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Publication numberUS3823317 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 9, 1974
Filing dateNov 10, 1972
Priority dateDec 13, 1971
Also published asDE2162466A1
Publication numberUS 3823317 A, US 3823317A, US-A-3823317, US3823317 A, US3823317A
InventorsRitzerfeld G
Original AssigneeRitzerfeld Gerhard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Thermocopying apparatus
US 3823317 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Ritzerfeld [111 3,823,317 [451 Ju1y 9,1974

[ THERMOCOPYING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Gerhard Ritzerfeld, 1000 Berlin 33,

Schorlemer Alee 14, Germany [22] Filed: NOV. 10, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 305,590 7 [30] Foreign Application Priority Data Dec. 13, 1971 Germany 2162466 [52] US. Cl. 250/318, 250/319 [51] Int. Cl. GOld 15/10 [58] Field 01 Search 250/316, 317, 318, 319

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,066,679 12/1962 Hurley et a1. 250/317 X 3,214,585 10/1965 Stroszynski 250/318 3,230,874 1/1966 Newman et a1.. 250/318 X 3,251,994 5/1966 Russell 250/318 3,627,982 12/1971 Sagawa 250/318 X FQREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 722,023 1/1955 Great Britain 250/318 Primary Examiner-Wil1iam F. Lindquist Attorney, Agent, or FirmMichael S. Striker 5 7] ABSTRACT The thermocopying arrangement includes a source of infrared radiation focused on a line between a rotary transparent tube and a pressure roller. A transfer web having on one side a heat-responsive layer is transported through the line with the layer facing away from the source of radiation, and is wound up on a reel. At the same time, a master sheet is transported through the line in contact with the free other side of the transfer web, and a copy sheet web, or an individual copy sheet, is transported through the line in contact with the layer so that an image of the master sheet is formed on a copy sheet section, or on a copy sheet. After passage through the line, the master sheet and the copy sheet are separated from the transfer web which is wound up for further use. The separated master sheet can be again fed by the machine operator to the line of focused infrared radiation together with the transfer web and a new copy sheet.

11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEU JUL 91914 SHEH 3 BF 4 PATENTEDJUL 919M 3.823.317

saw u or 4 1 TI-IERMOCOPYING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for thermocopying mirror images on copy sheets used as printing forms from a preferably transparent master sheet by means of infrared radiation.

An apparatus of this type is disclosed in the German OS 1,572,298 which provides a holder for holding the master sheet, a transfer sheet, and a copy sheet for the copy to be made, or for making a printing form. The

holder is required to prevent relative displacement of the three sheets, and to assure full contact between the three sheets and thereby a reliable transfer of a layer on the transfer sheet to the copy sheet or printing form, corresponding to the mirror image on the master sheet. The arrangement of the prior art requires in addition to the manufacture of the holder for the three sheets, also a substantial amount of time for assembling the master sheet, the transfer sheet, and the copy sheet in a holder before each copying operation, while the three sheets have to be manually removed from the holder after the copying operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is one object of the invention to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art thermocopying apparatus, and to provide a thermocopying methodand apparatus which continuously operates and does not require holders for several sheets.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for producing a great number of copies, such as printing forms, from a master sheet.

Another object of the invention is to continuously use and wind up a transfer sheet web.

Another object of the invention is to transfer an image from the master sheet to a copy sheet by means of an intermediate transfer web passing together through a line of focused infrared radiation.

In accordance with the invention, infrared radiation is focused on a line along which a rotary transparent tube and a pressure roller cooperate, the source of radiation being stationarily mounted within the rotary transparent tube. A transfer web having a layer of dye material melting in heat, is transported between the transparent tube and the pressure roller with the layer facing away from the source of radiation in the rotary A tube. On the free side of the transfer web, a preferably transparent master sheet is singly transported through the line in which the radiation is focused, while on the layer of the transfer web, a copy sheet web, or individual copy sheets, such as printing forms, are synchronously transported. Behind the focusing line, the master sheet and the printing form are separated from the transfer web, which is wound up on a reel.

A method according to the invention comprises focusing infrared radiation on a line, transporting a transfer web having on one side a radiation-responsive layer through the line with the layer facing away from the source of radiation, transporting a master sheet in contact with the other side of the transfer web through the line, transporting a copy sheet web, or a copy sheet in contact with the layer through the line whereby an image of the master sheet is produced on a copy sheet section or on an individual copy sheet by transferred layer portions, separating behind the line the master sheet and the copy sheet from the transfer web, and winding up the transfer web.

