US 3022791 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A. c. LARSON 3,022,791
Feb. 27, 1962 MOBILE TYPE CLEANING UNIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 10, 1958 J 1 f1$= q I i 13 5- u 25 3| ii 78 30 24 1a 2 INVENTOR. ALVIN CHA RLES LARSON A. C. LARSON MOBILE TYPE CLEANING UNIT Feb. 27, 1962 Filed June 10, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 8 7 2 2 a I O 3 3 r 4 4 w 2 3 O 2 5 E I 9 2 INVENTOR- ALVIN CHARLES LARSON Feb. 27, 1962 MOBILE TYPE CLEANING UNIT Filed June 19, 1958 s sheets-sheet s INVENTOR. ALVIN CHARLES LARSON A. c. LARSON I 3,022,791
United States atent 3,022,791 MOBILE TYPE CLEANING UNIT Alvin Charles Larson, 324 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. Filed June 10, 1958, Ser. No. 741,141 2 Claims. (Cl. 13470) My invention relates to improvements in cleaning devices and more particularly to a device and a process for cleaning food conveying carts, baskets, or the like, such as are used in self-serve retail stores.
It is manifest to anyone familiar with food handling equipment of the general type above referred to, which is manipulated and handled by the public, that due to the variety of commodities conveyed therein, the equipment usually accumulates foreign matter during constant use, and for sanitary reasons it is imperative to clean the workpieces such as carts or baskets periodically.
The principal object of my invention is to provide a cleaning device that, as a unit, may be employed to clean carts, or the like, with a minimum of manual labor.
Another object of my invention is to provide a unit which will apply cleaning solution to the workpieces under pressure, and at a high temperature, rinse and clean the workpieces at a high temperature, remove all excess moisture from the workpieces, and apply warm circulated air to the unit to dry them.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a device of the character described which is continuous in operation, in which the workpieces to be cleaned are mounted at one end, conveyed and automatically released when the operation is completed.
The invention described and claimed herein provides a means of accomplishing the cleaning with a minimum of physical effort or manual labor, except for attaching the carts, or units to a continuous conveyor. The device is designed to utilize the cleaning agent employed, without waste or loss, and is equipped with heaters, pumps, and drying equipment arranged in a manner whereby they may be built into a mobile unit which can be moved, or conveyed, from one establishment to another, the mobile unit being provided with portable drums containing the fuel supply, and being electrically actuated by equipment which may be connected to any source of current supply by means of extension cords.
The entire mobile unit is designed to be compact and serviceable, and may be conveyed from one store to the other for convenience and accessibility of the workpieces to be cleaned, whether they be carts, baskets, trays, or any other food handling equipment.
Other and further objects of my invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the assembled mobile unit, with the roof removed;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-section taken generally along the line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a transverse section of the unit shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic fragmentary cross-section of the heat exchanger, in its relation to the exhaust and air inlets associated with the heating units;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary schematic section of the spray, drain, and tank arrangement;
FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic showing of the heater, tank, spray, and pump arrangement;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary detail section of the rail conveyors, the chain and the sprocket arrangement;
FIGURE 8 is a top view of the parts of FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 is a detail view of the clamp arrangement is being moved about.
used for supporting the hooks for conveying the carts, or the like;
FIGURE 10 is a front view of the hook and FIGURE 11 is a side view of the hook arrangement.
Similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, and referring to FIGURE 1, it will be noted that the invention is applied to the 'body of a trailer-type vehicle indicated at 10. This body has an opening at its rear end 11 and has elevated counters or runways 12 and 12 along opposite sides of the inside of the body 10, and joined at the forward end within a heating chamber 13. This heating chamber 13 has a curved upright partition or wall 14, extending into a straight partition part way along the runway 12 which acts as an inner 'wall for a spray booth 16, which is employed for applying a cleaning liquid adjacent the open end of the trailer, and asecond spray booth 17, which is employed for hot water rinse, adjacent but spaced along the runway 12 from the first spray booth 16.
The runways 12 and 12, as well as the heating chamber 13, have generally parallel guide rails 18 and 18' attached along the upper surfaces thereof, to guide the workpieces, such as carts 19, during the cleaning process. The unit shown is primarily designed for carts such as are used by customers in the self-serve market, but is equally applicable for cleaning baskets, trays, or any other food handling equipment.
The trailer body is supported in a conventional manner on an axle, shown as 22, having wheels 23 and 23' rotatably mounted thereon. Inasmuch as the trailer body may be of any suitable design to accommodate the cleaning equipment, further details thereof need not be de scribed herein.
