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Патент USA US3099858

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Aug. 6, 1963
Filed Oct. 2'7, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 1
Paul A. Mounfz
Aug. 6, 1963
3,099,848 ‘
Filed Oct. 27, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 2
Paul A. Mounfz
A Horneys
Aug. 6, 1963
Filed Oct. 27, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 3
F I‘ g. 3
Paul A. Mouniz
méf AM
A Horneys
Aug. 6, 1963
Filed 001;. 27, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 4
Paul A. Moum‘z
A trorneys
Aug. 6, 1963
Filed 001:. 27, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 5
Mmom .
Paul A. Mounfz
A ?orneys
Aug. 6, 1963
Filed Oct. 27, 1960
6 Sheets-Sheet 6
Fig. 12
F I‘ g_
Paul A. Mounfz
‘x Acmww
United States Patent 0 "ice
Patented Aug. 6, 1963
the use of transfer means between adjacent conveyor sec
Paul A. Mountz, Menlo Park, Calif, assignor to Lathan
Manufacturing Company, Redwood City, Calif., a cor
poration of California
Filed Oct. 27, 1969, Ser. No. 65,396
5 Claims. (Q1. 15-314)
This invention relates generally to an apparatus for
washing articles and more particularly relates to an ap
tions for supporting fragile articles during their movement
from one conveyor section to the other so that damage
thereto will be precluded.
Objects of the present invention include the provision
of an egg or like fragile article washing apparatus; the
provision of such an apparatus and method which em
ploys ‘structure including a vertically reciprocatable car~
rier for article scrubbing means; the provision of such
a carrier in which the scrubbing means are contoured
paratus for thoroughly scrubbing and cleaning fragile
to conform to the contour of the articles being washed;
the provision of means for rapidly reciprocating the car
articles, such as eggs, to remove adhered dirt, straw and
rier and scrubbing means thereon in timed relationship
other foreign matter from the surfaces thereof. In con
with movement of the articles thercbeneath; and the pro
junction With the washing of such articles, the subject
apparatus employs a washing ?uid which has sterilizing 15 vision of adjustable means for effecting transfer of fragile
articles from one conveyor section in a washing apparatus
characteristics for inactivating and removing any infec
to another conveyor section thereof without article dam
tious bacteria from the surfaces of the articles being
age. These and other objects of the subject invention
will become apparent from a study of the following
Although the subject invention relates to an apparatus
designed primarily for the cleaning and sterilizing of eggs, 20 speci?cation in which reference is directed to the accom
panying drawings.
the same is equally well adapted for use in cleaning other
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the subject article
articles as well, particularly if such articles are easily
washing apparatus.
damaged. While reference hereinafter will be directed
FIG. 2 is a cut away longitudinal vertical sectional view
primarily to use of this invention in the treatment of eggs,
it should be understood that the invention has broader 25 through the washing apparatus showing internal details
applications, as hereinbefore noted, and could be used
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view through the ap
equally well in the cleaning of fruits and like articles.
paratus, taken in the plane of line 3~—3 of FIG. 1, on an
Summarizing the invention, the same relates to moving
the articles to be washed, preferably in spaced side-by
enlarged scale.
side rows, past a. washing station provided in the article 30
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view through the appara
tus, taken in the plane of line 4——4 of FIG. 1, on an en
washing apparatus.
At such washing station washing
structure including scrubbing means is provided which is
vertically reciprocatable relative to the articles to be
larged scale.
