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A New VLF CTP Device from Creo - Automatic, Fast, Easy to Load

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020351D
Publication Date: 2003-Nov-14
Document File: 3 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Creo has developed the next generation in its very large format (VLF) series of computer-to-plate (CTP) output devices. The design incorporates new technologies for loading and registration of two plates at a time, clamping the plates on the drum.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 43% of the total text.

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A New VLF CTP Device from Creo - Automatic, Fast, Easy to Load

Overview Creo's new VLF CTP machine builds on the stalwart performance of the Trendsetter VLF product line, adding more speed, double buffering capability, an easy-to-load multiple cassette unit (MCU), and optimized throughput. Hundreds of plates can be stored in the MCU. A picker mechanism using an x-drive system takes a single plate out, removes the slip sheet, compacts it and deposits it in a bin. The x-drive system moves the plate onto the load table and transfers it to a y-drive system that will stage the plate for registration. Meanwhile, if dual plate loading has been selected the picker mechanism returns to the MCU and retrieves a second plate, removing its slip sheet and transferring it to the load table adjacent to the 1st plate.

Once both plates are in position, the y-drive system moves them into the drum's registration blocks. The plates must be held very precisely in place for thermal imaging. Electronic sensors are used to confirm that the plates are registered accurately when clamped, and then the drum turns to wrap the plate around it for imaging. When imaging is complete, the plates are ejected onto the unload table and moved by a conveyor system to the processing line. The picker mechanism returns to the MCU to retrieve the next plate. The continuous loading and imaging continues until the job is complete, the cassette is empty, or the operator cancels the operation.

Each sequence is described in more detail below.

Picking Plates

The multiple cassette unit (MCU) consists of a moveable stack of 4 cassettes, each holding a stack of plates with slip sheets. The operator loads plates into a cassette by having the system send the cassette to a loading position where it will engage onto a cart. The operator can then pull the cart partially out of the MCU to its preset loading position, where a sliding front frame locks onto the end of the cart to support the cassette. The operator may reload the cassette at the machine or pull the cart completely away from the MCU and roll it to the plate storage area.

Once the plates are loaded into the cassette and the cart is in its loading position at the MCU, the sliding front frame unlocks to allow the operator to push the cassette into the MCU unit. The system can then move any one of the four cassettes to a picking position, where a picker mechanism will enter the MCU and remove a single plate for imaging.

14-Nov-03

Abstract: Creo has developed the next generation in its very large format (VLF) series of computer-to-plate (CTP) output devices. The design incorporates new technologies for loading and registration of two plates at a time, clamping the plates on the drum.

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The picker mechanism consists of suctions cups used to lift the edge of the plate so that a slip sheet removal mechanism can place a set of vacuum cups under the plate. The slip sheet removal mechanism also has an independent vacuum tube a...