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Publication numberUS2546385 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 27, 1951
Filing dateNov 29, 1944
Priority dateNov 29, 1944
Publication numberUS 2546385 A, US 2546385A, US-A-2546385, US2546385 A, US2546385A
InventorsChristina Vincent
Original AssigneeLogan Lab Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for washing and sterilizing medicinal containers
US 2546385 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 27, 1951 v. CHRISTINA APPARATUS FOR WASHING AND sTERILIzING MEDICINAL CONTAINERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 11 Filed NOV. 29, 1944 JNVENTOR.

@ANIME March 27, 195i v. CHRISTINA APPARATUS FOR WASHING AND STERILIZING MEDICINAL CONTAINERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 29, 1944 INVENTOR.

Patented Mar. 27 `1951 UNITED STATES ENT YOFFICE.

APPARATUS AFOR WASHING AND` STER,-4 ILIZING-VMEDICINAL 'C ON TAINERS rVincent Christina, Pawling, N. Y.,-;a'ssignor to ,LoganLaboratoriea Inc., New York, N. Y., a

corporation of New York lApplication,.November 29, 1944, Serial No. 565,772

.:The invention relates .to an apparatus vfor effecting mass washing .and sterilization of ampules and other medicinal containers andischaracterized, from the point of View of the medical fprofession, principally by an avoidance of hand contact with the ampules either collectively or :individually atan'y time in the preliminary step of assembling or^in the washing or sterilizing operations.

Prominent among themany Vadvantages that 'result from mass washingand sterilization, may

jbe mentioned the saving in time and labor that fwould be involved in individual handling of the ampules and while such saving is ldesirable, a(

more importantv purpose isserved inr that mass washing and sterilization materiallymd in the :accomplishment .of themain .objectief the invention, which is Yto .avoid direct hand contact ywith the ampulesgin .any step or steps `preliminary Ito the washing and/or sterilizing operations, alsol during such operations and thereafter, until the ampules are filledy and sealed.

In carrying the invention into effect, the ampules are handled, preferably, in gross lots, in

.,cartons, usually four in number, in closely fitting recesses, suitably spacedapart in a light-Weight .shallow frame of wood or other material, resting uponatable or other support. After removing .the covers of the cartons to expose the contained ampules, the ampule-holding tray is removed from the washer, being lifted therefrom by means -.ofhandles provided at ,oppositeiends, and placed .bottom up on the cartons. Thenfthe wooden -frame, cartons .and tray are taken .up together -fromthe table, reversedfand given a light jolt or individually enter spaced apart seats in the tray,`

.arranged in four groups, each accommodating a vgross yof ampules.

- The transfer yof the ampules being thusiefected, inmasa from the vcartons to Vthe tray ,of the washer, without hand contact, v.the tray withthe seated ampules is replaced inthe washer and is yso'positioned upon beingl entered therein, by guide postsengaging openings in rthe tray, that an Aupwardly projectingv jet tube of the Washer enters rnach,arnpule to .a suitable depth, usually to a1;

'5 Claims. (Cl. 134-89) two, -which causes the ampules to slide'out ofthe :cartons by their own weight, into the tray and point near the closed end thereof. .To prevent the .ampules from being dislodged or blown from their seats in the subsequent treatment that follov/s,` a reticulated guard plate or screen is 'arrangedrabove them, to limit their upward movement and at the same time permit passage of wash water to .the exterior of the ampules from a sprayabove, located on the inner sideof a :hinged cover of the washer.

The second step is to cleanse the ampules both interiorly and exteriorlyand freevthe same from any and all contained foreign matter. .For that purpose, water, preferably heated and under about fifty pounds pressure,V isdeliveredhrough the jet tubes tothe interior, ofthe ampules-and ythrough the cover .sprayof the washer,y to the exterior thereof and the washing `is continued for a Aperiod of time sufcient'toinsure thorough cleansing. The force of the wash Water tends to lift the ampules from theirv seats in the tray but the guard screen above them checks the action and prevents them from being completely unseated. .In thus moving upwardfrom their seats, the ampulesopen a Way of escape for the wash water from the jet tubeswhich, in passing upwardaround the ampules-cooperates with the cover spray in Washing them eXteriorly.

During the earlystage of development of the method, microscopic inspection of the vampules, after several test washings, disclosed that in'certain localities, notably in New York City and vicinity, very ne particles of foreign matter re- Vmaimed in .the ampules and, it having been de- ,terminedthat'suchmatter was contained in and vdeposited by the Wash Water, provision was accordingly made for thoroughly filtering the water before admitting it to the washer, which is the vpractice now followed in the washing operation.

Associated with and completing the washing-0i theampules, there is a third step, whichfollows the shutting off ofc-the wash water, randconsists ,1in admittinga blast .of lteredair, under twentyfive or thirty pounds pressure, through the jet tubes, to drive outthe water from the ampules, preliminary to the next step of drying and baking the same.

