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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1072427 08.03.2001
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 1072427
Titel Verfahren zum Drucken von sich unterscheidenden Bildern auf ein beliebiges Material und eine Vorrichtung für dieses Verfahren
Anmelder Bonetti, Valentino, Montebaranzone, Modena, IT
Erfinder Bonetti, Valentino, 41040 Montebaranzone (Modena), IT
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 25.07.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 001158955
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 31.01.2001
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 08.03.2001
IPC-Hauptklasse B41M 1/34
IPC-Nebenklasse B44C 5/04   B44F 11/00   

Beschreibung[en]

The invention relates to a procedure to differentiate between the images printed on any material, in particular ceramic tiles, and a device to carry out the said procedure.

One of the elements which used to confer a particular beauty to images reproduced using craft techniques, even on the most varied types of materials, was undoubtedly the fact that although the said images depicted the same subject, they were never identical.

This particularity was due to the fact that the printing process carried out were comprised mainly of manual operations and also that the mechanical means available to the craftsmen left a lot of freedom for approximation and deviations from what could be called an average value.

While, on the one hand, industrial procedures have made mass production of printed materials of various types possible, on the other hand they have also marked the end of the imprecision and the inequality of the crafted prints. Consequently, they have also marked the end of the beauty of the images obtained using the craft techniques, which were always unique.

All of this becomes of maximum importance when considering the particular field of images, especially patterns, printed on ceramic tiles to be used for decorative purposes in the building industry.

In this field, in fact, the production has reached quantity levels of enormous proportions.

For some time now, even in this field, there has been a need to realise new production methods capable of printing images with aesthetic features similar to those produced using the craft techniques. In particular, there has been a need to realise tiles which, although bearing the same design, do not repeat it in the same position, while still safeguarding the principle of industrial, mass production, which obviously cannot be abandoned in today's production system.

For some time, then, we have experienced the conception and introduction of machines capable of differentiating between the images, in particular the patterns, printed on tiles, indicating, with the said specific term, the printing of identical images but positioned differently on each support body, or the images which are similar but not identical.

Until now, the differentiation of the printed images was carried out by the procedure of moving the material before it arrived in the printing area. This movement was made perpendicular to the direction in which the said material was being fed.

It is clear that the images on the printed element are larger widthways than the material and therefore, by moving the said printing element, a part of the total image is printed on the material itself. By varying the movements made, then, the pieces of material are printed with different designs.

A particular case of this type of differentiation between the images is the application, on the same support body, of several colours, each one applied by a specific station and in sequence. This particular case of differentiation is called "shade varying process".

This procedure has some drawbacks, the first of which is the complexity, and consequent cost, of the devices designed to carry out the aforementioned movement of the bodies since, in some cases, including the case of tiles, the masses to be moved are enormous.

Another drawback of the commonly known technique is the need to place two devices along the same production line which will move the bodies, the second of which is necessary to bring the said bodies of material, just after they have been printed, onto the original production line. Consequently, the technical problems and costs are doubled.

The commonly known technique has a further drawback which is that the aforementioned movement to effect the differentiation does not involve individual bodies but a rather considerable number of these pieces of material, with the consequent division into lots of the differentiated units and, in this way, devaluing what it was intended to create, i.e. bodies which are all printed differently.

A further drawback of the known differentiation techniques, in particular in the ceramic tiles field, is due to the fact that the tiles themselves, because of the materials they are made of, are decidedly fragile, especially the single-fired tiles. It is clear that when moving particularly fragile objects there is a high risk of damaging them and, therefore, of production waste.

A first aim of this invention is to present a new differentiation procedure which is conceptually different from the one which has been used until now.

A further aim of the present invention is to make available a device capable of differentiation using the aforementioned new procedure in order to simplify the technical side of the production of the bodies, in particular body ceramic tiles, with differentiated images, and to obtain considerable savings in the production, in terms of both the reduction of waste from the finished product and the savings on equipment costs.

In particular, the procedure object of the present invention is characterised by the fact that a commonly known printing element can be moved randomly and orthogonally to the feeder axis of the bodies to be printed, the said movement being designed to result in the random positioning of the printing on the said bodies.

This and other characteristics will better emerge from the detailed description that follows of a preferred embodiment, provided in the form of a non-limiting example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Figure 1 shows a side view of the only elements that characterise the present invention;
  • Figure 2 shows a plan of the same elements as in figure 1;
  • Figure 3 shows the same elements as in figure 1 but connected to a printing unit of a commonly-known type;
  • Figure 4 shows the same elements as figure 2 but these are also connected to a commonly known printing unit;
  • Figure 5 shows a frontal view of the elements shown in figures 3 and 4;

    With reference to all the figures, the left/right arrow A indicates that a printing element of a commonly known type has been moved; in figures 3 and 4, this printing element is screen-like.

