DEVICE FOR OBTAINING EGG LIQUID
1. Device for obtaining egg liquid from poultry eggs, comprising,an egg holder for fixedly holding and positioning such egg along its main axis substantially vertically,an egg opening device for decapitating such egg at both ends after having been positioned vertically, thereby having the liquid falling and flowing downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir arranged underneath the egg holder, anda control device for controlling positioning such egg and driving said opening device and said egg holder.
The present invention concerns a device for obtaining egg liquid from poultry eggs, comprising,—an egg holder for fixedly holding and positioning such egg along its main axis substantially vertically,—an egg opening device for decapitating such egg at both ends after having been positioned vertically, thereby having the liquid falling and flowing downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir arranged underneath the egg holder, and—a control device for controlling positioning such egg and driving said opening device and said egg holder, whereas the invention also comprises a method for collecting egg liquid from poultry eggs, the method for each egg comprising the following subsequent steps,—gripping the egg substantially at both sides of the egg parallel to its main axis, wherein the egg is positioned substantially vertically along its main axis,—decapitating the egg at both ends, and—blowing from above into such end to urge the liquid flowing and falling downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir. This device and method are designed for building a system for collecting egg liquid from poultry eggs. It has appeared that by applying this invention nice results are obtained in collecting egg liquid, giving very advantageous egg liquid processing parameters and suitable hygienics.
- 1. Device for obtaining egg liquid from poultry eggs, comprising,
an egg holder for fixedly holding and positioning such egg along its main axis substantially vertically, an egg opening device for decapitating such egg at both ends after having been positioned vertically, thereby having the liquid falling and flowing downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir arranged underneath the egg holder, and a control device for controlling positioning such egg and driving said opening device and said egg holder.
- 15. Method for collecting egg liquid from poultry eggs, the method for each egg comprising the following subsequent steps,
gripping the egg substantially at both sides of the egg parallel to its main axis, wherein the egg is positioned substantially vertically along its main axis, decapitating the egg at both ends, and blowing from above into such end to urge the liquid flowing and falling downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir.
- 18. System for collecting egg liquid from poultry eggs, comprising,
an egg supply device, an egg opening device, an egg liquid receiving device, a camera system for detecting egg liquid content after flowing and falling of egg in a corresponding whole egg liquid collection cup, a yolk-albumen separation device, a yolk collection reservoir, an albumen collection reservoir, and a liquid whole egg collection reservoir.
The present invention relates to a device for obtaining egg liquid from poultry. Moreover the present invention concerns a method for obtaining egg liquid from poultry eggs, and a corresponding system for carrying out such method.
Such a device is widespread and well known in this field of industrial application where it is common use that poultry eggs are broken in breaker devices in such a way that albumen and yolk are collected in a first step, and in a second step to be processed separately.
For example there are breaker devices which break eggs wherein the breaker devices are provided with separate yolk collecting cups and albumen collecting cups, for example as disclosed in EP1988805.
A further example of collecting yolk and albumen is shown in NL1010910. In this document it is disclosed to break the eggs is such a way that both yolk and albumen are received together in a gutter which is arranged obliquely to cause the liquid moving slightly downwardly. Such assembly is often called a chute. For subsequently separating albumen and yolk the gutter walls are slightly separated thus giving a sleeve in between through which albumen is flowing and dripping and falling downwardly whereas the yolk is moving to the distal end of the gutter, there falling into a big receptacle.
Apparently both ways of collecting the liquid constituents, the first one with breaking and separating almost simultaneously, and the second one having the breaking and separating subsequently, have shown to give suitable results.
In the above specifically the routes for obtaining and collecting yolk and albumen are addressed. A further issue of high interest is the way of opening an egg. As can be read in the above documents as well there the eggs are cut by a knife, smashing from beneath such egg in an upward movement. The resulting mainly two egg shell halves are retained in side holding parts whereas the liquid is falling, streaming and dripping downwardly.
Although this method has been applied for many years it might be clear that on average always some liquid is lost whereas often egg shell parts are mixed in the liquid.
