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Title:
DEVICE FOR MEASURING DOUGH AND CONTROL SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING SUCH A DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/146578
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a device for measuring dough, comprising: - a feed for feeding dough; - a first chamber connecting to said feed for receiving dough from said feed; - a first piston that is movable in said first chamber between a retracted position and an extended position; - at least one second chamber that is movable with respect to the first chamber between a fill position in which said at least one second chamber connects to the first chamber and a release position in which dough may be released from said second chamber; - a second piston that is movable in said second chamber between a retracted position and an extended position, a piston head of which second piston forms a bottom of said second chamber, and a controller for controlling the movement of the second piston. The invention further relates to a control system for controlling such a device.

Inventors:
SNELLINK, Hendrik Jan (Industrieterrein 13, 5981 NK PANNINGEN, 5981 NK, NL)
SNELLINK, Joost (Industrieterrein 13, 5981 NK PANNINGEN, 5981 NK, NL)
Application Number:
NL2017/050115
Publication Date:
August 31, 2017
Filing Date:
February 24, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STICHTING BLUE VALUE (Industrieterrein 13, 5981 NK PANNINGEN, 5981 NK, NL)
International Classes:
A21C5/02; A21C5/04
Foreign References:
US2853028A1958-09-23
US1965516A1934-07-03
EP2364594A12011-09-14
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SLIKKER, Wilhelmina Johanna (Bezuidenhoutseweg 57, 2594 AC Den Haag, 2594 AC, NL)
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Claims:
Claims

1. Device for measuring dough, comprising:

- a feed for feeding dough;

- a first chamber connecting to said feed for receiving dough from said feed;

- a first piston that is movable in said first chamber between a retracted position and an extended position;

- at least one second chamber that is movable with respect to the first chamber between a fill position in which said at least one second chamber connects to the first chamber and a release position in which dough may be released from said second chamber;

- a second piston that is movable in said second chamber between a retracted position and an extended position, a piston head of which second piston forms a bottom of said second chamber;

characterized by

a controller for controlling the movement of the second piston.

2. Device for measuring dough according to claim 1 , wherein said second piston is driven by a servo mechanism.

3. Device for measuring dough according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said controller is arranged to control the location of the extended position of the second piston.

4. Device for measuring dough according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein said device comprises a rotatable body comprising said at least one second chamber, wherein said rotatable body is rotatable with respect to the first chamber between said fill position and said release position.

5. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said controller is arranged to control the movement of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber in correspondence with each other.

6. Device according to claim 5, wherein said controller is arranged to simultaneously control the movement of the first piston from its retracted position to its extended position and the second piston from its extended position to its retracted position when the second chamber is in its fill position.

7. Device according to claim 6, wherein said controller is arranged to hold the second piston in its extended position for a certain period of time when the first piston is moved from its retracted position to its extended position. 8. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to its extended position with high acceleration when the second chamber is in its release position.

9. Device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to a further retracted position during prior to or during a movement of the second chamber from its fill position to its release position.

10. Control system for controlling a device according to any of the claims 1 - 9, comprising a controller arranged to control the movement of the second piston.

11. Control system according to claim 10, wherein said controller is arranged to control the location of the extended position of the second piston.

12. Control system according to claim 10 or 11, wherein said controller is arranged to control the movement of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber in correspondence with each other.

13. Control system according to claim 12, wherein said controller is arranged to simultaneously control the movement of the first piston from its retracted position to its extended position and the second piston from its extended position to its retracted position when the second chamber is in its fill position.

14. Control system according to claim 13, wherein said controller is arranged to hold the second piston in in its extended position for a certain period of time when the first piston is moved from its retracted position to its extended position.

15. Control system according to any of the preceding claims 10 - 14, wherein the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to its extended position with high acceleration when the second chamber is in its release position.

16. Control system according to any of the preceding claims 10 - 15, wherein the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to a further retracted position during prior to or during a movement of the second chamber from its fill position to its release position. 17. Use of the device for measuring dough according to any of the claims 1 - 9.

18. Use of the control system according to any of the claims 10 - 15 for controlling the device according to any of the claims 1 - 9 . 19. Method for measuring dough using the device according to any of the claims 1 - 9.

Description:
DEVICE FOR MEASURING DOUGH AND CONTROL SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING SUCH A DEVICE

The invention relates to a device for measuring dough, comprising:

- a feed for feeding dough;

- a first chamber connecting to said feed for receiving dough from said feed;

- a first piston that is movable in said first chamber between a retracted position and an extended position;

- at least one second chamber that is movable with respect to the first chamber between a fill position in which said at least one second chamber connects to the first chamber and a release position in which dough may be released from said second chamber, and

- a second piston that is movable in said second chamber between a retracted position and an extended position, a piston head of which second piston forms a bottom of said second chamber.

