US 3746022 A
This invention is a washing machine for medical and laboratory equipment with an equipment holding tray slidable into and out of the machine on either side thereof and provided with a manifold which connects to a washing fluid source when a frame, on which the tray is mounted, is moved down by hydraulic cylinders against the action of springs.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Fillion et a1.
[ July 17, 1973 WASHING MACHINE FOR MEDICAL AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT  Inventors: Paul-Henri Fillion, Ste-Fey, Quebec;
. Viateur Guay, Charlesbourg, Quebec, both of Canada  Assignee: IIoplab Inc., Quebec, Canada  Filed: 9 Feb. 8, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 113,487
 US. Cl 134/141, 134/145, 134/152, 134/156, 134/165  Int. Cl B08b 3/02, BOSb 9/08  Field of Search 134/141, 145, 152, 134/156, 165
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,448,743 6/1969 Berry 134/152X 2,691,381 10/1954 Strunck et a1. 134/152 3,590,863 7/1971 Faust et a1. 134/165 X 2,627,746 2/1953 Fechter 134/141 X 2,678,656 5/1954 Palmer 134/141 X Primary Examiner-Robert L. Bleutge Attorney-Raymond A. Robic 7 ABSTRACT This invention is a washing machine for medical and laboratory equipment with an equipment holding tray slidable into and out of the machine on either side thereof and provided with a manifold which connects to a washing. fluid source when a frame, on which the tray is mounted, is moved down by hydraulic cylinders against the action of springs.
2 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENIEDJ'JL 1 W 3'. 746.022
sum 1 or 3 Viuteur GU Y mmmzmm 3346.022
SHEH 2 0F 3 FIG. 5 INVENTORfi Poul-Henri FILLIUN Violeur GUAY W Arron/wry PATENTEBJUL 1 H975 745,022
SHEEI 3 or 3 IN VENTORS F76. 9 Poul-Henri FILLION Vioteur GUAY t :1 TTURNI-I WASHING MACHINE FOR MEDICAL AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT The present invention relates to washing machines for medical and laboratory equipment and is particularly concerned with an arrangement currently favoured, in which the washing machine is mounted in the wall of a controlled environment room such as an operating room or a laboratory and is provided with doors affording access to the interior of the machine both from the controlled environment room and from the outside. With this arrangement, it is possible to introduce soiled or unsterile equipment from the outside into the machine without opening the inner door and to remove it from the inside without opening the outer door and vice versa, so as to avoid direct access between the controlled environment room and the outside area, thereby minimizing danger of contamination.
The equipment in question includes many fragile glass items such as test-tubes, pipettes, flasks, syringes etc., which must be held in a steady position during the washing operation to prevent scratching and breakage, and which must, of course, be washed as thoroughly on the inside As on the outside. It is therefore necessary to provide a tray for holding the equipment, and the tray must be provided with jet nozzles for introducing treatment fluids into the interior of the items. The tray must be held stationary during the washing operation and must be removable from either side of the machine. The connection of the tray nozzle system to the source of treatment fluids presents a problem because of the aforementioned mobility requirement, particularly in view of the critical time factors involved.
The conditions subsisting within the washing machine during the washing operation are generally unfavourable to mechanical devices since they make it difficult to maintain proper lubrication. Furthermore, it is necessary to provide for ease of cleaning and to avoid the subsistence of pockets of liquid which can lead to corrosion of the parts and to septic conditions.
The present invention seeks to provide a solution to the aforementioned problems. In accordance with the invention, the washing machine comprises a treatment fluid supply source and an equipment holding device which is mounted for sliding movement into and out of the machine and for displacement lateral to the direction of such sliding movement into operative relation with the supply source.
This arrangement has the advantage of minimizing the number of moving parts and mechanical devices involved and of simplifying the connection between the treatment fluid source and the tray nozzle system, because, as the tray is connected to the source, it is at the same time rigidly held in position and as it is disconnected therefrom, it is also at the same time released for sliding movement and can be easily removed from the machine. Thus no separate clamping means and no separate connecting means are required.
According to a further feature of the invention, the machine comprises a frame having a track for the tray, springs urging the frame into an upper position in which the tray is free to slide in the track and hydraulic cylinders to displace the frame into a lower position in which the tray nozzle system is connected to the fluid supply source.
The use of springs counteracting the hydraulic cylinders reduces to a minimum the number of mechanical parts involved, while the use of the hydraulic cylinders themselves avoids the necessity for special power devices while still providing push-button operation. The hydraulic cylinders can furthermore be operated by city water pressure and drain which has to be supplied to the washer in any case, Thus furher simplifying the whole system. In addition, the hydraulic cylinders are easy of maintenance and they can be interconnected for smooth operation to ensure prope proper and balanced movement of the frame and tray.
Another advantage of the arrangement according to the invention is that the moving parts are all freestanding and are easily accessible for cleaning.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the interior of the washing machine according to the invention showing the parts of the machine with which the invention is primarily concerned, namely the tray, the frame and the mechanism for displacing the frame.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section of one of the hydraulic cylinders and adjacent portion of a push-rod.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevation of a hydraulic cylinder, push-rod and adjacent frame portion, showing the.
pushrod removed for cleaning purposes.
FIG. 4 is a plan of the tray.
FIG. 5 is a detail vertical cross-section of the tray.
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-section of the tray and a vertical longitudinal section of the fluid supply source in disconnected position.
FIG. 7 is a detail section corresponding to FIG. 6 but showing the connected position.
FIG. 8 is a detail section corresponding to FIG. 6 showing an equipment holding device.
FIG. 9 is a detail plan of FIG. 8.
