US 3804016 A
An ink saturated pad in a replaceable ink supply cartridge is momentarily exposed through a restricted opening in a cartridge closure element while a surface is being marked by a print head in a marking position to which it is intermittently displaced. The print head in its rest position contacts the cartridge closure element with an adjusted pressure to effect a regulated pumping action for maintaining the ink pad saturated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lJite States Patent 1 arozzi et a1.
[ Apr. 16, 1974 YllELDABlLY MOUNTED SEALABLE INK CARTRIDGE AND PRINT HEAD  Inventors: Alfred A. Marozzi, Upper Montclair; Joseph Fuzia, Nutley, both of NJ.
 Assignee: Bell-Mark Corporation, Bloomfield, NJ. by said Fuzia  Filed: Jan. 17, 1972  Appl. No.: 218,334
I Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 170,916, Aug. 11,
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,834,147 1 2/1931 Dans man 101/416 A 3,355,239 11/1967 Albrecht... 401/199 UX 3,364,856 Lind 101/334 3,369,543 2/1968 Ronco 401/199 UX 3,543,681 12/1970 Klenz 101/44 3,115,826 12/1963 Reinhardt et a1. 101/334 X 3,085,506 4/1963 Worth 101/334 3,307,479 3/1967 Messmer 101/334 2,950,676 8/1960 Weissman et al.. 101/405 UX 3,215,073 11/1965 Robinson 101/333 3,599,566 8/1971 Fish 101/364 X 2,252,649 8/1941 Smallman 101/333 1,401,436 12/1921 Pannier 101/105 2,819,668 l/l958 McAneny 101/405 X Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-R. E. Suter Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Clarence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson [5 7] ABSTRACT An ink saturated pad in a replaceable ink supply car tridge is momentarily exposed through a restricted opening in a cartridge closure element while a surface is being marked by a print head in a marking position to which it is intermittently displaced. The print head in its rest position contacts the cartridge closure element with an adjusted pressure to effect a regulated pumping action for maintaining the ink pad saturated.
2 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures MENTEMPR I6 ISM SHEU 2 0? Q SHEEY 3 0F 4 PATENTEDAP 16 1914 ww. MIWxW YIELDABLY MOUNTED SEALABLE INK CARTRIDGE AND PRINT HEAD This invention relates to an ink marking apparatus embodying certain improvements over the apparatus disclosed in prior copending application, U. S. Ser. No. 170,916, filed Aug. 1 l, l97l, with respect to whichthe present application is a continuation-in-part.
The present invention relates to apparatus for marking surfaces on absorbent or non-absorbent material such as packaging webs, cartons and various massproduced packaged products. Marking apparatus for packaging machines, conveyors or processing equipment, has heretoforerequired frequent maintenance under continuous use and a time-consuming ink replacement procedure. Further, the use of a fast drying ink for such apparatus was not practicable because of the frequency with which ink replacement was required. It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide ink marking apparatus for packaging equipment that requires significantly less maintenance and utilizes a fast drying ink for quality imprints on absorbent or non-absorbent material surfaces. A further object is to provide a marking apparatus utilizing a replaceable ink cartridge storing a fast drying ink.
In accordance with the present invention, the ink marking apparatus includes a print head easily assembled on a holder that is mounted by a pivot block for displacement between two angularly spaced positions by means of a signal controlled fluid operated device. The print head is thereby intermittently'displaced from a rest position to a marking position in which it contacts the surface to be imprinted. In the rest position, the print head is positioned in contact with the apertured closure of an ink storing cartridge so as to seal the cartridge while the print head is being coated with ink from an ink saturated pad in the cartridge that is only momentarily exposed to air through the opening in the closure while the print head is being displaced to and from its marking position. The cartridge is yieldably held in an adjusted position in a frame mounted sleeve for establishing a desired contact pressure between the print head in its rest position and the apertured closure for efficient transfer of ink to the print head. The ink is stored within an abosrbent filler within the cartridge held compressed against the pad by a spacer at the closed end of the cartridge as described in my prior copending application aforementioned. The ink cartridge is pre-inked and stored in a sealed condition by use of a storage cap on the open end through which the ink saturated pad is exposed.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer, to like parts through-out, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of ink marking apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus with parts broken away and shown in section.
FIG. 3 is a partial side elevational view of the apparatus illustrated in a different operational condition than that shown in FIG. 2. i
through a plane indicated by section line 8-8 in FIG,
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of certain disassembled parts of the ink cartridge.
FIG. 10 is a side sectional view through the ink saturated pad assembly in the ink cartridge.
