EP3395752A1 - Beer mixing system - Google Patents

Beer mixing system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
EP3395752A1
EP3395752A1 EP17382232.1A EP17382232A EP3395752A1 EP 3395752 A1 EP3395752 A1 EP 3395752A1 EP 17382232 A EP17382232 A EP 17382232A EP 3395752 A1 EP3395752 A1 EP 3395752A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
beer
component
mixer
system
corresponding
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
EP17382232.1A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Alvaro Alfonso Everlet Fernandez
Original Assignee
Alvaro Alfonso Everlet Fernandez
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
Application filed by Alvaro Alfonso Everlet Fernandez filed Critical Alvaro Alfonso Everlet Fernandez
Priority to EP17382232.1A priority Critical patent/EP3395752A1/en
Publication of EP3395752A1 publication Critical patent/EP3395752A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/0015Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught the beverage being prepared by mixing at least two liquid components
    • B67D1/0021Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught the beverage being prepared by mixing at least two liquid components the components being mixed at the time of dispensing, i.e. post-mix dispensers
    • B67D1/0022Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught the beverage being prepared by mixing at least two liquid components the components being mixed at the time of dispensing, i.e. post-mix dispensers the apparatus comprising means for automatically controlling the amount to be dispensed
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D1/00Apparatus or devices for dispensing beverages on draught
    • B67D1/0041Fully automated cocktail bars, i.e. apparatuses combining the use of packaged beverages, pre-mix and post-mix dispensers

