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Publication numberUS3826113 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1974
Filing dateMay 7, 1973
Priority dateMay 7, 1973
Also published asCA988734A1, DE2401700A1, DE2401700B2
Publication numberUS 3826113 A, US 3826113A, US-A-3826113, US3826113 A, US3826113A
InventorsBoraas S, Nystuen M
Original AssigneeEconomics Lab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Additive control and injection system useful in laundry machine operations
US 3826113 A
Abstract
A system for selectively adding a plurality of liquid chemicals to a laundry machine in response to triggering signals from the machine is disclosed. Pumps are provided for pumping chemicals from their shipping drums through conduit means to the washing machine. Control means are associated with this system allowing the operator to remotely vary the chemical mix pumped to the washer by making control switch selections. The selections correspond to the soil levels of the laundry load, the presence of greasy soils, the need for bleach and the presence of permanent press fabrics. This injection process is controlled by a plurality of sequentially activated electrical timers that energize relays to in turn energize the pumps in selected groups. Means are provided for limited remote monitoring of the function of the system.
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United States Patent [191 Noraas et a1.

[11] 3,826,113 July 30, 1974 [75] Inventors: Stan L. C. Boraas; Marcl si Nystuen, both of St. Paul, Minn.

[73] Assignee: Economics Laboratory, Inc., St.

Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Joseph J. Rolla Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Merchant, Gould, Smith & Edell [57] ABSTRACT A system for selectively adding a plurality of liquid chemicals to a laundry machine in response to triggering signals from the machine is disclosed. Pumps are provided for pumping chemicals from their shipping drums through conduit means to the washing machine. Control means are associated with this system allowing the operator to remotely vary the chemical mix pumped to the washer by making control switch selections. The selections correspond to the soil levels of the laundry load, the presence of greasy soils, the need for bleach and the presence of permanent press fabrics. This injection process is controlled by a plurality of sequentially activated electrical timers that energize relays to in turn energize the pumps in selected groups. Means are provided for limited remote monitoring of the function of the system. I

5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures LAUNDRY MACHINE PATENTED SHEEI 2 OF 2 b COTTON o d a, N0 lRON ADDITIVE CONTROL AND INJECTION SYSTEM USEFUL IN LAUNDRY MACHINE OPERATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention pertains to a system for automatically injecting products into a function zone with remote operator controls available to vary the product mix injected.

2. Description of the Prior Art It is frequently necessary to selectively dispense a plurality of fluid products into a function zone. For example, a wide variety of laundry products such as detergents, softeners, fabric conditioners and bleach are often dispensed into a laundry machine. When automatic dispensing of such products into a laundry machine is desired, it is often preferable that the dispensing of such products be done with a compact dispensing system which is separate from the washing machine but which can be used in conjunction with a washing machine. The injection is often done sequentially, and the products are usually injected in measured amounts. To manually dispense a plurality of laundry products into a washing machine in sequence, and in measured amounts, is unreliable and uneconomical in commercial laundry operations. As a result, numerous attempts have been made to provide either semi-automatic or automatic dispensing of the various laundry products into the laundry machine.

There are presently available no completely automatic systems for accurately and economically dispensing a measured amount of each of a plurality of laundry products into a laundry machine, in an economical package. The semi-automatic systems which are available are limited in their economies and reliabilities in several regards. Most systems rely on devices which utilize a premeasured amount of laundry product. In such a system, meausred amounts of detergent and bleach are placed into the dispensing system prior to the washer operation. The dispensing system then dispenses each premeasured quantity into the washing machine when a particular triggering signal is sent to the dispensing system. While such a system is to a degree automated, this type of apparatus is subject to human error in the measuring of the amount of each product to be added and may also prove hazardous where such products are caustic or could be otherwise injurious to the person handling them. A system requiring such premeasuring of the laundry products is also uneconomical in the amount of human labor required for each measuring operation.

Other available semi-automatic units utilize various cam arrangements for controlling the injection of laundry products. In such systems, a series of cams will open and close various switches as the cams rotate. The opening and closing of the switches in turn measure the duration of injection of various laundry products. This controls the amount of laundry product injected. These systems are subject to inaccuracies inherent in a camcontrolled operation. These inaccuracies take the form of imperfections in the contour of the cams, variations in the speeds of the motors which drive the cams, and physical imperfections in the feeler switches which ride along on the cams. Such imperfections in the systems may give rise to significant inaccuracies in the amounts of laundry products injected. Further, as the number of laundry products to be injected increases, the cam wheel assembly controlling the injection sequence becomes more complex and more difficult to design and maintain. If a variation in the amount of a particular additive to be injected is desired, the entire cam mechanism may have to be replaced with a new design. Other modifications of such a system would also prove difficult because of the unitary construction used in present cam assembly designs.

Other variations of injection systems which rely on a formula wheel for the measuring of the amount of a liquid to be injected utilize a plurality of pressurized containers containing the liquid products. Associated with these pressurized vessels is a plurality of product valves. To accomplish the dispensing, holes are cut into the formula chart at appropriate positions. As a hole passes over a pressure-sensitive (vacuum) switch, a valve is activated to allow dispensing of the liquid products. This system requires extreme accuracy in the cutting of the openings in the formula chart. Also, the drive mechanism which rotates the chart must be very accurate in its rate of rotation. In addition to these possible sources of inaccuracy in the amount of product injected, such a system is very expensive in its construction and in its operation. Such systems have found limited application in soft-drink vending machines.

