Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2554577 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 29, 1951
Filing dateAug 15, 1947
Priority dateAug 15, 1947
Publication numberUS 2554577 A, US 2554577A, US-A-2554577, US2554577 A, US2554577A
InventorsLauffer Jacob R
Original AssigneeMiller Lauffer Printing Equipm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Envelope feeder
US 2554577 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 29, 1951 J. R. LAUFFER 2,554,577

' ENVELOPE FEEDER Filed Aug. 15, 1947 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. JAM/9 E [ALI/F58 May 29, 1951 J. R. LAUFFER 2,554,577

ENVELOPE FEEDER I Filed Aug. 15, 1947 5 Shets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. /4005 E Z A UF/EE y 1951 J. R. LAUFFER 2,554,577

ENVELOPE FEEDER Filed Aug. 15, 1947 v 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 ,4 TTOE/VEYS y 2 1951 J. R. LAUFFER 2,554,577

ENVELOPE FEEDER Filed .Aug. 15, 1947 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 i E INVENTOR. T L/Ac'os /Q.ZA[/FF2 M y 1951 J. R. LAUFFER 2,554,577

ENVELOPE FEEDER Filed Aug. 15, 1947 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 i E I INVENTOR. T 7 BY JA cos P. [Al/FREE Patented May 29, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFHCE 6 Claims. 1

This invention relates to printing presses, and more particularly to presses designed to print impressions with great index accuracy on previously separated pieces of paper, such for example as envelopes, which are fed in succession to and past printing position. Specifically the invention is concerned with certain feeding and handling mechanisms by means of which individual prefolded envelopes are successively removed at a transfer position from a solid or face-'to-face stack of such envelopes, and are then advanced one after the other towards a place or station where they are to be individually acted upon or processed as, for example, printed or the like. While the feeding and handling mechanisms according to the present invention appear to be chiefly useful when embodied-in and forming'part of a high-speed printing press (and accordingly are here described for purposes of illustration within that specific'frame .of reference), I want to make clear my purpose, intention and understanding that the said mechanisms may also be used in the feeding andh'andling of prefolded envelopes otherwise thanto a printing operation, and that my invention is therefore not 'limitedto use thereof for the specific purpose of printing but comprehends as 'well use for other purposes and operations which, so far as my particular invention is :concerned, may be regarded as equivalent or'analogous to printing.

The'present invention was developed with particular reference to the printing of impressions in the extreme corners of envelopes. It is believed, however, that the invention is useful in connection with'the printing of impressions on any kind of previously separated sheets of paper, wherethe dual requirements of high speedand an accurate index are present.

Thefastest presses now commercially available for the printing of impressions in the corners of envelopes .utilize a rotary platen and type cylinder in conjunction with reciprocating mechanism for feeding envelopes from a supply to the printing position, and reciprocating mechanism for receiving envelopes from the printing position and delivering them to the finished stack. Such presses. as now commercially available, are rated at astandard capacity of 10,000 envelopes per hour, and have on occasion (Without material loss of .index accuracy) been operated at speeds of .15-,0O envelopes per hour. At higher speeds than this, difficulties begin to appear, such as inaccuracy of indexing, jamming of the feed and delivery mechanism, andthe like, which place an effective upper lirnit on the speed of such presses at approximately 15,000 envelopes per hour.

Other presses, in which the type reciprocates, have been used for printing impressions in the corner of envelopes, but while these are capable of accurate indexing they do not approach in speed the particular commercial presses just mentioned.

-A press made in accordance with the present invention has printed impressions in the extreme corner of envelopes, with a high degree of index accuracy, at a speed of 100,000 envelopes per hour. It possesses the advantages, additional to that of increased speed, that the impression can be applied in a position closer to the margin of the envelope than in the prior commercial presses mentioned, and by way of contrast with reciprocating and rotary presses previously used for envelope printing, is comparatively simple to manufacture and can be maintained and operated by unskilled labor.

