US 3612076 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent lnventor Harry Brahm Miami, Fla. Appl. No. 843,453 Filed July 22, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 Assignee Elma, S.A.
Panama City, Panama FEATHER PROCESSING MACHINE 9 Claims, 1 Drawing Fig.
[1.8. CI 134/102, 15/302, 15/305, 34/2, 134/25, 134/37, 134/104, 134/153 lnt.Cl D06m 3/00 Field of Search 15/301,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1900 Grube 12/1941 Hetzer.....
5/1954 Sparks 7. 3/1956 Frederick et al Primary Examiner-Walter A. Scheel Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore Attorney-Fred L. Witherspoon ABSTRACT: A feather processing machine comprising a cleaning drum, means for introducing soiled feathers into the drum, means for agitating the feathers within the drum and blower means outside of the drum in communication therewith for withdrawing feathers from the drum and discharging them from the machine.
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FEATHER PROCESSING MACHINE This invention relates to feather processing apparatus and more particularly a feather cleaning and fluffing machine.
it is an object of this invention to provide a feather processing machine wherein feathers may be processed by apparatus having a minimum number of moving parts.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a feather cleaner wherein blower means are used to draw air into the cleaner housing to agitate the feathers, to apply cleaning solution thereto and to discharge cleaned feathers from the machine.
It is a still further object to provide a feather cleaning machine wherein the sole means for agitating the feathers, treating the feathers, and discharging the feathers comprises a blower for drawing air into the machine and discharging same therefrom.
The above and other objects will become more apparent when taken in conjunction with the following detailed description and drawings showing two embodiments of this machine.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cabinet of the feather processing machine;
FIG. 2 is a view taken from the rear of the cabinet and showing the air inlet to the feather processing unit within the cabinet:
FIG. 3 is a sectional line taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, with portions broken away to illustrate various components of the machine. a
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2, with portions broken away to better illustrate the arrangement of the parts of the machine;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of HO. 3 showing in plan view various components of the unit;
H6. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3 illustrating the arrangement of air nozzles within the cleaning drum;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the cabinet provided for a second embodiment of the invention;-
FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the cabinet showing the air inlet of the bottom of the cabinet;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8, illustrating in elevation the arrangement of the components within the cabinet, and
FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along line l0-l0 of FIG. 9 showing in front elevation the various components and their relative position within the cabinet.
As best illustrated in FIGS. l-6, the preferred embodiment of this feather processing machine comprises a cabinet having two outlet spouts 22 and 24 positioned on its front face 26. This front face is also provided with a control panel 28 containing the necessary switches and signal lights normally found in this type of machine. The top 30 of the cabinet has a horizontally mounted feather inlet door 32 which is provided with a transparent portion 34 made of glass or other suitable material. A second and smaller door" 36 is also found in the cabinet top 30 to provide access to the cleaning liquid tank carried directly therebeneath. A transparent section 38 is located in the front face 26 directly in alignment with the cleaning liquid tank for ready observance of liquid level therein. All four comers of the cabinet are equipped with casters 40 or the like to provide mobility to the cabinet.
The feather processing unit 50 fits within the cabinet 20 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2 with the air inlet 52 being located in the back face 54 of the cabinet. Referring additionally to H08. 3 and 4, the feather processing unit 50 comprises a cylindrical cleaning drum 56 having a vertical wall 58 and an inwardly tapered lower wall portion 60 terminating in a flat bottom 62. The upper end of the vertical wall 58 is provided with a circular cover 64 having a peripheral portion which engages the inner walls of the cabinet 20 in a somewhat tangential manner as best shown in FIG. 6.
A blower unit 70 is mounted on the upper face of the circular cover 64 with the blower 72 being held in spaced relation above the circular cover 64 by meansof spacer assemblies 74.
The blower motor 76 is affixed to the upper face of the blower 72. The blower is provided with a centrally disposed circular inlet 78 which faces downwardly toward the cylindrical drum 56. A feather feed inlet 80 is secured to the underside of the cover 64. This feed :inlet 80 is a rectangularly shaped funnel member having an enlarged open end 82 positioned adjacent the inner face of the vertical wall 58 and has an outlet directly connected to the blower inlet 78.
The blower 72 has an outlet 84 which is connected to a valved diverter section 86 in turn in communication with outlet spouts 22 and 24. A valve 88 may be reciprocated by lever 90 to control flow to these spouts. A bypass outlet 92 is connected to blower outlet 84 for directing flow back into the cleaning drum 56. Recirculation back into the cleaning drum 56 is controlled by valve 98 operated by lever 100 and associated linkage 102 connected to said valves.
