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Número de publicaciónUS3885518 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación27 May 1975
Fecha de presentación28 May 1974
Fecha de prioridad29 Ago 1972
Número de publicaciónUS 3885518 A, US 3885518A, US-A-3885518, US3885518 A, US3885518A
InventoresVarni Anselm F
Cesionario originalBurroughs Corp
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Ribbon inking apparatus
US 3885518 A
Resumen
An apparatus particularly suitable for re-inking ribbons utilized in conjunction with computers and line printers and which is suitable for operation in a controlled and clean environment is disclosed. Ink and ribbons may be loaded into the apparatus without physical contact with ink or any inking surface within the apparatus. A metering roller used in conjunction with an inking roller and pressure roller provide an even flow of ink for application to the ribbon, while a guide system assures that the ribbon is wound evenly on a roll.
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United States Patent 1191 Varni 1 1 May 27, 1975 1 RIBBON lNKlNG APPARATUS 2,141,073 12/1938 Wetzel 118/12 2,151,570 3/1939 Shoults et a1. 118/6 1751 Inventor: Anslelm Vim", L05 Angel 2.342.762 2/1944 Smith 118/207 Cahf- 2,395,903 3/1946 Nordquist 1 1 118/12 2 2,492,377 12/1949 Camphouse r r v 118/249 [73 1 Ass'gnee' ai g Cmpmamn 2,641,220 6/1953 Weber et a1, 118/262 x c 3,220,378 11/1965 Lefevre et a1 118/65 X 22 F May 23 1974 3.232547 2/1966 Thiede et a1 226/20 X [21] A I N 473 796 3.701.318 10/1972 Lozeau et a1. .2 226/211 X Related US. Application Data Primary Examiner-John P. McIntosh [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 284,668, Aug. 29, 1972, Almmey, 8 f F1556", Kevin aband0ne Peterson; Paul W. Fish [52] US. Cl. 118/6; 118/235; 118/247; 57 ABSTRACT 118/249; 118/262 [51] Int. Cl. B05c 1/08 An apparatus partlcularly su'table for remkmg of Search bons utilized in Conjunction Computers and line 8/33 printers and which is suitable for operation in a con- 3 2242/57.! trolled and clean environment is disclosed. Ink and ribbons may be loaded into the apparatus without [56] References Cited physical contact with ink or any inking surface within the apparatus. A metering roller used in conjunction UNITED STATES PATENTS with an inking roller and pressure roller provide an 872,239 11/1907 Kline .1 118/13 even flow of ink for application to the ribbon while a guide system assures that the ribbon is wound evenly 1315:5221 1 1927 Harris v. 401/28 x a roll 1,922,117 8/1933 Turner 118/258 X 9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures 2,007,729 7/1935 Shallcross 118/249 X PATENIEL] MAY 2 71975 SHEET PATENIED PAYZT i975 SHEET RIBBON INKING APPARATUS This is a continuation of application Scr. No. 284,668 filed Aug. 29, I972, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to apparatus for inking ribbons, particularly apparatuses for re-inking ribbons utilized with line printers.

2. Prior Art Line printers such as those utilized in conjunction with computers in recent years have become widely used, not only as a tool for science and engineering, but also as a vital part of many business operations. Typically, the line printers and the computers which drive the line printers are housed in what can be described as a controlled environment. This is done to prevent exposure of the expensive computer equipment of contaminants such as moisture and to damaging tempertures.

The line printers used in these operations most often utilize ribbons, such as cloth ribbons, as a source of ink for the original or top copy on the printer. These costly ribbons, because of the speed of the printer and the quantity of printing required, need to be changed frequently where the printer is in continuous use. In the prior art these ribbons were frequently discarded or returned to a separate facility for re-inking. The prior art inking equipment, because of its large size and messy operation, are not suitable for use in the controlled computer environment.

