WO2020229835A1 - A receptacle washing device - Google Patents

A receptacle washing device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2020229835A1
WO2020229835A1 PCT/GB2020/051188 GB2020051188W WO2020229835A1 WO 2020229835 A1 WO2020229835 A1 WO 2020229835A1 GB 2020051188 W GB2020051188 W GB 2020051188W WO 2020229835 A1 WO2020229835 A1 WO 2020229835A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
beverage storage
storage receptacle
cleaning
lance
pressure
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2020/051188
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Matthew HORSEY
David HALLAS
Original Assignee
Geco Holdings Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Family has litigation
Priority to GB1906866.7A priority Critical patent/GB2571465B/en
Priority to GB1906866.7 priority
Application filed by Geco Holdings Limited filed Critical Geco Holdings Limited
Publication of WO2020229835A1 publication Critical patent/WO2020229835A1/en
First worldwide family litigation filed litigation Critical https://patents.darts-ip.com/?family=67384646&utm_source=google_patent&utm_medium=platform_link&utm_campaign=public_patent_search&patent=WO2020229835(A1) "Global patent litigation dataset” by Darts-ip is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Links

Classifications

    • 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
    • B08B9/0804Cleaning containers having tubular shape, e.g. casks, barrels, drums
    • B08B9/0813Cleaning containers having tubular shape, e.g. casks, barrels, drums by the force of jets or sprays
    • 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
    • B08B9/0821Handling or manipulating containers, e.g. moving or rotating containers in cleaning devices, conveying to or from cleaning devices
    • B08B9/0826Handling or manipulating containers, e.g. moving or rotating containers in cleaning devices, conveying to or from cleaning devices the containers being brought to the cleaning device
    • 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
    • B08B9/28Cleaning containers, e.g. tanks by using apparatus into or on to which containers, e.g. bottles, jars, cans are brought the apparatus cleaning by splash, spray, or jet application, with or without soaking
    • B08B9/30Cleaning containers, e.g. tanks by using apparatus into or on to which containers, e.g. bottles, jars, cans are brought the apparatus cleaning by splash, spray, or jet application, with or without soaking and having conveyors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B2203/00Details of cleaning machines or methods involving the use or presence of liquid or steam
    • B08B2203/02Details of machines or methods for cleaning by the force of jets or sprays
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B2209/00Details of machines or methods for cleaning hollow articles
    • B08B2209/08Details of machines or methods for cleaning containers, e.g. tanks

Abstract

An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device (10) having an inlet (12) into which a beverage storage receptacle can be inserted. There is further provided a beverage storage receptacle securing device (24) to hold and secure the beverage storage receptacle in place with a high-pressure fluid lance (26) arranged to be inserted into and removed from the secured beverage storage receptacle to clean the receptacle. An outlet (36) is provided from which the beverage storage receptacle is output once cleaned.

