US 3620152 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 16, 1971 C, DAURY 3,620,152
AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT APIAl-:A'vus Filed Dec. 5, 1969 Il Shocks-[Hulot l Nov. 16, 1971 Q DAURY 3,620,152
AUTOMATIC PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT APPARATUS Filed Dec. 5, 1969 I2 ShUutu-b'hnc't $1 United States Patent O U.S. Cl. 95--89 R 15 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Automatic apparatus for the development of exposed cut strips of photographic lm, which comprises a turntable carrying a series of dishes, the complete treatment cycle being performed in each dish for a same exposed cut strip by using small amounts of liquids which are rejected after each operation, until the fully processed strip is delivered to the user of the apparatus.
This invention relates in general to apparatus for treating an article through different physical or chemical processing operations, and has specific reference, although not exclusively, to apparatus for the treatment or processing of photographic papers.
Still more particularly, this invention is advantageously applicable to automatic photographic boxes of the type designed and constructed for delivering within a few minutes a film strip bearing a series of photographs or snap-shots, for example of the type suitable for identity papers and the like.
Conventional automatic boxes of this type require, for the treatment of exposed film strips, a plurality of dishes for the necessary chemical processing baths, these dishes having a capacity suiiicient to permit the operation of the box during a relatively long time period. As a result, after a certain time the quality of the prints declines and may justify claims from the customers; therefore, a periodical supervision is necessary in order to ascertain when the processing baths should be regenerated or replaced.
The applicant recently endeavored to develop an automatic box system of the type mentioned hereinabove, wherein only very small amounts of liquid products are used for processing the exposed paper strips, each small amount being drained off after a single use; thus, constanttreatment results and a substantially invariable print quality are obtained. This system is described in a co-pending patent application.
The applicant was thus led to determine the kinematic means required for producing the proper sequence of the different operations constituting the processing of the exposed film or paper strips, and the applicant thus succeeded in developing a simple yet efficient apparatus for performing all these operations, up to the delivery of each developed and dried strip to the customer.
' It is therefore the essential object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for the automatic development of successive cut strips of exposed photographic film, by using a single dish for each cut strip, the complete processing cycle being performed in said dish until the strip is delivered to the user of the apparatus, this apparatus being characterized in that it comprises a horizontal rotatable turntable or platform operating as a round-about and having disposed at spaced intervals along its periphery a plurality of dishes adapted to move separately past the place of fall of the exposed strips for receiving the falling strip, each dish being suspended from ICC said turntable by means of lever-controlled hinge-type coupling devices, said round-about turntable or platform being completed by means adapted either on the one hand to lock the aforesaid coupling device in the horizontal position of said dish or release same to permit the pivoting of said coupling device to its vertical position in which the relevant dish is emptied, or alternately move the dish from its vertical position to its horizontal position, or on the other hand to impart a momentary stirring or vibratory motion to said dish about its horizontal position, with means disposed at predetermined locations along the circumference of said turntable or round-about platform for feeding the dish with small amounts of the products necessary for treating the cut strip, and also for dying and eventually extracting and delivering this cut strip.
The constructional and structural details of an apparatus according to this invention and its mode of operation will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawing illustrating diagrammatically by way of example a typical form of embodiment thereof. Other features inherent to this invention will appear as the description proceeds. In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational and diagrammatic view of the apparatus; however, the liquid feed stations, drying station and strip extraction station have been omitted on purpose therefrom in order more clearly to show the mechanical components of the apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a plane view from above of the turntable or round-about platform incorporated into this apparatus, and
FIG. 3 is a detail view.
As shown in FIG. l, the spool 11 of unexposed lm 10 for feeding the camera is enclosed in a light-tight casing or camera obscura 12; the film is paid out intermittently at the users request through a feed system 13 consisting of guide rollers and cylinders, and housed in another camera obscura 14.
This other camera obscura 14 is disposed on top of the photographic camera proper 15 comprising a lens system 1-6. When a customer is positioned in front of the camera 15 the spool 11 is started for delivering film stock to the camera 15 until all the views of the seres contemplated have been -takeng the exposed film section then emerges from the lower portion of the camera 15 and is cut by the blade 17. The exposed strip thus cut is then guided by rollers 18, still under shelter of light, and falls into a development dish 19 having its bottom provided with means for holding the exposed strip in suspension and properly positioned during the complete development treatment cycle, according to the aforesaid patent application.
This dish 19 is mounted with other identical dishes on a turntable or rotatable platform to be described presently with reference to FIGS. l and 2. In the specific form of embodiment illustrated and described herein it is assumed that each dish 19 is carried by a shallow circular tray 20 formed with a raised edge, the dish being attached by its bottom to the tray 20, for example by using a known device (not shown) comprising a stud engaging a double eyelet.
