US 3404628 A
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`0t.8, 196s Y RGLLEE- l 3,404,628
' AUTOMATIC MARKING DEVICE 2 Shets-Shet 1 Filed my 11V, 41966 'ill-mm n? Jffl/ oct. s, 196s v R G *LEE y 3,404,628
AUTOMATIC MARKING'DEVICE' Filed July 11, 1966 2 ySheens-Sheet f United States Patent() 3,404,628 AUTOMATIC MARKING DEVICE Richard G. Lee, Weston, Mass., assignor to Alves Photo Service, Inc., Braintree, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed July 11, 1966, Ser. No. 564,308 6 Claims. (Cl. 101-291) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A pair of rotatably mounted spools supporting a coil of ribbon for movement from one to the other along a predetermined path, a reciprocable striker movable into engagement with the ribbon as it travels from one spool to the other to forcibly press the ribbon against an object to be marked, and a solenoid embodying la core rod movable in one direction simultaneously to rotate thespool upon which the coil is to be taken -up and retract the striker, and in the other direction to advance the striker to effect marking.
The principal objects are to provide a very small compact unit which may be mounted on or attached to any machine or apparatus to or from which the strip material is being moved to apply marks at uniformly spaced intervals along one or both edges of a kind which may subsequently be employed in conjunction with sensing means to control operations on the strip; to provide a marking device which will apply clear, dense and uniform marks; to provide a device for marking which enables employing a ribbon for carrying a marking pigment; to provide a device whi-ch enables reversing the ribbon so as to make the most economical use of a given length of ribbon; to provide a device which will automatically stop just before the ribbon runs out and/ or produce a signal indicating the ribbon is about to run out; and to provide a `device which requires very little power and one which is comprised of relatively few and easily obtainable components.
The device embodies means for supporting a ribbon for movement of successive portions to a place of marking, a striker at the place of marking supported for movement into engagement with one side of the ribbon to cause transfer of a transferable material from the ribbon to the object to be marked, power-operable means operably connected to the striker to cause it to strike he ribbon, and a one-way cluch preconditionable, by operation of the power-operable means simultaneously with the power operation of the striker. The clutch is operable to effect movement of the ribbon a sufficient amount during retraction o'f the striker to provide a fresh length thereof for the next marking operation, and there is means operably connected to the striker operable, following power operation thereof, to retract the striker and simultaneously effect operation of the clutch. The ribbon is drawn from one spool to another and when a spool is nearly empty the spools are removed to enable reversing them and using the ribbon over again. Preferably there is means near each end of the ribbon operable, by making an electrical Contact with the ribbon guides, to terminate operation of the device and sound an alarm.
The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to t-he accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a short length of strip material showing a plurality of uniformly spaced marks along one edge, such as are adapted to be applied by the marking device herein illustrated;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the marking device showing a pair of ribbon-supporting spools in dot and dash lines;
FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the marking device showin-g the path of the ribbon at its place of contact with the object to be marked;
3,404,628 Patented Oct. 8, 1968 FIG. 4 is an elevation taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan view, to much larger scale, of the striker removed from the device to show its configuration in somewhat clearer fashion;
FIG. 6 is an elevation of the striker;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevation similar to FIG. 3, showing a modified form of pawl and ratchet;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical section through the ribbon guide at the left side ofFIG. 3;
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the ribbon guide at the left side of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 10 is a diagram of the electrical circuit containing a cut-off switch and alarm for terminating operation of the printer and sounding an alarm.
Referring to the drawings (FIG. l), there is shown a strip 1 of sheet material, such as |a strip of sensitized paper, on which has been printed a plurality of uniformly spaced compositions 2 which are to be separated from one another by severing the strip transversely between the printed'compositions. To accomplish this automatically it is customary toplace reference marks 3 along one edge of the strip which may be used to initiate operation of cutting mechanism to cut the strip into sections, each of which bears the composition 2 centered with respect to the cut edges. The present marking device is to apply reference marks 3 along one edge of the strip which will be uniform and dense so as to be completely effective in initiating operation of the cutting mechanism. It is to be understood that the reference marks may be applied to either or both edges and that these may be employed to initiate other operations on the strip than cutting.
