|Publication number||US3853245 A|
|Publication date||Dec 10, 1974|
|Filing date||Jul 16, 1973|
|Priority date||Jul 16, 1973|
|Also published as||DE2432570A1|
|Publication number||US 3853245 A, US 3853245A, US-A-3853245, US3853245 A, US3853245A|
|Inventors||Booth J, Branch W|
|Original Assignee||Booth J, Branch W|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (18), Classifications (12)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Branch et al.
[451 Dec. 10, 1974 BEVERAGE DISPENSER Inventors: William C. Branch; Jack J. Booth,
both of R0. Box 507, Carrollton, Tex. 75006 Filed: July 16, 1973 Appl. No.: 379,641
US. Cl ZZZ/144.5, 222/309, 222/341, 222/373, 222/481, 417/392, 91/25, 91/404 Int. Cl B67d 5/54 Field of Search 222/4, 249, 250, 309, 341, 222/373, 478, 481, 144.5; 417/392; 91/25,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1915 Shaner 91/329 X 9/1955 Moletz et al.... 8/1971 de Mau 222/334 X 3,664,550 5/1972 Carothers et al. 222/129.4 X
Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Joseph J. Rolla Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richards, Harris & Medlock  ABSTRACT 6 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PAIEME DEC 1 01914 sum 2 or 6 8s 52 82 82 62 S: S: 32
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PATENIEL ZZZ 1 01974 SHEU 5 0F 6 BEVERAGE DISPENSER The present invention relates generally to improvements in liquid dispensing apparatus and more particularly to a new and improved liquid metering and dispensing apparatus for measuring and dispensing different quantities of a plurality of separate liquids.
In the dispensing of mixed liquid refreshments on vehicles such as airplanes, trains, buses, and the like, it has been a common practice to obtain the customers order and thereafter prepare the refreshments by dispensing the liquids manually from a plurality of separate containers. This practice has not proved entirely satisfactory under all conditions of service in that substantial amounts of labor and time are required to prepare the mixed refreshments.
To eliminate this disadvantage, the present invention provides an automatic liquid metering and dispensing apparatus which repeatedly dispenses predetermined quantities of liquids from a plurality of separate storage containers in a quick and efficient manner.
The invention may be used in a portable dispensing apparatus such as is moveable through the aisle of an airplane, train, bus, or the like. A plurality of separate liquid containers with separate liquid measuring and dispensing apparatus connected thereto permit dispensing measured amounts of selected liquids through dispensing spouts and for combining with a selected carbonated liquids which can also be dispensed from the apparatus as desired.
In one embodiment of the invention, a fluid dispenser includes a piston mounted in a cylinder with a piston rod extending through one end thereof to form two variable volume chambers within the cylinder. A supply line is adapted to lead from a fluid storage vessel to one of a first chamber of the cylinder and a discharge line connected into the'same chamber and terminating in a dispensing nozzle. A gas pressure line leads to a second chamber of the cylinder through a passage in a normally closed valve to apply pressure against the piston to decrease the volume of the first chamber and increase the volume of the second chamber. Movement of the piston to a preset position within the cylinder opens the normally closed valve to close the gas pressure line to the second chamber while venting the second chamber to atmosphere. The normally closed valve is opened by a travel stop attached to the piston rod external of the cylinder. I
As the piston moves within the chamber by application of a gas pressure to the second chamber, liquid within the first chamber is discharged through the discharge line and dispensing nozzle. When the normally closed valve opens, the piston is forced to its original position thereby closing off the discharge line and drawing a liquid into the first chamber through the supply line. I
For a more complete understanding of the present invention reference may be had to the following description and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a side elevation view of the improved beverage dispenser in which the present invention is embodied',
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. I partly in section;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view partially in section illustrating a dispensing spout assembly employed with the dispenser of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the dispensing spout assembly illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of liquid dispensing and metering portion of the apparatus;
FIG. 6 is a left side elevation of one unit from the system illustrated in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view of the dispensing and metering valve of the present invention with the intake port rotated taken on line 77 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 8 is a section of the device illustrated in FIG. 7 rotated 90 and taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 9 is a section of the device taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 8, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are partial section views similar to FIG. 7, illustrating the piston in various positions during the dispensing operation; and
FIGS. 12-14 illustrate an operational sequence.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is illustrated an improved liquid dispenser apparatus which for purposes of description is embodied in a unit which is in the form of a portable cart completely self-contained so that it may be moved about as desired. Cart 10 has a plurality of liquid storage receptacles and tanks and is provided with an apparatus for selectively removing and dispensing preselected metered amounts of liquids from the receptacles as desired. In this manner, the apparatus can be used to dispense and mix meteredamounts of various liquids quickly and efficiently.
