WO1994011191A1 - Apparatus for fabrication of printing plates - Google Patents

Apparatus for fabrication of printing plates Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1994011191A1
WO1994011191A1 PCT/US1993/011030 US9311030W WO9411191A1 WO 1994011191 A1 WO1994011191 A1 WO 1994011191A1 US 9311030 W US9311030 W US 9311030W WO 9411191 A1 WO9411191 A1 WO 9411191A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
assembly
apparatus
printing
printing head
operatively connected
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1993/011030
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert W. Hallman
Ken-Ichi Shimazu
Hui Zhu
Original Assignee
Sun Chemical Corporation
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US97731692A priority Critical
Priority to US07/977,316 priority
Application filed by Sun Chemical Corporation filed Critical Sun Chemical Corporation
Publication of WO1994011191A1 publication Critical patent/WO1994011191A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J3/00Typewriters or selective printing or marking mechanisms, e.g. ink-jet printers, thermal printers characterised by the purpose for which they are constructed
    • B41J3/407Typewriters or selective printing or marking mechanisms, e.g. ink-jet printers, thermal printers characterised by the purpose for which they are constructed for marking on special material
    • B41J3/4073Printing on three-dimensional objects not being in sheet or web form, e.g. spherical or cubic objects
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41CPROCESSES FOR THE MANUFACTURE OR REPRODUCTION OF PRINTING SURFACES
    • B41C1/00Forme preparation
    • B41C1/10Forme preparation for lithographic printing; Master sheets for transferring a lithographic image to the forme
    • B41C1/1066Forme preparation for lithographic printing; Master sheets for transferring a lithographic image to the forme by spraying with powders, by using a nozzle, e.g. an ink jet system, by fusing a previously coated powder, e.g. with a laser
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J11/00Devices or arrangements of selective printing mechanisms, e.g. ink-jet printers, thermal printers, for supporting or handling copy material in sheet or web form
    • B41J11/001Handling wide copy materials
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet

Abstract

An apparatus for fabricating printing plates (15), e.g. lithographic or offset printing plates. The apparatus comprises processing means for digitizing an image, at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head (12) and operatively connected to the processing means, control means (11) operatively connected to the processing means and the assembly for supplying digital information to the assembly to project the digitized image upon the printing plate (15), and drive mechanisms (17, 18) operatively connected to the control means (11) and the assembly for controlling ink jetting movement of the printing head (12). An x-y table (14) is preferably also present for carrying the printing head (12) for planar movement with respect to the printing plate (15). The movement of the table (14) permits the printing of multiple pages (16a, 16b, 16c) upon large lithographic plates (15).

Description

APPARATUS FOR FABRICATION OF PRINTING PLATES

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an apparatus for the fabrication of printing plates, using ink jet printing heads. The invention is especially useful for the fabrication of large, commercial grade, high production run lithographic and offset printing plates.

Background of the Invention

Recently, fabrication of lithographic or offset plates by ink jet techniques has been proposed. One such technique is disclosed in Japanese patent application,

Kokai 62-25081. This application describes the use of an ink jet system for applying an oleophilic liquid to form an image on the hydrophilic aluminum surface of a lithographic plate.

United States patent no. 4,833,486 discloses the use of an ink jet head to deposit a hot wax upon the surface of an offset plate. The hot wax solidifies upon contact with the lithographic plate, thus providing an instantaneous printing pattern.

There are several advantages for fabricating printing plates by ink jet printers. One advantage is that such processes are environmentally friendly. The complex and potentially polluting chemical preparations and solvents ordinarily used in masking and stripping away photoresist areas of the plates are not always required with ink jet techniques.

Another advantage of fabricating printing plates using ink jet printers resides in the fact that the image deposited on the plate can be modified on the computer screen prior to being deposited. In addition, several of the standard imaging steps can be eliminated by forming the image using computer techniques.

Ink jet technology is, however, in its infancy in respect to commercial lithography. Presently available ink jet techniques cannot produce large or commercially acceptable offset plates. That is, the plates produced by present ink jet printing techniques have very low plate runs by commercial lithographic standards.

Furthermore, there is no ink jet apparatus presently available for fabricating large offset plates having a plurality of pages disposed thereon.

