WO2016062352A1 - Valve assembly for a beverage dispenser and beverage dispenser comprising a valve assembly - Google Patents

Valve assembly for a beverage dispenser and beverage dispenser comprising a valve assembly Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016062352A1
WO2016062352A1 PCT/EP2014/072860 EP2014072860W WO2016062352A1 WO 2016062352 A1 WO2016062352 A1 WO 2016062352A1 EP 2014072860 W EP2014072860 W EP 2014072860W WO 2016062352 A1 WO2016062352 A1 WO 2016062352A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
valve
milk
valve assembly
beverage dispenser
container
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2014/072860
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Anders Jahge
Martin KWARNMARK
Original Assignee
Aktiebolaget Electrolux
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 Aktiebolaget Electrolux filed Critical Aktiebolaget Electrolux
Priority to PCT/EP2014/072860 priority Critical patent/WO2016062352A1/en
Publication of WO2016062352A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016062352A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/4485Nozzles dispensing heated and foamed milk, i.e. milk is sucked from a milk container, heated and foamed inside the device, and subsequently dispensed from the nozzle
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/46Dispensing spouts, pumps, drain valves or like liquid transporting devices
    • A47J31/469Details of hydraulic circuits
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/60Cleaning devices

Abstract

A valve assembly (20) and a beverage dispenser (100) are provided. The valve assembly (20) is configured to cooperate with a beverage dispenser (100) such as a coffee machine with a milk frothing arrangement (15). The valve assembly (20) comprises a valve housing (26) with a valve (22, 32, 42), where the valve (22, 32, 42) is arrangeable between a first position (40) in which the valve (22, 32, 42) is arranged to control distribution of milk between a milk container (2) and a milk dispenser (5b) of the beverage dispenser (100) and a second position (50) in which the valve (22, 32, 42) is arranged to control distribution of rinse fluid between a rinse fluid supply and a waste container (7) of the beverage dispenser (100). The valve assembly (20) further comprises an overflow passage (30) for the rinse fluid

Description

VALVE ASSEMBLY FOR A BEVERAGE DISPENSER AND BEVERAGE DISPENSER COMPRISING A VALVE ASSEMBLY
TECHNICAL FIELD
Embodiments herein relate to a valve assembly configured to cooperate with a beverage dispenser such as a coffee machine with a milk frothing arrangement. Embodiments herein further relate to a beverage dispenser, such as a coffee machine with a milk frothing arrangement, comprising a valve assembly. BACKGROUND
Beverage dispensers, such as coffee machines, are generally arranged to provide a user with hot beverage, such as coffee, espresso and similar. Some beverage dispensers are arranged to grind coffee beans while some other beverage dispensers are made for pre-grinded coffee beans or coffee pods.
A beverage dispenser may comprise a water tank, a pump, a coffee supply, a heating arrangement, a beverage discharge port such as a milk and/or coffee dispenser, a waste container and a user interface. A user may for example select a kind of coffee via buttons or a touch screen, whereby water via the heating arrangement and the pump is heated and mixed with grinded coffee beans before dispensed to the user via the beverage discharge port. If the user fails to put a cup correctly under the beverage discharge port, the beverage may be collected in a waste container which generally is arranged under a drip tray or cup holder of the beverage dispenser. Some beverage dispensers are provided with arrangements which allow a user to select if he/she would like milk in the coffee. The milk may be heated via the heating arrangement and frothed in a milk frothing arrangement.
US20050172833A1 discloses a device for producing milk foam in an automatic coffee machine. In US20050172833A1 a milk pump is arranged to pump milk from a storage container to the coffee cup via supply lines, a valve and a mixing chamber. In
US20110192287A1 milk is pumped from an external milk supply container to a frothing device of a coffee machine via a milk suction line. The devices in US20050172833 and US201101922887A1 may be suitable in some applications, but some parts of the machines such as valves and conduits may be difficult to rinse and/or clean sufficiently once after milk has been distributed. Further, a user may have to consider whether the machines are ready for rinsing or if he/she has to perform any checks or actions before initiating rinsing and/or cleaning.
