US 3142840 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 8, 1964 c. B. SMITH ETAL HIGH-SPEED PRINTING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 24, 1959 INVEN7ORS CHARLES B. SMITH VICTOR O. WIL'KERSON y 28, 1964 c. B. SMITH ETAL HIGHSPEED PRINTING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 24, 1959 y 28, 1964 Y c. B. SMITH ETAL 3,142,340
HIGH-SPEED PRINTING APPARATUS Filed June 24, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INPUT INFORMATION DRIVE R LATCHES N/l/l/ Ir lllN/ /I I/I/N/ 120 STAGE COLUMN RING 16 STAGE BIT RING FIG. 3
July 28, 1964 Filed June 24, 1959 BIT INCREMENTS PER COLUMN 1 7 13 C. B. SMITH ETAL HIGH-SPEED PRINTING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. 5
United States Patent "ice 3,142,840 HIGH-SPEED PRINTING APPARATUS Charles B. Smith and Victor 0. Wilkerson, Vestal, N.Y.,
assignors to international Business Machines Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed June 24, 1959, Ser. No. 822,581 1 Claim. (61. 346-74) This invention relates to improvements in high-speed printing devices and, more particularly, to a high-speed printing device wherein the information to be printed is generated in composite form by a continuously moving transducer cooperating with a continuously moving record medium, and the information on the record medium is thereafter transferred to a continuously moving paper form.
Information in numerical, alphabetical and special character form which is handled in data-processing machines, in most cases must be recorded in readable form for an operator of the machine when the data handling is completed. Because of the extremely high speed of present day data processing machines, the output printer for such. machines must likewise be of an extremely high speed, or otherwise the expensive high-speed capabilities of the data processing machine will not be fully utilized.
There are a number of high speed printers known in the prior art and, in general, these printers operate to mechanically print on paper intermittently moving at a high speed. Usually an entire character line is mechanically printed rapidly while the printout form is stopped, then the form is rapidly advanced for printing of the next succeeding line. For high-speed printing, the intermittent movement of the paper form at a very rapid rate, such as 1,000 lines per minute or more, creates almost insurmountable problems. Therefore, it would be highly desirable to generate information at a high rate of speed during constant movement of the output form and this invention provides a printing apparatus for accomplishing this result.
The high-speed printers which are known in the art utilize a large number of mechanical printing members, including hammers and type members. This large number of printing members, dictates that the known highspeed printers be bulky and expensive. It is an object of this invention to reduce the number of printing members to a minimum by generating all of the characters desired to be printed by a rotating transducer, cooperating with a record medium. Using this arrangement, the type members and their cooperating hammers of the prior art devices can be eliminated as the characters desired to be printed may be created and stored in a storage medium and withdrawn from the storage medium as a transducer passes a desired point for generating the character on a record medium. The storage medium may utilize conventional storage elements in a novel arrangement for creating any character desired to be printed.
In the conventional high-speed printing devices, printing is accomplished by mechanical action between the typeforming means and the paper or printout form. This mechanical action at a high rate of speed causes an undesirable noise level and wear is inherent, thus causing expensive down-time for replacement and repair of the mechanical devices. It is another object of this invention to provide a high-speed printer which is quiet and rugged. With the high-speed printer of this invention, the characters are not generated by mechanical action upon a record medium, but rather by magnetic, electro-static or photo-graphic action on an intermediate record member, to thereby generate a latent image of the information de sired to be printed at a high rate of speed, and this constantly-moving intermediate record member is then de- 3,142,840 hatented July 28, 1964 veloped and printed out at a print station in a known manner.
This invention contemplates a high-speed printing device capable of printing 1,000 lines per minute or more by serially recording characters in composite form by the rotation of a transducer in juxtaposition to a moving intermediate record member. As the transducer passes desired locations of the record member, it is selectively energized in accordance with information from a storage medium to serially record portions of a complete line of characters on the record member. The transducer then continues its rotation to record another portion of the complete line of characters, until the line is completed. This moving intermediate record member carrying the recorded image of the line of characters in latent form is continuously moved past a developing station where the latent images are developed and then past a printing stat1on Where the developed latent images can be printed out on a conventional printout form such as paper. The intermediate recording medium may be a magnetic tape and the transducer may be a magnetic transducer to utilize magnetic printing. However, it will be obvious that the recording, developing and transfer means can take other forms such as electro-static printing, photographic printing and the like, but in any of these, the basic principle of continuously generating all desired characters in composite form by a rotating transducer adacent a continuously moving record medium is utilized.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be pointed out in the following description and claim and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by Way of example, the principles of this invention and the best mode which has been contemplated of applying these principles.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view illustrating a form of the invention wherein a rotating transducer co operates with an intermediate record member guided around the periphery of the transducer.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a modification of the invention wherein an intermediate record member is passed over the periphery of a cylindrical guide and a rotating transducer records the information desired to be printed on one side of the recording medium after which the recording medium is developed and twisted to present the developed medium to a printing station where printing is accomplished by a novel impression member forming a part of this invention.
FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit diagram of the circuitry utilized to selectively energize the transducers for generating the composite characters.
FIG. 4 is a circuit diagram of a portion of the storage medium illustrating two characters created in the storage medium and the manner in which they are utilized to selectively energize the rotating transducer.
FIG. 5 is a graphical diagram of the generation of two characters in one line and one character in the next succeeding line to illustrate the principles of this invention.
Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a record medium 10 which in the illustrated embodiments is a magnetizable tape. The tape 10 which may be as wide as a line to be printed, is continuously driven at a constant speed in a single direction as shown by the arrow thereon, and is guided in a closed path by guide and drive rollers 20, 22, 24, and 26. The tape 10 is guided past the periphery of a rotating transducer disc 12. The transducer disc contains one or more magnetic transducers 14 having an air gap 16 therein, the transducers being of more or less conventional construction. By selectively energizing a transducer 14, the magnetizable tape 10 may be selectively magnetized during each rotation of the transducer disc 12 to record a latent image of portions of composite characters within an entire line of information. Because the disc 12 is continuously rotating during the recordingof the characters and because the tape 10 is continuously moving, the disc 12, which is mounted on a. supporting and driving shaft 18, is tilted at an angle with respect to the direction of movement of the tape 10. the tape 10 during a scan of the transducer 14.
During each half rotation of the transducer disc 12, in the illustrated embodiment, the transducer 14 adjacent tape 10 is selectively energized to generate a portion of each character in a line of information at the same horizontal level of each character. As the transducer disc 12 rotates, the tape 10 constantly moves and as one transducer 14 passes off the tape, the opposite transducer rotates across the tape to generate the next portion of each composite character in the line. It is because of the combined movements of the tape 10 and the transducer 14 that the transducer disc 12 must be tilted to record the information at right angles to the direction of the movement of the tape. FIG. illustrates the nature of the characters generated during the rotation of the transducer disc 12. The numbers at the horizontal lines of the FIG. 5 graph designate the number of scans of the transducer to generate the composite characters in a line and it may be seen This tilt compensates for movement of that seven scans of the transducer, in the preferred embodiment, will generate a complete character at each 'desired character position in a line while during the next five scans, the transducer is de-energized to create a space between lines. Then, as shown in FIG. 5, the next row of character is generated by another seven scans. The vertical lines, as shown in FIG. 5, designate time increments in each column position during the rotation of the transducer when the transducer is selectively energized by information from the storage medium, as will be explained hereinafter.
The continuously moving tape or record medium 10 having information recorded thereon in latent form, as indicated at 28, FIG. 1, is passed over guide rollers 24 and 26 and the latent information is developed at a developer: station 30. latent image, printing out and preparing the record medium for another cycle are known in the art of magnetic printing, sometimes termed ferromagnetography. The developing station 30 applies a magnetic developing powder which contains a printing ink or the like to the latent information 28, and the tape 10 then passes to a printing station having a printing couple in the form of rollers 32 and 34. The tape 10 and a printing form, such as paper 36, are fed between the nip of the printing rollers, 32 and 34, to transfer the developed information to the paper 36. The printed form 36 may then The operations of developing the a v.
tion is erased, and thence to a cleaning station, illustrated by brush 40, for cleaning the remaining developing powder from the tape. The tape is then ready for another cycle of recording, developing and printing.
In using the apparatus disclosed in FIG. 1, the tape 10, in order to be trained around the periphery of the 'tape is passed over a stationary guide 102 supported at 104 on a suitable base 106. The guide 102 contains a rotating transducer 114 for creating the latent images of a portion of an entire line of characters during each rotation thereof. It is noted that the tape 100 passes around the guide 102 at an angle such that the latent information indicated at 128 will be at an angle to the direction of movement of the tape 100, and will also be generated on the side of the tape adjacent the transducer 114. The latent image of the information is de veloped at a developer station shown schematically at 130 and is then passed to a printing station.
