US 3896713 A
A top-feeding automatic tag-attaching machine capable of attaching a tag to an article by way of a bar-lock fastener. A supporting structure has a supporting surface against which the operator places the article, and a positioning structure positions a tag over the article on the supporting surface. A carriage is provided carrying an automatic dispenser which dispenses a bar-lock fastener upon being triggered. The supporting structure carries a guiding structure which guides the carriage for movement from an upper retracted position downwardly along a working stroke to a lower end position where the dispenser carried by the carriage is triggered to dispense a bar-lock fastener which is placed by the dispenser in a position extending through and attaching the tag to the article. Then the carriage moves along the return stroke back up to its retracted position. A fluid-pressure structure is connected with the carriage to bring about a cycle of operation during which the carriage is moved along its working and return strokes. This fluid-pressure structure is set into operation to bring about the cycle in response to operation of an operator-actuated valve which may be either a valve operated by a foot pedal or a pair of series-connected manually operable valves which require both hands of the operator for operation, for safety purposes.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Mato [451 Jul 29, 1975 TOP-FEEDING AUTOMATIC TAG-ATTACHING MACHINE  Inventor: Laszlo Mato, Paramus, NJ.
 Assignee: Ben Clements & Sons, Inc., New
 Filed: Dec. 27, 1973  Appl. No.: 429,007
Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, .lr. Assistant Examiner-James F. Coan Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Blum Moscovitz Friedman & Kaplan ABSTRACT A top-feeding automatic tag-attaching machine capable of attaching a tag to an article by way of a bar-lock fastener. A supporting structure has a supporting surface against which the operator places the article, and a positioning structure positions a tag over the article on the supporting surface. A carriage is provided carrying an automatic dispenser which dispenses a barlock fastener upon being triggered. The supporting structure carries a guiding structure which guides the carriage for movement from an upper retracted position downwardly along a working stroke to a lower end position where the dispenser carried by the carriage is triggered to dispense a bar-lock fastener which is placed by the dispenser in a position extending through and attaching the tag to the article. Then the carriage moves along the return stroke back up to its retracted position. A fluid-pressure structure is connected with the carriage to bring about a cycle of operation during which the carriage is moved along its working and return strokes. This fluid-pressure structure is set into operation to bring about the cycle in response to operation of an operator-actuated valve which may be either a valve operated by a foot pedal or a pair of series-connected manually operable valves which require both hands of the operator for operation, for safety purposes.
PATENTED JUL 2 9 1975 SHEET PATENTED JUL2 9 1975 SHEET PATENTED JUL 2 91975 uni;
.1 TOP-FEEDING AUTOMATIC TAG-ATTACI'IING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE'INVENTION The present invention relates to machines for attaching tags to articles such as articles of clothing, shoes, or the like.
In particular, the present invention relates to a machine which is capable of automatically attaching a tag to an article by way of a bar-lock fastener. Such fasteners are widely used for these purposes. However, at the present time it is conventional to provide arrangements as shown, for example, in US. Pat. No. 3,589,025 where the article is placed over the tag whichisto be attached thereto, with the structure for applying the bar-lock fastener being situated beneath the tag.
This latter type of conventional arrangement has proved in practice to include several disadvantages. In the first place, it is difficult for the operator to see. in advanve where the fastener will become situated. In the second place, considerable inconvenience is involved in connection with manipulations-with respect to the dispenser for the bar-lock fasteners inasmuch as this dispenser is situated beneath the location where the article and tag are located in preparation for attaching them to each other.
Moreover, with conventional machines of the above type the tags are situated in a magazinefrom which they are extracted to be successively attached to successive articles, and problems have been encountered in connection with the successive feeding of. the tags to the location where they will be properly attached to successive articles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Furthermore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a machine of the above type which enables the operations to be carried out far more conveniently and effectively with the possibility of the operator seeing freely where the fastener will be situated when attaching a tag and article to, each other.
Also, it is an object of the invention to provide a construction of this type where the bar-lock fastener will connect the tag to the article in such a way that"tagswitching will be reliably avoided.
