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Publication numberUS20090320530 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/457,706
Publication dateDec 31, 2009
Filing dateJun 18, 2009
Priority dateJun 19, 2008
Also published asCN101377049A, CN101377049B, CN101608392A, EP2135988A1
Publication number12457706, 457706, US 2009/0320530 A1, US 2009/320530 A1, US 20090320530 A1, US 20090320530A1, US 2009320530 A1, US 2009320530A1, US-A1-20090320530, US-A1-2009320530, US2009/0320530A1, US2009/320530A1, US20090320530 A1, US20090320530A1, US2009320530 A1, US2009320530A1
InventorsMyung Shik Kim, Jong Hee Han, Ho Il Jeon
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control panel of laundry machine
US 20090320530 A1
Abstract
A control panel of a laundry machine is disclosed. A control panel of a laundry machine includes a first operation part for selecting one of plural washing courses, a display part displaying the washing course selected by using the first operation part and a control part controlling the display part to display the washing course selected by using the first operation part. According to the control panel, it is unnecessary to print letters of the washing courses in the surface of the control panel. As a result, the exterior design of the control panel 110 may be improved and there may be no concern of the printed courses being erased.
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Claims(14)
1. A control panel of a laundry machine comprising:
a first operation part for generating a signal for sequentially displaying plural washing courses;
a control part for sequentially providing the plural washing courses according to the signal of the first operation part;
a display part for sequentially displaying the washing course provided by the control part in letters or figures.
2. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
a second operation part for selecting one of plural cycles composing the washing course, wherein the control part controls the display part to display the cycle selected by using the second operation part in letters or figures.
3. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein the second operation part comprises a plurality of buttons corresponding to the plural cycles composing the washing course.
4. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein the cycles selected by using the second operation part is sequentially displayed in the display part by a signal of the first operation part.
5. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein the cycle selected by using the second operation part is selected one of washing, rinsing, spinning and drying cycle.
6. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 2, further comprising a third operation part for selecting specific settings of the cycle, wherein the control part controls the display part to display the specific setting selected by using the third operation part in letters or figures.
7. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 6, wherein the third operation part comprises a button to select and change the specific settings.
8. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 7, wherein the specific setting selected by using the third operation part is changed by a signal of the first operation part.
9. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 8, wherein the specific setting is selected one of a water temperature, water amount, the number of washings, rinsings and spinnings and the drying time.
10. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first operation part is rotatable to generate a signal according to a rotation direction, and the control part displays the preset washing courses in the display part sequentially according to the signal.
11. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein the signal is a step signal correspondingly generated according to a rotation direction of the first operation part.
12. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein the signal is a single continuous signal correspondingly generated according to a rotation direction of the first operation part.
13. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein the first operation part transmits a different signal according to the rotation direction and the control part sequentially displays the washing courses in the display part according to the signal transmitted by the first operation part in a predetermined order or in an opposite order.
14. The control panel of the laundry machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein the order of the washing courses one-by-one displayed by the control part is changeable.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of the Korean Patent Application No. 10-2008-0057768, filed on Jun. 19, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present invention relates to a laundry machine. More particularly, the present invention relates to a control method of a laundry machine.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

Generally, laundry machines are electric appliances that are used to wash or dry or both wash and dry clothes, cloth items and beddings (hereinafter, laundry). Here, laundry machines are washers or dryers that operate a washing or drying function. Also, laundry machines are single appliances that operate a washing and drying function. In recent have been consumed laundry machines including a steam supply device with a refreshing function to remove wrinkles, unpleasant smell, static electricity of laundry.

Such a conventional laundry machine will be described simply in reference to a corresponding drawing.

In reference to FIG. 1, a conventional laundry machine includes a cabinet 1 and a control panel 10. The cabinet 1 defines an exterior appearance of the laundry machine. The control panel 10 is provided in a front or top surface of the cabinet and various commands are input and output to the control panel by a user.

The control panel 10 includes a rotary knob 11, a plurality of selection buttons 12, a display 13, a power button 14 and a start button 15. the user uses the rotary knob 11 to select a washing course and the user uses the plurality of the selection buttons 12 to adjust specific settings of the washing course. The display 13 displays an operation state of the laundry machine.

