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Publication numberUS3802606 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateMay 5, 1972
Priority dateMay 5, 1972
Publication numberUS 3802606 A, US 3802606A, US-A-3802606, US3802606 A, US3802606A
InventorsR Gust
Original AssigneeCourtsey Prod Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stopper type liquid dispensing apparatus
US 3802606 A
Abstract
Liquid dispensing apparatus comprising a solenoid valve unit which is inserted into a bottle containing the liquid to be dispensed. The bottle and valve assembly is inverted and inserted in a dispensing holder containing an electromagnetic coil for actuating the solenoid valve, which has air vent means operable with the valve to ensure accurate volumetric delivery, regardless of the head of liquid in the bottle. The body of the valve unit has indexing means for engagement by sensors in the holder, to facilitate remote identification of the type of liquid being dispensed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Gust [111 3,802,606 Apr. 9, 1974 [54] STOPPER TYPE LIQUID DISPENSING APPARATUS [75] Inventor: Raymond E. Gust, Spring Valley,

Calif.

[73] Assignee: Courtsey Products Corporation, San

Diego, Calif. [22] Filed: May 5, 19 72 [21] Appl. No.: 250,747

52 us. c1. .Q 222/181, 222/504 [51] Int. Cl B67d 3/02 [58] Field of Search 222/181, 186, 504; 239/139 [56] References Cited,

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,631,755 3/1953 Woodward 222/181 X 3,200,997 8/1965 Creswick 222/504 X 3,193,143 7/1965 222/504 X 3,125,253 3/1964 Hindman 222/181 8/1965 Welches ..222/504x 3,506,166 4/1970 Pooley. 251/139 X 3,204,832 9/1965 Barber 222/504 X Primary Examiner Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Attorney, Agent, or FirmBrown & Martin 5 7 ABSTRACT Liquid dispensing apparatus comprising a solenoid valve unit which is inserted into a bottle containing 1 the liquid to be dispensed. The bottle and valve assem bly is inverted and inserted in a dispensing holder containing an electromagnetic coil for actuating the solenoid valve, which has air vent means operable with the the type of liquid being dispensed. 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures l STOPPER TYPE LIQUID DISPENSING APPARATUS BACKGROUNDOF THE INVENTION In the dispensing of measured amounts of liquids, such as the serving of alcoholicbeverages in a bar, various types of automatic devices havebeen developed to deliver selected beverages, alone .or.in mixes. Some types have electronic means for remotely recording each operation in a cash register, or in a storage means. Usually the various bottled beverages are loaded into a multiple bottle holder, with separate valve or pump means for each bottle, resulting in a bulky and expensive piece of equipment. Access must also be provided for inspection and replenishment of beverages, and for cleaning the system, which usually includes pipes or tubes from the bottle holders to the dispensing nozzles. In types which use gravity feed, the volume delivered at each operation is not consistent, but varies with the head of liquid, due toinefficient venting of air into the bottle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION beverage to be dispensed is fitted with a valve, which is easily transferred to a fresh bottle when the contents of one are exhausted. The dispensing means comprises a single holder unit for mountingon a bar, or other surface, the dispensing unit containing only the electromagnetic means for actuating the solenoid valve and sensing means for identifying the presence and type of beverage being dispensed. The latter feature facilitates remote recording of the amount of a sale by well known means.

Airvent means is incorporated into the valve unit, to admit air to the bottle as the valve is actuated and ensure precise volumetric flow, regardless of the head of liquid in the bottle. With the bottle inverted the valve is inserted into a sleeve in the holder, the body of the valve having a stopwhich rests on a seat in the holder to hold the valve unit in proper alignment. Sensing means in the holder detects specific indexing means on the valve unit, indicating the type and thus the price of the beverage being dispensed, so that a sale can be remotely recorded. A glass or other container held below the holder is used to operate a switch which actuates the solenoid valve,.so delivering a selected amount of the beverage from a tamper proof nozzle in the end of the valve unit.

The primary object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a new and improved liquid dispensing appa'ra tus.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved liquid dispensing apparatus in which bottles of liquid to be dispensed are fitted with individual valve units, which are actuated upon insertion into a common holder.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved liquid dispensing means in which the valve unit has vent means for admitting air to the bottle A further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved liquid dispensing means which is very simple to use and requiresa minimum of maintenance.

