US008646380B2
(12) United States Patent
Mueller
(54)
MULTI-PATH VALVE ARRANGEMENT IN A
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
(56)
US 8,646,380 B2
Feb. 11, 2014
References Cited
BEVERAGE MAKING UNIT
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
(75) Inventor:
Thomas Mueller, AmrisWil (CH)
3,841,551 A *
5,313,984 A *
(73) Assignee: Eugster/FrismagAG, AmrisWill (CH)
(*)
Notice:
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 756 days.
5,498,757 A *
2/1997
5/2003
7,448,314 B2 *
11/2008
Prior Publication Data
US 2010/0147158 A1
(30)
Watabe
Muller et....
a1... ..
2009/0114099
7,930,972 A1
B2 *
4/2011
5/2009
Gotlenboth
Denisart et a1.
...... ..
2012/0118164 A1*
5/2012
Tonelli et a1. ................. .. 99/280
loannone et a1. ..
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
Dec. 11, 2009
(65)
Ota ............................... .. 236/86
Garwoodet a1. ...... .. 137/625.48
Johnson et a1. ............. .. 426/520
6,561,079
5,601,651 B1
A *
(21) Appl.No.: 12/653,353
(22) Filed:
10/1974
5/1994
3/1996
Jun. 17, 2010
Foreign Application Priority Data
DE
EP
EP
W0
10 2004 006 095
1374748
1519670
WO 2006/050881
9/2005
12/2006
2/2007
5/2006
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner * Reginald L Alexander
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * DLA Piper LLP (U S)
Dec. 12, 2008
(51)
Int. Cl.
A47] 31/24
A47] 31/46
(52)
(58)
(DE) ................... .. 20 2008 016 400 U
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
(57)
ABSTRACT
A multi-path valve arrangement in a beverage making unit by
Which, optionally, various beverages can be prepared. The
multi-path valve arrangement includes a multi-path valve
US. Cl.
With a housing provided With a cold milk inlet, a cold Water
inlet, a valve outlet and an air opening. A valve body in the
USPC ............ .. 99/293; 99/302 R; 99/307; 99/3231
housing is suited to connect the cold milk inlet having an
Field of Classi?cation Search
USPC ............... .. 99/293, 323.1, 302 R, 289 R, 307;
137/6254, 625.41
See application ?le for complete search history.
adjustable throttling With the valve outlet. The valve body is
set by a step motor Which is connected With a programmable
control of the valve body position.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets
mw.l-_u
US. Patent
Feb. 11,2014
Sheet 1 of4
US 8,646,380 B2
Fig.1a
US. Patent
Feb. 11,2014
Sheet 2 of4
US 8,646,380 B2
Fig.2
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115 2a
1a 45*
2a 28
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A
A
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US. Patent
Feb. 11,2014
Sheet 3 of4
US 8,646,380 B2
US. Patent
Feb. 11,2014
Sheet 4 of4
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US 8,646,380 B2
US 8,646,380 B2
1
2
MULTI-PATH VALVE ARRANGEMENT IN A
BEVERAGE MAKING UNIT
connected With the valve outlet; and it is characterized in that
the multi-path valve arrangement comprises a multi-path
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
valve having a housing Which includes the cold milk inlet, the
cold Water inlet, the valve outlet and an air opening and in
Which a valve body is suited to connect the cold milk inlet
having an adjustable throttling With the valve outlet, that the
valve body is adjustable by a step motor, and that the step
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a multi-path valve arrange
ment in a beverage making unit, particularly an espresso
motor is provided With a programmable control of the valve
machine by Which optionally various beverages can be pre
body position.
pared.
