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Publication numberUS3839644 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 1, 1974
Filing dateApr 6, 1973
Priority dateMar 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3839644 A, US 3839644A, US-A-3839644, US3839644 A, US3839644A
InventorsFulton L
Original AssigneeRca Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Label writing apparatus
US 3839644 A
Abstract
A rotatable assembly includes a plurality of writing devices which are selectably moveable into and out of writing position. As the assembly rotates, the writing devices in the writing position describe concentric patterns on a recording medium. The selective movement of the writing devices may be controlled by an array of sensing elements such as light sensors. These may be located on the assembly and may be selectively energized, as the assembly rotates, in response to a smaller stationary group of energy emitting elements located next to the assembly.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,839,644 Fulton Oct. l, 1974 LABEL WRITING APPARATUS 3,220,010 11 1965 Hand 3415 33 8 3,359,562 l2/l967 Staubli 346/35 [75] lnvemor' Langdo" u 3,451,053 6/1969 Xenis ct al 335 205 Wynnewood, Pa. 1 3,622,758 ll/l97l Schanne 235/611] E [73] Assignee: RCA Corporation, New York, NY. P E R b K S h f rimary xaminer o ert c ae er [22] Flled 1973 Assistant Examiner-M. Ginsburg [21] A l NO 343,7 2 Attorney, Agent, or FirmRaymond E. Smiley; E. J.

Related U S Application Data Norton; Christoffersen [62] giovisgo ln5$f3asrgn No. 238,241, March 27, I972, Pat. 57 ABSTRACT i A rotatable assembly includes a luralit of writin de- P y g 52 us. c1. 307/117, 317/124 Whlch are selectably mOVeable into and out of 151] 110. c1. HOlh 36/00 Writing P the ?s sembly P the Writing 58] w of Search H 250/234, 236, 5 5 5 570; devices 1n the wrrtmg pos tion describe concentric pat- 307 17; 317/124; 335/206 207, 205 terns on arecordrng medium. The selective movement of the writing devices may be controlled by an array of [56] References Cited lsensincgl elements sucllijlas ligiht seniors. ifhctese lmay be oca e on e assem y an may e se ec we y ener- UNITED T T PATENTS gized, as the assembly rotates, in response to a smaller 5 1O 3/1952 'PP} 346/107 UX stationary group of energy emitting elements located 22;]??3 .lcesnlltlgl; 346/49 next to the assembly 2,936,207 5/1960 Beaumont 346/29 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SOURCE FROM PAYOUT SPOOL l0 TAKE-UP SPOOL OR LABEL APPLICATION STATION PAIENIEUHBI H914" SHEET 20F 4 PATENTED T 1 I974 samuorb 1 LABEL WRITING APPARATUS This is a division of application Ser. No. 238,241, filed Mar. 27, 1972, now US. Pat. No. 3,757,349, issued Sept. 4, 1973.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Systems are known which utilize binary encoded labels comprising concentric rings in alternating colors (usually black ink on white background) to identify the articles to which they are attached. Apparatus must be provided to prepare such labels on demand. In the prior art, such apparatus has included the use of electrophotographic techniques wherein an electrofax type paper is charged and then portions selectively discharged to form the concentric pattern which is then developed in a toner. Such apparatus is not free from problems associated with the toner chemical employed. Other apparatus employs patterned light applied to a paper, but the paper has proven expensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Apparatus for producing a pattern of concentric annuli on a recording medium comprises a means having an axis normal to the recording medium and having a plurality of writing means selectively able to be placed in writing condition to produce the concentric pattern, each writing means when in said writing condition being located at a different radial distance from said axis. Means coupled to said writing means are also included which are responsive to the signals indicative of patterns to be recorded for placing corresponding ones of said writing means in writing condition. There is also a means for creating relative motion between said recording medium and said means having an axis about said axis for creating on said recording medium-a binary pattern in the form of concentric annuli.

