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Publication numberUS3771333 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date13 Nov 1973
Filing date25 Jul 1972
Priority date25 Jul 1972
Publication numberUS 3771333 A, US 3771333A, US-A-3771333, US3771333 A, US3771333A
InventorsJurjans O
Original AssigneeJetronics Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Programmable control of the injection of additives in a laundering operation
US 3771333 A
Abstract
Additives used in a laundering operation are automatically injected into the wash load by the use of a programmed electro-pneumatic system. An electrical oscillator means operated by a program timer is used to control the cyclical opening and closing of a solenoid valve. The solenoid valve functions to control the application and relief of pneumatic pressure to a plurality of additive pneumatic metering pumps, and additional solenoid valves also operated by the program timer determine which of the metering pumps are actuated by the cyclical pneumatic pressure pulses obtained from said cyclically operating valve.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnited? States Patent 1 Jurjans 1 PROGRAMMABLE CONTROL OF THE INJECTION OF ADDITIVES IN A LLA ML RW ER T Q [75] Ojars Jurjans, Camden,

Inventor:

Jetronic Industries, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.

Filed: July 25, 1972 Appl. No.: 275,043

Assignee:

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1958 Franklin et a1 68/17 R X 6/1963 Marchi 68/17 R X 3/1964 Beck et al. 68/17 R X 5/1964 Buss .1 68/17 R X 12/1964 Hambro 68/17 R X Nov. 13, 1973 Englund et al l37/624.l8 X Klausner 68/17 R X [57] ABSTRACT Additives used in a laundering operation are automatically injected into the wash load by the use of a programmed electro-pneumatic system. An electrical oscillator means operated by a program timer is used to control the cyclical opening and closing of a solenoid valve. The solenoid valve functions to control the application and relief of pneumatic pressure to a plurality of additive pneumatic metering pumps, and additional solenoid valves also operated by the program timer determine which of the metering pumps are actuated by the cyclical pneumatic pressure pulses obtained from said cyclically operating valve.

12 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure 400 220 I, 20 210) 2 {g TOLAUNDRY 20b Zlb 40b 22b EQUIPMENT 2 j PI/IG CONTROLS 20c ZIc 40c 22 OSCILLATOR I42 4/ 5 ll F 391;

PROGRAM TIMER I0 12 /39c BNARY FREQUENCY 33 DlVlDER 31 34c 34b 34a Elli/Mb EREUMH PNEUMATIC METERING METERING METERING 32 WW PUMP PUMP 36c ADDlTlVE ADDlTlVE 360 ADDITIVE 37 37 37 COMPRESSED AlR T0 LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT r WASH LOAD PROGRAMMABLE CONTROL OF THE INJECTION OF ADDITIVES IN A LAUNDERING OPERATION BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION The present invention relates to the laundering of clothes and fabrics, and more particularly to the automatic programmed injection of additives to the wash load during the operational cycles of automatic washing machines. Although the present invention is presently contemplated as applicable primarily to commerical laundering operations, and is therefore described in that context, it is not necessarily limited to that environment and could be applied to home automatic clothes washing machine.

Commercial laundering operations are normally conducted in automatic washing machines which are provided with a program timer that controls the machine operation through its various cycles, such as filling, washing, rinsing, draining and extracting. During the laundering operation it is desirable to introduce various additives to the wash or rinse water at appropriate times in the operational cycles. Various additives that are conventionally introduced include, for example, alkali, detergent, bleach, sour and brightener, starch, and softener. These additives may be introduced in measured quantities by hand, at appropriate times during the laundering operation. Alternatively, they may be manually measured and placed in special supply compartments therefor in the washing machine, and then flushed into the main washing cylinder at appropriate times.

The present invention provides for automatic injection of desired additives to the wash load in automatically measured quantities, at predetermined times in the programmed cycles of the washing machine. In accordance with the invention a bulk supply of each desired additive in liquid form is maintained. Delivery of measured quantities of each of these additives from the bulk supply containers is accomplished by metering pumps. Operation of the pumps is in turn controlled by the program timer of the washing machine, whereby certain timing cycle contacts of the timer are used to activate appropriate additive feed and to energize a digital control system for the metering pumps to effect a measured rate of injection of additive into the wash over a prescribed period of time.

It is therefore one object of the present invention to provide for the injection of prescribed quantities of additives to the load of a washing machine at predetermined times in the operational program of the machine.

