US 3867962 A
The disclosure shows a soft drink dispensing valve for dispensing water and syrup through an improved nozzle system consisting of a removable syrup nozzle and a removable mixing nozzle which combine to control the flow of syrup in a spray through the bottom opening in the mixing nozzle and to control the water so as to flow downward and inward across the flow lines of the syrup spray, effecting initial mixing of the two in the inner part of the water stream while the streams are within the mixing nozzle, with the mixing extending to the outer part of the water stream immediately thereafter. Also shown is an improved actuating handle providing a sliding selector member for selectively engaging and operating only the desired valve plunger or plungers on a particular actuation of the handle. Another improved actuating handle shows a rotating selector member for similar use, primarily applicable to a multi-flavor dispensing valve having a multiplicity of syrup valve plungers arranged parallel to and equidistant from a central water valve plunger.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elie tas Gerrard tent 1 BEVERAGE DISPENSING VALVE Inventor: Bruce Gerrard, 126 Montgomery Ferry Dr. N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30309 Filed: Apr. 24, 1973 Appl. No.: 354,084
11.8. C1 137/635, 222/132, 222/144.5 Int. Cl. Fl6k 19/00 Field of Search 137/607, 635; 222/132,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1951 Giuliano 137/635 5/1959 Terwilliger et al 137/635 9/1973 Matheney 222/1445 X Primary ExaminerRobert G. Nilson  ABSTRACT The disclosure shows a soft drink dispensing valve for dispensing water and syrup through an improved nozzle system consisting of a removable syrup nozzle and a removable mixing nozzle which combine to control the flow of syrup in a spray through the bottom opening in the mixing nozzle and to control the water so as to flow downward and inward across the flow lines of the syrup spray, effecting initial mixing of the two in the inner part of the water stream while the streams are within the mixing nozzle, with the mixing extending to the outer part of the water stream immediately thereafter. Also shown is an improved actuating handle providing a sliding selector member for selectively engaging and operating only the desired valve plunger or plungers on a particular actuation of the handle. Another improved actuating handle shows a rotating selector member for similar use, primarily applicable to a multi-flavor dispensing valve having a multiplicity of syrup valve plungers arranged parallel to and equidistant from a central water valve plunger.
11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND The object of the invention is to provide a soft drink dispensing valve having the desirable features of my previous disclosure, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,717,284, with added features shown in this disclosure which add considerably to the utility and range of application of the design because of improvements in the nozzle system that provide extremely thorough mixing, utmost cleanliness, simplicity of design and ease of disassembly, and because of improvements in the handle design that provide selective features in single and multi-flavor mechanical valves not previously known.
The mixing nozzle design has been retained but the water nozzle has been reduced to a simple passageway in the valve housing and the syrup nozzle has been modified to not only give a unique spray pattern of syrup but its shape is such that, in conjunction with the mixing nozzle, it also controls the flow of water in a unique way and causes the syrup and water to mix thoroughly as they leave the mixing nozzle while leaving the mixing nozzle clean and void of any syrup or syrupwater residue. In addition, the syrup nozzle is instantly removable to permit carbonated water to be dispensed in a jet from the simple passageway in the valve housing, and also can itself be temporarily inserted in the water passageway for instantly purging the syrup nozzle, should it ever need it. In practice, the syrup nozzle stays so clean becuase of the suction action of the syrup plunger it has not been found necessary to do this, but the feature has definite utility for use in valves without such a suction feature where the syrup nozzle is prone to require daily cleaning.
The handle has been improved to include a selector feature whereby a movable member can be positioned prior to handle actuation and cause syrup alone, water alone, or a combination of the two to be dispensed when the handle is actuated. A sliding movable member has particular application in a single flavor valve to afford the selections just described and is also useful in a two flavor dispensing valve having one water valve and two syrup valves to provide selections including each syrup with water, water alone, or each syrup alone. A rotating selector member has application also in the single flavor valve, more so in the two flavor valve, and especially in a multiple flavor valve having several syrup valves and one or two water valves (one plain water and one carbonated water). With both types of water valves the selections can include plain water alone, carbonated water alone, and combinations of either with any adjacent syrup. It is even possible to dispense both types of water and a chosen syrup simultaneously to give a low carbonation drink.