With reference to FIG. 1, the washing machine according to the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a cabinet, only fragments of which are shown at 10, and shelves indicated at 11 above each of which are provided doors (not shown).
Within the interior of the cabinet, there is a rectangular frame 12 having two lateral channels 13 and a central I-section member 14 forming two tracks for trays such as 15 which are slidable in the tracks and can be removed through the doors on either side of the machine.
A treatment fluid supply pipe 16 is centrally located under each of the two tracks.
The frame 12 is supported at its four corners on compression coil springs 17 resting on a stationary horizontal portion of the cabinet (not shown). A stationary positioning stud 18 (FIG. 3) is located within each of the springs 17.
Hydraulic cylinders 19 are mounted above the four corners of the frame by being pivotally attached to the cabinet walls by means of brackets 20. The cylinders 19 are interconnected by pipes 21, one of which is connected by a pipe 22 to a three-way valve 23 having a supply pipe 24 feeding into it and a drain pipe 25 leading from it. The supply pipe 24 and the drain pipe 25 are connected to city water system or the like. Details of the threeway valve 23 are not shown since such devices are well known. The valve 23 can be actuated to feed city water under the usual pressure to the four cylinders 19 or to cause regulated drainage of the cylinders.
Each cylinder 19, as shown in FIG. 2, contains a piston 26 and has a lower bearing extension 27 slidably receiving the top section 28 of a push-rod 29. Each piston 26 has a shallow depression in the bottom face thereof in which seats the end of section 28. Thesection 28 has an internally threaded sleeve 30 receiving the threaded top portion 31 of push-rod 29 to allow adjustment of the overall length of the push-rod. A nut 32 on the threaded push-rod .portion 31 locks against the sleeve 30 once the desired length has been set.
At the bottom end of each push-rod 29, there is a portion of reduced diameter 33 (FIG. 3) which fits in a hole 34 at each corresponding corner of the frame 12.
It is evident that the cylinders 19 are effective to displace the frame 12 downwardly against the action of springs 17 while maintaining the frame in a horizontal position.
Each push-rod can be removed by manually depressing the frame 12 at the corresponding corner, thus freeing portion 33 from hole 34, then slightly tilting the rod and cylinder assembly as shown in FIG. 3 and sliding section 28 out of bearing extension 27.
Tray 15 (FIGS. and 6) comprises a top plate 35 with a peripheral flange 36 and a bottom plate 37 with a peripheral flange 38, assembled together at their flanges and by means of intermediate spacer studs 39 and defining a manifold therebetween..
The flanged edges of plate assembly 35-37 are slidably received in the tracks formed by channels 13 and member 14, which are lined with low-friction plastic material 40, as shown in FIG. 5.
The top plate 35 has a plurality of threaded holes into which are screwed threaded extensions 41 of nozzles 42 of sealing plastic material, having jet bores 43 extending therethrough and upwardly opening conical sockets 44.
The bottom plate 37 of the manifold assembly has a central opening 45.
Secured to the top plate 35 are angle brackets 46 which carry posts 47 to the tops of which is bolted an equipment holding device consisting of peripherally flanged nesting plates 48 clamping therebetween a sheet of resilient material 49 by means of bolts 50. The
plates 48 have matching holes 51 aligned with the nozzles 42 and the sheet 49 has slits 52 within the holes as shown in FIG. 9 to resiliently hold the items to be washed as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8. The mouths of the items fit into the conical sockets 44 and are thus positively held in position over the jets 43. The conical sockets 44 and the slits 52 can accommodate items of various dimensions within a certain range.
Treatment fluid supply pipe 16, as shown in FIG. 6, has a threaded section 53 at the top thereof on which is mounted a collar 54 which carries a conical sealing ring 55 adapted to seal against the opening 45 of bottom plate 37. the collar 54 allows adjustment of the position of the sealing ring 55 and once the desired position has been set, the collar 54 is locked by a set screw 56 mounted in the wall of the collar 54 and engaging the threaded section 53.
A screen 57 is provided in the interior of the collar 54 to filter impurities out of the treatment fluid.
To position the tray 12 with its opening 45 directly above the sealing ring 55, resilient stops are provided consisting of balls 58 (FIG. 5) mounted in the edges of plate assembly 35-37 and urged into suitably located sockets in the channel liners 40 by bent portions 59 of plate 35 acting as leaf springs.
Once the tray has been placed in the position defined by such stops, the hydraulic cylinders 19 are actuated thus lowering the frame 12 and pressing the opening 45 against the sealing ring 55. Fluid is then introduced through pipe 16 and such fluid fills the manifold and spurts through jets 43 and into the items to be washed.
1. A washing machine for medical and laboratory equipment presentng treatment fluid supply means, tray means for receiving and holding said equipment, and tray receiving and holding means; said treatment fluid supply means comprising a vertical pipe, the upper end of which is open, said tray means comprising treatment fluid distribution and dispensing means presenting fluid dispensing apertures and a fluid intake aperture; said fluid intake aperture being disposed in a horizontal plane, at the bottom of said tray means, said tray receiving and holding means presenting horizontally directed tray engaging track means, said tray means being slidably movable along said tray engaging track means toward and away from a position whereat the fluid intake aperture is in vertical alignment with and above the upper end of the vertical pipe, said tray receiving and vertically means being resiliently supported and verticaly displaceable; actuator means for downwardly urging said tray receiving and holding means and bringing the intake aperture into communication with the vertical pipe.
2. A washing machine for medical and laboratory equipment as claimed in claim 1 wherein a sealing member is provided terminally of the vertical pipe for ensuring a fluid tight communication between the intake aperture and said pipe.