Heating Patents (Class 221/150A)
  • Patent number: 6070757
    Abstract: A check-operated dispenser machine of hot snack stuffs includes a globe which in use contains a snack stuff such as for sake of an example, peanuts or other comparable nut or seed meats. The globe rests on a stand. The stand is modified from what is conventional in prior art gumball banks or other prior art check-operated dispensing machines of candies or novelties in that, such a prior art machine is modified to include a heat source. Most simply the heat source is configured as a low-wattage incandescent lamp bulb. The lamp warms the snack stuff contents in the globe. The dispensing machine has a conventional check- (eg., coin-) operated dispensing mechanism which allows a patron to serve him or herself and get a measured amount, such as about a hand-full, of such a snack stuff as say hot peanuts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Inventor: Bobby L. Detherow
  • Patent number: 6065636
    Abstract: A convective warmer for flexible plastic bags containing foam precursor chemicals includes an outer housing and an inner enclosure supported within the housing, the inner enclosure having foraminous floor and ceiling plates and foraminous dividers which divide the inner enclosure into vertical compartments for containing vertical stacks of bags. An air space exists between the housing and the inner enclosure, and a forced-air heater is arranged to heat air within the air space and circulate the heated air from the air space, through the foraminous floor plate into the compartments, and out the foraminous ceiling plate back into the air space. A loading door provides access to upper portions of the compartments for loading bags into the warmer, and a dispensing door provides access to lower portions of the compartments for removing a bottommost bag from a stack of bags in the warmer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Assignee: Sealed Air Corporation
    Inventors: Laurence Burst Sperry, Lawrence John Pillote, Vincent James Cavalier, Jr., Jesse Scott Drake, John Joseph Corrigan, III, George Teofilius Bertram
  • Patent number: 6054682
    Abstract: A system and method for assembling components onto a circuit board is disclosed. The system includes: a thermal chamber for receiving a plurality of components therein and for heating the plurality of components at a predetermined temperature for a predetermined length of time; an outfeed slot located on a wall of the thermal chamber which allows at least one component from the plurality of components to pass therethrough and emerge externally of the thermal chamber; and a pick and place machine, located adjacent to the thermal chamber, which automatically retrieves the at least one component which has passed through the outfeed slot and automatically places the at least one component onto a designated circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Micron Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Roland Ochoa, Derek T. Smith
  • Patent number: 6011243
    Abstract: A cabinet and control system for maintaining a food product within a predetermined temperature range for a holding period of time not exceeding a predetermined maximum time. The cabinet comprises a housing having a front panel and a passageway opening at the front panel. The passageway is capable of receiving at least two containers of the food product. A temperature element positioned in said passageway maintains the passageway within the predetermined temperature range. A processing circuit tracks the amount of time each container of food product remains within the passageway. The processing circuit provides a signal output indicating which container has been within said passageway the longest and an alarm signal when either container remains within said passageway beyond said maximum time. A display positioned on said housing proximate to said passageway receives the said signal output and indicates which container has been within the passageway the longest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Inventors: Anthony W. Arnold, Steven B. Collins, Jack M. Johnson, Jeffrey S. Williams, John M. Cox, John Guthrie, Thomas A. McMillan
  • Patent number: 5997924
    Abstract: An automated self-service pizza process and system comprises a vending machine with self-contained cooking and processing equipment to rapidly prepare delicious pizza. The stand-alone unattended process and system visually displays pizzas with choices of different toppings for selection by a customer who can pay for the pizza by credit card, debit card, prepaid card, bank card, or by paper money or other cash. Pizza crust can be moved to an assembly area by a robot. In the assembly area, the selected toppings are automatically dispensed on the pizza crust. The pizza is then conveyed to an oven where it is cooked and discharged into a cardboard box or other suitable container. The type of pizza and customer's name can be printed on the box with an ink jet printer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: LMO Consultants, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Olander, Jr., Joseph W. Lucnik, Robert C. Martin
  • Patent number: 5990452