The presently disclosed inking apparatus provides a compact, clean operating device particularly suitable for operation within a clean and controlled environment. The apparatus permits the ribbons to be re-inked in the controlled environment and hence allows the ribbons to be re-used. Testing with the apparatus has shown that ribbons may be re-used at least live or six times before being discarded. Thus, the presently disclosed apparatus provides substantial cost reductions in the operation of line printers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inking apparatus includes a pair of parallel drive rollers which include spring loaded spindles upon which the ribbon to be inked is placed. An inking roller, metering roller and pressure roller are disposed between the drive rollers and are utilized to apply ink to the ribbon. A trough located beneath the inking roller permits ink from an inkwell to be applied to the inking roller. After the ink on the inking roller has been metered with the metering roller, it comes in contact with the ribbon at the area on that roller which abuts the pressure roller. One of the spindles coupled to a drive roller includes a mechanism for axially driving that roller to assure that the ribbon is wound evenly on the roller. The control for this guiding means includes a photo cell and light. The inkwell contains a pump to permit ink to be continuously circulated onto the trough and back into the well. The inkwell includes a filling port which terminates in a spike. permitting sealed bottles of ink to be inserted into the port and tapped by the spike, thereby preventing ink from splashing or spilling. The general size and shape of the apparatus is such that it may be readily utilized in a controlled environment and no special handling equipment is required to utilize the apparatus. Additionally. no special training or skills are required to operate the apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the ribbon inking apparatus showing the lid of the device closed and illustrating the control switches and filling port.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional top view of the apparatus of FIG. I taken through section line 2-2 of FIGS. l and 3.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the apparatus taken through section line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 and the insert view FIG. 4a are cross-sectional end views of the apparatus taken through section lines 4-4 and 4a-4a respectively, of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional end view of the apparatus taken through section line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional end view of the apparatus taken through section lines 6-6 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is an expanded partial plan view of the guiding means for the takeup roller which illustrates that por tion of FIG. 2 shown within section lines 7-7.

FIG. 8 is a partial view of a portion of the guiding means taken through section lines 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is another expanded partial view illustrating a portion of the guiding means for the takeup roller taken through section line 9-9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is an expanded partial cross-sectional view of the trough and tray which supply ink to the inking roller and the lines coupling the trough and tray with the inkwell.

FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional side view of the apparatus used to illustrate the mechanism for raising and lowering a shield which is used to cover the inking roller when the lid is raised.

FIG. 12 is an end view of the mechanism illustrated in FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1, the illustrated ribbon inking apparatus 10 includes a housing, controls illustrated as switches and light 18, an inkwell filling port 19 and a lid 1] which includes a pressure roller mounted within the housing I7 which is a part of lid 11.

Referring to all the figures, a brief description of the operation of the ribbon inking apparatus shall be given since this will aid in an understanding of the various parts of the apparatus. Typically, the ribbon which is to be inked, is wound on a spool or bobbin (hereinafter referred to as a roll) when it is removed from a printer. After the lid of the inking apparatus had been opened the ribbon and roll illustrated as roll 15 is placed between the spring loaded spindle 35 and spindle 75. The other end of the ribbon which is on a roll 16 is placed between spindles 33 and 34. After the lid of the apparatus is closed and the ribbon is first wound onto roll 16. During this winding operation no ink is placed on the ribbon and the pressure roller I4 is in its upper position so that the ribbon is not pinched between the pressure roller I4 and the inking roller 12. After the ribbon has been wound onto roll 16 the pressure roller 14 drops downward and abuts the inking roller I2. Following this. the ribbon is inked or re-inked as it is rewound from feed roll I6 to takeup roll 15. An alignment mechanism (guiding means) which includes photo cell 57, is coupled to the takeup roll I5 to assure that the ribbon is evenly wound on the takeup roll. After the inking pass, the lid may be opened and the inked ribbon removed from between spindles 35 and 75 and spindles 33 and 34. For the remainder of this description, the initial winding of the ribbon (prior to the inking of the ribbon) from roll to roll 16 shall be referred to as the non-inking pass while the winding of the ribbon from roll 16 to roll 15 shall be referred to as the inking pass.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the unit is housed within a generally rectangular shaped housing which comprises end plates 38, a front plate 78 and a rear plate 79 which define the outside walls of the unit. A pair of internal side plates 76 and 77 are disposed between the end plate 38. The lid 17 as shown in FIG. 12 is hinged to side plate 77 by hinges such as hinge 66. The entire housing, including a bottom plate and the lid. may be fabricated from ordinary metal parts such as aluminum or steel.

