US 3521554 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 21, 1970 A. T. ZURICK 3,
APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS CAN PRINTING Filed May 24, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet FIG INVENTOR ALBERT T Z ICI ATTORNEY Juiy 21, 1970 A. T. ZURICK 5 APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS CAN PRINTING Filed May 24, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 CON T ROL INVENTOR ALBERT T- w 22%, 5 m,
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,521,554 APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS CAN PRINTING Albert T. Zurick, Aldau, Pa., assignor to Cities Service Company, a corporation of Delaware Filed May 24, 1967, Ser. No. 640,895 Int. Cl. B41f 17/22 US. Cl. 101-40 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Continuous, high-speed can printing apparatus in which the adverse effects of impact printing are minimized. Printing of the can by the impression blanket and inking of the impression blanket by the plate cylinder at the same time are avoided. Spaced apart, independently movable impression segments are provided, each at least as long as the circumference of the can beingprinted. The gap between each impression segment is the same length or greater than that of the impression segments. Plate cylinders are positioned so as to contact impression segments at the time that contact between a different impression segment and the printed can is broken.
This invention relates to apparatus for the printing of can bodies. More particularly, it relates to an improved apparatus for the continuous printing of the exterior surfaces of can bodies.
In can printing operations, an impression blanket picks up ink from plate cylinders and applies the desired impression to the exterior surfaces of the can bodies being printed. The can bodies are normally mounted on mandrels freely rotatable about their longitudinal axes. Each can body is rotated about the axis of its mandrel during the time in which contact is maintained between the can and the impression blanket.
Most can printing machines require intermittent movement of the rotatable, mandrel-holding carrier. That is, the carrier remains stationary during the actual printing operation. The capacity of such intermittently operated machines is necessarily limited and their efficiency is adversely effected. Such machines typically would print from about 100 to about 200 cans per minute.
More recently, can printing machines have been proposed that would enable the rotatable carrier to be r0- tated continuously during the printing operation. Such continuously rotated carriers have a high plurality of arms mounted thereon. These arms are adapted for rocking movement and each generally supports a can-holding mandrel, on which the can being printed is carried. Such continuously rotatable machines permit the printing of more than 200 cans per minute. Preferably over 500 cans per minute are printed on such continuously rotatable machines.
While such apparatus permits continuous rotation of the can-holding carrier, difiiculties arise in high-speed printing that do not occur in the low-speed, intermittent printing of the older type machines. In high-speed, continuous operation, the type of contact in which the continuously moving impression blanket and the can engage is known as impact printing. In this type of printing, the initial contact of the impression member with the continuously moving can is accompanied by an impact that tends to jar the apparatus, thereby introducing vibrations into the system and also, in some cases, tending to blur or smear the printing ink on the can being printed.
As pointed out in my co-pending application Ser. No. 526,267 filed Feb. 9, 1966, now US. Pat. 3,356,019, it is sometimes necessary or desirable to provide an impression member having movable impression segments. Each segment is made independently movable so that the partic- "ice ular impression segment that would contact a can to be printed can be moved back to a non-operative position in the event that the absence of a can or a defective can were detected as approaching the can printing position. In response to a signal from a conventional logic system and in proper timed sequence, a solenoid-operated air cylinder may be operated so as to move a suitable cam member into an operative position so as to cause or permit the desired blanket segment to move toward the center of the impression member. In this manner, contact between the impression member segment and the defective can or the can-holding mandrel sleeve can be avoided. When such movable impression segments are provided, however, the problem of impact printing is aggravated. For example, the contact of the plate cylinder with each impression segment will cause an impact that will tend to jar the impression member system in a manner so as to possibly blur the printing on the particular can that, at that moment, is being printed by another impression segment. In addition, the re-occurring simultaneous impact between the plate cylinder and the impression segments, together with the impacts arising upon contact of the impression segments with the can to be printed, cause continually reoccurring shocks and impacts that tend to disrupt the smooth operation of the continuous, high-speed printing machine and to cause greatly increased wear upon the whole printing system.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for printing the exterior surfaces of cylinders and can bodies.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for the continuous printing of said cylinders and can bodies.
It is another object of the present invention to provide the continuous high-speed printing apparatus in which the adverse effects of impact printing are minimized.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved continuous, high-speed can printing apparatus employing independently movable impression segments.
With these other objects in mind, the invention is hereinafter described with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view illustrating the continuous can printing apparatus in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view illustrating a particular embodiment of the can printing apparatus of the present invention.
In the drawing, the impression blanket 1 is mounted on a suitable driveshaft 2, driven by drive motor 3. Positioned so as to contact impression blanket 1 are four plate cylinders 4. Each of the plate cylinders is contacted by a conventional inker system designated generally by the numeral 5. Each of these inker systems include ink form rollers, vibrator rollers and a fountain roll in contact with a source of ink supply, the arrangement of rollers in the inker system being well known in the art.
The cans 19 to be printed are fed to the can printing apparatus by means of can infeed 6. A transfer and printing mechanism, generally designated by the numeral 7 carries the cans, in a continuous movement, into proximity with impression blanket 1 as shown in the drawing.
Impression blanket 1 is not a continuous blanket surface, but rather comprises a series of impression blanket segments 8 separated from each other by non-printing gaps 9. Each segment 8 is provided with its own tightening shafts 10, by means of which the blankets may be adjusted to the desired degree of tension in the manner wellknown in the art.
