(19)
(11)EP 3 501 348 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 17840692.2

(22)Date of filing:  15.08.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47J 31/44(2006.01)
A47J 31/36(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/CN2017/000530
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/032714 (22.02.2018 Gazette  2018/08)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 19.08.2016 CN 201610692416

(71)Applicant: Ningbo Quanjing Electric Technology Co., Ltd.
Cixi, Zhejiang 315324 (CN)

(72)Inventors:
  • JING, Yudong
    Zhejiang 315324 (CN)
  • XU, Pingfu
    Zhejiang 315324 (CN)

(74)Representative: Dennemeyer & Associates S.A. 
Vogelweidstrasse 8
60596 Frankfurt am Main
60596 Frankfurt am Main (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
  
      


    (54)STRUCTURE-IMPROVED PACKAGE FEEDING AND REMOVING MECHANISM FOR BEVERAGE EXTRACTION DEVICE


    (57) An improved capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device, comprises a housing (1), a first frame (2), a second frame (3) and two jaws (5), characterized in that, the front end of each jaw (5) is a clamp portion (51); each clamp portion (51) has a first hook (52); each of the left and right sides of the first frame (2) has a resisting face (22); each jaw (5) has a guiding hole (53) \arranged in the front-back direction; each of the left and right sides of the second frame (3) has a second hook (31) which is located inside the guiding hole (53) and movable forward and backward relative to the jaws (5); the front side surface (311) of the second hook (31) toughing the front end inner surface (531) of the guiding hole (53) defines a first contact, and the rear side surface (312) of the second hook (31) touching the rear end inner surface (532) of the guiding hole (53) defines a second contact; two elastic members (6) are disposed on left and right sides of the housing (1). The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device is more rational in structural design and more smooth in the capsule rejection/delivery action.




    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to an improved capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device, and the beverage extraction device mainly refers to a coffeemaker.

    Description of the Prior Art



    [0002] As one type of beverage extraction devices, the existing coffeemakers generally have a function of automatic capsule rejection for ease of operation. Two Chinese Utility Model Patents CN201044719Y (Patent No.: ZL200720110811.2) entitled Automatic Rejection Mechanism for Coffee Capsule in Coffeemaker and CN202619402U (Patent No.: ZL201220211428.7) entitled Automatic Capsule Rejection Mechanism for Beverage Preparation Device have disclosed such capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a coffeemaker.

    [0003] In the aforementioned two improved patents, two groups of guiding grooves for guiding the front shaft and the rear shaft of the jaws are disposed on the housing, the jaws move forward along with the second frame during the whole capsule delivery process, and there is no idle stroke between the jaws and the second frame. Therefore, in order to completely deliver a coffee capsule into the chamber and to ensure that the guiding grooves can guide the jaws to open and close according to the requirement of capsule rejection, it is necessary to dispose a large overall length for the guiding grooves. The guiding grooves include a straight rear groove, a straight front groove, a curved middle groove and a curved front groove. The straight front groove is in front of the straight rear groove and inclined outward. The curved middle groove is on the outer side of the straight rear groove, and the curved front groove and the straight rear groove are separated by a first barrier. The curved front groove is on the outer side of the straight front groove, and the curved front groove and the straight front groove are separated by a second barrier. Accordingly, in the aforementioned two patents, the overall length of the guiding grooves is large, and the working process of the coffeemaker is completed. Consequently, the length of the whole housing cannot be made small and the coffeemaker cannot be miniaturized. When water is boiled to clean the coffeemaker without any coffee capsule therein, there is a gap between the two frames since the circular edge of the coffee capsule does not exist between the two frames, and thus air-tightness cannot be formed. In order to ensure that the two frames form excellent air-tightness during the extraction, in the aforementioned two improved patents, a hydraulic piston is disposed inside the second frame to fill this spacing. That is, the second frame consists of a shell and a piston body inside the shell. During the extraction, the piston body can be driven by hydraulic pressure to move forward to fill this gap. However, this approach makes the structure of the second frame more complicated and also increases the cost.

    [0004] Hence, a Chinese Invention CN103876638B (Patent No.: ZL201410066391.7) entitled Capsule Delivery and Rejection Mechanism for Beverage Extraction Device is invented, which has a simpler and more rational structure and allows for reliable capsule delivery and rejection. This mechanism has smaller overall size and low cost and can be assembled conveniently. However, this patent still has the following deficiencies.

