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Publication numberUS3472591 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 14, 1969
Filing dateDec 19, 1966
Priority dateDec 19, 1966
Publication numberUS 3472591 A, US 3472591A, US-A-3472591, US3472591 A, US3472591A
InventorsFrohlich Sigurd
Original AssigneeFrohlich Sigurd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Step-and-repeat photocomposing machine
US 3472591 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 14, 1969 s.y RHLICH 3,472,591

\ STEP-Ano-REPEAT PHoTocoMPosINc MACHINE Filed Dec. 19. 1966 v 5 Sheets-Shea*l 1 y .5y/s Hrrawys s. FRoHLlcH STEP-AND-REPEAT PHOTOCOMPOSING MACHINE med Dec. 19. 196e 3 Sheets-Shes?l 2 Oct. 14,1969 s.FRoHL.|cH 3,472,591

STEP-AND-REPEAT PHOTOCOMFOSING MACHINE Filed Dec. 19. 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States APatent O 3,472,591 STEP-AND-REPEAT PHOTOCOMPOSING MACHINE Sigurd Frohlich, Z154 San Marcos Place, Claremont, Calif. 91711 Filed Dec. 19, 1966, Ser. No. 602,935 Int. Cl. G03b 27/42, 27/04 U.S. Cl. 355-53 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an automatic step-and-repeat photocomposing machine. More particularly, this invention relates to an apparatus for automatically transferring negatives or positives sequentially into register with a press plate or photographic film in a step-and-repeat photocomposing machine.

Step-and-repeat photocomposing machines are typically used for preparing a printing plate or similar photosensitive member having at least one image repeated thereon a plurality of times such as, in plates for an offset color printing process, plates for the printing of labels, and masks for the fabrication of semiconductor devices. The importance of this invention may be dramatized by considering the offset color printing process to which it has application. In the typical olfsetcolor printing process the subject to be printed is photographed a number of times using appropriate light filters. Thus, several negatives of the subject are prepared, each one containing a separate color component of the subject. When all the negatives are superimposed a full color composition is obtained. To transfer the images of these separate negatives onto a printing press plate each negative is exposed onto a separate sensitized press plate; so, for each color negative a separate press plate is used. In orderto make this process economical the image on each negative is exposed on the appropriate plate as many times as space permits. Typically, there can be 200 or more exposures on each press plate of the same image. When the process has been completed for each negative the separate press plates are chemically treated and colored inks applied to their surfaces. The press plates are mounted in the tower of a printing press. Printing paper is then passed sequentially over each press plate in such a manner that the colored image from the press plate is transferred to the paper. As the paper passes over the press plates each one transfers its particular colored image onto the printing paper in synchronization. Thus, a full color printed composition emerges from the printing press. Since each press plate has for the sake of economy a multiplicity of images exposed on it, one run of paper through the printing press produces a multiplicity of complete color compositions. `It will at once be apparent that in a printing process of this type critical steps in the preparation of the press plates are the precise alignment of each color negative with respect to the other colored negatives before exposure on the appropriate press plate and the alignment of the successive plates with respect to the aligned negatives. The success- 3,472,591 Patented Oct. 14, 1969 ice ful performance of this alignment tends to insure that as the printing paper passes over successive press plates (assuming the press plates are properly installed) the images are exactly superimposed so that the finished color composition has no overlapping edges or distortion. The repeated exposure of images on a single press plate and on successive plates may be accomplished by step-andrepeat photocomposing machines.