Cart 10 has a housing 12 supported on a wheeled frame 14 with a dispensing spout assembly 16 mounted on the upper portion thereof. Cart 10 houses a completely self-contained liquid measuring, dispensing and mixing apparatus. The particular cart 10 as shown is especially adapted to move along the aisle of an aircraft to be used to dispense carbonated drinks, liquors, and the like, to the passengers. In this regard, a foot operated brake assembly 18 may prevent cart 10 from rolling along the aisle.
Cart 10 is designed with a drain pan 20 positioned below dispensing spout assembly 16 to capture spilled liquids. The upper portion of the housing 12 may have. an ice bucket receptacle 22 and a cup dispenser 24 (shown dotted in FIG. 2).
Housing 12 defines a chamber 30 containing various valves and tanks.
Chamber 30 contains a beverage module 32 and six liquor bottles 34a-f. Beverage module 32 is supplied with pressurized carbon dioxide gas from tank 36, water from tank 38, and syrup from tank 40. Tank 40 includes a plurality of separate flexible syrup containers, not shown. Carbon dioxide tank 36 is connected in a conventional manner to water tank 38 and syrup tank 40 through a regulator 42, which supplies carbon dioxide gas at a constant pressure to tanks 38 and 40. Syrup tank 40 has a multiconduit assembly 56, which connects the several containers in the tank 40 to the dispenser valve unit 16. Tank 38 is connected to the valve unit 16 through conduit 58. Gas pressure forces water from tank 38 and syrups from containers in tank 40 through conduits 56 and 58 to valve unit 16.
Regulator 42 is connected through conduit '44 to a T" fitting 46, which has one conduit 48 connected to the valve unit 16, and the other conduit 50 connected through suitable fittings and conduits 50a through 50f to six separate dispensing cylinders 52a through 52f, respectively. Cylinders 52a-f are mounted on a support bracket 54, which is fixed in the upper portion of chamber 30.
In FIGS. 3 and 4, this embodiment of the valve unit 16 comprises a housing attached to and supported by a pair of supports 62 slidably mounted for vertical adjustment in a bracket 64. A wing bolt 66 and clamp assembly 68 allow the vertical height of the valve unit 16 to be adjusted with respect to the bracket 64 by positioning the supports 62 in the clamp 68 as desired and then tensioning the wing bolt 66.
Extending from housing 60 is a control unit 70 of the type described in the United States Patent to Jack J. Booth, US. Pat. No. 3,703,187, issued Nov. 21, 1972. For purposes of description of the present invention, it is sufficient to note that the control unit 70 has a plurality of. control buttons 72 connected through conduits 48, multi-conduit assembly 56 and conduit 58 to the beverage module 32. By pressing one of the control buttons 72, one of a plurality of separate liquids is delivered from module 32 through control unit 70.
In addition, six separate liquid dispensing spouts 80a-f extend from the housing 50 directly below the dispensing spout 70. These liquid dispensing spouts 80a-f are suitable for dispensing liquid from receptacles 34a-f. By appropriately positioning the dispensing spouts 80a-fwith respect to unit 70, liquid from one or more spouts can be dispensed into a single container located therebelow as desired.
A liquor selector valve 98 is mounted within the housing 60 and has six separate push buttons laf extending from the housing 60. Selector valve 98 is conventional in structure. By depressing one of the buttons l00af, one selected liquor will be dispensed from one of the spouts 80a-f.