    [0005] 1. During extraction, two jaws are forced to close by the second contact between a rear side surface of a hook and a rear end inner surface of a guiding hole, and it is ensured that the circular edge of the beverage capsule is located in grooves. In this way, it can be ensured that the backward movement of the second frame enables the backward movement of the grooves on the two jaws so as to drive the beverage capsule to separate from the chamber. Due to the backward movement of the second frame, the grooves have a hole stroke in the guiding hole. Within this period of time, due to the friction, the backward movement of the second frame may drive the jaws to move backward to a certain extent. At the same time, due to the backward movement of the second frame, the front outer end surface of the hook is separated from the front end inner surface of the guiding hole, and the jaws may not be kept at the original position, that is, the circular edge of the beverage capsule may not be located in the grooves. As a result, the beverage capsule cannot be smoothly carried out from the chamber, and the capsule rejection process is not reliable.

    [0006] 2. Guiding surfaces used for being in guide fit with the front outer surfaces of the grooves are disposed on left and right sides of the first frame. Each of the guiding surfaces has a first position and a second position, wherein the second position is located on an outer side of the first position and relatively at the front, and there is a smooth transition between the first position and the second position. The guiding surfaces are complex in structure, high in machining precision and disadvantageous for manufacturing, so that the manufacturing cost will be increased.

    [0007] 3. During the capsule loading, the jaws on two sides are limited only by sidewalls of the housing so that the jaws are kept in a trend to come closer inward. However, due to errors during the assembly, the jaws on two sides become loose. The loose jaws on two sides will cause the possible extension of the clamp portions at the front ends of the jaws. As a result, the clamp portions at the front ends of the jaws cannot clamp a beverage capsule. The capsule loading is not reliable and the capsule may fall off during the capsule loading process.

    [0008] In view of the above situation, further improvements can be made to the capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0009] In view of the current situation of the prior art, a technical problem to be solved by the present invention is to provide a capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device which is more rational in structural design and more smooth in the capsule rejection/delivery action.

    [0010] To solve the above technical problem, the improved capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device comprises: a housing; a first frame positioned inside the front portion of the housing, the first frame, a chamber for holding a capsule with a circular edge; a second frame, disposed inside the back portion of the housing and being movable forward and backward relative to the first frame under the driving of a driving structure; two jaws, each disposed at one of left and right sides of the second frame, and the two jaws being capable of opening or closing relative to the second frame, each jaw having a front portion and a back portion, the front end of each jaw being a clamp portion extending to the front of the second frame, a clamp capable of holding the beverage capsule being formed between two clamp portions, each of the jaws being movable forward with the second frame and being movable forward and backward relative to the second frame, each clamp portion has a first hook which extends inward to hook the circular edge of the beverage capsule and pull the beverage capsule out; characterized in that, each of the left and right sides of the first frame has a resisting face for receiving the front outer surface of each first hook and resisting each first hook to move outward; each jaw has a guiding hole arranged in the front-back direction, each of the left and right sides of the second frame has a second hook which is located inside the guiding hole and movable forward and backward relative to the jaws; the front side surface of the second hook toughing the front end inner surface of the guiding hole defines a first contact, and the rear side surface of the second hook touching the rear end inner surface of the guiding hole defines a second contact; two elastic members used for acting on the two jaws and keeping the front portion s of the two jaws in a closed trend are disposed on the left side and the right side of the housing; when each jaw continues to move forward after each jaw moves forward to the each resisting face together with the second frame and each first hook toughing the corresponding resisting face, the second frame continues moving forward, and the second hook moves forward relative to the guiding hole, and the elastic member acts on the jaw; when the second frame moves forward to the front side surface of the second hook and comes into contact with the front end inner surface of the guiding hole, the second frame continues moving forward,, and the first contact will force the two jaws to move outward in order for making the two jaws to be opened and offering space for the beverage capsule; when the second frame moves backward to the rear side surface of the second hook and comes into contact with the rear end inner surface of the guiding hole, the elastic member acts on the jaw, so that the circular edge of the capsule is located inside the first hook after the two jaws are totally closed; and, during the further backward movement of the second frame, the second contact forces the jaws to move backward, so as to make the jaws be driven to move backward together with the second frame, and at the same time, the first hook which hooks the circular edge of the capsule pulls the capsule to leave the chamber.

    [0011] Preferably, the front outer surface of the first hook is a curved surface. In this way, the front outer surface of the first hook is in cambered contact with the guiding surface, so it is easier to deflect the jaws.