Here, the washing course is provided to operate washing automatically according to predetermined preset conditions. Generally, a plurality of washing courses are preset, for example, a normal, silent, sheet, baby's clothes, allergy care, steam cleaning and the like.

A user selects one of the washing courses according to an object of the washing or the kind of laundry and corresponding washing automatically operates according to predetermined conditions of the selected course. That is, desired washing may be operated automatically, without the user's selection of specific conditions corresponding to the object of the washing, for example, whether to use steam or drying function, the temperature and amount of wash water, an order or the number of repeating washing cycles including washing, rinsing and spinning cycle.

In the control panel 10 may be provided an encoder (not shown) mounted in a circuit board. The encoder is connected with a center of the rotation of the rotary knob 11 and it generates different control signals according to a rotational angle of the rotary knob 11. Here, each of the control signals is a signal corresponding to one of the plural washing courses.

A washing course display part 16 is provided adjacent to the rotary knob 11 and letters of the washing courses corresponding to the control signals generated according to the rotation of the rotary knob 11, respectively, are printed in the washing course display part 16. In addition, an LED 17 is provided between the rotary knob 11 and the washing course display part 16 and the LED 17 is lighted according to the rotation of the rotary knob 11 to inform each letter selected out of the washing course display part 16 of the user.

Rotating the rotary knob 11, the user may adjust a desired washing course to be selected through the LED 17 and the washing course display part 16.

However, the laundry machine having the above configuration would have a following disadvantage.

That is, when the user selects a washing course, the washing course display part displaying the selected washing course is printed in the surface of the control panel such that the exterior appearance of the control panel may look untidy and that the print may be erased. If the washing course display part 16 is erased, the user happens to be confused of which washing course is selected.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a control panel of a laundry machine.

An object of the present invention is to provide a control panel of a laundry machine that is able to display actively a washing course selected at the present when a user selecting washing courses.

Additional advantages, objects, and features of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a control panel of a laundry machine includes a first operation part for selecting one of plural washing courses; a display part displaying the washing course selected by using the first operation part; and a control part controlling the display part to display the washing course selected by using the first operation part.

The control panel may further include a second operation part for selecting one of plural cycles composing the washing course, wherein the control part controls the display part to display the cycle selected by using the second operation part in predetermined letters.

The second operation part may include a plurality of buttons corresponding to the plural cycles composing the washing course.

The cycles selected by using the second operation part are sequentially displayed in the display part by the first operation part.

The cycle selected by using the second operation part may be selected one of washing, rinsing, spinning and drying cycle.

The control panel may further include a third operation part for selecting specific settings of the cycle and the control part may control the display part to display the specific setting selected by using the third operation part in predetermined letters.

The third operation part may include a button to select and change the specific settings.

The specific setting selected by using the third operation part may be changed by the first operation part.

The specific setting may be selected one of a water temperature, water amount, the number of washings, rinsings and spinnings and the drying time.

The washing course displayed in the display part may be displayed in letters or figures.

The first operation part may be rotatable to generate a signal according to a rotation direction, and the control part may display the preset washing courses in the display part sequentially according to the signal.

The signal may be a step signal correspondingly generated according to a rotation direction of the first operation part.

The signal may be a single continuous signal correspondingly generated according to a rotation direction of the first operation part.

The first operation part may transmit a different signal according to the rotation direction and the control part may sequentially display the washing courses in the display part according to the signal transmitted by the first operation part in a predetermined order or in an opposite order.

The order of the washing courses one-by-one displayed by the control part may be changeable.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the disclosure and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the disclosure and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the disclosure.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an exterior appearance of a conventional laundry machine;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating an exterior appearance of a laundry machine according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagram schematically illustrating a control panel according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of the control panel shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a diagram schematically illustrating a control panel according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the specific embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an exterior appearance of a laundry machine according to the present invention.

