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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR RAPID COOLING OF PACKAGED FOOD PRODUCTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/099135
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A packaged food product processing machine. The machine comprises a food consumer interface configured to receive a food consumer selection identifying an end state of a food product, a package cooling sub-system comprising a chilled fluid bath, a gripper component configured to agitate a package containing the food product in the chilled fluid bath, and a controller configured to command the gripper to control the rate of heat transfer from the package to the chilled fluid bath based on receiving an input identifying an end state selection from the food consumer interface and based on receiving an input containing a value of the physical parameter of the food product from the gripper component.

Inventors:
GODBOLE, Pranav V. (152 Ardenlee Dr, Peachtree City, Georgia, 30269, US)
MONROE IV, George Clarke (417 Laurian Way NW, Kennesaw, Georgia, 30144, US)
LIVINGSTON, Ryan Blaine (4561 Trickum Rd NE, Marietta, Georgia, 30066, US)
BROWNELL JR., Robert Burton (1505 Diamond Head Circle, Decatur, Georgia, 30033, US)
FAWCUS, Philip (12 St. Laurence Road, Foxton, Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB22 6SF, 6SF, GB)
KEEN, Nicola (22 Shelley Court, Hanley Road, London Greater London N4 3DN, 3DN, GB)
SHIOTA, Tarou Benjamin (36D Outram Place, London Greater London N1 0UX, 0UX, GB)
ISAACS, Warren Paul (14 Elizabeth Way, Colne, Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE28 3PH, 3PH, GB)
O’CALLAGHAN, Christopher Thomas (82 Primrose Lane, Impington Cambridgeshire CB24 9PQ, 9PQ, GB)
WOOD, Philip Leslie (5 Leverett Way, Saffron Walden Essex CB10 2NG, 2NG, GB)
WINTER, George Michael (15 Evans Pt, Dallas, Georgia, 30157, US)
HAMMONDS, Marcus (One Coca-Cola PlazaAtlanta, Georgia, 30313, US)
BURNETT, Clayton Keith (167 Sisson Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30317, US)
HAWKINS, Alan (3500 Daniels Bridge Rd, Conyers, Georgia, 30094, US)
Application Number:
US2018/055930
Publication Date:
May 23, 2019
Filing Date:
October 15, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY (One Coca-Cola Plaza, NWAtlanta, Georgia, 30313, US)
GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH CORPORATION (505 Tenth Street, N.W.Atlanta, Georgia, 30332-0415, US)
International Classes:
F25D31/00; F25D25/02; F25D29/00
Foreign References:
US20150233631A12015-08-20
JPH0628560B21994-04-20
KR20130090668A2013-08-14
KR100839882B12008-06-19
JP3150654U2009-05-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GENCO, Brian C. et al. (MEUNIER CARLIN & CURFMAN LLC, 999 Peachtree St. NESuite 130, Atlanta Georgia, 30309, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A rapid chilling system, comprising:

a cooling fluid reservoir with a cooling fluid therein, wherein the cooling fluid is cooled within the cooling fluid reservoir at a cooling fluid temperature;

a package handling system comprising a gripper mechanism adapted to grip a food product package, the package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid of the cooling fluid reservoir according to a spin scheme with a spin profile; and

a product identification system configured to determine an identify the food product package, wherein the package handling system is configured to select the spin scheme or the spin profile based on the identity of the food product package.

2. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the spin profile includes a stopped angular velocity, an acceleration curve of rotation in a first direction, a maximum angular velocity value, a maximum angular velocity duration, a deceleration curve to the stopped angular velocity, and a dwell time at the stopped angular velocity between spins.

3. The rapid chilling system of claim 2, wherein the spin profile specifies the dwell time is less than 0.1 seconds.

4. The rapid chilling system of claim 2, wherein the spin scheme is a direction and pattern in which the food product package is rotated in the cooling fluid in a clockwise and/or counter clockwise direction by the package handling system.

5. The rapid chilling system of claim 4, wherein the spin scheme is selected from a group of spin schemes consisting of: clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; and clockwise and counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in a reciprocating pattern.

6. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the dwell time is less than 0.05 seconds.

7. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the dwell time is less than 0.01 seconds.

8. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.5 seconds.

9. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.05 seconds.

10. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the acceleration is greater than or equal to 10,000 rotations per minute per second.

11. The rapid chilling system of claim 10, wherein the maximum angular velocity is greater than or equal to 1500 rotations per minute.

12. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select the spin profile based on whether the food product package is for a carbonated or non- carbonated food product.

13. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select an indexed spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product.

14. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select a reciprocating spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

15. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.1 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product.

16. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is greater than 0.1 seconds and less than 0.6 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

17. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select a spin scheme where a direction of rotation of the food product package is in a direction that is the same as a direction in which a label is applied to the food product package.

18. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein a spin domain specifies rotation of the food product package according to the spin scheme with the spin profile for a first period of time associated with the spin domain.

19. The rapid chilling system of claim 18, wherein the first period of time is a predetermined portion of a total cooling time for the food product package.

20. The rapid chilling system of claim 19, wherein the spin domain is one of a plurality of spin domains associated with the food product package, each of the plurality of spin domains comprising a different spin scheme and/or spin profile.

21. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, further comprising:

a temperature sensor configured to sense an initial temperature of the food product package, wherein the package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid for a total amount of time determined based on the initial temperature of the food product package and the cooling fluid temperature.

22. The rapid chilling system of claim 21, wherein the total amount of time is further determined based on a heat transfer constant associated with the identity of the food product package.

23. The rapid chilling system of claim 22, wherein the total amount of time is further determined based on a scaling factor associated with a size of the food product package associated with the identity of the food product package.

24. The rapid chilling system of claim 21, further comprising:

a nucleation system configured to initiate nucleation in the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid.

25. The rapid chilling system of claim 24, wherein the nucleation system is configured to initiate nucleation through cold contact with the food product package.

26. The rapid chilling system of claim 25, wherein the nucleation system comprises a compressed C02 source for supplying the cold contact.

27. The rapid chilling system of claim 24, wherein the nucleation system is configured to initiate nucleation through a mechanical stimulus selected from a group consisting of: a mechanical shock, a sharp brief linear acceleration of the food product package, a sonic mechanical stimulus or an ultra-sonic mechanical stimulus.

28. The rapid chilling system of claim 24, wherein the gripper mechanism comprises:

a rigid product contact clamp; and

a compliant bellows coupled to the product contact clamp.

29. The rapid chilling system of claim 28, wherein the rigid product contact claim comprises plurality of contact ridges spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with spaces therebetween.

30. The rapid chilling system of claim 29, wherein the compliant bellows comprises friction pads spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement and adapted to fit into the spaces between the contact ridges.

31. The rapid chilling system of claim 24, further comprising:

a drying system configured to direct a flow of air at the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid to remove cooling fluid from the food product package.

32. The rapid chilling system of claim 31, further comprising:

a washing reservoir with a washing fluid therein, wherein the package handling system configured to rotate the food product packaged in the washing fluid of the washing fluid reservoir continuously in a single direction.

33. The rapid chilling system of claim 32, wherein the cooling fluid reservoir comprises:

a cooling fluid input;

a weir with a central area defined by an inside diameter of the weir, the central area of the weir in fluid communication with the cooling fluid input; and

a cooling fluid output placed within the cooling fluid reservoir outside of an outside diameter of the weir.

34. The rapid chilling system of claim 33, wherein the weir has a bellows shape for an adjustable height.

35. The rapid chilling system of any of claims 1-34, wherein the cooling fluid temperature is at or below -10 °C.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 01 April 2019 (01.04.2019)

What is claimed is:

1. A rapid chilling system, comprising:

a cooling fluid reservoir with a cooling fluid therein, wherein the cooling fluid is cooled within the cooling fluid reservoir at a cooling fluid temperature;

a package handling system comprising a gripper mechanism adapted to grip a food product package, the package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid of the cooling fluid reservoir according to a spin scheme with a spin profile; and

a product identification system configured to determine an identity of the food product package, wherein the package handling system is configured to select the spin scheme or the spin profile based on the identity of the food product package.

2. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the spin profile includes a stopped angular velocity, an acceleration curve of rotation in a first direction, a maximum angular velocity value, a maximum angular velocity duration, a deceleration curve to the stopped angular velocity, and a dwell time at the stopped angular velocity between spins.

3. The rapid chilling system of claim 2, wherein the spin profile specifies the dwell time is less than 0.1 seconds.

4. The rapid chilling system of claim 2, wherein the spin scheme is a direction and pattern in which the food product package is rotated in the cooling fluid in a clockwise and/or counter clockwise direction by the package handling system.

5. The rapid chilling system of claim 4, wherein the spin scheme is selected from a group of spin schemes consisting of: clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; and clockwise and counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in a reciprocating pattern.

6. The rapid chilling system of claim 3, wherein the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.5 seconds.

7. The rapid chilling system of claim 6, wherein the acceleration is greater than or equal to 10,000 rotations per minute per second.

8. The rapid chilling system of claim 7, wherein the maximum angular velocity is greater than or equal to 1500 rotations per minute.

9. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein the package handling system is configured to select a spin scheme where a direction of rotation of the food product package is in a direction that is the same as a direction in which a label is applied to the food product package.

10. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, wherein a spin domain specifies rotation of the food product package according to the spin scheme with the spin profile for a first period of time associated with the spin domain.

11. The rapid chilling system of claim 10, wherein the first period of time is a predetermined portion of a total cooling time for the food product package.

12. The rapid chilling system of claim 11, wherein the spin domain is one of a plurality of spin domains associated with the food product package, each of the plurality of spin domains comprising a different spin scheme and/or spin profile.

13. The rapid chilling system of claim 1, further comprising:

a temperature sensor configured to sense an initial temperature of the food product package, wherein the package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid for a total amount of time determined based on the initial temperature of the food product package and the cooling fluid temperature.

14. The rapid chilling system of claim 13, wherein the total amount of time is further determined based on a heat transfer constant associated with the identity of the food product package.

15. The rapid chilling system of claim 14, wherein the total amount of time is further determined based on a scaling factor associated with a size of the food product package associated with the identity of the food product package.

16. The rapid chilling system of claim 13, further comprising:

a nucleation system configured to initiate nucleation in the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid.

17. The rapid chilling system of claim 16, wherein the nucleation system is configured to initiate nucleation through cold contact with the food product package.

18. The rapid chilling system of claim 16, wherein the gripper mechanism comprises:

a rigid product contact clamp comprising a plurality of contact ridges spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with spaces therebetween; and

a compliant bellows coupled to the product contact clamp, wherein the compliant bellows comprises friction pads spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement and adapted to fit into the spaces between the contact ridges.

19. The rapid chilling system of claim 16, further comprising:

a drying system configured to direct a flow of air at the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid to remove cooling fluid from the food product package.

20. The rapid chilling system of any of claims 1-19, wherein the cooling fluid temperature is at or below -10 °C.

Description:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR RAPID COOLING OF PACKAGED FOOD PRODUCTS

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of ET.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/586,454 filed November 15, 2017, the disclosure of which is expressly incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Packaged food products are typically maintained at a desired temperature at a point-of- sale. For example, packaged food products, such as beverages, may be maintained at a desired temperature inside a cooler at a convenience store or other outlet. Similarly, packaged food products, such as beverages, may be maintained at a desired temperature in a vending machine. However, such equipment maintains large numbers of products at the desired temperature relative to the number of products sold. Also, a single temperature set point is maintained for all of the products within a given compartment of the equipment.

SUMMARY

[0003] A first aspects of the disclosure provides a rapid chilling system. The rapid chilling system comprises a cooling fluid reservoir with a cooling fluid therein, wherein the cooling fluid is maintained within the cooling fluid reservoir at a cooling fluid temperature. The rapid chilling system further comprises a package handling system comprising a gripper mechanism adapted to grip a food product package, the package handling system configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid of the cooling fluid reservoir according to a spin scheme with a spin profile. The spin profile includes a stopped angular velocity, an acceleration curve of rotation in a first direction, a maximum angular velocity value, a maximum angular velocity duration, a deceleration curve to the stopped angular velocity, and a dwell time at the stopped angular velocity between spins, wherein the dwell time is less than 0.1 seconds. [0004] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the dwell time is less than

0.05 seconds.

[0005] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the dwell time is less than

0.01 seconds.

[0006] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the cooling fluid temperature is at or below -10 °C.

[0007] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.5 seconds.

[0008] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.05 seconds.

[0009] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the spin profile includes an acceleration curve of rotation in a second direction that is different than the first direction, the maximum angular velocity value, the maximum angular velocity duration, a second deceleration curve to the stopped angular velocity, and the dwell time between spins.

[0010] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the spin profile repeats as a reciprocating spin profile.

[0011] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the spin profile repeats as an indexed spin profile.

[0012] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a product identification system configured to identify the food product package. The package handling system is configured to select the spin profile based on whether the food product package is for a carbonated or non-carbonated food product.

[0013] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select an indexed spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product. [0014] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a reciprocating spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

[0015] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.1 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product.

[0016] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is greater than 0.1 seconds and less than 0.6 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

[0017] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a washing reservoir with a washing fluid therein. The package handling system configured to rotate the food product packaged in the washing fluid of the washing fluid reservoir continuously in a single direction.

[0018] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the acceleration is greater than or equal to 10,000 rotations per minute per second.

[0019] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity is greater than or equal to 1500 rotations per minute.

[0020] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the gripper mechanism comprises a rigid product contact clamp and a compliant bellows coupled to the product contact clamp.

[0021] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the rigid product contact claim comprises plurality of contact ridges spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with spaces therebetween. [0022] In some instances of the first aspect of the disclosure, the compliant bellows comprises friction pads spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement and adapted to fit into the spaces between the contact ridges.

[0023] According to a second aspect of the disclosure, a rapid chilling system is provided.

The rapid chilling system comprises a cooling fluid reservoir with a cooling fluid therein, wherein the cooling fluid is cooled within the cooling fluid reservoir at a cooling fluid temperature. The rapid chilling system comprises a package handling system comprising a gripper mechanism adapted to grip a food product package, the package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid of the cooling fluid reservoir according to a spin scheme with a spin profile. The rapid chilling system comprises a product identification system configured to determine an identify the food product package, wherein the package handling system is configured to select the spin scheme or the spin profile based on the identity of the food product package.

[0024] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the spin profile includes a stopped angular velocity, an acceleration curve of rotation in a first direction, a maximum angular velocity value, a maximum angular velocity duration, a deceleration curve to the stopped angular velocity, and a dwell time at the stopped angular velocity between spins.

[0025] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the spin profile specifies the dwell time is less than 0.1 seconds.

[0026] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the spin scheme is a direction and pattern in which the food product package is rotated in the cooling fluid in a clockwise and/or counter clockwise direction by the package handling system.

[0027] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the spin scheme is selected from a group of spin schemes consisting of: clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in an indexed pattern; and clockwise and counter clockwise rotation of the food product package in a reciprocating pattern. [0028] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the dwell time is less than

0.05 seconds.

[0029] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the dwell time is less than

0.01 seconds.

[0030] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.5 seconds.

[0031] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.05 seconds.

[0032] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the acceleration is greater than or equal to 10,000 rotations per minute per second.

[0033] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the maximum angular velocity is greater than or equal to 1500 rotations per minute.

[0034] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select the spin profile based on whether the food product package is for a carbonated or non-carbonated food product.