Another way of opening is presented for example in DE102009052976, in U.S. Pat. No. 5285750, in DE12004021315, in DD291471, or in WO0219881, disclosing the use of lasers for laser cutting such egg shells.
In U.S. Pat. No. 5285750 a CO2-laser or a Nd-YAG-laser is used from making a very small hole (0.5-1 mm) in the egg shell for inoculation purposes.
In DD291471 and WO0219881 a laser is cutting the egg shell at the usual location about halfway the main (i.e. long) axis of an egg.
In DE102004021315 a machine for separating white and yolk from poultry eggs is disclosed. After two sided opening the liquid is blown out and subsequently collected. Clearly the following recipe and sequence of steps are explained and claimed,
- after the eggs having been arranged in an accelerator said eggs are accelerated such that the yolks within such eggs are moved to the egg blunt side;
- after such acceleration the eggs are placed substantially vertically in a recess thereby resting in a conical seat, with point at downside and blunt at upper side;
- decapitating said down side, either with a knife tip or with a laser,
- at least one position at the upper side pricking through the egg shell thereby creating an according pinhole,
- blowing for example air through said pinhole in order to urge all liquid from said egg, and
- collecting all said liquid after having been blown out from the egg.
In this set-up performance of the device is highly dependent on the combination of features as there are,
- positioning and orienting an egg,
- succeeding in arranging suitable blowing holes, and
- blowing, for example blowing time, through such holes.
Although this breaker set-up provides well-defined liquid collecting much room for improvement has appeared.
For example in the way of positioning an egg too much freedom is left in this set-up. Moreover, in order to have well-determined liquid retrieval holes, egg shell treatment should be improved as well.
The present invention aims to remedy such shortcomings of known systems. According to an aspect of the present invention, to that aim, there is provided a device that comprises:
- an egg holder for fixedly holding and positioning such egg along its main axis substantially vertically,
- an egg opening device for decapitating such egg at both ends after having been positioned vertically, thereby the liquid falling and flowing downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir arranged underneath the egg holder, and
- a control device for controlling positioning such egg and driving said opening device and said egg holder.
It has appeared that by applying this invention nice results are obtained in collecting egg liquid, providing very advantageous, efficient and reliable egg liquid processing parameters and improved hygiene.
Further embodiments of the device of the invention are characterized by one or more of the following, extra advantageous features:
said opening device comprises a cutting tip extending substantially along a circle having a diameter d, with 5≤d≤20 mm;
said circle is arranged in a plane substantially perpendicular to said main axis;
said egg holder comprises a clamping device for clamping an egg at both sides substantially parallel to its main axis;
the egg holder comprises a rotatable clamping device, in particular rotatable about a substantial horizontal axis;
said clamping device comprises two clamping hands;
said cutting tip comprises (or is provided by) a laser beam;
said laser beam is obtained by a system of lenses (and for example a laser source);
said system of lenses comprises at least an axicon lens;
said laser beam is generated by a CO2 laser device;
said laser beam is generated by a Nd:YAG laser device;
said device further comprises an egg shell parts suction mouth;
the device further comprising a gas blowing mouth;
the egg shell parts suction mount and gas blowing mouth can each be movable to (and away from) the egg ends, for subsequently removing cut shell parts and blowing egg liquid outwardly from such cut egg for urging the liquid flowing and falling and dripping downwardly from the egg;
said cutting tip is (or is provided by) an ultrasonic vibration generator;
said generator is a horn type vibrator; and
said horn is applied for both cutting by ultrasonic vibration and by suctioning egg shell parts.
It has appeared that, having such compact laser cutting device or ultrasonic cutting device, the set-up of the present invention is very suitable for replacing the prior art knife-breaker units as applied thus far.
In order to improve the methods for cutting eggs are available thusfar and having a way of working for the device as mentioned above, the method in accordance with the invention comprises the following subsequent steps,
- gripping the egg substantially at both sides of the egg parallel to its main axis, wherein the egg is positioned substantially vertically along its main axis,
- decapitating the egg at both ends, and
- blowing from above into such end to urge the liquid flowing and falling downwardly into at least one liquid collection reservoir.
