By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Wofford, Joseph B. (Danville, KY); Muhlenkamp, Eric E. (Lexington, KY), filed on November 27, 2012, was made available online on June 5, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.
This patent application is assigned to Panasonic Corporation Of North America.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Upright and canister vacuum cleaners equipped with a sliding filter drawer or tray to allow easy access for cleaning or changing a filter are well known in the art. An example of a vacuum cleaner equipped with a filter drawer may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 7,305,735 to Overwaag which is assigned to the assignee of this document.
"One difficulty and concern with such a design relates to the integrity of the flow path through the filter in the drawer. In order to maximize filtering efficiency, any leaks around the filter in the drawer should be minimized or, better still, eliminated. Thus, proper sealing is a major concern. This is difficult to achieve with a sliding drawer.
"This document discloses an apparatus and method for providing a filter drawer with a filter that may be easily accessed for cleaning or changing while also providing excellent sealing for greater cleaning efficiency."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with the purposes of the present invention as described herein, a floor cleaning apparatus is provided comprising a body including a suction inlet and an exhaust outlet, a dirt collection vessel carried on the body and a suction generator carried on the body. The suction generator moves an airstream through the suction inlet, the dirt collection vessel and the exhaust outlet. In addition a filter drawer is carried on the body. A filter is carried in the filter drawer. An airstream port is provided on the body. A filter stop on the body aligns the filter with the airstream port as the filter drawer is moved from a fully opened position toward a fully closed position. In addition a cam arrangement is provided to positively position the filter in the sealed position when the filter drawer is fully closed. The apparatus further includes a filter biasing element that biases the filter into a home position within the filter drawer. That biasing element may take the form of a spring. In one embodiment that spring provide a biasing force of between about 3 and about 7 Newtons.
"The cam arrangement comprises a first set of cams carried on the body and a cooperating second set of cams carried on the filter drawer. When the drawer is in the fully closed position, the first set of cams engages the second set of cams so as to positively displace the drawer and the filter toward the body so as to seal around the airstream port between said body and said filter.
"More specifically describing the apparatus, the filter drawer moves in a travel path from the fully opened position to the fully closed position. The filter is moved into alignment with the airstream port on the body as the filter drawer is moved along a first portion of that travel path until the filter contacts the filter stop. In one embodiment, the filter includes a seal and a gap is maintained between the seal and the body as the filter drawer is moved along the first portion of the travel path. This allows for smooth and relatively easy movement of the filter drawer. The filter is then moved toward its final sealed position as the filter drawer is moved along a second portion of the travel path from a point when the filter first engages the filter stop until the filter drawer is in the fully closed position. The filter is displaced against the biasing element and moves from the home position to an operating position in the filter drawer as the filter drawer is moved along the second portion of the travel path.
"In accordance with an additional aspect, a method is provided for sealing a filter in a filter drawer around an airstream port on a housing that receives the filter drawer. That method may be broadly described as comprising the steps of (a) moving the filter drawer along a travel path between a fully opened position and a fully closed position, (b) aligning the filter with the airstream port as the filter drawer is freely moved along a first portion of the travel path and © displacing the filter drawer and filter toward the housing until a seal engages and seals around the airstream port between the housing and the filter as the filter drawer is moved along a second portion of the travel path. The method further includes biasing the filter into a home position in the filter drawer as the filter drawer is moved along the first portion of the travel path. In addition the method includes a step of displacing the filter into an operating position in the filter drawer as the filter drawer is moved along the second portion of the filter path.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings incorporated herein and forming a part of the specification, illustrate several aspects of the vacuum cleaner and together with the description serve to explain certain principles of its construction and operation. In the drawings:
"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the vacuum cleaner;
"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the dirt cup assembly of the vacuum cleaner with action arrows illustrating air through the dirt cup;
"FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the vacuum cleaner with the filter drawer removed;
"FIG. 4 is a detailed perspective view illustrating the motor assembly housing of the vacuum cleaner with the drawer withdrawn from the motor assembly housing;
"FIG. 5a is a perspective view of the interior of the filter drawer with the filter removed illustrating the spring that biases the filter into a home position in the filter drawer;
"FIG. 5b is a perspective view of the interior of the filter drawer illustrating the spring biasing the filter into the home position at the forward end of the drawer;
"FIG. 5c is a perspective view of the interior of the filter drawer illustrating the filter in the operating position within the filter drawer;
"FIG. 6a is a longitudinal cross-sectional view through the cooperating cams at one side of the drawer with the drawer in an opened position;
"FIG. 6b is a view similar to FIG. 6a but with the drawer partially closed in a position along the first portion of its travel path;
"FIG. 6c is a view similar to FIGS. 6a and 6b but illustrating the drawer at the point where the filter stop first contacts the filter with the cam sets partially engaged the filter aligned with the filter seat and a gap maintained between the filter seal and the filter seat;
"FIG. 6d is a view similar to FIGS. 6a-6c but illustrating the drawer in the fully closed position and the filter seal engaging and sealing against the filter seat;
"FIG. 6e is a top plan view of the drawer in the fully closed position;
"FIG. 7 is a detailed cross-sectional view at the point of contact of the lip of the filter with the stop on the suction generator compartment housing;
"FIG. 8 is a schematical illustration of how the air is directed through the vacuum cleaner; and
"FIG. 9 is a detailed transverse cross-sectional view showing the filter drawer in the fully closed position in the upper and lower sections of the suction generator housing; and
"FIG. 10 is a detailed longitudinal cross-sectional view showing the filter drawer in the fully closed position in the upper section of the suction generator housing.
"Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiment of the vacuum cleaner illustrated in the accompanying drawings."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Wofford, Joseph B.; Muhlenkamp, Eric E. Floor Cleaning Apparatus with Filter Drawer. Filed November 27, 2012 and posted June 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=6176&p=124&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140529.PD.&OS=PD/20140529&RS=PD/20140529
Keywords for this news article include: Panasonic Corporation Of North America.
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