US 3401630 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept 17, 1968 A. s. GOODRICH, JR., ET AL 3,401,630
RECORD MATERIAL FEEDING MEANS 3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed NOV. 12, 1964 INVENTORS ALBERT s. eooomcngm.
VLADMIR IeNATny Sept 17, 1968 A. s. GooDR|cH, JR., ET A1. 3,401,630
RECORD MATERIAL FEEDING MEANS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 12, 1964 INVENTORS ALBERI- s` GooDmcH JR,
Pnffoww Sept. 17, 1968 3,401,630
A. s. GooDRlcH, JR., ET AL RECORD MATERIAL FEEDING MEANS Filed Nov. l2, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 PrrTmde-y United States Patent O 3,401,630 RECORD MATERIAL FEEDING MEANS Albert S. Goodrich, Jr., Newtown, and Vladimir Ignatjev,
Norwalk, Conn., assignors to Pitney-Bowes, Inc., Stamford, Conn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 410,559. 7 Claims. (Cl. IUI-228) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for feeding a strip of record material to a work station from a remote magazine wherein a guide track containing the strip of record material is fed from the magazine to the work station and the strip of material is advanced through the guide track. The magazine consists of two concentric cylindrical shells having apertures in the periphery thereof and the guide track is stored in the magazine between the concentric shells `and the supply of record material is stored inside the inner shell so that the strip of material extends through the aperture of the inner shell and through the guide track to the work station.
The present invention pertains to mechanism for controlling the feeding and guiding of strip web material. More particularly, it relates to feeding and guiding tape such as is used .as the record medium in imprinting machines.
In accordance with the features of the present invention, there is provided an elongated flexible track along which the tape is fed and which serves to constrain and guide the tape to move in the desired direction. When not in use, the flexible track can be retracted within a protective housing, which also serves as a container or magazine for a supply of the tape. For use, the track is extended from the housing to a station where the tape is to be Iacted upon as by being imprinted or otherwise. The imprinting operation lcan be performed on a `portion of the tape projecting beyond the leading end of the track, or on the tape in the track, the track being open-sided whereby the tape is exposed. The tape is fed yalong the track by a feed element, such as friction roller, bearing against the tape in the track and serving to push it along the track. After the imprinted portion of the tape has been cut or torn off beyond the tracks leading end, the tape can be fed backwardly lalong the track by operating the feed roller in the reverse direction. When not in use, the track and the tape carried therein are once again selectively returned to the protective housing.
In business machines which imprint or otherwise apply indicia to limp tape, it is often required that the tape be fed in opposite directions to and from a work station. Feeding such tape by pulling it from a point at or downstream of the station is customary, whereas feeding by pushing any significant length of the tape at an upstream point is difficult because of the limpness of the tape. Furthermore, it is often desired that when tape is not being used, all portions of its feeding mechanism be away from the printing station to allow another type of record medium, for example individual pieces or sheets, to be brought to the printing station for imprinting.
Heretofore, tape `feeding mechanisms which meet these requirements have been relatively complicated.
The present invention, however, provides a novel and considerably simplified approach. As indicated above, a flexible track is provided for guiding the tape to and from the printing station. Since the tape is closely confined by the track, the limp tape can be fed in either direction by applying an appropriately directed feeding force thereto at a point well upstream of the tapes free end. Being flexible, the track can be moved easily from a storage ICC area to and from the work station. If the printing means is of the rotary type, the track can be moved to place its free end closely adjacent the printing rollers and the tape fed beyond the track for imprinting. If the printing means is of the reciprocatory type, the track can be moved to lie directly on the platen, and the printing operation performed directly on the tape lying in the track, either the printing head or the platen being movable to effect imprinting.
It is therefore a major `object of the invention to provide a novel means for controlling the feeding of strip material such as tape.
It is a further object to provide a strip feeding means in which the strip is fed by pushing rather than pulling it.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a strip feeding -mechanism in which the strip can easily be advanced to and retracted from a desired area of use by a single feeding element.
Another object is the provision of strip feeding mechanism which can be placed at and removed from a work station, as desired.
Another object is the provision of a selectively positionable flexible track for guiding the feeding movement of strip material.
A further object is the provision of such a flexible track which can be advanced from and retracted into a protective housing structure.
The above and other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view partially in section of a rotary imprinting machine in which the tape feeding 4mechanism of the invention can be incorporated, the track being retracted into its housing which is in lowered, ineffective position.
FIG. 2 is a similar view but with the housing raised and the track advanced from the housing to the printing station.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged front elevational view, partially in section, of the housing.
