US 3501065 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
, March 17, 1970 c. ALTMANN ETAL CONTAINER AND DISPENSING MECHANISM FOR TONER POWDER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 1. 1968 FIG CONRAD ALTMANN DONALD D. LEENHOUTS INVENTORS ATTORNEYS March 17, 1970 c. ALTMANN ETAL 3,501,065
CONTAINER AND DISPENSING MECHANISM FOR TONER POWDER Filed May 1, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 CONRAD ALTMANN DONALD D. LEENHOUTS nan/4) ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,501,065 CONTAINER AND DISPENSING MECHANISM FOR TONER POWDER Conrad Altmann and Donald D. Leenhouts, Rochester,
N.Y., assignors to Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed May 1, 1968, Ser. No. 725,810 Int. Cl. G01f 11/00 US. Cl. 222--392 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A toner container and dispenser usable with electrographic apparatus has an outer cover from which an inner container is mechanically slid to a dispensing position. The inner container has an inside lining restricting the volume of toner in the container and a shaft for taking up the lining thereby making the toner available for dispensing. A rupturable seal is also linked to the shaft to enable opening of the container as the shaft is turned. After the container is empty, it is slid back into the stillclean cover for removal.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION Reference is made to commonly assigned cofiled US. patent application Ser. No. 725,785, entitled Loading Mechanism filed in the name of Conrad Altmann.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toner packaging containers and dispensing mechanisms usable in replenishing toner in an electrographic machine.
In electrographic apparatus using dry toner powder, for example, electrophotographic developing apparatus, such toner must be replaced periodically. Common commercial toners present considerable difficulty to handling, both because they blacken everything they touch and because they are extremely diflicult to thoroughly empty from any container.
Disposable toner containers presently in use are opened by an operator and emptied into a dispensing mechanism in a developing apparatus. Complete emptying of toner from such containers into a dispenser by hand without excessive blackening of person and clothing is a delicate operation in which failure is common.
Many toner containers have been designed which are adapted to be inserted into a machine where they function as a dispensing container. Such devices have the advantage of eliminating a dispensing container as a permanent part of the machine. However, insertion of such prior container-dispensers has commonly involved operator handling of the container in the actual dispensing area with the attendant blackening of his person and clothing. Because of the dual function for such containers, they have been of complex design and expensive to manufacture.
Other toner containers have been designed which, when inserted into a machine, are opened by the machine and emptied of toner into a separate dispensing mechanism. These have an advantage over prior toner containers of reducing the risk to the operator of blackening of his person and clothing on insert. However, such prior containers have generally been of complex design involving complicated couplings with the machine itself and including mechanisms for assuring thorough emptying of the container. Because of such complexities, the container is commonly removed for reuse when empty, with a risk at that point of blackening the operators person or clothing.
3,501,065 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These and other problems are solved by a container in which a flexible web or lining at least partially defines a volume for receiving toner and the material is made available for dispensing by taking up the web thereby de creasing this volume. In a preferred embodiment, this web is attached to a shaft which is couplable to a drive means in a dispensing mechanism designed to receive the container. As the drive means turns, the shaft takes up the web and pushes the toner through an opening in the container making it available for dispensing.
It is also a feature of the invention to make an openable top for the container of a flexible material which is linked to the web take-up mechanism either directly or by linkage to the web and opens on actuation of the take-up mechanism. In a preferred embodiment, the same web functions both as lining and top.
A contained constructed according to this invention is well suited for use with a cover and a loading mechanism more fully described below and to which a cofiled application, entitled Loading Mechanism, in the name of C. Altmann, Ser. No. 725,785 is directed.
These mechanisms give a remarkable overall system which is convenient, clean and thorough in toner utilization, while using a toner container than can be thrown away when empty.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toner container and its cover.
