US 3862598 A
A roller platen device for the embossed printing of two legends, such as credit card data and a merchant's identification, in two separate locations on the bed of the device. Even printing of both legends is obtained with a platen carriage bearing two adjoining tubular roller platens carried on a sleeve bushing on a common shaft, as the tubular platens are alternately supported in operative and idle positions on the shaft by the shifting in an axial direction of the sleeve bushing to engage and disengage circular ribs on the periphery of the bushing with those on the interior of the tubular platen. When the moving platen carriage approaches the end of its forward travel, a stationary cam block on the bed of the printing device shifts the sleeve bushing so that the platen which was idle on the forward travel is firmly supported in its operative position for return travel and the operative platen on the forward travel is loosely supported in the idle position for the return travel.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Assistant Examiner-Edward M. Coven D United States Patent 1191 1 11 3,862,598 Hawthorne 1 1 Jan. 28, 1975 1 PRINTING DEVICE  ABSTRACT Inventor: Nathaniel Hawthorne, A roller platen device for the embossed printing of watenownv Masstwo legends, such as credit card data and a merchant's  Assigneez Barfizan corporafion New York, identification, in two separate locations on the bed of NY the device. Even printing of both legends is obtained with a platen carriage bearing two adjoining tubular Filedi J y 16, 1973 roller platens carried on a sleeve bushing on a com- ] Appl Na; 379,442 mon shaft, as the tubular platens are alternately supported in operative and idle positions on the shaft by the shifting in an axial direction of the sleeve bushing  U.S. Cl. 101/269 to engage and disengage circular ribs on the periphery [5 Int. Cl. of the bushing those on the interior of the tubula of Search platen when the moving p'aten carriage approa he 29/116 R1 1 129 the end of its forward travel, a stationary cam block on the bed of the printing device shifts the sleeve References Cited bushing so that the platen which was idle on the for- UNITED STATES PATENTS ward travel is firmly supported in its operative position 2,909,811 10/1959 Naegeli 29/129 x for return travel and the Operative platen on the 3,577,917 5/1971 Nantz 101/269 1 ward travel isloosely Supported in the idle Position for 1 3,653,323 4/1972 McGowan et a1. 101/269 the return travel.
3,654,862 4/1972 Strohschneider .1 101/269 3,750,569 8/1973 .lanik 101/269 3,763,777 10/1973 Brown 1, 101/269 5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 5i M a 2 a a; 4 2 w WNW, a h 47 i v 12 f4 jm/ 42 62 46 y YPATENTEB JAN 2 I975 SHEEI 10F '3 PATENTED JAN? 1975 SHEET 30F 3 PRINTING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention is concerned with printing devices having a roller platen travelling over multiple printing elements, especially devices for printing forms from embossed printing units located on the bed.
2. Prior Art As a result of the tremendous growth in the use of credit cards in recent use, numerous small and often portable printing devices have been developed for the printing of both data identifying the merchant and data identifying the purchaser upon a stack of attached forms of sensitized duplicating paper or paper interleaved with carbon paper, which assembly is generally known as a form set. This is accomplished by two separate plates having embossed characters thereon, a merchants plate which is usually permanently fixed and a customers credit card which is temporarily placed in a recess in the bed of the printing device during the operation.
Problems are involved in obtaining legible printing on these form sets by reason of different thicknesses of the credit cards and cards which have been bent, folded or otherwise subjected to rough treatment. As a result, there are differences in the level of the embossed printing characters on the credit card and merchants plate which often made it difficult or impossible to obtain legible printing of both printing units with a wide platen passing over both embossed units simultaneously.
A number of proposals have been made for alleviating this situation. For example, Johnson U.S. Pat. No. 3,272,120 describes a printing device in which there are two separate roller platens rotating on offset axes with racks, gears and eccentrics employed to set one roller platen at the printing level on the forward stroke in a printing operation while leaving the other platen in the idle position, and reversing the positions of the platens by similar means for the return stroke. On the other hand, although it is concerned with the same two path printing, Nantz U.S. Pat. No. 3,577,917 discloses an arrangement wherein a single roller platen is shifted from the forward path to the return path at the end of the forward stroke and vice versa. Both of these devices utilize relatively complex mechanisms for accomplishing the desired results.