FIG. 4 is .an enlarged cross-section of the track, taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of a portion of the track.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of the track taken on line 6 6 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary left side elevational view, partially in section, of the housing and the drive train for the feed roller.
FIG. 8 is a section taken on line 8 8 of FIG. 2 showing the detent for the inner shell.
FIG. 9 is front elevational view similar to FIG. 2, showing a modified form of printing machine, namely a reciprocatory printer, in `which the invention can be incorporated.
FIG. l0 is a top plan view, partially in section, taken on line 10`10 of FIG. 9. y
FIG. 1l is a cross-sectional View similar to FIG. 4, of a modified form of track.
FIG. l2 is a cross-sectional view of a third form of track.
Referring now to the drawings, the reference numeral 1 designates generally a printing machine in which the present invention can be embodied. The machine includes a supporting deck 2 providing a guide surface leading to 'a printing station comprising a conventional rotary printing mechanism including a printing roller 3 having a printing die plate 4 affixed thereto, and a cooperable pressure roller 5 (FIGS. l, 2).
A roll 6 of the tape T which is to receive imprinting impressions from the printing mechanism is contained in a magazine in the form of a housing 7 which also serves to house the track 1.0 in which the tape is confined and guided for longitudinal feeding movement. The housing comprises two concentric, closely spaced, telescoped, cylindrical shells 11, 12. The outer shell 11 has a rearwardly extending tubular hub portion 13 (FIG. 7) in which is rotatably journalled the rearward end portion of a shaft 14 on which the inner shell 12 is secured. Thus, the inner shell can be rotated vrelative to the outer shell, for selective advancement and` retraction of the tape track as will be described shortly. The tape roll 6 includes the usual core 15 which is loosely supported on a sleeve 16 mounted on shaft 14. A nut 1,7 threaded on the right end of shaft 14 abuts a washer 20. The latter holds sleeve 16 in place and also retains the tape roll 6 in position.
The track 10 in which the tape is confined and guided for longitudinal feeding movement will now be described.
As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the track comprises an elongated base strip 21 along whose opposite sides extend narrow strip portions 22 separated from the base strip by narrower spacer strips 23. The tape T is held in the track by the portions of outer strips 22 which extend inwardly of spacers 23, and the tape is exposed between inner facing edges of strips 22. The base strip 21 'and the outer strip portions 22 are made of thin resilient, smoothsurfaced material such as blue tempered spring steel. The spacers 23 may be made of any suitable material, such as the aforementioned spring Steel, or any other suitable metal or plastic.
These three layers making up the track are secured together at spaced intervals by rivets 24 which pass lOOsely through the two upper layers 22, 23. To permit the track to have the desired transverse fexibility, the rivet holes in the spacer strips 23 and the outer strip portions 22 are elongated in the direction of the track length. This allows the three layers of the track to slide longitudinally relative to one another, whereby the track can readily be flexed transversely to its length and will not have the characteristics of a rigid beam. The track is of the cross-v section shown in FIG. 4 throughout its length. kIt is open at its respective opposite ends, whereby the tape can enter the track at one end thereof and leave at the other end.
The inner end of the track is disposed within the inner housing shell 12. From there, it extends through an opening 25 in the inner shell into the space between the two shells and along the outer surface of the inner shell, being fastened to the inner shell adjacent opening 25, as by rivets 26. The track passes outwardly of the housing through an opening 27 in outer shell 11, resiliently pressing against the end of a plate 30 (FIGS. 3, 10) which extends partially across opening 27. Plate 30 is adjustable angularly by virtue of its screw and slot connection 31,
32 with the outer shell. The tape T extends from roll 6 thereof through the inner end of the track and along the base strip 21, being held on the track by the inwardly extending narrow strip portions 22.
When the track is not in use, it is retracted into housing 7 by rotating inner shell 12 counterclockwise to the position shown in FIG. l. Most of the track length then lies between the inner and outer shells 11, 12. Since the track is resiliently fiexible, it can without difficulty assume the curved position shown in the narrow space between the two shells.
At this juncture, it should be noted that the entire housing is rockable between a lowered position (FIG. l) to a raised effective position (FIGS. 2, 9, l0) through an opening 33 in the work ldeck 2. A pivoted door 34 is biased downwardly by gravity or any suitable spring means to cover opening 33 flush with the adjacent portion of the work deck.
