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Title:
WAREWASH MACHINE WITH SUBMERSIBLE CUTLERY BASKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/191180
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A warewash machine includes a chamber for receiving wares, the chamber having a spray zone with an associated spray system for spraying liquid onto wares passing therethrough and a collection tank below the spray zone. A strainer pan is located atop the collection tank and includes an optional first opening with an optional removable strainer bucket mounted therein and a second opening with a removable cutlery basket mounted therein. A method of washing cutlery with such a warewash machine is also described.

Inventors:
FISCHER, David, L. (155 Harlem AvenueGlenview, IL, 60025, US)
Application Number:
US2019/024207
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 27, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. (155 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, IL, 60025, US)
International Classes:
A47L15/24; A47L15/14; A47L15/42; A47L15/50
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015171490A12015-11-12
Foreign References:
US3067757A1962-12-11
JPH1156735A1999-03-02
US20170027409A12017-02-02
EP3228233A12017-10-11
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIEBERDING, Michael, J. et al. (Thompson Hine LLP, 10050 Innovation Drive Suite 40, Dayton OH, 45342-4934, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A warewash machine for washing wares, comprising:

a chamber for receiving wares, the chamber having a spray zone with an associated spray system for spraying liquid onto wares passing therethrough and a collection tank below the spray zone; and

a strainer pan located atop the collection tank and having a first opening with a removable strainer bucket mounted therein and a second opening with a removable cutlery basket mounted therein.

2. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein the cutlery basket is spaced apart from the strainer basket.

3. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein the strainer bucket comprises one or more sidewalls having a plurality of openings sized for capturing falling food debris, wherein the cutlery basket includes one or more sidewalls having a plurality of openings sized for allowing free passage of water into and out of the cutlery basket, wherein an average size of the openings of the cutlery basket is larger than an average size of the openings of the strainer bucket.

4. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein the cutlery basket includes a removable lid or cover, the lid or cover being solid.

5. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein the cutlery basket includes a plurality of openings for receiving cutlery.

6. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein at least 50% of a height of the cutlery basket is positioned below an operating liquid level of the collection tank and the cutlery basket includes a plurality of openings for allowing the liquid to flow into and out of the cutlery basket.

7. The warewash machine of claim 1, wherein the cutlery basket includes a bottom wall portion that is movable between a cutlery retention position and a cutlery dropout position.

8. The warewash machine of claim 7, wherein the cutlery basket includes a latch system for releasably holding the bottom wall portion in the cutlery retention position.

9. The warewash machine of claim 8, wherein the latch system includes a latch trigger located toward a top portion of the cutlery basket.

10. The warewash machine of claim 9, wherein the latch trigger is positioned proximate a carrying handle of the cutlery basket.

11. The warewash machine of claim 1 wherein the strainer pan is configured to direct water flow toward the strainer bucket.

12. A method of cleaning cutlery, the method comprising:

loading the cutlery into a cutlery basket;

removably mounting the cutlery basket within an opening in a strainer pan located atop a collection tank of a wash chamber of a warewash machine such that the cutlery basket extends into the collection tank;

running one or more cleaning cycles of the warewash machine, wherein, in each cleaning cycle, a wash liquid is recirculated between the collection tank and a spray system for spraying the wash liquid onto wares in a spray zone of the wash chamber, the spray zone being located above the strainer pan and cutlery basket, followed by spraying of a rinse liquid onto the wares within the spray zone, wherein the cutlery in the cutlery basket is substantially submerged in the wash liquid in the collection tank during the one or more cleaning cycles;

after completion of the one or more cleaning cycles, removing the cutlery basket from the strainer pan.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising:

removing the cutlery from the cutlery basket; placing the cutlery in the spray zone of the warewash machine; and running an additional cleaning cycle of the warewash machine.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the cutlery basket includes a bottom wall portion that is movable between a cutlery retention position and a cutlery dropout position; and wherein the removing the cutlery from the cutlery basket comprises moving the bottom wall portion to the cutlery dropout position.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the strainer pan includes an additional opening with a removable strainer bucket mounted therein.

16. A warewash machine for washing wares, comprising:

a chamber for receiving wares, the chamber having a spray zone with an associated spray system for spraying liquid onto wares passing therethrough and a collection tank below the spray zone; and

a strainer pan located atop the collection tank and having an opening with a removable cutlery basket mounted therein.

