US 3059560 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 23, 1962 E. R. GUTZMER PRODUCTION OF LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING PLATES Filed March 20, 1958 8 Sheets-Sheet l mpummm Inventor Ernest R. qut mer Q5 ,qauu, @www& W:ZZ ML Oct. 1962 E. R. GUTZMER 3,05 60 PRODUCTION OF LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING PLATES Filed March 20, 1958 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 Inventor Ernest R. Gul'amer 5 MW, @mw fl-ttorrzegs Oct. 23, 1962 E. R. GUTZ'MER PRODUCTION OF LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING PLATES Filed March 20, 1958 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 (III llllillll-lnlllllllll Inventor Ernest R. Gut mer 2y M 1M JW A-Hornegs Oct. 23, 1962 E. R. GUTZMER PRODUCTION OF LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING PLATES Filed March 20, 1958 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 r r m S o a o w M MW m .916 .mmTl uwwwmmmt e M o a? v d 1- T I, u+ m 81 T llllmudr e figrhu mw a! 1 R 3:, d m W22. I E
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Oct. 23, 1962 E. R. GUTZMER PRODUCTION OF LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING PLATES Filed March 20, 1958 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Invent-or Erngst R Ciu'lt mer 55 MM,
z M M nois Filed Mar. 20, 1958, Ser. No. 722,750
9 Claims. (Cl. 95-89) This invention relates to the production of lithographic printing plates and particularly to the development of photo-lithographic plates after an image has been photographically transferred to the light-sensitive resist of such plates.
In the lithographic printing art there are many different kinds of metal printing plates that are employed where the image to be ultimately printed is transferred to the lithographic plate by photographic processes in which the image is exposed onto the light-sensitive coating or resist of the plate. the photographic processes have been carried out to a high degree of accuracy and with the best of materials, the quality and uniformity characteristics of the final printed product nevertheless depends in a large measure upon the proper and uniform performance of the developing operations that must take place after photographic exposure of the resist of the plate. It is with the development of the exposed plate that the present invention is concerned, and it is the primary object of the invention to enable such lithographic plates to be developed with the minimum of manually performed labor, and in such a way that the various operations involved in the development, including the dyeing, rinsing and drying of the plates, are performed uniformly and in such a way as to produce uniform and high quality work.
Another and more specific object of the invention is to enable the entire developing operation to be performed at a single location so as to thereby minimize the floor space required for this process.
Another object of the invention is to applythe water required in the developing operation by means of evenly applied and relatively strong sprays, and to do this in such a way that the sprays act on the resist in different ways or directions in the course of the developing operation so as to thereby assure that the unhardened portions of the resist effectually are removed.
Another important factor of the invention is to enable the fixing or hardening solution to be applied to the resist in a simple and effective manner such that a large proportion of the solution may be reclaimed after it has performed its function.
More specific objects of the present invention are to provide a developing machine for lithographic plates wherein the developing water and the dyeing or blackening solution are applied to the plates by means carried on a reciprocable carriage C that periodically traverses the plate, and the related object is to simplify the rinsing and acid-applying operations in such a plate developing apparatus.
Other and related objects of the invention are to enable the developing operation to be carried on in such a way that the excess water may be quickly removed in an effective manner and in such a way that formation of cold spots on the plate are avoided in the subsequent drying of the plate.
Another object of this invention is to enable lithographic plates of the above described kind to be handled mechanically both before and after the developing operation, and to coordinate a mechanical handling and transferring mechanism with an automatic developing apparatus so that the lithographic plates may be transferred to the developing machine, automatically developed and Assuming that the coating processes and States atent developing cycle of the apparatus.
3,059,560 Patented Oct. 23, 1962 dried and thereafter be transferred to a finished stock pile to await further processing operations.
Other and further objects of the present invention will be apparent from the following description and claims, and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which, by way of illustration, show a preferred embodiment of the present invention and the principles thereof, and what is now considered to be the best mode in which to apply these principles. embodying the same or equivalent principles may be used and structural changes may be made as desired by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a plan View showing a developing machine embodying the features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of the developing table;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view taken along the line 6-5 of FIG. 4 to show internal construction;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 77 of FIG. 6 to show the drain structures;
FIG. 8 is a plan view of the developing table;
FIG. 9 is a schematic perspective view showing the association of the elements of the apparatus.
FIG. 10 is a timing chart; and
FIGS. 11 to 13 are schematic wiring diagrams of the elements of the apparatus.
THE APPARATUS IN GENERAL For purposes of disclosure the invention is herein illustrated as embodied in an automatic printing handling and developing installation 20 that comprises a developing machine 21 and a plate handling and transporting unit 22 that are coordinated in such a way that printing plates P having a photographically exposed image on the upper facethereo-f may be transported from a supply station I to the developing machine 21 which constitutes station II of the installation, and after development and drying of the photographic coating or resist of the plate P, to transfer such plate to station Ill which constitutes the finishedwork station of the installation. As will be evident in the following description, the resist of the plates is protected by a cover sheet of cardboard in stations I and III, and the unit 22 is also effective to transfer the protective sheet from station I to station III at the beginning of each In such transporting movements of the transport unit 22, the plate or the protective sheet is, of course, lifted from its initial position and is then moved horizontally to its next position where it is lowered into a pre-determined relationship at the particular station of the apparatus.
The plate P that is to be automatically developed by the apparatus of the present invention may be any type of lithographic plate where the printing surface is coated with a bichromated coating material or resist so as to be photographically sensitized, such coating materials being adapted for what is termed water-development. Moreover, the plate to be developed may be any one of the metal lithographic plates, whether the plates be grained or ungrained, and whether the plate be made up of a single layer of metal or two or more layers of different kinds of metals. Also, the image material that is photographically exposed onto the bichromated coating or resist may be either a positive or a negative, depending upon the type of lithographic plate that is being produced and upon the method of production that is to be Othe embodiments of the invention employed. In any event, the areas of the sensitized resist that are not exposed to light remain unhardened so that such unhardened portions may be dissolved and removed by water in the developing process.
Under the present invention, the developing process is carried out within the limited area of the developing unit 21 so that even when the floor area occupied by the entire developing and transporting installation is taken into account, the total floor area required is relatively small, particularly when considered in the light of the uniform and high volume of production that may be attained with the apparatus. In the operation of the present machine, the lithographic plates P are supported and individually transversed or carried between elevated table structures that are located at the three stations. Thus, in FIG. 1 of the drawings, tables 35 and 4-0 are shown respectively, at a supply station I and a finish station II, and both of these tables are formed by angle iron legs having a table top upon which the plates P may be rested. At station 1 1, which is the developing station, the table structure is provided by the developing machine 21 which is shown in detail in FIGS. 1 to 8 of the drawings.
THE DEVELOPING MACHINE 21 The developing machine 21 has a table structure 45 that has a pair of upright legs 47 at one end and a pair of upright legs 48 at the other end, and near the upper ends thereof, transverse supporting angles 49 are provided between the legs of each pair and horizontal angle irons 50 extend between the upper ends of the legs on each side of the table structure 45.
The table has a lower supporting shelf provided by a plurality of angle irons 51 and 52 extended between the legs and with a plurality of transverse supporting angles 53 extending between the bars 51 so that operating and control structures may be supported on the shell structure.
The table structure 45 provides for support of a relatively large, flat sink 55, the bottom wall of which rests on the transverse angle bars 49 and the sides and intermediate portions of which are supported by longitudinal angle bars 56 that are extended between the bars 49 as shown particularly in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The sink 55 has an up-standing wall 55W that forms a relatively deep sink within which liquid may be used and contained as will be described, and within the sink I preferably employ a grating made up of longitudinal and transverse rods 58 forming a grid so that a plate P may be supported in slightly elevated position above the bottom wall of the sink 55.
The side walls 55W of the sink 55 are spaced inwardly from the side angle 50 and this provides a longitudinal space that enables a transversely extending carriage C to be supported on the table 45 for longitudinal traversing movement back and forth along the length of the table 45.
Thus, as shown particularly in FIGS. 4 to 6, the vertical flange of the angle members 50 is utilized as a supporting means for a pair of tracks 60, While it is located inwardly of each of the side angles 50. These tracks 6i) are supported by a plurality of studs 61 that extend inwardly from the vertical flange of the side angle 50- as shown in FIG. 4, and the tracks 60 are horizontally located and provide the supporting means upon which the carriage C is mounted for its longitudinal reciprocating movement over and along the top of the sink 55.
Thus the carriage C is primarily in the form of a boxlike enclosure that has a pair of end walls 65 that are connected by means including vertical walls 66, and these end walls 65 extend downwardly into the space between the adjacent side of the sink and the related track 69, and large mounting rollers 67 are provided on the end walls 56 to engage the top and bottom of the guide rails 60 to provide a stable yet movable mounting for the carriage C.
It is by means mounted on the carriage C that certain of the various treatments and treating and conditioning materials are applied to the printing plate P that is supported in the sink 55.
