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Publication numberUS3660203 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 2, 1972
Filing dateNov 19, 1968
Priority dateNov 19, 1968
Publication numberUS 3660203 A, US 3660203A, US-A-3660203, US3660203 A, US3660203A
InventorsBeck Christian A, Luperti Harry E
Original AssigneePitney Bowes Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tape printing and handling system
US 3660203 A
A tape handling system for a label type printing machine wherein the tape includes a backing strip on which is carried an upper releasable pressure sensitive print receiving strip. The composite tape is perforated at regular intervals along its length so as to facilitate printing positionment of the tape, after which the printed tape portion may be transversely torn off along said perforations. The tape handling apparatus includes a detent for engaging said perforations, a separator for facilitating the stripping of the backing strip from the releasable strip, and a yieldably driven take-up spool for the backing strip.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. United States Patent 1151 3,660,203 Beck et al. 1 May 2, 1972 [54] TAPE PRINTING AND HANDLING 2,l44,883 1/1939 Kind ..226/58 x SYSTEM 2,639,148 5/1953 Adams..

2,824,736 2/1958 Allen [721 lnvemrs= chrls'ian Bed, R'dgefield4 3 425 346 2/1969 Voigtetal. ..156/384 x Luperti, Wilton, both of Conn.

[73] Assignee: Pltney-Bowes, Inc., Stamford, Conn. FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS l 217 956 12/1959 France ..l0l/227 d: 19, 196 [22] me My 8 927,636 5/1963 Great Britain... ..101/227 [21] Appl. No.: 777,015 l,07l,688 6/1967 Great Britain ..l0l/228 Prima Examiner-Cl de l.C0u henour ..1 6 4 1 228, 56 84, Y E [52] Us Cl 5 B8 Attorney-William D. Soltow, .lr., Albert W. Scribner and 51 Int. c1. ..B65c 11/02 wmstem [58] Field ofsealch ..l0l/228,53,92,2l9, 224,

101/225, 226, 227, 288; 156/542, 384, 584; 226/58, [57] ABSTRACT 134 A tape handling system for a label type printing machine wherein the tape includes a backing strip on which is carried [56] References and an upper releasable pressure sensitive print receiving strip. UNITED STATES PATENTS The composite tapeis perforated at regular intervals along its length so as to facihtate printing posmonment of the tape, 1,009,456 1 1/ i911 after which the printed tape portion may be transversely torn 1,497,766 6/ 1924 off along said perforations. The tape handling apparatus in- 2,043,432 6/1936 cludes a detent for engaging said perforations, a separator for 3,016,009 1/1962 facilitating the stripping of the backing strip from the releasa- 3,238,869 3/1966 ble strip, and a yieldably driven take-up spool for the backing 3,330,207 7/1967 strip. 3,427,968 2/1969 2,004,202 6/1935 1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEBMAY 21972 SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTORS CHRISTIAN A. BECK I HARRY E. LUPERTI ATTORNEY PATENTEBMAY 2 I972 3,660,203

sum 2 OF 3 INVENTORS CHRISTIAN A. BECK HARRY E. LUPERTI WWI/t ATTORNEY PATENTEDMAY 2 I912 SHEET 3 [IF 3 INVENTORS I CHRISTIAN A. BECK j HARRY E.- LUPERTI ATTORNEY TAPE PRINTING AND HANDLING SYSTEM TAPE HANDLING SYSTEM This invention relates to a novel arrangement for producing printed labels. More particularly the invention relates to a novel tape handling apparatus for use in conjunction with a rotary printing unit.

In various types of printing devices, such as postage meters, it is often desirable to be able to print on a tape strip which may thereafter be applied to another object such as a package. I-Ieretofore known devices for this purpose have employed relatively complicated mechanisms to produce the various required functions such as physically locating and controlling the movement of the tape strip relative to the printing die; cutting to length the imprinted portion of the tape strip; and moistening the adhesive backing on the cut length of tape strip. Each of the mechanisms to produce these functions pose several problems, for example most tape feed mechanisms have been structurally complex thus necessitating a high level of maintenance, the tape cutting means have not consistently produced complete clean tape cuts over long periods of use, and moisteners have been subject to spillage, clogging and drying out.

