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Publication numberUS3141403 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 21, 1964
Filing dateMay 27, 1963
Priority dateMay 27, 1963
Also published asDE1263030B
Publication numberUS 3141403 A, US 3141403A, US-A-3141403, US3141403 A, US3141403A
InventorsBrown Robert J, Derr Donald B, Gut Frederick C
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Selective printing apparatus
US 3141403 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 21, 1964 J, ow ETAL 3,141,403

SELECTIVE PRINTING APPARATUS Filed May 27, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l TYPE SELECTION MEANS F G I INENTORS ROBERT J. BROWN DONALD B. DERR FRE E [CK C. GUT

ATTORNEY July 21, 1964 R. J. BROWN ETAL SELECTIVE PRINTING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 27, 1963 NQI United States Patent 3,141,403 SELECTIVE PRHNTILIG APPARATUS Robert J. Brown, Yorktown Heights, Donald B. Derr, Mahopac, and Frederick C. Gut, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., assignors to International Easiness Machines 02- poration, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed May 27, 1963, Ser. No. 283,462 11 (Ilaims. (Cl. 10199) The present invention relates to printing apparatus, and more particularly to a printing device which is selectively controlled by input data.

In many manufacturing processes it is desirable to mark a product during manufacture in order that it may be later identified or so that products having different characteristics or qualities may be identified by distinctive numbers or characters. A specific example of such use is in the steel manufacturing industry where separate customer orders are assigned identifying numbers, and such numbers are imprinted on the products at each stage in their manufacture.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a printing apparatus for printing a multi-digit number or a multi-character word and which is particularly suitable for on-line marking of products during a manufacturing process.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a printing apparatus which may be controlled from a remote station.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a printing apparatus including a plurality of print wheels which are indexed in a continuous rather than an intermittent manner.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a printing apparatus of relatively simple construction and compact design.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of an embodiment of a printing apparatus and a schematic of an associated control system following the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation View of a print wheel employed in the embodiment of the printing apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view of a print wheel employed in the embodiment of the printing apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 1, a fragmentary assembly view of the printing apparatus is shown including a plurality of printing wheels on a common shaft 20. Three printing wheels are shown, but it is understood that any number of printing wheels may be employed. Shaft 20 is rotated by for reasons to be later discussed. Disc 22 further includes a roller cam 44 arranged such that the cam 44 extends past the periphery of disc 22. Disc 22 also includes a plurality of shallow holes such as hole 46 disposed in circular fashion on the side opposite the cam contacts. The holes 46 coacts with an equal plurality of spring-urged balls 66 located on a type wheel 86, thereby forming spring-urged detents. Disc 22 is fixed to shaft 20 and rotates therewith.

Type wheel 86 is generally cup-shaped, having a circular plate rotatably mounted no shaft 20 and an outer periphery of planar surfaces at right angles to the circular plate. On the circular portion of type wheel 86 are located a plurality of balls 66 mounted by means of compressed springs which urge the balls 66 against the side of disc 22 opposite the side having the cam contacts. When the balls 66 on type wheel 86 are aligned with the holes 46 in disc 22, type wheel 86 will be rotatably driven by disc 22.

There is a separate planar surface and a separate springurged ball 66 on type wheel 86 for each possible numeral or character to be printed. In the present embodiment, each print wheel includes ten numerals, 0 through 9, and therefore ten planar surfaces and ten ball and hole detents are included. It is understood, however, that more or less than ten numerals or alphabetic characters may be employed, just as more or less than three printing wheels may be included on shaft 20.

The printing elements, referred to as type plates, are ten in number in this embodiment and will be references 0 through 9 in accordance with the numeral incribed thereon. Each type plate is fixed to a separate planar surface of type wheel 86. Each type plate has four rods 86a, 86b, 86c and 86d mounted thereon which extend through suitable holes in the planar surfaces and terminate at a separate channeled plate 88. A separate one of compressed springs 88a, 88b, 88c and 8801 is mounted on each of the four rods and cause each type plate to normally abut the planar surfaces and conform with the outer periphery of type wheel 86. The channeled plates 88 serve as cam followers for roller cam 44, that is, roller cam 44 when in contact with a particular channeled plate will force the channeled plate against the four springs 88a, 88b, 88c and 88d, causing the associated type plate to move outwardly from the planar surface of the type wheel 86. It is understood that numerals are only one example of the pattern on the type plates, and that any indicia may be provided.

