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1. (WO1991017950) BEVERAGE DISPENSER WITH AUTOMATIC RATIO CONTROL
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What is claimed is :
1. Apparatus comprising:
(a) a post-mix beverage dispenser including a beverage
dispenser valve having separate syrup and water
conduits, a solenoid controlled on-off valve in each of said conduits, and an adjustable flow control in each
of said conduits;
(b) means for measuring the flow rate through each of said conduits;
(c) means for automatically comparing each of said measured flow rates with a preferred flow rate; and
(d) means for automatically adjusting a selected one of
said flow controls a selected amount in response to
said comparing means.
2. The apparatus as recited in Claim 1 wherein said comparing means includes means for detecting a flow error trend over a plurality of separate pours.
3. The apparatus as recited in Claim 2 including electronic
memory means for retaining information on the flow rate in each of said conduits and means for analyzing and
interpreting a flow error trend.
4. The apparatus as recited in Claim 1 wherein said adjusting means includes a flow control sprocket wheel connected to each of said flow controls and a drive socket in mating
engagement with at least one of said flow control sprocket wheels and means for rotating said drive sprocket a selected amount to adjust the flow control connected to said drive sprocket.
5. The apparatus as recited in Claim 4 wherein said means for rotating said drive sprocket include a stepper motor and an encoder.
6. The apparatus as recited in Claim 1 wherein said beverage dispenser valve is a multiflavor valve including a plurality of separate syrup conduits, including a flow control
sprocket wheel connected to the adjustable flow control on each of said syrup and water conduits, a single drive
sprocket wheel for mating engagement with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels, means for moving said drive sprocket wheel into mating contact with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels and means for turning said drive
sprocket wheel a selected amount to adjust the flow control connected thereto.
7. The apparatus as recited in Claim 6 wherein said positioning means and said drive means include a stepper motor, a drive belt, a movable carriage carrying said drive sprocket wheel, and a solenoid on said carriage for moving said drive
sprocket wheel out of engagement with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels and for locking said drive belt to said drive sprocket wheel for moving said carriage and a
spring for returning said drive wheel sprocket into
engagement with a selected flow control sprocket wheel when the solenoid is de-energized.
8. The apparatus as recited in Claim 7 including positioning means to move said carriage into locked position with said drive sprocket wheel in mating engagement with a selected one of said flow control sprocket wheels and drive means for turning said drive sprocket wheel when in mating engagement with a selected flow control sprocket wheel to adjust the associated flow control a desired amount.
9. The apparatus as recited in Claim 6 wherein said means for moving said single drive socket wheel include a stationary support, a movable carriage carrying said single drive socket wheel, said stationary support including a stepper drive motor, a drive chain, an encoder, an encoder
photosensor adapted to read said encoder, a locking rail with a plurality of locking pin detents to lock said
carriage in any one of the number of selected actuating positions, a position rail with a plurality of position holes for locating a selected position, a plurality of carriage guide rods, and a home position photo detector, said movable carriage including a carriage body, a pair of guide blocks slideably mounted on said guide rods, a drive sprocket wheel mounted on a movable slide having a flow control adjustment position and a carriage travel position, said drive sprocket wheel being in mating engagement with a flow control sprocket wheel in said adjustment position and being out of such engagement in said travel position, a
solenoid for moving said slide from said adjustment position to said travel position against the action of a spring
holding said slide in said adjustment position, a position seeking photo detector position to sense said position holes in said position rail, a home position sensor tab, and a
locking pin mounted on a locking pin slide.
10. The apparatus as recited in Claim 1 wherein said measuring means includes means for measuring the flow rate and the
temperature of at least the syrup.
11. The apparatus as recited in Claim 10 wherein said measuring means include paddle wheel flow meters and temperature
sensors in each of said conduits in said beverage dispenser valve.
12. Apparatus for controlling the ratio of syrup to water in a beverage dispensed from a post-mix beverage dispenser
comprising:
(a) a beverage dispensing valve system having separate
syrup and water conduits extending therethrough, a
solenoid controlled on-off valve in each of said
conduits, and an adjustable flow control in each of
said conduits;
(b) means for measuring the flow rate through each of said conduits;
(c) means for automatically comparing the measured flow
rates with preferred flow rates; and
(d) means responsive to said comparing means for
automatically adjusting a selected one of said flow
controls a selected amount.
