Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3880078 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 29, 1975
Filing dateOct 18, 1972
Priority dateOct 18, 1972
Also published asCA998563A1, DE2333155A1, DE2333155B2, DE2333155C3
Publication numberUS 3880078 A, US 3880078A, US-A-3880078, US3880078 A, US3880078A
InventorsPelet Pierre A
Original AssigneeDymo Industries Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hand-held label marking device
US 3880078 A
Abstract
A hand-held label marking device for printing, inter alia, machine-readable data upon labels in a strip of indeterminate length by passing a roller platen across a label at a printing station where the label is juxtaposed with a carbon ribbon and at least one print wheel carrying the data to be printed. The platen is actuated by an actuating lever pivoted adjacent a handle upon the frame of the device for ease of gripping and operation. The platen traverses the printing station to print a label only during depression of the actuating lever, and the strip of labels and carbon ribbon are advanced during return of the actuating lever to rest.
Images(7)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Pelet Apr. 29, 1975 [5 HAND-HELD LABEL MARKING DEVICE 3.463.289 8/1969 Prince 197/1 R 355L251 l2/l970 Yosalo ct ul..1.. Ufa/384 [75} lnvemor' Pele VJHCF- 3.619.324 11/1971 15-1116 l56/384 [73 Assignee: Dymo Indusries he" Enervvme. 3.656.430 4/l972 Olsson Nil/Z38 Cam 3.768.404 10/1973 Holovka. Jr. 101/269 [22] Filed: 1972 Primary ExuminerEdgar S. Burr 2 APPL 293 Assistant Emminer-Paul .I. Hirsch Atmrm'y. Agent. or Firm-Samuelson & Jacob [52] US. Cl. 101/273; 101/269; ll/288 51 161. ct. B4lf 1/08; B411" 1/38; B411 1/44 [57] ABSTRACT [58] Field of Search 156/384; 101/288. 271. A h nd-h l label marking device for printing. in er l0l/272, 273. 292. 274. 269. 103. 69. 282; alia. machine-readable data upon labels in a strip of 200/16 B, 16 C, 16 D, 18 159 indeterminate length by passing a roller platen across a label at a printing station where the label is juxta- [56] References Cited posed with a carbon ribbon and at least one print UNITED STATES PATENTS wheel carrying the data to be printed. The platen is actuated by an actuating lever pivoted adjacent a handle upon the frame of the device for ease of gripping 2:661:400 12/1953 Gfll'ld:l0l:::: III... 200/18 The merges Pfiming 2.789.677 4/1957 ZfliSCl'........... 197/172 lion I9 P a label y during depression the 3.l38.091 6/1964 Maul 101/269 X ating lever. and the strip of labels and carbon ribbon 3.196.781 7/1965 Kuanle 101/288 are advanced during return of the actuating lever to 3.358.597 12/1967 Barbour ct a]... ll/269 rest. 3.388.660 6/1968 Wight 101/269 3.389.772 6/1968 Sjogren Cl al 101/288 28 Clmm$- 9 Drawn: Figures 7a 24 5 l 1 F lb I; g I

J V- J'sno 0 so -52 "ff/ 1 m [ED 202 7" T 1!: 42 22 '2 I88 x M 86 9o 4a "/6 \5 9-.- o as r o 172 Q o O {7'4 06 16'! so m 62 4 65 1 HAND-HELD LABEL MARKING DEVICE The present invention relates generally to label marking devices and pertains, more specifically, to a handheld label marking device for printing machinereadable data, as well as ordinary (human-readable) price information upon a label.

An increasing number of articles are being sold with labels bearing not only the price of the article, but data pertaining to identification of the article itself. Many of these labels bear information, or data. which can be read by a machine. as well as price information which can be read by the purchaser. Systems are available, and new systems are being developed, for scanning such price labels and transmitting the machinereadable information from the labels to a computer which can utilize the information for recording sales. for inventory control, or for any of a variety of other purposes. One such system employs optical scanning devices to detect or read the data recorded on a price label and convert such information into electrical signals which can be utilized by a computer. In such a system, the machine-readable data carried on each label must be well-defined and properly registered in order to produce the desired accuracy and reliability.

The content of the machine information, like the price information provided for the purchaser, will vary from label to label. Compact, hand-held price labeling devices are available currently for printing labels with varied prices for application to a variety of articles to be labeled. It would be advantageous to have available a label marking device which not only would have the flexibility of such currently available price label marking tools, but which also would be capable of marking labels with appropriate machine-readable information.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a hand-held label marking device capable of printing effective machine-readable information, as well as purchaser-readable information, upon a label.

Another object of the invention is to provide a handheld label marking device of the type described above which will consistently print high quality selectable rnachine-readable data, as well as human-readable price information, upon price labels.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a hand-held label marking device of the type described which is compact and simple enough to be used widely for printing price labels for use in connection with a variety of items to be priced.