[0035] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select an indexed spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product.

[0036] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a reciprocating spin profile upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

[0037] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is less than 0.1 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a carbonated food product. [0038] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a spin profile where the maximum angular velocity duration is greater than 0.1 seconds and less than 0.6 seconds upon the product identification system identifying the food product package as for a non-carbonated food product.

[0039] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the package handling system is configured to select a spin scheme where a direction of rotation of the food product package is in a direction that is the same as a direction in which a label is applied to the food product package.

[0040] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, a spin domain specifies rotation of the food product package according to the spin scheme with the spin profile for a first period of time associated with the spin domain.

[0041] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the first period of time is a predetermined portion of a total cooling time for the food product package.

[0042] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the spin domain is one of a plurality of spin domains associated with the food product package, each of the plurality of spin domains comprising a different spin scheme and/or spin profile.

[0043] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a temperature sensor configured to sense an initial temperature of the food product package. The package handling system is configured to rotate the food product package in the cooling fluid for a total amount of time determined based on the initial temperature of the food product package and the cooling fluid temperature.

[0044] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the total amount of time is further determined based on a heat transfer constant associated with the identity of the food product package. [0045] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the total amount of time is further determined based on a scaling factor associated with a size of the food product package associated with the identity of the food product package.

[0046] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a nucleation system configured to initiate nucleation in the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid.

[0047] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the nucleation system is configured to initiate nucleation through cold contact with the food product package.

[0048] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the nucleation system comprises a compressed C02 source for supplying the cold contact.

[0049] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the nucleation system is configured to initiate nucleation through a mechanical stimulus selected from a group consisting of: a mechanical shock, a sharp brief linear acceleration of the food product package, a sonic mechanical stimulus or an ultra-sonic mechanical stimulus.

[0050] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the gripper mechanism comprises a rigid product contact clamp and a compliant bellows coupled to the product contact clamp.

[0051] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the rigid product contact claim comprises plurality of contact ridges spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with spaces therebetween.

[0052] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the compliant bellows comprises friction pads spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement and adapted to fit into the spaces between the contact ridges.

[0053] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a drying system configured to direct a flow of air at the food product package after rotation of the food product package in the cooling fluid to remove cooling fluid from the food product package.

[0054] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the rapid chilling system further comprises a washing reservoir with a washing fluid therein, wherein the package handling system configured to rotate the food product packaged in the washing fluid of the washing fluid reservoir continuously in a single direction.

[0055] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the cooling fluid reservoir comprises a cooling fluid input and a weir with a central area defined by an inside diameter of the weir. The central area of the weir in fluid communication with the cooling fluid input. The cooling fluid reservoir further comprises a cooling fluid output placed within the cooling fluid reservoir outside of an outside diameter of the weir.

[0056] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the weir has a bellows shape for an adjustable height.

[0057] In some instances of the second aspect of the disclosure, the cooling fluid temperature is at or below -l0°C.

[0058] These and other features will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0059] For a more complete understanding of the present disclosure, reference is now made to the following brief description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings and detailed description, wherein like reference numerals represent like parts.

[0060] FIG. 1 illustrates a rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0061] FIG. 2 illustrates sub-systems of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. [0062] FIG. 3 illustrates a product identification sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0063] FIG. 4 illustrates a package handling sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0064] FIG. 5A illustrates a rapid chilling sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0065] FIG. 5B illustrates a bottom view of the rapid chilling sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0066] FIG. 6A illustrates a washing sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0067] FIG. 6B illustrates a bottom view of the washing sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0068] FIG. 7A illustrates a packaging handling sub-system of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0069] FIG. 7B illustrates cross-sectional view of the package handling sub-system of FIG.

7A suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0070] FIG. 7C illustrates a cross-sectional view of the base of the package handling sub- system of FIG. 7 A suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0071] FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate a package loading procedure of the package handling sub- system of FIG. 7 A suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0072] FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate a gripper mechanism of the package handling sub-system of

FIG. 7A suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0073] FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the gripper mechanism coupled to a bottle suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0074] FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the gripper mechanism coupled to a can suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. [0075] FIG. 12 illustrates a heat transfer diagram for a packaged beverage product suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0076] FIG. 13 illustrates a spin scheme of a packaged beverage product in the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0077] FIG. 14 illustrates a reciprocating spin scheme of a packaged beverage product in the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0078] FIG. 15 illustrates an indexed spin scheme of a packaged beverage product in the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0079] FIG. 16 illustrates an example indexed spin scheme and fluid rotation of a packaged beverage product over time suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0080] FIG. 17 illustrates an example of the heat transfer coefficient of a packaged beverage product over time suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0081] FIG. 18 illustrates an example of the temperature of water in a bottle over a 120 second period using the indexed spin scheme shown in FIG. 16.

[0082] FIG. 19 illustrates an exemplary computer system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0083] FIG. 20 illustrates a front view of an example rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0084] FIG. 21 illustrates a perspective view of the example rapid chilling system of FIG.

20.

[0085] FIG. 22-23 illustrates sub-systems of the rapid chilling system of FIG. 20 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0086] FIG. 24 illustrates a state diagram of a controller of the rapid chilling system of

FIG. 21 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure.

[0087] FIG. 25 illustrates a state diagram of a user interface of the rapid chilling system of

FIG. 20 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0088] It should be understood at the outset that although illustrative implementations of one or more embodiments are illustrated below, the disclosed systems and methods may be implemented using any number of techniques, whether currently known or in existence. The disclosure should in no way be limited to the illustrative implementations, drawings, and techniques illustrated below, but may be modified within the scope of the appended claims along with their full scope of equivalents.

[0089] The present disclosure teaches a system and method for on-demand processing of chilled food products. More specifically, a chilled packaged food product delivery platform is taught that promotes a consumer selecting or defining an individualized chilled food preference (e.g., hard frozen, lightly frozen, smooth textured, coarse textured, soft center with firm outside, firm center with soft outside, supercooled but not frozen, about the freezing point of the food product, a selected temperature of the food product, and the like) and then performs on-demand processing of the subject food product, in response to the consumer selection, to deliver the chilled packaged food product having the individualized food preference selected. In the various embodiments of the disclosure, the packaged food product is a packaged beverage product. In an embodiment, the packaged food product delivery platform may have the form factor of a vending machine or of a food dispensing system on a counter top or a stand-alone machine.

[0090] The phrase“on-demand processing of packaged food products” means that the processing is performed and completed shortly before (e.g., about 10 seconds before, about 30 seconds before, about 2 minutes before, or less than about 5 minutes before) the packaged food product is delivered to a consumer, for example delivered to a human being for consumption. Such on-demand processing is distinct from processing of food products at a central food processing plant or factory where processed food products are then removed from the plant or factory for transportation to distribution points such as stores and restaurants. In the latter case, processing occurs hours if not days before the packaged food product is delivered to the consumer. The on-demand processing of the pending application is also distinct from processing of food products at a point of consumption using traditional heaters or coolers which may likewise take hours, if not a day or more, to process the food product to a desired temperature.

[0091] The packaged food product delivery platform may be considered to process food contained within a package in the context of a control system. In an embodiment, the platform comprises a package identification sub-system, a package handling and/or manipulation sub- system, a package chilling sub-system, a package delivery sub-system, a consumer interface sub- system, and a process control sub-system. It is understood, however, that the platform may be abstracted, sub-divided, or componentized differently. Additionally, the platform may comprise additional or fewer sub-systems and/or components than those identified above. For example, a payment sub-system may additionally be provided for receiving payment from a consumer to operate the packaged food product delivery platform.

[0092] The platform controls physical parameters of the packaged food product over time to transform the food product from an initial state to a consumer selected end state. The platform may manipulate and/or control a heat transfer coefficient of the packaged food product, over time, by immersing the package in a chilled fluid bath, by controlling the temperature of the chilled fluid bath, and by moving and/or agitating the package within the chilled fluid bath. The rate or acceleration, maximum rotations per minute (RPM), time maintained at the maximum RPM, rate of deceleration, and time between spins of moving and/or agitating the package may be controlled and/or modulated by the platform. The platform may perform this manipulation in an open-loop framework that manipulates the packaged food product in a predetermined spin scheme and a predetermined spin profile for a predetermined amount of time based on the identified product. Product identification includes the type of food product (e.g., sugar sweetened carbonated beverage, diet carbonated beverage, juice beverage, smoothie, dairy beverage, yogurt product, etc.), type of packaging (e.g., PET carbonated beverage bottle, aluminum can, aluminum bottle, hot-fill PET beverage bottle, aseptic PET beverage bottle, etc.), and size of packaging (e.g., 20 fl. oz. package, 12 fl. oz. package, 8 fl. oz. package, etc.).

[0093] In some implementations, the platform may perform this manipulation in a closed- loop control framework that measures one or more of a temperature of the food product within the package, a torque applied to the package, a linear force applied to the package, an angular velocity of the package, a linear velocity of the package, and possibly other parameters of the package and/or of the platform sub-systems and/or components.

[0094] The quality or end state of a delivered chilled food product is the result of the initial state of the chilled food product and the time-integrated processing performed on the package containing the chilled food product. The processing of the food product using the packaged food product delivery platform taught herein facilitates the time-phased manipulations of independent physical packaged food process variables (packaged food product internal temperature, heat transfer coefficient, temperature gradients in the packaged food product, inlet chilled fluid temperature, outlet chilled fluid temperature, chilled fluid flow rate, torque applied to the package, linear force applied to the package, angular velocity of the package, linear velocity of the package, etc.). In the packaged food product delivery platform taught herein, a controller monitors the process variables and adapts the time-phased manipulations of the package containing the chilled food product. The quality and/or end state of the delivered chilled food product depends on the time-phased physical manipulations of the package containing the food product. Said in another way, the end state of the chilled food product is the effect not merely of its final temperature and temperature gradient but also of the pathway by which it reached its final temperature and temperature gradient from the initial state of the food product.

[0095] The chilled packaged food product delivery platform is provided with a plurality of chilled food processing recipes that the process control sub-system uses to process the chilled food products from initial state to delivered end state. The control sub-system, for example, may receive a consumer food preference selection and index or map from this preference selection to one of the chilled food processing recipes. The consumer food preference selection may be considered to further identify a particular chilled food product, for example a raspberry slushie, a strawberry slushie, a cola slushie, a carrot juice freeze, or other product. Thus, the indexing to a chilled food processing recipe may be based both on the desired end state as well as on the selected or identified chilled food product, type of packaging, and size of packaging. Having found the appropriate processing recipe, the control sub-system executes the described food processing based on its monitoring of process variables. It is understood that the chilled food processing recipes may be increased or added to over time as new chilled food products are brought to market and/or as new food preferences are identified and defined.

[0096] It is contemplated that at least some processing of the chilled food product may be accomplished late in the process, for example at about the time the consumer is reaching for the package containing the chilled food product, or even after the package is in the hand of the consumer. This may increase the satisfaction of the consumer and/or the drama of presentation of the chilled food product. For example, the chilled food product delivery platform may be able to orchestrate nucleation of metastable (e.g., supercooled) food materials from a liquid or partially liquid state to a frozen or partially frozen state right before the consumer’s eyes. The chilled food product delivery platform may chill the chilled food product to a metastable state and then apply a nucleation stimulus to the package, for example a mechanical shock or sharp brief linear acceleration or a sonic or ultra-sonic mechanical stimulus. Nucleation is a phase change or state change of a material, for example from a fluid state to a solid state (e.g., from a liquid state to a frozen state). Nucleation may be considered to be a rapid phase change.

[0097] Producing a range of different end states of a food product from the same initial state of the food product poses various technical challenges. For example, to provide different granularity of the food product it may be desirable to chill the food product to a metastable state that is below the freezing point of the food product. Further, providing different degrees of metastability (e.g., how many degrees below the freezing point the food product is chilled) in a controlled manner may entail providing a chilled fluid that is significantly below the freezing point of the food product.

[0098] Providing the desired granularity or texture of the product may depend upon controlled nucleation of metastable food product. Such controlled nucleation, in the machine and/or platform taught herein, may be provided by the delivery sub-system that may provide a range of nucleation stimuli such as one or more of a sharp physical blow, a sonic signal, a laser stimulation, or other. Moreover, the frequency and/or power of the nucleation stimuli may vary over time or with different food products as defined in the food processing recipes. Nucleation may occur while the chilled food product is in the chilled fluid and/or after the chilled food product is removed from the chilled fluid.

[0099] FIG. 1 illustrates a rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The rapid chilling system 100 includes a body 102 that encloses a plurality of sub-systems for rapidly chilling a food product to a desired temperature. A user interface of the rapid chilling system 100 includes a selection knob 104 and display screen 105.

The display screen 105 displays a plurality of end-state temperatures for the packaged food product. For example, the display screen 105 may display a plurality of specific temperatures or temperature ranges (e.g., 40-45 °F, 35-40 °F, 32 °F, 25-28 °F, etc.). Other individual temperatures or temperature ranges between 10 °F and 50 °F may be used. At least one of the temperature options provided on the display screen is a temperature below the freezing point of the packaged food product. Alternatively or additionally, the display screen may display descriptions of end- state temperatures (e.g., cold, very cold, ice cold, supercooled, slush, frozen, etc.)

[00100] The control knob 104 is configured to be rotated by a consumer to select one of the displayed end-state temperatures. A selection indication on the display screen 105 highlights a different one of the displayed end-state temperatures for each rotational step that the control knob is rotated. In some implementations, the control knob 104 includes a button in a center thereof to actuate a selection. That is, upon a consumer rotating the control knob 104 to highlight a desired end-state temperature in the display screen 105, a consumer may actuate the button in the center of the control knob 104 to activate rapid chilling of a packaged food product to the selected end-state temperature.

[00101] A product door 106 is provided on the rapid chilling system 100 to facilitate the consumer inserting a packaged food product at a starting temperature into the rapid chilling system 100 and removing the packaged food product at the end-state temperature from the rapid chilling system 100. In some implementations, the starting temperature may be the ambient room temperature outside of the rapid chilling system 100. In some implementations, the starting temperature may be an intermediate temperature below the ambient room temperature and above the end-state temperature. For example, the packaged food product may be removed from a chilled storage container, such as a cooler or vending machine, which maintains the packaged food product at the intermediate temperature (e.g., 35-50 °F) and inserted into the rapid chilling system 100.

[00102] The product door 106 may be manually actuated, such as slid vertically or horizontally to open and close the product door 106. One or more sensors (not shown) may determine whether or not the product door 106 is open or closed. A workflow on the rapid chilling system 100 may be conditioned based on the product door sensor indicating that the door is open or closed. For example, in response to detecting that the product door 106 is open, the display screen 105 may transition to a screen that shows visual instructions for how to insert a packaged food product into the rapid chilling system 100 and close the product door 106. Upon detecting that the product door 106 is closed, the display screen 105 may again transition to a screen that facilitates selection of a desired end-state temperature. Other workflows are contemplated. In some implementations, the product door 106 is automatically actuated by a motor (not shown) based on one or more selections made on the user interface.

[00103] Other configurations of the body 102 of the rapid chilling system 100 are contemplated. For example, the display screen 105 may be a touchscreen display. In such embodiments, one or more of the control knob 104 and/or the button positioned therein may be eliminated.

