Including Electrical Timing Circuit Patents (Class 222/641)
  • Patent number: 10359149
    Abstract: A lubrication system comprising a motor, a positive displacement pump driven by the motor, a lubricant container in fluid communication with the positive displacement pump and at least one lubricant outlet in fluid communication with the lubricant container. The positive displacement pump is arranged to carry out at least one discharge stroke to dispense lubricant from the at least one lubricant outlet when the lubrication system is in use. The lubrication system also comprises a control unit that is arranged to determine an amount of lubricant that is dispensed from the lubricant container via the at least one lubricant outlet when the lubrication system is in use. The control unit is arranged to monitor current supplied to the motor to obtain a motor current signal, and to determine a number of the discharge strokes from the motor current signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: Osakeyhtiö SKF Aktiebolag
    Inventor: Teuvo Risto Moilanen
  • Patent number: 10188841
    Abstract: A capsule-type microrobot is provided. A capsule-type microrobot according to the present invention comprises a motor including a receptacle having an internal space, with one portion thereof being open, a body extending from the receptacle, and a magnetic layer disposed on an outer surface of the body. A cap is coupled to a predetermined portion of the receptacle to close the internal space such that contents are contained in the receptacle. The motor separates the cap therefrom by rotating with respect to the cap through an interaction between a rotating magnetic force applied from an external source and the magnetic layer, whereby the contents are discharged from the receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Hong Soo Choi, Sang Won Kim, Seung Min Lee
  • Patent number: 10046051
    Abstract: A drug carrier and a method of using the same are provided, wherein the drug carrier includes a base made of a carbon fiber which is magnetic and has a first polarity, a positioning member connected to the base, and is adapted to be positioned and move to a target location by guiding of at least an energy field, and a connector connected to the positioning member and a drug with two ends respectively, wherein the connector has a second polarity opposite to the first polarity, and is recognized by an organism and digested in the organism. The method includes the steps of: injecting the drug carrier into an organism; positioning the drug carrier to a target location within the organism by an equipment; and releasing the drug from the drug carrier by an external energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: LINKWIN TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yi-Ching Cheng
  • Patent number: 9683897
    Abstract: A system for determining when an electrical contact or other component reaches a predetermined temperature. In operation, a trace material is dispersed into a surrounding environment (e.g., head space within a compartment above insulating oil), where the trace material is detected. A barrier may be ruptured or broken by temperature-induced gas pressure, or pierced by a spring-loaded member that is located within the same section that contains the trace material, and devices may be provided for moving the trace material through the foil barrier as the barrier is ruptured. The barrier may be opened solely by internal gas pressure. According to another embodiment, improved fail-safe operation may be achieved by providing a spring-loaded member and configuring the barrier to be ruptured by the pressure of the detectable gas material before the barrier is ruptured by the spring-loaded member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Inventor: Bruce W. Nichols
  • Patent number: 9357871
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a coffee machine for producing and dispensing coffee-based beverages comprising a hydraulic pump (35), at least one dispensing device (13) comprising a filter unit (31) apt to contain ground coffee and a supply unit (14) apt to supply water to the filter unit when the filter unit is engaged with the supply unit and a hydraulic circuit which brings the hydraulic pump into fluid communication with the supply unit of the dispensing device, the hydraulic circuit comprising a supply duct (11) which supplies hot water under pressure to the supply unit, characterized in that it further comprises a system for controlling the dispensing pressure which comprises a control unit (22), a pressure sensor (21) disposed along the hydraulic circuit and apt to generate a control signal representative of the pressure detected, the pressure sensor being electronically connected to a control unit to detect the dispensing pressure, and a hydraulic variable-flow valve (36) disposed along the hydraul
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: Gruppo Cimbali S.p.A.
