US 3400657 A
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Sept. 10, 1968 3,400,657
mcnmz FOR SELYECTIVELY APPLYING INDICIA TO A WORKPIECE Filed Jan. 18, 1967 J- K. FULKS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 P 0, 1968 J. K. FULKS 3,400,657
MACHINE FOR SELECTIVELY APPLYING INDICIA TO A WORKPIECE Filed Jan. 18, 1967 s Sheets-Sheet s 1N VENTOR.
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United States Patent 3,400,657 MACHINE FOR SELECTIVELY APPLYING INDICIA TO A WORKPIECE James K. Fulks, 18450 Scarsdale, Detroit, Mich. 48227 Filed Jan. 18, 1967, Ser. No. 610,155 4 Claims. (Cl. 10118) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A machine having a plurality of indicium applying elements, any one of which may controllably be indexed to a striking station where it is precisely positioned and struck for imprinting the indicium into a workpiece surface.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is often desired to mark in an indelible manner parts, assemblies and other manufactured articles with a series of indicia indicating, for example, the part or assembly number, dimensions, date of manufacture, origin, etc. Such indicia marking operations are often effected by means of individual indicia bearing punch-like markers, struck by a hammer blow, or by means of an electrical writing instrument that etches the surface of a workpiece.
An indicia applying machine according to the present invention has a cylinder of conducting material which is driven in rotation at one end by a motor for orienting an indicia carrying element relative to a station where a selected indicium is to be applied to a workpiece. At this point a locating device accurately positions the indicium and an anvil is moved down to carry the indicium against the workpiece after which a hammer strikes the anvil to cut the indicium into the workpiece face. Any number of indicia may be carried by the cylinder carrying element with each indicium being associated with a conducting brush disposed adjacent to the cylinder in contact therewith but in insulating relation to each other. A plurality of insulating plugs are carried by the cylinder wall, each one of which is disposed in alignment with each brush to control the amount of rotation of the cylinder for indexing for each indicium. By energizing the brush corresponding to letter A, for example, the cylinder turns until the insulating plug in line with that brush is contacted thereby, whereupon the motor stops and locates the indicium at the point at which it is to be applied.
By using push buttons, a typewriter keyboard, or the like, tape or other programming means, circuits to the brushes are set up to cause the indicia to move to the striking station seriatim and in an appropriate controllable order. Two fluid actuated cylinders are operated in sequence to first properly index and move the appropriate indicium against the workpiece and thereafter to strike the indicium, whereupon the striking member and indicium are retracted and the next brush corresponding to the next indicium to be applied is energized to repeat the cycle. In this manner any name, word or number may be applied to the workpiece with the indicium accurately located relative to the workpiece which is automatically advanced after each indicium is applied thereto.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, the main objects of the invention are: to controllably and automatically apply indicia to a workpiece which is indexed after each application; to provide an indicia indexing rotatable cylinder with insulating blocks which interrupt a circuit to a brush in alignment therewith to stop the rotation of the cylinder; to locate an indicium at a striking station where it is automatically applied to the workpiece; to move an element carrying an indicium into contact with the workpiece and strike the element thereafter to apply the image of the indicium to the workpiece, and in general to provide an automatic device for applying indicia to the face of the workpiece which is simple in construction, positive in operation and economical of manufacture.
Other objects and features of novelty of the invention will be specifically pointed out or will become apparent when referring, for a better understanding of the invention, to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a broken view with parts in section and parts in elevation of an indicium-applying machine cmbodying features of the present invention, with some elements shown schematically;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, taken on the line 33 thereof;
FIG. 4 is a broken sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, taken on the line 4-4 thereof;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, broken view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, after an indicium die member has been moved against a workpiece;
FIG. 6 is a view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 5, while the indicium die member is in the process of being struck with a hammer, and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, broken sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, taken on the line 7-7 thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As can be seen in the drawings and more particularly in FIG. 1 thereof, it will be noted that the machine of the present invention is supported by a plate 10 which is herein illustrated as being mounted on a vertical support. The plate 10 has an upright 11 adjustably supported thereon by keys 12 and screws or bolts 13. The upright supports a platform 14 for an electric motor 15, the assembly between the upright and the platform being reinforced by a pair of side plates 16 with the motor secured therebetween by screws 17. A cylindrical element 18 in the nature of a planetary gear housing is secured to the underside of the platform 14 by a plurality of screws 19. A hearing cap 21 is secured to the gear housing 18 by a plurality of screws 22. In a space 23 thus defined between the housing 18 and cap 21 are disposed three planet gears 24 on stub shafts 25, the gears having teeth which are in mesh with the teeth of a sun gear 26. The sun gear has a stub shaft 27 journaled in the cap 21 and-a driving end 30 journaled in the bottom of the housing 18. The motor has a drive shaft 28 having a coupling 29 secured thereto providing a pin and slot connection 31 with the driving end 30 of the sun gear. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a ring gear 32 has teeth engaged by the teeth of the planet gears 24 to be driven in rotation thereby. A ring gear extension 33 supports a needle bearing 34 in engagement with the housing 18 which is sealed thereto by an oil seal 35. An outwardly extending flange '36 is secured to a flange 37 of a cylinder 38 by a plurality of screws 39.
