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Publication numberUS3731621 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1973
Filing dateOct 14, 1970
Priority dateOct 14, 1970
Publication numberUS 3731621 A, US 3731621A, US-A-3731621, US3731621 A, US3731621A
InventorsNeckel E
Original AssigneeNatmar Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tape printer apparatus
US 3731621 A
Abstract
A tape printing apparatus for sequentially printing tapes is disclosed. The tape printer apparatus provides for the pre-marking of a standard tape before the addition of the usual identification coding is applied. A print roll and ink means are pivotally interconnected by adjoining levers and the print roll is pivotally connected to be engagable with a backup roll over which the tape passes. Each element is respectively disengageable from the next element. The tape printer apparatus may use cartridges of different colors which make the apparatus adaptable to a wide variety of identification systems. Adjustment means are provided to allow the tape printer apparatus to accept and print tapes of different widths.
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United States Patent [191 Neckel 51 May 8, 1973 [54] TAPE PRINTER APPARATUS [75] Inventor: Edmund N. Neckel, Cincinnati, Ohio [73] Assignee: Natmar, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio [22] Filed: Oct. 14, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 80,668

[52] US. Cl. ..101/92,101/103,101/182,

101/209, 101/213, 101/228 [51] Int. Cl ..B4ll 47/46, B41f 1/40 [58] Field of Search ..101/91, 92, 97,110,

Primary Examiner--Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-Eugene H. Eickholt Attorney-Edward S. Irons [57] ABSTRACT A tape printing apparatus for sequentially printing tapes is disclosed. The tape printer apparatus provides for the pre-marking of a standard tape before the addition of the usual identification coding is applied. A print roll and ink means are pivotally interconnected by adjoining levers and the print roll is pivotally connected to be engagable with a backup roll over which the tape passes. Each element is respectively disengageable from the next element. The tape printer apparatus may use cartridges of different colors which make the apparatus adaptable to a wide variety of identification systems. Adjustment means are provided to allow the tape printer apparatus to accept and print tapes of different widths.

PATENTEDIAY 81913 3,731,621

SHEET 1 OF 5 V mvEm'oR EDMUND N. NECKEL ATTORNEYS FIG.I

PATENTED W 81975 SHEET 2 OF 5 INVENTOR EDMUND N. NECKEL ATTORNEYS PATENTEUHAY 3.731.621

SHEET 3 0F 5 FIG.3

INVENTOR BY EDMUND N. NECKEL (W MM PATENTED 8W5 3,731,621

SHEET 0F 5 INVENTOR EDMUND N. NECKEL FIG.4 Z Z ATTORNEYS PATENTEB HAY 8l973 SHEET 5 BF 5 INVENTOR EDMUND N. NECKEL BY \%V 7A #FCM TTORNEYS FIG.6

TAPE PRINTER APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to printing apparatus and more particularly to a tape printer apparatus providing a pre-marking of the standard tape before the addition of the regular identification coding.

It has become important in the operation of certain industries to apply adhesive covered tape to garments and fabrics. Examples of these businesses would be the garment rental and dry cleaning type business. The tape with identification thereon may serve to identify a particular customer. A particular tape or color combination of tape may also indicate a certain treatment to be given to the garment. In the past, a person engaged in this type business has been required to maintain an inventory of a multiplicity of tapes. In other words, the operator would have to have a particular colored tape or pre-marked tape for each customer. The tapes come in various widths and often the operator may maintain an inventory of colored tape in different widths. The operators very often would buy premarked tape for their use. However, the cost of premarked tape generally runs approximately 30 percent higher than standard unmarked tape. In addition, the operators have to pay a premium for colored tape. The pre-marked or colored tape is put through a standard marking machine by which the operator imprints a particular code identification on the tape. The tape is then heat sealed to the material or garment providing a permanent type label or identification for the garment.

It is an object of this invention to provide a tape printer apparatus for attachment to a marking machine wherein a standard tape may be marked prior to the tape being marked with the identification code and heat sealed to the garment.

