US 3856443 A
Apparatus for making "candyfloss" comprising a rotatable trough into which sugar filaments are spun from a drum rotating at an angular speed higher than that of the trough whereby candyfloss can be wound on a stationary stick held in the trough. A pre-payment control device controls dispensing of the sticks to be held in the trough, and also activates the drive motor. Adjustment means in the sugar supply system enable adjustment of the volume of sugar dispensed at each vend.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [19 Salvi Dec. 24, 1974 APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING 2,198,152 4/1940 Cooley et al 425/9 CANDYFLOSS 2,852,043 9/1958 Cooper 221/96 X 3,203,365 8/1965 Bowe et al 425/9  Inventor: Attilio A. Salvi, Asnieres, France  Assignee: General Properties Anstalt, Vaduz Primary Spencer OVefhOlSer County, Liechtenstein Assistant Examiner-David S. Safran  Filed: Aug. 6, 1973  ABSTRACT  Appl' 385,711 Apparatus for making candyfloss comprising a rotatable trough into which sugar filaments are spun  US. Cl 425/9, 221/96, 425/155, from a drum rotating at an angular Speed higher than 425 317 that of the trough whereby candyfloss can be wound 51 Int. Cl A23g 3/20 on a Stationary stick held in the trough- A P  Field of Search 425/8, 9, 317, 155; P l control device Controls dispensing of the 221 9 194 10 13 sticks to be held in the trough, and also activates the drive motor. Adjustment means in the sugar supply  References Ci d system enable adjustment of the volume of sugar dis- UNITED STATES PATENTS Pensed each vend- 788,842 2/1905 McFann 425/9 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures The present invention relates to an apparatus for producing sugary confectionery called candyfloss" consisting of filaments of sugar attached to and wound around a small stick. Such an apparatus comprises a framed housing; a trough mounted interiorly of the framed housing; a hollow, rotary drum placed coaxially within said trough, the interior of the drum being provided with resistance heating means, and having in its upper wall a feed opening and in its lateral peripheral wall outlet perforations for sugar filaments; at least one sugar container arranged above the rotary drum; a dispensing tube communicating the sugar container with the feed opening of the rotary drum and extending therethrough; a sugar dispenser interposed in the connection between the sugar container and the dispensing tube and provided with a control element; a driving motor disposed beneath the trough, coaxially with the rotary drum, and having a drive shaft passing through said trough and secured to the rotary drum; and a general control element for prepayment, known per se, connected to the sugar control element and to the elements controlling the means for driving and heating the rotary drum, the latter elements including a timing means.
An apparatus of the above mentioned kind is known for example, from US. Pat. No. 3,203,365. The known apparatus comprises a stationary trough and interiorly thereof a supporting table disposed coaxially of the rotary drum which constitutes the spinning head. The mobile support table rotating about the same axis as the spinning head is driven by a motor and a friction roller and includes a plurality of housings for receiving the lower portions of paper cones around which the sugar filaments issuing from the rotary drum acting as spinning head should wind. The housings for the paper cones may themselves be endowed with a rotary movement about axes which are parallel to the axis of rotation of the support table.
One drawback of this known apparatus is that the majority of the sugar filaments do not stick to the paper cones but reach the walls of the trough where they accumulate.
This known apparatus has a sugar dispenser the bottom of which is provided with an opening facing a collector funnel connected to the spinning head by a duct. interiorly of the sugar container, near the bottom, there is disposed a rotary vane which pushes the sugar toward the opening made in the bottom of the container. This vane is driven for a shorter or longertime with a view to regulating the quantity of sugar dispensed. This manner of dispensing is not suitable for automatic utilisation of the apparatus since it does not permit the quantity of sugar dispensed'to be precisely determined and the sugar can thus accumulate in the perforations of the spinning head and thus cause very irregular dispensing of the sugar filaments.
Moreover, the known apparatus requires the permanent presence of an operator who withdraws the paper cones from a storage location so as to place them in the winding housings of the apparatus which have been provided for this purpose.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus of the above mentioned kind in such manner that production and sale of the confectionery called candyfloss can take place without requiring the permanent presence of an operator/- vendor.
A further object of the invention consists of devising an apparatus such that the spun sugar filaments can be picked up in a specific zone at the edge of the trough.
Yet a further object of the invention consists in the creation of an apparatus having a minimum number of moving parts.
