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Title:
MIXING MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/042694
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A machine (1) for mixing food products particularly suitable for kneading mixtures containing flour, comprising a bowl (2) for containing the ingredients to be mixed, a kneading tool (3) arranged in the containment bowl (2), a rotary motion generation source (4), first transmission members (5) configured to transmit the rotary motion to the kneading tool (3) and second transmission members (6) configured to transmit the rotary motion to the containment bowl (2). The machine provides for that the second transmission members (6) comprise a motion diverter unit (7) configured to transmit the rotary motion to the containment bowl (2) alternatively according to any of the two directions of rotation.

Inventors:
FABRIS, Luca (Via Braglio 24, Marano Vicentino, 36035, IT)
Application Number:
IB2016/055327
Publication Date:
March 16, 2017
Filing Date:
September 07, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EFFEDUE S.R.L. (Via Dell'artigianato 10, Molina Di Malo, 36034, IT)
International Classes:
A21C1/02; A21C1/14; B01F7/00; B01F9/16; B01F15/00
Foreign References:
DE8525866U11985-11-07
DE1959799A11971-06-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARCHIORO, Paolo (Studio Bonini Srl, Corso Fogazzaro 8, Vicenza, 36100, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 ) Machine (1 ) for mixing food products particularly suitable for kneading mixtures containing flour, comprising:

- a bowl (2) for containing the ingredients to be mixed;

- at least one kneading tool (3) arranged in said containment bowl (2);

- a rotary motion generation source (4);

- first transmission members (5) configured to transmit said rotary motion to said kneading tool (3);

- second transmission members (6) configured to transmit said rotary motion to said containment bowl (2);

characterised in that said second transmission members (6) comprise a motion diverter unit (7) configured to transmit said rotary motion to said containment bowl (2) alternatively according to any one of the two directions of rotation.

2) Mixing machine (1 ) according to claim 1 , characterised in that said motion diverter unit (7) comprises:

- a first flexible transmission element (71 ) loop-closed around at least two idle pulleys (72a, 72b, 72c), said first flexible transmission element (71 ) being operatively associated to said containment bowl (2) to transfer its rotary motion to said containment bowl (2);

- a motion reversal unit (73) configured to be driven in rotation by said rotary motion generation source (4) and to take, with respect to said first flexible transmission element (71 ), at least:

- one first position so as to drive said first flexible transmission element (71 ) and said containment bowl (2) in rotation in a first of the two directions of rotation;

- one second position so as to drive said first flexible transmission element (71 ) and said containment bowl (2) in rotation in the second of the two directions of rotation.

3) Mixing machine (1 ) according to claim 2, characterised in that said motion reversal unit (73) comprises:

- a first driven pulley (731 ) configured to be driven in rotation by said rotary motion generation source (4);

- at least one first roller (732) and one second roller (733) configured to rotate around their axes integrally with said first driven pulley (731 ); said motion reversal unit (73) being configured to take, with respect to said first flexible transmission element (71 ), at least:

- said first position which provides for the contact between the outer surface (71 a) of said first flexible transmission element (71 ) and said second roller (733) so as to drive said containment bowl (2) in rotation in a first of the two directions of rotation;

- said second position which provides for the contact between the inner surface (71 b) of said first flexible transmission element (71 ) and said first roller (732) so as to drive said containment bowl (2) in rotation in the second of the two directions of rotation.

4) Mixing machine (1 ) according to claim 3, characterised in that:

- said first flexible transmission element (71 ) of said motion diverter unit (7) comprises a transmission belt (71 1 ) loop-wound around three idle pulleys (72a, 72b, 72c) rotatably connected to a first support structure (74);

- said first roller (732) and said second roller (733) of said motion reversal unit

(73) are rotatably connected to a second support structure (75), said second support structure (75) being rotatably connected to said first support structure (74) in a position such that said transmission belt (71 1 ) is suitable to slide through the empty space (I) defined between said two rollers (732, 733) and so as to allow the passage from said first position to said second position or vice versa of said motion reversal unit (73) by rotating said second support structure (75) with respect to said first support structure

(74) .

5) Mixing machine (1 ) according to claim 4, characterised in that said first driven pulley (731 ) of said motion reversal unit (73) is fitted on a first end

(732a) of said first roller (732), said first roller (732) having, at the second end (732b), a first driving pulley (734) operatively associated to a second driven pulley (735) fitted on said second roller (733) so as to obtain said integral rotation of said first driven pulley (731 ), said first roller (732) and said second roller (733).