Another object of this invention is to provide a tape printer apparatus which will accommodate tapes of different widths.

A further object of this invention is to provide a tape printer apparatus which permits the ink supply to be changed with little down time of the apparatus.

An additional object of this invention is to permit the printing die to be easily cleaned and changed.

A still further object of this invention is to permit the use of inexpensive rubber dies which may be easily placed and removed from the printing roll.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a tape printer apparatus for attachment to a marking machine wherein the apparatus has a plurality of control means for adjusting printing pressure.

One further object of this invention is to provide a printer apparatus which can print any label on tape.

A further object of this invention is to provide a tape printer apparatus having means to utilize a plurality of ink cartridges.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a tape printer apparatus for attachment to an identification marking machine. The tape printer apparatus is of simple and economical construction and easily mountable on existing marking machines. The apparatus comprises a tape backup roller means, a printing roll and an ink cartridge all mountable on a base plate assembly. The print roll and ink cartridge are pivotally interconnected by adjoining levers for relative engagement and disengagement one to the other. The print roll is pivotally mounted to be engageable and disengageable with the tape backup roller. Gear means are provided for driving the print roll from the backup roller. Control means are provided to permit contact pressure adjustment.

Other details, uses, and advantages of this invention will become apparent as the following description of the exemplary embodiment thereof presented in the accompanying drawings proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The accompanying drawings show present exemplary embodiments of this invention in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the tape printer apparatus attached to a marking machine;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the tape printer apparatus with the cover removed and partially broken away;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the tape printer apparatus taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the tape printer apparatus taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a side view of another exemplary embodiment of the tape printer apparatus of this invention and particularly illustrating the use of a multiple ink cartridge arrangement; and

FIG. 6 shows a typical handle and detent arrangement for effecting the change from one ink cartridge to another in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT Reference is now made to FIG. 1 of the drawings, which illustrates one exemplary embodiment of the tape printer apparatus of this invention, which is designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The tape printer apparatus 10 is mounted on a typical marking machine generally indicated as 12. The marking machine 12 comprises a platen l4, and ink box 16, type wheels 18, a type wheel cover 20, and the keyboard 22. The marking machine works in a well-known manner and need not be fully described herein. Suffice it to say that when a tape to be marked is placed on the platen l4 and the marking machine energized, the type wheels 18 are pivoted downwardly to engage the tape and thereby imprint the preset type wheels onto the tape.

The tape printer apparatus 10 is mounted to the base or pedestal 24 of the marking machine 12 by means of a base plate bracket 26. The bracket 26 is securedly attached to the pedestal 24 by nuts or the like 28 and 29, FIGS. 3 and 4. A base plate assembly member 30 is secured to the bracket 26 by means of a screw or the like 32. A tape tension bar 34, a tape guide bar 36, and a tape backup roll 38 are mounted to the base plate assembly member 30. The tape backup roll 38 is mounted for rotational movement as will be explained herebelow.

A tape holder or reel 40 having a tension device generally indicated as 42 is mounted to the front of the pedestal or base 24. The tension device 42 provides a small amount of drag on the tape 44. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the tape 44 is fed over the tension bar 34 and around guide bar 36 and backup roll 38 and through guide positions 46 and 48. The guides 46 and 48 are mounted on the printing platen 14. Guide collars 50 and 52 are mounted on the guide bar 36. Collars 50 and 52 are adjustable along the axis of guide bar 36 so as to accommodate tapes of different widths. The collars 50 and 52 are securable to the guide bar 36 by the set screws 54 and 56. Adjustment of the collars 50 and 52 also insures that the tape will be properly aligned with the guides 46 and 48.

The backup roll 38 is mounted for rotational movement about the backup roller shaft 58 which is secured to the base plate assembly member 30. The backup roll 38 is held in place by a hairpin cotter or the like 60. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the backup roll 38 is geared at the inside edge. The gearing is designated generally as 62.

