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Publication numberUS3863565 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1975
Filing dateDec 10, 1973
Priority dateDec 10, 1973
Publication numberUS 3863565 A, US 3863565A, US-A-3863565, US3863565 A, US3863565A
InventorsThomas E Patykula
Original AssigneeCorning Glass Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aratus for imprinting on moving articles without smearing the imprint
US 3863565 A
Abstract
A modification of a stamping machine originally used for imprinting a distinctive mark or indicia on each of a series of similar articles sequentially delivered to and momentarily dwelling at or moving slowly through a selected location for application of an imprint thereto, apparatus for modifying the machine to imprint a desired distinctive mark or indicia on each of a series of similar and relatively small articles sequentially transported by a conveyor rapidly and continuously moving in a selected direction through a path of travel, the modified apparatus being located at an imprinting station in the path of travel of the articles to be imprinted and including a printing platen supporting a printing type and reciprocatively moveable in alignment with the path of travel of the articles, means, responsive to the passage of each of the articles through the imprinting station, for rapidly starting the printing platen from an initial position and accelerating the platen to substantially equal the speed of each respective article while actuating the platen to contact each article with the printing type to imprint the desired distinctive indicia on the article, and means operating, following each imprinting actuation of the printing platen, for rapidly returning the printing platen to its initial position in preparation for imprinting of the indicia on each next article of the series of articles sequentially transported through the imprinting station by the conveyor.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

tlnite i111 Patyltula States Pate APPARATUS FOR IMPRINTING ON MOVING ARTICLES WITHOUT SMEARING THE IMPRINT Thomas E. Patykula, Elmira, NY.

[73] Assignee: Corning Glass Works, Corning,

[22] Filed: Dec. 10, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 423,550

[75] Inventor:

Primary ExaminerClifford D. Crowder Attorney, Agent, or Fi rmCharles W. Gregg; Clarence R. Patty, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT A modification of a stamping machine originally used for imprinting a distinctive mark or indicia on each of a series of similar articles sequentially delivered to and momentarily dwelling at or moving slowly through a selected location for application of an imprint thereto, apparatus for modifying the machine to imprint 21 desired distinctive mark or indicia on each of a series 01' similar and relatively small articles sequentially transported by a conveyor rapidly and continuously moving in a selected direction through a. path of travel, the modified apparatus being located at an imprinting station in the path of travel of the articles to be imprinted and including a printing platen supporting a printing type and reciprocatively moveable in alignment with the path of travel of the articles, means, responsive to the passage of each of the articles through the imprinting station, for rapidly starting the printing platen from an initial position and accelerating the platen to substantially equal the speed of each respective article while actuating the platen to contact each article with the printing type to imprint the desired distinctive indicia on the article, and means operating, following each imprinting actuation of the printing platen, for rapidly returning the printing platen to its initial position in preparation for imprinting of the indicia on each next article of the series of articles sequentially transported through the imprinting station by the con veyor.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing lFigures PATENTEU FEB 41973 SHEET 2 BF 3 APPARATUS FOR IMPRINTING ON MOVING ARTICLES WITHOUT SMEARING THE IMPRINT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the imprinting of a distinctive mark or indicia on each ofa series of articles sequentially delivered to and momentarily dwelling at or slowly moving through a selected location, a conventional stamping machine is often used for the imprinting, the imprinting actuation of such a machine being triggered by a workman depressing a foot switch or operating another similar and suitable device. However, when such a stamping machine was located at a position adjacent a path of travel of a conveyor continuously transporting articles at a relatively high rate of speed and it was attempted to use such machine for imprinting a distinctive mark or indicia on the transported articles, it was found that, regardless of the speed of an imprinting actuation of the stamping machine, the desired indicia or marks were intolerably smeared when imprinted on the moving articles. Furthermore, it was exceedingly difficult or, almost, impossible for a workman to trigger an imprinting actuation of the machine in proper synchronism with the rapid passage or transport of the articles past the location or position of the machine adjacent the path of travel ofthe conveyor. This was especially true when the articles were of relatively small dimensions or when the area of the article surface on which it was desired to make the imprint was of a small areal expanse as, for example, when it was desired to make an imprint on the bottom of a teacup or small bowl. It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to modify a conventional stamping machine of the type mentioned so that it may be used for stamping or stamp imprinting desired distinctive marks or indicia on each of a series of rapidly'moving or transported articles.