A two-piece plate 41 has a cylindrical channel recess 42 for receiving a ball bearing 43, the inner race of which rests upon a shoulder 44 of a cylindrical housing 48 and is locked thereagainst by a split spring ring 45. The plate 41 is secured by a key 46 and by screws 47 to the bottom portion of the plate 10. The cylindrical housing 48 extends within a recess 49 in the bottom of the cylinder 38 and is located therein by a dowel 51 and secured thereto by a plurality of screws 52. In this manner the plate 41 supports the cylinder 38 and ring gear 32 as well as the cylindrical housing 48.
An index plate 53 is secured to the outer face of the housing 48 by a plurality of screws 54. The index plate 53 has a plurality of rectangular slots 55 herein illustrated as being forty-five in number. Each of the walls 56 formed by the slots 55 extend outwardly to a circle 57 and a thinner portion 60 therebeyond to a circle 58. An upper band 59 having downwardly presenting notches and a lower band 61 having upwardly presenting notches receive the thinner extensions 60 of the walls 56. A notched band 63 is secured over the ends of the wall portions 60 which fall on a circle 58 to rest on a shoulder formed by a notch 64 in the outer ends of the wall portions.
The bands 59 and 61 form square recesses 62 with the inner walls of the slots 55 for receiving square elongated indicium die members 67 which are accurately positioned thereby. The indicium die members have a letter, number, or other configuration on the bottom end which is to be imprinted into the metal of a workpiece. Each of the indicium die members has a notch 68 on one inner wall engaged by a spring finger 69 which retains the indicia in retracted position. Forty-five of the spring fingers 69 extend outwardly from an annular supporting portion 71 made of spring material.
Bands 5961 and band 63 form with walls 60 a plurality of indexing pockets 70, each one of which corresponds to the position of each one of the indicium die members, for proper and accurate positioning of each indicium as will be hereinafter explained in detail.
A brush-supporting plate 72 has a plurality of brushes 73 therein being urged against the wall of the cylinder 38 which is made of conducting material such as aluminum, copper, brass, or the like. Insulating plugs 74 are supported in apertures in the wall of the cylinder 38 disposed in radial planes and aligned with one of the brushes 73. In the illustrated arrangement, forty-five of the plugs are disposed for alignment with forty-five brushes to correspond with the forty-five indicium die members 67 in the forty-five slots 55 in the index plate 53. Each of the brushes 73 is in series with the circuit to the motor 15 and when an appropriate brush 73 is energized, the motor operates to turn the planet gears, the ring gear and the cylinder 38. The cylinder rotates until the appropriate brush engages the plug 74 aligned radially therewith to interrupt the circuit to the motor and stop the rotation of the cylinder 38.
The appropriate brush is selected for energization in accordance with the indicium which is to be applied to the workpiece. If an A is to be applied, then the brush is energized which will move the A indicium die member to the striking station. The motor is consequently energized to rotate the cylinder until contact is broken by the plug 74 when engaging the A on the end brush at which time the indicium die member having the A thereon is located at the striking station at the position illustrated in FIG. 1.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a supporting element 76 is secured to the plate 10 by bolts 77. The element 76 in turn supports a structure 78 to which a pair of cylinders 79 and 81 are secured by a plurality of screws 82. The structure 78 also supports a guide 83 for a slide 84 which is joined by a connector 85 to a rod 86 capable of being reciprocated by a piston, not shown, within the cylinder 79. The slide 84 carries a finger 87 which extends downwardly between a pair of wall portions 60 into an indexing pocket 70 so that the tapered sides 88 of the finger accurately orient the index plate 53 and particularly a die member 67 relative to a workpiece 89. As best seen in FIGS. -6, a boss 91 on the slide 84 carries an anvil 92 which is movable in an aperture 93 thereof and limited in its movement by a head 94 and a split ring 95. As the slide 84 and boss 91 are moved downwardly by the cylinder 79, the indicium die member 67 is accurately located by the finger 87 engaging an indexing pocket 70 and the anvil engages the top of the indicium die member and moves the bottom end against the surface of the 4. workpiece where it will be held against the tension of the spring finger 69 as illustrated in FIG. 5. Thereafter the cylinder 81 is energized to have hammer head 96 moved down to strike the anvil with a predetermined force to set the letter, number or other indication on the end of the indicium die member 67 into the face of the Workpiece. Pressurized-fluid from a source, not shown, is supplied to cylinder 79 by way of valve 98 controlled, for example, by a solenoid energized when drum 38 and consequently index plate 53 mounted thereon has been rotated to the position presenting indicium A at the striking station, valve 98 being connected to cylinder 79 by line 99.