Such a device is known per se and may for example be used in industrial bakeries. The first chamber is a suction chamber for sucking dough from the feed and the at least one second chamber is a measuring or metering chamber for measuring or metering dough therein. In its extended position the first piston is located close to the second chamber and in its retracted position the first piston is located at a certain distance away from the second chamber. In its extended position the second piston is located close to the first chamber and in its retracted position the first piston is located at a certain distance away from the first chamber. Dough is fed to the first chamber via said feed by moving the first piston from its extended position to its retracted position, thereby sucking in dough from the feed. After the first chamber is filled with dough and the at least one second chamber is in its fill position, the first piston is moved from its retracted position to its extended position, thereby pressing dough from the first chamber into the second chamber. During this movement the second piston is either moved from its extended position to its retracted position by the pressure of the dough in the first chamber or by actively driving and thereby moving the second piston. For example, the first and second piston may mechanically be connected such that they are moved simultaneously according to a fixed pattern. When the second piston is in its retracted position, which may for example be defined by a stop or the like, the maximum volume of the second chamber is defined thereby determining the volume of the dough to be measured in the second chamber. After filling the second chamber with dough, the second chamber is moved from its fill position to its release position in which dough is released from the second chamber onto for example a transport means for transporting the measured dough and the first piston is moved back to its retracted position for sucking in dough, such that the above process may be repeated. It is an object of the invention to improve the above described device. In particular it may be an object of the invention to provide a device that is more hygienic and/or dough friendly and/or accurate and/or compact and/or consumes less energy.

This object is achieved by a device for measuring dough according to the preamble that is characterized by a controller for controlling the movement of the second piston.

An advantage of said controller is that said second piston may be moved in correspondence with said first piston in any desired way and is for example not fixed by a mechanical linkage with the first piston. Another advantage is that no mechanical linkage between the first piston and the second piston is required. In the known device, the mechanical linkage between the first piston and the second piston consumes relatively large space, thereby providing a relatively large device that is difficult to (keep) clean. By avoiding any mechanical linkage between the first and second piston the device according to the invention may be relatively compact and/or may be cleaned easily and/or comprises less components that may get dirty and need cleaning. The compactness of the device according to the invention for example allows the device to be held on feet and thereby away from the floor. This may improve the hygiene of the device according to the invention.

It is noted that the device uses volumetric measuring for measuring the dough. The weight of the dough may be calculated based on the specific density of the dough.

Preferred embodiments of moving the second piston are described below.

In one embodiment of the device according to the invention the first piston and the second piston are not mechanically interlinked in their movement, i.e. the first piston and the second piston are independently controllable and/or movable.

In another embodiment according to the invention said controller is a microprocessor.

Said controller may be an electric controller or an electronical controller or any other suitable type of controller.

Said controller may be programmable.

Said controller may be of the PID, PI or PD type, or of any other suitable type.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said second piston is driven by a servo mechanism. Such a servo mechanism may provide a reliable drive system for driving the second piston.

Such a servo mechanism may be pneumatic, electric, electronic or of any other suitable type.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber are driven each by their own respective actuator.

Alternatively they may share one or more actuators.

Such actuators may be motors, more specifically such actuators may be servo-motors. In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said controller is arranged to control the location of the extended position of the second piston.

By controlling the position or location of the extended position the volume of the second chamber and thereby of the dough to be measured may accurately be chosen. Said location of the extended position may for example be adjusted for different types of dough. Additionally or alternatively said location of the extended position may be adjusted continuously or regularly for calibration. For example, after releasing the dough from the second chamber the dough may be weighted and the location of the extended position may be adjusted in dependence on any deviations from a desired weight.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said device comprises a rotatable body comprising said at least one second chamber, wherein said rotatable body is rotatable with respect to the first chamber between said fill position and said release position.

Said rotatable body may rotate about a rotation axis that is for example arranged substantially horizontal and orthogonal with respect to a longitudinal direction of the first chamber. The longitudinal direction of the second chamber may thereby be arranged in line with the longitudinal direction of the first chamber in its fill position and substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal direction of the first chamber in its release position. In the release position the free end of the second chamber is preferably located at an downwards end thereof, such that the dough may fall out of the second chamber as a result of gravitational forces acting thereon.