It can be seen that the presently available systems for sequentially injecting a plurality of laundry products into a washing machine are not totally automatic and are not altogether accurate. Further, such systems may prove exceedingly expensive and may offer little flexibility in permitting variations to their injection pattern.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is an additive control and injection system for automatically injecting a plurality of liquids into a function zone. The invention finds particular usefulness in laundry machine operations. The system has means for remotely controlling the mix of chemicals to be injected into the function zone. Briefly described, the control and injection system in its preferred embodiment includes pumping means in combination with conduit means for moving a plurality of liquids from their containers to the function zone. The pumping means is controlled by selection and timing means which allow selection of a particular mix of chemicals to be injected and which measure the amount of each chemical to be injected. The selection of chemical mix is accomplished by a laundry operator using a remote control means. The entire system is activated by a plurality of sequential triggering signals received by the system from the function zone.

In a laundry machine operation, a plurality of sequential triggering signals is sent out by the laundry machine to the control system. These triggering signals serve to initiate the operation of a plurality of timers. Through a plurality of relays, the timers control the operation of a plurality of pumps. Thus the function of the timers is to activate the pumps for a predetermined time to control the amount of each chemical injected into the laundry machine. The operation of the timers is controlled by a series of control switches. These switches are located on a remote operation console which allows a laundry operator to control the mix of chemicals injected into the laundry machine. In the preferred embodiment, four switch settings are utilized. These are soil level, greasy soil presence, bleach requirement, and fabric type. By making a proper selection of one of these switch settings, the operator automatically varies the amount of each laundry product injected into the laundry machine and thereby tailors the mix to the type of laundry load being washed. This system is economical to use, simple in its operation, totally automatic, and accurate in its function.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagramatic view of the additive control and injection system;

FIG. 2 is a wiring diagram of the control system; and

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of the electrical timer.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-3. Referring to FIG. 1, the laundry machine into which laundry products are injected is generally referred to by the numeral 1. The laundry machine 1 must have the capability of generating a series of sequential triggering signals. These signals can be thought of as corresponding to a series of injection commands. In the configuration shown, there are four such signals emanating from the laundry machine, which are carried to the control system by circuit means 61-64. These triggering signals may be generated by a motor-driven formula chart, wheel, or by other suitable commercially available means. In the embodiment shown, a triggering signal through circuit means 61 corresponds to a break injection command. Triggering signals through circuit means 62, 63, and 64 correspond to injection commands for detergent, bleach, and sour/softener, respectively.

The liquid laundry products to be sequentially injected are contained in the containers 11-18. It is preferable that these containers be the containers in which the laundry products are shipped. This eliminates the need to transfer the laundry products from their shipping or storage containers to other containers. The present invention does not require that the chemical products be under pressure or be in sealed containers. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1, supply containers 11 and 12 both contain a builder chemical, and containers 13-18 contain conditioner, detergent, additive, bleach", sour, and softener, respectively.

Associated with the liquid chemical containers 1 1-18 is a plurality of conduits 21-28 for connecting the individual containers to the laundry machine. The conduits may be flexible hoses with an inside diameter of A inch, or may be other suitable materials adequately sized. A separate one of the conduits 21-28 is operatively connected to each of the laundry product containers 11-18, as shown.

Associated with each of the conduits 21-28 is one of a plurality of injection means, in this case pumps 31-38 respectively. Thus, pump 31 is located in conduit 21, pump 32 is in conduit 22, etc. When energized, the pumps 31-38 pump the liquid laundry products from their respective supply containers 11-18 to the laundry machine through the conduits 21-28.

Gorman-Rupp oscillating bellows-type pumps (60 RPM and 90 RPM) are particularly well suited to the present invention, but other suitable types may also be used. In the preferred embodiment, the pumps are constant speed pumps, pumping either 22 or 33 oz/min. The amount of laundry product pumped by each is proportional to the time the pump is running. In the preferred embodiment, the pumps 31-38 are normally off. When a particular pump is turned on for a specific length of time, a known amount of laundry product is pumped to the laundry machine. By controlling the time that each of pumps 31-38 is turned on, the quantity of each of the laundry products supplied to the laundry machine 1 can be controlled.

To energize the various pumps 31-38, either individually or in combination, a plurality of 24-volt relays 51-58 is used. The relays each comprise an electromagnet and one or more switches. The opening and closing of these relay switches will control the supply of llO-volt power to the various pumps 31-38.

The connections between the switches and pumps is disclosed in FIG. 1. volts is supplied to line 41 through a power supply switch 41. When relay 51 is energized by means later to be described, and assuming that power supply switch 41 is closed, the normally open switch 51a is closed The closing of switch 51a energizes pump 31, and also energizes pump 32 and 33 through switch 5261. Switch 52a is a single-pole doubleorder to inject a known quantity of builder and conditioner into the laundry machine. This is called the break cycle.

