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Title:
MACHINE FOR TREATING ORGANIC WASTE AND RELATED CONTROL METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/130192
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A waste treatment machine is disclosed, having a safety sensor which generates an alarm signal to stop the motor (7) when the requested torque exceeds a certain threshold, but has a gear with a friction transmission belt (8), i.e. not a toothed belt, between a driving pulley (9) and an idle pulley (10) connected to a shaft (6) for squeezing/ grinding waste. The friction transmission belt is tightened so as to slip when a nominal maximum torque is exceeded. The protection sensor is configured to detect slippage of the friction transmission belt and to provide in such an event an alarm signal to a control unit that interrupts a normal running of the motor. The organic waste treatment machine may be a single-worm screw (4) or double-worm screw squeezing machine, or a grinding machine with hammers (13) pivoted at the periphery of a shaft installed in the inner chamber of the machine. A method of controlling such a machine for treating waste is also disclosed.

Inventors:
FORMAGGIO, Daniele (Via L.A.Muratori 20 I.4, Este PD, 35042, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/060500
Publication Date:
July 04, 2019
Filing Date:
December 21, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WASTE ENGINEERING SAGL (Via San Salvatore 4, 6900 Paradiso, 6900, CH)
International Classes:
B09B5/00; B30B3/02; B30B9/12; B30B15/12; B30B15/28; F16D7/00; F16H35/10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARBARO, Gaetano (Società Italiana Brevetti S.p.A, Stradone San Fermo 21 sc. B, Verona VR, 37121, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A machine for treating organic waste, comprising:

a casing defining an inner treatment chamber delimited at least in part by a sieving grid, and an inlet aperture for inserting waste at an end of the chamber and an outlet aperture for discharging at an opposite end in respect to the inlet aperture;

at least a shaft installed in said inner chamber, equipped with mechanical means for grinding or pressing the inserted organic waste against the sieving grid or against at least a wall that delimits the inner treatment chamber;

a first motor, functionally coupled to said shaft;

a first transmission system configured to transmit to said shaft a rotation motion of the shaft along a longitudinal axis, generated by said first motor;

a first protection sensor, configured to sense a blockage condition of a rigid object that hinders rotation of the shaft and to generate a related alarm signal when said blockage condition is detected;

a control unit functionally coupled to said first protection sensor and to the first motor and configured for stopping a run of the first motor when said alarm signal is generated;

characterized in that

said first transmission system comprises a first driving pulley connected to the motor, a second idle pulley united with the shaft, and a friction transmission belt tightened between the first driving pulley and the second idle pulley, said belt being configured to slip against said pulleys when a torque exceeding a nominal maximum value for rotating said shaft is requested;

said first protection sensor is configured to sense a slippage of said friction transmission belt and to generate the alarm signal when said slippage is detected.

2. The machine according to claim 1, configured for squeezing an organic waste in said inner treatment chamber delimited by said sieving grid, wherein said shaft equipped with mechanical means is a first worm screw having a profile configured to squeeze the humid waste against said sieving grid when the worm screw is rotated by said first motor.

3. The machine according to claim 2, comprising: - a second worm screw identical with said first worm screw, installed in said inner chamber of the machine and configured to grind organic waste by cooperating with said worm screw,

- a second motor identical with said first motor,

- a second transmission system identical with said first transmission system, configured to transmit to the shaft of the second worm screw a rotation motion along a longitudinal axis, generated by said second motor,

- a second protection sensor identical with said first protection sensor, configured to detect a blockage condition of a rigid object that hinders a rotation of the shaft and to generate a related alarm signal when said blockage condition is detected;

wherein said control unit is functionally coupled also with said second protection sensor and with said second motor, and it is configured to stop the run of the second motor when said second protection sensor generates the respective alarm signal.

4. The machine according to claim 1, configured to grind organic waste in said inner treatment chamber delimited at least from the bottom by said sieving grid, wherein said mechanical means comprise:

- a plurality of disks fixed to said shaft along radial planes, and

- a plurality of hammers each having an end tied to one of said disks, said hammers being configured to be dragged into rotation by said shaft hitting waste placed in said inner chamber.

