US 11,656,118 B2
Methods and apparatus for feeding, weighing, and collecting solid food products with sticky coatings
Henning Ingemann Hansen, Odense (DK)
Assigned to CABINPLANT INTERNATIONAL A/S, Harby (DK)
Filed by CABINPLANT INTERNATIONAL A/S, Haarby (DK)
Filed on Apr. 20, 2022, as Appl. No. 17/724,890.
Application 17/724,890 is a continuation of application No. 16/609,933, granted, now 11,340,107, previously published as PCT/EP2018/060801, filed on Apr. 26, 2018.
Claims priority of application No. 17169086 (EP), filed on May 2, 2017.
Prior Publication US 2022/0244094 A1, Aug. 4, 2022
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. G01G 19/393 (2006.01); G01G 13/24 (2006.01)
CPC G01G 19/393 (2013.01) [G01G 13/242 (2013.01)] 4 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method of feeding, weighing, and collecting solid food products with sticky coatings, the method comprising:
(a) providing a pool hopper including an inlet end configured for receiving the solid food products, an outlet end configured for discharging the solid food products, and a feeder configured for conveying the solid food products from the inlet end to the outlet end;
(b) introducing the solid food products into the inlet end of the pool hopper;
(c) conveying the solid food products by the feeder in a direction from the inlet end of the pool hopper towards the outlet end of the pool hopper;
(d) providing a plurality of receptacles arranged in an annular configuration at the outlet end of the pool hopper and configured for receiving the solid food products discharged from the outlet end of the pool hopper, each of the receptacles comprising:
(1) a first end wall and a second end wall opposite the first end wall, wherein a first axis is defined extending through the first end wall and the second end wall, the receptacle being rotatable around the first axis;
(2) a receptacle wall located between the first end wall and the second end wall, the receptacle wall having an inner surface defining a semi-circular cylindrical surface having an axis of rotation coinciding with the first axis, the inner surface extending angularly around the first axis from a first edge to a second edge over an angle of more than 150° and less than 180°; and
(3) an opening between the first edge and the second edge configured for receiving the solid food products discharged from the outlet end of the pool hopper;
(e) in a first operational mode:
(1) discharging the solid food products from the outlet end of the pool hopper into each of the plurality of receptacles through the opening in each of the receptacles; and
(2) weighing the solid food products discharged into each of the plurality of receptacles;
(f) providing a receptacle scraper operable in each of the plurality of receptacles for scraping the inner surface of the receptacle, each of the receptacle scrapers having a scraper edge contacting the inner surface of the receptacle proximate the first edge of the receptacle, each of the receptacle scrapers being configured to remain stationary when the receptacle rotates around the first axis;
(g) providing an annular collector below the plurality of receptacles, the annular collector comprising an annular bottom surface defined between a pair of concentric vertical walls arranged around a second axis coinciding with the first axis, the annular collector having an upward-facing opening positioned to receive the solid food products from the plurality of receptacles, wherein a collector scraper is positioned in the annular collector and is rotatable around the second axis within the annular collector compartment for scraping the bottom surface; and
(h) in a second operational mode, rotating each of the receptacles such that the second edge is rotated relative to the scraper edge of the associated one of the receptacle scrapers while the scraper edge is scraping the inner surface of the associated one of the receptacles so as to discharge the solid food products from each of the plurality of receptacles into the annular collector through the upwardly-facing opening, and collecting the solid food products into a batch by scraping said bottom surface by rotating the collector scraper within the annular collector around the second axis.