6) Mixing machine (1 ) according to any one of claims 4 or 5, characterised in that said first support structure (74) comprises two shaped plates (74a, 74b) arranged parallel to each other and between which said three idle pulleys (72a, 72b, 72c) are rotatably connected.

7) Mixing machine (1 ) according to any one of claims 4 to 6, characterised in that said second support structure (75) comprises two shaped plates (75a, 75b) arranged parallel to each other and between which said first roller (732) and said second roller (733) are rotatably connected.

8) Mixing machine (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said rotary motion generation source (4) is an electric motor (41 ).

9) Mixing machine (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said first transmission members (5) comprise a second flexible transmission element (51 ), preferably a transmission belt (51 1 ), loop- wound around a second driving pulley (52) fitted on the rotary shaft (42) of said rotary motion generation source (4) and a third driven pulley (53) fitted on the rotary shaft (31 ) of said kneading tool (3).

10) Mixing machine (1 ) according to claim 9, characterised in that said second transmission members (6) comprise:

- a return shaft (63) having, at a first end (63a) thereof, a third driving pulley (62) and, at the second end (63b), a fourth driven pulley (64);

- a third flexible transmission element (61 ), preferably a transmission belt (61 1 ), loop-wound around said fourth driven pulley (64) and a fourth driving pulley (65) alternatively fitted on said rotary shaft (42) of said rotary motion generation source (4) or said rotary shaft (31 ) of said kneading tool (3);

- a fourth flexible transmission element (66), preferably a transmission belt (661 ), loop-wound around said third driving pulley (62) and said first driven pulley (731 ) of said motion diverter unit (7).

1 1 ) Mixing machine (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said first and/or said second transmission members

(5, 6) comprise variation means respectively configured to adjust the rotational speed of said kneading tool (3) and/or said containment bowl (2) with respect to the rotational speed of said rotary motion generated by said rotary motion generation source (4).

Description:
MIXING MACHINE

DESCRIPTION

The present invention regards a machine for mixing food products, particularly suitable for mixing a mixture containing flour of the type used for making bread, pasta, pastries and similar products.

As known, a mixing machine, more precisely known as a spiral mixer, comprises a bowl for containing the ingredients to be mixed, which is driven in rotation around the axis thereof.

Inside the bowl there are arranged a fixed tool and a mixing tool, preferably spiral screw-shaped, which is driven to rotate around a respective rotational axis.

The combined action of the two tools and the rotation of the bowl around the axis thereof causes the pressing and drawing of the dough.

In addition, the rotation of the bowl around the axis thereof enables delivering different portions of the dough to the tools.

The combined action of the tools and the containment bowl described above enables mixing the ingredients of the mixture and simulating the actions of pressing, drawing and turning the dough typical of hand kneading.

In particular, there are known two types of mixing machines with kneading tool and bowl, both of the rotary type.

A first type comprises a single motion generation source, in particular a single electric motor, to which there are associated first transmission members for driving the kneading tool in rotation and second transmission members for driving the bowl in rotation. Such first type of mixing machine, providing for a single rotary motion generation source, is advantageously light and inexpensive. However, the presence of such single source disadvantageously entails the possibility of rotating the containment bowl and the kneading tool exclusively according to the same direction of rotation.

Actually, this drawback reduces the field of application of the aforementioned first type of mixing machine, in that under given circumstances, in which the flours used have a high gluten content or the dough requires a low percentage of liquids or the amount of ingredients for the dough is little with respect to the size of the bowl, there arises the need to rotate the bowl in the opposite direction with respect to the mixing tool so as to obtain an acceptable dough result. With the aim of overcoming the aforementioned drawback, patent DE 85 25 866 describes a mixing machine structure with a single rotary motion generation source, provided with a particular kinematic unit, comprising a plurality of pulleys and belts, interposed between the motion generation source and the final components, represented by the bowl and the tool. Such patent document proposes mechanically acting on the aforementioned kinematic unit by swapping the position of the two pulleys thereof, so as to reverse the direction of rotation of the bowl with respect to the tool. However, it is clear that such method for reversing the direction of rotation of the bowl with respect to the tool disadvantageously requires modifying the structure of the mixing machine, this not being easy and simple to obtain and requiring the intervention of an expert operator.

A second alternative solution, with the aim of overcoming the aforementioned drawback, consists in a mixing machine available in the market that provides for a first rotary motion generation source operatively associated to the kneading tool by means of first transmission members and a second rotary motion generation source, independent from the first, operatively associated to the bowl by means of second transmission members.

