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Publication numberUS3857040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1974
Filing dateOct 15, 1973
Priority dateJan 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3857040 A, US 3857040A, US-A-3857040, US3857040 A, US3857040A
InventorsGoebels S, Zwettler E
Original AssigneeGoebels S, Zwettler E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic film processing machine
US 3857040 A
Abstract
An X-ray film cassette for a daylight processor is comprised of a pair of vertically disposed opposing covers having a bottom light barrier formed by mating transverse angular projecting and receding portions on the lower inner surfaces thereof. The opposing covers are held together by spring biased fasteners on the longitudinal sides thereof to form a light-tight enclosure for accomodating the film. When the cassette is vertically disposed with its bottom end inserted to contact side abutments in the entrance slot of the processor, the covers are separated against the action of the spring biased fasteners to enable the film to drop down past the peaks of the transverse angular projection portions into the processor.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 [111 3,857,040

Zwettler et a1. Dec. 24, 1974 AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSING 3,499,147 3/1970 Goodman et a1. 250/481 MACHINE Primary Examiner-James W. Lawrcncc Assistant Examiner-B. C. Anderson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John T. Matlago [76] Inventors: Ernst Zwettler, 2101 Hollister Ter., Glendale, Calif. 91206; Siegmund E. Goebels, 1734 S. Barrington Ave., West Los Angeles, Calif. 90025 57 ABSTRACT [22] Flledz Oct. 15, 1973 An X-ray film cassette for a daylight processor is coml PP 406,541 prised of a pair of vertically disposed opposing covers Related Application Data having a bottom light barrier formed by mating transverse angular projecting and receding portions on the v lower inner surfaces thereof. The opposing covers are held together by spring biased fasteners on the longi- 250/ 2 6 24332 tudinal sides thereof to form a light-tight enclosure for no I I l a u I u v l l l l a 1 v I s e e u u l e e u u l I e e I I I l a II n I.

[62] Division of Ser. No. 221,228, Jan. 27, 1972.

[58] w of Search 250/481 475 disposed with its bottom end inserted to contact side [56] References Cited abutments in the entrance slot of the processor, the covers are separated against the action of the spring UNITED STATES PATENTS biased fasteners to enable the film to drop down'past 2,077,500 4/1937 Townsend et al 250/476 the peaks of the transverse angular projection portions 3,00l,07l 9/l96l Reiss 250/481 into the processor 3,286,092 11/1966 Sames 3,330,953 7/1967 Erikson 250/68 3 Claims, 29 Drawing Figures FATENTEDDECZMHM SHEET 10F 7 PATENTEU [ED241974 SHEET 2 OF 7 PATENTED DEC 2 4 I974 SHEET 3 OF 7 FATEHTEU BEC24|974 SHEET 5 OF 7 PATENTED [E824 I974 SHEET 7 BF 7 1 AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSING MACHINE This application is a division of application Ser. No. 221,228, filed Jan. 27, 1972.

The present invention relates to apparatus for processing photographic film and more particularly to a machine for automatically processing exposed X-ray films.

There are many instances where the frequent processing of X-ray film is necessary, one of these being in a dentists office. Since the time of the dentist as well as the time of his assisting nurse is taken up with caring for the teeth, it is not only inconvenient but sometimes impossible for them to take time out to attend to the developing of an X-ray film. Furthermore, since the space in a dentists office is inexpensive, an elaborate, permanent type installation of processing equipment for this purpose in a dark roomis often impractical.

It is thus seen that there is a need for a small, automatic machine that does not need to be especially installed and that can be readily available during the course of a working day in a dentists office for use in developing X-ray films.

One of the objects of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a small, compact, portable machine for automatically processing exposed X-ray films.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a machine for automatically processing exposed X-ray film wherein a cassette enclosing the exposed X-ray film need be merely inserted into an entrance slot near one end of the machine and without any further concern on the part of the person in attendance the fully developed X-ray film will be delivered from the other end of the machine.

Another object of the invention is to provide a cassette for enclosing an X-ray film which, when positioned in an entrance slot of a processing machine, will automatically release the film so that it can be engaged by driving rollers and automatically advanced for processing through the machine.

Another object of the invention is to provide a processing machine for X-ray film which is provided with a shutter on the lower end of an entrance slot thereof which is automatically opened as a result of the positioning of the end of the cassette into the entrance slot of the'machine.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel arrangement and apparatus for developing an X-ray film by positively driving and guiding the film along a continuously curved path which swings down into and out of each tank and then over to the next tank -of a series of open tanks in succession.

Another object of the invention is to provide a machine for automatically processing exposed X-ray film in which each tank and an associated driving and guiding unit provided for each of the steps in the developing process can be readily assembled in the housing and removed therefrom for ease in cleansing the machine and replenishing the solutions in the tanks.

film while it is moving through the solution.

