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Publication numberUS3915087 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1975
Filing dateJan 22, 1973
Priority dateJan 20, 1972
Also published asDE2202545A1, DE2202545B2, DE2202545C3
Publication numberUS 3915087 A, US 3915087A, US-A-3915087, US3915087 A, US3915087A
InventorsTiemann Gerhard
Original AssigneeKammann Maschf Werner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-color multiple offset single impression screen printer
US 3915087 A
Abstract
Apparatus for printing images on an article consisting of a plurality of screen printing stencils, intermediate supports for receiving the images from the stencils, a collective support for collecting the images from the intermediate supports, and a mounting support adjacent to the collective support for holding the articles to be printed while the images are transferred from the collective support to the articles.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Tiemann Oct. 28, 1975 MULTI-COLOR MULTIPLE OFFSET SINGLE IMPRESSION SCREEN PRINTER [75] Inventor:

[73] Assignee: Werner Kammann Maschinenfabrik, Germany 22 Filed: Jan. 22, 1973 21 App1.No.:329,806

Gerhard Tiemann, Lohne, Germany [30] Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 20, 1972 Germany 2202545 {52] US. Cl. 101/115; 101/116; 101/124; 101/175; 101/177; 101/194 [51] Int. Cl. B41F 15/10 [58] Field of Search 101/175, 186, 187, 194, 101/114, 110, 40,116,121,122,123,124, 129, 177, 35

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,883,227 10/1932 Wood 101/176 2,132,086 10/1938 Scheffler 101/175 2,894,453 7/1959 Trisler 101/175 3,229,627 l/l966 Pollitt 101/115 3,263,606 8/1966 Poynter 101/176 X 3,366,046 1/1968 Szasz 101/176 3,404,624 10/1968 Proffitt, Jr. 101/40 3,554,836 1/1971 Steindorf 101/35 UX 3,593,661 7/1971 Tripp 101/175 3,735,699 5/1973 Koelschbach 101/115 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 222,993 10/1924 United Kingdom lOl/l77 1,951,513 4/1971 Germany 2,202,545 3/1974 Germany Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Assistant Examiner-R. E. Suter Attorney, Agent, or FirmAllison C. Collard ABSTRACT Apparatus for printing images on an article consisting of a plurality of screen printing stencils, intermediate supports for receiving the images from the stencils, a collective support for collecting the images from the intermediate supports, and a mounting support adjacent to the collective support for holding the articles to be printed while the images are transferred from the collective support to the articles.

3 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct.28, 1975 Sheet1of4 3,915,087

US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 2 of4 3,915,087

U.S. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 3 of4 3,915,087

FIG. 30

FIG. 3b

FIG. 3c

US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet40f4 3,915,087

MULTI-COLOR MULTIPLE OFFSET SINGLE IMPRESSION SCREEN PRINTER This invention relates to apparatus for printing articles, whereby a printing image is produced first by screen printing, and then transferred to the object.

In a conventional method, the printing image produced by using a screen printing stencil is applied first to a transfer cylinder, and then transferred by the cylinder to the article to be printed. Several individual impressions may also be applied successively to the article in a known manner in consecutive stations of a printing machine which is provided with circulating conveyor means to convey the article from station to station. However, it is a disadvantage that at each station, the articles have to be accurately aligned with the'respective transfer means. The operation and the construction of the apparatus are, to some extent, complicated, especially since high demands must be made on the accuracy of the parts carrying out the alignment in order to achieve a perfect printed image.

In the present invention, apparatus is provided for applying a composite printing image, design, and the like, to an article in one transfer operation. The image may be composed of several constituent parts with different printing inks.

