WO2007053002A1 - Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products - Google Patents

Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007053002A1
WO2007053002A1 PCT/NL2005/000780 NL2005000780W WO2007053002A1 WO 2007053002 A1 WO2007053002 A1 WO 2007053002A1 NL 2005000780 W NL2005000780 W NL 2005000780W WO 2007053002 A1 WO2007053002 A1 WO 2007053002A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
air
cabinet
flow
storage
duct
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NL2005/000780
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Gerardus Arnoldus Hendricus Franciscus Janssen
Original Assignee
Fri-Jado B.V.
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

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F3/00Show cases or show cabinets
    • A47F3/04Show cases or show cabinets air-conditioned, refrigerated
    • A47F3/0439Cases or cabinets of the open type
    • A47F3/0443Cases or cabinets of the open type with forced air circulation
    • A47F3/0447Cases or cabinets of the open type with forced air circulation with air curtains

Abstract

A cabinet (2) with an open front (4) for storage and display of heated or cooled food products, comprising a first duct (12), a vertical duct (14), shelves (22), air temperature regulating means (44), a chamber (34) and air circulation means (38). A food storage space (24) has a first flow member (20, 22b, 22c) providing a ceiling of the storage space and a tubular second flow member (30) at the back of the storage space. Walls of the flow members have openings which oppose openings of the ducts. The flow members also have openings (26, 32) opposing the storage space. The openings (26) of the first flow members are arranged at different distances from the front. The air circulation means can circulate air through the ducts, the flow members, the storage spaces, and through the temperature regulating means, thereby creating air curtains at the fronts of the storage spaces.

Description

Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a cabinet for storage and display of food products at a regulated temperature as described in the preamble of claim 1.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

FR 2690825 discloses a cabinet of the above type. The prior art cabinet is for storage and display of food at low temperature. The shelves define storage spaces between them and are suitable to place products on. Each shelf and a ceiling flow member of the top storage space comprises an upper plate and a bottom plate. Each shelf but the bottom shelf comprises in addition a center plate between the upper plate and the bottom plate. The plates define a top cavity at the top of each storage space and a bottom cavity at the bottom of each storage space. The cabinet and its storage spaces have an open front. The most top plate and the most bottom plate of all plates and all center plates extend to the front beyond the other plate of the same cavity. At the front end each of said further to the front extending plates there is provided an upright strip closing the cavities to the front but leaving slits at the very front of the cavities. Back walls of the cavities have openings which oppose openings of vertical ducts at the back wall of the cabinet. Each top cavity can receive air from the ducts and it can supply it to a storage space beneath it through a slit at the front. Each bottom cavity can receive air through a slit at the front from a storage space above it and it can supply it to the ducts. Also, back walls of the storage spaces are provided with openings to supply air from the ducts to the storage spaces. Circulation means circulate air through the ducts, a chamber connecting the ducts, the cavities, and the storage spaces and through cooling means. While cooled air flows from the back to the front of a storage space, the air will wash food products stored in the storage space. At the front air is drawn into the bottom cavity of each storage space. Air from a slit of a top cavity will thereby create a downwardly directed air curtain.

A disadvantage of the prior art cabinet is that cooled air entering a storage space through its back wall and flowing to the front absorbs heat from food products placed on the shelf, thereby increasing the temperature of the air. Therefore, products which are closer to the front will be cooled less than other products. Yet, usually all products must have a minimum or a lower temperature. Products closer to the back wall will be cooled more than necessary then and means for cooling the air must operate at with a higher power than when all products had the same temperature. The required higher power will increase the costs of the cabinet and its costs of operation.

Another disadvantage of the prior art cabinet is that the non-uniform temperature distribution of air over a shelf may cause unwanted changes in food products.

Also, food products which are cooled to different temperatures may, unwanted by a merchandiser, cause consumers to take products which the merchandiser would prefer to keep longer on the shelves than other products.