Accordingly, an object of the instant invention is to provide a novel arrangement for overcoming the above noted problems and for more efficiently printing on and handling tape strips.

Another object of the invention is to provide a printing apparatus with a pressure sensitive adhesive tape strip which is comprised of a lower backing strip and a superimposed releasable upper print-receiving strip.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a tape handling arrangement that utilizes a pressure sensitive tape strip having perforations at predetermined intervals so as to allow the tape strip to be manually severed at these intervals from the remaining portions of the tape.

A further object of the invention is to provide a more efficient tape handling apparatus that is simple and low-cost in construction.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

One embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a printing machine employing the instant invention.

FIG. 2 is a view of a portion of the pressure sensitive tape used in the instant device.

FIG. 3 is a view of the label type product of the device showing the pressure sensitive tape of FIG. 2 with indicia printed thereon;

FIG. 4 is a partial front elevational view on an enlarged scale.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 and 4.

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a postage printing machine including a machine base or frame and a detachable meter 12. A pressure sensitive tape 16 is provided on which postage indicia is to be printed; such being illustrated in FIG. 2 and comprising a two layer construction whereby the top print receiving layer or strip 16a to be printed on has a pressure sensitive adhesive on its underside and is normally protected by a second bottom layer or strip 16b that is designed to be stripped from the said top layer 16a to expose the adhesive on the latter. Disposed at predetermined uniform intervals along said tape 16 are laterally aligned pairs of perforations 18 which are adapted to be used as index stops for the tape 16 as it is fed through the mechanism and also to provide a weakened area or partial score so as to ensure that the tape will preferentially tear and separate from the remainder of the tape 16 only at these perforations when a tension force is applied to the end of the tape. The specific distance between the perforations 18 is generally determined by the length of the desired indicia to be printed in the area between successive pairs of perforations 18 as will be discussed below. Disposed on said base 10 is a tape supply roll means 14, a tape drag and detenting means 20, FIG. 1, a postage imprinting and tape stripping means 22, and a take up means 24 for the bottom layer 16b of the tape, which bottom layer is subsequently disgarded. The rotary cylinder or drum 26 carried by the meter 12 has a peripheral printing die surface 28 for the printing of postage and/or other indicia upon the said top layer of the tape strip 16 that is fed through the guide and indexing means 20 from the tape supply means 14.

The roll supply means 14 comprises a single flanged spool 30 which carries a tape supply roll 31 and which is freely rotatable on a stud 32 fixed to the machine side frame 10a. A retaining arm 33 is normally disposed in a position over the exposed radial face of the supply roll 31 to prevent the latter from moving off of the spool 30, said retaining arm 33 being pivotably mounted on a stud 34 secured to the machine side frame and being spring biased in a counter clockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 1, towards said normal position by a suitable spring 35. The tape drag and detenting means 20 is disposed adjacent to spool 30 and guides the tape 16 from the said spool to the imprinting and stripping means 22. More particularly as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 the guide and indexing means 20 comprises an angle bracket or plate 36 that is fixed to the machine side frame 10a in any suitable manner, the horizontal leg of said angle plate 36 fixedly supporting upper and lower tape guide members 40 and 41 respectively. These guide members 40 and 41 cooperatively define a pathof travel 37, FIG. 4, for the tape 16 as the latter proceeds from the-said supply roll 31 to said imprinting and stripping means 22. Cooperating with these tape guide members is a detent means for controlling the indexed or print receiving positions of the tape 16. Here a plate 42 is mounted on the vertical leg of the said angle plate 36 by means of a screw 43 and is provided with a fixed stud 44 on which is pivotably mounted both a detent finger supporting arm 45 and a friction drag control arm 46. The arm 45 has at one end thereof a bent over portion 47 on which is fixedly mounted, as by means of screws 48, a finger bracket 50 that is formed with a pair of upstanding tape engaging detent fingers 51 that protrude through a suitable opening 52, FIG. 4, in the lower guide member 41 and are adapted to engage the perforations 18 in tape 16. Rotatably mounted on the other end of the pivoted detent arm 45 is a conventional type cam follower 53, FIG. 4, which is adapted to be biased into peripheral engagement with cam 54 by means of a suitable spring 55. Said cam 54 is driven in one revolution cycles by the same means (not shown) that drives the said detachable meter 12. The friction drag arm 46 extends laterally above the guide members 40 and 41 and carries a depending tape friction drag member 56 which protrudes through an opening 57 in the upper guide member 40 and normally rests on the upper surface of the lower guide member 41. Spring 58 connected between the machine base 10 and the pressure arm 46 enables the drag member 56 to normally continually frictionally engage the tape 16 being drawn between and through the guide members 40 and 41 so as to exert a slight braking or drag force sufficient to produce a predetermined tension in the tape being fed. The tape drag and detent means 20 may be disabled temporarily: here an extension 59 provided on the bent over portion 47 of the detent supporting arm 45 is disposed above a laterally entending stud 60 secured to the pressure arm 46. As will be apparent from FIGS. 1, 4 and 5 the stud 60 and said extension 59 may be manually squeezed together by an operator so as to cause the detent fingers 51 to be lowered and the drag member 56 to be elevated whereby the area between the guide members 40 and 41 is now clear so that the tape 16 may be initially moved into and positioned in the machine or removed therefrom.

