Title:
Cooking Appliance Mounted at an Elevated Level
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cooking appliance which is mounted at an elevated level and comprises at least one muffle that defines a cooking compartment and is provided with a muffle opening, and a bottom door for closing the muffle opening. The inventive cooking appliance is provided with a boundary decoration on the top face of the bottom door. Said boundary decoration indicates a border of the cooking compartment on the bottom door in a substantial manner, i.e. without distortions modifying the characteristics, according to the support of the muffle.



Inventors:
Wilsdorf, Gerd (Olching, DE)
Application Number:
11/992277
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
09/18/2006
Assignee:
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH (Munchen, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24C15/30
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
DE102005038906A12007-02-22
WO2007020159A12007-02-22
DE102005044625A12007-03-22
DE102005044696A12007-03-22
DE102006004383A12007-08-02
Primary Examiner:
NAMAY, DANIEL ELLIOT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BSH Home Appliances Corporation (NEW BERN, NC, US)
Claims:
1. 1-8. (canceled)

9. A high-level built-in cooking appliance having a muffle defining a cooking chamber with a muffle opening formed on its base side, the cooking appliance comprising: a base door for generally vertical movement into and out of a covering relation with the muffle opening, the base door being formed with an indicia pattern disposed on an upwardly directed portion of the base door for indicating the limits of the cooking chamber on the base door when the base door is covering the muffle opening.

10. The high-level built-in cooking appliance according to claim 9 wherein an outer contour of the indicia pattern corresponds to the cooking chamber limits.

11. The high-level built-in cooking appliance according to claim 9 wherein an outer contour of the indicia pattern corresponds to a location on the base door a predetermined clearance distance from the cooking chamber limits.

12. The high-level built-in cooking appliance according to claim 9 wherein the clearance distance is less than 2 cm, in particular less than 1 cm.

13. The high-level built-in cooking appliance according to claim 12 wherein the clearance distance at a rear edge of the indicia pattern is greater than at least one of the clearance distance at a front edge of the indicia pattern and the clearance distance at side edges of the indicia pattern.

14. The high-level built-in cooking appliance according to claim 13 wherein the clearance distance at the front edge of the indicia pattern and the clearance distance at the side edges the indicia pattern are each less than 2 cm, in particular less than 1 cm, and the clearance at the rear edge is greater than 1 cm, in particular more than 2 cm, and less than 4 cm.

15. The high-level built-in cooking appliance claim 9 wherein the corners of the indicia pattern are rounded.

Description:

The present invention relates to a high-level built-in cooking appliance having at least one muffle that delimits a cooking chamber and has a muffle opening on its base side, and a base door for closing the muffle opening.

Generic high-level built-in cooking appliances are known for example from U.S. Pat. No. 2,944,540, WO 98/04871, DE 100 59 652 or DE 101 64 239.

Also known for cookers having hotplates made of glass ceramic is the use of decor patterns to demarcate the hotplates.

With high-level built-in cooking appliances it is disadvantageous in contrast to other types of cooking appliances that when the base door is moved upward—e.g. for the purpose of closing the cooking appliance for an oven mode of operation—cookware that projects beyond the edge of the cooking chamber or muffle can become jammed or can be overturned. In order to avoid damage due to objects being jammed in the closing direction, anti-jamming protection devices are known, e.g. from DE 101 64 239, in which after the jamming situation has occurred the base door is halted and its movement reversed. In this case, however, the jamming situation is not prevented, with the result that although serious damage due to the jamming incident is avoided, accidents such as, for example, cooking dishes or baking pans being overturned or foods placed directly on the surface being crushed are not.

It is therefore the object of the present invention to provide a means of avoiding objects becoming jammed on the top side of the base door.

The present object is achieved by means of the high-level built-in cooking appliance as claimed in claim 1. Advantageous embodiments may be derived from the dependent claims either individually or in combination.

For this purpose the high-level built-in cooking appliance is furnished on the top side of the base door with a delimiting decor pattern which essentially, i.e. without nature-modifying deviations, indicates the limits of the cooking chamber—corresponding to the rest position of the muffle—on the base door. By means of said delimiting decor pattern it is possible for a user to check the position of objects on the base door prior to the closing movement in order to determine whether they will move into the muffle without colliding or jamming.

In order to utilize the maximum space for placing objects on the base door it is advantageous if the outer contour of the delimiting decor pattern corresponds to the limits of the cooking chamber.

Since full utilization of the limits of the cooking chamber permits no tolerance for error on the part of the user (e.g. not taking into account pot edges, imprecise positioning in particular in the case of larger objects, poor vision, haste, etc.), it can be advantageous if the outer contour of the delimiting decor pattern corresponds to the limits of the cooking chamber except for a clearance. Said clearance allows a corresponding exceeding of the delimiting decor pattern for the purpose of an orderly closing movement.

For typical cooking appliances it has proved a good compromise between adequate safety clearance and maximum utilization of the limits of the cooking chamber if the clearance is less than 3.5 cm, in particular less than 2 cm, especially less than 1 cm.

