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Publication numberUS3373287 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 12, 1968
Filing dateAug 31, 1964
Priority dateSep 4, 1963
Also published asDE1463275B
Publication numberUS 3373287 A, US 3373287A, US-A-3373287, US3373287 A, US3373287A
InventorsHolzer Walter
Original AssigneeHolzer Walter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Programme selection arrangement for washing machines
US 3373287 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

W. HQLZER March 12, 1968 PROGRAMME SELECTION ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINES 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 31, 1964 FIGJ.

FIG.2.

l N V E NT UR WALTER HOLZER W Attorneys March 12, 1968 w. HOLZER 3,373,287

PROGRAMME SELECTION ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINES Filed Aug. 31, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.3. 2g 38 22\ i3 FIG.4.

INVENTIURI WALTER HOLZER Attorneys March 12, 1968 w HOLZER 3,373,287

PROGRAMME SELECTION ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINES I Filed Aug. 31, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG 5 LIGHT SENSITIVE SWITCHING CELL AL 41 L5 L2 L6 1.3 I

35 FIG a.

f 37 L7 Lg 1.9 X

I I I I I 3!. as

I I I LIGHT SENSITIVE SWITCHING CELL 1.1. L5 .3 I

' as as I LI] I INVENTOR= AH rneys W. HOLZER March 12, 1968 PROGRAMME SELECTION ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINES 4 Sheets-Sheet t Filed Aug. 31, 1964 LIGHT SENSITIVE SWITCHING CELL CONTROL LAMP FIG.9.

FIG.8.

IN V E NTUR WALTER HOLZE'Q m m W Attorneys United States Patent PRQGE SELECTION ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINES Walter Hoizer, Drosteweg 19, Meersburg (Bodensee), Germany Filed Aug. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 393,152

Claims priority, application Germany, Sept. 4, 1%3,

H 50,177 5 Claims. (Cl. 250-215) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In washing machines where various washing programmes take place fully automatically, this disclosure relates to an arrangement for selecting a desired programme from these by means of light activated photocells. The photocells are mounted inwardly of a humidityscreening and partially-translucent control panel. Partial programmes may be integrated into a total programme by activation of some but not all of the photocells. A photocell may be energized for a certain length of time to run a motor which in turn activates a series of photocell switches to effect a desired total programme responsive to the time for which the photocell was energized.

In washing machines where various washing programmes take place fully automatically, the present invention relates to an arrangement for selecting a desired programme from these.

Known arrangements for this purpose comprising clamp handle operated rotary-type switches, push-button switches, or switches operated by punched cards or other shaped plates, particularly templates, have the great disadvantage that apertures have to be left in the housing of the washing machines for the switch shafts or keys to extend through to the outside of the machine or for punched cards or other elements controlling the switching means to be led through to the inside of the machine. These apertures give the moist air in the room in which the machine is installed access to the switching elements, resulting in corrosion of the switching means themselves and of the inside of the machine when the latter has been in operation for a long time.

The invention aims to provide an improved arrangement for selecting programmes in fully automatic washing machines; this must allow the switching means of a washing machine to be operated, and the housing thereof must be completely impervious to moisture and must surround the switching means so as to exclude moisture therefrom.

The invention also aims to design the arrangement so that the process of operating the switching means is reliable, involves no great expense and can easily be carried out by laymen.

These problems are solved by an arrangement in washing machines where various washing programmes take place fully automatically, in that the desired programme is set by switching means arran ed behind a moisture screening control panel, and that the programme is selected by operating one or more of the switching means through acting on them from the outside through the control panel.

As a result of this aspect the switching means are protected from the efiects of humidity and any possibility of a faulty connection or of the switching means being dam- 3,373,281? Patented Mar. 12, 1968 aged from the outside, for example through too slight or too violent pressure on the keys, is ruled out from the start.

According to another aspect of the invention magnetic and/or optical switching means are used.

Two switching means particularly suitable for remote action through the control panel are proposed for this purpose. This also provides an easy way of keeping out disturbances and undesirable influences.

Operation of the washing machine is particularly simplified by a further aspect of the invention, which is characterized in that programmes are selected in time dependance of the permanent action on the switching means.