The carriage C is moved into its reciprocating movement by a reversible drive mechanism that includes a reversible motor 70 that is belt-connected at 71 to a speed reducer 72, these elements being mounted on the shelf structure provided by the bars 53 near one end of the shelf, and the speed reducer has an output shaft 725 that has a chain and sprocket connection 74 to a shaft 75 that is mounted on the shelf structure substantially at one end thereof. The driving action of the shaft 75 is communicated to the carriage on both sides of the table, or in other words, at each end of the carriage C. This is accomplished by an endless chain 73 that extends about a pulley 79 on the shaft 75 and then extends upwardly to a sprocket 80 secured on the end structure of the table by means of brackets 82 and a transverse shaft 83 which communicates the drive to similar drive connections on the opposite side of the table. The chain then extends horizontally and substantially at the level of the lower end of the plates 65 and is connected at 84 to the lower edge of the adjacent plate 65. The chain then extends around a sprocket 85 on the other end of the table structure and then extends reversely and downwardly about an adjustable take-up pulley 79. A similar structure at the opposite side of the table is connected to the opposite end of the shaft 83 as shown in FIG. 9 so that a similar driving action is applied to the opposite ends of the carriage C. The reversal of movement of the table is attained through control switches S40 and 8-11 at one end of the table, and by control switches 84.2 and S-l13 near the other end of the table, such switches being operated by the carriage C as it reaches the opposite ends of its reciprocating movement. Thus, as shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings, abutment structures and 9 1 are provided on the opposite edges of one of the end plates 65 for engagement with the respective pairs of switches in proper timed relation to the movement of the carriage C.
The carriage C has three pipes 95, 96 and 97 extended transversely thereof. The first two of these pipes being in the present instance, located in the enclosed structure of the carriage while the pipe 97 is located outside of the enclosed structure by means of supporting plates 98. These transverse pipes have downwardly extended nozzles 100 thereon through which the treating materials are discharged as will be described hereinafter.
The developing operation involves the use of water and other liquids which at certain stages of the developing operation must he drained from the sink 55, and to enable this to be accomplished, drain structures are pro vided at one end of the sink 55, and means are provided for elevating the other end of the sink 55 when a draining operation is to take place.
The elevating of one end of the sink is, in the present instance, accomplished by elevating such other end of the table structure, and this is accomplished by power means in the form of a pair of piston and cylinder devices that are associated with the table at the two corners that are to be elevated. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6, and 9, each piston and cylinder device comprises a cylinder 105C supported in a vertical position near one end of the legs 47 by means of a supporting fixture 106 that is connected between the shelf structure 51 and the upper end wall of the cylinder 105C. The cylinder 105C has a piston rod 105R extended through its bottom and top walls so that the lower end of the piston rod may bear against a pressure plate 107 that is located on the floor beneath each of the legs 47. A piston IGSP is provided on the rod 105R within the cylinder 105C, and a control connection 108 is extended to the upper portion of the cylinder so that air under pressure may be supplied to the cylinder to impart lifting movement to the cylinder 105C and to the portion of the table to which it is connected. A vent and silencer arrangement 109 is provided at the lower end of the cylinder to permit intake and discharge air beneath the piston as required.
When the lifting or tilting devices 105 are operated to raise the adjacent end of the table 45, any liquid within the sink 55 tends to run toward the opposite end of the sink, and at this opposite end of the sink a plurality of drain openings are provided that may be opened and closed as desired. Thus, in the present instance, three such drains 110, 111 and 112 are provided, the drains 110 and 111 being connected in this instance to a common waste pipe or drain pipe 113 that extends to the main Waste drain of the system. It is through these drains 110 and 111 that waste materials are discharged.
The drain opening 112 is connected to a drain pipe 114 and it is through this structure that materials are discharged where such materials are to be reused.
The several drains 110, 111 and 112 are normally open, but are arranged to be closed by a plurality of stopper structures that are power operated to close the drains when this is desired. Each of the closures or stopper structures is provided by a relatively large resilient suction cup of suflicient area to engage the bottom wall of the sink 55 about its related drain, and each suction cup 115 is mounted on the lower end of a piston rod 116R that extends upwardly into a cylinder 116C which has a piston 116P therein fixed to the upper end of the piston rod, a spring 1168 urges the piston to its upper position so as to normally open the drain, and provision is made for supplying air to the upper ends of the respective cylinders when the related drains are to be closed. Thus the stoppers 115 are located for cooperation with the drains 110 and 111 and are controlled from a common air supply pipe that is connected to the upper ends of both of the related cylinders. Similar air supply pipe 119 is connected to the other cylinder 116C so that the stopper 115 opposite the acid passage or drain 112 may be closed by supplying air through the pipe 119.
Water is supplied to the spray pipe 96 at a constant and relatively high pressure, and in the present instance, this is accomplished through the use of a pressure pump 125 which is supplied from the usual water supply line 126 and which has its output connected to the pipe 96. A return bypass 127 extends between the inlet and the outlet of the pump 125 and includes a pressure regulator 128 so that the pump operates to provide a predetermined maximum pressure. The outlet of the pump has a connection 96A that is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 9 as extending to the water spray pipe 96, and this line includes a solenoid valve SV-96 that is normally closed and is opened when this solenoid is energized. The line 96A has a branch 9613 connected to the spray pipe 95 so that whenever the water is turned on, water also is fed through the spray pipe 95, and this aids in cleaning the spray pipe 95, as will be described. In the physical structure, this connection 96A from the pump includes a flexible section 96F that extends beneath the table 45 and is connected to a venting pipe 96F that extends down from one end of the spray 96 as shown particularly in FIG. 5 of the drawings. The length of the flexible connection 96F is suflicient to allow reciprocating of the carriage C. V
The Water that is sprayed through the spray pipe 96 into the sink 55 is drained to the main waste drain through the drain openings 11%) and 111, and these drains are closed when desired 'by a supply of air under pressure to the control pipe 118. Thus the pipe 118 is shown as being connected to a supply pipe 131 that extends from an air pressure source indicated diagrammatically in FIG. 9 at 136. The connection 118 includes a solenoid valve SV-118 of the combined cut-off and vent type so that when the solenoid valve SV-118 is energized, the pressure air will be communicated to the cylinders that are connected to the line 118 so as to close the drains and 111. When the solenoid valve SV-118 is de-energized the connected cylinders are vented.
In the course of the developing operation, a dye or blackening solution is applied to the hardened portions of the resist, and this blackening solution is supplied from a tank within which a feed pump 141 and a drive motor 141M are mounted. The output of the feed pump 141 is connected by a supply line 95A that is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 9. This connection includes a downwardly extending pipe and flexible portion of the same character hereinbefore described with respect to the water supply connections. When the blackening is to be applied, the motor 141 is energized for a limited period, and this supplies an adequate amount of blackener during reciprocating movements of the carriage C, as indicated in the timing chart of FIG. 10. When the dye has sufliciently penetrated or colored the resist, it is washed away and allowed to drain through the drain openings 11% and 111 so as to reach the main waste drain.
The air supply to the spray pipe 96 is aiforded by a pipe 145 that extends from the pipe 131 to the pipe 97, and the supply pipe 145 includes a solenoid valve SV- 97. In practice the air line 145 extends downwardly from a ceiling connection, as shown in FIG. 5.
The air is supplied to the pipe 97 for the air stripping or drying operation as will be described, and when this is desired, the solenoid valve SV-97 is energized.
The blackener spray pipe 95 and the water spray pipe 96 are cleaned or cleared prior to the drying operation, as will be described in some detail hereinafter, and for this purpose pressure air is supplied to these pipes as diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 9. Thus, a blowout air connection 147 is extended from the air supply pipe 131, and a branch 147W is extended from the pipe 147 to the connections 96A as indicated in FIG. 9. The pipe 147 includes a solenoid valve SV-147 which is energized when the blowout or line clearing action is to be attained. It will be noted, of course, that the branch 147W is connected to the pipe 96A beyond the control valve SV-96, and hence when the valve SV-147 is opened, air will be blown through the water spray pipe 96 and the blackener spray pipe 95 to thoroughly clean the same.
In the course of the developing operation an acid solution is applied to the resist of the plate P for the purpose of hardening this resist, and this acid is contained in a container 153. The container 150 has a connection 151 from the lower portion of the container to the pipe 114 that extends from the drain opening 112. Thus, when the opening 112 is open or uncovered, the acid from the tank 150 may be forced into the sink 55, and this is done by applying air pressure to the top of the tank 150. Such air pressure is supplied through a line 152 from the air supply line 131 and this is controlled by a solenoid valve SV-152 of the cutoff type that is located in the line 152. The valve SV-153 in its normal state closes a vent line 154 extended from the top of the tank 150.
When the valve SV-152 is energized, air pressure is supplied through the line 152 to the tank 150, and this pressure forces the acid from the tank through the lines 151 and 114 to the sink 55 so as to completely cover the plate that is located in the sink. When the acid has been thus forced into the sink, the valve SV152 is closed, and the acid remains in the sink 55 until the air pressure is vented from the tank 150. Such venting is accomplished by energizing the valve SV-153 which serves to connect the line 154 with a vent and drain line 155 that extends to the main drain of the system. Thus, any acid that may be entrained with the vented air is discharged to a safe location.
After the performance of the developing, hardening and drying of the plate with the intermediate washing or flushing operations and the removal of excess water by air stripping operation, the plate is dried rather rapidly by externally applied heat. Thus, as shown in FIG. 5, a heating means 160 is supported in an elevated position over the table 45 and has a plurality of infrared heat lamps 161 so that when these lamps are energized, the plate is heated and dried. The heating means 160 are spaced upwardly from the table 45 and the sink 55 an amount that is sufi'icient to allow passage of the supporting and transporting members of the transport unit 22.
