US 2318524 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' c. READ BOTTLE WASHER May 4, 1943,
Filed Sept. 26, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 P. C. READ BOTTLE WASHER May 4,' 1943.
Filed Sept. 26, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented May 4, 1943 UNHTED STATES PATENT OFFICE" BOTTLE WASHER Philip CwRead', Shorewood, Wis., assignor to Dostal & Lowey 00., Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application September 26, 1940, Serial No. 358,376
6 Claims. (01. 210---55) This invention relates to bottle washers, and.
more particularly to washers of the soaker-hydro type. In such washers, bottles to be cleansed are conducted slowly through an elongated tank containing a caustic solution by means of a conveyor in a soaking operation.
The object of thus soaking bottles to be cleansed is primarily to loosen the labels thereon to an extent such that they drop off the bottles and settle to the bottom of the soaker tank, and to also loosen other dirt and foreign material adhering to the bottles.
Inasmuch as bottle washers of the soaker type having cleaning capacities ranging from 60 to over 100 cases of bottles per hour, large quanti-.
ties of labels are caused to accumulate in the bottom of the soaker tank.
In past washers of this type, the tank was constructed so as to permit such accumulation for considerable periods of time and the labels removed only at the end of the days work or before starting the washer in operation the next succeeding day. 4
The usual practice has been to provide large manholes at the ends or sides of the soaker tank to permit drainage of the caustic solution contained therein and to enable access to the bottom wall of the tank for removal of labels and other material washed from the bottles, and in many instances, fragments of the bottles which had been broken during the washing process.
Consequently, it was impossible to remove the labels and broken bottles from the tank without at least partially or wholly draining the caustic solution therefrom.
. Furthermore, such cleaning of the tank of labels and broken glass has heretofore been effected manually and obviously necessitated the expenditure of a considerable amount of time.
The present invention seeks to overcome the objections to such past methods of label removing in bottle washers of the character described by enabling the operator of the washer to remove th accumulated labels and broken bottles at will without necessitating partial or complete drainage of the caustic solution.
"It is an object of this invention, therefore, to
More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide the soaker tank of a bottle washer of the character described with endless conveyor-driven cleaning means adapted to scrape the bottom wall of the tank during operation of the conveyor and to conduct labels and other materials therefrom upwardly and over one end Wall of the tank to the exterior thereof.
Another object of this invention is to provide a scraper for the internal bottom and end Walls of the soaker tank having a self-adjusting blade engageable with said wall surfaces to clean the same upon motion of the scraper along the length of the tank.
Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a label remover for hottle washers of the character described adapted to be carried along the bottom and end walls of the soaker tank of the washer by an endless conveyor element completely encircling said bottom and end walls so that all of the motion of the conveyor portion inside the tank is in one direction.
A further object of this invention is to provide a label scraper for the soaker tank of a bottle washer of the character described which in addition to scraping the inside bottom and end walls of the soaker tank also provides a floor movable along the inside of the tank above the bottom wall thereof to receive and conduct labels and broken bottles to the exterior of the tank over one end wall thereof.
Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of means for removing floating labels from the soaker tank of. a bottle washer of the character described.
-With the above and other objects in view, which will appear as the description proceeds, this invention resides in the novel construction,
combination and arrangement of parts substantially as hereinafter described, and more particularly defined by the appended claims, it being understood that such changes in the precise embodiment of the hereindisclosed invention may be made as come within the scope of the claims.
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view through a portion of the soaker tank taken on the line 22 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the scraping means;
Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 1 illustrating a slightly modified form of the invention;
Figure 5 is a longitudinal sectional view of a portion of a bottle washer of the type illustrated in Figure 4 showing a further modified form of the invention;
Figure 6 is a .plan view of a portion of the conveyor element illustrated in Figure 5 as viewed on the plane of the line 6-6; and
Figure 7 illustrates means securable to the scraper mechanism employedin Figures t or 5 for removing floating labels from the soaker tank.
