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Publication numberUS3768393 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 30, 1973
Filing dateNov 25, 1970
Priority dateNov 25, 1970
Publication numberUS 3768393 A, US 3768393A, US-A-3768393, US3768393 A, US3768393A
InventorsC Betz, I Mccracken
Original AssigneeMicrofab Syst Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Photoglass shipping apparatus
US 3768393 A
Abstract
A coordinated slotted photoglass or mask processing and printing carrier and light tight shipping container is described. The carrier is provided with means for holding photosensitive glass plates safely and reliably in substantial parallelism to enhance ultrasonic cleaning and to permit processing with a minimum of handling of the plates. The carrier is further adapted to cooperate with automated processing and printing equipment and is provided with means to insure proper orientation of the carrier within and without the container under low light conditions.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Oct. 30, 1973 1 PHOTOGLASS SHIPPING APPARATUS {75] Inventors: Carl R. Betz, Los Altos; Ivan H.

McCracken, Cupertino both of Calif.

[73] Assignee: Microiab Systems Corporation, Palo Alto, Calif.

[22] Filed: Nov. 25, 1970 [21] Appl.N0.: 92,853

[52] US. Cl. ..'95/l00, 220/4 B [51] Int. Cl. G03d 3/00 [58] Field of Search 95/70, 100;

206/46 FC; 220/9 F, 4, 4 B

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,782,068 11/1930 Hazell 95/100 2,122,723 7/1938 Pinkham 95/100 3,443,661 5/1969 Van S'civer 206/46 FC X 1,661,378 3/1928 McKellar... 95/100 1,846,876 2/1932 Kendig 95/70 2,344,710 3/1 944 McMurtry.. 95/100 X 2,447,986 8/1948 Millman 95/100 2,523,908 Johnsen 95/100 3,069,002 12/1962 Hart 95/100 UX 3,103,278 9/1963 Kuzma et 31.. 220/9 F 3,199,431 8/1965 Hill 95/100 3,251,460 5/1966 Edmonds 206/46 FC 3,316,827 5/1967 Hill 95/100 3,346,137 10/1967 Ricci 206/46 FC Primary Examiner-John M. Horan Attorney-Warren M. Becker and Jerald E. Rosenblum [57] ABSTRACT A coordinated slotted photoglass or mask processing and printing carrier and light tight shipping container is described. The carrier is provided with means for holding photosensitive glass plates safely and reliably in substantial parallelism to enhance ultrasonic cleaning and to permit processing with a minimum of handling of the plates. The carrier is further adapted to cooperate with automated processing and printing equipment, and is provided with means to insure proper orientation of the carrier within and without the container under low light conditions.

2 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures mlzmmwao ma 3; 758393 SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTORS.

. CARL R. BETZ IVAN H. MCCRACKEN BY H6 4 ATTORNEYS j INVEN RS1 A L IR. BET BY N H. McCRACKEN ATTORNEYS PHOTOGLASS SHIPPING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Photoglass plates and photomasks as they are commonly called, are used in the electronics industry in the making of miniaturized printed circuits, integrated circuits, and other types of electronic components which require a high degree of precision in their manufacture.

Typically, a photoglass plate comprises a glass plate which serves as a substrate. One surface of this plate is coated with a light sensitive emulsion while the other surface may carry an antihalation coating. Photographic techniques are employed to print a desired image on the plate. This plate is then processed in a series of chemical solutions to culminate in a photomask.

Since the circuits in the electronic components made with the masks are extremely small and have extremely stringent tolerances, great care and precision is required in making the masks. Mask quality is assured through rigid control of both the processing environment and fabricating techniques.

The photoglass is processed in a temperature controlled air-filtered clean room environment. To prevent emulsion damage which might be caused by glass chips or other minute particulate matter, special vacuum systems are employed during cutting. Prior to packaging and shipping, the photoglass then may be ultrasonically cleaned. The ultrasonic cleaning process may be repeated prior to printing.

Heretofore, a variety of photoglass plate and photomask printing and processing carriers as well as light tight shipping containers have been proposed. and are being used. A number of these take the form of a conventionalslide film cartridge with opposing rows of vertically oriented rectangularly shaped holding slots. Such shaped slots, however, are undesirable due to their tendency to damage the emulsion on the surface of the photoglass plate. Other known carriers which use triangularly shaped holding slots for limiting contact to the extreme edges ofthe plate are not made or readily adapted for use in cooperation with a light tight shipping container thereby necessitating undesirable handling of the photoglass between a shipping carrier and a processing carrier. They have also been found to impede transfer of ultrasonic energy and the flow of fluids used during ultrasonic cleaning.

