US3545024A - Rotary cleaning device and apparatus for cleaning - Google Patents

Rotary cleaning device and apparatus for cleaning Download PDF

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US3545024A
US3545024A US3545024DA US3545024A US 3545024 A US3545024 A US 3545024A US 3545024D A US3545024D A US 3545024DA US 3545024 A US3545024 A US 3545024A
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cleaning
device
elements
apparatus
shaft
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Benjamin F Randrup
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BENJAMIN F RANDRUP
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Benjamin F Randrup
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B9/00Cleaning hollow articles by methods or apparatus specially adapted thereto
    • B08B9/08Cleaning containers, e.g. tanks
    • B08B9/20Cleaning containers, e.g. tanks by using apparatus into or on to which containers, e.g. bottles, jars, cans are brought
    • B08B9/36Cleaning containers, e.g. tanks by using apparatus into or on to which containers, e.g. bottles, jars, cans are brought the apparatus cleaning by using brushes

Description

Dec.'8., 1970 a. F. RANDRUP '7 3,545,024

ROTARY CLEANING DEVICE AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING Filed May 27, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 BENJAMIN F. MNDKUP -F I E 2 I ATTORNEYS BY M Mfi 3, 1970 a. F. RANDRUP 3,545,024

7 ROTARY CLEANING DEVICE AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING Filed May 27, '1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR BENJAMIN E RAND/(UP BY w 5M ATTOKNE Y5 United States Patent O 3,545,024 ROTARY CLEANING DEVICE AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING Benjamin F. Randrup, 423 Roberta Ave, Pleasant Hill, Calif. 94523 Filed May 27, 1968, Ser. No. 732,223 Int. Cl. B67c 1/08 U.S. Cl. 1560 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rotary cleaning device and apparatus including same comprising a rotatable shaft, powered means for rotating the shaft, and a plurality of elongated cleaning elements attached to the shaft, said cleaning elements being sufficiently fiexible'to hang completely limp when at rest and extendable by centrifugal force whereby cleaning is effected on rotation of the cleaning elements in wiping relation against a surface to be cleaned; said elements being attached to form straight ends or loops adapted for cleaning various surfaces including those having var iable or irregular contours. The apparatus form utilizing said device within a wash housing having a conveyor formed to bring articles to be cleaned in position adjacent to the device; said apparatus also including means for directing cleaning solution against articles on the conveyor at or in front of the operative position of the cleaning device. A method of cleaning in which elongated wiping elements are wrapped around or against the surface to be cleaned and pulled thereacross to efiect cleaning; one form of the method including the step of contacting the cleaned surface with a hot rinse capable of heating the cleaned surface sufficient to air dry same as well as a drying step in which gross moisture is removed by wiping with a device similar to the cleaning device but rotated fast enough to slough off the moisture picked up during wiping.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to improvements in A Rotary Cleaning Device and Apparatus and Method of Cleaning Using Same, and more particularly to a rotary cleaning device adapted to clean irregular surfaces and method and apparatus for using the device in a cleaning process.

It is well known that effective cleaning is achieved by the use of cleaning solutions or the like in combination with mechanical or wiping forces. The cleaning solutions operate to dissolve or emulsify the dirt or like material to be removed, while the mechanical forces operate to break up and dislodge the particles. Accordingly, the mechanical forces are most effective when combined with cleaning solution and vice versa.

There are a large number of known methods calculated to provide suitable mechanical forces such as brushes, wiping cloths, and more sophisticated devices such as ultrasonic vibrators. Brush surfaces have also been provided with mechanized drive elements to obtain maximum mechanical action with a minimum amount of effort. The present invention is concerned with an improved power driven cleaning device which is related to the wiping and brush type device, but which contains advantages of both.

Brushes have an advantage over wiping cloths insofar as they can be made stiffer, and provide stronger dislodgin-g forces to the foreign material to be removed, however, the usual stiffness has the disadvantage of providing a limited contact of the brush and early ineffectiveness due to wear. On the other hand, wiping elements operate over a larger cleaning area, which can be varied at will.