In this application'I describe, as illustrative of my invention, one form of press capable of the high speeds and'index accuracy mentioned above. Referring to the drawings annexed to and forming part of this application:

Fig. l is a side view looking at the side showing the motor drive, the operator normall working on the other side of the machine;

Fig. 2 is a top view;

Figs. 3, 4,5 and 6 are longitudinal vertical section taken from the lines 3-3, 4- l, 55, and 6-6 respectively, inFig. 2;

Fig. '7 is a perspective view showing the type and platen cylinders and a portion of the envelope feeding system;

Fig. 8 shows a modification of elements of the envelope feeding system;

Fig. 9 is a perspective showing one of these elements of Fig. 8; and

Fig. 10 is an end view of a portion of the machine taken from line llll 0 in Fig. 1.

This machine comprises a horizontal frame I positioned at a convenient height above the floor, by legs 2. A comparatively small, vertical frame 3 is 'carried by the frame I and journals a rotary type cylinder 4 and platen cylinder 5 in cooperating relation.

In the drawings the left-hand end of the machine-is the feeding end, the envelope going continuously through the machine and being received at its right-hand end.

A sub-frame S is supported between the adjacent legs 2 at the feeding end of the machine and somewhat below the level of the frame 9. This sub-frame 6 carries the feeding magazine for the stack of envelopes.

This envelope feeding magazine includes a-substantially horizontal endless conveyer belt looped over horizontally spaced rollers 8 and working forwardly toward the machine between side guides 9. A horizontal stack of envelopes, with the envelopes substantially vertical and their faces juxtaposed, is laid on this belt i between the guides 9, with their flaps forwardly and pointing downwardly. The belt 7 frictionally engages the envelopes bottom edges, the belt being preferably rubberized or the like to promote frictional engagement, and continuously urges the envelopes toward the machine. A forwardly and upwardly slanting abutment H3 is positioned at the machine end of the magazine, this abutment slanting in the form of ascending steps, and the envelopes are pushed against this abutment and through its action tilted forwardly.

A small, upwardly pointing pipe l2 directly in front of the abutment Ill ejects fluid such as compressed air against each foremost envelope below its flap to blow the latter outwardly a little. An air jet is most convenient. Care should be taken to keep the force down to a degree which does not blow the envelopes flap straight upwardly, while still being sufiicient to free it from the envelope proper should it tend to stick due to its having been pressed thereagainst by the weight of the envelope stack.

The frame journals horizontal axles I3 on either side of the type and platen cylinders i and 5, and laterally spaced sprocket wheels i i are fixed to these axles in straddling alignment with the working pass of the type and platen cylinders. The sub-frame 8 journals an axle [5 to which laterally spaced sprocket wheels I6 are fixed, the spacing of these sprocket wheels it being slightly wider than that of the sprocket wheels 14. Laterally spaced conveyer loop H are looped over the sprocket wheels it and i5, and are in the form of sprocket chains to provide sprocket holes meshing with the various sprockets. Due to the sprocket wheel arrangement the chain loops I! define straight horizontal sections straddling the type and platen cylinders i and 5 just outside of their working pass. It also provides straight ascending sec tions between the sprocket wheels it and E6, and these ascending sections go upwardly directl in front of the envelope feeding magazine.

The chains ii are tautly maintained by the subframe 5 journaling free-swinging levers l8 mounting sprocket wheels l9 resting on the bottom section of the loops of the sprocket chains IT. The combined weight of the lever is and sprocket wheels 19 is relied upon for this purpose, although additional weight or springs can be used to provide more force. The sprocket wheels 59 are fixed to an axle 26 to maintain the alignment of the assembly, this axle 29 being journaled by the levers IS.

