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Title:
DOUBLE WIPER CLEANSING HEAD FOR A SCRUBBING MACHINE FOR CLEANING SURFACES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/199216
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention describes a double wiper cleansing head (100) for a machine for cleaning surfaces, comprising a central suction port (102) integral with two peripheral suction channels (103,104), a front channel and a rear channel, with respect to a driving direction and with respect to a brush, centrally located between said suction channels. The channels converge each in a front and rear wiper (112,112') respectively, and said wiper comprise inner and outer blades (107,107') on the corresponding sides of the suction channels. Said blades are adapted to collect and convey the cleaning fluid and the residues of dirt inside said suction channels, and moreover said wipers comprise means (115,115') for partialize the air flux in said suction channels.

Inventors:
ODOLI, Andrea (Via Vigna Vecchia 11, Corteolona, I-27014, IT)
Application Number:
IB2014/001024
Publication Date:
December 18, 2014
Filing Date:
June 10, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GHIBLI S.P.A. (Via Circonvallazione 5, Dorno, I-27020, IT)
International Classes:
A47L11/292; A47L11/30; A47L11/40
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013027164A12013-02-28
Foreign References:
ITPD940169A11996-04-05
US6152151A2000-11-28
EP2191763A12010-06-02
US0755596A1904-03-22
ITPD940169A11996-04-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICCARDI, Sergio (Via Macedonio Melloni 32, Milano, I-20129, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine for cleaning surfaces, comprising a central suction port (102,202) integral with two peripheral suction channels (103,203,104,204) a front channel and a rear channel with respect to a driving direction and with respect to a brush (213), centrally located between said suction channels, each channel converging in a front and rear wiper (112,212,1 12',212') respectively, and said wiper comprising inner blades (107,207,107',207') and outer blades (105,205,105',205') on the corresponding sides of the suction channels (103,203,104,204), said blades being adapted to collect and convey the cleaning fluid and the residues of dirt inside said suction channels, characterized by the fact that said wipers (112,212,112',212') comprise partializing flaps (1 15,115',215,215') placed at the entrance of the suction channels (103,203,104,204), suitable to occlude from entry of air, water and residues of dirt, alternately the suction channel (103,203,104,204) and the corresponding wiper (112,212,1 12',212'), which is located in the front position, depending on the driving direction of the machine.

2. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 1, wherein said outer blades (105,205, 105',205') interact with said partializing flaps (115,115', 215,215') opening and closing said suction channels (103,203,104,204) by effect of friction on the floor depending on the driving direction of the machine.

3. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 1, wherein each suction channel (103,203,104,204) comprises one or more partializing flaps (115,1 15',215,215').

4. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 1, wherein said flaps (115,115') are of rigid material.

5. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 4, wherein said flaps (1 15,115') have a linear shape.

6. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 1, wherein said flaps (215,215') are part of a wiper support (210).

7. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 6, wherein said flaps (215,215') are shaped like a siphon to retain fluids.

8. The double wiper cleansing head (100,200) for a scrubbing machine according to claim 6, wherein said flaps (215,215') are made of flexible material like rubber, metal or aluminum.

Description:
"DOUBLE WIPER CLEANSING HEAD FOR A SCRUBBING MACHINE FOR CLEANING SURFACES"

Description

The present invention relates to a device for machines for cleaning surfaces, or that in any case comprise a multi suction double wiper cleansing head for cleaning and washing said surfaces.

It is well known that, during the cleaning of surfaces, the machines suitable for this task wash and draw from the surface both the dispensed cleansing substance, for example water and detergent, and the impurities present on the surface, which are removed by means of the passage of the machine. It is also known that, to move the self-propelled machine forward and backward, the operator must usually exert some effort.

The more or less intense effort, is given in part by the weight of the machine, and is therefore given by moving the machine back and forth, or up and down, depending on the function and size of the machine, and on the conformation of the surface to be cleaned, which can be in certain cases and for certain cleaning machines, also a wall, a situation here in any case not particularly relevant.

The weight of the machine is not the only element that affects the effort made to move the machine on the surface, as will be apparent from what is described below.

Usually, self-propelled machines for cleaning of surfaces available in the market, are equipped with a system that includes a central suction port, into which two suction channels converge. Between the suction channels a brush is inserted, for example of rotating type, for cleaning the surface. The channels are positioned one anteriorly and one posteriorly relative to the brush, and when the machine is put into operation, namely when the functions of dispensing cleaning liquid, the rotation of the brushes and the suction are started, said channels are both activated, and both draw from the surface at the same time.

