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Title:
MECHANICALLY DRIVEN SEQUENCING MANIFOLD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/147533
Kind Code:
A9
Abstract:
The subject of this application is a sequencing manifold for the purpose of supplying control and supply services of pre-determined temporal sequences to fluid processing assemblies. The functioning of this sequencing manifold requires that translation be applied to the sequencing ports. Actuator mechanisms may supply such translation as either continuous motion or as a series of stepwise motions. Actuator mechanism can be obtained that rely on only mechanical means without the need for a source of electricity. With such actuators, it becomes feasible to conduct the operations of fluid processing assemblies in remote and primitive locations that lack a source of electricity. One skilled in the mechanical arts can provide various actuator mechanisms to meet these requirements. The figures included below with the description of attributes are intended to convey an understanding of the mechanical principles underpinning the operation of the sequencing manifold. For reasons of clarity, the figures depict configurations involving apparently geometrically flat plates rather than more complex configurations involving cylinders or circular discs. The omission of configurations involving cylinder or discs from the figures included with this application is not meant to be limiting in any manner.

Inventors:
LEVINE, Leanna (ALine, Inc.19500 S. Ranchon Way, Ste. 10, Rancho Dominguez CA, 90220, US)
BEGOLO, Stefano (Inglewood, CA, CA, US)
PODCZERVIENSKY, Justin (Lawndale, CA, CA, US)
Application Number:
US2017/019525
Publication Date:
August 31, 2017
Filing Date:
February 24, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LEVINE, Leanna (ALine, Inc.19500 S. Ranchon Way, Ste. 10, Rancho Dominguez CA, 90220, US)
International Classes:
D03D51/02; D03D45/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HIIBNER, Kristin, C. (Karish & Bjorgum, PCSuite B,119 E. Union Stree, Pasadena CA, 91103, US)
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Claims:
Mechanically Driven Sequencing Manifold

This application is a reapplication of our Provisional Patent Applications, Application Number 62,299,486, dated 24-FEB-2016 and titled "Jacquard Style Pneumatic Control Plate".

Claims:

1. A sequencing manifold composed of two or more moving parts with openings that can be connected or disconnected based on the relative position of the moving parts.

2. A sequencing manifold of two or more moving parts that use a lubricant or lubricious coating to provide a seal between the moving parts.

3. A sequencing manifold of two or more moving parts that use a lubricant or lubricious coating to provide reduced friction between the moving parts.

3. A sequencing manifold composed of two or more moving parts which provides one or several supply services to the fluid processing assembly through a change the relative position of the moving parts.

4. A sequencing manifold composed of two or more moving parts which provides one or several supply services that includes one or more pressure states to control pressure drops in the fluid processing assembly.

5. A sequencing manifold composed of two or more moving parts which provides one or several supply services that includes gases or liquids including solutions that include components that can act downstream through a chemical reaction or phase change to affect control in the fluid processing assembly.

6. A sequencing manifold composed of two or more moving parts which provides one or several supply services such a vacuum or pressure to control pneumatic valves, including pneumatic valves incorporated in the fluid processing assembly.

Description:
Mechanically Driven Sequencing Manifold

This application is a reapplication of our Provisional Patent Applications, Application Number 62,299,486, dated 24-FEB-2016 and titled "Jacquard Style Pneumatic Control Plate".

Attributes:

The physical embodiments of the sequencing manifolds of this invention have the following attributes:

1. Three Plate Configuration, Coaxial Inlet and Outlet Orifices

A mechanically driven sequencing manifold is comprised of three plates arranged face-to-face. The outer two plates are to be maintained in fixed positions relative to each other. The outer two plates are designated Plate 1 and Plate 3. The inner plate is arranged to be translatable relative to the fixed plates. The inner plate is designated Plate 2.