It is another objectof the present invention to adapt a stamping machine of the type mentioned to automatic operation, that is, to a system of operation of the machine such that the imprinting actuations thereof are triggered by each of the articles which are to be stamped or stamp imprinted, approaching or passing the modified machine.

Other objects and characteristic features of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is believed to be adequately summarizedin the foregoing abstract of the disclosure and,

a therefore, to avoid repetition and redundancy and undue length of the application, no further brief summary will be given nor is any believed to be necessary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 4 comprises a bottom plan view of a part of the apparatus of the invention and illustrating details of such part; a

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevational view of the part of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4. such view being taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, such view being taken generally along line 6-6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic wiring diagram of electrical circuitry. employed in the apparatus of the invention.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts in each of the FIGS. of the drawings.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIGS. I and 2 of the drawings in detail. there is shown a stamping machine 10 for imprinting or stamp imprinting distinctive marks or indicia on articles to or on which it is desired that such marks or indicia be applied or imprinted. Machine 10 comprises a housing or combined housing and support structure 11 including a front plate 12, two side plates 13 and I4, and a back plate 15, such plates being secured to each other as by allen screws or bolts such as 16. A gear motor M is fastened at the top of housing 11 as by allen screws or bolts such as 17. Housing 11 is secured to a suitable upright support plate 18 as by such plate being bolted to back plate 15 of the housing by bolts such as 19. Support plate 18 includes a foot portion 18a by which such plate and, thereby, machine 10 can be mounted on a suitable platform or table designated 20.

A rotatable axle or shaft 26 is rotatably supported within housing 11 with first and second ends 26a and 26b of such shaft extending into suitable bearings 27 and 28, respectively, suitably disposed and secured in the walls of sides 12 and 15 of housing or support structure 1]. The previously mentioned cam (FIGS. 2 and 3) is a face plate cam 30 embodying in a face thereof a cam track or groove 30a, such cam also including a hub 30b. Axle or shaft 26 extends through cam 30 and hub 30b thereof and there is provided in hub 30b a tapered pin 31 to suitably key cam 30 to axle or shaft 26 near said first end 26a of such shaft by extending into a suitably fitting hole provided in the shaft. Shaft 26 further extends through a single revolution clutch 33 including a driving sleeve 33a and an intermittently driven hub 33b which is also suitably keyed to shaft 26 by a tapered pin 34. A sprocket wheel 36 is secured to driving sleeve 33a of clutch 33 and a first end of a trip lever 37 (right hand end viewing FIG. 1) rides on the outer periphery of clutch trip or release cam 330 of clutch 33 and normally contacts the step or stop 33d on such release cam to maintain the clutch released. However, trip lever 37 is not shown in .FIGS. 1 and 2 as contacting or in contact with stop 33d of release cam 330 since the apparatus is shown in such drawings as in the course of an imprinting actuation or operation as hereinafter discussed in an operational'example of the invention.

A drive chain 40 loops about the teeth of sprocket wheel 36 in the manner well known in the art, there being only a part of such chain shown in FIG. 2 for purposes of simplification of such drawing. Chain 40 is driven by a second sprocket wheel (not shown) but which is rotatably driven by gear motor M by suitable means also not shown in the drawings since such means, per se, are not a part of the present invention. As hereinafter further discussed, chain 40 rotates sprocket wheel 36 in a counterclockwise direction (viewing FIG. I) and shaft 26 is periodically correspondingly rotated.

The second end of above mentioned trip lever 37 (FIG. 1) is pivotally connected as by a bolt 43 to one side ofa support block 44 secured to side 13 of housing 11. A solenoid 46 including a movable core or plunger 46a is attached to the face of support block 44 as by allen screws or bolts such as 47 and a lower or protruding end 46b of core or plunger 46a is pivotally connected to one end of a link member 48 whose second end is pivotally connected to trip lever 37. One end of a tension spring 49 is also connected to lever 37 and the second end of such spring is connected to the otherwise free end of a relatively long pin or peg 50 whose other end is supported or secured in support block 44. It is believed apparent that, by such arrangement, said first end of trip lever 37 is urged or biased by spring 49 into continuous contact with the outer periphery of clutch trip or release cam 33c as previously mentioned.