Depression of one of the buttons 100a-f passes pressurized carbon dioxide from the tank 36 through the conduit 48 to one of the conduits 120af, respectively. For example, if button 100a is depressed, gas will be supplied through conduit 48 to conduit 120a and in turn to cylinder 52a to cause liquor from receptacle 34a to be discharged from liquid dispensing spout 80a in a measured quantity. In a similar manner, liquids from the other liquid storage receptacles 34bf can be dispensed through the respective spouts 80b-f as desired by pressing the appropriate button l00b-f on valve unit 16.
The structure and operation of the cylinders 52a-f will be described in detail by reference to FIGS. 6-ll. Cylinders 52a-f may be identical in construction and in operation.
Referringto the FIGURES, cylinder 52a a wall 140 forming a cylindrical chamber 142. An end wall 144 seals one end of chamber 142. A head 146 is releasably attached to wall 140 to seal the other end of chamber 142. An O-ring seal 148 is provided at the junction of the chamber 142 and head 146.
Positioned within chamber 142 is a piston 150, with suitable O-ring seal and neoprene wear ring, 152 and 154, respectively, for contacting the walls of the chamber 142 in sliding sealing engagement. The piston 150 divides chamber 142 into an upper variable volume chamber 156 and a lower variable volume chamber 158. Piston 150 is mounted for reciprocation in the chamber 142 to increase and decrease the volumes of the chambers 156 and 158. A coil spring 160 is positioned in upper chamber 156 in contact with piston 150 and wall 144 to resiliently bias piston 150 in the direction of arrow 162.
A piston rod 164 extends from piston 150 through a cylindrical bore 166 in head 146. Bore 166 is of diameter slightly larger than piston rod 164 to provide an annular passage 168. An O-ring seal 170 is located in head 146 to seal the annular passageway 168 at the point where piston rod 164 extends from head 146 exterior of cylinder 52a. O-ring seal 165 then seals annulus 168 when rod 164 is back in the position illustrated in FIG. 12.
A liquid intake port 172 is illustrated in the upper left hand side of the cylinder 140 and is provided with a titting connected to the conduit 130a which leads through a check valve 132 to a liquor bottle 34a. A liquid discharge port 174 is likewise illustrated in the upper right hand corner of cylinder 52a, and is provided with fittings for connection to the conduit a connected through a check valve 134 to dispensing spout 80a. Liquid intake port 172 and liquid discharge port 174 provide communication between the upper chamber 156 and the conduits a and 110a.
Piston rod 164 carries a collar 176 releasably attached by means of a set screw 178. Set screw 178 is provided for selective positioning of collar 176 on rod 164 to alter the stroke of piston thereby to control the volume of liquid dispensed by cylinder 52a.
Positioned below collar 176 is a counter assembly 175 having an arm 177, thereon. As can be seen in FIG. 6, collar 176 will deflect arm 177 in the direction of arrow 162 as rod 164 reciprocates in cylinder 52a during the dispensing operation. Each deflection of arm 177 is recorded in the counter assembly 175 thereby to record the number of drinks dispensed.
As has been previously described, conduit 120a is connected to cylinder 52a. This connection can be seen in FIG. 8 as passing through a suitable grommet to a port 180 in communication with the lower chamber 158.
Conduit 50a also communicates with the lower chamber 158 through a radially extending port .182, which in turn communicates with a bore 184, which extends axially through head 146. A movable valve member 186 is mounted in the bore 184 is of a size to provide a small annulus 188 between the exterior of the valve member 186 and the bore 184. Annulus 188 communicates with a radially extending port 190, which is in turn connected to the annulus 168 which is to be selectively connected to the lower chamber 158. In FIG. 7, the annulus 188 is sealed above the port 182 by means of O-ring seal 192 carried by the valve member I86 and below port by means of O-ring seal 194 carried by the valve member 186.
In FIG. 7, the valve member 186 has a discharge passageway 196 extending axially along the valve member 186 from an end thereof up to a point above O-ring 192 and then radially to the periphery of-valve member 186 to communicate with the annulus 188. With the valve member 186 in the position illustrated in FIG. 7, the discharge passageway 196 is sealed from the lower chamber 158 by an O-ring seal 198, which is carried by the valve member 186.
