(19)
(11)EP 1 826 157 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
29.08.2007 Bulletin 2007/35

(21)Application number: 07102814.6

(22)Date of filing:  21.02.2007
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B65G 45/18  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR
Designated Extension States:
AL BA HR MK YU

(30)Priority: 22.02.2006 PL 37903406

(71)Applicant: International Tobacco Machinery Poland Ltd
26 600 Radom (PL)

(72)Inventor:
  • Majewski, Cezary International Tobacco Machinery
    26-630 Jedlnia Letnisko (PL)

(74)Representative: Rachubik, Irena 
Nowoursynowska 162 J Patpol
02-776 Warszawa
02-776 Warszawa (PL)

 
Remarks:
Amended claims in accordance with Rule 86 (2) EPC.
 


(54)Method and device for washing conveyor belts


(57) A method for washing conveyor belts, according to the invention, is characterized in that the drive of the conveyor belt (2) is transferred via rollers (3) and a cleaning element is driven, preferably having the form of a rotating brush (9), and the shield (4) is sprayed by a spraying system (7), and the cleaning element is wetted by a wetting system (8).
A device for washing conveyor belts, comprising a cleaning element and spraying nozzles, is characterized in that the conveyor belt (2) is situated between a pressuring element and a washing-cleaning assembly (1).




Description


[0001] This invention relates to a method and a device for washing conveyor belts in food industry, particularly in tobacco industry and relates to a washing process of any type of transporting belts mounted on conveyors.

[0002] A device is known from US 4 860 883, in which a rotating cleaning element is used to wash a belt, having a form of a cylinder covered with a continuos cleaning layer, e.g., fleece, the task of which is to remove wetted dirt from the belt. As a consequence, the resistance of the material moving oppositely to the belt requires relatively high power for rotating the cylinder, the power being possible to provide only by a separate drive (for example an electrical drive). The advantage of this solution relative to the use of a brush is that there is no splash of a liquid inside the device, but due to its structure, the material is gradually and permanently filled up with the dirt, thus making the quality of the cleaning process being less and less effective with increasing the time of the operation of the roller, and also imposing the necessity of frequent exchange of the coat (the working surface) of the cylinder.

[0003] Such a cylinder is not suitable for cleaning belts with embossments on the working surface, which are often used in the industry, for example for conveyors arranged at a large inclination angle.

[0004] Moreover, it should be noted that in industrial practice the dirt has a form of a coating, often hardened, which may be strongly adhered to the working surface of the belt. Impurities accumulate particularly persistently in the proximity of hollows/embossments, or other patterns of the working surface of the belt, the depth/height of which is typically in the range of 0 - 5 mm. Thus, employing a rotating roller, especially with a flat working surface, does not make it possible to remove dirt from the belt's surface properly.

[0005] An additional effect in the cited document is the said necessity of wetting and/or spraying a liquid onto the working surface of the roller. This is disadvantageous, or even impractical for the industry, since impurities deposited in a smooth portion of the working belt need other amounts of the liquid than those deposited/accumulated in the proximity of hollows/embossments, or other patterns of the belt's working surface. In the case of applying an amount of the liquid being optimal for the removal of the dirt from a smooth portion of the belt, impurities deposited/accumulated in the proximity of hollows/embossments or other patterns of the belt's working surface will remain. In the case of applying an excess amount of the liquid, so that to remove dirt deposited/accumulated in the proximity of hollows/embossments, or other patterns of the belt's working surface, the cleaned belt's surface may remain wetted after leaving the device due to the continuos working motion of the belt. Linear scrapers remove the excess liquid and/or remaining dirt effectively only on smooth, non-profiled belts. In the case of profiled belts, which constitute a significant fraction in the industry, such scrapers are ineffective.

[0006] In this case impurities reaccumulate on the belt's working surface. The effect of this reaccumulation process is particularly strong and adverse at the moment when the wetted belt's working surface contacts the transported material again.

[0007] According to the invention, a method for washing conveyor belts, wherein a washing liquid is sprayed from spraying nozzles and the belt's working surface is cleaned by a cleaning element, is characterized in that the drive of the conveyor belt is transferred via rollers and the cleaning element is driven, preferably having the form of a rotating brush, and the shield is sprayed by a spraying system and the cleaning element is wetted by a wetting system.

