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Publication numberUS3330207 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1967
Filing dateOct 4, 1965
Priority dateOct 4, 1965
Publication numberUS 3330207 A, US 3330207A, US-A-3330207, US3330207 A, US3330207A
InventorsDe Man Heiko T
Original AssigneeDynamic Res Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rolling contact label printer and applicator
US 3330207 A
Images(8)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 11, 1967 [35 N 3,330,207

ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICATOR Filed 001. 4} 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 July 11, 1967 DE MAN 3,330,207

ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APiLICATOR 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 3, 1965 July 11, 1967 H. T. DE MAN ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICATOR 8 Sheets-Sheet 3- Filed Oct.

NQN Q QQW wit H. T. DE MAN 3,330,207 ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLIGATOR July 11, 1967 8 SheetsSheet 4 Filed Oct. 4, 1965 H. T. DE MAN July 11, 1967 ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICATOR 8 Sheets-f5heet Filed Oct.

July 11, 1967 DE MAN 3,330,297

ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICA'IOR Filed OCC. 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet '3 J7J J76 .7714, 39 J77 'm Eflli:

H. T. DE MAN 3,330,207

ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICATOH July 11, 1967 8 Sheets-Sheet 'F Filed Oct.

H. T. DE MAN 3,330,26/

ROLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINTER AND APPLICATOR July 11, 1967 8 Sheets-Sheet E- Filed Oct. 1.965

Z V/ wm Ta/67222? aZvUe Vmz/ United States Patent C) 3,336,207 RQLLING CONTACT LABEL PRINIER AND APPLICATGR Heiko T. de Man, Moraga, Califi, assignor to Dynamic Research Corporation, Moraga, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Oct. 4, 1965, Ser. No. 492,470 13 Claims. (Cl. 101-92) This invention pertains to a machine for printing upon and dispensing labels, and particularly relates to an improved, hand-held label printer and applicator.

A general object of this invention is to provide an easy and effective manner for printing and applying pricing labels, and the like, to merchandise.

Another object of this invention is to provide a machine for printing and dispensing labels which include provisions for readily varying the content of the indicia to be printed.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a machine of the character noted which is adapted to print upon a label, a plurality of lines of indicia, each variable as to content, such as retail or wholesale price, discount, etc.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide in a hand-held label applicator provisions for rotary printing of single lines of indicia on a label as the label is advanced from a supply to a dispensing position.

Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the character noted which includes facilities for rotary printing of an axially extending line of indicia on a web moving incrementally through such apparatus.

Concomitant the foregoing object, it is yet another object of the invention to provide an elongated web having removably retained thereon a plurality of labels indexed to register with the label printing and dispensing apparatus of the character noted.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a label printer and applicator including a supply of labels designed therefor which is simple to operate, highly practical to use, and is flexibly adapted to print selectable, varying indicia upon labels.

Additional objects of the invention will appear from the following description in which the preferred embodiment of the invention has been set forth in detail in conjunc tion with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a label printing and dispensing machine made in accordance with and embodying the features of the present invention, certain portions being shown in broken lines in the interest of clarity;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the machine shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are views showing a length of tape especially adapted to cooperate in the combination of the present invention, these views depicting the sequence in which printed indicia is placed upon a label included with such tape, the label being subsequently deposited upon an article;

FIG. 5 is an exploded, perspective view of the frame or casing of the instant label printing and dispensing machine;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the opposite side of a forward side portion of the frame shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged, perspective view of a doublepawl element cooperable with a trigged actuator or motion supplying means of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view in the scale of FIG. 7 showing the trigger element;

FIG. 9 is a greatly enlarged, fragmentary, longitudinal, sectional view taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 9-9 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a plan view showing the underside of the cover depicted in FIG. 5, but in an enlarged scale;

FIG. 11 is a transverse, sectional view in the scale of FIG. 9 taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 11-11 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a transverse, sectional view in the scale of FIG. 9 taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 12-12 of FIG. 9 and showing the arrangement of a clutch and sprocket drive included in the present machine;

FIGS. 13(a) and 13(1)) are enlarged, perspective views of spring mounts included in the cover shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary, sectional view taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 14-14 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is an enlarged longitudinal, sectional view taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 15-15 of FIG. 2 showing the gear train and ratchet-and-pawl arrangement in the present machine;

FIG. 16 is a longitudinal, vertical, sectional view taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 16-16 of FIG. 17;

FIG. 17 is a transverse, vertical, sectional view, greatly enlarged, taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 17-17 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 18 is an enlarged, transverse, fragmentary, vertical, sectional view taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 18-18 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is an exploded, perspective view of the sprocket and first platen of the present machine;

FIG. 20 is an enlarged, perspective view of the top guide flap of the present machine;

FIG. 20(a) is an enlarged, perspective view of the bottom guide flap of the present machine;

FIG. 21 is an enlarged, transverse, vertical, sectional view taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 21-21 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 21(a) is a perspective view, on a reduced scale from FIG. 21, of a variable printing head of the present machine;

FIG. 21(b) is an exploded, perspective view, generally in the scale of FIG. 21(a), of the variable printing head;

FIG. 22 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical, sectional view taken generally in the direction of the arrows along the line 22-22 of FIG. 21 showing the variable printing head, rotatable platen and ink supply means of the present machine;

FIG. 23 is an enlarged, fragmentary, longitudinal, ver tical, sectional view taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 23-23 of FIG. 21 showing the oval gears of the present machine; and,

FIG. 24 is an enlarged, exploded perspective view of the rotatable platen and oval gear of the present machine.

Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 there is shown a label printer and applicator 11 made in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention. Generally, the configuration of the label printer and applicator machine 11 is that of a hand-gun or pistol, which configuration and appearance is lent by an enclosing type frame or housing (best shown in FIG. 5) having projecting therefrom a rearwardly extending pistol grip handle 12 shaped comfortably to fit the hand and within easy finger reach of a trigger 13.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 5, it will be seen that the housing of the machine 11 includes a central frame member 14, the lower end of which defines the right-half 12a of the handle 12. A lower frame member 12b, suitably apertured as at 15 to receive fasteners for fixed attachment to the central frame 14, provides the left-hand half of the handle grip 12. The full length of the machine 11 is enclosed on the right-hand side-by a gear case cover 16 adapted to be fixedly secured to the central frame 11 is enclosed by a fixedly mounted front frame member 17 and a removably mounted side cover 18 disposed rearwardly thereof. A top cover 19 is adapted for pivotal mounting to the central frame member 14 and front frame member 17 .to swing upwardly as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 1. Preferably, the frame members 12b, 14-18, may be made from die-castable metal materials and the top cover 19 may be formed from one of the moldable thermosetting phenolic resins, or the like materials, well known in the art.

Complementary fin-shaped brackets 21a and 21b extend upwardly respectively from the central frame member 14 and side cover 18 and each bracket is provided with a half-hub 22 which furnishes a mounting for a spool of tape 23. The half-hubs 22a and 2212 are maintained in alignment by a plurality of axially extending tines 24, shown best in FIG. 17, the tines 24 also serving to maintain the side cover 18 in the desired relationship with respect to the central frame 14.

