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Publication numberUS3249045 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 3, 1966
Filing dateApr 5, 1965
Priority dateApr 5, 1965
Publication numberUS 3249045 A, US 3249045A, US-A-3249045, US3249045 A, US3249045A
InventorsKarlyn William M
Original AssigneeKarlyn William M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic decorating apparatus for open-ended articles
US 3249045 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1966 I w. M. KARLYN 3,249,045

AUTOMATIC DECORATING APPARATUS FOR OPEN-ENDED ARTICLES Filed April 5, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. WILLEAM M. KARLYN &W

ATTORNEYS May 3,1966 w. M. KARLYNQ 3,249,045

AUTOMATIC DECORATING APPARATUS FOR OPEN-ENDED ARTICLES Filed April 5, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 no Q INVENTOR. WiLLiAM M. KARLYN M &m

ATTORNEYS w. M. KARLYN 3,249,045

AUTOMATIC DECORATING APPARATUS FOR OPEN-ENDED ARTICLES May 3, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 5, 1965 on I. 97 il lill w oq om Ti 0 1 wHU H t hnumum MW Ow Gm mm mm mm INVENTOR.

WlLLlAM M KARLYN BY W W ATTORNEYS I May 3, 1966 w. M. KARLYN 3,

AUTOMATIC DECORATING APPARATUS FOR OPEN-ENDED ARTICLES 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 5, 1965 FIG.5

MQndr eI Index Corriug Screen SoI. Confrol ControI Control Control VuIve I40 I36 I44 I45 I34 I30 I24 E E &1

FIG. 6

INVENTOR WILLIAM NI. KAR LYN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,249,045 AUTOMATIC DECORATiNG APPARATUS FOR OPEN-ENDED ARTICLES William M. Karlyn, 18 Merritt St., Marblehead, Mass. Filed Apr. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 447,606 3 Claims. (Cl. 101-40) This invention relates to automatic decorating appafai hs, and more particularly to an improved apparatus for decorating surfaces of a series of open-ended articles, such as bottles or tubes of round, square, oval or other cross-sectional form.

The present application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 391,249, filed August 21, 1964, now abandoned entitled Automatic Stenciling Apparatus for Open-Ended Articles.

Decorating apparatus of the type with which the present invention is concerned includes means for supporting the article to be decorated in position for transfer of a design by any desired process, including roller coating, offset printing, stencilling, silk screen, flexography, gravure, embossing, hot stamping, and so forth. The article is to be held in a stationary locus during decoration; although if it has a curved surface the article is rotated in registration with a design-transferring element, e.g., a silk screen, to produce an accurate transfer of the desired design onto the surface. It is necessary to provide means for separating the article from the designtransferring element at the end of each decorating operation, for loading a succeeding article.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide improved automatic mechanism for sequentially decorating a series of open-ended articles. It is a further object to provide, in automatic decorating mechanism, improved means for gripping and supporting a series of open-ended articles in pressure engagement with stencilling screen. It is still another object to provide improved article transfer means for sequentially lifting an open-ended article from a conveyor, pressing it into engagement with a stencilling screen, and returning it to the conveyor for delivery. Additional objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the following description proceeds.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, I provide an automatic decorating mechanism which includes a mandrel conformable to the interior surface of an open-ended article to be stencilled, and means reciprocably mounting the mandrel for injection into the article and subsequent withdrawal therefrom. For use with articles having curved surfaces, the mandrel is rotatable about the injection axis. The term open-ended article refers to the applicability of the invention to decorating articles having an opening sufficiently large to receive a mandrel which conforms interiorly to those surface portions of the article which are to be decorated, and the term conformable refers to geometric coincidence of form of the mandrel with at least those portions which are to be decorated, for the purpose of supporting them uniformly against a decorating or design-transferring element. A series of similar articles are carried by a conveyor in aligned relation to a pick-up station, being advanced successively to this station by suitable indexing means. The path of the articles on the conveyor is spaced from the decorating element, as is necessary to avoid smudging as they approach and leave the vicinity of this element.