A platen carrier 22 has a first or upper end 22a disposed within housing 11 and a second or lower end 22b extending out of the housing. A cam follower 23 (FIG. 2) is rotatably mounted on a short axle or shaft 24 extending from the side of first end 22a of platen carrier 22 and such cam follower extends into the previously mentioned cam track or groove 30a of cam 30. Platen carrier 22 is thus arranged to be reciprocatively moved or actuated between an initial or substantially retracted position within housing 11 or a second imprinting position thereof shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and as hereinafter further discussed, such actuation of the platen carrier being performed by intermittent or periodic rotation of cam 30 by gear motor M and the resultant following of cam groove 30a of cam 30 by cam follower 23. This will also be further discussed hereinafter.

The apparatus thus far described is included in the orginal machine which is modified by the apparatus of the present invention as previously mentioned and discussed below. Such original machine is a Model 202D-l MARKEM printing machine which is manufactured and sold by Markem Corporation whose address is 150 Congress St., Keene, N.H., such machine being illustrated in a machine manual published by such company.

Referring further to FIG. I of the drawings, there is shown embodied in and extending through the wall of side 14 of housing 11 of machine a generally rectangular rail support member 56 having secured to the face or surface of such member which is in the interior of housing 11 a pair of spaced-apart and parallel rail members 57 and 58 (see also FIG. 2) which are fastened to said face of member 56 adjacent the front and rear edges of such face (viewing FIG. 1) by a plurality of allen screws or bolts such as 59. A slide member 60 includes a dovetail shaped portion 60a which has edges which are beveled or slant inwardly towards the remainder of the slide member such beveled edges being disposed between the aforesaid left hand face of support member 56 and said rail members 57 and 58, the inner edges of such rail members being beveled or slanted at angles corresponding to the beveled or slanted edges of portion a of slide member 60 and being complemental or complementary to such edges. Slide member 60 is thus snugly but slidably supported between rail members 57 and 58, such a sliding arrangement being a well known expedient.

Previously mentioned platen carrier 22 is secured, as by bolts such as 62 to the left hand face (viewing FIG. 1) of slide member 60 and, as carrier 22 is actuated between its aforesaid initial and imprinting positions by cam follower 23 as previously discussed, slide member 60 is correspondingly actuated and guided in a sliding movement by rail members 57 and 58. It is apparent therefore that slide member 60 also provides for guiding of platen carrier 22 between its said positions while such platen carrier imparts said sliding movement to slide member 60.

The parts just discussed and including support member 56, rails 57 and 58, and slide member 60, as well as platen carrier 22, are shaped similar to and are actuated the same as the corresponding parts used in the orginal machine mentioned above. However in the modification of said machine by the invention disclosed, the following changes, substitutions, and additions are made.

A modified rail support member 56 is provided, such member embodying a pair of first and second fluid passages 61 and 62 extending through the support member and having first ends 6121 and 62a opening through the left hand face of member 56 (viewing FIG. 1) such face being a very smooth planar surface for purposes hereinafter discussed. Said first ends of said passages 61 and 62 are spaced apart a distance substantially equal to twice the distance of the aforesaid movement of platen carrier 22 between its initial and imprinting positions. A modified slide member 60 is also provided, portion 60a of such slide member having a smooth planar surface (right hand surface viewing FIG. 1) which slidably contacts said smooth planar surface of member 56 with a substantially hermetic relationship between such surfaces. Slide member 60 embodies a pair of first and second spaced-apart fluid passages 63 and 64 extending through such slide member and having first ends 63a and 64a opening through said smooth planar surface of portion 60a of the slide member and spaced-apart a distance substantially equal to said distance of said movement of platen carrier 22. Said first ends 61a and 63a of passages 61 and 63 in support member 56 and said slide member 60, respectively, are embodied or located in their respective members to face or communicate with each other when said platen carrier 22 is in its aforesaid initial position. Similarly said first ends 62a and 64a of passages 62 and 64 in members 56 and 60, respectively. are embodied or located in their respective members so as to face or communicate with each other when platen carrier 22 is in its second or imprinting position. There is also embodied in said smooth planar surface of portion 60a of slide member 60 a channel 65 for providing fluid communication between said first ends 62a and 64a of said second passages during movement of platen carrier 22 between a position near to said initial position thereof and said second or imprinting position thereof.

