US 3915085 A
An automatic device for imprinting indicia upon hollow bodies, such as cups, cans, or the like wherein a revolving carrier wheel having radially extending spokes is arranged to support said hollow bodies thereon in imprinting position and to rotatably convey said hollow bodies through the printing mechanism. Pressure rollers firmly compress the hollow bodies onto the spokes of the revolving carrier wheel, a suction conveyor is located to engage the hollow bodies after imprinting for removal thereof from said spokes and for delivery to a drying belt. Stationary lifting flanks laterally adjoining the revolving carrier wheel are arranged together with air nozzles operatively associated therewith to facilitate removal from the spokes of the hollow bodies and to enable engagement thereof by the suction conveyor which is located to transport the hollow bodies from the revolving carrier wheel onto the drying belt. The drying belt is conveniently arranged between the suction conveyor and a device which feeds the hollow bodies onto the spokes of the revolving carrier wheel and a common drive may be provided for the suction conveyor and the drying belt.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Lehmann Oct. 28, 1975  Inventor: Werner Lehmann, Freiburg,
Switzerland  Assignee: Polytype AG, Switzerland  Filed: Sept. 21, 1973  Appl. No.: 399,478
 Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 22, 1972 Switzerland 14148/72  11.8. Cl. 101/38 A; 198/22 R; 198/25; 214/1 BS  Int. Cl. B41F 17/28  Field of Search 101/38-40; 198/20 R, 25, 22 R, 165; 214/1 B, 1 BA, 1 BS, 1 BH, 1 HT  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,915,201 12/1959 Calehuff et a1 214/1 BH 3,162,115 12/1964 Bauer 101/39 3,195,451 7/1965 Hovekamp et al.... 101/38 R 3,411,439 11/1968 Moes et al. 101/38 R 3,502,236 3/1970 Stadelman 214/1 BT X 3,570,693 3/1971 Peyton 198/165 X 3,587,816 6/1971 Russell et a1. 214/1 BA X 3,613,571 10/1971 Russell et a1. 214/1 BS X 3,685,441 8/1972 Aebersold et a1 101/38 A Primary Examiner-Clifford 1D. Crowder Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Toren, McGeady and Stanger [5 7] ABSTRACT An automatic device for imprinting indicia upon hollow bodies, such as cups, cans, or the like wherein a revolving carrier wheel having radially extending spokes is arranged to support said hollow bodies thereon in imprinting position and to rotatably convey said hollow bodies through the printing mechanism. Pressure rollers firmly compress the hollow bodies onto the spokes of the revolving carrier wheel, a suction conveyor is located to engage the hollow bodies after imprinting for removal thereof from said spokes and for delivery to a drying belt. Stationary lifting flanks laterally adjoining the revolving carrier wheel are arranged together with air nozzles operatively associated therewith to facilitate removal from the spokes of the hollow bodies and to enable engagement thereof by the suction conveyor which is located to transport the hollow bodies from the revolving carrier wheel onto the drying belt. The drying belt is conveniently arranged between the suction conveyor and a device which feeds the hollow bodies onto the spokes of the revolving carrier wheel and a common drive may be provided for the. suction conveyor and the drying belt.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures U.S.. Patent 0a. 28, 1975 3,915,085
APPARATUS FOR PRINTING AND HANDLING HOLLOW BODIES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an automatic printer for the imprinting of hollow bodies, such as cups, cans, sleeves, or the like, and more particularly to an improved printer including means for continuously conveying therethrough the hollow bodies to be imprinted. 1
Printing and decorating machines of similar character are disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,685,441 and 3,195,451.
More specifically, the automatic printer of the pres ent invention involves a device which includes an improved revolving carrier wheel operating as an indexing mechanism and having spokes thereon adapted to have the hollow bodies supported on the ends of the spokes in imprinting position. In such printers known in the art, certain drawbacks arise with regard to the removal of the hollow bodies, due to the fact that the bodies are not transported in their ideal position and that a requircment arises for the incorporation of costly speed impeding devices.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved automatic printer that overcomes the drawbacks of prior art mechanisms.
In accordance with the present invention, an automatic printer of the type described is provided with pressure rollers which operate to firmly press the hollow bodies onto the ends of the spokes of the revolving carrier wheel as the bodies are delivered thereto from a delivery mechanism. Stationery lifting flanks joining the carrier wheel and arranged laterally thereof operate together with air nozzles to facilitate the lifting of the hollow bodies from the spoke ends for delivery to a suction device which operates to convey the hollow bodies onto a drying belt which is arranged between the suction device and the hollow body feeder mechanism. In operation, hollow bodies are fed into engagement with the ends of the spokes and after the imprinting operation they are removed therefrom and engaged by the suction device which transports them to the drying belt for further processing.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the suction device is configured in the form of an elongated conveyor belt.
