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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GRINDING DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/185505
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine, comprising: - a support body (2); - a lower grinder (3) and an up per grinder (4) arranged coaxially with respect to an axis (X) and delimiting a gap where the grinding is performed; - a motor (21) for driving at least one of said grinders (3,4) in rotation about said axis (X); - an adjustment ring nut (6) for adjusting the width of said gap having means for transforming a rotation thereof about said axis (X) into a translation of at least one of said grinders in the direction of said axis (X); and - a gear for driving said ring nut (6) in rotation; characterized in that said gear comprises a toothed wheel arc (7) engaging a pinion (8), and in that means are provided for fixing said toothed wheel arc (7) in an adjustable position on said ring nut (6).

Inventors:
BONOTTO, Davide (Via L. Seitz 47, Treviso, 31100, IT)
MARCATO, Emanuele (Via L. Seitz 47, Treviso, 31100, IT)
Application Number:
EP2019/057368
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DE' LONGHI APPLIANCES S.R.L. (Via L. Seitz 47, Treviso, 31100, IT)
International Classes:
A47J42/18
Foreign References:
FR1500290A1967-11-03
DE4407621A11995-09-14
ES2380402T32012-05-11
JPS5543511U1980-03-21
EP1466547A12004-10-13
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAPISARDI, Mariacristina (Via Serbelloni 12, MILANO, 20122, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine, comprising:

- a support body (2);

- a lower grinder (3) and an upper grinder (4) arranged coaxially with respect to an axis (X) and delimiting a gap where the grinding is performed;

- a motor (21) for driving at least one of said grinders (3,4) in rotation about said axis (X);

- an adjustment ring nut (6) for adjusting the width of said gap having a means for transforming a rotation thereof about said axis (X) into a translation of at least one of said grinders in the direction of said axis (X); and

- a gear for driving said ring nut (6) in rotation; characterised in that said gear comprises a toothed wheel arc (7) engaging with a pinion (8), and in that a means is provided for fixing said toothed wheel arc (7) in an adjustable position on said ring nut (6).

2. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to claim 1, characterised in that said toothed wheel arc (7) is structurally independent from said ring nut (6).

3. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to claim 1, characterised in that said support body (2) has a cam (16) tilted with respect to said axis (X) and said adjustment ring nut (6) comprises a feeler (17) of said cam (16) for its movement along said axis (X), or vice versa.

4. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to claim 1, characterised in that the lower grinder (3) is drawn in rotation by said motor and the upper grinder is drawn in translation along said axis (X) solidly with said adjustment ring nut (6), said upper grinder being translatable along said axis (X) due to the effect of its own weight or that of the coffee during the grinding step, said adjustment ring nut (6) acting as a stroke end.

5. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said adjustable position fixing means comprises a series of stations (9) arranged along the perimeter of said adjustment ring nut (6) that can be selected for the assembly of different types of toothed wheel arcs.

6. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to the preceding claim, characterised in that said adjustable position fixing means comprises fixing screws (9’) for fixing a type of toothed wheel arc to a corresponding selection of stations of said series of stations (9).

7. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to one or more of the preceding claims characterised in that said pinion (8) can be driven by a motor (5).

8. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to claim 1 characterised in that said pinion (8) can be driven manually by a handle (10).

9. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to one or more of the preceding claims characterised in that it comprises a stroke end (11) for stopping the rotation of the ring nut (6) and an adjustable position fixing means for fixing said stroke end (11) on said toothed wheel arc (7).

10. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to the preceding claim characterised in that said adjustable position fixing means for fixing said stroke end (11) on said toothed wheel arc (7) comprises feet of said stroke end and a grille (13) with sectors (13’) that can be selected for the engagement of said feet.

11. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to the preceding claim characterised in that said grille (13) is fixed through screws (20) to said toothed wheel arc (7).

12. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to one or more of claims 8 to 11 characterised in that it has a first sensor (14) for sensing the position of said stroke end (11).

13. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to the preceding claim characterised in that said first sensor (14) comprises a micro switch that can be activated by mechanical interference with said stroke end (11).

14. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to any of the preceding claims characterised in that it comprises a second sensor (15) for sensing the rotation speed of said at least one rotating grinder (3,4).

15. The grinding device (1) for an automatic coffee machine according to the preceding claim characterised in that said second sensor (15) is configured so as to sense the rotation speed and stop the grinding when the rotation speed sensed is outside a range of predetermined values.

16. A coffee machine characterised in that it incorporates a grinding device (1) according to any one of the preceding claims.

Description:
GRINDING DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINE

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine and a coffee machine that incorporates such a grinding device.