    Inventor: Andrea Coccia
  • Patent number: 9138095
    Abstract: A beverage preparation machine (1) has: a housing (5); a duct (10) with an outlet (15); a conduit (20) upstream the duct and connected thereto; and a waste liquid collector (30) arranged to collect waste liquid from the outlet. The duct has: an operative position for circulating beverage through the conduit and dispensing said beverage from the outlet outside the housing above a user-receptacle filling area (35); and a cleaning position for circulating cleaning fluid through the conduit and evacuating said cleaning fluid from the outlet inside the housing to the waste liquid collector. The duct is pivotally assembled about a pivoting axis (11) to the conduit for pivoting the outlet between the operative position and the cleaning position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Lionel Peretti, David Larzul, Blaise Rithener
  • Patent number: 9126223
    Abstract: A dispensing module and method of dispensing an adhesive includes a dispenser body assembly having a liquid supply passage, a nozzle member having a liquid passageway, a valve element, and a valve seat. The liquid passageway includes a discharge passageway defining an outlet, a first converging surface, a bore, and a shoulder positioned between the first converging surface and the bore. The valve element extends along an axis within the liquid passageway and has a bulbous end portion movable along the axis between an open position and a closed position. The bulbous end portion has a valve needle smaller than the bore to inhibit obstruction to the discharge passageway for adhesive flowing thereto. The valve seat seals against the bulbous end portion in the closed position such that a region of the valve needle projects into the discharge passageway for inhibiting clogging of the adhesive proximate to the outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Nordson Corporation
    Inventor: Leonard J. Lanier
  • Patent number: 9072406
    Abstract: A flavored-beverage preparation machine (1) comprises: —a fluid circuit having a duct (10) that has an outlet (15) for dispensing a flavored-beverage over a filling area (35) for user-receptacles (40); and —a cleaning arrangement for removing remnant flavored-beverage from the duct by passing a clearing fluid through the duct and out of the duct via the outlet, The cleaning arrangement has: —means (300, 400, 450) for providing a gas under pressure; and —a configuration for passing such a gas as this clearing fluid under pressure through and out of the duct for evacuating remnant flavored-beverage from the duct.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: David Larzul, Lionel Peretti, Blaise Rithener
  • Patent number: 9022257
    Abstract: A pour spout has a bottle adapter for insertion into a mouth of a bottle. A housing has a chamber into which a housing inlet and a housing outlet open with the housing inlet connected to the bottle adapter for receiving beverage from the bottle. A valve carriage is movable within the chamber and has a carriage inlet in fluid communication with a carriage outlet. A resilient first tube provides a first beverage passageway between the housing inlet and the carriage inlet. A resilient second tube provides a second beverage passageway between carriage outlet and the housing outlet. The first or second tube has a valve seat that is engaged and disengaged by a plunger on the valve carriage as the valve carriage moves within the chamber. A valve actuator moves the valve carriage in response to signal from a control circuit that receives a wireless command signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Berg Company, LLC
    Inventors: Michael J. Keating, Donald R. Lamond, Ronald F. Faust, Thomas E. Giles, Albert H. Dorsey
  • Patent number: 9004320
    Abstract: A pour spout for dispensing a beverage from a bottle including a bottle adapter for attaching to a bottle to receive a beverage from the bottle, a housing having a chamber into which a housing inlet and a housing outlet open, the housing inlet connected to the bottle adapter for receiving the beverage, a valve carriage moveably received within the chamber and having a carriage passage, a resilient first tube providing a first passageway for beverage to flow from the housing inlet to the carriage passage, a resilient second tube providing a second passageway for beverage to flow from the carriage passage to the housing outlet, a valve operatively connected to the valve carriage to control flow of the beverage through the housing from the housing inlet to the housing outlet; and a valve actuator for moving the valve carriage within the chamber to operate the valve open or closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Berg Company, LLC
    Inventors: Michael J. Keating, Donald R. Lamond, Ronald F. Faust, Thomas E. Giles, Albert H. Dorsey
  • Patent number: 8961893
    Abstract: A chemical diluter system includes a housing. A container is mounted in the housing and is adapted for storing soluble flowable chemical solids. A mixing chamber is disposed within the housing and adjacent to the container. A disposable dispenser is attached to the container for automatically dispensing a measured amount of the chemical solids from the container into the mixing chamber via gravity flow. The mixing chamber is adapted to receive fluid for dissolution of the chemical solids and for dispensing a diluted chemical solution of the chemical solids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne Anthony Fleming, Jose Eduardo G. Evaro
  • Patent number: 8944284
    Abstract: A device for dispensing a material that has a limited period of utility, a novel device comprises a first part containing the material and a second part, wherein the first and second parts have mutual engagement means and can be disengaged to allow the material to be dispensed, wherein the device includes, located within the device, control mechanisms that can be activated to initiate a time-controlled period of use and that, at the end of that period, causes the first and second parts to be permanently engaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Milan Innovation Ltd.