FIG. 1 l is a partial side elevational view of an ink cartridge in a storage condition.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged partial sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 12-12 in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 13-13 in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings in detail and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, the apparatus of the present invention generally referred to by reference numeral 10 includes a base portion 12 on which a transverse mounting block 14 is fixedly mounted between opposite longitudinal ends 16 and 18 of the base. A frame member 20 is also mounted on the base in a longitudinally adjusted position at which it may be locked by a screw fastener 22 as shown in FIG. 2. A threaded adjustment rod 24 is accordingly connected to the frame member 20 snd threaded through the mounting block 14. The adjustment rod 24 extends through a bearing block 26 secured to the end 16 of the base at one longitudinal side edge 28. An adjustment knob 30 is connected to the end of the rod 24. A lock nut 32 is also threadedly mounted on the rod'and bears against the block 26 for locking the rod 24 in a longitudinally adjusted position.
The mounting block 14 also mounts the forward end of an air cylinder 34 as more clearly seen in FIG. 1. Air under pressure is supplied to the rear end of the cylinder from any suitable source through a conduit 36 in order to cause projection of a piston rod 38, as shown in FIG. 3 from the forward end of the cylinder in response to an actuating signal applied in a manner well known to those skilled in the art, after which the piston rod 'is promptly retracted to the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The forward end of the piston rod 38 is connected by means of a pivot 40 and actuating arm 42 to a print head displacing mechanism generally referred to by reference numeral 44.
The print head displacing mechanism 44 carries, a print head assembly generally referred to by reference numeral 46 that is displaced from a horizontally extending rest position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to a vertically extending marking position as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In the rest position, the print head assembly 46 is in contact with an ink storing cartridge generally referred to by reference numeral 48 while in the marking position, the print head contacts a printed surface such as the web 50 backed by a platen 52 as shown in FIG.
3. As hereinbefore indicated, the print head is adapted to be intermittently displaced to the marking position by means of the air cylinder device 34. Only then, is there momentary exposure of the ink within the cartridge 48 to air because in the rest position of the print head 46, as shown in FIG. 2, the ink is sealed within the cartridge by the print head assembly as will be hereafter explained in detail, in order to prevent drying of the ink.
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 5 and 7, the print head displacing mechanism 44 is mounted adjacent the end 18 on the base and includes a pair of parallel spaced guide plates 54 within which aligned guide slots 56 are formed. The guide slots 56 include two angularly related track portions within which pivot pins 58 are slidably displaceable in order to guide movement of a carrier or block 60 from which the pivot pins extend laterally. Thus, the two portions of the guide slots form a path constraining movement of the print head for initial retraction from the rest position and subsequent angular displacement toward the marking position. The pivot pins 58 are end formations on a pivot shaft 62 mounted by the carrier block 60 as more clearly seen in FIGS. 5 and 7, by means of which the actuating arm 42 is pivotally connected to the block between the spacers 64. Accordingly, movement is imparted to the block upon extension of the piston rod 38 which is'pivotally connected by pivot 40 to the actuating arm 42. Movement of the carrier block is guided and limited by the guide slots 56 and is constrained by fixed bearings 66 mounted by the guide plates 54 and received within bearing slots 68 formed in the block.
Displacement of the carrier block 60 between the two limit positions as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 respectively, carries the print head assembly 46 between the rest and marking positions as aforementioned. The print head assembly includes a holder 70 as more clearly seen in FIG. 6 which is secured by means of a pair of fasteners 72 to the pivot block 60 as more clearly seen in FIG. 1. A mounting slot is formed at the forward end of the holder 70 between a projecting leg portion 74 and a removable plate member 76 secured to the holder by a pair of fasteners 78 as shown in FIG. 1. The slot formed between the leg portion 74 of the holder and the plate element 76 laterally receives a tongue portion 80 projecting rearwardly from a print head 82. The tongue portion 80 of the print head is adapted to abut a lateral extension 84 (FIG. 7) of the leg portion 74 and is yieldably held in position by means of a ball detent 86 mounted by the leg portion 74 and received within a recess 88 as shown in FIG. 6.
The forward end of the print head 82 is cemented to a foam spacer 90 to which a base lock mat 92 is cemented. A cement or glue 94 on the forward surface of the mat 92 holds the type 96 which projects into the ink cartridge 48 in the rest position of the print head assembly as shown in FIG. 6.
The ink cartridge 48 includes a cylindrical housing 98 from which a key element 100 projects upwardly and extends along a longitudinal portion thereof from the closed end 102 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 6 and 13. The key element 100 is received within a slot 104 formed in a sleeve 106 fixed to the frame member 20. Thus, the cartridge housing 98 is readily inserted into the rear end 108 of the sleeve and prevented from rotation relative thereto by means of the key element 100 received in the slot 104. A yieldable means in the form of spring element 114 yieldably holds the forward open end 110 of the cartridge housing 98 as shown in FIG. 6 in abutment with the stop formation or annular flange portion 112 of the sleeve 106. The spring element 114 is anchored to the frame member 20 by means of a fastener 116. Thus, the print head engages the forward end of the ink cartridge with a contact pressure resisted by the regulating bias of spring element 114, the contact pressure being varied by adjusting the position of the frame member 20 by means of the adjustment rod 24 as aforementioned.