Indeed, U.S. Patent 4,833,486 teaches that ink jet materials are inexpensive and therefore, the printing plates may be used a minimum number of times and then discarded. Moreover, in one embodiment of the "486 patent, it is indicated that the system is designed for non-commercial plate production, inasmuch as an office processor system is proposed. Office processing systems ordinarily are not capable of providing the large amounts of digital information required to produce large, commercial lithographic plates.

A further drawback of the apparatus disclosed in the '486 patent is that it makes use of an ink jet medium which may be a wax. Wax is a soft material and will abrade with use under the conditions present for commercial offset printing. Even the so-called hard waxes will not provide the durability required for commercial printing runs of the order of 100,000 cycles. Moreover, waxes do not strongly bond to the printing plate surface, i.e. they prefer to remain on the surface, rather than to actively bond to the substrate. In addition, the production of large lithographic printing plates requires the use of large amounts of digital information and precise, minute movements of the ink jet heads. Such movements can only be accomplished with the use of the controls employed in the present invention.

Figure imgf000005_0001

The present invention contemplates an apparatus for fabricating printing plates, especially large, commercial-grade offset or lithographic printing plates. The present invention utilizes hydrophobic substances that are deposited on hydrophobic printing plates. Such hydrophobic substances accept waterless or oleic-type inks. It is within the scope of the present invention, however, to coat the surface of a normally hydrophilic plate to render the surface hydrophobic. The present invention would then utilize hydrophilic compounds to form the image on the plate surface.

The apparatus of the present invention also contemplates the use of low viscosity fluids that harden upon the printing plate surface. Such materials will form tough images that strongly bond to the surface, thus providing an image that will endure tens of thousands of printing runs.

In commercial lithography, large printing plates are prepared with a plurality of pages. Often these pages are not sequentially disposed on the plate; in many cases, pages will appear upside down in respect to adjacent pages. Such type of print requires large amounts of computer information and precise ink jet movement across the face of the plate. The present invention utilizes the controls necessary for the fabrication of large commercial lithographic and offset printing plates.

Summary of the Invention

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for fabricating printing plates. An image derived from digitized computer information is formed on the surface of a printing plate. The image is deposited on the plate in the form of ink jet droplets which is turn are deposited from an ink jet printing head. The printing head, movable along "x" (horizontal) and "y" (vertical) axes, is mounted upon an assembly (table) which is also movable in the x-y plane. A pair of step motors, controlled by a computer, move the jet of the printing head along the "x" and "y" axes to position the ink jet droplets upon the plate surface. The table supporting the printing head is also movable in the x-y plane by means of electrical motors. The movement of the print head table provides for the printing of multiple pages upon large lithographic plates.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The present invention may be better understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 represents a schematic diagram of a control system employed in the present invention;

FIGURE 2 represents a schematic diagram of a variation of the control system of FIGURE 1; this control system is employed for fabricating large, commercial grade lithographic plates. FIGURE 3 represents a schematic diagram of a variation of the control system of FIGURE 1 wherein the printing head moves only along the x axis.

FIGURE 4 represents a schematic diagram of a rotating drum system which replaces the x-y table shown in FIGURE 1.

For the purposes of brevity and clarity, like components and elements will bear the same designation throughout the figures.

Detailed Description of the Invention

The invention relates to an apparatus for fabricating printing plates. The apparatus comprises:

(a) processing means for digitizing an image;

(b) at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head and operatively connected to the processing means;

(c) control means operatively connected to the processing means and the assembly for supplying digital information to the assembly to project the digitized image upon the printing plate; and

(d) drive mechanisms operatively connected to the control means and the assembly for controlling ink jetting movement of the printing head.

Preferably, the apparatus contains a plurality of assemblies. Most preferably, each assembly contains a plurality of ink jet printing heads.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to an apparatus comprising:

(a) processing means for digitizing an image; (b) at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head operatively connected to the processing means and having an x-y table for carrying at least one ink jet printing head for planar movement with respect to the printing plate; (c) control means operatively connected to the processing means and the assembly for supplying digital information to the assembly to project the digitized image upon the printing plate and for controlling x-y planar movement of the assembly; and (d) drive mechanisms operatively connected to the control means and the assembly for controlling ink jetting movement of the printing head.