Another object of the invention is to provide a cassette for an X-ray film having light baffling surfaces on its lower end which are not openedup until the end of the cassette has bottomed on the entrance slot of the machine.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be made more readily apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an overall perspective view of the machine of the present inventionshown with the cover therefor removed;

FIG. 2 is a partial top plan view of the cover showing theentrance slot of the machine for receiving the cassette enclosing the exposed X-ray film;

FIG. 3 is a left end view of the machine in FIG. 1 with a portion of the end of the housing removed;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the machine in FIG. I with mostof the front side of the housing cover removed;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the entrance slot on the machine as taken-along line 55 of FIG..4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the entrance slot on the machine as taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the entrance slot of the machine as taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the component parts of the shutter mechanism as located on the lower end of the entrance slot of the machine;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a film driving and guiding unit in the housing as taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the drying chamberwithin the housing as taken along line l0-l0 of FIG.4;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a film driving and guiding unit;

FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective view showing the journal supports for the end of the incoming set of rol-. lers in the driving and guiding unit of FIG. 11;

FIG. 137is a top plan view of the machine with the top of the cover cut away as taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 4; I FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the inner, rear, longitudinal side ofthe housing showing the supporting and driving mechanism for the driving and guiding units as taken along line l414 in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a longitudinal, cross-sectional view I portion of the film being advanced through a driving and guiding unit as taken along line 17-17 of FIG. 15;

V-shaped and FIG. 18 is a perspective view illustrating the contact between the front edge of the film and the lower bail on a driving and guiding unit; I

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a cassette for use with the machine of the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a back view of the cassette in FIG. 19 with portions of the back cover broken away;

FIG. 21 is a horizontal, cross-sectional viewof the cassette as taken along line 21-21 of FIG. 20;

- FIG. 22 is a vertical, cross-sectional view of the eassette as taken along line 2222 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 23 isa vertical, cross-sectional view of a portion of the cassette as taken along line 2323 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 24 is an enlarged view of the lower portion of the vertical cross-sectional view of the cassette as shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 25 is a view of the bottom of the cassette;

FIG. 26 is a view showing the notched bottom of the cassette positioned over a pin on the end of the entrance slot of the machine;

FIG. 27 is a view showing the bottom of the cassette wedged on the pin on the end of the entrance slot to enable the cassette to open up;

FIG. 28 is a view of the bottom of the cassette showing the front and back covers separated to enable the film therein to drop out; and

FIG. 29 is an overall perspective view showing the inner surfaces of the front and back covers of the cassette.

Reference will first be made to FIG. 1 which shows the overall perspective view of the machine of the present invention which is used for automatically processing an exposed X-ray film 37 as stored in a cassette 35.

The machine includes a housing "11 provided with a bottom 12, a rear side 14, a left end 16 and a right end 17. A removable housing cover 18'forms the top 13 and the front side 15 of the housing 1 1. The rear-edge of the top 13 of cover 18 is provided with a ledge 19 which abuts against the upper edge of the rear side 14 when the cover 18 is positioned on the housing 11 by use of the handle 25 on the front side 15. A partition 20 dividesthe housing 11 longitudinally so that the processing compartment is formed to the left of the partition 20 and a dryingchamber is formed to the right of the partition. Positioned within the processing compartment of the housing are three rectangularly shaped open tanks a developer tank 22a, a fixing tank 22b, and a rinsing tank 220. With the cover 18 in place on the housing 11 and a light-baffle wall 171 provided at the entrance to the drying chamber, light is prevented from entering the processing compartment so that the film 37 can be processed under dark room conditions.

A hanger 27 extends across the front upper edge of the processing compartment of the housing 1 l. A longitudinally extending front supporting rail 28 is attached by screws 26 to the hanger 27. A longitudinally extending rear supporting rail 30 is attached to the upper edge of the rear side 14. Three film driving and guiding units 32a, 32b, and 320 are suspended across the supporting rails 28 and 30 so that the lower portion of each unit extends down" into one of the three tanks 22a, 22b and 22c. Located on the left end of the top 13 of the cover 18 is an entrance slot 34 for receiving the lower endv of the cassette 35 in which the exposed X-ray film 37 is stored. When the lower end of cassette 35 is positioned in the entrance slot 34, the cassette opens to permit the X-ray film 37 to drop down into the driving and guiding unit 32a' which advances the film 37 along a curved path through the developing tank 22a. The film 37 is then directed into the second unit 32b which advances the film 37 along a curved path through the fixing tank 22b. The film 37 is then directed into the third unit 320 which advances the film 37 along a curved path through the rinsing tank 220. The film 37 is then directed into a driving and guiding device 50 (FIG. 4)

