US 3860192 A
A tape supply roll damping device including a yieldable ramp and a braking means to provide a damping action to the supply roll to prevent unnecessary unraveling usable in a tape feed mechanism such as a postage mailing machine.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Morris [451 Jan. 14, 1975 TAPE FEED MECHANISM  Inventor: John Charles Morris, Castro Valley,
 Assignee: The Singer Company, New York,
 Filed: Oct. 9, 1973  Appl. No.2 404,538
 US. Cl. 242/754  Int. Cl B65h 23/06  Field of Search 242/754, 75.2, 99, 156.1;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,805,564 5/1931 Bodnov 242/75.4 X
Hummel 242/754 X Norman 242/754 X Primary Examiner-Edward J. McCarthy Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward L. Bell; Joseph R. Dwyer  ABSTRACT A tape supply roll damping device including a yieldable ramp and a braking means to provide a damping action to the supply roll to prevent unnecessary unraveling usable in a tape feed mechanism such as a postage mailing machine.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures TAPE FEED MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention This invention relates to tape feeding mechanism for printing on tape, such as in a postage mailing machine in which tape from a roll concealed within the machine is advanced through a print and cutting station where the postage impression is printed and the tape is severed to provide a printed strip or stamp for use in mailing of an envelope or package.
2. Description of the Prior Art In most systems now in use, a tape supply roll is supported in a suitable compartment within a postage mailing machine, such as the type described in the patent to Kinney et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,556,001. The roll is usually mounted on a spindle and is directed into a guide system and advanced by a pair of coacting feed rollers to a printing station, then further to a cutting station where the tape is severed to provide the printed strip. The actual operation comprises several steps. The leading edge of the tape is advanced from its start, or rest, position to a print position, then further advanced to a cutting position where it is severed, then the severed end or new leading edge is retracted to the start or rest position.
In the prior devices, because of a series of jerks and pulls n the tape as it is advanced and retracted, the tape roll usually overran due to the inertia of the roll and excessive tape unreeled and accumulated in the compartment and often became entangled in the tape roll compartment. To prevent such overrunning, the prior art devices utilized braking mechanisms, such as disks, to prevent further rotation of the tape supply roll by actually engaging a side wall of the taperoll at the appropriate time. One such example of such braking mechanisms is in the patent to M. H. Norman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,664,597.
Another known device in postage mailing machine a cartridge which contained the tape supply roll making it readily positionable, as such, in the machine. This cartridge contained its own guide chute and opening for directing the leading edge of the tape into the guide system for the tape feed mechanism of the postal mailing machine. This cartridge, however, included many and very expensive parts, all 'of which added to the cost of operation of the postal mailing machine but did not eliminate the need for the braking devices to prevent entangling of the tape from the supply roll due to this jerking and pulling of the tape during operation of the machine. An example of such cartridge is disclosed in the patent to Norman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,625,407.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, a tape supply roll is placed within a compartment on a yieldable ramp, without the benefit of a spindle, rolling or floating rather loosely on this ramp. The leading edge of the tape is then threaded through a tape mechanism and into a tape feed mechanism for feeding the tape to the printing and cutting stations of the postage mailing machine. When a demand is made on the tape supply, the tape supply roll is pulled or jerked through the several steps of the printing and cutting operation, continually up the ramp against the vertical braking plate or bracket, thus braking the forward rolling action of the roll. This braking plate, together with the yieldable ramp and its retaining spring, provide a damping action which brakes the tape roll and prevents unnecessary unraveling of the tape from the supply roll. It is the interaction between the yieldable ramp, the vertical braking plate and the pulling of the supply roll against gravitation which combine to prevent the overrunning of the roll and the unnecessary unwinding of any undesirable tape.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the compartment containing a roll of tape which is embodied in a postage mailing machine.
FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the tape roll at its at rest position in the compartment; and
FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the tape roll butting against the vertical bracket when a demand is made on the tape supply.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention as shown in FIG. 1, indicated in its entirety as 10, is preferably embodied in a postage mailing machine, such as described in the Kinney et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,556,001. During the printing operation in such a machine, the leading edge of the tape is moved from a normal at rest position into the position near a printing drum where the postage impression is made thereon and then it is further advanced to a position where the printed portion is severed, forming the stamp which is thereafter dispensed. Following the severance of the tape, the remaining portion is retracted where the severed portion becomes a new leading edge of the tape at the at rest position.