In the invention, a plurality of printing image components are produced by the screen printing process, and are then combined to give a composite printing image which is transferred to an article to be printed. Commercial screen printing inks may be used, and require no special treatment before, or during the printing or transfer operation. An advantage of the invention is that the printing image components are received successively by a collective support on which the composite printing image is formed. In this way, it is possible to apply the printing inks of the individual constituent printing images on top of each other, and/or side by side, and/or mixed (a combination of the individual inks or halftone), preferably without using a fixing varnish, to the collective support as a mirror image composite printing image or design, and subsequently in one transfer operation to the article to be printed. In this way, multi-colored screen printing designs may be applied, for example, to cylindrical bodies, which have no mechanical registration marks, such as, metal aerosol sprays, vacuum-formed plastic beakers, glass ampoules, without using the known multi-station screen printing machines with a large number of special supports for the articles. The invention also permits multicolored webs of paper, textiles, plastics or other materials to be printed without the need for complicated registration controls, vacuum rollers, or other registration attachments. In any case, the invention is not limited to the individual constituent printing images having differnet colors. It is also possible to use printing inks for all or some constituent printing images of a composite printing image which have the same coloring but different physical and/or chemical properties. For example, it is also possible to apply a colorless varnish or the like as a coating over one or more constituent printing images which have a certain coloring or color combination. 7

In a further embodiment of the invention, each constituent printing image may be applied first to an intermediate support, after which, all the constituent printing images are.assembled on a collective support to form the composite printing image, and are transferred by the latter to the article to be printed. This method using the intermediate support is appropriate if during the production of the constituent printing image by screen printing, the screen printing stencil bears against the support carrying the constituent printing image. However, it is also possible to apply the constituent printing image to the support without contact. In this case, the intermediate support may be eliminated, since there is no contact between the screen printing stencil and the support. There is also no danger of a mutual interference between the screen printing stencil and a constituent printing image already located on the support. Moreover, the invention also permits the collective and/or intermediate support to be cleaned after each transfer operation.

The invention may also be used in a particularly advantageous manner for printingconical articles so that the corresponding composite printing image is printed without a conical development of the screen printing stencils; the latter moving solely on one coordinate and being collected without a corresponding construction of the collective support and/or the intermediate support. The conical development takes place solely between the collective support and the article. This method also substantially simplifies the sequence of operations, and the apparatus used therefor.

The apparatus may consist of two or more screen printing stencils, a transfer body provided between the stencil and the object to be printed, and a mounting support for the objects. In this case, two or more screen printing stencils are advantageously associated with the transfer body constructed as a collective support. An intermediate support may be disposed between the collective support and each screen printing stencil. One arrangement which has proved particularly advantageous is for all the screen printing stencils, the intermediate supports associated therewith, and the collective support to have a common mechanical drive system. An arrangement of this type has the advantage that inaccuracies of the registration are prevented by the constant uniform conditions throughout the system. Normally, the article to be printed does not need to be aligned with respect to the composite printing image. Furthermore, the individual constituent printing images are always arranged with respect to each other in the desired manner and complement each other to form the composite printing image.

The intermediate and/or collective supports may be constructed as movable bodies and preferably as rollers. There may also be provided individual plates, segments or other parts complementing each other to form a movable body, each of which receives a constituent or composite printing image. It is also possible to construct the intermediate and/or collective supports as circulating belts. The conveyor means are composed of individual parts, for example, plates, chains, or the like, and the surfaces are suitable for receiving the constituent or composite printing images.

It is particularly advantageous to construct the surfaces of the intermediate and/or collective supports,

receiving the constituentor composite printing images, from a material with slight adhesion, preferably silicon. In this case, the adhesion of the collective support should be slightly greater than that of the previous intermediate support. The constituent printing image located on the intermediate support can then be easily picked up by the collective support without leaving any residue of ink on the intermediate support. On the other hand, the forces of adhesion between the printing ink and the collective support are so slight that there is almost a perfect transfer of the printing ink from the collective support to the object.

