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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS TO FORM A FLAT LOLLIPOP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/007452
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method to produce a lollipop with a flat lollipop-head, wherein a mass is formed into a flat lollipop head in a forming apparatus into which a stick is inserted, wherein the lollipop is handed over to transportation means with grippers, which grip the stick of the lollipop and transfer the lollipop away. The present invention further relates to a forming device with a forming apparatus which comprises moulds to form a flat lollipop, which is subsequently handed over and transported by a transportation system with grippers.

Inventors:
BAUMEISTER, Bruno Gerfried (Heussstrasse 34, Aachen, 52078, DE)
Application Number:
EP2014/062871
Publication Date:
January 22, 2015
Filing Date:
June 18, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GEA FOOD SOLUTIONS WEERT B.V. (De Fuus No. 8, RV Weert, NL-6006, NL)
International Classes:
A23G3/02; A23G3/12; A23G3/56; A23G7/00; B25J15/00; B30B11/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003043436A12003-05-30
WO2006136394A22006-12-28
WO2005041679A22005-05-12
WO2007121930A12007-11-01
WO1997046113A11997-12-11
Foreign References:
US3285199A1966-11-15
GB2388007A2003-11-05
US4159612A1979-07-03
DE4128905A11992-03-19
US20120171335A12012-07-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOLFF, Felix et al. (Kutzenberger Wolff & Partner, Theodor-Heuss-Ring 23, Köln, 50668, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1. Method to produce a lollipop (4) with a flat lollipop head (4.1 ), wherein a mass is

formed into a flat lollipop head (4.1 ) in a forming apparatus (1 ) into which a stick (4.2) is inserted, wherein the lollipop is handed over to transportation means (2, 3) with grippers (6, 7), which grip the stick (4.2) of the lollipop and transport the lollipop away, characterized in that during handover of the lollipops from the forming apparatus (1 ) to the transportation means (2, 3) and during transportation, the stick (4.2) does not rotate relative to the grippers (6, 7).

2. Method according to claim 1 or the preamble of claim 1 , characterized in that the lollipop comprises a main extension in the x- and y-direction and that the lollipop is transported by a transportation chain with the x- and y-direction parallel to a horizontal plane.

3. Method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the lollipops are removed from the forming apparatus by a transfer wheel (2).

4. Method according to claim 3, characterized in that the lollipops are handed over from the transfer wheel to a transportation chain.

5. Method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that after the

handover and during transportation, the stick of the lollipop is always clamped by a gripper such that the lollipop cannot rotate.

6. Method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that temporarily each stick is gripped by two grippers (6, 7), one being connected to the transfer wheel and one being connected to the transportation chain.

7. Forming device (9) with a forming apparatus (1 ) which comprises moulds to form a flat lollipop, which is subsequently handed over and transported by a transportation system with grippers (6, 7), characterized in that each gripper comprises form- and/or force-fit means which avoid a rotation of a stick of the lollipop relative to the gripper (6, 7).

8. Forming device (9) with a forming apparatus (1 ) according to claim 7, characterized in that it comprises a transfer wheel (2) with grippers (6), wherein each gripper comprises an inner and an outer arm (6.1 , 6.2) which are both in contact with the stick of the lollipop but in different axial locations.

9. Forming device (9) with a forming apparatus (1 ) according to claim 8, characterized in that the lollipops are handed over from the transfer wheel to a transportation chain (3) with grippers (7), wherein each gripper comprises gripping means, which, during take over, are inserted between the inner and an outer arm (6.1 , 6.2) of the gripper 6 at the transfer wheel (2).

Description:
Method and apparatus to form a flat lollipop

The present invention relates to a method to produce a lollipop with a flat lollipop head, wherein a mass is formed into a flat lollipop head in a forming apparatus into which a stick is inserted, wherein the lollipop is handed over to transportation means with grippers, which grip the stick of the lollipop and transfer the lollipop away. The present invention further relates to a forming device with a forming apparatus which comprises moulds to form a flat lollipop, which is subsequently handed over and transported by a transportation system with grippers.

Flat lollipops, i.e. lollipops with a lollipop head which is much larger in two directions than in a third direction and which are in general moulded from a warm sugar mass, tend to deform during transportation, which is undesirable.

