(19)
(11)EP 3 473 146 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
07.04.2021 Bulletin 2021/14

(21)Application number: 18201113.0

(22)Date of filing:  18.10.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A47J 31/36  (2006.01)

(54)

DECOCTION DEVICE AND EXTRACTION APPARATUS

ABSCHEIDEVORRICHTUNG UND EXTRAKTIONSVORRICHTUNG

DISPOSITIF DE DÉCOCTION ET APPAREIL D'EXTRACTION


(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: 20.10.2017 NL 2019777

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/17

(73)Proprietor: J.M. de Jong Duke Automatenfabriek B.V.
3364 AA Sliedrecht (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • DE GROEN, Cornelis
    3342 BT Hendrik Ido Ambacht (NL)
  • BRIJDER, Eduard Adri
    4207 TV Gorinchem (NL)

(74)Representative: Jilderda, Anne Ayolt 
LIOC Patents & Trademarks Zwaanstraat 31 L
5651 CA Eindhoven
5651 CA Eindhoven (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 474 253
DE-A1-102016 002 150
GB-A- 2 273 864
WO-A1-2014/077687
DE-U1-202011 005 003
US-A- 4 172 669
  
      
    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 present invention relates to a decoction device for an extraction apparatus, in particular for preparing espresso, comprising a decoction chamber enclosed by a chamber wall for receiving a quantity of powder therein, which decoction chamber extends longitudinally between a first chamber bottom and a second chamber bottom, wherein at least the first chamber bottom is coupled to a linear actuator and is axially movable in the decoction chamber so as to compress the powder in the decoction chamber to a bed, and wherein a drive is provided to impose a relative rotation between at least one of the chamber bottoms and the chamber wall as the chamber bottoms approach each other.

    [0002] Such a decoction device is known from the European patent EP 2.474.253. Described herein is a coffee machine with a decoction device which is placed at an angle therein. The decoction device comprises a decoction chamber inside a cylindrical chamber wall which is provided about halfway along with a feed opening for the supply of a quantity of coffee powder. The decoction chamber is bounded on either side by a first and a second chamber bottom respectively. The first chamber bottom here comprises a piston on an outer end of a piston rod which, prior to admission of hot water, makes an axial inward stroke in order to press the coffee powder to a compact bed against the second chamber bottom. This latter is provided with a filter and an outflow port from which a coffee extract, usually referred to as espresso, can exit after hot water has been carried from an opposite side at increased pressure through the coffee bed.

    [0003] UK patent application 2.273.864 discloses a vertical arrangement of a decoction device in which a slidable plunger is coupled to separate motor drives; one for performing an axial stroke that compresses an amount of coffee powder that has been charged into the infusion chamber, and the other for imposing a rotation to said piston while it compresses said coffee powder. Said plunger is shown as a differential piston, carrying a first part that compresses said coffee powder and a second part that has a diameter corresponding to the powder inlet to seal against said inlet while the plunger makes said compression stroke.

    [0004] It is important here that the coffee powder is distributed uniformly in the bed and compressed homogeneously so as to enhance uniform distribution of the hot water over the coffee bed. This not only saves coffee, it also improves the flavour, quality and uniformity of the prepared extract. In the known device, known from EP 2.474.253, the piston rod is provided for this purpose with a helical groove with which a cam extending from the chamber wall is in engagement. During an axial movement of the piston rod a rotation is thus superimposed thereon which results in a corresponding rotation of the first chamber bottom during compacting of the coffee bed. The coffee powder is hereby entrained and is thus better distributed over the surface of the chamber bottom. The known device, known from GB 2.273.864, has a separate motor that sets the moving piston into rotation while it compresses the coffee powder.

    [0005] Although an improved homogeneity is thus obtained in the coffee bed, the known devices have the drawback that two movements are performed simultaneously by the piston rod, viz. a translation and a rotation. During the approach of the first chamber bottom to the second chamber bottom and the compaction of the coffee bed, this rotation will be particularly subject to a high resistance which is manifested as a high torsion, and thus high load, on the piston rod. This must therefore be given a relatively heavy form so that it does not collapse at some point under this load. Furthermore, both the movements are inevitably directly linked to each other and influence each other in the known device of EP 2.474.253, this also limiting the freedom in design of the machine, while GB 2.273.864 requires separate motors to separate both movements.

    [0006] The present invention therefore has for its object, among others, to provide a decoction device which obviates these and other drawbacks to at least significant extent.

