EP3119246A1 - Beverage machine with exchangeable outermost panels - Google Patents

Beverage machine with exchangeable outermost panels

Info

Publication number
EP3119246A1
EP3119246A1 EP15709946.6A EP15709946A EP3119246A1 EP 3119246 A1 EP3119246 A1 EP 3119246A1 EP 15709946 A EP15709946 A EP 15709946A EP 3119246 A1 EP3119246 A1 EP 3119246A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
machine
removable
panel
ingredient
shielding cover
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
EP15709946.6A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Antoine Cahen
Markus Lang
Pietro Mazza
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Societe des Produits Nestle SA
Original Assignee
Nestec SA
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP14160643 priority Critical
Application filed by Nestec SA filed Critical Nestec SA
Priority to PCT/EP2015/055395 priority patent/WO2015140091A1/en
Publication of EP3119246A1 publication Critical patent/EP3119246A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/4403Constructional details
    • A47J31/4407Lids, covers or knobs

Abstract

A machine (1) for preparing a beverage from an ingredient comprises: - a unit (2,94,95) for processing such ingredient; - a housing (9) shielding at least part of the processing unit; and - a removable outermost panel (91), such as a plurality of panels (91) optionally facing panels (91). The housing (9) comprises a frame (90) delimiting an opening (93) giving access to at least part of the processing unit (2,94,95). The opening (93) is covered by a removable shielding cover (92) that is in turn covered by the removable outermost panel (91).

Description

BEVERAGE MACHINE WITH EXCHANGEABLE OUTERMOST PANELS

Field of the Invention

The field of the invention pertains to beverage machines, in particular to the ability to adjust the appearance of the machine to its environment and/or its functional versatility to match the preferences of different users by providing external panels that can be exchanged by a user.

For the purpose of the present description, a

"beverage" is meant to include any human-consumable liquid substance, such as tea, coffee, hot or cold chocolate, milk, soup, baby food, etc... A "capsule" is meant to include any pre-portioned beverage ingredient, such as a flavouring ingredient, within an enclosing packaging of any material, in particular an airtight packaging, e.g. plastic, aluminium, recyclable and/or biodegradable packagings, and of any shape and structure, including soft pods or rigid cartridges containing the ingredient.

Background Art

Certain beverage preparation machines use capsules containing ingredients to be extracted or to be dissolved; for other machines, the ingredients are stored and dosed automatically in the machine or else are added at the time of preparation of the drink.

Most coffee machines possess filling means that include a pump for liquid, usually water, which pumps the liquid from a source of water that is cold or indeed heated through heating means, such as a heating resistor, a thermoblock or the like.

Such machine typically have a brewing unit for holding and extraction the beverage ingredient. To introduce the ingredient into the brewing unit and then remove the ingredient upon use, the brewing unit has a closure mechanism that may be driven by a handle that is operable by a user.

Examples of beverage machines and other household appliances are described in DE 196 47 039, DE 2 019 445, EP 1 208 782, EP 1 829 469, EP 1 864 598, EP 1 878 368, GB 847 662, US 7,165,488, US 2008/0006159, WO 2005/060801, WO 2007/111884, WO 2006/005756, WO 2006/104575 and WO 2009/043630.

WO 2010/015427 discloses a beverage machine having a main body containing at least part of a fluid system for preparing a beverage from an ingredient housed in a brewing unit and an outermost casing for containing and shielding the main body. The casing comprises at least one panel that is detachably mounted onto the main body or to further parts of the casing by connection means, e.g. screwing or clipping, that are arranged to be accessible and connectable and disconnectable by a user to remove and substitute the panel by another compatible panel having a different colour or texture or profile or incorporating a retractable support. The disclosed panel forms an exchangeable outermost panel fixed and covering an inner solid panel of the machine's frame so that the exchange of the panel does not expose the user to inner machine parts.

Summary of the Invention

It is a preferred object of the present invention to provide a beverage machine with a panel exchangeable by a user without exposure of the user to safety issues, the exchangeable panel covering however an area of the inside of the machine that should be accessible for servicing or repair by service personal.