The ribbons which are to be inked or re-inked by the apparatus are generally wound between two elongated. hollow cylindrical cores of cardboard or plastic. Two such cores or rolls are illustrated particularly in FIG. 2 at takeup roll 15 and 16. The drive mechanism for these rolls includes for the case of roll 16 a fixed spindle 34 and a spring loaded spindle 33. The spindles are shaped to permit the roll to be rigidly held between the spindles and by the action of the spring within spindle 33, spindle 33 in conjunction with spindle 34 compressively holds the roll in place. Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, the feedroll 16 is coupled to a motor and gear box 43 through a belt 44. The takeup roll 15 is similarly held between a spring loaded spindle 35 and a spindle 75. Spindle 75, in addition to rotating, moves inwardly and outwardly in the directions indicated by arrow 80 so as to assure an even rolling of the ribbon onto the takeup roll 15 during the inking pass. The spring loaded spindle 35 is coupled to motor and gear box 45 by belt 46. Both motor and gear boxes 43 and 45 are rigidly coupled to side plate 77 and include pulleys which extend into the space defined by side plate 77 and rear plate 79. The motors, gear box, pulleys and spindles may be ordinary commercially available parts.

During the non-inking pass motor and gear box 43 are actuated. causing belt 44 to drive roll 16, allowing the ribbon to unwind from roll 15 onto roll 16. During this pass no power is applied to motor and gear box 45. The motor and gear box 45 through belt 46 cause a drag on roll 15 which eliminates unwanted slack in the ribbon. It should be noted that during the non-inking pass the pressure roller 14 does not contact the inking roller 12, thus the ribbon passes freely betwen these rollcrs. During the inking pass motor and gear box 45 are actuated to drive the takeup roll 45. As will be dis cussed later. tension is created in the ribbon between rolls l2 and 14 and the takeup roll 15 and additionally, since no power is applied to motor and gear box 43, a drag on roll 16 prevents slack from building up between this roller and rollers 12 and 14.

Referring to the figures and particularly FIG. 4, the pressure roller 14, which is an elongated cylindrical member having a synthetic rubber coating, is axially disposed on axle 81 and freely rotates on this axle on bearings 82. The entire pressure roller assembly, including the motor 53, are mounted within lid 11 and contained within the pressure roller housing 17 (FIG. I). A pair of springs 52 are coupled to axle 81 and urge the axle downward towards the inking roller 12. With the pressure roller 14 in its upper position, as shown in FIG. 4, the axle 81 is prevented from moving downward by fingers 51 which engage eccentric sections 50 of axle 82. During the inking pass, motor 53 causes axle 81 to rotate approximately 180 causing the axle 81 and hence the pressure roller 14 to drop downward and apply pressure to a ribbon disposed between the pressure roller 14 and the inking roller 12 since the fingers 51 ride into the eccentric sections 50. Limit switches not illustrated cause motor 53 to stop after the axle 81 has rotated approximately 180 as it does at the beginning of the inking pass, and an additional limit switch causes the motor 53 to stop rotating when the roller 14 is brought to its upper position, as shown in FIG. 4, at the end of the inking pass. The path of the roller 14 as the eccentric sections 50 ride along the rigid fingers 51, is illustrated in FIG. 5. In the presently preferred embodiment the springs 52 urge roller 14 onto a ribbon disposed between 14 and roller 12 with a force of approximately 40 lbs. As is best illustrated in FIG. 4, roller 14 is not as long as roller 12 thus roller 12 extends beyond the ends of roller 14 defining a pair of sections 83. Additionally, the rollers 12 and 14 are of a correct length so as to alow the edges ofa ribbon in the apparatus to fall within sections 83. With such arrangement. ink on the inking roller 12 does not contact the pressure roller 14 and thus when the lid 11 is open no ink will appear on roller 14. This has significant utility since it is one feature which permits the apparatus to be utilized without coming contact with ink.

