(19)
(11)EP 2 838 814 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.11.2016 Bulletin 2016/47

(21)Application number: 13727982.4

(22)Date of filing:  16.04.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B65D 81/32(2006.01)
A47J 31/06(2006.01)
B65D 85/804(2006.01)
A47J 31/36(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IB2013/053018
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/156932 (24.10.2013 Gazette  2013/43)

(54)

CAPSULE AND DISPENSING MACHINE FOR BEVERAGES

KAPSEL UND AUSGABEVORRICHTUNG FÜR GETRÄNKE

CAPSULE ET MACHINE DE DISTRIBUTION POUR BOISSONS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 17.04.2012 IT MO20120095
17.04.2012 IT MO20120096

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.02.2015 Bulletin 2015/09

(73)Proprietor: Sarong Societa' Per Azioni
42046 Reggiolo (RE) (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • BARTOLI, Andrea
    I-42123 Reggio Emilia (IT)
  • CAPITINI, Davide
    I-42123 Reggio Emilia (IT)

(74)Representative: Molinari, Marinella et al
Luppi Crugnola & Partners S.r.l. Viale Corassori, 54
41124 Modena
41124 Modena (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2012/004430
JP-A- 8 310 531
US-A1- 2008 289 976
WO-A2-2005/077811
US-A1- 2008 179 334
US-A1- 2010 154 459
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The invention relates to capsules or containers for preparing food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic products, and in particular it relates to a modular capsule formed by two containers coupleable to one another and containing respective initial products to be joined together and optionally to a fluid to make a final product.

    [0002] The invention further relates to dispensing machines suitable for producing a food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic product by using disposable and single-dose capsules containing a soluble or percolable or concentrated product. In particular, the invention relates to a dispensing machine capable of using a modular capsule formed by two containers coupleable to one another and containing respective initial products to be joined together, and optionally to a fluid, to make a final product.

    [0003] The known capsules typically used in dispensing machines for dispensing food products, for example beverages, are single, disposable, and single-dose containers comprising an outer casing, made of liquid- and gas-impermeable plastic material and having the shape of a glass or a cup. In particular, the casing has a bottom wall and a side wall defining an upper opening through which the product from which the beverage can be obtained can be inserted. The upper opening is hermetically closed by a cover, typically an aluminium or plastic film sheet, so as to seal the product within the container. The capsule is perforable to allow the insertion of a pressurized liquid, typically water in liquid form, and the outflow of the obtained beverage. In particular, the cover and the bottom wall of the casing are perforable by suitable means of a dispensing machine, in which the capsule is inserted, to allow the insertion from the top of the pressurized liquid and the withdrawal from the bottom of the beverage, respectively, or vice versa.

    [0004] Recently, the request by consumers of beverages, such as coffee, chocolate, tea, barley, etc., has increased, which beverages can be flavored as required by inserting suitable flavoring substances.

    [0005] The flavoring substances can be introduced successively to the preparation of the "base" beverage, by the dispensing machine. However, such a manual procedure is neither convenient nor easy for the final user, and it further provides a flavored final beverage with organoleptic characteristics that are sometimes unsatisfactory, for example, for the partial or uneven mixing carried out by the user.

    [0006] In order to obviate such a drawback, capsules have been made, containing initial products to be joined to the pressurized fluid, already mixed with respective flavoring substances, said capsules being directly usable in automatic dispensing machines. However, the combination of the initial products and the flavoring substances is very high and, in order to meet tastes and requests by the consumers, a wide range of capsules is necessary. This involves high purchasing costs and a suitable space for receiving and storing such a wide range.

    [0007] The use is known, above all in the pharmaceutical field, of products in a freeze-dried or powdery form, which have to be rehydrated or solubilized, or anyhow combined with a liquid, typically water, before oral administration. Such initial products are generally packaged in containers sufficiently large to contain the necessary amount of liquid, which has to be manually introduced by the user. However, such manual operation is relatively industrious and easily susceptible to errors, especially in the case of a not very skilled and handy user. The latter can, in fact, add an excessive or insufficient amount of liquid, thus obtaining a non-optimal final product. Furthermore, the liquid insertion procedure may bring the latter and/or the initial product in contact with external elements or materials that may contaminate or pollute the final product.

    [0008] Documents US 2008/179334, US 2008/289976, WO 2012/004430, and JP 8310531 disclose the preamble of claim 1.

    [0009] Documents US 2007/259074, US 2011/045144, WO2005/077811, US2010/154459 and US 2010/154644 disclose features of the preamble of claim 16.

    [0010] An object of the present invention is to improve the known capsules, in particular sealed, single-dose and disposable capsules containing a first initial product to be joined to a second initial product and/or to a fluid, to prepare a corresponding final product, in particular in an automatic dispensing machine.

    [0011] Another object is to obtain a capsule that allows, in a use step, putting two initial products, selectable as required by the user, in contact, optionally to be joined to a fluid to obtain a final product, in particular a flavored beverage, in a dispensing machine, automatically without any intervention by the user.

    [0012] A further object is to obtain a capsule that allows combining, at the time of use, two initial products in a simple and rapid manner, while preserving the integrity and hygiene thereof.

    [0013] Still another object of the present invention is to improve the known dispensing machines suitable to use disposable and single-dose capsules containing an initial product to be joined to a fluid to prepare a corresponding final product, in particular, a beverage. Another further object is to obtain a dispensing machine capable of receiving and using a modular capsule formed by two containers coupleable to one another and containing respective initial products to be joined together, and optionally to a fluid, to obtain a final product.

    [0014] Still a further object is to obtain a dispensing machine capable of receiving and using a plurality of capsules having different sizes and/or initial products to obtain automatically respective final products.

    [0015] Another object is to make a dispensing machine ensuring the hygiene and cleanliness of the dispensing process, while maintaining the integrity of the organoleptic properties of the final product.

    [0016] In a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a capsule according to claim 1.

    [0017] In a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a dispensing machine according to claim 13.

    [0018] The invention will be better understood and implemented with reference to the appended drawings, which illustrate some exemplary, non-limiting embodiments thereof, in which:
    • Fig. 1 is a schematic cross-section of the capsule according to the invention in a detached condition;
    • Fig. 2 is a schematic cross-section of the capsule of Fig. 1 in an assembled condition;
    • Fig. 3 is an enlarged partial section of the capsule in Fig. 2 highlighting in particular interface means;
    • Figs. 4 to 7 are cross-sectional views of the capsule in Fig. 2 associated with the dispensing machine of the invention in different successive operating configurations;
    • Fig. 8 is a schematic cross-section of a version of the capsule of Fig. 1;
    • Fig. 9 is a cross-section of another version of the capsule of Fig. 1.


    [0019] With reference to the Figs. 1 to 7, the capsule 1 according to the invention is illustrated, usable in a dispensing machine 60 according to the invention and described herein below, to produce, by the injection of a pressurized fluid therein, a food final product, for example, a flavored beverage, such as coffee, barley, infusion, tea, chocolate, etc.

    [0020] As better explained in the following of the description, the capsule 1 can also be used directly by a user without the use of a dispensing machine.

    [0021] The capsule 1 of the invention comprises a first container 2 provided with a first cavity 4 suitable for containing a first product P1 and a second container 3 provided with a second cavity 5 suitable for containing a second product P2.

    [0022] The initial products P1, P2 are percolable or soluble or for infusion or freeze-dried or dehydrated products.

    [0023] The capsule 1 is also suitable for containing initial products to be combined, alone or with a fluid, to obtain a final product, also a non-food product, for example a pharmaceutical, phytosanitary, cosmetic, or detergent product, or generically, a chemical product.

    [0024] In the following of the description, by final product will be meant, by way of exemplary, non-limiting example, a food product, typically a beverage.

    [0025] The first container 2 comprises a first interface element 6 facing the first cavity 4 and provided with first connecting means 11, and the second container 3 comprises a second interface element 7 facing the second cavity 5 and provided with second connecting means 12.

    [0026] The interface elements 6, 7 are coupleable to one another in a assembled configuration B of the capsule 1, in which the first container 2 is connected to the second container 3; in particular, the first connecting means 11 engages with and connect to the second connecting means 12 so as to open the containers 2, 3 and to put in a flow connection the first cavity 4 and the second cavity 5 to allow a fluid F inserted in the first cavity 4 flowing together with the first product P1 in the second cavity 5 and joining to the second product P2 to obtain a final product PF.