If a washing machine is equipped with such an arrangement according to the invention, automatic programme selection takes place in a specific time sequence and stops when the desired switching position has been reached by ending the action on the switching means. This confines accidental faulty connections within still narrower limits.

It is also possible, and provision is made according to the invention, for a switching means to be provided for each of specific partial programmes and for different total programmes to be put together by combined action on various of these switching means.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is characterized in that permanent magnets are used to act on magnetic switching means and may be placed stationary or displaceably on the control panel.

Thus it is possible, for example, for the permanent magnets to be removed from the washing machine when the wash is done, so as to prevent unauthorized persons from using the machine if it is installed in a generally accessible room.

If specific total programmes made up of a combination of partial ones are to be pre-selected it is an advantage, and provision is made according to the invention, for a plurality of permanent magnets to be mounted on a common carrier according to the desired action of the switching means, the carrier being designed to be inserted, for example, in depressions 1n the control panel.

Such an arrangement enormously simplifies the use of the machine, since all that has to be done is to place suitably marked carriers on the control panel. It is also possible for the carriers to be placed, for example, in depressions in the control panel and for difierent programmes to be combined by different positioning of the carrier within the depressions.

Instead of the control panel being provided with depressions the carrier may be in the form of a rotary drive.

From the point of view of appearance and mode of operation this embodiment corresponds to a large extent to the usual rotary type switches used for programme selection, so any prejudices against the unaccustomed innovations are superfluous.

For the sake of increasing the convenience with which a washing machine with switching means according to the invention can be operated, small control lamps are provided to indicate the switching positions produced by action on the switching means.

In another very important aspect of the invention the device when it is for acting on optical switching means, particularly light-sensitive switching cells, is a partially screenable electric light source which is arranged above the partially transparent control panel and the circuit of which is controlled by the main switch of the washing machine.

In this embodiment programme selection takes place in time dependence of the screening ofi of one or more switching cells. With the aid of suitable devices one or more washing programmes is switched on with a given sequence; this may be indicated to the operating staff, for example, by the successive illumination of control lamps. It is also possible to put together various total washing programmes by combined screening oiT of various cells.

In order to make exposure of the light-sensitve cells independent of the general room lighting provision is made, according to the invention, for alight souce to be arranged above the partially transparent control panel and for the circuit of the light source to be controlled by the main switch of the washing machine.

Other features and advantages will become apparent from the description which will now be given with reference to the accompanying drawings. These show examples of arrangements according to the invention and in them:

FIG. 1 illustrates diagrammatically the operation of a plurality of switch ng means by permanent magnets, FIG. 2 illustrates diagrammatically the time-dependent control of programme selection by a magnetically operable switching means, FIG. 3 is a diagram showing the arrange ment of permanent magnets on the control panel of the washing machine, FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating the arrangement of a plurality of permanent magnets on a common carrier which may be inserted in depressions in the control panel, FIG. 5 is a theoretical circuit diagram with four light-sensitive cells in a state of rest, FIG. 6 is the same circuit diagram as in FIG. 5 but with the third cell shaded, FIG. 7 is a theoretical circuit diagram in which programmes may be selected in time dependent of the darkening of a single cell, FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the control panel of a washing machine with the cells arranged therein and FIG. 9 is a section taken along the line VV in FIG. 8.

In FIG. 1 the control panel 1 of the washing machine contains a cavity 2 shut-off imperviously to moisture by a preferably magnetically neutral control panel 3 with a seal 4- interposed. Arranged below the control panel, which preferably has suitable markings (not shown) on the outside, are the switching means for programme selection. They consist, for example, of switches 5, 6, 7 and-8, one contact of each of which is connected to the switching step contacts 9, 10, 1'1, 12 on the programme switch 13, the second contact of the switches 5, 6, 7, 8 being applied tothe feeder 20'. The programme switch 13 is in known manner equipped with programme cams 14 and aseeking run switching arm 15 which operates the contacts 9, 10, 11, 12. The switching arm 15 is connected by a relay 16 to the distributing bar 19 and controls' a bridging contact 17 to the control circuit of the motor 18, which drives the programme switch 13 via a known seeking and step run gearing 21. If the switches 5, 6, 7, 8 are suitably designed for magnetic operation, for example by a soft iron switching armature 23, it is pos sible to operate one of the switches through the control panel 3 by means of a permanent magnet 22 placed thereon. If, for example as shown in FIG. 1, the seeking run switch 7 is closed by the permanent magnet 22, the handstarted motor 18 would move the, seeking run switch 15 rapidly across the seeking run contacts 9 and 10. Not until the seeking run contact 11 is reached by the'switching arm 15 is the control circuit of the motor 18 broken and the washing programme associated with the contact 11 operated by slow step motion of the motor 18.