FIG. 5 is a partial vertical section through the ap—
paratus de?ned by the line 5—5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a partial vertical sectional view through the
respective axes as the same are carried past the washing 35
apparatus taken in the plane of line -6—6 of FIG. 5.
station and the scrubbing means is rapidly reciprocated
FIG. 7 is a partial plan view of the carrier for the
into contact with the respective articles so that each ar
scrubbing means of the subject apparatus taken in the
ticle is repeatedly contacted by the scrubbing means to
plane of line 7-—7 of FIG. 5.
insure complete and thorough cleaning thereof. Because
FIG. 8 is a sectional view on an enlarged scale through
the articles are constantly turning as they travel beneath 40
the carrier taken in the plane of line 8-—8 of FIG. 7.
the scrubbing means, all surfaces of the respective ar
FIG. 9 is an isometric view on a reduced scale of the
ticles are thoroughly scrubbed. A suitable washing ?uid,
means for supporting and transferring articles from one
preferably of the type which has sterilizing characteristics,
conveyor section of a subject apparatus to another.
is supplied to the scrubbing means and is applied there
FIG. 10 is a sectional view through such supporting
by directly to the article surfaces in a wet washing opera 45
means taken in the plane of line l0—10 of FIG. 9‘.
FIG. 11 is a side elevational view illustrating the man
Preferably the scrubbing means employed comprises
ner in which the article supporting means of FIG. 9
a plurality of series of tufts of brush bristles, certain
may be adjustably mounted relative to the apparatus
predetermined tufts in each series being longer than the
other tufts in such series. That is, the bristle tufts of each 50 housing.
FIGS. 12 and 12a are generally schematic views illus
series are shaped with a predetermined contour at their
trating the manner in which the article supporting means
lower ends which is determined generally by the con
of FIG. 9 operates in transferring articles from one con
?guration of the articles being washed. For example, in
veyor section to another.
the subject egg washer apparatus, the lower endsof a given
Summarizing the subject apparatus employed with this
series of brush bristle tufts conform generally to the upper 55
invention, a plurality of eggs to be washed are transported
half of the oval outer contour of the eggs so that each
in spaced rows by a conveyor past an egg washing struc—
egg is thoroughly scrubbed, not only about its mid-portion
Preferably, the articles are rolled about their
but also along its opposite ends, such opposite ends of
each egg being scrubbed by the longer bristle tufts of each
ture at a washing station. The conveyor desirably com
respective scrubbing means are contoured to conform gen
erally to the outer contour of the articles being washed so
scrubbing means, desirably de?ned by pre-arranged series
prises a plurality of contoured rollers between each ad~
60 jacent pair of which a row of eggs is carried. As the
conveyor rollers rotate about their respective axes, the
While egg washing devices have been known generally
eggs \are simultaneously rotated about their respective
heretofore in which rows of eggs are moved into con
axes as they are moved longitudinally past the washing
tact with scrubbing means, the subject invention is be
station. Positioned above the conveyor at the washing
lieved to be the ?rst to employ a rapidly vertically recipro
catable carrier for such scrubbing means in which the 65 station is a vertically reciprocatable carrier on which
of brush bristle tufts, are mounted in depending rela
that complete article washing is insured.
In addition, because article washing apparatus of the
tionship. Means is provided for rapidly and repeatedly
the washing apparatus, the subject invention also involves
reciprocating the carrier in the vertical direction so that
subject type frequently employs more than one conveyor 70 the brush tufts thereon are repeatedly engaged with the
eggs as they are rolled by the conveyor beneath the car
section for transporting the articles being washed through
Distribution means also is provided for supplying a
over?ow pipe 22 which in turn is connected to vertical
drain pipe 21 below valve -19 by means of a horizontal
quantity of egg washing and sterilizing ?uid to the car
rier so that such ?uid is applied directly to the eggs by the
drain pipe 23.
