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Title:
A SYSTEM FOR INACTIVATION OF MICROORGANISMS ON BANKNOTES WITH PULSED LIGHT TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYED IN ATMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/201802
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a system enabling the disinfection of microorganisms on banknotes in ATMs (automated teller machines). The invention is characterized in that the pulsed light system (1) as seen in Figure 1 is applied to an ATM (2) for the disinfection of banknotes within ATM, as illustrated in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

Inventors:
ERUCAN FURKAN (TR)
KARAKOÇ KÜBRA (TR)
Application Number:
PCT/TR2021/050280
Publication Date:
October 07, 2021
Filing Date:
March 29, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MONEYSHOWER TEKNOLOJI ARASTIRMA GELISTIRME SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI (TR)
International Classes:
A61L2/10; G07F19/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ADRES PATENT TRADEMARK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS LTD. (TR)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A system inactivating microorganisms on banknotes with pulsed light technology in ATMs, characterized in that energy is provided from a power supply (10) to produce an intense light (14) for a light source (13) by way of storing energy in a capacitor (11) and then transmitting it to an inductor (12), and that the produced UV-C light with disinfectant properties is applied to a target (15) in an intensified manner, wherein the energy produced by the power supply (10) placed in empty spaces within the ATM (2) is released in the form of intense light (14) towards the banknotes in and/or conveyed through the money cassettes (16), the cassette outlet (4), the strap (7) or belt (8) system in which the pulsed light system (1) and light source (13) are installed, and wherein both sides of banknotes are disinfected with the pulsed light system (1).

2. A system according to Claim 1, consisting of one or more adjustable light source (13) units of the pulsed light system (1) that may be installed on at least one of the parts thereof, i.e. , on the upper and lower pick modules (5, 6), or in line with the cassette outlet (4) points, or on the strap (7) system and belt (8) system, or on money inlet (9), characterized in that the light source (13) of the pulsed light system (1) may also be installed in the money cassettes (16), wherein a power supply (10) may be placed in empty spaces on the sides of the upper and lower pick modules (5, 6) and/or free spaces within the ATM (2), wherein the light produced by the light source (13) may contain broad-spectrum wavelengths ranging from UV to infrared.

3. A system according to any one of the above-mentioned Claims, characterized in that banknotes discharged from the money cassettes (16) are conveyed from the cassette outlet (4) with the help of straps (7) to a casing at the beginning of the belt (8) system and gathered in the casing, and then banknotes move towards the slot with the help of the belt (8) system, either one by one or collectively in accordance with the ATM (2) model, wherein the disinfection with the pulsed light is provided by the use of the pulsed light system (1) in the money cassettes (16) of the ATM (2), or throughout the process starting with the discharge of banknotes from the money cassette (16) and ending with the dispensing of money by the ATM (2), or by a combination of these two ways.

4. A system according to any one of the above-mentioned Claims, characterized in that the pulsed light system (1) may start disinfecting the banknotes each time it detects one with the help of a sensor and software detecting banknotes.

Description:
A SYSTEM FOR INACTIVATION OF MICROORGANISMS ON BANKNOTES WITH PULSED LIGHT TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYED IN ATMS

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a system enabling the disinfection of microorganisms on banknotes in ATMs (automated teller machines).

BACKGROUND ART

Thanks to communication channels, i.e. the media, doctors often inform people about the risks of epidemic diseases spread by banknotes, especially during the winter months, and warn them against such risks. Since there is currently no available technology to disinfect the banknotes, people try to overcome this problem by washing their hands with a disinfectant chemical after touching money. Due to cleaning their hands with chemical disinfectants in order not to be exposed to disease-causing microorganisms from banknotes, people not only receive more chemicals but often it is also not possible to access these chemicals immediately after contact with money. Governments, on the other hand, strive to solve this problem by burning banknotes at regular intervals. For example, in an attempt to prevent epidemic diseases spread by banknotes, the Central Bank of Turkey frequently calls on the banks, through the Banks Association of Turkey, to collect filthy and unclean money in circulation and then bring it to the Central Bank. Especially at the time of Swine Flu in 2009, designated points were established in 7 regions across Turkey to collect and burn money in circulation. The burning of banknotes by governments at designated points regularly in order to prevent epidemic diseases brings many disadvantages. First and foremost, this system is neither environmentally-friendly nor sustainable. Contrary to popular belief, banknotes are a durable and solid material produced not from paper, but from a special mixture of cotton, linen, and some other particular chemicals. In order to prevent counterfeit money, every country employs many secret technological steps while printing its money. A study showed that the average lifetime of large denomination bills is 15 years while it is 6 years for small denomination bills. Therefore, burning banknotes before their material is worn out and just because they are unclean and printing new banknotes instead are not economical or environmentally-friendly solutions. Moreover, unclean bills in circulation are collected and withdrawn from circulation without considering their microbial loads. Conducted studies found that even new-looking bills contain 2400 bacteria on average. MasterCard and Oxford University collaborated as part of a 2013 study. Findings showed that there were at least 26,000 bacteria on the banknotes and 2,400 bacteria on the cleanest and newest bills.

