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Publication numberUS2926675 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 1, 1960
Filing dateApr 18, 1956
Priority dateApr 18, 1956
Publication numberUS 2926675 A, US 2926675A, US-A-2926675, US2926675 A, US2926675A
InventorsEvans Dewey M
Original AssigneeAjem Lab Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cradle apparatus for power washing equipment
US 2926675 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1, 1960 D. M. EVANS CRADLE APPARATUS FOR POWER WASHING EQUIPMENT Filed April 18, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ,.'I::;;E%

INVENTOR DE WE Y M EVA/V5 ATTORNEYS "HUG u A 1 .&

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March 1, 1960 D. M. EVANS 2,926,675

CRADLE APPARATUS FOR POWER WASHING EQUIPMENT Filed April 18, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent CRADLE APPARATUS FOR POWER WASHING EQUIPMENT Dewey M. Evans, Plymouth, Mich., assignor to Ajem Laboratories, Inc., Livonia, Mich., a corporation of Michigan The present invention relates to improved cradle apparatus for use in power washing equipment adapted for industrial applications for cleaning various manufactured articles. This invention provides flexibility in the use of power washing equipment and advantageously enables a single power washing machine to handle a variety of shapes and sizes of articles to be cleaned. This invention is described as embodied in a machine for washing both the outside and the inside of fabricated metal parts or assemblies and various manufactured articles under the impact of high pressure jets of cleaning liquid; The illustrative embodiment of this invention described herein is particularly well-suited for the automotive industry and similar heavy equipment mass-production industries wherein heavy complicated metal parts are fabricated. The improved cradle apparatus described herein is adapted to receive automobile engine blocks of different shapes and sizes and in different stages of assembly. The cradle turns them over into an inverted position for efiicient internal and external Washing and flushing and then automatically returns the engine blocks to their initial positions.

It is an object of the present invention to provide improved cradle apparatus for use in power washing equipment adapted for handling a number of different sizes and/or shapes of manufactured articles with little or no change required in the cradle assembly itself.

In many mass-producing type industrial applications involving the fabrication of complicated machine parts and assemblies, there has been amarked trend toward the adaptation and use of automatic washing equipment at one or more points in the production schedule to remove the various soil materials and foreign particles which accumulate on the manufactured article during the previous manufacturing steps. These soil materials often include such things as foundry sand, metal chips and filings, greases, cutting oils, and even coolant material and also various other dirt and dust particles. They must be thoroughly removed from the manufactured article before it can be assembled and operated.

For example, in high precision modern machinery, such as an automobile engine, the manufactured parts are held to very close tolerances and operate at extremely high pressure speeds so that the presence of only a slight amountof foreign substances quickly causes severe damage' as a result of scouring and corrosive action when the engine is assembled and run. The manufacturers of such equipment are insisting upon power washing machines which will quickly and efiiciently remove soil materialsfrom the outsides and insides of the articles being cleaned. The present invention is advantageous in enabling a single power washing machine to handle a number of different sizes of automobile engine blocks and to handle the same block at different stages in its assembly. Thus, a single machine can perform the work of several different machinm. This has the advantage of reducing the capital expenditures required to set up an automobile engine assembly line, or the like, and

provides flexibility in the operation of the line.

2,926,675 Patented Mar. 1, 1969 The automobile engine blocks to be cleaned are supported in inverted position on a track in a power washing machine. These blocks are intermittently advanced along the track from position to position within the washing machine wherein they are subjected to high pressure jets of cleaning liquid impinging on the outside and inside surfaces of the blocks at various angles in different positions assuring the most effective cleaning action. In this machine, the automobile engine blocks pass in succession through a roll-over washing stage where high pressure sprays and streams of washing liquid are directed on them while they are revolved completely over around a horizontal axis back and forth several times. Then the blocks pass through an internal flushing stage where they are turned from their initial inverted position into an upright position by means of specialautomatic 'cradle apparatus. Then, their various internal passages, for example, such as the oil passages and the passages for the hydraulic valve lift mechanisms, are directly and forcefully flushed out by means of mandrels inserted lengthwise into the engine blocks through the crankshaft and camshaft bearing openings. Jet forming orifices in the inserted mandrels are precisely aligned with these internal passages, and very high pressure jets of cleaning solution from these orifices then flush out these internal passages.