The invention thus relates to a machine for preparing a beverage from an ingredient e.g. a flavouring ingredient, for example a beverage from a pre-portioned ingredient such as an ingredient supplied to such machine within a capsule.

For instance, the machine is a coffee, tea or soup machine, in particular a machine for preparing within an extraction unit a beverage by passing hot or cold water or another liquid through a capsule or pod containing an ingredient of the beverage to be prepared, such as ground coffee or tea or chocolate or cacao or milk powder.

The machine comprises: a unit for processing the ingredient; a housing shielding at least part of the processing unit; and a removable outermost panel, such as a plurality of panels optionally facing panels.

The processing unit may include an ingredient mixing unit, e.g. a brewing unit, for housing the ingredient and mixing it with another ingredient, e.g. a carrier liquid such as water and/or a flavouring ingredient.

A translational closure mechanism can be associated with the mixing unit to open and close it. A rotational closure mechanism or a combined (rotational and translational) closure mechanism can provided. Example of mixing units and their opening/closure mechanism are discussed in greater details in WO 01/15581, WO 2005/004683, WO 2007/135135, WO2007/135136, WO 2009/043630 and WO 2012/025258.

Typically, the processing unit includes one or more of a pump, thermal conditioner (heater and/or cooler), drip tray, ingredient collector, liquid tank and fluid connection system for providing a fluid connection between the liquid tank and a mixing unit, etc... Furthermore, a control unit may be implemented in the machine to control the operation of the machine, e.g. of a pump and/or thermal conditioner and/or energy management. Suitable components and control units are for example disclosed in WO 2009/043865, WO 2009/130099, WO 2010/006953 and WO 2010/108700 and the references cited therein . In accordance with the invention, the housing comprises a frame delimiting an opening giving access to at least part of the processing unit, the opening being covered by a removable shielding cover, e.g. a safety cover, that is in turn covered by the removable outermost panel .

The outermost panel and shielding cover may be configured to be removable without accessing the inside of the machine's housing or its frame.

Hence, a user may easily change the appearance of the machine by exchanging the outermost panels with different panels having the same assembly arrangement, e.g. outermost panels having a different colour or colour arrangement and/or a different profile or texture and align it (or dis-align it) to an environment into which the user wishes to locate the machine or according to the user's visual preferences. The change of panel may involve a change of function associated with a panel. For instance, a removable panel may include a mere covering or dress function and/or one or more other functions such as a support function and/or incorporate another functional element e.g. of the type disclosed in WO 2010/015427. Moreover, the removal of the outermost panel does not expose the user to the inner machine components and vice versa. Such inner components are though accessible by service personal, for instance specially and/or equipped trained personal, upon removable of the shielding cover and uncovering of the opening in the frame. Hence, the shielding cover may form a safety cover to avoid accidental interferences with inside components of the machine when the outermost panel is removed.

The shielding cover may be assembled to the housing, such as to the housing's frame, and/or to the processing unit by a safety fastener for instance a safety fastener comprising at least one of a screw, a bolt, a nut e.g. a castellated nut or a locknut and a lockwire and other safety fasteners. Such safety fastener may be designed to be unfastened by using a tool or a safety tool or an non- standard tool, such as a screw driver e.g. a safety screwdriver for heads that are not single-slotted or cross-slotted. For instances, the heads can be selected from Robertson screw heads, hex screw heads, hex socket heads, security hex socket heads, security torx heads, tri-wing heads, torq-set heads, spanner heads, multiple- square heads, polydrive heads, spline drive heads, multiple hex heads, Bristol heads and lobular heads e.g. pentalobular heads, etc...

The removable outermost panel can be assembled to the housing, such as to the housing's frame, and/or to the shielding cover by a user-fastener, such as a user- fastener comprising at least one of a snap, a clip, a latch, a hook, a friction assembly and a zipper. Such user-fastener can be designed to be unfastened by a user without any tool or with an ordinary tool, e.g. an off- the-shelf tool.