A further object of the invention is to provide a compact hand-held marking device of the type described which will consistently produce labels with machinereadable data of high resolution and accurate registration suitable for use in optical scanning devices.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a compact, hand-held label marking device of the type described which can print selected machine-readable information and human-readable information on a variety of labels and which will dispense the labels for direct application to articles to be priced.

The above objects, as well as still further objects and advantages, are attained by the invention which may be described briefly as a hand-held label printing device for printing machine-readable indicia upon labels carried in a strip of indeterminate length, the device comprising a frame, a printing station on the frame, print means located at the printing station, at least a portion of the print means corresponding to machine-readable indicia to be printed on the labels, label supply means on the frame for holding the strip of indeterminate length, printing medium supply means on the frame for holding a printing medium in the form of a ribbon of indeterminate length, a handle on the frame. an actuating member mounted upon the frame for movement between a first position and a second position. the actuating member being so disposed relative to the handle as to be grasped with the handle for actuation, a platen mounted on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending between a first location and a second location, the path of travel being so disposed relative to the print means at the printing station that the platen traverses the printing station and urges the label. the print means and the printing medium together at the printing station for printing the indicia upon a label during movement of the platen from one to the other of the first and second locations, coupling means coupling the actuating member with the platen such that the platen moves through a traversing movement along the path of travel in response to movement of the actuating member from the first position to the second position thereof, first means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing the strip along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment corresponding to the length of a label, and second means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing the ribbon along a path of travel passing the printing station through an increment sufficient to juxtapose suitable printing medium with each label to be printed.

The invention will be more fully understood, while still further objects and advantages will become apparent, in the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a sample price label printed by a device constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a label marking device constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of the general operation of the device;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 2, but with portions removed to illustrate working component parts;

FIG. 5 is a front elevationalview of a portion of FIG. 4 taken along line 5-5 of that FIGURE.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a portion of FIG. 4, with certain component parts in a different operating position;

FIGS. 7 and 8 comprise an exploded perspective view of certain operating component parts of the device; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view illustrating further component parts of the device.

Referring now to the drawing, and especially to FIG. 1 thereof, a sample price label 10 of the type to be used in connection with optical scanning devices in a system wherein the price label is to be read by a machine is illustrated generally at 10 and is seen to carry humanreadable price information 12 which indicates the price of the article to which the label will be affixed, and machine-readable information 14 which, in this instance, is a bar code providing data pertaining to the item to which the label will be affixed. The bar code is comprised of a plurality of well-defined, high resolution elements 16 which can be detected or read by an optical scanning device which will convert the bar code into electrical signals suitable for use by a computer. Each element I6 of the bar code represents a digit which appears just below the corresponding element. The price information is made up of purchaser-readable characters I8.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a hand-held label marking device constructed in accordance with the invention for printing purchaser-readable price information and machine-readable data upon label I is illustrated generally at 20. Label marking device 20 has a frame 22 carrying a rearwardly projecting handle 24 which may be gripped by the hand of an operator so that the device may be hand-held in a manner well-known in price labeling tools. Projecting upwardly from the frame 22 is a first bracket 26 which supports a label supply 28 in the form of a coiled strip 30 of indeterminate length in which individual labels 32, to be marked to produce labels such as label I0, are temporarily affixed to a release backing tape 34 by means of a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Suitable label strips are described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,503,834. A second bracket 36 projects upwardly from the frame 22 and supports a printing medium supply 38 in the form of a coiled carbon ribbon 40.

Referring now to FIG. 3, as well as to FIGS. 2 and 4, the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 enter a guide 42 at 44 and are led downwardly, in juxtaposed relationship, along paths of travel 46 and 48, respectively, passing through a printing station 50 on the frame 22. Print means in the form of sets of print wheels 52 and 54 are mounted on the frame 22 adjacent to the printing station 50 such that raised indicia 56 and 58 are located at the printing station 50 in juxtaposition with the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40. In device 20, the upper set of print wheels 52 carry indicia 56 corresponding to the bar code elements 16 while the lower set of print wheels 54 carry indicia 58 corresponding to the price characters 18. The print wheels 52 and 54 may be indexed by rotation in a now well-known manner to select the appropriate bar code elements and price characters for the particular labels to be printed. Selector knobs 59 (see FIG. 2) are provided for such indexing of the print wheels.

A platen in the form of a platen roller 60 having a cylindrical surface 61 is mounted on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending perpendicular to the plane of the paper (as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4), the path of travel of the platen roller 60 being so disposed relative to the print wheels 52 and 54 at the printing station 50 that the platen roller 60 traverses the printing station 50 and urges the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 together against the raised indicia 56 and 58 of the print wheels 52 and 54 to print corresponding elements and characters upon the labels located at the printing station. Subsequently, the label strip 30 is led over a label separating element 62 where the backing tape 34 of the strip 30 is made to follow a sharp bend so as to separate the backing tape 34 from the label 32 which will continue over a label supporting roller 64 and beneath a label applicator 66 for subsequent application to the article to be priced, all in a manner similar to that discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,6l 1,929. The release backing tape 34 is carried to a feed means 68 where tape 34 is passed around a feed wheel 70 which serves to advance the entire label strip 30 along its path of travel 46 in a manner similar to that set forth in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 3,61 L609. The carbon ribbon 40 proceeds to a take-up drum 72 which is rotated to advance the carbon ribbon along its path of travel 48 in a manner which will be described in more detail hereinafter.