Accordingly, there remains a need for a valve assembly and a beverage dispenser which is easier to rinse and/or clean. Further, there remains a need for a valve assembly and a beverage dispenser which can be rinsed and/or cleaned more thoroughly from residual milk.
SUMMARY
The valve assembly as set out herein aim to eliminate or at least reduce the problems and/or drawbacks associated with previously known valve assemblies for beverage dispensers with milk frothing arrangements.
According to an embodiment, this is provided by a valve assembly configured to cooperate with a beverage dispenser such as a coffee machine with a milk frothing arrangement, the valve assembly comprising a valve housing with a valve, where the valve is arrangeable between;
- a first position in which the valve is arranged to control distribution of milk
between a milk container and a milk dispenser of the beverage dispenser when the milk container is coupled to the valve assembly, and
- a second position in which the valve is arranged to control distribution of rinse fluid between a rinse fluid supply of the beverage dispenser and a waste container of the beverage dispenser,
wherein the valve assembly further comprises an overflow passage for the rinse fluid.
Since the valve assembly comprises an overflow passage for the rinse fluid, the valve assembly can be rinsed independently of whether a milk container is attached or detached from the valve assembly. Hereby a rinsing procedure may be initiated at any time without the need of any preceding checks or actions. Thus, a user which would like to rinse the parts of the beverage dispenser which have been in contact with milk easily can initiate rinsing without first checking if the milk container is in place or if any conduits are correctly positioned in a waste container or similar. Rinsing can thus be performed in the same manner by the user, independently of whether the milk container is removed from the beverage dispenser or coupled to the beverage dispenser. Hereby rinsing also may be initiated automatically, e.g. after every time milk has been dispensed. The rinse fluid supply may be a water tank of the beverage dispenser or an external supply, such as a water supply conduit coupled to the beverage dispenser. Further, since the valve assembly comprises an overflow passage for the rinse fluid, the valve assembly can be rinsed thoroughly from residual milk while rinsing fluid such as water can be drained from the valve assembly via the overflow passage. Hereby a more hygienic valve assembly is provided. According to some embodiments the overflow passage is arranged to drain rinse fluid from the valve assembly to the waste container when the valve is in the second position and the milk container is detached from the valve assembly.
Since the overflow passage is arranged to drain rinse fluid from the valve assembly to the waste container when the valve is in the second position and the milk container is detached from the valve assembly, cleaning fluid in the valve assembly is drained from the valve assembly through the overflow passage instead of escaping through a milk container coupling when the milk container is detached from the valve assembly. Hereby a user is allowed to initiate rinsing of the valve assembly and other parts of the beverage dispenser in the same manner independently of whether the milk container is attached or detached to the valve assembly. Due to this, the user does not even have to know whether the milk container is coupled to the beverage dispenser before he/she initiates rinsing and/or cleaning. According to some embodiments the valve assembly comprises a coupling member for the milk container, and in that the overflow passage comprises a rinse fluid inlet arranged at an upper portion of the coupling member. Hereby cleaning fluid in the valve assembly is allowed to rinse the valve assembly, including the coupling member, before being drained out through the inlet of the overflow passage. Since the overflow passage is arranged at the upper portion of the coupling member, the entire interface between the milk container and the valve assembly can be thoroughly rinsed and/or cleaned from residual milk. The entire valve assembly can be rinsed also when the milk container is uncoupled from the valve assembly.
