US 3007696 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 7, 1961 w. J. WHEELER ETAL 3,007,696
,CARD ARRESTER 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 30, 1958 m msg m w Inventors WENDELL J. WHEELER HERMAN J. KLOTZ y )Mauifl/P/ After/76% Nov. 7, 1961 w. J. WHEELER ET AL 3,007,696
CARD ARRESTER 5 Sheets-Sheet 2.
Filed Dec. 30, 1958 Nov. 7, 1961 w. J. WHEELER ET AL 3,007,696
CARD ARRESTER Filed Dec. 30, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 B VACUUM PRESSURE REGULATING VALVE PRESSURE GAUGE PRESSURE REGULATING VALVE FIG. 4
United States Patent 3,007,696 CARD ARRESTER Wendell J. Wheeler, Endwell, and Herman .I. Klotz, Endicott, N.Y., assignors to International Business Machines Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 30, 1958, Ser. No. 783,941 3 Claims. (Cl. 27156) This invention relates to a card arrester for high speed card feeding systems for use in business machines, and, in particular, to a card control device for selectively preventing engagement of cards by card feeding means in high speed or low speed sorting, collating, punching or other like business machines having card feed systems.
Card feeding systems for business machines are operated by stacking a deck of cards in a container known as a hopper and singly removing the cards from the hopper by a picker arm. The cards are then singly 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 hopper by 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 weight is removed when a sufficient 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 knives to interrupt the feeding of cards. 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 or the third card to drift into the throat. This condition 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 bottom first. 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 throat 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. When the elevators raise the deck of cards 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 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.
It is therefore 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 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.
Other objects of the invention will be pointed out in the following description 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 a sorter.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a card feed system showing the position of the elevators and throat barriers.
FIG. 3 is a view showing the elevators and throat 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 picker knives and throat.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing the details of a diaphragm used in connection with the embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a view showing another embodiment of the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, a schematic view is shown of a sorter 10 to which the invention can be applied. 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 a deck of cards 14 which are adapted to be singly removed from the hopper by a picker knife 16 and 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. Sensa ing means 28 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 from the sensing means 21) which is connected by a suitable electrical system for operating the proper magnet and chute blade to deflect the card into its appropriate pocket 28.
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 to help support the deck of cards, a bed plate 46 is provided. The bed plate is concave in the direction shown at 48 and in convex in the direction shown at 50. The details of the bed plate are covered in copending application Serial No. 783,922, filed December 30, 1958, and assigned to the assignee of this application, the details of which form no part of this invention.
In order to pull the cards down onto the throat block and to locate 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. The card 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 that system 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 adjacent each side of the picker knives (FIG. 3). The elevators 60 have a flat portion 62 for engaging the cards. Each elevator arm 60 is fixed to a shaft 64. Also fixed to the shaft 64 is a 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 72 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 platform 81. In order to drive the pin in the other direction, a pin 84 is shown positioned on the underside of the platform 81 from the spring 78. Therefore, when the arm 82 is actuated upwardly, the platform 81 engages the spring 79 to drive the collar 78 and pin 74 upwardly so as to urge the throat barrier upwardly. The bushing 76 forms an abutment for the upward movement of the pin and barrier 72. However, if a card is already in the throat 43 when the throat barrier is actu- 4 ated, the spring 79 is sufficiently flexible to be compressed so that the throat barrier will not puncture the card. When the arm 82 is actuated to retract 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 60, linkage means are provided to connect the arm 82 to the shaft 84. Such a linkage means can be in the form of 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 64 will be actuated and in turn operate both the elevator arm 60 and the sectors 86 and 88 to simultaneously drive the throat barrier 72.
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 90. The dia phragm must not be too flexible yet not too stlff. In order to accomplish both purposes, the diaphragm is constructed of a rubber portion clamped between the casings 90. Washers 98 are clamped to both sides 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 air pump 106, which normally supplies a vacuum to the ports 58 in the picker knife and the ports 54 in the throat block, is utilized. The vacuum 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 vacuum pump can be of any wellknown type such as an impeller or piston and cylinder type. Normally vacuum is supplied to the slots 54 and 58 through conduit 112 extending from the vacuum port 108 of the pump 106. The pressure port 110 of the pump 106 is connected to the conduit 114 which is connected to a four-way valve 116. The conduit 112 can also be connected to the four-way valve 116 through conduit 113. A two-way valve is shown at which is operated to cut off the vacuum to the ports 54, 58 when the diaphragm 94 is to be operated.
In order to get as much force as possible supplied to 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 10 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 tothe 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 e ergized wh ch S a t the motor 104 and the mechanism including the shaft 118 for oscillating the picker knife 16. In order to prevent 1cards feeding from the hopper, the four-way valve 116 is in a tie-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 sufiicient number of card 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 53 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 a 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.
Although a vacuum pump has been shown and described as the power source for operating the drive means, an electrically operated solenoid could also be effectively utilized as the power source. Such an arrangement is shown in FIG. 6. When the solenoid 124 is energized, the rod 70 is actuated to operate the drive means (linkage 66, 82, etc.) to raise the elevators 62 and the cards above the picker knife surface. Also, the throat barriers 72 are actuated to extend into the card path to prevent cards from drifting into the throat. The operation of the solenoid can be reversed to retract the elevators and throat barriers out of the card path. Further, although a picker knife has been shown and described as the means for feeding cards, other feeding means such as skid feed rolls could also be used. In using skid feed rolls, the elevators would be utilized to raise the cards above the skid feed rolls to interrupt card feeding and the throat barriers would prevent cards drifting into the throat.
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 combination, a hopper containing a stack of forms and providing a throat through which forms may be singly fed, feed means operating to normally contact successive forms on the stack and advance them through the throat, barrier means adjacent the throat and normally retracted to permit passage of forms through the throat, other means near the feed means and normally retracted to permit the feed means to engage and advance one form at a time, actuating means operatively connected to said barrier means and other means and operative to shift said barrier means to block the throat to prevent such passage and simultaneously shift said other means into contact with the stack to move the stack to a position in which said feed means as it continues to operate is rendered incapable of thereafter engaging any of the forms then on the stack, and means operable independently of and in a non-synchronous relation to said feed means to effect operation of said actuating means.
2. In combination, a hopper containing a stack of cards and providing a throat through which successive cards may be singly fed, picker means operating normally to pick successive cards from the stack and advance them through the throat, barrier means adjacent the throat and supported for movement between one position in which it blocks passage of cards through the throat and another position in which it is ineffective to block such passage, other means supported for movement between one position in which it shifts the stack to a location where none of the cards can be contacted by the picker means as it operates and another position in which it permits the stack to assume a location wherein cards can be contacted and advanced by the picker means, actuating means operatively connecting said barrier means and other means to cause said barrier means and other means to move concurrently either to their respective one positions or their respective other positions, and means operable independently of and in a non-synchronous relation to said picker means for effecting operation of the actuating means.
3. In combination, a hopper containing a stack of cards and providing a throat through which cards may be singly fed, picker means disposed generally below the stack for contacting and feeding successive bottommost cards of the stack through the throat, barrier means having a lowered position in which it permits passage of cards through the throat and a raised position in which it blocks such passage, elevator means having a lowered position in which it is effectively disengaged from the stack to permit such contact and feeding by the picker means and a raised position in which it raises the stack to prevent said picker means from contacting any of said cards, actuating means connected to said barrier means and elevator means for concurrently moving them selectively to their lowered or raised positions, and means for controlling operation of said actuating means.
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 2,162,450 Upham June 13, 1939 2,705,142 Gollwitzer Mar. 29, 1955 2,705,143 Greenwood Mar. 29, 1955