US 3263590 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug- 2, 1966 w. wANlELlsTA ETAL o3,263,590
PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL Filed July 9, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 N Q N t;
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Q?. s s, S Q Y 3 it@ s Q e low Q INVENTOR. N fzef" Wna'' a \9\ CcZfZeSP 6%)0/06'Z fz' ATT Aug' 2, 1966 w.wAN|E| `1srA E'rAx. 3,263,590
PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL Filed July 9, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Aug. 2, 1966 w. wANlELls-rA ETAL 3,263,590
PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 9. 196s C@ 'd" TmRNEYs A1g-2, 1966 w. wANlrsLlsTA TAL 3,263,590
PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 9, 1963 I n INVENTOR. z'ez" .fafyesa SZ C/f:
ATTORNEYS hwN Aug 2. 1966 w. wANlELlsTA ETAL 3,263,590
` PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL Filed Jul;r 9, 1963 2&4/ I
f f WORNEYS United States Patent() 3,263,590 t PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL Walter Wanielista, Westchester, and Charles P. Sippel, Jr., Villa Park, Ill., assignors to Robertson Photo-Mechanix, Inc., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed July 9, 1963, Ser. No. 293,694 1 Claim. (Cl. 95-94) This invention relates to improvements in apparatus for processing photo-direct material, such as printing plates and the like. n
A principal object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved apparatus for processing photo-direct material such as printing plates and the like in a continuous processing operation.
Another object of the invention is to improve upon the processing of photo-direct materials, such as sensitized printing plates and the like, by utilizing power driven.
pinch or squeegee rolls for progressing the printing plates through developing and stop bath solutions, and by providing an improved form of guide means between the squeegee rolls for immersing the material in the developing and stop hath solutions.
A further object of the invention is to provide a continuous .apparatus for developing sensitized printing plates and the like, in which the developing solutions and stop bath solutions are contained inl trays arranged in series, and in which vertically spaced guide troughs serve to immerse the plates in the trays and squeegee rolls progress the plates through the trays and serve to squeegee the solutions from the plates.
A still further object of the invention is to improve upon the precessors heretofore used in the processing of photo-direct printing plates and the like by arranging the developing and stop bath solutions in trays in series and utilizing squeegee rolls to progress the material through the trays and squeegee the solution therefrom and by continuously circulating the developing and stop bath solutions through the trays.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved means for guiding and immersing photo-direct printing plates in developing and stop -bath solutions, so arranged as to avoid damage to the plates and to accommodate the circulation of solution through the guide means during the operation of processing the printing plates.
These and other objects of the invention will appear from time to time as the following specification proceeds and with reference to the accompanying drawings where- FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view in side elevation of a processor for photo-direct material constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a view in side elevation of the loading tray, for loading photo-direct printing plates for processing inthe processing apparatus;
p FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the loading tray shown in FIGURE k2;
FIGURE 4 is a view in side elevation of the processor;
FIGURE 5 isa fragmentary plan view of the processor shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken along line VI--VI of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line VII-VII of FIGURE 5, with certain parts broken away in order to illustrate certain details of the guide means for immersing and guiding the printing plates through the developing and stop bath solutions; and
FIGURE 8 is a transverse sectional view taken through 3 ,2 6 9 n' Patented Augustv 2,v 1-966 e ICC the guides and showing the association of the guides with the squeegee and feed rolls.
In the embodiment of the invention diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE l of the drawings, I have shown a processor 10 contained within a casing 11, which may be of any suitable form and has an inlet end 12 intowhich extends upper and lower guides 13 and 14, of a loading tray 15 for loading photo-direct sensitized printing plates into the processor 10. The casing 11 also has a discharge opening 16 having a tray 17 in association therewith for receiving the processed printing plates. The tray 17 may be made from a plastic or a like material.
The processor has a pair of upper and lower power driven feed rolls 18 and 19, respectively, in association with the inlet 12, a tank 20 for developing solution at the output or discharge ends of said rolls, upper and lower guides trays 21 and 22, respectively, in association with the feed rolls 18 and 19, and nested in said tank for irn- =mersing and guiding the plates through the developing solution, upper and lower squeegee rolls 23 and 24, respectively, at the output ends of the guides 21 and 22 for squeegeeing developing solution from the plate and feeding the plate in the space between respective upper and lower guide trays 25 and 26 nested in a tank 27,` for stop bath solution.