    Abstract: An oven includes a front door, a pivotable product support platform, and a back opening. There is a ramp connected to the back of the oven at the back opening, so that, when the platform pivots downwardly to eject product from the oven, the product slides down the platform and onto the ramp. The oven includes a control system, including a timer, which controls a solenoid that causes the platform to drop down when it is time to remove the product from the oven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Carton Drive Enterprises LLC
    Inventor: Winston L. Shelton
  • Patent number: 5986239
    Abstract: A conductive warmer for flexible plastic bags containing foam precursor chemicals includes a heat-conducting member of thermally conductive material having a plurality of fins which are parallel and spaced apart to define a plurality of spaced-apart bag-receiving compartments. The fins are connected to a back portion of the heat-conducting member, to which a heating element is attached in heat-exchanging relationship. Operation of the heating element conducts heat through the back portion and the fins of the heat-conducting member to the bags. The heat-conducting member is contained within a housing having an opening providing access to the open side of the compartments. The housing preferably is formed in two portions, a first portion containing the heat-conducting member and a second portion supporting the first portion, the first and second portions being pivotally interconnected to allow selective variation of the angular orientation of the first portion with respect to the second portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Sealed Air Corporation
    Inventors: John Joseph Corrigan, III, Eric Alvin Kane
  • Patent number: 5981923
    Abstract: A moistened towelette heating device for providing a moist hot towel for washing a user's body. The moistened towelette heating device includes a housing with a depression in the top of the housing forming a chute. The chute has an opening into a passage in the housing which, in turn, is connected to microwave oven disposed in the housing. The housing has a main opening into the microwave oven and an access door substantially closing the main opening. A plurality of canisters each with a moistened towelette disposed therein are positioned in the chute to permit passage of each canister through the passage and into the microwave oven where the canister may be heated to heat the towelette therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Inventor: Walter F. Jackson
  • Patent number: 5971205
    Abstract: A cigar vending machine provides for the automated vending of cigars which are stored in a humidor area within the machine until being dispensed. The humidor portion of the machine provides for the automatic control of the humidity and at least the minimum temperature therein, to maintain the freshness of the cigars stored therein until they are purchased. The machine may utilize conventional automated currency and credit card acceptance devices, and also utilizes a robotic arm dispensing device which withdraws a given cigar from an appropriate storage area within the humidor, depending upon the selection made by the purchaser. The separate storage areas may be adjusted in size to accommodate different sizes, types, and/or brands of cigars, as desired. The machine operates by accepting an appropriate currency or credit card input by a purchaser, who then makes a selection on a cigar selection panel on the front of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventors: Peter T. Michaels, Joseph R. Preston
  • Patent number: 5878910
    Abstract: The machine comprises a microwave oven (2), a supply system for supplying the products (P) to the oven, a device for expulsing the products from the oven and control means (6); said product supply system comprises a storage and dosage device (3), a device for collecting (4) the products and a device for introducing (5) the products in the oven (2). Conveniently, the device (3) has a plurality of conveyor belts (30) parallel to each other; the device (4) comprises a collector platform (47) mounted with respect to the structure with three degrees of freedom of translation, along three directions orthogonal to each other; the device (5) has a revolving arm with a fork. The production costs are of the machine reduced because it incorporates a conventional oven; the machine is also very versatile since it can dispense different types of packaged products recently prepared.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Inventors: Antonio Montserrate Gibernau, Antonio Bosch Clariana
  • Patent number: 5818014
    Abstract: A combination microwave and air impingement oven has two magnetrons and an air handling system that includes two or more reciprocating ducts through which air is dispensed into the oven. The rotating ducts are configured to stir microwave energy in the oven to prevent formation of hot spots and to sweep microwave radiation over the surface of the food product. A foraminous partition, configured to encircle a portion of the cooking chamber, has a central portion and extremities mounted to divide the interior of the cabinet into a cooking chamber and an air heating chamber. The partition extends around a major part of the periphery of the cooking chamber such that air is drawn along multiple paths toward side walls and toward the rear wall from the cooking chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Patentsmith Technology, Ltd.
