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Publication numberUS3340801 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1967
Filing dateMay 26, 1965
Priority dateMay 26, 1965
Publication numberUS 3340801 A, US 3340801A, US-A-3340801, US3340801 A, US3340801A
InventorsShoup Robert W
Original AssigneeAutographic Business Forms
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple item printing apparatus
US 3340801 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 12, '1967 R'. W. SHOUP MULTIPLE TEM PRINTING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed My 2e, 1965 .III

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www @i Sept. 12, 1967 R. w. SHOUP MULTIPLE-ITEM PRTING APPARATUS Filed May 26, 1965 5 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent Office 3,340,801 MULTIPLE ITEM PRINTING APPARATUS Robert W. Shoup, Wycko, NJ., assignor to Autographic Business Forms, Inc., South Hackensack, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed May 26, 1965, Ser. No. 458,891 31 Claims. (Cl. 101-90) This invention relates generally to an apparatus for printing individual indicia on multiple items, bank checks, bank deposit slips and the like for example, formed into a continuous strip, and more particularly to an apparatus for high speed printing of a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with indicia individual to each group.

In common with known apparatus, the present invention provides apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of checks, deposit slips and like commercial forms with personalized indicia, such as the name of a depositor and his bank account number, on two separate lines `of a form, the forms being preprinted with the indicia yconventional to such forms and being joined together in a continuous strip of sufficient length to print a large number of groups each consisting of a relatively small number of items.

This is accomplished in one such apparatus by providing a pair of spaced apart printing units having individually settable non-traveling printing wheels which are automatically set to indicate a single line of individual indicia to -be printed by each unit in response to signals received from electronic punch `card reading and memory storage components associated with the printing units, the signals being transmitted to the printing units in accordance with data stored on the punch cards which is indicative of the lines of alphabetic and numeric indicia.

Such apparatus while efficient when used to print groups of items with few items in each group was quite complicated and quite expensive to produce.

In another form of known apparatus for printing checks and the like with individual indicia for different groups substantially as described above, this is accomplished by means of a plurality of fixed type slugs, which are carried by a hinged chase manually movable between a closed printing position and an open position where the slugs are accessible for removal and for replacement when changing from the printing of one group of items to another.

Such apparatus while eflicient when used to print groups of items with a large number of items in each group was quite simple and relatively inexpensive to produce but it-s operation involves considerable loss of time since the printing had to be stopped while changing the printing slugs from one group job to the next.

It is an important object of this invention to provide an apparatus for printing checks .and the like in the above described manner for use when the num-ber of items in each groups falls between the small number involved in the first described apparatus and the large number involved in the second described apparatus and yet which combines the high speed of operation and flexibility of information and format obtainable from continuous strip advancement past settable non-traveling printing elements with the availability of plural and lengthy lines of indicia and simplicity and inexpensiveness of structure resulting from the use of preformed type slugs carried by a chase.

A further Vobject of this invention is to provide an apparatus for printing checks and the like in the above manner which is fully or semi-automatically cyclically operable to print a plurality of groups of checks without interruption except for a brief moment required to alter the position of preformed type slugs carried by a chase.

A significant feature of this invention, in achieving the foregoing object, is the provision of means for having the preformed type slugs of one group of items in position to be -accessible to an operator of the apparatus for manual removal from a slug holder While the slugs of a different group of items are in a printing position and printing therefrom is being performed, thereby permitting the exchange of type slugs While the apparatus is in operation and eliminating the downtime normally encountered in changing slugs in a single chase or in changing chases. A quick-acting manually operable locking means facilitates the rapid change of type slugs during the period of time required to print a moderate size group of checks.

A further object is to provide a printing device having novel printing element holding and releasing structure particularly suited for use with the apparatus of this invention.

Another object is to provide ya printing device having printing element holding and releasing structure which is constructed and arranged such that manually operable members or handles thereof are similarly oriented and manually movable in the same direction when the printing device is in either of two operating positions.

A still further object is to provide an apparatus for printing items in the above described manner in which at least two spacedapart printing units are effective to print sequentially on a continuously moving strip from nontraveling printing elements with the lines of alphabetic indicia printed by one unit and the line of numeric indicia printed by another unit appearing on each item closer together than the spacing between the printing units.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter pointed out or made readily apparent 'when the specification is considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of an apparatus embodying the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view, partly in section, of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 3 3 of FIG. 2 through the upper unit and on the line 3a 3a and of FIG. 2 through the impression devices of the lower unit;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4 4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a further enlarged sectional view of the chase carrier taken on the line 5 5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5 taken on the line 6 6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side View of the chase carrier adjustment of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 8 8 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is a schematic wiring diagram of the apparatus 0f this invention;

FIG. l0 is a fragmentary view of one illustrative form capable of being printed by the apparatus of this invention; and

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 6 illustrating an alternate embodiment of the apparatus.

Concept of the invention The apparatus of this invention is intended primarily to print a variety of commercial forms and documents with indicia individual to a given customer, of which a typical bank check A as illustrated in FIG. 10 is an example. The check is initially prepared in the form of a continuous strip 38 of indefinite length having a plurality of such checks printed thereon in blank form with the customary information of the bank name and location, and the date, amount, payee, and signature lines.

Each check A is separated on the strip by a weakened line B to facilitate later separation of the checks, and the strip is provided with a marginal portion C contain- Patented Sept. l2, 1967 3 ug pin holes D by which the strip is fed through the ,pparatus hereinafter described after which the portions 3 may be removed.

The apparatus receives thestrip 38 and prints succesively on each check A one or more upper lines of alpha- )etic indicia E which may typically comprise a depositors lame, street address, and city and state location. This nformation is printed by one printing device. A lower ine of numeric indicia F is printed by another printing levice which prints preferably in magnetic ink character 'ecognition symbols suitable for sensing by commercial tutomated check sorting machines. Thus the checks :merge from the apparatus of this invention imprinted with the individualized information as illustrated in FIG. after which the checks for a plurality of cus- :omers each in predetermined quantity are separated from he strip and each other, sorted and forwarded to the ieveral customers.

It is to be understood that while a typical check has Jeen illust-rated in FIG. l0, the apparatus is intended to mprint such information on a wide variety of preprinted orms with one or more lines of information disposed in any desired location on the form, either in conventional :haracter type and ink or magnetic ink character recognition type and ink, or both.

Major components and power supply Referring now to FIG. 1, the principles of this invention are embodied in one form of printing apparatus 10 which generally comprises a lower unit 12 which includes a paper strip feeding means, impression devices and actuating means therefor, and power means for operating both the feeding means and the actuating means for the impression devices. The apparatus 10 also generally comprises an upper unit 14 which supports the printing devices and carbon strip guiding and feeding mechanism for effecting transfer of print to the strip of preprinted joined items.

The upper unit 14 is suitably hinged to the lower unit 12 by means of a pair of hinge supports 16 on opposite sides of the lower unit and a pair of stub shafts 18 on the upper unit which rotate in a bushing 20 (see FIG. 8) secured to the supports 16 by clamping blocks 22. A retaining bracket 24 pivotally supported on the lower unit as at 26 is rotated by means of pin 28 riding in the slot 30 as the upper unit 14 is raised, and locks the upper unit in open position when the pin 28 catches in the recess 32 formed in the end of the slot 30. Thus the upper unit 14 may be raised to an almost vertical position to facilitate inserting the paper strip at the beginning of a run, and also for service or repair of the apparatus.