Upper and lowel squeegee rolls 29 and 30, respectively, are provided at the output end of the upper and lower guides 25 and 26, for squeegeeing stop bath solution from the developed plate and advancing the developed plate onto the tray 17,
The rolls 18, 19, 23, 24 and 29 and 30 may be rubber covered rolls of a conventionalr form, and are all of the same construction so need not herein be described in detail.
A tank 31 for developing solution of substantially the' capacity of the tank or tray 20 may be mounted on the ground separate from the processor, for storing and supplying developing solution to the processor.
A centrifugal pump 33 is connected with the tank 31 to' supply developing solution to the tray 20 through a front wall 35 of said tray, by means of a pressure line 36 leading from the pump 33 to the tray 20 and entering the tray through a front wall 35, adjacent the lower end por tion of said wall. A return line 37 leads from a rear wall 39 of the tray 20, adjacent the upper end portion thereof, for returning developing solution to the tank 31. The tank 31 may have substantially the same capacity as the tray 20 and the pump 33 may maintain a continuous circulation of developing solution through the tray 20.
In a like manner, a tank 40 for stop bath solution is mounted separately from the tray 27. Stop bath solution is circulated through the tray 27 by a centrifugal pump 41 and pressure line 42 leading from said pump into the tray 27 through the front wall thereof. Stop bathl solution is returned to the tank 40 through a return line 44 connected from the back wallv of the tray 27 to the tank 40.
The loading tray 15 is shown in FIGUR-ES 1, 2 and 3 as being in the form of a shallow rectangular tray or box having a dat bottom 45, parallel spaced side walls 46, and a hinged cover 47.
The cover 47 is shown in FIGURES l andy 3 as being hinged intermediate its ends by a transversely extending hinge member' 49, and as having spaced knobs 50 to be grasped by the hand to hinge the forward end portion of the cover upwardly, when it is desired to' place an exposed printing plate 51 in said tray. The printing plate 51 may be a conventional `form of paper plate having a photo sensitive emulsion on its side, which is its top side when passing through the processor, and having a tab `61 extending from its advance end, to be grasped by the rolls 18 and 19.
The printing plate 51 is shown as being mounted in a transport holder 52 placed in the loading tray 15 between a xed side guide y53 and an adjustable side guide 55, mounted on the bottom 45 in parallel spaced relation with respect to the side walls 4'6 and extending upwardly of said bottom. The bottom 45 has parallel transversely extendling slots 56 therein through which extend bolts 57. The bolts 57 may extend through flanges 59 of the adjustable side guide 55 and may have thumb nuts 60 threaded on the -upper ends thereof, for retaining the side guide in position when adjusted to retain a selected size of transport plate to the loading tray in position to accommodate the tab 61 of the printing plate to be engaged by the squeegee rolls 18 and 19 and progressed, emulsion side up, along the tank 20 between the upper and lower guides 21 and 22.
The cover 47 has a back wall 63 extending perpendicular to and downwardly along the rear ends of the side walls 46 beneath the bottom 45 and has parallel depending side walls 64 having inturned flanges 65 which rest on inturned flanges 66 extending inwardly of the anges 46. A handle 67 is provided on the back wall 63, to accommodate removal of the cover, when desired.
The upper and lower guides 13 and 14 are in the form of vertically spaced angularly forwardly extending lips, the lower of which lips or guides extend angularly upwardly and forwardly of a bottom plate 67 of a light seal `69. The upper guide 13 extends angularly downwardly and forwardly of a front wall 70 of the light seal 69 and terminates in alignment with and in vertically spaced relation with respect to the lower guide 14. The upper guide 13 is broken away intermediate itsends to receive the tab 61 of a printing plate 51. Mounting brackets 71 extending laterally from opposite sides of the top of the light seal 69 are provided to mount the forward end portion of the loading tray on opposite side frame members 72 of the processor to extend within the loading -or inlet slot 12 of the casing 11, with the guides 13 and 14 in position to guide -a printing plate to pass into the nip between the squeegee rolls 18 and 19. The light shield 69 has a vertical flange 73 extending about the rear end portion thereof and abutting a front wall 75 of the loading tray 15. The flange 73 is adapted to abut -a rear wall 74 of the casing 11, to position the light shield 69 within said casing with the center of the space between the guides 13 and 14 in alignment with the nip between the squeegee rolls 18 and 19, to guide the tabs 61 on the leading ends of the printing plates to be engaged by said squeegee rolls and pulled from the transport tray and pushed through the developing solution by said rolls along the guide formed between the upper and lower guide trays 21 and 22.