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, deceased, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris, Neal S. Cooper, Carl J. Dougherty
  • Patent number: 5772072
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a refrigeration compartment, an oven compartment, structure for transferring a food product from the refrigeration compartment to the oven compartment, and structure for transferring the food product from the oven compartment to a user of the vending machine. The vending machine provides automated handling and cooking of packaged food products that enables a hot cooked food to be delivered to a customer in a cool package sleeve. The vending machine also includes a system for inventory control that enables vertical storage of packaged food products while minimizing crushing of packaged food products at the bottom of a stack. A magazine empty indicator automatically indicates when an inventory magazine is empty. An oven door latch mechanism eliminates the possibility that the oven can be operated while the oven door is open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: KRh Thermal Systems
    Inventors: Jack R. Prescott, John D. Smead, Edward Durbin, Michael Kanyon, Michael E. Rudder, James W. Bradfield, Gregory Elliott, Stanley Arai, Mark A. Hopkins, Donald Morrison, Paul T. Rudewicz, Kenneth Sineri, Thom Thomas, Dale Weber
  • Patent number: 5690851
    Abstract: A drink can induction heating apparatus includes a ferrite core having a plurality of projected portions and recesses formed between the adjacent projected portions. When a drink can is set in a position to be heated, each of the projected portions is oriented toward a longitudinal axis of the drink can and a particular portion of a circumferential wall of the drink can. The apparatus further includes a saddle-shaped heating coil which is partly received in the recesses of the ferrite core and covers a region around the foregoing particular portions of the drink can in a non-contact manner, and an inverter for feeding the AC power to the heating coil. The inverter is arranged to produce the AC power at a resonance frequency which corresponds to one of 5 kHz to 15 kHz where equivalent resistance values of an aluminum can and a steel can approximate to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Assignees: SPC Electronics Corp., Daiwa Can Co.
    Inventors: Tsuyoshi Yoshioka, Masami Matsunaga, Tetsuya Takatomi, Hideo Kanai, Tsutomu Ishima
  • Patent number: 5688423
    Abstract: In accordance with the present invention, a vending machine has one or more programmable cook cycles for use with one or more heat sources in cooking a food package to be dispensed to the customer. In one embodiment of this invention, each cook cycle includes a start time and a duration. Each cook cycle is associated with a heat source and a product code indicating the type of food to be cooked. Initially, cook cycles are copied into a random access memory from default cook cycles hard coded in the software program code and stored in electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM) of the vending machine controller. The cook cycles in RAM can be over written by an operator for the various type of foods to be cooked. The cook cycles in RAM are used by the vending machine to automatically cook a food product selected by a customer, without any further inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Assignee: KRh Thermal Systems
    Inventors: Paul T. Rudewicz, Thom Thomas, James W. Bradfield
  • Patent number: 5646846
    Abstract: A global positioning planter system for planting of seeds by a seed planter. A population control controls the seed planter. A global positioning system computer with digitized maps connects to the population control. The population control connects to the seeder for planting of seeds such as corn or beans or to seed drills for controlling the seed drill, and plants the seeds according to the population control which receives and transmits data with the global positioning system computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Assignee: Rawson Control Systems
    Inventors: Douglas M. Bruce, Allan L. Lorenc
  • Patent number: 5630357
    Abstract: A doll controlling device controls a doll driving device to make a doll carry out movement for selling foods or drinks. A releasing device releases one of foods or drinks from a food or drink harvesting device when the releasing device is supplied with a money receipt signal and a selecting signal. A sound producing device produces sounds which are useful for selling foods or drinks. The dispenser for foods or drinks selling device may further comprise a cooking device for cooking foods or drinks from the harvesting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: Robotex, Inc.
