US 3769992 A
An apparatus is disclosed for washing, etching or otherwise spray processing various substrates or photographic plates, and for spin drying the objects at the termination of the processing. The objects to be cleaned or otherwise processed are carried by a rotatable platform mounted above an elevated bottom portion of a treatment chamber. Nozzles for directing various liquids onto the articles are mounted on conduits for movement from a position proximate the chamber walls to a position extending inwardly over the rotatable platform. The lengths of the conduits carrying the nozzles are alternately varied in order to facilitate storage of the nozzles most proximate the cylinder wall. When the nozzles are retracted against the cylindrical wall they are located over a ledge provided in the walls.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elite tts Wallestad Nov, 6, 1973 i 1 SPRAY PROCESSING MACHINE  inventor: Victor (1. Wallestad, Minneapolis, Primary Hammer-Robert Bleutge Minn Attorney-Alan G. Carlson et al.
 Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc, Chaska, Minn.  ABSTRACT  Filcd: 1971 An apparatus is disclosed for washing, etching or other- [211 Ap N 204,910 wise spray processing various substrates or photographic plates, and for spin drying the objects at the termination of the processing. The objects to be 2% E 134/144 134/153 134/180 cleaned or otherwise processed are carried by a rotata platform mounted above an elevated bottom p l l of mm 13 1 tion ofa treatment chamben Nozzles for directing vari- 134/153 9 174 ous liquids onto the articles are mounted on conduits for movement from a position proximate the chamber  References (med walls to a position extending inwardly over the rotat- UNITED STATES PATENTS able platform. The lengths of the conduits carrying the 2,643,465 6/1953 Douglass; 134/148 X nozzles are alternately varied in order to facilitate stor- 3,4l9,429 l2/l968 Zadron et aL. 134/144 X age of the nozzles most proximate the cylinder wall. 972736 910 ip! 134/144 X When the nozzles are retracted against the cylindrical 3'070l03 12/1962 et a] 34/144 X wall they are located over a ledge provided in the walls. 3,240,216 3/l966 Sadwrth 134/141 X FORElGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 7 Clams 5 Drawmg 82l 438 8/1937 France l34/l53 I c v k l i 'h l ll I/ k l I I," \l 5,2 I I5 l 66 $6 .622
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PATENTEU NOV 6 I975 3.769.992 SHEET 10F 2 INVENTOR.
V/ CTOR C. Wig/.1. ES mu WERCHHNT 5 6 0m 0 H T TORNE V5 SPRAY PROCESSING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to' appratus for treating various types of articles with a liquid and for drying them after the wetting operation.
2. Description of the Prior Art For numerous industrial purposes, it is common practice to subject various types of articles (e.g., substrates, photographic plates, etc.) to a spray of liquid for cleaning, etching or otherwise treating the articles. During the treating operation, thearticles are normally carried by a rotatable supporting rack positioned within a liquid-tight treatment chamber. The supporting racks are preferably of an open design for fully exposing the articles to the liquid spray provided by one or more nozzles located within the treatment chamber. After the termination of the liquid spray, the articles are spun dry on the rotating support rack.
The article treatment-apparatus presently available has a disadvantage in that the rotating support rack establishes air currents within the treatment chamber drawing air toward the center of the rack. Such air currents interfere with the desired operation of the sprayforming nozzles by drawing liquid therefrom after the termination of the spraying operation. This effect prolon'gs the spraying phase of operation resulting in incomplete drying of the articles during the time allotcd for'the spindry operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides apparatus for treating various articles with a liquid spray and for spin drying the same articles. The apparatus includes a treatment chamber having a rotatable article supporting rack mounted therein and at least one spray-forming nozzle located within the treatment chamber. In the preferred embodiment, a plurality of similar, circumferentially spaced nozzles are provided on conduits which are moveable from a position proximate the cylinder walls to a position extending inwardly over the rotatable article supporting rack. When the nozzles are located proximate the cylinder walls they overlap each other and are over a ledge provided in the cylinder walls.
The present apparatus substantiallyovercomes the disadvantage of the commercially available spin dryer apparatus. By mounting the spray-forming nozzles such that they may 'be located over the article supporting rack for spraying and may be recessed proximate the cylinder walls during the drying operation, the effect of the air currents created by the rotating support rack on the nozzle is substantially reduced. Thus, no further wetting of the articles occurs after the termination of the spraying process. Also the addition of a ledge located under the nozzles when they are in their recessed position further blocks the nozzles from the effects of air currents.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 5 is a view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 the numeral generally designates apparatus for processing various types of articles (e. g., su bstrates, printed circuit boards, photographic plates, etc.) by wetting the article with a liquid spray and then spin drying the article after the spraying operation. As explained subsequently, various liquid sprays can be utilized in either a concurrent or sequential manner depending upon the mode of operation desired. Apparatus 10 includes treatment chamber apparatus I2, an electric motor 14, and a control panel 16. The electric motor 14 is connected to treatment chamber apparatus 12 by a flexible drive shaft 18. Liquid conduits are connected to apparatus 12 from control panel l6 which receives the liquid from a separate liquid source (not shown). Air conduits 22 are connected to apparatus 12 from control panel 116 which receives its air supply from a separate air source (not shown). As shown, control panel 16 is electrically connected to motor 14 by an electrical conduit 24. A plurality of buttons 26 and dials 28 on control panel 16 allow selection of various wetting and spin drying modes within the treatment apparatus 12.