In addition to the foregoing functions, the frame members 12b, 14-19, furnish additional functions and provide other features all of which will be set forth more particularly as this specification unfolds below.

' Previously referred to was that the tape supply 23 for the machine 11 was arranged in spool form as shown in FIG. 1. Considering here the tape per se, reference should be had to FIG. 3 where there is shown an unwound strip of tape 23a including a backing web 26 having a plurality of labels 27 removably retained thereon at evenly spaced intervals intermediate of the longitudinal margins 26a and 26b of the backing web 26.

Preferably, the labels 27 are rectilinear in form although they may have curved corner portions. The labels 27 are arranged on the backing web 26 in predetermined positions, being indexed with respect to the web 26 and with respect to each other by means of perforations 28 in the margins 26a and 26b of the backing web 26. More particularly, the perforations 28 may be arranged in 14. On the left-hand side, the machine groups of three with the central perforation in each group disposed in alignment with the space between adjacent labels 27. The perforations or openings 28 are preferably circular for reasons having to do with other capabilities and features which will become apparent as this specification unfolds. p The surface of the backing web 26 is generally waxlike in character and to achieve this characteristic the strip 26 may be formed from glassine paper or the like substance well known in the art. Being that the labels 27 are mounted to the backing web 26 by a pressure sensitive adhesive, the wax-like surface permits detachment of the labels 27 when the strip of tape 23a is moved across a structure furnishing an abrupt change of direction, such as a corner, or a roller, or the like.

More particularly, referring to FIGS. 1, 3, 4, and 9, it will be seen that the tape 23a upon being unwound from the spool 23 is fed through the machine 11, first 'through an upper path or run towards a dispensing station 29 at the forward end or nose of the machine 11. Here, the labels 27 are so disposed that they may be readily applied to an article of merchandise and the like without the necessity of handling the labels 27 with the fingers. A lower path or run is established for the then l'abelless tape between the dispensing station 29 and the rear end of the machine 11 through which the tape 23a is led, as appears most clearly from FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 9, the dispensing station 29 includes a tape-working platform 31 which extends transversely from the front frame member 17, as shown in FIG. -6. The platform 31 is conformed to receive the portion of the tape 23a urged thereagainst by a deforming roller 32 rotatably mounted upon a laterally extending support element 33 projecting from the central frame 14. The deforming roller 32 is tapered from its center towards each While the center portion of the tape 23a is being deformed laterally by the deforming roller 32, the marginal portions of the tape, including the marginal portions of the label 27, are held against the edges of the working platform 31 by the overlying portions of the support member '33 which straddle the deforming roller 32.

As the strip of tape 23a is moved forward following its deformation between the roller 32 and platform 31, the label 27 is caused to separate from the backing strip 26 as the tape 23a is caused to pass across a rounded corner or nose portion 31a of the working platform 31. The backing web 26 is led downwardly from the nose 31a over a roller 34 journaled in the central frame 14 and front frame 17.

Disposed about one-half. of a label length from the nose or'rounded corner 31a is a label support 36 which is journaled in the machine 11 in a manner similar to that for the roller 34. So as to provide as small amount of contact as possible betweeen the label 27 and support 36, a V-shaped rim 36a may be disposed along the axis of sup.- port 36 in one or more positions, preferably three, so that there is essentially point contact between the rims 36a and the sticky under-surface of the labels 27. It will be understood that the support. 36 is so positioned with respect to the working platform 31 that when a label 27 is in position for application to an article of merchandise, the support 36 engages substantially the center of the label while the inner-lateral edge portion of the label rests against and is in adhesive engagement with that portion of the backing 26 which rests upon the forward area of the working platform 31. The forward portion of the label 27, while in this position, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 9, extends beneath a pressure applicator or soft roller 37 mounted to the frame and machine 11 in a manner similar to that of the elements 34 and 36. The outer periphery of the pressure applicator 37 maybe covered with a resilient material such as sponge rubber or the like, whereby the labels 27 may be rolled by the applicator 37 against the article to which it is applied to ensure full contact of the pressure-sensitive sticky surface of the label with the article to'be marked. V

It will be understood that the tape 23a is fed from the spool 23 towards the dispensing station 29 and the backing strip is thence returned to the rear of the gun in a step-by-step movement imparted to the tape 2311 by a tape feed mechanism shown in FIGS. 1 and 9. The tape feed mechanism includes a sporcket wheel 38 having sprocket teeth 38a which project radially from the side rims of the wheel, 'shown best 'in FIG. 19. The sprocket teeth 38:: are arranged in groups of three and are so dimensioned and positioned upon the sprocket wheel for registration with the perforations or openings 28 in the backing strip 26. From the spool 23, the tape 23a is led beneath a top guide flap 39 which includes a forwardly extending curved portion 39a serving to maintain the tape 23a upon the sprocket teeth 38a, as shown in FIG. 9. From the sprocket wheel 38 to the dispensing station 29 the tape 23a on the top run extends in substantially a straight line and, upon changing direction at the corner or nose 31a and roller 34, is led in the bottom run across a tape tensioner 41 which, biased by the coil spring 42,. urges the backing web 26 downwardly.

A lower roller 43, 'rotatably supported by the frame member 12b and central frame 14, intermediate the tensioner 41 and sprocket wheel 38, supports the backing web 26 vertically and guides it toward the lower periphery of the sprocket wheel 38. A bottom guide flap 44 (see FIG. a) presents a curved portion 44a extending rearwardly and upwardly to urge the lower run of the label-less backing web 26 towards the sprocket wheel 38 so as to maintain engagement between the perforation containing marginal portions 26a and 26b of the web 26 and the sprocket teeth 38a. Thus, it will be understood that the sprocket wheel 38, rotatable normally counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 9, both pushes the tape forwardly toward the dispensing station 29 and retracts it rearwardly by reason of the fact that the top and bottom runs of the tape are in engagement with the toothed sprocket wheel.

Considering particularly FIG. 19, it will be seen that the sprocket 38 is formed in half-sections which, as fixedly secured together by dowel pins, are mounted in a housing 46 for rotational movements with respect thereto. In the assembled condition of machine 11, the housing 46 is restrained against rotational movement with respect to the central frame member 14 by the pin 47 which projects into an opening 47a (shown in FIG. 5) of the central frame 14.

The sprocket wheel 38 is caused to rotate counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 9 by a trigger actuated, doublepawl mechanism which, upon each full stroke of the trigger 13, causes the sprocket wheel 38 to rotate one-quarter of a revolution, i.e., 90 degrees.

Referring now to FIG. 12, it will be seen that there is journaled in the central frame member 14 a laterally eX- tending sprocket shaft 48 upon which the sprocket wheel 38 is mounted at the wall thereof adjacent the central frame member. The shaft 48 extends freely through the opposite side wall of the sprocket wheel 38 to receive fixedly over its tip a finger-knob 49 which projects outwardly of the side cover 18. The inner end of the knob 49 is pinned into the outer side wall of the sprocket wheel 38 adjacent the side cover 18, as shown in FIG. 12.