An apparatus according to the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a transfer station including a source of radiation; first transporting means for transporting a master sheet through the transfer station; second transporting means for transporting through the transfer station a portion of a transfer web having on one side a radiation-responsive transferable layer, in a position in which the other side thereof is in contact with the master sheet and faces the source. said second transporting means including a takeoff reel before the transfer station, and a windup reel for winding up the transfer web after passage through the transfer station; and third transporting means for transporting copy sheet means through the transfer station in a posi* tion abutting the layer of said transfer web.

In this manner, after transfer of a part of the layer to the copy sheet means, a master sheet can be again supplied to the first transporting means for cooperation with another portion of the transfer web taken off the takeoff reel, and wound up on the windup reel.

The arrangement is perferably such that the transfer web is transported by transporting rollers preceding the transfer station between the rotary tube of a transfer station which houses the radiation source, and a corresponding pressure roller, and moves to a deflecting guide means and from there to the windup reel so that the transfer web is separated from the copy sheet web, or from an individual copy sheet. If individual copy sheets are used, an automatic feeding means for successively feeding copy sheets to a pair of transporting rol lers is provided, and the same transporting rollers receive the fed master sheet.

In an embodiment of the invention in which a copy sheet web is used, sensing means are provided for sensing the leading and trailing ends of a transported master sheet, and control punching means to punch the transfer web to indicate the ends of a copy sheet which is obtained by cutting the copy sheet web in accordance with sensed punched holes in the transfer web before the same is wound up.

Preferably, a feeler is provided in the region of a pair of transporting rollers which transport the master sheet to the transfer station. Only when a master sheet is placed between the transporting rollers, a feeler switch controls a circuit to start the drive motor of the apparatus, and if second sheets are fed by feeding means, also i the feeding means.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, partly schematic, side elevation, partially in vertical section, illustrating an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating the electric circuit of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, schematic side elevation, partially in vertical section, illustrating another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating the electric circuit of the embodiment of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, a master sheet 1 can be placed on a supply table 45, and is transported by a pair of transporting rollers 3 and 4. When a switch 44 is depressed by the machine operator, current flows through a delay amplifier 32 and through a relay 63 so that a motor 5 is started, as best seen in FIG. 2. Motor 5 drives, as shown in FIG. 1, a gear pulley 6 which drives through a gear belt 13 the gear pulley 7 of transporting roller 4, the gear pulley 8 of a pressure roller 19, a gear pulley 9 with another transporting roller 16 so that also transporting roller 3, transporting roller 15, and gear pulley 12 through gear belt 14, and thereby windup reel 17 are rotated so that a transfer web 24 is wound up on windup reel 12, and taken off the takeoff reel 28. The driven pressure roller 19 pulls a print form web 30 from a supply reel 29. The pressure roller 19 and the small rollers 20 and 21, support a cylindrical tube 18, which is preferably transparent, for rotation. A stationary reflector 31 is mounted within the transparent rotary tube 18, and focuses the radiation of a source of infrared light onto a line along which pressure roller 19 cooperates with the outer surface of the tube 18. A blower 27 is provided above a supporting table 34 which is located between the pair of rollers 18 and 19 and a pair of rollers 15, 16, and has a stripper edge 34a in the bight between the rollers 19 and 18. Underneath the stripping edge 34a, a receptacle 33 is provided for a master sheet which was fed on support table 45, has been transported by transporting rollers 3 and 4, and has passed through the transfer station 18 to 21, 31, 25. A feeler switch 2 in the region of the bight of the transporting rollers 3, 4, senses the leading edge-of a supplied master sheet 1, and effects the start of motor 5 by energizing amplifier 32, relay 63 with relay contact 64 after the manual switch 44 has been depressed. At the same time, the source of infrared radiation 25, and the blowers 26 and 27 are started, as best seen in FIG. 2.

Between the transporting rollers 3, 4, and the transfer station l8, 19, 25, a sensing means 22 is provided for sensing the leading edge of the master sheet 1 trans ported by transporting rollers 3 and 4 to the transfer station l8, I9, 25.