Referring more particularly to. the accompanying drawings in which like numerals indicate like;
parts throughout the several views, and to the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in Figures 1 to 3, inclusive, the numeral- 5. generally designates a bottle washer of the soakerhydro type. The washer, as is customary; comprises an elongated housing 6 within which an endless conveyor l provided with a multitude of carrier-bars 8 is arranged to carry bottles 9 fro1n a loading station l above the conveyor downwardly into a soaker tank I! provided in the bottom of the housing.
The soaker tank I lis adapted tohold a supply of caustic solution l2 through which the bottles are slowly conductedby the conveyor 1 to loosen all dirt and other foreign material from the bottles as well as the labels thereon.
Asis customary, the soaker tank is formed by portions of the housing 6. and extends substantially the length thereof. In the present instance, the end wall iii of the housing also forms.
one end wall of the tank and the bottom of the housing is closed by a wall l4 forming the bottom wall ofthe tank;
The opposite end wall l of the tank is. formed as a continuation of the bottomwall and curves gradually upwardly and outwardly to a height sufi'icient" to accommodate the desired level of caustic solution in the tank.
As will be apparent from Figure Lthe opposite.
side walls 16 0i the housingserve as. the side walls of the tank. Thus, as the bottles 9 are progressed through the caustic solution in the tank lfl, dirt and'foreign materials including the labels on the.
bottles are loosened therefrom and drop. to the bottom of the tank.
Heretofore, the labels accumulated inthe bot.- tom of; the soaker tank have been removed manuallyafter the washer hadbeen in operation for a considerable periodof. time, and it was necessary to yflrst either partly or completely drain the caustic solution from the tank before access could be had'thereto for-cleaning out of the labels. At such atime, any broken bottles. resulting. from the washing procedure were also removed;
Inasmuch as bottle washing machines of. this. character have considerable length, the labeland sprockets 28 inside the housing adjacent to its side walls i5, and above the top edge 2| of the end wall l5 of the tank.
At the opposite end of the washer, the conveyor chains are trained over idler sprockets 22 at the inside of the housing adjacent to each side wall thereof and at the lower corner of the soaker tank so as to be immersed in the caustic solution.
The drive sprockets 20 are splined to the drive shaft 29 which may extend to the exterior of the housing to be either hand or power driven. Consequently, it will be seen that the endless chains are driven in unison within the soaker tank.
The endless chains l9, however, are of such a length. that they may follow the inside surfaces of; the bottom wall [4 and end wall 15 of the tank between the sprockets 20 and 22.
Spaced-apart flanges 24 project perpendicularly from opposite side walls l6 of the soaker tank a distance from its bottom wall and form a guide to receive the topstretch of the conveyor chains l9 and constrain the same totravel Within the soaker tank in spaced relationship with'respect to the bottom and end walls M and [5, respectively.
Flanges 25-project fromthe opposite side walls: l6 of the tank adjacent to-the" end-wall l5'thereof and extend from the junction of' the end wall |:5 with thebottom wall [4 along theentire length of the end wall I5 in spaced relation thereto so as to cooperate therewith to form guides-for the'lowerstretch of the chains l9.
Thus, it will be seen that the lowerstretch of the: conveyor element is constrained by the guideways formed bythe flanges 25 andthe idler sprockets 2'2 totravel along the bottom" wall l4 and upwardly along the end wall [5 of the soaker tank in close proximity thereto tothe exterior of the. tank.
Atspaced intervals along the stretches" of the conveyer element, flights 26= inthe' form of angle irons are provided. These angles have their endswelded to tabs 21 at opposite points on thechains so that the flights lie transversely of the soaker tank. between the chains.
