|Publication number||US2647384 A|
|Publication date||Aug 4, 1953|
|Filing date||Mar 7, 1950|
|Priority date||Mar 7, 1950|
|Publication number||US 2647384 A, US 2647384A, US-A-2647384, US2647384 A, US2647384A|
|Original Assignee||Us Hoffman Machinery Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (16), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Aug. 4, 1953 A. ERLANG ER DISTRIBUTION OF SUPPLIES T0 LAUNDRY WASHERS Filed March '7, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Arnold 3 v a Yr lg- 53 A. ERLA'NGER 2,547,334
DISTRIBUTION OF SUPPLIES T0 LAUNDRY WASHERS Filed March 7. v1350 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 L Arnold Erlaryer 4 Q] Q IATTORN Patented Aug. 4, 1953 DISTRIBUTION or SUPPLIES T LAUNDRY .WASHERS Arnold Erlanger, Elizabeth, N. J., assignor to United States Hofiman Machinery Corporation, New York, N. Y.,- a corporation of Delaware Application March 7, 1950, Serial No. 148,139
This invention relates to a system of supply and distribution of soap solutions and other ingradients to washing machines such as are used in commercial laundries and like establishments, especially Where a battery comprising a plurality of such machines is employed. c v For their satisfactory functioning such ma: chines require that several independent operations be performed in proper sequence and timed -rela-- tion. Thus, after the soiled clothes are placed in the washer, a predetermined quantity of water at suitable temperature is introduced therein, the usual dump valve being closed. Power isthen applied to drive the clothes container within the washer drum, or, if the Washer be of the shellless type the drier itself, and the required quantity of soap solution, is supplied. After the sudsing operation is finshed, the dirty soapy water is drained by opening the dump valve. The sudsing operation may be repeated with different selected amounts of water and soap solution. After the final washing operation it is usual, particu larly when washing white materials, to employ a bleaching bath consisting of hot-water to which a suitable quantity of a bleaching agent has been added, and after the bleaching treatment, to rinse the clothes or other articles being treated with several successive baths of fresh water at desired temperatures. Then usually follows a sour treatment, designed to complete this bleaching process. A final rinse, after the fsouri treatment, removes residual chemicals and at this time a desired quantity of bluing may be added to improve the whiteness of the washed clothes. The washer drive is then stopped, the fluid dumped, and the washed, bleached and blued articles removed from the clothes container. 7
These several operations are now generally carried out automatically by master control mechanisms whereby a batch-of material tobe Washed is treated for a given length of time during which it is subjected, as stated above, to the action of Water and various detergent supplies, such as soap, soda, bleach, sour, and blue, it being necessary during the cycleof operations first to admit to and then withdraw from the container in their proper order,the water and the various detergent materials, the goods beingsubjected tothe action of thevarious materials, or mixtures thereof, for different periods of time.
As an example of automatic control devices adapted for the performance of complete cyclic operation of individual washing machines .in a laundry establishment; including the automatic coordinate control and operationof the various devices associated with'each such washing machine, in the performance of a complete Washing operation, reference may be had to an application for patent, Serial Number 566,177, filed by HubertQEllis, now patented No.*2,50 4,013, April Claims. (01. 68-17) i 2 11, 1950, for an invention including the use of a perforated chart or tracker sheet, as a primary or master-station device for controlling fluid. The sheet as disclosed in said application has openings adapted to register v/Tithtracker bar passages, so that when the openingsand passages are registered, a device in communication with a particular tracker bar passage' is put-in operation, the control device thus acting as a coordinator and timer. A feature of the said Ellis invention relates to the construction and operation of a control unit, as a box or chamber, and its use as a primary control station of small size adapted to be pla'ced'on a machine to be controlled, or to be remotely placed, to control any number of separate devices simultaneously or in coordinated and timed sequence. This control unit provided means by which pressure connections could be made with whatever devices were to be controlled. The unit provided a pres sure chamber as a reservoirrfor fluid, for entry through the registered openings of a tracker bar and sheet. The tracker sheet was initially started in its traverse of the tracker bar by manual means and could be stopped at any time by the operator. However, during its operation the bar and tracker sheet controlled all desirably automatic functions of the washing machine. The devices and instrumentalities at the washing machine were actuated by relatively high pressure air which was controlled in its application by air at low pressure containedwithin the said pressure chamber of the control unit."
