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Publication numberUS3611920 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateJan 10, 1969
Priority dateJan 10, 1969
Also published asDE2000868A1, DE2000868B2
Publication numberUS 3611920 A, US 3611920A, US-A-3611920, US3611920 A, US3611920A
InventorsOberhofer Lanny A, Timko Charles A
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Random jar coder
US 3611920 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Charles A.Timko Westmont;

Lanny A. Oberhofer, Chicago, both of 111. [21] Appl.No. 790,386 [22] Filed Jan. 10, 1969 [45] Patented Oct. 12, 1971 [73] Assignee Continental Can Company, Inc.

New York, N.Y.

I54} RANDOMJARCODI-ZR 1 Claim, 6 Drnwlng Figs.

152| U.S.Cl 101/35, 101/248 [51] lnt.Cl ..B4lfl7/16, B4lf17/24 [50] FieldotSearch 101/35, 248,181

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,054,203 2/1913 Higham 101/248UX 2,230,715 2/1941 Cockrell l01/248X 2,289,737 7/1942 Sorkin 101/181X 2,583,580 1/1952 Ludwig l01/181X 2,963,965 12/1960 Baumgartner l0l/248X 3,073,997 l/1963 Tagliasacchi L, 101/248X Kieckhefer, Jr. 101/248 X 3,084,621 4/1963 Guastarino 101/181 3,152,542 10/1964 Chambon..... 101/181 3,394,651 7/1968 Ochs 101/35 Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-Clifford D. Crowder Attorney-Greist, Lockwood, Greenawalt & Dewey ABSTRACT: An apparatus for imprinting a code or other marking on articles, such as capped jars, which comprises a printing or coding wheel having a series of circumferentially spaced printing die elements and rotatably mounted at a printing station above a straight line conveyor on which capped jars or other articles, are advanced, the wheel being disposed at an elevation to bring the die elements into engagement with the tops of jars advanced to the station and a drive for the wheel which includes a differential gear system for accelerating or decelerating the printing wheel and a stepping motor which is responsive to sensors spaced along the path of advance of the jars as they approach the printing station and operating to sense the location of the jar tops relative to the printing station. The sensors are connected through electric circuitry with a control device including a timer whereby the rotation of the printing wheel is adjusted so that the die elements match the spacing of the advancing jar tops and a die element is engaged with each successive jar top to print a code thereon.

PATENTEU UCI I 2 I97! saw 2 UF 2 SENSOR-A ZERO OR QTL UPPER LIMIT ADD (UP) CSQFWILT RE T sm T O CO C ION D 1 15; gggmg AERROR ANGLE B COUNT?) B\IOODER f OSCILLATOR FORWARD P LS -MOTOR ENCCQDER 9 UPPER um?= DECISION ACCELERATE NUMBER OF CIRCUIT DECELERATE 'X ---J3, [ERRom ANGLE B REVERSE RESTART COUNT J "'TW SENSORS INITIATE CORRECTION IF B (I) %DNK%I%ER IS AT B AND WHEEL 22 7 l 5 c OR(2)N0 CONTAlNER IS AT B RANDOM JAR CODER This invention relates to article marking or coding systems and is more particularly concerned with improvements in an apparatus for marking a code number or other information on the top of capped jars or similar articles.

It is the practice in handling many products which are packaged in jars or similar containers to provide for the imprinting of an identifying code number or other data on the container or package, generally on the top thereof. A particular example of this practice my be found in the canning of many food products in capped jars or similar containers, where it is desirable to be able to identify the batch, date of packing, or the like. Various types of equipment have been provided for incorporation in a canning or packing line which employ an arm or wheel on which printing dies of the desired character are mounted so that a die is engaged with the top of each successive package which passes beneath the same. The usual practice has been to synchronize the movement of a die holder on which a plurality of dies are carried with the speed of the conveyor or other carrier for the packages and with the packages spaced uniformly to correspond with the fixed spacing of the marking dies so that a die engages each package. There are some disadvantages in having to provide uniform spacing of the jars or other packages on the article supporting conveyor and some efforts have been made to provide an arrangement which would not require uniform spacing of the jars. However, no completely satisfactory equipment for marking without this requirement has been developed. It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide an apparatus for marking or imprinting, in a uniform manner, a code number or other date on the tops of jars, or similar articles which are advancing with random spacing on a supporting conveyor, without requiring that the spacing of the jars be altered, while enabling the marking to be positioned in the same relative location on each successive jar top.