According to a further embodiment of the invention,

. the surfaces of the intermediate support receiving the constituent printing images may have a greater hard ness than the corresponding surfaces of the collective support. In this way, it is possible to provide optimum conditions both for the production of screen printing, in which screen printing stencils and intermediate supports cooperate, as well as for the transfer of the composite printing image to the object. To produce screen printing, a hard surface, i.e., a surface which is as rigid as possible, is favorable, so that the line of contact between the surface and printing stencil is as linear as possible and parallel to the squeegee. The intermediate support forming the surface must fullfill this prerequisite. On the other hand, the greater elastic resiliency of the collective support allows a better adaptation of the support to the shape of the object, if the object surface to be printed is not in one plane. In this respect, conventional screen printing methods and apparatus are limited. The present invention overcomes these limits.

If the surface of the intermediate or collective support carrying the printing image is substantially flat, a relatively movable pressure arrangement, constructed as a roller, may be associated with the object to be printed. This is particularly suitable when the intermediate and/or collective supports are constructed as belts or the like.

The movement effecting the transfer of the printing image onto the respectively arranged support (collective support or object) may take place at right angles to the direction of movement of the collective support. When roller-like intermediate supports are used, the latter may be rotated and, if necessary, displaced at right angles to the direction of movement of the collective support.

Particularly when a belt or the like is used as a collective support, the transfer of the printing image to the object may take place in a region of the belt which is substantially vertical. In this manner, it is readily possible to print certain articles, for example, bottles or the like in an upright position.

It has already been mentioned that apparatus according to the invention is suitable for multicolor printing of webs. In this case, it is only necessary to provide a peripheral length of the region of the collective support receiving the printing image for producing an uninterrupted printed image on the article.

In the invention, it is also possible to apply a composite printing image composed of several constituent printing images to articles in one operation. In this case, embossed, thickly plastic, and fully opaque colors, usable only in a screen printing process may now be employed in the same manner as in known screen printing methods. The invention consequently im- FIG. la is a side view of a continuously operating multi-color screen printing machine printing a cylindrical article;

FIG. lb shows a portion of the machine of FIG. la printing a flat article;

FIG. 1c is a plan view of the composite printed image;

FIG. 2 is a view corresponding to FIG. la of a second embodiment;

FIG. 3a is a side view ofa third embodiment when cy lindrical or conical articles are printed;

FIG. 3b is a portion of the machine of FIG. 3a when used for flat bed printing;

FIG. 3c shows a conical article which has been printed;

FIG. 4a is a side view of a further embodiment of a screen printing machine; and

FIGS. 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f and 4g show a portion of the machine of FIG. 4a in front view, with the cooperating parts in different operational positions.

The machine illustrated in FIGS. la and 1b has three screen printing stencils ll, 12 and 13 constructed as circular screens, and three roller-like intermediate supports 14, 15 and 16, and a collective support 17, which is also constructed as a roller. A squeegee 18 is provided inside each screen printing stencil ll, 12 and 13 in the customary manner.

The composite printing image according to FIG. 1c is to be applied to anarticle 19 to be printed. In this case, it is not important whether article 19 is cylindrical as in FIG. 1a or a flat article as in FIG. lb. In the first case, it is assumed that the illustration according to FIG. 10 is a development of the composite printed image. The image consists of a rectangular background 21, which is provided with a recess 22 in the central region. The application of ink corresponding to background 21 originates from screen printing stencil 11. It is then applied by the stencil to intermediate support 14. Background 21, or its corresponding application of ink is illustrated in FIGS. 1a and lb as a continuous zone, the thickness of the ink being shown as greatly enlarged for reasons of clarity.

Inside recessed surface 22, wording in small print is to be applied directly to the surface of article 19 or 20. The colored area 23 corresponding to this wording is shaded in FIGS. la and lb. It originates from screen printing stencil 12, from which it is transferred to intermediate support 15. For the purpose of clarity, the colored area 23 in FIGS. la and lb is shown as lying on background 21 inside recess 22. The thickness of colored area 23 has also been shown greatly enlarged, since in reality, the thickness of the inks in screen printing is between 10 and 40 microns, so that images can be printed within each other, over each other, or beside each other, all with sharp edges.

