Title:
Method for producing ground meat patties
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for producing ground meat patties of beef and/or pork comprises a shaping plate that can be moved out of a filling position in a shaping station into an ejecting position outside the shaping station, the shaping plate having holes that are disposed offset relative to each other in moving direction in two rows, one behind the other, a device by means of which the ground meat can be supplied under pressure via filling slots associated to each hole into the holes on the underside, said holes being covered at the top by means of a ventilation plate, an antilipbar serving to reduce the excess pressure that is disposed in the delivery area of the shaping station and having a continuous longitudinal slit and an ejection device disposed outside the shaping station above the ejecting position of the shaping plate having ejection cups whose quantity and position is coordinated with the holes in the shaping plate.



Inventors:
Kugelmann, Johan (Welden, DE)
Application Number:
10/359793
Publication Date:
06/19/2003
Filing Date:
02/05/2003
Assignee:
KUGELMANN JOHAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A22C7/00; (IPC1-7): A22C5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BECKER, DREW E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLC (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:

The invention is claimed as follows:



1. A method for producing meat patties comprising the steps of: (a) sliding a shaping plate having at least one row of patty-forming holes over a source of pressurized meat; (b) filling the holes substantially with meat; and (c) relieving pressure from the meat over an entire open area of at least one of the holes.

2. The method of claim 1, which includes performing steps (a) to (c) at least eighty times per minute.

3. The method of claim 1, which includes the step of stamping the meat patties onto a conveyer belt.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein relieving pressure form the meat includes relieving air pressure from the meat.

5. The method of claim 1, which includes using a single aperture to relieve air pressure from the meat over the entire open area.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the single aperture relieves pressure from the meat of each hole of the row.

7. The method of claim 5, wherein the single aperture relieves pressure from the meat of at least one hole in a plurality of rows of holes.

8. The method of claim 5, wherein the single aperture relieves pressure from the meat of a plurality of holes at the same time.

9. A method for producing meat patties comprising the steps of: (a) sliding a shaping plate having at least one patty-forming hole over a source of pressurized meat; (b) filling the hole substantially with meat; (c) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole using a first pressure relief device; and (d) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole using a second pressure relief device.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein relieving pressure from the meat includes relieving air pressure from the meat.

11. The method of claim 9, which includes relieving pressure from the meat of each of a plurality of the holes using the first and second devices.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein at least one of the devices relieves pressure from the meat after filling the hole substantially with meat.

13. The method of claim 9, wherein one of the first and second devices is a single aperture.

14. The method of claim 9, wherein one of the first and second devices includes a plurality of vent slots.

15. The method of claim 9, wherein the shaping plate has a plurality of rows of holes communicating with the first and second devices.

16. A method for producing meat patties comprising the steps of: (a) sliding a shaping plate having at least one patty-forming hole over a source of pressurized meat; (b) filling the hole substantially with meat; (c) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole on a first side of the shaping plate; and (d) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole on a second side of the shaping plate.

17. The method of claim 16, which includes relieving pressure after filling the hole substantially with meat.

18. The method of claim 16, which includes relieving pressure while filling the hole with meat.

19. A method for producing meat patties comprising the steps of: (a) sliding in a direction a shaping plate having at least one patty-forming hole over a source of pressurized meat; (b) filling the hole substantially with meat; (c) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole using a first aperture extending substantially in a same direction as the direction of sliding; and (d) relieving pressure from the meat of the hole using a second aperture extending substantially in a perpendicular direction from the direction of sliding.

20. The method of claim 19, which includes using a plurality of the first apertures to relieve pressure.

21. The method of claim 19, which includes using the second aperture to relieve pressure from the meat of a plurality of holes defined by the shaping plate.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

[0001] This application is a divisional application of and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/593,466, filed Jun. 14, 2000, which claims priority under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and/or the World Trade Organization to German patent application No. 19959432.5, filed Dec. 9, 1999.

