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Publication numberUS3165049 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1965
Filing dateMar 28, 1962
Priority dateMar 28, 1962
Publication numberUS 3165049 A, US 3165049A, US-A-3165049, US3165049 A, US3165049A
InventorsVester Dick
Original AssigneeVester Dick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic photographic color processing machine
US 3165049 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 12, 1965 v. DICK 3,165,049

\AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOR PROCESSING MACHINE Filed March 28, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 //v I/EN TOR 55 75/? DICK /l T TOR/VEXS Jan. 12, 1965 v. DICK 3,165,049

AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOR PROCESSING MACHINE Filed March 28, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 I/VVENTOR V55 TFR Own 5 7 ATTORNEYS AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOR PROCESSING MACHINE Filed March 28, 1962 V. DICK Jan. 12, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 I T Ei //v VfN TOR V55 75/? DICK B) 147' TOR/VE Y3 Tiq.5.

v. DICK 3,165,049

AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOR PROCESSING MACHINE Jan. 12, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 28, 1962 TYME (Mm u 72:5)

Ti= 1. E1 //w/v-ra/? V55 TER D/c K ATTOR/VFYS United States Patent 3,165,049 AUTOMATIC PHQTOGRAPHIC CQLOR PROCESSING MACHINE Vester Dick, 128 Lincoln St, Santa Cruz, Calif. Fiied Mar. 28, 1962, Ser. No. 183,214 11 Claims. (Cl. 9589) This invention relates to devices for automatically conducting various chemical processes requiring the progressive treatment of material in a series of solutions and is particularly directed to a machine for the automatic processing of photographic color films and paper in sheets.

In the processing of photographic color film, paper and other material, the material must be progressively placed in a rather large number of process solutions or baths. Not only must the temperature of the solutions be controlled, but more importantly the length of time the material is immersed in the respective solutions must be very accurately regulated. The process may of course be carried out by hand, however, this constitutes a laborious and time consuming procedure particularly where large numbers of process batches are involved. Accordingly various processing machines have been developed to conduct the process automatically. Unfortunately these automatic machines have been extremely complex and intricate in design such that their resulting considerable expense has all but precluded their purchase except by the largest of photographic processing laboratories.

It is, therefore, a principal object of the present invention to provide an automatic photographic color processing machine of improved simplified design with a resultv ing relatively low cost well within the reach of small photographic processing laboratories.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a processing machine of the class described wherein conveyance of the sheets of film or other material progressively from solution to solution is effected by hydraulically actuated carrier means of relatively simple design which is extremely reliable and rugged in operation.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an automatic photographic color processing machine wherein solution tanks are disposed within a water jacket and may be arranged either consecutively or separated by a water space to fit any processing schedule, while in addition the water serves as a medium for controlling the temperature of the solutions.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide an automatic photographic color processing machine of the class described which features an improved relatively simple extremely accurate and reliable program timer for controlling the process schedule.

One other object of the invention is to provide a program timerin a processing machine which may be readily set to control substantially any desired predetermined processing schedule the machine is to carry out.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a program timer wherein the timing of a number of consecutive process cycles are accurately controlled by cam actuated switches while the program of cycles in the over-all process is determined by a programming dial or disc which is arranged to control the sequence of effective operation of the cam actuated switches over the entire process duration.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the specification. It is to be understood, however, that variations in the showing made by the said drawings and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.

3,165,049 Patented Jan. 12, 1965 FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the processing machine of the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a transverse vertical section taken at line 22 of FIGURE 1 illustrating particularly details of the hydraulically actuated sheet material carrier mechanism of the machine.

FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal plan section taken at line 33 of FIGURE 1 illustrating further details of the carrier mechanism.

FIGURE 4 is an elevational view taken at line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is a sectional plan view taken on line 55 of FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 6 is a front elevational view of the program timer employed to control the operation of the carrier mechanism in accordance with a predetermined process schedule.

FIGURE 7 is a transverse vertical section taken at line 77 of FIGURE 6 and particularly illustrating the cam actuated switch arrangement of the timer.

FIGURE 8 is a diagrammatic view of the hydraulic syk lstem for actuating the carrier mechanism of the mac me.

FIGURE 9 is a wiring diagram of the timer switches as connectedin controlling relation to the solenoid actuated valves of the hydraulic system.

FIGURE 10 is a graphical illustration of a predetermined process schedule conducted by the timer of the processing machine.