While various kinds of means have been devised to hold a marking medium for transfer to the article to be marked, a ribbon bearing a pigment is the simplest and most economical.
The marking device herein illustrated is designed to make use of a ribbon by unwinding it from one spool and winding it onto another spool and by so mounting the spools that they can be reversed and the ribbon used over again.
Referring to the drawings (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) there is shown a hollow housing 10 of substantially rectangular cross-section having front and back walls 10a, 10b which support a pair of shafts 12 and 14 in spaced parallel relation, with end portions 16 and 18 projecting from the front wall 10a for supporting spools 20 Iand 22. The spool 20 carries a full coil of ribbon 24 and the spool 22 provides means `for taking up the ribbon as it is drawn off the spool 20. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the ribbon 24 unwinds from the underside of the spool 20 at the left, lpasses downwardly between guides 26a, 26bbeneath a striker 28 which, in FIG. 3, is shown holding lthe ribbon pressed against the surface to be marked, indicated at 1, then upwardly between guides 32a, 32h and onto the spool 22 at the right.
The front wall 10a of the housing contains a slot 34 through which the striker 28, which will be described in greater detail hereinafter, projects forwardly into the path of the ribbon. The guides 26a, 26b and 32a, 32b slope downwardly toward each other and are secured by bracket members 36a, 36b and 38a, 38h to the front w-all at opposite sides of the slot 34. Trhe guide 26a has transversely spaced guide fingers 36e (FIG. 9) for engagement with the opposite edges of the ribbon to prevent lateral displacement thereof.
Each of the shafts 12, 14 (FIG. 2) has on its outwardly projecting end axially spaced grooves within which are mounted elastic retainer rings 40` and 42 for removably holding the spools 20 and 22 in place. The elastic retainers permit easily removing the spools and reversing their position to enable transferring the ribbon from one spool to the other for as long as the ribbon |has enough pigment on it to make a distinct mark.
The shaft 12 is non-rotating and, as shown in FIG. 2, is secured at its rear end by means of a screw bolt 44 to the back wall b of the housing. The shaft 14, however, is rotatably supported in bearing openings 46 and 48 formed in the front and back walls of the housing, as shown in FIG. 4. rThe shaft 14 is rotated intermittently to draw the ribbon off of the spool and wind it on the spool 22 in sufficient lengths to present a fresh length to the striker for each operation. Feeding movement of the ribbon is synchronized with the movement of the striker so that the feeding takes place while the striker is on its back stroke and so that the ribbon is stationary when the striker is on its forward or working stroke. The feeding movement of the ribbon is affected by rotating the shaft 14 and to this end' the shaft k14 has mounted on it a lgear 50` and oneway clutch 52 which permits the sgear 50 to rotate freely on the shaft in one direction and operates to connect the shaft to the gear so that the latter rotates the shaft in the opposite direction. A ratchet wheel 54 is fixed to the shaft 14 adjacent the back wall, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, and a pawl 56 engaged therewith prevents rotation of the shaft in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 3, during the period of time when the lgear 50 is being rotated relative to the shaft 14 to precondition the drive for effecting a feeding movement of the ribbon. The pawl 56 comprises `a at spring metal finger secured to a bracket plate 58, the latter being screwed to the inside of the back wall of the housing.
An alternative form of pawl 56a is s'hown in FIG. 7 pivotally supported on t-he back Awall with one end provided with a tooth 56h engaged with the ratchet wheel 54a and wit-h its other end connected to one end of a spring 56C. The opposite end of the spring is anchored to the back wall 10a rearwardly of the pivot point so as yieldably to hold the pawl engaged with the ratchet Wheel.
