Title:
Method for emptying a container provided on or in a vacuum cleaner, container, vacuum cleaner with the container and dust collecting system for carrying out the method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for emptying a dirt-filled container that is disposed in or on a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner includes the steps of coupling the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner via an emptying orifice of the container to a filling orifice of a structure that defines a receiving space and then emptying dirt accumulated in the container into the receiving space. A container, a vacuum cleaner and a dust collecting system are also provided.



Inventors:
Schroter, Jorg (Grobenzell, DE)
Application Number:
09/954412
Publication Date:
06/27/2002
Filing Date:
09/17/2001
Assignee:
SCHROTER JORG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
55/431, 55/432, 95/273, 55/366
International Classes:
A47L9/10; A47L9/14; (IPC1-7): A47L9/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060123570System for enabling limited time trial productsJune, 2006Pace et al.
20070056134Mechanized rotary brush cleaner for sedimentation tanksMarch, 2007Sheker et al.
20080083085Domestic Cleaning ApplianceApril, 2008Genn
20050034254Mini mighty machine, for easy shine and cleanFebruary, 2005Morsy
20070192976Interactive Musical ToothbrushAugust, 2007Gatzemeyer et al.
20080135433STORAGE RECEPTACLEJune, 2008Weis et al.
20090119871Electric vacuum headMay, 2009Dilger et al.
20090089953Hinged Corner TrowelApril, 2009Hoch
20050102773Electrically driven toothbrushMay, 2005Obermann et al.
20050076461Retractable application coverApril, 2005Tsaur
20090188060Disposable bath puffJuly, 2009Ferguson



Primary Examiner:
GREENE, JASON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lerner And, Greenberg P. A. (Post Offices Box 2480, Hollywood, FL, 33022-2480, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A method for emptying a container filled with dirt separated off by a vacuum cleaner, the method which comprises: providing a container disposed at a location selected from the group consisting of a location inside a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner and a location on a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner; coupling the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner via an emptying orifice of the container to a filling orifice of a structure defining a receiving space; and emptying dirt accumulated in the container into the receiving space.

2. The method according to claim 1, which comprises compacting the dirt prior to transferring the dirt to the receiving space.

3. The method according to claim 1, which comprises compacting the dirt subsequent to transferring the dirt to the receiving space.

4. The method according to claim 1, which comprises coupling the structure defining the receiving space to the container by using a coupling device selected from the group consisting of a mechanical coupling, an electrical coupling and a magnetic coupling.

5. The method according to claim 1, which comprises using, as the structure defining the receiving space, a container selected from the group consisting of a flexible bag and a container with a rigid wall.

6. The method according to claim 1, which comprises conveying the dirt accumulated in the container into the receiving space by using blowing air subsequent to coupling the container to the structure defining the receiving space.

7. The method according to claim 6, which comprises using a blow-out air of the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner as the blowing air.

8. The method according to claim 1, which comprises: adding a dirt-consolidating binder to the dirt accumulated in the container for performing a consolidating process; and removing the dirt from the container subsequent to the consolidating process.

9. The method according to claim 8, which comprises performing a compacting operation on a mixture of the dirt and the dirt-consolidating binder subsequent to adding the dirt-consolidating binder.

10. In combination with a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner having a housing, a container configuration comprising: a container provided to be transportable with the housing of the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner; and said container having an emptying orifice formed therein, said container being configured to be filled with dirt separated off by the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, said container being configured to be coupled to a structure defining a receiving space and formed with a filling orifice such that said emptying orifice is coupled to the filling orifice.

11. The container configuration according to claim 10, wherein said emptying orifice is a closable orifice.

12. The container configuration according to claim 10, wherein said container includes a closure for closing said container.

13. The container configuration according to claim 12, wherein said closure is a bolt.

14. The container configuration according to claim 12, including a further closure provided at the filling orifice of the receiving space, said closure and said further closure forming a transfer lock region.

15. The container configuration according to claim 10, including a storage and metering vessel for supplying a binder, said storage and metering vessel being connected to said container.

16. The container configuration according to claim 10, wherein said container includes a cover part for closing said container, said cover part is formed with the emptying orifice therein.

17. The container configuration according to claim 10, including a pipe connection piece provided at said emptying orifice, said pipe connection piece being configured to be coupled sealingly to the filling orifice of the structure defining the receiving space.

18. A transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, comprising: a vacuum cleaner housing; and a container integrated with said vacuum cleaner housing, said container receiving at least part of a dirt separated from suction air, said container being formed with an emptying orifice for discharging the dirt, said emptying orifice to be coupled sealingly to a filling orifice of a structure defining a receiving space.

19. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, including a blower generating blowing air for conveying dirt accumulated in said container into the receiving space.

20. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, including a plate for compressing dirt accumulated in said container and conveying the dirt into the receiving space.

21. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 20, including an advancing element for moving said plate, said advancing element being selected from the group consisting of a piston rod and a spindle drive.

22. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, including a compacting worm for compacting dirt accumulated in said container.

23. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, including a pipe connection piece provided at said emptying orifice, said pipe connection piece being configured to be coupled sealingly to the filling orifice of the receiving space.

24. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, wherein said container includes a closure for closing said emptying orifice of said container.

25. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 24, wherein said closure is a bolt.

26. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 24, including a further closure provided at the filling orifice of the structure defining the receiving space, said closure and said further closure forming a transfer lock region.

27. The transportable mobile vacuum cleaner according to claim 18, including a storage and metering vessel for supplying a binder, said storage and metering vessel being connected to said container.

28. A dust collecting system, comprising: a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner including a container for receiving dirt, said container being disposed at a location selected from the group consisting of a location inside said transportable mobile vacuum cleaner and a location on said transportable mobile vacuum cleaner; and a structure defining a receiving space, said structure being configured to be coupled to said container and configured to receive the dirt from said container.

29. The dust collecting system according to claim 28, including a compacting device for compacting the dirt in one of said container and said receiving space.

30. The dust collecting system according to claim 29, wherein said compacting device is a plate disposed movably in said container for compacting the dirt.

31. The dust collecting system according to claim 30, including a piston rod connected to said plate, said piston rod being selected from the group consisting of a pneumatically movable piston rod, a hydraulically movable piston rod and an electrically movable piston rod.

32. The dust collecting system according to claim 31, wherein: said container is a cylindrical container having a cross section for accommodating said plate; and a closure extends over said cross section of said cylinder.

33. The dust collecting system according to claim 32, wherein: said transportable mobile vacuum cleaner includes a blower space; and said plate is configured as a fine filter for connecting said container to said blower space.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation of copending International Application No. PCT/EP00/02294, filed Mar. 15, 2000, which designated the U.S.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to a method for emptying a container which is filled with dirt separated off by a vacuum cleaner and which has an emptying orifice. The invention further relates to a container disposed in or on a vacuum cleaner, a vacuum cleaner having a container, and to a dust collecting system.

[0003] Vacuum cleaners in which at least some of the vacuumed dirt is deposited in a container connected releasably to the vacuum cleaner are known. Such a vacuum cleaner is described in German Patent No. DE-C-1 009 365. The dust collecting bowl of this vacuum cleaner is provided with a removable drawer. By tilting the vacuum cleaner, the dirt accumulated in the dust collecting bowl can be conveyed into the drawer. For further disposal, the drawer is drawn out of the dust collecting bowl and then has to be emptied at a suitable location. The patent specification does not give any information on this further emptying operation. It can easily be imagined, however, that merely tipping out the drawer, for example into a trashcan, gives rise to an appreciable cloud of dust.

[0004] Published, Non-Prosecuted German Patent Application No. DE 38 25 773 A1 discloses a vacuum cleaning appliance with a dirt receiving container, into which leads a suction line with a vacuum cleaning tool. Dirt is retained in the dirt receiving container via a filter. A disposal container can be connected to the dirt receiving container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a method for emptying a container and a container which overcome the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known methods and devices of this general type and through the use of which dirt collected by a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner can be disposed of.

[0006] With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention, a method for emptying a container filled with dirt separated off by a vacuum cleaner, the method includes the steps of:

[0007] providing a container disposed in or on a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner;

[0008] coupling the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner via an emptying orifice of the container to a filling orifice of a structure defining a receiving space; and

[0009] emptying dirt accumulated in the container into the receiving space.

[0010] In other words, the object of the invention is achieved in that the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, such as a canister vacuum cleaner, is coupled to a filling orifice of a receiving space through the use of the emptying orifice of the container provided in or on the vacuum cleaner, and the dirt accumulated in the container is then emptied into the receiving space.

[0011] It is particularly advantageous if the dust is compacted before or after being transferred into the receiving space.

[0012] According to another mode of the invention, the structure defining the receiving space is coupled to the container by using a mechanical coupling, an electrical coupling or a magnetic coupling.

[0013] According to yet another mode of the invention, the structure defining the receiving space is a flexible bag or a container with a rigid wall.