In the conventional step-and-repeat photocomposing machine negatives or positives may be used for the duplication of images contained therein on photographic film or press plates. In these step-and-repeat machines a carriage which carries the negative or positive (hereafter referred to as the negative) to be duplicated is positioned in one direction over the photosensitized member which is mounted on the platen of the machine. The platen is positioned in a second direction so that the movement of the platen in combination with the movement of the carriage enables a negative to be located at any point over the photosensitive member. Exposure then occurs. According to the prior art, before exposure each negative is lirst precisely placed on a portion of the carriage by means of a light table with reference to gages and points on the other negatives. The alignment of each negative (while in a portion of the carriage) with points on the other negatives and the fixing of the negative in a precise position is a very time consuming and tedious procedure. In prior art step-and-repeat photocomposing machines each negative must be aligned in the above described manner. Once aligned the negative is manually placed onto the machine which then automatically moves it to the correct position with respect to the platen for exposure. Thus, the machine is inoperative while each negative is being aligned and/or when the negative is being manually loaded onto the machine. On plates requiring many exposures the alignment time accounts for almost 75% of the total plate making time and requires the constant presence of an operator. A further disadvantage of conventional step-and-repeat photocomposing machines is that since registering of the negative is a manual operation, visual errors of the operator cause inconsistencies in the completed photocomposed plate. Many factors that affect vision can cause alignment variation. One of these is inconstant visual ability due to fatigue or physical illness.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to -provide an improved step-and-repeat photocomposing machine that automatically transfers negatives (or positives) into register with a sensitized plate or photographic film to be exposed on the lplaten of the machine.

It is another object of this invention to provide an mproved step-and-repeat phtocomposing machine that is capable of sequentially transferring a series of negatives mounted on cards from a magazine or feed unit into register with a film plate located on the platen of the i photocomposing machine in accordance with a predetermined program.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a first means in a photocomposing machine which rst means has means for automatically registering with a card located within a magazine having a negative or positive mounted thereupon and having means for attaching the cards to the negative holder.

Briefly, the structure of the invention comprises an automatic step-and-repeat photocomposing machine including: a iirst means for moving cards over the platen of said machine and having means for automatically registering and attaching cards thereon; a container means for holding cards having a discharge means for controllably discharging cards onto said iirst means; and, a plurality of cards adapted t-o have graphic members mounted thereupon and adapted to fit into said container and adapted to be transferred to said first means. Around the periphery of the cards is a frame which has means for aligning the cards within the container, and means for registering the cards with the first means.

In operation, the first means receives a card (having a negative or other graphic members mounted thereon) which is discharged from the container means and automatically aligns said card and moves the card into position for exposure (or multiple exposures) on the platen of the photocomposing machine. After exposure the first means repeats the exposure at a different position or discards it and automatically receives the next card in sequence from the container. Thus, the first means automatically receives cards `with the graphic member mounted thereupon in the registered position and automatically positions them for exposure on the machine platen. No manual registering is required during operation of the machine and no manual mounting in the .machine is required. Thus, machine down time is greatly lowered.

The novel features lwhich are believed to be characteristic of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an improved step-andrepeat photocomposing machine;

FIG. 2 is a plan vie-w in diagrammatic form of the platen and carriage of the improved photocomposing machine with a pick-up position and discard position for cards;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the improved step-and-repeat photocomposing machine with a photosensitive member mounted on the platen;

FIG. 4 is a sectional front view of the magazine or container means with cards mounted therein;

FIG. 5 is a plan View of a card and its frame;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of a card, a frame and a mounted graphic member;

FIG. 7 is a section side view along lines 7-`7 of FIG. 5 shown with a position for stacking on another frame;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view taken along lines `8-8 of lFIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation of a card and frame;

FIG. 10 is a partially fragmented front elevation of one side of the first means for holding and registering;

FIG. 11 is a front elevation of the first means and a card in another embodiment of the inevntion using an electromagnet;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a card as used in the embodiment employing an electromagnet in the first means; and

FIG. 13 is a schematic sectional side view of the card and first means in another embodiment of the invention using an electric eye or photocell for registering.