A preferred form of the invention includes a selectable energy emitting means and a means movable past the energy emitting means comprising a plurality of energizable loads and a plurality of sensing means, each coupled to a different one of said loads, and a means for serially moving said energy sensing means past said energy emitting means. Means responsive to the passage of each of said energy sensing means past said energy emitting means and to a source of signals causes the energization of said energy emitting means during the passage of selected energy sensing means, whereby the corresponding loads are energized.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. ll is a schematic showing of a label printer employing the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevation view, partially in cross-section of the print station of the FIG. 1 apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a block circuit diagram of elements within block 52 and elsewhere in the label printer of FIG. 1;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG 1 shows a strip of blank labels on a perforated wax material carrier 12, a portion being tilted for viewing. This strip extends from a spool (not shown) past an idler sprocket pulley 14, a position sensing assembly 15, a writing station 16 and a power driven sprocket pulley 18 to a take-up spool (not shown). At its Output end, a portionof the carrier 12 is also tilted so that the printed labels are visible. Idler sprocket 14 maintains frictional tension on carrier 12 while a conventional drive means 20, mechanically coupled through a conventional clutch and brake assembly 22, may be adapted to intermittently rotate the drive sprocket 1% in a manner to be described. The label carrier is thereby held taut between the two sprocket pulleys.

Position sensing assembly comprises a light source 15a and light sensitive device 15b respectively, positioned on opposite sides of lables 10. The assembly senses the passage of holes 11 in labels 10 and may be connected to clutch and brake 22 to properly position labels for printing at writing station 16.

In the writing station 16, a motion creating means such as a rotary solenoid 30, under command of signals to be described, forces a platen 32 against the label carrier 12, thereby forcing a label 10 against a plurality of writing means 40 (which in a preferred form of the invention comprise ball-point pens) contained in a rotating pen housing 42. The pen housing is rotatably mounted to the same frame 44 (only a small portion of the frame is shown) to which a number of the other elements are attached. The pen housing may be continuously driven by a suitable motor. For example, the drive means 20 which drives sprocket pulley 18 may also be used to drive the pen housing.

As will be described more fully in connection with FIG. 2, certain ones of pens 40are raised into engagement with a label 10 while others of the pens 41) are retracted from the printing position. Conventional pens will not write upside down (pen tip elevated). Pens such as described in US. Pat. NO. 3,425,779, issued Feb. 4, 1969, to RC. Fisher et al., however, have a pressurized fluid chamber and can thus write with the pen tip elevated above the fluid chamber. As an alternative, the entire printer of FIG. I may be turned upside down or writing means 40 may be stylii and there may further be included at writing station 16 an inked ribbon 41 (shown in phantom) located between stylii 40 and labels 10. In this alternative embodiment, the raised stylii cause ink to be transferred from ribbon 41 to label 10. And yet another alternative, heated stylii 40 may be used with heat sensitive label stock It). The heat may either be applied to each stylus individually or heat may be applied to housing 42 by a blower heater 43 heating all stylii. Then those stylii 4b which are in engagement with the label 10 cause it to darken in the shape of dark circles 64. Further, writing means 40 may be light producing devices which may be selectably turned on or off. Then label stock It) maY be light sensitive and there may be included a developing station (not shown).

As each of the pens is at a different radial distance from the pen assembly rotational axis, the result of rotating the pen housing is a series of concentric annuli of varying widths on the finished labels 60 as shown on the right in FIG. 1. On labels 60, the black areas 64 represent marks made by the pens. The combination of alternating black circles 64 and white circles 66 (the white circles are the background color of the label ma terial 10) form a binary pattern which may be read by optical label scanning equipment (not shown). Information concerning which pens are to be raised into writing position and which lowered out of writing position are determined by input signals supplied by thumbwheel switches 46 (seven of which are shown displaying the No. 6517140) or some other source of data 48, such as a meat weighing scale. Signals from one or the other source are coupled via manually operable switch 50 to electronic circuitry 52 which is in proximity with rotating housing 42. The switch is shown only schematically in FIG. 1 and, in practice, may consist of multiple elements leading to multiple conductor cables.

The output of switch 50 is also coupled to a printing means 72 located adjacent pens 40 and opposite labels 10. Printing means 72 may be adapted to print human readable information 74 on the labels corresponding to the information binarily encoded by the pens. While many types of printers could be employed if space permits, one very compact commercially available printer employs heatable electrodes in the shape of a standard seven segment numeric indicators, one indicator for each character to be printed. Then, by applying power to heat certain ones of the segments and by utilizing heat sensitive paper for labels 10, when platen 32 is lowered forcing the blank lables stock into selected pens 40 and printing means 72, human readable characters and binary information are applied to the label concurrently.