Considering now the invention in some detail and referring to the illustrated form thereof in the drawings, there will be seen to be provided an automatic processing machine 11 which is particularly adapted to the processing of photographic color film, paper, and the like in the form of sheets. Basically the machine includes a horizontally disposed water jacket 12 having an open top which is preferably circumscribed by a light tight hood or enclosure 13 having a front opening door 14 to afford access to the jacket interior. The enclosure facilitates conduct of photographic processes within the jacket in the required environment of total darkness. I

The various solutions requisite to the process are contained in open topped tanks 16 which are disposed within the jacket in longitudinally aligned relation so as to be immersed in the water contained in the jacket. In addition the tanks may be spaced if desired to provide Water spaces therebetween and fit any processing schedule. Preferably the tanks are so dimensioned that when mounted in the jacket they extend transversely between the median longitudinal vertical plane and a side thereof. Thus one succession of tanks may be disposed in the front portion of the jacket to facilitate one process, e.g., the development of color film, while a second spaced succession of tanks may :be disposed in the rear portion of the jacket to facilitate a different process, e.g., development of color paper.

In order to convey film sheets or other material progressively between the tanks 16 and immerse the material in the various process solutions contained therein consecutively, or in some instances alternately with immersion into intervening water spaces, a carrier 17 is mounted for translation longitudinally along the center of the jacket. The carrier is arranged to laterally suspend a basket, rack, or other holder 18 over the tanks 16 on one side of the jacket. Provision is also made in the car-rier for the reversal of the holder to overlie the tanks on the other side of the jacket. The carrier has an associated longitudinal translating mechanism 1) and vertical translating mechanism '21 which are preferably of the hydraulic actuated variety. Translating mechanism 19 is operable to effect longitudinal movement of the carrier in increments between consecutive tanks or tanks and water 7 schedule.

spaces. Translating mechanism 21 is operable to effect vertical reciprocation of the holder 13 to the ends of immersing the holder in the tanks or water spaces, withdrawing the holder therefrom, and agitating the holder, depending upon the manner in which the translating mechanism is controlled.

Control of the translating mechanisms 19, 21 in accordance with a predetermined process schedule is accomplished by a program timer 22 operatively coupled to the mechanisms. 'The timer effects operation of the longitudinal mechanism correlatively with operation of the vertical mechanism at preset times and for precise preset durations in accordance with a particular process schedule. More explicitly, the process schedule may be such that at 'a given initiation time with the holder 18 overlying the first of a succession of tanks the timer actuates the vertical mechanism to lower the holder into the solution in the tank. The timer may be further set to cause the vertical mechanism to agitate the holder in the solution for an initial predetermined period during immersion. Thereafter the timer may cause the vertical mechanism to withdraw the holder from the solution at regular intervals of time and for preset time increments. After a precise over-all period of time at the first process tank the timer may effect actuation of the vertical mechanism to withdraw the holder from the tank and actuation of the longitudinal mechanism to incrementally translate the carriage .to the next process station. At this time the timer is effective in controlling actuation of the vertical mechanism through another cycle of holder immersion, agitation, withdrawal, etc., for another precise preset period of time whereupon the timer effects translation of the carriage to subsequent process stations and further timed process cycles thereat until the entire process according to the schedule is accurately completed.

Considering now the processing machine 11 in greater detail as to preferred structure, it will be noted that mounting of the tanks 16 at selectable longitudinal positions of the water jacket is advantageously facilitated by transversely spaced pairs of longitudinal indexing members 23, 24 and 26, 27 secured within the jacket 12. Members 23, 26 are attached to the inner facesof the opposite side Walls of the jacket to extend the lengths thereof at position upwardly displaced from the jacket bottom. Members 24, 27 are preferably angles secured between the ends of the jacket at positions elevated from its bottom and equally spaced on opposite sides of the longitudinal vertical median plane. The pairs members 23, 24 and 26, 2'7 are provided with pluralities of opposed indexing-notches 28 at equally spaced longitudinal intervals to facilitate mounting of the tanks at desiredpositions.

The tanks 16 are preferably of transversely elongated rectangular cross section with marginal outwardly flared rims 29 at their open upper ends. In addition, the opposite longitudinal sides of each tank are provided with central laterally projecting vertical ribs 31 adapted to slida'bly engage opposed sets of the indexing notches 28. It is of importance to note that the distance between the outside transverse edges of the rim 2) of each tank is selected to be substantially equal to the longitudinal spacing Ibetween center lines of adjacent notches 28. Thus with the ribs of a pair of tanks engaging adjacent sets of indexing notches 28, the rims of the tanks abut to hence position these tanks in consecutive relationship. However, with the ribs of a pair of tanks engaging alternate sets of indexing notches, the tanks are spaced apart to define the aforementioned water spaces therebetween as is best shown in FIGURE 3. It will thus be appreciated that any desired number of tanks may be mounted in the jacket in the foregoing manner and with a variety of positional arrangements to fit any desired processing Also since two pairs of indexing members are respectively provided at the front and rear halves of the tank, two different tank arrangements may be main tained in the jacket at the same time as was noted previously herein.