A printing roll lever 64 is pivotally attached to the base plate assembly member 30 by a pivot stud or screw 66. A print roller shaft 68 is attached at the other end of the lever 64. Mounted on shaft 68 for rotational movement thereabout is a printing roll 70 having gearing means 72 at one end thereof. The gearing 72 and 62 are complementary formed so as to mesh one with the other when brought into engagement with each other. Hairpin cotter or the like 74 prevents the removal of the print roll 70. It should be noted that the print roll 70 may be formed with indicia thereabout to provide the printing characters. However, it has been found to be more economical and advantageous to provide a rubber printing die which is applied to the outer surface of the printing die 70. Hence, if the printing indicia needs to be changed, it is only necessary to remove the rubber die and replace it with a proper die.

An ink roll lever 76 is pivotally attached to the print lever 64 by a pivot screw 78. Attached to the other end of the ink lever 76 is an ink roll shaft 80 upon which an ink roll or cartridge 82 is rotatably mounted. A lock hasp or member 84 is pivotally attached at one end of the shaft 80 to hold the ink roll 82 in place.

A release spring or lever 86 is pivotally attached to the assembly30 at one end by the stud 66. The lever 86 is formed with a substantially elongated aperture 88 adjacent the other end and through which shaft 80 extends. The lever 86 is placed between the ink roll 82 and the ink roll lever 76. Hence, when an operator desires to remove or replace the ink roll 82, the lock 84 is pivoted so that its long side is substantially parallel to the axis of the shaft 80. The operator now urges the lever 86 away from the lever 76 which forces the ink roll 82 to slide off the shaft 80.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, it is seen that the ink lever 76 is substantially L-shaped, said lever 76 having a foot portion 77. A spring 90 is connected to the outer end of leg 77. The other end of spring 90 is connected to cap screw 92 which also serves to connect the print roller shaft 68 to lever 64. An ink roll detent lever 94 is mounted on a sleeve on screw 92 so that it may be rotated relative thereto. One end of detent lever 94 is formed with a cam surface to slidably engage and coact with leg portion 77. When the detent lever 94 engages the leg portion 77 as seen in FIG. 2, such engagement prevents the pivoting movement of the ink roll 82 relative to the print roll 70. When the detent lever 94 is rotated in a clockwise position to disengage the leg portion 77, the spring 90 takes effect and urges the ink roll 82 and shaft 80 in a clockwise movement about the pivot screw 78 until the ink roll 82 engages the print roll 70.

It is important that the ink roll 82 is just slightly compressed against the print roll or the rubber printing die mounted about the periphery thereof. An adjusting screw 96 and lock nut 98 provide the means to adjust for the proper relative compression of the ink roll 82. The lock screw 96 is threadably mounted through the leg portion 77 so as to be engageable with the print roll lever 64. It can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 that the print lever 64 is a right angle shaped member.

A print roll spring bracket 100. FIG. 2, is secured to the base plate assembly member 30 by nuts or the like 102 and 184. A threaded spring pin 106 is slidably mounted through an aperture in the bracket and one end of the pin 106 engages the lever 64, such as by hooking or extending through an aperture in the lever 64. A pressure spring 188 is mounted on the pin 106 so that one end acts against the bracket 100 and the other against a nut which is threadably mounted on the end of pin 106. The action of the spring 108 against the nut 110 will cause the lever 64 to be pivoted in a clockwise direction about the pivot stud 66 so as to bring the print roll 70 into contact or engagement with the tape 44 about the backup roll 38 when a print roll detent lever 112 is disengaged from lever 64. The detent lever 112 is mounted about shaft 58 for rotational movement relative thereto. The other end of the detent lever 112 is formed with a cam surface to engage with the print lever 64 to maintain it out of position or contact with the backup roll 38.