brush bristles. Because the brush bristle tufts are ar
ranged in a predetermined manner and the lower ends
thereof are selectively arranged to conform to the outer
The ?nal rinse ?uid applied to the eggs by spray
apparatus 17 continuously increases the quantity of ?uid
in supply tank 12 so that there is a substantially pre
determined constant over?ow from the tank. In this
manner, a certain predetermined amount of the washing
con?guration of the eggs, complete and thorough wash
ing and sterilizing of the eggs is effected. Following
movement of the eggs from the washing station, the same
?uid in tank 12 is continuously changed to enhance the
are subjected to a spray rinse which effects a ?nal clean— 10 sterility of the washing ?uid. Suitable means (not
ing and sterilizing of the eggs. Following the ?nal spray
shown) are employed with tank 12 to maintain the wash
ing fluid at a predetermined temperature. Desirably,
rinse, the eggs are moved away from the washing appara
tus for subsequent well known treatment, such as dry
the washing ?uid ‘13 in tank 12 is withdrawn one or more
ing, candling and oiling, following which the eggs are
packaged for shipment to the ultimate consumer. If de
sired, one long conveyor may be employed to supply
times during each day of operation of the apparatus and
a new batch of ?uid substituted therefor so that at all
times an adequate supply of clean, sterile and eifective
eggs to the washing station and to carry washed eggs
washing ?uid is available.
therefrom; or, alternatively, separate infeed and take-off
conveyor sections may be employed in conjunction with
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of spaced legs
26 each of which is provided at its lower end with an
a main conveyor section which moves the eggs past the 20 adjustable leveling ‘foot 27 is provided for supporting
washing station.
the housing and conveyor sections above the surface 28
on which the apparatus is supported.
As seen in vFIGS. 1 and 2, the subject apparatus com
prises a housing 1 which de?nes the Washing station of
Desirably the conveyor arrangement employed and the
the apparatus. Such housing has an infeed end 2 and
carrier 8 are driven from the same power source, pref
a discharge end 3 through which eggs to be washed are 25 erably an electric motor arrangement 30 mounted on a
moved. In the embodiment shown, a separate infeed
suitable platform 31 beneath the housing .1. As seen in
conveyor 4 is provided for continuously supplying a quan
FIGS. 1 and 4, a drive chain 32 extends between a
tity of eggs to the washing station. Rows of eggs may
sprocket 33 operatively connected by shaft 34 to the motor
be supplied to the infeed conveyor by hand or by using
arrangement 30 and a sprocket 35 mounted on a drive
well known vacum cup lifters. An egg take-01f con 30 shaft 36 of the conveyor 7. Similarly, as seen in FIGS.
veyor 6 is shown at the discharge end of the housing for
1-3, a friction belt 38 passes over a lower pulley 39
removing washed eggs from the washing station. Ex
mounted on shaft 40 which is operatively connected to
tending between the infeed conveyor 4 and the take-off
the motor arrangement 30. Belt 30 also passes over an
conveyor v6 and running the length of the housing 1 is a
upper pulley 41 secured to one end of a carnier actuat
main conveyor 7 which moves the eggs beneath a verti
cally reciprocatable carrier 8 on which scrubbing means
to 'be described is mounted. While in the embodiment
illustrated separate infeed and take-01f conveyors are
ing drive shaft 42 extending transversely above the top
of the housing. In this manner, the conveyor for moving
eggs through the apparatus and the carrier may be op
erated in timed relationship with each other from the same
illustrated in conjunction with the main conveyor 7, it
power source. Preferably, metal guards 43 and 44 are .
should be understood that the conveyor 7 itself may be 40
positioned over chain 32 and belt 38 respectively to pre
extended either at the infeed end of the housing or at
clude injury to persons working near the apparatus.
the take-off end thereof so that only one elongated con
In the embodiment illustrated, a separate electric mo
veyor is employed.‘ However, so that the washing ap
46 mounted externally of the housing preferably is
paratus may be a complete unit in and of itself which is
compact and 'does not include unnecessary length, it 4.5 employed to operate the aforementioned pump 14 which
supplies the washing ?uid to the carrier. If separate in
has been found desirable to use separate infeed or take
feed and take-01f conveyor sections are employed with the
o? conveyors as illustrated. -In such case, means 11 are
apparatus, the same may be driven directly from the main
provided between adjacent ends of the respective con~
conveyor section 7 in any well known manner, such as
veyor sections for bridging the gap therebetween to effect
egg transfer from one conveyor section to another. As 50 by connecting drive chains 47 as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2,
seen in FIG. 1 such means 11 comprises an adjustable
so that such infeed and take-off conveyor sections may
be driven in direct timed relationship relative to the
main conveyor section 7.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 through 6, the main con
conveyor sections to effect transfer of eggs between the
sections without breakage or damage.