Means are also provided for injecting the mandrel into an article at the pick-up station, raising the mandrelinjected article from the pick-up station to engage the decorating element, and returning the decorated article to the conveyor, and these may assume alternate forms. In one form, the means supporting the mandrel comice prises a carriage which is movable, transversely of the path of mandrel injection, to raise the injected mandrel and article from the pick-up station into engagement with the decorating element, and then to return the carriage and mandrel to the pick-up station for removal from the decorated article by withdrawal of the mandrel. In another form, the mandrel is so shaped as to raise the article from the pick-up station by the act of injection itself. In this case, the path of reciprocation of the mandrel is slightly elevated from the paths of the articles on the conveyor, and the mandrel has a tapered nose which is receivable through the opening of an article in the pick-up station. The body of the mandrel following the nose conforms to the interior surface of the article so that continuing the injection lifts the article off the conveyor and into operative relation with the decorating element. Subsequent removal of the mandrel serves to lower the article back on to the conveyor.

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out the subject matter which I regard as my invention, it is believed that a clearer understanding may be gained from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, referring to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a typical open-ended article suitable for decorating by the improved mecha nism;

FIG. 2 is a sectional end view of a preferred embodiment of the invention in an illustrative stencilling mechanism;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view, partially in section;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in front elevation;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view in rear elevation;

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of control circuitry for the mechanism; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary end view of a modified mandrel arrangement.

While the invention is applicable to the decoration of various open-ended articles, having flat or curved surfaces, a cylindrical tube 1 of flexible plastic is illustrated in FIG. 1, having a closure cap 2, and an open end 3 which is to be closed to form a flat fold after filling. The interior and exterior surfaces of the article are substantially of circular cylindrical form in this case, although the invention is not limited to use with articles of any particular shape.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-6, the illustrated embodiment of the decorating apparatus employs the silk screen stencilling process, and generally comprises a frame 10 arranged to support a silk screen 12 mounted in a base 13; a rubber squeegee 14 for engagement with an upper surface of the silk screen; and a mandrel 16 for rotatably engaging successive articles 1 with the lower surface of the screen, in vertical alignment with the squeegee. By translating the screen and its supporting frame in either direction, after applying a pool of suitable paint to the upper surface of the screen, a stencil pattern may be applied to the outer surface of each successive article.

The apparatus is organized about a supporting structure which includes a base 24 for enclosing control elements, a series of vertical standards 26, horizontal transverse braces 28 and 30, and longitudinal braces 32. A pair of cylindrical guide rods 34 are secured at their opposite ends in the braces 28 and 30, for slidably supporting the screen frame 10 in the directions of reciprocation shown by the arrows in FIG. 4.

The screen frame is supported cantilever-fashion by a sliding assembly which includes a pair of slide bars 40 mounted for reciprocation on the guide rods 34, a base plate 42 connecting the slide bars, and a pair of cantilever arms 44 secured by screws 46. Reciprocatory movement ment of the squeegee. The housings are supported on the frame by means of a cantilevered bracket 60 and a framework comprising plates 62 and 64. The piston rod 68 of a single-acting spring-return pneumatic motor 66 is secured to the yoke 56 for reciprocation of the squeegee to and from pressure engagement with the upper surface of the screen 12.

A series of articles 1 are carried in the direction shown by arrows in FIG. 4 to and from a pick-up station aligned vertically beneath the squeegee, by means of a double chain conveyor 72, each chain of which carries a series of V-shaped forks 74 for supporting the series of articles in aligned relationship. Channeled guides 76 are provided to maintain proper alignment of the rectilinear runs of the chains, and the chains are driven by pairs of sprockets 78 and 80, which are mounted on a driveshaft 82 and an idler shaft 84, respectively. The conveyer is driven in discrete indexing steps to bring each successive bottle to the pick-up station for stencilling, and subsequently to remove it for delivery. While various indexing mechanisms may be utilized for this purpose, the illustrated device (FIG. .3) includes a double acting air motor 86, whose piston rod 88 carries a pivoted pawl 92 for driving a ratchet 90 affixed to the drive shaft. The movement is limited by an adjustable stop 94 aflixed to the piston rod.

For automatically stencilling the successive articles, it is necessary to raise each successive article from the pickup station into pressure contact with the screen surface, to support it in rolling engagement therewith during the translation of the screen, and to restore it to the conveyor. This is accomplished by reciprocably and rotatably supporting the mandrel in a carriage 95, which is itself vertically reciprocable to raise and lower the mandrel and the article mounted thereon. The raised and extended positions of the parts are shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2, with prime superscripts. Elevation of the carriage is brought about by means of a double-acting pneumatic motor 96 mounted in the cabinet 24, and having its piston rod 97 connected to the carriage by a yoke 98.