By the compact multi-path valve of the present multi-path
valve arrangement not only How paths, particularly those of
2. Description of the Related Art
Prior art multi-path valve arrangements in a beverage mak
ing unit Which make possible in espresso machines an option
ally alternate preparation of hot milk or milk froth and cold
the cold milk for making hot milk or milk froth are sWitched
over, the milk passage for both methods of preparation is
rinsing and aeration of the milk-conducting pipes may be
rather dosed optimally in that the cold milk passage for hot
milk preparation is throttled in relation to the hot milk pas sage
realiZed by means of solenoid valves Which are either con
for milk froth preparation so that for both preparation cases an
trolled by manually actuated contacts or a set, program-con
trolled, into either a through-connecting position or a block
identically small steam supply poWer for heating the milk is
suf?cient. The multi-path valve has thus an additional func
tion of throttling in addition to the basic function of selecting
ing position. Such multi-part multi-path valve arrangements
require a plurality of connections and connectors to the func
tional units controlled by them. Due to the system, the sole
20
one of a plurality of passage paths or How paths.
noid valves comprise movable mechanical elements disposed
Throttling is effected by adjusting the valve body relative
to the housing of the multi-path valve having openings Which
in the milk How and hence are di?icult to rinse. In vieW of
co-operate with How paths of the valve body by means of a
their type of construction and the cross sections of the pipes
preset by the design Which can be sWitched to either com
step motor Which adjusts the valve body position according to
25
pletely through-connecting or blocked only, these solenoid
magnets conduct, With identical suction poWer sucking the
milk, alWays the same milk ?oW, unless blocked, indepen
dently from Whether the milk How is required for hot milk
preparation or for milk froth preparation. Since for the prepa
a programmable control.
The different throttling, or non-throttled passage of the
cold milk through the multi-path valve corresponds to the
30
effective ?oW cross section at the junction betWeen the cold
milk inlet or the valve outlet, respectively, of the valve hous
ing, on one hand, and to the How path opening of the valve
ration of hot milk a larger amount of steam, or energy, for
body each co-operating With the housing opening in the hous
heating the milk is required than for milk froth preparation, it
is necessary that in beverage making units, particularly
ing, on the other, Which in each case is adjusted With respect
to the housing opening. The effective ?oW cross section,
therefore, depends on a shift of the housing opening at the
milk inlet opposite the opening of the How path of the valve
espresso machines, in Which such a multi-path valve arrange
ment comprising multi-path valves has been provided, a
35
body adjusted to the housing opening.
larger amount of steam, or energy, respectively, has to be
provided for heating the milk than for preparing the milk
In this Way, it is also possible to perform a ?ne adjustment
froth, Which causes increased production costs. Moreover,
since alWays the same amount of milk is heated by the steam
?oW Which is supplied for heating during a given time but
Which may have different temperatures, the milk temperature
Will not alWays obtain the desired value but Will be either too
of the milk passage cross section Which controls the milk
passage amount sucked in by a steam ?oW through the How
40
machine. The ?ne adjustment referred to above can be made
high or too loW.
Further prior art multi-path valve arrangements each
including a mechanical hand-actuated multi-path valve, as
compared thereto, may be realiZed in a more compact struc
ture With less terminals; as a rule, hoWever, they permit
restricted functions only, Without cold rinsing and aeration of
milk-conducting pipes so that undesired milk residues may
remain in them.
45
temperature sensor detecting the milk temperature, together
With a temperature control, in order to obtain, independently
from the milk temperature, hot milk or milk froth heated to a
50
It is therefore an object of the invention to selectively
55
espresso machine, by means of a compact multi-path valve
arrangement, milk in optimally dosed amount, or correspond
ing mass ?oW, respectively, for hot milk preparation or milk
froth preparation, and to also perform, alternatively, by means
of this multi-path valve arrangement automated, ef?cient
cleaning of the milk-conducting pipes or How paths.
by the manufacturer, particularly to balance out manufactur
ing tolerances. Such ?ne adjustment may, hoWever, also be
made later on, if desired, by the user of the beverage making
unit, particularly the espresso machine, or by means of a
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
supply, in a beverage making machine, particularly an
path of the multi-path valve. The sucking-in steam How is
generated, in particular, in a frothing head of the espresso
60
desired temperature.
The multi-path valve arrangement according to the inven
tion, moreover, permits, by means of the multi-path valve, to
set adjustments of cold Water rinsing of the milk-conducting
pipes, or How paths, or aeration, respectively, i.e. an emptying
of these paths, particularly from the cold Water used for rins
ing, Without providing particular solenoid valves for this pur
pose in the milk conducting pipes.
