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Publication numberUS2691381 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1954
Filing dateAug 5, 1950
Priority dateNov 9, 1949
Publication numberUS 2691381 A, US 2691381A, US-A-2691381, US2691381 A, US2691381A
InventorsHeinrich Strunck, Johann Ruhl
Original AssigneeHeinrich Strunck, Johann Ruhl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for cleaning medical ampoules and the like
US 2691381 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 12, 1954 DEVICE FOR CLEANING MEDICAL AMPOULES AND THE LIKE H. STRUNCK EIAL Filed Aug. 5. 1950 IN V EN TORS Patented Oct. 12, 1954 OFFICE.

DEVICE FOR CLEANING MEDICAL AMPOULES AND THE LIKE Heinrich Strunck and Johann Ruhl, Koln, Germany Application August 5, 1950, Serial No. 177,794

Claims priority, application Germany November 9, 1949 This invention relates to a device for cleaning medical ampoules or similar small glass vessels.

In prior devices ampoules to be cleaned are put, with their openings turned downward, into a container filled partly with a cleaning liquid. By periodically evacuating the whole container and connecting it with the atmosphere the cleaning liquid is caused to enter into the ampoules and flow back when the container is evacuated. These prior devices do not reliably clean the whole interior of the ampoules, especially the bottoms thereof.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for cleaning ampoules so as to free them of all impurities and to dry and sterilize them in several consecutive treatment steps. Another object is to simplify and reduce the costs of cleanin ampoules.

In accordance with the present invention, a number of ampoules are put with their mouths turned downward into a downwardly movable ampoule holder. When the ampoule holder is moved downward the mouths of the ampoules are disposed by guide funnels so that stationary hollow needles can be introduced into the ampoules through which needles cleaning agents are forced into the ampoules, said agents flowing off again along the shafts of the needles. These needles may be stationary and. the ampoule holder together with the ampoules and guide funnels may be lowered so as to cause the hollow needles to enter into the ampoules. The introduction of the needles presents no difhculties and there is no danger that the needles will strike the free edges of the ampoule mouths because the mouths of the ampoules are placed in proper positions by means of the guide funnels. Once the needles are introduced into the downwardly disposed necks of the ampoules, the cleaning may be done more or less intensively. To give an example, fresh water is first injected through the needles. It rushes to the bottoms of the ampoules, flows down again along the ampoule walls and after a violent turbulent action comes out again along the wallsof the hollow needles through the ampoule necks. By introducing air under pressure the discharge may be accelerated. Thereupon, a second clean-- ing and rinsing may be carried out by using a hot lye, followed by another rinsing with fresh water and if desired with distilled water. To eliminate the last traces of liquid hot air may be blown into the ampoules. Finally, cooled sterile air may be blown in. The ampoules will remain sterile for filling if such filling is done shortly after the cleaning because they will slowly get warmer dur- 5 Claims. (Cl. 134-152) 2 ing the transport and the cooled sterile air contained therein will expand and thus prevent dusty and non-sterile air from entering thereinto.

The hollow needles are held vertically on a base and the free ends thereof are disposed in bores provided in an intermediate plate. These bores form inverted cone-shaped portions which constitute the previously mentioned guide funnels and cylindrical portions which surround the free ends of the needles. The intermediate plate is slidably arranged on vertical guide posts extending from the base and is kept in desired position by means of springs preferably disposed on the guide posts.

The ampoule holder is removable for inserting therein the ampoules to be cleaned and for manipulating the ampoules thereafter, and when it is inserted in the cleaning device and moved downward the ampoule necks are received by the inverted cone-shaped portions of the bores in the intermediate plate and guided thereby so that the mouths of the, necks lie exactly above the cylindrical portions of the bores in which are disposed the free ends of the needles. The ampoules standing with their lower edges on the inner side of the cone shaped portions Or the bores (guide funnels) are in slight pressure engagement therewith due to the resiliently mounted intermediate plate. The plate is thereupon forced downward and the ampoule holder with its ampoules follows automatically until it meets a stop. The base on which the needles are held is, however, stationary, and the free ends of the needles therefore move into the ampoules. When the ampoule holder meets said stops, the intermediate plate will be forced somewhat downward until the ampoules are free of engagement with the guide funnels. The intermediate plate is kept in its lowermost position by means of a safety device preferably operating autolnatically. Thereupon, there is put on a lid which may be guided by the guide posts. This lid preferably provided with openings above the ampoules. The edges of this lid may be bent upward to form a bowl-like structure.