Said rotatable body may optionally comprise multiple second chambers, which second chambers may be located adjacent to each other in an axial direction at the same angular position of the rotatable body, which axial direction may be parallel to the rotation axis. The first chamber connects to each of the second chambers in the fill position thereof, such that the dough may be divided over the number of second chambers.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said controller is arranged to control the movement of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber in correspondence with each other.

In such an embodiment the moving speed and/or position of each of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber may be linked and controlled in correspondence with each other, without requiring any mechanical linkage. This provides a good flexibility and freedom to operate the device according to the invention.

The first piston, the second piston and the second chamber may be driven by a servo mechanism. The servo mechanism of this embodiment comprises three (physical) axes for driving the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber, and one master axis for linking the movements and positions of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber. In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said controller is arranged to simultaneously, for example at the same speed, control the movement of the first piston from its retracted position to its extended position and the second piston from its extended position to its retracted position (only) when the second chamber is in its fill position.

In this embodiment the volume of the second chamber increases during pressing the dough from the first chamber into the second chamber until the second piston is in its retracted position and the maximum volume is defined. By moving the first and second piston simultaneously according to any desired pattern the pressure on the dough may be controlled as desired.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention said controller is arranged to hold the second piston in its extended position for a certain period of time when the first piston is moved from its retracted position to its extended position.

An advantage of this embodiment is that the dough in the first chamber is pressurized during said certain period of time until the second piston is moved from its extended position to its retracted position. Said period of time may for example be chosen in accordance with a desired pressure of the dough prior to moving the second piston. For determining the pressure of the dough a pressure sensor may be provided in the first chamber. Once the second piston starts moving it may be controlled to move with a speed equal to the speed of the first piston, such that the pressure of the dough is maintained substantially constant at said desired pressure during filling of the second chamber.

The applicant has found that pressurizing the dough in the first chamber prior to moving the second piston may lower the required energy for moving the first piston from its retracted to its extended position.

Another advantage of pressurizing the dough in the first chamber prior to moving the second piston is that a more accurate filling of the second chamber and thereby a more accurate measuring of the dough may be obtained.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to its extended position with high acceleration when the second chamber is in its release position.

An advantage of this embodiment is that the dough is more or less shot out of the second chamber, such that the dough may not or less stick to the second chamber. This may prevent the need for scraping the dough out of the second chamber and/or may provide more accurate measuring of the dough as no or less dough remains stuck to the second chamber.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to a further retracted position prior to or during a movement of the second chamber from its fill position to its release position. An advantage of this embodiment is that the pressure is taken of the dough during the movement of the second chamber to its release position, such that the risk of losing dough during the movement is decreased. For releasing the dough the second piston is moved from its further retracted position to its extended position when the second chamber is in its release position.

If the second piston is moved from its retracted position to its further retracted position prior to the movement of the second chamber to its release position, it is preferred that this movement takes place when the first piston is temporarily held in its extended position.

In yet another embodiment of the device according to the invention no knife is provided for cutting the dough. The applicant has found that in the device according to the invention no knife is needed. This may be due to the feed being located at a certain distance being larger than zero from the second chamber. Said certain distance may for example be between 1 and 2 times the maximum length of the second chamber.

The invention also relates to a control system for controlling a device according to any of the claims 1 - 9, comprising a controller arranged to control the movement of the second piston.

The advantage(s) of such a control system and of the below described embodiments of the control system are described above with respect to the device for measuring dough and are applicable to this control system as well.

In an embodiment of the control system according to the invention said controller is arranged to control the location of the extended position of the second piston.

In another embodiment of the control system according to the invention said controller is arranged to control the movement of the first piston, the second piston and the second chamber in correspondence with each other.

In yet another embodiment of the control system according to the invention said controller is arranged to simultaneously, for example at the same speed, control the movement of the first piston from its retracted position to its extended position and the second piston from its extended position to its retracted position (only) when the second chamber is in its fill position.In yet another embodiment of the control system according to the invention said controller is arranged to hold the second piston in in its extended position for a certain period of time when the first piston is moved from its retracted position to its extended position.

In yet another embodiment of the control system according to the invention the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to its extended position with high acceleration when the second chamber is in its release position.

In yet another embodiment of the control system according to the invention the controller is arranged to move the second piston from its retracted position to a further retracted position during prior to or during a movement of the second chamber from its fill position to its release position. Said control system may have any of the features described above with respect to the device for measuring dough, alone or in any suitable combination.

The invention also relates to the use of the device for measuring dough according to any of the claims 1 - 9.

The invention also relates to the use of the control system according to any of the claims

10 - 15 for controlling the device according to any of the claims 1 - 9 .

