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Publication numberUS3556001 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1971
Filing dateJan 31, 1969
Priority dateJan 31, 1969
Also published asDE2004230A1, DE7003187U
Publication numberUS 3556001 A, US 3556001A, US-A-3556001, US3556001 A, US3556001A
InventorsHowthorne Nathaniel F, Kinney Mel E, Valley Castro
Original AssigneeSinger Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tape feed mechanism for postage metering machines
US 3556001 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Mel E. Kinney Castro Valley; lmhan slrtliatrtherestlfie ial 99 1!.- [21] Appl. No. 795,471 [22] Filed Jan. 31, 1969 [45] Patented Jan. 19, 1971 [73] Assignee The Singer Company a corporation of New Jersey [54] TAPE FEED MECHANlSM FOR POSTAGE METERING MACHINES 17 Claims, 16 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 101/92, 235/101, 101/227 [51] Int. Cl 841147/46, B411 13/56 [50] Field ofSearch 101/92. 226, 227, 228,224, 219, 91, 235, 236, 233; 235/ 101 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,104,668 1/1938 Persson 101 235 2,141,119 12/1938 Wheeleretal... 101/91 2,204,972 6/1940 Rouan et al ll/92 X Primary ExaminerWilliam B. Penn Attorneys-Patrick J. Schlesinger, Charles R. Lepchinsky and Jay M. Cantor ABSTRACT: A tape mechanism for a postage metering machine providing a substantially straight path of travel for the tape which is under the cyclic control of a series of cams on a single shaft. Following the initiation of a tape printing operation, the tape is moved from a supply roll to effect operation of the meter for the printing of a properly positioned postmark thereon. Upon completion of the printing phase of the operation and the movement of the tape by the print drum. the tape is advanced further and is severed to provide a printed strip, or stamp, which is dispensed selectively in a moistened or nonmoistened condition. The .tape supply is then retracted to an initial position and the value selection mechanism for the meter is automatically cleared, if desired.

1111 M 275 111 1 29' r I 4% will t ,2 5 I 540 v: 5M 1 131 111 a v 303 1, 339 a m 315 11 54 (5W9, 4 11 wa 101 545 56 v 545/, W 818 1o 51 111 x Q 5 I 9-1., 1 A25 10 iififi: 1 pro 4 47 56 1211 k 'U PATENTED JAMQIQ?! 3 556 001 SHEEI 1 BF 8 INVENTORS.

9M 85. 961mg lathaniel 5:9{aw1horne ATTORNEY PATENTED m SHEET 2 OF 8 WWW PATENTEU JAN 1 s an SHEET 3 BF 8 PATENIED JAN! 912m SHEEF 5 BF 8 TAPE FEED MECHANISM FOR POSTAGE METERING MACHINES BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION 1. Field ofthe Invention The invention relates to a mechanism for controlling the advancement ofa gummed tape to a printing station for the printing of a postage impression thereon. for severing the tape to provide a tape strip or stamp and for retracting the tape thereafter to an initial position. Following the printing phase of the operation. the postage value selection mechanism may be selectively zeroized or cleared and the entire operation, with or without a value selection clear operation, is under the control of a single key and a single cycle of machine operation.

2. Description of the Prior Art In known postage metering machines, provisions are made for the printing of a postage indicia on tape. as well as envelopes. For the most part. such machines are used primarily for the printing of envelopes and the leading end of the tape is maintained out of the path of travel of the envelope through the printingstation. When a printed tape strip. or stamp, is desired, the movement of the tape from its normal position of rest must be in timed relation to the cyclic rotation of the postage meter print drum bearing the postage indicia. so that the printed indicia will be properly positioned on the tape when the tape is severed to form the strip. Positive control of the tape to maintain this relationship between the movement of the tape and rotation of the print drunris also necessary to ensure a complete and legible postmark impression with each machine operation.

In many prior art devices, the leading edge of the tape is normally in the ready position for movement of the tape by the print drum upon engagement of the indicia die with the tape. The tape is thereafter moved to a cutter and then retracted by the cooperation of either of two friction rollers with the other, which rollers are in constant engagement to maintain the tape therebetween. Upon initial engagement of the indicia die with the tape, the tape may be suddenly moved a greater than normal degree or the tape movement may be momentarily restricted by the rollers. In either case, the printing operation results in a faulty or illegible postmark.

In other instances, a plurality of toothed or nontoothed sectors cooperate with a backup roller to engage with and effect movement of the tape. As either type of sector initially engages the tape for the advancement or retraction of the tape, a certain degree of lost motion may occur to produce an unsatisfactory stamp. These results are costly from the standpoint of loss in postage and/or wastage of tape.

When tape strips bearing postmark impressions of varying denominations are to be provided, the value selection must be changed with each operation of known prior art devices. Should an operator fail to change the selection before each operation, a printed strip, or stamp, of a lesser or greater value than that desired would be dispensed, resulting in a considerable loss of postage over a period of time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes these and other disadvantages of the prior art and includes a postage metering machine having a rotary printing drum adapted to print impressions on tape; printing dies in the printing drum are adjustable front a zero representative position to a value representative position; a value selection means is scttable to adjust the printing dies; a continuously operable drive means operates clutch controlled means for controlling cyclic rotation of the printing drum; and a resetting means also driven by the drive means is selectively operable to zeroize said value selection means. Positive control of the tape is accomplished, in part, by a tape control mechanism that includes a tape feed means for advancing the tape from a normal at rest position for a printing operation by said rotary printing drum. for severance of the tape to form a printed strip and for retracting the tape to its initial position. Means in the path of advancement of the tape and actuated by the tape initiates operation of the clutch controlled means and a cutter is operable to sever the tape, subsequent to-the operation of the printing drum, to form a printed strip. A cyclically operable control means driven by the drive means controls operation of the cutter and also actuates an oscillatory means for controlling the direction of motion of the tape feed means for the advancement of the tape to actuate the initiating means and for retraction of the tape following operation of the cutter. Pressure means is normally effective to maintain frictional contact of the tape with the tape feed for movement of the tape thereby and is releasable intermittently during operation of the oscillatory means to enable advancement of the tape by said printing drum upon actuation of the initiating means and also to enable operation of the cutter. Means operated by the cyclically operable control means controls the intermittent operation of this pressure means. A manually settable member is adjustable from a normally inactive to an active position and means actuated by the clutch controlled means affects an operation of the resetting means in accordance with the adjustment of this manually settablc member to the active position and in timed relation to the cyclic rotation of the printing drum.

More specifically, the cyclically operable control means comprises a shaft, rotatable for a single revolution. supporting a series of cam-contrpl means for controlling operation of the oscillatory means to advance and retract the tape, for effecting intermittent operation of the pressure means and for con trolling operation of the cutter. Each cam-control means of the series functions in timed relation to the others to operate the pressure means to enable movement of the tape during oscillation of the oscillatory means and to effect operation of the cutter subsequent to the extent of the advancement of the tape and prior to its retraction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other features and advantages will be apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective showing the top, front and right side of a postage metering machine;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the postage metering machine with a portion of the cover broken away to show the tape mechanism;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional plan view of the base portion of the machine, showing the tape mechanism and the main drive means therefor;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view of the tape mechanism, the view being taken on the planes indicated by litres 44 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary transverse sectional elevational view of the base portion of the machine, showing the main drive mechanism including the tape control clutch, clear clutch, and meter clutch;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view showing the meter drive gearing. the view being taken on the plane indicated by line 6-6 in FIG. 5;

FIG. '7 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view showing the cyclic control mechanism for the tape, the view being taken on the planes indicated by lines 7-7 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the drive gearing for the tape control mechanism;

FIG. 9 is a transverse sectional elevational view showing the cam shaft for controlling the movement of the tape;

FIG. 10 is a detailed plan view of the clear" operation control switches;

FIG. II is a detailed showing of the clear" operation control button;

FIG. 12 is a sectional elevational view of the cam shaft showing the complementary cam system for controlling the tape movement;

FIG. I3 is a sectional elcvational view of the cam shaft showing the tape control pressure roller cam. the view being taken on the plane indicated byline I3-l3 in FIG. 9;

FIGS. l4 and are detailed views of the cam controlled meter and clear" switches, respectively; and

FIG. 16 is a schematic of a circuit for controlling a tape operation.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention. as herein described. is preferably shown as embodied in a postage metering machine of the type disclosed in the copending application of John F. Reus et al., Ser. No. 725,006, filed Apr. 29, extent In the use ofthis type of postage metering machine, an envelope when passed through the machine is postmarked by the impression thereon of a stamp indicia and the value of the postage is subtractively registered in the descending register of the metering machine, while the value of each postage impression made is accumulated in the ascending register of the machine.

