US 3472573 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 14, 1969 p, B, GE|GER RACK SYSTEM FOR DISHWASHING MACHINE Filed Dec. 11, 1967 luvs/v ran PAUL B. GEIGER I lwrz:
United States Patent 3 472 573 RACK SYSTEM FOR bIsHwAsHlNG MACHINE Paul B. Geiger, Troy, Ohio, assignor to The Hobart Manufacturing Company, 'h'oy, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Dec. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 689,531 Int. Cl. A47b 57/04, 88/04; A47] 15/26 US. Cl. 312351 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention The field of this invention involves the construction and support of a rack within a dishwashing machine, and especially the support for the upper rack within a front loading dishwashing machine which is usually installed under a counter. Since the standard height of the counter limits the height of the washing chamber, it has been found desirable to provide for vertical adjustment for the upper rack of a front loading dishwashing machine for accommodating a variety of tableware and food preparing articles in the machine. For example, it is he quently desirable to raise the upper rack for accommodating large flatware articles, such as meat platters, large plates and the like in the lower rack and it is sometimes desirable to lower the upper rack for accommodating large bowls, tall glasses and pitchers or the like in the upper rack.
Prior art patents disclosing a means for vertically adjusting the upper rack of a front loading dishwashing machine include No. 3,126,098 and No. 3,269,548, both of which are assigned to the assignee of the present invention. In the front loading dishwashing machine disclosed in the former patent, the upper rack is adjusted vertically by mounting a panof parallel extending tracks on each side of the upper rack and enabling either set of tracks to be selected after the rack is completely removed from the machine. In the latter patent, the upper rack is adjusted vertically by selecting corresponding sets of parallel wire members extending longitudinally along the sides of the rack and hooking the wires onto tabs extending from the rack tracks supported by rollers mounted on the tank.
Summary of the invention The present invention is directed to an improved support for the upper rack of a dishwashing machine and is especially adapted for use in connection with the upper rack of a front loading dishwashing machine. The rack support of the invention provides means for conveniently and independently adjusting either side of the upper rack relative to the dishwasher tank and especially enables the rack to be conveniently adjusted after it is either partially or fully loaded. The rack support of the invention also enables the rack to be extended substantially out of the washing chamber for convenient access and, in addition, provides for a dependable as well as economical construction.
In accordance with a preferred form of the invention, the above features and advantages are accomplished by a support system which includes a set of lever arms pivotally mounted on each side of the rack. A roller is monnt ed on each lever arm and corresponding rollers for each ice side of the rack are received within a track which, in turn, is supported for horizontal movement by rollers mounted on the tank. The lever arms are adapted to be selectively and independently positioned according to the desired elevation of the corresponding side of the rack within the tank for accommodating a particular load of articles. In addition, this rack support provides for relative movement between the rack and the tracks as well as relative movement between the tracks and the tank to extend the rack completely out of the washing chamber for convenient loading and unloading of the rack.
Other advantages and features provided by the rack support of the invention will be apparent from the following description, the drawing and the appended claims.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a side view of a front loading dishwashing machine with a portion of the side wall broken away to show the loading and washing positions of the upper rack;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the machine shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating the upper rack in the lowest position and extended for loading;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view of the rack support in an intermediate position;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 3 and illustrating the opposite side of the rack in the lowest position;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of an end portion of a support track;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the portion of the rack support mounted on the rack; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view taken generally along the line 77 of FIG. 6.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring to the drawing which illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention, FIG. 1 shows a front loading dishwashing machine which includes a tank 10 defining a cleansing chamber 12 having a front Opening 13 (FIG. 2). A door 14 is pivotally mounted on the tank 10 at the bottom of the opening 13 and is movable on an axis 15 from a vertical closed position to a horizontally open position as illustrated by the dotted lines in FIG. 1. A lower rack 16 is supported within the chamber 12 by suitable tracks (not shown) and is adapted to be rolled out onto the door 14 for loading and unloading when the door is open.
In the upper portion of the tank 10, a pair of horizontally spaced rollers 17 are mounted on each side wall of the tank by threaded stud shafts 18 which extend through corresponding holes formed within the tank walls to receive nuts (not shown). An elongated track 20, preferably formed from stainless steel sheet, has a generally S-shaped cross-sectional configuration and includes longitudinally extending bead portions 22 and 23 (FIG. 4) forming a guideway for receiving the corresponding rollers 17 in interfitting relationship. Each track 20 also includes corresponding bead portions 22' and 23' which form a lower guideway extending parallel to the guideway which receives the rollers 17.