Both the suction channels are equipped with wiper blades or rubbers, placed on both sides of the channel, for example made of rubber or flexible material suitable for the purpose, these with wiper blades or rubbers slide with a certain friction on the surface, to gather and guide the water and the residues to be removed towards the suction channels during the (forward and backward) cleaning movement. The rear suction channel performs its function when the machine is pushed forward, and the front suction channel performs its function when the machine is moved backwards, or towards the operator. Only one of the two channels draws in each time the residues from the floor, and has a really useful function, depending on the direction of movement of the cleaning machine. It therefore appears clear that, being instead both suction channels always active, the channel that, depending on the movement, is not involved in the aspiration, still exerts its suction function on the affected surface, but, having not, as said, water or dirt residues to draw in, it creates a depression effect on the surface, which increases the sliding friction, making it more difficult for the operator to push the machine forward and backward. The operator, therefore, exerts more effort than necessary, because of the ineffective aspiration of the wiper that is active at that time, but it is not drawing water or residues.

In this regard, for example, document IT PD 940 169 A 1 describes a dual wiper support, which includes two suction vents converging into a single channel, and a central brush. Said document states that the suction from both vents makes it less effective cleaning of the nozzle which is maintained in front of the brush in the direction of motion, and therefore strives to solve said problem, so that one of the two nozzles, respectively in one of two directions of motion, does not draw in from the surface, but rather draws in air from a lateral hole that has been made respectively on the side of both the suction vents, opposite to the position of the brush. Said support, comprising said two vents and the brush, is mounted in a semi-free mode with respect to the rest of the floor washer-dryers machines. In particular, during the back and forth motion, said support is rigidly driven by an external structure of the machine, forming a kind of dome that surrounds the top of said support. On the inner side walls of said dome, rubber protrusions are present, that are positioned at the height of the position of the holes made on the outer sides of the suction vents, so that during the forward or backward motion, the relative movement between the brush/vents support and the dome, brings said rubber protrusions in correspondence with said holes, and said protrusions respectively will close the hole of the vents which remains on the back to the brush during the motion, thus allowing the suction from the floor from said rear vent, while the hole made on the side of the front vent remains open, so that said connector does not suck liquid from the surface, but aspire, according to the inventor, only air from the side hole provided on said nozzle. This device will therefore propose to avoid the vent to draw liquid from the surface, but rather to draw air from the hole. This solution is in fact not very effective: it may be that by drawing air from the hole the amount of fluid aspirated from the surface is lower. However, being the vent open on two sides, it does not appear likely to happen, at least adopting a solution of this kind, which in any case, in the eyes of an expert in the field, would not appear to be effective. Furthermore, it seems obvious that the energy required by a machine equipped with a head of this kind, is in fact greater than that required by a common machine equipped with head not communicating with the external environment, this because of the power required for the suction, which would imply a high consumption compared to the solution of a problem that it is not certain to be so solved.

In fact, the continuity of the double suction, which also happens in the device described above, but generally in all cleansing heads of this kind, has further side effects; in fact, during the entire phase of operation of the machine, 50% of the energy supplied to the machine is wasted, because only one of the two suction channels is actually used each time, but it is instead supplied energy as required to keep them both active, simultaneously. The engine of the machine is therefore usually designed to provide power equal to twice of what is actually used. The engine is then "oversized" to ensure adequate performance, but 50% of the suction force is substantially wasted.

In this regard, still with reference to IT PD 940 169 A 1, it appears evident to the expert in the field, that the device proposed therein needs an even higher supply of energy to operate given that the suction vent, assuming that it does not draw in liquid from the surface, in each case draws in air, and in any case, it is not granted that it does not draw in from the surface anyway, said nozzle being in communication with the surface, thus creating in each case a depression effect, a fact which seems likely in the light of the experience in the field.

It also appears evident that a greater current absorbed by the machine, namely a greater power supplied to the machine, inevitably leads to higher consumption, without improving the quality of cleaning in any way by such an expenditure of excess power.

Again, as will be evident in the figures appended and described hereto, a double wiper head such as the one described in IT 940 169 A 1 PD, and more common kinds of double wiper heads of the prior art, has no means to retain water inside, in case the machine is suddenly turned off. So, if a machine stop occurs before the aspiration is complete, the dirty water is poured again on the floor or on the surface that has just been cleaned, making the work just carried out all in vain.

The purpose of the present invention is to describe a machine for cleaning surfaces with a double wiper cleansing head, which solves the problems of the prior art herein described, and which is also simple and economical to produce

A further object of the present invention is to describe a machine equipped with a double wiper cleansing head, having at least the same performance of a machine of the prior art and which, however, uses a reduced power, to the benefit of energy saving and of consumption, or that alternatively, exploits the full power of suction to greatly improve the performance of the cleaning machine.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a machine that slides better during handling, and yet that optimizes the impact of power consumption and hence improves the environmental impact.

