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Title:
GRINDER ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/105727
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A grinder with independent blades and an apparatus and methods to the product to be stretched, aligning the fibers of the product.

Inventors:
WOLFF, James, B. (35590 S.E. Tracy Road, Estacada, OR, 97023, US)
Application Number:
US2015/000004
Publication Date:
July 16, 2015
Filing Date:
January 13, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WOLFF, James, B. (35590 S.E. Tracy Road, Estacada, OR, 97023, US)
International Classes:
A22C17/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS, Philip, M. (Weiss & Weiss, 410 Jericho TurnpikeSuite 10, Jericho NY, 11753, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A grinding assembly comprising:

a grinder plate;

a set of independent speed control blades on outside and inside of said grinder plate.

2. The assembly of Claim 1 wherein said grinder plate comprises orifices that control fiber orientation of a material that is ground through said grinder assembly.

3 The assembly of Claim 1 wherein said set of blades provides fiber length control of a material that is ground through said grinding assembly.

4. A grinding machine comprising:

a hopper into which material to be ground is placed;

a grinder portion comprising a grinding head, a mounting ring, a bridge, barrel, and a collection tube;

a device is located in said grinding head to advance material in the hopper through said head;

one or more sets of independent speed control blades;

a grinder plate;

a collection cone located downstream of said grinder plate;

said grinder plate comprised of a plurality of grinding apertures and at least one collection passage;

said grinding apertures create a venturi effect.

5. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said grinding machine aligns fibers in material that is ground.

6. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said material to be ground is drawn through said apertures of said grinding plate which stretches said material.

7. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said venturi effect created by said apertures aligns fiber of said material to be ground through said grinding plate.

8. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said material to be ground is stretched or aligned and creates a clean cut of said material.

9. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said ground material has little or no release of actin and myosin.

10. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said apertures create the lowest cross section through cutting action of the ground material.

11. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said apertures have a diameter to create a venturi effect for the liquid, gas or solid used and is no less than the diameter of connected cylindrical portion.

12. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said apertures have a diameter such that ratio of diameter of sphere in said grinder plate to diameter of cylinder area of said grinder plate is approximately 1.01 to 2.5.

13. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said apertures of said grinder plate utilize intersection of a sphere with a cylinder in order to create a cross section which creates said venturi effect.

14. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said material to be ground comprises food product.

15. The grinding machine of Claim 4 wherein said apertures of said grinder plate change size from a larger to a smaller diameter.

16. The grinder plate of Claim 4 which comprises a venture or orifice which results in product acceleration with a corresponding pressure drop through said apertures.

17. The grinding machine of Claim 4 further comprising a clamping mechanism for attaching said grinder head to an existing grinder.

18. The grinding machine of claim 4 further comprising a chain tensioner to tension a chain in said grinder machine.

19. A grinding machine assembly comprising:

a grinder plate;

a set of independent speed control blades on inside of said grinder plate.

20. A grinding assembly comprising:

a grinder plate;

a set of independent speed control blades on outside of said grinder plate.

21. The assembly of Claim 20 wherein said grinder plate comprises machined holes that control fiber orientation.

22 The assembly of Claim 20 wherein said set of blades provides fiber length control.

23. A grinding machine comprising:

a hopper into which material to be ground is placed;

a grinder portion comprising a grinding head, a mounting ring, a bridge, barrel, and a collection tube; a feed screw or auger is located in said grinding head to advance material in the hopper through said head;

a set of independent speed control blades;

an orifice plate;

a collection cone located downstream of said orifice plate;

said orifice plate comprised of a plurality of grinding apertures and at least one collection passage;

said grinding apertures create a venturi effect.

24. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said grinding machine aligns fibers in material that is ground.

25. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said material to be ground is drawn through said apertures of said orifice plate which stretches said material.

26. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said venturi effect created by said apertures aligns fiber of said material to be ground through said orifice plate.

27. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said material to be ground is stretched or aligned and creates a clean cut of said material.

28. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said ground material has little or no release of actin and myosin.

29. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said apertures create the lowest cross section through the ground material.

30. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said apertures have a diameter no greater than the choke flow for the liquid, gas or solid used and is no less than the diameter of the connected cylindrical portion.

31. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said apertures have a diameter such that ratio of diameter of spherical section in said orifice plate to diameter of cylindrical area of said orifice plate is approximately 1.01 to 2.5.

32. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said apertures of said orifice plate utilize intersection of a spherical section with a cylinder in order to create a cross section which represents said venturi orifice.

33. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said food to be ground comprises meat.

34. The grinding machine of Claim 23 wherein said apertures of said orifice plate change size from a larger to a smaller diameter with vertical or concave sides having a sharp edge.

35. The orifice plate of Claim 23 which comprises a nozzle, venturi, orifice, or a restriction to flow which results in product acceleration with a corresponding pressure drop through said apertures.

36. The grinding machine of Claim 32 wherein said spherical section is shorter in length than said cylinder.

37. A flexible blade attached to a blade support comprising:

a blade using spring pressure from said blade itself to keep an edge of said blade in contact with a shearing surface;

said blade attached to said blade support by fastener(s);

a space between said blade and said blade holder causing flexing of blade when pressure is applied to said blade.

38. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade has a beveled angle.

39. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade comprises heat treatable steel, high carbon steel or ceramic.

40. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade has a Rockwell between 45C and 60C.

41. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used with a grinder machine in ground meat industry.

42. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used in a blade retainer ring.

43. The blade of Claim 42 wherein said retainer ring has at least two blades.

44. The blade of Claim 42 wherein said ring is placed on top of a grinder plate as part of a grinder assembly, wherein said grinder plate is fixed and said blades move.

45. The blade of Claim 42 wherein said retainer ring applies pressure to said blade holder that applies pressure on said blade which applies pressure on said grinder plate.

46. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade has an angle between approximately 20° to 70°.

47. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said angle of the blade is greater than the angle of the blade holder.

48. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used with a fill plate of a food patty molding machine wherein said fill plate can go back and forth using said blade.

49. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used with a stuffer.

50. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used with an extrusion process.

51. The blade of Claim 37 wherein said blade is used as part of an independent speed control blade on outside or inside of a grinder plate.

52. The blade of Claim 37 wherein when said blade wears it has less flexibility and stands more in an upright position.

53. The flexible blade and blade support of Claim 37 wherein said blade support continuously brings a sharp edge of said blade in contact with said shearing surface.

54. The flexible blade of Claim 37 wherein pressure on said blade is caused by said fastener.

55. The flexible blade and blade support of Claim 37 wherein said blade is attached to a clamping mechanism which is fastened to said blade holder.

Description:
GRINDER ASSEMBLY

Related Applications

The present application is a continuation-in-part of pending application serial no. 13/999,099 filed January 13, 2014 which is a continuation-in-part of pending application serial no. 13/573,369 filed September 12, 2012 and application serial no. 13/573,370 filed September 12, 2012, are continuation-in-parts of pending applications 13/374,441 filed December 29, 2011, 13/374,417, filed December 27, 2011, 13/374,422, filed December 27, 2011, 13/374,421, filed December 27, 2011 and 13/374,423, filed December 27, 2011 which all are a continuation-in-part of application serial no. 13/199,910 filed on September 12, 2011.

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a grinder with independent blades. The invention further relates to an apparatus and methods to cause the product to be stretched, aligning the fibers of the product. The invention further comprises wherein the blade is a flexible blade.

Background of the Invention

U.S. Patent No. 4,205,415 relates to a tapered nozzle that slightly compresses a mass of ground frozen meat to form a cohesive mass while retaining the spaghetti-like shape of the ground strands to aerate the cohesive mass. A positive displacement pump forces the meat through a grinding plate and then through the nozzle to a rotating involute knife to form patties of frozen ground meat in a continuous process. U.S. Patent No. 4,479,614 relates to a meat grinder that includes a pump that feeds meat particles into a mixing chamber at a constant flow rate. The meat exits into a frusto-conical shaped collection chamber for passage to a grinder plate. A rotating knife with radially extending blades is rotated by a hydraulic motor at a variable rate. The variable flow rate of the particles to chamber and the variable speed of the knife results in a variable particle size output by the grinder plate.

U.S. Patent No. 3,986,227 relates to a printing system for a tone copier paper that is fused by the pressure nip formed by a hot roll and a backup roll. A scraping blade engages the destructible surface of the backup roll at a critical angle which is selected by the coefficients of friction of the backup roll surface and the toner debris contamination collected on the backup rolls surface. As a result, the blade slides freely on the roll surface, but does not slide on the surface of the contamination film. This film forms a locking angle with the blade, placing the blade in stress, and developing a film removing chisel like action.

U.S. Patent No. 4,184,429 relates to a doctor blade for wiping excess ink from a printing surface of a printing form along with a method for making a doctor blade and printing equipment. The doctor blade comprises a body having a constant blade thickness between parallel blade surfaces, and a marginal blade tip portion adjacent the doctor blade body having a shaped blade bevel essentially identical to the run-in blade bevel of a wedged shaped blade. Throughout the blade tip portion, the doctor blade has a contact blade tip thickness equal to the height of the shaped blade bevel. In consequence, the effective area of the shaped blade bevel remains constantly at the optimum size despite progressive wear of marginal blade tip portion in the direction of and throughout the useful depth during excess ink wiping operation.

U.S. Patent No. 4,257,343 relates to coating a strip of material that is passed over a support member forming one of the enclosing surfaces of a closed chamber. The closed chamber operates under vacuum conditions. Coating liquid is supplied in excess to the closed chamber to form a layer on the surface of the strip. At the end of the coating action, as the strip leaves the closed chamber, it is contacted by a movably positionable blade which provides a wiping off action on the strip to remove excess coating liquid. The vacuum inside the closed chamber urges the blade against the strip. Therefore, by varying the vacuum, you vary the amount of coating liquid adhering to the strip leaving the closed chamber.

U.S. Patent No. 4,782,756 relates to a printing roller ink cover remover which has a solid ink transfer roller. The invention includes a plurality of side by side scraping blades that selectively engage the roller to remove transferred ink. A separated ink collector roller receives the removed ink and is scraped clean by a single doctor blade which deposits the ink on to a disposable liner in a pan underneath. The separate blades are placed into their scraping position either manually or driven by pneumatic or electrical power.