Moreover, it is an object of the present invention to provide for a machine of the above type a tag magazine and a magazine feed structure which will avoid the.
problems presently encountered with conventional structures of this latter type.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a machine which can very effectively feed the tagsone after the other to the articles to which they are to be attached.
In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a machine of the above'type which can be conveniently operated by a foot pedal, leaving thehands of the operator free for other manipulations as required with certain types of articles to which a tag is to be attached.
Also, it is an object of the present invention to provide a machine of the above type which is composed of simple rugged elements which are very reliable in oper- -ation.
According to the invention the machine includes a support means which has at its front region an upwardlydirected supporting surface on which the operator places an article to which a tag is to be attached. A positioning means is located adjacent the latter supporting surface to position a tag over the article to which the tag is to be attached. A carriage means is situated at an elevation higher than the supporting surface of the support means to carry a bar-lock dispenser which in a well known manner is triggered to dispense a bar-lock fastener in such a way that it extends through the tag and the article for attaching them to each other. A guide means is carried by the support means and guides the carriage means, to which the barlock dispenser is attached, for movement from an upper retracted position downwardly along a working stroke to a lower end position and back to the upper retracted position along the return stroke. A trigger means is provided in the path of movement of the dispenser to trigger the latter to dispense a bar-lock fastener when the carriage means reaches its lower end position. A fluid-pressure means is operatively connected with the carriage means to move the latter in an operating cycle including movement first along the working stroke and then along the return stroke. This fluid-pressure means is set into operation by an operator-actuated valve means which may either take the form of a valve actuated by a foot pedal or a pair of series-connected valves requiring both hands of the operator for simultaneous operation of these valves.
BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated by way of example with the accompanying drawings which form part of this applan view of the machine of FIG. 2 taken along line 33 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional plan view taken, along line 44 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 5 shows the machine of FIG. 2 with the parts illustrated in FIG 5 in a position during the operating cycle subsequent to the position of the parts shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional elevation illustrating the manner in which a positioning means receives a tag from a magazine, in accordance with further features .of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a partly sectional illustration of the manner in which a pair of shoes are attached to each other a tag situated therebetween and also attached to the shoes;
FIG. 8 isa fragmentary perspective illustration of another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 9-is a fragmentary plan view of the machine in FIG. 8 at the front region thereof;
FIG. is a partly sectional plan view of the machine in FIGS. 8 and 9 showing how an article is placed on a supporting surface;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary partly sectional elevation of the machine of FIGS. 8 10;
FIG. 12 is a schematic partly sectional illustration of the manner in which a tag and article are attached with a bar-lock fastener;
FIG. 13 is a schematic illustration of a fluid-pressure system for operating the machine of FIGS. 1 7;
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary illustration of a modification which may be incorporated into the system of FIG. 13 so that this system may then be utilized with the embodiment of FIGS. 8 11;
FIG. 15 is a partly sectional fragmentary plan view illustrating how the embodiment of FIGS. 8 11 may be modified to utilize a different type of tag-positioning means and magazine means;
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along lines l616 of FIG. 15 in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary transverse sectional elevation taken along line 17-17 of FIG. 16in the direction of the arrows.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown therein a support means 10 in the form of a suitable horizontal table 12 which is carried in any suitable way on a base structure 14 at which the operator can be seated so that the operator can actuate with one foot the pedal 16 and can place his hands at the region of the upwardly directed supporting surface 18 in the form of a forwardly extending projection of the table 12 of the support means 10. Upwardly directed supporting surface 18 is adapted to have an article placed thereon for the purpose of having a tag attached thereto. Thus, in a particular example shown in FIG. 2 a shoe 20 is placed on the supporting surface 18 in the manner illustrated. This forwardly projecting part of the table 12 is formed with an opening 22 through which the bar-lock fastener can project as described in greater detail below.