On type wheel 86, on the interior side of one particular planar surface, a single projection or lug 90 is located. A solenoid operated stop member 92 is mounted to support member 21 such that when the solenoid 94 is energized, a peg 92a on the stop member 92 will engage the lug 90, thus overcoming the action of the ball and hole detents and restraining the type wheel 86 at a reference position. When solenoid 94 is de-energized, a spring 96 causes a stop member 92 to return to its original position thereby releasing type wheel 86 for rotation with disc 22. When type wheel 86 is at the reference position, a cam 38 on lug 90 will actuate proximately located switch which provides a signal to close switch 60 to be later described.

A series of switches 98, being five in number (98a through 98e in FIG. 2) in the present embodiment, are mounted on support member 21 proximate to disc 22 such enemies that the cam contacts on disc 22 cause two or more of the five switches 98 to be actuated. As will be later described, four of the switches 955a through 9801 are used for coding and the fifth switch 98c is used for alignment. As disc 22 is rotated, the groups of cam contacts thereon sequentially actuate corresponding switches until a given group of cam contacts cause a given pattern of switches 98a through 98a to actuate which match a predetermined character selection signal at a remote location.

An inking mechanism having a housing 34 containing a supply of printing ink and a pair of ink transfer rolls 36 and 37 is located proximate to type wheel 85 at a distance such that those type plates which conform to the periphery of type wheel 86 will not come into contact with roller 37, but the type plate being extended by roller cam 44 will bear against roller 37 and be inked. Each of the printing wheels on shaft 2i) have an inking mechanism associated therewith, or alternatively, the rollers 36 and 37 may extend the length of the entire print wheel assembly.

The control system for the print wheels is shown schematically and includes a type selection means 47, a comparison circuit 48, a gate circuit 49, a delay circuit 59, a switch 51, and a switch 60. The control system controls the selection of the numerals or characters on each of the print wheels, however, for ease of explanation, only the connections to one print wheel are shown. The type selection means 47, which may be a computer, produces a four bit binary signal for each print wheel which is transmitted on leads 47a through 47d and represents a numeral or character to be printed. A signal on the fifth lead 47c indicates that a numeral is being selected and turns switch 51 on. The signal from switch 51 actuates solenoid 94 which causes stop member 92 to engage type wheel 86. As disc 22 rotates, each set of cam contacts thereon will actuate corresponding ones of switches 98. Switches hi5 are connected to a source of potential which is shown in FIG. 2 butomitted from through 98d are identical to the four signals from the type selection means 47, a signal is generated from comparison circuit 48. This signal on lead 52 turns switch 51 off which in turn de-energizes solenoid 94 thus disengaging stop member 92 from type wheel 36 and permitting type wheel 86 to rotate with disc 22. The signal from comparison circuit 48 is also applied to delay circuit 50, via lead 53 which delays the signal for a suitable time period, for example one type wheel rotation. The signal from delay circuit 553 is then applied to solenoid 54 via leads 55. fixed to a stationary member 57 such that actuation of solenoid 54 causes the entire printing wheel assembly to be moved downward and contact the item to be printed, which is represented by reference numeral 58. The signal from comparison circuit 48 is a pulse of finite duration, and at the end of the pulse solenoid 54 is de-energized and the printing wheel assembly is raised by a spring return in solenoid 54 and returns to its original position. The signal from delay circuit 50 is also used to reset switch on to the open state.