The lower unit 12 comprises a frame 34 having spaced apart side members 34a and 34b (FIG. 2) upon which the foregoing structure is mounted, and a top member 36 which forms a supporting bed for the paper strip 38 being fed thereover. The upper unit 14 also comprises a frame 40 having spaced apart side members 40a and 40b (FIG. 2) which support at least one and preferably first and secondvprinti'ng devices 42a and 42b, and carbon strip feeding means 44 take-up means 46a and 46h for rst and second carbon transfer strips 47a and 47h. Thus, as the lower unit feeds the paper strip 38 from right to left as viewed in FIG. 1, and cyclically operates the impression means hereinafter described, the desired indicia is transferred from the printing devices 42a and 42h carried by the upper unit by means of the carbon strips which are advanced by the carbon strip advancing and take-up means 44 and 46a and 46b of the upper unit.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the lower unit 12 more particularly includes a motor 50 secured to a lower portion of the frame 34 and has a drive pulley 52 connected by a belt 54 to an input pulley 56 mounted on the rod shaft 57 of any suitable clutch mechanism 58 having a sleeve shaft 59 which supports an output sprocket 60 which is alternately engageable and disengageable with the continuously operated input pulley 56. Preferably, though not necessarily, the clutch 58 is of the electromagnetic type, or any suitable mechanical clutch operated by a solenoid and effective to engage or disengage the drive from the motor 52 to the operating mechanism of the apparatus 10.

The clutch output sprocket 60 is connected by a chain 62 to a sprocket 64 mounted on a main drive shaft 66 suitably journaled in the opposite side frame members 34a and 34h and in an upstanding supporting plate 67. A pulley 68 mounted on shaft 66 is connected by a belt 70 to pulleys 72 and 74 which respectively are mounted on shafts 76 and 78. An idler pulley 80 adjustably mounted on the plate 67 maintains proper tension in the belt 70. Thus when the motor 50 operates and the clutch 58 engages the input pulley 56 with the output sprocket 60, shafts 76 and 78 are driven in synch-ronism. As best seen in FIG. 2, shafts 76 and 78 are journaled in the plate 67 and the side frame member 34h, and, as seen in FIG. 3, have intermediate portions 82 and 84 respectively which constitute cam shafts to operate the impression devices generally indicated as 86a and 86b respectively and more fully described below. Thus by the foregoing drive train, the motor 50 is effective to 4cause actuation of the impression devices 86a and 86b in synchronism.

Impression devices Referring now to FIG. 3, the impression devices 86a and 86b, being identical in construction and operation, each comprises a generally box-like frame 88 through which the shafts 76 or 78 pass and in which the cam portions 82 or 84 are located. Each frame 88 supports a mounting bracket 90 which in turn supports a plurality of leaf springs 92 (see FIG. 4) which bear at their free ends on the underside of a U-shaped oscillating impression element hereinafter referred to as a print hammer 94. The latter is pivotally mounted on the frame 88 as at 96 and has a forwardly projecting linger 98 which is engaged by one of the cam portions 82 or 84 of the shafts 76 or 78 as the latter rotate in the direction of the arrow to effect downward movement of the print hammers 94 against the tension of the leaf springs 92. Each print hammer 94 is also provided with an upstanding anvil 100 which effects momentary printing contact between the paper strip 38, a carbon transfer strip, and type slugs generally indicated as 102a and 1021; held in printing position by the printing devices 42a and 42h, the latter to be more fully described hereinbelow.

A combined bridge and stop plate 108 is secured between side plates of each frame 88 to properly space them apart and is received within the U-shaped print hammer 94. Each plate 108 is provided with a projecting lip 110 which engages a shoulder 112 formed on the upstanding portion of the print hammer 94 to thereby dene -an upper limiting position for the print hammer 94. It will now be apparent that with each rotation of shafts 76 and 78 and coresponding rotation of carn portions 82 and 84, the print hammers 94 of the impression devices 86a and 86b are pivoted in -a clockwise direction until the end of the cam portions 82 and 84 ride beyond the lips 98 whereupon the springs 92 force the print hammers 94 and their anvils 100 upwardly with great force and into momentary printing contact with the paperstrip 38 and carbon strips 47a and 47b under the type slugs 10201 and 102]).

It will be noted from FIG. 3 that the angular relationship of the cafm portions 82 and 84 is not the same, the cam portion 82 being slightly advanced in the direction of rotation of the ycam portions relative to the cam portion 84. Thus as the shafts 76 and 78 rotate together, the cam portion 82 depresses and releases the printing hammer 94 of the first impression device 86a in a given timed relationship before the cam portion 84 releases the printing hammer 94 of the second impression device 86b, thereby causing the impression devices to operate sequentially in timed relationship rather than simultaneously. It is therefore apparent that when the rst impression device 86a operates to cause the printing of the trailing numeric line F by the type slug 102:1 of the first printing device 42a on a given check, the desired location of the leading alphabetic lines E of that check will not as yet have reached the second printing device 42b. Since the strip 38 is continuously moving, the location on the said check of the leading alphabetic lines E will reach the second printing device 42b at the instant that the cam portion 84 releases the printing hammer 94 of the second impression device 86h for contact with the strip 38 and the type slugs 102b, at which time the numeric line F will be disposed between the two printing devices 42a and 42b. Thus by the sequential operation of the impression devices 86a and 86b coupled with continuous movement of the strip 38, the leading and trailing lines of print E and F, respec tively, are caused to -appear on a given check spaced apart closer than the physical distance of the printing devices 42a and 42b.

Paper strip feeding mechanism The paper strip feeding mechanism which is also incorporated in the lower unit 12, is driven by a power train which is located on the side of the machine opposite from that on which the power train for the impression devices is located, and commences with the main drive shaft 66. Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the shaft 66 terminates outwardly of the lower side frame member 34a and rotatably carries a pair of pulleys 114 and 116, the pulley 114 driving a belt 118 toward the front of the apparatus and which is passed around adjustably mounted tensioning idler rollers 120 and 122, and drives a pulley 124 fixed on a shaft 126 which is journaled for rotation in the lower side frame members 34a and 34h. The shaft 126 carries a sprocket 128 which drives a suitable pin tractor 130, the latter passing around another sprocket 132 rotatably mounted on a bracket 134 carried Iby the shaft 126 and xed on a shaft 135 carried by the side frame members 34a and 3411. The shafts 126 and 135 have similar sprockets and a pin tractor mounted thereon adjacent the other side of the machine as indicated generally lby the numeral 136.

The other pulley 116 on the main drive shaft 66 drives a belt 138 which in turn drives a pulley 140 (see FIG. 8) carried on a shaft 142 journaled for rotation in the side frame members 34a and 34b, this shaft `and the adjacent fixed shaft 144 carrying and driving a pair of sprockets and pin tractors identical to that described above and disposed on oposite sides of the rear end of the machine and designated generally as 146 and 148. Thus it is seen that the motor 50 is effective to feed the continuous paper strip 38 by means ofthe marginal pin holes D in synchronism with the successive actuations of the impression devices since the power for both the impression devices 86a and 86b and the paper strip feeding mechanism is taken from the main drive shaft 66, and any deviation in the rate of operation of one mechanism will result in a coresponding deviation in the rate of operation of the other.

Suitable paper guide devices 143 having upper and lower plates between which the strip 38 passes are provided with each pin tractor to assure proper contact between the pin tractors and the pin holes D. The guide devices on at least one side of the machine are adjustably slidably mounted as on the shafts 145 and 147 to accommodate for different widths up the strip 38.

Carbon strip feeding and take-up mechanism As briefly described above, the upper unit 14 supports a carbon strip transfer Imaterial feeding device 44 and take-up mechanism 46a and 46b. The feeding devi-ce 44 comprises a gear 150 carried by the pin tractor drive shaft connected a smaller pulley 162 which drives a belt 164 connected to a pulley 166 mounted on an upstanding portion of the side frame members 40a and 40b. The pulley 166 drives a pinch roller 168 journaled in the side frame members 40a and 40h Iby means of the gears 170 and 172. Another pinch roller 174 is rotatably mounted on -brackets 176 which are pivotally suported on frame members 40a yand 40h at 178, and urged toward the pinch roller 168 by springs 180 whereby the roller 174 is maintained in frictional feeding engagement with the roller 168.