According to some embodiments the coupling member for the milk container is arranged as a cylindrical flange, and in that at least a portion of the overflow passage is arranged radially outwards of the flange. Since the coupling member for the milk container is arranged as a cylindrical flange, and since at least a portion of the overflow passage is arranged radially outwards of the flange the milk container is allowed to easily be coupled to the valve assembly and all surfaces which may come into contact with milk can easily be rinsed and/or cleaned. According to some embodiments the valve assembly comprises a collector of which at least a portion is arranged radially outwards of the cylindrical flange, and where the overflow passage is arranged between the cylindrical flange and the collector. An overflow passage which is arranged between the outer portion of the cylindrical flange and the collector allows rinse fluid to be drained radially outwards from the valve assembly. The collector may have a generally cylindrical shape and may be arranged concentrically outwards the cylindrical flange of the coupling member.
According to some embodiments the valve is in contact with a milk container stop valve when the milk container is coupled to the valve assembly.
Since the valve is in contact with the milk container stop valve when the milk container is coupled to the valve assembly no conduits are needed between the milk container and the valve. In some embodiments the milk container is coupled to the coupling member of the valve assembly. In some prior art beverage dispensers milk is provided to the milk frother via a milk conduit which is dipped into a milk container. A user may then have to rinse both the inner and outer surface of the milk conduit. Since the valve is in contact with the milk container stop valve in the embodiment above, no extra rinsing and/or cleaning process of conduits is necessary. Hereby the all parts which are in contact with milk after the milk container can be rinsed and/or cleaned easily and efficiently. According to some embodiments the valve, in the first position, is arranged to actuate the milk container stop valve into an open position. Since the valve, in the first position, is arranged to actuate the milk container stop valve into an open position, the milk container stop valve can easily be opened by the valve.
According to some embodiments the valve is a turn valve. A turn valve provides for a compact, reliable and economically efficient valve. According to some embodiments the valve is a ball valve. A ball valve provides for a compact, reliable and economically efficient valve.
According to some embodiments the valve is a nock valve. A nock valve provides for a compact, reliable and economically efficient valve.
Embodiments herein also aim to provide a beverage dispenser which eliminates or at least reduces the problems and/or drawbacks associated with previously known beverage dispensers with milk frothing arrangements. According to some embodiments this is provided by a beverage dispenser, such as a coffee machine, comprising a milk container, a milk dispenser, a pump, a rinse fluid supply and a waste container, wherein the beverage dispenser comprises a valve assembly according to embodiments herein. Since the beverage dispenser comprises a valve assembly according to embodiments herein, the beverage dispenser can be rinsed independently of whether a milk container is attached or detached from the valve assembly in the beverage dispenser. Hereby a user which would like to rinse the beverage dispenser easily can initiate rinsing without first checking if the milk container is in place or if any conduits are correctly positioned in a waste container or similar. Rinsing can thus be performed in the same manner by the user independently of whether the milk container is removed from the beverage dispenser or coupled to the beverage dispenser. Further features of, and advantages with, the embodiments herein will become apparent when studying the appended claims and the following detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The various aspects of non-limiting embodiments herein, including its particular features and advantages, will be readily understood from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 illustrates a beverage dispenser according to some embodiments.
Fig. 2a illustrates a schematic view of the beverage dispenser and valve assembly according to some embodiments.
Fig. 2b illustrates a schematic view of the beverage dispenser and valve assembly according to some other embodiments.
Fig. 3a, 3b and 3c illustrate a valve assembly with a turn valve according to some embodiments. Fig. 4a, 4b and 4c illustrate a valve assembly with a ball valve according to some embodiments.
Fig. 5a, 5b and 5c illustrate a valve assembly with a nock valve according to some embodiments.
Fig. 5d illustrates a nock valve. DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Embodiments herein will now be described more fully with reference to the
accompanying drawings, in which embodiments are shown. Well-known functions or constructions will not necessarily be described in detail for brevity and/or clarity. Fig. 1 illustrates a beverage dispenser 100, such as a coffee machine. The beverage dispenser 100 may dispense e.g. hot beverage, and may also be referred to as an espresso machine or a coffee pod machine. The beverage dispenser 100 in Fig. 1 comprises a water tank 1. In other embodiments the beverage dispenser 100 may instead be connected to external water supply means such as a water conduit. The beverage dispenser 100 further comprises a milk container 2 and a milk container attachment arrangement 3. The milk container 2 may be attached and detached to the other parts of the beverage dispenser 100 via the attachment arrangement 3. Hereby the milk container 2 may be stored in a fridge when not used.