[0008] Moreover, the conveyor belt is dried after the washing step.

[0009] Moreover, the dirt is sprayed with a stream of liquid from nozzles and is removed to lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly, preferably to a sink basin.

[0010] The velocity of the belt is 5 - 60 m/min, preferably 10-40 m/min.

[0011] The belt is dried by an air knife with a pressure of air of 300 - 600 kPa, preferably at least 400 kPa.

[0012] The shield is sprayed with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, coming from a wetting system, and the cleaning element is wetted with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, coming from the wetting system (8).

[0013] The rotational speed of the brush is 20 - 240 rpm, preferably the rotational speed is 1.2 - 3.2 times the linear velocity of the belt.

[0014] The pressure of the washing liquid from the nozzles for flushing the impurities is 100 - 500 kPa, preferably 300 - 400 kPa.

[0015] According to the invention, a device for washing conveyor belts, comprising a cleaning element and spraying nozzles, is characterized in that the conveyor belt is situated between a pressuring element and a washing-cleaning assembly.

[0016] The washing-cleaning assembly comprises a cleaning element situated between rollers, which are situated directly below the conveyor belt, and it is equipped with a spraying system for spraying the shield and a wetting system for wetting the cleaning element.

[0017] The washing-cleaning assembly is movably mounted to a support plate and is coupled to the support plate via a drive, preferably a pneumatic cylinder.

[0018] Preferably, the cleaning element is a rotating brush seated on a brush roller.

[0019] Preferably, rollers are connected by an endless belt, which is pressured by a roller from above, and a stretching roller is situated below the brush roller for controlling the tension of the endless belt.

[0020] The pressuring element comprises at least one pressuring roller, which is a rotary roller.

[0021] Preferably, nozzles for flushing the impurities are located in the lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly, and, preferably, a sink basin is located below them, in the lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly.

[0022] Moreover, the washing-cleaning assembly comprises at least one air knife for drying the conveyor belt from remaining film of the washing liquid, situated transversely at an angle, directly below the conveyor belt. Preferably, the air knife has a form of a slit nozzle.

[0023] The disadvantages of the known solutions have been eliminated due to the use of a brush, according to the present invention.

[0024] According to the invention, a drying step has been introduced after the washing step.

[0025] In the case of simple substituting a rotating brush for the cylinder in the described device, without employing an assembly of rollers described in the present invention, the device would lose its self-cleaning functionality and would contribute to transferring the impurity onto other elements of the conveyor.

[0026] The device according to the invention does not need any separate driving assembly. The drive is transferred from the conveyor belt to the brush.

[0027] Due to the operation of the device, the brush is subjected to a self-cleaning process, this, preferably, allowing for obtaining constant parameters of the process of cleaning the belt, and also the necessity of cleaning and/or exchanging the cleaning brush is eliminated.

[0028] The rollers transferring the drive have also a function of tensioning and straightening the belt if it is mechanically deformed, and also function as a self-cleaning, splash-proof shield of the cleaning zone. Moreover, one of these rollers, mounted beyond the brush in the direction of the motion of the belt, is collecting an excess of the liquid therefrom. In order to guarantee the proper tension of the belt and the proper drive transfer, the belt is pressured by pressuring elements.

[0029] The invention will be now described with reference to a particular embodiment and accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 shows schematically a side view of a device according to the invention in the rest position;

Fig. 2 shows schematically a front view of the device of Fig. 1, and

Fig. 3 shows schematically a side view of a device according to the invention in the working position.



[0030] According to the invention, in a method of washing conveyor belts, one transfers the drive of the conveyor belt 2 via rollers 3 and drives a cleaning element, preferably in the form of a rotating brush 9. Also, one sprays a shield 4 by means of a spraying system 7 and wets the cleaning element by means of a wetting system 8. Moreover the belt 2 is dried after the washing step. Also, according to the invention one sprays the impurities with a stream of the liquid from nozzles 12 and removes them to the lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly 1, preferably to the sink basin 14.