A soiled feather inlet tube having a rectangular cross section is connected between an appropriately shaped opening 112 in the drum cover 64 and the opening provided by door 32 in the cabinet top 30. It is through this inlet 110 that the soiled feathers are introduced into the cleaning drum 56. In order to control suction when the inlet door 34 is opened, a valve arrangement is provided to partially cover the blower inlet opening 78 as follows. An apertured valve plate 114 is slidably disposed on the upper face of the drum cover 64 so as to open and close the blower inlet 78. A flexible connector 116 is affixed to one end of the valve plate 114 and is passed over a plurality of rollers and attached to the free end of door 32. The other end of the valve plate 114 has a coil spring 118 connected thereto in opposition to the pull of the flexible con nector 116. When the door 32 is closed, the valve plate is in the open position and full suction is produced through the blower inlet 78. Upon the opening of the door 32, the valve slides and partially covers the inlet 78 thereby lessening the suction in the soiled feather inlet tube 110. Closing the door 32 allows the valve 114 to return to the fully open position under action of spring 118.
The drum cover64 isprovided with a centrally disposed circular air inlet opening 120 which is actually beneath the blower 70 mounted in spaced relation on the drum cover. The bottom 62 of the cleaning drum 56 is apertured to receive a grill 122 through which foreign matter removed from the feathers may pass. A diffuser 124 having a plurality of radially extending blades 126 is mounted on the grill 122 in alignment with air inlet 120 in drum cover 64. A generally rectangular tray 130 is carried beneath the grill 122 in an airtight manner by housing 132 secured to the bottom 62 of the drum 56.
The inwardly tapered drum wall portion 60 mounts a plurality of cone-shaped air nozzles 134. More specifically, each nozzle 134 is mounted in and through the wall 60 so that the small end of the nozzle extends outwardly into the drum chamber to produce a clockwise flow of air in the chamber. It has been found desirable to introduce purification fluids into the cleaning drum chamber and this is accomplished by using the well known exaspirating principle.
Referring to FIGS. 4-6, a cleaning liquid receptacle is mounted on the drum cover 64 directly beneath the door 36 in the cabinet top 30. A feed line 142 runs from the receptacle 140 downwardly outside of the cleaning drum 56 and at a point immediately adjacent the tapered drum wall portion 60 bends at a right angle and pursues a general circular path therearound. Outlets 144 are taken off the feed line and are directed centrally within the cone shaped nozzles 134 so that liquid will be withdrawn by the flow of air by the outlet as it passes through the nozzle. In order to control flow of cleaning liquid in the feed line 142 a valve 146 is placed therein. Said valve is operated by means of lever 148 extending outwardly on the cabinet front 26. As shown in FIG. 4, a light 150 may be provided at the base of the liquid receptacle 140 to assist in determining liquid level through opening 38.
A conventional ultraviolet lamp assembly 152 may be secured to the underside of the drum cover 56 to further aid in purification of the feathers. All controls and switches are located on the control panel 28 on the cabinet front 26.
120 in the drum cover 64. This proceeds downwardly and impinges on blades 126 of diverter 124. With the unit so operating, soiled feathers are introduced by lifting door 32 and thereby partially closing blower inlet 78 by means of sliding valve i114 operated by flexible cable 116 to lessen the suction in the soiled feather inlet tube 110. Feathers introduced into tube 110 fall down into cleaning drum 56 where full action is again provided when the door 32 is closed. The feathers are swept up in the swirling clockwise rotating air mass in the drum. This causes the foreign particles to be deflected and drop downwardly through the grill 122 into the tray 130. Valve 146 is opened and cleaning fluid is introduced into the cleaning drum through the nozzles 134. Additionally the ultraviolet light 152 may be employed to obtain further cleaning action.
It should be pointed out that initially it may be desirable to open bypass tube 92 by lifting valve 98 so that the feathers will recirculate because as soon as the feathers fall into the cleaning drum and start to rotate clockwise they will be caught up in the large open end 82 of the funnel inlet 80 and up into blower 72 and thence through blower outlet 84. If the bypass is not used, the feathers will be ejected through spout 22 or 24 depending on the position of the valve 88. Heating means may be provided within the cleaning chamber 56 if required to attain proper feather conditioning.
