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Publication numberUS3411443 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1968
Filing dateFeb 1, 1966
Priority dateFeb 1, 1966
Publication numberUS 3411443 A, US 3411443A, US-A-3411443, US3411443 A, US3411443A
InventorsBuckholz Ronald J
Original AssigneeDesigned Mailing Accessories I
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Imprinting attachment for labeling machine
US 3411443 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 19, 1968 R. J. BUCKHOLZ 3,411,443

IMPRINTING ATTACHMENT FOR LABELING MACHINE Filed Feb. 1, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l 46 o 20 23 FIG. 2 58 72 i *ll 00 36v I L74 h {M 90 26 52 \f/ 62 76 4 1 INVENTOR.



FIG. 5


RONALD'J BUCKHOLZ ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,411,443 IMPRINTING ATTACHMENT FOR LABELING MACHINE Ronald J. Buckholz, Bay Shore, N .Y., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Designed Mailing Accessories, Inc., Farmingdale, N.Y.

Filed Feb. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 524,309 6 Claims. (Cl. 101-232) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An imprinting attachment for a labeling machine including a synchronized driving connection with the labeling machine, a printing station, a synchronizing chain for feeding labeled pieces to the printing station and friction belt; means travelling at a greater rate than the synchronizing chain and being of a greater length than said chain for feeding the labeled pieces to the synchronizing chain and accelerating the pieces as they leave the imprinting station.

This invention relates to labeling machines, and more particularly to an imprinting accessory or attachment for adding printed information to the labeled piece.

Automatic labeling machines have come into use to take care of bulk mailing for a variety of printed matter such as magazines, catalogues, premium cards, advertising cards, pamphlets, brochures, and so on. The addresses are preliminarily printed on labels in strip form, so that a reel of such labels may be sent along with the pieces in volume or bulk form, to a labeling specialist where the labels are individually applied to the pieces and then are mailed.

It has been found desirable by bulk mailers to be able to key the mailed pieces with a code number. At times some other bit of printed information is wanted,- such as a postage permit number sometimes called indicia.

The general object of the present invention is to provide a relatively inexpensive unit which acts as an accessory or attachment for a standard labeling machine for the purpose of adding such printed information. A further object is to make the accessory adjustable to accommodate wide differences in the size of the mailed pieces. Still another object is to make the attachment ad justable so that the printed matter may be located anywhere on the mailed piece.

To accomplish the foregoing general objects, and other more specific objects which will hereinafter appear, my invention resides in the imprinting attachment for a labeling machine, and the elements thereof, and their relation one to another and to the labeling machine, as are hereinafter more particularly described in the following specification. The specification is accompanied by drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the imprinting attachment disposed between a labeling machine and a delivery conveyor;

FIG. 2 is a partially sectioned elevation taken approximately on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse section taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary partially sectioned elevation taken approximately on the line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a horizontal section taken approximately on the stepped line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged section taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 shows a labeled and imprinted card.

Referring to the drawing and more particularly to FIG. 7, the pieces to be mailed is indicated at 12. The address of the addressee is printed on a small label 14 which is 3,41 1,443 Patented Nov. 19, 1968 adhesively applied to the piece 12. Different volume batches of the mailed pieces are identified or keyed by code numbers and/ or letters, here indicated at 16'.

The label 14 is applied by a standard labeling machine, well-known examples of which are those made by Cheshire Incorporated of Chicago, Ill. The printed matter is applied by an attachment or auxiliary unit hereinafter described.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the labeling machine is indicated at 1-8, with a reel of printed labels being,

shown at 20. No attempt is here made to show the mechanism of the labeling machine, which may be conventional, and which in all cases will have some kind of main drive shaft 22 which turns in synchronism with the label applying mechanism generally designated by the box 23. In general the mailed pieces are delivered from the labeling machine by appropriate delivery belts indicated at 94.

The attachment is shown at 24, and it includes guides 26 for the labeled pieces, together with means described later to feed the pieces between the guides 26 and through a printing station or beneath a printing wheel 30. The printing wheel is small in axial dimension, but is mounted on a relatively long shaft 32 (FIGS. 3 and 5) which extends transversely of the guides 26, and there is a means 34 affording axial adjustment of the printing wheel 30 along the shaft 32 in order to locate the print across the labeled piece. There is also a means 36 which affords rotative adjustment of the print wheel in order to locate the print along the piece. A positive drive means, in this case a chain 28 with sprocket gears connects the attachment 24 to the drive shaft 22 of the labeling machine 18 for synchronous operation of the labeling machine and the attachment, and another chain 3-8 extends up to the printing station.