    [0012] As an improvement, both the contact surfaces of the first contact and the second contact are inclined, the first hook can more stably drive the front end of each jaw to deflect in an opening or closing direction. Both the front end inner surface and the rear end inner surface of the guiding hole are slopes or cambered surfaces that are gradually inclined outward from front to rear, the front side surface of the second hook is a cambered surface, the rear side surface of the second hook is a slope or a cambered surface that is gradually inclined outward from front to rear, and a curved surface for allowing the second hook to pass therethrough is formed on the clamp portion. In this way, during the retreat of the second frame, the jaws are always kept in a trend to clamp the circular edge of the beverage capsule, so that it is better ensured that the beverage capsule can be smoothly hooked out by the first hook and the capsule rejection is performed smoothly.

    [0013] As a further improvement, the two elastic members are plate springs, one end of each of the plate springs is fixed to the housing, and slots are disposed at the outer surfaces of the jaws for resisting against the elastic ends of the plate springs. Since the elastic ends of the plate springs are resisted against the slots, the jaws are further positioned. In this way, in a route where the second frame moves backward and the first hook moves in the guiding hole, the backward movement of the second frame will not drive the jaws to move backward, and the jaws are kept in a closed trend. Thus, it is ensured that the circular edge of the beverage capsule is always located in the first hook, the jaws can carry the beverage capsule out from the chamber of the first frame, and the capsule rejection operation is more stable.

    [0014] As a further improvement, detachable elastic buckle structures are disposed between the rear ends of the jaws and the housing. In a capsule loading state where the first frame and the second frame are completely opened, the rear ends of the jaws are detachably connected to the housing by the elastic buckle structures. In the capsule loading state, the jaws are connected to the housing by the buckle structures. The relative position of the jaws is difficult to change, and the clamp portions at the front ends of the jaws are always in a closed trend. Thus, it is effectively ensured that the clamping portions at the front ends of the jaws can clamp the beverage capsule and the occurrence of capsule fall-off is avoided during the capsule loading process.

    [0015] Preferably, the elastic buckle structures comprises two elastic clamping pins that are disposed at the back portion of the jaws and arranged up and down at intervals in a height direction of the jaws, protruded clamping portions are disposed at ends of the elastic clamping pins, stop shoulders fitted with the clamping portions are disposed in the back portion of the housing, and end surfaces of the clamping portions in contact with the stop shoulders are slopes.

    [0016] As an improvement, the housing and the first frame are integrally injection-molded together forming an integrally injection-molded part having an axial passage, and the second frame is located at the rear of the passage; the second frame has two limiting strips protruding outward respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the second frame, correspondingly, the housing has two guiding grooves respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the rear of the passage for receiving and guiding the limiting strips. Since the housing is integrally formed, the assembly process is simplified, it is convenient for batch production and the cost is reduced. By fitting the limiting grooves with the limiting strips, the second frame is more stably restricted in the rear portion of the housing, and the second frame is guided.

    [0017] Each jaw is restricted between the limiting strip and the bottom of the guiding grooves, each guiding groove has a front portion and a rear portion, and the bottom surface of the rear portion of the guiding groove is in flat, and the bottom surface of the front portion of the guiding groove is a slope which is inclined outward from the back portion to the front portion of the housing; while, each limiting strip has a front portion and a rear portion, the outer surface of the front portion of each limiting strip is in flat, and the outer surface of the rear portion of each limiting strip is inclined inward from the front portion to the back portion of the housing. Within the first half period of time of the forward movement of the second frame, each jaw is clamped by the front plan of the limiting strip and the rear plan of the bottom surface of the guiding groove, so that it is ensured that each jaw will not be deflected within the first half period of time of the forward movement of the second frame. However, when each jaw is moved forward to a position where defection is to be performed, the front slope of the bottom surface of the guiding groove and the rear slope of the limiting strip dispose a space for the deflection of each jaw and also restrict the angle of deflection of each jaw to a certain extent.

    [0018] Guiding slots are formed on outer surfaces of the limiting strips in a length direction, the jaws are inserted into the guiding slots by driving pins on the jaws, and the driving pins can slide along the guiding slots. The guiding slots restrict the driving pins up and down, so it is ensured that the jaws will not be deflected up and down. At the same time, the driving pins can slide along the guiding slots, so it is ensured that the jaws can slide back and forth relative to the second frame.