FIG. 2 shows the turntable 201 consisting of a disclike platform carrying for example ten trays 20 (this number being only illustrative) disposed at spaced intervals along its outer periphery, each tray carrying a dish 19'. These trays are mounted as follows on the turntable 21: each tray is radially mounted about a pivot pin 22 carried by a bracket 23` secured to the edge of turntable 21, the pivot pin 22 being so disposed in relation to the tray that the tray can pivot downwards by virtue of gravity alone while carrying along its pin 22 to assume a vertical position.
At one end the pin 22 has keyed thereto a short arm 24 carrying a roller follower 25; when the dish is in its horizontal position this arm 24 is positioned as shown in FIG. 1. If a tray is tilted to its vertical position (see left-hand portion of FIG. l) the dish 19 is retained in position by the provision of the aforesaid double eyelet having its small aperture at the bottom, with the arm 24 in its upper position.
The side wall or raised edge of the tray 20 carries adjacent the turntable 21 another roller or abutment member 26 disposed preferably in the middle of this edge. The functions of the roller and abutment 26 will be explained presently in connection with the mode of operation of the turntable.
The turntable can be rotatably driven from a motor 27, through a toothed pinion 28 and a toothed annulus 29.
As shown in FIG. 1, somewhat spaced above the upper surface of the turntable is a second coaxial horizontal circular plate or disk 30 to which a vertical reciprocating motion may be imparted by means of a vertical connecting rod 31, a crank arm 32 and a driving ilywheel or like member 33. This circular plate 30 carries along its outer periphery a series of regularly spaced rods 34 each provided at one end with a cam 35 adapted, in predetermined positions of this plate, to lie vertically above a roller 25.
As shown in dotted lines in the right-hand portion of FIG. 1, the function of this upper disk or plate 30 is to restore a tray 20 to its horizontal position by causing a cam 35 to exert a downward pressure against the corresponding roller 25, the circular plate 30 being thus moved to its lowermost position.
Also above the turntable and at a relatively small distance therefrom is a third horizontal disk-like member 36 also adapted to be reciprocated in the vertical direction by a vertical connecting-rod 37, a crank arm 38 and a driving iywheel or like member 39, this motion having however a smaller amplitude than that impressed to the second disk-like member 30. Both circular plates 21 and 36 have substantially the same diameter and the peripheral edge of the third disk 36 carries a plurality of properly spaced notches, the width of each notch being sufficient to permit the free passage of a roller or abutment 26. The function of this disk 36 consists in either maintaining the tray 20 in its horizontal position or imparting a swinging motion thereto by exerting a pressure against the relevant abutment 26, the second disklike member 30 being however returned to its uppermost position; besides, when a notch 40 registers with an abutment 26 as a consequence of the turntable rotation, this abutment escapes and the tray drops with its companion dish 19 to the vertical position.
A complete cycle of operation of the device of this invention, yform the fall of a cut strip of exposed lin into a dish to the delivery of the dried photographic prints to a user of the photographic box equipped with this apparatus will now be described. However, it should be borne in mind that, although this is no part of the present invention, the timing of the various operations described hereinafter is adjusted by a programmer (not shown) adapted to control the operation of the proper elements at the proper times.
When the cut strip exposed through the lens system 16 has been collected 4by a dish 19, the latter is kept in the horizontal position by the third disk-like member 36 bearing against the abutment 26 while the second disk-like member 30 has resumed its upper position. The dish concerned receives a small metered quantity of the necessary liquid developer, as a consequence of the operation of an electromagnetic valve (not shown), and the turntable 21 is rotatably driven (constantly in the same direction), and due to the reciprocation of disk 36 the dish 19 is swung to and fro to ensure a uniform development of the exposed strip.
As the abutment 26 registers with the rst notch 40 it escapes upwards and the dish 19 with its tray 20 drops or tilts to the vertical position for discharging the development liquid from the dish.
Then, the second disk 30 is started and the turntable 21 is stopped momentarily in such a position that during the return movement of the tray and dish assembly to the horizontal position, as a consequence of the vertical downward thrust received by the roller 25 from a cam 35, the abutment 26 can clear a notch 40. The turntable 21 rotates slightly and the third disk 36 will then keep the tray 20 in its horizontal position while the second disk 30 rises to its upper position.
As required, the same sequence of operations as those necessary for the development may be repeated for the remaining steps of the processing, namely, for fixing, after injecting a dose of fixing solution, and then washing by injecting pure water.
At the end of the washing step, the tray 20 and dish 19 move past a fan for drying the strip, then towards an extractor which removes the dried strip from the dish and transfers same to the outlet channel for delivery to the user.