3,545,024 Patented Dec. 8, 1970 Wiping elements such as cloths, however, are not so adaptable to power operations as brushes, and, prior to this invention were not operatively effective over a large area. In addition, powered tools were generally not suitable for use over surfaces having variable contours. Even in the case of irregular surfaces, specially shaped brushes were generally used.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, an improved cleaning device is provided which has the advantages of a wiping action such as is obtained by cloth surfaces or the like in combination with the advantages of powered operation of a large number of wiping elements. In its broad aspect, the device of this invention comprises a rotatable shaft, means for rapidly rotating the shaft, and a plurality of wiper elements secured to the shaft. The wiper elements are each sufficiently flexible to hang limp when at rest and capable of extending outwards by centrifugal force on rotation of the shaft and elements mounted thereon.

In general, the wiper elements can be attached to the central shaft at any position or positions along the element, the important criterian being the ability to hang limp when at rest and extend when rotated. For example, the elements may be attached at one end thereof so that on rotation, they each extend and stiffen so as to assume a similarity to bristles of a brush. However, the flexibility will allow the element to contact the surface at a position somewhat remote from the end of the element so as to wipe with an extended surface of the element. Similarly, the same attachment could be obtained by utilizing an element of double length attached at the middle thereof.

Another attachment that may be used involves an attachment at two points on the element so as to provide a loop therebetween. For example, attachment at both ends of the wiping element provides an element that hangs limp when at rest, but which tends to assume a catenary curve when rotated as the action of centrifugal force predominates. Combinations of such loops and straight elements can also be used, if desired. The advantage of the loop construction resides in a wiping action over a large area, while it has the disadvantage of not being applicable to irregular surfaces that might catch the loop.

In general, any material that provides the necessary flexibility can be used, with the selection depending upon the cleaning operation to be achieved. For example, textile surfaces or plastic surfaces such as rubber can be used for regular cleaning, while metals such as chains can be used to remove burrs from castings or the like. Similarly the impingement of the wiping element can also be varied. However, it should be understood that the cleaning action is achieved by a considerable length of the axially extending surfaces of the elongated cleaning element as it is pulled across the object being cleaned. The contact between the cleaning element and the surface being cleaned is maintained by forces of linear momentum as is characterized by centrifugal forces. Accordingly, the distance between the surface being cleaned and the device may vary so that irregular surfaces may be cleaned with no change in positioning of the device.

In accordance with the invention, an apparatus is provided, which utilizes the cleaning device described above together with a conveyor system suitable for conveying articles to be cleaned through a cleaning station in juxtaposed position to the cleaning device of the'invention. The conveyor is formed to carry the articles to be cleaned through a housing having a wash chamber equipped with one or more rotary cleaning devices positioned to impinge the surface to be cleaned and wipe over the surface. At the same time, a suitable cleaning solution such as an aqueous detergent mixture is sprayed over the surface to be cleaned. In this way, the articles are cleaned as they pass through the washing apparatus. In a preferred form, the articles are also conveyed through a rinse section formed in the main housing adjacent to the wash housing, and flexible curtains are used at the ingress and egress positions of each section.

In its method aspect, the invention comprises the steps of contacting the article to be cleaned with an elongated wiping element and dragging say at least 25% of the length of the wiping element over the article to be cleaned. The contact between the wiping element and article being cleaned is made by centrifugal force, and this force is utilized to effect the desired wiping action. In a specific aspect of the method, the article to be cleaned is cleaned as mentioned above, and then rinsed with very hot water for a time sufficient to bring the washed surface up to a high temperature whereby the article will dry in air. The surface should be brought up to a temperature above 150 F. and preferably above about 165 F. The higher the temperature the better the results, although it will be appreciated that even very hot water cannot heat the surface to above 212 F. at standard pressures. Excellent drying is achieved, however, when the surface is brought to about 180 F.