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, container means such as magazine or feed unit 12 is mounted on a stepand-repeat photocomposing machine 10. A carriage, carrier or first means 24 includes frame 22, housing 25, alignment means 71 (FIG. 10), holding means 69 (FIG. 10) and motor means (not shown). The carrier means 24 is moved along the Y-axis (FIG. 2) via frame 22 by the motor means which may be a pulsed stepping motor numerically controlled. Such a control and drive arrangement is incorporated in the D.S.P.25-A marketed by Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. The platen 84 is also moved by similar means but along the X-axis. Thus, positioning of the carrier means to any position with respect to a photosensitive member 28 (FIG. 3) mounted on platen 84 is accomplished. Carrier means 24 receives, holds and aligns framed transparent cards with graphic members such as negatives mounted thereon from the magazine at position 18. When the required exposures of a particular negative (FIG. 2) has been completed, means 24 discards the plastic card into an appropriate receptacle at position 20. i

In FIG. 4, magazine or container 12 comprises walls 66 and an adjustable base 62. Located adjacent two opposite walls 66 of container 12 are biasing means 56 and 57,' which are connected to base 62 by collars 64 and 65. The biasing means 56 and 457 may be screws running vertically from the base to a position level with the top of the magazine where they are rotatably attached to the frame 50 of the photocomposing machine. A motor 42 operates a chain drive 54 which causes screws 56 and 57 to rotate. Rotation of screws 56 and 57 causes collars 64 and 65 to bias or move base 62 upwards towards the top of container 12. Container 12 is adapted to receive a number of framed cards 32 which are sufficiently rigid to support a negative without bending and transparent to facilitate exposure. Transparent plastics and glass are typically employed. The cards are vertically stacked with typically forty cards being stacked in container means 12.

Located adjacent screws 56 and 57 at the upper end of magazine 12 are release means, such as two air cylinders 60 and 61 which are attached to frame 50 of the photocomposing machine. Two latches 58 and 59 are`attached to the top of the air cylinders and are actuated by them. The latches 58 and 59 engage tabs 36 protruding from cards 32, thereby biasing downwardly to retain them within magazine 12. As screws 56 and I57 cause the base 62 of the magazine to move up, the stack of framed cards is also biased up towards the top of the magazine. Air cylinders 60 and 61 may then be independently automatically actuated by the numerical control unit, by another control unit or by the pressure exerted by tab 36 to disengage latches 58 and 59 from tabs 36 of the framed plastic cards. The release of latches 58 and 59 is timed in such a manner that only one (the top most) framed card is released at a time; the latches lthen spring back into engagement with tabs on the next lower framed card. Thus, the uppermost framed card is level with the top of the magazine, and is free to be picked up by carriage means 24 while the remaining framed cards are held in place within the magazine by the air cylinder actuated latches. In case the number of cards required for a photocomposed plate is insufficient to load magazine 12 to capacity, the position of base -62 can be manually adjusted by drive 68 so that the uppermost card is level with the top of the magazine where it can be picked up by the carrier means 24.

In FIGS. 5, 6 and 9 the cards 32 comprise a transparent plastic or glass member of square configuration held within a frame 33 made of rigid light weight material, such a magnesium, aluminum, plastic, etc. The transparent member can be approximately 1A; inch thick. Protruding from the edges of frame 33 and located at approximately the midpoint of the sides of the frame are tabs 36 of roughly rectangular configuration. It is the function of these tabs to be engaged by latches 58 and 59 of the container 12 as explained above. Also protruding from the sides of frame 33 is a series of generally semicircular tabs 34 which are spaced at predetermined intervals around the periphery of the frame. These tabs may be made from some self-lubricating material, such as Teflon or an oil impregnated bearing material. It is the function of these semicircular tabs 34 to slidably engage the interior walls of the container 12 thereby retaining the cards in a horizontally aligned position with respect to the walls (not shown). At the midpoint of two opposite sides of card frame 33 are two bushings 38 and 39. The bushings align or register the card 32 with a registering means on carrier means 24 which is described in detail later in the specification. It should be understood that bushings 36 and 38 may have any of many ing means may be employed.