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are vertical sections of a toner container illustrating alternative mechanisms for dispensing therefrom.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a mechanism for removing the toner container from its cover and a mechanism for feeding toner into a reservoir.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS According to FIG. 1, a rigid box-like containing means 5 is shaped to snuggly fit in a cover 1. The cover has an open end 2. A wall 3 of the cover has a portion 4 next to the open end 2 which is also open. When the rigid containing means 5 is inserted in the cover 1, a groove 7 on the containing means 5 is accessible through the open portion 4 for a purpose described below.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, rigid containing means 5 has an openable end 8, which can be made of an easily rupturable material such as paper. Inside the containing means 5 is a flexible web 6 in the form of a lining which has a concave portion covered by end 8 which concave portion restricts the volume of toner containable by the containing means 5. The web can be a full lining including side portions or a partial lining in the form of a ribbon open on the sides, but cooperating with the side walls of containing means 5 to define the toner volume. The flexible web 6 has a portion 9 which is fixed to the rigid containing means at a position adjacent to the openable end 8. A portion 10 of the web is positioned opposite the fixed portion 9 and is connected to a web take-up means, for example, a shaft 11, by an extension of the material making up the flexible web 6. The shaft 11 is journaled for rotation in rigid containing means 5 and includes a coupling member 12 shown in FIG. 5.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show alternative embodiments in which an extension 28 of the flexible lining running from portion 10 to shaft 11 also performs the function of providing the openable top for rigid containing means 5. As shown in FIG. 4, for convenience in certain configurations, the shaft can be placed at the bottom of the containing means 5 thereby providing a larger openable end.
According to FIG. 5, containing means with its cover is placed by an operatorinto a receiving nest 13 and ngagement made between groove 7 and a disc 14 carried n a positioning shaft 15. Receiving member 13 is deigned to provide a snug fit with cover 1. As shaft 15 is ushed by the operator, rigid containing means 5 is moved ut of cover 1 which is restrained by receiving member 3. Containing means 5 is guided by rails 16 and 17 past wall 19 which separates the clean area of the machine rom a toner dispensing area. A lip 20 on the rigid conaining means 5 engages with a top portion 21 of a wall 2 of the dispensing area to assure accurate registration :1 the dispensing area. Positioning shaft 15 is pushed ntil coupling member 12 engages with a drive member 3 which is coupled to the drive train of an electrographic .eveloping mechanism, not shown. At this position, the igid containing means 5 is adjacent a developer reseroir 24 and directly under a toner feeding means 25. A referred form for the toner feeding means 25 is an endess belt 26 having skiving blades 27 positioned to be coninually moved across the openable top 8.
In operation, rotation of shaft 11 first opens top 8 by ither breaking the paper seal shown in FIG. 2 or pullrig the extension 28 of flexible web 6 shown in FIGS. 3 nd 4. As take-up shaft 11 continues to turn, the area f the concave portion of the Web 6 containing toner beomes smaller thereby reducing the volume available for ma and forcing toner out through now open top 8 /here it is skived by skiving blades 27 into toner reseroir 24. A preferred arrangement for feeding toner inolves continuously moving flexible web 26 While the evelopment mechanism, not shown, is in operation. )rive member 23 is then turned only when toner is ,eeded. According to well-known mechanisms, drive memer 23 can be turned in response to a certain number f development cycles or in response to an optically ensed reduction of toner in the toner reservoir 24.
When the lining 6 is pulled taut across top 8, the coniiner will be empty. An operator now pulls shaft 15, relacing containing means 5 in cover 1 which has remained 1 the clean portion of the machine and can now be llOWIl. away without blackening the hands of the opera- )r.
The invention has been described in detail with particlar reference to preferred embodiments thereof, but it ill be understood that variations and modifications can e eifected within the spirit and scope of the invention.
We claim: 1. In an electrographic apparatus having a toner power reservoir, the combination comprising:
volume defining means supported in said apparatus and containing toner powder, said volume defining means including means defining an opening and a concavely shaped portion of a web facing said opening,
means on said apparatus detachabl coupled to said volume defining means for selectively reducing the area of said concavely shaped portion of a web to force toner out of said opening, and
means for feeding toner forced out of said opening into said reservoir.
