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Publication numberUS2384506 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1945
Filing dateOct 21, 1943
Priority dateOct 21, 1943
Publication numberUS 2384506 A, US 2384506A, US-A-2384506, US2384506 A, US2384506A
InventorsThompson Russell H
Original AssigneeThompson Russell H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Envelope stuffing machine
US 2384506 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 1945- R. H. THOMPSON 2,384,506

ENVELOPE STUFFING MACHINE Filed Oct. 21, l943 5 Sheets-Sheet l m g \9 S INVENTOR. Russia /71 72/0/1R5OM firm/rains.

Sept 11, 1945. R. H. THOMPSON ENVELOPE STUFFING MACHINE Filed Oct. 21, 1943 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 11, 1945. R. H. THOMPSON ENVELOPE STUFFING MACHINE Filed Oct. 21, 1943 5 Sheets$heet 3 INVENTOR. Pusan; /7. T/10/7PJOM W I fir a/fwfri Patented Sept. 11, 1945 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ENVELOPE STUFFING MACHINE Russell H. Thompson, Indianapolis, Ind. Application October 21, 1943, Serial No. 507,101

17 Claims.

This invention relates to a stufling machine for inserting folded letters, folded inserts or circulars or both into an open envelope.

It is to be observed that printing machines are available which will print and fold reading matter as desired. Also, machines are available to address envelopes from address plates, etc. Also, machines are available to seal envelopes, or seal and stamp same, or seal and meter mail stamp same.

All of these last mentioned machines are well known in the circularizing, etc., art and offers no problem to the expeditious and repetitious operation inherent in each machine. The only intermediate problem has been the insertion of the folded letter, or advertising, or both, mechanically and expeditiously into the envelope.

Herein envelopes are utilized with the flap open and not folded.

The chief object of the present invention is to simplify stufiing machines of the general character specified.

The chief feature of the present invention resides in the inline arrangement of reservoirs for the aforesaid envelopes and letters and/or inserts and the reciprocatory stuiiing ram, whereby a machine not much over fifteen to eighteen inches wide and about two to two and a half feet long can expeditiously handle, and automatically stuff thousands of envelopes in an hour.

Of course, if more inserts are to be included in the envelope, the machine would be proportionately elongated and instead of having two or three reservoirs, as herein disclosed, same would include four or more, all, however, being tandem or in-line arranged and all associated with a single reciprocatory pusher or ram.

Other objects and features of the invention will be set forth more fully hereinafter,

The full nature of the invention will be understood from the accompanying drawings and the following description and claims:

In the drawings, Fig. 1 is a top plan view of one and the preferred embodiment of the machine, there being three reservoirs included therein and these of adjustable area, the height thereof being about fifteen inches more or less, same having been found most convenient and of considerable storage capacity.

Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view.

Fi 3 is a horizontal View taken in the plane indicated by broken line 3-3 of Fig. 2 and in the direction of the arrows.

Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken on broken line 3-4 of Fig. 1 and in the direction of the arrows and of the open envelope reservoir.

Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 2 and of a modifled form of finger and operating mechanism therefor.

Fig. 6 is a view similar to Fig. 2 and of a modifled form of finger and operating mechanism therefor.

In the drawings, ill indicates a base plate suitably supported by legs or the like ll connected as at l2. Plate to herein is divided to form coextensive slot 53. A pair of angles Hl, spaced a lesser distance apart than the slot I3, is wide, forms a seat for member l5 to which is secured at is depending member ll, see Fig. 4. This member H is of stirrup type (see Fig. 2) although it might well be a singularly slotted member, providing slot l8 therein.

Member l5 has secured to its upper right hand end, as at E9, the pusher or ram member 20, see Figs. 1 and 2. Note that the forward edge 2| thereof is spaced appreciably forward from member 22, see Fig. 2, and this distance preferably is approximately that of or in excess of the deepest envelope for reasons hereinafter stated.

An upright, transversely extending, plate 23 is suitably secured to base Ill, as by ears 24 and screws 25. This plate includes forwardly directed ledge 26 near the base it. Adjacent each end of plate 23 and extending at right angles to plate 23 are the smaller plates 2'! having oppositely directed flanges 28 at their lower ends.

