US3251386A - Filler valve assembly - Google Patents

Filler valve assembly Download PDF

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Publication number
US3251386A
US3251386A US27121163A US3251386A US 3251386 A US3251386 A US 3251386A US 27121163 A US27121163 A US 27121163A US 3251386 A US3251386 A US 3251386A
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Prior art keywords
tube
valve
keg
container
lowered
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Expired - Lifetime
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Frank A Bellato
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READY IND Inc
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READY IND Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67CCLEANING, FILLING WITH LIQUIDS OR SEMILIQUIDS, OR EMPTYING, OF BOTTLES, JARS, CANS, CASKS, BARRELS, OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; FUNNELS
    • B67C3/00Bottling liquids or semiliquids; Filling jars or cans with liquids or semiliquids using bottling or like apparatus; Filling casks or barrels with liquids or semiliquids
    • B67C3/30Filling of barrels or casks
    • B67C3/32Filling of barrels or casks using counterpressure, i.e. filling while the container is under pressure

Description

May 17, 1966 F. A. BELLATO 3,251,386

FILLER VALVE AS SEMBLY Filed April 8, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet l c 29-% $19 3 Z o a INVENTOR. f ark A .fici/ifo WWW/MM May 17, 1966 F. A. BELLATO FILLER VALVE ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 8. 1963 United States Patent ()flice This invention relates to container filling apparatus, and particularly to what is known as a racker assembly used to fill beer kegs and the like.

The major object of the invention is to provide a racker assembly by means of whicha beer keg may be quickly and easily filled with a free unobstructed flow, while at the same time a supply of a gas under pressure (such as CO is being introduced into the keg to minimize turbulence and foaming of the beer as delivered into the keg.

The assembly includes a beer-filler tube adapted to be raised out of and lowered into the keg through the bunghole therein, and another object of the invention is to provide a means, mounted in connection with the tube, by which a pressure-tight fit with the bunghole may be had while the filling operation is in progress.

A further object of the invention is to provide an arrangement, mounted in connection with the filler tube, whereby the desired gas is admitted to the keg through the bunghole but without entering the tube or coming in contact with the beer passing therethrough.

Another object of the invention is to provide a closure valve in the filler tube below the point of entry of the beer thereinto to control the flow of the beer into the keg, means for controlling the opening and closing of such valve from above the tube, and means for raising said valve, when open, to a point in the tube clear of said point of beer entry so that the beer will then have an entirely unobstructed flow down the tube and into the keg.

Still another object of the invention is to arrange and mount all the working parts of the assembly so that when the filler tube is raised or lowered, the valve and its operating means will be raised or lowered therewith as a unit, and without any change in their relative positioning at the time.

A further object of the invention is to provide a filler valve assembly which is designed for ease and economy of manufacture.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a practical, reliable, and durable'filler Valve assembly,.and one which is exceedingly effective for the purpose for which it is designed.

These objects are accomplished by means of such structure and relative arrangement of parts as will fully appear by a perusal of the following specification and claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a foreshortened side elevation, partly broken out and in section, and with certain features shown diagrammatically, of the improved racker assembly; the view showing the valve and the filler tube of the assembly in the position occupied relative to a keg to be filled both prior and subsequent to a filling operation.

FIG. 2 is a similar view, but shows the filler tube in a keg filling position and with the flow control valve in an open and clear position.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation, mainly in section, of the valve unit of the assembly, shown in its closed position.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings and to the characters of reference marked thereon, the racker assembly, indicated generally at 1, is mounted so as to be initially entirely above and hence clear of a keg 2, such keg having a rigid flat plate 3 in one side and which is provided with a taper bunghole 4 as usual. When the keg is mounted in a filling position relative to the racker assembly 1, the plate 3 is disposed in an upwardly facing position'as shown.

The racker assembly 1 comprises a supporting framework indicated at 5, depending from which in laterally spaced relation are the vertical cylinders 6 of fluid pressure rams 7. The depending piston rods 8 of these rams are secured to horizontal plate-like arms 9 which project laterally from and are rigid with a collar 10. This collar includes a depending relatively small diameter stopper and centering member 11 surrounded at the top by a sealing ring 12 mounted in the collar as shown. The stopper 11 is tapered so as to fit snugly into the bunghole 4 when the seal 12 engages the plate 3. Secured intermediate its ends in the top wall 13 of the collar 10 is an elongated filler tube 14, which projects below the stopper 11 a sufficient distance to extend nearly to the bottom of the keg 2 when said stopper 11'is engaged in the bunghole 4.