    [0027] The first container 2 and the second container 3 are compressible and/or crushable respectively to allow transferring the fluid F and the first product P1 from the first cavity 4 to the second cavity 5 and to allow the final product PF exiting the second cavity 5.

    [0028] In particular, the first container 2 comprises a first deformable and/or compressible casing 20 provided with a first flange-shaped edge 27, to which the first interface element 6 is fixed; the second container 3 comprises a second casing 30, also deformable and/or compressible, provided with a second flange-shaped edge 37, to which the second interface element 7 is fixed. The first edge 27 forms an annular seat 27a receiving a peripheral edge of the first interface element 6 that can be fixed thereto by welding or gluing, or by interference fit. Similarly, the second edge 37 forms an annular seat 37a receiving a peripheral edge of the second interface element 7 that can be fixed thereto by welding or gluing, or by interference fit.

    [0029] The first connecting means 11 comprises first conduit means 13 and the second connecting means 12 comprises second conduit means 14. In the assembled configuration B of the capsule 1, the first connecting means 11 engages with and connect to the second connecting means 12 so as to couple the first conduit means 13 to the second conduit means 14 and to make a flow connection between the first cavity 4 and the second cavity 5 allowing a fluid F inserted into the first cavity 4 flowing together with the first product P1 into the second cavity 5 and joining to the second product P2 to make a final product PF. Each interface element 6, 7 includes a respective element of a substantially flat shape, for example, disc-shaped, optionally provided with one or more through openings to allow the insertion of the initial products P1, P2 into the cavities 4, 5 of the containers, in a filling step of the latter ones.

    [0030] The interface elements 6, 7 are made of a plastic material and fixed, for example by thermal or ultrasonic welding, to the respective edges 27, 37 of the containers 2, 3.

    [0031] The first casing 20 and the second casing 30 are obtained by forming of a thermoformable material sheet, in particular a liquid- and gas-impermeable multilayered plastic material and suitable to the contact with food.

    [0032] The first connecting means comprises at least one connecting protrusion 11 arranged to engage in a respective housing 12 of the second connecting means; the first conduit means comprises a first conduit 13 obtained in the connecting protrusion 15 and the second conduit means comprising a second conduit 14 obtained in the housing 12. In the embodiment illustrated in the Figures by way of non-limiting example, the first connecting means comprises four connecting protrusions 11 spaced apart to one another and arranged to engage in the assembled configuration B with respective housings 12 of the second connecting means. In such a manner, the first passage conduits 13 and the second passage conduits 14 make four distinct connection conduits for the passage of the fluid F and of the first product P1 and/or the air outflow, as better explained in the following of the description.

    [0033] In a version of the capsule, not illustrated in the Figures, the first connecting means comprises at least one housing arranged to receive and engage with a respective protrusion of the second connecting means.

    [0034] The first container 2 comprises a third interface element 8 fixed to a third peripheral edge 28 of the first casing 20 and substantially opposite the first interface element 6. The third interface element 8 comprises at least a supply hole 29 arranged to be engaged by injecting means 61 of the dispensing machine 60 and to allow the introduction of the fluid F in the first cavity 4. A first nozzle 25 is fixed to the third interface element 8 so that the respective internal conduit is connected to the supply hole 29. The first nozzle 25 allows dispensing the fluid F in a uniform and even manner on the first product P1.

    [0035] The third interface element 8 comprises an element with a substantially flat shape, for example disc-shaped, made of a plastic material and fixed, for example, by thermal or ultrasonic welding, to the third peripheral edge 28. The third interface element 8 further comprises a vent hole 26 to allow during a first operating step F1, in which the fluid F is introduced in the first container 2, the necessary outflow of the air contained in the first cavity 2 and sealed therein together with the first product P1.

    [0036] With reference to the embodiment illustrated in the Figures, the first casing 20 comprises a first side wall 24 having a substantially tubular shape, ending at an end with the first peripheral edge 27, to which the first interface element 6 is connected, and at the opposite end with the third peripheral edge 28, to which the third interface element 8 is connected. The first side wall 24, the first interface element 6, and the third interface element substantially define the first cavity 4.

    [0037] The first side wall 24 is convergent starting from the first peripheral edge 27 up to the third peripheral edge 28.

    [0038] In a non-illustrated version of the capsule 1, the first container 2 does not comprise the third interface element, and the first casing 20 comprises, beside the first side wall, a first base wall forming the first cavity 4 with the above-mentioned first side wall. In this version, the first base wall is perforable by the injecting means of the dispensing machine for the introduction of the fluid F.

    [0039] The second casing 30 comprises a second side wall 34 and a second base wall 33 defining the second cavity 5. The second side wall 34 with a substantially tubular shape ends at an end with the second peripheral edge 37, opposite the second base wall 33 and to which the second interface element 7 is connected. The second side wall 34 is convergent starting from the second peripheral edge 37 up to the second base wall 33.

    [0040] The first side wall 24 and the second side wall 34 are deformable and/or compressible to allow the first casing 20 and the second casing 30, respectively, to be compressed and crushed along a direction A that is transverse, in particular substantially orthogonal, to the interface elements 6, 7. To this aim, the above-mentioned side walls 24, 34 are obtained in the shape of an accordion or in the shape of a bellows, or they are provided with yielding lines.

    [0041] In particular, as better explained in the following of the description, the first side wall 24 is deformable and/or compressible to allow the first casing 20 to be compressed and/or crushed along the direction A, so as to transfer the fluid F and the first product P1 (typically already combined to form an intermediate product P3) from said first cavity 4 to said second cavity 5. Similarly, the second side wall 34 is deformable and/or compressible to allow the second casing 30 to be compressed and/or crushed along the direction A so as to make the final product PF to exit from the second cavity 5, and then from the capsule 1. A first covering element 18 substantially superimposes the first interface element 6, fixed to the first peripheral edge 27 of the first casing 20 so as to hermetically closing the first cavity 4. Similarly, a second covering element 19 substantially superimposes the second interface element 7, fixed to the second peripheral edge 37 of the second casing 30 so as to hermetically closing the second cavity 5.

    [0042] A third covering element 22 is further provided substantially superimposing the third interface element 8, fixed to the third peripheral edge 28 of the first casing 20 to close said first cavity 4 in cooperation with said first covering element 18.

    [0043] The first covering element 18 and the second covering element 19 comprise films that are easily perforable by the first connecting means 11 and/or the second connecting means 12 when mutually engaged in said assembled configuration B of the capsule.

    [0044] The third covering element 22 also comprises a respective aluminum or plastic material film, which is perforable by the injecting means 61 of the dispensing machine 60.

    [0045] In particular, the covering elements 18, 19, 22 can be obtained with a multilayered film comprising, for example, a layer formed by an airtight plastic film and a second layer formed by a peelable aluminum film. The aluminium film separates and protects the underlying plastic film against the external environment. Just before use, the aluminium film can be removed in such a manner as to uncover the underlying plastic film to be perforated, which remained clean and aseptic. In this manner, the hygiene and cleanliness during the connection between the two containers 2, 3 are ensured.

    [0046] Each connecting protrusion 11 comprises a sharp end capable of easily perforating and/or tearing the first covering element 18 and the second covering element 19, as illustrated in particular in Fig. 3.

    [0047] Alternatively, the first covering element 18 and the second covering element 19 can be removably fixed to the first casing 20 and the second casing 30, respectively, for example by peelable weldings. In this manner, it is possible for a user to easily remove and detach the above-mentioned covering elements 18, 19 from the respective containers 2, 3 before connecting the latter ones in the assembled configuration B of the capsule so as to allow the first connecting means 11 and the second connecting means 12 engaging with each other. In this case, the first connecting means 11 and the second connecting means 12 do not perforate and/or tear the covering elements 18, 19.

    [0048] The second container 3 comprises opening promoting means 39, 40 arranged to make an outlet of said final product PF when said second container 3 is compressed and/or crushed. In the illustrated embodiment, the opening promoting means comprises an outlet hole 39 obtained in the second base wall 33 of the second casing 30 of the second container 3 and hermetically closed by a closing element 40, the latter being externally fixed to the second base wall 33 and detachable or tearable by the action of the thrust or pressure of the final product PF when the second container 3 is compressed and crushed.

    [0049] The closing element 40 comprises, for example, an aluminium or plastic material label fixed, in particular glued, to the second base wall 33.