Referring to FIG. 2, an elevation view of the print wheel is shown which more fully illustrates the cam contacts on disc 22. The particular number and position of the cam contacts in the groups 24 through 33 are clearly indicated with the exception of group 24 positioned behind switches 93. Since the particular embodiment of the invention being discussed is shown as having a total of ten separate type plates, disc 22 will include ten groups The plunger 56 of solenoid 54 is afof cam contacts 24 through 33 and each group will have at least two and as many as five selectively located cam contacts. The presence or absence of a cam contact at given locations in each group will determine a particular type plate to be selected. For example, consider the possible positions of the cam contacts in each group as being numbered 1, 2, -3, -4, and 5, with position 1 being nearest the center of the disc. The cams in the first four positions are used for coding and the cam in position five, which is present in every group, is used for alignment. The following table sets forth the coding produced by the cams in the first four positions.

In Table I, an X designates the presence of a cam contact. It is evident that Table I represents a particular form of a binary code, and that with four possible coding cam contacts in each group, a maximum of sixteen type plates could have been designated if necessary. If, in another embodiment, the type plates were to contain alphabetic characters, then twenty-six type plates would be needed for each print wheel and consequently five (2 :32) cam contact positions for coding would be necessary in each group on the disc. It is understood that other code arrangements may also be employed as well as that set forth in Table I.

Relating Table I with FIG. 2, it is seen that group 24 is associated with type numeral 1, group 25 is associated with type numeral 2, group 26 is associated with type numeral 3, and so on to group 33 which is associated with type numeral 0. What this means is that when a group of cam contacts is adjacent to switches 98 and type wheel 86 is being held in reference position by peg 92a on stop member 92, the type plate associated with the group of cam contacts adjacent to switches 98 is being extended away from the type wheel by the roller cam 44.

Type wheel 86 is mounted on, but not affixed to, shaft 20. Type wheel 36 will rotate with disc 22 when balls 66 (FIG. 1) are in the associated holes 46 on disc 22 and stop member 92 is maintained out of the path of lug 9%) by spring 96 (solenoid 94 being de-energized). When solenoid 94 is energized by a signal from type selection means 47 (FIG. 1), peg 92a of stop member 92 will be in the path of lug 9d and type wheel 86 will stop at a reference position. In the present embodiment the lug 9th is located between the 0 and "1 numeral type plates, which establishes the reference position. When type wheel 86 is in the reference position, cam 38 will actuate switch 39 which will in turn close switch 60 via lead 61.

With type wheel 86 maintained in the reference position, the location of roller cam 44 on disc 22 with respect to the groups of cam contacts 24 through 33 is such that when a particular group of cam contacts on disc 22 representative of a given numeral (Table I) is in contact with the switches 98, roller cam 44 is causing the type plate having the given numeral thereon to be forced outwardly from the type wheel 86. In FIG. 2 the cam contacts 29 associated with numeral 6 are in contact with switches 98 and roller cam 44 is forcing outwardly the type plate having numeral 6 thereon. When disc 22. is rotated clockwise by shaft 20, the next group of cam contacts 28 to engage switch 98 is associated with numeral and roller cam 44 would be forcing outwardly type plate 5. Each of the switches 98a through 98c are connected to a potential source shown schematically by reference number 89. When each switch is actuated, the potential 89 appears on the output lead thereof.

Each of the groups of cam contacts on disc 22 include a cam contact in the fifth or outermost position. This cam contact is not for purposes of coding but coacts with switch 98c for purposes of alignment. It is noted from the drawings that this cam contact is physically displaced with respect to the other cam contacts in each group. Disc 22 rotating clockwise, the cam contacts in the first four positions used for coding will encounter switches 98a through 98a slightly before the fifth cam contact encounters switch 98c, however, the signals from the actuation of the switches 96a through 96d will not be gated into storage register comparison circuit 43 (FIG. 1) until the fifth or alignment cam contact actuates switch 982. The slight delay resulting from the physical displacement of the alignment cam insures that the coding cams have been established with respect to the switches 98a through 98d and prevents undesired effects due to bounce and sparking and for premature or late closing of switches 98a through 98d.