The gear 50 meshes with a rack 60 formed on the core rod 62 of a solenoid 64 mounted in the housing at the left side, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, below the shaft 12.1'I1he solenoid constitutes power-operable means for effecting operation of the marker. The core rod protr'udes from the coil of the solenoid and when the latter is excited is drawn into the coil, that is to the left as seen in FIG. 3. The distal end of t-he core rod has :an axially extending nub 62a which extends through a hole in the end wall of the housing and supports the rod during its movement so that there can be no deflection. Movement of the core rod to the left rotates the gear 50 in a clockwise direction. However, since the shaft 14 is held against clock-wise rotation by the pawl 516 or 56a, as the case may be, the gear 50` is merely repositioned on the shaft 14 so that it will rotate the shaft in the opposite direction a corresponding amount during the feeding movement to advance the ribbon. rIhe feeding movement of the ribbon takes place upon deenergization of the coil and movement of the core rod outwardly therefrom to its initial position, this outward movement rotating the rgear 50 in a counterclockwise direction, and since the shaft 14 is now connected to the gear by the clutch 52, rotating the shaft and the spool 22 thereon to take up a length of ribbon. The pawl 56a operates in exactly the same fashion as the pawl S6.
The striker 28 (FIGS 5 tand 6) comprises a head 66 having a narrow striking surface corresponding in dimensions to the mark to be made, supported outside the front wall :of the housing between the guides 26a, 26b and 32a, 32b on an anm havin-g a portion 68 extending through the slot 34 in the front wall and :a portion 70 inside the housing at right angles to the portion 68 which is fastened to a boss 72 mounted on and secured to a countershaft 74, the latter being journaled at its end between the front and back walls of the housing for rotation .about a horizontal axis. The arm portion 70 and hence the head 66 are accordingly movable abovut the axis of the shaft 74 as a center on a radius corresponding to the length of the arm portion 70. A gear segment 76 is secured to the boss 72 and to the shaft 74 in a position so that it also meshes with the rack 60 on the core rod. As thus constructed, when the coil is energized and the core rod retracted to the left, as shown in FIG. 3, t-he gear 76 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction so as to swing the arm portion 70 and hence the head -66 downwardly from the dotted line position shown in FIG. 3 to the full line position so as to strike the ribbon where it engages the object to be marked. The action of the solenoid is positive and rapid enough so that the head 66 strikes the ribbon with a sharp blow thus insuring good marking, that is .a mark which is dense and uniform. As explained above, during the time the marking head is being moved into engagement with the ribbon, the gear 5.0 is being repositioned relative to the clutch to effect the next feeding movement of the ribbon.
The striker 28 is restored to its 'inoperative position by a coil spring 78 stretched in tension with one end connected to the arm portion 68 by engagement of a loop 80 within a hole 82, and t-he other end connected to the front wall of the housing by a loop 84 engaged with the pin 86 secured to and projecting inwardly from t-he front wall of the housing. The tension in the spring coupled with a relatively long lever arm provided by the arm portion 7() operates when the relay is de-energized to rotate lche shaft 74 and hence the gear 76 in a clockwise direction, and, by such rotation, to pull the core rod outwardly from the coil as :well as to move h-e striker to its inoperative position. Movement of the core rod to its outer position as heretofore pointed out produces a counterclockwise rotation of the -gear 50 which is now clutched to the shaft 14 thereby rotating the lat-ter and causing the spool 22 to feed a new length of ribbon into a position beneath the striker for the next marking operation. T-he arm portion 70 is made sufficiently long so that the `head is substantially at right angles to the plane of the ribbon where it strikes the latter and to provide a [good lever action in retracting the striker and moving the core rod outwardly from its coil.