A graphics member, original or negative 42 whose image is to be reproduced is fixedly attached to the underside of card 32 at two points corresponding to the underside of bushings 38 and 39 and fixed in relationship thereto by fastening means. The negative could, lof course, be attached to the card 32 by other conventional means such as pins or adhesive. -Prior to attaching negative 42 to the card 32, the negative must be manually registered and aligned with the other negatives that make up the complete color composition or other composition. This is accomplished by placing the framed plastic card on the frame of a light table with which it is registered at bushings 38 and 39 and at holes 40 and 41, and where it is securely held. The negative is then placed on the card 32 and points thereon registered with corresponding points on other negatives situated on the light table beneath the frame. This operation normally being accomplished with the aid of optical instruments. The negative 42 is -then fixed on the card 32 within frame 33 so that it remains in register with a predetermined point on the other negatives that make up the composition. All framed cards with negatives mounted thereon are then stacked in the magazine in the proper sequence with the negative facing downward. With respect to the above procedure, it is within the scope of the invention to place all of the negatives in the light table and successively mount them on cards, or to have none of the negatives within the light table initially and then mount the negatives onpcards, successively placing them within the light table for alignment with next to be mounted negative. Light tables to accommodate the cards may be readily provided and may include removeable means for transporting the cards to the step-and-repeat machine and for mounting within container 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-10, bushings 38 and 39 seated in the top surface of two sides of frame 33 (FIG. 7). Tab 36 and the edge of the transparent member are attached to the underside of the frame. Tab 36 extendsk beyond the frame 33 sufficiently to engage latch 58 in the magazine. An opening 44 in frame 33 below bushing 38 is of such a depth that when another frame 33a is stacked immediately below and adjacent to frame 33, bushing 38a nests within opening 44. It is, of course, understood that the dimensions of card 32, bushing 38, and the relative movement of the cards are such that the top card readily clears the bushing of the adjacent card. The negative mounted on the card does not touch the adjacent card. Therefore, a large number of framed cards can be stacked within a container, with each framed card resting on part of an adjacent card and with no loss of space due to protruding bushings.

In FIGS. 1 and 10 the carrier 24 comprises a housing 25 which contains a light source (e.g., point source or pulsed xenon) and a frame 70. According to .known techniques and construction, the carrier means 24 is automatically controlled during exposure to bring the negative and photosensitive member into intimate contact by air pressure means. This exposure method insures sharp and clean printing.

Carrier means 24, which moves over platen or film holder 84, includes a holding means 69 (FIG. 10) and alignment means 71 (FIGS. 7 and l0). The holding means 69 lifts the card from the top of container 12 and holds it in a fixed position on carrier 24 as aligned by alignment means 69. It is within the scope of the invention to usesuction created by. a vacuum, magnetic forces created by an electromagnet, or electrostatic forces created by an electrostatic field device to lift the framed cards 32 out of the container 12 and to secure it to carrier 24. When an electromagnet is used, plastic cards 32 have ferromagnetic material 3S (FIG. 12) placed around their periphery. Similarly, with electrostatic devices, a

conductive material and dielectric material may be included as part of frame 33. It is within the scope of the invention to employ vacuum, electromagnetic, or electrostatic means to perform the lifting while some type of mechanical means performs the holding. It is also within the broad scope of the invention to omit lifting by providing a mechanism for raising and lowering part of carrier means 24 or container 12 when in cooperative relation with respect to one another. (E.g., motor 52 could then be operated.)

