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Publication numberUS2813538 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1957
Filing dateFeb 25, 1955
Priority dateFeb 25, 1955
Publication numberUS 2813538 A, US 2813538A, US-A-2813538, US2813538 A, US2813538A
InventorsDi Genova Andrew A
Original AssigneeMiehle Goss Dexter Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ink level control mechanism
US 2813538 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 19, 1957 A. A. DI GENOVA 2,813,538

INK LEVEL CONTROL MECHANISM Filed Feb. 25, 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 .flzzcirew Q5, mm,t Hmw, v uMgL al o-rrwyfi Nov. 19, 1957 A. A. Di GENOVA INK LEVEL CONTROL MECHANISM 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 25, 1955 fizz/9142509 k 06 gene's/0.

Nov. 19, 1957 A. m GENOVA INK LEVEL CONTROL MECHAN'ISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Feb. 25', 1955 Ira/6165b? m a-Ja of a printing press operator.

Unite States Patent nice 2,813,538 Patented Nov. 19, 1957 2,813,538 INK LEVEL CONTROL MECHANISM Andrew A. Di Genova, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Miehle- Goss-Dexter, Incorporated, Wilmington, Del., :1 corporation of Delaware Application February 25, 1955, SerialNo. 490,539 3 Claims. (Cl. 131-443 The present invention relates to printing presses, and more particularly to printing press ink fountains and mechanisms for controlling the level therein.

It is a general object of the present invention to provide an ink control arrangement for a printing press which minimizes down time and assures constant color bymaintaining the ink level constant at a desired height.

It is a related object of the present invention to provide a novel ink level control mechanism for a printing press fountain which eliminates any necessity for constant vigilance and ink level inspection on the part It is a more specific object of the invention to provide an automatic ink level control arrangement for use in series with a conventional manually operable ink supply valve.

It is another object of the present invention to providean ink level control mechanism for use with a conventional manually operable ink supply valve and so constructed that it may be quickly disconnected therefrom for cleaning or for instant replacement with a substit'ute clean mechanism, or for enabling use of the manually operable valve alone, if desired. It is a related object of the invention to provide an automatic ink level control mechanism for a printing press fountain which may be quickly connected with and disconnected from a manually operable ink supply valve without disrupting the operation of the press so that upon sudden disconnection of the mechanism from the supply valve the latter may be immediately used, if desired, to manually control the ink level. It is a further related object of the invention to provide such a disconnectible ink level control mechanism which includes orientation means for immediately putting the mechanism in the proper operating position when it is quickly reconnected to the ink supply valve.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an automatic ink level control mechanism for a printing press fountain which is adaptable for use as an attachment for an existing fountain by means of a simple connection to an existing conventional ink supply valve 'emb'odiedtherin.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism which maybe easily positioned for automatically maintaining the ink level within a printing press fountain at any desired height in the fountain.

It is another object of the invention to' provide a mechanism for controlling the level within a printing press ink fountain, which mechanism includes a novel strainer arrangement for preventing clogging of the mechanism with printing ink having a high viscosity and sedirnentcontent.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide an ink level control mechanism for use with supply lines which is inexpensive, simple, and requires a minimum of care and maintenance.

' other objects and advantages will become apparent e en reading the attached detailed description, and upo reference" to the drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the mechanism employed in practicing the present invention as used in conjunction with a printing press ink fountain.

Fig. 2 is a perspective view showing a printing press ink fountain with the mechanism disconnected therefrom.

Fig. 3 is an elevation of' the mechanism shown in Fig'. l with part of the fountain wall cut away.

Fig. 4 is a transverse section taken along the line 4 -4 in'Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the mechanism.

Fig. 6 shows the level control assembly after a quick disconnect and emphasizes the acce'ssibilityof the strainer for cleaning or replacement.

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary section view showing the lock in-the quick disconnect coupling in the act of releasing.

