US 3426772 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11, 1969 s. c. FOSTER PARTS CLEANING MACHINE Sheet Filed April 6, 1967 mall. ma'
INVENTOR A NORA/EX Feb. 11, 1969 Filed April 6, 1967 S. C FOSTER Sheet 2 PARTS CLEAN ING MACHINE FIG. 3
INVENTOR. STEPHE/V' 6. FOSTER ATTORNEY United States Patent ()fiice 3,426,772 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A carrier for articles to be cleaned is supported for movement in a tank of cleaning solvent. A dual purpose piston-cylinder serves (1) (when retracted) as a connecting rod between the carrier and a motor driven eccentric, and (2) (when fluid activated to extend and retract) to raise and lower the carrier for loading.
This invention relates generally to a device for cleaning automotive parts, such as engine blocks, pistons, connecting rods, and other like automotive parts.
In certain commercially available devices of this type, it is common to provide for vertical reciprocation of a carrier platform within a tank of solvent, thus agitating the parts to be cleaned within the solvent and consequently agitating the solvent as well.
In such commercial devices, the carrier platform is also arranged to move from a position near the bottom of the tank, where it remains during agitation, to a position near the top of the tank where it is convenient for loading and unloading.
In such existing commercial devices, one great detriment has been the fact that both the agitation and the movement of the carrier from near the bottom to near the top of the tank is accomplished pneumatically. In automotive repair shops and the like where devices of this nature are used, the device is connected to a central compressor to provide the required compressed air for operation. Since many devices in such repair shops are operated by compressed air, including parts cleaning devices, and since frequently more than one parts cleaning device will be in operation at a given time, there is a requirement for extremely large compressor capacity.
Since, under these circumstances, the purchase of additional parts cleaning equipment is dependent, in part, upon the existence of adequate compressor capacity at the shop location Where it is to be installed, and since the devices conventionally do not have their own integral and complete power source, frequently the purchase of one or more of these cleaning devices must be accompanied by additional purchases of enlarged or added compressors to provide the requisite source of compressed a1r.
One object of the present invention is to provide a parts cleaning device having its own integrated power source for agitation, thus freeing the device from dependence upon the compressor capacity where it is to be installed.
Another object of the present invention is to accomplish the agitating action of the washer with a minimum amount of wear on the pneumatic piston-cylinder which is used to transmit the agitation to the carrier.
These and other objects of. the invention will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following specification and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view from the upper rear of the device of the invention,
FIG. 2 is a side view partly in section of the device of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a partial rear view of the device of FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the crank arrangement taken along lines 44 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 5 is a sectional view showing the arrangement for opening the cover of the device, and
FIG. 6 is a view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
With reference to FIG. 1, the parts cleaning device of the invention is shown as comprising a tank 10 having a control panel 12 and a cover 14. In one corner of the cover 14 is a viewing window 16 which may of glass, transparent plastic, or the like. Within the tank 10 is a carrier generally indicated by the reference numeral 18 having longitudinal bars 24] and trans-verse cross bars 22. As shown, this carrier 18 is grate-like; however, it may comprise a series of rollers in place of the cross-members 22, thus permitting heavy articles to be rolled onto the carrier when the carrier is in its upper position, as described below.
Extending upwardly from the center of the rear of the tank 10, is a carrier track 24.
Extending upwardly from the rear center of the carrier 18 is an inverted L shaped carrier support member 26, having a vertical leg 28 and a horizontal rearwardly extending leg 30. Mounted on either side of the horizontal leg 30 are two rollers 32 and 32' which bear against the vertical surfaces 34 and 34', respectively, of the track 24.
At the rearward edge of the carrier 18 are positioned one or a plurality of rollers 36 which bear against the inside of the rear wall 38 of the tank 10.
A pneumatic piston-cylinder generally indicated by the reference numeral 40 is arranged at the rear of the machine with the external end of the piston rod 42 pivotally connected at 44 to the end of the horizontal leg 30. The cylinder 46 of the piston-cylinder arrangement 40 is pivotally connected at its bottom extremity to a crank arrangement indicated by the reference numeral 48, best shown in FIG. 4.
The crank 48 is fixed to a rotating crank shaft 52 extending from the side of a gear reduction mechanism which is driven by belt 54 from an electric motor 60. The web 56 of the crank 48 is, as indicated, fixed to the crank shaft 52 and has extending therefrom at its opposite end, a crank pin 58 upon which the lower end of the cylinder 46 is pivoted by means of the journals 96-96.