The inking roller 12 is an elongated, cylindrical roller mounted on bearings between the side plates 76 and 77. This roller is driven by gear box motor 39 via a belt 41 and a pulley 40 as clearly illustrated in FIG. 3. In the presently preferred embodiment this roller comprises an aluminum member. Also in the presently preferred embodiment the takeup roll 15 is driven slightly faster than the inking roller 12 during the inking pass to produce a constant tension to the ribbon between rollers 12 and 14 and the takeup roller 15.

A metering roller 13 which comprises an elongated, cylindrical metal member, is mounted for free rotation between the side plates 76 and 77 as may be seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5. The metering roller 13 includes an undercut between its ends 84. Thus, by the urging of springs 87, the ends 84 of roller 13 firmly abut inking roller 12 while the undercuts section 85 is spaced apart from roller 12. This undercut allows the inking roller 12 to contain a uniform supply of ink. As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the inking roller 12 rotates in the direction indicated by arrow 88. The inking roller is wetted as it rotates through the ink contained on trough 23. As the inking roller 12 rotates along side the metering roller 13 the ink picked up from trough 23 is evenly distributed along the roller 12 by the action of the undercut 85. Note that because of the direction of rotation of inking roller 12, ink is metered onto that roller by roller 13 prior to the time that the roller engages the ribbon 64. In the presently preferred embodiment the metering roller 13 is undercut by approximately 0.0005 inches (five ten thousandths). Springs 87 also allow the metering roller to move further away from the inking roller when a particle is picked up by the inking roller, thereby preventing the metering roller or inking roller from becoming damaged.

The inking system which is utilized to apply ink to the inking roller 12 as will be seen, may be filled without an individual coming into contact with ink, and this feature and other features of the ribbon inking apparatus allows this apparatus to be utilized in a controlled environment such as in a room that includes computer equipment and computer controlled printers. Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10, the inking system includes a storage or inkwell for storing ink. This generally rectangular shaped vessel is coupled to the base of the apparatus abutting one end plate 38 and disposed between the side plates 76 and 77. The well 20 is filled through the filling port 19 which comprises a generally cylindrical opening adaptable to receive a bottle 30. The lower end of the port 19 terminates in a cylindrical socket 36 which includes thread 32 adaptable for engaging mating threads 86 disposed about the exterior of the neck of bottle 30. The lower portion of socket 36 includes ports 37 allowing the interior of the socket to communicate with the interior of the well 20. A spike 31 is axially disposed within socket 36 and includes a sharp point which is utilized to pierce a seal included within the neck of bottle 30. Bottle 30, which may be a plastic bottle, after being filled with ink. is sealed with a seal disposed within the neck of the bottle. Thus, the bottle may be inverted, as shown in FIG. 6, without ink running from the bottle. As the threads 86 of bottle, 30 are made to cooperatively engage the threads 32 of socket 36, spike 31 pieces the seal within the neck, causing the ink to run from the bottle 30 into well 20. Thus, the well may be filled without pouring ink or other operations which often result in ink being splashed or spilled.