Other-objects and many advantages of this'invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description and an examination of the drawings wherein like reference numerals I designate like parts throughout and inwhich: a

FIG, 1 is a sideelevation view of the apparatus in use.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken online 2-2ofFIG. 1. n j h FIG. 3 is a perspective view ofthe valve unit.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4--4 of FIG.

. FIG. 5 is asectional view taken on line 5-5 ofFIG.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG.

The apparatus comprises a dispensing unit 10 for mounting on a bar or other surface, and a valve unit 12 for insertion in the neck of a bottle 14. Dispensingunit 10 has a head or holder 16 supported on a stand 18 at sufficient height to allow any standard glass to be placed beneath the holder. The specific configuration of the dispensing unit may vary in style and proportions to suitparticular requirements. i h h Valve unit 12 has a hollow cylindrical body 20, with a radially enlarged upper end 22 forming a stop shoulder 24. In the lower end of body 20 is a nozzle 26, which has a smoothly rounded taper for ease of insertion into the holder 16. Adjacent the lower end of body 20 is a transverse wall 28 having an outlet 30, in the upper end of. which is'an O-ring seat 32. Between the wall 28 and nozzle 26 is an apertured baffle 34, having an obstructed central portion 36 to prevent improper valve operation by insertion of a tool through the nozzle.

Fixed in the upper end of body 20 isa short cylindrical head 38 having an upwardly extending, hollow axial stem 40. A vent opening 42 leads from the lower end of the hollow stem 40 to the outside of head 38. Concentric with stem 40 is a tubular stopper 44 for insertion into the bottle neck with a tight fit. As illustrated, the stopper has multiple resilient rings 46 to seal into the bottle neck, as in FIG. 2, but any other suitable stopper may be used. The lower end of stopper 44 has a flange 48 which is secured to head 38 by a retaining ring 50. Screws 52 passing through the retaining ring 50 hold the stopper 44 and head 38 to the body 20 in a sealed assembly. Openings 54 through head 38 complete the passage for liquid from the bottle to pass through the inside of stopper 44 and into the body 20, as indicated by directional arrows in FIG. 2.

Slidably mounted in body 20 is a cylindrical solenoid armature 56, in the lower end of which is a valve element 58 axially supported by webs 60. Valve element 58 is pressed into seat 32 by a spring 61, which prevents dripping when the bottle is inverted. At the upper end of stem 40 is a vent seat 62 which is closed by a conical vent plug 64. The vent plug is fixed to the upper end of a push rod 66 extending down through stem 40 into body 20. At the lower end of push rod 66 is a cap 68,

which is spaced slightly above valve element 58 when the vent plug is closed, the plug being biased to closed position by a spring 70 between cap 68 and 38. The stem 40 extends well into the bottle, so that the liquid contained in the valve unit below the level of the vent seat 62 is normally sufficient for one dispensed meansure. Incoming vent air will thus be drawn in and liquid leakage through the vent will be prevented. To ensure smooth flow at each operation, the small space between wall 28 and baffle 34 is vented to the outside of body 20 through a small vent port 72, which is upwardly inclined to avoid leakage.

The holder 16 contains a vertical tubular sleeve 74, which is a close fit for the valve body 20. At the top of the sleeve 74, the holder has an upwardly and outwardly flared mouth 76 to facilitate insertion of the valve unit, the lower end of the mouth being inwardly flanged to provide a stop seat 78. Stop shoulder 24 of the valve unit rests on stop seat 78 and holds the valve unit securely, with the opening of nozzle 26 adjacent the lower end of sleeve 74.

Surrounding sleeve 74 is an electromagnetic coil 80, positioned so that its magnetic field will draw armature 56 upwardly when the valve unit is supported on stop seat 78. Only a short stroke is necessary to lift valve element-58 clear of seat 32, the open position being shown in FIG. 2. The upwardly moving valve element 58 strikes cap 68 and lifts push rod 66, which raises vent plug 64 and opens the vent to atmosphere. This displacement of liquid below the vent will cause the air to be drawn in. When the coil 80 is de-energized, armature 56 will be raised, valve element 58 will be sealed against seat 32 by spring 61 and spring 70 will close vent plug 64.