At the end of the break cycle, relay 51 is deenergized. During the next cycle, the detergent cycle, relays 52, 53, and 54 are energized. When relay 52 is energized, switch 52a moves to the position opposite from that shown to provide power to pumps 32 and 33. Builder and conditioner are thus injected into the laundry machine. When relay 53 is energized, the normally open single-pole single-throw switch 53a is closed to energize pump 34 through switch 55a. Switch 55a/55b is a double-pole double-throw switch controlled by the coil of relay 55. During the detergent cycle, relay 55 is normally de-energized and switches 55a/55b are in the position shown on the drawing. With pump 34 energized, detergent is injected into the laundry machine through line 24 from container 14.

Relay 54 is also energized during the detergent cycle to close normally open single-pole single-throw switch 54a. Power is supplied to pump 35 through the closed switch 54a and switch 55b. Pump 35 injects additive into the laundry machine from container 15. At the end of the detergent feed, relays 52, 53, and 54 are deenergized to in turn de-energize pumps 32-35.

It should be noted that during the detergent cycle, relays 52 and 53 are controlled by timer 72, while relay 54 is separately controlled by timer 73.

During the detergent cycle, relay 55 can be energized by the manual closing of normally open time-delayed switch 83. When relay 55 is energized, switches -55a/55b are moved to the position opposite from that shown on the drawing. This reverses the connection of pumps 34 and 35 to relays 53 and 54, respectively. During the normal detergent cycle, the duration of operation of pump 34 is controlled by relay 53. If

switch 83 is closed to energize relay 55, the duration of operation of pump 34 is controlled by relay 54. In like manner, the control of pump 35 switches from relay 54 to relay 53. If timers 72 and 73 are set for different times, the energization of relay 55 reverses the duration of operation of the pumps 34 and 35, respectively.

The third cycle is the bleach cycle, during which relay 56 is energized by timer 74. When relay 56 is energized, normally open switch 56a is closed to in turn energize pump 36. Pump 36, when energized, injects bleach from container 16 into the laundry machine.

The final cycle is the sour-softener cycle. During this cycle, timers 75 and 76 are energized to in turn energize relays 57 and 58. The energization of relay 57 closes normally open single-pole single-throw switch 57a to energize pump 37. Pump 37 injects sour into the laundry machine from container 17. Relay 58, when energized, closes normally open single-pole single-throw switch 58a to in turn energize pump 38. Pump 38 injects softener from container 18 into the laundry machine.

Since the individual pumps 31-38 run only as long as the relays 51-58 are activated, the control of the duration of activation of the relays 51-58 controls the amount of each product pumped to the laundry machine. The control of activation of the relays is provided by a plurality of identical timers 71-76. The timers 71-76 can be thought of as presettable time delay switches controlling the source of power (24 v.) to relays 51-58 and ultimately to pumps 31-38. Thus, timers 71-76 are the first step in the control of the amount of each of the laundry products 11-18 injected into the laundry machine 1.

The functioning of timers 71-76 is initiated by the receipt of the triggering signals through lines 61-64 from a control unit (not shown) within the laundry machine 1. Once activated, each timer provides a signal of 24 volts to its associated relay or relays until the timing mechanism within the timer shuts it off. The triggering signals from the laundry machine serve both to initiate the timing sequence and to provide a power source for the timers and associated relays. Therefore, the duration of each of the triggering signals must be at least as long as the duration of the associated timer function.

FIG. 1 shows the general relationship between the triggering signals, the timers 71-76, and the relays 51-58 which the timers activate. Timer 71 is activated by receipt of the first triggering signal from line 61 transmitted from the laundry machine. In the preferred embodiment, the triggering signal on line 61 is a 24-volt signal and is transmitted through the timer 71 to relay 51 for a presettable predetermined time. This controls, through relay 51, the duration of operation of pumps 31, 32, and 33, which in turn controls the amounts of laundry products from containers 11-13 injected into the laundry machine.

During the detergent cycle, timers 72 and 73 are simultaneously activated, in similar manner, by receipt of the second triggering signal from line 62. Timer 72 controls the transmission of power to simultaneously activate relays 52 and 53. Thus, timer 72 controls the duration of running of pumps 32, 33 and 34. This in turn controls the amount of builder, conditioner, and detergent injected into the laundry machine 1. The output signal from timer 73 activates relay 54. This in turn controls the duration of running of pump 35 which controls the amount of laundry product from container 15 (additive) injected into the laundry machine.

Timer 74 is activated by the third triggering signal from line 63 for the bleach cycle. This activates relay 56 to control the power to pump 36 and the amount of bleach pumped to the laundry machine from laundry container 16.

Timers 75 and 76 are activated simultaneously by the fourth triggering signal on line 64 for the sour-softener cycle. The output signals from these timers in turn activate relays 57 and 58, respectively. These relays control the duration of power supplied to pumps 37 and 38 to inject sour and softener into the laundry machine from laundry product containers l7 and 18, respectively.

The timers 71-76 may consist of standard timing networks having presettable timing inputs and operable to provide an output signal suitable for energizing a relay and/or lamp for a timer period corresponding to a preset condition of its inputs. A schematic diagram of the timer circuit used in the preferred embodiment for each of the timers 71 through76 is illustrated in FIG. 3.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is generally shown a timer 100, having first through fourth timing inputs 101a through 101d respectively. The timer further has a power input terminal 102.