The purpose of the arrangement of plates described above is to provide a temporal sequence of supply services to the pilot actuators of multiple diaphragm valves located on some fluid processing assembly in order to execute the functions of the fluid processing assembly. The additional purpose of this arrangement may be to provide a temporal sequence of supply services to the fluid handling channels within the fluid processing assembly. Depending upon the requirements of the fluid processing assembly, supply services may comprise some or all of the following: gases at sub-ambient pressures, gases at ambient pressure, gases at supra- ambient pressures, a vent to ambient pressure, as well as liquids at supra-ambient pressures. Collectively, these purposes will be referred to in the following descriptions of attributes as "supplying services to the fluid processing assembly".

Plate 1 , Plate 2, and Plate 3 contain ports that conduct the flow of supply services. A port is comprised of an inlet orifice and an outlet orifice. All of the ports referred to in this configuration have coaxial inlet and outlet orifices.

Plate 1 is penetrated by supply ports for one, or more, supply services. A single supply service may be connected to multiple supply ports via connections external to the sequencing manifold. An alternate configuration of these devices that achieves a similar result is presented in descriptions 2c, 4, 5, and 7c, below, wherein multiple connections of supply services are made using transfer channels internal to Plate 1.

Plate 3 is penetrated by control ports for directing sequentially timed supply services to the fluid processing assembly.

Plate 2 is penetrated by sequence ports that connect supply ports in Plate 1 to control ports in Plate 3 in a specific temporal sequence determined by the amount of translation of Plate 2 relative to Plate 1 (or equivalently, relative to Plate 3). The sequence ports in Plate 2 penetrate the complete thickness of Plate 2 such that the inlet orifice and outlet orifice of the sequence ports are coaxial. The sequence posts have various shapes, so as to provide the delivery of supply services to the fluid processing assembly in the required temporal sequences and for the required durations. The combination of a supply port, a sequence port, and a control port that come into alignment on the sequencing manifold will be referred to as a sequencing gate. Multiple sequencing gates may be ganged together on the sequencing manifold.

The minimum cross sectional area of the ports that comprise a sequencing gate and associated transfer channels are determined by the mass flows demanded from the supply services by the fluid processing assembly. Larger dimensions may be included in the design to provide for reserve capacities or to facilitate fabrication.

The purpose of a sequencing gate is to provide control pulses of specific times of initiation and durations. The time of initiation of a control pulse will be determined by the location of the sequence port on Plate 2 relative to the associated control and supply ports and the

translational velocity of Plate 2. The duration of a control pulse will be determined by the dimension of a sequence port in a direction "parallel" to the translation vector of Plate 2 divided by the translational velocity of Plate 2. Thus, many combinations of port locations, port dimensions, and translational velocities will provide control pulses of the same specific times of initiation and durations. Certain of these combinations may be more readily fabricated than others.

The surfaces of the plates in contact with each other are to be lubricated or have a lubricious coating. The lubricant or lubricious coating must be compatible with the materials of construction of Plate 1 , Plate 2, and Plate 3. The three plates are held in close proximity using a mechanical clamping arrangement. The clamping force must be great enough to prevent leakage of supply service along unintended pathways from exceeding acceptable maximums. The clamping force must be modest enough to allow lineal translation of Plate 2 relative to Plate 1 and Plate 3. One skilled in the mechanical arts can provide many different clamping arrangements that achieve these goals.

The locations of the supply ports in Plate 1 are subject to few geometric limitations. One skilled in the art will be able to arrange supply ports in multiple configurations on Plate 1 that ultimately provide the same sequence of supply services to the fluid processing assembly.

The locations and shapes of the control ports in Plate 3 are subject to more rigorous geometric limitations. One skilled in the art will be able to arrange control ports in multiple configurations on Plate 3 that ultimately provide the same sequence of supply services to the pilot fluid processing assembly.

The geometric arrangements of the sequence ports in Plate 2 are highly constrained by the locations selected for the supply ports in Plate 1. The geometric arrangement and shape of the sequence ports in Plate 2 are further constrained by the locations selected for the control ports in Plate 3 and by the temporal sequence of supply services to be delivered to the fluid processing assembly required to execute the functions of the fluid processing assembly. In general, sequence ports will be arranged in lines or arcs "parallel" to the translation vector applied to the plate or cylinder containing the sequence ports.

