US 3903840 A
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United States Patent 11 1 Gemelli 1451 Sept. 9, 1975 1 1 MARKlNG APPARATUS Joseph C. Gemelli, 970 Summer St., Marshfield, Mass. 02050 221 Filed: June 28, 1971 211 App1.No :l53,463
 US. Cl. 118/10; 118/323; 118/325; 1 18/326; 1 l8/D1G, 21  Int. CL B05C 5/00  Field ofSearch 118/10,68 313,314,315, 118/323, 325 D10. 21, 326
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1428.284 9/1947 Krogel llfl/DlG. 2| 1429.537 10/1947 Ward IIB/DIG, 21 2365,32 12/1958 Hoff l18/DlG.21
3,176,650 4/[965 Woollncr 118/325 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 24(L45U 5/1965 Austria 11 118/325 (154,476 12/1962 Canada 1. 118/10 354 493 7/1961 Switzerland 1 18/325 11134146 6/1966 United Kingdom v. 1 Ill/DIG. 21
Primary Exam1'ner]ohn P. Mclntosh  ABSTRACT An elongated body, such as insulated wire, is drawn through a marking station where a relatively high viscosity coherent stream of ink is sprayed back and forth transversely of the wire. The ink flow is bent around at the tangent of the wire to the far side of the wire by surface tension so that a complete circumferential band is formed by a single jet spray A constant flow pump is used in conjunction with a pressure gauge to actuate an alarm should pressure in the ink supply rise above a given threshold due to increased ink viscosity or nozzle blockage. Variation in marking spacing and/or color can be accomplished without stopping production 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED 91975 3.903.840
SHEET 1 [IF 2 FIGJ INVENTOR JOSEPH C. GEMELLI ATTORNEY MARKING APPARATUS This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 794.230, filed Jan. 27, I969, now abandoned.
The present invention relates to apparatus for marking elongated bodies with indicia of the circumferential band type. More particularly. the invention relates to marking or otherwise color coding" elongated bodies. such as insulated wire employed in the telephone and electronics industries.
Prior patents on apparatus for accomplishing the same general purpose are exemplified by US. Pat. to Hoff. No. 2,865,323. and Burke, et al., No. 3,021,8l; and the present invention can be regarded as an improved substitute therefore.
The prior methods disclosed in those patents have a variety of drawbacks. For instance. they are not readily adaptable for change. Thus when it is desired to change the spacing between marks. the entire marking device must be disassembled and replaced. Moreover. a complete inventory of sets of wheels and gear drives must be kept with one set for each possible desired variation. Another problem with the said prior devices has to do with changing the color of the ink. Thus. if a color change is desired. the device must be entirely emptied of one ink, cleaned out. and then refilled. This entails substantial labor cost and down time loss. Another problem with the said prior methods has to do with the blockage of spray holes during operations. In those equipments. the ink is forced simultaneously through a large number ofjet spray holes. and in US. Pat. No. 2.865.323, each of the holes must be clear and functioning properly in order to avoid producing rejects. In fact. for this reason. the arrangement of US. Pat. No. 3.021.8l5 specifically provides a second set of spray holes on each wheel in order to duplicate the function of the first set. In this way the second set lessens the risk of producing rejects due to blockage in the first set. The trouble is, however, that even with the device of US. Pat. No. 3.02l.8l 5 two consecutive holes can become blocked and a large quantity of faulty material may be produced before the operator notices it.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide an improved marking apparatus. More particuarly. it is an object to provide an arrangement which is capable of applying a wide variety of circumferential band markings to an elongated body without requiring the exchange of parts and to provide a complete range of marking variation with a minimum of exchange of parts and/or down time. Another object is to provide an apparatus for complete circumferential band striping in which the entire marking operation is accomplished with a single spray orifice. Still another object is to provide an apparatus for such marking combined with means for sensing and actuating an alarm with respect to either a change in viscosity of the ink or a blockage in the orifice whereby inefficiency or faulty operation is promptly detected.
In the accomplishment of these and other objects of this invention in a preferred embodiment thereof. an elongated body such as an insulated wire is arranged with suitable drive mechanisms to be advanced through a marking station. At the marking station a jet spray is provided. together with means for pumping ink thereto. and the spray is directed toward the wire. The spray is also provided with means for oscillating it transversely so that the ink only impinges on the wire during part of the oscillatory stroke. In this way separate markings or indicia are applied to the wire and the spacing between indicia is obtained by controlling the ratio between the oscillatory rate and stroke of the spray, and the through-put rate of the wire. It is a feature of my invention that an independent control is provided for this ratio and, accordingly, the spacing of the indicia can be changed at will without disassembling the machine. In addition, for any given oscillation to through-put ratio the spacing between indicia can also be varied within limits by positioning the wire to one side of the center line of the stroke.