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary view showing the valve memb'ersin open position.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment it will be understood that I do'tnot intend to limit the invention thereto, but intend to cover all modifications and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Turning now to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the mechanism Iii is shown in conjunction with a printing press 12 having an ink fountain 14 associated therewith. The ink fountain is formed in the shape of a generally rectangular tr'ay having a bottom 16 and end portions 18 and is disposed horizontally upon a printing press supporting bed 20. An inking roller 22 is arranged longitudinally in the fountain 14 and toward the rear thereof, being journaled in the ends 18 for rotary moverhent' in transferfing ink from the fountain to printing rollers 24 (Fig. 4') of the type conventionally employed in printing presses. Feeding the ink fountain 14 from ink supply line 26 adjacent the feeding end of the ink fountain 14 and just outside thereof, the use of the valve in connection with the automatic control arrangement being set forth below.

Inserted into the feeding end 18 of the fountain14 isan internally screw threaded reducer bushing 30 which is connected to the manually operated valve 28011 the outside of the fountain. Within the fountain 14 a gooseneck is provided in the form of first and second right angle pipe elbows 32, 34, respectively, the latter being screwed together and mounted on the bushing 30 so that the outlet is horizontally disposed at aheight somewhat ab'ove thatof the supply line 26.

In practicing the present invention a novel arrangement is provided for automatically controlling the ink level in a printingpress fountain, the arrangement being especially distinguished by quick detachability of the control mechanisr'n from amanually-coutrolled supply line. In the present instance the control mechanism includes a float valve assembly 35 and a quick release coupling 36, the latter being made up of a tubular socket 38 and a tubular shaped adaptor 40 connected to the ink supply line and over which the socket piece is axially slidable. The socket 38 has a nut portion 41 at the rear end thereof and a sleeve portion 42at its forward end. The nut portion 41 is provided with screw threads about its inner periphery for direct engagement with thevalve 35, or, in this instance, for engagement with a reducing bushing 44 interposed between the coupling 36 and the valve.

For the purpose of locking the adaptor 40 within the s ocket '38, an annular gripping piece or release member 46 having a knurled exterior surface is provided for axial sliding movement over the sleeve portion 42 of the socket 3 38 between locked and unlocked positions of the adaptor. The gripping piece 46 is urged forwardly by a coil spring 47 disposed between the inner periphery of the member 46 and the outer periphery of the sleeve 42, the spring being seated on oppositely facing shoulders 48, 50, provided on the respective members 42 and 46. In order to define the limit of forward movement of the gripping piece 46 on the sleeve 42 a ring shaped retaining clip 52 is snapped into an outer peripheral groove 54 about the forward end of the sleeve. It will be observed that an undercut shoulder 56 formed within the inner periphery of the sleeve 42 at its forward end abuts against the clip 52 and thus prevents further movement of the gripping piece 46 forwardly.

Near the forward end of the sleeve 42 a plurality of peripherally spaced openings 58 extend through the sleeve wall. In order that the openings 58 may receive therein a corresponding plurality of locking balls 60, the openings are tapered inwardly to form bearing seats.

As shown in the drawings, the tubular adaptor 40 has a threaded end 62 for engaging the elbow 34, a central nut portion 66, and an outer end portion 64 in the form of a smooth cylinder.

For the purpose of receiving the balls 60, a groove 68 is provided about the outer periphery of the smooth end portion 64 of the adaptor 40, the walls of such groove being tapered to substantially the same degree as the openings 58 in the sleeve 42. For seating the adaptor 40 within the socket 38 and to align the openings 58 with the groove 68 when the socket has been connected with the adaptor, a shoulder 70 is formed on the smooth end portion 64 of the adaptor, a complementary shoulder 72 being provided in the inner periphery of the sleeve 42. Thus it is seen upon particular reference to Fig. that when the parts are seated together with the gripping piece 46 in its normal outwardly pressed position, the balls 60 are pressed into the openings 58 and thence into the groove 68. the balls being held in such position by an internal blocking surface 46a on the piece 46, so that the coupling 36 is firmly secured. In order to quickly disconnect the socket 38 from the adaptor 40, the gripping piece 46 is slipped rearwardlv by manual pressure, thereby unblocking the balls 60 which are then free under pressure exerted by the tapered walls of the groove 68 to move slightly outwardly in the openings 58 and out of locking engagement with the groove.