Perhaps the most unique advantage of the movable selector member design, in addition to its simplicity and the variety of selections it provides, is the fact that the handle adtuation is the same regardless of the selection. In all previously known designs having a selector feature the handle is normally operated differently for each selection, such as forward for a complete drink of syrup and water, and in a reverse direction for water only. This precludes cup actuation of the handle for both selections and makes it impractical for either in such a valve, whereas in the proposed design cup actuation of the handle is quite practical for all selections. The movable selector member also makes many more choices possible and practical since it does not involve complex and different handle movements for each selection, nor does it involve different handles for different selections as in some designs. It also makes possible the actuations of a multiple drink valve handle by one solenoid for any and all selections, if an electric valve is desired.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a better understanding of the invention reference is made to the accompanying drawings, and the detailed description which follows:
FIG. 1 is a front view of the valve with the handle brokenaway partially and the parts of the syrup nozzle and mixing nozzle below the valve body shown in section; the slide selector member is not shown since it is part of the broken-away part of the handle, and the adjustable plunger buttons have been removed.
FIG. 2 is a section view taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1, and showing the slide selector member as if it were in position to actuate the syrup plunger button.
Hg. 3 is a section view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2, except that the slide selector member is shown as if it were in position to actuate the syrup plunger button and the water plunger button simultaneously when the handle is operated.
FIG. 4 is a section view, similar to FIG. 3, of the front portion of a dispensing valve having three plungers and with an actuating handle having a rotating selector member shown in position to operate the center and one outside plunger simultaneously when the handle is actuated toward the plungers, the scale being smaller than FIG. 3 and the plungers shown solid for simplicity of illustration.
FIG. 5 is a section view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 showing only the parts of the rotating member ex tending inside the handle.
FIG. 6 is a section view taken along line 66 of FIG. 4 looking the opposite way from 5-5, and showing only the plunger buttons and three positions of the rotating member relative to the three plungers that may be selected by a turn of the knob. The possible positions of two additional plungers are shown in phantom, as is one possible position of the rotating member relative to the two additional plunger buttons, The extension of the valve body to house the added plungers is shown in phantom.
DESCRIPTION OFTHE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 the main body of the valve, also referred to as the valve housing, in number 10, the syrup plunger is 11, and the water plunger 12. The plastic handle bracket is 13, 14 is the metal handle and 15 the handle pin. The mixing nozzle is 16 and the syrup nozzle 17, each having O-rings 16a and 17a respectively. A portion of a wire cup bracket is shown at 18, the unshown part extending in a loop beneath the mixing nozzle for actuation of handle 14 by cup or glass pressure against the loop.
The neck at the upper end of the round syrup nozzle 17 fits into a drilled hole in the bottom face of the body 10, and a drilled passageway 23 connects this hole with the bore 24 in which syrup plunger 11 operates. Drilled hole 25 connects directly with the bore in which water plunger 12 operates. Screws l9 secure bracket 13 to the valve body 10, the bracket serving as a retainer for the plungers and controlling their travel both ways. Mixing nozzle 16 installs in an annular groove in the bottom face of body 10. Orifices 17c in the bottom of syrup nozzle 17 are aligned with points just inside the periphery of the bottom opening in nozzle 16.
In FIG. 2 the syrup plunger relationship to the various components can be seen clearly, as can the Delrin sliding selector member which is composed of contactor button and hand, button 20a, pressed together and operable in groove 26 in the front face of handle 14.
The syrup plunger is composed of stem 11 made preferably of stainless steel, a sleeve 11d made preferably of Teflon and pressed onto stem 11, and plunger button 11a, threaded and adjustably mounted on the outer end of stem 11. O-rings 11b and 110 and set screw lle for locking the adjustment complete the plunger assembly. Spring 22 biases the plunger to its closed position, as shown, with the outer shoulder of sleeve 11d against brakcet 13.
