US 3884391 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnite tates ateat 1 1 Pauliukonis 1 1 May an, 1975 1 AUTOMATIC BAR Richard S. Pauliukonis, 6660 Greenbriar Dr., Cleveland, Ohio 44130  Filed: May 9, 1973  Appl. No.: 358,532
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerThomas E. Kocovsky [5 7] ABSTRACT An automatic system for dispensing liquor in an AUTO-BAR selectively, shot by shot, from different brand liquor bottles, discharging by gravity into a transparent funnel-like recepticle connected by plastic tubing to a metering pump through individual valves upon signal received from computerized cash register when actuated by bartender during the ring-up of the tab via contact with appropriately marked keys initiating automatic cycle for the delivery of a shot of liquor of the brand specified by the customer: each type of liquor has separate liquor banks with multileads to the pump such pump provided with a conical pumping cavity and a tapered seat, including radial multiports with solenoid valves, and a discharge port with a nozzle and a stretcheable membrane secured thereto by a pilot cap for separating pumping cavity from membrane actuating cavity by the pressurized fluid entering actuating cavity upon electric signal from the cash register to the pilot-solenoid valve, to force the membrane against the conical pump cavity seat displacing liquor thereof, and subsequently returning to the original unstretched position by membrane elastic force when pressurized fluid is exhausted from the pilot-solenoid valve enabling pump refill by a new supply from the bottle customer specified and is able to observe being filled from appropriate bottle visually via automatic level control from bottle to funnel-like transparent recepticle.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures AUTOMATIC BAR This invention relates to systems for automatic service with precise control of the amount ofliquor served and moneys received, and more particularly, to an automatic system for liquor dispensing selectively, shot by shot, by a simple means, employing pressurized fluid such as city water or bottled gas to actuate the metering pump of membrane type, when pressurized fluid is controlled by a solenoid valve which is triggered by a computerized cash register during the ring'up of order by bartender, and to displace one ounce liquor each time the bartender presses the appropriately marked key on the cash register from the multi-bottle bank, while the liquor bottles of different brands are inverted into a funnel'like recepticle for automatic discharge providing a simple means for level control of liquor served and means for visual observation by the customer of the brand ordered.
The invention has applications in the institutional, commercial and consumer industries for fast service of drinks by merely pushing a cash register key for dispensing an exact quantity of liquor, and is especially useful during busy hours in Airports, Hotels, Catering Establishments, Convention Centers and large gatherings requiring accurate accounting as well as quick and exact service.
From control standpoint, properly chosen components would perform well if provided with the design features which insure reduced complexity of the system. From component standpoint, a metering pump capable of serving singly multi-brands in a bank on individual basis selectively offers such system simplicity plus compactness unattainable otherwise.
Existing liquor dispensing systems are extremely complex and do not offer simplicity for functional use. Some will ring up a trayful of drinks irrespective of the number of drinks ordered. Most other systems do not permit the customer to see drink machines prepare, and many drinkers fear getting short shots or different brands from machines they dont see. Most important, they cost too much.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a liquor dispensing system which is functional and simple.
Further, it is an object ot provide a simple optimum performance system which employs pressurized fluid to actuate metering pump, and also utilize electrical signal from the cash register to trigger system operation not only for the control of valves of pressurized fluid actuating pump but also for the control of valves of liquor flow into and out of the liquor dispenser.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will becomee apparent as the description proceeds in accordance with drawings. In some respects the invention is not limited to dispensing of liquor only, as it may be useful in other applications as well.
In the Drawings:
FIG. 1 illustrates the general arrangement ofa liquor dispensing system components identifying the dispensing pump in a cross-section as well as liquor control valve crosssectioned and showing semi-automatic system.
FIG. 2 identifies an automatic liquor dispensing system where instead of a manual liquor control valve used in semi-automatic system, an automatic solenoid valve is employed while all other, components are the same.
FIG. 3 identifies a liquor bank with multi-bottle hook-up to the pump showing means of serving many brands with a single pump interconnected with cash register.
