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Патент USA US3094929

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June 25, 1963
D. R. JAMES
3,094,921
MACHINES FOR PRINTING OR DECORATING ARTICLES OF WARE
Filed Aug. 3.7, 1960
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3 Sheets-Sheet 1
2927 26 75 I774
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BY
ATTORNEY
June 25, 1963
D. R. JAMES
3,094,921
MACHINES FOR PRINTING OR DECORATING ARTICLES OF WARE
Filed Aug. 17, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
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\NVENTOR
?/W/D K/eH/Mo JAMES
BY
ATTORNEY
June 25, 1963
D. R. JAMES
3,094,921
MACHINES FOR PRINTING OR DECORATING ARTICLES 0F WARE
Filed Aug. 17, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 5
H64.
2,9
INVENTQR
ATTORNEY
United States Patent O?ce
3,084,921
Patented June 25, 1963
2
1
or ink therefrom may be operated automatically in timed
relation to the rocking movement of the column on which
the printing and pick-up heads are mounted.
The invention will now be further described with ref
erence to the accompanying drawings which illustrate,
by ‘way of example, one form of printing machine in ac
cordance with the invention, designed for back-stamping
articles of ware such as plates and the like, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the machine,
3,094,921
MACHINES FOR PRINTENG OR DECORATING
ARTIQLES 0F WARE
David Richard James, Covertside, Has?eld, England, as
signor to Murray Curvex Printing Limited, Gloucester,
England
Filed Aug. 17, 1960, Ser. No. 50,275
Claims priority, application Great Britain Aug. 18, 1959
11 Claims. (Cl. 101-44)
10
FIGURE 2 is a front view partly sectioned on the line
II-II in FIGURE 1,
This invention relates to machines for the off-set print
FIGURE 3 is a side view partly sectioned on the line
ing or decorating of articles, for example articles of ware,
I1I1I——II'I in FIGURE 1, and
of the type in which colour is transferred from a plate
FIGURE 4 is a circuit diagram of a pneumatic control
having the design formed thereon to the article to .be
printed or decorated by means of a resilient pad which 15 circuit of the machine.
The machine comprises a vertical column 1 on which
is first pressed against the plate and then against the
article.
are mounted a printing head 2 and transfer means, com
printing or decorating of articles comprises a printing head
head 3 is similarly mounted on the lower end of a ver
ing and third stations during movement of the printing
has two upstanding pegs 14 adjustable along slots 15
prising a pick-up head 3, for movement along arcuate
The object of the invention is to provide a novel ma
paths of equal radius during rocking movement of the
chine of the above type which can readily be designed for
printing or decorating articles of ware capable of being 20 column 1. The printing head 2 comprises a resilient pad
4 mounted at the lower end of the piston rod 5 of a ver
stacked, for example back-stamping plates and the like.
tical ‘double-acting power cylinder ‘6, and the pick-up
According to the invention a machine for the offset
tical double-acting power cylinder 7. The cylinders 6
movable between an inking station and a printing station
‘and transfer means movable between said printing station 25 and 7 are respectively ?xed at the outer ends of arms 8
and 9 clamped to the column by a clamp bolt 10.
and a third station, means being provided to effect such
The column 1 is mounted on a base 12 behind a table
movements automatically in timed relation whereby the
13 which is also mounted on the base 12. The table 13
transfer means will transfer an article between the print
head so that a fresh article to be printed or decorated is 30 and against which a stack of ware to be printed is
always positioned at the printing station ready for print
ing or decorating when the printing head reaches the
printing station. [Preferably the printing head comprises
placed so as to be correctly positioned for printing.