17. The warewash machine of claim 16, wherein at least 70% of a height of the cutlery basket is positioned below an operating liquid level of the collection tank and the cutlery basket includes a plurality of openings for allowing the liquid to flow into and out of the cutlery basket.

18. The warewash machine of claim 16, wherein the cutlery basket includes a bottom wall portion that is movable between a cutlery retention position and a cutlery dropout position, wherein the cutlery basket includes a latch system for releasably holding the bottom wall portion in the cutlery retention position.

19. The warewash machine of claim 18, wherein the latch system includes a latch trigger located toward a top portion of the cutlery basket, wherein the latch trigger is positioned proximate a carrying handle of the cutlery basket.

Description:
WAREWASH MACHINE WITH SUBMERSIBLE CUTLERY BASKET

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of ET.S. Provisional Application No.

62/649,775, filed March 29, 2018, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This application relates generally to warewashers such as those used in commercial applications such as cafeterias and restaurants and, more particularly, to a submersible cutlery basket for such warewashers.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Commercial warewashers commonly include a housing area which defines a chamber with one or more washing and rinsing zones for dishes, pots pans and other wares. In conveyor-type machines wares are moved through multiple different spray zones within the housing for cleaning (e.g., pre-wash, wash, post-wash (aka power rinse) and rinse zones). One or more of the zones includes a tank in which liquid to be recirculated for spraying is heated in order to achieve desired cleaning. Other types of machines, such as hood-type batch machines, perform the washing and rinsing sequentially in a single spray zone including a tank below the spray zone.

[0004] In general, it is not uncommon for silverware/tableware or other cutlery to have tightly sticking food soils or, in worse situations when not cleaned instantly, dried food soils that are difficult to fully remove by cleaning. Food residues on cutlery are very unappealing, and it is desirable to clean cutlery effectively. It is therefore common practice for operators to run silverware/tableware or other cutlery through warewash machines more than once (i.e., more than one cleaning cycle) in order to ensure full food soil removal even after the cutlery is considered fully sanitized by an initial cleaning cycle.

Such multi-runs of cutlery lower machine productivity given the additional operator time needed to inspect and rerun the cutlery.

[0005] It would be desirable to provide a warewasher cutlery system that enables effective cutlery cleaning without requiring additional operator effort.

SUMMARY

[0006] In one aspect, a warewash machine includes a chamber for receiving wares, the chamber having a wash zone with an associated spray system for spraying liquid onto wares passing therethrough and a collection tank below the wash zone. A strainer pan is located atop the collection tank and includes a first opening with a removable strainer bucket mounted therein and a second opening with a removable cutlery basket mounted therein.

[0007] In another aspect, a warewash machine includes a chamber for receiving wares, the chamber having a wash zone with an associated spray system for spraying liquid onto wares passing therethrough and a collection tank below the wash zone. A strainer pan is located atop the collection tank and includes an opening with a removable cutlery basket mounted therein.

[0008] In another aspect, a method of cleaning cutlery may include loading the cutlery into a cutlery basket and then removably mounting the cutlery basket within an opening in a strainer pan located at or near the top of a collection tank of a wash chamber of a warewash machine such that the cutlery basket extends into the collection tank. Then, one or more cleaning cycles of the warewash machine can be performed. In each cleaning cycle, a wash liquid is recirculated between the collection tank and a spray system for spraying the wash liquid onto wares in the wash chamber followed by spraying a rinse liquid onto the wares. The cutlery is substantially submerged in the wash liquid in the collection tank during the one or more cleaning cycles. After completion of the one or more cleaning cycles, the cutlery basket may be removed from the strainer pan.

[0009] The details of one or more embodiments are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Fig. l is a schematic side elevation of one embodiment of a warewasher; and

[0011] Fig. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a warewasher;

[0012] Fig. 3 is a schematic elevation of a warewasher with a submersible cutlery basket;