The present invention is directed at an improved printing device of simpler and less expensive construction of a platen carriage that employs a pair of roller platens alternately disposed in printing in idle positions for alternate printing operations on the forward and return strokes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an improved roller platen carriage wherein the improvement comprises a plurality of tubular roller platens adapted for rotation -on a common axis, each of said platens having internal circular ribs substantially spaced axially therewithin, a shaft member located substantially inside said platens and axially movable relative thereto, and said shaft member having a plurality of peripheral circular ribs with an axial spacing therebetween corresponding substantially to the axial spacing of said platen ribs for alternate engagement and disengagement ofa plurality of said shaft member ribs with a plurality of internal ribs of each of said tubular platens for firmly supporting the engaged platen in operative printing position while another of said platens is in an idle position without engagement of the ribs of said platen with the ribs of said shaft member.
Other aspects of the invention are concerned with the combination in a printing device of the aforesaid platen carriage and a bed plate adapted to hold two embossed printing units, a shift means coacting with the aforesaid shaft member at each end of the carriage travel to shift the shaft member in an axial direction, and other specific details of the aforesaid device.
For a better understanding of the nature and objects of this invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view with parts broken away of a printing device according to the invention with the movable platen carriage in position for its forward travel;
FIG. 2 is a similar view with the carriage at the end of its forward travel and the platen rollers shifted to their return travel positions;
FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation taken on the plane on the line 3-3 of FIG. I;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 3 shortly after the start of the forward travel of the platen carriage;
FIG. 5 is a sectional elevation of the device taken on the plane of line 55 of FIG. I with the carriage in position for forward travel;
FIG. 6 is a similar sectional elevation of the device taken on the plane of the line 6-6 of FIG. 2 show-ing the platen carriage at the end of its forward travel and ready for the return travel; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view illustrating a form set control mechanism.
DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS The drawings show one embodiment of a printing device according to the invention with FIG. 1 depicting the apparatus in condition for a forward printing stroke to the left in FIG. 1,i.e., ready for the forward printing run except for the absence of the form set and the embossed printing plate and card which have been omitted for the purposes of better illustration; and FIG. 2 similarly illustrates the end of the forward travel over the bare printing bed of the platen carriage that is now ready for the return travel. Usually this device will be operated entirely by hand as described more fully hereinafter.
The base at 10 may be of solid construction, but it is preferably a hollow structure with a plurality of transverse reinforcing ribs 11 as shown in FIG. 3, and it is provided with rubber cushion pads 12 on its bottom. The hollow construction saves both material and unnecessary weight for easier handling of the article. There are several recesses in the upper surface of the base 10. The groove 13 and the raised end wall 14 provide a good grip for the thumb and finger of the operator in carrying and in operating the printing device. The recess 15 provides a place for the roller platens to remain between printing operations and permit a form set to be inserted into the large recess 16. There are a number of deeper recesses within the area of the latter. The
recess 17 is intended for holding a merchants plate which may be secured in place by a pair of screws or other fastenings extending down into the holes 18. A customers credit card is temporarily placed in the flat recess 19, and the two dished recesses 20 serve to expedite finger action in removing the credit card as soon as the printing operation is complete. Also there is a sloping recess 21 adjoining the platen recess to facilitate the initial travel of the platen, so that the platen travel wont tend to disarrange the form set by displacing or tearing the top form of the set.
An important feature of the top surface of the face is the pair of metal cam blocks 22 and 23 which are rigidly attached to the base and extend slightly above it. The inner edges 24 and 25, respectively, of the cam blocks serve as stationary cam tracks which alternately shift the supporting structure for each platen into and out of printing position as described hereinafter.
The base 10 is also provided with a pair of elongated recesses or slots 26 extending along the direction of printing travel of the platen carriage 27. Slots 26 serve to guide and to limit the extent of reciprocating travel of the platen carriage, for they engage the bottom flanges 28 and 29 of the end housings 30 and 31, respectively, of the platen carriage 27; see FIGS. 5 and 6. In many instances, it is desirable to provide the upper faces of the bottom flanges 28 and 29 with an affixed layer 32 of a wear-resistant synthetic resin having a low coefficient of friction, such as nylon, polytetrafluoroethylene, or an acetal polymer for firm but easy sliding engagement with the overhanging edge 33 of each of the slots 26.
