Patent Number: 6,305,573

Title: Dispenser for frangible frozen food articles

Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for dispensing articles into a container or basket and for controlling the dispensing mechanism to more accurately, efficiently, and intelligently dispense the desired articles with less damages to the articles. The dispenser includes a primary storage location which can take the form of a bulk storage hopper, an accumulator storage location into which the dispensed articles are transferred during the dispensing of the articles. A reversing drum and a flexible, resilient diverter are configured and arranged to reduce article breakage and/or to transfer different types of articles. The drum is also designed to provide a self-alignment between the drum and a motor shaft when the drum is mounted onto the drum motor shaft. A load/weight sensing/measuring assembly accurately and intelligently weighs the articles in the accumulator by an adaptive weighing method. The load/weight sensing/measuring assembly includes a spring to convert force to displacement and a solid-state sensor/magnet mechanism to replace the expensive load cell assembly.

Inventors: Fritze; Karl Jon (Denmark Township, MN), Kuhlemeier; Kirby Juhl (Cottage Grove, MN), Koerner; Bruce Hamilton (Red Wing, MN), Harrison; Scott Mitchell (Vadnais Heights, MN), Hammer; Donald James (St. Paul Park, MN)

Assignee: RAM Center, Inc.

International Classification: B65B 37/00 (20060101); B65B 37/08 (20060101); B65B 37/18 (20060101); B65B 043/42 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018