US 3869981 A
A plurality of solenoid operated printing wheels are continuously rotated at high speed to give the printing wheels a peripheral speed equal to the speed of incoming sheets of paper. The solenoids are energized by signals from a memory unit of a randomly programmed sorter-stacker machine to selectively place a mark or marks on each of the sheets of paper. Energization of the solenoids occurs after a predetermined time delay to position the mark on the sheet of paper and remains energized for a predetermined dwell period to establish the length of the mark on the paper.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ite tates Davis Mar. 11, 1975  Assignee: Norfin, Inc., Seattle, Wash.
 Filed: Jan. 18, 1973  App]. No.: 324,655
 US Cl ..10l/91,101/109,101/247, 101/329  Int. Cl B4lb 25/00  Field of Search 101/91, 92, 96, 247, 109,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,928,337 3/1960 Pollak, Jr. 101/91 2,952,204 9/1960 Sherman 101/1 3,019,726 2/1962 Rogers 101/91 3,039,385 6/1962 Siege] r 101/91 3,059,922 10/1962 Marshall 101/322 3,191,526 6/1965 Ross 101/91 3,213,786 10/1965 Mathurin 101/91 3,244,139 4/1966 Brown et al.
3,274,607 9/1966 Muchow et al. l0l/91 3,418,934 12/1968 Pannier 101/328 Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Assistant Examiner-William Pieprz Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Dowrey & Cross  ABSTRACT A plurality of solenoid operated printing wheels are continuously rotated at high speed to give the printing wheels a peripheral speed equal to the speed'of incoming sheets of paper. The solenoids are energized by signals from a memory unit of a randomly pro grammed sorter-stacker machine to selectively place a mark or marks on each of the sheets of paper. Energization of the solenoids occurs after a predetermined time delay to position the mark on the sheet of paper and remains energized for a predetermined dwell period to establish the length of the mark on the paper.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMRI 1 m5 3'. 869 98 1- sum 2 :5 2 l4 1 HIGH SPEED MARKING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention pertains to high speed printing devices and particularly printing devices for placing encoded marks on rapidly moving sheets of material such as paper.
2. Summary of the Invention It is an object of this invention to provide a printing device for placing indicia marks on sheets of material such as paper without impeding the progress of the rapidly moving sheets.
It is another object of this device to provide a printing device for rapidly marking sheets of paper in which the position and length of the mark on the paper can be readily adjusted.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a multiple printing device capable of printing various coded patterns on rapidly moving sheets of paper as determined by encoding commands from a preprogramed control.
These objects are obtained by providing means for guiding a rapidly moving sheet alonga predetermined path, providing a plurality of laterally spaced printing means in said path for placing indicia marks on successivc sheets moving along the path without impeding the progress of the sheets through the guide means, and control means for selectively energizing said printing means for placing the indicia on said sheets in various coded patterns. The indicia selection can be determined by manual selection or by pre-programed memory units, computers, or the like.
Several advantages result from this apparatus. For example, sheets moving at 200 inches per second or more are capable of being marked with a readily distinguishable indicia without slowing the speed of the sheets. The rapidly moving printing means needs little maintenance and replacement since it is subjected to very little wear due to the absence of relative speed between the printing surfaces and the moving sheets.
In the preferred embodiment, the control means is provided with both a delay mechanism and a dwell mechanism in order to first position the mark or marks at some particular location along the length of each sheet and can provide a mark of any desired length.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a high speed printing device embodying the principles of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan of the printing device shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view ofthe printing device.
FIG. 4 is an electrical logic schematic illustrating the control means for operating the device of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The printing device employs guide means for guiding sheets of paper or the like along a predetermined path in the direction of the arrow. Sheets pass beneath printing means 12 which are movable into engagement with the sheets by an actuating means 14. Drive means 16 move the sheets out ofthe guide means after printing. The printing device is adapted to be part of an overall sorting'stacking system and provides a means for identifying sheets of paper, and particularly sheets of a particular run of the same subject matter for subsequent identification. The printing, however, can also be used for other applications wherein high speed printing is desired. In a typical application. desired coded information is fed into a computerized control for a sorter-stacker with the coded indicia applied in the form of marks on the sheets of paper.
As best shown in FIG. 3, the guide means 10 includes a table 18 having a smooth upper surface, an adjustable entrance throat 20 for guiding the incoming sheets P along the table 18 and side plates 22. The guide means thus provides a smooth area in which the sheets are thrown along a path past the printing means 14. The sheets passing the printing means continue to be positively propelled by the driving means 16. The driving means 16, however, are not essential since the printing means itself does not impede the progress of the sheets through the guide means.
The driving means 16 for the sheets P includes a pair of transversely spaced pinch rollers 24 biased into engagement with a powered knurled roller 28 by springs 26. Paper is carried through the guide means between the pinch roller and the knurled roller.
Powered rollers 40 are provided at the inlet of the guide means to maintain the speed of the sheets as they enter the guide means.
Printing means 12 includes a plurality of printing rollers 30 having indicia on their outer surfaces. An ink transfer roller 32 rotatably engages the printing roller and transfers ink to the printing roller from an inking roller 34. The transfer roller is powered and rotates the printing roller as well as the inking roller. The transfer roller 32 is driven by a belt and sheave drive 36 and 38 from a motor 39. The motor and the belt drives are designed to provide a peripheral linear speed on the printing roller of about 200 inches per second, or alternatively any other speed at which the paper is moving through the guide means.
