Title:
Apparatus for sanitizing bottles and dispensing purified water into the bottles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A stand for dispensing purified water into a supply bottle has both a dispensing nozzle on the stand with a customer actuated switch supply of the water through the spout and a sanitizing system in the stand for pre-sanitizing the bottle prior to filling at the point. The sanitizing system includes a nozzle for injecting liquid into the bottle projecting through a drain opening with at least one customer actuated switch for supply of liquid to said at least one nozzle. The nozzle is located underneath the base surface of the filling station such that the bottle is inverted and its neck inserted through a hole into the base onto a switch at the drain to ensure the bottle is in place before the injection nozzle is operated.



Inventors:
Hofer, Michael I. (Winnipeg, CA)
Application Number:
11/205315
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65B1/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080271814Honeycomb Flame Arrester and Flow Straightener for a Fuel System Fuel Fill PipeNovember, 2008Wilton et al.
20030047238Integrated fluid drip receptacleMarch, 2003Prymych
20070267089HYDROCARBON VAPOR EMISSION CONTROLNovember, 2007Gray et al.
20080179271NITROGEN DOSED BASEJuly, 2008Bangi
20090107583Fill Nozzle Positioning ApparatusApril, 2009Benjey
20100084066PERFLUOROCARBON GAS INSUFFLATIONApril, 2010Shaffer et al.
20090020181Remote fill head with automatic drip trayJanuary, 2009Martin
20100059142Gas Filling and Distribution Head Which is Equipped with a Connection Interface and Tank Including One Such HeadMarch, 2010Denis
20080264518Drink Dispensing SystemOctober, 2008Collins
20040232061Liquid transfer system for dialysis chemicalsNovember, 2004Dillon
20090183797Removing Volatile Vapors From A Storage VesselJuly, 2009Hilliard Jr.



Primary Examiner:
MAUST, TIMOTHY LEWIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ADE & COMPANY INC. (WINNIPEG, MB, CA)
Claims:
1. Apparatus for dispensing purified water for filling a supply bottle comprising: a stand arranged for presentation to a customer having a supply bottle; a supply of purified water; a dispensing nozzle on the stand attached to the supply of the purified water; a support member for supporting and locating the bottle in a filling position such that when supported and located an open month of the bottle is arranged beneath the dispensing nozzle for filling of the bottle; the support member including a base surface for supporting a base of the bottle; an actuator switch operable by the customer for causing supply of the purified water through the dispensing nozzle; and a sanitizing system in the stand for pre-sanitizing the bottle prior to filling at the point, the sanitizing system comprising: at least one nozzle for injecting liquid into the bottle; a supply of sanitizing fluid for injection through the at least one nozzle; a supply of rinsing fluid for injection through the at least one nozzle; a drain for release of the sanitizing fluid and rinsing fluid from the bottle prior to filling; and at least one actuator switch operable by the customer for actuating the supply of liquid to said at least one nozzle.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the sanitizing system is located at the base surface so as to operate on the bottle when in an inverted position.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the support member includes locating elements for engaging a peripheral wall of the bottle and wherein the locating elements are arranged to engage the bottle both in the filling position and in the inverted position.

4. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the base surface has a hole therein through which a neck of the bottle passes for accessing the sanitizing system.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the at least one nozzle projects upwardly for engaging into the bottle when inverted.

6. The apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the drain surrounds the at least one nozzle.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a detection sensor for detecting presence of the bottle in the inverted position so as to allow injection of fluid from the at least one nozzle only when the bottle is in the inverted position.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7 wherein the detection sensor comprises a switch with an element arranged to engage the mouth of the bottle when in the inverted position.

9. The apparatus according to claim 8 wherein there is provided a receptacle for the mouth of the bottle when in the inverted position with the at least one nozzle extending upwardly from the receptacle and the drain forming an annular opening surrounding the nozzle at the base of the receptacle and wherein the switch is located in the receptacle.

10. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the switch includes a lever with an end of the lever in the receptacle so as to be engaged and depressed by the mouth of the bottle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an apparatus in the form of a stand for dispensing purified water into a bottle which is sanitized at the stand.

BACKGROUND

The supply of purified water, in bottles has become more common and relatively large generally cylindrical bottles are often used with a neck at one end defining a mouth from which the bottle can be filled and from which the water can be dispensed by inverting the bottle onto a water dispensing system.

Bottles of this type can be delivered by supply companies but more economically can be collected by a user who can at the same time return the empty bottle to the dispensing location, which is generally in a retailing facility.

The present invention is concerned with a dispensing stand which allows the user to return the dispensing bottle to the dispensing location for the bottle to be refilled.

The following patents disclose information relative to this system.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,752,959 (Smith) discloses an arrangement providing an assembly line for cleaning multiple bottles, U.S. Pat. No. 5,601,127 (Kale) discloses an arrangement for beer kegs, and is arranged for multiple cleanings.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,879,648 (Hada) discloses an arrangement multiple stages for cleaning, not one single station.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,532,760 (Davis) discloses an arrangement with a sanitizer on the cooler itself.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is one object of the present invention to provide an improved dispensing system for dispensing purified water.

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided an apparatus for dispensing purified water for filling a supply bottle comprising:

a stand arranged for presentation to a customer having a supply bottle;

a supply of purified water;

a dispensing nozzle on the stand attached to the supply of the purified water;

a support member for supporting and locating the bottle in a filling position such that when supported and located an open mouth of the bottle is arranged beneath the spout for filling of the bottle;

the support member including a base surface for supporting a base of the bottle;

an actuator switch operable by the customer for causing supply of the purified water through the spout;

and a sanitizing system in the stand for pre-sanitizing the bottle prior to filling at the point, the sanitizing system comprising:

at least one nozzle for injecting liquid into the bottle;

a supply of sanitizing fluid for injection through the at least one nozzle;

a supply of rinsing fluid for injection through the at least one nozzle;

a drain for release of the sanitizing fluid and rinsing fluid from the bottle prior to filling; and

at least one actuator switch operable by the customer for actuating the supply of liquid to said at least one nozzle.

Preferably the sanitizing system is located at the base surface so as to operate on the bottle when in an inverted position.

Preferably the support member includes locating elements for engaging a peripheral wall of the bottle and wherein the locating elements are arranged to engage the bottle both in the filling position and in the inverted position.

Preferably the base surface has a hole therein through which a neck of the bottle passes for accessing the sanitizing system.

Preferably the at least one nozzle projects upwardly for engaging into the bottle when inverted.

Preferably the drain surrounds the at least one nozzle.

Preferably there is provided a detection sensor for detecting presence of the bottle in the inverted position so as to allow injection of fluid from the at least one nozzle only when the bottle is in the inverted position.

Preferably the detection sensor comprises a switch with an element arranged to engage the mouth of the bottle when in the inverted position.

Preferably there is provided a receptacle for the mouth of the bottle when in the inverted position with the at least one nozzle extending upwardly from the receptacle and the drain forming an annular opening surrounding the nozzle at the base of the receptacle and wherein the switch is located in the receptacle.

Preferably the switch includes a lever with an end of the lever in the receptacle so as to be engaged and depressed by the mouth of the bottle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

One embodiment of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a dispensing stand according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view through a portion of the dispensing stand showing the base of the dispensing location through which the neck of a bottle extends into the sanitizing section beneath the base.

In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In FIG. 1 is shown a stand 10 having a base 11 on which a bottle 12 can sit with the neck 13 of the bottle projecting into a channel 14 at which is located a dispensing nozzle 15. The mouth of the neck is located just below the nozzle so that the liquid from the nozzle can be dispensed into the bottle for filling the bottle. A series of manually operable switches 16 is provided. These include the following designations so that the user can operate the required switch to fill the bottle to the required position. The designations are as follows:

Top up
18.9litres
11.4litres
8litres
3.79litres
Stop

Thus the user can press a selected one of the switches to fill a predetermined size of bottle with the required quantity or can press the “top up button” which is a press and hold switch to provide a continuous supply of water into the bottle until the bottle is filled. The stop button can be pressed to halt flow in an emergency situation or when the flow is required to be halted.