The means to feed the labeled piece through the printing station includes a horizontal synchronizing chain 40 which has lugs 42 for bearing against the labeled piece, and there are additional means, in this case a drive chain 44 with sprocket wheels, to drive the synchronizing chain 40 at the same linear speed as the print surface 46 (FIG. 4) of the print wheel 30.

The feed mechanism further includes two parallel high speed friction belts 50 which move the labeled piece from the labeling machine 18 to the synchronizing chain 40. The lugs 42 of the chain bear against the leading end of the labeled piece to reduce its speed below that of the friction belts 50 and down to the desired synchronous speed. In FIG. 2 it will be seen that the high speed belts 50 extend for the entire length of the table 52, whereas the synchronizing chain 40 is substantially shorter than the high speed belts. Thus the belts speed and separate the labeled pieces as they are being fed to the synchronizing chain, and later they again accelerate the printed pieces as they are released at the end of the synchronizing chain.

The attachment has its own main shaft, which may be cal-led an attachment shaft, shown at 54 below the table. It is positively geared to the main shaft 22 of the labeling machine for synchronous operation, and this is most simply done by the use of chain 28, and sprocket gears on shafts 22 and 54, as previously mentioned. In order to drive the printing head and its print wheel the attachment includes What may be termed a head shaft 56 over the table and positively driven by the attachment shaft 54. In the present case this is done by means of a chain 38 carried by sprocket gears mounted on the attachment shaft 54 and the head shaft 56. This chain drive is preferably enclosed in a chain housing 58.

The print head includes a gear housing 60 located at one end of the head shaft 56, and preferably oscillatable on the said shaft. The print wheel shaft 32 projects in overhung relation from the free or movable end 62 of the gear housing 60. There is appropriate gearing in the gear housing between the head shaft 56 and the print wheel shaft 32 to drive the latter in the proper direction and at proper speed. This is indicated in FIGS. 4 and 5, in which the head shaft 56 carries a gear 64 meshing with a first idler 66 which meshes with a second idler 68 which in turn meshes with a gear 70 mounted on the print wheel shaft 32. In simplest form the gears 64 and 70 may have a like number of teeth, thus driving the print wheel 30 in one to one ratio with the main shaft 22 of the labeling machine. It is here assumed, as is usually the case, that the main shaft 22 turns in one to one ratio with the label affixing mechanism indicated at 23.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, the gear housing 60 of the print head has a generally horizontal projecting arm 72 carrying an upright adjusting screw 74 which rests on a fixed cross member 76. As here illustrated, this happens to be a round rod, but it is locked against rotation as by means of set screws 78 in its supports 80. It will be evident that adjustment of the screw 74 raises or lowers the print wheel for optimum printing pressure on the labeled piece, and to adjust for the thickness of the printed piece. The adjustment is accommodated by tilting of the gear housing 60 about the head shaft 56, and is extensive enough to accommodate substantial differences in the thickness of the labeled pieces being handled.

Reverting to FIG. 1, the guides 26 are located by relatively long transverse arms 82 which rest on the table 52, and which are held by releasable means 84. As here illustrated the arms 82 are longitudinally slotted, and the lock means 84 are knurled thumb nuts. By releasing the nuts 84 the guides may be moved toward or away from one another to match the width of the pieces to be handled.

Moreover, the top passes of the high speed belts 50 are immediately adjacent the guides 26. In fact, as is best shown in FIG. 3, the guides 26 are L shaped and the top pass of belt 50 rides on the bottom arm of the L shaped guide 26. Thus the belts may be moved toward or away from one another with the guides. Additional means may be provided to insure that the belts remain on the guides.

The belts may be carried by pulleys which are axially movable on a shaft, but in the present case the arrangement is simpler in that the belts are carried by a roller 86 (FIG. 1) at one end, and a roller 88 at the other end, thereby affording shifting of the belts toward or away from one another. The roller 86 is here the driven roller, and it is driven by a short belt 90 which is connected to and driven by an adjacent shaft 92 which carries the feed belts 94 of the labeling machine. The belt 90 preferably is a timing belt which provides a positive drive, in a desired speed ratio.

