Title:
Multiple piece precision grit feed roller
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a feed roller apparatus, comprising; a feed roller centerpiece having first and second ends, a shaft operatively connected to the first and second ends of the centerpiece, and a textured metallic layer located substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.



Inventors:
Barinaga, Louis (Vancouver, WA, US)
Thompson, Peter W. (Brush Prairie, WA, US)
Krauter, Randall L. (Camas, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/214143
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H3/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AFZALI, SARANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HP Inc. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A feed roller apparatus, comprising: a feed roller centerpiece having first and second ends; a shaft operatively connected to the first and second ends of the centerpiece; and a textured metallic layer located substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.

2. The apparatus, as in claim 1, wherein the feed roller centerpiece comprises: a web located substantially within the centerpiece.

3. The apparatus, as in claim 1, wherein the feed roller centerpiece is constructed of: any suitable, durable material.

4. The apparatus, as in claim 3, wherein the feed roller centerpiece is constructed of: extruded Aluminum.

5. The apparatus, as in claim 1, wherein the shaft comprises: a plurality of shafts.

6. The apparatus, as in claim 1, wherein the shaft is constructed of: any suitable, durable material.

7. The apparatus, as in claim 6, wherein the shaft is constructed of: Steel.

8. The apparatus, as in claim 6, wherein the shaft is nickel plated.

9. The apparatus, as in claim 1, wherein the textured metallic layer is further comprised of: any suitable, meltable material.

10. The apparatus, as in claim 9, wherein the textured metallic layer is further comprised of: stainless steel.

11. A method for constructing a feed roller apparatus, comprising: heating the first and second ends of a centerpiece; inserting a shaft into the heated first and second ends; cooling the centerpiece; applying the textured metallic coating substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.

12. The method, as in claim 11, wherein the method further comprises: constructing a web substantially inside of the centerpiece.

13. The method, as in claim 11, wherein the method further comprises: extruding a material to create the centerpiece.

14. The method, as in claim 13, wherein the method further comprises: extruding aluminum to create centerpiece.

15. The method, as in claim 11, wherein the method further comprises: plating the shaft.

16. The method, as in claim 15, wherein the method further comprises: nickel plating the shaft.

17. The method, as in claim 11, wherein the method further comprises: spraying a meltable material to create the textured metallic coating.

18. The method, as in claim 17, wherein the method further comprises: metal deposition arc spraying the meltable material to create the textured metallic coating.

19. The method, as in claim 17, wherein the method further comprises: spraying a meltable stainless steel to create the textured metallic coating.

20. A system for constructing a feed roller apparatus, comprising: means for heating the first and second ends of a centerpiece; means for inserting a shaft into the heated first and second ends; means for cooling the centerpiece; means for applying the textured metallic coating substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.

21. The system, as in claim 20, wherein the system further comprises: means for constructing a web substantially inside of the centerpiece.

22. The system, as in claim 20, wherein the system further comprises: means for extruding a material to create the centerpiece.

23. The system, as in claim 22, wherein the system further comprises: means for extruding aluminum to create centerpiece.

24. The system, as in claim 20, wherein the system further comprises: means for plating the shaft.

25. The system, as in claim 24, wherein the system further comprises: means for nickel plating the shaft.

26. A system, as in claim 20, wherein the system further comprises: means for spraying a meltable material to create the textured metallic coating.

27. The system, as in claim 26, wherein the system further comprises: means for metal deposition arc spraying the meltable material to create the textured metallic coating.

28. The system, as in claim 26, wherein the system further comprises: means for spraying a meltable stainless steel to create the textured metallic coating.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a feed roller apparatus, comprising; a feed roller centerpiece having first and second ends, a shaft operatively connected to the first and second ends of the centerpiece, and a textured metallic layer located substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.

2. Description of the Related Art

Prior to the present invention, as set forth in general terms above and more specifically below, it is known, that inkjet printers incorporate shaft assemblies to transport paper from the input region of the printer, through the print zone, and to the output area of the printer. These shafts must accurately accelerate and transport the paper, position the paper to very high tolerance in the print zone, and control the removal of the paper for output.

Traditional feed roller designs have incorporated rubber tire feed rollers. While these designs have been successful in the past, there are several fundamental limitations of this technology that cause it to be unsuitable for the newest generation of printers. For example, rubber tire rollers deform over time where the upper pinch rollers rest on the tires due to the high normal force applied to the pinch rollers. This deflection creates a variation in diameter of the feed roller, thereby changing the speed at which the paper is advanced during printing and causing errors in the absolution position of the paper in the print zone. These effects create an uneven distribution of ink on the page, manifesting itself in periodic banding on the printed material.

It is also known that metal shaft assemblies do not deflect under the higher normal force used for controlling the media. This allows for much better control of the paper speed and position in the print zone. While metal shafts with adhesive and grit coatings have been used in competitive printers for several years, the primary disadvantage of the current solutions is that the shafts are a single function shaft. The printers require multiple motors to drive the feed roller, carriage, pick tire, and other functions of the printer. Also, the adhesive and grit texture used can be scraped off due to abusive handling during shipping and assembly, or when printing high volumes of paper. Also, paper dust tends to accumulate on the adhesive and grit coatings. Consequently, a more advantageous system, then, would be provided if the banding could be eliminated while avoiding the use of adhesive and grit coatings.

