US 3349815 A
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PROPORTIQNING INSTALLATION Filed May 7, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I
42Q@@UQ@G42 INVENTOR JOZEFMAUR/E 0E BAETS ATTORNEYS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 J. M. DE BAETS FIG. 2
PROPORTIONING INSTALLATION JOZEFMAU/P/TS 05 5/45 T 5 Oct. 31, 1967 J. M. DE BAETS 3,349,815
PROPORTIONING INSTALLAT ION Filed May 7, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR JOZEF MAUR/TS 0E BAETS ORNEYS Oct. 31, 1967 J. M. DE BAETS 3,349,815
PROPORTIONING INSTALLATION Filed May 7, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENIOR ['76. 5 JOZEFMAUR/TS DE 534E719 ATTORNEYS Oct. 31, 1967 J. M. DE BAETS PROPORTIONING INSTALLATION 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 7, 1964 INVENTOR JOZEF MAUR/TS DE .BAETS United States Patent 3,349,815 PROPORTIQNENG INSTALLA'IEON Jozef Maurits De Baets, 56 Jan Van litijswijcklaan, Antwerp, Belgium Filed May 7, 1964, Ser. No. 365,673 Claims priority, application Beigium, May 9, 1963, 632,120 9 Ciaims. (Cl. 141-104) This invention relates to a proportioning installation that comprises a test-tube carrier, at least one mouth connected to a vessel, a constant-level tank which is connected into the pipe joining the vessel to the mouth, means for cutting-01f the liquid supply from the vessel towards the mouth, means for moving intermittently the carrier underneath the mouth and a connection between the means for moving intermittently the carrier and the means for cutting-off the liquid supply from the vessel towards the mouth, in such a way that said last means is cut-out temporarily when a test-tube is located beneath the mouth.
Such a proportioning installation is already known, at least theoretically because it does not pertain to the filling of test-tubes, from British Patent No. 325,376. According to this British patent, the amount of liquid which is added to each test-tube is determined by the volume of the hollow part contacting the pipe which leads to the mouth. According to this patent, it is thus impossible to adjust the amount of liquid admitted, unless the element preceding the hollow part be replaced by another element of the same kind but which has a hollow with a diiferent volume. Such a replacement would of course be an involved operation and it would anyway be impossible in such a way to obtain a continuous variation of the amount of liquid admitted into each test-tube. The invention has for its purpose to obviate this drawback.
For this purpose, the proportioning installation according to the invention is provided with a device which enables to regulate the duration of the liquid supply after each stoppage. Such a device is also known from French Patent 1,139,508 which does not however comprise a constant-level tank into the pipe connecting the vessel with the mouth. Due to the lack of maintaining a constant level, the amount of liquid admitted into a test-tube according to said French patent cannot be regulated accurately. Moreover, said French patent does not provide for regulating of the duration of the liquid supply after each stoppage.
In an embodiment of the invention, the device comprises a synchronous motor and a swivelling arm which is connected through a coupling to said motor, said arm in the upper position thereof cutting-off the liquid supply and having a lower rest position which is determined by an adjustable knob.
On the other hand, the known installations do not enable to introduce liquids successively from diiferent vessels into the test-tubes, unless of course the installation vessel is replaced by another one and another filling operation is made. This would however be a very tiresome operation.
The invention has also for its purpose to obviate this drawback and to provide a proportioning installation by means of which liquids from different vessels may be introduced successively into the test-tubes.
The invention also provides a proportioning installation in which the test-tubes are guided, in a simple way, with respect to the mouths connected to the vessels, as opposed to the object of said French patent and particularly to the object of said Britich patent in which the test-tube carrier performs a relatively involved movement to locate successively all of the test-tubes underneath one and the same mouth.
' vessel is connected to as many 3,349,815 Patented Oct. 31, 1967 For this purpose, in a particular embodiment, the carrier is arranged on a slide with respect to which the carrier moves and which is itself adjustable, the position of the slide acting on means for cutting-ofi the liquid supply from a vessel towards a mouth.
Advanta-geously, the installation comprises a plurality of vessels which are each one connected to at least one mouth.
In an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the means enabling to cut-01f the liquid supply, from the vessels to the mouths, are comprised of magnetic valves provided with a coil, said coils being connected separately in series with separate switches and the position of the slide acting on the position of a switch.
In a partciular embodiment of the invention, the slide position determines which one of the switches is closed.
In a preferred embodiment, the coils which are connected in parallel among them, are each one connected in series with one of the switches and they are arranged in an electric circuit with a switch which is moved away from the closed position thereof when the carrier moves.