The end of the sprocket shaft 48 disposed innermost of the machine 11 is equipped with a transversely extending drive pin 51 which is embedded in the hub of a first drive gear 52. Fixedly secured to the first drive gear 52 is a pull-ratchet 53 having four ratchet teeth equally spaced about its periphery, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15.

As shown in FIGS. 12 and 14, the inter-connection between the first drive gear 52 and the pull-ratchet wheel 53 is a releasable clutch arrangement eifected by four balls 55 each of which projects into a V-shaped recess 55a arranged at quarter-points in the inner periphery of the pull-ratchet wheel 53. An axially inwardly extending hub 520, secured as by riveting to the first drive gear 52, is received within the central opening of the pull-ratchet wheel 53, the hub 52a at its quarter-points being radially slotted to receive each of the balls 55, as shown in FIG. 14. A flat, coil spring keeper maintains the four balls in normal operative driving relationship as shown in FIG. 14. Thus, upon rotation of the sprocket shaft 48 the first drive gear 52 and hub 52a impart a driving force through the balls 55 to the pull-ratchet wheel 53. Should an excessive resistance to rotation of the drive gear 52 develop, due to jamming of the tape in the machine, or the like cause, the balls 55 are urged radially inwardly by the ratchet wheel 53 against the bias of the spring 69, and the pullratchet wheel 53 will then over-ride the balls 55 and rotate 90 degrees independently of the first drive gear 52 and sprocket 38. This provides a safety link in the drive train, described more fully below, which lessens the tendency for damage to the mechanism while retaining the pre-set angular relationship between the drive gear 52, pull-ratchet wheel 53 and sprocket 38.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 15 wherein the view is taken looking toward the inside of the gear case cover 16, it will be seen that inter-meshed with the first drive gear 52 is a second drive gear 54 which is suitably journaled in the central frame member 14, upon a stub shaft 56. A push-ratchet wheel 57 is fixedly secured upon the 5 stub shaft 56 in the same longitudinal plane in which the pull-ratchet 53 is mounted. Unlike the pull-ratchet 53, the push-ratchet wheel 57 is provided about its periphery with eight ratchet teeth, as shown in FIG. 15.

Cooperating with the ratchet wheels 53 and 57 to rotate the drive gears 52 and 54 is a bifurcated or double-pawl element 58, shown in FIGS. 7, 15 and 16. The doublepawl 58 includes a pull arm 59 maintained in a spaced apart relation from a push arm 61 by a V-shaped leaf spring 62. The free ends of the respective arms 59 and 61 are each equipped with end structures adapted to cooperate respectively with the pull-ratchet wheel 53 and the push-ratchet wheel 57, as clearly shown in FIG. 15. Rearwardly of the arms 59 and 61, the pawl element is equipped within a generally rectangular cross-sectioned slide 63, shown clearly in FIG. 7, which is adapted to be received Within a slide chamber 64 disposed within the handle 12, as shown in FIGS. 16 and 18. Rearward movement of the double-pawl element 58 is limited by the bottom wall 64a of the chamber 64, while the limit of forward movement is established by a laterally extending pin 66 which engages an abutment portion (not shown) at the forward end of the slide chamber 64. Forward motion of the double-pawl element 58 is also limited by a laterally projecting lug 65 extending from the central frame member 14 and disposed so as to be engaged by the free end of the push arm 61 when in its forwardmost position, as shown in FIG. 15.

The double-pawl element 58 is urged forwardly by a tension spring 67 fastened to a hook 61a on the push arm 61, the spring being secured at its forward end to an anchor pin 68, shown best in FIG. 9. Thus, the doublepawl element 58 is biased towards the forward portion of the machine 11 by the tension spring 67.

To maintain the push arm 61 operatively in engagement with the push-ratchet wheel 57, the lower surface of the arm 61 is equipped with a lineal bearing portion 61b adapted to bear and slide against and thereby to be supported by a ramp-like portion 69 formed in the central frame member 14, as clearly appears in FIG. 15. Thus, it will appear that the lower arm 61 is supported vertically by the ramp member 69 while the upper arm 59 is maintained spaced from the arm 61 by means of leaf spring 62.

To enable rotational forces to be applied to the drive gears 52 and 54 through the double-pawl and ratchet mechanism, the trigger 13 is linked to the double-pawl element 58 in a manner to permit reciprocation of the slide element 63 against the bias of thetension spring 67. Referring particularly to FIGS. 79, 16 and 17, it will be seen that the trigger 13 is provided with a laterally extending pivot pin 13:: (shown best in FIGS. 8 and 17) adapted to be journaled within an aperture 71 of the handle section 12a. A connection between the pawl element 58 and the trigger 13 is afforded by a Wrist pin 72 extending laterally from the left side of the double-pawl element 58 and is adapted to be received in an oval-shaped opening 73 (see FIG. 8) in the trigger 13-, as shown in FIG. 17. The forward throw of the trigger 13 is limited by a shoulder 74 (shown in FIG. 8) which is adapted to engage an abutment 76, shown in FIG. 9. Thus, upon retraction of the trigger 13, the double-pawl element 58 is urged rearwardly against the bias of the spring 67 to pull, through the arm 59, the pull-ratchet wheel 53 causing the meshing drive gears 52 and 54 to rotate in the direct-ion of the arrows shown in FIG. 15 through one-eighth of a revolution, i.e. 45 degrees. Upon relaxation of the hand-pressure upon the trigger 13, the double-pawl 58 and trigger 13 are urged forwardly by the tension spring 67 so that the push arm 61 urges the push-ratchet wheel 57 to rotate the drive gears 52 and 54 through a second one-eighth of a revolution. Thus, with each full stroke, retraction and subsequent release of the trigger, the sprocket wheel 38 is caused to revolve one-quarter of a revolution, i.e. degrees, and thereby to advance the tape 23a a distance equal to a spacing of one label.

ing station 77. Referring now to FIGS.

In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, with each full stroke of the trigger 13, three printing operations are performed as the tape 23a is urged forwardly, each printing operation occuring at a different printing station in the machine 11. However, it is within the purview of the present invention to have a greater or lesser number of printing stations and concomitant printing functions performed within a machine constructed in accordance with the principles of this'inventi'on. In FIG. 4 there is shown schematically a first 77, a second 78 and a third 79' printing stations numbered in the direction of tape advancement through the machine 11. At the first printing station 77 a first indicia 81 is printed at a preselected portion of the label 27, this indicia being illustrated in 'FIG. 3 as the Word discount printed at the upper portion of the label as it passes through the printing station 77. A second indicia is printed at the second printing station 78 at a preselected portion of the label 27, this being at the lower portion of the label, the indicia being the code letters slres. A third indicia 83 is printed as the label 27 is moved through the third printing station 79 at a preselected portion thereon, this being in the center portion of the label 27, the indicia being the amount 127.50/ea which is a price corresponding to the mark-up from the wholesale price represented in the foregoing code letters of indicia 82, as shown in FIG. 3. Thus, with the label printer and applicator 11 there maybe printed laterally across a label 27 three lines of printed matter giving pricing or advertising information and the like. In the case of the indicia printed at the second 78- and third 79 printing stations, each line of indicia is selectably variable as will be explained more fully hereinafter. The indicia printed at the first printing station 77, on the other hand, is non-variable in that an alternate printing mechanism must be substituted in the machine 11 to change the content of the indicia 81.