    [0050] The closing element 40 may comprise an extended strip intended to be locked by abutting means 64 of the dispensing machine 60, so as to prevent the above-mentioned closing element 40 from completely detaching and falling in an underlying consumption container, during opening the capsule 1 and dispensing the beverage (Fig. 7).

    [0051] Alternatively, the opening promoting means may comprise at least one pre-incision line or a weakening portion, obtained on the second base wall 33 and frangible by the action of the thrust or pressure of the final product PF when the second container 3 is compressed and crushed.

    [0052] The second container 3 further comprises at least one second nozzle 16 fixed to the second interface element 7 and arranged to dispense into the second cavity 5 the fluid F and the first product P1 coming from the first cavity 4, i.e., the intermediate product P3 obtained from the combination of the fluid F with the first product P1. Such an intermediate product P3 can be, for example, a flavoring substance to be joined to the second product P2 to obtain a flavored final product PF.

    [0053] In particular, the second nozzle 16 is fixed to the second interface element 7 so that a respective internal conduit 16a thereof is in flow connection with the second conduit means 14. More precisely, the second nozzle 16 is fixed to the second interface element 7 at a housing 12 of the latter so that its internal conduit 16a flows into the second conduit 14 of said housing.

    [0054] The nozzle 16 comprises at least one respective introduction opening obtained on, or in the proximity of, the end and shaped to direct a respective fluid jet F downwardly in the direction of the second base wall 33, and optionally a plurality of further introduction openings obtained on a side wall of said nozzle and adjacent to the end.

    [0055] In the illustrated embodiment, the second nozzle 16 comprises a rigid tubular element, made for example of plastic material, having such a length as to come out from the second cavity 5 through the opening 39 when said second casing 30 is compressed and crushed. The nozzle can be provided with a sharp end capable of detaching or tearing the closing element 40 or perforating the second base wall 33 at the pre-incision line or weakening portion obtained on the second base wall 33.

    [0056] In a version of the capsule not illustrated in the Figures, the second nozzle can have a minimum length and such as to remain completely inside the second container 2 when the latter is completely crushed and compressed.

    [0057] In the illustrated embodiment, the second container 3 comprises one or more further second nozzles 17, for example in a number of two, substantially mutually identical, also fixed to the second interface element 7 and arranged for introducing in the second cavity 5 the fluid F joined to the first product P1, i.e., the intermediate product P3. The further second nozzles 17 are fixed to the second interface element 7 so that the respective internal conduits 17a are in flow connection with the second conduit means 14. More precisely, each further second nozzle 17 is fixed to the second interface element 7 at a respective housing 12 so that its internal conduit 17a flows into the second conduit 14 of said housing.

    [0058] The further second nozzles 17 are arranged substantially parallel to the second nozzle 16 and placed side by side to the opposite sides of the latter so as to approach with respective end portions to the second side wall 34 and to the second base wall 33. The further second nozzles 17 are conformed so as to direct respective fluid jets towards the second side wall 34, in particular with a substantially tangential direction, so as to create a vortical flow or vortex.

    [0059] The combination of the fluid jets F dispensed by the second nozzle 16 and by the further second nozzles 17 allows solubilizing and dissolving completely and homogeneously, without manual intervention of a user, also products that are not very or that are slowly soluble and/or containing thickening agents and stabilizers, or freeze-dried or dehydrated products, so as to obtained dense or viscous final products (for example, beverages such as liquid chocolates) perfectly dissolved and free from clots and lumps. To this aim, the injected fluid pressure and temperature have to be suitably adjusted in function of the type and composition of the initial products.

    [0060] To allow the second container to be compressed and/or crushed so as to reduce an initial volume thereof, the further second nozzles 17, unlike the second nozzle 16, are deformable and/or compressible. In particular, each further second nozzle 17 comprises a corrugated or bellows-like tubular wall that can be easily compressed and/or folded and deformed, as illustrated in Fig. 7.

    [0061] It shall be noticed that one of the four connecting protrusions 11 of the first interface element 6 engages with a respective housing 12 of the second interface element 7 so that the respective passage conduits 13, 14 form a conduit for the air outflow.

    [0062] In a non-illustrated version of the capsule 1, it is provided that the second container 2 comprises only one second nozzle 16. In this case, the connecting means 11 of the first interface element 6 comprises only one pair of connecting protrusions intended to engage with respective housings 12 to obtain a conduit for the passage of the intermediate product P3 and a conduit for the air outflow, respectively.

    [0063] The use of the capsule 1 of the invention provides, in an initial step, the connection of the two containers 2, 3 in the assembled configuration B by bringing the first interface element 6 to engage with and connect to the second interface element 7, so as to obtain the above-mentioned capsule 1. In particular, the connecting protrusions 11 of the first connecting means are sealingly inserted in the housings 12 of the second connecting means, thus obtaining, by joining the first passage conduits 13 of the above-mentioned connecting protrusions 11 to the second passage conduits 14 of the above-mentioned housings 12, passages for the flow of the fluid F and the first product P1 from the first cavity 4 to the second cavity 5 and in the opposite direction for the passage of air from the second cavity 5 to the first cavity 4. During the connection, the connecting protrusions 11 tear the covering elements 18, 19.

    [0064] In a first operating step F1, the fluid F is delivered inside the first cavity 4 through the first nozzle 25 of the third interface element so that it can join to and/or combine with the first product P1 and form an intermediate product P3 (Fig. 5). The air that is present in the first cavity 4 can exit through the vent hole 26.

    [0065] In a second operating step F2, the first casing 20 of the first container 2 is progressively compressed and crushed so as to reduce the initial volume thereof and to force the intermediate beverage P3 to flow from the first cavity 4 into the second cavity 5 by virtue of the first and second connecting means 11, 12 of the interface elements 6, 7. In this step, the vent hole 26 is closed.

    [0066] The intermediate product P3 inserted in the second cavity 5 through the second nozzles 16, 17 joins to and/or mixes with the second intermediate product P2 so as to form the final product PF (Fig. 6). The air that is present in the second cavity 5 can flow in the first cavity 4 through the connecting means 11, 12.

    [0067] In this second operating step F2, it can be provided the further introduction of fluid F in the first container 2 and then in the second container 3 to dilute the final product PF to the required concentration.

    [0068] In a third operating step F3, the second casing 30 of the second container 3 is also crushed so as to reduce the initial volume thereof (Fig. 7). The opening promoting means 39, 40, by virtue of the thrust of the final product PF, allow opening the second container 3 and the outflow of the final product PF.

    [0069] Also during the third operating step F3, it can be provided the further introduction of fluid F directly in the consumption container through the second nozzle 16 to dilute the final product PF to the required concentration.

    [0070] It is suitable to note that the user, by combining the first container 2 with the second container 3 as required, both the containers 2, 3 being available in different ranges and types of first product P1 and second product P2, respectively, can assemble a capsule 1 with which any desired mixed or combined final product PF can be obtained, for example, a flavored beverage.

    [0071] Therefore, owing to the capsule 1 of the invention, it is not necessary to have a wide range of different capsules to meet tastes and requirements of the consumers, since with a reduced number of different first and second containers (and respective initial products), it is possible to obtain a high number of combinations and therefore a wide selection. This allows reducing the purchasing costs and the space to receive and store the capsules.

    [0072] Furthermore, the capsule 1 structure allows preparing in an optimal manner the final product, in fact, providing for the preparation in a first step of an intermediate product, for example, a flavoring substance or component, to be added in a second step to the second product (main product to be flavored) to obtain the desired final beverage.

    [0073] The connecting means 11, 12 and the nozzles 25, 16, 17 allow mixing in an optimal manner the fluid F and initial products P1, P2 without manual intervention of the user and automatically in a dispensing machine.

    [0074] The proper preparation sequence and hygiene of the process (sealed containers) allow obtaining a final product with high organoleptic and hygienic characteristics.

    [0075] Figs. 4 to 6 further schematically illustrate the dispensing machine 60 according to the invention, arranged to receive the capsule 1 described above.

    [0076] Such a machine substantially comprises support means 62 suitable to receive to support the capsule 1 in the assembled configuration B, i.e., with the first container 2 connected to the second container 3.

    [0077] The support means 62 comprise, for example, a support plate fixed to the machine frame, provided with a through opening around which a seat 62a is present, arranged to receive and support the second peripheral edge 37 of the second container 3.