    Inventor: Mineo Akiyama
  • Patent number: 5598947
    Abstract: The unattended machine has a hopper for holding an inventory of uniformly-sized, individual, frozen or refrigerated portions of food and for maintaining the inventory in a frozen or refrigerated condition. Insertion into the machine of a genuine dollar bill is verified by an electro-optical mechanism which signals control and monitor circuitry to initiate food preparation by causing a microwave oven below the hopper to open and rotate into a food-receiving position below a dispenser, located below the hopper, which then dispenses an individual portion of food into the oven by gravity. The oven then rotates to a horizontal cooking position and closes its door, where the portion is heated by microwave energy for a pre-determined length of time. Upon completion of heating, the oven door is opened and the oven tilted downward and the heated portion of food is dispensed by gravity through an opening or port in the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 4, 1997
    Inventor: Patrick Smith
  • Patent number: 5589093
    Abstract: A microwave heating chamber for use in a vending machine including a cylindrically shaped chamber, retractable upper and lower end plates for defining a chamber cavity, a retractable object holding plate for supporting an object to be heated at a position of maximum microwave energy, and a microwave generator for generating the microwave energy wherein the heating chamber allows the rapid heating of an article positioned in the chamber due to its small chamber volume and its cylindrically shaped cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Assignee: Electronics Research & Service Organization
    Inventor: Jey-Cherng Chen
  • Patent number: 5582758
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for vending a hot food product wherein a sealed container is moved from a protective sleeve and deposited in an oven where heat is transferred to the container for initially melting a protective sealing film and then heating the food product. After the food product has been heated, the container is removed from the oven and reinserted into the protective sleeve prior to dispensing the heated food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Assignee: Patentsmith Technology, Ltd.
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5579952
    Abstract: A vending apparatus for dispensing trays of hot food is provided with a vertical stack of the compartments for storing and heating the trays of food. Each compartment has a lower support-shelf, under which is an electrical, coil-resistance heater for keeping the food in the tray at a temperature of about 150 degrees F. Opening of the door of a compartment causes the opening of a micro-switch associated with the selected compartment, which opening causes power to be shut off to the solenoid of the compartment. Operatively associated with each compartment is a push-mechanism that causes the selected tray to be partially pushed out of its compartment when the associated door is manually opened. Each push-mechanism has a push-rod coupled through suitable linkage to the door, which push-rod contacts the rear surface of the selected tray for pushing it out as the door is opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Assignee: Automeal, Inc.
    Inventors: Armin Fiedler, Scott Fiedler
  • Patent number: 5564594
    Abstract: Automatic hot food dispenser comprising storage columns (11; 45; 65) dimensionnally adjustable for receiving commestible products (14; 42; 79), fixed in the upper portion of the dispenser; in the frame middle portion (16) of the dispenser, one or more hoppers (17, 18; 40, 47; 68) located under the columns (11; 45; 65) collect the commestible products (14; 42; 79) and route them to an access hatch (19, 20; 43, 80) of one of the microwave ovens (21, 22; 44, 48; 90, 91); said microwave oven is provided with an ejection system (23, 24; 51, 61); the commestible product (14; 42; 79) is evacuated on a conveyor (25; 71) to the receptacle (5; 88) for the consumer; the cutlery ejector (89) evacuates a cutlery box (97) into the receptacle (5; 88); the lower portion of the dispenser comprises an automat (27) and an electronic panel (73).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Inventor: Andre Monfredo
  • Patent number: 5556000
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a heating system which includes a product dispensing assembly, a heating basket mounted for rotation within a closed-loop air heating system, a separator for removing entrained particulates from the circulating air stream, and an air exchange system for refreshing air in the closed-loop air heating system. The product dispensing assembly accurately meters a portion of the product, and includes a hopper with an helix auger, a weigh scale and a trap door for dispensing the metered product into the heating basket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: Ore-Ida Foods, Inc.