The postage metering machine shown in FIG. 1 comprises generally the base unit 10. a portion of which serves to house the cyclically controlled main drive for the postage meter unit 12, detachably supported on the base portion 10. The meter unit 12 includes'the value selection keyboard 13. The cover 14 of the meter unit conceals the postage indicia print drum 15 of a well-known construction (FIGS. 2 and 4) which extends over and is spaced from, the envelope table 16 secured on base portion 10.

The base portion 10 comprises generally a base plate 20 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) which supports a pair of parallel vertically disposed frame plates 21 and 22 which, in turn. support vari- Normally, the impression roller 40, carried by yoke 46, is resiliently urged upwardly for cooperation with meter print drum 15. However, upon the passage of envelopes of varying thicknesses. between the impression roller 40 and print drum I5. yoke 46 is rocked downwardly against the urgency of a relatively strong compression spring 55 (FIG. 4). The upper end of the spring 55 bears against the lower surface of a bracket 56 and the lower end ofthc spring is seated in a counterbore in a boss 57 integrally formed on base 20. At each end. bracket 56 is provided with a flange similar to flange 58 shown in FIG. 4, which serve by any suitable means such as screws 59, to secure the bracket in place between yoke bars 47 and 48. In order to maintain an accurate adjustment of the impression roller 40 relative to the print drum 15 to enable a normally free rotation of the impression roller 40. a pin 60 is secured at its top end to the bracket 56 and is passed through spring 55 and a suitable aperture in a spring seat of the boss 57 for the engagement of a threaded lower end of the pin by a suitable nut 61. A plate 62 is secured to the top surface of each of the yoke bars 47 and 48 by any suitable means such as screws 63. normally at rest in the horizontal plane of the envelope table 16, but rockable with the yoke 46. An aperture 64 is provided in the plate 62 and is of a size sufficient only to our operating mechanisms of the machine (FIG. 5 Enclosed within a cover 23 secured to base plate 20 and beneath a top plate 24 of the base portion 10. is secured anelectric motor (not shown) which, upon energization, imparts continuous rotation to a main drive shaft 25. suitably journaled in frame plate members 21 and 22 (H0. 5). Upon energization of the motor and the rotation of drive shaft 25, the energization of a solenoid 26 (FIG. 5) rocks a lever 27 about its pivotal support rod 28, to effect engagement of a single-cycle clutch 29 of a wellknown construction to initiate operation of the meter and a cycle of rotation of the meter print drum 15. The clutch engaging lever 27 is normally urged to Clutch-disengaging posi tion by means of a spring 36. The driving portion 30 of the clutch 29 is secured on main drive shaft 25 while the driven portion 31 of the clutch is secured to one end of a sleeve 32 rotatable on shaft 25 and having secured at its other end a gear 33 (FIGS. 5 and 6). Gear 33 is enmeshed with a gear 34 suitably supported for rotation on a shouldered stub shaft 35, secured on frame plate member 22. A portion of the gear 34 extends above the top plate 24 for driving engagement with a gear in the postage meter 12. as described in the aforementioned application, Ser. No. 725,006.

I The rotation of drive shaft 25, upon energization of the mo tor, also serves to impart continuous rotation to an impression roller (FIGS. 3 and 4). For this purpose a gear 41 (FIGS. 3 and 5) is secured on the drive shaft 25 and is enmeshed with a gear 42, secured on one end of a stub shaft 43 suitably journaled in frame plate member 21. At its other end. stub shaft 43 is drilled and diametrically slotted to receive one end of a universal drive connection 44, the other end of which is engaged in the drilled and diametrically slotted end portion of a shaft 45 carrying impression roller 40 secured thereon. Shaft 45 is suitably journaled in a yoke, generally indicated at 46, comprising a pair of spaced parallel bars 47 and 48, laterally offset at their one end in opposition, one to the other, for rockable support on respective stub shafts 49 and 50 secured in the upper end of respective stanchions 51 and 52 integrally formed on base 20. At its outer extremity, shaft 45 is also journaled in an auxiliary frame plate 51 secured in spaced parallel relationship on yoke bar 48. The relative pitch diameters of the gears 41 and 42 is such that the surface speed of the impression roller 40 is synchronous with that of the meter print drum 15.

permit the projection of a portion of the peripheral surface of the impression roller 40 and an arcuate guide plate 65 therethrough (FIG. 4).

It will be noted that upon the entry or setting of the value selection keyboard 13 for a postage value representation, a se ries of type character print wheels in the print drum 15 are adjusted, in a well-known manner, from a zero representative to a value representative position in accordance with the keyboard entry. If an erroneous postage value has been en tered in the keyboard 13, or when it becomes desirable to change the keyboard setting, a keyboard clear operation is initiated to reset the type wheels to the zero representative position. For this purpose, the driving portion 69 of a cyclic clutch 70 is secured on main drive shaft 25 (FIG. 5). The driven portion 71 of the cyclic clutch 70 is secured on one end of a sleeve 72 rotatable on shaft 25 and carrying at its other end a switch control cam 73, the operation of which will be described hereinafter. Also secured on sleeve 72, intermediate the driven member 71 and cam 73, is a clear cam 74 which becomes operative through a cam follower arm 75 and its roller 76 to rock bellcrank 77, thereby effecting a keyboard clear operation, as fully described in the aforementioned application, Ser. No. 725,006. The cyclic clutch 70 is of conventional construction and is normally maintained disengaged by means of a clutch control lever 78, rockable about the pivotal support rod 79 to effect engagement of the clutch, upon energization of a solenoid 80.

For the printing of a postmark on an envelope or other mail matter, the motor and the cyclic clutch 29 controlling a cycle of postage meter operation are energized and engaged, respectively, by an envelope actuated trip member when the envelope is fed between the printing drum l5 and the impression roller 40. Such a trip device forms no part of the present invention, however, and is therefore not shown.

In addition to the printing of a postmark on envelopes, the postage metering machine is also provided with means whereby a postmark or indicia impression may be made on gummed tape passing through the machine. Following the printing phase of the operation, the tape is severed to form a printed strip for discharge thereafter in a moistened or nonmoistened state for afflxation on any type of mail matter. Following the severance of the tape to provide the printed strip, the tape is retracted to an initial at-rest position where it is retained out of the path of travel of an envelope. At this time. a keyboard clear operation may or may not be effected. as determined by the preselective setting of a control button.

As explained above, the invention is shown and described as being embodied in a postage metering machine, however, it will be understood that the invention is adaptable for use in any type of a printing device.

The tape T, supplied in rolls as generally indicated at 85, is positioned within a detachable cartridge, generally indicated at 86, with the tape coming off the roll in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGS, 2 and 4. The tape Cartridge 86 is substantially snaillike in form and is preferably molded or otherwise formed of a thermoplastic material. The left-hand portion of the cartridge 86 (FIG. 2) is open and the cartridge is slidably supported within a suitable guideway 87 in base plate 20.

