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Publication numberUS3466108 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1969
Filing dateDec 21, 1967
Priority dateDec 21, 1967
Publication numberUS 3466108 A, US 3466108A, US-A-3466108, US3466108 A, US3466108A
InventorsGuth Lauren W
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Door-operated rack extending and retracting means for a front-opening appliance cabinet
US 3466108 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 9, 1969 L. w. GUTH 3 0 DOOR-OPERATED RACK EXTENDING AND RETRACTING MEANS FOR A FRONTOPENING APPLIANCE CABINET Filed DEC. 21, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet l I 43a. l 42 31! 4-3 42a l6 J 52 I 30" 55' 3 3s. 5 38-- :3 43b 3G 37 H L 4-5 34b 40 f 354 4-11 4 Ii 11 n 1 l9 I a 8 4n, 25c

2 I I '9 H INVENTOR.

FIGJ BY @fiE/ pus ATTORKIE v v Sept. 9, 1969 L. w. GUTH 3,466,108 DOOR-OPERATED RACK EXTENDING AND RETRACTING MEANS FOR A FRONT-OPENING APPLIANCE CABINET Filed Dec. 21, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. LAUREN W. GUTH H\S ATTORNEY DOOR-OPERATED RACK EXTENDING AND RETRACTING MEANS Sept. 9, 1969 w, GUTH 3,466,108

- FOR A FRONT-OPENING APPLIANCE CABINET Filed Dec. 21, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet I5 INVENTOR.

LAUREN W. GUT H H\S ATTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 312274 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Door-operated means for extending or retracting an article-receiving rack of an appliance, such as a dishwasher or the like, of the front-opening horizontallyhinged drop-door type. The appliance includes a cabinet structure forming an enclosure having a front wall provided with an access opening and a door for the opening hinged for pivotal movement between a non-horizontal or generally vertical fully-closed position and a substantially horizontal fully-open position. An article-receiving rack is supported within the enclosure for movement through the access opening on first track means within the enclosure and on second track means on the door inner surface, which are horizontally aligned when the door is in its fully open position. Linkage means are pivotally mounted on one of the cabinet structure walls for connection with the movable rack. The linkage means are operable, when actuated, to propel a major portion of the rack along the track means and through the enclosure access opening in a fore-and-aft direction. Means carried by the door for hinged pivotal movement therewith are provided for engaging and actuating the linkage means during only the final few degrees of door opening and the initial few degrees of door closing movements, whereby the linkage means are engaged with and operated by the door only when the enclosure and door track means are generally horizontally aligned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates generally to appliances and more particularly to door-operated means for extending and retracting an article-receiving rack of a dishwasher of the front-opening drop-door type.

Dishwashing machines often include a cabinet structure forming a washing enclosure having an access opening through the front side wall thereof. The access opening is usually provided with a door hinged at its bottom edge for pivotal movement from a vertical to a horizontal position to permit access to the washing enclosure. In such machines, rack means are provided for supporting articles to be washed within the washing enclosure. These rack means commonly included an open framework rack supported on rollers that rest on tracks on the enclosure side walls at the lower portion of the enclosure. The door is also provided with tracks which align with the enclosure tracks when the door is in its horizontal or fully opened position, and the rack is manually rolled along the enclosure and door tracks to position the same over the open door to facilitate loading of the rack. Following loading, the rack must be manually rolled on the door and enclosure tracks to a retracted position wholly within the enclosure and the door, then closed by an additional subsequent manual operation. Hence it would be desirable if the door and the rack could be connected so that manual opening and closing of the door would simultaneously respectively result in automatic extension and retraction of the rack, whereby the conventionally reice quired additional manual operations of the rack could be eliminated.