In reference to FIG. 2, a laundry machine 100 includes a cabinet 101, a tub (not shown), a drum 102, a motor (not shown), a cover 103 and a door 105. The cabinet 101 defines an exterior appearance of the laundry machine 100 and the tub (not shown) is provided in the cabinet 101 to receive wash water therein. The drum 102 is oriented rotatable in the tub and laundry is received in the drum 102. The motor (not shown) is mounted to a rear of the tub and the motor rotates the drum 102. The cover 103 is provided in a front of the cabinet 101, having an opening 104 formed therein to introduce the laundry. The door 105 is coupled to the cover 103 to open and close the opening 104.

The laundry machine 100 may further include a control panel 110 provided in an upper portion of a front surface of the cabinet 101 and the control panel 110 includes various buttons operable by a user.

In addition, the laundry machine 100 may include a hot air supply device (not shown) supplying hot air to the drum 102 and a steam supply device (not shown) supplying steam to the drum 102.

The hot air supply device heat air and it supplies hot air to the drum 102 to dry the laundry received in the drum 102. The steam supply device heats water to generate steam and it supplies the steam to the drum 102 to refresh the laundry received in the drum 102. Here, the term of ‘refresh the laundry’ may mean removing wrinkles, unpleasant smell, static electricity of the laundry and the like. The detailed explanation of the hot air supply device and the steam supply device is well-known knowledge in the air to which the present invention pertains and the detailed explanation thereof will be omitted accordingly.

The laundry machine 100 according to the present invention may have a drying function and preset washing courses using steam, because it includes the hot air supply device and the steam supply device. As a result, more various washing courses may be preset, for example, a drying, allergy care, steam cleaning and the like.

The control panel 110 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention will be described in reference to the corresponding drawings as follows.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the control panel 110 includes a first operation part 120, a second operation part 140, a third operation part 150, a display part 130 and a control part 200. The user selects one of plural washing courses by using the first operation part 120 and he/she selects one of cycles composing each washing course by using the second operation part 140. The user selects specific setting value of the cycle by using the third operation part. The display part 130 displays the selected setting and operational state of the selected setting. The control part 200 transmits the setting of each operation part 120, 140 and 150 and information on the operation state to the display part 130 such that the display part 130 may display the setting and the information under the control of the control part 200.

Furthermore, a power button 111 and a start button 112 may be provided in the control panel 110. The power button 111 allows the user to control the electricity supply of the laundry machine 100 and the start button 112 allows the user to start or stop temporarily the operation of the laundry machine 100.

In addition, the control panel 110 includes a separate OK button (not shown) for selecting or deciding an item (e.g., washing course, washing cycles, specific setting or preset values or the like) displayed in the display part 130 according to the signal of each operation part 120, 140 and 150.

The washing course may be provided in plural and the washing courses are employed to operate washing according to preset conditions automatically. For example, the washing courses may be a normal, sanitary, silent, sheet, baby's clothes, lingerie, wool, functional clothes course and the like.

Each of the washing courses is preset in consideration of the user's object of the washing and the kind of the laundry and washing operation is performed according to the preset order and conditions corresponding to the washing object of each washing course from the beginning to the last.

Washing cycles compose the single washing course, including a washing, rinsing, spinning, steam, drying cycle and the like. Generally, the single washing course is configured of a plurality of cycles.

The specific setting or preset values are conditions for operating the cycle, that is, the temperature of wash water, the performance number of spinning or rinsing cycles, the amount of water and the drying time.

Generally, the plurality of the cycles and the specific setting values are preset in the washing course. Thus, if the user selects a washing course, the user does not have to select and set corresponding specific setting values of the cycles.

However, the user may adjust the specific setting values of the washing course even after selecting one of the washing courses according to necessity or taste.

That is, the first operation part 120 is for selection of the washing course and the second and third operations parts 140 and the 150 are for adjusting specific setting values of the selected washing according to the user's necessity.

The first operation part 120 may be embodied as a rotary knob generating different signals according to rotation in a right and left direction. Such a rotary knob generates step signals such as +/− according to the rotation directions and the rotary knob transmits the step signals to the control part 200. this kind of the rotary knob is provided for user's usage convenience and it can be embodied as buttons able to generate the step signals such as + and −. Here, the first operation part 120 would generate a continuous signal corresponding to the rotation directions of the first operation part 120.