These various objects are attained, according to the instant invention, by the fact that in an apparatus of the aforesaid kind the volume of sugar dispensed is controllable, the trough is movably mounted to rotate about its axis and is operatively associated with drive means capable of imparting thereto an angular velocity lower than that of the drum, and the apparatus further comprises a stick dispenser associated with a stick reservoir and also controlled by the general control means.
As a result of these measures a reliable automatic apparatus is obtained and it is sufficient merely to take hold of a dispensed stick and to hold it in an opening of the housing above the rotary trough which conveys all the filaments accumulating on its wall toward the held stick on which the filaments are caught. By virtue of the differing angular velocities of the wall of the trough on the one hand and the rotary drum acting as spinning head on the other hand, the filaments gradually wind up in the form of loops at the rate at which they arrive at the wall of the trough. The filaments are thus conveyed toward the stick to be entrained and wound around it.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description which is given by way of non-limiting indication of one embodiment. This description is made with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view with partial vertical section, of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 and with the front panel removed;
FIG. 2a is a vertical sectional view of the spinning head or drum shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 in the form of an axial section along the line IIIIII of FIG. 2, shows the sugar dispenser;
FIG. 4 is a partial vertical section along line IV-IV of FIG. 2 through the container and the stick dispenser of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 shows a circuit diagram of the electric control circuit according to one embodiment of the invention.
As can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 2 the apparatus comprises an outer protective housing of parallelepipedonal configuration 1. As is known, and as is apparent in FIG. 2, the apparatus comprises a hollow rotary spinning head or drum 2 having a vertical axis and mounted directly on and keyed to the vertical output shaft 3 of an electric drive motor 4 secured through the intermediary of radial lugs 5 to a support plate 6 which itself is secured to the outer casing 1 by means of bracket 7. The rotary drum 2 has a feed opening 8 in its upper wall 2a, and in the cylindrical lateral peripheral wall 2b a plurality of spinning orifices 9 for exit of sugar filaments.
The drum 2 also comprises resistance heating means whose heating resistance is constituted by the lateral peripheral wall 2b of the drum 2 itself. For this purpose the lateral wall 2b is made of an electrically conductive metal of high resistance, such as an alloy based on nickel-chrome, and it is electrically connected by its lower and upper rims to one or other output terminals a, called high intensity terminals, of a voltage reducing transformer 10 itself connected to the mains through the intermediary of a control element 11, to be explained hereafter.
The lower and upper walls 20, 2a of circular shape of the drum 2 are made of a low resistance electricityconductive metal. As is apparent, more particularly from FIG. 2a, the lower wall 2c comprises a first ring 2d disposed at the radially outward region of the said lower wall 20 and a second coaxial ring 2e of smaller diameter disposed radially inwardly thereof. The two rings 2d, 2e are electrically insulated from each other and from the output shaft 3 of the motor 4 by two concentric rings 12 of an insulating material which rings 12 ensure the mechanical connection of the rings 2a, 2e between one another and of the ring 2e with the central portion 2f of the lower wall 2c of the drum 2. The inner conductive ring 2e is electrically connected to the upper wall 2a, for example by means of conductive columns 2g. Pairs of electrically conductive brushes 13 and 14, each connected to a respective one of the high intensity terminals 10a of the transformer 10, rub from below on respective ones of the rings 2d, 2e.
AS is known, the drum 2 is located in a trough 140 having a vertical axis and arranged coaxially with the trough.
The apparatus contains three sugar containers 15 which are intended to contain different types of sugar, for example sugar in natural sate,.and sugar mixed with different particular fiavourings such as powdered extracts of vanilla or strawberry. Each container 15, which may have a conveying screw at its interior for optionally displacing the material contained therein, is secured to the housing 1 by means of straps 15a, and is connected by means of a branch line 16 to a common vertical dispensing tube 17 whose lower end 17a is situated vertically above the feed opening 8 of the spinning drum 2. The common tube 17 extends vertically into the feed opening 8 such that the stream of sugar issuing from the dispensing tube 17 falls entirely into the opening 8. Each sugar container 15 is provided with a sugar dispenser of adjustable volume 18 interposed in the individual branch line 16 connecting each sugar container 15 to the dispensing tube 17.