Still another disadvantage is that the shelves, except for the bottom shelf, have a complex construction of three plates, which makes it difficult and expensive to mount the plates in an air sealed manner against a back wall of the cabinet.

The disadvantages mentioned above apply in the same way if the food products were heated products and the temperature regulation means was for heating the air.

A still further disadvantage of the prior art cabinet is that, when used with heated air in stead of cooled air, such as with air temperatures of about 80°C, a person may be harmed when touching a hot upper surface of a shelf while taking a product from the shelf.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is to solve the drawbacks of the prior art circuit as described above and to provide a display and storage cabinet for heated food which is energy efficient, has an improved temperature distribution in the storage spaces and, preferably, prevents persons from being harmed by hot upper surfaces of shelves.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above object of the invention is achieved by providing a display and storage cabinet for heated food products as described in claim 1. Accordingly, the shelves of the cabinet have a simple, cost effective construction, they can be mounted easier to a back wall of the cabinet and products on the shelves are washed by air to give them a more uniform temperature, while using a less powerful heating means with reduced costs. Preferably, each shelf is provided with a heat shield according to claim 4. The heat shield in a shelf provides an obstacle or a heat resistance for transferring heat from underneath it to above. Because of such resistance and because of heat exchange between the storage space, the food products and the surroundings of the cabinet, the temperature of the upper wall of the shelf will be significant different from the temperature of the air below the shield inside the shelf. Therefore the upper shelf surface can be made more comfortable or safer to touch by a person when reaching into the cabinet for taking a product. This is an advantage in particular when the temperature regulation means are heating means, which may heat air to about 80°C.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will become more gradually apparent from the following exemplary description in connection with the accompanying drawing. In the drawing:

Fig. 1 shows a diagram in cross section of an embodiment of a cabinet according to the invention;

Fig. 2 shows a diagram in cross section of an embodiment of a shelf of a cabinet according to the invention, provided with a heat shield; and

Fig. 3 shows a perspective view of a more detailed part of a cabinet as illustrated in fig. 1 seen towards a bottom of a storage and display room of the cabinet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLES

Fig. 1 shows a simplified diagram of a cabinet 2 for storage and display of food products according to the invention. In particular the diagram is a cross section through the center of the cabinet 2 between a front side 4 and a back side 6 of it. The front side 4 is open, to give users access to a storage and display room 8 of the cabinet. At the sides of the storage and display room 8 the cabinet 2 has transparent side panels 10. A back wall of the storage and display room 8 is formed by three vertical ducts, i.e. a center duct 12 and two side ducts 14 on either side of the center duct 12 (see Fig. 3). Fig. 1 shows center duct 12 only. A back wall 16 of the cabinet 2 is hollow and forms a back wall for the ducts 12 and 14. A horizontal bottom member 18 of the storage and display room 8 is hollow too. The hollow back wall 16 and the hollow bottom member 18 contain insulation material (not shown). At its top the storage and display room 8 is bounded by a horizontal hollow flow member 20. The storage and display room 8 contains three hollow shelves, i.e. a bottom shelf 22a, a center shelf 22b and a top shelf 22c (indicated by 22 in general). The shelves 22 and the horizontal flow member 20 divide the storage and display room 8 into three storage and display spaces, i.e. a bottom storage and food space 24a, a center storage and food 24b and a top storage and food space 24c (indicated by 24 in general).

A top wall of each shelf 22 is suitable to place food products (not shown) on. At a distance from the front side of the cabinet 2 a bottom wall of each shelf 20 is provided with openings, such as slits 26 (see Figs. 2 and 3). The slits 26 extend in parallel to the front side 4 of the cabinet 2. Also, the shelves 22 may have different numbers of slits 26, which are at different distances from the front side 4. A back wall of the horizontal top member 20 and a back wall of each shelf 22 are provided with openings 28 (see Fig. 2) opposite openings (not shown) which are provided in the center duct 12. Against a top wall and against the back wall of each storage and display space 24 there is provided a tube like member or tube 30. Each tube 30 has openings, such as openings 32 (see Fig. 3) which oppose the storage and display space 24. A back wall of each tube is provided with openings (not shown) opposite openings (not shown) which are provided in the side ducts 14.