FIG. 2 shows a modified embodiment of an arrangement according to the invention in which, for example, the bridging contact 17 is designed to be magnetically operated and the seeking run switching arm 15 switches small control lamps, for example 25, according to its position. In such an arrangement programmes are obviously selected in time dependence of the duration of the action of the field of the permanent magnet 22 on the switch 17.

FIG. 3 shows another modified embodiment of an arrangement according to the invention in which switches 5, 6, 7, 8 are provided and can be magnetically operated for individual partial programmes. By combined magnetic action on the switching members 23, for example, by means of the two permanent magnets 22 above the switches 7 and 8, these allow a desired total washing programme to be put together. FIG. 3 also shows that the permanent magnets 22 may be arranged above the control panel 3 so that they can move along a sliding bar 28, the setting markings (not shown) being provided either on the panel 3 or the bar 28.

Another possible arrangement of the permanent magnets 22 is shown in FIG. 4 in which, for example, two permanent magnets 22 are mounted on a common supporting plate 29. The supporting plate 29 may be inserted in a depression 36 in the control panel 3 in four different positions, so that with a suitable arrangement of the switching means different washing programmes may be selected depending on the marking A, B, C, D on the plate 3 towards which the identification mark 31 on the supporting plate 29 is directed. The switching processes may be reliably checked if small control lamps 24, 25, 26, 27 are provided below the control panel 3, which is preferably transparent in these places.

Although the switching means 5, 6, 7, 8 shown in the drawings and described have a soft iron armature 23, it should be expressely pointed out that they may easily be different without going beyond the scope of the invention or of the following claims. For example, switching means with pre-magnetized armatures may be used and the magnetic action produced by any magnetically active members. From the point of view of operation and appearance the arrangements of. a plurality of such members or permanent magnets of a carrier in the form of a rotary drive shares essential features of the usual switches in Washing machines, although the technical design of the switches is completely diiferent from the usual model. The stalf can therefore get used to operating washing machines with programme selection according to the invention without any difficulty.

In FIG. 5, for example, four light-sensitive switching cells 31, 32, 33, 34 are arranged one behind the other, the first cell 31 being connected directly to the distributing feeder 35 of the washing machine and the last light-sensitive cell 34 being connected to the second distributing feeder 37 by an interposed relay 36. The relay 36 has contacts 38, 39 which are normally closed and which control the current supply from the distributing feeder 37'to a relay distributing line 40. Connected to the line 40 is one end of the winding of each of the switching relays 41, 42, 43, the second ends of the windings of which are in each case connected to one of the connecting. leads between the cells 31, 32, 33, 34. The relays 41, 42, 43 control programme selector contacts 44, 45, 46,. which in known manner control difierent washing programmes for difierent types of laundry.

In the FIG. 5 arrangement it is assumed that the lightsensitive cells 31, 32, 33, 34 are irradiated substantially equally by a suitable light source (not shown) so that all the cells are switched to let through current as shown symbolically in FIG. 5 by broken line switch symbols 47, 48, 49, 50. By means of the cells 31, 32, 33, 34 the circuit of the relay 36 to the distributing feeders 35, 37 is closed, and the response relay 36 opens the contacts 38, 39 and thereby separates the relay distributing line 40 from the feeder 37.