The sprocket chain loops I? must travel in mutual synchronization since all the sprockets are fixed to their various axles. These chains carry a series of spaced fingers 2| positioned in sets of laterally aligned fingers. In one form these fingers extend laterally upwardly and then inwardly from the chains and then project forwardly parallel to the chains. The fingers are formed from fiat strip metal of relatively thin gauge. The pointing direction of the fingers is in the working direction of the chains. As the fingers ride around the sprocket wheels i6 and start upwardly, each set engages beneath the flap of the foremost envelope in the envelope feeding magazine and thus successively pick up the enand platen surfaces are exactly equal.

velopes and carry them along between the type and platen cylinders l and 5. Due to the thin and fiat character of these fingers they do not interfere appreciably with printing in the upper left hand corners.

When it is desired to print even closer to the upper left hand corners than is possible with the previously described fingers, the form shown by Figs. 8 and 9 may be used. In this instance the chains I! have upstanding fiat-faced plates 22 riveted to their individual links, at the appropriate spacings, and very small diametered pins 23 project inwardly from these flat-faced upstanding plates 22. Incidentally, the plates 22 are upstanding because the chains ll actually straddle the platen cylinder 5 slightly below its upper level, the previously described fingers 2! also extending slightly upwardly before turning inwardly, as described. This relation of the chains with the cylinder 5 is because the fingers drag the envelopes by their flaps over flat guides 23 leading from the front end of the feeding magazine upwardly and around, to extend horizontally to the feeding nip of the cylinders .41 and 5, and horizontally from the discharging nip on the other side. These guides hold the envelopes parallel to the chains as the fingers drag them along.

Continuing, the chains are spread slightly apart from their ultimate relation, due to the spacing of the sprocket wheels Iii, at the time the fingers first engage the envelope flaps. This provides some lateral leeway and makes the pickup easier. As the chains travel upwardly they converge and therefore cause the fingers to move together. In the case of the secondly described fingers the abutment 22 at this time functions to center the envelopes, the abutments engaging their edges and the small diametered pins 23 permitting the envelopes to slide easily while being centered. The upstanding parts of the fingers 2| perform the same function.

To be more specific about the diameter of the 7 pins 23, they should have a diameter about the same as or not substantially greater than the radius of the concave inner surface of the fold where the envelope flap joins the remainder of the envelope in the case of the ordinary paper envelope. The pins 23 should be as small as is consistent with their not bending or breaking when performing their function. In each instance the envelopes are fed. between the type and platen cylinders in proper alignment therewith, but the fingers shown by Figs. 8 and 9 perform this function even more accurately and permit closer printing to the upper envelope corners. In fact for all practical purposes they do not interfere with the printing at all, because it is never desirable to print on the actual junctions of the flaps and envelopes proper.

The cylinders 4 and 5 are carried by axles 24 through which they are journaled by the frame 3, and on one side these axles extend to provide space between the cylinder ends and that side of the frame 3. These axle extensions are fixed to intermeshing pinions 25 having pitch diameters equalling the working diameters of the cyl inders i and 5, while the diameters of the latter are proportioned so that diameters of their type Therefore, the two cylinders must rotate in perfect synchronism without any adjustment. The sprocket wheels [4 on the right-hand side of the machine, on the discharge side of the cylinder, have pitch diameters exactly equalling those of .as the spacing of these type plates.

uniform in all. instances.

thepinions '25 and'the working :diameters oithe cylinders A :and :5, :and the axle :3 of :these have sprocket wheels 12% fixed to them which also have pitch diameters equalling 'those of the pinions'ZEand, those of the sprocket wheels 14 just.mentioned. A sprocket chain 21 is vtautly looped around the sprocket wheels 26.

The type cylinder 4 mounts the type in the form of type plates 23 fastened to'the periphery of the cylinder, the latter thus providing type mounts. One or more of these type plates may be provided, the machine being described having four spaced 90 degrees apart'about it diameter. is spaced the same distance from the next set In other words, as these fingers go around the right-hand sprocket wheels l4 they are also spaced 90 degrees apart relative those sprockets.