A positioning means 24 is provided for positioning a tag 26 at a location over the article on the supporting surface 18, this tag 26 being illustrated in FIG. 2. The positioning means 24 takes the form of a suitable block of any plastic or metal, formed with at least one port 28 which is maintained continuously in communication with a source of suction during operation of the machine. In the illustrated example, the block which forms the positioning means 24 has three ports 28 all in alignment with each other in a front-to rear direction, and all of these ports communicate with a chamber 30 which in turn communicates through a suitable flexible conduit 32 with a source of suction which is not further illustrated.
The machine of the invention further includes a carriage means 34 in the form of a metal plate having the configuration which is most clearly apparent from FIG. 1. This carriage means 34 has a front flange 36 directed towards the operator and rearwardly extending wall 38 which extends rearwardly from the left edge of the flange 36, as viewed in FIG. 1. This arrangement is also illustrated in FIG. 3. The carriage means 34 has at the rear end of the wall 38 a transverse wall portion 40 which in turn is connected to a rearwardly extending wall portion "42. This rearwardly extending wall portion 42 is fixed by suitable screws or the like to a grooved slide bar 44 the cross-section of which is clearly shown in FIG. 3. This slide bar 44 of the carriage means 34 is guided for vertical movement in a guide means in the form of a bar 46 which is formed with a T-slot to receive the guide bar 44 as is apparent from FIGS. 1 and 3. The guide means 46 is fixed to and extends upwardly from the support means 10, a suitable fastening bracket 48 (FIG. 3) being provided for this purpose.
The carriage means 34 carries a dispenser 50 which is of a conventional construction and which is capable of dispensing bar-lock fasteners from a supply of barlock fasteners which are stored in the dispenser 50 in a well known manner which does not form part of the present invention. Thus, in order to mount the dispenser 50 on the carriage means 34, the carriage means fixedly carries a pair of horizontally extending pins 52 which are fixed to and project from the wall 38 so that the dispenser 50 can be situated between the pins 52 and the flange 36, while engaging the wall 38, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A substantially U-shaped clamping bracket 54 surrounds a handleportion of the dispenser 50 and is releasably fixed with the wall 38 by way of a suitable screw 56 as is also apparent from FIGS. 1 3. In this way the dispenser 50 is securely mounted on the carriage means 34 so as to move therewith. The dispenser 50 operates in a well known manner in response to being triggered, the triggering operation involving the upward swinging of a trigger lever 58 which is free to swing upwardly toward the bracket 54. Thus, the U- shaped bracket 54 is provided with a configuration according to which it will not interfere with the operation of the trigger lever 58.
The carriage means 34 is normally maintained, in a manner described in greater detail below, in the upper retracted position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. From this upper retracted position the carriage means 34 is capable of being moved downwardly along the working stroke to the lower end position shown in FIG. 5. When the carriage means 34 reaches the lower end position thereof which is shown in FIG. 5, the dispenser 50 is triggered by a trigger means 60. The trigger means 60 includes a rigid fairly robust supporting plate 62 fixed to the support means, at the table 12 thereof in the manner shown in FIG. 1. This plate 62 carries an adjustable screw 64 of the trigger means 60. This screw 64 is thus capable of having its upper end surface situated at a selected elevation. The elevation of the screw 64 is adjusted so that when the carriage means 34 reaches the lower end position as shown in FIG. 5 the trigger lever 58 is swung up to the position shown in FIG. 5 for triggering the dispenser 50. Thus, the trigger means 60 is situated in the path of movement of the dispenser 50 so as to trigger the latter automatically when the carriage means 34 reaches the lower end position shown in FIG. 5.
The triggering of the dispenser 50 results in a known way in a downward movement of a needle which carries a bar-lock fastener 66. This bar-lock fastener is conventional and includes an elongated filament of nylon having at one end a button 68 which is relatively large as compared to a cross-bar 70 situated at the opposite end of the nylon filament (FIG. 7). In the particular example shown in FIGS. 1 7, the machine is used for attaching a pair of shoes to each other with the tag 36 situated therebetween, all of these components being fastened by way of the bar-lock fastener 72 which is shown in FIG. 7. During the downward stroke of the needle 74 of the dispenser 50, this needle houses in a groove thereof the bar-lock fastener 72 with the crossbar 70 thereof extending parallel to the filament 66 so that as the needle 74 pierces through the shoes and the tag the bar-lock fastener will be carried through. Upon retraction of the needle 74 the bar-lock fastener remains and the cross-bar 70 swings to the position shown in FIG. 7 in an automatic manner due to the resiliency of the material of the bar-lock fastener.
