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Publication numberUS3273193 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateMar 22, 1965
Priority dateMar 22, 1965
Publication numberUS 3273193 A, US 3273193A, US-A-3273193, US3273193 A, US3273193A
InventorsAlexius Soderholm, Soderholm Stig A
Original AssigneeConcept Dev Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleaning apparatus
US 3273193 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept 20, 1966 A. soDERHoLM ETAL 3,273,193

CLEANING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed March 22, 1965 Vacuum fam@ Macul/nf A40/0F Sept. 20, 1966 A. soDERHoLM ETAL CLEANING APPARATUS Filed March 22, 1965 SePt- 20, 1966 A. soDERHoLM ETAL 3,273,193

CLEANING APPARATUS United States Patent() 3,273,193 CLEANING APPARATUS Alexius Soderholm and Stig A. Soderholm, Palos Verdes, Calif., assignors to Concept Development Corporation, Beverly Hills, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Mar. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 444,920 13 Claims. (Cl. 15-320) This .application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application Serial No. 332,574 and entitled, Cleaning Apparatus, filed December 23, 1963, and fea- -tures disclosed and claimed herein are vdisclosed in our application Serial No. 225,444 of the same title, now abandoned, which was filed September 24, 1962, and was copending with the first mentioned application.

The present invention relates to cleaning apparatus and it relates more particularly to an improved machine which is constructed to have particular utility in the cleaning of the traveling steps of escalators.

It is usual, .in accordance with present day building maintenance practices, to clean escalators by hand. This manual operation, however, is arduous and time-consuming. For example, it has been found that .approximately six hours are required in order to clean a usual escalator by hand.

`Because of the peculiar shape and movement of the escalator, however, and the serrated configuration of the usual escalator steps, the provision of suitable apparatus for mechanically cleaning escalators has not been forthcoming in the prior art.

An object -of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus which is capable `of thoroughly cleaning escalators, and of vaccomplishing this in a simple and straightforward manner and in a minimum of time.

A further object of the invention is to provide such l improved cleaning apparatus which is easy to move around and easy to operate.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such improved cleaning rapparatus which is relatively simple in its construction, and which uses relatively inexpensive and readily available component parts.

The improved apparatus of the present invention has a cantilever section and is constructed so that it may be wheeled onto a sill or stationary :sill platform at the upper end or lower end of an escalator with cleaning components on the cantilever section positioned to operate on the upper or lower movable platform that is formed by the steps of the escalator as the steps approach the top yor bottom of the escalator. When the apparatus is in position, it is firmly supported on an adjustable support. Then, as the escalator moves under the cantilever section -of the apparatus, a vacuuming, cleansing, brushing, and drying action takes place, as will be described.

As mentioned above, the entire operation by means of the cleaning machine `of the invention may be performed in a fraction of the time required for manually cleaning an escalator. Moreover, far superior results may be achieved by the apparatus -of the invention, as ycompared with the usual hand-cleaning processes.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration -of the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

-FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of cleaning apparatus constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a front elevation view of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the apparatus of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention;

3,273,193 Patented Sept. 20, 1966 ICC FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partly in section, of the apparatus of FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary plan view of parts of the apparatus of FIGURE 4, taken substantially `on the line 66 of FIGURE 4.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG- URES 1-3 has a body structure or frame 10 which may be formed of steel, or other suitable material and which includes a plurality of downwardly extending posts 12. These posts serve to support the apparatus rigidly and firmly, when it is in place performing its cleaning function. The previously mentioned cantilever section is the forward portion of the body structure 10 which extends forward or to the right in FIGURE 3 from the four posts 12. The portion of the frame 10 above the four posts 12 -may be termed the main section or the carriage of the apparatus.

A pair of tanks 14 and 16 are mounted on the upper portion of the frame 10. The tank 16 functions as a vacuum tank, and a vacuum motor 18 is supported on its upper surface. The tank 14, on the other hand, serves as a housing for water yand detergent. This latter tank includes a iiller cap 2t). An electrically energized heater element 1S is included in the tank 14.