Valve operation by the solenoid is initiated by a switch 82, having an arm 84 extending downwardly, with a yoke 86 to receive a glass 88 held beneath nozzle 26, as in FIG. 1. The switch arrangement and simple circuitry involved are well known. The volume ofliquid delivered is determined by the length of time that the solenoid valve is held open, and is controlled by conventional timer means, not shown.

Since the valve unit is held in a precise position in holder 16, the body 20 is conveniently provided with means for identifying the beverage being dispensed. As illustrated, the body has an annular indexing groove 90 at a particular axial location, an alternative groove 92 being indicated in broken line in FIG. 3. The groove position is sensed by a switch 94 mounted on sleeve 74 and having a feeler in the form of a plunger 96 which extends through the sleeve into groove 90, as in FIG. 2. The plunger 98 of a switch 100 at a different axial location is held depressed by the valve body 20. By using normally closed switches, all but the switch aligned with the indexing groove will be held open, while a circuit will be completed through the switch at the groove position. Indexing grooves can be closely spaced, since the switches can be helically staggered around sleeve 74 at small axial increments.

One groove position would signify whisky, another gin, another vodka and others as required. To handle a large variety of beverages, combinations of two or more grooves could be used for indexing. With the appropriately indexed valve unit in a bottle, the contents would thus be correctly identified when the valve unit is inserted in the holder. The identifying signal could be used to operate a suitable indicator, operation recording means, or an automatic cash register, as necessary. To prevent a false signal when no bottle is present in the holder, a normally opendetector switch 102 is mounted on sleeve 74, with a plunger 104 extending to contact the valve body. Unless a valve unit is in the sleeve,- switch 102 will be open and the indexing switches will be inoperative. The circuitry is a simple series switching arrangement with each indexing switch connected through the detector switch, and is basicakly wekl known.

Using the single dispensing unit, any selected beverage can be selected and dispensed in a few seconds. The bottles can be stored on display or in a readily ac cessible arrangement, the contents being visible during use. Since no complex plumbing is involved, maintenance is little more than periodic washing of valve units.

Having described my invention, I now claim.

1. Liquid dispensing apparatus, comprising,

a nozzle valve unit having means for attachment to a bottle of liquid to be dispensed,

a separate dispensing unit having holder means for slidably receiving and holding said valve unit therein with an inverted bottle attached,

said valve unit having a liquid conducting passage therethrough with normally closed valve means in the passage,

said valve means being solely positioned in said valve unit,

actuating means solely positioned in said holder means for solely selectively opening said valve,

said valve unit has a body with a nozzle at one end with the dispensing end of the nozzle forming the end of said passage,

said holder means having a substantially vertical sleeve that is open to both ends in which said valve unit body is a close fit,

stop means on said valve unit for holding the body in predetermined axial position in said sleeve with the dispensing end of said nozzle adjacent the lower open end of the sleeve,

said valve means includes an outlet having a valve seat therein adjacent said nozzle, a valve element movably mounted in said body and biased to seal against said seat, and a solenoid armature connected to said valve element,

said actuating means including an electromagnetic coil surrounding said sleeve,

indexing means on said valve body,

sensing means in said holder for detecting said indexing means,

said indexing means includes at least one annular groove in said body at a predetermined axial location,

and said sensing means having axially spaced feelers for individual engagement with grooves at specific axial locations.

2. Liquid dispensing apparatus, comprising,

a nozzle valve unit having means for attachment to a bottle of liquid to be dispensed,

a separate dispensing unit having holder means for slidably receiving and holding said valve unit therein with an inverted bottle attached,

said valve unit having a liquid conducting passage therethrough with normally closed valve means in the passage,

said valve means being solely positioned in said valve unit,

actuating means solely positioned in said holder means for solely selectively opening said valve,

said valve unit has a body with a nozzle at one end with the dispensing end of the nozzle forming the end of said passage,

said holder means having a substantially vertical sleeve that is open to both ends in which said valve unit body is a close fit,

stop means on said valve unit for holding the body in a predetermined axial position in said sleeve with the dispensing end of said nozzle adjacent the lower open end of the sleeve,