Beneath the bottom shelf 22a there is provided a first chamber 34 containing a second chamber 36. Air circulation means, in particular blowers 38 are provided in a common wall of the chambers 34 and 36, preferably at a far most distance from the back side 6 of the cabinet 2. At its back side the second chamber 36 is open at least in locations opposing openings 40 provided in the center duct 12 (see Fig. 3). At its back side and outside the second chamber 36 the first chamber 34 is open at least in locations opposing openings 42 provided in the side ducts 14 (see Fig. 3). The second chamber 36 contains temperature regulation means, in particular heating members 44, and baffles 46, which are arranged such that air blown (or drawn) by the blowers 38 through the second chamber 36 flows uniformly over the heating means 44 and into (or from) the center duct 12.

With the blowers 38 being arranged and driven to draw air from the first chamber 34 into the second chamber 36, the air will circulate as indicated by arrows in Fig. 1 and 3. For clarity, in the drawings arrows indicating air flow directions are not provided with reference numerals. However, it will be clear from the drawings that the solid line arrows indicate a flow of air leaving the second chamber 36 into the center duct 12, from the center duct 12 into and through first flow members, i.e. the horizontal flow member 20 and the shelves 22. Air leaves the first flow members through the slits 26 downward into a storage and display space 24 or, for the bottom shelf 22a, into the first chamber 34 beneath it. The air entering the storage and display spaces 24 from the first flow members above them will wash the food products placed on the shelves 22. The air it is drawn from the display and storage spaces into second flow members provided by the tubes 30 through its openings 32. From the tubes 30 the air will be drawn into the side ducts 14 and form there into the first chamber 34 outside the second chamber 36, as indicated by dashed line arrows.

The air flow in each storage and display space 24 is such that at the front of each storage and display space 24 an air curtain is formed. The provision of such separate air curtains instead of a single air curtain from the top to the bottom of the storage and display room 8 has the advantage that less mixing of air from inside the cabinet 2 with air outside of the cabinet 2 occurs, by which a significant decrease of temperature of the inside air is prevented and energy is saved. This advantage is achieved according to the invention by providing a cabinet with a simple and therefore cost effective construction, in particular of the upper horizontal member 20 and of the shelves 22 as illustrated and described. Further, providing several air entry slits 26 in a ceiling wall of each storage and display space 24 at different distances from the front side 4 food products on the shelves 22 are washed by air having substantially the same temperature for all products. This may be advantageous for the quality of the food products, it may give more comfort to users accessing the storage and food spaces 24 and it also allows to use less powerful heating members 44 than before to reach a wanted minimum or higher temperature for all products.

Fig. 2 shows a cross section of a shelf 22. At a small distance, for example a few millimeters, from and beneath an upper wall of the shelf 22 there is provided a heat shield 46. The shield 46 forms a resistance for transfer of heat from air flowing from inlet openings 28, through the shelf 22 to outlet openings 26 of the shelf 22. As a result, and because there will be a transfer of heat from the upper wall of the shelf 22 to food products placed thereon, an upper surface of the shelf 22 will have a lower temperature than the temperature of a major air flow through the shelf 22. Since the air inside the shelf 22 may have a high temperature of about 8O0C the application of the shield 46 provides a safety measurement against people getting hurt when touching the bottom of a storage and display space 24.

The resistance against heat transfer from air flowing through a shelf 22 to the upper wall of the shelf 22 can be increased by making a bottom side of the shield 46 heat reflective. The heat reflective property of the shield 46 can be obtained easily and cheap by using aluminum for the material of the shield 46.

More favorably, at the front in each first flow member 20, 22b, 22c there is provided a baffle, such as a baffle 48 formed by a front end of the shield 46 (see Fig. 2), which is inclined near or above its front slit 26, such that a downward flow of air leaving the first flow member through its front slit 26 inclines the air curtain provided by the leaving air to compensate for differences in dimensions of the storage and display spaces 24, seen from the front side 4 to the back side 6.