13. The apparatus as recited in Claim 12 wherein said comparing means includes means for detecting a flow error trend over a plurality of separate pours.
14. The apparatus as recited in* Claim 13 including electronic memory means for retaining information on the flow rate in each of said conduits and means for analyzing and
interpreting a flow error trend.
15. The apparatus as recited in Claim 12 wherein said adjusting means includes a flow control sprocket wheel connected to each of said flow controls and a drive socket in mating
engagement with at least one of said flow control sprocket wheels and means for rotating said drive sprocket a selected amount to adjust the flow control connected to said drive sprocket.
16. The apparatus as recited in Claim 15 wherein said means for rotating said drive sprocket include a stepper motor and an encoder.
17. The apparatus as recited in Claim 12 wherein said beverage dispenser valve is a multiflavor valve including a plurality of separate syrup conduits, including a flow control
sprocket wheel connected to the adjustable flow control on each of said syrup and water conduits, a single drive
sprocket wheel for mating engagement with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels, means for moving said drive sprocket wheel into mating contact with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels and means for turning said drive
sprocket wheel a selected amount to adjust the flow control connected thereto .
18. The apparatus as recited in Claim 17 wherein said
positioning means and said drive means include a stepper
motor, a drive belt, a movable carriage carrying said drive sprocket wheel, and a solenoid on said carriage for moving said drive sprocket wheel out of engagement with any one of said flow control sprocket wheels and for locking said drive belt to said drive sprocket wheel for moving said carriage and a spring for returning said drive wheel sprocket into engagement with a selected flow control sprocket wheel when the solenoid is de-energized.
19. The apparatus as recited in Claim 18 including positioning means to move said carriage into locked position with said drive sprocket wheel in mating engagement with a selected one of said flow control sprocket wheels and drive means for turning said drive sprocket wheel when in mating engagement with a selected flow control sprocket wheel to adjust the associated flow control a desired amount.
20. The apparatus as recited in Claim 17 wherein said means for moving said single drive socket wheel include a stationary support, a movable carriage carrying said single drive
socket wheel, said stationary support including a stepper drive motor, a drive chain, an encoder, an encoder
photosensor adapted to read said encoder, a locking rail
with a plurality of locking pin detents to lock said
carriage in any one of the number of selected actuating
positions, a position rail with a plurality of position
holes for locating a selected position, a plurality of
carriage guide rods, and a home position photo detector,
said movable carriage including a carriage body, a pair of guide blocks slideably mounted on said guide rods, a drive sprocket wheel mounted on a movable slide having a flow
control adjustment position and a carriage travel position, said drive sprocket wheel being in mating engagement with a flow control sprocket wheel in said adjustment position and being out of such engagement in said travel position, a
solenoid for moving said slide from said adjustment position to said travel position against the action of a spring
holding said slide in said adjustment position, a position seeking photo detector position to sense said position holes in said position rail, a home position sensor tab, and a
locking pin mounted on a locking pin slide.
21. The apparatus as recited in Claim 12 wherein said measuring means includes means for measuring the flow rate and the
temperature of at least the syrup.
22. The apparatus as recited in Claim 21 wherein said measuring means include paddle wheel flow meters and temperature
sensors in each of said conduits in said beverage dispenser valve.
23. Apparatus for controlling the ratio of syrup to water in a beverage dispensed from a post-mix beverage dispenser
comprising: (a) a beverage dispensing valve system having separate
syrup and water conduits extending therethrough, a
solenoid controlled on-off valve in each of said
conduits, and an adjustable flow control in each of
said conduits;
(b) means for measuring the flow rate through each of said conduits;
(c) means for automatically comparing the measured flow
rates with preferred flow rates; and
(d) means responsive to said comparing means for
automatically adjusting a selected one of said flow
controls a selected amount.
24. A method for controlling the ratio of syrup to water in a beverage dispensed from a post-mix beverage dispenser having a valve including separate syrup and water conduits,
separate solenoid controlled on-off valves in each of said conduits, and an adjustable flow control in each of said
conduits, comprising the steps of:
(a) separately automatically measuring the flow rate of the syrup and water through each of said conduits during a beverage pour cycle;
(b) automatically comparing each of the measured flow rates to preferred flow rates;
(c) automatically determining when a selected flow control needs adjusting;
(d) automatically adjusting said selected flow control.