Among other devices under the control of the control unit, there might be mentioned, means for the automatic remote and/or selective control of the delivery of variableamounts of water or chemical fluid, means for automatically and/or selectively setting a water temperature-regulating device and for re-setting the same, means to deliver at the-proper time exact amounts of soap solution, bleach and sour solutions and blue solutions when desired. The starting and stopping of the rotation of the washer and the rate of traverse of the tracker sheet could also be under the control of the master control unit- The present invention preferably employs for the cyclic distribution of supplies to the washer a high-low pressure pneumatic system similar to that described and has for its object the supply of the various detergent materials for a long period of time, as for a days run in a laundry,
from tanks or other containers of soap solution,
and/or other materials of sizes capable of containing sufiicient quantities of the materials to supply for the desired period of time one or more of a plurality of washing machines, which latter may be of different sizes and types.
Other objects will be in part obvious and in part pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the construction and arrangement of parts hereinafter described and claimed.
In the drawings, which represent one suitable embodiment of the invention:
Fig. 1 shows diagrammatically and in part perspective a system of apparatus with supply and control lines adapted to perform the objects of the present invention, including means for the preparation of large quantities of supplies and their controlled distribution to one or more washing machines constituting a battery of washers;
Fig. 2 shows in plan the diagrammaticlayout of a battery or plurality of Washing machines; each of which is connected to a plurality of central supply tanks for soap and other ingredients, as'in Fig. 1, with the valves and connect o s f the pneumatic control system omitted to avoid confusion.
Referrin to the drawings It indicates a soap and alkali container, comprising a make-up or mixing tank section it and astock tank section l4, in which is prepared and from which is distributed a day's supply of soap solution. A partition I3 separates the two tank sections, as indicated in Fig. 1. Hot and cold water connections [5 and it having hand-operated valves H and 18 lead into the make-up tank 92. A steam pipe 28 supplies steam to tank section 22 by a branch pipe 2| provided with hand valve 22 and a fluid mixing device or percolator 2d. The latter com prises a perforated cylinder 23 of suitable size having a discharge pipe 25 leading to the upper region of tank section it and entered at its other end by steam pipe 2! which terminates in a reducing nozzle l9. Valved tank discharge pipes 25 and 2! lead from the lower portions of tanks l2 and it and connect with a suction Pipe 28 leading to a centrifugal or other fluid pum 30. A portion of pipe 23 in advance of connection 26 is connected to any suitable hot water supply line and is valved, as at 29. A discharge pipe line 3! from pump 36 is disposed to supply stock. soap solution to any or allof the wash ng machines connected in the supply system but, as of itself, continues on as a return pipe by means of which the pumped soap solution constantly circulates, while the pump is in operation, through either or both of the sections of the tank I G. Valvecl branches 32 and 33 or the return pipe lead respectively into the upper portion of tank sections 12 and M, This line 3! may carry a pressure gauge at and a loaded pressure relief valve 35 adapted at all times to maintain a predetermined degree of pressure in the soap supply line to the various washers. The steam connection 28 to tank section or stock tank I4 is controlled, in operation, by a thermostatic valve 3% connecting with a bulb 3i disposed within the tank. From the valve 36 the steam pipe leads to a heating coil 26' which has an outlet pipe leading into a steam trap 38. This trap is connected by conduit to to a suitable sewer, not
shown, and also connects with valved drain pipes 39 and ii leading respectively from the bottom of tank sections l2 and i l. Overflow pipes 42 and 33 also lead to the sewer connection 49.
In Fig. 1 a connection to pipe 3! is shown which leads soap solution to a washing machine one end only of the washer being shown. Adjacent the said end of the washer and usually mounted within or upon an end portion of Washer housing is an enclosed hopper or funnel 5| adapted to receive and transmit to the interior of the washer soap solution and/or other supother supply from the funnel into the washer.