A grinding device of the known type is equipped with a coaxial lower grinder and upper grinder that delimit an adjustable gap, and a hopper having an opening for unloading the coffee beans in the gap where the coffee beans are ground.

Generally in a grinding device of the known type a grinder, for example the lower one, rotates while the other grinder, for example the upper one, does not rotate but moves axially to alter the gap width and, consequently, adjust the degree of the beans’ grinding.

The grinding device conventionally has a fixed support for supporting the lower grinder and the upper grinder and an adjustment ring nut whose perimeter has a toothed gear in one piece with a pinion for gripping the rotational movement.

Such solution entails negative effects because it does not allow an optimal use of the space available for the targeted placement of specific components, such as specific adjustment systems.

Therefore, due to the rigidity of the grinding device's structure, it does not adapt to the implementation of specific functionalities in a versatile manner.

The technical task of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine which obviates the above-described technical drawbacks of the prior art.

Within the scope of this technical task, an aim of the invention is to realize a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine that has a structure which is flexibly adaptable for the implementation of specific functionalities.

Another aim of the invention is to provide a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine capable of optimizing the occupation of spaces so as to increase its functionalities.

The technical task, as well as these and other aims, of the present invention is therefore to provide a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine, comprising:

- a support body;

- a lower grinder and an upper grinder arranged coaxially with respect to an axis and delimiting a gap where the grinding is performed;

- a motor for driving at least one of said grinders in rotation about said axis;

- an adjustment ring nut for adjusting the width of said gap having means for transforming a rotation thereof about said axis into a translation of at least one of said grinders in the direction of said axis; and

- a gear for driving said ring nut in rotation; characterized in that said gear comprises a toothed wheel arc engaging a pinion, and in that means are provided for fixing said toothed wheel arc in an adjustable position on said ring nut.

Preferably said toothed wheel arc is structurally independent from said ring nut. Preferably, the support body has a cam which is tilted with respect to said axis and said adjustment ring nut comprises a feeler of said cam for its movement along said axis, or vice versa. Preferably, the lower grinder is drawn in rotation by said motor and the upper grinder is drawn in translation along said axis solidly with said adjustment ring nut, said upper grinder being translatable along said axis due to the effect of its own weight or that of the coffee during the grinding step, said adjustment ring nut acting as a stroke end.

Advantageously the adjustable position fixing means comprise a series of stations arranged along the perimeter of said adjustment ring nut that can be selected for the assembly of different types of toothed wheel arcs.

In particular, the adjustable position fixing means comprise fixing screws for fixing a type of toothed wheel arc to a corresponding selection of stations of said series of stations.

Preferably the pinion can be driven by a motor.

Preferably the pinion can be driven manually by a handle.

Advantageously, the grinding device comprises a stroke end for stopping the rotation of the ring nut and adjustable position fixing means for fixing said stroke end on said toothed wheel arc.

Preferably the adjustable position fixing means for fixing said stroke end on said toothed wheel arc comprise feet of said stroke end and a grille with sectors that can be selected for the engagement of said feet.

In particular, the grille is fixed to said toothed wheel arc through screws.

Advantageously, the grinding device has a first sensor for sensing the position of said stroke end.

Preferably, the first sensor comprises a micro-switch that can be activated by mechanical interference with said stroke end.

Advantageously, the grinding device comprises a second sensor for sensing the rotation speed of said at least one rotating grinder.

In particular, the second sensor is configured so as to sense the rotation speed and stop the grinding when the rotation speed sensed is outside a range of predetermined values.

The invention also reveals a coffee machine characterized in that it incorporates a grinding device conforming to the detailed description which follows.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will more fully emerge from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the grinding device for an automatic coffee machine according to the invention, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

figure 1 shows a sectional lateral view from above of the grinding device;

figure 2 shows a view from above of the grinding device of figure 1 ;

figure 3 shows a perspective view of the grinding device of figure 1 according to a first embodiment of the invention;

figure 4 shows a perspective view of the grinding device of figure 1 according to a second embodiment of the invention;

figure 5 shows an exploded view of the grinding device.

With reference to the figures mentioned, a grinding device for an automatic coffee machine is shown, indicated overall with the reference number 1.

The grinding device 1 comprises, in a known way, a support body 2 of a lower grinder 3 and an upper grinder 4. The lower grinder 3 and the upper grinder 4 are arranged coaxially with respect to an axis X, in particular a vertical axis, and delimit a gap where the grinding is performed.

The support body 2 also supports a motor 21 for driving at least one of the grinders 3,4 in rotation about an axis X, in particular of the lower grinder.

The support body 2 lastly supports an adjustment ring nut 6 for adjusting the width of the gap, which is coaxial to the grinders 3, 4 and having means for transforming a rotation thereof about the axis X into a translation of at least one of the grinders 3,4, in particular the upper grinder, in the direction of said axis X.

