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Publication numberUS3872961 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1975
Filing dateSep 22, 1972
Priority dateSep 22, 1972
Publication numberUS 3872961 A, US 3872961A, US-A-3872961, US3872961 A, US3872961A
InventorsSt James Marc Antony
Original AssigneeInt Business Supplies
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing machines
US 3872961 A
A fabric cleaning ribbon capable of dissolving or removing ink and dirt particles is dimensioned to be substituted for the inked ribbon normally used for printing in an impact printing machine of the type used in high speed computer printers, typewriters and the like.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

St- James 1 5 Mar. 25, 1975 [5 MEANS AND METHODS FOR CLEANHNG 1,905,118 4/1933 Nadell 197/181 Y FACES 0 IMPACT PRINTING 2,324,662 7/1943 Aaronm. 197/172 X MACHINES 2,415,730 2/1947 Davis 15/104 R 2,796,367 6/1957 Brown 197/184 X [75] Inventor: Marc Antony St. James, 2,800,215 7/1957 Converse... .1 197/185 pennsauken, Ni 2,992,447 7/1961 Hicks 15/210 R I 3,000,031 9/1961 Stirrup 197/184 UX Asslgneel International Business pp i 3,010,559 11/1961 Ploeger 197/172 Oaklyn, NJ. 3,069,815 12/1962 Valentine 15/210 R X 3,129,448 4/1964 Mittman 15/104 R X [22] Flled: 1972 3,141,539 7/1964 Wolowitz 197/181 x 21 App] 291 247 3,177,512 4/1965 Balaban 15/104 R 3,355,324 11/1967 Catzen 101/424 X 1 3,452,854 7/1969 Weber 197/172 [52] 11.8. C1 197/184, 15/210 R, 252/D1G. 1, 3,532,599 10/1970 Cooperman 101/424 X 197/172,197/171 {5 Int. Prin' ary Examiner-Ernest If [58] Field 01 Search 197/171, 172,181,184, 197/185; 101/424; 15/104 R, 104 E, 210 R;

zsz/ 1 [57] A fabric cleaning ribbon capable of dissolving or re- 1 References Clted rnoving ink and dirt particles is dimensioned to be sub UNITED STATES PATENTS stituted for the inked ribbon normallyused for print- 781,581 1/1905 Allen 197/185 ing in an impact Printing machine of the yp used in 874,010 12/1907 Johnson 197/185 g speed Computer Printers, typewriters and the likel,l83,424 5/1916 Baldwinm, .1 197/181 1,804,976 5/1931 Fortier 197/171 ux 4 Clam, 5 Drawmgi Flgures MEANS AND METHODS FOR CLEANING TYPE FACES 01F IMPACT PRINTING MACHINES Impact printing devices using inked ribbons for printing operations are well known. Such devices have included computer printers, typewriters and other types of machines. Such impact printing devices generally must have their type face (FONT) cleaned periodically. Periodic cleaning is necessary to remove particles of paper, ink, ribbons, dust and other forms of dirt which build up on the type face and clog the type faces to a point where the printed characters are not legible. Clogged type faces can not produce clean, sharp, clear print characters. At the present time, much money and many man hours are used in the tedious manual and messy job of cleaning the type face.

Numerous methods and means have been used in the past for cleaning type faces in typewriters and other types of impact printing devices. 1

A patent to Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 2,796,367, for example, discloses a cleaning sheet having a coating containing an ink adhesive material on the side facing the type. The sheet is inserted into the machine in the manner of a conventional paper. A patent to Balaban, U.S. Pat. No. 3,177,512, shows a rotatable type cleaning device having a tacky layer thereon for cleaning type of a typewriter. A patent to Wolowitz U.S. Pat. No. 3,141,539 discloses a complete type typewriter ribbon using one portion for printing and another portion for obliterating. A patent to Ploeger, U.S. Pat. No. 3,010,559, discloses an absorbent ribbon for receiving ink with an impervious strip to prevent the type from contacting the ribbon during operation. A patent to Stirrup, U.S. Pat. No. 3,000,031, discloses a cleaning element for manually cleaning type in a typewriter.'A patent to Converse, U.S. Pat. No. 2,800,215, discloses another type of cleaner which may be inserted into a typewriter in the same manner as a sheet of paper. A patent to Aaron, U.S. Pat. No. 2,324,662 discloses means for protecting the type face from contamination by stencil material.