Referring now to FIG. 4, label marking device 20 is operated by an actuating member shown in the form of actuating lever 74 mounted upon the frame 22 for pivotal movement, about stub shafts 76 journaled in the frame. between a first or rest position, as illustrated in full lines in FIG. 4, and a second or depressed position, illustrated in phantom in that figure. The actuating lever 74 is normally biased into the rest position by a helical spring 78, which extends between an anchor 80 in the handle 24 and a pin 82 located between upward extensions 84 of the actuating lever 74. The actuating lever projects rearwardly to establish a finger-grip portion 86 so that an operator may grasp the handle 24 and the actuating lever and squeeze to move the actuating lever against the biasing force of the spring 78 from the rest position to the depressed position.

The actuating lever 74 is coupled to the platen roller 60 such that depression of the actuating lever will cause the planten roller to traverse the printing station 50. The means by which the actuating lever 74 is coupled to the platen roller 60 will now be described, in detail. in connection with FIGS. 4 through 8. A pair of depending arms 88 are integral with the actuating lever 74 and extend downwardly to terminate at tongues 90 which are received within guideways 92 adjacent the rearward end 94 of a carriage 96 mounted for reciprocating movement upon the frame 22 in forward and rearward directions. Thus, the carriage 96 is in a first or forward location when the actuating lever 74 is in the rest position and is drawn rearwardly to a second or rearward location upon depression of the actuating lever to the depressed position.

The platen roller 60 is mounted for movement upon the frame 22 by means of a roller carrier 100 including a yoke 102 which supports a shaft 104 upon which the platen roller 60 is affixed. The shaft 104 passes through elongate slots 106 in the yoke 102 and a bearing disc 108 is carried by the shaft 104 between the yoke and each end of the platen roller 60. The roller carrier 100 is mounted upon a drive shaft 110 which is journaled in a pair of brackets 112 fixed to the frame 22 such that the yoke 102 may be oscillated about the longitudinal axis A of the drive shaft 110 between a first position (illustrated in full lines in FIG. 5), wherein the roller platen 60 is at a first location to one side of the printing station 50, and a second position (illustrated in phantom in FIG. 5), wherein the platen roller 60 is located at the other side of the printing station. Such pivotal movement of the roller carrier 100 is translated into straight-line movement of the roller platen 60 across the printing station 50 by virtue of the bearing discs 108 which roll along a straight track 114 which is affixed to the frame 22 and which confines movement of the platen roller 60 to a straight-line path of travel across the printing station (also see FIG. 9).

In order to drive the roller carrier 100, a crank 116 is affixed to the lowermost end of the drive shaft 110 and includes a pair of drive members in the from of first and second crank pins 120 and 122, respectively, projecting downwardly from the crank 116 toward the path of travel of the carriage 96. The crank 116 is oriented relative to the drive shaft 110 such that the first crank pin 120 is in a forwardmost position when the roller carrier 100 is in the first position and the platen roller 60 is at its first location. At that position of the roller carrier 100, the yoke 102 abuts a stop 124 on the frame and the second crank pin 122 at its rearwardmost position. Upon movement of the roller carrier 100 to its second position, wherein the yoke 102 abuts a second stop 126 on the frame and the roller platen 60 is in the second location, the first crank pin 120 is moved to its rearwardmost position and the second crank pin 122 comes forward to its forwardmost position. In order to couple depression of the actuating lever 74 with a traversing movement of the platen roller 60, the carriage 96 is provided with engaging means in the form of first and second drive links 130 and 132, respectively, mounted upon the carriage for pivotal movement, about a lateral axis B provided by mounting pins 134, between a raised position and a lowered position. Movement of each drive link 130 and 132 from one position to the other is accomplished by detector means which detects the location of the platen roller 60 when the carriage 96 returns to its forward location. The detector means includes a rocker arm 136 mounted at the forward end 138 of the carriage 96 for pivotal movement about a longitudinal axis C provided by a mounting pin 140, axis C being in the same plane as, but perpendicular to, axis B. A helical spring 142 extends between a tab 144, located on each drive link 130 and 132 rearwardly of axis 13, and each end 146 and 148 of the rocker arm 136 which is located forward of axis B. The helical spring 142 serve as over-center mechanisms in that rocking of the rocker arm 136 about its axis C in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 5, will raise the first drive link 130 to its raised position while lowering the second drive link 132 to its lowered position. Likewise, rocking of the rocker arm 136 in a clockwise direction will bias the first drive link 130 downwardly thereby lowering the first drive link while biasing the second drive link 132 upwardly to raise the second drive link. Each drive link 130 and 132 is aligned with a corresponding crank pin 120 and 122 so that upon movement of the carriage 96 in the rearward direction, a raised drive link 130 or 132 will be intercepted by a corresponding crank pin 120 or 122 and the engaged crank pin will be driven rearwardly to rotate the crank 116 and pivot the roller carrier 100 to cause the platen roller 60 to traverse the printing station 50. During such rotation of the crank 116, the opposite crank pin will move forward, passing over the opposite drive link, which is already lowered to enable the opposite crank pin to clear the opposite drive link.