The shielding cover may be assembled by a safety fastener and the removable outermost panel can be assembled by a user-fastener, the safety fastener being more resistant against unfastening than the user- fastener. In other words, the user-fastener is typically configured to be easier to unfasten by a user whereas the safety fastener may require some special tool or skills or knowledge to be unfastened which a normal user is not expected to have. The shielding cover may bear a mention indicating to a user that the shielding cover should not be removed by unauthorised personal. A user-manual or user-notice, e.g. including a corresponding text and/or pictograms, may be provided with the machine and/or the removable outermost panel to explain to a user how to remove from and assemble to the machine the outermost panel whereas no indication or a warning is given concerning the removal of the removable shielding cover.

The removable outermost panel and/or the shielding cover can comprise one or more positioners for guiding the panel and/or the cover into an assembled configuration thereof in the machine. A suitable positioner may be selected from: a protrusion cooperating with a recess or a guide edge; and a recess or a guide edge cooperating with a protrusion, e.g. to implement a plug-and-socket arrangement.

The removable outermost panel may comprises a grip portion. Optionally, the removable outermost panel is so configured as to be removable from such machine by a mere user-actuation on the grip portion e.g. by pulling and/or pushing the grip portion.

The removable outermost panel can be fastened exclusively to the housing such as to the frame. Hence, when the machine is being serviced via the frame's opening, a service person may simply cover the opening with the (easy removable) outermost panel instead of mounting the shielding cover, e.g. during a break or other temporary interruption of accessing the inside of the machine via the frame's opening.

The removable outermost panel can be fastened exclusively to the shielding cover. Hence, existing machines having a frame with an access opening covered by a single outermost shielding cover can be retrofitted by replacing the single outermost shielding cover by a removable safety panel assembled in the machine in the same manner as the single outermost shielding cover, the removable shielding cover being further provided with an assembly arrangement for assembling the removable outermost panel thereon to provide a machine in accordance with the invention.

The removable outermost panel can be fastened both to the shielding cover and to the housing such as to the frame. Hence, the assembly of the outermost panel in the machine can be maximised.

Upon removal of the removable outermost panel and of the shielding cover, the frame's opening can give a service access to at least part of the processing unit, such as to at least one of an ingredient mixing unit, a thermal conditioner, a control unit e.g. including a PCB, a fluid and/or electric line (cables and tubes, electric and fluidic guides), and a pump device.

The shielding cover can be configured to insulate electrically the frame's opening and/or seal the opening in a substantially water proof manner.

The removable outermost panel can be so assembled in such machine as to cover entirely the removable shielding cover .

The removable outermost panel can be a solid panel, e.g. transparent, translucent or opaque panel, or an open panel, such as a frame, through which the safety panel is visible, e.g. when the outermost panel is configured to provide a design or high tech appearance and/or to provide other functions (e.g. a support function) as discussed above.

The removable outermost panel may be so assembled to extend on a machine's front face that bears a beverage outlet. The outermost panel can be assembled to a machine's side face (e.g. generally perpendicular to the machine's front face bearing a beverage outlet) or top face or rear face (opposite the front face bearing a beverage outlet) .

The machine may comprise at least one container, e.g. removable and/or fixed container ( s ) , such as a water tank and/or a used ingredient collector e.g. a used ingredient capsule collector. At least one of the container (s) can be a container that is at least partly covered by the removable shielding cover (e.g. a container which is inside or partly inside a body of the machine that is covered by the removable shielding cover) . At least one of the container (s) may be a container that is not covered by the removable shielding cover (e.g. a container which is external to a body of the machine that is covered by the removable shielding cover) .

The machine may comprise at least one part selected from: - an ingredient inlet such as a closable inlet, optionally an inlet for letting into the processing unit a pre-portioned ingredient such as an ingredient supplied to such the processing unit within a capsule, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2009/043630, WO 2012/072766, WO 2012/093107, WO 2012/126971 and WO 2013/127906;

- an outlet for dispensing a beverage produced by processing an ingredient in the processing unit, such as a fixed outlet or an outlet movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2009/043630, WO 2012/072758 and WO 2013/127907;

- a support for supporting a user-recipient, such as a cup or a mug, for collecting beverage produced by processing an ingredient in the processing unit, optionally the support being movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes, e.g. as disclosed in EP 1 867 260, WO 2006/050769 and WO 2013/104636;