OPERATION OF THE DISPENSING AND METERING VALVES The operation of cylinder 52a will be described by reference to FIGS. 12-14. In FIG. 12, piston 150 is shown in its at rest position prior to the initiation of the dispensing and metering operation. As previously described, momentary depression of button 100a of valve 98 admits enough carbon dioxide gas through conduit 120a and port 180 into chamber 158 to cause the piston 150 to move in the direction of arrow 200. As the piston moves in the direction of arrow 200, O- ring seal 165 will move out of the annular passageway 168 as illustrated in FIG. 13 thus placing the conduit 50a in gas communication with the lower chamber 158 through port 182, annulus 188, port 190 and passageway 168.
Movement of the piston 150 in the direction of arrow 200 will continue until the piston reaches the position illustrated in FIG. 14. During this movement of piston 150, liquid in chamber 156 discharges through check valve 134a and conduit 1100 leading to dispensing spout 80a. Once the piston reaches the position illustrated in FIG. 14, the collar 176 has forces the valve member 186 to move through the bore 184 to vent chamber 158 with O-ring 194 sealing the annulus 188 between ports 182 and 190. This movement of valve member 186 thus blocks the supply of pressurized gas to lower chamber 158, and also moves the discharge passage 196 into communication with lower chamber 158 by moving seal 198 out of bore 184. This action of the valve member 186 vents the gas from the lower chamber 158 and the piston 150 is moved in the direction of arrow 162 by the force of spring 160 shown in FIG. 7. This causes piston 150 to move in the direction of arrow 200a until piston 150 reaches the position illustrated in FIG. 12 where the underside of piston 150 has forced valve member 186 to slide through the bore 184 to seal passage 196 by O-ring 198. Also, as piston 150 returns to the position illustrated in FIG. 14, the O-ring 165 will again seal annulus 168.
During return movement of piston 150, a vacuum is created in the chamber 156 to draw a measured volume of liquid into chamber 156 through check valve 132a and conduit 130a.
Thus, it can be seen that by momentary depression of buttom 100a, piston 150 in cylinder 50a moves in cylinder 52a to pump a measured volume of liquid through line 110a. If liquids from the other receptacles 34b-f, are to be dispensed, appropriate buttons lbf, FIG. 3, are momentarily depressed to cause liquid to be discharged from appropriate spouts 80b-f, respectively.
By adjusting the position of the collars 176 on the piston rods 164, the stroke of pistons 150 and the volume dispensed by cylinders 52a-f is varied. By moving the collars 176 in the direction of arrow 200 on the rod 164, the stroke will be shortened and the volume discharge will be decreased. If the collar 176 is moved in the direction of arrow 2000, the stroke will be lengthened and the volume discharge increased. Thus, by moving collar 176 along rod 164, the volume of liquid dispensed can be set as desired.
It is to be understood that the operation of other cylinders 52bf is identical to that disclosed with respect to cylinder 52a and that liquids from other bottles 34b-f are metered and discharged in a similar manner.
Thus it will be seen from FIG. 12 that piston 150 divides its cylinder into two sections, the gas section and the liquor section. In the ready condition, FIG. 12, the pistonspring holds the piston at the gas end of the cylinder with the liquor end full of liquor.
There are two gas ports into the gas section. The first port is always under gas pressure. This port leads gas around the gas piston and to the space between the piston shaft, and the piston shaft hole thru the end plate. This space is sealed at the outside of the end plate with an O ring in the end plate, and at the inside with an 0" ring on the shaft. The second port leads directly into the space between the piston and the end plate and receives gas from the control valve only when the valve button is pressed.
When a valve button is pressed, FIG. 13, gas enters the space between the end plate and the piston and forces the piston to start moving to the other end of the cylinder. As the piston moves it breaks the seal between the piston shaft and end plate. This allows gas to enter the gas section of the cylinder forcing the piston to the liquor end and emptying the liquor thru tubing tothe spout.