TYPICAL DEVELOPING AND DRYING CYCLE As shown in the timing diagram of FIG. 10, the developing and related operations are instituted as soon as a plate P has been deposited in the sink 55, and the first operation that is performed is the water development of the exposed resist. When this is to be done, the left hand end of the table 45, as viewed in FIG. 6 is raised to an elevated position by operation of the piston and cylinder lifting devices 105, and at this same time the reciprocating and traversing movements of the carriage C are initiated and the water supply pump is turned on and the water connection to the spray pipe 96 is opened. Thus as the carriage C moves back and forth along the length of the table, the water is sprayed uniformly and at a high velocity against the upper coated surface of the plate, and this water drains away rapidly because the table 45 is in its tilted position. The drain opening 110 and 111 are of course open at this time, and the unhardened portions of the resist are removed and carried by the water so as to be discharged to the waste drain. In the present instance, the carriage C has been shown in the timing diagram as going through five different reciprocations back and forth along the top of the sink 55, and at the end of the last reciprocation, the carriage comes to rest at its normal position at the left hand end of the table 45, as viewed in FIG. 6. At this time the water connection is shut off and the water supply pump 125 is stopped, but the table is maintained in its tilted position for a short additional period to allow substantially all of the water to drain through the drain openings 110 and 111. The table is then allowed to return to its normal horizontal position, and the waste drain 110111 is closed by downward actuation of the related closure or plug member 115. At about this same time the other or acid passage 112 is opened, this passage having been closed during the water development operation so as to prevent dilution of the fixing or hardening acid solution. As soon as the acid passage 112 is opened, the acid or fixing solution starts to enter the sink 55, and this is caused by the application of air pressure to the acid supply tank 150, the vent of this tank being closed at this time. The pressure within the tank 150 causes substantially all of the acid solution to flow upwardly into the sink 55 so as to cover the plate P to a substantial depth, and while the plate is thus submerged in the acid solution, the remaining portions of the resist are further hardened so that they will withstand the further usage to which they are to be subjected. The plate is maintained in a submerged condition for a short time, as indicated in the timing diagram of FIG. 10, and practically all of the acid solution is returned to the container 150. To do this, the air pressure in the tank 150 is vented through the valve SV-150, the air supply to the tank having previously been cut off. The draining operation proceeds for a short time with the table 45 in its normal or horizontal position, and when most of the acid solution has drained from the sink 55, the table 45 is again left at its tilted position to complete the draining operation. The acid drain 112 is then closed by downward actuation of the related plug or closure 115, while the waste drain openings 110 and 11.1 are opened. As soon as the waste drain opening are exposed, the water is then turned on for the water spray pipe 96, and reciprocating movements of the carriage C are initiated.
:In the present instance the washing operation is carried on for substantially two full reciprocations of the carriage C. After such washing or flushing of the plate P, the remaining portions of the resist are dyed or colored so as to facilitate the final inspection of the plate. This involves feeding of the liquid dye or blackening material from the supply tank 140, and the pump 141 is turned on and the reciprocation of the carriage C continues so that dye or blackening material is applied by the sprays of the pipe as the carriage progresses through full reciprocation back and forth over the sink 55.
During the application of the dye or blackening material, the table 45 is lowered to its horizontal position so as to secure best results insofar as uniformity of application may be concerned. Upon completion of the dyeing or blackening operation, the table is then returned to its raised or tilted position, and another washing or flushing operation is performed by turning on the water to the sprays of the pipe 96. The reciprocation of the carriage C is continued, and in the present instance, this washing operation takes place during three full reciprocations of the carriage C, after which the Water is turned off. The table 45 is maintained in its tilted position so that the water runs to the drains and 111, and then substantially all of the remaining water is stripped from the surface of the plate during continued reciprocations of the carriage C by the application of air through the pipe 97 and the nozzle 100. This air is under relatively high pressure so that it strikes the plate uniformly and at high velocity to drive the remaining water off of the surface of the plate. This air stripping operation continues through three reciprocations of the carriage, as shown in FIG. 10 of the drawings, and after the first reciprocation of the carriage in the air stripping operation the table 45 is lowered to its horizontal position. Substantially all of the water is removed by the air stripping operation, and just prior to the completion of the air stripping, and at substantially the same time when the table 45 is returned to its horizontal position, the drying lamps 161 are energized so that the plate is heated. This drying cycle, as herein shown, continues for about nine minutes and during this time any remaining water on the surface of the plate or its resist is evaporated so that at the end of this period the plate has been completely developed, dyed and dried.
THE LIFTING AND TRANSPORTING UNIT 22 In General The lifting and transporting unit 22 as herein shown is similar in many physical and operational respects to the lifting and transporting unit that is disclosed in my copending application No. 678,328, filed August 15, 1957, now Patent No. 2,900,600, and reference is specifically made to the related portions of such said copending application for further details of physical structure. As herein shown, the lifting and transporting unit 22 comprises a square-cabinet like base 400 from the upper surface of which a vertical rotatably mounted column 401 projects, and a rigid frame 402 projects radially outwardly from the column 401 to support an outer mounted member 403 in a vertical position wherein it is parallel to the column 401. The frame 402, in the present instance, is formed from a pair of arms 402U and 402L. On the outer face of the vertical frame member 403, an air cylinder 405 is mounted in a vertical position with its piston rod extending downwardly and carrying horizontally positioned lifting head 408 at its lower end.
Lifting Head support supplemental suction cups 4105 at'their ends. Where the plates P that are to be developed are relatively large, both sets of suction cups 410M and 4108 are employed, but it might be noted that the outer or supplemental suction cups 4105 are connected to the vacuum source through a supplemental manifold 4125 so that the outer set of suction cups 4108 may be disabled when relatively smaller printing plates are to be handled. A manual, key-operated valve 410V is provided on the head 408 for this purpose.
Thus, a vacuum connection 41 1 is provided that has branches 411M and 411$ extended to manifolds 412M and 4128, and the two sets of suction cups are supplied from the respective manifold as in FIG. 1. The valve 410V serves to close the branch 4118.
During operation of the transport unit 22 the vacuum line 411 is continuously connected to a vacuum pump or source 419. When a plate P is to be dropped or released from the suction cups, this is accomplished by feeding pressure air from a line 421 into the vacuum line 411. The air for this purpose is controlled by a normally closed solenoid valve SV-421 of the simple cut-off type that is located in the air line 421. In the vacuum line 411 between the line 421 and the branches 411M and 4118, a vacuum sensitizing switch 3-420 is located so that this switch may function in the automatic control of the unit 22 as will be described.
Actuation of the Lifting Head 408 The lifting head 408, being supported on the piston rod 405R may in some instances tend to rotate about the axis of the cylinder 405, and in the present instance, this is prevented by a pair of guide rods 422 that extend upwardly from the head 408 on opposite sides of the two arms 402U and 402L. These rods 422 are relatively light and have bracing members 422B connected thereto. The guide rods 422 serve to keep the transverse axis of the lifting head 408 in the plane of the frame 402.
The head 408 tends normally to move downwardly under the action of gravity, and when the head is to be moved upwardly, air is supplied to the lower end of the cylinder 405 through an air line 425.
When the head 408 reaches its upper position, a block 4225 on one of the rods 422 contacts a control switch S405 mounted on the arm 402U so as to close the switch, and this switch is utilized in the automatic control of the machine as will be described.
The air line 425 is connected through a stub line 4258 to a pressure air source 136, and a solenoid valve SV-425 of the combined-shut-off and vent type is included in the stub line 4253. Between the cylinder 405 and the solenoid valve SV-425, the line 425 has a pressure sensing switch S-425 that is arranged to be normally open, and this switch is closed when the pressure in the cylinder 405 is reduced substantially to zero. This condition occurs when the lowering of the head 408 has been completed so that the effective suction cups rest upon a stack of plates P. The closure of the pressure sensing switch 8-425 is utilized for automatic operation of the machine to cause release of a plate P in a plate-dropping operation, to initiate the upward or lifting movement of the head 408, or to cause lifting of the head 408 after a plate P has been effectually engaged by the vacuum cups 410M and 4108 in a lifting operation, as will be described.
Rotative Actuation of the Column 401 The column 401 as hereinabove described, is arranged for rotative movement, but in the present instance, such rotation is limited to some extent by a supporting or stiffening frame 430 that extends upwardly from the base 400 and then outwardly at 430A to provide a bearing for the upper end of the column 401. The location of the frame 430 is best shown in FIG. 9 of the drawings, and this location is such that lifting head 408 may 1 10 be moved, FIG. 1, from the loading station .I in a counterclockwise direction to stations II and III.
The rotative movements are applied to the column 401 by reversible electric motor 432 which operates through a reduction-gear unit 433 to drive the vertically extended output shaft 434. On this output shaft a small sprocket 435 is mounted and is connected by means of a chain 436 to a relatively large sprocket 437 that is loosely mounted on the column 401 within the base 400. The sprocket 437 constitutes the driving element of a friction clutch, the other or driven element being in the form of a friction disc 438 that is splined on the column 401 and which is pressed downwardly by a spring 439 into frictional contact with the sprocket 437. This provides a factor of safety in the operation of the machine so that in the event of a collision of the lifting head 408 with other apparatus, the frictional drive will slip.