' in FIGS. 19 to 29, inclusive. The cassette includes a front cover 39 and a back cover 41. The front cover 39 is a molding formed with vertical side walls 42a and 42b. A rectangularly shapedland 44 is formed on the inside surface of the front cover 39. The back cover 41 of the cassette 35 is a molding formed with indented, vertical sides 45a and 45b. Furthermore, the central portion of inside surface of back cover 41 is recessed to form a rectangularly shaped well 46 for receiving the land 44 on the inside surface of the front cover 39. When the front and back covers 39 and 41 are assembled together the vertical side walls 420 and 42b of the front cover 39 extend over the indented vertical side walls a and 45b of the back cover 41 and the land 44 on the inside surface of the front cover 39 is positioned within the well 46 formed on, the inside surface of the back cover 41'. Secured on the surface of the land 44 of the front cover 39 are a sheet of lead 47 and a first intensifying screen 48, and secured on the recessed surface of the well 46 of the back cover 41 is a second intensi fying screen 49. The film'37 which is freely held between the screens 48 and 49 is shown in position on the former in FIG. 29. Located on the corner top of the cassette35 formed by the top wall 53 of the back cover 41 is a slot 51 which extends down into a rectangularlyshaped cut-out 54 provided on the upper corner of the screen 49 secured within the well 46. A transverse opening 56 extends from the inner surface of the top wall53 to the slot 51. A member 57 is positioned in the transverse opening 56. The inner surface of the member 57 adjacent the slot 51 is covered with a piece of velvet material 58. As shown in FIG. 23 whenthe front and back covers 39 andv4l are assembled together, springs 59 in opening 60 of the member 57 urge the surface of the velvet material 58 on the member 57 against the surface of the slot 51 thus serving as a light baffle. As shown in FIG. 19, the slot 51 is provided on the top'of the cassette35 to enable a rectangularlyshaped identification tag 52 to be inserted therein.

The front and back covers 39 and 41 are held together by three spaced screws 62 on each vertical side of the cassette. As shown in FIGS. 21 and 29, each screw 62 passes through a spring coil 63 positioned in each of three spaced bores 61 provided on each vertical side of the back cover 41 and the threaded end of each screw 62 engages a threaded opening 65 in the front cover 39. Th'e'lower, inside surface of the front cover 39 below land 44 is provided with a transversely disposed angular projection 67. The projection 67 has a mating engagement with a depression 69 transversely disposed on the lower inside surface of the back cover 41. Located on the top wall 53 of the cassette 35 is a cylindrical bore 68. A portion of a tapered seat 69a is formed on the upper inner edge of the front cover-39 in line with the bore 68. Positioned upward within'the bore 68 from below wall 53 is a cylindrical member 70 provided with a shoulder 71 on the central portion thereof, the lower surface 72 of which is tapered to the reduced diameter cylindrical base. As shown in FIG. 22 when the cylindrical member 70 is positioned within the bore 68 with its shoulder 71 abutting against the 5 lower surface of the top wall 53, it is held therein by a spring 75, the upper end of which is seated within the upper end of land 44. The arrangement is in such a manner that when the top end of the cylindrical member 70 is depressed by the thumb of the operator of the machine, the force on the tapered surface 72 creates a lateral force on the tapered seat 69a which spreads the upper portion of the front and back covers 39 and 41 slightly apart so as to free the film 37 in the event it will not freely drop out of the cassette when the lower ends of the front and back covers of the cassette are spread apart as a result of being positioned within the entrance slot 34 of the machine.

The entrance slot'34 of the machine will next be described with reference to FIGS. 4-8. Located in an cylindrical base and the lower end of which rests on the opening 33 in the top 13 of the cover 18 near the left end thereof is an entrance member 77 provided with a shoulder 78 about the upper surface thereof which rests against the top surface of the cover 18. In order to hold the entrance member 77 in position in opening 33, a pair of elongated stops 79 are positioned below the top 13 of cover 18 and held onto the sides of entrance member 77 by screws 80. As shown in FIG. 7, the inside front surface 73 and back surface 74 of the passageway through the entrance member 77 are slanted outwardly from the top toward the bottom thereof. As shown in FIGS. and 7, a recess 81 is provided on each side of the inside front surface of the en trance member 77. Pivotally mounted on a horizontally disposed pivot pin 82 in each of the recesses 81 is a finger 83. Attached to the bottom of the entrance member 77 is a shutter mechanism 84 comprised of an upper plane member 86 and a lower plane member 87. As shown in FIG. 8 the upper plane member 86 is provided with an elongated opening 88 and the lower plane member 87 is provided with an aligned elongated opening 89. A shutter 90 is disposed in a recess 91 provided on the lower plane member 87. Sernicylindrical depressions 92 are formed on either side of the under surface of the upper plane member 86 and similar semicylindrical depressions 93 are formed on either side of the-upper surface of the lower plane member 87. A spring coil 94 is positioned in the cylindrical opening formed by each opposing pair of depressions 92 and 93 so that the end of each of the spring coils 94 fits in a notch 96 on the edge of shutter 90 and thus urges the shutter 90 in a position in which it resides over the aligned elongated openings 88 and 89. The upper plane member 86 is provided with openings 98 on either side thereof and the lower plane member 87 is provided with recesses 100 on the upper surface opposite the openings 98 in the upper plane member 86. The shutter 90 is provided with narrow slots 99 on either. side thereof. When the ends of the plane members 86 and 87 with the shutter 90 therebetween are attached to the bottom of the entrance member 77 by screws 85, the ends of the fingers 83 pivotally supported on either side of the front inner surface of the entrance member 77 extend through the openings 98 in the upper plane member 86, and the narrow slots 99 in the shutter 90, and down into the recess 100 in the lower plane member 87. p

