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Publication numberUS3801371 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 2, 1974
Filing dateJul 25, 1972
Priority dateJul 25, 1972
Publication numberUS 3801371 A, US 3801371A, US-A-3801371, US3801371 A, US3801371A
InventorsE Martin
Original AssigneeWeaver V Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Industrial washing machine
US 3801371 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Martin Apr. 2, 1974 INDUSTRIAL WASHING MACHINE [75] Inventor: Eugene G. Martin, Ephrata, Pa.

[73] Assignee: Victor Q. Weaver Inc., New

. Holland, Pa.

22] Filed: July 25,1972

21 Appl. No.: 274,978

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS Belgium 134/99 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Bleutge Attorney, Agent, or Firm-C. l-lercus Just [5 7 ABSTRACT A washing machine adapted particularly to receive and wash relatively large containers such as vats and similar structures having an open top and in which different types of material may be contained for transportation or processing, after which the container is to be thoroughly cleansed before the next use. The machine receives and supports the container to be cleansed in upright condition; inverts it; moves it to a washing compartment for spray-type cleansing with detergent solution, followed by rinsing; and then discharges the cleansed container. Duplicate mechanisms are provided to permit loading and unloading one with a container while the other supports a second container in the washing compartment.

20 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures :ATENTED APR 2 I974 SHEET 1 OF 4 1 INDUSTRIAL WASHING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to industrial washing machines, and, more particularly, to machines adapted to receive, manipulate and cleanse relatively large sized objects, such as large containers, vats, and similar items, which, at least in general, are too large for conventional type washing machines of various types to accommodate. Possibly the closest approach to the present invention with respect to handling large sized containers are those devices which are constructed to wash large sized milk cans, such as those having a capacity of five or ten gallons. One example of a machine for washing milk cans comprises the subject matter of US. Pat. No. 2,698,624, in the name of Peters, dated June 4, 1955. Also, so-called oil drums of relatively large capacity require washing and cleansing and a device to accomplish this is also the subject matter of Pat. No.

3,073,325, in the name of Rebizzo et a1, dated Jan. 15,

In the prior art, there are washing devices for removing grease, cutting oil and the like from machine parts which have been manufactured by automatic machinery, for example, and in order to cleanse the same, a number of such parts are placed in a large sized basket, usually formed from heavy gauge wire mesh or the like, the same being adapted to be immersed in a suitable detergent solution and then the parts are rinsed, drained and otherwise processed for additional steps, including the feeding of the same to packaging machinery and otherwise. One such machine for accomplishing this type of washing comprises the subject matter of US. Pat. No. 2,824,029, in the name of Zinty, dated Feb. 18, 1958. In this same catagory, US. Pat. No. 2,014,295, in the name of Rosenberg, dated Sept. 10, 1935, is adapted to handle a plurality of metal pieces to cleanse the same, while supported in a basket or similar structure.

Still another prior US. Pat. No. 2,580,344, in the name of Clayborne, dated Dec. 25, 1951, is adapted to handle heavy work pieces individually for purposes of cleansing the same. For example, motor blocks which require degreasing are adapted to be accommodated by such a machine. In still another catagory of so-called industrial type washing machines, are those which are adapted to handle a quantity of bottles or other glass containers, for example, and dispose the same in various positions for cleansing, rinsing and otherwise processing such objects. One example of this type of ma chine is found in US. Pat. No. 2,541,809, in the name of Clark, dated Feb. 13, 1951. The foregoing cannot achieve applicants objectives.