A stationary U-shaped bracket 63 affixed to the machine base 10 supports the machine elements associated with the imprinting the tape stripping means 22. A printing pressure roller 64 is rotatable mounted on and between the legs of said bracket 63 in suitable bearings (not shown) and is normally disposed directly beneath the printing drum 26 so as to cooperate therewith and provide a support for the lower surface of the tape 16 during printing, this rotative printing action of drum 26 also serving to longitudinally feed the tape 16 while the surface of the printing drum 26 operatively engages said tape during the printing cycle. Disposed immediately adjacent said platen roller 64 is a relatively small stripping roller 65 that is rotatably mounted on and between the legs of said bracket63. Roller 65 facilitates the separationof the two tape strips 168 and 16b. the top layer 164 continuing on the path 37 to the right hand end of the machine (as seen in FIG. 4) while the bottom layer 16b follows around said roller 65 and moves toward the take up means 24. To assure the separation of the two layers of tape a separator blade 66 is positioned adjacent the roller 65 so as to prevent the bottom tape layer 16b from possibly becoming re-adhered to the top layer 164 of the tape 16 after passing roller 65. The blade 66 is fixed to a bracket 70, FIG. 5, that is pivotably mounted on a shaft 71 carried by the said fixed bracket 63. Additionally mounted in bracket 70 is a roller 72, FIG. 4, that is adapted to be swung, together with bracket 70, into and out of engagement with the pressure roller 64, said bracket 70 being biased in a counter clockwise direction, FIG. 4, by means of a suitable spring 73 that is connected between the machine base and the lower end of bracket 70. By this arrangement the bottom layer 16b of the tape may-be driven or fed by the cooperating rollers 64 and 72 towards a take up spool 74 which is rotatably mounted on the machine frame and which .is provided with a suitable pulley that is yieldably driven by a belt 75 from a suitable drive pulley 76 carried by the machine base 10. The pulley 76'is driven through suitable gearing (not shown) from thersame power source that drives the printing meter 12. Additionally mounted on pivotablebracket 70 is a freely rotatable roller 80 which serves to guide the top strip 16a of-the tape to an exiting or right hand end of the machine where it may be manually removed from the machine by the operator as will be further explained below. v