As noted above, there are separate carbon transfer strips 47a and 47b, one for each of the printing devices 42a and 42b. One of the carbon strips 47a is stored on a supply roll 182 rotatably supported by brackets 184 secured to the frame members 34a and 3417 adjacent the front end of the machine. The carbon strip passes from the supply roll 182 over the bed 36 of the lower unit 12 in overlying relationship to the paper strip 38, under guide rollers 186 and 188 and thence upwardly between the pinch rollers 168 and 174. The carbon strip 47a, being associated `with the printing device 42a which prints the trailing numeric line F on the checks A, preferably though not necessarily carries ink of the magnetic ink character recognition type which is sensible by well known automated document sorting machines.

The other strip 47b is provided on a supply roll 190 supported on brackets 192 mounted on the side frame members 40a and 40h of the upper unit 14 and located at the back end of the machine. The strip passes over the bed 36 of the lower unit in overlying relationship with the paper stripI 38, under guide rollers 194 and 196 and thence upwardly between the pinch rollers 168 and 174 so that both carbon transfer strips will advance simultaneously by the pinch rollers 168 and 174. Each strip 47d and 47b is taken up on identical take-up mechanism 46a and 4Gb respectively which comprise take up spools 198 and 200, each spool being driven by Va separate stall torque motor 202 and 204, the motors being conveniently mounted on the frame member 40b and each having driving gears 206 and 208 respectively which mesh with gears 210 and 212 provided on the take-up spools 198 and 200.

From the foregoing it is apparent that the carbon transfer strip feeding mechanism 44 is also driven by the moto-r 50 and in synchronism with the actuation of the impression devices and the feeding of the paper strip 38, since the power train for the carbon strip feeding mechanism 44 is taken directly off the same driving shaft 142 which drives the rear stripfeeding mechanisms 146 and 148. The motors 202 and 204 are of the type Which are constantly energized and exert a continuous pull on the carbon strips as they are fed by the pinch rollers. The carbon strips are fed at a much slower rate of speed than is the paper strip 38 by virtue of the speed reduction between the -gears and 172, since the carbon strips need only be fed a small increment each time a print cycle takes place.

Printing devices The printing devices 42a and 42b which are carried by the upper unit 14 in overlying relationship with the carbon transfer strips and the paper strip 38, are identical in construction and operation, and accordingly only one need be described in detail. Although two are included in the form of the apparatus shown, it should be understood that only one or any number desired may be utilized with this apparatus, and they may be put into operation selectively in accordance with the information desired to be imprinted on the items of the strip 38.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, and 4-7, the printing device 42b, considered for the purpose of description, comprises a rotatably mounted `chase carrier 213b which holds and carries a plurality of peripherally disposed type slugs 102b which in the embodiment illustrated comprises two oppositely disposed sets of slugs which are alternately movable between a printing position and an accessible posizion, each chase carrier being rotated in timed sequence with the stopping and starting of the stripl 38 by means hereinafter more fully described. The chase carrier 2131) :omprises an elongated block 214 (see FIG. rotatably mounted on a shaft 216, the latter being fiXedly but adiustably supported by the opposite side frame members 40a and 4Gb as seen in FIG. 4. The block 214 is hollowed out at diagonally opposite corners to form type slug receiving and positioning recesses 217 and 218, each having a fixed positioning wall 21751 and 218er acting in cooperation with clamping bars 228 and 222 movably disposed in the recesses 217 and 218 to alternately clamp and release one or a plurality of type slugs 102b, each type slug having a body portion 224 with raised type faces 226 formed thereon. The clamping bars 220 and 222, in cooperation with the block 214 constitute a chase or slug holder.

There are two clamping bars 220 for the upper set of type slugs, and two clamping bars 222 for the lower set, and each individual clamping bar 220 or 222 is mova'bly carried within clamping and releasing limit positions by a pair of bolts 228 slidingly received in recesses 230 provided in a plurality of upper and lower stop blocks 232 and 233 respectively which in turn are fixedly secured to the chase carrier block 214 by means of bolts 234. Thus the pairs of clamping bars 220 or 222 are movable between the clamping position illustrated in FIG. 5 and an open position in which the outer face of the pairs of clamping blocks 220 or 222 abut the inner face of the stop blocks 232 or 233 respectively. A spring 236 mounted on each of the bolts 228 urges the clamping bars toward the release position. The inward extent of movement of the clamping bars toward the clamping position may be adjusted by rotation of the bolts 228 in order to securely clamp 1, 2 or 3 type slugs 224 in the chase.

The pairs of clamp-ing bars 220 and 222 are moved between the aforementioned limit positions by means of corresponding pairs of quick release, preferably snap acting, latch mechanisms 238 and 239, which are identical, each mechanism comprising a lever 240 having one end pivotally mounted at 242 on a bracket 244 secured to the block 214, the lever 24) also being pivotally connected at 246 to one end of an operating lever 248 which itself is pivotally connected at 250 to a link 252, the latter being pivotally connected at 254 to the bracket 244 remote from the pivotal connection 242 of the lever 24() to the bracket 244, thus forming a toggle clamp. The pivot points 246, 250 and 254 are disposed in out of line relationship such that movement of operating lever 248 by the handle 256 from the full line position of FIG. 5 to the dotted line position of FIG. 5 pulls the pivot point 250 over dead center between the pivots 246 and 254 to release the toggle and move the lever 240 from its full line position to its dotted line position, thus releasing the clamping bars 220 for movement outwardly in response to the springs 236 on the bolts 228. When the handle 256 is returned to its full line position, the pivot point 250 is again snapped over center and the lever 246 is forced against a threaded post 258 connected to the clamping block 220 and held in position by a lock nut 260 in order to again move the clamping bar 220 to securing position. As seen in FIG. 4, identical upper toggle clamps 238 are provided for each of the clamping bars 220, and identical lower toggle clamps 239 are provided for each of the lower clamping bars 222, with the handles 256 connecting the toggle clamps of each pair 238 or 239 for simultaneous operation. The construction and arrangement of the clamps 238 and 239 is such that the handle, and other parts of each clamp, is similarly oriented and movable in the same direction relative to the body 214 when the chase carrier is rotated to alternately move the chases to the exposed position for removal'of the slugs.

It is apparent from the foregoing that while the lower type slugs 224 are in printing position, and the machine is in operation and printing is taking place, the upper type slugs 224 are in an accessible position and may be manually removed and changed for other type slugs bearing different type face indicia 226 by manipulation of the handle 256 of the pair of upper toggle clamps 238. This is an important feature of the present invention since it permits the printing elements of the apparatus to be changed in a simple and efficient manner from the speciiic indicia required for one customer which has been printed to that required for another customer which is yet to be printed and while the machine is printing the indicia required for still another customer, so that when the printing of the predetermined number of items for any given customer has been completed, the only down time required between the printing of indicia of different customers is that required to rotate the printing devices 42a and 42b through the half revolution necessary to place the new type slugs in printing position and dispose the type slugs from which printing has just been completed in the accessible position for replacement by the operator of the apparatus. The printing device rotation is accomplished in a very short period of time by the mechanism now to be described.

Means are provided for locking the chase carriers 21311 and 21311 in a fixed position during the printing portion of a machine cycle, and for releasing them for rotation upon completion of the printing portion of the machine cycle, providing the change-over of type slugs has been completed. The following structure is identical for both chase carriers, and reference will be now made to chase carrier 21317 illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4, and 6, wherein it is seen that a combined lock and cam disk 260 is suitably secured to the block 214 of each chase carrier for rotation therewith, the disk having a pair of oppositely disposed stop positions in the form of depressions 262 and 264 to alternately receive a detent 266 mounted on the end of a dog 268 forming a locking member and pivoted at 270 to a bracket 272 xedly carried by the shaft 216. When the chase carrier is stationary with one set of type slugs in printing position and the other set in the accessible position, the detent 266 is received within one of the recesses 262 or 264, preferably the upper one as illustrated, to lock the chase carrier against movement. The dog 268 is rotated in a clockwise direction to withdraw the detent 266 from the recesses 262 by means of downward movement of the armature 274 of a solenoid 276 suitably secured to the bracket 272, the armature 274 being connected to the dog 268 by a pin 275. The solenoid is actuated by appropriate electrical cornponents to be hereinafter more fully described.

