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Publication numberUS3896972 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1975
Filing dateJul 9, 1973
Priority dateJul 9, 1973
Publication numberUS 3896972 A, US 3896972A, US-A-3896972, US3896972 A, US3896972A
InventorsHoward K Arnold, Samuel W Neidore
Original AssigneeHoward K Arnold, Samuel W Neidore
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remote liquid distribution system
US 3896972 A
Abstract
A remote liquor dispensing system includes a rack for supporting bottles of liquor in an inverted position, a gravity feed manifold separated from the rack and a series of flexible tubes connecting the bottles to the manifold. Each flexible tube screw connects to the bottle at one end, and dips into one of the upstanding inlet ducts of the manifold. A slidable collar fitted on the flexible tube covers the corresponding inlet duct and determines the position of the end of the flexible tube in the manifold.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 Neidore et al.

[' July 29, 1975 REMOTE LIQUID DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM [76] Inventors: Samuel W. Neidore, 4615 Rubio Dr., Encino, Calif. 91316; Howard K. Arnold, 221 Ruth Ave., Venice, Calif. 90291 [22] Filed: July 9, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 377,219

[52] US. Cl. 222/136; 222/145; 222/185 [51] Int. Cl. B67d 5/60 [58] Field of Search 222/143, 145, 129, 129.1, ZZZ/129.4, 330, 379, 1, 136, 334, 132, 188,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,497,575 6/1924 Menge 222/145 X 2,129,113 9/1938 Bancons... 222/145 2,271,851 2/1942 Allen 222/145 X 2,887,250 5/1959 Zilk 222/145 X 2,962,193 11/1960 Totten 1 222/145 3,083,041 3/1963 Owenmark 285/302 X 3,158,193 ll/l964 Anderson 222/136 X 3,217,711 1l/l965 Pecina et a1. 222/145 X 3,369,828 2/1968 Trickey 285/302 X 3,552,577 1/1971 Latham 211/74 3,598,287 8/1971 de Man 222/334 3,647,118 3/1972 Johnson et al 222/145 Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles Assistant ExaminerCharles A. Marmor Attorney, Agent, or FirmFlam & Flam [5 7] ABSTRACT A remote liquor dispensing system includes a rack for supporting bottles of liquor in an inverted position, a gravity feed manifold separated from the rack and a series of flexible tubes connecting the bottles to the manifold. Each flexible tube screw connects to the bottle at one end, and dips into one of the upstanding inlet ducts of the manifold. A slidable collar fitted on the flexible tube covers the corresponding inlet duct and determines the position of the end of the flexible tube in the manifold.

5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 9 I975 SHEET REMOTE LIQUID DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM FIELD OF INVENTION This invention relates to liquid feeders, and more particularly to liquid feeders for remote dispensing of liquor, such as at a commercial bar.

DISCUSSION OF PRIOR ART Liquor dispensing systems utilizing remotely stored liquor have become quite popular. Desirably, the sys-.

tem is charged with an adequate supply of bar liquor for the expected days run. Thereafter the bartender need not open bottles of the commonly used liquor; need not remove and reinsert pouring spouts; and need not burden the trash barrel with empty bottles. Of course less frequently used liquors or brands must be stored close at hand. Nevertheless very substantial economies result by using a remote liquor dispensing system.

Liquor control laws preclude filling a large vat; individual bottles must be used. Half gallon sizes or other conveniently handled sizes must be manifolded. Gravity feed manifolds for the present purposes have been devised that supply a fluid motor which sends the liquor to its dispensing station. Of course one manifold motor system is provided for each type liquor to be dispensed. More than one dispensing head may be served by one motor.

One of the problems that seems characteristic of many known manifold systems is that the paper seals on the inverted bottle are moistened by the liquor. Consequently there is a danger that the paper will clog or foul the mechanism. Even if strainers are used, frequent cleaning and disassembly by maintenance personnel is required. Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a manifold system in which the outside of the neck of the bottle is isolated from fluid.

Another problem of many systems is that they are cumbersome to recharge. Thus a series of bottles are all supported upon the manifold. Upending the bottle to establish connection of the manifold may result in spillage. The manifold may be subjected to shocks and stresses, disturbing the other bottles. Shutoff valves are commonly used in such an arrangement. Accordingly a second object of the present invention is to provide a manifold structure that is free of these problems.