Abstract

A system includes an operational subsystem including a plurality of mixers, wherein each mixer of the plurality of mixers corresponds to a different dispenser of a plurality of dispensers, and wherein each mixer is configured to mix two or more beer components of a plurality of beer components in accordance with a formula corresponding to the mixer to produce a corresponding beer product and provide the corresponding beer product to the dispenser corresponding to the mixer. The system also includes a control subsystem including a control module, wherein the control module is a computer system configured to provide to each mixer one or more control inputs that cause the mixer to mix the two or more beer components in accordance with the formula corresponding to the mixer.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • This specification relates to dispensing drink mixtures.
  • Conventional drink dispensing systems can dispense pre-mixed, pre-brewed, or pre-fermented beverages by dispensing the beverage from a container.
  • SUMMARY
  • In general, one innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in systems that include an operational subsystem including a plurality of mixers, wherein each mixer of the plurality of mixers corresponds to a different dispenser of a plurality of dispensers, and wherein each mixer is configured to mix two or more beer components of a plurality of beer components in accordance with a formula corresponding to the mixer to produce a corresponding beer product and provide the corresponding beer product to the dispenser corresponding to the mixer. The systems also include a control subsystem including a control module, wherein the control module is a computer system configured to provide to each mixer one or more control inputs that cause the mixer to mix the two or more beer components in accordance with the formula corresponding to the mixer.
  • Other embodiments of this aspect can include one or more of the following optional features. In some implementations, the operational subsystem further includes a plurality of quality assurance modules each associated with a beer component of the plurality of beer components, wherein each quality assurance module includes a container to hold the corresponding beer component and is configured to determine if the corresponding beer component in the container of the quality assurance module meets one or more quality assurance requirements, and in response to determining that the corresponding beer component meets the one or more quality assurance requirements, allow some or all of the beer component in the container to flow to the plurality of mixers.
  • In some implementations, the control subsystem is further configured to gather data about operation of at least one constituent unit of the operational subsystem and provide the data to a data analysis system. In some implementations, the data analysis system is configured to analyze the data to generate at least one of a status report about operation of the system or an alert about a malfunctioning or suboptimal condition in operation of the system.
  • In some implementations, each mixer of the plurality of mixers includes a proportional valve for each beer component of the plurality of beer components. In some implementations, each proportional valve is electronically configurable based on control signals received from the control subsystem. In some implementations, positions of proportional valves of the mixer define a mixing formula for the mixer. In some implementations, each mixer also includes a per-component flowmeter for each beer component, wherein each per-component flowmeter is positioned downstream from the proportional valve for the corresponding beer component and wherein each per-component flowmeter generates a per-component flow reading for the corresponding upstream proportional valve. In some implementations, the control subsystem is configured to detect a need to recalibrate proportional valves of a mixer of the plurality of mixers and, in response to detecting the need, recalibrate the proportional valves of the mixer. In some implementations, detecting a need to recalibrate a mixer includes, for each proportional valve in the mixer, determining a computed ratio of the per-component flow reading of the per-component flowmeter associated with the beer component of the plurality of components that the proportional valve is associated with to a sum of all per-component flow readings of each per-component flow meter in the mixer, determining an appropriate ratio for the proportional valve based on a ratio for the beer component of the plurality of beer components flowing through the proportional valve in the formula for the beer product associated with the mixer, determining if the computed ratio corresponds to the appropriate ratio, and in response to determining that the computed ratio does not correspond to the appropriate ratio, detecting a need to recalibrate the mixer. In some implementations, recalibrating proportional valves of the mixer includes changing a position of the proportional valves to increase a flow through proportional valves whose computed ratios are below their corresponding appropriate ratios and decrease a flow through a proportional valves whose computed ratios are above the corresponding appropriate ratios.
  • In some implementations, the control subsystem is configured to receive, from a user device, a user input including user preferences for a beer product, generate a formula for the beer product based on the user input, and send one or more control signals corresponding to the beer product to a mixer of the plurality of mixers.
  • Other embodiments of this aspect include methods that perform actions of any one of the control subsystems described above. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding computer systems, apparatus, and computer programs recorded on one or more computer storage devices, each configured to perform the actions of the methods. A system of one or more computers can be configured to perform particular operations or actions by virtue of software, firmware, hardware, or any combination thereof installed on the system that in operation may cause the system to perform the actions. One or more computer programs can be configured to perform particular operations or actions by virtue of including instructions that, when executed by data processing apparatus, cause the apparatus to perform the actions.
  • The subject matter described in this specification can be implemented in particular embodiments so as to realize one or more of the following advantages. A beer mixing system can apply beer formulas that are generated based on user input and generate data about operation of the system to present to user devices and/or to use in applications that perform analysis on the data to generate reports or conclusions about operation of the beer mixing system, such as software applications that provide platforms for devices and apparatuses to collect information and/or communicate with other devices or apparatuses. Different dispensers of the same beer mixing system can dispense beer mixed according to different, customizable formulas. Mixer components of a beer mixing system can be automatically calibrated based on flowmeter detections. Quality of beer components can be measured automatically. Suboptimal conditions or malfunctions in operation of the beer mixing system can be detected and appropriate alarms can be generated and displayed to an operator of the system.
  • The details of one or more embodiments of the subject matter of this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the subject matter will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
    • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example beer mixing system.
    • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an example quality assurance module.
    • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an example mixer.
  • Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example beer mixing system 100.
  • The beer mixing system 100 is configured to process one or more beer components 112 to produce one or more beer products and dispense each beer product using a dispenser, e.g., beer dispenser 1 141, beer dispenser 2 142, and beer dispenser 3 143. Each beer product is a mixture of one or more of the beer components 112. The beer mixing system 100 includes one or more beer component sources 101, an operational subsystem 110, and a control subsystem 111. Each beer component source 101 is a container, e.g., a tank, a barrel, a cask, and so on, that holds some beer component 112. A beer component 112 is any substance, such as an alcoholic liquid substance, that the beer mixing system 100 can mix with one or more other beer components 112 to produce a beer product. Examples of beer components 112 can include at least one of a base component that is typically a type of beer, a color component that is typically a drink that has a dark color, a taste component that is typically a drink that has a distinctive taste such as a distinctive bitter taste or a distinctive sweet taste, and an alcohol component that is typically a drink that has a high amount of alcohol.
  • In some implementations, each base component is a type of beer. For example, the color component is a beer that has a dark color, the taste component is a beer that has a highly bitter taste, and the alcohol component is a beer that has a high degree of alcohol.
  • The beer mixing system produces each beer product using a combination of one or more beer components and dispenses the beer product using a dispenser. For example, a particular beer product dispensed using a dispenser may include 60% of the base component, 10% of the color component, 15% of the taste component, and 15% of the alcohol component.
  • The operational subsystem 110 performs quality assurance tests on beer components 112 and mixes those components 112 to produce beer products. The operational subsystem includes one or more quality assurance modules 121 and one or more mixers, e.g., mixer 1 131, mixer 2 132, and mixer 3 133.
  • Each quality assurance module 121 ensures that the quality of a corresponding beer component 112 is satisfactory before the component 112 is mixed with any other component 112. If a quality assurance module 121 determines that a corresponding beer component 112 passes required quality assurance tests, the quality assurance module 121 allows the tested beer component 113 to flow to one or more mixers through one or more links, e.g., pipes, between the quality assurance modules 121 and the mixers.
  • A quality assurance module 121 also controls the in-flow of beer components 112 to the operational subsystem 110 from the beer component sources 101. For example, the quality assurance module 121 can determine that the operational subsystem 110 does not have an adequate amount of a corresponding beer component 112 and that the operational subsystem 110 needs a refill of a corresponding beer component 112 when the quality assurance module 121 detects that the amount of the beer component 112 in the operational subsystem 110 is below a threshold.
  • Quality assurance modules are described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. 2.
  • A mixer obtains tested beer components 113 from the quality assurance modules 121. Each mixer then mixes one or more tested beer components 113 to produce a beer product that is dispensed from a corresponding dispenser, e.g., beer tap. In the implementation depicted in FIG. 1, mixer 1 131 produces a beer product that is dispensed from dispenser 1 141, mixer 2 132 produces a beer product that is dispensed from dispenser 2 142, and mixer 3 produces a beer product that is dispensed from dispenser 3 143. In some implementations, at each time only one mixer in the operational subsystem 110 can produce beer products. Mixers are described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. 3.
  • The control subsystem 111 is a system of one or more computers that gathers data about operation of the beer mixing system 100, provides control signals to one or more components of the operational subsystem 110, and provides capabilities for users to affect operation of the beer mixing system 100. The control subsystem 111 includes a network connection module 153, a data gathering module 151, and a control module 152.
  • The network connection module 153 allows both the data gathering module 151 and the control module 152 to communicate with units both inside and outside of the beer mixing system 100. The network connection module 153 may include any of a variety of communication modules that use different wired or wireless communication protocols, such as a Wi-Fi communication protocol or a Bluetooth communication protocol. The data gathering module 151 and the control module 152 can use a communication module to communicate with a particular unit inside or outside of the beer mixing system 100 depending on the networking capabilities of the particular unit. Each constituent unit of the beer mixing system 100 communicating with the network connection module 153 can have necessary networking capabilities to communicate with the network connection module 153 using a communication mechanism.
  • The data gathering module 151 gathers data about operation of the beer mixing system 100. For example, the data gathering module 151 can gather data from a sensor or other reporting device in a beer component source 101 about the pressure, temperature, and/or volume of the beer component 112 in the beer component source 101. The data gathering module 151 can also gather data from a sensor or other reporting device in a beer component source 101 about energy consumption of the beer component source 101.
  • Moreover, the data gathering module 151 can gather data from any sensor, valve, temperature setting module, and/or control module in the operational subsystem 110 of the beer mixing system 100. The data gathering module 151 may gather data by issuing a request (through the network connection module 153) for data to a constituent unit of the beer mixing system 100 and, in response, receive the requested data from the constituent unit. The constituent units can have a network connection modules and/or other circuitry that enables them to communicate with the network connection module 153.
  • For example, the data gathering module 151 may obtain one or more of the following: (i) information about flow of components through per-component flowmeters in mixers from a control module of each mixer; (ii) information about flow of beer products through per-product flowmeters in mixers from a control module of each mixer; and (iii) information about sensor measurements in the mixers and/or quality assurance modules from control modules in those mixers and/or modules.
  • The data gathering module 151 communicates its gathered operational data, through a computer network 102 (such as a computer network including at least one of a wide area network and a local area network), to a user device 103, a data analysis system 104, or both.
  • The data analysis system 104 can use the operational data to provide one or more data analysis reports and/or data analysis conclusions about operation of the beer mixing system 100. The data analysis system 104 can also supply the operational data to a computer application that performs analysis on data, such as a computer application that provide platforms for devices and apparatuses to collect information and/or communicate with other devices or apparatuses. Such a computer application may be a computer application stored on the data analysis system 104 that is configured to receive data about operation of the beer mixing system 100 and analyze the data to generate status reports and/or conclusions about operation of the beer mixing system 100. For example, the data analysis system 104 can use the operational data to detect suboptimal conditions and/or malfunctioning in operation of at least one constituent unit of the beer mixing system 100 and issue alerts to a user device 103 or other client system about the suboptimal condition and/or malfunctioning.