Wtih the foregoing in mind it now becomes apparent that as themachine operates the equal diametered type and platen cylinders 4 and 5 must rotate in perfect synchronism with the envelopes carried along precision indexed with the i type plates 28, regardless of how the machine is maintained. The synchronization is automatic and cannot be tampered with. Preferably the left-hand sprockets [4 have equal diameters with the other so that should they be inadvertently exchanged the synchronization of the machine is not affected. Interchange of the pinions 25 has no aifect on the synchronization. No matter how mechanically inexperienced the operator, it is practically impossible to get the machine out of synchronization. High operating speeds cannot affect the synchronization.

The machine is powered by an electric motor 30 driving a pulley 3! through a gear box 32, with this pulley driving a belt 33 looped over a pulley 34 fixed to either the axle 13 to which the righthand sprocket wheels l4 are fixed or to the axle 24 of the platen cylinder, the latter being preferable if the type and platen cylinders are hard to turn. Therefor the chain loop sections powering the lower axle M of the platen cylinder 5, and the chain sections dragging the envelopes through the printing phase are all in tension. Since the sprocket chains all may be made .exactly alike, and since the pitch diameters of the sprocket wheels are all the same, the wear is All this contributes to the machine operating as a precision printing press regardless of its operating 'speedand re- Only the pinions gardless :of its maintenance. 25 need approach precisionbutseven in this instance the precision need not be high, since the ,pinions drive continuously without direction re and the type cylinder lcarrying four type plates with the fingers appropriately spaced, .the output is from 1200 to 100,000 envelopes per hour. The precision obtained is very high, so the printed envelopes are attractive in appearance.

As the printing speed of the-press may-be quite high, the centrifugal force applied to the envelopes as they go aruond the left hand sprocket wheels it, may approach a degree involving the danger that the envelopes might become disengaged from the fingers. This danger is elim- Each set of envelope flap-engaging fingers 1 (ill .inated .by a-plurality of friction drags :35 in :-'the form of thinegauge metal strips 'mounted .by

suitable arms so they .function as cantilever springs pointing in the traveling directionof'ith'e envelope-conveying sprocket chains andldeclin- :ing theretowards.

The first of this series .of drags :is :quite close to the feeding .end of the envelope feeding magazine, .and.it.functions .to settle .the envelopes down on the fingers ".firmly,

andthe remainder contribute to this function. This series of Jdrags goes around the sprocket wheels at the feedingiend ofthe machine, thus pressing the envelopes down and .preventing .any :trcuble due to their disengaging'from the fingers The guides .23 extend'throughoutthis distance and the. friction. drags 3,5 are .positioned:opposite thcrnxto lightly frictionally nipithe ,envelopes' between the drags and the guides.

As described so far'the machine has printed the envelcpes and is carrying them from-the type and-platen cylinders withthe envelope flap still engagedby the fingers. necessary to disengage the :envelope'flaps from the fingers and remove theenvelopes from the At this time it becomes axleSB, the left-handaxlefiti being'powered by sprocket-wheels 3G and a sprocket chain- 40. These sprocket wheels and chain are designedto' provide By making ,the rollers 3'1 with larger "di- In any event, the :need is 'to'drive these belts 38 :at slightly higher velocities than the traveling speed of the conveyer chains [1. The rollers 13 1 should'be close enough together to spacethecon- :veyer belts 38 so they properly support lthe*en- *velopes.

With the above arrangement,as the envelopes leave the type and platencylinders'their leading edges ride up over the upwardlycurving conveyer belt sectionsof the-belts 38 and-since-these are traveling at higher velocities, the "envelopes are accelerated so their'fiapsfree'themselves 'from the flap-engaging fingers. Re-engagement-isimpossible because the envelopes'aresubsequently moving at faster s eeds "than the'fiap-engaging fingers, the latter finally diving downwardly'over the right-hand sprocket wheels 14, while the en- "velopes continue "to travel "forwardly in a "hori- 'zontalplane.