[00104] Additionally, a nucleator (not shown) for initiating nucleation of ice in a supercooled fluid may be incorporated into the body 102 of the rapid chilling system 100 or provided alongside or adjacent to the rapid chilling system 100. In some implementations, the nucleator may include the ultrasonic nucleation device described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2015/0264968 to Shuntich, entitled“Supercooled Beverage Crystallization Slush Device with Illumination,” hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[00105] FIG. 2 illustrates sub-systems of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. That is, Fig. 2 illustrates the rapid chilling system 100 with the exterior panels or cladding removed. As shown in Fig. 2, the rapid chilling system 100 includes a product identification sub-system 108, a product handling sub- system 110, a rapid chilling sub-system 112, a washing sub-system 114, and a cooling sub-system 116.

[00106] The cooling sub-system 116 includes a compressor 200, a condenser 202, an evaporator 204, and a heat exchanger 206. The components of the cooling sub-system 116 are arranged as in a typical refrigeration circuit using any refrigerant. In some implementations, the cooling sub-system 116 uses a hydrocarbon (HC) or a carbon dioxide (C0 2 ) refrigerant. The heat exchanger 206 may be any suitable heat exchanger, such as a cast aluminum cold plate with one or more channels of the evaporator 204 formed therein, a tube-in-tube heat exchanger, or other suitable heat exchanger.

[00107] FIG. 3 illustrates the product identification sub-system 108 of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The product identification sub-system 108 includes a product platform 302 configured to receive a product 304 inserted into the rapid chilling system 100 via the product door 106. A scanner 306 is configured to scan the product 304 to identify one or more characteristic components of the product 304 so as to positively identify the product 304. In some implementations, the product platform 302 may be coupled to a motor 310 for rotating the product platform 302 with the product 304 thereon. Such rotation of the product 304 during scanning by the scanner 306 facilitates identifying one or more characteristic components of the product 304, such as a barcode, label, or other identifying mark.

[00108] Product identification includes identifying a type of food product (e.g., sugar sweetened carbonated beverage, diet carbonated beverage, juice beverage, smoothie, dairy beverage, yogurt product, etc.), type of packaging (e.g., PET carbonated beverage bottle, aluminum can, aluminum bottle, hot-fill PET beverage bottle, aseptic PET beverage bottle, etc.), and size of packaging (e.g., 20 fl. oz. package, 12 fl. oz. package, 8 fl. oz. package, etc.). Product identification may include identification of other features of the product 304, such as a brand of the product 304, packaging graphics of the product 304, an advertising campaign associated with graphics on the product 304, or any other characteristic features of the product.

[00109] For example, the scanner 306 may be a barcode scanner configured to read a barcode on the packaging of the product 304. As shown in FIG. 3, the scanner 306 includes two barcode scanners configured to emit an electromagnetic field 308 at multiple locations (two shown) along the product 304. Including multiple barcode readers in the scanner 306 facilitates identification of multiple different products with barcodes located at different places on the packaging of the product 304 and accounts for product of varying heights.

[00110] In another example, the scanner 306 may be one or more cameras configured to capture one or more images of the product 304 which may be compared against one or more baseline product image or otherwise processed to identify the product 304. In some implementations, the scanner 306 may include the optical recognition system described in ET.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2017/0024950 to Roekens et ak, entitled“Merchandiser with Product Dispensing Chute Mechanism,” hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Other product 304 input and identification mechanisms are contemplated. [00111] The product identification sub-system 108 of the rapid chilling system 100 also may include an internal safety door 112. The internal safety door 112 has a semi-circular shape or otherwise forms an enclosed area around the product platform 302 when the product door 106 is open. The safety door 112 ensures that a user cannot reach other internal components when placing the product 304 into the rapid chilling system 100 via the product door 106. As an additional safety mechanism, whenever the product door 106 is open, power may be removed from all servo motors (e.g., elements 404, 410, 416 described below). When the product door 106 is closed, the safety door 112 may rotate away from product door 106 so that the package handling sub-system 110 has access to grip and manipulate the product 304 as described in more detail below.

[00112] Based on one or more of selection of a desired end-state temperature via the user interface of the rapid chilling system 100 and identification of the product 304 by the scanner 306, a controller sub-system (not shown) may index, identify, or otherwise look up a chilled food processing recipe for the product 304. The chilled food processing recipe for the product 304 may control operation of the other sub-systems described herein below. For example, the chilled food processing recipe for the product 304 may indicate an amount of time that the product is processed by the package handling sub-system 110 in the rapid chilling sub-system 112.

[00113] FIG. 4 illustrates a package handling sub-system 110 of the rapid chilling system

100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The package handling sub-system 110 includes a gripper mechanism 402, a product rotation motor 404, a linear actuator

408, and a rotatable support column 412. The gripper mechanism 402 is configured to rotate a plurality of fingers (not shown) to engage with a neck ring of the product 304, for example when the product is a plastic bottle. In the engaged position, the fingers positively grip the neck ring of the product 304 such that the gripper mechanism 402 and the product 304 are rotationally locked with respect to one another. In an un-engaged position, the fingers are rotated so as to not engage with the product 304 and the gripper mechanism 402 is freely movable in a vertical direction about the product 304. That is, in the un-engaged position, the gripper mechanism 402 is maneuverable about the product 304.

[00114] The product rotation motor 404 is couple to the gripper mechanism 402 and configured to provide clockwise and/or counterclockwise torque to the gripper mechanism 402 and the product 304, as described in more detail below. The linear actuator 408 is coupled to the product rotation motor 404 and gripper mechanism 402 via a support frame 406. The linear actuator 408 is also coupled to a linear actuator drive motor 410 which is configured to move linear actuator 408, and hence the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402, along a vertical direction of the rotatable support column 412. The linear actuator drive motor 410 is coupled to the rotatable support column 412.

[00115] The rotatable support column 412 is configured to rotate about a column base 414. A support column drive motor 416 is coupled to the column base 414 and configured to apply a clockwise and/or counterclockwise torque to the rotatable support column 412. In operation, the support column drive motor 416 is configured to rotate the rotatable support column 412 to address the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402, in turn, to each of the product identification sub-system 108, the rapid chilling sub-system 112, the washing sub-system 114, and the product identification sub-system 108.

[00116] For example, in operation, the rotatable support column 412 is initially driven by the support column drive motor 416 to direct the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 towards the product door 106 and over the product identification sub-system 108. In this initial orientation, the linear actuator 408 is driven by the linear actuator drive motor 410 to a top-most position along the rotatable support column 412. Upon a consumer inserting the product 304 in the rapid chilling system 100 and the product door 106 being closed, the product identification sub-system 108 identifies the inserted product 304. Upon the product 304 being positively identified, the linear actuator drive motor 410 drives the linear actuator 408 to an engagement position with the product 304. [00117] The engagement position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the gripper mechanism 402 can grip the identified product 304. The engagement position may be different for different products. For example, a 12 oz. PET bottle may have a height of 6.82 inches whereas a 20 oz. PET bottle may have a height of 8.95 inches. Therefore, the engagement position for the 12 oz. PET bottle may be about 6.82 inches up the rotatable support column 412 from the product platform 302. Similarly, the engagement position for the 20 oz. PET bottle may be about 8.95 inches up the rotatable support column 412 from the product platform 302.

[00118] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the engagement position with the identified product 304, the gripper mechanism 402 is activated to grip the product 304. In some implementations, after the gripper mechanism 402 has gripped the product 304, the linear actuator 408 is raised to a rotation position. The rotation position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the rotatable support column is able to rotate about the column base 414 without a gripped product 304 in the gripper mechanism 402 interfering with or otherwise colliding with internal components of the rapid chilling system 100. The rotation position may be at the same vertical position or a lower vertical position than the top-most vertical position.

[00119] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the rotation position, the support column drive motor 416 is configured to rotate the rotatable support column 412 to align the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the rapid chilling sub-system 112. Upon the rotatable support column 412 aligning the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the rapid chilling sub-system 112, the linear actuator 408 is lowered to an immersion position. The immersion position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the product 304 is immersed into a cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub- system 112.

[00120] The cooling fluid may be any suitable food grade solution with a freezing point lower than -10 °C. In some implementations, the cooling fluid has a freezing point lower than -20 °C, lower than -30 °C, lower than -40 °C, lower than -50 °C, or lower than -100 °C. The cooling fluid solution may be a magnesium-chloride solution or a calcium-chloride solution. In some implementations, the cooling fluid is one or more of the cooling solutions described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2017/0210963 to Shuntich et al., entitled“Cooling Solutions and Compositions for Rapid Chilling Foods and Beverages and Methods of Making,” hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Other cooling fluids may be used, such as a propylene glycol, a polydimethylsiloxane solution, liquid nitrogen, and liquid C0 2.

[00121] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the immersion position, the product rotation motor 404 agitates the product 304 in the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112 according to a predetermined spin scheme and predetermined spin profile for a predetermined amount of time based on the chilled food processing recipe for the identified product 304. Operation of the product rotation motor 404 in the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112 is described in more detail below.

[00122] Upon reaching the predetermined amount of time, the product rotation motor 404 begins rotating in a single direction at a rinsing RPM while the linear actuator 408 raises the product 304 out of the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112. The rinsing RPM may be at or less than a maximum RPM for the predetermined spin profile. Rotating the product 304 as it is being raised out of the cooling fluid facilitates removing excess cooling fluid from the packaging of the product 304 and drying the product 304. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching an extraction position, the product rotation motor 404 discontinues rotating the product 304. The extraction position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the product 304 is extracted from the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112. The linear actuator 408 continues to raise the product until reaching the rotation position.

[00123] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the rotation position, the support column drive motor 416 is configured to rotate the rotatable support column 412 to align the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the washing sub-system 114. Upon the rotatable support column 412 aligning the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the washing sub-system 114, the linear actuator 408 is lowered to an immersion position. The immersion position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the product 304 is immersed into a washing fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112. The immersion position in the washing fluid may be at the same or a different vertical level than the immersion position in the cooling fluid. In some implementations, the washing fluid is chilled water, a chilled alcohol solution, or other chilled solution that will not leave a residue on the packaging of the product 304. In some implementations, the washing fluid is not actively chilled, but becomes chilled over time through use of the machine and heat absorption from the chilled products 304 being immersed in the washing fluid.

[00124] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the immersion position, the product rotation motor 404 begins rotating in a single direction at a predetermined speed, such as the maximum RPM for the predetermined spin profile, while the linear actuator 408 raises the product 304 out of the washing fluid of the washing sub-system 114. In some implementations, the product rotation motor 404 may rotate the product 304 at the predetermined speed prior to the linear actuator 408 lowering the product to the immersion position. The product rotation motor 404 continues to rotate the product as the linear actuator 408 raises the product 304 out of the washing fluid of the washing sub-system 114.

[00125] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching an extraction position, the product rotation motor 404 discontinues rotating the product 304. The extraction position is a vertical location along the rotatable support column 412 at which the product 304 is extracted from the washing fluid of the washing sub-system 114. The linear actuator 408 continues to raise the product until reaching the rotation position.

[00126] Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the rotation position, the support column drive motor 416 is configured to rotate the rotatable support column 412 to align the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 towards the product door 106 and over the product identification sub-system 108. The linear actuator 408 is lowered to the engagement position so as to place the product 304 back upon the product platform 302. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the engagement, the gripper mechanism 402 is activated to let go of the product 304. The linear actuator 408 is then again raised to the rotation position or the top-most position and the product door 106 is opened or unlocked to allow the consumer to remove the chilled product 304.

[00127] FIG. 5A illustrates a rapid chilling sub-system 112 of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The rapid chilling sub- system 112 includes a dewar 502 with an opening 504 at the top of the dewar 502 that provides access to the cooling fluid contained therein. The dewar includes an insulation region 505 (shown as transparent in FIG. 5A) that thermally isolates the cooling fluid from ambient conditions. In some implementations, the insulation region 505 is a vacuum chamber. In some implementations, the insulation region 505 is filled with an insulation material such as foam.

[00128] The opening 504 is selectively accessible via actuation of shutters 506a, 506b. The shutters pivot about pivot points 508a, 508b, respectively to open and close access to the opening 504. In the closed position, the shutters 506a, 506b seal the opening 504 and in some implementations provide thermal insulation to the cooling fluid contained within the dewar 502. A drive rod 510 is mechanically coupled to both of the shutters 506a, 506b between the pivot points 508a, 508b. The drive rod 510 is configured to slide forward towards the dewar 502 to open the shutters 506a, 506b and back away from the dewar 502 to close the shutters 506a, 506b. The drive rod 510 is actuated by an actuator 512, such as an electromagnetic piston or the like. The shutters 506a, 506b, the pivot points 508a, 508b, the drive rod 510, and the actuator 512 are coupled to a top of a mounting plate 514.

[00129] FIG. 5B illustrates a bottom view of the rapid chilling sub-system 112 of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. A blower 520 is coupled to a bottom of the mounting plate 514 and is in fluid communication with an air knife 507 inside the opening 504 of the dewar 502. On the bottom of the dewar 502 is a first cooling fluid input 516, a second cooling fluid input 518, and a cooling fluid output 519 that are in fluid communication with the heat exchanger 216 for circulating the cooling fluid between the dewar 502 and the heat exchanger 216. The cooling fluid from the heat exchanger 216 enters the dewar 502 via the first cooling fluid input 516 and second cooling fluid input 518.

[00130] The cooling fluid may flow up from the first and second cooling fluid inputs 516, 518 through a central area of weir (not shown) over a top of the weir and around to an inside diameter of the dewar 502 (e.g., on the other side of the weir) and exit from the cooling fluid output 519. In other words, the cooling fluid output 519 is placed within the dewar 502 at a location outside of an outside diameter of the weir. Therefore, the top of the weir sets a height of the cooling fluid in the dewar 502. The weir may be shaped as a cylindrical pipe with a bottom sealed against the bottom surface of the dewar 502 and a top at a height lower than a top of the dewar 502. The weir assists in the heat transfer process between the cooling fluid and an outside of the product 304. Specifically, the weir channels the flow of fresh cold cooling fluid up the sides of the product 304. As the cooling fluid passes across the product 304, the cooling fluid warms up. The weir prevents the warmed cooling fluid from coming into contact with the product 304 again. The annular area created between the inside diameter of the weir and the outside diameter of the product also maximises the amount of shear applied to the cooling fluid created by the manipulation of the product 304 in the cooling fluid by the package handling sub-system 110. Maximizing the shear applied to the cooling fluid enhances the heat transfer between the product 304 and the cooling fluid.

[00131] In some implementations, the weir may have a bellows shape and be adjustable to different heights. For example, the package handling sub-system 110 may engage with the bellow weir as it lowers the product 304 into the dewar 502 to automatically adjust the height of the weir.

The bellows design of the weir allows different height containers to be chilled by automatically adjusting the height of the cooling fluid in the dewar 502. The bellows design of the weir also prevents the gripper mechanism 402 from becoming wet with the cooling fluid, thereby removing the risk of ice forming on the gripper mechanism 402. The automatic adjustment of the weir height also ensures that the base of the product 304 engages with the bottom gripper mechanism 402.

[00132] A temperature sensor (not shown) may be positioned within the dewar 502 to ensure that the cooling fluid is at a desired cooling temperature. A pump 201 (shown in FIG. 2) and one or more valves (not shown) may be activated to circulate the cooling fluid between the dewar 502 and the heat exchanger 216 in response to the temperature sensor detecting that the cooling fluid is above a threshold maximum cooling temperature. Upon the temperature sensor reaching a target cooling temperature, the pump 201 and one or more valves may be de-activated to discontinue circulation of the cooling fluid out of the dewar 502. In some implementations, a flow of the cooling fluid may be maintained while the compressor 200 is off so as to maintain the temperature of the weir.