FIGURE 1 depicts an ink jet printing head assembly for use with the apparatus of the present invention. The assembly is capable of producing lithographic plates of commercial quality since it is fast and accurate when depositing ink jet droplets.

It has been found that the Raster Image Processing (RIP) for lithographic ink jet processes, must be performed with large amounts of information in order to provide the high resolution required for commercially viable offset printing plates. Computer and control unit 11 utilized for converting large amounts of information into print head signals, includes a computer with large memory capacity and high speed calculation capability.

Commercial plates require scanning a large plate surface and means for producing multiple pages as shown. Ink jet printing head 12. is often required to make subsequent scans in synchronization . This necessitates a very high degree of mechanical accuracy.

In order to provide high speed imaging, printing head 12. is mounted on an x-y table 14. such as an Opti-

® ®

Copy Imposer x-y table or IPM Platemaker x-y table. In order to scan the surface of plate 15, computer and control unit ϋ provides digitally timed Hx" (horizontal) , "y" (vertical) ink jetting movement to print head 12. and planar x-y movement (shown by the "x" and "y" arrows in FIGURE 1) to table 14.. Movement of table 2A is accomplished by drive mechanisms (not shown) and the "x" and My" ink jetting movements of printing head 12. are provided by drive mechanisms 12 and 18. respectively (non-limiting examples of suitable drive mechanisms include step motors) . After first page 16a is imaged, printing head 12 is subsequently moved to other positions on the surface of plate IS in order to image subsequent pages 16b. 16c. etc. The imaging of the pages in not necessarily carried out in sequence. In fact, the pages are usually out of sequence, and may even be printed upside down with respect to adjacent pages.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a plurality of printing head assemblies. Each assembly will contain one or more printing heads 12. on an x-y table 14.- The apparatus depicted in FIGURE 2 is capable of simultaneously printing multiple pages; multiple page printing is a necessity for large-scale printing operations.

FIGURE 3 is directed to the same apparatus as shown in FIGURE 1, except that printing head 12 moves in the x direction only.

In FIGURE 4, the x-y table is replaced by a rotating drum 19. which is controlled by computer control 11. Computer control H provides digitally timed ink jetting movement to printing head 12. and rotational movement to drum 19. Printing head H capable of planar movement in one direction only, i.e. horizontal or vertical, preferably horizontal. Drum 19 carrying printing plates 16a. 16b and 16c is capable of rotational movement in only a direction normal to that of printing head 12., i.e. when printing head 12. moves in the horizontal ("x") direction, drum 19 will rotate in the vertical ("yM) direction. The apparatus depicted in FIGURE 4 will typically also include drive mechanisms (not shown) operatively connected to the control means, assembly and drum for controlling ink jetting movement of the printing head and rotational movement of the drum.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. Apparatus for fabricating a printing plate comprising:
(a) processing means for digitizing an image;
(b) at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head and operatively connected to said processing means;
(c) control means operatively connected to said processing means and said assembly for supplying digital information to said assembly to project said digitized image upon said printing plate; and
(d) drive mechanisms operatively connected to said control means and said assembly for controlling ink jetting movement of said printing head.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 having a plurality of assemblies.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein each assembly contains a plurality of ink jet printing heads.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the drive mechanisms comprise step motors.
5. Apparatus for fabricating a printing plate comprising:
(a) processing means for digitizing an image;
(b) at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head operatively connected to said processing means and having an x-y table for carrying at least one ink jet printing head for x-y planar movement with respect to the printing plate;
(c) control means operatively connected to said processing means and said assembly for supplying digital information to said assembly to project said digitized image upon said printing plate and for controlling x-y planar movement of said assembly; and
(d) drive mechanisms operatively connected to said control means and said assembly for controlling ink jetting movement of said printing head.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 having a plurality of assemblies.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein each assembly contains a plurality of ink jet printing heads.
8. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the drive mechanisms comprise step motors.
9. Apparatus for fabricating a printing plate comprising:
(a) processing means for digitizing an image;
(b) at least one assembly having at least one ink jet printing head operatively connected to said processing means, said printing head being capable of planar movement only in a horizontal or vertical direction;
(c) a drum carrying the printing plate, capable of rotational movement only in a direction normal to that of the printing head;
(d) control means operatively connected to said processing means, said assembly and said drum for supplying digital information to said assembly to project said digitized image upon said printing plate, for controlling planar movement of the printing head and for controlling the rotational movement of the drum; and
(e) drive mechanisms operatively connected to said control means, said assembly and said drum for controlling ink jetting movement of said printing head and rotational movement of said drum.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 having a plurality of assemblies.
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein each assembly contains a plurality of ink jet printing heads.
12. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the drive mechanisms comprise step motors.
13. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the printing head is capable of planar movement only in a horizontal direction and the drum is capable of rotational movement only in a vertical direction.
PCT/US1993/011030 1992-11-17 1993-11-15 Apparatus for fabrication of printing plates WO1994011191A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US97731692A true 1992-11-17 1992-11-17
US07/977,316 1992-11-17