The cleaning agent forced in under pressure through the hollow needles rushes against the bottom of the ampoules, which are thereby somewhat lifted toward the lid. The cleaning agent flows oil again along the needles through the am- Doule neck. When the pressure is relaxed the ampoules will drop down again without danger of damage to the fragile edges of their necks.

The ampoule holder is preferably provided with Stops may be provided for limiting the position of the intermediate plate.

supporting feet, which reach down farther than the ampoule necks, but must not touch the intermediate plate when the holder is inserted into the device. The ampoule holder may comprise two metallic sheets provided with holes. These sheets are connected with each other by guide means and if desired by parts provided with handles. The two iron sheets support the ampoules when insertedin such a way that the shoulderlike parts of the ampoules rest in narrow openings of the lower sheet, and that their bodies are supported laterally by the wider openings of the upper sheet.

The invention will appear more clearly from the following detailed description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings showing by way of example, a preferred embodiment of the invention and some further advantageous details thereof.

Figures 1 and 2 are vertical sections of a device according to this invention adapted to be inserted in a known rinsing machine; Figure 1 shows the apparatus in the initial position of its parts; Figure 2 shows the apparatus in the final position of its parts just before rinsing is started.

On the revolving table of a rinsing machine, which is not shown as it is well known in the art, there are arranged one or several stationary bottom members. In the drawing such a bottom member is indicated by the reference numeral IE. By means of screw nipples H hollow needles 12 are held vertically on the bottom member l0. Under the needle bottom it, there is a rinsing box 13. A cleaning agent injected into said box under pressure will come out through the free ends of the hollow needles l2. On the needle bottom it] are disposed two vertical guide posts M. The intermediate plate i5 is slidable on the posts 14. In this plate Hi there are provided bores, one bore for each needle l2, each bore having a cylindrical portion [5 and an inverted cone-shaped portion 11, both portions constituting a funnel. The plate I5 is normally kept so high above the needle bottom Ill that the free ends of the needles [2 are within the cylindrical portions IS. The plate i5 is pressed upwards by means of springs l8 against stops not shown in the drawing.

The ampoules to be cleaned are inserted, with their mouths turned downwards, into the ampoule holder 28 while the holder is removed from the device. This ampoule holder comprises two metallic sheets 21 and 22 connected with each other by means of spacing parts 23. These spacing parts have tubular guide pieces 24 for sliding engagement with the guide posts is. The guide pieces 24 are provided with handle buttons 25 to facilitate the handling and transport of the ampoule holder 20. The ampoule holder 26 is also provided with supporting feet 28 shown in the drawing by dotted lines so as to support it when removed from the device. The ampoules :9 are supported with their shoulders resting in openings of the lower plate 2i. The approximately vertical position of the ampoules is obtained by their bodies being laterally supported in openings of the upper plate 22 which are of larger diameter.

Another element of the cleaning device is the lid 21 provided with small openings 28 one over each ampoule. The edge 29 of the lid is bent upward. On either side, the lid is fitted with a tubular guide 30 terminating in a handle button 30a.

Ampoules to be cleaned are first placed in the ampoule holder and the latter is inserted into the cleaning device, its tubular guide members 24 sliding over the guide posts M. The ampoule holder 20 will then be lowered so that its guide members 24 reach the tubular sliding members of the plate (5. The ampoule necks enter into the inverted cone-shaped guide funnel portions I! and are adjusted exactly in accordance with the cylindrical portions 15. The plate it? held by its handles l5a is pressed downward against the tension of the springs Hi; the ampoule holder 2:} follows the free ends of the stationary hollow needles which enter into the ampoules It. The downward movement of the ampoule holder 2;} is stopped when the screws 23a (provided in the tubular members 24) reach the ends of grooves Hla formed in the guide posts 14. The plate 15 is then slightly lowered further until a safety device 3i provided in the sliding tubular members of the plate interlocks automatically with a notch 32 of the guide post M. In this position of the plate I5 the necks of the ampoules are free of engagement with the cone-shaped guide funnels as may be seen from Figure 2. What remains to be done is to place in position the lid 2'. which does not touch the bottoms of the ampoules [9.