    Inventor: Guy Dimitri Milan
  • Patent number: 8925769
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a pouring device for a container for the dosing of liquid. The pouring device has various features intended to ease use, including an improved removal and attachment system and a system to identify and visually illustrate selected pour sizes. In a specific embodiment, the pouring device has a colored light or LED indicator system that allows the user to quickly and easily confirm the selected pour size. Embodiments may also include one or more features that ease attachment and removal of the pouring device to a liquid container, such as a replaceable cork system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Automatic Bar Controls, Inc.
    Inventors: Achim Philipp Zapp, Richard A. Martindale
  • Publication number: 20140346198
    Abstract: This invention relates to a liquid pour metering device (21, 51, 81, 101) as well as a system (111) and method of monitoring dispensing of liquid from a liquid container (113). The device (21, 51) comprises a body defining a liquid passageway (7) having an inlet (9) at one end and an outlet (11) at the other end, the liquid passageway having a mechanical portion controller (1) therein comprising a ball bearing (13) moveable along at least portion of the length of the liquid passageway. There is provided a motion sensor (23) to detect when a pour operation has commenced and a ball bearing sensor (25) operable to detect the end of the pour operation. There is further provided a timer (29) and a transmitter (31) for transmitting data relating to the length of time required to perform the pour operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: Precisionflo Limited
    Inventor: Shane Bond
  • Patent number: 8807393
    Abstract: The present application describes a product dispenser. The product dispenser may include at least one macro-ingredient source, at least one micro-ingredient source positioned about the dispenser, a diluent source, a dispensing valve, a number of pumps or metering devices, and a user interface. The user interface receives a request for a product type and instructs the pumps or metering devices to dispense a predetermined type and ratio of macro-ingredients, micro-ingredients, and diluent to the dispensing valve for a predetermined flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Gregg Carpenter, David R. Newman, Nilang Patel, Paul A. Phillips, Arthur G. Rudick, Lawrence B. Ziesel
  • Publication number: 20130334246
    Abstract: An illuminating bottle pourer is provided having a pour spout structure and internal electrical components for measuring the amount of dispensed fluid therethrough using a visual counter. The device includes a gravity contact switch and an LED light source that is energized based on a periodic timer circuit and a pulse generator circuit. The gravity switch is closed when the bottle is inverted for pouring, which initiates the timer circuit. The timer circuit triggers the pulse generator on a periodic basis, which energizes the light source to alert the pourer of a given quantity of fluid dispensed. The device allows individual drink makers, bartenders, and establishment owners to precisely control the amount of fluid being dispensed from a bottle, wherein a specified number of light pulses is used to indicate when to stop pouring. A battery switch is further provided to preserve battery life during shipment and between uses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: Nick Houck, Marco LoPiccolo
  • Patent number: 8453879
    Abstract: The present application describes a product dispenser. The product dispenser may include at least one macro-ingredient source, at least one micro-ingredient source positioned about the dispenser, a diluent source, a dispensing valve, a number of pumps or metering devices, and a user interface. The user interface receives a request for a product type and instructs the pumps or metering devices to dispense a predetermined type and ratio of macro-ingredients, micro-ingredients, and diluent to the dispensing valve for a predetermined flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Gregg Carpenter, David R. Newman, Nilang Patel, Paul A. Phillips, Arthur G. Rudick, Lawrence B. Ziesel
  • Patent number: 8162181
    Abstract: The present application describes a product dispenser. The product dispenser may include at least one macro-ingredient source, at least one micro-ingredient source positioned about the dispenser, a diluent source, a dispensing valve, a number of pumps or metering devices, and a user interface. The user interface receives a request for a product type and instructs the pumps or metering devices to dispense a predetermined type and ratio of macro-ingredients, micro-ingredients, and diluent to the dispensing valve for a predetermined flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Gregg Carpenter, David R. Newman, Nilang Patel, Paul A. Phillips, Arthur G. Rudick, Lawrence B. Ziesel
  • Patent number: 7913879
    Abstract: The present application describes a product dispenser. The product dispenser may include at least one macro-ingredient source, at least one micro-ingredient source positioned about the dispenser, a diluent source, a dispensing valve, a number of pumps or metering devices, and a user interface. The user interface receives a request for a product type and instructs the pumps or metering devices to dispense a predetermined type and ratio of macro-ingredients, micro-ingredients, and diluent to the dispensing valve for a predetermined flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Gregg Carpenter, David R. Newman, Nilang Patel, Paul A. Phillips, Arthur G. Rudick, Lawrence B. Ziesel