In order to effect raising of the proper drive link 130 or 132 and lowering of the opposite drive link 132 or 130, the rocker arm 136 is provided with first and second sensing fingers 150 and 152, respectively, each sensing finger located adjacent one end of the rocker arm 136 such that the sensing fingers project upwardly into the path of travel of the roller carrier 100 adjacent each of the positions of the roller carrier. The roller carrier 100 is provided with a pair of shoulders 154 and 156 at yoke 102, shoulder 154 being in position to intercept sensing finger 150 when the roller carrier 100 is in the first position thereof, and shoulder 156 being in position to intercept sensing finger 152 when the roller carrier is in the second position thereof. Thus. when the roller carrier is in the first position thereof, as best seen in FIG. 5, movement of the carriage 96 into its first location will bring sensing finger into contact with shoulder 154 of the roller carrier. An inclined camming surface 158 on the sensing finger 150 will urge the sensing finger downwardly. as the carriage moves forward, to rock the rocker arm 136 in a counterclockwise direction thereby raising the first drive link I30 and lowering the second drive link 132. Upon subsequent depression of the actuating lever 74, the carriage 96 will be retracted from its forward location toward its rearward location thereby bringing the first drive link 130 into engagement with the first crank pin 120 and causing rotation of the crank 116, which, in turn, will pivot the platen carrier 100 and move the roller platen 60 through a traversing movement across the printing station 50. Upon release of the actuating lever 74. the actuating lever will return to its rest position thereby returning the carriage 96 to its first location, whereby the second finger 152 will be brought into engagement with the second shoulder 156 on the platen carrier 100 and, by virtue of the inclined camming surface 159 on the second sensing finger, the rocker arm 136 will be rocked in a clockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 5) to raise the second drive link 132 and lower the first drive link 130. Since the second crank pin 122 is now in its forwardmost position, subsequent depression of the actuating lever 74 will bring the second drive link 132 into engagement with the second crank pin 122 and the crank 116 will again be rotated to pivot the platen carrier 100 once again so that the platen roller 60 will again traverse the printing station 50. Thus, the platen roller 60 traverses the printing station 50 only in response to movement of the actuating lever 74 from the rest position to the depressed position and will print a label during each traversing movement across the printing station.

Returning now to FIG. 4, indexing of the label strip 30 and of the carbon ribbon 40 is accomplished during return of the actuating lever 74 from the depressed position to the rest position. As already mentioned hereinabove, a feed wheel 70 is mounted for rotation upon the frame 22 and the release backing tape 34 is directed around the feed wheel 70 such that incremental rotation of the feed wheel will advance the label strip 30 through successive increments corresponding to the length of each label 32 in the strip. Upon depression of the actuating lever 74 and concomitant rearward movement of the carriage 96, a push rod 160 carried by the carriage moves rearwardly and, by virtue of the engagement of push rod 160 with a pawl assembly 162 at 164, the pawl assembly is rotated in a clockwise direction about the feed wheel axle 165 while the feed wheel 70 is maintained stationary by a tooth 166 projecting upwardly from the frame 22 and engaging a serrated portion 167 of the feed wheel. Upon return movement of the carriage 96 from the second location thereof toward the first location the pawl assembly 162 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction and, by virtue of engagement of the pawl assembly 162 with a corresponding portion of the feed wheel 70, the feed wheel is rotated with the pawl assembly 162 in a counterclockwise direction thereby advancing the label strip 30 through a prescribed increment, all as explained in greater detail in US. Pat. No. 3,674,609.

Referring to IG. 2, as well as to FIG. 4, a second push rod 170 is affixed to the carriage 96 and extends forward to the carriage to terminate at a forward end 172 having a slot 174 therein. The take-up drum 72 for the carbon ribbon 40 is mounted for rotation upon the frame 22 and is coupled to a crank 176 by means of a one-way clutch mechanism 178. A crank pin 180 projects into the slot 174, as seen in FIG 2. Upon depression of the actuating lever 74 and concomitant rearward movement of the carriage 96, the push rod 170 is retracted until the crank pin 180 is engaged by the forward edge 182 of the slot 174 and the crank 176 is indexed through a clockwise increment. The one-way clutch mechanism 178 holds the take-up drum 72 Ma tion-ary during such retraction of the push rod 170. Upon release of the actuating lever 74 and return or the carriage 96 to the first location thereof, the push rod 170 is pushed forward and the rearward edge 184 of the slot 174 engages the crank pin 180 to index the crank 176 through a counterclockwise increment. The one-way clutch mechanism 178 engages the crank 176 with the takeup drum 72 to likewise rotate the take-up drum 72 through a counterclockwise increment and thereby advance the carbon ribbon 40 through a prescribed increment. Since the carbon ribbon 40 need be advanced only a relatively short increment to juxtapose suitable fresh printing medium for each label to be printed, compared to the longer increment necessary for the advancement of the label strip 30, the distance between the forward and rearward edges 182 and 184 of the slot 174 in the push rod 170 is relatively large to provide for a lost motion effect which reduces the increment of rotation of the take-up drum 72 relative to the increment of rotation of the feed wheel 70, even though the length of travel of the push rod 170 is the same as the length of travel as the push rod 160.

