US20080098753A1 - Method and system for logging cycle history of an ice-making machine that is accessible to the user for service diagnosis - Google Patents

Method and system for logging cycle history of an ice-making machine that is accessible to the user for service diagnosis Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080098753A1
US20080098753A1 US11/975,523 US97552307A US2008098753A1 US 20080098753 A1 US20080098753 A1 US 20080098753A1 US 97552307 A US97552307 A US 97552307A US 2008098753 A1 US2008098753 A1 US 2008098753A1
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ice
log
making machine
current values
log memory
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Abandoned
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US11/975,523
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Matthew Allison
Daniel Jaszkowski
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SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC
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SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC
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Application filed by SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC filed Critical SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC
Priority to US11/975,523 priority patent/US20080098753A1/en
Assigned to SCOTSMAN GROUP, LLC reassignment SCOTSMAN GROUP, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JASZJOWSKI, DANIEL A., ALLISON, MATTHEW W.
Publication of US20080098753A1 publication Critical patent/US20080098753A1/en
Assigned to JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS AGENT reassignment JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS AGENT SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC
Assigned to MILE HIGH EQUIPMENT LLC, SCOTSMAN GROUP LLC, SCOTSMAN ICE SYSTEMS SHANGHAI CO. LTD. reassignment MILE HIGH EQUIPMENT LLC RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25BREFRIGERATION MACHINES, PLANTS OR SYSTEMS; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT-PUMP SYSTEMS
    • F25B49/00Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices
    • F25B49/005Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices of safety devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C2400/00Auxiliary features or devices for producing, working or handling ice
    • F25C2400/10Refrigerator units