Three different methods were benefitted from for disinfecting paper materials in the past. These are heat treatment, gas, and ultraviolet rays. Disinfection with heat treatment leads to deformation of the material of banknotes and shortens circulation time thereof. Disinfection with gas has not been implemented since the utilized mixture of gases contained harmful gases for human health. Disinfection with ultraviolet rays is empowered with a ventilator and turned into a module that can be integrated into currency cassettes inside ATMs. The method is completely different. This module endeavors to solve the problem with high constant airflow from the ventilating system to the short edges of rolls of bills that are kept tight in money cassettes with the help of a pushing lever, as well as a module attached to the pushing lever. It is ensured that the bills are only pushed from the middle thanks to an article attached to the pushing lever and it is aimed that other parts of the bills are kept loose. The goal here is to guarantee that rays that will disinfect the bills reach them thanks to the airflow that comes from the ventilating system and separates the bills by moving between them. Thus, disinfection is made possible in a minimum of 15 minutes in ATMs where 90% of cash flow takes place. In the new system presented through our invention, however, instant disinfection of paper money is possible with the use of “pulsed light”, a new method, that can be integrated into different parts of the ATM which makes it a groundbreaking novelty.

In the past, there had been studies on the disinfection of solid materials by means of heat treatment, gas, and ultraviolet rays. Disinfection with heat treatment damages the material of paper money while gas that is utilized to kill microorganisms poses a great risk for human health. Some methods that employ ultraviolet rays are based on disinfection of banknotes one by one and for a long period, and this disinfection model could not be implemented within ATMs. Another ultraviolet ray model contained a device disinfecting rolls of bills with ultraviolet rays after separating the rolls from each other with a ventilator placed within money cassettes where the bills are stored in ATMs. Disinfection with this device takes a minimum of 15 minutes. It is not possible to achieve high-efficiency disinfection with this system. Additionally, a reduction in volume of the money cassette due to placing of the described device therein and a resulting decrease in the amount of money that the money cassette can contain are other negative characteristics of the system. Some of the studies in this regard focus on developing new ATM models. This is both costly and time-consuming.

Ventilator-supported UV-C light system aiming to solve this problem in ATMs where the highest level of flow of physical money is observed disinfects banknotes in a minimum of 15 minutes. However, it is not possible to implement this system in Recycler ATMs that were put on the market in 2017 and were purchased by many banks to replace their then-current ATMs. This is due to the fact that in recycling ATMs, money deposited by a customer is placed at the forefront of the money cassette, so the very next customer can withdraw the same money from the ATM. In this case, a duration of 15 minutes for disinfection is not sufficient because it is too long to keep a customer in front of the ATM. In this ventilator-supported disinfection module, articles (motor, etc.) of the system are installed inside the money cassette, thereby reducing the amount of paper money that can be contained by the cassette and increasing the frequency of money loading operation into the ATM and leading to extra personnel cost. (Three personnel are assigned for operations that require the opening of the ATM such as service, maintenance, repair, and money loading.)

The most influential factor in the emergence of the invention is that pathogenic bacteria and viruses found in every environment on earth lead to infectious diseases, and banknotes play an active role in carrying and spreading these bacteria and viruses.

Touched by 150 different persons on average in a month, banknotes become contaminated with each contact and are handled by people from distinct occupational groups engaged in different physical activities, and are passed on to the next person (1). Till now, there have been various studies performing the bacteriological examination of banknotes; however, no tangible solution has been provided so far.