A reservoir 19 for sticks is positioned against the right-hand lateral panel la of the outer casing 1 and is associated with a stick dispenser shown in FIG. 4, only the exit port 20 of the dispenser being shown in FIG. L
Finally, the apparatus comprises a general control element 21, known per se, for pre-payment, as will be seen by referring to FIG. 5. The control element 21 is connected to control elements of the sugar dispensers l8 and of the stick dispenser as well as to a control element for the heating means 20 to 2c, 13 and 14 and the drive means 4 of the drum 2.
, The housing 1 has a front panel 1b in which a circular opening 22 is formed substantially at the level of the space situated directly above the trough 140. The opening 22 allows access to the trough 140 and has a diameter of sufficient size to permit withdrawal of a matrix of the candyfloss wound around a stick.
As is apparent from FIG. 1, the opening 22 advantageously has a notch 22a at the lower extremity of the edge of the said opening; this notch being of substantially semi-circular shape and having a diameter slightly greater than that of the sticks 49 to be dispensed by the apparatus. The lower extremity of the opening 22 is situated at a level coincident with that of the upper rim of the trough so that the notch 22a is adapted to serve as guide and support for the stick on which sugar filaments are to be wound.
The trough is mounted for rotation about its axis and is connected to be driven to rotate by the motor 4. To this end the base of the trough 140 is secured to a horizontal pulley 23 coaxial with the trough 140 and rotatably mounted on the support plate 6 through the intermediary of an annular bearing 24. The trough 140, integral with the pulley 23, is driven from the output shaft 3 of the motor 4 through the intermediary of: reduction gearbox 25, a horizontal pulley 26 keyed to the output shaft 25a of the reduction gearbox 25, and a Vee belt 27 passing around the pulleys 26 and 23. The speed of rotation of the trough 140 is thus slower than that of the rotary drum 2, the latter being of the order of 3,000 rpm. The rate of rotation of the trough 140 is preferably as low as, for example, 10 r.p.m. The direction of rotation of the trough 140, driven by the means 4, 25, 26, 27, 23, may be the same as that of the rotary drum 2 or it may be opposed to the latter. This rotary movement of the trough 140 permits all of the candyfloss produced by the spinning head or drum 2 to be attached to the stick inserted manually into the apparatus through the opening 22.
As shown in FIG. 3, each sugar dispenser 18 has a cylindrical bore 28 fashioned in a cylindrical body 28a and interposed in the individual branch line 16 of a sugar reservoir 15, not shown in FIG. 3, between an upstream section 16a and a downstream section 16b of the said line 16. Two coaxial cylindrical pistons 29, 30 axially spaced from one another and interconnected by a screw 31 can slide in the bore 28, the screw 31 being engaged in an axial clearance hole 30a of the piston 30 and in a threaded axial hole 29a of the piston 29. The screw 31 carries an arresting circlip washer 32 together with which it forms a rigid linking element between the pistons 29 and 30 while permitting the spacing between the said two pistons to be adjusted. The piston 29 is integral with an armature 34 of an individual control solenoid 35, the armature 34 having an axis parallel to that of the bore 28. At its end remote from the piston 30, the piston 29 carries a coaxial rod 36 ending in a head 36a. A return spring 37 is supported coaxially about the rod 36 between on the one hand the head 36a and on the other hand a lug 38, secured to the body 28a in which the bore 28 is formed. The travel of the pistons 29, 30 and thus that of the armature 34 is therefore such that the space between the said pistons 29, 30 communicates with the upstream and downstream sections 16a and 16b of the line 16 when the said pistons are at one or other of the limits of their travel.
As can be seen from FIG. 4, the stick reservoir 19 includes a stick dispenser comprising an armature 39 associated with a control solenoid 40, the armature 39 being connected by means of a connecting link 41, to a lever 42 whose free end 42a acts on a stick pusher 43. The pusher 43 is mounted for axial movement in a clearance 43a of a fixing tab 44 secured to the reservoir 19 and penetrates with its forward end into the reservoir 19 through an opening 45 formed in the base of the rear wall 19a of the reservoir 19. The pusher 43 has an abutment shoulder 46 and is surrounded by a coaxial return spring 47 extending between and abutting both the rear wall 19a of the stick reservoir 19 and the abutment shoulder 46 of the pusher 43. Thus, by a translatory movement of the pusher 43 toward the front end 19b of the reservoir 19, a stick is partly ejected through the exit port 20 of the reservoir 19. The sticks are generally of the shape of a rod of circular, oval or polygonal, especially rectangular cross section.