Referring to FIG. 3, a rear elevation view of the printing wheel is shown illustrating stop member 92 and lug 90 in more detail. It is seen that when solenoid 94 is deenegized, spring 96 will hold stop member 92 out of the path of lug 90, however when solenoid 94 is energized by a signal from switch 51 (FIG. 1), stop member 92 will be moved into the path of lug 90 and peg 92a will engage lug 9t) and type wheel 86 will be held stationary. The spring-urged balls 66 are also shown in FIG. 3. There are ten such balls in the present embodiment, however one ball will accomplish the same result. The halls are located to engage the ten holes 46 in disc 22. For clarity, the holes 46 in disc 22 were not represented in FIG. 3, however they are located on the side of disc 22 opposite the groups of carn contacts 24 through 33 and are disposed on the same radii as the cam contacts. When lug 90 is in the reference position established by stop member 92, cam 38 on lug 96 will actuate switch 39 thereby closing switch 60 via lead 61 and permitting the signals from switches 98a through 98e to reach gate 49. This is to insure that signals are not applied to gate 49 before type wheel 86 is stopped in the reference position.

For a description of the operation of the printing device reference will be made to FIG. 1. Normally, shaft 20 is rotating clockwise and driving disc 22 which in turn is driving type wheel 86 via balls 66. Solenoid 94 is deenergized and stop member 92 is not in the path of lug 90. The numeral to be printed is determined by type selection means 47 which applies a four bit binary signal to comparison circuit 48 via leads 47a through 47d and turns switch 51 on via a signal on lead 47e. When switch 51 is turned on, the output signal therefrom on lead 59 energizes solenoid 94 causing stop member 92 to be moved in the path of lug 90 on type wheel 86. Peg 92a on stop member 92 engages lug 90 causing type wheel 86 to remain stationary in the reference position and cam 38 actuates switch 39 which in turn causes switch 60 to close.

Disc 22 continues to rotate and each group of cam contacts 24, 25, 26, will pass switches 98 and, in passing, closes particular ones of the switches 98a through 98e in accordance with the number and location of the cam contacts in each group. As each switch 98a through 98:: is closed, potential 89 appears on the output lead thereof. The fifth, or alignment cam contact of each group which is always present will actuate the alignment switch 98e which in turn opens gate circuit 49 and permits the signals from coding switches 98a through 98d to be applied to comparison circuit 48 where the signals are compared with the signals from type selection means 47. It will be presumed that the numeral being requested roller cam 44 is extending type plate 6 outwardly. The

signal from comparison circuit 48 turns switch 51 or solenoid 94 becomes de-energized, and spring 96 removes stop member 92 from the path of lug 90. Type wheel 86, due to the spring-urged balls 66, rotates with disc 22 with type plate 6 extended. As type plate 6 passes the inking mechanism 34 a quantity of ink is transferred from roller 37 to type plate 6.

The signal from comparison circuit 48 having been delayed by delay circuit 56 is applied to solenoid 54, the plunger 56 of which reacts against stationary member 57 causing the entire printing wheel assembly to lower and the extended type plate 6 to strike the item to be printed 58. The signal from delay circuit 50 also resets switch 60.

It is understood that each of the printing Wheels on shaft 20 are set in a similar fashion, although the preceding description related to only one single printing wheel. The only distinction would be that the type selection means 47 would generate a four-bit code signal for each printing wheel and that a multiplicity of gate circuits, comparison circuits and switches would be employed. It should also be obvious to one skilled in the art that modifications may be made within the scope of the invention. Thus, type selection means 47 may be a programmed computer, or may be a keyboard device operated manually by an operator at a central location for controlling a plurality of printing systems. Also, solenoid 54, instead of being operated by the delayed comparison signal, may be connected back to a control station so that the printing time may be selectively controlled by an operator or other means.

It was stated that type wheel 86 is driven by disc 22 by means of spring-urged balls 66. When stop member 92 restrains type wheel 86, the balls 66 will ride in and out of the holes 46 in disc 22. This results in wear in the balls and the disc as well as noisy operation. Another method of performing this function would be to have disc 22 and type wheel 86 physically separated on shaft 26 when stop member 92 is engaging type wheel 86 and to positively lock disc 22 and type wheel 86 when stop member 92 does not engage type wheel 86. This may be accomplished by including a cam on stop member 92 which causes type wheel 86 and disc 22 to move in and out of the positive locking position as stop member 92 is moved.