The. tabs. 21 hold the lower flange of theangles; Zfi spaced: slightly above: the inside sur-- faces of the bottom. wall lland: end-wall I5 of' the soaker. tank;
While the. upstanding. flanges 28.: of: the angles 26- wouldoperate to remove accumulations; of? labels; andother. materials .such asbrokenbottles fromthe tank during travel of: the: conveyer in thedirection: of the arrows: as: seen. in Figure; 1; it is preferable toprovide each. flight. wi-tlzrv a; self-adjusting scraper bar or blade; indicated. at, 29 to have engagement. with the; bottom wall l tv andend wall I5 of the; tank; asthe conveyen' operates,,
For this; reason; the; scraper; bars 29 are. posie tioned to overlie the leading;face: 0f;the upstanding leg, 2-8 of the flights and are mounted'fon free; bodily motion ina; plane. perpendicular to. the. stretches of the chain; by' means .of. studs 311-- fixed in the;upstanding flanges. 28 near .-the -ends;- of the.- flights and.v projecting. through elongated; transverse slots 31 in thescraper bars arranged. so as to permit the scraper:- bars to: move, freely toward and... from engagement with the insidesurfaces of the tank.
In this manner, the .weightiof. the scraper bars, maintains their. lower. edgesengaged w-iththev innerwall surfaces of. the. walls. IA. and I5 of the;
tank to scrape. labels therefromas, the.conveyer operates.
The bars also are of a size to conduct broken bottles and fragments of glass with the labels along the entire bottom of the tank and upwardly along the outwardly inclined end wall I for discharge of such accumulations exteriorly of the, tank into a suitable container 32 beneath the upper edge 2| of the end wall I5.
Such conveyance of the labels and broken bottles is assured inasmuch as the drive sprockets 20 lead the lower stretch of the endless conveyer chains I9 forwardly out of the tank over the top edge of the end wall I5 for a short distance before reversing its direction.
For convenience, a removable door 33 may be provided at the end of the housing adjacent to the end wall I5 of the soaker tank. Thus access is provided to the interior of the housing for emptying the container whenever it becomes full of labels and broken bottles scraped from the soaker tank.
While both stretches of the conveyer travel inside the soaker tank in this embodiment of the invention, it is seen that the top stretch does not interfere with proper operation of the lower or active stretch.
In the modified form of the invention illustrated in Figure 4, the washer is similar, but the soaker tank is formed with a bottom wall I4 having its opposite end walls I5 and I5' adjacent to the drive sprockets 20 and the idler sprockets 22 respectively gradually curved upwardly and outwardly to permit the conveyer element I8 to completely encircle these walls.
As will be seen, therefore, the top stretch of the conveyer element is disposed inside the tank, and the lower stretch on the exterior of the tank. Also, in this form of the invention, the idler sprockets 22 as well as the drive sprockets 20 are located adjacent to the upper edge of the end. walls I5 and I5 respectively.
. Flanges 35 projecting perpendicularly from the side walls of the tank adjacent to the bottom wall thereof at its junction with the end Walls cooperate with the inner wall surfaces of the tank to provide guideways for the opposite stretches of the chains as in the previous embodiment described, and together with the sprockets constrain the top stretch of the conveyer element inside the tank to travel directly along the inner wall surfaces of the bottom and end walls thereof.
The scraper arrangement in this form of the invention is identical with that described in connection with Figure 1, and employs transverse flights 26 having their ends secured to the chains at opposite points thereof, and self-adjusting scraper blades 29 movably mounted on the leading face of the upstanding flange of the flights for bodily movement in a plane perpendicular to the plane connecting the chains.
As will be apparent, however, all of the motion of the conveyor is in one direction on the inside of the soaker tank, as the return or lower stretch of the conveyor is exteriorly of the tank.
Figures 5 and 6 illustrate a further modified form of the invention in which the tank and conveyor arrangement is similar to the form shown in Figure 4 in that the conveyor stretches completely encircle the bottom and end walls of the soaker tank.
As in the previous embodiments of the invention, flights and scraper elements are provided at spaced intervals along the length of the conveyor comprising the supporting angles 26 and their-movable scraper blades 29.
While the stretches of the conveyor element between its chains and between the scraper elements are open in the preceding forms of the invention to allow labels and broken glass to settle to the bottom of the tank, such spaces of the conveyor element here shown are spanned by a mesh bed 40 which may be of wire screening or rectangular blocks 4| as shown. The blocks are articulated for flexibility of the bed by having their opposite ends pivotally carried by cross rods 42, one secured to the side of each pair of opposite links of the chain as by welding or in any other suitable manner.