Clearly, the presence of two rotary motion generation sources unconstrained with respect to each other enables independently controlling the rotation of the bowl and of the tool, thus enabling rotating such two elements not only in the same direction, but also in the opposite directions.

However, the presence of two different rotary motion generation sources increases the cost and weight of the aforementioned mixing machine.

The present invention aims at overcoming all the aforementioned drawbacks, regarding the mixing machines of the known type.

In particular, an object of the present invention is to provide a machine for mixing food products capable of driving the bowl and the kneading tool in rotation according to two opposite directions of rotation, while simultaneously maintaining the costs and weight of the mixing machine low with respect to the mixing machines of the prior art.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a mixing machine capable of enabling to obtain a dough with quality similar to the one that can be obtained using a mixing machine with two motion generation sources of the prior art. Another object of the present invention is to provide a mixing machine that is easy to manufacture with respect to the aforementioned machine with two rotary motion generation sources of the prior art.

In particular, an object of the invention is to provide a machine capable of enabling the rotation of the bowl and the tool in the same direction of rotation or, alternatively, in opposite directions, without requiring two rotary motion generation sources and without requiring the intervention of an operator on the structure of the machine.

The aforementioned objects are attained by a mixing machine obtained according to the main claim.

Further detailed characteristics of the mixing machine of the invention are outlined in the relative dependent claims.

Advantageously, the lower construction complexity of the machine of the invention enables reducing the cost thereof with respect to the mixing machines of the known type.

In addition, advantageously, the lower construction complexity of the machine makes it more reliable, thus reducing the need for maintenance operations. Still advantageously, the reduction of costs due to the presence of a single motion generation source possibly enables obtaining the mixing machine using higher quality materials or equipping the mixing machine with higher performance accessories, while simultaneously maintaining the cost thereof in line with the mixing machines with two rotary motion generation sources of the prior art.

In particular, the presence of a single rotary motion generation source, which still enables the rotation of the bowl according to the two directions of rotation, enables obtaining the entire structure of the mixing machine made of stainless steel, at a markedly lower cost with respect to the mixing machines available in the market with a stainless steel structure but with two rotary motion generation sources.

These and other objects and advantages to be mentioned hereinafter, shall be outlined in the description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, provided solely by way of non-limiting example, with reference to the following attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 represents an axonometric view of the mixing machine of the invention; - fig. 2 represents the mixing machine of fig. 1 in a partly sectional view;

- fig. 3 represents a schematised axonometric view of the rotary motion generation source and the transmission members present in the mixing machine of the invention;

- fig. 4 represents the top view of the motion diverter unit of the mixing machine of the invention;

- fig. 5 represents the sectional view of the motion diverter unit of fig. 4 according to the section plane A-A;

- fig. 6 represents the sectional view of the motion diverter unit of fig. 4 according to the section plane B-B;

- fig. 7 represents the schematised top view of the motion diverter unit at the first operating position;

- fig. 8 represents the schematised top view of the motion diverter unit at the second operating position.

The spiral mixer of the invention, represented in fig. 1 and herein indicated in its entirety with 1 , is particularly suitable for kneading a mixture comprising flour, of the type used for making bread, pasta, pastries and other similar products.

However, it is clear that variant embodiments of the mixing machine of the invention may be used for kneading any other food or non-food product.

The spiral mixer 1 of the invention comprises a bowl 2 for containing the ingredients to be kneaded, in which there is arranged a kneading tool 3, still observable in fig. 1 and in the section of fig. 2.

Variant embodiments of the machine 1 of the invention may provide for a number of kneading tools 3 greater than one.

Preferably, such kneading tool 3 is spiral screw-shaped, thus the name spiral mixer.

The machine 1 also comprises a rotary motion generation source 4 operatively associated to first and second transmission members, respectively indicated with 5 and 6 in fig. 3. Such first and second transmission members 5 and 6 are, in turn, respectively configured to drive such kneading tool 3 and the aforementioned containment bowl 2 in rotation around corresponding rotational axes X1 and X2. According to the preferred embodiment, such two rotational axes X1 and X2 are mutually parallel.

Preferably but not necessarily, the aforementioned rotary motion generation source 4 is an electric motor 41.

It is clear that the mixing machine 1 of the invention also comprises a framework, indicated with 8 in fig. 1 , on which or in which the aforementioned elements are assembled.

In addition, the machine 1 of the invention clearly comprises pre-programmed electronic control means (not represented in the figures) capable of managing the functionality of the machine 1.

