US 3921651 A
A pot-washing machine having a wash nozzle for directing a revolving high-pressure spray against the surface of a pot to be cleaned. The pot is held securely in place by a vacuum sealing device. The pot is then rinsed by other nozzles, the vacuum is broken, and the pot is removed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent Weihe, Jr.
[ Nov. 25, 1975 POT-WASHING MACHINE Clyde R. Weihe, Jr., Newton, Mass.
Adamation, Inc., Newton, Mass.
Filed: Nov. 8, 1974 Appl. No 522,063
Related U.S. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No 357,499, May 4, 1973, abandoned.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1889 Cuthbert 269/21 X 1,430,050 9/1922 Becker 269/21 X 2,425,620 8/1947 Kempton... 134/57 DL 2,767,024 10/1956 Swan 239/383 3,586,011 6/1971 Mazza. 134/57 D Primary ExaminerRobert L. Bleutge Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richard L. Stevens  ABSTRACT A pot-washing machine having a wash nozzle for directing a revolving high-pressure spray against the surface of a pot to be cleaned. The pot is held securely in place by a vacuum sealing device. The pot is then rinsed by other nozzles, the vacuum is broken, and the pot is removed.
11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet20f6 3,921,651
US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet 6 01 6 3,921,651
POT-WASHING MACHINE This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending US. Patent application Ser. No. 357,499, filed May 4, 1973, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In commercial culinary establishments, automatic washers are provided for the routine cleaning of flatware, crockery, and glassware. Large pieces, such as pans, pots, cauldrons, etc., are cleaned by hand or by washers specifically designed for cleaning such large pieces. The washers now available for this purpose generally have racks similar to those used in home dishwashers, on which the pots are contacted with a spray of cleaning solution. The use of a high-pressure spray would tend to displace the articles, so that they would become tipped or'turned over, and the spray would strike the sides or the bottoms rather than the interiors of the pieces being cleaned. The pressure of the spray very effective for scouring off food that is stuck on the articles lt is usually necessary to remove such waste 1 matter by hand scrubbing before washing the articles in the machine.
According to another aspect of my invention, I provide a high-pressure nozzle uniquely adapted to generate a high-pressure revolving spray for the cleaning of culinary articles. The nozzle includes a head having vanes which are rotatable by the flow of cleaning solution, or by a motor, to produce a revolving high-pressure spray in the cleaning enclosure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sectional plan view of a pot-washing machine incorporating the invention, taken along line 1-1 of FIG. 3; a
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of parts of the 3 machine, taken along line 22 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 3 is a view in left side elevation of the machine;
' FIG. 41 is a view in right side elevation and partially in section;
FIG. 5 is a view in front elevation;
' FIG. 6 is 'a schematic view of fluid and electrical systems of themachine;
- must therefore be limited, and such machines are not dotted lines in FIG. 1. The cleaning nozzle 36 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 2, and comprises a nozzle head 38, threadedly engaged at 40 on a nipple 42 which is secured within a fluid supply conduit 44, passes through the side wall 14 and is secured by a weld 46. Disposed within the nozzle head 38 is a bearing 48, which has flow passages extending therethrough. A pin 50 is secured in the bearing 48 to support propellors or vanes 52 for rotation by a stream of water which passes through the nozzle head. The vanes 52 divert the stream into a rotating high'pressure spray which scours all portions of the utensil being cleaned.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the conduit 44 is secured to the discharge outlet of a centrifugal pump 54. The inlet side of the centrifugal pump communicates through a conduit 56 with a reservoir 58 which is situated exteriorly of the side wall 14. The side wall 14 has an aperture 60 therein. This is shown most clearly in FIG. 4. A plate 62 in the lower portion of the cabinet is adapted to. receive a tray 66, which has a screen 64 in its bottom portion to retain solid matter, and may be removed for cleaning by a handle 68. Water from the washing and rinsing operations of the machine flows into the tray 66, through the screen 64, and is directed by a plate 63 through the aperture 60 into the reservoir 58. Excess water may be removed from the reservoir 58 to a drain by a pump (not shown), or may simply be allowed to overflow to the drain, as may be appropriate to a particular installation.
FIG. 6 illustrates the fluid and electrical systems of the machine. Separate fluid systems are provided for the wash and rinse cycles- For filling the machine and for supplying water for the rinse cycle, a conduit 70,
also shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, is secured to a water supnoid, valve 82 and branches downstream thereof into rinse-water conduits 84 and 86. The pipe may be connected to the conduits 84 and 86 if a manually-controlled by-pass of the solenoid valve 82 is desired. The
conduit 84 communicates with pipes and 104, to supply rinse nozzles 98, 102, and 106; and the conduit 86 communicates with pipes 90 and 94, to supply rinse nozzles 88, 92, and 96. These rinse nozzles are secured in triangular relationship on the inner surfaces of the at 10,,and includes a cabinet which comprises a side wall 12 a side wall 14, a front wall 16, and a back wall 18, which walls define ,a cleaning enclosure 19. FIG. 5
more clearly shows the front wall 16, while FIGS. 3 and 4 show the side walls 12 and 14, respectively.