A plurality of rollers '4! are journaledabove 'thefbelts'38 in avertically moving manner so that.

they rest on the 'belt by reason of their weight. This Weight adds to the .weight of the envelopes to assure them being frictionally carried by the belts .38. These .belts '38 may have surfaces that are rubberized or the like ,to .enhance theirfrictional engagement with the envelopes and with rollers M the form ,a pinchinto which the enyelopes enter as shown in.Fig. 5.

-At high press operating speeds the envelopes maybe shot from theendsofthebelts 38 as-they loop downwardly around their right-hand rollers 31, and the printing press has a declining guide bar 42 for guiding such flying envelopes downwardly.

At the above place, where the envelopes leave the belts 38, the press has an envelope receiving magazine, the bottom of which is formed by convey r belts 43 looped at one end over the righthand axle 3B, handily providing a gear drive for the belts 43 which is substantially less than unity so the belts 43 travel backwardly rather slowly. The guide bar 42 has an end that goes clear down and rests or is spring urged against the envelopes carried by the tops of the belts 43, whereby the belts 43 carry the printed envelopes backwardly one at a time and lying horizontally, the lower end of the guide 42 tending to permit the envelopes to pass only one at a time. The other ends of the belts 43 loop over an axle 44 journaled at the rearmost end of the machine, and to assure a positive drive the end of this axle 44 has a pulley 45 powered by an appropriately sized pulley 46 on the'powered one of the shafts i3, with these two pulleys interconnected by a driving belt 41. A flat table 48 is positioned between the oppositely traveling sides of the conveyer belts 43, and lower end of the guide bar 42, when there are no envelopes beneath it bearing against this table top. The envelopes are carried over this table top on the traveling conveyers 43 until they reach upwardly inclining abutments 49 where they are wedged upwardly so the envelopes arrange themselves as a horizontal stack in the envelope receiving magazine.

The printing speed of the described printing press is at present limited largely by the dexterity of the operators in placing the envelope stacks in the feeding magazine and removing them from the storing magazine. It may prove expedient to provide automatic devices at these locations, particularly when extremely high printing speeds are desired. As the machine has been disclosed herein it prints at an extremely high rate of speed, as previously indicated. Its general shape is of advantage, it being not much wider than the envelopes and not too long in length. Its mode of operation is an advantage in that an operator can stand at one end and feed the envelopes to the feeding magazine, the envelopes then going through the machine without hesitancy, direction reversals, or the like, until they are eventually discharged at the other end of the machine into the receiving magazine where the operator can remove the stack of printed envelopes.

The machine is entirely driven through the powered, right-hand one of the axles l3. Through engagement of chains I! with sprocket wheels l6 secured on shaft l (as shown in Figs. 1 and 3) power is transmitted to drive feed belt I which is looped about shaft i5, and the belt and these chains are therefore driven in timed relation with each other. Through engagement of chains 40 with sprocket wheel 39 on shaft 36 (as shown in Figs. 1 and 2) power is transmitted to drive the speed-up belts 38 at a suitably increased speed of travel over that of chains H, by reason of the gearing greater than unity as described. All of the flexible elements requiring it are synchronized through tensioned spans, as previously noted. It is impossible for anything to get out of synchronization regardless of the machine operating speed.

It is to be understood that otherwise than as specifically described herein, the printing press is provided with the usual appurtenances. For example, it has inking rollers, generally indicated at 50. Also, the various axles are journaled by proper bearings provided with proper arrangements for lubrication. It is possible to substitute fiat steel belts having sprocket holes for the various sprocket chains. It has already been suggested that automatic devices be provided for loading and unloading the envelope magazines.