The eight individual blanket segments 8 are illustrated as equally spaced along the circumference of impression blanket 1 at radial angles of 45 from each other. Each blanket segment 8 is equal in effective length or preferably slightly longer than the circumference of the can to be printed. This slight additional length permits a fine adjustment of the printing at the initial point of impact between the can and the impression segment by allowing the trailing end of a impression segment to print the portion of the can making initial contact with the impression segment. By effective length of the impression segment is meant the portion of each impression blanket that will contact the can to be printed. In a similar manner, the gap 9 between each impression blanket segment is at least equal in length to the effective length of each impression segment. Preferably, gap 9 is slightly longer than the effective length of each impression segment 8.
Each of the plate cylinders 4 are positioned so that contact between it and the blanket segment 8 commences at the time that contact between another impression segment 8 and a can to be printed is broken off. Likewise, contact between each plate and an impression segment is broken off before contact between another impression segment to a can being printed commences. For this purpose, each of the plate cylinders 4 are positioned at 45 apart and in such a position that contact with the moving blanket segment 8 commences slightly after the trailing end of the segment 8 in the printing zone loses contact with the can that it has printed.
In operation, impression blanket 1 is continuously rotated in one direction at a speed sufiicient so that each blanket segment 8 contacts and completely prints one can that is fed into the printing position by the continuous rotation of printing mechanism 7. The position of plate cylinders 4 are such that no printing from plate to impression blanket segment occurs during the printing from impression blanket segment to a can. Likewise, during the non-printing interval in which no blanket segment 8 is in a can printing position, printing occurs from plate cylinder 4 to blanket segment 8. Thus, the impact due to initial contact between plate cylinder 4 and impression blanket segment 8 does not occur during the printing of a can and likewise does not coincide with the impact occurring upon initial contact of a blanket segment 8 with a can. A severe jolt to the system due to a combination of impacts is thereby avoided.
While in the illustrated embodiment, eight impression blanket segments 8 are shown, any convenient number of impression blanket segments may be employed. Since the length of each segment must be equal or preferably slightly longer than the circumference of the can being printed, it will be appreciated that incorporating a greater or lesser number of segments in impression blanket 1 will require a change in the size of impression blanket 1 for any given size of can being printed. For example, if six segments were desired, a smaller diameter impression blanket would be employed in order to maintain the length of each impression blanket segment at the desired length. If, on the other hand, ten segments were employed, a larger impression blanket diameter would have to be employed in order that each segment length would equal the desired length. In any event, the impression blanket segments 8 are equally spaced around the circumference of impression blanket 1.
In the illustrated embodiment, each of four plate cylpresent invention to position the plate cylinders apart from one another at some multiple of the radial angle corresponding to that associated with an impression segment and its corresponding non-printing gap. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, any adjacent plates 4 could be positioned apart at an angle of instead of 45 The present invention also contemplates the use of any convenient or desired number of plate cylinders. Normally between one and five plate cylinders will be employed, although it would be possible to include additional cylinders depending upon the number of colors desired to be printed. The size of the plate cylinder likewise is not a critical feature of the present invention provided, however, that the proper register is maintained so that each portion of an impression segment will be printed by the plate cylinder in the same manner as the corresponding portion of each other impression segment.
As previously disclosed, it is often desirable to provide means to move each impression segment back to a nonoperative position when it is desired not to print. This feature is shown in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 2. A solenoid-operated air cylinder of conventional design may be employed for this purpose. Such an air cylinder 14 may be operated in response to the detection of the absence of a can or the presence of a defective can by a commercially available step-up type logic system 12, such as that marketed by Square D Company. A signal from a standard metal or metallic sensing device or devices 11 may be employed to provide a signal to the solenoid 13 that operates air cylinder 14, causing the air cylinder piston rod to move the pivotable portion 16 of cam 15 toward the center of the impression blanket 1 about pivot 17. Cam followers 18 secured to impression segments 8 will follow the surface of pivotable cam segment 16, causing the impression segment 8 to move to a non-printing position toward the center of the impression blanket. Similarly, movement of cam segment 16 back to the true circle, printing position will permit the next cam follower 18 to remain in the same are followed during contact with the non-pivotable portion of cam 15. Impression segment 8, in this event, will be in printing position as it approaches the printing zone.
1. In apparatus for continuous, high speed printing on the exterior of can bodies by means of an impression blanket that is inked by means of an inker system including plate cylinders in contact with said impression blanket the impression-imparting surface of which is rotatable in timed relation with the movement of can supporting means, the improvement in which the impression blanket comprises spaced apart, independently movable impression segments, each segment being at least equal in effective length to the circumference of the can being printed, and the non-printing gap between each movable impression segment being at least equal in length to that of said impression segments, the plate cylinders being positioned with respect to said impression blanket and spaced apart at approximately equal radial angles around the circumference of the impression blanket, each angle being equal to the angle occupied by each impression segment together with its corresponding gap, said plate cylinder being positioned so as to contact an impression segment at the time that contact between a different blanket segment and a printed can is broken, whereby the adverse effects of impact printing are minimized by avoiding printing blanket-to-can and plate-to-blanket at the same time.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which each impression segment is slightly longer in effective length than the circumference of the can being printed.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 in which the non-printing gap is slightly longer than the effective length of each impression segment.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 in which the apparatus is capable of printing more than about 200 cans per minute.
5 6 5. The apparatus of claim 1 in which between one 3,200,742 8/1965 Kasermann 10138 XR and five cylinders are employed. 3,250,213 5/ 1966 Brigham et a1 10140 6. The apparatus of claim and including means for 3,261,281 7/1966 Haitmeister 10140 XR moving each segment of said impression blanket toward FOREIGN PATENTS the center of the impression blanket in response to the detection of the absence of a can to be printed or the presence of a defective can in the can printing position.
5 869,888 6/1961 Great Britain.
ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner References Cited 0. D. CROWDER, Assistant Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 2,796,164 6/1957 Hakogi 101 40 XR CL 2,924,169 2/1960 Scott 101- 40 101247; 1l81, 8