[00133] In operation, the actuator 512 is actuated to push the drive rod 510 towards the dewar 502 to open the shutters 506a, 506b and expose the opening 504 of the dewar 502 upon the rotatable support column 412 to aligning the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the rapid chilling sub-system 112. The blower 520 is activated to blow air out of the air knife 507 as the product rotation motor 404 rotates in a single direction while the linear actuator 408 raises the product 304 out of the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the extraction position, the blower 520 is turned off. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the rotation position, the actuator 512 is actuated to pull the drive rod 510 away from the dewar 502 to close the shutters 506a, 506b and the opening 504 of the dewar 502.

[00134] FIG. 6 A illustrates a washing sub-system 114 of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The washing sub-system 114 includes an insulated container 602 with an opening 604 at the top of the container 602 that provides access to the washing fluid contained therein. The container 602 includes an insulation region 606 (shown as transparent in FIG. 6A) that thermally isolates the washing fluid from ambient conditions. In some implementations, the insulation region 606 is a vacuum chamber. In some implementations, the insulation region 606 is filled with an insulation material, such as foam.

[00135] The opening 604 is selectively accessible via actuation of shutters 6l0a, 6l0b. The shutters pivot about pivot points 6l2a, 6l2b, respectively to open and close access to the opening 604. In the closed position, the shutters 6l0a, 610b seal the opening 604 and in some implementations provide thermal insulation to the washing fluid contained within the container 602. A drive rod 614 is mechanically coupled to both of the shutters 6l0a, 6l0b between the pivot points 6l2a, 6l2b. The drive rod 614 is configured to slide forward towards the container 602 to open the shutters 6l0a, 610b and back away from the container 602 to close the shutters 6l0a, 610b. The drive rod 614 is actuated by an actuator 616, such as an electromagnetic piston or the like. The shutters 6l0a, 610b, the pivot points 612a, 612b, the drive rod 614, and the actuator 616 are coupled to the top of the mounting plate 514.

[00136] FIG. 6B illustrates a bottom view of the washing sub-system 114 of the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. A blower 620 is coupled to a bottom of the mounting plate 514 and is in fluid communication with a pair of air knives 608a, 608b inside the opening 604 of the container 602. In some implementations, only a single air knife is used. On the bottom of the container 602 is a washing fluid port 618. The washing fluid port 618 may facilitate draining the container 602 of the washing fluid (e.g., to a drain) and for refilling the container 602 with the washing fluid (e.g., from a municipal water supply). One or more pumps and/or valves (not shown) may facilitate the draining and refilling of the container 602 with the washing fluid. The container 602 is in thermal communication with the heat exchanger 206 to maintain the washing fluid at a target washing fluid temperature. The target washing fluid temperature is greater than 0°C. [00137] In operation, the actuator 616 is actuated to push the drive rod 614 towards the container 602 to open the shutters 6l0a, 610b and expose the opening 604 of the container 602 upon the rotatable support column 412 to aligning the product rotation motor 404 and the gripper mechanism 402 over the washing sub-system 114. The blower 620 is activated to blow air out of the air knives 608a, 608b as the product rotation motor 404 rotates in a single direction while the linear actuator 408 raises the product 304 out of the washing fluid of the washing sub-system 114. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the extraction position, the blower 620 is turned off. Upon the linear actuator 408 reaching the rotation position, the actuator 616 is actuated to pull the drive rod 614 away from the container 602 to close the shutters 6l0a, 6l0b and the opening 604 of the container 602.

[00138] FIGS. 7A-7C illustrates a packaging handling sub-system 700 of the rapid chilling system suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The package handling sub-system 700 may be used in place of or in conjunction with components of the package handling sub-system 110. The package handling sub-system 700 includes a frame 702 about a rapid chilling reservoir 704. The rapid chilling reservoir 704 is configured to contain the chilling fluid. A flexible bellows 706 is positioned around an opening of the rapid chilling reservoir 704 to seal the rapid chilling reservoir 704 and prevent splashing of the chilling fluid outside of the rapid chilling reservoir 704 during operation. In some implementations, the bellows

706 may be used in conjunction with the opening 504 in the dewar 502 of the rapid chilling sub- system 112 described above. In some implementations, the components of the package handling sub-system 700 described below are coupled to the support column 412 instead of the frame 702.

[00139] A lifting pin mount 708 and a linear actuator assembly 710 are coupled to the frame

702. The lifting pin mount 708 is positioned in a stationary location above the linear actuator assembly 710. The linear actuator assembly 710 includes a drive motor 712, a support 714, and a slide 715. The drive motor 712 is coupled to the support 714 to move the support 714 along the slide 715. The linear actuator assembly is mounted to the frame 702 in a vertical direction such that the slide 715 is positioned between the lifting pin mount 708 and the rapid chilling reservoir 704. In operation, the drive motor 712 moves the support 714 in a vertical direction up towards the lifting pin mount 708 and down towards the rapid chilling reservoir 704.

[00140] A product rotation motor 716 is coupled to the support 714. The product rotation motor 716 is configured to apply torque to a ball spline shaft 718 that extends through the product rotation motor 716. At a lower end of the ball spline shaft 718, below the product rotation motor 716 towards the rapid chilling reservoir 704, is a gripper mechanism 722. At an upper end of the ball spline shaft 718, above the product rotation motor 716 towards the lifting pin mount 708, is a lifting pin 724.

[00141] The ball spline shaft 718 is coupled to an output flange (not shown) of the product rotation motor 716 via a ball spline nut 726. The ball spline nut 726 and ball spline shaft 718 ensure that the shaft cannot rotate relative to the output flange of the product rotation motor 716, while still allowing for axial movement of the product rotation motor 716 along the ball spline shaft 718, as described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 8A-8C. In other words, the output flange of the product rotation motor 716 applies torque to the ball spline nut 726, which in turn applies torque to rotate the ball spline shaft 718.

[00142] A plurality of support columns 720 coupled between the support 714 and a base support 742. The support columns 720 are rigidly coupled to the support 714 in a manner that does not allow for relative motion therebetween. The support columns 720 extend in a vertical direction from the support 714 towards the rapid chilling reservoir 704. As shown in FIGS. 7A-7C, there are three support columns 720. A rotatable product base 738, best shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 7C, is coupled to bearings 740 for rotation thereon. The bearings are contained on a base support 742 by a bearing retaining plate 744. The rotatable product platform 738 is coupled to the base support 742 by a pinch bolt 746 and cap 748 so as to secure the rotatable product platform 738 to the inner bearing race. [00143] As best shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 7B, along a central bore 727 of the product rotation motor 716 through which the ball spline shaft 718 extends are a top support bearing 728, a spring 730, and a spring plate 732. The spring plate 732 is coupled to a fixed location along the ball spline shaft 718. The spring 730 is contained within the bore 727 between the spring plate 732 and the top support bearing 728. The top support bearing 728 contains the spring 730 within the bore 727 and provides a low friction support of the ball spline shaft 718 for rotation within the bore 727. The spring 730 applies a compression force against the spring plate 732 to push the gripper mechanism 722 away from the product rotation motor 716. As shown in FIG 7B, the spring plate 732 pushes the gripper mechanism 722 to a maximum extension position away from the product rotation motor 716. In operation, as the ball spline shaft 718 is moved vertically within the bore 727, the spring plate 732 compresses the spring 730 within the bore 727.

[00144] FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate a package loading procedure of the package handling sub- system 700 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 8A, the lifting pin mount 708 includes a first arm 802 and a second arm 804 that extend away from the frame 702. The first arm 802 includes a groove 806 and the second arm 804 includes a groove 808. The grooves 806, 808 are sized and shaped to receive the lifting pin 724. The ball spline shaft 718 is oriented in a home position such that the lifting pin 724 is parallel to the first and second arms 804, 806 of the lifting pin mount 708.

[00145] In some implementations, the product rotation motor 716 has a homing operation to position the ball spline shaft 718 in the home position. The product rotation motor 716 may include a flag (not shown) that extends from and rotates with the ball spline shaft 718. The flag may interrupt an optical sensor at the home position. Other sensors may be used, such as a hall effect sensor or the like to determine when the flag is at the home position. Other homing operation mechanisms or sensors may be used.

[00146] Upon the ball spline shaft 718 being positioned at the home position, the support

714 on the linear actuator assembly 710 is driven by the drive motor 712 along the slide 715 in a vertical direction towards the lifting pin mount 708 until the lifting pin is located above the arms 804, 806 of the lifting pin mount 708. The product rotation motor 716 applies torque to the shaft 718 to rotate the shaft 718 90°, as shown in FIG. 8B.

[00147] The support 714 is driven by the drive motor 712 along the slide in a vertical direction away from the lifting pin mount 708. As the lifting pin 724 is lowered, the lifting pin engages with and rests in the grooves 806, 808 of the arms 802, 804 of the lifting pin mount.

Therefore, the shaft 718 is locked in place at a fixed vertical location. As the support 714 continues to be driven away from the lifting pin mount 708, the shaft 718 moves in a vertical direction within the bore 727 relative to the motion of the product rotation motor 716. This relative vertical motion of the shaft 718 within bore 727 raises the spring plate 732 and compresses the spring 730. Additionally, the gripper mechanism 722 is raised in a vertical direction towards the product rotation motor 716. Because the support columns 720 are rigidly affixed to the support

714, a distance between the gripper mechanism 722 and the rotatable product platform 738 increases. In this loading orientation, the distance between the gripper mechanism 722 and the rotatable product platform 738 provides sufficient clearance for a consumer to load the product 304 onto the rotatable product platform 738 through the product door 106. For example, as shown in

FIG. 8C, the product rotation motor 716 is further down the shaft 718 than as shown in FIG. 8B.

[00148] Upon the product 304 being loaded on the rotatable product platform 738, the product door 106 is closed and the support 714 is driven in a vertical direction along the slide 715 towards the lifting pin mount 708. As the support 714 moves up the slide 715, the distance between the gripper mechanism 722 and the rotatable product platform 738 upon which the product 304 is place is reduced. At a product engagement position, the gripper mechanism 722 abuts with the product 304. The product engagement position is at a different vertical location for products with different heights. As the support 714 continues to move up the slide 715 past the product engagement position, the spring 730 applies a downward force against the spring plate

732, which is coupled to the gripper mechanism 722 via the shaft 718, to apply a downward force from the gripper mechanism 722 onto the product 304 so as to grip the product between the gripper mechanism 722 and the rotatable product platform 738.

[00149] Once the product 304 is gripped between the gripper mechanism 722 and the rotatable product platform 738, the support 714 continues to move up the slide 715 until the lifting pin 724 is once again above the arms 804, 806 of the lifting pin mount 708. In some implementations, the product rotation motor 716 applies torque to the shaft 718 to rotate the shaft 718 90°, as shown in FIG. 8 A. The shaft 718 may once again be rotated to the home position. The support 714 moves down the slide 715 away from the lifting pin mount 708 until the lifting pin 724 is clear of the lifting pin mount 708. In this position, the product rotation motor 716 applies torque in a clockwise and/or counter clockwise manner to the shaft 718 which in turn rotates the gripper mechanism 722 with the product 304 gripped against the rotatable product platform 738. Therefore, as the gripper mechanism 722 rotates, the product 304 and the rotatable product platform 738 are likewise rotated.

[00150] In implementations where the components of the package handling sub-system 700 are coupled to the support column 412, the vertical location along the slide 715 at which the lifting pin 724 is above the arms 804, 806 of the lifting pin mount 708 is the rotation position. Upon the support column 412 aligning the product rotation motor 716 and the gripper mechanism 722 over the rapid chilling sub-system 112 and the washing sub-system 114, the support 714 may be driven along the slide 715 by the drive motor 712 as described above in relation to the operation of the linear actuator 408 in conjunction with FIGS. 4-6B.

[00151] FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate the gripper mechanism 722 of the package handling sub- system 700 of FIG. 7A suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The gripper mechanism 722 includes a rigid product contact clamp 734 and a compliant bellows 736. The product contact clamp 734 includes a plurality of contact ridges 902 spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with friction pad spaces 904. A second set of contact ridges 903 are placed parallel, but at a smaller circumferential diameter, to the contact ridges 902. The ridges 902 and 903 form a valley 905 therebetween.

[00152] The product contact clamp 734 includes a ridge 908 about which a channel 914 on the bellows 736, best seen in FIGS. 10 and 11, is sized to conform to so as to couple the product contact clamp 734 to the bellows 736. The bellows 734 includes a sealing surface 916 and friction pads 912 spaced circumferentially in an alternating arrangement with areas without the friction pads 912. The friction pads 912 are circumferentially aligned with the friction pad spaces 904 on the product contact clamp 734. At the friction pad spaces 904, the product contact claim 734 includes an inside surface 906 that acts as a rigid backer to the friction pads 912 when assembled.

[00153] FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the gripper mechanism 722 coupled to a bottle suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 10, the ridge 903 of the product contact clamp 734 provides a ridged contact against the shoulder of the bottle to stabilize the bottle against the rotatable product base 738. At the same time, the friction pad 912 is compressed against the shoulder of the bottle to prevent rotation between the bottle and the gripper mechanism 722. Additionally, the sealing surface 916 of the bellows 736 is compressed against the shoulder of the bottle. Accordingly, the sealing surface 916 prevents the cooling fluid and washing fluid from coming into contact with the lid of the bottle. As shown in FIG. 10, the inside surface of the ridge 903 slopes inwards towards the center of the gripper mechanism 722 to accommodate bottles of different diameters.

[00154] FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the gripper mechanism 722 coupled to a can suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 11, the lip of the can is located in the valley 905 between the ridges 902, 903 to stabilize the bottle against the rotatable product base 738. At the same time, the friction pad 912 is compressed against the lip of the can to prevent rotation between the can and the gripper mechanism 722. Additionally, the sealing surface 916 of the bellows 736 is compressed against the shoulder of the can. Accordingly, the sealing surface 916 prevents the cooling fluid and washing fluid from coming into contact with the lip and top surface of the can.

[00155] FIG. 12 illustrates a heat transfer diagram 1200 for a packaged beverage product 304 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. When the product 304 is immersed in the cooling fluid of the rapid chilling sub-system 112, heat is extracted from the product 1202 in the packaged food product 304 to the cooling fluid 1206. In the example shown in FIG. 12, the packaged food product 304 is a beverage, such as COCA-COLA. The beverage is received in the rapid chilling sub-system 112 at an initial temperature and in an initial state.

[00156] As noted above, the initial temperature may be the ambient room temperature outside of the rapid chilling system 100. The initial temperature may also be an intermediate temperature between the ambient room temperature and a target end-state temperature, such as at a set point temperature of a standard cooler in the range of 35-50 °F. The initial state may be a liquid or flowable colloid food product. One or more solids may be contained within the food product, such as fiber, pulp, nuts, fruit pieces, alginate pieces, and the like. The food product may be a sugar sweetened carbonated beverage, a reduced, low, or no calorie carbonated beverage (e.g., a beverage with one or more high-intensity sweeteners), water, flavored water or other non- carbonated flavored beverage, juice beverage, smoothie, dairy beverage, drinkable yogurt, yogurt product, and the like. In some implementations, the food product may be a solution that is otherwise not intended for consumption until it reaches the target end-state temperature. For example, the food product may be an ice cream solution that is intended to be frozen by the rapid chilling sub-system 100 for consumption as a frozen food product.