The first timing input 101a is connected by means of a diode 105 to an emitter (e) of a PNP transistor 115. Transistor further has a base (b) and a collector (c). The second through fourth timing inputs 101b through 101d are respectively connected by means of parallel circuits comprising a plurality of diodes 106 through 108 respectively connected in series with a plurality of potentiometers 109 through 111 respectively, all in series with a resistor 112 to the emitter (e) of transistor 115.

The collector (c) of transistor 115 is directly connected to a base (b) of an NPN transistor 117. Transistor 117 further has an emitter (e) and a collector (c) which is directly connected to the base (b) of transistor 115. The collector (c) of transistor 115 is further connected by means of a timing capacitor 118 to a common bus 120.

The power input terminal 102 is directly connected by means of a filter capacitor 121 to the negative bus and is also connected by means of a resistor 122 to the collector (c) of transistor 117.

The emitter (e) of transistor 117 is further directly connected by means of a resistor 125 in series with a resistor 126 to the common bus 120, and is connected by means of the resistor 125 to a gate 128 of a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) 130. The SCR 130 further has an anode 131 and a cathode 132 which is directly connected to the common bus 120.

The collector (c) of transistor 117 is also directly connected by means of a resistor 132 and a capacitor 134 to the anode 131 of the SCR 130, and is also connected by means of the resistor 132 to the common bus 120.

The power input terminal 102 is further directly connected by means of a resistor 136 to the anode 131 of the SCR 130, and is connected by means of the resistor 136 in series with a resistor 137 and a diode 138 to a base (b) of an NPN transistor 140. The transistor 140 further has a collector (c) and an emitter (e) that is directly connected to the common bus 120. The base (b) of transistor 140 is further connected by means of the reverse biased diode 138 in series with a resistor 142 to the common bus 120.

The collector (c) of transistor 140 is connected by means of a resistor 144 to a base (b) of a thyristor 146. The thyristor 146 further has an emitter (e) directly connected to the power input terminal 102 and a collector (c) directly connected to an output drive terminal 150.

The common bus 120 is further connected by means of a diode 151 to a common output terminal 152. The common output terminal 152 is also directly connected by means of a lamp 153 to a second output terminal 154. The second output terminal 154 is directly connected by means of a resistor 155 in series with a diode 156 to the output drive terminal 150.

The timing circuit 100 is generally operable in response to an input signal (24 volts in the preferred embodiment) applied simultaneously to its timing inputs 101 and its power input 102 to provide at its output drive terminal 150 an output signal of approximately 24 volts for a predetermined time duration. As hereinafter described, an input signal is applied to only one of the timing inputs 101a-101d at a time.

The basic operation of the timer 100 is as follows. Upon application of a bias signal to the power input 102, a bias potential sufficient to bias transistor 140 into conduction will be provided by means of current flow through the resistors 136, 137, and 142. When conducting, transistor 140 will provide a current path for the base current of the thyristor 146, thus enabling thyristor 146 to conduct and to provide an output signal at the output terminal 150 having a voltage approximately equal to that applied to the power input 102. Simultaneously, a charging voltage will be applied to one of the timing inputs 101a through 101d.

The timer 100 basically employs an RC timing network consisting of the timing capacitor 118 and the resistor 1 12 in series with that potentiometer 109 through 111 whose respective input terminal has been selected. Upon application of an input signal to one of the timing inputs 101a-101d, the capacitor 118 will begin to charge. When the charging potential on capacitor 118 attains that level sufficient to bias transistor 117 into conduction, a gating signal is applied from the emitter (e) of transistor 117 to the anode 128 of the SCR 130. When gated into conduction, the SCR 130 will provide a virtual short from its anode 131 to cathode 132 terminals, effectively shunting away current flow to the bias resistors 137 and 142 for transistor 140. Transistor 140 will be biased into its cutoff region, thereby removing the base return path for thyristor 146, causing thyristor 146 to operate in its non-conducting mode.

The timing function of the timer 100 is, therefore, basically accomplished by a selection of the desired timing input terminal 101, and by the resistive value set on potentiometers 109 thorugh 111. Each of these potentiometers is variable and can be set at a desired value calibrated in conjunction with the timing capacitor 118, to correspond to a particular time duration. The potentiometers are manually set for predetermined resistive values when the system is set up. The potentiometer setting essentially establishes a range of time durations (correlative to injection amounts) which correspond to the capacity of the laundry machine 1 with which the control and injection system is used.

Referring to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the timing input 101a does not contain an input potentiometer.

' When an input signal is selectively applied to the timing input 101a the timer operates in a deactivated mode, and does not supply an output signal to its output drive terminal 150. In such a mode, the large input voltage applied to the timing input 101a drives transistor into saturation and rapidly charges the timing capacitor 118, and causes SCR to fire, as previously discussed, before thyristor 146 is enabled to conduct.