Two rearwardly extending lugs 35 at the bottom of housing 7 support it for rocking movement about a Shaft 36. A leaf spring 37 acting on the under side of the housing biases it upwardly. The housing is adapted to be blocked in ils lowered position by a horizontally movable control finger 40 whose under edge lies in the path of movement of hub 13 of the outer shell 11 when the control finger is to the right. To release the housing for upward movement to raised effective position, a knob 41 atachedto finger 40 is pulled toward the left (FIGS. 2, 9), releasingthe housing for upward movement under the urge of spring 37. To return the housing to its lowered ineffective position, control knob 41 is pushed in, whereby the forward sloping cam edge 42 of finger 40 will engage hub 13 and cam the housing down to retracted position below Work deck 2 where it is held by the lower horizontal edge of the finger.
After housing 7 has been partially raised to lift `door 34 partly open, inner shell 12 is rotated clockwise to advance track 10 from the housing. This rotational movement of the inner shell can be effected yby any suitable power or manual means. For example, a manually engageable finger piece 43 extending laterally from the inner shell can be provided for this purpose. v
As the inner shell is rotated, it will push track 10 secured to it out of the housing through opening 33. The track is directed 'by plate 30 to an elongated slot or throat defined between work deck 2 and a closely spaced overlying member 44.
In the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2 having rotary printing means, the track is advanced as described above to a point just short of the nip of the cooperating printing rollers 3, 5 (see FIG. 2). As the track is advanced from the later retracted back into the housing, there is no relative longitudinal movement between the tape and track. The tape has a substantial amount of slack between the inner end of the track and roll 6, and the small frictional forces between the track and tape are sufficient to carry the tape along with the track when the latter is moved.
The inner shell is releasably held in its clockwise (trackadvanced) and counterclockwise (track-retracted) positions by a pin `45 (FIG. 8) mounted on and urged inwardly by a spring 46 secured to outer shell 11 through an opening in the latter into one or the other of two appropriately positioned holes 47 in the side face of inner shell 12.
After the track has been advanced to the printing station, the tape therein is fed along the track to lie in the nip of the printing rollers. Then, when the latter are operated in a printing cycle, the tape will be imprinted and will also be driven =by the rollers toward the right to pass into a discharge chute 48. A rotary cut-off knife 50 will subsequently sever the imprinted portion of the tape, which protrudes through the upper end of the discharge chute whence can be removed.
The feeding of the tape relative to track 10 is effected by a resilient rubber or the like feed roller 51 secured on a shaft 52. Feed roller 51 is so positioned that when housing 7 is in raised effective position, the roller extends through an opening 53 in outer shell 11 and firmly presses against the tape in the underlying portion of track 10, the track itself being pressed by the roller against inner shell 12. Roller 51 will not contact the tape until housing 7 is fully raised. In this regard, it will be recalled from the previous description that the housing is only partially raised when inner shell 12 is rotated clockwise to project the track for use. This is so that when the track is advanced, the tape will be carried with it without roller 51 engaging and thus holding the tape back and thereby causing relative movement between the two.
The roller shaft 52 is driven counterclockwise to feed the tape forwardly relative to the track, and is driven in the reverse direction for return movement of the tape. After the tape has 'been fed along the track to lie between the cooperating printing rollers 3, 5 the latter are operated under control of any suitable mechanism to cause roller 3 carrying the printing die plate 4 to go through in the track. That is to say,
one full revolution, during which die plate 4 will print on the tape and also feed it to the right.
During the portion of the printing cycle when die plate 4 engages the tape, housing 7 is rocked a short distance clockwise to remove the tape from contact with feed roller 51 and thereby free the tape for longitudinal movement caused by the printing rollers, between which the tape is gripped during printing. This movement of the housing is effected by a cam 54 mounted for rotation with die roller 3. The cam includes a lobe 55 shaped so that just before die plate 4 contacts the tape, it Will rock a lever 56 pivoted intermediate its ends at 57 counterclockwise which, through a link connection 60 to the outer housing shell 11 will swing the entire housing 7 down a short distance away from feed roller 51. The housing will be held in this position by cam lobe 55 until the die plate has rotated past the tape, and therefore is no longer feeding the tape rightwardly. Housing 7 is now restored upwardly by spring 37 so that feed roller 51 is again in effective driving contact with the tape in the track.
After the imprinting operation, the feed roller 51 is once again operated in counterclockwise direction to feed the imprinted portion of the tape into the discharge chute 47, and the rotary cutter 50 is operated by rocking its shaft 61 counterclockwise to sever the imprinted tape. Thereafter, the feed roller is operated in the reverse (clockwise direction) to feed the tape backward to a point where its free end again lies in the nip of the printing rollers in position for a subsequent imprinting operation.
When the tape feeding mechanism is not being used, the housing can be partially lowered, the track 4retracted back into it, and the housing rocked clockwise fully down shaft 36 back to its lowered position of FIG. 1. In this movement it will be followed downwardly by door 34 until the latter lies ilush with the Work -deck 2.
