US 3818829 A
Apparatus for imprinting data from a printing plate onto a document, the apparatus comprising a print bed for supporting the printing plate, means for receiving the document for disposing it over the printing plate, a roller platen, means for moving the roller platen along the print bed to effect the imprinting, and means for imparting a bow in the print bed toward the roller platen so that the print bed is depressed during the imprinting to provide imprinting pressure compensation for various combined thicknesses of the printing plate and the document.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Patterson, J r.
11 3,818,829 1 1 June 25, 1974 PORTABLE IMPRINTER INCLUDING MEANS FOR PROVIDING IMPRINTING PRESSURE COMPENSATION  Inventor: James M. Patterson, Jr., Springfield,
 Assignee: Farrington Business Machines Corporation, Springfield, Va.
 Filed: May 12, 1972  Appl. No.: 252,753
 US. Cl. 101/269, 101/407 BP  Int. Cl B41f 3/04  Field of Search 101/269-274, 101/45, 56, 407 R, 407 BP [56} References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,759,476 5/1930 Allen 101/407 BP 1,796,327 3/1931 Gollnick et a1. 101/407 BP 3,170,396 2/1965 Avgerinos 101/269 Hu 101/269 Nineberg 101/407 X Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pullirey Assistant Examiner-Edward M. Coven Attorney, Agent, or FirmJ. T. Martin; Gerald J. Ferguson, Jr.; Joseph J. Baker  ABSTRACT Apparatus for imprinting data from a printing plate onto a document, the apparatus comprising a print bed for supporting the printing plate, means for receiving the document for disposing; it over the printing plate, a roller platen, means for moving the roller platen along the print bed to effect the imprinting, and means for imparting a bow in the print bed toward the roller platen so that the print bed is depressed during the imprinting to provide imprinting pressure compen sation for various combined thicknesses of the printing plate and the document.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEnJummM Y sum. "1 or z PORTABLE IMPRINTER INCLUDING MEANS FOR PROVIDING IMPRINTING PRESSURE COMPENSATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to portable imprintersand, in particular, to such imprinters which provide imprinting pressure compensation for various combined thicknesses of the printing plate and the document to be imprinted.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art There are many instances where it is desirable to have a portable imprinter which is compact and light in weight. Hence, delivery men and the like who transact business on a door-to-door basis find such portable imprinters quite useful in recording information about sales transactions. v
Further, it is quite desirable that the density of the print imprinted on a document such as a sales invoice be substantially uniform for various combined thicknesses of printing plates such as credit cards and documents. That is, with use, the raised print on the printing plate tends to wear down and for different merchandisers, the thickness of sales invoices tends to be different depending to some extent on the number of copies desired. Thus, it is desirable that means be provided for providing uniform print densities for varying imprinting conditions, as described above.
However, the requirements for portable imprinters and imprinters with means for providing imprinting pressure compensation tend to conflict. That is, in order to maintain a portable imprinter as compact and as light as possible, it is necessary to simplify the struc ture and operation as much as possible consistent with the requirement of satisfactory print density for the particular application. However, the requirement of incorporating means for providing imprinting pressure compensation tends to complicate the structure and operation of the imprinter to the point where it is no longer suitable as a portable device.
Various portable imprinters are disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,596,596 granted to H. Chillingworth; 3,283,71 1 granted to D. Lew; and 3,151,544 granted to J. Taylor et a1.
Various imprinters which incorporate means for providing imprinting pressure compensation are disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,592,134 granted to J. Patterson and 3,388,659 granted to Y. Hu.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is a primary object of this invention to provide an improved portable imprinter including means for effecting imprinting pressure compensation.
It is a further object of this invention to provide improved means for providing imprinting pressure compensation in imprinters whether they be portable or not.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved portable imprinter.
It is a further object of this invention to provide improved means for permitting insertion of a document or the like in an imprinter.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved means for receiving a printing plate and a document in an imprinter.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the appended claims in conjunction with the following detailed description and the attachedidrawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Reference should now be made to FIGS. 1-6 of the drawing where like reference numerals refer to like parts.
In FIG. 1 there is shown a perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of the invention comprising a print bed 10 having integrally connected thereto side support members 12 and 14, member 14 being slotted at 16 to permit insertion of a document such as an invoice into the imprinter, which may be longer than the imprinter. Disposed between the members 12 and 14 is a carriage support member 18. Disposed on carriage support member 18 for movement therealong is roller platen carriage 20 which supports roller platen 22. Disposed at the ends of support member 18 are cammed surfaces 24 and 26 which together with cammed surfaces or grommets 28 and 30 permit raising of print roller 22 from print bed 10 at the opposite ends of the imprinting stroke. Thus, insertion 'of a document into the imprinting device is facilitated as will be described in more detail hereinafter.
