Title:
Apparatus for washing glassware
United States Patent 3878856


Abstract:
Glassware washing apparatus comprises a housing divided into a wash compartment, a prerinse compartment, and a final rinse compartment. A rotary conveyor is provided for carrying glassware through each of such compartments in succession. Liquid sprays are provided in each compartment at a level below the glassware support for spraying washing or rinsing liquids onto the glassware. A deflector overlies a portion of the final rinse compartment to intercept previously sprayed liquid and deflect it to the prerinse compartment, thereby avoiding contamination of the final rinse liquid.



Inventors:
HALL JON D
Application Number:
05/348525
Publication Date:
04/22/1975
Filing Date:
04/06/1973
Assignee:
HALL; JON D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
134/80, 134/154
International Classes:
A47L15/24; A47L15/30; B08B9/28; (IPC1-7): B08B3/02
Field of Search:
134/60,80,81,154,182
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3731696GLASS WASHING APPARATUS1973-05-08Hackney
3306309Insulator unit cleaning machine1967-02-28Pahl et al.
3094997Utensil washer1963-06-25Nolte et al.
2703580Device for cleaning glassware1955-03-08Cole
2558818Rotary can washer1951-07-03Campbell
2360156Machine for washing drinking vessels1944-10-10Ohme et al.
1762847Dishwashing machine1930-06-10Webb
1681839Dish washing, sterilizing, and drying machine1928-08-21Breton
1664637Washing machine1928-04-03Merseles et al.



Primary Examiner:
Bleutge, Robert L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Learman & McCulloch
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. Washing apparatus for articles such as glassware, said apparatus comprising an enclosure; means carried by said enclosure and dividing the latter into a wash compartment, a first rinse compartment, and a second rinse compartment, said first rinse compartment being interposed between said wash compartment and said second rinse compartment; article support means, means for driving said article support means and any articles supported thereby along a path leading successively past said wash compartment, said first rinse compartment, and said second rinse compartment; means for spraying articles passing said wash compartment with washing liquid; means for supplying said second rinse compartment with rinse liquid; first discharge means for spraying articles passing said first rinse compartment with rinse liquid; second discharge means for spraying articles passing said second rinse compartment with rinse liquid; means for delivering rinse liquid from said second rinse compartment simultaneously to each of said first and second discharge means; and deflector means interposed between said first and second discharge means and overlying a portion of said second rinse compartment for deflecting rinse liquid discharged by said first discharge means to said first rinse compartment.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said first discharge means comprises nozzle means arranged to spray said rinse liquid upwardly from said first rinse compartment and toward said second rinse compartment.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 including means for recirculating rinse liquid from said second rinse compartment to said first and second discharge means.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 including drain means in said first rinse compartment for draining all liquid discharged thereto.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said washing liquid spraying means comprises nozzle means located in said wash compartment at a level lower than said support means and directed upwardly.

6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said nozzle means is constructed to emit said washing liquid in a fan-shaped spray.

7. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said nozzle means is supported on a wall of a hollow housing and in communication with the interior thereof, said housing having means for admitting washing liquid under pressure thereto.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rinse liquid discharge means comprises nozzle means located in said first rinse compartment at a level lower than said support means and directed upwardly.

9. Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said nozzle means is constructed to emit said wash liquid in a fan-shaped spray.

10. Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said second rinse liquid discharge means includes second nozzle means located in said second rinse compartment at a level lower than said support means and directed upwardly.

11. Apparatus according to claim 1 including means for introducing a disinfectant to said second rinse compartment.

12. Apparatus according to claim 1 including means for supplying said washing compartment with washing liquid.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12 including means for heating said washing liquid.

Description:
The invention disclosed herein relates to automatically operable apparatus for washing glassware and more particularly to apparatus which is operable to move glassware continuously through a washing zone in which glassware is cleaned by means of a detergent, a prerinse zone in which the wash liquid and detergent are removed by means of a rinse liquid, and a final rinse zone wherein the glassware is subjected to a final rinse which contains a disinfecting or sanitizing agent.

Automatic glassware washing apparatus has been proposed heretofore, but not all of the known proposals have been satisfactory for a number of reasons. For example, some of the known washers are so constructed that the wash and rise liquids become intermixed with the result that the wash liquid is diluted or the rinse liquid is contaminated, or both. One proposal for solving this problem has been to use the respective wash and rinse liquids once only, i.e., avoid recirculation of the respective fluids, but this practice results in excessive consumption of water, detergent, and disinfectant.