After the hot rinse and prior to or during the air dry step, gross accumulations of liquid are preferably removed by the cleaning device of the invention. In such a case, the device is rotated so fast that liquid picked up by the wiper elements are thrown olf by centrifugal force so that the wipers will be dry when they next contact the article being cleaned and thus dried.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a rotary cleaning device which operate through the use of flexible bristles which straighten out by the action of centrifugal force when rotated, and are sufiiciently limp that they tend to wrap around and wipe over a portion of the surface to be cleaned.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cleaning device which will not only clean irregular contours, but also clean a surface presenting variable contours such as the operation on a series of different sized objects.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus utilizing the cleaning device of this invention; said apparatus providing a system for conveying articles to be cleaned past the cleaningdevice of this invention while simultaneously spraying cleaning solution thereon.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of a method of cleaning in which a plurality of wiping elements are rotated against an article in such a way that wiping is effected.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the specification continues, and the new and useful features of the Rotary Cleaning Device and Apparatus and Method of Cleaning Using Same will be fully defined in the claims attached hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The preferred forms of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus constructed according to the invention, with a portion'being broken away to illustrate internal parts;

FIG. 2, an enlarged vertical sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, as seen substantially in the plane of line 22 thereof;

FIG. 3, a perspective view of the preferred cleaning device which is incorporated in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4, a horizontal sectional view of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 taken substantially in the plane of line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5, a fragmentary vertical section of he pparatu shown in FIG. 2 taken substantially in the plane of line 55 thereof;

FIG. 6, an enlarged fragmentary top view of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 through 5;

I FIG. 7, a vertical view of an alternate form of cleaning device constructed according to the invention;

FIG. 8, a vertical view of another alternate form of a cleaning device constructed according to the invention; and

FIG. 9, a vertical view of still another embodiment of a cleaning device constructed according to the invention. While only the preferred forms of the invention are shown, it should be understood that various changes may be made within the scope of the claims attached hereto without departing from the spirit of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in greater detail, there is shown in FIG. 1 an apparatus 11 constructed specifically to wash bottles such as champagne bottles. The apparatus includes a pair of preferred rotary cleaning devices 12 especially designed for the purpose of cleaning bottles. However, it will be appreciated that other articles could be moved through the apparatus 11 and washed with the apparatus shown, if desired.

The apparatus 11 also comprises a main housing 13 which is divided into a wash chamber 14, a rinse chamber 16, and an upper chamber 17 for carrying certain mechanical parts and enclosed by a removable cover 18 formed for easy access to the upper portion. The apparatus also comprises a conveyor 19 formed to extend through the wash chamber 14 and rinse chamber 16 as shown in FIG. 2, and extend beyond each side of the main housing. 1

The rotary cleaning device 12 shown in detail in FIG. 3 is preferred for use in the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 through 6, and in that apparatus, a pair of cleaning devices are utilized together with novel mounting means. However, it will be appreciated that the rotary cleaning device 12 has application outside of the specific apparatus shown and may be constructed in various different forms as illustrated in FIGS. 7 through 9.

Referring specifically to the form shown in FIG. 3, rotary cleaning device 12 comprises a rotatable shaft 21 and a plurality of elongated wiper elements 22 secured to the shaft at one end thereof. The wiper elements are sufiiciently flexible to hang limp when at rest and capable of extending outward by centrifugal force and rotation of the shaft. It will also be noted, that the diameter of the shaft is relatively small in comparison with the diameter of the circle defined by the motion of each elongated wiper element.

In the form shown in FIG. 3, the wiper elements are made by taking a flat sheet 23 of rubberized fabric and cutting the sheet into strips at 24 to form the sheet into wiper elements 22 and a connecting piece 26. The connecting piece 26 is wound on the shaft in helical manner and wrapped in the direction so that the intended rotation of the shaft will move with it and tend to wind it up rather than unwind it. The connecting strip 26 is secured at both ends by screws 27 or otherwise and may be further connected at intermediate points if desired. This helical windup of wiper elements assures overlapping of each wiper element when in use so as to provide especially efiicient cleaning.