An upper rack 30 is positioned within the chamber 12 above the lower rack 16 and is supported on each side by the tracks 20 for horizontal movement between a position within the chamber 12 and a position above the open door 14 as shown in FIG. 1. The :rack 30 includes a series of longitudinally extending wires 31 connected to laterally extending wires 32. Most of the wires have end portions which are formed upwardly to produce a bottom portion 34, parallel spaced side portions 35, and parallel spaced front and rear portions 36. The internal upright pins which are employed within the rack for supporting tableware articles have been omitted since they form no part of the present invention and would obstruct the view of the rack support. Reference is made to the above mentioned Patent No. 3,269,548 for a detailed construction of an upper rack. In a conventional manner, the Wires are coated with a suitable resilient plastic material.
An elongated reinforcing strap or plate 39 is mounted on each side portion 35 of the upper rack 30 and is secured to each of the upwardly extending end portions of the wires 32. Each plate 39 is connected to the corresponding track 20 by a lever mechanism 40, however, since each lever mechanism 40 is substantially identical in construction, only one lever mechanism will be described in detail.
A lever member 42 is pivotally connected to the plate 39 by a rivet and bushing spacer 43 and includes a finger 45 on which is mounted a stub shaft 46 for supporting a roller 47 which is received within the track guideway defined by the bead portions 22' and 23. The lever member 42 also includes a downwardly extending finger 48 which is pivotally connected by an elongated rigid link member 49 and shouldered rivets 50 to a corresponding finger 51 extending downwardly from a lever member 52 also pivotally mounted on the bracket 40 adjacent the rear end portion 36 by a rivet and bushing spacer 53. The lever member 52 also includes a rearwardly extending finger 55 on which is mounted a stub shaft 56 for supporting a second roller 47 also received within the track guideway formed by the bead portions 22 and 23'.
The lever member 42 includes a forwardly extending finger 58 (FIG. 7) over which extends a thin flat spring 60 having a similar configuration and secured to the lever member 42 for rotation therewith by the rivet 43 and an intermediate rivet 61. A knob 62 is mounted on the forward end portion of the spring 60 and supports a pin 64 which projects through an aligned hole formed within the finger 58 and is provided with a slightly larger head 66. A locking plate 68 is rigidly secured to the plate 39 adjacent the lever member 42 by a pair of rivets 69 (FIG. and includes three openings 70 arranged in vertically spaced relationship equal distance from the rivet 43 for receiving the head portion 66 of the pin 64.
Referring to FIG. 5, a resilient bumper member 72 is mounted on each end of each track 20 between parallel spaced projecting tabs 73 and is retained by a shoulder pin 74 extending through aligned holes formed within the bumper member 72 and tabs 73. The front set of bumper members serve to prevent the rollers 47 from rolling off the front ends of the tracks 20 when the rack 30 is extended out over the door 15, while the rear set of bumper members 72 also serve to prevent the rollers 47 from rolling off the rear ends of the tracks 20 as well as prevent the rear ends of the tracks 20 from engaging the rear wall of the tank when the rack is moved into the chamber 12.
In operation, either side portion 35 of the upper rack 30 can be independently adjusted vertically into one of three positions simply by pulling out the knob 62 against the bias of the spring 60 and cranking the lever member 42 until the pin 64 can be inserted Within another hole 70. In this manner, either side portion 35 can be selectively positioned either at an upper position A, an intermediate position B or a lower position C. The lower position is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, while the intermediate position is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3, 6 and 7.
From the drawing and the above description, it can be seen that a rack support constructed in accordance with the invention provides several desirable features and ad vantages. For example, the lever mechanism 40 mounted on each side portion 35 of the upper rack 30 enables either side of the upper rack to be adjusted independently simply by pulling out on the corresponding knob 62 and positioning the pin 64 in one of the openings 70. The use of the two connected lever members 42 and 52 on each side of the rack also assures that each side portion 35 of the rack will be maintained level during adjustment and thereby prevent forward or rearward tilting of the rack. While the adjusting mechanism is illustrated in connection with the upper rack of a front loading dishwashing machine, it is to be understood the adjusting mechanism could be used on the upper rack of a top loading portable dishwasher without departing from the scope of the invention.
Another important feature is provided by the simplified construction of each track 20 which provides vertically disposed guideways for minimizing the space between the side portions of the rack and side walls of the tank. Furthermore, the guideways provide for receiving the rollers 17 and 47 in such a manner that the upper rack can be moved to a position substantially out of the chamber 12 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 for convenient loading of the upper rack.
A further advantage is provided by the permanent connection of each side portion 35 of the rack to its corresponding track 20 through the lever mechanism 40 so that there is no danger of dropping the rack and breaking the articles loaded therein. The rack support of the invention also provides economy in construction by minimizing the number of right and left parts. For example, all of the parts except for the lever members 42 and 52 are identical for each side of the rack and even the lever members 42 and 52 for both sides of the rack can be formed from common pieces blanked from a sheet of metal.