At the left end of the machine (FIGS. 2 and 3), the cover 23 is provided with an access door 88 having a pair of horizontally disposed spaced parallel ears 89 and 90 integrally formed thereon and adapted to pivotally support the door 88 on a pair of similar brackets 91 integrally formed on the inner surface of the cover 23. The upper ear 89 of door 88 carries a pin 92 engaged in an elongated slot 93 of a laterally extended ear 94 of a slide 95. Adjacent its left end (FIGS. 2 and 3), slide 95 is supported for endwise movement by the engagement of an elongated slot 96 in slide 95 with a pin 97 secured on one sidewall 98 of a pair of parallel sidewalls 98,99 of tape roll cartridge 86. Slide 95 is further supported for endwise movement by the engagement of a bifurcation I04 (FIGS. 2 and 4) in the rightmost projected end of the slide with an annular groove in a shaft 105 secured at its respective ends in bars 47 and 48 of the yoke 46. Upon installation of the cartridge 86 within the guideway 87, a lug 106 formed inthe lower edge of each of sidewall members 98 and 99 of the cartridge engage beneath a flange 107 on base plate 20, in which position the cartridge is retained by means of a suitable threaded screw 108 (FIGS. 4

In order to insert a new roll 85 of tape T into the machine, the door 88 is opened outwardly and a bail, generally indicated at 109, (FIGS. 2 and 3) is moved to the position shown in FIG. 2. In this position of the bail 109, a rod 110 secured at its respective ends to similar depending ears III of slides 11.?- and 113 of the bail is positioned beneath similar shoulders 114 formed in sidewall members 98 and 99 of cartridge 86. Each of the slides 112 and 113 lies adjacent the respective sidewalls 98 and 99 of the cartridge 86 and is adjustably supported thereon by the engagement of similar elongated slots 115 with pins 116 secured on the sidewalls, similarly to the mounting shown in FIG. 2. Slide 113 of the bail 109 is provided with an angularly upwardly extended end portion 117 for manually controlling the adjustment of the ball. A laterally formed ear 118 on the extended end portion 117 projects outwardly and serves to engage the top of base plate to limit the downward movement of the bail 109 about the pins 116.

With the door 88 in the cover 23 open, and the bail 109 in the position shown in FIG. 2, a roll of tape is inserted into the cartridge 86 by the passage of the respective ends of the tape roll spindle 122 into similar channels 123 formed in the sidewalls 98 and 99, settling for a counterclockwise rotation of the tape roll in a suitable depression in each of the channels. Following the placement of the tape supply roll 85 in the cartridge 86, a slight angular counterclockwise rotation of the tape roll by the operator will cause the leading end of the tape T to be threaded into position for a tape feed operation. For this purpose, an adjustable arcuately-formed guide plate 124 is secured at its lower end on a shaft 125 (FIGS 2 and 4) journaled at its respective ends in sidewall members 98 and 99. To control the rocking movement of the guide plate 124, an arm 126 is secured on one extended end of shaft 125 and carries a laterally projecting pin 127. at its free end, for engagement with the angularly formed cam surfaces 128 and 129 of a cam lobe 130 formed on slide 113 (FIG. 2). In the tape loading position of the bail 109 and slide 113, as viewed in FIG. 2, the cam surface 128 is in engagement with the pin 127 to maintain guide plate 124 in the tape threading position shown by dash line, the curvature of the guide plate conforming substantially to the peripheral surface of a full roll of tape.

At this time, the tape roll 85 is manually rotated counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 2, and the leading end of the tape is directed by means of the guide plate 124 into the arcuate throat 131 (FIG. 4) integrally formed in the cartridge 86.

Upon leaving the throat 131, the leading end of the tape T passes between a pair of parallel guide plates 135 secured in place between the parallel arms 137 and 138 of a bail, generally indicated at 139, rockably supported on shaft 105. During the threading operation, the leading end of the tape T passes between an auxiliary, or pressure, roller 140 and a tape feed roller 141, the covering of each of which rollers is of a frictional material, preferably rubber. A pinion gear 142 is secured to one end of roller 140 and the roller and gear are rotatably supported on a shaft 143 secured at its ends in respective arms 137,138 of the bail 139. Gear 142 is in constant mesh with a driving gear 144 which. together with a pinion gear 145, are secured to one end of tape feed roller 141 rotatably supported on a shaft 146. supported at its respective ends in bars 47 and 48 of yoke 46. Normally, pressure roller 140 is retained in the position shown in FIG. 4 to maintain tape T in frictional contact with the tape feed roller 141. However, bail 139 may be rocked counterclockwise (FIGS. 2 and 4) to enable the passage of the leading end of tape T between pressure roller 140 and feed roller 141 during the tape threading operation.

For this purpose, the top edge 147 of the extended end portion 148 of slide 95 (FIGS. 2 and 4) is inclined providing a cam surface engaging a roller 149 supported on an extended end of shaft 143 (FIG. 3). As the access door 88 is opened to permit the installation of a new roll of tape, slide 95 is moved to the right, from the position shown in FIG. 4 to the position shown in FIG. 2, rocking bail 139 counterclockwise to provide sufficient space between pressure roller 140 and tape feed roller 141 for the passage of the leading end of the tape T therebetween, during the threading operation.

Following the installation of a new roll of tape, the extension 117 of slide 113 is grasped to relocate the bail 109 from the position shown in FIG. 2 to a position wherein rod 110 of the bail rests on similar arcual surfaces 150 of each of the sidewalls 98,99 of the cartridge 86 and in contact with the peripheral surface of the tape roll 85. Thus, the rod 110 of the bail 109 provides a frictional bind on the tape roll 85, under the influence of a spring 151, to prevent an inertial movement of the tape roll at the conclusion of the feed operation, At this same time, the cam lobe 130 of the slide 113, shown in phantom line in FIG. 4, permits arcuate guide plate 124 to rock downwardly toward the bottom of the cartridge 86 with the pin 127 engaged with the cam surface 129. The guide plate 124 will remain in this position (FIG. 4) as the rod 110 of the bail 109 moves upwardly with the use of the tape and until the supply of tape is depleted. With the guide plate 124 in its clockwise rocked position, looping of the tape T is permitted with the retraction thereof as will be described hereinafter.

Prior to a tape feed and printing operation, a postage value set in the keyboard 13 may be cleared, i.e., the keyboard may be zeroized or reset by a depression of a CLEAR key 154 (FIG. 1), as described in the aforementioned copending application, Ser. No. 725,006 or, alternatively, the keyboard may be cleared by an adjustment of a keyboard CLEAR" button 155 (FIGS. 1,3and 7).

In order to initiate a keyboard "clear operation by the use of the key 154, a depression of the key effects energization of the motor to impart continuous rotation to the main drive shaft 25 (FIG. 5) and to effect engagement of the cyclic clear clutch 70. A link 156 is supported for endwise movement on a pin 157 carried by a bracket 158 secured to the lower surface of the top plate 24 of base portion 10 (FIG. 7), Link 156 is normally biased upwardly by a spring 159 supported at its one end on the pin 157 and at its lower end on a pin secured on the link 156. At its lower end, the link 156 is pivotally supported at 160 on one arm of a bellcrank 161 supported for rocking movement on a pin 162 carried by an auxiliary frame member 163 (FIGS. 3 and 7) secured in place on base plate 20 and frame plate 21 by any suitable means such as screws 164 and 165, respectively. The other arm of bellcrank 161,- at its free end, carries a pin 166 normally engaging a switch actuating plate 167 which serves to control the closure of each of two normally open Microswitches 168 and 169 (FIGS. 3, 7 and 10). Upon depression of the keyboard clear key 154, link 156 is moved downwardly as seen in FIG. 7. rocking bellcrank 161 counterclockwise to close the normally open Microswitches 168 and 169. Closure of switch 168 controls the energization of the solenoid 80 (FIG. which is effective to engage the clear clutch 70 for a single cycle of rotation. Simultaneously, closure of the switch 169 effects energization of the motor. To ensure a full cycle of rotation of the clutch 70, the cam 73 secured to the driven side of the clutch. becomes effective immediately to close a normally open Microswitch 170 (FIGS. 5 and 6) supported on a bracket 171, secured on base plate 20, which switch is operable when closed to retain the motor in an energized state.