It will be seen that the carrier 18 is supported through the inverted L shaped support member 26 by the rollers 36 bearing against the rearward wall 38 of the tank 10 and by the rollers 32-32 bearing against the tracks 34-34 as well as by the piston-cylinder 40. The weight of the carrier 18 and any articles thereon, of course, is transmitted through the member 26 to the top external end of the piston rod 42. At the opposite end of the piston rod 42, the piston 100 bears upon the top surface 102 of a circumferential ridge 104 extending upwardly around the inside of the cylinder 46 from it bottom 98. The cylinder 46 is, in turn, supported by the crank 48 and the gear reducer 50.
The cover 14 of the device has upwardly and rearwardly extending hinge members 62-62, pivoted at 64-64, to upwardly extending hinge support members 66-66, extending upwardly from the reinforcing member 68 fixed to the upper edge of the rearward wall 38 of the tank 10. Springs 72-72 serve to counterbalance, in part, the weight of the cover 14 which is provided with a handle 70 for opening manually.
The vertical inverted L shaped support member 26 extends through an opening 74 (see FIG. 5) in the cover 14. On either side of the opening 74 is a pair of cam tracks 76-76 positioned to be engaged by cam rollers 78-78. journaled on the vertical member 28. This arrangement provides for automatic opening of the cover 14 when the member 26 is moved upwardly by the piston rod 42 as shown in FIG. 5. When the cam rollers 78-78' engage the tracks 76-76 during upward movement of the member 26, the tracks 76-76 and the cover 14 to which they are fixed are raised upwardly. It will be noted that the cam rollers 78-78' are positioned considerably above the carrier 18, thus permitting opening of the cover 14 well in advance of the time that the carrier 18 and any articles thereon reach the upper limit of travel.
The electric motor 60 is wired in series through two switches 80 and 82 to an electric power source (not shown). The switch 80 is mounted at the upper end of the cylinder 46 and is actuated by means of a laterally extending arm 84 fixed to the upper end of the piston rod 42 (see FIG. 3). The switch 82 is operated manually; thus, not only must the switch 82 be manually switched to on, but also the piston must be in the down position with the arm 84 engaging the switch 80 in order for the motor 60 to operate.
The cylinder 46 has a fluid inlet opening 86 through the ridge 104 at its lower end connected by means of fluid conduit 86' through manually operated valve 88 on the control panel 12 to a suitable source of fluid (air or hydraulic) under pressure. The upper end of the cylinder is vented at 90 to the atmosphere.
Operation To operate the device, the operator actuates two-way valve 88, thus introducing fluid under pressure through the conduit 86' through the lower end of the cylinder and into the space between the piston 100 and cylinder bottom 98 to raise piston 100 and its rod 42 upwardly. When the piston 100 has moved up sufliciently to engage the inside of the upper end of the casing of cylinder 46 (see FIG. 2), the carrier 18 will be in the upper position 92 shown in dot-dash line in FIG. 2, and the horizontal leg of the supporting member 26 will be close to or in engagement with stop member 94 extending transversely between the tracks 34-34. The carrier 18 will remain in this position 92, because of the fluid pressure in the cylinder, in which position, the carrier may be readily loaded with articles to be cleaned. The cover 14, of course, will have been opened either manually or automatically by means of the cam rollers 78-78 and the tracks 76-76 as described above.
After loading the carrier, the operator actuates twoway valve 88 to lower the same, whereby the fluid pressure through the conduit 86' and into the cylinder 46 is reduced permitting the piston 100 and piston rod 42 to lower the L shaped support member 26 and the carrier 18. When the carrier 18 is adjacent to the bottom of the tank, as shown in full lines in FIG. 2, the weight of the carrier and the articles thereon will be transmitted through the support 26 and the piston rod 42 and through the piston 100 at the bottom of he piston rod 42 to the ridge 104 at the bottom end (the head) 98 of the cylinder 46.-In this position, the laterally extending arm 84 on the piston rod 42 will have engaged the switch 80 mounted at the top end of the cylinder 46 to close the switch. The operator then closes electric switch 82, thus energizing he motor 60. The motor 60 drives the gear reducer 50 through belt 54 and the gear reducer 50, through crank shaft 52, rotates the crank 48. The rotary motion of the crank 48 is transformed into vertical reciprocating motion by the piston-cylinder mechanism acting as a connecting rod and pivoted at both its ends at 44 and 58. This reciprocatory motion is transmitted to the carrier 18 to move it between the full line position shown in FIG. 2 and the dotted line position 94 also shown in FIG. 2.
This rapid verical agitation of the carrier and the articles thereon within the solvent in the tank 10 cleans the articles supported on the carrier 18.
After a suflicient length of time has elapsed to thoroughly cleanse the articles on the carrier 18, the operator switches off the motor 60 by means of the electric switch 82. He then activates two-way valve 88 to again raise the carrier 18 to its upper position 92 in order to unload and reload the carrier. In the event the operator neglects to switch off the motor at the switch 82, the motor will be automatically de-energized when the upward movement of the piston rod 42 moves the arm 84 vertically out of engagement with the switch which is also wired in series with the motor 6-0 and the switch 82. Thus, there is no danger that the agitating motion -will continue during the lifting of the carrier from its bottom position to its uppermost position 92. Of course, during this last raising of the carrier 18, the cover 14 will also be raised by the rollers 78-78 and the tracks 76-76" as above described.
It will be seen from the foregoing disclosure that during most of the time in which the device is in operation, i.c., during the washing cycle, no demand is made upon the compressor capacity of the shop in which the device is operated due to the fact that the agitation is provided by means of the rotating crank 48 driven by the gear reducer 50 and the electric motor 60. This mechanism is totally independent of the compressor capacity at the site of operation. At the same time, however, the inherent advantages of a pneumatic piston-cylinder arrangement for raising and lowering carrier 18 with heavy loads thereon is retained. Most importantly, the piston-cylinder 40 serves not only as a raising and lowering mechanism for the carrier but in its lowered position, serves as a connecting rod between the crank 48 and the carrier, thus providing a dual and unique function for the pistoncylinder 40 and minimizing the number of parts which would otherwise be required.
It will also be seen that the piston is operated within the cylinder only when loading and unloading the carrier thus saving wear on these expensive parts which are commonly called upon, in existing devices, to provide the rapid short stroke agitation of the carrier during the washing cycle.
It is to be understood that while a specific embodiment has been described above, various modifications within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims are contemplated. For example, while reference has been specifically made to the use of compressed air to drive the piston-cylinder arrangement 40, it is manifest that hydraulic operating means could be used as well.
1. A machine of the type described comprising a tank for holding cleaning solvent, a carrier mounted for movement in said tank for supporting articles to be cleaned, means for imparting an agitating motion to said carrier, a connecting rod, said connecting rod being operatively connected to said eccentric and said carrier, said connecting rod being extensible in length, means for extending the length of said connecting rod to move said carrier to and from one position near the bottom of the tank and another position near the top of the tank, and means for rotating said eccentric whereby said carrier and articles supported thereon are agitated in said solvent.
2. The machine of claim 1 including an interlock means for stopping the rotation of said eccentric upon the extension of said connecting rod.
3. The machine of claim 1 in which said connecting rod is a fluid actuated cylinder and the power means for extending said connecting rod is a fluid operating power means.
4. In a parts cleaning machine of the type described wherein an article carrier is supported for agitation in a tank containing solvent, the improvement comprising:
(a) a rotatable crank,
(b) a dual purpose connecting rod connected at one end to said crank and at the other end to said carrier,
(c) said connecting rod being extensible in length,
(d) means to rotate said crank, and
(e) means to extend the length of said connecting rod.
5. The machine of claim 4 including means to stop rotation of said crank upon extension of said connectting rod.
6. A machine of the type described comprising a tank for holding cleaning solvent, a carrier mounted for movement in said tank for supporting articles to be cleaned, means for imparting an agitating motion to said carrier, said agitating means including a rotatable eccentric and a fluid operated piston-cylinder means pivotally conected to said eccentric and to said carrier, said carrier being so connected to said piston-cylinder means as to tend by its weight to retract said piston-cylinder means to its fully retracted position and hold said piston-cylinder means in said retracted position, means to rotate said eccentric operable only when said piston-cylinder means is in its fully retracted position for agitating said carrier and articles supported thereon in said solvent, and means to extend said piston-cylinder means to raise said carrier to the top of said tank.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,285,272 11/1918 Lutolf 134141 XR 3,083,716 4/1963 Rowen et al 134141 XR 3,101,088 8/1963 Gray 134164 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 258,607 5/ 1928 Italy.
ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 134-164 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,426,772 February 11, 1969 Stephen C. Foster It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 9, after "may" insert be same column 2, lines 46 and 66 and column 3, line 49, "L" should read "L" same column 2, line 70, the period, first occurrence, should be a comma. Column 3 lines 54 and 60, "he" should read the line 71, "verical" should read vertical Column 4, line 51, after the comma insert said agitating means including a rotatable eccentric and line 54, before "means" insert power Column 5 line 11, conected" should read connected Signed and sealed this 24th day of March 1970.
( Attest Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR. Attesting Offiwr Commissioner of Patents