Pressurized fluid is also supplied to the input of regulator valves 100102, three in number in the present example of embodiment of the invention. Each regulator valve is adjusted to deliver at its outlet, when energized by means for example, of a solenoid, fluid at a predetermined pressure, via line 103, to cylinder 81, such that the piston thereof is reciprocated with a predetermined force for causing hammer head 96 to strike the anvil 92 with the appropriate force to properly imprint the indicium character at the end of indicium die member 67 into the surface of the workpiece 89. The fluid pressure required for striking an I or a l at the proper depth into the surface of a workpiece is substantially less than the pressure required for properly imprinting a W or an M which have a much larger strike area, while the pressure required for imprinting a C or a 2 is somewhat intermediary between such extreme pressures. It is obvious that any number of regulator valves may be used to control the operation of cylinder 81 as is found most appropriate, each one of which is controlled by the appropriate control or programming arrangement utilized in combination with the machine of the invention.
For applying a name, words, numbers or other indication on the surface of a workpiece, push-button actuated switches, a keyboard, typewriter, tape, punched card or other programming device can be utilized for energizing the brushes 73. Each indicium die member 67 is associated with a brush so that any element may be programmed into the arrangement of indicia at the striking station by merely energizing the associated brush. The circuits to the various brushes may be completed automatically through a tape or like preset device. The word AND for example, would have the brush for the letter A energized to rotate the index plate 53 until the indicium 67 having the A thereon is located at the striking station whereupon the cylinder 79 would be energized to move downwardly for carrying the finger 87 into pocket and anvil 92 downwardly therewith to accurately locate the die member 67 and to move it into contact with the surface of the workpiece. Thereupon the cylinder 81 would be energized by way of the appropriate regulator valve -102 to move the head 96 downwardly and strike the anvil 92 with a predetermined blow to set the letter A at a desired depth into the surface of the workpiece 89. Thereafter, the cylinders 79 and 81 are retracted and the spring 69 returns the die member 67 to its original position. Thereupon the workpiece 89 is longitudinally indexed for correct spacing of the indicium characters to be imprinted thereon, and the circuit to the brush 73 for the letter N is immediately energized to rotate the index plate 53 until the circuit is broken by the insulating plug 74 in line with the brush to advance the indicium 67 for the letter N to the striking station. The cylinder 79 then moves the finger 87 and anvil 92 downwardly to accurately locate die member 67 and to move its lower end against the face of the workpiece. Whereupon the cylinder 81 moves the striking head 88 downwardly to strike a blow on the anvil which sets the N to a predetermined depth into the surface of the workpiece 89. Thereupon the cylinders 79 and 81 are retracted and the spring 69 returns the die member 67 to its initial position. Thereupon the workpiece is indexed and the brush associated with the die member 67 having the letter D thereon is energized to rotate the index plate 53 until the circuit is broken and the D die member 67 advanced to the striking station. The cylinder 79 is then energized to move the finger 87 and anvil 92 downwardly and the cylinder 81 is thereafter energized to move the striking head 88 against the die member 67 to set the letter D to a predetermined depth in the surface of the 'WOl'kpiece 89. As pointed out hereinabove, this process can be performed by striking the indicia of a keyboard by employing tape or other programming means for energizing the brushes in a predetermined sequence which controls the operation of the motor to drive the cylinder 38 from which the cylinders 79 and 81 are operated in sequence through a simple circuit well known in the art.
Having thus described the invention by way of examples of typical embodiments, what is sought to be protected by U.S. Letters Patent is as defined in the appended claims.
1. A machine for selectively and consecutively applying indicia to a workpiece comprising a rotatable indexing plate for supporting a plurality of elements each having a ditferent indicium on an end thereof, each of said elements having another opposite end adapted to be struck and being supported by said indexing plate for axial movement therein, a motor for rotating said index plate to selectively locate an element having a desired indicium thereon at a striking station, an electric circuit for each indicium element having means for stopping the advancement of the index plate when the corresponding indicium element is at a striking station, and means for striking the element at the station to sink an imprint of the indicium thereon into the workpiece, wherein the index plate is supported by a cylinder of conducting material, a contact element for each indicium element is disposed in engagement with said cylinder and insulating plugs in the cylinder wall are radially aligned with each of the contact elements for breaking the motor circuit through the cylinder to locate an indicium element at the striking station.
2. The machine of claim 1, wherein means are provided for advancing the indicium element located at the striking station into engagement with the workpiece before being struck.
3. The machine of claim 2, wherein said advancing means carries means for accurately locating the indicium element at the striking station.
4. The machine of claim 3, wherein means are provided for regulating the force with which each indicium element is struck in function of the area of the indicium.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,042,210 10/1912 Ferris 101-3 2,142,009 12/1938 Siebert 197-1 X 2,242,505 5/1941 Bolst n 101-18 2,284,076 5/1942 Van Buren et al. 10118 2,418,213 4/1947 Winterkamp 1014 2,591,473 4/1952 Straty 101-4 2,596,721 5/1952 Pentecost et al. 10118 2,690,116 9/1954 Meyer 101-4 3,269,510 8/1966 Peters 197-53 WILLIAM B. PENN, Primary Examiner.