Extending inwardly from each end of the passageway through the entrance member 77 is a horizontally disposed wedging pin 102. When the cassette 35 with the exposed X-ray film 37 therein is positioned within the 6 entrance member 77. of the machine, the lower end of the cassette 35 contacts the fingers 83 and causes them to be pivoted back in alignment with the inner surface of the entrance member 77. The backward movements of the ends of the fingers 83 cause the shutter to slide back thus opening up the passageway formed by the aligned elongated openings 88 and 89 on the lower end of the entrance slot 34. Referring to FIGS. 7, 26 and 27, as the lower end of cassette 35 becomes bottomed in the opening of the entrance member 77, the wedging pins 102 on either end of the entrance member 77 engage the notches formed by the angular surfaces 64 and 66 as provided on either of the inside' the transverse angular projection 67 on the lower inside surface of the front cover 39 separates from the transverse depression 69 on the lower inside surface of the back cover 41 sufficiently to permit the film 37 to drop out of the cassette 35 into the machine, as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 28..

Attached to the side of the entrance member 77 underneath the cover 18 is a microswitch 103. Actuator 104 of the microswitch 103-is positioned to extend across the elongated opening 89 on the bottom of the entrance passageway. As shown in FIG. 6 when the film 37 drops into the machine 10 from the cassette 35 the lower end of the film 37 forces the actuator 104 to rotate downwardly and thus opens the microswitch 103 causing a light bulb 105 on the cover '18, near the entrance slot 34 to go out. I

After the upper end of the'film 37 has traveled into the machine 10 the actuator 104 is freed to rotate upwardly thus closing the microswitch 103 to again light the bulb 105. Thus as long as the light bulb 105 is on the operator is aware that he can feed another film 37 into the machine by positioning another cassette 35 into the entrance slot 34 thereof. As will be made clear in the ensuing description, several films 37 can successively and simultaneously be advanced through the machine for processing.

Before describing the overall machine 10, one of the film driving and guiding units 320, as shown in FIG. 11, will be described. It should be understood that each of the units 32b, and 32c is identical with unit 32a and corresponding parts are identified by the same numerals bearing letter subscripts corresponding to the respective units. The driving and guiding unit 32a includes a front side wall 106a having a lower portion 108a with a circular opening 118a and having an inte grally formed upper portion 110a which extends to the right of the lower portion; and a rear side wall 107a similarly having a lower portion 109a with a circular opening 119a and having an integrally formed upper portion llla which extends to the right of the lower portion. The side walls 106a and l07aare connected in parallel by a pair of spacers 112a and 113a (FIG. 15) interconnecting their lower portions and by a pair of spacers 114a and 115a interconnecting their upper portions. The opposing inner surfaces of the side walls 106a and 107a are provided with opposing V-shaped forming a continuous curved path that swings down and around the circular openings 118a and 119a on the lower portions 108a and 109a and then swings up and around the inner surface of the upper portions 110a and 111a respectively. An incoming set of driving rollers 122a and 123a spans the lower portions of the side walls 106a and 107a near the beginning of the V- shaped grooves 1l6aand 117a and an outgoing set of driving rollers 124a and 125a spans the lower portion of side walls 106a and 107a on the upward path of the V-shaped grooves 116a and l17a.- A lower bail 126a formed of wire is provided which generally conforms with the curved path of the V-shaped grooves 116a and 117 a on the lower portions of the side walls. The leading end of the lower bail 126a is attached by a pin 127a to the spacer 112a and the trailing end of the lower bail 126a is attached by a pin 129a to the spacer 113a (see FIG. 15). An upper bail 130a formed of wire which generally conforms with the upwardly curved path of the opposing V-shaped grooves 116a and 117a on the upper portions of the side 'walls has its leading end attached by pin 132a to the spacer 114a and its trailing end attached by a pin 131a to the spacer 115a on the upper portion of the side walls. As shown in FIG. 12, the ends 133a and 134a of the incoming set of driving rollers 122a and 123a pass through openings 135a and 136a in the side wall 106a and are positioned in journals 138a and 139a attached by screws 140a to the outside of the side wall 106a. Journals 138a and 139a may beformed of plastic. As shown in FIG. 16, theother ends 142a and 143a of the incoming set of rollers 122a and 123a after passing through openings in the side 166 to slide to the right and thus lock the arms l61a-162a, etc. of the units 32a, etc. thereon.

