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Publication numberUS3698454 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateJul 8, 1971
Priority dateJul 8, 1971
Also published asDE2233507A1
Publication numberUS 3698454 A, US 3698454A, US-A-3698454, US3698454 A, US3698454A
InventorsCunha Harold, Kostrzewski James A
Original AssigneeItek Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container replacement system
US 3698454 A
Abstract
Apparatus for enabling the replacement of containerized processing solutions in a photographic processor in a convenient manner and without leakage of the solutions. When replacement is desired the operator raises vertically slidable door to gain access to processing containers in the processor. Upward movement of the door causes an upward movement of access equipment mechanically coupled to the door, which equipment provides contact with the processing containers and access to the solutions therein. An initial upward movement of the door retracts an access tube, through which the processing solution is pumped, to the top of each container. Each access tube has a conically shaped plug at its end, and further upward movement of each access tube causes the conically shaped plug to seal off an outlet of the access equipment through which the chemical solutions might leak. Still further upward movement of each access tube causes the access equipment to move up to a position completely clear of all the processing containers. At that point the vertically slidable door is completely open. The processing containers are located on a horizontally slidable drawer which is slided out of the machine through the open door. The processing containers are then removed from the drawer and replaced with new containers with fresh processing solutions.
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' United States Patent Cunha et al.

154] CONTAINER REPLACEMENT SYSTEM [72] Inventors: Harold Cuuha, Pittslord; James-A. Kostrzewski, Rochester, both of N.Y.'

[73] Assignee: ltek Corporation, Lexington, Mass. [22] Filed: July 8, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 160,853

52 us. Cl. ..141/37s,'141/3s7, 222/109, r v 1 222/325 [51] lm. c1..." ...B65b 1/04, G01f 1 1/00 [58] Field of Search ..l4l/l8, 263, 264, 270, 275, 141/276, 277, 278, 279, 28, 283, 284,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 926,550 6/1909 Dafoe ..l4l/387 2,086,832 7/1937 Vinkent ...222/325 3,236,418 2/1966 Dalle et a1. ..222/325 Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr. Attorneyl-lomer 0. Blair et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for enabling the replacement of containerized processing solutions in a photographic processor in a convenient manner and without leakage of the solutions. When replacement is desired the operator raises vertically slidable door to gain access to processing containers in the processor. Upward movement of the door causes an upward movement of access equipment mechanically coupled to the door, which equipment provides contact with the processing containers and access to the solutions therein. A n initial upward movement of the door retracts an access tube, through which the processing I solution is pumped, to the top of each container. Each'access tube has a conically shaped plug at its end, and further upward movement of each access tube causes the conically shaped plug to seal off an outlet of the access-equipment through which the chemical solutions might leak. Still further upward movement of each access tube causes the access equipment to move up to a position completely clear of all the processing containers. At that point the vertically slidable door is completely open. The processing containers are located on a horizontally slidable drawer which is slided out of the machine through the open door. The processing containers are then removed from the drawer and replaced with new containers with fresh processing solutions.

11 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures TTO PUMP 3,698,454 [451 Oct.17, 1972 SHEET 2 BF 2 TTO PUMP Ham/a Can/7a James A. Kosfrze ws/r/f ATTORNEY.

. t 1 CONTAINER REPLACEMENT SYSTEM BACKGROUND or rns INVENTION processor they were manually attached toaccess equipment, and then vertically tipped to allow gravity feed of the contents to the processing trays of the unit. If replacementof the processing containers were desired the operator tilted the processing containers back' into a vertical position, and then manually removed the access equipment with much resultant leakage of the solutions from the access equipment. This arrangement was obviously unsatisfactory as it resulted in much spilled processing solutions in and around the photographicprocessor which caused a messy processor and much inconvenience to the operator who often had processing solution spilled onto his apparel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with .a preferred embodiment, a system is disclosedfor replacing containerized fluids in a machine wherein substantially no fluid is spilled during replacement of the fluid containers. Further the preferred embodiment provides a replacement system wherein insertion of a container into the machine automatically positions the machine relative to the container such that the contents of the container are ready for immediate use in the machine. Also the preferred embodiment provides a machine with a fluid container replacement system which automatically seals itself to prevent leakage in the machine during replacement'of the containers. Further, the preferred embodiment provides a container replacement system in a machine wherein the opening of a door in the machine to gain access to the container automatically withdraws access equipment in the machine from contact with the container and seals off fluid passageways in the access equipment such that the container may be readily removed without leakage of fluid, and closure of the door automatically positions the access equipment in the machine relative to the container such that the machine may immediately utilize the contents of the container. Further, the fluid container replacement system is so designed that all fluid passageways in the access equipment remain sealed if the door is closed without the placement of containers in the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates a partial view of a photographic processor showing apparatus for enabling the replacement of containerized processing solutions in the processor.

FIG. 2 illustrates a detailed view of access equipment in the processor in intimate contact with a container of processing fluid.

