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Publication numberUS3282202 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 1, 1966
Filing dateJun 9, 1965
Priority dateJun 15, 1964
Also published asDE1436538A1
Publication numberUS 3282202 A, US 3282202A, US-A-3282202, US3282202 A, US3282202A
InventorsKurt Groth, Werner Lehmann
Original AssigneePolytype Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary printing apparatus
US 3282202 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 1, 1966 K, GROTH ETAL ROTARY PRINTING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 9, 1965 NOV. 1, 1966 GRQTH ETAL 3,282,202

ROTARY PRINTING APPARATUS Filed June 9, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5 69 INVENTORS' 58 KURT GROTH Haw LEI- MANN 51 wzzwmrm Nov. 1, 1966 K. GROTH ETAL ROTARY PRINTING APPARATUS Filed June 9, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet I5 United States Patent M 3,282,202 ROTARY PRHN'IING APPARATUS Kurt Groth and Werner Lehmann, both at Fribonrg,

Switzerland, assignors to Polytype AG, Freiburg, Switzerland This invention relates to the printing of lids or covers and, more particularly, to a novel and very substantially improved apparatus for printing, counting and stacking lids or covers.

In the printing of lids or covers for containers and the like, the lids are removed from a storage or supply stack or device and transported to a printing station where they are brought into contact with a rotary print-ing means generally having segments of resilient material thereon carrying the printing plates. Usually the lids or covers then are transported through suitable means for drying the printing thereon, counting the lids or covers, and stacking or packaging the lids or covers.

It is known, in arrangements of this type, to provide storage or stacking devices comprising composite worms having different pitches. An endless conveyor removes the lids to be printed from the stacking device and carries the lids to the printing mechanism. Known arrangements of this type have the disadvantage that the feeding of the lids or covers from the stack thereof to the conveyor, and then through the printing mechanism, it is not precise or exact. Consequently, Waste results from the printing of the lid or cover being displaced or offset or due to the rim of the lid or cover being damaged.

Another disadvantage of known arrangements of this type is that the printed lids frequently stick to the cushion printing segments and do not drop off onto the conveyor belt. This also results in considerable trouble as Well as waste. In addition, the worms provided at the stacking devices are not adapted to all forms of lids.

An object of the present invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for the printing of lids or covers for containers of the like.

Another object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for the printing of lids or covers, and which avoids the disadvantages of prior art apparatus for the printing of lids or covers.

A further object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for the printing of lids or covers, and including a novel stacking device for storing or stacking the lids or covers, and from which the lids or covers are extracted for transport to a printing station.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an automatic apparatus for the printing of lids or covers in which the lids or covers to be printed, which are arranged in a stack or supply device, are transported from the stack or supply device to the printing mechanism by a chain conveyor provided with prismatic abutments for engaging and transporting the respective lids or covers along a feed table.

A further object of the invention is to provide an automatic apparatus for the printing of lids or covers, of the type just mentioned, and in which the chain, together with the prismatic abutments, moves over the upper surface of a feed table which is adjustable in height.

Another object of the invention is to provide automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers, of the type just described, in which the feed table is provided with two 3,2822% Patented Nov. 1, 1966 suction devices, one adjacent the supply stack and the other adjacent the printing mechanism to assure positive positioning of the lids or covers to be withdrawn from the supply stack and to be printed.

A further object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for printing covers or lids, of the type mentioned, and in which a rotatable carrier supporting the printing segments is provided with cam controlled ejecting fingers arranged to positively displace the printed lids or covers from the printing segments onto a conveyor belt for transport to a drying arrangement.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers including novel stacking means receiving the printed lids or covers and controlled by a counter to distribute the lids or covers between several stacks.

Still a further object of the invention is to provide a fully automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers including inking rollers and the like in the printing mechanism, and means whereby the rollers may be readily and easily dismounted for inspection maintenance and/ or repair.

