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Title:
TOPPING APPLICATOR WITH REMOVABLE PAN TEMPLATE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/048518
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A topping applicator for distributing a topping onto baked goods includes a hopper, a motor, a cam assembly, a mandrel and an agitator that are both connected to the cam assembly, which operates to rotate the mandrel and agitator. The topping applicator also includes a pan template and a template clamp, and the template clamp is attached to the hopper and configured to selectively engage and release the pan template to dispense the topping onto the baked goods.

Inventors:
PACK, Jerry (1611 Lake Road, Purcell, OK, 73080, US)
RONE, Robert (321 Crestwood, Lindsay, OK, 73052, US)
Application Number:
US2014/057818
Publication Date:
April 02, 2015
Filing Date:
September 26, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BURFORD CORP. (P.O. Box 714, Maysville, OK, 73057, US)
International Classes:
A21C9/04
Foreign References:
US8347808B22013-01-08
US7757836B22010-07-20
US6733809B22004-05-11
US5707448A1998-01-13
US5186098A1993-02-16
US4197794A1980-04-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SULLIVAN, David, M. (Crowe & Dunlevy, Braniff Building324 North Robinson Avenue, Suite 10, Oklahoma City OK, 73102, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
It is claimed:

1. A topping applicator for distributing a topping onto baked goods, the topping applicator comprising:

a hopper;

a motor;

a cam assembly connected to the motor;

a mandrel connected to the cam assembly;

an agitator connected to the cam assembly;

a pan template; and

at least one template clamp attached to the hopper and configured to selectively engage and release the pan template to dispense the topping.

2. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the topping applicator further comprises:

a sensor;

a plurality of spray nozzles; and

a liquid feed system;

wherein the sensor detects the presence of a pan approaching the topping applicator and the plurality of spray nozzles spray a desired substance onto the baking goods or baking pans from the liquid feed system.

3. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the pan template further comprises:

a handle;

a plurality of topping gates;

a mandrel recess; and

wherein the pan template is positioned adjacent to the mandrel and wherein the mandrel is located close to the mandrel recess and wherein rotation of the mandrel causes the topping to be carried from the hopper through the mandrel recess, to the plurality of topping gates and through the plurality of topping gates to be distributed onto the baked goods.

4. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the hopper includes a door, wherein the door may be opened to allow for the topping to be poured into the hopper.

5. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the motor comprises a gear motor that turns the cam assembly in timed counter-clockwise rotations.

6. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the hopper is tapered to a narrow lower portion, wherein the narrow lower portion comprises an opening, wherein the opening is blocked by the mandrel.

7. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the mandrel comprises a fluted exterior surface, wherein the fluted exterior surface comprises a pattern of projections.

8. The topping applicator of claim 7, wherein the pattern of projections are sized and spaced to correspond to the dimension of the topping to be applied by the topping applicator.

9. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the agitator comprises a comb with a series of spaced-apart teeth, wherein the agitator ensures that the topping is evenly distributed through the hopper and falls in contact with the mandrel.

10. The topping applicator of claim 1, wherein the at least one template clamp is attached to a rear portion of the hopper and configured to selectively engage and release the pan template.

11. The topping applicator of claim 10, wherein the at least one template clamp may be opened to permit the pan template to be exchanged with an alternative pan template.

Description:
TOPPING APPLICATOR WITH REMOVABLE PAN TEMPLATE

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[001] The present application claims the benefit of United States Patent Application Serial No. 61/883,629 entitled TOPPING APPLICATOR WITH REMOVABLE PAN TEMPLATE, filed September 27, 2013, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by this reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[002] The present invention generally relates to equipment used in the baking industry and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to equipment configured to distribute toppings onto baked goods.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[003] For many years, commercial bakeries have utilized assembly- line production to prepare and bake products. In many cases, baked goods are prepared by placing pans onto the assembly line, loading dough into the pans and moving the pans and dough through preparation, cooking and packaging processes. For some products, it is desirable to apply toppings or coatings to the dough before or after it is cooked. Toppings may include, for example, seeds, flour, oils and butter.

[004] Solid toppings are typically applied with a spreader device that deposits the topping onto the bakery products from a hopper. Prior art spreader devices were typically configured to place toppings in rows that correspond to the rows in a baking pan. Although generally suitable for a single pan size and configuration, prior art spreader devices are not well-suited for use on a variety of baking pans. Because the baking industry has not adopted uniform pan sizes and configurations, there exists a need for a topping applicator that can be quickly and easily adjusted to distribute toppings onto a variety of baking pans. It is to this and other deficiencies in the prior art that the preferred embodiments are directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[005] In preferred embodiments the present invention includes a topping applicator for distributing a topping onto baked goods. The topping applicator includes a hopper, a motor, a cam assembly, a mandrel and an agitator that are both connected to the cam assembly, which operates to rotate the mandrel and agitator. The topping applicator also includes a pan template and a template clamp, where the template clamp is attached to the hopper and configured to selectively engage and release the pan template to dispense the topping onto the baked goods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[006] FIG. 1 presents a front perspective view of a topping applicator constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment.