As regards the details of the carrier 17, it is to be noted that same advantageously includes a split guide member 32 adapted for longitudinal translation between the inner indexing members 24, 27. More particularly, guide member 32 comprises a pair of opposed blocks 33, 34 having facing semicircular recesses 36, 37 for receiving the cylinder 38 of a vertically oriented double acting hydraulic actuator 39 which is a component of the vertical translating mechanism 21. The blocks are clamped to cylinder 38 as by means of bolts d1 and the lower end of the cylinder carries a guide rib 42 which slides in a longitudinal slot 43 centrally of the jacket bottom. One block 33 is provided with laterally projecting tabs 4-4 at its upper surface which rest upon the top face of the adjacent indexing member 27. The other block 34 is provided with outwardly spring loaded balls as in its side face which engage the side of the adjacent indexing member 24 to present freely slid-able bearing surfaces thereto. It will thus be appreciated that the assembly of the guide member 32 and hydraulic actuator 39 is freely longitudinally slida-ble centrally of the jacket between the indexing members 214, 27.

The carrier 17 further includes a split collar 47 which is concentrically mounted upon the upper end of the actuator cylinder 38 above the carriage member 32. A bracket 48 projects laterally from the collar and rigidly supports a vertical slide holder 49 which serves to guide a slide 51 for vertical translation in a vertical plane passing through the tanks 16 adjacent theinterior faces of their inner end walls. To this end the slide holder is preferably provided with longtiudinally opposed vertically elongated guide strips 52 and the slide is provided as a vertically elongated plate having vertical grooves 53 in its side edges slidably engaged by the guide strips.

The holder 18 is in turn secured to the slide 51 to project laterally therefrom. Thus upon translation of the slide,

such as the threaded fastener 54, for selectively securing the collar at positions of 180 displacement. The slide and holder may thus be selectively operatively positioned relative to both sets of tanks.

With the carrier 17 thus provided as just described,

, the vertical translating mechanism is completed by an arm 56 secured between the slide 51 and the piston rod 57 of the hydraulic actuator 39 which projects vertically from the upper end of the cylinder thereof. The vertical reciprocation of the actuator piston within the cylinder is thus applied directly to the slide in response to operation of the actuator by means and in a manner subsequently described.

As regards the preferred structural arrangement of the lonigtudinal translating mechanism 19, it is to be noted that same includes a double acting hydraulic actuator 57 with its cylinder 53 longitudinally mounted at one end of the water jacket. The piston rod of the actuator is secured to a pull rod 59 which extends the length of, and between the indexing members 24, 27. The rod traverses a longitudinal groove 61 in the side of cariage member block 33 that slidably engages the indexing member 27. The opposite side of the block 33 includes a longitudinal groove 62 which extends inward a short distance from one end. This latter groove receives a dog 63 which is secured to an eccentric swivel 64 extending vertically through the groove adjacent its inner end. The dog is spring loaded as by means of spring 66 which normally urges the claw 67 of the dog into engagement with the pull rod. The pull rod is provided with plurality of longitudinally spaced tapered sections 68 terminating in radial shoulders 69 with the taper of the sections being in posed to drain into water "jacket 12..

the direction of the opposite end of the jacket from the actuator 57. In addition, the distance between shoulders and the stroke of the actuator piston is equal to the distance between the tank indexing notches 28. It will be thus appreciated that with the claw 67 of dog 63 engaging one of the shoulders 69 and the actuator piston at the proximal end of its stroke relative to the opposite end of the jacket from the actuator, movement of the piston to the opposite or distal endof its stroke effects translation of the pull rod and the carrier guide block a longitudinal increment of distance equal to that between indexing notches and hence between process stations.

the dog is urged into engagement with this shoulder such (that in response to another cycle of operation of the actuator, the carrier is longitudinally translated to the next process station. I

Considering now the hydraulic system for controlling operation of the vertical and longitudinal actuators 39,