Referring specifically now to FIG. l0, there is shown an elevational view of one of the two sides of the holding means 69 and alignment means 71. The frame 70 is generally of a rectangular configuration (comprised of aluminum or other lightweight high strength material) which is oriented in the horizontal plane. vInserted into the underside and adjacent the edge of frame 70 is a bushing 76. A sleeve 78 comprising a bearing is permanently housed within bushing 76. The depth and the inside diameter dimensions of sleeve 78 are such that bushing 38 of card frame 32 is capable of being precisely accommodated within it. Bearing sleeve 718 (machined to very close tolerances) provides a hard, wear resistant interior surface for the bushing which will maintain its dimensions after long periods of use. The registering of bearing 78 with bushing 38 of card 32 is accomplished with high precision and extremely close dimensional tolerances. When frame 70 is positioned to pick up the framed card 32 from within the container 12, bushing 38 engages sleeve 70 in such a manner that any horizontal movement of card 32 is completely restricted (e.g., 0.()005 inch movement).-Card 32 is thus precisely registered and positioned in carrier 24 by the alignment means 71. It is within the scope of the invention to employ a loose bushing and sleeve arrangement and incorporate a plunger or other mechanical means to position the bushing against a reference surface. For example, in the case of a square bushing-sleeve arrangement, a pair of plungers in two of the perpendicular surfaces of a square sleeve would be actuated to position a square bushing against the other surfaces of the sleeve.

lLocated directly beneath frame 70 is a rectangular plate of 1/2 to 11/2 thick armor plate glass 72 (FIG. 10). The glass is attached to the frame by fitting into recesses or angles formed by a protruding member 73 of the frame. It is the function of the glass plate 72 to apply pressure to card 32 when card 32 is placed in contact with the photosensitized member on platen 84 just prior to exposure. Upon exposure, light from the light source within housing 25 passes through the 4glass plate and through the transparentvportion of card 32 to expose the photosensitized member. Pressure is applied through a glass plate 72 via frame 70 by any conventional mechanical or hydraulic means 110.

In one embodiment of this invention as illustrated by FIG.- 10, the carrier 24 is adapted to remove plastic cards from the container by means of suction supplied by a vacuum. This is accomplished by a port 74 on the underside'zof frame 70. The port is. connected at the upper side of the frame by a manifold 7S which in turn is connected to a source of vacuum. When a vacuum is applied to the manifold, suction is created at the site of port 74. To assure 'that sufficient suction is created and maintained, an annular rubber seal is provided at the outside edge of port 74 on the underside of frame 70. When the carrier means 24 is registered with a framed card, vacuum is applied and suction is created at port 74 which attaches card 32 to the carrier means 24. The portion of frame 70 which contains the port and to which glass plate 73 is attached protrudes beneath the portion of the frame containing bushing 76 to a distance corresponding to the thickness of card frame 33 such that the port and the glass plate can make or closely approach card 32, but removed suiciently to permit bushing 38 to move into bearing 78 and effectively align card 32. The vacuum is maintained during the entire period when card 32 is on carrier 24.

In another embodiment of the invention the carrier 24 is adapted to pick framed cards out of the container by means of an electromagnetic field induced in the frame 33 as illustrated in FIG. 11. The electromagnetic field can be induced by any conventional means such as an electromagnet 112 attached to the underside of frame 70. Therefore, when the carrier 24 is in position to receive a framed card from the container, the electromagnet is activated and the plastic card which has iron or other ferromagnetic particles 35 (FIG. 12) attached to its surface is magnetically attracted to, and retained in the carrier 24.

It is also within the scope of this invention to employ optical means to register the frame 33 of cards 32 on carrier 24 as shown in FIG. 13. Photocell or photocells 120 arranged in a mosaic (e.g., cruciform or spaced relation) frame 70` can be activated by a light source 114 situated in the card frame 33 which distributes light equally over the photocells when centered with respect to the mosaic. Photocells 120` activate a motor controlling the position of carrier 24 which can then be automatically aligned with frame 33 within the container by an appropriate servo control system. Lamp 114 is activated by circuits enabled by tab 36. It should be noted that only a pair of photocells may be used to align cards 32 rather than a complete cruciform because only alignment with respect to the Y-axis is required as the carrier 24 is substantially fixed with respect to the X-axis. It may be possible to employ a single photocell of a minute size in cooperation with a finely focused light source (e.g., laser, etc.) and appropriate detecting circuits (e.g., maximum) to align the cards. The detection of an appropriate signal operates holding means 69.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 10 a sensitized press plate or photographic film 28 is placed on the platen 84 of the photocomposing machine. A sheet of hard rubber 82 (approx. is placed between the sensitized press plate and the platen to provide a surface that will give slightly when pressure is applied through glass plate 72. Typically, platen 84 has a plurality of vacuum means located over its surface which are manually operable to hold a number of different size photoseusitive members thereon.

