US 3902419 A
A photographic copying machine wherein longitudinally spaced portions of a continuously or intermittently advancing web of photographic print material are provided with symbols which are applied thereto by a type mounted at the free end of a leaf spring. The other end of the leaf spring is secured to a stationary bracket and an intermediate portion of the leaf spring extends into the path of movement of the armature of an electromagnet when the leaf spring is undeformed and assumes a starting position. The armature strikes against the leaf spring in response to energization of the solenoid of the electromagnet whereby the leaf spring is deformed and accelerated so as to move away from the armature when the latter is arrested by the bracket in an extended position and to ultimately cause the type to strike against a ribbon which overlies the web. The armature is biased to a retracted position with a force which suffices to insure that it does not interfere with automatic return movement of the leaf spring to the starting position, provided that the solenoid is deenergized not later than when the leaf spring reaches an intermediate position corresponding to the extended position of the armature.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Pflugheil et al. Sept. 2, 1975 APPARATUS FOR APPLYING SYMBOLS TO 3,719.139 3/1973 Niccolai 101/111 X WEBS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL OR THE LIKE Primary Examiner-Clifford D. Crowder Assistant ExaminerPau1 J. Hirsch  Inventors: Mathias Pflugbeil Baldham; Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michae1 S. Striker Christian Gotze; Karl Dreher, both of Munich, all Of Germany  Assigneci Agfa-G va rt Akti ng selis ha t, A photographic copying machine wherein longitudi- Leverkusen, Germany na11y spaced portions of a continuously or intermittently advancing web of photographic print material  Flled' Aug. 1973 are provided with symbols which are applied thereto [21 Appl. No.: 389,552 by a type mounted at the free end ofa leaf spring. The other end of the leaf spring is secured to a stationary bracket and an intermediate ortion of the leaf 5 rin [3O] Forelgn Apphcanon Pnonty Dam extends into the path of mov ment of the armatu ie 0% Aug. 19, Germany an electromagnet when the f p g is undeformed and assumes a starting position. The armature strikes  101/291; 101/9334; 18 35 1 against the leaf spring in response to energization of the solenoid of the electroma net whereb the leaf  Int. Cl. B41J 9/38; B41F 1/08 spring is deformed and accdgrated so asyto move  Field of Search 101/93 I l away from the armature when the latter is arrested by 101/316; 197/49 the bracket in an extended position and to ultimately cause the type to strike against a ribbon which overlies [5 6] References C'ted the web. The armature is biased to a retracted position UNITED STATES PATENTS with a force which suffices to insure that it does not 3,232,402 2/1966 Koenen et a1 197/17 interfere with automatic return movement of the leaf 3.330.398 7/1967 Hylan 197/16 spring to the starting position, provided that the sole- 335500O 11/1967 Blodge" 197/17 noid is deenergized not later than when the leaf spring 3,356,199 12/1967 Robinson i. 101/93 C X reaches an intermediate position Corresponding to the 3,364,852 1/1968 Ragcn 101/93 C extended position of the armature 3,373,858 3/1968 Stahl et al.. 197/17 3,375,914 4/1968 Bastian 197/17 10 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR APPLYING SYMBOLS TO WEBS OF PI-IOTOGRAPI-IIC MATERIAL OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to apparatus for applying symbols in the form ofletters, numerals or other indicia to preferably sheetor web-like carriers. for example. for applying symbols to webs of photographic print material in a photographic copying machine for the making of prints from exposed and developed films.