Notwithstanding the existence of the prior devices of the type referred to above, the present invention is of a type adapted to to accommodate, in particular, but not restricted thereto, relatively large sized portable vats, such as those used in the meat processing industry, especially for purposes of being loaded with partly processed meat, for example, to transport the same from one operation to another. Present laws and regulations now imposed upon the meat processing industry, including the poultry industry, require the cleansing of such containers and vats at the completion of each unloading operation, before the vat may again be put into service to be loaded with meat or similar food products. Vats of the type referred to are not infrequently of much larger size than the containers adapted to be handled in existing industrial type washing machines. By way of example, one embodiment of the present invention has been constructed and successfully used to a high degree of satisfaction in which the containers are approximately three feet wide, three feet deep, and four feet long. A plurality of casters are mounted swivelly upon the bottom of the vat and the top is open for the reception of meat products. Usually, an appropriate handle is provided at one or both ends of the vat to facilitate handling the same, especially to move it from one location to another, and also to facilitate mounting the same in the washing machine com- 7 prising the present invention and removing the same therefrom. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention is not restricted to accommodating vats of such type and size in view of the fact that it is well adapted to accommodate other containers, especially those of relatively large size which, at least in general, are ungainly or awkward to handle in any existing type of washing equipment, including those referred to above as being the subject matter of certain prior patents. Accordingly, it is common practice to wash vats and other large containers of the type referred to by spraying the same with detergent solution discharged from flexible hoses. The success of such an operation depends upon the human element and the industrious nature of the operator, which, not infrequently, is inadequate and produces unsatisfactory results. In addition, such operation is extremely uncomfortable for the operator unless he is fully clothed in waterproof garments. In addition, unnecessary quantities of washing solution are wasted by such operations.

The present invention has been developed to obviate the foregoing difficulties and provide an industrial type washing machine, which, to a large extent, is poweroperated and extensively automated, as well as insuring thorough cleansing of both the interior and exterior of large sized containers and vats. In addition, the cleansing operation is carried out under circumstances which are far more comfortable to the operator than those methods and procedures presently followed. Details of the invention are as follows:

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the principal objective of the present invention to provide washing mechanism which is adapted to be loaded with large sized containers and vats which preferably are moved into the machine on their own skids or casters and secured to the receiving means, following which the succeeding operations are performed entirely by power-operated mechanism which is controlled preferably at a remote distance from the washing machine, whereby it is unnecessary for the operator to lift heavy objects or otherwise manually manipulate the equipment.

It is another object of the invention to provide both a loading compartment and a washing compartment in the machine, whereby while one container or vat is being washed, another may be either loaded or unloaded with respect to the supporting mechanism for the containers.

It is a further object of the invention to provide supporting equipment which receives a vat in upright condition and then inverts the same prior to moving the container or vat into the washing compartment, such inversion being accomplished by power-operated mechanism which is energized by switches actuated by an operator at a remote distance from the machine.

Still another object of the invention ancillatory to the foregoing object is to initially elevate a container or vat a predetermined distance after it is received by the supporting mechanism and prior to inverting the same in order that the lower portion of the container will clear the supporting surface, such as a floor, at the time it is inverted.

A still further object of the invention is to provide parallel panels on the loading compartment of the machine, whereby when the loading compartment is rotated about a vertical axis, the panels comprise opposite sides of the washing compartment.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a washing compartment is which the detergent solution is retained and recirculated through discharge nozzles which direct a stiff, penetrating spray against all surfaces of the container supported within the washing compartment, including all exterior, but particularly, all interior surfaces, the spray means which are directed against the interior of the container preferably being of an oscillating type which automatically move through a predetermined pattern to insure cleansing of all interior surfaces of the container.

One other object of the invention is to provide power means of an electrical nature, such as electric motors,

' operation of which is controlled by switches disposed at remote locations from the machine, as well as other limit-type switches which effect deactivation of certain of the power means at the completion of various sequential steps in the operation of the entire cleansing procedure.

A further object of the invention is to provide rugged and durable mechanism, including structural yokes supported by large sheaves which are rotated and elevated by electrically operated hoist mechanism of a rugged nature, thereby engendering long life for the mechanism and requiring minimum maintenance and manual operations.