5. A method of controlling a machine for treating organic waste according to claim 1, comprising the following operations:

sensing a slippage of the friction transmission belt against at least said first driving pulley connected to the first motor and/or said second idle pulley united with the shaft, and generating an alarm signal when said slippage is detected;

stopping a normal run condition of the first motor when said alarm signal is generated.

6. The method according to claim 5, further comprising the following operations:

when said alarm signal is generated, running backwards the first motor for a pre- established time, then running the first motor in said normal run condition.

Description:
MACHINE FOR TREATING ORGANIC WASTE AND RELATED CONTROL METHOD

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to machines for treating waste and more particularly to a worm screw squeezing machine and a machine for treating organic waste, which may be a squeezing or a grinding machine, and a related control method.

BACKGROUND

Waste squeezing machines allow to treat organic material from waste collection, and to separate at least partially liquid fraction from solid fraction of waste. Unlike grinding machines, which grind the waste, squeezing machines produce an organic residue substantially free of water. The liquid fraction may be used for the production of biogas, while the solid fraction may be burned or used for composting. A machine of this type currently available is, for example, the machine marketed by DOPPSTADT™ with the trade name BioPress DBP-205 (http://www.ecoverse.net/products/biopress-dbp-205/), which is well known and will not be illustrated further. Squeezing machines are essentially constituted by a worm screw with a conical squeezing axis which rotates in a cylindrical chamber delimited at least at the bottom by sieving grids with apertures suitable for letting liquids pass through, but not solid materials. The worm screw with a conical axis is shaped so that:

- in correspondence of a waste inlet aperture of the cylindrical chamber, there is a greater distance between the axis of the worm and the walls of the cylindrical chamber;

- by moving in the cylindrical chamber from the waste inlet aperture to the outlet aperture of waste deprived of the liquid fraction, the diameter of the worm screw increases.

By inserting organic waste into the cylindrical chamber through the inlet aperture, it is crushed between the sieving grid which delimits the cylindrical chamber and the portion of the worm screw axis of smaller diameter. By rotating the worm screw, the waste is fed into the cylindrical chamber towards zones where the axis has a larger diameter, whereby it is gradually crushed against the grids which delimit the cylindrical chamber. When the waste has longitudinally crossed the cylindrical chamber, the liquid fraction has already fallen throughout the grids, so only the solid fraction comes out from the outlet aperture.

A limitation of these machines is the fact that the grids or the threads of the screws may be damaged, typically because of hard objects such as stones which, mixed with the waste to be squeezed, are put into the machine. When a stone is put into the machine and gets stuck between the thread and the sieving grid, or get stuck between two opposing threads if the grinding machine has two worm screws, a protection sensor detects an increase of torque required by the motor and stops it.

Unfortunately, even the fastest protection sensors fail to stop the motor as soon as the blockage occurs, so the machine forces the rotation of the screw for a certain time interval before stopping. This time interval, however, is long enough to irreparably damage the machine, which must be taken out of service and repaired before being ready to resume work, with consequent costs for spare parts and for interruption.

This problem sometimes also occurs in grinding machines of the type including hammers, pivoted at one end to a rotating shaft installed in the inner chamber of the respective grinding machine.

SUMMARY

Studies carried out by the applicant have shown that the fact that protection sensors are unable to instantly detect the presence of a rigid object, such as a stone, is at least partly, if at all, due to the fact that these waste treatment machines have a motor with a hydraulic gear. Hydraulic gears introduce a delay between the instant in which a stone get stuck and the instant in which there is a significant increase of the required motor torque to turn the worm screw. On the other hand, electric motors with hydraulic gear (hydraulic motors) have necessarily limited absorption peaks, indispensable for squeezing machines of organic waste which have motors with relatively limited power.

It has been found and is the object of this disclosure a waste treatment machine which solves the aforementioned problems of machines with hydraulic motors, without however renouncing the advantage of having low absorption peaks. As the present machines for treating organic waste, the machine of this disclosure for treating organic waste has a safety sensor which generates an alarm signal to stop the motor when the requested torque exceeds a certain threshold, but has a gear with a friction transmission belt, i.e. not a toothed belt, between a driving pulley and an idle pulley connected to a shaft for squeezing/grinding waste. The friction transmission belt is tightened so as to slip when a nominal maximum torque is exceeded. The protection sensor is configured to detect slippage of the friction transmission belt and to provide in such an event an alarm signal to a control unit that interrupts a normal running of the motor.