A generally flat printing platen support member (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6) having a pair of first and second opposite and generally planar surfaces 70a and 70b is provided, end 22b of carrier 22 contacting surface 70a of member 70 normal thereto and such end of carrier 22 being secured to member 70 as by being welded to such contacted surface. Platen support member 70 embodies a longitudinal and relatively wide hole 71 (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6) such hole opening through at least the second surface 70b of said opposite surfaces 70a and 70b of support member 70. Member 70 further embodies a pair of first and second fluid passages 72 and 73 (FIG. 5) which extend through such member and have first ends 72a and 73a opening through the walls defining the limits of the first and second ends, respectively, of said hole 71 at substantially the centers of such ends.

A generally rectangular printing platen 76 of a substantially smaller length than the length of hole 71 in platen support member 70 is supported for sliding movement within such hole, and between said first and second ends of the hole with the centers of the first and second ends of the platen in general alignment with the aforesaid centers of such first and second ends of the hole. Platen 76 is so supported within hole 71 by a pair of parallel rods 77 and 78 which extend through the platen and are affixed in the end walls of hole 71 as best illustrated in FIG. 6.

A three-layer laminated printing element 80 includes a contact adhesive layer 80a, a compressible sponge rubber layer 80b and a conventional rubber printing type layer 80c. The otherwise exposed surface of contact adhesive layer 800 of element 80 is pressed firmly into contact with surface 76a ofprinting platen 76 and attaches the printing element to such platen with the printing surface of printing type layer 800 exposed. That is to say, with the type of the indicia to be imprinted exposed. Sponge rubber layer 80b of the printing element compresses during the imprinting contact of the printing surface or type of printing type layer 80c with an article being imprinted.

A first flexible fluid conduit 91 (FIG. 1) connects the second end 64b of previously discussed passage 64 in slide member 60 with the second end 72b (FIG. 5) of passage 72 in platen support member 70. A second flexible fluid conduit 92 connects the second end 7312 of passage 73 in platen support member 70 with the second end 63b of passage 63 in slide member 60. A first end ofa fluid conduit 93 connects with the second end 621; of passage 62 in support member 56 and a first end ofa fluid conduit 94 connects with the second end 61b of passage 61 in support member 56. The second ends of fluid conduits 93 and 94 connect with each other through a suitable T connection 95 and a fluid conduit or pipe 96 extends from such connection to one side ofa manually actuated valve 97 whose second side connects with a first end of a pipe or conduit 98. The second'end of pipe or conduit 98 connects with a suitable source of pressurized fluid such as compressed air, for example. However, such source is not shown in the drawings for purposes of simplification thereof.

There is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a light source 81 including an electric lamp 82 (FIG. 7) from which a beam of light, as indicated by the broken line arrow designated 83 (FIGS. 2 and 7) is projected across the path of travel of an article to be imprinted, such beam normally being received by or impinging upon a photosensitive device such as photoelectric cell 84 (FIG. 7) provided in a suitable housing or case 85 (FIG. 2). Light source 81 is attached to foot portion 18a of support plate 18 as by allen screws or bolts such as 86 (FIGS. 1 and 2). The base 85a of housing 85 for photosensitive device 84 is attached to previously mentioned table orplatform as by allen screws or bolts such as 87 (FIG. 2).

Referring further to FIG. 7, there is schematically shown a master switch MS including a pair of contacts a-b, winding W of motor M, a relay R including a pair of normally open contacts a-b, solenoid 46 including core or plunger 46a thereof, and the previously mentioned electric lamp 82 and photosensitive device 84. A suitable source of electrical current of sufficient voltage and capacity for energization of the components shown in FIG. 7 is provided. However, such source, per se, is not shown in the drawings for purposes of simplification thereof but the opposite terminals of such source are designated in FIG. 7 as B and N, respectively.

With further reference to FIG. 7, lamp 82 and winding W of motor M have energizing circuits which extend from terminal B of said current source over contacts a-b of master switch MS in their actuated or closed condition and thence through W and 82 to terminal N of the current source. Relay R has an energizing circuit which extends from said terminal B of the current source over said contacts a-b of switch MS and thence through photosensitive device 84 (when such device is conducting) to one side of the winding of the relay and through such winding to terminal N of the current source. Solenoid 46 has an energizing circuit which extends from said terminal B of the current source over contacts a-b of switch MS, contacts a-b of relay R, when such contacts are closed as hereinafter discussed, and thence through solenoid 46 to terminal N of the current source.

OPERATIONAL EXAMPLE OF THE INVENTION For purposes of an operational example of the invention, it is assumed that the modified machine'10 embodying the invention is disposed at a selected location, hereinafter often termed an imprinting station, in the path of travel of a continuously and rapidly moving conveyor such as a conveyor belt 90 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. Machine 10 is disposed or positioned at the imprinting station so that the center of printing platen support is above the center of the width of conveyor belt 90 which, as indicated in FIG. 1 by the arrows such as 88, is assumed to be moving in the right hand direction (viewing FIG. 1). Belt 90 is assumed to be used for sequentially conveying or transporting a series of pieces of dinnerware, such as the bowl 89 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and which are carried on belt 90 in an inverted position, that is, with the rims or brims of the bowls resting on the upper surface of belt 90.

Machine 10 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as being in an actuated condition, that is, in the positions that the apparatus of the machine occupies at the instant that a desired mark or indicia is being imprinted on the bottom of a bowl such as 89. In the unactuated condition of the machine, cam 30 occupies a rotational position such as shown in FIG. 3 and such that cam follower 23 extends into cam track 300 of cam 30 at the lower part of such cam track when referring to FIG. 3. At such time platen carrier 22 and, therefore, platen support member 70, platen 76 and printing element are all in raised, non-imprinting, or normal or initial conditions, as is also slide member 60. When slide member 60 is in its raised position, passage 63 in such slide member is in communication or connects with passage 61 in supportmember 56 as previously mentioned while passage .64 and groove 65 in said slide member are out of communication or do not connect with passage 62 in support member 56. Prior to the initiation of the movement of conveyor 90 to transport a sequence of bowls such as 89 past the imprinting machine, the following described operations are performed.

Master switch MS (FIG. 7) is actuated to close contacts 41-!) thereof and thereby energize lamp 82, and winding W of gear motor M. At such time, solenoid 46 may be momentarily energized and initiate one or more operations of machine 10 in the manner hereinafter described, but such operations at such time perform no imprinting functions of the machine since there are no articles or bowls such as 89 being transported by conveyor 90. The beam of light 83 from light source 82 actuates or activates photosensitive unit or device 84 to its conducting state and relay R is energized to open its contacts a-b to interrupt energization of solenoid 46, and trip lever 37 (FIG. 1) is thereby actuated downwardly by spring 49 so that the right hand end of such lever (viewing FIG. 1) contacts step or stop 33d of release cam 331' of clutch 33 when such step or stop is rotated to its upward position by the rotation of release cam 330. This will be further discussed hereinafter.

The previously mentioned pressurized fluid source is now activated, valve 97 is opened and the fluid, such as compressed air, flows from such source through the valve to conduit 94 and thence through passages 61 and 63 in support member 56 and slide member 60, respectively, to conduit 92, through passage 73 in platen support member 70 (FIG, 5) and out of end 73a of passage 73 to impinge against the right hand end of printing platen 76 and cause such platen to slide along its support rods 77 and 78 until the left hand end of the platen (viewing FIG. 5) comes to rest against the right hand end of hole 71 in platen support 70. Machine is now in an initial condition in preparation for a series of imprinting operations.

It will now be assumed that the previously mentioned continuous and rapid movement of conveyor belt 90 is started and that such belt is conveying or transporting a sequence or series of bowls such as 89 to and through the imprinting station, that is, to and through the location of machine 10. As a bowl such as 89 passes between light source 82 and photosensitive device 84, light beam 83 is interrupted and relay R (FIG. 7) is thereby released to close its contacts a-b and momentarily energize solenoid 46 and cause the retraction of core or plunger 46a within the solenoid and thereby raise, through link member 48, trip lever 37 against the tension of spring 49. Such raising of trip lever 37 moves the right hand end of such lever (FIG. 1) from out of contact with step or stop 33d of release cam 33c of clutch 33 and such clutch becomes engaged so that hub 33b of the clutch is rotated counterclockwise (viewing FIG. 1) by the rotation of sprocket 36 and driving sleeve 33a of the clutch. Such counterclockwise rotation of hub 33!; correspondingly rotates shaft 26. Release cam 33c is also correspondingly rotated at such time to move stop 33d thereof past the end of trip arm 37.

The above-mentioned rotation of shaft 26 rotates cam 30 and cam follower 23 (FIG. 2) follows cam track or groove 30a of cam 30 during the rotation of such cam and such cam follower is moved toward its position shown in FIG. 2, that is, in a downward direction when viewing FIG. 2.