A modified form of this invention wherein a rotating cylindrical drum is employed is illustrated in FlGS. 7-10. The entire unit comprises a cabinet 300 having a front panel 302 provided with an outlet spout 304 through which the processed feathers are discharged. The cabinet top panel 306 has two horizontally mounted doors 308 and 310; door 308 providing access to the feather inlet hopper and door 3K0 providing access to the receptacle carrying the liquid cleaner employed in the process. The cabinet rear panel 312 is shown in FIG. 8 wherein the main air inlet 316 is formed in the lower portion of said panel. The left side panel 318 as in FIG. 7 is provided with a secondary air inlet 320.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the modified unit comprises a cylindrical drum 324 rotating about a horizontal axis, said drum having a cylindrical center section in the form ofa grill 326 bounded on each side by a circular coextensive band of sheet metal 328 and 330. A circular plate 332 closes the end formed by band 330 while an outwardly extending coneshaped plate 334 is attached to and closes the end formed by band 328. Transversely extending drum baffles 336 serve the dual function of agitating the material within the rotating drum 324 and furnish additional strength to maintain the drum in assembled form since the baffles are secured to the bands 328 and 330. The drum 324 is provided with parallel peripheral guides 340-342 on band 330 and 344-346 on band 328. These parallel guides form tracks 348 and 350 in which are positioned roller supports 352 and 354 respectively. These rollers are mounted on appropriate supports generally designated 360. It should be noted that rollers 352 and 354 bear on the drum bands 330 and 328 respectively. Additional steadying support is furnished by means of upper rollers 362 and 364 supported by brackets 366 and 368 respectively affixed to cabinet cross plate 370.
An inlet hopper 372 having a rectangular configuration in its upper portion 374 is mounted directly in alignment with the door 308 in the cabinet top panel 306 to receive the feathers which are to be processed. A spout or funnel like portion 378 extends downwardly from the inlet hopper portion 374 and turns slightly at its lower end so as to direct the feathers into the drum 324 through hole 380 formed through the drum pulley 382 and the drum end plate 332.
A small blower unit 390 is positioned in the lower portion of the cabinet 300 so that its intake 392 will be in direct communication with secondary air inlet 320 in the left side cabinet panel 318. The blower unit 390 carries a pulley 394 which is drivingly connected to drum pulley 392 by means of belt 396 to provide the rotative power for drum 324. A discharge conduit 398 leads from blower 390 to the central drum opening 380. As specifically shown, the conduit makes a right turn and is centrally located in the discharge end 398 of the lower hopper portion 378. Obviously flow of air out of the nozzlelike end 400 of conduit 398 will assist in feeding the feathers into the drum 324.
It is generally necessary to use some type of liquid cleaner in processing the feathers and in this embodiment the apparatus comprises a receptacle 402, for carrying the liquid cleaner, positioned in the upper portion of the cabinet 324 immediately under and accessibly disposed with regard to door 310 in the cabinet top 306. A feed conduit 406 leads from the receptacle 402 downwardly into the nozzle end portion of air conduit 398. It should be noted that the open end of conduit 406 is centrally disposed rearwardly of the nozzle 400 so that the cleaning liquid will be withdrawn therefrom as air flows through the nozzle. A valve 408 is interposed in the feed conduit 406 and is operated by lever 410 to control flow through this conduit A light 412 may be located directly beneath the receptacle 402 to assist in determining supply of liquid therein.
The feathers exit from the drum 324 through a drum discharge conduit 420 extending centrally outward from drum end 334 and then turning upwardly parallel to the cabinet side panel 422. The discharge conduit 420 has a projection 424 in the form of a slightly curved plate extending into the drum 324. The transverse curvature of the projection 424 is substantially the same as that of connected drum discharge 420. This discharge conduit 420 is connected to manifold 428 which rests on cabinet cross plate 370. The main blower 430 is mounted on top of the manifold 428 with its intake side in communication therewith. The main blower 430 is powered by an electric motor 431 connected directly thereto. The discharge side 432 of the main blower is connected to the outlet spout 304 in the cabinet front panel 302.
In order to catch the debris which passes through the drum grill 326, a tray 440 is provided directly therebeneath. The tray is slidably disposed in a rectangular housing 442 located beneath the drum and in communication with the cabinet front panel 302. in order to make certain that most of the debris is fed to the tray 440, curved baffles 446 and 448 are placed around the lower portion of the drum 324 to direct debris into the tray 440. It should be noted that these baffles are supported by the tray housing 442 extending upwardly about one-half the height of the drum 324.