The print head in the rest position, engages a nonporous, plastic closure element 1 18 formed with an aperture or opening into which the type 96 projects for contact with an ink saturated pad assembly 122. The pad assembly 122 as more clearly seen in FIGS. 9 and 10, includes a rayon cloth disc 124 secured to a felt backing 126 by staples 128. The pad is saturated by ink received fron ink stored within the absorbent foam filler 130 held in a compressed state against the pad. It will therefore be apparent, that when the print head is in its rest position, the opening 120 in the plastic closure 118 is sealed by an adjusted contact pressure to prevent drying of ink from exposure to air. Momentary displacement of the print head to the marking position and return thereof to the rest position, causes a slight pumping action as the print head presses against the plastic closure element 118 thereby forcing a flow of ink to immediately replace the ink wiped off 96 during each marking cycle. The spring 114 yieldably resists displacement of the housing 98 by the force of the print head on the closure element 118 to regulate the pumping action resulting from displacement of the closure element relative to the housing. Thus, there is a continuous distribution of ink to insure saturation of the pad 122 with a minimum exposure of the ink to air. A fast drying type of ink may therefore be utilized.
A snubber assembly 132 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 engages the film to stop movement thereof while being imprinted and includes a support arm 134 attached to the carrier block 60 on the same plane as the holder 70 for the print head 46. A fiat rubber pad 136 carried on the plate 138 on the end of the support arm 134 contacts the film or packaging material 50 aforementioned while the block 60 is holding the print head in its marking position corresponding to the dwell or stop period for the mechanism of the packaging machine (not shown) that intermittently advances the packaging film. The snubber assembly is thereby operative to prevent any movement of the film because of vibration or feedback caused by the film feeding mechanism (not shown) while the film is being imprinted. In order to accelerate drying of the ink imprinted on the film, a stream'of air is directed onto the film from the same source of air supplied to the air cylinder 34 simultaneously with the intermittent displacement of the print head to the marking position. The air constituting a drying fluid is directed onto the printed area of the film by a nozzle 140 as shown in FIG. 4, that is held in position on the frame 20 by a clamp assembly 142. Air is supplied to the nozzle by a supply conduit 144.
An important feature of the invention as hereinbefore described resides in the replaceable-ink storing cartridge 48 which is pre-inked by partially filling the housing 98 with a dye and fast drying solvent before the absorbent filler 130, pad assembly 122 and apertured closure element 118 is inserted. Another feature of the invention resides in the ability of the cartridge to be reprimed. After the cartridge has been used and the supply of ink apparently exhausted, it may be reprimed by adding solvent through the opening 120 in the closure element while held depressed to compress the filler.
The added solvent will then be absorbed by the tiller inresponse to its expansion upon release of the closure element. The solvent mixes with the remaining ink dye in the filler to form a new ink solution.
A freshly inked cartridge 48 is maintained in a storage condition prior to use by applying a storage cap 146 to the open end 110 of the cartridge housing 98 as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. To prevent leakage of ink, an impermeable layer 148 such as a film of Saran, is placed over the end 110 under the cap 148. In order to prevent development of suction upon removal of the cap 146, vent holes 150 are formed in the cap. The cap is retained in place during transport and the vent holes covered by a strip of adhesive 152.
The foregoing is considered ss illustrative only of the.
principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
Whatis claimed as new is as follows:
1. In combination with a print head and a power operated displacing mechanism for momentarily displacing the print head from a rest position to a marking position, ink storing means comprising a container having an open end into which the print head projects in the rest position, an ink pad. positioned within the con tainer adjacent the open end for contact by the print head in the rest position thereof, a non-porous closure element spacing the pad from the open end and having an opening through which the pad is exposed for contact by the print head, an ink storing filler within the container backing the pad, means mounting the container for limited displacement in response to engagement of the pad by the print head approaching the rest position, and spring means yieldably resisting said displacement of the container.
2. Apparatus for intermittently marking a surface, comprising a frame assembly, a print head, a displacing mechanism for momentarily displacing the print head from a rest position to a marking position contacting said surface, ink storing means mounted by the frame assembly for engagement by the print head in the rest position thereof, and means including a adjustably yieldable element engageable with the ink storing means for regulating flow of ink to the print head said flow being induced by a pumping action of the ink storing means in response to displacement of the print head between the rest and marking positions, said ink storing means including an ink storing filler, an ink saturated pad in contact with the filler, a housing enclosing the filler and the pad, said housing having an open end, and apertured closure means within the housing at the open end for sealing the ink within the housing when engaged by the print head, said frame assembly including a sleeve within which the housingisslidably received, said sleeve having a stop formation at one end engaged by the open end of the housing underthe adjusted bias of the yieldable element, and means for guiding movement of the housing relative to the sleeve in response to displacementthereof by the print head against the bias of the yieldable element.