US 3019717 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1962 L. w. GACKI FILM PROCESSING AND DEVELOPING APPARATUS Filed May 14, 1959 INVENTOR LEONARD W. GACKl ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofiice 3,019,717 FILM PROCESSING AND DEVELOPING APPARATUS Leonard W. Gacki, Jamaica, N.Y., assignor to Medical Metals Inc., a corporation of New York Filed May 14, 1959, Ser. No. 813,273 3 Claims; (Cl. 95-36) This invention relates to film processing and developmg apparatus and though it is described primarily as applied to the processing of X-ray films, it will be understood that in its broader aspects, the apparatus of the invention may be used for other types of tank processing operations, particularly where fluid rinsing of films is most efliciently done within the processing tank.
Film processing and development tanks having a main processing or washing compartment in which separate auxiliary processing containers are suspended and in which washing fluid is controlled as to circulation and turbulence within a main tank processing compartment, are well known in the art. Of necessity tanks of the type referred to usually are quite bulky and require many accessory fittings for splash proofing or for the preservation of cleanliness, which tend to increase procurement and maintenance expense and render the equipment less controlled as to circulation, depth and temperature in a main processing or rinsing compartment are well known in the art. Tanks of this generaitype having auxiliary units adapted to containing separate processing fluids in which the temperature of the fluid in the auxiliary is controlled by submerging the auxiliary unit in the temperature controlled fluid of a main tank compartment though less common, also are known. Tanks of the latter type, however, usually are bulky and require many expensive auxiliary fittings. As frequently occurs, when the equip ment must be used in space-restricted areas the quality or" processed negatives is likely to suffer particularlywhere the tank and its accessory units areinconveniently located from the standpoint of operational eificiency or cleanliness.
The instant invention overcomes many of the inadequacies of prior art structures in that a main tank processing compartment is adapted to improved washing and rinsing facilities; a device better adapted to Widely differing user locations is provided and also a general simplification of structure due to the location of essential plumbing, fixtures and fluid controls beneath a splash proof panel at the front of the tank.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view, partly in section of a processing and developing tank and auxiliary processing unit built in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective of processing apparatus similar to the tank of FIG. 1 but showing a different arrangement ofpiping and auxiliary tank supports and interchangeable front panel.
'For a better understanding of the invention, together with other and further objects thereof, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings while its scope will be pointed out in the appended claims.
As is shown in FIG. 1, a film processing and developing tank built in accordance with the invention has at least one processing compartment 10, side walls 11, and 12, bottom 13, rear wall 14 and a front divider or wall 15. Such a tank may be fabricated of stainless steel, metal sheathed wood, plastic or rubber and has general application to the development and processing of photographic film negatives.
An inlet 20, in communication with any suitable source of fluid supply (not shown), may be equipped to deliver fluid controlled as to temperature and pressure within the tank processing compartment by a valve system generally indicated at 17, in conjunction with automatic, thermo mixing devices 18', in a manner well understood in the art. Bottom outlets (not shown), also controllable by valves located at the front of the tank serve to discharge the fluid from the processing compartment. Regulation of the height of the fluid maintained within the processing compartment 10 may be accomplished by overflow 16.
As is customary in tanks of the type under consideration, washing fluid at controlled temperature is circulated within the processing compartment and by convection serves to maintain and equalize the temperature of the processing fluids maintained within the separately suspended auxiliary tanks 21. The auxiliaries are suspended from parallel, rotationally adjustable members 22, 23, adjustable for example by rotation, which extend the full width oi the processing compartment. Shoulders 24, of the auxiliaries are formed to rest upon the parallel membersthus to maintain the processing fluids of the auxiliaries submerse-d within the temperature controlled washing fluid of theprocessing compartment.
Film negatives 25, supported by holders 26, having extensions 27, which rest upon supporting elements 28, within the auxiliary tanks, are thus maintained in vertical position within the separate, auxiliary contained processing fluids and may be transported from one processing or developing stage to another simply lifting the holders or racks 26, dipping the suspended negatives in the rinsing fluid if necessary, and transferring them to an adjacent auxiliary tank solution for further processing.
In many film processing establishments a side diversity of film sizes and quantities must be handled. For example, in X-ray work, lobar or cranial film negatives may require lar e processing receptacles whereas dental or localized area reproductions may necessitate minimal processing space. Similarly, during a long processing run, development operations may have to be interrupted to process negatives of a different size or those requiring solutions of different formulae. This may entail considerable in convenience where auxiliary tanks and supporting members are of fixed dimension and particularly where supporting members are permanently anchored as is customary within the main tank compartments.
To handle 'outsize processing jobs of the type mentioned, parallel members 22, 23,are rotationally adjustable, in any suitable manner preferably axially, to preset supporting surfaces 29, 29a, of varying Width or height to accommodate auxiliary tanks or receptacles having shoulder widths or shapes diifering from standard. As indicated, rotation of members 22, 23, also provide means for raising orlowering the auxiliary tanks relative to the surrounding washing fluid. In this manner, more or less of the auxiliary tank underwater surface may be brought into contact with the regulating effect of the temperature controlled washing fluid in the processing compartment.
As further indicated in FIG. 1, supporting members 22, 23, may be sectionalized so that a single element 23, only of the support may be rotated to present a surface 230 of different height or width to the auxiliary tank shoulder or ledge 24, thereby making possible the use of standard and outsize auxiliary tanks simultaneously.