It is apparent from the above that there exists a need in the art for a feed roller that eliminates periodic banding on the printed material and avoids the use of adhesive and grit coatings. It is a purpose of this invention to fulfill this and other needs in the art in a manner more apparent to the skilled artisan once given the following disclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Generally speaking, an embodiment of this invention fulfills these needs by providing a feed roller apparatus, comprising; a feed roller centerpiece having first and second ends, a shaft operatively connected to the first and second ends of the centerpiece, and a textured metallic layer located substantially adjacent to an outer surface of the centerpiece.

In certain preferred embodiments, the feed roller centerpiece is constructed of extruded aluminum and includes a web structure on the inside for stiffness. Also, the shaft includes at least two shafts such that one shaft is inserted into one end of the centerpiece and the other shaft is inserted into the other end of the centerpiece. Finally, the textured metallic layer is constructed of any suitable meltable material which can be applied to the outer surface of the centerpiece using metal deposition arc spray technology.

In another further preferred embodiment, the feed roller apparatus uses arc spray (metal deposition) coating for the grit texture which is combined with a three-piece, close tolerance, feed roller assembly that is lightweight and accurate.

The preferred feed roller apparatus, according to various embodiments of the present invention, offers the following advantages: lower cost due to the faster cycle time capability; higher benefit to the final product, as the shaft can provide multiple functions in the printer; infinite texture characteristics, as the material can be changed to anything that can be melted and sprayed; enhanced supply chain as the number of suppliers can be streamlined by having the complete assembly done at each supplier location; decreased banding; reduction in printer weight; and elimination of the grit and adhesive. In fact, in many of the preferred embodiments, these factors of lower cost, higher benefit to the final product, infinite texture characteristics, decreased banding, reduced printer weight, and the elimination of the grit and adhesive are optimized to an extent that is considerably higher than heretofore achieved in prior, known feed roller apparatus.

The above and other features of the present invention, which will become more apparent as the description proceeds, are best understood by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters represent like parts throughout the several views and in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the various components of the precision grit feed roller, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a constructed precision grit feed roller, according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a close up of the end of the constructed precision grit feed roller, according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is isometric view of the constructed precision grit feed roller after the textured layer has been applied, according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated one preferred embodiment for use of the concepts of this invention. As shown in FIG. 1, precision grit feed roller assembly 2 include, in part, shafts 4, 6, center section 8, and web structure 10. Shafts 4, 6 are, preferably, constructed from any suitable, durable material such as 12L14 steel and nickel plated for corrosion resistance. Shafts 4, 6 include steps 7 for clearance to enable multiple gears (not shown) pressed on knurling on the outside diameter (OD) of shafts 4, 6. Center section 8, preferably, is constructed of any suitable, durable material such as an extruded Aluminum profile. Center section 8 also includes a web structure 10 for stiffness on the inside. It is to be understood that web structure 10 can be constructed within center section 8 according to a variety of well-known techniques. Also, it is to the understood that center section 8 can be cut to length and center less ground to provide a true diameter with little or no run-out.

With respect to FIG. 2, the ends of center section 8 are conventionally heated. As the metal is heated, it expands, allowing shafts 4, 6 to be placed in the hole of web 10. The depth of placement is controlled by a stop (not shown) machined into the shaft. Once the shafts 4, 6 are inserted into the center section 8, center section 8 is allowed to cool, and shrink over the end of shafts 4, 6 to create precision grit feed roller assembly 20. It is to be understood that the interface between center section 8 and shafts 4, 6 provides a very high torque assembly. It also provides a very accurate assembly, as there is no metal to metal interference during the shaft insertion portion of the assembly 20.

With respect to FIG. 3, the interface between center section 8 and web 10 and shafts 4, 6 is more clearly illustrated.

With respect to FIG. 4, after the assembly 20 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is complete, shafts 4, 6 are conventionally masked. Assembly 20 is then conventionally sand blasted to insure that all foreign material is removed from the portion to be textured. The next step is to clean the surface after sandblasting. This insures that all potential contaminates are removed from the surface prior to coating. The third step is where the metal is deposited on the surface of center section 8. In this step, the molten metal spray is applied along the outer surface of center section 8 to create textured layer 42 by a metal deposition arc spray technique to create precision grit feed roller 40. It is to be understood that the roughness of textured layer 42 can be controlled through air pressure, speed, voltage, and wire feed speed of the raw material. Also, it is to be understood that the material to be used in the molten metal spray can be any suitable, meltable material. Preferably, the meltable material is SUS316 stainless steel.

It is to be understood that one of the key aspects of the present invention is that the precision grit feed roller 40 can incorporate multiple functions into the media handling unit from a single power source. For example, the present invention does not need separate motors to drive shafts 4, 6 and center section 8. Also, the shafts 4, 6 can employ various stages of knurls and pressed on gears to provide transmission functions.

Once given the above disclosure, many other features, modifications or improvements will become apparent to the skilled artisan. Such features, modifications or improvements are, therefore, considered to be a part of this invention, the scope of which is to be determined by the following claims.