While some of the devices described in the aforementioned patents are capable of accomplishing cleaning of type faces, in the main, they require tedious manual operations, are time consuming, are inconvenient for a person to use or otherwise inefficient. Very often, they are not adaptable for efficient use in automatic printers of the types used in computers.

Many types of chemical agents including an alcoholic base are generally unsuitable because they tend tocorrode the metal of the type faces. Also, such agents are unsafe because they are flammable. In any case, such agents are generally not strong enough to penetrate and dissolve ink.

It is an object of this invention to provide improved means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing devices.

It is a further object of this invention to provide improved means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing devices in which the time required for cleaning such devices is minimized.

lt is still a further object of this invention to provide improved means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing machines without corroding the type faces or using flammable materials.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide improved means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing machines of the types which are automatically operated.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide improved means and methods for cleaning type faces of impact printing machines wherein persons performing the cleaning operations have a minimum physical contact with the cleaning agents involved in the cleaning operations.

,In accordance with the present invention, a cleaning ribbon is dimensioned to be substituted for the inked ribbon used to perform printing in an impact printing machine. The cleaning ribbon comprises a porous material which includes a solvent or is otherwise treated to make it capable of removing or dissolving dirt parti cles accumulated on the type faces of the printing machine. The type faces of the machine are actuated to contact the cleaning ribbon or the cleaning ribbon is brought into contact with the type facesdependent upon the type of impact printer involved, with the cleaning ribbon being moved in the same manner as the inked ribbon to expose different portions of the cleaning ribbonto the type faces during a cleaning operation.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent and sugggest themselves to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following specification'and claims, in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates apparatus for making a cleaning ribbon, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates apparatus for spooling cleaning ribbons into predetermined lengths from a main supply roll;

FIG. 3 illustrates one type ofa cleaning ribbon ready for substitution into a printing machine in accordance with the present invention; I

FIG. 4 illustrates a high speed printer deviceof the type adapted to use a cleaning ribbon made in accordance with the present invention, and

FIG. 5 illustrates a conventional typewriter including a cleaning ribbon made in accordance with the present invention.

Referring particularly to FIG. 1, apparatus 10 is mounted on a base 12 and includes a roller support member 14 for holding a pair of rollers 16 and 18. The roller 16 holds and dispenses a strip material 19 when it is in an uncoated raw fabric condition. The roller 18 receives the strip material 19 after it has been suitably coated with a cleaning solvent from the container 21.

A solvent transfer roller 20 is mounted on the container 21 with its lower portion within the solvent. A pair of coating rollers 22 and 24 are suitably mounted to receive the strip material 19.

The lower roller 22 frictionally engages the solvent transfer roller 20. The roller 20 includes an absorbent material 25 capable of receiving and holding the liquid solvent. The roller 20 frictionally engages and drives the roller 22 to transfer the liquid solvent from the material 25 to the surface of the roller 22.

The strip material 19 is directed between the rollers 22 and 24 from the feed roller 16 to the take up roller 18. As the uncoated or dry portion of the strip material 19 engages the roller 22, it receives and absorbs the liquid solvent which the roller 22 has received from the material 25. The roller 24 directs the solvent coated strip material 19 to the roller 18.

Means for driving the various rollers 16 and 18 of the apparatus may take a wide variety of different forms well known to those skilled in the art. One such driving means may be a motor to drive the take up roller 18. The strip material 19 from the roller 16 then frictionally drives the roller 22, which in turn drives the roller 20. The roller 24 acts as an idler roller as it is moved by the strip material 19. The rollers 22 and 24 also control the amount of solvent applied to the strip material 19.