FIG. 2, which is a cross section of writing station 16, shows rotating pen housing 42 mounted in bearings 100 and 102 for rotation about axis 104. Motor rotates the pen housing and therefore the parts contained within it, by means of the belt 110 which engages pulleys 106 and 108. Motor 20 is attached to frame 44 as is the stationary cylindrical housing 112 in which bearings 100 and 102 reside.

A pen assembly cassette 114 resides within housing 42 and rests on lugs 116. The cassette comprises a plastic housing 118 which contains a plurality of pens 40 hereinafter termed 40x (where x represents letters a, b, c, etc.) only two of which, 40a and 40b, are shown. The cassette is held in place by a cover 120 removably secured to the pen assembly 42 by a plurality of fastening means 122. As cover 120 contains a plurality of precisely machined bores through which various ones of pens 40x protrude, the writing end of each pen is accurately positioned with respect to axis 104, each pen thereby being positioned at a different radial distance from axis 104. For this reason, cassette 114 is a relatively inexpensive device which can be removed and discarded when the pens are about to run out of ink.

A spherically shaped element 126 is located at the end of each pen opposite from writing end 124. Each element 126 may be inserted in, and removed from, a cavity 127 in a resilient slider member 128. Each slider 128 resides in a counterbore 130 in a member 132. Slider 128 is held within member 132 by a threaded capscrew 134. A compression spring 136 extending between a bore in the capscrew and slider 128 urges the slider and therefore pen 40x upward as illustrated in FIG. 2. Attached to each slider 128 is a wire 138 which extends to an associated solenoid 140x (where x represents the letters a, b, c, etc. only two of which, 140a and 140b, are shown) which control the movement, respectively, of pens 40a and 40b. Surrounding each wire 138 is a sleeve 142. Each of the sleeves extends between a plate 144 and a plate 146. The sleeves are bonded to the two plates. This arrangement provides proper guidance for wires 138 while preventing binding or kinking. Solenoid a is illustrated in the de-energized position and therefore pen 40a is in writing position (see FIG. 1) whilesolenoid 14012 is in the energized position therefore retracting its associated pen 40b away from the writing position. Of course, the arrangement could be reversed by having tension springs 136 rather than compression springs. Then the solenoids would be adapted to push the pens into writing position.

A 96 tooth timing gear is attached to pen housing 42. A stuD 152 is mounted on the timing gear. Magnetic pickup device 154, which is positioned close to the outer edge of the upper surface of the gear, produces an output pulse each time the stud 152 passes this device (once each gear revolution). Magnetic pickup device 156, which is positioned close to the edge of gear 150, produces an output pulse in response to each gear tooth passing (96 pulses per gear revolution). A slip ring assembly is also attached to rotating pen housing 42. The slip ring assembly comprises a non-conducting material 162 supporting two conductive rings one, 164, on its top surface and the other, 166, on its bottom surface. Contactor 168 and 170 which are in slidable contact with conductive rings 164 and 166, are secured to insulator 172 which is coupled to plate 44.

A housing 174 is secured to plate 44 by means of a plurality of studs 175 (only one of which is shown). Housing 174 contains a plurality of energy emitting means, such as light emitting diodes 176a, b, c and d. The diodes 176a, b, c, d are positioned opposite a plurality of energy sensing means 178, which in this example may be photo silicon controlled rectifiers (SCR). The photo SCRs are attached to pen housing 42. While there are only four light sensors 178 shown in the FIG. 2 crossection, there is one such sensor for each solenoid 140x as illustrated for example in FIG. 3.

In FIG. 3, which shows the electrical interconnection among the various elements of the apparatus, a momentary start switch 200 is coupled to the set (S) input terminal of a first flip-flop 202. The one output terminal of flip-flop 202 and magnetic pickup 154 are connected, respectively, to two inputs of AND gate 204. The output terminal of AND gate 204 is coupled to the S terminal of second flip-flop 206, the one output terminal of which is connected as one input to AND gate 208. The second input to AND gate 208 is from magnetic pickup 156. The output terminal of AND gate 208 is connected to the advance (A) terminal of a counter 211. Counter 211 is of conventional design. Upon receipt of a pulse at its A input terminal, its count is incremented by 1.

