US3679483A - Apparatus for cleaning members with fluids - Google Patents

Apparatus for cleaning members with fluids Download PDF

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US3679483A
US3679483A US24201A US3679483DA US3679483A US 3679483 A US3679483 A US 3679483A US 24201 A US24201 A US 24201A US 3679483D A US3679483D A US 3679483DA US 3679483 A US3679483 A US 3679483A
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Prior art keywords
cleaning
cleaning fluid
fluid
chamber
rinsing
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US24201A
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Leon A Zweig
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Bell Tech Systems Inc
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Bell Tech Systems Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B15/00Preventing escape of dirt or fumes from the area where they are produced; Collecting or removing dirt or fumes from that area
    • B08B15/02Preventing escape of dirt or fumes from the area where they are produced; Collecting or removing dirt or fumes from that area using chambers or hoods covering the area
    • B08B15/026Boxes for removal of dirt, e.g. for cleaning brakes, glove- boxes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B3/00Cleaning by methods involving the use or presence of liquid or steam
    • B08B3/006Cabinets or cupboards specially adapted for cleaning articles by hand
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B3/00Cleaning by methods involving the use or presence of liquid or steam
    • B08B3/04Cleaning involving contact with liquid
    • B08B3/10Cleaning involving contact with liquid with additional treatment of the liquid or of the object being cleaned, e.g. by heat, by electricity, by vibration
    • B08B3/12Cleaning involving contact with liquid with additional treatment of the liquid or of the object being cleaned, e.g. by heat, by electricity, by vibration by sonic or ultrasonic vibrations
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41BMACHINES OR ACCESSORIES FOR MAKING, SETTING, OR DISTRIBUTING TYPE; TYPE; PHOTOGRAPHIC OR PHOTOELECTRIC COMPOSING DEVICES
    • B41B11/00Details of, or accessories for, machines for mechanical composition using matrices for individual characters which are selected and assembled for type casting or moulding
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41FPRINTING MACHINES OR PRESSES
    • B41F35/00Cleaning arrangements or devices
    • B41F35/001Devices for cleaning parts removed from the printing machines
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41PINDEXING SCHEME RELATING TO PRINTING, LINING MACHINES, TYPEWRITERS, AND TO STAMPS
    • B41P2235/00Cleaning
    • B41P2235/30Recovering used solvents or residues
    • B41P2235/31Recovering used solvents or residues by filtering

Abstract

The present invention discloses apparatus for cleaning a variety of objects, such as printing plates or dies, having thereon foreign deposits, with a cleaning fluid. The equipment includes a chamber within which the member to be cleaned is supported and sequentially sprayed with cleaning fluid under controlled pressure and any remaining foreign deposits removed by a rinsing fluid. The fluids are supplied by nozzles either mounted in fixed spaced relation to the supported member or manually controlled by a spray gun for directing the fluid. Apparatus for continually supplying the cleaning and rinsing fluids through the nozzles is provided with a complete system which automatically controls the relationship of the temperature, pressure, supply, recirculating and other automatically inter-related operations of the system. The cleaning fluid may also be energized with sonic energy waves to further enhance its cleaning effectiveness.

Description

July 25, 1972 A. ZWEIG APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MEMBERS WITH FLUIDS I Original Filed May 2, 1968 7 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. LEON A ZWEIG AT TOR July 25, 1972 L. A. ZWEIG APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MEMBERS WITH FLUIDS 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 Original Filed May 2., 1968 I 1111/ 11111111 1' III ll/l/f/l/l/ f/g JNVENTOR. LEON A. ZWEIG BY M ATTORNE July 25, 1972 Y 1.. A. ZWEIG APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MEMBERS WITH FLUIDS Original Filed May 2-, 1968 FIGS 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 A I ni INVENTOR. LEON A. ZWE-IG BY M AT TO July 25, 1972 zw l 3,679,483
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MEMBERS WITH FLUIDS Original Filed May 2, 1968 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 FIG. 9
INVENTOR. LEON A. ZWEIG A'] TORNE July 25, 1972 L. A. ZWEIG 3,679,483
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MEMBERS WITH FLUIDS Original Filed May 2. 1968 7 Sheets-Sheet v INVENTOR. LEON A.ZWE|G la (S 2;, $1 ATTORNEY FIG. 10
'United States Patent 01 lice 3,679,483 Patented July 25, 1972 Int. Cl. B08]: 3/02 US. Cl. 134-46 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention discloses apparatus for cleaning a variety of objects, such as printing plates or dies, having thereon foreign deposits, with a cleaning fluid. The equipment includes a chamber within which the member to be cleaned is supported and sequentially sprayed with cleaning fluid under controlled pressure and any remaining foreign deposits removed by a rinsing fluid. The fluids are supplied by nozzles either mounted in fixed spaced relation to the supported member or manually controlled by a spray gun for directing the fluid. Apparatus for continually supplying the cleaning and rinsing fluids through the nozzle of the spray gun or fixed mounted nozzles is provided with a complete system which automatically controls the relationship of the temperature, pressure, supply, recirculating and other automatically inter-related operations of the system. The cleaning fluid may also be energized with sonic energy waves to further enhance its cleaning effectiveness.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a division of application Ser. No. 726,081, filed May 2, 1968, now Pat. No. 3,542,592.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates broadly to cleaning of members having foreign deposits thereon, and particularly to an improved method and apparatus for removing foreign deposits in the form of printing inks and other impacted material from printing plates or die members.
Prior art of the invention Heretofore, there has been utilized in the industry various means for cleaning of rubber, metallic and/ or plastic printing plate members subsequent to their usage and generally prior to storage. Essentially in the printing of various objects a variety of plates are used that are subject to be reused at a future date and it is therefore important that subsequent to their reuse and prior to storage that they be intimately cleaned so as to prevent the hardening and caking of any of the inks or other materials used as the printing medium. To date these printing members, coated with inks, have been generally cleaned by the normal practice employed commercially to date, which has been to manually scrub the members with brushes, or soaking them in liquids at elevated temperatures, as well as combinations of both. In addition, detergents or solvents are generally necessary for cleaning of all types of links. Thus, due to the number of plates that many companies utilize, often in the thousands, maintenance can be a most time consuming and economically expensive operation. Since production runs continually necessitate changes to new plates, this requires a continuous cleaning of great numbers of plates that have to be attended to in order to be assured that at the subsequent usage they are available in a clean state for immediate use without any deterioration due to inks that have been left to remain there for prolonged periods of time.
OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION It is the general object of the present invention to avoid and overcome the foregoing and other difliculties of and objections to prior art practices by the provision of a cleaning system that utilizes pressurized cleaning liquid in suflicient quantities and at proper pressures and velocities to obtain the removal of foreign deposits from members without necessitating emersion thereof and which cleaning may be accomplished short periods of time.
Another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for cleaning which employs energized cleaning fluid having sonic energy waves contained therein which sonically vibrates the surface or material to be cleaned, thereby to loosen the boundary layer of adhering material between the foreign deposits, as for example in the form of inks, from the underlying object to be cleaned, such as a printing plate member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus which is operative to automatically remove the ink laden deposits from the to be cleaned member with cleaning fluid on a substantially automatic basis.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning system whereby the printing member to be cleaned may be automatically placed within a cleaning chamber and the cleaning fluid may be directed thereagainst either manually or automatically for a suflicient period of time to obtain the desired elfective cleaning and thereafter the printing member may be dried for a selected period of time.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning system for automatically cleaning soiled printing members with a cleaning fluid that is introduced into a cleaning chamber for a selected period of time at a selected temperature and velocity to obtain the desired cleaning effects and thereafter the printing members are rinsed to flush away any adhering foreign deposits.