When the control cam reaches the gas piston as in FIG. 14 it moves the piston which does two things: (I) it switches the gas source from feeding the gas section to dumping it outside; and (2) it opens an additional hole to help dump more gas from the gas section for a faster return. As the gas pressure drops in the gas section, spring pressure forces the piston back toward the end plate. By means of a set of back checks the spout tube is sealed and liquor from the bottle is sucked into the liquor section. When the piston reaches the end plate it moves the gas piston back to its original position and the cycle is complete.
In FIG. 3 the control valves are shown mounted in a single housing 60. In event service may be required on one or the other but not both sets of valves at any given time, it may be desirable separately to mount units and 98 rather than in the single housing as shown. Further the liquor metering unit may be used separately from the other beverage dispenser, as in a bar setting. In this case, a plurality of bottles could be manifolded for increasing the run time before the supply needs to be replenished.
It is thereforeto be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates to only a preferred embodiment of the present invention and that numerous alterations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A fluid dispenser which comprises:
a piston mounted in a cylinder with a piston rod extending through a closed end thereof,
a supply line adapted to lead from a fluid storage vessel into a first chamber of said cylinder,
a discharge line terminating in a dispensing nozzle and connected into the first chamber of said cylinder,
a first gas pressure line leading to a second chamber of said cylinder through a normally closed valve which is opened by a movement of said piston in the chamber.
a second gas pressure line leading to the second chamber of said cylinder through a manual control valve to initiate the movement of said piston thereby opening said normally closed valve upon an opening of said manual valve,
a stop on said piston rod below said closed end for venting the second chamber of said cylinder to atmosphere, and
resilient means in said cylinder to return said piston to an initial position to close said normally closed valve.
2. A fluid dispenser as set forth in claim 1 wherein a check valve is located in each of said supply of said discharge lines.
3. A fluid dispenser as set forth in claim 1 including a control valve positioned in said closed end in the flow path from said first gas pressure line to said cylinder to move into said cylinder in response to contacting said stop and moves out of said cylinder in response to contacting said piston to thereby control flow of gas from said first pressure line to and from said cylinder.
4. In a fluid measuring and dispensing apparatus of the type for mixing and dispensing carbonated and noncarbonated liquids into a container, comprising in combination:
a supply of pressurized carbon dioxide gas,
first means for mixing and dispensing carbonated liquids, comprising a tank adapted to contain water, said tank being connected to and pressurized by said supply for forcing water in said tank to flow through a water discharge line, a receptacle adapted to contain at least one syrup container, said receptacle being connected to and pressurized by said supply for forcing a syrup to flow through a syrup discharge line, and a selectively operable mixing and dispensing valve means separately connected to said supply, said syrup discharge line, and said water discharge line for mixing and dispensing said syrup, water and carbonated liquids to thereby produce and dispense carbonated liquids into said container,
second means for selectively measuring and dispensing additional liquids into said container, comprising at least one liquid receptacle, said dispensing means comprising a piston mounted in a cylinder with a piston rod extending through a closed end thereof, a supply line adapted to lead from said at least one receptacle into a first chamber of said cylinder, a discharge line terminating in a dispensing nozzle and connected into the first chamber of said cylinder, a first gas pressure line leading to a second chamber of said cylinder through a normally closed valve which is opened by a movement of said piston in the chamber, a second gas pressure line leading to the second chamber of said cylinder through a manual control valve to initiate the movement of said piston thereby opening said normally closed valve upon an opening of said manual valve, a stop on said piston rod below said closed end for venting the second chamber of said cylinder to atmosphere, and resilient means in said cylinder to return said piston to an initial position to close said normally closed valve.
5. A fluid apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein a check valve is located in each of said supply and said discharge lines.
6. A fluid apparatus as set forth in claim 4 including a control valve positioned in said closed end in the flow path from said first gas pressure line to said cylinder to move into said cylinder in response to contacting said stop and moves out of said cylinder in response to contacting said piston to thereby control flow of gas from said first pressure line to and from said cylinder.
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|U.S. Classification||222/144.5, 222/309, 222/341, 91/404, 417/392, 91/25, 222/481, 222/373|
|International Classification||G01F11/02, G01F11/04|