There will be multiple configurations of supply ports, sequence ports, and control ports that ultimately provide the same sequence of supply services to the fluid processing assembly. One skilled in the art of microfabrication will be able to select configurations of all ports that can be fabricated within the constraints of existing fabrication techniques and that minimize the lineal translation required to achieve the desired temporal sequence of supply services to be delivered to the fluid processing assembly. In preparation for operation of the sequencing manifold, the movable Plate 2 is brought to a reproducible initial position. During operation of the sequencing manifold, Plate 2 is then lineally translated past the fixed plates at a known linear velocity. In this manner, the various supply ports become connected to the various control ports through the sequence ports at specific times after initiation of lineal translation and for specific durations depending on the locations and shapes of the ports and the lineal velocity of translation. One skilled in the mechanical arts will be able to select actuator mechanisms suitable to provide the lineal translation of the movable Plate 2. The arrangement of supply, sequence, and control ports in the three plates that comprise a sequencing gate is depicted in Figures 1 , Figure 2 and Figure 3.

2a. Three Plate Configuration, Non-Coaxial Sequence Orifices

All of the attributes of the device of description 1 are retained, except the sequence ports in Plate 2 are comprised of an inlet orifice and an outlet orifice that are not coaxial, but rather, these orifices are laterally offset with respect to each other. The inlet orifice is on the side of the Plate 2 that is in apposition to the supply ports. The outlet orifice is on the side of the Plate 2 is in apposition to the control ports. The inlet and outlet orifices that comprise the sequence port are connected via a transfer channel contained within the Plate 2. One skilled in the art of micro fabrication can take multiple approaches to fabricating Plate 2 with this arrangement of inlet orifices, outlet orifices, and transfer channels

2b. Three Plate Configuration, Non-Coaxial Supply Orifices

All of the attributes of the device of description 1 are retained, except the supply ports in Plate 1 are comprised of an inlet orifice and an outlet orifice that are not coaxial, but rather, these orifices are laterally offset with respect to each other. The outlet orifice is on the side of Plate 1 that is in apposition to the sequence ports in Plate 2. The inlet and outlet orifices that comprise the supply port are connected via a transfer channel contained within the Plate 1. Multiple outlet orifices may be connected via transfer channels to a single inlet orifice. One skilled in the art of micro fabrication can take multiple approaches to fabricating a plate with suitable arrangements of inlet orifices, outlet orifices, and transfer channels. Figure 4, provides a diagram of non- coaxial supply orifices with multiple outlet orifices connected via transfer channels to a single inlet orifice.

2c. Three Plate Configuration, Non-Coaxial Control Orifices

All of the attributes of the device of description 1 are retained, except the control ports in Plate 3 are comprised of an inlet orifice and an outlet orifice that are not coaxial, but rather, these orifices are laterally offset with respect to each other. The inlet orifice is on the side of Plate 3 that is in apposition to the sequence ports in Plate 2. The inlet and outlet orifices that comprise the control port are connected via a transfer channel contained within Plate 3. Multiple inlet orifices may be connected via transfer channels to a single outlet orifice of a control port. One skilled in the art of micro fabrication can take multiple approaches to fabricating a Plate 3 with this arrangement of inlet orifices, outlet orifices, and transfer channels. Figure 5 illustrates one arrangement of non-coaxial control orifices in Plate 3. Figure 6 depicts how the control ports of Figure 5 may be extended to accept additional supply services.

2d. Three Plate Configuration, Coaxial and Non-Coaxial Orifices

All of the attributes of the devices of descriptions 1 , 2a, 2b, and 2c are retained, except that coaxial and non-coaxial orifices may be combined in a single device in all desired combinations. Figure 7 shows a combination of coaxial sequence orifices and non-coaxial supply and control orifices.

There will be multiple configurations of supply ports, sequence ports, and control ports that ultimately provide the same sequence of supply services to the fluid processing assembly. One skilled in the art of micro fabrication will be able to select configurations of all ports that can be fabricated within the constraints of existing fabrication techniques and that minimize the translation required to achieve the desired temporal sequence of supply services to be delivered to the fluid processing assembly.