Another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for the removal of hardened ink deposits from a surface of a printing member in a rapid manner and with the exertion of a minimum of physical energy by the person affecting such removal.
Another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus which avoids the possibility of damage, such as, scoring, scratching or chipping, of the regions of the member that is cleaned.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The aforesaid objects of the present invention, and other objects which will become apparent as the description proceeds, are achieved by providing a series of features, steps and elements assembled and working together in interrelated combination to provide the cleaning effects of the present invention. Actual tests have demonstrated that by the application of the cleaning methods and apparatus of this invention, cleaning results are obtainable which are a multiplicity of times greater than heretofore known or practiced, with accompanying substantially less wear on the surfaces of the cleaned member and consequent longer life of the member, together with the attainment of unexcelled precision cleaning results.
In accordance with one preferred embodiment of the invention a housing is provided that contains substantially all of the various integrated assemblies of the invention. Chamber means is contained in the housing means and is of a size preferably adapted to contain several members to be cleaned at the same time. Support means is provided for retaining the member during the cleaning process. To facilitate the positioning of the member in the housing the trolled by the operator such that it is in the form of a flexible conduit having a hand nozzle gun at one end thereof. So that the operator may properly control the hand nozzle gun a transparent front door is provided that has connecting means associated with it in the form of a pair of rubber gloves spaced apart which the operator can place his hands into and which permits him movement up to approximately at least his elbow so that he may pick up the hand gun and properly direct the pressurized jet of cleaning fluid against any particular member or members that he desires to be cleaned. Illuminating means for providing light is also provided to assist the operator in determining when a member is sufficiently cleaned so that he might commence the rinsing cycle. Contained in the housing means is also cleaning fluid supply means whichis capable of constantly supplying a heated cleaning fluid under controlled pressure in suflicient quantities. Drainage means is also provided in communication with the housing to permit the removal of spent cleaning fluid and its recycling for future use. Since the cleaning fluid might contain a detergent that is costly, the equipment permits recirculating of the cleaning fluid numerous times by providing a filter device, before the cleaning fluid is recycled.
Rinsing fluid applicator means is also contained in the chamber means for spraying jets of rinsing fluid onto the member for removing and flushing away foreign deposits not removed by the cleaning fluid, or to clean it off to the extent that any detergents are no longer present on the surface thereof. Rinsing fluid supply means is provided in communication with the rinsing applicator means and is also contained within the housing means. In addition rinsing fluid drainage means to permit the removal of the spent rinsing fluid is also provided.
. In accordance with another embodiment of the invention a more automated system is provided such that the member once again may be removed and placed in position exteriorly of the housing means so that the operator need not be inconvenienced to try and place the member therein. This embodiment contains a chamber means that is essentially subdivided into a separate cleaning chamber means, rinsing chamber means and drying chamber means, each one in communication with the other and having a common passage extending therethrough. Means are provided for conveying the member through the respective} chambers and in order to indicate when to cycle the respective instrumentation associated with each chamber cycle control means is provided so as to program the individual cycles automatically such that they are activated and deactivated as the member progressively moves therethrough. In like manner cleaning fluid applicator means, rinsing fluid applicator means and drying means are associated with the respective chambers such that we properly clean each member.
Each of the above embodiments is adapted to be used with energizing means such that the cleaning effectiveness may be further enhanced by introducing sonic energy waves into the cleaning fluid prior to its engagement with the cleaning member. Thus, the invention comprehends the provision of means for energizing the cleaning fluid in suflicient volume and under sufficient pressure to effectively result in an energized fluid stream that is sprayed '4 foreign matter or an actual microfatigue of the foreig deposit from the member. The energized fluid has no deleterious effect on the printing plate member itself or the backing. Tests indicate that repeated cleaning of a single printing member, as many as twenty or more times, has no damagingeffect on the printing member.
Since the invention finds ideal application for the removal of foreign deposits, whether or not completely dry, such as are found on printing or die members, the method and apparatus of this invention will be particularly described for the purpose of illustration in connection with V the cleaning of printing members.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS I Although the characteristics features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself, and the manner in which it may be made and used, may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like ref.- erence numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of cleaning apparatus in accordance with this invention, certain parts of its cabinet walls being broken away to reveal some of the apparatus contained therein;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the connecting means taken along line 2 2 of FIG. 1; 7
FIG. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the upper half of the cabinet taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the relationship of the various component parts thereof of the apparatus;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of one form of mechano-strictive transducer to introduce energy waves into the cleaning fluid;
FIG. 6 is a side view of a member adapted to be cleaned by the present invention;
' FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a portion of the member of FIG. 6, showing the foreign deposits contained thereon;
FIG. 8 is a wiring diagram of the electrical components included in the cleaning device of FIG. 1; FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1, illustrating another embodiment of the invention; and 7 FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 4, illustrating the relationship of the parts contained in the apparatus of FIG. 9.
DISCUSSION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1-4 thereof, we have in assembled relation the cleaning device 10 of the present invention.
Housing means 13 also presents as part thereof, an instrument case 21 which is containedon the front wall 18. The instrument case 21 contains associated instrumentation and control devices whose control knobs and indicators appear. on the front of an instrument panel 22 and within convenient view and reach of the operator.
The front wall 18 presents one or more hinged doors 24 through which there is apparatus components contained within and supported by the bottom wall 19 of the cabinet and may be conveniently reached for adjustment or repair. The front wall 18 of the cabinet may also present one or more front panels or doors 25 of a transparent material, such as clear plastic or glass, which may be mounted by hinges or on a track for sliding, through which extend connecting means 110, which is hereinafter discussed in more detail. The end wall 16 is provided with an entrance and exit opening 26 (see FIG. 4) having a chamber door 27 which acts to close the opening and is used in conjunction with the cleaning system of the invention. The cabinet 13 further includes a horizontal trough 29 below which the instrumentation is generally contained.
Chamber means In general, the apparatus of this invention includes chamber means 30 which is utilized to contain the member 31, during the various stages of the cleaning cycle, and the chamber means 30 is generally defined in this embodiment of the invention by the end walls 15 and 16, back wall 17, front wall 18, the top wall 20 and the trough 29 extending in a horizontal plane substantially across the entire cabinet 14. The trough 29 is contoured or tilted to collect the cleaning and rinsing fluids for removal from the chamber means 30, and is mounted in sealed relationship to the cabinet walls, except as for the cleaning fluid drainage means 125, and rinsing fluid drainage means 150, as are provided therein and hereinafter discussed in detail.
Support means To permit the members or objects to be cleaned, support means 35 is provided Within the chamber means 30, and includes a rack 37, as best seen in FIG. 3, for removably supporting one or more members 31, three being shown. As seen with respect to FIG. 1, when the chamber door 27 is open the rack 37 may be slid in or out from the cabinet and in this manner the versatility of the equipment is substantially enhanced. The rack 37 is adapted to be moved relative to the chamber means such that the members 31 may be secured and removed therefrom exteriorally of the cabinet 13. In this manner the operator without having to enter the chamber 30 can place and remove the members from the rack.