; In order to support the engine blocks and carry them up and over into position for the mandrel cleaning operation, a special automatic cradle apparatus is used. This cradle apparatus is supported from a main shaft extending parallel to the track carrying the engine blocks through the washing machine. 1

Among the advantages of the improved cradle apparatus described in this application, are those resulting from the fact that it is adapted for use with a wide variety of shapes and sizes of engine'bloclks and operates with blocks in different stages of assembly. This improved cradle automatically accommodates itself to these differences, and holds each block securely in position while it is being turned over and back again.

Among the advantages of this cradle assembly are those resulting from the fact that it provides flexibility in manufacturing, reducing the time necessary for changing over an assembly line from one type of automobile engine'to another, for example, for making a number of different models of different horsepower. The improved cradle can handle the same engine block two or three times at different stages in its assembly. For example, it is extremely advantageous to wash out the engine block before the main crankshaft bearing caps are assembled onto the block and to wash the block again after this assembly has been made.

The various aspects, features, objects and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood from a consideration of the following description in conjunction with the accompanying two sheets of drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an axial sectional view showing the improved cradle assembly at the left in its initial'position and in dotted lines at the right in its inverted position;

Figure 2 is a top view looking down on the cradle assembly in its left position in Figure 1 taken along the line 2-2 in Figure 1;

Figures 3 and 4 are enlarged views showing details of automatic swingable locking arms in the improved cradle apparatus;

Figures 5 and 6 are a top view and elevational view, respectively, of the swingable locking arm; and

Figure 7 is an enlarged sectional view of a spring actuated support in the improved cradle apparatus.

As illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, automobile engine blocks of various sizes and shapes and in various stages of assembly, as indicated by dotted and .dashed lines at fdire'ction of the arrow '58 to its initial position.

. 3' 10, 11, 12, 14, and are automatically. handled .by the improved cradle apparatus 17 shown. These blocks, for example, are generally of the V or so-called Y configuration and are intermittently transferred along main tracks 16 and 18, (FigureZ) extending throughout the length of the washing machine... As shown, the blocks are carried on the main tracks 16 and 18 in inverted positions, that is, with the banks of cylinders extending downward- 1y. However, it is to beunderstood that in various other machines, depending upon the particular manufacturing operations, the articles to be washed may be carried in their upright positions. The main tracks are interrupted at 20,22, 24, and 26, respectively. These main tracks are cut off on a diagonal, and short track segments 28 and 29 ar'e adapted to be positioned between these diagonal cuts with a slight amount of clearance at each end. As shown in Figure 1, the track segment 28 is supported by an angle bracket 36 so as to extend between the respective extreme outer arms 30 of the generally 0- shaped cradle frame members 32 and 34. The bracket 36 has one leg secured to the inner faces of the arms 38 of the frame members 32 and the other leg projecting across toward the opposed arms 31 of these frame members 32 and 34. Similarly, the track segment 29 is carried by an angle bracket.38 so as to extend between the ends of the arms 31. These track segments 28 and 29 are similarly cut off at an angle so as to match with the adjacent ends of the main tracks 16 and 18, effectively forming extensions of these tracks when the cradle members 32 and 34 are in their initial position at the left in Figure 1. Extending between the frame members 32 and 34 is a main brace 39 formed by a large diameter pipe rigidly welded in position between these members.