As a further big advantage of the device and the method according to embodiments of the present invention, hygiene is highly improved, in particular in case of the far more accurate treatment of this kind of cutting and removing shell parts. On the one side shell parts remaining in the liquid is substantially reduced whereas at the other side cross contamination by breaker knives (used in prior art methods) which are used subsequently many turns on a sequence of eggs, is avoided completely.
Moreover, having nicely rimmed opening holes as a result of the way of working of the present invention, consequently said blowing will be more efficient and suitable, thereby resulting in correspondingly improved performance as to egg liquid retrieval volumes.
A further embodiment of the method of the present invention is characterized in that, decapitating the egg at its upper end wherein said egg is rotated about a short axis of the egg after first decapitation.
The present invention furthermore comprises,
a system for collecting egg liquid from poultry eggs, comprising,
- an egg supply device,
- an egg opening device,
- an egg liquid receiving device,
- a camera system for detecting egg liquid content after flowing and falling of egg in a corresponding whole egg liquid collection cup,
- a yolk—albumen separation device,
- a yolk collection reservoir,
- an albumen collection reservoir, and
- a liquid whole egg collection reservoir.
In particular such system is characterized in that a blowing device for causing liquid outflow from an egg into a cup is obtained.
It has appeared that the system of the present invention gives advantages as to footprint, yield of liquid, and above all hygiene, both as to the liquid product, and with regard to the system parts having now highly reduced cleaning times.
Hereinafter the present invention will be explained in detail by making reference to a drawing, wherein,
In the respective FIGURES same parts or indications are numbered or labeled identically.
- an egg holder 5a, 5b, configured for holding an egg in a substantially vertical orientation (that is, with a main central axis of the egg being in a substantially vertical orientation, as in the drawings) ,
- an egg opening device for decapitating the egg, held by the holder 5a, 5b, at both ends
- at least one liquid collection reservoir 14 (see
FIG. 5), for collecting egg liquid, the reservoir being arranged underneath the egg holder, and
- a control device 6 for controlling positioning such egg and driving said opening device and said egg holder.
More in particular this device of the first embodiment is a laser cutting device 1 for decapitating an egg E at both ends by means of laser light. In this first situation such laser light is supplied as a substantially horizontal incoming light beam 2a, subsequently bent by a mirror or beam splitter 3, processed by means of a lens system 4, an exposed to said egg as a cutting light beam 2b.
As shown in this
As can be seen in
It might be clear for a skilled person that many set-ups for a lens system 4 can be applied, for example comprising an axicon lens system (e.g. a lens or optical element that is configured for transforming an incoming laser beam into a ring i.e. said egg shell cutting tip—). The same can be said for the light, the optional blowing gas, for example air or nitrogen, and the working temperatures, gas pressures, and blowing times, for example light in frequency ranges as referred to above, about room temperature, up to 1.5 bar, and up to 2 seconds.
As can be seen in
After having stopped the light beam, suction as explained with regards to
Thus, from the above it follows that the device 1 can be configured to carry out the following steps in suitable order:
- positioning the egg E in a first substantially vertical orientation;
- decapitating one end of the egg, in particular an egg end facing upwards;
- rotating the egg E from the first substantially vertical orientation to a second substantially vertical orientation (i.e. over an angle of rotation of about 180 degrees);
- decapitating the other end of the egg (the other end e.g. facing upwards due to the rotation of the egg);
- collecting egg fluid from the decapitated egg E.
Herein, preferably, flow of egg fluid is enhanced or induced after the decapitations, by a flow inducer, for example by said blowing agent, e.g. gas or air. Also, preferably, each cut-off egg end is actively removed from the egg, e.g. by said suction mouth 71.
