Title:
MACHINE FOR DRAWING SUGAR BASED PLASTIC MATERIAL
United States Patent 3825234


Abstract:
A machine for treating sugar based material in the plastic state by pulling or drawing and folding it to incorporate air into the material and to impart a fibrous silky appearance. The machine comprises a base carrying a table upwards from which extends a central post which is retractable below the table, and a head which projects over the table and carries two arms which are pivoted at one end and which have downwardly extending pins at the other end; the arms are positioned and shaped such that when they rotate about their pivoted ends the pins describe circles which overlap and which encircle the upstanding post without interfering with it or each other but such that when the material to be treated is placed in a central position on the table both the pins and the post can extend into it.



Inventors:
RUFFINATTI G
Application Number:
05/349546
Publication Date:
07/23/1974
Filing Date:
04/09/1973
Assignee:
S A S GIOVANNI RUFFINATTI & CO,IT
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
366/100
International Classes:
A23G3/02; A23G3/10; B01F15/04; (IPC1-7): B01F7/04
Field of Search:
259/185,186,DIG
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3169493Apparatus for processing doughFebruary 1965Enoch
1685741N/ASeptember 1928Geist
1282866N/AOctober 1918Koerber
1130683N/AMarch 1915Brewington



Primary Examiner:
Jenkins, Robert W.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Young & Thompson
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. In a machine for treating sugar based material in a plastic state by drawing or pulling the material and folding it to incorporate air, of the type comprising:

2. The machine of claim 1 wherein said head is vertically movable between raised and lowered positions with respect to said first fixed part of said machine on which said table is carried.

3. The machine of claim 2 wherein said first pin extends through an aperture in said table and is axially movable in a vertical direction between an extended position in which it projects above the upper face of said table, and a retracted position in which the end of said first pin is at or below the surface of said table.

4. The machine of claim 3 wherein there is a mechanism linking said first pin and said movable head,

5. The machine of claim 4 wherein, when said head is lowered to its lowest position the bottom ends of said second pins borne thereby are spaced about 2 mm from the upper face of said table.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to machines for drawing, or pulling, sugar based material in a plastic state. Known drawing machines for this purpose operate to incorporate air into the sugar based material for the purpose of increasing its volume and also to confer upon it a fibrous and silky look to improve its appeal as confectionary.

In known such machines, the operating mechanism which effects the pulling or drawing of the sugar based material comprises a first pin supported at one end by a fixed part of the machine, and two arms carrying respective second pins which are parallel to the said first pin and project towards it. The two arms are carried by a further stationary part of the machine and are so shaped and positioned that they can rotate in opposite directions without interfering with one another, the circles described by the second pins at the ends of the arms both surrounding the said first pin and overlapping one another.

The parts of the machine which support the first pin and the second pins on the said two arms are fixed, and the axes of all the pins are arranged horizontally.

This arrangement of the parts has certain disadvantages. At the start of a drawing or pulling operation the material must be threaded on, wound round, or otherwise loaded onto the first pin and must be brought into engagement with the movable second pins. The loading operation is not very pleasant, both because of the limited accessibility of the zone where the pins are located, and also due to the characteristics of the material, which is highly plastic and very adhesive and tends to stretch out by gravity so that it can be handled only with difficulty. The material also tends to become distributed irregularly among the pins which engage it for pulling, even during operation of the machine, and this makes it necessary to constantly watch the course of the work; periodic interventions by the machine minder are required to correct the distribution of the material between the shafts when this becomes badly unbalanced and these interventions, if effected when the machine is in motion, represent danger for the minder. On the other hand, if the machine is stopped for the machine minder to effect the necessary redistributions, the result is prolongation of the operating time required to bring the pulling or drawing of a given load of the material to the desired point. Similarly, unloading the material, when worked, from the machine, is as unpleasant and difficult as loading and further difficulty is experienced in cleaning the pins and other parts of the machine which get covered with very tight layers of the material which consolidates as it cools and thus becomes even more difficult to handle.