According to the invention, the second transmission members 6 comprise a motion diverter unit 7, configured to transmit the rotary motion generated by the aforementioned electric motor 41 to the containment bowl 2 alternatively according to any of the two directions of rotation. In other words, such motion diverter unit 7 enables the user of the mixing machine 1 of the invention to reverse or not reverse the direction of rotation of the aforementioned containment bowl 2 with respect to the rotary motion generated by the electric motor 41 and directly transmitted to the kneading tool 3. Such operation, according to the invention, is obtained albeit the use of a single electric motor 41 , or more generally, a single rotary motion generation source 4 for driving the kneading tool 3 and the containment bowl 2.

According to the preferred embodiment of the invention, as represented in figs. 4 to 8, such motion diverter unit 7 comprises a first flexible transmission element 71 loop-wound around three idle pulleys 72a, 72b and 72c.

However, according to other embodiments of the invention it is not ruled out that the number of idle pulleys, around which such first flexible transmission element 71 is wound, be different from three, as long as greater or equal to tWO.

Furthermore, the preferred embodiment of the invention provides for that the three idle pulleys 72a, 72b and 72c be rotatably connected to a first support structure 74. More in detail, preferably but not necessarily, as observable in fig. 6, such first support structure 74 comprises two shaped plates 74a and 74b arranged parallel and between which the aforementioned three idle pulleys 72a, 72b and 72c are rotatably connected.

As regards the first flexible transmission element 71 , it preferably comprises a transmission belt 711.

Such transmission belt 711 , according to the invention, is operatively associated to the containment bowl 2, so as to transfer the rotary motion thereof to the latter as observable in fig. 3. In particular, given that the preferred embodiment of the mixing machine 1 of the invention, as represented in fig. 1 , comprises a containment bowl 2 of the removable type, such operative association between the transmission belt 711 and the containment bowl 2 is obtained by making the latter idle with respect to the rotational axis thereof X2 and placing the lateral surface thereof at contact with the outer surface 71a of the transmission belt 711. Clearly, when the transmission belt 711 is driven in rotation, as described below, it will also drive the containment bowl 2 in rotation due to friction.

However, it cannot be ruled out that a different embodiment of the mixing machine 1 of the invention (not represented in the figures) may comprise a containment bowl 2 of the non-removable type. However, also in this case, the containment bowl 2 is made idle with respect to the rotational axis thereof X2 and it is driven in rotation by friction with the transmission belt 711 .

Back to the preferred embodiment of the invention addressed herein, as regards the motion diverter unit 7, as observable in fig. 4, it also comprises a motion reversal unit 73 configured to be driven in rotation by the rotary motion generation source 4 and to take, with respect to the aforementioned first flexible transmission element 71 , a first position so as to drive the flexible transmission element 71 and thus the containment bowl 2 in rotation in a first of the two directions of rotation and a second position so as to drive the aforementioned first flexible transmission element 71 and the containment bowl 2 in rotation in the second of the two directions of rotation.

In particular, according to the preferred embodiment of the invention, the motion reversal unit 73 in turn provides for, as observable in fig. 5, a first driven pulley 731 configured to be driven in rotation, as described hereinafter, by the rotary motion generation source 4.

The motion reversal unit 73 also comprises, according to the preferred embodiment of the invention, a first roller 732 and a second roller 733 configured to rotate around their axes X3 and X4 integrally joined to the aforementioned first driven pulley 731.

In particular, such integral rotation of the first driven pulley 731 , of the first roller 732 and of the second roller 733 is preferably obtained, by fitting the first driven pulley 731 on a first end 732a of the first roller 732, by fitting a first driving pulley 734 at the second end 732b of the first roller 732 and lastly by fitting a second driven pulley 735 on the second roller 733, as observable in fig. 5. Such first driving pulley 734 of the first roller 732 and such second driven pulley 735 of the second roller 733 are operatively associated to each other. In particular, the latter association is preferably obtained by means of a transmission belt 736 loop-wound around the two aforementioned pulleys 734 and 735.

Also the elements of the motion reversal unit 73 are assembled and are rotatably connected to a second support structure 75. In particular, also as regards the second support structure 75, it comprises two shaped plates 75a and 75b arranged parallel and between which the first roller 732 and the second roller 733 are rotatably connected.

The motion reversal unit 73, as made up, is configured, as previously mentioned, according to the invention to take, with respect to the aforementioned first flexible transmission element 71 , such first position which provides for the contact between the outer surface 71a of the first flexible transmission element 71 and the second roller 733, so that the latter drives the flexible transmission element 71 and thus the containment bowl 2 in rotation by friction in a first of the two directions of rotation. In addition, the motion reversal unit 73 is configured to take, with respect to the aforementioned first flexible transmission element 71 , also the aforementioned second position which provides for the contact between the inner surface 71 b of the first flexible transmission element 71 and the first roller 732 so that the latter drives the flexible transmission element 71 and thus the containment bowl 2 in rotation by friction in the second of the two directions of rotation.