The composite printing images also contains two colored areas 24a and 24b which correspond to the expression AUTO and MOBIL. These constituent printing images 24a and 24b, which originate from screen printing stencil 13, are transferred by the stencil to intermediate support 16, and applied to background 21, so that, with respect to the relative position of constituent printing images 21 and 24a and 24b, the drawing illustrates the actual situation. In this case, the thickness of the coating of ink and also of the colored areas 24a and 24b is shown as increased.

In FIGS. la and 1b, the colored area 24a is first transferred from intermediate support 16 to common collective support 17. After the constituent printing image 24a has passed intermediate support 15, colored area 23 is transferred by support to collective support 17. The transfer of colored area 23 from intermediate support 15 to collective support 17 is illustrated in FIG. la of the drawings. The coating of ink 24b is transferred from intermediate support 16 to the collective support 17 behind colored area 23 with respect to its direction of rotation. During the further rotation of collective support 17, a coating of ink corresponding to background 21 from intermediate support 14 is picked up by support 17. This coating of ink is provided with recess 22, into which colored area 23 is fitted. FIG. la illustrates that the transfer of ink for producing a com posite printing image takes place in reverse sequence in contrast to conventional screen printing, since colored areas 24a and 24b located on top in the resulting composite printing image are first transferred, and then background 21 is transferred to collective support 17 as a mirror image. In the printing station, constituent printing images 21, 23, 24a and 24b forming the composite printed image of FIG. 1c are rolled onto the object in reverse sequence. The distances between the screen printing stencils, the respectively associated intermediate supports, and the collective supports are only shown as an illustration. In the operative position of the machine, these parts roll on each other with adjustable pressures. The same is true for article 19 or to be decorated by collective support 17. Screen printing stencils 11 to 13, intermediate supports 14 to 16, and collective support 17 are synchronously connected by drive members not illustrated in the drawings so that the screen printing stencils may be adjusted with respect to the intermediate supports and these parts in common with respect to the collective support, for example, for adapting the pressures, distances, etc., to various situations. The mechanical drive connection which in any case ensures the accurate relative coordination of the individual constituent printing images with respect to each other is not impaired by such possibilities of adjustment.

The use of circular screens for printing stencils 11 to 13 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1a and 1b has the advantage of being particularly space saving. In particular, the intermediate supports may be arranged radially with respect to collective support 17 at a distance which is determined solely by their dimensions. There is thus no necessity to arrange the intermediate supports around the periphery of the collective support spaced by the greatest printing image length. The latter is the case when using flat screen printing stencils.

Moreover, an arrangement of circular screen printing stencils independent of the length of the printing image allows the screen printing stencils, with respect to the Squeegees 18, not to begin to print together. This can be seen readily from FIG. la of the drawings. Generally, the screen printing stencils are arranged above the axis of the associated intermediate support so that the ink collects in front of the squeeges by means of gravity. Moreover, it is also possible to select other arrangements and constructions when the ink supply is controlled.

The circular screen printing stencils 1 1 to 13, according to FIG. la, have a maximum printing image length of 180, and a dead travel of 180. Larger and smaller diameter rollers may be used as intermediate supports providing that the ratios of their circumferential or peripheral lengths with respect to the screen printing stencil lengths are integers in order to preclude the transfer of incomplete images. Corresponding ratios exist between the peripheral lengths of the intermedi ate supports and the peripheral length of the collective support. When a circular screen printing stencil is chosen with a printing image length of 180 during the rotary movement of the system, corresponding free surfaces result on the intermediate supports and the collective supports (c.f. FIG. In) These free surfaces, which correspond to the dead travel of the respective screen printing stencils, are used in the continuous operation of the screen printing machine for exchanging the object to be printed. It is also possible to select a maximum printing image length which is greater than 180, which results in a correspondingly smaller dead travel angle. Thus, with a decreasing dead travel angle, it is necessary to select a greater speed at which the printed objects are removed and the objects to be printed are supplied. It is thus possible to reduce the size of the composite machine which, to a large extent, is determined by the diameter of the screen printing stencils due to a rapid removal and supply of objects.