[0013] Fig. 4 is a perspective of a cutlery basket; and

[0014] Fig. 5 is a bottom perspective of a strainer pan with strainer basket and cutlery basket mounted therein. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] Referring to Fig. 1, an exemplary conveyor-type warewash machine, generally designated 10, is shown. Warewash machine 10 includes a housing 11 that can receive racks 12 of soiled wares 14 from an input side 16. The wares are moved through tunnel-like chambers from the input side toward a blower dryer unit 18 at an opposite exit end 17 of the warewash system by a suitable conveyor mechanism 20. Either continuously or intermittently moving conveyor mechanisms or combinations thereof may be used, depending, for example, on the style, model and size of the warewash system 10. Flight- type conveyors in which racks are not used are also possible. In the illustrated example, the racks 12 of soiled wares 14 enter the warewash system 10 through a flexible curtain 22 into a pre-wash chamber or zone 24 where sprays of liquid from upper and lower pre-wash manifolds 26 and 28 above and below the racks, respectively, function to flush heavier soil from the wares. The liquid for this purpose comes from a tank 30 and is delivered to the manifolds via a pump 32 and supply conduit 34. A drain structure 36 provides a single location where liquid is pumped from the tank 30 using the pump 32. Via the same drain structure, liquid can also be drained from the tank and out of the machine via drain path 37, for example, for a tank cleaning operation.

[0016] The racks proceed to a next curtain 38 into a main wash chamber or zone

40, where the wares are subject to sprays of cleansing wash liquid (e.g., typically water with detergent) from upper and lower wash manifolds 42 and 44 with spray nozzles 47 and 49, respectively, these sprays being supplied through a supply conduit 46 by a pump 48, which draws from a main tank 50. A heater 58, such as an electrical immersion heater provided with suitable thermostatic controls (not shown), maintains the temperature of the cleansing liquid in the tank 50 at a suitable level. Not shown, but which may be included, is a device for adding a cleansing detergent to the liquid in tank 50. During normal operation, pumps 32 and 48 are continuously driven, usually by separate motors, once the warewash system 10 is started for a period of time.

[0017] The warewash system 10 may optionally include a power rinse (also known as post-wash) chamber or zone (not shown) that is substantially identical to main wash chamber 40. In such an instance, racks of wares proceed from the wash chamber 40 into the power rinse chamber, within which heated rinse water is sprayed onto the wares from upper and lower manifolds. [0018] The racks 12 of wares 14 exit the main wash chamber 40 through a curtain

52 into a final rinse chamber or zone 54. The final rinse chamber 54 is provided with upper and lower spray heads 56, 57 that are supplied with a flow of fresh hot water via pipe 62 running from a hot water booster 70 under the control of a solenoid valve (or alternatively any other suitable valve capable of automatic control). A rack detector 64 may be actuated when a rack 12 of wares 14 is positioned in the final rinse chamber 54 and through suitable electrical controls (e.g., a controller), the detector causes actuation of, for example, a solenoid valve to open and admit the hot rinse water to the spray heads 56, 57. The water then drains from the wares and is directed into the tank 50 by gravity flow. The rinsed rack 12 of wares 14 then exits the final rinse chamber 54 through curtain 66, moving into dryer unit 18, before exiting the outlet end 17 of the machine.

[0019] Fig. 2 shows a hood-type batch machine 100 in which racks are placed in the spray zone and the full cleaning cycle (e.g., wash, rinse and dry) takes place while the rack is stationary. The warewash machine 100 includes a housing 102 (e.g., with support frame and panels) in part defining a chamber 104 with a wash zone 106. The chamber includes front, left and right access openings through which wares can be moved in and out of the chamber for cleaning. At least one spray arm is disposed above or below the wash zone, the spray arm configured to spray liquid toward the wash zone 106. In a typical machine both a wash spray arm and a rinse spray arm may be provided, with the wash spray arm fed by a pump that recirculates liquid from a collection sump or tank 110 below the wash zone, and the rinse spray arm fed by a pump (or line pressure) that delivers hot water from a hot water booster. The arms may, for example, be rotating arms. Upper and lower sets of arms may be implemented. A multi-sided hood assembly 130 includes movable front, left, right and top wall sections and, in some cases, a movable back wall may also be provided (e.g., forming a box-like hood structure that is open at the bottom). The multi-sided hood assembly is movable (per arrow 132) between a lowered closed position for washing and a raised open position (illustrated in Fig. 1) for inlet and outlet of wares. When the multi-sided hood assembly is in the closed position it closes the access openings so that cleaning sprays within the chamber will be contained during ware cleaning. When the multi-sided hood assembly is in the open position the access openings are open as shown in Fig. 2 to permit access to the wash zone for inlet and egress of wares. Machines having independently movable door sections (e.g., front, left and ride) are also contemplated. [0020] A submersible cutlery basket that is usable in a warewash machine, such as either of the machines of Figs. 1 and 2, is provided. Fig. 3 shows an exemplary machine 300 with chamber 302, spray zone 304, wash arm 306, rinse arm 308 and collection tank 310. A strainer pan 312 is configured to direct falling liquid into the tank 310 through a strainer bucket 314 that is removably mounted in an opening 311 of the strainer pan 312. The strainer bucket 314 may include one or more sidewalls having a plurality of openings 315 sized for capturing food debris falling within the wash zone.