Another feature of this invention is that the entire circumference of the wire is marked with a band-like indicia by means of a single spray orifice. T his is accomplished by regulating the spray velocity and the ink viscosity so that, as the spray passes from one tangent to the other of the wire. the surface tension of the ink in contact with the wire causes the ink flow to bend around to the unexposed backside of the wire. Once the liquid ink waves join on the far side of the wire, they flow further together and provide a substantially corn plete band.
A further feature of this invention is that a positive action pump is provided to ensure a constant flow rate through the jet spray orifice. ln this way changes in viscosity or blockage in the orifice can be detected by pressure changes in the supply line to the orifice. This, in turn, permits the use of a simple pressure gauge to actuate an alarm in the event of viscosity increase or blockage.
Additional features of this invention include (a) a simple flushing arrangement for the ink supply which permits rapid ink color change without appreciable down time; (b) a system readily adaptable for the si multaneous application of multicolored and/or multispaced indicia; (c) a system suitable for vertical or horizontal operation; and (d) a system by means of which twisted or braided material can be band-marked.
These and other objects and features of this invention will best be understood and appreciated from a detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a general perspective view of the apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an exposed perspective view of the detailed components of the apparatus of this invention;
FIGS. 30 and 3b are plan views showing how surface tension causes the ink flow to pass around the wire:
FIG. 4 is an illustration of the circular motion of the spray described; and
FIG. 5 is an illustration of the figure 8 motion of the spray described.
The preferred embodiment of the apparatus of this invention herein shown comprises a base frame consisting of angle legs 10 supporting a platform 12. An insulated wire 14 is arranged to pay off from a supply reel 16 mounted on a reel frame l8, around a sheave 20, up through the platform 12, through a radiant heat drying oven 22, and onto a take-up reel 24 on the reel frame [8.
With reference to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the wire 14 passes upwardly through a guide tube 26 in the platform 12, and immediately above the upper end of the tube 26 the wire enters a zone which is referred to herein as the marking station indicated at 28. At the marking station an ink jet spray is arranged to impinge on the wire 14. As shown in FIG. 2, two such sprays are illustrated comprising respectively a nozzle 30 and a nozzle 32. The selection of the diameter of the nozzles depends upon the desired thickness of the stream. In this preferred embodiment diameters in the range 0.013 to 0.080 inch are employed.
The nozzles 30 and 32 are mounted on a vertical clamping bracket 34, which is in turn mounted on a horizontal arm 36. The am 36 is adapted for sliding horizontal motion in a bearing block 38 which is secured to the platform 12. The arm 36 is driven in reciprocating motion by a variable speed motor 40 acting through a crank shaft 42 and link 44 pivoted to the end of arm 36.
Ink is supplied to the nozzles 30 and 32 by means of a positive action pump 46 (piston-type or equivalent), driven by constant speed motor 48. The pump draws ink from a container 50 through pipe 52, and forces it through pipe 54 to the nozzles. As illustrated, the pipe 54 terminates in a Tjunction 56 from which a flexible tube 58 runs to nozzle 30, and a flexible tube 60 runs to nozzle 32.
Ink issuing from the nozzles impinges on the wire intermittently as the nozzles reciprocate back and forth, and as is illustrated in FIGS. 30 and 3b, surface tension causes the stream to wrap around to cover the unexposed side of the wire. Excess ink is sprayed beyond the wire and collected in a hood 62, draining into a sump 64, and therefore back into container 50 through a drain pipe 66.
As shown, two band stripes are applied simultaneously each time the ink streams from the nozzles pass through the point of impingement. Of course, a single nozzle can be employed if desired, or various combinations of number and spacings of nozzles can be employed. In addition, different colored inks can be employed simultaneously by positioning a second nozzle or nozzles and associated equipment as described pointing in a different direction so that the second ink stream is not mixed or confused with the ink stream of the first nozzle or nozzles.
In the practice of this process the viscosity of the ink is important because the ink must flow around the wire by surface tension to form a substantially complete circumferential band. It has been found that a satisfactory viscosity as indicated by the standard viscosity test employing a No. 2 Zahn cup (as sold by General Electric Co.) is l7 seconds i seconds. The viscosity of the ink may be between about 12 and 22 seconds by a No. 2 Zahn cup viscosity test.
While a straight, horizontal motion for the nozzles has been shown, it will be understood that a circular motion as shown in FIG. 4 or a figure 8" motion as shown in FIG. 5 can also be employed. In fact, by selecting a given portion of the cycle of such motions, wherein the stream is travelling along with the wire, increased speed may be obtained.
Also while moving the nozzle only has been shown, it will be understood that the wire can be moved instead or both can be moved simultaneously.
Another relatively important aspect has to do with the nature of the ink stream. In the present context, the stream remains smooth and contiguous only for a few inches. Thereafter, it breaks up into small droplets. With this invention, the best marking action is obtained when the ink stream is still smooth and contiguous, and
for this reason the nozzles are spaced about i inch from the wire.
Still another feature has to do with the hoods 62. Since the ink tends to splatter, the hoods 62 must be well spaced away from the wire. As shown, the spacing is about 12 inches.