side walls 12 and 14, as shown most clearly in FIGS. 3
and 4. I I
In the preferred embodiment, all of the rinse nozzles are of the same configuration, although they may be varied if desired. Referring to FIG. 2, each of the nozzles has a body 110 formed with a diverging exit to produce a wide-angle spray, an inlet nipple 112', and an ell 114 for connection to the corresponding supply pipe, e.g.' ,'100. Y
Referring again to FIG. 6, the solenoid valve 82 is controlled by a timer 116 connected by a lead 119. A
I centrifugal pump 54 is controlled by the timer 116 Referring to FIG. 1, a vacuum sealing device 20 includes a dish-shaped sealing member 22 at its terminal end. The device 20 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 2
' and includes a conduit 28, having a reduced threaded portion 26, to which the sealing member 22 is secured by a threaded sleeve 24. The conduit 28 is secured to the side wall 12 by w'elds30. A first vacuum line 32 is received in sealing relationship within the conduit 28.
A high-pressure nozzle 36 is adapted to direct a spray of cleaning fluid into the interior of a pot 25, shown in through a lead 118. The pump 54 is supplied through the conduit 56 from the reservoir 58, and delivers water under high pressure to the enclosure 19 through tions of the walls are defined by panels 127 joined by a top panel 126. Frame members 128 formed with channels 130 are secured to the forward top edges of the walls 12 and 14. A front door 132 has a handle 133 and is slidable between the open raised position shown, and a lowered closed position. Supporting beams 134 are bolted to the sides 12 and 14, and channel members 136 extend upwardly therefrom to join with the frame members 128. A cross support 137 is secured to the members 136, and a pulley 140 is mounted thereon by means of arms 138. A pulley wire 142 is secured at one end to the door by an eye 143, and at its other end to a counterbalance weight 144 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The door is thus counterbalanced in any desired position.
A control panel 150, which houses the timer 116, is
, secured to the wall 14.
To apply a vacuum to the sealing device 20, the vacuum line 32 is connected, via a water trap 120, a manually-operated vacuum-relief valve 122, and a further vacuum line 124, with a continuously-operated vacuum pump 125, as best shown in FIG. 3.
In operation, the door 132 is moved to its raised position. Water is supplied to the enclosure 19 and the reservoir 158 by operating the manual valve 76, and detergent is added. A pot 125 is placed within the enclosure 19 with its bottom surface abutting against the sealing member 22, as shown in FIG. 1. The vacuum pump 125 is continuously actuated, and the manual relief valve 122 is closed, creating a vacuum between the bottom surface of the pot 125 and the sealing member 22. The water trap 120 insures that, any entrained water drawn by the vacuum into the vacuum line 32 does not flow into the pump 125. Once the pot has been secured, the front door 132 is moved downwardly to its closed position.
The timer 116 is then set. This controls the actuation of the pump 54 and the opening and closing of the solenoid valve 82, which determine the duration of the wash and rinse cycles. The solenoid valve 82 is initially closed, and the pump 54 is actuated to draw the solution from the reservoir 58 and discharge it through the nozzle 38 at a high rate and under a highpressure. In one construction which has proven satisfactory, the pump is designed to provide a flow of 300 gallons per minute at 50 pounds per square inch, as measured through the conduit 44, which is a linch nominal di- 7 ameter pipe. The nozzle head is designed so that it provides a rotating turbulent stream which scours all portions of the pot 25.
Upon the completion of the wash cycle by the highpressure nozzle 36, as determined by the timer, the pump 54 is stopped and the solenoid valve 82 is opened. This allows fresh water at the supply pressure to flow through the rinse conduits 84 and 86, the pipes 100 and 104, and the rinse nozzles 92, 88, 96, 98, 102, and 106 into the enclosure 19. The rinse cycle continues until the timer 116 closes the solenoid valve 82. The water introduced into the enclosure 19 during the wash and rinse cycles flows into the tray 66, through the screen 64, and into the reservoir 58.
At the completion of the wash and rinse cycles, the front door 132 is moved upwardly to its open position, and the relief valve 122 is opened, breaking the vacuum between the sealing member 22 and the bottom surface of the pot 125. The pot is then removed from the washer.
A modified high-pressure cleaning nozzle 36 is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, which may be substituted for the nozzle 36 of FIGS. 1 and 2. In this case, a nozzle plate or element 200 is rotated by an electric motor 160, rather than by the impulse of the cleaning liquid stream. The plate 200 mounts three nozzle outlets 202, 204, and 206, which are inclined at different angles to the axis of rotation of the plate to distributeliquid in a A disc 162 is welded to a removable cover plate 164 l I of the motor 160, and to the housing 210, to mount the motor and enclose the housing. The motors output.
drive shaft 166 is drivingly connected by means of a set screw 168 with a sleeve 170, which is drivingly connected by mating spline teeth or equivalent with a stud 172 formed in the end of a drive shaft 175. The nozzle plate 200 is fixed by a nut 198 on a threaded stud 196 at the oppositeend of the drive shaft.