[0014] According to another mode of the invention, dirt accumulated in the container is conveyed into the receiving space by using blowing air subsequent to coupling the container to the structure defining the receiving space.

[0015] According to another mode of the invention, blow-out air of the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner is used as the blowing air.

[0016] According to another mode of the invention, a dirt-consolidating binder is added to the dirt accumulated in the container for performing a consolidating process; and the dirt is removed from the container subsequent to the consolidating process.

[0017] According to another mode of the invention, a mixture of the dirt and the dirt-consolidating binder is compacted subsequent to adding the dirt-consolidating binder.

[0018] The receiving space is preferably a closed container. Alternatively, the receiving space has, in addition to the filling orifice, an orifice capable of being opened for the emptying operation. In another variant, the receiving space is part of a stationary dust disposal system which is preferably configured as a fixed duct system for discharging the dust into a central collecting container.

[0019] With the objects of the invention in view there is also provided, in combination with a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner having a housing, a container configuration includung:

[0020] a container provided to be transportable with the housing of the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner; and

[0021] the container having an emptying orifice formed therein, the container being configured to be filled with dirt separated off by the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, the container being configured to be coupled to a structure defining a receiving space and formed with a filling orifice such that the emptying orifice is coupled to the filling orifice.

[0022] In other words, the object of the invention is achieved, with regard to a container, in that the container is disposed in or on the housing of a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, and in that it can be coupled to a filling orifice of a receiving space through the use of the emptying orifice.

[0023] It is expedient that the container, removed from the vacuum cleaner housing, is closed through the use of a closure disposed on the emptying orifice or through the use of a cover part provided with an emptying orifice. Consequently, if the container can be removed from the vacuum cleaner, an escape of dirt from the container is avoided along the transport route when such a container is necessarily transported to a suitable disposal container.

[0024] The emptying of the container into the disposal container can also take place without the release of dust if the cover part is sealingly coupled, through the use of a pipe connection piece provided on it as an emptying orifice, to the filling orifice of the disposal container.

[0025] According to another feature of the invention, the closure is a bolt. According to another feature of the invention, a further closure is provided at the filling orifice of the receiving space, the closure and the further closure form a transfer lock region.

[0026] According to another feature of the invention, a storage and metering vessel for supplying a binder is provided, the storage and metering vessel being connected to the container.

[0027] With the objects of the invention in view there is also provided, a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner, including:

[0028] a vacuum cleaner housing; and

[0029] a container integrated with the vacuum cleaner housing, the container receiving at least part of a dirt separated from suction air, the container being formed with an emptying orifice for discharging the dirt, the emptying orifice to be coupled sealingly to a filling orifice of a structure defining a receiving space.

[0030] In other word, the object of the invention is achieved through the use of a vacuum cleaner having a dirt collecting space which is integrated in or on the vacuum cleaner housing, receives at least some of the dirt separated from the suction air and has an emptying orifice, through the use of which the dirt collecting space can be coupled sealingly to a filling orifice of a receiving space for the purpose of discharging the received dust.

[0031] In the case of a dirt collecting space of this kind, the emptying of the dirt collecting space is made easier in that, after the dirt collecting space is coupled to the disposal container, the accumulated dirt is conveyed into the disposal container with the aid of blowing air. In this case, advantageously, the blow-out air of the vacuum cleaner can be used as blowing air.

[0032] Moreover, a further hygienically satisfactory disposal of dirt is achieved through the use of a method for emptying a receiving space provided in a vacuum cleaner and receiving at least some of the dirt separated from the suction air of the vacuum cleaner, in which method a dirt-consolidating binder is added to the dirt accumulated in the receiving space, and, after the conclusion of the consolidating operation, the dirt is removed as a compact unit from the receiving space. By the addition of a binder, the accumulated dust is reliably prevented from swirling up during the emptying operation.

[0033] Moreover, in the event of the addition of a binder, it is expedient, after the addition of the binder, to carry out a compacting operation on the dirt/binder mixture. A substantial saving of disposal space can be achieved thereby.

[0034] According to the invention, the dirt to be disposed of is always shielded from the external surroundings on the disposal route from the container or from the dirt collecting space into the disposal container, so that no dust particles or dirt particles can escape into the surroundings. What may serve as disposal containers are, for example, bag-like or sack-like plastic containers which, during the operation of emptying the dirt-containing container or dirt collecting space, can be connected sealingly to the emptying orifice of the latter. Such plastic containers can be connected in a particularly simple way to an emptying orifice configured as a pipe connection piece. In the simplest instance, the plastic container may even be slipped onto the pipe connection piece by the person carrying out the emptying operation and then be pressed onto the pipe connection piece with one hand or else with both hands. There is also the possibility, however, of carrying out such a pressing action with the aid of technical means, for example clamps.