In addition to the roller platen assembly described hereinafter, the platen carriage 27 has a central housing 34 with a cross-sectional shape similar to that of an inverted U and this structural member extends from the end cap 30 to cap 31. Central housing 34 is provided with four downwardly extending webs, including the two internal webs 35 and 36 which restrain the platen rollers against axial movement and the end webs 37 and 38 which are fastened firmly to the end housing 30 and 31, respectively, by any suitable fastening means. The internal webs 35 and 36 are provided with inverted U- shaped openings 39 and 40 extending upward from the bottoms of these webs as may be seen in respect to web 36 in FIG. 1. Usually, these openings are larger than any of the shaft members except the roller platens.
The embodiment of the shaft assembly which is illustrated comprises four main elements, namely a fixed shaft 41, an axially movable bushing or sleeve 42 snugly fitted on that shaft and two tubular roller platens 43 and 44 mounted on the sleeve 42. Shaft 41 is of constant diameter along the mid-portion of its length, but it is preferably necked down in certain areas nearer to its ends. For example, the bands 45 and 46 are recessed or of lesser diameter in order to provide clearance there for shaft 41 to pass over the cam blocks 22 and 23. Also the ends 47 of the shafts are generally of smaller diameter. The shaft ends 47 are also tapped for the machine screws 48 located in the end housing recesses 49 which are preferably slotted or elongated to permit the vertical adjustment of the shaft assembly toward or away from the base 10. In the embodiment shown, the entire carriage structure is held together by the two screws 48.
The sleeve 42 is fitted to the central part of shaft 41 in a manner which permits the sleeve to slide axially along the shaft when its collars 50 and 51, respectively, bear against the cam blocks 22 and 23, respectively. This axial displacement of sleeve 42 is restricted by the projecting stop 52 affixed to the leaf spring 53 which also serves to press the shaft assembly into firm contact with the embossed printing units as described hereinafter; and the similar stop 54 on the leaf spring 55 at the other end of the platen carriage restricts the shifting of the sleeve 42 in that direction when its collar 5] strikes the stop 54.
Sleeve 42 is also provided with three peripheral ribs 56, 57 and 58 on the exterior of the sleeve, and these ribs desirably have sloping or bevelled sides for easy sliding engagement and disengagement with the mating internal ribs on the tubular roller platens 43 and 44, respectively. The tubular roller platens 43 and 44 are each designed to be firmly supported on the shaft assembly during their individual printing strokes and to be loosely supported in an idle position during travel in the other directionwhen the other platen is in its printing position, To accomplish this change from idle to printing position in alternate runs of the carriage 27, the platen 43 is equipped with internal circular ribs 59 and 60 at each end thereof, that is, ribs which project inwardly from the interior surface of the tube 43 towards its axis. The internal surface of the tube 43 between the ribs 59 and 60 can also be described as a recessed interior surface. These internal ribs are also desirably bevelled so that they may be easily engaged and disengaged with the outwardly projecting ribs 56 and 57 of sleeve 42. The adjoining roller platen 44 is provided with ribs 61 and 62 (FIG. 6) which are identical with those of platen 43.
The structural components of the novel device may be constructed of a number of materials well known in shop practice, including cast or machined metals as well as molded thermosetting and thermoplastic resins. For example, the hollow base 10 as well as its bottom and the end caps 30 and 31 may desirably be injection molded from an impact-resistant polystyrene, polycarbonate or an acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene resin and the tubular platens 44 similarly molded from wearresistant resins, such as nylon or DELRIN acetal resin. The shaft 41 and sleeve 42 are desirably machined from steel or stainless steel rod and tubing, respectively, and central housing 34 of the platen carriage may be die cast from a metal such as zinc or aluminum or their alloys.
In the operation of this device, the base 10 is placed on a table or other suitable support and held in position by gripping the groove 13 and raised wall 14 with one hand while the other hand is used to pull the carriage platen 27 along its forward printing stroke from the position shown in FIG. 1 with roller platen 44 firmly supported in its printing position while roller platen 43 is supported loosely in its idle position to the position at the left as shown in FIG. 2 where sleeve 42 is shifted to put platen 43 into its printing position and platen 44 in its loosely supported idler position just prior to the end of that forward stroke. The return stroke is accomplished by pulling the carriage 27 to the right until it reaches the position shown in FIG. I with another shift of sleeve 42 taking place at the end of that stroke to return the platens 43 and 44 to their original idle and operative printing positions within the recess 15.