- an actuator, in particular a manual and/or automatic actuator, for actuating the ingredient processing unit from a configuration for receiving and/or removing an ingredient to a configuration for processing the ingredient and/or vice versa, e.g. as disclosed in EP 1 767 129, WO 2007/135136, WO 2009/043630 and WO 2012/025258; and

- a user-interface for receiving a user-input, such as a request for preparing a beverage, switching on and/or off the machine, and/or carrying out a cleaning procedure, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2010/037806,

For instance, at least one of the above parts is covered or not covered by the removable shielding cover and/or by the removable outermost panel. For example, when the actuator is a manual actuator, e.g. a handle, it may be not covered by the shielding cover or by the outermost panel. When the actuator is an automatic actuator, e.g. a motorized actuator, it can be covered by the shielding cover and the outermost panel.

In an embodiment, the machine comprises a handle movable, in particular pivotable, relative to the main body, so as to act on a mixing unit of the processing unit to open the mixing unit for introduction or removal of the ingredient into and from the unit, and act to close the mixing unit for processing this ingredient within the unit. The movable handle can have a gripping part and can be arranged to be drivable by a human hand. In another embodiment, the actuation on a mixing unit can be performed by a motor, e.g. an electric and/or a hydraulic motor.

The invention also relates to a set comprising:

a machine having at least one removable outermost panel as described above; and

at least one further panel that can replace the removable outermost panel in the machine, the further panel being identical or different to the outermost panel .

A further aspect of the invention relates to a method of manufacturing a machine as described above. The method comprises providing a housing delimiting an opening giving access to at least part of the machine's processing unit, covering the opening with a removable shielding cover and covering the removable shielding cover with the removable outermost panel.

Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a use of a removable outermost panel and/or a removable shielding cover for: providing a machine as described above; providing a set as described above; or carrying out a method as described above.

The removable outermost panel of the above described machine, set, method or use can be a panel that is made from at least one of: a moulded material, e.g. injection moulded material; metal, e.g. in metallic and/or ceramic form;

glass;

wood;

- leather, textile, a woven or unwoven cloth;

ferrite or magnetic materials, or ferrite or magnetic filled materials, for use as a partner for magnets or ferrite contact plates; and

a panel including a generally orthogonally projecting support element, such as a collapsible support element .

The outermost removable panel may perform a visual integration (or disruption) function, e.g. adjust the appearance of the machine to its environment of use, and/or the panel may perform other functions such as beverage related functions, e.g. of the type disclosed in WO 2010/015427.

For instance, a user may want to have the machine's appearance aligned to a kitchen of a certain colour, e.g. brown, and thus have a beverage machine of the same or compatible colour, e.g. brown, red or beige. If the user wants to move his beverage machine into a different room, e.g. dining room or living room having a colour arrangement, e.g. greenish, that is different to his kitchen, he may want to adjust the appearance of his beverage machine and exchange the panels with panels of a different colour, e.g. green or turquoise. Some users may also want to have machines with a flashy, possibly multi¬ colour, appearance and mount corresponding panels.

Moreover, various different compatible types of panels may be configured to provide different functions. For instance, one type of panel may be provided merely to dress the beverage machine. Another type of panels may be provided with one or more laterally and/or generally horizontally extending support members e.g. for accessories, such as cups, spoons, cream, sugar, etc... For example, a support member is dedicated for cups and has an integrated heater for pre-heating the cups. The heater may be electrically powered by the electric circuit of the machine via a plug and socket system in the panel and the inside of the beverage machine. Hence the functional versatility of the machine may be increased to match the preferences of different users.

Hence, the machine and set of the present invention provide the user with great flexibility as to the appearance of the machine and adjusting possibilities to fit the taste and/or functional needs of the user. This flexibility and adjustment possibilities are simple, inexpensive and do not involve the need to acquire a whole new machine or return the machine to a professional retrofitter.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The invention will now be described with reference to the schematic drawings, wherein:

- Figure 1 is a partly exploded view a beverage machine according to the invention;

- Figures 2 and 3 show a removable outermost panel of the machine of Fig. 1:

- Figure 4 shows the machine of Fig. 1 without its removable shielding covers and without its removable outermost panels;

- Figure 5 shows the machine of Fig. 1 without its removable outermost panels; and

Figures 6 and 7 illustrate different outermost panels that can replace the removable outermost panels of the machine of Fig. 1. Detailed description

Figures 1 to 7 illustrate a beverage machine 1 and parts thereof. For instance, machine 1 is configured for preparing a beverage from an ingredient, e.g. a pre- portioned ingredient optionally an ingredient supplied to such machine within a capsule.

Machine 1 comprises:

a unit 2,94,95 for processing the ingredient;

a housing 9 shielding at least part of processing unit 2,94,95; and

a removable outermost panel 91, such as a plurality of panels 91 optionally facing panels 91, e.g. panels on lateral sides of machine 1.

Processing unit 2,94,95 typically includes an ingredient mixing unit 2, such as a brewing unit. A translational and/or rotational closure mechanism can be associated with mixing unit 2 to open and close it. Example of mixing units and their opening/closure mechanism are discussed in greater details in WO 2005/004683, WO 2007/135135, WO2007/135136, WO 2009/043630 and WO 2012/025258.

Processing unit 2,94,95 may include a fluid circuit for circulating a liquid from a source of liquid, e.g. a water tank 7, to the ingredient to be processed. Such a fluid circuit may include one or more components selected from a thermal conditioner, e.g. a heater and/or a cooler, a pump 95 and sensors for sensing characteristics of the circulated liquid, e.g. a flow, a pressure, a temperature and/or a hardness, etc... Furthermore, a control unit may be implemented in machine 1 to control the operation of machine 1. Such components and control units are for example disclosed in WO 2009/043865, WO 2009/130099, WO 2010/006953 and WO 2010/108700 and the references cited therein.

Housing 9 comprises a frame 90 delimiting an opening

93 giving access to at least part of processing unit 2,94,95. Opening 93 is covered by a removable shielding cover 92, e.g. a safety cover, that is in turn covered by removable outermost panel 91.

Outermost panel 91 and shielding cover 92 may configured to be dismantled without accessing the inside of housing 9 or frame 91.

Hence, a user may easily change the appearance of machine 1 by exchanging panels 91 with different panels 91', 91'' having the same assembly arrangement, e.g. panels having a different colour or colour arrangement and/or a different profile or texture and align it to an environment into which the user wishes to locate the machine or according to the user's visual preferences. The change of panels 91, 91', 91'' may involve a change of function associated with a panel. For instance, a removable panel 91, 91', 91'' may include a mere covering or dress function and/or one or more other functions such as a support function and/or incorporate another functional element e.g. of the type disclosed in WO 2010/015427. Moreover, the removal of the outermost panel 91, 91', 91'' does not expose the user to the inner machine components 94,95 and vice versa. Such inner components 94,95 are though accessible by service personal, for instance specially and/or equipped trained personal, upon removable of shielding cover 92 and uncovering of opening 93 in frame 90.

Shielding cover 92 can be assembled to housing 9, such as to frame 90, and/or to processing unit 2,94,95 (and disassemblable therefrom) by a safety fastener 901,921, for instance a safety fastener comprising at least one of a screw, a bolt, a nut e.g. a castellated nut or a locknut and a lockwire. The safety fastener may be configured to be unfastened using a tool or a safety tool or a non-standard tool, such as a screw driver e.g. a safety screw driver for heads that are not single- slotted or cross-slotted. Removable outermost panel 91 may be assembled to housing 9, such as to frame 90, and/or to shielding cover 92 (and disassemblable therefrom) by a user-fastener 903,904,913,914, such as a user-fastener comprising at least one of a snap 913,914, a clip, a latch, a hook, a friction assembly and a zipper. Such user-fastener can be designed to be unfastened by a user without any tool or with an ordinary tool, e.g. an off-the-shelf tool.

Shielding cover 92 can be assembled by a safety fastener 901,921 and removable outermost panel 91 may be assembled by a user-fastener 903,904,913,914, safety fastener 901,921 being more resistant against unfastening than user-fastener 903,904,913,914.