In operation, the engine blocks 18, 11, 12, 14, or 15,

as the case may be, are advanced in succession along the tracks16 and 18 inthe direction of the arrow 40. These blocks are loaded one at a time into the cradle through the C-shaped opening between the arms 30 and .31. In order to slide the blocks along the tracks '16 and 18 and to load them into the cradle, a transfer mechanism ,(not shown) is located below'and generally between the tracks. This transfer mechanism includes block-engaging dogs which extend up between the tracks so as to engage the rear ends of the blocks as they sit .on the tracks. These dogs aremoved forward by the transfer mechanism an appropriate distance in the direction of the arrow 40 fsoas to advance all of the blocks the desired distance 'ta'long the tracks. Then the dogs disengage from the blocks and are returned to their initial positions where they each engage the next successive block. As will be understood from a study of Figure 1, thespace between the tracks 16 and 18 and also between the track segments 28 and 29 provides clearance for the transfer dogs to come up and engage the engine blocks in advancing them along the tracks and in loading them onto the cradle 'assembly as indicated by the arrow 40 and later in unloading them from the cradle assembly in the direction of the arrow 42. Then the next successive block on the tracks is loaded'into the cradle, an'd'so forth.

The frame members 32 and 34 are parallel and rigidly secured to a main'shaft 44, which is rotatably supported in a pair of main bearings 46 and 48 carried on supports 50 and 52, respectively. An extension portion 54 of the 'main shaft 44 is secured to a suitable source of torque,

Tindicated schematically in block form as a torque motor 55 having sufficient force to swing the cradle assembly up over the main shaft44 as indicated by the arrow 56 into the inverted position at the right in Figure 1. Then later on the torque motor swings it back again in the This torque is supplied by as'uitable hydraulictorque' motor ;'of=th'e types'commercially available,forexample, such as a single vane hydromotor. Stops 59 "on'the ends of the *frame members 32ar'1d34 rest'onsuitable'abutments 68 "when the cradle is'inve'rted.

Securing the frame members 32 34 to the-shaft 44 are a pair of semi-circular brackets 61 and 62 respectively. To assure that the cradle assembly is rigidly turned by the shaft 44, a pair of lever arms 64 and 66 are welded to the shaft adjacent to the positions of the straps 6t) and 62 and are bolted to the frame members 32 and 34 by the bolts 68.

When the cradle is in its inverted position at the right in Figure 1, the engine block is upright and in position for suitable cleaning or drying operations to be performed quickly and efficiently. This cleaning operation is carried out by precisely positioned jets which direct high pressure streams of cleaning fluid at and into the parts of the block to be cleaned. In certain instances as an alternative or supplemental arrangement to flush out the passages in the blocks, mandrels (not shown) are inserted into them through the crankshaft and cam shaft bearing openings 69 and 70, respectively.

In order, advantageously, to accommodate various sizes and shapes of engine blocks such as those indicated at 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15, the C-shaped frame members 32 and 34 have an extensive vertical opening 71 providing a higher clearance therein. As shown near the center at the left in Figure l, the three various types of blocks 10, 12 and 14 do not yet have their bearing caps assembled onto them. These blocks have different shapes, but they all have flatbottorn surfaces 10, 12 and 14' which are approximately in line with the axisof the crankshaft opening 69.

In order to engage these fiat bottom surfaces 10', 12' and 14' of the blocks, four swingable locking arms 72, 74, 76, and 78, are mounted by brackets 82, 84, 86, and 88, respectively on the arms 30 and 31 of the frame members 32 and 34, on opposite sides'of the opening 71. These swingable locking arms are mounted at such height that in their extended positions they just clear the surfaces '10, '12, and 14'. -When the cradle is inverted these locking arms 72, 74, 76, and 78 rigidly support the blocks in their proper positions in the cradle 17. When ablock with an appendage, such as a clutch housing, already assembled thereon, is being loadedinto the cradle 17, the clutch housing temporarily pushes these swingable lock- 'ing'arms aside to allow the clutch housing to pass between them. These arms are then returned toward their initial inner positions by means of springs explained below.

After the clutch housing passes, each arm swings in and engages over thepan rail or other surface suitable for supporting the block and clutch housing when the cradle "is inverted. This block and clutch housing assembly is thus accurately supported in the desired position in the cradle by means of these spring-returned arms as the cradeis 'swung up and over into an inverted position whichis 180 reversed from its initial position and then swung back again.

Betweenthe'frame members 32 and 34 extends a fiat brace 'centrally located with respect to the blocks as they are supported in the cradle, which may be used in certain instances for auxiliary support.