Still another object of the invention is to provide heavy duty recirculating pump equipment for the washing solution and also vapor removal means associated with the washing compartment to withdraw the vapor generated during the washing procedure whereby, when a washing compartment is opened to effect removal of a cleansed container, the ambient atmosphere does not receive any appreciable amount of vapor.

Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings comprising a part thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 1 the loading compartment of the machine.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the machine shown in FIG. 1 as seen on the line 22 thereof.

FIG. 3 is an end elevation of the loading compartment of the industrial washing machine shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical elevation showing the details of a portion of the elevating and inverting mechanism for containers within the machine illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, and particularly as seen on the line 44 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical elevation of a portion of the central vertical supporting member and also showing fragmentarily the elevating and inverting mechanism of the machine as seen on line 5-5 of FIG. 2, but also illustrating the details of the mechanism shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the rotating mechanism shown in the upper portion of FIG. 1, as seen on the line 66 thereof.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical elevation of mechanism to oscillate part of the spray system of the machine as seen on the line 77 of the washing compartment shown in FIG. 2, but in which said oscillating mechanism is not shown in detail.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the exemplary machine shown therein which embodies the principles of the invention essentially comprises a loading compartment 10 and a washing compartment 12. For convenience, the machine is mounted upon a supporting surface, such as a floor 14. Other suitable supporting surfaces, such as a platform, not shown, may be used if desired. The machine is provided substantially centrally thereof with a vertical supporting member 16 which is rotatable about its axis by a power unit 18 shown in the upper portion of FIG. 1, and in greater detail in FIG. 6. In cross-section, for convenience, the member 16 may comprise an I-beam. Heavy service is required of the member as is explained in detail hereinafter.

Extending in opposite directions from the supporting member 16 are similar yoke units 20 and 22. These units each comprise a U-shaped yoke 24 which is formed from structural steel means, such as a channel. The bight portion 26 is connected to its opposite ends respectively to a pair of perpendicular members 28 which parallel to each other. lnterrnediately of its ends, bight member 26 is connected to a short shaft 30 which is perpendicular to the members 28 and also is perpendicular to and extends outwardly from one face of a circular, grooved sheave 32.

The shaft 30 also extends through the sheave 32 and is rotatably connected to a vertically movable plate 34 which is somewhat in the nature of a carriage. Said plate slides vertically relative to the outer edges of the flanges at one side of the vertical supporting member 16. The plate 34 is connected adjacent its upper and lower ends with a pair of inner members 36 which support rotatable shafts upon which rollers 38 are mounted, which operate between the vertical web of the I-beam comprising the vertical supporting member 16, and additional flanges 40 which are welded to the outer edges of the flanges of the supporting member 16 as best shown in FIG. 2. The flanges 40 are parallel to the central web of supporting member 16 and thus form a pair of channels which receive the rollers 38 and prevent tilting of the member 34 from its vertical plane as can be visualized from FIG. 1 when the plate 34 and the yoke unit 20 supported thereby are moved vertically by means described hereinbelow.

The purpose of the yoke units 20 and 22 is to support individually, for example, a large sized container 42 which, as illustrated, comprises a vat of the type such as used in certain types of meat processing plants, and particularly, those processing poultry. By way of example and not restriction, the vat 42 may be of the order of about 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 4 feet long. It is supported on the bottom by a pair of side casters 44 and a pair of end casters 46. If desired, the end casters 46 may be of the swivelled type. The container or vat 42 also has a horizontal handle bar 48 mounted at the upper edge of one end thereof. The top of the container 42 is open and is surrounding by at least a partially rolled edge 50 which projects outwardly from the outer surfaces of the sides and ends of the container 42 and provides means by which the container readily may be mounted within and supported by the yoke 24 of each of the yoke units and 22. Legs 52 of yoke 24 extend outward from members 28.