[0035] If a stable vessel serves as disposal container, it may be provided with a filling orifice which is surrounded by a seal and to which the emptying orifice of the container or of the dirt collecting space is coupled. In the event of an emptying orifice configured as a pipe connection piece, the pipe connection piece is introduced into the filling orifice of the disposal container, the seal of the filling orifice coming to bear on the outer circumference of the pipe connection piece and thus preventing dirt particles from escaping during the emptying operation.

[0036] By a binder being admixed with the dirt accumulated in an appropriate receiving space, a compact, no longer dusty disposal unit can be formed in the receiving space which is closed off from the external surroundings. Such a compact dirt package can then be tipped into a disposal container, for example a trashcan. If such a dirt/binder mixture is also subjected to a compacting operation, for example by being pressed together through the use of pistons or slides or else by a rolling or milling operation being carried out, the volume of the part to be disposed of can be reduced appreciably.

[0037] According to another feature of the invention, a blower generating blowing air for conveying dirt accumulated in the container into the receiving space is provided.

[0038] According to another feature of the invention, a plate for compressing dirt accumulated in the container and conveying the dirt into the receiving space is provided.

[0039] According to another feature of the invention, an advancing element for moving the plate is provided, the advancing element is a piston rod or a spindle drive.

[0040] According to another feature of the invention, a compacting worm for compacting dirt accumulated in the container is provided.

[0041] According to another feature of the invention, a pipe connection piece is provided at the emptying orifice, the pipe connection piece being configured to be coupled sealingly to the filling orifice of the receiving space.

[0042] With the objects of the invention in view there is also provided, a dust collecting system, including:

[0043] a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner including a container for receiving dirt, the container being disposed at a location selected from the group consisting of a location inside the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner and a location on the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner; and

[0044] a structure defining a receiving space, the structure being configured to be coupled to the container and configured to receive the dirt from the container.

[0045] According to another feature of the invention, a compacting device for compacting the dirt in the container or the receiving space is provided.

[0046] According to another feature of the invention, the compacting device is a plate disposed movably in the container for compacting the dirt.

[0047] According to another feature of the invention, a piston rod is connected to the plate, the piston rod is a pneumatically movable piston rod, a hydraulically movable piston rod or an electrically movable piston rod.

[0048] According to another feature of the invention, the container is a cylindrical container having a cross section for accommodating the plate; and a closure extends over the cross section of the cylinder.

[0049] According to another feature of the invention, the transportable mobile vacuum cleaner includes a blower space; and the plate being configured as a fine filter for connecting the container to the blower space.

[0050] Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

[0051] Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a method for emptying a container provided on or in a vacuum cleaner, a container, a vacuum cleaner with the container and a dust collecting system for carrying out the method, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

[0052] The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0053] FIG. 1 is a schematic, partial sectional view of a vacuum cleaner according to the invention with a receiving space for receiving the dirt from the vacuum cleaner;

[0054] FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view of a dirt receiving container according to the invention together with a storage and metering vessel for a binder and a dirt-compacting device;

[0055] FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of a dirt receiving container according to the invention in which the dirt is compacted to briquettes;

[0056] FIGS. 4 and 5 are partial sectional views of a dirt receiving container according to the invention together with a bag for collecting dirt; and

[0057] FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view of a dirt receiving container according to the invention with a dirt-compacting device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0058] Referring now to the figures of the drawings in detail and first, particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a vacuum cleaner 30 having a housing 32, which is only schematically indicated by a dash-dotted line, and a container 1, to which suction air laden with dirt or dust 3 is supplied via a feed 2. The container 1 is separated from a blower space 5 and a corresponding blower 33 through the use of a filter 4 which is configured, in particular, as a fine dust filter. The air supplied is sucked away through the filter 4. The container 1 is provided either on or in the vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner is a transportable mobile vacuum cleaner.