Considering now the printing mechanism disposed at the first printing station 77, reference should be had to FIGS. 9 and 12 where there is shown a first rotatable 84. The printing head 84 is arranged transpath of travel of the tape 23a, the printing printing head versely to the head 84 being mounted upon a shaft 86 which is journaled at one end in the side cover 18 and at the opposite end in the gear case cover 16, as appears in FIG. 12. Upon the left end of the shaft 86 (as viewed in FIG. 12) there is maintained a hub 87 having a spur gear 88 formed integrally at the end thereof, the'hub extending through an opening 87a in the central frame member 14 and interlocks with the first printing head 84. A spacer-collar 89 is pressed over the end of the hub 87 adjacent to the inner-connection between the hub 87 and the head 84. Referring to FIG. 15, it will be seen that the spur gear 88 on the shaft 86 is arranged to be driven by the first drive gear 52. The pitch diameters of the gears 52 and 88 are selected so that a quarter of a revolution of the gear 52 produces one-half a revolution of the gear 88 which, in turn, revolves the first printing head 84 onehalf a revolution, i.e., 180 degrees, per stroke of the trigger 13.

An axially extending line of type 91 is arranged at two diametrically opposite points on the printing head 84, the type being received in an axial groove in the printing head. Thus, the lines of type 91 print alternately upon consecutive labels as the tape 23a is advanced incrementally through the machine 11.

So as to ensure legible printing of the type 91 upon the labels 27, a movable platen means 92 is arranged beneath the tape 23a in the printing area at the first print- 9 and 19, it will be seen that the sprocket housing 46 upon the upper surface thereof is provided with a mound or raised portion 93. Further, a slot 94, extending the full width of the housing 46, is arranged inthe Wall. thereof so as to provide a cantilever or leafspring effect to the upper portion of the housing whereby this to provide a clearance space between the underside of the platen portion 92 and the adjacent portions of the sprocket 'wheel 38, as shown in FIG. 9.

So as to supply ink to the two lines of type 91 on the first printing head'84, a first ink roller '96 is secured to a shaft 95 which is rotatably mounted in the frame of the machine 11, one end of the shaft 95 being disposed at the bottom of an L-shaped slot 97 in the central frame 14 (shown in FIG. 5), the opposite end of the shaft 95 being disposed at the bottom of a similarly shaped slot 98 in the front frame member 17 shown in FIG. 6). The first ink roller 96 includes a body 96a composed of a sponge-like material which retains for a substantial period of use a supply of ink whereby the roller may be used with the machine 11 for a substantial period before becoming depleted of its retained ink supply. The first ink roller 96 is maintained positioned in the L-shaped "slots 97 and 98 and is biased towards the first print head 84 by hair-pin springs 99 mounted on and depending from the top cover 19, as shown in FIG. 9. As each line of type 91 is caused to revolve clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 9, the ink roller 96 is engaged by the type 91 and is urged forwardly against the bias of the springs 99, thus ensuring ink receiving contact between the type 91 and body portion 96a of the ink roller 96 A second rotatableprinting head 102 is arranged at the second printing station 78 and a third rotatable printing head 103 is arranged at the third printing station 79. Being that the printing structures arranged respectively at the second 78 and the third 79 printing stations are similar in design and capability only those structures at the third printing station 79 will be described in detail. Similar parts located at the second printing station 78 will be marked with primed numbers.

The structures located at the third printing station 79 include the third printing head 103 and an associated rotatable platen 104, as shown in FIGS. 9, 21 and 22.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 21, itwill be seen that the rotatable printing head 103 is mounted for rotation in the frame of the machine 11 in a manner whereby the outer end of the printing head 103 is rotatably supported with respect to the front frame member 17 by a .collar 106 mountedin a complementary opening 106a (shown best in FIG. 5) in the member '17, The innermost end of the printing head 103 is carried with respect to the central frame member 14 by the hub 107a of a gear 107. An end flange 108 of the head 10% is provided with an axially disposed pin 109 and a locating being rotatably supported with -respect to the central frame member 14 by a platen collar 113 rotatably mounted within a bushing 114 which, in turn, is pressed into an opening 114a (shown best in FIG. 5) in thecentral frame member 14. Extending through the platen col lar 113, the shaft 112 is equipped at one end with a platen gear-cluster 116. Axially from a boss 116a of the cluster 116 projects a locating dowel pin 116b which is adapted to be received in a complementary recess 113a in the periphery of the platen collar 113, 'as shown in FIGS. 21 and 24. Thus, the locating dowel 116b coportion is deflected operates with the collar 113 pressed upon the shaft 112 in a manner to locate, for purposes to be explained hereinafter, the platen with respect to the gear cluster 116.

Referring particularly to FIG. 24, it will be seen that the rotatable platen 104 includes a body 104a which protrudes asymmetrically from the axle 112. The body 104a is formed from a resiliently compressible material so as to present a resilient surface to the printing head on each rotation of the shaft 112. It will be observed that the protruding portion of the body 104a extends from the shaft 112 diametrically opposite from the keyed interlock between the platen collar 113 and dowel 1161).

Considering now particularly the inter-action between the gear 107 for driving the printing head 103 and the gear cluster 116 for driving the rotatable platen 104, it will be understood that the printing head 103 and the platen 104, respectively, are each keyed to the associated gears 107 and 116 in a predetermined relationship in a manner which will afford rotatable printing of a single line of axially extending indicia with each full revolution of the printing head and platen. It will be observed that to effect clear and unblurred printing upon a label 27, it is desirable in rotary printing for the printing head and moving web, at the moment of printing, to move at substantially the same speed. That is, there should be no differential in speed between the line of type to be printed and the medium which is to receive the printed indicia. Previously mentioned was that for each full stroke, back and forth, of the trigger 13 the sprocket wheel 38 urges the tape 23a forwardly the distance equal to the label spacing, and during this movement, the rotatable printing head 103 is caused to revolve, as is the platen 104, one full revolution, i.e., 360 degrees, to print one line of indicia upon the label 27. It will be observed from the drawings, for example FIG. 9, that the length of the circumferential periphery of the rotatable head 103 exceeds by a considerable extent the length of a label 27. Thus, it is preferable to accelerate the rotation of the head 103 through a substantial portion of each revolution and then to decelerate the printing head 103 so that at the moment of printing the selected line of type is moving substantially at the same speed as label 27 as it is advanced through the third printing station 79. To this end the gear 107 and the gear 117 are each provided with complementary, oval-shaped pitch circles as clearly appears from FIGS. 15 and 23.

More particularly, the platen gear cluster 116, in addition to the oval gear 117, includes aicircular spur gear 118 co-axially arranged with respect to the platen shaft 112. Over a circular segment which embraces two of the thirteen teeth of the gear 118, as may be seen from FIG. 23, the oval gear 117 and the circular gear 118 have a coincident pitch circle. Thus, for the moment of time in which these two teeth in the gear cluster 116 engage the oval gear 107, the gear 107 will rotate at the same speed as the gears 117 and 118. This follows from the fact that inter-meshing gears on the same pitch circle move at the same speed. It will be seen from FIG. 24 in connection with FIG. 23, that the protruding portion of the platen body 104a projects in alignment with the two teeth 118a, which are arranged on the coincident pitch circles of the gears 117 and 118. Thus, when the teeth 118a are revolved one-half a revolution from the position shown in FIG. 23 the protruding portion of the platen body 104a will be disposed, as shown in FIG. 9, in a position for printing to urge the web 23a upwardly from its path of travel into engagement with the printing head 103, and the line of indicia presented at that moment to the label 27.

Referring now to FIGS. 15 and 23, the pitch diameter of the circular spur gear 118 is sized in relation to the pitch diameter of the drive gears 52 and 54 so that onequarter revolution (90 degrees) of the drive gears 52 and 54 cause the gear 118 to turn one full revolution (360 degrees). More particularly, being that the printing mechanism at the second printing station 78 includes a gear arrangement identical to that at the third printing station 79, the second drive gear 54 is meshed with a circular gear 118 which, in turn, is disposed in meshing relationship with an idler gear 119 which is also in meshing relation with the gear 118 on the shaft 112. The idler gear 119 is suitably journaled on its shaft 121, as shown in FIG. 11, in the gear case cover 16 and central frame member 14.

To recapitulate and with reference to FIGS. 9, 15 and 23, as the trigger 13 is squeezed and released the doublepawl 58 first pulls and then pushes upon the ratchet wheels 53 and 57 to rotate the first 52 and second 54 drive gears through one-quarter of a revolution, i.e., 90 degrees. This causes the sprocket wheel 38 to advance the web of tape 23a one label space forward. Substantially simultaneously, the spur gear 83 which drives the first printing head 84 is rotated one-half revolution to print at the first printing station 77 an axially extending line of indicia on the label overlying the platen means 92. Substantially simultaneously, the second drive gear 54 drives a circular spur gear 118 through one full revolution. Being that the circular gear 118 is rigid with the oval gear 117 a full revolution of the gear 118 also defines a full revolution of the oval gears 117' and its inter-meshed mate 107. This results in urging at the second printing station 7 3 the movable platen 104' against the web of tape 23a to push the label disposed at the second printing station 78 into printing engagement with the second printing head 102. Simultaneously as within the period of the trigger stroke, the circular gear 118' driving through the idler gear 119 serves to rotate one full revolution, the circular gear 113' which, in turn, drives the mating pair of oval gears 107 and 117 through a full revolution. The aforementioned gears, 52, 54, 88, 107, 118', 107, 117, 118 and 119 each rotate in the direction of the arrows, shown in FIG. 15, disposed adjacent the respective gears.

Upon rotation of the platen 104 and third printing head 103, the label 27 disposed at the third printing station 79 is urged upwardly from its path of travel into engagement with the third printing head 103 thereby to print an axially extending line of indicia thereupon. Thus, in one full stroke of the trig er 13, the labels 27 at the respective printing stations each have printed thereon an axially extending line of indicia.

Unlike the first printing head 84, the second 102 and third 103 printing heads include the capability for varying the content of the axially extending line of indicia to be printed upon a label 27. This feature is especially desirable to accommodate the differences in prices for the difierent articles which are to be marked with the label printer and applicator 11. Further, the content of the lines of indicia printed by the second 102 and third 103 printing heads may be varied without removing the printing heads from the machine 11.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 21, 21a and 2112, it will be seen that the printing head 103 includes a generally cylindrical central core or body portion 122 having fixedly secured thereto, as by fasteners 1.23, an inner collar 124 and an end cap 126. A freely rotatable relationship is maintained between the inner collar 124 and the outer collar 105 by virtue of the anti-friction bearing 127, shown best in FIG. 21. It will be understood from the foregoing that the end cap 126, inner collar 124, the printing head body 122 with its integrally related end flange 108, revolve as a unit with the gear hub 107a.

Intermediate the inner collar 124 and the end flange 108 there is mounted on the body or core 122 a plurality of type bands 128, seven being shown in this embodiment, each band 128 comprising a printing member 128:: mounted upon a carrying ring 1281). Upon each printing member 128a there is disposed an outwardly projecting, circumferentially extending array of printable characters, as shown in PEG. 2112. In the present embodiment there is provided on the member 128a spaces for 13 characters although only 12 of the spaces are so occupied, one space being left blank so that the type band 128 may be arranged on the core 122 in a non-printing position, should it be desired. The printing members 128a are composed of 'a rubber-like material so as to be resiliently compressible when urged into engagement with the label 27 backed by the platen body 104a. However, the compressibility of the material is not such so as to cause distortion in the printed letters or numerals.

The printing member 128a is keyed by axially extending tongue and groove members 129 to the carrying rings 128b, best shown in FIG. 22. So as to provide axial spacing between the printing members 128a and thereby to provide a measure of separation between axially adjacent characters, the carrying ring 128b is equipped with a radially extending side flange 128a, shown in FIGS. 21 and 21b, the flange 128c terminating radially inwardly of the printing face of the member 128a.

So as to maintain each type band 128 in a predetermined relationship for printing the selected'character, a detent 131 is interposed between each carrying ring 128band the body 122 of the printing head 103, as shown in FIGS.

21 and 22. More particularly, the inner periphery of the carrying ring 12812 is provided with a plurality of recesses 131a equal in number to the number of spaces available for printing characters on the printing members 128a, in this disclosure 13. A detent ball 13b projecting from a complementary aperture in "the body 122 is biased radially outwardly by a resilient member 1316 to project partially into the recess 131a. Preferably, the resilient member 1310 is formed of a generally cylindrical rod of elastomeric material which may be compressed into a generally complementary bore 131d in the body 122. Being that the resilient biasing member 1310 extends axially of the body 122 throughout substantially its entire length, it is adapted to urge each of the detent balls 131b into engagement with its associated carrying ring 12812, as clearly shown in FIG. 21. Thus, each of the type bands 128 may be held in a selected relationship with respect to the body 122 of the printing head 103.

So that each type band 128 may be rotated into any one of the possible selected positions on the core 122, a selector 132 is provided on the printing head 103. Referring to FIGS. 21, 21b and 22, it will be seen that the selector 132 includes a shaft 132a which extends from a knob 1321) at its outer end through a bore 132a in the end cap 126 and from there extends substantially the entire length of the printing head 103. The innermost end of the shaft 132a has mounted thereon a selector star-wheel 133 adapted to be received within a chamber 108a in the end flange 108, shown best in FIG. 21. An axially extending, crescent-shaped recess 122a is formed in the periphery of the printing head body 122 of a radial depth to permit the teeth 133a of the star-wheel 133 to protrude radially outwardly therefrom for engagement with the recessed inner periphery of the carrying ring 128b, as shown in FIG. 22. It will be observed that the curved surface of the crescent-shaped recess 122a acts as a bearing support for four of the six teeth of the star-wheel 133.