A blower 22 is also mounted on the frame 10 at the forward end thereof. The blower includes a blower motor 24 mounted on the upper surface of the frame, adjacent the forward edge. The blower 22 also includes internal electrically energized heater elements 26 (FIGURE 3), and these elements heat the air from the blower, so that a blast of hot -air issues from the lower edge of a hot air nozzle 28 which is mounted on the blower. The lower edge of the hot air nozzle 28 extends transversely across the apparatus at the forward edge of the apparatus.

A pair of inlet pipe lines 30 extend into the vacuum tank 16 as stand pipes therein, and these lines kare coupled by rubber hoses 32 to corresponding vacuum lines 34. The vacuum lines 34 are supported in the frame 10, and they are coupled to `a vacuum nozzle 36. The vacuum nozzle 36 also extends transversely across the apparatus, and it is positioned on the frame 10 at a point displaced back from the hot air nozzle 28, as best shown in FIG- URES 1 and 3.

The vacuum nozzle 36 is suspended from the frame 10 by a pair of adjustable hanger rods 38 which extend down from the frame 10 and are supported on the frame 10 by nuts 40. Also, each of the hanger rods 38 has a threaded lower end which extends into a support bracket 42 on the vacuum nozzle 36.

Horizontal studs 44 extend from Ethe lbrackets 42 into the body of the vacuum nozzle 36 and are provided with nuts 46. The height of the vacuum nozzle 36 can be adjusted to any desired elevation by Ithe nuts 40.

A manifold S0 is mounted on the under side of the frame 10 adjacent the forward edge thereof, and this manifold extends downwardly from the frame 10. A plurality of spray nozzles 52 are mounted along the Vlower edge of the manifold 50. A uid line 54 couples the manifold 50 to the water and detergent tank 14. A pump 56 is disposed in the line 54, so that the detergent and water may be forced out of the nozzles 52 at high pressure. A pressure relief valve 58 is included in the line 54, as is a shut-off valve 60.

A pair of forwardly extending arms 70 are pivotally mounted on the opposite sides respectively of the frame 10 by pivot means 72, :the two arms being below the llevel of the iframe 10. Each of the pivoted arms 70 includes a guide bar 74 and a brush 76 is mounted on `the guide bars with freedom to slide thereon between a pair of stops 78 and 80. The ybrush 76 extends transversely across the frame 10 under the lower surface thereof :and has stili bristles 96 which extend down into the 3 t serrations or grooves between the longitudinal ridges or treads of the escalator during the operation of the apparatus, as will be described.

The pump 56 is driven by an electric motor 80, and this motor is coupled by a belt 82 to a speed reducing pulley assembly 84. The motor is also coupled by a belt 86 to the pump 56. A further belt 88 couples the pulley assembly 84 to a pulley 90. The pulley 90 drives a crank arm 92, and this arm is coupled by a connecting rod 94 (FIGURE 3) to one side of the brush 76. A similar crank arm 92 and connecting rod 94 is driven by the pulley 90 an-d are coupled to the opposite side of the brush 76.

When the motor 80 is energized, the heated detergent solution from the .tank 14 is pumped by the pump 56 through the line 54 to issue as a spray from the nozzles 52. Also, the rotation of the pulley 90 causes the brush 76 to move back and forth along the guide bars 74 with a reciprocating motion.

The height of the brush 76, and of its bristles 96, with respect to the surface to be cleaned, can be adjusted by means of a linkage 98. The linkage 98 couples the free end of one of the bracket arms 70 to a crank arm 100. The crank arm 100 is pivotally mounted on the rear end of the frame 10, and it includes a handle 102. During the operation of the apparatus, the crank arm 100 may be manipulated angularly in one direction or the other Iby its handle 102, so that the -reciprocating brush 76 is adjusted to the proper height properly to perform its scrubbing function. Any desired :adjustment may be maintained by adjustable stop screw means 102a positioned to cooperate with the crank arm.