In an advantageous embodiment of the invention on the carrier are located, cross-wise to the movement direction, different test-tubes, one besides the other and each mouths as there are testtubes one besides the other, While the mouths which are connected to one and the same vessel are also located cross-wise to the carrier movement direction while leaving between them a distance which is equal to the distance between the mouths.
Other details and features of the invention will stand out from the description given below by way of nonlimitative example and with reference to the accompany ing drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of a according to the invention.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a according to the invention.
FIG. 4 is rear View, on a larger scale, of part of the pro portioning installation shown in the preceding figures.
FIG. 5 is a side view of part of the proportioning in stallation shown in FIGS. 1-6.
FIG. 6 is an electric circuit diagram of the installation shown in the preceding figures.
In the various figures, the same reference numerals pertain to similar elements.
The proportioning installation shown in the figures comprises a stand 1 which, by means of posts 2, bears a supporting plate 3 for the vessels 4. Each vessel 4 is connected by a pipe 5, in which is arranged a cock 7 which is controlled by a grip 6, to a level control which comprises a small tank 8. The pipe 5 opens at the top through an opening 9 into the small tank 8. Even though the small tank 8 is substantially completely closed, the inside thereof is however under the atmospheric pressure, as the bent pipe 10 forms a connection between the tank inside and the ambient air. Each vessel is sealed by a stopper 11. A small pipe 12 which enters into the liquid up to an adjustable level, passes through the stopper 11. The unit formed by the vessel 4, the small pipe 12, the pipe 5 and the small tank 8 insures maintaining of the level inside the small tank 8. A siphon 13 is supplied from the small tank 8 in which the liquid level is maintained constant and feeds the liquid through the cock 14 towards the pipe 15 which is divided into four small pipes 16. In each pipe 15 lies, at the height 61, solenoid operated valve 61a. Each small pipe 16 opens over a mouth 17 which is clamped in a supporting element 18 which may itself be adjusted in the height position thereof proportioning installation proportioning installation proportioning installation in a way which is not shown in the drawings, so as to take into account the height of the test-tubes 19 into which the liquid must flow. There results from the above description that liquid is lead to each mouth 17 from a small constant level tank 8, which improves the measuring accuracy for the amount of liquid admitted into a test-tube. The test-tubes 19 are supported by a carriage 20 which is provided with wheels 20a received in oppositely facing inclined trackways 21 formed in vertical side members 22a of slide 22. Carriage 20 moves in the direction of arrow 23 in a stepped, controlled manner by the force of gravity controlled by pawl 54 cooperating with notches 55 formed in the bottom edges of vertical frame members 2012 of carriage 29. As carriage 20 moves along inclined track 21, a protruding cam or lug 22]) attached to one member 22a closes successive switches 24; there being a separate switch 24 for each solenoid operated valve 61a.
The slide 22 is not fixed but rather adjustable with respect to the stand 1. To a determined position of the slide 22, corresponds a particular closure of a switch 24 which cooperates with the coil 25 of a solenoid operated valve 61a. The details of this magnetic valve, which are known by themselves, have not been described. To understand the installation, one only has to reckon that when a coil such as shown at 25 in FIG. 6, is supplied the solenoid operated valve 61a is open and when the coil 25 is dead, the magnetic valve is closed by a spring (not shown). The closure of a particular switch 24 determines which one of the magnetic valves may be opened at the height 61 and this is determined by the slide position, in a way which is not shown in the drawings. One may easily conceive how a cam in the slide causes the closure of a switch, in such a way that in each one of the eight positions of the slide, another switch is closed each time.
The installation is supplied from an alternating current network 26 and it is powered by closure of the switch 27. The closure of the switch 27 causes automatically the synchronous motor 28 to run and supplies the rectifier 29. The motor 28 is mounted on a support bracket 28a attached to the bottom edges of slide members 22a. The motor 28 drives the magnetic coupling 31, which in turn moves the lever 32 in the direction of arrow 33. A spring 34 seeks to pull down the arm 32, that is opposite the direction of arrow 33. When the motor runs and the magnetic coupling 31 is powered, the force of spring 34 is overcome by the motor driving, but when the coupling 31 is not powered, the arm 32 is maintained by spring 34 on the knob 37. Spring 34 is attached at one end to screw 35 in motor support bracket 28a and in hole 36 in lever 32 at the other end. In the same way the motor 28, the magnetic coupling 31 and the lever 32 are mounted on the slide 22.
When the magnetic coupling 31 is not powered, the lever 32 rests on a knob 37 which is adjustable in the stand 1. The knobs 37 can be moved vertically in slots 37a of a panel 37b that encloses the motor and slide mechanism. Scale indicia on said panel between said slots aid in positioning knobs 37 as required. The slide may lie in eight different working positions and in each one thereof the end of lever 32 is located in front of another knob 37. The various knobs 37 are adjusted by taking into account the desired opening duration of the solenoid valve 61a which is located on the pipe 15 that connects the mouths 17 to the small tank 8 which is supplied from a particular vessel 4. A determined position of the slide causes, as stated above, the closure of one of the switches 24 and thus enables to open a particular solenoid valve 61a which is located in the pipe 15 of a vessel 4. In such a position of the slide, the lever 32 faces a particular knob 37 and this knob 37 must be adjusted at such a height that, when the installation is operating, the corresponding solenoid valve 61a remains open during a predetermined period of time. This period is dependent on the amount of liquid which must be lead to each test-tube, on the viscosity of said liquid and on the density thereof. There results indeed from the description given below that the height at which the knob 37 is adjusted, which corresponds to a determined rest position of lever 32, determines the opening duration of the magnetic valve.
There results from the electric circuit diagram of FIG. 6 that powering of the rectifier lights the small lamp 38, which is usually green. The small white light 41, pertaining to the slide, will also light up. This small white light 41 faces one of the windows 42. In these windows is shown an indication as to the content of the vessel 4 the magnetic valve of which is controlled when the slide lies in the corresponding position. Both the choice of the magnetic valve which enables the liquid flow from a particular vessel 4 and the position of the small lamp 41 facing a particular window 42 are indeed only determined by the position of the slide 22. It is thus possible to see by a single glance which liquid flows towards the test-tubes in a particular position of the slide.
By depressing the button 40, one closes the electric circuit of the relay to which belongs the coil 43, as the contacts 39 are connected together and as the switch 44 is normally in the closed position shown in solid lines in FIG. 6. Powering of the coil 43 results, one the one hand, in the closure of the small switch 45, in such a way that the circuit of coil 43 remains closed as long as the switch 44 is not moved away from the closing position which is shown in solid lines in FIG. 6, and on the other hand, in the closure of the small switch 46. As the switch 47 is normally in the closed position, closing of the small switch 46 results in powering of the coil of the magnetic coupling 31 and in lighting of the yellow light 48.
As the motor 28 runs and is connected mechanically to the magnetic coupling 31 which is powered, the lever 32 is moved from the rest position thereof on the knob 37 along the direction of arrow 33 until the lever 32 moves the switch 49 from the solid-line position of FIG. 6 to the broken-line position in the same figure. As long as the switch 49 lies in the solid-line position, the circuit of a coil 25, the corresponding switch 24 of which is closed due to the position of the slide 22, remains closed and this from the rectifier 29, through the switch 49, the coil 25, the switch 24, the switches 50, 47, 46 and 44, back to the rectifier 29. The switches 44, 47 and 50 are indeed normally in the closed position shown in FIG. 6 and the switch 6 is in the closed position due to the powering of the coil of the relay 43. Due to the powering of the coil 25, the solenoid valve 61a remains open. This valve returns to the closed position as soon as powering of the coil 25 is stopped, which is the case when the switch 49 leaves the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 6. When the lever 32 reaches the upper position thereof, after a period of time which is dependent on the rest position determined by the knob 37, the liquid supply from the vessel 4 towards the mouths 17 will stop. Simultaneously, the switch 49 will reach the broken-line position in FIG. 6, which causes powering of the circuit of coil 51. Powering of the coil 51 results in attracting the lever 52, which swivels about pivot pin 53 with respect to the slide 22. The end 54 of the lever 52 is thus taken out of a notch 55 provided in the lower face of carriage 20. The carriage 20 is thus not retained any more relative to the slide 22 and it may thus slide under its own weight along the inclined trackway 21, along the direction of the arrow 23 shown in FIG. 1. At the same time however, the other end 56 of the lever 52 bears against the switch 47, in such a way that said switch is moved away from the closed position thereof, which cutsoff the electric circuit of the magnetic coupling 31 and switches the small yellow light off. As the magnetic coupling 31 is no longer powered, the lever 32 is not driven any more by the synchronous motor 28 and the lever 32 is returned by the spring 34 to the rest position thereof on the knob 37.
As soon as the lever 32 leaves the switch 49, said switch is moved by a spring (not shown in the drawings) from the broken-line position in FIG. 6 to the solid-line position in this figure. The coil 51 is thus not powered any longer, but as long as the end 54 of the lever 52 does not reach a new recess 55, the lever 52 goes on bearing by the end 56 thereof against the switch 47, in such a way that the electric circuit of the magnetic coupling 31 and the circuit of the coil 25 remain cut-off until the carriage 20 comes to a stop again on the slide 22 because the end 54 of the lever 52 enters again a recess or notch 55. In this new position of the carriage 20 with respect to the slide 22, a new series of test-tubes 19 comes in front of the mouths 17. As the switch 47 is closed again and as the circuit of the coil 25 is thus closed again, the solenoid valve 61a opens again and due to the magnetic coupling 31 being powered a new, the lever 32 is returned upwards, in such a Way that the liquid flows under the same conditions from the considered vessel 4 towards the test-tubes 19, without requiring a new intervention from the person in charge of the installation operation.
When the button 40 has been depressed, the carriage 20 was so located with respect to the slide 22 that the testtubes 19 of the first row were located underneath a given row of mouths 17. When these test-tubes have received from a vessel 4 the measured amount of liquid, the carriage 20 glides forward down the inclined tracks until the test tubes of the following row come underneath said given row of mouths 17. These test-tubes receive the measured amount of liquid from the same vessel 4, after which the carriage 20 glides again further along on the tracks 21. When all the test-tubes are filled, and the last row of testtubes 19 has been presented, the circuit of the coil 51 is closed again, because the lever 32 has moved the switch 49 from the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 6 to the one shown in broken lines in the same figure, in such a way that the carriage glides somewhat further along. The carriage 20 thus engages the switch 44 which is moved from the solid-line position of FIG. 6 to the broken-line position of this same figure. This cuts-off the circuit of the coil 43, which thus opens, the switches 45 and 46 and definitively cuts-off the circuit of the magnetic coupling 31. Simultaneously, the circuit to the red lamp 57 is closed, indicating that the automatic filling of the test-tubes from one vessel 4 is completed. Switch 44 is characterized by having a long activating arm 44a which extends into the path of the forward wheel on one side of carriage 20 near the end of one inclined track 21. When the said wheel contacts the end of arm 44a, the circuit to solenoid 51 is opened and carriage 20 is stopped and held from further forward motion by pawl 54.
To be able to fill test-tubes again and to start a new cycle of operations by depressing the button 40, the carriage must be returned, with respect to the slide, to the initial position thereof, in such a way that the switch 44 is not retained any more by this carriage 20 in the solidline position of FIG. 6.
The displacement of the carriage, either under the action of gravity along the direction of arrow 23 or manually in the direction opposite arrow 23, may also be made possible independently of the automatic operation under the action of the magnetic coupling 31 is as described above. If the button 58 is depressed, the circuit of coil 51 is automatically closed, which results in the end 54 of the lever 52 being maintained out of engagement with the recesses 55 of the carriage 20, in such a way that the carriage can move freely under the action of gravity. Simultaneously, the switch 47 opens automatically in such a way that the liquid cannot flow in any way through the magnetic valve during the movement of carriage 20. The button 58 thus enables a manual control of the carriage movement. The carriage 20 may always be moved manually along the slide 22 in the direction opposite arrow 23, as the shape of the cam-like end 54 of lever 52 does not oppose this movement against the gravity action.
The switch 50 can be brought manually from the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 6 to the one shown in broken lines in the same figure. This results in cutting-off a coil 25 of a magnetic valve, according to the position selected for the slide 22. By adjusting the switch 50, it is then possible to let flow through the mouths 17 as much liquid as it is desired. This may for instance be desirable when one wishes to rinse the mouths and the pipes on which they are mounted. It is possible to use for this purpose a water-jet pump 59 which is operated by depressing the switch 60, which is also used for forcing air bubbles out.
To prevent the lever 32 from falling underneath the knobs 37 during the displacement of the slide 22, said lever thus not being retained after adjusting the slide 22, the switch 30 is closed during the displacement, in such a way that the solenoid 62 is activated, causing arm 63, which is pivoted at 64 on motor support bracket 28a, to move upward and retain lever 32 up in the position shown in phantom lines in FIG. 5.
There results from the above description that the adjustment of a slide with respect to a stand, a magnetic valve which is located in the discharge pipe of a vessel may be conditioned to operate. This valve is thus actually opened during a period of time which is dependent on the height of the knob 37, each time that a row of testtubes 19 is brought underneath a row of mouths 17. As soon as the test-tubes 19 have received liquid during the selected period of time, the carriage 20 carrying the testtubes 19 moves until a following row of test-tubes 19 is brought underneath the same row of mouths 17 and this until all of the test-tubes 19 have finally received during the selected period of time, liquid from the vessel 4, the choice of which is dependent on the adjustment of the slide 22.
To emphasize the operational features of the present invention a summary of the functions of the various switches and related mechanisms are set forth below:
(1) Switches 24.Normally opened, each being individually closed in response to the slide 22 attaining a predetermined position.
(2) Coils 25.-Each adapted to control a magnetic dispensing valve upon its corresponding switch 24 being closed.
(3) Coil 31.Actuates the coil 25 corresponding to a switch 24 that is closed in response to the position of slide 22.
(4) Lever 32.-Driven by actuation of coil 31 and controls the time during which the valve is opened.
(5) Switch 49.-Responsive to movements of lever 32, upon lever 32 reaching the end of its movement, switch 49 moves to broken line position of FIG. 6 thus deactuating the magnetic valves.
(6) Coil 51.Actuated when switch 49 moves to broken line position of FIG. 6-acts to pivot lever 52 out of a recess in the base of carriage 20 to permit movement of the latter.
(7) Switch 47.-Opened on the pivoting of lever 52 out of the recess-deactuates coil 31 and therefore further movement of lever 32stays open during the movement of the slide until lever 52 enters a new recess.
(8) Switch 44.Moves to broken line in response to carriage reaching the end of its travel-opens switches 45 and 46 to deactuate coil 31.
(9) Button 58.Manually actuated to actuate coil 51, thus permitting movement of the carriage.
(10) Button 30.-Manually actuated to retain lever 32 in its upper position during displacement of slide 22.
(11) Switches 50 and 60.-Permit continuous flow of liquid into months 17 to cleanse same by use of water pump 59.
The invention is in no way limited to the above embodiments and many changes may be brought therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
I claim: 1. An apparatus amount of liquid from a plurality of vessels to a plurality of containers on a carriage, said apparatus comprising a constant level tank connected to each vessel, at least one dispensing mouth extending vfrom each tank, valve means dispose-d between each tank and its corresponding mouth, said valve means normally being inoperable, an adjustable slide movable to a plurality of positions with respect to said mouths and adapted to support said carriage, control means responsive to the position of said slide and'adapted to render a particular valve means operable, means to permit intermittent movement of saidcarriage to a plurality of predetermined positions with respect to said slide and underneath said mouths to align at least one container with the dispensing mouth associated with the operable valve means, an electro-mechanical interlock for maintaining the position of said carriage with respect to said mouths, actuating means responsive to said interlock for actuating the valve means of said aligned mouth to permit liquid flow between said aligned mouth and container, and regulating means associated with said carriage for dispensing predetermined amounts of liquid into each of the containers from said aligned mouth.
2. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said containers are in the form of test tubes arranged in a plurality of rows, each of which extends in a direction transverse to carriage movement; and wherein a plurality of months extend from each tank and are arranged in rows extending in a direction transverse to carriage movement, the distance between adjacent rows of said mouths corresponding to that between said test tubes.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said regulating means comprises an actuating arm pivotally mounted on said slide, means to move said arm through a cycle in response to a signal from said actuating means, said arm adapted to deactuate said valve means at the end of its cycle, and means to regulate the duration of said cycle.
4. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve means are in the form of solenoid operated valves provided with a coil; and wherein said control means comprises a switch, separately connected in series with a corresponding coil, and means responsive to the position of said slide to actuate one of said switches.
5. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein each of said corresponding switches and coils are connected in parallel in an electric circuit, and further comprising a switch adapted to deactuate said circuit during carriage movement.
'6. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said interlock comprises a lever pivotally mounted on said slide, one end of said lever adapted to engage in a plurality of notches provided in the base of said carriage, and a switching means adapted to be engaged by the other end of said lever.
7. The apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said actuating means comprises a coil connected in series with said switching means and said valve means, said switching means normally being closed permitting said coil to actuate said valve means, the engagement of said switching means by the other end of said lever opening said switching means thus deactuating said valve means.
8.'The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising means to deactuate said actuating means upon said carriage reaching the end of its travel.
9. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising means to permit a manual control of carriage movement.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,951,618 9/1960 Aldecoa 141-156 X 2,995,158 8/1961 Oberg l41103 X 3,188,181 6/1965 Peterson et al. 141--130 LAVERNE DJGEIGER, Primary Examiner.
E. I. EARLS, Assistant Examiner.