Title:
BREADING MACHINE
United States Patent 3608516


Abstract:
A breading machine is provided, which is characterized by simplicity of construction, ease of assembly and disassembly, and adaptability of one-man operation. Novel features include pumping means for continuously spraying the items to be breaded with an edible coating fluid which facilitates adherence of the breading mixture to the items, means for continuously feeding the coated items through a shower of breading mixture, and means for continuously feeding excess breading mixture in a direction countercurrent to the direction of movement of the items which are being breaded. Auxiliary features include means enabling a single operator stationed at the delivery end of the machine to feed articles to be breaded to the entry or feed end of the machine, irrespective of the overall length of the machine.



Inventors:
TEMPLE EDWARD F
Application Number:
04/834266
Publication Date:
09/28/1971
Filing Date:
06/18/1969
Assignee:
EDWARD F. TEMPLE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
118/17, 118/19
International Classes:
A21C9/04; A23P1/08; (IPC1-7): B05C5/00
Field of Search:
118/16,19,20,24,303,17
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
1840289Coating apparatus1932-01-05Hunter
1423014Nut-salting machine1922-07-18Peruzzi
1391604Candy-sugaring machine1921-09-20Baumgard
1374938Coating-machine1921-04-19McNulty



Primary Examiner:
Mcintosh, John P.
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim

1. In a breading machine of the character described, a revoluble perforated drum for conveying articles to be breaded, means for spraying an edible coating fluid onto said articles as they are conveyed through said drum, a revoluble second perforated drum in alignment with said first drum for receiving said coated articles and in which second drum said coated articles are breaded, said second drum having a spiral conveyor on its inner wall for conveying the articles through said second drum as they are being breaded, the perforations of said second drum permitting escape from the drum of excess breading material, and a third cylindrical drum encircling said second drum in spaced concentric relation thereto and revoluble therewith, said third drum having a spiral conveyor on its inner wall for moving said excess breading material in a direction countercurrent to the direction of movement of the articles to be breaded.

2. In a breading machine of the character described, a perforated drum for conveying articles to be breaded, means for spraying an edible fluid onto said articles as they are conveyed to said drum and a second perforated drum in alignment with said first drum for receiving coated articles in which said coated articles are breaded, said spraying means including a spiral tube disposed about said first-named drum, said spiral tube having perforations from which said fluid issues and passes through the perforations of said first drum.

3. A breading machine, as defined in claim 2, including a tank for said coating fluid, and pump means for circulating said fluid from said tank and through said spiral tube.

4. A breading machine, as defined in claim 3, including a housing through which said first-named drum extends, said housing having an inclined portion at its bottom for facilitating return of said fluid to said tank.

5. A breading machine, as defined in claim 4, wherein said first drum is driven by said second drum.

6. In a breading machine of the character described, a perforated drum for conveying articles to be breaded, and means for spraying an edible fluid onto said articles as they are conveyed to said drum, said spraying means including a spiral tube disposed about said drum and having perforations from which said fluid issues and passes through the perforations of said drum.

7. A breading machine, as defined in claim 6, including a tank for said coating fluid, and pump means for circulating said fluid from said tank and through said spiral tube.

8. A breading machine, as defined in claim 7, including a housing through which said drum extends, said housing having an inclined portion at its bottom for facilitating return of said fluid to said tank.

9. In a breading machine of the character described, a revoluble perforated drum for conveying articles to be breaded, a tank for containing an edible fluid for coating said articles as they are conveyed through said drum, means for conducting said fluid from said tank and through the perforations of said drum, a housing surrounding a portion of said drum and having means for gravity flow of excess fluid back to said tank, and means for removably connecting said drum to said housing, whereby said drum may be removed rearwardly from said housing.

Description:
Breading machines have heretofore been disclosed, as in U.S. Patent Nos. 2,855,893; 3,045,640 and 3,408,980, all of which are of complex construction, limited breading capacity, and so designed as to render difficult disassembly of the machine for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

A primary object of the invention is to provide a breading machine of the character described, which is of extremely simple construction, and is so designed as to not only facilitate assembly and disassembly of the parts, but to make readily accessible all parts of the machine for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

Another object of the invention is to provide a machine of the character described, having novel pumping and spraying means for continuously applying to the items to be breaded an edible coating fluid which facilitates adherence of the breading mixture subsequently applied to the items.

A further object of the invention is to provide a machine of the character described, having means for continuously moving the items thus coated through a shower of breading material, while, at the same time, moving excess breading material in a direction countercurrent to the direction of movement of the coated items, whereby such excess breading material is continuously moved to a position at which it may be reused for breading purposes.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a machine of the character described, having auxiliary means enabling a single operator stationed at the delivery end of the machine to feed articles to be breaded to the entry or feed end of the machine, irrespective of the overall length of the machine.