A pair of spring biased sensing switches, such as the switch 104, are mounted adjacent the ends of the reciprocating brush 76. These switches include downwardly extending spring biased plungers, and the switches are caused to close :when the brush 76 is lowered to the proper position for performing its cleaning operation and the aforesaid plungers are moved inwardly thereby against this spring biasing pressure. When the brush 76 is in its proper condition such that both the switches 104 are closed, an indicator lamp, such as the indica-tor 106, is energized.

It is apparent that the described mechanism for adjusting the brush 76 relative to the level of the traveling steps together with the sensing and indicating means constitute means to insure correct positioning of the brush relative to the vsurfaces of the traveling steps.

Asimilar pair of sensing switches` 108 are mounted adjacent the vacuum nozzle 36. These latter switches, for example, cause an indicator lamp 109 (FIGURE 1) to be energized when the vacuum nozzle is in its proper position to perform its required function.

In order that the apparatus may be mobile, rolling means including a pair of forward wheels 110 are provided. These wheels are mounted on a shaft 112, which in turn is supported by a pair of links 114. The links 114 are pivotally mounted on respective protruding portions of two of the posts 12. The lower ends of the links 114 are coupled to a wheel retracting arm 115 by means of a yoke 116. The retracting arm 115 is the form of a pivoted crank arm, and it can be moved from an upper to a lower position by, for example, the foot of the operator.

When the arm 115 is moved to its lower position (counterclockwise in FIGURE 3), the yoke 116 moves the forward Wheels 110 to their down position, `and the wheels are held in their down position by the resulting ott-center angular orientation of the links 114.

A caster 118 is pivotally mounted to the rear end of the yoke 116, so that it too cornes into an operative position when the arm 115 fis moved to the down position. The caster 118 is shown connected somewhat differently :in the view of FIGURE l as compared with the view of FIGURE 3. For example, the caster 118 is shown 4f as connected to the underside of the yoke 116 in FIGURE l, and to the upper side of the yoke in FIGURE 3.

Therefore, the apparatus of FIGURES 1-3 is readily mobile. When it is desired to move the apparatus from one point to another, the retracting arm 115 is moved downwardly, so that the Wheels 110 and the caster 118 are, likewise, moved downwardly and locked, 4due to Ithe off-.center position of the links 114. It is important to note that the heavy components of the apparatus including the two tanks and the vacuum motor are carried by the main section to overbalance the cantilever section.

The xed posts 12 on the underside of the body structure may be termed collectively a first fixed support means and the wheels 110 together with the caster 118 may be termed a second support means that is retractable from a downwardly extending position to immobilize the apparatus. It is to be noted that the body structure rises when the second support means is extended downward and the body structure descends when the second support means is retracted and that the scrubbing means comprising the brush 76 rises and descends with the body structure. Thus the level of the scrubbing means is lowered relative to the floor level in response to retraction of the second support means. This fact lessens the vertical range relative to the body structure through which the scrubbing means must be moved downward to make scrubbing contact with the escalator steps when the apparatus is immobilized and through which the scrubbing means must move upward for adequate spacing above oor level when the apparatus is moved from one operating location to another.

It is :also to be noted that when the set screw 102a is adjusted as shown in FIG. 3 so that the -crank arm holds the brush 76 at the correct level t-o contact the surfaces of the approaching steps, the lbrush 76 is lowered to an effective level in response to upward retraction of the wheels together with the caster 118 and is automatically elevated from its eifective level in response to downward extension of the wheels and caster in preparation for moving the apparatus to a new location. In other words, the adjustment shown in FIG. 3 makes it unnecessary to raise and lower the brush 76 relative to the body structure each time the apparatus is moved from a cleaning operation at `one location to a cleaning operation at another location.

The apparatus may be rolled onto the top or lower sill or stationary platform of an escalator with the cantilever structure `forward of the front wheels 110 extending over the adjacent moving steps of the escalator and with the steps moving toward the apparatus. The arm is then moved upwardly, so that the appara-tus comes to rest firmly supported by the posts 12 on the stationary sill. At lthis latter position, the vacuum nozzle 36 is adjusted if necessary to be at the proper height; as indicated by the actuation of the sensing switches 108, and the glowing of the corresponding lamp 109. The arm 100 is then manipulated, so that the brush 76 is brought down to its proper height. The adjustment of the brush 76 is indicated by the glowing, for example, of 'the lamp 106, under the control of the sensing switches 104.