It will also be observed, that the rotary cleaning device is equipped for power drive, and as shown in FIG. 3, the shaft 21 is journalled through an arm 28 and has a pulley 29 secured at one end for receiving power through drive belt 31. The power for this drive belt is preferably provided from a motive power source, but it will be appreciated that any drive means capable of providing a sufiicient rotational velocity to the shaft 21 will be suit= able.

The rotational velocity imparted to the shaft 21 should be sufficient to cause the wiping elements 22 to extend in a substantially straight line by centrifugal force. The elements are flexible enough to provide a yielding force on each section of the Wiping element so as to cause it to bear against the article being cleaned, yet allowing for curved movement along the contours of the surface of the article being cleaned. In addition, it is desirable to provide, in some applications, a sufficient rotational velocity that liquid such as Water picked up by the wiping element will be thrown off by centrifugal force in an amount suflicient to present a reasonable dry wiping element on the next impingement. In this way, the unit may be used for drying as well as washing. As indicated in the alternate embodiments described below, other operations may be achieved by certain forms of the invention such as the deburring of metals.

Referring back to the specific apparatus 11 illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 6 of the drawing, it is seen that a pair of rotary cleaning devices 12 are utilized, which are similarly constructed and each mounted on an arm 28. As best seen in FIG. 1, the arms 28 and associated structure are carried on a support plate 32 which is made of heavy metal and fastened to the floor of upper chamber 17. Each rotatable shaft 21 of the rotary cleaning devices 12 extend from its support on its arm 28 down through a slot 3-3 into the wash chamber 14. These slots 33 are arcuate in shape so as to accommodate various angular adjustments of the cleaning devices 12.

Each of the pair of arms 28 is mounted at the end opposite the end of shaft 21 on a stub shaft 34 for pivotal movement around said shaft to accommodate angular adjustment. When the arms are adjusted, they are firmly secured to plate 32 through fastening means 36 which may be in the form of bolts, as shown. Since the fastening means must be free to rotate in order to adjust arms 28 slots 37 are provided in the support plates 32 to accommodate this adjustment. The arms 28 are preferably formed as box beams or channel beams and appropriate reinforcements are preferably provided in the areas of fastening through fastening means 36 and where the shafts are journalled.

Stub shaft 34 is journaled into plate 32 and through arms 28 so that it is free to rotate. Rotational movement is provided to this shaft from electric motor 38, through its drive pulley 39, belt 41 and driven pulley 4-2. In this way, each of the rotary cleaning devices 12 are rotated simultaneously and at the same speed from a common motive power source. It will also be noted, that the rotational motions of the cleaning devices 12 are in opposite directions as indicated by the arrows 43 of FIG. 4.

In the apparatus here shown, electric motor 38 not only drives the rotary cleaning devices 12, but also provides power for driving the conveyor 19. While this arrangement is optional, it provides for assurance of simultaneous turn-on or simultaneous shut-off of all driven parts. As here shown, the stub shaft 34 is equipped with a sprocket 44 and a chain 46 which drives a sprocket on gear box 47 formed to change the direction of rotation from rotation around the vertical axis to rotation around horizontal axis. The gear box 47 is then connected through suitable belts or chains to pulley system for driving the conveyor in a conventional manner.

The conveyor 19 comprises an endless belt 51 formed to carry bottles on the top thereof through the conveyor. The bottles travel in and through the apparatus as best seen in FIG. 4, with the bottles being placed somewhat centrally at the ingress end and deflected over toward a rail 52 by deflector means 53. The position of the rail may be changed to accommodate bottles of different sizes, if desired, when such a change is to be made, for example, a change between one-tenth magnum and onefifth magnum champagne bottles. As the bottles reach the rail 52, they rotate as indicated by arrow 54 by virtue of the contact of the side of the bottle with the stationary rail while a different portion of the bottle is being pulled through the bottom thereof by the moving belt 51. This type conveyor is well known and does not form any part of this invention other than its use in combination with the apparatus. However, its special construction is formed for cooperation therewith and allows for excellent drainage within the wash and rinse housing.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the apparatus has side walls and bottom walls at the forward extension 56 and the rear extension 57 so as to form troughs therein and any water which might spill over from the wash chamber into the forward section 56 will flow back into the Wash chamber. Similarly, water that may leave the rinse section 16 will be drained from the rear extension 57 back into the rinse chamber.