    Inventors: Wayne L. Covington, Steven C. Price
  • Patent number: 5555793
    Abstract: Food vending machine particularly for warm food, toasts in the specific case, including multiple per se known stations which are combined so as to obtain a machine which starts from a blister-packaged container inside which a pre-packaged uncooked toast is wrapped and transfers said toast by means of an appropriate drive to a pickup station so that the product to be cooked is placed at a moving cooking station and so that the product is extracted with special extractors after cooking so as to offer it, at the end of the cycle, completely wrapped in an appropriate hygienic napkin for taking on the part of the consumer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Inventors: Ivan Tocchet, Edoardo Scarpis
  • Patent number: 5513771
    Abstract: A dispenser for razors having a housing, a helical coil for stacking and dispensing the packages of razors, coin activating means for activating the helical coil for dispensing one package from said housing, a shaving cream canister for containing shaving cream, a heating coil for heating a portion of said shaving cream, carbon dioxide pressurized canister for pushing the heated shaving cream, and a spigot for releasing the heated shaving cream from the heating coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Inventor: Gerald Cote
  • Patent number: 5510601
    Abstract: Apparatus for transferring heat between temperature controlled air dispensed from a pair of oscillating ducts and a food product in a cabinet having an interior compartment bounded by front, side and rear walls. A foraminous partition, having a central portion and extremities, is mounted to divide the interior of the cabinet into a cooking chamber and an air conditioning chamber. It is configured to encircle a portion of the cooking chamber such that the air conditioning chamber extends around a major part of the periphery of the cooking chamber wherein air is drawn along multiple paths toward side walls and toward the rear wall from the cooking chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1996
    Assignee: Patentsmith Corporation
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5503061
    Abstract: An air dispensing apparatus for providing an oscillating mass of hot air to facilitate crisping and browning of a trayed foodstuff includes an oscillating shoe extending from an air introduction chamber having a blower and a volute duct exit and an insulating shaft rotatively connecting an inner end of the shoe to the volute duct exit. The shaft includes a square cross-section portion which transfers torque from a crank-driven oscillator link directly to a matching square cross-section bore or aperture in a side wall of the shoe inner end. A hitch pin at the opposite shaft end prevents axial shaft movement. The insulating shaft eliminates arcing between the volute and the shoe. The invention also includes an improved separator screen for grounding a perforated plate to the air introduction chamber and an overall housing to prevent arcing therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Assignee: KRh Thermal Systems
    Inventor: Mark A. Hopkins
  • Patent number: 5482183
    Abstract: A device for heating and manually dispensing small vials or carpules. The device includes a generally rectangular housing having a top wall with a lid. The lid provides access to the interior of the housing. The interior of the housing includes a vial feed chamber and a sliding dispensing member. The interior of the housing is heated with a small incandescent light bulb. The dispensing member has a notch near the leading edge for loading vials when in a retracted position and dispensing vials when in an extended position, the extended position reaching beyond the housing of the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1996
    Inventors: Jeff R. Beal, Mike T. Kalinowski, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5458261
    Abstract: The invention provides a transfer valve for a sterilizer/cooker, which is almost lubeless, or is lubeless. Packing strips and packing rings are provided, which are made of high temperature thermo plastics compounded with internal lubricants, such as Teflon or silicon, and graphite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Inventor: Joost Veltman
  • Patent number: 5449888
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for vending a hot food product wherein a sealed container is moved from a protective sleeve and deposited in an oven where heat is transferred to the container for initially melting a protective sealing film and then heating the food product. After the food product has been heated, the container is removed from the oven and reinserted into the protective sleeve prior to dispensing the heated food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Assignee: Patentsmith Technology, Ltd.