A further disadvantage of the known type of machine is the limited speed of rotation which can be given to the arms which carry the second pins, with the consequence that the operating time necessary to confer the desired characteristics to the material is rather long.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a machine for pulling or drawing sugar based materials in a plastic state, which does not have the abovementioned disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to this invention, there is provided a machine for pulling or drawing sugar based material in a plastic state, of the type having a first pin projecting in a first direction and supported on a first fixed part of the machine, and two movable second pins projecting in a direction opposite the said first direction and carried on respective arms which are pivoted at one end to a second fixed part of the machine such that the second pins are movable around respective overlapping circles in a plane extending transverse the said first direction by rotation of the arms around the said pivots at the said one ends thereof, in which the said first direction is substantially vertical, the said first pin projects upwardly from a table in the form of a post, the table supporting the material to be treated in use of the machine, and the said second fixed part of the machine is formed as a head which projects over the said table and from which the said two second pins extend downwardly from arms which are pivoted about substantially vertical axes.

Preferably, the head is movable between two vertically separated positions with respect to the said first fixed part of the machine which supports the said post and the said table.

Similarly, it is preferred that the post extends upwardly through an aperture in the said table and is movable in the vertical direction between an extended position in which it projects above the upper face of the table and a retracted position in which the end of the post is at or below the upper face of the table.

In a preferred embodiment there is a control mechanism linking the said post and the said head such that movements of both are simultaneously controlled by a single motor operative to raise the head as the post is retracted by rotating in one direction, and to lower the head while extending the post by rotating in the opposite direction.

The preferred embodiment is so arranged that in the position with the head fully lowered the lower ends of the second pins are spaced by a distance of approximately 2 mm from the upper face of the table.

Various other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings which are provided purely by way of example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially sectioned side view of a machine formed as an embodiment of this invention, showing the parts in a position suitable for loading or unloading the machine;

FIG. 2 is a partially sectioned plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partially sectioned rear view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the mechanism which controls the simultaneous movement of parts of the machine;

FIG. 5 is a partially sectioned side view similar to that of FIG. 1, showing the machine with the parts thereof in the operating position;

FIG. 6 is a front view of a part of the machine;

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram illustrating the circuit for controlling the machine; and

FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram illustrating the operation of the circuit of FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings the machine shown comprises a hollow base 1 supporting a rectangular horizontal table 2 which projects slightly beyond a front wall 3 of the base 1. At the rear of the table 2 there is a vertical wall 4 extending upwardly from the table 2, for preventing material which is placed on the table to be worked by the machine, from being able to shift over the rear edge of the table 2. Below the table there is arranged a spirally coiled conduit 5 through which cooling water is passed to cool the table during operation on hot material.

To the rear of the vertical wall 4, at the top of the base 1, are formed two hollow bosses 6, 6' (see FIG. 3) which have respective vertical guide bores 7 and 7'. In each guide bore there is located a vertically movable column 8, 8' extending upwardly from the base 1 and supporting the body 9 of a head generally indicated 10 which projects over the table 2.

The head 10 can be raised and lowered over the table 2, sliding up and down the columns 8, by a mechanism comprising a connecting rod 12 which is pivoted at its upper end between the parts anchoring the vertical columns 8, 8' to a pivot 11 having a substantially horizontal axis. The lower end of the connecting rod 12 is pivoted on a pin 13 parallel to the pivot pin 11, and carried between two coaxial toothed wheels 14, 14' which are identical to one another and which are keyed to respective pivot pins 15, 15' parallel to the pivot pins 11 and 13. The pivot pins 15, 15' are mounted rotatably in a fixed part 16 of the base 1 of the machine.

The toothed wheels 14, 14' engage with respective pinion wheels 17, 17' which are both keyed to a shaft 18 parallel to the pivots 15, 15'. The shaft 18 is linked to a motor 19 through a belt and pulley transmission 20 and a worm and worm wheel gear 21.

Inside the hollow base 1 of the machine, fixed to the underside of the upper wall 1a thereof there is a support 22 in which is movably mounted a pin 23 which projects through an aperture in the central zone of the table 2 to form a post on which, in use of the machine, the material to be worked is anchored. The lower end of the post 23 is traversed by a transverse pivot pin 24 to each end of which is pivotally mounted the lower end of a respective connecting rod 25. The upper ends of the rods 25 are carried on respective prongs of a fork 26a formed at the end of an arm 26 which is keyed onto a horizontal shaft 27 which is parallel to the back wall 4 of the table and mounted at the top of an upwardly extending inclined support lug 28 on the fixed part 16. To the shaft 27 there is also keyed a second arm 29 which is substantially parallel to the arm 26 to form a balance structure. The end of the arm 29 opposite to the shaft 27 is formed with a slot 30 in which engages a pivot 31 parallel to the shaft 27, carried by the lower end of the column 8.