57 .to the end of conducting various predetermined processes in automatic fashion, such system may be of the form depicted in FIGURE 8. As shown therein, ports 71, 72 at the opposite ends of the vertical actuator cylinder 38 are connected to ports 73, 7d of a 4-way valve 76 which is actuated by means of a solenoid 77. Similarly, ports 78, 79 at opposite ends, of longitudinal actuator cylinder 58 are connected to ports 81, 82 of a second 4-way valve 83 actuated by means of a solenoid 94. Corresponding exhaust ports as, 87 of respective valves '76, 83 are connected to an outlet pipe 8% which is dis- Corresponding supply ports 89, 91 of valves 7s, 83 are parallel connected through a pressure regulator 92 and pressure gauge 93 to a water supply pipe 94. In addition, several jet spray pipes 96 are connected through a valve 917 to the line between the regulator and gauge, the spray pipes being disposed to direct water into the jacket 12 and maintain the jacket water in a state of agitation. Thus with a suitable pressure determined by regulator 92 and indicated by gauge 93, water is supplied through valves 76, 83 to one or the other of the end ports of the actuator cylinders depending upon whether valve solenoids 77, 8d are energized or deenergized. For example, with solenoid 77 deenergized, water is supplied from valve port 73 to cylinder port 71. In this condition of valve 76, water is exhausted from cylinder port 72 through valve ports 74. 86 to pipe 88 and delivered to the jacket. The piston of actuator. 39 is hence urged downward in turn translating the holder 18 into one of the tanks 16 or an intervening water space. Upon energization of solenoid 77, the flow conditions through valve 76 are reversed and upward translation of the actuator piston and holder is effected. Rapid energization and deenergization of the solenoid of course produces agitation of the holder while sustained deenergization and energization respectively efiect complete immersion and withdrawal of the holder. Now if the holder is in withdrawn position and the solenoid 84 of valve 83 is energized for a predetermined suitable period of time and then deenergized, successive flow conditions are established through the valve which are produc- The energizations and deenergizations of the valve solenoids 77, 34 are programmed and accurately timed in correspondence with a predetermined process schedule under the control of the program timer 22. In this regard the timer is preferably of the form mechanically detailed in FIGURES 6 and 7. Basically, the timer includes a plurality of cam actuated switches 98 the opening and closing of which are accurately correlated in time in accordance with predetermined cycles for the respective switches which extend over a relatively short common interval of time, e.g., one minute. Such switch cycles are continuously and reliably repeated for successive ones of such short intervals as occur in a relatively long interval or period, e.g., one hour, during which the timer is in operation. In addition a plurality of programmed cycle selector switches 99 are provided to apply power to the cam actuated switches only during predetermined ones of their cycles which occur in the over-all long operating interval. In other words the switches 99 render the switches 98 ineffective to control power except at predetermined times in the over-all operating period of the timer when the switches 99 are actuated, even though the switches 98 are continuously repetitiously cycled during the succession of short time intervals that make up the over-all operating period. It will be thus appreciated that the switches 99 may be set to operate in accordance with a relatively rough rogra'm while the program is rendered precise by the switches 98. For example, assume one of the switches 93 to cycle such that it is open at the beginning of a one minute interval, closed for a period extending between 15 and 30 seconds after the start of the interval, and open for the remaining 30 seconds af the interval. Further assume that it is desired that this switch is to be effective to close a circuit for such 15 second period 20 minutes and 15 seconds after the beginning of an hour long program interval and again 10 minutes subsequent to the start .of the first closure period of the circuit. Thus it is desired that the 20th and 30th cycles of the switch 98 be selected for effective switching action. One of the switches 99 may then be programmed to close at any time in an approximate range between 19 minutes and 31 seconds, and 20 minutes and 14 seconds after the start of the program interval and open at any time in an approximate range between 21 minutes and 31 seconds, and 22 minutes and 14 seconds. The switch 99 would be programmed to again close at a time between 29 minutes and 31 seconds, and 30 minutes and 14 seconds and to open at a time between 30 minutes and 31 seconds, and 31 minutes and 14 seconds. Thus the programming of the switches 99 need be only roughly accurate.

. adapted to control photographic processes in the processing machine 11. As employed therewith the timer includes four cam actuated switches 98 (designated A, B, C, 1)) respectively adapted to accurately time control longitudi nal translation of the carrier l7, up and down translation of the holder 1%, agitation of the holder, and energization and deenergization of the over-all machine together with actuation of a buzzer or equivalent signalling means for indicating completion of the process. More particularly, these switches are preferably micro-switches mounted in juxtaposed relation upon an elongated bracket 1491 which is pivotally secured within a timer housing 102. The cams 1533A, B, C, D for actuating the respective micro-switches are secured in corresponding juxtaposition to a shaft 104 journalled for rotation longitudinally of the bracket such that the periphery of the cams engage the actuating plungers of the switches. A motor N7 is mounted upon the bracket and connected in driving relation to the shaft 164-, such motor preferably having a speed of 1 revolution per minute. Thus the switches are actuated each revolution of the motor in accordance with predetermined cycles determined by the contours of the corresponding cams "switches are likewise preferably micro-switches.

and the cycles extend over a common time interval of '1 minute.

