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.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3002750 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1961
Filing dateDec 30, 1958
Priority dateDec 30, 1958
Publication numberUS 3002750 A, US 3002750A, US-A-3002750, US3002750 A, US3002750A
InventorsWheeler Wendell J
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card feed interruption
US 3002750 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 3, 1961 w. J. WHEELER CARD FEED INTERRUPTION 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 50, 1958 26 24 12 mnmmnxmnmmmh FIG.



knives to interrupt the feeding of cards.

bottom first.

United States Patent 3,002,750 CARD FEED INTERRUPTION Wendell J. Wheeler, Endwell, N.Y., assignor to International Business Machines Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 30, 1958, Ser. No. 786,665 4 Claims. or. 271--56) passed through a throating device into a set of feed rolls in the card transport section. Additional feed rolls, then transport the cards throughout the machine where various operations are performed. These operations may be in the nature of sorting, collating or punching, etc.

Cards can be loaded in the hopperby hand or loaded substantially automatically by an additional continuously loading hopper, commonly referred to as a file feed. This file feed is generally placed above the hopper and the cards are then preloaded in the hopper and positioned above a card weight. The card weigh-t is removed when a suflicient number of cards are in the hopper to permit cards to be picked. During the period of time that the picker knives pick the bottom-most cards and deliver them into the first feed rolls, it is common practice to utilize elevators positioned adjacent the picker knife or Elevators are small lifters adapted to lift the bottom-most cards above the path of travel of the picking surface on the picker knife or knives. This lifting of the cards interrupts card feeding.

When the cards are initially loaded into an empty hopper, there is a tendency for the first or the second This condior the third card to drift into-the throat. tion is brought about by the hopper being tilted at a substantial angle, The tilt is utilized to aid the picker knife in removing the bottom-most card when a substantial number of cards are in the hopper. When the first cards pass from the file feed into the hopper they do so at an angle to the hopper with the leading edge hitting the If one of the first cards moves into the throat, the instant the picker knife starts to feed cards, it will engage the next card that overlaps the trailing edge of the card already in the throat. Since the threat is not designed to separate or accommodate two cards, a

jam results.

Furthermore, a jam may occur in the card transport section, or, if the card feed is used in connection with a card reader, the stacker for receiving the cards after they are read may become full. When either of these situations occurs, the feeding of cards must be stopped immediately. Therefore, the elevators are actuated to interrupt card feeding by raising the deck above the feed knives. above the picker knife, the deck of cards are placed. at a substantially greater angle than mentioned above. The bottom-most cards then have a tendency to slide into the throat. Also, the static friction between the cards and the scrubbing action of one card against another as it passes out of the hopper cause the cards to drift into the throat when attempting to stop card feeding at high speeds. The higher the speed of card delivery, the greater the number of cards that can become involved in the Jam.

When the elevators raise the deck of cards ice Various types of devices have been employed at the throat, which devices extend into the path of the card so as to abut the leading edge of the card. Generally these devices have been for aligning the card before being picked by the picker knife and for assisting in accurately positioning the card in the hopper. Generally these devices are operated so that they take place in each card cycle, i.e., before delivering each card to the first feed rolls. Furthermore, the timing is such that they generally align the card while the picker knife is either on its return stroke or while it is on its forward stroke, but not while it could engage the trailing edge of the card. With these prior arrangements, it is still possible for the cards to drift into the throat since in various portions of the cycle these devices do not provide means that extend into the path of the cards being fed.

An attempt was made to combine the drive for an elevator and throat barrier arrangement with an existing air pump. A vacuum assist feed provides such a source although other vacuum sources would also suffice. A vacuum assist feed is one in which vacuum is applied at the critical picking and throat areas to help pull the card down onto the picking knife surface and onto the throat block so as to pass through the throat gap. In attempting to utilize the air pump, which develops the vacuum, for also driving the elevators and throat barriers, it was found that the average pressure Was generally not suflicient to operate a piston and cylinder arrangement to actuate the elevators and throat barriers. Also, a pistoncylinder arrangement contains so much internal friction that it did not work fast enough for the speeds at which the cards were being fed. The mass was just too great to be able to be operated quickly.

It istherefore an object of this invention to provide a throat barrier arrangement for a card feed system to prevent cards drifting into the throat during loading of an empty hopper, or, when elevators are actuated upwardly, to lift the deck of cards in the hopper above the picker knives.

It is another object of this invention to provide an arrangement for interrupting the feeding of cards in a card feeding machine, which machine has a source of vacuum, and to utilize the exhaust pressure of the pump which creates the vacuum for supplying the energy for driving .the throat barriers and elevators.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a throat barrier and elevator arrangement for interrupting card feeding by actuating the throat barrier and elevator arrangement in response to a power source.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an elevator arrangement in combination. with a file feed to eliminate the card weight normally used when loading a hopper, the elevator arrangement preventing the picker knife from inadvertently striking the cards being loaded.