[007] FIG. 2 presents a rear perspective view of the topping applicator of FIG. 1.

[008] FIG. 3 presents a front perspective view of the internal components of the topping applicator of FIG. 1. [009] FIG. 4 presents a rear perspective view of the internal components of the topping applicator of FIG. 1.

[010] FIG. 5 presents a right side perspective view of the internal components of the topping applicator of FIG. 1.

[011] FIG. 6 presents a left side perspective view of the internal components of the topping applicator of FIG. 1.

[012] FIG. 7 presents a perspective view of a mandrel from the topping applicator of

FIG. 1.

[013] FIG. 8 presents a front perspective view of a pan template from the topping applicator of FIG. 1.

[014] FIG. 9 presents a rear perspective view of the pan template of FIG. 8

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[015] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, shown therein are front perspective and rear perspective views, respectively, of a topping applicator 100. The topping applicator 100 is generally configured to be placed into position over a conveyor assembly (not shown) that transfers baking trays or pans under the topping applicator 100. It will be appreciated that the topping applicator 100 is designed for use in connection with other baking and processing equipment. In preferred embodiments, the topping applicator 100 is designed to apply a topping to dough or baked goods loaded in pans. As the pans pass under the topping applicator 100, the topping is dispensed onto the goods. [016] In particularly preferred embodiments, a sensor is used to detect the presence of a pan approaching the topping applicator 100 so that the operation of the topping applicator 100 can be appropriately timed to deposit toppings on the bakery goods without significant waste. In certain applications, it may be desirable to spray oil or water onto the bakery goods before the toppings are applied by the topping applicator 100. In alternate embodiments, the topping applicator 100 is provided with spray nozzles and a liquid feed system for coating the bakery goods before the toppings are applied.

[017] The topping applicator 100 includes a hopper 102 that includes a hinged door 104. Opening the door 104 reveals the inside of the hopper 102. Toppings can be loaded into the topping applicator 100 by opening the door 104 and pouring toppings into the hopper 102.

[018] Referring now also to FIGS. 3-7, the topping applicator 100 also includes a motor 106, a cam assembly 108, a mandrel 110 and an agitator 112. As best shown in FIG. 7, the mandrel 110 is configured as an elongated tube that extends across substantially the entire width of the hopper 102. In a preferred embodiment, the hopper 102 is tapered to a narrower lower portion that includes an opening 116. The hopper opening 116 is blocked by the mandrel 110.

[019] The mandrel 110 includes a fluted exterior surface that includes a pattern of projections 114. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the size and spacing of the projections 114 corresponds to the dimension of the topping to be applied by the topping applicator 100. For example, for use with sesame seeds, the mandrel 110 preferably includes projections 114 that are sized and spaced to fit a single seed between the adjacent projections 114. In particularly preferred embodiments, the mandrel 110 can be easily exchanged with other mandrels having differently sized and spaced projections 114 to accommodate different toppings.

[020] The agitator 112 is preferably configured as a comb that includes a series of spaced-apart teeth. The agitator 112 is connected to the cam assembly 108. The agitator 112 ensures that the topping is evenly distributed through the hopper 102 and falls into contact with the mandrel 110.

[021] The mandrel 110 and agitator 112 are each connected to the cam assembly 108, which turns the mandrel 110 and agitator 112. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the motor 106 is configured as a gearmotor that turns the cam assembly 108 in timed, counter-clockwise rotations.

[022] The topping applicator 110 also includes a pan template 118 and template clamps 120. As best shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the pan template 118 includes mounting bores 122, a handle 124, topping gates 126 and a mandrel recess 128. The pan template 118 is held adjacent the mandrel 110 and hopper opening 116 such that the mandrel 110 resides in close proximity to the mandrel recess 128. Toppings are carried from the hopper 102 by the mandrel 110 through the mandrel recess 128 to the topping gates 126. In this way, toppings are only selectively dispensed from the hopper 102 through the topping gates 126 by rotating the mandrel 110. The topping gates 126 are preferably sized and spaced to match the rows of product contained within the baking pans. The pan template 118 prevents toppings from being distributed from the hopper 102 onto portions of the pan that do not include bakery products.

[023] The template clamps 120 are attached to the rear portion of the hopper 102 and are configured to selectively engage and release the pan template 118. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the template clamps 120 can be easily opened by an operator to permit an exchange of the pan template 118. The ability to quickly and easily exchange pan templates 118 represents a significant improvement over prior art topping applicators that included fixed topping openings.

[024] It is clear that the present invention is well adapted to carry out its objectives and attain the ends and advantages mentioned above as well as those inherent therein. While presently preferred embodiments of the invention have been described in varying detail for purposes of disclosure, it will be understood that numerous changes may be made which will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention disclosed herein.