A patent numbered CN101114392 discloses only a technique but falls short of providing a solution for or description on how to apply the relevant technique in ATMs. The said invention mentions a separate case to receive the banknotes in an ATM. This procedure requires manufacturing a new ATM.

A patent numbered CN202216021 indicates that LED lamps can be utilized for the sterilization of bacteria and viruses, instead of sterilizing by use of gas. However, the said system does not relate to the disinfection of banknotes in ATMs and does not provide any solution for the integration of the system to ATMs or banknotes.

A patent numbered JP2007172566 discloses a separate device for the sterilization of microorganisms, wherein such devices can be utilized at home. The said patent application describes two different money cassettes required to be placed within ATMs; while one cassette is used to sterilize banknotes, the other cassette is for storing them.

A patent numbered US2011253563A1 requires the development of a new ATM model for the sterilization of microorganisms and bacteria. Disclosing a separate drawer, the invention aims to disinfect banknotes and coins together by employing a pressurized burst system. The disclosure does not mention how to integrate the said apparatus into ATMs.

Disclosing the use of plasma technology, a patent numbered CN103977439A does not address ATMs; the said disclosure relates to the development of a completely different product for the sterilization of money and does not include any information about the concerned product’s integration into ATMs.

A patent numbered CN101789090A, on the other hand, employs a fan system utilized as a dust-absorber and installed separately, wherein the said invention includes different mechanical components such as a fan, etc. Disclosed in a patent numbered WO2016190828 is a disinfection system only for an ATM’s touch screen and keypad, employing a nozzle spraying system and a pump system; in other words, the system only disinfects outside of the ATM. The disclosure does not have an embodiment or a practice for the disinfection of banknotes by way of making changes in the cartridges inside the ATM.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a system developed for eliminating the aforementioned disadvantages and providing new advantages to the respective technical field.

An objective of the present disclosure is to provide an environmentally-friendly ATM that can be integrated into all currently used ATMs. The process of designing and manufacturing a new ATM model requires a long time and is costly. Other endeavors, on the other hand, aimed to eliminate microorganisms on banknotes in a separate unit manufactured for this purpose. The system disclosed in our patent application, however, is about the disinfection of banknotes within an ATM by means of “pulsed light” impinged on the banknotes, a conveyor belt ensuring the movement of banknotes inside ATM, strap routes, and a banknote outlet point on the money cassette. Considering that it is integrated into ATMs and it has never been used in ATMs around the world for the purpose of disinfecting banknotes, this system is brand- new. Current ATMs will be transformed into environmentally-friendly ATMs with this technology.

The main aim of the present disclosure is to disinfect all banknotes returned to ATMs by eliminating microorganisms on banknotes and thus to reduce consumption of medications imported to our country. Additionally, cleaning of the surfaces of banknotes facilitated the identification of money performed by ATMs and reduced the time required for this process. The present disclosure is a system having a mechanical and electrical design integrated into the distributor, pick module within the ATM. It is also possible to implement this system by exposing the money moving on the belt or the strap to intense light. What is emphasized here is that this practice is a system integration that emerged as a result of serious R&D and was developed specifically for the distributor or pick module within the ATM system and that there is no threat for the inventive step. The intense light cannot penetrate solid matter, it is used only for surface cleaning. Therefore, it is used while the money is being discharged from the pick module or is being carried on the strap or the belt. Surface cleaning of every single banknote is thus ensured. The user’s interaction with disease-causing microorganisms will be kept at a minimum level. As seen in the last few years, infectious diseases have become a major problem, spreading incredibly rapidly and threatening people’s lives. One of the most important factors in the spread of this threat is the lack of regular disinfection of banknotes relayed rapidly between people. This integrated system whose R&D phase has been completed will demonstrate that the banks utilizing this system care about their customers and will allow such banks to be one step ahead of their competitors; these properties will play an important role in encouraging the consumers to opt for and use this invention. The fact that there is no equivalent of this system around the world and no similar system has been developed in Turkey or the world may be deemed an important factor. The primary aim of our invention is to kill microbiological and pathogenic creatures on the banknotes, that is, to purify and disinfect the banknotes. Thus, infectious diseases spread by means of banknotes that are physically available to all members of society in today’s conditions will be prevented to a great extent. Although microorganisms that enter the human body upon contact with paper money do not affect the concerned person instantly, in case of weakening of immunity, they may influence the person because they will continue to inhabit the person’s system. To illustrate with a simple example, a person who caught flu may experience diseases such as typhoid, paratyphoid, or dysentery. Our objective is to prevent such diseases and reduce costs due to physician visits, medications, and hospital admissions.