    [0019] Preferably, friction strips made of flexible material are fixed on the outer surfaces of the jaws, the driving pins are made of flexible material, and the outer surface of each driving pins is exposed out from each jaw and comes into contact with the rear bottom surface of the back portion of each guiding groove. Portions of the friction strips and the driving pins exposed out from the jaws can eliminate the gap between the jaws and the sidewalls of the guiding grooves, so that the jaws are prevented from shaking in the capsule loading state.

    [0020] Compared with the prior art, the present invention has the following advantages. In a state where the first frame and the second frame are completely opened, the two jaws can hold a beverage capsule, when they are closed; in a state where the second frame moves forward so that the beverage capsule is partially located inside the chamber, the front outer surfaces of the first hooks exactly come into contact with the resisting faces. The second frame continues moving forward, the second hooks move forward relative to the guiding holes due to the limiting effect of the resisting faces, and the elastic members act on the jaws. The second frame moves forward to a state where the front side surfaces of the second hooks come into contact with the front end inner surfaces of the guiding holes and then continues moving forward, the first contact applies an outward thrust force on the jaws so that the front ends of the jaws are forced to overcome the elastic force of the elastic members and thus opened, so that the beverage capsule is further pushed into the chamber. Then, the first frame and the second frame are completely closed to form an extraction chamber, so that the capsule loading is completed. When the second frame moves backward to a state where the rear side surfaces of the second hooks come into contact with the rear end inner surfaces of the guiding holes, the elastic members act on the jaws, so that the circular edge of the beverage capsule is located in the first hooks after the two jaws are closed. During the further backward movement of the second frame, the second contact keeps the jaws in a closed trend and applies a backward thrust force on the jaws. Thus, the jaws can be driven to move backward during the backward movement of the second frame, and the first hooks hook the circular edge of the beverage capsule to drive the beverage back to retreat from the chamber, so that the capsule rejection is completed.

    [0021] Therefore, the capsule delivery and rejection mechanism realizes the capsule delivery and rejection process mainly by various interlocked fitting relations between the first hooks, the guiding holes on the jaws, the resisting faces and the contacting structure between the second hooks and the guiding holes. The capsule delivery and rejection design is very skillful, and the opening of the jaws beings when the beverage capsule substantially enters the chamber. During this process, the second hook has an idle stroke inside the guiding holes, so that the whole stroke is short. Thus, the overall size of the capsule delivery and rejection mechanism becomes smaller, and the miniaturization of coffeemakers is facilitated. Furthermore, the original complicated shaft-groove fitting structure is omitted, leading to simpler overall structure and manufacture process and low cost.

    [0022] In the background patent, the jaws are forced to close by the first contacting structure, and the jaws are forced to open by the special design of the guiding surfaces, so the whole capsule delivery process includes the opening process of the jaws and the closing process of the jaws, and many fitting relations are needed in the whole mechanism design. However, in the present application, in the opening process of the left and right jaws during the capsule delivery process, the jaws are forced to open by the first contacting structure; and additionally, at the beginning of the capsule rejection process, the jaws are kept in a closed trend due to the elastic members, and the resisting faces block the jaws, so that the jaws can move relative to the second frame. Compared with the guiding surfaces in the background patent, the resisting faces are simpler in structure, so that the whole capsule delivery process is simpler. Moreover, the elastic members restrict the jaws. In a route where the second frame moves backward and the first hooks move in the guiding holes, the backward movement of the second frame will not drive the jaws to move backward, and the jaws are kept in a closed trend. Thus, it is ensured that the circular edge of the beverage capsule is always located in the first hooks, the jaws can carry the beverage capsule out from the chamber of the first frame, and the capsule rejection operation is more stable.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0023] 

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention (in an opened state ready for capsule loading);

    Fig. 2 is a longitudinally sectional view of the present invention (in an opened state ready for capsule loading);

    Fig. 3 is a sectional view of the present invention (in an opened state for capsule loading);

    Fig. 4 is a sectional view of the present invention (in a state where the second frame moves forward to allow the front outer surfaces of the first hooks to come into contact with the resisting faces and the front side surfaces of the second hooks come into contact with the front end inner surfaces of the guiding holes);

    Fig. 5 is a sectional view of the present invention (in a state where the second frame moves forward to allow the front outer surfaces of the first hooks to be separate from the guiding holes so as to open the jaws for purpose of offering space for the beverage capsule);

    Fig. 6 is a sectional view of the present invention (in an extraction state where the first frame and the second frame are completely closed);

    Fig. 7 is a sectional view of the present invention (in a state where the second frame moves backward to allow the second hooks to come into contact with the rear end inner surfaces of the guiding holes and the jaws are closed under the action of the elastic pins to allow the circular edge of the beverage capsule to be located in the first hooks);