The ampules being thus freed of wash water,

,are transferred in ktheir holding ,tray'from the washer to anovengheated to 160 degrees Centi- ,lgrade Where they are baked for halfv an hour,..or ,such period .of time as maybe .necessary to insure complete and thorough sterilization-'as `that expression is understood and accepted by the medil calV profession.

Sterilization of the ampules being 'nowcoxru cartons. y"the table and after reversing it, to bring the ampule-holding tray on the bottom, it is jogged pleted, the holding tray is removed from the oven and after cooling to room temperature, the ampules are ready for filling.

It will be noted that there is no limit to the number of ampules that may be simultaneously processed in a single operation and further, that regardless of the number treated, the entire operation is carried out to and including filling and sealing the ampules, free of hand contact with the same.

Apparatus suitable for carrying the above described method into effect is illustrated in the accompanying drawings but I do not wish to be understood as intending to limit myself to either the form or details shown, as various changes may be made therein within the meaning of the appended claims.

In the drawings- I Fig'. 1 is a diagrammatic view, showing an assembly of apparatus employed in carrying out my improved method of washing and sterilization.

Fig. 2A is a view in front elevation, partly in section, showing the preliminary assembling of the several members to effect a mass transfer of the ampules from their containing cartons to the holding tray of the washer, and

Fig. 3 is a detail cross sectional view, on ar.' enlarged scale, showing the manner in which the ampules are seated in the holding tray in the washer. As the seating is the same for all ampules, only one is shown in full lines.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to Fig. 1, a small table or shelf is shown at l on which the cartons 2, containing the ampules'S `to be washed and treated, indicated by dots, are

assembled in closely fitting recesses i of a shallow After the cartons are assembled in the frame, their covers are taken off and the ampule-holding tray, removed from the washer by grasping the handles 6a and lifting it clear of the same, is placed bottom up on the The entire assembly is then raised from lightly, causing the ampules to slide out of the cartons by gravity or their own weight and enter fand seat themselves in seats 6b of the tray, indicated by dots. which is then separated from the frame and empty cartons and replaced in the washer.

'As the loaded holding tray is replaced, a jet tube 3 of the washer, enters each ampule to a .suitable depth extending therein usually, to a point adjacent the closed end thereof, as shown in Fig. 3. Registering of the jet tubes with the 'thetray and are enlarged at their lower ends 9a to provide a support for the tray.

-The jet tubes 3 are removably threaded in a VplateI Il', which forms the top of a chambered base l2 and is removably secured thereon watertight, by screws or otherwise, for convenience in making needed repairs, replacements, etc. A

, valved outlet from the chamber is indicated at l 2a. The jet tubes, like the seats in the holding tray, are spaced apart and arranged in separated groups, to correspond in number, spacing and grouping with the ampules in their cartons,

as assembled for transfer, as above described.

1 Two valved connections I3 and I4 are provided to the base chamber, one from a source of sup- =ply of `filtered water under about fty pounds pressure and the other from a source of supply of filtered air under about twenty-five pounds pressure. The water filter employed is indicated at I5, the water pump at |5a, the supply tank at i6, the air compressor at Il and the air filter at Ila.

To prevent the ampules from being blown out of their seats in the holding tray, by the force of the wash water, an open mesh guard screen or the like i8 is provided above them to limit their upward movement and is mounted for convenient removal, to permit the ampule-holding tray to be readily taken out or put back in the washer. It will be noted that as the ampules are lifted from their seats by the water pressure, a way of escape upward around ythe same is opened up for the water from the jet tubes, Vwhich assists in washing the ampules exteriorly.

A hinged cover I9, closes the top of the washer and is provided with openings or is cut away at the sides, as indicated at 2B, to permit the escape of water from the washer to a drain tank 2 l over which the washer is located.

Within the cover I9, centrally of the top thereof, a spray nozzle 22 is. mounted and supplied from the tank I6 through a suitable valved connection 23, which may be flexible in part orl of other suitable construction to permit vthe cover yto be opened and closed.

The operation of washing the ampules, as previously set forth and carried out with the above described apparatus, is followed by the air Vblast for' clearing the ampules of wash water, preparatory to drying and baking the same, which serves 'as the final step of the sterilizing treatment.

From the washer, the ampules, in the holding tray, are transferred to an oven 2li and subjected to a heat of degrees centigrafde, for half an hour or such period of time as may be considered necessary, under existing conditions, to insure complete and thorough sterilization. They are then removed in the holding tray to a table 25 and after cooling to room temperature, are ready for filling and sealing.

As the many important advantages of the invention will be apparent from the foregoing, it will not be necessary to describe them at further length.

