US 3321788 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 30, 1967 E. HIMEBAUGH VEGETABLE PROCESSING SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 10, 1966 NM 1% f. M M f E. HIMEBAUGH VEGETABLE PROCESSING SYSTEM May 30, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed Jan. 10, 1966 United States Patent M 3,321,788 VEGETABLE PROCESSING SYSTEM Evart Himebaugh, Rte. 3, Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48858 Filed Jan. 10, 1966, Ser. No. 519,584 3 Claims. ((11. 15--3.16)
This invention relates to apparatus for processing edible, particulate, frangible, flowable products such as beans, peas and the like and more particularly relates to a continuous recirculatory scrubbing and drying apparatus for such products.
Marketing of dry edible products such as peas and beans obtained from farmers conventionally involves the presently costly troublesome problem of cleaning the products. The beans, peas etc. delivered by the farmers normally have substantial amounts of dirt clinging to the product, and frequently significant amounts of other foreign materials mixed in with them, creating a gummy type surface coating. Various techniques have been used heretofore for removing these materials but no previous ly proposed continuous cleaning system has ever been commercially acceptable for various practical reasons, including ineffective cleaning, e.g. leaving dirty eyes, dampness in the final product to require spreading and drying, high cost of equipment, the necessity of exten sive manual labor, extensive time requirements, etc. Present efforts generally employ batch processing with its inherent disadvantages.
It is an object of this invention to provide a unique continuous processing apparatus for cleaning edible particulate frangible products such as beans and peas, enabling efiective, efficient, rapid, and thorough cleaning on a continuous basis, without waste of the cleaning agent, the dirty product being continuously fed-in in dirty form and continuously discharged in clean dry form. The apparatus sequentially and automatically employs cleaning or scrubbing and drying agents, both of which are constantly recirculated in a special manner to be re-employed for the respective functions, without manual assistance. The cleaning and drying agents can moreover be readily replenished as necessary without interruption of the process.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent upon studying the following specification in con junction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one side and one end of the novel apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a perspective fragmentary view of the second end and the same side of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the second side and second end of the apparatus in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an end, partially schematic, elevational view of the apparatus in FIG. 1, taken from the first end shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the mixing means at the top of the assembly in FIGS. 1 through 3;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of a portion of the recirculating apparatus shown on the end in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a modified upper drum and trough assembly to be used in the place of the upper drum subassembly in the apparatus shown in the previous figures.
Referring now specifically to FIGS. 1 through 5 of the drawings, the complete assembly 10 there shown basically includes a supporting framework and housing subassembly 12, an upper scrubbing cleaning drum subassembly 14, a lower drying drum subassembly 16, an upper product infeed trough subassembly 18, a product and scrubbing agent mixing subassembly 20, a scrubbing agent recirculating subassembly 22, a drying agent recirculating subas- 3,321,788 Patented May 3@, 1967 sembly 24, and a scrubbing agent and drying agent replenishing subassembly 26.
The product receiving and distributing subassembly 18 includes an elongated trough 41, U-shaped in cross section, and having an open top so that the dirty raw product can be continuously fed into it, using any suitable conveying means (not shown). Also fed into trough 41 is the recirculated scrubbing agent, such as moist sawdust, through recirculation means 22 in a manner to be described hereinafter. Inside of and extending the length of this trough is an advancing auger 40 (FIG. 3) on rotational shaft 42. When rotated, the auger drops the recirculated sawdust and dirty product down through openings in the bottom of the trough into an underlying mixing means 20.
Mixing means 20 includes an elongated trough 44 extending the length of the apparatus, and having an open top to receive the product and moist sawdust from trough 41. Trough 44, basically U-shaped in cross sectional configuration, has a closed bottom and essentially closed ends, except for a discharge chute 46 from one end (FIG. 2) downwardly into one open end of the upper drum subassembly 14. Extending the length of trough 44 is a rotationally mounted shaft 48 having a plurality of radially extending mixing paddles 50 (FIG. 3 and FIG. 5) slanted diagonally to mix the dirty product and scrubbing agent while advancing it along the length of trough 44 to discharge chute 46. Shaft 48 is driven by motor M (FIG. 3), through pulley 54 mounted on the drive shaft of motor M, belt 56, a second pulley 5 8 on an idler shaft 60, pulley 62, belt 64, and pulley 66 on shaft 48. Drive power to shaft 42 for assembly 18 is obtained by a takeoff on the opposite end of shaft 48 (FIG. 3) using a chain 70 extending around sprockets on both of shafts 42 and 48.