The uncoated raw fabric making up the strip material 19 may be made of Nylon, cotton, silk or any other suitable fabric material. In general, the fabric must be porous and capable of absorbing a liquid solvent when a solvent is used as the cleaning agent. Nylon is the preferred fabric because of its long wear and relatively low expense. Silk is capable of performing a good job but is relatively expensive. Cotton tends to have a limited life due to wear.

Referring particularly to FIG. 2, one means and method for transferring large rolls of coated fabric material to mandrels for use in a variety of different types of machines is illustrated. Frame members 26 and 28 are mounted on a base 30, with the frame member 28 holding a roller 34 including wound solvent coated fabric 32 and the frame member 26 including a roller or mandrel 36 to receive the solvent coated fabric 32.

After the fabric 32 is wound on to the mandrel 36 it is cut into predetermined lengths, a typical length being ten yards. After the fabric 32 has been cut into predetermined lengths, the mandrel 36 is removed from the frame member 26 and a second mandrel attached to the free end of the coated fabric 32. The mandrel 36 and the second mandrel to which the free end of the fabric 32 is attached may be specially designed to fit into a particular type of impact printing machine which may be a conventional typewriter, adding machine, printer used in computer systems or other types of printers.

FIG. 3 illustrates an arrangement wherein solvent coated fabric 42 is wound on a pair of mandrels 38 and 40, and ready for use in a printer ofa computer system, for example. The arrangement illustrated may be packaged into a polyfilm bag, for example, to prevent the fabric 42 from drying out. The mandrels 38 and 40 are designed to fit into and replace the feed and take up members which hold the inked ribbon of the impact printing machine. In a conventional typewriter, the mandrels 38 and 40 may take the forms ofconventional spools which hold the inked ribbon.

Referring particularly to FIG. 4, a drum printer 44 includes a key strike unit head 46 and a printing drum 48. Print hammers 50 are disposed to strike the type faces or font 52. In normal printing operation, a standard inked ribbon and paper are disposed between the key strike unit head 46 and the printing drum 48. When the print hammers 50 are struck, a print is formed. In computer systems, a whole line is generally formed for each strike.

In utilizing the present invention, the inked ribbon used for the pfinting opefation, includ ing the members which hold it, are removed. An assembly, such as illustrated in FIG. 3, may then be inserted into the drum printer 44. When the assembly of FIG. 3 is inserted into the drum printer 44, the solvent coated fabric 42 comprising the cleaning ribbon is disposed between the strike hammers 50 and the type faces 52.

As previously mentioned, when inked ribbons are used with impact printing machines, particles ofink are left on the type faces 52. These ink particles pick up paper dust, ribbon lint and other forms of unwanted dirt particles which clog the type faces 52 and prevent the printing device from printing clear, sharp or well defined characters. This results in print characters which can not be easily read. When the cleaning ribbon 42 of the present invention is substituted for the regular inked ribbon, the strike hammers 50 are activated to strike the cleaning ribbon to bring it into contact with the type faces 52 resulting in the dirt and ink particles being removed or dissolved from the types faces 52 by the cleaning agent on the cleaning ribbon.

Referring particularly to FIG. 5, a typewriter 54 of the conventional type is illustrated. A pair of spools 56 and 58 are disposed to be driven by conventional means to dispense and receive a cleaning ribbon 60 when the keys of the typewriter are depressed to cause the type faces 62 to engage the ribbon 60.

The cleaning ribbon 60 is wound onto standard spools 56, 58 which are then placed onto the typewriter 54in place of the usual inked ribbon used for printing. After the cleaning ribbon 60 is in place an operator may activate all of the individual keys to move each type face 62 to engage the cleaning ribbon 60.

When various type faces 62 come in contact with a cleaning ribbon 60, a solvent from the ribbon 60 wets the type faces 62. The solvent on the type faces 62 then breaks down and dissolves unwanted dirt particles from the type faces 62. These dirt particles, for example, may include ink, paper dust and lint which usually accumulate from normal typewriter use.