As seen in FIG. 3, the rack 37 includes supports in the form of an upper track 38 and a lower track 39 secured in any conventional manner to the top Wall 20 and trough 29, respectively. The spacing between the upper track 38 and lower track 39 is such as compared to the size of the opening 26 in the end wall 16, which has the door 27 secured thereto, such that the rack 37 may on its sliding track be removed therefrom. The rack 37 includes a center portion 40 which may be in the form of a peg board having a plurality of apertures 41 so that the members 31 may be mounted thereon at various spacings by means of hooks 42. The rack 37 also includes a rail 44 surrounding it, which rail 44 as seen in FIG. 3, has complimentary fingers 45 so as to be slidably engagable with the upper and lower tracks 38 and 39 respectively. The tracks have a channel which is formed by complementary grooves 46. The relative movement is facilitated by providing rollers 48 spaced between the tracks 38 and 39 and the rails 44 which permit slidability with a minimum of applied force.
Cleaning fluid supply means As shown schematically in FIG. 4, the cleaning fluid supply means 50 is connected by means of conduit means 52 to the cleaning fluid applicator means 95, the latter contained in the chamber means 30 and adapted to be manually controlled by the operator. The cleaning fluid supply means 50 is adapted to provide cleaning fluid 51 at suflicient pressures, and quantities in the order of 3 to 6 gallons per minute and in the range of from 200 pounds per square inch to 700 pounds per square inch, through the conduit means 52 which is connected to a series of tubes connected to various integrated portions of the system as hereinafter discussed. The components of the cleaning fluid supply means 50 is substantially contained in the lower portion of the cabinet 13 and controlled by the instrument panel 22 On the front wall 18 thereof, and associated electro-mechanical components illustrated in the electrical schematic in FIG. 8.
To maintain a suflicient supply of the cleaning fluid 51 a reservoir 54 is provided in the form of a tank which should be of suflicient volume to insure an adequate storage of the cleaning fluid therein. The tank and reservoir may be of various capacities and in the present embodiment is capable of holding 20 gallons of cleaning fluid. The reservoir 54 by means of supports 55 is mounted on the bottom wall 19 in any conventional manner and may have a cover 56. The cleaning fluid reservoir 5-4 has a liquid level control device 60 responsive to three values, hereinafter referred to as the first, second and third values, for convenience. The control device 60 has a first, second and third immersion elements 61, 62 and 63 respectively, corresponding to each of said values. The liquid level control device 60 may be of the type manufactured by Warrick Co., designed to control the height of fluid in the reservoir 54 to stop the pump means '59 when the level of the cleaning fluid is below a certain first value and can start the pump means when the level is above the higher predetermined second value. The liquid level control device 60 is also responsive to a certain maximum capacity filling or third value and to stop the flow of cleaning fluid into the reservoir 54 when the third value is reached. In addition the liquid level control device 60 is also responsive to stop the temperature control means 64 when the cleaning fluid 51 is below the second value and to start the temperature control means 64 when the cleaning fluid is above the higher predetermined second value.
At the start of the cleaning operation, the reservoir 50 is substantially filled with the cleaning fluid 51 to provide an ample supply of liquid to use in cleaning the member 31. The flow is initiated from the cleaning fluid source 65 by initially contacting the control button switch 66 (see FIG. 8) which opens the cleaning fluid valve 67 and the cleaning fluid from the supply source 65 flows through the filling tube 68 first to the valve 67 and thereafter through the filling tube 69 into the reservoir tank 50.
As soon as the liquid in the reservoir 50 has reached the second level, as sensed by the first element 61 the system is open. The temperature control means 64 may be of any conventional type as for example, that manufactured by Chromalox, Edwin L. Wiegand Co., Pittsburgh, Pa., Model B, and is electrically connected such that the light bulb 70 on the instrument panel 22 of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 1, will indicate when the heater is on.
The flow of liquid will continue until the liquid control means reaches the second level, as indicated by the second element 62, this permits the operator to start the pump means 59 operating and at the same time to start the temperature control means 64, so that the cleaning fluid 51 is heated to an elevated temperature which may generally be in the range of 50 to degrees Fahrenheit. The tank '54 will continue to be filled until the third level is reached and the control device 60 is activated by the third element 63 which is electrically connected to the filling value 67 and the latter will be automatically closed when the third level is reached.
The cleaning fluid exits through output tube 71 that is connected to a cleaning fluid strainer or filter means 76 which acts as a filtering device to remove particle debris which have been removed from the members during the cleaning process and may be of a commercial type as manufactured by Hayward Manufacturing 00.; Inc., Model 72. The straining means 76 is connected to the pump means 59 by the connecting tube 77 and the pump means is adapted to pump the fluid at a rate of four gallons per minute and in the. range of from 2.00 to 700 pounds per square inch. The pump may be of a commercial type as purchased from Hypro, four cylinder piston pump, Model C5540E.
The pump tube 78 extends from the pump means 59 and is connected to the energizing means 80 in the form of a mechanostrictive transducer which is adapted to impart sonic energy waves to the cleaning fluid as it passes through the conduit means 52. The energizing troldevice 85 which is designed and acts as a pressure relief valve which is in communication with the conduit means52 and is responsive to pressure in the conduit means, such that when the pressure is above a predetermined value it is automatically recycled through the recycle tube86 back into the connecting tube 77 by the T joint 87 and in through the pump means 59. This occurs when the liquid level of the reservoir 54 has reached the second value and the pump means '59 starts operating but the operator has not utilized his hand gun such that pressure is building up in the system and in this way the pressure control device 85 recycles the cleaning fluid through the system without any possibility of danger due to excessive back pressure. The pressure control device 85 is a commercial unit as manufactured by Hypro Inc. Valve, Model No. B3390-13.
After leaving the pressure control device 85 through the tube 89 the fluid goes through the pulsation reducer means 90 which prevents any major fluctuations and is in communication with the conduit means 52 to reduce any pressure surges occurring in the conduit means. The pulsation reducer means 90 is of a commercial type and may be of the. type supplied by Birdwell Pulsation Reducer Snyder Texal, Model No. 800. The fluid leaves the pulsation reducer 90 through the tube 91, which by tee joint 92 is coupled to the feed tube 93 which enters the chamber means 30 through a grommet 94 or other sealing element and is coupled to the cleaning fluid applicator means 95 by means of flexible conduit 97 which terminates in the hand gun 100. In addition a pressure gauge 105- which is mounted on the front panel -21 is connected via pressure tube 106 such that the operator continuously sees the pressure in the system which may be indicated in the terms of gravity forces so that he has a better appreciation of the availability of the energy in the cleaning fluid for the desired end purpose.
, The cleaning fluid 51 used, is preferably a solvent to oils and greases, and may have a beneficial eflfect on the rubber plated metals or materials from which the member is constructed, such as alkaline detergents for rubber printing plates. Water with a detergent has been found to be satisfactory. Numerous other cleaning fluids may be used which possess high solvent capabilities and low corrosion characteristics, which are compatible with the material fromwhich the member is composed. The cleaning fluid should in part be in liquid form, and adapted to be cavitated 'by the application of sonic vibrations thereto.