The wash chamber 14 is formed to hold the rotary cleaning devices so that they just tend to meet as shown in FIG. 4, and are also spaced for clearance from the walls of the chamber during rotation thereof. The bottom of the chamber is formed to collect wash water as indicated at 58 for recirculation by recirculation pump 59, or alternatively to the drain pipe 61 through branch line 62 and valve 63. Of course, these two elements may be controlled so that all of the water is recirculated, none of the water is recirculated, or any desired proportion of the water may be recirculated.

As here shown, pump 59 is operatively placed to take up Wash water from the body of Water 58 and directed through line 64 which is in communication with nozzle 66. Fresh water may also be supplied to spray nozzle 66 through a suitable supply line (not shown). It will be noted from FIGS. 2 and 5, that the nozzle 66 is located in advance of the cleaning devices and at one side of the bottles so as to direct the spray over the bottles. Since the bottles are rotating, the entire surface of the bottles is thus impinged with wash water and is contacted by the wiping elements of the rotary cleaning devices immediately and for a short period of time after such impingement.

The rinse chamber 16 is formed to carry all of the rinse water down into a trough section 67 to the entrance of drain pipe 61. It will be noted that the bottom wall 68 of chamber 16 is provided with the necessary inclination to direct water toward the entrance 69 of line 61. The rinse spray is directed from a nozzle 71 located near an upper corner of the chamber and formed for directing its spray against the entire outer surface of the rotating and transversely moving bottles. In the form shown, the spray 1s not reused but sent directly to the drain. However, it will be appreciated that the rinse spray could also be recirculated, if desired.

An important feature of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 through 6 is the door structure formed to retain the wash and rinse chambers in a closed condition, and yet to allow the conveyor and bottles to pass therethrough. Since the endless belt of the conveyor provides a continuous cross-section through the entrance to the wash chamber, partition between wash and rinse chamber, an exit of the muse chamber, the doors are formed to provide a small opening for the belt so as to substantia ly close the chambers. However, the entry of bottles into and out of the various chambers is intermittent with spaces as indicated in FIG. 4, so that walls must be provided which will automatically open and close in a simple and reliable manner to permit the movement of the bottles while retaining the chambers in a reasonably closed condition.

In the form here shown, and best illustrated in FIG. 4, each of these Walls are provided with openings through the housing having flexible doors 72 attached in covering relation thereover. The flexible doors 72 are formed of rubber with the rubber being cut to form horizontal strips 73 as indicated in FIG. 1. In this way, the endless belt can travel through slits in the strips, and the bottles will push back only the sections of the door necessary to allow the bottle to get past. In addition, it will be appreciated that the neck of the bottle will push a different strip than the main portion of the bottle and will push it to a different extent. In this Way, the doors tend to remain reasonab';y closed. In addition, these rubber strips provide a squeegee function to remove gross accumulation of liquid as the bottles leave the wash and rinse chamber. This squeegee action takes off gross accumulations of wash water prior to rinse and thereby improves the rinsing step. In the same manner, the doors at the exit of the rinse chamber squeegee off excess rinse Water to provide bottles that are sufficiently dry that no further drying step is necessary in the form here shown.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 through 6 provide a new and unique method of scrubbing the external surfaces of bottles which comprises high-speed wiping operation from powered wiping elements in combination with impingement of cleaning solution so as to provide simple and low cost removal of normal Wine oil residue, dust and dirt from the outside of the bottles. In addition, this method provides the squeegeeing of surfaces of the bottle after wash together with a rinse spray and an additional squeegee of the external surfaces after the rinse spray. It will be appreciated, that the apparatus shown provides this method automatically, but that various steps may be controlled otherwise.