55 veyor 7 comprises a plurality of spaced operatively inter~
connected rubber or like resilient rollers 51 each of
‘In the bottom of housing 1 is a washing ?uid supply
which is rotatable about its respective axis on a pair of
tank 12 containing a supply of washing ?uid 131. Filter
pins '52 which extend from opposite ends of each roller.
pump means 14 is provided in the tank which is con
Each pin 52 is received in a recess in each roller end as
nected by suitable conduit means 15 to ?uid distribution
means 16 mounted above the carrier 8 for supplying 60 best seen in 'FIGS. 5 and 6. Each roller pin 52 is in turn
connected in a hook and eye arrangement as seen at 53
washing ?uid thereto. Adjacent the discharge end 3 of
in FIGS. 5 and 6 which together de?ne a roller chain 54.
the housing is provided ?nal rinse spray apparatus 17
It should ‘be understood that a pair of such chains are
through which a ?nal spray of washing and sterilizing
employed on opposite sides of the housing. Each roller
?uid is applied to the eggs just prior to their discharge
from the apparatus. The washing ?uid for the spray 65 51 is spaced from the adjacent rollers and is movable
therewith. Rollers 51 are provided with a series of
apparatus 17 is drawn from a ?uid supply (not shown)
spaced circumferential grooves or depression 55 extending
separate from that in tank 12.
mounting plate structure to be described hereinafter
which extends between adjacent ends of the respective
Fluid supply tank 12 is preferably batch ?lled through
a conduit and valve arrangement 18 provided at the bot
thereabout which are adapted to spacedly receive a row
of eggs E as seen in FIGS. 3 and 5.
tom of the housing. A drain valve 19 also is provided 70 A pair of rails 56 extend internally of the housing in
vertically spaced relationship along and are secured to.
which, when opened, connects supply tank 12 with a ver
tical drain pipe 21 connectable to a sewer drain. As seen
opposite side walls 157 of the housing as seen in FIGS.
to the left of FIG. 2 the tank ‘12 in the housing tenni
2, 3 and 4. An end of each conveyor roller is engaged
nates below the conveyor 7 in the housing and any excess
with and supported by one of such rails. In this manner,
Washing ?uid in the tank may over?ow therefrom into an 75 as the conveyor chains 54 are driven, the rollers 51 are
particular mounting arrangement of and con?guration de
?ned by the respective brush bristle tufts 66. Because of
rolled about their respective axes in engagement with the
rails 56 as the conveyor moves longitudinally through the
the ovoid con?guration of the eggs, with prior art ar
A pair of sprockets 58 are provided at the discharge
rangements complete and thorough cleaning of eggs has
end of the housing which are mounted on aforemen
tioned conveyor drive shaft 36 and are rotatable there
with. Each chain 54 passes over one of said sprockets
been di?icult to obtain in that it is difficult to reach the
opposite ends of the eggs with brushes or like scrubbing
With the present invention thorough cleaning
of the eggs at their ends is insured because the bristle
tufts are arranged in a predetermined manner so that the
sprockets '59 are mounted on a rotatable shaft ‘60 (FIG.