For an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference is made to the following description of typical embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the Drawings:

FIG. 1 is a somewhat schematic side elevation view, partly in section, illustrating automatic apparatus embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view, partly in axial section and to an enlarged scale, of the carrier for the printing segments, and illustrating the cam controlled ejecting fingers; Y

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view through an ink well support arrangement;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view through the ink well support arrangement;

FIG. 6 is a somewhat schematic elevation view of one form of lid counting and stacking arrangement embodying the invention;

FIG. 7 is a somewhat schematic plan View corresponding to FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of another form of lid counting and stacking mechanism embodying the invention; and

FIG. 9 is a partial axial sectional view illustrating the disengageable locking means for an inking roller.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the apparatus of the invention includes a support frame 1 on which there is mounted a stacking or supply device for containing a supply of lids or covers 2 which are to be printed. This stacking device comprises a holder 3 on which is supported a plurality of upwardly extending guide rods 4. Extending beneath the stacking device there is a feed table 5 which is adjustable in height. Feed table 5 serves as a flat and elongated support for the upper run of an endless conveyor chain 6 to which are secured abutments or engaging members 7 arranged to engage lids 2 and transport them along feed table 5. The abutments 7, insofar as their lid or cover engaging portion is concerned, are generally prismatic in plan, having the shape of a trapezoid with an open larger base. By virtue of this shape, the abutments 7 are able to guide lids or covers 2 from the stacking or supply device in exactly aligned relation to the printing station.

At the printing station, there is a drum or cylinder member 8a serving as a carrier for the printing segments 8 carrying the printing plates. As in the standard case, these printing segments 8 are made of a resilient material such as rubber, and are mounted at uniformly spaced positions around the circumference of carrier 8a. The drive of conveyor chain 6 is synchronized with the rotation of carrier 8a, supporting the printing segments 8, by means of a chain drive 9a trained over sprockets 9, there being a common drive means for the chain drive 9a and the chain conveyor 6. A hand wheel 10 is provided for conjoint adjustment of conveyor chain 6 and chain drive 911.

Two suction devices 11 and 12, are provided in spaced relation on feed table 5 and are commonly connected to a connection 13 arranged for connection to a source of vacuum. Suction device 11 quickly clamps the falling lids or covers to hold the same for engagement by an abutment 7. Suction device 12 retains the lids or covers in correct position for engagement by a printing segment 8 carrying the inked printing plate. The drawing of the lids or covers is effected by the combined action of the printing segments 8 and a counter printing cylinder 14, and as the lids or covers are drawn between these two elements, the desired printing is eifected on the lid or cover.

As best seen in FIG. 3, ejecting fingers or plungers 18 are mounted for radial displacement in carrier 8a to prevent sticking of the lids or covers to the printing segments 8. These fingers are cyclically operated by means of a face cam 15 having a track in which there is engaged, for each finger, a roller 16 connected to the associated finger 18 by the linkage indicated at 17. Fingers 18 are operated in such a manner as to push the printed lids or covers radially away from the printing segments, so that the printed lids or covers will fall onto an endless conveyor belt 19, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

A drying arrangement is positioned above the upper run of conveyor belt 19 and arranged to dry the printed lids or covers. Suitable mechanism, illustrated at 21, is driven by gearing 22 and is effective, when conveyor belt 19 is at a standstill, to deflect drying arrangement 20 in such a manner that the heat rays are directed away from lids or covers 2 lying on conveyor belt 19 and away from the conveyor belt. For example, the drying device may be deflected in such a manner that its heat rays are directed upwardly. However, as soon as conveyor 19 resumes its motion, the gearing 22 moves the drying system back into its operative position. The arrangement including the elements 21 and 22 prevents burning of the stationary lids or covers or of the stationary conveyor belt 19.

Conveyor belt 19 transports the printed and dried lids or covers 2 to a stacking device comprising a vertically movable ram 23. Ram 23 is driven in synchronism with carrier 8a through a shaft 24, a slidable member 25 and an eccentric 26. A connecting rod 27 connects eccentric 26 to a suitable collar on the shaft or piston rod of ram 23. The stacking device includes a suction means 28, a blowing or positive pressure means 29, an upright cylindrical receiver 30, with which there is associated a holding ring 31, and stack guide rods 32 extending upwardly from the upper end of receiver 30.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, conveyor 19 is illustrated as delivering the printed and dried lids or covers to a relatively simple stacking device. However, within the scope of the invention the conveyor 19, or its equivalent, may deliver the printed and dried lids and covers to a counting and packaging device. Such an arrangement is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.