Other washers of known construction utilize a multiplicity of independent tubes fitted with nozzles for the spraying of the wash and rinse liquids. The use of multiple tubes and nozzles with their attendant plumbing is expensive. If the number of nozzles is reduced to save plumbing expense, then the amount of water available for washing or rinsing may not be as much as is required. To avoid water starvation, the wash and rinse liquids have been subjected to relatively high pressures, but such pressures sometimes have been so great that smaller glasses become dislodged from their support and are thus not cleaned or are broken.

Most of the known washers couple at least the rinse liquid nozzles directly to the source of water supplied to a building. Such source may be a municipal water system or a well. In either event, the pressure of water supplied from such sources is subject to variation, due either to causes external or internal of the buildings with consequent variation in the rinse operations. In some cases the water pressure falls to the point where the rinse operations are incapable of being performed.

An object of this invention is to provide glassware washing apparatus which overcomes the problems referred to above.

Another object of the invention is to provide glassware washing apparatus which provides ample washing and rinsing liquids at relatively low pressures and which is not dependent for proper operation on the pressure of the source liquid.

A further object of the invention is to provide glassware washing apparatus which enables washing and rinsing liquids to be recirculated without dilution and without excessive water consumption.

Another object of the invention is to provide glassware washing apparatus having a high rate of efficiency and which is capable of maintaining adequate supplies of wash and rinse liquids and detergent and disinfectant automatically.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view partly in top plan and partly in section, the section being taken along the line 1--1 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a detail of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2, but on an enlarged scale;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view of a nozzle constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6--6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic wiring diagram.

Apparatus constructed according to the invention comprises a housing 1 having a bottom wall 2 supported on a suitable base 3. The bottom 2 is joined to a pair of upstanding parallel side walls 4 and to a pair of rearwardly converging walls 5, the opposite ends of which are joined by a rear wall 6. The walls 4 are joined by a transverse front wall 7 which parallels the rear wall 6. The walls 4, 5, and 6 extend a substantial distance above the bottom 2 and are spanned at their upper ends by a top wall 8 so as to form a hood or enclosure. The front wall 7, however, terminates at a level substantially lower than that of the side walls 4 so as to provide an opening into the enclosure. Joined to and extending forwardly from the front wall 7 is a horizontal shelf 9 which also is supported on the base 3.

Fixed to and upstanding from the bottom wall 2 is a pair of parallel, spaced apart partitions 10 and 11 which are joined at corresponding ends to the rear and front walls 6 and 7, respectively. The height of the partitions 10 and 11 corresponds substantially to the height of the front wall 7 and the partitions divide the interior of the enclosure into three fluid tight compartments 12, 13, and 14. The compartment 12 hereinafter occasionally will be referred to as the wash compartment, the compartment 13 as the prerinse compartment, and the compartment 14 as the final rinse compartment.

Communicating with the wash compartment 12 is a wash water inlet pipe 15 by means of which the compartment 12 may be filled with hot water in a manner hereinafter to be explained. Communicating with the bottom of the compartment 12 is an outlet pipe 16 which leads to a recirculating pump 17 (FIG. 7) which also communicates with a supply pipe 18 that opens into a spray unit 19a. The unit 19a has a rectangular tray or base 19 fixed to the bottom of the compartment 12. Overlying the tray 19 is a hollow, open bottom housing 20 having an upper wall 21 provided with a plurality of threaded openings in each of which is mounted a correspondingly threaded, bored nozzle body 22 having a diametral, unobstructed slot 23 extending therethrough to establish communication with the interior of the housing 20. On opposite sides of the housing 20 are toggle arms 24 which operate clasps 25 cooperable with flanges 26 on the tray 19 to secure the housing 20 in the tray in water-tight relation therewith.

The bottom of the wash compartment 12 has a drain outlet 27 which may be coupled to the sewage system (not shown). In the outlet is fitted a removable standpipe 28 the upper end of which establishes the maximum depth of water which may occupy the compartment 12. Adjacent the standpipe 28 is a float 29 of known construction which is operable to actuate a single pole, double throw switch 30 (FIG. 7) one terminal of which is connected to a solenoid controlled valve 31 for controlling the admission of hot water to the compartment 12 via the pipe 15. Also in circuit with the switch 30 is a pump 32 which is operable to deliver liquid detergent from a source thereof (not shown) to the compartment 12 via a conduit 33 (FIG. 1).