FIG. 5 shows how the control solenoids 35 of the var ious sugar dispensers 18 and the control solenoid 40 of the stick dispenser are connected to the general prepayment control device 21. As can be seen in this Figure the solenoid 40 is directly connected to the device 21. Between each solenoid 35 and the control device 21 there is interposed a circuit breaker 48 the push button 48a of which is mounted on the front panel lb of the casing 1 as can be seen in FIG. 1. Each circuit breaker 48 comprises two connection bars 48b, 48c integral with each other.
Each of the three bars 48b is capable of ensuring the connection between the general control device 21 and a respective one of the solenoids 35, and each of the bars 48c is capable of establishing the connection between the said general control device 21 and single control element 11 common to the motor 4 and the heating means 2b of the rotary drum 2.
The control element 11 comprises a timing device which enables interruption at the end of a predetermined interval of time, of the supply to the motor 4 and to the resistance 2b. The device 21, which is of a kind known per se and will not therefore be described in detail, is capable of sending to the various elements 40, 35, 11 of the apparatus a command signal ensuring the triggering of these elements. Thus by operating any one of the push buttons 48a the control element 11 and the appropriate solenoid 35 are simultaneously connected to the general control element 21. This operation thus simultaneously permits the drum 2 to be filled with sugar having the flavour corresponding to the selected push button, and triggers the rotary movement of the drum 2 and of the trough 140, as well as supplying current to the heating resistance formed by the wall 2b of the drum 2. 1
1. ln apparatus for producing the sugary confectionery called candyfloss and consisting of filaments of sugar attached to and wound around a small stick such apparatus comprising a framed housing; a circular trough mounted interiorly of this framed housing with its axis vertical; a rotary hollow drum located coaxially in said trough with its axis vertical; means mounting said drum for rotation about said vertical axis; heating means operative to maintain the interior of said drum at an elevated temperature; a feed opening in the upper wall of said drum; outlet orifice means for the sugar filaments and formed in the lateral peripheral wall of said drum; sugar container means disposed in said housing; a dispensing tube communicating said sugar container means with said feed opening of the rotary drum; a sugar dispenser interposed between said sugar container means and the dispensing tube; a control unit operatively associated with said sugar dispenser; a drive motor disposed coaxially of the rotary drum and beneath the trough; an output shaft of said drive motor passing through said trough and attached to the rotary drum; further control units effective to control said drive motor and heating means said further control units including timer means; and pre-payment control means connected to the control unit of the sugar dispenser and to said further control units; the improvement comprising means for adjusting the volume of sugar dispensed by said sugar dispenser; means mounting said trough for rotation about its axis; drive means capable of imparting to said trough an angular speed lower than that of said rotary drum; a reservoir for containing sticks onto which in use of the apparatus candyfloss will be wound; means for dispensing sticks individually from said reservoir; and a control unit for said dispensing means operatively associated with said prepayment control means.
2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said drive means for the trough are actuated to cause the said trough to rotate in the same sense of rotation as that of the rotary drum.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said drive means for the trough are actuated such as to cause the said trough to rotate in the sense of rotation opposed to that of the rotary drum.
4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein the drive means of the trough comprise a reduction gearbox interposed between the output shaft of said drive motor for the drum and said means mounting the trough for rotation.
5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means mounting the trough for rotation includes a pulley coaxial with said trough and secured thereto; and wherein said drive means for the trough includes a drive pulley driven for rotation, and a drive belt passing around said pulley and said drive pulley.
6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sugar dispenser comprises a body; means defining a cylindrical bore in said body; inlet and outlet connector means communicating with said bore at locations offset by a given distance along the axis of the bore, said inlet connector means being connected to said sugar container means and said outlet connector means being connected to said dispensing tube; two axially spaced coaxial pistons slidably mounted in the bore; a control solenoid; an armature of said solenoid; means connecting said armature to a first of two pistons; and means mounting said armature for axial movement; and wherein said means for adjusting the volume of sugar dispensed comprise adjustable spacer means connecting said first and second pistons.
7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 6, wherein said container means comprise a plurality of individual containers each having its own dispenser and connected to said dispensing tube.
8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said stick dispenser comprises a stick pusher, means mounting said pusher for axial movement through a wall of said reservoir, a stick delivery opening fashioned at the base of a wall of the reservoir opposite to said one wall, a return spring acting on said pusher urging it away from said delivery opening, lever means disposed to act on said pusher in a sense opposing said spring; and a solenoid having an armature operatively connected to the said lever means.