A pair of aligned, elongated, spaced slots 29 in plate Ill and parallel to plate 23 seat threaded anchor members 30 carrying wing nuts 3| by which the plates 2? can be adjusted transversely upon the base Ill and at the desired distance apart. Note that said slots are so spaced from plate 23 that members 21 can, without interference from shelf or ledge 26, be brought closer together and to the limit substantially determined by the spacing between aligned slots 29.

In the base In and at each side of the path of ram 20 and extending rearwardly from approximately the forward edge of ledge 26 are the elongated parallel slots 32 in each of which is mounted finger 33 to which reference will be had more fully hereinafter.

Forwardly of plates 21 and in base H] are the elongated parallel slots 34 and a U-shaped plate or channel member 35 with oppositely directed ears 36, which receives threaded member 3! seated in said slots 34 and by means of wing nut 38 member 35 may be secured to base In and parallel plate 23 and at the desired distance forwardly thereof. Secured to the base It! adjacent plate 35 and at opposite sides of the path of ram 20 are the support plates or blocks 39 tapered or relieved as at 40.

The lower edge of plate 35 terminates sufficiently above the upper plane of members 39 so as to pass a unit (circular letter, etc.) therebeneath as hereinafter described. To insure passage of but one unit, see Fig. 4 for details, plate 35 at each side of the ram path slidably mounts vertically reciprocable member 4| with rubber tip 42 and normally constrained to lower position determined by the top plane of members 3. These members are aligned or register with fingers 33, as shown in Fig. 1.

The foregoing, plate 23, side plates 21 and forward plate 35, constitute a reservoir obviously adjustable to size of insert unit (folded letter or circular). This unit is designatedby letter A in Fig. 2. It will be noted such unit includes two folds a and a and an upper wider portion a. The weight of a stack of such units, gravity or a weight follower on the top of the stack causes portions a and a to press downward upon members 39 and the rearward edge of portion a is held elevated by ledge 26, so that fingers 33 can move forward between portions a and a when said fingers move forward followed by the ram 20 therebetween, see Figs. 1 and 4.

For-wardly of the beforementioned reservoir is a duplicate thereof. In the same is stack of folded letters B with portions b and b of smaller folds than portion b which rests upon ledge 26. When insert A is ram engaged and passed below the lower edge of plate 35, same passes between portions b and b now separated by the second set of fingers 33 until the ram carried insert A is nested in insert or letter B and carried forwardly with the ram below the lower edge of the second plate 35. Fig. 2, second reservoir, shows units A and B nested for transfer.

Forwardly of these two reservoirs is the envelope reservoir. Rigid with plate III are the spacer blocks 50 carrying the cross bar (ledge 26 equivalent) slotted as at 52 for finger 33 passage or clearance. This cross bar has a forwardly directed support portion 53. At each side is a curved plate 54 carried byiiange 55 adjusted by member 56 seated in transverse slot 51 and tightened by wing nut 58.

Forwardly of the aforesaid are the spaced blocks 59 sloped as at 59a and over which is mounted a U-shaped plate 60, similar to plate 35, and longitudinally adjusted by parallel, elongated, longitudinally directed slots 5| in plate In and by members 62 and wing nuts 63 which clamp flanges 64 on plate 60. Same also mounts members 4| with tips 42 as aforesaid. The details of such member 4| mountingis shown clearly in Fig. 4.

In the resulting reservoir is a stack of open flap envelopes C having the back 0', the front 0 and flap c. In Fig. 2 insert A and B are illustrated as nested in envelope C. Observe that in Fig 2 all parts are in the initial or starting position, and the units A, B and C in nested relation is illustrative of nesting and stufling, not of actual conditions at any one time or instant.

The envelope, address side up with flap resting on portion 53 is opened by fingers 33 movable in slots 32 and 52, so that the stuffing ram can follow through with nested insert and folded letter and stuff the envelope. Continued travel of the ram to the right forces the stuffed envelope below the lower edge of plate 60 and beyond same.

assgeoe The stuffed envelope, as it passes forwardly, has its lower edge engage depending portion 65 of an angle member pivoted at 66 and having its free end 61 connected by spring 68 to anchor 69. These angle members are tilted upwardly and outwardly distending springs 68. When the ram reverses its travel direction, these members hold the envelope and its contents against rearward travel and insure positive separation. The stuffed envelope then falls downwardly to a receiver not shown, or to a conveyor, of a sealing machine as before described.