By driving the valve body of the multi-path valve by means
of the step motor controlled by the programmable control,
through-connecting positions of the multi-path valve,
throttled if required, are automatically adjusted for the vari
The present invention, relates to a multi-path valve
ous functional operations. i.e. milk froth preparation or hot
arrangement in a beverage making unit, particularly an
espresso machine by Which optionally various beverages can
milk preparation, cold Water rinsing of the milk paths and
be prepared and Which includes at least one cold milk inlet, a
cold Water inlet, a valve outlet and at least one valve body via
Which the cold milk inlet or the cold Water inlet may be
65
aeration of the milk paths in the correct sequence.
The respective function is in this respect selected by means
of a selection group and a program storage and control unit
Which are part of the programmable control.
US 8,646,380 B2
3
4
The essential alternative basic functions of the multi-path
arrangement are that in a ?rst valve body position controlled
by the programmable control, the cold milk inlet is connected
non-throttled or minimally throttled, respectively, With the
valve outlet, and in a second valve body position controlled by
structure of the present invention that a frothing head is in
How connection With the valve outlet of the multi-path valve
and an air solenoid valve.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL
VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
the programmable control, is connected, throttled, With the
valve outlet, that in a third valve body position controlled by
the programmable control, the cold Water inlet is connected,
FIG. 1a shoWs a ?rst embodiment of the multi-path valve
connected via a milk pipe With a frothing head in a ?rst valve
non-throttled, With the valve outlet, and that in a fourth valve
body position controlled by the programmable control, the air
body position Wherein the multi-path valve and part of the
milk pipe are depicted in longitudinal cross section,
opening is connected With the valve outlet. According to this
structure, the cold milk inlet at the housing of the multi-path
valve, in a ?rst valve body position controlled by the pro gram
mable control, is connected, non-throttled or minimally
throttled, respectively, With the valve outlet or, in a second
FIG. 1b shoWs the ?rst embodiment as in FIG. 111 but in a
second valve body position,
valve body position controlled by the programmable control,
is connected, throttled, With the valve outlet. The advantage
reached of the su?icient relatively small heating poWer sup
ply, or steam supply, respectively, When heating the cold milk
to the respective desired temperature for hot milk or milk
froth has been explained further above. By means of this
multi-path valve, moreover, it is possible to rinse, in a third
20
valve body position Wherein the multi-path valve and part of
controlled valve body position, the milk-soiled pipe, or How
paths, respectively, and to aerate them in a fourth valve body
position.
the milk pipe are depicted in longitudinal cross section,
FIG. 3b shoWs the second embodiment of the multi-path
25
valve as in FIG. 311 but in a second valve body position,
FIG. 3c shows the second embodiment of the multi-path
valve as in FIGS. 3a and 3b but in a third valve body position,
FIG. 3d shoWs the second embodiment of the multi-path
valve as in FIGS. 3a through 30 but in a fourth valve body
30
position, and
Various embodiments are possible to realiZe a multi-path
valve suitable for performing the multi-path arrangement
according to the present invention:
According to the present invention, the valve body is
shaped as a tap having a plurality of valve paths, the valve
body may be shaped as a tap having a plurality of valve paths,
Which in order to adjust for a desired through-connection path
can be rotated, if required With throttling, Within the housing,
the housing comprising an outer cylinder around the cylin
drical tap, or an inner cylinder as valve body, respectively. The
How paths extend in particular in a plane of cross section
radially Within the inner cylinder. In the case of the present
multi-path valve, the openings of the cold Water inlet, of the
cold milk inlet and the air opening are arranged in circumfer
ential direction of the outer cylinder or housing. Throttling is
obtained in this case by a small angular adjustment of the
FIG. 4 shoWs a ?uid diagram of an espresso machine based
on the second embodiment of the multi-path valve
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
35
In the folloWing, exempli?ed embodiments Will be
explained based on a draWing comprising ten ?gures from
Which further advantageous details of the invention can be
taken.
40
go-through position.