Thus, in order to fasten one or more articles to a tag in the manner shown in FIG. 7, the operator will place one of the articles, namely one of the shoes 20, across the supporting surface 18 in the position indicated most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 5. The tag 26 is situated over the part of the lower shoe 20 which rests on the surface 18 over the opening 22, and the operator holds the upper shoe over the tag 26 in the manner shown fragmentarily in FIG. 2. Then in a manner described below the operator will bring about an operating cycle according to which the carriage means 34 first moves downwardly along its working stroke and then returns along the return stroke to its upper retracted position. The result is that the pair of shoes with a tag 36 therebetween will be fastened to each other as is apparent from FIGS. 5 and 7. The opening 22 is large enough to permit the cross-bar 70 to move up through the opening 22 when the attached articles together with the tag 36 are removed from the machine.
In order to displace the carriage means 34 through an operating cycle as described above, a fluid-pressure means is provided. In the illustrated example this fluidpressure means is pneumatic and includes a stationery cylinder 76 fixed to and projecting downwardly from the underside of the table 12 of the support means 10. The cylinder 76 houses a piston which is adapted to reciprocate therein and which is operatively connected with a piston rod 78 fixed to the carriage means 34 in the manner apparent from FIGS. 2 and 5. This piston rod 78 extends through the table 12 in the manner shown most clearly in FIG. 4. The cylinder 76 is supplied with air under pressure in the manner which is schematically illustrated in FIG. 13. Thus, referring to FIG. 13 it will be seen that any suitable tank 80 is provided with a supply of compressed air. This compressed air flows in the manner shown by the solid arrows in FIG. 13 when the machine is off, which is to say when an operating cycle is not in progress. In response to initiation of an operating cycle the air under pressure will flow in the manner shown by the dotted arrows in FIG. 13. Thus, it will be seen that the tank 80 communicates through suitable conduits with a known valve structure 82 in order to apply air under pressure normally through the conduit 84 into the cylinder 76 to the piston therebeneath so as to maintain the piston in an elevated position which will maintain the carriage means 34 in its upper retracted position. The conduits extending from the tank 80 include a conduit portion carrying an operator-actuated valve means 86 situated beneath the foot pedal 16. When the operator depresses the foot pedal 16 the valve 86 permits the air to flow from the tank through the conduit 88 to the valve 82, and now in a known way the air under pressure will flow through the conduit 90 into the upper end of the cylinder 76 so as to displace the piston therein downwardly. Systems of this type are per se well known and in accordance with the position of the valve one or the other sides of the piston in the cylinder 76 will be vented to the atmosphere. FIG. 13 schematically illustrates the carriage means 34 fixed to the piston rod 78. Thus, with this construction whenever the operator depresses the pedal 16 the carriage means 34 will be driven downwardly along its working stroke, and after reaching its lower end position it will return automatically along its return stroke to its upper retracted position when the operator released pedal 16. In this way it is possible for the operator to hold the shoes 20 properly with respect to the tag 36 so that these components will be attached to each other in the manner described above with the bar-lock fastener 72. After completing one cycle of operation, the operator will remove the shoes and tag attached to each other as shown in FIG. 7 and these operations will then be repeated for the next pair of shoes. Of course, at this time another tag will be located at the position of the tag 26 shown in FIG. 2.