When the combined units are of suflicient weight, same automatically strip from the ram upon its retrograde movement. It will be remembered that the length of the ram was important. It now appears it must be long enough to pass beneath plate 60 an amount sufficient to push the entire unfolded or open flap envelope beyond plate 60 and its rubber fingers 42.

In each instance rubber fingers 42 serve as yielding retainers, permitting escape from each reservoir of only one unit from that reservoir at a time.

Reference will now be had to the means for moving the several sets of fingers and the ram. It will be.recalled, see Fig. 4, that depending from plate [0 are channels I4. Pivoted therein at 10, below each slot or aperture 32, is an ear ll carrying arm 12 with another ear 13. The upper end of arm T2 is curved upwardly and forwardly as the finger 33.

A longitudinally directed bar 14 connects at 15 to all ears 13 of one longitudinal series of fingers. The rearward end of each of the pair of bars 14 at 16 is connected to a link 11 in turn connected to a crosshead 18 at 19. A pair of springs is connected at 8| to the crosshead and at 82 to the underface of base Ill.

The crosshead 18 may be provided with arm 83 adapted to engage stop 84 carried by stem 85 of piston 86 in cylinder 81 containing spring 88 and serving as a cushioning dashpot. The cylinder is secured to base H] as at 89.

When the ram is retracted beyond the first reservoir, it picks up the crosshead l8 and moves it to the left in opposition to springs 80, thus loading or tensioning same. The crosshead may engage cushion stop 90, see Fig. 2.

When the ram moves forward, springs 80 cause crosshead 18 to travel similarly, which throws all fingers upwardly and forwardly and simultaneously, this movement, as stated, being dashpot cushioned, if desired, as illustrated. The ram-crosshead contact is by member 9| and the stirrup ll. Forward movement of fingers 33 may be limited by any arm 12 engaging the forward end of its slot 32, or other suitable means.

The means for reciprocating the ram includes the crosshead I5, stirrup I1 and a roller 92 carried by a shaft 93 secured to and projecting laterally of endless belt 94 passing about fore and aft spaced drums 95 and 96 mounted on shafts 91 and 98, respectively, carried by depending bearings 99 and IE0, respectively. These may be adjusted for belt tensioning, see Fig. 3. Shaft 98 is elongated and carries pulley lfll by which same may be driven by a belt and motor-reducer drive, or any other suitable source of rotational power, not shown.

As pulley Hll is rotated, drum 96 is rotated, hence belt 94 is caused to travel and always in the same direction. Since roller 92 is carried therewith, stirrup l1 perforce follows, roller 32 raising and lowering in slot [8, as required, as the roller raises to the upper level at the start of cycle and then lowers at the half cycle and raises at the end of the cycle. Hence, ram 20 is caused to reciprocate with but slight dwell periods at the travel limits incident to travel direction reversal.

As long as pulley II is rotated and the reservoirs are kept filled, the stufier will be automatic and repetitious in operation. Note that the fingers are projected upwardly and forwardly at all times until the ram approaches its rearward limit of travel, whereupon the fingers are lowered and retracted. When so positioned (the ram is now fully retracted) all lowest members in the several reservoirs lower until the uppermost rearward portion thereof rests above the lowermost forward portion. Upon ram initial travel forwardly, the fingers advance and elevate i'or separating purposes as described. No further description of operation is believed necessary.

In Fig. a modified form of finger structure is illustrated. In this form the link rod or actuator I14 similar to rod 14, Fig. 2, is pivotally connected to successive fingers I12 at I15. Herein pin I carried by the lower end of arm I12 rides in an elongated slot I11 in frame H4. Rod I14 is slidably guided by brackets 113. Each arm has finger extension i 33 associated with slot I32 as before described.