Removable outermost panel 91 and/or shielding cover 92 may comprise one or more positioners for guiding panel 91 and/or cover 92 into an assembled configuration thereof in machine 1. The positioner ( s ) may be selected from: a protrusion 915 cooperating with a recess 905 or a guide edge; and a recess 916 or a guide edge cooperating with a protrusion 906, e.g. to implement a plug-and- socket arrangement.

Removable outermost panel 91 may comprise a grip portion 917. Panel 91 can be so configured as to be removable from machine 1 by a mere user-actuation on grip portion 917 e.g. by pulling and/or pushing grip portion 917.

Removable outermost panel 91 can be fastened:

exclusively to housing 9 such as to frame 90;

exclusively to the shielding cover; or

- both to the shielding cover and to the housing such as to the housing's frame.

Upon removal of removable outermost panel 91 and of shielding cover 92, opening 93 gives a service access to at least part of the processing unit 2,94,95, such as to at least one of an ingredient mixing unit 2, a thermal conditioner, a control unit, a fluid and/or electric line 94, and a pump device 95.

Shielding cover 92 can be configured to insulate electrically opening 93 and/or seal opening 93 in a substantially water proof manner.

Removable outermost panel 91 can be assembled in machine 1 to cover entirely removable shielding cover 92.

Removable outermost panel 91 can be a solid panel, e.g. transparent, translucent or opaque panel, or an open panel, such as a frame, through which the safety panel is visible, e.g. when the outermost panel is configured to provide a design or high tech appearance and/or to provide other functions (e.g. a support function) .

Removable outermost panel 91 may be assembled in machine 1 to extend on a machine's front face that bears a beverage outlet (not shown) or on a machine's side face (e.g. generally perpendicular to the machine's front face, as illustrated in the figures) or on a machine's top face (not shown) or a machine's rear face (not shown) adjacent to or opposite the front face.

Machine 1 may include at least one container 6,7, e.g. removable or fixed container ( s ) , such as a water tank 7 and/or a used ingredient collector 6 e.g. a used ingredient capsule collector. At least one such container can be a container 6, e.g. a used ingredient collector, that is at least partly covered by removable shielding cover 92. At least one of said at least one removable container can be a container 7, e.g. a water container, that is not covered by removable shielding cover 92. Examples of such containers are for instance described in WO 2009/074559, WO 2009/135869, WO 2010/046442, WO 2011/083103 and WO 2011/089210.

Machine 1 may comprise at least one part selected from:

- an ingredient inlet 3 such as a closable inlet 3, optionally an inlet 3 for letting into processing unit 2,94,95 a pre-portioned ingredient such as an ingredient supplied to such the processing unit within a capsule, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2009/043630, WO 2012/072766, WO 2012/093107, WO 2012/126971 and WO 2013/127906;

- an outlet 4 for dispensing a beverage produced by processing an ingredient in processing unit 2,94,95, such as a fixed outlet or an outlet movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2009/043630, WO 2012/072758 and WO

2013/127907;

- a support 8 for supporting a user-recipient, such as a cup or a mug, for collecting beverage produced by processing an ingredient in processing unit 2,94,95, optionally support 8 being movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes, e.g. as disclosed in EP 1 867 260, WO 2006/050769 and WO 2013/104636;

- an actuator 5, in particular a manual and/or automatic actuator 5, for actuating ingredient processing unit 2,94,95 from a configuration for receiving and/or removing an ingredient to a configuration for processing the ingredient and/or vice versa, e.g. as disclosed in EP 1 767 129, WO

2007/135136, WO 2009/043630 and WO 2012/025258; and - a user-interface 5' for receiving a user-input, such as a request for preparing a beverage, switching on and/or off the machine, and/or carrying out a cleaning procedure, e.g. as disclosed in WO 2010/037806.