The beverage dispenser 100 also comprises one or more spouts, beverage discharge ports or dispensers 5 for discharge of beverage such as coffee, milk and/or water. In the Fig. 1 embodiment a coffee dispenser 5a and a milk dispenser 5b is illustrated. The beverage dispenser 100 further comprises a waste container 7. The waste container 7, also referred to as a waste water container, sink or drip tray, may collect water, milk and coffee, for example when a user has forgotten to place a coffee cup under the dispensers 5.
Selection buttons 9 of the beverage dispenser allows a user to select a desired beverage. The buttons 9 may be labelled "black coffee", "coffee with milk", "espresso", "macchiato", "cappuccino", "mocca", "latte", "size" , "strong" and similar. The selection buttons 9 may also include a button which allows a user to clean and/or rinse the beverage dispenser 100. If the user pushes the "black coffee", the beverage dispenser 100 is arranged to initiate a coffee making process and discharge coffee via the coffee dispenser 5a. If the user pushes the "macchiato", the beverage dispenser is arranged to initiate a coffee making process and discharge macchiato via the dispensers. Since "macchiato" comprises of both coffee and milk froth, coffee is dispensed via the coffee dispenser 5a and frothed milk via the milk dispenser 5b. In some embodiments, the beverage dispenser 100 comprises only one dispenser 5 through which both the coffee and the milk is dispensed. In some embodiments the beverage dispenser comprises two or more coffee dispensers 5a and/or two or more milk dispensers 5b such that coffee and/or milk may be dispensed into two coffee cups simultaneously. The Fig. 1 illustrated beverage dispenser comprises a display 11. A user may see the options available via the display 1 1 and may further see his/her selections. In some embodiments the selection buttons 9 are exchanged to corresponding touch buttons on the display 11.
In Fig. 2a the beverage dispenser 100 and its different parts and components are schematically illustrated. The beverage dispenser 100 comprises the water tank 1 , the milk container 2, a pump 12, a boiler 13, a milk frother 15 and a brew chamber 17. The beverage dispenser also comprises a plurality of valves 19 and a valve assembly 20. As illustrated, the different parts and components are connected with conduits. The beverage dispenser 100 is connectable to the power grid, and the pump 12 and boiler 13 may be driven by electricity. In normal operation, the beverage dispenser works as follows. When a user selects a beverage via a selection button or display as described above, a coffee brewing process is initiated. Water is then pumped from the water tank 1 to the boiler 13 by the pump 12. The boiler heats up the water to hot water and/or steam. Hot water is then supplied from the boiler to the brew chamber 17 via the first valve 19a. In the brew chamber 17 the hot water is mixed with grinded coffee beans such that coffee is brewed. From the brew chamber 17 the coffee is supplied to the coffee dispenser 5a and excess liquid is led to the waste container 7 via conduits and the second valve 19b.
If the user has selected an option that includes frothed milk, steam is supplied to the milk frother 15 via the third and fourth valves 19c, 19d. Milk is supplied to the milk frother 15 from the milk container 2 via the sixth valve 19f. The milk frother 15 may include e.g. a venturi valve and an expansion chamber. Air may be supplied to the milk frother 15 via an air intake 16. The milk frother 15 may also comprise or be connected to a pre-mix- chamber. Milk, air, water, steam and/or rinsing fluid may be supplied to the venturi valve via the pre-mix-chamber.
In the milk frother 15 the milk, air and steam are pressed through the venturi valve and when continuing into the expansion chamber the air/milk/steam mixture is transformed into milk froth or milk foam due to the low pressure after the venturi valve. Milk froth is then discharged from the milk frother 15 to the milk dispenser 5b.