Description of the prior art US. Patents Nos. 3,058,479 and 3,248,158 disclose door-operated means for extending an article-receiving rack of a dishwasher of the front-opening drop-door type. However, these prior-art means operate to extend only a small fraction of the rack onto the open door and the dishwasher operator is still required to manually further extend the rack in order to conveniently load the same.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides improved door-operated means for extending and retracting an article-receiving rack of an appliance, such as a dishwasher or the like, of the front-opening horizontally-hinged drop-door type, wherein the rack is supported for movement through the access opening on first track means within the enclosure and on second track means on the door, which are horizontally aligned when the door is in its fully open position. In accordance with the present invention, linkage means are pivotally mounted on a wall of the enclosure for connection with the movable rack. The linkage means are operable when actuated, to propel a major portion of the rack along the track means and through the enclosure opening in a fore-and-aft direction. Means carried by the door for hinged pivotal movement therewith are provided for engaging and actuating the linkage means during only the final few degrees of opening or the initial few degrees of closing movements of the door, whereby the linkage means are engaged with and operated by the door only when the enclosure and door track means are generally horizontally aligned.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a right side elevational view, with parts broken away to illustrate details, of an automatic dishwasher incorporating the present invention, with the washing enclosure access opening door shown in its generally vertical or fully closed position;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view similar to FIGURE 1, showing the condition of a door-operated rack extending and retracting means as the door approaches its final few degrees of opening movement or completion of its initial few degrees of closing movement;

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2, but showing the condition of the rack extending and retracting means with the door in its horizontal or fully open position;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary elevational perspective view, partly in section, showing details of the means for readily connecting and disconnecting the door-operated extending and retracting linkage means to and from the lower rack.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG- URE 1 thereof, there is illustrated an automatic dishwasher 10 having a cabinet structure including an outer cabinet 11 and an inner cabinet 12. It should be noted at the outset, that the present invention is not liimted in its application to a dishwasher, but may be employed with any appliance cabinet structure. The application of the invention in a dishwasher is for purposes of illustration only.

A washing enclosure 13 is defined within the inner cabinet 12 which includes left and right side walls 14 and 15. The outer and inner cabinets 11 and 12 are constructed with flanged registering front wall openings mated together to provide an access opening 16 to the washing enclosure 13 so that articles may be placed therein or removed there from.

A door 17 is provided for the access opening 16 and is hinged about its bottom edge by hinge means 18 so as to pivot about a horizontal axis between a non-horizontal or generally vertical fully-closed position (FIGURE 1) and a substantially horizontal fully-open position (FIG- URE 3).

The hinge means 18 comprise two hinge mechanisms that are respectively provided at adjacent left and right sides of the bottom of the door 17. While only the right hinge mechanism is shown in the drawing, it should be understood that the left is generally similar in structure. Each of the left and right hinge mechanisms includes a door-mounted hinge member 19 that is hinged by a horizontally-arranged pin 20 to a stationary hinge member 21 that protrudes from the front of the cabinet structure beneath the access opening 16. Each door-mounted hinge member 19 is formed with a generally arcuately-shaped hinge arm 19a which has a distal end that projects rearwardly and downwardly into the space between the outer and inner cabinets 11 and 12 through an aperture provided in the access opening flange. The distal end of each hinge arm 19a is provided with a stop surface 22 which engages the rear face of the inner cabinet access opening flange as the door 17 reaches its fully open position (FIG- URE 3).

A pair of vertically spaced open framework racks 23 and 24 are provided Within the washing enclosure 13. Each of the racks 23 and 24 is formed from wire rods in a conventional manner so as to receive, in a suitable position for washing, a varied assortment of articles, such as dishes, glassware and the like (not shown). Also, each of the racks 23 and 24 is mounted so as to move generally horizontally forward or outward (to the left as seen in FIGURES 1-3) when the door 17 is open, so that racks are made accessible for loading and unloading purposes.

The support system for giving this mobility to the upper rack 23 may be of any conventional design. For example, the upper rack 23 may be provided with a slide-out mechanism (not specifically shown), such as described and claimed by Norman L. Kendt in U.S. Patent 3,096,125 issued July 2, 1963, and assigned to the General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. Since the exact slide mechanism provided for the upper rack 23 is not critical to the present invention, it is not described in detail herein.