Cleaning fluid applicator means Cleaning fluid applicator means 95 is provided within the chamber means 30, and adapted to be manually controlled :by the operator. The cleaning fluid applicator means 95 includes the flexible conduit 97 connected at one end to the nozzle gun 100 adapted to be hand held and having a trigger 101 which activates the valve contained in the nozzle gun 100 to permit the flow of a jet 102 of cleaning liquid therefrom. At its opposite end the flexible conduit 97 is connected to the cleaning fluid supply means 50 through the trough 29. The seal 94 provides a liquid tight chamber. The flexible conduit 97 may be of suflicient length so as to permit the operator to manually direct the jet 102 of cleaning fluid against the members contained on the support rack 37. This permits the operator to concentrate on any particular area of the mem- 8 ber that requires more cleaning than another and also permits the operator to selectively clean specific members that may be more encrusted with particular ink or other deposits contained thereon.
Connecting means As seen in particular with reference to FIGS. 1-3 connecting means 110 is in communication with the cleaning fluid applicator means for manual control of the cleaning hand nozzle gun 100, such that the operator while substantially positioned exteriorly of the chamber means 30 has proper control of the hand nozzle gun 100. The connecting means includes at least one flexible memher in the form of a glove 111 extending through the front door 25, two gloves being shown in FIG. 1, one through each of the respective doors, whereby the hand of the operator may be placed therein for holding and 7 operating the hand nozzle gun 100. The gloves 111 are provided with a skirt 112, as seen in FIG. 2, which is adapted to have an annular groove 113 so that it may be positioned within an opening 114 provided in the respective front doors. The operator merely inserts his hand in 1 the glove which is long enough to permit him to grab hold of the nozzle gun 100 and to permit proper manipulation thereof. The gloves 111 are spaced apart a distance, and are of sufllcient length to permit the switching of the nozzle gun 100 from the left hand to the right hand and vice versa, without having to open the front doors 25.
Illuminating means As seen in FIG. 4 illuminating means 115 is provided in the form of a pair of spot lights 116 which are directed at the rear of the chamber means 30 such that the operator'when looking throughthe clear front doors 25 may easily see when the foreign deposits have been sutficiently removed from a particular member so that he might then commence the cleaning of the next member or so that the rack 40 may be removed from the chamber 30 for the placement of the next group of members thereon.
Cleaning fluid drainage means After the cleaning fluid 51 has been directed by the operator against the member 31 for the period of time desired the spent cleaning fluid is then available for recycling through the reservoir 54. To accomplish this the trough 29 is angled such that the spent cleaning fluid collects in a corner thereof and exits through the trough into opening 120 connected to cleaning fluid drainage tube 121 (FIG. 4) and in turn to a returnrvalve 122, which in turn is connected to a reentry tube 123 into the reservoir 54. When the cleaning cycle is in process the solenoid valve 122 is in its open position so that the cleaning fluid 51 automatically flows through drainage tube 121 and reentry tube 123 into the tank. If desired it is possible to dispense with the recycling of the cleaning fluid into the reervoir means for reuse in cleaning.
At the completion of the cleaning cycle and after the cleaning fluid has been used for a number of applications it is possible to drain the reservoir means '54 of the cleaning fluid and accumulated foreign deposits, and in which case the cleaning fluid drainage valve 125 is opened and the cleaning fluid in the reservoir 54 flows out through the tee joint 74 into exit tube 126 through valve 125, and out through the outward flow tube 127 in direction of arrow 128, this tube may be connected directly to a drain if desired.
Rinsing fluid applicator, supply and drainage means To continuously remove any debris remaining after the cleaning fluid cycle is performed it is preferable for most members to apply a rinsing fluid thereto to flush away foreign deposits not previously removed, or redeposited thereon by the dirty cleaning fluid. This is accomplished preferably by a number of spraying jets directed at the member from which the deposits are to be removed. The
rinsing fluid applicator means 130 is in communication with and mounted in the chamber means 30 in fixed space relation to the member 31 for spraying jets 131 of rinsing fluid onto the member. The rinsing fluid applicator means 130 comprise one or more nozzles 132 and a manifold 133 on which the nozzles 132 are carried in spaced relation to and directed at the back wall 117 of the chamber means 30. The manifold 133 as seen in FIGS. 1 and 3 is generally contained around the front doors 25 of the chamber means 30 and includes an upper branch 135, a lower branch 136 and one or more intermediary branches 137 connected together and secured to the cabinet walls in any conventional manner. The nozzles 132 are sufiiently spaced from the member 31 to properly direct their spray thereagainst and obtain the desired final cleaning job.
In association with the rinsing fluid applicator means 130 we have a rinsing fluid supply means 140 which continuously operates from a fluid source 141 through a fluid tube 142 into a valve 143 and then through a connection branch 144 which enters the chamber means 30 via seal 146 and by means of a T joint 145 is connected to the manifold 133, through the trough 29. The number may vary as desired. In addition the rinsing fluid may also be applied through the same means as the cleaning fluid, namely the hand directed nozzle gun.
In communication with the chamber means rinsing fluid drainage means 150 is provided for continuously removing spent rinsing fluid therefrom. A fluid removal tube 151 is provided that is connected to the trough 29 in a conventional manner at one end thereof and at its opposite end with a rinsing fluid drainage valve 152 which has a tube 153 extending therefrom and exiting from the cabinet 13. The rinsing fluid drainage valve 152 is only opened when a cleaning cycle is complete and the cleaning fluid recirculation valve 122 is closed so that the liquid exiting from the chamber means 30 is sure to flow through the rinsing fluid drainage means 150, in the direction of arrow 154.
Energizing means Energizing means 80 may be utilized in conjunction with the invention for enhancing the cleaning efiectiveness thereof by introducing energy waves into the stream of cleaning fluid prior to it exiting from the fluid applicator means 95. The energy waves are introduced in the sonic frequency range, and for the purposes of this invention the sonic frequency range is defined between 60 cycles per second to 1,000,000 cycles per second, and the energy is generally audible in the range of .60 cycles per second to 16,000 cycles per second and inaudible to the operator in the frequency range of 16,000 cycles per second to 1,000,000 cycles per second. A frequency range of from approximately 5,000 to 40,000 cycles Per second has been found most suitable.
The energizing means 80 is in communication with the conduit means 52 and preferably placed in position after the cleaning fluid leaves the pump means 59, and if desired may even be embodied within the nozzle of the hand held nozzle means 100. As illustrated in FIG. 6, a mechano-strictive transducer which may be in the form of a tuning fork 155, of a selected frequency is coupled to a T 156 with the prongs 158 thereof extending into the conduit 52, a preselected amount so as to be engaged by the stream of liquid flowing therethrough in the direction of arrow 82. The tuning fork is selected to operate in a defined frequency range so that for a pressure selected in the range of approximately 300 to 700 pounds per square inch we have an optimum transmission of the energy waves to the fluid. The flow of the fluid in the conduit means 52 cause a vibration of the prongs 158 which is transmitted through the neck portion 159 to the T 156 and in turn conduit 52 with vibratory Waves set up in the conduit means 52 and introduced into the fluid. In this 10 manner without any electrical energy sonic energy may be introduced into the cleaning fluid.
If desired the conduit may be designed to extend through an ultrasonic motor as illustrated in US. Pat. No. 3,165,- 299, or through other commercially available equipment that is capable of introducing energy waves of suflicient amplitude to transmit the waves through the fluid.
Applicant has found that the energy waves are maintained in the fluid until such time that they strike the foreign deposits on the member and have the eifect of coupling this energy to said foreign deposits and particularly the boundary layer as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, which energy waves act to effectively fatigue the bonding agent between the foreign deposits 32 and member 31 such that they are easily removed therefrom. Accordingly, it is necessary that the proper frequency pressure and intensity of energy waves are selected from the particular application and which combination may be varied depending upon the type of member or type of foreign material to be removed.
Accordingly, with respect to the cleaning of the surface 33 of the member 32 sonic energy waves in the frequency range of 500 cycles per second to 1,000,000 cycles per second can be applied for treatment of the member to produce beneficial cleaning effects therein. The path of waves may be of a continuous or pulsed wave pattern which when properly transmitted to the selected portion of the member in accordance with the present invention, is capable of inducing a microfatigue action thereof.
By employing sonic vibrations it is possible to put considerable quantities of Wave energy into the foreign deposits without any damage to the underlying material. This means that, looking at any small part of the foreign deposit, the passing of the energy wave carried by the jet stream causes a rapid oscillation of compression and tension stresses in the structure. This results in the microfatigue which acts to break away or loosen the bond between the surface 33 of the member 3-1 and the layer of foreign deposits 32.
Essentially the foreign deposits are composed of a number of particles and retained by a bonding layer 34 to the member 31. When the energizing means is energized the vibratory energy of the sonic motor will create a series of elastic energy Waves in the jet stream 102 of the cleaning fluid which appear as wave fronts moving in spaced relation to each other, a wavelength apart. These waves are coupled and transmitted to the foreign deposits 32 by means of the jet stream 102. Each moving Wave is carried along the jet stream 102 for transmission to the foreign deposits 32,. The spacing between the waves in the foreign deposits structure might be further apart than in the fluid medium of the jet stream because of the difference in the speed of sound in the fluid medium and the foreign deposits. The wave is purely physical, or mechanical in nature in that each complete wave includes an area of compression in one half of the wave and a corresponding area of tension or rarefaction in the other half of the wave. Thus, it may be understood that soundwaves in passing through any material create a series of alternate areas of pressure and tension, in which particle motion is extremely slow, yet the magnitude of acceleration is high. This means that looking at any small part of the boundry layer, the passing of an elastic WEUVG causes a rapid oscillation or compression and tension stresses in the structure to sever the foreign deposit along its boundary layer 34 by a microfatigue action.
Operation While the practical application of one embodiment of this invention has been heretofore explained in connection with the cleaning of printing plate members, this invention finds more general application to the cleaning of numerous types of intricate articles and objects which defy satisfactory cleaning by immersion in a bath of cleaning fluid as heretofore practiced. As is evident from 1 1 the above disclosure, the method and apparatus of this invention canbe advantageously and effectively employed in the cleaning of a wide range of intricate objects and articles, such as machinary, bearing assemblies and like devices whose intricate working elements present minute pores, cavities, passages or interstices containing impacted debris or other foreign material which must be thoroughly removed.
In accordance with this invention the member 31 or object to be cleaned is supported in the chamber means 30 and a nozzle of the cleaning fluid applicator means 95, is connected to a cleaning fluid supply means 50, and by means of which cleaning fluid under controlled pressure is applied to the supported member. The action produced is of such intensity as to penetrate into, and loosen the debris of impacted within the pores, cavities, passages and interstices of the member, while cleaning fluid pressure is applied to the face of the member to etfectuate the removal of the debris or foreign material therefrom. The thorough cleaning of all the pores, cavities, passages and interstices of the object is thus effected by the combined action of the fluidized energy forces.
Operator experience in the use of thisv apparatus will reveal the time required by a particular operator to effect the cleaning of a particular type of member, or the time when a particular type of member should be subjected to cleaning fluid pressure. The cleaning time interval thus established may be indicated to the operator when cleaning subsequent objects of the same type.
FIG. 8 is a partially schematic representation of the related electrical components as mounted on the instrument panel 22 to perform the related functions for which the apparatus is designed. The instrument panel contains a series of switches and associated lights that are wired together in any conventional manner by one skilled in the art to obtain the desired results. The various solenoid switches and other components are shown wired to a terminal board 170 mounted on the rear of the instrument panel 22 and the terminal board 170 is thereafter connected to the switches, lamps and relays (not shown).
To commence the operation or the cleaning process the member 31 is positioned within the chamber 30 and the power switch 171 is placed in its on position to permit the current which is 115 volts, from the terminals 172 and 173 to power the equipment. The lights 116 in the chamber 30 are connected to the power switch 171 so that they automatically go on with the power. The operator then engages the tank fill switch 66, which opens the reservoir fill valve 67 and the light 70 goes onat the same time. If the tank 54 is empty and the fluid is below the first level as indicated by element 61 the light 174 will go on to indicate to the operator that there is not sufiicient liquid in the reservoir to start the pump 59 and heater 64. As soon as the second level is reached the fluid engages element 62 and thelight 174 goes off indicating to the operator that there is suflicient fluid in the tank 54. If there is any delay and the fluid reaches the third level and engages the element 63 the valve 67 is automatically closed preventing the cleaning fluid from continuing therein. The cleaning fluid drain valve 122 is normally open and connected to switch 175 and light 176.
This pemits the cleaning fluid to be returned to the reservoir during the cleaning cycle. The element 62 is wired to the heater 64 and pump 59 and associated switches 178 and 180 such that if the cleaning fluid is below the second level then the power is available to start or continue operating the pump or heater. To heat the cleaning fluid the heater switch 178 is activated which energizes associated light 179', and the heater 64 immersed in the tank 54 is powered to heat the cleaning fluid. The pump switch 180 is engaged and the associated light 181 is on with the pump 59 pumping fluid through the conduit means. The operator only has to pick up the hand gun 100 and pull the trigger 101 and the fluid is discharged therefrom for cleaning the member 31.
into the reservoir 54. To begin the rinse cycle the time grain valve 152 is now opened by engaging switch 183 which turns on light 184. The rinse spray valve 143 is then opened by engaging switch 186 which lights up 187 and permits rinsing fluid from source 141 to be discharged in the chamber. When the rinsing cycle is complete then the switches for the rinse spray 186 and rinse drain 183 are closed.
To remove the cleaning fluid from the reservoir 54 the reservoir drain switch 189 is engaged which lights up indicating light 190 and opens valve to empty the tank. When this is completed the switch 189 is closed shutting the valve 125. The power switch 171 may then be closed.
ANOTHER EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate another embodiment of the cleaning apparatus 10a of the present invention.
Housing means The various integrated operating components of the apparatus 10a are contained within, supported by or mounted on housing means 12a in the form of a cabinet 13a having end walls 15a and 16a a back wall 17a, front wall 18a, a bottom wall 19a and a top wall 20a. The instrument case 21a is enclosed and is suspended by a cable 21b in the form of a pendent control which extends from the top wall 20a, and contains associated instrumentation and control devices whose control knobs and indicators appear on the front of the instrument panel 22a and within convenient reach of the operator.