According to the preferred embodiment of the mixing machine 1 of the invention, which provides for a containment bowl 2 of the removable type driven in rotation by friction with the first flexible transmission element 71 , the bowl 2, at the first aforementioned position, will be driven in rotation in the same direction of the rotary motion generated by the aforementioned electric motor 41. On the contrary, at the aforementioned second position, the containment bowl 2 will be driven in rotation in the opposite direction with respect to the direction of the rotary motion generated by the electric motor 41. Same occurs in the case of the alternative embodiment which provides for the containment bowl 2 of the non-removable type.

In order to pass from the first position to the second position and vice versa, the preferred embodiment of the invention provides for that the second support structure 75 of the motion reversal unit 73 be rotatably connected to the first support structure 74 in a position such that the transmission belt 711 be suitable to slide through the empty space I defined between said two rollers 732 and 733. Thus, rotating such second support structure 75 around the rotational axis X5 thereof, in one direction or the other, allows obtaining precisely the same conditions described above as regards the first and the second position, respectively represented in fig. 7 and in fig. 8.

As regards the first transmission members 5, as observable in fig. 3, they comprise a second flexible transmission element 51 , preferably a transmission belt 511 , loop-wound around a second driving pulley 52 fitted on the rotary shaft 42 of the electric motor 41 and a third driven pulley 53 fitted on the rotary shaft 31 of the kneading tool 3. Thus, the kneading tool 3 is driven in rotation in the same direction of rotation of the aforementioned motor 41. According to a variant embodiment, between the electric motor 41 and the kneading tool 3 there could be inserted additional variation means, not represented in the figures, configured to modify the rotational speed of the latter with respect to the rotational speed of the motor 41 .

On the other hand, as regards the second transmission members 6, they, upstream of the aforementioned motion diverter unit 7, provide for a return shaft 63 which has, at a first end 63a thereof, a third driving pulley 62 and, at the second end 63b, a fourth driven pulley 64. Furthermore, such second transmission members 6 comprise a third flexible transmission element 61 , preferably a transmission belt 611 , loop-wound around the fourth driven pulley 64 and a fourth driving pulley 65, which - according to the preferred embodiment of the invention - is fitted on the rotary shaft 31 of the kneading tool 3, coaxially to the aforementioned third driven pulley 53.

Alternatively, such fourth driving pulley 65 could be fitted on the rotary shaft 42 of the electric motor 41 , coaxially to the aforementioned second driving pulley 52.

Furthermore, the second transmission members 6 comprise a fourth flexible transmission element 66, preferably a transmission belt 661 , loop-wound around the third driving pulley 62 and the aforementioned first driven pulley 731 of the motion diverter unit 7. The presence of such return shaft 63 serves to transfer the rotary motion generated by the electric motor 41 along the vertical axis, in that the electric motor 41 and the containment bowl 2 are arranged vertically on two different levels, as observable in fig. 3.

An alternative embodiment of the mixing machine 1 of the invention, which provides for arranging the containment bowl 2 and the electric motor 41 on the same level and the kneading tool 3 arranged above at a different level, could provide for the possibility of inserting such return shaft 63 between the electric motor 41 and the kneading tool 3.

Lastly, also in the case of the second transmission members 6, according to alternative embodiments of the mixing machine 1 , there could be provided for variation means (not represented in the figures), configured to change the rotational speed of the containment bowl 2 with respect to the rotational speed of the rotary motion generated by the electric motor 41.

Thus, in the light of the above, the mixing machine 1 of the invention attains all the preset objects.

In particular, the object of providing a machine for mixing food products capable of driving the containment bowl and the kneading tool in rotation according to two opposite directions of rotation, while simultaneously maintaining the costs and weight of the mixing machine low with respect to the mixing machines of the prior art, is attained.

In addition, the object of providing a mixing machine capable of enabling to obtain a dough with quality similar to the one that can be obtained using a mixing machine with two motion generation sources of the prior art is also attained.

Lastly, the object of providing a mixing machine that is easier to manufacture with respect to the aforementioned machine with rotary bowl is attained.

In particular, the object of providing a mixing machine capable of enabling the rotation of the bowl and the tool in the same direction of rotation or, alternatively, in opposite directions, without requiring two rotary motion generation sources and without requiring the intervention of an operator on the structure of the machine, is attained.