strategically-located slot, not shown, provided in one of the plates 16 wherefor the carrier slides along and relative to chamber 18.

Primary pushers 52 and secondary pusher 54 are each of generally U-shaped configuration to define upper and lower arms 64 and 66 respectively connected at their forward ends by a vertical web 68, the arms of each pusher being appropriately vertically spaced so as to be slidable relative to web wall 60 of carrier 56.

The secondary pusher differs from the primary pushers in that it has a somewhat thinner web 68 so that operationally the pushers may be horizontally staggered as to each other, it not being desired to confront the food product with a trio of aligned end faces of pushers during the compression stroke. Rather it is desired to compress the food product first in one area with the end face of one pusher being forwardmost and then in another area with the end face of another pusher being forwardmost.

Slots 70 in the lower of the horizontally-aligned arms receive therethrough a pin 72 extendable between opposite side walls 58 of carrier 56, the pin and slot arrangement limiting the range of linear movement of the pushers forwardly and rearwardly within the chamber and more importantly, allowing one pusher to move faster, in forward or rearward direction, than the other pushers responsively to the varying pressures encountered thereby in operational use.

Each pusher is spring-loaded by a compression spring 74 bearing against its respective web 68 at its forward end and nesting in its opposite end in the respective one of a trio of provided openings 76 in web wall 60 of carrier 56.

Springs 74 of the primary and secondary pushers are of differing tensions. This, coupled with the staggering of the forward end faces, makes it possible to exert different pressures on the food product within the chamber.

Centrally of the top face of each pusher a longitudinally extending relief 53 is provided into which any excess of the food product may flow as the pushers move forwardly within chamber 18. These reliefs communicate with hopper 20 and under the generated pressures serve to allow return passage of any excess food product upwardly into the hopper and against the downward pressure of weight 21. These reliefs are of real significance in accommodating to the slow release of the pressures generated within the chamber.

Metering section 14 includes a two part housing 80 formed by a pair of upright plates 84 held in face-toface relation as by bolts 86, which housing is releasably fixed as by bolts 81 to the forward ends of plates 16 and has an inlet opening 82 therethrough in communication with chamber 18.

Plates 84 are provided with a central circular opening 88 extending transversely therethrough.

A pair of metering wheels or discs 90, secured to each other in face-to-face relationship, have an opening 102 extending therethrough and cooperantly define a drum which is snugly receivable in housing opening 88.

Opening 102 is axially aligned and'communicates with housing inlet opening82. I A plug -96'is slidably disposed in opening 102, the plug having a longitudinally-disposed slot 98 extending therethrough through which a pin 100'is freely passed, the pin being fixed relative to thedrum as by a finger nutl0l."

The pin and slot are so arranged that one end face of the plug is always flush with the drum periphery, the end faces being suitably curved to complement the contour of the drum periphery.

' The plug is ,of such length as to. allow for a pair of products chambers 102 defined by the opening 102 and the respective ends of the plug. v

The length of the plugand the size of the opening and the limit of the plug stroke determine the size and hence capacity of the product chambers. As these dimensions are. varied, the amount. and weight of food product accommodated by the chambers 102 may be accordingly varied.

Drum 90 is adapted for rotation so that immediately following receipt by oneof the product chambers 102 of a charge of the food product, the drum is rotated 180, whereby the chamber is moved from a 3 oclock to a 9 oclock position asviewed in FIG; 1. In this way, the next charge of food product forced through inlet opening 82 drives plug 96 relative to opening 102 according to the preset limit of the plug stroke so as forcefully to expel the food product from the first so filled chamber 102 and exteriorly of the product metering means throughan exit opening 104 in housing 80 to a suitable receiving receptacle.

Because plug 96 is slidably nested within opening 102 of drum 90, and because the drum is adapted for 180 degree rotation, the product chambers are each rotated intermittently and alternately between the 3 oclock re- 6. lieving stroke for opening the chargingchamber for the recharging thereof.

Additionally, the drum may be provided with pockets of. varying configurations by means of such as slugs or the like which may be inserted thereinto whereby shapes, such as spherical shapes, may be imparted to the charges.

MODIFICATION I In a modified form of the apparatus shown in FIGS.

8 ll, feed assist means generally indicated by 120 is operative in hopper 20 to direct the food product downwardly from within the hopper into chamber 18, the feed assist means operating in conjunction with pressure means 22 and being fixed to a shaft 122 which extends transversely therethrough and outwardly from the front and rear side faces thereof so as to be pivotally receivable in slots 124, (see FIG. 11), in the upper surface of the uppermost of plates 16, the shaft bridging the chamber 18.

Shaft 122 extends outwardly from one side of plate 16 and is journalled at one of its endsin an upright post 126 fixed to and extending upwardly from slide 48.

A pair of pivotally-connected drive links 128 and 130 extends in lengthwise machine direction outboard of plates 16.

Drive link 130 is fixed at its forward end to shaft 122 and is pivoted at 132 at its opposite end to the forward end of drive link 128. Drive link 128 is pivoted at its opposite end to cross arm 26 inwardly of plate 44 and outwardly of carrier 56 and pressure means 22.