In the continuous printing of webs, it is also possible to completely eliminate the dead travel angle since there is no problem of similar consecutive images with predetermined spacing as afore-described.

To print webs, a back pressure roller is provided which bears against the web on the side remote from collective support 17 and presses the web against the collective support. In this way, all conceivable materials may be printed in accurate registration with only slight mechanical resources. To print wallpaper, a typical application for screen printing stencils with a maximum printing image length of 360, the intermediate supports and the collective support are continuously covered.

The embodiment according to FIG. 2 relates to a screen printing machine with three flat screen printing stencils 111, 112, and 113. Each screen printing stencil is also followed by an intermediate supports 114, and 116. The screen are jointly moved back and forth by a central drive, the production of the respective constituent printing image during the movement of the screen printing stencils taking place in the direction of the arrows. During this printing with a movement occurring from left to right, intermediate supports 114, 115 and 116, and collective support 117, rotate according to the maximum printing image length to a predetermined extent. During this movement, cylindrical object 119 rolls against collective support 117, thus picking up the composite printing image. Support 117 corresponds in its basic construction to that of the embodiment according to FIGS. Ila to 10 so that the individual constituent printing images also combine in the same manner to form the resulting composite printed image. The same is true when flat articles are printed, such as a web.

During the return movement of screen printing stencils 111 to 113 in the opposite direction to the arrows, intermediate supports 114 to 116 and collective support 117 are stationary. The article which has just been printed is exchanged during this period for the subsequent article. In this case, it is possible to cover almost the entire surfaces of intermediate supports 114 to 1 16 with ink so that a compact construction may be achieved. However, in this case, the starting points at which the constituent printing images are applied to the surface of the collective support by the intermediate supports must have a distance between them which is at least equal to the maximum printing image length so that the application of ink is not interrupted by the stoppage.

The embodiment of FIG. 2 may also be used so that intermediate supports 114 to 116 and collective support 117 rotate continuously, the screen printing stencils 111 to 113 being operated in synchronism with intermediate supports 114 to 116 during the printing movement and undergoing an accelerated return movement in the opposite direction to the arrows. An operation of this type requires greater distances between the printing images on the intermediate supports and the collective support, and thus, greater diameters for these parts. The exchange of the objects to be printed takes place during the return movement of screen printing stencils 111 to 113.

For both possibilities described in connection with FIG. 2, all movable parts are connected to each other in a suitable manner, for example, by a central drive to guarantee a synchronous operation of the parts without special precautions.

In the embodiment of FIG. 3a, three flat screen printing stencils 211, 212 and 213 are arranged in one plane. A roller-like intermediate support 214, 215 and 216 is provided with each stencil. In this case, collective support 217 is constructed as a circulating belt 225. The production of the individual constituent printing images takes place during the movement of screen printing stencils 211 to 213 in the direction of the arrows, i.e., from right to left. It is possible to provide an intermittent movement of the intermediate supports 214 to 216, and collective support 217 so that these parts are stationary during the return movement of the screen printing stencils in the direction opposite to the arrows, i.e., from right to left. Objects 219 can be simultaneously exchanged.

A continuous operation ofintermediate supports 214 to 216 and of collective support 217 similar to the description given in connection with FIG. 2 is also possible.

Cylindrical or other rollable objects are printed in the course of a synchronous rotating or pivot movement between belt 225 and object 219, illustrated in FIG. 3a as a cylindrical object. In this case, the printing operation is performed in the region of drum 226 for belt 225 so that drum 226 may serve as a pressing member.