The arrangement is such that the support post 23 withdrawn to a completely lowered position, in which its upper end is substantially flush with or below the level of the upper face of the table 2 when the pivot 13 on the wheels 14, 14' (to which is pivoted the connecting rod 12) is at the top dead centre position of the wheels 14, 14', shown in FIG. 1. On the other hand, the support post 23 projects upwardly to the maximum extent from the upper face of the table 2 when the wheels 14, 14' are turned so that the pivot pin 13 occupies bottom dead centre position, as shown in FIG. 5.

The pivot pin 15 which supports the toothed wheel 14 carries, at the end thereof facing the rear wall of the base 1, a small disc 32 (see FIG. 4) on the rear face of which there is rotatably mounted a roller 33 which engages against operating arms 34, 35 of respective microswitches 36, 37 when the pivot pin 13 is at the position of upper dead centre and lower dead centre respectively of the wheels 14, 14'. The control circuit of the machine is so arranged that operation of these microswitches stops the motor 19, and connects it such that when subsequently energised it will rotate in the opposite direction to that in which it was rotating when it was stopped. Thus successive operation of a manual switch will cause the motor to rotate in one direction to raise the head 10 and lower the post 23, and then to rotate in the opposite direction to lower the head 10 and to raise the post 23.

The body 9 of the head 10 carries an electric motor 39 mounted with its shaft vertical and connected by a belt and pulley transmission 40 to a vertical shaft 41 (FIG. 2). The head 10 projects out over the table 2 and carries two arms 47, 51 which are pivoted about axes which are parallel to and equally spaced on either side of the projection of the axis of the post 23, and lie in a plane parallel to the back wall 4. The shaft 41 carries a pinion 42 which engages a train of gears 43 to transmit rotation of the shaft 41 to a toothed wheel 44 keyed to a vertical shaft 45 on which the arm 47 is mounted. The wheel 44 meshes with a wheel 49 carried on a shaft 50 on which the arm 51 is mounted.

The two arms 47, 51 are cranked and each is longer than the separation between the shafts 44, 45 on which they are carried. Their particular shape, however, allows them to rotate in opposite directions without interfering with one another, as will be seen from FIG. 6. The two arms project from their mounting shafts in opposite directions, that is, directions which are 180° apart. The free ends of the arms 47, 51 carry respective pins 48, 52 which project downwardly and are substantially parallel to the axis of the post 23. The length of the arms 47 and 51 is such that during rotation in opposite directions of the shafts 45 and 50, driven by the motor 39 through the transmission mentioned above, the pins 48 and 52 describe circles which overlap and which each surround the support post 23. The length of the pins 48 and 52 is such that when the head 10 is lowered to its lowest position the lower ends of the pins 48 and 52 are spaced by a very small distance, such as 2 mm from the table 2. Similarly the upper end of the post 23 lies close to the level of the arms 47 and 51 adjacent their pivoted ends.

The pins 48 and 52, and the respective supporting arms 47 and 51, together with the shafts 45 and 50, contain conduits (not shown) which are traversed by a cooling fluid which is circulated by means of a known type of circulating device 53 which is only diagrammatically illustrated, shown fixed to the upper wall of the part 9a of the head 10. Similarly, the post 23 contains internal conduits (not shown) traversed by a cooling fluid.

The projecting part 9a of the head 10 also carries a metal frame 54 provided with glass sides 55 and a lower curtain formed of rubber strips 56 which together, form a protective covering which surrounds the moving arms 47 and 51 and the respective pins 48 and 52, without impeding observation from outside the region in which these elements move.

OPERATION

The operation of the machine described above is as follows:

Loading and unloading of the material to be treated are effected whilst the parts of the machine occupy the positions shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, that is with the central post 23 completely withdrawn below the table 2 and the head 10 raised to its highest position. Loading and unloading thus present no difficulty simply involving moving the material horizontally onto or off the flat face of the table 2 from a carriage (not shown) or other support of a suitable height. Once the material has been positioned in the central zone of the table 2 it is spread slightly to enable it to be engaged by the pins 48 and 52; the motor 19 is then started up to cause rotation of the toothed wheels 14 and 14' and to effect lowering of the head 10 and simultaneous raising of the central post 23 to project from the upper surface of the table 2. The lowering of the head 10 will cease as soon as the pivot pin 13 reaches the bottom dead centre position of the wheel 14, due to the action of the roller 33 upon the actuator element 35 of the microswitch 37.