    [0078] The machine further comprises first abutting means 63 that is movable along the direction A to compress and crush the first container 2 against the support means 62, and second abutting means 64 that is movable along said direction A to compress and crush the second container 3 against said support means 62. In particular, the downwardly mobile first abutting means 63 compresses and crushes the first container 2, thus reducing an internal volume thereof so as to allow the fluid F flowing together with the first product P1 in the second container 3 to joint to the second product P2 and to obtain a final product PF. The second abutting means 64 that is movable in the opposite direction, i.e., upwardly, compresses and crushes the second container 3 against the support means 62 thus reducing an internal volume thereof so as to allow the opening of said second container 3 and the exit of the final product PF.

    [0079] The direction A is substantially vertical and orthogonal to a second base wall 33 of the second container 3.

    [0080] The first abutting means 63 comprises, for example, an annular plate capable of abutting against the first container 2 at the third peripheral edge 28. The first abutting means 63 is actuated by first moving means 65, of a known type and schematically illustrated in the Figures, which is controlled by a control unit of the dispensing machine 60, according to the methods described herein below.

    [0081] Similarly, the second abutting means 64 comprises, for example, a plate provided with a central hole for the exit of the final product PF, capable of abutting against the second container 3 at the second base wall 33. The second abutting means 64 is actuated by second moving means 66, of a known type and schematically illustrated in the Figures, which is controlled by the control unit of the dispensing machine 60.

    [0082] The machine 60 is further provided with injecting means 61 arranged to dispense the fluid F in the first container 2. The injecting means 61 is fixed to, and supported by, the first abutting means 63. Alternatively, the injecting means can be mounted on further independent moving means.

    [0083] The injecting means 61 comprises a first needle 68 and a second needle 69 arranged to perforate the third covering element 22 and to sealingly engage the supply hole 29 and the vent hole 26 of the third interface element 8, respectively.

    [0084] It shall be noticed that, in this manner, the injecting means 61 of the dispensing machine 60 does not come in contact with the product P1 and/or with the mixture/beverage in the preparation step and, subsequently, in the dispensing step. In other words, a supply system of the machine that comprises the injecting means 61 is not dirtied or polluted by the product and/or the beverage, this ensuring the hygiene of the dispensing process and the quality of the beverages at each dispensing operation, thus preserving the organoleptic properties thereof.

    [0085] Similarly, it is suitable to note that the capsule 1 for beverages of the invention can be used on a dispensing machine 60 that is not provided with a dispensing system, since such a capsule does not require withdrawal means suitable to perforate the bottom thereof to allow the exit of the beverage, nor conduit means to convey the beverage to the consumption container (for example, a cup, a small cup, a glass, etc.).

    [0086] The absence of the dispensing system makes the machine more simple and inexpensive, and it further ensures the hygiene of the dispensing process and the conservation of the quality of the dispensed beverages, since contaminations between beverages dispensed in successive times are impossible.

    [0087] The injecting means 61 is connected to a supply system, of a known type and not illustrated in the Figures. Such a supply system comprises at least one boiler to heat the fluid F, and a pump to deliver the pressurized fluid to the injecting means 61.

    [0088] The first abutting means 63 is movable along the direction A between different and successive operating positions.

    [0089] In an initial operating position S1, the first abutting means 63 is spaced apart from the support means 62 to allow the insertion on the latter ones of the capsule 1 (Fig. 4 in dotted line). In an intermediate operating position S2, the first abutting means 63 abuts against the first container 2 and allows the injecting means 61 engaging with, or alternatively directly inserting in, said first container 2 to introduce the fluid F.

    [0090] In a final operating position S3, the first abutting means has compressed and crushed the first container 2 against the support means 62, thus reducing the volume thereof so as to make the fluid F exiting together with the first product P1, i.e., the intermediate product P3, from the first cavity 4.

    [0091] Similarly, the second abutting means 64 is movable along the direction A between different and successive operating positions.

    [0092] In a further initial position S4, the second abutting means 64 is spaced apart from the support means 62 to allow the insertion on the latter ones of the capsule 1.

    [0093] In a further intermediate operating position S5, the second abutting means 64 abuts against the second container 3, and in particular a second base wall 33 of the latter.

    [0094] In a further final operating position S6, the second abutting means 64 has compressed and crushed against said support means 61 the second container 3 thus reducing the volume thereof so as to open the latter and to allow the final product PF exiting.

    [0095] The operating positions of the first abutting means 63 and of the second abutting means 64, in particular, the intermediate operating positions S2, S5 and the final operating positions S3, S6 can be set by the control unit of the dispensing machine in function of the size of the capsule 1 stored in the above-mentioned control unit.

    [0096] The dispensing machine 60 of the invention is thus capable of receiving and using a plurality of capsules 1 having different sizes and/or initial products to automatically obtain respective final products. In particular, the machine 60 allows making automatically and without intervention by the user a desired final product, mixed or combined, for example a flavored beverage, by preparing, in a first step, an intermediate product P3, for example a flavoring substance or component (by combining the fluid F to the first product P1 in the first container 2), then adding, in a second step, said intermediate product P3 to the second product P2 (main product to be flavored) to obtain the desired final beverage B.

    [0097] The proper preparation sequence and the hygiene of the process (sealed containers) allow obtaining a final product with high organoleptic and hygienic characteristics. In fact, the hygiene is ensured by the absence of the dispensing system of the machine dispensing the content of the capsule directly in the consumption container and in that the injecting means 61 does not come into contact with the product P1 and/or with the mixture/beverage in the preparation step and, subsequently, in the dispensing step.

    [0098] Fig. 8 illustrates a version of the capsule 1 of the invention differing from the embodiment described above in that the second container 3 comprises, besides the second nozzle 16, a pair of further second nozzles 47 shorter than the second nozzle 16, mutually identical, fixed to the second interface element 7 and arranged to introduce in the second cavity 5 the fluid F joined to the first product P1.

    [0099] Such a version of the capsule 1, like the capsule set forth in the Figs. 1 to 7, can be used directly by a user without the need of using the dispensing machine.

    [0100] After the connection of the two containers 2, 3 in the assembled configuration B (bringing the first interface element 6 to engage with and connect to the second interface element 7, thus obtaining passages between the first cavity 4 and the second cavity 5) the user can perforate, in a first operating step, with a syringe 71, or other similar injecting device, the third covering element 22 and inject through the hole 19 of the third interface element 8 the fluid F in the first cavity 4 of the first container 2.

    [0101] In a second operating step, by manually crushing and compressing the first container 2, thus reducing an internal volume thereof, the user forces the fluid F and the first product

    [0102] P1 to flow in the second container 3 to join to the second product P2 and to obtain a final product PF. The mixing between the initial products P1, P2 and the fluid F can be promoted by manually stirring the capsule 1.

    [0103] In a third operating step, by manually crushing and compressing the second container 3 and reducing an internal volume thereof, the user obtains the opening thereof and the outflow of the final product PF.

    [0104] The capsule 1 used manually is in particular suitable for pharmaceutical products, for example, syrups, suspensions, and the like.

    [0105] With reference to Fig. 9, another version of the capsule 1 is illustrated, differing from the embodiments illustrated above in the different structure of the first container 2 and the second container 3.

    [0106] In fact, the first container 2 comprises a deformable and/or compressible first casing 120 provided with a flange-shaped first edge 127 to which the first interface element 6 is fixed, a first side wall 124 having a substantially tubular shape, ending at an end with the above-mentioned first peripheral edge 127 and a first base wall 128 connected to the first side wall 124 and opposite the first interface element 6. The first side wall 124 and the first base wall 128 form the first cavity 4.

    [0107] The first side wall 124 is converging starting from the first peripheral edge 127 to the first base wall 128. The first side wall 124 is further deformable and/or compressible to allow the first casing 120 to be compressed and crushed along a direction A. To this aim, the first side wall 124 is obtained in the shape of an accordion or in the shape of a bellows, or it is provided with yielding lines.

    [0108] The second container 3 comprises a second casing 130 that is not deformable and provided with a flange-shaped second edge 137 to which the second interface element 7 is fixed, a second side wall 134 having a substantially tubular shape, ending at an end with the above-mentioned second peripheral edge 137 and a second base wall 133 connected to the second side wall 134 and opposite the second interface element 7. The second side wall 134 and the second base wall 133 form the second cavity 5. The second container 3 comprises a plurality of further nozzles 116 mutually identical, fixed to the second interface element 7 and arranged to deliver a first product P1' in the second cavity 5.

