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Title:
FOODSTUFF FEEDING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/055850
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is a need for an apparatus that can feed foodstuff into slicing machines in a safe manner while still producing uniform results.

Inventors:
DE VITIS BRIAN MICHAEL (US)
REINECKE KORT EDWARD (US)
SCHACHT ALEXANDER CLINTON (US)
SPADA NICHOLAS ALAN HALVERSON (US)
Application Number:
US2020/051630
Publication Date:
March 25, 2021
Filing Date:
September 18, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VIVID ROBOTICS INC (US)
International Classes:
B26D7/01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CLOUTIER, Priya (2701 First Ave Suite 20, Seattle WA, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

We claim as our invention:

1. A foodstuff feeding apparatus comprised of a base operably connected to a first governor; wherein the first governor is operably connected to an approximately cylindrical first member; wherein the first governor allows the first member to pivot away and towards the base; wherein the first member engages foodstuff.

2. The foodstuff feeding apparatus of claim 1 where foodstuff moves along the first member as it rotates.

3. The foodstuff feeding apparatus of claim 1 further comprises a second governor and a second member; wherein, the second governor is operably connected to the base; wherein the second governor is operably connected to an approximately cylindrical second member; wherein the first member and second member engages foodstuff.

4. A method to use a foodstuff feeding apparatus comprised of a base operably connected to at least two governors; wherein each governor is operably connected to an approximately cylindrical member; wherein at least one governor allows the cylindrical member to pivot away and towards the base; wherein the cylinder members engage foodstuff.

Description:
FOODSTUFF FEEDING APPARATUS

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This Application takes priority to US Provisional Application No. 62/903,506 filed on March 20, 2019 and incorporates that application in its entirety herein.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to an apparatus and method for feeding foodstuff into a slicing machine. Foodstuff may include, but is not limited to, food items such as meat, vegetables, or cheeses. Although slicing machine is used herein, it is understood that the invention may be used to control the feeding of foodstuff into any machine that may dice, cut, or otherwise vary the size and/or appearance of foodstuff. Commercial kitchens commonly use a slicing machine to slice foodstuff uniformly where a worker will feed foodstuff into a slicing machine. This can be dangerous because the worker is required to be in close proximity with sharp blades and other mechanical parts of the slicing machine which can cause injury. Some systems use conveyor belts to feed foodstuff into slicing machines. However, in those systems, foodstuff may not be sliced uniformly as the flow into the slicing machine is not exactly controlled. There is a need for an apparatus that can feed foodstuff into slicing machines in a safe manner while still producing uniform results.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

An objective of the invention is to provide an apparatus that can feed foodstuff into slicing machines in a safe manner while still producing uniform results. DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Figure 1 is an embodiment of the apparatus;

Figure 2 is an exemplary method;

Figure 3 is an embodiment of the apparatus;

Fig. 4 is an embodiment of the apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof. In the drawings, the use of similar or the same symbols in different drawings typically indicates similar or identical items, unless context dictates otherwise.

The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented here.

One skilled in the art will recognize that the herein described components (e.g., operations), devices, objects, and the discussion accompanying them are used as examples for the sake of conceptual clarity and that various configuration modifications are contemplated. Consequently, as used herein, the specific exemplars set forth and the accompanying discussion are intended to be representative of their more general classes. In general, use of any specific exemplar is intended to be representative of its class, and the non-inclusion of specific components (e.g., operations), devices, and objects should not be taken as limiting.

The present application uses formal outline headings for clarity of presentation. However, it is to be understood that the outline headings are for presentation purposes, and that different types of subject matter may be discussed throughout the application (e.g., device(s)/stmcture(s) may be described under process(es)/operations heading(s) and/or process(es)/operations may be discussed under structure(s)/process(es) headings; and/or descriptions of single topics may span two or more topic headings). Hence, the use of the formal outline headings is not intended to be in any way limiting. The invention described herein is a foodstuff feeding apparatus (400) and a method for engaging foodstuff into the foodstuff feeding apparatus (400).

Referring to Fig. 1, in an exemplary embodiment, the foodstuff feeding apparatus (400) is comprised of at least a first and second threaded member (500A, 500B) whose axis run parallel and are operably attached to a base (1000). In an embodiment, the first and second members (500A, 500B) approximate cylinders. In one embodiment, at least one of the members (500A, 500B) is threaded. In one embodiment, members (500A, 500B) are threaded.

In an embodiment, members (500A, 500B) are operably connected to the base (1000) via governors (1001A, 1001B). Governor 1001A is comprised of a front portion (1003A) and a back portion (1003B); where the front portion (1003A) and the back portion (1003B) are operably attached to the base (1000) so as to accept and secure member 500A along its longitudinal access (503); and allow member 500A to rotate around its longitudinal axis (503). Governor 1001B is comprised of a front portion (1004 A) and a back portion (1004B); where the front portion (1004A) and the back portion (1004B) are operably attached to the base (1000) so as to accept and secure member 500B along its longitudinal access (504); and allow member 500B to rotate around its longitudinal axis (504). In an embodiment, governors (1001A, 1001B) are hinged to the base (1000) so as to allow the governors (1001A, 1001B) to pivot or otherwise move from and towards the base (1000).

Referring to Fig. 3, in an embodiment, members (500A, 500B) are operably connected to the base (1000) via governors (1003, 1001). Governor (1003, 1001) is operably attached to the base (1000) so as to accept and secure member 500A along its longitudinal access (503) and member 500B along its longitudinal axis (504); and allow member 500A to rotate around its longitudinal axis (503) and allow member 500B to rotate around its longitudinal axis (504). In an embodiment, governors (1003, 1001) are hinged to the base (1000) so as to allow the governors (1003, 1001) to pivot or otherwise move from and towards the base (1000).

Referring to Fig. 4, in an embodiment, member 500 is operably connected to the base (1000) via governor (1001). Governor 1001 is comprised of a front portion (1001 A) and a back portion (100 IB); where the front portion (1001 A) and the back portion (100 IB) are operably attached to the base (1000) so as to accept and secure member 500 along its longitudinal access (503); and allow member 500 to rotate around its longitudinal axis (503).

Referring to Figs. 1,3 and 4 in an embodiment, members (500A, 500B) may be positioned, with respect to the base (1000), so as to allow foodstuff to be engaged between members (500A, 500B). Referring to Fig. 4, in an embodiment, member 500 may be positioned, with respect to the base (1000) so as to allow foodstuff to be engaged between member 500 and wall 1003.

In an embodiment the members (500A, 500B) are operably connected to a gear mechanism (501) which allows members (500A, 500B) to simultaneously or independently rotate. Governors (1001A, 1001B, 1003, 1001) may be operated using known gearing systems. In an embodiment, an alignment mechanism (1002) is attached to the base (1000). In an embodiment, the alignment mechanism (1002) moves along a track or similar guiding mechanism (not shown).

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, in an exemplary method, foodstuff (600) is placed on the alignment mechanism (1002) (201). Placement of foodstuff on the alignment mechanism may be manual or automated. As the alignment mechanism (1002) slides along the track, the governors (1001A, 1001B) move members (500A, 500B) so that they engage with the foodstuff (600)

(202).

In an embodiment, when the foodstuff (600) engages with members (500A, 500B), the rotation of the members (500A, 500B) moves the foodstuff (600) between members (500A, 500B).