As is apparent from FIGS. 1 3 and 5, the table 12 of the support means 10 is formed with an elongated slot 92 along which the positioning means 24 is movable between its front end position shown in FIG. 2 and a rear position as shown fragmentarily in FIG. 6, the positioning means 24 being shown just before it reaches its rear end position in FIG. 5. At this rear end position the positioning means 24 is situated beneath the magazine means 94 which supports a stack of tags 26 in such a way that the lower surface of the lowermost tag 26 can be engaged by the positioning means 24 to be removed from the magazine means 94 and returned to the position shown for the tag 26 in FIG. 2. Thus, the magazine means 94 is situated over the rear portion of the slot 92 as is apparent from FIG. 1.
The magazine means 94 includes a pair of brackets 96 fastened to the table 12 on opposite sides of slot 92 and capable of supporting through adjusting screws 98 the upright channels 100, which engage the side edges of the tags in the stack, and the front end rear angle irons 102. The front angle iron 102 is provided at its bottom end with a rearwardly extending projection 104 on which the tags rest with their front or leading edges engaging the right edge 106 of the front angle iron 102. The rear angle iron 102 fixedly carries a substantially L-shaped bracket 108 on which the stack of tags rest at their rear or trailing end regions, the trailing edges of the stack of tags engaging the front edge 110 of the rear angle iron 102. Because the adjusting screws 98 are situated in horizontal slots of the brackets 96, the several channels and angle irons can be adjusted within certain limits to any desired inclinations as illustrated. The adjustment is such that the tags 26 are arranged in the magazine means 94 with their front leading edges at an elevation somewhat higher than their rear trailing edges.
As was indicated above, the ports 28 of the positioning means 24 are continuously in communication with a source of suction during operation of the machine. As the positioning means 24 moves rearwardly to the magazine means 94, the force of suction will place the lower surface of the bottom tag in the stack in engagement with the upper surface of the positioning means 24. As this positioning means 24 continues to move rearwardly it will displace the lower tag in the stack to the rear so that its leading edge initially moves to the rear to clear the projection 104. Then this leading edge snaps down so that the tag 26 assumes the position shown in FIG. 6 for the tag which is engaging the positioning means 24. Then this positioning means 24 is returned forwardly along the slot 92 to the front position shown in FIG. 2., with the result that the tag 26 released in this way from the magazine means 94 is carried along with positioning means back to the location shown in FIG. 2 in preparation for attachment with the next article.
The positioning means 24 is moved between its front end position shown in FIG. 2 and its rear end position shown in FIG. 6 by a moving means which is operatively connected to the positioning means 24 and which is also in the form of a fluid-pressure system. In the particular example illustrated, this fluid-pressure system for the positioning means 24 forms part of the system which is shown in FIG. 13. Thus, the positioning means 24 is fixedly carried by the front end of an elongated piston rod 112 which is normally in a forwardly extended position projecting outwardly beyond a pneumatic cylinder 114 which houses a piston fixed to the rear end of the piston rod 112. The tank of compressed air 80 which supplies air to the cylinder 76 as described above also communicates through a valve 116 with conduits 118 and 120 for delivering air alternately to opposite sides of the piston in the cylinder 114. When the valve 116 is in its rest position the air under pressure is at the right side of the piston maintaining the rod 112 in its forwardly extended position so as to maintain the positioning means 24 in its forward end position with a tag thereon situated over an article as described above. However, when the valve 116 is actuated, this valve, which has a conventional construction, will admit the air under pressure through the front conduit 118 to the cylinder 114 so as to retract the piston on the rod 112, thus displacing the positioning means 24 to the magazine means 94 in order to receive a tag therefrom as described above, and upon reaching its rear end position the piston 112 is automatically reversed by the return of the valve 116 to its initial position so that in a well known manner the air under pressure will again flow through the conduit 120 in order to return the positioning means 124 to its front end po sition with a tag carried thereby from the magazine means.
In order to provide a positioning of a new tag over an article in a purely automatic manner, the valve 116 is positioned so as to respond automatically to the location of the carriage means 34 at its lower end position. For this purpose, the carriage means 34 fixedly carries a valve-actuating rod 122 which upon downward move ment of the carriage means 34 is displaced through an opening 124 of the table 12 from the upper position shown in FIG. 2 to the lower position shown in FIG. 5. This rod 122 will now engage with its lower end the valve 116 so as to bring about the above retraction of the positioning means 24. Of course, upon return of the carriage means 34 to its upper retracted position, the valve 116 resumes its initial position and the positioning means 24 is returned to its forward end position.