Referring to FIG. 1. the REPEAT-CLEAR key 155 is accessible for selective manipulation through a suitable aperture 172 in base portion cover 23. The key or button 155 is preferably molded or formed of a thermoplastic material and is rockably supported on a pin 176 secured on auxiliary frame member 163 (FIGS. 3 and 7). Button 155 is resiliently retained in either the "REPEAT" or CLEAR" position by means of a toggle spring 177. one end of which is pivotally engaged with a pin 178 on frame member 163 and the other end of which is pivotally engaged with a pin 179 on the body portion of the button 155. At its inner end. the main body portion of the control button 155 is provided with a pair of angularlyformed surfaces 180 and 181 (FIGS. 7. and 11). In the "REPEAT" position of the control button 155, as seen in (FIGS. 1, 7. 10 and 11, the cam surfaces 180 and 181 are ineffective. However, upon rocking control button 155 downwardly to the "CLEAR" position indicated in FIG. 1, the cam 180 moves into and out of engagement with a roller 182 rocking switch actuator plate 167 to momentarily close Microswitches 168 and 169. At the same time, cam 181 of the button 155 is moved into engagement with a roller 183 supported on a switch actuator 184 closing normally open switch 185. Roller 182 is supported between the parallel arms of a yoke 186 rockably mounted on a pin 187 supported in the parallel flanges of a U-shaped bracket 188 secured to switch actuator blade 167. Normally, a torsion spring 189 is effective to yieldably retain roller 182 in the position shown in FIG. 7 and the full line position shown in FIG. 11. As the control button 155 is rocked downwardly to the "CLEAR" position. the camming end 180 of the button moves to a position beyond or above roller 182. momentarily closing switches 168 and 169 in passing to immediately initiate a keyboard clear operation as described above. It will be noted that upon return of the control button from the "CLEAR" to the REPEAT position, the yoke 186 is rocked to the dash line position shown in phantom line in FIG. 11, against the influence of the torsion spring 189. without operating actuating switch plate 167. Upon rocking the control button 155 to the "CLEAR" position, the cam 181 of the button 155 retains switch 185 closed for a purpose to be hereinafter described. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 10, switches 168. 169 and 185 are supported in side-byside relationship on the auxiliary frame member 163.

Upon initiation of a tape feed operation, the leading end of the tape T is moved from a predetermined normal at rest position indicated at 84 in FIG. 4, to the printing station where it becomes effective to initiate a cycle of postage meter operation. At this point in time and during a single revolution of the print drum 15, the postage indicia plate 17 on the drum engages the tape T to continue the movement of the tape as the postage impression is printed thereon. Thereafter, the printed portion of the tape is moved beyond a cutter, whereupon the tape is severed to form a printed strip which is dispensed in a moistened or nonmoistened state as desired. Immediately following the severance of the tape, the end portion thereof is retracted from the cutting position to the normally inactive position indicated at 84 in FIG. 4. If the REPEAT-CLEAR" button has been adjusted to the CLEAR" position prior to the tape operation, the cyclic operation of the postage meter. at the conclusion of the printing phase, effects initiation of a keyboard'clear function. i.e.. an operation of the keyboard zeroizing mechanism to reset the type wheels to a zero representative position.

In order to effect a tape feed and printing operation. a tape control key 194 (FIGS. 1, 3 and 7) is rocked downwardly from an inactive position and immediately restored to initiate operation of a semicyclic clutch I (FIGS. 3. 5 and 7). Key 194 is secured on one end of a keystem 196, the other end of which is secured to the end ofa shaft 197 journaled in a bushing 198 secured on auxiliary frame plate 163. At its opposite end. shaft 197 carries a camming arm 201 pinned thereon en gaging a roller carried by an L-shaped switch actuator arm 202, operative upon rocking of key 194 to close the normally open Microswitches 203 and 204, secured in side-by-side relationship on auxiliary frame member 163.

Normally key 194 is biased upwardly by a spring 205 into engagement with a limit pin 206, carried on auxiliary frame member 163, spring 205 being supported at its one end on the pin 206 and at its other end on a suitable pin on keystem 196. Upon rocking key 194 downwardly and its immediate return to the normal position shown in FIG. 7, a single cycle of machine operation is initiated for a tape feed and printing function. Closing of switch 203 by the manipulation of the key 194 energizes the motor to effect a continuous rotation of main drive shaft 25 while the closing of the switch 204 momentarily energizes a solenoid 207 secured on frame member 21 to effect engagement of the semicyclic clutch 195.

It will be remembered that upon energization of the motor and rotation of main drive shaft 25, gear train 41,42 (FIGS. 3 and 5) become effective through the universal connection 44 to impart continuous rotation to shaft 45 and impression roller 40. At the same time, the engagement of the tape control clutch 195 becomes effective, upon 1 /2 revolutions thereof, to control a single cycle of rotation of a cam shaft 208 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 9). Upon rotation of shaft 208, a series of cams thereon serves to retain the motor in an energized state, advance the tape T to the printing station to effect a single cycle of operation of the postage meter, continue advancement of the tape T to the cutting position, actuate the cutter knife and. thereafter retract the tape T to its initial position.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 5, 7 and 8, tape feed clutch 195 is of conventional construction and comprises the driving half 212 of the clutch secured on main drive shaft 25, clutch engaging disc 213 and the driven side 214 of the clutch secured on one end of a sleeve 215, rotatable on main drive shaft 25. At its other end. sleeve 215 carries a 24-tooth gear 216 enmeshed with an idler gear 217 of a similar pitch diameter rotatably supported on a stub shaft 218 secured on frame member 21. Idler gear 217, in turn. is enmeshed with a 36-tooth gear 219 having a hub 220 secured on a stub shaft 221 journaled in a bushing 222 in frame member 21. Thus, it can be seen that, for each of rotation of the tape clutch 195, a 120 of rotation is imparted to gear 219. The gear 219 and its hub 220 are drivingly connected to the cam shaft 208 by means of a universal drive connection 223. i

In order to effect engagement of the tape clutch for counterclockwise rotation. as viewed in FIG. 7. the armature 226 of the solenoid 207 has a pin-and-slot engagement with an angularly offset depending arm 227 of a bail, generally indicated at 228, rockable on a shaft 229 secured on frame member 21 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 7). Normally. bail 228 is urged in a counterclockwise direction to the inactive position (FIG. 7) by means of a spring 230 supported at its one end in a suitable aperture in the lower end of depending arm 227 of the bail and at its other end on a pin 231 on frame member 21. Intermediate its length, the depending arm 227 carries a live pawl 232 pivotally supported thereon at 233. Normally, a spring 234, secured at its lower end in a suitable aperture in the lower end of arm 227. and supported at its upper end on a laterally projecting ear of pawl 232, resiliently biases the pawl counterclockwise to the position shown in FIG. 7. In this position, a laterally disposed ear 235 of the pawl 232 is in latching engagement with a notch 236 formed in the lower end portion of an extended depending arm 237 of a clutch-engaging bail, generally indicated at 238, rockable on shaft 229. Clutch engaging bail 238 is resiliently retained in the clutch disengaging position by means of a spring 241 secured at its one end in the web of the bail and at its other end on a pin 242 carried by frame member 21.

The free end portion of latching pawl 232 lies adjacent the driven member 214 of clutch 195 and in the rotational plane of a pair of diametrically opposed pins 239 and 240 projecting outwardly therefrom. In the latching position of the pawl 232, bails 228 and 238 are rocked as a unit-upon energization of solenoid 207 to remove a shoulder 243, formed in the arm 237 of bail 238, from its engagement with either a tooth 244 or 245 formed in the peripheral edge of the clutch engaging disc 213, thereby effecting engagement of tape clutch 195. When the clutch 195 is disengaged, as seen in FIG. 7, the substantially horizontally disposed top edge 246 of the pawl 232 is adapted for engagement by one or the other of pins 239 and 240 upon rotation of the driven side 214 of the clutch 195, thereby releasing the pawl 232 from its latching engagement with the arm 237 of the clutch-engaging bail 238. At its lower end, the arm 237 of clutch-engaging bail 238 is provided with an offset extended portion 247 normally engaging a roller 248 secured on the upper free end of a cam follower arm 249, rockably supported on a pin 250 secured on frame member 21. Likewise, the lower extended end portion of the depending arm 227 of bail 228 is resiliently retained in engagement with the roller 248 under the influence of spring 230. Intermediate its ends, cam follower arm 249 carries a roller 251 urged by a spring 252 to follow a cam 253 secured to the hub 220 of the gear 219.