-As shown in FIGS. 1 and 13, attached across the upper front corner of the housing 11 is the longitudinal walls 107a and journals 144a and 145a are provided with gears 146a and 147a. The extended end 143a of the roller 123a is further provided with a worm gear Similarly, the ends of the outgoing set of rollers 124a and 125a are supported in journals 151a and 152a on side wall 106a and the other ends of the outgoing set of rollers are similarly supported in journals and provided with gears 154a and 155a and a worm gear 156a.

It should be noted that both the driving rollers of the incoming set and the outgoing set are positively driven to ensure that there is no shearing force on the emulsion surface of the film 37 which would'result in ruining the images thereon.

The upper portions 110a and 1110 of the side walls 106a and 107a of the film driving and guiding units 32a are provided with a pair of arms 159a-l60a and 161a-l62a, respectively. Reference will next be made to the housing 11 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 14. Attached on the upper end of rear side 14 of the housing 11 is the rear supporting rail 30. The rear supporting rail 30 is provided with three sets of spaced notches l63a-l64a, l63b-l64b, 1630-1640 on the upper edge thereof. A locking rail 166 is held on the rear supporting rail 30 by screws 167 which freely pass through elongated openings 168 in the locking rail 166 and thus permit the locking rail 166 to be slideably moved longitudinally relative to the rear supporting rail 30. When the locking rail 166 is positioned toward the left, sets of spaced notches 171a-172a, etc, provided on the upper edge thereof (FIG. 4) are in alignment with the set of spaced notches I63a-l64a, etc. on the supporting rail 30. The lower portions of the spaced notches l7la-172a, etc. in the locking rail 166 are elongated to enable the locking rail hanger 27. The forward end of the hanger 27 is attached by ascrew 29 to the left end 16 of the housing 11. The hanger 27 is then bent inwardly beyond the entrance slot 34 of the machine and the other end of the hanger 27 is attached by screw 31 to the short, light, baffle wall 171 attached across the upper portion of the housing 11 in the drying chamber. Attached by screws 26 to the hanger 27 is the front supporting rail 28 provided with three sets of spaced notches 173a-174a, etc.

on the upper edge thereof. The three sets of notches on the opposing supporting rails 28- and 30 are aligned with each other.

Referring to FIG. 14, positioned in the housing 11 near the rear side 14 thereof is a longitudinally extending drive shaft 169. The forward end of the drive shaft 169 is supported on a slot of a bracket attached to the left end 16 of the housing 11. The drive shaft 169 is then supported in a bearing 175 positioned in a slot 21 provided in the partition 20 and extends on through the drying chamber such that its opposite end is supported on a slot of a bracket 176 attached to the right end 17 of the housing 11 Positioned on the drive shaft 169 are three sets of spaced nylon worms 177a-l78a, 177b-l78b, 1770-1780 which are attached to the drive shaft 169 by set screws. In addition, a worm 179 is provided near the entrance of. the drying chamber and another worm 180 is provided on drive shaft 169 near. the exit of the driving chamber. Located intermediate the worms 179 and 180 onthe drive shaft 169 is a pulley 181 which engages a drive belt 182. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 15, a motor 184 is mounted on the bottom 12 of the housing 11 by rubber cushions 186. A gear box 188 on the rear of the motor 184 is provided with a stub shaft 189 having apulley 190 attached thereto. The

drive belt 182 connects the motor pulley 190 to the 4 shaft pulley 181.