Referring to FIG. 2, 3 and 10, tray 22 comprising an elongated generally concave shaped member is disposed beneath the inking roller 12 between side plates 76 and 77. An elongated trough 23 is mounted within the interior of the concave tray 22 and is disposed immediately below inking roller 12. The space between the trough 23 and the inking roller 12 is such that ink within the trough 23 will come in contact with inking roller 12. The ink from well 20 is pumped through line 24 into trough 23. As roller 12 rotates it comes in contact with the ink or trough 23 and hence ink is applied to the inking roller before it comes in contact with the metering roller 13 and the ribbon. The ink within trough 23 is allowed to spill into tray 22 and from tray 22 the ink is returned via line 25 to the inkwell 20. The return line 25 is coupled to the inlet of a pump 26, pump 26 being submerged within the ink in well 20. The outlet from pump 26 is coupled to line 24, thus permitting pump 26 to pump ink returned from tray 22 through line 24 onto the trough 23. Note that since the well 20 is lower than the tray 22 no pumping is required to return the ink from the tray 22 to the well 20. A shaft 28 couples pump 26 to an electric motor 27 disposed above the well 20. In the presently preferred embodiment when the apparatus begins the noninking pass. pump 26 begins to pump ink into trough 23 and the ink is continually circulated from the well 20 onto the trough 23, tray 22 and then back to the well 20. This continuous circulation of ink ensures that a consistent mixture of ink reaches the inking roller 12 and hence the ribbon 64.

A liquid level sensing switch 29 is coupled to the top of well 20 extends into the interior of the well (FIG. 3). This switch operates an indicator light to indicate that ink should be added to the well. This switch may also be used to prevent the apparatus from operating with insufficient ink.

A guide system is coupled to the takeup roller 15 to ensure that the ribbon is evenly and squarely wound onto the takeup roll 15. In the presently preferred embodiment the guide system operates only on roller 15 during the inking pass. It has been found that a guide system is required during the non-inking pass although one may be installed on roller 16. The guide system causes the spindle to move axially inwardly and outwardly in the directions indicated by arrows in FIGS. 2 and 7. The spring loaded spindle 35 assures that during the movement of spindle 75 the takeup roll 15 remains securely between spindles 35 and 75.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 4a, 7, 8 and 9, the guide system includes a light 56 which is coupled to lid 11. The light is disposed directly above the desired path for one edge of the ribbon 64. Thus, if the ribbon 64 is properly aligned, the light from light 56 will illuminate the edge of the ribbon. A photo-sensitive device which in the presently preferred embodiment comprises a photosensitive transistor 57, is coupled to one end of an L shaped arm 58. The other end of the L shaped arm 58 is bolted to a hub 61. As will be seen, the arm 58 moves inwardly and outwardly with the roller 15 and the hub 61. The photo transistor 57 is disposed directly beneath the light 56 when the roll 15 is in its center position.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, spindle 75 is coupled to an axle 59. This axle passes through the side plate 76 and is mounted to the side plate by bearing 60. The bearing is adaptable to permit axial movement of the axle 59. The end of axle 59 opposite spindle 75 terminates in the hub 61. As is more clearly illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the hub 61, which is a generally cube shaped member, includes slot 62 disposed across one face of the hub transverse to axle 59. This slot is adaptable for receiving a crank pin 48, which is eccentrically mounted to a shaft 49. It will be readily apparent from FIGS. 8 and 9 that as shaft 49 rotates about its axis, the eccentrically mounted pin 48 will apply pressure to the sides of slot 62, forcing the hub and also the axle 59 to move in the directions indicated by arrow 80.

Shaft 49 is coupled to a motor 63 which causes the shaft to rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (FIG. 3). A collar 54 mounted on shaft 49 includes a number of cam shaped members for actuating limit switches 54a, 54b and 540. These limit switches are utilized to indicate when the roll 15 has been moved to its furthest most positions, that is when the roll 15 has been moved as close as is practical towards either the side plates 76 or 77 and also to indicate when the roll 15 is in its center position, that is when the roll 15 is aligned with roll 16. The direction of rotation of the motor is controlled by the light incident on the photo-cell, photo transistor 57. If the photo cell is subjected to light it will cause the motor to rotate in one direction, whereas, if no light is incident on the photo cell, it will rotate in the opposite direction.