U.S. Patent No. 7,796,913 relates to a cleaning station for removing particulate from a moving web in an electrographic printer/copier that includes a web-cleaner device with a support bracket shoe assembly. The web cleaner has two wiper blades, including one or more profiled metal blades, each having a

distinguishment that distinguishes one wiper blade from the other. U.S. Patent No. 7,930,830 relates to a scraping tool with a retractable safety guard, for removing debris and dirt from glass and tile. The scraping tool comprises a housing formed of two separate portions and a guard member, adapted to retain a single or double edged blade between the housing portions. Within the housing, a scraping blade is held in rigid, stationary position by a plurality of posts.

U.S. Patent No. 8,024,835 relates to a method and tools operative for treatment of a substance in association with a surface of an object or body have a first treatment tool and a second backing tool. The treatment tool has a rigid retention portion and a treatment portion, and is manufactured as a single integrated tool. A backbone extends in cantilever out of the retention portion to support a resilient and flexible blade, retained as a twist angle relative to the handle. The blade is configured for controlled deflection about the backbone when vertical forces in excess of a predetermined force are met, to prevent damage to the surface or to the object. The retention portion and the treatment portion are disposed in mutual angular spatial relationship for ease of use of the tool. The backing tool supports the object during treatment.

U.S. Patent No. 8,086,133 relates to a cleaning station for removing particulate material from a moving web in an electrographic printer/copier that includes a web-cleaner device with a support shoe assembly. The web cleaner has two wiper blades, including one or more blades each having a distinguishment that distinguishes one wiper blade from the other when the blades are locked into the cleaner sump by springs.

U.S. Patent No. 8,401,446 relates to a printing apparatus and method including a charging device positioned adjacent a photoreceptor that places a latent image charge on the photoreceptor. A transfer assist blade is adjacent the photoreceptor that presses the sheet of media against the photoreceptor to cause the marking material to be transferred to the sheet of media. The apparatus also includes a controller that is operatively connected to the transfer assist blade. The controller causes the transfer assist blade to apply more pressure to leading and trailing portions of the sheet of media relative to the middle portion of the sheet of media.

In the prior art, conventional meat grinders have utilized a screw type conveyor for advancing meat particles through a chamber to force them through a grinder plate disposed at the end of the chamber. The grinder plate normally has a plurality of orifices disposed there through for reducing the particulate size of the meat. Normally, grinding is begun with baseball size chunks of meat and then reduced to a desired size which may take several stages of grinding.

Screw type meat grinders require a defined clearance between the screw conveyor and the sides of the chamber through which the meat is passed. This clearance allows the screw conveyor to clear the walls while rotating. However, this clearance allows meat to flow backwards around the screw conveyor under high pressure conditions, thereby reducing the maximum amount of pressure that can be applied to the meat particles at the grinder plate. This pressure limit defines the maximum flow rate of meat that can be passed through a grinder plate. In addition, gristle or bone chips that may be present in the meat may clog the grinder plate and further inhibit grinding.

In grinding the meat to a desired particle size in a large manufacturing environment, it has been necessary to change grinder plates at various stages of the operation. Since it is very difficult to go from a large particulate size to a very small particulate size, a number of stages are necessary. When the meat is output from the grinder plate, it takes on a very "stringy" texture since the fat and meat fibers have a tendency to adhere together along the longitudinal direction. Therefore, the grinding operation requires an additional step to reduce the length of this material. All of these operations must be repeated for each stage of grinding.

The meat industry has attempted to control fiber length during production through multiple designs. The previous best method is a bowl chopper, dependent upon operator control, it is a batch system that slows production.

Meat grinders do not shear fiber to specified lengths. Meat grinders extrude meat using hydraulic pressure forcing product through holes, the internal grinder blades are sweepers that clear holes of material that can plug them. This extrusion process does not control fiber length, it subjects the product to very high pressure and fails to achieve desired product quality. In the prior art, even if the internal grinder blades could be run at a speed designed to cut the fiber to the desired length, it is not possible at this stage of production, for the meat to be stretched and the fibers aligned.

Current forming technology relies on high pressure, speed and complicated material flow pathways which produce a product lacking in quality. High pressure works the meat cells, the higher the pressure the more massaging, squeezing and turbulence of the meat cells takes place. High speed combined with a complicated flow path increases the pressure and turbulence and works the meat product, releasing and mixing myosin/actin from the cells causing the muscle fiber to bind together and contract (protein bind). The contraction takes place during high heat application as in cooking. The action of the meat fiber is to contract in length, this contraction combined with protein bind not only shortens the muscle fiber which if not controlled causes odd cook shapes but a rubber like texture with a tough bite.

In muscle, actin is the major component of thin filaments, which together with the motor protein myosin (which forms thick filaments), are arranged into actomyosin myofibrils. These fibrils comprise the mechanism of muscle contraction. Using the hydrolysis of ATP for energy, myosin heads undergo a cycle during which they attach to thin filaments, exerting a tension, and then depending on the load, perform a power stroke that causes the thin filaments to slide past, shortening the muscle.

Muscle fibril structure is measured from micrometers to several millimeters in length. These fibril structures are bundled together to form muscles. Myofibril proteins are the largest group and probably more is known about these proteins than any other. In muscle cells actin is the scaffold on which myosin proteins generate force to support muscle contraction. Myosin is the major protein that is extracted from the muscle cells by mechanical means.