The escalator is assume-d to be moving from the right to the left in FIGURE 3, and directly under the vacuum nozzle 36, the brush 76, the nozzle 52, and the hot air nozzle 28.

The vacuum motor 28 is energized, so that the vacuum nozzle 36 may withdraw dirt, water and other extraneous matter from the escalator surface. At the same time, the motor 80 is energized, 'so that the brush 76 is moved vigorously back and forth, to scrub out the serrations or grooves of the escalator surface. The motor 80 also drives the pump 56, so that the detergent solution is sprayed'from the nozzles 52. The hot air from the nozzle 28 is blown across the portion of the escalator surface being cleaned so that the surface will be dry as it issues `from the rear of the apparatus.

.It is to be noted that the transverse row of spray nozzles 52 is at substantial spacing forward from the brush 76 to settle the dust in advance of the contact of the brush with the traveling surfaces and to provide a time interval in which the cleaning solution may soak the traveling surfaces to loosen foreign material thereon before the brush acts on the foreign material. It is to be further noted that the reciprocation of the brush relative to the traveling surfaces results in Icycles of operation comprising forward brush strokes at a higher speed relative to the surface of the ltraveling steps than the speed of travel of the traveling steps relative to the body structure for effective mechanical a-ction to loosen the soaking foreign material and alternate brush strokes of substantially less speed relative to the speed of travel of the steps to intermittently increase the spacing of the brush means from the spray means for intermittent increase in the soaking period and to permit surplus cleaning fluid and foreign material loosened by the brush means to travel under the brush means. It is to be further no-ted that the vacuum means comprising the vacuum nozzle 36 is positioned on the body structure to entrain the surplus cleaning liquid and the particles that are loosened by the brush action against the soaking foreign material.

At the termination of the cleaning operation, the various motors 18, 24 and 80 are de-energized, and the Wheel retracting arm 115 is pushed down to its lower position, so that the apparatus may be elevated up on the wheels A110, and on the caster 18. The apparatus may then be moved away from the escalator.

The second embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 is generally similar to the first embodiment described above.

The second embodiment includes a frame 101. A tank 103 is mounted onthe upper portion of the frame 101, and this tank is intended to contain a detergent solution. The `tank 103 is provided with 1a filler cap 105. A vacuum tank 107 is also supported on the frame 101 adjacent the tank 103. A vacuum pump actuated by a motor 109 is supported on the vacuum tank 107.

A bumper bar 113 is mounted on the forward end l of the frame 101, and a plurality of detergent spray nozzles 115 are mounted on the bumper 113. A pump 117 is mountedV on the frame 101, and a pipe line 119 extends from the detergent tank 103 to the pump, and

from the pump to the detergent spray nozzles 115.

posts firmly and rigidly, and at a predetermined height.

A pair of forward wheels, such as the wheel 122 are pivotally mounted on a corresponding pair of posts 121 by respective arms, such as the arm 124. These arms are pivotally coupled to a yoke 126. The yoke 126 is actuated by a foot pedal 128, and it is llatched in its lower position by an appropriate latch 130. The latch 130 is mounted on a pivotally mounted spring loaded arm 131. The latch may be released by a second foot pedal 132. (See FIGURES 5-6.)

A cas-ter 134 is pivotally mounted on the yoke 126. When the yoke is moved to its lower position, the wheels 122 and the caster 134 hoist the apparatus up off the pedestal 120, so that it may be moved about.

Here again the portion of the frame 101 above the group of posts 121 and above the Wheels 122 and the caster 134 may be termed the main section or carriage of the, apparatus and the portion of the frame that extends forward therefrom or to the right in FIGURE 4 may be termed the cantilever section.