Rocking movement of the column 11 is produced au
tomatically during operation of the machine by a double
acting power cylinder 16. Such rocking movement serves
a resilient pad which is pressed against a design plate at
35 to move the printing head from a position (as shown par
the inking station.
ticularly in FIGURE 1) above an inking station, at which
The ‘transfer means ‘preferably comprises a suction cup
is positioned a horizontal plate 17 formed with the design
which grips the articles, and it may be arranged to grip
the top article of a stack of unprinted articles at the third
to be transferred to the articles, to a postion above a print
station during a printing operation of the printing head at
the printing station and release that article at the printing
station during an inking operation of the printing head
‘at the inking station. Thus a stack of articles to be
ing station on the table '13 and back again, the pick-up
head 3 at the same time moving between the printing sta
tion and a third or loading station de?ned by the pegs 14
printed positioned at the third station are transferred one
by one for printing to the printing station at which the
The power cylinder 16 isconnected to a crosshead 18
linked to the column 1 by a work arm 19 and connected
on the table 13.
printed articles are stacked. Alternatively, the transfer 45 to inking and do-ctoring means 20 (shown in section in
means may operate in the reverse manner, so that a stack
FIGURE 2) mounted at the front of the crosshead 18
of articles at the printing station are transferred one by
which is attached to the piston of the power cylinder 16
one to the third station after printing and in sequence
and slides in a ?xed forward bearing 21. An inking mem
ber 23 of ‘the means 20 is pivotally mounted on an arm
tion becomes a stacking station for the printed articles. 50 24 ‘bolted to ‘the front of the crosshead and provides a
with successive printing operations. ‘Thus the third sta
Preferably both the printing head and ‘the transfer
downwardly directed surface 25 above the design plate
means, which may be a pick-up head, are arranged for
17. An inclined doctor blade 26 bolted to the front of
reciprocatory movement during the printing and inking
the member 23 has a lower doctor edge parallel to the
operations, and the accompanying picking-up and deliver
surf-ace of the plate 17.
55
ing operations, respectively. The heads may be mounted
In use ink in the reservoir formed between the plate
on the piston rods of ?uid-pressure operated power cylin
17 and the surface 25 is spread over the plate 17 during
ders, conveniently arranged for vertical reciprocation,
a forward stroke of the crosshead which moves the print
and they may be mounted on a common column for rock
ing movement between said stations when in a raised in
operative position.
The arrangement may be such that automatic operation
of the machine ceases when the stack of articles to be
printed is exhausted, and the machine may come to rest
ing head 2 from the inking station to the printing station.
During the return stroke of the crosshead 18 the doctor
60
blade 26 automatically removes ink from the plate 17.
The member 23 is connected to a lever arm 27 which
is urged by a compression spring 28 into a resting posi
tion in which the doctor blade 26 is held slightly clear
with the printing head positioned above the inking sta
of the plate 17 during an inking stroke. An adjusting
tion ready for its downward ink-ing stroke at the com 65 nut 29 enables the tension in the spring 28 to be adjusted.
mencement of the next machine cycle. The machine
Adjacent each upper corner of the arm 27 a piston 29,
which bears on the rear surface of the arm 27, is mounted
place a fresh stack of unprinted were in position ready for
in a corresponding cylinder bore in a member 30 mounted
printing, although in many cases it will be found that the
70 on the crosshead. A connection 32 leads to both the cyl
operator .can do this without stopping the machine.
operator can now remove the stack of printed ware and
Means for automatically applying paint or ink to the
plate at the inking station and for removing excess paint
inder bores and enables pressure to be applied thereto,
in a manner described hereinafter, to displace the pistons
3,094,921
A
29 outwardly to overcome the spring 28 and urge the
voir 40 is exhausted through the line 39 while the opposite
doctor blade 26 ‘into engagement with the plate 17 dur
end of the reservoir is supplied with pressure air through
ing each return or doctoring stroke of the crosshead 18.
a line 46 at a rate controlled by the restrictor R1. Pres
Automatic cycling of the machine is achieved by means
sure builds up at this end of the reservoir 40 while the
of the pneumatic control circuit which will now be de
heads 2 and 3' are being raised, and continues to build up
scribed: In the resting position of the machine (as shown
until it reaches a value at which it operates a second
in the drawings) the printing and pick-up heads 2 and
normally closed spring-loaded sequence valve V11.