In order to understand the operation of the edge guide system, assume first that the roll 15 is in its center position, note that when this occurs the photo transistor 57 is disposed directly beneath the light 56. Assume further that the inking pass is in progress and that the edge of ribbon 64 is drifting towards side plate 76. As this occurs the light incident on transistor 57 will be cut off by the edge of ribbon 64. This will cause motor 63 to rotate in the direction necessary to cause roll 15 to move towards side plate 76. If, on the other hand. the ribbon 64 had become uneven and had moved towards side plate 77, light from light 56 would be incident on cell 57, causing the roll to move towards side plate 77. Two of the limit switches 54a. 54b and 54(- define the limits of movement of the roll 15 and thus prevent the motor 63 from moving the roll too far towards the side plates. With the guide system as implemented in the presently preferred embodiment, the photo transistor 57 is continually searching and moving with the roll 15, that is if the transistor 57 is subjected to light, it will seek darkness and likewise, if the transistor 57 is in darkness, it will seek light. One of the three limit switches 57a, 57b and 57c, is utilized to determine when the roll 15 is in its centerrnost position and at the end of the inking pass, roll 15 is moved to its centermost position to allow the ribbon to be easily removed and to assure that the next ribbon inserted between spindles 35 and 75 is centered before the next noninking pass The inking apparatus includes a shield 65 which is disposed along the inking roller 12 and which covers the upper surface of the inking roller when the lid 11 is open. This shield is utilized to prevent inadvertent contact with the inking roller when the lid is open and is another feature of the apparatus which makes the apparatus suitable for use in a clean environment. Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 11 and 12, the shield 65 comprises an elongated member having a pair of transversely disposed end sections which are pivotally coupled at the end of the inking roller 12 allowing the shield 65 to be rotated about the axis of roller 12 without interfering with the rotation of the inking roller 12. When the lid 11 is closed, the shield 65, by means of a mechanism shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, is rotated to the position it lustrated in FIG. 3, in which position a ribbon 64 is allowed to freely pass between the inking roller 12 and the pressure roller 14, without contacting the shield 65. As the lid 11 is opened the shield 65 rotates such that its outer surface is aligned generally below the pressure roller 14 and across the upper, otherwise exposed, sur face of the inking roller 12.

A push rod 55 is eccentrically mounted at one of its ends to one end section of the shield 65. The other end of push rod 55 is coupled to a lever arm 68. The coupling of the push rod 55, both to the shield 65 and push rod 68, are pivotal connections. Thus, as lever arm 68 pivots about pivot 69, the shield 65 rotates from its lower position to its upper position. The lever arm 68 includes a first section extending from push rod 55 beyond its pivotal connection 69 and a second section which is disposed at a right angle to the first section. This second section is approximately perpendicular to the side plate 77 and rear plate 79 and is coupled to a spring 70 which urges the lever arm onto bolt 89. The lid 11, which is coupled to side plate 77 by hinge 66, includes an elongated linkage 67 pivotally coupled at one end to the lid. A contact member which comprises the bolt 89 is rigidly coupled at the other end of linkage 67 such that it contacts the second section of the lever arm 68. Thus, as the lid 11 is opened or closed, linkage 67 will cause the lever arm 68 to rotate about pivot 69, thereby causing the shield to assume its upper position when the lid is opened and its lower position when the lid is closed.

A pair of trip bars 73 and 74 are coupled to switches 71 and 72, respectively (FIG. 3). These trip bars extend upward into the planes defined by the ribbon 64 and disposed laterally along the edge of the ribbon path.

Thus, the ribbon 64 may move in its path without inter fering with the trip bars 73 and 74. The ribbons which are intended to be re-inked by the apparatus generally include elongated bars (reverse bars) which are attached across the ribbon near the ends of the ribbon. These bars which are utilized to detect the end of the ribbon, extend outwardly from the edge of the ribbon. Typically, the ribbons to be inked by the apparatus are removed from a printer when the printer has detected that the end of a ribbon has been reached. When this occurs in the printer the bulk of the ribbon will be wound on one roll and a small portion of the ribbon will be wound on a second roll. Referring to the figures, and particularly FIG. 3, the ribbon is installed between the spring loaded spindles with the roll containing the bulk of the ribbon placed as indicated by roll 15 and the other roll placed as indicated by roll 16. The reverse bar which is attached near one end of the ribbon is dis posed between trip bar 73 and the roll 16. Thus, during the non-inking pass, when the ribbon is rolled from roll 15 onto roll 16, this bar will not interfere with trip bar 73. When the bulk of the ribbon has been transferred from roll 15 to roll 16, on other bar, which is disposed at the other end of the ribbon, will contact trip bar 74. When this occurs, the inking pass is initiated and the ribbon is then wound back onto roll 15 as it is inked and this continues until the first mentioned reverse bar contacts trip bar 73. When this occurs, the ribbon is completely inked and may be removed from the apparatus and placed back into a printer.