[0059] The dirt which has accumulated in the container 1 as a result of vacuum cleaning can be conveyed into a receiving space 6 located outside the vacuum cleaner and equipped with a fixed wall 26 by the container 1 being coupled to the receiving space. Either the dust 3 falls into the receiving space 6 simply due to gravity or it is blown into the latter, for which purpose, for example, the motor of the vacuum cleaner rotates, instead of in the suction direction, as is customary, in the opposite direction, assuming that the motor has an axial blower wheel instead of the conventional radial blower wheel, or that there are, for the blow-out air of the blower, mechanical deflection devices by which the blow-out air is forced into the container 1, instead of suction air, so that the dust 3 is forced out of the container 1. The precondition for this is that the feed 2 is closed with respect to the container 1 by a closing device, for example a slide bolt 7, and that a connection which transmits the dust 3 is made to the receiving space 6. The latter can be connected to an emptying orifice 27 of the container 1 via a form-locking and/or a force-locking coupling 8. The coupling 8 includes a container-side connection piece 9 which can be assembled positively and in an airtight manner together with a flange 10 located on the receiving-space side.

[0060] Alternatively, the coupling 8 includes mutually associated conical connections of the container 1, on the one hand, and of the receiving space 6, on the other hand. The coupling 8 may also be formed by magnetically or electrically mutually attracting connection pieces on the side of the container 1 and of the receiving space 6 respectively. Rubber lips as sealing elements are preferably provided at these connections.

[0061] The container 1 has a closure formed by a displaceable or pivotable bolt 11. Preferably, but not necessarily, the receiving space 6 likewise also has a closure 12, for example likewise a bolt for closing its filling orifice 28. A region 13 between the bolt 11 and the closure 12 thus forms a (transfer) lock after the receiving space 6 has been coupled to the container 1. Only after the bolt 11 and the closure 12 have been drawn out or pivoted out is a continuous connection made between the container 1 and the receiving space 6, so that the dirt 3 is conducted into the receiving space 6 either by its own weight or by being forced out of the container 1 or by being sucked in from the receiving space. A hermetic closure is ensured, even during the coupling and the separation of the receiving space 6, by virtue of the region 13. Dirt 3 is prevented from emerging from the filling orifice 28.

[0062] When the dust 3 is blown out of the container 1 by an air stream, there is in the receiving space a fine filter 14 (cf. FIG. 4) through which the air emerges again. Alternatively, instead of a blowing-air stream generated in the vacuum cleaner, a suction device is provided in or on the receiving space 6 and conveys the air through a fine filter out of the receiving space 6, so that the dirt 3 accumulates in the latter.

[0063] In another embodiment of the vacuum cleaner (FIGS. 2, 3), there is a device for compressing the dust 3 accumulated in the container 1. This device includes a plate 15, by which the dust 3 can be compressed against a wall 16 or preferably against the bolt 11, insofar as the latter is closed. The device includes, for example, a piston rod 17 which can be pushed preferably in a motor-driven manner out of the blower space 5 into the container 1, so that the dust 3 is compressed. The piston rod 17 is led through the filter 14. The dust 3 is preferably compressed until the dust 3 produces briquettes 18 which are conveyed into the receiving space 6 after the opening of the bolt 11 and of the closure 12. The production of the briquettes is assisted by the addition of a binder which is introduced from a storage and metering vessel 20 via a feed line into the container 1, in particular into the region in which the briquettes 18 are to be produced.

[0064] In another exemplary embodiment (FIG. 4), the receiving space 6 is formed in a bag 21 which is suitable for receiving both loose or compressed dust 3 or the briquettes 18. The bag 21 either has the connection piece 12 or has an elastic orifice 22 which comes to bear in an airtight manner against the connection piece 9 of the container 1.

[0065] In a further exemplary embodiment, a receiving device configured elastically as a whole, for example in the form of a shrinkable tube which assumes its final shape only as a result of the dust 3 being forced in, is provided in a comparable way to the production of a sausage by meat material being forced into an initially folded-together receiving medium.

[0066] After the filling-up of the receiving space 6 in the bag 21 has ended, the latter is closed, for example by its orifice region 22 being contracted and/or multiply twisted to form a closure 23 (FIG. 5).

[0067] In another exemplary embodiment (FIG. 6), the container 1 is shaped as a cylindrical space, so that a plate 24 occupies its entire cross section, with the result that the dust 3 can be compressed particularly effectively. The plate 24 is configured at the same time as a fine filter, so that, during vacuum cleaning, the air is sucked in through it. The bolt 11, too, has the cross section of the plate 24. The closure 12 is also shaped correspondingly.

[0068] The piston rod 17 is moved either hydraulically, pneumatically, electromagnetically or mechanically, for example through the use of a spindle drive. Instead of a piston with the piston rod 17 and the plate 15 or 24, a compacting worm 31 can also be used, as is disclosed in Published, Non-Prosecuted German Paten Application No. DE 37 333 A1, in particular in FIG. 4 thereof.