A vacuum stand pipe 138 extends into the vacuum tank 107, :andthis pipe is lcoupled by a vacuum i' pick up line 140 to a vacuum brush 142. The vacuum brush 142 extends transversely across the apparatus, and it is supported from a vacuum manifold 144. The line 140 extends into the manifold, and the manifold is coupled to the brush 142.

The vacuum established in the tank 107 by the motor 109 causes a suction tto be established across the brush 142, to pick up the dirt and water from the escalator as the Idirt is placed in motion by the relative movement of the vacuum brush 142 as the escalator surface moves past the vacuum brush. The escalator surface is designated in FIGURE 4 and it is assumed to be moving from the right to the left.

A pair of sensing switches 152 are provided at the ends of the vacuum brush 142, and these switches are actuated when the brush 142 is at the proper level with respect to the escalator, so as to energize an indicator lamp 154 at the top of the assembly.

The exh-aust pipe 156 from the vacuum motor 109 is coupled by a line 158 through a heater 159 to a blower nozzle 163. The heater 159 may be electrically energized. -I't may, for example, be a l60-watt, fin type aluminum heater, of the type presently made and sold by the Frost Industrial Electric Company, of Los Angeles, California.

A cleaning brush 1.60 is supported o-n the frame 101, and this brush extends transversely -across the frame between the vacuum brush 142 and the detergent spray nozzle 115. A pair of sensing switches 162 are mounted on opposite ends of the brush 160, and these switches are actuated when the brush 160 is in its proper position. The actuation of the switches 162 causes an indicator lamp 1614 to be energized.

The transverse cleaning brush 160 is supported on a longitudinal frame 166 which, in turn, is suspended under the frame 101. The longitudinal frame 166 has a pair of guide brackets 168 mounted on each side. A rst and second pair of arms 170, 172 are mounted on the ends of respective shafts 174 and 176. The shafts 174 and 176 are mounted in and extend across the apparatus frame 101. Rollers 1718 and 1180 are mounted at the lower end of the respective arms 170 and 172, and these rollers engage the guides 168 on the carriage frame'166.

A pair of crank arms 1,82 and 184 are aflixed to the respective shafts 174 and 176, and these crank arms extend radially out from the respective shafts. Cables 186 and 188 capable of exerting thrust as well as pull couple the crank arms 182 and 184 to respective controls 190 and 192. The controls 190 and 192 are the usual type such as made and sold by the American Chain and Cable Comn pany, of Detroit, Michigan, and which may be drawn out to any desired extension and then turned to lock at that extension.

The controls 190 and 192 serve to yadjust the angular positions of the arms and 172 which, in turn, serve to control the elevation of the longitudinal frame 166 and the brush 160, with respect to the apparatus frame 101. A pair of guide posts, such as the posts 200, are aflxed to the carriage frame 166, and these guide posts extend upward through apertures (not shown) in the frame 101 for vertical guidance of the frame 166.

The pump 117 is driven by a motor 202, and this motor is also coupled to a speed reduction pulley assembly 204. The pulley assembly 204, in turn, is coupled to a pulley 206 which drives an eccentric shaft 208` which functions in the manner of a crank. The opposite ends of the shaft 208 are mounted eccentrically in bearings 209; A connecting rod 210 couples the shaft 208 to the brush 160. A pair of guide rods 220 are fixed to the u-nderside of the longitudinal frame 166 to support the brush 160, and these guide rods extend through b-ush-ings 222 on the brush. The brush'160, therefore, is reciprocated back and forth on the support-ing guide rods 220 by the connecting rods 210.

In the embodiment of FIGURES 4-6, the foot pedal 1-28 may be pushed down to the position shown in FIG- thereon.

7 URE to move the wheels 122 and caster 134 into supporting positions. The apparatus may then be rolled onto the upper or lower sill or stationary platform of the escalator to place the cantilever section of the apparatus in operating position over the steps that are moving towards the apparatus.