FIG. 3 is a view of the same equipment illustrated in FIG. 2 but with the access equipment withdrawn from the container. 7 DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates'a partial view of a photographic processor -10 showing apparatus for enabling the replacement of containerized processing solutions in the processor. Theprocessor includes a horizontally slidable drawer 12 which slides into and out of'the processor 'on runners15 along the direction of arrow 14.. The drawer includes a gripping aperture 16 for.

enabling an operator'to easily slide the drawer. The illustrated embodiment utilizes two different types of processing fluids located in'containers 18, each {of which fits into a container receptacle 20 to accurately position it relative to the drawer. When drawer 12 is fully inserted into the processor, a vertically'slidable 20 door 22 is provided to close off the aperture 23 through which the drawer l2 slides. Vertically slidable door 22 includes a handle 23 for the convenience of the operator, and slides up and down in guides 24 along the direction of arrow 25. An electrical switch not shown,

25 may be mechanically connected to the door to turn off the pumps -within the processor which pump the processing solutions out of the containers in the event the door is inadvertently opened while the processor is in operation.v A schematically illustrated frame 26 is 30 mechanically attached to door 22 for vertical movement with the door, and supports two pieces of access equipment 28, described in more detail in FIGS. 2 and 3 v FIG. 2 illustrates a detailed view of the access equip-- ment 28, shown broadly in FIG. 1, in intimate contact of the processing container 18, and which includes a plurality of apertures 32 located at the bottom of the tube. Processing solution in the container is pumped through aperture 32, into access tube 30, and then up into a processing tray of the processor. The access tube 30 has a sealing means in the form of a conical plug 34 located at its bottom which is drawn up into intimate contact with lower lip 36 of an access unit 38 when the access tube is retracted to the position shown in FIG. 3. Although a conical plug is illustrated as the sealing means in the preferred embodiment, the sealing means might be designed with other alternative configurations. The access unit 38 includes a drain aperture 40 to allowprocessing solution from the processing tray to cess unit 38 has a seal 42 located. around tube 30 to retain processing solution below seal 42. An annular weight 44 is positioned on top of access unit .38, and functions to provide a downward force on access unit 38 and also to correctly position access tube 30 relative to the access unit and seal 42. As access tube 30 is raised to the position shown in FIG. 3 from the position illustrated in FIG. 2, the access unit. will remain in a stationary position in contact with the container under the influence of annular weight 44 until the sealing plug 34 comes into direct contact with the lower lip 36 of access unit 38. It should be noted that. seal 42 functionsto wipe processing solution from the surface of the access be returned back to the processing container 18. Ac-

tube as the access tube slides relative to the access unit to prevent processing solution from leaking through the top of the access unit. A plurality of screws 46 are positioned around the lip of the container and extend through the access unit 38 to secure the annular weight 44 relative to access unit 38. The heads of the screws also function to provideair spaces between access unit 38 and the container to allow air to enter the container 18 as processing fluid is pumped out of the container through access tube 30.

The manner in which the containerized fluids are replaced will now be explained. The operator of the processor would normally replace the processing solutions in the processor after the machine is used for a given time interval or after a given amount of photographic materials have been processed in the machines.

When replacement of the processing solutions is,

desired, the operator lifts door 22 to the open position illustrated in FIG. l. An initial opening movement of door 22 lifts access tube 30 vertically out of the container 18 until conical plug 34 comes into contact with lower lip 36 of the access unit. At that point sealing plug 34 seals off the bottom of the access unit while the access unit is still within the top of the container. After that point further retraction of tube 30, caused by a further upward movement of door 22, moves the whole access unit 38 upward to the position illustrated in FIG. 3. In that position the access unit is sealed by plug 34 to prevent processing solution from draining out the bottom of the access unit, and is sealed by seal 42 to prevent solution from leaking out the top of the access unit. After the door 22 is fully opened the operator slides out drawer 12 to the position illustrated in FIG. 1. The processing containers 18 are then replaced by containers with fresh processing solutions. The operator then slides tray 12 fully into the processor and pulls down vertically slidable door 22. An initial downward movement of door 22 moves access unit 38 down until screws 46 just contact the upper lip of processing container 18. Further downward movement of door 22 moves access tube 30 down into the container 18 until the access holes 32 are positioned adjacent to the bottom of the container.

It should be noted that the access equipment is so designed that if the door is closed without the placement of containers in the machine then the access unit will not contact a processing container and the access unit will remain sealed.