As cam follower 23 moves downwardly, platen carrier 22 and slide member 60 are correspondingly moved downwardly. Such movement of slide member breaks communication or connection between passages 63 and 61 in slide member 60 and support member 56, respectively, and the pressurized fluid supplied through the end 73a of passage 73 in platen support 70 is interrupted and, of course, no longer impinges against the right hand end of printing platen 76. As slide member 60 is moved further downwardly, groove or channel in such member is moved into communication or connection with end 62a of passage 62 in support member 56 (FIG. I) and pressurized fluid then flows through groove or channel 65 into passage 64 in slide member 60, and thence to conduit 91 and into passage 72 in platen support member to flow out of end 72a of such passage (FIG. 5) and impinge against the left hand end of platen 76 (viewing FIG. 5). Such impingement of the pressurized fluid against the end of platen 76 overcomes the inertia of the platen and printing element 80 attached thereto and such platen and printing element are moved in the same direction as bowl 89 and are accelerated to a speed such that, when the type of the indicia of printing type layer 800 of printing element 80 contacts the bottom of bowl 89, such element is moving at substantially the same speed as that of the bowl and the indicia or desired distinctive mark is imprinted on the bowl bottom without smearing of the mark or indicia. During such imprinting, sponge rubber layer 80b is somewhat compressed but imparts sufficient pressing pressure to layer 800 to obtain a satisfactory imprint on the bottom of the bowl. The acceleration of printing platen 76 and element 80 can be adjusted to some extent by manual adjustment or regulation of fluid flow control valve 97.

Following the imprinting of the indicia or mark on the bottom of bowl 89, cam follower 23 (FIG. 2) is moved toward its initial or starting position by and in cam groove 30a in cam 30 and the apparatus including slide member 60, platen carrier 22, platen support member 70, platen 76 and printing element 80 are correspondingly moved towards their initial or starting positions. Towards the end of the return movement of slide member 60, communication or connection between channel or groove 65 in such slide member and passage 62 in support member 56 is interrupted, and communication or connection between passage 63 in the slide member and passage 61 in member 56 is reestablished. The pressurized fluid then again flows through passage 73 in platen support 70 to'impinge against the right hand end of platen 76 and return it to its initial or starting position within hole 71 in support 70 in preparation for imprinting the indicia or mark on the bottom of the next succeeding bowl of a sequence of such bowls passing or being transported past the imprinting station, the passage of such next succeeding bowl, and each successive bowl thereafter, each causing an electric triggering impulse to be supplied to solenoid 46 of machine 10 to initiate an imprinting operation of the machine, that is, an imprinting actuation of platen carrier 22 and the associated parts between a first initial position and a second imprinting position of such apparatus. In other words light source 82 (FIGS. 1 and 7) beaming the light beam indicated by the broken line arrow designated 83 to photosensitive device 84 provide means, which are responsive to the passage of each bowl such as 89 as they are respectively transported through the imprinting station, for supplying an electric triggering impulse to machine 10 or, specifically, to solenoid 46 of such machine and thus initiate an imprinting operation of the machine. When cam follower 23 reaches the lowermost part of cam groove 30a in cam 30 (viewing H0. 3) during the rotation of such cam, the stop or step 33d on the release cam 33c of clutch 33 again contacts the end of trip lever 37, and further rotation of driven hub 33b of clutch 33 and, thereby, of axle 26 and cam 30 is interrupted. The imprinting apparatus or machine is then in its initial position in preparation for another imprinting actuation thereof.

It should be pointed out that the original machine such as also includes a means or apparatus for the inking of the type of the indicia of a printing type layer such as 80c ofa printing element such as 80. However, since such inking means do not, per se, form part of the present invention, they areomitted from the drawings and description for purposes of simplification thereof.

It is also pointed out that if or when the appatus disclosed is used for imprinting indicia or distinctive marks on the bottoms of articles such as relatively flat dishes transported by a conveyor belt such as 90, ma-

- as 83 would be beamed across such upper surface sufficiently close thereto to be interrupted by the passage of each of the relatively flat dishes then transported by the conveyor. Furthermore, the apparatus or machine embodying the invention can be disposed, relative to a conveyor, in positions or attitudes other than above or over the conveyor as shown and described herein. For example, the apparatus or machine can be located alongside a path of travel of a conveyor sequentially transporting a series of packages along such path at a continuous and relatively rapid rate, and the apparatus or machine can be positioned, rather than in an upright attitude as shown in the drawings herein, in a reclining attitude, that is, lying on one of its sides for imprinting on one of the sides of each package'being so transported past the apparatus or machine. The machine or apparatus of the invention could also be disposed in an inverted attitude or position to imprint on the bottom of each of a series of articles depending from a rapidly and continuously moving overhead conveyor and being sequentially transported, by such conveyor, past the location of the machine or apparatus.