When the apparatus is properly positioned, the wheel retracting yoke 126 is released by actuation of release pedal 13.2, to ca-use the apparatus to be set down on the adjustable pedestals 120 of the posts 121. These pedestals are adjusted so that the apparatus will be supported on the posts at a desired height. This height is such that the vacuum brush 142 is in its proper positi-on, as indicated by glowing of the indicator lamp 154.

The sensi-ng switches 152 are mounted at the two ends respectively of the va-cuum brush 142, so that if the vacuum brush is improperly tilted, only one of the switches will be actuated. These switches are connected in series in the circuit of the lamp 154, so that both switches must be actuated before the lamp will glow. This applies also to the other sensing switches described above.

When the apparatus is in position, the motor 109 and the motor 202 are e-nergized. The energization of the motor 109 causes the vacuum brush 1412 to suck dirt, water and other matter up into the vacuum tank 107. The exhaust from the vacuum pump that is driven by the motor 109 causes air to be blown through the heater 159. This air is heated by the heater 159, so that hot air is blown from the blower nozzle 163.

The energization of the motor 202 causes the pump 117 to produce a detergent spray at the nozzle 115. Also, the motor 2012 drives the brush 1x60 so that the b-rush is reciprocated on the guide rods 220 in a scrubbing action. The brush 160 may be adjusted to the proper height, as mentioned above, by the manipulation of the controls 190 and 192. It is contemplated that lshe bristles of the forward brush 1,60 will be adjusted to brush dirt from the upper surfaces of the longitudinal treads of the steps into the grooves between the treads and that the bristles of the vacuum brush 142 will extend to the bottom of the grooves to facilita-te entrainment of the dirt in the bottoms of the grooves by the vacuum nozzle or manifold l144. The indicator lamp 164 indicates when the sensing contact switches 162 are actuated to show that the brush 160 is in its proper position.

When the mechanism of FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 is activated, the detergent spray issues from the nozzles 115 and the reciprocating brush 160 scrubs the moving surfaces of the escalator with the detergent solution. The vacuum brush 142 then draws Water and dirt up into the vacuum tank 107. The water and dirt collect in the bottom portion o-f the tank 107, and an appropriate .drain is provided for the tank.

The vacuum brush 142 may be provided with a squeegee in front which rides on top of the t-reads or longitudinal ribs of the escalator. This squeegee forces all moisture and water down into the channels or grooves between the treads. The vacuum brush 142 may have a dense mass of bristles to assure that all foreign matter is picked up by the vacuum suction and nothing gets past the vac-uum brush. Y

The intake to the vacuum pump that is driven by the motor 109 may be provided with a float switch 1.11 which assures that the motor will be shut off if water in the vacuum tank rises above a safe level.` This motor may be of the general type manufactured by the National Super Service Company, of Toledo, Ohio.

An important feature of the apparatus described above, in both embodiments, is the fact that when the apparatus is in a cleaning position, it is caused to be set firmly and securely on its upright posts. For this purpose heavy components are carried by the main section to overbalance the cantilever section and the components This is most important, in that these posts serve to support the apparatus firmly and securely, with lthe brushes and other components at the proper height, as the belt of the escalator is drawn between the posts and past the cleaning components of the apparatus.

The sensing switches on the various components of the apparatus are important, in that when the apparatus is in place, it is difficult to observe the position of the actual brushes. These sensing switches, together with the associated indicator lamps, provide convenient and positive indication when the components are properly adjusted.

The rate of flow of the detergent can be regulated, so that the correct amount of moisture is provided. Then, after the scrubbing action by the brush 160, and the subsequent cleaning action by the vacuum brush 142, the blower nozzle 163 assures that the escalator will be cleaned and dry. It is most important, of course, that all moisture be removed from the escalator after the cleaning operation.

Preferably the brush 76 of the irst embodiment and the brush of the second embodiment are reciprocated continuously throughout the Iwhole of a cleaning operation. If desired, however, the brush may be reciprocated only at the start of the cleaning operation to cause the bristles of the brush to extend into thev grooves between the treads and then actuation of the brush may be terminated because thereafter the travel of the escalator will provide suicient relative movement between the brush and the surface of the escalator to make the brush effective.