Referring particularly to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the opposite legs 52 of the yoke 24 each have a pair of inwardly extending lugs 54, which also are shown in FIG. 1, which are short but engage the upper surfaces of the rolled'edges 50 at opposite sides of container 42, while a pair of short plates 56 also extend inwardly from the opposite legs 52 of each of the yokes 24 and engage the lower surfaces of the rolled edges 50 of the container 42. In addition, appropriate retaining means such as a chain 58 is connected at its end to the outer end portions of the opposite legs 52 of the yokes 24, said chain extending around the outermost end of the container 42 and preferably engaging the lower edges of the brackets 60 which support the handle bar 48, as best shown in FIG. 1. The cooperation of the various lugs 54, plates 56 and chain retaining means 58, adequately secure the container 42 to the yokes 24 so that the yoke units 20 and 22 may elevate and invert the container 42 by means to be described, especially for purposes of introducing the containers 42 to the washing compartment 12, without danger of the containers 42 becoming disconnected from the yokes 24.

ELEVATION AND INVERSION OF CONTAINERS Referring to FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, in particular, it will be seen that there is mounted on the upper end of the vertical supporting member 16 a horizontal frame 62 which is integral therewith and rotatable with the same as the member 16 is rotated about its axis by means described hereinafter in order to shift the inverted containers 42 within the loading compartment 10 to the washing compartment 12. The elevation and inversion of the containers 42 is accomplished by means of a chain hoist unit 64 of conventional commercial type which is energized by an electric motor contained in the unit. The chain 66 is anchored at one end to a bracket 68. Said chain extends downwardly around the sheave 32 and is contained within the groove formed within the sheave 32. The opposite end of the chain is engaged and coiled within the hoist unit 64, as shown in exemplary manner in FIGS. 1 and 4. Initially, the sheave is in the lower position thereof shown in FIG. 1 in full lines and in phantom in FIG. 4. When in this position, the chain 66 is capable of slidably moving around the groove of the sheave 32 without revolving it.

Maintenance of the sheave 32 against rotation in the initial part of the elevation thereof is effected by means of a stationary cam 70 which is engaged by a lug 72 which extends perpendicularly from the inner face of the sheave 32 as shown in FIG. 1. The lug 72 slidably moves against one side of the cam 70, while the chain slides within the groove of the sheave 32, until the lug 72 reached the upper end of the cam which is angularly displaced laterally and, by that time, the casters 44 and 46 on the container 42 have been elevated sufficiently above the supporting surface 14 that rotation of the container may be accomplished. When the lug 72 reaches the upper end of the cam 70, a laterally extending short lug 74 which extends inwardly from one of the flanges which form the groove on the sheave 32, as shown in FIG. 4, is received between a pair of the links of the chain 76 so as to lockingly engage the chain with the sheave so as to prevent relative sliding movement therebetween. When this occurs, the sheave 32 then is capable of revolving so as to invert the container 42 to the upper, inverted position thereof, shown in exemplary manner in FIGS. 1 and 3. By the time the container 42 has reached its uppermost limit as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, in which position it is completely inverted, further elevation and rotational movement is discontinued by means of the upper edge of the movable plate 34 engaging a pivoted trip lever 76, see FIG. 5, which actuates a rod 78 which is connected at its upper end to the actuating lever of a limit switch 80 provided in the circuit for the electric motor of the chain hoist unit 64 and stop actuation thereof. The hoist unit 64 has a gear drive of such nature that when the sheave 32 has reached its highest position and elevation thereof is stopped, the gear drive preferably holds the sheave, and correspondingly, the yoke unit 20 supported thereby in the maximum elevated position in which the container 22 is completely inverted. When this occurs, the elevated and inverted container within the loading compartment 10 is ready to be moved about a vertical axis substantially 180 for transfer thereof to the washing compartment 12.