Because the label marking device 20 is a hand-held device which is easily jostled and may receive rough treatment between uses, all of which may tend to affect the registration of the label strip 30 at the printing station 50 between printing operations, the device is provided with means for holding the label strip 30 in place bet .veen such printing operationsv Thus, a resilient pad 186 is affixed to the forward end 138 of the carriage 96 (see FIGS. 4 and and is located so as to engage the label strip 30 when the actuating lever 74 is at its rest position and the carriage 96 is at its forward location to thereby serve as a brake which will hold the label strip 30 in place in its accurately registered position while the label strip 30 awaits the next printing operation.

Referring now to FIG. 9, together with FIGS. 3 and 4, in order to assure that each label 32 is printed with accurately registered, high resolution information, the relationship between the platen roller 60, the print wheels 52 and 54, and the juxtaposed label strip 30 and carbon ribbon 40 which pass between the platen roller and the print wheels at the printing station 50 is advantageously closely controlled. Thus, the guide 42 is provided with the two channels 190 and 192, channel 190 serving to guide the label strip 30 along an accurately defined path of travel 46 while channel 192 serves to guide the carbon ribbon 40 along a second accurately defined path of travel 48 juxtaposed with the path of travel 46 of the label strip 30 in accurate alignment therewith. Both paths of travel 46 and 48 are accurately registered laterally with respect to the sets of print wheels 52 and 54. The accurate lateral location of the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 coupled with the accurate incremental feed of the label strip 30 attained by the feed means 68 assures that each label 32 is accurately located, both laterally and longitudinally, in proper registration at the printing station 50.

Accurate advancement of the label strip 30, as well as of the carbon ribbon 40, is facilitated by the manner in which the guide 42 is mounted upon the frame 22. Thus, the guide 42 includes upper and lower shoulders 194 and 196, respectively, which engage corresponding upper and lower bars 198 and 199 affixed to the frame 22, the shoulders 194 and 196 being slideable along the bars 198 and 199 in forward and rearward directions. Four helical springs 200 extend between the guide 42 and the bars 198 and 199 and resiliently bias the guide away from the print wheels 52 and 54. When the platen roller 60 is at the first or at the second position thereof, the guide 42 is free to move rearwardly in response to the bias of the helical springs 290 so that the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 may be advanced through the channels and 192 in the guide 42 without interference from the print wheels 52 and 54. However, upon traverse of the roller platen 60 across the printing station 50, the roller platen 60 engages the guide 42 and urges the guide against the resilient biasing force of the helical springs 200 to force the juxtaposed label strip 30 and carbon ribbon 40 against the raised indicia 56 and 58 on the print wheels 52 and S4. The combination of impact and squeeze between the roller platen 60 and the raised indicia will thus produce the desired printing upon the labels 32 at the printing station 50.

The appropriate combination of impact and squeeze between the roller platen 60 and the raised indicia 56 and 58 is attained by a combination of the spacial relationship between the track 114 and the raised indicia on the print wheels and the resilience of the cylindrical surface 61 of the roller platen 60. The sets of print wheels 52 and 54 are mounted in a sub-frame 202, which is also movable in a forward and rearward direction relative to the frame 22 and which can be positioned within the frame by means of adjusting screws 204. In this manner the spacing between the track 114 and the raised indicia of the print wheels may be adjusted accurately. It has been found that the surface 61 of the platen roller 60 must be hard, but somewhat flexible. Thus, although a certain degree of resilience is desirable in the surface of the platen roller, the surface must be sufficiently renitent. Suitable roller platen surfaces have been constructed of hard grades of rubber or resilient plastics having a durometer reading above 90, and preferably in the range from 93 to 97.

Device 20 is rendered compact by the relative location of the various component parts and the relative directions of movement of these parts during operation. Thus, the parts of travel of the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 lie in planes which are generally perpendicular to the plane in which the carriage 96 moves, and the direction of movement of the carriage 96 is generally perpendicular to the direction of movement of the label strip 30 and the carbon ribbon 40 at the printing station 50. The platen roller 60 moves in a direction which is mutually perpendicular to the direction of movement of the carriage 96, and the direction of movement of the label strip 30, but which, of course, lies in a plane parallel to the plane in which the label strip 30 moves at the printing station 50. The platen roller carrier 100, however, oscillates within a plane which is parallel to the plane of movement of the carriage 96 while the actuating lever 74 pivots within a plane perpendicular to the plane in which the carriage 96 moves and the plane in which the roller carrier 100 pivots. Each of these relationships contributes to a compact device which may be hand-held and utilized as a label marking device for printing accurately regis' tered high resolution information upon a series of labels and for dispensing and applying such labels to articles.