For starting the process of decapitating said unit is smoothly pressed onto an egg E by means of pneumatic drive, and subsequently the unit is switched to its ultrasonic vibration mode, giving ultrasonic vibrations at a beveled cutting edge 1031 being the end of an ultrasonic horn 103 of this unit 100. After switching off the vibration mode the same horn 103 is used as a suction guide through a suction tube 104. Subsequently the egg E is rotated with the gripper rotating unit 61 as explained before in order to expose the other end of the E to the ultrasonics cutting unit 100.
Further details of such ultrasonics vibration unit as such are explained and described in detail in JP2003266388 and in Hikaru MIURA, Eggshell Cutter Using Ultrasonic Vibration, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Vol 42 (2003), pp. 2996-2999.
For those skilled in the art it might be clear that controlling the pneumatic drive is of high interest to obtain suitable cuts. For example spring mounted edges may favor such cutting. Moreover said control may be based on simultaneous egg shell characteristics detection, for example in accordance with EP738888.
Such pick-up sections are well known from the MOPACK 100 egg packer, for example as published and described in the afore-mentioned website of Moba.
After such egg has been decapitated by the device 1, 100, the liquid containing both yolk and albumen is preferably blown out downwardly into e.g. a cup (or different reservoir) passing underneath said device 1, 100 and—in this example—being part of a corresponding one lane collection cup conveyor 13. This conveyor 13 is e.g. also an endless conveyor transporting the cups as a row of cups the one behind the other. The transport directions of the respective conveyors 11, 13 are labeled TE, egg conveyor transport direction, and TL, egg liquid transport conveyor (see
Positioning of the conveyors 11, 13 is such that their vertical endless conveyor planes are substantially perpendicular, whereas at the crossing of these conveyor planes the cutting device 1, 100 is arranged.
After the liquid from such egg has been received and collected the liquid is preferably observed and checked as to for example broken yolks, egg shell parts, color deviations, with a camera system 12, thereby obtaining signals and corresponding data which are processed in a central processing unit (CPU).
Processing the cups containing liquid can be programmed such that,
- in case of intact or almost intact yolk, without shell parts, the liquid is released to a yolk-albumen (YA) separation unit, and
- in all other cases the liquid is released to a so-called liquid-whole-egg (LWE) reservoir 15 for further processing.
More in particular such YA and LWE processing is carried out as explained for example in the above referred NL1010910.
As will be clear for those skilled in the art usually said conveyors may comprise each more than one lane, for example 4, or 6, or 9, or even more.
In this FIGURE furthermore an empty shell collection reservoir 16.
In order to organize, simplify, and protect a multi-egg cutter system as much as possible, a single high power laser L is preferably applied. Conventionally high power lasers have power performances between 1 and 10 kW.
An embodiment for such a system is presented in
In this way, relatively large numbers of eggs can be processed (in particular emptied) in a reliable, efficient and very hygienic manner.
It should be clear to the person skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described above. Many alternatives are possible within the scope of protection as formulated in the claims hereafter.
For example, the device can be arranged such that the egg opening device decapitates an egg at both ends when the egg has a single substantial vertical orientation (e.g. without intermediate rotation of the egg), or such that the egg is decapitated before and after being rotated.
Also, for example, the control device can be configured in various ways and can include one or more control means, suitable to carry out respective control steps that are to be taken by the control device, as will be appreciated by the skilled person.
T-E transport direction egg conveyor
T-L transport direction liquid conveyor
L Laser source
L0 high power laser beam
C1 . . . C16 laser cutting beams
S beam splitters
10 egg pick-up station
11 egg holder conveyor
12 camera system
13 collection cup conveyor
14 AY separation unit
15 LWE reservoir
16 empty shell collection reservoir
1 light cutting unit
2a incoming light beam
2b cutting light beam
3 mirror, beam splitter
4 lens system
5a, b gripper halves
6 gripper control
61 gripper rotating unit
7 egg shell part suction unit
71 suction guide
72 suction mouth
8 egg liquid blowing unit
81 gas supply guide
100 ultrasonics cutting unit
101 pneumatic drive
102 ultrasonics vibration control
103 ultrasonic horn
1031 beveled cutting edge
104 suction tube