[00157] As the packaged food product 304 is physically manipulated in the rapid chilling sub-system 112, torque is applied to the packaged food product 304. For example, in the package handling sub-systems 110, 700 described above, the product rotation motors 404, 716 may apply the torque to the packaged food product 304 through the gripper mechanisms 402, 722 to rotate the packaged food product 304 in a clockwise and/or counter clockwise direction. As the packaged food product 304 is rotated, internal currents of the food product 1202 facilitate convective heat transfer within the food product 1202. In turn, the food product 1202 has heat removed via conduction through the packaging material 1204 of the packaged food product 304. Likewise, the packaging material 1204 has heat removed to the cooling fluid 1206 via external convection which is again facilitated by the physical manipulation of the packaged food product 304 in the cooling fluid 1206.

[00158] FIG. 13 illustrates a general spin scheme 1300 of a packaged beverage product 304 in the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The spin scheme 1300 defines a direction and pattern in which the packaged food product 304 is rotated clockwise and/or counter clockwise by the product rotation motors 404, 716 as viewed from above. In the examples presented herein, a positive velocity means that the product rotation motors 404, 716 apply a torque to rotate the packaged food product 304 in a clockwise direction. Likewise, a negative velocity means that the product rotation motors 404, 716 apply a torque to rotate the packaged food product 304 in a counter clockwise direction.

[00159] As shown in FIG. 13, the product 304 starts from a stopped angular velocity 1302 where the product 304 is not rotating and accelerates at an acceleration 1304 (e.g., RPM/s) to a maximum angular velocity 1306 (e.g., RPM). The product 304 continues to be rotated at the maximum angular velocity 1306 for a predetermined period or duration of time, t 2 1308. The product 304 is then decelerated at a deceleration 1310 until the product 304 again is at the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is then maintained at the stopped angular velocity 1302 for a dwell time 1312 before continuing with the pattern defined by the spin scheme 1300.

[00160] In the examples provided herein, the acceleration 1304 and the deceleration 1310 are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction. References to the acceleration 1304 below encompass both the acceleration 1304 and the deceleration 1310. A spin profile for a particular product 304 defines the acceleration 1304, maximum angular velocity 1306, the time period or duration t 2 1308, the dwell time 1312, as well as a total time 1314 that the product 304 is manipulated in the chilling fluid prior to removing the product 304 therefrom, as described above.

[00161] While the spin profile is described herein as a trapezoidal waveform with defined parameters of acceleration 1304, maximum angular velocity 1306, time period or duration t2 1308, and dwell time 1312, other waveforms may be used. For example, the spin profile may take on a sawtooth, sine, triangle or other waveform shape. Additionally, while each of the parameters of the waveform are explicitly described herein, the operation of the waveform may be expressed more generally in terms of the frequency of the waveform. For a waveform with a reciprocating motion, the frequency may be defined as: equation 1,

where □ is the acceleration 1304,□ is the maximum angular velocity 1306, t 2 is the time period or duration t2 1308, and t d is the dwell time 1312. Likewise, for a waveform with an indexed motion, the frequency may be defined as: equation 2,

where □ is the acceleration 1304,□ is the maximum angular velocity 1306, t 2 is the time period or duration t2 1308, and t d is the dwell time 1312. FIGS. 14 and 15 described below provide examples of reciprocating and indexed trapezoidal waveforms, respectively.

[00162] FIG. 14 illustrates a reciprocating spin scheme 1400 of the packaged food product 304 in the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 14, the product 304 is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 in a clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of 12,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for a period or duration of time t 2 1308 of 0.125 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of -12,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is maintained in the stopped angular velocity 1302 for the dwell time 1312 of 0.125 seconds before the product 304 is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 in a counter clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of -12,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of -1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for time t 2 1308 of 0.125 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of 12,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is maintained in the stopped angular velocity 1302 for the dwell time 1312 of 0.125 seconds before the spin scheme 1400 is repeated.

[00163] In the example provided above, the sign of the acceleration 1304, the maximum angular velocity 1306, and the deceleration 1310 is indicative of the direction of rotation. For example, positive values indicate acceleration, velocity, and deceleration in a direction of clockwise rotation of the product 304. Likewise, negative values indicate acceleration, velocity, and deceleration in a direction of counter-clockwise rotation.

[00164] FIG. 15 illustrates an indexed spin scheme 1500 of the packaged food product 304 in the rapid chilling system 100 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 15, the product 304 is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 in a clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of 12,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for time t 2 1308 of 0.125 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of -12,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is maintained in the stopped angular velocity 1302 for the dwell time 1312 of 0.125 seconds before the product 304 is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 again in a clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of 12,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for time t 2 1308 of 0.125 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of -12,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is maintained in the stopped angular velocity 1302 for the dwell time 1312 of 0.125 seconds before the spin scheme 1500 is repeated.

[00165] FIG. 16 illustrates an example indexed spin scheme 1600 overlaid with the fluid rotation of water in a 20 fl. oz. PET bottle of water suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. For example, the 20 fl. oz. PET bottle of water may be a DASANI brand of water. In the example shown in FIG. 16, the cooling fluid is a calcium chloride solution with an initial temperature of -40 °C. The bottle of water is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 in a clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of 10,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for time t 2 1308 of 0.05 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of -10,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302. The product 304 is maintained in the stopped angular velocity 1302 for the dwell time 1312 of 0 seconds before the bottle of water is accelerated again. It is understood that the product rotation motors 404, 716 have a minimum switching time from decelerating the bottle of water to the stopped angular velocity before accelerating the bottle of water again. However, for the purpose of this disclosure, this switching time is indicated to be 0 seconds. In practice, the minimum dwell time 1312 is less than or equal to 0.01 seconds. The bottle of water is accelerated from the stopped angular velocity 1302 in a clockwise direction at an acceleration 1304 of 10,000 RPM/s to the maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM, maintained at the maximum angular velocity for time t 2 1308 of 0.05 seconds and decelerated at the deceleration 1310 of -10,000 RPM/s to the stopped angular velocity 1302 before immediately (e.g., between 0-0.01 seconds) repeating the spin scheme 1600. While only one second of the spin scheme 1600 is shown, the spin scheme 1600 may be repeated for as long as desired.

[00166] As shown in FIG. 16, because the bottle of water is spun in the same direction using the indexed spin scheme 1600, the water is accelerated in the clockwise direction as shown by the sinusoidal line 1602 overlaid on top of the indexed spin scheme 1600. While the bottle of water is being accelerate, the water therein is likewise accelerated. Similarly, when the bottle of water is being decelerated, the water therein is likewise decelerated. However, the water continues to spin in the clockwise direction. Over time, the water builds momentum and fluctuates in an intermediate RPM range as the indexed spin scheme 1600 continues to repeat. The intermediate RPM range has a maximum velocity that is less than the maximum angular velocity of the product 304.

[00167] FIG. 17 illustrates an example of the heat transfer coefficient 1702 (W/m 2 K) of the water in the bottle of water over the one second time period shown in FIG. 16. In the example shown, an instantaneous heat transfer coefficient has a value greater than 450 W/m 2 K and an average heat transfer coefficient of about 375 W/m 2 K. For different products and different packaging types a different heat transfer coefficient will be obtained using the indexed spin scheme 1600. For example, for packaged food products 304 with aluminum packaging, the instantaneous and average heat transfer coefficients will be substantially larger.

[00168] FIG. 18 illustrates an example of the temperature (°C) of the water in the bottle over a 120 second period using the indexed spin scheme 1600 shown in FIG. 16. Eising the indexed spin scheme 1600, Table 1 shows times to cool a particular type of product in different packages types of different sizes from a starting temperature of 22 °C. As shown, the water is supercooled down to -5 °C without freezing.

Time

-3°C -5°C At Vo1 Package

17.6 19.5 1.9 7.5 Al. Can

88.1 97.6 9.5 8.5 PET bottle

63.1 69.9 6.8 12 PET bottle

20.6 22.9 2.2 12 Al. can

108.8 120.5 11.7 16 PET bottle

111.0 122.9 11.9 16.9 PET bottle

117.2 129.8 12.6 20 PET bottle

Table 1

[00169] As shown by the comparison of FIGS. 16 and 17, a primary driver of the heat transfer coefficient 1702 is the relative velocity of the water as compared to the packaging of the water bottle. The inflection points in the heat transfer coefficient 1702 occur at the points in time where the velocity of the packaged food product 304 matches the velocity of the food product within the packaged food product 304. For example, the velocity of the water matches the velocity of the water bottle at the intersection point 1604 in FIG. 16. At the same point in time (e.g., ~0.3 sec.), the heat transfer coefficient 1702 has an inflection point about a first type of local minimum value. That is, the first type of local minimum value in the heat transfer coefficient 1702 occurs as the product 304 is decelerated toward the stopped angular velocity when the angular velocity of the packaging of the food product 304 matches the angular velocity of the food product within the packaging.

[00170] As the relative velocity between the water and the bottle increase (as the bottle continues to decelerate to the stopped angular velocity 1302), the heat transfer coefficient 1702 approaches a first type of local maximum about an inflection point 1708. That is, the first type of local maximum value in the heat transfer coefficient 1702 occurs due to the angular velocity of the packaging being stopped while the water continues to rotate due to the built up momentum. As the bottle is accelerated again, the relative velocity between the water and the bottle decreases until the velocity of the water again matches the velocity of the water bottle at intersection point 1606 in FIG. 16. Accordingly, the heat transfer coefficient 1702 has another inflection point 1710 at a second type of local minimum value. That is, the second type of local minimum value in the heat transfer coefficient 1702 occurs as the product 304 is accelerated toward the maximum angular velocity when the angular velocity of the packaging of the food product 304 matches the angular velocity of the food product within the packaging. The second type of local minimum value is less than the first type of local minimum value.

[00171] As the bottle continues to accelerate, the relative velocity between the water and the bottle increases, leading to an increase in the heat transfer coefficient up to a second type of local maximum value about an inflection point 1712. The inflection point 1712 occurs as the bottle reaches the maximum RPM at a point 1608. That is, the second type of local maximum value in the heat transfer coefficient 1702 occurs due to the angular velocity of the packaging reaching the maximum RPM while the water continues to accelerate and build up more momentum.

[00172] As the bottle is held at the maximum RPM, the heat transfer coefficient 1702 experiences a largely linear decline 1714 in part due to the continued acceleration of the water in the bottle. Upon the bottle beginning to decelerate, the heat transfer coefficient again decreases to another instance of the first type of local minimum value. As shown in FIG. 17, the second type of local maximum is greater than the first type of local maximum due to the larger relative different in velocity between the water and the bottle when the bottle is accelerated to the maximum RPM as compared to the relative difference in velocity between the bottle and the water when the bottle is stopped. Over time, the first type of local maximum and the second type of local maximum converge closer to, but still greater than, an average heat transfer coefficient 1704.

[00173] While a particular indexed spin scheme 1600 is shown in FIG. 16, one or ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the values of the spin profile may be adjusted. For example, other maximum angular velocity 1306 values may be used such as 1750 RPM, 2000 RPM, 2250 RPM, 2500 RPM, 5000 RPM or other value. Likewise, other acceleration 1304 (and corresponding deceleration 1310) values may be used such as 5000 RPM/s, 8,000 RPM/s, 10,000 RMP/s, 12,000 RPM/s, 15,000 RPM/s, 20,000 RPM/s, or other value.

[00174] Generally, it is preferable to minimize the dwell time 1312 as much as possible due to the first type of local maximum value being less than the second type of local maximum value.

In other words, because of the lower difference in the relative velocity between the food product and the packaging 304 when the packaging 304 is stopped as compared to when it is rotating at maximum angular velocity, it is desirable to spend as little time as possible with the packaging 304 slower than the velocity of the food product within the packaging 304. However, the deceleration operations ensure that the velocity of the food product within the packaging 304 remains below a maximum angular velocity such that there remains a large relative difference in the velocity between the food product and the package 304 at the maximum angular velocity. If the packaging

304 were to just continue to accelerate at the maximum angular velocity then the food product within the packaging 304 would accelerate to approach or match the velocity of the packaging 304 and the heat transfer coefficient would be greatly reduced due to the low relative velocity between the food product and the packaging 304. In some implementations, the dwell time 1312 is less than 1 second, less than 0.5 seconds, less than 0.1 seconds, less than 0.05 seconds, less than 0.01 seconds, or approaches 0 seconds as close as practical as the product rotation motors 404, 716 will allow.

[00175] For similar reasons, it is generally preferable to maintain the maximum angular velocity 1306 for time t 2 1308 for an amount of time that the food product within the packaging 304 is not allowed to exceed a maximum food product velocity. This ensures that the relative velocity between the food product and the packaging 304 remains high at the maximum angular velocity 1306. In some implementations, the time t 2 1308 is less than or equal to 1 second, less than or equal to 0.5 seconds, less than or equal to 0.25 seconds, less than or equal to 0.2 seconds, less than or equal to 0.1 seconds, less than or equal to 0.05 seconds, or less than or equal to 0.03 seconds.

[00176] While the examples of FIGS. 16 and 17 are shown with respect to an indexed spin scheme, a reciprocating spin scheme like that shown in FIG. 14 may be used as well with a spin profile based on the above teachings. Because the packaging 304 rotates both clockwise and counterclockwise in the reciprocating spin schemes, the counterclockwise rotation further dampens the maximum food product velocity such that larger relative velocities between the food product and the packaging 304 are achieved. As such, the instantaneous and average heat transfer coefficient, using a reciprocating spin scheme with a spin profile according to the above teachings, are larger than those achieved using the indexed spin scheme.

[00177] Due to the agitation of the product within the packaging 304, for carbonated beverages it is important to ensure that the product does not erupt from the packaging 304 upon a consumer opening the lid. Such eruption is particularly pronounced in carbonated beverages with high-intensity sweeteners, especially for those products with aspartame and/or stevia-gly coside sweeteners, which are generally known to more readily give up C0 2 from solution. Such effects are often compounded when ice nucleation of a supercooled beverage occurs. For carbonated beverages, it has been surprisingly discovered that despite having a large acceleration and a large maximum angular velocity, the carbonated beverage was found to consistently not erupt when the time t 2 1308 is kept less than 0.32 seconds.

[00178] For example, a 12 fl. oz. aluminum can of COCA-COLA was manipulated with an acceleration 1304 of 15,000 RPM/s, and a maximum angular velocity 1306 of 2000 RPM was unexpectedly fount to not erupt when the time t 2 1308 was less than 0.32 seconds, for example less than 0.1 seconds, less than 0.05 seconds, or less than or equal to 0.03 seconds. In this example, with the time t 2 1308 of 0.03 seconds, the spin profile may likewise be described as a reciprocating trapezoidal waveform with a frequency of 1.68 Hz.

[00179] Additionally, it was unexpectedly discovered, that eruption did not occur in bottles when an indexed spin scheme is used whereas eruption would occur using a reciprocating spin scheme with the same spin profiles. For example, a 20 fl. oz. PET bottle of COCA-COLA was manipulated with an acceleration 1304 of 10,000 RPM/s, a maximum angular velocity 1306 of 1500 RPM and a time t 2 1308 of 0.05 seconds was found to consistently not erupt. In this example, the spin profile may likewise be described as an indexed trapezoidal waveform with a frequency of 2.85 Hz. In contrast, the same spin profile and same product and packaging was found to consistently cause eruption using a reciprocating spin scheme.