Alternatively, the valve body of the multi-path valve may
45
outer cylinder, respectively. At least one section of the How
path of the piston or slider may extend vertically to a plane of
cross section of the piston to selectively connect a valve outlet
With a cold milk inlet, a cold Water inlet or an air opening.
Throttling is obtained in this case by ?ne displacement of the
50
piston or slider.
Suitably, the multi-path valve is arranged in the beverage
making unit, particularly an espresso machine, so that a froth
ing head is in How connection With the valve outlet of the
multi-path valve and an air solenoid valve. If and When the air
solenoid valve passes air, milk froth is generated in the froth
ing head; in the other case, if the air solenoid valve does not
pass air, hot milk is produced. In each case, cold milk is
sucked in by the frothing head through the multi-path valve.
Moreover, if the multi-path valve is correspondingly
adjusted, the milk pipe may be rinsed by sucked-in cold Water
path valve. The same functions are performed like in the
can linearly be moved via a step motor 4. The housing or outer
cylinder 2 includes a valve inlet 5, Which is a milk inlet, as
Well as a valve outlet 6. Further above, milk inlet 5 has more
exactly been referred to as cold milk inlet. Above the valve
inlet 5, on the outer cylinder 2, as a further valve inlet 7, a cold
Water inlet and an air opening 9 are disposed.
A milk pipe 10 connects the valve outlet 6 With a frothing
head 22. Into the milk pipe 10, there opens an air duct 15 in
Which a solenoid valve 14 is arranged.
In FIG. 2, essential components of an espresso machine as
a beverage making unit are diagrammatically shoWn in Which
the multi-path valve is disposed as in accordance With FIG.
55
111.
From FIG. 2 it can be taken that a Water container 16 opens,
via a cold Water pipe 17, a pump 18, a continuous-?ow heater
19, a solenoid valve 20 and a steam pipe 21, into a frothing
head 22. BeloW an outlet 37 of the frothing head 22, a receiv
60
ing vessel, not shoWn, may be provided.
The above-described components of FIG. 2 refer to the
preparation of hot milk or milk froth.
In order to perform the primary espresso machine func
to remove the cold Water from the milk pipe prior to the next
milk passing process, and be aerated.
The foregoing arrangement may suitably be speci?ed so
that the frothing head is connected, via a milk pipe into Which
opens the air solenoid valve, to the valve outlet of the multi
In FIG. 1, a multi-path valve in a ?rst embodiment is
designated by 1 Which has, as a housing, a substantially
closed outer cylinder 2 and, as a slider, a piston 3. The piston
rotational position of the inner cylinder or tap relative to a full
be made as a slider or piston movable in the housing, or an
FIG. 1c shows the ?rst embodiment of the multi-path valve
as in FIGS. 1a and 1b but in a third valve body position,
FIG. 1d shoWs the ?rst embodiment of the multi-path valve
as in FIGS. 1a through 10 but in a fourth valve body position,
FIG. 2 shoWs a ?uid diagram of an espresso machine based
on the ?rst embodiment of the multi-path valve,
FIG. 3a shoWs a second embodiment of the multi-path
valve connected via a milk pipe With a frothing head in a ?rst
65
tions, i.e. those of espresso and coffee preparation by means
of a breWing head 32 having tWo breWing head outlets 35 and
36, the breWing head 32 is connected With the hot Water
container 16 via a cold Water pipe 25, a How meter 26, a pump
US 8,646,380 B2
5
6
27, a continuous ?oW heater 28, a tWo-Way solenoid valve 29
and a hot Water pipe 31 in Which a stop valve 30 is disposed.
From the tWo-Way solenoid valve 29, furthermore, a hot Water
pipe 33 is branched off Which leads to a hot Water outlet 34.
From FIG. 2, it can, furthermore, be taken that downstream
of the pump 27, branched off from cold Water pipe 25a, a
rinsing Water pipe 24 leads via a solenoid valve 23 to the cold
Water inlet 7 of the multi-path valve 1. The milk inlet 5 of the
the amount of steam generated in the continuous ?oW heater
19, a large amount of milk as a continuous ?oW or a larger
milk How.