To support the drive shaft 175, a tube 176 is welded 7 to the disc 162 and extends coaxially into the housing 210. A plain bearing 182 rotatably mounts the drive shaft in the tube 176. To locate the drive shaft 175 axially, a thrust bearing 178, which comprises a stainless steel or tetrailoureothylene ring or balls, is located between rings 180 and trapped between a shoulder 179 5 on the drive shaft and a shoulder 181 formed in the tube 176. The drive shaft is biased against the thrust bearing 178, to the left as viewed in FIG. 8, by a compression spring 194 interposed between the nozzle 7 plate 200 and a washer 192, which is supported for rotation with the shaft assembly relative to the stationary tube 176 by a rubbing seal 188 comprising a. ring located between rings 186, 190. The seal 188 prevents cleaning liquid from entering the interior of the tube 176.
The nozzle assembly 36' is mounted in the side wall 14 of the machine in the same position as the nozzle assembly 36 of FIG. 1, by means of a nut 206 engaging threads 207 formed at the end of the housing 210, and is located by a ring 208 welded to the housing and resting against the outside of the wall.
The vacuum pump 125 of FIG. 3, which creates a vacuum for operation of the sealing device 20, may be,
replaced by an air-operated vacuum pump 125' shown I body, creating a vacuum which is applied through an inlet opening 242 connected to the vacuum line 124 (see FIG. 3). The pump discharges through the passage 240 into an exhaust conduit 241. This system for creating a vacuum has the advantage of being self-cleaning and self-purging in that liquid drawn into the pump 20' is discharged through the exhaust passage 240 and cannot enter the air supply system. Also, the water trap of FIG. 3 is omitted. Another advantage of the pump is that when the vacuum line 124 is closed to release a pot from the sealing device 20, release is instantaneous, and is in fact aided by the positive pres sure of the air supply.
In order to hold large-sized rectangular pans or trays 1 for cleaning. 1 have illustrated conventional racks 34 in FIG. 1; however, these form no part of the present invention.
The invention has been described with reference to particular configurations of high-pressure nozzles which are uniquely adapted for the high-pressure discharge of a rotating, turbulent liquid stream. Any type of high-pressure nozzle which achieves substantially the same result may be used alternatively. The securing of the bottom of the article to a sealing member by the application of a vacuum has been shown in the context of a single sealing member. More than one sealing member may be used if desired. Nor is it necessary that the sealing memberbe rigidly secured to the wall of the cabinet; it may, if desired, be adapted for rotation, so that a pot secured thereto may be rotated during the washing or rinsing cycles, or both. Also, various configurations of rinse nozzles may be usedfand they may be disposed in any manner desired, either on the two side walls as shown in the preferred embodiment, or on more than two walls.
Having described my invention, what I now claim is:
l. A washing machine which comprises:
a cabinet including two side walls, a front wall, a bottom wall, and a back wall, said walls defining a cleaning zone;
a vacuum system which includes a sealing member disposed within said zone, secured to one of said walls, and adapted to engage a base surface of a culinary article to be cleaned in a seal-tight manner, and a vacuum pump in communication with said sealing member to establish a vacuum between the engaged surface of the article and said sealing member, whereby the article is secured to the sealing member and within the zone in a fixed manner;
means for providing a high-pressure spray disposed 'within said zone, secured to another of said walls opposed to said one of said walls. said spray means being directed toward said one of said walls and spaced apart from said vacuum system, said spray means including a high pressure nozzle adapted to direct the spray against an interior surface of the article to be cleaned opposed to said base surface, and means for supplying liquid to said nozzle under high pressure, whereby the liquid is discharged under high pressure and contacts said interior surface of the article to be cleaned.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said nozzle comprises a nozzle head formed with a liquid-discharge passage, and vane means rotatably mounted in said passage for rotation by said flow of liquid to deliver a revolving high-pressure spray of liquid against said article.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, together with at least one rinse nozzle disposed within said zone and secured to one of said walls to provide a liquid spray to rinse the article after it has been washed.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, together with valve means constructed and arranged for independently controlling the flows of liquid to said spray means and said rinse nozzle, and timing means operatively con nected to control said valve means to supply a flow of liquid to said spray means for a first predetermined interval and subsequently to supply a flow of liquid to said rinse nozzle for a second predetermined interval.
5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein there are a plurality of said rinse nozzles positioned on different sides of said cabinet.
6. The apparatus of claim 3, together with valve means and timing means constructed and arranged to control the delivery of liquid to said high pressure nozzle and to said rinse nozzle in timed sequence.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said nozzle comprises a rotatable nozzle element formed with at least one nozzle outlet, together with motive means for rotating said nozzle head to deliver a revolving high pressure spray of liquid against said article.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, said nozzle head being formed with a plurality of nozzle outlets, at least one of said nozzle outlets being inclined to the axis of rotation .of said nozzle head.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, said nozzle outlets being .inclined at different angles to the axis of rotation of said nozzle head.
10. The apparatus of claim 8, said nozzle including a stationary housing rotatably mounting said nozzle element therein, said liquid-supplying means being connected in fluid-flow communication with said housing to deliver a flow of liquid to said nozzle element.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, said vacuum pump comprising a venturi nozzle operated by air pressure to create a vacuum.