According to this disclosure, the organic waste treatment machine may be a single worm screw or double-worm screw squeezing machine, or a grinding machine with hammers pivoted at the periphery of a shaft installed in the inner chamber of the machine.

A method of controlling such a machine for treating waste is also disclosed.

The claims as filed are an integral part of this disclosure and are herein incorporated by reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a partially transparent view of a single worm screw squeezing machine according to the present disclosure.

Figure 2 is a half-transparent perspective view of the machine of Figure 1, with a system having a friction transmission belt tensioned between a driving pulley and an idle pulley.

Figure 3 is a detailed view of the transmission system of the machine of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a sectional view of the machine of Figures 2 and 3.

Figure 5 shows the machine of Figure 1 from another point of view.

Figures 6A and 6B are, respectively, a side view and a plan view of a waste squeezing machine according to the present disclosure with two squeezing worm screws.

Figures 7A and 7B show two identical systems with friction transmission belts for moving the respective worm screws of the machine of Figure 6B.

Figure 8 is a perspective view of a grinding machine according to the present disclosure with a system with a transmission belt.

Figure 9 is a sectional view of the grinding machine of Figure 8 according to the present disclosure.

Figure 10 is a top view of the grinding machine of Figure 8. DET AILED DESCRIPTION

A basic scheme of a squeezing machine according to this disclosure is illustrated in the semi-transparent view of FIG. 1. It comprises a casing 1 defining an inner treatment chamber, with a first waste inlet aperture 2 and a second outlet aperture 3, longitudinally opposite to the first, for discharging a dry fraction of the squeezed waste. The squeezing machine has a worm screw 4 installed in the treatment chamber of the machine, configured so as organic waste enters through the inlet aperture 2 and is drawn longitudinally in the inner chamber by the worm screw 5 and is thereby squeezed against the inner wall of the casing 1 and against an inner sieving grid (not shown) which allows only the liquid fraction to pass through. As well as the already mentioned DOPPSTADT™ BioPress DBP-205 machine, the worm screw 4 has a frusto-conical shaft 6 with a growing section so as to progressively reduce space for waste in the inner chamber 1 as waste moves longitudinally towards the second outlet aperture 3.

The shaft 6 of the worm screw is coupled, by means of a transmission system, to the drive shaft of a motor 7, for example an electric motor. Typically, such a motor 7 has a limited power, since the machine has to squeeze organic waste, and may provide a relatively limited torque at start-up.

Unlike the known squeezing machines, the motor is not connected through an oleodynamic transmission, but through a transmission system 8 with a friction belt, stretched between a driving pulley 9 fixed to the drive shaft of the motor, and an idle pulley 10 fixed to the shaft 6 of the worm screw 4. The transmission system with a friction belt 8 is more clearly shown in the perspective view of figure 2, in the front view of figure 3 and in the sectional view of figure 4. The friction belt 8 is tensioned between the driving pulley 9 and the idle pulley 10 so as to slip on at least one of the pulleys 9 and 10 when, in order to rotate the idle pulley 10, a torque exceeding a maximum rated value is required.

When a rigid object is stuck between the thread 5 and an inner wall which delimits the treatment chamber 1 while the worm screw 4 is rotating normally, the torque required to rotate the worm screw 4 suddenly increases. If the required torque exceeds a nominal value, the friction belt 8 slips on at least one of the two pulleys 9 and 10. Because of the slippage, there is a sharp reduction of the torque detected at the crankshaft and this event is signaled by a protection sensor (not shown in the figures), functionally connected to a control unit (not shown). The protection sensor generates an alarm signal that is supplied to the control unit, which stops the motor 7.

With the described transmission system the blockage of the screw due to a stuck rigid object is detected immediately. This does not happen, however, in known machines having oleodynamic transmission systems which, due to their operating characteristics, introduce an inevitable delay between the instant in which the blockage event occurs and the instant in which at the drive shaft a resistant torque that exceeds the maximum nominal value is detected.