As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, a counter 33 is arranged adjacent conveyor 19. Counter 33 may be a mechanical counter, an electro-mechanical counter, or a photocelltype of counter. The counter counts the lids or covers 2 transported by the conveyor belt 19. After the counter 33 counts a preselected number of lids or covers 2, which number is adjustable, it delivers a pulse to a packaging device.

This packaging device comprises a vertically and angularly displaceable turntable or plate 34. By means of supports 35 positioned at equi-angular spacings around turntable 34, three stacking devices 38, 39 and 40, for example, are supported on turntable 34. Each stacking device includes stack guide rods 36 and pivoted detents 37. Plate or turntable 34 is vertically displaced by means of a cylinder 41 having a piston rod 42 operatively associated with a clutch device comprising members 43 and 44. Member 43 is free to rotate relative to rod 42, and is rotatably mounted on a support or bracket 45. Member 44 is fixedly connected to rotate with shaft or piston rod 42.

The lower part of upper clutch member 43 is provided with a pair of diametrically opposite downwardly projecting pin 46. Lower clutch member 44 is provided with several pairs of diametrically opposite bores or apertures 50 therethrough, there being three pairs of bores 50 in the example selected for illustration, each pair corresponding angularly to a respective stacking device 38, 39 or 40. An upright pin 49 is supported on a bracket 50 and, in the lower position of turntable 34, pin 49 extends through a bore 50 in member 44.

Angular displacement of turntable 34 is effected by means of a cylinder 51 having a piston rod 53 connected to an eccentric pin 52 on upper clutch member 43. Cylinder 51 is swingably secured to bracket 45 or to another fixed portion of support frame 1.

When a predetermined number of covers or lids 2 have been counted by counter 33, the latter delivers an output pulse which effects operation of cylinder 41 to lift its piston rod 42. This upward movement of piston rod 42 lifts turntable 34 supporting the stacking devices, and also lifts lower clutch member 44, disengaging clutch member 44 from pin 49 and engaging pins 46 and 47 in a pair of diametrically opposite bores 50 in member 44. Member 44, and thus piston rod 42, are thereby connected to rotate with the clutch member 43. At this time, cylinder 51 is activated to displace its piston rod 53 and rotate clutch member 43 through an angular displacement equal to the angular displacement of the stacking devices 38, 39 and 40 from each other. This, in turn, effects rotation of lower clutch member 44 and the connected rod 42. Cylinder 51 remains under pressure, with its piston rod 53 extended, while pressure is released from cylinder 41. Thus, piston rod 42 moves downwardly and, as lower clutch member 44 disengages pins 46 and 47, an aperture 50 therein receives pin 49, thus locking member 44 and piston rod 42, as well as table 34, against angular displacement. Piston 51 is now energized to retract its piston rod 53, ending the cycle. The greater the number of stacking devices 38, 39 and 40, the greater is the amount of time available for attending to the stacked lids and covers, for example, by removing completed stacks and packing the same.

Another embodiment of a lid or cover counting and packaging device is illustrated in FIG. 8. In this embodiment, a counter 53, which may be identical with the counter 33, is arranged adjacent conveyor belt 19. A short conveyor belt 56, trained over rollers 54 and 55, is arranged in juxtaposition to the end portion of conveyor 19, and a fixed guide rail 57 is positioned over the upper surface of .conveyor 56. A pivoted switch 58 is associated with conveyor 19, and normally occupies the position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 8. A stacking device 59 is arranged in alignment with conveyor 19, and a second stacking device 60 is arranged in alignment with conveyor 56. After a preselected and adjustable number of lids or covers 2 have been counted by counter 53, a control pulse is delivered to a suitable gearing, which has not been illustrated, which is arranged to pivot the switch 58. Responsive to this pulse, the switch 58 is pivoted to the broken line position of FIG. 8 so that the lids or covers 2 are deflected from conveyor 19 onto conveyor 56 for delivery to the stacking device 60. Upon the next pulse received from counter 53, the switch 58 is swung back to the solid line position so that the lids or covers 2 are now delivered to the stacking device 59. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 8, as well as in the ar rangement shown in FIG. 6, a suction device 61 and a 5 blowing device 62 are associated with the stacking devices.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a simple and convenient inking arrangement. Each ink well 63 is formed with sliding rails or flanges 64 and 65 which engage slidably in grooves 66 and 67 of a support frame. The position of each ink Well 63 in the support frame is releasably secured by means of a detent pin 70, biased by a spring 78, inserted in a bore 69 in the frame 68. In place of the detent pin illustrated, a spring pressed ball-type of detent arrangement may be used.