It is desirable to stop the marking device just before the ribbon runs out so that the end of the ribbon will not be pulled off the spool tfhus makin-g it easy to reverse the spools for using the ribbon over again in the opposite direction. To this end there is provided means for automatically stopping the marker and/ or the machine with which it is being tused, and also, if desirable, tot sound an alarm to notify the operator that the ribbon is about to run out. This is accomplished herein by insulating the guides 26a, 26b from each other. Insulation is provided for by means of a sheet of fish paper 2S (FIG. 8) in the order of .010 inch thick placed between the bracket members 36a, 36b and by employing nylon screws for fastening the bracket member 36a -to the bracket member 36b. Metal clips 27 (FIG. 10) are mounted on the ribbon a few inches from each end and as the end of a ribbon moves between the Aguides 26a, 26b, a ground is made which effects energization of a solenoid 29 which, in turn, opens a switch 31 in the circuit containing the solenoid 29 so as to disable it and also, if desirable, the drive motor of the apparatus with which the marking device is employed. If desired, an alarm in t-he form of a buzzer or a light 33 may :also be actuated by grounding of the circuit to call the operators attention to the fact that the ribbon is about to run out.
The device, as thus described, is exceedingly simple, compact and efficient in operation, enables the use of la ribbon for carrying the transfer material for marking purposes, enables using the ribbon over and over until the transfer material is completely used up, provides for warning the operator of the fact that the ribbon is nearly used up and should be reversed for further use, and is easily adaptable for installation -on most any kind of apparatus where there is strip feeding and it is desirable to mark the strip as it travels through the strip feeding means.
It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose -of illustration only and that this invention includes all modifications and equivalents which fall within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A marking device comprising `a pair of spaced parallel shafts, spools on said shafts, one for giving up ribbon coiled thereon to the other which is adapted to take up the ribbon, a striker mounted for reciprocable, substantially linear movement from a retracted position to a predetermined forward position along a predetermined path, means for guiding the ribbon as it travels from one spool to the other along a path intersecting the path of the striker so that the latter carries the part of the ribbon in its path to said predetermined forward position during its forward movement, a rst gear mounted on the shaft carrying the take-up spool, a countershaft parallel to the last-named shaft, a lever on said countershaft to whichv the striker is attached, and by means of which the striker is reciprocated a second gear mounted on the countershaft with its teeth confronting the teeth on the first gear, a solenoid provided with a core rod supported with the core rod between the confronting gears for linear movement at right angles to -a plane containing the axes of said shafts, and racks on the core rod engaged with said gears.
2. A marking device according to claim 1, wv'herein said first gear is free to rotate on its shaft in one direction but prevented from rotation in the opposite direction, and there is means for preventing rotation of said shaft while the rst gear is being rotated relative to the shaft in said one direction.
3. A marking device according to claim 1, comprising a clutch associated with the rst gear operable to prevent rotation of the rst gear relative to its shaft in one direction but to permit its rotation in the other direction, a ratchet on the shaft, and a pawl cooperable therewith operable to prevent rotation of the shaft in said one direction while the rst gear is being rotated relative to the shaft.
4. A marking device according to claim 1, wherein the solenoid effects movement of the core rod in a direction to advance the striker, and a spring connected to the striker arm is operable to retract the striker and return the core rod to its initial position.
5. A marking device according to claim 1, wherein the guides have spaced guide mem-bers between which the ribbon moves, said guide members being electrically insulated from each other, means on the ribbon near each end operable, as it moves between the guide members, to complete an electric circuit, and means in the circuit operable to disable operation of the marking device.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5, comprising means for sounding an alarm.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,251,162 7/ 1941 Payne 197-174 2,304,386 12/ 1942 Vahle 101-292 2,323,438 7/ 1943 Zenner.
2,424,725 7/ 1947 Weimont lOl-336 2,458,339 1/ 1949 Buhler et al. 197-174 X 2,821,284 1/1958 Garwood et al. 197-173 X 3,118,372 1/1964 Weeks 101-336 3,310,810 3/1967 Greissman 197-170 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.
F. A. WINANS, Assistant Examiner.