US 3088237 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 7, 1963 w. A. PLUMMER 3,088,237
SNAP-0N MARKER Filed March 1e, 1959 2 sheets-sheet 1 A56 MAA/UCA CTZ/Q//VG CO.
INVENTOR. (/MLTE/J A PLU/WM5?? States Unite This invention relates to marking devices for attachment to articles to be marked or labeled and more particularly to an improved snap-on, snap-off marker particularly adapted to be secured about electrical cables, conduits, ducts and the like and having permanently imprinted thereon indicia conveying useful information.
Cables, wiring systems, conduits, ducts and the like objects used in electrical equipment, plumbing systems, air conditioning systems and the like have need for a compact readily applied and detached information tag or marker which is immune to attack by conditions commonly encountered in the operating environment. A suitable marker should be compact, not subject to displacement along the object tagged and should meet other and diverse field requirements. Marker tags have been proposed heretofore in a great variety of forms utilizing various tie expedients for convenience in attaching and detaching the tag from the object being marked. These proposals are subject to many disadvantages and shortcomings sought to be obviated by the present invention. For example, prior marker tags are unsightly, droop in random manner from the article being marked Where they are subject to damage if not destruction by other objects in the vicinity. Additionally, such tags require complex and time-consuming manipulation of the ties provided for attaching them to the object being marked. Additionally and importantly, the information carried thereby is not presented in a desired uniform position for convenience in reading.
By the present invention, there is provided a simple, one-piece marker formed from thin flexible resilient material not subject to attack by moisture, the elements and a wide variety of other both gaseous and liquid products. The marker is adapted to be snapped on and snapped ot from an assembled position about the object being marked with a minimum expenditure of time and effort and preferably embraces the object under slight tension thereby assuring sufficient friction to prevent unintended and accidental shifting of the marker from its desired assembled position. Another feature is the fact that the marker is adapted to be manufactured in a continuous operation from a continuous strip of the main body material and a continuous pair of interlocking slide fastener strips. According to one preferred technique, the body strip is passed through an indicia imprinting station as the opposite lateral edges of other portions of the strip are fused to complementary interlocking slide fastener tapes. Thereafter the strip is severed into separate markers crosswise of the strip at points between separated groups of the imprinted indicia. The individual markers may then be packaged iiat until ready for application to the part being marked, the assembly operation merely requiring that a marker be wrapped about the object and stretched taut as the interlocking tapes are pressed into locking engagement with one another.
Accordingly, the primary purpose of the present invention is to provide an improved marker formed in one integral part having its opposite edges shaped to interlock with one another in a manner to hold the same positively but detachably assembled about an object to be marked.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a detachable marker for use on cables, bundles of wires, conduits, ducts andthe like comprising a band of ilexible 3,9%,237 Patented May 7, 1963 2. material impressed with indicia on one surface and formed with complementary interlocking fastener means by which the same can be held assembled about the object being marked with the indicia exposed in a desired position.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a one-piece marker formed from thin exble resilient plastic material having slide fastener tapes fused to its opposite ends and adapted to interlock with one another when the marker is held stretched taut about the circumference of the object to be marked.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved method of making markers imprinted with indicia in a continuous operation using a continuous strip of body material and a pair of interlocking slide fastener tapes fused along the opposite lateral edges of the indiciabearing strip and severable into individual markers as the concluding step of the method.
These and other more specific objects will appear upon reading the following specification and claims and upon considering in connection therewith the attached drawings to which they relate.
Referring now to the drawings in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated:
FIGURE l is a perspective View of an electric cable showing a marker according to the present invention assembled thereabout;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the marker on an enlarged scale while outstretched in a flat unfolded condition;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 on FIGURE 2 showing the indicia as comprising raised letters integral with the body strip of the marker;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG- URE 3 but showing an alternate manner of molding the lettering into the body strip so that the surface of the letters is depressed slightly below the surface of the body strip; and
FIGURE 5 is a schematic View showing one preferred method of manufacturing the markers attached together as part of a continuous strip of the constituent materials until the final operation in which the individual markers are severed from the continuous strip.
Referring more particularly to FIGURES l and 2, there is shown a marker incorporating the present invention and designated generally .10. This marker is conveniently formed from a thin flexible resilient strip `'11 having heat fused crosswise of its opposite ends the web 12 of any suitable slide fastener tape designated generally 13, d6. Slide fastener tapes 13 may be of any suitable configuration having complemental interlocking detents readily interengaged by pressing the itnerlocking parts together. There are commercially available various tapes of this general nature and which can be used in making markers incorporating the principles of this invention. A particularly suitable tape construction is illustrated in FIGURE 2 as having continuous ridges or tongues 14, 14 parallel to one another formed to interfit with complementary separating grooves 15, *15, the tape preferably having the configuration shown in co-pending application for United States Letters Patent Serial No. 687,569, tiled October l, 1957. As is made clear by FIGURE 2, the tongue and groove portions of one tape 13 face in the opposite direction from those of the other tape 1-3 along the opposite edge of the marker. This disposition brings the two pair of tongues and grooves into mating position when the marker is Wrapped about an object as, for example, the cable indicated at `16 in FIGURE 1.
To avoid any possibility of the slide fastener tapes 13, 13 becoming partially or fully disassembled by relative Amanner as by known silk screen technique.
unintentional endwise shifting of tongues 14 along grooves 15, it is preferred that one of the tapes 13 be made longer than the corresponding tape on the other -end ofthe marker. To this end, ,tape 113 at the-top of Athe FIGUREZ is Vlonger than tape 13 across the lower `endY of marker 10, the latter having been notched or cut back as indicated at 20, V20 in order that its tongues may mate with grooves of the other tape in the area between abutments 2'1, 21 across the opposite ends of these grooves. Abutments 21, 2&1 are preferably formed by Ythe application of. heat and pressure using a heated forming tool applied to the opposite ends of the longer tape. Alternatively, abutments 21 may comprise short segments of the tongue and groove sections of the tape pressed intoimating relation with the tipends of the longerrtape 13 and fused or adhesively bonded in place therein.