In the existing manifold mechanisms, bottles are strung out in a line, side-by-side. Consequently the manifold must be long enough to allow for the centerto-center distance between bottles. A bulky structure results. In this organization, the sequence of on-line bottles is fixed according to the position along the manifold. Thus another object of this invention is to provide a compact manifold in which the sequence of on-line bottles can be selected.

Yet another problem encountered in manifold systems is sanitation. Complicated structures are necessarily difficult to keep clean. Accordingly, yet another object is to provide a structure of this character which is simple and uncomplicated, capable of being maintained clean, and which, by virtue of its characteristics shields the manifold inlet ducts from entry of contaminating particles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing objects are achieved by physically separating the inverted bottles from the cooperating manifold structure. The inverted bottles are mounted on a rack without imposing any load upon the manifold itself. The bottles connect to the manifold by a series of flexible tubes. One end of the tube mounts a screw cap that is connected to the bottle when the bottleis in an upright rather than inverted position, thereby eliminating spillage. The other end of the tube slidably carries a stop collar designed to engage the edge of any one of the manifold inlet ducts and to cover the end of the duct. In order to connect a filled bottle to the system, the flexible tube for the empty bottle is first removed from the manifold inlet duct and unscrewed from the bottle which is removed from the rack. The conduit is then screwed on the full bottle and bent double to close the conduit. The bottle is then upended and placed in the supporting rack. The remote end of the conduit is inserted into the inlet duct as fluid is allowed to flow to the level of the conduit end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A detailed description of the invention will be made with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein likenumerals designate corresponding parts in the several figures. These drawings, unless described as diagrammatic, or unless otherwise indicated, are to scale.

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a remotely situated storage rack, manifold and pump, there being diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 1, a distributor and a series of dispensing heads. I

FIG. 2 is an enlarged front elevational view of the rack, manifold and pump.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the storage rack.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along a plane corresponding to line 44 of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated mode of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

FIG. 1 illustrates, by way of example, several handheld dispensing heads 10 that are remotely supplied with bar liquor, that is, the basic liquors served, such as vodka, gin, scotch wiskey, bourbon whiskey, etc. In place of hand-held dispensing heads, individual bracket mounted dispenser valves could be provided, and which commonly incorporate devices for metering and controlling the volume of liquor dispensed.

The dispensing heads are all served by a common distributor 12. The various liquors are all supplied to the distributor 12 by conduits 14. A bundle of conduits 16 extend from the distributor to each dispensing head 10. An alternate often desirable arrangement from the standpoint of bar management is to provide a set of supply conduits 14 directly to the corresponding dispensing head whereby each bar station is independent.

One of the conduits 14, labelled, by way of example, GIN is serviced by a supply 18 of bottled liquor and a motor 20 interposed between the supply 18 and the conduit 14. The bottled liquor supply 18 is supported by a rack 22 which is designed to hold the individual bottles in inverted position. In the present instance, in order to achieve a compact arrangement, the rack supports the bottles in a back row and a front row. The

bottles in the back row are accessible upon removal of the corresponding bottle in the front row. The rack is made of wire protected by rubber coating or tubing. The rack includes partition members to keep the bottles in proper place. The rack is shown attached by screws 24 to a cabinet wall 26.

In order to connect the bottles to the motor 20, a manifold 28 is provided. The manifold includes a series of closely spaced inlet ducts 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40. While the inlet ducts are shown arranged in line, a different arrangement is possible. The inlet ducts all connect with a common feeder channel 42 that communicates with an inlet tube 44 carried by the fluid motor 20. The manifold also includes a shielded vent duct 46 that exposes the channel 42 to atmospheric pressure for gravity feed of liquor to the motor inlet tube 44.

The manifold may be constructed in any one of a variety of ways. In the present instance, a series of plastic tees 48, 50, 52, 54, 56 and 58 are provided along with an ell 60. The straight portions of the tees are held in end to end relationship by the aid of five connector sleeves 62, 64, 66, 68 and 70 while another sleeve 72 cooperates with the end ell 60. The upstanding portions of the tees 48 to 58 receive the inlet ducts 30 to 40. The parts may be welded together. The end tee 48 attaches the manifold to the motor inlet tube 44 for support thereby. In lieu of individual connector sleeves and tees, the manifold could be constructed as two symmetrical halves free of internal shoulders.

The motor is also mounted on the cabinet wall 26. The inlet tube extends at a slight angle to the horizontal whereby the entire feeder channel 42 is correspondingly inclined. Since the channel being bented, liquid is allowed to flow by gravity to the motor 20.

Each bottle supported on the rack 22 connects with the feeder channel by the aid of a flexible tube made of rubber like material or of suitable plastic. One end of each of the flexible tubes carries a screw cap designed to fit the bottle. The other end of the tube projects into the corresponding manifold inlet duct. The extent to which each tube 74 projects into the inlet duct is determined by a cap 76 slidably mounted on the corresponding flexible tube 74. The caps 76 have flanges that overlie the ends of the inlet ducts and thus protect the inlet ducts from entry of foreign particles.

When the caps 76 are all equally spaced from the ends of the corresponding conduits, the ends of the flexible conduits as shown in FIG. 4 will be progressively higher due to the incline of the manifold. Assuming the bottles are all full and connected as shown, then the liquid level will rise so long as the ends of the flexible conduits do not contact the liquid. The liquid level thus rises until the highest flexible tube is contacted, in this instance, the one farthest to the left as viewed in FIG. 4. As liquor is demanded by the system, the level in the manifold drops until a vent passage is established to the bottle whereupon liquid flows until shutoff is accomplished by interruption of the vent and contact of the lower end of the tube with the liquid surface. When the supply in the end bottle is exhausted, the liquid level drops until a vent is established to the next bottle to be on-line. In the position illustrated in FIG. 4, the first two bottles are empty and their tubes are above the liquid surface. The third bottle is on-line while the fourth, fifth and sixth bottles are untapped but ready to go on-line.

At the end of the days run, presumably not all of the bottles will be empty. Before the start of the next days run, the empty bottles will be replaced. This is easily accomplished by removing the flexible conduits for the empty bottles, unscrewing the caps and replacing them on upright bottles. Thereupon, the flexible tube is bent to close its passage while the bottle is turned upside down and placed in the rack 22. Before the bend in the tube is released, the end is inserted into one of the inlet ducts.

If only three bottles are required, three of the inlet ducts can be closed by a cap like the caps 76, thereby maintaining sanitary conditions. The system is entirely flexible; the manifold can in turn be easily supported on the motor 20; paper tax seals on the bottles are remote from liquid, and will not inadvertently enter the system; the sequence of on-line service of the bottles can be selected as desired.

Intending to claim all novel, useful and unobvious features shown or described, we make the following claims:

1. In a remote liquor distribution system for supplying a bar dispenser mechanism from a plurality of individual liquor bottles:

a. a fluid motor for supplying liquor under pressure to a conduit cooperable with a dispenser mechanism;

b. said fluid motor having an inlet;

c. a vented manifold having a feeder channel and a series of upwardly extending inlet ducts each communicating with the feeder channel;

d. means connecting the feeder channel to the motor inlet;

e. means separate from the manifold for supporting a plurality of liquor bottles in an inverted position; and

f. a plurality of flexible conduits for connecting the inlet ducts to the bottles with the bottles in spaced relationship thereto, each conduit being detachably connected both to the bottle and the inlet duct;

g. said supporting means relieving said conduits from the entire weight load of said bottles;

h. each flexible conduit being telescopically received in the corresponding inlet duct, each conduit carrying a stop engageable with the end of the inlet duct to determine the vertical position of the end of the flexible conduit in the manifold correspondingly to determine the order in which the bottles are placed on-line relative to said feeder channel.

2. The remote liquor distribution system as set forth in claim 1 in which said stop is cup-shaped to surround the end of the corresponding inlet duct.

3. In a remote liquor distribution system for supplying a bar dispenser mechanism from a plurality of individual liquor bottles:

a. a fluid motor for supplying liquor under pressure to a conduit cooperable with a dispenser mechanism;

b. said fluid motor having an inlet;

c. a vented manifold having a feeder channel and a series of upwardly extending inlet ducts each communicating with the feeder channel;

d. means connecting the feeder channel to the motor inlet;

e. means separate from the manifold for supporting a plurality of liquor bottles in an inverted position; and

f. a plurality of flexible conduits for connecting the inlet ducts to the bottles with the bottles in spaced relationship thereto, each conduit being detachably connected both to the bottle and the inlet duct;

g. said supporting means relieving said conduits from the entire weight load of said bottles;

h. each flexible conduit being provided at one end with a screw cap detachably cooperative with said liquor bottles, the other end of said flexible conduit being telescopically received in the corresponding inlet duct for free angular movement therein upon angular movement of the conduit for attachment and detachment of the screw cap.