[00180] Therefore, based on the product identification in the rapid chilling system 100, different spin schemes and spin profiles may be used. For example, if the product is identified as a carbonated beverage then an indexed spin scheme may be selected so as to prevent eruption upon consumption. Likewise, if the product is identified as a non-carbonated beverage, then a reciprocating spin scheme may be selected so as to maximize the heat transfer coefficient and hence minimize the time to reach the target end-state temperature. Similarly, if the product is identified as a carbonated beverage, then a spin profile where the time t 2 1308 is less than 0.1 seconds is selected. Likewise, if the product is identified as a non-carbonated beverage, then a spin profile where the time t 2 1308 is greater than 0.1 seconds and less than 0.6 seconds is selected. In some implementations, a unique spin profile is provided for each unique product. In some implementations, a different spin profile may be provided based on one or more parameters of the packaged product 304. For example, the spin profile may be provided based on the package geometry, ingredients of the food product, or other product properties.

[00181] It should be appreciated that the logical operations described herein with respect to the various figures may be implemented (1) as a sequence of computer implemented acts or program modules (i.e., software) running on a computing device (e.g., the computing device described in FIG. 19), (2) as interconnected machine logic circuits or circuit modules (i.e., hardware) within the computing device and/or (3) a combination of software and hardware of the computing device. Thus, the logical operations discussed herein are not limited to any specific combination of hardware and software. The implementation is a matter of choice dependent on the performance and other requirements of the computing device. Accordingly, the logical operations described herein are referred to variously as operations, structural devices, acts, or modules. These operations, structural devices, acts and modules may be implemented in software, in firmware, in special purpose digital logic, and any combination thereof. It should also be appreciated that more or fewer operations may be performed than shown in the figures and described herein. These operations may also be performed in a different order than those described herein.

[00182] Referring to FIG. 19, an example computing device 1900 upon which embodiments of the invention may be implemented is illustrated. For example, a controller (not shown) of the rapid chilling system 100 may be implemented as a computing device, such as computing device

1900. It should be understood that the example computing device 1900 is only one example of a suitable computing environment upon which embodiments of the invention may be implemented.

Optionally, the computing device 1900 can be a well-known computing system including, but not limited to, personal computers, servers, handheld or laptop devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based systems, network personal computers (PCs), minicomputers, mainframe computers, embedded systems, and/or distributed computing environments including a plurality of any of the above systems or devices. Distributed computing environments enable remote computing devices, which are connected to a communication network or other data transmission medium, to perform various tasks. In the distributed computing environment, the program modules, applications, and other data may be stored on local and/or remote computer storage media.

[00183] In an embodiment, the computing device 1900 may comprise two or more computers in communication with each other that collaborate to perform a task. For example, but not by way of limitation, an application may be partitioned in such a way as to permit concurrent and/or parallel processing of the instructions of the application. Alternatively, the data processed by the application may be partitioned in such a way as to permit concurrent and/or parallel processing of different portions of a data set by the two or more computers. In an embodiment, virtualization software may be employed by the computing device 1900 to provide the functionality of a number of servers that is not directly bound to the number of computers in the computing device 1900. For example, virtualization software may provide twenty virtual servers on four physical computers. In an embodiment, the functionality disclosed above may be provided by executing the application and/or applications in a cloud computing environment. Cloud computing may comprise providing computing services via a network connection using dynamically scalable computing resources. Cloud computing may be supported, at least in part, by virtualization software. A cloud computing environment may be established by an enterprise and/or may be hired on an as-needed basis from a third party provider. Some cloud computing environments may comprise cloud computing resources owned and operated by the enterprise as well as cloud computing resources hired and/or leased from a third party provider.

[00184] In its most basic configuration, computing device 1900 typically includes at least one processing unit 1906 and system memory 1904. Depending on the exact configuration and type of computing device, system memory 1904 may be volatile (such as random access memory

(RAM)), non-volatile (such as read-only memory (ROM), flash memory, etc.), or some combination of the two. This most basic configuration is illustrated in FIG. 19 by dashed line 1902. The processing unit 1906 may be a standard programmable processor that performs arithmetic and logic operations necessary for operation of the computing device 1900. While only one processing unit 1906 is shown, multiple processors may be present. Thus, while instructions may be discussed as executed by a processor, the instructions may be executed simultaneously, serially, or otherwise executed by one or multiple processors. The computing device 1900 may also include a bus or other communication mechanism for communicating information among various components of the computing device 1900.

[00185] Computing device 1900 may have additional features/functionality. For example, computing device 1900 may include additional storage such as removable storage 1908 and non removable storage 1910 including, but not limited to, magnetic or optical disks or tapes. Computing device 1900 may also contain network connection(s) 1916 that allow the device to communicate with other devices such as over the communication pathways described herein. The network connection(s) 1916 may take the form of modems, modem banks, Ethernet cards, universal serial bus (USB) interface cards, serial interfaces, token ring cards, fiber distributed data interface (FDDI) cards, wireless local area network (WLAN) cards, radio transceiver cards such as code division multiple access (CDMA), global system for mobile communications (GSM), long term evolution (LTE), worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX), and/or other air interface protocol radio transceiver cards, and other well-known network devices. Computing device 1900 may also have input device(s) 1914 such as a keyboards, keypads, switches, dials, mice, track balls, touch screens, voice recognizers, card readers, paper tape readers, or other well- known input devices. Output device(s) 1912 such as a printers, video monitors, liquid crystal displays (LCDs), touch screen displays, displays, speakers, etc. may also be included. The additional devices may be connected to the bus in order to facilitate communication of data among the components of the computing device 1900. All these devices are well known in the art and need not be discussed at length here. [00186] The processing unit 1906 may be configured to execute program code encoded in tangible, computer-readable media. Tangible, computer-readable media refers to any media that is capable of providing data that causes the computing device 1900 (i.e., a machine) to operate in a particular fashion. Various computer-readable media may be utilized to provide instructions to the processing unit 1906 for execution. Example tangible, computer-readable media may include, but is not limited to, volatile media, non-volatile media, removable media and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. System memory 1904, removable storage 1908, and non-removable storage 1910 are all examples of tangible, computer storage media. Example tangible, computer-readable recording media include, but are not limited to, an integrated circuit (e.g., field-programmable gate array or application-specific IC), a hard disk, an optical disk, a magneto-optical disk, a floppy disk, a magnetic tape, a holographic storage medium, a solid-state device, RAM, ROM, electrically erasable program read-only memory (EEPROM), flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices.

[00187] It is fundamental to the electrical engineering and software engineering arts that functionality that can be implemented by loading executable software into a computer can be converted to a hardware implementation by well-known design rules. Decisions between implementing a concept in software versus hardware typically hinge on considerations of stability of the design and numbers of units to be produced rather than any issues involved in translating from the software domain to the hardware domain. Generally, a design that is still subject to frequent change may be preferred to be implemented in software, because re-spinning a hardware implementation is more expensive than re-spinning a software design. Generally, a design that is stable that will be produced in large volume may be preferred to be implemented in hardware, for example in an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), because for large production runs the hardware implementation may be less expensive than the software implementation. Often a design may be developed and tested in a software form and later transformed, by well-known design rules, to an equivalent hardware implementation in an application specific integrated circuit that hardwires the instructions of the software. In the same manner as a machine controlled by a new ASIC is a particular machine or apparatus, likewise a computer that has been programmed and/or loaded with executable instructions may be viewed as a particular machine or apparatus.

[00188] In an example implementation, the processing unit 1906 may execute program code stored in the system memory 1904. For example, the bus may carry data to the system memory 1904, from which the processing unit 1906 receives and executes instructions. The data received by the system memory 1904 may optionally be stored on the removable storage 1908 or the non removable storage 1910 before or after execution by the processing unit 1906.

[00189] FIGS. 20-23 illustrates a rapid chilling system 2000 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. As best shown in FIGS. 20-21, the rapid chilling system 2000 includes a body 2001 with a system door 2010 that encloses a plurality of sub-systems for rapidly chilling a food product to a supercooled temperature. A user interface on the system door 2010 of the rapid chilling system 2000 includes a display 2002 and a start button 2008. The display 2002 displays graphical user interface screens providing instructions for supercooling the packaged food product. For example, the display 2002 may display instructions for inserting a packaged food product into the rapid chilling system 2000.

[00190] A product door 2004 with a door handle 2006 is provided on the system door 2010 of the rapid chilling system 2000 to facilitate the consumer inserting a packaged food product at a starting temperature into the rapid chilling system 2000 and removing the packaged food product at the end-state from the rapid chilling system 2000. In some implementations, the starting temperature may be the ambient room temperature outside of the rapid chilling system 2000. In some implementations, the starting temperature may be an intermediate temperature below the ambient room temperature and above the end-state temperature. For example, the packaged food product may be removed from a chilled storage container, such as a cooler or vending machine, which maintains the packaged food product at the intermediate temperature (e.g., 35-50 °F) and inserted into the rapid chilling system 2000.

[00191] The product door 2004 may be manually actuated via a door handle 2006, such as slid vertically or horizontally to open and close the product door 2004. One or more sensors (not shown) may determine whether or not the product door 2004 is open or closed. Additionally, the product door 2004 may include one or more locks (not shown), such as a magnetic lock or solenoid lock, that are actuated to ensure that the product door 2004 is not opened during operation of the rapid chilling system 2000. A workflow on the rapid chilling system 2000 may be conditioned based on the product door sensor indicating that the door is open or closed. For example, in response to detecting that the product door 2004 is open, the display screen 2002 may transition to a screen that shows visual instructions for how to insert a packaged food product into the rapid chilling system 2000 and close the product door 2004. Upon detecting that the product door 2004 is closed, the display screen 2002 may transition to a screen that shows visual instructions to initiate rapid chilling of the packaged food product upon selection of a start button 2008. Other workflows are contemplated. In some implementations, the product door 2004 is automatically actuated by a motor (not shown) based on one or more selections made on the user interface.

[00192] One or more locks, such as a top lock 2012 and a bottom lock 2013 on the body

2001 of the rapid chilling system 2000 secure the system door 2010 to the body 2001. Unlocking the locks 2012, 2013 facilitates opening the system door 2010 for service, repair, or other access to the internal sub-systems of the rapid chilling system 2000. Other configurations of the body 2001 of the rapid chilling system 2000 are contemplated. For example, the display screen 2002 may be a touchscreen display. In such embodiments, the start button 2008 may be eliminated and a virtual start button may be displayed on the display screen 2002 as a selectable start icon.

[00193] FIG. 22-23 illustrates sub-systems of the rapid chilling system 2000 suitable for implementing the several embodiments of the disclosure. The sub-systems of the rapid chilling system 2000 include a product identification sub-system 2014, a product handling sub-system 2016, a rapid chilling sub-system 2018, and a product finishing sub-system 2020.

[00194] The product identification sub-system 2014 includes a product scanner 2022 and a temperature sensor 2024. The product scanner 2022 is configured to scan a product 2026 to identify one or more characteristic components of the product 2026 so as to positively identify the product 2026. In some implementations, the product 2026 may be rotated on a product platform 2028 by a user or by a motor (not shown). In some implementations, the product 2026 may be scanned by the product scanner 2022 upon a user placing the product 2026 in a scanning field 2030 prior to placing the product 2026 on the product platform 2028. Scanning the product 2026 by the scanner 2022 facilitates identifying one or more characteristic components of the product 2026, such as a barcode, label, or other identifying mark.

[00195] Product identification includes identifying a type of food product (e.g., sugar sweetened carbonated beverage, diet carbonated beverage, juice beverage, smoothie, dairy beverage, yogurt product, etc.), type of packaging (e.g., PET carbonated beverage bottle, aluminum can, aluminum bottle, hot-fill PET beverage bottle, aseptic PET beverage bottle, etc.), and size of packaging (e.g., 20 fl. oz. package, 12 fl. oz. package, 8 fl. oz. package, etc.). In some implementations, the type of food product may include one or more characteristics of the product 2026 such as a heat transfer coefficient for the product 2026. Product identification may include identification of other features of the product 2026, such as a brand of the product 2026, packaging graphics of the product 2026, an advertising campaign associated with graphics on the product 2026, or any other characteristic features of the product 2026.

[00196] In some examples, the scanner 2022 may be a barcode scanner configured to read a barcode on the packaging of the product 2026. As shown in FIG. 22, the scanner 2022 is positioned in the body 2001 of the rapid chilling system 2000 and configured to emit an electromagnetic field in a scanning area 2030 within a product stage 2032. [00197] In another example, the scanner 2022 may be one or more cameras configured to capture one or more images of the product 2026 in the scanning area 2030 within the product stage 2032. The captured image(s) may be compared against one or more baseline product image or otherwise processed to identify the product 2026. In some implementations, the scanner 2022 may include the optical recognition system described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. No. 2017/0024950 to Roekens et al., entitled“Merchandiser with Product Dispensing Chute Mechanism,” hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Other product identification mechanisms are contemplated, such as an RFID reader or other wireless tag reader.

[00198] The temperature sensor 2024 is positioned about a bottom surface of the product stage 2032 and configured to measure a temperature of the product 2026 on the product platform 2028. The temperature sensor 2024 may be a contactless temperature sensor configured to sense a temperature of the product 2026. For example, the temperature sensor 2024 may be an infrared temperature sensor arranged to sense infrared radiation emitted by the product 2026 along a temperature sensing area 2034. In another example, an ultrasound sensor may be used to sense a temperature of the packaged food product. Other contact-based or contactless temperature sensors may be used.

[00199] The product 2026 may have a variety of shapes and sizes and have product labels at different locations. The product label may insulate or otherwise impact a temperature reading for the 2026 by the temperature sensor 2024. However, the base of the product 2026 typically have less variety or variability and are typically not covered by a label. Accordingly, the temperature sensor 2024 is arranged to sense an initial temperature of the product 2026 along the temperature sensing area 2034 at a location corresponding to a base of the product 2026 when placed on the product platform 2028. Measuring the temperature at the base of the product 2026 allows for accurately sensing a temperature of a greater variety of package types by not needing to take into account different package sizes, shapes, and product label positions. [00200] The product stage 2032 is positioned in the body 2001 of the rapid chilling system 2000 and encloses an area accessible by a user upon opening the product door 2004. The product stage 2032 is divided in half and composed of a first portion of the product stage 2036 and a second portion of the product stage 2038. The first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 are configured to rotate about respective axes perpendicular to the product platform 2028 between a first position and a second position. In the first position, the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 are positioned as shown in FIGS. 22-23 enclosing the product platform 2028. In the first position, the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 prevent a user from gaining access to other interior portions of the rapid chilling system 2000 other than the product stage 2032. In the second position, the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 are spaced away from the product platform 2028 towards the sides of the body 2001. In the second position, the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 are moved away from moving components of the rapid chilling system 2000 in use so as to not interfere with their operation.

[00201] The first portion of the product stage 2036 is biased to the first position by a torsion spring 2040 affixed to a frame of the rapid chilling system 2000. Likewise, the second portion of the product stage 2038 is biased to the first position by a torsion spring 2042 affixed to a frame of the rapid chilling system 2000. The first portion of the product stage 2036 comprises a cam 2044 and the second portion of the product stage 2038 comprises a cam 2046.

