US3399414A - Berry cleaner and washer - Google Patents

Berry cleaner and washer Download PDF

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US3399414A
US3399414A US57835366A US3399414A US 3399414 A US3399414 A US 3399414A US 57835366 A US57835366 A US 57835366A US 3399414 A US3399414 A US 3399414A
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berries
trough
grid
air
berry
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Robert D Mclauchlan
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A B MCLAUCHLAN CO Inc
MCLAUCHLAN CO Inc AB
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MCLAUCHLAN CO Inc AB
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23NMACHINES OR APPARATUS FOR TREATING HARVESTED FRUIT, VEGETABLES OR FLOWER BULBS IN BULK, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; PEELING VEGETABLES OR FRUIT IN BULK; APPARATUS FOR PREPARING ANIMAL FEEDING- STUFFS
    • A23N12/00Machines for cleaning, blanching, drying or roasting fruits or vegetables, e.g. coffee, cocoa, nuts
    • A23N12/02Machines for cleaning, blanching, drying or roasting fruits or vegetables, e.g. coffee, cocoa, nuts for washing or blanching

Description

Sept. 3, 1968 Filed Sept. 9, 1966 FIG,

R. D. M LAUCHLAN BERRY CLEANER AND WASHER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 United States Patent 3,399,414 BERRY CLEANER AND WASHER Robert D. McLauchlan, Salem, 0reg., assignor to A. B. McLauchlan Co., Inc., Salem, 0reg., a corporation of Oregon Filed Sept. 9, 1966, Ser. No. 578,353 3 Claims. (Cl. 153.11)

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for cleaning and washing ripe raspberries and the like in which the dry berries are first dumped downwardly into the receiving end of an agitated trough assembly in which there is a perforated bottom through which air is forced upwardly, the upwardly directed jets of air acting to cushion the impact of the berries against the trough bottom; the berries being moved onto a second section of the assembly where they pass over an agitated grate while upward air suction aids further in carrying away foreign particles from the dry berries, and the berries then being subjected to washing and screening.

This invention relates to the cleaning and washing of berries such as raspherries and the like from which it is necessary to remove bits of leaves and other foreign particles which generally become attached to the berries before or during the picking of the same.

It has been found that merely submitting such berries to the usual washing, in the event the berries are washed before being further processed, does not necessarily result in getting all such debris or foreign particles removed from the berries and that quite frequently first immersing the berries in water only causes some such particles to adhere more firmly to the berries.

An object of the present invention is to provide improved means for cleaning berries, with which means the berries are first subjected to a cleaning in the dry state, and in which the berries, if washing of the berries is desired, are then subsequently subjected to the washing.

When berries, such as raspberries, are processed in large quantities, particularly when they are initially dumped onto a grid or other hard surface, considerable damaging or breaking up of the berries invariably takes place, and broken-up berries or parts of berries, while still usable for some purposes such as jelly and jam, do not command the same market price as substantially whole, unbroken berries. A special object of the present invention accordingly is to provide an improved berry cleaner into which the berries can be initially dumped safely without suffering any particular damage or break- 1ng up.

A related object is to provide improved means for first cleaning berries in the dry state where the berries will be subjected to shaking and up and down movement for the dislodging of foreign particles attached to them but without the usual likelihood of damage to the berries.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved berry cleaner and washer into which the berries are first dumped in a dry state and are subject to various air currents as well as agitation for the purpose of entirely removing most of the foreign particles from the berries, and are then given the desired washing.

'ice

The manner in which these objects are accomplished and the construction and operation of the device of the present invention will be briefly described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional side elevation of the entire device taken on line 1-1 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 2 is a corresponding plan view of the same, taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1.

Referring to the drawings, the device comprises a main substantially rectangular trough 10 having a pair of parallel side walls 11, a rear wall 12, spaced solid transverse bottom members 13, 14 and 15, positioned as shown in the figures, and additional bottom portions as later described.

The trough 10 is mounted on two pairs of rocker arms, namely a forward pair of rocker arms, one of which is shown at 16 in FIG. 1, and a rear pair, one of which is shown at 17 in this figure. The forward and rear pair of rocker arms are securely mounted on a pair of shafts 18 and 19 respectively, which shafts are rotatably supported in bearings secured on the upright legs of a rigid supporting frame structure designated as a whole by the reference 20 in FIG. 1. The forward and rear pairs of arms are similar but not parallel, the rear pair of arms 17 being inclined at a greater angle from the vertical than the forward pair of arms 16.