  • For example, the data analysis system 104 can use information obtained from beer component sources 101 about energy consumption of the beer component sources 101 and/or information obtained from control modules in the operational subsystem 110 about consumption of energy by temperature setting modules in the operational subsystem 110 to generate reports about energy consumption by the beer mixing system 100 and generate alerts about excess consumption of energy by a constituent unit of the beer mixing system 100.
  • Also, the data analysis system 104 can also use information obtained from beer component sources 101 about operation of beer component sources 101 to estimate a total amount of use of beer components 112 in those beer component sources 101 since a previous refilling and detect possible needs for refilling one or more of the beer component sources 101.
  • In addition, the data analysis system 104 can use information obtained from per-product flowmeters in mixers to generate statistics about use of beer products and detect market trends. The data analysis system 104 can also use such information to estimate use of beer components and detect possible needs for refilling one or more of the beer component sources 101.
  • Moreover, the data analysis system 104 can use information obtained from sensors in the operational subsystem 110 to determine a suboptimal condition and/or malfunctioning in the operation of a constituent unit of the beer mixing system 100 and generate alerts.
  • Furthermore, the data analysis system 104 can use information obtained from per-component flowmeters in mixers to determine a need for recalibrating proportional valves in mixers and generate a corresponding alert.
  • The control module 152 provides control signals to one or more components of the operational subsystem 110. For example, the control module 152 can provide a control signal to a quality assurance module 121 to apply one or more quality assurance tests and/or apply a particular threshold for controlling flow of one or more beer components 112. In addition, the control module 152 can provide control signals to a mixer to use a particular ratio of each available tested beer components 113, i.e., a formula, to produce a beer product. Moreover, the control module 152 may be able to provide control signals to any sensor, valve, temperature setting module, and/or control module in the operational subsystem 110. The control module 152 can determine control signals based on analyzing information gathered by the data gathering module 151 and/or based on a user input provided on a user device 103, e.g., using a user interface generated on the user device 103.
  • In some implementations, the beer mixing system 100 may not include one or more of the components described above. For example, the beer mixing system 100 may not include a quality assurance module 121 for certain beer components 112 or may not have any quality assurance modules 121 at all. In such cases, the mixers may receive one or more beer components 112 directly from the beer component sources 101 and without any intervening testing and/or processing by a corresponding quality assurance module 121.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an example quality assurance module 200. The quality assurance module operates on a particular beer component 201 and is an example of quality assurance module 121 discussed above with reference to FIG. 1.
  • The quality assurance module 200 includes a container 202 that stores flows of beer component 201 from beer component sources, e.g., beer component sources 101 of FIG. 1. The quality assurance module 200 also includes a control module 221 that gathers information about contents of the container 202 from sensors and provides control signals to maintenance modules and valves in the quality assurance module 200 based on the gathered information. The control module 221 may communicate with one or more components of a control subsystem of a beer mixing system, e.g., the control subsystem 111 of the beer mixing system of FIG. 1, through a wired or wireless communication mechanism.
  • Each sensor in the quality assurance module 200 gathers information about a respective property of the contents of the container 202. The quality assurance module 200 uses the sensor detections to determine the state and/or quality of the contents of the container 202 and sends control signals according to that determination. In particular, the control module 221 may use sensor detections to determine if the contents of the container 202 meet certain quality requirements and open a release valve 232 for release of tested beer components 241 to mixers only if the control module 221 determines that the contents of the container 202 meets such quality requirements.
  • For example, an air sensor 211 detects the level of air in the contents of the container 202 and communicates that detection to the control module 221. If the control module 221 determines that the air sensor 211 detection is above a certain threshold, the control module 221 may determine that the contents of the container 202 have excess carbon dioxide, refrain from sending a control signal to open the release valve 232, and send a control signal to open a purge valve 231 to dispose at least a portion of the contents, e.g., the upper portion that includes gas material, as disposable material 242. Disposing a portion of the contents of the container 202 that includes gas material can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the contents and thus reduce the amount of foam in the final beer product produced by a mixer using the component.
  • The component sensor 212 detects the quantity of the beer component 201 corresponding to the quality assurance module 200 in the contents of the container 202 and communicates that detection to the control module 221. If the control module 221 determines that the component sensor 212 detection is below a certain threshold, the control module 221 may determine that the contents of the container 202 do not have enough of the desired beer component 201, refrain from sending a control signal to open the release valve 232, and send control signals to enable the flow of beer component 201 to the container, e.g., through activating a valve for entry of beer component 201 into the container 202.
  • If the control module 221 determines that the air sensor 211 detection is below threshold and the component sensor 212 detection is above threshold, the control module 221 may determine that the contents of the container 202 include an adequate amount of beer component 201 with desired levels of carbon dioxide, refrain from sending a control signal to open the purge valve 231 to dispose the contents of the container 202 as disposable material 242, and send a control signal to open the release valve 232.
  • The temperature sensor 213 detects the temperature of the contents of the container 202. If the control module 221 determines that the temperature sensor 213 detections are above a certain threshold, the control module 221 may determine that the contents of the container 202 are too warm, refrain from sending a control signal to open either the purge valve 231 or the release valve 232, and send a control signal to a temperature setting module 214, e.g., a cooling mechanism such as a freezer, to cool the contents of the container 202.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an example mixer 300. The mixer 300 produces a particular beer product and is an example of a mixer discussed above with reference to FIG. 1.