In attempting to transfer the developed image from the magnetic tape to paper in an arrangement such as shown in FIG. 2, it is necessary, to incorporate a novel impression medium, due to the fact that the tape will tend to scuff across a printout paper during contact. The printing station includes a stationary roll 142 supported from base 106 by suitable supports 144, and the tape 100 is trained around the periphery of the stationary roll 142. The novel impression means includes a rotatable member 145 mounted on a shaft 146 and including a pair of rollers 148 and 150, mounted for free rotation on end-arm supports 152. By virtue of rollers 148 and 150 being rotatably mounted with respect to their support 152, and the entire impression medium being rotatably driven from shaft 146, the position of each line of developed information on the tape 100 will be squeezed by the rotation of the rollers 148 and 150 in cooperation with stationary backing roll 142 to effect the transfer between the tape 100 and paper 136. The squeezing effect will be for a relatively short period of time and will prevent lateral motion of the tape with respect to the backing roll 142. The shaft 146 is rotated at a very high speed and there is no great difliculty in feeding the paper or the record medium. The tape 100 after leaving the printing station is erased at an erase station 138 and cleaned by a cleaning means, such as brush 140 and then guided over suitableguide roller sets 154, 156, 158 and 160, such that the tape is ready again to be fed to guide 102 containing transducer 114 for another complete cycle.
Although an endless record medium in the form of magnetic tape has been illustrated in the FIGS. 1 and 2 embodiments, it is obvious that the latent image could be written on a long length of tape which could be rolled up on a reel and retained for later development and printing. With this arrangement, printing could be accomplished by aseparate unit removed from the recording unit.
The arrangement including the storage means creating the character and the circuit for selectively energizing the transducer as it passes the desired places on the tape where character portions are to be generated, is shown schematically in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 3 shows the transducer 114 rotating within a stationary guide 102 similar to the modification of FIG. 2 but, of course, the rotating transducer could be of the type illustrated in the FIG. 1 embodiment. The transducer 114 rotates on a central shaft 118, which shaft carries a synchronizing disc 41 for the generation of clock pulses in a suitable reading transducer 42. The character generating transducer 114 is selectively energizable from a brush 43, depending upon the portion of the character to be generated, and the position of the transducer.
In the arrangement of FIG. 3, the characters of an entire set of characters desired to be printed are stored in core character planes 44, one plane for each character of a set of characters. Each core character plane 44 has an output sense winding threaded through magnetic cores 45 which are arranged in the shape of the stored character as shown in detail in FIG. 4. The output sense windings of'planes 44 are connected in parallel between ground and the grid of a tube 60. In the illustrated embodiment it is assumed that there will be fortyeight unique alphabetical, numerical and special characters which may be printed. Input information is fed in a line at a time from a data-processing machine, or the like, to a core memory 46 having 120 storage positions,
'each holding a character of the 120-column line of the bit code (1-2-4-8-A-B), six cores are provided for each character storage position. A seventh parity bit core C may also be included. Clock pulses from transducer 42 are fed to a gate 47 for a 120-stage column ring 48, and a 16-stage bit ring 50. The 120-stage column ring 48 is utilized to serially read out the character storage positions of memory 46 which represent columns and provide a parallel bit output of each character to latches 52. Upon receiving a subsequent signal from the 16-stage bit ring 50, the drive latches are reset and also transmit the coded information of one character to a code translator 54 for translating the code into an indication of one of the unique 48 characters. The code translator 54, which may be a conventional diode switch translator, is adapted to selectively energize one of 48 output lines, each representing one unique character, so as to control a particular tube 56 associated with the energized output 'line to apply current to the horizontal windings 49 of a particular core character plane 44. For example, to print the information shown in FIG. 5, the translator 54 would first select the tube 56 corresponding to the core character plane representing the character A and then, at the next column position, select the tube corresponding to the core character plane representing the character M. There is a tube 56 for each of the core character planes, and any horizontal winding of each core character plane 44 connected to ground is thus energized to set cores therein by applying current to the horizontal winding. A l2-stage scan ring 58 is connected to parallel to each of the horizontal windings 49 of each core plane 44. This 12-stage scan ring 58 is controlled by the 120-stage column ring 48 such that it steps down one stage as the transducer 114 completes a scan of a complete line of information across the tape. The 16- stage bit ring 50 steps across each of its 16 stages during the passing of a transducer through each column position. This bit ring is connected in parallel to each of the core character planes and the function thereof is to reset any set core in the selected core character plane to provide an output at tube 60 hence to brush 43 and the transducer 114. The l6-stage bit ring also controls the drive latches 52, and provides a signal to gate 47 to step the l20-stage column ring 48 as each column position is passed.