As shown in FIG. 2, the response of the photoelectric sensing means 22 produces a signal amplified by amplifier 66 which controls a punch 23, see also FIG. 1, which punches a hole into a projecting marginal portion of the transfer web 24 which is taken off the reel 28 and passes between pressure roller 19 and the rotary tube 18 to the transporting rollers 16 and 15, and from there over a deflecting guide means 35 to a deflecting roller 36 and from there to the windup reel 17. The defleeting guide means 35 separates the transfer web 24 from a copy sheet web supplied from supply reel 29 and transported by transporting rollers 15 and 16 to a cutting device. When other sensing means 37, see also FIG. 2, respond to a punched hole in the marginal portion of the transfer web 24, a signal is produced which is amplified in amplifier 67 and operates the electromagnetic cutting means 38 to cut the copy sheet web 30 at a point corresponding to a leading edge of the master sheet 1.

When switch 44 is manually depressed, and a master sheet 1 is supplied to the bight between transporting rollers 3 and 4, the feeler switch 2 is operated, and motor 5 is started, as explained above. The transporting rollers 4 and 3 transport the master sheet through the sensing means 22 so that punch 23 is operated and punches the transfer web 24 which is being taken off from the takeoff reel 28. The transfer web 24 has on the side facing away from the tube 18 and the source of radiation 25, a layer which softens when subjected to heat in the line on which the radiation of source 25 is focused by reflector 31, the line being located between the rollers 19 and 18. On the side of transfer web 24 where the layer is provided, the print form web 30 is supplied from the supply reel 29, the master sheet 1, transfer web 24, and print form web 30 being transported at uniform speed by the pair of transporting rollers l5, 16 between pressure roller 19 and tube 18 in superimposed condition.

An endless gauze band 48 passes over the rotary tube 18 directly adjacent the same and under the master sheet 1, and also passes over a roller 47 biased by spring 46 to tension the endless gauze band 48.

Since master sheet 1, print form web 30, and transfer web 24 between the same, move together through the focusing line between the transparent rotary tube 18 and the pressure roller 19, the layer of the transfer web is softened in accordance with the mirror image on the master sheet 1, and corresponding parts of the layer are transferred to a section of the print form web whose length corresponds to the length of the master sheet. When the leading edge of master sheet 1 passes through sensing means 22, punch 23 is operated and punches the marginal portion of the transfer web 24 on support table 34, and when the trailing edge of the master sheet 1 passes sensing means 22, punch 23 is again operated to punch a hole in the transfer web 24 indicating the end of the imprint on the master sheet 1 on the copy sheet web 30.

In the meantime, the transported master sheet 1 has released the feeler switch 2, so that feeler switch 2 opens and interrupts the flow of current to motor 5, blowers 26, 27, and source of infrared radiation 25, as best seen in FIG. 2.

At this moment, the respective master sheet 1 has been stripped by stripper edge 34a from the free side of the transfer sheet 24, and is collected in a receptacle 33. The copy sheet web 30 has a radiated section 300 resting on the table 34. If the apparatus is started as described above for making another copy sheet, which may be used as a printing form, the transfer web 24 is separated behind the transporting rollers l5, 16 by the deflecting guide 35 from the copy sheet web 30, and is wound on the windup reel after passing over the guide roller 36.

The sensing means 37, which is provided in the region of the guide roller 36, is actuated by a punched hole in the marginal portion of the transfer web 24 and operates the electromagnetic cutting device 38. By exactly adjusting the positions of the sensing means 22 and 37, and of the punching device 23, a precise cutting of separate copy sheet sections or printing form sections 39 from the printing form web 30 is obtained. The cut off copy sheets or printing forms 39 are received by a receptacle 40, and a pivotally mounted flap 4] guides waste portions 42 of copy sheet web 30 between copy sheets 39 into a receptacle 43. Flap 41 is operated from the cutter 38 by means, not shown, which obtain a synchronous operation of flap 41 and cutter 38.