Since the ink is exposed to the air, it obviously will sufier a loss of volatiles during operations. With the arrangment shown, this can be detected by a pressuresensing device 68 arranged to display the ink pressure in pipe 54, and/or to actuate an alarm 70. since the motor 48 is a constant speed motor and pump 46 is a positive action pump, the pressure in pipe 58 will vary in direction proportion to viscosity. Also, any blockage in either nozzle will result in an immediate pressure jump. The pressure-sensing device can be calibrated to actuate the alarm 70 for an undesirable rise in viscosity and/or for a blockage of a noule. When the viscosity is too high, it can be corrected easily by simply adding solvent to the ink in container 50.
In order to reduce the ink drying time, the wire 14 can be preheated to a degree, but it has been found that the surface tension action of drawing the ink around the wire is hindered by excessively preheating the wire. However, once a given suitable preheat condition has been established, the remainder of the drying can be accomplished in the oven 22 prior to winding the marked wire onto the take-up reel 24.
Changing ink color with the apparatus of this invention is done by means of a bypass pipe 72 and valve 74 leading from pipe 54 into sump 64. Also, a shutoff valve 76 in pipe 54 is used. The procedure is to open valve 74, close valve 76 and remove pipe 52 from container 50. With pump 46 still running, the remainder of ink in the system below valve 76 and in pipe 72 is pumped out and drains into container 50 through drain pipe 66. In a short time, container 50 is then removed and replaced with a container having in it another colored ink. Pipe 52 is then inserted into the new ink con tainer and the new colored ink can be pumped for a short time up through pipe 72, whereupon valve 76 is opened, valve 74 is closed and pumping ink through the nozzles 30 and 32 is resumed. For a brief time, the new color may appear tainted with traces of the previous color, but this very soon disappears as the ink circulates through the pipes and ink container.
One advantage of the viscosity control and alarm of this invention is that a much higher viscosity ink can be employed than in the conventional processes since the risk of inadvertent nozzle plugging with this invention has been eliminated. With the conventional process, extremely light inks are employed in order to minimize the hazard of plugging. The result of employing the higher viscosity inks made possible by this invention is that drying can be accomplished more easily, but more important, an ink viscosity can be employed which is capable of maintaining a coherent stream and the surface tension of the ink in contact with the wire is able to cause the ink to flow around the wire.
Since numerous modifications of the preferred embodiments of this invention herein described will now be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of these teachings, it is not intended to confine the invention to the precise details of this description, but rather to measure it in terms of the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for marking an elongated body, at any angle to the horizontal, with separate indicia extending transversely entirely around said body comprising: a marking station; means for advancing said body through said marking station; a single nozzle mounted at said marking station for marking said body with a circumferentially complete transverse, colored band, said nozzle spaced from, but directed at, said body in a direction substantially normal to the longitudinal axis thereof; positive means for pumping marking ink through said nozzle, and means for operating said pumping means at a substantially constant rate to pump said ink at the same flow rate, at a pressure directly proportional to the ink viscosity, for any one of several viscosities of said ink, and to project a stream of said ink from said nozzle onto said body at the same velocity for each said viscosity; and means for oscillating said nozzle between a position in which said stream misses said body on one side and a position on the other side of said body which is at least to a point at which said ink can flow around said body through the combination of the velocity of said stream and the surface tension of said ink in contact with said body, thereby marking the same with spaced band-like markings.
2. Apparatus for marking an elongated body, at any angle to the horizontal, with circumferential band type indicia comprising: a marking station; means for advancing said body through said marking station; ink projecting means including, a single nozzle at said marking station for marking said body with a complete circumferential band type indicia; a positive action pump, means for operating said pump at a constant rate despite variations in the load thereof for supplying ink to said nozzle at the same flow rate for any viscosity of said ink between l2 and 22 sec. (No. 2 Zahn cup test), at a pressure directly proportional to the ink viscosity, said nozzle positioned and arranged to direct a controled application of said ink onto said body; an ink supply and recirculation system including an ink supply, means for supplying ink from said supply to said pump, from said pump to said nozzle, for collecting excess ink issuing from said nozzle, and for returning said excess to said ink supply; and bypass means downstream of said pump for periodically flushing said systcm by directing said ink directly from said pump to said collecting means.
3. Apparatus for marking an elongated body, at any angle to the horizontal, with circumferential band type indicia comprising: an ink supply, a single orifice, positive action means for pumping said ink through said orifice; said orifice arranged to direct a stream of ink toward said elongated body; means for operating said pump at a substantially constant rate despite changes in the load thereof so as to pump said ink to a pressure directly proportional to its viscosity and to maintain the velocity of the application of said ink the same for any one of several viscosities of said ink; means for moving said body and said stream relative to each other so as to apply band-like indicia to the full circumference of said body through the combination of the velocity of said stream and the surface tension of said ink in contact with said body; means associated with said ink supply and pumping means for measuring the pressure of said ink between said pump and said orifice; and means responsive to said measuring means for producing an alarm signal whenever said pressure rises above a predetermined value.
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