The mandrel 16 has a tapered nose 100 to insure proper alignment with the interior surface of the article on injection, and is of hollow tubular form, being slidable upon a tubular drive shaft, as best shown in FIG. 3. A relief port 103 communicates the tubular shaft and mandrel with the atmosphere for the relief of air pressure from the article as the mandrel is injected. Rotational driving connection and alignment between the mandrel and shaft are maintained by a keyway 104 and key 108.

The carriage 80 has a series of upstanding standards 110, 112, 114, and 116. In the first two of these, bearings 118 are provided for rotatably mounting thedrive shaft, while the standard 114 contains a plain bearing 120 of nylon, Teflon, or other material suitable for guiding the nose of the mandrel. This bearing also serves to restrain the article in place on the conveyor as the mandrel is withdrawn. The standard 114 is notched at 122 to accommodate the screen frame in the elevated position. Reciprocation of the mandrel between the position injected into the article, as shown at 16' in FIG. 2, and the withdrawn position shown in solid lines, is secured by a double-acting pneumatic motor 124 mounted on the standard 112, and having its piston rod 126 drivingly connected with the mandrel by means of an arm 128.

Upon injection of the mandrel into the article, it is necessary to restrain the latter, and for this purpose a single-acting spring-return pneumatic motor 130 is mounted in the standard 116, and its piston rod 131 carries a movable stop 132. As an ancillary feature of the invention, the stop forms the actuating element for a normally-open switch D, whose purpose it is to prevent the lowering of the squeegee 14 at any time that an article 1 is not present in the pick-up station to depress the stop 132. Otherwise, the mandrel could rise into stencilling position without an article, and the consequent painting of its surface would smear the interiors of subsequently-treated articles.

, Referring now particularly to FIG. 6, a control system for carrying out the sequential operations of the machine is shown, comprising components whose physical relationships are indicated in the other figures. The switch D just referred to is arranged to energize a solenoid valve 134 for actuating the squeegee motor 66, whenever an article has been pressed against the stop 132.

At the commencement of operation of the machine, it is assumed that the mandrel is in withdrawn position as shown in solid lines in the drawings; a normally-open switch B is closed by the arm 128 to actuate a control 136 in a manner to drive the indexing motor 86 through one cycle, and thus advance the next succeeding article to the pick-up station. The indexing movement actuates a switch A, which is connected through another control 140 to actuate the mandrel motor 124 and stop motor 130, thus injecting the bottle in the pick-up station. The switch F, shown in FIG. 2, reverses the control 140 when actuated by the raising and lowering of the carriage, which carries a switch-actuating lever 142 for this purpose. The reversal of the control 140 actuates the motors 124 and 130 to withdraw the mandrel and stop from the stencilled article. Subsequent actuation of the switch A by another indexing movement recommences the cycle.

As the mandrel reaches the injected position, the arm in position 128' (FIG. 3) actuates a switch C to initiate upward movement of the carriage motor 96 through a control 144, thus causing the carriage to ascend with the mandrel-injected bottle toward the stencilling position 1' (FIG. 2). As the carriage reaches this position, the lever 142 strikes a switch E, reversing the screen motor 48 through a control 145 to translate the screen frame toward the opposite terminal position from the one it then occupies. As the screen frame translates, the stencil pattern is transferred to the article surface in rolling contact therewith. At the conclusion of the stroke, the frame is halted by a suitable stop (not shown), and strikes a limit switch G or H, one being arranged at each terminal of the screen stroke, which causes the carriage motor 96 to reverse, carrying the stencilled article with the carriage back to the pick-up station. Descent of the carriage actuates the switch F to withdraw the mandrel and thus commence a new cycle. No further detailed description of the carriage and screen controls is believed necessary, as they form no part of the present invention, but these may be as described in US. Patent No. 3,109,365, issued to William M. Karlyn on November 5, 1963 for Stencilling Apparatus.