    Fig. 8 is a sectional view of the present invention (in a state where the second frame moves backward to allow the first hooks to carry the beverage capsule out from the chamber);

    Fig. 9 is a sectional view of the present invention (in a state where the second frame is completely opened for capsule rejection);

    Fig. 10 is a perspective view of the present invention when the jaws are mounted on the second frame and clamp the beverage capsule;

    Fig. 11 is stereoscopic exploded view of the present invention when the jaws are mounted on the second frame and clamp the beverage capsule;

    Fig. 12 is a perspective view of the jaws of the present invention;

    Fig. 13 is a perspective view of the present invention when the jaws are connected to a housing by elastic buckle structures; and

    Fig. 14 is a perspective view of the housing of the present invention.


    Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment



    [0024] To enable a further understanding of the present invention content of the invention herein, refer to the detailed description of the invention and the accompanying drawings below:
    Figs. 1 - Fig. 14 show a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

    [0025] An improved capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device comprises:

    a housing 1 having a front portion, a back portion, a loading port 11, and a dropping port 12;

    a first frame 2 positioned inside the front portion of the housing 1, the first frame 2, a chamber 21 for holding a capsule 4 with a circular edge 41;

    a second frame 3, disposed inside the back portion of the housing 1 and being movable forward and backward relative to the first frame 2 under the driving of a driving structure; wherein the driving structure can be connecting-rod structure, which can refer to the background parts, and can be, of course, a hydraulic driving structure; the housing 1 and the first frame 2 are integrally injection-molded forming an integrally injection-molded part having an axial passage 13, and the second frame 2 is located at the rear of the passage 13, the second frame 3 has two limiting strips 32 protruding outward respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the second frame 3, correspondingly, the housing 1 has two guiding grooves 15 respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the rear of the passage 13 for receiving and guiding the limiting strips 32; and

    two jaws 5, substantially L-shaped, each disposed at one of left and right sides of the second frame 3, and the two jaws 5 being capable of opening or closing relative to the second frame 3, each jaw 5 having a front portion and a back portion, the front end of each jaw 5 being a clamp portion 51 extending to the front of the second frame 3, a clamp capable of holding the beverage capsule 4 being formed between two clamp portions 51, the lower portion of the inner end surface of the clamp portion 51 being a cambered surface 512 used for supporting the surrounding of the beverage capsule 4. Each jaw 5 is moveable forward with the second frame 3 and movable forward and backward relative to the second frame 3. each clamp portion 51 has a first hook 52 which extends inward to hook the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 and pull the beverage capsule 4 out. The first hook 52 actually is a U-shaped groove which running through vertically. The opening of the first hook 52 is arranged inward, and the front outer surface 521 of the first hook 52 is a curved surface.



    [0026] Detachable elastic buckle structures are disposed between the rear ends of the jaws 5 and the housing 1. In a capsule loading state where the first frame 2 and the second frame 3 are completely opened, the rear ends of the jaws 5 are detachably connected to the housing 1 by the elastic buckle structures. The elastic buckle structures comprises two elastic clamping pins 55 that are disposed at the back portion of the jaws 5 and arranged up and down at intervals in a height direction of the jaws 5, protruded clamping portions 551 are disposed at ends of the elastic clamping pins 55, stop shoulders 14 fitted with the clamping portions 551 are disposed in the back portion of the housing 1, and end surfaces 552 of the clamping portions 551 in contact with the stop shoulders 14 are slopes.

    [0027] Each of the left and right sides of the first frame 2 has a resisting face 22 for receiving the front outer surface 521 of each first hook 52 and guiding each first hook 52 to move outward.

    [0028] Each jaw 5 has a guiding hole 53 arranged in the front-back direction, each of the left and right sides of the second frame 3 has a second hook 31 which is located inside the guiding hole 53 and movable forward and backward relative to the jaws 5; the front side surface 311 of the second hook 31 toughing the front end inner surface 531 of the guiding hole 53 defines a first contact, and the rear side surface 312 of the second hook 31 touching the rear end inner surface 532 of the guiding hole 53 defines a second contact.

    [0029] Both the contact surfaces of the first contact and the second contact are inclined, both the front end inner surface 531 and the rear end inner surface 532 of the guiding hole 53 are slopes or cambered surfaces that are gradually inclined outward from front to rear, the front side surface 311 of the second hook 31 is a cambered surface, the rear side surface 312 of the second hook 31 is a slope or a cambered surface that is gradually inclined outward from front to rear, and a curved surface 511 for allowing the second hook 31 to pass therethrough is formed on the clamp portion 51.