While it has been pointed out above that the rod 122 is carried by the carriage means 34!, it will be seen that the rod is fixed to an angle iron 126 which is fixed to the slide bar 414 so that in this way the rod 122 is connected to the carriage means 34 for vertical movement therewith.
it is therefore apparent that with the above-described structure of the invention when the valve 86 is not actumeans 34 reaches its lower end position the rod 122 will act on the valve 116 so as to retract the positioning means 124. However, at this time the needle of the dispenser 50 has already traveled through the tag 26 which is at the front end position so that this tag 26 is prevented from returning with the positioning means 24. While the operator maintains the pedal 16 in its lower position, the carriage 34 remains at its lower end position and the positioning means 24 remains at its rear position shown in FIG. 6. Upon release of the pedal 16 the carriage 34 will be returned to its upper retracted position and the operator will remove the shoes with a tag attached thereto as shown in FIG. 7. At the same time a new tag will automatically be returned to the front position as described above. Although the invention has been described above particularly inconnection with a pair of shoes, it is of course apparent that the machine may be used for attaching a tag to any desired article or articles. The above-described embodiment of the invention is particularly suitable, however, for those articles where the operator must hold the articles in position with respect to each other while a tag is attached thereto. Thus, because the hands of the operator are required in connection with maniuplations of the articles, the above embodiment of the invention is particularly convenient because the operator need only move the pedal 16 with a foot in order to bring about the required operations.
The embodiment of FIGS. 8 11 is particularly suitable for those cases .where the tag is to be attached to an article in the form of a sheet material such as the fabric of an article of clothing. The embodiment of FIGS. 8 1 1 is identical with FIGS. 1 7 except for the differences noted below. Thus, in this case the carriage means 130 corresponds to the carriage means 34 and is operated in the same way. However, the carriage means 130 has a transverse wall 132 to which the dispenser 50 is attached by way of a bracket 134 accessible at the front of the carriage means and releasably fixed by manually rotating screws 136. In this way the dispenser 50 is positioned so that it extends in a plane which is perpendicular to the slot 92, whereas in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 7 the dispenser 50is situated in a plane parallel to the slot 92. Therefore, this embodiment includes atrigger mean 138 which is in its operation identical with the trigge i eans 60. The only difference is that the trigger meani 38 is positioned as shown in FIGS. 8 10 so as to be located beneath the trigger lever of the dispenser 50 to engage the trigger lever when the carriage means 130 approaches its lower end position in the manner described above.
Furthermore, with this embodiment of the invention the operator-actuated valve means 86 is replaced by an operator-actuated valve means 140 including a pair of series-connected manually operable valves 142a and 1472b. Thus, it will be understood that the structure shown in FIG. 14 is incorporated into FIG. 13 replacing the valve 86' and the foot pedal l6.
With the embodiment of FIGS. 8 Ill the table 12 is altered so as to have afront upwardly directed supporting surface 144, corresponding to the surface18 but shaped differently, as shown most clearly in FIG. 10. This surface 144 forms part of a wall which has oppositely inclineddownwardly,depending portions carrying the valves 142a: and 1425 as shown most clearly in FIGS. 10 and 14. This wall 'of the table 12 which has the surface 144 is formed with the'opening 146 through which the needle of the dispenser can travel.
Except for the above differences the embodiment of FIGS. 8 11 is identical with that of FIGS. 1 7. Thus, as may be seen from FIG. 10, the operator will place a sheet of fabric 148, forming part of the garment, for example, on the surface 144, and then while holding the sheet on the surface the operator will with both hands respectively engage the valves'142a and 142b in order to open them simultaneously. It is only in this way that the fluid-pressure will reach the cylinder 76 as described above. Thus, as a result of this safety feature the operator must necessarily keep his hands away from the region of the opening 146 through which the needle travels in order to attach a tag to the article 148.