Drum subassembly 14 basically includes an elongated cylindrical hollow drum having openings on both ends. The end opening on first half or end portion 80a of drum (FIG. 3) receives the mixture of moist cleaning agent and dirty product from chute 46 (FIG. 2). Flighting 82 around the inner periphery of the drum agitates the materials while advancing them along the length of the drum as the drum rotates. This produces a moistening and scrubbing action on the individual particles of the product as it is moved through the first half of the drum that has a closed peripheral wall. Upon encountering the second end 8% portion of the drum (FIG. 3), the cleaning sawdust and moist clean product are separated due to the perforated nature of the drum periphery in this portion. That is, the tiny particles of sawdust pass through the peripheral screen 86 in end 8012, while the moist clean product is continuously discharged through the opening 890 (FIG. 1) of the drum into a dropping chute 88 to the second, lower drying drum. The sawdust passes through screen 86, drops into an elongated trough 90 having an auger conveyor 92 therein for advancement of the damp sawdust scrubbing agent to a vertical up-chute 94 of the cleaning agent recirculation subassembly 22.
The up-chute 94 has within it recirculating elevating means which includes a recirculating continuous chain 106 (FIG. 6) having mounted thereon a plurality of elevating flights or paddles 102 to pick up the used moist cleaning agent from auger means 92, eleveate it through chute 94, and drop it back into the upper trough 41 of system 18 along with the new dirty product constantly fed into the system. Chain passes around a suitable pair of sprockets on the upper and lower ends of chute 94, with the lower sprocket being mounted on a shaft 106 (FIG. 2) that also has the outer drive sprocket 108 attached thereto. Sprocket 108 is driven by chain 110 from a sprocket on shaft 112 which in turn is driven by a chain 114 from a sprocket mounted to shaft 418 (FIG. 2).
The moist sawdust or other scrubbing agent is thus constantly recirculated for re-use. If it is desired to discharge the scrubbing sawdust, or a portion thereof, because of a high dirt content, a discharge chute 116 at the base of up-chute 94 may be opened by suitable gate means. Additional clean sawdust may be replenished through means 26 in a manner to be described hereinafter.
After the product is dropped from drum means 14 through chute 88 into one open end of the lower drum drying means 16, it passes into the peripherally enclosed end portion 120a of lower drum 120 (FIG. 3). Flighting 122 around its inner periphery agitates dry sawdust with the clean damp edible product for drying the product as it passes through the drum. The product then moves into the second perforate drum portion 12011 which has as its peripheral retaining wall perforate screen 124 for passage of the dry sawdust from the drum into an underlying trough 126, while the dried product is advanced to and out of the second open end of the drum through a discharge chute 128 to a suitable receiving means (not shown). The separated drying sawdust, after falling into trough 126, passes into an underlying cooperative auger conveyor means 132 and is advanced to an up-chute auger conveying means 134 where it is fed back up into chute 88 to be mixed with the moist cleaned product discharged from the upper drum. This drying sawdust is therefore constantly recirculated and mixed with the incoming damp product, to be constantly re-used. If the drying sawdust becomes excessively damp, a portion of it may be discharged by opening a suitable gate 140 on upmoving auger means 134.' Substitution of dry material is through replenishing means 26.
Each of the drums rests upon at least four support and rota-ting rollers on opposite sides and on opposite ends of the drum, the four rollers being mounted on two parallel shafts which straddle the base of the drum. More specifically, the upper drum is mounted On rollers 136 mounted on shaft 112, and rollers (FIG. 3) 141 mounted on shaft 142. Likewise, the lower drum is mounted on rollers 144 on shaft 146, and rollers 148 on shaft 150. Shaft 112 is driven .by chain 114. An interconnecting drive chain 160 connects all of these shafts so that they are all rotated constantly and at a uniform speed.
Replenishing means 26 includes a double in-feed chute composed of a first bin 170 on one side and a second bin 172 on the other side, with the one 17% feeding a recirculating up-feed chute 176 that contains a recirculating means 178 such as the chain and paddle construction shown in FIG. 6, and supplying a gravity discharge chute 186 to the lower trough for replenishing the dry sawdust. Similarly, bin 172 feeds an up-chute 200 containing a recirculating elevating means 292 such as the chain and paddle type structure, for elevating moist scrubbing sawdust or equivalent material to spout 2G6 and to trough 90 beneath the upper drum. Both of these elevating means can be operated simultaneously as with a hand wheel 212 attached to the axis of the upper end sprockets.
The operation of the apparatus will basically be understood from the description given above. However, for purposes of absolute clarity, it will be described briefly below. The dirty dry edible particulate product is continuously fed into the top of trough 41, as is the damp recirculated sawdust discharged into trough 41 through chute 94. The dirty product and damp scrubbing agent are then dropped through orifices in the bottom of trough 4-1 into mixing trough 44. The mixing paddles 50 in trough 44 thoroughly mix the moist sawdust and dried product prior to discharge into chute 46 on one end of trough 44. The discharge is continuously made into constantly rotating upper cleaning drum 80. The materials are then constantly agitated by flights 82 as they are advanced from peripherally closed end 80a to perforated end 8011. The moistened sawdust is dropped through screen 86 into trough 90, into auger means 92, to be advanced into chute 94, elevated by the chain and paddle means 100 and 102,
back to trough means 18. The cleaned moist beans, peas or other like edible products are discharged from the second open end of the upper drum through chute 88 down into the in-feed open end of the lower drum.