As the column 401 is rotated, means are effective to sense the rotative position of the column so as to indi cate the position of the lifting head 408. Thus the column 401 has a radial switch operating arm 440 fixed thereon within the base 400, this arm being located in the plane of the supporting frame 402, and the arm 440 is arranged to actuate switches 8-4, 8-11 and S-111 as the lifting head 408 is moved into the correspondingly identified positions or stations. These position-indicating switches are utilized as will hereinafter be described to control certain aspects of the automatic operation of the machine.
When the column 401 has been rotated to any selected position, it is accurately located and locked in this position by means of a locking plunger 445 that is operated by an air cylinder 445C so that the locking plunger may engage with any one of three spaced locking notches 445N that are formed in a locking disc 445D that is fixed on the column within the base 400.
The plunger 445 is urged toward a released position by spring means, and when the plunger 45 is to be locked, air is supplied to the outer end of the cylinder 445C through an air line 446 that is extended from the supply line 137. A solenoid valve SV-445 is included in the line 446 and this valve is of the combined cutoff and vent type. Between the valve SV-445 and the cylinder 445C, a pressure sensing switch S445 is connected with the line 446 so that the sensed presence or absence of pressure in the cylinder 445C may function in the automatic control of the unit 22 as will be described.
OPERATION AND CONTROL In the automatic operation of the present apparatus, the various functions involved in the developing unit 21 and the operations of the lifting and transporting unit 22 are controlled and coordinated through the use of several motor driven timers. The interrelation of the control timers and the controlled elements of the units 21 and 22 has been diagrammatically illustrated in FIGS. 11, 12 and 13.
Thus, three primary timers 501, 502 and 503 are provided as indicated in FIG. 11 and these timers are driven respectively by operating motors 50 1M, 502M and 503M. Two supplemental timers are also employed, the first of which is shown in FIG. 11 and constitutes a timer 504 that is driven by a motor 504M, and this timer is utilized to control the period of operation of the heating lamps 161. A second supplemental timer 505, as illustrated in FIG. 13, is also provided, this timer being driven by a motor 505M and being utilized to control the period of injection of pressure air into the vacuum line in the course of a dropping operation of the head 408 of the unit 22.
The operation of the water pump is governed in a secondary sense by a relay R-l that is shown in FIG. 12, this relay also serving to govern the water valve SV-96, as will be described, and the relay is in turn controlled by certain contacts of the timer 501, as will be described. A second relay R-Z, that is shown in FIG. 12 of the drawings, is utilized to control the operation of the blackener pump 141, and this relay is also controlled by the timer 501, as will be described. A third relay R-3 serves to govern the heating lamps 161, and this relay R-3 is in turn controlled by the timer 504.
The carriage traverse motor 70 and the reversing thereof is governed by a reversing unit R-4 that is shown in FIG. 12, and the initiation of operation of the motor 70 is governed by the timer 501, while the reversing action is governed by the switches S10 to 8-13 so that the reciprocation of the carriage C continues until the initiating circuit governed by the timer 501 is broken. The control of circuit of traverse motor 70 is such that each reciprocation of the carriage C is self-completing, and therefore the carriage C comes to rest each time at the left end of the table 45, as viewed in FIG. 4 of the drawings.
The timers 501, 502 and 503 are generally similar in character, and the timer 503 contains cam switches CS-1 to CS9 inclusive, the timer 502 includes cam switches CS10 to 08-17 inclusive, While the timer 501 includes cam switches CS-18 to 'CS38 inclusive. The several cam switches are of the kind having a common contact, a normally open contact and a normally closed contact, and in most instances I have made use of the normally closed contact and have adjusted the related operating cams thereof so that these contacts are held open except in the period when switch closure is desired.
Control for the Unit 22 The timers 501, 502 and 503 are arranged to cooperate with a control relay system and with the positionindicating switches 3-1 to Sr- III and with supplemental position switches ASI and ASIII in controlling rotative movement of the lifting and transporting device as required for moving the same from one station to another, and in accomplishing this the relay system and the position-indicating switches determine the proper direction of the rotation of the column 401. Such selection and control involves the use of motor-starting relays 510R and 510L which are selectively energized in accordance with the direction of rotation that is to be attained in the column 401. Thus the starting relays 510R, when energized, causes rotation of the column in a right hand direction, while operation of the relay 5101. causes rotation of the column in a left hand direction.
The power source is provided by line wires L-l, L2 and L3, and circuit is extended in different relationships to the motor 432 in accordance with the one of the starting relays that is energized. In FIG. 13 of the drawings, the line Wires are shown as being extended to a main terminal block T that has terminals T-1 to T41, and the line wires are connected to corresponding numbered terminals T-l, T4 and T3. A supple-mental terminal board ST is also provided which has corresponding multiple terminals ST-l and ST2 for convenience of establishing the desired connections between the various elements of the system.
As to the column rotating motor 432, it will be noted in FIG. 13 that one terminal of the motor is connected by a wire 601 to the terminal T-l. Another terminal of the motor is connected by a wire 613A for association with the relays 510R and IOL, as Will be described. The third terminal of the motor is connected by a wire 614 to the terminal T44, and this circuit is extended by a wire 614A for association with the relays 510R and 5IOL.
In attaining right hand rotation of the column, the relay 510R is energized, as will be described, and this causes line wire L-Z to be connected to the wire 613A and causes the line wire L-3 to be connected to the Wire 614A to cause right hand rotation of the column 401. When the relay 510L is energized such connections are reversed and cause left hand operation of the column 40L In accomplishing this the terminal T3 is connected by a Wire 603 to a common contact 510L1 and by a branch wire 603A to a common contact 510R-1. Similarly, the terminal T2 is connected by a wire 602 to the terminal ST-Z, and a wire 602A extended from this terminal has branches 602B and 602C that extend to common terminals 510R-2 and 510L-2. The relay 510R has a normally open contact 510R3 that is normally open and is adapted to engage the contact 510R-1 when this relay is energized. The relay 510R also has a normally open contact 510R-4 and a normally closed contact 510-5 that are adapted for cooperation with the common contact 510R-2. Similarly, the relay 510L has a normally open contact 510L-3 adapted for cooperation with the contact 510L-1, and it has a normally open contact 510L-4 and a normally closed contact 510L-5 adapted for cooperation with the common contact 510L-2.
The contacts 510R-4 and 510L-3 are connected by a wire 550, and a wire 613 extends from the wire 550 to the terminal T-13. Similarly, the contacts 510R3 and 5IOL-4 are connected by a wire 551, and a Wire 614 extends from the wire 551 to the terminal T-14. Thus the motor 532 may be operated in an Opposite direction by a selective energizing of one or the other of the two relays 510R and 510L.
The energizing circuit for the relay 5IOL includes a wire 553 extended from the normally closed contact 510R-5 to one end of the operating coil of the relay, and from the other end of the operating coil, a wire 554 is extended whereby the operating circuit for the relay 510L may be completed by the direction-selecting relay system, as will hereinafter be described. Similarly, a wire 555 is extended from the relay contact 510L-5 to one end of the operating coil of the relay 510R, and a wire 556 extends from the other end of this operating coil for completing the energizing circuit of this relay under control of the direction-selecting relay system, as will be described.
In the use of the lifting and transporting unit 22 it will be apparent that whenever the head 408 is to be moved into supply station I from any other station, it will be necessary to impart right hand rotation to the column 401, and when the head is to be moved into finished work station III from either of the other stations, the column 401 will require left hand rotation. When the selection of station II is to be accomplished, it is possible, depending upon the previous location of the head 408, that the required movement may be either right hand or left hand, and because of this a directionselecting relay system is provided that is adapted for either manual or automatic control.
Selection of Direction of Rotation of the Column The direction-selecting means comprises a plurality of relays that are energized in accordance with the station to which the head 408 is to be moved, and this energization is controlled in part by the position-indicating switches S1 to 8-3 and AS-I and AS-III that are located respectively at stations I and III for actuation concurrently with the switches 5-1 and S-III and by the same means, and this energization is also controlled in part by either the automatic selecting action of the timers, or by manually operable selecting means.
In the direction-selecting relay system, a relay III-L is provided for selection of station III, and a relay I-R is provided for use in selection of station I as a destination. In contrast to this, two relays IIIIIL and IIIR are provided for use in selecting station II as a destination.
The relay I-R has a pair of common contacts IR-I and I-R-Z that are connected by a Wire 606 to the terminal T-6. This relay also has a normally open contact IR3 adapted for cooperation wit-h one of the common contacts and connected by a wire 566A to the wire 556 so that when this relay is energized, it completes the energizing circuit for the relay 510R so as to cause right hand rotation of the column 401. The relay I-R also has a normally open contact I-R-4 that constitutes a holding contact and is connected to one end of the operating coil of the relay, this contact also being connected by a wire 510 to the terminal T 10. The other end of the operating coil is connected to the wire 602A which extends to line wire L-Z. Finally, the relay IR has a normally closed contact I-R-S that is connected by a wire 558 to the common contact of the relay I-II-R.