The high speed belts are supplemented by spring strips 96 which are disposed over the belts, and each strip carries a series of spaced rollers 98. The use of such strips with nylon rollers is already known in labeling machines, and in the present case the strips 96 of the attachment may be and preferably are connected to the correspond ing spring strips 100 (FIG. 2) of the labeling machine, thus keeping the pieces under good control as they pass from one unit to the next unit. In most convenient form the spring strips 96 are moved toward or away from one another with the belts 50 and the guides 26, when the latter are moved as previously described.

Referring to FIG. 2 it will be understood that the synchronizing chain 40 moves at the same linear or surface speed as the print surface 46. In the particular case shown the part 46 has a diameter of six inches While the sprockets 102 of the synchronizing chain 40 have a diameter of only one and one-half inches, and they are therefore driven in four to one ratio, for which purpose the drive sprocket 104 of chain 44 is four times as large (six inches in diameter) thus giving the chain 40 the desired linear speed.

The top pass of the high speed belts 50 is over the table 52, while the bottom pass is beneath the table. In the case of the chain 40 both passes are beneath the table, but the table is slotted as shown at 104 in FIG. 1 for passage of the lugs 42 which project upward through the table high enough to engage and arrest the motion of a mailing piece being handled. The piece is moved at high speed until it engages the lug 42, which it meets ahead of the print Wheel 30. Beyond the print wheel the lug moves downward out of the Way and the printed piece is accelerated by the trailing portion of the high speed belts.

As here shown a conveyor 106 with appropriate belt drive 108 and belts of its own follows the attachment to receive the printed pieces. This conveyor may be conventional, and ordinarily follows labeling machine 18, but it is moved to make room for the imprinter 24 when the imprinter is used. The conveyor may overlap the pieces for hand removal, or stack them.

It will be understood that the high speed belts 50 here shown could be driven from the attachment shaft 54 instead of using a small connecting belt as here shown, and in such case the pulley on the attachment shaft 54 would be appropriately large to move the belts 50 at a speed higher than that of the synchronizing chain 40.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6 the print wheel shaft 32 is carried by the gear housing 60 in bearings 110, and is held against axial movement by the bearings. For axial adjustment of the print wheel the shaft 32 has a long keyway 112, and the hub of print wheel 30 has a set screw 34 which bears against a key 4114 as shown in FIG. 6. The key moves with the print wheel when the latter is moved axially.

For rotative adjustment a change is made back at the gear 64 on the head shaft 56. For this purpose the gear 64 is secured to a hollow sleeve 116 the outer end of which forms part of a clamp mechanism or chuck. More specifically there is a knurled nut 36 which is screwed on a threaded part 118, with clamp segments 120 therebetween. By appropriately tapering some of the parts, tightening of the nut 36 clamps the parts 120 tightly between the sleeve and the shaft, thus fixing the sleeve against relative rotation on the shaft. The details of the chuck are not important, and any one of a number of different mechanisms (e.g. a simple releasable set screw) may be employed to afford a relative rotation which in turn fixes the location of the imprint on the labeled piece relative to a lug on a synchronizing chain 40.

It is desirable to insure firm hold down of the labeled piece at a point immediately adjacent the printing point, and for this purpose print wheel 30 has a hold down plate or holding cam 122 secured to one face thereof. As here illustrated it is held in place by three screws 124, preferably received in slots so that the rotative position of the working portion 126 of the holding cam may be adjusted as desired, relative to the printing plate on the print wheel. The print wheel is itself stepped as indicated at 128, and the printing plate is secured to the projecting section 128. The printing plate may be made of rubber with an adhesive back, or it may be made of metal, in which case it is secured by appropriate mechanical clips.

The printing plate is inked by means of a saturated ink roller 130 (FIGS. 4 and 5), and this is carried at the end of parallel arms 132 which are joined at 134 by a rod held in a double collar i136. Collar 136 is itself carried on the fixed rod 76 previously referred to. The collar is locked by a set screw 138, and the position of the ink roller is locked by another set screw 140. The set screw 138 permits the ink roller to be moved toward one side or the other to follow the position of the print wheel 30. The set screw 140 permits adjustment of the ink wheel to just contact the raised or print portion of the print wheel as it rotates. The consumption of ink is so slight that a saturated roller may be used at 130 without the provision of a regular ink bath with transfer rollers, but

of course more elaborate inking means may be provided if desired.

The head shaft 56 is carried in fixed bearing pedestals 142 and 144. These pedestals also support the print head through its mounting on the head shaft 56, as previously explained. The bearings in pedestals 142 and 144 prevent axial movement of the shaft.

