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Publication numberUS3017041 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 16, 1962
Filing dateNov 12, 1959
Priority dateNov 12, 1959
Publication numberUS 3017041 A, US 3017041A, US-A-3017041, US3017041 A, US3017041A
InventorsHawkes Howard Theodore, Clarence M Ginn, John H Sabasteanski
Original AssigneeSouthworth Machine Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ream transfer apparatus and method
US 3017041 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. T. HAWKES ET Al.

REAM TRANSFER APPARATUS AND METHOD Jan. 16, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 12, 1959 INVENTORSL a woman HAWKES F CLARENLEM aIlvN JOHNH- SABASTEANSK BY PM *Pcwuww ATTORNEYS Jan. 16, 1962 w s ETAL 3,017,041

REAM TRANSFER APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed Nov. 12, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 F 143 LCQ J 134 5?- a a Jilllilll A ,n o a) o o 0 0 w, 0 Q Q 125 Fig.2. 4 149 252 164 M mi, 142 135 I 2 50 INVENTORS.

H. THEODORE HAWKE'S CLARENCE M QINZV BY B wFBmnA-m ATTORNEY J OHZV II. SABAS TEANS'K1 Jan. 16, 1962 H. T. HAWKES EIAL REAM TRANSFER APPARATUS AND METHOD 5 Shets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 12, 1959 INVENTORS. H. THEODORE HAWKES CLARENCE M. GINN JOHN H. SABASTEANSKI BY 8 a a v-Pmm p ATTORNEYS Jan. 16, 1962 H. T. HAWKES ETAL REAM TRANSFER APPARATUS AND METHOD 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 12. 1959 INVENTORS. E THEODORE HAIAMES CLARENCE .M. GIZVlV JOHNH SABASTEANSIG tates atent 3,017,641 REAM TRANSFER AlPPARATUd AND METHGD Howard Theodore Hawkes, Cape Elizabeth, and Clarence M. Ginn and .iohn H. Sabasteanski, Portland, Maine, assignors to Southworth Machine (Iompany, Portland, Maine, a corporation of Maine Filed Nov. 12, 1959, Ser. No. 852,253 11 Claims. (Cl. 214-35) This invention relates to apparatus for handling reams of paper such as are trimmed in a paper trimming machine.

Paper sheets are usually stored in vertical stacks, which may be up to six feet in height, on pallets. The edges of the paper sheets must be trimmed and its is impractical to trim an entire stack. The usual guillotine knife type paper trimmer, much used in the trade, can accommodate a pile of sheets equal to the thickness of about a ream. The usual custom in the trade has, therefore, been to use a number of operators to handle the diificult task of unstacking and restacking the paper, one ream at a time with the danger of misaligning the edges during the handling.

In the copending application of H. Theodore Hawkes, Serial No. 669,555, filed July 2, 1957, and entitled, Sheet Transfer Apparatus and Method, a straddle table, having air film and ramp means thereon, is proposed to eliminate some of the manual operations of handling paper sheets. The method disclosed in the said application described the steps of gradually lifting a stack of untrimmed sheets While removing the successive top-most piles, or reams, thereon, whereby the transfer of the piles was at waist level throughout.

The term ream is use-d herein for convenience of description and it should be understood that the term ream" is intended to describe the conventional lift, or pile of sheets, fed to a trimmer and usually about five or six inches in height regardless of the number of sheets in the lift.

In this application the aforsaid method has been further improved by inclusion of the steps of automatically moving the stack straddle table to a straddle position over a pile storage platform; holding the trailing edges of the pile stationary while retracting the table and depositing the pile on the platform and then pushing the pile, by engagement with the full height of the trailing edge, across the platform onto the deck of the trimmer. The trimmer operator may thus remain at the front of his machine and a single stacking operator may operate both of the stacks while the individual reams are moved in substantially the same horizontal plane off the untrimmed stack, through the trimmer and onto the trimmed stack. Production is thus greatly increased while manual handling is virtually eliminated and the operation of the trimmer is made full time.

The principal object of the invention is to provide an improved machine and method for feeding individual reams of paper successively along a horizontal path into a trimmer, while buoyed up on an air film and not subject to misalignment caused by manual lifting, pushing or pulling.

Another object of the invention is to increase the production of a machine knife trimmer while reducing the number of operators servicing the same, thereby reducing cost of production without unduly increasing capital expenditure.

A further object of the invention is to provide an automatic feed for paper trimmers wherein reams of paper are automatically segregated from the top of a stack, and delivered individually and successively onto the deck of a paper trimmer Without contact of the hands of the operator or any manually operated pushing paddle or the like and Without unduly barring the movement around the trimmer of a single stacking and unstacking operator with barriers such as fixed tables, hinged platforms and the like.