Other objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.

In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a breading machine embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the breading machine;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, taken on the line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A is a partial cross section of the means for removably securing drum 33.

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a pump used for spraying an edible coating on the articles to be breaded;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the parts of the pump separated from each other;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the breading machine;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, taken on the line 8--8 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a rear elevational view of the breading machine, with portions omitted for purposes of clarity of illustration;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary elevational view of the pump, as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows 10--10 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the pump, taken on the line 11--11 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 12 is a plan view showing apparatus or means for feeding articles to be breaded from a point adjacent the forward end of the machine to the rear or entrance end of the machine, and

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of the apparatus or means of FIG. 12.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 to 11 inclusive of the drawings, reference numeral 1 designates a mounting platform or support for the machine, having an inclined upper surface 2, which is inclined downwardly from right to left, as viewed in FIG. 2.

Mounted on the surface 2, in laterally spaced relation, are pairs of pillow block bearings 3 and 4.

The bearings 3 have journaled therein a drive shaft 5, and the bearings 4 have journaled therein a similar drive shaft 6, the axes of these shafts being substantially parallel with the surface 2 of the support 1.

The shafts 5 and 6 are respectively provided with portions 5a and 6a of reduced diameter on which are supported annular collars 7 and 8. These collars are of the same external diameter, but of different internal diameters, the internal diameter of the collar 7 providing an opening 9, while that of the collar 8 provides an opening 10 of substantially smaller diameter than that of the opening 9.

The collar 8 has secured thereto a collar 11, having an external surface 12 which is of substantially the same diameter as that of the opening 9 of the collar 7, and having an internal surface 13 of a greater diameter than that of the opening 10.

Mounted on the collar 11, with one end thereof abutting the sidewall of the collar 8, is a cylindrical drum 14, preferably made of stainless steel or plastic material, which drum has its axis parallel with those of the shafts 5 and 6. The drum 14, which is secured to the collar 11, extends through the opening 9 of the collar 7, and is secured in any desired manner to the collar 7. The drum 14 is provided with a conical extension 15, the purpose of which will be presently described.

Secured to the inner wall of the drum 14, is a spiral member or worm 16, from spaced portions of which extend paddles or vanes 17. The paddles or vanes 17 may also be affixed to the inner wall of the drum 14. The vanes 17, it may be noted, lie in planes which are nonparallel with the axis of the drum 14.

Disposed within the drum 14 is a drum 18 of an outer diameter substantially the same as that of the surface 13 of the collar 8, whereby the drum 18 may be properly located within the drum 14, by having one end thereof extend through the opening formed by the surface 13 and into abutment with the sidewall of the collar 8. The opposite end of the drum 18 extends through the opening 9 of the collar 7, and is provided with a conical extension 19 which terminates in a rebent flange 20 which engages the outer end of the conical extension 15 of the drum 14.

The extension 19 of the drum 18 is provided at circumferentially spaced points with fastener elements 21 which extend through holes 22 in the extension 15, to engage the outer surface of the latter, and thus hold the drum 14 against displacement from the collar 8.

The drum 18, including the extension 19 thereof, is provided throughout its length with a multiplicity of spaced holes or perforations 23, for a purpose to be presently described.

The drum 18 is also provided on its inner surface with a spiral conveyor 24, which is preferably made of a solid rod about three sixteenths of an inch in diameter, this conveyor extending the full length of the drum.

The drum 14 is driven by the shafts 5 and 6 through the medium of an electric motor 25, which is mounted on the surface 2 of the platform 1 and drives the shaft 6 directly through a coupling 26. The shaft 5 is driven by the shaft 6 through the medium of a pulley 27 on the shaft 6, an endless belt 28, and a pulley 29 on the shaft 5.

Secured to the collar 8, rearwardly of the drum 18 and in axial alignment with the latter, is a ring 30 having a conical outer surface 31. This ring 30 has secured to its inner wall a collar 32, which extends into the opening 10 of the collar 8 and to a point rearwardly of the ring.

A drum 33 is also provided, of a diameter which is such as to have a slip fit in the collar 32, the drum 33 being provided on its inner wall for the full length of the drum, with a spiral conveyor 34, which is preferably made from a solid rod three sixteenths of an inch in diameter. The drum 33 is also provided throughout its length with multiplicity of spaced holes or perforations 33a.

For the purpose of removably securing the drum 33 to the collar 32, the collar 32 is provided in its rear portion with circumferentially spaced bayonet-joint slots 35, and the forward end of the drum 33 is provided with correspondingly spaced radial pins 36, so that the drum 33 may be removably attached to the collar 32 by merely inserting the pins 36 into the slots 35 and then rotating the drum slightly in a manner well understood with reference to bayonet-joint connections.