lReferring now in particular to FIGURES 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, the processor 10 includes the parallel spaced side frame members 72, spaced apart at their forward and rear end portions by spacer bars 77, and shown as being in the form of an open framework. The open framework extends within and is enclosed by the casing 11. Each side frame member 72 has end posts 79 and 80 respectively, and a central post 81. The posts 79, 80 and 81 have relatively wide upwardly -opening slotted portions 82, 83 and `84 respectively formed therein and registering with bearing plates `85, `85 having vertically extending upwardly opening slots 86 formed therein. The bearing plates y85, 85 are secured to the insides of 'the respective posts 79, 80 and 81 as by machine screws or a like fastening means threaded in bosses formed integrally with said posts. The slots 86, 86 in the bearing plates 85 form bearings for the respective squeegee rolls 18 and 19, 23 and 24 and 29 and 30. As shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, the slots 86 in the bearing plates 85, secured to the insides of the posts 79 are adapted to receive and form bearings for upper and lower shafts 87 and 88 of the respective squeegee rolls 18 and 19. In a like manner the lslots 86 in the bearing plates 85, secured to the insides of the posts `80, are adapted to receive and form bearings for shafts 89 and 90 of the respective upper and lower squeegee rolls 23 and 24, while the slots 86 in the bearing plates 85, secured to the insides of the posts 81, are adapted to receive and form bearings for upper and lower shafts 91 and 92 of the respective upper and lower squeegee rolls 29 and 30.
A means is provided for maintaining pressure between said squeegee rolls and accommodating quick release of said rolls, which is shown in FIGURE 4 as being a series of bellcranks 95 transversely pivoted to bars 96 and operatively associated with the upper roll shafts. The bars 96 and bellcranks 95 are mounted to extend along the outer sides of the side frame members 72, for limited slidable movement with respect thereto. As shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, the bars 96 are spaced outwardly of the side frame members 72 by spacer bosses 97 suitably mounted on said side frame members and having bolts 99 extending outwardly therefrom extending through slots 100 formed in the spacer bars 96 and slidably supporting said spacer bars on the side frame members 72, and accommodating limited slidable movement of said spacer bars with respect to said side frame members.
Each bellcrank 95 has a generally horizontally extending lever arm 101, extending over and engaging an upper roll shaft, when the bars 96 are in the position shown in FIGURE 4. Each bellcrank 95 also has a depending lever arm 103 having a tension spring 104 connected to the lower end thereof. Each tension spring 104 extends forwardly of the lever arm 103 and is xedly connected to a pin 105 threaded in the bottom of the bar 96 and depending therefrom. The springs 104 are pretensioned to maintain the desired pressure on the upper squeegee rolls to maintain a pressurized nip between said rolls during operation of the apparatus. When, however, it is desired to relieve pressure from the rolls, it is merely necessary to move the bars 96 forwardly a distance sufficient to release the lever arms 101 from the top roll shafts. The rolls may then be readily lifted from their slots.
The means for driving the `rolls 18, 19, 23, 24, 29 and 30 is shown in FIGURE 4 as comprising a series of toothed belts 107 and 108, commonly known as timer belts. As shown in FIGURE 4 a bracket 109 is mounted on `the outside of the post 79 and extends outwardly therefrom and forms an outboard support for the outer end of a shaft 110, journalled at its inner end in the associated bearing plate 95. The shaft 110 has a spur gear 111 keyed or otherwise secured thereto adjacent the post 79 and meshing with and driving a spur gear 112 keyed or otherwise secured to the outer end of the shaft 88. The spur gears 111 and 112 are maintained in mesh by the tension -of the springs 104 and the bellcranks 95 pressurizing the squeegee rolls 18 and 19.
A similar bracket 113 is mounted on and extends outwardly of the center post 80. The bracket 113 forms an outboard bearing support for a drive shaft 114 having two toothed drive pulleys 115 and 116 keyed or otherwise secured thereto. The drive pulley 115 meshes with and drives the timer belt 107. The pulley 116 meshes with and is driven from the timer belt 108. A spur gear drive 117 is provided from the shaft 114 to the shaft 90 supporting and driving the lower squeegee roll 24.