FIG. 12 shows a tag 26 fastened to the article 148 by the illustrated bar-lock fastener 72 which is identical with that of FIG. 7. It will be noted that in this case also the larger end 68 is situated outside of the tag 26 so that tag-switching cannot take place. For example, if the fastener 72 shown in FIG. 12 were reversed so that the smaller cross-bar portion 70 were located in the upper position over the tag 26, it would be a simple matter for an individual to displace the tag 26from the fastener and replace it with another tag bearing a different price. However, with the illustrated arrangement the larger end 68 does not permit such tag-switching to take place.
FIGS. 17 illustrate a further embodiment of the tag positioning means and magazine means, shown in FIGS. 15 17 in association with the embodiment of FIGS. 8 11 although it is to be understood that the structure of FIGS. 15 17 can equally well be associated with the embodiment of FIGS. 1 7.
Thus, the embodiment of FIGS. 15 17 also includes the pair of side brackets 96 fastened in any suitable way to the table 12 and carrying thescrews 98 which carry the additional elements of the magazine means 148. These additional elements include a pair of side channel members 100, which may be identical with those of the above-described magazine means 94. However, the rear angle iron 102 is replaced in the embodimentof FIGS. 15 17 by a simple bar 150 which is vertically arranged as shown in FIG. 16. Also, the front angle iron 192 is eliminated and replaced by a simple vertically adjustable screw 152. This screw is threaded through a bore in a horizontally projecting arm 154 of a bracket 156 which is fixed to the left bracket 96 of FIG. 17.
With this embodiment of the invention, the slot 92 of the above-described structure is replaced by an elongated slot 158 in which the positioning means 160 is movable in the same way that the positioning means 24 moves along the slot 92. However, the positioning means 160 has a pair of side flanges 162 which project beyond the slot 158 and slidably engage the upper surface of the table 12. The outer side edges of the flanges 162 are guided between a pair of plastic guiding strips res which are fixed to the top surface of the table 12 in any suitable way, such as by the screws 166. The
thickness of the flanges 162 is equal to the thickness of the guide strips 164, so that the latter have upper surfaces at the same elevation as the upper surface of the positioning means160. Moreover, the several tags 26 rest directly on the guide strips 164. The rear portions of the guide strips 164 in effect form part of the magazine since they support the stack of tags 26 which are positioned between the channels and between the screw 152 and the rear bar 156. Theelevation of the screw 152 is such that only the leading edge of the lowermost tag 26 is free to move forwardly.
The positioning means carries at its opposite sides a pair of rollers 167 which are freely rotatable and which engage the lower surface of the table 12.
Except for the above differences the structure of the positioning means 160 is identical with that of the positioning means 24, this positioning means 160 also having the several ports 168 which are constantly maintained in communication with the source of suction while the machine is turned on.
Thus, with this embodiment when the piston rod 170 is retracted in precisely the same way as the piston rod 112 described above, the positioning means 160 will be retracted to the position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 16,.engaging the bottom tag 26, and then during the return stroke of the rod 170 the tag will be returned to a-position over the supporting surface 144 so that the attaching operation can be carried out as described above. With this embodiment the positioning means 160 isguided in a far more precise manner than with the above described embodiments since it is compelled to slide along the upper surface of the table 12 between the guide strips 164 which perform the additional function of supporting the tags in the magazine means.