I claim:

1. An envelope feeder comprising two endless chains working in unison along substantially parallel paths a predetermined distance apart, rotatable sprockets for said chains mounted to cause said chains during one portion of their paths of travel simultaneously to ascend in straight lines in a generally upward direction, a plurality of pairs of lugs secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one lug in each pair being secured to one of said chains in opposed relation to the other lug of said pair, each lug having a projecting portion shaped to penetrate beneath the folded flap of an envelope and to engage the concave surface of the fold at each end of said flap, the said portions projecting towards each other and remaining in alinement as the chains move, an envelope feed magazine including a powered feed belt having a substantially horizontal portion forming in part at least the floor or" said magazinc and a guide plate forming a side of said magazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support a stack of envelopes standing on edge with their flap-fold uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel them in the direction in which their flaps extend, said feed magazine being mounted to deliver envelopes successively to a position between the chains where the concave surfaces of the fold at each end of their flaps are simultaneously presented in the paths of travel of said lug projections for upward extraction of envelopes from the magazine as the lugs move upwardly along the substantially straight line portion of the chain paths, means to open the envelope flaps as they reach said position, and means to drive the powered feed belt in relation to the speed of the chains such that successive envelopes in the stack are delivered to successive pairs of lugs as the chains move.

2. An envelope feeder comprising two endless chains working in unison along substantially parallel paths a predetermined distance apart, rotatable sprockets for said chains mounted to cause said chains during one portion of their paths of travel simultaneously to ascend in straight lines in a generally upward direction, a plurality of pairs of cylindrical pins of diameter approximately equal to the inside diameter of an envelope flap-fold secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one pin in each pair being secured to one of said chains in opposed relation to the other pin of said pair, said pins projecting towards each other and remaining in aiinement as the chains move, an envelope feed magazine including a powered feed belt having a substantially horizontal portion forming in part at least the floor of said magazine and a guide plate forming a side of said magazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support a stack of envelopes standing on edge with their flapfolds uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel them in the direction in" which their flaps extend, said feed magazine being mounted todeliver envelopes successively to a position between the chains where the conc'ave surfaces of thefoldat each end of their flaps are simultaneously presented in the paths of travel of said pins for upward extraction of envelopes from the magazine as the-pins move upwardly along thesubstantially straight line portion of the chains paths, means to open the envelope flaps as they reach saidposition, and means to drive the powered feed beit' inrelation to the speed of the chains such that successive envelopes in the stack are delivered to successive pairs of pins as the chains move.

3. Ari-envelope feeder comprising twoendless chains working in unison along substantially parallel paths a" predetermined distance apart, rotatable sprockets for said chains mounted to cause said chains during one portion of their paths of travel simultaneously to ascend in straight lines in a generally upward' direction, a plurality of pairs of lugs secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one lug in each pair being'secured to one of said chains in opposedrelation'tothe other lug of said pair, each lugcomprising a shoulder member having secured thereto a-cylindrical pin of diameter approximately equal to the inside diameter of an envelope flap-fold,- said pins projecting towards each other and remaining in alinement as the chains move, an envelope feed magazine includinga powered-feed belt having a substantially horizontal portion-forming in part at least the floor of said magazine and a guide plate forming a side of said magazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support a stack of envelopes standing on edge with their flap-folds uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel them in the direction in which their flaps extend, said feed magazine being mounted to deliver envelopes successively to a position at the lower end of said straight line of chain ascent in which the concave surfaces of the fold at each end of the flap of the envelope are simultaneously presented in the path of travel of said pins and the ends of said envelopes are presented between and immediately adjacent to the paths of travel of said shoulder members, whereby envelopes are successively extracted from the magazine by said pins and are guided while in the magazine and after extraction therefrom by said guide plate and said shoulder members, and means to drive the powered feed belt in relation to the speed of the chains such that successive envelopes in the stack are delivered to successive pairs of pins as the chains move.