The ampoules are cleaned by injecting thereinto, through the needles l2, fresh water and other cleaning liquids and finally, distilled water. The liquid flows out along the needle shafts after thoroughly rinsing the interior of the ampoules. As a result of the pressure brought to bear by the injected liquids, the ampoules 19 are somewhat lifted until their bottoms touch the lid 21. After such cleaning by means of liquids, compressed air, preferably hot, will be blown in with a view to entirely expelling the liquid and to drying the interior of the ampoules. Finally, air cooled to a certain degree and preferably sterilized may be blown in. Cold air may instead be blown on the outside of the ampoules.

The exterior of the ampoules may be cleaned at the same time. This may be done simply by spraying a cleaning liquid upon the bowl-shaped lid 21. The liquid then flows through the openings 28 over the ampoules l9. When the cleaning is done the liquid attaching to the outside is removed by hot air.

The ampoules thus cleaned will now be removed from the apparatus together with the ampoule holder 20 to be taken to a filling machine. The ampoules may remain in the holder 20 while they are filled and closed.

Usually, the bottle rinsing machines of a known type are so designed that, with the progressive rotation of the table, the supply of water, washing lyes, compressed air and the like in their proper order is regulated automatically. When using such a machine for the purpose of the present invention, an ampoule holder 20 with a set of ampoules l9 may be removed after one full rotation of the table, and a new filled ampoule holder may then be inserted.

What we claim is:

1. Device for simultaneously cleaning a number of medical ampoules or the like small glass vessels comprising a base, posts secured to said base, hollow needles disposed on said base and extending vertically there-From, means forming a rinsing box disposed underneath said base and mounted on said base posts, a plate movably dis-. posed on said posts and having a plurality of funnel-shaped bores, one for each of said needles and each bore in axial alignment with its associated needle, each bore having an inverted conical top portion and a cylindrical bottom portion, said plate adapted to be normally biased in a raised position with the upper end of the needles extending within the plate and in its lowered position. the needles extending through the plate, spring means on said posts for normally disposing the free ends of said hollow needles in inoperative position in the cylindrical portions of said funnel-shaped bores, means for moving said plate downwardly against the pressure of said spring means to position the free ends of said needles above said plate, an ampoule holder supporting ampoules with their mouths turned downward, said ampoule holder being mount-- ed on said posts for downward sliding displacement thereon to cause the ampoule mouths to enter into the cone-shaped parts of said funnelshaped bores of said plate and in axial alignment with the cylindrical portions of said bores, said ampoule holder comprises two metallic sheets, spacing members for connecting said sheets one above the other, the lower sheet having openings in which the shoulders of ampoules to be cleaned are resting, the upper sheet having openings of greater diameter in which said ampoules are supported in laterally spaced relationship, guide members connected to said spacing members for sliding engagement with said posts, and stop screws provided in said guide members and guided in grooves provided in said posts, the end of said grooves limiting the downward movement of said ampoule holder.

2. Device for simultaneously cleaning a number of medical ampoules or the like small glass vessels comprising a base, posts secured tosaid base, hollow needles disposed on said base and extending vertically therefrom, means forming a rinsing box disposed underneath said base and mounted on said base posts, a plate movably disposed on said posts and having a plurality of funnel-shaped bores, one for each of said needles and each bore in axial alignment with its associated needle, each bore having an inverted conical top portion and a cylindrical bottom portion, said plate adapted to be normally biased in a raised position with the upper end of the needles extending within the plate and in its lowered position the needles extending through the plate, spring means on said posts for normally disposing the free ends of said hollow needles in inoperative position in the cylindrical portions of said funnel-shaped bores, means for moving said plate downwardly against the pressure of said spring means to position the free ends of said needles above said plate, an ampoule holder supporting ampoules with their mouths turned downward, said ampoule holder being mounted on said posts for downward sliding displacement thereon to cause the ampoule mouths to enter into the cone-shaped parts of said funnel-shaped bores of said plate and in axial alignment with the cylindrical portions of said bores, a safety device carried by said plate and adapted to interlock with a notch provided in one of said posts, said notch being spaced from said base so that the free ends of the mouths of said ampoules to be cleaned will be free of the walls of the cone-shaped coaoting portions of said funnel-shaped bores.