The belt 108 meshes with a toothed pulley 118 driven from a motor 119 at the forward end portion of the processor. The motor 119 may be a speed reducer type of motor of a conventional form in which the pulley 118 is driven from said motor through speed reducer gearing (not shown). The timer belt 108 also meshes with and drives a toothed pulley 121 spaced above the pulley 118 and driving a transverse shaft 122. The shaft 122 is mounted at its outer end in an outboard bearing support bracket 123 secured to the post 79 and extending outwardly therefrom. The shaft 122 like the shaft100 is journalled at its inner end in an associated bearing plate 85. A spur gear drive 125 is providedfrom the shaft 122 to the squeegee roll shaft 92. A tension idler 129 on a vertically adjustable plate 130 depending from a bracket member 131 is provided to maintain the proper tension on the belt 108. A similar tension idler 132 is provided to maintainthe proper tension on the belt 107.
The developing tray 20 is suitably supported between the side frame members 72, 72on a tray 133 which also forms a support for the stop bath tray 27. The tray 20 is of a generally trough-like form having opposite end walls 137 having lips 139 extending over inwardly extending ilanges 140 of bracket members 141. The lower guide tray 22 has lips 142 extending from opposite ends thereof and extending over the lips 139 and supported thereon. The upper guide tray has similar lips 143 extending outwardly from opposite ends thereof over the lips 141 and supported thereon. The lips 139, 142 and 143 are apertured to receive a bolt 144 extending through the apertured portions thereof and mounted in and extending upwardly of the llange 140. A nut in the form of a knob 145 is threaded on said bolt to retain the guide trays thereto.
As shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 the lower guide tray 22 is formed on a uniform curve from its entering to its discharge ends and has a series of parallel spaced ribs 146 extending upwardly from the bottom thereof and extending therealong in the direction of travel of the printing plate between the .guides 21 and 22. Passageways 147 lead through the bottom of the guide 22 in the spaces between the ribs 146, 146 to allow developer to pass into the lower guide.
The upper guide 21 is of a tray-like form, similar to the lower guide 22 and is formed in a uniform curve conforming to the curve of the tray 22 and has a series of parallel spaced ribs 149, 149 depending from lthe bottom thereof in the direction of travel of the printing plate and spaced vertically from the ribs 146, to provide ay guide between the upper and lower guides, spacing the printing plate from the plane surface of the guides 21 and 22. Passageways 150 lead through the bottom of the upper guide 21 between the ribs 149 to allow developer to pass upwardly into the guide 21. VThe entering and discharge ends of the guide 21 are curved to extend closely adjacent the nips between the respective squeegee and guide rolls. A cover 151 extends across the top of the upper guide tray 21.
The tray 27 for stop bath solution is similar to the tray 20 for developing solution, and is mounted between the side frame members 72, 72 in the same manner the tray 20 is mounted between said side frame members. The upper and lower guides 25 and 26 are likewise similar to the guides 21 and 22 and are mounted between the side frame members 72, 72 in the same manner the guides 21 and 22 are mounted between said side frame members. The trays 25 and 26 have perforate bottoms and ribs, like the ribs 146 and 149, space the printing plate from the bottoms of said guides and guide the printing plate through vthe stop bath solution in the same manner the printing plate is guided through the developing solution. A cover 153 covers the upper guide tray 25.
The processor is usually used in a dark room, although it is so shielded from light that it need not be used in a dark room. When it is desired to develop an exposed photo-direct printing plate, the plate which may be carried in a transport holder is placed in the loading tray by placing the transport holder between the side guides 53 and 55 with the tab 61 on the leading end of the printing plate in position between the rolls 18 and 19. The motor 120 being energized, the rolls 18 and 19 will pull the plate from the transport holder and push the plate to and along the guide formed between the upper and lower guides 21 and 22. At the same time the centrifugal pump 33 will circulate developing solution through the developing tank 20 in a direction opposite to the direction'of travel of the plate. The centrifugal pump 41 also circulates stop bath solution through the stop bath tray 27 in an opposite direction to the direction of travel of the plate through the tray. In passing through the guide formed between the upper and lower guides 21 and 22, the plate passes withits emulsion side up and is pushed along the guide formed between the guides 21 and 22 and immersed into the developing solution by said guides and then guided upwardly to the squeegee rolls 23 and 24, which squeegee developing solution from the plate and push the plate along the guide formed between the upper and lower guides 25 and `26, immersing the plate in the stop bath solution and guiding the plate upwardly to the squeegee rollers 29 and 30. The squeegee rolls 29 and 30 draw the plate onto the plastic tray 17 and squeegee the stop bath solution therefrom when drawing the plate onto said plastic tray.