The lower rack 24 has a horizontal cross-sectional area substantially equal to that of the enclosure 13 and is provided with a series of roller sets 25a, 25b, and 250 on the left and right edges of its bottom. When the lower rack 24 is positioned wholly within the enclosure 13 in its fully retracted position, the roller sets 25b and 25c rest upon parallel horizontal surfaces or tracks 26 provided on the interior of the enclosure side walls 14 and 15. The enclosure tracks 26 extend forwardly from the rear of the enclosure and terminate adjacent the access opening 16. As best shown in FIGURE 3, other tracks 27 are provided on the inner face of the door 17 which, when the door 17 is pivoted to its fully open position, are aligned with the enclosure tracks 26 to permit a major portion of the lower rack 24 to be rolled generally horizontally onto the open door 17.

As previously indicated, the present invention is particularly concerned with providing mean operable by the manual opening and closing of the door 17 to respectively simultaneously automatically perform the extension and retraction of the lower rack 24 from and into the enclosure 13, whereby the convention additionally required manual operations for the extending and retracting thereof can be eliminated. As described in detail hereinafter, the present invention provides such door-operated means and further provides that they are operable during only the final few degrees of the opening and the initial few degrees of the closing movement of the door 17 about the hinge pins 20, when the enclosure and door tracks 26 and 27 are generally horizontally aligned, whereby undesirable cocking of the track 24 is avoided during its extension or retraction through the enclosure access opening 16 by the door-operated means of the present invention.

In accordance with the form of the present invention illustrated in the figures, linkage means, generally indicated at 30, are pivotally mounted on the enclosure right side wall 15, which can connect the door 17 to the lower rack 24 and can be respectively operated by downward movement of the door 17 about the hinge pins 20 to simultaneously extend a major portion of the rack 24 onto the door 17 and by upward movement of the door 17 about the hinge pins 20 to simultaneously retract the rack 24 wholly within the enclosure 13.

As illustrated, the linkage means 30 include a horizontally-arranged first axle 31, which is rotatably journaled in a bearing 32 that is suitably mounted in an opening 33 in the enclosure right side wall 15 at a point above the enclosure tracks 26 and rearward of the access opening 16. Of course, suitable sealing means (not shown) are provided to prevent the escape of wash fluid through the spaces between the opening 33 and bearing 32 and the axle 31 and bearing 32. As best shown in FIGURE 4, the first axle 31 has an inner end 31a that extends within the enclosure 13 and an outer end 31b that extends outside the enclosure 13. A first link 34 is provided and has one of its two opposite ends 34a secured to the inner end 31a of the axle 31 for pivotal movement therewith. A second link 35 has one of its two opposite ends 35a pivotally mounted to the other end 34]) of the first link 34 by horizontally arranged pin 36.

As shown in detail in FIGURE 5, the other end 35b of the second link 35 is pivotally mounted by another horizontally-arranged pin 37 to a generally channel-shaped member 38, which is slidably received within a complementary-shaped bracket 39 that is fixed on and projects vertically upward from the lower rack 24 at a point adjacent the right upper front edge of the rack 24. The lower rack 24 can be readily disconnected from the linkage means 30 for complete manual removal from the dishwasher 10 by sliding the member 38 upwardly out of the bracket 39.

A horizontally-arranged second axle 40 is fixed on the outside of the enclosure right side wall 15 at a point below and forward of the first axle 31. A bell-crank lever 41 is provided and is pivoted adjacent the junction of its two arms 41a and 41!) on the fixed second axle 40. A third link 42 is provided and has one of its two opposite ends 42a secured to the outer end 31b of the first axle 31 for pivotal movement therewith. A fourth link 43 has one of its two opposite ends 43a pivotally mounted to the other end 4212 of the third link 42 by yet another horizontally-arranged pin 44. The other end 43b of the fourth link 43 is pivotally mounted by still another horizontally-arranged pin 45 to the free end of the upper one of the bell-crank arms 41a.