A number of decoders CT are connected to the counter. Each produces a pulse in response to a different count. For example, decoder 212a produces an output pulse in response to a count-of-4 reached by counter 211 (this is indicated by the legent CT 4 within block 212a). Similarly, decoder 212]; produces an output pulse when the counter reaches a count-of-8. The output terminal of decoder 212a is connected to an OR gate 214a, the output terminal of the latter is connected to switch position 1 of digit switch assembly 46. The output terminal of decoder 212b is connected through OR gate 214]; to switch position 2. In a like manner, other decoders (not shown) are connected to the various other switch positions of switch assembly 46. The count at which a particular pulse is produced for activating a particular switch may be determined by multiplying the switch number (the number in each of the seven blocks which comprise switch 46) by four. Thus, for example, the count-of-28 decoder 2ll2g activates switch position '7; the count-of-24 decoder (not shown) activates switch position 6, and so on. The output terminal of decoder 212g is also coupled to the S input terminal of third flip-flop 221.

The count-of-220 decoder 222 is connected to the reset (R) terminal of flip-flop 221. The I output terminal of flip-flop 221i is coupled to platen solenoid 36 via amplifier 223i. Count-of-230 decoder 224 is coupled to the S input terminal of fourth flip-flop 226. Position assembly 115 is coupled to the R terminal of flip-flop 226. The l output terminal of the flip-flop is coupled to clutch and brake assembly 22 via power amplifier 228, and to the control (C) input of an electronic switch 2%. Switch 236 couples a source of potential, V, to slip ring 166 (see also FIG. 2). Slip ring 164 is coupled to a source of reference potential such as ground. Countof-260 decoder 232 produces a RESET pulse which is coupled to the reset (R) terminals of counter 21111, flipflop 262 and flip-flop 266.

The output terminals of the decoders 2ll6a through 2ll6g are connected respectively to second input tenninals of OR gates 2mm through 214g and are also connected respectively to the various character assemblies which make up printing element 72. Thus, for example, the output terminal of element 216a is coupled to one end of each of the 7 segments of alphanumeric character 7211. Likewise, the output terminal of element 2116b is coupled to one end of each of the 7 segments of character 72b and so on.

The switch assembly 66, shown only schematically in H6. 3, may take any one of a number of forms. As a very simply example, at each position there may be a rotary switch which manually can be set to any one of the 10 decimal digits 0-9. If it is desired to print a label which represents, for example, the No. 6517140 (as shown in FlG. ll) then the rotary switch at the leftmost position hereinafter termed position i would be set to the number 6, the rotary switch at the next position would be set to the number 5 and so on. The four lines 2416a through 266d are effectively wired to the switches in parallel; however, they carry the binary code only of the switch position which is activated by an electrical signal from one of OR gates 2l4a through 214g. For example, if switch position l is set to the decimal digit 6, then when OR gate 2M0 applies an energized pulse to switch position ll, the binary code for 6, that is, 0110 0 on line 266a, on line 26% and so on) will appear on the four lines 24641, b, c, d. The circuits for accomplishing this are simple and may include normally dis abled gates connected between each switch position and lines 2460, b, c, d. Each gate effectively isolates its switch position from the four lines until that gate is enabled by a signal from a decoder. Since only one such gate can be turned on at a time, only one switch position can connect to lines 240a, b, c, d at a time.

Of course, the above is representative only. As already mentioned, 46 may be a scale and have rather than manually operated knobs at each position, gearing or other mechanical translating means for converting the weight registered on a scale to the setting of the respective switch positions. As another alternative, the input to the four lines 2460, b, c, d may be directly from a computer (which may be the other source 46 of H6. 1) via the switch 50 of FIG. ll. Neither the source nor the switch (which would include four poles for the four lines 246a, b, c, a in this embodiment) are shown in FIG. 3 in the interest of keeping the drawing simple.

The four lines 2dtlla-24ltld are connected to a 4:7 matrix encoder. The latter translates the four bit code it receives to a seven bit code on its seven output lines 24ida-2Mg. These seven lines are connected, in parallel, to all of the alphanumeric indicators. For example, line 4a may be connected to the bottomrnost horizontal segment of all indicators; line 244i!) (not legended but located immediately to the right of line 244a) may be connected to the lower leftmost segment of all indicators, and so on. Each line is connected to the end of a segment opposite that to which the signal from a decoder CT is applied. Thus, if a segment receives a signal from a decoder at one of its ends and at the same time receives a signal from one of the lines Edda-2g at its other end, that segment heats up. The particular voltages involved are arbitrary and, for example, one voltage may actually be at ground and the other some positive or negative level V.

