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ICE MAKER WITH SHAPED CUBES AND NO SEALS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199372D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-31
Document File: 5 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An automatic icemaker device that makes barrel shaped ice cubes is disclosed. Metal pin carriers allow cubes to be removed from a mold body, without the use of seals at the bottom of the mold body cavity. Heaters in the mold body allow the ice to be extracted by the pins and a heater in the pin carrier allows the ice to fall into a bucket. Using a spring-loaded diverter allows the motion of the pin carrier to be only vertical. A hollow pin may be used to fill the mold body, thus eliminating weirs between cubes.

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Ice Maker with Shaped Cubes and No Seals

Background

The present invention relates generally to making ice cubes, and more particularly to forming and harvesting barrel shaped ice cubes.

Many food service companies, such as bars and restaurants, use barrel shaped ice cubes in beverages.  Unlike traditional crescent shaped ice cubes, barrel shaped ice cubes do not form a “dam” in the cup, which makes consuming the beverage difficult.

There are existing devices that make barrel shaped ice cubes.  One existing design uses micro-switches to control seals in the bottom of the mold body, in which molded ice cubes drop to a container below the mold body.  However, seals may leak over time and the micro-switches are unreliable and easy to break.  Another existing design uses a pin carrier to pick up the finished ice cubes.  However, the existing design requires the pin carrier to first move vertically upward, then move in another direction to drop the finished ice cubes into a container. In addition, existing designs make large ice cubes. As a result, a separate ice-crushing component, a drain system, or a running water system is required to make smaller or chewable ice cubes.

It is desirable to have an icemaker device that forms and harvests barrel shaped ice cubs without using micro switches or seals in the bottom of ice mold cavities.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an icemaker device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of the icemaker device of Figure 1 showing water filling ice cube cavities.

Figure 3 is a perspective view of an icemaker device of Figure 1 showing finished ice cubes in ice cube cavities.

Figure 4 is a perspective view of an icemaker device of Figure 1 showing hollow pins picking up finished ice cubes.

Figure 5 is a perspective view of an icemaker device of Figure 1 showing finished ice cubes dropped from hollow pins.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates generally to an icemaker device, and more particularly to an automatic icemaker device that makes barrel shaped ice cubes. In one embodiment, as shown in Figure 1, the present invention is an icemaker device that comprises a diverter, a pin carrier that carries a fill tube and hollow pins, and a mold body that comprises ice cube cavities. A heating mechanism is coupled with both the mold body and the hollow pins.  The pin carrier can be moved vertically up or down with a solenoid or simple motor.

Figure 1 – Icemaker device in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention

The process of ice making starts with water entering from a fill tube.  As shown in Figure 2, the water flows through the hollow pins and fills the ice cube cavities in the mold body. Preferably, the ice cube cavities are barrel shaped, however, the present invention may be used for other cube shape and sizes.  The pin carrier with a number of downward projecting pins is lo...