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Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE19609084A1 (en) * 1995-03-13 1996-09-19 Gerber Systems Corp Method of making multiple printing plates
EP0776763A1 (en) * 1995-11-30 1997-06-04 Sun Chemical Corporation Process for the production of lithographic printing plates
US5738013A (en) * 1996-05-14 1998-04-14 New England Science & Specialty Products, Inc. Method of making a lithographic printing plate with an ink jet fluid material
GB2291838B (en) * 1994-07-29 1998-11-18 Robert John Young A machine and method for printing on an edible substrate
US6044762A (en) * 1998-07-27 2000-04-04 Eastman Kodak Company Imaging and printing methods to form imaging member by fluid application to fluid-receiving element
US6050193A (en) * 1998-07-27 2000-04-18 Eastman Kodak Company Imaging and printing methods to form fingerprint protected imaging member
EP1179422A1 (en) * 2000-07-31 2002-02-13 AGFA-GEVAERT naamloze vennootschap Method for making a lithographic printing plate by inkjet printing
WO2002040278A1 (en) * 2000-11-17 2002-05-23 Koenig & Bauer Aktiengesellschaft Printing devices comprising a plurality of print heads
EP1243411A1 (en) * 2001-03-22 2002-09-25 Agfa-Gevaert Method of coating an image-recording layer by ink-jet
US6699640B2 (en) 2000-07-31 2004-03-02 Agfa-Gevaert Method of making lithographic printing plate by inkjet printing
EP1477308A1 (en) 2003-05-14 2004-11-17 Agfa-Gevaert Computer-to-plate inkjet printing method
US6981446B2 (en) 2003-07-08 2006-01-03 Eastman Kodak Company Ink-jet imaging method
US7056643B2 (en) 2003-10-09 2006-06-06 Eastman Kodak Company Preparation of a printing plate using ink-jet
US8833257B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-09-16 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Systems and methods for high speed variable printing
US8869698B2 (en) 2007-02-21 2014-10-28 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Method and apparatus for transferring a principal substance
US8881651B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-11-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Printing system, production system and method, and production apparatus
US8894198B2 (en) 2007-08-20 2014-11-25 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Compositions compatible with jet printing and methods therefor
US8967044B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2015-03-03 R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Inc. Apparatus for applying gating agents to a substrate and image generation kit
US9463643B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2016-10-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Apparatus and methods for controlling application of a substance to a substrate
US9701120B2 (en) 2007-08-20 2017-07-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Compositions compatible with jet printing and methods therefor

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2152436A (en) * 1984-01-05 1985-08-07 Bowthorpe Hellermann Ltd Marking machine
EP0242083A2 (en) * 1986-04-15 1987-10-21 Microdynamics, Inc. Compact plotter for generation of accurate plotted images of long length
US4833486A (en) * 1987-07-08 1989-05-23 Dataproducts Corporation Ink jet image transfer lithographic
DE4119111A1 (en) * 1991-06-10 1992-12-17 Inst Grafische Technik Zentral Prodn. of printing forme for offset work - involves producing droplets of oleophile, water-resistant medium with nozzles connected to reservoir and conveyed to parts of hydrophilic cylinder surface