  • Patent number: 7837063
    Abstract: A water dispensing device that is so small it fits on a kitchen countertop that provides very accurate measurements of water by using a pressure regulator on water coming in from a typical kitchen water faucet and then using a timer in order to better control the amount of fluid dispensed. In an alternative embodiment, the timer is eliminated and replaced with a flowmeter. The water dispensing device has an interactive panel to allow a user to input how much water to dispense, or to pre-set the device to dispense a specific amount of water at a specific time of day. It is contemplated that this system would be a convenient way to accurately dispense the exact amount of water to fill a particular user's favorite coffee mug, or to assist a small volume baker in quickly and accurately getting just the right of water for a baking recipe, where accuracy is critical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Inventor: Bryan Stoddard
  • Patent number: 7757896
    Abstract: The present application describes a product dispenser. The product dispenser may include at least one macro-ingredient source, at least one micro-ingredient source positioned about the dispenser, a diluent source, a dispensing valve, a number of pumps or metering devices, and a user interface. The user interface receives a request for a product type and instructs the pumps or metering devices to dispense a predetermined type and ratio of macro-ingredients, micro-ingredients, and diluent to the dispensing valve for a predetermined flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Gregg Carpenter, David R. Newman, Nilang Patel, Paul A. Phillips, Arthur G. Rudick, Lawrence B. Ziesel
  • Patent number: 7661557
    Abstract: A metering device with an applicator housing having an application orifice for medium discharge. A metering pump conveys medium from a medium store to the applicator. An electronic counting module having a stroke detection means operatively engageable with a relatively movable pump portion of the metering pump. A data processing processor evaluates signals from the stroke detection means, and an indicator unit indicates data produced by the data processing processor. A current source supplies the data processing processor with current. A module housing houses an electronic counting module. The external dimensions of the module housing are conformed to the internal dimensions of a reception space. The reception space is open on one side of the applicator housing, so that the module housing can be inserted completely into the reception space through the opening and be fastened therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignee: Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbH
    Inventors: Goebel Volker, Joachim Koerner
  • Publication number: 20080114489
    Abstract: Some embodiments of the invention provide a system for monitoring liquid consumption at one or more establishments. At each establishment, the system includes one or more spouts and a local computer. Each spout is mounted on a liquid container. Also, each spout generates data regarding the amount of liquid poured from the spout's container. The local computer at each establishment collects data generated by the spouts at the establishment. In some embodiments, a wireless network links the local computer and the spouts at each establishment. The system also includes an external computer that gathers the data collected by the local computers of the establishments monitored by the system. In some embodiments, the external computer is located outside of all the establishments, while in other embodiments this computer is located within one of the establishments. Some embodiments of the invention provide a free-pour spout.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: May 15, 2008
    Inventor: Masoud Mike Mogadam
  • Publication number: 20080078785
    Abstract: A measuring device providing at least one inlet, at least one outlet, at least one valve, and at least one interactive panel. The inlet and the outlet are in fluid communication with one another. The valve is in fluid communication between the inlet and the outlet. The interactive panel is interfaced with the valve in order for a predetermined amount of fluid to be dispensed from said outlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2006
    Publication date: April 3, 2008
    Inventor: Bryan Stoddard
  • Patent number: 7272537
    Abstract: Some embodiments of the invention provide a system for monitoring liquid consumption at one or more establishments. At each establishment, the system includes one or more spouts and a local computer. Each spout is mounted on a liquid container. Also, each spout generates data regarding the amount of liquid poured from the spout's container. The local computer at each establishment collects data generated by the spouts at the establishment. In some embodiments, a wireless network links the local computer and the spouts at each establishment. The system also includes an external computer that gathers the data collected by the local computers of the establishments monitored by the system. In some embodiments, the external computer is located outside of all the establishments, while in other embodiments this computer is located within one of the establishments. Some embodiments of the invention provide a free-pour spout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: Capton, Inc.