It is observed that although the invention is illustrated by the embodiments shown in figs. 1 to 3 a skilled person may carry out several modifications without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appending claims.

For example, the flow direction of air circulating through the ducts 12 and 14, the shelves 22 and the storage and display spaces 24 can be reversed with respect to the directions shown in Figs. 1 and 3.

The cabinet 2 may also be modified to serve for storage and display of cooled instead of heated food products. It only needs to replace the heating members 44 by cooling means.

Also, an upper wall of the hollow bottom shelf 22a may have a size which makes it suitable to fit the temperature regulation means 44 and/or the air circulation means 38 in.

The bottom shelf 22a may also have dimensions as illustrated, but having outlet openings in its back wall opposing openings in the side ducts 14 in stead of openings in its bottom wall. When air has entered the bottom shelf 22a, just like it does into other shelves 22b, 22c, the air flows to the outlet openings of the bottom shelf 22a into the ducts 14. Inside the bottom shelf 22a there may be provided baffles to guide air inside the bottom shelf 22a along a meander path which provides an effective transfer of heat to the upper wall of the bottom shelf 22a, possibly through its heat shield 46, and to provide a uniform temperature of the top wall of the bottom shelf 22a.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A cabinet (2) with an open front (4) for storage and display of food products, comprising a first vertical air duct (12), a second vertical air duct (14), shelves (22), air temperature regulating means (44), a duct connection chamber (34) for passing air from one duct to the other duct, air circulation means (38), in which each shelf defines above it a food storage space (24), each storage space has a back wall, a first flow member (20, 22b, 22c), and a second flow member (30), each first flow member is arranged to provide a ceiling of the storage space beneath it, a back wall of each flow member has openings opposing openings provided in a wall of the ducts, and other walls of the cavities have openings, such that the air circulation means are suitable to circulate air through the ducts, the flow members, the storage spaces, the duct connection chamber and through the temperature regulating means, thereby creating air curtains at the fronts of the storage spaces, characterized in that a bottom wall of each first flow member (20, 22b, 22c) is provided with openings (26) opposing the storage space (24) at different distances from the front (4) of the storage space, and the second flow members (30) are provided at a distance from the front of the corresponding storage spaces.
2. Cabinet (2) according to a preceding claim, characterized in that each second flow member (30) is tubular, it is arrangend against a bottom wall of a first flow member (20, 22b, 22c) above it (30), it has a smaller height than a. height of the storage space and it has openings (32) in a bottom wall of it opposing the storage space (24) in which it is arranged.
3. Cabinet (2) according to a preceding claim, characterized in that a shelf (22) has a dimension seen from the front (4) to the back which is different from that of a bottom wall of a first flow member (20, 22b, 22c) above it (22), a baffle (48) is provided in the first flow member in front of a farmost opening (26) from the back wall of the first flow member, and the baffle is inclined to point to a front end of a shelf beneath it.
4. Cabinet (2) according to a preceding claim, characterized in that inside each shelf (22) there is provided a heat shield (46) at a distance from an upper wall of the shelf, such as to allow a major air flow pass below the shield.
5. Cabinet (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that the shield (46) has heat reflective surfaces.
6. Cabinet according to claim 5, characterized in that the shield is made of aluminium.
7. Cabinet according to a preceding claim, characterized in that the. temperature regulating means comprise heating means (44).
8. Cabinet according to one of the claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the temperature regulating means comprise cooling means.
9. Cabinet according to a preceding claim, characterized in that the air circulation means (38) are suitable to circulate air in the following order from the duct connection chamber (34) into the first duct (12), into the first flow members (20, 22b, 22c), into the storage spaces (24), into the second flow members (30), into the second duct (14), and back into the duct connection chamber (34).
10. Cabinet according to one of the claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the air circulation means (38) are suitable to circulate- air in the following order from the duct connection chamber (34) into the second duct (14), into the second flow members (30), into the storage spaces (24), into the first flow members (20, 22b, 22c), into the first duct (12), and back into the duct connection chamber (34).
11. Cabinet according to a preceding claim, characterized in that the bottom shelf (22a) is a flow member having openings opposite openings of the ducts (12, 14).
12. Cabinet according to claim 11, characterized in that inside the bottom shelf (22a)there are arranged baffles to guide air flow along a meander path.
PCT/NL2005/000780 2005-11-04 2005-11-04 Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products WO2007053002A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/NL2005/000780 WO2007053002A1 (en) 2005-11-04 2005-11-04 Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/NL2005/000780 WO2007053002A1 (en) 2005-11-04 2005-11-04 Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products
EP20050802771 EP1947988A1 (en) 2005-11-04 2005-11-04 Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2007053002A1 true true WO2007053002A1 (en) 2007-05-10