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5434390
    Abstract: An oven for cooking by hot air impingement includes a housing defining a cooking chamber adapted to receive a food product for cooking, a hot air plenum configured and dimensioned to hold a volume of air and a conduit for providing gaseous communication therebetween. Associated with the plenum is a thermal energy source for heating gas disposed in the plenum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: TurboChef, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip R. McKee, Earl R. Winkelmann
  • Patent number: 5400699
    Abstract: An automatic food dispenser comprises an arrangement for feeding a chain of packages containing portions of food, an arrangement for opening said packages, a receptacle, a heating arrangement associated with the receptacle and an evacuation mechanism. It can be used for automatic dispensing of french fries.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Inventor: Christian J. G. Cailbault
  • Patent number: 5401940
    Abstract: Apparatus for transferring heat between temperature controlled air dispensed from a pair of oscillating ducts and a food product in a cabinet having an interior compartment bounded by front, side and rear walls. A foraminous partition, having a central portion and extremities, is mounted to divide the interior of the cabinet into a cooking chamber and an air conditioning chamber. It is configured to encircle a portion of the cooking chamber such that the air conditioning chamber extends around a major part of the periphery of the cooking chamber wherein air is drawn along multiple paths toward side walls and toward the rear wall from the cooking chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Assignee: Patentsmith II, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5367949
    Abstract: An automated deep frying system includes a refrigerated food storage compartment having a portion controller and dispenser, an isolated cooking chamber having a frying vessel and a food basket which is movable to a variety of preselected positions for loading, cooking and dispensing the food, and an air purifier including a flat cold surface for isolating the by-products of the frying process. The system also includes a microprocessor controller which is programmed for the system operation, including automatic dispensing, preparation and serving of preselected portions of food in response to an operator's input, as well as energy efficient control of the refrigerated food storage compartment and the air purifier cold plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Vend-It Corporation
    Inventors: John S. Nitschke, Daniel B. Kuhary
  • Patent number: 5315919
    Abstract: An arrangement (1) is provided for the frying or warming of articles of food (24) which mainly comprise loose parts with respect to each other. The arrangement (1) comprises a recipient (3) wherein the articles of food (24) may be introduced. This recipient (3) comprises a bottom (4) which may be subjected to a rotation around a central, oblique axis (6). The bottom (4) comprises separate segments (41-46) which are separated from each other, at least a part of the bottom (4) of each segment (41-46) being jointable to empty the fried of warmed articles of food. The arrangement (1) may receive, fry or warm, and deliver separate portions of articles of food (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Assignee: Jean M. M. Hoeberigs
    Inventor: Rudolf Hoeberigs
  • Patent number: 5310978
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for vending a hot food product wherein a sealed container is moved from a protective sleeve and deposited in an oven where heat is transferred to the container for initially melting a protective sealing film and then heating the food product. After the food product has been heated, the container is removed from the oven and reinserted into the protective sleeve prior to dispensing the heated food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Assignee: Patentsmith Corporation
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5310084
    Abstract: A clock radio housing is arranged to include spaced chambers, with an underlying chamber directing heat to an overlying chamber having a row of condoms directed to a second side wall of the housing, wherein a push-bar projecting through a top wall of the housing is oriented to direct condom packages one at a time through a second side wall chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Inventor: Daniel J. Pittman
  • Patent number: 5285041
    Abstract: An automated food vending system includes a vending machine having a plurality of stacks and dispenser mechanisms for dispensing standardized food package units, a microwave oven having a code reader located in a predetermined position in an interior cavity of the oven, and the food package units having standardized shapes corresponding to the vending stacks and to the microwave oven cavity. The food packages have a code for controlling the microwave oven printed in a predetermined position which is readable automatically by the code reader when the package unit is inserted in the oven. The dispenser mechanism has a configuration which allows it to be installed in existing vending machines for canned beverages. It may be formed as a pair of pivotable holding members spaced apart in the widthwise direction of the holding stack, or as a pair of continuous belts spaced apart in the depthwise direction of the holding stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 8, 1994
    Assignee: Wright Food Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher B. Wright
  • Patent number: 5266766
    Abstract: A multiple stage oven structure including a radio frequency cooking station and an infra-red cooking station particularly useful for cooking certain food products. The radio-frequency cooking station comprises a first and second electrode and a conveyor to position the food product between the electrodes wherein it is the dielectric material of a capacitive heating assembly. Also disclosed is an automated food cooking and serving arrangement incorporating the multiple stage oven structure with a food storage section and associated conveyors and electronic control components for conveying the food product through various steps of selection, cooking and delivery of the cooked product to a customer. In a preferred arrangement, the food product is carried by an electrically conductive pan which functions as the second electrode in the radio-frequency cooking station assembly, forms a portion of a radio frequency shield during cooking, and as a serving pan once cooking is completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1993
    Inventor: William Hecox
  • Patent number: 5254823
    Abstract: A hybrid oven for cooking by both hot air impingement and microwave cooking includes a housing defining a cooking chamber adapted to receive a food product for cooking, a hot air plenum configured and dimensioned to hold a large volume of air relative to the cooking chamber, and a conduit for selectively providing gaseous communication therebetween. Associated with the plenum are a thermal reservoir of high specific heat and high heat capacity relative to the air disposed in the plenum and an actuatable heater for maintaining the thermal reservoir at a high temperature. Also provided are an actuatable magnetron for microwave cooking of the product in the cooking chamber and an actuatable blower for causing impingement of air from the plenum onto the product in the cooking chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1993
    Assignee: Turbochef Inc.