According to the procedure object of the present invention, the movement

indicated by the left/right arrow A only concerns the printing element 1 and is only orthogonal to the feeding direction of the tiles 2 on the production line indicated by arrow B.

With regards to the procedure and with reference to all the figures, 3 indicates a framework, substantially U-shaped, fitted with two sliding guides 4; the said guides are both flat and are positioned between the framework and a fixed frame 5.

Integral to the two parallel arms of the aforementioned framework there are two uprights 6 which, by means of some clamps 7, are also attached integrally to two rods 8; the said rods connect the plates 9 which enclose the printing element 1.

The rods 8 and the plates 9 are also of a commonly known type.

A hydro-pneumatic motor element 10 has its own output shaft attached to the framework 3; the said motor element is positioned with the longitudinal axis parallel to the sliding guides 4.

The tiles 2, as shown in the figures 3, 4, and 5, are supported by some belts 11 of a commonly known conveyor and one of the said plates is in contact with the lower side of the external surface of the printing element 1.

The functioning modes of the invention will now be described with reference to numbers indicated in the figures.

When the tile conveyor has been started up, the tiles will reach the area beneath the printing element 1.

At the same time, the motor element 10, following a electronic program set previously by the operator, will determine a random movement of the framework 3 along the sliding guides 4 on which the framework itself is mounted.

The aforementioned random movements of the said framework are transmitted, in identical form, to the printing element 1 since this is attached integrally to the framework 3.

The impulses which determine the individual movements of the framework 3 are supplied by the motor element 10 in synchronism with the feeding of the tiles 2; the aforementioned framework only moves, therefore, when the there are no tiles 2 underneath the said printing element.

In this way, then, every tile 2 will be printed with a part of the image in a different position to the previous tile.

The rotation of the printing element around its own axis, on the other hand, is driven by a second motor element 12 illustrated in figure 1 and which is a commonly known type.

If the image to be printed is composed of several colours, each tile 2 will be taken up by other printing differentiation devices, without ever leaving the normal production line, the said devices being identical to those described herein and being positioned along the tile production line and equal in number to the colours the image to be printed is composed of.

In the description, specific reference has been made to tiles as the bodies 2 on which the printing differentiation will be carried out, but it is clear that the procedure and the relative device which is the object of the present invention can be applied easily to bodies of a different kind and consistency.

Again, in the description, specific reference to a screen-like printing element 1 has been made, but obviously, the device in question in this invention can also be applied easily to any kind of printing element.

An initial advantage of the procedure described in this invention lies in the fact that a part of the total image printed on the printing element 1 is transferred on each ceramic tile, or any other kind of support body, in such a way that, by moving the said printing element transversally, the image printed on each support body will be different from the previous one.

A further advantage lies in the fact that with the procedure illustrated herein, damage to the tiles is prevented and so therefore is waste, since the tiles themselves are never moved away from the normal production line.

A still further advantage of the device in question in this invention is that the tiles can also be printed normally, without a differentiation of the images since, this can be achieved by simply disengaging the motor element 10.


Anspruch[en]
  1. A procedure to differentiate images printed on any support body, in particular on ceramic tiles, characterised by the fact that a printing element (1), of a commonly known type, can be moved randomly and orthogonally to the axis of the feeding movement of the bodies (2 ) to be printed; the said movement being designed to result in the random positioning of the printing on the aforementioned support bodies.
  2. A procedure according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that the randomness of the aforementioned orthogonal movement of the printing element (1) is generated by a command supplied by an electronic unit which can be programmed as required by the operator.
  3. A procedure according to claims 1 and 2 characterised by the fact that the aforementioned command for the movement of the printing element (1) is synchronised with the distance between the two following support bodies (2) to be printed.
  4. A device to differentiate images printed on any support body, in particular ceramic tiles, characterised by the fact that it comprises:
    • a framework (3) attached integrally to at least an element (8) of a frame supporting a printing element (1);
    • a motor element (10) attached integrally to a fixed frame (5); the mobile element protruding from the said motor element is attached to the framework (3);
    • at least one sliding guide (4), which is a flat in shape and positioned between the framework (3) and the fixed frame (5).
    • An electronic processor connected to the motor element (10); the said processor also receives signals from the feeding device for the support bodies (2);
  5. A device according to claim 4 characterised by the fact that the sliding guide (4) provides a sliding direction A which is orthogonal to the direction B of feeding direction of the support bodies (2).
  6. A device according to claim 4 characterised by the fact that the motor element (10) and the feeding device for the support bodies (2) are reciprocally connected by means of a synchronised system.
  7. A device according to claim 4 characterised by the fact that in a printing procedure involving several colours, the number of the frameworks (3), of the relative sliding guide (4) and relative motor element (10) is equal to the number of the said colours.
  8. A device according to claim 4 characterised by the fact that the motor element (10) can be disengaged when required to allow the printing element (1) to print non-differentiated images.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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