Description

A Receptacle Washing Device
Field of the Invention
The invention relates to a device for cleaning drinks receptacles, particularly, for cleaning casks, barrels or kegs used in the brewing and distilling industries, so that they can be reused and refilled.
Background to the Invention
Casks, barrels and kegs that are often used in the drinks industry are difficult to safely clean, sanitize, and reuse. The unused beer and organic matter inside the dark wet receptacle create a perfect environment for microorganisms to incubate and grow.
Furthermore, the other components residue beer drink can leave other contaminants within the receptacle and they can be very difficult to remove. Therefore, the inside of the receptacle must be thoroughly cleaned before reuse, otherwise, there is a significant risk of contamination and health risks to the consumers of drinks subsequently stored in the receptacle.
Presently, when casks, barrels and/or kegs need to be cleaned, cleaning solutions are used which can often involve caustic chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. If the cleaning solution is not completely removed from the cask, barrel or keg, before the receptacle is next used, the flavour of the beverage may be impaired, or the residual chemicals may cause injury to those that consume the beverage.
Whilst some manually operated, or hand-held, pressure washers can be used to clean such beverage receptacles, manual operation of these devices is slow and often difficult for kegs and casks.
DE2946184 (Zippel) discloses a barrel cleaning machine that employs a pressurised water lance for rinsing barrels prior to cleaning with chemicals. Summary of the Invention
Accordingly, the present invention is directed to an automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device comprising:
an inlet into which a beverage storage receptacle can be inserted;
a beverage storage receptacle securing device to hold and secure the beverage storage receptacle in place during cleaning;
an ultra-high-pressure fluid lance that is arranged to be inserted into and removed from the secured beverage storage receptacle;
an outlet from which the beverage storage receptacle is output once cleaned.
In accordance with the present invention, beverage storage receptacles, which are preferably in the form of casks, barrels and/or kegs, can be placed into an automated cleaning device, as set out herein. The storage receptacle is held securely within the device, which may be in the form of an automated clamping mechanism, whilst an ultra- high-pressure fluid lance is inserted into the receptacle and ultra-high-pressure fluid, is employed to clean the inside of the storage receptacle. The automated device of the present invention allows for a simplified and safer cleaning system that is also more environmentally friendly as fewer chemicals are required.
The use of ultra-high-pressure fluid, which may be dispensed from the lance at a pressure of between 14,000kPa and 250,000kPa, can reduce the need for cleaning solutions because the pressure of the fluid within the receptacle is able to clean the internal surface. Whilst one can employ a lower pressures, such as high-pressure fluid closer to 14,000kPa, it is particularly beneficial that the fluid is dispensed at ultra-high pressure, that is, at a pressure of 250,000kPa, or substantially that pressure, for example, between 150,000kPa and 275,000kPa, and, preferably between 230,000kPa and 255,000kPa. The ultra-high- pressure fluid is able to dislodge any residue within the receptacle and, with the pressure being so great, any micro-organisms within the receptacle are also killed upon contact with the high-pressure fluid dispensed from the high-pressure lance. This allows the storage receptacle to be cleaned using a considerably lower concentration of cleaning chemicals. It is envisaged that the receptacles can be cleaned without the use of any chemicals, thereby making the system safer for users, consumers of the liquid stored within the storage receptable and for the environment. Thus, the waste liquid from the cleaning process may be majority water with organic matter from the previously stored beverage.
The present invention has the additional benefit of not requiring the application of heat to either heat the cleaning fluid or dry the receptacle, thereby reducing the energy required to clean the receptacle.
It is preferable that after the inlet to the automated cleaning device, the device comprises a plurality of lanes, each lane having a beverage storage receptacle securing device and a high-pressure fluid lance. This arrangement allows for multiple storage receptacles to be cleaned in parallel, thereby making the system quicker to use than conventional cleaning systems that clean receptacles in series. It may be that the plurality of lanes is connected to a common outlet to allow for a single inlet and a single outlet, although it will be appreciated that the device may be provided with individual outlets for each of the plurality of lanes. Software and sensing devices can be employed to ensure that the receptacles are passed to the lane from which it will be cleaned quickest. Thus, a queuing arrangement may develop where the receptacles are passed to the next free lane by sensing which lane is the most likely to be free to receive another receptacle.