, Having described my invention, I claim:

l. In an apparatus for mass Washing and sterilizing ampules free of hand contact with the same, the combination of an ampule washer having upwardly directed jet tubes, a sterilizer for the washed ampules providing a baking heat, a portable ampule-holding tray transferable to and from the washer to the sterilizer, the said tray providingindividual vseats for a mass assembly of ampules in which they are held solely by their own weight yin definite spaced relation and vwithout removal therefrom in' conveyance in the tray to which they are transferred in mass from their packing cases to the washer for the washing operation and in subsequent conveyance from the washer to the sterilizer until the ampules are sterilized, removed from the sterilizer, and filled, and means wholly enclosedfby said washer by which the entrance of the tray therein is mechanically guided to vcause the open ends ofthe contained ampules to uautomatically register in centered relation with the jet tube's thereof, said means comprising vertically `disposed pins that enter openings in the tray and are made of greater length than the jet tubes of the washer to definitely-position the-tray by entering the openings thereof before the jet tubes enter the open ends of the ampules.

2. an apparatus for mass washing and sterilizing ampules free of hand contact with the same, the combination of an ampuie washer having upwardly directed iet tubes, a steiilizer for the washed ampules providing a baking heat, a portable ampule-holding tray transferable to and from the washer to the sterilizer, the said tray providing individual seats for a mass assembly of ampules in which they are held solely by their own weight in definite spaced relation and without removal therefrom in conveyance in the tray to which they are transferred in mass from their packing cases to the washer for the washing operation and in subsequent conveyance fromthe washer to the sterilizer until the ampules are sterilized, removed from the sterilizer, and filled, and means wholly enclosed by said washer by which the entrance of the tray therein is mechanically guided to cause the open ends of the contained ampules to automatically register in centered relation with the jet tubes thereof, said means comprising vertically extending pins that enter openings in the tray and each of which are provided with an annular shoulder for supporting the tray in a position in which the jet tubes of the washer extend through the ampules substantially to the inverted bottoms thereof.

3. In an apparatus for mass washing and sterilizing ampules free of hand contact with the same, the combination of an ampule washer having upwardly directed jet tubes, a sterilizer for the washed ampules providing a baking heat, a portable ampule-holding tray transferable to and from the `washer to the sterilizer, the said tray providing individual seats for a mass assembly of ampules in which they are held solely by their own weight in denite spaced relation and without removal therefrom in conveyance in the tray to which they are transferred in mass from their packing cases to the washer for the washing operation and in subsequent conveyance from the washer to the sterilizer until the ampules are sterilized, removed from the sterilizer, and filled, and means wholly enclosed by said washer by which the entrance of the tray therein is mechanically guided to cause the open ends of the contained ampules to automatically register in centered relation with the jet tubes thereof, said ampule seats in said portable tray being formed as through openings coeXtensive with the entire length of the necks of the ampules, the upper portion of the openings being shaped to receive and limit entrance of the ampules therein to the tapered neck thereof with the open end downward and the lower portion being outwardly and downwardly flared to serve as centering guides for insuring unobstructed entrance of the jet tubes of the washer into the open ends of the ampules.

4. In an apparatus for mass washing and sterilizin-g ampules free of hand contact with the same, the combination of an ampule washer having upwardly directed jet tubes, a sterilizer for the washed ampules providing a baking heat, a portable ampule-holding tray transferable to and from the Washer to the sterilizer, the said tray providing individual seats for a mass assembly of ampules in which they are held solely by their own weight in denite spaced relation and without removal therefrom in conveyance in the tray to which they are transferred in mass from their packing cases to the washer for the washing operation and in subsequent conveyance from the washer to the sterilizer until the ampules are sterilized, removed from the sterilizer, and filled, and means wholly enclosed by said washer `by which the entrance of the tray therein is mechanicall" guided to cause the open ends of the contained ampules to automatically register in centered relation with the jet tubes thereof, said ampule seats in said portable tray being formed as through openings coeXtensive with the entire length of the necks of the ampules, the upper and lower portions of which are oppositely tapered, the upper tapered portion providing support for the tapered neck of the ampules with the open end thereof extending to the narrowest part of such tapered portion and the oppositely tapered lower portion serving as centering guides for the jet tubes of the washer in entering the ampules.

5. In an apparatus for mass washing and sterilizing ampules free of hand Contact with the same, the combination of an ampule washer having upwardly directed jet tubes, a sterilizer for the washed ampules providing a baking heat, a portable ampule-holding tray transferable to and from the washer to the sterilizer, the said tray providing individual seats for a mass assembly of ampules in which they are held solely by their own weight in definite spaced relation and without removal therefrom in conveyance in the tray to which they are transferred in mass from their packing cases to the washer for the washing operation and in subsequent conveyance from the washer to the sterilizer until the ampules are sterilized, removed from the sterilizer, and lled, and means wholly enclosed by said washer by which the entrance of the tray therein is mechanically guided to cause the yopen ends of the contained ampules to automatically register in centered relation with the jet tubes thereof, said tray being provided with a reticulated removable guard suitably spaced above the ampules to limit their upward movement and prevent their being blown clear of their seats by the force of the wash water.

VINCENT CHRISTINA.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification134/89, 211/74, 134/90, 134/200, 134/94.1, 134/92, 134/22.18, 134/169.00R
International ClassificationA61L2/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61L2/06
European ClassificationA61L2/06