Frequently, the liquids used during the wetting operation are flammable. For example, flammable solvents are used for cleaning purposes. The potentiality of an electrical spark igniting such liquids (or the fumes therefrom) is significantly reduced by positioning the electrically .energized motor 14 remote from the treatment chamber 12 as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now additionally to FIG. 2 the treatment apparatus 12 is shown in top plan with its lid 30 open. Lid 30 is hinged to treatment chamber top portion 32 by conventional hinge mechanism 34. A latch 36 is provided opposite the hinges 34 for theopening of lid 30. A button switch 38 is provided under lid 30 for detecting the closing of lid 30.
Referring now additionally to FIG. 3, apparatus 12 includes an outer housing or casing 40 having a closed bottom portion 42. An inner housing 44 defining a generally cylindrical-shaped treatment chamber 46 is mounted within outer housing 40. This cylindrically shaped chamber 46 is frequently referred to as a spin dryer bowl. As shown interior housing 44 includes a lower cylindrical portion 48 having a first diameter and an upper portion 50 having a diameter greater than the diameter of the lower portion 49. As shown, inner housing 44 includes the horizontally extending treatment chamber top portion 32 which defines a top or cover for outer housing 40. Top portion 32 projects outwardly beyond the vertical walls of casing 40 and is inclined vertically downward to define a portion 52 outwardly spaced from housing 40. An insulating member 54 is attached to the vertically extending outer housing 40 and engages the vertically extending portion 52 of top portion 32. A circular opening 56 is defined by the innermost edge of the top portion 32. Opening 56 communicates with treatment chamber 46 and lid 30 is provided to substantially close opening 56.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a ledge 58 extends horizontally between cylinder bottom portion 4-8 and cylinder top portion 50. Extending vertically upward through ledge 58 and through rubber grommets 60 are liquid carrying conduits 62.
Conduits 62 have a vertically extending portion 64, and perpendicularly thereto, a horizontally extending portion 66. Located on the end of conduit portion 66 and directed downwardly are fluid nozzles 68. For alternate conduits, the part of the vertically extending portion 64 which is above the ledge 58 is of varying lengths which facilitates the placement of the nozzles as close as possible to the cylinder upper portion 50.
Nozzles 68 are conventional nozzles and are connected through conduits 62 to the liquid conduits 20. Upon proper activation within the control panel 16 each nozzle introduces a generally conically shaped spray of liquid onto the treatment chamber 46. Depending upon the desired mode of operation for the treatment apparatus 12, the liquid exhausted by each of the nozzles 68 can be either different liquids or the same liquids. When different liquids are utilized, the nozzles provide sprays either simultaneously or sequentially dependent upon the mode of operation desired.
The bottom portion of inner housing 44 integrally defines an elevated center member or post '70 and a channel 72 which extends about post 70 and has located therein a drain 74. Post 70 has a hole 71 located at its center. A conduit (not shown) communicates with drain 74 so as to carry the liquids discharged from chamber 46 to a remote disposal point.
A drive shaft. 76 extends vertically upward through an opening 78 in the bottom portion 42 of outer housing 40 into conventional journalling means 80, rigidly attached to the center post 70, and through the opening 71. As shown, a flat, disk-like platform 82 is mounted on shaft 76 above center post 70. Portions 84 extend above platform 82 so as to receive an article carrying basket (not shown). The shaft 76 includes coupling means 86 for attaching rigid shaft 76 to the flexible shaft 18.
Referring now additionally to FIG. 4 which is a view along line 4-4 of PEG. 1, there is shown generally the apparatus used to supply liquid to the conduits 62 and the apparatus used to rotate the vertically extending portion 64 of conduit 62 about its longitudinal axis so as to rotate nozzles 68 from a position proximate the upper cylindrical portion 56 to a position extending inwardly over the platform 82. Liquid conduit is shown attachable to a fitting 83 for supplying liquid to conduit 62 and air conduits 22 are shown supplying air to double-action air cylinders 90.