The relay III-L has similarly identified contacts, and the two common contacts III-L-l and III-L-Z are connected by a wire 605 to the terminal T5. The normally open contact III-L-3 is connected to one end of the operating coil of the relay and is also connected by a wire 607 to the terminal T-7. The other end of the relay coil is connected by a wire 602D to the terminal ST2. The normally open contact III-L4 is connected by a wire 559 to the wire 554 so that when this relay IIIL-3 is energized, the motor control relay 516L is operated so as to produce left hand rotation of the column 401. The normally closed contact of the relay III-2-L.
The relay II-III-L has a normally open contact IIIII-L1 that is connected to one end of the operating coil of this relay and is also connected by a wire 608 to the terminal T-8. This contact is also connected by a wire 561 to the wire 559. The other end of the operating coil of this relay is connected by a wire 604 to the terminal"T4 and the wire 604 hasan extension 604A extended to one end ,of the operating coil of the re lay I-II-R. The other end of this operating coil of the relay I-IIR is connected by a wire 609 to the terminal T-9.
Push Button Selection The operation of the direction-selecting relay system will first be described as this is initiated under manual control, and therafter, the automatic or timer-controlled operation will be described. Thus, three push-button switches PB-1, PB-2 and PB-3 are provided, FIG. 13, which are allocated to the selection of the corresponding numbered stations of the unit 22.
The push-button switch PB-l has a pair of normally open contacts that are adapted to be engaged when the switch is actuated, and these contacts are connected respectively to the terminals T-6 and T-10, the connection to the terminal T- being made through the normally open switch AS'-III, as indicated in FIG. 13 of the drawings. The closure of the switch PB'1 thus connects terminals T-6 and T-lll causes the relay I-R to be energized and this is accomplished through a circuit which includes a running circuit that is broken when the head 408 reaches station I. This running circuit includes the wire 602A extended from the terminal ST-2 to one end of the operating coil of the relay I-R, the circuit being extended from the other end of the coil by wire 610 to the terminal T10, and then through the normally open switch AS-III and to one contact of switch PB'1. This initial energizing circuit is then extended from the common contact of the switch PB-l to the terminal T-6 from which it is extended by a wire 606E to the normally closed contact of the switch 8-1, the circuit then being extended by a wire 601E from the common contact of this switch to the terminal ST-1.
The foregoing circuit energizes the relay LR, and when this is done, a holding circuit is established for the relay that serves to shunt the switch PB-1. This holding circuit extends from the contact IR4 to the common contact I-R-l from which it extends to the terminal T-6 and through the switch 8-1 as previously described. This holding circuit is of course broken when the head 408 reaches station I.
The. control circuit established by the operation of the wires 556A and 556 to the operating coil of the starter relay 516R. Thus the motor 432 is energized in such a way as to impart right-hand rotation to the column 401 and this operation of the motor 432 is terminated when the switch S1 is actuated.
The selection of station III is attained in a generallysimilar manner by operation of the push-button switch PB- 3. When the switch PB-3 is operated, the relay III-L is energized through an initial circuit extended from L-Z to one end of the relay coil and through the wire 607 to the terminal T-7. The circuit extends through the switch AS-I to one contact of the switch PB-3. In respect to the supplemental switches AS-I and AS-III, it may be pointed out that these switches are used because with the present installation, manual selection of station III is desired only when the head 408 is in the other of these two positions. The circuit is extended from the other contact of the switch PB3 to the terminal T-S and from this terminal a wire 605E extends to the normally closed contact of the switch 8-3, the circuit being completed by a wire 601E that extends to terminal ST1. This circuit operates the relay IIIL, and a holding circuit is then established which serves to shunt out the switch PB3. This control circuit extends from the contact IIIL3 to the common contact III-L1 so that circuit is extended through the switch 8-3 to line wire L-l.
The control circuit that is completed when the relay III-L is operated causes operation of the starter relay 510L. Thus circuit is established from line wire L-l through the switch S3, the terminal T-5 and the wire 605 to the common contact III-L-2 which is then engaged with the contact IIIL-4 so that circuit is extended by the wire 554 to one end of the coil of the relay 5101,. This circuit extends further through the wire 553, the normally closed contact 510R-5 and is connected by the contact 501R-2 to line wire L-2 as represented by the wire 602B. This operation of the starter relay 510L causes rotation of the column 401 in a left-hand direction and this rotation continues until the head 498 reaches station III and thus causes the switch S3 to be operated.
The manual selection of station II is controlled by the push-button switch PB-2 which has two sets of normally open contacts which cooperate selectively with the switches S-1 and S 3- to cause operation of either the relay II3-L and I2R. Thus the switch PB-2 has a pair of normally open contacts C9 and C12 that are adapted to be engaged when the switch is operated, and it has a second set of normally open contacts C5 and C8 that are adapted to be engaged when the switch is operated.
To illustrate the selecting action that is attained it will first be assumed that the head 40 8 is located at station I so that the switch S1 will be operated and the switch S3 will be in its normal relation. Under such conditions, the relay I I-3-L will be operated and the circuit is as follows.
Thus, the energizing circuit is extended from terminal ST-Z by a wire 602E to the common contact of the switch S2 from which a wire 604E extends to the terminal T-4. Circuit is thus extended by the wire 604 to one end of the operating coil of the relay II-3-L, and the wire 608 extends circuit from the other end of this coil to terminal T-8. The terminal T-S is connected by a wire 608E to the contact C8 so that when the switch PB2 is energized circuit is extended to the contact C5 and then by a wire 606F back to the terminal T5. The wire 605E then extends circuit to the normally closed contact of the switch S3 so that circuit extends through the common contact of this switch and the wire 601E to line wire L l. The relay II3L is thus energized,
.and a holding circuit is established through its contact II'31 to the common contact which is connected by the wire '560 through the normally closed contact of the relay III-L and the wire 605 to the terminal T-5.
aoeaseo 15 Circuit then extends, as above described, through the switch S3 to line wire L4, and the relay KILS-L will thus remain energized until such time when the other side of the circuit is broken by actuation of the switch 8-2.
The control circuit established by actuation of the relay III3-L extends from line wire L-l through the common contact of this relay to the normally open contact and through the wire 561 to the operating coil of the starter relay SltlL, the other end of this coil being connected to line wire L-Z through the contact SliiR-S. The column 401 will, therefore, be rotated in a left-hand direction until the heat 408 arrives at station II, at which time the switch S-2 will be actuated so as to release the relay II-3-L.
In connection with the foregoing operation it may be pointed out that the relay I2R has not been operated because its initial energizing circuit includes the normally open contact of the switch 5-3.
To further illustrate the selection of station II, it will be assumed that the head 408 is located in station 111 so that the switch 8-3 will be actuated and the switch 8-1 will be in its normal relation. When this situation exists, the closure of the contact C5C$ is inefliec tive because the energizing circuit thereby includes the normally open contact of the switch 8-1 as hereinabove described. Thus, it is the closure of the contacts C9-C12 that governs in this instance, and such closure causes operation of the relay I-2-R through the following circuit. Thus, it may be recalled that one end of the operating coil is connected to line wire L-2 through the normally closed contact of the switch S-2, and the other end of the operating coil is connected by the wire 6MB to the terminal T-9. Circuit extends from the terminal T9 to the contact C9 by means of a wire 6091 and this circuit is extended by a wire 612F to the terminal T-12. From the terminal T-12 a wire 612E extends to the normally open contact of the switch S3 which at the time, of course, is engaged with the common contact of this switch, because according to the assumed situation, the head 4% is in station III. Circuit thus extends from this common contact to line wire L-l to complete the energizing circuit.
When the relay I2R is thus operated, holding circuit is established that shunts the contacts Ch-ClZ and which also shunts the switch S1. This holding circuit extends from the normally open contact of the relay to the common contact and through the wire 558 and the normally closed contact of the relay L-R-l to the terminal T-6 from which circuit is extended through the normally closed contact of the switch S-1 and back through the wire 601E to line wire L-1. The holding circuit is thus provided which of course continues to include the normally closed contact of the switch S-2 so that when the head 408 reaches station II, this circuit will be broken.
The control circuit that is established when the relay I2R is operated extends through the normally open contact of this relay and a wire 561A to wire 556 so that the starter relay 510R is operated during continued operation of the control relay. The right-hand rotation of the column 4AM is, of course, terminated when the switch 8-2 is actuated.
Miscellaneous Aotuating and Control Circuits In the unit 22 several miscellaneous actuating and control circuits are employed, and before describing the pickup and dropping functions of the unit 22, these additional circuits will be described in detail.
The unit 22 has the locking cylinder 445 which accurately positions the head 408 in any one of the stations, and air is supplied to the locking cylinder when the motor 432 is energized. Thus the control valve SV445 is connected by wires 613E and 614E to the terminals T-13 and T-14, thus to energize the valve SV-445 during motor operation.
The air injection valve SV-421 is normally closed and its actuating circuit includes wires 629E and 621E extended respectively from the terminals T-Zt) and T21.
The solenoid valve SV425 that controls the supply of air to and the venting of air from the lifting cylinder 495 has one side of its energizing circuit extended from the terminal T-IS by wire 618E, and a wire 613F extends from the other terminal of this valve to the normally open contact of the pressure-sensing switch S445 that is associated with the air locking cylinder. The common contact of the switch SV-445 is connected by a wire 6626 and a wire 6621i to the terminal ST-Z. Thus the energizing circuit for closing the valve SV425 cannot be complete until air pressure has been established in the locking cylinder 445.