    [0109] Alternatively, the second container 3 can be not provided with nozzles, the second interface element 7 comprising one or more holes or openings for the passage of the first product P1.

    [0110] The use of such a capsule 1 is different from that of the previous different capsules, since it requires a manual use by the user and it does not provide for the compression and/or crushing of the second container 3 to obtain the exit of the final product.

    [0111] The first container 2 contains a first product P1', for example, in liquid form, intended to be joined to a second product P2 contained in the second container 3 to obtain a final product.

    [0112] After the connection of the two containers 2, 3 in the assembled configuration B (bringing the first interface element 6 to engage with and connect to the second interface element 7, thus obtaining passages between the first cavity 4 and the second cavity 5), the user, in a first operating step, manually crushes and compresses the first container 2, thus reducing an internal volume thereof, and forcing the first product P1' to flow in the second container 3 to join to the second product P2 and to obtain a final product. The mixing between the initial products P1', P2 can be promoted also by manual stirring of the capsule 1. In particular, the first liquid product P1' dissolves or solubilizes or suspends the second product P2.

    [0113] In a second operating step, once the final product has been obtained, the user can separate the two containers 2 and 3 (by disengaging the first interface element 6 and the second interface element 7 one from the other) and directly access the second cavity 5 to use the final product contained therein. To this aim, the second container 3 can directly act as a consumption container, or its content, i.e., the final product, can be poured in a suitable consumption container.

    [0114] In fact, the second interface element 7 includes a respective element having a substantially flat shape, provided with one or more through openings to allow both the insertion of the second product in the second cavity 5 and the exit of the final product.

    [0115] Therefore, owing to the capsule 1 of the invention, it is possible to manually combine in a simple and rapid manner, at the time of use, two initial products, thus ensuring the integrity and hygiene thereof. In fact, the first product and the second product are joined and/or combined without coming anyhow in contact with elements or materials external to the capsule, which may dirty or contaminate or pollute the above-mentioned initial products and/or final product.

    [0116] The final product is further obtained by combining accurate and calibrated amounts of the initial products.

    [0117] The capsule, especially in the pharmaceutical field, and in the case of products in a freeze-dried or powdery form (second initial product) that have to be rehydrated or solubilized, or anyhow combined with a liquid (first initial product) before the administration, allows avoiding dosing errors while simplifying the entire manual procedure for the preparation thereof.

    [0118] Such a capsule can then be easily and comfortably used also by not very skilled and handy users.


    Claims

    1. Capsule, comprising a first container (2) provided with a first closed cavity (4) containing a first product (P1; P1') and a second container (3) provided with a second closed cavity (5) containing a second product (P2), said first container (2) and said second container (3) comprising a first interface element (6) facing said first cavity (4) and a second interface element (7) facing said second cavity (5), respectively, said capsule (1) being characterized in that said first interface element (6) is provided with first connecting means (11) having first conduit means (13) and said second interface element (7) is provided with second connecting means (12) having second conduit means (14), in an assembled configuration (B) of said capsule (1), in which said first container (2) is associated with said second container (3), said first connecting means (11) being engaged with said second connecting means (12) so as to couple said first conduit means (13) with said second conduit means (14) and to make a flow connection between said first cavity (4) and said second cavity (5) such as to enable at least said first product (P1; P1') to pass into said second cavity (5) and join said second product (P2) to make a final product (PF).
     
    2. Capsule according to claim 1, wherein said first connecting means comprises at least a first protrusion (11) arranged for engage a respective first housing (12) of said second connecting means, said first conduit means comprising a first conduit (13) made in said first protrusion (11) and said second conduit means comprising a second conduit (14) made in said first housing (12).
     
    3. Capsule according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said first container (2) comprises a first covering element (18) substantially superimposed on said first interface element (6) and arranged for hermetically closing said first cavity (4), and said second container (3) comprises a second covering element (19) substantially superimposed on said second interface element (7) and arranged for hermetically closing said second cavity (5), said first covering element (18) and said second covering element (19) being perforable by said first connecting means (11) and/or by said second connecting means (12) when said first connecting means (11) and said second connecting means (12) are mutually engaged in said assembled configuration (B) or said first covering element (18) and said second covering element (19) being removable and detachable respectively from said first container (2) and from said second container (3) for enabling said first connecting means (11) and said second connecting means (12) to engage in said assembled configuration (B).
     
    4. Capsule according to any preceding claim, wherein said second container (3) comprises at least one nozzle (16, 17; 47; 116) fixed to said second interface element (7) and arranged for dispensing inside said second cavity (5) at least said first product (P1) coming from said first cavity (4).
     
    5. Capsule according to claim 4, wherein said nozzle (16, 17) is fixed to said second interface element (7) so that an internal conduit (16a, 17a) of said nozzle (16, 17) is connected to said second conduit means (14).
     
    6. Capsule according to any preceding claim, wherein said first container (2) is compressible and/or crushable for enabling at least said first product (P1) to be transferred from said first cavity (4) to said second cavity (5), said first container (2) comprising a first casing (20; 120) provided with a first side wall (24; 124) that is deformable and/or compressible to enable said first casing (20; 120) to be compressed and/or crushed along a direction (A) that is transverse to said first interface element (6).
     
    7. Capsule according to any preceding claim, wherein said second container (3) is compressible and/or crushable for enabling said final product (PF) to exit from said second cavity (5), said second container (3) comprising a second casing (30) provided with a second side wall (34) that is deformable and/or compressible to enable said second casing (30) to be compressed and/or crushed along a direction (A) that is transverse to said first interface element (6).
     
    8. Capsule according to claim 7, wherein said second container (3) comprises opening promoting means (39, 40) arranged for making an outlet for said final product (PF) when said second container (3) is compressed and/or crushed.
     
    9. Capsule according to claim 7 or 8, as the claim 7 is appended to claim 6, wherein said first casing (20; 120) comprises a first peripheral edge (27; 127) connected to said first side wall (24; 124) and to which said first interface element (6) is fixed, and wherein said second casing (30; 130) comprises a second peripheral edge (37; 137) connected to said second side wall (34; 134) and to which said second interface element (7) is fixed.
     
    10. Capsule according to any preceding claim, wherein said first container (2) and/or said second container (3) is/are perforable for enabling a fluid (F) to be delivered and joined to said first product (P1) and/or said second product (P2) and/or for enabling said final product (PF) to exit.
     
    11. Capsule according to any preceding claim, wherein said first container (2) comprises a third interface element (8) fixed to a third peripheral edge (28) of a first casing (20) of said first container (2) and opposite said first interface element (6), said third interface element (8) comprising at least one supply hole (29) that is engageable by injecting means (61; 71) suitable for dispensing into said first cavity (4) a fluid (F) to be joined to said first product (P1).
     
    12. Capsule according to claim 11, wherein said first container (2) comprises a third covering element (22) substantially superimposed on said third interface element (8) and arranged for hermetically closing said first cavity (4), said third covering element (22) being perforable by said injecting means (61; 71).
     
    13. A dispensing machine for a capsule (1) comprising a first container (2) compressible and/or crushable and provided with a first cavity (4) containing a first product (P1), and a second container (3) compressible and/or crushable and provided with a second cavity (5) containing a second product (P2) and with opening promoting means (39, 40) suitable for making an outlet when said second container (3) is compressed and/or crushed, said first container (2) and said second container being coupled to one another in a assembled configuration (B) of said capsule (1), in which said first container (2) is in flow connection with said second container (3), said machine (60) being characterized in that it includes:

    - support means (62) suitable for receiving and supporting a peripheral edge (37) of said second container (3) of said capsule (1) with said first container (2) connected to said second container (3) in said assembled configuration (B), wherein said first cavity (4) and said second cavity (5) are in flow connection;

    - injecting means (61) arranged for injecting a fluid (F) into said first cavity (4);

    - first abutting means (63) that is movable along a direction (A) to compress and crush said first container (2) against said support means (62), thus reducing an internal volume thereof so as to enable said fluid (F) to flow together with said first product (P1) into the second container (3) to join to said second product (P2) and make a final product (PF); and

    - second abutting means (64) that is movable along said direction (A) to compress and crush said second container (2) against said support means (62), thus reducing an internal volume thereof so as to enable said second container (3) to open and said final product (PF) to exit.