The step motor driving the piston or slider 3 has been
selected to correspond to the particular use for throttling the
passage through the multi-path valve 1. In particular, the step
motor 1 proceeds in small steps to perform a ?ne adjustment
of the milk passage cross section Which controls the passage
of the milk, or amount of milk, respectively, sucked in by the
frothing head 22. As referred to above, such ?ne adjustment
may either be performed by the manufacturer in order to
balance out manufacturing tolerances or may, subjectively, be
multi-path valve 1 is, moreover, connected via a milk supply
pipe 12 With a milk container 13.
In FIG. 2, additionally, a programmable control compris
ing a selection group 38 and a program storage and control
unit 39 is diagrammatically indicated. Non-designated out
selected by the user or, automatically, by means of a tempera
ture sensor and temperature control Which adjusts the milk
temperature to a predetermined temperature.
As With reference to FIG. 2, for hot milk preparation, cold
Water from Water container 16 is pumped via the cold Water
lets of the program storage and control unit 39 lead to the
elements of the espresso machine Which correspond to the
position reference numerals provided on the respective out
lets. The abbreviation “SP” means “Rinsing”, and the abbre
pipe 17 through the pump 18 through the continuous ?oW
viation “BEL” means “Aeration”. In the selection group
Which activates a program portion corresponding to the bev
erage selected in the program and control unit 39 for the
control of step motor 4, the abbreviations have the folloWing
meanings:
EIEspresso
C:Cappuccino
20
heater 19 in Which the cold Water is heated to become steam
25
valve 20 and the steam pipe 21 into the frothing head 22. By
means of the Venturi tube disposed in the frothing head 22, an
under pressure is generated by the passing steam Which sucks
milk from the milk container 13, via the milk supply pipe 12,
Which is pumped through the through-connected solenoid
L:Hot milk
LMILatte Macchiato
the valve inlet or milk inlet 5 of the outer cylinder or housing
2, the valve path 11 of the piston or slider 3, as can be taken
from FIG. 1b, the valve outlet 6 of the outer cylinder or
HWIHot Water
housing 2 and the milk pipe 3, into the frothing head 22. Since
The functions “Rinsing” and “Aeration” are not included in
the selection group because they are automatically activated.
In the folloWing, to start With, milk froth preparation Will
be discussed.
For the preparation of a beverage selected by means of the
selection group 38 in FIG. 2, the milk froth may be added to
the breWed coffee Which leaves the breWing head outlet 35 or
36, respectively, to prepare cappuccino or latte macchiato.
30
through the milk pipe 10. The milk arriving in the frothing
head 22 is heated during the course of the passage through the
frothing head by the steam Which is supplied via the steam
35
tainer 16 is pumped via the cold Water pipe 17 by means of the
pump 18 through the continuous ?oW heater 19, in Which the
40
through-connected solenoid valve 20 and the steam pipe 21
into the frothing head 22. By means of a Venturi tube, not
shoWn in the draWing, disposed in the frothing head 22 an
under pressure is generated by the passing steam, Which as
can be taken in detail from FIG. 1a, sucks milk from the milk
45
container 13, via the milk pipe 10, the milk inlet 5 in the
housing or outer cylinder 2 of the multi-path valve 1, a valve
path 11 of the piston or slider 3, the valve outlet 6 and the milk
pipe 12, into the frothing head 22. The milk ?oWing through
the milk pipe 10, doWnstream of the multi-path valve 1, sucks
in, via the air pipe 15 and the through-connected solenoid
pipe 21 into the frothing head. The heated milk exits through
the outlet 37 of the frothing head 22 into a receiving vessel.
For milk froth preparation, cold Water from the Water con
cold Water is heated to become steam. The steam ?oWs via the
during the course of this process, the solenoid valve 14 is not
through-connected, no air Will be added to the milk ?oWing
Cold rinsing of the milk pipe 1 0, of the frothing head 22 and
of the valve path 11 of the piston or slider 3 is automatically
controlled by he control unit and program storage 39 When the
predetermined conditions, for instance a number of hot milk
or milk froth preparation processes have been ful?lled. The
rinsing process has been provided for hygienic reasons and is
performed by means of cold Water since a rinsing process
With hot Water or hot steam could lead to clogging or burning
of milk residues.