The stand includes a cradle 17 which engages a side wall of the bottle so that it is properly located underneath the nozzle at the required position so as to fill by the nozzle.

The dispensing system may be a coin fed system or may be simply a custom operated system with the funds for the supply being collected by a cashier generally overseeing the filling of the bottles and the removal of the bottles when filled from the filling location to the customer vehicle.

The nozzle 15 is controlled by a control system 20 shown schematically which is activated by the switches 16 and by the coin-freed system if present.

In addition to the dispensing system shown, there is provided a sanitizing system underneath the base 11. The base 11 comprises a surrounding frame 21 with a tray 22 recessed from the top surface 23 of the surrounding frame. The tray 22 is covered by a panel 24 which sits on a rim of the frame surrounding the tray so that the panel and the frame provide a flat surface onto which the bottle can be placed and slide across the flat surface. The panel 24 is preferably perforated so as to allow any water or liquid collecting on the surface to flow into the tray and away from the base 11.

At the bottom of the tray which is inclined downwardly to the bottom is provided a drain opening 26 which is generally cylindrical and forms a receptacle 27 into which water within the tray can flow to an annular drain opening 28. The annular drain opening is located at the bottom of the receptacle and is connected to a suitable collection duct or pipe for transfer of liquid entering the drain opening away from the tray 22 to a suitable discharge location. At the center of the annular opening 28 is provided a pipe 29 which stands upwardly in a coaxial arrangement through the drain opening and provides a nozzle 30 at the top of the pipe 29. Thus the nozzle 30 is located above the annular drain opening 28 and above the receptacle 27. The top of the nozzle is however below the panel 24. The panel 24 has a hole 24A directly above the nozzle with a diameter of the hole 24A arranged to receive the neck of a bottle of the type to be filled.

Within the receptacle 27 at a position just above a bottom surface 32 of the receptacle is provided a lever 33 of a switch 35. Thus when a bottle is inverted and its neck inserted through the hole 24A into the receptacle 27, the mouth of the bottle engages the lever 33 and presses the lever 33 down onto the bottom surface 32 of the receptacle. This activates the switch 35 so that the switch acts as a detector for the presence of the bottle in its inverted position having its mouth in the receptacle and its neck over the nozzle 30.

The stand 10 provides a pair of switches 40 and 41 accessible to the customer which are designated “sanitize” and “rinse” respectively. The control system 20 is connected to the switches 40 and 41 so that actuation of the switches by the customer provides firstly a sanitizing liquid to be injected through the nozzle 30 into the bottle followed by a rinsing liquid to be injected into the bottle. The rinsing liquid is usually the product water so that the bottle is rinsed to a condition which is free of any extraneous taste from the rinsing liquid. The control system controls a valve 44 which controls the supply of rinsing liquid from a supply 45 through pipes 46 and 29 to the nozzle 30. A pump 47 can add sanitizing liquid to the liquid in the pipe 46. Thus the customer can operate the switches to supply the sanitizing liquid comprising the supply water and the sanitizing agent initially into the bottle to provide a cleaning action. This can only occur in the event that the switch 35 is activated by the lever 33 thus detecting the presence of the bottle in order that sanitizing liquid and rinsing liquid cannot be sprayed inadvertently or maliciously from the nozzle 30 when no bottle is in place.

In the inverted position the bottle rests against the cradle 17 so as to hold it generally upright with the mouth sitting on the bottom of the receptacle.

Since various modifications can be made in my invention as herein above described, and many apparently widely different embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims without department from such spirit and scope, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.