Upon rotation of the selector shaft 132a the star-wheel 133 may be brought into engagement with any one of the type bands 128 in a manner wherein the star-wheel teeth 133a are received in the detent'recesses 131a to rotate the type ring 128a with respect to the body or core 122 against the bias of the detent 131. 7 7 Being that the selector 132 is rotated by the fingers engaging the knob 132b to move the type bands 128 to a new position, feel for the location of the selector shaft 132a is provided by the selector detent 134, shown bestin FIGS. 21 and 21b. More particularly, the selector shaft 132a inwardly of the knob 132b is circumferentially relieved as at 136, at a plurality of locations equal in number and axial spacings to that of the type bands 128, one extra recess 136 being provided for maintaining the shaft 132a in its non-selecting position wherein the staringly,

wheel 133 is received within the end'flange chamber 108a, as shown in FIG. 21. A diametrically extending pocket 13412 is formed into the outer face of the collar 124, there being arranged in the pocket 2134b a detent ball 134a supported with respect to the collar 134 by a coil spring 134d which serves to urge the ball towards the adjacent cir cumferential recess 136 of the shaft 132a. The ball 134c and spring 134d are enclosed in the pocket and maintained in operative relationship by the cap 126 which is secured to the inner collar 124, as shown in FIG. 21. Thus, as the selector shaft 132a is retracted axially by the fingers, feel is imparted to the shaft movement by the successive engagement of the ball 134c within one of the recesses 136. In this way, the location of the starwheel 133 may be determined with respect to the type rings 128.

So as to be able to observe visually the selected, axially extending line of type on the printing head 103, an index position is established by a pair of axially spaced and aligned indicator lines 137, one being located Within'a recess 138 on the periphery of the inner collar 124, the other being located in a similar recess 138 on the periphery of the end flange 108, as shown in FIG. 21b. Preferably, each line 137 is marked in white so as to be readily visible to the operator of the machine 11. Thus, between the lines 137 an axially extending line of type may be set by rotating each of the type bands 128 with the selector 132 to bring a selected character into alignment with the lines 137.

To facilitate the type resetting operation on the printing head 102, a rectangular opening or window 139 is arranged in the top cover 19 so that the'second printing head 102 may be viewed therethrough, as shown in FIGS. 2, 9 and 21. The printing head 102 is so arranged with respect to the associated oval gear 107' so that following a stroke of the motion transmitting mechanism, the printing head 102 comes to rest with the index markers 137"in a position for easy viewing through the window 139. A mirror 141 is disposed for viewing below'the window 139 between the central frame 14 and the front frame member 17 so that a line of indicia at the index position may be read in the mirror directly in normal reading order, it being understood that the letters or characters on the type bands 128 are disposed in reversed arrangement.

Similarly, there is, at the forward edge of the cover 19, a second window 142 having a second mirror 143 mounted on thetop surface of the support member 33, as shown in FIG. 9. The third printing respect to the oval gear 107 stroke the index markings on the head 103 are and upon completion of a readily visible when viewed in the mirror 143. This facilitates resetting the line of indicia on the third printing head 103. In the printing operation of the machine 11 the second 102 and third 103 printing heads. rotate in the direction of tape advancement, i.e., clockwise as viewed in FIG. '9. During resetting of the type bands 128 with the selector 132 some torque is applied to the printing head, 102 or 103, tending to cause rotation. To maintain the printing head, 102 or 103, against rotation during resetting of the type bands 128 a gear train arrestor 144 or lock-up is provided, such being mounted upon the inner wall of the gear case 16, shown best the arrestor 144 includes a mounting 144a having secured therein and extending therefrom an elongated,.resilient configuration of the abutment 147 when the oval gear' 107' is revolved counter-clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 15, '1 the stop element 146 will engage the abutment 147 arresting further rotation of the oval gear 107' and, accord-' all of the gears within'theinner-connected gear train including the oval gear 107" associated with the printing head 103. Thus, for purposes of resetting a line of type, the selector 132 is rotated, preferably, counterhead 103 is so arranged with in FIG. 15. More particularly,

clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 1, thus bringing the abutment member 147 into engagement with the stop element 146, as shown in FIG. 15. This arrests the printing heads 102 and 103 from rotation while a new line of type is selected. During printing operation in the machine 11, the resilient stop element 146 rides in a non-interfering relationship about the periphery of the abutment 147 which rotates clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 15.

To ensure against printing of other than the selected axially extending line of type upon the label 27, the ink supply for the printing heads 102 and 103 is arranged so that only the line of type intermediate the two index lines 137 in the recesses 138 receives ink. Referring to FIGS. 9, 11 and 22, it will be recalled that at the first printing station 77 there is located a first ink roller 96. Similarly, there is located at the second printing station 78 a second ink roller 152 and at the third printing station 79 a third ink roller 153, each of the ink rollers 96, 152 and 153 being of similar construction and arrangement although different colored inks may be carried by the bodies of the respective ink rollers. In the case of the second 152 and third 153 ink rollers their mounting and cooperation with the respective printing heads, 102 and 103, is identical, thus but little distinction will be made in this description as to whether the ink supply for the second 78 or that for the third 79 printing station is being referred to.

From FIG. 11, it will be seen that the ink roller (the second ink roller 152 being thereshown) is mounted laterally of the machine 11 upon a shaft 154, the respective ends of which are carried in L-shaped slots 156 and 157 arranged respectively in the central frame member 14 and the front frame member 17 (see also FIGS. and 6). A spool 158 is mounted upon the shaft 154 to rotate therewith, with the spool carrying a sponge-like body 152a adapted to retain for a substantial period a supply of ink. The rims 158a and of the spool 158 are axially spaced apart a distance equaled to that between the respective confronting flanges 108 and 124 of the adjacent printing head 102 or 103. The ink roller 152 is so mounted within the L-shaped slots 156 and 157 so that during rotation of the printing head 102 the rims 158a and 15812 of the ink roller ride in rolling engagement upon the flange 108 and the inner collar 124 of the printing head. When the rims 158a and 158i) encounter and ride into the recesses 138 in the members 108, 124, the body portion 152a is permitted to engage momentarily the line of type between the index markings 137 thereby to ink the selected line of indicia. Thereafter the rims 158a and 15817 ride out of the recesses and remove the ink carrying body 152a from engagement with the type rings 128, the body 152a continuing to ride above the other lines of indicia on the printing head 102 in a non-inking relation therewith. This relationship is best shown in FIG. 22 in connection with the third ink roller 103 at the third printing station 79, similar portions of the ink roller at the third station being marked with primes.