     
    14. Machine according to claim 13, wherein said first abutting means (63) is movable along said direction (A) between a first initial position (S1) wherein it is spaced apart from said support means (62) to enable said capsule (1) to be inserted onto the latter, a first intermediate operating position (S2) wherein said abutting means (61) abuts on said first container (2) and said injecting means (61) engages with and/or inserts into said first container (2) to inject said fluid (F), and a first final operating position (S3), wherein said first container (2) has a reduced volume that has been progressively compressed and/or crushed by said first abutting means (63) against said support means (61) so as to let said fluid (F) to flow together with said first product (P1) from said first container (2) into said second container (3).
     
    15. Machine according to claim 13 or 14, wherein said second abutting means (64) is movable along said direction (A) at least between a second initial position (S4) wherein it is spaced apart from said support means (62) to enable said capsule (1) to be inserted into the latter, and a second final operating positions (S6) wherein said second container (3) has a reduced volume that has been progressively compressed and crushed by said second abutting means (64) against said support means (61) so as to be opened and enable said final product (PF) to exit.
     
    16. Machine according to claim 15, as appended to claim 14, wherein the operating positions of said first abutting means (63) and of said second abutting means (64) can be set by a control unit of said machine (60) in function of a size of said capsule (1) stored in said control unit.
     
    17. Machine according to any one of claims 13 to 16, wherein said injecting means (61) is fixed to said first abutting means (63).
     
    18. Machine according to any one of claims 13 to 17, wherein said direction (A) is substantially vertical and orthogonal to a second base wall (33) of the second container (3).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kapsel, mit einem ersten Behälter (2), der mit einem ersten geschlossenen Hohlraum (4) versehen ist, der ein erstes Produkt (P1; P1') enthält, und einem zweiten Behälter (3), der mit einem zweiten geschlossenen Hohlraum (5) versehen ist, der ein zweites Produkt (P2) enthält, wobei der erste Behälter (2) und der zweite Behälter (3) ein erstes Schnittstellenelement (6), das dem ersten Hohlraum (4) zugewandt ist, bzw. ein zweites Schnittstellenelement (7) aufweisen, das dem zweiten Hohlraum (5) zugewandt ist, wobei die Kapsel (1) dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass das erste Schnittstellenelement (6) mit ersten Verbindungsmitteln (11) versehen ist, die erste Leitungsmittel (13) aufweisen, und das zweite Schnittstellenelement (7) mit zweiten Verbindungsmitteln (12) versehen ist, die zweite Leitungsmittel (14) aufweisen, wobei in einem zusammengefügten Zustand (B) der Kapsel (1), in dem der erste Behälter (2) an den zweiten Behälter (3) angeschlossen ist, die ersten Verbindungsmittel (11) mit den zweiten Verbindungsmitteln (12) in Eingriff stehen, um so die ersten Leitungsmittel (13) mit den zweiten Leitungsmitteln (14) zu koppeln und eine Fließverbindung zwischen dem ersten Hohlraum (4) und dem zweiten Hohlraum (5) herzustellen, derart, dass zumindest das erste Produkt (P1; P1') in den zweiten Hohlraum (5) gelangen und sich dem zweiten Produkt (P2) beifügen kann, um ein fertiges Produkt (PF) herzustellen.
     
    2. Kapsel nach Anspruch 1, wobei die ersten Verbindungsmittel zumindest einen ersten Vorsprung (11) aufweisen, der zum In-Eingriff-Kommen mit einem jeweiligen ersten Gehäuse (12) der zweiten Verbindungsmittel angeordnet ist, wobei die ersten Leitungsmittel eine erste Leitung (13) aufweisen, die in dem ersten Vorsprung (11) hergestellt ist, und wobei die zweiten Leitungsmittel eine zweite Leitung (14) aufweisen, die in dem ersten Gehäuse (12) hergestellt ist.
     
    3. Kapsel nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei der erste Behälter (2) ein erstes Abdeckelement (18) aufweist, das auf das erste Schnittstellenelement (6) im Wesentlichen aufgesetzt und zum hermetischen Schließen des ersten Hohlraums (4) angeordnet ist, und wobei der zweite Behälter (3) ein zweites Abdeckelement (19) aufweist, das auf das zweite Schnittstellenelement (7) im Wesentlichen aufgesetzt und zum hermetischen Schließen des zweiten Hohlraums (5) angeordnet ist, wobei das erste Abdeckelement (18) und das zweite Abdeckelement (19) durch die ersten Verbindungsmittel (11) und/oder durch die zweiten Verbindungsmittel (12) perforierbar sind, wenn die ersten Verbindungsmittel (11) und die zweiten Verbindungsmittel (12) in dem zusammengefügten Zustand (B) wechselseitig in Eingriff kommen, oder das erste Abdeckelement (12) und das zweite Abdeckelement (19) sind von dem ersten Behälter (2) und von dem zweiten Behälter (3) jeweils entfernbar und ablösbar, damit die ersten Verbindungsmittel (11) und die zweiten Verbindungsmittel (12) in dem zusammengefügten Zustand (B) in Eingriff kommen können.
     
    4. Kapsel nach irgendeinem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der zweite Behälter (3) zumindest eine Düse (16, 17; 47; 116) aufweist, die an dem zweiten Schnittstellenelement (7) festgelegt und zum Ausgeben zumindest des ersten Produktes (P1), das von dem ersten Hohlraum (4) kommt, innerhalb des zweiten Hohlraums (5) angeordnet ist.
     
    5. Kapsel nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Düse (16, 17) an dem zweiten Schnittstellenelement (7) festgelegt ist, so dass eine innere Leitung (16a, 17a) der Düse (16, 17) mit den zweiten Leitungsmitteln (14) verbunden ist.
     
    6. Kapsel nach irgendeinem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der erste Behälter (2) komprimierbar und/oder zerdrückbar ist, damit zumindest das erste Produkt (P1) von dem ersten Hohlraum (4) in den zweiten Hohlraum (5) übertragen werden kann, wobei der erste Behälter (2) einen ersten Mantel (20; 120) aufweist, der mit einer ersten Seitenwand (24; 124) versehen ist, die verformbar und/oder komprimierbar ist, damit der erste Mantel (20; 120) entlang einer Richtung (A), die quer zu dem ersten Schnittstellenelement (6) verläuft, komprimiert und/oder zerdrückt werden kann.
     
    7. Kapsel nach irgendeinem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der zweite Behälter (3) komprimierbar und/oder zerdrückbar ist, damit das fertige Produkt (PF) aus dem zweiten Hohlraum (5) austreten kann, wobei der zweite Behälter (3) einen zweiten Mantel (30) aufweist, der mit einer zweiten Seitenwand (34) versehen ist, die verformbar und/oder komprimierbar ist, damit der zweite Mantel (30) entlang einer Richtung (A), die quer zu dem ersten Schnittstellenelement (6) ist, komprimiert und/oder zerdrückt werden kann.
     
    8. Kapsel nach Anspruch 7, wobei der zweite Behälter (3) ein Öffnen begünstigende Mittel (39, 40) aufweist, die zum Herstellen eines Auslasses für das Fertigprodukt (PF) angeordnet sind, wenn der zweite Behälter (3) komprimiert und/oder zerdrückt wird.
     
    9. Kapsel nach Anspruch 7 oder 8, sofern Anspruch 7 von Anspruch 6 abhängig ist, wobei der erste Mantel (20; 120) einen ersten Umfangsrand (27; 127) aufweist, der mit der ersten Seitenwand (24; 124) verbunden ist, und an dem das erste Schnittstellenelement (6) festgelegt ist, und wobei der zweite Mantel (30; 130) einen zweiten Umfangsrand (37; 137) aufweist, der mit der zweiten Seitenwand (34; 134) verbunden ist, und an dem das zweite Schnittstellenelement (7) festgelegt ist.
     
    10. Kapsel nach irgendeinem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der erste Behälter (2) und/oder der zweite Behälter (3) perforierbar ist/sind, damit ein Fluid (F) dem ersten Produkt (P1) und/oder dem zweiten Produkt (P2) übergeben und beigefügt werden kann, und/oder damit das fertige Produkt (PF) austreten kann.
     