B, C) are employed to respectively control the over-all program of energization and deenergization of the machine as well as actuation of the buzzer, longitudinal travel of the carrier, and agitation of the holder. The

switches 99 are mounted in juxtaposition beneath the upper wall of housing 102 with their actuating plungers 21% extending upwardly through apertures provided in the housing wall.

The plungers 198 are disposed in spaced relation along a radial line extending outward from a vertical shaft 109 which projects through the upper wall of the housing and is journalled for rotation therein. A gear 111 secured to the lower end of shaft 169 is engageable with a worm gear 112 secured to shaft 184 adjacent.

upwardly therefrom through a slotllti in the upper wall of the housing. The ratio between gears illll, 112 is preferably selected to be 60 to 1 whereby the shaft 1&9 rotates at one revolution per hour.

Considering now means for programming the operation of switches 99, it is to be noted that a programming disc 117 is removably secured to the upper end of shaft 109 in overlying relation to the upper wall of housing Th2, so as to slidably engage and normally depress the switch plungers ltlti extending therethrough. Programming of the switches is then facilitated by recesses or depressions 118 formed in the undersurface of the disc at preselected positions along concentric paths at radii corresponding to those of the switch plungers. Each time a switch plunger encounters a depression during rotation of the disc, the

plunger is extended to reverse the condition of the switch.

It will be thus appreciated that a wide variety of programs may be conducted with the switches 99 by provision of a plurality of discs 117 having varied arrangements of the programming depressions 118 formed therein.

The electrical connections of the timer are preferably as depicted in FIGURE 9. Switches 99A, 99B, and 98A have their normally closed contacts 119A, 119B, and 120A serially connected to one contact 121 of a multi-position main switch 122 mounted upon the housing 192. This contact 12.1 corresponds to a .run position of the main switch. The selector contactor 123 of switch 122 is coupled through a fuse 124 to one conductor 126 of a power cord 127. The main switch further includes contacts 128, 129 which respectively correspond to off and load positions of the switch. Contact 128 is open whereas contact 129 is connected in series with normally closed contact 12613 of switch 98B, motor 107, and the other conductor 131 of cord 127. In addition, the normally open contact 132A of switch 99A is connected to the contactor of switch @313 whose normally closed contact lltlD is commonly connected to contact 119A of switch 9A and to the juncture between switch 983 and motor 107. The contact 1ND is likewise coupled through normally closed contact 119C of switch QfiC in series with normally closed contact lZlC of switch 955C to normally closed contact IZtlB of switch 98B. Normally open contact 133D of switch 98D is connected to one side of a buzzer 134, or equivalent device, having its opposite side connected to conductor 131. Finally, solenoids S4, 87 of valves 83, 73 are respectively connected between contact 120A and conductor 131, and between the juncture of contacts lltlB and 126 C and conductor 131.

In the foregoing arrangement all of the switches 98 "being normally closed, such'switchesare maintained in open position by their plungers contacting the peripheral surfaces of cams MP3 and consequently closed when the plungers encounter depressions in the cam surfaces. Similarly, switches 99A and B are normally closed and hence maintained in open position due to their plungers engaging the surface of the disc 117 in the absence of depressions liltt therein. Switch 990 is preferably normally open such that it is maintained closed when its plunger engages the disc surface. When the main switch 122 is thrown from its off to load position, voltage is applied directly to the solenoid '77 to energize same and establish flow conditions in the vertical actuator 35 commensurate with translation of the holder 18 to its upper position. The material to be processed may thus be conveniently loaded into the holder and the carrier moved to the first process station manually upon manipulation of a lever 135 which facilitates pivoting of the dog 63 out of engagement with the pull rod 59. Now the switch 122 may be thrown to the run position. In the subsequently detailed specific example it is assumed that the cams Hi3 are contoured to operate the switches 98 over predetermined cycles of one minute duration the disc 117 has recesses 118 to program the switches 99 according to a predetermined process schedule, such cycles and schedules being graphically depicted in FIGURE 10 wherein the lines are indicative of switch closures. The cam switch 98A is closed for a period that exceeds between 6 and 8 seconds after the start of each one minute cycle as indicated at 136. Cam switch 98B is closed for a period extending from the start of each one minute cycle to 8 seconds thereafter as shown at 137. Cam switch 8C is briefly closed for 1 second as shown at 138 periodicintervals of 10, 20, and 30 seconds after the start of each one minute cycle. Cam switch 98D is briefly opened as shown at 139 at a time 8 seconds after the start of each 1 minute cycle. It will be appreciated that upon energization of motor 107, the foregoing cycles are continuously repeated each minute and therefore 60 times during the one hour period of rotation of the programming disc 117. It is to be noted that in the instant example the disc recesses are such as to open switch 99A over approximately the last minute of the period of disc rotation (indicated at141) while maintaining the switch closed the remainder thereof. Switch 99B is closed at various approximate times in the disc rotational cycle (indicated at 142) which depend upon the lengths of time the material to be processed is to remain at the respective process stations. The durations of the respective closures of switch 9913 may vary and be of the order of approximately 30 seconds. Switch 990 is closed for periods of approximately 30 seconds, as shown at 143, which follow each closure of switch 995.