It -rnay be seen from the foregoing that a simplified form of loading and processing apparatus has been provided for processing or developing photo-direct printing plates with little, if any, manual control, and that an effective guide has been provided for the plate, guiding and immersing the plate in the developing solution and in the stop kbath solution, in which a series of squeegee rolls progress the plate through the processor, and the squeegee rolls successively drawing the plate through the developing and stop both solutions, also squeegee the solutions from the plate Iand draw the plate entirely through the processor, depositing it in a developed form on the plastic tray 17.
It may further be seen that an improved and simplified form of bearing support means for the squeegee rolls has been provided accommodating ready removal of the rolls from their bearing supports, and besides maintaining pressure in the nips between the rolls, maintaining the rolls in driving engagement with the drive gears therefor.v
While we have herein shown and described one form in which our invention may be embodied, it may readily be understood that various variations and modifications in the invention may be attained without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts thereof.
We claim as our invention:
In a device for processing photo-direct material, characterized by a loading tray, a developing tray and a stop bath solution tray arranged in series and a receiving tray at the discharge end of said stop bath solution tray, a pair of squeegee rolls at the entering end -of said developing tray pushing a sensitized printing plate into said tray and guide means in said tray maintaining the sensitized printing plate immersed in the solution therein, a pair of squeegee rolls between said trays squeegeeing the developing solution from said plate and pushing the plate through said stop bath tray and guide means in Isaid stop bath tray in association with said squeegee rolls for irmnersing the printing plate in the stop bath sol-ution, other squeegee rolls at the discharge end of said guide mean-s, squeegeeing stop bath solution from the printing plate, each set of squeegee rolls being vertically aligned and having shafts extending from opposite ends thereof, the improvement comprising -a frame having a plurality of transversely aligned longitudinally spaced upwardly opening lslots therein, forming bearing and mounting -means for said rolls shafts, the shafts for the lower of said rolls each having a gear thereon, a drive gear directly beneath each gear and meshed therewith, means for driving said drive gears at the same rates of speed, a separate bar slidably mounted on each side of said frame, for limited slidable movement in the direction of said frame, a plurality of bellcranks transversely pivoted on each bar, each bellcrank having a lever arm engageable with the shaft of the uppermost squeegee roll, spring means connected between said bars and bellcranks and pressurizing said squeegee -rolls and maintaining said gears in driving engagement with each other, said lever arms being releasable from said shafts by movement of said bars along said frame to 7 8 'accommodate removal 'of said squeegee rolls from said 3,067,999 12/ 1962 Skeen 271-51 slots. 3,104,603 9/ 1963 Schwienbacher 95-89 References Cited by the Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 1,128,292 5/ 1962 Germany.
762,807 12/ 1956 Great Britain. LOVel'CheCk Great Britain. 2,995,363 8/1961 Pittwood 271--51 l Prllna'y Examlner. 3,062,122 11/1962 smith et a1 95-89 10 C- B PRICE, AssisfanfExamfnef- UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,263,590 August Z, 1966 Walter Wanielista et al.
1t is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
In the heading to the drawings, Sheets 1 to 5, line 2 thereof, and in the heading to the printed specification, line 2, for the title, "PROCESSOR FOR PHOTO-DIRECT MATERIAL", each occurrence, read PROCESSOR FOR SENSITIZED PRINTING MATERIAL column 1, lines 10, 17 and 52, and column 6, line 43, for "photo-direct", each occurrence, read sensitized printing column 1, lines 13, 34, 41 and 55, column 5, line 66,and Column 6, line 20, for photo-direct", each occurrence, read sensitized column 2, line 8, strike out "photo-direct".
Signed and sealed this 26th day of September 1967.
ERNEST W. SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents