US 3366025 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 30, 1968 R. P. LAYNE ROLLER TYPE AUTOMATIC PROCESSOR 2 SheetsSheet 1 Filed Jan. 4, 1965 W e w a o n E m V L 3 W m m a o R w n 0 0. 8 .D
ATTORNEYS Jan. 30, 1968 R. P. LAYNE 3,366,025
ROLLER TYPE AUTOMATIC PROCESSOR Filed Jan. 4, 1965 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 80 a2 a: a3 81 lNVE/VTOR. Ronald Loyne Sparrow 0nd Sparrow ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,366,025 ROLLER TYPE AUTOMATIC PROCESSOR Ronald P. Layne, New York, N.Y., assignor to NACA Equipment Cor Woodside, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 4, 1965, Ser. No. 423,116 Claims. (Cl. 95--94) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A photographic film processor with a plurality of tanks for various processing fluids; self-threading unitized film conveying units in the processor; a washing and drying unit for the developed films combined with the processor.
This invention relates to photographic film processing apparatus and particularly to apparatus that, by means of self-threading units, processes photographic films by develioping, fixing, washing and drying same in consecutive or er.
Developing and processing apparatus for medical, dental, industrial, cine radiographic films are known per se, but certain areas of operational troubles, particularly with single sheets, also are known in presently existing apparatus. This invention constitutes an improvement of apparatus of this kind, and it consists in such novel features, constructlon arrangements and combinations of parts as may be shown and described in connection with the apparatus herein disclosed by way of example only and as illustrative of a preferred embodiment. Objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part hereafter and in part will be obvious herefrom or may be learned by prachung the invention, the same being realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations pointed out in the appended claims.
It is a general object of the present invention to provide contrivances for continuous processing of photographic film material automatically through the various processmg stages, such as developing, fixing, washing and drying.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a positively power-driven roller transport means in the processlng apparatus.
A further object of the present invention is to provide roller drive means without chains, belts or friction drives.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide means for propelling the film material to be processed, without stationary guides or large-diameter turn-around rollers.
Furthermore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved processing apparatus that is compact in size and is manufactured economically.
Various further and more specific purposes, features and advantages will clearly appear from the detailed description given below taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form part of this specification and illustrate by way of example one embodiment of the device of the invention. In the following description and in the claims, parts will be identified by specific names for convenience, but such names are intended to 'be as generic in their application to similar parts as the art will permit. Like reference characters denote like parts in the several figures of the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a diagrammatic side view of the processor and, partly sectioned, of the drive gear trains of the processor rollers;
FIG. 2 shows a diagrammatic plan view of the processor;
FIG. 3 shows a driven roller, partly sectioned, of the processor; and
3,366,025 Patented Jan. 30, 19 68 FIG. 4 illustrates a part of the drive gear train of the processing rollers.
Referring now in more detail to the drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment by which the invention may be realized, there is in FIGS. 1 and 2 a housing 11 in which the processing equipment is located. This equipment comprises a larger tank 12 into which two smaller tanks 13 and 14 are fitted. Tank 12 serves as the water tank for washing and acts at the same time as a water jacket for the developer tank 13 and fixing solution tank 14. The temperature of the water in tank 12 may be controlled by well-known thermostat means, not shown in the drawing. Unitized roller racks 15, 16 and 17 are fitted with one another and into tanks 12, 13, 14. Each one of the racks 15, 16, 17 is composed of two side frames 18, 18' (the latter not shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) which are held together by cross-braces 19, 20 and by cross-rods 21. There is in each one of these racks a descending train of powerdriven rollers 22, 23, which are geared in pairs with one another, and an ascending train of equally power-driven rollers 24, 25, equally geared in pairs. At the lower end of these trains is a turn-about section, generally designated by the numeral 30, and at the upper end of the ascending train a cross-over section 40 which is of equal structure as turn-over section 30 and which fits precisely over the descending train of the next-following rack unit.
Both the turn-about and the cross-over section comprises geared pairs of rollers 31, 32 and 41, 42, respec tively, spaced at 45, and of interspaced non-driven deflector rollers 33 and 44, respectively.
At the end of the washing tank rack 17' a drying section 50 is-attached, which also comprises side frames 51, 51 (the latter not visible) and a plurality of transport rollers 52, 53, which are arranged and driven in pairs, and deflector rollers 54, 55, the latter serving at the same time as delivery rollers. Pipes 56, 57, arranged in pairs opposite one another on either side of the developed, fixed and washed film, provide for air for drying of the film. The air may or may not be heated by strip heaters (not shown in the drawing).
An infeed device 60- is arranged at the head of developer rack 15, which comprises a driven roller 62 located in fixed bearings and a driven roller 61 which is located in yieldingly-arranged bearings. Roller 61 actuates a microswitch (not shown in the drawing) when a film is entered between rollers 61 and 62.
All rollers are gear-driven, with gears on the roller pinions 77 and With idler gears 76 in mesh with same. Gears 76 are arranged outside the main frame 11for driving the individual section 40 and gears 76" are also arranged outside frame 11 for driving rollers 75 within each section.
The further equipment of the processor is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 2, wherein tanks 12, 13, 14 are visible. Two replenishing pumps 80, 81 and two recirculating pumps 82, 83, all being motor-driven and being of the positive-displacement type, are located in housing 11. The rate of flow of the replenishing pumps is controlled by metering valves 84, 85. The main drive motor 86 for all rollers also is located in the housing, and a dryer fan 87.
The processor rollers 22, 23, 24, 25 may comprise a hollow tube-like body 90, preferably made of phenolictype plastics, which has a hollow pinion 91 plugged into it on the rear side 18' and a solid plug 92 carrying the drive gear 75 on the front side. Roller body is perforated, and an open-cell polyurethane foam wrapper 94 or an equivalent filtering means is wrapped around it. A manifold 95 is arranged outside of rear frame 18, into which fresh developer or fixing solution, respectively, is fed by the corresponding recirculating pumps 82, 83, re-
, 3 spectively through pipelines as shown schematically in FIG. 2.
The processing fluids thus are fed into rollers 22, 23, 24, 25 from manifolds 95 through hollow pinion 91, as shown in FIG. 3. This improvement does away with the disadvantages of the by-products of the developing of the film coating acting as retardants to further development by continuously feeding fresh solution from the inside of the rollers and washing away the by-products from the film surface.
It is obvious that all materials used in constructing the present developer are of non-corrosive character, such as stainless steel, suitable polyethylenes, polypropylenes, nylon, Delrin and phenolic plastics and their equivalents.
The operation of the apparatus may be described as follows. A film is inserted into the infeed device 60, whereby the microswitch connected with roller 61 actuates replenishing pumps 80, 81. The rate of flow of the chemical reactants can be set at the metering valves 84, 85. Also the temperature of the water in tank 14 and the temperature of the drying air is adjusted by well-known means, not shown in the drawings, to suit the desired rate of operation. The film is now propelled by the roller pairs first through the developer tank 12, subsequently by way of the first cross-over section 40' into the fixing tank 13, then in the same manner through the washing water tank 14 and eventually through the dryer section 50 from which it will emerge ready for inspection and use. The speed of the drive motor controlling the film travel rate, and the speed of the replenishing pumps are directly proportional to the voltage which can be set on a variable transformer which is not shown in the drawing. Thus, the replenishment is kept in proportion with the rate and length of the film to be processed. When the end of the film has passed through the infeed device, the replenishment pumps are stopped. The total time cycle of the processor may be varied, corresponding to the film material; an average median time for completely processing medical or dental films may be assumed to be approximately four and a half minutes.
The processor, according to the invention, is a selfthreading roller type unit that automatically processes (develops, fixes, washes, dries) radiographic film. The machine, for example, can accommodate sheets from dental to 5 x 7s or continuous lengths up to 5" in width. The film may be medical, dental, industrial or cine, single or double coated emulsion. The same basic system can be used to accommodate sheets up to 14 x 17 by lengthening the transport rollers. Preferably tempered water may be introduced into the machine at the rate of /2 gallon per minute minimum at 75 to 80 F., depending on the temperature desired. Replenishment is automatic, directly proportional to the length of film intro'cluced. Any currently available automatic solution may be used, such as Ansco Liquamat, Acan-O-Mat, Eastman Kodak X-Omat, Du Pont or Cenco automatic solutions. Total time cycle is variable, for example, between 2 and 15 minutes. Medical or dental film types are completely processed in approximately four and a half minutes.
While the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a certain preferred example which gives satisfactory results, it will be understood by those skilled in the art after understanding the principle of the invention, that various other changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and it is intended therefore in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications.
1. In a roller type photographic film processor, a developer tank, a fixing solution tank, a washing water tank, each one of said tanks having therein a unitized rack unit said unit having a plurality of first pairs of driven rollers and each one of said rack units comprising a turnabout section and a crossover section, each of said sections having a plurality of second geared pairs of driven rollers, said second pairs of rollers spaced at substantially 45 from one another, and a plurality of non-driven deflector rollers interspaced between said second pairs of driven rollers, and a film drying section arranged after the washing tank, said drying section having a plurality of third pairs of driven rollers and nondriven reflector rollers interspaced bet-ween said third pairs of rollers.
2. In a roller type photographic film processor, a developer tank, a fixing solution tank, a washing water tank, unitized rack units in each one of said tanks, each one of said units comprising a turnabout section and a crossover section, said units and said turnabout and crossover sections having a plurality of coupled pairs of transport rollers, said pairs of rollers spaced at substantially 45 from one another, gear drive means for positively driving said pairs of transport rollers, and a plurality of non-driven deflector rollers interspaced between said pairs of rollers in said turnabout and said crossover sections.
3. In a roller type photographic film processor according to claim 2, means for replenishing and recirculating fluid in at least one of said tanks, and controlled metering means for said fluid, said metering means connected with said fluid replenishing and recirculating means.
4. In a roller type photographic film processor according to claim 2, and said transport rollers comprising a hollow body of non-corrosive material, said body having perforations in the wall thereof, and an open-cell type synthetic foam rubber wrapping wound around said body.
5. In a roller type photographic film processor according to claim 4, and manifolds attached to said racks for feeding film processing fluids into said hollow bodies of said rollers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,764,920 10/ 1956 Harper -96 XR 2,837,988 6/1958 Pavelle 9589 3,025,779 3/1962 Russell et al. 9594 3,067,919 12/1962 Kunz 95-94 XR 3,072,310 l/1963 Kunz 95-94 XR 3,133,490 5/1964 Buck 95-96 FOREIGN PATENTS 968,869 9/ 1964 Great Britain.
NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner. FRED BRAUN, Assistant Examiner,