Yieldable means comprising a tension spring 46 is connected between the free end of the lower arm 41b of the bell-crank lever 41 and a bracket 47 that is secured to the base of the cabinet structure. The spring 46 biases the bell-crank lever 41 to pivot about the fixed second axle 40 in a direction (counter-clockwise as seen in FIGURES l-3) to yieldably urge the linkage means 30 to operate to move the lower rack 24 toward the rear of the enclosure 13.

The lower arm 41!) of the bell-crank lever 41 is provided with a cam surface 48 which is adapted to be engaged by a cam-following actuator member or pin 49 that is mounted on the right door hinge arm 19a. The cam-following actuator member 49 is adapted to he slidably engaged with and moved along the cam surface 48 by downward pivotal movement of the door 17 about the hinge pins 20, to thereby pivot the bell-crank lever 41 in a direction (clockwise as seen in FIGURES 13) opposite that urged by the spring 46 and thus, actuate the linkage means 30 to operate to propel the lower rack 24 away from the rear of the enclosure 13.

The bell-crank lever 41 and the links 34, 35, 42 and 43 are sized and arranged in such a manner that pivotal movement of the lever 41 about the fixed second axle 40 will cause the rack 24 to be moved generally horizontally along the enclosure and door tracks 26 and 27 and through the access opening 16 in a fore-and-aft direction.

Undesirable cocking of the lower rack 24 during its generally horizontal extension and retraction by the linkage means 30 through the access opening 16 is avoided by so arranging the cam-following actuator member 49 on the door hinge arm 19a and the cam surface 48 on the lower lever arm 41b that the engagement of the actuator member 49 and the cam surface 48 is limited to the final few degrees of the opening and the initial few degrees of the closing movements of the door 17. As illustrated in FIGURES 1-3, the cam-following actuator member 49 is slidably engaged with the cam surface 48 and outward or inward propulsion of the lower rack 24 through the opening 16 respectively commences or ends when the door 17 is within a few degrees, for example 17, of the horizontal plane. Furthermore, as shown in FIGURE 3, the front set of rollers 25a are journaled on the lower rack 24 at a slightly higher elevation than the roller sets 27b and 27c, whereby they can be rollingly engaged with and guided by the door tracks 27 when the door 17 is slightly above the horizontal plane, and, thus, further function to avoid undesirable cocking of the lower rack 24.

Assuming that the lower rack 24 has been connected with the linkage means 30 by slidable insertion of the member 38 into the rack-fixed bracket 39, as shown in FIGURES l, 3 and 5, and that the door 17 is in its fullyclosed position (FIGURE 1), the form of the present invention illustrated in the figures preferably operates in the following manner. The dishwasher operator manually pivots the door 17 downwardly about the hinge pins 20 towards its fully-open position (FIGURE 3). The lower rack 24 will remain in its retracted position wholly within the enclosure 13, until the door 17 is within a few degrees of the horizontal plane and the enclosure and door tracks 26 and 27 are generally horizontally aligned with one another (FIGURE 2), whereupon the cam-following actuator member 49 will slidably engage the cam surface 48 on the lower arm 41b of the bell-crank lever 41. Once the cam-following actuator member 49 engages the cam surface 48, continued downward movement of the door 17 about the hinge pins 20 (FIGURE 3) slides the follower member 49 along the cam surface 48 causing the bell-crank lever 41 to pivot about the fixed second axle 40 (clockwise as seen in FIGURES 1-3). This, in turn, causes the links 34, 35, 42 and 43 and the first axle 31 to pivot in such a manner to operate to propel a major portion of the lower rack 24 generally horizontally outwardly or forwardly through the access opening 16 (to the left as seen in FIGURES 1-3), rolling the rack roller sets 25a-c along the generally horizontally aligned enclosure and door tracks 26 and 27 to extend a major portion of the lower rack 24 over the top of the open door 17. Of course, downward movement of the door 17 is stopped by engagement of hinge arm stop surfaces 22 against the rear face of the access opening flange as the door 17 reaches the fully open or horizontal position (FIGURE 3). The door 17 will be retained in its fully open position and the rack 24 in its extended position by the combined weights of the door 17 and the extended portion of rack 24, which are made sufficient to overcome the return force of the spring 46, which, as previously explained, biases linkage means 30 to operate to move the rack 24 towards its retracted position within the enclosure 13.