4. An envelope feeder comprising two endless chains working in unison along substantially parallel paths a predetermined distance apart, rotatable sprockets for said chains mounted to cause said chains during one portion of their paths of travel simultaneously to ascend in straight lines in a generally upward direction, a plurality of pairs of lugs secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one lug in each pair being secured to one of said chains in opposed relation to the other lug of said pair, each lug having a projecting portion shaped to penetrate beneath the folded flap of an envelope and to engage the concave surface of the fold at each end of said flap, the projecting portions in each pair of lugs projecting towards each other and remaining in alinement as the chains'move, anenvelope feed magazine including a powered feed belt having asubstantially horizontal portion forming in part at least the floor of said magazine and'a guide plate forming a side of saidmagazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support astack of envelopes standing on edge with their flap-folds uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel thein'in-the direction inwhich their flaps extend, said feedmagazine being mounted to deliver envelopes successively to a position between the chains wherethe concave surfaces of the fold at each end' of their flaps are simultaneously presented in the path of travel'of 'saidlugprojections for upwardextraction of an envelopefrom the magazine as a'pair' of lugs moves upwardly along the substantially straight line portion of the chain paths, and means to drive the powered feed belt in relation to the speed of the chains such that successive-envelopes in the stack are delivered-to successive pairs of lugs as the chainsmove.

5. An envelope feeder comprising-two endless chains working in unison along substantiallyparallel paths a predetermined distance apart, lower and upper pairs of rotatable sprocketsfor said'chains mountedto cause said chains while passing from the lower to the upper pair of sprockets simultaneouslyto ascend in straight lines in a generally upwarddirection and-to turn towards a generally horizontal direction'around said upper sprockets, a plurality of pairsof lugs secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one lug in each pair being secured to one of said chains in opposed relation to the other lug of said pair, each lug having a projecting portion shaped to penetrate beneath the folded flap of an envelope and to engage the concave surface of the fold at each end of said flap, the said portions projecting towards each other and remaining in alinement as the chains move, an envelope feed magazine including a powered feed belt having a substantially horizontal portion forming in part at least the floor of said magazine and a guide plate forming a side of said magazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support a stack of envelopes standing on edge with their flap-folds uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel them in the direction in which their flaps extend, said feed magazine being mounted to deliver envelopes successively to a position between the chains Where the concave surfaces of the fold at each end of their flaps are simultaneously presented in the path of travel of said lug projections for upward extraction of envelopes from the magazine as the lugs move upwardly along the said straight line portion of the chain paths, metal guide strips positioned between the chains and adjacent the upper sprockets to guide envelopes extracted from the magazine as they pass under control of the lugs around said upper sprockets, and means to drive the powered feed belt in relation to the speed of the chains such that successive envelopes in the stack are delivered to successive pairs of lugs as the chains move.

6. An envelope feeder comprising two endless chains, at least three pairs of rotatable sprockets, the sprockets in each pair being co-axially mounted and of equal diameter, over which said chains run, said pairs being mounted to cause said chains 11 during one portion of their paths of travel to ascend in a common plane in a generally upward direction from the first to the second pair of sprockets, and to turn around said second pair of sprockets for further movement in a common plane in a generally horizontal direction towards and over the third pair of said sprockets, a plurality of pairs of lugs secured to said chains at uniformly spaced intervals along the same, one lug in each pair being secured to one of said chains in opposed relation to the other lug of said pair, each lug comprising a cylindrical pin and at least one of said lugs including also a shoulder member, the pins being of diameter approximately equal to the inside diameter of an envelope flap-fold and projecting towards each other and remaining in alinement as the chains move, and the shoulder member having a guide face in a plane at right angles to the axis of the pins and disposed generally in the plane of operation of the chain to which it is secured, an envelope feed magazine including a powered feed belt having a substantially horizontal portion forming in part at least the floor of said magazine, said substantially horizontal portion of the belt being adapted to support a stack of envelopes standing on edge with their flap-folds uppermost, their flaps folded down adjacent their respective bodies and their ends guided by said plate, and to propel them in the direction in which their flaps extend, said feed magazine being mounted to deliver envelopes successively to a position at the lower end of said straight line of chain ascent in which the concave surfaces of the fold at each end of the flap of 12 the envelope are simultaneously presented in the path of travel of said pins and an end of said envelope is presented adjacent to the path of travel of the guide faces of said shoulder members, the sprockets of said third pair of sprockets being closer together than the sprockets of said first pair in order to cause said chains to converge in their travel whereby the guide faces of the shoulder members are brought into contact with the ends of envelopes being moved under control of said pins to index the said envelopes for subsequent processing, and means to drive the powered feed belt in relation to the speed of the chains such that successive envelopes in the stack are delivered to successive pairs of chains as the chains move.