As shown in FIG. 1, the semi-automatic system con sitst of the following basis components: the metering pump 10, the heart of the system is shown to be provided with liquor inlet valve 11, which is of Palm Valve design, is spring loaded for manual operation and is connected to a plastic tubing; 12, which terminates at the other extreme tube end with a funnel-like recepticle 13, into which a liquor bottle 34 is inverted for liquor flow into the pump caavity 14, which is closed by an elastic membrane 16, held on its periphery 17 by a pilot cap 18 shoulder 19, while also provided with a tapered seat 20 for pilot fluid under pressure entering via port 21 shown to retain a solenoid valve 22 with a long supply line 23 from the source of pressurized fluid having manual valve 24 to provide pressurized fluid into the valve leading to the pump actuating cavity 25 to force the membrane 16 down. into the conical tapered seat 15 for dispensing liquor at a given displacement of one ounce or of any other volume desired, upon signal to energize solenoid valve 22 via electric leads-circuit 29 shown to have one leg 26 retaining switch 27 on line leading to cash register 28 while second leg 30 is connected to the solenoid valve 22 directly.
A liquor bottle 34 inverted into the funnel-like recepticle 13 may be of transparent material for visual observation of liquor level, of the amount of liquor on hand and of the brand used to fill the order. Switch 27, which may be a computerized cash register key, appropriately marked with price & brand, initiates the subsequent sequence of operation when activated, namely to ring-up the tab byentering appropriate dollar figure into ap propriate computer memory bank, by inventorization of total liquor supply on hand, by instant summation of cash receipts, and to energize 3-way solenoid valve feeding prssurized fluid for pump operation after the pump has been primed with appropriate liquor by valve 11.
In the illustrated case of FIG. 1, the system is initiated by Palm Valve 11, which is manually pressed by the bartender to fill pump cavity 14 with desired liquor first, and then continues to proceed when bartender rings-up the tab on the cash register triggering switch 27, and energizing solenoid 3-way valve 22, to permit flow of pressurized fluid in line 23 to proceed toward valve 22 inlet port 31 for actuating pump cavity 25 where memmbrane 16 is located, and thereafter to exhaust via port 42 either into the atmosphere if prssurized fluid is gas or into the sink 43 via conduit 44 is city water or other pressurized liquid is used for membrane actuation during pumping by stroke and instantaneous liquor discharge through a nozzle 34 of a checkvalve assembly 32 secured permanently inside discharge port 39 opposite to supply port 35 provided with elongated tapered plug 40 with inverted taper to insure proper sealing of supply port 35 while the discharge port 39 serves for liquor exhaust during membrane pressurized by actuating fluid under pressure in actuating chamber 25.
Check-Valve assembly 32 having a valve housing 46, and elongated conical plug 41 inside tapered liquor discharge opening 33 facing port 39 at one end and at the other end terminating with an adjusting nut 37, a compression spring 36 inside circular recess 45 of plug 41 at one end and recess 42 of nut 37 at the other spring end facilitates plug axial motion responsive to liquor pressure during membrane downward stroke when subjected to pressurized fluid pressure inside actuating chamber 25. Seals 38 afford spring protection against contact with liquor and insure seal-tight sliding fit of plug 41 during its axial motion in recess 42 when discharging liquor under pressure via nozzle 34 attached to housing 46 permanently. Elongated tapers 40 and 41 ideally satisfy volumetric requirements in that they leave practically no void in the pump chamber cavity 14 for any significant accumulation except for traces of residual liquor without danger for subsequent spoiling of new supply of different brand due to brand mixing, and thus permit utilization of a single pump for multebrand application in a liquor bank. Port 51 in pump identifies one of such multi-ports. At the end of the automatic cycle which terminates when the solenoid valve closes while exhausting pressurized fluid via port 42, the elastic force of the membrane 16 renders the pump chamber 14 at partial vacuum because spring 36 of the check valve assembly 42 forces plug 41 shut at the end of stroke while draining all of the liquor from checkvalve cavity 47 via nozzle 34 and the pump is ready to receive new liquor supply the instant knob 48 of the palm valve 11 is touched by the bartender forcing plug 40 to open supply port 35 and liquor to rush in into evacuated chamber 14.