The lower rack 24 can now be retracted wholly within the enclosure 13 by a single manual operation of pivoting the door 17 upward about the hinge pins 20. This upward movement of the door 17 is of course assisted by the spring 46. The initial few degrees of this upward manual movement of the door 17 cause the cam-following actuator member 49 to slide along the cam surface 48 and pivot the bell-crank lever 41 about the fixed axle 40 (counter-clockwise as seen in FIGURES l-3) which, in turn, causes the links 34, 35, 42 and 43 and the first axle 31 to pivot in such a manner to operate to propel the lower rack 24 generally horizontally inwardly or rearwardly through the access opening (to the right as seen in FIGURES l-3) to a retracted position wholly within the enclosure (FIGURES 1 and 2), when the enclosure and door tracks 26 and 27 are generally horizontally aligned with one another. This pivotal movement of the bellcrank lever 41 is, of course, assisted by the tension spring 46.

Thus it can be seen that the present invention provides improved means for extending and retracting the articlereceiving rack of an appliance, such as a dishwasher or the like, of the type including a cabinet of the frontopening horizontally-hinged drop-door type, which are operable by manual opening and closing of the door to respectively simultaneously automatically extend and retract a major portion of the rack generally horizontally through the cabinet opening, whereby the conventionally required attitional manual operations for extending and retracting the rack can be eliminated.

As will be evident from the foregoing description, certain aspects of the present invention are not limited to the particular details of construction of the form illustrated, and it is contemplated that various other modifications or applications may occur to those illustrated. For example, while the present invention is illustrated as being installed only at the enclosure right side wall 15, it obviously can be installed at the left side wall 14 or installed in duplicate at both side walls 14 and 15. Furthermore, the cam surface 48 can be modified so that the spring 46 can be omitted. Also, the cam surface 48 can be modified such that the linkage means 30 are engaged and actuated by the door-carried cam-following actuator member 49 during only the final few degrees of the door opening movement, whereby the door-operated means of the present invention can operate only to extend the lower rack 24, but not to retract it.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In an appliance, such as a dishwasher or the like, of the type including a cabinet structure forming an enclosure having a wall provided with an access opening and a door for the opening hinged for pivotal movement between a non-horizontal fully closed position and a substantially horizontal fully open position, and an articlereceiving rack supported for movement through the opening on first track means within the enclosure and on second track means on the door, which are horizontally aligned when the door is in its fully open position, dooroperated means for respectively simultaneously extending a major portion of the rack through the opening upon opening of the door and retracting the rack wholly within the enclosure upon closing of the door, comprising:

(a) linkage means pivotally mounted on a wall of the cabinet structure for connection with the rack and operable, when actuated, to propel a major portion of the rack along the track means and through the access opening; and

(b) actuator means mounted on the door for hinged pivotal movement therewith for engaging and actuating said linkage means during only the final degrees of the opening and initial degrees of the closing movements of the door when the enclosure and door track means are generally horizontally aligned.

2. The invention of claim 1, further including yieldable means connected between the cabinet structure and said linkage means for yieldably urging said linkage means to move the rack inwardly through the opening.

3. The invention of claim 1, further including means for readily connecting and disconnecting the rack to and from said linkage means, whereby the rack can be readily completely removed from the appliance.

4. The invention of claim 1, wherein said linkage means comprises:

(a) a first axle rotatably journaled in a wall of the enclosure and having an inner end inside the enclosure and an outer end outside the enclosure;

(b) a first link having one of its opposite ends mounted on said inner end of said axle for movement therewith;

(c) a second link having one of its opposite ends pivotally connected to the other end of said first link and having its own other end pivotally mounted to means connectable with the rack;

(d) a second axle fixed on the cabinet structure outside of said enclosure;

(e) a bell-crank lever pivoted adjacent the junction of its two arms on said second axle;

(f) a third link having one of its opposite ends mounted on said outer end of said first axle for movement therewith;

(g) a fourth link having one of its opposite ends pivotally mounted to the other end of said third link and having its own other end pivotally mounted to one of said crank arms; and

(h) cam means on the other of said crank arms pivotally movable with said crank about said second axle;

(i) said cam means being engageable with said actutor means for movement thereby during only the final degrees of the opening and initial degrees of the closing movements of the door when the enclosure and door track means are generally horizontally aligned.