According to a first embodiment, the squeezing machine may be of the type 4 with a single worm screw 4, as shown in Figure 4, in which the waste is squeezed by the screw 5 of the worm screw 4 against the inner walls of the casing 1 defining the inner chamber.

According to another embodiment, the squeezing machine may be of the type with two worm screws 4a and 4b, as shown in the side view of Figure 6a and in the top view of Figure 6b, in which the waste is squeezed between the threads 5a and 5b of the worm screws 4a and 4b and against the inner walls of the casing 1. A similar double worm screw system is present in the aforementioned BioPress DBP 250 machine of the DOPPSTADT™ to crush newly introduced waste prior of squeezing it.

In the machine of the present disclosure with two worm screws illustrated in figure 6b, the worm screws 4 serve both to crush the just entered waste, so as to break the bag or the packaging in which it is contained, as well as to convey it inside of the squeezing chamber. Each one of the two worm screws 4 is moved by a respective motor 7 (Figure 6b) and each motor 7 is connected to the respective worm screw 4 through a respective transmission system, shown in Figures 7a and 7b. Each transmission system has a friction belt 8 stretched between the respective driving pulley 9 and the respective idle pulley 10, as illustrated with reference to Figure 3.

The friction belt transmission system 8 described with reference to Figure 3 may also be used to make waste-grinding machines, of the type illustrated in Figure 8. Such grinding machines have a casing 1 which defines an inner treatment chamber, have discs 11 fixed to a shaft 12 which is rotated by a motor 7, and hammers 13 with sharp profiles pivoted on discs 11. A grinding machine of this type is for example disclosed in Italian patent application No. 102016000105648 filed on October 20, 2016 in the name of Formaggio Srl Costruzioni Meccaniche, to which reference is made for construction and operating details that will not be illustrated further. Another known machine of this type is the KOMPTECH ™ shredding machine, currently sold under the trade name TERMIN ATOR (http s ://w w w .komptech . com/en/products - komptech/pdetails/terminator-direct.html). As shown in the sectional view of Figure 8 and in the top view of Figure 9, waste is inserted from above through the inlet opening 2 and comes out shredded by falling through the perforated grids 13, visible in Figure 8, which close the inner chamber.

According to a feature of the present invention, the driving torque is transmitted from the motor 7 to the shaft 12 by a friction belt transmission system 8, stretched between a driving pulley and an idle pulley (not shown) so as to slip on at least one of them when a torque exceeding a maximum nominal value is exceeded. As well as the squeezing machine of FIG. 2, also this grinding machine of the present disclosure has a protection sensor (not shown), which detects a slippage of the friction belt 8 on the driving pulley and/or the idle pulley and generates an alarm signal when this happens, and a control unit that receives the alarm signal and stops the normal running of the motor, preventing damage to the sieving grid.

Several ways of managing a condition in which the friction belt slips on at least one pulley may be easily identified. First, the control unit may stop the motor promptly to avoid damage to parts of the machine. Then, the control unit may control the motor 7 so as to make it rotate backwards shortly, trying to free the object that got stuck, and then restart it in the forward direction of rotation. If the friction belt 8 moves on the pulleys without slipping, then the maneuver has been successful and the machine may continue operating normally. If this does not happen, the control unit may stop the motor 7 and generate an alarm signal to request the intervention of a technician. By opening the casing 1 from below, any material contained in the inner treatment chamber falls out and with it also the rigid object that caused the blockage. Then the casing 1 is closed, the motor 7 is restarted and the waste fallen from the inner treatment chamber is treated separately to find and eliminate the rigid object. As can be easily understood, in the grinding machines of the present disclosure the risk of damaging the sieving grids or the threads of the worm screws is avoided. In fact, even if a rigid object is put into the machine, it is either expelled through the discharge opening 3 without causing any damage, or, if it gets stuck, the protection sensor immediately detects the blockage signaling it to the control unit which stops the motor 7, preventing the worm screw 4 or other parts of the machine (for example the sieving grid, if present) from being damaged.