Thus in operation with main switch 122 in the run position, voltage is applied through closed switch 99A to motor 1617, the motor in turn rotating the switch cams 1% and programming disc 1117. Initially, switch 99B is closed such that voltage is applied there-through to switch 955A, and switch 93B is closed for the first 8 seconds such that voltage is applied therethrough to solenoid 77 of valve 76. Flow conditions are hence established through the valve 83 commensurate with retention of the holder 18 in its uppermost position. Six seconds after initiation of operation, switch 98A is closed to apply voltage to solenoid 84 of valve 83. This valve effects one increment of longitudinal translation of the carrier to the first process station. Eight seconds after the initiation of operation, switches 98A and 98B are opened whereby the flow conditions through solenoid valves 77, 84 are reversed. The holder is hence hydraulically translated downward into the solution at the first process station to thus immerse the material to be processed therein. The longitudinal translating mechanism is prepared for the next increment of translation. Ten seconds after the initiation of operation, voltage being already applied through closed switch 99C to switch 98C, the latter briefly closes for one second to apply voltage to the valve solenoid 77. Such actuation effects translation of the holder a short distance 1 operation of the machine.

The procedure is repeated 10 and 20 seconds later. Due to this action the holder is thus agitated in the solution during the initial stages of immersion therein. In the latter portions of the first one minute cycle of actuation of the cam switches 98, switches 99B and C are opened to thus remove voltage from switches 98A and 98C and render them ineffective. Switches 98B and C, moreover, remain open for approximately 5 minutes in the instant example such that during the second, third, fourth, and fifth cycles of the cam switch actuation the periodic closures of switches 98A and C do not effect actuation of the carrier translating mechanism. However, at the beginning of the second and each subsequent minute or cam switch cycle, switch 98B effects raising of the holder 18 from the solution for eight seconds duration followed by reimmersion. In the sixth cycle of cam switch actuation, the switches 99B and C are again closed in a similar relationship as employed during the first cycle. Hence upon closure of switch 98A the longitudinal translating mechanism responsively moves the carrier a longitudinal increment to the next process station, the holder 1% of course at this time being in raised position due to the action of switch 9813. Upon initial immersion of the holder in the solution the swtch 5 8C is again effective in agitating the holder. The foregoing operation is subsequently repeated after each of the predetermined times the material to be processed has been at the successive process stations. More particularly after the material has been at the second station for a predetermined time it is moved to the third station, etc., depending upon the programming of the closure of switches 9%. and C established by the particular process schedule coded in the programming disc 117. At the end of the schedule at region 141, switch 9A is moved to its normally open position in engagement with contact 132A to thus apply voltage to cam switch 98D while retaining voltage on the other various switches and the motor in the same manner that was effected by switch 99A being in its normally closed position.

-'by switch 99A, removes voltage from motor M7 as well as the remaining switches of the timer to thus terminate At the same time switch 98D applies voltage tobuzzer 134 to thus actuate same whereby an audible signal is produced which indicates that the process has been completed.

As will be seen, whenthe timer is turned off at the end of the processing cycle, the carriage will return to the down position.