The actuating means 14 includes a plurality of solenoids 41, one for each printing roller 30. Each solenoid is coupled to a printing roller by a linkage 42 pivoted at a point 44. Extension of the solenoid arm will move the printing roller upwardly into engagement with the transfer roller for inking.
The control means includes a manual feed control 50 and a programed or automatic feed control 52. The feed controls energize the paper feed supply (not shown) to begin the delivery of the rapidly moving sheets to the guide means 10. A signal provided by one of the manual or automatic means 50 or 52 energizes a transistor 54 which completes a circuit to a feed supply relay or other actuating device 56. The sheet supply is provided with a sensor 58 of conventional construction which indicates when a sheet has reached some point in the path of the guide means 10. The leading edge ofa sheet energizes the sensor and a logic high signal is produced on the input of NAND gate 60. The other input for the NAND gate 60 is a constant high provided from ground through a NOR gate inverter 62. Thus when a sheet is sensed at 58, a low output is produced on the NAND gate 60. This output is passed to an integrated circuit 64 which produces a corresponding logic low signal at its output 66 and charges a capacitor and adjustable potentiometer combination 68.
After the delay provided by circuit 68 an output high is produced on line 66. The delay is provided for positioning the printed marks lengthwise along the sheets of paper.
The output 66 is coupled to a second NAND gate 70 which has a constant high input from ground through a NOR gate 72. When the output 66 is low, the NAND gate 70 has no output. However, after the predetermined time delay and the output 66 goes high, NAND gate 70 produces one output low which is fed to another integrated circuit 74. The low at the input of circuit 74 charges a capacitor circuit 90 and produces a high at the output of the integrated circuit 74 which enables the group of NAND gates 80-87 to be energized. After a period of time determined by a capacitor 90 the high at the output of the integrated circuit 74 is terminated producing a low which disenables the NAND gates 80 through 87. The time period in which the NAND gates 80-87 are energized determines the length of time the printing rollers engage the paper and thus determine the length of the marks. During the period the NAND gates 80-87 are enabled, highs from a manual, memory or other automatic control mechanism 92 are passed to selective inputs of the NAND gates 80-87 according to the information stored in the manual or automatic unit 92. Thus, the remaining inputs of the NAND gates 80-87 are energized according to a predetermined coded arrangement. The NAND gates 80-87 thus energized, produce low outputs which are respectively converted to high outputs by inverters 100-107. The logic highs produced at the outputs of the energized inverters 100-107, pass through a 4.7K
' resistor to a transistor switch to thus ground each of the solenoids 40a 4012 associated with the respective printing rolls 30. Power for the NAND gates 80-87 is from a 5 volts DC input 111. The inverters 100-107 are powered by l2 volts DC from input 112.
As is readily apparent, the control circuit is operable to selectively energize one or more of the solenoids 40a-40/z after the sheet has passed a predetermined distance into the guide means 10 and thus to hold the energization long enough to apply indicia marks on the paper of a predetermined length.
While a preferred form of the apparatus has been illustrated and described, it should be understood that variations and modifications will be apparent to one skilled in the art without departing from the principles ofthe invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
l. A high speed printing device for placing indicia on rapidly moving, flat, flexible, lightweight sheets comprising:
means for guiding a rapidly moving sheet along a predetermined path,
a plurality of spaced printing means in said path movable into contact with the sheets for placing indicia marks on successive sheets without impeding the progress of the sheets as the sheets move along said path, said printing means including a plurality of printing rollers having indicia on their outer surfaces, an inking roller, and a transfer roller for transferring a marking medium to said printing rollers from said inking roller'and for rotationally propelling the printing rollers when in engagement therewith to a peripheral speed approximately equal to the linear speed of the paper, and control means for selectively energizing said printing means for contacting the sheets and placing the indicia on said sheets in various coded patterns. said control means including delay means for varying the moment of initial energization of the printing means to place the marks at a predetermined position on the sheet, dwell means for varying the length of time the printing means is in contactwith the sheets to determine the length of the indicia marks on the sheets, and actuating means for selectively moving one or more of said printing rollers into engagement with said sheets and out of engagement with said transfer roller into a nondriven, freely rotatably printing position so as not to skew the sheets.
2. A high speed printing device for placing indicia on rapidly moving, flat, flexible, lightweight sheets comprising:
means for guiding a rapidly moving sheet along a predetermined path;
a plurality of printing means in said path, said printing means being spaced transversely to said path and being movable into contact with the sheets for placing indicia marks on successive sheets without impeding progress of the sheets as the sheets move along said path, said printing means each including a relatively small printing roller;
inking roller means for holding a supply of marking medium;
driven transfer roller means operable to transfer the marking medium to said printing means from said inking roller means and to rotationally propel said printing rollers when in engagement therewith to a peripheral speed approximately equal to the linear sheet speed; and
control means including actuating means for selectively moving one or more of said printing rollers into a non-driven, freely rotating printing position removed from said transfer means and engaging a sheet for placing a mark on said sheet whereby said printing rollers will not change the linear speed of any portion and thus avoid skewing thesheet while traveling along said path.
3. The printing device of claim 2, said control means including dwell means for varying the length of time the printing roller is in contact with a sheet to determine the length of the indicia mark on the sheet and delay means for varying the moment of initial energization of the actuating means to place the marks at a predetermined position on the sheet.