    Inventor: Masoud Mike Mogadam
  • Patent number: 7260504
    Abstract: Some embodiments of the invention provide a system for monitoring liquid consumption at one or more establishments. At each establishment, the system includes one or more spouts and a local computer. Each spout is mounted on a liquid container. Also, each spout generates data regarding the amount of liquid poured from the spout's container. The local computer at each establishment collects data generated by the spouts at the establishment. In some embodiments, a wireless network links the local computer and the spouts at each establishment. The system also includes an external computer that gathers the data collected by the local computers of the establishments monitored by the system. In some embodiments, the external computer is located outside of all the establishments, while in other embodiments this computer is located within one of the establishments. Some embodiments of the invention provide a free-pour spout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: Capton, Inc.
    Inventor: Masoud Mike Mogadam
  • Patent number: 7196624
    Abstract: A system, method, and device for monitoring the dispensing of liquids, in particular, beverages dispensed at a bar or restaurant is disclosed. The device attaches to the exterior of a container and detects dispensing events by sensing tilt or motion of the container, which could include a bottle or a handle. The system includes an electronic sensor device, data receiver, personal computer, bottle opener/camera system, bar code scanner, point of sale, bar camera, network, Web server, and paging system. The method automatically detects and monitors dispensing events, including detecting the type and amount of liquid, reconciling dispensing events with register ring-ups, recording information, saving video specific to the dispensing event, and sending a page indicating anomalies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Beverage Metrics Holding Ltd.
    Inventor: David M. Teller
  • Patent number: 7191916
    Abstract: A dispensing device for fluid medicine includes a housing having an opening leading to an interior and a plastic dropper bottle at least partially disposed in the interior through the opening. The bottle has a container holding fluid medicine to be dispensed and a nozzle with an aperture in fluid communication with the container. The device may include a tilt switch, a closure switch, and other electronics that improve patient compliance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Alcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Julia A. Clifford, William E. McCune, Robert W. Ashlin, Jr., David W. Lennox
  • Patent number: 7171993
    Abstract: A beverage dispenser for filling a container preferably has a nozzle through which the beverage is discharged and a pivoting lever located underneath the nozzle that detects the placement of a container so as to regulate the actuation of the dispenser. A conductive probe is in line with the discharged beverage stream, the lever also being conductive. A signal generator generates a varying-over-time signal that is applied to the probe or lever. As a result of beverage overflowing the container, the beverage stream establishes a conductive path between the probe and lever. The signal through this conductive path is compared to the signal produced by the signal generator. If the signals are substantially identical for a select period of time, the dispensing system is considered to be in an overflow state, and beverage dispensing is terminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignee: PepsiCo, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy W. Bethuy, Andrew D. Nelson, Gary Blank, Anthony V. Salsich
  • Patent number: 6662976
    Abstract: A dosing spout for mounting on a container has a liquid outlet valve which, at placing of the spout in an electric field, can be actuated by the field for opening of outflow of liquid directly from the container and out through the mouth of the spout, and an air inlet valve which can let air from the surroundings directly into the container as compensation for the quantity of liquid flowing out. The armature of the liquid outlet valve and the armature of the air inlet valve are arranged consecutively in their longitudinal direction of displacement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Lindberg & Jensen ApS
    Inventors: Bjørn Slot Jensen, Frank Lindberg, Peter Lindberg
  • Patent number: 6595107
    Abstract: A beverage server and beverage brewer. Contacts are provided between the brewer and server, and the server is conductively coupleable to and removable from the brewer. The server is configured to detect a level of beverage retained in the server and communicate this information to the brewer. 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. Preferably, 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: April 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 6427871