A fluid controlled valve 5% in the pipe to is connected for operation in a compressed air or other pressure fluid line 55, which leads from a control unit 56 to which fluid is brought by a pressure fluid supply pipe 51. The pressure fluid is controlled for admission to pipe 55 by the automatic operation of suitable means contained within the control unit 56, to render operable valve 5 3 for the timely admission of steam to the supply pipe 52.
The supplies funnel 5! is open at its top readily to receive soap solution, in predetermined quan titles and at predetermined times, from the soap solution circulating pipe system 283t3l by means of a pipe M connected to the said system as at 45, feeding and return portions of pipe 3! forming two legs of what is substantially a U bend 46 in the said pipe iii. A hand valve ll and an automatically actuated pneumatic valve it are disposed, as shown, in pipe to, the valve 53 being controlled from control unit 56 through an air pipe connection 49.
Other supplies are furnished as required, and as controlled by the said control unit, from several supply tanks, as shown in the drawings. These tanks comprise a tank 60 containing a days supply of bleach, a tank 6| having within a days supply of sour and a tank 62 containing a days supply of bluing. Each of these smaller supply tanks has a lockable, removable lid, as lids 63, 64 and 65, through each of which a valved connection, as 66, 67 and 68, is made with air supply pipe 69, supplied with air from the high pressure pneumatic source reduced to from 8 to 10 p. s. i. by any suitable reducing means as valve '10. After connecting with each of the tanks the pipe 69 terminates in a pressure relief valve H. Each day's supply of laundry washing ingredients may be admitted to the individual tanks in any suitable'manner, as by temporary removal of the lids; and water to mix with the ingredients or to wash out the tanks may be had from any water connection, as 12, to which a hose may be connected if desired.
Each of these supply tanks is equipped with a valved drain connection, as 13, 14, 5, to the sewer conduit 40. Each is also equipped with a sight glass as T6 and a fluid outlet pipe, as IT, 18, 19, which extends conveniently adjacent to each washing machine. As shown in Fig. 1 these several supply connections comprise pipes 80, 8! and 82 extending between the pipes ll, 18 and 1'9 and housing 83, surrounding the funnel 5|, in the same manner as soap connection 44; and like pipe M each connection is equipped with a manual valve, as 84, 85, 86, and a diaphragm or similar air-operated valve, as 81, 88, 89. Air connections lead compressed air from the control unit 56 to the respective valves, as shown. Thus at the required time and for a predetermined period of time during the operation of washer 5! under cyclic control by the unit 56, each laundry supply will be furnished in exact quantity to the washer supply funnel 5| by timed automatic operation of the control unit 56.
With reference to the latter it may be explained here that each control unit is furnished with a drive for passing a perforated sheet .or
chart across a tracker'bar, the openings of which are connected with devices for admitting compressed air to the several automatically operated valves 48, 54, 81, 88, 89 and also to a similar valve 90 disposed in a water line 9| leading through said valve to a spray nozzle 92 disposed above the funnel 5|, within the housing 83.
The control unit 56 and its use as a means to control the automatic supply valves is not specifically claimed in this application as, per se, it is generally similar to the tracker control unit described and claimed in the Elli application above mentioned. And, as in the said application, the control extends to r'nany other functional devices, as dump valve, hot and cold water control to washer, washer drive, etc.
With respect to the discharge of laundry ingredients from tanks 60, SI and 62 it will be readily understood that the supply in each tank is at all times under the pressure of the air admitted above the liquid within the tanks as supplied under the pressure control of air pressure reducing valve 10 and pressure relief valve II. This pressure will force each laundry agent into the funnel 5| in its turn. As each supply pipe is open to discharge into the funnel for a predetermined length of time, through a pipe having an outlet of known cross sectional area and at a known pressure, the quantity of each supply discharged into the funnel will be measured with great exactitude, and will not vary unless the period of supply or the pressure is altered.