Still another object of the invention is to provide feeding apparatus for a paper trimmer capable of segregating and advancing entire reams of paper at one time without distorting the ream or ruining the top and bottom sheets thereof.

A still further object of the invention is to provide feeding apparatus for a paper trimmer which is sufficiently automatic and accurate in handling each successive ream of paper as to permit a single operator to both unstack and restack while the trimmer operator is trimming a sin gle ream.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the claims, the description of the drawings and from the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of the ream handling means of the invention,

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the ream carrier means including the ream storage, or inventory, platform and the paddle conveyor,

FIG. 3 is a side view of the device shown in FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is an end view of the device shown in FIG. 2,

FIG. 5 is a side view of the self propelled lay up table or unstacking means of the invention,

FIG. 6 is an end view'of the device shown in FIG. 5,

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic plan view of a typical production trimmer installation, and

FIG. 8 is a diagram of the preferred control circuit for the automatic feed of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 1 the apparatus of this invention is designed for use with a paper trimmer 2d of a well known type. The trimmer 29 includes a trimmer deck 21, at about the waist level of the trimmer operator 22, a guillotine type knife 23 and a built in, movable back gate 24. At present it is the custom to manually place successive reams of paper such as at 26 on the deck 21 in the path of the back gate 24 or to manually slide the ream onto the deck by means of a hand operated paddle. The power operated back gate 24- then advances the ream, in contact with a side guide 27, under the knife 23 and up to the operator 22. The operator must then raise and lower the knife 23 four times, move the gate back and forth, align the ream against the side guide and manually turn the ream between each of the four trimming cuts to trim all four edges of the ream. The trimmed ream is then slid, or lifted, off the front 28 of the deck 21 manually for restacking in a stack of trimmed sheets. A plurality of air valves 29 are usually provided on the trimmer deck 21 to fioat the ream 26 on an air cushion and push buttons 3% are provided to enable the operator to control the feed of the back gate 24. A suitable trimmer for use with this invention is made by the Harris Sevbold Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

In the production trimmer apparatus shown, 33 is the trimming zone, which is coextensive with the trimmer deck 21, 34 is the unstacking zone and 35 the restacking zone. A number of stacks of untrimmed paper, such as 36, are usually stored adjacent the unstacking zone 34 ready for use. A single track 38, for guiding a first mobile power lift means 45, extends from the pallet storage area, not shown, into the unstacking zone 34. The stacks 36 may be up to seventy-two inches in height, at the level of the head of an operator and in this invention each stack is carried on a straddle pallet such as 42 having a pair of spaced skids 43 and 44 defining a straddle space 45 therebetween.

Power lift means 46 includes a base 47, a top member 48, which fits in the straddle space 45 of each pallet 12, and a suitable power jack, or lift, mechanism 49. Preferably the lift mechanism 49 includes a pair of scissors type lift arms such as at 59 and 51 on each opposite side, a piston 52 slidable in a cylinder 53, a source of fluid under pressure and a suitable valve control circuit and switches. Any suitable power lift mechanism may be used if desired, for example the hydraulic elevator mechanism recessed into the floor often found in paper mills adjacent the trimmer and the particular lift illustrated is now well known in the art.

Self propeled unstacking means 56 comprises a straddle type table 57 which is horizontally translatable, by means of wheels such as 58, on tracks 59. The tracks 59 extend from the power lift means 46 up to the side of the trimmer deck 21. Where the stacks, such as 36, are only waist level in height, the table top 61 may be fixed with relation to the side supports 62 and 63 to define a straddle space 64 of fixed height capable of straddling an entire palletized stack supported on power lift means 46. However, as best shown in FIGURES and 6 it is preferred that the table top 61 be elevatable from waist level to a height of about seventy-two inches to accommidate stacks of about that height.

A straddle table somewhat similar to the table illustrated herein is shown and claimed in the above mentioned copending application, Serial No. 669,555 filed July 2, 1957, entitled Sheet Transfer Apparatus and Method. However, the table of this application includes a number of improvements not disclosed in the said prior application to enable the continuous and automatic transfer of the reams of paper onto the deck 21 of the trimmer 20.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 the wheeled straddle table 57 is self propelled by an electric motor gear reduction unit 65 having a power shaft 66 and supplied with current by a flexible wire conductor 67 leading to a suitable source of electricity, not shown. A pulley 68 on shaft 66 is connected by a drive belt 69 to a pulley 71 on the shaft 71 of one of the wheels 58 for advancing and retracting the table on the tracks 59 and 60. An air motor may be substituted for the electric motor unit shown, when less acceleration and smoother operation is desired.