Briefly stated and in accordance with one aspect of the invention, an elevator and throat barrier arrangement are provided in combination with a card feed wherein the elevators interrupt card feeding by lifting the cards above the picker knives whenever cards are loaded into an empty hopper, or, when a jam occurs in the card transport section; and the throat barriers are provided to prevent cards from drifting into the throat gap and thereby preventing the picker knife from picking the wrong card when the correct instant arrives for card feeding.

Also, if an air pump is available, a diaphragm is provided that is operated from the exhaust pressure from the pump and also the vacuum from the pump so as to drive both the throat barriers and elevators.

Other objects of the invention will be pointed out in the followingdescription and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of examples, the principle of the invention and the best mode,

which has been contemplated, of applying that principle.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a business machine such as asorter.

FIG. 2 is a perspective View of a-card feed system showing'the position of theelevators and throat barriers.

FIG. 3 is a view showing the elevators andthroat barriers-being driven off the same drive.

FIG. 4 is a schematic view showing the elevators and throat barriers in combination with a vacuum pump, which pump supplies vacuum at the pickerknives and throat.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional View showing the details of a diaphragm used in connection with the embodiment of the invention. 7

Referring to FIG. 1, a schematic view is shown of a sorter ltlto which the inventioncan beapplied. Although this invention will be described in connection with a sorter, it is understood and intended that the'invention'be applied to other types of business machines, for example, a collator or punch. A hopper is shown at 12 which contains adeck of cards 14 which are adapted to be singly removed from the hopper by a picker knife 16and passed over a throat block 17 which defines a throat with the forward portion of the hopper 12. Feed rolls are shown at 18 through which the cards are fed. Sensing means-20 are also provided for sensing the cards so as to operate the appropriate magnet 22, and, in turn chute blade 24, to deflect the cards through the appropriate additional feed rolls 26 into the proper pocket 28. In this manner, cards may be sorted according to the information read by the sensing means 20 which is connected by a suitable electrical system for operating the proper magnet and chute blade to deflect the card into its appropriate pocket28.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2 where the hopper 12 is shown in greater detail and is constructed in the same manner as other prior hoppers. The hopper contains the hopper front wall 34, hopper side walls 36 (only one shown), and hopper post 38 (only one of which is shown in position). These define the hopper and are slightly larger than the cards so that they can be joggled to avoid card jams. Cutout portions 40 are provided in the hopper front wall to provide clearance for card guide rolls 41 and for the first feed rolls 18. A throat knife blade 42 is shown fixed to the front wall and terminates into a knife edge 43 to form a throat for the throat block 17. The-front wall of the hopper is bent so as to form the upper portion 44 for a throat chute which provides guidance for the card into a card transport section. In order tohelp supportthe deck of cards, a bed'plate 46 is provided. The bed plate is concave in the direction shown at 48 and is convex in the direction shown at 50. The details of the bed plate are covered in copending application Serial No. 783,922, filedDecember 30, 1958, and assigned to the assignee of this application, the detailsof which form no part of this invention.

In order to pull the cards down onto the throat block and tolocate'the leading edge of the card in the gap defined by the throat block 17 and throat knife edge 43-, the throat block 17 is provided with slots 54 for applying a-vacuum to the cards.

In order to remove the bottom-most card from the deck of cards in the hopper, the picker knife is oscillated in cutout portions 56 in the bed'plate 46. Thecard is pulled down onto the picker knife by vacuum through slots 58. The details of the manner in which the vacuum is applied to the card, and the details of the vacuum system may be found in copending application Serial No. 783,921, filed December 30, 1958, and assigned to the same assignee as this application. The details of thatsystem form no part of this invention.

In order to prevent the picker knife from engaging. the trailing edge of the card, elevator arms are provided as shown at 60 adjacenteach side of'the picker knives (FIG.

3). Th9 elevators 6tlhave a fiat portion 62 for engaging 4 the cards. Each elevator arm '60 isfixed to a shaft'64. Also fixed to the shaft 64 isa link 66 which is adapted to rotate the shaft 64 and, of course, in turn actuate the arms 60. The link 66 is in turn pivotally connected to a clevis 68 which is in turn mounted on the rod 70.

In order to prevent the drifting of cards through the throat 43, we provide throat barriers 72 mounted on opposite sides of the throat block 52 best seen in FIG. 4. Referring again to FIG. 3 the throat barrier 7 2'is mounted on a pin 74. The pin 74' is'slidably mounted in a bushing or the like 76 which forms an abutment for a collar 78 fixed to the pin 74. The other end of the pin 74 is slidably mounted in a slot 80 positioned in a platform 81 positioned on the link arm 82. The pin" 74 is driven upwardly by a spring 79 positioned between the collar 78 and the platforr'n 81-. In order to drive the pin in the other direction, a-pin' 84 shown-positioned on'the underside of theplatform 81 from the s ring 78. Therefore, when the arm 82 is actuatedupwar'dly;the'platfoi m 81 engages the spring 79'to drive the collar 78 and pin 74 upwardly so as to urge the throat barrierlupwardly. The bushing 76 forms an abutment for the upwardmevement of the pin and barrier 72'. However, if' acard is already in the throat 43, when the throat barrier is actuated, the spring 79 is sufliciently flexibleto be compressed so that thethroat barrierwill not puncture the card. When the arm 82 is actuated to retr-act the barrier, the platform 81 engages the pin 84 to pull the pin 74 and throat barrier 72 downwardly.

In order that the pin 74 and throat barrier 72' be actuated-simultaneously' with the elevator arms 66, linkage means are provided to connect the arm 82 to the shaft 84. Such a linkage means can-be in the formof a sector gear arrangement for driving the shaft 84 wherein one sector 86 is fixed to the shaft 64 and the mating sector 88 is fixed to the shaft 84. Of course, other linkage arrangements could be used just as effectively. Therefore, whenever the link 66 is actuated, the shaft 64Will be actuated and in turn operate both the elevator-arm 60 and the sectors' 86 and 88 tosimulta'neously drive the throat barrier 72. V

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, the rod 70 is' slidably mounted in a housing 90. The housing is constructed of two identical cases each having a cavity 92. Mounted inside of the cavity 92 is a diaphragm 94 which is" held in place by clamping between the two casings The diaphragm'must not be too flexible yet not too" stifil In order to accomplish both purposes, the diaphragm is constructed of a rubber portion clamped between the casings 90. Washers 98 are clamped to boths'ides' of the rubber diaphragm and are. secured to the shaft or rod 70. This construction forms a rubber sandwich. Ports 100 and 102 are provided to permit the entrance of air under pressure into one or the other side of the diaphragm, or extraction therefrom. In order to actuate the diaphragm, an airp'u'mp10'6, which normally supplies a vacuum to the ports 58 in the picker knife. and the ports 54'inthe'throat block,.is utilized. Thevacuum is created by the pump'106' being driven by a motor 104. The vacuum pump 106"is'-provided with a vacuum port 108 and a pressure port 110. The vacuumpump canb'e of any well-known type such as an impeller" or piston and cylinder type. Normally vacuum is supplied to'the slots 54 and 58 through conduit 1'12 extending from the vacuum port 108 of the pump 106. The pressure port 110' of the pump 106 is connected to the conduit 114 the diaphragm 94, the four-way valve 116 is positioned so that the pressure port 110' of the pump is exposed to one side of the diaphragm at 102 so as to provide air under pressure, and at the same time the vacuum from the vacuum port 108 of the pump 106 is applied to the other side of the diaphragm at 100 so as to provide maximum pressure differential. For example, the exhaust pressure of the pump is normally p.s.i., and the vacuum has been found to be approximately six inches of mercury. Six inches of mercury is approximately 3 p.s.i. Therefore, the total amount of force exerted on the diaphragm is 13 p.s.i. This arrangement takes full advantage of the pressure and vacuum available for operating the linkages 64, 66, 82, etc., which will be referred to as the drive means.

Whenever it is desired to move the diaphragm in the opposite direction the four-Way valve is turned so that vacuum port 108 of the pump 106 is connected through conduit 112, 113 to the conduit or opening 102, and the pressure port 110 of the pump 106 is connected through conduit 114 to the conduit or opening 100. This then forces the diaphragm in the opposite direction.

Operation In order to start the machine, a large number of cards are inserted in the file feed. In order to get the cards from the file feed into the hopper and to start the machine operating, the normal switches are energized which start the motor 104 and the mechanism including the shaft 118 for oscillating the picker knife 16. In order to prevent cards feeding from the hopper, the four-way valve 116 is in a de-energized position so that the pressure port 110 is connected to the port 102 (as shown by arrows 120) and the vacuum port 108 is connected to the port 100 (as shown by arrows 122). Also, simultaneously the two-Way valve 115 is positioned to cut off the vacuum being applied at the throat block and picker knife ports 54, 58. This actuates the diaphragm so as to actuate the arms 60 and platform 62 above the level of the picking knife surface, and actuates the throat barrier 72 above the level of the throat block or throat gap 43. The cards are held above the picker knife and throat gap until the file feed has delivered a suflicient number of cards to the hopper to start the machine feeding into the card transport section. The valve 116 is then energized so that the pressure from the port 110 and the vacuum from the port 108 are reversed on the diaphragm to thereby restore the elevators 62 and the throat barrier 72 to their inoperative or retracted position. Also, the valve 115 is positioned so that the vacuum from the vacuum port 108 is connected to the slots 54 in the throat block 52 and the slots 58 in the picker knife.

If a jam occurs in the machine, the four-way valve 116 and two-way valve 115 are immediately actuated either automatically by means for sensing the jam, or, manually by pressing a valve switch. This connects the conduit 112, 113 and vacuum port 108 to the conduit or port at 100 of the diaphragm housing, and the pressure port 110 of the pump to the port 102 so as to actuate the diaphragm, and in turn through the linkage arrangement, the elevator 62 and the throat barrier 72. This raises the deck and prevents the picker knife from engaging the cards. Also, the throat barriers prevent the cards drifting into the throat and thereby decreases the number of cards involved in the jam.

While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a card feed mechanism, a hopper containing a deck of cards and providing a throat, a picker knife movable back and forth for normally feeding successive cards singly along a defined path and through the throat, projection means normally retracted out of said path and operable into such path to shift the deck to a position in which the picker knife is unable to contact a card and the cards of the deck are out of alignment with the throat thereby to interrupt card feeding, means including a double-acting fluid pressure motor controlling operation of said projection means, a vacuum source, said picker knife having suction ports, and valve means normally positioned to connect the source to the suction ports to attract the card being fed and also connect the source to one side of said motor to cause the latter to maintain said projection means in its retracted position, said valve means being operable to another position to disestablish such connections and connect said source to the opposite side of said motor to actuate said projection means to deck-shifting position.

2. The combination according to claim 1, including additional suction ports provided in the bed of said hopper at the throat, and wherein said additional ports are connected to or disconnected from said source according as said valve means is in its normal position or other position respectively.

3. In a mechanism for singly feeding cards from a deck, means including a back-and-forth moving picker means and a stationary throat defining portions of a card feed path along which the cards normally are advanced successively by said picker means, projection means normally retracted out of said path and movable into said path to shift the deck to a position in which the cards are out of alignment with the throat and will not be contacted by said picker means, a vacuum source, means including a fluid pressure motor operatively connected to the projection means for controlling positioning of the projection means, first valve means for controlling connection of the source with suction ports in the picker means and at the throat, second valve means controlling connection of the source with the motor, and means operatively connecting said first and second valve means so that when the second valve means is positioned to cause said motor to operatively actuate said projection means to deck-shifting position said first valve means will be operated to cut off the source from said suction ports.

4. The combination, with a hopper containing a stack of forms and providing a throat through which forms may be singly fed, of picker means movable back and forth to pick the then bottommost form from the stack and feed it through the throat, barrier means and other means respectively disposed in proximity of the throat and picker means and normally concurrently retracted below and out of effective contact with the stack, actuating means for concurrently elevating said barrier means and other means into contact with the stack and raising the stack to a position in which the forms cannot be contacted by the picker means and are out of registry with the throat to positively interrupt such feeding, a fluid pressure motor controlling operation of said actuating means, a vacuum source, suction ports in the picker means and in the hopper at the throat to assist in the feeding of such bottommost form, and valve means normally connecting the source to said ports and operable to a feedinterrupting position to disconnect said source from said ports and connect said source to said motor to actuate the latter to move said acuatiug means to its elevating position.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 958,764 Pollard May 24, 1910 1,432,032 Novick Oct. 17, 1922 2,151,177 Alvine Mar. 21, 1939 2,192,616 Mills Mar. 5, 1940 2,327,172 Carlson Aug. 17, 1943 2.705.143 Greenwood Mar. 2 1955

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US958764 *Dec 14, 1909May 24, 1910Internat Engineering Company LtdApparatus for delivering sheets of paper one by one from a pile.
US1432032 *Oct 1, 1921Oct 17, 1922Smithe Machine Co Inc F LSafety stop for blank pickers
US2151177 *Oct 22, 1937Mar 21, 1939Remington Rand IncTabulator drive control
US2192616 *May 6, 1938Mar 5, 1940IbmKeyboard actuator
US2327172 *Jan 11, 1940Aug 17, 1943Robert H McclinticPneumatic actuating mechanism for electrically operated typewriters
US2705143 *Mar 10, 1954Mar 29, 1955Greenwood Henry BSkip-feed mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4081945 *Nov 15, 1976Apr 4, 1978The Mead CorporationPackaging machine for use with cartons of different sizes with minimum adjustment
US5009411 *Aug 26, 1988Apr 23, 1991Datacard CorporationInput hopper apparatus
EP0074470A1 *Jul 1, 1982Mar 23, 1983Bernhard BrüneMethod and device for automatic data acquisition
WO1990002091A1 *Aug 23, 1989Mar 8, 1990Datacard CorporationInput hopper apparatus
U.S. Classification271/136, 271/108
International ClassificationG06K13/107, G06K13/02, G06K13/10
Cooperative ClassificationG06K13/107, G06K13/10
European ClassificationG06K13/107, G06K13/10