2) and chains 54 pass over such sprockets. Desirably a 10 lower ends of certain tufts depend further from the car
rier than other tufts. Accordingly a concave con?gura
third pair of sprockets 61 are provided on another shaft
tion is de?ned by the ends of a given group of brush
62 positioned below shaft ‘60 (FIG. 2) over which the
tufts which generally conforms to the oval outer con?gura
respective chains also pass. ‘Desirably shaft '62 is slid
tion of the upper half of an egg. That is, certain pre
ably adjustable relative to the housing so that tension of
selected Itufts in each longitudinal series of tufts are up
a predetermined amount may be applied to the conveyor
to 1/2 inch longer than the remaining tufts in such series
drive chains. For this purpose, a suitable chain take-up
as seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8, such longer tufts being
mechanism 63 of any well known type is provided ex
58. At the opposite end of the housing a pair of idler
ternally of a housing (FIG. 1) for slidably adjusting
adapted to engage and clean an end of an egg as the car
shaft 62 on which idler sprockets 61 are mounted.
rier reciprocates.
It should be understood that each adjacent pair of 20
rollers 51 of conveyor 7 provide therebetween a space
for a row of eggs to he moved thereby. As the respective
rollers of the conveyor are rotated in the direction in
dicated by the arrows in FIG. 6, the eggs carried thereby
will simultaneously be rotated about their axes in the di 25
In addition, as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the tufts are ar
ranged in longitudinally spaced rows each of which ex—
tends transversely of the carrier 8. The tufts in adjacent
spaced rows are laterally staggered relative to each other
as seen in FIGS. 5 and 7. That is, the bristle tufts in
every other row are in longitudinal alignment with each
other but the bristle tufts in adjacent rows are staggered
rection of the arrows.
At the same time the eggs are
or laterally ‘offset relative to each other. In this man
rolling about their own axes they are being moved longi
ner, a substantially solid series of bristles is provided to
tudinally through the housing as the conveyor chains 54
insure proper cleaning of each egg.
move the rollers 51 through the housing.
Because, as seen in FIG. 3, a plurality of six or more
Mounted above the conveyor 7 for vertical reciproca 30
eggs are carried side by side in each row of eggs passing
tion relative thereto is the scrubbing means carrier 8 men
through the washing apparatus, an equal number of lon
tioned previously. Desirably, such carrier comprises
gitudinal series of bristle tufts similarly are provided.
plate structure de?ned by a plurality of separate aper
Referring, to FIGS. 5 and 7, two side~by~side longitudi
tured plate sections 65 each of which is intended to re
ceive in depending relationship a plurality of brush 35 nal series of brushes, designated S1 and S2, are shown.
The width of each such series slightly exceeds the average
bristle tufts 6-6. It should be understood that each plate
length of an egg. In this arrangement (see FIG. 5.) the
section 65 of carrier 8 extends substantially the full width
longer tufts in each series are positioned to overlie the
of the housing as seen in dotted lines in FIG. 7. Desir
ends of the egg carried longitudinally beneath such series
ably each carrier section 65 is of two piece construction
de?ned by a lower apertured plate 67 and an upper or 40 so that such longer tufts will engage the egg ends when
the carrier 8 is reciprocated to thoroughly cleanse the
overlying apertured plate 68. As seen in FIG. 8, the
lower plate apertures 69 are substantially larger than the
apertures 71 in the upper plate. It is in the lower plate
apertures 69 that the upper ends of the respective brush
tufts 66 are received.
ends of the eggs. The shorter bristle tufts in each series
engage the central portion of the eggs to clean the same.
Because the eggs are constantly rotating ‘about their own
axes as they are moved longitudinally through the hous
Preferably such brush tufts comprise a series of discrete
and soft bristles, such as clear, ?exible nylon bristles of
small diameter (bristles which are about .012 inch in di
ameter having been found suitable). Each tuft is re
versely bent intermediate its ends as seen at 72 in FIG. 8.
50 in FIGS. 5 and 6, the bristles at the bottom of each stroke
Each such tuft has extending through the bent upper
end thereof a fastening wire 73 by means of which the
respective tufts are maintained in engagement with the
Because the upper plate apertures 71 are smaller
ing, continued reciprocation of the carrier insures thor
ough and complete cleaning of each egg due to the pre
selected contour imparted to the lower ends of the bristle
tufts in 'a given longitudinal, series. As seen in dotted lines
of the carrier will contact substantially the entire upper
half of each egg.