    Inventors: Philip R. McKee, Earl R. Winkelmann
  • Patent number: 5221023
    Abstract: Process for the automatic dispensing and automatic dispenser (1) of products (63), in particular of packaged food products, arranged on trays (20) of a storage device (2) comprising means (3) for transportation in a closed circuit, from which means the trays are suspended in a continuous chain and which have gear members (5) with horizontal and parallel axes, with the aid of an extracting device (56) comprising at least one pusher (62) and suitable for extracting the products from the storage device when the trays are, respectively, at a discharging station. When one of the trays is at the discharging station (55) and the pusher (62) is arranged laterally to the product (63) to be extracted which is carried by this tray (20), means displace the pusher (62) parallel to the axes of the gear members (4, 5) of the transportation means (3) so as to push and slide this product on this tray parallel to these axes in order to extract this product at one of the transverse ends of this tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1993
    Inventor: Andre S. Dubik
  • Patent number: 5210387
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for vending a hot food product wherein a sealed container is moved from a protective sleeve and deposited in an oven where heat is transferred to the container for initially melting a protective sealing film and then heating the food product. After the food product has been heated, the container is removed from the oven and reinserted into the protective sleeve prior to dispensing the heated food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1993
    Assignee: Patentsmith Corporation
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris, Donald P. Lohr, Gerald Easterling, R. W. Taylor
  • Patent number: 5188020
    Abstract: A food shelving and cycling system for wrapped food items includes an elongated shelf for storing wrapped food items and unwrapping apparatus for separating each food item from its wrapping. Sensors mounted within the floor of the shelf and a controller monitor the time that a wrapped food item is positioned within the shelf and initiates its removal from the shelf if the food item is positioned within the shelf in excess of a desired period of time. The system includes heating components for heating the food items until removed from the shelf, and the unwrapping apparatus facilitates the division of a food item and its wrapping into edible and non-edible refuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Inventor: Kamal M. Buchnag
  • Patent number: 5168795
    Abstract: An automatic food frying and vending system having a refrigerated storage chamber for storing food material to be fried and a frying chamber for frying material in cooking oil are installed in the main body of the automatic food frying and vending system in discrete sections designated for their respective purposes. The refrigrated chamber includes a stocker unit for receiving and keeping a number of packed containers, each sealed by a lid. A feeding device is provided with a holder for receiving from a conveying device the sealed container and inverting the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: Higashi Hiroshima Golf Shinko Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Katsumi Okada
  • Patent number: 5163356
    Abstract: An automatic food vending machine comprises: a cooking means for cooking food materials; a first storage means for preserving food materials for a long period; a second storage means for preserving food materials in a condition that they can be instantly cooked by said cooking means; a first transport means for transporting food materials from said first storage means to said second storage means; and a second transport means for transporting food materials from said second storage means to said cooking means. A large quantity of food materials may be stored in the first storage means and transported to the second storage means by the first transport means as required. In the second storage means the food materials are stored so that they may be instantly cooked. The apparatus permits on one hand preservation of a large amount of food materials without deterioration and on the other hand prepare them for quick heat treatment for sale.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1992
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Noboru Chigira
  • Patent number: 5147994
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for vending a hot food product wherein a sealed container is moved from a protective sleeve and deposited in an oven where heat is transferred to the container for initially melting a protective sealing film and then heating the food product. After the food product has been heated, the container is removed from the oven and reinserted into the protective sleeve prior to dispensing the heated food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1992