However, when an input signal is selectively applied to one of the timing inputs 101b through 101d, the voltage level applied to the emitter (e) of transistor 115 is low enough to enable transistor 115 to be biased for operation in its active region. Thus, the timing capacitor 118 is enabled to charge at a substantially slower rate, and the thyristor 146 is enabled, delivering an output signal to the output drive terminal 150 until the timing capacitor 1 18 attains its threshold charge potential.

Although a specific timing configuration has been illustrated, it will be noted that other functionally equivalent configurations could be employed equally well, within the spirit and intent of this invention.

The relative functional connection of timers 71-76 in the overall system is illustrated in FIG. 1. A more detailed schematic representation of the timers 71-76 illustrating their respective selective input connection arrangements is illustrated in FIG. 2.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there are generally shown a first control switch 81 and a second control switch 82. The first control switch 81 is functionally connected for selection of the timing inputs of each of the timers 7176. In addition, the second control switch 82 is functionally connected for selection of timing inputs of the timers 75 and 76.

In the preferred embodiment, the control switch 81 comprises a multi-layered wafer switch having four contact-bearing wafers 81-1 through 81-4, inclusive. Each wafer has a movable wiper 81w associated therewith whose positioning is controlled by a single control element generally designated by the control knob 810 in FIG. 1. The gauged control is represented in FIG. 2 by the dashed line interconnecting the movable wipers 81w of the four wafers.

The control switch 81 has four positional settings generally labeled OFF, L, M, and H (FIG. 1). Each of the four wafers of the control switch 81 has four stationary contacts consecutively labeled as OFF, L, M", and H (FIG. 2) and positionally functionally associated with those functional positions bearing like designations in FIG. 1. The movable wipers 81w associated with each wafer of the control switch 81 simultaneously respond to movement of the control knob 810 between the four positional settings, and move cooperatively therewith to contact their respective stationary contacts on their individual wafers. For example, when the control knob 810 is positioned at the OFF position, each of the movable wipers on the four wafer layers will also be positioned to respectively contact their OFF" contacts.

In the preferred embodiment, the positional settings of control switch 81 correspond to soil levels for a laundry load. The OFF, L, M, and H positions correspond respectively to off light, medium, and heavy soil levels. The last three named settings are functionally connected to represent increasing time durations, thus allowing the most laundry product injection for the heavy soil level setting.

The input and output terminals of the timers 71-76 in FIG. 2 have been labeled to correspond to those numerical designations of the functionally corresponding terminals described with respect to the timer 100 (FIG. 3). It will be understood that each of the timers 71-76 is a schematic and functional equivalent to the timer 100 previously discussed.

Referring to FIG. 2, the stationary contacts OFF, L, M, and H of the wafer element 81-1 of switch 81 are respectively directly connected to a plurality of timing input terminals a through d of the timer 71 (corresponding to timing input terminals 101a-101a' of FIG. 3). The input line 61 from the laundry machine 1 is directly connected to the movable wiper 81w of the first wafer element 81-1 and is further directly connected to a power input terminals 102' of timer 71.

The stationary contacts labeled OFF, L, M and H of the wafer element 81-1 of switch 81 are respectively directly connected to a plurality of timing input terminals a-d (corresponding to the timing input terminals 1010 through 101d of FIG. 3) to each of the second timer 72 and of the third timer 73. The input line 62 from the laundry machine 1 is directly connected to the movable wiper 81w of the second wafer element 81-2 and is further directly connected to a power input terminal 102' to the second timer 72 and to a power input terminal 102' to the third timer 73.

The stationary contacts labeled OFF, L, M and H of the wafer element 81-3 of switch 81 are respectively directly connected to a plurality of timing input terminals a-d (corresponding to the timing input terminals 101a through 101d of FIG. 3) to the fourth timer 74. The input line 63 from the laundry machine 1 is directly connected to the movable wiper 81w of the third wafer element 81-3 and is further directly connected to a power input terminal 102' to the fourth timer 74.

The stationary contact labeled OFF of the wafer element 81-4 of switch 81 is directly connected to an input terminal a (corresponding to the timing input terminal 101a of FIG. 3) to the fifth timer 75 and is also directly connected to a timing input terminal a of like function to the sixth timer 76. It will be noted thatthe stationary contacts L, M and H of the wafer element 81-4 are not connected to any of the timers. The input line 64 from the laundry machine 1 is directly connected to the movable wiper 81w of the fourth wafer element 81-4 and is further directly connected to a power input terminal 102' to the fifth timer 75.

The second control switch 82 (FIG. 2) is a singlepole double-throw switch having a movable wiper 82w movable between a first stationary contact 82a and a second stationary contact 82b. The input line 64 from the laundry machine 1 is directly connected to the movable wiper 82w of switch 82 and is further directly connected to a power input terminal 102 to the sixth timer 76.

The first stationary contact 82a of the switch 82 is directly connected to a timing input terminal b (corresponding to timing input terminal lb of FIG. 3) to the fifth timer 75 and it is also directly connected to a timing input terminal b of like function to the sixth timer 76. The second stationary contact 82b of the switch 82 is directly connected to a timing input terminal c (corresponding to timing input terminal 101c of FIG. 3) to the fifth timer and it is also directly connected to a timing input terminal 0 of like function to the sixth timer 76.