Having described the housing 11 with the front and rear supporting rails 28 and 30, the locking rail 166 and the driving train for the film driving and guiding units 32a, 32b and 320, next to be described by reference to FIGS. 13'15 is the. simple manner in which the tanks 22a, 22b and 220; and the film driving and guiding units 32a, 32b and 320 can be assembled within and removed from the housing 11. Each of the tanks 22a, 22b and 220 comprises an open, rectangularly shaped container which is positioned within the processing compartment of the housing 11 adjacent to each other. Thus, starting from the left, the developer tank 22a is positioned then the fixing tank 22b and then the rinsing tank 220. After the tanks have been so positioned and filled with their respective solutions, the unit 320 is first positioned in I the housing 11 with its arms 1590-1600 and 1610-1620 fitted on the pair of spaced notches 1730-1740and 1630-1640 on the front and rearsupporting rails 28 and 30 respectively, and with the lower portions 1080 and 1090 of its side walls 1060 and 1070 immersed within the water tank 220. When so positioned the worm gears 1490 and 1560 engage the worms 1770 and 1780, respectively, on the drive shaft 169. The unit 32b is then positioned in the housing 11 so that its upper portions 11% and lllb fit over the lower portions 1080 and 1090 of the unit 320, its lower portions 108b and 10% are immersed in the tank 22b and its arms l59b-160b and 161b- 162b are fitted in the set of spaced notches l73b-174b and 163b-164b provided on the front and rear supporting rails 28 and 30 respectively. When so positioned, the worm gears 14% and 156b engage the worms 177b and 178b, respectively, on the drive shaft 169. The unit 32a then is positioned in the housing 11 such that its upper portions 110a and 111a fit over the lower portions l08b and of the unit 32b, its lower portions 108a and 109a are immersed in the tank 22a, and its arms 159a-160a and 16la-l62a are fitted in the set of spaced notches l73a-174a and 163a-164a, respectively. When so positioned the worm gears 149a and 156a engage the worms 177a and 178a, respectively, on the drive shaft 169. With the units 32a, 32 b and 320 in position on the supporting rails 28 and 30 the locking rail 166 is then slid toward the right thus locking these units in position in the housing 11.

It should be noted, as shown in FIG. 15, that when the unit 32b is positioned with its upper portions 11% and lllb fitted over the lower portions 108a and 1096 of the unit 320, the ends of the V-shaped grooves 1'16b and 1l7b on the opposing inside surfaces of the upper portions b and lllb meet with the ends of the V- shaped grooves 1160 and l17c on the opposing inside surfaces of the lower portions 1080 and 109C. Likewise, the V-shaped grooves 116a and 117a of the unit 32a line up with the V-shaped grooves 1 16b and 1171) of the unit 32b. The V-shaped grooves of the interfitting units 32a, 32b and 32c thus form a continuous path extending from just below the entrance slot 34 of the machine through to the beginning of the drying chamber.

It should be noted that the incoming set of driving rollers and the outgoing set of driving rollers of each of the units 32a, 32b and 32c is located above the level of the solution in the respective tanks and each of the outgoing set of rollers serve to drain the liquid rapidly from the surface of the film 37 as it is withdrawn from the respective tanks.

Starting with the dropping of the film 37 out of the cassette 35, when the film 37 is advanced by the incoming set of driving rollers 122a and'123a down into the tank 22a, the sides of the film 37 engage the V-shaped grooves on the opposing side walls 106a and 107a,of the film driving and guiding unit 32a. Referring to FIGS. 17' and 18, as the front end 38 of the film 37 advances along the inwardly curved path formed by the V-shaped grooves it tends to buckle outwardly. It is for this reason that the lower bail 126a in the form of a curved wire is provided. The bail 126a is positioned midway between the side walls 106a and 107a and has a curvature corresponding to the outer edge of the inwardly curved path formed by the V-shaped grooves 116a and 117a, as shown in FIG. 15. The upper bail 130a which is connected to the upper pair of spacers 114a and 115a is similarly provided for preventing the film 37 from buckling as it is advanced along the inwardly curved path formed by the V-shaped grooves 116a and 117a on the upper portions 110a and 111a of the side walls of unit 32a.

it should be clear from FIGS. 15 and 18 that as the relatively stiff film 37 advances, the leading edge 38 only of the film 37 makes sliding contact with the lower bail 126a and the upper bail a as it is advanced through the unit 32a by engaging first the incoming set of driving rollers 122a and 123a and then by engaging the outgoing set of driving rollers 124a and 1250. The bails on units 32b and 320 similarly engage the leading edge 38 of the film 37 and prevent the film from buckling as it is advanced through the respective tanks in the processing compartment.