  • The mixer 300 receives a number of beer components, e.g., component 1 301, component 2 302, component 3 303, and component 4 304. Each beer component then goes through a corresponding one-way valve, i.e., one-way valve 1 311 for component 1 301, one-way valve 2 312 for component 2 302, one-way valve 3 313 for component 3 303, and one-way valve 4 314 for component 4 304. A one-way valve ensures that a beer component can flow through only in one direction, i.e., the downstream direction toward proportional valves.
  • Each component then flows through a proportional valve, e.g., proportional valve 1 321 for component 1 301, proportional valve 2 322 for component 2 302, proportional valve 3 323 for component 3 303, and proportional valve 4 324 for component 4 304. A proportional valve allows only a portion of a component to flow to a collector 340 that receives flows from proportional valves. The amount of a component that a proportional valve allows to flow, which can depend on a position of the proportional valve, can determine a formula of the beer product produced by the mixer 300 and can be electrically configurable based on received control signals, e.g., control signals received from a control subsystem such as the control subsystem 111 depicted in FIG. 1. Proportional valves can include circuitry that allows them to communicate with the control subsystem or with the control or with both, e.g., over any of a variety of communication links, e.g., wired communication links, short-range wireless communication links, e.g., Bluetooth or near field communication, long-range wireless communication links, e.g., Wi-Fi, and so on.
  • The proportion of each component allowed to flow by the corresponding proportional valve depends on a ratio of the component in the beer product that the mixer 300 seeks to produce. The mixer 300 can determine the ratio based on a formula and/or control signals corresponding to a formula that the mixer 300 has received from a control module of a beer mixing system, e.g., the control subsystem 111 of the beer mixing system 100 of FIG. 1.
  • In some implementations, before the components flow to the collector 340, a per-component flowmeter for each component, i.e., per-component flowmeter 1 331 for component 1 301, per-component flowmeter 2 332 for component 2 302, per-component flowmeter 3 333 for component 3 303, and per-component flowmeter 4 334 for component 4 304, detects the amount of the component going into the collector 340. Per-component flowmeters can include circuitry that allows them to communicate with a control subsystem such as the control subsystem 111 depicted in FIG. 1.
  • After components pass through proportional valves and per-component flowmeters, they go to a collector 340. The contents of the collector 340 are final beer products 350 that are ready for release to end users, e.g., through a tap or other dispenser. A temperature setting module 371 of the mixer 300 can ensure that the contents of the collector 340 are at the desired temperature, e.g., cool enough. In some implementations, the temperature setting module 371 can communicate a temperature of the final beer products 350 to a control subsystem, e.g., the control subsystem 111 of FIG. 1. If the control subsystem determines that the temperature of the final beer products is not a desired temperature, the control subsystem can send control signals to the temperature setting module 371 to cool or heat the final beer products to adjust the temperature of the final beer product 350.
  • A per-product flowmeter 360 can detect an amount of beer product that is released during each request to communicate to a control subsystem of a beer mixing system, e.g., the control subsystem 111 of the beer mixing system 100 of FIG. 1. The control module may communicate such data to a client application, e.g., the data analysis system 104 as depicted in FIG. 1, which may supply the data to one or more applications that analyze the data. A per-product flowmeter can 360 include circuitry that allows it to communicate with a control subsystem such as the control subsystem 111 depicted in FIG. 1.
  • A control module 370 of the mixer 300 can calibrate the proportional valves that are used to mix components. Such calibration can be based on pre-set values or can be automatic. To automatically calibrate proportional valves of the mixer 300, the control module 370 can obtain the values recorded by each per-component flowmeter that records the flow out of a proportional valve, determine a ratio of each recorded value for a per-component flowmeter as a share of the total sum of recorded values for all per-component flowmeters, and compare the ratio for each per-component flowmeters to the appropriate ratio of the corresponding component based on the formula for the beer product that the mixer 300 seeks to produce.
  • If the computed ratio and the appropriate ratio do not correspond to each other, e.g., the discrepancy between them is above a threshold value, the control module 370 can send control inputs to one or more proportional valves to remove and/or reduce the discrepancy. For example, the control module 370 can send signals that cause the proportional valves to change their position in a manner that causes a first group of proportional valves to change their position to increase the flow through them and a second group of proportional valves to change their position to increase the flow through them. The first group of proportional valves are valves whose computed ratios are below their appropriate ratios and the second group of proportional valve are valves whose computed ratios are above their corresponding appropriate ratios.
  • In some implementations, the control module 370 can obtain values recorded by per-component flowmeters without flowing actual beer components through one or more proportional valves. For example, the control module 370 can obtain the values by flowing a non-component liquid, such as water, through one or more proportional valves of the mixer 300.
  • Although techniques described in this specification are explained with reference to beer mixing, a person of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the described systems and techniques can be used to mix any one or more components to produce any drink that is a mixture of the one or more components. Examples of such drinks include sodas or other carbonated non-alcoholic beverages, mixed juices, and some cocktails.
  • Certain aspects of the embodiments of the subject matter and the functional operations described in this specification can be implemented in digital electronic circuitry, in tangibly-embodied computer software or firmware, in computer hardware, including the structures disclosed in this specification and their structural equivalents, or in combinations of one or more of them. Embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented as one or more computer programs, i.e., one or more modules of computer program instructions encoded on a tangible non transitory program carrier for execution by, or to control the operation of, data processing apparatus. Alternatively or in addition, the program instructions can be encoded on an artificially generated propagated signal, e.g., a machine-generated electrical, optical, or electromagnetic signal, that is generated to encode information for transmission to suitable receiver apparatus for execution by a data processing apparatus. The computer storage medium can be a machine-readable storage device, a machine-readable storage substrate, a random or serial access memory device, or a combination of one or more of them. The computer storage medium is not, however, a propagated signal.