    Abstract: A dispensing device with user readable indicators for tracking information associated with a succession of pouring events. Each pouring event dispensing a pre-determined volume of liquid from a liquid holding container, upon which the dispensing device is installed, via a dynamically calibrated time interval. The dispensing device including a user interface having a display and keypad and arranged to provide to the user pouring related information during and after each pouring event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Inventor: Anthony Suero
  • Patent number: 6409046
    Abstract: Methods of pouring liquids from bottles have the steps of providing a pouring head with at least two functionally different modes of pouring, i.e. electronically timed pouring with automatic shut-off, and free pouring either with or without an annunciator signal, and the step of selecting one of the modes at the time of dispensing. Further, the steps of providing a normally open magnetically latched valve, and momentarily de-magnetizing to drop the valve and terminate pouring, and the steps of shaking the valve back on to magnetic and electrically sensing the presence of the valve and electrically starting a subsequent pour while the bottle remains inverted. A further step has free pouring with sensory annunciation of the completion of pouring, with the preferred annunciation being a blinking light signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Arganious E. Peckels
    Inventor: Arganious E. Peckels
  • Patent number: 6393966
    Abstract: A beverage server and beverage brewer. Contacts are provided between the brewer and server, and the server is conductively coupleable to and removable from the brewer. The server is configured to detect a level of beverage retained in the server and communicate this information to the brewer. 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. Preferably, 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: April 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Publication number: 20010013524
    Abstract: A beverage server and beverage brewer. Contacts are provided between the brewer and server, and the server is conductively coupleable to and removable from the brewer. The server is configured to detect a level of beverage retained in the server and communicate this information to the brewer. 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. Preferably, 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: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2001
    Publication date: August 16, 2001
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 6223938
    Abstract: A machine for dispensing a predetermined quantity of liquid upon actuation of a start switch is described herein. The machine includes a timer and at least one peristaltic pump connected to the timer. Upon actuation of the start switch, the timer energizes the peristaltic pump for a predetermined period of time to therefore transfer a predetermined quantity of liquid from a main reservoir to a cup.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Inventors: Sylvain Paré, Yvon Paré
  • Patent number: 6089409
    Abstract: Beverage servers for retaining beverages at a desired heated temperature. Prior art beverage servers have attempted to maintain the temperature of a brewed beverage retained therein in a variety of ways. One form of beverage server utilizes a heat resistant and heat conductive material for a beverage reservoir and places an exposed flame using a product such as gelled fuel thereunder to provide heat. One problem with this type of beverage server is that an exposed flame is presented to the customers and that the flame does not necessarily maintain a consistent or desired beverage temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 6046447
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is provided to detect the position of an object, such as a container, in a target window using the concept of triangulation of energy radiation. A transmitter emits a pulse of energy in response to a periodic clock pulse which is at least partially reflected off the container positioned in the target window and into a receiver, forming an optical triangle. The signal produced by the receiver is checked to ensure that the energy indicative signal is synchronous with the periodic clock pulse to eliminate errant energy sources. The presence of a synchronous signal indicates the presence of an object in the target window wherein subsequent action may be taken, such as dispensing beverage and/or ice into a container within the target window. The invention is incorporated into a dispensing valve and may have the transmitter and receiver mounted vertically or horizontally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Electro-Pro, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel G. Skell, Eric D. Skell
  • Patent number: 5967367