It is evident, that although certain embodiments of the invention have been described above, further modications may be made. The following claims are intended to cover all modifications which fall within the scope of the invention.

We claim:

1. A mechanism for cleaning an escalator, and the like, including:

-a carriage having a rect-angular configuration;

a plurality of support posts extending downwardly `from said carriage;

a retractable wheel assembly mounted on said carriage, said wheel assembly including a plurality of wheels, pivotal means coupling said wheels to said carriage, and means for actuating said pivotal means to set said carriage down on said support posts;

an elongated brush member;

adjustable means for mounting said elongated brush member on said carriage in position extending transversely to the longitudinal laxis thereof, whereby the elevation of said brush member with respect to said carriage may be controlled;

an elongated vacuum nozzle member mounted on said carriage and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis thereof adjacent said brush member and in spaced relationship therewith;

a vacuum tank mounted on said carriage;

vacuum motor means coupled Ito said vacuum tank;

feedline means coupled to said vacuum tank and to .said vacuum nozzle for introducing a vacuum pressure to said vacuum nozzle;

a cleansing fluid tank means mounted on said carriage;

spray nozzle means mounted on said carriage in the vicinity of said brush member; and

vmeans including a pump coupling said cleansing fluid tank means to said spray nozzle means for enabling said nozzle means to discharge cleansing fluid in the vicinity of said brush member.

2. The mechanism defined in claim 1, and which includes hot air blower means mounted on said carriage for producing a hot air stream in the vicinity of said brush member.

3. The mechanism defined in claim 1, and which includes electrically energized indicator means, and sensing switch means mounted on said brush means for controlling the energization of said indicator means when said brush member is in a predetermined position with re- .spect to the escalator.

4. The mechanism defined in claim 1, in which said elongated brush member is mounted on said carriage for reciprocal movement lalong the longitudinal axis thereof; and

which includes a drive motor mounted on said carriage; and

means coupling said drive mot-or to said brush member for imparting reciprocal movement to said brush member along the longitudinal axis of said carriage.

5. A mechanism for cleaning an escalator, and the like, including:

a carriage;

a supporting means extending downwardly from said carriage;

a retractable wheel assembly mounted on said carriage, said wheel assembly including Ia plurality of wheels, pivotal means coupling said wheels to said carriage, and means for actuating said pivotal means to set said carriage down on said support means;

a brush member;

adjustable means for mounting said brush member on said carriage in position to extend downwardly therefrom, whereby the elevation of said brush member with respect to said carriage may be controlled;

a vacuum nozzle member mounted on said carriage and extending downwardly ltherefrom adjacent said brush member and in spaced relationship therewith;

a vacuum tank mounted on said carriage;

vacuum motor means coupled to said vacuum tank;

feedline means coupled to said vacuum tank and to said vacuum nozzle for introducing a vacuum pressure to said vacuum nozzle;

a cleansing fluid tank mounted on said carriage;

spray nozzle means mounted on said carriage and extending downwardly therefrom in the vicinity of said brush member; and

means including a pump coupling said cleansing fluid tank means to said spray nozzle means for enabling said nozzle means to discharge cleansing fluid in the vicinity of said brush member.

6. In an apparatus of the character described for cleaning the moving steps of an escalator as the steps travel relative to a sill platform 4at one end of the escalator, the combination of:

a body structure for positioning on the sill platform with a forward portion of the body structure overhanging the approaching steps;

wheel means mounted on the body structure to make the body structure mobile for transportation from one escalator to another;

means oper-able in one respect to immobilize the body stru-cture on a sill platform for a cleaning operation in substantially a horizontal position, and operable in an opposite respect to free the body structure for transportation while retaining the horizontal posi- -tion of the body;

scrubbing means for scrubbing the surfaces of the approaching steps; and

means for mounting said scrubbing means to the forward portion of the body structure, to render the scrubbing means responsive to immobilization and freeing of the body structure for positioning said scrubbing means in a first, relatively low level in relation to the approaching steps and in response to immobilization of the body structure, and in a second, higher level above the surface of the approaching steps in response to freeing of the body structure for transportation.