    Assignee: Patentsmith Corporation
    Inventors: Donald P. Smith, Michael J. Dobie, Alden B. Sparman, Sr., John R. Norris
  • Patent number: 5147068
    Abstract: An automated food vending system includes a vending machine having a plurality of stacks and dispenser mechanisms for dispensing standardized food package units, a microwave oven having a code reader located in a predetermined position in an interior cavity of the oven, and the food package units having standardized shapes corresponding to the vending stacks and to the microwave oven cavity. The food packages have a code for controlling the microwave oven printed in a predetermined position which is readable automatically by the code reader when the package unit is inserted in the oven. The dispenser mechanism has a configuration which allows it to be installed in existing vending machines for canned beverages. It may be fromed as a pair of pivotable holding members spaced apart in the widthwise direction of the holding stack, or as a pair of continuous belts spaced apart in the depthwise direction of the holding stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1992
    Assignee: Wright Food Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher B. Wright
  • Patent number: 5144879
    Abstract: An automatic food dispenser for dispensing hot instant meals, particularly pizza, includes a refrigeration chamber and at least one oven. The frozen instant meals are stored in tubular magazines which are disposed on a circle within a rotatable drum-type storage container. The oven includes a horizontally extendable push frame and a push front which forms the oven door. A cooking tray is mounted on the push frame to be raised and lowered in such a manner that, when the oven is opened, the cooking tray is automatically moved upward from a lowered cooking position within the cooking chamber into a loading position and, once the push frame is fully extended, further upward into a discharge position within a discharge chamber accessible to the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1992
    Assignee: T. A. Tecnologie Alimentari srl
    Inventor: Marion Alessi
  • Patent number: 5121677
    Abstract: A pizza making machine for applying selected ingredients to a pizza crust comprising a number of side-by-side dispensing stations, one station for each of a number of topping ingredients, with each station including means for storing and delivering on command a preselected amount of selected topping ingredient to a crust and means for supporting and sequentially moving the crust under the dispensers so that the topping ingredients are dispensed sequentially on the crust. The custom pizza is then selectively deliverable to a customer uncooked, or to an oven where it is baked in accordance with the selected ingredients and delivered to the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1992
    Assignee: Edible Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry E. Le Claire, David G. Bligh, Robert W. Kennedy, Julie A. Leson, Frank Hickman, Steven S. Frederick
  • Patent number: 5020688
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a vending machine designed to dispense one of a plurality of different flavors and/or types of popcorn. The device includes storage for the various types of popcorn, a chute system to convey popcorn to a microwave oven, and further conveying structure to convey the popped popcorn in its bag to a delivery chute. In the preferred embodiment, a pneumatic system is utilized to control the conveying of popcorn bags through the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1991
    Inventor: Patrick J. Power
  • Patent number: 5011042
    Abstract: A vending system for hot food comprises stacks of food-containing trays of a standard size, a microwave oven whose horizontal dimensions are similar to those of the trays and whose vertical dimension is preferably such as to produce a resonant cavity for the wavelength used, and means for feeding a selected one of the trays into the microwave oven on demand. The radiation is preferably introduced through a waveguide into the top of the tray. Each tray preferably carries heating instructions in machine readable code, e.g. as apertures on lateral extensions of a horizontal flange, and a reading head reads the instructions and adjusts the microwave oven accordingly. The stacks of trays may be held in a rotary magazine and selected by push-buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1991
    Assignee: CMB Foodcan plc
    Inventors: Martin C. Bunce, David W. Helps, Leonard A. Jenkins, Adrian C. Noke