Members 22, 23 maybe rota-tably supported on piping 3i) in any suitable manner or, preferably these members may have perforated end pieces through which the piping Patented Feb. 6, 1962 may be extended. In the latter case, a locking rod may be insertable through the tank wall to secure members 22, 23 in position to support the separate auxiliary tanks at the desired elevation and spacing. Obviously members 22, 23 may be channels, angles as shown, girders or any other form suitable for rotational movement with respect to piping 36. They may be rotated by hand and inserted in slots or channels disposed at suitable angles in the tank Walls or, if the closed ends of the members are perforated, the positioning of a sliding rod insertable through the tank walls 11 and 12 and through the closed ends of the channels or angles may determine Whether the wide or narrow face of member 23 is in auxiliary supporting aspect.
In tanks of the type described, rinsing negatives between different stages of processing inevitably involves risk of contaminating the processing fluid of one auxiliary with the drip of fluid from another. it is general practice to lift the film hangers 26, by hand from one auxiliary tank, rinse by submerging in the washing fluid of the processing compartment and transfer to the container bearing the processing solution for the next step in the process. Where such transfers are frequent, drip from negatives also tends to contaminate the washing fluid which, if not subject to continuous replacement, may cause streaking of the negatives or loss of important (is tail in the X-ray reproduction.
Lifting the rack supported films for rinsing outside the tank usually is inconvenient and tends to splash and dirty the area surrounding the processing station. A better solution for the problem is shown in FIG. 2, wherein fluid from an outside source is delivered to processing compartment 1! of the tank "ia piping 3t) and controlled valves and temperature responsive devices as described in connection with FIG. 1. A branch or extension 32, of the piping, having a separate valve 17, may lead through side walls 11 and 12 to connect with piping 34, to circulate fluid from the supply source therethrough. A portion of the pipe extensions 34, may have apertures 35 formed longitudinally thereof, through which a clean rinsing spray thus is delivered to assist in washing or rinsing the negatives as they are transferred from one auxiliary processing compartment to another.
It will be understood that the spray leads 34, may be reinforced so as to permit their use as supports for the auxiliary tanks suspendable directly therefrom as previously described, or the pipe leads may be housed within rotatable members 2.2 of FIG. 1, the interpositioning of which may be utilized to alter the spray intensity or direction by using the member 22, as a splash board or shield to insure delivery of a controlled rinse .within the processing compartment and to prevent the same from splashing and contaminating solutions in the adjacent auxiliary tanks.
Water separately circulated through the tanks in the manner described may discharge directly into the processing compartment through any suitable outlet in the tank bottom. I
A feature of tanks built in accordance with the invention is the inclusion of all essential plumbing controls, mixing valves, input and drainage controls at the front of the tank. As a result, tanks may be installed in recessed areas of laboratory or darkroom or in otherwise inaccessible locations to occupy minimal space and to permit cleaning, adjustment or repair with minimal disturbance of the surrounding area or equipment in the immediate vicinity of the processing tank.
Contributing to the unique flexibility provided by concentration of control apparatus at the front of the tank uii is cover or splash panel 4%, utilized to protect such control equipment housed within recess 41 formed by front wall 15, and extensions of side walls 11, 32. The panel may be a single sheet of stainless steel, rubber or other material insertable beneath the edge of inwardly inclined splash-proof rim 43, and forming an acute angle with the sloping surface thereof. The inward slope of surface 43, of the rim serves to direct splash or spillage inwardly of the processing compartment thereby protecting the clothing of operators and reducing the accumulation of moisture or drip on the top surface of the tank walls. The panels, of course, are interchangeable and may be secured to the sidewalls by any conventional means.
Details of the fluid con-ducting, auxiliary tank supports 30, with rotatable members 22, are shown in FIG. 1. The rotatable members are indicated as having two sides only, one longer than the other. It will be appreciated that depending upon whether side 29, or 29a, or an open side of the support is positioned opposite apertures 35, in lead 34, the characteristics and direction of the spray through the nozzles or apertures may be substantially altered. It willbe understood also that the sectionalized structure of members 22, 23, of HQ. 1, may be included with or without housing members 22, to achieve a wide variety of spray or rinsing effects.
Having described the preferred embodiments of the processin and developing tank of the invention and having indicated the best modes of operation, what is desired to be protected is enumerated in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a film processing and developing tank having interchangeable auxiliary tanks suspendable within temperature controlled fluid of a main tank processing compartment, the improvement comprising parallel trains of independently rotatable members extending the full width of said compartment, said members being separately adjustable by rotation to provide supports at different elevations with respect to the fluid in said compartment and with diderent lateral spacing for the suspension of said auxiliary tanks; a recess for-med by extensions of the side walls of said tank and a panel interchan eably adaptable to cover said recess; controls supported within said recess for regulating flow of temperature controlled fluid in said processing compartment circulated longitudinally of said auxiliary processing tanks and through fluid conductors extending adjacent and parallel to said supporting members. A
2. The invention as in claim 1, and including the improvement wherein the fluid conductors adjacent said auxiliary tank supporting members are perforate and adapted to the delivery of a fine spray directionally controlled by the position of the individual members comprising said train interiorly of said processing compartment.
3. The invention as in claim 2, and including the improvement wherein the characteristic of the spray delivered through said perforations is altered by interpositioning different sides of said auxiliary tank supporting members between said perforations and a film negative positioned within said processing compartment to be rinsed by said spray.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,867,190 Stout July 12, 1932 2,327,733 Moore r Aug. 24, 1943 2,551,892 Mitchell May 8. 1951