Kevin Mark Klughart
PhD, PE, JD, MIP, LLM
Patent Attorney / Engineer
What is a "FCB Cart"? FCB stands for "frozen carbonated beverage", known in the vernacular as a "SlurpeeŽ". Some would probably use the term "SlurpeeŽ Cart", but since "SlurpeeŽ" is a registered trademark of the Southland Corporation, we opt for the generic term here to keep the trademark attorneys happy.
The following project is probably one of my most ambitious to date, both for the scope of the project and the weld complexity. What I needed was a cart that would hold a 450-lb Cornelius FCB machine. I had thought initially I wanted the cart to be comprised of stainless steel, but due to the recent spike in SS prices the scrap yards just didn't have enough material to do the job. I opted then for using an all-aluminum construction, both for weight as well as corrosion resistance (I wanted a paintless construction). So, I found some 1/4-inch extruded aluminum T-channel along with a 4x10 sheet of 0.200 sheet aluminum I had on hand and came up with the mother of all FCB carts.
As can be seen from the back of the cart below, it has storage areas for the gag-in-box FCB syrup (2), water filter cleaning supplies, the water filtration tank, and the CO2 cylinder.
Note in the picture above and below the 1/2 NPT drain fittings in the center at the top and bottom of the cart. These are used for water drainage from the front sink, and FCB machine cleanup as well as any ice fallout from the ice machine in the lower part of the front portion of the cart...
This side view gives some idea of the welding required for this project. The entire side plate was welded to the extruded aluminum T-channel first using a MIG welder (to maximize speed, fill, and minimize warping) and then cleaned up later with a TIG welder running about 400A with a 3/16 tungsten! Note the bottom of the cart is reinforced with additional aluminum rectangular members for a total thickness of 3/4-inch.
The front view of the cart shows the lower bay which holds an ice machine which is on a tray that can be pulled out for cleaning/repair. The FCB machine will sit where the blue cooler is shown. Note the holes just above the ice machine and just below the ice machine at the bottom of the cart. These are drain connections provided to permit any water runoff to be routed to a sanitary drain. The top drain will connect to a sink in the front of the FCB machine. Material for the drain fittings was turned on a lathe and then NPT threaded for standard 1/2-inch pipe fittings. Tubing for the drains was obtained from some old tent framing material that I scavenged from curbside track pickup.
One significant aspect of this cart is the water management. We run off of well water at the house and it really needs significant filtering to be suitable for both ice production as well as FCB use. The following two photos illustrate the water distribution manifold which permits incoming well water to be distributed to a three stage prefilter, water collection tank, and single stage postfilter. The plethora of valves on this manifold permit each filtration element to be isolated and/or bypassed for cleaning/repair and also provide shutoff valves for the ice machine, FCB machine, a filtered water faucet, and cleaning hose.
Note the tabs welded to the back frame to support the water manifold...
This view illustrates the CO2 cylinder cradle as well as the electrical setup for the cart. GFCI electrical outlets associated with these switches are mounted directly below the switch conduit boxes. Why so many switches - one for the FCB machine, one for the ice machine, one for a heater (to keep things from freezing in the winter), one for a fan, and one spare...
An inside view of the FCB cart illustrating the cross strut which connects the outer supporting walls of the cart. This was needed to ensure frame stability given the 450-lb weight of the FCB machine. Without some form of cross-wall support, there existed the slight possibility that the FCB machine weight would laterally collapse the walls of the cart. Given the thickness of the cart walls this was probably not possible but the cross supports provided me some additional piece of mind.
Kevin Mark Klughart
Registered Patent Attorney, USPTO
3825 Leisure Lane, Denton, TX 76210-5589
tel: 800-353-1211 / 940-320-0580 - fax 940-320-0581