The application of symbols in the form of numerals, characters, notches, perforations or the like is necessary in modern high-speed photographic copying machines to facilitate automatic sorting or other procedures to which webs of photographic prints and/or individual prints are subjected in photographic developing laboratories. A drawback of presently known apparatus which are used to apply symbols to rapidly moving webs of paper or the like in photographic copying machines is that the inertia of moving parts is too high so that the application of symbols cannot take place when the copying machine is operated at a full speed. Moreover, the presently known apparatus are incapable of applying symbols with a satisfactory degree of reproducibility and with sufficient clarity so as to allow for automatic reading of such symbols during further processing of webs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved apparatus for applying symbols to carriers in the form of sheets. webs or strips in such a way that the applied symbols are clearly discernible, that the symbols can be applied to selected portions of carriers with a high degree of accuracy and reproducibility, and that the inertia of moving parts assists, rather than interferes with. satisfactory application of symbols.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can be used with advantage in photographic copying machines to apply symbols to longitudinally spaced portions of webs or strips of photographic print material or the like irrespective of the speed of movement of the carrier and irrespective of the frequency at which the symbols must be applied to the carrier.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved electromagnetically operated apparatus for the application of symbols to continuously or intermittently moving carriers in the form of webs, sheets or the like, and to provide the apparatus with novel and improved means for supporting one or more types or analogous symbol applying devices.
The invention is embodied in an apparatus which comprises an elastic holder (preferably a leaf spring one end of which is secured to a stationary support) which is deformable to thereby move from a first to a second position. at least one type or an analogous symbol applying device provided on the holder and arranged to apply one or more symbols to a carrier in the second position of the holder (the type is preferably mounted at the free end ofthe leaf spring). and electromagnet means having an armature which serves to effect movements of the holder from the first to the second position in response to energization of the winding of the electromagnet means.
In accordance with a presently preferred embodiment of the invention. the armature of the electromag- LII LII
net means is reciprocable between a retracted position and an extended position, and the leaf spring extends into the path of movement of the armature from retracted to extended position when the leaf spring is undeformed so that it automatically assumes and remains in the first position. When the winding of the electromagnet means is energized, the armature strikes against the leaf spring before it reaches the extended position whereby the leaf spring is not only deformed but is also accelerated to accumulate kinetic energy which causes the leaf spring to undergo further deformation and to become disengaged from the armature as soon as the latter reaches the extended position. The leaf spring ultimately reaches the second position in which the remainder of the kinetic energy is used to cause the type or types thereon to apply symbols to a carrier. The armature is biased to retracted position by a helical spring which serves to insure that the automatic movement of leaf spring from the second to the first position (due to innate elasticity of the leaf spring) is not obstructed by the armature. This can be achieved by biasing the armature to retracted position with a force which suffices to guarantee that the armature reaches the retracted position before the leaf spring (on its way from the second to the first position) reaches that inter mediate position which corresponds to extended position of the armature. Such arrangement insures that the application of a symbol takes up an extremely short interval of time, i.e., that the improved apparatus can apply symbols at a frequency corresponding to the maximum speed of a web of photographic paper in a modern high-speed photographic copying machine.
The novel features which are considered as charac* teristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The improved apparatus itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, together with additional features and advantages thereof, will be best understood upon perusal of the following detailed description of certain specific embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an apparatus which embodies the invention, the leaf spring being shown in the first position and the armature of the electromagnet means being shown in the retracted position; and
FIG. 2 shows the apparatus of FIG. I with the armature in extended position and the leaf spring in two different positions one of which is indicated by solid lines and the other of which is indicated by phantom lines.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED' EMBODIMENTS The apparatus which is shown in FIG. 1 comprises a housing or frame 1 connected with a support means in the form of a substantially U-shaped bracket 2 the upper arm 2a of which carries the winding 3 of an electromagnet 38. The armature 8 of the electromagnet 38 is reciprocable up and down and moves downwardly from the retracted position of FIG. I to the extended positions 8' of FIG. 2 when the winding 3 is energized in response to closing a switch, not shown. A helical re,- turn spring 7 reacts against the upper arm 2a of the bracket 2 and bears against a collar 8b of the armature 8 so as to normally maintain the armature in the retracted position. A stop shoulder 10 on that portion of the armature 8 which extends upwardly and beyond the coil 3 abuts against the upper arm 2a of the bracket 2 when the armature reaches the extended position 8' shown in FIG. 2.