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2152436A (en) * 1984-01-05 1985-08-07 Bowthorpe Hellermann Ltd Marking machine
EP0242083A2 (en) * 1986-04-15 1987-10-21 Microdynamics, Inc. Compact plotter for generation of accurate plotted images of long length
US4833486A (en) * 1987-07-08 1989-05-23 Dataproducts Corporation Ink jet image transfer lithographic
DE4119111A1 (en) * 1991-06-10 1992-12-17 Inst Grafische Technik Zentral Prodn. of printing forme for offset work - involves producing droplets of oleophile, water-resistant medium with nozzles connected to reservoir and conveyed to parts of hydrophilic cylinder surface

Cited By (30)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2291838B (en) * 1994-07-29 1998-11-18 Robert John Young A machine and method for printing on an edible substrate
DE19609084A1 (en) * 1995-03-13 1996-09-19 Gerber Systems Corp Method of making multiple printing plates
DE19609084C2 (en) * 1995-03-13 1998-04-09 Gerber Systems Corp Method for producing a printing plate with several individual pages
EP0776763A1 (en) * 1995-11-30 1997-06-04 Sun Chemical Corporation Process for the production of lithographic printing plates
US6413700B1 (en) 1995-11-30 2002-07-02 Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Llc Masked presensitized printing plate intermediates and method of imaging same
US6187380B1 (en) 1995-11-30 2001-02-13 Kodak Polychrome Graphics Llc Process for the production of lithographic printing plates
US5738013A (en) * 1996-05-14 1998-04-14 New England Science & Specialty Products, Inc. Method of making a lithographic printing plate with an ink jet fluid material
US6050193A (en) * 1998-07-27 2000-04-18 Eastman Kodak Company Imaging and printing methods to form fingerprint protected imaging member
US6044762A (en) * 1998-07-27 2000-04-04 Eastman Kodak Company Imaging and printing methods to form imaging member by fluid application to fluid-receiving element
EP1179422A1 (en) * 2000-07-31 2002-02-13 AGFA-GEVAERT naamloze vennootschap Method for making a lithographic printing plate by inkjet printing
US6699640B2 (en) 2000-07-31 2004-03-02 Agfa-Gevaert Method of making lithographic printing plate by inkjet printing
WO2002040278A1 (en) * 2000-11-17 2002-05-23 Koenig & Bauer Aktiengesellschaft Printing devices comprising a plurality of print heads
US6955415B2 (en) * 2000-11-17 2005-10-18 Koenig & Bauer Aktiengesellschaft Printing devices with a plurality of print heads and method for using a printing device
EP1243411A1 (en) * 2001-03-22 2002-09-25 Agfa-Gevaert Method of coating an image-recording layer by ink-jet
EP1477308A1 (en) 2003-05-14 2004-11-17 Agfa-Gevaert Computer-to-plate inkjet printing method
US6981446B2 (en) 2003-07-08 2006-01-03 Eastman Kodak Company Ink-jet imaging method
US7056643B2 (en) 2003-10-09 2006-06-06 Eastman Kodak Company Preparation of a printing plate using ink-jet
US8899151B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-12-02 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Methods of producing and distributing printed product
US9505253B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2016-11-29 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Method and apparatus for transferring a principal substance and printing system
US8881651B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-11-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Printing system, production system and method, and production apparatus
US8887633B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-11-18 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Method of producing a printed sheet output or a printed web of a printing press
US8887634B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-11-18 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Methods for printing a printed output of a press and variable printing
US9463643B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2016-10-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Apparatus and methods for controlling application of a substance to a substrate
US8833257B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2014-09-16 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Systems and methods for high speed variable printing
US8967044B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2015-03-03 R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Inc. Apparatus for applying gating agents to a substrate and image generation kit
US9114654B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2015-08-25 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Systems and methods for high speed variable printing
US10022965B2 (en) 2006-02-21 2018-07-17 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Method of operating a printing device and an image generation kit
US8869698B2 (en) 2007-02-21 2014-10-28 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Method and apparatus for transferring a principal substance
US8894198B2 (en) 2007-08-20 2014-11-25 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Compositions compatible with jet printing and methods therefor
US9701120B2 (en) 2007-08-20 2017-07-11 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Compositions compatible with jet printing and methods therefor

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