Another object of the present invention is to provide for the automatic metering of prescribed quantities of additives from bulk supply, and the automatic injection of the additives into the wash load of an automatic washing machine at measured rates for predetermined periods of time in the operational program of the machine.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the following detailed description of one exemplary specific embodiment of the invention, and in conjunction with the accompanying Drawing, which is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of the invention, wherein conventional components are shown in labeled boxes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawing numeral 10 generally designates a conventional washing machine program timer. The program timer comprises a clock motor 11 which drives the program drum 12. The drum 12 includes a conductive core 13 covered with a sleeve 14 of insulating material such as a plastic. The sleeve 14 has cut out apertures 15 at various areas to permit contact fingers 16 to make contact with the conductive core 13. Thus, as the drum 12 is rotated by the clock motor 11, the contact fingers 16 make electrical contact with the conductive core 13 at times and for durations in the cycle of drum 12 that are determined by the position and length of the respective apertures 15. These electrical contacts initiate and control the operations of the washing machine, such as its fill, wash, rinse, and extract cycles. Accordingly, the drum core 13 is shown as control switch for the application of current from source 17 to the washing machine.

Of the program timer contacts 16, the particular contacts 16a, 16b, and are selected to illustrate the present invention. The leads from contacts l6a-c are used to energize and control various conventional operations of the machine, as indicated by leads 20a, 20b and 200. At the same time, these contacts are used to control the injection of additives, through leads 21a, 21b and 210. Although the illustrative embodiment derives its additive injection operation from established contacts 16 normally utilized for washing machine program control, obviously separate contacts 16 may be provided for this purpose in program timer 10, if desired. Leads 21a-c are all in parallel connection through diodes 22a, 22b and 220 with lamp 23. Lamp 23 is optically coupled to photoresistor 24, which forms a voltage divider with resistor 25. The output from the voltage divider is derived at tap 26 by lead 27. Thus, whenever one or more of the contacts l6a-c contacts the drum core 13 through a respective aperture 15, lamp 23 is energized and illuminates photoresistor 24. This condition renders the tap 26 less positive than when lamp 23 is not energized and photoresistor 24 is dark, and it is these two voltage states of tap 26 that control the initiation and resetting of binary frequency divider 28 through lead 27.

Numeral 29 designates a stable oscillator which is used to drive frequency divider 28. The latter element is in the form of a binary counter, and is controlled by the potential on lead 27 from tap 26. When photoresistor 24 is not illuminated, the potential at tap'26 is relatively positive, and this potential value is selected to turn off the counter of divider 28. When the lamp 23 is energized by current from one of the leads 210-0 and illuminates photoresistor 24, the potential at tap 26 becomes relatively less positive, and this potential value is selected to turn on and reset the binary frequency divider 28. In this condition the binary counter of frequency divider 28 registers or counts each pulse from oscillator 29 and cyclically resets each time it reaches its maximum count. For example, if divider 28 comprises a four stage binary counter, it will count 16 pulses from oscillator 29, which is its full count capacity, ten reset and count the next 16 pulses, etc. The fourth stage of the counter, for example, provides an output frequency of one sixteenth that of the input frequency obtained from oscillator 29, and this output may be used as the input for driver transistor 30,

thereby producing a cycling output current at a frequency of one sixteenth that of oscillator 29.

The output of driver transistor 30 is used to operate solenoid valve 31, opening and closing this valve at precisely controlled intervals corresonding to the frequency of the transistor output, and this action continues for the duration of time that light 23 is energized and illuninates photoresistor 24. When divider 28 is turned off, solenoid valve 31 is biased closed by the resultant state of transistor 30. Each time solenoidvalve 31 is opened, it connects manifold 33 through tube 32 to a compressed air tank. Manifold 33 in turn connects with each of the pneumatic metering pumps 35a, 35b and 350 through respective solenoid valves 34a, 34b and 346. When any solenoid valve 34a-c is open, the cycling of valve 31 drives the corresponding pneumatic metering pump 35a-c to feed measured quantities of additive from the respective tanks 36a, 36b and 36c through the tubes 37a, 37b and 37c to the laundry equipment, such as the load processing drum of the washing machine. Solenoid valves 34a-c are biased closed and are controlled by leads 39a, 39b and 390 tapped from leads 21a, 21b and 21c, respectively. Thus, for example, if current from lead 210 is illuminating lamp 23 and thereby causing operation of divider 28 and consequent cycling of solenoid valve 31, current from this same lead 21a energizes and opens solenoid valve 34a through lead 39a, resulting in feed of additive I from tank 36a to the laundry equipment through tube 37a.