The second operation part 140 is for selection of one of the plural cycles composing the washing course selected by the first operation part 120. This second operation part 140 may be embodied as a plurality of buttons as many as the washing, rinsing, spinning, steam drying as shown in FIG. 2.

The third operation part 140 is for predetermining specific setting values of the cycle selected by the second operation part 140. for example, using the second operation part 150, the user may adjust the specific setting values of conditions for the cycle selected by the second operation part 150, for example, the water temperature, the number of the rinsing and spinning cycles, the water amount, the drying time and the like.

In case of the cycle selection by using the second operation part 140 and the specific setting by using the third operation part 140, the user may use the first operation part 120 to select the cycle or predetermine the setting. That is, the user may change the cycle selection and the specific setting by using the step signals of the first operation part 120.

The control part 200 controls the display part 130 to display selected and preset information according to the selection and setting of the first, second and third operation parts 120, 140 and 150.

The control part 200 displays the preset washing courses according to the step signals generated according to the operation of the first operation part 120 sequentially. At this time, the order of the washing courses displayed according to the + and − step signals in clockwise direction or counter-clockwise direction.

The control part 200 displays the cycle selected by the second operation part 140 according to the operation of the second operation part 140. In case of additional selection of the cycle, the first operation part 120 can be used.

The control part 200 displays the specific settings of the cycle selected by the third operation part 140 according to the operation of the third operation part 140. In case of additional predetermining of the specific setting of the cycle, the first operation 120 may be used. That is, the values of the specific settings may be increased by using the + and − step signals of the first operation part 120.

As a result, the user operates the first, second and third operation parts 120, 140 and 150 provided in the control panel 110 to select one of the plural washing courses, and also the user operates the operation parts to select one of the plural cycles composing the selected washing course and to adjust the specific setting of the selected cycle.

The display part 130 is provided to display the washing courses, cycles and specific settings selected and preset in the first, second and third operation parts 120, 140 and 150 in letters and symbols. Here, a light emitting part may be provided adjacent to the display part 130 such that the user may identify information displayed in the display part 130 in a dark place. It is preferable that the display part 130 may be embodied as a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen or LED able to emit lights independently.

In the meanwhile, FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a first operation part of a control panel according to another embodiment of the present invention. compared with the above embodiment, the other configurations are identical except a plurality of light emitting parts 160 further provide adjacent to the first operation part 120 and description of the identical configurations will omitted accordingly.

In reference to FIG. 5, the control panel of the laundry machine according to this embodiment further includes a plurality of light emitting parts 160 provided adjacent to the first operation part 120.

If the first operation part 120 is rotated, the control part controls the plurality of the light emitting parts 160 to emit lights sequentially according to the rotation direction of the first operation part 120, such that the user may identify the rotational direction of the first operation part 120 via the light emitting parts 160 and that an exterior design of the control panel may be improved.

If the user pushes the power button 111 to power on the laundry machine, the control part 200 may controls the light emitting parts 160 to emit lights and to be turned off sequentially, or to emit lights sequentially along a circumference of the first operation part 120. As a result, when pushing the power button 111, the user may identify the powered-on state more conveniently and the exterior design may be improved.

As follows, an operation of the control panel of the laundry machine will be described in detail. The names and configurations which will be described as follows must be understood in reference to the above explanation and the corresponding drawings.

As the user operating the first operation part 120, the control part 200 provided in the control panel 110 of the laundry machine 100 receives the step signal generated according to the user's operation of the first operation part 120 and it controls the display part to display the washing courses sequentially according to the step signals. Here, the user may simultaneously identify and selects the washing courses displayed in the display part 130 one by one according to the order.

The selected washing course may be washing course finally displayed in the display part 130 by the first operation part 120. Alternatively, the washing course displayed in the display part 130 may be the washing course selected by pressing the OK button (not shown) by the user.

The signal generated by the first operation part 120 is a +/− step signal generated by the user's operation, not a local signal corresponding to one of the washing courses according to the conventional control panel, and the control part 200 displays the preset washing courses one-by-one according to the order when receiving the signal transmitted by the first operation part 120.