FIGURE 2 shows a support rail 20 which is suspended from the roof 21 of the trailer body 10, over and along the runways 12 and 12 and around the heating chamber 13. The runway 12 has two drains 24 and 25 beneath the spray booths 16 and 17, respectively, and leading into a pair of tanks 26 and 27, respectively, below said runway. The tank 26 is a reservoir for a cleaning liquid, which is heated by a hot water heater 28, connected to a source of gas supply (not shown). The tank 27 is a reservoir for containing clean hot rinse water, heated by means of the hot water heater 29, also connected to a gas supply (not shown). The heaters 28 and 29 are preferably disposed adjacent the heating chamber 13 and between the runways 12 and 12', leaving a space adjacent the open rear end of the trailer for the operator.
The spray booth 16 is provided with a plurality of spray nozzles 30 along opposite sides, while the spray booth 17 is provided with a plurality of similar spray nozzles 31. The drains 24 and 25 are equipped with strainers 32, as shown in FIGURE 5.
Both the heaters 28 and 29 are connected at their upper end to a manifold, shown as 33 in FIGURE 4, which manifold terminates in a heat exchanger unit having a plurality of tubes 35 extending therethrough. The manifold has an outlet 36 extending through the roof 21 of the trailer. The tubes 35 have a double inlet 37 and 38 extending through the roof 21 of the trailer 10. One inlet 38 may have a damper 38 to control the admission of outside air to pass through the tubes 35 into the heating chamber 13, from where the air may be exhausted by means of a suitable blower or fan (not shown). Thus, dry outside air may enter the heating chamber 13, and heated by the exchanger as it passes through the tubes 35, from which it is directed toward the workpieces for drying the latter.
The tanks v26 and 27 are keep the liquid from excess arrangement;
provided with baifies 39 to movement while the device The batfies 39 have apertures 39' -tank 26 is conveyed through the tube 42 to a strainer 44 by a pump 45 actuated by a motor 46, and is forced through the heater 38 through a tubular member 47, and from the heater 28 through a tube 48 through the spray nozzles 30, from where it will be forced, under pressure, against a workpiece 19 being cleaned as it passes through the spray booth 16. The liquid cleaner is then permitted to drain back to the tank 26 from where it is again circulated. This arrangement eliminates waste of the cleaning agent in the solution.
A similar arrangement for circulating the rinsing water from the tank 37 is provided and shown, as conveyed through a tube 43, through the strainer 49 by the pump 50, operated by a motor 51, and into the heater 29. From the heater 29 the water is forced through the tubular member 52 to the spray nozzles 31 in spray booth 17.
The exhaust from the gas heaters 28 and 29 enter the manifold 33, leading into the heat exchanger 34, in the drying chamber 13, separated from the operators station by an upright wall 14.
A conveyor 61 is of the continuous chain type, driven by a motor 53, actuating a speed reducer unit shown as 54in FIGURE 1, as is more fully illustrated in FIGURES 7 to 11, inclusive. The continuous rail 20 is supported by means of brackets 55, which are attached to the top 21 of the trailer by means of bolts, shown as 56. The brackets 55 are attached to the rail 20 by means of rivets, shown as 55'.
A plurality of hangers 59 are provided in spaced relation along the conveyor 61, each consisting of a flanged roller 57 resting on top of the rail 20 and supported on a shaft 58 which is journalled in the hanger 59, which may be of a U shape and equipped with a downwardly extending arm 60, supporting the conveyor chain 61, attached to each arm 60 as by rivets 62.
The rail 20 follows the curved shape of the guide rails 18 and 18 as seen in FIGURE 1, and obviously the chain 61 must generally follow that same shape as it conveys the hangers 59 along the rail 20. The chain is driven by sprockets 63 mounted on shafts 64 rotatably journalled in bearings 65 mounted on plates 66, which are attached to the top 21 of the trailer unit 10, and supported by bolts 67, as shown in FIGURE 7.
The downwardly extending arms 61 of hangers 59 are equipped with clamps, consisting of two serrated jaws 68 and 68', mounted on the arm 60, by a pin 69, and jaw 68 being fixed by a rivet 70, and the jaw 68' being pivoted, so as to be normally urged into engagement with the other jaw by spring 71. As the bracket 60 is moved along rail 20 by the chain 61, an arcuate tripping projection 68" at the upper end of jaw member 68 will engage a roller 72, rotatably mounted in a bracket 73, riveted at 74 to the rail 20 in suitable position adjacent the end of the guide rails 18, 18, so as to cause the jaw 68' to move into open position as shown by the dotted lines in FIGURE 9. The jaws 68 and 68', when in a closed position are adapted to engage a roller 75 at the top of a suspension member shown as 76 in FIGURES 10 and 11. This suspension member has two laterally spaced hook members 77 arranged to engage the handle portion of the cart 19. Thus, when the tripping projection of the jaw 68' contacts roller 72, it will cause the roller 75 to drop out of engagement with the jaws 68 and 68, thereby releasing the cart.
