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Publication numberUS3345994 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1967
Filing dateSep 20, 1965
Priority dateSep 20, 1965
Publication numberUS 3345994 A, US 3345994A, US-A-3345994, US3345994 A, US3345994A
InventorsFelton Leslie N
Original AssigneeGrassland Dairy Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for cleaning articles
US 3345994 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 10,1967 FELTON 33455;,994

APPARATUS FOR CLEANING ARTICLES Filed Sept. 20, 1965 I NVENTOR. LESLIE N. FELTON 7nd rus Star'Kg 4m, RNEYS United States Patent 3,345,994 APPARATUS FOR CLEANING ARTICLES Leslie N. Felton, Loyal, Wis., assignor to Grassland Dairy Products, Inc., Greenwood, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Sept. 20, 1965, Ser. No. 488,509 2 Claims. (Cl. 134-111) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to an apparatus for washing pallets and includes a closed cabinet having an opening in one end through which the pallets are inserted and withdrawn. A perforated floor is spaced above the bottom of the cabinet and the pallets are supported on the floor and are spaced apart by guide members which extend the length of the cabinet. The lower portion of the cabinet beneath the floor defines a sump which contains a cleaning liquid and the cleaning liquid is pumped from the sump and discharged through a series of nozzles located at the top of the cabinet. The water flowing downwardly from the nozzles over the surfaces of the pallets serves to clean foreign material from the pallets and the water is returned to the sump for recirculation by the pump to the discharge nozzles.

This invention relates to an apparatus for cleaning articles and more particularly to an apparatus for washing pallets.

Wooden pallets are used extensively in industry and when employed in the food processing industries, such as dairies, cheese making plants or packing plants, the pallets may'becorne covered with butterfat, grease, blood, dirt and other foreign material, and it is therefore necessary to occasionally clean the pallets to remove this material. Usually the pallets are cleaned manually with brushes, and as the pallets are constructed of lumber, including supporting beams and decking, it is difiicult to clean all of the interior areas of the pallets by manual cleaning operations.

The present invention is directed to an apparatus which will thoroughly clean and sanitize both the interior and exterior surfaces of pallets or other articles in an automatic process. More specifically, the apparatus includes a closed cabinet having doors in one end through which the pallets are inserted and withdrawn. An open or perforated floor is spaced above the bottom of the cabinet and the pallets are supported on the floor during the cleaning operation. The lower portion of the cabinet, beneath the floor, defines a sump which contains a cleaning liquid and the cleaning liquid is pumped from the sump and discharged through a series of nozzles located at the top of the cabinet. The water flows downwardly over the surfaces of the pallets supported on the floor to clean the foreign material from the pallets by erosion. The water, after passing over the pallets, is returned to the sump and is continuously recycled by the pump to the nozzles at the top of the cabinet.

To heat the cleaning liquid within the sump to a sanitizing temperature, steam is introduced into the sump and a suitable thermostat is located within the liquid in the sump and is operably connected to a valve in the steam line so that the temperature of the liquid within the sump is maintained at the desired value at all times.

The apparatus of the invention will thoroughly clean and degrease wooden pallets or other articles in a period of 3 to 12 minutes. As heated water at a temperature of about 180 F. is employed, the pallets are sanitized on both the interior and exterior surfaces.

3,345,394 Patented Get. 10, 1967 ICC The cabinet can be constructed with the desired size so that either one or a series of pallets can be cleaned and sanitized at one time.

Other objects and advantages will appear in the course of the following description.

The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing one end of the cabinet;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, with parts broken away in section, showing the opposite end of the cabinet;

FIG. 3 is a transverse section taken through the cabinet showing the pallets in the cleaning position; and

FIG. 4 is a transverse section showing the strainer assembly.

The drawings illustrate an apparatus forcleaning pallets or other articles which comprises a cabinet 1 including a pair of side walls 2, a pair of end walls 3, a top wall 4 and a bottom surface 5. One of the end walls 3 is provided with an opening which is enclosed by a pair of sliding doors 6 which are mounted for sliding movement on a track, not shown, in a conventional manner.

A roller 7 is journalled within brackets 8 mounted on the end wall 3 beneath the doors 6, and the pallets or other articles to be cleaned areadapted to ride on the roller as they are inserted into the cabinet and withdrawn therefrom.

A series of cross members 9 are secured to the side walls 2 and are located in spaced relation to the bottom surface 5. The central portions of the cross members 9 are supported by an inverted V reinforcing member 10 which is secured between the bottom surface 5 and the central portions of the cross members 9 and extends the length of the cabinet.

As best shown in FIG. 3, a pair of channel members 11 are supported on the cross members 9 and extend substantially the length of the cabinet. The channels 11 are provided with drain holes 12 and the pallets 13 to be cleaned are supported on the channels 11.

The portion of the cabinet 1 located beneath the cross members 9 defines a sump 14 which contains a suitable cleaning liquid. The liquid can be water or a detergent or caustic soda solution of a type conventionally used for cleaning and degreasing articles.