The synchronizing chain 40 in the present case is about 20 inches long between its support shafts, and has two synchronizing lugs. The high speed belts 50 and the table 52 are substantially longer than the synchronizing chain, thus providing input and discharge portions ahead of and following the chain 40. The lower passes of the belts may be received in belt guides (not shown) which are fixed on but adjustable along cross rods beneath the table. Thus the position of the belts may be adjusted to conform to that of the guides, as above mentioned. The spring strips 96 may be received between collars or cross rods, not shown, and adjustment of the collars along the rods may be used to position the spring strips over the belts, as previously mentioned. I

It is believed that the construction and operation of my imprinting attachment for a labeling machine, as well as the advantages thereof, will be apparent from the foregoing detailed description. It will also be apparent that while I have shown and described the invention in a preferred form, changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as sought to be defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. An imprinting attachment for a labeling machine comprising guides for the labeled pieces to be imprinted, said guides leading to a printing station, said station having a print wheel, adjustment means for variably locating said print wheel transversely between said guides and for affording rotative adjustment of said print wheel to locate the print transversely and longitudinally relative to the pieces, positive drive means connecting the attachment to a shaft of the labeling machine for synchronous operation thereof, feed means for advancing said pieces along said guides and through said printing station including a table means for supporting said pieces, a synchronizing chain having a flight of lesser length than the length of said table, said chain being driven at the same linear speed as the print surface of said print wheel, said chain including lugs positioned to bear against the lead edge of said pieces, and at least one high speed friction belt means advancing in the direction of said chain at a greater rate than said chain for feeding said pieces against said lugs thus to align the lead edges of said pieces with said lugs and reduce the speed of said pieces below that of said belt means to the desired synchronous speed, said belt means extending along said table beyond both ends of said synchronizing chain to speed the labeled pieces as they are fed to said chain and accelerate the printed pieces as they are released by the synchronizing chain, the synchronizing chain being substantially shorter than said friction belt means.

2. An imprinting attachment as defined in claim 1, in which the synchronizing chain is beneath the table, and the table is slotted to receive the lugs carried by the chain, and in which the top pass of the high speed belt means is over the table, while the pulleys and the return passes of the high speed belt means are below the table, and in which the belt means are movable transversely to vary the spacing between the belt means.

3. An imprinting attachment as defined in claim 1, in which the guides are carried by relatively long transverse arms resting on the table, and in which there are releasable means fastening the transverse arms to the table, whereby the guides may be adjusted toward or away from one another to match the width of the labeled pieces.

4. An imprinting attachment as defined in claim 3 in which the top passes of the high speed belts are adjacent the guides, and in which the belts are moved toward or away from one another with the guides.

5. An imprinting attachment as defined in claim 4 in which there are spring strips over the belts with each strip carrying a series of spaced rollers, and in which the said strips are moved with the guides and the belts when the guides are adjusted toward or away from one another.

6. An imprinting attachment as defined in claim 1, in which there is an attachment shaft below the table, with positive drive means connecting it to a main shaft of the labeling machine for synchronous operation, a head shaft over the table and driven by the attachment shaft, a gear housing at one end of the head shaft and oscillatable thereon, a print wheel shaft projecting in overhung relation from a free end of the gear housing, gearing in said gear housing between said head shaft and said print wheel shaft to drive the latter in proper direction and speed, and means including an adjusting screw to raise or lower the free end of the gear housing about the head shaft in order to adjust the height of the print wheel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 450,369 4/1891 Kellberg 101248 2,164,363 7/1939 Waters 1012l2 2,219,892 10/ 1940 Gibson 27149 2,359,852 10/1944 Morse 271-48 XR 2,471,098 5/1949 Davies 101-35 2,699,939 1/1955 Huck 27148 2,729,136 1/1956 Feick et al. 27149 XR 2,829,589 4/1958 Alessi et al. l0l35 3,125,950 3/1964 Ayers 101212 3,291,675 12/1966 Orlofi et al. 156-385 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.

J. R. FISHER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3855041 *Apr 18, 1973Dec 17, 1974Francotyp GmbhFranking machine with a letter feeding and a tape feeding device
US3919036 *May 16, 1974Nov 11, 1975Dolco Packaging CorpInterchangeable print and label insertion apparatus for conveyor system
US4649691 *Jan 27, 1986Mar 17, 1987E. K. Mailing Machines Inc.Multiple rotary head collator and inserter
U.S. Classification101/232
International ClassificationB41K3/14, B41K3/00, B65C9/46
Cooperative ClassificationB65C9/46, B41K3/14
European ClassificationB41K3/14, B65C9/46