With respect to the pipes for discharging bleach, sour and blue into the funnel 51, it is to be noted that each is provided with a nozzle fitting, as 93, which restricts the opening to substantially less size than the tubing constituting the supply connections 80, BI and 82. This is necessary to attain satisfactory control of the supplies other than soap, as the exactitude of their measurement must be greater than with soap.
As the description so far relates more particularly to the disclosure of Fig. 1 and thus to the distribution of supplies to the washer 50, reference may be had to Fig. 2, which shows in plan view the soap tank l0, and bleach, sour and blue tanks 60, BI and 62, each connected (as in Fig. l), to a plurality of washers, indicated by reference numerals 2, 4, 6, 1. The washers may be of one kind or of a variety of kinds or types, and each is connected with the distribution system in the same manner as the washer 50 in Fig. 1. In this figure however the air connections from the individual control units to the several washers have been omitted for the sake of clarity, althoughthe control units 56 are indicated in operative relation to each and every washer, and the funnel housing 83 is also indicated in operative relation to each washer. Otherwise, pipes. etc. of the system are the same as in Fig. 1, with some omissions, and have been given the same reference characters.
The description of the operation of the system, which now follows, is more particularly directed to the single washer layout shown in Fig. 1, for it is thought that a detailed discussion of the other washing machines belonging to a battery, as disclosed in Fig. 2, will not be necessary, and it is to be understood that Where reference is now made to the supply pipes for the different laundry supplies, that such pipes are to be considered as extending to everyone of the washers indicated in Fig. 2, and that in the case of the soap solution system the discharge pipe from the soaptank will be understood to extend to each washer'included in the system and that the return pipe to the soap tank is also common to the several washers.
To carry out a days operation of the plant, after the soap and other supply tanks have been prepared, it will be understood from what has been said above that then it is only necessary to start and stop the automatic cyclic operation'of each or any washer, at any time throughout the day to provide the various supplies in proper quantity to such washer or washers in accordance with the chart controlling the cyclic operation of each such machine.
In the morning the plant operators first job is to prepare the several supply tanks. In the case of supplies other than soap this simply means seeing that the tanks are filled to the required level with the appropriate supply material and to establish the air pressure above the liquid in each tank. From that point on, each supply will be delivered in measured quantity to the supply funnel of each machine as desired and it is to be noted that after each supply enters a particular hopper, it is automatically injected into the washer by operation of valve 54, in steam pipe 53, the valve in each Water pipe 9| being automatically operated immediately thereafter to spray water into the hopper completely to remove the last supply used before the reception of the next in the order of charted operation. At the end of the day the supply tanks, other than soap, may be drained'and cleaned by means of the drain valves 13, 14, 15 and the sewer connection 40, and are thus made clean for the reception of the next days supply.
In the case of soap the procedure issomewhat different for it must be remembered that the soap tank is included in a closed circuit with the supply piping to all of the washers to be supplied therefrom.
The operators first mornin duty with respect to the soap solution is to see that valve in pipe 33 to stock tank [4 is closed and valve 32' in return pipe 32 to make up tank I2 is open. A measured quantity of soap and alkali is then admitted to tank l2 in any desired manner and mixed with the desired amount of hot water, from pipe I5, within the makeup tank and is cooked by steam from pipe 20 which passes through the percolator 24. This cooking continues until the soap is thoroughly in solution and has reached the required degree of temperature (-200), in accordance with the laundry standard employed.
Then the next step comprises starting the pump 33 after opening valve 26' in pipe 26, closing valve 21 in pipe 21, opening valve 33' in pipe 33 and closing valve 32'. The soap solution is thus pumped from the makeup tank through the piping 28, 3|, 33 into the stock tank l4, in which tank the solution is maintained at a predetermined temperature by means of the thermostatically controlled steam -coil 20, the discharge from which is trapped at 38 before passing to the sewer pipe 40. Thereafter the soap solution circulates through the closed circuit comprising reopened valve 21, pipe 28, pump 30, pipe 3|, return pipe 33 and stock tank l4. The pressure in this closed system is maintained at any desired point by the loaded regulating valve 35 and is indicated upon gauge 34. As will be understood from the above, soap solution is discharged from the stock tank I in closely controlled quantities and at such times as the control unit of any machine determines, or whenever an automatic soap valve- 48 is operated. For convenience hand-controlled valves have been shown in addition to the pneumatic valves in the various supply pipes. This however is a matter of choice and may be omitted. It will be remembered that the stock tank is made of suflicient size to hold a volume of stock solution sufficient for a whole days operation of all the machines connected in the automatic system. The temperature of the stock solution may be held at about 140 F. The pressure in the recirculating soap line is maintained at about 15 lbs. The compressed air source may be at about 75 lbs. and the supply to the pressurized supply tanks at about 8 lbs. Hot and cold water, as will be understood, will be supplied as required to any washing machine of the battery under the control of any known type of mixing valve, not shown in the drawings, and such mixing valve may also be under the control or" the appropriate control unit 56.