As noted previously, the carrier 8 is mounted for ver
tical reciprocation relative to the conveyor and the sup
than the apertures 69 of the lower plate in which the bristle 55 porting means employed for such mounting desirably
tuft ends are received, the tufts cannot pass through the
comprises a pair of U-shaped mounting bars 80 (FIG. 3)
upper plate and accordingly the respective tufts are se
between which the respective plate sections 65 of carrier
curely engaged with the carrier. The respective plates
8 extend. That is, the aforementioned bolt fasteners 76
of each carrier plate section are held in operative engage
which operatively secure together the respective upper
ment with each other by means of bolt fasteners 76 or the
and lower plates of the carrier extend through pre-formed
like which extend through the upper plate 68 and are 60 slots 81 in the respective mounting bars and thereby secure
threadedly engaged in bores 74 provided in the lower
the plates to the bars.
plate 67 as seen in FIG. 5.
Preferably, the same wire 73 is employed to secure a
Mounting bars 80 extend substantially the full length
of the carrier and have secured adjacent opposite ends
plurality of bristle tufts in engagement with the carrier
65 thereof means for guiding the carrier during its vertical
as illustrated in FIG. 7. That is, a wire 73 may be ex
reciprocation. As seen in FIG. 3 such guide means com
tended between a plurality of adjacent ‘bristle tufts in any
prises bearing guides 82 which are slidably received
one of numerous patterns found convenient by the ap
around associated guide rods 83 which extend vertically
paratus manufacturer. As seen in FIG. 7, any desired
of the housing and are secured to the opposite side Walls
number of bristle tufts may be maintained in place by a
57 thereof by brackets 84. That is, at each of the four
given wire 73. With this simple mounting arrangement,
corners of the carrier 8 is provided a guide rod 83 along
the bristle tufts may be easily fastened
in the
which ‘a hollow bearing guide 82 attached to the carrier is
carrier and new bristle tufts may be readily substituted
slidably movable. In this manner, the carrier 8 is recip
for worn tufts.
rocata'bly mounted for vertical movement relative to the
An important feature of this invention resides in the 75 conveyor movable therebeneath.
land is imparted with a generally ?attened U-shape which
‘conforms generally to the shape of the outer periphery
I claim:
1. Apparatus for washing rollable, easily damaged arti
Thus each supporting member de?nes a com
cles, such as eggs, comprising a conveyor including means
cavely ‘contoured article supporting section which forms
part ‘of the plate structure which makes up the article
for maintaining articles to be washed in spaced side-by
side rows and for continuously moving said rows of arti
cles past a washing station while simultaneously rolling
of an egg.
supporting transfer means.
When the mounting plate structure is positioned be
said articles about their respective axes as the same are
tween adjacent conveyor sections in the gap between the
ends thereof each supporting member forms a bridge
being conveyed, and structure at said washing station for
thoroughly scrubbing said articles; said scrubbing struc
10 ture comprising an elongated carrier mounted for verti
cal reciprocation above said conveyor, said carrier com
In the embodiment shown in
for supporting an egg as the same moves trom one con
veyor section to the other.
FIG. 9, six side-by-side supporting members are illus
mated for simultaneously transferring six eggs which are
prising plate structure which has a multiplicity of aper
tures extending therethrough in line with said conveyor,
transported ‘in a row in the {disclosed embodiment of the
article scrubbing means mounted on the underside of
invention. More or less supporting members may be 15 said plate structure of said carrier which are repeatedly en
gageable with said articles as said carrier reciprocates ver
employed if so desired.