The movements of disks 30 and 36 may be intermittent, but a continuous motion may also be used throughout the treatment cycle; the endmost positions of these two disks are then properly determined as well as their respective rated speeds. On the other hand, the turntable rotation remains intermittent and is adjusted by the programmer so that the rasing of the trays with their dishes, as well as the passage of the abutment or rollers 26 through the notches 40 take place regularly.
It is also obvious that the use of trays 20 supporting the dishes 19 is not compulsory, since the dishes themselves may be provided with the members equipping said trays for tilting same to the horizontal and dropping them to the vertical position when discharging or draining the dishes. However, an arrangement of the type described hereinabove appears to be preferable in order to facilitate the cleaning of the apparatus.
The function of the programmer mentioned in the foregoing also consists, in case of momentary rush of customers, in regulating the successive releases of the camera shutter so that all the operations contemplated may take place regularly each time an exposed cut strip is dropped into a dish 19.
Of course, it would not constitute a departure from the present invention to bring various modifications and variations to the specific form of embodiment described, shown and suggested herein, and also to apply this process to treatments other than photographic ones.
1. An apparatus for the automatic development of successive cut strips of exposed photographic film by using a single dish for each cut strip, the complete processing cycle being performed in said dish until the strip is delivered to the user of the apparatus, this apparatus being characterized in that it comprises a horizontal rotatable turntable operating as a round-about and having disposed at spaced intervals along its outer periphery a plurality of dishes moving separately past and beneath the place of fall of the exposed strips for receiving the falling strip, each dish being suspended from said turntable by means of a lever-controlled hinge-type coupling device, said turntable also comprising means adapted to releasably lock each coupling device in the horizontal position of dish and to release said coupling device to permit the pivoting of its dish to a vertical position in which the relevant dish is emptied, or alternately move each dish from its vertical position to its horizontal position, means to impart a momentary stirring or vibratory motion to each dish about its horizontal position, with means disposed at predetermined locations along the circumference of said turntable or round-about platform for feeding each dish with small amounts of the products necessary for treating the cut strip, and also for drying and eventually extracting and delivering this cut strip.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that each dish is carried by a tray formed with raised edges.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, characterized `fin that each dish is secured to the tray by a stud engaging a double eyelet so disposed that the stud-retaining small aperture of said eyelet is in the lower position in the case of a dish in the vertical position.
4. Apparatus according to claim 2, characterized in that each dish or tray is suspended externally from the turntable in a radial direction by means of a bracket.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4, characterized in that said dish or tray is retained by said bracket by means ofl a pin rigid with said dish or tray, and so disposed that the dish or tray can tilt from the horizontal position to the vertical position by gravity alone.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5, characterized in that a short arm carrying a roller follower at its free end is keyed to one end of said pin.
7. Apparatus according to claim 5, characterized in that the raised edge of the tray or dish on the turntable side carries an abutment member consisting if desired of a roller.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7, characterized in that said abutment is located centrally of the edge of said dish or tray.
9. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said moving means is characterized in that coaxially to and above said turntable is another horizontal disk to which a vertical reciprocating motion is imparted, this other disk carrying, along its outer periphery, a number of spaced rods each provided with a cam at its end, said cam being adapted, during a vertical downward movement, to engage and push in the downward direction a roller carried by the end of an arm secured to the pivot pin of a vertical tray or a dish.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein said means to impart vibratory motion is characterized in that coaxially to and above said turntable but at a smaller distance therefrom is a third horizontal disk to which a vertical reciprocating motion is also imparted, but With a smaller amplitude, said second disk having a radius calculated to enable it to engage and retain with its edge the abutment member carried by a dish or tray.
11. Apparatus according to claim 10, characterized in that said third disk is provided with notches disposed at adequately spaced intervals along its peripheral edge to permit the tilting o a dish or tray to the vertical position, by causing the upward escapment of the abutment member thereof.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11, characterized in that said third disk is adapted to impart a swinging movement to any horizontal dish containing a small amount of liquid.
13. Apparatus according to claims 10 and 11, characterized in that the vertical reciprocating movement impressed to said second and third disks is intermittent during a processing cycle of an exposed cut strip.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13, characterized in that the Vertical reciprocating movement of each second and third disks is continuous during a processing cycle of an exposed cut strip.
15. Apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that the movement of rotation of said turntable is intermittent during a processing cycle of an exposed cut strip.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,380,378 7/1945 Allen 95-14 3,356,096 12/1967 Davis et al. ll8`421 X 3,412,667 11/1968 Hunt 9S-93 SAMUEL S. MATTHEWS, Primary Examiner A. A. MATHEWS, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.