The outer surface of marker 10 is imprinted with any Ydesired indicia with which it is desired to label the object undergoing marking. Indicia 18 ('FIGURE 2) may be imprinted on marker 10 in various Ways. One mode Amakes use of a vinyl paint in a suitable contrasting color applied to the surface of body strip 1-1 in any suitable Indicia formed in this manner is particularly durable when applied to plastic stripping from which the marker proper is desirably made, as for example, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, and the like being particularly suitable and economical.
Other particularly desirable modes of imprinting indicia on strip 11 are illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4, land make useof heated platens over which body strip l11 is passed under sufficient pressure and heat for body -strip 11or -11"1to ow about the lettering. In FIGURE 3, the raised lettering is embossed upon the surface whereas in the alternate mode illustrated in FIGURE 4, lettering 18 is depressed below the surface level of body strip 11". Either theV raised or depressed lettering may be Ydistinctly colored with respect to the surface proper of the body strip to enhance its readability. In certain kinstallations the prominence of colored lettering may be undesirable in which case the letters are left uncolored and are readable only by close examination of the marker.
The application of the described markers to cables, conduits, etc., is readily apparent from the foregoing detailed description of the marker construction. It is pointed out than-though the marker may be loosely assembled about a cable, preferably the length of the marker is so designed as to embrace the same tautly or under slight tension. In consequence of this and the gripping action characteristic of the surfaces of resilient plastic materials, assurance is provided of adequate frictional contact of the marker with the object to prevent rotation or movement of the marker along the cable from its yintended assembled position.
Detachment .of the marker from its assembled position Vis accomplished easily and quickly by lifting the appropriate upper corner of one of the tapes and pulling it upwardly out of locked engagement progressively along the length of the seam.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, there is illustrated one Vpreferred mode of assembling the described marker in a continuous manner and without need for hand labor. A suitably supported supply reel 2S is arranged to dispense a continuous strip 26 of appropriate width body material for the markers. This strip is advanced through an indicia imprinting station 27, containing rolls 28 or other equivalent known means for imprinting or molding de- Vsired indicia into one surface of the strip and in longitudinally spaced areas. Disposed along the path of travel of strip 26 are pairs of feed rolls 29 arranged to be driven at the same speed.
Strip 26 then continues to be advanced while held flat 'through a securing station 30 along with a pair of continuous slide fastener tapes 31, 31 from reels 32. Supply reels 32 may be suitably supported on a spindle 33 an'd cooperate with rolls 34 disposed on the opposite sides of web 26 to guide tapes 31 into overlapping mating position with the opposite lateral edges of strip 26. As the accurately positioned strip elements are advanced through securing station 30 they may be adhesively joined by any well known means or, preferably, the juxtaposed edges of the mating strips are heat fused together by means such as that disclosed in my co-pending application for Letters Patent Serial No. 777,817, led December `1, 1958.
The Lassembled strip issuing from securing station 30 passes through additional feed rolls 29 and then through severing means such as a pair of severing rollers 38, 39 where the continuous strip isV separated into individual markers 10. Any suitable means may be provided for severing the assembled stripping into the markers at appropriate points intermediate adjacent groups of indicia 18, 18. In the arrangement shown, the severing means comprises a roller 38 having a circumferential measurement corresponding to the width of the finished marker 10. Disposed lengthwise thereof is a sharp blade 40 which cooperates with the resilient back-up roll 39 to sever the assembled strips into separate markers which drop onto an underlying stack in readiness for packaging and shipping.
It will be recognized that the described marker may be made by various other methods and ineither a continuous and noncontinu-ous manner depending upon the particular assembly procedure adopted. However, the method illustrated in FIGURE 5 and described in connection 'therewith is preferred because of the uniform results obtainable, the rapidity with which the operation can be carried out and the fact that no labor other than supervisory attention is required once the continuous strips of vmaterial are threaded through the described stations.
While the particularl snap-on marker herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein ushown other than as defined in the appended claim.
A snap-on type indicia-carrying one-piece marker adapted to be packaged flat until required for application about an article to be marked and then to be wrapped about the article and snapped in place thereabout in snug tting frictional engagement with the object, saidrmarker comprising a thin flexible strip of resilient material having suitable indicia imprinted permanently to one surface thereof, the opposite end portions of said strip having affixed crosswise thereof slide fastener strips having complementally shaped interfitting tongues and grooves formed of pliant material lying parallel to the axis of article encircled thereby and adapted to be pressed into high-strength positive mating engagement by finger pressure without needfor auxiliary devices or accessories of any kind, the opposite ends of said marker strip formed Vwith said intertting tongues and grooves being of diiferposition to prevent relative lengthwise sliding movement of said tongues and grooves.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,298,981 Loughridge Apr. l, 1919 1,779,496 Scott Oct. 28, 1930 (Other references on following page) 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS Bockerman Dec. 12, 1933 Hosteck Feb. 4, 1936 Sipe Mar. 31, 1936 Giovanni Jan. 30, 1940 Goldstein Apr. 26, 1949 6 Anderson Mar. 7, 1950 Bailhe July 11, 195() Kidd July 24, 1956 Kuyk Mar. 22, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS England Nov. 7, 1956