FIG. 6 shows the same circuit as FIG. 5 but with the cell 33 in shadow. Darkening of the cell 33 breaks the cell circuit at the broken line switch symbol 49, although the other cells 31, 32 and 34 continue to let through current as indicated by the broken line switch symbol 47, 48-

and 50. Breaking of the cell circuit causes the relay circuit to be broken and the relay 36 to drop off, the contacts 38, 39 closing and applying the potential of the distributing lead 37 to one end of the windings of the relays 41, 42, 43 via the relay distributing line 40. But since only the second ends of the windings of the relays 41, 42 are connected to the potential of the distributing lead 35 by the live cells 31, 32 only the programme selector contacts 44, 45 are operated and the relay 43, having both winding ends applied to the potential of the distributing line 37, is not energised and does not cause any switching process at the contacts 46, whereby a washing programme, for example for coloureds, or a boiling period is pre-selected. Industry is already producinglight-sensitive switching cells for currents of up to 400 ma., so it is quite possible to control a large number of high ohmic relays. Even if under unfavourable switch ing conditions the relay current should be too high in relation to the lead to a single cell, arrangements according to the invention may be used by connecting cells in parallel.

FIG. 7 shows a further possible arrangement according to the invention in which programmes are selected in time dependence of the darkening of a single cell 53. This arrangement not only greatly simplifies operation but also has the advantage that the light-sensitive cell 53 switches only the relay circuit of the relay 36, so that any number of switching relays may be provided. In FIG. 7, for example, the relays 41, 42, 43, and 51 are provided, one end of the winding of each being connected to a contact of a step switch 54 and the second end of the winding to the potential of the distributing lead 37 via a small control lamp 55. The switching arm 56 of the switch 54 is connected directly to the distributing bar 35 by the relay distributing line 40 and is suitably driven, for example by a motor 57 connected to the lead 37 and to the contact 39 of the relay 36. To select a desired washing programme the cell 53 is put in shadow, whereby the relay circuit is broken and the circuit of the motor 57 closed. The motor 57 sets the switching arm 56 in slow rotation, for example in the direction of the arrow 58, whereby the relays 41, 42, 43 and 51 are successively energised and operate the contacts 44, 45, 46, 52 in time sequence; this is indicated by the illumination of the lamps 55 in stages. If for example a washing programme is pre-selected by combining the contacts 46 cell 53 is darkened only until the relay 43 responds and its associated control lamp 55 lights up. The end of the darkening of the cell 53 makes the relay 36 respond, and its contacts 38, 39 open and break the circuit of the motor 57. Stopping of the motor 57 makes the arm 56 stop on the contact of the step switch 54 associated with the relay 43. The thus energised relay 43 keeps the contacts 45 closed While the programme takes place.

Although this is not shown in the drawings, it is also possible to keep closed all the relays energised by the switching arm 56 rotating in the direction of the arrow 58, by providing self-holding contacts (not shown). In such an arrangement the switching positions may be combined as shown in FIGS. and 6. It is also possible, and provision is made by the invention for different relays to be arranged with switching contacts to switch partial washing programmes and for each of the relays to be controlled by a cell and equipped with corresponding switching contacts. By combined darkening of the cells desired total Washing programmes can then be put together from the individual partial programmes.

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic partial front view of the control panel 59 of the washing machine on which a control plate 60 is mounted with a seal 61 interposed so as to exclude humidity. The plate 60 has transparent portions 62 below which is a row 63 of cells as shown clearly in FIG. 9. The transparent portions 62 are identified on the plate 69 according to the washing programmes, for example by symbols or letters A, B, C, etc. In an arrangement with only one cell where the darkening time determines the choice of programme as shown by way of example in FIG. 7, one of the transparent portions is specially marked and, for example, takes the form of a quadrilateral 64 below which the cell 52 is arranged, while control lamps 55 are located below the transparent portions A, B, C, etc. Above the plate 60 is a suitable light source, preferably in the form of a tubular light 65 which illuminates the plate 60 uniformly. It is an ad vantage for the circuit of the light sourceto be controlled by the main switch (not shown) of the washing machine, which also controls the voltage supply to the distributing feeders 35, 37, so that the readiness of the machine for operation can be seen from the illuminated tubular light 65.