A stop screw 114 and lock nut 116 are threadably mounted in the print roll lever 64 so that the end of the lock screw 114 will engage the bracket 100 so that the print roll 70 or rubber die is slightly compressed against the tape 44 about the backup roll 38. The spring 108 and adjusting nut 1 10 provide the necessary pressure to urge the print roll 70 into engagement with the backup roll 38. The stop screw 114 provides the adjustment to insure that the proper engagement with the tape is present for a clear print.

When the detent lever 112 has been disengaged and the print roll 70 is in contact with the backup roll 38, gears 62 and 72 will be in meshing contact. As the tape 44 is pulled across the platen 14, the backup roll 38 will be rotated about shaft 58. This rotation will cause gears 62 to drive gears 72 thereby causing rotation of the print roll 70 about shaft 68. This rotation of print roll 70 will bring the printed indicia on the print roll 70 or the rubber die affixed thereto into contact with the tape 44 with every revolution of the print roll.

In order to insure that the desired'printing is transferred to the tape on a one-to-one basis, it is important that the linear surfaces, i.e., the die surface and the tape surface, exposed to each other be equal. This occurs when the diameter of backup roll 38 plus twice the thickness of tape 44 is equal to the pitch diameter of gear 62 and the diameter of the print roll 70 plus twice the thickness of the die is equal to the pitch diameter of the gear 72. Thus, it can be seen that the respective surfaces of the tape on the backup roll and the indicia or die on the print roll is each coincident with the pitch diameter of its respective gear.

A cover 1 18 is mounted to the tape printer apparatus 10 by any suitable means, such as a hinge which is mounted to the bracket 100 by any suitable means such as nuts and screwsl22. The cover 118 is shown in the uncovered position in all drawings. However, in FIG. 2,

the cover is shown in the closed position by phantom lines. A simple latch 124 of any known configuration is attached to the cover 118 so as to be engageable with arm extension 126 of the base plate assembly member 30 to lock the cover in the closed position.

In operation, the cover 118 is unlatched and pivoted to the open position to permit the threading of the tape 44 through the tape printer apparatus 10. Detent levers 94 and 112 are rotated in the counterclockwise direction so as to respectively engage the levers 77 and 64. This frees the ink roll 82 from the print roll 70 and the print roll 70 from the backup roll 38. Once the print roll 70 is disengaged from the backup roll 38, the tape 44 is threaded over the tension bar 34 and around the guide bar 36 and backup roll 38 and through guides 46 and 48.

The detent lever 94 is then released so that spring 90 causes the ink cartridges 82 to engage the print roll 70 or the printing die on the print roll. The adjusting screw 96 and lock nut 98 have been previously set so that the ink cartridge 82 is slightly compressed against the printing indicia but does not touch the print roll 70. The print roll 70 may be rotated several times to transfer ink from the cartridge 82 to the print indicia on the print roll 70.

The detent lever 112 is now disengaged from print roll lever 64 and spring 108 urges the print roll 70 into engagement with the backup roll 38. The stop screw 114 and locking nut 116 have previously been set so that the printing indicia is slightly compressed against the tape 44. The spring 108 and adjusting nut 110 provide the necessary pressure causing such engagement. The cover 118 is now closed and latched for operation. With the print roll 70 and ink cartridge 82 in engagement, the tape 44 is pulled through the guides until a propertymark is in a desired location along the platen 14. The pointer 23 is slid along the bar 25 to either the forward or trailing edge of the mark. The pointer 23 then serves as a tape stop guide for the operator to insure proper placement of the tape along the platen before engaging the marking machine 12 to place the final identification mark on the tape 44. Should it be necessary to replace an ink cartridge or a print roll, this may be done while the detent levers 94 and 112 are in the engaging position. As the tape 44 is pulled, the backup roll 38 drives the print roll 70 through the intermeshing of gearing 62 and 72. Thus, each rotation of the print roll 70 causes the printing indicia thereon or the property mark to be imprinted on the tape 44. As each premarked tape portion reaches the pointer 23, the marking machine 12 is engaged to imprint the remainder of the identification mark on the tape.