As explained above, manual switch 44 only closes the circuit of motor 5 when the relay contact 64 is closed. However, when switch 44 is operated while relay contact 64 is open, motor 5 is directly connected to the voltage, as shown in FIG. 2, so that motor 5 starts, and

the cutting device 38 and flap 41 are operated to eject the last copy sheet section which is still in the appara tus.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate another embodiment of the apparatus in which precut copy sheets or printing forms are used instead of a continuous printing form web. Copy sheets or printing forms 54 arestacked in a container, and a feedingroller 53 is driven by a gear pulley 31 to eject the uppermost copy sheet 54 into the bight between the transporting rollers 3 and 4 to which the transfer web 24 passes together with the mastersheet l, as explained above. The master sheet 1 is singly fed by the machine operator, and the transfer web is taken off the takeoff reel 28 which is located directly above the feeding or'supply table 45 and somewhat below the stack of copy sheets 45 so that master sheet 1 abuts transporting roller 3, a fed copy sheet 54 abuts transporting roller 4, and transfer web 24 passes between master sheet 1 and the fed copy sheet 54, with its layer facing the respective copy sheet 54. In this manner, all three sheets are together transported to the bight be tween the pressure roller 19 and the rotary transparent tube 18 in which the layer of the transfer web is heated by the focused radiation of the source of infrared radiation 25 so that the above explained transfer of an image from the master sheet to the printing form 54 takes place.

In the embodiment of FIG. 3, a takeoff reel 56 supplies a protective web 57 directly to the pressure roller 19, and the protective web 57 is then wound up on a takeup reel 55. Since the copy sheets 54 are already cut, the cutting means 38 of the embodiment of FIG. 1 are omitted. An imprinted printing form 39 passes over the transfer web 24 on the deflecting guide 35, and is driven by the transporting rollers 15, 16 to fall into a receptacle 40. The master sheet 1 is collected in receptacle 33 as described with reference to FIG. 1. The sensing means 22 and 37, and the punch 23 of the embodiment of FIG. 1, are omitted in the embodiment of FIG. 3.

When master sheet 1 is placed between the transporting rollers 3 and 4, the feeler switch 2 is closed, and the motor 49 is started, while at the same time a magnetic clutch 59, connected with motor 49, is energized and engages. The feeding roller 53 is driven by gear pulleys 50, 51 and a gear belt 52 to feed a copy sheet or printing form 54 until the magnetic clutch 59 is again deenergized and disengaged by a mono-amplifier 65. A cam ing rollers 3 and 4 to the transfer station l8, 19, 25, 31

so that all three sheets pass through the line at which the source of radiation 25 is focused by the reflector 31, and the layer of transfer web 24 is heated and softened. The master sheet 1 is located below, and the printing form 54 is located above the transfer web 24, whose layer abuts the printing form or copy sheet 54.

Since motor 5 and its pulley 6 drives the endless gear belt 13, the pulley 10 is also driven, and the protective web 57 is transported while passing over pressure roller 19 above the copy sheet or printing form 54. In the event that one of the printing forms 54 is accidentally not fed, the dye layer of the transfer web 24 will not come into contact with the pressure roller 3, but only with the protective web 57 so that pressure roller 19 will not become dirty and soil the next fed printing form 54.

After passage between tube 18 and pressure roller 19,the master sheet is stripped off the free side of the transfer web 24 by the stripper edge 34a and falls into the receptacle 33. The printing form 54 is transported by the transporting rollers 15, 16 into the receptacle 40, while the transfer web 24, guided over the deflecton the shaft of motor 49, see FIG. 5, closes for a ing guide means 35, is wound up on the windup reel 17 which is driven by the gear belt 40 from pulley 11. When master sheet 1 has passed the transporting rollers 3 and 4 so that feeler switch 2 is released, motor 49 is disconnected. Relay 63 is energized throught the delay amplifier 32 and operates the respective relay contact 64 with a delay so that after a period of time, motor 5, source of radiation 25, and the motors of blowers 26 and 27 are disconnected from the voltage. A finished printing form or copy sheet 54 is now lying on the supporting table 34 above the transfer web 24, and is transported by transporting rollers 15 and 16 to fall into the receptacle 40 when the transfer web 24 separates therefrom at the deflecting guide 35. This separation of the finished printing form 54 from the continuously wound up transfer web 24, takes place when the next following master sheet 1 is placed on the supply table 1 engaging feeler switch 2.