Upon energization of the solenoid 207, bails 228 and 238 are rocked in a clockwise direction (FIG. 7) to effect the engagemcnt of the clutch 195. After approximately 60 counterclockwise rotation of the clutch 195 (FIG. 7), pawl 232 is delatched by pin 239 from the arm 237 of the bail 238 and remains delatched for approximately 90 rotation of the clutch. Upon the initial 90counterclockwise rotation of the clutch 195, the cam 253 is rotated at approximately 60 in a counterclockwise direction so that the cam follower 249 and its roller 248, spanning the lower extended ends of each of the arms 227 and 237, maintains a normal relationship between these two arms against the influence of their respective springs 230 and 241. Thus, as the pin 239 moves out of engagement with the pawl 232, the pawl again becomes relatched and the shoulder 243 on the arm 237 is maintained out of the rotational path of the tooth 245 on clutch engaging disc 213. During the ensuing 180 rotation of the clutch 195 the pin 240 similarly rocks pawl 232 ineffectively since the cam roller 251 rides on the high side of the cam 253. Following 360 rotation of the clutch 195, cam 253 has been rotated 240 with the cam roller 251 continuing to ride on the high side of the cam 253. With the continuing counterclockwise rotation of clutch 195 and after approximately 60 of such rotation, the pin 239 again becomes effective to delatch pawl 232 from the arm 237 of clutch-engaging bail 238. At this time, the cam follower roller 251 has dropped to the low point on cam 253, whereupon springs 230 and 241 rock respective bails 228 and 238 counterclockwise. Thus, the shoulder portion 243 of the arm 237 engages the peripheral surface of the clutch-engaging disc 213 to enable the engagement of the tooth 245 with the shoulder 243, disengaging tape feed clutch 195.

In a condition wherein the control key 194 is rocked downwardly (FIG. 7) and is held in this position retaining solenoid 207 in its energized state, the same series of events take place as described above, i.e., pawl 232 is delatched by each of pins 239 and 240 and is immediately, thereafter, relatched, during the initial 360 of rotation of the tape clutch 195. However, in the initial portion of the ensuing, or final, 180 rotation of the clutch 195 and following the engagement of the roller 251 with the low point of cam 253, pawl 232 is again delatched and spring 241 becomes effective immediately to rock bail 238 in a counterclockwise direction to engage the shoulder 243 with the peripheral edge of the clutch-engaging disc 213. Thus, the clutch 195 is disengaged and the operation terminated at the conclusion of the final 180 rotation of the clutch. Before a subsequent operation can be initiated, key 194 must be restored to the inactive position shown in FIG. 7, a deenergizing solenoid 207 to permit arm 227 of bail 228 to be rocked counterclockwise, under the influence of its spring 230, to enable pawl 232 to be relatched with arm 237 of the clutch-engaging bail 25 238.

Upon engagement of the tape feed clutch 195 for a machine cycle of operation, a single revolution is imparted to cam control shaft 208 (FIGS. 4, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13), through gear train 216, 217 and 219 and universal drive connection 223. Normally, bail 139 (FIG. 4) is in the clockwise rocked position shown to effect movement of the tape T by pressure roller and tape feed roller 141, Intermittent rocking of the bail 139 is under the control ofa cam 257 secured on shaft 208 (FIGS. 9 and 13). A cam follower arm 258 is pivotally supported on a shaft 259 and intermediate its ends carries a roller 260 which is urged into engagement with the peripheral edge of the cam 257 by means of a spring 261. Shaft 259 is secured at its respective ends in bar 47 of yoke 46 and in auxiliary member 51 carried by the bar 48 of the yoke. At its upper free end. cam follower arm 258 is provided with a pin 262 extending through a suitable rectangular slot 263 in the lower laterally offset end ofthe depending arm of bellcrank 134. The extended end portion of the pin 262 supports one end of a spring 264, which is supported at its other end on a pin 265 on the depending arm of the bellcrank 134 and serves to yieldably urge pressure roller 140 toward feed roller 141. It will be noted that the pin and slot connection 262,263 enables the separation of the pressure roller 140 from the tape feed roller 141, upon opening access door 88 for the installation of a new tape roll.

As seen in FIG. 13, cam 257 is in the "home" or full-cycle position with the roller 260 engaged with a high portion of the cam. During the initial 70 clockwise rotation approximately, of the cam 257, cam follower roller 260 remains in engagement with the high portion of the cam to frictionally maintain the tape T between pressure roller 140 and tape feed roller 141. During this portion of the single revolution of the shaft 208, a pair of complementary cams 266 and 267 (FIG. 12), secured on shaft 208, become effective to move the leading edge of the tape T from the normal at-rest position 84 to the printing station, i.e., into the area between print drum 15 and impression roller 40.

For this purpose, the pinion 145, secured in coaxial relationship on gear 144 carried by tape feed roller 141, is enmeshed with the teeth of a gear sector 268 supported for oscillatory motion on the shaft 259. A pair of rollers 269 and 270 are secured in opposed relationship on opposite sides of gear sector arm 268 and are engaged, respectively, with the peripheral edge of the cams 266 and 267. During the initial 45 rotation, approximately of cams 266 and 267, gear sector 268 is rocked counterclockwise in FIG. 12 a predetermined angular extent or approximately midway of its motion in the one direction. This limited motion is sufficient to move the leading edge of the tape T into engagement with the free end of a meter trip arm 271 disposed in the path of travel of the tape. At its other end, the trip arm 271 is secured on a trans verse shaft 272 journaled at its respective ends in the bars 47,48 of the yoke 46. The extent of the initial movement of the tape serves to control the width of the margin on the printed tape. For the succeeding 180 of rotation, approximately, the cams 266 and 267 are provided with a dwell so that the sector 268 remains in its initially rocked position.

After the initial 90 of rotation of the cam shaft 208 and cam 257, roller 260 engages the lower portion of the cam 257 which constitutes a dwell of approximately of rotation. In this position of the roller 260, the bail 139 (FIG. 4) is rocked counterclockwise to relieve the frictional contact of the tape T with feed roller 141 and pressure roller 140. At this same time, the gear sector is at rest midway of the oscillation of the sector vanced between the arcuately-formed plates 273 of guide member 65. supported at one end on a rod 274 secured in the spaced parallel ears of a cover plate 275. Each of the arcuate guide plates 273 of guide member 65 is provided with an aperture conforming to the aperture 276 shown in guide plate 273 in FIG. 3, of a size and configuration sufficient for an exposure of the top portion of the impression roller 40 therein to enable the printing of a postmark impression on the tape by the postage indicia plate 17 on print drum 15.

As the leading end portion of the tape T passes over the meter trip arm 271, during the initial 90 of rotation of the cam shaft 208, the arm 271 and shaft 272 are rocked clockwise (FIGS. 2 and 4). An arm 280 secured on the outer end of the shaft 272 is then effective to actuate a normally open Microswitch 281, supported on the bar 48 of the yoke 46, closing the switch to effect energization of the meter clutch-engaging solenoid 26 (FIG. 5

It will be noted that immediately upon engagement of tape feed clutch 195 and rotation of the shaft 208, a cam 282 carried on one end of a hub 283 secured on shaft 208 (FIGS. 9 and becomes effective to close each of a pair of contacts 284 and 285 carried in a box supported on a bracket 286 secured on auxiliary frame member 51. The closing of con tacts 284 retains the motor energized for the duration of the tape feed operation, while the closing of contacts 285 makes possible a keyboard clear operation if such is desired, as will be explained hereinafter. At its other end. the hub 283 of cam 282, also carries a cam 287 secured thereon (FIGS. 9 and 14) which is effective during the initial 45 rotation of shaft 208, to close a pair of contacts 288, supported in a block secured to the bracket 286. The normally opened contacts 288 are in series with normally open switch 281 (FIG. 2) in the postage meter control circuit. Immediately following the closing of the contacts 288 by the cam 287, passage of the leading end of the tape T over the postage meter trip arm 271 initiates a single cycle of postage meter operation. It will be recalled that following the initial 45 of rotation of the cam shaft 208 and, therefore. cams 266 and 267 (FIG. 12) the advancement of the tape T is terminated. Also, after 90 of rotation of cam 257. the frictional contact of the tape with rollers 140 and 141 is relieved. At this time, the postage indicia plate 17 on postage meter print drum 15 contacts the tape T continuing its advancement while the postmark impression is printed thereon.