For the rinsing process, the piston or slider 3 is positioned,
as can be taken from FIG. 10, so that the valve path 11
connects the valve inlet or cold Water inlet 7 With the valve
50
outlet 6, With maximum passage Without throttling. In this
Way, also With reference to FIG. 2, cold Water is pumped from
the cold Water container 16 via the cold Water pipe 25 by
valve 14, air Which serves for frothing up the milk in the
means of pump 27, via the rinsing Water pipe 24, the through
frothing head 22. The milk froth produced therein exits
through the outlet 37 of the frothing head 22, for instance into
connected solenoid valve 23 and the cold Water valve inlet 7
a receiving vessel.
55
For alternative hot milk preparation, after respective actua
tion of the selection group 38, in order to reduce the sucked-in
amount of milk, the effective ?oW or passage cross section of
the valve inlet 5 and of the valve outlet 6 of the multi-path
valve 1 is reduced in that by means of the step motor 4, the
piston or slider 3 of the multi-path valve 1 is shifted so that,
60
compare FIG. 1b, the valve path 11 of the piston is only
partially aligned With the inlet 5 and the outlet 6 of the outer
cylinder or housing 2. By the reduction obtained in operation
of the amount of milk sucked-in, it is taken into consideration
that in household espresso machines there is not normally
suf?cient heat energy available in order to heat, by means of
65
of the multi-path valve 1, via the valve path 11 of the piston or
slider 3 and the outlet 6 of the multi-path valve 1 through the
milk-loaded milk pipe 10 and the frothing head 22.
Aeration of the milk pipe 10 and of the How path 11 of the
multi-path valve 1 is necessary to alloW them to become
empty before reneWed hot milk or milk froth preparation
process can start. For aeration, the piston or slider 3 is
adjusted by means of the step motor 4 to the position accord
ing to FIG. 1d, i.e. loWered that far so that the air opening in
the outer cylinder or housing 2 is connected via the valve path
11 With the outlet 6 of the multi-path valve. To this end, that
section of the valve path, perpendicular in the draWing, is
partly used Which in case of cold Water rinsing according to
FIG. 10 is completely ?oWn through and in case of the hot
US 8,646,380 B2
7
8
milk preparation according to FIG. 1b is ?own through for a
small part, not however in case of milk froth preparation
according to FIG. 1a.
Therefore, in the position of the piston or slider 3, aeration
and thus emptying of the valve path 11, of the milk pipe 10
and also of the frothing head 22 can be performed.
By means of the espresso machine shoWn in FIG. 2, it is
possible to make espresso as usual. To this end, cold Water is
pumped from the cold Water container 16 via the cold Water
pipe 25, further by the pump 27, via the cold Water pipe 25a
through the continuous ?oW heater 28 in Which the cold Water
valve 20 and the steam pipe 21 to the frothing head 22. The
Venturi tube, not shoWn in FIG. 4, arranged in the frothing
head 22, generates, by the passing steam an under pressure
Which, via the milk supply pipe 12, the valve inlet as milk inlet
42 of the multi-path valve 42, the valve ?oW paths 47a and
47b of the inner cylinder or tap 46, the valve outlet 43 of the
multi-path valve 40 and the milk pipe 10, sucks milk from the
milk container 13 up to the frothing head 22. The milk ?oWing
through the milk pipe 10 sucks in, via the air pipe 15 and the
through-connected solenoid valve 14, air Which serves for
frothing up in the frothing head 22. The milk froth produced
exits through the outlet 37 of the frothing head into a receiving
is heated to become hot Water. The hot Water ?oWs via the
valve position indicated in FIG. 2 of the tWo-Way solenoid
valve further via the stop valve 30 into the breWing head 32.
The stop valve prevents in particular phases of the coffee
stock preparation a return ?oW sucking from the breWing
head. The breWed coffee exits via the breWing head outlets 36
and 37 into a receiving vessel. The amount of Water required
for coffee preparation is limited by means of the above
referenced ?oW meter 26.
