Title:
AUTOMATIC ICE-CREAM MACHINE
United States Patent 3767169


Abstract:
The helical blade stirrer of an automatic ice-cream machine is as is customary located for rotation in the refrigerating can to be tangential thereto so as to scrape the side of the can. To accommodate deformation of points on the side of the can without permanent re-location of the helical blade the bearing for the end of the blade shaft which is located in the can is arranged to float radially in its housing and is maintained in the housing by resilient annular means such as rubber rings interposed between the housing and the periphery of the bearing.



Inventors:
CARPIGIANI P
Application Number:
05/218801
Publication Date:
10/23/1973
Filing Date:
01/18/1972
Assignee:
CARPIGIANI P,IT
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/246.5, 366/207, 384/220, 384/536
International Classes:
A23G9/10; A47J43/07; B01F15/00; (IPC1-7): B01F9/10
Field of Search:
259/16,33,49,51,58,85,DIG
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3188677Rotary scraper blade1965-06-15Jamison
2519543Mixing and scraping machine, especially adapted for use as icecream freezers1950-08-22Carpigiani
2127777Ice-cream freezer1938-08-23Kunzi
2114670Pillow block1938-04-19Searles



Primary Examiner:
Hornsby, Harvey C.
Assistant Examiner:
Coe, Philip R.
Claims:
I claim

1. In an automatic ice-cream machine including a rotatable can and a rotatable shaft one end of which extends into the can and carries a can wall-scraping helical blade, and a mounting for said one end of the helical blade shaft, the improvement wherein said mounting comprises a mounting member carried by a fixed part of the machine, a bearing seated in a housing formed in the mounting member and arranged to be movable in a radial direction relative to its seating, and resilient means interposed between the housing and the outer periphery of the bearing to maintain the helical blade in scraping relation with the can wall.

2. A mounting according to claim 1, wherein the resilient means comprises a rubber sleeve.

3. A mounting according to claim 1, wherein the resilient means comprises at least two rings of circular cross-section made of soft rubber or similar resilient material.

4. A mounting according to claim 3, wherein the housing includes at least one radially inwardly directed annular rib forming annular grooves in which the rings are located.

5. A mounting according to claim 4, wherein the nature of the resilient means is such as to permit radial movements of the bearing of the order of 1 millimeter.

6. A mounting according to claim 1, wherein the nature of the resilient means is such as to permit radial movements of the bearing of the order of 1 millimeter.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to automatic ice-cream machines and in particular to an automatic ice cream-making machine of the kind in which an ice-cream mixture is contained in a rotatable refrigerated can provided with a rotatable helical blade arranged to exert a mixing action on the ice-cream mixture tangentially to the wall of the revolving can.

2. Description of the Prior Art

In machines of the above kind the rotating helical blade, in order to obtain a good mixing action, is required to scrape the can wall. To this end, the end of the shaft carrying the helical blade and which is located in the can is usually supported by a ball bearing seated in a housing formed in a mounting member which is eccentrically arranged with respect to the shaft axis, so that by rotation of the mounting member relative to a stationary support therefor an accurate location of the helical blade relative to the can can be obtained.

However it sometimes happens that the can may become deformed during operation of the machine so that the rotating helical blade violently strikes against the deformed points of the can. To prevent such action it has hitherto been necessary to adjust the position of the blade relative to the can by shifting the blade slightly away from its ideal tangential position with respect to the can. It is a main object of the invention to meet this disadvantage by so mounting the bearing for the end of the shaft which extends into the can so as to accommodate for irregularities in the cylindrical form of the can without effecting a permanent re-positioning of the blade relative to the can.

SUMMARY

According to the invention the bearing for the end of the helical blade carrying shaft which extends into the refrigerating can is so located in a housing in a mounting member therefor that it is free to move radially relative to the housing and resilient means is located between the housing and the periphery of the bearing to maintain the helical blade in scraping relation with the can wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an automatic ice-cream machine, the can of the machine being shown partly in section, and

FIG. 2 is a section illustrating a bearing for the lower end of a shaft carrying a helical blade forming a part of the automatic ice-cream machine shown in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawing, FIG. 1 illustrates an automatic ice-cream machine of the kind to which the present invention refers.

The automatic ice-cream machine comprises, in a manner known per se, an ice-cream mix container can 1 which is accommodated in the machine base frame (not shown) and which is suitably refrigerated. The can 1 is rotated about its axis by a shaft 2 driven by a motor (not shown). The motor also drives a shaft 3 which carries the helical blade 4 which mixes the ice-cream mixture.

The helical blade 4 is rotated tangentially with respect to the inside wall of the can 1 so that during every turn thereof the blade 4 thoroughly scrapes ice-cream adhering to the inside wall of the can.

To permit accurate adjustment of the position of the blade 4 relative to the can 1, the end of the shaft 3 which extends into the can 1 is supported by a mounting member 5 which is accommodated in a cylindrical recess formed in a base plate 6 and whose axis is eccentric to the axis of shaft 3. Thus by angularly adjusting the mounting member 5 in the recess, the helical blade 6 can be moved towards or away from the inner wall of the can 1.

The mounting member 5 forms a housing which seats a ball bearing 7 (FIG. 2) which supports the lower end of the shaft 3. Adjustment of the position of the blade relative to the can in the manner just described is adequate while the can 1 remains truly cylindrical throughout its length. However, it happens that sometimes the can may become deformed at some points. Should this occur then during the operation of the machine the blade 4 will violently strike such deformed points.

This inconvenience has hitherto been accommodated by so positioning the helical blade so as to prevent the blade from contacting the deformed points. This however entails the necessity of drawing the helical blade away from the tangent with the can wall and this results in the can wall being no longer thoroughly scraped. This constitutes a disadvantage because it has a detrimental effect on the quality of the ice-cream being produced, due to the fact that the ice-cream which remains adherent to the can walls tends to produce ice crystals which are then found in the final (ice-cream) product.

According to the present invention, this disadvantage is removed or at least considerably reduced by providing a resilient member between the outer race of the ball bearing 7 and the housing in the mounting member 5 in which the bearing 7 is seated.

The resilient member is made in a manner such as to allow a lateral movement, of the order of about 1 millimeter, of the bearing 7, that is movement radially of the housing in the mounting member 5.

Referring particularly to FIG. 2, the mounting member 5 is, as stated above, provided with a circular recess in which the ball bearing 7 is seated. The recess has a diameter greater than that of the ball bearing 7 and is divided into two annular grooves by an annular rib 8 whose internal diameter is slightly greater than the outer diameter of the ball bearing 7. The grooves formed by the rib 8 are fitted with rings 9 and 10 of circular cross-section and made of soft rubber or similar resilient material which retain the bearing 7 in its seating by resilient pressure exerted on the bearing. If desired more than two rings may be used the grooves therefor being provided by appropriately disposed annular ribs similar to rib 8.

When an abnormal radial stress is exerted upon the helical blade 4, due for example to any eccentricity of the can, both resilient rings 9 and 10 are compressed, so that a lateral movement of the bearing 7, and therefore of the helical blade 4, is effected, while the pressure exerted by the rings 9 and 10 on the bearing 7 is sufficient to assure a correct scraping of the can by the blade 4. Thus the helical blade is continuously maintained in contact with the can walls, even at eccentric points thereof.

If desired, a resilient sleeve or like member, for example a rubber sleeve, may be provided instead of the rings 9, 10.