Although in the FIG. 7 arrangement the relays 41, 42, 43, 51 are operated in time sequence by a motor-driven step switch it should be noted that it is quite possible for the relays also to be energised by the relay feeder 40 and for each relay to be equipped with a delaying means of dilferent time constant without thereby going beyond the scope of the invention or of the following claims.

I claim:

1. In a washing machine which includes a housing wherein a plurality of washing programmes are organized to take place automatically, a system for selecting a desired programme and comprising a humidity-screening and partially-translucent control panel which forms part of the housing,

at least one light-sensitive switching cell mounted behind the control panel and inside the housing with the cell operatively connected to the desired programme,

a source of light outward of the control panel,

actuating means arranged to operate the switching cell from outside the control panel and including means for intermittent shielding of the cell from the source of light.

2. In a washing machine which includes a housing wherein a plurality of washing programmes are organized to take place automatically, a system for selecting a desired programme and comprising a humidity-screening and partially-translucent control panel which forms part of the housing,

a plurality of light-sensitive switching cells including a first cell mounted behind the control panel,

a source of light outward of the control panel,

a switching relay connected to the first cell,

a motor and a switching arm,

the switching relay having a contact connected to the motor and arranged to activate that motor when the source of light is discontinued to the first cell,

the motor connected to drive the switching arm to contact and activate in sequence a series of relays each having a control lamp,

one of the light-sensitive cells in register with and exposed to each of the control lamps whereby programme selection is eflected as a time-dependent function of the duration of discontinuation of the source of light to the first cell.

3. In a washing machine which includes a housing wherein a plurality of partial washing programmes are organized to take place automatically, a system for integrating a total programme and comprising a humidity-screening and partially-translucent control panel which forms part of the housing,

a plurality of light-sensitive switching cells mounted behind the control panel and inside the housing with each of the cells operatively connected to a partial washing programme,

a source of light outward of the control panel,

actuating means arranged to operate some but not all of the cells from outside the control panel and including means for exposing some but not all of the cells to the source of light.

4. The system of claim 3 with the source of light connected to the housing and arranged above the control panel.

5. The system of claim 4 with indicator lamps con- 2,498,683 2/1950 Hubbell 335-207 X nected and organized to the switching cells to announce 2,606,274 8/ 1952 Spierer 250- 221 X the washing programme in effect. 3,129,302 4/ 1964 Postel 335-406 3,215,867 11/1965 Mellinger 2 307-14 1 References CHM 3,234,512 2/1966 Burkhart 250-219 UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,260,866 7/1966 Martin 2 307--141 1 ,882,614 10/1932 Hunciker 335 205 3,296,465 1/ 1967 Kile" 2,039,604 5/1936 Miller et a1 250'221 X 2 207 097 7 1940 Logan 5 '2'3 X RALPH NILSON, Examiner- 2,495,249 1/1950 Gilbert 250'221 X 10 M. A. LEAVITT, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1882614 *Jul 31, 1931Oct 11, 1932Ira E MccabeInclosed mercury switch
US2039604 *Sep 5, 1934May 5, 1936Bade Ervin OSignal for motor vehicles
US2207097 *Jul 20, 1938Jul 9, 1940Union Switch & Signal CoLight sensitive device
US2495249 *Mar 4, 1947Jan 24, 1950Cutting Room Appliances CorpMeans for stopping movement of electrically operated cloth laying machines
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US2606274 *Jun 11, 1951Aug 5, 1952Edi Holding IncDrying apparatus
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US3215867 *Mar 27, 1961Nov 2, 1965Maytag CoProgramming control device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4329581 *Jun 4, 1980May 11, 1982General Electric CompanyAmbient light sensor touch switch system and method
US4847606 *Aug 25, 1987Jul 11, 1989Oak Industries Inc.Control and display system
US5579035 *Jul 5, 1991Nov 26, 1996Technomarket, L.P.Liquid crystal display module
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/215, 250/221, 68/12.23
International ClassificationD06F39/00, G05B19/12, H01H36/00, G05B19/10
Cooperative ClassificationH01H36/0066, G05B19/108, D06F39/005, G05B2219/23376, G05B19/12
European ClassificationG05B19/12, G05B19/10S1, D06F39/00P, H01H36/00B14