It was therefore the objective of the present invention to provide a method and a forming apparatus which do not comprise the deficiencies according to the state of the art.

This problem is solved with a method to produce a lollipop with a flat lollipop head, wherein a mass is formed into a flat lollipop head in a forming apparatus into which a stick is inserted, wherein the lollipop is handed over to transportation means with grippers, which grip the stick of the lollipop and transport the lollipop away, wherein during handover of the lollipops from the forming apparatus to the transportation means and during transportation, the stick does not rotate relative to the grippers.

The disclosure regarding this embodiment of the present invention also applies to the other inventions and vice versa.

The present invention relates to a method to produce a lollipop with a flat lollipop head. A lollipop with a flat lollipop head according to the present invention is three-dimensional, wherein one dimension is smaller than the two others which are arranged in one plane. A flat lollipop is not rotationally symmetric. The head of the lollipop is normally moulded from a sugar mass in a mould. The mould is often part of a rotating drum, wherein the drum comprises a multitude of moulds. During or after the moulding of the lollipop head, a stick is inserted into the not yet solidified sugar mass. Subsequently, the lollipop is handed over to transportation means with grippers, which grip the stick of the lollipop and transfer the lollipop away. This transportation means is, for example, a rotating wheel and/or a rotating chain, belt or the like. According to the present invention, during handover of the lollipops from the forming apparatus to the transportation means and during transportation, the stick does not rotate relative to the grippers. This assures that the head of the lollipop is always in well-defined position particularly relative to the gravitational force of the earth. This limits or avoids deformation of the lollipop during transportation.

According to a preferred or another inventive embodiment of the present invention, the lollipop comprises a main extension in the x- and y-direction; the lollipop is transported by a transportation chain with the x- and y-direction parallel to a horizontal plane.

The disclosure regarding this embodiment of the present invention also applies to the other inventions and vice versa.

Due to horizontal orientation of the lollipop head, deformation of the lollipop head is at least limited.

Preferably, the lollipops are removed from the more preferably rotating forming apparatus by a transfer wheel. This transfer wheel is located at the circumference of the forming apparatus and preferably rotates around an axis which is different from the axis of rotation of the forming apparatus. The forming apparatus and transfer wheel preferably rotate in opposite directions.

The transfer wheel preferably comprises a multitude of grippers, more preferably at its circumference.

The lollipops are preferably handed over from the transfer wheel to a transportation chain. This chain preferably rotates around two sprockets and more preferably rotates in the same direction as the forming apparatus. Attached to the chain are a multitude of grippes, wherein each gripper can grip the stick of a lollipop.

Preferably, the lollipops are handed over to the gripper of the chain, while the respective gripper is in the vicinity of the sprocket, more preferably, while the part of the chain to which the gripper is attached is in contact with the sprocket.

Preferably after the handover and during transportation, the stick of the lollipop is always clamped by a gripper such that the lollipop cannot rotate. Preferably, the gripper comprises means that deform the stick elastically or plastically so that the moment of momentum needed to rotate the respective lollipop is increased. Alternatively or additionally, the gripper may comprise means to increase the friction coefficient between the stick of the lollipop and the gripper.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, temporarily each stick is gripped by two grippers, one being connected to the transfer wheel and one being connected to the transportation chain. This assures that the stick of the lollipop cannot rotate at any time during the transfer from the transfer wheel to the chain.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a forming device with a forming apparatus which comprises moulds to form a flat lollipop, which is subsequently handed over and transported by a transportation system with grippers, wherein each gripper comprises form- and/or force-fit means which avoid a rotation of a stick of the lollipop relative to the gripper.

The disclosure regarding this embodiment of the present invention also applies to the other inventions and vice versa.

Preferably, the forming comprises a transfer wheel with grippers, wherein each gripper comprises an inner and an outer arm, which are both in contact with the stick of the lollipop but in different axial locations.

Preferably, the lollipops are handed over from the transfer wheel to a transportation chain with grippers, wherein each gripper comprises gripping means, which, during take over, are inserted between the inner and an outer arm of the gripper at the transfer wheel.