    Abstract: A multi-head drinks-dispensing apparatus having a group of drinks-dispensing heads each arranged for supply with drink ingredients through fluid control valves. A keypad has a first group of keys for selecting the type of drink and the dispensing head to be used, and a second group of keys for selecting the quantity of drink to be dispensed. Signals from those groups of keys are processed in a micro-processor, which energizes the relevant pair of valves to commence delivery of the selected drink without any delay. Dispensing of the selected drink is initiated at the earliest moment, while other drinks are being selected, so that selected drinks can be dispensed from the dispensing heads in a serial, overlapping manner. This facilitates the dispensing of a customer's multi-drink order in the shortest possible time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages Limited
    Inventor: Brian Joseph Orsborn
  • Patent number: 5960997
    Abstract: A beverage dispensing apparatus comprises a system for dispensing a base beverage including a control for controlling dispensing of a quantity of the base beverage, and a system for dispensing at least one flavoring for admixture with the dispensed base beverage. The flavoring dispensing system has a valve for controlling dispensing of the flavoring and a control operable in response to actuation of the beverage dispensing system control to dispense base beverage for opening the valve to dispense flavoring simultaneously and throughout dispensing of the base beverage with a constant volume ratio of base beverage and flavoring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Multiplex Company, Inc.
    Inventor: David P. Forsythe
  • Patent number: 5930146
    Abstract: A drink dispenser can sell or reserve a drink even during a sale of a drink, thereby ensuring the sale of drinks. Namely, if any one of drink sale buttons is pressed while any one of drink discharge valve relays is opened to sell a drink, this request for a sale is stored in a memory. Once the current sale of a drink has been completed, an interval timer starts counting down and after a specified period of time, a valve corresponding to the request for a sale stored in the memory is opened to start a sale. A plurality of drinks may be supplied simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd,
    Inventor: Katsumi Takenaka
  • Patent number: 5845824
    Abstract: A beverage dispenser includes a body having a bore with an inlet, an outlet and a valve seat therebetween. A valve stem has a seal to selectively engage the valve seat to open and close the bore to a flow of beverage between the inlet and outlet. A serving lever is pivotally connected to the body and selectively coupled and decoupled to the valve stem by a clutch which is operated by a solenoid. Operating the serving lever may move the seal away from the valve seat only when clutch couples the serving lever to the valve stem. A control circuit operates the solenoid to cause the clutch to decouple the serving lever from the valve stem when the beverage has been dispensed continuously for greater than a defined period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Michael G. Weimer, David K. Wetzel, Jeffrey Hale, Scott W. Braun
  • Patent number: 5839483
    Abstract: A switch, mounted on a standard beverage tap, provides an electrical signal indicating when beverage is being dispensed into a serving container. The electrical signal is applied to a monitor which measures the period of time that the beverage flows from the tap. As beverage dispensing occurs, a series of steps are taken which determine from the time measurements whether the dispensing is proceeding into one container, is complete, is part of a continuous pour into several containers or has been completed with a subsequent single container pouring operation occurring. That determination is based on whether the period of time is within a range indicative of dispensing the beverage into a single serving container. When that determination is made a serving container count is incremented. The monitor also uses the measured time period to detect when the tap is opened for longer than the typical time required to fill a single beverage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Lee Rejret, Jeffrey Hale, Larry D. Powers
  • Patent number: 5803320
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for dispensing cold, carbonated coffee beverages. The apparatus comprises a plurality of reservoirs for holding the beverage ingredients. Each reservoir is selectively connected to at least one dispensing pump that is controlled by a control unit. The pumps deliver the ingredients to a dispensing head that is configured to mix the ingredients external to the dispensing head. The basic ingredients are coffee extract, soda, and a sweetener. Additionally, ingredients such as decaffeinated coffee extract and water may be included to expand the range of beverage selections. The apparatus dispenses the ingredients in a manner that forms a desired creme on top of the beverage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: ABC Dispensing Technologies
    Inventors: Robert A. Cutting, Gregory R. Gemmell, Thomas S. Green
  • Patent number: 5769271
    Abstract: In a drink-dispensing installation, an authorized individual is required to identify himself by entering a code into a code-registering station. The drinks-dispensing installation includes an automatic valve and a manually-actuable hand-dispensing valve connected in series with the automatic valve. The automatic valve is maintained in an open position and is closed at a time subsequent to the start of opening the hand valve when a drink is first drawn off from the dispensing installation without first entering the code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Wilhelm Handke GmbH