DESCRIPTION

[0002] The invention relates to a method for producing ground meat patties of beef and/or pork.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] This type of device is already known in the art based on NL-A-9301248, the European patent EP 0 708 601 B1 and the European patent application EP 0 818 148 A1. The disadvantage found in these devices is that with the existing shaping plate having a maximum of six openings, the previous filling process and the system-related maximum number of 80 to 90 cycles per minute allows only a limited output of ground beef and/or pork patties. Accordingly, there is a need for further developing a device of the above mentioned type so as to permit a significant increase in the output.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The problem is solved in accordance with the invention by means of a device having the characteristic features of the patent claims.

[0005] Preferred characteristic features that advance the invention advantageously are also found in the patent claims.

[0006] Based on the design of the device according to the invention, an advantageous increase in the output of at least 33% is achieved even with the previous 80 cycles per minute and at least 50% with 90 cycles per minute. Of course, the device is also capable of operating at higher rates with respectively higher increases in the output up to a system-dependent limit.

[0007] The new shaping plate configuration having an uneven number of holes that are arranged offset in two rows, one behind the other, achieves a significant increase in capacity. Shaping plates having 7, 9 or 11 holes or having an even number of 8 or 10 holes are preferred. The arrangement is such that the number of holes in the row disposed in the direction of the shaping plate's ejecting position is lower by one than in the row behind or vice versa. The holes are “interlocked”, so to speak. The distance between the front row and the rear row being smaller than the constant diameter of the holes. The holes in the front row are preferably disposed so as to be centrally offset relative to those in the rear row.

[0008] A further substantial measurement for the significant increase in the output is the configuration of a separate filling slot provided for each hole. The slot preferably has a right-angled cross section for shearing off the meat fiber whose lateral width is smaller than the width of the space between the holes of the adjacent row and whose length is smaller than the hole diameter. Said filling slots are disposed in a row and centrally adjusted to the holes and are preferably provided in a common receiver plate. With the above described filling slot arrangement, an ideal filling process is advantageously achieved in the filling position where the filling slots are covered by the holes when the shaping plate is moved out into the ejecting position.

[0009] The bar that serves to reduce the excess pressure is disposed in the output area of the shaping station and has a continuous longitudinal slit over its entire length. It is disposed below the front end. A ventilation plate is disposed in the direction of the movement of the shaping plate. The ventilation plate itself is mounted stationary in the shaping station and has groove-shaped ventilation openings which run parallel to the shaping plate's moving direction and which are open on the side opposite the ejecting position.

[0010] The ground meat is preferably supplied via a distribution chamber provided below the receiver plate. The chamber can be filled with at least two alternately operating filling cylinders whose filling chamber is opened and closed by means of a rotary slide valve.

[0011] Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure, taken in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0012] FIG. 1 is a schematic lateral profile through an exemplary embodiment of a device of the invention in the filling position;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but where the shaping plate is crossing the antilipbar so as to reduce the product pressure;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but where the shaping plate is in the ejecting position and the ejection device has been activated;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a top view of a shaping plate with nine holes;

[0016] FIG. 5 is a top view of a shaping plate with eleven holes;

[0017] FIG. 6 is a schematic top view of the shaping plate moved out almost by half, where the rear half of the shaping plate has been cut away so as to show the receiver plate with the filling slots, and;

[0018] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the ventilation plate, the shaping plate with nine holes and a receiver plate imbedded in a bottom plate of the shaping station with filling slots and the pressure reducing bar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] FIG. 1 shows a schematic exemplary embodiment of a device 10 of the invention disposed is a shaping position. The device 10 comprises a shaping plate 11 shown in FIG. 1 in a filling position with respect to the shaping station and covered at the top by a ventilation plate 12. A receiver plate 13 is disposed below the shaping plate 11 (see FIGS. 2, 3, 6 and 7) where two inserts 14, 15 (FIG. 6) with rectangular shaped filling slots 16 are located.