The front wall 18a presents one or more hinged doors 24a through which there is apparatus components contained within and supported by the bottom wall 19a of Chamber means The apparatus includes chamber means 30a which is v utilized to contain the member 31a during various stages of the cleaning cycle. The chamber means 30a is divided into a cleaning or first chamber 36a, a rinsing or second chamber 36b and a drying or third chamber 36c. Vertical partitions 43a forms the end wall of the first chamber and partition 43b separates the first chamber 36a and second chamber 36b, with partition 43c separating the second and third chambers. The trough 29a is contoured or tilted with respect to each chamber for removal therefrom of the respective fluids. The chambers are adjacent to each other and connected together by a series of vertical openings 26a which act respectively as the entrance and exit opening for the chambers and which openings extend along a substantially common plane and each large enough to permit the passage of the member therethrough.
A chamber door 27a is mounted over each of the respective openings 26a and may be in the form of a pair of flexible flaps 26b adapted to be swung open in the direction of travel of the member 31a entering a respective chamber.
Support means Support means 35a is provided for sequentially conveying the member 31a through the respective chambers and may be in the form of a conveying means 47a of an end-. less configuration that extends beyond the cabinet 13a, 2.
13 sufficient distance to permit the securement and removal of the member therefrom. The conveyor 47a includes a track 38a having a motor 47b mounted thereon in any conventional manner for powering the chain drive contained in the track 38a. Supports 47c extend from the top wall 20a of the cabinet 13a and are connected to the track 38a to maintain it in fixed position. A plurality of hooks 42a extend from the track 38a and are adapted to grip the member 31a and support it during the various operations. The hooks 42a are in vertical alignment with a channel 47d extending along the top wall 20a of the cabinet 13a and which is in alignment with the openings 26a to permit the member to move progressively through the cabinet 1311.
Cycle control means Cycle control means 49a is provided to be responsive to the entering and exiting of the member 3111 through the chambers for automatically activating and then deactivating the cleaning fluid applicator means 95a, rinsing fluid applicator means 130a and drying means 160a as the member progressively moves therethrough. Switches 49b, 49c and 49d are mounted on the top wall 20a in association with the first chamber 36a, second chamber 36b and third chamber 361:, respectively. The switches are mounted in the path of the hooks 42a, one or more of which may be provided with a contact arm 49 for engagement with the switches. A switch 492 is mounted on the track 38a to stop the entire equipment when the member 31a moving in the direction of arrow 53a has the associate hook 42a engage it. The location and number of switches may be varied in accordance with the size of the members and if the equipment is used on a continuous or intermittent basis.
Cleaning fluid supply means As shown schematically in FIG. 10, the cleaning fluid supply means 50a is connected by means of conduit 52a to the cleaning fluid applicator means 95a, the latter contained in the first chamber 360. The cleaning fluid supply means 50a is adapted to provide cleaning fluid 51a at sufflcient pressures, and quantities in the order of to 40 gallons per minute and under pressure in the range of from 200 pounds per square inch to '700 pounds per square inch, through the conduit means 52a which is connected to a series of tubes connected to various integrated portions of the system as hereinafter discussed.
{The components of the cleaning fluid supply means 50a is substantially contained in the lower portion of the cabinet 13a and controlled by the instrument panel 22a, and associated electromechanical components previously discussed with respect to FIG. 8.
To maintain a suflicient supply of the cleaning fluid 51a a reservoir 54a is provided in the form of a tank which should be of sufiicient volume to insure an adequate storage of the cleaning fluid therein. The reservoir 54a by means of supports 55a is mounted on the bottom wall 19a in any conventional manner and may have a cover 56a.
The cleaning fluid reservoir 54:: has a liquid level control or sensing device 60a responsive to three values, hereinafter referred to as the first, second and third values, for convenience. The control device 60a has a first, second and third immersion elements 61a, 62a and 63a respectively, corresponding to each of said valves. The liquid level control device 60a may be of the type manufactured by Warrick Co., designed to control the height of fluid in the reservoir 54a to stop the pump means 59a when the level of the cleaning fluid is below a certain first value and can start the pump means when the level is above the higher predetermined second value. The liquid level control device 60a is also responsive to a certain maximum capacity fllling or third value and to stop the flow of cleaning fluid into the reservoir 54a when the 14 third value is reached. In addition the liquid level control device 60a! when the cleaning fluid 51a is below the second value and to start the temperature control means 64a when the cleaning fluid is above the higher predetermined second value.
At the start of the cleaning operation, the reservoir 50a is substantially filled with the cleaning fluid 51a to provide an ample supply of liquid to use in cleaning the member 31a. The flow is initiated from the cleaning fluid source 65a by initially contacting the proper control switch which opens the cleaning fluid valve 67a and the cleaning fluid from the supply source 65a flows through the filling tube 68a first to the valve 67a and thereafter through the filling tube 69a into the reservoir tank 50a.
As soon as the liquid in the reservoir 50a has reached the first level, as sensed by the first element 61a the system is open. The temperature control means 64a may be of any conventional type as for example, that manufactured by Chromalox, Edwin L. Wiegand Co., Pittsburgh, Pa., and is electrically connected to the instrument panel 22a of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 9.
:The flow of liquid will continue until the liquid control means reaches the second level, as indicated by the second element 62a, and may automatically start the pump means 59a operating and at the same time start the temperature control means 64a, so that the cleaning fluid 51a is heated to an elevated temperature which may generally be in the range of '50 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank 54a will continue to be filled until the third level is reached and the control device 60a is activated by the third element 63a which is electrically connected to the filling 'value 67a and the latter will be automatically closed when the third level is reached.
If the pumping means 69a is operating and the cleaning fluid applicator means 95a is in its on condition and delivering cleaning fluid against the member 31a the level of liquid in the reservoir will drop and when it reaches a level below the third value the filling valve 67a may be opened and a new supply of cleaning fluid placed therein.
The cleaning fluid exits through output tube 71a that is eventually connected to a cleaning fluid strainer or filter means 76a which acts as a filtering device to remove particle debris which have been removed from the members during the cleaning process and may be of a commercial type as manufactured by Hayward Manufacturing Co., Inc. The straining means 76a is connected to the pump means 59a by the connecting tube 77a and the pump means is adapted to pump the fluid.
The pump tube 78a extends from the pump means 59a and is connected to the energizing means 80a in the form of a mechanostrictive transducer which is adapted to impart sonic energy waves to the cleaning fluid as it passes through the conduit means 52a. The energizing means may be as discussed with respect to FIG. 6.
The cleaning fluid continues through exit tube 81a, in the direction of arrow 82a and enters the pressure control device 85a which is designed and acts as a pressure relief valve which is in communication with the conduit means 52a and is responsive to pressure in the conduit means, such that when the pressure is above a predetermined value it is automatically recycled through the recycle tube 86a back into the connecting tube 86b by the T joint 87a and in through the pump means 59a. Tube 71a is also connected to tee joint 87a. This occurs when the liquid level of the reservoir 54a has reached the second value and the pump means 59a starts operating but the member is not in position such that pressure is building up in the system and in this way the pressure control device 85a recycles the cleaning fluid through the system without any possibility of danger due to excessive back pressure.
After leaving the pressure control device 85a through the tube 89a the fluid goes through the pulsation reducer means 90a which prevents any major fluctuations and is in communication with the conduit means 52a 15 to reduce any pressure surges occurring in the conduit means. The pulsation reducer means 90a is of a commercial type and the fluid leaves the pulsation reducer 900 through the tube 91a which extends through partition 43a and then by T joint 92a is coupled to the applicator means 95a.
The cleaning fluid 51a used is preferably a solvent to oils and greases, and has a minimum corrosive efiect on the rubber plated metals or materials from which the member is constructed. Water with a detergent has been found to be satisfactory. Numerous other cleaning fluids may be used which possess high solvent capabilities and low corrosion characteristics, which are compatible with the material from which the member is composed. The cleaning fluid should in part be in liquid form, and adapted to be cavitated by the application of sonic vibrations thereto.
Cleaning fluid applicator means Cleaning fluid applicator means 95a is provided within the first chamber means 36a, and includes a pair of vertically spaced apart manifolds 96a and 96b connected to T 92a with a plurality of nozzles 96c on each manifold to provide a discharge in the form of a jet 102a of cleaning liquid therefrom. The jets 102a are directed at the rear 17a of the cabinet to discharge the fluid against the member 31a.
Cleaning fluid drainage means After the cleaning fluid 51a has been directed against the member 31a for the period of time desired the spent cleaning fluid is then available for recycling through the reservoir 54a. To accomplish this the trough 29a is angled such that the spent cleaning fluid collects in a corner thereof and exits through the trough into opening 120a connected to cleaning fluid drainage tube 121a, into the reservoir 54a. When the cleaning cycle is in process the cleaning fluid 51a automatically flows through drainage tube 121a into the tank. If desired it is possible to dispense with the recycling of the cleaning fluid into the reservoir means for reuse in cleaning.
At the completion of the cleaning cycle and after the cleaning fluid has been used for a number of applications it is possible to drain the reservoir means 54a of the cleaning fluid andaccumulated foreign deposits, and in which case the cleaning fluid drainage valve 125a is opened and the cleaning fluid in the reservoir 54a flows out through the exit tube 126a through the outward flow tube 127a in direction of arrow 128a, this tube may be connected directly to a drain if desired.
fluid applicator, supply and drainage means To continuously remove any debris remaining after the cleaning fluid cycle is performed it is preferable for most members to apply a rinsing fluid thereto to flush away foreign deposits not previously removed. This is accomplished preferably by a number of spraying jets directed at the member from which the deposits are to be removed. The rinsing fluid applicator means 130a is in communication with and mounted in the second chamber 36b is fixed spaced relation to the member 31a for spraying jets 131a of rinsing fluid onto the member. The rinsing fluid applicator means 130a comprise one or more nozzles 132a and a manifold 133a on which the nozzles 132a are carried in spaced relation to and directed at the back wall 17a of the second chamber 36b. The nozzles 132av are sufficiently spaced from the member 31a to properly direct their spray thereagainst and obtain the desired final cleaning job.
In association with the rinsing fluid applicator means 130a we have a rinsing fluid supply means 140a which continuously operates from .a fluid source 141a through 16 a fluid tube 142a into a valve 143a connected to the manifold 133a.
In communication with the rinsing chamber 36b rinsing fluid drainage means 150a is provided for continuously removing spent rinsing fluid therefrom. A fluid removal tube 151a is provided that is connected to the trough 29a in a conventional manner at one end thereof and at its opposite end to a T joint 161a which is connected by tube 162a to valve 125a. The rinsing fluid drainage tube is always open since the rinsing fluid continues to exit therefrom.
Energizing means Energizing means a may be utilized in conjunction with the invention for enhancing the cleaning efiectiveness thereof by introducing energy waves into the stream of cleaning fluid prior to it exiting from the fluid applicator means a. The energy waves are introduced in the sonic frequency range, as hereinabove defined and may be of the same construction as discussed with respect to FIG. 6.
Drying means Drying means a is contained within the drying or third chamber 360 and includes a vertically mounted manifold 163a containing a plurality of nozzles 164a. A source of compressed air 165a is connected by tube 171a to a valve a which in turn is connected to the manifold 163a. The valve is automatically opened when the switch 49d is activated so that jets of air may be directed against the portion of member 31a contained in the third chamber 360.
The air blast removes the fluid contained on the member 31a and drys the member before it exits from opening 26a. The fluid collects on the trough 29a and is removed by conduit 166a which forms opening 167a in the third chamber 360 at one end thereof and at its opposite end is connected to fitting 168a which connects by tube 169a to fitting 161a. The fitting 168a is also connected to the drainage tube 127a. If desired the drying means may include a source of heat, which may be combined with the source of air.
Operation The operation of the equipment is essentially the same as illustrated with respect to FIGS. 1- 8, except that the member 31a is mounted to be moved on a continuous or intermittent basis through the respective chambers. The rate of movement is dependent on the size of the member as well as the accumulation of foreign deposits thereon and may be controlled by the instrument panel.
CONCLUSION From the above disclosure, it is evident that the apparatus of this invention embraces an inter-related series of devices and instruments compactly contained in or assembled on a cabinet which can be advantageously employed for etfectively and thoroughly cleaning numerous types and kinds of intricate objects and articles, and the removal of impacted debris from the minute pores, cavities, crevices, passages, channels and interstices thereof, and which could not be adequately and thoroughly cleaned by known methods and apparatus. It will be appreciated that numerous modifications and adaptations of the abovedescribed method and apparatus may be made by the skilled in the art from the teachings of this invention, to effectuate the thorough cleaning of particular intricate objects whose crevice defining elements, parts and mechanisms are so complicated, delicate or intricate, as to defy effective cleaning by any other method.
While certain novel features of this invention have been disclosed herein and are pointed out in the claims, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and
17 changes may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the teachings of this invention.
I claim:
1. Cleaning apparatus comprising:
(A) housing means providing first, second and third chambers for sequentially receiving a member to be cleaned during operation of said apparatus,
(1) said first chamber including applicator means for discharging a stream of cleaning fluid against the member to be cleaned,
(2) said second chamber including applicator means for discharging a stream of rinsing fluid against said member, and
(3) said third chamber including means for drying said member,
(B) means for sequentially conveying said member through said respective first, second and third chambers,
(C) cycle control means associated with at least said first chamber and responsive to the entering and exiting of said member through said chamber for automatically activating and then deactivating said respective cleaning fluid applicator, rinsing fluid applicator and drying means as said member progressively moves, therethrough,
(D) a reservoir adapted to contain a supply of cleaning fluid,
(E) conduit means connecting said reservoir to said cleaning fluid applicator means,
(F) means connected to said conduit means for pumping said cleaning fluid from said reservoir to said applicator means,
(G) liquid level control means operative to stop said pump means when the cleaning fluid level in said reservoir is below a predeterminded level and to start said pump means when the cleaning fluid level isabove said predetermined level,
(H) cleaning fluid drainage means coupled between said first chamber and said reservoir recycling providing a conduit for said cleaning fluid into said reser- V011,
(I) a pressure control means coupled to said conduit means and operative to initiate a recycling of said cleaning fluid when the fluid pressure in said conduit means is above a predetermined value,
(J) means within said conduit means for filtering said cleaning fluid, and
(K) pulsation reducer means coupled to said conduit means.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein (a) said respective chambers are positioned adjacent each other and each provided with (1) an entrance and an exit opening, said openings extending along a substantially common plane and each large enough to permit the passage of said member therethrough, and
(2) a door for each of said openings mounted to be swung open in the direction of travel of the member entering a respective chamber, and
(b) said cycle control means includes a switch associated with the entrance opening in said first chamber and exit opening in said third chamber to activate said cleaning and rinsing fluid applicators and drying means respectively.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2, wherein said conveying means is of an endless continuous configuration and extends beyond said chambers a suflicient distance to permit the securement of the member thereto and removal therefrom.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further including temperature control means coupled to said reservoir and operative to heat the cleaning fluid contained therein to a predetermined temperature,
said level control means also being operative to (a) stop the flow of cleaning fluid into said reservoir when a predetermined fluid level therein is reached, and
(b) to prevent operation of said temperature control means when said cleaning fluid is below said first mentioned predetermined level.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further including energizing means coupled to said cleaning fluid supply means for imparting to said stream of cleaning fluid energy waves in a predetermined frequency range, whereby the cleaning effectiveness thereof is enhanced.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein said energy waves are in the frequency range of 60 cycles per second to 16,000 cycles per second.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein said energy waves are in the frequency range of 16,000 cycles per second to 500,000 cycles per second.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein said energizing means is in the form of a tuning fork having a pair of prongs positioned within and energized by said stream of cleaning fluid, said vibratory energy in said prongs transmitted to said cleaning fluid through said cleaning supply means.
9. Cleaning apparatus comprising,
(A) housing means providing first, second, and third chambers positioned adjacent each other and each provided with an entrance and an exit opening, said opening extending along a substantially common place and each large enough to permit the passage therethrough of a member to be cleaned during operation of said apparatus,
(B) cleaning fluid applicator means including a manifold having a plurality of nozzles conected thereto contained in said first chamber, said nozzles being positioned in spaced relation to the member to be cleaned,
(C) reservoir means adapted to contain a supply of cleaning fluid,
(D) cleaning fluid supply means including a pump conmeeting said reservoir to said cleaning fluid applicator means for supplying a stream of cleaning fluid thereto under high pressure for discharge by said nozzles,
(E) cleaning fluid drainage means connecting between said first chamber and reservoir for recycling spent cleaning fluid from said first chamber into said reservoir,
(F) rinsing fluid supply means,
(G) rinsing fluid applicator means mounted in said second chamber and coupled to said rinsing fluid supply means for spraying jets of rinsing fluid into said member to remove and flush away foreign deposits not removed by said cleaning fluid,
(H) rinsing fluid drainage means connected to said second chamber for removing the spent rinsing fluid therefrom,
(I) drying means connected to said third chamber to substantially remove rinsing'fluid from said member,
(I) means for sequentially conveying said member through said respective first, second, and third chambers, said means including an endless conveyor communicating with said respective openings of said chambers and extending beyond said chambers a sufficient distance to permit the securement of the member thereto and removal therefrom exteriorly of said chambers,
(K) cycle control means associated with at least said first chamber and responsive to the entering and exiting of said member through said chamber for automatically activating and then deactivating said respective cleaning fluid applicator, rinsing fluid applicator and drying means as said member progressively moves therethrough, and
(L) energizing means coupled to said cleaning fluid supply means for imparting to said stream of cleaning fluid energy waves in a predetermined frequency range, whereby the cleaning effectiveness thereof is 19" 1 20 3 enhanced, said energizing means is in the form of :3 2,981,265 4/1961 Robson et al 134-57 D tuning fork having a pair of prongs positioned Within 2,947,312 8/ 1960 Heinicke 134-199 X and energized by said stream of cleaning fluid, said 3,056,414 10/1962 Nolte 13472 X vibratory energy in said prongs transmitted to said 3,445,902 5/1969 Rosenberg et a1. 13472 X cleaning fluid through said cleaning supply means. 5 3,472,249v 10/1969 Jasberg 13446 3,483,572 12/1969 Hallum 134- 72 X References Cited a UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Primary Examiner 2,633,437 3/1953 Detjen 13442 X 10 CL 3,356,061 12/1967 Wiggins 13470 X 3,014,488 12/1961 Seaman 13452 X 13449, 57 R, 70, 83
US24201A 1968-05-02 1970-03-31 Apparatus for cleaning members with fluids Expired - Lifetime US3679483A (en)

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EP0043624A1 (en) * 1980-07-07 1982-01-13 Maschinenfabrik GOEBEL GmbH Cleaning device for a wiping cylinder of an intaglio printing machine
FR2603504A1 (en) * 1986-09-05 1988-03-11 Cga Hbs Method and equipment for cleaning contaminated parts
WO1992012013A1 (en) * 1991-01-12 1992-07-23 Technijet Limited Method and means for cleaning a printing screen
EP0615472A1 (en) * 1991-12-03 1994-09-21 Robowash Pty. Ltd. Cleaning apparatus
WO1996026019A1 (en) * 1995-02-21 1996-08-29 Kleber Richard M Compact washing unit and method of washing and sanitizing trays
EP1050409A1 (en) * 1999-05-03 2000-11-08 HB El-Service v/Henning Bonde A printing plate washing machine
US6886371B2 (en) * 1999-04-28 2005-05-03 Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha Washer having a partial washing apparatus, and washing apparatus
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RU2621801C1 (en) * 2015-12-01 2017-06-07 Общество с ограниченной ответственностью "Авиакомпания Волга-Днепр" Piezoelectric device for ultrasonic cleaning aeronautical and filter elements and filtered discs and method of cleaning with its use
EP3195943A1 (en) * 2016-01-20 2017-07-26 Yongkang Xieheng Zhejiang Province Industry & Commerce Co., Ltd Anti-splash cleaning machine
IT201800003606A1 (en) * 2018-03-15 2019-09-15 Bicarjet S R L APPARATUS FOR THE CLEANING OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS AND MEDICAL DEVICES IN GENERAL
US10882084B2 (en) * 2018-11-15 2021-01-05 Joes Holdings Llc Shielded containment cabinet and method of use

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0043624A1 (en) * 1980-07-07 1982-01-13 Maschinenfabrik GOEBEL GmbH Cleaning device for a wiping cylinder of an intaglio printing machine
FR2603504A1 (en) * 1986-09-05 1988-03-11 Cga Hbs Method and equipment for cleaning contaminated parts
WO1992012013A1 (en) * 1991-01-12 1992-07-23 Technijet Limited Method and means for cleaning a printing screen
GB2273681A (en) * 1991-01-12 1994-06-29 Technijet Limited Method and means for cleaning a printing screen
US5400812A (en) * 1991-01-12 1995-03-28 Technijet Limited Cleaning apparatus for printing screen
GB2273681B (en) * 1991-01-12 1995-04-12 Technijet Limited Cleaning apparatus and method of cleaning
EP0615472A1 (en) * 1991-12-03 1994-09-21 Robowash Pty. Ltd. Cleaning apparatus
EP0615472A4 (en) * 1991-12-03 1994-12-07 Robowash Pty Ltd Cleaning apparatus.
US5482064A (en) * 1991-12-03 1996-01-09 Robowash Pty Ltd. Cleaning apparatus
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