  • The term "data processing apparatus" encompasses all kinds of apparatus, devices, and machines for processing data, including by way of example a programmable processor, a computer, or multiple processors or computers. The apparatus can include special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit). The apparatus can also include, in addition to hardware, code that creates an execution environment for the computer program in question, e.g., code that constitutes processor firmware, a protocol stack, a database management system, an operating system, or a combination of one or more of them.
  • A computer program (which may also be referred to or described as a program, software, a software application, a module, a software module, a script, or code) can be written in any form of programming language, including compiled or interpreted languages, or declarative or procedural languages, and it can be deployed in any form, including as a stand alone program or as a module, component, subroutine, or other unit suitable for use in a computing environment. A computer program may, but need not, correspond to a file in a file system. A program can be stored in a portion of a file that holds other programs or data, e.g., one or more scripts stored in a markup language document, in a single file dedicated to the program in question, or in multiple coordinated files, e.g., files that store one or more modules, sub programs, or portions of code. A computer program can be deployed to be executed on one computer or on multiple computers that are located at one site or distributed across multiple sites and interconnected by a communication network.
  • As used in this specification, an "module," or "software module," refers to a software implemented input/output system that provides an output that is different from the input. An module can be an encoded block of functionality, such as a library, a platform, a software development kit ("SDK"), or an object. Each module can be implemented on any appropriate type of computing device, e.g., servers, mobile phones, tablet computers, notebook computers, music players, e-book readers, laptop or desktop computers, PDAs, smart phones, or other stationary or portable devices, that includes one or more processors and computer readable media. Additionally, two or more of the modules may be implemented on the same computing device, or on different computing devices.
  • The processes and logic flows described in this specification can be performed by one or more programmable computers executing one or more computer programs to perform functions by operating on input data and generating output. The processes and logic flows can also be performed by, and apparatus can also be implemented as, special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit).
  • Computers suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, can be based on general or special purpose microprocessors or both, or any other kind of central processing unit. Generally, a central processing unit will receive instructions and data from a read only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a central processing unit for performing or executing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto optical disks, or optical disks. However, a computer need not have such devices. Moreover, a computer can be embedded in another device, e.g., a mobile telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile audio or video player, a game console, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, or a portable storage device, e.g., a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive, to name just a few.
  • Computer readable media suitable for storing computer program instructions and data include all forms of non-volatile memory, media and memory devices, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto optical disks; and CD ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, special purpose logic circuitry.
  • To provide for interaction with a user, embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented on a computer having a display device, e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device, e.g., a mouse or a trackball, by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide for interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback, e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback; and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input. In addition, a computer can interact with a user by sending documents to and receiving documents from a device that is used by the user; for example, by sending web pages to a web browser on a user's client device in response to requests received from the web browser.
  • Embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented in a computing system that includes a back end component, e.g., as a data server, or that includes a middleware component, e.g., an application server, or that includes a front end component, e.g., a client computer having a graphical user interface or a Web browser through which a user can interact with an implementation of the subject matter described in this specification, or any combination of one or more such back end, middleware, or front end components. The components of the system can be interconnected by any form or medium of digital data communication, e.g., a communication network. Examples of communication networks include a local area network ("LAN") and a wide area network ("WAN"), e.g., the Internet.
  • The computing system can include clients and servers. A client and server are generally remote from each other and typically interact through a communication network. The relationship of client and server arises by virtue of computer programs running on the respective computers and having a client-server relationship to each other.
  • While this specification contains many specific implementation details, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of any invention or of what may be claimed, but rather as descriptions of features that may be specific to particular embodiments of particular inventions. Certain features that are described in this specification in the context of separate embodiments can also be implemented in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features that are described in the context of a single embodiment can also be implemented in multiple embodiments separately or in any suitable subcombination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.
  • Similarly, while operations are depicted in the drawings in a particular order, this should not be understood as requiring that such operations be performed in the particular order shown or in sequential order, or that all illustrated operations be performed, to achieve desirable results. In certain circumstances, multitasking and parallel processing may be advantageous. Moreover, the separation of various system modules and components in the embodiments described above should not be understood as requiring such separation in all embodiments, and it should be understood that the described program components and systems can generally be integrated together in a single software product or packaged into multiple software products.
  • Particular embodiments of the subject matter have been described. Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims. For example, the actions recited in the claims can be performed in a different order and still achieve desirable results. As one example, the processes depicted in the accompanying figures do not necessarily require the particular order shown, or sequential order, to achieve desirable results. In certain implementations, multitasking and parallel processing may be advantageous.