Known carriers are further found to be unsuitable with automated printing and/or processing equipment and are not provided with means for quickly and reliably assuring proper orientation of the carrier'during printing and/or processing which isperformed under low or red light conditions. 7

Accordingly, there is foundto be a present and serious need for a coordinated photoglass and photomask handling, printingand processing carrier and light tight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A coordinated photoglass and photomask carrier and shipping container is the principal object of the present invention. The photoglass and photomask carrier is provided with triangularly shaped side. slots adapted to hold glass plates in substantial parallelismto enhance I ultrasonic cleaning and processing of their surfaces. The triangularly shaped side slots and a pair of inclined bottom supporting rails are provided to make edge contact with the plates to prevent abrasions to the plate surfaces, and to enhance drainage of the cleaning and processing fluids. This is important because one surface of the plate supports a light sensitive emulsion, while the other may support an antihalation coating. The carrier is further provided with means which cooperates with automated printing and processing equipment and with other means which cooperate with associated parts of a light tight shipping container to insure proper orientation of the carrier during processing and printing of the plates under low or red light conditions.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent in the following detailed description of accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially broken away perspective elevation view showing the light tight seal and external stacking and orientation notches and bosses of the shipping container of the present invention.

*FIG. 2 is a'plan view of the shipping container of FIG. 1 with the cover removed showing the internal carrier orientating bosses.

FIG. 3'is a cross sectional view of the shipping container of the present invention along lines 3-3 of FIG.

FIG. 3A is an enlarged partial exploded sectional view along lines 3A-3A of FIG. 3. v

FIG. 4 is a partially broken away elevation view of the maskcarrier and processing carrier of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is aplan view of the carrier of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged partial view of the carrier of the present invention along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG.. 7 is a cross-sectional. view of the carrier of the present invention along lines 77 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the bottom rail of the carrier of the present invention along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged partial elevation view of an alternative rail of the carrier of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the alternative rail along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9. I

DETAILED DESCRIPTION In'FIGS. 1,2 and 3 there is shpwn a light tight rectangularly shaped shipping container 1 adapted for use in conjunction with a photoglass and. mask carrier 20,.

shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, incorporatingfeatures of the present invention. Container 1 comprises a hollow bottom member Zand a hollow cover 3. Member 2 and cover3 are adapted to mate with one another in a light tightmanner by means ofa light tight seal 4 inthe nature of a mortise S and a tenon 6. Mortise 5 is formed by a recess in the lower edgeof cover 3-which extends completely around the lower periphery of cover 3. The tenon 6 isformed by araised portion on the upper edge of bottom member 2 boundedby an inwardly directed shoulder 7 and an outwardly directedshoulder8 which extend completely. around the upper periphery ofbottom member. 2. If the width of mortise 5 is such as to closely mate with the inside wall andoutside wall of tenon 6,.the friction between the matingisurfaces will result in a boxthat isvery difficult to opemlf, on the other hand, adequate clearances are provided so that the box comes apart readily, the integrity of the light seal will be degraded. Both of these problems are compounded by the fact that a limit exists to the tolerances that can be maintained in a production plastic molding operation.

A feature of the mortise and tenon seal that effec tively minimizes these problems is illustrated in FIG. 3A. The tenon 6 is made substantially smaller than is required to mate with mortise 5. The inwardly directed wall of tenon 6 is provided with a plurality of low-relief bosses 9, such that the boss forms the mate to the inside wall of the mortise. The outside wall of tenon 6 is thus forced to mate with the outward wall of the mortise, thus preserving the integrity of the light seal. However, the frictional resistance of the seal is greatly reduced. Dimensional tolerances become substantially less critical, and the container is rendered much easier to open.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, bottom member 2 is further provided with a number of rectangularly shaped bosses 10, 11, 12 which extend outwardly from the external surface of the bottom of member 2. Though bosses 10, 1 1, and 12 are typically rectangular in shape, other shapes may be used. Typically, bosses l and 1 l are spaced apart and located in the vicinity of the two corners at the left end of bottom member 2 while boss 12 is centrally located near the edge of the right end of bottom member 2. As can be seen by reference to the top surface of cover 3 as shown in FIG. 1, bosses 10, 11 and 12 correspond and are adapted to mate with a corresponding number of similarly shaped indents 13, 14 and 15. Bosses 10, l1, l2 and the corresponding indents 13, 14, 15 in cover 3 serve to permit stable stacking of a number of containers 1. As will be apparent bosses l0-12 and indents 13-15 also serve to permit an operator in practice to determine quickly and efficiently the orientation of the carrier contained in a container 1 without opening the container.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown in the interior of bottom member 2 a pair of spaced apart aligning or orienting members 16, 17 of distinctive shapes centrally located on the lower surface and near the left and right ends of bottom member 2 respectively. Typically, member 16 is U-shaped and member 17 is T-shaped. Other shapes, however, may be used so long as they are adapted to mate with the carrier 20 of the present invention as hereinafter described. Members 16, 17 serve to maintain the carrier 20 centrally located within the interior surfaces of bottom member 2 and also serve to insure, in cooperation with corresponding parts of carrier 20, proper orientation of carrier 20.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5 there is shown in detail the carrier 20 adapted for use in conjunction with con tainer 1 previously described.