Whilst the storage receptacle can be moved over the lance so that the receptacle is placed over the high-pressure lance with the high-pressure lance received internally within the receptacle, it is advantageous that the, or each, high-pressure fluid lance is connected to a lifting carriage to raise and lower the lance, relative to the secured storage receptacle.
This allows the storage receptacle to be held still whilst the lance is moved inside the storage receptacle and then removed therefrom. Furthermore, in such an arrangement, the receptacle can move through the system at a generally constant height from the ground, thereby reducing energy requirements.
In a preferred arrangement, the, or each, high-pressure fluid lance is provided with a rotary drive. This allows the lance to be rotated to ensure that the internal surface of the storage receptacle is exposed to the high-pressure fluid. Additionally, or alternatively, it may be that the rotary drive is applied to the securing device to rotate the storage receptacle relative to the lance; however, it is generally easier to rotate the lance.
The securing device may comprise at least one clamp to releasably grip and retain the beverage storage receptacle. This allows the storage receptacle that is to be cleaned to be held securely within the automated cleaning device to avoid it becoming dislodged during the cleaning process.
In one arrangement, conveyors are provided to move the beverage storage receptacle between the inlet and the outlet via the securing device. The conveyers may be employed to move the storage receptacles from the inlet, along the, or a, cleaning lane of the device to the securing device. The conveyers may then take the storage receptacle from the securing device to the, or the respective, outlet of the device. The conveyors provide a convenient and reliable movement system to transport the storage receptacles linearly through the cleaning device.
It is advantageous that the high-pressure lance is provided with a supply of water. A separate cleaning fluid reservoir may be provided, but it is preferred that the fluid dispensed from the high-pressure lance is mostly, if not completely, water.
The present invention extends to a method of automatically cleaning beverage storage receptacles comprising the steps of:
loading a beverage storage receptacle into the inlet of a device according to any preceding claim;
automatically gripping the beverage storage receptacle in the securing device;
when the beverage storage receptacle is held within the securing device, automatically moving the ultra-high-pressure lance relative to the beverage storage receptacle such that the lance is at least partially positioned within the beverage storage receptacle;
dispensing fluid at a pressure of over 14,000kPA (2,000 psi), and preferably at a pressure of between 150,000kPa and 260,000kPa, advantageously at 250,000kPa, through the ultra-high-pressure lance to clean the inside of the beverage storage receptacle;
automatically removing the ultra-high-pressure lance from within the beverage storage receptacle;
automatically un-gripping the beverage storage receptacle from the securing device; and
automatically dispensing the beverage storage receptacle from the device via the outlet.
The automated cleaning device allows for a method of cleaning beverage storage receptacles that is safer for users, consumers and the environment because fewer, or no, chemicals are required. Furthermore, the user inserts the beverage storage receptacle at the inlet of the device and retrieves it from the outlet once it has been cleaned. Therefore, there is a reduced risk of operator error causing injury to the operator or the storage receptacle, because the process is automated and required no manual intervention from the user.
It is preferable that in the method of the present invention, the fluid dispensed from the high-pressure lance is majority, or entirely, water.
Brief Description of the Drawings
An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 2 shows a top view of the cleaning device Figure 1;
Figure 3 shows an end view of the cleaning device of Figure 1;
Figure 4 shows a view of the lance module of the cleaning device of Figure 1; and Figure 5 shows a further view of the lance module of the cleaning device of Figure 1.
Detailed Description of Exemplary Embodiments Figures 1 to 5 show a beverage storage receptacle cleaning device 10 comprising a modular arrangement of stations. The modular stations of the invention comprise an inlet 12, having an inlet conveyor, that is connected to two lateral passageways 14, wherein the two lateral passageways 14 extend in opposing directions from the inlet 12 so as to reach from the inlet 12 to two spaced apart lanes 16. Above the inlet 12 is a top carriage 15 that is provided with a selection arm 17 that extends downwards towards the lateral passageways 14 to direct to one of the two lateral passageways 14. The end of each lateral passageway 14 that is distal from the inlet 12 is provided with a receptacle pusher 18.