Thus, linear reciprocation of cross arm 26 by the crank arms 24 causes drive link 128 to rotate, setting ceiving position (wherein a charge Qof food product is received therein) and the 9 oclock dispensing position (wherein the food product is discharged therefrom)v Drum rotation is effected by rack and gear 46 and 50 respectively, the gear beingmounted on one end of a shaft 106 fixed at its opposite'end to the drum.

A unidirectional clutch, not shown, disposed on shaft 106, limits drum rotation to only one direction of rotation.

A stop 108 fixed to rack 46 is engageable in cut-outs 110 provided in the periphery of a stop 112 fixed to shaft 106 whereby movement of the rack is stopped at the precise position essential to align bores 92 and chambers 102 of drum 90 in exact alignment with inlet opening 82 of housing 80.

Linear movements of the pushers of the pressure means are of course timed with the rotative movement of the drum.

By the arrangement, the pockets of the drum communicate in seriatim in food-receiving position with the chamber for receiving and portioning a predetermined charge of the food product expressed fromthe chamber responsively to the forward drive of the pushers.

The crank arrangement allows the compressing stroke of the pushers for compressing the food product intothc pocket and. maintaining a tension on the food product, first as same is charged into the receiving pocket, and second, during a momentary dwell time as the drum commences rotation out of registry with the chargingchamber and the pushers commence the reup a concomitant rotation in link whereby shaft 122 and feed assist means 120 are caused to rotate in timed relation to movement of carrier 56 and pressure means 22.

When the pressure means is retracted, as in FIGS. 8 and 11, the feed assist means is in a lowered position; when the pressure means is advanced, the feed assist means is raised, as in FIG. 10.

Feed assist means 120 includes a body portion 134 overlying product receiving chamber 18 and a plurality of fingers 136 fixed to the body portion and extending outwardly therefrom so as to be adapted to sweep the exit opening of hopper 20.

Fingers 136 are interconnected at their outer ends by a web 138 which assists in driving the food product downwardly as the feed assist means rotates.

The feed assist means rotates through an arc of approximately 90, a recess 140 being provided in the forward wall of hopper 20 to permit nesting of body portion 134 on the upper stroke of the feed assist means.

Since movement of the feed assist means is coordinated with movement of the pressure means, the feed assist means aids in compacting the food product into chamber 18 as the pressure means is retracted and is raised ready for another purchase when the pressure means is advanced.

MODIFICATION II The modified form of the invention of FIGS. 12 and 13 is similar to that of FIGS. 8 11 in that feed assist means is employed. Herein, however, while the outer fingers continue to pivot from a9 oclock pivot center, as viewed in FIGS. 11 and 13, a solid center portion pivots from a 3 oclock pivot center as viewed in the same Figures, the fingers and the center portion being driven by a pair of meshing gears operating in tandem.

The feed assist means of FIGS. 12 and 13, generally indicated by 220, is disposed in hopper 20 to direct the food downwardly from within the hopper into the chamber 18.

Shaft 122 is driven by the links 128 and 130 as in the FIGS. 8 ll embodiment.

Pairs of fingers 236 interconnected by webs 238 are disposed on the shaft 122 adjacent the walls of chamber 18 so as to be pivotal with the shaft as it is rotated to sweep the hopper.

A solid central portion or arm 236 is fixed to a second shaft 222 disposed in spaced parallelism to shaft 122, the second shaft being rotated by a gear drive comprising a driven gear 223 on shaft 222 and a drive gear 224 on shaft 122.

As viewed in FIGS. 13, the fingers 236 operate from left to right through an arc of approximately 90, and the solid central portion or arm operates from right to left, also through an arc of approximately 90.

In this manner, the food product is moved steadily downwardly as the fingers wipe the walls, moving the food product toward the center of the hopper where it is forced downwardly by the solid member or arm, movement of the feed assist means being coordinated with movement of the pressure means, as explained with reference to FIGS. 8 11.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for the in seriatim dispensing of a plurality of like articles molded from a plastic material comprising:

a supply section including a hopper and an interconnecting charging chamber for the containment of the material preliminary to shaping and portioning,

a pressure section for pressurizing the material within the chamber preparatory to and during the loading thereof into a metering section,

the pressure section including primary and secondary pushers horizontally-reciprocable within the charging chamber toward and away from the metering section in compressing and relieving strokes respectively,

the metering section including a charge-shaping drum rotatably confined within a housing an having a diametrically-disposed opening therethrough defining a pair of aligned radially-arranged pockets of alternately increasing and decreasing size according to the movement of a plug limitedlyreciprocable within the opening in the area intermediate the two pockets,

the pockets of the drum each communicating through the housing in seriatim first as a receiving pocket with the charging chamber for shaping, and measuring a charge of the material loaded thereinto from the charging chamber responsively to the motivation of the pushers and second as a dispensing pocket with atmosphere for dispensing the shaped and portioned charge from the metering section into a suitable receiving means, with the compressing stroke of the pushers maintaining a tension on the material during loading into the receiving pocket and therefollowing during a momentary dwell period as rotation of the drum out of register with the charging chamber is initiated following which the pushers are retracted in relieving stroke as the material charged pocket is completely encapsulated by the cooperant drum and plug and housing is rotated into dispensing position as effected by the loading of the second-to-be-filled pocket and the resultant limited sliding movement of the plug within the drum opening.

2. In apparatus for dispensing a moldable product, the combination of:

a hopper, a primary product receiving chamber in communication with and vertically below the hopper, feed assist means disposed within the hopper for exerting intermittent vertical pressures on the product and urging same downwardly into the chamber,

primary and secondary pressure means intermittently reciprocable horizontally within the chamber, product metering means communicating with the chamber and having a plurality of pockets alignable in seriatim with the primary and secondary pressure means for accepting measured increments of product as expressed from the chamber under the intermittent horizontal pressure of the primary and secondary pressure means, and means for ejecting the measured increments of product from certain pockets accordingly as other pockets are charged.

3. In apparatus for dispensing a moldable product according to claim 2, including means linking the primary and secondary pressure means and feed assist means for the timed relation operation of each to the other.

4. In apparatus for dispensing a moldable product according to claim 2, the feed assist means being mounted for pivotal movement relative to the hopper and including a pair of sets of product engaging fingers.

5. ln apparatus for dispensing a moldable product according to claim 2, the feed assist means being mounted for pivotal movement relative to the hopper and including a pair of sets of product engaging fingers rotating in opposing arcs in timed relation with each other.

6. In apparatus for the in seriatim dispensing of charges of a moldable product comprising:

a supply section including a hopper and an interconnecting charging chamber for the containment and charging of the product preliminary to the shaping and portioning thereof, feed assist means in the hopper reciprocable in repeating cycles in a path toward and away from the charging chamber for breaking up particles of the product preliminary to the feeding of the product from the hopper to the charging chamber, a pressure section for pressurizing the material within the charging chamber,

a metering section for shaping and portioning the material following the loading thereof thereinto from the pressure section aligned therewith, the pressure section including primary and secondary pushers horizontally-reciprocable within the charging chamber toward and away from the metering section in compressing and relieving strokes respectively, the metering section including a chargeshaping drum rotatably mounted relative to the pressure section and provided with a diametricallydisposed through opening defining a pair of aligned radially-arranged pockets of alternately increasing and decreasing size according to the movement of a plug limitedly-reciprocable within the opening in the area intermediate the pockets of the pair thereof, each pocket serving in seriatim first as a 9 receiving pocket in communication with the charging chamber for shaping and portioning a charge of the product loaded thereinto from the charging chamber responsively to the compressing stroke of the pushers and second as a dispensing pocket for dispensing the so-shaped and portioned charge therefrom, with the compressing stroke of the pushers maintaining a tension on the product during charging into the first-to-be-filled receiving pocket and momentarily therefollowing during a dwell period as rotation of the drum out of register with the charging chamber is initiated following which the pushers are retracted in relieving stroke as the product charged pocket is rotated into dispensing position as effected by the loading of the second-to-be-filled receiving pocket and the resultant limited sliding movement of the plug within the through opening.

7. In apparatus according to claim 6, including means linking the primary and secondary pushers and feed assist means for the operation of each in timed relation to the other.

8. In apparatus according to claim 6, the feed assist means being mounted for pivotal swinging relative to the hopper and including a plurality of fingers for urging the product from the hopper' 9. In apparatus according to claim 6, the feed assist means being mounted for pivotal swinging relative to the hopper and including a plurality of product engaging fingers rotating in one direction and a product engaging arm rotating in an opposite direction in timed relation with each other for urging the product from the hopper.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2292196 *Nov 14, 1940Aug 4, 1942Brynoldt ChristianForce feed apparatus
US3207382 *Mar 23, 1964Sep 21, 1965Laurent Chappuis LouisApparatus for discharging material from a vessel or other containers
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US6869633Apr 22, 2002Mar 22, 2005Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated food frying device and method
US6871676Apr 22, 2002Mar 29, 2005Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated device and method for packaging food
US6960157Apr 22, 2002Nov 1, 2005Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated system and method for handling food containers
US7303776Apr 21, 2003Dec 4, 2007Restaurant Technology, Inc.Device for packaging cooked French fries into an individual portion-sized container including separate automated modules for dispensing, frying and packaging
US7337594Apr 22, 2002Mar 4, 2008Restaurant Technology, Inc.Food dispensing device and method
US7356980Apr 22, 2002Apr 15, 2008Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated method for packaging food
US7441388Apr 22, 2002Oct 28, 2008Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated device for packaging food
US7703636Nov 2, 2007Apr 27, 2010Restaurant Technology, Inc.Frozen food dispensing device and method
US7891289Aug 23, 2004Feb 22, 2011Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated food frying device and method
US7981455Mar 14, 2008Jul 19, 2011Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated food processing system and method
US8034390Mar 14, 2008Oct 11, 2011Restaurant Technology, Inc.Automated food processing system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/219
International ClassificationB65B3/00, B65B3/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65B3/32
European ClassificationB65B3/32