The conveyor element thus forms a perforate flexible floor traveling'on the inside of the soaker tank above the bottom wall and end walls thereof to conduct labels, broken bottles, etc., along the bottom wall of the tank and up the outwardly inclined end wall I5 as in the previous embodiments for discharge of the material scraped from the tank into the receptacle 32 beneath the upper edge 2| of the end wall l5.
Inasmuch as labels or other materials may adhere to the outside surface of the meshing, it is preferable to spray the same with liquid by means of nozzles carried by transverse nozzle headers 43 which may be located beneath the drive sprockets 20 and between the end wall I5 and the return or lower stretch of the conveyor leading from the drive sprockets.
When the nozzles are thus located to spray liquid under pressure on the inside surface of the lower conveyor stretch, all labels and other materials are flushed from the meshing of the conveyor element to drop into the receptacle 32 beneath the nozzles.
Figure 7 illustrates a manner in which floating labels may be removed from the solution in the soaker tank with a conveyor arrangement as employed in Figures 4 or 5 merely by securing to one of the scraper units a wire mesh basket 45.
For this purpose, the basket is provided with a clamp 46 at its lower edge and at the mouth thereof, andis secured to one of the scraper bars to travel through the tank from the idler sprockets 22 to the drive sprockets 20 where it may be removed and emptied of the label gathered therein.
Removable doors 4'! at each end of the housing adjacent to the sprockets provide for attaching and removing the basket from the scraper bars.
Usually only one such basket is employed although more may be used if desired. If it is necessary to conduct the basket through the soaker tank a second time, it is merely removed from the conveyor adjacent to the drive sprockets 20 and again secured to a scraper bar adjacent to the idler sprockets 22.
From the foregoing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it will be readily apparent that this invention provides a particularly useful mechanism for removing labels, broken bottles and other materials washed from the bottles from the soaker tank without the necessity of draining the tank of its solution to efiect cleaning thereof.
What I claim as my invention is:
1. In a bottle washer of the character described: an elongated soaker tank having a bottom wall upon which labels and other materials Washed from the bottles as well as broken bottles accumulate during the washing process, and having end walls extending upwardly therefrom; a conveyor element including, a pair of spaced-apart endless chains encircling said walls at each side ot'the tank, a plurality of scrapers connected between said endless chains at regular intervals throughout its length, and: meshing carried by the; chains between; said scrapers and cooperating: therewith to form a perforate flexible: conveyor sui'fac'; means for driving said conveyor elen-ie'ntincluding sprockets over which the endless chains are traiiie'cl and positioned adjacent to the top edges of the end walls of the tank so that the conveyor element traverses the length of the tankand means for constraining the top stretch of the conveyor in"- side: the tank to travel along the inside surfaces of said walls so that the lower edge of the scrapers contact said inside wall surfaces and cooperate with said meshing to effect removal of labels and other materials such as broken bottles from the tank by: conducting. the same over the top edge of one. or said end walls as the conveyor operates.
2. In a bottle washer of the character described: an elongated soaker tank having a bottom wall upon which labels and other materials washed from the bottles as well as broken' bottles accumulate-during the washing process, and having end walls extending upwardly there-- from; a conveyor element including a pair of spaced-apart endless chains encircling said-walls at each side of the'tank', a: plurality of scrapers connected between said endless chains at regular intervals throughout its length, and meshing carried: by the chains between said scrapers and cooperating therewith to form a perforate flexible conveyor surface; means for driving said conveyor element including sprocketsover which the endless chains are trained and positioned adjacent to the top edges of the end walls of thetank so that the conveyor element traverses the length of the tank; means forconstrainingthe top stretch of the.conveyor inside the tank to travel along the inside surfaces of said walls so that the lower edge of the scrapers contact said inside wall surfaces and cooperate with said meshing to eifectremoval of labels andother materials such as broken bottles from the tank by conducting the same over the top edge of one of said end walls as the conveyor operates; and means for. directing a spray of' liquid at the underside of the conveyor meshing exteriorly of the tank for removing labels and like materials which may adhere to the meshing of' the conveyor element.