Several operations of all the keys on the typewriter 54, or other printing machine involved, may sometimes' be necessary to adequately clean the type faces 62. After the cleaning operation is completed, a regular inked ribbon may be substituted for the cleaning ribbon 60, with the typewriter 54 being again ready for printmg.

The solvent used in the present invention should contain very little or no alcohol or other solvents containing acids. The reasons for this 'are that such solvents tend to corrode metal type faces and may be hazardous because oftheir flammability. Also, many such solvents with alcoholic bases are incapable of penetrating and breaking down the permanent inks of the types used in computer printers, for example. In addition, alcoholic base solvents tend to dry out quickly.

Permanent inks of the types used in computers take a wide variety of forms. In general, the inks are already included in the ribbons when the ribbons are sold. Each manufacturer may have his own formula including dye, oleate, resins and oil, with the particular formula being determined by the characteristics desired by the user. Some of the manufacturers of ribbons including inks with which the present invention has been successfully associated with respect to cleaning include inked ribbons sold by Olivetti Co., Kee Lox, Leeda l l Products, Curtis Young Corp., Allied Carbon and Ribbon Co. and others.

The solvents used in the present invention are preferably oil. base solvents. Among the reasons for this are that such solvents break down permanent ink particles effectively. In addition, the danger of burning is less than with alcohol base solvents. Oil base solvents will not dry out quickly thereby enabling the clean type ribbon of the present inventiono to be stored over relatively long periods of time. Rather than tending to corrode metal on type faces, the solvent used in the present invention actually builds up a protective coating on the type faces, such as type faces 52 or 62 illustrated in FlGS. 4 and 5, respectively, which minimizes the tendency of ink from the inked ribbon to accumulate on the type faces 52 or 62 (FIGS. 4 and 5).

The clean type ribbon, such as ribbon 42 and 60 illustrated in FIGS. 3and 5, respectively, of the present invention may be used over and over, as many as 300 times, and still retain much of its cleaning properties.

One embodiment of the present invention involves the use of an oil base solvent formula coated on or embedded into the cleaning ribbon 42 or 60 (FIGS. 3 and 5). The solvent is capable of dissolving, breaking down and cleaning unwanted dirt particles from type faces 52. In testing one particular formula, it was demonstrated that after the type faces 52 were cleaned with the cleaning ribbon 60 with the solvent thereon, an invisible layer of surfactant prohibits and retards further dirt build up. Thus after using a cleaning solvent of the present invention, an initial cleaning of the type faces 52 resulted with the added advantage that less cleaning of the type faces 52 are required.

One formula used was a mixture of Alky Phenoxy Polyethoxy Ethanol mixed with water in the ratio of 2 percent Alky Phenoxy Polyethoxy Ethanol and 98 percent water by volume. This mixture, it was found, dissolved all ink and other unwanted dirt particles completely. This mixture is a neutral surfactant organic compound. Mixed in the proportions mentioned, the formula has a number of physical properties with a number of advantages. For example, the mixture is not harmful to human skin, is not flammable or explosive, does not corrode the metal on the type faces 52, 62, is not oderous, does not evaporate and is most effective in dissolving and breaking down ink. The formula may be used most effectively with Nylon, cotton or silk.

The chemical Alky Phenoxy Polythoxy Ethanol is sold by Rohm and Haas of Philadelphia, Pa. under the brand name TRlTON-X-lOO.

The percentage of water is not critical. For example more or less water may be used. The more water added the more economical the mixture. On the other hand, adding less water does not increase the cleaning efficiency. When long shelf life is involved, it is desirable to increase the chemical to 20%, with the water being 80 percent by volume.

Various experiments were conducted in which flat pieces of metal, of the type used for type faces 52 or 62 (FIGS. 4 and 5) in computer printers, had permanent ink coated on their surfaces for several months. When the solvent used in the present invention was applied to the surfaces and allowed to remain for less than a minute without agitation of any kind, ink particles were dissolved from the metal surfaces. A simple rubbing with a paper towel resulted in clean metal surfaces free of ink stains.

it was also observed that on pieces of metal which were treated with the solvent used in the present invention there was little tendency of the ink to stick to the coated metal surfaces, which acted as protective barriers.

