Monotype Process
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The Monotype Process


In this section:


  • The Process











The composition caster casts individual letters. This is undertaken by causing molten metal to solidify by allowing the (soon to become) working faces of type to come into contact with a succession of moulds that form the shapes of the required letters. These letters are then assembled in correct relationship to each other.

The caster requires programming. The necessary instructions are fed through the medium of holes in a punched tape, which is no more complicated than the punched roll that causes a pionola to produce its music automatically. Each line of perforations is a code signal that instructs the caster to produce a character or space by ensuring that the right matrix (mobile character mould) is placed precisely over the mould (static body mould) at the right instant.

As the roll is unwound on the caster tower, compressed air is fed through the holes in the paper into small bore pipes beneath them. At the other end of the pipes are small pistons, which react to the air pressure by pushing up pins mounted into two flat-surfaced blocks, generally one pin in each block at one time. These pins transmit instructions to mechanical members that are moving towards them, by rising to arrest their movement and so position any given matrix over the mould.

 Almost every moving part of the machine gets its motion from a battery of cams revolving at the left-hand side of the machine. The operations that lead to the creation of a single piece of type are timed in degrees around a circle of 360oc /one revolution of a camshaft. In practice it takes three revolutions for the complete sequence that enable one piece of type to be cast, ejected from the mould and pushed to the type channel.