3 are fully raised above the inking and printing stations
Opening of Vl‘l supplies air through V5 to a line 47
respectively with the ink applying means 20‘ in a position in
connected to an operating cylinder 48 of a double-acting
which ink has been spread on the plate 17 and the latter 10 column-control valve V12 and an operating cylinder 49
docto‘red.
of a double-acting doctor control valve 13. The other
Movement of the crosshead controls ?ve auxiliary con
operating cylinders 50 and 52 respectively of V12 and
v
3
trol valves V1, V2, V3, V4 and V5 of the circuit. As
shown particularly in FIGURE 1, V1 is a trip valve
which is tripped by the crosshead 18 as the latter passes
through an intermediate position midway between its ter
minal positions, V2 and V5 are operated by an upstanding
V13 are connected to V5 by a line 53 which in the reset
position of V5 is connected to exhaust, so that opening
of the sequence valve V11 applies pressure air through
V5 to change over V12 and V13. V12 then connects a
pressure air inlet 54 to the inner end of the power cylin
der 16 through a line 55 and exhausts the other end of the
power cylinder 16 through a line 56 to rock the column
pin 32 on the crosshead 18, and V3 and V4 are respec
tively operated by adjustable tappets 33 on the arm 19‘.
In the resting position of the crosshead 18, V4 is held 20 and bring the printing and pick-up heads 2 and 3 respec
open against spring loading and V5 held in its actuated
tively into position ‘above the printing and stacking sta
terminal position. V3‘ is also spring loaded to its normal
tions. The speed of such movement is controlled by re
resting position; and V1, V2 and V5 are of a type which
strictors R5 and R6 respectively connected in the lines 55
can be reset by the application of pressure air to corre
and 56, and change over of V13 exhausts the cylinders of
sponding operating cylinders of these valves.
To operate the machine a push-pull start valve V6 is
25 the pistons 29 so that the latter are moved inwardly by the
spring 28 and the pressure of the doctor blade on the plate
17 is relieved.
Movement of the crosshead ‘18 resulting from changing
inlet 34, through a restrictor R1 and the trip valve V1 to
over of V12 acts to ink the plate 17, in the manner already
the inlets of V3 and V4. As V4 is open the air passes
therethrough to an operating cylinder 35 of a spring 30 described, and releases V4 and V5 so that the former is
reset by its spring loading. At the midpoint of the cross
loaded head-control valve vV7 controlling the cylinders
head stroke V1 is tripped while at the end of the stroke
6 and 7. This valve is spring loaded towards a terminal
position in which a line 36 leading to the upper ends ‘of
V3 is opened against its spring loading and V2 closed,
opening of V3 again applying pressure air to the valve
the cylinders 6 and 7 is connected to exhaust, and a line
37 leading to the lower ‘ends of these cylinders is con 35 cylinder 35 to operate V7 against its spring loading and
‘bring about a downward printing stroke of the printing
nected to a pressure air inlet 38 which merely supplies
head 2 and a corresponding stroke of the pickup head 3
air for operation of the cylinders 6 and 7. Thus the
on to the stack of unprinted articles previously placed at
spring loading of V7 acts to retain the heads 2 and 3 in
the loading station against the pegs 14. As before, opera
their raised positions and the‘ application of pressure air
tion of sequence valve V10 reverses the power cylinders 6
to the valve cylinder 35 changes over V7 to lower the
and 7 and brings about operation of the sequence valve
heads 2 and 3, simultaneously.
