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[Category : - Food]
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The present invention relates to an apparatus for the automatic preparation of so-called filter holders for professional coffee machines ("bar"), where the filter holder means the device comprising, at one end of a handle for the handling, a cup container adapted to be removably inserted into the body of the machine, housing the mixture of coffee powder intended for infusion and on the bottom of which, upstream of one or more infusion nozzles, a diaphragm of filter. This device makes known as part of the standard equipment of the common professional coffee machines. More specifically, the present invention relates to an integrated apparatus capable of removing the spent powder from the filter holder following a previous delivery (the so-called "coffee" bottom), of filling the container with a new dose of powder and of compressing it. with a pre-established force, all quickly and automatically.rnIt is known that public places such as restaurants and above all bars are equipped with professional coffee machines, with which the operator interfaces by manipulating the aforesaid filter holder with the following traditional sequence of operations: - extraction of the filter holder previously used, and emptying of the same from the exhausted powder, normally for shaking and / or beating on a collection tray for the purpose intended; - filling the cup container by falling from a virgin powder feed tank; - compression of the powder inside the container by manual pressure exerted through a plate; - repositioning the filter holder on the machine for the subsequent activation of the same and consequent delivery and administration to the customer of the drink or infusion, if desired.rnThis procedure, although accepted and consolidated in its almost universal use, has several drawbacks. The dispersion of coffee powder on the work bench or on the floor is frequent, which besides the waste that in an intense exercise can reach significant values, determines a poor hygiene, at least perceived, and a sense of little cleanliness that if nothing else is strongly unsightly. These negative repercussions are increased by the coffee grounds collection drawer, which is always open and leaves customers in sight of the exhausted dust and other wastes that the worker often drops inside, and the often unpleasant exhalations that come out of it. The action of beating the filter-holder on the drawer is then annoying and noisy, as well as for the clientele, for the operators who suffer it continuously throughout the work shift and in the constant work activity, being able to descend also and even small traumas, and real occupational diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Considerations not dissimilar, as regards the discomfort to the operator, are connected to the pressing phase of the virgin mixture, which requires the application of a certain repeated force with a considerable frequency.rnFurthermore, the force of manual pressing (a certain intensity of which has been recognized to be a significant factor in order to obtain a high quality drink) is often insufficient and in any case not homogeneous, even more so as the operator has to work within a short time ( especially during moments of considerable customer flow) and / or in conditions of fatigue (when the end of the shift approaches).rnFinally, and in general, since the operator must proceed with manual actions on different equipment, the coffee preparation time can not be reduced too much, and this determines productivity limits.rnThe object of the present invention is therefore to obviate the problems and drawbacks set forth above by providing an automatic apparatus for automatically arranging a filter carrier charged with virgin mixture and ready for use, starting from a filter-holder condition. full of exhausted mixture due to a previous delivery, which equipment allows in particular to achieve extremely fast times, optimal and homogeneous filling and pressing conditions, conditions of maximum hygiene and cleanliness of the working environment, and a concrete improvement of the conditions work for staff responsible for managing the bar, restaurant or similar.rnSaid objects and other accessories are achieved by the automatic apparatus for the automatic preparation of filter-holders for professional coffee machines according to the present invention, the essential characteristics of which are defined by the first of the appended claims.

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