The drum 33 extends through a housing, which consists of a forward portion 37 and a rear portion 38. The forward portion 37 is of conical shape and has a longitudinally extending depression or depressed portion 39 in the lower part thereof, which is rearwardly and downwardly inclined to provide a trough or chute for a purpose to be presently described.

The rearward portion 38 of the housing is of generally semicylindrical cross section, so as to provide an opening 40 at the bottom thereof, and is provided at its rear edge with a flange 41.

The housing is supported on a tank or reservoir generally designated by reference numeral 42, which is secured to the surface 2 by means of screws 43.

The tank 42 consists of a bottom 44, sidewalls 45 and 46, a front wall 47, a rear wall 48, and a cover or lid 49, which is hinged to the housing 38, as at 50, this cover or lid serving a purpose to be presently described.

The front wall 47 of the tank 42 is cut away to provide a recess for receiving the portion 39 of the housing 37 adjacent thereto.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 9, a loading door 51 is provided, which is secured to the flange 41 of the housing portion 38 by means of screws 52. The door 51 is provided with an opening 53 of slightly larger diameter than the diameter of the drum 33, and through which the rear portion of this drum extends.

The rear portion of the drum 33, which extends rearwardly of the opening 53 is supported for rotation by a pair of laterally spaced rolls 54 and 55, which are supported by a cradle or bracket 56, which is secured to the door 51 by means of screws 57.

For the purpose of spraying an edible coating liquid into the drum 33, a pump is provided, which is best shown in FIGS. 3,5,6,10 and 11, and comprises a sealed bearing 58, which is secured to the inner face of the front wall 47 of the tank 42, a pump housing 59 disposed adjacent the bearing 58, a cover plate 58a, and a rotor 60 disposed within the housing 59 and provided with circumferentially spaced flexible vanes 61. The coverplate 58a is secured to the sealed bearing 58 by means of threaded rods 58b which extend from the bearing, and nuts 58c which are secured to the rods 58b.

The pump rotor 60 is mounted on the end of a pump shaft 62, which extends through the wall 47 of the tank 42, and is connected, as by a coupling 63, to a shaft 64 driven by the motor 25. An O-ring seal 65 is interposed between the shaft 62 and the housing of the bearing 58.

The pump housing 59 is provided with a fluid inlet 66 which conducts fluid from the bottom of the tank 42 into the housing 59, and with a fluid outlet 67, which conducts fluid from the housing 59 to one end of a spiral coil 68, which encircles the drum 33, and is disposed within the space between the drum 33 and the portion 38 of the housing. The coil 68 is provided in the inner wall of each convolution thereof with spaced holes 69 through which fluid is sprayed onto the drum 33. A closure or cap 70 is provided at the remote end of the coil 68 to insure that all of the fluid which passes into the coil is forced out through the holes 69.

The machine or apparatus further includes an inclined slide or chute 71 onto which the food items to be breaded are dropped or placed, and slide by gravity into the drum 33, as well as a receptacle 72 in which the breaded items are deposited. A drain plug 73 is also provided for draining the contents of the tank 42, when necessary.

The operation or use of the machine may now be described as follows:

Before commencing the breading operation, the cover or lid 49 of the tank 42 is opened, and a quantity of edible coating fluid sufficient to wholly or partially fill the tank is poured into the tank. This fluid is used to provide a wet coating for the food items to be breaded, to which coating, the dry breading material then adheres.

A quantity of dry breading material is then thrown or deposited within the drum 18, through the front end of the drum.

The motor 25 is then energized, and the articles to be breaded are deposited upon the slide or chute 71, falling by gravity into the drum 33. These articles or items of food, such as disjointed pieces of chicken, onion rings, mushrooms, etc., are progressively moved along the drum by the conjoint gravity action due to the fact that the drum is slightly inclined, and the mechanical feeding movement imparted to the food items by the action of the spiral conveyor 34 on the wall of the rotating drum 33.

As the food items are thus moved along the drum, and are being tumbled in the drum to some extent, the edible fluid or liquid in the tank 42 is being continuously pumped by the pump within the tank and into the coil 68, and is sprayed from the coil through the holes 69 of the coil, and the holes or perforations 33a of the drum 33 and onto the food items, covering them uniformly with the fluid. The fluid which does not adhere to the food items, i.e., the excess fluid, falls by gravity through the holes 33a and back into the tank 42, to be recirculated. This return to the tank is aided by the inclined portion 39 of the housing 37.

The coated items of food emerge from the drum 33, fall into the drum 18, and are progressively moved along this drum by the conjoint gravity action due to the fact that the drum is slightly inclined, and the mechanical feeding movement imparted to the food items by the action of the spiral conveyor 24 on the wall of the rotating drum 18.