The receptacle pusher 18 is arranged to move a receptacle from the lateral conveyor 14 onto a first end of a cleaning approach conveyor 20. The other end of the cleaning approach conveyor 20 is arranged to enter into a cleaning station 22, within which is a securing device in the form of a receptacle clamp 24 to receive a receptacle and to securely retain it within the cleaning station 22. The receptacle clamp 24 further incorporates a receptacle rotation assembly 25 that is able to rotate a receptacle held therein.
Below the cleaning station 22 is an ultra-high-pressure lance 26 that is mounted upon a lifting carriage 28. A linear drive 30 is provided to raise and lower the lance 26 from a first position to a second position, as shown in Figure 5. Whilst a robotic arm may be employed, such an arrangement is not desirable.
The adjacent the cleaning station 22, on the side that is distal from the inlet 12, is a first end of a removal conveyor 32, that is arranged to take cleaned receptacles from the cleaning station 22. The second end of the removal conveyor 32 is provided with a pusher 34 arranged to extend over the removal conveyor 32 to push receptacles from the removal conveyor 32 onto an outlet 36. The outlet 36 is common to both lanes 16 and so it will be appreciated that the respective pushers 34 in each lane 16 are directed towards one another and towards the common outlet 36.
Guides 38 are provided on the conveyors to ensure that the receptacles are moved in the correct direction. Furthermore, drip trays 40 are provided beneath the cleaning station 22 and may be positioned beneath the conveyors and/or other parts of the device to collect wastewater.
In use, an operator leads a dirty receptacle into the inlet 12 of the device 10 with the opening to the receptacle downwards, that is, facing the floor. The receptacle is then moved laterally by the selection arm 17 through the passageway 14 towards one of the two lanes 16. Once moved laterally, the receptacle pusher 18 slides the receptable to the cleaning approach conveyor 20, which takes the receptacle into the cleaning station 22, passing through guides 38 on the way in order to centralise and stabilise the receptacle. Once received within the cleaning station 22, the receptacle clamp 24 grips the receptacle and secures it within the cleaning station 22. The high-pressure lance carriage 28 is then raised by the linear drive 30 so that the high-pressure lance 26 is inserted within the receptacle. The high-pressure lance 26 then dispenses water through its end at a pressure of 250,000kPa, which cleans the inside of the receptacle. The high-pressure lance and/or the receptacle may be rotated to ensure an even clean. The wastewater falls from the receptacle into drip trays 40 and may be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Once cleaned, the receptacle moves through to the removal conveyor 32 and reaches the end of the same, at which point, the pusher 34 directs the receptacle towards the outlet 36, from which it exits the device via a conveyor.
It will be appreciated that the receptacles may be places on an angle rather than being positioned in an“opening-down” manner.
Where cleaning products are employed, it may be desirable to reduce the pressure of the fluid exiting the cleaning lance to that of high-pressure, that is to say, fluid at a pressure of over 14,000kPa. It is envisaged that the pressure of the fluid may be over 200,000kPa and, preferably around 250,000kPa. The most effective pressure was found to be substantially 250,000kPa. A fluid pressure greater than this and more than this can damage the material of the beverage storage receptacle, particularly if the lance or receptacle is not rotated with sufficient speed. The lance carriage may be controlled in respect of its travel speed and the rotation of the carriage and/or the lance and/or the receptacle may be controlled to ensure the most appropriate parameters for thoroughly cleaning the receptacle. The whole device and system may be automated, thereby just requiring the loading and unloading of the device. Alternatively, part of the device and system may be automated, thereby requiring some operator interaction.
The lance may be provided with an air outlet aperture, shown in Figure 4 as item 27, adjacent or between the outlet end of the lance and the mid-point along the lance. When the lance is within the receptacle, the pressurised air may be forced through air outlet aperture of the lance to displace water adjacent the distal end of the lance. This ensures that the ultra-high-pressure water can reach the side wall of the receptacle. Where such an arrangement is not employed, it is possible that the water in the receptacle retards the ultra-high-pressure water and reduces the cleaning efficiency. Therefore, by displacing the water using pressurised air, the ultra-high-pressure water can reach the internal surface of the receptacle more readily.