The illustrated embodiment of the processor utilizes two different types of processing solutions. In other embodiments the access equipment might be used in processors requiring replacement of only one processing container or more than two processing containers. Also, although the access equipment has been described in one embodiment with reference to a photographic processor, it should be appreciated that the illustrated container replacement system may be utilized in other types of machinery having fluid recirculating systems wherein periodic replacement of containerized fluids in the machine is desired. Further, although the apertures in the accesstube are above the conically shaped plug such'that sealing off of the access unit also seals off leakage from the access tube, in embodiments wherein leakage from the access tube is not a problem the aperture in the access tube might be provided below the conically shaped plug. Also, although the preferred embodiment moves the access unit into and away from contact with the containers, embodiments might be desired wherein the access unit is fixed at one position adjacent to the container. While several embodiments have been described, the teachings of this invention will suggest many other embodiments to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for replacing a container having an opening in a machine for utilization of the contents of the container, and comprising:

a. an access unit positioned adjacent to the container for providing access to the contents of the container, said access unit having an aperture located therein; I b. an access tube projecting through said aperture in said access unit and being movable relative to the access unit, said access tube including a first end with at least one aperture and a sealing means, said aperture providing access to the contents of the container through the access tube and said sealing means being provided to seal off the aperture in said access unit when said sealing means is contacting said access unit; 0. means for inserting said access tube in the container by moving said access tube relative to said access unit, whereby the machine has access to the contents of the container through said aperture in the access tube; and d. means for withdrawing said access tube from the container by moving said access tube relative to said access unit until said sealing means contacts said aperture in the access unit to seal off the access unit, whereby the container may be readily removed from the machine while the access unit is sealed off. 2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 and including means for positioning said access unit and said access tube at a first position adjacent to the opening in the container whereat said access tube may be inserted into the container, and at a second position away from the container, whereat the container may be freely removed from the machine without hindrance by the access unit or access tube.

3. Apparatus as set'forth in claim 2 wherein said means for inserting, said means for withdrawal, and

said means for positioning comprise a single moving means for moving said access tube, said access unit being moved to said first position whereat it contacts the container around its opening by an initial movement of said access tube to said first position, and further movement by said single moving means moving said access tube into the container and relative to said access unit which is restricted against further movement by contact with the container, and said single moving means withdrawing said access tube from the container with an initial movement relative to said access unit until said sealing means contacts said access unit, and further withdrawal of said access tube by said single moving means causing-the sealing means to withdraw said access unit from the container along with said access tube.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said machine includes a pumping means for pumping the contents of the container out of the container through said access tube, and means for returning the contents to the container through the aperture in said access unit.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said sealing means includes a conically shaped plug, and said aperture in the access unit is a round hole.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said machine includes a horizontally slidable drawer which is slidable into and out of the machine, said drawer having a container receptacle means for positioning the container relative to the drawer and the machine,

whereby the container may be placed in the container said access tube.

8. Apparatus as set forth'in claim 7 wherein said processor and the container machine is a photographic contains processing solution.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said machine includes a vertically slidable door, and said single moving means includesa mechanical mounting means for supporting said access tube for movement with said vertically slidable door, whereby vertical

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4842163 *May 27, 1988Jun 27, 1989Bravo Sergio MGasoline collector pit box and submersible unit box
US4971225 *May 18, 1989Nov 20, 1990Bravo Sergio MGasoline collector pit box and submersible unit box
US5100024 *Jun 5, 1990Mar 31, 1992Bravo Sergio MGasoline collector pit box and submersible unit box
US5560405 *Mar 31, 1994Oct 1, 1996Eastman Kodak CompanyFlow control system and method
US5628430 *Jun 30, 1995May 13, 1997U.N.X., IncorporatedLiquid dispensing system
US5652937 *Nov 16, 1995Jul 29, 1997Eastman Kodak CompanyApparatus and method for supplying processing chemicals
US5833096 *Aug 14, 1997Nov 10, 1998Dasan C&I Co. Ltd.Water dispenser
US5842076 *Jul 25, 1997Nov 24, 1998Eastman Kodak CompanyApparatus for supplying a liquid from a container
US6443334Apr 10, 2001Sep 3, 2002Pentalpha Hong Kong LimitedComestible fluid dispenser apparatus and method
US20060032864 *Jun 23, 2005Feb 16, 2006Jung Suk DWater dispenser
EP0004326A2 *Mar 12, 1979Oct 3, 1979Hoechst AktiengesellschaftDevice for the development of printing plates with a tank for the developing liquid
EP0181967A1 *Nov 20, 1984May 28, 1986AGFA-GEVAERT naamloze vennootschapPhotographic processing apparatus
EP0192282A1 *Jan 9, 1986Aug 27, 1986OcÚ-Nederland B.V.Liquid supply holder
EP0675405A2 *Mar 24, 1995Oct 4, 1995Eastman Kodak CompanyFlow control system and method
EP0714047A2 *Nov 22, 1995May 29, 1996Kodak LimitedProcessing chemicals
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/375, 141/387, 396/626, 222/109, 222/325
International ClassificationG03D3/06
Cooperative ClassificationG03D3/06
European ClassificationG03D3/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 13, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: A. B. DICK COMPANY, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ITEK GRAPHIX CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005181/0192
Effective date: 19890401
May 6, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER COMMERCIAL CORPORATION, A CO
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ITEK GRAPHIX CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004552/0917
Effective date: 19860205
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER COMMERCIAL CORPORATION, NEW
Feb 13, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: ITEK GRAPHIX CORP., 800 SOUTH STREET, 5TH FLOOR, W
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ITEK CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004520/0607
Effective date: 19860205
Owner name: ITEK GRAPHIX CORP., A CORP OF DELAWARE,MASSACHUSET
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ITEK CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004520/0607