Patents by Inventor John T. Knepler

John T. Knepler has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9861226
    Abstract: A brewer, system and method for heating water and dispensing heated water for producing a brewed beverage The brewer includes a water reservoir with a heating element associated with the reservoir for heating water retained in the reservoir A brewing substance holder is associated with the reservoir for receiving heated water from the reservoir A temperature sensitive control valve is provided in communication with the reservoir for controllably dispensing heated water from the reservoir to the brewing substance holder The temperature sensitive control valve may be in the form of a passive control valve which uses a bimetallic, magnetic or other material which is responsive to heat The water is placed in the reservoir and heated The elevated temperature of the water will result in operating the heat sensitive control valve to open the control valve and allow water to pass from the reservoir to the brewing substance holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Suresh Radhakrishnan, Charles H. Clark, Kent Morman, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 9766112
    Abstract: A system and method for testing a beverage apparatus such as a beverage maker and/or dispenser before shipment. The beverage apparatus includes at least one component that can produce monitorable and/or measurable characteristic. The measurable characteristic may be compared against a threshold value and may include an acceptable tolerance range. In response to an out-of tolerance condition, a fail condition is displayed, otherwise a pass condition is displayed. Also disclosed is a system for storing the measurable characteristic so that the beverage apparatus can be analyzed by comparing its current state versus the baseline state measured before the beverage apparatus was shipped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: John T. Knepler, Kurt Powell, Dean Muller, Timothy P. Kaeding, Robert J. Kobylarz
  • Publication number: 20170046903
    Abstract: A beverage communication network having a brewer, stands, and servers atop the stands, in which the brewer and the stands communicate in accordance with a suitable wired or wireless communication protocol, such as Bluetooth® Low Energy. The brewer can monitor the status of the servers, including the freshness and temperature of the beverage contained within the servers, the equipment status of the servers, and communication signal quality in the network. The status of the servers can be displayed to an on-site user through a tablet computer coupled to the brewer or to a remote user through a computer connected to the Internet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2015
    Publication date: February 16, 2017
    Inventors: John T. KNEPLER, Scott A. MAZZINI, Brian YEAZEL, Edward HANDLEY
  • Patent number: 9554667
    Abstract: A beverage dispensing system which includes a server, a sensing system coupled to the server for detecting a quantity of beverage retained in the server, a display coupled to the sensing system, and a count-up timer coupled to the system. The display may provide indicia as to the time and/or freshness of the beverage in the server. A method for sensing and displaying a quantity of beverage in a beverage server which can also include a freshness indicator. A resettable timer is incorporated which cannot be reset until at least the sensing system has been physically or operatively uncoupled from the server. The resetting may also require the sensing system to detect an empty server upon recoupling the sensing system with the server. Further, the resetting may also require monitoring a refill function for refill occurring within a predetermined rate parameter or time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Samuel A. Giordano, Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20160171256
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for use with beverages and beverage making and dispensing equipment. The apparatus, system, and method of use monitors characteristics of the beverage, reports characteristics, or both and selectively affects the beverage and beverage making and dispensing equipment, a server containing the beverage, or both. The apparatus, system, and method of use employs an information vehicle device associated with each beverage server or dispenser and a reader which reads the information device. The reader communicates the information from the information device to a controller for use to individually or collectively display information, collect information, and/or selectively affect the condition of the beverage in response to the information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2016
    Publication date: June 16, 2016
    Inventor: John T. KNEPLER
  • Patent number: 9265375
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for use with beverages and beverage making and dispensing equipment. The apparatus, system, and method of use monitors characteristics of the beverage, reports characteristics, or both and selectively affects the beverage and beverage making and dispensing equipment, a server containing the beverage, or both. The apparatus, system, and method of use employs an information vehicle device associated with each beverage server or dispenser and a reader which reads the information device. The reader communicates the information from the information device to a controller for use to individually or collectively display information, collect information, and/or selectively affect the condition of the beverage in response to the information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 8534187
    Abstract: A beverage server and method of use for use as a stand alone server or in combination with at least one of a beverage maker and server power station. Contacts are provided on the server conductive coupling to the beverage maker or the station. The server is configured to preheat a reservoir in the server at least during one of prior to or during dispensing of beverage into the dispenser. The brewer is configured to automatically initiate a brewing cycle in response to pre-determined conditions, such as upon beverage in the server decreasing below a pre-determined level. The brewer is configured to detect whether the server is in position relative to the brewer and is configured to dispense beverage only if the server is detected. The server is configured to prevent dispensing of beverage if a pre-determined time period has expired, in order to avoid dispensing beverage with an expired pre-determined freshness period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 8482892
    Abstract: A circuit and method protect switching devices from alternating current overload. By protecting the switching devices from AC overload, the reliability of the equipment using the switching devices is improved, cost for repair is decreased and information regarding the cause of the AC overload is available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 8210093
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system and method of dispensing a selected volume of liquid. The system includes an apparatus that has a reservoir having an inlet tube and outlet tube coupled thereto, and a controller for controlling at least a portion of the apparatus. Two level sensors are positioned along the reservoir and are in communication with and controlled by the controller. The method includes steps for measuring a time a liquid level in the reservoir falls from an upper level to a lower level to calculate a flow rate. The calculation flow rate may then be used to determine and compare a dispensed volume versus the selected volume. Dispensing may then continue until the selected volume has been dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 8170834
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a system and method for monitoring and controlling modifications to beverage equipment. The system includes at least one beverage equipment which may include a controller. The controller communicates over a communications network with a data collection server which may be accessible to a central office or equipment provider. A method is also disclosed for first monitoring or querying beverage equipment for a setting or configuration modification. Next, the modification may be compared against a modification threshold to determine whether the modification warrants corrective action. A corrective action may include but is not limited to, resetting the equipment to original or default settings, notifying an end user, notifying the equipment providers, logging the action, or some combination of two or more of these actions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: John T. Knepler, Timothy Paul Kaeding
  • Publication number: 20110293798
    Abstract: A brewer, system and method for heating water and dispensing heated water for producing a brewed beverage The brewer includes a water reservoir with a heating element associated with the reservoir for heating water retained in the reservoir A brewing substance holder is associated with the reservoir for receiving heated water from the reservoir A temperature sensitive control valve is provided in communication with the reservoir for controllably dispensing heated water from the reservoir to the brewing substance holder The temperature sensitive control valve may be in the form of a passive control valve which uses a bimetallic, magnetic or other material which is responsive to heat The water is placed in the reservoir and heated The elevated temperature of the water will result in operating the heat sensitive control valve to open the control valve and allow water to pass from the reservoir to the brewing substance holder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Publication date: December 1, 2011
    Applicant: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Suresh Radhakrishnan, Charles H. Clark, Kent Morman, John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20110222198
    Abstract: A circuit and method protect switching devices from alternating current overload. By protecting the switching devices from AC overload, the reliability of the equipment using the switching devices is improved, cost for repair is decreased and information regarding the cause of the AC overload is available.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2009
    Publication date: September 15, 2011
    Applicant: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20110052766
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for use with beverages and beverage making and dispensing equipment. The apparatus, system, and method of use monitors characteristics of the beverage, reports characteristics, or both and selectively affects the beverage and beverage making and dispensing equipment, a server containing the beverage, or both. The apparatus, system, and method of use employs an information vehicle device associated with each beverage server or dispenser and a reader which reads the information device. The reader communicates the information from the information device to a controller for use to individually or collectively display information, collect information, and/or selectively affect the condition of the beverage in response to the information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2009
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Applicant: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20110042408
    Abstract: A beverage dispensing system which includes a server, a sensing system coupled to the server for detecting a quantity of beverage retained in the server, a display coupled to the sensing system, and a count-up timer coupled to the system. The display may provide indicia as to the time and/or freshness of the beverage in the server. A method for sensing and displaying a quantity of beverage in a beverage server which can also include a freshness indicator. A resettable timer is incorporated which cannot be reset until at least the sensing system has been physically or operatively uncoupled from the server. The resetting may also require the sensing system to detect an empty server upon recoupling the sensing system with the server. Further, the resetting may also require monitoring a refill function for refill occurring within a predetermined rate parameter or time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Publication date: February 24, 2011
    Applicant: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Samuel A. Giordano, Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 7890209
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and system for preventing unauthorized equipment usage that involves providing equipment, such as beverage making equipment, to a customer. Authorized product is provided to the customer in packaging that has a technological measure attached. The equipment includes a technological measure reader to read information from the technological measure to set the equipment to perform an authorized number of food or beverage making cycles. An authorization deactivator may also be provided in association with the equipment to erase, decrement, or otherwise prevent the technological measure from being reused.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20090216490
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a system and method for monitoring and controlling modifications to beverage equipment. The system includes at least one beverage equipment which may include a controller. The controller communicates over a communications network with a data collection server which may be accessible to a central office or equipment provider. A method is also disclosed for first monitoring or querying beverage equipment for a setting or configuration modification. Next, the modification may be compared against a modification threshold to determine whether the modification warrants corrective action. A corrective action may include but is not limited to, resetting the equipment to original or default settings, notifying an end user, notifying the equipment providers, logging the action, or some combination of two or more of these actions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2006
    Publication date: August 27, 2009
    Applicant: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: John T. Knepler, Timothy Paul Kaeding
  • Patent number: 7564370
    Abstract: A beverage system including a communication means (300) for communicating between a beverage dispensing module (32) and a base station (304). Each beverage-dispersing module (32) includes a controller (76), which is centralized for use with multiple modules (32) or dedicated to an individual module (32). The controller (76) collects information about the module (32) or modules. The controller (76) includes link (302), which connect the controller (76) to the base station (304). The base station (304) includes a means for displaying display (305) and can provide visual auditor or other information about numerous conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler, Kevin G. Lowe, David Wurtzler
  • Patent number: 7458315
    Abstract: A beverage apparatus (30) having a plurality of dispensing modules (32) and a housing (34) that defines a chamber (36) containing water or liquid suitable for use in brewing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler, Kevin G. Lowe, David Wurtzler
  • Publication number: 20080282898
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system and method of dispensing a selected volume of liquid. The system includes an apparatus that has a reservoir having an inlet tube and outlet tube coupled thereto, and a controller for controlling at least a portion of the apparatus. Two level sensors are positioned along the reservoir and are in communication with and controlled by the controller. The method includes steps for measuring a time a liquid level in the reservoir falls from an upper level to a lower level to calculate a flow rate. The calculation flow rate may then be used to determine and compare a dispensed volume versus the selected volume. Dispensing may then continue until the selected volume has been dispensed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2006
    Publication date: November 20, 2008
    Applicant: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 7331277
    Abstract: A container positioner assembly for use in positioning a volume of material in a container relative to a dispensing apparatus. The container positioner assembly includes structures for engagement with the apparatus allowing relative movement of a container attached thereto. The container positioner assembly may include an assist system which facilitates biased movement of the container relative to the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2008
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler, Kevin G. Lowe, David Wurtzler