The metering pump 10 shown in FIG. 1 ideally satisfies the requirements of system simplification by proper selection of components. Turning to the funnel-like recepticle 13 with inverted liquor bottle 34 and an automatic-visual level control, functional system simplicity is further emphasized as the automatic level control is goverened by the pressure difference between atmospheric pressure surrounding recepticle l3 and acting over tiny liquor surface 49 and the pressure inside bottle which is at partial vacuum. Only when liquor level inside recepticle 13 at surface 49 is reduced which can occur only when pump chamber 14 is primed via valve 11, the level in the bottle drops accordingly by gravity, but only in proportion with the amount drawn out from the line 12. An equilibrium inside line 12 is reestablished thereafter and so is the level at surface 49 inside recepticle 13 rendering liquor level control automatic by application of physical constants nature provides. Appropriate means for holding inverted bottle inside recepticle 13 (not shown) will render this selfregulating system for liquor withdrawal foolproof.
The ultimate goal of providing a glass 50 with a precise measure of liquid be it liquor or otherwise chosen fluid in a system that is functional and extremely simple is therefore insured.
FIG. 2 identifies a system which in all respects is analogous to the system shown in FIG. 1 except for additional solenoid valve 53 replacing palm vlave ll of FIG. 1 to render system completely automatic.
As can be seen from FIG. 2 identifying system of an automatic liquor dispenser in technically accepted fluid power symbols for valves, valve 51 shows 3-way solenoid version with a delay switch 52 interconnected so that the 2-way solenoid valve 52 can be triggered first before the valve 51 is actuated when bartender rings-up a tab on cash register 54 provided with switch 55. Triggering valve 53 first insures that the cavity chamber 56 of the pump 57 is filled with liquor via liquor supply port 58 from liquor bottle 59 inverted inside recepticle 60 to drain through constantly filled tubing lines 61 leading to vlave 53. Liquor discharge port 59 is shown to have a check valve 62 also identified by a symbol, and a nozzle 63 discharging into a glass 64 a given amount of liquor per each stroke pump produces in conjunction with cash register. Cash register 54 may be of computerized design with memory banks or it may be a simple adding machine or any standard cash register capable of triggering system operation as well as making standard accounting functions.
For Example, cash registers made by SWEDA International under the trade name SUPERREGISTER for attachment to liquor dispensing systems with a universal interface if desired may serve the purpose well. But even regular cash registers made by the National Cash Register Company, or by Standard Register Company as well as IBM and others will no doubt perform the function of triggering the system operation quite satisfactorily.
FIG. 3 shows a liquor bank hooked up to a pump provided with multi-ports 71 each having a solenoid 2-way liquor valve 72 connected by a dashed line to a cash register 73 shown in plan view and identifying number of keys 74 each representing different liquor brand and price per shot. Solid lines 75 from valves 72 represent liquor supply lines from plastic leading from recepticle 76 of each respective brand provided with bottles 77 to the metering pump 70 via individual brand valves 72. A solenoid 3-way valve 78 shown from top view in the center of pump 70 identifies also leads 79 carrying electric current and connecting valve 78 to the cash register by way of two wires shown as solid lines 80. Valve 81 from supply source identified by arrow 82 continues as a solid line 83 to serve as a supply means of pressurized fluid for actuation of strechable membrane when permitted to enter solenoid valve 78 via inlet port 84 and to exhaust at the end of actuation cycle through a top opening 85 in the center of valve 78 to the atmosphere. A single nozzle 86 serves all bottles and supplies liquor to glass 87 at specified amounts per each stroke pump produces in conjunction with signals and electric impulses from cash register to solenoid valves, by pairing each time the solenoid 3-way valve 78 with one of the solenoid 2-way valves 72 in accordance with liquor brand bartender rings-up for a customer. Cash register 73 may be of computerized design with sofisticated memory banks capable of performing multiplicity of storage functions, or it may be a simple adding machine or any standard cash register capable of triggering system operation when activated by the bartender during order ring-up automatically.