The particular means used for driving the feed roller shaft 52 is not important to the present invention. This can be done either manually by rotating a hand wheel 62 secured to the shaft, or by any suitable drive train from the motor of the machine. A portion of such a drive train is shown in the drawings. It includes a rack 63 meshed with a small pinion 64 which is rigid with a larger pinion gear 65. The latter drives a pinion 66 rigidly mounted on the feed roller shaft 52. By any suitable arrangement, rack 63 can be driven appropriate amounts and in the appropriate direction to cause the desired rotation of the feed roller.
Substantially the same tape feeding mechanism is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 embodied in a machine having a reciprocatory rather than a rotary printing mechanism. Here, printing is effected by 'a vertically reciprocatory printing head 67, carrying a printing die plate 68, and cooperable with a stationary platen 70. Alternatively, the platen could be moved vertically and the printing head stationary.
In the reciprocatory printing machine of FIGS. 9 and 10, when the track is fully advanced or projected from housing 7 for use, it overlies platen 70 and its free righthand end is closely adjacent to the cut-off knife 50. The printing operation is actually performed on the tape lying when the printing head 67 descends for the printing stroke it will carry die plate 68 into printing contact with the underlying tape disposed in track 10 which is resting on platen 70.
If the printing head is stationary and the platen the vertically movable element, when the platen rises in the printing stroke it will push up the track containing the tape to press the tape against die plate 68. Because of its resilient exibility, the portion of the track on deck 2 can readily be carried upwardly by the platen even though the -remainder of the track is held down by the housing.
In any event, after the tape in the track has been im printed, feed roller 51 is operated in counterclockwise direction to advance the tape into the discharge chute to be severed by the cut-off knife 50. The feed roller is then operated in the reverse direction to return the free end of the tape in the track leftwardly to lie just ahead of die plate 68 in position -for the next printing operation (FIG. 10).
As in the rotary printing machine of FIGS. 1 and 2, in the FIGS. 9-10 reciprocatory printer, when the track is not in use it can be retracted into the housing by rotating inner shell 12 counterclockwise and the housing lowered beneath work deck 2. It will be understood that in the reciprocatory printing machine of FIGS. 9-10, the cam S4 and associated lever 56 and link 601are omitted, since the feeding of the tape is solely under the control of the feed roller S1.
'Ilhe feature whereby the housing when not in use is lowered beneath work deck 2 and the opening 33 in the latter covered ush by door 34, is particular-1y useful if it is desired to use the machine for imprinting individual workpieces as well yas tape. The work deck then presents a substantially continuous flat surface along which the individual workpieces can be moved to either the rotary or reciprocatory printing mechanism, without any obstructions on which the individual documents might be caught or detiected. When individual workpieces are to be imprinted, the track can either be retracted into the housing or left in place in projected position. In the latter case, the individual workpieces are fed to the printing station over the track and, in fact, can even be imprinted while resting on the track in the reciprocatory type of printing machine. Door 34 can be omitted if necessary, if the track is to be left in projected position when individual workpieces are being fed.
FIG. 11 shows -a modified form of the track, which includes a strip or pad 71 of very low-friction material such as Teon (polytetrafluoroethylene) secured to the upper surface of base strip 21 and positioned to underlie feed roller 51 when track 10 is in its fully advanced position projected from housing 7. It has been found that when tapes having higher friction coeicients are used, the inclusion of pad 71 will facilitate the feeding of the tape along the track by roller 51.
If it should be diicult to feed tapes made of any particular material having a high coeicient of friction, another alternative which can be used is to coat the tapecontacting portions of the track with very smooth materi-al such as the aforementioned Tet-lon. For example, referring to the FIG. 4 form of track, the upper surface of base strip 21 could be so coated. The tape-contacting portions of strips 22 and 23 could also be so coated, if found necessary.
FIG. 12 shows another form of track. Here, the track comprises an integral molded or extruded plastic body 72 comprising a base portion 73 and overhanging lip portions 74. The material of which the body 72 is made can be any suitable synthetic resin having a low coefficient of friction e.g. polyethylene', polytetrafluoroethylene, etc. Since many such materials have a tendency to take on a permanent set when coiled, as they would be when retracted into housing 7, the track of FIG. 12 preferably includes a resilient spring steel insert strip 75 running the full length of the strip and around which the body 72 is formed. Thus, even though the plastic track body 72 may lose its transverse resiliency to some degree, the composite track will remain springy because of insert 75. This prevents the track from becoming limp and therefore diicult to control.