5. The invention of claim 4, further including a tension spring connected between the cabinet structure and said other of said crank arms for biasing said crank towards pivotal movement about said second axis in a direction to operate said links to move the rack inwardly through said opening.

6. In an appliance, such as a dishwasher or the like, of the type including a cabinet structure forming an enclosure having a wall provided with an access opening and a door for the opening hinged for pivotal movement between a non-horizontal fully closed position and a substantially horizontal fully open position, and an articlereceiving rack supported for movement through the opening on first track means within the enclosure and on second track means on the door, which are horizontally aligned when the door is in its fully open position, dooroperated means for simultaneously extending a major portion of the rack outwardly through the opening upon opening of the door, comprising:

(a) linkage means pivotally mounted on a wall of the cabinet structure for connection with the rack and operable, when actuated, to propel a major portion of the rack along the track means and through the access opening; and

(b) actuator means mounted on the door for hinged pivotal movement therewith for engaging and actuating said linkage means during only the final de grees of the opening movements of the door when the enclosure and door track means are generally horizontally aligned.

7. The invention of claim 6, further including means for readily connecting and disconnecting the rack to and from said linkage means, whereby the rack can be readily completely removed from the appliance.

8. The invention of claim 6, wherein said linkage means comprises:

(a) a first axle rotatably journaled in a wall of the enclosure and having an inner end inside the enclosure and an outer end outside the enclosure;

(b) a first link having one of its opposite ends mounted on said inner end of said axle for movement there- With;

(c) a second link having one of its opposite ends pivotally connected to the other end of said first link and having its own other end pivotally mounted to means connectable with the rack;

(d) a second axle fixed on the cabinet structure outside of said enclosure;

(e) a bell-crank lever pivoted adjacent the junction of its two arms on said second axle;

(f) a third link having one of its opposite ends mounted on said outer end of said first axle for movement therewith;

(g) a fourth link having one of its opposite ends pivotally mounted to the other end of said third link and having its own other end pivotally mounted to one of said crank arms; and

(h) cam means on the other of said crank arms pivotally movable with said crank about said second axle;

(i) said cam means being engageable' with said actuator means for movement thereby during only the final degrees of closing movements of the door when the enclosure and track means are generally hori zontally aligned.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 503,418 8/1893 Horrocks 312-25 2,069,706 2/1937 Gerwig et al. 126-340 2,302,217 11/ 1942 Hennessy 126-340 2,308,455 1/1943 Reid 126-340 2,975,012 3/1961 Thull 312-274 3,246,939 4/1966 Petkwitz et a1. 312-274 3,387,905 6/1968 Lindenschmidt et a1. 312-274 JAMES T. MCCALL, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4046440 *Apr 12, 1976Sep 6, 1977Umc Industries, Inc.Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4196951 *Mar 20, 1978Apr 8, 1980Gross-Given Manufacturing CompanyVendor with door and shelf interlock
US6406045 *Mar 12, 2001Jun 18, 2002Daniel G. FarkashRunning board storage compartment for a wheeled land vehicle which includes an ejectable drawer
US6622740 *Apr 18, 2000Sep 23, 2003Electrolux Zanussi, S.P.A.Dishwashing machine, preferably for home use, with an improved architecture
US8162419 *Apr 7, 2005Apr 24, 2012Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.Basket lifting arrangement for a dishwasher
WO2013151482A1 *Mar 15, 2013Oct 10, 2013Gs Development AbMachine for equipment surface treatment, and a basket lift for the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/274, 312/24, 126/340, 312/311
International ClassificationA47L15/50
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/506
European ClassificationA47L15/50L