In operation, a negative or positive whose image is to be reproduced is manually registered on a light table with corresponding points on other negatives that go to make up the photocomposed image. The negative is permanently mounted (in its registered position) on the underside of plastic card 30 which is held within frame 32. All framed cards with negatives mounted thereupon that will be required for a completed photocomposed plate are stacked in container 12. The framed cards are placed in the magazine in the reverse order of their use; the first card to be used being placed into the magazine last. The framed cards are placed in the magazine with the negative facing downward. Where an electromagnet is to be used to lift the framed card out of the magazine the cards are positioned so that the magnetic material 35 fused to their surface is facing upwards towards the frame 70 of the negative holder. The carrier 24 automatically positions itself directly above the container until bushing 76 is precisely in register with bushings 38 in topmost card frame 32. Where vacuum is to be used as the lifting force a switch is activated when carrier 24 and the frame 33 are in register and suction is applied to the plastic card 32 through port 74, thereby allowing the carrier 24 to lift the framed card out of container 12. When the mode of lifting the framed card from the magazine is electromagnetic, the electromagnet 112 in the frame of the carrier 24 is actuated by means of a solenoid (when the negative holder frame and card frame are in register )thereby picking up the framed plastic card. Prior to this time the magazine (through latches 58 and 59) released the next card in sequence to be picked up by the negative holder. Next the carrier 24 carrying the framed card with a negative mounted on it is positioned over the press plate by means of an electrohydraulic pulse motor controlled by conventional programmed numerical control electronic signaling means. The carrier 24 or part thereof is next lowered so that the negative contacts the sensitized press plate and then exposure takes place. The carrier 24 then, obeying programmed electronic signals, moves to the next position on the press plate where exposure again takes place. This procedure is repeated until all required exposures of a particular negative havev been completed; the framed plastic card is then discarded into a receptacle 20 attached to the photocomposing machine. The negative holder then picks up the next plastic card from the magazine and the procedure is repeated. This cycle is repeated until all plastic cards .in the magazine have been utilized.

Upon referring to the foregoing description of the invented apparatus it is apparent that in combination with a conventional step-and-repeat photocomposing machine the use of the invented apparatus eliminates manual registering of negatives to be reproduced each time a new negative is required. Rather, the negatives are all registered and mounted on framed plastic cards prior to delivery to the magazine of the photocomposing machine. This allows a fully automated process to produce a photocomposed picture. It has been found that using this invention the time required to produce a complex photocomposed plate is reduced by as much as 75%.

It is also apparent from the description of the invention that by eliminating the necessity for manual registering each time a new negative is placed into the negative holder that the element of human error, visual or otherwise, is greatly reduced. The accuracy and synchronization of the reproduced images ou a photocomposed plate is therefore greatly improved.

Another advantage of the invented apparatus is that the aligning means (bushing and sleeve) employed to register the negative holder frame with the card frame is highly accurate and permits multiple exposures to be made on the sensitized press plate without any slippage of the negative. Therefore, the completed photocomposed image (because of better synchronization of all the negatives) is of a higher quality than was previously possible.