Herein, since arm-finger I12-|33 moves fore and aft with rod I14 and ra ses and lowers finger I33 permitted by slot IN, the desired action can be obtained. This action in many cases is more desirable than that actually obtainable wherein the fingers have arcuate travel only about pivo ots 10.

In Fig, 6 a modified form of finger operating mechanism is illustrated. In said figure the folded letter or insert shows the short fold closely adhering to the adjacent portion due to previous pressure static attraction, etc. The present finger 233 has a retracted position so that its entering end is immediately adjacent ledge 226.

Initial finger movement causes separation of the folded letter or insert and continued finger movement elevates the stack thereof to free the mutually adhering portions. The dotted are above slot 232 indicates this travel. This form includes the vertical pin and slot connection 21l an eccentric 213a pivoted on the frame at 213 and pivotally connected to arm 212 at 215. Herein guides for rod 215 are omitted and a link 216 connects rod 215 to member 211 actuable like members 11 and I11.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in great detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character.

The several modifications described herein, as well as others which will readily suggest themselves to persons skilled in this art, all are considered to be within the broad scope of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims.

The invention claimed is:

l. Mechanism for stufling envelopes and/or nesting inserts comprising in combination a plurality of substantially open mouthed reservoirs sequentially arranged and having their mouths substantially coplanar, and a single ram movable adjacent the mouths and from reservoir to reservoir in succession for the purpose described, each reservoir including at its rearward side a unit supporting ledge means immediately above the ram path of movement, the reservoir mouth permitting positioning of the ledge mean supported unit in the path of the ram, the reservoir having a unit discharge lateral outlet opposite the said ledge means.

2. Mechanism for stufiing envelopes and/or nesting inserts comprising in combination a plurality of substantially open mouthed reservoirs sequentially arranged and having their mouths substantially coplanar, a single ram movable adjacent the mouths and from reservoir to reservoir in succession for the purpose described, each reservoir including at its rearward side a unit supporting ledge means immediately above the ram path of movement, the reservoir mouth permitting positioning of the ledge means supported unit in the path of the ram, the reservoir having a unit discharge lateral outlet opposite the said ledge means, and finger means for each reservoir andjuxtapositioned to the mouth of the same and movable into'the reservoir mouth in timed relation to ram movement.

3. Mechanism for stufilng envelopes and/or nesting inserts comprising in combination a plurality of substantially open mouthed reservoirs sequentially arranged and having their mouths substantially coplanar, a single ram movable adjacent the mouths and from reservoir to reservoir in succession for the purpose described, each reservoir including at its rearward side a unit supporting ledge means immediately above the ram path of movement, the reservoir mouth permitting positioning of the ledge means supported unit in the path of the ram, the reservoir having a unit discharge lateral outlet opposite the said ledge means, and continuously movable means for moving the ram, said continuously movable means eilecting reciprocation of said ram.

4. Mechanism for stufling envelopes and/or nesting inserts comprising in combination a plurality of substantially open mouthed reservoirs sequentially arranged and having their mouths substantially coplanar, a single ram movable ad- Jacent the mouths and from reservoir to reservoir in succession for the purpose described, each reservoir including at its rearward side a unit supporting ledge m'eans immediately above the ram path of movement, the reservoir mouth permitting positioning of the ledge means supported unit in the path of the ram, the reservoir having a unit discharge lateral outlet opposite the said ledge means, and continuously movable means for moving the ram, said continuously movable means efiecting reciprocation of said ram, and comprising an endless structure and a pin and elongated slot connection between the endless structure and the ram.

5. A method of stufling envelopes including facing downwardly an open flap envelope with its front p. positively separating the front and back of the envelope at the mouth thereof and then stutllng the envelope while the mouth is held open, there being relative movement between the envelope and stuiling material, the stufling material being folded and the folded material being slightly opened to nest initially other material by relative movement therebetween, the nested and folded material subsequently being stufied into the envelope.

6. A method of stuffing envelopes including facing downwardly an open fiap envelope with its front up, positively separating the front and back of the envelope at the mouth thereof and then stufiing the envelope while the mouth is held open, there being relative movement between the envelope and stufiing material, the stufling ma-- terial being folded and the folded material being slightly opened to nest initially other material by relative movement therebetween, the nested successively advancing the material toward the envelope.