In advance of such a printing operation, the customers embossed credit card is temporarily placed in the recess 19 while the embossed merchants plate 63 is more or less permanently fastened into the recess 17, and a form set 64 is placed in the larger and shallower recess 16 which overlies at least a portion of the credit card and merchants plate as shown in FIG. 3 wherein the position of the carriage 27 is like that of FIG. 1. FIG. 4 illustrates the operation of the device at a stage immediately after starting from the rest position with the roller platens out of the recess and pushing the nearer edge of the form set 64 down into the sloping recess 21 which protects the edge of the form set as mentioned earlier. As the forward printing travel continues, the operative roller platen 44 impresses the embossed legend on the customers credit card onto the form set while platen 43 rides idly without exerting any pressure on the embossed data on the merchants plate 63. In the return path, the platen 43 is in operative position and imprinting the data on the merchants plate 63 onto form set 64, while platen 44 is in the idle position and not exerting any pressure on the embossed characters on the credit card. These two individual printing operations on each of the embossed printing units provide essentially ideal conditions for each printing stroke, for there is no necessity for two sets of embossed characters to be on the same level, as the printing platen is only bearing upon one set of embossed characters at a time.
The manner in which the sleeve 42 coacts with the tubular platens 43 and 44 to support these tubular platens alternately in a firm printing position and a loose idler position is apparent upon reference to FIGS. 5 and 6. It is significant that the distance between the central peripheral rib 57 on sleeve 42 and each of its similar ribs 56 and 58 is the same as distance between the internal ribs 59 and 60 of platen 43 as well as between ribs 61 and 62 inside platen 44. Also the peripheral ribs 56, 57, and 58 have a diameter size to engage the internal ribs of the two platens snugly but also allow ready disengagement.
Turning now to FIG. 5 with the platen carriage 27 in its rest or starting position, it will be apparent that the cam track 24 of block 22 has pushed the sleeve 42 axially until the collar 51 rests against the stop 54. In this position, the projecting ribs 57 and 58 of sleeve 42 are engaged with the internal ribs 61 and 62, respectively, of platen 44 thereby providing firm support for operating platen 44 in a printing run, but neither of the internal ribs 59 and 60 of platen 43 is mated with any rib of the sleeve 42; therefore, platen 43 hangs loosely in an idle position on the sleeve 42. This condition exists throughout the forward printing stroke until collar 51 of the sleeve 42 strikes the cam track 25 of block 23 and the sleeve 42 is thereby pushed to the left with collar 50 reaching the stop 52. The leftward axial shift of sleeve 42 disengages its ribs 57 and 58 from the internal ribs of platen 44 and brings the sleeve ribs 56 and 57 into firm supporting engagement with the ribs 59 and 60 of platen 43 so that platen 43 is now in the printing or operative position while platen 44 is in the idle position as seen in FIG. 6.
Thus, in FIG. 6 and 2, the platen 43 is in operative position for impressing the data on merchants plate 63 onto the form set 64 in the return printing stroke. At the end of the return stroke, cam track 24 moves the sleeve 42 back into the position shown in FIGS. 5 and 1. The form set 64 imprinted with data identifying both merchant and customer may now be removed, and the device is ready for another such imprinting operation. Only the sleeve 42 moves axially during these operations, for webs 35 and 36 restrain the tubular platens from such motion.
As illustrated in FIG. 7, the base 10 may have mounted thereon an automatically operated form set control means generally designated by the numeral 66. The base 10 has the sloping recess formed thereon adjacent one end of the reciprocating path of travel of the carriage 27 to receive one end of a form set 64. The form set control means 66 mounted on the base 10 is operable by the shaft 41 of the carriage to be positioned in an open position at the end of the return movement of the carriage 27 and is operable by the shaft 41 to move into a closed position to press the form set 64 against the sloping recess 21 during the forward movement of the carriage.
The purpose of the form set control means' 66 is to insure that the form set 64 is properly positioned in the sloping recess 21 prior to the start of the forward movement of the carriage 27, so that upon forward movement of the carriage 27 the form set 64 is engaged by the roller platens 43 and 44 on its top surface and is not distorted.
As viewed in FIG. 7, when the platen carriage 27 is moved to the right on the return stroke, the shaft 41 contacts a cam surface 67 on one end of a pivotally mounted control member 68. As the shaft 41 continues its return travel to the right, it stays in engagement with the cam surface 67 so that the control member, pivotally mounted in the base 10 by shaft 69, rotates in a clockwise direction against the bias ofa form set spring from the position shown in solid line to the position shown in phantom line in FIG. 7.