As described in the afore-mentioned disclosure, movement of plunger 11 to the left in FIG. 2 until the inner shoulder of button 11a engages the lower part of bracket 13 opens the valve by moving O-ring 11b out of seating relationship in the bore of insert 21, which is preferably Teflon and has been pressed into bore 24a of plastic body 10. Flow of syrup then proceeds through inser 21 into bore 24, through passageway 23 as seen in FIG. 1 to the plastic syrup nozzle 17, and out diverging orifices 17c, preferably toward point just inside the outlet wall in plastic nozzle 16. Alternatively the orifices can take the form of 17d, shown dotted in FIG. 2, with two or more orifices arranged symetrically about the vertical axis of nozzle 17 to spray the syrup straight down toward points just inside the outlet wall in nozzle 16. The valve closes when O-ring 11b first seats in the bore of insert 21 on partial movement of plunger 11 to the right, and subsequent travel of plunger 11 to its fully closed position creates a suction because of the negative displacement created by sleeve portion 11d. This suction draws syrup away from the bottom of 17, and, if water is being dispensed also, Water is drawn into the mouth of each orifice to seal it against drying of the syrup and affording an automatic cleaning action of these orifices each time a complete drink is dispensed.
Note that the number and size of orifices can be varied to suit the degree of mixing required for a particular syrup, and that orifices 17c and 17d both can be used if desired for maximum mixing. Note also the ideal situation for minimizing foam, even with extremely thorough mixing, with the syrup and water streams meeting at oblique angles without direct impingement of syrup or water against any wall of the nozzle 16 in the mixing area.
Regardless of whether the valve has the suction feature the nozzle system has advantages not previously known in the degree to which the following features are combined: thorough mixing; minimum foam; minimal to no residue of syrup water mixture in the mixing nozzle; extremely smooth contours for ease of cleaning in the mixing area especially; reduction to two components, l6 and 17, in the nozzle system, both of which can be easily removed without tools for ease of inspection and cleaning; the fact the syrup nozzle 17 can be installed temporarily in the water outlet for instant purging; and the fact that carbonated water is available in a normal stream when 16 and 17 are in place or in a jet stream when they are both instantaneously removed. The suction feature simply enhances some of these features and practically removed the need for cleaning, but the ease of disassembly and inspection is quite important in any case from the standpoint of sanitation regulations, present and future.
The action of the water plunger 12 is similar and has been described in the afore-mentioned U.S. Patent. The principal difference to note is that the water plunger is not relieved for great clearance in the area of insert 21 since a restriction and pressure drop for carbonated water is desirable at this point and, with the additional restriction provided by the more fully compressed water plunger spring when the water plunger is in the open position, no further severe restrictions are required in the nozzle area to control the degree of carbonation retention. The water simply flows through passageway 25 to the top of nozzle 17, outward to nozzle 16, and then downward through the passageway formed by the inside of 16 and the outside of 17. Because of the low pressure and low velocity of the water in passageway 25 the syrup nozzle can be adequately secured by a snug fit from compression of O-ring 17a. Alternatively the neck of syrup nozzle 17 may be threaded to fit into a threaded hole and hole 25 may also be threaded to receive it for purging. This would especially have application in a valve not having the special features of this one to reduce the pressure of the carbonated water before it reached the nozzle system. In such a valve the clearance at the top and sides of nozzle 17 can be reduced or varied to give two stages of pressure reduction before expulsion into the lower, mixing area of the nozzles.
FIG. 3 shows clearly the relationship between the selector member components and the plunger buttons 11a and 12a when the selector member is in position to operate both buttons simultaneously upon actuation of handle 14 to the left. Groove 26 will permit contact button 20 to move upward in FIG. 3 far enough to contact plunger button 11a only and down far enough to contact plunger botton 12a only upon actuation of handle 14 to the left. Both plunger butttons are adjustable to fixed points by means of the threads and set screws lle and 12e, so that the plungers can be made to open both valves simultaneously with virtually complete accuracy, for any practical purpose, when the handle is operated.
Note that with an extended valve body having an ad ditional plunger on the opposite side of plunger 12 from 11 in FIG. 3 the added plunger could be operated by the same contact button 20 either alone or together with 12, upon actuation of the handle, by a proper choice of position of button 20. Handle 14 and groove 26 would be wider or longer by an amount equal to the center-line distance between plungers 11 and 12, extending downward from 12.