An important purpose of tumbling and massaging is to solubilize and extract myofibril proteins to produce a protein exudate on the surface of the meat fiber. The exudates bind the formed pieces together upon heating. Binding strength also increases with increased massaging or blending time. This is due to increased exudate formation on the surface of the meat. Crude myosin extrudate is increased with increased blending time. Grinding/chopping utilizes the concept of rupturing the cell to release protein. This mechanical chopping or shearing takes place at the shear/fill plate hole. This process extracts actin and myosin from muscle cells.

Mixing, utilizes friction and kinetic energy to release protein exudate. Fill hole shape and spacing can cause dead spots and turbulence in the meat flow. This change of direction is a form of mixing and massaging. This is another process, which extracts actin and myosin from muscle cells.

Massaging, utilizes friction, kinetic energy and pressure to increase protein exudate. This action takes place almost anywhere meat comes in contact with processing equipment and is moved or has a change of direction via pressure. This is also a procedure which involves extracting actin and myosin from muscle cells.

Meat patties are comprise of whole muscle meat, table trimmings, or LFTB (lean finely textured beef) or a combination thereof.

A grinder/mixer blends the product to either a course grind or a fine grind which creates a finished product. This creates a homogenous mix which is formed into a noodle.

With frozen foods, a flaker can be used which first flakes the frozen food and then it is ground in a grinder/mixer/blender.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to orifices machined into the grinder plate that creates fiber orientation of the meat, and stretching of the product fibers. It is an object of the present invention for the fibers while aligned and stretched, to pass through the orifices at such high velocity that the fibers are sheared at the desired length. It is an object of the present invention to install a set of independent speed controlled blades on the outside of the grinder plate. It is an object of the present invention to use the orifice machined holes that control fiber orientation. It is an object of the present invention for the grinder to extrude the product, accelerate the product through the orifices, resulting in fiber alignment and stretching while allowing the outside blades the opportunity to shear the fibers to any length desired. Having the fibers in the stretched aligned state at the exit of the orifices is the only point for shearing them. It is an object of the present invention to have an independent set of blades that can be controlled for speed that allows fiber length control.

The present invention relates to an independent knife assembly, with variable speed control, for shearing fibers affected by the orifices.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an outboard or external knife assembly for a grinder.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an outboard or external knife assembly for stuffers, or any other meat extrusion machine or device.

It is an object of the present invention to provide independent speed control of the outboard or external knife assembly. It is an object of the present invention for the device to be driven by hydraulic, electric, pneumatic, or any other energy transfer system.

It is an object of the present invention for the knives spinning drum to have a gear driven, belt driven, chain driven, or any other method to transfer energy to the knives spinning drum. It is an object of the present invention for the device to be attached via a thread, slip joint with retainer pin, clamp collar, as presently shown in the drawings, an interrupted thread, flange with bolts, a "U" shaped slip socket with locking cams or bolts.

It is an object of the present invention for the knife used to be a standard off the shelf configuration. It is an object of the present invention for the knife to be redesigned as needed for different applications. It is an object of the present invention for the knife to be a knife insert. It is an object of the present invention for the knife to have a thickness equal or smaller than the diameter of the holes. This will prevent the knife from windowing the orifice completely shut, thus blocking the flow and pulsing the meat.

During the start and stop of meat flow, the cylinder needs to clear itself before the venturi action can take effect. It is an object of the present invention for the spherical portion of the orifice to be shorter in length than the cylinder portion or exit of the holes.

It has been shown that there is a relationship between the ratio of the length of the spherical portion and the cylinder portion. The venturi effect when subject to a start and stop action or pulsed flow performs better with a long spherical portion and a short cylinder by ratio.

It is an object of the present invention for the drum device to have a scraper assembly. The scraper assembly keeps meat from tumbling like a clothes dryer, moving the meat out so that there is a lower contact time with the drum. It directs the meat in a controlled fashion and acts as a safety device in case the device is not installed properly. It is an object of the present invention for the drive part of the knife ring to utilize three square notches with three raised tabs.

The present invention comprises an apparatus for grinding meat. The meat grinder includes a pump for pumping meat particles in a continuous flow under high pressure. This meat is pumped into the inlet port of a collection chamber that has a frusto-conical shape with the outlet port having a larger diameter. A grinder plate is disposed at the outlet port of the collection chamber with a plurality of holes disposed therein for reducing the diameter of the particulate size of the meat as the meat is pressed there through. A cutting knife is disposed adjacent the grinder plate for reducing the length of the particulate matter output from the grinder plate. A variable motor is attached to the cutting knife for moving the cutting knife perpendicular to the surfaces in the grinder plate. The variable motor has a variable speed such that the length of the particulate matter output from the grinder plate is varied depending upon the particular application.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the variable motor is a hydraulic motor with an external pump for providing the hydraulic pressure thereto. This hydraulic motor has a continuously variable speed to rotate the cutting knife at a variable rotation speed. By varying the rotation speed of the knife, the length of the particulate size pressed through the grinder plate can be determined for a desired particulate size.

In an embodiment, the grinder via its auger conveys meat through the grinder plate. The outer knife cuts the meat again. The speed of rotation of the blade effects fiber length. The speed is adjustable via a speed control device connected to the motor. The motor drives the outer knife by a drive that is mechanically connected from the input shaft to the outer drive knife hub. The contact of the external knife to the grinder plate is adjusted by the outer knife pressure tension ring assembly.