When a user has received the coffee and milk froth in a cup placed under the dispensers 5, he/she may like to rinse the beverage dispenser 100, such that the beverage dispenser 100 is cleaned from residual milk in any parts which has been in contact with the milk. In order to initiate a rinsing process he/she may push a "rinse/clean"-button of the selection buttons 9. When the rinsing process is initiated, the pump 12 is activated and hot water is supplied from the boiler 13 to the milk frother 15 via the third and fourth valves 19c, 19d. After the milk frother 15 the hot water continues to a fifth valve 19e and a sixth valve 19f, and further to the valve assembly 20 via the first conduit 14. The valve assembly 20 may be comprised in the milk container attachment arrangement as described above. From the valve assembly 20 the hot water is discharged to the waste container 7 via the second conduit 18. The valve assembly 20 is further described with reference to Fig. 3-5 below.
The embodiment illustrated in Fig. 2b generally resembles the Fig. 2a embodiment. However, in the Fig. 2b embodiment steam and/or hot water from the boiler 13 is supplied to the milk frother 15 only via one conduit. Hereby only one of the third and fourth valve 19c, 19d is necessary.
In Fig. 3, 4 and 5 valve assemblies 20 of different kinds are illustrated in greater detail. Flow of milk/water and/or steam is illustrated by arrows.
In Fig. 3a, 4a and 5a flow of milk is indicated by the arrows. Fig. 3a, 4a and 5a thus depicts a situation in which a user has selected a beverage which includes milk, and wherein milk is distributed from the milk container 2 to the milk dispenser 5b (illustrated in Fig. 1 , 2a and 2b).
In Fig. 3b, 4b and 5b a milk container is attached to the valve assembly 20, and the flow of rinse fluid, such as water, is illustrated. Fig. 3b, 4b and 5b thus depicts a situation wherein a user has initiated rinsing when the milk container is attached to the beverage dispenser. In Fig. 3c, 4c and 5c no milk container is attached to the valve assembly, and the flow of rinse fluid, such as water, is illustrated. Fig. 3c, 4c and 5c thus depicts a situation wherein a user has initiated rinsing when the milk container is detached from the beverage dispenser.
The flow through the valve assemblies 20 is generally turbulent, and the arrows thus represent a main flow direction of the liquid. The arrows particularly illustrate where the liquid enter and exit the valve assembly 20. The turbulent flow efficiently rinses any residual milk from the valve assembly 20.
In the Fig. 3a, 3b and 3c embodiment the valve assembly 20 comprises a valve housing 26 which valve housing 26 houses a turn valve 22. In Fig. 3a the valve assembly is illustrated when the turn valve 22 is in a first position 40. In this first position 40 the turn valve 22 is arranged to control distribution of milk between the milk container 2 and a milk dispenser of the beverage dispenser when the milk container 2 is coupled to the valve assembly 20. In the Fig. 3a embodiment the valve assembly 20 comprises a coupling member 27. The coupling member 27 is arranged to receive a corresponding counter-coupling member 2c of the milk container 2. As illustrated, a fitting member 25 may be arranged between the coupling member 27 of the valve assembly and the counter-coupling member 2c of the milk container 1. In other embodiments, the milk container 2 may be connected to the valve assembly 20 without any fitting member 25 and/or coupling member 27. The milk container 2 may for example only be pressed against the valve assembly 20. In some embodiments a gasket is arranged between the milk container 2 and the valve assembly 20. The turn valve 22 is, in the first position 40, in contact with a milk container stop valve 2b when the milk container 2 is coupled to the valve assembly 20. When the turn valve 22 is turned into the first position 40, the turn valve 22 is arranged to actuate the milk container stop valve 2b into an open position, as illustrated in Fig. 3a. In the first position 40 milk is allowed to flow from the milk container 2, through the valve to a first valve passage 22a of the turn valve 22. The milk can then continue to the milk frother via the first conduit 14, as illustrated in Fig. 2a and 2b.