Since objects usually cannot be positioned so precisely in respect of the rear edge of the delimiting decor pattern due to the poorer perspective recognition and a possible concealing of the boundary, it is advantageous if the clearance is greater at a rear edge of the delimiting decor pattern than the clearance at a front edge of the delimiting decor pattern and/or than the clearance at side edges of the delimiting decor pattern. In this case it has proven favorable in particular if the clearance at the front edge and the clearance at the side edges is less than 2 cm, in particular less than 1 cm, and the clearance at the rear edge more than 1 cm, in particular more than 2 cm, and less than 4 cm.

Since corner limits are comparatively more difficult to observe by a user, it is advantageous if the corners of the delimiting decor pattern are rounded.

The invention is described below with reference to the attached schematic figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a wall-mounted, high-level built-in cooking appliance with the base door lowered;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the high-level built-in cooking appliance with the base door closed;

FIG. 3 shows a plan view onto an embodiment of the base door;

FIG. 4 shows a schematic side view, in cross-section along the line I-I shown in FIG. 1, of the wall-mounted, high-level built-in cooking appliance with the base door lowered; and

FIG. 5 shows a plan view onto an embodiment of the base door with delimiting decor pattern.

In the interests of providing a better illustration of the individual elements the figures are not drawn to scale.

FIG. 1 shows a high-level built-in cooking appliance having a housing 1. The rear of the housing 1 is mounted in the manner of a suspended cabinet on a wall 2. Defined in the housing 1 is a cooking chamber 3 that can be monitored through a viewing window 4 incorporated at the front in the housing 1. It can be seen in FIG. 4 that the cooking chamber 3 is delimited by a muffle 5 which is provided with a thermally insulating casing (not shown) and that the muffle 5 has a muffle opening 6 on its base. The muffle opening 6 can be closed by means of a base door 7. The base door 7 is shown in the lowered position in FIG. 1, resting with its underside on a work surface 8 of an item of kitchen furniture. In order to close the cooking chamber 3 the base door 7 must be moved into the position shown in FIG. 2, which is termed the “zero position”. For the purpose of moving the base door 7 the high-level built-in cooking appliance has a drive device 9, 10. The drive device 9, 10 has a drive motor 9, indicated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 by means of dashed lines, which is disposed between the muffle 5 and an exterior wall of the housing 1. The drive motor 9 is disposed in the area of the rear of the housing 1 and, as shown in FIG. 1 or 4, is operatively connected to a pair of lifting elements 10 which are linked to the base door 7. According to the schematic side view shown in FIG. 4 each lifting element 10 is therein embodied as an L-shaped support whose vertical limb extends from the drive motor 9 on the housing side. For moving the base door 7 the drive motor 9 can be actuated with the aid of an operating panel 12 and a control circuit 13, which panel is according to FIGS. 1 and 2 arranged at the front on the base door 7. As shown in FIG. 4, the control circuit 13 is located behind the operating panel 12 inside the base door 7. The control circuit 13, consisting here of a plurality of spatially and functionally separate printed circuit boards that communicate via a communication bus, constitutes a central control unit for operating the appliance and controls and/or regulates, for example, heating, displacing of the base door 3, implementing of user inputs, illuminating, pinching/jamming protection, clocking of the heating elements 16, 17, 18, 22, and much more.

It can be seen from FIG. 1 that a top side of the base door 7 has a cooking matrix 15. Virtually the entire surface of the cooking matrix 15 is occupied by heating elements 16, 17, 18, which are indicated in FIG. 1 by dash-dotted lines. According to FIG. 1 the heating elements 16, 17 are two differently sized hotplate heating elements spaced apart from each other, while the heating element 18 is a panel heating element provided between and almost enclosing the two hotplate heating elements 16, 17. For the user, the hotplate heating elements 16, 17 define associated cooking zones or cooking rings; together with the panel heating element 18, the hotplate heating elements 16, 17 define a bottom-heat zone. The zones can be indicated by means of a suitable decor pattern on the surface. The heating elements 16, 17, 18 can each be controlled via the control circuit 13.

In the exemplary embodiment shown, the heating elements 16, 17, 18 are embodied as radiant heating elements covered by a glass ceramic plate 19. The glass ceramic plate 19 has approximately the same dimensions as the top side of the base door 7. The glass ceramic plate 19 is furthermore fitted with mounting openings (not shown) through which protrude bases for fixing securing parts 20 for supports 21 for items being cooked, as also shown in FIG. 4. Instead of a glass ceramic plate 19 it is also possible to employ other—preferably fast-reacting—coverings, for example a thin metal plate.

With the aid of a control knob provided in the operating panel 12 the high-level built-in cooking appliance can be switched to a hotplate operating mode or a bottom-heat operating mode, which are explained below.