Claims (15)

  1. A system comprising:
    an operational subsystem including:
    a plurality of mixers, wherein each mixer of the plurality of mixers corresponds to a different dispenser of a plurality of dispensers, and wherein each mixer is configured to:
    mix two or more beer components of a plurality of beer components in accordance with a formula corresponding to the mixer to produce a corresponding beer product, and
    provide the corresponding beer product to the dispenser corresponding to the mixer; and
    a control subsystem including a control module, wherein the control module is a computer system configured to provide to each mixer one or more control inputs that cause the mixer to mix the two or more beer components in accordance with the formula corresponding to the mixer.
  2. The system of claim 1, wherein the operational subsystem further comprises a plurality of quality assurance modules each associated with a beer component of the plurality of beer components, wherein each quality assurance module includes a container to hold the corresponding beer component and is configured to:
    determine if the corresponding beer component in the container of the quality assurance module meets one or more quality assurance requirements, and
    in response to determining that the corresponding beer component meets the one or more quality assurance requirements, allow some or all of the beer component in the container to flow to the plurality of mixers.
  3. The system of any one of claims 1-2, wherein the control subsystem is further configured to gather data about operation of at least one constituent unit of the operational subsystem and provide the data to a data analysis system.
  4. The system of claim 3, wherein the data analysis system is configured to analyze the data to generate at least one of a status report about operation of the system or an alert about a malfunctioning or suboptimal condition in operation of the system.
  5. The system of any one of claims 1-4, wherein each mixer of the plurality of mixers includes a proportional valve for each beer component of the plurality of beer components.
  6. The system of claim 5, wherein each proportional valve is electronically configurable based on control signals received from the control subsystem.
  7. The system any one of claims 5-6 wherein positions of proportional valves of the mixer define a mixing formula for the mixer.
  8. The system of any one of claims 5-7, wherein each mixer also includes a per-component flowmeter for each beer component, wherein each per-component flowmeter is positioned downstream from the proportional valve for the corresponding beer component and wherein each per-component flowmeter generates a per-component flow reading for the corresponding upstream proportional valve.
  9. The system of any one of claims 5-9, wherein the control subsystem is configured to detect a need to recalibrate proportional valves of a mixer of the plurality of mixers and, in response to detecting the need, recalibrate the proportional valves of the mixer.
  10. The system of claim 9, wherein detecting a need to recalibrate a mixer comprises:
    for each proportional valve in the mixer,
    determining a computed ratio of the per-component flow reading of the per-component flowmeter associated with the beer component flowing through the proportional valve to a sum of all per-component flow readings of each per-component flowmeter in the mixer,
    determining an appropriate ratio for the proportional valve based on a ratio for the beer component flowing through the proportional valve in the formula for the beer product associated with the mixer,
    determining if the computed ratio corresponds to the appropriate ratio, and
    in response to determining that the computed ratio does not correspond to the appropriate ratio, detecting a need to recalibrate the mixer.
  11. The system of claim 10, wherein recalibrating proportional valves of the mixer comprises changing a position of the proportional valves to increase a flow through proportional valves whose computed ratios are below their corresponding appropriate ratios and decrease a flow through proportional valves whose computed ratios are above the corresponding appropriate ratios.
  12. The system of claim 1, wherein the control subsystem is configured to:
    receive, from a user device, a user input including user preferences for a beer product,
    generate a formula for the beer product based on the user input, and
    send one or more control signals corresponding to the beer product to a mixer of the plurality of mixers.
  13. A computer-implemented method comprising actions of the control subsystem of any one of claims 1-12.
  14. A system comprising one or more computers and one or more storage devices storing instructions that are operable, when executed by the one or more computers, to cause the one or more computers to perform operations comprising actions of the control subsystem of any one of claims 1-12.
  15. A computer storage medium encoded with instructions that, when executed by one or more computers, cause the one or more computers to perform operations comprising actions of the control subsystem of any one of claims 1-12.
EP17382232.1A 2017-04-28 2017-04-28 Beer mixing system Pending EP3395752A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP17382232.1A EP3395752A1 (en) 2017-04-28 2017-04-28 Beer mixing system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP17382232.1A EP3395752A1 (en) 2017-04-28 2017-04-28 Beer mixing system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP3395752A1 true EP3395752A1 (en) 2018-10-31