In Fig. 3b and Fig. 3c the valve assembly is illustrated when the turn valve 22 is a second position 50. In Fig. 3b the milk container 2 is connected to the valve assembly 20 and in Fig. 3c the milk container 2 is removed from the valve assembly 20. In the second position 50 the turn valve 22 is not actuating the milk container stop valve 2b to be in an open position. Since the milk container stop valve 2b is spring-loaded into a closed position if not affected by the valve, the milk container stop valve 2b is closed.
Accordingly, no milk is distributed from the milk container 2.
The turn valve 22 may have different radiuses in different directions and may therefore actuate the milk container stop valve 2b in/out in in a radial direction of the turn valve 22. In Fig. 3a the milk container stop valve 2b is in contact with an outer peripheral surface of the turn valve 22. In Fig. 3b the milk container stop valve 2b is co-operating with a bore or recess of the turn valve 22. The axis A of rotation is indicated in Fig. 3-5.
When the milk container 2 is attached to the valve assembly 20, the milk container 2 and the valve assembly 20 together form a flow path for the milk or rinse liquid. When the beverage dispenser and the valve assembly 20 are rinsed and the milk container 2 is detached from the valve assembly 20, the valve assembly 20 itself will guide the rinse liquid. The rinse liquid will then arrive from conduit 14 and enter the first turn valve passage 22a of the valve 22. The rinse liquid will fill up the cavity 29 of the valve assembly 20 and thoroughly rinse all parts of the valve assembly 20 before it leaves the valve assembly 20 in an overflow passage 30 for the rinse fluid. Some rinse fluid will exit the valve assembly 20 through the second turn valve passage 22b.
As illustrated in Fig. 3c, the rinse fluid can enter a rinse fluid inlet 31 of the overflow passage 30 and exit a rinse fluid exit 32. From the rinse fluid exit 32 the rinse fluid is guided to the waste container 7 via the second conduit 18, as illustrated in Fig. 2a and 2b. The second conduit 18 may be directly connected to the valve assembly 20 or may comprise a collecting arrangement which is arranged under the valve assembly 20 such that rinse fluid from the valve assembly can be collected before discharged to the waste container 7 via the second conduit 18. In the Fig. 3 embodiment the valve assembly 20 comprises a collector 28. The collector 28 is arranged radially outwards of the coupling member 27. An upper portion of the collector 28 may extend above the coupling member 27. The upper portion of the collector 28 may also extend inwards in a radial direction. The coupling member 27 is shaped as a circular flange which is directed upwards from the valve housing 26. The overflow passage 30 is arranged between a peripheral surface of the cylindrical flange 27 and an inner surface of the collector 28. The embodiment illustrated in Fig. 4a, 4b and 4c resembles of the embodiment according to Fig. 3a, 3b and 3c, but in Fig. 4a, 4b and 4c a ball valve 32 is comprised in the valve housing 26 instead of a turn valve. The ball valve 32 comprises a first ball valve passage 32a and a second ball valve passage 32b. In Fig. 4a the valve assembly 20 is illustrated when the ball valve 32 is in the first position 40. In this first position 40 the ball valve 32 is arranged to control distribution of milk between the milk container 2 and a milk dispenser of the beverage dispenser when the milk container 2 is coupled to the valve assembly 20. In Fig. 4b and Fig. 4c the valve assembly 20 is illustrated when the ball valve 32 is in the second position 50. In Fig. 4b the milk container 2 is connected to the valve assembly 20 and in Fig. 4c the milk container 2 is removed from the valve assembly 20.