Abstract

An ice-making machine with an add on board that has a processor, a log program and a log memory. The log program periodically writes current values of operation parameters of the ice making of the machine in the log memory and makes the logged data available to an external device at predetermined times or when the current values contain an error condition.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/862,304, filed Oct. 20, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present disclosure generally relates to a method and ice-making machine that tracks performance history including ice-making cycles, compressor run hours, system performance data, error codes, etc.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Conventional ice-making machines do not provide users with an ability to quickly diagnose machine status or condition. It would be useful for both machine operators and service technician if there was a quick and easy way to diagnose machine status or condition, thereby allowing appropriate action to be taken to reduce delays normally associated with a more manual diagnosis.
  • Thus, there is a need for an improved ice-making machine and method that aids diagnosis of ice making performance.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present inventors have developed a novel ice-making machine and method which provides users and service technicians with ready access via a USB port on an advance feature board to a log file containing status and condition information related to the performance of an ice-making machine, thereby allowing the user and/or service technician to rapidly diagnose the machine's condition.
  • An ice-making machine of the present invention comprises an assembly that performs an operation of making ice, a processor and a data log program that when executed by the processor writes in a log memory current values of a set of operational parameters of the operation.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the log program periodically repeats the writing of current values in the log memory so that the log memory contains a history of ice making cycles, compressor run time and system performance.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, the log program causes the processor to send the values stored in the log memory to an external device.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, the values are sent to the external device periodically or earlier if the current values being written contain an error or in response to a received request.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, the request is received from the external device.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, when the log memory is full, the current values are written over the oldest logged current values in the log memory.
  • A method of the present invention comprises performing an operation of making ice and writing in a log memory current values of a set of operational parameters of the operation.
  • In one embodiment of the method of the present invention, the log program periodically repeats the writing of the current values in the log memory so that the log memory contains a history of ice making cycles, compressor run time and system performance.
  • In another embodiment of the method of the present invention, the log program causes the processor to send the values stored in the log memory to an external device.
  • In another embodiment of the method of the present invention, the values are sent to the external device periodically or earlier if the current values being written contain an error or in response to a received request.
  • In another embodiment of the method of the present invention, the request is received from the external device.
  • In another embodiment of the method of the present invention, when the log memory is full, the current values are written over the oldest logged current values in the log memory.
  • The present invention also provides many additional advantages, which shall become apparent as described below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Other and further objects, advantages and features of the present invention will be understood by reference to the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters denote like elements of structure and:
  • FIG. 1 is front left perspective view of an ice-making machine of the present invention with an exploded view of a control board mounting bracket and main control board;
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a textual display of the ice-making machine of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram view of a portion of an advance feature board of the ice-making machine of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a log program of the ice-making machine of FIG. 1; and
  • FIG. 5 is a chart that depicts log data monitored of harvest time of the ice-making machine of FIG. 1 before and after service thereof.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The ice-making machine according to the present disclosure regulates ice making based on time variable electrical power rates and logs data records of the performance of the ice-making machine.
  • Some utility companies vary power rates during the day to lower demand during peak use hours. Typical ice-making machines are mounted on or above ice storage bins. When power rates are low, the ice-making machine of the present disclosure runs to fill the storage bin. When power rates are high, the ice-making machine lets the ice level in the bin drop to lower levels and maintains them at the lower levels until power rates drop again. Alternatively, if through monitoring the usage rate of the ice, the ice-making machine determines that at the lower levels the customer will run out of ice, the ice-making machine will make ice regardless of electricity rates.
  • By way of example and completeness of description, the present invention will be described in a preferred embodiment that comprises a field add on or retrofit to an existing ice-making machine. Referring to FIG. 1, an ice-making machine 20 comprises an assembly 21 disposed in a housing 22. Assembly 21 makes ice and includes an evaporator, a condenser, a compressor, a refrigeration circulation system, a water delivery system, various valves and switches (none of which is shown on the drawing). Housing 22 comprises a top wall 24, a bottom wall 26, side walls 28 and 30, a back wall 32 and a front wall 34. In FIG. 1, front wall 34 is detached to show a control board assembly 36. An ice bin 46 is located below bottom wall 26.
  • Control board assembly 36 comprises a mounting bracket 38 and a main control board 40. A controller 42 and an interface 44 are mounted on main control board 40.
  • A field add on assembly 50 comprises a bin level control board 52, an advance feature control board 54, a communication cable 56 and a bin level sensing device 58. Bin level sensing device 58 comprises a sensor 60, a mount 62 and a wire 64. Sensor 60 is any suitable sensor that senses a level of ice in ice bin 46. Preferably, sensor 60 is an ultrasonic sensor.