In the hotplate operating mode the hotplate heating elements 16, 17 can be controlled individually via the control circuit 13 by means of control elements 11 provided in the operating panel 12, while the panel heating element 18 remains in the non-operating state. The hotplate operating mode can be used with the base door 7 lowered, as is shown in FIG. 1. However, it can also be used within the scope of an energy-saving function when the cooking chamber 3 is closed with the base door 7 raised.

In the bottom-heat operating mode not only the hotplate heating elements 16, 17 but also the panel heating element 18 are controlled by the control device 13.

In order to achieve maximally even browning of items being cooked during the bottom-heat mode it is critical that the cooking matrix 15 providing the bottom heat should distribute the heating output evenly across the surface of the cooking matrix 15, even though the heating elements 16, 17, 18 have different nominal outputs. The heating elements 16, 17, 18 are therefore preferably not switched to continuous operation by the control circuit 13; instead, the power supply to the heating elements 16, 17, 18 is clocked. The different nominal heat outputs of the heating elements 16, 17, 18 are therein reduced individually in such a way that the heating elements 16, 17, 18 will distribute the heating output evenly across the surface of the cooking matrix 15.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates the position of an air circulation pot 23 having an air circulation motor and an associated ring heating element, e.g. for generating hot circulating air in the case of a hot-air mode of operation. The air circulation pot 23, which is open toward the cooking chamber, is typically separated from the latter by a deflector (not shown). Further provided attached to a top side of the muffle 5 is a top-heat heating element 22 that can be embodied as of single-circuit or multiple-circuit design, for example having an inner and an outer circuit. The various operating modes such as, for example, also top-heat, hot-air or quick-heat mode can be set by means of the control circuit 13 by appropriately switching or setting the heat output of the heating elements 16, 17, 18, 22, possibly with activating of the fan 23. The heat output can be set by means of suitable clocking. The cooking matrix 15 can furthermore be embodied otherwise, for example with or without a roasting zone, as a pure—single-circuit or multiple-circuit—warming zone without cooking rings, and so forth. The housing 1 has a seal 24 facing toward the base door 7.

The operating panel 12 is normally arranged at the front of the base door 7. Other arrangements are alternatively also conceivable, for example at the front of the housing 1, distributed over different partial panels, and/or in part on side surfaces of the cooking appliance. Further embodiments are possible. The control elements 11 are not limited in their structural design and can include, for example, control knobs, toggle switches, pushbuttons, and plastic membrane keys that include display elements 14, for example LED, LCD and/or touchscreen displays.

FIG. 5 shows a plan view (not to scale) onto an embodiment of the base door 7 with delimiting decor pattern. In this view the operating panel 12 is at the bottom.

In the closed state the muffle rests on the surface of the base door 7, the base door 7 thereby forming a side of the cooking chamber. The limits 25 of the cooking chamber due to the muffle resting thereon are shown by the dotted line. In this embodiment, a delimiting decor pattern 26 applied to the surface of the base door 7 has—except for the corner areas—a constant clearance d=1 cm from the limits of the cooking chamber 25, i.e. the same clearance for dv for a front edge 26a of the delimiting decor pattern 26, as well as ds and dh for the side edges 26b and the rear edge 26c, respectively, of the delimiting decor pattern 26. The clearances dv, ds and dh can also be different from one another in suitable combinations; this also applies to the respective two side clearances ds.

The surface of the base door 7 also has a decor pattern 27 to delimit the heating zone as well as a decor pattern 28 for the two hotplates that are present in this case.

In other embodiments it is possible for example for only one decor pattern 27 for delimiting the heating zone to be present, e.g. if the heating zone has no hotplate function, but only a warming and bottom-heat function. Also, the base door does not need to have its own heating elements and in that case serves only as a cover for the cooking chamber.

The design of the delimiting decor pattern 26 is left to the discretion of the person skilled in the art and can include, for example, different line shapes, depths, densities, colors, etc.

LIST OF REFERENCE SIGNS

  • 1 Housing
  • 2 Wall
  • 3 Cooking chamber
  • 4 Viewing window
  • 5 Muffle
  • 6 Muffle opening
  • 7 Base door
  • 8 Work surface
  • 9 Drive motor
  • 10 Lifting element
  • 11 Control element
  • 12 Operating panel
  • 13 Control circuit
  • 14 Display elements
  • 15 Heating zone
  • 16 Hotplate heating element
  • 17 Hotplate heating element
  • 18 Panel heating element
  • 19 Glass ceramic plate
  • 20 Securing part
  • 21 Support for items being cooked
  • 22 Top-heat heating element
  • 23 Fan
  • 24 Seal
  • 25 Cooking chamber limits
  • 26 Delimiting decor pattern
  • 26a Front edge of the delimiting decor pattern
  • 26b Side edge of the delimiting decor pattern
  • 26c Rear edge of the delimiting decor pattern
  • 27 Heating zone limit
  • 28 Hotplate decor pattern
  • d Clearance: cooking chamber limits—delimiting decor pattern
  • dh Rear clearance
  • ds Side clearance
  • dv Front clearance