The above detailed description of an embodiment of the invention is provided by way of example only. Various details of design and construction may be modified without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A hand-held label marking device for printing information on labels, said device comprising:

a frame;

a printing station on the frame;

print means located at said printing station;

means for locating a label at the printing station in juxtaposition with the print means;

means for locating a printing medium at the printing station in juxtaposition with the label and the print means;

an actuating member;

means mounting the actuating member upon the frame for advancing movement from a first position to a second position, in response to the application of an actuating force to the actuating member, and for retracting movement from the second position to the first position;

a platen;

means mounting the platen on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending between a first location and a second location spaced from the first location, said path of travel being so disposed relative to the print means at the printing station that the platen traverses the printing station and urges the label, the print means and the printing medium together at the printing station for printing a label during each movement of the platen from either one to the other of said first and second locations; and

coupling means coupling the actuating member with the platen such that the actuating force is transmitted to the platen and the platen moves through a traversing movement along said path of travel from either one to the other of said first and second locations only in response to movement of the actuating member as a result of the application of said actuating force during said advancing movement and remains at the other of said first and second loca tions during said retracting movement of the actuating member.

2. A hand-held label marking device for printing information on labels, said device comprising:

a frame;

a printing station on the frame;

print means located at said printing station;

means for locating a label at the printing station in juxtaposition with the print means;

10 means for locating a printing medium at the printing station in juxtaposition with the label and the print means; an actuating member mounted upon the frame for movement between a first position and a second position; a platen mounted on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending between a first location and a second location, said path of travel being so disposed relative to the print means at the printing station that the platen traverses the printing station and urges the label. the print means and the printing medium together at the printing station for printing a label during each movement of the platen from either one to the other of said first and second locations; and coupling means coupling the actuating member with the platen such that the platen moves through a traversing movement along said path of travel only in response to movement of the actuating member from the first position to the second position thereof; said coupling means including first and second drive members mounted upon the frame for movement relative thereto and coupled to the platen such that each drive member is movable from a first position to a second position as the platen travels through a traversing movement, said first drive member being at the first position thereof when the platen is in the first location and said second drive member being at the first position thereof when the platen is in the second location;

detecting means for detecting the location of the platen when the actuating member is in the first position thereof; and

engaging means responsive to the detecting means for engaging the actuating member with the one of the first and second drive members which is at the first position thereof, during movement of the actuating member from the first position toward the second position thereof, to move the platen through a traversing movement, said engaging means disengaging the actuating member from both drive members upon return movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof.

3. The invention of claim 2 including a handle on said frame and wherein the actuating member is an actuating lever so disposed as to be grasped with the handle, said actuating lever being mounted upon the frame for pivotal movement between the first position, which is a rest position away from the handle, and the second position, which is a depressed position toward the handle, said device including means resiliently biasing the actuating lever toward the rest position.

4. The invention of claim 3 wherein the platen is a roller and the coupling means includes a roller carrier mounted upon the frame for movement between a first position wherein the roller is at the first location and a second position wherein the roller is at the second location, said device including means on the frame for confining the roller to said path of travel.

5. The invention of claim 4 wherein the roller has a generally cylindrical surface which is resilient but relatively renitent.

6. The invention of claim wherein the surface of the roller has a durometer reading of at least approximately 90.

7. The invention of claim 6 wherein the surface of the roller has a durometer reading in the range of 93 to 97.

8. The invention of claim 4 wherein the coupling means includes a carriage mounted upon the frame for reciprocating movement along a given path of travel between a first location and a second location in response to movement of the actuating lever, said carriage being at the first location thereof when the actuating lever is at the rest position and at the second location thereof when the actuating lever is at the depressed position, said detecting means and said engaging means being carried by the carriage, and an arm integral with the actuating lever and engaging the carriage for moving the carriage along said given path of travel.

9. The invention of claim 8 wherein the path of travel of the platen is transverse to the path of travel of the carriagev 10. The invention of claim 9 wherein the roller carrier is mounted for pivotal movement on the frame about an axis mutually generally perpendicular to the path of travel of the platen and to the path of travel of the carriage.

11. The invention of claim 8 wherein the path of travel of the platen passes through the printing station and the path of travel of the carriage is generally perpendicular to the path of travel of the platen.

12. The invention of claim 11 wherein the roller carrier is mounted for pivotal movement on the frame about an axis mutually generally perpendicular to the path of travel of the platen and to the path of travel of the carriage.