For the purpose of insuring that the float assembly and socket are properly oriented upon reassembly, a detent is provided in the form of a notch 74 and pin 76. The notch 74 is formed in the rim of the sleeve 42 and the pin 76 is mounted in the wall of the adaptor 40, the parts being so arran ed as to register when the socket 38 and adaptor 40 are fully telescoped together. The notch is sufiiciently deep so that the balls 60 are incapable of entering the groove 68 except when registry is achieved. This arrangement is especially advantageous since it may be assembled without care or attention on the part of the operator, with assurance that the float mechanism will be horizontal for proper operation of the float bulb upon the ink level.

Adjacent the disconnectible coupling 36 and aligned therewith is the float valve assembly 35. The latter includes a float 82 pivoted in a horizontally disposed body portion 84 for vertical swinging movement with respect thereto. The body has a male screw threaded connection 86 at one end thereof for engagement with the reducing bushing 44 which is screwed into the quick disconnect coupling already described.

For the purpose of translating the vertical swinging movement of the float 82 into horizontal valving action, a bell crank 88, pivotal about a transverse pin 87 at the other end of the valve body 84 is connected to the float 82 by means of a float rod 89. In this instance the valve body 84 is hexagonally shaped exteriorly to facilitate gripping thereof by a wrench or the like and carries within its hollow interior a valve plunger 90 having a square cross section. The plunger 90 is laterally shiftable Within a cylindrical valve chamber 92, one end of the plunger including a sealing portion 94 which closes against an annular seat 96 vertically formed within the correspondlng end of the valve body and defining an inlet 98 therein.

In order to effect movement of the plunger 90 Within the chamber 92, the other end of the plunger is provided with a vertical end slot 100 bridged by a transverse actuating pin 102. A forked portion 104 is provided on the bell crank 88 for insertion upwardly into the end slot 100 so that the actuating pin 102 rests within the fork and connection is thereby effected between the float 82, bell crank 88, and valve plunger 90.

Thus it is seen that the square valve plunger 90 is reciprocable within the chamber 92 under the influence of the float actuated bell crank 88 by means of the engagement between the forked portion 104 thereof and the actuating pin 102. In this way, as the float bulb 82 drops with the ink level in the fountain 14, the sealing portion 94 of the valve plunger 90 moves away from the stationary valve seat 96 thereby admitting ink from the inlet 98 to the valve. The ink then passes through segmental passageways 106 defined in the valve body 84 by the plunger 90 and chamber 92, and thence downwardly through the vertical end slot 100 and into the fountain.

In accordance with one of the important aspects of the invention, a fingerlike strainer 108 is provided within the socket 38 and so arranged that it is exposed for cleaning or easy removal when the quick disconnect joint is disengaged. The strainer indicated at 108 comprises a fingerlike perforated tube 110 which is suitably attached, as by spot welding, to a head 112 provided with external screw threads over a tapered outer surface. As shown, the strainer head 112 is adaptable for screw threaded engagement with the inner periphery of the end of the bushing 44 which faces into the coupling 36. It w1ll be observed that the strainer 108 may be easily unscrewed from the coupling 36 upon disconnection of the socket 38 from the adaptor 40. Because of the large strainer area this can be done by finger pressure, thus making it possible to perform the disconnection and to replace the strainer with a clean one in a few seconds time and Without use of wrenches or other tools. This feature is especially desirable since certain inks used with conventional printing presses have a high viscosity and sediment content and thus would tend to gum and clog filter screens and float valves. It is found in practice that the present strainer permits operation for long periods of time without cleaning. This is attributed in part to the large area of the strainer on the order of 6 square inches, the strainer holes being ,6 inch in diameter and spaced about inch apart.