The switch S425 is used for sensing air pressure in the lift cylinder 465, and a wire 602K extends from the common contact thereof to the wire 602H, thus to be connected to line wire L-2. The normally closed contact of the switch 8-425 is connected by a wire 617E to the terminal T-17 while a wire 619E connects the normally open contact of the switch to the terminal T-19. The functioning of this switch will be described hereinafter.
The vacuum sensing switch 8420 has its common contact connected to the wire 602H, while the normally open contact is connected by a wire 615E to the terminal T-15 and the normally closed contact is connected by a wire 61613 to the terminal T-16.
The miscellaneous control and actuating circuits thus described are included in further circuits that involve the pickup and dropping of the plates or the like as will be described.
Vertical Movement of the Head 408 Additional control switches are provided, one of which is an oft-on control switch S660 that is included in the line wire L-l and L-2 for disabling the pickup unit.
In addition, a push-button switch PB-S is provided for manually initiating pickup operation of the head 408, while a push-button switch PB-4 is provided for manually initiating a drop operation of the head 408.
In carrying out the pickup and drop cycles of the unit 22, several relays are provided. Thus, manual drop relays D5 and D6 are provided, while a manual pickup P7 is provided for functioning a manually initiated pickup cycle. Additionally, an automatic drop relay D8 is provided, and an automatic pickup relay P9 is provided.
Pickup Operation 0 Head 408 When a pickup operation of the head 408 is to be manually initiated, the switch PB-S is actuated and this closes an energizing circuit for the manual pickup relay P7. The switch PB-S has contacts C16 and C22 that are connected when the switch is actuated, and the contact C16 is connected by a wire 616F to the terminal T-16. The contact C22 is connected by a wire 622F to one end of the operating coil of the manual pickup relay P7 and branch connections are provided to the common contact of the relay P9 and to a normally open contact P-71 of the relay P7. The other end of the coil of the relay P7 is connected by a wire 60115 to the terminal ST-l.
The energizing circuit is completed from the terminal T-16 through wire 616E, the normally closed contact of the switch S420, and the wire 6021-1. The relay P-7 is thus energized, and a portion of a holding circuit is established from a normally open contact P-7-2 to a common contact that is connected by wires 618M and snm to the terminal T-lS. When the portion of the holding circuit that is thus provided shunts the switch P-B5 and this extends from the normally open contact P-7-1 to another contact of the relay that is connected by wire 616N to the terminal 1 -16. The portion of the holding circuit that extends to the terminal T-18 is further extended by a wire 618E to the air control solenoid SV-425 and by wires 618F and 618G which are extended through the pressure sensing switch 8-445.
The portion of the holding circuit that is extended to the terminal T-16 is further extended by the wire 616E through the normally closed contact of the vacuum sensing switch 8-420, and from the common contact of this switch is extended from the line wire L-2. Thus, this holding circuit will be maintained until such time as the vacuum cups have engaged a plate or a cardboard cover and have established vacuum at the sensing switch 8-420. When this occurs, the holding circuit is broken for the relay P7, and the energizing circuit for the air control solenoid SV-425 is broken so that air is again supplied to the lift cylinder 405 which thereupon returns to its upper position.
The Drop Cycle of Head 408 When the head 408 is to be moved through a drop cycle for depositing a cardboard cover or a plate on one of the tables, this may be initiated by actuation of the push-button switch PB-4 which has contacts C15 and C26 that are adapted to be engaged when the switch is actuated. The contact C15 is connected by a wire 615E to the terminal T-15, while the contact C26 is connected by a wire 626F and a Wire 6266 in series to one end of the operating coil of the relay D6. A branch 626H connects the wire 626E to one end of the coil of the relay D5, while a normally open contact D-6-1 of the relay D6 is connected to the wire 626G.
The other ends of the operating coils of the relays D5 and D6 are connected to a common wire 601G that extends to the terminal ST-1. Thus, on actuation of the switch PB- 4 circuit is extended from line I through both of the relays D5 and D6 and through the switch PB-4 to the terminal T-15. From this terminal circuit is extended by the wire 615E to the normally open contact of the vacuum sensing switch 8-420 which at this time is engaged with the common contact so as to extend circuit to the line wire L-2. The relays D5 and D6 are thus actuated and holding circuits are provided, as will be described.
Thus the wire 626G is connected to the normally open contact D-6-1, and when the relay D6 is operated, circuit is extended from the upper end of the relay coil through the wire 626G, the aforesaid normally open contact and to the wire 615P. Hence this circuit extends through the then-closed normally open contact of the vacuum sensing switch to the line L-2. It might be pointed out that the wire 626H and the Wire 6266 also extend this same holding circuit to the relay D5, and hence these relays will remain energized until such time as the vacuum is broken at the suction cups so as to return the switch 8-420 to its normal condition.
The relay D6, when operated, establishes a control circuit through the contact D-6-2 from line wire L-l through the common contact to the wire 618P so that this circuit is carried to the terminal T-18 and to the lift air valve SV-425 as has been described. The air supply line is thus closed and the lift cylinder 405 is vented so that the head 408 starts moving downwardly toward the table that is located therebeneath. When the head 408 and the cardboard or plate carried thereby come to rest on the table surface, the air pressure within the cylinder 405 reduces to substantially zero and this causes the sensing switch 425 to change position with the result that air injecting means is rendered efiective so as to break the vacuum at the lifting cups. The switch 8-425 is placed in its controlling relation during dropping operation by the operation of the relay D5, for as will be evident in FIG. 13, the relay D5 has a common contact that is connected by wire 617G to the terminal T-17' and it has a normally open contact that is connected by the wire 620G to the terminal T-20. These two contacts are of course connected when the relay D5 is operated and a control circuit for the air injection valve SV-421 is provided and is under control of the air pressure sensing switch 8-425. Thus the terminal T-21 is connected to terminal ST-l by a wire 6016 and the wire 620E extends this circuit to one terminal T-20. This circuit then goes through the terminal T-17 from which it is extended to the normally closed, but now open, contact of the pressure-sensing switch 8-425. The common contact of this switch is connected to the wire 602H so as to extend circuit to line wire L-2 when the normally closed contact of the switch 425 returns to its normally closed position. When this occurs, the air injection valve 8V-421 will be opened and thereby maintained in operation for a predetermined but relatively short period of time by the timer 505, as will be described.
Automatic Pickup at Station I In the installation disclosed herein, it is always desired to perform a pickup operation in respect to the head 408 whenever the head is moved into station I. For this purpose a control relay P9 is provided which is covered by the switch S-1 and which when operated serves as a shunt circuit across the push-button switch P5 so that operation of the relay P9 initiates a pickup operation of the head 408 in the same manner as actuation of the push-button switch P5. Thus the relay P9 has one end of its operating coil connected by a wire 702 to the terminal ST-2, and a wire 712 is extended from the other terminal of the relay coil to the terminal T-12, a wire 612E extends from this terminal to the normally open contact of the switch 8-1 and when it is actuated, the relay P9 is energized. The relay P9 has a pair of normally open contacts, one of which is connected by a wire 722 to the wire 622F, and the other of which is connected by a wire 716 to the wire 616N. Hence, when the relay P9 is energized, it connects the terminals T16 and T22 and initiates a pickup operation of the head 408.
Automatic Drop Operation at Station III In the present installation it is always desirable to initiate a drop operation of the head 408 whenever the head is moved into station III, and this is accomplished under control of the switch 8-3 which is operated when the head reaches station III. In acoomplishnig this purpose, a control relay D8 is provided as shown in FIG. 13, and this relay has one end of its operating coil connected by a wire 702D to the terminal 8T-2, the other end of the coil of the relay being connected by a wire 702E to the normally open contact of the switch 8T-3. Thus when the head 408 reaches station III, an energizing circuit is established and the relay D8 is operated. The relay D8 has a pair of normally open contacts, one of which is connected by a wire 726 to the wire 626E, while the other of these contacts is connected by a wire 715 to the wire 615R. Thus, when these two contacts are engaged due to actuation of the relay D8, the terminals 15 and 26 are connected so that a drop operation of the head 408 is initiated in same way as when the push-button switch PB-4 is operated.
The several cycle timers 501, 502 and 503 are arranged to be stopped whenever the column 401 of the pickup unit is in operation, and whenever the head 408 has been lowered out of its normal raised position. This is accomplished through the switch and relay mechanism shown in FIG. 13 and including a switch 8-405 and a relay R16. The relay R16 has an operating coil, the opposite ends of which are connected to the terminals 14 and 15 which are included in the circuit if the mot-or 432, and hence the relay R16 is energized and operated at all times during rotation of the column 401. The relay R16 has two normally closed contacts, one of which is connected by a wire 611 to the terminal T-11 and the other of which is connected by a wire 611A to the normally open contact of the switch 8-405, the contact of which is connected to line wire L-l. Thus the circuit from line 19 wire L-ll to the terminal T-ll may be broken either by operation of the motor 432 or by downward movement of the head 408 from its uppermost position. The terminal T-11 serves as a connection for the timers, and the timer circuit from the terminal T-11 can be broken by either the relay R16 or the switch 8-405.