[0020] The receiver plate 13 is disposed in a bottom plate in the shaping station. Below the receiver plate 13 there is a distribution chamber 17 for the ground meat which can be connected with a filling chamber 19 via a rotary slide valve 18. The filling chamber 19 is provided between a filling cylinder 20 and the rotary slide valve 18.

[0021] A bar 21 reduces the excess pressure in the rows of shaped ground meat patties and has a continuous longitudinal slit 21′ (FIGS. 6 and 7) for ventilation towards the outside, see FIG. 6.

[0022] Outside the shaping station 11, above a shaping plate 11 ejecting position, there is an ejection device 22 having ejection cups 23 whose position and quantity are coordinated with the holes 24 in the shaping plate 11. In FIG. 3, the ejection device 22 has already stamped the shaped ground meat patties from the holes 24 in the shaping plate 11 in its pulled out position. The ground meat patties are simultaneously ejected and carried away by means of a conveyor belt 25 disposed underneath.

[0023] While FIG. 1 shows the shaping plate 11 in the filling position, FIG. 2 shows the shaping plate 11 in a more drawn out position where the pressure of the product, i.e., the ground meat patties, is reduced when the bar 21 is crossed. FIG. 3 shows the device 10 in the ejecting position. A fixed-cycle method of control is provided, but not shown, for moving the shaping plate 11 back and forth, the filling process and the ejection process and, if applicable, the delivery process.

[0024] FIG. 4 shows a shaping plate 11 with a total of nine holes 24, while FIG. 5 shows a shaping plate 11′ having eleven holes 24. The holes 24 in the shaping plates 11 and 11′ respectively, are disposed in two parallel rows transverse to the moving direction A. As seen in the moving direction, the number of holes in the front row is lower by one compared to the row behind. The holes 24 are disposed in rows “interlocked” in such a way that the holes in the front row (as seen in direction A) are centrally offset relative to those in the rear row. The distance “a” between the centers of the holes of the front and rear rows is smaller than the diameter “d” of the holes 24, which remains constant in all holes in the shaping plates 11 or 11′, respectively.

[0025] The above mentioned offset between the holes is selected so as to offset the holes 24 in the front row with regard to the holes in the rear row by half of the hole center distance “b”.

[0026] FIG. 6 shows a top view of a shaping plate 11 according to FIG. 4, which includes nine holes 24. The shaping plate has been moved out of the shaping station by approximately half of a total moveable distance, wherein the filling slots 16 are covered by the shaping plate 11 (part of plate 11 is cut away for purposes of illustration) and holes 24 are just crossing the continuous longitudinal slit 21′ in the pressure-reducing bar 21 so as to reduce the pressure.

[0027] Instead of the filling slots 16 having a configuration with a laterally oriented rectangular profile, said rectangular profile may also be oriented in longitudinal direction. This applies particularly when a shaping plate with eleven holes is used so as to adequately cover the holes by means of the spaces remaining between the rows of holes.

[0028] For further illustration, FIG. 7 shows an exploded view of the ventilation plate 12, the shaping plate 11, the receiver plate 13 with filling slots 16 and the pressure reducing bar 21. The ventilation plate 12 has a front end 26 and lateral sections 27 and 28 which are of solid construction. On the inside section of the ventilator plate 12, longitudinal grooves 29 are provided which are open at the rear, i.e., on the side opposite section 26. Alternatively, one or more recesses may be provided.

[0029] The pressure-reducing bar 21 is mounted in a suitable recess 30 formed at the front end of the receiver plate as seen in the exiting direction of the shaping plate 11. As illustrated by FIGS. 2 and 3, the front section 26 and the pressure-reducing bar 21 are disposed so as to be flush.

[0030] With an operation of 80 cycles per minute, for example, a nine-hole shaping plate achieves an increase in the output of more than 33% as compared to the previous shaping plates having one row of holes. With 90 cycles the increase in the output is at least 50%.

[0031] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the claims. It is thus to be understood that modifications and variations in the present invention may be made without departing from the novel aspects of this invention as defined in the claims, and that this application is to be limited only by the scope of the claims.