[00202] The product handling sub-system 2016 comprises a frame 2048 coupled to a linear actuator assembly 2050. The linear actuator assembly 2050 includes a drive motor 2052 and a slide 2054. The drive motor 2052 is coupled to the frame 2048 to move the frame 2048 along the slide 2054. The linear actuator assembly 2050 is mounted within the body 2001 in a vertical direction such that the slide 2054 is positioned between a lifting pin mount 2056 and the rapid chilling sub-system 2018. The lifting pin mount 2056 is positioned on a frame on a top surface of the body 2001 in a stationary location above the linear actuator assembly 2050. In operation, the drive motor 2052 moves the frame 2048 in a vertical direction up towards the lifting pin mount 2056 and down towards the rapid chilling sub-system 2018.

[00203] A first cam follower 2058 is affixed to the frame 2048 at a location aligned with the cam 2044 on the first portion of the product stage 2036. A second cam follower 2060 is affixed to the frame 2048 at a second location aligned with the cam 2046 on the second portion of the product stage 2038. Upon the drive motor 2052 moving the frame 2048 in a vertical direction down towards the rapid chilling sub-system 2018, such as upon commencing a rapid chilling operation to supercool the product 2026, the first and second cam followers 2058, 2060 follow the cams 2044, 2046 on the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 and counteract the force applied by the torsion springs 2040, 2042 to rotate the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 to the second position.

[00204] The product handling sub-system 2016 also comprises a product rotation motor 2062 coupled to the frame 2048. The product rotation motor 2062 is configured to apply torque to a pully 2064 coupled to a spindle 2066. A shaft 2068 is coupled to and extends through the spindle 2066. The shaft 2068 and the spindle 2066 are coupled together to prevent rotation therebetween in an axial direction while allowing the shaft 2068 to move in a vertical direction relative to the spindle 2066. Accordingly, rotation of the product rotation motor 2062 causes rotation of the shaft 2068. At a lower end of the shaft 2068, towards the rapid chilling sub-system 2018, is a gripper mechanism 2070 similar to the gripper mechanism 722 described above. At an upper end of the shaft 2068, above the product rotation motor 2062 towards the lifting pin mount 2056, is a lifting pin (not shown) similar to the lifting pin 724 described above.

[00205] A gripper shell 2072 is rigidly affixed to the frame 2048 and extends in a vertical direction towards the rapid chilling sub-system 2018. The product platform 2028 is rotatably affixed to a base of the gripper shell 2072, similar to the rotatable product base 738 described above. Within the spindle 2066, a spring (not shown) is compressed against a spring plate (not shown) that is affixed to the shaft 2068 so as to bias the gripper mechanism 2070 on the lower end of the shaft 2068 towards a maximum extension position away from the product rotation motor 2062. As the shaft 2068 is moved vertically within the spindle 2066, the spring plate compresses the spring.

[00206] The package handling sub-system 2016 operates substantially the same as the package handling sub-system 700, described above in detail with reference to FIGS. 8A-8C.

[00207] The rapid chilling sub-system 2018 comprises an insulated cooling fluid dewar

2074 adapted to store a cooling fluid therein. The cooling fluid dewar 2074 comprises an opening on a top surface thereof sized for receiving the gripper shell 2072 as the package handling sub- system 2016 lowers the frame 2048 toward the rapid chilling sub-system 2018. For example, the cooling fluid may be propylene glycol, glycerin, or other food grade heat transfer fluids. The cooling fluid may be maintained at a target cooling temperature by an evaporator coil (not shown) contained within the cooling fluid dewar 2074. In some implementations, the cooling temperature is -30° C. Other cooling temperatures may be used. The evaporator coil is part of a refrigeration system 2076 comprising a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and the evaporator coil. The cooling fluid dewar 2074 and the refrigeration system 2076 are configured as a cassette unit and installed within the body 2001 on a sled 2078 to facilitate removal from the body 2001 for maintenance or replacement of the cassette or components thereof.

[00208] An agitator (not shown) is installed on a bottom surface of the cooling fluid dewar

2074 for circulation of the cooling fluid therein so as to maintain a consistent cooling fluid temperature. The agitator may be rotating paddle, screw, or other fluid agitation mechanism. An agitation motor 2080 is coupled to the agitator and configured to operate the agitator. In some implementations, the agitation motor 2080 is coupled to an agitation pully (not shown) on a bottom exterior surface of the cooling fluid dewar 2074. The agitation pully is in turn coupled to one or more magnets such that rotation of the agitation motor 2080 causes rotation of the agitation pully which in turn causes rotation of the one or more magnets. The agitator is magnetically coupled to the one or more magnets and configured to rotate therewith inside the cooling fluid dewar 2074. [00209] A fluid level assembly provides a fluid path from an interior of the cooling fluid dewar 2074 to a fluid level tube 2082. The fluid level tube 2082 fills with the cooling fluid to a same level as the level of cooling fluid within the cooling fluid dewar 2074. A fluid level sensor 2084, such as an ultrasound distance sensor or other distance sensor, is mounted to a top of the fluid level tube 2082 and measures a distance to the fluid level in the fluid level tube 2082. A level of cooling fluid within the cooling fluid dewar 2074 is determined based on the measured distance.

[00210] The product finishing sub-system 2020 cleans cooling fluid from the product 2026 and optionally initiates nucleation of ice crystals within a supercooled product 2026. A cleaning cavity 2086 is positioned between the cooling fluid dewar 2074 and the product stage 2032. The cleaning cavity 2086 encloses an area configured to receive the gripper shell 2072 or a portion thereof as the frame 2048 is raised from the cooling fluid dewar 2074 to the product stage 2032. The cleaning cavity 2086 comprises an air inlet 2088a and an air inlet 2088b positioned along the path of travel of the gripper shell 2072 within the cleaning cavity 2086. A blower 2090a is configured to blow air through the air inlet 2088a. Likewise, a blower 2090b is configured to blow air through the air inlet 2088b. In some implementations, the air inlets 2088a, 2088b are configured to form an air blade with the blown air from the blowers 2090a, 2090b.

[00211] In operation, upon reaching a target temperature for the product 2026, the drive motor 2052 lifts the frame 2048 away from the cooling fluid dewar 2074. As the gripper shell 2072 passes through the cleaning cavity the blowers 2090a, 2090b are turned on to blow cooling fluid off of the product 2026. At the same time, the product rotation motor 2062 rotates the product 2026 on the product platform 2028 to expose all surfaces of the product to the force of the air provided through the air inlets 2088a, 2088b. The cleaning operation continues until the product platform 2028 is raised above at least one of the air inlets 2088a, 2088b. In some implementations, the cleaning operation continues until the product platform 2028 is raised above both of the air inlets 2088a, 2088b. Cooling fluid removed from the product 2026 falls by gravity back into the cooling fluid dewar 2074. [00212] While a majority of the cooling fluid is removed from the product 2026 by the blowers 2090a, 2090b, occasional drops may still be present on the product 2026 as it is raised from the cleaning cavity 2086 into an area of the product stage 2032. Occasionally, one or more of these remaining drops may be removed from the product 2026 by continued operation of the product rotation motor 2062. However, the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 are positioned in the second position during the cleaning operation. A first cooling fluid funnel 2099a is positioned below the first portion of the product stage 2036 in the second position. A second cooling fluid funnel 2099b is positioned below the second portion of the product stage 2038 in the second position. The funnels 2099a, 2099b are in fluid communication with the cleaning cavity 2086 or cooling fluid dewar 2074. Accordingly, incidental drops of cooling fluid removed from the product 2026 may be collected into the funnels 2099a, 2099b and returned to the cooling fluid dewar 2074 by gravity.

[00213] Following the cleaning operation, nucleation of ice crystals within a supercooled product 2026 is initiated. For example, nucleation of ice crystals is initiated through cold contact from a stream of C0 2 from a C0 2 source 2092. In some implementations, the nucleation of ice crystals is initiated as described in U.S. App. No. 62/727,867, filed on September 6, 2018, titled “Supercooled Beverage Nucleation and Ice Crystal Formation Using a High-Pressure Gas,” hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[00214] The C0 2 source 2092 may comprise a plurality of C0 2 bottles connected to a C0 2 manifold 2094. The C0 2 manifold 2094 has an outlet in fluid communication with a nozzle 2098 via a shut-off valve 2096. Upon completion of the cleaning operation, the drive motor 2052 lowers the frame 2048 towards the cooling fluid dewar 2074 to position the product 2026 in a path of the nozzle 2098. For example, the frame 2048 may be lowered until the product platform 2028 is located a predetermined distance below the nozzle 2098. At this location, a base of the product

2026 is in a path of the nozzle 2098. The shut-off valve 2096 is opened for a predetermined period of time associated with the product 2026 to thereby expose the product 2026 to a stream of cold C0 2. In some implementations, the C0 2 may be in a liquid phase, a gas phase, or a combination of both upon contact with the product 2026.

[00215] Other components for initiating nucleation of ice crystals in the product 2026 may be used. For example, the product 2026 may be subjected to an impact, an ultrasonic agitation, or other nucleation initiating events. Upon initiating nucleation of ice crystals in the product 2026, the product rotation motor 2062 may rotate the product 2026 on the product platform 2028 to propagate nucleation of ice crystals throughout the product 2026.

[00216] FIG. 24 illustrates a state diagram 2400 of a controller (not shown) of the rapid chilling system 2000. The controller of the rapid chilling system 2000 may be implemented as a computing device, such as computing device 1900 described above. The state diagram 2400 is initialized at 2402, such as upon receiving power to the rapid chilling system 2000. The state diagram 2400 comprises a set of or normal operation states 2404 and a set of abnormal operation states 2406. The controller may enter one of the abnormal operation states 2406 upon detecting an abnormal operating condition corresponding to the one of the abnormal operation states 2406.

[00217] An off duty state 2408 is entered upon a determination that a current time is outside of an availability time range. In some implementations, the off duty state 2408 is entered from only an idle state 2416 of the normal operation states 2404. For example, an availability range for the rapid chilling system 2000 may correspond to operating hours of an outlet in which the rapid chilling system 2000 is placed. Other time ranges may be used, such as only during a lunch or dinner rush. In the off duty state 2408, the rapid chilling system 2000 may reduce an amount of power used by the rapid chilling system 2000. For example, the refrigeration system 2076 may be disabled during the off duty state 2408 even when the cooling fluid is no longer at the target cooling temperature. When in the off duty state 2408, upon entering the availability time range for the rapid chilling system 2000, the controller transitions back to the idle state 2416.

[00218] A suspend state 2410 is entered upon a determination that one or more process parameters are outside of a nominal range. For example, upon the temperature of the cooling fluid exceeding the target cooling temperature by more than a threshold temperature difference, the controller may enter the suspend state 2410. In another example, upon a determination that the frame 2048 or the shaft 2068 are not at an idle or home location, the controller may enter the suspend state 2410. In some implementations, the suspend state 2408 is entered from only an idle state 2416 of the normal operation states 2404.

[00219] When in the suspend state 2404, upon all process parameters returning to the nominal range, the controller transitions back to the idle state 2416. For example, upon the refrigeration system 2076 pulling the cooling fluid temperature back to within the threshold temperature difference of the target cooling temperature, the controller may transition back to the idle state 2416. Likewise, upon performing a homing operation to locate the frame 2048 or the shaft 2068 back to the idle or home location, the controller may transition back to the idle state 2416.

[00220] An error state 2412 is entered upon a determination of the existence of any error codes. The error state may be entered from any of the normal operation states 2404 at any time. Error codes may be generated upon failure of any of the sub-systems or components thereof or otherwise upon a determination of an unsafe operating condition of the rapid chilling system 2000.

[00221] The controller is only able to transition back to the idle state 2416 from the error state 2412 by a technician or crew member resetting the rapid chilling system 2000 via a resetting state 2414. The resetting state 2414 may only be accessed in a service or test mode of operation of the rapid chilling system. Upon resolving all error codes, the controller is reset in the resetting state 2414 and transitions back to the idle state 2416 upon restarting.

[00222] In the idle state 2416, the controller awaits a user opening the product door 2004 and scanning the product 2026 by the product scanner 2022. Upon a detection of the product door

2004 being closed, the controller transitions from the idle state 2416 to a gripping state 2418. In the gripping state 2418, the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to a grip height to position the gripper mechanism 2070 positively engage the product 2026 for rotation on the product platform 2028. Likewise, the controller operates the product rotation motor 2062 to disengage the lift pin on the shaft 2068 from the lifting pin mount 2056. For example, the controller operates as described above in the package loading procedure in conjunction with FIGS. 8A-8C.

[00223] Upon completion of the gripping state 2418, the spring in the spindle 2066 applies a downward force from the gripper mechanism 2070 onto the product 2026 so as to grip the product 2026 between the gripper mechanism 2070 and the rotatable product platform 2028. In this configuration, rotation of the product rotation motor 2062 causes rotation of the product 2026 on the product platform 2028.

[00224] Upon receiving selection of the start button 2008, the controller transitions to the chilling state 2420. In the chilling state 2420, the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to lower the frame 2048 to a chilling height such that the product 2026 is immersed in the cooling fluid in the cooling fluid dewar 2074. The controller determines the chilling height based on the fluid level of the cooling fluid as determined by the fluid level sensor 2084. Additionally, the chilling height is determined based upon a product height of the product 2026. For example, the chilling height may be at a location where a portion of the product 2026 below the gripper mechanism 2070 is immersed in the cooling fluid, but a bottom of the gripper mechanism 2070 is not touching or immersed in the cooling fluid. By not immersing the gripper mechanism 2070 in the cooling fluid, the gripper mechanism 2070 is subject to less mechanical wear from repeated warming and cooling cycles. Additionally, cooling fluid is prevented from reaching a top of the product 2026, such as a product closure or location in which a consumer’s mouth is likely to contact the product 2026.

[00225] The product height is determined upon identification of the product 2026 by the product scanner 2022. For example, upon identification of the product 2026 by the product scanner 2022, the controller may index, identify, or otherwise look up product characteristics of the product 2026 via one or more database tables. In addition to the product height, the product characteristics may include a heat transfer constant for the product 2026 and a target supercooling temperature for the product 2026. Different types of products may have different target supercooling temperatures.

[00226] Different types products, types of packaging, and/or size of packaging may also have different heat transfer rates and thus different heat transfer constants. In some implementations, the heat transfer constant may scale by a scaling factor for different package sizes of similar type of packaging as long as the package geometry is similar at the different package sizes. Using the scaling factor, the heat transfer coefficient does not need to be separately determined for each packaging type and packaging size. Rather, the heat transfer constant may be determined for a single package size of a given package type and the scaling factor can be used to scale the heat transfer coefficient for different packaging sizes of the same packaging type. In various implementations, the scaling factor is a time constant. In various implementations, the scaling factor is non-linear with respect to the packaging size.

[00227] Upon reaching the chilling height, the controller operates the product rotation motor 2062 to rapidly chill the product 2026 to the target supercooling temperature of the product 2026. Specifically, the controller operates the product rotation motor 2062 in accordance with an associated spin scheme and spin profile associated with the product 2026. As discussed above, the spin scheme defines a direction and pattern in which the product 2026 is rotated clockwise and/or counter clockwise by the product rotation motor 2062, as viewed from above. The spin profile for the product 2026 defines the acceleration, maximum angular velocity, the time period or duration t 2 for maintaining the maximum angular velocity, the dwell time.