Finally, an object of the present invention is to describe a cleaning machine equipped with double wiper cleansing head that holds the dirty water deriving from cleaning inside even in case of sudden stops of the machine.

These and further objects are achieved by the present invention which describes a double wiper cleansing head for a machine for cleaning surfaces, comprising a central suction port, which is integral with two peripheral suction channels, a front channel and a rear channel, with respect to a centrally placed brush. These suction channels also include internal and external blades on each side of the suction channels, suitable for collecting and conveying the cleaning fluid and residues of dirt inside the suction channels. The channels are also provided with flaps or slats placed at the mouth of the suction channel which are alternately opened or closed depending on the direction of movement of the machine. Said flaps partialize the suction flow in the channels, one or the other flap, depending on the direction of motion, totally occludes the corresponding channel, thus eliminating the air passage in the respective channel, and therefore conveying completely the suction flow suction in the canal remained open .

The double wiper cleansing head according to the present invention, is thus provided with an innovative system of partializing of the depressions in said suction channels, according to the direction of travel. The wipers are equipped with flaps or blades, for example of rubber that open in the working phase of the corresponding channel, and when the travel is inverted they remain closed instead, thus blocking the suction in the channel that is not working, closing the suction channel. This system of suction partialization allows the operation of the only wiper that is necessary for drying and cleaning the surface. The corresponding suction channel which is open in correspondence of the forward and backward movements of the machine, thus uses 100% of the suction performance that is all conveyed, therefore, in the open channel. It is therefore possible to use a much greater working power, or to produce machines that have much lower energy consumption, and also the total occlusion of the suction channel not in use, eliminates the effect of depression on the surface that makes the motion difficult, as above said.

Furthermore, in a further advantageous fashion, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, said flaps or blades, have a shape of a "siphon" that prevents the spillage of water in the suction phase, even when the machine stops suddenly, for example, for a voltage drop of electricity. This is a considerable improvement of the reliability of the machine for cleaning of surfaces.

These and other advantages of the double wiper cleansing head for machines for cleaning surfaces according to the present invention, will be apparent in the description of the figures depicting a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in which:

fig. 1 is a sectional view of a double wiper cleansing head according to the prior art; fig. 2 is a sectional view of a double wiper cleansing head according to an embodiment of the present invention;

fig. 3 is a sectional view of a double, wiper cleansing head according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

fig. 4 is a real view of a double wiper cleansing head as seen according to the embodiment represented in fig. 3.

In figure 1 a double wiper cleansing head 1 is represented, comprising a main suction port 2, which converges inside the machine body. Said suction port 2, is integral with a suction channel 3 that is active in the forward movement, and a suction channel 4 that is active in the backwards movement, (which for convenience here and below will simply be defined suction channel 3 and suction channel 4). The arrows shown are indicative of the way the aspiration occurs in cleansing a head of this type; namely both suction channels 3 and 4 are always active simultaneously and the aspiration of both of them converges in the main suction port 2. Said head 1 also comprises two wiper bodies, a front 12 and a rear 12' one (with respect to the direction of travel indicated in fig.l) and placed in correspondence of the end sides of the channels 4 and 3. Moreover, on the outer sides of said channels 3,4 rubbers 5,5' are present, and corresponding rubbers 7,7' placed on the inner sides of the channels 3 and 4. Rubbers 5,5' are equipped with suitable flaps 6,6' to limit the opening of the rubbers 5,5', during the sliding of the head 1 on the floor. On the inner side of the head 1 a wiper support 10 is present which also serves as a cover for a brush 13, placed between the two channels 3 and 4. The sides of said support wiper 10 overlap the internal rubbers 7,7' in zones placed in correspondence of the wiper bodies 12 and 12', and therefore in this area said wiper support 10 acts as an internal rubbers block flap 11 , in order to limit the excessive opening of the rubber during sliding on the floor. As evident in Figure 1, when the machine for cleaning surfaces is activated, the air is drawn in by both channels 3 and 4, and when the direction of travel is the one indicated in the figure, the channel that is actually active is channel 3, namely the back channel, which aspires therefore water and dirt residues from the affected surface. The water used for the washing of the surface is therefore retained by the wiper 12', when the machine is aspiring, as it creates a vacuum chamber in the suction channel. The water is then sucked upwards and converges into the suction port 2. The front channel 4, equipped with wiper 12, however, is limited to sliding on the floor and the depression effect that is also created in this channel, said channel 4 not having anything to draw in from the surface, increases the friction of the non-operative wiper 12, on the surface itself, making it more difficult for the operator to move forward/backward the cleaning machine. As is apparent from Figure 1, and as described above, 50 % of the power used by the machine is wasted, as only one of the two channels 3 or 4 is used according to the movement, but in both channels the suction is continuously active. This implies that, depending on the movement, there is a loss of 50% of the suction performance. A machine of this kind, therefore, in the light of a 100% of power supplied always works with a performance equal to 50% of what should be the performance equivalent to the power supplied, and this not only at the expense of performance, but also of the energy consumption required, which is also accordingly oversized, and 50% of it is wasted.