From the foregoing it will be seen that an ink level control mechanism is provided which not only automatically maintains a desired level of ink in a printing press fountain but also embodies therein means for quickly and easily cleaning the mechanism should it become clogged with sediment carried by heavy ink. Consequently, a printing press operator, in using the mechanism, need not exert the constant care and observation conventionally required in maintaining the ink level. In employing the automatic arrangement described above, the user has absolutely no operations to perform under normal conditions wherein the printing ink remains relatively free from sedimentation. In the event that the strainer becomes clogged with foreign materials as evidenced by a dropping of the ink level, the user will simply manually slide the release member 46 rearwardly thereby disengaging the balls 60 from locking contact with the adaptor groove 68 so that the socket 38 and valve assembly 35 are disconnected from the adaptor 40 and ink supply line 26. The user may then easily clean the finger-strainer 108 projecting from the socket 38 or, if necessary, he may unscrew the strainer manually and replace it-with a clean one, all within a matter of a few seconds. Then he may quickly reconnect the socket 38 and adaptor 40 by manipulating the release member 46 so that the locking balls 60 engage the adaptor groove 68. This last operation may be accomplished in a hurry without care on the part of the user since the socket 38 and adaptor 40 will lock only when the detent is aligned so that the pin 76 engages the notch 74, thereby assuring that the valve assembly 35 is properly positioned for the float 82 to ride vertically on the liquid level. It is thus seen that the entire operation may be accomplished in a matter of a few moments time, thereby minimizing down time in the operation of the printing press.

Another of the advantages of the level control arrangement described herein is that a gooseneck is provided in the form of the pipe elbows 32, 34, for adjusting the arrangement to maintain the ink level at any desired height within the ink fountain. In this way the lower elbow 32 may be rotated with respect to the reducer bushing 30 to vary the level of the gooseneck outlet so as to adjust the level of the horizontally disposed float 82 and, accordingly, the ink level within the fountain.

I claim as my invention:

1. In an ink level control mechanism for a printing press ink fountain of the type constructed as an elongated relatively narrow trough, and having a manually controlled supply line extending to one end of said trough, the combination comprising, a float-operated valve normally connected to said supply line for automatically controlling the level of ink in the trough, said valve comprising a valve body disposed horizontally in alinement with the axis of the trough, a passage longitudinally of said valve body communicating with the supply line and defining an inlet over the fountain, a plunger reciprocably mounted within said horizontal valve body in alinement with said inlet, said plunger being movable axially of the valve body in a valving action to seal and unseal said inlet, a float pivotable about the transverse axis of said valve body for vertical swinging movement relative thereto, means for translating the vertical swinging movement of said float into horizontal valving action of said reciprocable plunger, and a manually di-sconnectible coupling for attaching said float-0perated valve to said supply line, said coupling comprising a hollow socket member mounted horizontally on the supply line and an adapter member for mounting said valve body on the socket member, said adapter member being arranged for telescoping engagement with the socket member, said adapter member carrying a detent and said socket member having means for engagement by said detent for rotatably orienting said members when coupled so as to enable locating the valve body with its transverse axis horizontal so that the float swings in a vertical plane.

2. In an ink level control mechanism for a printing press ink fountain of the type constructed as an elongated relatively narrow trough, and having a manually controlled supply line extending to one end of said trough, the combination comprising, a float-operated valve normally connected to said supply line for automatically controlling the level of ink in the trough, said valve comprising a valve body disposed horizontally in alinement with the axis of the trough, a passage longitudinally of said valve body communicating with the supply line and defining an inlet over the fountain, a plunger reciprocably mounted within said horizontal valve body in alinement with said inlet, said plunger being movable axially of the valve body in a valving action to seal and unseal said inlet, a float pivotable about the transverse axis of said valve body for vertical swinging movement relative thereto, means for translating the vertical swinging movement of said float into horizontal valving action of said reciprocable plunger, and a manually disconnectible coupling for attaching said float-operated valve to said supply line, said coupling comprising a hollow socket member mounted horizontally on the supply line and an adapter member for mounting said valve body on the socket member, said adapter member being arranged for telescoping engagement with the socket member, a finger-like strainer mounted in said adapter member in alinement with the passage in said valve body for filtering ink received from said supply line before it passes through said valve, said strainer projecting from said adapter member to extend into said hollow socket member when the members are coupled and so as to be exposed for service when the members are uncoupled.