JACOB R. LAUFFER.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date Re. 21,489 Kleinberg et a1 June 25, 1940 683,707 Sague et al Oct. 1, 1901 1,135,140 Roberts Apr. 13, 1915 1,447,334 Bacon Mar. 6, 1923 1,724,199 Hoag Aug. 13, 1929 1,879,608 Fountain Sept. 27, 1932 2,132,227 Winkler et a1 Oct. 4, 1938 2,184,362 Sauerman Dec. 26, 1939 2,257,490 Aberle Sept. 30, 1941 2,332,156 Long Oct. 19, 1943

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US683707 *Aug 8, 1900Oct 1, 1901D H Burrell And CompanySignature-gathering machine.
US1135140 *Dec 23, 1909Apr 13, 1915Underwood Typewriter CoType-writing machine.
US1447334 *Oct 10, 1921Mar 6, 1923E S KylePrinting machine
US1724199 *Jun 7, 1927Aug 13, 1929Thomas L ShultzPrinting-press feeder
US1879608 *Oct 21, 1930Sep 27, 1932Fountain Joseph NDecorating machine
US2132227 *Sep 14, 1937Oct 4, 1938Winkler AlfredProcess and apparatus for the manufacture of envelopes, bags, and other like articles
US2184362 *Jan 31, 1938Dec 26, 1939Ernst C SauermanMeans for producing preaddressed envelopes
US2257490 *Feb 8, 1938Sep 30, 1941Roy AberleLithographic machine
US2332156 *Dec 1, 1941Oct 19, 1943Gen Mills IncCoupon feeder
USRE21489 *Aug 12, 1937Jun 25, 1940 Shbbt or signature fbediicq and gathtoihg
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2615390 *Jun 5, 1948Oct 28, 1952Sauerman Ernst CFeeding device for sheet material
US3489084 *Apr 25, 1967Jan 13, 1970Glenn L StricklandBed and platen printing machine with envelope feed means
US4395177 *Apr 24, 1981Jul 26, 1983G. D Societa Per AzioniApparatus for feeding folded and flattened cartons to a packaging machine
US4397456 *Apr 28, 1981Aug 9, 1983Ferag AgApparatus for separation of a stack of folded or bound, multi-sheet printed products
US4524691 *Jan 11, 1984Jun 25, 1985Graphic Arts Technical Innovators, Inc.Envelope feeder for printing press with timing circuit for suction cups, feed roller and flywheel
US4846455 *Apr 8, 1988Jul 11, 1989Hurst Richard FHigh speed envelope feeding apparatus
US4884793 *Jun 22, 1987Dec 5, 1989Hurst Richard FPicker-stripper-feeder for envelope feeding apparatus
US5464317 *May 5, 1994Nov 7, 1995Pitney Bowes Inc.Registration power stacker
US6179280Jun 11, 1999Jan 30, 2001Andrew F. CoppoloEnvelope processing apparatus
DE1138075B *Jul 16, 1958Oct 18, 1962Adrema Werke GmbhAdressendruckmaschine
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/2, 101/232, 271/10.6
International ClassificationB41L47/00, B41L47/26
Cooperative ClassificationB41L47/26
European ClassificationB41L47/26