FIG. 4 shows to a reduced scale a portion of three valve plungers similar to 11 and 12 and arranged side by side as described above in a wider valve body 38. The plunger 27, 28 and 29 are shown as if they were of solid construction for simplicity of illustration, although they would preferably have similar construction to 11 and 12 in practice. Instead of a sliding selector member a rotating selector member is shown composed of contact button 30, preferably of Delrin and pressed into plate 31 which is preferably metal; metal pin 32 pressed or brazed to 31 and secured in knob 33 by set screw 34, the knob being preferably Delrin. Metal positioning ball 35 and spring 36 complete the assembly. Note that pin 32, on which the whole member rotates in a hole in handle 37, is aligned with the axis of center plunger 28, which can be assumed to be for water while 27 and 29 are assumed to be for syrup. Contact button 30 is shown in position to operate 27 and 28 simultaneously when handle 37 is actuated to the left in FIG. 4. FIG. 6 shows 30 in this position also. If knob 33 is now rotated 90 CCW as viewed in FIG. 6 contact button 30 will now be in position to contact water plunger 28 only, shown by the dotted position of 30 at 30a in FIG. 6. If knob 33 is turned an additional 90 CCW as before button 30 will be at 30 b to contact water plunger 28 and left syrup plunger 29 simultaneously when handle 37 is operated toward the plungers. Note in FIG. 6 that the center plunger 28 is shown with a dotted line in the area nearest plunger 29 to indicate how plunger 28 can be notched to allow plunger 29 to be operated alone if desired. In such a case, if 28 were for carbonated and 29 for plain water for example, center plunger 28 would be maintained in a correctly oriented position by a suitable guide means, not shown.
Also shown in FIG. 6 are possible positions of two ad ditional plungers 39 and 40, shown dotted, with the necessary valve body extension 38a shown dotted also. Note that the axes of these added plungers are equidistant from the center plunger axis with 27 and 29 and that two more could be similarly located on the opposite side of 28. Note further that the contact button 30 is shown dotted and in position 300 to contact both of the added plungers. The center plunger 28 can be notched or not as shown by the dotted line in that area to allow the two added plungers to be operated as a pair alone or both in concert with 28, as desired in a particular application. Thus, if the center valve is for carbonated water, one of the added valves is for plain water, and the other added valve is for syrup, the plunger button 28 can be notched to allow the two added valves to be operated as apair alone for a plain water drink; or, if desired, all three can be operated together, by omitting the notch, to give a low carbonation drink by proper control of the various flow rates. Obviously, the added valves could both be for syrup and each could be operated simultaneously with the center valve 28 when the button 38 is moved to the correct position, upon actuation of the handle.
Note the simplicity of the rotating selector member design and the fact that the load to operate the plungers is transferred straight through the contact button 30 and plate 31 to the inner face of handle 37. There is no appreciable load on pin 32 or on the hole in the handle in which it operates and consequently no apparent need for a bushing at this point, although one can easily be provided. The important point is that even though the fit at this point should be quite free because of wear, for example, it would not adversely affect the adjustment of any of the plungers to operate simultaneously. This feature is obviously quite important to the practicality of such a selector system in a dispensing valve to insure that once a set of plungers have been adjusted to operate simultaneoysly that the adjustment will be retained indefinitely and not affected appreciably by normal and otherwise acceptable wear of the components. Note also that the same basic concept is true for sliding selector member 20 and 20a in FIGS. 2 and 3. The load is similarlly carried by the inner face of the handle and a free fit in the groove 26 does not affect the adjustment of the plungers.
What is claimed is:
1. In a beverage dispensing valve having two or more valve plungers operable in two or more combinations, separately or together, an actuating handle comprising a main body and a movable selector member mounted to one face of said body for movement to two or more selected positions prior to actuation of said handle, said plungers including one for plain water, one for carbonated water and two for syrup, one of said selected positions of said selector member implementing actuation of said carbonated water plunger together with one of said syrup plungers simultaneously, and a second of said selected positions implementing actuation of said plain water plunger together with the other of said syrup plungers simultaneouslyupon respective actuations of said handle.