it is a more specific object of the invention to provide an apparatus for marking a code number, or the like, on a predetermined portion of the top of each of a series of jars advancing with random spacing to a marking station which apparatus comprises a plurality of marking dies carried in uniform spaced relation on a traveling support with the speed of advance of the support controlled by decelerating or accelerating the movement thereof in response to sensors which determine the location of an advancing jar relative to the location of the traveling dies to that the travel of the latter may be increased or decreased the required amount to bring a marking die into proper position to mark on a predetermined spot on the jar top when the latter reaches the marking station.

A further object of the invention is to provide a marking apparatus for ajar-capping line wherein a series of marking dies are supported on rotating wheel which is driven by a differential gear system with a stepping motor which is operative in response to sensor devices actuated by passage of jars and travel of the dies so as to accelerate or decelerate the travel of the wheel in order to bring a die into proper position for marking on the required area on he top of a jar which has advanced to the marking station.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the coding or marking apparatus which is shown by way of illustration in the accompanying drawing herein.

FIG. 1 is an elevation, largely schematic of marking or coding die apparatus mounted adjacent a run of a conveyor on which randomly spaced jars are advanced to a marking station where a mark is imprinted on the top of each jar in a predetermined spot thereon;

FIG. 2 is a cross section taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 to an enlarged scale and with portions broken away;

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 are schematic views illustrating the operation of the die-carrying wheel; and

F IG. 6 is a schematic flow diagram illustrating the sequence of operation and control of the apparatus.

Referring to FlGS. 1 nd 2 there is illustrated an apparatus embodying the principles of the invention which is adapted to be employed for imprinting date, code number or other data on the tops of capped jars 10 which are advancing on a horizontally disposed run 12 of a traveling conveyor to a marking or coding station 14 at a predetermined point along the path of the jar carrying conveyor run 12. A coding apparatus 16 is mounted at station 14 which is operative to apply a desired code number or other data to each successive jar to by imprinting on the top surfaces of the jar caps 18, each of which has a space, or area, indicated at 20, for receiving the code number, that is an area on which it is desired to imprint the code number. i

The code-applying apparatus or imprinting mechanism 16 comprises a coding wheel 22 (FIGS. 1 and 2) mounted on a supporting shaft 24 and carrying on its peripheral surface a plurality of type or printing die elements 26A, 26B, 26C, 26D which are disposed in equally spaced relation about the periphery of the wheel 22. The die elements may be metal or rubber type, for example, which require the application of ink or other printing fluid, in which event a suitable ink-applying mechanism 28 is provided for cooperation with the same. The inking mechanism 28 may be supported in a simple frame (not shown), and driven by connection with suitable power drive or with the coding wheel shaft 24.

The coding wheel shaft 24 is supported by bearings 30 and 31 and driven by a differential gear system, indicated at 32 in F FIG. 2, with power being received from the drive gear 34 mounted on shaft 36 which is connected in any suitable manner to the drive for the conveyor 12 or driven in synchronized relation therewith. The gear 34 engages the transmitting gear 38 which is rotatably mounted on the shaft 39 the latter constituting an input shaft in the gear system 32 which is driven from a stepping motor indicated at 40 and constitutes the output shaft of the stepping motor 40. The shaft 39 has a right-angle end portion 41 on which speed pinion 42 is rotatably mounted. .An input bevel gear 44 is mounted on the face of the transmitting gear 38 and connected in driving relation with the speed pinion 42 which drives the output bevel gear 46. The output ear 46 is keyed to the inner end of the shaft 24 carrying the type wheel 22. With this arrangement and the proper selection of gears the coding wheel 22 is normally rotated so that the type on the periphery thereof travel at a speed corresponding to the linear speed of the conveyor 12. Thus, the stepping motor, by means of shaft 39 and the speed pinion 42, may be operated, as hereinafter described, to accelerate or decelerate the coding wheel 22 while the latter is being driven through its connection with the power shaft 36.