The inventions are now explained according to figures 1 - 4. These explanations do not limit the scope of protection of the present invention and apply to each embodiment of the present invention likewise.

Figure 1 shows a lollipop with a flat lollipop head.

Figure 2 shows the inventive forming device.

Figure 3 shows the handover from the forming apparatus to the transfer wheel. Figure 4 shows the handover from the transfer wheel to the transportation chain.

Figure 1 shows a lollipop 4 with a flat lollipop head in two different views. As can be particularly seen from the lower view, the lollipop comprises a lollipop head 4.1 , which is in the present case rectangular. The lollipop is here made from a sugar-mass. A stick 4.2 is inserted into the head 4.1 of the lollipop. The lollipop comprises two main extensions in the x- and y-direction which are both located in one plane. As can be particularly seen from the upper view, the lollipop's extension in the z-direction, which is perpendicular to the x- and y- direction, is much smaller than its extension in the x- and y-direction, so that the lollipop has a flat appearance.

Figure 2 shows the inventive lollipop forming device 9. This forming device comprises a forming apparatus 1 , in the present case a forming drum, which rotates here clockwise. At its circumference, the forming apparatus comprises a multitude of moulds in which the lollipop head is molded into its flat shape from a sugar mass strand. As can be also seen, the forming apparatus comprises stick insertion means, which insert the stick into the not yet solidified sugar mass. In an exit position, here approximately the 5 o'clock position, the moulds are opened and the stick of the lollipop is gripped by a gripper 6, which is attached to a rotating transfer wheel 2, which rotates in the present case counterclockwise. According to the present invention, the lollipop is removed from the forming apparatus such that it does not rotate relative to the gripper. This means, for example, that the sticks of the lollipops are gripped in an instant, while they or the head of the lollipop are still, at least partially, in a form- and/or force-fit connection with the forming apparatus so that they cannot rotate before the stick is fixed by the gripper. The take-over of the lollipops from the forming apparatus by transfer wheel is much more exact than the take over by a chain or a chain-wheel. After the gripped lollipop has been rotated from an approximately 1 1 o'clock position counterclockwise to an approximately 2 o'clock position, the lollipop is handed over to a gripper 7, which is connected to an endless chain which rotates clockwise driven and/or guided by a sprocket 8. Again, the handover of the stick of the lollipop is executed such that the stick does not rotate relative to the gripper. During the handover of the lollipop from the transfer wheel 2 to the grippers of the chain 3, this is executed by fixing the stick of the lollipop simultaneously by two grippers 6 and 7, before the gripper 6 is opened and thus releases the stick of the lollipop. As can be also seen from figure 2, the chain transports the lollipops with a horizontally oriented lollipop head. This orientation at least minimizes the deformation of the lollipop during transportation. Deformation of the lollipop head can take place, because the lollipop heads, which are made from a sugar mass, are not yet solidified sufficiently. Figure 3 shows the transfer wheel 2 and one gripper 6. It can be clearly seen that each gripper comprises an inner and an outer arm 6.1 , 6.2, which grip the lollipop at two axially displaced contact locations. This improves the transport stability of the lollipops during transportation. As can be also seen from figure 3, the forming apparatus here the forming drum comprises a groove into which the outer arm 6.2 of the gripper can be inserted to grip the stick of the lollipop.

Figure 4 shows the handover situation of the lollipop from the transfer wheel 2 to the gripper 7 of the chain 3. It can be seen that during a short period of time during handover, the stick of the lollipop is simultaneously gripped by the arms of gripper 7 and of gripper 6, before the gripper 6 releases the stick of the lollipop. This assures that the lollipop stick does not rotate during the handover of the lollipop from the transfer wheel to the transportation chain.

The entire forming device is constructed and synchronized such that the lollipop heads are transported horizontally in order to minimize their deformation during transportation.

List of reference signs:

1 forming apparatus

2 transfer wheel

3 transportation chain

4 flat lollipop

4.1 lollipop head

4.2 lollipop stick

5 horizontal plane

6 gripper at the transfer wheel

6.1 inner arm

6.2 outer arm

7 gripper at the chain

8 sprocket

9 forming device

X extension in the x-direction of the lollipop y extension in the y-direction of the lollipop z extension in the z-direction of the lollipop