It will be noted that the timing input terminals d to the fifth and sixth timers 75 and 76, respectively, are unused.

The switch 82 provides the timing input selection for the fifth and sixth timers 75 and 76, respectively, and functionally represents the selection of a fabric-type" in the operation of the system. When the movable wiper 82w of switch 82 is positioned to contact the stationary contact 82a, the fabric-type selection corresponding to no iron" is effected. When the movable wiper 82w of switch 82 is positioned to contact the stationary contact 82b, a fabric-type selection corresponding to cotton is effected. It will be noted that these settings correspond to the selection of short and long time-out periods respectively within the timers. Thus, when a selection is made that indicates the laundry load contains primarily synthetic or resin treated fabrics, smaller amounts of sour and softener laundry products can be injected into the laundry machine 1.

Since the potentiometers connected to the timing inputs within each timer are wired in parallel, as previously described, an operator by making a selection by means of the control switches 81 and 82 determines the charging time constant of the timers 71 through 76 as preset into those selected potentiometers within the timers.

Therefore, while the individual potentiometer settings within the timers 71-76 provide a first means for determining the time duration of an output signal from the timers, the control switches 81 and 82 provide a second means for controlling the duration of output signals from the timers. As illustrated, the control switches 81 and 82 are manually operable and provide an on-line control over the timers.

It will be noted that the OFF POSITION of control switch 81 controls all of the timers 71 through 76. When the control switch 81 is positioned in its ooff position, the outputs of the timers are de-energized (as previously discussed), therefore, in effect by-passing the injection system as the laundry machine 1 operates. Further, it will be noted that in the preferred embodiment, the control switch 81 is connected to control the timing inputs other than the OFF position, only in timers 71 through 74. This condition is dictated by the pre ferred embodiment since only timers 71 through 74 control laundry products whose injection rate is to vary with the soil level of the laundry; i.e., the builder 1 1 and 12, the conditioner 13, the detergent 14, the additive l5, and the bleach 16.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be noted that each of the timers 71 through 76 has a common output terminal 152' (corresponding to the common output terminal 152 of FIG. 3) which is indicated as being connected to a common ground 5 of the system. It will be understood, that although not specifically represented throughout the figures, the same common ground 5 is impliedly connected to each of the electrical components where required. Further, referring to FIG. 2, each of the timers 71 through 76 has an output drive terminal and a second output terminal 154', which correspond respectively to the output terminals 150 and 154 of FIG. 3.

Connections to the output terminals 150 and 154' of the first timer 71 comprise a signal flow path 161 connected for energizing the relay 51 and an indicator lamp 91.

Connections to the output terminals 150' and 154 of the second timer 72 comprise a signal flow path 162 connected for energizing the relays 52 and 53 and an indicator lamp 92.

A connection to the output terminal 150 of the third timer 73 comprises a signal flow path 163 connected for energizing the relay 54. It will be noted that the output terminal 154' of the third timer 73 is unused in the preferred embodiment.

Connections to the output terminals 150 and 154' of the fourth timer 74 comprise a signal flow path 164 connected to energize an indicator lamp 93 and connected to a first stationary contact 84a of a normally closed push button switch 84. The switch 84 further has a movable contact 840 and a second stationary contact 84b. The switch 84 further has a time-delay heating element 84d operatively cooperative with the movable contact 840 for providing a time-delay response reset response after manual activation as hereinafter described. One terminal of time-delay element 84d of the switch 84 is connected to the signal line 64 from the laundry machine 1 for energization therefrom; the other terminal of the time-delay element 84d is connected to the common ground 5. The second stationary contact 84b of the switch 84 is directly connected by means of a signal flow path 164a for energizing the relay 56.

The third control switch 84 interrupts the flow of an energizing output signal from the fourth timer 74 to the relay 56 when the movable contact 84c of the switch is activated to an open position. In the preferred embodiment, this switching action prevents the operation of the bleach pump 36. Therefore, the control switch 84 is designated as a bleach defeat switch and prevents the addition of bleach to the laundry machine 1 when depressed.

Connections to the output terminals 150 and 154' of the fifth timer 75 comprise a signal flow path 165 connected for energizing the relay 57 and an indicator lamp 94. 1

A connection to the output terminal 150' of the sixth timer 76 comprises a signal flow path 166 connected for energizing the relay 58. It will be noted that the output terminal 154 of the sixth timer 76 is unused in the preferred embodiment.

The signal line 62 from the laundry machine 1 is further directly connected to a first stationary contact 83a of a normally open push-button switch 83. Switch 83 further has a second stationary contact 83b, a movable contact 83c, and a time-delay heating element 83d functionaTlycooperative with the movable contact 83c. One terminal of the time-delay heating element 83d is directly connected to the signal line 64; the other terminal of the heating element 83d is connected to the common ground 5. The second stationary contact 83b of the switch 83 is directly connected by means of a signal flow path 167 for energizing the relay 55.

When activated to an electrically closed position, the control switch 83 enables relay 55 to be energized by a triggering signal applied on line 62 for operatively interchanging the normal control of pumps 34 and 35, exercised by relays 53 and 54 as previously described. This, in effect, reverses the time duration for injection of laundry products 14 (detergent) and 15 (additive) into the laundry machine 1. In the preferred embodiment, switch 83 is designated as a greasy soil switch. When closed, switch 83 is operative to increase the amount of additive and to decrease the amount of detergent added to the laundry load. This produces a laundry product mix more adapted to the greasy soil condition of the laundry load.

The third and fourth control switches 84 and 83 are automatically reset after activation, by means of their time-delay elements 84d and 83d, respectively. The time-delay elements 84d and 83d are bimetallic neuter elements which are energized by a signal appearing on the line 64 from the laundry machine 1. Upon application of a signal to the heater elements, the elements begin heating in response to the applied signal until a predetermined reset temperature is attained. At that point, the bimetallic operation of the heater elements 840. and 83d return their associated movable contacts 840 and 83c respectively to their normally biased positions, thus effecting a reset of the switches 84 and 83. In the preferred embodiment, a reset triggering signal is applied on line 64 from the laundry machine 1 toward the completion of the laundry cycle. The temperature characteristics of the heater elements 84d and 83d must be selected so that their time-delay reset action allows for completion of the operations performed by the signals applied to line 62 and to the signal flow path 164 from the timer 74, before a reset of the switches 83 and 84 is effected.

In the preferred embodiment, the four indicator lamps 91 through 94 (FIG. 1) are illuminated only when their respective energizing timers are operatively producing an energizing signal at their second outputs 154. The lamps 91 through 94 serve to indicate to the laundry machine operator which injection function is currently being performed at any given time. However, they do not necessarily indicate any given product feed time.

An electromechanical counter 99 is connected to monitor the trigger signal provided by the laundry machine 1 on line 64, FIG. 1. Each triggering signal received by the counter, advances the counter one position. Therefore, each time the last triggering signal of a cycle is received from the laundry machine 1, the counter advances one digit, indicating that another laundry cycle has been completed.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In its preferred embodiment, the present control and injection system is attached to a laundry machine 1 which sequentially generates four triggering signals.

The sequence of these signals corresponds to predetermined times in the laundry cycle at which it is desired that various laundry products or combination of prouducts be injected. The triggering signals are 24-volt signals.

When the system is first set up, the three potentiometers in each of the six timers 71-76 are pre-set. This presetting sets the range of time durations available in the timers 71-76 to correspond to the capacity of the laundry machine 1 utilized. Thus, where the laundry machine 1 has a very large capacity, a proportionately larger volume of the various laundry products will have to be added, and, consequently, the time durations controlling the pumping of these products will generally be longer.

Eight shipping containers 11-18 (or seven if builder is drawn from one container) containing various laundry products are functionally placed in communication with the system by inserting one end of the conduit hoses 21-28 into the containers 11-18, respectively. Containers 11-18 contain the following respective laundry products: builder, builder, conditioner, detergent, additive, bleach, sour and softener. The output terminals of conduit hoses 21-28 are inserted into the laundry machine 1 for injecting the laundry products into the laundry machine.

Prior to initiating a laundry cycle, a laundry operator makes four switch selections on a console (not shown) associated with the system. A first selection is made by means of the soil level control switch 81. When positioned in its OFF position, control switch 81 deenergizes the outputs of all timers 71-76, as previously discussed. In this condition, the timers can not energize the pumps 31-38, and no laundry products will be injected into the laundry machine 1.

If selection of either the light, medium, or heavy position is made, switch 81 will effect an electrical selection of a particular timing input of each timer. Thus, a light position selection on switch 81 enables the timers 71-74 to initiate time-out cycles of relatively shorter duration. Similarly, the medium and heavy positions correspond to time-outs of medium and long time durations. Thus, triggering signals applied to lines 61-63 by the laundry machine 1 will activate timers 71-74 in various combinations for the relative time duration selected, by means of control switch 81.

The output signals from timers 71-74 activate relays 51-54 and 56 in various combinations which in turn energize pumps 31-36 for a time period measured by the time-out functions of their respective energizing timers. The pumps 31-36 pump the various laundry products from their containers 11-16 to the laundry machine 1. In this way, by making a selection on control switch 81, the laundry operator tailors the amount of builder, conditioner, detergent, additive and bleach injected into the laundry machine 1 for matching the level of soil in the laundry load.

The laundry operator also selects either the noiron" or cotton position for control switch 82. This is the fabric selection switch. Depending upon the selection made, either the b or c timing input terminals (FIG. 3) are electrically selected within each of timers 75 and 76. As previously discussed, the timing input selected determines the time-out period for these timers. This difference in timing directly varies the energization time of relays 57 and 58. This in turn controls the time during which power is supplied to pumps 37 and 38. Since pumps 37 and 38 pump sour and softener" laundry products, the selection on control switch 82 allows the laundry operator to tailor the amount of sour and softener injected into the laundry machine 1 to suit the type of fabric present in the laundry load.

The laundry operator may also activate control switches 83 and 84. The greasy soil control switch 83, when closed, energizes relay 55 which interchanges the control exercised by timers 72 and 73 (and thus re- 6 This change of mix ratio is desired when a large amount of grease is present in the laundry load.