It will be seen from the foregoing description of various forms of the invention and environments in which it can be used, that it provides a novel and eicient approach to feeding record material such as paper strips or the like. When not in use, the track can be stored at a substantial distance from the work station where the tape strip is to be operated on. For use, the track can be advanced to the work station. The tape, which is confined in and guided for feeding movement by the track, can readily be fed in either direction along the track by suitable means,
such as feed roller 51, located a substantial distance ahead of the work station. Thus, as contracted with prior art tape feeding arrangements, the present invention provides substantial flexibility as to where the tape feeding mechanism can be located relative to the work station.
would be used as the tape feeding mechanism, and additional letter feed means provided, the latter being Well known in the art. n n
It will be apparent that the present inventlon and its various features can be applied in numerous embodiments and in many different types of machines, other than those described herein. It is therefore intended that the foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments of the invention be illustrative only and not in any way limitative of the following claims.
We claim: 1. In a record material feeding mechanism: a track for guiding the feeding movement of record materials; a housing for said track and for record material; said housing including an enclosed outer wall and an enclosed inner wall within said outer wall defining a space for the storage of said track between said walls and a space for record material within the inner wall; means for allowing said track to be retracted into and advanced from the space between said walls; said track being retractable into and advanceable from the space between said walls; control means for selectively advancing and retracting at least a portion of said track into and out of said housing; means for supporting a supply of record material within said inner wall; and means for allowing the passage of the record material into said track. 2. In a record material feeding mechanism: a track for guiding the feeding movement of record materials; a housing for said track and for record material; said housing comprising an enclosed outer wall and an enclosed inner wall within said outer wall defining a space for the storage of said track between said walls and a space for record material within the inner wall; one end of said track being attached to the inner wall and the other end extending through the outer wall; the inner wall being movable relative to the outer wall, whereby movement in one direction will cause said track to -advance from the housing and in another direction will cause said track to retract into the housing; and means for allowing the passage of record material into said track. 3. In a record material feeding mechanism: a track for guiding the feeding movement of record materials; a housing for said track and for record material; said housing comprising an outer wall and a concentric inner wall within said outer wall defining a space for the storage of said track between said walls and a space for record material within the inner wall; said track being attached to the inner wall and extending through the outer wall; the inner wall being movable relative to the outer wall such that relative movement thereof in one direction will cause said track to advance from the housing and in another direction will cause said track to retract into the housing;
and means for allowing the passage of record material into said track. n 4. Apparatus for intermittently feeding a strip of record material from a supply roll to a work station including a magazine positioned remote Yto the work station cniprising: a cylindrical outer shell having anV opening in the periphery thereof, y a cylindrical inner shell concentric Ywiththe outer shell and spaced therefromand having anopeninginthe peiipherythereof, f an elongated guide track between the inner shell and the outer shell and having vone end secured to the inner shell adjacent tothe opening therein and the outer end extending out 'the opening in the outer shell, A and means within the inner shellfto support aroll of strip material with a portion extended through the guide track, v the guide track being suiciently flexible ,to be coiled around the inner shell and suicintly rigid in a longitudinal direction to be advanced towards the work' station, without buckling, means to rotate the inner shell without rotating theouter shell to advance the guide track through the open-y ing in the outer shell towards the work station and to withdraw the guide track from the work station int the space betwen the inner and outer shells, and means to advance and retract strip material in the guide track. v
5. The ,apparatus of claim 4 wherein the guide track is formed of a iiat elongated base with spaced anges overlying the edge portions of the base whereby a strip of record material passing through the guide track is directed between the lianges and the base. y A
6. The apparatus of claim 4 further including guide means to direct the guide track to the work station as it is advanced from the magazine.
7. In a business machine of the type wherein a strip of record material is intermittently positioned at a work station to receive printed indicia or the like and a portion thereof is advanced from the work stationto be severed from the strip, apparatus to feed the record material to the work station and to position the record material at the work station including:
a cylindrical housing comprisingan inner and outer shell concentrically mounted with a space between the shells, and opening in each shell and means to support a supply roll of record material in the inner shell, the inner shell being rotatable and the outer shell being held ina fixed position,
a liexible guide track secured at one end to the inner shell adjacent to the opening therein and coiled around the inner shell in the space between the inner and outer shells with the free end extending out of the opening in the outer shell;
means to rotate the inner shell to advance andl retract tige guide track through the opening in the outer s ell;
guide means positioned to direct the free end of the track to a point adjacent to the work station, and
means to advance strip material in the guide track forward into and through the work station and'to retract the strip material into the guide track.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,565,419 12/1925 Cooke 10i-28s 2,973,707 3/1961 Crivelli 101488 XR ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.
J. R. FISHER, Assistant Examiner.