Since each of the core character planes 44 merely contains a plurality of cores positioned in the general shape of the character desired to be printed the character storage is simplified. This storage arrangement also provides great flexibility as any desired character, configuration, symbol, mark or the like can be made up from an arrangement of cores and inserted into the device to provide a printout of that particular character, or symbol, mark, etc. Examples of the arrangement of cores 45 in the core character planes 44 is shown in FIG. 4 where only two of the characters, A and B, are shown for the sake of simplicity. The cores 45 are arranged generally in the configuration of the letters A and B and a sense winding is wound through each of the cores in a particular core character plane and is connected to the output tube 60. A sense winding 62 for the character plane A and a sense winding 64 for the character plane B are connected in parallel such that whenever a rese of any of the cores occurs by the drive from l6-stage ring 50, an output will occur at tube 60. Each of the character selection tubes 56 is connected in common to all of the horizontal core Windings in its associated core plane 44 which pass through each of the cores in their corresponding horizontal lines. The corresponding vertical windings of the core character planes are connected in series through connections 66 to an associated stage in ring 50, and the corresponding horizontal windings of the planes are further connected to a uni-directional current conduction device 68 which in turn is controlled by a stage of the 12-stage scan ring 58.
The operation of the circuit shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 for generating a latent magnetic image of the characters in FIG. 5, will now be described. Assume that a line of input information, in coded form, is fed from a dataprocessing machine to the core memory 46 which has an A to be printed in the first-column position and an M to be printed in the second-column position. Before the transducer 114 arrives at the first-column position of the intermediate recording medium, the commutator 41 will have produced a clockpulse to gate 47, which is coupled with an output of a particular stage in ring 50 so as to step the -stage column ring 48 and provide a readout of the first character storage position in memory 46 to drive latches 52 and set them to the character A. At this time, the l6-stage ring 50 will also allow the drive latches to provide the information to the translator 54, which translator translates the coded information to energize the character selection tube 56 representing character A and so apply potential to all of the horizontal windings of the cores in character plane A. As this is the first or top level scan of the transducer 114, the 12-stage scan ring 58 is in such a state as to connect only the top horizontal windings 49 in all planes 44 to ground. However, only the top horizontal winding in the A plane 44 will have a circuit completed there through as only character selection tube 56 for the A plane is energized. Therefore, only the single core in the top horizontal line of A plane 44 will be set. The l6-stage ring 50 at the start of the scan of the first column position now has such stages activated so as to start energizing the vertical lines of core windings from left to right as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIG. 5, the recording effected during the first or top level scan of column 1 character is represented by the top horizontal line 1 and the stages of the 16- stage ring 50 which are connected to the vertical lines of windings in the planes 44 are indicated by the vertical lines 1 through 13. In the top horizontal line of the A plane there is no core to be reset by the first stage of ring 50, therefore, there is no readout to tube 60 and the transducer 114 is not energized. A similar situation prevails until the seventh stage of ring 50 is energized, thus resetting the single top core of the core character plane representing the character A. This provides a pulse on tube 60 which energizes transducer 114 so as to record a latent image in a portion of column 1 of the magnetizable tape during the first scan of the transducer as illustrated in FIG. 5. The width of the pulse produced will cause an elongated spot as shown in FIG. 5 to be generated. The length of this line is slightly greater than the distance traversed by transducer 114 during one step of the 16-stage ring 50. As the ring 50 continues stepping along the top horizontal line of the core character plane A, it will reset no more cores as there are no more cores in the top horizontal line of core character plane A. Stage 13 of this ring is the last possible position for any core in the core character planes 44. The remaining three stages allow for the space between adjacent letters in the printed line, i.e. allow a space between column positions, and also allow time for the character in the next succeeding column to be read from memory 46 so as to select its associated core plane 44. The ring 50 provides successive pulses to gate 47 and drive latches 52 to allow the next character to select a core character plane 44. In the illustration of FIG. 5, the character in the second-column position is the character M. However, only the top horizontal line of cores in the M plane 44 will be set because the l2-stage scan ring 58 still connects only this top horizontal line to ground. Therefore, a core at each end of the top horizontal line of the M plane will be set. As the ring 50 resets the first core, an output is produced to allow transducer 114 to record a latent spot image in a portion of the second column as shown in the top of FIG. 5. As the l6-stage ring 50 steps across the in the first column position.
each are not deemed necessary to describe.
have been generated in column 2, line 1, FIG. 5, to define the top portion of the composite character M3 The rotating transducer 114 continues on through the entire 120-column position in a manner similar to that described for the first two column positions, and in each position, it generates spots on the top horizontal line only.