A description of the apparatus located in the drying chamber of the housing 11 will next be presented. It should be noted that the short transverse light baffle wall 171 is provided in the drying chamber spaced away from the top of the partition 20 so as to provide an opening leading from the processing compartment to the drying chamber. This spacing is used to provide the path for the film 37 as it is directed down from the third unit 320 into the film driving and guiding device 50. The short wall 171 thus serves as a light baffle to ensure that the processing of the film 37 is performed under dark room conditions. As previously described the motor 184 is mounted on the bottom 12 of the drying chamber and the pulley is attached to the stub shaft 189 of the gear box 188 on the rear of the motor 184 and the belt 182 connects the motor pulley 190 to the pulley 181 on the drive shaft 169. The film driving and guiding device 50 positioned within the drying chamber is comprised of a pair of parallel side walls 192 and 193 the inner surfaces of which are formed with V-shaped grooves 194 and 195 for guiding the film 37. An incoming set of drive rollers 197 and 198 is provided near the entrance end of the path formed by the V-shaped grooves 194 and 195 for receiving and driving the film 37 as it is advanced from the unit 320 suspended over the rinsing tank 220. Spacers 201, 202 and 203-are provided near the front of the side walls 192 and 193 and spacers 206 and 207 are provided near the rear of the side walls 192 and 193 of device 50. An outgoing set of rollers 242 and 243 is provided near the the drying chamber. When device 50 is slideably positioned within the drying chamber with the bottom of the side walls 192 and 193 thereof resting on a supporting member 204 on the partition 20 and a supporting member 205 on the right side wall 17, a worm gear 199 on the end of driving roller 198 engages the worm 179 on the drive shaft 169 and a worm gear 210 on the end of driving roller 242 engages the worm 180. Furthermore, the V-shaped grooves 1l6c and 1170 on the upper portion of the side walls of units 320 line up with the V-shapedgrooves 194 and 195 on the respective side walls of device 50.

It should now be clear that the V-shaped grooves of the interfitting units 32a, 32b and 320 and device 50 thus form a continuous curved path for the film 37 extending from just below the entrance slot 34 on the top of the left end of the machine through the successive tanks in the processing compartment and then through the drying chamber to the exit slot 245 on the right side 17 of the machine. I

Positioned in upper slots 209 provided'in the respective side walls 192 and 193 of device 50 above the path of the film 37 is a horizontally disposed upper rectangular heater frame 211 and positioned in lower slots 213 provided in the side walls 192 and 193 below the path of the film 37 is a horizontally disposed lower rectangular heat frame 215.

As shown in FIG. 13, a length of heater coil 217 is connected by eye hooks 218 to span the upper heater frame 211 in a zig zag manner. Similarly a length of heater coil 219 is connected by eye hooks 221 to span the lower heater frame 215 (FIG. The ends of the heater coils 217 and 219 are connected to terminal clips 222 which are connected by conductors (not shown) to an inlet electrical receptacle 223 on the lower rear side of the housing 11. An upper fan 226 provided with a motor 227 is attached by a bracket 228 across the top of the side walls 192 and 193 of the dryer film driving and guiding device 50. A lower fan 229 provided with a motor 230 is attached by a bracket 231 to bottom 12 of the housing 11. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 10, ambient air is drawn into the drying chamber by the lower fan 229 through lower windows 233 provided on the front side and the rear side 14 of the housing 1 1. The lower fan 229 thus forces the air which is heated upon passing through the heater coils 219 to be blown against the bottom surface of the film 37 as it is advanced through the drying chamber and the air is then dispelled through a series of lower elongated openings 235 provided in the side walls 192 and 193 and then through centrally disposed exit windows 236 provided on the front side 15 and rear side 14 of the housing.

In a similar manner, the upper fan 226 draws ambient air into the machine via upper windows 238 provided on the front and rear sides of the housing 11. This air is then heated upon passing through the heater coils 217 and then blown down on the top surface of the film 37 after which it is dispelled through a series of .upper elongated openings 239 provided on the side walls 192 and 193 of device 50 and then through the central exit windows 236 on the front'and rear sides of the housing 11.

In order to enable the air provided by the upper and lower fans 226 and 229 to dry the side portions of the film 37 as it is advanced through the drying chamber, the upper and lower sides of the V-shaped grooves 194 and 195 are formed with scalloped openings 240 (FIG. 13) inthe'vacinity of the'heater coils. The outgoing set of rollers 242 and 243 positioned 'near the exit end of the V-shaped grooves 194 and 195 advance the film 37 through the exit slot 245 provided on the right end 17 of the housing.

In order to supply power to the machine the electrical inlet receptacle 223 is provided on the lower right of the rear side 14 of the housing as shown in FIGS. 10 and 13 and conductors (not shown) are connected by way of an on/off switch 246 on the upper right end 17 of the housing 11 to the drive shaft motor 184, the motors 227 and 230 for the fans, and the indicator light receptacle 247. An indicator light plug 248 is attached to the underside of the top 13 of the cover 18 such that it fits on the receptacle 247 when the cover 18 is in position on the housing 11 to thus provide for electrically connecting the indicator light 105 provided adjacent the entrance slot 34 via the microswitch 103. The conductors (not shown) to the drive motor 184 further include an adjusting knob 250 which can be set to vary the speed of the motor 184 and consequently the speed with which the film 37 is advanced through the developing solution to account for differences in ambient air temperature in which the machine is operating.

As shown in FIG. 1, a perforated screen 251 is positioned over the top and front side of the drying chamber and supported in position by a member 254 on the baffle wall 171 and a ledge 255 on the right end 17 of the housing 11. The screen 251 is attached by a screw 252 to a member 256 provided on the upper front of the baffle wall 171. The screen 251 is used to prevent the operator from getting too close to the apparatus located within the frame.