A lower arm 21 is secured to the shaft 18 and a corresponding lower arm 22 similarly is secured to the shaft 19. The bottom ends of the lower arms 21 and 22 are connected by a link bar 23, the ends of the link bar being pivotally connected to the arms 21 and 22 respectively. An operating arm 24 is also firmly secured to the shaft 18, and a pitman rod 25 connects this arm 24 with a crank 26 driven by belt and pulley connection from a. motor M. Thus operation of the motor M results in composite oscillatory vibration being imparted to the entire trough assembly, the composite oscillatory vibration causing not only up and down movement of berries in the trough 10 but also imparting forward travel to them (to the right as viewed in the figures), the nature of the resulting composite oscillatory vibration being similar to that described in US. Letters Patent No. 2,591,086, issued Apr. 1, 1952, and entitled Berry Cleaner.

The berries to be cleaned and processed are either dumped from each crate in the usual manner into the intake end of the trough 10, or preferably, as each crate is to be emptied it is placed upside down on an open frame 47 (FIG. 1) and a switch (not shown) is momentarily turned on to operate cam means 48 connected with the frame 47 to agitate the frame for the purpose of dislodging any berries which may have become stuck in the crate. This enables any such berries to become dislodged with less possible damage to them than with the more violent manual means customarily resorted to in such cases.

At the intake and of the trough 10 into which the berries are dumped the bottom of the trough is formed by a perforated plate 27. This plate contains small perforations, preferably approximately of an inch in diameter and spaced from A to /2 of an inch apart, over the entire area of the plate. A continuous flexible wall or skirt 28 extends downwardly from the trough 10 and the top edge of this flexible wall 28 has an air seal connection with all four edges of the perforated plate 27. The bottom edge of this continuops flexible wall 28 similarly has an air seal connection with the top edge of a stationary air chamber or funnel 29 leading upwardly from an air pump delivery assembly 30. Thus, with the operation of the air pump, continuous jets of air are delivered upwardly through the various perforations in the plate 27. The flexible wall or skirt 28, preferably formed of neoprene or some other similarly flexible material, enables a sealed air passageway to be maintained between the top of the stationary air chamber or funnel 29 and the edges of the vibrating and pulsating plate 27 and trough bottom.

Due to the upwardly directed jets of air through the perforations in the plate 27, the berries as they are dumped into the receiving end of the trough 10, are cushioned by the opposing air jets and thus are kept from striking the plate 27 with any impact sufficient to cause damage to the berries. This is a very important feature of the invention for it has been found heretofore that the initial impact received by deposited berries, especially when they are dumped in large quantities into a receiving trough or other receptacle, is responsible for a large proportion of the breaking up and damaging of the berries, particularly in the case of such berries are raspberries. Furthermore, the encounter between the berries and the opposing upward jets of air causes considerably increased pulsation and agitation to be imparted to the berries, which aids in loosening bits of straw, leaves and other foreign particles on the dry berries.

From the perforated plate 27 the berries in due course pass onto a grid 31 which constitutes the next section of the bottom of the trough 10. The grid 31 is formed of rods extending transversely across the bottom of the trough and preferably spaced approximately /32 of an inch apart. During the travel across this grid 31 the dry berries lose the dislodged foreign particles, some of which drop down between the bars of the grid 31 into a hopper 32, suspended from the bottom portion of the trough to be discharged through a waste outlet 33 onto the ground.

A stationary hood 34, having a bottom intake area substantially the same size as the grid 31, is suspended by suitable means (not shown) so that its bottom edge is spaced only a short distance above, and in substantial reg istration with, the grid 31. The hood 34 is connected at the top to an air suction pipe 35 which in turn is connected with a vacuum blower (not shown) so that an upward air suction is maintained through the hood 34. Small, lightweight dislodged foreign particles, which might not readily drop down through the grid 31 for removal, are drawn upwardly through the hood 34 by the air suction as such particles, together with the berries, are agitated by the oscillatory vibration imparted to the berries.

As a result of the effect of the various air currents and agitation given to the dry berries and associated foreign brief washing, assuming that the washing of the berries is desired as is generally customary.

On beyond the smooth bottom member 13 the bottom of the trough 10 is formed with a short washing tank portion having an upwardly rearwardly sloping bottom wall 36 extending transversely across the trough. Water from a suitable supply source (not shown) under pressure passes into the deeper rear end of this small tank through delivery pipes 37 and then is discharged over the upper forward end of the tank bottom 36 and passes down through a second grid 39. A slide 38 extends down from the forward edge of the bottom member 13 into the water and extends over the inlet pipes 37, facilitating the passage of the berries into the washing tank.

The second grid 39, constituting the next portion of the trough bottom beyond the washing tank, is composed of rods extending longitudinally of the trough and spaced preferably about /16 of an inch apart. This spacing be, tween the bars enables any very small pieces of berries, which are too small for use, together with any foreign particles which may still be left, to pass down through this grid with the discharge water into a collecting basin 40 and then out through a waste pipe 41.

As the berries move over the second grid 39 from the washing tank, they are subjected to sprays of fresh water delivered down from a plurality of spraying nozzles, two of which are shown at 42 in FIG. 1, which are supplied from a suitable source of water (not shown). From the grid 39 the berries move over the transverse bottom member 14 and thence onto a third and final grid 43.