After the 120 columns are completed, the 12-stage scan ring 58 steps down so that the windings in the second topmost horizontal line of each plane 44 are selected, and the cycle described above is repeated. However, the transducer on its second scan through columns 1-120 now records latent dashes in a linear horizontal position of the tape which is below those recorded during the first scan, thus producing the arrangement shown in FIG. 5 at horizontal line 2. This is because the recording medium has been continuously moving, therefore, during each line scan, the transducer generates a latent image of a portion of each character desiredto be printed in a line. By the end of the seventh revolution, the entire line of characters has been generated, and the record medium as well as the transducer has been continuously moving.
The 12-stage scan ring 58 has 12 stages but only 7 stages are needed for the generation of a complete line of characters. Stages 8 through 12, inclusive, are not connected to any horizontal lines in the core character planes but instead provide time intervals when transducer 114 cannot record so that one line of information can be spaced from the previously recorded lineof information, see scans 8-12 of FIG. 5.
As shown in FIG. 5 in the second line of information, the first character desired to be generated is character B. This information is put into the core memory 48 in coded form to the effect that B is desired to be printed After the drive latches supply the information to the translator 54, the tube 56 corresponding to core character plane 44 representing B applies electrical energy to all of the horizontal conductors of the B character plane which sets all of the cores in the tophorizontal line since this is the only horizontal line in the B plane that the 12-stage scan ring 58 connects to ground. This horizontal line also representsfthe horizontal position of transducer 114 with respect to the tape. Since there is a core'45 in the first 12 bit positions of the top horizontal line of the character B, FIG. 4, a horizontal line will be generated, as shown in FIG. 5, because each of the first 12 stages of the 16-stage ring 50 will reset a core. As before, the last three stages of ring 50 provide the space between columns of a line.
The core box memory 46, drive latches 52, translator 54, columnring 48, bit ring 50 and scan ring 58 are per se well-known in the art, and the specific circuits of The novel circuit component is the core character box containing the character core planes 44 having the cores positioned in the form of characters in the manner described, and shown in FIG. 4.
As an alternate construction, instead of having a separate core plane for each character a single matrix plane of cores in a rectangular two dimensional array couldv be used. In such a case, each of the horizontal lines connected to a particular character line of the character translator would be threaded only through specific cores in its associated row, these specific cores helping to form the character which is identified with the trans- ,lator character line. Since each character line has its own mon to every core in the plane.
depend upon the number of characters in'which a parprinted, the vertical reset pulses from the 16 stage ring which are fed to all of the cores in the associated columns will not cause unwanted pulses'to appear on this readout winding.
It may thus be seen from the foregoing that information may be generated in composite form on a record medium by a rotating transducer and subsequently printed out'during constant movement of the record medium and a transducer associated with, but without mechanical action in the normal sense of the term used in high-speed printing. Furthermore, a large number of type fonts and actuating hammers are not necessary in the practice of this invention and the inherent difficulties which occur with the starting and stopping of paper at each line have been eliminated. The printer of this invention, printing characters per line and using two magnetic transducer on a disc displaced degrees apart, could print around 1,000 lines a minute, at a disc rotation of 6,500
The term characters as used herein and in the appended claims refers to all types. of alphabetical characters from the known alphabets, as well as numerical characters, special marks, and any desired type of special design. The term record medium is used to denote the magnetic tape or its equivalent in the photographicand electrostatic recording arts. Similarly, the term transducer likewise refers to transducers in the magnetic printing as well as the photographic and electrostatic printing-arts.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes to generate a complete line of information in the form of latent magnetic image characters on said tape in a plurality of rotations of said transducer, said line of characters being skewed with respect to the direction of movement of said tape, means for developing said latent image, means guiding said tape through a printout station with the line of developed characters thereon perpendicular to movement of a printout form, and means to print said developed latent image in parallel lines on the form.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,352,023 Schuller June 20, 1944 2,730,694 Williamson Jan. 10, 1956 2,773,120 Masterson 'Dec. 4, 1956 2,811,101 Deval Oct. 29, 1957 2,820,956 Rueger Jan. 21, 1958 2,841,461 Gleason July 1, 1958 2,850,348 Rueger Sept. 2, 1958 2,909,616 Marty Oct. 20, 1959 2,918,659 Gaddis et al Dec. 22, 1959 2,919,314 Holt Dec. 29, 1959 3,005,056 Goldmark et a1 Oct. 17, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 733,484 Great Britain July 13, 1955