Optionally said at least one part 3, 4, 5, 5', 8 being covered or not covered by removable shielding cover 92 and/or by removable outermost panel 91. For example, when actuator 5 is a manual actuator, e.g. a handle, it may be not covered by shielding cover 92 or outermost panel 91. When the actuator is an automatic actuator, e.g. a motorized actuator, it may be covered by the shielding cover and the outermost panel. Machine 1 may be combined with different exchangeable panels 91, 91', 91'' forming a set. The set can comprise: machine 1 having at least one removable outermost panel 91; and at least one further panel 91', 91'' that can replace removable outermost panel 91 in machine 1, further panel 91', 91'' being identical or different to outermost panel 91.

Machine 1 can be manufactured by: providing a housing 9 delimiting an opening 93 giving access to at least part of the machine's processing unit 2, 94, 95; covering opening 93 with a removable shielding cover 92; and covering removable shielding cover 92 with removable outermost panel 91.

A removable outermost panel 91, 91', 91'' and/or a removable shielding cover 92 can be used for: providing machine 1; providing a set of machine 1 with exchangeable outermost panels 91, 91', 91''; or implementing a method for manufacturing machine 1.

Removable outermost panel 91, 91', 91'' can be a panel that is made from at least one of:

a moulded material, e.g. injection moulded material such as plastic- metal, e.g. in metallic and/or ceramic form;

glass;

- wood;

leather, textile, a woven or unwoven cloth;

ferrite or magnetic materials, or ferrite or magnetic filled materials, for use as a partner for magnets or ferrite contact plates; and

- a panel including a generally orthogonally projecting support element, such as a collapsible support element .