Upon release of the cam disk 260 by the dog 268, the chase carrier is rotated preferably, though not necessarily, by any suitable continuously energized source of rotative force applied to the chase carrier, such as the electric stall torque motor 278 suitably mounted on a bracket 280 secured to the upper side frame member 40a, the motor having a driving gear 282 which meshes with a driven gear 284 Xedly connected to the block 214 of the chase carrier as by screws 286. A collar 288 iiXedly secured to the shaft 216 acts in cooperation with the bracket 272 to properly locate the chase carrier on the shaft 216 and prevent any shifting movement thereof.

It is now apparent that when the detent 266 is raised out of the recess 262, the motor 278 will then be effective to rotate the chase carrier whereupon the detent 266 will drop into the recess 264 since, by this time, the solenoid 276 will have been de-energized and the armature 274 thereof is spring biased to urge the dog 268 in a counterclockwise direction. The solenoid 276 is actuated each time the printing of a predetermined number of checks for a given customer is completed so that a half turn of the chase carrier is cyclically effected automatically at the termination of each printing run.

Provision is also made for adjusting the stationary position of the chase carriers 213:1 and 213b so that the type faces 226 of the type slugs 102a and 102b are positioned directly over the anvils 100 of each impression device 86a and 86b, and are in absolute parallel planar juxtaposition from the top to the bottom of each type character with the paper strip 38 so that the impression of each character is uniform from top to bottom thereof. This adjustment is effected through minute adjustment of the angular position of the shafts 216g and 216b to which the chase carriers are locked when they are stationary. The shafts 216a and 216b are adjusted by the adjustment means 289a and 289'b illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, both being identical, and the adjustment means 289b being illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 7. This means comprises a stub shaft 290 connected to the shaft 216 by means of the set screw 292, the stub shaft being rotatably supported on the side frame member 40h and extending outwardly thereof far enough to xedly receive a collar 294 having an upstanding boss 296. A pair of brackets 298 secured to the outer face of the side frame member 40b threadedly receive locking screws 300 which engage opposite sides of the boss 296. It is apparent that similar directional rotation of the screws 300 will angularly shift the boss 296, and consequently rotate the stub shaft 290 and the shaft 216 clockwise or counterclockwise by a small amount depending upon the direction of rotation of the screws 300, thus aifording a virtual micrometer control over the position of the shaft 216. After appropriate adjustment is made the screws 300 are tightened to securely hold the stub shaft 290, the shaft 216 and the chase carrier in the selected position.

Electric control components and circuitry FIG. 9 illustrates diagrammatically the electrical components and circuitry necessary for the operation of the apparatus in connection with the consecutive printing of a plurality of groups of personalized items with a predetermined number of items for each group. Thus there is provided a Asuitable source of power 302 which is connected through a main olf-on switch 304 with leads 306 and 308 to supply current to the several actuating and control components of the apparatus. A pair of leads 310 and 312 provide a circuit to the chase carrier operating motors 278a and 278b, which are connected in parallel by the leads 314 and 316. Another pair of leads 318 and 320 provide a circuit to the carbon strip takeup motors 202 and 204 which are also connected in parallel by the leads 322 and 324. Thus the chase carrier rotating motors 278a and 278b and the carbon strip takeup motors 202 and 204 are continuously energized once the main switch 304 is closed, but because they are stall torque motors they are operable only when the resistance to movement placed upon them is less than the rotative force put out by the motors. v

The main drive motor S is continuously .energized by leads 326 and 328 connected respectively to leads 306 and 308, and is effective through the electromagnetic clutch 58 to drive the main shaft 66 as diagrammatically indicated by the broken line 66', the shaft 66 in turn driving the impression device actuating shafts 76 and 78 respectively by the power train diagrammatically indicated by the lines 76 and 78. It will be recalled vthat the shaft 66 is also eifective to drive the forward and rear paper feed shafts 126 and 142 respectively by the power train indicated diagrammatically by the lines 126 and 142. The operation of the shaft 66 and the mechanisms connected thereto are controlled by engagement or disengagement of the motor 50 through the clutch 58.

The apparatus is provided with a counter mechanism generally indicated by the numeral 330 which may be either of the descending or ascending totalizer type, and `which is effective, when preset, to count the printing actuations of the apparatus and to stop the operation thereof when a predetermined number is reached. The counter is provided with mechanism for initiating an electrical impulse to actuate the solenoid 276 of each printing device in order to permit rotation thereof when the printing oper- 10 ation stops, and, for safety purposes, provision is made for manually disabling the counter initiated impulse and hence the solenoid 276 so that the chase carriers cannot rotate in the event that for some reason the operator has not completed the change-over from one set of type slugs to another during the printing portion of a machine cycle.

The counter 330 is also automatically reset to its starting position in response to a signal initiated by rotation of the chase carriers whereupon the counter is effective to reestablish the circuit to the clutch 58 to again commence operation of the apparatus.

More specifically, the counter 330 is provided with conventional indicating wheels 331 which indicate initially the number of checks in each group to be printed and which descend to zero in response to the consecutive printing of a predetermined number of checks, or which start at zero and indicate the number of checks printed, depending upon whether the counter is of the descending or ascending type. The counter is provided with conventional mechanism generally indicated at 333 in FIG. 1 for establishing a predetermined number of actuations it will permit before stopping the printing apparatus. An actuating mechanism 332 is illustrated diagrammatically and is responsive to signals from different sources to sequentially step the counter in units in response to a signal from one source, and also to reset the counter to its starting position in response to a signal from another source, both in a manner well known in the counter art and therefore not requisite of further description herein.

The former function is accomplished by a counter stepping mechanism indicated diagrammatically by the resistance 336 and is part of the counter actuating mechanism 332. A lead 334 connects the stepping mechanism 336 to the lead 308, and a -lead 338 connects the stepping mechanism 336 to a normally open microswitch 340 mounted on the frame member 34b (see FIG. 4), adjacent the shaft 78. A lead 342 connects the microswitch 340 to the lead 306 to complete a circuit through the stepping mechanism 336 when the microswitch 340 is closed. This is accomplished by a cam 344 carried by the shaft 78 and having a lobe 346 which momentarily closes the microswitch 340 each time the shaft 78 makes one revolution.

The counter 330 is also provided with a double acting switch 348 which is koperated by conventional counter mechanism indicated diagrammatically as 350. The switch 348, when the blade is in the upper position as shown is in a circuit consisting of the lead 308, a lead 352 which connects with a normally closed safety microswitch 354a a lead 356 which connects the microswitch 354a in `series with another safety microswitch 354b, a lead 360 connected to the` solenoid 362 or other suitable electromagnetic component of the clutch 58, and a lead 364 which compensates the circuit to the lead 306. While the safety switches are illustrated diagrammatically as being actuated by the armatures of the solenoids 27611 and 276b, they are preferably mounted on the brackets 27211 and 272b (FIG. 2) and operated directly by the oscillatory movements of the dogs 268a and 268b of each chase carrier as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 6. It is apparent that as long as the switch 348 is in this circuit and the two safety switches 354a and 354b are closed, the clutch solenoid 362 is energized to effect a driving connection from the motor 50 to the main drive shaft 66. When the stepping mechanism 336 causes the counter to reach its terminal position, Whether in ascending or descending order, the mechanism 350 alters the position of the blade of the switch 348 thereby breaking the circuit to the solenoid of the clutch 58 and stopping operation of the mac me.