_
V11. Opening of the latter now admits pressure air
A spring-loaded vfoot-operated valve V8 supplied from
through V5 to the line 53, again changing over V12 and
a further air inlet 34a is‘ connected to V6 in such manner
V13. This reverses the power cylinder 16 to produce a
that V6 and V8 can ‘be used at will to control the machine,
return'movement of the column 1 and applies pressure air
according to whether hand or foot operation is vthe more
to the pistons 29 through a restrictor R7 from an air inlet
convenient.
51, so that the doctor ‘blade 26 is urged ‘against the design
The speed of lowering of the printing head 2 is con
plate 17 and ‘the ink previously spread on the latter is
trolled by an exhaust restrictor R2 in circuit with the
doctored during the return crosshead stroke.
power cylinder 6, and that of the pick-up head 3' by inlet
During the downward movement 'of the pick-up head 3‘
and exhaust restrictor's R3 and R4 connected in circuit
pulled to close the latter and admit pressure air from 'an
with the power cylinder 7. An adjustable regulator valve 50 above the loading station a vacuum is built up in a suc
tion cup 57 of the head 3 when the latter contacts the
V9 enables the ?nal load on the printing head ‘2, i.e., the
uppermost article at the stacking station. The headal'so
normal printing pressure, to be preset at a value providing
comprises a cylinder member 58 to the lower end of which
satisfactory printing without ‘damaging the articles of
ware. At the end of its ‘downward stroke the head 2 55 the ‘cup 57 is attached; the cylinder member 58 and the
cup 57 communicate through a port 57a. Within the
contacts the design plate 17 and picks ‘up any ink which
cylinder member 58 slides, with a ‘degree of lost motion,
may be left thereon, and the pick-up head 3 during this
a piston 59 mounted at the lower end of the piston rod
initial machine cycle idles above the printing station.
60 of the power cylinder 7. The piston ‘59 includes an
At the same time as pressure is applied to the valve cyl—
upwardly concave cup seal 59a and the cylinder member
injder 35 it is also applied through a line 39 to one end of
a reservoir 40. This reservoir is in the form of a hollow 60 58 is urged ‘downwardly away from the piston 59 by a
compression spring 58a. Thus continued downward
' cylinder'containing a free piston 42 so that, in effect, two
movement of the piston rod 60 after the cup 57 has en
separate reservoirs are respectively provided on opposite
gaged an article at the stacking station moves the piston
sides of the piston 42. The pressure builds up in the
reservoir 40 and in the power cylinders 6 and 7 until ‘it 65 59 within the ‘cylinder member 58 to compress the spring
58a and to exhaust the cylinder member 58 around the
reaches ‘a prearranged value which operates a normally
edge of the cup seal 59a and through a vent (not shown)
closed spring-loaded sequence valve V10‘ which opens to
in the upper end of the cylinder member. The next up
apply pressure air to the valve cylinders 43, 44, and 45
ward movement of the piston rod 60 initially permits
of V1, V2 and V5. As a result V1 and V2 are reset, but
movement of the piston 59 within the cylinder member 58
not V5 which is held in the actuated position by the cross 70 under the in?uence of the spring 58a until the partial
head pin 32.
,
vacuum so formed in the cup 57 and the cylinder member
Resetting of V1 exhausts the valve cylinder 35 through
V4, so that V7 is changed over by its spring loading to
reverse the power cylinders 6 and 7 and raise the printing
and pick-up heads 2 and 3. At the same time the reser 75
58 is sufficient to lift the uppermost article assuming that
V2, which forms a suction control valve, is closed. V2
is connected to the interior of the cylinder member 58 by
a line 62.
3,094,921
When the crosshead reaches the terminal position which
brings the pick-up head above the loading station V2 is
closed as already described, so that the next upward move
ment of the pick-up head creates a vacuum in the cup 57
and the uppermost article is gripped and raised bodily
with the head 3.
During the return movement of the
crosshead 18 which brings the pick-up head 3 and the
gripped article above the printing station V2 remains
whereby said machine may be loaded with a stack of un
printed articles at the printing station and after printing
said articles may be removed in a stack from the third
station.