In addition, screens 253 (FIG. 10) are positioned on the windows provided on the portions of the rear side 14 of the housing and the front side 15 of the cover 18 enclosing the drying chamber.

It should be noted that the driving and guiding units 32a, 32b and 320 are supported by the front and rear supporting rails 28 and 30 relative to the respective tanks 22a, 22b and 220 so that the incoming set 122a-l23a, etc. and the outgoing set 1240-12511, etc. of driving rollers for each of these units are located above the level of the liquid-provided in these respective tanks, thus assuring that the surface of the film 37 is not being contacted while the film is being advanced through the solution. This is especially important for the developing tank 22a since the emulsion on the surface of film 37 is softened upon being advanced into the developing solution and is not hardened to the point where it can be safely contacted by the driving Although the description herein has been concerned with a particularly illustrative embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is subject to various modifications in both the construction and arrangement thereof without departing from the spirit of the invention. The invention, therefore, should be considered as including all possible modifications and variations coming within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is calirned is:

1. An X-ray film cassette for use in a daylight processor having an entrance slot with side abutments therein, the combination comprising:

a first vertically disposed rectangular cover having a well formed on the inner central'portion thereof and having longitudinal sides,

a second vertically disposed opposing rectangular cover havinga complementary land formed on the inner central portion 'thereof for fitting in the well of the first cover and having longitudinal marginal sidewalls for slideably extending over the longitudinal sides of said first cover to exclude passage of outside light into the interior of said cassette,

a pair of vertically spaced transverse angular projecting portions on the inner lower surface of one of said covers, the region between the peaks of said pair of angular projecting portions forming a transverse angular receding portion,

a single transverse angular projecting portion on the inner lower surface of the other of said covers, and

spring biased fasteners on the longitudinal sides of said cassette for resiliently holding the inner central portions of said covers together to accomodate a film therebetween with the transverse angular receding portion on the inner lower surface of said one cover mating with the single transverse angular projecting portion on the inner lower surface of the other cover, and

means on either side of the bottom of said cassette operable upon the seating of said means against the abutments on the sides of the entrance slot of said processor to separate said covers against the action of said spring biased fastners to enable the film to drop out of said cassette past the peaks of the angular projecting portions on the respective covers into said processor.

2. The combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said means comprises notches formed by angular surfaces on either side edge of the bottoms of said respective covers,

said film being accomodated between said first and second screens in the closed position'of said cov- CI'S.

Patent Citations
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US3001071 *Oct 22, 1956Sep 19, 1961Siemens Reiniger Werke AgX-ray film cassette
US3286092 *Jan 24, 1964Nov 15, 1966Gen Aniline & Film CorpRadiographic film cassette and film holder with means for automatic unloading of thefilm into a processing apparatus
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US3499147 *Mar 14, 1967Mar 3, 1970Gaf CorpCassette for radiographic film material
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4692083 *Aug 22, 1984Sep 8, 1987E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyMethod and apparatus for air jet assisted film unloading from x-ray cassettes
US4937605 *Dec 2, 1988Jun 26, 1990Hoffman Jr Robert HHolder for disposable photographic film packages
US5066861 *Jan 19, 1989Nov 19, 1991Kanegafuchi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.X ray detecting device
US5265865 *Dec 8, 1992Nov 30, 1993Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Stimulable phosphor sheet feeding and storing mechanism and stimulable phosphor sheet cassette
US5379997 *Mar 31, 1993Jan 10, 1995Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Cassette
US5441251 *Jul 1, 1993Aug 15, 1995Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Sheet article containing cassette and system
US5636961 *Sep 22, 1994Jun 10, 1997Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Cassette
US6068439 *Jan 16, 1997May 30, 2000Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Cassette
EP0052159A1 *Nov 17, 1980May 26, 1982E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyApparatus for automatically loading and unloading radiographic plate boxes and for feeding automatic developing machines
EP0150924A2 *Jan 9, 1985Aug 7, 1985Stephen Frederick HopeRack assembly for photographic processors
EP0150924A3 *Jan 9, 1985Aug 21, 1985Henry Frank HopeRack assembly for photographic processors
EP0622677A2 *Apr 23, 1994Nov 2, 1994Eastman Kodak CompanyProcessing apparatus
EP0622677A3 *Apr 23, 1994May 10, 1995Eastman Kodak CoProcessing apparatus.
Classifications
U.S. Classification378/186, 378/165, 378/182
International ClassificationG03D3/13, G03D13/00, G03B42/04
Cooperative ClassificationG03B42/045, G03D3/132, G03D13/003
European ClassificationG03D3/13F, G03B42/04L, G03D13/00F