The interior of the collar is formed, below the top wall 13, with an internal chamber 15 about the tube 14 and open to the bottom of the stopper 11 as shown in FIG. 2. A tubular nipple 16 projects from one side of the collar 10 in communication with the chamber 15; a flexible conduit 17 having a control valve 18 therein being connected to the nipple 16 and leading from a suitable source of CO or similar gas under pressure.

A pipe 19 is connected to and projects from the oppo site side of the collar 10 in communication with the chamber 15 and extends to an open drain 20 at its outer end; there being a pressure relief valve 21 in pipe 19 just conduit 26 extending from the outer end of said nipple 25 to the beer supply (not shown).

The various flexible conduits 17, 24 and 26 are of. course necessary to enable the tube 14, together with the collar 10, to raise and lower the necessary distance to permit the tube to lower into and raise out of the stationary keg 2.

Secured on and upstanding from the arms 9 between the rams 7 are the cylinders 27 of other fluid pressure rains 28, the piston rods 29 of which rams upstand from the cylinders. The outerends of the piston rods 29 are connected to a hanger 30 which depends between the rams 28 in symmetrical relation to the tube 14. The hanger at its lowerend supports an elongated depending valve stem 31 which passes through a packing gland 32 on the tube and which valve stem is arranged, when the piston rods 29 are fully retracted in their cylinders, to depend nearly to the bottom of and within the tube 14 in clearance relation thereto as shown in FIG. 1.

Patented May 17, 1966 A normally spherical valve 33 of compressible rubber or similar material is disposed at the lower end of the stem 31; said valve being confined between an upper disc 34 fixed on the stem 31 and a lower disc 35 separate from the stem. The valve 33 is in its spherical form is somewhat smaller than the diameter of the bore of the tube 14, as shown in FIG. 2, so that it is free to slide therethrough without interference.

In order to compress the valve 33 and enlarge the diameter of the same so that it will then seal in the tube 14, the following arrangement is provided:

Secured to the lower disc 35 and slidably projecting up through the valve 33 and through the stem 31, is a rod 36 which terminates a short distance above the upper end of said stem 31. At its upper end, the rod 36 is connected to the lower end of the piston irod 37 of a small shortstroke fluid pressure ram 38 which is supported by the hanger 36 above its lower end as shown.

When the piston rod 37 is extended, the disc 35-connected thereto by rod 36-is lowered, and the valve 33 is allowed to assume its open and spherical form. When said piston rod 37 is contracted or pulled upwardly--a movement which is relative to any movement of the stern 31the disc 35 is also pulled upwardly, thereby compressing the valve 33 vertically and expanding the same laterally, as shown in FIG. 3, so that said valve 33 then grips and closes with the wall of the tube 14 in sealing relation, as shown in FIG. 1.

In operation, with the keg 2 to be filled in place, and with the filler tube 14 raised clear of the keg by actuation of the rams 7, and following a prior keg filling operation after which the valve 33 is still in a closed or sealing position adjacent the lower end of the tube 14 as shown in FIG. 1, the first step is to lower the tube 14 into the keg 2 (by reactuation of the rams 7 in a reverse direction) until the stopper 11 is snugly engaged in the bunghole 4 and the seal 12 properly engages the plate 3, as shown in FIG. 2. The valve 18 is then opened, so as to introduce CO gas under pressure into the keg through the conduit 17, nipple 16 and chamber 15.

The next step is to release the valve 33 from sealing engagement with the tube 14, by actuation of the ram 38, and to then raise the valve 33, together with its stem 31, to a level such that said valve is above the beer intake nipple 25 as shown in FIG. 2. This is accomplished by actuation of the rams 27.

The flow of beer from conduit 26 is at all times only held back from entering the keg 2 by the valve 33 when closed. The beer will therefore start to flow into the keg as soon as the valve 33 is opened or disengaged from the tube 14, but by raising said valve and its stem 31 clear of the nipple 25, no obstruction to a full and smooth flow of the beer through the tube 14 and into the keg is attained, as is desirable.