Ordinary relays or solid state circuitry known in the art may be utilized to implement and control the various electrical parts discussed above as outlined below. After the ribbon to be inked has been placed within the apparatus, the lid 11 is closed. A switch may be in cluded as part of the housing and lid to prevent the operation of the apparatus until the lid is closed. After the lid is closed and the start button, which is included within switches and light 18, is initiated. motor and gear box 43 are actuated so that the ribbon may be transferred from roll 15 to roll 16. Also pumps 26 and inking roller motor 39 are actuated. Note that since the pressure roller 14 is in its upper position the rotation of roller 12 does not interfere with the movement of the ribbon 64. After the ribbon bar contacts trip bar 74 and switch 72 is actuated, the inking pass is initiated. First, motor 53 rotates the axle 81 of the pressure roller 14 approximately 1 to its down position so that the ribbon is pressed onto the inking roller 12. During this rotation of axle 81, inking roller motor 39 is stopped. Following this, the drive motor and gear box 39 of the inking roller 12 and the drive motor and gear box 45 of the takeup roller 15 are actuated, transferring the ribbon from roll 16 to roll 15 and inking the ribbon as this transfer occurs. During the inking pass the ink picked up by roller 12, after being metered by roller 13, is applied to the ribbon as the ribbon passes through the common surfaces of the inking roller and pressure roller. The motor 63 is also actuated and controlled by light 56 and photo transistor 57, thereby aligning the ribbon onto the takeup roll 15 during the inking pass. When the reverse bar contacts trip bar 73 indicating that the useful length of the ribbon has been transferred onto takeup roll 15, the motors operating rolls 12 and 15 are deactivated, motor 53 returns the pressure roller to its upper position, and motor 63 moves the takeup roll 15 to its center position. A light included with switches 18 is then activated to indicate that the inking is completed. Thus, an apparatus for re-inking ribbons, particularly ribbons utilized for line printers, which is suitable for use in a controlled environment. has been disclosed.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for re-inking a ribbon comprising;

a housing;

a first pair of spindles for receiving a first roll mounted for rotation in said housing;

a second pair of spindles for receiving a second roll mounted for rotation in said housing, said first pair and second pair of spindles being mounted in said housing such that rolls engaging said spindles are parallel and define an intermediate space;

an elongated inking roller rotatably mounted in said housing parallel to said first and second rolls in said intermediate space;

a metering roller rotatably mounted within said housing parallel to said inking roller for metering ink onto said inking roller;

a trough disposed beneath said inking roller; an inking well coupled to said trough such that ink from said well may be transported to said trough and brought in contact with said inking roller;

lid coupled to said housing;

pressure roller rotatably mounted within said lid parallel to said inking roller, said roller having a first and second operating position, said first position being such that said pressure roller presses a ribbon disposed between said inking roller and said pressure roller and said second position being such that said pressure roller is spaced apart from said inking roller;

ribbon guiding means coupled to one of said spindles of said first pair of spindles including means for axially moving said spindle and a roll engaging said spindle for guiding a ribbon onto a roll engaging said first pair of spindles, said guiding means ineluding photosensitive semiconductor means and a light, said semiconductor means being coupled to one of said spindles of said first pair of spindles and movable therewith, said light being mounted on said housing such that said ribbon may interrupt light incident on said semiconductor means when said ribbon is misaligned with respect to said rolls means responsive to said photosensitive semiconductor means to actuate said exially moving means; and

means whereby the ribbon may be driven from said first roll to said second roll and inked as it passes between said pressure roller and said inking roller.