The chase carriers are freed for rotation by the chase motors 278a and 278b by means of solenoids 276a and 276b, the armatures 274a and 274b of which, it will be recalled from above, are connected respectively to the locking dogs 268a and 26812. The solenoids 276a and 276b are connected in parallel in a circuit comprising a lead 366 connected to a normally open safety switch 367 which l l is closed upon de-energization of the clutch solenoid 362, the switch 367 being connected by a lead 369 to the lead 306. The lead 366 is connected to one side of the solenoid 27651 and a lead 372 connects the solenoid 276:1 to

a lead 374. A lead 376 connects the lead 366 to one side of the other solenoid 276b, the other side of which is also connected to the lead 374. The latter is connected, through a manually operable switch 375, to the double acting switch 348 in position to have the blade thereof complete a circuit to lead 308 through the solenoids 276e and 276b when the mechanism 350 moves the blade of switch 348 at the completion of the printing portion of a machine cycle. It will be recalled that such movement of the blade also de-energizes the clutch solenoid 362 which in turn closes the safety switch 367 which is in the just described circuit to solenoids 27 6a and 27 6b.

It will now be seen that movement of the blade of switch 348 initiates an actuating impulse to energize the solenoids 276a and 27611 thereby actuating the dogs 268:1 and 268b to free the chase carriers for rotation as described above, assuming that the manual switch 375 is closed. This switch is a safety feature, under the control of the operator, which disables the actuating impulse from the counter to the solenoids 276:1 and 276b in the event that the operator has not completed the slug replacement when the counter reaches its terminal position and the apparatus stops printing. The operator opens this switch while changing slugs and closes it when the slugs have been changed and the chases locked.

At least one, though preferably both, of the chase carriers is effective, after a predetermined amount of rotation, to close a circuit to the counter in order to reset it to its starting position. As illustrated, each chase carrier is provided with diametrically opposed cam lobes 378 which, although illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 8 as being on the periphery of the disks 260a and 260b, are actually located, as seen in FIG. 6, on the outer flat face of the disk 260. An appropriate recess 380 is formed in the bracket 272 to permit the cam lobes 278 to pass therethrough.

Referring to the rearward chase carrier 21312, and FIGS. 2, 6 and 8, ya normally open microswitch 382b is suitably mounted on the bracket 272 -adjacent the disk 260 in position to be actuated by one of the cam lobes 378 each time the chase carrier rotates through one half turn. The switch 382b is in a circuit comprising a lead 383 connected to the main lead 306 land a lead 385 connecting the switch 382b to -a conventional counter resetting device indicated diagrammatically by the resistance 386 in the actuating mechanism 332. A lead 388 connected to the lead 308 completes the circuit through the resetting device 386 when the switch 3821; is closed. The switch 382a is connected in parallel with the switch 38217 to the resetting device 386 by the leads 306 and 384. Thus the counter 330 is reset to its starting position each time either of he chase carriers, in case only one is being utilized for printing, or both rotate one half turn to change the position of the type slugs prior to the commencement of a new printing run.

Operation predetermined number, and the safety switch 367 is closed since the clut-ch solenoid 362 is de-energized, the apparatus is ready to commence operation. The operator closes the safety switch 375 which closes the parallel circuits through the solenoids 276:1 and 27 6b for each printing device whereupon the dogs 268a and 26811 are rotated to release the chase carriers -for rotation by the motors 27811 and 278b. Simultaneously with the movement of the dogs 268a and 268b, the normally closed microswitches 354a and 354b are opened so that the clutch 58 is rendered inoperable until the chase carriers have completed their rotation `and have been locked in the new printing position by the dogs 268a and 268b.

As the chase carriers rotate, the advancing cam lobe 378 momentarily closes the switches 382a and 382b to energize the counter resetting device 386 to set the counter mechanism to its starting position and also to move the blade of the switch 348 by virtue of the mechanism 350 to its upper position. As indicated above, this movement of the blade does not start the operation of the apparatus until the safety switches 35411 and 354b are closed upon completion of rotation of the chase carriers.

When the latter event occurs, the circuit is closed through the clutch solenoid 362 whereby the clutch 58 engages the drive shaft 66 with the motor 50 to commence simultaneous operation of the pin feed shafts 126 and 142, the impression device actuating shafts 76 and 78, and the carbon transfer strip feed mechanism 44 all in the manner described above. At the same time, the safety switch 367 is opened by the clutch solenoid to render the chase carrier solenoids inoperable during the printing operation in the event of some malfunction of the counter 330. As the impression device actuating shafts 76 and 78 are rotated in synchronism with the pin feed shafts 126 and 142, the impression devices 86a and 86b are actuated by the cam portions 82 and 84 to cause momentary printing contact between the type faces 226 of the slugs 224 with the continuously moving strip 38 through the carbon transfer strips. The feed of the strip is so synchronized with the operation of the impression devices 86a and 86b that the lines of print effected by each of the printing devices appear in a prescribed or predetermined location on each item being printed.

Since the cam shaft portion 82 of the impression device 86a is angular-ly advanced in relation to the cam shaft portion 84 of the impression device 861:, the printing of the trailing numeric line F is effected by the printing device 42a on a given check A, and, after a short interval of time during which the strip 38 continues to move, the printing of the advanced alphabetic lines E is effected by the printing device 42h when the cam portion 84 actuates the impression device 86h. At this moment the printing of a given check on the strip is completed, while the printing of the next succeeding check on the strip has not yet commenced since the desired location of the trailing numeric line F of such next succeeding check has not yet reached type slug 102a of the printing device 42a.

Since it is the operation of the second impression device 86b which determines the completion of printing of an individual check, it is desirably the actuation of this impression device which causes stepping of the counter 330 and ultimate determination of the completion of printing of a predetermined number of checks for a group, so that when the apparatus stops, a preceding check is fully printed and the next succeeding check is completely unprinted, thereby eliminating wastage of checks when changing from the indicia of one group to that of another. Accordingly each time the actuating shaft 78 of the impression device 86b rotates, the microswitch 340 is momentarily closed by the cam 344 to actuate the counter stepping device 336 to advance the counter one unit t0- wards its terminal position. When this position is reached and the predetermined number `of checks has been printed, the mechanism 350 is effective to again move the blade of the switch 348 to its lower position in circuit with the lead 374 whereupon the solenoid 362 is de-energized and the clutch 58 disengages the motor 50 from the drive shaft 66, thereby stopping the printing operation of the apparatus.

While the apparatus was in printing operation, and commencing with the completion of rotation of the chase carriers, the operator changed the type slugs 102a and 102b disposed in the accessible position in each chase carrier by rst opening the safety switch 375 land then opening the toggle clamps 238:1 and 238b of each chase carrier, and either initially inserting appropriate type slugs for the next group of checks to be printed if the printing of a first group of checks has just been commenced, or by removing the type slugs from which printing has just been completed and inserting a new set of type slugs in each chase carrier if one or more groups of checks has previously been printed. Upon completion of the initial insertion or change-over of type slugs, as the case may be, the operator closes the toggle clamps and then closes the safety switch 375. Inadvertent or accidental energization of solenoids 276a and 276b through malfunction of the counter 330 is prevented since the safety switch 367 is open as long as the clutch solenoid 362 remains energized. When the current printing is completed, and if the operator has completed the change-over of type slugs and has closed the switch 375, the clutch solenoid 362 closes the switch 367 to complete a circuit through the counter switch 348 and the solenoids 276s and 276b to cause the chase carriers to be freed for rotation and commence another cycle of machine operation. This is fully automatic operation. If the operator leaves the switch 375 open after completion of the type slug change-over, the apparauts is then semi-automatic, requiring a manual restart by momentarily closing switch 375 until the chase carriers have rotated to a new printing position.