"1. A. method of stuiilng envelopes including facing downwardly an open fiap envelope with its front up, positively separating the front and back of the envelope at the mouth thereof and then stufling the envelope while the mouth is held open, there being relative movement between the envelope and stuffing-material, the stufling material being folded and the folded material being slightly opened "to nest initially other material by relative movement therebetween, the nested and folded material subsequently being stuffed into the envelope, the folded material being held open for other materialreception therein and until it is fully nested therein.

8. Mechanism for stufiing and ini'olding purposes comprising in combination a plurality of longitudinally aligned open mouthed reservoirs, each for unit reception and having a ledge positioned opposite a lateral outlet and spaced slightly from the mouth, a pair of spaced fingers for each reservoir and movable into the mouth and towards the outlet, and a ram movable beneath each ledge and outlet in succession and between said pairs of fingers.

9. Mechanism, as defined by claim 8, wherein all fingers are simultaneously movable into the reservoir mouths and simultaneously retracted therefrom.

10. Mechanism, as defined by claim 8, wherein the ram has a reciprocatory cycle of travel.

11. Mechanism, as defined by claim 8, wherein all fingers are simultaneously movable into the reservoir mouths and simultaneously retracted therefrom, the ram having a reciprocatory cycle, the fingers normally being constrained in one direction and movable oppositely incident to a portion of the cyclic ram movement,

I 12. Mechanism, as defined by claim 8, wherein all fingers are simultaneously movable into the reservoir mouths and simultaneously retracted therefrom, the ram having a reciprocatory cycle, the fingers normally being constrained in one direction and movable oppositely incident to a portion of the cyclic ram movement, and dash pot cushion means for cushioning the constraint movement of fingers.

13. Mechanism, as defined by claim 8, wherein each reservoir adjacent its outlet includes means normally constrained to prevent multiple unit discharge from. that reservoir, said ram having a linearly reciprocatory cycle of travel.

14. Mechanism for stufling and iniolding purposes comprising in combination a plurality of longitudinally aligned open mouthed reservoirs, each for unit reception, the reservoir mouths lying in spaced relation to a support, finger means juxtapositioned to the support and movable into each mouth and across the same, a ram for moving said finger means.

15. Mechanism as defined by claim 14 wherein each finger means is pivoted below the reservoir mouth and the moving means includes an interconnection between the finger means.

16. Mechanism, as defined by claim 14, wherein each finger means includes a pin and slot connection below the reservoir mouth and the moving means include a singular member to which each finger means is pivotally connected.

17. Mechanism, as defined by claim 14, wherein each finger means includes a pin and slot connection below the reservoir mouth and the moving means includes a singular member to which each finger means is pivotally connected, and a pivotally mounted member having eccentric type connection with said singular member and said finger means.

RUSSELL H. THOMPSON.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2736999 *May 25, 1950Mar 6, 1956Pitney Bowes IncEnvelope stuffing machine
US2835090 *Aug 25, 1953May 20, 1958Pitney Bowes IncWorkpiece stripping device
US3131519 *Sep 25, 1961May 5, 1964Nat Mfg CorpInserting machine for the contents of envelopes
US4373319 *Aug 8, 1980Feb 15, 1983Emi LimitedRecord bagging
US4486011 *Nov 15, 1982Dec 4, 1984Ferag AgMethod and apparatus for opening multi-sheet products, especially printed products
US5517797 *Dec 15, 1994May 21, 1996Pitney Bowes Inc.Envelope positioning apparatus for inserting machine
US6561502 *Feb 7, 2002May 13, 2003Dst Output Of California, Inc.Double-layered width-adjustable inserter tracks
DE960421C *Apr 9, 1954Mar 21, 1957Uni Fold Mailing Machines LtdBlattsammel- und Kuvertiermaschine
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/460, 53/284.3, 53/569, 53/459, 270/58.6, 53/381.7, 53/157
International ClassificationB41F13/68, B43M3/04, B41F13/54, B43M3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB41F13/68, B43M3/04
European ClassificationB43M3/04, B41F13/68