Carrier 20 is typically rectangular in'shape and comprises a pair of end members 21,22 spaced apart and supported by a pair of slotted side members 23, 24 and a pair of spaced apart notched bottom rails 25, 26. A member 27 is centrally located between side members 23, 24 for added strength. A pair of handles 28, 29 extend outwardly from the upper edge of end members 21, 22 and serve to facilitate general handling and removal and insertion of carrier 20 from and into container l. A notch 30 is provided in handle 29 for carrier orientation.

Since in practice each of the photoglass plates is initially inserted in carrier 20 with a predetermined orientation relative to one or the other of its surfaces, it is apparent by reference to each of the means for orienting carrier 20 that an operator is able to determine quickly and efficiently, even under low or red light conditions, the orientation of the photoglass plates at all steps of the processing and printing whether carrier 20 is within or without container 1.

Side member 23, 24 are narrower than the length of the side member to which they are attached and are fixed to an upper portion near the side edges of the end members 23, 24 so as to leave a void 31 between the v lower edge of side members 23, 24 and bottom rails 25,

26. As shown in more detail in FIG. 6, each of side members 23, 24 comprise a plurality of inwardly directed triangularly shaped members 32 which serve to form a plurality of spaced apart outwardly directed triangularly shaped slots 33 for holding the glass plates. Contact is thereby limited to the extreme edges of the plates to eliminate damage to the usable surface and coatings placed on the plates. The slots 33 are of sufficient length to insure substantial parallelism between adjacent plates and proper seating of the plates in notches in the bottom rails 25, 26 but not so long as to seriously reduce the size of void 31. Alternatively, each of side members 23, 24 may comprise two or more spaced apart relatively narrow strips.

Void 31 should be as large as possible to facilitate processing and efficient ultrasonic cleaning and drying. As is well known in such cleaning technique, wave motion is set up in the cleaning fluid and passes over the surface of the plates held in slots 33. Unless the plates are substantially parallel and maintained a predetermined distance apart, the wave action is distorted and cleaning efficiency deteriorates.

Bottom rails 25, 26 are attached to the lower interior edge of end members 21, 22 and located interior of side members 23, 24. Rails 25, 26 are of a generally triangular shape and provided with a plurality of notches 35 as shown in FIG. 5, 7 and 8. Notches 35 comprise an inclined portion 36 and a relatively narrow horizontal portion 37. Inclined portion 36 serves to enhance drainage of the cleaning and photo processing fluids from the plates. Horizontal portion 37 serves to carry the plates being held within slots 33 and is limited in size to that sufficient to prevent scoring and breakage of the plates during their insertion in carrier 20 and during subsequent shipping. Notches 35 are positioned such that they are in registration with slots 33 in side members 23, 24. If the width of side members 23, 24 is sufficient to maintain the plates in substantial parallelism, bottom rails 25, 26 may be provided without notches providing efficient and thorough cleaningand draining of the plates is not required or seriously impaired in a particular operation.

For plates having by specific design a slightly greater thickness, bottom rail 25 is modified as shown in detail in FIG. 9, 10. As modified, bottom rail 25 is provided with a plurality of notches 40 having a first inclined and horizontal portion 36, 37 and a second slightly wider inclined and horizontal portion 38, 39. The second inclined and horizontal portion 38, 39 also serve to enhance drainage and prevent damage to the slightly thicker plates as described above with respect to portions 36, 37.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the lower edges of end members 22 and 23 are provided with notches 41, 42, 43. Notches 41, 42 correspond with and are engaged by the opposing legs, 46 47 of orienting member 16 shown in FIG. 2 when carrier 20 is inserted in bottom member 2 of container 1. Similarly notch 43 corresponds with and is engaged by leg 48 of orienting member 17. Together members 16, 17 and notches 41, 4'2, 43 serve to hold carrier 2t) centrally located and specifically orientated within container 1 during shipping. An additional notch 44, shown in FIG. 5 is located in the bottom edge of member 2''! in registration with notch 4-3 in end member 22.