Overlying the bottom of the compartment 12 is a screen 34 having a framed opening 35 in register with the spray unit 19(a. ) The screen is supported on ears (not shown) carried by the walls 4, 5, 6, and 7 and by the partition 10. The screen 34 is supported at a level above the maximum height of water contained in the compartment 12 and is adapted to catch any solids which may be thrown into the enclosure near the wash compartment.

The prerinse compartment 13 has an opening in its bottom in which is fitted an inlet pipe 36 which communicates with a spray unit 19b that is exactly like the spray 19a with two exceptions. First, fewer nozzles 22a are mounted in the unit 19b and, second, each nozzle 22a is inclined upwardly at about 45° and in a direction toward the final rinse compartment 14. The bottom of the prerinse compartment 13 also has a drain outlet 37 which communicates with the sewage system.

The final rinse compartment 14 has a spray unit 19c like the spray unit 19a, but the spray unit 19c includes fewer nozzles 22b. A rinse water outlet 38 in the bottom of the compartment 14 communicates with an inlet 39 to the unit 19c via a recirculating pump 40 (FIG. 7) whereby liquid in the compartment 14 may be delivered to and discharged under pressure from the spray unit 19c. As is shown in FIG. 2, the inlet 36 to the spray unit 20a branches from the inlet 39 to the spray unit 19c.

Communicating with the interior of the compartment 14 is an inlet 41 which extends from a source of clean, cold water. A solenoid controlled valve 42 regulates the flow of water through the inlet 41. Also communicating with the compartment 14 is an inlet 43 which communicates with a source (not shown) of a disinfectant or sanitizing agent, such as a liquid household bleach, via a pump 44.

The bottom of the compartment 14 has a drain outlet 45 in which is fitted a removable standpipe 46, similar to the standpipe 28, and which establishes the maximum depth of water and sanitizer which may occupy the compartment 14. The drain is coupled to the sewage system. Adjacent the standpipe 46 is a float 47, similar to the float 29, which is operable to actuate a single pole, single throw switch 48 (FIG. 7) which controls the valve 42 and the sanitizer pump 44.

The construction and arrangement of the parts thus far described in connection with the compartment 14 are such that cold water and a measured amount of sanitizer, such as 50 parts per million, are introduced to the compartment 14 via the inlets 41 and 43, respectively, until such time as the level of liquid therein reaches the depth determined by the float 47. Liquid from the compartment 14 then is introduced to the spray units 19b and 19c via the pump 40 and the conduits 39 and 36 so as to spray the liquid continuously and simultaneously from the spray units 19b and 19c.

Overlying the rear portion of the compartment 14 is an interceptor or deflector plate 50 which is supported by the partition 11 and by tabs or the like (not shown) on the adjacent wall 5. The plate 50 slopes downwardly toward the prerinse compartment 13 so as to discharge to the latter any liquid collected on the plate. Abutting the forward end of the plate 50 and overlying the remainder of the compartment 14 is a screen 51 having a framed opening 52 in register with the spray unit 19c. The screen serves to collect solid material which may be thrown into the washing apparatus adjacent the compartment 14.

Journaled in the bottom 2 of the housing 1, and supported by suitable bearings (not shown), is a rotary shaft 53 that is driven by an electric motor 54 (FIG. 7). Mounted on the shaft 53 is a rotary conveyor 55 comprising a coupling 56 that is removably connected to the shaft 53 and supports a plurality of radially extending arms 57. Fixed to the arms is a plurality of concentric rings 58 which provide a support for glassware 59 or the like. If desired, a number of reinforcing rods 60, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, may be fixed to the rings 58, but it is necessary that the conveyor 55 be as open as possible so as to permit liquid to pass through the support with as little interruption as possible.