To prevent the pallets from tilting within the cabinet 1, a pair of side guide members 15 are secured to the side wall 2 and extend the length of the cabinet and a central guide member 16 is secured to the end Wall and is located between the pallets 13. The guides 15 and 16 function to prevent the pallets from tilting within the cabinet I.

The cleaning liquid contained in sump 14 is withdrawn from the sump through a suction line 17 leading to a pump 18 driven by motor 19. The pump and motor 19 are suitably mounted on the rear end wall 3 of the cabinet.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the inner end of suction line 17 is connected to an elbow 20 which is Welded to the upper surface of box 21 supported above the floor 5 by legs 22. The box 21 has an open bottom enclosed by a removable screen or strainer 23 which is mounted for sliding movement on guides 24 attached to the side walls of box 21. The cleaning liquid being drawn to the pump 18 through line 17 passes through the screen 23 which serves to strain the liquid and prevents foreign particles from being drawn to the pump. As shown in FIG. 2, the screen can be conveniently removed from the box for cleaning by pulling outward on the handle 25.

The discharge line 26 of the pump 18 extends upwardly along the end wall 3 and is connected to a header 27 which extends transversely within the cabinet. The header 27 is, in turn, connected to a series of supply lines 28 which are located beneath the top wall 4 of the cabinet and extend substantially the length of the cabinet.

The cleaning liquid is discharged from the supply lines through a series of nozzles 29 and which are directed, as shown in FIG. 3, toward the pallets. The liquid being discharged through the nozzles flows downwardly over the interior and exterior surfaces of the pallet and cleans the pallet of grease, butterfat, dirt, blood, etc., by erosion. The cleaning action does not depend on water pressure, but merely on the downward flow, by gravity, of the heated sanitizing water.

A suitable overflow outlet 30 is provided in one of the sidewalls 2 to drain excess water from the sump 1.4 and a drain spigot 31 is also connected to the side Willll 2 and communicates with the lower end of the sump 14.

To heat the cleaning liquid in sump 14 to a sanitizing temperature, steam is introduced into the sump through a steam line 32. A manual valve 33 is located in the steam line and is employed to manually open and close the line. In addition, a thermostat 34 is located within the sump in contact with the cleaning liquid, and thermostat 34 is operably connected to a valve 35 located in steam line 32. The thermostat is a conventional type and is responsive to the temperature of the cleaning liquid in the sump. When the temperature of the liquid falls beneath the preset value, the valve 35 will open to permit steam to enter the sump through line 32 to thereby maintain the preset temperature.

The apparatus of the invention will thoroughly clean several pallets at one time in an automatic operation. While the drawings illustrate two pallets being cleaned in the cabinet 1, it is contemplated that the cabinet can be enlarged and 4, 6 or any desired number of pallets can be cleaned in one operation.

The extraneous material is cleaned from both the interior and exterior surfaces of the pallet by an erosion action which does not depend on water pressure. The temperature of the cleaning liquid is automatically controlled and set at a sanitizing value so that the pallets or other articles will be thoroughly sanitized during the operation.

While the invention is particularly adapted to the cleaning of industrial type pallets, it is contemplated that any other articles, such as trays, plates, or the like, can be cleaned with the apparatus of the invention.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for cleaning articles, comprising a cabinet with the lower portion of the cabinet defining a sump adapted to contain a cleaning liquid, means located in the cabinet above the sump for supporting the articles to be cleaned, a series of discharge nozzles located within the upper portion of the cabinet, a box located in the sump and spaced above the bottom surface of the cabinet and having a closed top and an open bottom, pumping means, suction conduit means connecting the suction side of the pumping means to the box, discharge conduit means connecting the discharge side of the pumping means to the nozzles, straining means removably covering the bottom of the box for straining the liquid being drawn into said suction conduit means.

2. The structure of claim 1 and including a roller mounted on the exterior of the cabinet below the opening therein, said roller having a generally horizontal axis and the articles adapted to ride on the rollers as they are inserted within and Withdrawn from the cabinet.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,442,272 5/1948 Jaffa 134-108 2,592,857 4/1952 Chadwick 134108 X 2,651,312 9/1953 McBeth l34151 X 3,070,104 12/1962 Faust et al. l34-l65 X 3,277,907 10/1966 Goldman 134-108 CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.

R. L. BLEUTGE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2442272 *Mar 21, 1944May 25, 1948Mose JaffaDegreasing apparatus embodying means for confining solvent vapor
US2592857 *Feb 23, 1946Apr 15, 1952Chadwick Earl LPower agitated parts cleaning machine
US2651312 *Jun 6, 1951Sep 8, 1953Mcbeth Charles MWasher for fire hoses
US3070104 *Mar 26, 1958Dec 25, 1962R G Wright Company IncGlassware washer
US3277907 *Mar 8, 1963Oct 11, 1966Howard D TaylorAnimal cage washer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4744379 *Mar 26, 1986May 17, 1988Goettel Andrew PConveyor system for washing apparatus
US4773436 *Mar 9, 1987Sep 27, 1988Cantrell Industries, Inc.Pot and pan washing machines
Classifications
U.S. Classification134/111, 134/165, 134/108, 134/133
International ClassificationB08B9/08
Cooperative ClassificationB08B9/0861
European ClassificationB08B9/08Y