Obviously, any equivalent type of suspension or hook construction may be employed to accommodate any workpiece that is being processed, and in suitable cases, the workpiece itself may be engaged directly by the jaws 68 and 68.
From the above description it will be manifest that the entire cleaning unit may be mounted in the trailer body for transportation from one place to another. Since all the parts are arranged inthe proper sequence, it becomes a self-contained unit for the cleaning of food carts, trays, or the like, used for food handling in the retail channel.
The carts or the like are initially placed on the runway 12 so that the casters or rollers of the carts will engage the guides 18 and '18. The upper portion of the cart 19 is suitably suspended by the hanger 59 on the rail 20. As the conveyor chain is moved by the motor 53, the cart is progressed along the runway 12 towards the spray booth 16, having spray nozzles 30 on opposite sides. As the cart moves between the spray jets or nozzles, the cleaning liquid within the tank 26, which is under pressure due to the pump 45, is forced against the cart. When the unit or cart reaches the space between the spray booth 16 and 17, it will be noted in FIGURE 5 that there are a group of transverse serrations or ribs 78, mounted on the top of the runway 12, which will be engaged by the casters of the cart so as to jar off the drops of excess cleaning liquid from the cart 19. The cart then enters the spray booth 17, which has hot water forced from the tank 27 by means of the pump 50, onto the cart to rinse off the remainder of the cleaning liquid. The cleaning liquid in the spray booth 16 will drain back to the tank 26 to be used over again, and the hot water in the spray booth 17 will drain back into the tank 27, to be used over again. When the cart leaves the spray booth 17 it will again contact serrations 78, as shown in FIGURE 5, thereby removing surplus drops of water that adhere to the cart 19 after the rinsing operation. The cart will then be passed through the heating chamber 13, where it will be caused to dry due to the air circulation from the heat exchanger 34.
As the carts reach the runway 12' on the opposite side of the enclosure, they will be automatically released by tripping the jaw 68', and will be caused to engage or nest one against another on runway 12' from where they can be removed from the open end of the unit.
Any foreign material removed from the carts during the cleaning or rinsing operation will be removed by the filter units 32 and 44, 49, which will be cleaned from time to time as necessary.
Although I have shown and described a certain embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. In a cleaning apparatus for food conveying containers or the like, a runway having guiding means therealong, overhead conveyor means for moving workpieces along said runway and having a plurality of connecting means for detachable engagement with workpieces for moving the latter along said runway, a spray booth along said runway having nozzles for directing liquid cleaning fluid onto the sides and top of said workpieces as they are moved through said spray booth, and transversely disposed serrations on said runway between said spray booth and a drying means, said serrations being adapted for engagement by said workpieces to shake off excess cleaning fluid from the latter, said drying means being disposed on said runway adjacent the outlet side of said spray booth and having means for directing heated air across said workpieces.
2. A mobile cleaning unit for food containers or the like comprising a wheel mounted body open at one end, said body comprising a floor, a top, two sides and a closed end, channelled runways on the floor of said body and disposed along opposite sides and the closed end of said body, overhead conveyor means suspended from the roof of said body and movable along said runwa said conveyor means having a plurality of connecting means for detachable engagement with workpieces for moving the latter along said runway, spray means having nozzles for directing liquid cleaning fluid on said workpieces as they are moved along said runway, a second 1 spray means spaced from said first spray means along said runway and having a plurality of nozzles for directing rinsing fluid on said workpieces as they are moved along said runway, a plurality of reservoirs for liquid disposed beneath said runway and beneath said spray; means, drainage means beneath each of said spray means for returning the liquid to said reservoirs, pump means connecting the reservoirs for supplying liquid under pressure to the nozzles in said spray means, a drying zone disposed-at the closed end of said body adjacent the outlet side of the second spray means and having means for directing heated air upon the workpieces as they pass 15 2.8ll,163
to shake olf excess liquid from the workpieces.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,045,079 Prunier et a1. Nov. 19, 1912 1,467,994 Bohland Sept. 18, 1923 2,549,837 Merritt Apr. 24, 1951 2,619,099 Young Nov. 25, 1952 2,732,846 Berezny Jan. 31, 1956 2,760,441 Kunick Aug. 28, 1956 Weber et a1. Oct. 29, 1957