What is claimed is:

1. An automatic processing machine comprising means defining a longitudinal succession of open-topped process liquid containment regions, a carrier including a vertically disposed hydraulic actuator mounted for guided longitudinal translation laterally of said containment regions, said actuator including a piston reciprocably mounted within a cylinder with a piston rod secured to the pistonand projecting upwardly from the cylinder, a holder for supporting material to be'processed mounted for vertical translation laterally of said carrier into and out of said containment regions, said holder secured to said piston rod and movable therewith, a second lon tudinally disposed hydraulic actuator, said actuator having a cylinder fixed relative to said containment regions and including a piston reciprocably mounted within the cylinder with a piston rod secured to the piston and projecting longitudinally from the cylinder, means coupling said carrier to the piston rod of said second actuator for incrementally longitudinally translating said carrier a distance equal to that between centers of said containment regions in response to each actuation of said second actors to hydraulically energize same in accordance with a predetermined time program.

2. A processing machine according to claim 1 wherein the piston of said second actuator has a stroke equal to the distance between centers of said containment region and said means coupling said carrier to the piston rod of said second actuator comprises a longitudinally elongated pull rod extending the length of said succession of containment regions and freely traversing said carrier, said pull rod secured to the piston rod of said second actuator, said pull rod having a plurality of tapered regions terminating in radial shoulders longitudinally spaced by a distance equal that between centers of said containment regions, and a spring loaded pivotal dog secured to said carrier and normally urged towards said pull rod into engagement with said shoulders.

3. A processing machine according to claim 1, further defined by said time controlled hydraulic supply means comprising a first solenoid operated flour-way valve having a pair of ports respectively communicably connected with the opposite ends of the cylinder of said first actuator and having a supply port and an exhaust port, a second solenoid operated four-way valve having a pair of ports respectively communicably connected with the opposite ends of the cylinder of said second actuator and having a supply port and an exhaust port, and a program timer electrically connected in energizing relation to the solenoids of said valves to close and open circuits thereto in accordance with a predetermined time program.

4. A processing machine according to claim 3, further defined by said program timer comprising a plurality of cam actuated switches having predetermined precise opening and closing cycles extending over a relatively short common time interval and continuously repeated for a succession of said time intervals contained in a relatively long operational period, a plurality of cycle selector switches serially connecting said cam actuated switches to an electrical power source, programming means actuating said selector switches at predetermined times in said operational period corresponding to predetermined ones of said cycle time intervals of said cam actuated switches, and means serially connecting said cam actuated switches to the solenoids of said valves whereby said cam actuated switches are effective to energize said solenoids only when said cam actuated switches are closed coincidentally with closure of all selector switches in respective serial connection therewith.

5. A processing machine according to claim 3, further defined by said program timer comprising a housing, a shaft journalled for rotation in said housing, a first plurality of micro switches mounted in said housing, said micro switches having depressible actuating plungers, a plurality'of cams secured to said shaft, said cams having predetermined cam surface contours respectively engaging said plungers of said micro switches to actuate same through predetermined opening and closing cycles each revolution of said shaft, a second plurality of micro switches mounted in said housing and having depressible actuating plungers, a second shaft journalled for rotation in said housing and coupled to said first shaft with a predetermined stepped down speed ratio relative thereto, a motor coupled to said first shaft to drive same at a predetermined constant speed, a programming disc secured to said second shaft and engaging the plungers of said second plurality of micro switches to cycle the opening and closing thereof during rotation of said disc in accordance with a predetermined program coded on said disc, means seriallyconnecting said first and second pluralities of micro switches, an electrical power source coupled in energizing relation to said second plurality of switches, and means serially connecting said first plurality of switches to the solenoids of said valves.

6. A processing machine according to claim 5, further 11 defined by said second plurality of switches being disposed with their plungers in spaced relation along a radius of said disc, and said disc having predetermined patterns of depressions disposed along concentric paths in respective engagement with the plungers of said second plurality of micro switches.

7. A processing machine comprising a horizontal open topped rectangular water jacket, hood means for selectively closing the top of said jacket to define a light tight enclosure therewith, a pair of central indexing members secured between the opposite ends of said jacket at positions elevated from its bottom and equally spaced on opposite sides of the longitudinal vertical median plane thereof, a pair of side indexing members respectively secured to the interior longitudinal side faces of said jacket in transversely spaced relation to said central pair of members, said members having pluralities of equally longitudinally spaced indexing notches in transverse alignment With the notches of the side members transversely facing the notches of the respective central members, a plurality of open topped process tanks of transversely elongated rectangular cross section, said tanks having outwardly flared rims at their .open ends with the distance between the outside transverse edges of the rims being equal to the longitudinal distance between center lines of adjacent ones of said notches, said tanks disposed within said jacket to extend transversely between said side and central indexing members, said tanks having laterally projecting vertical ribs along their opposite longitudinal sides in sliding engagement with respective transversely facing sets of said notches, a carrier mounted for longitudinal translation intermediate said central members, a holder mounted for vertical translation laterally of said carrier and selectively pivotal relative thereto between positions of 180 displacement longitudinal translating means coupled to said vcarrier for incrementally translating same distances equal to that between said notches, vertical translating means coupled to said holder for translating same into and out of said tanks, and programmed timer means coupled in controlling relation to said longitudinal and vertical translating means to actuate same in accordance with'a predetermined time program commensurate with correlated translation of the carrier between said tanks and translation of said holder into and out of said tanks at predetermined time intervals.