The stepping motor which is indicated schematically at 40, is a commercially available unit, with standard translator control such that for a pulse input signal, the motor output shaft will rotate a finite number of degrees. For example, if 240 input pulses are supplied to the translator control and motor indicated at 40 is employed which is designed for lkdegrees per step, the motor output shaft 39 will rotate 360 or one revolution.

The coding wheel shaft 24 carries on its free end the encod ing device 50. The encoding device or 'unit 50 forms part of a position sensing and control system or apparatus for operating the stepping motor 40 so as to accelerate or decelerate the coding wheel 22 s required to match a die element 26 with a code-receiving area20 on an oncoming container 10 on the conveyor run 12. The encoding unit 50 includes a logic circuit having a pulse counter and a timer which operate in response to the operation of position sensors A, C B. C and D, which are indicated schematically on F IGS. 3, and 5.

The position sensor A may be photoelectric or a proximity type, or the like, which is located as indicated in FlG. 3, a distance upstream of position P] which distance corresponds to the diameter of a container 10 plus one-half the dimension of a code-receiving area 20 measured in the direction of travel of the container, the position Pl being the point where a die element 26A which is advancing so as to properly mate with a code receiving space 20A begins to engage the top surface of the advancing container 10. The sensor B, which may be the same type as sensor A, is located so as to sense the presence, or absence, of a container between the positions which are indicated by the radial lines c and d on FIG, 3, the former coinciding with position P2 which is the point where a die element (indicated in phantom line) breaks contact with a matedcode-receiving space on which the die element has imprinted a code number or other information.

The encoder unit 50 includes sensor C (FIG. 3) which gives a signal when the coding wheel 22 is in position P2 and sensor D which gives a signal when the coding wheel is in position P1. The encoder unit 50 is secured on the coding wheel shaft 24 and designed with circuitry to give a definite predetermined number of pulses per coding wheel rotation. With the coding wheel in the position indicated in FIG. 3 where die element 268 is at encoder sensor D and a code-receiving space 208 is at sensor A the two will mate at position Pl without any alteration or correction in the speed of the coding wheel 22.

In the operation of the apparatus when the coding wheel 22 advances a die element, for example 26A in FIG. 5 to the sensor D position the encode counter begins to accumulate pulse counts, that is, the count is initiated at time I the instant when the die element 26A is at the sensor D position of the codin wheel 22 (as shown in FIG. 4) and a code-receiving space 20A is approaching sensor A. When the code-receiving space 20A reaches the sensor A the count is stopped, and the accumulated count is then a measure of the distance, or angular wheel rotation, by which the die element will miss mating with the code-receiving space 20A, if no correction is made in the rotational speed of the wheel 22. This may be termed an error," ie the distance (in encoder pulse counts) representing the angular wheel rotation that separates 26A from mating with the code-receiving space 20A. Since the object is to mate either of the die elements 26A or 268 with the code-receiving space 20A according to the minimum time required for speeding up or slowing down the wheel 22, as the case may be, the apparatus is designed to provide a decision point which is indicated by the radial line DP on FIG. 5 and which trials the die element 26A by the angle X. At time tthe number of pulses accumulated by the encoder counter has been tabulated and represents the angle Y, that is, the angle between the radial line d and the radial line through the die element 26A. In order to match or mate die element 26A with code-receiving space 20A it will be necessary to decelerate the wheel 22 through the angle Y or to mate the next die element 268 with the space 20A it will be necessary to accelerate the wheel 22 through the angle Z which represents the angular distance between the radial line d and the radial line through the trailing, or next die element 268 on the wheel 22. The control is designed so that for a given angle Y the wheel 22 will decelerate and for a given angle Z the wheel 22 will accelerate, the amount in each case being the amount necessary to match or mate the one or the other of the die elements with the code receiving space 20A as measured by the accumulated pulse count. Hence if the angle Y is greater than the angle X the stepping motor 40 runs forward to correct the error by accelerating the coding wheel 22 and if the angle Y is less than the angle X the stepping motor 40 runs in reverse to correct the error by decelerating the coding wheel 22.