3. In an ink level control mechanism for a printing press ink fountain of the type constructed as an elongated relatively narrow trough, and having a manually controlled supply line extending to one end of said trough, the combination comprising, a float-operated valve normally connected to said supply line for automatically controlling the level of ink in the trough, said valve comprising a valve body disposed horizontally in alinement with the axis of the trough, a passage longitudinally of said valve body communicating with the supply line and defining an inlet over the fountain, a plunger reciprocably mounted within said horizontal valve body in alinement with said inlet, said plunger being movable axially of the valve body in a valving action to seal and unseal said inlet, a float pivotable about a pin mounted transversely of said body, said float having vertical swinging movement relative to said valve body, a lever connected to said plunger and said float for translating the vertical swinging movement of said fioat into horizontal valving action of said reciprocable plunger, and a manually disconnectible coupling for attaching said float-operated valve to said supply line, said coupling comprising a hollow socket member mounted horizontally on the supply line and an adapter member for mounting said valve body on the socket member, said adapter member being arranged for telescoping engagement with the socket member, said adapter member carrying a detent and said socket member having means for engagement by said detent for rotatably orienting said members when coupled so as to enable locating the valve body with its transverse axis horizontal so that the float swings in a vertical plane.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,069,146 Kennedy Aug. 5, 1913 1,089,187 Brown Mar. 3, 1914 1,174,617 Schmeykal Mar. 7, 1916 1,390,892 Eimke Sept. 13, 1921 1,814,804 Heftler July 14, 1931 2,159,242 Yanagi May 23, 1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1069146 *Mar 15, 1913Aug 5, 1913William H KennedyCoupling.
US1089187 *Mar 23, 1908Mar 3, 1914Charles S BrownMethod and means for separating fluids having different characteristics.
US1174617 *Mar 26, 1913Mar 7, 1916Walter A SchmeykalFaucet.
US1390892 *Nov 2, 1920Sep 13, 1921Charles EimkeValve-control float
US1814804 *Jun 22, 1922Jul 14, 1931Zenith Carburateur Soc DuCarburetor
US2159242 *Aug 23, 1937May 23, 1939Masaji YanagiPipe joint
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3025793 *May 7, 1958Mar 20, 1962Miehle Goss Dexter IncMethod and apparatus for changing inks in printing press fountains
US3037451 *Jul 15, 1959Jun 5, 1962Davis William FMeans for dispensing and apportioning fluids
US3288061 *Dec 31, 1963Nov 29, 1966Miehle Goss Dexter IncPress inking arrangement
US3730089 *Jun 16, 1971May 1, 1973Itek CorpInk monitoring apparatus
US3956984 *Jan 23, 1975May 18, 1976John Chien Kuen KiangStencil printer
US4479433 *Apr 21, 1980Oct 30, 1984Baldwin-Gegenheimer CorporationInk level control
US4729400 *Mar 17, 1986Mar 8, 1988Robert Manufacturing CompanyLiquid control assembly
US4852604 *Oct 5, 1987Aug 1, 1989Automation, Inc.Ink monitor system
US5797426 *Apr 10, 1997Aug 25, 1998Powell; Edwin O.Check valve and trap assembly
DE1277272B *Aug 9, 1966Sep 12, 1968Koenig & Bauer SchnellpressfabVorrichtung am Farbwerk von Rotationsdruckmaschinen zum UEberwachen der Farbsteuereinrichtung
WO1979000955A1 *Jan 18, 1979Nov 15, 1979Baldwin Gegenheimer CorpInk level control
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/443, 101/364, 137/426
International ClassificationB41F31/02
Cooperative ClassificationB41F31/022
European ClassificationB41F31/02C