When depressed, control switch 84, designated bleach defeat, interrupts the output drive signal from timer 74 to the bleach pump 36. This prevents bleach from being injected into the laundry machine 1.

After these switch selections have been made, the laundry operator initiates the injection process by starting the laundry machine 1. As the laundry machine progresses through its wash cycle, it generates the triggering signals on lines 61-64 at various intervals. The injection system responds to these triggering signals in the manner described earlier, to automatically inject various combinations of laundry products into the laundry machine. The exact mix of the products injected has been controlled by the control switch selections referred to above.

The remaining operations of the control and injection system are automatic. When the last triggering signal 64 is received by the control system, the heating elements 84d and 83d of switches 84 and 83 respectively begin their delayed time functions for resetting control switches 83 and 84 to their biased positions. This prepares the system for the next laundry machine cycle. At the same time, the triggering signal on line 64 activates the electromechanical counter 99. The counter advances to provide a count of the number of times the system has been cycled.

During the laundry operations, the indicator lamps 91-94 on the control console are illuminated in response to output signals from the 154' outputs of the timers 71, 72, 74, and 75 respectively. This provides the laundry operator with a rapid means for determining the operative stage of the laundry machine.

While specific embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, it is to be understood that this is for the purpose of illustration only, and that my invention is to be limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An additive control and injection system for selectively introducing liquid chemicals into a laundry machine, said system comprising in combination:

a. a plurality of supply containers for liquid chemicals;

b. a plurality of conduit means for separately connecting said containers to the laundry machine;

0. pump means in each of said conduit means for pumping the liquid chemicals when energized;

(1. switching means connected to said pump means for energizing said pump means in pro-determined groups with at least one of said groups including more than one pump means, said switching means comprising a plurality of relays each having one or more switches, with each relay controlling the operation of one of said groups;

e. circuit means including said switches for connecting said pump means to an electrical source and for connecting pre-selected ones of said pump means into more than one of said groups;

f. signal generating means associated with the laundry machine for generating a sequence of triggering signals at selected points in the wash cycle;

g. a plurality of electrical timers energizable in sequence by said sequential triggering signals to provide sequential output signals of predetermined duration;

h. circuit means for connecting each of said relays to one of said electrical timers to permit energization of said relays by said output signals to control the duration of operation of said switching means to thereby control the quantity of liquid chemicals pumped by said pump means; and

i. means for adjusting the duration of said electrical timer output signals to change the amount of liquid chemicals being pumped.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 including additional circuit means and switching means -for reversing the switch connections between two of said relays and the two groups controlled thereby to reverse the duration of operation of the pump means in said groups.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 including a manually operable, normally closed switch in the circuit means connecting a selected relay to its associated timer to break said circuit means when opened, and means for automatically resetting said switch in response to a subsequent triggering signal.

4. In an additive control and injection system of the type used for selectively introducing liquid laundry products into a laundry machine in response to a sequence of triggering signals generated by the laundry machine at selected points in the wash cycle, the improvement which comprises:

a. a plurality of supply containers for liquid laundry products;

b. a plurality. of conduit means for separately connecting said containers to the laundry machine;

c. injection means in each of said conduit means for injecting the laundry products into the laundry machine when energized;

d. switching means including a plurality of relays each having one or more switches;

e. circuit means including said switches for connecting said injection means in selected groups with each group being controlled by a relay, and for connecting pre-selected ones of said injection means into more than one of said groups;

f. a plurality of electrical timers energizable in sequence by the sequential triggering signals to provide output signals of predetermined duration; and

g. circuit means for connecting each of said relays to one of said electrical timers to permit energization of said relays by said output signals to control the duration of operation of said switching means to thereby control the quantity of liquid chemicals pumped by said pump means.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 including means for adjusting the duration of said electrical timer output signals to change the amount of liquid chemicals being pumped.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No; 825 I 113 v Dated July 30 1974 ln ntofl Stan L. C. Boraasf Marous I. Nystuen It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

-Column 1, Line 38, "meausred" should be ---measured-- Column Line 6, "specific" should be -.--specified-- Column Line 19, "line 41" should be -line 40-- Column Line 25 -should' not be underlined-- Column Line 19, "timer" should be --time-- m as as a Column 9, Line 19, "terminals" -'should be --terminal-- Column 9, Line 21, element "81-1" should be --8l-2 Column 10, Line '22, -sour" should be --"sour" Column 10, Line 42', "ooff" should be -off- Q Signed and Sealed this seventh Day of 0mm 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:

RUTH- C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN' Arresting Officer Commissioner ofPalents and Trademarks UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3,826,113

DATED July 30, 1974 INVENTOR(5) 3 StanL. C. 'Boraas, et. al. A

It is certified that error appears in the ah0ve-identified patent and that said Letters Patent 8 are hereby corrected as shown below: A

z Figlire 3 should be amended by renumbering the resistor, connected to the anode 131 of SCR 130 through capacitor 134, by the numeral "133".

Signed and Ezalcd this ninth D 3) of December I 9 75 Attest:

RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner ofPatenIs and Trademarks

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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/12.18, 222/644, 68/17.00R, 68/207, 137/565.33, 222/643, 222/135
International ClassificationD06F39/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/022
European ClassificationD06F39/02B