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United States Patent   Patent Number: 4,582,987
Bianco  Date of Patent: Apr. 15,1986
U.S. Patent Apr. 15,1986 Sheet 1 of2 4,582,987
 BAR CODED INDEX TAB HOLDER
 Inventor: James S. Bianco, 217 Brainard Rd., Enfield, Conn. 06082
 Appl. No.: 500,019
 Filed: Jun. 1,1983
 IntCl.4 G06K7/00
 U.S. CI 235/486; 40/10 R;
40/23 A; 235/385; 235/495
 Field of Search 235/462, 485, 486, 495,
235/383, 385; 40/10 R, 11 R, 23 R, 24, 23 A
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,935,804 5/1960 Duckro 40/10 R
3,062,217 11/1962 Woodhouse 40/23 A
3,735,350 5/1973 Lemelson 235/495 X
4,204,639 5/1980 Barber et al 235/462
4,263,503 4/1981 Bianco 235/487
Primary Examiner—David L. Trafton
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Pennie & Edmonds
A bar coded index tab for affixation of a label to an article. The tab has a base (60) including a front face (70) and a notch (80) extending across the front face for affixing thereto a label (20) having machine-readable bar coded information on a portion of the label and human-readable information on another portion of the label. The machine-readable information is read in one portion of the notch and the human-readable information is read in another portion of the notch. Lips (110A and HOB) are provided along each side of the notch to grip the label. The reading instrument is located against one of the lips for movement along the lip to accurately read the bar code information without the necessity for human visual contact with the label. The tab has means (120) for attaching the base to an object to be labelled.
26 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures
U.S. Patent Apr. 15,1986 Sheet2 of2 4,582,987
BAR CODED INDEX TAB HOLDER
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
The present invention relates to a device for holding a bar coded label on an edge of a circuit board or the like, to permit the bar coded label to be read accurately by electronic bar code reading devices.
2. Background Art
Bar code data, in the form of spaced bars contrasting with the background on which they are printed, or the like, have been known for many years. Their use became more extensive when bar code readers or "wands" capable of reading bar codes with very high information density became commercially available. A wand generally takes the form of a pencil-shaped element having electrical leads extending from the top of a housing and connecting internally with an optical reading head responsive to the information encoded in the bar code pattern. By simply moving across the surface of the label, the wand detects and decodes the information for display or storage. Bar codes have been used on equipment, inventoried parts, consumer goods, and a wide variety of other items. By means of bar coding, the 25 efficiency of such processes as inventory control, production, and assembly may be enhanced. Also, bar coding may permit any organization to more easily route and keep track of large numbers of articles of any kind.
In the electronics industry it is common for a given facility to have a multitude of storage racks containing printed circuit (p.c.) boards. When stored in these racks, usually only one edge of each printed circuit board is visible. While use of bar coded labels on p.c. boards would greatly enhance inventory control efficiency, they generally require a wider mounting surface than that afforded by the edge of the board. Placing the label on the flat surface of the board would not be efficient because the surfaces are not accessible when the boards are stored in racks.
To further enhance inventory control, it would be desirable to have inventory-control or part numbers of a printed circuit board visible in both machine-readable (bar coded) and human-readable form, both accessible without removing the boards from their storage rack.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is a feature of the invention to provide a bar code label holder which securely affixes a label to the edge of a printed circuit board for reading the label from outside a storage rack.
It is another feature of the invention to provide a bar code label holder which allows the reading of label information in both machine-readable and human-readable form.
It is a third feature of the invention to permit the reading of machine-readable bar codes by use of an optical wand, without requiring human visual contact in order to align the wand with the bar code strip.
The foregoing features are achieved according to illustrative embodiments of the invention by affixing to printed circuit boards index tabs capable of displaying machine-readable and human-readable identification information, comprising a base member attachable to a p.c. board or other article and including a front face, with a notch extending across the front face for affixing a label thereto, bearing machine-readable and humanreadable information. In a preferred embodiment of the
invention a lip is provided along each side of the notch to grip the edges of such label and to provide a guide surface whereby a reading instrument, such as a bar code wand, may be located against one of the lips for movement along the lip to accurately read the bar code information without the necessity of human visual contact with the label.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Further features and advantages of the invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of a bar coded index tab attached to a printed circuit board, showing the position of an optical reading wand in phantom view;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a bar coded index tab affixed to the end of a printed circuit board as in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partially cut-away plan view of the bar coded index tab affixed to a printed circuit board as in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of an alternate embodiment of a bar coded index tab; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of another alternate embodiment of a bar coded index tab.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, a printed circuit board 10 is provided with a base 60 which holds a label 20, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
A typical label 20 has machine-readable bar coded information 30 on a portion of the label and humanreadable information 40 on another portion of the label. In this manner, the machine-readable information 30 can be read by drawing an optical scanning wand 50 across the surface of the label 20, as shown in FIG. 1. The other portion of the label, bearing human-readable information, is presented so as to be visible to the human eye without removing the p.c. board from its storage rack.
Base 60 affixes label 20 to printed circuit board 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 through 3. The base 60 has a front face 70. The front face 60 has a notch 80, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5. As shown in FIG. 1, the notch 80 has a V-shaped cross-sectional profile. The notch 80 has an upper face 90 and a lower face 100, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
Label 20 may include an adhesive backing (not shown) for affixing the label to notch 80 of base 60. Notch faces 90 and 100 allow adhesion of the label to their surfaces. The adhesive backing prevents shifting of label 20 within the notch 80 when the label is read by optical scanning wand 50.
After affixation of the label 20 to the notch, as shown in FIG. 2, machine-readable bar code information 30 runs along the upper face 90 of notch 80, and the human-readable information 40 runs along the lower face 100 of notch 80. In this manner, machine-readable information 30 is read from the upper face 90 of notch 80 while the human-readable information 40 is read from the lower face 100 of notch 80. FIG. 1 shows the machine-readable bar coded information 30 being read from label 20 along the upper face 90 of notch 80 by an optical scanning wand 50.