Although this invention has been disclosed and illustrated with reference to particular applications, the principles involved are susceptible of numerous other applications which will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. The invention is, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In an automatic stepand-repeat photocomposing machine, an automatic article receiving and registering device comprising:

a card carrier means comprising a frame having sides and oriented in the horizontal plane for receiving and holding framed cards, said frame having means for securing frame cards cooperatively thereto, and said frame having on the lower surface of at least two opposite sides first means for registering said frame with said framed cards;

a container means for receiving framed cards and for discharging framed cards therefrom` having at least two sides oriented in the vertical plane and an open top end, said container means having a vertically adjustable base and having control means for controllably. discharging said framed cards from said container means;

a plurality of transparent framed cards, each of said cards having a frame around its periphery, said frame comprising a plurality of sides, at least two horizontally protruding tabs for engaging said control means in said container means, and said frame having a plurality of further protruding tabs for holding said frame in horizontal alignment with said sides of said container means, said frame also having on the upper surface of two of said sides second means for cooperatively registering said framed card with said first means for registering on said card carrier; and

means for positioning said card carrier means into cooperative alignment with said container, and for positioning said carrier means over a platen.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first means for registering on said card carrier means are at least two openings located on said lower surface of two of said opposite sides of said carrier frame, said opening being adapted to precisely accommodate and retain in a horizontally fixed position said second means for registering on said card frame.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said means for securing framed cards to said holder frame is suction created by a vacuum, said vacuum being applied on the lower surface of said sides of said frame.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said means for securing framed cards to said holder frame is an electromagnet, said electromagnet being located on said lower surfaces of two of said sides.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said means for registering said frame of said card carrier means with said framed cards is at least one photocell located in the lower surface of opposite sides of said card carrier means, said photocell being activated by at least one light source located on said card frame, Said photocell adapted to be activated when said photocell and said light source are vertically coincident.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said card is of square configurati-on and is made of transparent plastic.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein means for controllably discharging cards from said container are at least two pneumatically actuated latches located adjacent said open uppermost end of said container means, said latches being adapted to engage and to release said horizontally protruding tabs of said card frames in an automatically timed sequence.

8. `In an automatic step-and-repeat photocomposing machine an automatic article receiving and registering device comprising:

a container means for holding cards in a predetermined orientation, comprising at least two sides, a vertically adjustable base, an open uppermost end for receiving and discharging cards therefrom, and discharge control means for controllably discharging cards therefrom;

a carrier means for holding at least one of said cards in a fixed and predetermined position, for automatically receiving said cards from said container means in a predetermined sequence, and for carrying said cards to predetermined positions on said photocomposing machine;

a plurality of cards for mounting workpieces thereupon,

said cards having means for aligning with said carrier means; and

motor means for automatically positioning said carrier means to predetermined positions on said photocomposing machine in response to programmed signals.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said cards have a transparent portion and wherein said means for aligning said cards with said carrier means comprises a frame located on the periphery of said cards, said frame having at least two bushings seated on said frame for cooperatively engaging said carrier means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,986,967 6/1961 Albert et al. 88--24 3,288,024 11/ 1966 Cronquist et al. 88-24 3,354,779 11/1967 Brown 88-24 INORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner WAYNE A. SIVERTSON, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R, 355--

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3503679 *Nov 28, 1967Mar 31, 1970Dainippon Screen MfgStep-and-repeat photocomposing machine
US3639059 *Feb 10, 1969Feb 1, 1972Matrographics IncGraphic-processing apparatus
US3844656 *Dec 4, 1972Oct 29, 1974Masuda TPhoto-composing machine
US4358198 *Sep 18, 1980Nov 9, 1982Hitachi, Ltd.Apparatus for moving table on stage
US4640612 *Oct 31, 1985Feb 3, 1987Hosen Printing Co., Ltd.Method and apparatus for controlling continuously operation of automatic photo-composer
US20110052784 *Sep 2, 2009Mar 3, 2011Mccain Foods LimitedProcess for manufacturing frozen french fried potato segments for oven reconstitution
U.S. Classification355/53, 355/95
International ClassificationG03F7/22, B41B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB41B13/00, G03F7/22
European ClassificationG03F7/22, B41B13/00