    [0030] Each jaw 5 is restricted between the limiting strip 32 and the bottom of the guiding grooves 15, each guiding groove 15 has a front portion and a rear portion, the bottom surface of the rear portion 151 of the guiding groove 15 is in flat, and the bottom surface of the front portion 152 of the guiding groove 15 is a slope which is inclined outward from the back portion to the front portion of the housing 1; while, each limiting strip 32 has a front portion and a rear portion, the outer surface of the front portion 321 of each limiting strip 32 is in flat, and the outer surface of the rear portion 32 of each limiting strip 32 is inclined inward from the front portion to the back portion of the housing 1. Guiding slots 323 are formed on the outer surfaces of the limiting strips 32 in a length direction, the jaws 5 are inserted into the guiding slots 323 by driving pins 7 on the jaws 5, and the driving pins 7 can slide along the guiding slots323. Friction strips 8 made of flexible material are fixed on the outer end surface of the jaws 5, the driving pins 7 are made of flexible material (silica gel), and the outer surface of each driving pin 7 is exposed out from the each jaw 5 and comes into contact with the bottom surface of the back portion 151 of each guiding groove 15.

    [0031] Two elastic members 6 used for acting on the two jaws 5 and keeping the front portion s of the two jaws 5 in a closed trend are disposed on the left side and the right side of the housing 1. The two elastic members 6 are plate springs, one end of each of the plate springs is fixed to the housing 1, and slots 54 are disposed at the outer surfaces of the jaws 5 for resisting against the elastic ends of the plate springs.

    [0032] In a state where the first frame 2 and the second frame 3 are completely opened, the two jaws 5 can hold a beverage capsule 4 when they are closed. The beverage capsule 4 is located between the two clamp portions, and the lower portion of the body of the beverage capsule 4 is placed on the cambered surfaces 512 of the clamp portions 51, and the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 is located between the front end surface of the second frame 3 and the rear end surfaces of the clamp portions 51. The jaws 5 are connected to the housing 1 by the buckle structures, so the relative position of the jaws 5 is difficult to be loose, and the clamp portions 51 at the front ends of the jaws are always in a closed trend. Thus, it is effectively ensured that the clamp portions 51 at the front ends of the jaws 5 can hold the beverage bag 4 and the occurrence of capsule dropping is avoided during the loading process.

    [0033] When each jaw 5 continues to move forward after each jaw 5 moves forward to the each resisting face 22 together with the second frame 3 and each first hook 52 toughing the corresponding resisting face 22, the second frame 3 continues moving forward, and the second hook 31 moves forward relative to the guiding hole 53, and the elastic member 6 acts on the jaw so that the front ends of the jaws 5 are kept in a closed trend.

    [0034] When the second frame 3 moves forward to the front side surface 311 of the second hook 31 and comes into contact with the front end inner surface 531 of the guiding hole 53, the second frame 3 continues moving forward,, and the first contact will force the two jaws 5 to move outward in order for making the two jaws 5 to be opened and offering space for the beverage capsule 4.

    [0035] When the second frame 3 moves backward to the rear side surface 312 of the second hook 31 and comes into contact with the rear end inner surface 532 of the guiding hole 53, the elastic member 6 acts on the jaw 5, so that the circular edge 41 of the capsule 4 is located inside the first hook 52 after the two jaws 5 are totally closed.

    [0036] During the further backward movement of the second frame 3, the second contact keeps the jaws 5 in a closed trend and forces the jaws 5 to move backward, so as to make the jaws 5 be driven to move backward together with the second frame 3, and at the same time, the first hook 52 which hooks the circular edge 41 of the capsule 4 pulls the capsule 4 to leave the chamber 21.

    [0037] The operating process of the capsule delivery and rejection mechanism is as follows.

    [0038] Capsule loading: As shown in Fig. 3, the driving structure drives the second frame 3 to move backward to open, the two jaws 5 are closed and thus can hold the beverage capsule 4, the beverage capsule 4 is loaded from the loading port 11 and placed between the two clamp portions, with the lower portion of the body of the beverage capsule 4 being rested on the cambered surfaces 512 of the clamp portions 51, and the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 being located between the front end surface of the second frame 3 and the rear end surfaces of the clamp portions 51.