2. The invention in accordance with claim 1 includ ing ribbon drive limiting means in the path of movement of said ribbon engageable with end stop means on said ribbon for enabling and disabling the ribbon drive mechanism effective to reverse the direction of movement of the ribbon,

3. The invention in accordance with claim 2 wherein said limiting means in the path of movement ofsaid ribbon engageable with the end stop elements of the ribbon comprise oppositely disposed electrical switches the actuating elements of which project into the path of movement of said ribbon and are engaged by said end stops.

4. The invention in accordance with claim 3 wherein said limiting means is operably coupled to said pressure roll actuating mechanism being effective in one direction of movement to elevate said pressure roll out of engagement with said ribbon into an idling position and in the opposite direction to move said pressure roll into rotating contact with said inking roll with said ribbon disposed therebetween.

5. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said pressure roller is shorter than said inking roller effective to prevent ink from contacting the edge of said ribbon and wherein said pressure roller is freely rotatable within the housing provided by said lid, and including further means for biasing said pressure roller toward said inking roller so as to urge said pressure roller into engagement with said inking roller when said ribbon is disposed therebetween during an inking operation.

6. The invention in accordance with claim 5 wherein said metering roller is provided with means biasing said roller toward said inking roller effective to permit said metering roller to movably accommodate and pass any particular material which may appear between the metering roller and the inking roller during the ribbon inking operation.

7. The invention in accordance with claim 1 including drive means for moving said pressure roller between a first ribbon engagement position and a second non engaging position, said first position being a position where said pressure roller applies pressure to a ribbon disposed between said pressure roller and said inking roller and said second position being a position where said roller is spaced apart from said inking roller such that a ribbon may freely pass between said inking roller and pressure roller, said means including a cam and an eccentric on said roller operably engaged by said drive means responsive to the movement of said ribbon to actuate said drive means to arcuately elevate and lower said pressure roller.

8. The invention in accordance with claim I further including a shield rotatably mounted about said inking roller, means coupling said shield to said lid so that said shield covers the upper surface of said inking roller when said lid is open, said coupling means including means engaging said shield and said lid to rotate said shield from an inoperative to an operative position relative to said ribbon.

9. The invention in accordance with claim I wherein said inking includes a filling port for receiving a sealed bottle of ink and means in said port for threadedly engaging said sealed bottle. means in said well concentric with the seal of said bottle and engageable with said seal to rupture the same as the bottle is threadedly received in said well permitting ink to flow from said bottle into said well without spillage or handling of the ink.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
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Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.118/673, 118/249, 118/235, 118/262, 118/247
Clasificación internacionalB41J31/14
Clasificación cooperativaB41J31/14
Clasificación europeaB41J31/14
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
6 Mar 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: NU-KOTE INTERNATIONAL, INC., 1224 RIDGEWAY AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:UNISYS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005091/0237
Effective date: 19890303
Owner name: UNISYS CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:BURROUGHS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005091/0239
Effective date: 19870724
6 Mar 1989AS03Merger
Owner name: BURROUGHS CORPORATION
Effective date: 19870724
Owner name: UNISYS CORPORATION
6 Mar 1989AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: NU-KOTE INTERNATIONAL, INC., 1224 RIDGEWAY AVENUE,
Effective date: 19890303
Owner name: UNISYS CORPORATION
20 May 1987AS06Security interest
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST COMPANY, 270 PARK AVEN
Effective date: 19870415
Owner name: NU-KOTE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
20 May 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST COMPANY, 270 PARK AVEN
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NU-KOTE INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004708/0720
Effective date: 19870415
13 Jul 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BURROUGHS CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:BURROUGHS CORPORATION A CORP OF MI (MERGED INTO);BURROUGHS DELAWARE INCORPORATEDA DE CORP. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:004312/0324
Effective date: 19840530