The housing 1 includes a platform Ia for a carrier of symbols here shown as a web or strip 9 of photosensitive material, e.g., photographic paper for the making of prints from negatives. A coloring means in the form of a ribbon 6 may be a black, red or otherwise colored band overlies a portion of the web 9 in the region below a symbol applying type which is mounted at the free left-hand end of a leaf spring 4 having its right-hand end secured to the lower arm 2!; of the bracket 2. When the electromagnet 38 is deenergized and the armature 8 dwells in the retracted position shown in FIG. I, the lower end portion 8a of the armature is spaced apart from an intermediate portion of the leaf spring 4. The mechanism for advancing the web 9 and ribbon 6 stepwise or continuously is of conventional design and is not specifically shown in the drawing.
The position of the shoulder on the upper portion of the armature 8 is selected in such a way that, when the shoulder 10 engages the upper arm 2a of the bracket 2, the lower end portion 8a of the armature 8 has deflected the leaf spring 4 to the solid-line intermediate position 4' of FIG. 2 in which the type 5 dwells in an intermediate position 5 and is still spaced apart from the ribbon 6. The lower end positions of the leaf spring 4 and the type 5 are shown by phantom lines, as at 4a and 5a. The spring 4 reaches the position 4a due to inertia subsequent to stoppage of the armature 8 in the extended position 8' of FIG. 2.
The spring 4 begins to move back toward the position of FIG. 1 practically immediately after it reaches the position 4:: of FIG. 2. The bias of the helical spring 7 is selected in such a way that, if the winding 3 is deenergized not later than when the spring 4 reaches (on its way to the position of FIG. 1 the intermediate position 4' of FIG. 2, the armature 8 returns to the retracted position of FIG. 1 before the spring 4 reaches the position of FIG. 1.
The winding 3 is shown in the form of a solenoid and the armature 8 is confined to reciprocatory movements in a direction (vertically, as viewed in FIGS, 1 or 2) which is substantially parallel to the direction of movement of type 5 between the position of FIG. 1 and the position 5a of FIG. 2.
When the winding 3 of the electromagnet 38 is energized, the armature 8 moves to the extended position 8' of FIG. 2 and its end portion 8a strikes against and flexes the leaf spring 4 while stressing the helical return spring 7 by way of the collar 8)). It is assumed that the circuit of the coil 3 has been completed for a very short interval of time which is just sufficient to abruptly propel the armature 8 to the extended position 8' of FIG. 2. The armature is arrested as soon as the shoulder 10 reaches the arm 2a but the leaf spring 4 continues to flex counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 2, due to dissipation of kinetic energy which the spring 4 accumulates during initial flexing and acceleration by the end portion 8a of the armature 8. The spring 4 begins to move away from the end portion 8a of the armature 8 as soon as it reaches the intermediate position 4 of FIG. 2. The type 5 is caused to strike against the ribbon 6 and to thereby impress a colored symbol (or a group of symbols) on the web 2 when the leaf spring 4 reaches the end position 4a.
The type S (in the end position 5a) can rebound on the ribbon 6 to thereby move away from the web 9 whereby the aforementioned advancing means is free to move the web and the ribbon lengthwise. i.e., substantially at right angles to the olane of FIGS. 1 or 2. Since the energization of the coil 3 is preferably inter rupted as soon as the armature 8 reaches the lower end position 8 (or even before), the helical spring 7 is free to immediately return the armature 8 to the retracted position of FIG. 1 and the armature thus allows the leaf spring 4 to immediately reassume the unstressed condition of FIG. 1.
The leaf spring 4 can move the type 5 only up and down, i.e., substantially at right angles to (toward and away from) the plane of the ribbon 6. This insures that the type 5 can provide the web 9 with indicia or symbols with a high degree of reproducibility and legibility. It is clear that the ribbon 6 can be omitted if the type 5 is designed to provide the web 9 with indicia or symbols in the form of slots, slits, perforations or the like. Also, the type can be provided with its own supply of coloring matter so that the ribbon 6 can be dispensed with even though the web 9 is to receive colored symbols.