It is noted that when cleaning ribbons 46 or 60, of the types used in the present invention, are used in impact printing machines the type faces 52 or 62 hit the cleanness of 0.0055 inches, l0 yards long and from /2 inch to 17 /2 inches wide were made and tested. The widths were variable to accommodate different printing devices. All ribbons tested satisfactorily with Nylon giving the best results from the overall point of view of long wear and efficiency.

Four different cleaning methods. were tried with varying results. The first involved a cleaning ribbon including a solvent for cleaning type faces in a manner dc scribed above followed by a second operation. Following the initial cleaning, a dry ribbon which had been ex panded slightly by heating was substituted for the ribbon with the solvent. The dry ribbon dried the type faces and produced some advantage than with a single operation with a solvent ribbon.

The second method involved the use of the solvent ribbon alone which produced satisfactory results with the advantage that the cleaning was done in a minimum of time and effort. This is the method emphasized throughout the above specification.

The use of a dry ribbon, such as Nylon, which was heated produced some cleaning action but did not compare with the cleaning achieved with the solvent coated ribbon.

Finally, a dry heated ribbon which was prepared with a friction action to produce an electrostatic or magnetic field thereon produced some cleaning action.

What is claimed is:

l. A cleaning ribbon for cleaning type faces of an impact printing machine using an inked ribbon to perform a printing operation comprising a pair of spools, a fabric strip material disposed to be moved from one spool to the other and dimensioned to substitute for said inked ribbon, and a neutral surfactant organic chemical compound capable of dissolving ink and removing paper dust and other unwanted dirt particles from said type faces on said strip material to dissolve ink and remove paper dust and other unwanted dirt particles from said type faces when said printing machine is operated with said strip material to cause said strip material with said neutral surfactant organic chemical compound to-physically engage said type faces.

2. A cleaning ribbon as set forth. in claim 1, wherein said neutral surfactant organic chemical compound comprises Alky Phenoxy Polythoxy Ethanol.

3. A cleaning ribbon as set forth in claim 2, wherein said Alky Phenoxy Polythoxy Ethanol is mixed with water, with the water being in a ratio of over 19 to l to the amount of said Alky Phenoxy Polythoxy Ethanol.

4. A method of cleaning type faces of an impact printing machine of the type using an inked ribbon movable from a feed member to a take up member by drive means during a printing operation comprising the steps of providing a cleaning ribbon having a neutral surfactant organic chemical compound thereon capaprinting machine is operated to expose different surfaces of said cleaning ribbon to said type faces to dissolve ink and remove paper dust and other unwanted dirt particles from said type faces.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4037708 *Jan 26, 1976Jul 26, 1977Xerox CorporationMulticolor ink ribbon control for a typewriter
US4569609 *Jul 13, 1984Feb 11, 1986Burroughs CorporationPrint ribbon comprising a frictional back layer
US4624593 *May 8, 1985Nov 25, 1986Humphries Deborah AImpact printer cleaning system
US4644370 *Jan 22, 1985Feb 17, 1987Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaImage-forming apparatus
US4707159 *Jul 23, 1985Nov 17, 1987Canon Kabushiki KaishaSerial printer including a laterally reciprocable recording head, paper bail control, paper detection and feeding means, a multicolor ink ribbon including a head cleaning zone, a ribbon cassette and ribbon shift means
US5783018 *Apr 5, 1996Jul 21, 1998Motorola, Inc.Apparatus for cleaning labels and method therefor
WO1986006683A1 *May 8, 1986Nov 20, 1986Deborah Ann HumphriesApparatus and method for cleaning printer head
U.S. Classification400/702, 510/506, 15/210.1, 400/191, 510/173
International ClassificationB41J29/17
Cooperative ClassificationB41J29/17
European ClassificationB41J29/17