What has been described is a unique printing apparatus for printing a plurality of numerals or characters. The numerals or characters may be selected at a remote location by human agency or a computer. One of the features of the printing apparatus is a coded disc mounted inside the printing wheel which performs the function of numeral or character selection by coaction with switches, as well as driving a type wheel and physically displacing a selected type plate for inking and printing. The type plates are spn'ng mounted on the type wheel which provides a floating action which absorbs the shock of the type plate striking the material to be printed.

Another important feature of the invention is that the device operates in a continuous manner and it is not necessary to stop shaft 20 to select each type plate. Also, for multi-digit printing the alignment of the digits occurs automatically. Each coded disc associated with each printing wheel is aligned on a common shaft in the same relative position. Thus, when a multi-digit number such as 725 is to be printed, the first print wheel will select the numeral 7 by means of the coded disc associated therewith. As the coded discs in each of the print wheels are being rotated clockwise, the next numeral selected will be the 5 in the third print wheel. However, the type wheel of the first print wheel is likewise being rotated so that when the numeral 5 is selected, the numeral 7? is co-linear therewith. As the three discs continue to rotate, the numeral 2 in the second print wheel will be selected at a given point and the 7 and will be moved to this given point so that the resultant 725 will be automatically aligned.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the inven} tion.

What is claimed is:

1. A printing apparatus comprising:

at least one type wheel having a plurality of separate type plates mounted thereon,

a rotating disc mounted within said type wheel having coded indicia thereon representative of each of said separate type plates, said disc being releasably coupled to said type wheel for selectively rotating said type wheel about a common axis,

selection means mounted within said type wheel for coaction with said coded indicia on said rotating disc for selecting a given one of said type plates,

and means for disengaging said type wheel from said rotating disc at a given position and for re-engaging said type wheel and said disc when said given one of said type plates is selected.

2. A printing apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said rotating disc further includes means for radially extending said selected given one of said type plates.

3. A printing apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said selection means mounted within said type wheel is coupled to a remotely located selection control means.

4. A printing apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said plurality of separate type plates are resiliently mounted on the circumference of said type wheel by springs such that each type plate may be extended outward from said circumference upon application of a suitable force.

5. A printing apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said coded indicia on said rotating type wheel includes a plurality of groups of cam contacts mounted on the surface of said disc, each group of cam contacts including a predetermined number of cam contacts selectively positioned along a radius of said rotating disc.

6. A printing apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said selection means includes a plurality of cam responsive means mounted proximate to said rotating disc, said cam responsive means being selectively actuated by said groups of cam contacts on said rotating disc for producing signals representative of said cam contacts.

7. A printing apparatus comprising:

at least one type wheel having a plurality of separate type plates mounted on the circumference of said type wheel by springs such that each type plate may be extended outward from said circumference by application of a suitable force,

a rotating disc mounted within said type wheel having a plurality of groups of cam contacts mounted on one surface thereof, each group of cam contacts including a predetermined number of cam contacts selectively positioned along a radius of said rotat ing disc and each group of cam contacts being representative of a separate one of said type plates,

a selection means including a plurality of cam responsive means mounted proximate to said rotating disc, said cam responsive means being selectively actuated by said groups of cam contacts on said rotating disc for producing signals representative of said cam contacts,

a remotely located type selection control means coupled to said plurality of cam responsive means, said type selection control means including means for generating signals representative of said separate type plates, and a comparison means coupled to said Signal generating means and said cam responsive means for comparing the signals from said cam responsive means and said generating means for producing an output signal when said signals therefrom compare,

and means coupled to said type selection control means for disengaging said type wheel from said rotating disc at a given position in response to a signal from said signal generating means and for re-engaging said type wheel and said disc in response to said output signal from said comparison means.