Additional features and modifications The apparatus is provided with means for varying the timed relationship of the sequential operation lof the impression devices by adjusting the relative angular positions of the cam portions 82 and 84 without altering the rate of operation of the shaft 66 and hence the speed of the strip feeding mechanism, so that the spacing between the alphabetic and numeric lines of print on a check of a given size may be altered in order to vary the format of the check. This is accomplished as best seen in FIG. 2, by means of collars 390 and 392 which are releasa-bly secured to the shafts 76 and 78, the collars 390 Iand 392 being fixed to the pulleys 72 and 74 respectively, with the latter being otherwise unconnected to the shafts 76 and 78. By loosening either the collar 390 or 392 or both, the shaft 76 or 78 or both may be independently rotated as by the handle wheels 394 and 396 fixed on the shafts 76 and 78 respectively. Thus any desired `angular relationship of the cam portions 82 and 84 may be set, after which the collars 390 or 392 are again secured to their respective shafts to re-establish a driving connection to the pulleys 72 or 74 or both as the case may be. It is apparent that any alteration in the angular relationship lof the cam portions 82 and 84 will alter the timed relationship of the lactuation of the impression devices 86a and 861) .and thereby the spacing between the alphabetic and numeric lines of print, assuming of course that the strip 38 continues to advance at a constant rate of speed.

Provision is also made for changing the spacing between the alphabetic and numeric lines of print in proportion to a corresponding change in the size of the individual checks measured along the longitudinal axis of the strip of checks. This is accomplished by changing the linear speed of the strip as it advances through the printing apparatus without changing the rate of rotation of the shaft 66 or actuating cam portions 82 and 84 of the impression devices 86a and 86h. As best seen in FIG. 2, the main drive shaft 66 is provided with a removably end fitting 398 such as a small ywheel or the like which holds the drive pulleys 114 and 116 on the shaft 66. These pulleys are removably mounted on the shaft 66 and are drivingly connected to the shaft by any suitable means such as a slot and key arrangement. By removing the iitting 398,

pulleys 114 and 116 of .a given diameter may be removed and other pulleys of a different diameter substituted therefor, with appropriate adjustment of the adjustable idler pulleys and 139A being made to keep the belts 118 and 138 taut. It is therefore apparent that if drive pulleys 114 and 116 `are removed and other pulleys of twice the diameter are substituted therefor, the paper strip 38 will be driven by the pin tractors at twice the linear rate of speed without eifecting the rate of actuation of the impression devices 86a and 86b. If the pulleys 114 and 116, therefore, are effective to properly space the alphabetic and numeric lines of print on a conventional three inch high check, the foregoing substitution of drive pulleys would produce a check having the same lines of print positioned in the same relative locations on a document six inches in height. It should be understood that other mechanical speed change arrangements may be used in lieu of the removable pulleys illustrated and described.

In some situations it may be desirable to print checks or other commercial documents with personalized indicia requiring only one line of print, such as a customers name with no identification numbers, or the latter with no alphabetic identification. In this case, it is necessary to utilize only one of the printing devices 42a or 42b, .and in the embodiment of the invention illustrated, the printing device 42b would be utilized since only the impression dcvice 861) has been provided with the timer actuating switch 340 as illustrated in FIG. 9 to step the time in accordance with the number of items printed. The impression device 86a can be rendered inoperative by loosening the collar 390 so that the pulley 72 is inoperative to drive the shaft 76 of the impression device 86a. The carbon strip 4711 will be either of conventional ink or magnetic ink as necessary. The operation of the apparatus in this manner is identical with that described above with the exception that the printing device 42a is inoperative, at least during the printing part of the cycle.

It is apparent from the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings that there has been provided a multiple item printing apparatus which achieves the foregoing objects, and attains a degree of versatility not heretofore possible by incorporating through novel structure and arrangement of parts the advantages and desirable features of previously known printing apparatus. The present apparatus is adaptable to print individual indicia on checks and like commercial documents with either one or more lines of alphabetic indicia alone in conventional ink, or one or 4more lines (generally only one is required) of numeric indicia alone in magnetic ink recognition character ink, or both. The length of a line of indicia, that is the number of individual characters in the line, is limited only by the basic size of the chases in the chase carrier, and these may be made longer than illustrated in the drawings should the need for longer lines of print arise. Also, the chases may be enlarged to accommodate four or five slugs at the same time, with appropriate modification of the impression devices, so that more than one name with an address may be printed on separate lines if desired.

It should be understood that the chase carriers may be mounted on their supporting shafts in any desired position laterally of the printing strip in order to dispose the chases out of alignment with each other rather than in alignment as illustrated in FIG. 2. This would facilitate offsetting the lines -of indicia printed by one of the printing devices from those of the other printing device more than the amount permitted by merely shifting the location of type slugs within the limits of the chases as is contemplated by the embodiment of the apparatus disclosed.

FIG. 11 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a chase carrier having a mechanical locking feature which prevents rotation of the chase carrier if the toggle clamp for locking the type slugs in the chase is not fully closed. Specitically, a support 400 suitably secured to the block 214 pivotally carries a rocking lever 402 which is pivotally connected at one end 404 to a bar 406 slidably received in a bore 408 .and urged outwardly thereof by a compression spring 410. The lever 402 is pivotally connected at its other end 412 to a pin 414 which is slidably carried in another bore 416 and which mates with a bore 41S formed in the shaft 216 when the chase carrier is in its fixed printing position. The outer end of the bar 406 is positioned to be engaged by the bottom of the toggle operating lever 248 to depress the bar 406 `and withdraw the pin 414 from the bore 416 when the toggle clamp is fully closed. Unless and until the operator fully closes the toggle clamp, the pin 414, being in the bore 416, prevents rotation of the chase carrier on the shaft 216 even if the solenoids 276a and 2761) are energized. Thus there is no possibility that a chase carrier can rotate to bring improperly locked type slugs to the printing position, an occurrence which could result in serious damage to the apparatus.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the form of apparatus herein described and illustrated, which is deemed to be primarily illustrative of the principles of the invention and which is susceptible to modication of form, size, detail and arrangement of parts, but rather is intended to cover all such modifications and equivalents as may be deemed to be within the scope of the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with individual indicia of a different kind for each group and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items being joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus comprising means for feeding a strip past a printing station, a chase carrier disposed at said printing station, a plural-ity of stationary peripherally disposed chases on said chase carrier for removably holding interchangeable printing elements, means for rotatably supporting and holding said chase carrier to transfer said chases alternately between a printing position in which said printing elements are immovably held for printing and a non-printing position in which a chase is accessible to an operator for manual removal of the printing elements therefrom, reciprocable :impression means at said printing station for causing momentary printing contact between said strip and said stationary printing elements disposed at said prin-ting position to cause successive printing on a predetermined number of items of one group with indicia individual to said one group, and means for synchronizing the speed of operation of said impression means with said feeding means to cause the printing of said indicia individual to said one group to be in predetermined relation with said common indicia as said items are `successively fed past said printing station by said feeding means 2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are means for rotating said chase carrier to dispose different printing elements at said printing station, said means including means for interrupting the operation of said impression means and said feeding means while said chase is being rotated.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for synchronizing the speed of operation of said impression means includes means for adjusting the speed of operation of said impression means independently of the speed of operation of said feeding means so as to print said individual indicia in predetermined relation with the common indicia on items of different physical size in the direction of feeding of the strip.

4. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with individual indicia of a different kind for each group and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items being joined to form a. continuous strip, said apparatus comprising (A) means for feeding a strip past a printing station,

(B) a printing device disposed at said printing station and having means for holding a plurality of spaced apart printing elements,

(C) means movably `supporting said printing device in position to alternately dispose a printing element -in a printing position and another printing element in a non-printing position where it is accessible to an operator,

(D) means for causing successive printing contact between Said `strip and the printing element disposed at said printing position to thereby perform successive printing operations on said strip in synchronism with the arrival at said printing station of successive items on said strip, and

(E) control means operable upon completion of a predetermined number of said successive printing operaj tions for sequentially interrupting operation 'of said feeding means and said printing Contact means, Amov` ing said printing device to dispose a different printing element in said printing position, and resuming operation of said feeding means and said printing contact means upon completion of movement of said printing device to cause printing of another predetermined number of items on said strip.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said control means comprises settable means for predetermining a variable number of said successive printing operations, and means responsive to movement of said printing device for resetting said settable means to cause the same nurnber of successive printing operations to Vtake place as different printing elements are successively moved to said printing position.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said control means comprises settable means for predetermining a variable number of said successive printing operations, first means responsive to operation of said settable means when said predetermined number of said successive printing operations has taken place for interrupting operation of said feeding means and said printing contact means, second means responsive to operation of said settable means when said predetermined number of said successive printing operations has taken place for moving said printing device to move another of said printing elements to said printing station, and means responsive to said movement of said printing device for resetting said settable means whereupon said first means is rendered operable to resume operation of said feeding means and said printing contact means.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim `6 wherein said control means includes means interconnecting said printing contact means and said settable means for causing the latter to actuate said rst means in response to a predetermined number of successive printing operations of said printing contact means.

8. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with individual indicia of a different kind for each group and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items vbeing joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus comprislng (A) means for feeding a strip past a printing station,

(B) a chase carrier disposed at said printing station,

(C) a plurality of peripherally disposed chases on said chase carrier for removably holding interchangeable printing elements,

(D) means for rotatably supporting an-d holding said chase carrier to transfer said chases alternately between a printing position and a non-printing position in which a chase is accessible to an operator for manual removal of the printing elements therefrom,

(E) impression means at said printing station 'for causing momentary printing contact between said strip and the .printing elements disposed at said printing POSQIL i() thereby perform successive printing operations on said strip in synchronism with the arrivalat said printing station of successive items on said strip, and

(F) control means operable upon completion of a predetermined number of said successive printing operations for sequentially interrupting operation of said feeding means and said impression means, rotating said chase carrier to dispose different printing elements in said printing position, and resuming operation of said feeding means and said impression means upon completion of rotation of said chase carrier to cause printing of another predetermined number of items on said strip.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said control means comprises means -for rotating said chase carrier, power means for causing operation of said feeding means and said impression means to cause printing consecutively, from the printing `elements held by one chase in said printing position, of a predetermined number of items of one 'group with indicia individual to said one group in predetermined 4relation with said common indicia, means operable upon inactivation of said power means for actuating said chase carrier rotating means, whereby one chase is moved away from the printing position toward the accessible non-printing position, and another chase is moved to the printing position, and settable means for predetermining the number of items of said one group to be printed, said settable means having means responsive to operation of said impression means for inactivating said power means after a predetermined number of items lof one group has been printed from the printing elements held by said one chase and Ifor thereafter causing operation of said means for actuating said chase carrier rotating means.

10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said settable means further includes means responsive to rotation of said chase carrier for resetting said settable means and for reactivating said power means to cause printing, from the printing elements held by said other chase, of a predetermined number of items of another [group with indicia individual to another group.

11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 in which the settable means is manually adjustable to determine the number of items to be printed.

12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said means for actuating said chase carrier rotating means includes releasable locking means `for preventing rotation of said chase carrier while said power means is activated, means responsive to activation of said power means for preventin-g release of said locking means while said power means is activated, and means for releasing said locking means only when said power means is inactivated by said settable means whereby said chase carrier is freed for rotation by said rotating means only when said predetermined number of items has been printed.

13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said chase carrier rotating means comprises a continuously energized source of rotative force applied to said chase carrier, and said means for actuating said chase carrier rotating means comprises an element secured to said chase carrier for rotation therewith and having stop means for each chase, a movable locking member connected to said supporting means and normally urged into engagement with one of said stop means to lock said chase carrier to said supporting means, means for momentarily moving said locking member out of engagement with said one stop means to-permit said chase ycarrier to rotate in response to said rotative force to change the positions of said chases, said last named means being effective to permit said locking member to be -urge'd into engagement with said element as the latter rotates with said chase carrier whereby said locking member moves into engagement with another of said stop means after said chase carrier has rotated to move another of said chases to said printing position, and means responsive to activation of said power means for preventing operation of said locking member moving means while said power means 1s activated whereby said chase carrier is freed for rotation by said force only when said predetermined number of items has been printed.

14. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 ifurther including selectively manually operable means for disabling said settable means from causing operation of said means for actuating said chase carrier whereby, when said power means is inactivated by said settable means upon completion of printing of said predetermined number of items, said chase carrier may be prevented from rotating in the event that the removal and replacement of printing elements has not been complete-d when said power means is inactivated by said settable means.

15. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 further including means interconnected between said chase carrier and said power means lfor delaying the activation of said power means until said chase carrier has completed a chase transfer movement.

16. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with individual indicia of a different kind for each group and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items -being joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus icomprising (A) means for feeding a strip past a printing station,

(B) a printing device disposed at said printing station and having means for holding a plurality of spaced apart printing elements,

(C) a shaft rotatably uspporting and holding said printing device,

(D) means for rotating said printing device to alternately dispose a printing element in a printing position and another printing element in a non-printing position where it is accessible to an operator,

(E) means for causing successive printing contact between said strip and the printing element disposed at said printing position to thereby perform successive printing operations on said strip in synchronism with the arrival at said printing station of successve items on said strip,

('F) means for releasably locking said printing device to said shaft with one of said printing elements in said printing position, and

(G) means rotatably supporting said shaft, said means including adjustable locking means connected to said shaft for locking the shaft in different -angular positions while said printing device is lock/ed to said shaft whereby said printing device may be angularly adjusted to dispose the type face of a printing element held in said printing position in precise parallel planar juxtaposed relationship with said strip.

17. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items, each having indicia common to all the groups, with individual indicia of a different kind for each group and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items being joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus comprising (A) means for feeding a strip past a printing station,

(B) a chase carrier disposed at said printing station,

(C) a plurality of peripherally disposed chases on said chase carrier for holding printing elements,

(D) a shaft rotatably supporting and holding said chase carrier,

(E) means for rotating said chase carrier to alternately dispose a printing element in a printing position and -another printing element in a non-printing position where it is accessible to an operator,

(F) means for causing successive printing contact between said strip and the printing element disposed at said printing position to thereby perform successive printing operations on said strip in synchronism with the arrival at said printing station of successive items on said strip, and

(G) means for releasably locking said chase carrier to said shaft with one of said printing elements in said printing position, said locking means comprising an element secured to said chase carrier for rotation therewith and having stop means for each chase, a movable zlocking member ixedly mounted on said shaft and normally urged into engagement with one of said stop means to lock said chase carrier to said Shaft, and nmeans for moving said locking member out of engagement with said one stop means to free said chase carrier for rotation on said shaft to change the position of said chases, said last named means being effective to permit said locking member to be urged into engagement with said element as the latter rotates with said chase carrier whereby said locking member moves into engagement with another of said stop means after said chase carrier has rotated to move another of said chases to said printing position.

18. Apparatus as set forth in claim v17 further in- :luding means for rotating said chase carrier, said means :omprising a continuously energized source of rotative force applied to said chase carrier whereby the latter rotates when freed therefor upon movement of said locking member out of engagement with one of said stop means.

19. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items each having indicia common to all the groups with individual indicia of a different kind for each group in two spaced apart locations on each item and predetermined quantities for each group, said items being joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus comprising means for continuously feeding said strip past two spaced apart printing stations, two spaced apart chase carriers, a plurality of peripherally disposed chases on each chase carrier for removably holding interchangeable printing elements, means rotatably supporting said chase carriers to transfer the 'chases of each chase carrier alternately between said printing positions and nonprinting positions in which a chase of each chase carrier is accessible to an operator for manual removal of the printing elements therefrom, means for rotating said chase carriers, individual impression means for each chase carrier for causing momentary printing contact between said strip and said printing elements held in said printing positions, means for locking said printing elements in the chases of each chase carrier, said means including means for releasing said printing elements when said chases of each chase carrier are in said accessible position to permit the printing elements to be removed from the accessible chases of each chase carrier and other printing elements to be replaced therein while printing from printing elements held in another chase of each chase carrier which is in said printing position is being performed, power means for causing operation of said feeding means and both said impression means to cause printing consecutively, from the printing elements held by one chase of each chase carrier in said printing positions, of a predetermined number of items of one group with indicia individual to said one group in predetermined relation with said common indicia and in predetermined spaced apart locations on each item, means operable upon inactivation of said power means for actuating said chase carrier rotating means, whereby said one chase of each chase carrier is moved away from the printing position toward the accessible position, and another chase is moved to the printing position, and settable means for predetermining the number of items of said one group to be printed, said settable means having means responsive to operation of said impression means for inactivating said power means after said predetermined number of items of said one group has been printed from the printing elements held by said one chase of each chase carrier, and having means responsive to rotation of one of said chase carriers for resetting said settable means and for reactivating said power means to cause printing, from the printing elements held by said other chase of each chase carrier, of a predetermined number of items of another group with indicia individual to said another group.