The manifold 428 is provided with a window 450 which is aligned with observation window 452 in the front panel 302 so that the condition of the feathers just prior to discharge may be observed. Additionally, the manifold may be provided with an ultra violet light 454 to aid in purifying the feathers. It should be noted that the cabinet in general except for openings 3116 and 320, is airtight so that the suction efiect to withdraw feathers from the drum 324 and the supplementary force received from nozzle 400 will be most effective.
The main blower 430 and the small blower 390 are both operated electrically and controlled by switch means located on control panel 460 on the cabinet front panel 302.
The operation of this modified embodiment is quite similar to that of the first described embodiment. After the main blower has been turned on, feathers which are to be processed are introduced into feather inlet hopper 372 from whence they proceed downwardly into rotating drum 324, after which the small blower is turned on and the drum rotation commenced. whereupon valve 408 is opened to allow a prescribed amount of cleaning liquid to be fed out through nozzle 400 into the cleaning drum. As the drum rotates at a very slow r.p.m. there is no problem of centrifugal action thus the debris in the feathers is caused to pass through the grill 326 as the feathers are agitated by rotation of the drum assisted by the transverse baffles 336 and air agitation produced by nozzle 400 plus that from main blower 430.
The cleaned and fluffed feathers as they are further agitated fall on discharge conduit projection 424 within the drum 324 and are drawn outwardly through discharge conduit 420 up into manifold 428 wherein the feathers are further fluffed and thence through the suction side of blower 430 and then out discharge spout 432. While being agitated in manifold 428, an ultraviolet light is provided to further purify the feathers.
As will be readily apparent from the detailed description and drawings, numerous variations can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the feather cleaning machine will also flufi and clean materials other than feathers per se. Additionally, the cleaning solution is one which cleans and disinfects the material being processed The type of solution used depends on the material being processed and the contamination of the material.
This machine may be equipped with automatic controls including timer units and associated signaling means. These controls are most conveniently switched and/or operated from a control panel positioned on a readily accessible portion of the cabinet.
The parts of the processing machine of this invention may be made from various types of materials. Many times plastics may be substituted for metal, for example, circular bands of metal 328 and 330 which bound the grill 326 may be made from plastic.
What is claimed is:
l. A feather processing machine comprising a closed cleaning drum, said drum having a vertical wall and a top and bottom, a blower assembly secured to the drum top with its suction side communicating with the inside top portion of said drum, a plurality of air inlet nozzles in the lower wall portion of the drum, said nozzles providing air communication between the inside and outside of the drum and being directed so as to direct the air in a circular path around the inner face of the drum whereby a swirling air mass is produced within the drum by the air drawn into the drum through said nozzles under the suction provided by the aforesaid blower assembly, inlet means in the drum for introduction of soiled feathers thereinto, and said blower having an outlet communicating with the outside of the drum whereby feathers caught up in the swirling air in the drum will be drawn up through the blower inlet and thence out the blower outlet.
2. The invention set forth in claim 1 wherein means are provided for introducing a cleaning liquid into the drum.
3. The invention as set forth in claim 1 and wherein a funnel-shaped intake member is positioned within the drum and connected to the blower inlet to provide better feather travel to the blower.
4. The invention as set forth in claim 3 wherein a grill is provided in the bottom of the drum and an airtight tray is positioned directly beneath said grill to receive foreign material passing through the grill.
5. The invention as set forth in claim 4 and wherein means is provided for reducing the suction within the drum when the feather inlet means is opened for the introduction of feathers into the drum.
6. The invention as set forth in claim 4 and wherein bypass means is provided in the blower outlet to return the feathers to the interior of the drum.
7. The invention as set forth in claim 4 and wherein an air inlet is centrally positioned in the drum top, and a diffuser is positioned on the grill directly beneath the said air inlet whereby air is directed downwardly onto the diffuser and issues radially therefrom to carry the material being processed outwardly into the main rotary air mass produced by the nozzles.
8. A feather processing machine comprising a closed cleaning drum, said drum having a vertical wall and a top and bottom, a blower assembly secured to the drum top with its suction side communicating with the inside top portion of the drum, nozzle means within the cleaning drum for introducing air from without the cleaning drum thereinto in a circular path around the inner face of the drum to cause the feathers therein to assume a similar swirling motion, inlet means in the drum for the introduction of soiled feathers thereinto, and said blower having an outlet communicating with the outside of the drum whereby the feathers agitated in the drum will be drawn up through the suction side of the blower and discharged through the blower outlet.
9. The invention as set forth in claim 8 and wherein a disinfectant is sprayed into the machine to purify the feathers.