At the end of the day, or other washing period, the valves in the soap circulation line are set to empty the stock tank and return the remainder of the solution into the make-up tank, where it may be stored for admixture with a fresh portion made up in the make-up tank the next day. The tanks l2 and I4 may be drained, after being pumped out, by means of the drain pipes 33 and ii to the sewer pipe G0, and may be flushed at such periods with clean water from the hose connection '12 or other source, not indicated.
of the above invention and as many changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter hereinafter set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.
1. In a supplies system for laundry washing machines, in combination, a plurality of washers each having a control unit, a supply tank to contain washing solution, the quantity of said solution being sufiicient for the complete operation for a day or other desired period of any one or more of said washers, a supply receptacle for each washer adapted to receive successively "from said tanks separate charges of the various solutions sufficient for a single run of said washer, means connecting said supply tank to said receptacles, means to inject the contents of said receptacle into said washers, and means associated individually with each of said connecting means and with the related injecting means and cooperatively associated with the related control unit to effect delivery successively and selectively to said receptacle and washer a charge of said supply.
2. In a supplies system for laundry washing machines, in combination, a plurality of washers each having a control unit, a supply tank to contain washing solution, the quantity of said solution being sufiicient for the complete operation for a day or other desired period of anyone or more of said washers, a supply receptacle for each washer adapted to receive from said tank separate charges of the said solution sufiicient for a single run of said washer, means connecting said supply tank to said receptacle, means to inject the contents of said receptacle into said washer, means associated individually with each of said connecting means and with the related injecting means and cooperatively associated with the related control unit to efiect delivery to said receptacle and washer a charge of said supply, and means operatively associated with said related control unit and automatically operative thereby to supply a flush-out charge of water to said receptacle after the injection of each charge of said solution.
3. In a supplies system for laundry washing machines, in combination, a plurality of washing machines each provided with a control unit for cyclic operation thereof, a Wash solution supply tank adapted to contain a quantity of said solution sufiicient for the operation for a day or other period of time of any or all of said washers, a supply receptacle for each washer adapted to receive from said supply tank a charge of said supply sufficient for a single run of said washer, means connecting said supply tank to said receptacle, injecting means for transferring the contents of said receptacle to said washer, means for supplying flush-out water to said receptacle and means associated with said connecting means and with said injecting means and cooperative with said control unit to deliver successively to said receptacle and washer a charge of said supply and immediately thereafter a charge of flush-out water.
i. In a supplies system for laundry washers, in combination, a tank comprising a central source of supply of a washing agent in solution, a plurality of washers disposed in operative relation to said source, a constantly supplied conduit connected to said source and having independent supply connections with each of said washers and comprising a normally closed circuit beginning and ending in the supply tank and means for producing constant circulation of said washing agent through said circuit; and a plurality of control units each cooperatively associated with the supply connection to a certain one of said washers, whereby said source may be rendered effective to deliver separately predetermined amounts of said solution to one or more of said washers as desired.
5. A system as described in claim 1 in which said supply tank is divided into a mixing chamber and a stock chamber respectively for first preparing and then holding a supply of said agent sufficient for a long period of operation of said washing machines, means connecting each chamber in said circulation circuit, and manually operated means in each said connecting means, whereby either chamber may be put in or taken out of the said circulation circuit.
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