The grid 43, like the grid 39, is composed of rodsextending longitudinally of the trough. The rods in this grid, however, are spaced further apart, preferably being spaced about of an inch apart, in order that the broken pieces of berries, too large to pass through the preceding grid 39, but nevertheless too small for desirable inclusion with the final selected output of berries from the device, may be collected as a second grade product. The berry pieces dropping down through the grid 43 pass into a collecting and disbursing funnel 44 from the bottom of which they are discharged either into a suitable collecting receptacle or onto a conveyor such as indicated at 45 in FIG. 1 for conveyance to other collecting means. These broken pieces of berries, while commanding a lower price on the market than substantially whole berries, are suitable for jams, jellies and similar products for which whole berries are not necessary.

In the last step of the process the cleaned and washed berries pass from the third grid 43 over the end bottom member 15 of the trough and are delivered onto a conveyor 46 for further inspecting, treating and/ or packaging.

I claim:

1. In a device for processing berries, a berry-receiving portion into which the berries to be processed are dumped downwardly, said portion having a pair of side walls, a rear wall and a substantially horizontal bottom wall, said bottom wall provided over its entire extent with a plurality of small openings, an air chamber extending entirely beneath said bottom wall, means for delivering a continuing supply of air under pressure into'said chamber and thereby causing continuous jets of air to be directed upwardly through said openings in said bottomwall, whereby said air jets act as cushions to protect the berries from striking said bottom wall with damaging impacts during the dumping of the berries into said portion.

2. In a berry cleaner, a trough-like member having side walls and an end wall, a perforated plate forming the bottom of the berry-receiving portion of said member, an air chamber beneath said plate, means for delivering a continuing supply of air into said chamber and thereby causing continuous jets of air to be directed upwardly through the perforations in said plate, said air jets acting to cushion the impact received by berries being dumped into said receiving portion of said member, a grid forming a portion of the bottom for said member adjoining said receiving portion, a hood mounted over said grid with the bottom of said hood spaced above said grid, and means for producing continuous air suction upwardly through said hood, whereby, as the berries pass on to said grid from said berry-receiving portion of said member, heavier dislodged foreign particles from the berries will tend to drop down through said grid and the lighter dislodged particles will tend to be drawn upwardly through said hood.

' 3. In a berry cleaner and washer of the character described, an oscillating trough, a perforated plate constituting the bottom wall in the receiving end of said trough, a stationary air chamber positioned below said receiving end of said trough, a sealed flexible wall connecting said air chamber with the bottom of said trough around said perforated plate, means for delivering a continuing supply of air under pressure into said chamber 5 6 and thereby causing jets of air to be directed upwardly References Cited through the perforations in said plate to cushion the im- UNITED STATES PATENTS pact received by berries being dumped into said receiving end of said trough, a grid in the bottom of said trough 2,381,172 8/1945 Lunqbergbeyond said perforated plate, a hood spaced above said 5 2,999,262 9/1961 Jenkms et a1 15 '308 XR grid, means for producing continuous air suction upward- FOREIGN PATENTS 1y through said hood,'a berry-washing tank in said trough beyond said grid, the bottom of said tank sloping upward- 1189921 3/1959 France ly and forwardly, a second grid in the bottom of said trough beyond said washing tank, and water spray means 10 CHARLES WILLMUTH Primary Exammer positioned above said second grid. ROBERT I. SMITH, Assistant Examiner.

US57835366 1966-09-09 1966-09-09 Berry cleaner and washer Expired - Lifetime US3399414A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4549478A (en) * 1983-06-16 1985-10-29 Smiths Food Group B.V. Apparatus for washing slices of a tuberous plant
US4576765A (en) * 1983-10-05 1986-03-18 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Sphere/liquid separator and separation method

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2381172A (en) * 1943-09-09 1945-08-07 Loren L Lundberg Potato harvesting machine
FR1189921A (en) * 1956-06-29 1959-10-08 Linde Maskiner Ab Cleaning machines seed and grain and method for feeding these machines with these products
US2999262A (en) * 1958-04-15 1961-09-12 Owens Illinois Glass Co Apparatus for cleaning corrugated partition strips

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2381172A (en) * 1943-09-09 1945-08-07 Loren L Lundberg Potato harvesting machine
FR1189921A (en) * 1956-06-29 1959-10-08 Linde Maskiner Ab Cleaning machines seed and grain and method for feeding these machines with these products
US2999262A (en) * 1958-04-15 1961-09-12 Owens Illinois Glass Co Apparatus for cleaning corrugated partition strips

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4549478A (en) * 1983-06-16 1985-10-29 Smiths Food Group B.V. Apparatus for washing slices of a tuberous plant
US4576765A (en) * 1983-10-05 1986-03-18 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Sphere/liquid separator and separation method

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