Without supply of a new master sheet 1 to the feeler switch 2, the motor 5 can be started by manual operation of switch 44 for ejecting the last printing form 39 into container 40.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of thermocopying arrangements differing from the types described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and de scribed as embodied in a thermocopying method and apparatus with a continuously wound up transfer web having a radiation-responsive layer, it is not intended to be limited the the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended Within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Thermocopying arrangement with a transfer web comprising, in combination, a transfer station including a source of infrared radiation; first transporting means for transporting a master sheet throough said transfer station; second transporting means for transporting through said transfer station a portion of a transfer web having on one side a radiation responsive transferable layer in a position in which the other side thereof is in contact with said master sheet and faces said source, said second transporting means including a take off reel upstream of said transfer station, and a windup reel for winding up said transfer web downstream of said transfer station; third transporting means for transporting a continuous copy sheet web through said transfer station in a position abutting said layer on said one side of said transfer web, said transfer web having a marginal portion projecting laterally beyond said master sheet and said copy sheet web; first sensing means for sensing the leading and trailing ends of the transported master sheet; means controlled by said first sensing means for providing said marginal portion of said transfer web with markings spaced from each other according to the spacing of leading and trailing ends from each other; deflecting guide means downstream of said transfer station for deflecting the transfer web away from said copy sheet web; cutting means downstream of said deflecting guide means for cutting said copy sheet web into copy sheet sections; and second sensing means downstream of said means for providing said marginal portion of the transfer web with markings and controlling said cutting means in accordance with said markmgs.

2. Arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said transfer station includes a driven rotary transparent tube having an outer surface in contact with said master sheet, a pressure roller cooperating with said tube along a line, and being in contact with said copy sheet web, and a reflector in said tube, said source being in said tube and being focused by said reflector in said line; and wherein said master sheet is transparent.

3. Arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first transporting means include first collecting means for said master sheet, said first collecting means including stripper means for stripping said master sheet off said transfer web following said transfer station, and a receptacle for receiving the stripped master sheet.

4. Arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first transporting means include a pair of transporting rollers located underneath said takeoff reel; and wherein third transporting means include a supply reel located above said transfer station and having said copy sheet web wound up thereon.

5. Arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said transfer station includes a rotary tube, and a presser roller above said tube cooperating with said tube and pressing said copy sheet web against said transfer web, and said transfer web against said master sheet; and comprising fourth transporting means for transporting a protective web between and in contact with said presser roller and said copy sheet web so that when the copy sheet web is not fed to said transfer station, said protective web is in contact with said layer of said transfer web.

6. Arrangement as claimed in claim 5, wherein said fourth transporting means include a takeoff roller and a windup roller located above said transfer station.

7. Arrangement as claimed in claim 1, wherein said third transporting means include a pair of transporting rollers following said transfer station and rotating at uniform speed; comprising a supporting table between said transfer station and said transporting rollers, said supporting table having a stripper edge adjacent said transfer station for stripping the master sheet from said transfer web which is transported with said copy sheet web by said transporting rollers.

8. Arrangement as claimed in claim 7, comprising blower means located above said supporting table for cooling the section of said copy sheet web located on said supporting table.

9. Arrangement as claimed in claim 7, comprising a receptacle for master sheets stripped by said stripper edge, said receptacle being located under said supporting table; and another receptacle following said cutting means for receiving copy sheet sections.

10. Arrangement as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for providing said marginal portions with markings comprise punching means for punching holes into said marginal portions.

11. Arrangement as defined in claim 1, wherein said second sensing means are located between said deflecting guide means of said windup reel.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4659927 *May 31, 1985Apr 21, 1987Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Image transfer apparatus and method
US5132537 *Apr 16, 1991Jul 21, 1992Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Image transfer apparatus and method
US5512126 *Mar 11, 1994Apr 30, 1996Polaroid CorporationOptical laminator
WO1995024311A1 *Mar 2, 1995Sep 14, 1995Polaroid CorporationOptical laminator
WO1998002294A2 *Jul 14, 1997Jan 22, 1998John WoodHeat-welding of plastics by radiation
WO1998002294A3 *Jul 14, 1997Jul 23, 1998John WoodHeat-welding of plastics by radiation
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/318, 250/319
International ClassificationG03B27/02, G03B27/10, B41M5/025, B41M5/04, B41M5/382, G03D13/00, B41M5/26, G03B27/30
Cooperative ClassificationB41M5/38221, G03B27/306, G03B27/10
European ClassificationG03B27/10, B41M5/382A4, G03B27/30H