3. Two Plate Configuration

All of the attributes of the devices of description 2d are retained, except Plate 3 has been eliminated and both the supply ports and control ports are incorporated into Plate 1. The sequence ports in Plate 2 have an inlet orifice and an outlet orifice that are both on the face of Plate 2 that is in apposition to Plate 1. In this configuration, the inlet orifice and the outlet orifices that comprise a sequence port in Plate 2 are obligatorily non-coaxial and must be connected by a transfer channel contained within Plate 2. Figure 8 shows an example of the two plate configuration.

4. Three Plates Configuration, Coaxial and Non-Coaxial Orifices, rotational translation.

All of the attributes of the devices of description 2d are retained, except rotational translation of Plate 2 is implemented instead of lineal translation of Plate 2. In general, sequence ports will be arranged along circular arcs as mandated by the rotational translation of Plate 2. Figure 9 illustrates implementation of the three plate configuration using rotational translation.

5. Two Plates Configuration, rotational translation.

All of the attributes of the devices of description 3 are retained, except rotational translation of Plate 2 is implemented instead of lineal translation of Plate 2. In general, sequence ports will be arranged along circular arcs as mandated by the rotational translation of Plate 2.

6. Three and two plates configuration, combined linear and rotational actuation

All of the attributes of the devices of description 1 ,2,3,4 and 5 are retained, except the actuation is a combination of lineal translation and rotational translation.

7. Three plates configuration, non-planar.

All of the attributes of the devices of description 1 , 2, 4, and 6 are retained, except at least one of the plates is non-planar, such as a cylinder, portion of a cylinder, flexible layer or any combination. The three plates may be fabricated to sufficiently close tolerances as to prevent leakage of supply service along unintended pathways. Figure 10 illustrates implementation of the three plates configuration where the sequence plate is non-planar.

8. Two plate configuration, non-planar.

All of the attributes of the devices of description 3 and 5 are retained, except at least one of the plates is non-planar, such as a cylinder, portion of a cylinder, flexible layer or any combination. The two plates may be fabricated to sufficiently close tolerances as to prevent leakage of supply service along unintended pathways. Examples

Example 1 : Use of sliding manifold to control diaphragm valve.

A sliding manifold with the geometry depicted in figure 5 was used to control a diaphragm valve. In this example the supplies used were positive pressure (S1 = +7psi,) and vacuum (S2 = - 7psi). The program plate was designed in order to supply alternatively S1 to close the diaphragm valve or S2 to open the diaphragm valve. Figure 11 shows the temporal pressure profile and images of the open and closed diaphragm valve actuated by the manifold.

Example 2: Use of sliding manifold to control three diaphragm valves in parallel and achieve peristaltic pumping.

A sliding manifold with a geometry comprising three repetitions of the device depicted in figure 5 was used to control three diaphragm valves in parallel. In this example the supplies used were positive pressure (S1 = +7psi) and vacuum (S2 = -7psi). The program plate was designed in order to supply alternatively S1 or S2 to each of the diaphragm valve. The sequence of operations in the program plate allow for actuation of the pumping routine described in Figure 12. Figure 12 also shows the valves actuated by the pumping sequence with the direction of flow. Performances of peristaltic pumping did not change when comparing actuation by a standard pneumatic controller, sliding manifold and sliding manifold with 30s pauses between each step (Figure 12).

Example 3: Use of sliding manifold to implement multistep protocol in fluid processing assembly.

A sliding manifold comprising sixteen repetitions of the geometry depicted in figures 1 and 2 was used to control 8 independent control ports (non-coaxial) and 5 independent supply ports (non-coaxial). This sliding manifold was used to implement a 12 steps protocol for controlling a fluid processing assembly capable of metering two volumes of liquid, mixing, de-bubbling and dispensing. The sequence of operation is described in Figure 13.