The four lines Mfla-Mfld are also connected to four energy emitting devices ll76a-ll'76d. lt arbitrarily may be assumed that when one of lines 240a, b, c, d carries a signal representing a 1, the energy emitting device connected to that line is activated and when one of lines 2410a, b, c, d carries a signal representing a 0, the one of energy emitting devices 176a, b, c, d connected to that line remains unenergized.

In FIG. 41, where the relationship between one embodiment of the light emitting defices 176a, b, c, d and light sensing devices 178 is shown, each photo SCR 1178 is connected in series with a load to be energized such as a pen Difting solenoid 146x, there being two, 1140a and 146b, shown. Alternately, the load may be a pin point light source producing a very narrow beam for each writing means 40x and which is selectively turned on. Finally, the load may be a heating coil surrounding each writing device 46x. In the latter two examples, writing means 40x are axially stationary. A common terminal of each pen lifting solenoid is connected to slip ring 166. The cathode terminal and triggering terminal of each photo SCR 178 are, respectively, directly and resistively coupled to slip ring 1164. Therefore, whenever a light emitting diode 1176a, b, c, d (only 176a being illustrated in FlGcd) is energized at a time when the diode is opposite a photo SCR 176, that photo SCR will be made conductive causing its corresponding solenoid Mill x to be energized. The photo SCRs, once placed in a state of condition, will remain conductive until such time as power is removed from slip ring 1166. This may be accomplished by opening normally closed switch 236 (FIG. 3).

FIG. 5 shows another method for transferring information from a stator to a rotor. In this figure, the energy emitting devices 176a, b, c, d (only 176a being illustrated) are electromagnets rather than light emitting elements. The energy sensing units 1178 are reed relays rather than light sensors. Each relay 176 includes two contacts 1196a and 19% and a small permanent magnet T92. In these commercially available devices, magnet 1192 does not have sufficient energy to close contacts a and 1190b but does have sufficient energy to hold them closed when they have been initially closed by an electromagnet 1176a, b, c, d. Each of the reed relays is connected to a different one of pen lifting solenoids 140x. Here again, as in FIG. 4, one side of each pen lifting solenoid 140x is connected to slip ring 166. Also, one terminal of each reed relay 178 is connected to slip ring 164.

Unlike the photo SCRs of FIG. 4, the reed relays are not made non-conductive merely by opening a line carrying a voltage. Rather, an auxiliary electromagnet 194 is required. This electromagnet is polarized in a direction opposite that of electromagnets 176a, b, c, d. In such a case, a normally open switch 230a (FIG. 3) is coupled to electromagnet 194 while voltage V is coupled directly to contactor 170. Therefore, when switch 230a is closed, and consequently power is applied to electromagnet 194, the electromagnetic energy in permanent magnets 192 is offset by the energy produced by solenoid 194 so that all relays which are energized will become de-energized. The flux produced in electromagnet 194 is insufficient to energize non-selected relays. The alternate arrangement of FIG. 5 is useful particularly when a load drawing a large current is utilized.

In operation, pen housing 42 may be constantly rotated by drive means (see FIGS. 13). When it is desired to print a label, the information to be printed on the label is set up in digit switches 46 or some other information source. Then switch 200 (FIG. 3) is momentarily depressed, setting flip-flop 202 and thereby priming AND gate 204. When the lug 152 on timing gear 150 rotates past magnetic pickup 154, AND gate 204 is enabled and flip-flop 206 becomes set. The timing relationship between the rotational position of timing lug 152 and magnetic pickup 154 is such that the timing lug passes magnetic pickup device 154 just prior to the time that the first column 177a of devices 178 is about to pass the column of sensors 176a, b, c, d. With flip-flop 206 set, the 1 output primes AND gate 208. Now each time a tooth on timing gear 150 passes pickup 156, AND gate 208 becomes enabled and applies a pulse at the A input of counter 211. The counter initially is reset to 0 and each pulse produced by gate 208 increments the count by I.