While the article supported on the mandrel may be rotatably driven by the motion of the screen alone, I prefer to provide a positive driving connection as described and claimed in my co-pending application Serial No. 341,968 filed February 3, 1964, entitled Registering Mechanism for Stencilling Apparatus. This insures proper registration and prevents smearing. Positive registration is also necessary for the stencilling of non-cylindrical articles such as oval bottles, or for the application of a multiple series of stencils to a single article, as in the case of multiple-color designs. The registering drive mechanism, which is best shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, includes a drive pinion which is secured to the shaft 102, and meshed with a rack 162. The rack forms one member of a four-bar parallelogram linkage including a. pair of links 164 and a drive bear 166, pivotally connected by screws 167. The drive bar is fixed to one of the bars 40 by means of a channel formed bya plate 16 and spacers 170. It will be understood that the channel might be omitted and the links 163 be secured directly to the bar 40, which then forms one member of the linkage. This, however, would expose the drive linkage at the top of the machine, where accidental injury would not be unlikely.

In any elevational position of the mandrel 16, translation of the screen with the bars 40 produces a corresponding translation of the rack and a synchronized rotation of the pinion 160 and the mandrel. The pitch radius of the pinion gear 160 should correspond to the radius of the surface being stencilled, so that the linear velocity of the article surface will be equal to the linear velocity of the screen. The carriage may be raised or lowered freely to engage and disengage the article from the screeen and although it will rotate to some extent while moving vertically, it will resume the same registered relation with the screen each time it is brought into engagement therewith.

The weight of the rack 162 may be sufficient to hold it in mesh with the pinion 160, but to insure maintenance of this engagement, two pairs of rollers 174 are provided, which slidably receive between them a slide 176 formed in the surface of the rack. The rollers are mounted in a bracket 178 received on the shaft 102, and the assembly is secured by means of a machine screw 180 so that the bracket 178 may be readily changed to accommodate a different pinion and article diameter.

Articles of various forms may be stencilled or otherwise decorated by this mechanism, including cylindrical, oval, conical, and other forms presenting curved surfaces. Flat-surface boxes or bottles may be decorated, in which case the mandrel is not rotated during the decorating operation; in a stencilling operation, for example, the screen is held stationary with the article in contact, and the squeegee is passed over the screen surface.

It is necessary that the article have an open end of sufiicient size to receive a mandrel which conforms interiorly to those surface portions of the article which are to be decorated. The mandrel need not conform to the interior shape of those portions of the article whose surfaces are not to be decorated, since the function of the mandrel is to support the decorated surfaces in uniform operative relation to the decorating element. An expanding mandrel can be adapted for use with articles having relatively small end openings.

A modified arrangement is shown in FIG. 7, in which no movable carriage is required for lifting the mandrel and article. In this case, the axis of reciprocation of the mandrel 16 is spaced somewhat above the central axis of the article 1 resting on the conveyor; the spacing is such that the tapered nose 100 of the mandrel is still receivable within the open end 3 of the article, and continuance of the injecting movement causes the article to ride up until it is supported by the following portion of the mandrel, which conforms to the interior surfaces of the article, in uniform pressure engagement with the lower surface of the screen 12, or other decorating element. After the decorating operation, retraction of the mandrel lowers the article back onto the forks 74 of the conveyor.

While I have described preferred embodiments of my invention by way of illustration, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, which I therefore intend to define in the appended claims without limitation to the details of the foregoing embodiments.

What I claim is:

1. Apparatus for stencilling a curved surface of each of a succession of similar open-ended articles, comprising, in combination: stencilling means including a squeegee, and a movable frame adapted to support a stencilling screen for cooperation with said squeegee, said squeegee being movable to and from a position engaging said screen, and motive means for positioning said squeegee;

an article conveyer for advancing successive articles in commonly-aligned relation to a pick-up station; a mandrel conforming to an interior surface portion of each article underlying the surface to be stencilled, and receivable through the open end of each article; means supporting said mandrel rotatably and reciprocably along an axis for injection through an open end of an article at said pick-up station and into snug engagement with the interior surface thereof, for supporting the injected article in rotational engagement with said screen, and for withdrawal along said axis from the path of successive articles entering and leaving said pick-up station on said conveyer; stop means positioned at said pick-up station in opposed relation to said mandrel for engaging and restraining an article during its injection against displacement from said pick-up station; control means operable by said stop means and operatively connected with said motive means for engaging said squeegee with said screen only when an article is engaged with said stop means; and actuating means constructed and arranged for successively actuating said conveyer to advance an article to said pick-up station, injecting said mandrel into the article, driving said frame to pass the screen over the article surface for stencilling, and withdrawing said mandrel from the stencilled article for delivery by said conveyer.