20
For an alternatively possible preparation of hot Water, the
cold Water ?oWs, as in the case of espresso preparation, if
necessary in a differently dimensioned amount determined by
section or How cross section of the valve inlet as milk inlet 42
the How meter 26, for heating through the continuous ?oW
heater 28 and subsequently via the tWo -Way solenoid valve 29
sWitched to the hot Water pipe 33, the sWitch-over position
being indicated by a broken line in FIG. 2. The hot Water
arrives via the hot Water pipe 33 into the hot Water outlet 34
from Which it can be recovered for the preparation of a dif
25
ferent beverage.
30
The second embodiment of the espresso machine as a
and of the valve outlet 43 in the multi-path valve 40 is reduced
as compared to the situation in case of milk froth production
in order to reduce the milk ?oW sucked in, in that the inner
cylinder or tap 46 of the multi-path valve is rotated by means
of the step motor 49 so that the valve paths 47a, 47b of the
inner cylinder or tap 46 are not completely in alignment With
the valve inlet as milk inlet 42 and the outlet 43, respectively,
of the multi-path valve 40.
The step motor 49 driving the inner cylinder or tap 46
beverage making unit according to FIG. 4 differs from the one
according to FIG. 2 essentially by a different embodiment of
Which is suited to perform small steps adapted to the use in
question, can moreover perform a ?ne adjustment of the How
the multi-path valve Which in this case is designed With a
valve body as a tap having a plurality of valve paths depicted
in detail in FIGS. 3a through 3d. The step motor 49 and the
vessel.
In connection With hot milk preparation, the espresso
machine according to FIGS. 3a and 4 performs the same
functions as in connection With the preparation of milk froth,
save for the exceptions discussed in the folloWing:
In order to take into account the loW-limited heat e?iciency
normally available in household espresso machines and in
order to heat by the amount of steam correspondingly gener
ated a larger amount of milk to pass through, the passage cross
35
cross section orpassage cross section for the milk ?oW sucked
in by the frothing head 22. The ?ne adjustment may be per
formed, as mentioned, by the manufacturer in order to bal
program storage and control unit 39' are adapted to the
embodiment of the multi-path valve having a rotating tap
ance out manufacturing tolerances, or may from case to case
Which is hence arranged rotating by the step motor 49 as an
inner cylinder in a housing formed as an outer cylinder. The
housing 41 shaped as an outer cylinder, on the other hand,
be selected by the user of the espresso machine, or a prede
40
termined temperature of the milk may automatically be regu
lated by means of a temperature sensor and a temperature
shoWs a valve inlet 42 as milk inlet or cold milk inlet, a valve
inlet 44 as cold Water inlet, a valve outlet 43 and an air
control.
opening 45 Which as shoWn in FIGS. 3a through 3d, are
staggered relative to each other in peripheral direction of the
outer cylinder or housing 41. For alternative complete or
throttled connection of the valve inlet as milk inlet 42, of the
in the same manner as in the exempli?ed embodiment
The remaining processes for hot milk preparation proceed
45
frothing head 22, the inner cylinder or tap 46 is rotated by the
step motor 49 so that the valve path 47a is in alignment With
valve inlet as cold Water inlet 44 or of the air inlet 45, valve
paths 47a, 47b and 48 have been formed out staggered in the
inner cylinder or tap 46 of the multi-path valve 40 in periph
50
Water may, subsequently, be pumped via the cold Water pipe
25 by means of the pump 27 via the rinsing Water pipe 24, the
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rotated according to FIG. 311 by means of the step motor 49 so
that the valve path 47a is in alignment With the valve inlet or
milk inlet 42 and the valve path 47b folloWing valve path 47a
is in alignment With valve outlet 43.
In this position of the multi-path valve 40, referring noW to
60
FIG. 4, cold Water is pumped from the cold Water container 1 6
via the cold Water pipe 17 by means of pump 18 through the
continuous ?oW heater 19 in Which the cold Water is heated to
become steam. The steam emerging from the continuous ?oW
heater is further supplied, via the through-connected solenoid
the valve inlet as cold Water inlet 44 of the multi-path valve 10
and the valve path 48 is in alignment With the outlet 43 of the
multi-path valve 40. From the cold Water container 16 cold
eral direction of the inner cylinder 46, as can in detail be taken
from FIGS. 3a through 3d.