4. In a remote liquor distribution system for supplying a bar dispenser mechanism from a plurality of individual liquor bottles:

a. a fluid motor for supplying liquor under pressure to a conduit cooperable with a dispenser mechanism;

b. said fluid motor having an inlet;

c. a vented manifold having a feeder channel and a series of upwardly extending inlet ducts each communicating with the feeder channel;

d. means connecting the feeder channel to the motor inlet;

e. means separate from the manifold for supporting a plurality of liquor bottles in an inverted position; and

f. a plurality of flexible conduits for connecting the inlet ducts to the bottles with the bottles in spaced relationship thereto, each conduit being detachably connected both to the bottle and the inlet duct;

g. said supporting means relieving said conduits from the entire weight load of said bottles;

h. each conduit being telescopically received in the corresponding inlet duct, each conduit carrying a stop engageable with the end of the inlet duct to determine the vertical position of the end of the flexible conduit in the manifold correspondingly to determine the order in which the bottles are placed on-line relative to said feeder channel, each flexible conduit being receivable in any one of the inlet ducts; said stop being slidable along the length of the conduit.

5. In a remote liquor distribution system for supplying a bar dispenser mechanism from a plurality of individual liquor bottles:

a. a fluid motor for supplying liquor under pressure to a conduit cooperable with a dispenser mechanism;

b. said fluid motor having an inlet tube;

c. means supporting said fluid motor so that said inlet tube is slightly upwardly inclined to the horizontal;

d. a vented manifold having a feeder channel and a series of upwardly extending inlet ducts each communicating with the feeder channel;

e. said manifold having a part detachably connected to said inlet tube whereby said manifold is supported thereon;

f. a rack for supporting a plurality of liquor bottles in an inverted position;

g. said supporting means also supporting said rack;

h. a plurality of flexible conduits for connecting the inlet ducts to the bottles with the bottles in spaced relationship thereto;

i. a screw cap for each conduit and attached at one end thereof for engaging the corresponding bottle, the other end of the flexible conduit being telescopically received in the corresponding inlet duct;

j. a flanged cap for each conduit and slidably mounted on the other end thereof for determining the vertical position of said other end in the manifold correspondingly to determine the order in which the bottles are placed on-line relative to the feeder channel, the flange overlying the corresponding inlet duct to protect it from entry of foreign particles.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 I 896 r 72 Dated J y 29 1975 Inventor s SAMUEL w. NEIDORF and HOWARD K. ARNOLD It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Change the spelling of one of the inventors from "Neidore" to -Neidorf- Signed and Scaled this eighteenth Day 0 November 1975 [S-EAL} Arrest.

R'UTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN :lllesling ()jjl'uer ('unmlissimwr nj'lute'ms and Trademark;

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4033483 *Nov 28, 1975Jul 5, 1977Neidorf Samuel WRemote liquor dispensing system
US4274557 *Nov 17, 1976Jun 23, 1981American Beverage ControlBeverage dispenser pumping system
US4323173 *Feb 19, 1981Apr 6, 1982American Beverage ControlBeverage dispenser pumping system to maintain live pressure after shut off
US4606476 *Jun 17, 1985Aug 19, 1986Pocock Richard LSystem for sanitizing beverage dispensing systems
US4718467 *May 30, 1986Jan 12, 1988Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc.Pumping module arrangement and manifold
US4753372 *Dec 24, 1986Jun 28, 1988Beta Partners Limited PartnershipVenting system for sanitizing beverage dispensing systems
US4789014 *Jan 12, 1988Dec 6, 1988Baxter International Inc.Automated system for adding multiple fluids to a single container
US4967811 *Oct 17, 1988Nov 6, 1990Clintec Nutrition CompanyDevice for transferring material
US4979644 *Feb 15, 1989Dec 25, 1990Quest Medical Inc.Rate-controlled gravity drip delivery apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/136, 222/145.4, 222/181.2, 222/145.1, 222/144.5
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67D3/00, B67D2001/0818
European ClassificationB67D3/00