It is preferable that the + or − step signal is generated according to the rotation of the first operation part 120 and that the control part 200 displays the washing courses sequentially in the preset order or vice versa according to the + or − step signal.

For example, if the user rotates the first operation part 120 in a clockwise direction, the first operation part 120 generates + step signal and the control part 200 displays the preset plural washing courses sequentially according to the preset order. If the user rotates the first operation part 120 in a counter-clockwise direction, the first operation part generates − step signal and the control part 200 displays the washing courses sequentially according to an opposite of the preset order.

The order of the plural washing courses preset in the control part 200 may be changeable. That is, the order of selecting the washing courses one-by-one preset in the control part may be changeable as necessary. For that, an auxiliary changing button (not shown) may be further provided.

Also, it is preferable that the first operation part, the display part 130 and the control part 200 are provided in the control panel 110 and the present invention is not limited thereto. For example, the first operation part 120 and the display part 130 are provided in the control panel 110 and the control part 200 is provided in another portion of the laundry machine 100, not in the control panel 110. In this case, signal transmission among the first operation part 120, the display part 130 and the control part 200 may be performed via wires or wireless.

Alternatively, the first operation part 120 may be configured of a button type and the button type first operation part 120 may generate a single signal whenever being pushed. That is, as the user pushes the first operation part 120 continuously, not rotates the first operation part 120 one time, the washing courses preset in the control part 200 according to the preset order may be changed one-by-one.

The control part 200 controls the display part 130 to displays the cycles corresponding to the selected washing course selected by the first operation part 120 in predetermined letters or figures. After that, if the user desires to change the setting for each cycle, the user operates the second operation part 140 and selects a desired cycle.

Hence, the control part 200 controls the display part 130 to display the specific setting of the cycle selected by the user and the user may select one of the displayed settings of the cycle the user desires to change.

Here, the change of the settings by using the third operation part 140 may be performed in connection with the first operation part 120. That is, the changing the setting performed by the third operation part 140 may be performed, using the +/− step signals of the first operation part 120.

The control part 200 controls the display part 130 to display the specific setting of the cycle selected by the third operation part 150 in predetermined letters.

As a result, the user may select a desired washing course and adjust the specific setting values of the cycle of the selected washing course, viewing the letters displayed in the display part by the control part 200.

According to the control panel 110 of the laundry machine 100 according to the present invention, the washing course is displayed in the display part 130 by the control part 200 in letters and the user may select a desired washing course, viewing the washing course displayed in the display part 130 in letters, compared with the conventional control panel of which the surface the user selects one of the washing courses, viewing the washing courses printed in.

Therefore, according to the control panel 110 of the laundry machine 100, it is unnecessary to print letters of the washing courses in the surface of the control panel 110. As a result, the exterior design of the control panel 110 may be improved and there may be no concern of the printed courses being erased.

Furthermore, it is possible to change or add the washing courses stored in the control part 200 afterward, because the washing courses are not printed in the surface of the control panel 110. If the washing courses are printed in the surface of the control panel 110, the number and the kinds of the washing courses should be determined when manufacturing the laundry machines and it is impossible to change the number and kinds of the washing courses.

As a result, after the manufacturing of the laundry machine, the number and the kinds of the washing courses may be changed or added according to the user's request, generation of new kinds of clothes or necessity of new functioning washing course.

That is, the plurality of the washing courses may be stored in the control part 200 according to the preset order. The signal generated by the first operation part 120 is only to change the washing courses stored in the control part 200 one-by-one and thus the change or addition of the washing courses stored in the control part 200 may be possible.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the inventions. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
DE102012220255A1Nov 7, 2012May 8, 2014BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHHousehold appliance i.e. washing machine, for processing laundry items, has selecting region comprising rotary selector, and lights illuminating portion of rotary selector and/or surrounding boundary region and display portions
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/12.27
International ClassificationD06F39/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/005
European ClassificationD06F39/00P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 9, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KIM, MYUNG SHIK;HAN, JONG HEE;JEON, HO II;REEL/FRAME:023229/0936
Effective date: 20090713