2. A machine for the off-set printing of stack-able ar~
ticles comprising an inking station, a printing station
constructed to receive a stack of said articles, a third sta
tion constructed to receive a stack of said articles, a print
ing head movable automatically between said inking
closed, as it does during the next downward stroke of the
power cylinder 7, so that the vacuum in the cup 57 is not 10 station and said printing station, and transfer means,
which comprise a pick-up head including a suction cup,
‘relieved and the article is lowered at the printing station
movable automatically in timed relation to the movement
while still gripped by the cup 57. However, the next
of the printing head to transfer articles one at a time be
operation of the sequence is that valve V10 applies pres
tween a stack of articles at the printing station and a
sure air to the valve operating cylinder 44 to change over
V2 which is thus opened to relieve the suction in the cup 15 stack of articles at the third station as the printing head
moves between the inking station and the printing sta
57 and release the article previously gripped.
tion, the printing head printing the article at the top of
A line 63 connects V2 to the line 36, and as a result
the stack of articles at the printing station between its
relief of the suction in the cup 57 is assisted by a positive
“pu?” of exhaust air along the line ‘63 from the power
movement to and from the inking station, and said pick
cylinders 6 and 7. This relieves the suction in a positive 20 up head being arranged to pick up the top printed article
manner and moreover tends to blow dust and grit from
of a stack of othenvw'se unprinted articles at the printing
the surface of the article as it is released. This cleans the
station during an inking operation of the printing head
surface ready for printing during the next machine cycle
at the inking station and to release that article at the
and also reduces the dirt and grit picked up by the print
third station during a printing operation of the printing
ing head 2 during the next printing operation which would 25 head at the printing station.
otherwise be transferred to the plate 17 and increase wear
3. A machine for the off-set printing of stackable arti
of the latter and the doctor blade 26.
It will be clear from the above description that as long
as V6 is not reversed by hand, or V8 released when the
machine is foot controlled, the machine will continue
cycling, picking up articles in turn from the loading sta
cles comprising an inking station, a printing station con
structed to receive a stack of said articles, a third station
constructed to receive a stack of said articles, a printing
head movable automatically between said inking station
and said printing station, and transfer means, which com
prise a pick-up head including a suction cup adapted to
grip the articles, movable automatically in timed relation
tion and depositing them at the printing station for print
ing by the head 2. Single cycle operation can be achieved
merely by suitable foot operation of V6. A check valve
to the movement of the printing head to transfer articles
V14 in parallel with V9 is provided to allow air exhausted 35 one at a time between a stack of articles at the printing
from the upper end of the power cylinder 6‘ to escape to
atmosphere through V7 more easily, and pressure test
points such as 64 are provided at suitable positions in the
circuit to allow the pressure at such points to be checked
with a suitable pressure gauge. All the pressure inlets 40
such as 34 are arranged for connection to a common
source of controlled pressure air.
station and a stack of articles at the third station as the
printing head moves between the inking station and they
printing station, the printing head printing the article at
the top of the stack of articles at the printing station be
tween its movement to and from the inking station, and
both the printing and pick-up heads are arranged for re—
ciprocating movement during the printing and inking
In the embodiment illustrated the design plate 17 is
operations, and the accompanying picking up and releas
clamped in position by clamping nuts 74 which retain it
ing operation, respectively.
between side strips 75 with its rear edge located below
4. A machine according to claim 3, comprising two
an undercut locating strip 76. This arrangement enables 45 ?uid-pressure operated power cylinders having piston rods
the design plate 17 to be removed and replaced, if desired
on Iwhich said printing and pick-up heads are respectively
by a plate bearing a fresh design.
mounted.