The elevatable table top 61 is supported on the laterally spaced apart legs or side supports 62 and 63 by means of pairs of scissors type arms such as at 74 and 75, each pair on an opposite side thereof, the arm 75 being pivotally connected at 76 to a piston 77 slidable in a cylinder 78 which in turn is pivotally mounted at 79 to the side support 63.

An electric motor hydraulic pump unit 81} is connected by a fluid pipe 81 through a suitable strainer to a fluid tank 82, under the side frame piece 73. Tank 82 is connected at 83 to two fluid conduits 84 and 85 to the cylinders 78 of the scissors lift mechanisms on each opposite side of the elevating table 57. A flow divider 86 and suitable check valves 87 are provided to equalize fluid pressure on both pistons 77.

A nipple 88 is provided for connecting a flexible air pressure pipe from the mill air supply to the air tubing 89 leading to the air nozzles in the platform of the table 57. Suitable air regulators, relief valves and condensers may be provided for controlling and regulating the air pressure in the air nozzle all of a type well known in the art and, therefore, not illustrated.

Regardless of the level to which the table top 61 is raised above the side supports 62 and 63, for increasing the height of the straddle space 64, means are provided for power rotating of friction rolls in the table top. Each friction roll 90, 91, 92 and 93 is journalled at each opposite end in table top 61 and recessed therein so that only the upper arcuate portion of the roll projects above the plane of the table top. An undriven freely rotatable roll 54 is also provided at the end 127 of table top 61 to ease each ream over the table edge. The top 61 includes the projecting and overhanging ramp means 94 for segregating the top ream during unstacking and for lowering a ream on top of a stack during restacking. Each friction roll is rotated by a pulley, or sheave, such as 95, 96, 97 and 98 mounted at one side of the table top 61 and each roll is preferably rubber covered and about one and one half inches in outside diameter. An endless belt 101 is trained around the pulleys 95, 96, 97 and 98, and around suitable idler and tension pulleys such as 99 to cause all of the friction rolls to rotate in the same direction. A drive pulley 161i is included in the timing pulley train.

Pulley 1011 is carried by a stub shaft 1114 rotated by a gear 1115, gear 1115 being meshed with a gear 106 on shaft 167 mounted on plate 108 and driven by pulley 109.

A clutch 103 is mounted on shaft 111 for engaging and disengaging the friction roll power train. Pulley 109 is connected by belt 111 to pulley 112 carried by shaft 113 located at the common pivot axis of the arms 74 and 75. Shaft 113 is driven by pulleys 114, 115 and belts 116 and 117 from a drive pulley 118 on the motor unit 65. All of the above specified pulleys and belts are timing belts, or chains and sprockets may be used, in order that the rotation of the friction rolls be synchronized with the speed of the table. The synchronization is such that the rolls rotate faster than the speed of advance of the table to exert a pull on the underface of each ream and thereby avoid wrinkling. It will thus be seen that as the table 57 moves toward a stack to segregate the top pile therefrom the friction rolls will turn in a direction to urge the pile onto table top 61, there being a slight slippage between the rolls and the ream. A ream already on table top 61 near trimmer 211 will be urged off the adjacent end of table 57 by the action of the rolls. When the table moves from the stack, after picking up the top ream, the friction rolls are stationary because of the automatic disengagement of clutch 163 which is of a well known unidirectional type. Thus the friction rolls rotate as the table moves toward the stack but do not rotate when the table moves toward the trimmer or is stationary.

The table 57 preferably also includes a pair of scissors arms and 126, similar to arms 74 and 75 at the end 127 opposite the inclined ramp means 94 for increasing the stability of the top 61. Table top 61 is provided with a plurality of spaced pressure sensitive air valves such as 128, fed by transverse air conduits such as 136, which in turn are fed by the flexible air pipe 131 from the air tube 89. An air cushion is thus achieved under each ream carried by the table top to overcome friction.

As best shown in FIG. 6 the end 127 of table 57 is provided with a full width opening 132 near the top of the supports 62 and 63, just below the normal level of top 61, for accommodating a cantilevered ream storage, or inventory, platform to be described hereafter.

The ream carrier means 134 of the invention includes a ream storage platform 1.35 and a paddle conveyor 136, best shown in FIGS. 2 to 4. The ream storage platform 135 is of suitable thickness to accommodate spaced air valves 137, similar to valves 128, and fed with air under pressure in any convenient manner such as by connection to the air valve supply of the trimmer deck valves 29. The upper face 138 of platform 135 is supported from one end only, in a cantilever manner, by the oppositely disposed spaced legs such as 139 and 140. Face 138 is at the same level as that of the trimmer deck 21 so that a ream supported on the platform may he slid onto the deck and into the path of the trimmer back gate 24. It will be understood that the elevatable table top 61 may be raised above its normal level to segregate the top ream of an untrimmed stack but that it is automatically lowered to normal level, with the opening 132 at the correct height to receive the platform 135 just before the table 5'7 shuttles toward the trimmer deck 21 carrying the segregated ream.