13. The invention of claim 12 wherein:

the coupling means further includes a crank integral with the roller carrier and spaced axially from the second plane;

said first and second drive members include first and second crank pins, respectively, spaced laterally from one another on said crank and projecting axially toward the path of travel of the carriage;

the engaging means includes a pair of drive links carried by the carriage and spaced laterally from one another to correspond with the lateral location of said crank pins, each drive link being mounted upon the carriage for movement generally perpendicular to the path of travel of the carriage between a first position wherein a drive link will intercept a corresponding crank pin and a second position wherein said drive link will clear the corresponding crank pin upon movement of the carriage from the first location to the second location thereof; and the detector means includes sensing means carried by the carriage for sensing the position of the roller carrier when the carriage is in the first location, means responsive to the sensing means for moving the one of said drive links corresponding with the crank pin located at the first position thereof to the first position of the drive link and the other of said drive links to the second position thereof, and means resiliently biasing each drive link into the position determined by the sensing means.

14. The invention of claim 13 wherein the drive links are mounted for pivotal movement about an axis generally parallel to the first and second planes and mutually generally perpendicular to the axis of said roller carrier and the direction of travel of the carriage;

the means responsive to the sensing means includes a rocker arm having opposite ends and mounted 5 upon the carriage intermediate said opposite ends for rocking movement about an axis perpendicular to the first plane and parallel to the second plane, said rocker arm extending generally parallel to the pivotal axis of the drive links and located relative thereto such that each end of the rocker arm is displaceable in opposite directions about the pivotal axis of the drive links; the resilient biasing means includes spring means extending between each drive link and a corresponding end of the rocker arm;

the sensing means includes a pair of fingers carried by the rocker arm and spaced apart laterally such that one finger is located adjacent each position of the roller carrier when the carriage is in the first location thereof so that upon return of the carriage to the first location thereof, one of said fingers will be engaged by the roller carrier and will be displaced, thereby rocking the rocker arm to bias the one drive link to the first position thereof and the other drive link to the second position thereof.

15. A hand-held label marking device of claim 14 for printing information on labels carried on a strip ofindeterminate length, said device including:

label supply means on said frame for holding said strip of indeterminate length;

printing medium supply means on said frame for holding a printing medium in theform of a ribbon of indeterminate length;

first means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said strip along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment corresponding to the length of a label; and

second means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said ribbon along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment sufficient to juxtapose suitable printing medium with each label to be printed.

16. The invention of claim 15 including a guide extending along said paths of travel of the strip and of the tape for guiding the strip and the ribbon in juxtaposed relationship through the printing station, said guide being mounted on the frame for displacement toward and away from the print means, and means resiliently biasing said guide away from the print means.

17. The invention of claim 15 wherein the path of travel of the platen extends transverse to the paths of travel of the strip and the ribbon.

18. The invention of claim 17 wherein the ribbon is a carbon ribbon.

19. A hand-held label marking device for printing information on labels carried in a strip of indeterminate length, said device comprising:

a frame;

a printing station on the frame;

print means located at said printing station;

means for locating a label at the printing station in juxtaposition with the print means;

means for locating a printing medium at the printing station in juxtaposition with the label and the print means;

an actuating member;

means mounting the actuating member upon the frame for advancing movement from a first position to a second position and for retracting movement from the second position to the first position;

a platen;

means mounting the platen on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending between a first location and a second location spaced from the first location, said path of travel being so disposed relative to the print means at the printing station that the platen traverses the printing station and urges the label, the print means and the printing medium together at the printing station for printing a label during each movement of the platen from either one to the other of said first and second locations;

coupling means coupling the actuating member with the platen such that the platen moves through a traversing movement along said path of travel from either one to the other of said first and second locations only in response to movement of the actuating member during said advancing movement and remains at the other of said first and second locations during said retracting movement of the actuating member;

label supply means on said frame for holding said strip of indeterminate length;

printing medium supply means on said frame for holding a printing medium in the form of a ribbon of indeterminate length;

first means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said strip along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment corresponding to the length of a label; and

second means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said ribbon along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment sufficient to juxtapose suitable printing medium with each label to be printed.

20. The invention of claim 19 wherein the platen is a roller and the coupling means includes a roller carrier mounted upon the frame for movement between a first location wherein the roller is at the first location and a second position wherein the roller is at the second location, said device including means on the frame for confining the roller to said path of travel.

21. The invention of claim 20 including a guide extending along said paths of travel of the strip and of the tape for guiding the strip and the ribbon in juxtaposed relationship through the printing station, said guide means being mounted on the frame for displacement toward and away from the print means, and means resiliently biasing said guide away from the print means.

22. The invention of claim 20 wherein the path of travel of the platen extends transverse to the paths of travel of the strip and the ribbon.