Referring now to FIGS. 12 and 12a, the operation of
tically while said articles roll beneath said carrier, means
the supporting means is illustrated as the same is em
for effecting rapid and repeated vertical reciprocation of
ployed between an infeed conveyor section 3, de?ned by
said carrier, means for supplying washing fluid to the up
a series of spaced rollers 125 which are driven by a 20 perside of said carrier plate structure for substantially its
full length and width for application by said scrubbing
sprocket shaft 126, and the main conveyor section 7
comprising aforementioned contoured rollers 51. In
this connection, it should be understood that generally
means to said articles as the articles are scrub-bed by said
Accordingly, the mounting plate 111 is positioned in the
brush bristle tufts depending from said carrier plate
scrubbing means, and means for spray rinsing said articles
the ?rst conveyor section 3 from which eggs are to be
with a rinsing ?uid after the articles have been scrubbed
received is generally on a higher level than is the second 25 by said scrubbing means; said scrubbing means compris~
conveyor section 7 to which the eggs are to be delivered.
ing a multiplicity of closely arranged soft and ?exible
gap between the conveyor sections at \an angle relative to
structure, said bristle tufts being generally aligned with
the horizontal so that the ‘eggs can roll downwardly from
said apertures through said carrier plate structure where
one conveyor section onto the other conveyor section. 30 by washing ?uid supplied to said plate structure passes
The projecting end 121 of each ?exible supporting
member 119 overlies and periodically and sequentially
contacts a circumferentially grooved portion 55 of each
through said apertures onto said bristle tufts for direct ap
plication thereby to said articles being scrubbed, adjacent
bristle tufts generally contacting each ‘other and thereby
roller of conveyor 7 ‘as the conveyor rotates about its
presenting a substantially continuous solid brush structure
driving sprockets. As seen in FIG. 12 when no egg is 35 depending from said carrier plate structure which extends
supported on a given supporting member, and such sup—
generally the full length and width thereof above said
conveyor, said bristle tufts being arranged in longitudi
nal series along the length of said carrier plate structure,
the tufts of each of said series being of varying lengths
porting member is out \of contact with a roller 51, the
projecting end 121 thereof is free to droop ‘downwardly
into the space between adjacent rollers. As the con
veyor section 7 moves about its sprockets, a roller will 40 and being arranged on said carrier so that the depending
contact the projecting end 121 of the supporting member
ends of the tufts of each series de?ne a concave con
and move the same upwardly generally to the position
shown in FIG. 12a. When in this position, (an egg may
?guration which generally conforms to the outer con
tour of the articles being washed, so that the entire outer
surfaces of said articles are thoroughly scrubbed as the
roll down the supporting member and be supported for
its whole travel into the space between adjacent conveyor 4:5 articles roll past said washing station.
rollers 51 without dropping :or abruptly contacting such
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said bristle tufts
rollers. That is, the projecting end 121 bridges the gap
depend from said carrier in generally aligned rows ex
between ‘the conveyor sections completely and effectively
tending transversely of said carrier, the tufts of alternate
so that the egg is supported for the
time it is being
rows of tufts being arranged in staggered out-of-line rela
transferred across such gap. Because when the support 50 tionship with each other to provide said generally solid
ing member is in the position of FIG. 12a the same is
brush structure.
generally horizontal or slightly upturned, the egg does
3. The apparatus of claim 1 which includes a plurality
not drop a substantial distance and does not contact the
of vertically extending guide rods above said conveyor,
conveyor rollers 51 with other than :a
if any,
each of said rods extending through said carrier whereby
impact. As a rmult, egg damage is precluded. Because 55 said carrier is slidably movable on said guide rods for
the two conveyor sections are :driven in timed relation
said vertical reciprocation thereon, and spring means in
ship, movement thereof relative to each other may be
conjunction with said guide rods in contact with said
regulated to eliminate all contact between adjacent eggs.
carrier for maintaining spring pressure on said carrier
That is, it is possible to insure that an egg will have
during reciprocation thereof to preclude canting of said
cleared a given supporting member [and will have been
carrier during such reciprocation.
deposited ‘on conveyor 7 before another egg is permitted
4. In combination with apparatus for handling fragile
to roll onto such supporting member.