Lowering of the head 10 brings the lower edge of the protective cover 54, 55 into proximity with the table thereby enclosing the working space and preventing manual intervention by the minder while the machine is working, thus eliminating any possibility of accidents. The circuit is arranged such that raising the protective cover automatically stops the motor 39. Similarly, on completion of the lowering of the head 10 with the cover 54, 55 the motor 39 is started up automatically. Alternatively this may be effected by operation of a suitable manual control (not shown). The pins 48 and 52 are driven in circles to draw material undergoing treatment, winding it up around itself and around the upstanding post 23 which functions as a reaction support without interfering with the motion of the pins 48, 52 due to the particular conformation of the arms 47 and 51, as will be clearly seen in FIG. 6.

When the desired physical characteristics have been imparted to the material by this treatment, the motor 19 is started up again to run in the direction opposite that of the preceding rotation, or in the same direction, to cause movement of the pivot 13 of the connecting rod 12 towards the top dead centre position where the head 10 is fully raised and the central post 23 is fully lowered. This movement will cease when the roller 33 engages the actuator 34 of the microswitch 36 which stops the motor 19 and arranges the control circuit such that when next energised the motor will run in the opposite direction.

Rotation of the motor 39, and thus movement of the pins 48 and 52 around the central post 23 is stopped when the cover 54, 55 starts to rise due to the operation of the safety devices as mentioned above.

Withdrawal of the post 23 to the lowered position beneath the table 2, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 will automatically disengage the post 23 from the treated material thereby avoiding difficulties of cleaning the material therefrom.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8 there are shown two control panels 57 and 58. On the panel 57 are mounted two push-button switches 59 and 60 for controlling starting and stopping of the machine respectively. The panel 58 carries a main control 61 which controls the supply of the low voltage part of the circuit from a transformer TR, a switch 62, operation of which energises a timer ZT, and a pilot lamp 63 which is illuminated when the switch 61 is closed. The devices on the panels 59 and 60 are connected to the terminals a . . . m of the low voltage circuit in a manner shown by the numerals a-m which they are indicated. The motors 19 and 39 are supplied with electricity from the three-phase line L through respective remotely controlled contacts M19 and M39 which are controlled by relays Rd and Rs and, if energised, the timer ZT, Rt39 and Rt19 are known motor protector devices in the control circuits of the motors 39 and 19 respectively.

The circuit operates as follows:

The machine can start only if the control lever of the switch 61 is in its position 1 in which the switch 61 is closed. In this position the lamp 63 is illuminated indicating that the machine is ready. Upon pressing the push button 59, which is marked "ON" the relay Rd is energised and this closes the contacts of the remotely controlled switch M19 which connects the motor 19 to the line L. This initiates lowering of the head 10 and, as described in relation to FIG. 4, causes the roller 33 to move away from the microswitch 34, allowing the normally closed contacts, which were held open by the roller 33, to close. When the head 10 reaches the lower end of its travel, and the centre pin 23 is fully extended, the roller 33 engages the movable arm 35 of the microswitch 37 the contacts of which are normally open, and causes these to close thereby energising the relay which controls the switch contacts M30 causing these to close and thus supply current to the motor 39. Simultaneously the relay Rd and thus the remotely controlled switch M19 are de-energised stopping the motor 19. The head 10 is then in the lowered position and the arms carrying the pins 48 and 52 are driven to rotate by the motor 39.

If the timer ZT is activated by operation of the switch 62 this will start off a pre-set time count on completion of which the timer TZ activates the relay Rs thereby opening the remotely controlled switch contacts M39, and stopping the motor 39, and it energises the relay controlling the remotely controlled switch contacts M19, to start the motor 19. This will stop when the roller 33 again engages the microswitch 34, 36 to open the contacts thereof.

If the timer ZT is not energised the motor 39 will continue to rotate until the "OFF" button 59 is pressed again. This activates the relay Rs and causes the circuit to bring the machine back to the rest position with the head 10 raised, as described above.