    Inventor: Hans-Peter Miller
  • Patent number: 5744793
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is provided to detect the position of an object, such as a container, in a target window using the concept of triangulation of energy radiation. A transmitter emits a pulse of energy in response to a periodic clock pulse which is at least partially reflected off the container positioned in the target window and into a receiver, forming an optical triangle. The signal produced by the receiver is checked to ensure that the energy indicative signal is synchronous with the periodic clock pulse to eliminate errant energy sources. The presence of a synchronous signal indicates the presence of an object in the target window wherein subsequent action may be taken, such as dispensing beverage and/or ice into a container within the target window. The invention is incorporated into a dispensing valve and may have the transmitter and receiver mounted vertically or horizontally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Electro-Pro, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel G. Skell, Eric D. Skell
  • Patent number: 5730323
    Abstract: An apparatus for controllably delivering a liquid under pressure from a supply to a first location is provided having a first structure operable for a predetermined first time interval to cause flow of a first predetermined quantity of liquid at a first pressure from the supply to the first location, and a second structure for sensing the pressure of the liquid and as an incident of sensing that the pressure of the liquid is not at the first pressure causing a compensating delivery of liquid from the supply to the first location so that the first predetermined quantity of liquid is delivered to the first location each time the first structure is operated for the first time interval. The first structure is capable of operating for a plurality of different time intervals corresponding to a plurality of different size containers selectable by a user to be filled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Codell Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: John O. Osborne
  • Patent number: 5720414
    Abstract: A system for providing a precise amount of dilution liquid to a container of concentrate to produce a reconstituted concentrate of the desired consistency. This is accomplished by introducing the liquid at a predetermined pressure controlled by a pressure regulator for a preset period set by a timed valve mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Inventor: Rodney W. Adams
  • Patent number: 5702032
    Abstract: Each open liquor bottle in a tavern has a plastic spout with a magnetically operable valve to control the flow of liquor from the bottle. The spouts were fabricated with three integral rings extending around the spout with each ring being either plastic or metal to form a pattern that encodes information identifying a characteristic of the bottle. An annular actuator reads the pattern of rings and responds by producing a magnetic field that opens the spout valve to dispense the liquor. Three rings allow up to eight different classes of characteristics to be encoded. To increase that number of classes a supplemental metal ring is attached around some of the spout adjacent to one end of the actuator when the spout is inserted therein. The actuator is modified to sense presence of the supplemental metal ring on a spout. Adding another ring to certain spouts permits the number of classes of characteristics to be doubled without requiring replacement of existing spouts in a tavern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventor: John M. Loehrke
  • Patent number: 5603430
    Abstract: A separate spout is attached to each open bottle in a tavern with each spout having a magnetically operable valve to control the flow of liquor from the bottle. A transponder is provided in each spout transmits an unique identification code. To pour liquor from a bottle, an actuator is placed over the spout. An interrogator coupled to an interrogator coil in the actuator for sending an activation signal to the transponder and thereafter reads the identification code. A memory provides a group of storage locations for each of the plurality of spouts. The group of storage locations for a given spout contains the identification code for that spout and data regarding a total volume dispensed from a particular bottle to which the given spout is attached, a quantity present in the particular bottle when full, and a price per volume unit. A controller energizes a valve operating coil in the actuator to open a valve in response to the interrogator reading the identification code from a spout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1997
    Assignee: DEC International, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Loehrke, Thomas L. Heidebrecht