    [0039] Capsule delivery: As shown in Figs. 4-6, the second frame 3 moves forward, and since the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 is between the front end surface of the second frame 3 and the rear end surfaces of the clamp portions 51, the forward movement of the second frame 3 can drive the beverage capsule 4 and the jaws 5 to move forward together; and in a state where the beverage capsule 4 is partially located inside the chamber 21, the front outer surfaces 521 of the first hooks 52 come into contact with the resisting faces 22. The second frame 3 continues moving forward. Due to the limiting effect of the resisting faces 22, the second frame 3 moves forward relatives to the jaws 5, that is, the second hooks 31 move forward relative to the guiding holes 53; and at the same time, the elastic members 6 act on the jaws 5, and the elastic ends of the elastic members 6 are resisted against the slots 54 of the jaws 5. The second frame 3 further moves forward after moving forward to a state where the front side surfaces 311 of the second hooks 31 come into contact with the rear end inner surfaces 532 of the guiding holes 53. The first contact (slope fit) applies an outward thrust force on the jaws 5 so that the front ends of the jaws 5 are forced to overcome the elastic force of the elastic members 6 and thus open and offer space for the beverage capsule 4, in order to ensure that the beverage capsule 4 is further pushed into the chamber 21. The first frame 2 and the second frame 3 are completely closed to form an extraction chamber to complete the capsule loading. Then, extraction can be started.

    [0040] Capsule rejection: At the end of extraction, as shown in Figs. 7- Fig. 9, the second frame 3 moves backward, the second hooks 31 move backward relative to the guiding holes 53, until the second hooks 31 come into the rear end inner surfaces 532 of the guiding holes 53. During this process, the elastic members 6 always act on the jaws 5, so the backward movement of the second frame 3 will not drive the jaws 5 to move backward, so that the jaws 5 are kept in a closed trend. Thus, it is ensured that the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 is always located in the first hooks 52 and the jaws 5 can carry the beverage capsule 4 out of the chamber 21 of the first frame 2. The capsule rejection operation is more stable. During the further backward movement of the second frame 3, the second contact keeps the jaws 5 in a closed trend and applies a backward thrust force to the jaws 5, so that the second fame 3 drives the jaws 5 to move backward during its backward movement and the first hooks 53 hook the circular edge 41 of the beverage capsule 4 and retreat the beverage capsule 4 from the chamber 21. Thus, the capsule rejection is completed.

    [0041] The protection scope of the present invention is not limited to each embodiments described in this description. Any changes and replacements made on the basis of the scope of the present invention patent and of the description shall be included in the scope of the present invention patent.


    Claims

    1. An improved capsule delivery and rejection mechanism for a beverage extraction device, comprising:

    a housing (1);

    a first frame (2) positioned inside a front portion of the housing (1), the first frame (2), a chamber (21) for holding a beverage capsule (4) with a circular edge (41);

    a second frame (3), disposed inside a back portion of the housing (1) and being movable forward and backward relative to the first frame (2) under the driving of a driving structure;

    two jaws (5), each disposed at one of left and right sides of the second frame (3), and the two jaws (5) being capable of opening or closing relative to the second frame (3), each jaw (5), a front end of each jaw (5) being a clamp portion (51) extending to the uttermost front of the second frame (3), a clamp capable of holding the beverage capsule (4) being formed between two clamp portions (51), each of the jaws (5) being movable forward with the second frame (3) and being movable forward and backward relative to the second frame (3), each clamp portion (51) has a first hook (52) which extends inward to hook the circular edge (41) of the beverage capsule (4) and pull the beverage capsule (4) out;

    characterized in that, each of the left and right sides of the first frame (2) has a resisting face (22) for receiving a front outer surface (521) of each first hook (52) and resisting each first hook (52) to move outward;

    each jaw (5) has a guiding hole (53) arranged in the front-back direction, each of the left and right sides of the second frame (3) has a second hook (31) which is located inside the guiding hole (53) and movable forward and backward relative to the jaws (5); a front side surface (311) of the second hook (31) toughing a front end inner surface (531) of the guiding hole (53) defines a first contact, and a rear side surface (312) of the second hook (31) touching a rear end inner surface (532) of the guiding hole (53) defines a second contact;

    two elastic members (6) used for acting on the two jaws (5) and keeping front portions of the two jaws (5) in a closed trend are disposed on a left side and a right side of the housing (1);

    after each jaw (5) moves forward to the each resisting face (22) together with the second frame (3) and each first hook (52) toughing the corresponding resisting face (22), the second frame (3) continues moving forward, and the second hook (31) moves forward relative to the guiding hole (53), and the elastic member (6) acts on the jaw (5);