The invention further relates to a method for measuring dough using the device according to any of the claims 1 - 9.

Using the device for measuring dough and/or using the control system and/or the method for measuring dough may comprise any features or steps as described relating to the device and/or control system above, alone or in any suitable combination.

The invention will be further elucidated with reference to figures shown in a drawing, in which:

Figures 1A and IB schematically show the measuring device according to the invention in a longitudinal vertical cross section.

Figures 1A and IB show a device 1 for measuring dough 2. The device 1 comprises a container 3 in the form of a funnel for containing and feeding dough 2 to a first chamber 4 that connects to said container 3. Said first chamber 4 is a longitudinal container extending

substantially horizontal in a longitudinal direction parallel to the axis denoted by reference numeral 6. A first piston 5 is arranged in said first chamber 4 and is movable in the longitudinal direction of the first chamber 4 between a retracted position as shown in figure 1 A and an extended position (not shown). A second chamber 7 connects to the first chamber 4 in a fill position thereof (figure IB) and is movable with respect to the first chamber 4 between this fill position and a release position (figure 1 A) about a rotation axis 9. In the extended position of the first piston 5 the first piston 5 is close to the second chamber 7 and in the retracted position the first piston 5 is at a certain distance away from the second chamber 7. The first distance may be chosen as desired. A second piston 8 is arranged in said second chamber 7 and is movable in the longitudinal direction of the second chamber 7 between a retracted position and an extended position (both not shown). The second piston 8 comprises a piston head 10 that forms the bottom of the second chamber 7. In the fill position the longitudinal direction of the second chamber 7 extends parallel to the longitudinal direction of the first chamber 4, as is shown in figure IB. ). In the release position the longitudinal direction of the second chamber 7 extends orthogonal to the longitudinal direction of the first chamber 4, as is shown in figure 1A. In the release position the longitudinal direction of the second chamber 7 extends substantially vertical with the free open end of the second chamber 7 located at the downwards end thereof for easy release of the dough. In accordance with an embodiment of the device according to the invention the movements of the first piston 5, the second piston 8 and the second chamber 8 are controlled by a controller, preferably in

correspondence with each other. In this specific example the movements of the first piston and the second piston are not directly mechanically linked.

Figure 1 A shows the first piston 5 in its retracted position. The first piston 5 has just moved from its extended position to this retracted position and has thereby sucked dough 2 from the container 3 into the first chamber 4. After the first chamber 4 is filled with dough 2 and the at least one second chamber 7 is in its fill position, the first piston 5 is moved from its retracted position to its extended position, thereby pressing dough 2 from the first chamber 4 into the second chamber 7, see figure IB. The movement of the second piston 8 is controlled such that the second piston 8 is preferably held in its extended position for a certain period of time when the first piston 5 is already moving from its retracted position to its extended position. This increases the pressure on the dough 2. The period of time may for example be chosen in accordance with a desired dough pressure and/or may in particular be larger than zero and approximately around (tenths) of a second(s). When a desired dough pressure is reached the second piston 8 is moved from its extended position to its retracted position such that the second chamber 7 is filled with the pressurized dough 2, see figure IB. When the second piston 8 is in its retracted position the maximum volume of the second chamber 7 is defined, such that the amount of dough 2 pressed into the second chamber 2 is metered. After filling the second chamber 7 the second chamber is rotated to its release position as shown in figure 1A, and the first piston 5 may be moved to its retracted position for sucking dough into the first chamber 4. During rotation of the second chamber 7 the second piston 8 may be moved slightly further in a direction away from the open end of the second chamber 7 to a further retracted position, which may take off the pressure from the dough (not shown). In the release position of the second chamber 7 the second piston 8 is moved, preferably with great acceleration, from the (further) retracted position to its extended position, thereby shooting the dough 2 out of the second chamber 7 onto for example a transport means for further transporting the measured quantity of dough. The weight of the measured quantity of dough may optionally be measured, such that the location of the retracted position may be adjusted in accordance with any deviation from a desired weight. After releasing the dough 2 the second chamber 7 may be moved to its fill position, such that the process may be repeated.

It is further shown in the figures that the container 3 connects to the first chamber 4 at a certain distance from the second chamber 7. Said certain distance is approximately 1.2 times the maximum length of the second chamber 7. The applicant has found that as a result of this certain distance no knife is needed and that the energy required to move the first piston 5 between its retracted position and its extended position is (significantly) reduced with respect to the energy required for moving the main piston and/or knife in a conventional measuring device. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the shown embodiments but also extends to variants within the scope of the appended claims.