3. A device for cleaning medical ampoules comprising a base, a plurality of hollow needles mounted on said base and vertically extending therefrom, a compartment cooperating with said base for receiving cleaning fluid, posts extending from said base, a blate slidable on said posts, said plate having a bore for each needle which is axially aligned therewith and which has a cylindrical bottom channel and an inverted coneshaped funnel on top of said channel, spring means for holding said plate in a normal position spaced from said base in which position the free ends of said needles are disposed in the cylindrical channels of their associated bores, a holder slidable on said posts above said plate, and adapted upon being operatively positioned on said plate to follow the movement of said plate, said holder having a plurality of holes for receiving in inverted position ampoules to be cleaned with their mouths directed downwardly each in axial alignment with one of said bores and the needle associated therewith whereby the mouths of said ampoules are caused to enter the inverted cone-shaped funnels of their associated bores to secure said axial alignment, means for downwardly moving said plate to cause said holder to operate as a follower so as to introduce said needles into said ampoules carried thereby, means for arresting the downward follower motion of said holder while continuing the downward displacement of said plate whereby the mouths of said ampoules are spaced from the walls of their cooperating inverted cone-shaped funnels formed by said bores, and means for thereafter injecting cleaning fluid into said compartment for inflow into said needles and outflow therefrom into said ampoules to clean the interior thereof.

4. The device as claimed in claim 3, together with a lid disposed on said posts above and in operative engagement with said ampoule holder and spaced from the bottoms of said ampoules and adapted to operatively follow the movement of said ampoule holders, said ampoules being lifted by the pressure of the cleaning fiuid injected thereinto to cause the bottoms thereof to engage said lid so as to limit the lifting of said ampoules during the cleaning thereof.

5. The device as claimed in claim 3, together with a bowl-shaped perforated lid disposed on said posts above and in operative engagement with said ampoule holder to follow the movement thereof and spaced from the bottoms of said ampoules, said lid having the dual purpose, namely, first, of limiting the upward lifting displacement of said ampoules responsive to the pressure exerted thereon by the cleaning fluid injected thereinto and, second, of receiving cleaning fluid for downward flow therefrom onto said ampoules to clean said ampoules on the outside thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 272,894 Mason Feb. 27, 1883 709,698 Colby Sept. 23, 1902 962,931 Thieme June 28, 1910 1,610,186 Verville Dec. 7, 1926 2,201,685 Lorenzen May 21, 1940 2,241,144 Lattin May 6, 1941 2,546,385 Christina Mar. 27, 1951 2,658,011 Price Nov. 3, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 65,976 Germany Dec. 25, 1891

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US272894 *Jul 5, 1882Feb 27, 1883 Dish-washer
US709698 *Apr 12, 1902Sep 23, 1902Harry W ColbyBottle-rinser.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2786479 *Oct 10, 1952Mar 26, 1957Barry Wehmiller Mach CoBottle centering cup assembly
US2803257 *Mar 10, 1955Aug 20, 1957Cozzoli Joseph MAmpul washing device
US2811975 *Sep 11, 1953Nov 5, 1957Tatibana HideoApparatus for complete washing of a container
US2902169 *Sep 22, 1954Sep 1, 1959Rose JayDevice for holding hypodermic needles
US2989184 *Sep 26, 1958Jun 20, 1961Edmond F GobattiConcentrator
US3082778 *Apr 7, 1960Mar 26, 1963Manny E ColeHolding device
US3448743 *Nov 7, 1966Jun 10, 1969R & D Suppliers IncApparatus for cleaning containers
US3746022 *Feb 8, 1971Jul 17, 1973Hoplab IncWashing machine for medical and laboratory equipment
US5799679 *Apr 12, 1995Sep 1, 1998Westfalia Separator AgDevice for washing the cups in a milking head
US6902702 *Nov 27, 2000Jun 7, 2005University Health NetworkDevices and methods for producing microarrays of biological samples
US20050000550 *Jul 1, 2003Jan 6, 2005Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.Method for backflushing injector needles
US20050106621 *Dec 27, 2004May 19, 2005Winegarden Neil A.Devices and methods for producing microarrays of biological samples
US20120117740 *Nov 17, 2010May 17, 2012Ontium, LlcMedical Suction Clearing Apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification134/152, 134/156, 134/171
International ClassificationB08B9/20, B08B9/28
Cooperative ClassificationB08B9/28
European ClassificationB08B9/28