Referring to FIGS. 2-6 and in particular, FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown in more detail the roller platen carriage 20 and the parts associated therewith. In particular, there is shown a pair of rollers 32 and 34 respectively mounted on shafts 36 and 38 which, in turn, are both rotatably mounted in side walls 40 and 42 of carriage 20. During the imprinting operation, the rollers 32 and/or 34 bear upon the upper surface of carriage support member 18 to support the carriage 20. The shaft 52 rotates along lower rails 53 and 55 of support member 18 or rollers (not shown) may be mounted on shaft 52 which would rotate along "the rails 53 and 55.
Guide means 44 and 46 are respectively mounted on the inside portions of side walls 40 and 42 and about side walls 48 and 50 of carriage support member 18 during operation of the imprinter to minimize rotation of the roller platen 22 about an imaginary vertical axis through the imprinter. Further, the rollers 32 and 34 minimize rotation of the roller platen about an imaginary horizontal axis parallel to the axis of the roller platen.
The roller platen 22 is mounted on a shaft 52 which extends between the inside legs 40 and 42 of carriage 20 and which permits rotation of the roller platen as the carriage is moved from one end of the printing bed to the other to effect animprinting operation. Preferably the roller platen 22 is mounted on shaft 52 by means of roller bearings or the like.
As can be seen in FIG. 2, a printing plate such as a credit card is shown at 54 and a document disposed over the printing plate and under the roller platen 22 is indicated at 56. As will now be described, a unique arrangement of inserting the plate 54 from one side of the imprinter and the document 56 from the other is provided whereby the imprinter is quite compact and well suited for use in portable applications. As can be seen in FIGS. 1-4, a plate stop 58 is integrally provided on the print bed 10 and comprises a longitudinally extending raised portion which functions to stop insertion of the card 54 in the direction of the arrow A into the imprinter and partially raise the document 56 off the print bed 10, as can particularly be seen in FIG. 2. Printing plate guide members 60 and 62 are fixedly mounted on the top of print bed 10 and include flexible arms 64 and 68. The guide members 60 and 62 may be made from a suitable plastic material which renders the arms 64 and 68 so flexible that when the plate 54 is inserted under the arms 64 and 68 they will raise to permit insertion of the card thereunder but at the same time, once the card is inserted in place, they will exert a sufficient downward bias on the plate 54 to maintain it in position during an imprinting operation as the roller 22 passes thereacross.
As can be seen in FIG. 5, the arms 64 and 68 have sufficient clearance between the respective bottoms thereof and the print bed 10 to permit relatively easy insertion of the plate 54 into the imprinter. However, the clearance is less than the thickness of the plate to insure that the card is held in place during an imprinting operation as described above. It should be further noted that the spacing between the side wall 70 of guide 60 and the side wall 72 ofguide 62 is only slightly greater than the length of the plate 54 to minimize rotational movement of the plate about an imaginary vertical axis through the imprinter during an imprinting operation.
Referring to the document 56, a slot 16 is provided in side support member 14 to permit the insertion of documents having a length greater than the imprinter as described hereinbefore. To facilitate the incorporation of slot 16 into side wall 14 at the level of the print bed, the side support member 14 extends below the level of the print bed as indicated in FIG. 3 and is integrally connected thereto at 74. The side member 14 is bent at 76 as indicated in FIG. 3 below the level of the print bed to facilitate integral connection thereof to the print bed 10 and to facilitate incorporation of the slot 16 at the level of the print bed, as stated above. Further, side member 14 may be flanged as indicated at 78 in FIG. 3.
As previously indicated, cam members 24 and 28 and cam members 26 and 30 respectively cooperate to permit raising of the carriage 20 to facilitate insertion of document 56 prior to an imprinting operation. As indicated in FIG. 2 rollers 32 and 34 are aligned with cam members 28 and 30 and thus, when the carriage 20 is moved to either end position of the imprinter the rollers 32 and 34 will coact either with member 28 and 30 to raise the carriage together with the roller platen roller 22 off of the print bed 10, the cam surfaces 24 and 26 permitting the carriage 20 to be raised without interference by the roller platen shaft 52. With the carriage 20 in either of the end positions, the document 56 is inserted as shown in FIG. 2, end walls 80 and 82 of guide members 60 and 62 acting as guides for the document 56 so that it may be appropriately positioned within the imprinter. As indicated in FIG. 2, the document 56 may be inserted generally in the direction of the arrow B and the combined utilization of the guide members 60 and 62 and the stop 58 thereby permit an extremely compact arrangement whereby the plate 54 may be inserted from one side of the imprinter and the document 56 from the other so that an arrangement extremely suitable for use in a portable imprinter results. Further, the utilization of slot 16 to permit the use of invoices longer than the imprinter greatly increases the versatility of the portable imprinter.