When the milk container 2 is attached to the valve assembly 20, the milk container 2 and the valve assembly 20 together form a flow path for the milk or rinse liquid. When the beverage dispenser and the valve assembly 20 are rinsed and the milk container 2 is detached from the valve assembly 20, the valve assembly 20 itself will guide the rinse liquid. The rinse liquid will then arrive from conduit 14 and enter the first ball valve passage 32a. The rinse liquid will fill up the cavity 29 of the valve assembly 20 and thoroughly rinse all parts of the valve assembly 20 before it leaves the valve assembly 20 in the overflow passage 30 for the rinse fluid. Some rinse fluid will exit the valve assembly 20 through the second ball valve passage 32b. The embodiment illustrated in Fig. 5a, 5b and 5c resembles of the embodiment according to Fig. 3a, 3b and 3c, but in Fig. 5a, 5b and 5c a nock valve 42 is comprised in the valve housing 26 instead of a turn valve. The nock valve 42 comprises a first nock valve passage 42a and a second nock valve passage 42b. In Fig. 5 also a lever 47 is illustrated. A user may use the lever 47 to select which position the valve should be in. In some embodiments other types of control arrangements than a lever may be used, such as a button, a knob or similar.
In Fig. 5a the valve assembly 20 is illustrated when the nock valve 42 is in the first position 40. In this first position 40 the nock valve 42 is arranged to control distribution of milk between the milk container 2 and a milk dispenser of the beverage dispenser when the milk container 2 is coupled to the valve assembly 20.
In Fig. 5b and Fig. 5c the valve assembly 20 is illustrated when the nock valve 42 is in the second position 50. In Fig. 5b the milk container 2 is connected to the valve assembly 20 and in Fig. 5c the milk container 2 is removed from the valve assembly 20.
When the milk container 2 is attached to the valve assembly 20, the milk container 2 and the valve assembly 20 together form a flow path for the milk or rinse liquid. When the beverage dispenser and the valve assembly 20 are rinsed and the milk container 2 is detached from the valve assembly 20, the valve assembly 20 itself will guide the rinse liquid. The rinse liquid will then arrive from conduit 14 and enter the first nock valve passage 42a. The rinse liquid will fill up the cavity 29 of the valve assembly 20 and thoroughly rinse all parts of the valve assembly 20 before it leaves the valve assembly 20 in the overflow passage 30 for the rinse fluid. Some rinse fluid will exit the valve assembly 20 through the second nock valve passage 42b.
Fig. 5d illustrates the nock valve 42 above from perspective. In the left part of Fig. 5d the nock valve 42 is in the first position 50 and in the right part of Fig. 5d the valve is in the second position 40. The nock valve comprises a slit 45 which allows liquid to flow from the first nock valve passage 42a to the second nock valve passage 42b when the nock valve 42 is in the second position 50. Thus, the valve assembly 20 can be rinsed in the same manner independently of whether a milk container 2 is attached (Fig. 3b, 4b, 5b) and detached (Fig. 3c, 4c, 5c). Other kind of milk frothers than the example given above may be used for transforming the milk into milk froth. Further, the physical layout of the parts and components, i.e. how the pump, the boiler etc. are connected to each other, may differ from the embodiments illustrated in Fig. 2a and Fig. 2b.
In Fig. 3, 4 and 5 three types of valves are illustrated. It is however to be understood that other type of valves may be used. Any type of valve which is arranged movably between the first position and second position, such that a user may adjust the valve to be in any of the two different positions, may be used. It is also to be understood that the overflow passage may be designed differently than from the illustrated examples in Fig. 3, 4 and 5.

Claims

1. A valve assembly (20) configured to cooperate with a beverage dispenser (100) such as a coffee machine with a milk frothing arrangement (15), the valve assembly (20) comprising a valve housing (26) with a valve (22, 32, 42), where the valve (22, 32, 42) is arrangeable between;
- a first position (40) in which the valve (22, 32, 42) is arranged to control
distribution of milk between a milk container (2) and a milk dispenser (5b) of the beverage dispenser (100) when the milk container (2) is coupled to the valve assembly (20), and
- a second position (50) in which the valve (22, 32, 42) is arranged to control
distribution of rinse fluid between a rinse fluid supply and a waste container (7) of the beverage dispenser (100),
characterized in that the valve assembly (20) further comprises an overflow passage (30) for the rinse fluid.
2. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 1 wherein the overflow passage (30) is arranged to drain rinse fluid from the valve assembly (20) to the waste container (7) when the valve (22, 32, 42) is in the second position (50) and the milk container (2) is detached from the valve assembly (20).
3. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the valve assembly (20) comprises a coupling member (27) for the milk container (2), and in that the overflow passage (30) comprises a rinse fluid inlet (31 ) arranged at an upper portion of the coupling member (27).
4. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 3 wherein the coupling member (27) for the milk container (2) is arranged as a cylindrical flange, and in that at least a portion of the overflow passage (30) is arranged radially outwards of the flange.
5. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 4 wherein the valve assembly (20) comprises a collector (28) of which at least a portion is arranged radially outwards of the cylindrical flange, and where the overflow passage (30) is arranged between the cylindrical flange and the collector (28).
6. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 1 , wherein the valve (22, 32, 42) is in contact with a milk container stop valve (2b) when the milk container (2) is coupled to the valve assembly (20).
7. The valve assembly (20) according to claim 6, wherein the valve (22, 32, 42), in the first position (40), is arranged to actuate the milk container stop valve (2b) into an open position.
8. The valve assembly (20) according to any one of claims 1-7, wherein the valve is a turn valve (22).
9. The valve assembly (20) according to any one of claims 1-7, wherein the valve is a ball valve (32).
10. The valve assembly (20) according to any one of claims 1-7, wherein the valve is a nock valve (42).
1 1. A beverage dispenser (100), such as a coffee machine, comprising a milk container (2), a milk dispenser (5b), a pump (12), a rinse fluid supply and a waste container (7), wherein the beverage dispenser (100) comprises a valve assembly (20) according to any one of the preceding claims.
PCT/EP2014/072860 2014-10-24 2014-10-24 Valve assembly for a beverage dispenser and beverage dispenser comprising a valve assembly WO2016062352A1 (en)

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PCT/EP2014/072860 WO2016062352A1 (en) 2014-10-24 2014-10-24 Valve assembly for a beverage dispenser and beverage dispenser comprising a valve assembly

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN107080464A (en) * 2017-05-22 2017-08-22 杭州九阳小家电有限公司 A kind of overflow prevention method of cooking equipment

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1561407A1 (en) * 2004-02-06 2005-08-10 Niro-Plan AG Device for the production of milk foam
EP2272408A1 (en) * 2009-07-08 2011-01-12 Jura Elektroapparate AG Drink preparation machine and method for cleaning same
US20110256289A1 (en) * 2008-12-10 2011-10-20 Steiner Ag Weggis Coffee Machine
DE202012009075U1 (en) * 2012-09-21 2012-11-16 Eugster/Frismag Ag Multi-way valve in a device for making milk foam
WO2014032208A1 (en) * 2012-08-31 2014-03-06 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage dispenser

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1561407A1 (en) * 2004-02-06 2005-08-10 Niro-Plan AG Device for the production of milk foam
US20110256289A1 (en) * 2008-12-10 2011-10-20 Steiner Ag Weggis Coffee Machine
EP2272408A1 (en) * 2009-07-08 2011-01-12 Jura Elektroapparate AG Drink preparation machine and method for cleaning same
WO2014032208A1 (en) * 2012-08-31 2014-03-06 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage dispenser
DE202012009075U1 (en) * 2012-09-21 2012-11-16 Eugster/Frismag Ag Multi-way valve in a device for making milk foam

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN107080464A (en) * 2017-05-22 2017-08-22 杭州九阳小家电有限公司 A kind of overflow prevention method of cooking equipment

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