Upon being dropped into chute 88, the moist cleaned product is mixed with upwardly conveyed drying sawdust from conveyor 134 (FIG. 1) and is thoroughly mixed and dried by agitation in the peripherally closed end a by flights 122. As the mixed drying sawdust and dried product reach perforated end 1201) of drum 120, the sawdust falls through screen 124 into receiving trough 126, thence into auger conveyor 132, up auger conveyor 134, to be fed back into the drum. The beans are discharged through the second open end of the drum, out chute 128.
In actual experimental operation, the equipment has been found to be eflicient, reliable, effective, and completely automatic for continuously processing the raw product into the final clean, essentially dry condition. Yet, the equipment can be operated relatively inexpensive ly and on a continuous automated basis.
Modification Since prior suggested equipment for this purpose has never been found truly acceptable, the inventor herein, the owner and operator of a processing mill, conducted extensive experimentation of the equipment on different type products. It was found that with some types of beam products, and particularly those having certain gummy deposits, the upper scrubbing drum assembly of the type shown in FIG. 3, employing a particulatescrubbing agent such as sawdust, leaves the beans with dirty eyes. In other words, the dirt is effectively cleaned off the surfaces of the beans but some is deposited in the eyes of the beans. A modified form of the apparatus is used for this. The complete assembly as before is employed, except that the modified upper drum and recirculation subassemibly in FIG. 7 is substituted for upper drum subassembly 14 and recirculation subassembly 22. The drum 280 of this is very similar to drum 80, including end openings, fed by chute 46, discharging into chute 88, supported and r0- tated by rollers 140, etc, and containing helical inner advancing flights 82. However, it differs by being peripherally perforate over its length. Instead of employing a particulate, recirculated scrubbing agent. it employs water jets for cleaning. Thus, the recirculation system 222 is one for water. This includes an elongated manifold pipe 300 along the length of the drum, inside it, and having a plurality of radially oriented water jet nozzles 3112. It is supplied by water through conduit 304 by pump 386 which communicates with trough 308. The elongated open trough extends beneath the length of perforate drum 280 to receive draining water.
The cleaned, damp frangible edible product discharged is constantly fed to the lower drying drum subassembly described previously.
This modified apparatus is advantageous for some products and the first form is advantageous for others.
Various additional advantages to those specifically recited may occur to those in this art upon reviewing the foregoing descriptive material. It is also conceivable that minor details of the construction may be modified without departing from the concept presented. Hence, the invention is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonably equivalent structures to those defined therein.
1. Continuous processing apparatus for cleaning and drying dirty, edible, frangible, particulate products such as peas and beans, comprising: an elongated mixing chamber for continuously receiving product and damp particulate cleaning agent, and rotational mixing means therein for continuously mixing product and cleaning agent, said mixing means being arranged and configurated to advance the mixed product and cleaning agent to one end thereof; a rotational, elongated cleaning drum ineluding an inlet opening on one end; a transfer chute from said one end of said mixing chamber, projecting into said inlet opening of said drum for transferring mixed product and cleaning agent to said drum; said cleaning drum in cluding means for advancing mixed product and agent from said one end to the opposite end, and having peripheral perforations to separate product and particulate agent by allowing passage of only the agent; cleaning agent collection and recirculation means positioned beneath said drum and arranged to recirculate cleaning agent back to said mixing chamber; a rotational elongated drying drum including an inlet opening on one end for damp product and means to continuously advance the damp product from said one end to the second end; damp product transfer means from said cleaning drum second end to said drying drum one end; said drying drum having perforations forming product and drying agent separation means, and having dry product discharge means; and drying agent collection means beneath said drying drum, and recirculation means from said collection means back to said inlet opening.
2. The apparatus in claim 1 including cleaning agent discharge means from said cleaning agent recirculation means, and cleaning agent replenishing means to said cleaning agent recirculating means; and including drying agent discharge means from said drying agent recirculation means and drying agent replenishing means to said drying agent recirculation means.
3. The apparatus in claim 1 wherein said mixing means is an elongated trough having a driven rotational shaft therein and a plurality of mixing and advancing paddles radially extending therefrom; said cleaning drum means is below said elongated trough; and said drying drum means is below said cleaning drum means and spaced therefrom by said cleaning agent collection means of said cleaning agent recirculating means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,925,362 9/1933 Anstiss 3495 X CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner. E. L. ROBERTS, Assistant Examiner.