The improved apparatus can be used not only in photographic copying machines but also in all such machines or apparatus wherein a carrier which moves lengthwise must be provided with spaced-apart indicia in the form of color symbols, perforations or the like. It is further possible to use a battery of discrete imprinting apparatus which can be operated independently of each other to provide successive or selected portions of a web with two or more groups of symbols. Two or more imprinting apparatus can be mounted in one or more rows extending transversely of the web path or in one or more rows which are parallel to the path of the intermittently or continuously advancing web. Each type 5 can carry one or more identical imprinting elements which may resemble numerals, letters and/or other symbols. Also, the energization of electromagnets in a battery of imprinting apparatus can be programmed so that the electromagnets are energized and deenergized in a preselected order and can move the respective armatures simultaneously or in any desired sequence.
Finally, the leaf spring 4 can be replaced by a springy lever (not shown) or by any other holder which is capable of accumulating kinetic energy during a first stage and of moving by inertia during the next-following stage of movement from a first to a second end position. Moreover, the leaf spring 4 may comprise two or more parallel or overlapping elastic members.
An important advantage of the improved apparatus is that the type 5 is actuated ballistically which insures that the application of symbols takes up much less time than in conventional apparatus. The intervals of contact between the type 5 and ribbon 6 are so short that the ribbon 6 and/or the web 9 can remain in motion during the application of symbols. Experiments indicate that the duration of contact between the type 5 and ribbon 6 is normally less than 3 milliseconds.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features which fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic and specific aspects of our contribution to the art and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the claims.
What is claimed as'new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.
1. In a photographic copying machine for applying indications to webs of photographic material or analogous carriers, a combination comprising bracket means including an upper and a lower supporting bracket part; an elastic holder mounted on said lower supporting bracket part movable between an inoperative position in which it is located from said upper supporting bracket part at a first predetermined distance and an operative depressed position in which it is located from said upper supporting bracket part at a second predetermined distance; at least one indications applying device on said holder and movable by said holder while the same moves between said inoperative and operative positions thereof and adapted to engage in said opera tive position thereofa carrier for applying an indication thereto; electromagnet means including an armature mounted on said upper supporting bracket part for movement in a direction toward said elastic holder between an inoperative position wherein its holderengaging lower end portion is located at a distance from said upper supporting bracket part which is slightly smaller than said first predetermined distance and an operative position wherein said holder-engaging portion of said armature is located from said upper sup porting bracket part at a distance which is slightly greater than said predetermined first distance, but which is slightly smaller than said second predetermined distance; and abutment means on said armature and adapted to cooperate with said upper supporting bracket part so as to limit movement of said armature between said inoperative and operative positions thereof, whereby said holder is moved from said inoperative position thereof to a position intermediate said inoperative and operative positions thereof in response to movement of said armature from said inoperative to said operative positions thereof and thereupon continues to move due to inertia to said operative position thereof in which said device applies said one indication.
2. A combination as defined in claim 1, wherein the distance of said abutment means relative to said upper supporting bracket part when said armature is in said inoperative position thereof is less than the distance of said holder relative to the carrier when said holder is in said inoperative position thereof.
3. A combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said winding means surrounds a portion of said armature.
4. A combination as defined in claim 1; and further comprising winding means energizable to move said armature from said inoperative to said operative positions thereof.
5. A combination as defined in claim 4; and further comprising means for biasing said armature to said inoperative position thereof with a force which suffices to return said armature to said inoperative position thereof in response to deenergization of said winding means within an interval of time which is shorter than that required by said holder to automatically return to said inoperative position thereof, so that said armature does not interfere with such return movement of said holder when said winding means is deenergized substantially simultaneously with the arrival of said armature at said operative position thereof.
6. A combination as defined in claim 1, further comprising coloring means extending across the path along which said device moves in response to movement of said holder.
7. A combination as defined in claim 6, wherein said coloring means comprises a ribbon.
8. A combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said holder comprises a leaf spring.
9. A combination as defined in claim 8, wherein said leafspring has an end portion affixed to said lower supporting bracket part and a second portion which is connected with said device.
10. A combination as defined in claim 9, wherein said leaf spring further comprises a second end portion which constitutes said second portion thereof.