    [0007] In order to achieve the stated object, a decoction device of the type described in the preamble has the feature according to a first aspect of the invention that the second chamber bottom is rotatable within the chamber wall, and that the drive is able and configured to impose a relative rotation between the second chamber bottom and the chamber wall during an approach movement of the first chamber bottom. According to the invention it is therefore not so much the first chamber bottom, which performs an axial translation in order to compress the powder to a compact bed, which is set into rotation, but rather that a rotation is imposed on the second chamber bottom relative to the chamber wall. Setting either the second chamber bottom or the chamber wall into rotation during forming of the coffee bed achieves that the powder is entrained thereby and will be better distributed over the surface of the chamber bottoms without this having to result in an additional load on the first chamber bottom and the actuator coupled thereto. Both movements are thus in principle separate of each other and can therefore be imposed moreover to at least greater extent independently of each other.

    [0008] The decoction device can be provided here with a drive which is wholly independent of the drive of the first chamber bottom. However, from the viewpoint of saving materials, components, dimensions and cost, a preferred embodiment of the decoction device according to the invention has the feature that the drive comprises a transmission to the actuator of the first chamber bottom. While the rotation of the second chamber bottom relative to the chamber wall is thus linked to the actuator which provides for driving of the first chamber bottom, the transmission placed therebetween will nevertheless provide sufficient freedom of design for an optimal rotation (speed) relative to the linear movement of the first chamber bottom, with a view to an ideal powder distribution.

    [0009] A particular embodiment of the decoction device according to the invention has the feature here that the transmission comprises a gearwheel transmission and that the actuator comprises a screw spindle. While the rotation of the second chamber bottom is derived here from that of the screw spindle, with a suitable choice of gearwheel and gear ratio it can nevertheless be adjusted with more freedom and adapted to an optimal powder distribution over the surface between the two chamber bottoms. Furthermore, such a setting of the transmission ratio can optionally also be controlled dynamically if desired, for instance by means of conical transmission members which are axially extendable.

    [0010] From a practical viewpoint it is preferred to link the rotation of the rotating chamber bottom to the actuator. The decoction device thus requires only a single coupling to a motor and only one motor for energizing both movements which have to be performed by the chamber bottoms. This moreover results in space-saving and a saving on components. In order to counter overload of the actuator here resulting from excessive friction of the rotating chamber bottom on the coffee bed when it is being compressed between the two chamber bottoms, a decoction device of the type described in the preamble has the feature according to a second aspect of the invention that the drive comprises a transmission to the actuator and that a slip coupling is received in the drive. Such a slip coupling limits the force which will be transmitted by the transmission and thereby provides a safety mechanism against overload of this transmission, the actuator and/or a motor coupled thereto. Up to that moment the rotation applied thereby will nevertheless have ensured a homogeneous distribution of the powder over the surface of the powder bed.

    [0011] In a particular embodiment the decoction device has the feature according to the invention that a slip coupling is received in the drive and that the slip coupling comprises a set of friction bodies which lie under pressure against each other transversely of a drive line, in particular under a spring pressure of spring means. A maximum drive torque is thus determined by a relative friction between the two friction bodies in combination with a bias of the spring means. This latter can optionally be mechanically and/or electronically adjustable here.

    [0012] The invention also relates to an extraction apparatus, in particular a coffee machine, provided with such a decoction device, and will be further elucidated hereinbelow with reference to an exemplary embodiment and an accompanying drawing. In the drawing:
    Figure 1
    shows a longitudinal section of an exemplary embodiment of a decoction device according to the invention;
    Figure 2
    shows a cross-section of a (transmission) part of the decoction device of figure 1; and
    Figure 3
    is a perspective view of the part in figure 2.


    [0013] It is otherwise noted here that the figures are purely schematic and not always drawn to (the same) scale. Some dimensions in particular may be exaggerated to greater or lesser extent for the sake of clarity. Corresponding parts are designated in the figures with the same reference numeral.

    [0014] Figure 1 shows in side view a cross-section of an exemplary embodiment of a decoction device according to the invention. This decoction device is applied substantially in a horizontal orientation in an extraction machine; in this example a coffee machine for preparing espresso coffee and coffee specialties possibly derived therefrom, such as for instance lungo and cappuccino. The decoction device comprises a plastic housing 3 which provides space for a cylindrical decoction chamber 7 enclosed by a chamber wall 5. Provided in the chamber wall 5 with a view to supply of coffee powder into decoction chamber 7 is a supply opening 9 through which a measured quantity of ground coffee can be introduced into the decoction chamber. Because of the horizontal orientation of the decoction device this results in the forming of a characteristic powder heap 11 as shown by way of illustration in the figure.