System of FIG. 3 offers provisions to incorporate a washing cycle in one of the ports permitting to rinse pump interior after each shot of different liquor served. The invention is not restricted to the slavish imitation of each and every one of the details and features described above, which have been set forth merely by way of example, with the intend of most fully setting forth the teaching of the invention. Obviously, devices may be provided which change, eliminate, or add certain specific structural details without departing from the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a system for automatic dispensing of liquid from a supply to a receiver means in precise volumetric displacement upon each actuation, a metering pump for displacing exact amounts of liquid per stroke when actuated by pressurized fluid, a liquid supply means including means for automatic level control of liquid supplied, a pressurized fluid supply means for pump actuation, a fluid network including lines and valves for control of liquid supply from said supply means to receiver means, a fluid conduit means including controls interconnecting said liquid supply means with said pump, said fluid network further including lines and valves for supply and control of said pressurized fluid supply means, a computerized counter means including a network of electric leads interconnecting said counter with said controls in said fluid network including electric switching means, means for initiating system operation by said counter including means for accounting and inventorization means and means for totalling, including means for controllably supplying liquid from said supply means to said receiver means via said metering pump, said pump including a conically shaped pumping chamber for housing liquid prior to displacement from the pump and a conically shaped actuating chamber for pressurized fluid supply, said chambers separated by a stretchable membrane of elastic material mounted in a flat plane therebetween and retained therein by a pilot cap having a control valve incorporated therein and interconnected with the pressurized fluid supply source in said fluid network and also interconnected electrically with said counter within said network of electric leads, said pumping chamber further including at least a pair of radial ports for liquid inlet at one end provided with control valve also interconnected within said fluid network with fluid supply means by said fluid conduit and said counter electrically through said leads while at the other end liquid discharge port provided with a check valve including a nozzle allowing liquid displacement from the pumping chamber when actuating chamber receives said pressurized fluid to expand said membrane from said original flat plane to a final stretched position closely conforming to said conical shape of said pump chamber providing liquid displacement of precise volumetric quantity upon each stroke produced by said pressurized fluid entering said actuating chamber, including means for electrical energization of controls and operation of said counter to report totals.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 including means for pump rinsing between each cycle of said liquid supply therefrom.
3. In a system for automatic dispensing of liquid from a supply to a receiver means in precise volumetric displacement upon each actuation, a metering pump for displacing exact amounts of liquid per stroke when actuated by pressurized fluid, a liquid supply means including means for automatic level control ofliquid supplied, said liquid supply means including a bank of liquid bottles connected to said metering pump through a plurality of fluid conduit means, a pressurized fluid supply means for pump actuation, a fluid network including lines and valves for control of liquid supply from said supply means to receiver means, said fluid conduit means including controls interconnecting said liquid supply means with said pump, said fluid network further including lines and valves for supply and control of said pressurized fluid supply means, including means for pairing one of said liquid control valves with valve for control of said pressurized fluid supply means during pump operation to selectively deliver fluid from at least one of said liquid bottles in said bank, a computerized counter means including a network of electric leads interconnecting said counter with said con trols therein including electric switching means, means for initiating system operation by said counter including means for accounting and inventorization means and means for totaling, including means for controllably supplying liquid from said supply means to said receiver means via said metering pump, said pairing of said control valves including electrical interconnection with said counter means, said metering pump including a connically shaped pumping chamber for housing liquid prior to displacement from the pump and a conically shaped actuating chamber for pressurized fluid I supply, said chambers separated by a stretchable membrane of elastic material mounted in a flat plane therebetween and retained therein by a pilot cap having a control valve incorporated therein and interconnected with the pressurized fluid supply source in said fluid network and also interconnected electrically with said counter within said network of electric leads, said pumping chamber further including a plurality of radial ports for liquid inlet provided with control valves also interconnected through said plurality of fluid conduit means with said liquid supply means at pump inlet end while providing at least one radial port for liquid discharge including a check valve therein at pump outlet end, said control valves also interconnected electrically with said counter for said pairing of said control valves selectively allowing liquid displacement from said pumping chamber when actuating chamber receives said pressurized fluid to expand said membrane from said original flat plane to a final streched position conforming closely to said conical pump chamber shape for a precise volumentric displacemet of liquid therefrom upon each stroke produced by said pressurized fluid entering said actuating chamber, including means for electrical energization of controls selectively and operation of said counter to report totals.
4. Apparatus as in claim 3 including automatic pump rinsing means between each cycle dispensing liquid from a different bottle in said bank of fluid supply means.