Figure 1. Temporal Output of Control Pulses from a Sequencing Gate Determined by the Translation of Sequence Ports

Figure 1 depicts only restricted segments of Plate 1 (101), Plate 2 (102), or Plate 3 (103). The full lateral extent of each plate has been omitted for the sake of clarity. As Plate 2 (102) translates past the supply port (201) in Plate 1 (101) and the control port (203) in Plate 3(103), a temporal sequence of supply service pulses is produced as indicated in the graph on the right. The physical locations of sequence ports (104, 105, 106) in Plate 2 and the translational velocity determines the temporal sequence of when each control pulse is initiated. The dimension of each sequence port parallel to the translation vector and the translational velocity determines how long each control pulse persists. The alignments of supply, sequence, and control ports that comprise a sequencing gate is shown in cross section in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Cross Sectional View of the Alignments of Supply, Sequence and Control Ports During Functioning of a Sequencing Gate

Figure 3. Two Ganged Sequencing Gates on a Single Sequencing Manifold.

Figure 3 illustrates how multiple control outputs to different functions on the fluid processing assembly may be obtained by ganging sequencing gates side-by-side on Plate 1 (301), Plate 2 (302), and Plate 3 (303). In this figure, two sequencing gates are ganged, but this design strategy may be extended to larger numbers of sequencing gates on a single sequencing manifold.

Figure 4. Supply Ports with Non-Coaxial Orifices and Internal Transfer Channels

The sequencing gates in Figure 4 are designated 1 through4, from left to right. While supply service, S1 , is applied to gates 1 and 3, only control port 1 is active because the sequence port for gate 3 has not yet come into alignment. Similarly, only control port 4 is active in Figure 4.

Figure 5. Control Ports with Non-Coaxial Orifices

Figure 6 depicts how the control ports of Figure 5 may be extended to accept additional supply services. As depicted, the arrangement in Figure 6 comprises a 4-state sequence gate wherein the initiation and duration of each supply state is determined by the physical locations of the sequence ports in Plate 2 (602). The design strategy of Figure 6 can be extended to arbitrary combinations of supply inputs through sequence ports to multi-state control outputs.

Figure 6. Four Supply Inputs Configured to Provide a 4-State Sequencing Gate

Figure 7. Three Plate Configuration with Non-Axial Orifices in the Supply and Control Ports.

Figure 7 shows a combination of four sequencing gates with two supply inputs and four independent control outputs. The gates are activated by lineal translation of the sequence plate, Plate 2 (702).

Figure 8. Two Plate Configuration

Figure 8 provides a diagram of the two plate configuration, where supply ports (804, 807) and control ports (805, 806) are incorporated into plate 1 (801). The sequence ports (803) in Plate 2 (802) are non-coaxial and connected by a transfer channel contained within Plate 2.

Figure 9. Three Plate Configuration, rotational actuation Figure 9 illustrates implementation of the three plate configuration using rotational translation. Rotational actuation of Plate 2 (902) relative to Plate 1 (901) and Plate 3 (903) is performed. A central pin (904) can be used to guide the rotational actuation.

Figure 10: Three Plate configuration, non-planar actuation

Figure 10 illustrates implementation of the non-planar three Plates configuration. A side view shows planar Plate 1 (1001) and Plate 3 (1003), with a non-planar Plate 2 (1002). Actuation is implemented in a non-planar fashion along the translation arrow.

Figure 11 : Use of sliding manifold to control a diaphragm valve.

Figure 12: Use of sliding manifold to control three diaphragm valves in parallel and achieve peristaltic pumping.

Figure 13: Use of sliding manifold to implement multistep protocol in fluid processing assembly.

Summary:

The sequencing manifolds described in this application provide a means of managing sequenced fluid movements in a fluid processing assembly without the use of electromechanical components. The moving parts in the sequencing manifold program the sequence of supply services to the fluid processing assembly in a pre-programmed and controlled manner. The requirements for operation is the application of a mechanical force to drive the moving parts along the sequence of orifices that provide intermittent connections to the supply ports connected to the fluid processing assembly. The mechanical force can be provided by any of a number of non-electrical mechanisms including as an example, springs or manual operation. By managing the direction of movement of the moving parts in the manifold, the overall size of the sequencing manifold can minimized to meet the need for portability and application in a remote environment.