Referring now to FIG. 9, the second ink roller 152 is biased towards the second printing roll 102 by a pair of hair-pin springs 159 (only one being shown) mounted to top cover 19. The third ink roller 153 is biased towards the third printing head 103 by a like pair of hair-pin springs 161 mounted upon the cover 19, shown in FIG. 22. Thus, when the top cover 19 is in the closed position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 9, each of the three ink rollers disposed in its respective slots is biased by a pair of hairpin springs towards its respectively associated printing head.

Considering now FIGS. 5, 9, 10, 13a and 13b, it will be seen that the top cover 19 includes a first spring mount 162 and a second spring mount 163 each fixedly secured to the underside of the cover 19. As shown in FIG. 13a, the spring mount 162 includes laterally extending retainer pins 162a and 16% upon which the hair-pin springs 161 are adapted to be received. Referring to FIG. 1312, it will be seen that the second spring mount 163 includes retainer pins 163a, b, c, and d, pins 163a and 163]; being adapted to receive thereon the hair-pin springs 159 while the retainer pins 163c and 163d are adapted to receive the hair-pin springs 99.

It will be seen from FIGS. 5 and 10 that at the rear portion of the top cover 19 there extends laterally outwardly hinge-pins 164 which are designed to be fitted into the bores 165 located respectively in the central frame member 14 and the front frame member 17, shown best in FIG. 5. Thus, the top cover 19 may be pivoted from the close position as shown in FIG. 1 to the open position as shown in broken lines therein.

The forward portion of the top cover 19 is equipped with a side flange 166, shown in FIGS. 5 and 9, which is so positioned as to extend downwardly so as to act as a keeper between the inner collar 124 of the printing head 163 and the front frame member 17 thereby preventing retraction of the third printing head 103 when the cover 19 is in the closed position, best shown in FIG. 21. A similar keeper flange 167 is provided on the top cover 19 adjacent to the hair-pin springs 161, as shown in FIG. 5. The keeper flange 167 provides a similar function as to the second printing head 102, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 11. Thus, the top cover 19 in the closed position maintains the three ink rollers in operative relation to the respective printing heads and also retains the second 102 and third 103 printing heads from axially retraction from the label printer and applicator 11. The top cover 19 is retained in the closed position by a pair of laterally extending snap flanges 168 adapted to engage a cross-bar 169, as shown in FIGS. 9, 21 and 22.

For a label printer and applicator of the character of machine 11 to gain acceptance in the market place, it is highly desirable that the machine, as Well as being easy to operate, have the capability of being relatively easy to load with a new supply of tape 23 after the previous supply has become exhausted. To facilitate the loading of a new spool of tape 23 into the machine 11, the side cover 18 is removable to expose the spool mounting hub 22 and the drive sprocket wheel 38. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 17, it will be seen that the side cover 18 is retained in position against the central frame member 14 by a spring biased keeper assembly 171 which includes a laterally extending shaft 171a equipped at its exposed end with a finger knob 17112. The opposite end of the shaft 171a is provided with a cross-pin 172 which is biased by a compression spring 173 into a cross-slot formed in a socket 174 which receives the adjacent end of the shaft 171a. As shown in FIG. 17, the top guide flap 39 is mounted about the shaft 171a and is maintained in operative association therewith by a second compression spring 176 which abuts at its inner end with the ends of a plurality of radially extending flanges 39b, and at its outer end with a cylindrical hub 1710. The co-action of the spring 176 with the hub 1710 and flanges 3% serves to urge the top guide flap 39 against the adjacent wall of the central frame member 14. An outer cross-pin 176 extends diametrically through the hub 1710, the pin 176 being received in a cross-slot 177 in the cover 18 extending generally parallel to the path of the tape feed (see also FIG. 5). Thus, through engagement of the pin 176 in the slot 177, the side cover 18 is urged by the compression spring 173 into fitting engagement with the central frame member 14.

To dismount the side cover 18 from the central frame member 14, the shaft 171a is rotated one-quarter turn, re, degrees, so as to bring the outer cross-pin 176 into registration with a vertically oriented through slot 178, best shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. When the pin 176 is in this position, the cover 18 can be removed from the central frame 14 thus exposing the sprocket wheel 38 and the half-hub 22 upon which the spool of tape 23 is to be mounted.

Once the side cover 18 is removed from the machine pivoted upwardly in a clockwise direction, as shown in 15 FIG. 9, a retaining pin 39c (shown in FIG. 20) being urged against thebias of the spring 176 from a shallow depression 179 in the central frame member 14 (see FIG. to a second depression 181 disposed thereabove. With the side cover 18 removed and the top guide flap 39 raised to a loading position (not shown) the end of the tape may be arranged on the sprocket wheel 38 so that the perforations 28 are received over the sprocket teeth 38a. Then, the top guide flap 39 may be depressed with the finger to return it towards its normal position, as shown in FIG. 9. At this time, the tape may be advanced through actuation of the trigger 13 to urge it forwardly into the gap between first guide members 182, the bottom half of which projects laterally from the front frame member 17, the top half extending laterally from the central frame member 14, as' shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Upon its exit from the first guide member 182, the strip of tape 23a passes through the second printing station 78 and thence to a second guide member 183 arranged on the frame in a manner similar to that of the guide member 182. Upon exit from the second guide member 183, the strip of tape 23a passes into the area of the third printing station 79 and thence into the nip between the deforming roller 32 and tape working platform 31 at the dispensing station 29.

So that the strip of tape 23a may be maintained in nonengaging relationship with the second 102 and third 103 printing heads while at the second 78 and third 79 printing stations a spring element 184 is arranged between the first 182 and second 183 and member 31 so as to engage the margins 26a and 26b of the strip 23a, the spring-like member 184 being shown in section at FIG. 9.

When a length of tape 23a of about nine inches has been ejected from the dispensing station 29 of the machine 11, it may be fed over the tape tensioner 41 and lower roller 43, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 9, and inserted in the channel between the bottom guide flap 44 and the sprocket wheel 38, the bottom flap 44 being pivotable about its forward end so that the tape 23a may be inserted between .the flap and the sprocket 38. The perforations 28 may at this moment be received over the sprocket teeth 38a and the tensioner 41 may be depressed against the bias of the spring 42 so as to maintain the lower run of tape, or backing strip 26, in tension. From the sprocket wheel 38, the lower run of tape exits through a channel 186 to the rear of the gun. At this time the side cover 18 may be remounted over the keeper shaft 171a, the shaft being retractable against the bias of the inner spring 173 and I0- tated one-quarter turn so as to bring the outer cross-pin 176 into registration with the cross-slot 177 thereby to retain the cover against the central frame 14. At this time, the label applicator printer 11 may be used in the normal manner as described above.