It is an object of the present invention to provide fiber orientation technology to reduce the release and mixing of myosin with actin. It is an object of the present invention for the fiber orientation technology to control orientation of the fiber. It is an object of the present invention for the fiber orientation technology to provide less myosin activity resulting in a better bite/bind and control over the final cook shape.

The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for accelerating food product in order to cause the product to be stretched, aligning the fibers of the product. It is an object of the present invention for a hole or orifice to change size from a larger to a smaller diameter with vertical or concave sides. It is an object of the present invention for the sides to have a sharp edge. The principle has design similarities to a venturi. It is referred to as a nozzle, venturi, orifice, or a restriction to flow which results in product acceleration with a corresponding pressure drop through the orifice.

By reducing the diameter of a tube through which a substance passes, the velocity is increased. This is the principle of Conservation of Mass. When the velocity increases the pressure of the material is reduced. This is the principle of Conservation of Energy.

For every liquid, there is a ratio between the cross-sectional area (C) and the cross-sectional area (c) through which velocity can only be increased by reducing temperature or increasing pressure. Although ground meat is not a homogeneous liquid, the same concepts still apply. It is impossible to attain a venturi effect unless there is a transition between the orifices and the small orifice has a finite length. There is a ratio of length between the cylinder and sphere that effects performance. A shorter length of the cylinder as compared to the length of the sphere effects the performance of the velocity and alignment.

A venturi allows a smooth transition from a larger orifice to a smaller one. This transition minimizes flow transitions and thereby reduces restrictions in the system. The transition minimizes energy loss and supports fiber alignment.

The transition in a venturi is extremely difficult to create in a production tooling environment. As a result, using the geometric properties of a sphere or similar shape allows the ability to obtain many of the venturi effect properties using standard production practices.

All points on a sphere are the same distance from a fixed point. Contours and plane sections of spheres are circles. Spheres have the same width and girth.

Spheres have maximum volume with minimum surface area. All of the above properties allow meat to flow with minimum interruptions. There are no static or dead zones. No matter what angle the cylinder intersects the sphere, the cross section is always a perfect circle.

It is an object of the present invention to increase meat velocity forcing linear fiber alignment.

It is an object of the present invention to have spherical geometry or a similar shape in grinder plate or orifice plate apertures to create venturi effects.

The present invention relates to a grinding machine which has a hopper into which the material to be ground is placed. The grinding machine further comprises a grinder portion, including a grinding head, a mounting ring, a bridge, a collection tube, an auger or feed screw, and a barrel. A feed screw is located in the grinding head to advance material in the hopper through the head. A knife assembly is mounted at the end of the feed screw and rotates with the feed screw in

combination with the orifice plate/grinder plate. This grinds the material that is advanced toward the orifice plate/grinder plate by the feed screw. The feed screw has a bore at its downstream end into which a center pin is inserted. The center pin extends through a central passage of the knife assembly, and through a bushing that is positioned in a central opening of the grinder plate or orifice plate. A collection cone is located downstream of the orifice plate/grinder plate and is secured to the bushing. The orifice plate/grinder plate is comprised of an outer section having a plurality of grinding apertures and an inner section having at least one collection passage. The collection passage or passages of the orifice

plate/grinder plate lead to a collection structure defined by the collection cone, which generally includes a collection cavity and a discharge passage. An orifice plate/grinder plate guard is located downstream from the orifice plate/grinder plate and maintains the collection structure in place. A mounting ring holds the guard against the orifice plate/grinder plate and mounts the intervening structures to the body of the grinding head.

The present invention relates to a grinder head for a meat grinding machine. The invention improves fiber alignment. The meat fiber is drawn through the orifices of the grinder plate which stretches the meat fiber. The venturi effect created by the orifice aligns the fiber through the plate. The meat fiber is stretched and allows a clean cut. There is little or no release of myosin. It is an object of the present invention to get the lowest cross section through the cut of the meat.

It is an object of the present invention for the grinder to grind food product.

This product flow is accelerated by using a system which reduces the cylinder size. Using the equation from Bernoulli's law of A 1 V 1 =A 2 V 2 , the velocity is increased by reducing the cross sectional area.

The typical way of accomplishing this is the use of a venturi nozzle. However, a venturi requires a gradual area reduction and a finite length throat. Given the restrictions of the plate thickness, it was not feasible to put a prior art venturi in a grinder or orifice plate. However, utilizing the properties of a sphere, the product achieves acceleration by intersecting a cylinder with a sphere of a larger diameter.

In a sphere, pressure is equal in all directions. Therefore, when the sphere is intersected by a cylinder, the product will move in a direction coaxial with the cylinder at a high velocity. The impact on the product in the grinder plate is greater because the product moving at a higher velocity will generate more momentum.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a venturi effect in the apertures of the orifice/grinder plate by creating a sphere to cylinder apertures. This creates a venturi effect or a venturi pump. This accelerates the product through the orifice. The spherical cut creates equal pressure in all directions. It is an object of the present invention to have a spherical hemisphere or curved structure which has a diameter which is no greater than the choke flow for the liquid, gas, or solid used and is no less than the diameter of the connected cylindrical portion.