Carriage Traverse Control The traversing movements of the carriage C are controlled by cooperation of the control relay R4 and the switches S10 to S13, and the major circuits involved are illustrated in FIG. 12A of the drawings. The relay R- l is in the nature of a reversing control having a right hand operating coil 750R and a left hand coil 75llL. The coil 750L is arranged to actuate several sets of contacts when the coil is energized. Thus, a pair of stationary contacts 751A and 751B are arranged to be bridged by a pair of movable contacts 750C when the coil 75L is energized. Similarly, contacts 752A and 752B are normally bridged by a pair of contacts 752C and are disconnected when the coil 75tlL is energized. A pair of contacts 753A and 75313 are arranged to be bridged by contacts 753C when the coil 750L is energized. Similarly, a pair of contacts 754A and 754B are arranged to be bridged by contacts 754C, and contacts 755A and 7553 are arranged to be bridged and connected by contacts 755C when the coil 750L is energized.
The coil 750R also operates a similar series of contacts which are identified by similar reference characters with the suffix 8 instead of the suffix 7. Such selective operation of the relay coils 750R and 750L is arranged to cause traversing movement of the carriage C in either right or left hand direction, and the contacts of the relay serve to interconnect the switches 8-10 to 8-13 so that the carriage is reversed at each end of its travel, and a traversing movement of the carriage, once it has been initiated, is continued until the carriage comes to rest in its normal stop position at the left hand end of the table 45, as viewed in FIG. 12A.
The line w-ire L-1 is connected to contacts 753A and 853A, the line wire L-2 is connected to contacts 754A and 354A; and the line wire L-3 is connected to contacts 755A and 855A; while the contacts 755B and 85513 are connected by a wire 756 to one terminal of the motor 70, the contacts 754B and 85313 are connected by a wire 757, a second terminal of the motor 70, and the contacts 753B and $5413 are connected by a wire 758, a third terminal of the motor 70.
A traversing cycle of the carriage C is initiated under control of any one of several of the cam switches of the timer 5611, as will be explained, and this serves to extend circuit from line wire L-l through a wire 839 to one contact of the normally open switch 8-11 which of course is closed when the carriage C is at rest in its left hand or home position. Circuit is extended from the other contact of this switch through a wire 860 to one end of the coil 750R, the other end of which is connected by a wire 861 to the contact 852B, the other contact of which is connected by a wire 861A to the contact 854A and hence to line wire L-2, as indicated in FIG. 12A. The coil 750R is thus energized, and a shunt circuit to line wire L-1 around the switch 5-11 is provided by means including a wire 862 extended from the wire 860 to the contact 751A. This contact is of course connected to the contact 75113, and a wire 863 extends from this contact to one contact of the normally closed switch 8-12 which is connected to line wire L-l.
Thus a holding circuit for the coil 750R is established that extends through the normally closed switch 5-12 to line wire L-1, and when the carriage C reaches the right hand end of its travel, the switch 8-12 is opened so as to release the relay coil 750R.
When the relay coil 750R is released to terminate the right hand movement or traverse of the carriage C, the normally open switch 8-13 is actuated to a closed p0- sition. One contact of this switch is thus connected t line wire L-1, as indicated in FIG. 12A, and the other contact is connected by a wire 878 to one terminal of the coil 75tlL, this connection *being extended by a wire 878A to the contact 851B. The other end of the coil 750L is connected by a wire 879 to the cont-act 7523, so that circuit is extended to contact 752A and then through a wire 880 to line wire L-2 as indicated in FIG. 12A. The relay coil 75llL is thus energized, and a shunt circuit to line wire L-1 is provided around the switch 8-13. This shunt circuit includes the wire 878A, contacts 851A, B and C, and a wire 881 extended from the contact 851A through the normally closed switch 8-10 to line wire L-1. The left hand movement of the carriage C is thus continued until the carriage C reaches its left hand position, at which time the switch 8-10 is opened so as to de-energize the relay coil 75ttL and break the energizing circuit to the motor 7%).
When the relay 750L is thus de-energized at the time that the carriage C reaches its left hand or home position, the reciprocation or traversing movements of the carriage may either be continued, or may be stopped according to whether or not the energizing circuit from line wire L-1 to the wire 33? has remained closed.
If the circuit to the wire 839 and the switch 8-11 is closed at this time, the carriage will go through another reciprocation and this may be repeated several times.
If the circuit to the wire 8.39 is broken at this time the carriage C reaches its left hand or home position, the carriage C will remain in this position, and it should be pointed out that the reciprocating movements of the carriage have a self-completing characteristic in that once a reciprocation to the right has been started, the movements of the carriage C are continued until the carriage has returned to the left hand or home position. Hence, the carriage C always stops at its home position and this is important in order that the transport unit may move plates P into or out of the sink 45 without interference with the carriage.
T he Water Pump na al Valve Circuits The relay R-1 that is shown in FIG. 12 is utilized to control the operation of the water valve SV-96 and the motor M that drives the pump 125. Thus the relay R-1 has an operating coil that is connected at one end to the line wire L-2 and the other end of the coil is connected by a wire to anyone of the several normally closed contacts of the cam switches of unit 501 so that when anyone of these switches is closed the relay R-l 'will be energized.
The relay 'R-1 has one contact connected to the line wire L-1 and another contact connected to the line wire L-Z, and these contacts are adapted to be engaged by normally open contacts which are connected to the opposite terminals of the pump motor 125M as shown diagrammatically in FIG. 12. Thus when the relay R-l is energized the pump 125 is operated.
The normally open contact that is associated with the line wire L-1 is connected by a Wire 933 to one of the contacts of the water valve SV-96, the other contact of this valve being connected to the line wire L-2 so that the valve EV-96 is energized when the relay R-l is operated.
The Blackener Pump The relay R-2 serves as a starting contactor for the 'blackener pump motor 141M, and the opposite terminals of this motor are connected to a pair of normally open contacts of this relay. One of these normally open contacts is adapted to be engaged with a stationary contact that is connected with the line wire L-l, while the other of these contacts is arranged to be engaged with stationary contacts of the relay that is connected to the line wire L-2. The relay R-2 is operated by the usual operating coil, one end of which is connected to the line wire L-Z and the other of which is connected by a wire 941 to the normally closed contact of the cam switches CS-28 so that the relay R-2 is energized at the proper time in the machine cycle as indicated in the timing diagram of FIG. 10.
The Heating Lamps The relay 11-3 is arranged to control the heating lamps, and the operation of the relay is in turn governed by the timer 504 which governs the length of the heating period. The relay R-3 has one end of its operating coil connected to the line wire L-2 while the other end of the coil is connected by a wire 946A to one of the load c ntacts of the timer 504, the cooperating contact being connected to the line wire L-1. The relay R-3 acts as a contact-or for the heating lamp circuit which is connected across the two normally open contacts as shown in FIG. 12. These normally open contacts are engaged when the relay R-3 is energized to respectively engage a pair of stationary contacts that are connected to the line wire L-1 and L-Z respectively.
The relay R-3 also has a normally closed contact that is engaged with the stationary contact that is connected to the line wire L-1, and a wire 942 extends from this last-mentioned normally closed contact to what is termed the running terminal of the timer 501, and hence the relay R-3 controls the timer 501 and is effective to stop the timer 501 during the period when the heating light-s 161 are in operation.
The Air Injection Timer When the head 408 is operated through a drop cycle, the head 408 moves down until the cardboard sheet or plate that is carried thereby is resting on an underlying table or stack, and when this occurs, the air pressure in the lift cylinder reaches substantially zero so that the pressure-sensing switch S425 return to its normal position wherein the line wire L-2 is connected to the normally closed contact, and circuit is thus extended through the wire 61713, 6176, the relay D-5 and wire 6206 to the terminal T20, and this in turn extends circuit to the air injection valve SV-421 so as to open the air line and inject air into the vacuum system, thus to break the vacuum at the vacuum cups of the head 408. It is desirable to prolong this period of air injection for a short time and to accomplish this, the timer 505 is started concurrently with the operation of the solenoid valve SV- 421. Thus the motor 505M of this timer has one of its terminals connected to line wire L-1 by a wire 601K, FIG. 13, that is extended from the wire 601F, and the other of its terminals is connected by a wire 620K to the terminal T-20. Thus the motor 505M is energized when the switch 8-425 assumes its normal relation as above described. A running circuit for the motor 505M is provided by means including a wire 602K extending from one of the terminals ST-Z, and this wire is connected to the last-mentioned terminal of the motor 505M through a switch 505-1 which constitutes a running switch that is closed by operation of the motor 505M. The timer 505 will thus run through a complete cycle and the energized circuit for the air in the air injection valve is maintained closed for a predetermined portion of the cycle by means including cam operated switch 505-2. The switch 505-2 has one of its contacts connected by a wire 602L to the wire 602K, and another wire 602M extends from the other contact of this switch to the wire 620K. Hence the valve SV-421 will be maintained open for the period during which the switch 505-2 is maintained closed, and this result follows even though the switch S-425 has in the meantime been actuated by return of pressure to the lift cylinder.
The Heating-Light Timer 504 The heating lights 161 are energized through the relay or contactor R-3 as hereinabove described, and this is accomplished by the timer 504, the timing period of which is initiated by the cam switch CS-33 of the timer 22 501. Thus the cam switch 'CS-33 has a wire 840A extended from its normally closed contact and this Wire extends to one terminal of the timer motor 504M, the other terminal of the motor being connected to line wire L2 as shown in FIG. 12. Thus, upon closure of the cam switch (ZS-33, the cycle of the timer 504 is initiated, and a cam switch 504-1 that is operated by the motor serves to establish a running circuit for the motor. Thus, one contact of the switch 504-1 is connected to the firstmentioned terminal of the motor, while the other contact of the switch 504-1 is connected to the line wire L-l.