When counter 21] reaches a count of 4, indicating that four gear teeth have passed magnetic pickup 156, a pulse is emitted from decoder 212a. The timing is such that when count of four decoder 212a is enabled, the first column 177a of energy sensors is positioned to receive the energy from the energy emitting devices 176a, b, c and d. If at this time switch 1 of bank 46 is set to the decimal number 6, the signals present on the four lines will cause a corresponding number of the elements 176a, b, c, d to become energized. For example, if the signals represent decimal digit 6 (binary 0110 reading from a to d), then devices 176b and 176c will become energized and devices 176a and 176d will remain off.

The associated energy sensing devices (those in the first column 177a) will become and remain energized. In the case of photo SCRs illustrated in FIG. 4, those which light strikes (the second and third ones in column 177a in this example) will be made conductive and will remain conductive until the voltage is interrupted at switch 230, an event to happen much later in the printing cycle. In the case of the reed relays of FIG. 5, those which are opposite electromagnets 176a, b, c, d will be placed in the closed position. In any event, any pen-lifting solenoid 140x associated with an energized energy sensing device in column 177a will be energized. When a pen-lifting solenoid is energized, its associated pen 40x will be retracted downward away from the writing position, such as pen 40b (FIG. 2). There is one pen-lifting solenoid and one pen associated with each energy responsive unit 178.

As pen housing 42 continues to rotate, counter 211 continues to advance such that when the counter has reached a count of eight, the second column 177b of energy sensing devices will be opposite energy emitting devices 176a, b, c, d. The action described previously is repeated for the second switch of assembly 46. If that switch has been set to decimal digit 4, the four lines carry the code 0100, and emitter 176b becomes energized. In like fashion, as each of the other columns of energy sensing devices 178 passes, a proper count in the counter will cause certain of energy sensing devices 176a, b, c, d to be energized. Thus, for example, when the counter reaches a count of 28, which will occur when the last column 177g of energy sensing devices 178 is opposite energy emitting devices 176a, b, c, d, the pulse emitted from device 212g via OR gate 214g will cause certain outputs from switch position 7 of switch assembly 46 to be energized. The resulting signals via devices 176a, b, c, d will energize certain ones of the last column 177g of energy sensing devices 178. At a count 28, all pens will be set up in accordance with information contained in switch assembly 46 for the printing of a label. That is, some pens such as pen 40b, FIG. 2, will be retracted from the printing position by solenoids x while others such as 40a will be urged upward into printing position by springs 136. Then printing may be commenced. Therefore, a pulse from device 212g coupled to flip-flop 221 causes that flipflop to become set which in turn energizes platen solenoid 30. Energized platen solenoid 30 causes platen 32 (FIG. 1) to be forced downward, thereby forcing a blank label 10 into engagement with the various ones of pens 40 which are not retracted, and into printing electrode assembly 72. Therefore, as housing 42 continues to rotate for the next two revolutions, ink from pens 40x or from stylii 40x and ribbon 41, FIG. 1, will be applied to a blank label 10 to produce a label similar to finished labels 60. Alternately, heated stylii 40): will cause the circular information to appear on heat sensitive labels 10.

While the pens are drawing the binary information on a label, the numeric equivalent of that number is being applied to the heat sensitive label through heating electrode assembly 72. At a count of 110, decoder 216a produces a pulse which is coupled to the digit position labeled 72a and also through OR gate 2140 to position 1 of switch 46. As mentioned previously, the output terminal of decoder 216a is coupled to one end of each of the 7 bar segments which make up digit position 72a. Likewise, the output lines 244a through 244g are each coupled to the other end of a different one of the electrode segments.

In this way, current will pass through certain ones of the segments which form the shape of the numerical equivalent of the information being drawn by pens 401:. Thus, if switch position 1 of switch assembly 46 contains the numeral 6, current passes through all seg ments of number 72a except the uppermost segment and the uper right segment. In a like manner, at a count of 120, various segments of digit position 72b are heated and so on, so that at a count of 170, certain ones of digit position 725 would be heated applying the last digit to the heat sensitive paper label.

in a practical application, conditions may be such that the pulses produced by the various decoders 216a through 216g are too short in time to provide the necessary heating to printing assembly 72. In this case it would be a simple matter to add additional devices such as integrators between the various decoders 216a-216g and printing device 72 to ensure that pulses of sufficient duration are produced.