The operation of the instant invention will now be described. To load the machine a roll 31 of tape 16 is mounted on the spool 30 after manually rotating the retaining arm 33 in a clockwise direction about the mounting stud 34. When the roll 31 is in position spring 35 will return arm 33 to its operative FIG. 1 position. A squeezing action is manually applied to stud 60 and .the extension 59 of detent finger supporting arm 45 in the previously described manner so as to clear the tape guide members 40 and 41 for the initial insertion therethrough of tape 16 which is then manually advanced over the platen roller 64, and over rollers 65 and 80 to said right hand or exiting area of the machine. A sufficient length of tape 16 is initially pulled though the machine from the supply roll 31 to allow for the subsequent threading of the bottom layer 16b of this initially extended portion of the tape strip towards and onto the take up spool 74. The stud 60 and the extension 59 of index finger supporting arm 45 are manually held together until this initial length of the tape strip 16 is drawn through the machine whereafter said stud 60 and extension 59 are released so that as a final further incremental amount of tape 16 is then manually advanced the index fingers 51 will engage the next pair of perforations 18 in the tape 16 thereby preventing further withdrawal of tape from roll 31 and properly positioning the tape for a subsequent printing operation. That portion of the top strip 16a now extending beyond, i.e. to the right of, the blade 66, is manually peeled away and discarded while the corresponding bottom portion of layer 16b of the tape 16 is returned to the interior of the machine by being threaded around roller 65 and between the rollers and 72, the bracket 70 here being manually swung in] a clockwise direction about shaft 71 to facilitate the threading of the bottom layer 16b of this withdrawn length of tape strip 16 through rollers 64 and 72. The remaining end length of this bottom layer 16b is then secured to and wound on the hub of the take up spool 74 thereby completing the preparation of the machine for operation.

When a printed label, i.e. an incremental length of tape strip 16a, is desired a trip lever 81, FIG; 1 on the side of the machine base 10 is manually depressed. The motion of this lever activates the power source for the meter 12 which commences the rotation of the printing drum 26, pulley 76 and the cam 54. The specific interconnection between the said power source and said drum 26, pulley 76 and cam 54 is not shown but maybe of any suitable type so that these three elements are cyclically driven in timed relation with each other during the machine cycle. The belt drive connection between pulley 76 and the take up spool 74 is yieldable, i.e. slippage may occur between pulley 76 and belt 75, whereby any slack in the bottom layer 16b of tape between the nip rolls 72 and 64 and the spool 74 is yieldably taken up. Upon initiation of an operational cycle of the instant device the printing drum 26 and the cam 54 will commence rotating simultaneously. The first resultant machine action is produced by cam 54, namely the lifting of the cam follower 53 so as to pivot finger supporting arm 45 about stud 44 and lowerthe index fingers 51 from the perforations 18 in the tape 16. lmmediately thereafter the printing drum 22 starts its rotation ina counter clockwise direction and thus commences the printing action on the tape strip 16a. During this printing operation the. printing pressure between the die 28 and the platen roller 64 exerted on the tape 16 overcomes the frictional drag force exerted by the friction member 56 and the tape is longitudinally pulled an incremental distance corresponding to the effective length of the printed matter. As the tape strip 16 is thus progressively advanced during a printing operation of the rotating printing die 28, the relatively sharp bending of the bottom tape layer 16b around the roller 65 continuously and efficiently separates the two tape layers 16a and 1612 thereby allowing the top layer 160 with the indicia printed thereupon to ride over roller 80 and be delivered to the exiting area of the machine while the bottom layer 16b of tape continues on a path between the driven rollers 64 and 72 towardsthe take up spool 74. The tape layer 16b is progressively wound upon the take up spool 74 which is cyclically rotated under the yieldable drive action of the belt 75 and pulley 76. After each the printing and feeding action of the rotating printing drum the braking or drag force produced by the friction member 56 prevents further random advance movement of the tape strip 16, and the cam 54 nearing the end of its 360 cycle lowers the cam follower 53 and thereby allows the detent fingers 51 to yieldably move upwardly towards the tape 16 disposed between guide members 40 and 41. The rotation of the pulley 76 and cam 54 ceases upon completion of one revolution of the drum 26. v