It is also desired to point out that, if found desirable or expedient to do so for better control of the apparatus of the invention, gear motor M could be a variable speed motor and a variable electric resistance unit, such as a potentiometer, could be used in the energizing circuit for the gear motor to provide for adjustment or regulation of the speed of the operation of the imprinting apparatus of the invention, along with valve 97 providing for adjustment or regulation of the acceleration and speed of movement of printing platen 76 within hole 71 in platen support 70.

Although there is herein shown and described in detail only one form of apparatus embodying the invention and providing for adapting a known machine to the purposes mentioned, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the apparatus ofthe invention within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.

of a series of similar articles sequentially transported by a rapidly and continuously moving conveyor in a selected direction through a path of travel including an imprinting station in such path, such apparatus comprising, in combination;

I. a printing platen support member having a generally planar surface and embodying a longitudinal and relatively wide hole which opens through said surface;

ll. a generally rectangular printing platen including a generally planar surface and of a substantially smaller length than the length of said hole in said platen support member;

[I]. means for supporting said printing platen within said hole in said platen support member for longi tudinal sliding movement of such platen between first and second ends of such hole and with said planar surface of the platen paralleling said planar surface of the platen support member;

IV. a printing element having a first surface secured to said planar surface of said printing platen and a second opposite surface including thereon a print ing type of a mark to be printed, such second surface extending beyond said planar surface of said platen support member;

V. means for supporting said machine at said imprinting station and adjacent said conveyor with said planar surface of said printing platen and said printing type of said printing element facing said path oftravel of said articles and with the direction of said sliding movement of said printing platen within said hole in said platen support member being in alignment with said path of travel;

Vl. means, responsive to the passage of each of said articles as they are respectively transported through said imprinting station, for supplying an electric triggering impulse to said machine;

Vll. means, operating when said platen carrier is in its said initial position, for impinging pressurized fluid against a first end of said printing platen to move such platen in a first direction within said hole in said platen support member, such first direction of movement being opposite to said selected direction of transport of said articles by said conveyor; and

VII. means, operating during actuation of said platen carrier between its said initial position and its said second imprinting position, for impinging pressurized fluid against a second end of saidprinting platen to move such platen in a second direction within said hole in said platen support member,

such second direction of movement corresponding to said selected direction of transport of said articles by said conveyor.

2. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 and in which each of said series of articles is a piece of dinnerware which is transported in an inverted position by said conveyor and said machine is mounted above such conveyor with said printing type facing downwardly.

3. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 and in which said conveyor is a belt.

,4. The apparatus in accordance with claim 3 and in which said means for supplying an electric triggering impulse comprises a photosensitive device positioned to normally receive a beam of light from a light source, such beam being momentarily interrupted by the passage of each of said articles.

5. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 and in which said means for supplying an electric triggering impulse comprises a photosensitive device positioned to normally receive a beam of light from a light source, such beam being momentarily interrupted by the passage of each of saidarticles.

6. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 and in which said conveyor is a belt.

7. The apparatus in accordance with claim 6 and in which said means for supplying an electric triggering impulse comprises a photosensitive device positioned to normally receive a beam of light from a light source, such beam being momentarily interrupted by the passage of each of said articles.

8. The apparatus in accordance with claim I and in which said means for supplying an electric triggering impulse comprises a photosensitive device positioned to normally receive a beam of light from a light source, such beam being momentarily interrupted by the passage of each of said articles.