In accordance with a further feature of the invention, the down times of the apparatus, such as caused by the necessity for ink changes and adjustment, are limited to a minimum by means providing for ready interchangeability and rapid adjusting of the several rollers. As illustrated in FIG. 9, this means comprises a novel roller lock.

This roller lock comprises an eccentric axle member 72 and an eccentric fine adjustment bushing 73. A grip member 74 is secured to the outer end of axle member 72, and interengageable ratchet teeth 75 are provided on the facing end surfaces of bushing 73 and grip member 74. A radially displaceable detent pin 76 is slidable in a diametric bore in axle member 72, and is biased radially outwardly by a spring 77 to engage in suitable detent 0 recesses in the inner surface of bushing 73. The force of spring 77 may be adjusted by a regulating screw 78.

A stub axle 80 extends eccentrically from the inner end of member 72 and is engaged in the cylindrical roller 79.

By angularly adjusting member 72, a fine adjustment of the position of roller 79 is effected.

In order to exchange a roller 79, the operator merely takes hold of grip member 74- and pulls the same outwardly. Ratchet pin 76 has a bevelled end so that it is forced radially inwardly to rel-ease shaft 72 from bushing 73 allowing the axle 72 to be withdrawn from roller 79.

While the described counting and packaging systems, such as shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, have been illustrated as used with the conveyor printing and conveying mechanlsm shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, it would be understood that these particular lid or cover counting and packaging devices may be used with known lid and cover printing arrangements, such as those having worm type stacking means for the covers or lids.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the principles of the invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.

What is claimed is:

1. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the later to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device, a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations there around; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; and stacking means receiving the dried covers; said holder for swinging over said feed table and away tending upwardly from said holder and means mounting said holder for swinging over said feed table and away from the latter about a vertical axis.

2. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; lural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly space-d locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier o receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a seg ment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; and stacking means receiving the dried covers; said abutments being secured to said conveyor element at spaced intervals therealong corresponding to the peripheral spacing of said printing segments, and extending rigidly laterally from said conveyor element; each abutment having the shape of a trapezoid with its larger base open.

3. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cove-r supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; and ejection fingers mounted in said carrier for radial displacement, each adjacent a respective segment, and each operable, as a cover has been printed by the respective printing segment, to engage the cover to push it away from the respective printing segment.

4. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; ejection fingers mounted on said carrier for radial displacement, each adjacent a respective segment, and each operable, as a cover has been printed by the respective printing segment, to engage the cover to push it away from the respective printing segment; and cam means operatively associated with said carrier and engaged with said ejection fingers to radially displace the same in a predetermined cycle.

5. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device about said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therear ound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying :means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; and means operable, responsive to halting of said conveyor belt, to deflect said drying means away from said conveyor belt and, responsive to re-starting of said conveyor belt, to return said drying means to operative relation with said conveyor belt.

6. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; and a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; said stacking means including a vertically displaceable ram, driving means vertically displacing said ram in synchronism with rotation of said carrier, a suction device and a fluid pressure device conjointly operable to displace covers from said conveyor belt onto said ram, a support ring arranged to receive covers from said ram, and guide rods extending upwardly from said support ring to support a stack of printed and dried covers.

7. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; and counting means operatively associated with said conveyor belt to count covers transported thereby, said counting means controlling operation of said stacking means.

8. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; a counter operatively associated with said conveyor belt to count covers transported thereby from said drying means; a turntable device; a plurality of stack support devices positioned uniformly around said turntable device; said turntable device being angularly displaceable to align respective support devices in succession with the end of said conveyor belt to receive printed and dried covers from the latter; and operating means effective to angularly displace said turntable device; said counter, responsive to passage of a preselected number of covers along said conveyor belt, triggering said operating means to angularly displace said turntable device to position a succeeding stacking device in operative relation with the end of said conveyor belt.

9. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; a counter operatively associated with said conveyor belt to count covers transported thereby from said drying means; a turntable device; a plurality of stack support devices positioned uniformly around said turntable device; said turntable device being angularly displaceable to align respective support devices in succession with the end of said conveyor belt to receive printed and dried covers from the latter; operating means effective to angularly displace said turntable device; said counter, responsive to passage of a preselected number of covers along said conveyor belt, triggering said operating means to angularly displace said turntable device to position a succeeding stacking device in operative relation with the end of said conveyor belt; a vertically displaceable ram positioned adjacent the end of said conveyor belt and aligned with each stacking device as the latter is moved into operative relation with said conveyor belt; and means for vertically reciprocating said ram in synchronism with rotation of said carrier; each stacking device including detent means arranged to receive and retain a cover lifted by said ram, and stack support rods extending upwardly from said detent devices.

10. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said conveyor belt; a counter operatively associated with said conveyor belt to count covers transported thereby from said drying means; a turntable device; a plurality of stack support devices positioned uniformly around said turntable device; said turntable device 9, being angularly displaceable to align respective support devices in succession with the end of said conveyor belt to receive printed and dried covers from the latter; operating means effective to angularly displace said turntable device; said counter, responsive to passage of a preselected number of covers along said conveyor belt, triggering said operating means to angularly displace said turntable device to position a succeeding stacking device in operative relation with the end of said conveyor belt; said operating means for said turntable device comprising a vertically oriented fluid pressure actuator connected to said turntable device, and having a piston rod extending downwardly therefrom; a first clutch element rotatable on said piston rod; a bracket rotatably supporting said first clutch element; a second clutch element fixed to said piston rod and normally disengaged from said first clutch element; means operable, in a disengaged position of said second clutch element, to restrain the same and said piston rod against rotation; said fluid pressure actuator being operable, responsive to a signal from said counter, to lift said piston rod to disengage said second clutch element from its retaining means and to engage said first and second clutch elements; and a second fluid pressure actuator connected to said first clutch element and operable, during engagement of said first and second clutch elements to angularly displace said first clutch element to correspondingly displace said turntable device; said first fluid pressure actuator thereupon lowering said piston rod and said turntable to disengage said clutch elements and to re-engage said second clutch element with its retaining means.

11. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; means ejecting printed covers from said carrier; a first conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said car-rier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said first conveyor belt; a second relatively short conveyor belt adjacent the terminal portion of said first conveyor belt; a first stacking means adjacent the discharge end of said first conveyor belt; a second stacking means adjacent the discharge end of said second conveyor belt; a switch pivotally mounted adjacent an edge of said first conveyor belt and having a retracted position extending parallel to one side of said first conveyor belt and an operative position in which it extends across said first conveyor belt to deflect covers therefrom to said second conveyor belt; and a counter operatively associated with said first conveyor belt and operable to count covers transported thereby; said counter, responsive to counting a preselected number of covers on said first conveyor belt, triggering said switch for movement from one position to the other position and vice versa.

12. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a relatively elongated feed table; a cover supply device above said table for delivering covers to said table; a conveyor element extending along said table and having spaced abutments extending laterally of the latter to move covers along said table to a printing station spaced from said supply device; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means driving said conveyor element and rotating said carrier in synchronism with each other; means cooperable with said carrier to receive covers from said conveyor element and press each cover against a segment to print the covers; drying means receiving the printed covers; stacking means receiving the dried covers; means ejecting printed cove-rs from said carrier; a first conveyor belt receiving the covers ejected from said carrier; said drying means being positioned over the upper surface of said first conveyor belt; a second relatively short conveyor belt adjacent the terminal portion of said first conveyor belt; a first stacking means adjacent the discharge end of said first conveyor belt; a second stacking means adjacent the discharge end of said second conveyor belt; a switch pivotally mounted adjacent an edge of said first conveyor belt and having a retracted position extending parallel to one side of said first conveyor belt and and operative position in which it extends across said first conveyor belt to deflect covers therefrom to said second conveyor belt; a counter operatively associated with said first conveyor belt and operable to count covers transported thereby; said counter, responsive to counting a preselected number of covers on said first conveyor belt, triggering said switch for movement from one position to the other position and vice versa; and a guide extending along said second conveyor belt adjacent the edge thereof further from said first conveyor belt and effective to guide covers, deflected from said first conveyor belt to said second conveyor belt, longitudinally of said second conveyor belt.

13. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a printing station; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced locations therearound; means for delivering covers from a supply thereof to said printing station; means coopera'ble with said carrier to press each cover against a respective segment to print the covers; inking rollers operatively associated with said segments; each inking roller being tubular in form to provide an axial passage therethrough; a support for each inking roller including a cylindrical sleeve and an axle member having a bearing portion engaged concentrically from said bearing portion and a stub axle portion extending from said bearing portion and having bearing engagement in the associated printing roller, said stub axle portion being eccentric with respect to said bearing portion; a grip secured to said support axle member to angularly adjust the same in said cylindrical sleeve to adjust the position of the associated inking roller; and interengageable releasable detent means on said grip member and on said sleeve etfective to retain the adjusted position of said support axle member.

14. Automatic apparatus for printing lids or covers comprising, in combination, a printing station; a rotatable carrier at said printing station; plural printing segments on said carrier at uniformly spaced location-s therearound; means for delivering covers from a supply thereof to said printing station; means cooperable with said carrier to press each cover against a respective segment to print the covers; inking rollers operatively associated with said segments; each inking roller being tubular in form to provide an axial passage therethrough; a support for each inking roller including a cylindrical sleeve and an axle member having a bearing portion engaged concentrically in said sleeve and a stub axle portion extending from said bearing portion and having bearing engagement in the associated printing roller, said stub axle portion being eccentric with respect to said bearing portion; a grip secured to said support axle member to angularly adjust the same in said cylindrical sleeve to adjust the position of the associated inking roller; interengageable releasable detent means on said grip member and on said sleeve effective to retain the adjusted position of said support axle member; said bearing portion having a bore extending diametrically thereof; and a spring biased detent mounted in said bore and projecting out- 11 wardly of said bearing portion; the interior surface of 2,120,845 said sleeve being formed with a plurality of recesses 2,484,671 engageable by said detent. 2,946,278 3,094,826 References Cited by the Examiner 5 3 195 451 UNITED STATES PATENTS 557,582 4/1896 Hooper 10137 1,118,217 11/1914 Nelson 101--37 2,105,400 1/1938 Booth 10135 Wood 101--350 Bauman 101115 Cummings 101-115 X Davey et a1 10135 X Hovecamp et a1. 101118 X ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.

DAVID KLEIN, Examiner.

W. F. MCCARTHY, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2105400 *May 9, 1936Jan 11, 1938Crown Cork & Seal CoPrinting apparatus
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US2484671 *May 2, 1944Oct 11, 1949Owens Illinois Glass CoSilk screen stencil decorating machine
US2946278 *Nov 1, 1957Jul 26, 1960Shenango China IncDishware decorating machine
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3476046 *Jan 3, 1967Nov 4, 1969Varispace Ind IncVariable imprint spacing apparatus for rotary printing machine
US3595164 *Apr 9, 1969Jul 27, 1971Wood Industries IncEgg carton printer
US3735697 *Dec 3, 1970May 29, 1973Mobil Oil CorpApparatus for printing on both sides of the lids of egg cartons
US3895574 *Aug 17, 1973Jul 22, 1975Maran Manufacturing CorpApparatus for feeding, printing and stacking articles
US4373437 *Dec 19, 1980Feb 15, 1983Deco Coatings CorporationApparatus to supply articles for printing
US6286428 *Dec 2, 1999Sep 11, 2001Erik Hougaard MadsenMethod for printing of packaging parts
US8038432 *Apr 8, 2010Oct 18, 2011Mazzarolo Ivonis MMethod of manufacturing thermoformed plastic articles and drink cup lid made by such method
US8196511Sep 21, 2005Jun 12, 2012Overprint AgMethod for overprinting already printed packages
US8282382 *Oct 17, 2011Oct 9, 2012Ivma Holdings CompanyMethod of manufacturing thermoformed plastic articles and drink cup lid made by such method
US8628319Aug 2, 2012Jan 14, 2014Ivma Holdings CompanyApparatus for manufacturing thermoformed plastic articles
WO2006032679A1 *Sep 21, 2005Mar 30, 2006Overprint IndMethod for overprinting already printed packages
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/37, 101/216, 101/350.1, 101/376
International ClassificationB41F17/16
Cooperative ClassificationB41F17/16
European ClassificationB41F17/16