8. A printing apparatus according to claim 7 wherein means for disengaging and re-engaging said type wheel and rotating disc includes a switch coupled to said signal generating means and said comparison means for producing an output signal in response to a signal from said signal generating means and an absence of output signal in response to the output signal from said comparison means, a normally de-actuated solenoid coupled to said switch, said solenoid being actuated by the output signal from said switch, a pivoted rod connected to said solenoid for engaging and maintaining said type wheel stationary at a given position when said solenoid is actuated and for releasing said type wheel when said solenoid is de-actuated.

9. A printing apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said rotating disc includes a plurality of means for frictionally engaging said type wheel for rotating said type wheel when said type wheel is released by said pivoted rod.

10. A printing apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said rotating disc includes a member mounted thereon for extending a single one of said type plates outward from said circumference of said type wheel, said member being mounted on said disc at a location such that the type plate being extended is representative of the group of cam contacts simultaneously actuating said cam responsive means when said type wheel is being maintained stationary.

11. A printing apparatus comprising:

at least one type wheel rotatably mounted on a shaft having a plurality of separate type plates mounted on the circumference of said type wheel by springs such that each type plate may be extended outward from said circumference by application of suitable force, and including at least one spring-urged member disposed on one surface of said type wheel,

a disc rigidly mounted on said shaft within said type wheel having a plurality of groups of cam contacts mounted on one surface thereof, each group of cams being associated with a separate one of said type plates and including a predetermined number of cam contacts selectively positioned along a separate radius of said disc,

said disc further including a plurality of depressions adapted to receive said at least one spring-urged member of said type wheel such that said type wheel is driven by the rotation of said disc,

said disc also including a roller cam mounted at the outer circumference thereof for coacting with individual ones of said type plates for extending said type plates outward from said circumference of said type wheel,

a remotely located type selection control means coupled to said plurality of switches, said type selection means including means for generating signals representative of said separate type plates, and a comparison means coupled to said signal generating means and said cam responsive switches for comparing the signals from said cam responsive switches and said generating means for producing an output signal when said signals therefrom compare,

and means coupled to said type selection control means for disengaging said type wheel from said disc at a given position in response to a signal from said sig- 9 nal generating means and for re-engaging said type wheel and said disc in response to said output signal from said comparison means,

a plurality of cam responsive switches mounted proximate to said disc, said cam responsive switches being selectively actuated by said groups of cam contacts on said disc for producing signals representative of said cam contacts which are in turn associated with said type plates.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3309987 *Dec 22, 1965Mar 21, 1967IbmImprinting apparatus
US3504622 *Sep 13, 1968Apr 7, 1970Morrison RalphPrint wheel setting and detenting means with electrical controls therefor
US3635155 *Sep 15, 1969Jan 18, 1972Omron Tateisi Electronics CoTicket-vending apparatus
US3640216 *Sep 4, 1969Feb 8, 1972Olivetti & Co SpaParallel printing apparatus for recorded data
US3661076 *May 25, 1970May 9, 1972New England Merchants NationalBelt printing apparatus for printing line of print at one time
US3797386 *Mar 27, 1972Mar 19, 1974Dennison Mfg CoMarking system with rotary print drums
US3805696 *Nov 15, 1972Apr 23, 1974Nihon Postal Franker Co LtdInk printing device for use in drum type line printers
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US4278018 *Nov 16, 1979Jul 14, 1981Ncr Canada Ltd. - Ncr Canada LteePrinting means
US4284003 *May 12, 1980Aug 18, 1981Societe Pour L'affranchissemert Et Le Timbrage Automatiques (S.A.T.A.S.)Printer with a plurality of electrically controlled print wheels
US4327635 *May 29, 1980May 4, 1982United States Steel CorporationIndexable marking wheel
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Classifications
U.S. Classification101/99, 101/110, 101/106
International ClassificationB41K3/10, B41J7/00, B41K3/00, B41J7/48
Cooperative ClassificationB41K3/102, B41J7/48
European ClassificationB41J7/48, B41K3/10N