The timer 504 also includes a second cam operated switch 504-2 which is closed for a predetermined portion of the operating time of the timer 504, and is the switch 504-2 that establishes circuit to the wire 946A, FIG. 12. Thus, one contact of the switch 504-2 is connected to line wire L-1, while the other contact of this switch is connected to the wire 946A. The relay R-3 which controls the heating lamps 161 will thus be energized for a period corresponding to the period of closure of the switch 504-2.
The Timers 501, 502 and 503 As hereinabove pointed out, the cycle timers 501, 502 and 503 serve in a cooperative and inter-related manner as the primary control during operation of the entire system, and in association with these timers, a terminal board TI is provided having terminals TT-l to TT-39, and for convenience, the control circuits may be connected through these terminals as required. The three timers 501, 502 and 503 are inter-related as to starting and stopping of the respective timers as will be described, and the automatic cycle of the apparatus is initiated by starting of the timer 501. The operation is such that after such manual starting of the timer 503, and after automatic starting of the other timers, running circuits 'are established that may be broken to stop all or certain of the timers while certain of the automatic operations are being performed, and these running circuits may finally be broken at the end of the complete cycle of operation of the respective timers to terminate the machine cycle.
The timers 501, 502 and '503 are generally similar insofar as the starting and running circuits may be concerned, and the timer 503 will first be described, and in general, the same reference characters will be used as to all three timers with the basic designation 501, 502 or 503 with identical suffixes for corresponding parts.
Thus, in respect to the timer 503, a terminal 503-2 is provided which is connected to the line wire L-2, a running terminal 503-L is provided which is connected in various ways in several timers to the line wire L1 so that connections to the running terminal 503-1 may be broken to stop the timer 503 during the performance of certain machine functions, and a starting terminal 503-5 is provided which may be connected to line wire L-l, 'as will be described, to initiate operation of the timer. In respect to the timer 503, the starting operation is performed by closing a manual push-button starting switch SS, FIG. 11, that connects the terminal 501-1 and 5038.
The timer 503 has a starting coil or relay 5030 that has two sets of normally open contacts 5030-1 and '503C-2. One end of the coil 503C is connected by a wire 503-4 to the terminal 503-2, while a wire 503-5 connects the other end of the coil to the terminal 503-8. The wire 503-5 is connected by a wire 503-6 to one of the contacts 503C-2 and a wire 503-7 extends from the other of these contacts to the normally closed contact of the cam switch CS9. A wire 503-8 connects the normally open contact of the cam switch CS9 to one of the contacts of switch 503C-1, while the wire 503-9 extends from the other of these contacts to the common contact of the cam switch CS-9. A wire 503-10 connects the wire 503-9 to the terminal 503-1, and a wire 503-11 is extended from the wire 503-4 to one terminal of the motor 503M, the other terminal of which is connected by a wire 503-12 to the wire 503-8.
The cam switch CS-9 is so arranged that when the timer is in its home or normal stopped position, the nor mally closed contact thereof is connected to the common contacts, while the normally open contact is disengaged. Soon after the timer is started, the normally open contact is closed or connected to the common contact, and the normally closed contact is opened and this sequence of operation of the cam switch CS-9 is utilized in the start ing and running operation of the timer 503.
Thus, when the starting switch SS is actuated, the circuit is completed through the relay coil 503C so as to operate the relay 503C, and a holding circuit for the relay is established from the terminal 503-1 through the wires 503- and 503-9 through the common contact to the normally closed contact of the cam switch C89, and through the wire 503-7, the contacts 503-C-2 and the wires 503-6 and 503-5. At the same time a starting circuit for the motor 503M is established through the wires 503-10, 503-9, the contacts 503C-1 and the wires 503-8 and 503-12.
When the motor 503M has operated for a short period, the cam switch CS9 has its normally open contact engaged with the common contact so that a running circuit is established for the motor 503M through wires 503-8 and 503-12. At about the same time, or shortly thereafter, the normally closed contact of the cam switch CS9 is separated from the common contact, thus to break the holding circuit for the relay coil 503C so that the relay drops out and operation of the timer 503 is continued through the running circuit that includes the normally open contact of the cam switch C89.
As above pointed out, the timer 503, as well as the two other timers of FIG. 11 may be stopped at various times while certain machine operations are performed, and such stopping operations, in respect to the timers 503 and 502, are accomplished in substantially the same manner, while in respect to the timer 501, this same general way of stopping the timer is employed, and additionally, a secondary means for stopping the timer is provided, as will be described.
Thus, the connection for the running terminals 503-1 and 502-1 from the line wire L-1 is provided by a connection 911 that is extended to the terminal 503-1 from the terminal T-ll, FIG. 13. It will be recalled that the terminal T-11 is connected to the line wire L-1 through the disabling relay R-16 and the disabling switch 8-405, so that the operation of either the relay R-16 when the motor 432 is being operated, or by the switch 8-405 when the head 408 is lowered, may serve to disconnect the terminal T-ll from the line wire L-l. Hence this circuit is broken whenever the column 401 is being rotated and whenever the head 408 is being operated through a pickup or drop operation.
The circuit from the terminal 502-1 is extended by several branch wires. Thus a wire 911A is extended from this terminal and has one branch 911B extended to the terminal 503-1, and a branch 911C extended to the normally closed contact of the cam. switch C88.
Another branch wire 911D is extended from the wire 911A and has branches 911E and 911F extended respectively, to the common contacts of the cam switches C810 and C812 of the timer 502. Another branch wire 911G is extended from the wire 911A to the normally closed contact of the cam switch CS-37 of the timer 501.
The switch CS8 of the timer 503 is utilized to start the timer 502, and circuit is therefore extended by a wire 920 from the common contact of the cam switch CS8 to the starting contact 5028. Thus momentary closure of the normally closed contact of the cam switch CS8 is effective to start the timer 502.
In respect to the timer 502 it is to be observed particularly that the wire corresponding to the wire 503-10 has been eliminated, and the running circuit for the 2A timer 502 is provided through the cam switch C810 of this timer, the common contact of which is connected to the running terminal 502-1 as hereinbefore described. The normally open contact of this switch is therefore connected by a wire 920A to the common contact of the cam switch C8-17 of this timer.
The cam switch C812 of the timer 502 is utilized to initiate operation of the timer 501, and a Wire 9203 is therefore extended from the normally closed contact of the cam switch C812 to the starting contact 5018.
Another starting circuit for the timer 502 is provided through the cam switch C837 and for this purpose a Wire 920C is extended from the common contact of the cam switch C837 to the wire 502-12, as will be evidentin FIG. 11.
Control Connections From the Timers The timers 502 and 503 are utilized primarily to control station selection in the transport unit and to initiate the pickup and drop operations at station II, while the timer 501 is utilized primarily in the control of the operations of the developing unit during the developing and drying operations.
For initiating movement of the head 408 to station I, the cam switches C83 and C815 are utilized at different times in the machine cycle, and these cam switches serve to accomplish the same function as the push-button switch PB-l, or in other words, to connect the terminals T6 and T10. Thus wires 806A and 810A are extended from the common terminal and the normally closed terminal respectively, of the cam switches CS3 and C815, and these wires are connected to corresponding terminals 'IT6 and TT10 from. which the circuits are further extended by wires 806 and 810 to the respective terminals T6 and T10.
The initiation of a movement of the head 408 to station II may be accomplished by either cam switch CS7 or cam switch C813, and in accomplishing this function they serve the same purpose as the push button 72 in connecting the terminals T12 and T9. Thus the cam switches C87 and C813 have the common terminals and their normally closed terminals connected by wires 812A and 809A to terminals TT12 and TT9 from which wires 812 and 809 are extended respectively to the terminals T12 and T9.
Movement of the head 408 to station III may be initiated by cam switches C81, C85 or C811 in a similar manner. Thus the common terminals and the normally closed terminals of this group of switches are connected by wires 805A and 807A to the terminals TTS and TT7 from which circuit is extended by Wires 805 and 807 to the terminals T5 and T7.
The cam switch C814 is utilized to initiate the pickup operation station II, and has wires 816A and 822A extended from the common terminal and the normally closed terminal thereof to the terminals TT 16 and TT22, circuit being extended from these terminals to terminals T16 and T22 by wires 816 and 822.
The cam switch C816 is utilized to initiate the drop operation of the head 408 at station II and it has its common contact and its normally closed contact connected by wires 822A and 826A to corresponding terminals of the terminal block TT, and circuit is extended therefrom to the terminals T15 and T26.
In the timer 501, the common contacts of the cam switches C818 to C836 are connected to line L- l by means including a wire 942A that extend-s from the normally closed contact of this switch to the wire 942, and hence line L-l is connected to these several contacts of the timer 501 only during operation of the timer 501, and this circuit is broken during the drying cycle when the control relay R-'3 is energized.
The tilt operation of the table is controlled by cam switch C818, C825, or C830, and to accomplish this, the common contact of each of these switches is connected