More specifically, the support body 2 has the configuration of a glass having the grinders 3, 4 assembled on the inside thereof and the adjustment ring nut 6 assembled on its upper perimeter edge.

In particular, the adjustment ring nut 6 is provided with a rotation drive gear.

The gear includes a toothed wheel arc 7 engaging with a pinion 8.

The means for transforming a rotation of the adjustment ring nut 6 into a translation of the upper grinder 4 are described below.

In particular, the support body 2 has a cam 16 which is tilted with respect to the axis X wherein a feeler 17 of the cam 16 supported by the adjustment ring nut 6 is engaged.

The adjustment ring nut 6 has an inner horizontal perimeter guide groove 18 wherein an outer horizontal perimeter flange 19 of the upper grinder 4 is slidably engaged.

In this way, when the adjustment ring nut 6 rotates it raises or lowers depending on the direction of rotation, while the upper grinder 4, although not rotating, is drawn in translation upwards or downwards along the axis X solidly with the adjustment ring nut 6.

The vertical movement of the upper grinder 4 with respect to the lower grinder 3 that rotates while remaining at a fixed height makes it possible to adjust the gap between the grinders 3,4, and therefore the desired degree of the coffee beans’ grinding.

Advantageously the upper grinder is translatable along the axis X due to the effect of its own weight or that of the coffee during the grinding step, and the adjustment ring nut 6 acts as a stroke end for the upper grinder.

Advantageously, the grinding device is provided with adjustable position fixing means for fixing the toothed wheel arc 7 to the adjustment ring nut 6.

Unlike the grinding device of a known type wherein the toothing is made in one piece with the adjustment ring nut, in the present invention the toothed wheel arc 7 is structurally independent from the adjustment ring nut 6.

Thanks to this solution, it is possible to choose the fixing position of the toothed wheel arc 7 on the adjustment ring nut 6.

In this regard, the fixing means of the adjustment ring nut 6 comprise a series of stations 9, for example a series of projections, arranged along the perimeter of the adjustment ring nut 7.

The stations 9 can be selected for the assembly of different types of toothed wheel arcs.

The toothed wheel arc 7 is fixed to the stations which are preferably selected by means of fixing screws 9'.

The adjustment ring nut 6 can be coupled to a motorized or manual drive system of the pinion 8.

In fact, in a first embodiment of the invention, the pinion 8 can be driven by a motor 5.

Instead, in a second embodiment of the invention, the pinion 8 can be driven manually by a handle 10.

The grinding device according to the present invention further comprises a stroke end 11 for stopping the rotation of the adjustment ring nut 6 and adjustable position fixing means for fixing said stroke end 11 on said toothed wheel arc 7.

In particular, the fixing means comprise feet (not shown) of the stroke end 11 and a grille 13 with sectors 13’ that can be selected for the engagement of the feet.

The grille 13 is fixed to the toothed wheel arc 7 by means of screws 20.

The stroke end 11 is therefore fixed with the grille 13 in the desired position.

The grinding device advantageously has systems for controlling the correct operation of the grinders, the rotation speed, the positioning of the stroke end, etc. In fact, at least a first sensor 14 for sensing the position of the stroke end 11 is provided.

The first sensor 14 comprises a micro-switch supported by the support body 2 that can be activated by mechanical interference with the stroke end 11.

The stroke end 11 position is acquired by rotating the adjustment ring nut 6 until it comes into contact with the first sensor 14.

At this point the actual position of the adjustment ring nut 6 is acquired by means of a potentiometer which reads the number of steps of the motor 5 driving the adjustment ring nut 6.

A second sensor 15 for sensing the rotation speed of the rotating grinder 3 is also provided.

The second sensor 15 is configured so as to sense the rotation speed and stop the grinding when the rotation speed sensed is outside a range of predetermined values.

The sensing of the number of revolutions made by the rotating grinder 3 also functions as a friction system for interrupting the grinding if the speed sensed is not within the predetermined time interval.

The sensing of the grinders’ rotation speed makes it possible to understand if the grinder is working properly and if the position of the adjustment ring nut 6 actually corresponds to the desired grain size, or if an external event (e.g. the degradation of components) has occurred which renders this correspondence null.

The grinding device according to the invention achieves several advantages, as it makes it possible to optimize the occupation of space in the grinding device, thus expanding its functionality.

The grinder for an automatic coffee machine as conceived herein is susceptible to many modifications and variations, all falling within the scope of the invented concept; furthermore, all the details are replaceable by technically equivalent elements.

In practice the materials used, as well as the dimensions, can be any according to the needs and the state of the art.