When the keg is filled to the proper level, as indicated at 39, the beer backs up and enters the chamber 15, and with the gas pressure behind it, passes through the pipe 19 and into the conduit 22, where it actuates the indicator instrument 23 and travels thence through conduit 24 to the return reservoir; the valve 21 being in closed position.

As soon as said indicator instrument 23 is thus actuated, the beer flow into the keg 2 is shut off by the actuation of the rams 27 in a direction to lower the stem 31 and the valve 33 thereon to a point below the beer intake nipple 25, at which point the ram 38 is actuated to expand the valve 33 laterally which causes the same to seal or close in the tube 14, as shown in FIG. 1. The gas control valve 18 is then closed, and the pressure relief valve 21 is opened momentarily to drain any remaining pressure and beer from the pipe 19.

The rams 7 are then actuated to raise the filler tube 14, and of course the valve assembly associated therewith, from the keg 2, to a point clear of the latter, as shown in FIG. 1, where the parts are in position for a subsequent keg filling operation as above described.

The withdrawal of the filler tube from the keg causes a drop in the level of the beer in the keg due to the displacement of the tube, and thus provides a desirable air space in the keg. As soon as the tube 14 is thus withdrawn, a suitable bung (not shown) is forced into the bunghole 4 and the operation is completed.

While a keg is herein described as being the specific form of container being filled, it should be noted that this term is intended to include barrels, drums and the like.

From the foregoing description, it will be readily seen that there has been produced such a device as substantially fulfills the objects of the invention, as set forth herein.

While this specification sets forth in detail the present and preferred construction of the device, still in practice such deviations from such detail may be resorted to as do not form a departure from the spirit of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, the following is claimed as new and useful and upon which Letters Patent is desired:

1. In an apparatus for racking a liquid into a container having a top opening therein and which apparatus includes a vertical filler tube adapted to be lowered into the container through said opening, and a liquid intake passage connected to the tube intermediate the ends thereof and so as to be above the container when the tube is in a lowered position; a normally contracted but horizontally expansible valve arranged when contracted to pass without restriction through the tube and when expanded adapted to engage and close the tube at its lower end, a stem upstanding from the valve within the tube and extending to a point above the same, means operable at will to expand the valve or allow the same to contract, and power means connected to the stem to reciprocate the same between a lowered tube engaging position and a fully raised position in which the valve is above the intake passage; the valve expanding means being mounted on said power means.

2. In an apparatus for racking a liquid into a container having a top opening therein and which apparatus includes a vertical filler tube adapted to be lowered into the container through said opening, and a liquid intake passage connected to the tube intermediate the ends thereof and so as to be above the container-when the tube is in a lowered position; a normally contracted but horizontally expansible valve arranged when contracted to pass without restriction through the tube and when expanded adapted to engage andclose the tube at its lower end, a stem upstanding from the valve within the tube and extending to a point above the same, an arm rigid with and projecting from the tube adjacent the intake passage, power means connected to the arm to raise and lower the tube, power means mounted on the arm and connected to the stem to raise and lower the same independently of the raising and lowering thereof by the first named power means, and means mounted in connection with the last named power means and operable independently thereof to control the expanding and contracting of the valve.

3. An apparatus, as in claim 2, in which the last named means comprises a rod slidable through the tube to a termination above the same and whose upward movement expands the valve, and a vertical short-stroke power ram which comprises a cylinder fixed with the stem and a piston rod connected to the upper end of the rod.

4. In an apparatus for racking a. liquid into a container having a top opening therein and which apparatus includes a vertical filler tube adapted to be lowered into the container through said opening, and a liquid intake passage connected to the tube intermediate the ends thereof and so as to be above the container when the tube is in a lowered position; a normally contracted but horizontally expansible valve arranged when contracted to pass without restriction through the 'tube and when expanded adapted to engage and close the tube at its lower end, means to raise and lower the valve with the tube and 924,737 also independently thereof between a lowered tube engag- 1,155,009 ing position and a fully raised position in which the valve 2,702,684 is above the intake passage, and means operable at will 2,953,154 to expand the valve and subsequently allow the same to 5 contract.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 6 9/ 1909 Colby 141-279 X 9/1915 Schlanger 141-279 X 2/1955 MacLeod et a1. 141-279 X 9/1960 Agoliati et a1 251-189 X FOREIGN PATENTS 3/1911 Switzerland.

LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

531,314 12/1894 Hofmann 141-279 X 10 EARLS Assistant Examiner- 737,895 9/1903 Beebe 141-279X

Claims (1)

1. IN AN APPARATUS FOR RACKING A LIQUID INTO A CONTAINER HAVING A TOP OPENING THEREIN AND WHICH APPARATUS INCLUDES A VERTICAL FILLER TUBE ADAPTED TO BE LOWERED INTO THE CONTAINER THROUGH SAID OPENING, AND A LIQUID INTAKE PASSAGE CONNECTED TO THE TUBE INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS THEREOF AND SO AS TO BE ABOVE THE CONTAINER WHEN THE TUBE IS IN A LOWERED POSITION; A NORMALLY CONTRACTED OUT HORIZONTALLY EXPANSIBLE VALVE ARRANGED WHEN CONTRACTED TO PASS WITHOUT RESTRICTION THROUGH THE TUBE AND WHEN EXPANDED ADAPTED TO ENGAGE AND CLOSE THE TUBE AT ITS LOWER END, A STEM UPSTANDING FROM THE VALVE WITHIN THE TUBE AND EXTENDING TO A POINT ABOVE THE SAME, MEANS OPERABLE AT WILL TO EXPAND THE VALVE OR ALLOW THE SAME TO CONTRACT, AND POWER MEANS CONNECTED TO THE STEM TO RECIPROCATE THE SAME BETWEEN A LOWERED TUBE ENGAGING POSITION AND A FULLY RAISED POSITION IN WHICH THE VALVE IS ABOVE THE INTAKE PASSAGE; THE VALVE EXPANDING MEANS BEING MOUNTED ON SAID POWER MEANS.
US3251386A 1963-04-08 1963-04-08 Filler valve assembly Expired - Lifetime US3251386A (en)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3447569A (en) * 1967-02-27 1969-06-03 Robertshaw Controls Co Pressure responsive control device
US3561503A (en) * 1968-06-03 1971-02-09 Us Army Liquid filling head
US3985486A (en) * 1974-12-20 1976-10-12 Ex-Cell-O Corporation Adjustable manifold and nozzle assembly for foam molding machines
US4396670A (en) * 1980-04-08 1983-08-02 The Wiggins Teape Group Limited Process for the production of microcapsules
US9670049B2 (en) 2014-06-23 2017-06-06 Rehrig Pacific Company Plastic beer keg

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US531314A (en) * 1894-12-25 Process of and apparatus for preparing beer
US737895A (en) * 1903-02-24 1903-09-01 Dillon Beebe Racking apparatus.
US924737A (en) * 1906-02-28 1909-06-15 Automatic Racking Machine Company Barrel-filler.
US1155009A (en) * 1914-05-18 1915-09-28 Simon Schlangen Beer-racking apparatus.
US2702684A (en) * 1950-12-28 1955-02-22 Toledo Scale Co Barrel filler
US2953154A (en) * 1957-12-30 1960-09-20 Agoliati Frank Cutoff valve

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US531314A (en) * 1894-12-25 Process of and apparatus for preparing beer
US737895A (en) * 1903-02-24 1903-09-01 Dillon Beebe Racking apparatus.
US924737A (en) * 1906-02-28 1909-06-15 Automatic Racking Machine Company Barrel-filler.
US1155009A (en) * 1914-05-18 1915-09-28 Simon Schlangen Beer-racking apparatus.
US2702684A (en) * 1950-12-28 1955-02-22 Toledo Scale Co Barrel filler
US2953154A (en) * 1957-12-30 1960-09-20 Agoliati Frank Cutoff valve

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3447569A (en) * 1967-02-27 1969-06-03 Robertshaw Controls Co Pressure responsive control device
US3561503A (en) * 1968-06-03 1971-02-09 Us Army Liquid filling head
US3985486A (en) * 1974-12-20 1976-10-12 Ex-Cell-O Corporation Adjustable manifold and nozzle assembly for foam molding machines
US4396670A (en) * 1980-04-08 1983-08-02 The Wiggins Teape Group Limited Process for the production of microcapsules
US9670049B2 (en) 2014-06-23 2017-06-06 Rehrig Pacific Company Plastic beer keg

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