3; In a bottle washer of the character described: a maker tank having a bottom wall upon which labels and other" materials washedfrom the bottles as well as broken" bottles accumulate during the washing process, and having opposite end wallsprojecting" upwardly and" outwardly therefrom; an endless conveyor element encircling said bottom and end walls so that the top stretch of the conveyor element lies" insidethe tank; sprocket means adjacent to the top edge of each of said end walls and over which the endless conveyor element" is trained; a scraper carried by said--endless conveyor element to move therewith and" so as to extend transversely of the tank; means mounting'the scraper from the conveyor element for movement with respect thereto ina planesubstan lira-vet or the scraper inside theta-nir; means for constraining the top stretclior the conveyor element te travel directly adjacent tothe'- iii side surfaces or said bottom and end walls so that the scraperhas one" edge engaged with said wail surfaces; and means for rotating one of said sprocket means to effect scraping action of the scraper alongthe bottom of the tank and upwardly and outwardly over one end wallthereof to carry labels and other materials such as broken bottles out of thetan-k-.-
41111- a bottle washer of the character d'escribed: a soaker tank-having a bottom wan upon which labels andother materials washed from the bottles as well as broken bottles'accumulate during the washing process, and having opposite end Walls projecting upwardly therefrom; an endless conveyor element encircling said bottom and end walls so that the top stretch of the con-- veyor element lies inside the tank; sprocket means adjacent to the top edge" of each of said end walls and over which the endless conveyor element is trained; a scraper ca'r'riedby said endless conveyor element to move therewith and so as to extend transversely of the tank; means mounting the scraper fromthe conveyor element for movement with respect thereto in a plane substantially perpendicular to the pathof travel of the conveyor element so that the scraper is movable to a posi tion having its oppo site side edges disposed on opposite sides of the plane of the top stretch of the conveyor element during travel of the scraper inside the tank; means for constraining the top stretch of the conveyor element to' travel directly adjacent to the inside surfaces of said bottom and end walls so" that the scraper has one" edge engaged with said wall surfaces; means for rotating one of said sprocket means to" effect scraping action of i the scraper along the bottom of the tank and upwardly over one end wall thereof to carry labels and other materials such as broken bottle's" out of the tank; and a wire'mesh element detachably'securable' to said scraper forre'm'ow' ing floatingobjects such as labels from theinterior of the tank" during travel of the conveyor element through the tank.
5; In a bottle washer of the" character de= scribed an elongated soak'er tank having a botton'r wail' toward which labels and broken bottles settle during the washing process, and having an end wall extending upwardly therefrom; a conveyor elei'nen't' including" a pair of spaced apart endless chains encircling said walls at each side of the tank, and meshing carried by and extending between the chains to provide aflexible perforate false fio'or' for the tank substantially equal in" Width to'tirebottoin wall of the tank:
and' means for driving" said conveyor element to" exterior of: the tank and thereby eifect the removal of labels and broken bottles deposited on the conveyor element by the washing process from the tank.
6E In a bottle washer of the character described: an elongatedsoaker tank having a bot"- t'om wall toward which" labels and broken bottles settle during the washing process, and having an end wall extending upwardly therefrom a" conveyor element including a pair of spaced apart endless chains encircling said walls at each side of the tank, and meshing carried by and extending between the chains to provide a flexible perforate false floor for the tank substantially equal in width to the bottom wall of the tank; means for driving said conveyor element to cause the same to traverse the length of the tank including sprockets over which the endless chains are trained, one pair of sprockets being positioned adjacent to the top edge of said end wall and above the stretch of the conveyor element in th tank to conduct said stretch upwardly over the top edge'of said end wall to the exterior of the tank and thereby efiect the removal of labels and broken bottles deposited on the conveyor by the washing process from the tank; and means for directing a spray of liquid at the conveyor meshing" exteriorly of the tank for dislodging labels and like materials which may adhere to the meshing of the conveyor 10 element.-