The four swingable locking arms 72, 74, 76, and 78 ar identical except that the'arms 72 and 76 are at, the left of'the cradle opening and adapted to be swung back to the left, while the arms 74 and 78 swing back to the right.

The construction of the arm 74 is shown in detail in Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6. This arm is welded to a collar 92 which houses asleeve bearing 94 that pivots on a bolt 96 extending between both sides of the U-shaped compression spring=98 is mounted on along sliding bolt [100. The threaded. endof this sliding'bolt is screwed-into 'a-swivel block'102 having a shank 104 pivoted in a hole 105,. about'mid-way along the'arm 74. When the arm 72' isswung back, the other-end of the bo t 0 s cst ough a e r g block '108 havin -a an)... A

shank 110 pivoted in-ahole in 1 a spring mounting .bar 106 which extends between the sides of the arms 31. The rear end of this spring mounting bar extends back behind the frame member 34 so as to carry the corresponding bearing block 108 for the arm 78. A similar spring mounting bar 107 extends between the arms 30 and carries the corresponding sliding bolt bearing blocks 108 for the arms 72 and 76.

When the types of blocks having the small bearing caps 15 are loaded into the cradle 17, this small bearing cap passes between the free ends of the arms 72 and 74 as the block is loaded. Thus, these arms remain in their extended positions ready tosupport the block as the cradle is swung up and over. i l

In order to aid in centering the blocks in the cradle 17, a pair of spring loaded guide bars 112 and 114 extend between the respective inner surfaces of the arms 30 and 31 in position to engage underneath the head surfaces of the two banks of cylinders. The front ends of these guide bars are bent down at about a 30 angle ahead of the frame member 32 to facilitate the motion of the blocks onto these guide bars. At each end these guide bars are fastened to movable plates 116 (see Figure 7) having pins 118 extending down into sleeves 120 secured by brackets 122 to the respective frame members 32 and 34. A compression spring 124 surrounds the sleeve 120 and thrusts up against the plate 116 so as to receive part of the weight of the engine blocks and help to hold them in position in the cradle. A transverse pin 126 projecting into a lon: gitudinal slot in the sleeve 120, as shown, retains this spring assembly in position.

As used herein the term inverted position" is intended to mean a position in which the cradle and articles in the cradle are turned over approximately 180' from their initial position, regardless of the fact that the articles may initially be upside down with respect to their normal position in use.

Thus, this improved cradle apparatus readily accommodates a wide variety of automobile engine blocks and automatically handles each one in succession.

From the foregoing description it will be understood that the improved cradle apparatus of the present invention is well adapted to provide the many advantages discussed above, and that this improved cradle apparatus can be adapted for a wide variety of industrial washing and cleansing operations suited for use with many different types of manufactured articles and that various changes or modifications may be made therein each as may be best suited to a particular application, and that the scope of the present invention, as defined by the following claims is intended to include such modifications or adaptations limited only by the prior art.

I claim:

1. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer them along a predetermined path through the power washing machine in sequence, improved cradle appara tus for handling various sizes of articles and comprising a main shaft extending generally parallel to the path of said articles, a cradle frame revolvably mounted on said main shaft and being revolvable about said shaft from an initial position into a second position, said cradle frame having a longitudinal opening partially formed by inclined end portions of said frame orientated in converging directions, said opening aligning with said path when said cradle frame is in said initial position and adapted for the loading of the articles into said cradle frame through said opening, torque means arranged to revolve said cradle frame into said second position, and displaceable article-supporting means in said cradle frame in said opening at a predetermined height with respect to said path, whereby the articles are positively supported during the movement of said cradle frame from said initial to said second position and return; and including spring means urging said article- '6 supporting means toward, the" interior of said cradle frame. a n a it 2. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer them along a predetermined path through the power washing machine in sequence, improved cradle apparatus for handling various sizes of articles and comprising a main shaft extending generally parallel to the path of said articles, a cradle frame revolvably mounted on said main shaft and being revolvable about said shaft from an initial position into a second position, said cradle frame having a longitudinal opening partially formed by inclined end portions of said frame orientated in converging directions, said opening aligning with said path when said cradle frame is in said initial position and adapted for the loading of articles into said cradle frame through said opening, torque means arranged to revolve said cradle frame into said second position, and displaceable article-supporting means in said cradle frame in said opening at a predetermined height with respect to said path, whereby the articles are positively supported during the movement of said cradle frame from said initial to said second position and return; said articlesupporting means includes at least one member movably mounted in said cradle frame at a predetermined height and extending at least partially across said opening when said frame is in said initial position, said memberbeing at a greater height than smaller articles for supporting said smaller articles when the cradle frame is inverted, said member being displaceable by larger articles, and said improved cradle apparatus including auxiliary supporting means for supporting the larger articles when said cradle frame is inverted.