TRANSFER TO WASHING COMPARTMENT The vertical supporting member 16 is provided with a shaft 82 which is rotatable within a suitable bearing, not shown, within a horizontal frame member 84, which supports the various components of power unit 18. The lower end of supporting member 16 has a bottom shaft 86, which is rotatably supported within a suitable bearing within the base block 88, which, for example, is anchored with respect to the supporting floor surface 14. Fixed to the upper shaft 82 is a large diameter sprocket gear which is driven by another sprocket gear 92 by means of sprocket chain 94. The driving sprocket gear 92 is driven by another large diameter sprocket gear 96 which is connected by an additional sprocket chain to driving sprocket gear 98, which is driven by a gear reduction unit on motor 100, that is supported by the frame member 84. Frame member 84 also is supported by a perpendicular frame member 102 which extends downwardly from the upper part of the housing for the washing compartment 12.

Actuation of motor is controlled by a suitable switch which is mounted, for example, upon a control box 104 fixed to a sidewall 106 of the area within which the washing machine is mounted. The box 104 preferably is mounted near the housing which encloses the compartments 10 and 12, for ready access by the operator.

Referring to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the sidewalls 108 and 110 of the loading compartment 10 extend perpendicularly to a vertical intermediate wall 112. The walls 108, 110 and 112 have a vertical dimension substantially equal to about one-half the overall height of the compartments l and 12. From FIG. 1, it will be seen that these walls occupy the upper half of each compartment. The walls 108 and 110 are substantially equal in area to openings 114 which are formed in the sidewalls l 16 disposed at opposite sides of the washing compartment 12 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. However, it will be understood that the pivotally shiftable wall arrangement 108, 1 and 1 12 also includes an additional pair of sidewalls 118 and 120, which are comparable in shape and area to the sidewalls 108 and 110 of loading compartment 10. Therefore, the plan view of the wall arrangement as shown in FIG. 2 is H-shaped, the sidewalls 108, 110, 118 and 120 somewhat resembling vertical wings when the wall arrangement is being rotated about the vertical axis of supporting member 16 when energized by the power unit 18.

When the motor 100 is energized by means of the switch referred to above that is mounted upon control box 104, the aforementioned wall arrangement which is supported by the vertical supporting member 16 is rotated, for example, clockwise as viewed in FIG. 2, as indicated in exemplary manner by the directional arrows 122, shown in FIG. 2, whereupon the yoke units 20 and 22 respectively are shifted from the loading and washing compartments to the washing and loading compartments. When the unit 22 reaches the loading compartment 10, the container 42 which is supported thereby and has been thoroughly cleansed within the washing compartment 12 may be restored to lower, upright position by actuation of the sheave 32 thereof, which actuation effected by the chain hoist unit 124, shown in FIG. 1, which is identical with the unit 64, also shown in said figure. For example, the control box 104 preferably contains additional switches respectively connected to the circuits for the motors of the chain hoist units 64 and 124, such circuits being of simple nature and details thereof not being considered necessary for the present description, except for the understanding that the motors are independently operable by an operator upon actuating the aforementioned switches of control box 104.

Upon rotation of the yoke units 20 and 22 about the axis of vertical supporting member 16 as described above, the sidewalls 108 and 110 of the aforementioned loading compartment will be shifted to be disposed within the openings 114 of the sidewalls 116 of the washing compartment and the sidewalls 118 and 120 which are associated with yoke unit 22 will be removed from the openings 114 and be disposed at opposite sides of the loading compartment 10. When the inverted, cleansed container 42 has been lowered and restored to upright position within the compartment 10, chain 58 is disconnected and the cleansed container is removed from the yoke of unit 22. After this, another container which is to be cleansed is mounted within the yoke of yoke unit 22, the chain 58 thereof is disposed in locking position, and the yoke is elevated and inverted to invert the newly mounted container to dispose the same in position for movement into the washing compartment following the completion of the cleansing of the container already disposed therein and undergoing cleaning operations. Preferably, the edges of the sidewalls 108, 110, 118 and 120, as well as the edges defining the openings 114 in the walls 116 of the washing compartment are provided with suitable gaskets to minimize the escape of washing fluid during the spray tube washing of the containers disposed therein.