It is an object of the present invention for the spherical hemisphere or curved structure to have a diameter between 1.01 to 2.5 times greater than a cylindrical portion which intersects the same. It is preferred to have a sharper edge from the edge to the hole.

It is an object of the present invention to use spherical geometry, with cylindrical intersections, and the ratio of the diameter of the sphere divided by the area of the cylinder to be no greater than the choke flow for the liquid, gas, or solid used and is no less than the diameter of the connected cylindrical portion to create conditions to meat flow which maintain improved cell structure.

Irregular shapes do not have diameters, but they do have areas. For a given ratio of a linear item, the ratio becomes the square of the linear ratio. For curved and irregular shapes, the ratio of the initial area and the reduced area is from approximately 1.2 to 6.25.

It is an object of the present invention for the independent control speed blades to be located on the outside and the inside of the grinder plate.

It is an object of the present invention for the independent control speed blades to be located on the inside of the grinder plate.

It is an object of the present invention for the grinding machine to further comprise a clamping mechanism for taking an existing grinder head and attaching it to an existing grinder.

It is an object of the present invention for the grinding machine to further comprise a chain tensioner to tension the chain.

The present invention relates to a flexible blade that uses spring pressure from the blade itself to keep an edge of the blade in contact with the shearing surface. There is a mechanical pressure caused by the blade being fastened to the blade holder. The space between the blade and the blade holder when pressure is applied causes the flexing of the blade. It is an object of the present invention for the blade to comprise a heat treatable stainless steel. It is an object of the present invention to provide a continuous cutting edge of the blade to the surface to which it is applied. It is an object of the present invention for the blade to comprise high carbon steel. It is an object of the present invention for the blade to comprise ceramic.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade to have a high Rockwell between 45 C and 60 C.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade as it wears to have less flexibility and stand in an upright positon. It is the tension caused by the flex of the blade that causes this. It is an object of the present invention to continuously bring a sharp edge of the blade in contact with a shearing surface. This will continue until there is no more space between the blade and the blade holder. It is an object of the present invention for pressure on the blades to be caused by fasteners.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade to be used with a grinder machine in the ground meat industry. It is an object of the present invention to use three blades per knife/blade retainer ring. It is an object of the present invention to use at least two blades per ring. The number of blades and the speed of the motor dictate the fiber size of the meat. It is an object of the present invention for the ring to be placed on top of the grinder plate, and for the grinder plate to be fixed and the blade(s) to be moving.

It is an object the present invention to have the knife/blade retainer ring with the knife/blade holder spacer apply pressure to the knife holder that applies pressure on the blade which applies pressure on the plate. It is an object of the present invention for the blade to be attached to a blade holder by fasteners wherein the blade holder is fixed angle blade support. It is an object of the present invention for the blade holder to be attached to a ring wherein the ring is above a grinder plate.

It is an object of the present invention for there to be three blade supports attached to ring, each blade support having a blade attached to it.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade to have a beveled angle. It is an object of the present invention for the angle to be between 20° to 70°. In a preferred embodiment, the beveled angle is approximately 20°.

It is an object of the present invention for the angle of the blade to be greater than the angle of the holder. The higher the blade, the greater the beveled angle must be. It is an object of the present invention for there to be clearance between the heel of the blade. As the angle of the blade rotates from 90° to 45° or less the greater the clearance of the blade. It is an object of the present invention that the back of the blade not come in contact with the shearing surface until the blade is worn down.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade to be attached to a clamping mechanism by fasteners that are attached to the blade holding

mechanism.

It is an object of the present invention for the blade to be used with a fill plate of a food patty molding machine. The fill plate can go straight back and forth using the blade.

It is an object of the present invention for the blades to be used with a stuffer. The plunger puts meat in a casing and the is put on the outlet of the casing. It is an object of the present invention for the blades to be used in processes for extrusion and shape such as the seed industry. It is an object of the present invention for the blades to be used in the candy industry during extrusion.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 shows a dissembled view of the grinder outboard knife assembly.

Figure 2 is an illustration of a prior art venturi design.

Figure 3 is a top view of an embodiment of an orifice or grinder plate of the present invention.

Figure 4 is a magnified top view of an embodiment of an orifice or grinder plate of the present invention. As shown in this embodiment, the spherical portion is shorter compared to the exit cylinder length.

Figure 5 is a cross sectional side view of an embodiment of an orifice or grinder plate of the present invention. As shown in this embodiment, the spherical portion is shorter compared to the exit cylinder length.

Figure 6 is a magnified cross sectional side view of an embodiment of an orifice or grinder plate of the present invention. As shown in this embodiment, the spherical portion is shorter compared to the exit cylinder length.

Figure 7 is a top view of a orifice or grinder plate of the present invention.

Figure 8 is an embodiment of a disassembled view of the grinder outboard knife assembly.

Figure 9 is an enlarged top view of the blade attached to a grinder assembly of the present invention.

Figure 10 is a top view of the grinder assembly with blades of the present invention. Figure 11 is a top view of the ring having the blades of the present invention. Figure 12 is a top view of the blade of the present invention.

Figure 13 is a top view of the blade attached to a clamp of the present invention.

Figure 14 is a top view of the blade attached to the grinder assembly of the present invention.