23. The invention of claim 22 wherein the ribbon is a carbon ribbon.

24. A hand-held label printing device for printing machine-readable indicia upon labels carried in a strip of indeterminate length. said device comprising:

a frame;

5 a printing station on the frame;

print means located at said printing station at least a portion of said print means corresponding to machine-readable indicia to be printed on the labels; label supply means on said frame for holding said strip of indeterminate length;

printing medium supply means on said frame for holding a printing medium in the form of a ribbon of indeterminate length;

a handle on said frame;

an actuating member;

means mounting the actuating member upon the frame for advancing movement from a first position to a second position and for retracting movement from the second position to the first position;

a platen;

means mounting the platen on the frame for movement along a path of travel extending between a first location and a second location spaced from the first location. said path of travel being so disposed relative to the print means at the printing station that the platen traverses the printing station and urges the label, the print means and the printing medium together at the printing station for printing said indicia upon a label when the platen is located between said first and second locations and as the platen moves from one to the other of said first and second locations;

coupling means coupling the actuating member with the platen such that the platen moves through a traversing movement along said path of travel from either one to the other of said first and second locations only in response to movement of the actuating member during said advancing movement and remains at the other of said first and second locations during said retracting movement of the actuating member;

first means responsive to the movement of the actuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said strip along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment corresponding to the length of a label; and

second means responsive to the movement of the aetuating member from the second position to the first position thereof for advancing said ribbon along a path of travel passing through the printing station through an increment sufficient to juxtapose suitable printing medium with each label to be printed.

25. The invention of claim 24 wherein the platen is a roller and the coupling means includes a roller carrier mounted upon the frame for movement between a first position wherein the roller is at the first location and a second position wherein the roller is at the second location, said device including means on the frame for confining the roller to said path of travel.

26. The invention of claim 25 including a guide extending along said path of travel of the strip and of the tape for guiding the strip and the ribbon in juxtaposed relationship through the printing station, said guide being mounted on the frame for displacement toward and away from the print means, and means resiliently travel of the strip and the ribbon. biasing said guide away from the print means. 28. The invention of claim 27 wherein the ribbon is 27. The invention of claim 26 wherein the path of a carbon ribbon. travel of the platen extends transverse to the path of

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1945264 *Sep 18, 1931Jan 30, 1934Farrington Mfg CoPrinting device
US2066687 *Oct 13, 1934Jan 5, 1937George T HudspethCarbon transfer ribbon
US2661400 *Dec 27, 1950Dec 1, 1953Gen Motors CorpSwitch
US2789677 *Nov 14, 1955Apr 23, 1957Smith Corona IncCarbon ribbon supply for typewriters
US3138091 *Mar 6, 1961Jun 23, 1964 Printing machines
US3196781 *Mar 5, 1962Jul 27, 1965Bizerba Werke Kraut Kg WilhTravelling roller and cutting means in label-making apparatus
US3358597 *Aug 13, 1965Dec 19, 1967Farrington Business MachTraveling cylinder printing device
US3388660 *Aug 24, 1965Jun 18, 1968Farrington Business MachPrinting machine having means for locking platen assembly from one position to another depending on direction of travel
US3389772 *Dec 13, 1966Jun 25, 1968Dick SjogrenProportional spacing tape embossing tool
US3463289 *Oct 10, 1967Aug 26, 1969Prince David CData reading system
US3551251 *Jun 19, 1968Dec 29, 1970Sato Kiko KkPortable,one-hand-operable labeling machine
US3619324 *Jun 26, 1969Nov 9, 1971Sato Kiko KkMiniature labeling apparatus
US3656430 *Oct 10, 1969Apr 18, 1972Olsson Sture A BLabel printing and dispensing tool
US3768404 *Jul 1, 1971Oct 30, 1973IbmTravelling cylinder printer with the roller contacting the back of the embossed plate
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4040346 *Feb 5, 1976Aug 9, 1977Pitney-Bowes, Inc.Label printing apparatus with tape cassette
US4041863 *Jul 18, 1975Aug 16, 1977Vidac CorporationPrecision hand label imprinter and dispenser
US4057452 *Sep 2, 1976Nov 8, 1977Kabushiki Kaisha Sato KenkyushoConstant pressure mechanism for hand labeler
US4091728 *Aug 8, 1977May 30, 1978Kabushiki Kaisha Sato KenkyushoPortable label printing machine
US4094244 *Dec 22, 1976Jun 13, 1978Dymo Industries, Inc.Hand-held bar code label marking device
US4149460 *Mar 31, 1977Apr 17, 1979Kabushiki Kaisha Sato KenkyushoPrinting device for hand labeler
US5149211 *Oct 9, 1990Sep 22, 1992Pettigrew Robert MLabel printer
EP0354814A2 *Aug 11, 1989Feb 14, 1990ESSELTE METO INTERNATIONAL GmbHPrinters and ancillary systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification101/273, 101/269, 101/288
International ClassificationB65C11/00, G06K1/00, B41K3/00, G06K1/12, B65C1/00, B65C11/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65C11/0278, B65C2210/0054, B65C2210/0045, G06K1/121
European ClassificationG06K1/12B, B65C11/02B2B8D