Referring to the diagram of FIG. 6 the sequence of operations is as follows: (I) sensor D starts the pulse count, (2) counter in encoder 50 accumulates pulse counts, (3) sensor A stops the count, (4) sensor B, or sensors B and C initiate correction, (5) decision is made to correct forward (accelerate coding wheel 22) or reverse (decelerate coding wheel 22), (6) if decision is to correct forward," that is, to accelerate the coding wheel the counter restarts and adds pulse counts until total (upper limit) count is reached (count up-add): if the decision is to reverse" the counter restarts and subtracts pulse counts until zero count is reached (count down-subtract), *(7) correction is completed upon arriving at total or zero count and correction is stopped and circuits are reset for next container. v

The encoder 50 whrch converts shaft rotation to electrical pulses may be, for example, mercury wetted Rotaswitch" Model 1 l 1 produced by D Disc Instruments, Inc. Santa Ana, California. The stepping motor 40 which operates to rotate its output shaft at a predetermined number of steps per shaft revolution may be, for example, Slo-Syn stepping motor Type HS-SO, produced by The Superior Electric Company, Bristol, Connecticut with a pulse-to-step converter which may be Slo-Syn" Translator Model ST-l,800, produced by the same company, the latter comprising circuitry for operating the stepping motor according to the pulses resulting from the actuation of the encoder We claim:

1. Apparatus for imprinting a code or other information on containers advancing on a conveyor in random spaced relation which comprises a rotatably mounted, continuously driven coding wheel having a plurality of coding die elements mounted in predetermined spaced relation about the periphery thereof, which wheel is disposed for rotation in a vertical plane above the path traversed by the containers and which is operative to engage the top surface of each successive container with one of said die elements when said container is at a marking station located along the path of said containers, a drive for said coding wheel which normally synchronizes the speed of the coding wheel with the container advancing conveyor so that successive containers which are spaced on the conveyor according to the spacing of the die elements on said wheel will be engaged in the same area by said die elements, means for operating said drive to accelerate or decelerate said coding wheel in accordance with the advance of each successive container to said marking station and the position of a pair of said die elements relative to said marking station whereby the speed of said coding wheel is adjusted for each container, when required to bring selected die elements to proper position at said marking station for imprinting on each said container, and said drive for said coding wheel including means for comparing the advance of a container with the advance of said pair of die elements to the marking station and means for adjusting the operation of the drive for the coding wheel so as to accelerate or decelerate said coding wheel as required to bring into proper marking position the die element which is most nearly mated with the advancing container,

Patent No.

Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION 3,611,920 Dated October 12, 1971 Inventor(s) Charles A. Timko and Lenny A. Oberhofer It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

line 10, "my" should be may "to" should be so line 46,

line 52, after "on" insert a.

2, line 27, delete "F" at the beginning of the line 2, line 39, "ear" should be gear 2, line 2, line 5 should be as Column 2, line 65, cancel the first "C" 2, line 66, "FIGS-3 and 5" should be FIGS.3, and

3, line 21, "encode" should be encoder 3, line 38, "trials" should be trails 3, line 39, "tthe" should be "t 1" the 'oRM P0-1050 [to-s9) USCOMM-DC B0376-P69 Patent 3,611,920

Page Two Column 4, line 8, before "to" delete one of the commas Column 4, line 13, delete the asterisk Column 1-, line 18, delete the "D" Signed and sealed this 25th day of A i 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD I LFLETCI-IJFIR, JR. liOBERT GOTTSCHALK Attcsting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3929066 *Dec 18, 1973Dec 30, 1975Pont A MoussonMachine for printing stamps, in particular on bottle caps
US4271757 *May 18, 1979Jun 9, 1981Markem CorporationRotary offset article printing system
US4682540 *Jun 12, 1986Jul 28, 1987Manville CorporationMethod for emobssing a non-repeating design
US5018443 *Sep 15, 1989May 28, 1991Illinois Tool Works Inc.Position sensor systems for a print head
US8910570 *Nov 12, 2010Dec 16, 2014Preco, Inc.Apparatus and method for calculating registration error of a rotary die
US20110277645 *Nov 12, 2010Nov 17, 2011Preco, Inc.Apparatus and method for calculating registration error of a rotary die
U.S. Classification101/35, 101/248
International ClassificationB41F17/08, B41F17/16
Cooperative ClassificationB41F17/16
European ClassificationB41F17/16