The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partial view showing the mechanism of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the mechanism showing the imprinting means; and
FIG. 2a is a schematic view showing the outline of a slot formed in a portion of the mechanism of FIGS. I and 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, there is shown an automatic printer including a frame (not shown) having side walls 1 and 2. A printing mechanism 3 includes an inking device 4. A revolving carrier wheel 5 mounted on the output shaft of an indexing mechanism 8 operatively associated with the printing mechanism includes 0 radially extending carriers 6 arranged in the form of spokes whose ends are adapted to have the hollow bodies to be processed supported thereon. A hollow body feeder mechanism 7 is arranged to deliver the hollow body 24 for engagement with the carrier 6. For the sake of clarity, the indexing mechanism 8, which is conventional and within the knowledge of those skilled in the art, is not shown in detail.
In their imprinting position, the hollow bodies 24 to be imprinted are firmly compressed upon the hollow body carriers 6 by means of a pressure roller 9, with stationery lifting flanks 10 being arranged in a delivery position laterally adjoining the revolving carrier wheel 5. Air nozzles 11 are operatively associated with the lifting flanks I0 and a suction conveyor 15 is arranged above the revolving carrier wheel 5. A drying belt 23 is arranged between the suction device 15 and the hollow body feeder device 7 for accommodating the im printed hollow bodies 24.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the suction device 15 is provided with continuously revolving conveyor belts 12 and 13 and with a suction box having a suction line 16. A slot 14 defined between the conveyor belts 12 and 13 is also provided and a pair of conveyor belt rollers 17. are arranged to have one of the rollers 17 connected with a belt pulley 18 which, by means of belts 19, drives a drying belt 23 through a belt pulley 20 and gears 21, 22. The slot 14 in the suction box 15 is designed in such a way that it comprises a rectangular elongated configuration, or it may be tapered from one of its ends to the other with the wider end of the slot facing the delivery side of the mechanism. The contour of the slot 14 is best seen in FIG. 2a.
In the operation of the device, the hollow bodies 24 which are to be imprinted are placed upon the feeder mechanism 7 and are conveyed to the hollow body carrier 6 in the imprinting position. The pressure roll 9 firmly presses the hollow bodies 24 onto the carriers 6. At a delivery station, stationary lifting flanks l0 arranged to be laterally adjoining the revolving carrier wheel 5 and which include air nozzles 11, facilitate lifting and removal of the hollow bodies 24 from the carrier 6 at the point where the hollow bodies pass beneath the suction device 15. It will be apparent that the lifting flanks l0 engage the hollow bodies 24 to alleviate engagement with the carrier 6 and that the nozzles 11 provide an upwardly directed air stream to assist in conveying the hollow bodies 24 into engagement with the slot 14. The slot 14 in the suction box 15 operates to enable the hollow bodies 24 to be drawn toward the conveyor belts l2, l3 and to be carried thereby to the drying belt 23 for placement thereupon.
From the drying belt 23, the dried hollow bodies are further conveyed to a delivery station (not shown).
While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the inventive principles, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.
1. An automatic printer apparatus for imprinting indicia upon hollow bodies, such as cups, cans, or the like, including a printing mechanism, an inking device for said printing mechanism, a revolving carrier wheel having radially extending spokes arranged to support said hollow bodies in imprinting position on the ends thereof, means for feeding said hollow bodies to said carrier wheel into engangement with said spoke ends, and a control mechanism operatively associated with said printing meachanism, said apparatus comprising, in combination, a pressure roller located adjacent said carrier wheel and positioned relative to said spokes to firmly compress said hollow bodies onto said spokes in imprinting position, suction conveyor means located to engage said hollow bodies after imprinting for removal thereof from said spokes, stationary lifting flanks adjoining said revolving carrier wheel and arranged to have said carrier wheel rotate alongside thereof, said lifting flanks having a configuration operative to engage said hollow bodies and to lift said hollow bodies from said spokes thereby to facilitate removal of said hollow bodies from said spokes for engagement by said suction conveyor means, nozzle means operatively associated with said lifting flanks and directed to provide an air stream flowing in a direction for assisting in the removal of said hollow bodies from said spokes and to propel said hollow bodies toward said suction conveyor means, and a drying belt for accomodating said hollow bodies thereon, said drying belt being arranged between said suction conveyor means and said hollow body feeding means to receive thereon hollow bodies delivered thereto by said suction conveyor means, said suction conveyor means comprising a pair of continuously revolving conveyor belts, a suction box arranged to have said conveyor belts revolve thereabout, said suction box having defined therein an elongated slot extending lengthwise in the direction of rotation of said belts, said conveyor belts being laterally spaced apart on opposite sides of said elongated slot whereby suction from said suction box may be applied through said slot to engage and hold said hollow bodies upon said conveyor belts across the length of said slot to enable transfer by said conveyor belts of said hollow bodies from said carrier wheel to said drying belt.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said slot comprises a generally tapered configuration extending from a first wider end toward a second narrower end, with the wider end of said slot being located rearwardly thereof taken in the direction of rotation of said conveyor belts.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 including a pair of rollers arranged for driving said conveyor belts, a first belt pulley connected to one of said rollers, a second belt pulley, gear means connected between said drying belt and said second belt pulley, and belt means connected between said first belt pulley and said second belt pulley for driving said dryer belt through said gear means.