3. In a power washing machine wherein the articles to be washed are advanced in sequence along a predetermined path through various stages of washing operations, cradle apparatus for handling articles of various configurations for turning the articles from an initial position on said path into an inverted position while supporting each article in the cradle when it is in its inverted position, the improvement comprising frame means in the cradle apparatus having frame members inclined at their end portions towards each other and defining an opening into which the articles of various configurations are each loaded in sequence, a pair of arms pivotally mounted on the cradle apparatus at either side of the opening when the cradle is in initial position, said arms projecting into said opening and being swingable back out of said opening, and spring means urging the arms into the opening.

4. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer them along a predetermined path through the power washing machine in sequence, improved cradle apparatus for handling articles of various configurations and for turning an article from an initial position into an inverted position while supporting said article in the inverted position and then returning the article to said initial position, said cradle apparatus comprising a rotatable shaft generally parallel with said predetermined path, a pair of substantial C-shaped cradle frames projecting from said shaft, said cradle frames each having a pair of frame arms depending downwardly on either side of said path with the end portions of said arms being inclined inwardly toward said path and partially beneath opposite sides of said path, said cradle frame arms defining a C-shaped chamber aligning with said path when said cradle frame is in said initial position, torque means for rotating said shaft and rocking said cradle frames into an inverted position, load-supporting arms pivotally mounted on said frame arms, and spring means urging each of said load-supporting arms into said chamber.

5. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer a is'reaete' finiaea painnntsngh the apewer wash in'g machine in sequence, improved cradle apparatus as named in claim '4 and includinga plurality of U'-'sl 1aped brackets, "due of said brackets being on each of said frame arms, a'pivot in each bracket each of said load-supporting arms having a dollar at one end carried by one of said pivots, a pair of spring-mounting bars extending between said cradle frames one on each side of said '0- shaped chamber, swivable spring-mounting means on each of said bars for each 'of said arms and compression spring means between each swivably spring-mounting 'rneans and its respective pivoted arm urging each arm toward a position extending into said chamber.

6. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer them along a predetermined 'path through the power washing machine in sequence, improved cradle apparatus as defined in claim t and including article centering means mounted within the C-shaped chamber and on the inwardly inclined end portions of the frame arms.

7. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means to guide the articles and transfer them along a predetermined path through the power iv'as'hing machine in sequence, improved cradle apparatus as defined in claim 4 and including article centering means {mounted within the 'C-shaped chamber and on the inwardly inclined end portions of the frame arms, said means eempnsia g' spins-glowed g'uifle bafirs j i' 'g'ing aid articles npwardly'wh'en sai'd cradle is in said initial ositidna a I t 8. In a power washing machine for washing articles and including means "to Eguid'e the articles and transfer 7 them along a predetermined path through the .power washing machine in =sequenc'e, improved cradle apparatus as defined in claim 4 and including auxiliary article supporting means mounted on said frame at a greater height than said .pivoted load supporting arms when said cradle is in its initial position, said auxiliary means supporting "articles extending beyond and moving said pivoted arms when said cradle is rocked into its second and inverted position.

References Cited in the file of this patent STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4688586 *Feb 24, 1984Aug 25, 1987Bmd Badische Maschinenfabrik Durlach GmbhConveyor apparatus for castings in a cleaning device
Classifications
U.S. Classification134/156, 269/71, 269/254.00R, 134/161, 134/165
International ClassificationB08B3/02
Cooperative ClassificationB08B3/022
European ClassificationB08B3/02B