Rotation of the yoke units 20 and 22 is restricted to movement of 180 about the axis of member 16. Such movement is controlled,.-.f0r example, by a pair of limit switches 126 which are illustrated in FIG. 6. These limit switches are supported, for example, upon the lower surface of frame member 84. The horizontal frame 62, which is connected to the upper end of supporting member 16 and is rotatable therewith, carries a pair of arms 128 which, in sequence, are engageable with the actuating members which depend from the limit switches 126. Accordingly, when supporting member 16 and the frame 62 carried thereby moves through an arc of 180, the arm 128 which is approaching the limit switch 126 to be engaged thereby will contact the actuating arm thereof, open the circuit to the motor of the chain hoist in circuit therewith, and stop the rotating movement of the yoke units 20 and 22. Preferably, the member 16 rotates 180 in one direction and when it is to be next rotated, it will rotate 180 in the opposite direction, rather than all rotating movements thereof being in the same direction. Under such circumstances, the operation of the limit switches 126 by the arms 128 thereof as shown in FIG. 6, readily can be understood.

SPRAY WASHING AND RINSING It is to be understood that the details of the yoke unit 22, which is shown in the washing compartment 12 in FIG. 2, is identical with the yoke unit 20 which is positioned in the loading compartment 10 in FIG. 2. Accordingly, similar reference characters for identical parts of the yoke units, the supporting and inverting equipment therefor, and the containers or vats 42 supported thereby are employed with respect to the units 20 and 22. Considering now the yoke unit 22 which is shown in FIG. 2 as being in the washing compartment 12, it will be seen that a pump unit 130 is mounted adjacent the outer end of washing compartment 12 and is provided with power means comprising an electric motor 132. The pump within the unit 130 is of conventional type. The lower portion of the washing compartment 12 comprises a reservoir l34 which is shown in FIG. 1. The pump unit 130 has an inlet 136 in the lower end thereof which receives washing fluid from the reservoir 134 and discharges the same into a central vertical pipe 138 which has a tee 140 at the upper end thereof which extends in opposite directions respectively to communicate at the ends thereof with a pair of parallel upper conduits 142 which respectively extend along upper sides of the washing compartment 12, and have a plurality of spaced nozzles 144 which discharge downwardly and inwardly so as to amply spray the exterior surfaces of the sides and bottom of the container 42 which is supported within the washing compartment. In addition, other nozzles 146 are disposed in spaced relationship along the tee 140 in order to discharge against the end of the container 42.

For purposes of washing the interior surfaces of container 42, there is a lower washing conduit 148, which is suitably supported by means of a rotary joint 150 for a limited oscillation about the horizontal axis thereof.

As seen in FIG. 2, the conduit 148 is substantially centrally of the washing compartment 12 and a plurality of spaced nozzles 152 therein discharge cleansing spray upwardly into the interior of the container 42 which is inverted above the same.

Oscillation of the lower washing conduit 148 occurs by means of an arm 154 which extends downwardly therefrom adjacent the rotary joint, for example. Link 156 is pivotally connected at one end to the lower end of arm 154 and the opposite end of link 156 extends through a suitable opening in one side of the washing compartment 12 where an appropriate crank disc 158 is pivotally supported and actuated by an appropriate motor, not shown, which operates at relatively slow speed to slowly oscillate the conduit 148 while discharging cleansing fluid from the nozzles 152 therein. Crank pin 160 is carried by the crank disc 158 and the upper end of a connecting member 162, which is fixed to the outer end of link 156, is rotatably connected to the crank pin 160.