  • Bin level control board 52 includes circuitry to monitor the current ice level in ice bin 46, a plug (not shown) and a user interface knob 66. Bin level control board 52 plugs into main control board 40. Advance feature control board 54 also plugs into main control board 40 via communication cable 56.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-3, advance feature control board 54 comprises a processor 70, a user interface 72, a USB port 74, an input/output (I/O) interface 90, a plug 92, a RAM memory 94, a log memory 98 and a real time clock 96. An energy program 100 is stored in memory 94 and when run causes processor 70 to control ice making based on the time of day and energy (e.g., electricity) rates via I/O interface 90 and communication cable 56. That is, I/O interface 90 sends and receives signals to and from main control board 40, ice level control board 52 via communication cable 56 and external device 106 via USB port 74. External device 106 may be a personal computer or a device that provides wireless communication to other devices via a network, e.g., the Internet.
  • User interface 72 comprises USB port 74, a display area 76, a scroll down button 78, a scroll up button 80, a select button 82, an escape button 84 and an enter button 86. A display program 102 is also stored in memory 94 and when run causes processor 70 to present menus in display area 76. Display program 102 responds to manual operation of scroll down and up buttons 78 and 80 to scroll down and up through a list of menu items on a menu presented in display area 76. Display program 102 responds to manual operation of select button 82 to make changes to settings, such as electricity rates and the times of day when applicable or other parameters. Display program 102 responds to manual operation of enter button 86 to change from a main menu list to a sub-menu list. Display program 102 responds to manual operation of escape button 84 to back up through the menu. Display program 102 can also display alerts and data in display area 76. Examples of alerts are “service ice machine soon”, “slow water fill”, “long freeze cycle”, “long harvest cycle”, and “high discharge temperature”.
  • A log program 104 is also stored in memory 94. Log program 104 is executed by processor 70 on a periodic basis to obtain data records of operational parameters at sample times. Log program 104 causes each data record to be written to log memory 98. Log memory 98 is preferably a non-volatile memory that retains stored data records in the event of turn off of ice-making machine 20 by operator action or power failure. Real time clock 96 provides time and date stamping information for log program 104. When log memory 98 is full, log program 104 writes the data records over the oldest records. The logged data can be downloaded to external device 106 that comprises a data analysis tool 108 that downloads the logged data and presents views and charts of the logged data to a user, such as a technician
  • Advance feature board 54 is an add-on board to the base control system of conventional ice-making machines. It provides additional features that are not incorporated into main control board 40.
  • Log program 104 tracks the ice machine performance including ice making cycles, compressor run hours, system performance data, error codes, etc. In one embodiment, log memory 98 has the capacity to store a cycle history of 12 hours minimum to 720 hours maximum history, depending on sample rate setting, which is adjustable from one second to 60 seconds. As memory 98 becomes full, log program 104 writes new data records over the oldest data records. Log program 104 has the ability to clear memory 98. Assuming ice-making machine 20 is operating without any type of error condition, log program 104 will cause a basic log of data to be sent out every hour via USB port 74 to external device 106. If an error occurs, log program 104 will cause the logged data up to the occurrence of the error condition to be sent out. A user of external device 106 can at any time request a download of the logged data.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, log program 104 cycles through the steps as determined by at step 120. When the clock time represents a sample time (e.g., every second), step 120 is satisfied. At step 122, processor 70 gets the current log data from main control board 40 and inserts a time stamp. At step 124, it is determined if log memory 98 is full. If not, the current log data is written in the next available address space. If log memory 98 is full, step 128 overwrites the oldest data in log memory 98 with the current log data. Step 130 determines if the current data written by steps 126 or 128 contains an error code. If so, the logged data up to the occurrence of the error is downloaded to external device 106 at step 136. If there is no error, step 132 determines if it is time to send out the logged data. For example, the logged data may be sent out once every hour via USB port 74 to external device 106. If so, step 136 downloads the logged data stored in log memory 98 to external device 106. If it is not time to send out the logged data, step 134 determines if a user demand for the logged data has been received. If so, step 136 downloads the logged data stored in log memory 98 to external device 106. If a user demand for the logged data has not been received, log program 106 waits for the next sample time at step 120. This procedure is repeated at each sample time.
  • The table below lists exemplary variables for which the ice-making machine can log cycle history. By charting these variables out over time, the user can determine if various components are turning on and off at the appropriate time within each ice making cycle. FIG. 5 is a chart of logged data over a period of time when a change was made to an ice-making machine. FIG. 5 clearly demonstrates that there was erratic behavior at the beginning of the logged data and when ice harvest time was random. However, once the ice-making machine was serviced with new components this erratic harvest time was eliminated and a more consistent normal behavioral pattern emerged. TABLE Exemplary list of logged variables Date and Time = Date and time of the following values freeze_timer = Amount of time the machine has been in freeze mode harvest_timer = Amount of time the machine has been in harvest mode freeze_cycles = The number of consecutive freeze cycles the machine has run flush_level_set = One of 6 values that the flush level can be set to flush_level_used = The actual flush level used (when machine is set to automatically choose) relative_conductivity = An indication of water quality used to select flush level error_code = Diagnostic error code op_mode = Current operational mode (state) of the machine sump_temp = Temperature of the water in the sump discharge_temp = Temperature of the compressor discharge line v_raw = An approximation of board voltage RLO = Indicates if Remote Lockout option board is present ICE_PROBE = Set if ice thickness probe has a conductivity path to ground SUMP_UPPER = Set if the upper sump level probe has a conductivity path to the sump common probe SUMP_LOWER = Set if the lower sump level probe has a conductivity path to the sump common probe REMOTE_SEL = Indicates if machine is a remote condenser unit C_SW2 = Status of curtain 2 (curtains are used to cover evaps and prevent splash inside machine. C_SW1 = Status of curtain 1 WIV = State of water inlet valve PUMP = State of water pump HGV = State of hot gas bypass valve COND = State of condenser fan COMP = State of compressor PURGE = State of discharge purge valve MACHINE_RUNTIME = Amount of time in hours that the machine has been powered COMPRESSOR_RUNTIME = Amount of time in hours that compressor has ran POWER_INTERRUPTS = The number of times power has been interrupted to the machine usbls_set = Setpoint of the bin level option board usbls_level = Actual ice level from the bin level board HGV_COUNTER = The number of cycles of the Hot Gas Bypass Valve
  • The present invention having been thus described with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.