To condition the apparatus for operation a main switch 61 connected to power lines L-1 and L-2 is closed. If the wash compartment 12 is empty, the float controlled switch 30 will occupy a position in which a circuit is completed through the wash water control valve 31 and the detergent pump 32 to introduce washing liquid and a detergent to the compartment 12. When the compartment 14 is empty, the float controlled switch 48 will be in a position to actuate the valve 42 and the sanitizer pump 44 so as to supply the compartment 14 with cold rinse water and a sanitizing agent until such time as the compartment 14 is full. When the compartment 12 is full, as determined by the float 29, the switch 30 will move to a position in which it is connected in circuit with a thermostatic switch 62 which controls a heating coil 63 contained in the compartment 12. When the temperature of the wash liquid falls to a predetermined level the switch 62 will close, thereby energizing the heater 63 and heating the wash liquid to a predetermined temperature as determined by the thermostatic switch.

When the compartments 12 and 14 are full, glassware may be positioned on the rotary conveyor 55, in an upside-down position, and a switch 64 closed to energize the motor 54 to drive the conveyor 55 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1, so that the glassware supported on the conveyor moves in a rotary path past each of the compartments 12, 13, and 14 in succession.

Closing of the switch 64 also energizes the pumps 17 and 40. Energization of the pump 17 causes washing liquid to be pumped to the spray unit 19a for discharge through the nozzles 22 in a fan-like spray. Some of the sprayed wash liquid will wash the insides of the overturned glassware whereas a large percentage of the sprayed washing liquid will pass upwardly between individual pieces of glassware and then fall downwardly by gravity so as to wash the bottom and sides of the glassware. It is preferred that the water sprayed from the nozzles 22 have a nozzle pressure of about 71/2 psi which is sufficiently low to avoid tipping over very small glasses. The pressure of wash liquid discharged from the nozzles 22 depends upon the pressure generated by the pump 40, rather than upon the pressure of water supplied to the compartment 14.

A great deal of the water sprayed from the spray unit 19a is returned directly to the compartment 12 for recirculation by the pump 17, although the fan shape of the spray issuing from the nozzles 22 inevitably causes some of the water to enter the compartment 13 for discharge through the drain 37. The amount of washing liquid thus lost can be minimized by the use of a flexible screen 65 composed of a suitable plastics material having vertical slits extending from the bottom edge thereof to permit passage of the glassware. Any water and detergent lost from the compartment 12 is automatically replenished by operation of the valve 31 and the pump 32 under the control of the float 29.

As glassware leaves the washing zone and passes over the spray unit 19b rinse water and disinfectant supplied to the latter from the compartment 14 via the pump 40 and the branch lines 36 will be sprayed from the nozzles 22a. The spray issuing from the nozzles 22a also is fan shaped so as to cover the whole of the prerinse zone. The upward and sideward inclination of the nozzles 22 avoids dilution of the washing liquid in the compartment 12. The inclination of the nozzles 22a also assures ample rinse liquid being discharged onto the glassware as the latter traverses the prerinse zone and the rear portion of the final rinse zone so as to rinse the residual detergent and wash liquid from the glassware. The rinse liquid sprayed from the nozzles 22a is clean, i.e., not contaminated with the wash liquid, inasmuch as the rinse liquid sprayed from the nozzle 22a is delivered to the latter from the compartment 14. The nozzle pressure of the rinse liquid issuing from the nozzles 22a preferably corresponds to the nozzle pressure of the wash liquid. The pressure of the rinse liquid is governed by the pump 40, rather than by the pressure of the source liquid.

The deflector plate 50 receives rinse water sprayed from the nozzles 22a and discharges such rinse water into the compartment 13 for discharge through the drain 37. The plate 50, therefore, prevents contamination of the rinse water in the compartment 14 with the wash water and detergent which is rinsed from the glassware.

As glassware on the conveyor 55 moves to a position adjacent the spray unit 19c, clean rinse water and sanitizer is sprayed from the nozzle 22b so as to give the glassware a final rinse and sanitizing treatment. Most of this water is returned directly to the compartment 14 for recirculation by the pump 40, and to prevent an undue loss of water because of the fan shape of the sprays, a curtain 66, similar to the curtain 65, is interposed between the compartments 13 and the forward portion of the compartment 14. A transverse screen, similar to the screen 65, may be suspended from the top wall 8 of the hood to minimize splashing of liquid through the opening of the enclosure.

Since the liquid sprayed from the final rinse nozzles 22 b is derived from the same source as the prerinse liquid, the pressure of the final rinse liquid is the same as that of the prerinse liquid. Again, the pump 40 controls the pressure of the final rinse liquid.

The disclosed embodiment is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention, but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The invention is defined in the claims.