The paddle 142 of paddle conveyor 136 unlike the trimmer gate 24, must rise out of the way of an incoming ream on table 57, then drop behind the ream to hold it stationary as it drops off the top 61 onto the platform 135, during the retraction of table 57 and then must push the ream, by engaging the full height of the trailing edges, onto trimmer deck 21 and into the path of the trimmer gate 24-. The support for the paddle 142 must also not be in the way of the shuttle path of table 57. As shown, the paddle conveyor 136, therefore, is supported by the longitudinally spaced apart legs 143 and 144, each of the tripod type, and resting on the floor at one side of inventory platform 135. A single track 145 of I cross section, is supported above the longitudinal centre line of platform 135 and extends from well in advance of the unsupported end 146 of platform 135 to well beyond the other end 147 and well over the trimmer deck 21. Track 145 is pivotally supported at 148 from the free end of overhanging frame member 149 of tripod legs 143 and is pivotally supported at 151 from the free end of the overhanging lever arm 152. Arm 152 is pivoted, intermediate thereof, at 153 to a rigid frame member 154 carried by the tripod legs 1 34. The opposite end of lever arm 152 is pivotally connected to a piston 155 slidable in a cylinder 156 mounted on the legs 144, the movement of the piston causing the adjacent end of the track 145 to rise and fall to pass each successive ream. Cylinder 156 is air actuated by the air conduit 157 and is controlled by a solenoid actuated valve 158 and limit switches described hereafter to synchronize with the movement of the shuttle table 57.

A paddle tractor 136 is longitudinally movable, in depending position, by means of the wheels 164, on track 145 and carries the laterally extending paddle 142 at the front thereof. An electric motor 165 and a reduction gear unit 166 are mounted within tractor 136 for driving a friction wheel 167 in engagement with track 145 thereby causing the tractor and paddle to shuttle back and forth on the track 14-5. Because of the slight drop between the table top 61 and the platform 135 the paddle 142 is freely movable vertically relative to the tractor 136 by means of suitable ways 282 and 283. The paddle 142 is also provided with rollers such as 280 mounted in brackets such as 281 for reducing friction. As shown in FIG- URES 1, 2 and 7 the paddle 142 is nearly as wide as, and substantially higher than the trailing edge of a pile, or ream, in order to maintain the integrity of the pile and to avoid misaligning the sheets or damaging the trailing edges thereof.

As shown in FIG. 1, in the restacking zone 35, self propelled stacking means 168 is provided comprising a wheeled straddle table 169 similar to table 57 and a guide track 178 identical with track 59. The track 1713 leads from the delivery, or cutting end, of trimmer 20 to a power lift means 173 identical with first power lift means 46. The straddle pallet 177 is identical with pallet 42.

The restacking straddle table 169 can be substantially identical with the unstacking, or lay up, straddle table 57 except that the friction rolls 99, 91, 92 and 93 are eliminated and the table 169 is provided with ramp means 182 in the form of a transverse inclined platform to permit the ream to slide downwardly onto the top of the trimmed stack 183. Table 57, on the other hand, is provided with ramp means 94 in the form of a pair of laterally spaced apart, downwardly inclined arms 184 and 185 arranged to advance along each opposite side of an untrimmed stack while sliding a transverse bar 186, called a ream selector herein, upwardly onto the table top 61. As soon as table 57 has moved over an untrimmed stack sufficiently to raise the ream selector 186 and the forward portion of the untrimmed ream up onto table top 61, the ream selector 186 is removed. The table continues to move fully over the stack with the friction rolls pulling the ream entirely onto the top 61.

Each trimmed ream such as 178 is slid off the trimmer deck 21, by the trimmer operator, onto the upper face 180 of the elevatable table top 181 of table 169 at the level of the trimmer deck 21. The table 169 then carries the successive reams 178 up to and over the pallet 177 which has been lifted to the appropriate height. The entire stack 183 is straddled by the table and upon moving toward the trimmer 20, the ream 178 undulates and slides off the ramp means 182 onto the trimmed stack 183 without losing its integrity or edge alignment. When the stack 183 is complete at waist height, or head height of seventytwo inches the pallet 177 may be horizontally moved to the storage zone and another empty pallet placed on the lift means 173.

A control panel 187 is provided for the unstacking operator and a similar panel 188 is provided for the restacking operator. It will be understood, however, that since each ream must be trimmed on all four edges requiring a number of advancing, retracting, aligning and trimming operations by the trimmer operator, a single operator often has time to operate both the unstacking' and restacking panels to thereby greatly reduce the cost of operation while increasing the speed of operation. The trimmer 20 in addition to its usual push button controls, is provided with a push button 189 for controlling the paddle conveyor 136 when the feed to the trimmer is not automatic. Similarly the restacking table 169 includes push button controls 196 for advancing and retracting the table on its tracks and for raising and lowering the table top 181.

In FIG. 7 the general location of the control mecha nisms of the invention are illustrated and in FIG. 8 the wiring diagram of the manual and automatic ream feeding cycles is illustrated. While the manual push button control is illustrated, it is the automaticcontrol means which is claimed herein, since the entirely automatic, bodily transportation of a ream of sheets from a stack, onto a trimmer deck without disturbing the integrity of the ream edges relieves the unstacking operator to also handle restacking operation.

When a pallet load of untrimmed paper is in position on power lift means 46, in the unstacking zone 34, the operator places a ream selector 186 into the top portion of the front of the untrimmed stack 36 to separate the desired amount of paper to be trimmed, such as the ream 26. The elevating straddle table 57 is then elevated to the proper height, by means of the hydraulic pistons 77 and oil tank 82, so that the ream selector 186 will ride up the arms 184 and of ramp means 94. The table 57 is then driven into the stack 36 until the ream of paper 26 is on the first driven friction roll 98, whereupon the ream selector 186 is then withdrawn. The table 57 continues then to move entirely over the pallet and the stack 36 to straddle the same while undulating the top ream and drawing it onto the table top with the pull of the friction rolls 98, 91, 92 and 93. A cam 192 in the floor actuates a limit switch 202 on table 57 to stop the table before its closed end runs into the stack it is straddling.

When the ream 26 is entirely supported on the elevatable table top 61, the operator moves the table forwardly toward the trimmer 28 and off stack 36. The driven rolls 90, 91, 92 and 93 on table top 61 are stationary when moving in a forward direction because of the automatic clutch 183. When the table 57 moves forwardly a distance sufficient to entirely clear the stack 36, a cam 193 in the floor actuates limit switch 283 to again stop the table. The actuation of switch 203 closes a circuit which energizes a solenoid control valve 199 on table 57 to exhaust the oil from cylinders 53 and lower the table top 61 to its normal height on the side supports 62 and 63.

At this point, the table 57 and the ream carrier means 134 are ready to begin their automatic feeding cycle. As a safeguard, before the table can start the automatic cycle, it must be at the proper height to clear the cantilevered, ream storage, or inventory, platform 135. There fore, limit switch 284 must be closed to indicate the table 7 top 61 is at the correct height. Also the paddle 42 of paddle conveyor 136 must be in the raised position, in order to clear the ream 25 on the top 63 of table 57, so that limit switch 265 must be in the closed position.

The start button 194 on control panel 387 begins the automatic cycle which may be stopped at any time by the stop button 195. When start button 194 is actuated a circuit is completed from the secondary of transformer 11%, through conductor 237, through the forward coil 197 of the reversible motor 65, conductor 24?. to junction box 1%, conductor 22.7, limit switch 2435, conductor 226, the start side of push button 194, conductor 252, conductor 224, limit switch 2%7, conductor 223, limit switch 2%, conductor 2T9, conductor 255, the stop switch 195, conductor 2416, normally closed manual switch 22%, conductor 253, limit switch 2%, conductor 263, limit switch 294, and conductor 261 back to the secondary of transformer 11%. The motor 65 thus advances the table 57 toward the trimmer 2% until it passes under the paddle conveyor 136 and straddles the ream storage platform 135.

Upon completing its forward cycle, table 57 actuatcs limit switch 2%, which opens the above described circuit to stop the table and closes a circuit which lowers the paddle 142. A circuit is completed which includes the secondary of transformer 1%, conductor 237, conductor 236, coil 26!) of latching relay 245i, conductor 221, limit switch 2&6, conductor 21%, conductor 255, switch 195, conductor 2%, switch 22%, conductor 253, limit switches 283 and 2M, conductors 26% and 261 and back to the secondary of transformer 1%. The energization of coil 2% actuates relay Zill to open a circuit from the secondary oftransformer 214i, conductor 231, conductor 2T7, solenoid air valve 158, conductor 218, the armature 352 of relay 2%, and conductor 351 back to the secondary of transformer 214. The opening of this circuit cleenergizes the solenoid air valve 158 controlling the air cylinder on the lift arm of the paddle conveyor thereby lowering the paddle 142 directly in rear of the ream 26 on table '7.

When paddle 142 had dropped into the proper position, it actuates limit switch 27 on the lift arm which reverses the table 57. A circuit is thus closed from the secondary of transformer 1%, conductor 237, the reverse coil of motor 65, conductor 2%, limit switch 2&2, conductor 225, limit switch 261?, conductor 222, conductor 254 the normally closed contacts of start button 194-, conductor 255, the stop switch 195, conductor 246, switch 22%, conductor 253, limit switches 293 and 2M, conductors 260 and 261 back to the secondary of trans former 1%. The motor 65 is thus reversed to retract the table 57 away from the trimmer 2d and clutch 163 causes the friction rolls 9h, 91, 92 and 93 to deposit the ream 26 on the ream storage platform 135. When table 57 passes the cam 193 on the floor, the cam again actuates limit switch 293, deactivating the automatic cycle and returning the table 57 to manual control.

The ream 26 is now supported on platform 13-5 and ready for the trimmer operator. The push button 1&9 on the front of the trimmer, when moved to start will not close the circuit, unless the trimmer gate 24 is all the way back closing limit switch 268 and unless the paddle M2 is down in back of ream 2d closing limit switch 269. The operation of the paddle conveyor is completely automatic once the circuit is cleared and the trimmer operator pushes the start button 189, but it may be stopped at any time with the stop button. The start button closes a circuit from the start side of switch 189, conductor 3&4, limit switch 2%, conductor 3%, limit switch 2&9, conductor 3%, the forward coil of motor 136, conductor 3%, the secondary of transformer 21d, conductor 231, conductor 315, limit switch 211, conductor 316, the stop button of switch 189, conductor 3&2, conductor 312, limit switch 2%, conductor 213 and conductor 3&5 back to the start side of switch 135?. The paddle conveyor 136 thus advances the ream 26 along the platform and onto the trimmer deck 21 in front of the trimmer gate 24 until it actuates limit switch 210. Limit switch 216 opens the circuit which moved the paddle conveyor toward the trimmer and closes the circuit described below for moving the paddle conveyor away from the trimmer. The distance into the trimmer may be adjusted by relocating limit switch 21ft. The paddle conveyor is reversed by limit switch 210 by the closing of a circuit from the secondary of transformer 234, conductor 391, the reverse coil of motor 165, conductor conductor 3%, limit switch 21%, conductor fill, conductor 3%, the normally closed contacts of switch 189, conductor 3 ,52, the stop side of switch 189, conductor 316, limit switch 211, conductor 315 and conductor 231 back to the secondary of transformer 2%.

At the end of its reverse path the paddle conveyor 136 actuates limit switch 211 which stops the paddle and actuates the relay 2%. Limit switch 211 closes a circuit from the secondary of transformer 2T4, conductor 231,

conductor 315, limit switch 211, conductor 314-, coil 350 of relay 2%, conductor 233 and conductor 351 and conductor back to the secondary of transformer 214. The energization of coil 35% closes the armature 352 of relay 26H thereby closing a circuit which energizes the solenoid air valve 158 which causes the paddle 3142 to be raised to clear the ream storage platform 35 for the next ream of paper from table 57. Armature 352 closes the circuit from the secondary of transformer 214, conductor 2331, conductor 217, solenoid air valve 148, conductor 213, the armature conductor 35ll and conductor ear back to the secondary of transformer 214.

When the trimmer operator is ready to remove the trimmed paper from the trimmer, he moves the elevating straddle table 169 in front of the trimmer deck 21. By means of control panel 1% on table 16%, and suitable limit switches and earns similar to limit switches and floor cams 232, 292 and 193 the travel of table 16) is limited. With the trimmed ream on the table 169, the trimmer operator can send the trimmer gate 24 back and again start the paddle conveyor 1% to bring up the next untrimmed ream. The trimmer operator then moves table 16% from in front of deck 21 toward the restacking location and is ready to trim the next ream. The restacking operator then takes over control of table 169 moving it over the power lift means 1'73 and undulating the ream onto the top of the trimmed stack by means of dual control panel 188,

The wiring diagram for manual control of the apparatus is illustrated and will be apparent from inspection. The automatic sequence is described in detail since it is the automatic operation which is claimed herein. If the entire feed from the unstacking zone to the deck of the trimmer is desired to be fully automatic, the switch 189 may be lay-passed, so that limit switch 2&8 closes the paddle conveyor circuit when the paddle T42 is down behind each successive ream.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for feeding reams of paper individually and successively from the top of a stack in an unstacking zone and delivering the same onto the deck of a paper trimming machine, said apparatus comprising stack support means, at floor level, in said unstacking zone for supporting a vertical stack of said paper; a horizontally translatable stack straddle table having ream support means, at the level of said trimmer deck, for supporting a ream of said paper between said unstacking zone and said trimmer; power lift means in said unstacking zone for raising and lowering one of said support means relative to the other; a plurality of spaced, power driven friction rolls recessed in the ream support means of said stack straddle table for unidirectionally moving a ream thereover power drive means on said stack straddle table for shuttling said ream support means from a stack straddling position under the topmost ream of said stack to a position alongside said trimmer, ream carrier means including a stationary ream storage platform alongside said trimmer, for receiving a ream deposited thereon during the retraction of said stack straddle table and a paddle conveyor mounted alongside said trimmer, said paddle conveyor extending above said platform, above a portion of said trimmer deck and over the shuttle path of said stack straddle table for sweeping each successive ream ofl said ream storage platform and onto said trimmer deck, and electric control mechanism automatically actuating said straddle table, the friction rolls of said ream support means and the paddle conveyor of said ream carrier means in synchronism with said paper trimming machine to feed successive reams from the top of said stack to said trimmer deck.

2. Apparatus for unstacking successive, individual reams of flat flexible sheets of paper from a stack of said sheets, said apparatus comprising a wheeled straddle table having a horizontal, table top adapted to support a ream of said sheets, said table having opposi ely disposed, spaced apart legs defining an unobstructed straddle space therebetween for entirely receiving said stack of sheets; a plurality of spaced, rotatable, friction rolls recessed in said table top for engaging the lowermost sheet of a ream thereon a track at floor level guiding the wheels of said straddle table in a predetermined path toward and away from said stack; power means on said straddle table for moving the same along said path on said track and rotating said rollsunidirectionally when said table moves toward said stack; a ream storage platform located in said path along said track at a spaced distance from said stack, said platform being at waist level and fitting entirely within the straddle space of said straddle table when said straddle table is moved thereover on said track for receiving a ream deposited thereon from said table top when said table is moved toward said stack and a power operated paddle conveyor mounted above said platform, said conveyor including a paddle movable downwardly behind a ream on said table top to prevent retraction of said ream with said table and movable along said plat form to push said ream further along said path.

3. In a machine for feeding individual reams of paper sheets successively to a trimmer, said machine having an unstacking zone and a trimming zone, the combination of horizontally translatable, stack-support means, located in said unstacking zone and adapted to support a vertical, head-height stack of untrimmed sheets; power lift means under said stack support means in said unstacking zone for raising a vertical stack of sheets carried thereon in increments equal to the thickness of a room; ream carrier means in said trimming zone, said means including a stationary ream storage platform for supporting each successive ream and a paddle tractor mounted above said platform to move downwardly behind each said ream for successively advancing individual reams onto the bed of said trimmer; self propelled unstacking means, movable between said unstacking zone and said ream carrier means, said unstacking means having a horizontal, elevatable, top adapted to closely overlie said storage platform when at waist height and power mechanism arranged to move said horizontal top vertically between waist height and head height for lifting each successive topmost ream from a stack supported on said lift means; lowering said ream to about waist height; advancing said ream to said trimming zone and depositing said ream on the ream storage platform of said ream carrier means; electric control means for automatically actuating said unstacking means and said paddle tractor to individually and successively feed reams of paper from said unstacking zone into said trimming zone and onto the bed of said trimmer.

4, Apparatus for feeding reams of paper individually and successively from a stack onto the deck of a paper trimmer, said apparatus comprising a stationary cantilevered ream storage platform mounted in extension of, and at the same level as, said trimmer deck; a self propelled, stack straddle table having a ream supporting table top and an opening in the frame thereof for entirely receiving said platform in straddle position with the table top overlying said platform; a paddle conveyor mounted alongside said platform, said conveyor having a self propelled paddle tractor suspended from a track extending over said platform and over said trimmer deck; power means for moving said paddle tractor back and forth between a low position behind a ream on said platform and a high position well above the trailing edges of a ream on said platform, and automatic control means for advancing said table from said stack into straddle position with the table top overlying said platform and with a ream of paper on said table top, moving said paddle tractor to its low position behind said ream, retracting said table from under said ream to deposit said ream on said platform, advancing said paddle tractor along said platform to feed said ream onto said trimmer deck and returning said paddle tractor to its high position, well above the trailing edges of a ream on said platform.

5. A combination as specified in claim 4 wherein said automatic control means comprises an electric circuit including a limit switch actuated by the back gate of said paper trimmer, limit switches actuated by said paddle tractor when in low and high positions, limit switches actua'ed by said paddle tractor when in fully advanced and fully retracted positions and electric motor drives on said straddle table and on said paddle tractor whereby said motors "are energized only when said limit switches close said circuit.

661A combination as specified in claim 4 plus a plurality o'fpow'er driven friction rollers inset in the table top of said straddle table for frictionally urging a ream off said top onto said platform while said table retracts from said straddle position and clutch means on said table for disengaging the power drive to said rollers while said table advances toward said straddle position.

7. A combination as specified in claim 4 wherein said paddle conveyor includes a pair of upstanding legs for pivotally suspending said track above said platform, one at the end of said platform proximate said trimmer deck and one at the opposite end of said platform, said last mentioned leg including a pivoted lever arm carrying said track at one end and pivotally connected to a fluid actuated lift mechanism at the other end for raising and lowering the adjacent end of said track.

8. Apparatus as specified in claim 7 plus power means for raising and lowering said table top and means responsive to the height of said table top and the position of said paddle tractor for controlling the power means on said table.

9. Apparatus for feeding a plurality of piles of fragile, non rigid, paper sheets individually and successively from a stack of said sheets along a path onto the deck of a paper trimmer, said apparatus comprising a stack straddle table having a unitary, horizontal, unobstructed table top for air floating a pile of said sheets; a plurality of friction rolls recessed in said table top for engaging and supporting the bottom of said pile from one end to the other; power means on said table for moving the same between a straddle position over a stack and a position alongside said trimmer deck and for rotating said rolls only when said table moves away from said trimmer and towards said stack, a stationary pile storage platform alongside said trimmer in the path of said table, said platform closely underlying said table top when straddled by said table; paddle conveyor means mounted above said platform including a paddle tractor movable downwardly to a position behind the trailing edge of a ream to bar the retrograde movement thereof on said table top and means, operable from the front of said trimmer, for advancing said paddle tractor along said platform to push a ream supported thereon, onto the deckof said trimmer.

10. In the method of feeding successive, individual piles of untrimmed fragile, non rigid, paper sheets from a stack of said sheets to the deck of a trimmer having a pile storage platform, which method includes the step of gradually lifting said stack of untrimmed sheets to suecessively position the uppermost pile at the level of the deck of said trimmer and the step of penetrating the said stack with a flat, planar, table top to successively segregate and support each individual, successive pile by air flotation, the additional steps of roller conveying each uppermost pile in said stack onto said table top by frictional engagement with the full length of the lowermost sheet thereof; then moving said table top, with said uppermost pile supported by air flotation thereon, to a straddle position overlying said pile storage platform of said trimmer, then lowering a barrier from a normal raised position to a position behind the full height of the trailing end of said pile to maintain the integrity thereof; then retracting said table top from under said pile and back to said stack while depositing said pile on said pile storage platform; then advancing said barrier along said pile storage platform, with said barrier exerting a uniform push on the full height of the trailing end of said pile and delivering said pile onto the deck of said trimmer and then raising said barrier and retracting the same along said pile storage platform back to its normal position.

11. In a machine for feeding individual reams of paper sheets successively to a trimmer, said machine having an unstacking zone and a trimming zone, the combination of horizontally translatable, stack support means, located in said unstacking zone and adapted to support a vertical stack of untrimmed sheets; power lift means under said stack support means in said unstacking zone for raising a vertical stack of sheets carried thereon in increments equal to the thickness of a ream; ream carrier means in said trimming zone, said means including a stationary ream storage platform for supporting each successive ream and a paddle tractor mounted above said platform to 12 move downwardly behind each said ream for successively advancing individual reams onto the bed of said trimmer; self propelled unstacking means, movable between said unstacking zone and said ream carrier means, said unstacking means comprising a wheeled straddle table having a top with a plurality of spaced, power rotated friction rolls recessed therein for frictionally engaging the bottom of a ream and moving the same from one end to the other end of said table top, said table being adapted to entirely straddle said ream storage platform in said trimming zone and entirely straddle a stack in said unstacking zone for lifting each successive topmost ream from said stack, advancing said ream to said trimming zone and depositing said ream on said platform and electric control means for automatically actuating said straddle table and said paddle tractor to individually and successively feed reams of paper from said unstacking zone into said trimming zone and onto the bed of said trimmer.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,399,528 Sommers Dec. 6, 1921 2,409,513 Patience Oct. 15, 1946 2,595,015 Sparks Apr. 29, 1952 2,653,679 Hamilton Sept. 29, 1953 2,940,616 Reed June 14, 1960 2,940,617 Reed June 14, 1960 2,947,428 Curtenius Aug. 2, 1960 2,960,243 Beaulieu Nov. 15, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 737,069 Great Britain Sept. 21, 1955

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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/796, 414/788.7, 414/796.5, 414/801, 414/903, 414/793.8, 198/610
International ClassificationB26D7/06, B65H3/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65H2301/422, B65H3/322, B26D7/0675, Y10S414/101
European ClassificationB26D7/06K, B65H3/32B