2. Apparatus for decorating a surface of each of a succession of similar open-ended articles, comprising, in combination:

decorating means including a squeegee and a substantially horizontal stencilling screen;

an article conveyor movable in a fixed path for advancing successive articles is commonly-aligned relation to a pick-up station spaced below said screen;

a mandrel conforming peripherally to an interior surface portion of each article underlying the surface to be stencilled for supporting the article in fixed relation to a longitudinal axis'of said mandrel, and receivable through the open end of each article;

means supporting said mandrel reciprocably and rotatably about said axis with said axis extending parallel to said screen, for injection through an open end of an article at said pick-up station and into snug engagement with said interior surface portion thereof, for supporting the injected article in rotatable engagement with said screen, and for withdrawal along said axis from the path of successive articles entering and leaving said pick-up station on said conveyor;

and actuating means constructed and arranged for successively actuating said conveyor to advance an article to said pick-up station, injecting said mandrel into the article, elevating said mandrel to engage the injected article with said screen, operating said decorating means for decorating the article surface, returning said mandrel to the pick-up station, and withdrawing said mandrel from the decorated article for restoring the article to said conveyor for delivery.

3. Apparatus for decorating a surface of each of a succession of similar open-ended articles, comprising, in combination:

decorating means including a squeegee and a substantially horizontal stencilling screen;

an article conveyor movable in a fixed. path for advancing successive articles in commonly-aligned relation to a pick-up station spaced below said screen;

a mandrel conforming peripherally to an interior surface portion of each article underlying the surface to be stencilled for supporting the article in fixed relation to a longitudinal axis of said mandrel, and receivable through the open end of each article;

means supporting said mandrel reciprocably and rotata bly about said axis with said axis extending parallel to said screen, for injection through an open end of an article at said pick-up station and into snug engagment with said interior surface portion thereof, for supporting the injected article in rotatable engagement with said screen, and for withdrawal along said axis from the path of successive articles entering and leaving said pick-up station on said conveyor; said means supporting said mandrel for movement to an injected position in which the surf-ace of the injected 4 article engages said screen;

said mandrel terminating in a tapered nose receivable in an article at said pick-up station, and increasing in transverse dimensions rearwardly of said nose to raise the injected article from the pick-up station into engagement with said screen upon completion of the insertion;

and actuating means constructed and arranged for successively actuating said conveyor to advance an article to said pick-up station, injecting said mandrel into the article, operating said decorating means for References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,866,403 12/ 1958 Zimmermann et a1. 10'1-38 X 3,019,725 2/ 1962 Freeman 101--3'8 3,028,803 4/ 196 2 Steede 101'38 X DAVID KLEIN, Primary Examiner.

ROBERT E. PULFREY, Examiner.

15 WILLIAM F. MCCARTHY, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2866403 *Oct 5, 1955Dec 30, 1958Bunder Glas G M B HScreen printing machines
US3019725 *Mar 14, 1960Feb 6, 1962Plax CorpSupporting containers for printing thereon
US3028803 *Mar 25, 1959Apr 10, 1962Lewis Engineering & Mfg CompanMachine for applying spiral stripes to tubular members
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3369484 *Mar 9, 1967Feb 20, 1968Turco Mfg CompanyDiagonal-printing screening machine
US3411439 *Apr 3, 1967Nov 19, 1968Dam Machine Corp VanPrinting or decorating machine
US3490363 *May 3, 1967Jan 20, 1970Derrickson Charles HScreen printing of flexible bottles of square cross section
US3654856 *Jun 6, 1969Apr 11, 1972Modern Decorating CoScreen printing machine for decorating multi-sided articles
US3780652 *Mar 20, 1972Dec 25, 1973Black JScreen printer with screen infeed means
US3977322 *Aug 26, 1974Aug 31, 1976Precision Screen Machines Inc.Screen printer with pallet work support
US4075968 *Jul 8, 1976Feb 28, 1978Caddock Richard EApparatus for manufacturing cylindrical resistors by thick-film silk-screening
US4782750 *Aug 17, 1987Nov 8, 1988Societe D'exploitation Des Machines DubuitPrinting machine for articles with noncircular convex surfaces
US5142975 *Nov 26, 1990Sep 1, 1992Podalsky David JApparatus suitable for rapid silk-screen printing of plastic containers
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/40, 101/126, 101/124
International ClassificationB41F15/08
Cooperative ClassificationB41F15/0872
European ClassificationB41F15/08E