Drawings The embodiments of the present invention, briefly summarized above and discussed in more detail below, can be understood by referring to the exemplary embodiments of the invention described in the accompanying drawings. However, it should be noted that the accompanying drawings illustrate only the typical embodiments of the present invention and therefore is not deemed to limit its scope as it may allow other equally effective applications.

Figure 1 is a schematic view of the pulsed light technology. Figure 2 is a side view of the ATM money cassette where the invention is applied.

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the ATM money cassette where the invention is applied.

Figure 4 is a perspective view showing the application of the invention to the ATM money cassette.

For the sake of clarity, identical reference numbers are used wherever possible, to indicate identical elements common to the figures. The figures are not drawn to scale and can be simplified for clarity. It is contemplated that the elements and features of an application can be usefully incorporated into other applications without the need for further explanation.

Explanation of the Details in the Drawings

Explanations of reference numbers shown in the drawings are given below. 1- Pulsed Light system

2- ATM

3- Distributor

4- Cassette outlet

5- Upper pick module 6- Lower pick module

7- Strap

8- Belt

9- Money inlet

10- Power supply 11- Capacitor

12- Inductor

13- Light source

14- Intense light 15- Target

16- Money cassette

DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred alternatives of the embodiment of the present disclosure, which are mentioned in this detailed description, are only intended for providing a better understanding of the subject matter, and should not be construed in any restrictive sense.

The present invention is characterized in that a pulsed light system (1) as seen in Figure 1 is applied to an ATM (2) for the disinfection of banknotes within ATM, as illustrated in Figure 2 and Figure 3. In the present invention, the pulsed light system (1) as seen in Figure 1 is provided to produce an intense light (14) for a light source (13) after energy from a power supply (10) is stored in a capacitor (11) and then transmitted to an inductor (12). The produced UV-C light with disinfectant properties is intensified and applied to a target (15). Pulsed light (PL) is a technique that decontaminates surfaces by killing microorganisms by means of using intense broad-spectrum pulses rich in UV-C light. Pulsed Light Technology involves the utilization of short-duration intense pulses and a broad spectrum to achieve microbial inactivation on the surface of any material. Electromagnetic energy accumulates to a certain extent for a particular period and is then released in the form of light in a short time, and this leads to a higher power with minimal additional energy consumption.

Figure 4 depicts how the pulsed light system (1) of the present invention is applied while banknotes are conveyed within the ATM (2). Typically, one or more adjustable light source (13) units of the pulsed light system (1) may be installed on at least one of the parts thereof, i.e. , on the upper and lower pick modules (5, 6), or in line with the cassette outlet (4) points, or on the strap (7) system and belt (8) system, or on money inlet (9). On the other hand, the light source (13) of the pulsed light system (1) may also be installed in the money cassettes (16) as depicted in Figure 3. A power supply (10) may be placed in empty spaces, for example, free spaces on the sides of upper and lower pick modules (5, 6), within the ATM (2). The light produced by the light source (13) may contain broad-spectrum wavelengths ranging from UV to infrared. Banknotes discharged from money cassettes (16) are conveyed from the cassette outlet (4) with the help of straps (7) to a casing at the beginning of the belt (8) system and gathered in the casing, and then banknotes move towards the slot with the help of the belt (8) system, either one by one or collectively in accordance with the ATM (2) model. Disinfection with the pulsed light is implemented by the use of the pulsed light system (1) in the money cassettes (16) of the ATM (2), or throughout the process starting with the discharge of banknotes from the money cassette (16) and ending with the dispensing of money by the ATM (2), or by a combination of these two ways.

The power supply (10) of the present invention is placed in empty spaces within the ATM (2); and energy produced by the power supply (10) is, with the help of the pulsed light system (1), released towards the banknotes in the money cassettes (16), the cassette outlet (4), the strap (7) or belt (8) system, thereby ensuring disinfection. Thus, both sides of banknotes are exposed to the pulsed light system (1). With the help of a method detecting banknotes (a sensor, software, etc.), it is also possible to trigger the system to start disinfecting the banknotes each time it detects one.