Rinsing spray also is provided in the washing compartment 12 in the form of an overhead single, horizontal conduit 164, shown somewhat diagrammatically in FIG. 2, which is connected by additional conduits, not shown, to a suitable sort of rinsing water or the like of conventional nature. The conduit 164 is provided with a plurality of spaced nozzles 166. In addition, an interior spray conduit 168 extends horizontally and substantially centrally within the washing compartment 12, slightly to one side of and a little below the conduit 148 as can best be seen in FIGS. 1 and 7. The conduit 168 is connected by means, not shown, to the same source of rinsing spray water or the like as the conduit 164, for example. Conduit 168 terminates in a spray head 170 which difuses at a relatively wide angle into the interior of the container 42 and thoroughly rinses the same prior to the rotation of the supporting member 16 for the return of the cleansed and rinsed container to the compartment wherein it will be lowered and restored to upright position, followed by disconnection of the same from the yoke units by which it was supported within the washing compartment.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the industrial washing machine comprising the present invention provides a plurality of similar yoke units which respectively receive and support, in particular, large sized containers, such as vats which are not readily accommodated within existing industrial type washing machines, whereby, at present, awkward and somewhat unsatisfactory cleansing of the same must be accomplished by means of hoses, manual scrubbing, or otherwise.

The present invention provides means by which containers of such type readily are accommodated, regardless of the size and weight thereof, by mechanism which is power operated and automated to a large extent for operation by means of control switches adapted to be operated conveniently by an attendant or operator at a position exterior of the machine. Appropriate limit switches effect automatic stopping of certain of the power-operated means incident to effecting a complete washing and rinsing cycle of the machine, including the loading and unloading of the containers into and from the same. Further, in order that the ambient atmosphere will not be subject to the discharge of steam and vapor incident to the washing compartment being opened at the time the vertical supporting member l6 is rotated to restore the cleansed container to the compartment 10, the upper portion of the washing compartment 12 communicates with an appropriate vapor chamber 172, shown in FIG. 1, which is connected to an appropriate exhaust duct, including some means for withdrawing the vapor from the machine, and thus contribute to effecting comfortable operation of the machine by the operators who attend the same.

While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as illustrated and described.

I claim:

1. Washing mechanism to cleanse large containers and vats having open tops comprising in combination, a washing compartment, supporting means adapted to receive and support a container, vertical means rotatable about its axis and supporting said supporting means for rotation about said axis to and from said washing compartment, means operable to invert said supporting means and a container supported thereby to dispose the open top of the container lowermost while in said washing compartment, spray means mounted within said washing compartment and positioned to engage the interior and exterior of said container, means to control the flow of fluid to said spray means, and means to move said supporting means and cleansed container carried thereby from said washing compartment.

2. The washing mechanism according to claim 1 in which said supporting means include a yoke having spaced arms adapted to engage opposite sides of a container to support the same thereby, and said supporting means also including means to secure said container releasably to said yoke.

3. The washing mechanism according to claim 2 further including means carried by said vertical means to support said yoke for rotation about a substantially horizontal axis to invert a container supported thereby.

4. The washing mechanism according to claim 3 in which the rotatable axis of said yoke is offset vertically with respect to the arms thereof, and means supporting said yoke for movement of the axis thereof upward during inversion of a container supported thereby to dispose the open top of said container substantially within the same plane when inverted as when initially connected to said yoke.

5. The washing mechanism according to claim 4 further including power means connected to said yoke and adapted to rotate the same, and power means also connected to said vertical means and adapted to rotate the same about its axis.

6. The washing mechanism according to claim 5 fur ther including control means for said power means adapted to interrupt the power means at the completion of movement of said yoke to invert a container carried thereby and to interrupt the movement of said yoke by said vertical means when the yoke and a container supported thereby are positioned within said washing compartment.

7. Washing mechanism to cleanse large containers having open tops comprising in combination, a vertical support member mounted for rotation about its axis, means projecting horizontally from said vertical support member intermediately of its ends and extending in opposite directions therefrom, said projecting means being adapted respectively to engage and support-containers to be cleansed, a washing compartment adjacent said vertical support member adapted to receive one of said laterally projecting means when said support member is rotated to dispose said means therein, at least one of said projecting means being rotatable about its horizontal axis to invert a container when carried thereby, spray means within said washing compartment to direct cleaning solution against a container when supported within said washing compartment, and control means for said spray means, one of said projecting means being positioned exteriorly of said washing compartment for loading and unloading containers thereon and therefrom while the other projecting means is supporting a container within said washing compartment.