    [0015] The decoction chamber is bound on either side by a first chamber bottom 20 and a second chamber bottom 30. First chamber bottom 20 is axially movable and coupled to a linear actuator 40 in the form of a set of screw spindles, one of which is shown in the figure. The screw spindles are driven by a motor of the extraction apparatus in which the decoction device will be placed, which motor is located outside the decoction device and therefore not further shown. The decoction device comprises for this purpose a motor connection 45 on an outer end of screw spindles 40. The first chamber bottom is moreover provided with supply means for the feed and passage of hot water. The supply means comprise a hot water connection 25 to which a water conduit of the extraction apparatus can be coupled and supplied during operation by a hot water supply and a pump of the extraction apparatus. Hot water is hereby delivered under increased pressure and guided into decoction chamber 7 via a passage opening provided for the purpose in the first chamber bottom.

    [0016] Second chamber bottom 30 comprises a coffee filter 33 and an outflow opening 35 through which the extract to be prepared can exit while powder 11 remains behind in the decoction chamber. Provided outside the plane of the drawing on the opening is a hose coupling for an outlet conduit leading to an outflow of the apparatus where the product can be taken away by the user.

    [0017] The powder 11 has already been compressed to a cohesive bed, i.e. before extraction, in that the first chamber bottom 20 has been extended axially by actuator 40, carrying the coffee powder 11 with it. The thus compressed coffee bed allows, in combination with an adequate pump capacity, a pressure build-up which is sufficient to extract a so-called espresso coffee. It is desirable here that powder 11 is distributed uniformly over the bed so that the hot water is guided uniformly therethrough.

    [0018] Provided for this purpose is a drive which in this example, see also figures 2 and 3, is coupled to second chamber bottom 30 in order to impose a rotation thereon as it approaches first chamber bottom 20. The rotating filter is driven by being coupled to one of the two spindles 40 already being used to drive the basic mechanism of the decoction device. During the movement of the opposite chamber bottom 20 the rotating chamber bottom 30 will ensure that a uniformly distributed coffee bed results.

    [0019] In this example this drive comprises a gearwheel transmission 51..53 to one of the screw spindles 40. With a suitable transmission ratio of the gearwheels 51 ..53 an appropriate rotation speed can be imparted here to second chamber bottom 30 with a view to an optimal distribution of the coffee powder 11 in the coffee bed. Further contributing hereto is a relief which can be provided on the main surface of the second chamber bottom facing toward first chamber bottom 20.

    [0020] Provided for the purpose of avoiding overload of the motor, spindles 40 and gearwheel transmission 51..53 between spindles 40 and the rotating chamber bottom 30 is a slip coupling 60. This latter ensures that the coffee bed can be further compacted once it has been uniformly distributed. Because of this coupling the rotating chamber bottom 30 ceases to rotate when the resistance of the coffee bed becomes too high. This mechanism is mounted in the front frame of the decoction system further shown in figures 2 and 3. Slip coupling 60 is mounted directly onto spindle 40. The slip coupling consists of bush 61, a gearwheel 51, a slide plate 62 and a spring 63. Via an intermediate gearwheel 52 the rotation of spindle 40 is transmitted to a central gearwheel 53 mounted on the chamber bottom 30 to be rotated. This chamber bottom 30 comprises a filter carrier 31 and a filter 33, and is therefore also referred to simply as filter.

    [0021] All in all, a particularly effective and reliable decoction device is hereby provided, in particular for a coffee machine, with which a better coffee quality and uniformity can be achieved.

    [0022] Although the invention has been further elucidated above with reference to only a single exemplary embodiment, it will be apparent that the invention is by no means limited thereto. On the contrary, many variations and embodiments are still possible within the scope of the invention for a person with ordinary skill in the art as defined by the scope of the claims.


    Claims

    1. Decoction device for an extraction apparatus, in particular for preparing espresso, comprising a decoction chamber (7) enclosed by a chamber wall (5) for receiving a quantity of powder therein, which decoction chamber extends longitudinally between a first chamber bottom (20) and a second chamber bottom (30), wherein at least the first chamber bottom (20) is coupled to a linear actuator (40) and is axially movable in the decoction chamber so as to compress the powder in the decoction chamber to a bed, and wherein a drive is provided to impose a relative rotation between at least one of the chamber bottoms (20,30) and the chamber wall (5) as the chamber bottoms approach each other, characterized in that the second chamber bottom (30) is rotatable within the chamber wall (5), and that the drive is able and configured to impose a relative rotation between the second chamber bottom and the chamber wall during an approach movement of the first chamber bottom.
     
    2. Decoction device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the drive comprises a transmission (51-53) to the actuator (40) of the first chamber bottom.
     
    3. Decoction device as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the transmission comprises a gearwheel transmission (51-53) and that the actuator comprises a screw spindle (40).
     
    4. Decoction device as claimed in one or more of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the second chamber bottom (30) is coupled via a slip coupling (60) to the drive (40).
     
    5. Decoction device as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the slip coupling comprises a set of friction bodies (61,62) which lie under pressure against each other transversely of a drive line, in particular under a spring pressure of spring means (63).
     