If desired, the printing head may comprise a resilient
5. A machine according to claim 3, wherein the print
pad having a design thereon in cameo, the design being
inked at said inking station. The inking station may com 50 ing and pick-up heads are arranged for vertical reciproca
tion.
prise a plate upon which ink is spread with a roller or it
6. A machine according to claim 5, comprising a com
may comprise a porous pad impregnated with ink, in
mon column on which the printing and pick-up heads
either case the cameo design is inked at the station and
are mounted for movement between said stations when in
then transferred to the printing station to print.
55 a raised inoperative position.
I claim:
7. A machine according to claim 6‘ comprising means
1. A machine for the o?-set printing of staclcable ar
to cause cessation of automatic operation of the machine
ticles comprising an inking station, a printing station con
when a stack of articles to be printed is exhausted.
structed to receive a stack of said articles, a third station
8. A machine for the o?-set printing of stackable arti
constructed to receive a stack of said articles, a printing
head movable automatically between said inking station 60 cles comprising an inking station, a printing station con
and said printing station, and transfer means _movable
structed to receive a stack of said articles, a third station
constructed to receive a stack of said articles, a printing
automatically in timed relation to the movement of the
printing head to transfer articles one at a time between
a stack of articles at the printing station and a stack of
articles at the third station as the printing head moves 65
head movable automatically between said inking station
and said printing station, and transfer means movable
between the inking station and the printing station, the
printing head printing the article at the top of the stack
printing head to transfer articles one at a time between
a stack of articles at the printing station and a stack of
articles at the third station as the printing head moves
automatically in timed relation to the movement of the
of articles at the printing station between its movement
between the inking station and the printing station, the
to and from the inking station, and the transfer means,
which comprise a pick-up head including a suction cup, 70 printing head printing the articles at the top of the stack
of articles at the printing station between its movement
being arranged to pick up the top article of the stack of
to and from the inking station, and the transfer means,
unprinted articles at the third station during a printing
which comprises a pick-up head including a suction cup,
operation of the printing head at the printing station
being arranged to pick up the top article of the stack of
and to release that article at the printing station during an
inking operation of the printing head at the inking station, 75 unprinted articles at the third station during a printing
3,094,921
,
7
8
.
operation of the printing head at the printing station and
to release that article at the printing station during an
of the articles at the printing station between‘ its move
ment to and from the inking station, ‘and means for
inking operation of the printing head at the inking sta
tion, a control circuitrcontrolling automatic operation of
the machine being arranged to stop the latter with the
printing head positioned at the inking station ready for
automatically applying ink to a design bearing plate at
the inking station and for removing excess ink therefrom
which are operated automatically in timedrelation to the
movement of the printing and pickup heads between said
an inking movement at the commencement of the next
stations.
machine cycle.
'9. A machine according to claim 8, wherein the con
trol circuit is pneumatic in operation.
10. A machine for the off-set printing of stackable arti
cles comprising an inking station, a printing station con
10
structed to receive a stack of said articles, a third station
constructed to receive a stack of said ‘articles, a printing
‘
‘11. A machine according to claim 10, comprising a
common column on which ‘the printing and pick-up heads
are mounted, a crosshead and a ?uid-pressure operated
power cylinder connected to said orosshead movement of
which produces rocking movement of the column and
operates the means for automatically applying ink and
removing excess thereof.
head movable automatically between said inking station 15
and said printing station, and transfer means, which com
prise a pick-up head including a suction cup, movable
automatically in timed ‘relation to the movement of the
printing head to transfer articles one at a time between a
stack of articles at the printing station and a stack of 20
articles at the third station as the printing head moves
between the inking station and the printing station, the
printing head printing the article at the top of the stack
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,359,807
1,440,856‘
Huber ; _________ __'_____ Nov. 23, 1920
Wescott ______ _‘______,____ Jan. 2, 1923
1,599,918
O’hara _________ __> ____ __ Sept. 14, 1926
2,493,953'
Emerson _'_ ________ __‘____ Jan. 10, 1950
2,692,552
Conkle ______________ __ ‘Oct. 26, 1954
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