In addition, the method form of the apparatus provides for control of water temperatures, addition of detergents to aqueous cleaning solutions, and the like. For example, in the example here shown where the external surfaces of one bottle are washed, cold water detergent solutions may he used in the wash together with a cold water rinse. On the other hand, the method of the invention contemplates the use of hot water and the use of a hot water spray followed by contact with the cleaning device of the invention utilized to assist in drying. After such hot water rinse, the squeegee effect to remove gross moisture will tend to allow the bottle or other article cleaned to dry without leaving a film thereon.

In the apparatus shown, the wiping action after rinsing is achieved by the squeegee door, but it will be appreciated that for certain articles, this wiping operation may be best achieved by a rotary cleaning device such as the device 12. In such a case, it is advantageous to rotate the rotary cleaning device 12 at a velocity such that moisture picked up by the wiping elements is thrown off by centrifugal force as the wiping element rotates around between contacting positions so that the wiping elements are centrifugally dried between wiping contact. An excellent drying is achieved by removing hot water in this way and the formation of an undesirable surface film is completely avoided.

Referring again to the drawing, it is seen that various rotary cleaning devices maybe provided within the scope of this invention which are constructed somewhat differently from the rotary cleaning device 12 shown in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 through 6. Thus in FIG. 7, there is shown a rotary cleaning device 12a having a rotatable shaft 21a and a plurality of wiper elements 22a attached to the rotatable shaft 21a at one end thereof. The shaft 21a is formed with an appropriate mechanism to achieve high speed rotation and may be powered as indicated in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 6 or any other equivalent method.

The chief difference between the rotary cleaning device 12 and the rotary cleaning device 12a resides in the specific form of wiper element. Thus as shown in FIG. 7, the wiper elements 22a are formed with a central cord or string or the like 76 having sponges 77 threaded there over. These sponges serve to provide the wiping operation desired and are suitable for cleaning in a manner analogous to the use described for the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 6. However, they are especially effective when utilized with an apparatus for cleaning car surfaces or some other article which presents irregular contours to the cleaning device and which are preferably cleaned by sponging actions. It will also be appreciated, that both the rotary cleaning device 12 and the rotary cleaning device 12a may be inserted inside of the bottle or the like and utilized to clean the interior surfaces rather effectively.

FIG. 8 illustrates another embodiment of the invention in which a rotary cleaning device 12b is shown, and comprises rotatable shaft 21b, and a plurality of wiper elements 22b attached at both ends to the central shaft 2112. With this attachment, the cleaning elements 22b extend by centrifugal force to form a catenary curve which will be flattened upon contact with the article to be cleaned and present a rather large wiping contact area. This embodiment has the advantage of increasing the wiping contact of each wiping element, but it has the disadvantage that when used against car surfaces or the like that contain extensions such as door handles, wiping elements might tend to catch. However, the embodiment of FIG. 8 provides a different choice for different operations in combination with the other embodiments here shown. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that many different cleaning operations may be achieved by utilizing different forms of the invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates still another form of cleaning device constructed according to the invention and containing a rotatable shaft 210 and wiper element 22c. The wiper elements 220 are attached through a helical strip 81 or the like wound on the central shaft with the wiper elements 22c being in the form of a chain having links 82. These chains may be constructed of soft metals such as brass or bronze, or of harder metal such as steel, if desired, so as to provide extra strong abrasive forces for removal of burrs from castings, or the like. In such a case, the operation Will be similar to that described for the other embodiments and the device will have the advantage that irregular contoured surfaces will be fully impinged by the wiper elements 220, since the centrifugal force extension combined with the flexibility thereof will provide automatic variants in the cleaning length in accordance with the use position.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that I have provided an improved rotary cleaning device capable of extreme versatility and suitable for cleaning irregular surfaces either in manual or automatic devices. It is also seen that I have produced an apparatus and method for utilizing this rotary cleaning device, said method and apparatus having additional features coordinated to provide excellent improved results.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles to be cleaned, comp-rising a housing forming a wash chamber,