What is claimed is:
1. In a machine for attaching a tag to an article by means of a bar-lock fastener, support means having an upwardly directed supporting surface on which an article is adapted to be placed in preparation for having a tag attached to the article with a bar-lock fastener, positioning means located adjacent said supporting surface of said support means for positioning a tag at a lo-' cation situated over and spaced from said supporting surface so that part of the article can be situated on the supporting surface beneath part of the tag between the tag and said supporting surface, carriage means situ' ated at an elevation higher than said supporting surface for carrying a bar-lock dispenser which when triggered upon reaching a dispensing location will dispense a barlock fastener and introduce the same downwardly through a tag and article situated therebeneath on said supporting surface, guide means carried by said support means and operatively connected with said carriage means for guiding the latter for downward movement from an upper retracted position to a lower end position situating a dispenser carried by said carriage means at said dispensing location, trigger means carried by said support means and situated in the path movement of a dispenser carried by said carriage means for triggering the dispenser when the latter is situated by said carriage means at said dispensing location, fluid-pressure means operatively connected with said carriage means for moving the latter along said guide means along a working stroke downwardly from said upper retracted position to said lower end position and along a return stroke upwardly from said lower end position to said upper retracted position, and operatoractuated control means accessible to the operator and operatively connected with said fluid-pressure means for controlling the latter to carry out an operating cycle during which said carriage means is moved along its working and return strokes, whereby after an article is placed on said supporting surface and a tag is positioned by said positioning means over the article the operator can actuate the operator-actuated control means to bring about an operating cycle where the tag will be attached to the article by way of a bar-lock fastener.
2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said positioning means is formed with at least one port adapted to be covered by a tag, and suction means communicating with said port of said positioning means for holding a tag in engagement with said positioning means by suction.
3. The combination of claim 2 and wherein a magazine means is carried by said support means for holding a supply of tags to be successively engaged by said positioning means and released thereto for movement by said positioning means from said magazine means to an attaching location where a tag held by said positioning means is positioned over the supporting surface and an article held against the supporting surface by the operator, said suction means maintaining said port continuously under suction during operation of the machine, and moving means operatively connected to said positioning means for responding to the displacement of said carriage means to said lower end position thereof to move said positioning means from said attaching location, where a tag is held by the triggered dispenser, to said magazine means to receive the next tag and then back to said attaching location with a new tag to be attached to the next article.
4. The combination of claim 3 and wherein said moving means is operated by a fluid under pressure and includes a control valve which when actuated causes the moving means automatically to carry out an operating cycle during which the positioning means is displaced from said attaching location to said magazine means and then back to said attaching location with the next tag, said carriage means carrying a projection which moves with said carriage means along the working and return strokes thereof. and said control valve being situated in the path of movement of said projection to be actuated thereby when said carriage means reaches the lower end position thereof.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said operatoractuated means includes a foot pedal to be moved by the operator for initiating an operating cycle.
6. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said operator-actuated means includes a pair of seriesconnected valves between which said supporting surface is located, said series-connected valves requiring manipulation by both hands of the operator for initiating an operating cycle by said fluid-pressure means.
7. The combination of claim 3 and wherein said tags each have a front leading edge and rear trailing edge, said magazine means positioning said tags for engagement of the lowermost tag at a downwardly directed surface thereof by an upwardly directed surface of said positioning means to be first retracted by said positioning means through a relatively short distance rearwardly to release the leading edge of said lowermost tag so that the latter can then be carried forwardly from the magazine means by the positioning means to said attaching location.
8. The combination of claim 3 and wherein said magazine means holds said tags one above the other at a location where the lowermost tag has a front leading edge released for movement toward the attaching location so the when the positioning means engages the lowermost tag it can move the latter from the magazine means to the attaching location.
9. The combination of claim 3 and wherein said sup- I port means includes a table having a front region where said supporting surface is located, said table being formed rearwardly of said front region with an elongated rearwardly extending slot through which said positioning means extends and along which said positioning means moves between said attaching location and said magazine means.
10. The combination of claim 9 and wherein said positioning means is in the form of a block carrying projections which slideably engage said table on opposite sides of said slot and rollers which have rolling contact with a lower surface of said table also on opposite sides of said slot.
11. The combination of claim 9 and wherein said carriage means carries said dispenser in the position where it is situated in a plane substantially parallel to said slot.
12. The combination of claim 9 and wherein said carriage means carries said dispenser in the position where it is situated in a plane which is substantially perpendicular to said slot.
13. The combination of claim 8 and wherein said support means includes guide strips for guiding said positioning means, and said strips supporting tags in said magazine means.