Thus, operation of the present additive system is controlled by the program timer of the washing machine. When the washing machine is turned on, appropriate operating voltages are applied to the additive control system placing it in condition to operate under control of the program timer 10, and the timer drum 12 is rotated by its drive motor 11. When one or more of the fingers 16a-c is in contact with the conductive core 13 of the drum through the respective apertures 15, the respective additives I, ll and/or III are injected into the washing machine. This injection is effected by measured cycling strokes of the respective pneumatic metering pumps 35a-c for the period of time determined by the length of the particular aperture in the drum sleeve 14. The rate of feed of additive is of course established by the cycling frequency of solenoid valve 31 and the selected stroke length of the particular metering pump. In the drawing, finger 160 is shown in contact with drum core 13. This contact causes current to flow through lead 21c to energize lamp 23. At the same time, contact finger 160 may control a particular portion of the washing machine cycle, such as rinse fill for example, through lead c. Energization of lamp 23 lowers the resistance of photoresistor 24, causing divider 28 to operate in response to input pulses from oscillator 29. The cylical output of divider 28 turns transistor on and off, which in turn cyclically opens and closes solenoid valve 31. The current on lead 210 is also conducted by lead 390 to solenoid valve 340, and opens this valve. With valve 340 open, the cyclical opening and closing of valve 31 provides compressed air pulses to the metering pump 350 to pump additive lll into the washing machine through tube 37c.

Depending on the nature of the wash load, there may be times when it is desired to eliminate the injection of one or more addtives. This may be accomplished by means of manual switches 40a, 40b and 40c. If one of these switches is opened, the corresponding additive will not be injected into the wash load. For example, if switch 400 were open, although contact finger 16c engages the drum core 13, no current reaches light 23 or solenoid 34c. Therefore, the divider 28 is not activated and solenoid valve 31 remains closed. Also, solenoid valve 34c remains closed.

It may be desired to relate the proportion of additives introduced into the wash to the size of the wash load. For example, one may wish to provide for either a full load condition or a half load condition. This effect may be conveniently had by changing the frequency of the oscillator 29. If the frequency of oscillator is reduced by one half, the rate of cycling of valve 31 is likewise reduced by one half, and consequently the amount of additive delivered by the metering pumps would be reduced by one half. This control is schematically indicated by the manual switch 41 associated with the oscillator 29, for selecting one of two capacitors 42 or 43 for the oscillator circuit.

Having described one exemplary embodiment of the invention, it should be understood that the scope of the present invention is not limited to the details thereof. Variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art, and those changes that are embraced by the spirit and scope of the appended claims are contemplated as being within the purview of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for injecting additive materials into the wash load of an automatic washing machine, comprising a program timer operating in relation to the several stages of operation in the wash program of the machine, said timer including a plurality of electrical contacts means and means for closing said electrical contact means selectively and for predetermined periods of time, a plurality of containers for additives, a metering pump associated with each of said containers and related to a respective one of said contact means, cycling means for driving said pumps, means for selectively coupling said cycling means to one or more of said pumps, means for coupling all of said contact means to said cycling means for activating said cycling means upon the closure of any one of said contact means, means for coupling each of said contact means to said selective coupling means to selectively control the coupling of said cycling means to said pumps in accordance with the closure of respective contact means.

2. A system'as set forth in claim 1, wherein said program timer also controls the operational program of the washing machine.

3. A system as set forth in claim 1, wherein said cycling means comprises an electrical oscillator means.

4. A system as set forth in claim 3, wherein said oscillator means includes an oscillator and a binary frequency divider driven by said oscillator.

5. A system as set forth in claim 3, wherein said cycling means includes a valve that is opened and closed in response to the output of said oscillator means.

6. A system as set forth in claim 5, wherein said selective coupling means comprises a valve for each of said metering pumps controlled by a respective one of said 11. A system as set forth in claim 10, wherein said selective coupling means comprises a valve for each of said metering pumps controlled by a respective one of said contact means.

12. A system as set forth in claim 11, and further including a source of fluid under pressure, means coupling said source to the first-mentioned valve, and means coupling said first-mentioned valve to all of the second-mentioned valves.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3826113 *7 May 197330 Jul 1974Economics LabAdditive control and injection system useful in laundry machine operations
US4042984 *31 Dec 197523 Aug 1977American Bath And Shower CorporationAutomatic bathtub water level control system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/12.18, 137/624.18, 68/17.00R, 68/207, 222/651
International ClassificationD06F39/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/022
European ClassificationD06F39/02B