FIG. 3b illustrates the application of the impression to a flat object 220. A pressure roller 227 is associated with belt 225. The image can be applied to object 220 either during the movement of belt 225, or during the stoppage thereof. In the latter case, it is necessary to move the axis of the pressure roller 227 with respect to stationary belt 225 and stationary object 220. In the other case, object 220 together with belt 225 is moved, and the axis of the pressure roller 227 does not have to undergo any lateral movement. In both cases, belt 225 or the flat object, for example, a web to be printed, is curved somewhat by deflection from its normal flat configuration, e.g., as by the positioning of a pressure roller 227 as illustrated in FIG. 3b, since the optimum printing quality is achieved by rolling transfer with line contact only.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 3a and 3b, the printing image could be arranged on collective support 217 constructed as a belt 225 so that during its movement, the printing image is transferred to the object either parallel to or at right angles to the direction of movement and thus to the longitudinal travel of belt 225. In the former case, a body which can be rolled aganist belt 225, is rolled against the belt on an axis at right angles to the drawing plane. This body can be carried by a roller or the like. In the case of a hollow body, the body will engage the roller. In the latter case with a flat object, in contrast to the illustration of FIG. 3b, the axis of pressure roller 227 may be swung 90 horizontally and disposed for movement back and forth at right angles to the direction of movement of the belt.

The particular advantage of a belt-like collective carrier is its ability to print conical objects very simply, as illustrated in FIG. 3c. For conventional screen printings, when a multi-color printing image is to be applied, it would be necessary to develop the stencils and in specific cases, also the object in each printing station according to its conical shape. In the invention, however, it is possible to collect the individual components of the composite printing image, i.e., the constituent printing images in the customary manner on the collective support, and only one development of the object coupled with a swinging motion, is necessary.

The embodiment according to FIGS. 4a to 4g shows a four-color screen printing machine with flat screen printing stencils 310, 311, 312 and 313, followed by roller-like intermediate supports 314, 315, 316 and 316a. The collective support 317 is constructed as a plate belt 325, the individual plates 328 of which respectively receive a composite printing image. Similar to the embodiment according to FIGS. 3a and 3b, the intermediate supports 314 to 316a are associated with top run 329 of the belt 325, but with the difference that the axis of rotation 330 of the intermediate supports is parallel to the direction of movement 331 of top run 329. The composite printing image is transferred from plates 328 of belt 325 to object 319 to be printed in preferably region 332a, wherein plates 328 assume a vertical position, by rolling the cylindrical object 319 along the face of plate 328. In order to print object 319 depending on its shape, the possibilities are also available as already described in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 3a and 3b.

Furthermore, in the embodiment of FIGS. 4a to 4g, screen printing stencils 310 to 313 are stationary. Squeegees 318 and intermediate supports 314 to 316a carry out reciprocating movements at right angles to top run 329 of belt 325 in the horizontal plane. Belt 325 serves as the collective support 317, and advanced intermittently in the direction of arrow 331 by one plate 328 respectively. When the belt stops between advances, the constituent printing images are transferred from the intermediate supports to the respectively associated plates, and from plate 328 located in the region 332a to object 319. This embodiment, in which the intermediate supports rotate in a different plane to that of the collective support, is particularly advantageous if the printing image to be applied is comparatively long and/or is provided with a greater number of constituent printing images or colors. In any case, a substantially more compact construction possible than if the intermediate supports rotated in the same plane as the collective support.

The sequence of movements between a screen printing stencil, squeegee, associated intermediate support and the adjacent plate of belt 325 is illustrated in FIGS. 4b to 43. Intermediate support 314 is first displaced in the direction of arrow 332b at right angles to the direction of travel 331 (FIG. 4a) of top run 328. Support 314 rolls against the stationary screen printing stencil 310. Squeegee 318 is displaced synchronously with the transverse movement of the intermediate support in the direction of the arrow 332b. During the course of this movement, the constituent printing image 333 is applied to the intermediate support. FIG. 4b shows the initial position of the parts; FIG. 40 shows the position of the parts after half the movement in the direction of arrow 332b, and FIG. 4d shows the final position of intermediate support 314 and squeegee 318, the former now carrying the entire constituent printing image 333. Intermediate support 314 is then displaced in the direction of arrow 334, i.e., downwards until its periphery or printing image 33 located thereon contacts plate 328 located below. Intermediate support 314 is then rolled along plate 328 of the collective support, moving in the direction of arrow 335. At the end of this movement, the entire constituent printing image 333 has been transferred to plate 328. Intermediate support 314 is then moved upwards in the direction of arrow 336 until it abuts against screen printing stencil 310 so that the next cycle may begin. In this case, it is assumed that squeegee 318 has likewise been returned to the initial position according to FIGS. 4b or 4g. After or during the movement in the direction of arrow 336, the belt and, with it, plate 328 may be advanced by one step.