    11. Kapsel nach irgendeinem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der erste Behälter (2) ein drittes Schnittstellenelement (8) aufweist, das an einem dritten Umfangsrand (28) eines ersten Mantels (20) des ersten Behälters (2) und dem ersten Schnittstellenelement (6) gegenüberliegend festgelegt ist, wobei das dritte Schnittstellenelement (8) zumindest ein Zuführloch (29) aufweist, das von Injiziermitteln (61; 71) in Eingriff genommen werden kann, die zum Ausgeben eines Fluids (F), das dem ersten Produkt (P1) beizufügen ist, in den ersten Hohlraum (4) geeignet sind.
     
    12. Kapsel nach Anspruch 11, wobei der erste Behälter (2) ein drittes Abdeckelement (22) aufweist, das auf das dritte Schnittstellenelement (8) im Wesentlichen aufgesetzt und zum hermetischen Schließen des ersten Hohlraums (4) angeordnet ist, wobei das dritte Abdeckelement (22) durch die Injiziermittel (61; 71) perforierbar ist.
     
    13. Ausgabemaschine für eine Kapsel (1), die einen ersten Behälter (2), der komprimierbar und/oder zerdrückbar und mit einem ersten Hohlraum (4) versehen ist, der ein erstes Produkt (P1) enthält, und einen zweiten Behälter (3) aufweist, der komprimierbar und/oder zerdrückbar und mit einem zweiten Hohlraum (5), der ein zweites Produkt (P2) enthält, und mit ein Öffnen begünstigenden Mitteln (39, 40) versehen ist, die zum Herstellen eines Auslasses geeignet sind, wenn der zweite Behälter (3) komprimiert und/oder zerdrückt wird, wobei der erste Behälter (2) und der zweite Behälter in einem zusammengefügten Zustand (B) der Kapsel (1), in dem der erste Behälter (2) in Fließverbindung mit dem zweiten Behälter (3) steht, miteinander gekoppelt sind, wobei die Maschine (60) dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass sie aufweist:

    - Stützmittel (62), die zum Aufnehmen und Stützen eines Umfangsrandes (37) des zweiten Behälters (3) der Kapsel (1) geeignet sind, wobei der erste Behälter (2) mit dem zweiten Behälter (3) in dem zusammengefügten Zustand (B) verbunden ist, wobei der erste Hohlraum (4) und der zweite Hohlraum (5) in Fließverbindung stehen;

    - Injiziermittel (61), die zum Injizieren eines Fluids (F) in den ersten Hohlraum (4) angeordnet sind;

    - erste Anlagemittel (63), die entlang einer Richtung (A) beweglich sind, um den ersten Behälter (2) gegen die Stützmittel (62) zu komprimieren und zu zerdrücken, wodurch ein Innenvolumen desselben verringert wird, so dass das Fluid (F) zusammen mit dem ersten Produkt (P1) in den zweiten Behälter (3) fließen kann, um sich dem zweiten Produkt (P2) beizufügen und um ein fertiges Produkt (PF) herzustellen; und

    - zweite Anlagemittel (64), die entlang der Richtung A) beweglich sind, um den zweiten Behälter (2) gegen die Stützmittel 62) zu komprimieren und zu zerdrücken, wodurch ein Innenvolumen desselben verringert wird, so dass sich der zweite Behälter (3) öffnen und das fertige Produkt (PF) austreten kann.


     
    14. Maschine nach Anspruch 13, wobei die ersten Anlagemittel (63) entlang der Richtung (A) zwischen einer ersten Anfangsposition (S1), in der sie von den Stützmitteln (62) beabstandet sind, damit die Kapsel (1) in Letztere eingesetzt werden kann, einer ersten Zwischenbetriebsstellung (S2), in der die Anlagemittel (61) an dem ersten Behälter (2) anliegen und die Injiziermittel (61) mit dem ersten Behälter (2) in Eingriff kommen und/oder sich in den ersten Behälter (2) einsetzen, um das Fluid (F) zu injizieren, und einer ersten Endbetriebsstellung (S3) beweglich sind, in der der erste Behälter (2) ein verringertes Volumen aufweist, der von den ersten Anlagemitteln (63) zunehmend gegen die Stützmittel (61) komprimiert und/oder zerdrückt worden ist, um so das Fluid (F) zusammen mit dem ersten Produkt (P1) von dem ersten Behälter (2) in den zweiten Behälter (3) fließen zu lassen.
     
    15. Maschine nach Anspruch 13 oder 14, wobei die zweiten Anlagemittel (64) entlang der Richtung (A) zumindest zwischen einer zweiten Anfangsposition (S4), in der sie von den Stützmitteln (62) beabstandet sind, damit die Kapsel (1) in Letztere eingesetzt werden kann, und einer zweiten Endbetriebsstellung (S6) beweglich sind, in der der zweite Behälter (3) ein verringertes Volumen aufweist, der durch die zweiten Anlagemittel (64) gegen die Stützmittel (61) zunehmend komprimiert und zerdrückt worden ist, damit er geöffnet wird und das fertige Produkt (PF) austreten kann.
     
    16. Maschine nach Anspruch 15, sofern von Anspruch 14 abhängig, wobei die Betriebsstellungen der ersten Anlagemittel (63) und der zweiten Anlagemittel (64) durch eine Steuereinheit der Maschine (60) in Abhängigkeit einer Größe der Kapsel (1), die in der Steuereinheit gespeichert ist, eingestellt werden können.
     
    17. Maschine nach irgendeinem der Ansprüche 13 bis 16, wobei die Injiziermittel (61) an den ersten Anlagemitteln (63) festgelegt sind.
     
    18. Maschine nach irgendeinem der Ansprüche 13 bis 17, wobei die Richtung (A) im Wesentlichen vertikal und orthogonal zu einer zweiten Grundwand (33) des zweiten Behälters (3) verläuft.
     


    Revendications

    1. Capsule, comprenant un premier récipient (2) pourvu d'une première cavité fermée (4) contenant un premier produit (P1 ; P1') et un deuxième récipient (3) pourvu d'une deuxième cavité fermée (5) contenant un deuxième produit (P2), ledit premier récipient (2) et ledit deuxième récipient (3) comprenant, respectivement, un premier élément d'interface (6) faisant face à ladite première cavité (4) et un deuxième élément d'interface (7) faisant face à ladite deuxième cavité (5), ladite capsule (1) étant caractérisée en ce que ledit premier élément d'interface (6) est pourvu de premiers moyens de raccordement (11) comportant des premiers moyens de conduit (13) et ledit deuxième élément d'interface (7) est pourvu de deuxièmes moyens de raccordement (12) comportant des deuxièmes moyens de conduit (14), dans une configuration assemblée (B) de ladite capsule (1), dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) est associé audit deuxième récipient (3), lesdits premiers moyens de raccordement (11) étant en engagement avec lesdits deuxièmes moyens de raccordement (12) de manière à coupler lesdits premiers moyens de conduit (13) auxdits deuxièmes moyens de conduit (14) et à établir une connexion fluidique entre ladite première cavité (4) et ladite deuxième cavité (5) afin de permettre au moins audit premier produit (P1 ; P1') de venir dans ladite deuxième cavité (5) et de se joindre audit deuxième produit (P2) pour obtenir un produit final (PF).
     
    2. Capsule selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle lesdits premiers moyens de raccordement comprennent au moins un premier élément en saillie (11) agencé pour venir en engagement avec un premier logement respectif (12) desdits deuxièmes moyens de raccordement, lesdits premiers moyens de conduit comprenant un premier conduit (13) ménagé dans ledit premier élément en saillie (11) et lesdits deuxièmes moyens de conduit comprenant un deuxième conduit (14) ménagé dans ledit premier logement (12).
     
    3. Capsule selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) comprend un premier élément de recouvrement (18) sensiblement superposé audit premier élément d'interface (6) et agencé pour fermer de manière hermétique ladite première cavité (4), et ledit deuxième récipient (3) comprend un deuxième élément de recouvrement (19) sensiblement superposé audit deuxième élément d'interface (7) et agencé pour fermer de manière hermétique ladite deuxième cavité (5), ledit premier élément de recouvrement (18) et ledit deuxième élément de recouvrement (19) pouvant être perforés par lesdits premiers moyens de raccordement (11) et/ou par lesdits deuxièmes moyens de raccordement (12) lorsque lesdits premiers moyens de raccordement (11) et lesdits deuxièmes moyens de raccordement (12) sont en engagement mutuel dans ladite configuration assemblée (B), ou bien ledit premier élément de recouvrement (18) et ledit deuxième élément de recouvrement (19) pouvant être retirés et détachés respectivement dudit premier récipient (2) et dudit deuxième récipient (3) pour permettre que lesdits premiers moyens de raccordement (11) et lesdits deuxièmes moyens de raccordement (12) viennent en engagement dans ladite configuration assemblée (B).
     