Figure 15 is an enlarged top view of the blade attached to the grinder assembly of the present invention.

Detailed Description of the Invention

Figure 1 shows a grinder outboard knife assembly 10 comprising a grinder knife 12, which is a device that has multiple legs (or extensions) from a hub, each of which has edges designed to cut fibers by rotating on a flat surface with multiple orifices.

A grinder plate 14 is a flat disc that has multiple orifices. The grinder plate 14 is the surface upon which the grinder knife rotates.

The bone collector tube 16 is a tube which is attached to the center hub of the grinder plate 14. It creates a path for bone matter to travel so that it is separated from the ground meat.

In an embodiment, the bone collector, which usually uses a ball valve for flow control, is replaced with a fixed insert orifice that has the spherical hole design of the present invention. This allows for easy size change, removal and installation of a different sized orifice. This assists in keeping the flow consistent, the acceleration through the orifice would be self-cleaning, and it would reduce the outside profile allowing for better exit of meat from the drum device. The grinder plate nut 18 holds the grinder plate 14 to the grinder barrel. The gear box clamp 20 is a circular locking clamp that affixes the external gear box to the end of the grinder, via the nut 18.

Outer knife 22 cuts meat on the downstream side of the grinder plate 14. Knife push rod 24, is a bar that allows spring forces to be exerted on the knife

12.

O-ring 26 is an elastomer used either for sealing mating surfaces or can provide a cushioning and spring effect.

Gear box mounting flange 28, is the part of the gear box that allows the gear box clamp 20 to hold the gear box to the grinder. Gear box clamp engages both flange 28 and nut 18 to hold the device on the grinder.

Gear box housing 30, is comprised of left and right housings that are fastened by bolts.

Bearing 32 supports rotation against the gear box housing 30.

Input shaft bearing 34, which is also known as the drive sprocket bearing, facilitates the drive shaft rotating the outer knife 22.

Bearing race 36 is the cover on the outer diameter of the bearing 32 that contains the balls (ball bearing) or rollers (roller bearing).

The knife assembly 10 further comprises a drive chain 38 that transmits the motor force to the external knife.

Outer knife drive hub 40 is the sprocket that is directly driven by the external motor.

Input sprocket shaft 42 transmits the forces from the auxiliary motor to the drive chain 38. Motor input coupling 44 is attached to the front of the auxiliary motor.

Gear box housing 46 is comprised of a left and right housing that is fastened by bolts.

Outer knife pressure tension ring 48 applies pressure to the outer knife 22 to keep it on the surface of the grinder plate 14.

In a further embodiment, the springs of the device will be internal with no outer ring.

Tension spring 50 creates force to maintain contact between the outer knife 22 and grinder plate 14.

Tension adjust screw 52 adjusts tension from the compressing spring.

Gear box motor flange 54 is a flange to which the motor is attached.

Motor clamp 56 is a clamp that holds the motor 60 to the gear box.

Motor mount flange 58 is the flange attached to the gear box.

Adjustable speed motor 60 is an electric motor with an inverter drive.

In an embodiment, the grinder knife is installed into the end of the grinder auger. The grinder plate has a plurality of holes that have a spherical component and a cylindrical component. The grinder plate and the grinder knife are assembled to the end of the grinder by a grinder plate nut. The grinder plate nut is assembled to the grinder by a screw thread. The outer knife is assembled to three knife push rods. The gear box mounting flange is assembled to the LH gear box housing. An O-ring is inserted into the gear mounting nut flange to prevent meat leakage.

The bearing and the bearing race are assembled to the outer diameter of the outer drive hub. The outer drive hub has sprocket teeth to accept the drive chain. There is a second bearing and bearing race that fit over the outer knife drive hub and into the gear box housing RH.

There are two input shaft bearings that are assembled to the gear box assembly. The input sprocket shaft is aligned to the outer knife drive hub. The motor input coupling facilitates the motor to drive the assembly. After the gear box assembly is finished then the outer knife with the 3 knife push rods is pushed through the gear box assembly. The three tension springs, one for each rod, are assembled to holes in the gear box housing assembly. The outer knife pressure tension ring is assembled with the tension adjusting screw to provide for tension adjustment.

The entire assembly is affixed to the grinder plate nut by an attachment flange on the nut and a similar flange on the gear box mounting flange. These are attached by the gear box clamp. The gear box motor flange is assembled via three bolts. The motor flange is assembled to the front of the motor.

The motor is affixed to the gear box by the motor clamp that is similar in function to the gear box clamp. The motor is electrically connected to a speed control device.

The bone collector tube is affixed to a hub on the grinder plate.

Figure 2 shows a prior art venturi 100 comprising a diameter 102, angle transition 104, throat length 106 and discharge 108.

Figure 3 shows an orifice/grinder plate 200 having apertures 210.

Figure 4 shows a magnified view of the orifice/grinder plate 200 showing the apertures 210. Figure 5 shows the orifice/grinder plate 200 having the apertures 210. The apertures comprising a sphere section 212 and a cylinder section 214.

Figure 6 shows a magnified view of the apertures 210 having a spherical section 212 and a cylinder section 214.

Figure 7 shows a grinder/orifice plate 250 having bone collection slots 252, and orifices 254 which are comprised of a spherical diameter 256 and a cylindrical diameter 258. The arrow 260 shows the direction of the meat flow.