According to the present invention, the tape is withdrawn from a tape roll supply 12 located within the machine. This tape supply roll is supported within the cavity of a compartment 14 having side walls whose width are approximately the width of thetape, open at one side for the insertion of the tape within the compartment, and closed by the cover of the machine (not shown). One side wall 16 is disposed at an angle to the base wall 18 and to a resilient ramp 20, which is attached to the bottom wall 18. The tape roll in its at rest position, since the ramp acts like an incline plane, engages the angular wall 16 as shown schematically in FIG. 2. As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the ramp 20 inclines upwardly toward a vertical braking plate in bracket 22 and is held by a retaining spring 24 and is subject to the weight of the roll.
The leading edge of the tape is initially threaded around a first or lower roller 26 which is supported on the plate 22 by any suitable means, such as U-shaped bracket 28, on the side opposite the compartment cavity and thence up through a tape guide mechanism. The tape guide mechanism comprises a pair of manually operable friction rollers 30 which engage a second roller 32,also located on the vertical plate 22 on the same side as the first roller, and both are supported by any suitable means, such as U-shaped brackets 34, 36. For manual operation, the friction rollers 30 are provided with a knob 38 affixed to the roller shaft 40. These manually operated friction rollers allow an operator to advance the tape toward the printing and cutting stations during loading of the postal machine.
As described above, during the printing, cutting and retraction of the tape in the postal mailing machine the problem that exists is the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the tape roll by the advance of the tape which causes the tape roll to jerk and, due to its mass, there is a tendency for the tape roll to continue to roll due to its inertia. This, in turn, may cause the tape to unwind off the roll and become entangled to the detriment of the operation of the machine. In the prior art, to prevent this, complicated braking devices have been utilized.
In this invention, however, by reason of the location of the yieldable ramp and the tape roll, the tape roll is normally positioned against the back wall 16 at the lower end of the ramp due to gravitational forces. As the tape is pulled rapidly, the roll is also pulled or jerked forward up the ramp against the vertical braking plate even against the opposite rotation of the tape roll as the tape unwinds from the roll, thus braking the rolling action of the roll up the ramp. This is clearly shown schematically in FIG. 3. When the initial pull of the paper is completed, or if the pull is steady with no acceleration or deceleration, the tape roll simply rolls back to its original position such as shown in FIG. 2, because of the action of gravity. It has also been found that the resiliency of the ramp and its retaining spring, together with the braking plate, introduces a damping action to prevent further unraveling of the tape. Thus, depending on the tautness of the tape the braking can be done by the ramp alone or a combination of the ramp and braking plate. But if the tape is unusually taut, the ramp yields allowing the tape to unroll more, thus preventing slippage of the tape feed mechanism or tape breakage, at the same time the roll is braked to prevent too much unwinding.
What is claimed is:
1. In a tape printing device,
compartment means for storing a supply roll of tape,
braking plate means at one end of said compartment means,
a yieldable ramp inclining upwardly toward said braking plate means for supporting said supply roll of tape in a position to permit said roll to roll up said ramp and engage said braking plate means,
means for guiding and feeding said tape to a printing and cutting station located on the same end of said compartment as said braking plate means and which when actuated pulls said tape off said supply roll,
the arrangement of said braking plate means, ramp and last mentioned means being such that when the tape is initially pulled by said guiding and feed means the roll has a tendency to roll up said ramp and engage said braking plate means with the concurrent operation of gravity tending to roll the supply roll back down said inclined ramp.
2. The tape printing device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said means for guiding and feeding said tape includes a pair of rollers, one of which is engageable by a manually operable friction roller for threading the tape toward the printing and cutting station.
3. In a tape printing device,
compartment means for storing a supply roll of tape,
means for counteracting the inertia of the roll when the latter is put in motion by a sudden demand and rapid unwinding of the tape from the roll,
yieldable ramp means in said compartment means for said roll to roll up against the force of gravity and allowing said roll to roll back to its original position, and
braking means near one end of said ramp for stopping the forward motion of said roll.
4. The tape printing device as claimed in claim 3 wherein said braking means comprises a vertical plate.
5. The tape printing device as claimed in claim 3 further including tape guide mechanisms for threading and guiding the tape toward a printing station during loading of the tape in the device.
6. The tape printing device as claimed in claim 5 wherein said tape guide mechanism includes manually operable roller means located on said brake means.