Following the printing phase of the operation and after approximately 250 rotation of cam shaft 208, cam 257 becomes effective, by virtue of the engagement of the high portion 289 of the cam with roller 260 (FIG. 13), to again rock bail 139 clockwise (FIG. 4) to bring about the frictional engagement of the tape T between the pressure roller 140 and tape feed roller 141. At this same time, cams 266.267 (FIG. 12) complete the counterclockwise rocking movement of the gear sector 268 in the one direction, whereby the printed portion of the tape T is moved beyond cutter device 290. This final advancement of the tape T is sufficient to move the leading end of the tape through an aperture 291 in the cover 23 (FIGS. 1 and 4) where it may be grasped for removal of the printed strip from the machine, following the severance of the tape by cutter device 290. The extent of such tape movement, as determined by the arcual length of the high point 289 of cam 257, i.e., for approximately 45 rotation of the cam 257 and a similar rotation of cams 266 and 267 (FIG. 12) is sufficient to provide a predetermined margin between the printed portion and the trailing edge of the strip.

In the embodiment shown, the rotary cutter device 290 employed is preferably of the type shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,062,133 issued to I. H. Lundquist et al. The two members of the cutter device have intermeshing serrated edges and comprise a blade 295 and a cutter rod 292. The intermediate portion 293 of the rod 292 is provided with a series of circumferential serrations. Each end portion of the rod 292 is of a reduced diameterjournaled in the respective flanges of a bracket 294 (FIGS. 3 and 4) supported between bars 47 and 48 of yoke 462 In order to provide a cutting edge, the serrated portion 293 of rod 292 is cut away, providing a flat surface extending axially the length of the serrated portion. In operation, the teeth of the serrated portion 293 are adapted to intermesh with a series of similar serrations provided along the edge of the cutting blade 295 secured in place with cover plate 275 on the web portion of the flanged bracket 294. The intermediate portion of the lower surface of the cutting blade 295 is cut away to provide a channel of sufficient length and depth to permit the passage of the tape therethrough during a tape feeding operation. Normally, the teeth of the serrated portion 293 are out of mesh with the teeth of the cutter blade 295 to enable the tape to pass over the flat surface of the serrated portion of the cutter rod 292 and into a guide chute 296 formed by the cover plate 275 and the web portion of a channel member 297 secured to the cover plate.

After approximately 300 of rotation of cam 257 (FIG. 13) and cams 266,277 (FIG. 12) movement of the tape T is terminated when roller 260 on cam follower 258 drops into the low dwell 298 of the cam 257, releasing the tape T from its frictional contact with pressure roller I40 and tape feed roller 141. At this time, the cutter device 290 is actuated under the control of a cam 304 secured on the cam shaft 208 (FIG. 4). To this end, an arm 305 having an ear 306, formed at a right angle thereto, is secured on the end of cutter rod 292 adjacent one end of the serrated portion 293. At its lower free end, arm 305 is pivotally connected at 307 to one end of a linlt 308, the other end of which is pivotally supported on a pin 309 secured on the upper end of one arm 310 ofa bellcrank 311 rockably mounted on shaft 259. The other arm 312 of bellcrank 311 carries a roller 313, which is retained in engagement with the peripheral edge surface of the cam 304 under the influence of a relatively strong spring 314, secured at its one end in the car 306 of arm 305 and at its other end in a suitable bracket 315 secured on bar 48 of yoke 46. In the normally inactive, or fullcycle position of the cam 304,115 shown. the flat surface of the serrated portion 293 of the cutter device 290 is in a plane parallel to the path of travel of the tape T to permit the passage of the tape thereover.

It will be recalled that, upon the initial 45 rotation, approximately, of the cam 287 (FIG. 14) contacts 288 are closed momentarily as the leading edge of the tape T rocks meter trip arm 271 (FIG. 2) to close the normally open Microswitch 281 whereby the postage meter clutch-engaging solenoid 26 is energized. Following the termination of the single cycle of postage meter operation and immediately after the actuation of the cutter device 290, earn 257 (FIG. 13) becomes effective to again rock bail 139 to effect frictional contact of the tape T between pressure roller 140 and tape feed roller 141. Cams 266, 267 will then complete the oscillation of gear sector 268. restoring it clockwise to the normally inactive, or full-cycle, position shown in FIG. 12, retracting the tape to an initial position indicated at 84 in FIG. 4.

The extent the tape is retracted and the normally at rest position of the leading edge of the tape, as indicate at 84, is predetermined by an adjustment of an auxiliary cam sector 21 316 (FIG. 13) to increase or decrease the low dwell area 298 of the cam 257. Such adjustment of cam sector 316 controls by angular degrees, during rotation of the cam 257, the frictional engagement of the Tape T between the pressure roller 140 and the tape feed roller 141 for the retraction phase of the operation. By this adjustment, the extent of the margin is ascertained between the indicia impression and the leading edge of the tape.

In the event a keyboard clear operation is desired following one or more successive tape feed and printing operations, the RESTORE-CLEAR button (FIGS. 1, 7, I0 and 11) is rocked downwardly to the CLEAR position indicated in FIG. 1. As explained above, when the button 155 is rocked downwardly in FIG. 7 to thc CLEAR" position, the camming nose 181 of the main body portion of the button 155 is effective to close the normally open Microswitch 185. Microswitch 185 is in series with the switch contacts 285 (FIG. 15) and a normally opened Microswitch 320 (FIGS. and 6).

It will be remembered that upon initiation of a tape feed operation the cam 282 on cam shaft 208 (FIGS. 9 and becomes effective immediately to close contacts 285 retaining them closed for the cycle of tape feed operation. Near the conclusion of a postage meter operation, the Microswitch 320 is closed. thereby effecting energization of the clear clutch-engaging solenoid 80 for a keyboard clear operation to reset the type wheels in the print drum [5 to the zero representative position.

To this end. a gear 321 is enmeshed with the idler gear 34 in the postage meter drive train (FIGS. 5 and 6). Gear 321 is secured on one end of a sleeve 322 rotatably supported on a stub shaft 323 secured on machine frame member 22. At its other end, the sleeve 322 carries a cam 324 which becomes effective in the final 45, approximately. of the postage meter cycle to close Microswitch 320. It will be recalled that immediately upon engagement of the keyboard clear clutch 70 (FIG. 5), the cam 73 (FIGS. 5 and 6) is effective to retain Microswitch 170 closed to maintain the motor energized for a complete cycle of operation of the clutch.

Following the severance of the tape T by the cutter device 290 (FIGS 3 and 4), the printed strip thus formed may be selectively dispensed in a moistened or nonmoistened condition, as desired. For this purpose, a manipulative button 325 is accessible through a suitable aperture 326 in the cover 23 (FIGS. 1 and 4) and is secured on the web portion of a substantially U-shaped bracket 327 rockably supported at either side thereof on a pair of pins, similar to pin 328 in FIG. 4, secured on the angularly formed ears of similar parallel flanges 329 of a U-shaped bracket 330 secured on bracket 56. When the selector button 325 is in the wet indicated position of FIG. 1. a deflector plate 335 is in the position shown in FIG. 4. whereby the gummcd surface of the printed strip of tape T is directed across the moistener wick 336 disposed within the moistener reservoir 337. Reservoir 337 extends transversely of the path of travel of the tape T and is supported at its respective ends on the flanges 329 of the U-shaped bracket 330. as at 338. A pair of similar ears 339 are formed at right angles on each end of the offset portion of deflector plate 335 and serve to rockably support the plate 335 on a shaft 340 secured at its respective ends in the bars 47 and 48 of yoke 46.