On its opposite end the control member 68 has mounted thereon a form set finger which contacts the underside of the form set spring 70. As the control member 68 rotates in a clockwise direction, the form set spring 70 is moved upwardly by the control member 68 from the closed position shown in solid line adjacent to the sloping recess 21 to the open position shown by the upper phantom lines away from the sloping recess 21.
With the platen carriage 27 in its starting position, as illustrated in phantom line in FIG. 7 the form spring 71 is held in a raised or open position so that a form set 64 may be inserted and guided into place between the form set spring 70 and the sloping recess 21. The form set spring 70 acts as a guide to direct the form set 64 downwardly into the sloping recess 21. One end of the form spring 70 has a free inclined surface 71 conforming to the configuration of the sloping recess 21 so that its under surface can position for form set 64 in place on the sloping recess 21. The other end of the form spring 70 is mounted in a conventional manner in a side portion of the base 10, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.
On the forward movement of the platen carriage 27, the shaft 41 moves out of engagement with the cam surface 67 and the form spring 70 causes the control member 68 to rotate in a counter clockwise direction so that the form spring inclined surface 71 moves down on top of the form set 64 forcing it into sloping recess 21 and holds the form set 64 firmly in place so that it is not distorted when engaged by the engaged roller platen 44.
While the present device has been described'in detail in respect to a single embodiment for the purpose of a complete disclosure, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many other embodiments and modifications are within the purview of this invention. For example, the sleeve 42 and shaft 41 may be manufactured as an integral unit (i.e., a solid shaft machined to have the ribs and collars of sleeve 42), and this unit can function in the aforementioned manner, if it is slidably mounted in the end caps 30 and 31 in a manner that will permit axial movement relative to the tubular platens 43 and 44. Accordingly, the present invention should not be construed as limited in any particulars except as may be recited in the appended claims or required by the prior art.
Having thus described my invention, 1 claim:
1. A printing device for the embossed printing on form sets of credit card data and merchant identification data and the like found on a plurality of cards or plates including a base having a plurality of recesses for holding credit cards and plates, a platen carriage mounted for reciprocal movement on said base over said recesses, a shaft supported by said carriage and movable therewith over said recesses, an axially movable sleeve mounted on said shaft, a pair of roller platens rotatably mounted on said sleeve'for movement over said recesses in operative printing positions and in idle position, axially spaced cooperating support means formed externally on the said sleeve and internally on said roller platens, said axially spaced support means being alternately engageable and disengageable for supporting one of said platens in an engaged operative printing position while the other of said platens is in an idle position during reciprocal movement of said carriage, and cam means engageable with said axially movable sleeve for shifting said sleeve in an axial direction and placing one of said roller platens in an operative position and the other in an inoperative position.
2. The printing device of claim 1 wherein said platen carriage has a pair of internal webs restraining said roller platens against axial movement.
3. The printing device of claim 1 wherein said cam means are in the form of upwardly extending cam blocks mounted on said base, said cam blocks being engageable with the ends of said sleeve for alternately axially shifting said sleeve.
4. The printing device of claim 1 wherein said support means includes a plurality of peripheral ribs on the exterior of said sleeve and cooperating alternately engageable internal ribs on the roller platens.
5. A printing device for the embossed printing on form sets of credit card data and merchant identification data and the like found on a plurality of cards or plates including a base having a plurality of recesses for holding credit cards and plates, a platen carriage mounted for reciprocal movement on said base over said recesses, a shaft supported by said carriage and movable therewith over said recesses, an axially movable sleeve mounted on said shaft, a pair of roller platens rotatably mounted on said sleeve for movement over said recesses in operative printing positions and in idle position, said carriage having a pair of internal ribs restraining said roller platens against axial movement, axially spaced cooperating support means formed externally on said sleeve and internally on said roller platens, said axially spaced support means being alternately engageable and disengageable for supporting one of said platens in an engaged operative printing position while the other of said platens is in an idle position during reciprocal movement of said carriage, said support means including a plurality of peripheral ribs on the exterior of said sleeve and cooperating alternately engageable internal ribs on the roller platens, and cam means engageable with said axially movable sleeve for shifting said sleeve in an axial direction and placing one of said roller platens in an operative position and the other in an inoperative position, said cam means being in the form of upwardly extending cam blocks mounted on said base, said cam blocks being engageable with the ends of said sleeve for alternately axially shifting said sleeve.