Reference should now be made to FIG. 6 which illustrates that feature of the invention which permits the incorporation of means for effecting imprinting pressure compensation in an imprinter without addingto the complexity thereof. FIG. 6 illustrates the print bed 10 of FIG. 3 together with the side support arms or members 12 and 14 thereof. In particular, FIG. 6 illustrates this member prior to the insertion of the carriage support member 18 between the side support members 12 and 14. As can be seen, the side support members 12 and 14 do not form right angles with the base plate or print bed 10. Rather, members 12 and 14 are disposed at a slight angle with respect to the perpendicular P to print bed 10. Thus, members 12 and 14 are so connected to print bed 10 that a first predetermined distance M is established between the members 12 and 14 at the upper portions thereof. This distance is less than the length of the print bed which is indicated as N in FIG. 6. The carriage support member 18 is longer than the distance M and preferably approximately equal to the distance N thereof. It may be longer or shorter than the distance N as long as it is greater than the distance M.
The relationship between the distances M and N may also be defined in terms of the angle 01, shown in FIG. 6.
a is preferably 1, 15 minutes while the distance from the top of the flanged portion 78 to the bottom of print bed 10 in FIG. 6 is typically approximately 1.312 inches long. The bend of support member 14 with respect to print bed 10 is typically approximately the same as that of support member 12 and may be as indicated in FIG. 6.
In the assembled structure, as indicated in FIG. 3, the support members 12 and 14 are positioned outwardly (approximately perpendicular to print bed 10) since the length of carriage support member 18 is greater than the distance M in FIG. 6. Hence, print bed 10 will bow upwardly or in the direction of roller platen 22 as indicated in FIG. 3 where the upward bow is slightly shown. It is this upward bow which is imparted to the print bed which provides compensation for varying imprinting pressures which are encountered with various combined thicknesses of the printing plate 54 and the document 56 to thereby provide substantially uniform print density for the various combined thicknesses. Thus, as the print roller 22 is moved across the print bed, the bed will tend to be depressed, and, in particular, the greater the combined thickness, the more the print bed will be depressed. A further feature of the upward bow which is imparted to the print bed is that there is a natural tendency for a structure of this type to deflect mainly at its mid point and by providing the bow, this tendency is also compensated.
at least one of the support members 12 and 14 is biased toward the other support member about its connection point to the print bed so that the first support member tends to be a first predetermined distance M from the second support member. Further, the carriage support 18 may also be broadly characterized as a member disposed between the support members 12 and 14 for maintaining a second predetermined distance (N, for example) between the first and second support members 12 and 14 greater than the first predetermined dis tance M whereby a bow is imparted to the print bed 10.
The print bed together with the side support members l2 and 14 are typically made from 1,010 to 1,020 cold rolled steel. However, they may be made from any material which may be bent as shown in FIG. 6 without breaking and which exhibits sufficient resiliency so that an upward bow is imparted to the base plate or print bed 10 when the support members 12 and 14 are outwardly stressed as indicated in FIG. 3.
Numerous modifications of the invention will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing disclosure. During such a reading it will be evident that this invention provides a unique portable imprinter including means for providing imprinting pressure compensation for accomplishing the objects and advantages herein stated.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for imprinting data from a printing plate onto a document, said apparatus comprising:
, a flexible print bed for supporting said printing plate, said print bed being the sole base support for said apparatus;
means for receiving said document for disposing it over said printing plate;
a roller platen;
means for moving said roller platen along said print bed to effect said imprinting; and
means for imparting an upward bow over the entire print bed toward said roller platen so that said print bed is depressed during said imprinting to provide I imprinting pressure compensation for various combined thicknesses of said printing plate and said document, said means for imparting a bow in said print bed including first and second support means respectively approximately perpendicularly, integrally connected to the ends of said print bed so that the top of at least one of said support means is biased toward the top of the other support means about the connection point of said one support means to said print bed so that said one support means tends to be a first predetermined distance from said other support means; and means disposed between said support means vertically displaced from said print bed for maintaining a second predetermined distance between the tops of said first and second support means greater than said first predetermined distance whereby said print bed is forced upwardly due to the integral connection of said support members thereto so that said bow is imparted to said print bed. 2. Apparatus as in claim 1 where said means for maintaining said second predetermined distance between said first and second support means includes means for supporting said roller platen.
3. Apparatus as in claim 2 where said roller platen supporting means includes means for raising said roller platen above said print bed to permit said invoice to be inserted thereunder.
4. Apparatus as in claim 3 where said rollerplaten raising means includes second roller means mounted within said means for moving said roller platen and where said means for maintaining said second predetermined distance between said first and second support means includes cam means mounted thereon at at least one end thereof for engaging said second roller to raise said roller platen.
5. Apparatus as in claim 1 where said print bed includes' means for receiving said printing plate inserted at one side thereof and means for receiving said document inserted at the other side thereof.