It should be noted that in the exempli?ed embodiments
according to FIGS. 3a through 3d and 4, reference numerals
corresponding to those of the ?rst exempli?ed embodiment
have been used.
For milk froth preparation, the inner cylinder or tap 46 is
described further above.
For cold rinsing of the valve paths 47a and 47b of the inner
cylinder or tap 46 of the milk-loaded milk pipe 10 and of the
65
through-connected solenoid valve 23 and the valve inlet as
cold Water inlet 44 of the multi-path valve 40 through the
valve paths 47a and 48 of the inner cylinder or tap 46 and the
valve outlet 43 of the multi-path valve 40 through the milk
loaded milk pipe 10 and the frothing head 22.
For aeration of the milk-loaded ?oW paths in order to
empty them, the inner cylinder or tap 46 of the multi-path
valve 40 is rotated, according to FIG. 3d, by means of step
motor 49icompare also FIGS. 3a and 4iso that the air
opening 45 of the outer cylinder or housing 41 is in alignment
With the valve path 47b and the valve outlet 43 of the multi
path valve 40 is in alignment With the valve path 47a imme
diately folloWing the valve path 47b. In this Way, aeration and
US 8,646,380 B2
9
10
emptying of the valve paths 47a and 47b and of the milk pipe
10 and of the frothing head 22 is achieved.
in a third valve body position controlled by said program
An espresso preparation and an alternative hot Water prepa
ration may be effected by means of the second embodiment of
the espresso machine according to FIG. 4 as described in
connection With the ?rst embodiment based on FIG. 2.
throttled, With said valve outlet,
in a fourth valve body position controlled by said program
mable control, said air opening is connected With said
mable control, said cold Water inlet is connected, non
valve outlet,
1. Multi-path valve arrangement in a beverage making unit,
particularly an espresso machine by Which optionally various
said valve body is either shaped as a tap having a plurality
of valve paths, in Which
for milk froth preparation, the tap is rotated by means of
beverages can be prepared and Which includes at least one
cold milk inlet, a cold Water inlet, a valve outlet and at least
one valve body via Which said cold milk inlet or said cold
Water inlet may be connected With said valve outlet, Wherein
of the valve paths folloWing the ?rst valve path is in
alignment With the valve outlet, and
The invention claimed is:
the step motor so that a ?rst one of the valve paths is
in alignment With the cold milk inlet and a second one
in order to heat milk, the tap is rotated by means of the
step motor so that the ?rst valve path and the second
valve path are not completely in alignment With the
cold milk inlet and the outlet,
said multi-path valve arrangement comprises a multi-path
valve having a housing Which includes said cold milk
inlet, said cold Water inlet, said valve outlet and an air
opening and in Which a valve body is suited to connect
said cold milk inlet having an adjustable throttling With
said valve outlet,
said valve body is adjustable by a step motor,
or said valve body is shaped as a slider having at least one
valve path, in Which
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and the outlet of the housing.
2. Multi-path valve arrangement according to one of the
foregoing claims, Wherein said programmable control com
the valve body position, and
a frothing head is in How connection With said valve outlet
of said multi-path valve and an air solenoid valve,
in a ?rst valve body position controlled by said program
25
mable control, said cold milk inlet is connected non
throttled or minimally throttled, respectively, With said
valve outlet,
in a second valve body position controlled by said pro
grammable control, said cold milk inlet is connected,
throttled, With said valve outlet,
in order to heat milk, the slider is shifted so that the valve
path of the slider is only partially aligned With the inlet
said step motor is provided With a programmable control of
prises a selection group and a program storage and control
unit.
3. Multi-path valve arrangement according to claim 1,
Wherein said frothing head is connected, via a milk pipe into
Which opens an outlet of said air solenoid valve, to said valve
30
outlet of said multi-path valve.
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