Silver King engaged us to design a refrigerated dairy dispenser for Dunkin’ Donuts. The design needed to reliably administer a precise amount of milk while also being easy to clean, ergonomic, and NSF compliant.
From the get-go, our team focused on the ergonomic design of the dairy containers. Before picking up a pencil or opening SOLIDWORKS, we put ourselves in the shoes of food service workers by going behind the counter at a local Dunkin’ Donuts. Our early ergonomic research guided us in making design decisions that promote ease of operation for the user. The three refillable containers that hold skim milk, 2% milk, and cream are not the same width or volume, but are designed to have the same mouth size and interchangeable lids. The mouths are strong enough to hold up a gallon of milk without flexing or chewing up the plastic. All of this makes the containers durable and easy to refill. Large internal fillets in the containers also make them easy to clean.
R & D
The machine uses load cells to weigh the remaining dairy in each container, then calculates how long to activate the valve to administer a precise amount of milk regardless of how full the containers are. This reduces waste and improves the consistency of the store’s product.
The unique valve design uses springs and solenoids in a linear carriage to pinch off a flexible tube. This patented design features an open-valve configuration enabling easier cleaning and serviceability. The flexible dispensing tubes are refrigerated to ensure that all the dairy in the system stays below 41°F.
We designed the electronics, valves, load cells and solenoids to be modular and serviceable in-place, minimizing maintenance costs and downtime.
This product can be found in most Dunkin’ Donuts and similar restaurants across North America. Silver King obtained 4 patents for mechanisms developed for this project.
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