8. A processing machine according to claim 7, further defined by said carrier including a guide member mounted for longitudinal translation between said central indexing members, said vertical translating means comprising a hydraulic actuator having a vertically disposed cylinder secured to said guide member with a double acting piston reciprocably mounted in the cylinder and a piston rod secured to the piston and projecting upwardly from said cylinder, said holder secured to said piston rod and movable therewith, and said longitudinal translating means comprising a second hydraulic actuator including a longitudinal cylinder fixedly secured to one end of said jacket and having a double acting piston reciprocably mounted within the cylinder, said piston of said second actuator having a stroke equal to the longitudinal distance between centers of said notches, a longitudinally elongated pull rod secured to-the second actuator piston and extending the length of and between said central indexing members, said pull rod freely traversing said guide member, said 'pull rod having a plurality of tapered regions terminating in'radial shoulders longitudinally spaced by a distance equal to that between centers of said notches, and a sprng loaded pivotal dog secured to said guide member and normally urged towards said pull rod into engagement with said shoulders.

9.v A processing machine according to claim 8, further defined by said programmed timer means comprising a 12 first solenoid actuated four-way valve having a pair of ports communicably connected with the opposite ends of the cylinder of'said first actuator and havinga supply port and an exhaust port, a second solenoid operated four-way valve having a pair of ports respectively communicably connected with the opposite ends, of the cylinder of said second actuator and having a supply port and an exhaust port, means connecting said supply ports to a water supply, an outlet pipe connected to said exhaust ports and emptying into said water jacket, and an electric program timer connected in energizing relation to the solenoids of said valves to close and open circuits thereto in accordance with a predetermined time program.

10. A processing machine according to claim 9, further defined by said program timer comprising a plurality of cam actuated switches having predetermined precise opening and closing cycles extending over a relatively short common time interval and continuously repeated for a succession of said time intervals contained in a relatively long operational period, a plurality of cycle selector switches serially connecting said cam actuated switches to an electrical power source, programming means actuating said selector switches at predetermined times in said operational period corresponding to predetermined ones of said cycle time intervals of said cam actuated switches, and means serially connecting said cam actuated switches to the solenoids of said valves whereby said cam actuated switches are effective to energize said solenoids only when said cam actuated switches are closed coincidentally with closure of all selector switches in respective serial connection therewith.

11. A processing machine according to claim 9, further defined by said program timer comprising a housing, a shaft journalled for rotation in said housing, a first plurality of micro switches mounted in said housing, said micro switches having depressible actuating plungers, a plurality of cams secured to said shaft, said cams having predetermined cam surface contours respectively engaging said plungers of said micro switches to actuate same through predetermined opening and closing cycles each revolution of said shaft, a second plurality of micro switches mounted in said housing and having depressible actuating plungers, a second shaft journalled for rotation in said housing and coupled to said first shaft with a predetermined stepped down speed ratio relative thereto, a motor coupled to said first shaft to drive same at a predetermined constant speed, a programming discsecured to said second shaft and engaging the plungers of said second plurality of micro switches to cycle the opening and closing thereof during rotation of said disc in accordance with a predetermined program coded on said disc, means serially connecting said first and second 5 pluralities of micro switches, an electrical power source coupled in energizing relation to said second plurality of switches, and means serially connecting said first plurality of switches to the solenoids 'of said valves.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

D. B. LOWE, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3349685 *Aug 19, 1963Oct 31, 1967Buechner Werner WPhotographic timer and method of timing photographic treating processes
US3437030 *Oct 15, 1965Apr 8, 1969Rosenthal HenryApparatus for removing film from a packet and developing,fixing,washing and drying the film
US3724353 *Oct 30, 1970Apr 3, 1973Holbert HAutomatic line traverse and dip film processor
US4523826 *Nov 19, 1982Jun 18, 1985University Of PittsburghAutoradiography apparatus including a slide rack
Classifications
U.S. Classification396/595, 396/626, 134/85, 396/571
International ClassificationG03D3/10, G03D3/08, G03D13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG03D13/007, G03D3/10
European ClassificationG03D13/00P, G03D3/10