8. The washing mechanism according to claim 7 further including means to rotate at least said one of said projection means about its axis prior tobeing moved into said washing compartment to invert a container when supported thereby.

9. The washing mechanism according to claim 8 further including means interconnected to and adapted to elevate said projecting means a predetermined distance after containers have been connected thereto.

10. The washing mechanism according to claim 8 in which said projection means comprise horizontal yokes, said yokes including means to secure said containers detachably between the arms thereof.

11. The washing mechanism according to claim 8 further including limit control means connected to said means to rotate said laterally projecting means and operable to interrupt the rotation thereof when inversion of containers supported thereon has been completed.

12. The washingmechanism according to claim 8 further including power means interconnected to and adapted to rotate said vertical support member about its axis for purposes of moving said laterally projecting means and containers supported thereby from a station in which said containers are mounted upon said laterally projecting means and said washing compartment.

13. The washing mechanism according to claim 12 in which said power means comprises an electric motor and driven means operable thereby connected to said vertical support member, and control means for said power means including a limit switch operable to interrupt operation of said power means when one of said laterally projecting means has had a container mounted thereon and has moved the same into said washing compartment.

14. The washing mechanism according to claim 8 further including a sheave on each of said laterally projecting means and each of said laterally projecting means also having a pair of horizontal arms thereon spaced from each other and adapted to support a container therebetween, and hoist means engaging said sheave and operable to rotate and elevate said projecting means and the container supported thereon to invert said container and elevate the same for movement into said washing compartment.

15. The washing mechanism according to claim 14 further including means positioned to engage said sheave during the initial portion of the elevating movement thereof and restrict the rotation thereof until elevation of the sheave to a predetermined height has been reached to permit the lower part of containers supported by said horizontal arm to clear a surface upon which the same initially were supported between said arms before rotation of said containers commences.

16. The washing mechanism according to claim 7 further including means to support said projecting means for rotation about horizontal axes to invert containers when supported thereby, and spray means positioned to project sprays of cleansing fluid against the exterior and interior of containers while said containers are supported in inverted manner within said washing compartment.

17. The washing mechanism according to claim 16 in which said spray means which are positioned to project streams of cleansing fluid into the interior of a container are mounted below said inverted container when disposed within said washing compartment, and means interconnected to said spray means and adapted to oscillate the same about a horizontal axis beneath said inverted container to insure cleansing of all interior surfaces thereof.

18. The washing mechanism according to claim 16 further including accumulator means adapted to receive wash fluid discharged from said containers within said washing compartment, and a recirculating pump positioned operatively relative to said accumulator and operable to recirculate washing fluid between said accumulator and the spray means for said washing fluid.

19. The washing mechanism according to claim 16 further including additional rinsing sprays mounted within said washing compartment and positioned re spectively to engage the interior and exterior surfaces of an inverted container when disposed in said washing compartment, said rinsing sprays being connected to a source of rinse solution under pressure.

20. The washing mechanism according to claim 7 in which said vertical support member also supports a pair of substantially parallel sidewalls transversely spaced from each other and forming opposite sides of said washing compartment and movable with said vertical support into enclosing position at opposite sides of said compartment when a container is moved into said compartment upon rotation of said vertical support member.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039350 *Mar 4, 1976Aug 2, 1977Sioux Steam Cleaner CorporationIndustrial cleaning system
US4421132 *Apr 23, 1982Dec 20, 1983Kuhl Henry YCart washing apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification134/95.3, 134/62, 134/200, 134/183, 134/152, 134/134
International ClassificationB65G67/00, B08B9/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65G2814/0379, B08B9/0826, B65G67/00
European ClassificationB65G67/00, B08B9/08H2