9. In a stamping machine adapted for imprinting indicia on each of a series of articles sequentially delivered to and briefly dwelling at a selected location, such apparatus comprising; 4

A. a housing and apparatussupport structure,

B. a platen carrier having a first end disposed within said housing and a second end extending out of the housing, such carrier movable between an initial position and a second imprinting position, and

C. drive means in said housing and including a motor coupled with said carrier for periodic reciprocative movement of such carrier between said positions in response to an electric triggering impulse supplied to said drive means;

. D. apparatus for modifying said machine to imprint indicia on each of a series of similar articles sequentially transported by a rapidly and continuously moving conveyor through a path of travel including an imprinting station in such path, such apparatus comprising, in combination;

I. a generally rectangular rail support member secured in one wall of said housing and embodying a pair of first and second fiuid passages extending through such support member and having first ends spaced apart a distance substantially equal to twice the distance of said movement of said platen carrier between said initial and second imprinting positions. Such first ends opening through a smooth planar surface of said rail support member within the interior of said housing;

II. a pair of spaced-apart and parallel rail members secured to said planar surface;

Ill. a slide member secured to said platen carrier for movement therewith, such slide member snugly and slidably supported between said rail members and having a smooth planar surface slidably contacting said smooth planar surface of said rail support member with a substantially hermetic relationship between such surfaces, such slide member also embodying a pair of first and second spaced-apart fluid passages extending through such slide member and having first ends opening through said smooth planar surface of the slide member and spaced-apart a distance substantially equal to the distance of said movement of said platen carrier between said initial and said imprinting positions, said first ends of said first passages in said support member and said slide member being located to face each other when said platen carrier is in its said initial position, and said first ends of said second passages in the support member and the slide member being located to face each other when such platen carrier is in its said second position, and at least one of said members embodying a channel for providing fluid communication between .said first ends of said second passages during movement of said platen carrier between a position near to said initial position of the carrier and said second position thereof;

IV. a generally flat printing platen support member having a pair of first and second opposite and generally planar surfaces, such support member carried by said platen carrier with said second end of such carrier contacting said first planar surface of said platen support member normal thereto, such platen'support member embodying a longitudinal and' relatively wide hole which opens through at least the second of said opposite surfaces of the member and a pair of first and second fluid passages extending through the member and having first ends opening through the walls defining the limits of the first and second ends, respectively, of said hole at substantially the centers of such ends;

V. a generally rectangular printing platen of a substantially smaller length than the length of said hole in said platen support member;

VI. means for supporting said printing platen in said hole in said platen support member for sliding movement of such platen between said first and second ends of such hole and with substantially the centers of the first and second ends of the platen in generally alignment with said centers of the first and second ends of the hole, respectively;

VII. a printing element having a first surface including thereon a printing type of indicia to be printed and a second opposite surface secured to the surface of said printing platen which is opposite said first opposite'surface of said platen support member, said printing type extending beyond said second opposite surface of such support member;

VIII. a first pair of first and second fluid conduits having first ends connected with the second ends of said first and second passages, respectively, embodied in said rail support member and second ends connected with a source of pressurized fluid;

IX. a second pair of flexible first and second fluid conduits having first ends connected with the second ends of said first and second passages, respectively, embodied in said slide member and second ends connected with the second ends of said first and second passages, respectively embodied in said printing platen support member;

XI. means, responsive to the passage of each of said articles as they are respectively transported through said imprinting station, for supplying an electric triggering impulse to said drive means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2646746 *Apr 1, 1947Jul 28, 1953United States Steel CorpControl system for billet marking
US2819669 *May 18, 1956Jan 14, 1958Lily Tulip Cup CorpApparatus for printing on moving articles
US2819671 *May 18, 1956Jan 14, 1958Lily Tulip Cup CorpElectrically controlled apparatus for printing on moving articles
US3659521 *Jul 16, 1969May 2, 1972Vitkovice ZelezarnyApparatus for marking moving objects
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4044676 *Feb 12, 1975Aug 30, 1977Milford-Astor LimitedPrinting mechanism
US4635545 *Dec 24, 1984Jan 13, 1987American Can CompanyApparatus for marking moving articles
US6791592Jun 4, 2003Sep 14, 2004LaserinkPrinting a code on a product
US6829000Nov 13, 2003Dec 7, 2004LaserinkPrinting a code on a product
US7046267Dec 19, 2003May 16, 2006Markem CorporationStriping and clipping correction
US7167194Nov 14, 2003Jan 23, 2007LaserinkPrinting a code on a product
US7394479Mar 2, 2005Jul 1, 2008Marken CorporationPulsed laser printing
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/44, 101/316, 101/DIG.300
International ClassificationB41F17/00
Cooperative ClassificationB41F17/006, Y10S101/30
European ClassificationB41F17/00F