The embodiment of FIGS. 4a to 4g is also particularly suitable for printing conical or similarly shaped objects, since, independent of the number of constituent printing images, only during the transfer of the composite printing image from the plate to the object, must the object be rolled relative to the plate and at the same time, tilted.

What is claimed is:

1. A screen printing apparatus for printing articles comprising:

a plurality of screen printing stencils each adapted for use with a different ink medium;

a plurality of intermediate color supports wherein each color support is positioned beneath each screen printing stencil and in cooperative relationship therewith for receiving a printed image, respectively;

said intermediate supports each having a surface constructed of a material with an adhesion to transfer the image from its corresponding said screen printing stencil thereto;

a single collective color support comprising a circulating belt having a substantially flat image transfer surface and being disposed for cooperative contact with each of said intermediate color supports so as to receive thereon a collective printed image of each of the printed images on each of said intermediate color supports and in contact with an article to be printed, the latter having a substantially flat article surface, and for transferring said collective printed image to said article in a single printing contact operation of said collective support with said article; said collective support having a surface constructed of a material with a slightly greater adhesion that the surfaces of each of said intermediate color supports so that substantially all of the image is transferred from each of said intermediate supports to said collective support and to the article to be printed;

a displaceable roller adjacent said belt and opposite said article to be printed; wherein said image is printed onto said flat article surface from said flat image transfer surface of said collective support while said surfaces are stationary by the application of rolling transfer pressure by said displaceable roller, whereby articles of substantially flat surface are printed.

2. A screen printing apparatus for printing articles comprising: i

a plurality of screen printing stencils each adapted for use with a different inlt medium;

a plurality of intermediate color supports constituting rollers having aligned axes of rotation, wherein each color support is positioned beneath each screen printing stencil and in cooperative relationship therewith for receiving a printed image, respectively, said intermediate color supports each having a surface constructed of a material with an adhesion to transfer the image from its corresponding said screen printing stencil thereto;

a single collective color support constituting a circulating belt, defining a substantially flat top run adjacent said intermediate color supports and parallel to said axes of rotation, said belt including a plurality of plates and being disposed for cooperative contact with each of said intermediate color supports so as to receive thereon a printed image of each of the printed images on each of said intermediate color supports and in contact with an article to be printed for transferring said collective printed image to said article in a single printing contactoperation of said collective support with said article; said collective support having a surface constructed of a material with a slightly greater adhesion than the surfaces of each of said intermediate color supports so that substantially all of the image is transferred from each of said intermediate supports to said collective support and to the article to be printed;

said collective support is subjected to intermittent motion in a first direction parallel to said axes of rotation, and the respective printed image is transferred from each of said intermediate supports to said collective support during a rotation movement of said rollers perpendicular to said first direction during a halt in said intermittent motion, and wherein said transfer is effected by each of said rol- Iers traveling in the direction of said rotation movement perpendicular to said first direction in rolling contact across said plates of said collective support, whereby comparatively long and greater number of constituent images and colors can be printed on articles.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said plates define a flat image transfer surface of said collective support, the latter having a substantially vertical oriented run;

wherein said article is disposed substantially vertical adjacent said substantially vertical oriented run during the transfer of said printing images.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification101/115, 101/177, 101/194, 101/116, 101/38.1, 101/124, 101/175
International ClassificationB41F15/08, B41M1/12
Cooperative ClassificationB41M1/12, B41P2200/41, B41F15/0872
European ClassificationB41F15/08E, B41M1/12