conveying means for conveying articles to be Washed through the wash chamber, and

a cleaning device mounted within the housing; said cleaning device comprising a rotatable shaft mounted in said housing adjacent the conveyor,

means for rotating the 'shaft, and

a plurality of wipe-r elements secured to said shaft, said wiper elements being sufficiently flexible to hang limp when at rest and capable of extending outwards by centrifugal force on rotation of the shaft whereby the wiper elements will impinge the surfaces of the articles to be cleaned as the articles are moved through the wash chamber by the conveyor,

said wiper elements being attached to the shaft at one end of the elements with the attached ends being disposed in a helical orientation with each wiping element having a width in substantial excess of the vertical distance along the shaft between its attachment and the attachment of adjacent elements whereby the wiper elements are disposed for partial overlapping impinge ment on a surface to be cleaned during rotation of the shaft and extension of the wiper elements.

2. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 1, in which the housing has walls dividing the housing into a wash chamber and a rinse chamber, with the wash chamber carrying the cleaning device, and which also comprises means for directing cleaning liquid on the article being cleaned as it is conveyed past the cleaning device, and means for directing a rinse spray on said article as it is conveyed through the rinse chamber.

3. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 2, in which the doors are provided in the walls of the housing for allowing articles to be conveyed therethrough, said doors being formed of a plurality of flexible elements adapted to be opened by the article as it is conveyed therethrough, and further formed to be resiliently urged against the article to provide a squeegee action.

4. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 2, in which a pair of cleaning devices are provided, with one device being located on each side of the article to be cleaned.

5. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 4, in which the pair of cleaning devices are adjustable mounted, and in which each of the means for rotating the shaft of each of said cleaning device is powered from a single motive power source.

6. An apparatus for cleaning bottles and the like, comprising a housing having walls forming a wash chamber and a rinse chamber,

doors in said walls formed for allowing bottles to enter and leave said chambers,

conveying means for conveying bottles and the like through said doors and said chambers,

said conveying means having a stationary rail and a moving support spaced therefrom whereby bottles held on the support and tilted against said rail rotate as they are moved by the conveyor through the chambers, and

a cleaning device mounted within the housing; said cleaning device comprising a rotatable shaft mounted in said housing adjacent the conveyor,

means for rotating the shaft, and a plurality of wiper elements secured to said shaft, said wiper elements being sufliciently flexible to hang limp when at rest and capable of extending outwards by centrifugal force on rotation of the shaft whereby the wiper elements will impinge the surfaces of the articles to be cleaned as the articles are 10 moved through the wash chamber by the conveyor, said wiper elements being attached to the shaft at one end of the elements with the attached ends being disposed in a helical orientation with each wiping element having a width in substantial excess of the vertical distance along the shaft between its attachment and the attachment of adjacent elements whereby the wiper elements are disposed for partial overlapping impingement on a surface to be cleaned during rotation of the shaft and extension of the wiper elements.

7. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 6, in which the doors are formed of a plurality of flexible elements adapted to be opened by the article as it is conveyed therethrough, and further formed to be resiliently urged against the article to provide a squeegee action.

8. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 6, in which a pair of cleaning devices are provided, with one device being located on each side of the article to be cleaned.

9. The apparatus for cleaning surfaces of articles as defined in claim 8, in which the pair of cleaning devices are adjustable mounted, and in which each of the means of rotating the shaft of each of said cleaning device is powered from a single motive power source.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 962,370 6/1910 Malick 15101X 1,312,589 8/1919 Small 1560UX 2,181,306 11/1939 Osborn 134-8UX 2,273,514 2/1942 Chamberlin 15-77 2,439,305 4/1948 Johnson 1577 2,526,286 10/ 1950 Schwarzkopf et al. 13430UX 2,640,212 6/1953 Hamilton l560 2,646,586 7/1953 Foutes 15-97 2,663,041 12/1953 Rende 1597X 2,962,741 12/1960 Petrillo 15-77X 3,076,730 2/1963 Nolte 13430X 3,237,348 3/1966 Block 1521UX 3,332,098 7/1967 Smith 15-21 3,336,622. 8/1967 Von Kullwitz et al. 1597X 3,343,986 9/1967 Howery et al 134-6 MORRIS O. WOLK, Primary Examiner J. T. ZATARGA, Assistant Examiner US. 01. X.R. 1s 21; 1346

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FR2337683A1 (en) * 1976-01-08 1977-08-05 Clemens Et Co Kg Bottle exterior cleaning machine - has contra:rotating brushes on common axes in round housing with central passage
US4119438A (en) * 1976-10-27 1978-10-10 Hans Dewald Process and apparatus for removing straws from bottles
US5159960A (en) * 1990-10-11 1992-11-03 R&D Innovators, Inc. Handling system for lightweight containers including ballast dispenser
US5231726A (en) * 1992-04-03 1993-08-03 Lm Manufacturing Apparatus for washing folding chairs
US5267590A (en) * 1990-10-11 1993-12-07 R & D Innovators, Inc. Container filler, especially for ballast having contoured sweep for arraying containers
US5582651A (en) * 1994-07-13 1996-12-10 Schnaars; Daniel R. Method for cleaning bulk bags
US6125495A (en) * 1998-11-20 2000-10-03 Tennant Company Variable diameter cleaning brush
US20020078515A1 (en) * 2000-11-07 2002-06-27 Biddix Thomas Edward Medical board cleaning system assembly description
US20030172957A1 (en) * 2002-03-18 2003-09-18 Glass Equipment Development, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
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FR2337683A1 (en) * 1976-01-08 1977-08-05 Clemens Et Co Kg Bottle exterior cleaning machine - has contra:rotating brushes on common axes in round housing with central passage
US4119438A (en) * 1976-10-27 1978-10-10 Hans Dewald Process and apparatus for removing straws from bottles
US5159960A (en) * 1990-10-11 1992-11-03 R&D Innovators, Inc. Handling system for lightweight containers including ballast dispenser
US5267590A (en) * 1990-10-11 1993-12-07 R & D Innovators, Inc. Container filler, especially for ballast having contoured sweep for arraying containers
US5231726A (en) * 1992-04-03 1993-08-03 Lm Manufacturing Apparatus for washing folding chairs
US5582651A (en) * 1994-07-13 1996-12-10 Schnaars; Daniel R. Method for cleaning bulk bags
US6125495A (en) * 1998-11-20 2000-10-03 Tennant Company Variable diameter cleaning brush
US20020078515A1 (en) * 2000-11-07 2002-06-27 Biddix Thomas Edward Medical board cleaning system assembly description
US7980259B2 (en) 2002-03-18 2011-07-19 Ged Integrated Solutions, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US20030172957A1 (en) * 2002-03-18 2003-09-18 Glass Equipment Development, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US7137164B2 (en) * 2002-03-18 2006-11-21 Glass Equipment Development, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US20070034238A1 (en) * 2002-03-18 2007-02-15 Ged Integrated Solutions, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US7531044B2 (en) 2002-03-18 2009-05-12 Ged Integrated Solutions, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
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US7727336B2 (en) 2002-03-18 2010-06-01 Ged Integrated Solutions, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US20100192989A1 (en) * 2002-03-18 2010-08-05 Ged Integrated Solutions, Inc. Glass washing machine with broken glass removal system
US20050079261A1 (en) * 2003-10-08 2005-04-14 Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc. Apparatus and method for surface treatment of a food product
US8088425B2 (en) * 2003-10-08 2012-01-03 Kraft Foods Global Brands Llc Apparatus and method for surface treatment of a food product

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