    when the second frame (3) moves forward to the front side surface (311) of the second hook (31) and comes into contact with the front end inner surface (531) of the guiding hole (53), the second frame (3) continues moving forward, and the first contact will force the two jaws (5) to move outward in order for making the two jaws (5) to be opened and offering space for the beverage capsule (4);

    when the second frame (3) moves backward to the rear side surface (312) of the second hook (31) and comes into contact with the rear end inner surface (532) of the guiding hole (53), the elastic member (6) acts on the jaw (5), so that the circular edge (41) of the capsule (4) is located inside the first hook (52) after the two jaws (5) are totally closed; and,

    during the further backward movement of the second frame (3), the second contact forces the jaws (5) to move backward, so as to make the jaws (5) be driven to move backward together with the second frame (3), and at the same time, the first hook (52) which hooks the circular edge (41) of the capsule (4) pulls the capsule (4) to leave the chamber (21).


     
    2. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 1, characterized in that, the front outer surface (521) of the first hook (52) is a curved surface.
     
    3. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that, both the contact surfaces of the first contact and the second contact are inclined, both the front end inner surface (531) and the rear end inner surface (532) of the guiding hole (53) are slopes or cambered surfaces that are gradually inclined outward from front to rear, the front side surface (311) of the second hook (31) is a cambered surface, the rear side surface (312) of the second hook (31) is a slope or a cambered surface that is gradually inclined outward from front to rear, and a curved surface (511) for allowing the second hook (31) to pass therethrough is formed on the clamp portion (51).
     
    4. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to one of claims 1-3, characterized in that, the two elastic members (6) are plate springs, one end of each of the plate springs is fixed to the housing (1), and slots (54) are disposed at the outer surfaces of the jaws (5) for resisting against the elastic ends of the plate springs.
     
    5. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to one of claims 1-4, characterized in that, detachable elastic buckle structures are disposed between the rear ends of the jaws (5) and the housing (1); in a capsule loading state where the first frame (2) and the second frame (3) are completely opened, the rear ends of the jaws (5) are detachably connected to the housing (1) by the elastic buckle structures.
     
    6. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 5, characterized in that, the elastic buckle structures comprises two elastic clamping pins (55) that are disposed at the back portion of the jaws (5) and arranged up and down at intervals in a height direction of the jaws (5), protruded clamping portions (551) are disposed at ends of the elastic clamping pins (55), stop shoulders (14) fitted with the clamping portions (551) are disposed in the back portion of the housing (1), and end surfaces (552) of the clamping portions (551) in contact with the stop shoulders (14) are slopes.
     
    7. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to one of claims 1-6, characterized in that, the housing (1) and the first frame (2) are integrally injection-molded forming an integrally injection-molded part having an axial passage (13), and the second frame (3) is located at the rear of the passage (13), the second frame (3) has two limiting strips (32) protruding outward respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the second frame (3),
    correspondingly, the housing (1) has two guiding grooves (15) respectively disposed at each of the left and right sides of the rear of the passage (13) for receiving and guiding the limiting strips (32).
     
    8. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 7, characterized in that, each jaw (5) is restricted between the limiting strip (32) and the bottom of the guiding grooves (15), each guiding groove (15) has a front portion and a rear portion, the bottom surface of the rear portion (151) of the guiding groove (15) is in flat, and the bottom surface of the front portion (152) of the guiding groove (15) is a slope which is inclined outward from the back portion to the front portion of the housing (1); each limiting strip (32) has a front portion and a rear portion, the outer surface of the front portion (321) of each limiting strip (32) is in flat, and the outer surface of the rear portion (322) of each limiting strip (32) is inclined inward from the front portion to the back portion of the housing (1).
     
    9. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 7, characterized in that, guiding slots (323) are formed on the outer surfaces of the limiting strips (32) in a length direction, the jaws (5) are inserted into the guiding slots (323) by driving pins (7) on the jaws (5), and the driving pins (7) can slide along the guiding slots (323).
     
    10. The capsule delivery and rejection mechanism according to claim 7, characterized in that, friction strips (8) made of flexible material are fixed on the outer surfaces of the jaws (5), the driving pins are made of flexible material, and the outer surface of each driving pin (7) is exposed out from each jaw (5) and comes into contact with the bottom surface of the back portion (151) of each guiding groove (15).
     




    Drawing





































    Search report










    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