In figure 2 a first preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown: the double wiper cleansing head substantially solves the problems of prior art by proposing an innovative solution, and at the same time simple to be implemented, and this then, goes to the advantage of the economy granted by the invention, which solves all the problems described so far. In particular, the double wiper cleansing head 1 represented in figure 2, comprises in the area of the wiper body 112 and 112', an innovative partializing rigid flap 115, 115'. The partializing , rigid flap 115, 115', as is clear from the name itself, allows to partialize the depression in the channels 103 and 104 according to the direction of travel, respectively closing one or the other channel depending on the direction of travel. During a work phase, following the example of the direction of travel represented here in figure 2, the wiper 112', opposite to the direction of travel, due to friction with the floor flexes the rubber 105', opening the corresponding suction channel 103, and begins to draw in. In this case, the partializing rigid flap 115' does not totally close the channel 103, as the rubber 105' remains open to friction with the floor, thus allowing the passage of a flow of air and water which is sucked from the channel 103.

Instead, according to the same principle, the wiper 112, which is located in the front position with respect to the driving direction, pushes the rubber 105 against the partializing rigid flap 115, thus closing completely the corresponding channel 104. It is immediately apparent that this partializing system allows the effective operation only of the wiper 112 or 1 12' necessary to dry. The wiper then uses 100% of the performance of suction available, doubling the suction power of the machine. Conversely, it is therefore also possible to produce machines for cleaning of surfaces, which with the same suction performance of the previous machines of the prior art, are able to operate at half of the power, thus consuming less current and halving in practice the consumption of energy, all to the benefit therefore towards energy savings for the user and for the environment. Moreover, in a particularly advantageous manner, the present invention can easily adapt to many types of machines for cleaning of surfaces manufactured according to current standards, and this with a considerable saving for the manufacturers. In addition, in a particularly advantageous manner, the double wiper cleansing head 101 system is completely removable, in such a way to replace worn or damaged parts without the aid of any tools. Also the maintenance is therefore quick and inexpensive.

In figure 3 it is shown another preferred embodiment of the present invention that, in addition to partialize the flow of air, and to solve the problem of the depression effect usually created in the channel that is not working, also solves, keeping those benefits, the problem of backflow of water on the surface just cleaned in case the cleaning machine is suddenly turned off.

In fact, in figure 3 is represented a double wiper cleansing head 201 , equipped with wipers 212, 212' similar to the previous ones, and with internal rubbers 207, 207' and outer rubbers 205 and 205', always of a similar type with respect to the previous wipers and engaged in the same functions. In this case, however, the partializing flap 215, 215' is embedded in the wiper support 210, which is an extension of said support 210, to which is given a special shape, as shown in figure 3.

The partializing flap 215, 215' performs the same partializing function described for the partializing rigid strip 115,115' of figure 2. Additionally, the flap 215, 215' according to the embodiment represented in figure 3, in a particularly advantageous fashion, is equipped with a siphon form, and this form makes it possible that, in case of a sudden stop of the machine, the strip 215,215' holds the water drawn into the channels 203 and 204 within the channels themselves, preventing the spill and the backflow on the just cleaned surface. It appears evident that the second embodiment herein described, solves all the problems of the prior art known so far extrapolated. The choice of one or other embodiment is at the discretion of the manufacturer, who decides according to the needs of specific embodiments.

Moreover, also in this case, in a particularly advantageous way the double wiper cleansing head 201 is completely disassemblable in order to allow replacement of the damaged or worn parts without the aid of any tool. Also the maintenance is therefore quick and inexpensive.

For completeness in figure 4 is represented a double wiper cleansing head as is produced, and in particular it is to be noted the detail of the partializing rigid flap 215, 215' visible laterally on the cylinder head 201.

The rubber structures described in the present invention may for example be made of natural rubber, synthetic rubber or para; the structure and the rigid parts in general can be made for example of polypropylene, polyamide or any other material suitable for this purpose, such as metallic materials like steel or aluminum etc.

It is to be noted that what is represented here is only an example of some preferred embodiments of the present invention; in fact, for example, it is also possible to insert more than one partializing flap for each channel, and said flaps can be either linear, or for example of curvilinear form. Or again, it is possible to connect multiple suction ports to the channels, for example, one for each channel, etc.. It is therefore evident, that any machine for the cleaning of surfaces, which comprises a double wiper cleansing head, with partializing flaps that perform the same function, is to be considered the subject of the present invention.