2. An actuating handle as in 1 in which the movable selector member is rotatably mounted to said handle body face.
3. In a beverage dispensing valve having two or more valve plungers operable in two or more combinations, separately or together, an actuating handle comprising a main body and a movable selector member mounted to one face of said body for movement to two or more selected positions prior to actuation of said handle, said plungers including one for plain water, one for carbonated water and one for syrup, one of said selected positions of said selector member implementing actuation of said plain water plunger singly, a second of said selected positions implementing actuation of said carbonated water plunger singly, and a third of said selected positions implementing actuation of said syrup plunger simultaneously with one of said water plungers upon respective actuations of said handle.
4. An actuating handle as in claim 3 in which the movalbe selector member is rotatably mounted to said handle body face.
5. A beverage dispensing valve comprising a valve body, two or more plungers operable in said valve body, and an actuating handle, said handle comprising a main body pivotally mounted to said valve body and a selector member mounted to said main body for movement to first and second selected positions prior to actuation of said handle, said selector member moving integrally with said main body to contact and actuate one of said plungers singly when in said first se lected position and to contact and actuate two of said plungers when in said second selected position, upon respective actuations of said handle.
6. -A beverage dispensing valve as in claim 5 in which said selector member is movable by translation from said first selected position to said second selected positron.
7. A beverage dispensing valve as in claim 5 in which said selector member is movalbe by rotation from said first selected position to said second selected position.
8. A beverage dispensing valve comprising a valve body, first, second and third plungers operable in said valve body, and an actuating handle, said handle comprising a main body pivotally mounted to said valve body and a selector member mounted to said main body for movement to first and second positions prior to actuation of said handle, said selector member moving integrally with said main body to contact and actu ate said first and second plungers together and to contact and actuate said second and third plungers together upon respective actuations of said handle when said selector member is respectively in said first and second positions.
9. A valve body having a first centrally located valve plunger and two or more additional valve plungers with their longitudinal axes approximately parallel to and equidistant from the longitudinal axis of said first plunger, a plunger actuating handle being mounted on said valve body, said handle including a rotatable selector member with its axis of rotation approximately aligned with the longitudinal axis of said first plunger, said selector member being movable to first, and secnd and third selected positions, said first position implementing actuation of said first plunger singly, said second position implementing actuation of said first plunger simultaneously with a second of said plungers, and said third position implementing actuation of two of said plungers simultaneously with each other and exclusively of said first plunger, said actuations being implemented upon respective actuations of said handle.
10. A valve body having a first centrally located valve plunger and two or more additional valve plungers with their longitudinal axes approximately parallel to and equidistant from the longitudinal axis of said first plunger, a plunger actuating handle being mounted to said valve body, said handle including a rotatable selector member with its axis of rotation approximately aligned with the longitudinal axis of said first plunger, said selector member being movable to first and second selected positions prior to actuation of said handle, said first position implementing actuation of said first plunger and said second position implementing actuation of one of said additional plungers exclusively of said first plunger upon respective actuations of said handle.
11. A valve body having a first valve plunger, centrally located, and three or more additional valve plungers with their longitudinal axes approximately parallel to and equidistant from the longitudinal axis of said first plunger, a plunger actuating handle being mounted to said valve body, said handle including a selector member movable to first and second selected positions prior to actuation of said handle, said first position implementing actuation of said first plunger and said second position implementing actuation of one of said additional plungers exclusively of said first, centrally located, plunger upon respective actuations of said handle.
umrm S'IAIES PATECN'H OFFICE (TERHFHZATE ()F (MRRHIIWN Patent T50. 3 86 7 962 Dated February 25 .2
Bruce Garrad InventoM It is certified that error appears in the aboveidentif1'ed patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
The last name of the inventor is misspelled "Gen-am and should be Garrard Column 2 line 52 "in" should be 1a "'0 Colman 3 line 28 "inner" should be insert 3301mm: 4 line 4 "removed" should be removes Column 4 line 62 "plunger should be plungere Column 5 line 64 "simultnneoysly" should be simultaneously Column 6 line 39 and line 59 "movalbe" should be movable Signed and Scaled this twenty-second Day of Jiuly 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DAINN Arresting Officer Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks