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Publication numberUS3008709 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1961
Filing dateOct 6, 1958
Priority dateOct 6, 1958
Publication numberUS 3008709 A, US 3008709A, US-A-3008709, US3008709 A, US3008709A
InventorsBuslik Walter S
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sheet separating and feeding apparatus
US 3008709 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 14, 1961 w. s. BUSLIK I ,008,7

SHEET SEPARATING AND FEEDING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 6, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 1

44 5r 49 x7 52 E g FIG. 3 48 L LA g az Pc PT -0 f 19 as i VAC SOL 1 SOURCE 3 VAC WI i A 80 INVENTOR 1 WALTER s. BUSLIK ATTORNEY Nov. 14, 1961 w. s. BUSLIK SHEET SEPARATING AND FEEDING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 6, 1958 FIG. 2

Nov. 14, 1961 w. s. BUSLIK SHEET SEPARATING AND FEEDING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 6, 1958 United States Patent Ofiice 3,008,709 Patented Nov. 14, 1961 3,008,709 SHEET SEPARATING AND FEEDING APPARATUS Walter S. Buslik, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., assignor to International Business Machines Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 6, 1958, Ser. No. 765,530 6 Claims. (Cl. 271-10) This invention relates to sheet separating and feeding apparatus and more particularly to apparatus for successively separating the top sheets of a stack of sheets and for feeding the successively separated sheets from the stack.

Hereto-fore there have been disclosed numerous devices for separating sheets from a stack thereof and for feeding the separated sheets. Generally each of the prior art devices is particularly adapted to accommodate sheets of a single type of material of uniform dimensions and weight.

It is the primary object of the present invention to provide sheet separating and feeding apparatus capable of handling a stack of mixed sheets in which the sheets may be of various materials of non-uniform dimensions and weights.

The present disclosure is directed primarily to sheets the sizes of bank checks which are generally formed of paper varying in thickness from that of the conventional punched card to the thicknesses of relatively thin printed paper stock. While the invention is particularly adapted for use with sheets of this type, it should be noted that the invention may be employed to feed sheets of various materials including, for example, sheets of rubber, and apparatus embodying the invention may be adapted to handle sheets of a wide variety of sizes if the proportions of the mechanical elements of the apparatus are properly adjusted.

Broadly, it is the object of the invention to feed a succession of sheets from the top of a stack thereof at a high rate of speed while at the same time effecting reliable separation of the sheets. I

The accomplishment of the foregoing objects requires basically two operations. One being the separation of a succession of sheets from a stack thereof and the second being the successive feeding of the successively separated sheets from the separating means.

More specifically, it is the object of the invention to provide apparatus for accomplishing both of these results.

These and other objects of the invention relating particularly to the construction and operation of the disclosed embodiments thereof will become evident from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic showing of a basic con- 'cept involved in the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a showing of apparatus representing one ponents involved in the operation of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 4.

In FIGURE 1 there is indicated generally at v10 a stack of sheets positioned on a platform 11. Rolling means -12, which may be in the form of a ball or in the form of a roller, is indicated as moving to the left of FIGURE 1 as shown by the arrow 13 and rotating in a counterclockwise direction as shown by the arrow 14. The ball or roller 12 is pressing upon the sheets causing the uppermost sheets to be deformed as indicated generally at 12. It will be evident, however, that the uppermost sheet is most highly deformed and the successive sheets below the uppermost sheet are successively less deformed.

The deformation of the sheets coupled with the advancement of the rolling means thereover serves to displace the sheets successively to the left as indicated by the uppermost sheet 15 which is shown extending to the left of the next successive sheet 16 which is in turn shown extending to the left of the next successive sheet 17. It

will also be noted that the degree of displacement of each of the sheets from its next lower adjacent sheet varies with the greatest displacement existing between the sheets 15 and 16, lesser displacement between sheets 16 and -17, and a still lesser displacement between sheets 17 and the next lower sheet.

This displacement is not the result of a frictionally induced sliding but is rather the result of the deformation of each sheet around its neutral horizontal axis causing an actual physical displacement as a result of the progressive deformation occurring as the rolling means is moved along the sheets. Thus the rolling means will be effective to displace sheets of a stack regardless of the coelficients of friction of the sheets. Therefore, sheets of rubber having surfaces of high coefficients of friction will be relatively displaced in the same manner as will sheets which may be formed, for example, of smooth, hard glossy papers having low coeflicients of friction.

Referring now to the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURE 2, there is included -a plate 20 formed with spaced downwardly extending flanges 21 within which there is positioned a platform 22 yieldingly supported by spring loaded support means as indicated generally at 23. A stack of sheets 24 such as, for example,

bank checks is positioned upon the platform 22 and urged upwardly by the yielding support means indicated at 23.

A disc 25 is positioned above the stack of sheets 24 and is afiixed to a shaft 26 which is adapted to be rotated by means of a driven pulley 27. The means for driving the pulley is not shown but may be a conventional motor and belt drive system.

The disc 25 mounts a plurality of balls 28 which extend below the disc and are adapted to roll over the uppermost check 29 of the stack of sheets 24.

The shaft 26 is rotatably mounted in suitable bearings in support brackets 30 and 30 which are attached to frame means not shown. The upper end of the rotatable shaft 26 is coupled through suitable bearing coupling means 31 to the non-rotatable armature of a solenoid 32. The solenoid 32 is mounted on a support plate 33 which is in turn supported by a suitable frame means not shown. A spring 31' acting between the coupling means 31 and the plate 33 urges the shaft 26 downwardly. As will be hereinafter described in greater detail when the solenoid 32 is dc-energized the balls 28 will be urged downwardly by the spring 31' into engagement with the topmost sheet 29 of the stack of sheets and when the solenoid 32 is energized the shaft 26 and the plate 25 will be raised sufficiently to relieve the pressure of the balls 28 from the sheet 29.

A solenoid 34 mounted on the plate 33 has its armature shaft 35 extending downwardly slidably through bracket 30 and to the lower end of the shaft is affixed a member 36 positioned over the stack of sheets 24. When the solenoid is de-energized the member 36 is resting upon the stack of sheets with sufficient weight that,

3 due to its coefiicient friction, movement of the sheets will be substantially restrained. When, however, the solenoid 34 is energized the member 36 will be lifted permitting free movement of the sheets thereunder.

A solenoid 37 is also mounted on the plate 33 and has its armature shaft 38 extending downwardly slidably through bracket 38 and supporting a roller 39. When the solenoid 37 is de-energized the roller 39 is resting upon a roller 40 positioned below the plate 20. A hole 20 in plate 20 permits this engagement between rollers 39 and 44). The roller 40 is affixed to a shaft 41 which is supported by suitable journal bearings not shown and is rotatably driven by a driven pulley 42 which may be connected by belts or other suitable means to a conventional motor drive.

The rate of speed of operation of the solenoids 34 and 37 may, if desired, be increased by the employment of relatively light weight parts and spring means similar to spring 31 for urging the member 36 and the roller 39, respectively, downwardly.

A stop 43 is affixed to the top of the plate 20. A switch 44 is mounted below the plate 20 and has a switch arm 45 extending upwardly through a hole 46 in plate 20 adjacent to the stop 43.

With the solenoid 32 de-energized and with the pulley 27 being driven in a direction to rotate the disc 25 in the direction of the arrow 25', the uppermost sheets of the stack 24 will be separated in a fanning manner with the uppermost sheet moving in the direction indicated by the arrow 29 and with successive lower sheets moving to lesser degrees in the same direction. When the sheet 29 has moved to engage the stop 43 it will have displaced the cont-act arm 45 of the switch 44 sufliciently to have closed the-switch contact.

In FIGURE 3, there is shown a relay R having contacts R1 and R2 for connecting the solenoids 32, 34 and 37, as will be hereinafter described, across power lines connected to a source of power 50 through a disconnect switch 51. The relay R is connected across the power lines by the switch 44. A motor 48, for driving the pulleys 27 and 42, is connected across the power lines by conventional motor starter means, indicated by the switch 49.

Energization of relay R by closure of switch 44 will close relay contact R1 and open relay contact R2. Closure of relay contact R1 will energize solenoid 32 relieving the pressure of the balls 28 from the check 29, thus arresting further displacement of the sheets. Simultaneously, therewith opening of relay contact R2 de-energizes solenoids 34 and 37. De-energization of solenoid 34 permits the holding member 36 to move downwardly and hold the sheets other than the uppermost sheet 29 in their existing positions. De-energization of solenoid 37 permits the roller 39 to drop into engagement with the upper surface of the sheet 29 which is now positioned between the roller 39 and the roller 40. The roller 40 is being driven in the direction of the arrow 40 and thus the uppermost sheet 29 is driven to the right as viewed in FIGURE 2 in the direction as indicated by the arrow 47.

When the left hand most end of the sheet 29 passes beyond the end of the switch lever 45 the switch 44 will open, de-energizing the relay R, opening the contact R1 and closing the contact R2, and resulting in the roller 39 and the holding member 36 being raised upwardly and the rotating disc 25 being dropped downwardly, thus causing a resumption of the separation of the uppermost sheets of the stack by the fanning separation as indicated by arrow 29'. It will 'be evident that this cycle of separation and feed will be repeated successively resulting in separation and delivery of the successive uppermost sheets from the stack thereof positioned on the platform 22.

In FIGURE 4 there is shown an alternative embodiment of the invention involving a plate 55 supported by framing means not shown. A stack of sheets 54 is supported by plate 55 and a rotating disc and ball assembly 56 is positioned above the stack of sheets. The disc and ball assembly 56 is supported and rotated by a shaft 57 mounted in bearings in a frame member 58. The shaft 57 is driven by means of a driven pulley 59 to r0- tate the disc and ball assembly in the direction of the arrow 56'. The upper end of the shaft 57 is connected through rotatable coupling means 60 to a post 61 affixed to the center of a diaphragm 62 mounted in a housing 63 which is connected to a source of vacuum through a line 64, as will be hereinafter described, serving to elfect raising and lowering of the diaphragm -62, shaft 57 and rotating ball and disc assembly 56.

The housing 63 is afiixed to a plate 58 mounted on the frame member 58. A spring 60 acting between the coupling 60 and a bracket 58" supported from the underside of the plate 58' acts to urge the shaft 57 downwardly.

A cylindrical member 65 is rotatably mounted on a drum 66 which is supported by means of brackets 67 from the frame member 58. The cylinder 65 is rotated on the drum 66 by a friction drive roll 68. The friction drive roll 68 is fixedly mounted on a shaft 69 rotatably supported by a bracket 70 mounted on the frame member 58. The shaft 69 is driven by a drive pulley 71 in a direction to cause the cylinder to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow 65.

A vacuum line 64' extends into the drum 66 and serves to connect the interior of the drum to a source of vacuum, as will be hereinafter described. The stationary drum 66 is shown in radial section in FIGURE 5 and is provided, in the bottom thereof, with an opening 72. The opening 72 is elongated and is of substantially the same dimensions as each of a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinally elongated openings 74 in the rotatable cylinder 65. The lowermost surface of the drum 65 is positioned with a small clearance from the top surface of the plate 55 and sheets such as the sheets 75 can pass freely between the cylindr-ical member 65 and the plate 55.

-A lamp 77 is positioned internally of the drum 66 and provides a light source directing a ray'of light through the opening 72 and through an aligning opening 78 in the plate 55. A photocell 79 is positioned below the plate 55 in alignment with the openings 72 and 78 and is adapted to receive light from the light source 77 when no sheet is positioned between the cylinder 65 and the plate 55.

A solenoid valve 80 is mounted on the plate 58' and has its valve inlet connected to a conventional vacuum source through a line 81 and its outlet connected to vacuum lines 64 and 64' which are in turn connected to the diaphragm assembly 63 and to the drum 66, respectively, as previously described.

FIGURE 6 shows the control diagram for the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 4 and 5 in which a disconnect switch 82 connects the electrical system to a source of power. A motor 84, which is connected to drive the rotating cylinder and the ball and disc assembly in conventional fashion, is controlled by a conventional motor start switch indicated M85. The lamp 77 inside of the drum 66 is illuminated whenever the main control switch is closed and, when a sheet is not interposed between the lamp 77 and the photocell 79, a photo transistor 86 is energized, actuating a relay 87 having a normally closed contact R1 which, when open, results in the solenoid 80 being de-energized, thus serving to disconnect the vacuum lines 64 and 64' from the source of vacuum.

In operation of the apparatus shown in FIGURES 4, 5, and 6 a stack of sheets 54 are positioned upon the plate 55 below the rotating ball assembly '56. It will be evident, however, that check feed means such as were described in connection with FIGURE 2 or various other sheet feed means may be employed to provide a substantially continuous delivery of sheets upwardly for continuous separating and feeding operation. Rotation of the ball assembly causes a fan wise operation of the sheets, as is indicated generally by the arrow 89 in FIG- URE 4, and the uppermost sheet 76, having its outer end moving in the direction of the arrow 76 in FIGURE 4, passes through the space between the rotating cylinder and the plate 55 until the edge of the sheet passes between the light source 77 and the photocell 79. It should be noted that the opening 78 in the plate 55 is positioned in alignment with the end, i.e., the left hand most portion, as viewed in FIGURE 4, of aligning slots 72 and 74. Thus the sheet does not interrupt the light beam until it has reached substantially the position of the sheet 75 shown on FIGURE 4.

Upon interruption of the light beam the solenoid valve 80 is enengized through the normally closed relay point R1 and the vacuum lines 64 and 64 are thereby connected to the source of vacuum. This operation of the solenoid valve 80 serves to raise the diaphragm 62 lifting the rotating ball assembly upwardly relieving pressure thereof upon the stack of sheets and simultaneously provides for an inflow of air through the slot 74 in the rotating cylinder which is in alignment with the slot 72 in the drum. This inflow of air serves to lift the sheet 75 from the plate 55 into engagement with the rotating drum, as shown in FIGURE 5, whereby the sheet is advanced in a direction extending tangentially to the direction of rotation of the rotating drum and away from the stack of sheets in the direction of the arrow 76 in FIG- URE 4.

When the trailing end of the sheet clears the hole 78 and light is received by the photocell 79 the solenoid valve is de-energized, vacuum is removed from the lines 64 and 64 the diaphragm 62 drops permitting the rotating ball assembly to bear with its full force upon the stack of sheets. The vacuum is also relieved from the rotating cylinder 65 which thus has no effect upon sheets passing thereunder. There now follows a repetition of the fanning operation until the next successive sheet interrupts the passage of light from the lamp 77 to the photocell 79 whereupon a next successive sheet is delivered from the separating means.

A hold-back device is desirably provided in order to prevent displacement of any of the other sheets when the uppermost sheet is being advanced by the vacuum drum 65. Such a device is shown at 73- and provides a perforated surface slightly displaced from the plate 55 and vacuum is applied from the vacuum line 64'. Thus, the second sheet of a stack is held in position against the device 73 while the first sheet of the stack is being advanced by the drum 65. When the solenoid valve 80 is energized both the drum 65 and the hold-back device 73 are disconnected from the vacuum source and the sheets pass freely thereunder.

It will be noted that in the two above described embodiments of the invention, a rotary fanning separation is employed rather than a linear shingling separation. The fanning separation has the advantage that when the rotary separating means is positioned adjacent to one end of an elongated document, the rate of travel of the other end of the document is increased due to the radial displacement thereof. Thus, While a linear type of separation could be employed, the rotary separation is preferable.

It will be evident that the arrangement of rotary balls described in connection with FIGURES 2 and 4 may be replaced by numerous arrangements providing circularly moving rotating members in engagement with the uppermost sheet of a stack and that this and other modifications may be made to the embodiments of the invention disclosed herein without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically aflixed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coeflicient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depressingly engaged with an uppermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, and means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically aflixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in varying degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry into said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation.

2. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically affixed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling spherical sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coeflicient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depressingly engaged with an uppermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, and means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically afiixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in varying degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said spherical elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry into said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation.

3. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically aflixed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coefficient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depressingly engaged with an uppermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically aflixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in varying degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry into said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation, means at said feed station for removing the uppermost displaced sheet from said stack, and means responsive to a predetermined displacement of said uppermost sheet for actuating said removing means.

4. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and 'a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically affix-ed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coefiicient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depressingly engaged with an up ermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically afiixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in varying degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry in to said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation, means for disengaging said separating means from said stack, means at said feed station for removing the uppermost displaced sheet from said stack, and means responsive to a predetermined displacement of said uppermost sheet for actuating said disengaging means and said removing means.

5. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically affixed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coefiicient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depressingly engaged With an uppermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically affixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in varying degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry into said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation, means at said feed station for removing the uppermost displaced sheet from said stack, means for retaining sheets of said stack other than said uppermost sheet, and means responsive to a predetermined displacement of said uppermost sheet for actuating said retaining means and said removing means.

6. Sheet handling apparatus, comprising a sheet supply station and a feed station, means for supporting a stack of sheets at said supply station, a sheet separator having a rotatable shaft and an associated member concentrically aflixed thereto, said separator being mounted for movement between an active position and an inactive position and further being mounted adjacent said stack so that said member is rotatable in a plane substantially parallel with the sheets in said stack but not in contact therewith, a plurality of freely rolling sheet contacting elements, said elements having low coefiicient of friction characteristics and being supported by said member with their respective peripheries being depress'ingly engaged with an uppermost sheet of said stack when said separator is in its active position, means for rotating said shaft and its associated concentrically afiixed member at a substantially high rate of speed so that a plurality of the uppermost sheets of said stack are simultaneously displaced in vary ing degrees about the axis of rotation of said shaft by the combined low frictional and high speed depression actions of all of said elements, whereby said sheets are positioned for rapid successive entry into said feed station with minimum chafing during the process of separation, means for disengaging said separating means from said stack of sheets, means at said feed station for removing the uppermost displaced sheet from said stack, means for retaining sheets of said stack other-than said uppermost sheet, and means responsive to a predetermined displacement of said uppermost sheet for actuating said disengaging means, said removing means and said retaining means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITE-D STAIES PATENTS 240,390 Cross et al Apr. 19, 1881 282,014 Stuart July 24, 1883 984,417 Butterfield Feb. 14, 1911 1,675,525 Aldrich July 3, 1928 1,706,952 Broadmeyer Mar. 26, 1929 1,736,483 Broadmeyer Nov. 19, 1929

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Referenced by
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US3101164 *May 17, 1960Aug 20, 1963Donnelley & Sons CoMethod of and apparatus for cutting and feeding wrappers for magazines
US3147701 *Nov 20, 1961Sep 8, 1964IbmCard eject unit
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US3806113 *Jun 14, 1972Apr 23, 1974Nielsen ASheet feeding apparatus
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US4272068 *Jun 29, 1979Jun 9, 1981International Business Machines CorporationRoll-wave sheet separator structure
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US4371157 *Dec 24, 1980Feb 1, 1983International Business Machines CorporationCompact envelope handling device
US4372699 *Jul 15, 1981Feb 8, 1983International Business Machines CorporationSheet feeder for typewriters
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US6682064 *Feb 14, 2002Jan 27, 2004Ferag AgMethod and apparatus for dismantling a stack of flat objects piece by piece
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EP0021396A1 *Jun 24, 1980Jan 7, 1981International Business Machines CorporationApparatus for shingling sheets in a stack
EP0054662A1 *Oct 20, 1981Jun 30, 1982International Business Machines CorporationMethod and apparatus for shingling sheet in a stack
WO2011025406A1 *Oct 13, 2009Mar 3, 2011Pavel Vladimirovich ErmakovSystem for delivering goods or an addition to goods of any shape in a vending machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/37, 271/113, 271/225
International ClassificationB65H3/00, B65H3/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65H3/02, B65H3/00
European ClassificationB65H3/02, B65H3/00