Claims (12)

1. An ice-making machine comprising:
an assembly that performs an operation of making ice; and
a processor and a data log program that when executed by said processor writes in a log memory current values of a set of operational parameters of said operation.
2. The ice-making machine of claim 1, wherein said log program periodically repeats the writing of current values in said log memory so that said log memory contains a history of ice making cycles, compressor run time and system performance.
3. The ice-making machine of claim 1, wherein said log program causes said processor to send the values stored in said log memory to an external device.
4. The ice-making machine of claim 3, wherein said values are sent to said external device periodically or earlier if the current values being written contain an error or in response to a received request.
5. The ice-making machine of claim 4, wherein said request is received from said external device.
6. The ice-making machine of claim 2, wherein when said log memory is full, the current values are written over the oldest logged current values in said log memory.
7. A method of operating an ice-making machine comprising:
performing an operation of making ice;
writing in a log memory current values of a set of operational parameters of said operation.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein said log program periodically repeats the writing of said current values in said log memory so that said log memory contains a history of ice making cycles, compressor run time and system performance.
9. The method of claim 7 wherein said log program causes said processor to send the values stored in said log memory to an external device.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein said values are sent to said external device periodically or earlier if the current values being written contain an error or in response to a received request.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein said request is received from said external device.
12. The method -making machine of claim 8, wherein when said log memory is full, the current values are written over the oldest logged current values in said log memory.
US11/975,523 2006-10-20 2007-10-19 Method and system for logging cycle history of an ice-making machine that is accessible to the user for service diagnosis Abandoned US20080098753A1 (en)

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080179411A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Han-Won Park System for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US20080179410A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Young-Soo Yoon System and method for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US20090179040A1 (en) * 2008-01-16 2009-07-16 Lancer Partnership, Ltd. Method and apparatus for an ice level determiner
US20120000216A1 (en) * 2010-07-01 2012-01-05 Kim Seongjae Ice maker of refrigerator and power saving method of ice maker
WO2012106318A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Llc Ice machine safe mode freeze and harvest control and method
US9262147B1 (en) 2008-12-30 2016-02-16 Google Inc. Recording client events using application resident on removable storage device

Citations (3)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6581392B1 (en) * 2002-02-01 2003-06-24 Scotsman Ice Systems Ice machine and method for control thereof
US6996820B1 (en) * 1999-04-05 2006-02-07 Cisco Technology, Inc. Efficient multiple priority list memory system
US7310957B2 (en) * 2002-10-10 2007-12-25 Scotsman Ice Systems Ice machine with remote monitoring

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6996820B1 (en) * 1999-04-05 2006-02-07 Cisco Technology, Inc. Efficient multiple priority list memory system
US6581392B1 (en) * 2002-02-01 2003-06-24 Scotsman Ice Systems Ice machine and method for control thereof
US7310957B2 (en) * 2002-10-10 2007-12-25 Scotsman Ice Systems Ice machine with remote monitoring

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080179411A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Han-Won Park System for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US20080179410A1 (en) * 2007-01-26 2008-07-31 Young-Soo Yoon System and method for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US7871014B2 (en) * 2007-01-26 2011-01-18 Lg Electronics Inc. System for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US7937961B2 (en) * 2007-01-26 2011-05-10 Lg Electronics Inc. System and method for controlling demand of multi-air-conditioner
US20090179040A1 (en) * 2008-01-16 2009-07-16 Lancer Partnership, Ltd. Method and apparatus for an ice level determiner
US9262147B1 (en) 2008-12-30 2016-02-16 Google Inc. Recording client events using application resident on removable storage device
US20120000216A1 (en) * 2010-07-01 2012-01-05 Kim Seongjae Ice maker of refrigerator and power saving method of ice maker
WO2012106318A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Llc Ice machine safe mode freeze and harvest control and method
JP2014504718A (en) * 2011-01-31 2014-02-24 マニトワック・フードサービス・カンパニーズ・エルエルシー Refrigeration and harvest control in safe mode of ice making machine and method thereof

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WO2008051469A3 (en) 2008-10-16

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