Although the subject supporting means is illustrated
positioned in the gap between an infeed conveyor and
the main conveyor, a similar arrangement could be em
ployed at the ‘discharge end of the conveyor. The oper
ation in such case would be the same.
articles, such as eggs, which comprises ?rst and second
conveyor sections for moving rows of said articles in side
by-side spaced relationship through said apparatus, said
conveyor sections being spaced from each other whereby
a gap exists therebetween, means for supporting simul
taneously a row of said articles as the articles are trans
While speci?c embodiments of the subject apparatus
ferred from said ?rst conveyor section to said second
have been disclosed herein, it should be understood that
70 conveyor section while maintaining the articles in said
modi?cations thereof which are devised hereinafter by
row spaced from and out of contact with each other, said
others after studying this disclosure also are intended to
means comprising a generally rigid mounting plate tra
be included within the scope of this invention and the
versing the gap between said conveyor sections and ex
same should be interpreted in light of the appended
tending generally the full width thereof, said mounting
75 plate being located in close proximity to said first con
veyor section, and a plurality of generally discrete con
means directly onto articles on said conveyor means be
cavely contoured ?exible supporting members arranged
side by side and projecting from said mounting plate to
neath said plate structure; said scrubbing means compris
ing a multiplicity of closely arranged ?exible brush bristle
tufts depending from said plate structure, ,said bristle
‘Ward said second conveyor section, each of said mem
bers including ‘a projecting end which is free to bend in
tufts being generally aligned rwith apertures through said
dependently of said mounting plate, the projecting end
plate structure so that washing ?uid supplied to said plate
of each of said members being engaged with said second
structure may pass through such apertures into contact
with said bristle tufts for direct application thereby to the
conveyor section and being movable in response to move
ment thereof as said conveyor sections move relative to
articles being scrubbed, said bristle tufts being arranged
each other, said supporting members being ?exibly mov 10 in longitudinal series along said plate structure, the tufts
in each of said series being of varying lengths and being
able independently of each other whereby each of said
arranged on said plate structure so that the depending
members is capable ‘of supporting one of said articles of
said row and precluding contact of such article with the
ends of ‘the tufts of each series de?ne a concave con?gura
other articles of said row as said row of articles [is simul
tion which generally conforms to the contour of the
taneously transferred onto said second conveyor section,
and means adjustably mounting said mounting plate be
tween said conveyor sections.
articles being scrubbed by said apparatus.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent '
5. Apparatus for Washing easily damaged articles, such
as eggs, comprising conveyor means for moving articles
' to be Washed past a washing station in side-by-side rows, 20
and structure at said washing station for scrubbing said
articles; said scrubbing structure comprising an elongated
carrier mounted for vertical reciprocation above said con
veyor means, said carrier comprising plate structure hav
ing a multiplicity of apertures extending therethrough 25
above said conveyor means, article scrubbing means de
pending from the underside of said plate structure of said '
carrier so that said scrubbing means is repeatedly engaged
with said articles on said conveyor means at said station
as said carrier reciprocates vertically, means for effect
ing vertical reciprocation of said carrier, and means for
supplying washing ?uid to the upperside of said plate
structure for application by said depending scrubbing
Wiens _______________ __ May 29, 1900
Tompkin _____________ __ Dec. 17, 1912
Ingraham ____________ __ Nov. 11, 1930
Wyland __. __________ __ Mar. -17, 1931
Brandenburg _________ __ May 11, 1937
Brandenburg _________ __ May 11, 1937
Davis ______________ _._ Dec. 17, 1946
Johnson _____________ _._ May 29, 1951
Johnson _____________ __ Apr. 14, 1953
Willsey _____________ __ Apr. 18, 1961
Australia ___________ __ Nov. 116, 1946
Great Britain _________ __ Feb. 29, 1956
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