2. The invention defined in claim 1 wherein said volme defining means includes a housing having first and :cond spaced side walls and a web take-up means 10- ated adjacent said first side wall and wherein said web I positioned in said housing and includes a first web poron attached to said second side wall and a second web ortion attached to said web take-up means.
3. The invention defined in claim 1 further comprislg a rotatable shaft mounted on said volume defining leans said web portion being connected to said shaft nd said shaft being in operative association with said rea reducing means in said apparatus.
4. The invention defined in claim 1 wherein said volme defining means includes removable means for coverig said opening and wherein said area reducing means is operativelyassociated with said covering means to effect removal of said covering means.
5. A toner powder dispenser for an electrographic machine having a toner reservoir, said dispenser comprising:
a toner powder container having means defining a powder discharge opening;
flexible web means in said container restricting a toner volume;
means in said electrographic machine for taking up said flexible web means to force toner out of said opening; and
means for directing toner forced out of said discharge opening into said reservoir.
6. A toner container adapted for convenient dispensing therefrom, comprising:
containing means having an openable top,
flexible means defining a toner volume inside said containing means, and
means for taking up said flexible means to reduce said toner volume and force toner out said openable top, said take-up means including a shaft journaled for rotation on said containing means.
7. The toner container according to claim 6 wherein said openable top includes a flexible web connected to said take-up means.
8. The toner container according to claim 7 wherein said openable top and said flexible means are parts of the same flexible web.
9. A toner container adapted for convenient dispensing therefrom, comprising:
rigid containing means having an openable top,
take-up means mounted on said containing means,
a flexible lining for said containing means having first and second substantially opposing portions adjacent said top, said first portion being secured to said containing means and said second portion being connected to said take-up means,
said second portion of said lining being connected to said take-up means by an extension of said lining outside said containing means, and said take-up means including a rotatable shaft journaled for rotation on the outside of said containing means.
10. A toner powder container adapted for insertion into electrographic apparatus of the type having movable dispensing means, said container comprising:
containing means adapted to hold a volume of toner and having an open end,
a flexible lining movably supported in said containing means, the position of said lining controlling the volume of toner holdable by said containing means,
means supported by said containing means and connected to said lining for moving said lining to force toner out of said open end said moving means of said container being detachably oonnectable with the dispensing means of the electrographic apparatus upon insertion of said container into the electrographic apparatus.
11. In an electrographic apparatus having a toner powder reservoir and means located near said reservoir for supporting a toner powder container, a dispensing device comprising in combination:
(a) a toner powder container supported by said supporting means and including means defining a powder discharge opening and a movable, flexible liner located with respect to said discharge opening so that movement of said liner effects discharge of toner powder in said container from said discharge open- (b) means on said apparatus located proximate said container supporting means and detachably coupled to said supported container for moving said flexible liner; and
(c) means for directing toner powder discharged from said container opening to said toner powder reservoir.
5 6 12. In an electrographic apparatus having a toner pow- (0) means for directing powder so discharged from der reservoir, a dispensing device adapted for use with a the supported container toward said toner powder toner powder container of the type having a powder disreservoir. charge opening, a movable flexible liner located with References Cited respect to the discharge opening so that movement of said liner effects discharge of powder from the discharge open- 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS ing and take-up means connected to said lining, said dis- ,0 7 9 8 Lamoltle 222-392 pensing device comprising: 99 9 5/1911 Craven 222- 392 (a) means proximate said reservoir for receiving and 1,987,337 1/1935 Conk ln 95-439 supporting such a toner powder container; 10 3,170,332 9 5 Schab et a1 95-89 (13) means, proximate said supporting means and en- 2,449,395 9/ 1948 L kSO 222392 gagable with the take-up means of a container supported thereby, for selectively operating the container take-up means to efiect discharge of powder from the container; and 15 STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner