US 2740629 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 3, 1956 e. H. HARRED BOX-BLANK FEEDING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 15, 1951 In den lor: Geozyefifiamed i'torn qys.
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BOX-BLANK FEEDING MACHINE Filed Nov. 15, 1951 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 GeazyeHHarred April 3, 1956 G. H. HARRED BOX-BLANK FEEDING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed Nov. 15. 1951 United States Patent Oflice 2,740,629 Patented Apr. 3, 1956 BOX-BLANK FEEDING MACHINE George H. Harred, Westerly, R. I., assignor to Bostitch, lnc., Stonington, Conn., a corporation of Rhode Island Application November 15, 1951, Serial No. 256,539
3 Claims. (Cl. 271-44) This invention relates to improvements in box-blank feeding machines and like apparatus for feeding foldable blanks or other relatively thick sheets of paper, cardboard and the like from a supply thereof to one or more stations where various operations are performed thereon.
The present improvements are directed more particularly to means for delivering the sheets or blanks from a supply stacked in a hopper to present them singly to the feeding means while retaining the remaining sheets in the stack.
One object of the invention is to provide improved means for retaining a plurality of sheets stacked in a hopper and intermittently lowering the whole stack to automatically deliver the sheets singly from the bottom thereof accurately and precisely without mutilating or otherwise damaging the fragile sheet-material.
Another object is to provide a hopper for supporting a stack of sheets or blanks in inclined relationship therein with a perch for insertion under one end of the stack to sustain it in the hopper, and automatically-operated means for withdrawing the perch to release the bottom sheet while gripping the sheets remaining in the stack to hold them during the delivery of a single sheet.
Another object is to provide continuously actuated jogging means for intermittently engaging the sheets or blanks at one end of the stack whereby to maintain the opposite ends of the lowermost sheets in proper alinement with the end of the perch as it is inserted thereunder.
Another object is to provide improved gripping means for engaging the ends of the sheets or blanks to sustain them in the hopper during the delivery of the lowermost sheet therefrom, said gripping means being in the form of needles adapted to penetrate into the fibrous material of the blanks without tearing or abrading the stock or the lining paper.
Another object is to provide means for automatically and alternately actuating the gripping needles and perch in synchronism to adapt them to cooperate for delivering single sheets or blanks from the hopper, one after another in sequence, without damage thereto and at the required rate for feeding them to folding means or to other stations for operations thereon.
Another object of the invention is to provide automatically-operated mechanism of the type indicated of simple construction, efficient in operation and proof against derangement or deterioration during long periods of use.
In general the invention provides a hopper for containing a stack of sheets or blanks with gripping means to sustain them therein and automatically-operated means for releasing the gripping means to lower the whole stack in the hopper onto a rest or perch inserted thereunder, then re-engaging the gripping means with the sheets above the lowermost one while withdrawing the perch to deliver a single sheet to the feeding means of the machine.
One preferred form of construction of the invention is set forth by way of example in the following specifica- 2 tion and illustrated by the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of the complete machine, partly broken away at the center;
Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the machine as viewed from the left in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged side elevation of the hopper for the blanks showing a portion of the driving connections for the cams that operate the needles and perch;
Fig. 4 is a further enlarged end view showing the cams with their connections for actuating the needles and perch and also illustrating a portion of the manually-operative means for adjusting one end wall of the hopper longitudinally to regulate its length in accordance with different lengths of the blanks;
Fig. 5 is a still further enlarged side elevational view of one end of the hopper, illustrated partly in section, showing the needles impaled in the ends of the blanks with the perch withdrawn from under the stack and illustrating the cams and the rocker-arms oscillated thereby for actuating the needle-slide and perch;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged detailed end view of one of the needle-slides and the perch therebelow showing the actuating means therefor;
Fig. 7 is a greatly enlarged side view of the needleslide showing it in forward position with the needles impaled in the ends of certain of the blanks and illustrating the perch as withdrawn from under the stack while the lowermost blank is being delivered therefrom;
Fig. 8 is a similar view showing the needle-slide re tracted with the needles withdrawn from the blanks and the perch advanced with its forward end inserted under the end of the stack to sustain it in the hopper;
Fig. 9 is a view in reduced scale showing the needleslide, the cam for actuating it, and the rocker-arm oscillated by the cam for reciprocating the needle-slide, with the slide illustrated in its rearward position;
Fig. 10 is a similar view showing the cam for reciprocating the perch, the rocker-arm oscillated by the cam and connected to slide the perch, with the latter illustrated in forward position;
Fig. 11 is a view similar to Fig. 9 showing the needleslide advanced into forward position;
Fig. 12 is a view similar to Fig. 10 showing the perch withdrawn into rearward position; and
Fig. 13 is a diagrammatic delineation of the relative motions of the needles and perch compared to the timing of delivery of the blanks from the stack in the hopper and the position of the parts as illustrated in Figs. 1 to 12.
While the present invention is herein disclosed as particularly designed for use with the feeding mechanism of box-blank folding machines, it is equally well adapted for other types of apparatus employed for feeding other varieties of sheet-material having a definite thickness.
As herein shown and described the present improvements are applied to a blank-folding machine as disclosed in United States patent application Serial No. 725,958, filed February 1, 1947. The basic machine may be mounted on a horizontally-extending framework 2 such as shown in Figs. 1 and 2 and comprising a bed or table 3 of considerable length supported from the floor by angle-iron legs 4 at its ends. A pair of horizontal rails 5 connect the legs 4 at each side of the frame 2 and serve as supports for mounting certain parts of the operating mechanism of the machine. Transverse angle-iron rails or stringers 6 and 7 extend between the end legs 4 to reinforce and brace the frame structure as shown by dotted lines in Fig. 2.
Mounted on the table 3 is a hopper 10 for containing the blanks B, being formed by inclined end walls 11 and 12, see Fig. 3, with the wall 12 arranged for adjustment toward and away from the opposite wall 11 in accordance O with the length of the sheets or blanks to be contained in the hopper. The blanks B are stacked in the hopper with their opposite ends engaging respectively against the inclined walls 11 and 12 to dispose them in staggered relationship therein. The rear wall 11 may be stationary and composed of five laterally-spaced sheet-metal strips 13, see Fig. 2, bent to provide upper inclined portions 14 with forwardly-projecting feet or rests 15 at the bottom slightly inclined downwardly as shown in Fig. 3. Referring to Fig. 2, the wall-sections or strips 13 are supported on angle-irons 16 and 17 and braced adjacent their upper ends by angular strips 18, shown best in Fig. l.
The adjustable front wall 12 of the hopper is also formed by spaced-apart sections comprising a pair of centrally-located plates 20, .20 and plates 21, 21 at the sides of the machine. The plates 20 and 21 are carried on a laterally-extending beam or cross-member 22 of angular shape in cross-section, see :Figs. 1 and 2, to rendeithem adjustable as a unit by sliding the cross-member longitudinally of the frame of the machine. The side pistes 21 are formed at the top to embrace flanges 23 along which they may be slid to adjust their lateral relationship in accordance with the width :of the blanks to be held in the hopper 10, see Fig. 2. Manually-operable "set 'screws 24 threaded through the upper portions of the side plates 21 are adapted to bind against the flanges 23 to clamp the side plates in adjusted relationship. The side plates 21 have marginal flanges 25 for engaging the side edges of the blanks B to locate them laterally in the hopper.
The ends of the beam or member 22 are provided with angular plates 26 and 27 extending outwardly at the top to form a partial housing for two gear-wheels 30 which mesh with the -teeth of horizontal racks 31 supported above the bed 3 of the machine. Referring to Figs. 2 and 4, the two toothed rackbars 31 are supported on angle-irons 32 fastened at their ends to pairs of vertical stanchions 33 and 34 rising from the sides of the frame 2. is shown'in Fig. '4 two of the opposed gears 30 on the beam 22 are connected by a transverse shaft 35 to adapt them to turn together as they are traveled along the racks 51 in adjusting the'beam and thereby the sections 20 and '21of'the wall 12 toward and away from the stationary wall 11.
At one end of the member 22 the shaft 35 is reduced in diameter to receive a worm-wheel 36, see Fig. 4, secured fast'thereon. Iournaled in a bearing '37 on the horizontal portion of one side plate 26 is a vertical shaft #0, thelower end of which is stepped in a bearing in the horizontal portion "of an angular bracket '41. The shaft parties a worm 43 fast'thereon and in mesh with the worm-wheel 36. Fast on the upper end of the shaft 'isa'hand-wheel 45'provided'with a crank-handle 46 for turning the shaft and thereby the worm 43. These connections'provide manually-operable means for rotating '"t'hesha'ft 35 to turn its connected gears 30 and thereby travelthebe'am or crossmember 22 one way or the other longitudinally of "the rack-bars 31 to adjust the position of the front wall 12 of the hopper 10 in relation to its rearward'wall l1.
Fastened to one stanchion 34, see Fig. 3, is an angleshaped bracket 48 for supporting a bearing-block 49 bolted thereto and serving as the journal for a shaft 50. A second bearing-block 52 similarly mounted on the bracket 48'serves as a journal for a longitudinal shaft 55. The opposite end of the shaft 55 is journaled in a similar bearing-block 53 mounted on an angle-iron bracket 54 'risin'g'from the framework of the machine. The shaft carries a'bevel gear 56 with its teeth in mesh with a corresponding gear 57 pinned to the shaft at 58. The shaft 50 also carries a sprocket-wheel 60, indicated by dotted lines in Fig. 3, fast thereon and engaged by a transmission chain 61 which is driven from the power .means of the machine to be later described. An idler sprocket 62 is journaled on a member 63 held by bolts 64 passing through a slot 65 in a web 66 of the bracket 48. Through this means the member 63 may be adjusted for locating the sprocket 62 to take up the slack in the transmission chain 61. I
Bolted to the horizontal portion of the side plate 27, see Fig. 3, is an angular bracket 70 formed with a bearing 71 through which the shaft 55 extends in slidable relation thereto. Abutting the bearing 71 is a bevel-gear 72 which meshes with a corresponding bevelgear 73 fast on a camshaft 75 carrying a pair of disk-cams 76 and 77, see Fig. 2. The cam 76 is employed for reciprocating the perch that sustains the blanks B in the hopper 10, and the second cam 77 for operating the needle-slide that holds the blanks when the perch is withdrawn; these parts being described more specifically later herein. It will be understood by reference to Fig. 3 that the bevel-gear 72 is provided with keys 78 engaging in a pair of splines 79 extending throughout the greater length of the shaft 55 so that the gear remains rotatably connected to the shaft as it is slid therealong with the plate 27 during the adjustment of the wall 12 of the hopper 10 towards its stationary wall 11. It will also be observed by reference to Fig. 3 that the camshaft 75 is journaled at one end in a bearing 81 bolted to the bracket 70 that is carried on the beam 22, while its opposite end is journaled in a bearing 82 on a bracket 83 fastened to the top of the beam 22, see Figs. 2, 3 and 4.
As previously mentioned, the blanks B are sustained in the hopper 10 by a perch inserted under the forward end of the stack and when the perch is withdrawn to deliver the lowermost blank from the stack, gripping means are applied to prevent the remaining blanks in the stack from dropping. The gripping means is preferably in the form of a reciprocable slide carrying a plurality of needles which impale the forward ends of the blanks. The needles are relatively sharp-pointed so that they pierce the corrugated cardboard or other inner material of the blanks without mutilating the fragile paper or sheet-material covering the same.
Referring to Figs. 4 and 5, it should be explained that the so-called perch preferably comprises two elements of the same form of construction which are spaced apart laterally a sufficient distance to render them capable of sustaining the stack of blanks B throughout a substantial portion of their width. As both perch-elements are of identical construction, only one needs to be described in detail, it being noted that they are connected together for reciprocation or oscillation by the cam 76. Referring to Figs. 5 to 8, each perch-assembly comprises a block-like member 85 slidably mounted on one of the end-wall sections 20 of the hopper 10 by guiding means at the bottom thereof. For this purpose the bottom portion of the plate 20 is extended downwardly in bifurcated form and abutting the inner faces of the bifurcations, see Fig. 6, are guide-plates fastened thereto by bolts 91 and 92. Each guide-plate 90 is formed with upper and lower horizontal slots 93 and 94, respectively, the upper slots 93 providing guideways for the needle-slide, to be later described, and the lower slots for the perch-block 85. The block 85 carries the perch 95 in the form of a plate having an upstanding hinge-portion 96 projecting into a recess 97 on the under side of the block with a pin 98 extending through holes therein to pivotally mount the perch for limited swinging movement relatively to the block. A helical spring 99 held in a pocket 100 on the under side of the block 85 and pocketed in a similar recess 101 in the top of the perch 95 tends to rock the latter downwardly. A screw 102 threaded down through the block 85 bears against the rearward end of the perch 95 to adjust its forward end in proper operative position. A plunger-pin 103 held in a hole in the b1ock'85 is urged by a helical spring .104 to force it against the screw 102 to lock it from turning after its adjustment. The screw 102 maybe turned manually to rock the plate .95 on its pivot 98 and adjust its forward end in proper position for insertion under the stack of blanks B in the hopper 10, see Fig. 8. It is to be noted that the forward portion of the perch-plate 95 is beveled and rounded on its end to adapt it for easy insertion under the edge of the lowermost blank B in the stack. Projecting from the sides of the block are flanges or splines 106 slidable in the slots or ways 94 in the guide-plates 90, see Fig. 6. Referring to Figs. 4, 6 and 7, a horizontal rod 110 projects through a longitudinal slot 107 in one guide-plate with its end reduced in diameter and held in a hole in the block 85. The rod 110 has its counterpart in an extension 111 joined thereto by a coupling 112 with its opposite end passing through a slot 107 in the guide-plate 90 on the opposite plate 20, see Fig. 4, to connect both slide-blocks 85 and perches to move together in unison. The coupling 112 affords means for adjusting the two rods and 111 longitudinally in accordance with the distance between the plates 20 by releasing setscrews 113. The rod 110 and its extension 11.1 are employed for sliding the perch-blocks 85 by the oscillation of a pair of rocker-arms 115 mounted fast on a sleeve 116. The sleeve 116 is free to turn on a rock-shaft 117 journaled in bearings 118 carried by brackets 120 fastened to the inclined portion of the beam 22. Each rocker-arm 115 has a hub 119 secured fast to the sleeve 116 on the rock-shaft 117. At its lower end each rocker arm 115 is formed with a bifurcated portion 121, see Fig. 8, straddling a block 122 pivotally mounted on the rod 110 or 111. The two arms 115 are thus adapted to oscillate the rods 110 and 111 to slide the perch-blocks 85. The sleeve 116 is oscillated about the rock-shaft 117 by a rocker-arm 125 actuated by the cam 76. Referring to Fig. 5, the elbow-shaped rocker-arm 125 has a hub 126 at its lower end clamped fast to the sleeve 116 on the rock-shaft 117 with the arm extending upwardly therefrom and carrying a roller 127 journaled at its upper end. The roller 127 engages in an eccentric groove 128 in the face of the cam 76 whereby the rotation of the cam rocks the arm 125 to oscillate the sleeve 116 and thereby rock the arms 115 to reciprocate the blocks 85 and slide the perches 95. Referring to Figs. 4 and 5, the rock-shaft 117 is oscillated by a rocker-arm 130 of the same shape as the arm 125 and having a hub 131 secured fast to the shaft by a pin 132. The upper end of the rocker-arm 130 carries a roller 134 journaled thereon and engaging a groove 135 in the face of the cam 77. A pair of elbow-shaped arms 136 have their hubs 137 secured fast to the rock-shaft 117 by set-screws 138 and extend downwardly therefrom with cylindrical projections 139 at their ends for reciprocating needle-slides 140. Referring to Figs. 7 and 8, each needle-slide 140 is constructed in the form of a horizontal plate 141, the side portions of which engage in the upper slots 93 of the guide-plates 90 to slidably mount it therebetween. Projecting upwardly from each plate or slide 140 are two spaced-apart lugs 142 which receive the cylindrical projection 139 on the arm 136 engaging therebetween. Projecting downwardly from the slide 140 is a plate-like extension 143 for mounting the needle-holding member or block 145 that is secured thereto by screws 146. The pointed needles have their shanks 151 held in holes in the block 145 with heads 153 at their ends seated in counterbores in the rearward face of the block and their points projecting forwardly therefrom, see Figs. 7 and 8. As shown in Fig. 6, the needles 150 are arranged in staggered relationship on the block 135 and so disposed as to register with the edges of the blanks B in the hopper 10 to impale the lowermost ones in the stack. The location of the lowermost needles in the series is most critical in order that they may be positioned to impale the bottom blank B before one of the blanks B, shown in Fig. 7, has been delivered from the under side of the stack. The needles 150 thereabove are provided to assist in taking the weight of the stack at its end and their location is not so critical since usually the blanks vary somewhat in thickness at their ends or in other cases they may be slightly bent or curled.
Referring to the diagrammatic views, Figs. 9 to 12, inclusive, and the chart, Fig. 13, it will be noted that the earns 76 and 77 are so positioned on the cam-shaft 75 that their grooves 168 and 135, respectively, are in opposed relationship. The grooves in the two cams have substantially the same or matching configuration with concentric portions a extending throughout one hundred eighty degrees of a circumference and eccentric portions l continuing throughout the remaining one hundred eighty degrees. The eccentric portions b have straight lengths c continuing from the ends of the concentric portion a and joined by a circular length d of much less radius than that of the concentric part of the groove. The earns 76 and 77 are so related in position on the camshaft 75 that the low points of their grooves are substantially opposed, but preferably there is a difference of approximately ten degrees in the setting of the cams, that is, the cam 77 may be advanced rotatively about ten degrees beyond the cam 76. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide that the withdrawal of the perches 95 is delayed an instant until the needles 150 have been inserted completely into the edges of the blanks B to insure that only one blank, the lowermost one, will be delivered from the stack upon withdrawal of the perches. However, the timing of operation is such that the needles 150 will not be withdrawn from the blanks until the perches 95 have been inserted under the bottom of the stack after each delivery of the lowermost blank therefrom. The timing of the cams and the relative motions of the perches and needles will be understood clearly by reference to the chart in Fig. 13. Sullice it to state herein that the needles are impaled in the blanks before the perches are withdrawn and the perches are inserted under the end of the stack before the needles are retracted; it being understood that the two perches and the two sets of needles, respectively, operate in unison.
Referring to Fig. 5, as the blank B is delivered from the hopper 10 it drops onto the bed 3 which is constituted by a series of horizontal rails 155, see also Fig. 6. When so disposed the sheet or blank is fed forwardly along the rails 155 by suitable means such as shown in the application for patent referred to above. To prevent the blanks B from being displaced rearwardly by slipping or sliding on the rails 155, detent-means are provided in the form of a dog or hold-back lever 156, the main portion of which is inclined downwardly with its toe adapted to engage the top of the blank. The dog 156 is pivoted on a screw 157 fastened in the side of the plate 20 and is formed with an upper arm 158 connected to a spring 159 having its opposite end anchored to a stationary portion of the frame of the machine. As shown in Fig. 3, this end of the spring may be anchored in one of a series of holes 160 in an upstanding plate 161 supported by a horizontal platelike rail 162, a plurality of these lattter elements being employed overlying the rails 155. The strip-like rails 162 are weighted at 163 to adapt them to press against the blanks and keep them from riding up off of the rails 155. Each rail 162 has an angular arm 164 formed with a hole engaged by a pin 165 in an angular piece 166 fastened to the end of one of the guide-plates 90 to hold it from moving with the feeding blank. The rearward end of the rail 162 is inclined upwardly slightly to provide a re-entrant opening for guiding the blank in under the rail.
The means for feeding the blanks along the rails 155 may comprise a plurality of slidable pushers 170, see Fig. 3, carried by a frame 171 and having tail-pieces with upstanding toothed portions 173. The toothed portions 173 engage the rearward end of a blank to slide it forwardly on the rails 155, this element of the apparatus being substantially the same as that described in the application previously referred to and not herein described in detail. Suffice it to say that the frame 171 is slid back and forth along the rails 155 by means of a lever 174, see Fig. 1, connected to the frame by a rod 175. The lever 174 is pivoted on a bearing 176 supported on a framework 177 depending from the side rails of the frame 2. The lever 174 is rocked by means of a connecting rod 178 having one end pivotally joined thereto and its opposite end connected to a crank 179 on a transverse crank-shaft 180 journaled in suitable bearings on the frame 2 of the machine.
Suspended from the side rails 5' of the frame 2 is a cradle 181 on which is supported an electric motor 182 connected by a belt 183 to a pulley 184 which operates the gear-train of a variable-speed unit contained within a casing 185, also supported on the cradle. Driven from the gearing in the casing 185 is a sprocket 186 connected by a transmission chain 187 to a driven sprocket 188 on the crank-shaft 180 which is journaled in bearings 189 on the frame 2. From a sprocket 190, also on the crank-shaft 180, a transmission chain 191 extends to a sprocket 192 on a shaft 193, see Fig. 2, journaled in bearings 194 on the frame 2. The shaft 193 carries a second sprocket 195 which is connected by a transmission chain 196 to a sprocket 197 on a countershaft 198 journaled in suitable bearings 199. The shaft 198 carries another sprocket 200 from which extends the chain 61 connected to drive the sprocket 60 on the shaft 50, previously mentioned. The motor 182 thus supplies power to drive through the variablespeed unit and sprockets last described to actuate the going parts of the mechanism of the machine. An idler sprocket 203 journaled on a vertically-adjustable slide 204 engages with the lower reach of the chain 196 to take up the slack.
It has been stated that the blanks are operated on in the hopper by jogging means to maintain them in proper stacked relationship with their rearward and forward edges abutting the walls 11 and 12, respectively, of the hopper. This mechanism comprises a lever 205 on a shaft 206 journaled in bearings 207 on the frame 2, see Fig. l, and carrying a crosspiece 208 at its upper end on which is mounted a plate 210, see Figs. 1 and 3, having a pointed rib 211 at the top. Extending horizontally from the lever 205 is a bar 212 engaged by an adjustable set-screw 214 at the end of a rockable lever 215. The lever 215 is pivoted at 216 to a two-part stanchion 217 and has depending portion at its end carrying a roller 218 engaging the periphery of an eccentric 220 on the shaft 198, see Fig. 1. As the lever 215 is oscillated about its pivot 216 it will rock the bar 212 and thereby the lever 205 to intermittently engage the rib 211 on the plate 210 with the rearward edges of the blanks B to jog them into staggered relationship in the hopper 10. The method of operation of the complete machine is as next explained.
The forward wall 12 of the hopper 10 is initially adjusted in its, relation to the rearward wall 11 to accommodate any particular length of blanks B to be delivered to the feeding means of the machine. This adjustment is accomplished by turning the hand-wheel 45, shown in Figs. 2 and 4, for rotating the shaft 40 and worm 43. The worm 43 will thus turn the worm-wheel 36 to rotate the shaft 35 which connects two of the gear-wheels 30, whereof to travel the latter along the rack-bars 31 and move the beam 22 in one direction or the other as required ;for adjusting the plates and 21 in relation to the strips 13 constituting the fixed end wall 11 of the hopper. When the beam 22 is thus adjusted the wormwheel 43 through its engagement with the worm 36 acts to lock the beam and the plates 20 and 21 in fixed position. The blanks B or other sheets to be fed are placed inthe hopper 10 when the perch-plates 95 are in their forward position, shown in Fig. 8, for supporting oneend of the stack. At this juncture the needles 150 are retracted and the blanks will be sustained at their rear ends 8 through the engagement of their edges with the inclined fixed wall 11 of the hopper 10.
The machine may now be started to operate by ener-. gizing the electric .motor 182 through the use of a suitable switch, not herein shown. The motor 182 drives through the variable-speed unit in the casing 185 to rotate the sprocket 186 which transmits motion through the chain 187 to the sprocket 188 on the shaft 180, see Fig. l. The sprocket 190 on the shaft 180, Fig. 2, drive through the chain 191 to rotate the sprocket 192 and the shaft 193. The sprocket 195 at the right on the shaft 193 drives through the chain 196 to rotate the sprocket 197 on the shaft 198 which carries the eccentric 220 shown in Fig. 1. Through these connections the eccentric 220 is rotated to oscillate the lever 215 and rock the lever 205. The plate 210 on the lever 205 will thus be actuated intermittently to jog the blanks B for maintaining them in staggered relationship in the stack while assisting them to slide down the inclined walls of the hopper 10.
The sprocket 200 on the shaft 198 drives the sprocket 60 on the shaft through the transmission chain 61 and, as before described, this latter shaft carries the beveled gear 56, see Fig. 3, meshing with the bevel-gear 57 for driving the shaft 55. The bevel-gear 72 on shaft which meshes with the gear 73 is thus driven to rotate the cam-shaft 75 and earns 76 and 77. It has been stated that the cam 76 rocks the arm for oscillating the sleeve 116 on the shaft 117, see Figs. 4 and 5, while the cam 77 operates through the arm to rock said shaft 117 itself. The shaft 117 thus comunicates its ocillating motion through the rocker-arms 136 for reciprocating the needle-slides 140.
With the machine prepared for operation as above explained, the cam 76 will transmit oscillation to the arms 115 to gradually withdraw the perch-plates 95 from under the stack of blanks B. The pair of arms 115 on the sleeve 116 are connected to move the rods 110 and 111 to reciprocate the blocks 85 carrying the perch-plates 95 while the rocker-arms 136 are being oscillated to reciprocate the needle-slides.
The perch-plates 95 are moved in the direction to withdraw them from under the stack while the needles are advanced in the opposite direction to impale them in the ends of the blanks B so that immediately the perches are withdrawn and the lowermost blank B delivered from the stack the needles will be engaged with the blanks B thereabove to sustain the whole stack. As a blank B is delivered from the stack to drop onto the rails the dog or detent-lever 156 is engaged therewith to prevent retrogressive movement of this blank as the pusher-elements slide it forwardly on the rails 155. Thereafter the pushers are returned to rearward position to engage the rearward edge of the next blank delivered from the stack so that all the delivered blanks will continue to be fed forward into position to be operated upon, either by folding over their side flaps or by any other processing before they are finally discharged from the machine. The timing of operation of the perches, needles and the pushers is such as to allow a certain interval for folding or otherwise processing each blank after it has been fed beyond the stack. It should be explained that when the perches 95 are withdrawn from under the forward end of the stack the pushers 170 will be in their rearward position and their tail-pieces will have been carried upwardly to locate their toothed portions 173 at the rear of the lowermost blank resting on the forward foot portions 15 of the sections 13 of the rearward wall 11 of the hopper 10; it being understood that the pushers operate in the spaces between the wall sections. At the next operation the pushers 170 will be advanced with their teeth engaging the edge of the blank B to feed it forwardly on the rails 155, as indicated by the dotted lines in Fig. 3. The operation of the blank-delivering means is continuous in repeated cycles to deliver the blanks successively from the hopper until the whole number in the stack is exhausted when the supply may be replenished.
It will be observed from the foregoing specification that the present invention provides a relatively simple yet eflicient apparatus for continuously delivering sheet-material such as cards or blanks from a stack to feed them to other stations for processing thereon.
While the invention is herein shown and described as embodied in a preferred form of construction, modifications may be made in the structure and arrangement of the parts of the apparatus without departing from the scope of the invention as expressed in the accompanying claims. Therefore, without limiting myself in this respect, I claim:
1. In an apparatus for delivering sheets or blanks from a stack, a hopper for containing a stack of sheets or blanks, said hopper having forward and rearward walls spaced at a distance apart and inclined downwardly toward the forward end of the hopper with shorter verticai portions at the bottom of both walls spaced at a distance apart less than the length of said sheets or blanks, said shorter vertical portions at the bottom of said walls being engageable by the ends of the blanks to cause them to drop down with their ends in vertical alinement, and said hopper having an open bottom for delivering the blanks therefrom, jogging means located adjacent the rearward inclined wall of the hopper and engageable with the ends of the blanks to stagger them therein, means for intermittently operating said jogging means means for supporting the stack from the under side thereof with the rearward ends of the blanks raised above their forward ends comprising a stationary rest at the rearward end of the hopper and a lower movable rest at the forward end thereof, means above said movable rest at the forward end of the hopper for supporting the stack when said movable rest is withdrawn, means for withdrawing said movable rest from under the forward end of the stack to deliver a single blank while the remainder of the blanks in the stack are held by the supporting means thereabove, means for operating said last-named means, and means for feeding the delivered blank in a horizontal plane while holding it free from frictional contact with the bottom sheet of the supported stack.
2. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the lower rest at the forward end of the hopper comprises a reciprocable perch for insertion under the end of the stack, a member reciprocally mounted above said perch and carrying spaced needles for impaling the ends of a plurality of the blanks located above the lowermost blank in the hopper, means for reciprocating said perch to alternately insert it under the forward end of the stack and withdraw it therefrom, and means for reciprocating the needle-carrying member to impale the needles into the ends of a plurality of the blanks as the perch is withdrawn and to withdraw said needles from the blanks as the perch is inserted thereunder.
3. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the forward lower supporting rest for the stack comprises a perch slidable at the forward end of the hopper for insertion under the ends of the blanks at this end of the stack, a rocker-arm for sliding said perch to alternately insert it under the stack and withdraw it therefrom, a cam for oscillating said rocker-arm, a member reciprocable above said perch at the forward end of the hopper and carrying a plurality of needles for impaling the ends of a plurality of the blanks in the stack to support them at their forward ends when said perch is withdrawn, a rocker-arm for reciprocating said needle-carrying member to cause the needles to alternately impale the ends of the blanks and be withdrawn therefrom, a cam for oscillating said last-named rocker-arm, and means for driving said cams to oscillate the rocker-arm for the perch and the rocker-arm for the needle-carrying member in timed relationship.
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