Family

ID=58668825

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP17382232.1A Pending EP3395752A1 (en) 2017-04-28 2017-04-28 Beer mixing system

Country Status (1)

Country Link
EP (1) EP3395752A1 (en)

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2815610A1 (en) * 1978-04-11 1979-10-25 Micro Automation Elektronische Supply equipment for different drinks - has electronic storage unit for ingredients and quantities with valve control unit
GB2303354A (en) * 1995-07-15 1997-02-19 Coca Cola & Schweppes Beverage Drink dispensing apparatus
US6751525B1 (en) * 2000-06-08 2004-06-15 Beverage Works, Inc. Beverage distribution and dispensing system and method
US20070205221A1 (en) * 2006-03-06 2007-09-06 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Dispensing System
WO2009032686A1 (en) * 2007-09-06 2009-03-12 The Coca-Cola Company Method and apparatuses for providing a selectable beverage
EP2889263A1 (en) * 2013-12-27 2015-07-01 Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. Beverage dispensing device for dispensing different types of beverages or beverage components
EP2891707A1 (en) * 2012-08-31 2015-07-08 INA. World Corporation Device for producing alcoholic beverage and recording medium
US20150191341A1 (en) * 2008-11-10 2015-07-09 Automatic Bar Controls, Inc. Beverage Dispensing Apparatus with Presence Sensing

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2815610A1 (en) * 1978-04-11 1979-10-25 Micro Automation Elektronische Supply equipment for different drinks - has electronic storage unit for ingredients and quantities with valve control unit
GB2303354A (en) * 1995-07-15 1997-02-19 Coca Cola & Schweppes Beverage Drink dispensing apparatus
US6751525B1 (en) * 2000-06-08 2004-06-15 Beverage Works, Inc. Beverage distribution and dispensing system and method
US20070205221A1 (en) * 2006-03-06 2007-09-06 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Dispensing System
WO2009032686A1 (en) * 2007-09-06 2009-03-12 The Coca-Cola Company Method and apparatuses for providing a selectable beverage
US20150191341A1 (en) * 2008-11-10 2015-07-09 Automatic Bar Controls, Inc. Beverage Dispensing Apparatus with Presence Sensing
EP2891707A1 (en) * 2012-08-31 2015-07-08 INA. World Corporation Device for producing alcoholic beverage and recording medium
EP2889263A1 (en) * 2013-12-27 2015-07-01 Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. Beverage dispensing device for dispensing different types of beverages or beverage components

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5731981A (en) Beverage dispensing system for bar
US7272537B2 (en) Spout for dispensing liquid from a liquid container
EP1278696B1 (en) Self-monitoring, intelligent fountain dispenser
CN101401048B (en) Beverage dispensing
JP5722626B2 (en) Systems and methods for facilitating consumer-dispenser interactions
US6609431B1 (en) Flow measuring device based on predetermine class of liquid
GB2257419A (en) An automotive fuel additive dispensing and blending system.
US8751037B2 (en) Systems and methods for dispensing consumable products
ES2616702T3 (en) Preparation automated beverage
WO2004030435A2 (en) Dispenser
US6161060A (en) Octane sensitive dispenser blending system
KR101267932B1 (en) Flow rate measuring apparatus and its program,
US20050194399A1 (en) Beverage serving control system
EP1404436B1 (en) Flow-based chemical dispense system and method
US9051162B2 (en) Systems and methods for facilitating consumer-dispenser interactions
US3831812A (en) Fluid dispensing system
US20090114675A1 (en) Dispenser apparatus and a dispensing system for dispensing a liquid from a bottle
RU2013132890A (en) A method of dispensing from a casting apparatus, a casting apparatus and a computer readable medium
CN1258349A (en) Overfill compensation for batch delivery system
HUE033850T2 (en) Product level sensor for a product dispenser
US8452551B2 (en) Method and apparatus for monitoring multiphase fluid flow
GB1345281A (en) Fluid dispensers
US7832592B2 (en) Beverage dispensing gas consumption detection with alarm and backup operation
JP5139290B2 (en) Beverage dispensing equipment
ES2651095T3 (en) Pump system bag in box

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated contracting states:

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): 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

AV Request for validation of the european patent in

Extension state: MA MD

AX Request for extension of the european patent to

Extension state: BA ME