[0031] The velocity of the belt is 5 - 60 m/min, preferably 10 - 40 m/min, and the belt is dried by means of an air knife 5 with a pressure of 300 - 600 kPa, preferably at least 400 kPa.

[0032] The shield 4 is sprayed with a washing liquid with a pressure of 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, from a spraying system 7, and the cleaning element is wetted by the washing liquid with a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, from the wetting system 8.

[0033] The rotating brush 9 has a rotational speed in the range of 20 - 240 rpm, preferably the rotational speed is 1.2 - 3.2 times the linear velocity of the belt 2.

[0034] The pressure of the washing liquid from the nozzles 12 for flushing the impurities is 100 - 500 kPa, preferably 300 - 400 kPa.

[0035] Figs. 1 and 2 show the rest position of the device for washing the conveyor belt 2. The device is mounted to a support plate 15, which is mounted to conveyors' frame (not shown in the figure).

[0036] The device comprises a washing-cleaning assembly 1, movably mounted to the support plate 15, the assembly, after switching on, travelling upward by means of a drive, preferably a pneumatic cylinder 6, from the rest position shown in figs. 1 and 2 to the working position below the belt 2 of the conveyor, as shown in fig. 3.

[0037] After the washing-cleaning assembly 1 enters the working position, the assembly is activated. The belt 2 drives the roller 3 and the pressuring element having the form of at least one pressuring roller 10, preferably two, afterward the drive being transferred to the cleaning element, preferably in the form of a rotating brush 9, via an endless belt 11 and a stretching roller 13, via a brush roller 16, on which the brush is mounted. The brush 9 is situated between the rollers 3. The stretching roller 13 is situated below the brush roller 16 with the rotating brush 9. The brush 9 has two functions: it cleans the belt 2 and the rollers 3. The endless belt 11 is pressured by the brush roller 16 from above, while the stretching roller 13 for controlling the tension of the endless belt 11 is situated below the brush roller 16. Best cleaning effects are obtained for the belt 2 travelling with a velocity of 5 - 60 m/min, preferably 10 - 40 m/min.

[0038] The washing-cleaning assembly 1 comprises at least one air knife 5 for drying the belt 2 from the remaining film of the washing liquid, the air knife being situated transversely at an angle directly below the belt 2. Preferably, the air knife 5 has a form of a slit nozzle.

[0039] Then, the wetting system 8 is activated for wetting the rotating brush 9 and the spraying system 7 is activated for spraying the shield 4 with a washing liquid, for example water and/or its solution. The shield 4 of the brush 9 has also a function of a scraper for the roller 3 and it is cleaned by the same brush 9.

[0040] The spraying system 7 feeding the process liquid via, e.g., water nozzles, is situated along the shield 4 and has a function of washing the shield 4, while the wetting system 8 comprises, e.g., water nozzles feeding the process liquid. The nozzles are arranged along the brush 9 and wet it along its whole length.

[0041] Impurities in a liquid form accumulate in the lower portion 14 of the cleaning-washing assembly 1 of the device for washing conveyor belts 2, then being removed therefrom by a liquid stream, for example the washing liquid from the nozzles 12, to the sink basin 14 or a container for sewage.


Claims

1. A method for washing conveyor belts, wherein a washing liquid is sprayed from spraying nozzles and the belt's working surface is cleaned by a cleaning element, characterized in that the drive of the conveyor belt (2) is transferred via rollers (3) and the cleaning element is driven, preferably having the form of a rotating brush (9), and the shield (4) is sprayed by a spraying system (7) and the cleaning element is wetted by a wetting system (8).
 
2. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the conveyor belt (2) is dried after the washing step.
 
3. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the dirt is sprayed with a stream of liquid from nozzles (12) and is removed to lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly (1), preferably to a sink basin (14).
 
4. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the velocity of the belt (2) is 5 - 60 m/min, preferably 10 - 40 m/min.
 
5. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the belt (2) is dried by an air knife (5) with a pressure of air of 300 - 600 kPa, preferably at least 400 kPa.
 
6. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the shield (4) is sprayed with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, coming from a wetting system (7), and the cleaning element is wetted with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, coming from the wetting system (8).
 
7. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the rotational speed of the brush (9) is 20 - 240 rpm, preferably the rotational speed is 1.2 - 3.2 times the linear velocity of the belt (2).
 
8. A method according to claim 3, characterized in that the pressure of the washing liquid from the nozzles (12) for flushing the impurities is 100 - 500 kPa, preferably 300 - 400 kPa.
 
9. A device for washing conveyor belts, comprising a cleaning element and spraying nozzles, characterized in that the conveyor belt (2) is situated between a pressuring element and a washing-cleaning assembly (1).
 
10. A device according to claim 9, characterized in that the washing-cleaning assembly (1) comprises a cleaning element situated between rollers (3), which are situated directly below the conveyor belt (2), and it is equipped with a spraying system (7) for spraying the shield (4) and a wetting system (8) for wetting the cleaning element.
 
11. A device according to claim 9 or 10, characterized in that the washing-cleaning assembly (1) is movably mounted to a support plate (15).
 
12. A device according to any of claims 9 - 11, characterized in that the washing-cleaning assembly (1) is mounted to a support plate (15) via a drive, preferably a pneumatic cylinder (6).
 
13. A device according to claim 10, characterized in that the cleaning element is a rotating brush (9) seated on a brush roller (16).
 
14. A device according to claim 10, characterized in that rollers (3) are connected by an endless belt (11), which is pressured by a brush roller (16) from above, and a stretching roller (13) is situated below the brush roller (16) for controlling the tension of the endless belt (11).
 
15. A device according to claim 9, characterized in that the pressuring element comprises at least one pressuring roller (10), which is a rotary roller.
 
16. A device according to any of claims 9 - 12, characterized in that nozzles (12) for flushing the impurities are located in the lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly (1), and, preferably, a sink basin (14) is located below them, in the lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly (1).
 
17. A device according to any of claims 9 - 12 and 16, characterized in that the washing-cleaning assembly (1) comprises at least one air knife (5) for drying the conveyor belt (2) from remaining film of the washing liquid, situated transversely at an angle, directly below the conveyor belt (2).
 
18. A device according to claim 17, characterized in that the air knife (5) has a form of a slit nozzle.
 


Amended claims in accordance with Rule 86(2) EPC.


1. A method for washing conveyor belts, wherein a washing liquid is sprayed from spraying nozzles and the belt has working surface that is cleaned by a cleaning element, the drive of the conveyor belt 2 is transferred via rollers 3 and the cleaning element is driven, preferably having the form of a rotating brush 9 and the shield 4 of the cleaning element is sprayed by a spraying system 7 and the cleaning element is wetted by a wetting system 8;
 
2. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the conveyor belt 2 is dried after the washing step.
 
3. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the dirt is sprayed with a stream of liquid from nozzles 12 and is removed to lower portion of the washing-cleaning assembly 1, preferably to a sink basin 14.
 
4. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the velocity of the belt 2 is 5 - 60 m/min, preferably 10 - 40 m/min.
 
5. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the belt 2 is dried by an air knife 5 with a pressure of air of 300 - 600 kPa, preferably at least 400 kPa.
 
6. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the shield 4 is sprayed with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20 - 500 kPa, preferably 30-100 kPa, coming from a wetting system 7, and the cleaning element is wetted with a washing liquid of a pressure of 20-500 kPa, preferably 30 - 100 kPa, coming from the wetting system 8,
 
7. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the rotational speed of the brush 9 is 20 - 240 rpm, preferably the rotational speed is 1.2 - 3.2 times the linear velocity of the belt 2.
 
8. A method according to claim 3, characterized in that the pressure of the washing liquid from the nozzles (12) for flushing the impurities is 100 - 500 kPa, preferably 300 - 400 kPa.
 
9. A device for washing conveyor belts, comprising a cleaning element and spraying nozzles, the conveyor belt 2 is situated between a pressuring element and a washing-cleaning assembly 1 comprises a cleaning element situated between rollers 3 which are situated directly below the conveyor belt 2 and it is equipped with a spraying system 7 for spraying the shield 4 of cleaning system, and a wetting system 8 for wetting the cleaning element.
 
10. A device according to claim 9, characterized in that the shield 4 is used as a scraper for roller 3.
 




Drawing



















REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description