At a count of 220, when the pen housing 42 has made two complete revolutions [(count of 220 count of 28) I- 96 gear teeth/revolution 2] with platen solenoid 30 energized, decoder 222 will produce a pulse resetting flip-flop 221 and thereby de-energizing the platen solenoid. At a count of 230, element 224 pro duces a pulse setting flip-flop 226 and thereby engaging clutch and brake assembly 22. The engaged clutch and brake assembly 22 causes label strip 12 to be advanced moving the completed label out of printing station 16 (FIG. 1), and moving the next label into that printing station.

The clutch and brake assembly is de-energized when position assembly apparatus 15 detects an aperture 111 in one of the labels and causes flip-flop 226'to be reset. Reset flip-flop 226 causes clutch and brake assembly 22 to be de-energized and therefore stop label movement. F lip-flop 226, when energized, also causes electronic switch 230 to be opened or switch 230a to be closed (depending on whether the system of FlG. 4 or PK]. 5, respectively, is used).

Interrupting the voltage to photo SCRs causes them to be rendered nonconductive and this restores all pens 40x to their upward position. Likewise, applying a voltage to electromagnet 194 causes all reed relays 178 (FIG. 5) to be restored to their open position, causing all pens to be restored to their upper position.

At a count of 260, decoder 232 produces a RESET pulse. This RESET pulse resets the counter to a count of zero and resets each of flip-flops 202 and 206, thereby preparing the printer to print the next label when start button 200 is once again depressed.

While the apparatus for transferring command signals from stationary elements to moving elements has been described in terms of a label maker, it has widespread use whenever signals must be transferred to a movable member. The number of energy emitting means and energy sensing means illustrated is arbitrary. The ideal number of each will depend on the task to be performed.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination:

means responsive to a signal for emitting energy;

movable means comprising a plurality of energizable loads and a like plurality of energy sensing means,

each coupled to a different one of said loads; means for creating relative motion between said energy emitting means and said movable means for causing said emitting means to be presented serially opposite the different ones of said sensing means; and

signal producing means coupled to said emitting means for causing said emitting means to be energized while opposite certain of said sensing means, said certain of said sensing means being responsive to energy emitted by said energy emitting means for causing said loads with which they are coupled to become and remain energized.

2. The combination as set forth in claim ll, wherein said movable means is responsive to a reset signal for causing said energized loads to become unenergized and further including means producing said reset signal only after said emitting means has been presented opposite each of said plurality of energy sensing means.

3. The combination as set forth in claim 2 wherein said energy emitting means is an energizable light emitting source and wherein said energy sensing means are light sensing means responsive to light from said light emitting source for entering a state of conduction and where there is further included an energy'source coupled between said light sensing means and said loads wherein when one of said light sensing means is made conductive, the one of said loads coupled thereto be comes and remains energized until said reset signal is produced.

4. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said motion creating means creates rotary motion between said energy emitting means and said movable means and wherein said movable means are responsive to a reset signal for causing said energized loads to be come unenergized and further including means producing said reset signal only after said emitting means has been presented opposite each of said plurality of energy sensing means and thereafter said movable means has made at least one complete revolution relative to said emitting means.

5. A plurality M of selectable energy emitting means;

movable means comprising a plurality N of energizable loads and a like plurality of energy sensing means, each sensing means being coupled to a different load, where M and N are integers and N is greater than M;

means creating relative motion between said energy emitting means and said movable means for serially presenting groups of M energy sensing means opposite said M energy emitting means so that in a group each of said sensing means is opposite a different emitting means;

means energizing selected ones of said emitting means while each of said groups is opposite said emitting means for activating the ones of said sensing means opposite said selected emitting means for causing said loads coupled thereto to be energized.

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US3451053 *Jan 11, 1965Jun 17, 1969Cons Edison CoRemote position sensing and measuring device
US3622758 *Nov 9, 1970Nov 23, 1971Rca CorpArticle labeling and identification system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4327283 *Sep 24, 1979Apr 27, 1982Rca CorporationWorkpiece with machine-readable marking recessed therein and method of making same
US4446362 *May 21, 1979May 1, 1984Rca CorporationWorkpiece with abraded machine-readable marking therein and method of making
Classifications
U.S. Classification307/117, 361/175
International ClassificationG06K1/12, G06K1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06K1/121
European ClassificationG06K1/12B