Notch 4d may function in conjunction with automated processing equipment, which may sense notches 43 and 4d and the absence of notches in registration therewith, end member 21 thereby providing an indication that carrier 20 has passed through a full cycle during processing. It is understood that other arrangements of notches or other sensing means may be used as desired to perform the same function. In the preferred embodiment, the dimensions of carrier 20 are chosen to present uniform indexing increments, as for example, one-fourth inch or multiples thereof, in order that a number of carriers may be continuously fed into the automated equipment.

Carrier 20 and container ll may be made of any material suitable for the environment in which they are used. Typically, container 1 is molded from high impact polystyrene and is opaque to all light and black in color to reduce light reflections. Carrier 20 is molded from polyprophylene which does not react with typical chemicals used in cleaning and processing. Since the system is designed to accommodate several sizes of glass plates, some means such as a sealed plastic foam blanket is used to till the void between the plates and the container cover; thus preventing undue movement of contents of the shipping container.

We claim:

1. A photoglass shipping apparatus comprising:

a. a plate processing and shipping carrier having,

i. first and second spaced apart end members, said first end member provided with a first means and said second member provided with a second means adapted to cooperate with corresponding first and second means in a shipping container for centrally locating and providing interlocking registration in the shipping container;

ii. elongated side members disposed between and fixedly secured at each end! to an upper portion of each of said end members, said side members including a plurality of inwardly directed triangularly shaped slots parallel to and shorter in length than the length of the sides of the end members along which said side members are attached and; iii. an elongated bottom rail disposed between and fixedly secured at each end to a lower portion of each of said end members; and b. a container for said plate carrier having,

i. a cover and a bottom member adapted to mate in a light tight manner, said cover being provided with a recess provided about the periphery of its mating edge, said bottom member being provided with a raised portion about the periphery of its mating edge, said raised portion being adapted to engage said recess in said cover; and

ii. first and second means located in the interior of said bottom member adapted to interlockingly engage said first and second means of said plate processing and shipping carrier to hold said first and second end members centrally located within said container.

2. A light tight container for photoglass comprising a cover member and a bottom member, said members having mating peripheral edges, one of said members having a recess about the periphery of its mating edge, the other of said members having a raised portion about the periphey of its mating edge, said raised portion having a plurality of bosses located at predetermined portions thereon for reducing friction between said raised portion and said recess whereby said cover and said bottom member may be more readily separated.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1661378 *Jan 14, 1927Mar 6, 1928Rex Mckellar HarryPhotographic developing, fixing, and washing apparatus
US1782068 *Dec 21, 1926Nov 18, 1930Hazell Joseph WNegative holder
US1846876 *Jan 19, 1929Feb 23, 1932Evert Kendig HarveyDrain device for sensitized plates
US2122723 *Dec 10, 1936Jul 5, 1938Samuel Pinkham Le RoyCombined film cradle and drying rack
US2344710 *Jun 9, 1941Mar 21, 1944Mcmurtry Edward PFilm developing cage
US2447986 *Jun 23, 1945Aug 24, 1948Herman MillmanDeveloping rack
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US3103278 *Oct 10, 1960Sep 10, 1963Allied ChemVertical and lateral interlocking packing case
US3199431 *Mar 8, 1963Aug 10, 1965Hill William GPhotographic print basket
US3251460 *Mar 15, 1965May 17, 1966W D Adam Company IncCushioned package
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3907228 *Jun 21, 1974Sep 23, 1975Lewis Charles WWire dispenser
US4188107 *Jan 10, 1979Feb 12, 1980Mitchell Robert WPhotographic print processing system
US4195728 *May 31, 1978Apr 1, 1980Keyline Research & Development Corp.Packaging systems
US4523826 *Nov 19, 1982Jun 18, 1985University Of PittsburghAutoradiography apparatus including a slide rack
US5330053 *Jul 7, 1993Jul 19, 1994Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.Case for photomask
US20100301105 *May 19, 2010Dec 2, 2010Mcclung Iii Guy LamonteContainer with flyer disc member
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/455, 220/4.21
International ClassificationG03D13/06, G03D15/06, G03B17/26
Cooperative ClassificationG03B17/26, G03D15/06, G03D13/06
European ClassificationG03B17/26, G03D13/06, G03D15/06