vent means in said valve unit, actuated by opening said valve, for admitting air to the bottle,

said valve means includesan outlet having a valve seat therein adjacent said nozzle, a valve element movably mounted in said body and biased to seal against said seat, and a solenoid armature connected to said valve element,

said actuating means including an electromagnetic coil surrounding said sleeve, 7

said vent means includes a hollow stem extending from said 'valve body at the opposite end from said nozzle, said body having a vent opening from the exterior thereof to the interior of said stem, and vent controlling means in said stem coupled to said valve element to open and close therewith,

said vent controlling means comprises a seat at the outer end of said stem, a push rod extending through said stem and having a vent plug on one end to fit into said seat, the other end of said push rod being positioned for engagement by said valve element, and spring means on said push rod biasing said vent plug to closed position in said seat.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US3125253 *Feb 13, 1962Mar 17, 1964NationalDispensing head mounting assembly
US3193143 *Oct 18, 1962Jul 6, 1965Vincent MaieliAutomatic liquid dispensing device
US3198404 *Aug 13, 1963Aug 3, 1965James H WelchesPressurized dispenser having an electro-magnetic valve
US3200997 *Jul 11, 1962Aug 17, 1965Lipton Inc Thomas JBeverage dispenser
US3204832 *Aug 24, 1962Sep 7, 1965Morgan Barber SMaterial dispensing apparatus
US3506166 *Mar 11, 1968Apr 14, 1970British Bevolux LtdDetachable,electrically-actuated dispensing valve
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3993218 *Mar 7, 1975Nov 23, 1976Reichenberger Arthur MLiquor dispenser
US4121741 *Jul 21, 1977Oct 24, 1978Adamson Jane ELiquid dispenser with magnetically operable valve
US4210262 *Jul 10, 1978Jul 1, 1980Peter DonaldsonLiquid dispensing apparatus with vent valve
US4583664 *Aug 22, 1983Apr 22, 1986Bayat John JLiquid dispensing system
US4660742 *Nov 4, 1983Apr 28, 1987Nazmi OzdemirSystem for activating a dosing apparatus for dispensing predetermined quantities of a beverage from a bottle
US4706847 *May 5, 1986Nov 17, 1987Senmar CorporationDispenser for wine
US4795060 *Mar 13, 1986Jan 3, 1989Peter AlbrechtDevice for the metered dispensation and registration of liquids
US5133482 *Nov 28, 1990Jul 28, 1992Ebtech, Inc.Syrup dispenser valve assembly
US5211314 *Dec 27, 1991May 18, 1993Ebtech, Inc.Syrup dispenser and valve assembly
US5535921 *Aug 25, 1994Jul 16, 1996New Dimension Products Ltd.Sample dispenser
US5603430 *Feb 10, 1995Feb 18, 1997Dec International, Inc.Beverage dispensing system with bottle identification mechanism
US5702032 *Nov 27, 1995Dec 30, 1997Dec International, Inc.Beverage dispensing system with bottle identification rings
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US6662976Jan 24, 2002Dec 16, 2003Lindberg & Jensen ApsDosing spout for mounting on a container
US7172099Sep 9, 2003Feb 6, 2007The Procter & Gamble CompanyFluid delivery mechanism
US7434603Aug 30, 2006Oct 14, 2008Mtn Products, Inc.Bottom load water cooler
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US8356731Sep 9, 2009Jan 22, 2013Mtn Products IncEnergy saving baffle for water cooler
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EP0371267A1 *Oct 27, 1989Jun 6, 1990The Coca-Cola CompanyJuice dispensing system for a refrigerator door
EP0569584A1 Sep 23, 1992Nov 18, 1993Ebtech IncBottle cap and valve assembly for a bottled water station.
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WO1992009522A1 *Nov 26, 1991May 29, 1992Ebtech IncSyrup dispenser valve assembly
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/484, 222/504, 222/185.1
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D3/00, F16K21/16
Cooperative ClassificationB67D2001/0811, F16K21/16, B67D3/0003, B67D3/0006, B67D3/0025
European ClassificationB67D3/00B2, B67D3/00B, F16K21/16, B67D3/00G