[0021] The strainer pan 312 includes a further opening 317 into which a cutlery basket 320 is removably mounted. The cutlery basket 320 is sized and configured to provide submersion of a substantial majority of the cutlery items 322 located in the basket. For instance, at least 50% (e.g., such as at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80% or at least 90%) of a height of the cutlery basket 320 may be positioned below an operating liquid level of the collection tank. Embodiments in which an entire height of the cutlery basket 320 is submerged are also possible. The submerged (partially or fully) arrangement allows an operator to wash regular wares while the cutlery soak in the wash liquid. The turbulence of the wash liquid in the tank helps clean the cutlery. In addition, the operator can allow the cutlery to remain in the wash tank for multiple cleaning cycles, without requiring the operator to repeatedly interact with and handle the cutlery between the cycles. After a desired number of cycles an operator then removes the cutlery basket 320 and places the cutlery into a traditional ware rack 324 for a final cleaning cycle.

[0022] As seen in Fig. 4, the cutlery basket 320 includes an upper handle 330, an upper grid member 332 forming cutlery receiving slots and including a plurality of openings, and a perforated sidewall 334 to allow relative free flow of wash liquid through the cutlery basket for contact with cutlery therein. The cutlery basket may also include a removable solid lid or cover (not shown). Using such a solid lid or cover provides the advantage of preventing heavier soils from falling into the cutlery basket 320 from any wares present in the ware rack 324. The cutlery basket 320 may include one or more sidewalls having a plurality of openings 335 sized for allowing free passage of water into and out of the cutlery basket. In one implementation, the openings may be formed by a mesh configuration of the sidewall(s). The average size of the openings 335 of the cutlery basket 320, when present, are larger than average size of the openings of the strainer bucket 314, when present. The larger size openings of the cutlery basket are intended to be sufficiently large to reduce any capture of food soils within the cutlery basket. [0023] A bottom wall 336 of the cutlery basket may be solid or perforated and is movably connected to the sidewall 334 to permit cutlery items to be released from the bottom of the basket. In this regard, a hinged connection 338 may be utilized for this purpose, with a latch assembly 340 provided to hold the bottom wall 336 in the closed condition to retain cutlery. The latch may, for example, be formed by a hook member 342 having a portion that sits below the edge of the bottom wall, where the hook member 342 is operatively connected to a manual trigger 344 proximate the handle 330 An operator can push the trigger 344 to cause the hook member 342 to shift to a release position that allows downward pivot of the bottom wall 336 to drop the cutlery items out of the bottom of the cutlery basket. This assembly provides a convenient technique for the operator to drop the cutlery items into a ware rack for a final cleaning cycle. Fig. 5 shows a bottom view of a strainer pan 312 with both strainer bucket 314 and cutlery basket 320 positioned therein.

[0024] Cutlery may be cleaned using a warewash machine with a submersible cutlery basket similar to one described above. A method of cleaning may include loading the cutlery into a cutlery basket and then removably mounting the cutlery basket within an opening in a strainer pan located at or near the top of a collection tank of a wash chamber of a warewash machine such that the cutlery basket extends down into the collection tank. Then, one or more cleaning cycles of the warewash machine can be performed. In each cleaning cycle, a wash liquid is recirculated between the collection tank and a spray system for spraying the wash liquid onto wares in a spray zone of the wash chamber followed by spraying of a rinse liquid onto the wares. The cutlery is substantially submerged in the wash liquid in the collection tank during the one or more cleaning cycles. After completion of the one or more cleaning cycles, the cutlery basket may be removed from the strainer pan. Additionally, the cutlery could be removed from the cutlery basket(e.g., using the dropout feature described above), placed above the strainer pan in the spray zone, perhaps in a traditional ware rack for instance, and finally cleaned by running an additional cleaning cycle of the warewash machine.

[0025] The subject cutlery cleaning basket, system and method is simple, cost effective, fits in the footprint of the machine, ensures effective cleaning and sanitization of cutlery and increases machine/operator efficiency.

[0026] It is to be clearly understood that the above description is intended by way of illustration and example only and is not intended to be taken by way of limitation, and that changes and modifications are possible. Accordingly, other embodiments are contemplated and modifications and changes could be made without departing from the scope of this application.