[00228] In various implementations, the spin scheme and spin profile for the product 2026 is configurable in a spin settings screen (not shown) accessible by a technician on the display 2002.

The spin setting screen provides options for specifying the spin scheme based on a selection between an indexed spin scheme with rotation in a clockwise direction, an indexed spin scheme with rotation in a counter clockwise direction, and a reciprocating spin scheme for the product

2026. Likewise, the spin setting screen provides options for inputting values for each of the spin profile acceleration, maximum angular velocity, the time period or duration t 2 for maintaining the maximum angular velocity, and the dwell time.

[00229] In various implementations, the spin scheme for the product 2026 may be set rotate the product 2026 in a direction that is the same direction in which a product label is applied to the product 2026 so as to prevent removal of the product label in use. For example, if a label is applied to the product 2026 in a counter clockwise direction, the spin scheme may indicate to rotate the product 2026 in a counter clockwise direction. Accordingly, fluid will flow with a leading edge of the label so as to push the leading edge of the label against the product 2026, as opposed to the fluid flowing against the leading edge of the label and pushing the leading edge of the label away from the product 2026. In this way, the label is prevented from being removed from the product 2026 in use.

[00230] In some implementations, a plurality of spin domains may be defined for the product 2026. Each of the spin domains may comprise a different spin scheme and/or spin profile as well as an assigned percentage of the total time to supercool the product 2026 in which the spin domain is to operate. For example, for a first product, a first spin domain may comprise a first spin scheme and a first spin profile. A second spin domain may comprise a different spin scheme and/or spin profile as the first spin domain. The first spin domain is assigned to operate for a first percentage of the total time to supercool the first product. The second spin domain is assigned to operate for a second percentage of the total time to supercool the first product. In use, the controller operates the product rotation motor 2062 in accordance with the first spin domain for a first period of time equal to the first percentage of the total time to supercool the first product. Afterwards, the controller operates the product rotation motor 2062 in accordance with the second spin domain for a second period of time equal to the second percentage of the total time to supercool the first product. While only two spin domains are described in the above example, any number of spin domains may be used. [00231] In addition to defining the spin scheme and spin profile on the spin setting screen, a product recipe screen (not shown) is accessible by a technician on the display 2002 to define operational parameters of the rapid chilling system 2000 for the identified product 2026. In some implementations, the spin setting screen is accessible via the product recipe screen, such as upon selection of a spin setting screen navigation option (e.g., spin setting screen button). The operation parameters for the product 2026 defined in the product recipe screen are indexed against an identifier of the product 2026 determined by the product scanner 2022 (e.g., a UPC code or other identifier associated with the product 2026). The operational parameters for the product 2026 include physical characteristics of the product 2026, thermodynamic characteristics of the product 2026, and operational settings for the product 2026. Each of the operational parameters for the product 2026 may be provided to the rapid chilling system 2000 via entry of corresponding values on the display 2002.

[00232] The physical characteristics of the product 2026 include a volume of the product 2026 (e.g., a 12 oz container), whether the product 2026 is carbonated or noncarbonated, and a height of the product 2026. In some implementations, the height of the product 2026 is defined as a height that the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to lower the frame 2048 to position the product 2026 at the grip height and the chilling height. In other words, the grip height and the chilling height are input parameters whose values are set via the product recipe screen. Thermodynamic characteristics of the product 2026 include the heat transfer constant of the product 2026, the scaling factor for the product 2026 as well as the target supercooling temperature for the product 2026.

[00233] Operational characteristics of the product 2026 include a gripping speed that defines how fast the drive motor 2052 is driven during the gripping operation and settings for finishing operations following cooling the product 2026 to the target supercooling temperature, described in more detail below. [00234] In some implementations, the total time that the product 2026 is manipulated in the chilling fluid is a calculated value. For example, the controller is configured to calculate the total time based on a temperature of the cooling fluid, the initial temperature of the product 2026 sensed by the temperature sensor 2024, the heat transfer constant (and optionally the scaling factor) of the product 2026, and the target supercooling temperature for the product 2026. The controller may additionally base the calculation of the total time on the spin scheme and/or spin profile set for the product 2026. For example, different spin schemes and/or spin profiles may effect different heat transfer rates for the product 2026 and accordingly impact the calculation of the total time.

[00235] In operation, upon completion of the total time, the controller transitions from the chilling state 2420 to a drying state 2422. In the drying state 2422, the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to raise the frame 2048 to a drying start position. In the drying start position, the product 2026 is removed from the chilling fluid. In other words, the product platform 2028 is higher than the fluid level of the chilling fluid. Upon reaching the drying start position, the controller operates the blowers 2090a, 2090b to turn on and the product rotation motor 2062 to spin in a drying direction (e.g., clockwise or counterclockwise) at a drying RPM. The drying RPM may be at or less than a maximum RPM for the predetermined spin profile for the product 2026. The product rotation motor 2062 accelerates to the drying RPM at a drying acceleration. At the same time, the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to raise the frame 2048 to a drying stop position. The drive motor 2052 may be driven at a drying speed. In some implementations, the drying speed of the drive motor 2052 is lower than the gripping speed of the drive motor 2052. In the drying stop position, the product platform 2028 is raised above at least one of the air inlets 2088a, 2088b. In some implementations, the drying stop position is at a height such that the product platform 2028 is raised above both of the air inlets 2088a, 2088b. The drying direction, drying RPM, drying acceleration, and drying speed are defined as operational parameters of the rapid chilling system 2000 for the product 2026 in the product recipe screen. [00236] Upon the frame 2048 reaching the drying stop position, the controller operates the motors 2052, 2062 and blowers 2090a, 2090b to stop and the controller transitions to the nucleating state 2424. In some implementations, the nucleating state 2424 may be skipped for some products. In the nucleating state 2424, the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to lower the frame 2048 to a nucleating position. At the nucleating position, the product platform 2028 is located a predetermined distance below the nozzle 2098 such that a base of the product 2026 is in a path of the nozzle 2098. The controller operates the shut-off valve 2096 to be opened for a nucleation period of time associated with the product 2026 to thereby expose the product 2026 to a stream of cold C0 2 and initiate nucleation of ice in the product 2026. Whether the nucleation 2024 is performed (e.g., selection of enabled nucleation or skipped nucleation), the nucleating position, and the nucleation period of time are defined as operational parameters of the rapid chilling system 2000 for the product 2026 in the product recipe screen.

[00237] Upon completion of the nucleation period, the controller operates the shut-off valve 2096 to close and the controller transitions to the finishing state 2426. In the finishing state 2426, the controller may operate the product rotation motor 2062 to spin for a predetermined finishing time or amount to propagate nucleation of ice across the product 2026. For example, the controller may operate the product rotation motor 2062 to spin for a finishing amount (e.g., degrees of rotation or amount of time), up to a maximum finishing speed, accelerating at a finishing acceleration. The controller the controller operates the drive motor 2052 to raise the frame 2048 to disengage the gripper mechanism 2070 from the product 2026 and return the frame 2048 to a starting height where the first and second portions of the product stage 2036, 2038 enclose the product platform 2028. The controller may operate a lock on the product door 2004 to unlock so that a user can open the product door 2004 and remove the product 2026 from the product platform 2028. Upon the controller detecting that the product door 2004 has been opened, the controller transitions back to the idle state 2416. The finishing amount, maximum finishing speed, and the finishing acceleration are defined as operational parameters of the rapid chilling system 2000 for the product 2026 in the product recipe screen.

[00238] FIG. 25 illustrates a state diagram 2500 of the user interface of the rapid chilling system 2000. The user interface may be implemented as part of the controller described in conjunction with FIG. 24 or as a separate user interface controller of the rapid chilling system 2000 that may be implemented as a computing device, such as computing device 1900 described above. The state diagram 2500 of the user interface starts at 2502 upon the rapid chilling system 2000 being powered on. At 2504, the user interface displays a preparing screen on the display 2002 while the rapid chilling system is in the suspended state 2410. For example, the preparing screen may indicate that the refrigeration system 2076 is operating to cool the cooling fluid temperature back to within the threshold temperature difference of the target cooling temperature. Upon the rapid chilling system 2000 transitioning to the idle state 2416, the user interface displays a first idle screen on the display 2002, at 2506. The first idle screen instructs a user to push the start button 2008 or touch the display 2002 to start a user session. After a first predetermined idle time, the user interface displays a second idle screen on the display 2002, at 2508. The second idle screen instructs a user on how to use the rapid chilling system 2000. For example, the second idle screen may instruct a user to scan and insert a product, close the product door 2004, and push the start button 2008. After a second predetermined idle time, the user interface loops back to display the first idle screen on the display 2002 in an idle loop.

[00239] At 2510, the user interface determines whether the start button 2008 has been pressed, the display 2002 has been touched, or a product has been scanned by the product scanner 2022. If not, the user interface loops back to the idle loop described above. Otherwise, at 2512, the user interface displays the second idle screen on the display 2002. If the product has not been scanned, the user interface waits until the product has been scanned. If the product is not scanned within a scanning time period, the user interface times out and loops back to the idle loop again. [00240] Otherwise, upon the product being scanned, the user interface determines at 2514 whether the scan is a valid scan. For example, the user interface determines whether the scanned product is a valid pre-registered product to be used with the rapid chilling system 2000. If not, at 2516, the user interface displays an invalid product screen on the display 2002. Upon a timeout period or upon detecting that the product door 2004 has been opened, the user interface loops back to displaying the second idle screen at 2512 and awaiting a scan of a valid product. Otherwise, upon determining that the scanned product is valid, the user interface determines whether the product door 2004 is closed. If not, the user interface waits for a timeout period before looping back to displaying the second idle screen at 2512. Upon determining that the product door 2004 is closed, the user interface displays a push-to-start screen on the display 2002, at 2520. Also, the rapid chilling system 2000 transitions to the gripping state 2418.

[00241] At 2522, the user interface determines whether the scanned product is located in the gripper. For example, the user interface may detect an invalid operating voltage or current in either of the drive motor 2052 or the product rotation motor 2062 during the gripping state 2418. The invalid operating voltage or current in the motors 2052, 2062 may be caused by one of the motors attempting to drive the motor in a direction of a rigid frame member of the body 2001.

[00242] For example, if the product inserted onto the product platform 2028 is shorter than the scanned product, then the frame 2048 will not be driven to a low enough position for the gripper mechanism 2070 to fully engage with the product and lift the lifting pin on the shaft 2068 off of the lifting pin mount 2056, as described in the loading procedure in conjunction with FIGS. 8A-8C. In this case, upon engaging the product rotation motor 2062 to rotate the lifting pin on the shaft 2068 by 90°, the lifting pin will be driven into the lifting pin mount 2056, thereby causing the product rotation motor 2062 to stall or otherwise have an invalid operating voltage or current. In another example, if the product inserted onto the product platform 2028 is taller than the scanned product, then the frame 2048 will attempted be driven to a height at which the lifting pin or shaft 2068 abut with a frame or other rigid member along a top of the body 2001, thereby causing the drive motor 2052 to stall or otherwise have an invalid operating voltage or current.

[00243] In some implementations, the user interface determines whether the scanned product is located in the gripper by scanning the product again with the product scanner 2022 while rotating the product on the product platform 2028 with the product rotation motor 2062.

[00244] At 2524, upon determining that an invalid product is in the gripper, the user interface displays an invalid product screen on the display 2002. After a timeout period, at 2526, the user interface displays an open door screen instructing a user to open the product door 2004 and remove or scan the invalid product. Upon detecting that the product door 2004 has been opened, the user interface loops back to displaying the idle screen at 2512.

[00245] At 2528, the user interface determines whether the start button 2008 has been pressed. If not, after a timeout period, the user interface displays the door open screen at 2526, as described above. Otherwise, upon determining that the start button 2008 has been pressed, the user interface proceeds at 2530 to display the starting rapid chilling screen on the display 2002. Additionally, upon determining that the start button 2008 has been pressed, the rapid chilling system 2000 transitions to the chilling state 2420. On the starting rapid chilling screen, the user interface may display the calculated total time for supercooling the product 2026. In some implementations, the displayed time is equal to the total time plus a predetermined finishing time for product drying and nucleation.

[00246] At 2532, the user interface may display one or more chilling operation images or videos until the total time for supercooling the product 2026. Upon completion of the total time for supercooling the product 2026, at 2534, the user interface displays a finishing up screen on the display 2002. The finishing up screen may indicate a total amount of remaining time while the rapid chilling system 2000 proceeds through the drying, nucleating, and finishing states 2422,

2424,2426. [00247] Upon completion of the finishing state 2426, the user interface displays a product completion screen at 2536 or 2538 depending on a type of product. For example, the completion screen 2536 may be displayed for sparkling beverage products whereas the completion screen 2538 may be displayed for other products. The product completion screens 2536, 2538 instruct a user to open the product door 2004 and remove the product from the rapid chilling machine 2000. Upon the product door being opened 2004, the user interface loops back to the idle product screen at 2512.

[00248] It should be understood that the various techniques described herein may be implemented in connection with hardware or software or, where appropriate, with a combination thereof. Thus, the methods and apparatuses of the presently disclosed subject matter, or certain aspects or portions thereof, may take the form of program code (i.e., instructions) embodied in tangible media, such as floppy diskettes, CD-ROMs, hard drives, or any other machine-readable storage medium wherein, when the program code is loaded into and executed by a machine, such as a computing device, the machine becomes an apparatus for practicing the presently disclosed subject matter. In the case of program code execution on programmable computers, the computing device generally includes a processor, a storage medium readable by the processor (including volatile and non-volatile memory and/or storage elements), at least one input device, and at least one output device. One or more programs may implement or utilize the processes described in connection with the presently disclosed subject matter, e.g., through the use of an application programming interface (API), reusable controls, or the like. Such programs may be implemented in a high level procedural or object-oriented programming language to communicate with a computer system. However, the program(s) can be implemented in assembly or machine language, if desired. In any case, the language may be a compiled or interpreted language and it may be combined with hardware implementations.

[00249] Embodiments of the methods and systems may be described herein with reference to block diagrams and flowchart illustrations of methods, systems, apparatuses and computer program products. It will be understood that each block of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, respectively, can be implemented by computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be loaded onto a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable data processing apparatus create a means for implementing the functions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.

[00250] These computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer-readable memory that can direct a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable memory produce an article of manufacture including computer-readable instructions for implementing the function specified in the flowchart block or blocks. The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer- implemented process such that the instructions that execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide steps for implementing the functions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.

[00251] Accordingly, blocks of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations support combinations of means for performing the specified functions, combinations of steps for performing the specified functions and program instruction means for performing the specified functions. It will also be understood that each block of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, can be implemented by special purpose hardware-based computer systems that perform the specified functions or steps, or combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions.

[00252] While several embodiments have been provided in the present disclosure, it should be understood that the disclosed systems and methods may be embodied in many other specific forms without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure. The present examples are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and the intention is not to be limited to the details given herein. For example, the various elements or components may be combined or integrated in another system or certain features may be omitted or not implemented.

[00253] Also, techniques, systems, subsystems, and methods described and illustrated in the various embodiments as discrete or separate may be combined or integrated with other systems, modules, techniques, or methods without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Other items shown or discussed as directly coupled or communicating with each other may be indirectly coupled or communicating through some interface, device, or intermediate component, whether electrically, mechanically, or otherwise. Other examples of changes, substitutions, and alterations are ascertainable by one skilled in the art and could be made without departing from the spirit and scope disclosed herein.