20. Apparatus as set forth in claim 19 further including means for varying the speed of operation of said strip feeding means independently of said power means whereby the predetermined spaced relationship of the individual indicia printed by the printing elements of each chase carrier on each item may be varied in proportion to a change in the physical size of the items of said strip.

21. Apparatus as set forth in claim 19 further including means interconnected between both said chase carriers and said power means for delaying the activation of said power means until each of said chase carriers has cornpleted a chase transfer movement whereby the feeding of said strip and operation of said impression means are prevented until said chase carriers are properly positioned and locked with one of the chases of each chase carrier in the respective printing positions.

22. Apparatus as set forth in claim 19 wherein said power means includes individual means for actuating each of said impression means sequentially in timed relationship as said strip is continuously advanced past said printing positions at a constant rate of speed, whereby the individual indicia printed by the printing elements of each chase carrier is printed seriatim on each of the items, and the locations thereof on each item are thereby closer together than the spacing beween the chase carriers.

23. Apparatus as set forth in claim 22 wherein the means of said settable means for inactivating the power means is responsive to operation of the latter of the sequentially operated impression devices, whereby when said power means is inactivated upon completion of printing of said predetermined number of items, a preceding item on said strip is printed with the individual indicia of the printing elements of each chase carrier and the next succeeding item on said strip is unprinted.

24. Apparatus as set forth in claim 22 further including means for varying the timed relationship of the sequential operation of said actuating mans for each impression device independently of said power means whereby the predetermined spaced relationship of the individual indicia printed by the printing elements of each chase carrier on each item may be varied to vary the format of said items.

25. A printing device for use with a printing apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items with individual indicia ofa different kind for each group, said device comprising a body member, means for rotatably mounting said body member on a portion of the printing apparatus, said body member having a plurality of peripherally disposed outwardly facing recesses formed therein for receiving printing elements, a plurality of clamping bars movably received in each recess for releasably clamping printing elements therein, stop means fxedly secured to said body member adjacent each recess for movably supporting said clamping bars and for limiting the movement thereof toward -a releasing position, and individually releasable locking means mounted on said body member adjacent each recess and coopcrable with the adjacent clamping means for moving said clamping means to a clamping position and for releasably locking said clamping means in said clamping position to permit printing elements held in one lof said recesses to be removed and others substituted therefor independently of, and without any effect upon, printing elements held in another of said recesses, said locking means comprising a plurality of snap acting toggle clamps, one for each clam-ping bar, each toggle clamp having a locking lever, the locking lever of each toggle clamp being operable on an individual clamping bar, and all of the toggle clamps for each recess being connected together by a common operating handle whereby all of the clamping bars for each recess are movable simultaneously by a single manipulation of said handle.

26. Apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items each having indicia common to all the groups with individual indicia of a different kind for each group in two spaced apart locations on each item and in predetermined quantities for each group, said items being -joined to form a continuous strip, said apparatus comprising (A) means for continuously feeding a strip past two spaced apart printing stations,

(B) a printing device disposed at each of said printing stations, each printing device having means for holding a plurality of spaced apart printing elements,

(C) individual means movably supporting each printing device in position to alternately dispose a printing element held by each printing device in a printing position and another printing element in a non-printing position where it is accessible to an operator,

(D) means for causing successive printing contact between said strip and the printing elements disposed at the printing position of each of said printing stations to thereby perform successive plural printing operations on said strip in synchronism with the arrival at said printing stations of suc-cessive items on said strip, and

(E) control means operable upon completion of a predetermined number of said successive plural printing operations for sequentially interrupting operation of said feeding means and said printing contact means, simultaneously moving said printing devices to dis- .pose different printing elements in each of said printing positions, and resuming operation of said feeding means and said printing contact means upon completio-n of movement of both said printing devices to cause printing of another predetermined number of items on said strip.

27. Apparatus as set forth in claim 26 wherein said printing contact means includes individual impression means for each printing device for causing momentary printing contact between said strip and the printing elements held in said printing positions, and means for actuating sach of said impression means sequentially in timed relationship as said strip is advanced past said printing position at a constant rate of speed, whereby the individual indicia printed by the printing elements of each printing device is printed seriatim on each of the items, and the locations thereof on each item are closer together than the spacing between the printing elements in said printing positions.

28. Apparaus as set forth in claim 27 wherein said control means includes means responsive to a predetermined number of actuations of the latter of said impression means in the direction of feed of said strip whereby when said control means is rendered operable to interrupt operation of said feeding means and said impression means, a preceding item on said strip is printed with indicia of the printing elements at both printing positions and the next succeeding item on said strip is unprinted.

29. Apparatus as set forth in claim. 27 wherein said feeding means includes means for varying the speed of operation of said feeding means independently of the timed relationship of the actuation of said individual impression means by said actuating means whereby the spaced apart locations of the indicia printed by the printing elements held in said printing positions may be varied in proportion to a change in the physical size of the items on said strip.

30. Apparatus as set forth in claim 27 wherein said means for actuating each of said impression means sequentially in timed relationship includes means for varying the timed relationship of said sequential actuation independently of the speed of operation of said feeding means whereby the spaced apart location of the indicia printed by the printing elements held in said printing positions may be varied to vary the format of said items.

31, A printing device for use with a printing apparatus for printing a plurality of groups of items with individual indicia of a different kind for each group, said device comprising a body member, means for rotatably mounting said body member on a portion of the printing apparatus, said body member having a plurality of peripherally disposed outwardly facing recesses formed therein for receiving printing elements, clam-ping means movably received in each recess for releasably clamping printing elements therein, stop means ixedly secured -to said body member adjacent each recess for movably supporting said clamping means and for limiting the movement there- 4of toward a releasing position, individual releasable locking means mounted on said body memberv adjacent each recess and cooperable with the adjacent clamping means for moving said clamping means to a clamping position and for releasably locking -said clamping means in said clamping position to permit printing elements held in one of said recesses to be 4removed and others substituted therefor independently of, and without any eifect upon, printing elements held in another of said recesses, and additional releasable locking means mounted on said body member and engageable with a portion of said means for rotatably supporting the body member, said additional locking means including an element normally biased into locking engagement with said portion of said supporting means, and means disposed in the path of movement of the locking means for the printing element clamping means for engagement with the latter during the final movement of the latter for withdrawing said element from engagement with said portion of said supporting means whereby said body member is locked against rotation on said supporting means unless the locking means for the printing element clamping means is in locked position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 923,085 5/1909 Smith lOl-90 1,443,164 1/1923 Bracken lOl-90 2,406,726 8/ 1946 Weimont 101-322 2,425,167 8/1947 Whitehead lOl-221 2,475,804 7/1949 Rouan et al. 101-227 2,551,633 5/1951 Preis 101-91 2,890,650 6/1959 Bone et al. 101-19 3,020,116 2/1962 Pudelko 101-90 WILLIAM B. PENN, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3450041 *May 1, 1967Jun 17, 1969Gentry Bryan RCheck writing and encoding apparatus and method
US4197797 *Oct 21, 1977Apr 15, 1980Burroughs CorporationModular high speed printing system
US4328749 *Oct 22, 1979May 11, 1982Toray Industries, Inc.Information recording method and apparatus, and a half-product obtained thereby
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/90, 101/58, 101/322
International ClassificationB41F17/00, B41F17/02
Cooperative ClassificationB41F17/02
European ClassificationB41F17/02