    6. Decoction device as claimed in one or more of the foregoing claims, characterized in that at least one of the chamber bottoms (20,30) bears a relief on a main surface facing toward the other chamber bottom (30,20).
     
    7. Extraction apparatus, in particular a coffee machine, comprising a decoction device as claimed in one or more of the foregoing claims.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Abscheidevorrichtung für eine Extraktionsvorrichtung, insbesondere zur Zubereitung von Espresso, umfassend eine von einer Kammerwand (5) umgebene Abscheidekammer (7) zum darin Empfangen einer Pulvermenge, welche Abscheidekammer sich längs zwischen einem ersten Kammerboden (20) und einem zweiten Kammerboden (30) erstreckt, wobei zumindest der erste Kammerboden (20) an einen Linearaktor (40) angeschlossen und axial in der Abscheidekammer bewegbar ist, um das Pulver in der Abscheidekammer zu einem Bett zu komprimieren, und wobei ein Antrieb bereitgestellt ist, um eine Relativrotation zwischen wenigstens einem der Kammerböden (20, 30) und der Kammerwand (5) zu bewirken während sich die Kammerböden einander annähern,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    der zweite Kammerboden (30) innerhalb der Kammerwand (5) rotierbar ist, und der Antrieb dazu in der Lage und eingerichtet ist eine Relativrotation zwischen dem zweiten Kammerboden und der Kammerwand während einer Annäherungsbewegung des ersten Kammerbodens zu bewirken.
     
    2. Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 1,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    der Antrieb eine Übersetzung (51-53) zum Linearaktor (40) des ersten Kammerbodens umfasst.
     
    3. Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 2,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    die Übersetzung ein Zahnradgetriebe (51-53) umfasst und, dass der Linearaktor eine Schraubenspindel (40) umfasst.
     
    4. Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    der zweite Kammerboden (30) über eine Rutschkupplung (60) an den Antrieb (40) angeschlossen ist.
     
    5. Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 4,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    die Rutschkupplung einen Satz Reibkörper (61, 62) umfasst, welche quer zu einem Antriebsstrang mit Druck aufeinander anliegen, insbesondere unter einem Federdruck von Federmitteln (63).
     
    6. Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    wenigstens einer der Kammerböden (20, 30) eine Freigabe an einer dem anderen Kammerboden (20,30) zugewandten Hauptfläche trägt.
     
    7. Extraktionsvorrichtung, insbesondere eine Kaffeemaschine, umfassend eine Abscheidevorrichtung gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de décoction pour un appareil d'extraction, en particulier pour préparer un expresso, comprenant une chambre de décoction (7) fermée par une paroi (5) pour recevoir une quantité de poudre, ladite chambre de décoction s'étendant longitudinalement entre un premier fond de chambre (20) et une second fond de chambre (30), le premier fond de chambre (20) au moins étant couplé à un actionneur linéaire (40) et pouvant être déplacé axialement dans la chambre de décoction de manière à compresser la poudre dans la chambre de décoction contre un fond, et un entraînement imposant une rotation relative entre au moins un des fonds de chambre (20, 30) et la paroi de la chambre (5) tandis que les fonds de chambre s'approchent l'un de l'autre, se caractérisant en ce que le second fond de chambre (30) peut effectuer une rotation dans l'enceinte de la paroi de la chambre (5), et en ce que l'entraînement est capable de et configuré pour imposer une rotation relative entre le second fond de chambre et la paroi de la chambre pendant un mouvement d'approche du premier fond de chambre.
     
    2. Dispositif de décoction selon la revendication 1, se caractérisant en ce que l'entraînement comprend une transmission (51-53) à l'actionneur (40) du fond de la première chambre.
     
    3. Dispositif de décoction selon la revendication 2, se caractérisant en ce que la transmission comprend une transmission à pignon (51-53) et en ce que l'actionneur comprend une broche filetée (40).
     
    4. Dispositif de décoction selon une ou plusieurs des revendications précédentes, se caractérisant en ce que le fond de la seconde chambre (30) est couplé via un accouplement à friction (60) à l'entraînement (40).
     
    5. Dispositif de décoction selon la revendication 4, se caractérisant en ce que l'accouplement à friction comprend un ensemble d'organes de friction (61, 62) qui reposent sous pression l'un contre l'autre de manière transversale par rapport à une ligne de transmission, en particulier sous la pression d'un dispositif à ressort (63).
     
    6. Dispositif de décoction selon une ou plusieurs des revendications précédentes, se caractérisant en ce qu'au moins un des fonds de chambre (20, 30) est équipé d'un organe de décompression sur une surface principale faisant face à l'autre fond de chambre (30, 20).
     
    7. Appareil d'extraction, en particulier une machine à café, comprenant un dispositif de décoction selon une ou plusieurs des revendications précédentes.
     




    Drawing









    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