Should it be necessary to utilize a tape of a different width, it is only necessary to adjust collars 50 and 52 on guide bar 36 and the guides 46 and 48 on the platen 14 to the proper width of the new tape.

Another exemplary embodiment of this invention is illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings. The tape printer apparatus illustrated in FIG. 5 is very similar to the tape printer apparatus therefore, such tape printer apparatus will be designated generally by the reference numeral 10A and parts of the tape printer apparatus 10A which are very similar to corresponding parts of the tape printer apparatus 10 will be designated by the same reference numeral as tape printer apparatus 10 also followed by the letter designation A" and not described again. In this embodiment, a multiple ink cartridge in a ferris wheel arrangement, designated generally as 128, is used. The purpose of such an arrangement is to house a number of different ink cartridges in such a manner for the operator ro conveniently change one color to another.

An ink roll lever 76A is pivotally attached to the print lever 64A by a pivot screw 78A. The lever 76A pivotally supports an ink roll superstructure or cross member 130 which is fixed to shaft 132. The structure 130 can have any number of extensions depending on the quantity of ink cartridges 82A desired. The superstructure 130 supports each ink cartridge 82A on shafts or pins 134 which permit rotational movement of the ink cartridge relative to the superstructure 130. Print roll wipers 136 are supported by the superstructure 130 by any convenient means in a fixed position to circumvent the ink cartridges as shown. It can be seen that the wipers 136, ink cartridges 82A and superstructure 130 are similar to a ferris wheel arrangement.

Referring to FIG. 6, a detent mechanism is provided to permit the manual rotation of the superstructure 130 to bring any of the respective ink cartridges 82A into engagement with the print roll A. A hand lever 138 is fixed to the shaft 132 and supports a spring biased ball 140. The ball 140 is adapted to engage a detent plate 142 which is secured to lever 76A about shaft 132.

In operation, each ink cartridge 82A would be a separate color. The coaction between spring A and stop screw 96A permits the proper engagement of the respective ink cartridge 82A with the rubber dies about print roll 70A. Should the operator desire to change from one color to a second color, the hand lever 138 is moved to the color designated on the cover (not shown) of the device. This moves the respective ink cartridge 82A into position as shown in FIG. 5. During this rotation of the superstructure 130, a wiper roll 136, which is a cellulose absorption material, frictionally engages the print roll 70A and cleans the surplus ink therefrom before the next color ink cartridge 82A is brought into position. Detent levers would be provided for both ink cartridge lever 76A and the print roll lever 64A for suitable disengagement of these members and the backup roll as previously disclosed and described.

It can be seen that this invention provides a tape printer apparatus which is of simple and economical construction, is easy to operate, provides great versatility in use, and accomplishes the objects hereinbefore set forth.

While present exemplary embodiments of this invention have been illustrated and described, it will be recognized that this invention may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced by those skilled in the an.

What is claimed is:

1. A tape printer apparatus comprising a support member, a backup roll mounted for rotational move ment on said support member, a print roll having printing indicia thereon, a first lever pivotally attached at one end thereof to said support member, the print roll being rotationally mounted at the other end of the first lever, first means operatively associated with said print roll actuable to move said print roll into operative engagement with said backup roll, second means operatively associated with said print roll for disengaging said print roll from said backup roll, an ink roll, a second lever pivotally attached at one end to said first lever, the ink roll being rotationally mounted to the other end of said second lever, third means operatively associated with said ink roll actuable to move said ink roll into engagement with said print roll, fourth means operatively associated with said ink roll for disengaging said ink roll from said print roll, the pivotal attachment of the first and second levers causing actuation of the first means to move said print roll into operative engagement with said backup roll and simultaneously cause the ink roll to move with and in the same direction of said print roll.

2. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are a plurality of ink rolls.

3. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising a bracket attached to said support member, and in which said first means comprises a spring means connected at one end to said first lever and mounted through said bracket wherein said spring means acts against said bracket to pivot said first lever and move said print roll into engagement with said backup roll. 1

4. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 3 further comprising an adjustable control means coacting between said first lever and said bracket to control the contact pressure between said print roll and said backup roll and in which said spring means comprises a pin slidably mounted through said bracket and connected at one end to said first lever, a nut mounted at the other end and a spring mounted about said pin between the nut and bracket.

5. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 4 in which said nut is threadably mounted on to said pin to provide spring pressure adjustment, and in which said control means comprises a screw and lock nut, said screw threadably mounted to said first lever and having one end engageable with said bracket, and in which said second means comprises a detent lever having a cam surface, said detent lever pivotally mounted for camming engagement with said first lever to disengage said print roll from said backup roll.

6. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which said second lever is substantially L-shaped wherein said second lever has a foot section at said other end, and in which said third means comprises a spring attached at one end to said lever foot section and at the other end adjacent said first lever.

7. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 6 further comprising an adjustable control means coacting between said lever foot section and said first lever to control the contact pressure between said ink roll and said print roll.

8. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 7 in which said control means comprises a screw and lock nut, said screw threadably mounted to said lever foot section and having one end engageable with said first lever, and in which said fourth means comprises a detent lever having a camming surface, said detent lever pivotally mounted for camming engagement with said lever foot section to disengage said ink roll from said print roll.

9. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further comprising drive means connected to rotate said print roll in relation to said backup roll when said print roll is engaged therewith and said backup roll is caused to rotate by the pull of the tape and a tape guide mounted to said support member.

10. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 9 in which said drive means comprises a first gear ring on said backup roll and a complementary second gear ring on said print roll wherein said first and second gear rings mesh when said print roll is engaged with said backup roll whereby said print roll is driven by the rotation of said backup roll.

11. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 10 further comprising a tape tension bar mounted to said support member, a pair of collars adjustably mounted to said tape guide providing for tape width adjustment.

12. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 5 in which said second lever is substantially L-shaped wherein said second lever has a foot section at said other end, and in which said third means comprises a spring attached at one end to said lever.

13. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 12 further comprising an adjustable control means coacting between said lever foot section and said first lever to control the contact pressure between said ink roll and said print roll.

14. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 13 in which said control means comprises a screw and lock nut, said screw threadably mounted to said lever foot section and having one end engageable with said first lever, and in which said fourth means comprises a detent lever having a camming surface, said detent lever pivotally mounted for camming engagement with said lever foot section to disengage said ink roll from said print roll. I

15. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 14 further comprising an ink roll release lever pivotally attached at one end with the one end of said first lever, the other end of said release lever having a substantially rectangular shaped aperture therein through which an ink roll mounting shaft extends wherein said release lever is spaced between said second lever and said ink roll whereby said release lever is used to urge said ink roll off the mounting shaft, and a locking hasp pivotally mounted at the outer end of the mounting shaft to hold the ink roll in place.

16. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 2 further comprising a superstructure pivotally mounted at the other end of said second lever, each of said ink rolls being rotationally mounted on said superstructure.

17. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 16 further comprising handle means attached to said superstructure to permit relative rotation of said superstructure wherein any of said plurality of ink rolls may be brought into contact with said print roll.

18. A tape printer apparatus as set forth in claim 17 further comprising print roll wipers attached to said superstructure wherein at least one of said wipers engages said print roll during rotation of said superstructure.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3939766 *Jul 15, 1974Feb 24, 1976Darwin Frank STextile shade marker
US4255997 *Jun 4, 1979Mar 17, 1981Natmar, Inc.Label machine
US4528907 *Jun 22, 1984Jul 16, 1985Norwood Marking & Equipment Co., Inc.Print head with dual exchangeable hot inking rolls
US4559872 *Apr 30, 1984Dec 24, 1985Markem CorporationPrinting apparatus using heated ink composition
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/92, 101/182, 101/103, 101/228, 101/213, 101/209
International ClassificationB41K3/60, B41K3/14, B41K3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB41K3/14, B41K3/60
European ClassificationB41K3/14, B41K3/60