The above described cycle of printing of indicia on the tape advances the tape a distance equal only to the efi'ective length of the indicia. It is of course desirable to have a margin of unprinted area at each end of any printed indicia and hence the distance between the pairs of perforations 18 of the tape 16 must be arranged so as to be equal to the said effective length of the printed indicia plus the additional length necessary for the two required margins. In that the printing cycle does not advance the tape this desired distance between perforations 18 the detent fingers 51 will not be engaged the next set of perforations 18 at the end of each printing cycle and the advancing of the tape by the final amount required to allow for said margins is accomplished by an added manual withdrawal of the printed piece of tape from the machine by the operator. Grasping the end of the just printed tape strip 16a the operator draws it from the machine and in doing so overcomes the braking force applied by the friction member 56 and thus advances the complete tape 16 a relatively short distance through the machine until the next pair of perforations 18 in the tape strip 16 are engaged by said detent fingers 51 thereby stopping the movement of tape and properly positioning the this printed end tape portion of course having been just previously stripped from the corresponding portion of the lower tape strip 16b. The printed and severed piece of tape thus obtained by the operator may now be applied to a package or like, and the machine is ready for the next cycle of operation.

To facilitate the above described manual severing of the upper tape strip 16a, the latter may be provided with a partial slit or score line 180, FIG. 2, in the areas adjacent the tape holes or perforations 18. Further to minimize the contact area between the adhesive lower side of the tape strip 16a and the roller 80, the latter may be provided with a pair of narrow flanges 80a, FIG. 5.

Since many changes could be made in the embodiment of the invention as particularly described and shown herein without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that this embodiment be considered as exemplary and that the invention not be limited except as warranted by the following claims.

We claim:

1. In a machine having a print station that includes a rotary printing drum that is adapted to be operated through successive cycles so as to successively print on a composite tape that includes a backing layer and a removable print receiving layer: comprising a frame;

means on said frame for rotatably mounting a supply roll of said tape, said tape being formed with index holes that are uniformly spaced therealong;

guide means on said frame for effectively guiding said tape along a predetermined path to said print station;

detent finger means movably mounted and cooperatively arranged with respect to said guide means so as to be capable of moving into and out of detenting engagement with said holes in the tape;

braking means adapted to yieldably resist movement of the tape from said guide means to said print station;

a take-up spool rotatably mounted on said frame and adapted to take up that portion of the said backing layer of said tape that has passed said print station and has been separated from said print receiving tape layer;

a small diameter roller rotatably mounted on said frame and around which the tape backing layer is arranged to pass in moving away from the print receiving layer and towards said take-up spool;

a first drive means for yieldably driving said take-up spool;

a second drive means operated in timed relation with the printing movement of said drum for moving said finger means out of detenting engagement with the holes in said tape whereby said tape may be pulled against the action of said braking means through said guide means a distance substantially equal to the distance between said successive index holes so as to permit a new print receiving portion thereof to be presented at said print station and the next hole in said tape to register with said detent means; and

exit guide means for guiding the end printed portion of the print receiving layer of said tape to a position so as to be accessible for the manual tearing away thereof from the remaining portion of said print receiving layer;

said drive means being arranged so that the initiation of operation of said first drive means is effected in timed relation with respect to the initiation of operation of said second drive means, said printing drum being arranged so that the rotary printing motion thereof pulls said tape through said first mentioned guide means during the printing action of said drum.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3821930 *May 12, 1971Jul 2, 1974Hobart Mfg CoPrinting apparatus
US3881979 *Sep 14, 1972May 6, 1975United States Steel CorpMethod of printing and dispensing labels
US3900257 *Jan 21, 1974Aug 19, 1975Amp IncRegistration device for printed circuits
US4035808 *Apr 30, 1976Jul 12, 1977Sanitary Scale CompanyLabel printer
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US4432830 *Feb 7, 1983Feb 21, 1984Intermec CorporationLabel printer having selectable label stock paths
US4852786 *Dec 17, 1987Aug 1, 1989Pitney Bowes Inc.Tape module for a modular mailing machine
US4911268 *Dec 28, 1988Mar 27, 1990Pitney Bowes Inc.Torque or force linearizing device
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U.S. Classification156/384, 226/58, 101/228, 226/134
International ClassificationB65C11/00, B65C11/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65C11/02
European ClassificationB65C11/02