Figure 8 shows an embodiment of a disassembled grinder outboard knife assembly.

The grinder outboard knife assembly 300 comprises a grinder nut 201, a drum and sprocket assembly 302, a knife holder spacer 303, a knife retainer ring 304, a gear case 305, a gear case cover 206, a shaft cover 307, and a shaft case flange 308.

The grinder outboard knife assembly 300 further comprises a motor flange 309, a mounting ring 310, a cover plate 311, a tensioner arm 312, a motor shaft adapter 313, a clevis block 314, a clamp tie rod 315, a clamp plate 316, a gear case seal 317, and knife holder 318 and a seal 319.

The grinder outboard knife assembly 300 further comprises grinder plate 320, knife blade 321, drive shaft assembly 322, knife blade 323, bearing shaft 324, bearing bracket 325, idler sprocket 326, idler shaft 327, plug 328 and seals 329-331.

The grinder outboard knife assembly 300 further comprises motor 332, fasteners 333-336, 339-341, 343-350. bearing 351, quick release pin 352, spring 353, and acorn nut 354. The grinder outboard knife assembly 300 further comprises retainer ring 355, clevis pin with retainer ring 356, fasteners 357-364, bearings 365-366 and key 367.

Figure 9 shows a blade 410 attached to a blade holder 412 by fasteners 414, the blade holder 412 is a fixed angle blade support. The blade holder is attached to ring 416 wherein is above grinder plate 418.

Figure 10 shows the grinder plate 418 and ring 416 having the blade 410 attached<to blade 410 attached to blade support 412 by fasteners 414, the figure shows three blade supports 412, 420, 422 attached to ring 416, each blade support has a blade attached to it.

Figure 11 shows ring 416 having blade supports 412, 420, 422, each having a blade attached to blade support.

Figure 12 shows blade 410 having beveled angle 424. In a preferred embodiment beveled angle is approximately 20°. In an embodiment, the approach angle is approximately 20° to 70°. The angle of the blade must be greater than the angle holder. There must be clearance between heel of blade.

Figure 13 shows blade 410 attached to clamp 426 by fasteners 414.

Figure 14 shows the embodiment of grinder plate 500 wherein blade having the ring 502, having three blade supports 504, 506, 508, each blade support having blade 510 which is attached to clamping mechanism 512, which is attached by fastener 514 to blade support. The ring 502 is above grinder plate 516.

Figure 15 is an enlarged view of Figure 14 showing blade 510 attached to blade support member 504.

The present invention relates to fiber orientation technology. The fiber orientation technology drops pressure across the grinder plate, aligns the fibers of meat so that the contraction of the muscle fiber that does take place is in a direction of choice controlling both bite and shrinkage. The fiber orientation technology provides a lower resistance to product flow.

The fiber orientation technology provides a better shear surface for a cleaner cut. The fiber orientation technology aligns the fibers in the grinder plate so the shearing action disrupts as few muscle cells as possible. The fiber orientation technology decreases the total area of grinder plate blocking the meat flow resulting in less direction change to the product which works the meat. The fiber orientation technology pulls the meat fiber through the apertures of the grinder plate instead of pushing using the principles of the venturi/choke plate.

All of these characteristics of fiber orientation technology reduce the release and mixing of myosin with actin, the net effect is a controlled orientation of the fiber, less myosin activity resulting in a better bite/bind and control over the final cook shape.

Spherical geometry in apertures of the grinder plate creates venturi effects.

The grinder plate has a multiplicity of fill orifices distributed in a

predetermined pattern. The orifices consist of spherical portions or a curved structure intersecting a cylindrical portion. The spherical portion or curved structure has a diameter no greater than the choke flow for the liquid gas or solid used and is no less than the diameter of the connected cylindrical portion. By a reduction in the cross-sectional area a "venturi" condition is created. By using spherical portions or a curved structure, intersections between cylinder and spheres or curved structures create transitions which can be manufactured whose geometry approaches a venturi style system. It is preferred to have a sharper edge from the edge to the hole. To get a perfect edge it is preferred to sharpen with a grinder. In a preferred embodiment, the grinder plate is chrome coated.

Using conservation of mass and conservation of energy principles the volume rate of flow must be equal at all points in the systems. (piA ) = (p2A 2 V 2 ). Since p is a constant, velocity is inversely proportional to cross sectional area. Also, a venturi requires a ramp of some finite distance and a throat which also has a finite distance.

A spherical geometry feeding into a circular cross section which creates a product velocity increased while maintaining more consistent pressure on the meat. A sphere has the following properties:

> All points on a sphere are the same distance from a fixed point.

> Contours and plane sections of spheres are circles.

> Spheres have the same width and girth.

> Spheres have maximum volume with minimum surface area.

> These properties allow meat to flow with minimum interruptions. There are no static or dead zones.

> No matter what angle the cylinder intersects the sphere; the cross section is always a perfect circle.

> Pressure inside of a sphere is uniform in all directions.

When meat is passed through a circular cross section of a sphere, the fact that pressure is uniform in a sphere creates forces which will be coaxial with the sphere. The reduction in area accelerates the meat through the cylinder of the fill plate. The acceleration has been shown empirically to align fibers in the primary direct of flow. Hence, there is fiber orientation.