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Family Applications (1)

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PCT/NL2005/000780 WO2007053002A1 (en) 2005-11-04 2005-11-04 Cabinet with an open front for storage and display of food products

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EP (1) EP1947988A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2007053002A1 (en)

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2010002243A2 (en) 2008-07-02 2010-01-07 Fri-Jado B.V. Display unit for storing and displaying heated goods
JP2014045977A (en) * 2012-08-31 2014-03-17 Fuji Electric Co Ltd Open showcase
GB2509207A (en) * 2012-11-06 2014-06-25 Alan Nuttall Ltd Open fronted food cabinet
WO2018102611A1 (en) * 2016-11-30 2018-06-07 The Coca-Cola Company Cooler with shelf plenum

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3139738A (en) * 1963-04-03 1964-07-07 Recold Corp Refrigerated display fixture
US3304740A (en) * 1962-11-09 1967-02-21 Pet Inc Open front display case
FR2690825A1 (en) 1992-05-05 1993-11-12 Mc International Cabinet for fresh produce display in self-service vending - uses shelves with internal passages to carry cold air streams and slotted front edges to form air curtain.
US20030172670A1 (en) * 2000-06-26 2003-09-18 Vormedal Svein Henrik Shelved cupboard for refrigerated goods and method of controlled/regulated circulation of air in the shelved cupboard

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3304740A (en) * 1962-11-09 1967-02-21 Pet Inc Open front display case
US3139738A (en) * 1963-04-03 1964-07-07 Recold Corp Refrigerated display fixture
FR2690825A1 (en) 1992-05-05 1993-11-12 Mc International Cabinet for fresh produce display in self-service vending - uses shelves with internal passages to carry cold air streams and slotted front edges to form air curtain.
US20030172670A1 (en) * 2000-06-26 2003-09-18 Vormedal Svein Henrik Shelved cupboard for refrigerated goods and method of controlled/regulated circulation of air in the shelved cupboard

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2010002243A2 (en) 2008-07-02 2010-01-07 Fri-Jado B.V. Display unit for storing and displaying heated goods
EP3243411A1 (en) 2008-07-02 2017-11-15 Fri-Jado B.V. Display unit and method for storing and displaying heated goods
JP2014045977A (en) * 2012-08-31 2014-03-17 Fuji Electric Co Ltd Open showcase
GB2509207A (en) * 2012-11-06 2014-06-25 Alan Nuttall Ltd Open fronted food cabinet
GB2509207B (en) * 2012-11-06 2014-11-05 Alan Nuttall Ltd Open fronted cabinet
US9462897B2 (en) 2012-11-06 2016-10-11 The Alan Nuttall Partnership Limited Open fronted cabinet
US9565954B2 (en) 2012-11-06 2017-02-14 The Alan Nuttall Partnership Limited Open fronted cabinet
WO2018102611A1 (en) * 2016-11-30 2018-06-07 The Coca-Cola Company Cooler with shelf plenum

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
EP1947988A1 (en) 2008-07-30 application

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