Normally. deflector plate 335 is resiliently urged to the position shown in FIG. 4 by means of a relatively light torsion spring 341. However, on rocking selector button 325 downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 4 to the "dry in dicated position in FIG. 1. deflector plate 335 is rocked upwardly from the position shown in FIG. 4 and the severed printed strip of tape T is dispensed in a dry condition. For this purpose, the web portion of the U-shaped bracket 327. sup porting selector button 325. is provided with an upwardly offset extension 342 having a suitable aperture therein through which an extension 343 of one arm of a pair of similar arms 344 of a bail 345 projects to control the rocking of the bail 345 about a shaft 346 supported in the flanges 329 of the U- shaped bracket 330. Selector button 325 and. therefore, bail 345 are yieldably retained in either of two rocked positions by means of a toggle spring 347. One end of spring 347 is pivotally secured on a pin carried by the one arm 344 of bail 345 and the other end is pivotally secured on a pin carried by the flange 329 of the U-shaped bracket 330. An extension 348 of the transverse web portion of the bail 345 carries. at each end thereof, an upwardly formed ear, similar to ear 349 (FIG. 4), the spacing between the ears 349 being slightly greater than the width of the tape T. Thus, upon rocking selector button 325 downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 4, bail 345 is rocked clockwise and the respective ears 349 engage the lower surface of the deflector plate 335, rocking the plate counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 4. In this position of the bail 345 and deflector plate 335, the web portion 348 of the bail covers the wick 336 and defines a path for the dispensing of the severed printed strip without contact with the moistening wick 336.

The electrical control circuit for the tape feed and printing operation is shown schematically in FIG. 16. With the RE- PEAT-CLEAR" button in the REPEAT' indicated position of FIG. 1, respective Microswitches 168. 169 and 185 are open. Upon the momentary rocking of the tape control switch 194 downwardly in FIG. 1, normally open Microswitch 203 and 204 are closed to effect the engagement of the tape clutch 195. At the same time. the motor is energized to drive the tape feed mechanism.

Substantially, immediately upon engagement of the cyclic tape clutch 195. the cam 282 closes each pair of switch contacts 284 and 285. Closing of the switch contacts 284 serves to retain the motor energized throughout the tape feed operation. At the same time. the closing of the switch contacts 285 is ineffective inasmuch as the switch 285 is in series with the Microswitch 185. which is in its normally open condition. As the tape T is moved into the print station Microswitch 281 is closed and, as the cam 287 driven by the cyclic tape clutch 195 closes a pair of contacts 288, the flow of current effects engagement of the postage meter clutch 29 for the printing of the postmark impression on the tape T. Near the conclusion of the single cycle of operation of the postage meter. the cam 324, driven by the meter clutch 29. ineffectively closes Microswitch 320 which is in series with the pair of contacts 285 and the open Microswitch 185 precluding a value selection resetting operation.

If a value selection, or keyboard, clear operation is desired prior to a tape feed and printing operation, the REPEAT- CLEAR button 155 is rocked to the "CLEAR indicated position in FIG. 1, momentarily closing Microswitches 168 and 169 to effect engagement of clear clutch 70 and energiza tion of the motor, respectively, for a single cycle of operation. At the same time, Microswitch 185 is closed and remains closed for the duration of the time the button 155 is in the CLEAR" indicated position of FIG. 1. However. the tape clutch 195 is not engaged at this time, so that each pair of switch contacts 281, 285 remain open. Immediately upon engagement of the clear clutch 70, cam 73, driven by the clear clutch '70, becomes effective to immediately close Microswitch 170 to retain the motor in its energized state throughout the keyboard clear cycle.

Upon rocking the tape control key 194, the Microswitches 203 and 204 are momentarily closed to effect energization of the motor and the engagement of the tape clutch 195. Upon operation of the tape clutch 195 with Microswitch closed, cam 282 becomes effective to close switch contacts 284 and 285 for the duration of the cycle of tape operation. The closing of contacts 284 retains the motor energized but the closing of contacts 285 and the closed Microswitch 185 are ineffective until near the end of the postage meter cycle of operation when cam 324 closes Microswitch 320 to initiate a keyboard clear operation by the engagement of clear clutch 70. It will be recalled that the operation of the meter and engagement of the meter clutch 29 are under the control of the tape trip 271 for the closing Microswitch 281 and the closing of contacts 288 by the cam 287, during the operation of the tape clutch 195.

We claim:

1. In a postage metering machine having a rotary printing drum adapted to print impressions on tape, printing dies in said printing drum adjustable from a zero representative position to a value representative position, a value selection means settable to adjust said printing dies, a continuously operable drive means, a clutch controlled means driven by said drive means for controlling cyclic rotation of said printing drum, a resetting means driven by said drive means selectively operable to zeroize said value selection means, and a tape control mechanism, the combination comprising:

a tape feed means for advancing the tape from a normal at rest position for a printing operation by said rotary printing drum, for severance of the tape to form a printed strip and for retracting the tape to its initial position;

means in the path of advancement of the tape and actuated by the tape to initiate operation of said clutch controlled means;

a cutter operable to sever the tape subsequent to the operation of said printing drum to form a printed strip;

a cyclically operable control means driven by said drive means and operable to control operation of said cutter;

an oscillatory means actuated by said cyclically operable control means for controlling the direction of motion of said tape feed means for the advancement of the tape to actuate said initiating means and for retraction of the tape following operation of said cutter;

pressure means normally effective to maintaina frictional contact of the tape with said tape feed means for movement of the tape thereby and releasable intermittently during operation of said oscillatory means to enable advancement of the tape by said printing drum upon actuation of said initiating means and to enable operation of said cutter;

means operated by said cyclically operable control means for controlling intermittent operation of said pressure means;

A manually settable member adjustable from a normally inactive to an active position; and

means actuated by said clutch controlled means to effect an operation of said resetting means in accordance with the adjustment of said manually settable member to the active position and in timed relation to the cyclic rotation of said printing drum.

2. In a device of the character described in claim 1 wherein said oscillatory means comprises:

a gear sector rockable to impart motion to said tape feed means in each of two directions;

a pair of complementary cams driven by said cyclically operable control means operable to control the rocking movement of said sector a predetermined angular extent in one direction for the advancement of the tape and in the opposite direction for retraction of the tape by said tape feed means; and

said cams being effective to terminate movement of said sector following a partial angular rocking thereof in said one direction and upon release of said pressure means thereby enabling advancement of the tape by said printing drum and to thereafter complete the rocking movement of said sector in said one direction for severance of the tape by said cutterv 3. In a device of the character described in claim 2 wherein said tape feed means is a friction roller normally enabled by said pressure means to control the advancement and retraction of the tape during the rocking movement of said gear sec tor in each direction. and a pinion carried by said friction roller and enmeshed with said gear sector for controlling a rotary motion ofsaid friction roller by said pair of cams.

4. in a device of the character described in claim 3 wherein said pressure means comprises:

an auxiliary roller normally operable to maintain the tape in frictional contact with said friction roller and movable relative to said friction roller to release the tape; and

a bail supporting said auxiliary roller rockable intermittently by said controlling means in timed relation to the rocking of said gear sector.

5. In a device of the character described in claim 4 wherein said controlling means comprises:

an intermittent control cam rotatable by said cyclically operable control means; and

a lever having a pivotal connection with said bail and actuated by said control cam to control intermittent movement of said auxiliary roller relative to said friction roller.

6. in a device ofthe character described in claim 1 wherein said cyclically operable control means comprises:

a drive shaft for controlling a cyclic operation of said oscillatory means, and controlling means and said cutter;

a semicyclic clutch driven by said continuously operable drive means operable upon engagement thereof to impart cyclic rotation to said drive shaft;

a clutch control means movable from a normal clutch disengaging position to a clutch engaging position to effect a rotation of said shaft;

a resilient means normally biasing said clutch control means to the clutch disengaging position following each semicyclic revolution of said clutch;

a manipulative member for effecting movement of said clutch control means; and

a cam operated means driven by said clutch and operable to retain said clutch control means in the clutch engaging position for at least three semicyclic revolutions of said clutch control thereby enabling operation of said cutter and retraction of the tape by said oscillatory means subsequent to a cycle of rotation of said printing drum;

7. in a device of the character described in claim 6 wherein said clutch control means comprises:

a first clutch engaging arm rockable to control engagement and disengagement of said clutch and normally biased by said resilient means to the clutch disengaging position;

a second clutch engaging arm actuated by said manipulative member;

a pawl pivotally supported on said second arm normally in latching engagement with said first arm to control the engagement of said semicyclic clutch upon operation of said manipulative member;

means yieldably urging said pawl to the latching position;

a spring for biasing said second arm to a position relative to said first arm to enable operation of said latching pawl; said first and said second clutch engaging arms being retained in the actuated positions thereof by said cam operated means during each of two semicyclic rotations of said clutch and releasable during a third semicyclic rotation to enable return to the clutch disengaging position under the influence of said resilient means and said spring;

means associated with said cyclic clutch and operable during each semicyclic rotation thereof to control said latching pawl for release from and reengagement with said first clutch engaging arm; and

said latching pawl being ineffective upon retention of said manipulative member in the operative position to reengage said first clutch engaging arm following the release thereof on the third semicyclic rotation of the clutch and the release of said first clutch engaging arm by said cam operated means thereby restricting said drive shaft to a single revolution.