Claims

Claims
1. A machine (1) for preparing a beverage from an ingredient, such as a machine for preparing a beverage from a pre-portioned ingredient optionally an ingredient supplied to such machine within a capsule, comprising: a unit (2,94,95) for processing said ingredient;
a housing (9) shielding at least part of the processing unit; and
a removable outermost panel (91), such as a plurality of panels (91) e.g. facing panels (91),
characterised in that the housing (9) comprises a frame (90) delimiting an opening (93) giving access to at least part of the processing unit (2, 94, 95), the opening (93) being covered by a removable shielding cover (92) , e.g. a safety cover, that is in turn covered by the removable outermost panel (91).
2. The machine of claim 1, wherein the shielding cover (92) is assembled to the housing (9), such as to the frame (90), and/or to the processing unit (2,94,95) by a safety fastener (901,921), for instance a safety fastener comprising at least one of a screw, a bolt, a nut e.g. a castellated nut or a locknut and a lockwire, such as a safety fastener that is to be unfastened by using a tool or a safety tool or a non-standard tool, such as screw driver e.g. a safety screwdriver for heads that are not single-slotted or cross-slotted.
3. The machine of claim 1 or 2, wherein the removable outermost panel (91) is assembled to the housing (9), such as to the frame (90), and/or to the shielding cover (92) by a user-fastener (903,904,913,914), such as a user-fastener comprising at least one of a snap (913,914), a clip, a latch, a hook, a friction assembly and a zipper, such as a user-fastener that can be unfastened by a user without any tool or by an ordinary tool or an off-the-shelf tool.
4. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the shielding cover (92) is assembled by a safety fastener (901,921) and the removable outermost panel (91) is assembled by a user-fastener (903,904,913,914), the safety fastener being more resistant against unfastening than the user-fastener.
5. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the removable outermost panel (91) and/or the shielding cover (92) comprise (s) one or more positioners for guiding the panel (91) and/or the cover (92) into an assembled configuration thereof in such machine (1), such as a positioner selected from:
a protrusion (915) cooperating with a recess (905) or a guide edge; and
- a recess (916) or a guide edge cooperating with a protrusion (906),
e.g. to implement a plug-and-socket arrangement.
6. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the removable outermost panel (91) comprises a grip portion (917), the panel (91) being optionally so configured as to be removable from such machine (1) by a mere user- actuation on the grip portion (917) e.g. by pulling and/or pushing the grip portion (917) .
7. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the removable outermost panel (91) is fastened:
exclusively to the housing (9) such as to the frame (90) ;
exclusively to the shielding cover (92); or
both to the shielding cover (92) and to the housing (9) such as to the frame (90) .
8. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein upon removal of the removable outermost panel (91) and of the shielding cover (92), the opening (93) gives a service access to at least part of the processing unit (2,94,95), such as to at least one of an ingredient mixing unit (2), a thermal conditioner, a control unit e.g. including a PCB, a fluid and/or electric line (94), and a pump device (95) .
9. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the shielding cover (92) is configured to insulate electrically the opening (93) and/or seal the opening (93) in a substantially water proof manner.
10. The machine of any preceding claim, wherein the removable outermost panel (91) is so assembled in such machine (1) as to:
cover entirely the removable shielding cover (92); and/or
extend on a machine's front face that bears a beverage outlet or on a machine's side or top or rear face adjacent to or opposite the front face; and/or
form a solid panel, e.g. a transparent, translucent or opaque panel; or
form an open panel, such as a frame, through which the safety panel is visible.
11. The machine of any preceding claim, which comprises one or more of:
A) at least one container (6,7), e.g. removable and/or fixed container ( s ) , such as a water tank (7) and/or a used ingredient collector (6) e.g. a used ingredient capsule collector, optionally:
at least one of said at least one container being a container (6) that is at least partly covered by said removable shielding cover (92); and/or
at least one of said at least one container is a container (7) that is not covered by said removable shielding cover (92),
and
B) at least one part selected from: an ingredient inlet (3) such as a closable inlet (3) , optionally an inlet (3) for letting into the processing unit (2,94,95) a pre-portioned ingredient such as an ingredient supplied to such the processing unit within a capsule;
an outlet (4) for dispensing a beverage produced by processing an ingredient in the processing unit (2,94,95), such as a fixed outlet or an outlet movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes;
a support (8) for supporting a user-recipient, such as a cup or a mug, for collecting beverage produced by processing an ingredient in the processing unit (2,94,95), optionally the support being movable for accommodating recipients of different sizes;
an actuator (5), in particular a manual and/or automatic actuator (5) , for actuating the ingredient processing unit (2,94,95) from a configuration for receiving and/or removing an ingredient to a configuration for processing the ingredient and/or vice versa; and
a user-interface (5' ) for receiving a user-input, such as a request for preparing a beverage, switching on and/or off the machine, and/or carrying out a cleaning procedure,
optionally said at least one part being covered or not covered by the removable shielding cover (92) and/or by the removable outermost panel (91) .
12. A set comprising:
- a machine (1) having at least one removable outermost panel (91) as defined in any preceding claims; and at least one further panel (91', 91'') that can replace said removable outermost panel (91) in the machine (1), the further panel (91', 91'') being identical or different to said outermost panel (91) .
13. A method of manufacturing a machine as defined in any one of claims 1 to 11, comprising providing a housing (9) delimiting an opening (93) giving access to at least part of the machine's processing unit (2,94,95), covering the opening (93) with a removable shielding cover (92) and covering the removable shielding cover (92) with the removable outermost panel (91) .
14. Use of a removable outermost panel ( 91 , 91 ' , 91 ' ' ) and/or a removable shielding cover (92) for:
- providing a machine as defined in any one of claims 1 to 11;
providing a set as defined in claim 12; or
carrying out a method as defined in claim 13.
15. A machine as defined in any one of claims 1 to 11, a set as defined in claim 12, a method as defined in claim
13 or a use as defined in claim 14, wherein said removable outermost panel ( 91 , 91 ' , 91 ' ' ) is a panel that is made from at least one of:
a moulded material, e.g. injection moulded material; - metal, e.g. in metallic and/or ceramic form;
glass;
wood;
leather, textile, a woven or unwoven cloth;
ferrite or magnetic materials, or ferrite or magnetic filled materials, for use as a partner for magnets or ferrite contact plates; and
a panel including a generally orthogonally projecting support element, such as a collapsible support element .
EP15709946.6A 2014-03-19 2015-03-16 Beverage machine with exchangeable outermost panels Pending EP3119246A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP14160643 2014-03-19
PCT/EP2015/055395 WO2015140091A1 (en) 2014-03-19 2015-03-16 Beverage machine with exchangeable outermost panels

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP3119246A1 true EP3119246A1 (en) 2017-01-25

Family

ID=50289543

Family Applications (1)

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WO (1) WO2015140091A1 (en)

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