Processing

Please wait...

Settings

Settings

Goto Application

1. WO2020142285 - MOVABLE HEATING ELEMENTS FOR INFRARED COOKING OVENS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An infrared conveyor oven comprising:

an oven chamber in which food is cooked;

a conveyor extending through the oven chamber and moveable to transport the food through the oven chamber; and

a heating zone defined by a pair of movable infrared heating elements that are positioned opposite each other in the oven chamber,

wherein one movable infrared heating element is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and

wherein the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements are configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

2. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a plurality of heating zones within the oven chamber,

wherein the plurality of heating zones are positioned in series along a length of the oven chamber, each heating zone defined by a pair of movable infrared heating elements positioned opposite each other,

wherein one movable infrared heating element of each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and

wherein the movable infrared heating elements of each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements are configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

3. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 2, further comprising:

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements independently of each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset cooking characteristic of each one of the plurality of heating zones independently of each of the other heating zones of the plurality of heating zones.

4. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 3, wherein the preset cooking characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: food product type, cooking style, cooking time, heating zone target cooking temperature, or temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

5. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 2, further comprising;

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements in coordination with each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

6. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 2, further comprising:

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements independently of each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

7. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, wherein

the oven chamber includes a vertical support member having a plurality of openings formed along a height of the vertical support member, and

each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to be removably received in a selected opening of the plurality of openings formed in the vertical securing member to allow each of the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements to be moved toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

8. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 7, wherein each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to be removably received in a selected opening of the plurality of openings formed in the vertical securing member to allow an operator to manually move each of the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

9. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other, wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber; and

a crank and screw mechanism configured to move the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements, the crank and screw mechanism including a crank operably coupled to a scissor mechanism, the scissor mechanism operably coupled to the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements in tandem between a retracted position and an extended position.

10. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a motor operably coupled to the pair of movable infrared heating elements; and

a controller configured to control operation of the motor to automatically adjust a position of the pair of movable infrared heating elements in accordance with a preset cooking characteristic for the heating zone or the oven chamber as a whole.

11. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 10, wherein the preset cooking

characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: food product type, cooking style, cooking time, target cooking temperature for the heating zone, or temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

12. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 10, wherein the controller is configured to control the motor to automatically adjust a position of the pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature of the heating zone as sensed by a temperature sensor and as compared to a preset target cooking temperature.

13. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a motor operably coupled to the pair of movable infrared heating elements via a lead screw, wherein the lead screw is rotatable by the motor to move the pair of movable infrared heating elements along a height of the lead screw toward each other or away from each other in tandem; and

a controller configured to control operation of the motor to move the pair of movable infrared heating elements.

14. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a motor operably coupled to a lead screw via a gear assembly to transmit rotational motion to the lead screw, wherein each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable heating elements is operably coupled to the lead screw via an internal gear and the internal gears are configured to travel in opposite linear directions along a length of the lead screw when the motor rotates the lead screw.

15. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 14, further comprising:

a controller configured to control operation of the motor to automatically adjust a position of the pair of movable infrared heating elements in accordance with a preset cooking characteristic for the heating zone or the oven chamber as a whole.

16. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 15, wherein the cooking characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: food product type, cooking style, cooking time, target cooking temperature for the heating zone, or temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

17. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 14, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other,

wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor,

wherein the second pair of movable heating elements are configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber, and

wherein the upper movable infrared heating element of each of the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is operably coupled to the lead screw via a same internal gear and the lower movable infrared heating element of each of the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is operably coupled to the lead screw via a same internal gear.

18. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 10, wherein the controller is configured to control operation of the motor to move the pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature in the heating zone in response to a temperature sensed by a temperature sensor in the heating zone, and wherein the controller is configured to compare the sensed temperature to a preset cooking temperature.

19. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other, wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and wherein the movable infrared heating elements of the second pair of movable heating elements are configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber;

a motor operably coupled to the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move the movable infrared heating elements of each of the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements in tandem; and a controller configured to control operation of the motor to move the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature in each of the first heating zone and the second heating as sensed by temperature sensors and as compared to a preset desired cooking temperature profile for the cooking chamber as a whole.

20. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other,

wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor,

wherein the second pair of movable heating elements are configured to move in tandem toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber, and

wherein the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements can be moved independently relative to each other.

21. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a temperature switch configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and shutoff power to the pair of heating elements if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.

22. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a contactor configured to control the supply of power to the pair of heating elements and a temperature switch in communication with the contactor and configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and disconnect the power to the contactor if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.

23. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a control relay configured to control the supply power to the pair of heating elements,

a contactor configured to control the supply of power to the control relay; and a temperature switch in communication with the contactor and configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and disconnect the power to the contactor if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.

24. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 1, wherein each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to move in tandem by a same distance toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

25. An infrared conveyor oven comprising:

an oven chamber in which food is cooked;

a conveyor extending through the oven chamber and moveable to transport the food through the oven chamber; and

a heating zone defined by a pair of movable infrared heating elements that are positioned opposite each other in the oven chamber,

wherein one movable infrared heating element is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and

wherein the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements are configured to move independently of each other toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

26. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, further comprising:

a plurality of heating zones within the oven chamber,

wherein the plurality of heating zones are positioned in series along a length of the oven chamber, each heating zone defined by a pair of movable infrared heating elements positioned opposite each other,

wherein one movable infrared heating element of each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and

wherein the movable infrared heating elements of each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements are configured to move independently of each other toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

27. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 26, further comprising:

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements independently of each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset cooking characteristic of each one of the plurality of heating zones independently of each of the other heating zones of the plurality of heating zones.

28. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 3, wherein the preset cooking characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: food product type, cooking style, cooking time, heating zone target cooking temperature, or temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

29. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 26, further comprising;

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements in coordination with each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

30. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 26, further comprising:

a controller in communication with each of the pairs of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move each pair of movable infrared heating elements independently of each of the other pairs of movable infrared heating elements to adjust a preset temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

31. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, wherein

the oven chamber includes a vertical support member having a plurality of openings formed along a height of the vertical support member, and

each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to be removably received in a selected opening of the plurality of openings formed in the vertical securing member to allow each of the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements to be moved toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

32. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 31, wherein each movable infrared heating element of the pair of movable infrared heating elements is configured to be removably received in a selected opening of the plurality of openings formed in the vertical securing member to allow an operator to manually move each of the movable infrared heating elements of the pair of movable infrared heating elements toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber.

33. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, further comprising:

a motor operably coupled to the pair of movable infrared heating elements; and a controller configured to control operation of the motor to automatically adjust a position of the pair of movable infrared heating elements in accordance with a preset cooking characteristic for the heating zone or the oven chamber as a whole.

34. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 33, wherein the preset cooking

characteristic is selected from the group consisting of: food product type, cooking style, cooking time, target cooking temperature for the heating zone, or temperature profile of the oven chamber as a whole.

35. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 33, wherein the controller is configured to control the motor to automatically adjust a position of the pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature of the heating zone as sensed by a temperature sensor and as compared to a preset target cooking temperature.

36. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 33, wherein the controller is configured to control operation of the motor to move the pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature in the heating zone in response to a temperature sensed by a temperature sensor in the heating zone, and wherein the controller is configured to compare the sensed temperature to a preset cooking temperature.

37. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other, wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor, and wherein the movable infrared heating elements of the second pair of movable heating elements are configured to move independently of each other toward or away from the conveyor in a direction perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber;

a motor operably coupled to the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements and configured to move the movable infrared heating elements of each of the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements independently of each other; and

a controller configured to control operation of the motor to move the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements based on the current temperature in each of the first heating zone and the second heating as sensed by temperature sensors and as compared to a preset desired cooking temperature profile for the cooking chamber as a whole.

38. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, wherein the heating zone is a first heating zone and the pair of movable infrared heating elements is a first pair of movable infrared heating elements, and further comprising:

a second heating zone located in a downstream direction from the first heating zone and defined by a second pair of movable infrared heating elements in the oven chamber that are positioned opposite each other,

wherein one movable infrared heating element of the second pair of movable infrared heating elements is positioned above the conveyor and the other movable infrared heating element is positioned below the conveyor,

wherein the second pair of movable heating elements are configured to move independently of each other toward or away from the conveyor in a direction

perpendicular to a direction that the conveyor extends through the oven chamber, and wherein the first pair and the second pair of movable infrared heating elements can be moved independently relative to each other.

39. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, further comprising:

a temperature switch configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and shutoff power to the pair of heating elements if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.

40. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, further comprising:

a contactor configured to control the supply of power to the pair of heating elements and a temperature switch in communication with the contactor and configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and disconnect the power to the contactor if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.

41. The infrared conveyor oven of claim 25, further comprising:

a control relay configured to control the supply power to the pair of heating elements,

a contactor configured to control the supply of power to the control relay; and a temperature switch in communication with the contactor and configured to sense the temperature in the oven chamber and disconnect the power to the contactor if a safety shutoff temperature is sensed in the oven chamber.