8, in a device of the character described in claim 1 further including:

a cyclic clutch driven by said continuously operable drive means for operating said resetting means; and

a power-operated means including a solenoid for controlling the engagement of said cyclic clutch upon operation of said actuated means.

9. In a device of the character described in claim 8 wherein said actuated means comprises:

a pair of normally open switches in a series circuit operable upon closure thereof to energize said solenoid for the operation of said power-operated means, one said switch being closed upon adjustment of said manually settable means to active position; and

a cam member driven by said clutch controlled means operable in timed relation to the cyclic rotation of said printing drum the to close the other of said switches.

10. in an indicia printing device for printing impressions on gummed tape:

a printing station including a rotary print drum and an impression roller;

means for continuously driving said impression roller;

means driven by said driving means selectively operable to control a cyclic rotation of said print drum at a velocity sychronous with that of said impression roller;

a source of tape supply;

a feed roller rotatable in one direction to control advancement of the tape from said tape supply source for an impression by said rotary print drum and in the opposite direction to retract tee tape;

means in the path of travel of the tape operable to initiate operation of said driven means;

a cyclically operable drive means selectively driven by said continuous driving means;

means actuated by said cyclic driven means for controlling a first partial revolution of said feed roller in said one direction for advancing the tape a given distance from a normal at rest position to actuate said initiating means and a second partial revolution of said feed roller in said one direction and in timed relation to the rotation of said print drum to continue advancement of the tape a predetermined extent and to thereafter control rotation of said feed roller in the opposite direction;

a cutter device actuatable by said cyclic drive means subsequent to said second partial revolution of said feed roller to sever the tape forming a printed strip;

adjustable pressure means normally operable to maintain the tape in frictional contact with said feed roller to enable the advancement of the tape during each of said partial revolutions of said feed roller by said actuated means and to thereafter enable retraction of the tape to its initial position; and

power-operated means driven by said cyclic drive means for controlling adjustment of said pressure means from the normally operative to an inoperative position to relieve the frictional contact of the tape with said feed roller to enable advancement of the tape by said rotary print drum upon actuation of said initiating means and to enable operation of said cutter subsequent to said second partial revolution of said feed roller.

11. In a device of the character described in claim wherein said driven means comprises:

a cyclic clutch;

A clutch engaging member operable to effect engagement of said clutch; and

A solenoid energizable by said initiating means to operate said clutch engaging member.

12. In a device of the character described in claim 11 wherein said initiating means comprises;

a normally open switch operable upon closure thereof to energize said solenoid; and

a trip lever rockable by the tape to operate said switch upon operation of said actuated means and the said first partial revolution of said feed roller.

13. in a device of the character described in claim wherein said cyclically operable drive means comprises:

'a shaft;

21 clutch operated means driven by said continuous driving means for controlling a cyclic rotation of said shaft;

a manipulative member selectively operable to effect operation of said clutch operated means;

a pair of coacting cams carried by said shaft operable to control operation of said actuated means to rotate said feed roller for the advancement and retraction of said tape and to terminate operation of said actuated means during rotation of said print drum;

an intermittent control cam mounted on said shaft operable to effect operation of said power-operated means to control adjustment of said pressure means in timed relation to the operation of said actuated means by said coating coacting cams; and

a cyclic cam carried by said shaft for controlling operation of said cutter device subsequent to the second partial revolution of said feed roller by said actuated means 14. In a device of the character described in claim 13 wherein said actuated means comprises a sector rockable to one extreme by one of said pair of coacting cams to control each of said first and said second partial revolutions of said feed roller in said one direction and rockable to the other extreme by the other of said pair of coacting cams to rotate said feed roller in the opposite direction upon operation of said intermittent control cam and adjustment of said pressure means to the operative position.

15. In a device of the character described in claim 14 further including a pinion carried by said feed roller concentric therewith. and an arcuate gear rack on said sector enmeshed with said pinion for driving said feed roller.

16. In a device of the character described in claim 14 wherein said pressure means comprises:

an auxiliary roller adjustable relative to said feed roller;

a bail supporting said auxiliary roller rockable by said power-operated means upon operation of said intermittent control cam control adjustment of said auxiliary roller; and

resilient means normally biasing said bail and said auxiliary roller to the operative position to maintain frictional contact of the tape with said feed roller.

17. ln a device of the character described in claim 16 wherein said power-operated means comprises:

a cam follower lever having a roller adapted to engage said intermittent control cam;

a first spring means maintaining said roller in engagement with said cam for controlling intermittent rocking movement of said lever upon each cyclic rotation of said cam; and

A second spring means providing a resilient connection between said lever and said bail for controlling adjustment of said auxiliary roller during the rocking movement of said lever.

Patent No.

Inventor(a) Dated January 19, 1971 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

olumn 3:

Column 5:

Column 7 Column 10:

Column 12:

Column 15:

Column 16:

Column 16:

Column 17:

line

line

line

line

line

line

line

line

line

line

line

change "extent" to 1968,

change "snaillike" to snail-like change "FIGS." to FIG.

before "FIGS. delete the open parenth symbol delete "a" first word;

delete "25".

change "277" to 267 delete "21", last word.

change "A" to a change "and", first occurrence, to

-- said delete "control";

delete "the", first occurrence.

change "sychronous to synchronous change "tee" to the change "driven" to drive change "A" to a change "A" to a UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,556 ,001 Dated January 19, 1971 M Inventor) e1 E Kinney et a1 PAGE 2 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 18: line 14 delete "coating";

line 37, after "cam" insert to line 50, change "A" to a Signed and sealed this 16th day of November 1971 (SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patel

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3861303 *Nov 30, 1972Jan 21, 1975American Totalisator Company ITicket issuing machine
US3996855 *Jan 17, 1975Dec 14, 1976Monarch Marking Systems, Inc.Label cutter and discharge for a printer
US4881460 *Aug 26, 1987Nov 21, 1989Pitney Bowes Inc.Postage meter and control arrangement for same
US4897530 *Feb 1, 1989Jan 30, 1990F.M.E. CorporationMeter base drive assembly
US4911268 *Dec 28, 1988Mar 27, 1990Pitney Bowes Inc.Torque or force linearizing device
US4922085 *Dec 28, 1988May 1, 1990Pitney Bowes Inc.In a postage meter
US5007370 *Dec 28, 1988Apr 16, 1991Dannatt Hugh St LMailing machine tape module and tape take-up and moistening system thereof
US5016511 *Dec 28, 1988May 21, 1991Pitney Bowes Inc.Tape cutter
US5171975 *Aug 7, 1991Dec 15, 1992Pitney Bowes Inc.Tape feed device
US5392703 *Jan 11, 1994Feb 28, 1995Pitney Bowes Inc.Tape feeding, cutting and ejecting apparatus for a mailing machine
US5392704 *Jan 11, 1994Feb 28, 1995Pitney Bowes Inc.Mailing machine
US8628319 *Aug 2, 2012Jan 14, 2014Ivma Holdings CompanyApparatus for manufacturing thermoformed plastic articles
EP0257153A1 *Aug 27, 1986Mar 2, 1988Pitney Bowes PLCPostage meter and control arrangement for same
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/92, 101/227, 235/101
International ClassificationG07B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07B2017/0062, G07B17/00508, G07B2017/00548
European ClassificationG07B17/00F2