Either during loading or during normal operation of the label printer and applicator 11, it may be desirable to disengage the ratchet drive from the tape feed to advance or retract the tape 23a independently of actuating the printing heads. This feature is useful should the machine 11 become jammed. To this end an override clutch mechanism is incorporated upon the sprocket shaft 48, the clutch arrangement including the drive pin 51, as shown in FIG. 12, which is normally disposed in a cross-slot 51a in the central portion of the first drive gear 52. The pin 51 is maintained seated within the slot 51a by a compression spring 186 arranged on the sprocket shaft 48 within the housing 46. The spring 186 is maintained in operative association with the shaft by means of a keeper ring 187 whereby the spring is held against the inner wall of the sprocket wheel 38 serving to bias the shaft 48 axially outwardly. To override the ratchet wheel 53, connected to the first drive wheel 52, the sprocket shaft 48 is depressed by pushing the knob 49 axially inwardly. This carries the drive pin 51 out of the associated slot 51a. Atthis point,

the shaft 48 may be rotated freely whereby the sprocket wheels 38 may be rotated through the driving connection between the knob 49 and its associated pins. Thus, the tape' embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim: 1. A hand tool apparatus for printing labels on tape, comprising in combination: a frame sized to fit the hand; means for supporting a supply of tape with respect to said frame; manually actuable motion supplying means on said frame for engaging said tape to advance a length thereof along an operations path; first and second rotary printing means mounted on said frame for severally applying in a rolling motion selected indicia to said tape at predetermined portions thereof as it is advanced along said path; synchronizing means cooperable with said first and second printing means and said motion supplying means to synchronize said rotatable printing means with the advancement of said tape to ensure printing thereon in said predetermined portions; clutch means associated with said motion supplying means, said clutch means including a manually graspable portion for manually actuating said clutch to permit disengagement of said motion supplying means from said synchronization means, said manually graspable portion being rotatable to permit selective manual retraction and advancement of said tape along said operations path.

2. In apparatus for printing indicia upon pre-cut labels retained on a backing web at evenly spaced intervals as such backing web is moved along an operations path, the combination comprising: a frame; motion supplying means on said frame for incrementally advancing such backing web along such path one such spaced interval at a time; rotary printing head means mounted on said frame serving to rollably print upon the labels, said printing head including a line of printing indicia disposed to extend transversely of the path andserving to rollingly engage one such label in printing relation thereto while said motion supplying means advances said web one spaced interval along such path; means on said frame cooperatively related to said motion supplying means serving to rotate said printing head means for translating said line of printing indicia at a peripheral velocity substantially indentical to the velocity at which such one label is being advanced during the printing thereof, and platen means extending transversely of such path serving to urge such one label into printing engagement with said line of printing indicia during rotating movement of said indicia across such label. 7

3. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein said platen means is rotatably mounted on said frameand is rotated in synchronism with said printing head means. ;4. The combination defined in claim 2, and further including ink supply means mounted on said frame and cooperable withsaid printing head means to engage said line of printing indicia prior to printing on suchlabel.

5. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein said printing head means includes a plurality of lines of selectively variable printing indicia, and ink roller means cooperable with said printing head means serving to engage only a selected one of said lines of printing indicia.

6. In apparatus for printing indicia upon pre-cut labels retained on a backing web at predetermined, evenlyi tion comprising: a frame; motion supplying means on said frame serving to advance such backing Web along such path one such spaced interval at a time; printing head means mounted with respect to such frame for rotational movements transversely of such path, said printing head means accommodating a multiplicity of lines of printing indicia about a circumferential periphery having a length ditfering from the length of such predetermined spaced interval, a selected one of said lines of printing indicia being adapted to printingly engage one such label each full revolution of said printing head means, and means cooperating with said motion supplying means for rotating said printing head means to translate said selected line of indicia a full revolution for presenting said line of indicia to such label at an instantaneous printing speed substantially equal to the speed of advancement of such label along such path.

7. In apparatus for printing sequentially lines of indicia upon a web as such web is advanced a space-unit, the combination comprising: a frame; motion supplying means on said frame to advance incrementally such web one space-unit at a time; a printing head rotatably mounted on said frame to present with each revolution an axially extending line of type to such web as the same is advanced one space-unit, said printing head including a plurality of co-axially arranged, circumferentially extending arrays of printable characters, each array having a circumference exceeding one space-unit in length; geartrain means responsive to said motion supplying mean-s for rotating said printing head through one full revolution as said motion supplying means is actuated to advancing such web one space-unit, said gear-train means being arranged to rotate said printing head during said one revolution at a variable speed to accommodate the difference in distance between said circumference and said spaceunit to present said line of type to said web at substantially the same speed that such web is advanced at the moment of printing.

8. In a device for rolling printing of labels or the like, the combination comprising: a printing head adapted for rolling printing of an axially extending line of type selected from a variety of such lines available on a cylindrical surface of printable characters arranged on said head, said cylindrical surface being defined by the exten'or peripheries of a plurality of printing rings, each ring carrying about its exterior cylindrical periphery a variety of printable characters; a core disposed axially internally of said rings and being dimensioned to permit relative rotation with respect to said rings; detent means serving to maintain said rings in a selected relationship on said core; an indicator portion on said head for alignment wtih said axially extending line of type to indicate the line to be pesented; and, selector means for rotating each of said rings with respect to said core into a desired relationship with said indicator portion to vary the content of said line of type.

9. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the interface between said core and each of said rings is provided with recesses of a number equal to the number of spaces for printable characters on the exterior periphery of said ring, and; wherein said detent means includes an elastomer member and a projection element biased by said member into one of said recesses to maintain said ring and said core in a selected relationship.

10. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the interior periphery of each of said rings is provided with receses of a number equal to the number of spaces for printable characters on exterior periphery of said ring; said selector means including means projectionable into said recesses and rotatable co-axially of said core to relocate said ring with respect to said core.

11. In a device for rolling printing at predetermined positions along a moving web, the combination comprising: a frame; a printing head mounted on said frame for rotation in a path displaced from such moving Web; said head including a selected axially extending line of printable type; platen means rotatably mounted on said frame to urge such web toward said printing head and into engagement with said line of type only at the moment of printing; said printing head and said platen means having rotational paths of different diameters; gear-train means connecting said printing head to said platen means serving to permit each to rotate one revolution per printing stroke and permitting substantially identical peripheral speeds in the printing area at the moment of printing.

12. The combination defined in claim 11 wherein said gear-train means include a mating pair of gears each having an oval-shaped pitch circle.

13. The combination defined in claim 11 and including ink supply means carried by said frame and disposed proximate to and normally outside of the rotational path of said printing head; means to urge said ink supply means toward said rotational path, and; means on said printing head adjacent said line of type serving to permit said ink supply means to move into said rotational path for supplying ink to said line of type.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 542,358 7/1895 Carter 101-76 593,961 11/1897 Edson 101-76 773,267 10/1904 Spear. 2,522,224 9/1950 Hedinger 101-288 3,116,686 1/1964 Dudley 101-291 X 3,120,178 2/1964 Lamers 101-288 X 3,139,025 6/1964 Chambon 101-92 3,194,717 7/1965 Albert 161-113 3,194,718 7/1965 Ofiensend 161-113 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner. W. F. MCCARTHY, E. S. BURR, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification101/92, 101/90, 156/DIG.490, D18/19, 226/157, 101/288, 101/45
International ClassificationB65C11/02, B65C11/00, B41K5/00, B41K5/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65C11/0247, B41K5/023
European ClassificationB41K5/02B, B65C11/02B2B4D