As the food items are thus moved along the drum 18, and are being tumbled in the drum to some extent, they are being showered with the breading mixture, which readily adheres to the coated food items and coats them uniformly with the breading mixture.

The action of the breading mixture is of particular importance. As the drum rotates, the breading mixture is being tumbled and falls onto the food items. The excess breading mixture or material falls through the openings 23 of the drum and into the bottom of the drum 14. This excess of material, due to the inclination of the drum 14 has a tendency to move toward the lower end of the drum. In order to counteract this, and to cause such material to be constantly returned toward the upper end of the drum, the rotation of the spiral screw or conveyor 16 is highly effective for this purpose, and as such excess material is thus being returned, much of it falls through the openings 23 and is thus being constantly recirculated for breading purposes. This recirculating action is augmented by the vanes or paddles 17, which are also effective to break up accumulations of the breading mixture and prevent it from packing or becoming packed or compressed.

The conical form of the extension 19 of the drum 18 facilitates discharge of the breaded items into the receptacle 72, while the reversely inclined conical form of the extension 15 of the drum 14 not only provides a space between the extensions 19 and 15 into which the excess breading material can fall, but also facilitates return of the excess breading material into the drum 14 for action or movement by the conveyor 16.

A particularly important feature of the invention is the ease with which all of the parts can be assembled or disassembled for cleaning or replacement purposes, and without the use of tools or an excessive number of fastening elements.

For example, the drum 33 can be moved by merely grasping the exposed rear end of the drum, turning the drum slightly to release the pins 36 from the slots 35, and then withdrawing the drum from the housing 37-38.

The housing 37-38 can be readily removed from the other parts of the machine, by merely unscrewing and removing the screws 52.

The drums 14 and 15 can be readily removed by slipping them out of the collars 7 and 8.

In most cases, the machine is of such overall length that a single person can handle both the feeding of the articles to be breaded into the machine, as well as the introduction of or loading of the breading material into the front end of the machine.

However, in cases where the machine might have too great an overall length to permit its operation in such manner by a single person, auxiliary apparatus or means, such as shown more or less diagrammatically in FIGS. 12 and 13 of the drawings, may be employed.

Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, an endless conveyor belt 75 is shown, which is disposed adjacent one side of the breading machine, and extends from a point adjacent the front end of the machine to a point adjacent the rear end of the machine. The belt 75 has an upward inclination from its front to the rear, and is mounted on the surface 2 of the platform 1.

Stationary side rails or guards 76 may be provided adjacent the side edges of the conveyor belt 75 to prevent articles to be breaded from falling off the belt.

The belt 75 may be driven by a motor (not shown).

Disposed adjacent the rear end of the belt 75 is a turntable 77, which is driven by a motor 78, and which is adapted to receive thereon the articles to be breaded and to convey these articles to a position overlying the rear portion of the slide or chute 71, so that the articles to be breaded can fall off the table 77 and onto the chute 71.

In the use of such auxiliary apparatus, the operator can, without leaving his station at the front end of the breading machine, load the articles to be breaded onto the conveyor 75, which will then transport the articles toward the rear of the machine, where the articles fall off the conveyor and onto the turntable 77, which, in turn, carries the articles to a point overlying the rear end of the chute 71, at which point, the articles fall off the turntable and onto the chute 71, and into the drum 33.

The use of such auxiliary conveying apparatus or means thus dispenses with the need for two men to operate the breading machine.

The machine, as thus described, is readily adapted for the breading of virtually all breadable items, whether fresh or frozen, including such items as fish, shrimp, scallops, and other sea foods; onions, potatoes, mushrooms, olives, cauliflower, bananas, cherries, fruit turnovers, other vegetables and fruits; flaked or chopped prepared meats, such as meatballs, meat patties, veal, fish patties, sausage, hot dogs, croquettes, etc.; and original shaped or cut meats, such as pork chops, lamb chops, steak, veal, chicken, etc.

It is designed for universal use in a commercial kitchen, or for small food supply establishments.

The capacity of the machine for breading operations is dependent upon such factors as the speed or experience of the operator, and the rate of absorption of the breading material by the articles which are being breaded. Examples of such capacity include the breading of about 2-3 pounds of unbreaded mushrooms, and the breading of 125-150 pounds of disjointed chicken per half hour.

Among other features of the machine are its simple construction, compactness, interchangeability of parts, low initial cost, the ease with which it may be dismantled and cleaned, all parts thereof being accessible with a minimum of effort, the ease with which the breading material may be loaded into the machine, low maintenance cost, the small number of working parts, its ability to bread all common breadable items, the speed of the breading operation and the fact that the shape of the breadable items is not distorted as a result of the breading operation, and the adaptability of operation by one man or operator, at high efficiency.

It is to be understood that the from of my invention, herewith shown and described, is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of parts thereof, without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.