While the form of apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this precise form of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, it is within the scope of the invention to mount a lever mechanism on each track 20 or on the side wall of the' tank rather than on the side portion of the rack, however, the latter is perferred for a front loading dishwasher to provide optimum convenience for positioning the knob 62 when the rack is extended.
What is claimed is:
1. An improved rack system for a dishwashing machine having a tank defining a cleansing chamber, comprising a rack disposed within said chamber and having support members connected to form a bottom portion and parallel spaced side portions, means connected to said tank and supporting each said side portion of said rack, said supporting means including a set of pivotable levers for each side portion of said rack, and means for selectively positioning said levers independently for each said side portion of said rack for conveniently and independently adjusting the vertical position of each said side portion of said rack within said chamber.
2. A rack system as defined in claim 1 wherein said lever means are pivotally mounted on said side portions of said rack.
3. A rack system as defined in claim 2 including a reinforcing member mounted on each said side portion of said rack for supporting the corresponding said levers.
4. A rack system as defined in claim 3 including a locking member secured to each said reinforcing member and having means defining a plurality of openings in predetermined spaced relation, and said supporting means including a spring biased pin adapted to be selectively inserted within said openings within the corresponding said locking member.
5. A rack system as defined in claim 4 including an elongated flat spring member having one end portion secured to one of said levers and an opposite end portion supporting said pin, and knob means connected to said pin for selectively positioning said pin in the corresponding said openings.
6. An improved rack system for a dishwashing machine having a tank defining a cleansing chamber, comprising a rack disposed within said chamber and having support members connected to form a bottom portion and parallel spaced side portions, means connected to said tank and supporting each said side portion of said rack, said supporting means including parallel spaced elongated tracks extending horizontally adjacent said side portions of said rack, means for supporting each said track for longitudinal movement relative to said tank, pivotable lever means for each said side portion of said rack, means for pivotally connecting each said lever means to the corresponding said track, and means for selectively positioning said lever means relative to said rack for conveniently adjusting the vertical position of said rack within said chamber.
7. A rack system as defined in claim 6 wherein said lever means on each side of said rack include a set of lever members, means on each said side portion of said rack for pivotally supporting the corresponding set of said lever members, link means connecting corresponding said lever members adjacent each said side portion of said rack to provide simultaneous pivotal movement of said lever members and thereby provide for adjusting each said side portion of said rack vertically while maintaining said side portion substantially level.
8. A rack system as defined in claim 7 wherein each said track includes integral means defining parallel spaced longitudinal extending guideways, roller means connected to said tank and being received within one of said guideways of each said track, and said pivotally connecting means for each said lever member including a roller rotatably mounted on each said lever member and received within the other said guideway of said track.
9. A rack system as defined in claim 8 wherein said guideways of each said track are arranged in vertically spaced relationship for minimizing the space between each said side portion of said rack and said tank.
10. A rack system as defined in claim 9 wherein each said track is formed of sheet metal with a generally S- shaped cross-sectional configuration, and includes longitudinally extending opposing bead means forming said guideways.
11. An improved rack system for a dishwashing machine having a tank defining a cleansing chamber, comprising a rack disposed within said chamber and having support members connected to form a bottom portion and horizontal opposite side portions, parallel spaced tracks horizontally positioned adjacent said side portions of said rack, means mounted on said tank and supporting each said track for horizontal movement, a movable lever mechanism connecting each said track to the adjacent said side portion of said rack, and each said lever mechanism being manually operable to move the corresponding said side portion of said rack vertically relative to the corresponding said track while maintaining parallel relation between said track and said side portion. of said rack.
12. A rack system as defined in claim 11 wherein said supporting means for each said track comprises roller means mounted on said tank, each said mechanism cornprising a generally parallelogram lever system, and roller means connecting each said lever system to the corresponding said track to provide for horizontal movement of said rack relative to said tracks.
13. An improved rack system for a dishwashing machine having a tank defining a cleansing chamber, comprising a rack disposed within said chamber and having support members connected to form a bottom portion and parallel spaced side portions, parallel spaced elongated tracks extending adjacent said side portions ofi said rack, each said track being formed of sheet metal and having a generally S-shaped cross-sectional configuration and including longitudinally extending opposing curved beads for defining a pair of guideways in vertically spaced and laterally offset relationship, roller means mounted on said tank and received within one of said guideways of each said track, and roller means mounted on each said side portion of said rack and received within the other said guideway of the corresponding said track.
14. A rack system as defined in claim 13 including a resilient bumper member mounted on each end of each said track.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,681,843 6/ 1954 Walker 312-311 3,352,431 11/1967 Smith 3l2-351 X 3,402,975 9/1968 Smith 312-311 FOREIGN PATENTS 561,719 11/ 1957 Belgium. 548,269 l/1923 France.
JAMES T. McCALL, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.
SOB-36; 312-311, 339