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Printing Process for an Entire Array of Buttons On a Finalized Assembly

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120826D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bellamy, RL: AUTHOR

Abstract

A printing process is described for applying images on low profile buttons after same have been installed into their respective frame/ cover. A locator plate is constantly being cooled by conduction transfer from a platen which houses said locator plate(s). The platen has chilled water circulated within from an external source. This chilled locator plate protects the delicate cover from normal process heat distortion attributed to the radiant heat required for printing. The locator plate has an area recessed in it matching the same configuration as the underneath side of the cover. This permits the locator plate and the cover to mate intimately with each other for optimum cooling of the latter. This locator plate also carries two or more locating pins to orient the nomenclature sheet.

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Printing Process for an Entire Array of Buttons On a Finalized Assembly

      A printing process is described for applying images on
low profile buttons after same have been installed into their
respective frame/ cover.  A locator plate is constantly being cooled
by conduction transfer from a platen which houses said locator
plate(s).  The platen has chilled water circulated within from an
external source.  This chilled locator plate protects the delicate
cover from normal process heat distortion attributed to the radiant
heat required for printing.  The locator plate has an area recessed
in it matching the same configuration as the underneath side of the
cover.  This permits the locator plate and the cover to mate
intimately with each other for optimum cooling of the latter.  This
locator plate also carries two or more locating pins to orient the
nomenclature sheet.  This sheet bears the dyes of the type requiring
heat for application, in the mirror images of the desired images. A
complete keyboard array of rigidly attached pins extends upwardly
from the locator plate through the holes in the cover that normally
receive the key buttons.  The height of this plurality of pins is
such that they alone hold the buttons in their upmost position.  They
prevent the buttons from drivingly engaging the frame chimneys due to
a later described vacuum apparatus.  This is necessarily required to
apply images to the front surfaces of key buttons.  The uppermost
rest position of the key button exposes the desired maximum front
surface area of the buttons.  Buttons in this position produce an air
gap between the top of the chimney-type housing of the cover and the
bottom downstroke area of the button.  This gap equates to the
keyboard travel distance.  This air space prevents the heat required
for transferring images to the buttons from being conducted into the
cover.  Such undesired heat would cause a flattening distortion to
the tops of the chimneys and consequent bowing of the cover.

      A nomenclature sheet is positioned over the keyboard assembly
being recessed in the locator plate.  A resiliently flexible membrane
is positioned over same, and a vacuum apparatus...