    4. Capsule selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle ledit deuxième récipient (3) comprend au moins une buse (16, 17 ; 47 ; 116) fixée audit deuxième élément d'interface (7) et agencée pour distribuer à l'intérieur de ladite deuxième cavité (5) au moins ledit premier produit (P1) provenant de ladite première cavité (4).
     
    5. Capsule selon la revendication 4, dans laquelle ladite buse (16, 17) est fixée audit deuxième élément d'interface (7) de telle manière qu'un conduit interne (16a, 17a) de ladite buse (16, 17) est raccordé auxdits deuxièmes moyens de conduit (14).
     
    6. Capsule selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) peut être comprimé et/ou écrasé pour permettre au moins audit premier produit (P1) d'être transféré de ladite première cavité (4) vers ladite deuxième cavité (5), ledit premier récipient (2) comprenant un premier boîtier (20 ; 120) pourvu d'une première paroi latérale (24 ; 124) qui peut être déformée et/ou comprimée pour permettre audit premier boîtier (20 ; 120) d'être comprimé et/ou écrasé le long d'une direction (A) qui est transversale audit premier élément d'interface (6).
     
    7. Capsule selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle ledit deuxième récipient (3) peut être comprimé et/ou écrasé pour permettre audit produit final (PF) de sortir de ladite deuxième cavité (5), ledit deuxième récipient (3) comprenant un deuxième boîtier (30) pourvu d'une deuxième paroi latérale (34) qui peut être déformée et/ou comprimée pour permettre audit deuxième boîtier (30) d'être comprimé et/ou écrasé le long d'une direction (A) qui est transversale audit premier élément d'interface (6).
     
    8. Capsule selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle ledit deuxième récipient (3) comprend des moyens (39, 40) destinés à faciliter l'ouverture et agencés pour constituer une ouverture de sortie pour ledit produit final (PF) lorsque ledit deuxième récipient (3) est comprimé et/ou écrasé.
     
    9. Capsule selon la revendication 7 ou 8, dans la mesure où la revendication 7 dépend de la revendication 6, dans laquelle ledit premier boîtier (20 ; 120) comprend un premier bord périphérique (27 ; 127) relié à ladite première paroi latérale (24 ; 124) et auquel ledit premier élément d'interface (6) est fixé, et dans laquelle ledit deuxième boîtier (30 ; 130) comprend un deuxième bord périphérique (37 ; 137) relié à ladite deuxième paroi latérale (34 ; 134) et auquel ledit deuxième élément d'interface (7) est fixé.
     
    10. Capsule selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) et/ou ledit deuxième récipient (3) peut (peuvent) être perforé(s) pour permettre à un fluide (F) d'être distribué et de se joindre audit premier produit (P1) et/ou audit deuxième produit (P2) et/ou pour permettre audit produit final (PF) de sortir.
     
    11. Capsule selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) comprend un troisième élément d'interface (8) fixé à un troisième bord périphérique (28) d'un premier boîtier (20) dudit premier récipient (2) et opposé audit premier élément d'interface (6), ledit troisième élément d'interface (8) comprenant au moins un orifice d'alimentation (29) avec lequel peuvent venir en engagement des moyens d'injection (61 ; 71) aptes à distribuer dans ladite première cavité (4) un fluide (F) devant se joindre audit premier produit (P1).
     
    12. Capsule selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) comprend un troisième élément de recouvrement (22) sensiblement superposé audit troisième élément d'interface (8) et agencé pour fermer de manière hermétique ladite première cavité (4), ledit troisième élément de recouvrement (22) pouvant être perforé par lesdits moyens d'injection (61 ; 71).
     
    13. Machine de distribution pour capsule (1) comprenant un premier récipient (2), pouvant être comprimé et/ou écrasé et qui est pourvu d'une première cavité (4) contenant un premier produit (P1), et un deuxième récipient (3), pouvant être comprimé et/ou écrasé et qui est pourvu d'une deuxième cavité (5) contenant un deuxième produit (P2) et de moyens (39, 40) destinés à faciliter l'ouverture et aptes à constituer une ouverture de sortie lorsque ledit deuxième récipient (3) est comprimé et/ou écrasé, ledit premier récipient (2) et ledit deuxième récipient étant couplés l'un à l'autre dans une configuration assemblée (B) de ladite capsule (1), dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) est en connexion fluidique avec ledit deuxième récipient (3), ladite machine (60) étant caractérisée en ce qu'elle comprend :

    - des moyens de support (62) aptes à recevoir et supporter un bord périphérique (37) dudit deuxième récipient (3) de ladite capsule (1), ledit premier récipient (2) étant raccordé audit deuxième récipient (3) dans ladite configuration assemblée (B), et ladite première cavité (4) et ladite deuxième cavité (5) étant en connexion fluidique;

    - des moyens d'injection (61) agencés pour injecter un fluide (F) dans ladite première cavité (4) ;

    - des premiers moyens de butée (63) qui sont mobiles le long d'une direction (A) pour comprimer et écraser ledit premier récipient (2) contre lesdits moyens de support (62), en réduisant ainsi un volume interne de ce dernier de manière à permettre audit fluide (F) de s'écouler en même temps que ledit premier produit (P1) dans ledit deuxième récipient (3) pour se joindre audit deuxième produit (P2), et obtenir un produit final (PF) ; et

    - des deuxièmes moyens de butée (64) qui sont mobiles le long de ladite direction (A) pour comprimer et écraser ledit deuxième récipient (2) contre lesdits moyens de support (62), en réduisant ainsi un volume interne de ce dernier de manière à permettre audit deuxième récipient (3) de s'ouvrir et audit produit final (PF) de sortir.


     
    14. Machine selon la revendication 13, dans laquelle lesdits premiers moyens de butée (63) sont mobiles le long de ladite direction (A) entre une première position initiale (S1), dans laquelle ils sont à une certaine distance desdits moyens de support (62) pour permettre à ladite capsule (1) d'être insérée sur ces derniers, une première position intermédiaire de fonctionnement (S2), dans laquelle lesdits moyens de butée (61) viennent en butée sur ledit premier récipient (2) et lesdits moyens d'injection (61) viennent en engagement avec et/ou s'insèrent dans ledit premier récipient (2) pour injecter ledit fluide (F), et une première position finale de fonctionnement (S3), dans laquelle ledit premier récipient (2) a un volume réduit qui a été progressivement comprimé et/ou écrasé par lesdits premiers moyens de butée (63) contre lesdits moyens de support (61) de manière à permettre audit fluide (F) de s'écouler en même temps que ledit premier produit (P1) dudit premier récipient (2) dans ledit deuxième récipient (3).
     
    15. Machine selon la revendication 13 ou 14, dans laquelle lesdits deuxièmes moyens de butée (64) sont mobiles le long de ladite direction (A) au moins entre une deuxième position initiale (S4), dans laquelle ils sont à une certaine distance desdits moyens de support (62) pour permettre à ladite capsule (1) d'être insérée dans ces derniers, et une deuxième position finale de fonctionnement (S6), dans laquelle ledit deuxième récipient (3) a un volume réduit qui a été progressivement comprimé et écrasé par lesdits deuxièmes moyens de butée (64) contre lesdits moyens de support (61) de manière à être ouvert et à permettre audit produit final (PF) de sortir.
     
    16. Machine selon la revendication 15, dans la mesure où elle dépend de la revendication 14, dans laquelle les positions de fonctionnement desdits premiers moyens de butée (63) et desdits deuxièmes moyens de butée (64) peuvent être réglées par une unité de commande de ladite machine (60) en fonction d'une taille - mémorisée dans ladite unité de commande - de ladite capsule (1).
     
    17. Machine selon l'une quelconque des revendications 13 à 16, dans laquelle lesdits moyens d'injection (61) sont fixés auxdits premiers moyens de butée (63).
     
    18. Machine selon l'une quelconque des revendications 13 à 17, dans laquelle ladite direction (A) est sensiblement verticale et orthogonale à une deuxième paroi de fond (33) du deuxième récipient (3).
     




    Drawing

















    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description