For a more complete understanding of the doubleaction air cylinder 90 reference should now be had additionally to FIG. 5 which is a view along line 5-5 of FIG. 4. Cylinder 90 is attached by means of lug 92 to a post 5M. Pin 92 is able to rotate about post 94. Post 94 is fixedly insertab e within bottom portion 42. Within air cylinder 90 is a piston 96 which is movable with respect to cylinder 90 by means of air being supplied to an end of air cylinder 90 through an appropriate one of the air conduits 22. Attachable to piston 96 is rod 100 which moves longitudinally with respect to air cylinder 90 when piston 96 is moved by air pressure. Rod 100 has a bifurcated end 102 for the insertion therein of a connecting rod 104. Rod 104 is securely attached to a fitting 88 and rotatable within bifurcated end 102 about pin 106. An adjustable stop 108 limits the movement of the bifurcated end I02 of piston rod 100 and is adjustable within slot 110 of bottom portion 42 by means of an adjustable screw 112 mounted to a protrusion 114 on bottom portion 42.
In operation, the articles which it is desired to process are inserted into treatment chamber 46 through opening 56 and positioned within an article carrying basket mounted on platform 82. After properly inserting the article, the lid 30 is positioned to close opening 56. The desired treatment cycle is then selected by pushing the appropriate buttons 26 and turning the proper dials 28 on remote control panel l6. This supplies air from air conduits 22 to an appropriate side of piston 96 in air cylinder 90, causing piston 96 to move with respect to cylinder thus rotating cylinder 90 about post 94 and causing rod with its bifurcated end 102 to move connecting rod 104 which in turn rotates fitting 88. The rotation of fitting 88 causes the rotation of conduit 62. The rotation of conduit 62 about its longitudinal axis rotates nozzle 68 inwardly over the platform 82. After this movement has occurred, liquid is transported through liquid conduit 20, into fitting 88, and through conduit 62 for exhaustion through nozzles 68. The spray exhausted from nozzles 68 is directed downwardly so as to set or spray the articles carried by the article carrying basket.
After the spraying process, when it is desired to spin dry the articles by means of rotating drive shaft 76, air is supplied to air cylinder 90 in order to move pistion 96 in an opposite direction thus providing for the movement of nozzles 68 outwardly to their position proximate the walls of upper cylindrical portion 50. The positioning of nozzles 68 against the upper cylindrical portion 50 and over the ledge 58 substantially shelters the nozzles from exposure to the air currents established within chamber 46 by the rotating platform 82 during the spin drying process. This prevents the liquids remaining in the nozzles from being drawn outwardly therefrom into the treatment chamber 46 and interfering ,with the spin drying operation.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for wetting and spin drying various articles, comprising:
a. a housing defining a chamber, said chamber having a substantially closed lower end, side walls, and an upper end defining an opening therein;
b. a rotatable platform mounted within said chamber above said lower end for carrying articles inserted into said chamber through said opening in said upper end; i
c. nozzle means attachable to a remotely positioned liquid source for spraying the articles carried by said rotatable platform;
d. means mounting said nozzle means within said chamber for movement to a first position extending inwardly over said rotatable platform for the spraying of said articles and for movement to a second position proximate one of said chamber walls;
e. drain means in liquid communication with said chamber adjacent said lower end thereof for exhausting the liquid introduced into said chamber; and
f. cover means for substantially closing said opening in said upper end of said chamber.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means mounting said nozzle means includes a liquid carrying conduit having a first portion extending vertically upward into said chamber and a second portion extending perpendicularly to said first portion and mounting said nozzle in a downward direction at an end thereof.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 including means for rotating said first portion of said conduit about a longitu dinal axis thereof, thus effecting the movement of said nozzle means to said first and second positions.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein:
a. said apparatus includes a double-action air cylinder attachable to said housing and containing a piston having attached thereto a rod; and
b. means attaching said rod to said first portion of said conduit for rotation of said first portion of said conduit when said piston is moved by air within said cylinder.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein;
a. said substantially closed lower end of said chamber includes an elevated portion extending vertically upwardly from generally the central part of said lower end; and
b. said rotatable platform is mounted above said elevated portion.
6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein:
a. said chamber walls generally define a cylindrical lower portion having a first diameter and a cylindrical upper portion having a second diameter greater than said first diameter, said cylinder portions defining a horizontally extending ledge therebetween;
b. said first portion of said conduit extends vertically through said ledge; and
c. said nozzle is located proximate said cylindrical upper portion wall and over said ledge, when said nozzle is in said second position.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 including a plurality of nozzle means each attached to a conduit wherein, for alternate conduits, the part of said vertically extending portion of said conduit which extends above said ledge is of a sufficient length, facilitating movement of said nozzles proximate said cylinder upper portion when said nozzle is in said second position.