Claims

Claims
1. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device comprising:
an inlet into which a beverage storage receptacle can be inserted;
a beverage storage receptacle securing device to hold and secure the beverage storage receptacle in place during cleaning;
an ultra-high-pressure fluid lance that is arranged to be inserted into and removed from the secured beverage storage receptacle;
an outlet that is separate from the inlet and from which the beverage storage receptacle is output once cleaned.
2. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to claim 1, wherein after the inlet, the device comprises a plurality of lanes, each lane having a beverage storage receptacle securing device and an ultra-high-pressure fluid lance.
3. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to claim 2, wherein the lanes are connected to a common outlet.
4. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein the, or each, ultra-high-pressure fluid lance is connected to a lifting carriage to raise and lower the lance.
5. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein the, or each, ultra-high-pressure fluid lance is provided with a rotary drive.
6. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein the or each securing device comprises at least one clamp to releasably grip and retain the beverage storage receptacle.
7. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any preceding claim, wherein conveyors are provided to move the beverage storage receptacle between the inlet and the outlet via the securing device.
8. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein the ultra-high-pressure lance dispenses fluid at a pressure of between 14,000kPa and 260,000kPa.
9. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein at least one of the ultra-high-pressure lance and the securing device are provided with a rotary device to allow the ultra-high-pressure lance and the beverage storage receptable to rotate relative to one another.
10. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein a lateral conveyor is arranged to move the beverage storage receptacle to a cleaning lane and a guide is arranged to centralise the beverage storage receptacle prior to its entering the securing device.
11. An automated beverage storage receptacle cleaning device according to any
preceding claim, wherein the fluid supplied to the lance is water.
12. A method of cleaning beverage storage receptacles comprising the steps of:
loading a beverage storage receptacle into the inlet of a device according to any preceding claim;
gripping the beverage storage receptacle in the securing device;
when the beverage storage receptacle is held within the securing device, moving the ultra-high-pressure lance such that it is at least partially positioned within the beverage storage receptacle;
dispensing fluid at a pressure of between 14,000kPa and 260,000kPA through the ultra-high-pressure lance to clean the inside of the beverage storage receptacle;
removing the high-pressure lance from within the beverage storage receptacle; un-gripping the beverage storage receptacle from the securing device; and dispensing the beverage storage receptacle from the device via the outlet.
13. A method according to claim 12, wherein the fluid dispensed from the high- pressure lance is water.
PCT/GB2020/051188 2019-05-15 2020-05-15 A receptacle washing device WO2020229835A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1906866.7A GB2571465B (en) 2019-05-15 2019-05-15 A receptacle washing device
GB1906866.7 2019-05-15

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2020229835A1 true WO2020229835A1 (en) 2020-11-19

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ID=67384646

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB2020/051188 WO2020229835A1 (en) 2019-05-15 2020-05-15 A receptacle washing device

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WO (1) WO2020229835A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2575143B (en) * 2019-04-01 2020-06-10 Close Brewery Rentals Ltd Sanitisation of the interiors of beer casks and kegs with UHP water

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US4102450A (en) * 1975-09-23 1978-07-25 Burnett & Rolfe Limited Container washing and/or filling machines
DE2946184A1 (en) 1979-11-15 1981-05-21 Guenther Zippel Fully automatic spray cleaning machine for beer barrels - has controlled conveyor passing barrels to cleaning station with fixing device holding barrels
DE9417631U1 (en) * 1994-11-03 1995-01-19 Frohn Walter Cleaning cabin for containers
CN204135011U (en) * 2014-09-30 2015-02-04 河南先恒电子衡器有限公司 Full-automatic container cleaning machine
CN208527610U (en) * 2018-05-17 2019-02-22 杭州娃哈哈精密机械有限公司 A kind of drinking water barrel internal washing decontamination system

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US4102450A (en) * 1975-09-23 1978-07-25 Burnett & Rolfe Limited Container washing and/or filling machines
DE2946184A1 (en) 1979-11-15 1981-05-21 Guenther Zippel Fully automatic spray cleaning machine for beer barrels - has controlled conveyor passing barrels to cleaning station with fixing device holding barrels
DE9417631U1 (en) * 1994-11-03 1995-01-19 Frohn Walter Cleaning cabin for containers
CN204135011U (en) * 2014-09-30 2015-02-04 河南先恒电子衡器有限公司 Full-automatic container cleaning machine
CN208527610U (en) * 2018-05-17 2019-02-22 杭州娃哈哈精密机械有限公司 A kind of drinking water barrel internal washing decontamination system

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Title
WINE INDUSTRY NETWORK: "AaquaTools AaquaBlaster Container Cleaning Tool - wine barrel and tank cleaning.", 9 April 2012 (2012-04-09), XP054980893, Retrieved from the Internet <URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDiZU0xBIbg> [retrieved on 20200908] *

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Publication number Publication date
GB201906866D0 (en) 2019-06-26
GB2571465B (en) 2020-03-18
GB2571465A (en) 2019-08-28

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