7. A combination as set forth in claim 6 which includes blower means on the body structure to discharge air onto the traveling steps.

8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 which in- 10 cludes means to heat the air discharged by the blower means.

9. In an apparatus of the character described for cleaning the moving steps of an escalator as the steps travel relative to a sill platform at one end of the escalator, the combination of:

a body structure for positioning on the sill platform with a forward portion of the body structure overhanging the approaching steps;

wheel means mounted on the body structure to make the body structure mobile for transportation from one escalator to another;

means operable in one respect to immobilize the body structure on a sill platform for a cleaning operation in substantially a horizontal position, and operable in an opposite respect to free the body structure for transportation while retaining the horizontal position of the body;

brush means carried by the forward portion of the body structure;

said brush means including a first set of bristles positioned to brush foreign material from the upper surfaces of the longitudinal treads of the traveling steps into the grooves between the treads;

said brush means including a second set of bristles spaced from the rst set in the direction of travel of the steps, said second set of bristles extending into the bottoms of the grooves between the treads to loosen adhering foreign material therein and act upon material displaced into the grooves by the first set of bristles;

vacuum means including a vacuum nozzle carried by the body structure to entrain foreign material from the traveling steps, said vacuum means being spaced from said first set of bristles of said brush means in the direction of travel of the steps for entrainment of the foreign material as loosened by said brush means; and

means for mounting said brush means to the forward portion of the body structure, and being responsive to immobilization and freeing of the body structure for positioning said brush means in a first, relatively low level in relation to the approaching steps and in Iresponse to immobilization of the body structure, and in a second, higher level above the surface of the approaching steps in response to freeing of the body structure for transportation.

10. In an apparatus of the character described for cleaning the moving steps of an escalator as the steps travel relative to a sill platform at one end of the escalator, the combination of:

a body struct-ure for positioning on the sill platform fwith a forward portion of the body structure overhanging the traveling steps;

iirst fixed support means on the underside of the body structure;

second support means in the form of wheel means on the body structure,

said second support means being retractable from a lower extended position at which it support the weight of the body structure for wheeled movement thereof to an upper retracted position to switch the weight of the body structure to the first support means to immobilize the body structure,

with consequent lowering of the body structure from an upper level for transportation to a lower level for a cleaning operation; and

scrubbing means carried by said forward portion of the body structure to scrub the surfaces of the traveling steps,

said scrubbing means being responsive to the extension and retraction of the second support means to descend towards the level of the traveling steps when the second support means is retracted to immobilize the body structure and to rise above the level of the 1 1 traveling ysteps when the second support means is extended yfor transportation of the body structure.

11. A combination :as set forth in claim 10 in which said second support means comprises forward .and rearward wheel means for extension and retraction to raise and lower the body structure as a whole.

12. A combination .as set forth in claim 10 in which said scrubbing means includes a reciprocating brush means together with means to apply a cleaning uid to the surfaces of the traveling steps.

13. A combination as set fforth in claim 12 in which the means to apply the `cleaning uid sprays the cleaning fluid onto the sur-faces of the traveling steps, the spraying means being positioned to soak foreign materia-l on the steps before the lbrus'h means makes contact with the foreign material.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Scherff 15-320 Noakes et al. 15-320 Koster et al. 15-320 Gray 15-320 lPonselle 15-320 Hopkins l5 Streich et al. 15-320 Beitman 15--320 X Thompson 15-4 Riebel 15-339 X Smith 15-320 ROBERT W. MITCHELL, Primary Examiner.

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US3678533 *Aug 7, 1970Jul 25, 1972London Arnold BEscalator cleaning apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/320, 15/355, 15/339
International ClassificationA47L11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4072, A47L11/4088, A47L11/4083, A47L11/00, A47L11/4036
European ClassificationA47L11/40N2, A47L11/40K, A47L11/40N6, A47L11/40F, A47L11/00