Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3052467 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 4, 1962
Filing dateJul 18, 1960
Priority dateJul 18, 1960
Publication numberUS 3052467 A, US 3052467A, US-A-3052467, US3052467 A, US3052467A
InventorsFertig Frank L
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stacker for intermixed documents of varying size
US 3052467 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

F. L. FERTIG 3,052,467

STACKER FOR INTERMIXED DOCUMENTS OF VARYING SIZE Sept. 4, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 18, 1960 INVENTOR FRANK L. FERTIG BY 2L7 ATTORNEY Se t. 4, 1962 F. 1.. FERTIG 3,052,467

STACKER FOR INTERMIXED DOCUMENTS 0F VARYING SIZE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 18, 1960 F. L. FERTIG Sept. 4, 1962 STACKER FOR INTERMIXED DOCUMENTS OF VARYING SIZE 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 18, 1960 FIG. 3

FIG. 4

tare

Uite

This invention relates to stacking devices especially suitable for stacking documents of varying sizes, such as bank checks or letters, and more particularly relates to an improved stacking device embodying means for assuring better stacking and alignment of such documents and minimizing the possibility of jamming if documents are mutilated.

It has heretofore been proposed to provide a stacking device comprising a synchronously operated cam-driven finger to pat an incoming document downward onto the top of the stack and out of the path of the succeeding documentv However, such a device is not suitable for stacking intermixed documents of varying sizes because the patting fingers operate periodically at constant time intervals without regard to the length of the documents. It has also been proposed to provide concave-convex mating feed rolls which engage the document at and between its edges and bow the card to give it some rigidity so that it will not droop or curl in uncontrolled fashion as it drops into a pocket. When these rolls are used, the documents can become jammed in the rolls or else torn if the rolls contact already torn edges, embossed matter, folds, creases or staples or the documents are abnormally thick.

The principal object of this invention is to provide an improved stacking device wherein an incoming document is stacked in such a manner that its trailing end will be positively kicked down out of the path of the succeeding document by an asynchronously operated means that is controlled by the length of the particular document being stacked.

Another object is to provide an improved stacking device wherein an incoming document is stacked with a minimum of contact with a stacking drive mechanism and with the top of the stack to minimize the possibility of jamming or tearing the document if it should be mutilated.

Still another object is to provide a stacking device which aligns a document both transversely and longitudinally as it stacks the document, thereby to eliminate the need for joggling or otherwise realigning the stacked documents before they can be reprocessed.

According to the invention, a stacking device embodying the invention comprises a grooved feed roll and an overlying hinged inclined guide rail which has a convex underside which can project into the groove in the feed rolls. A spring is clamped to the guide rail and passes through the grooved portion of the feed roll and then normally downward at an angle to the inclined guide rail. The feed roll is substantially narrower than the document and centered relative to the longitudinal axis thereof so that it will not contact any mutilations at or near the side edges of the document. When the leading edge of the document is fed between the feed roll and rail, the document will be bowed to increase its rigidity and the spring will be deflected upwardly by, and out of contact with, the document. The roll will positively drive the bowed document so that it will fly into contact with a stop and en route be kept transversely aligned by the rail, and its leading edge will pass between the low end or toe of the rail and the forward part of the top document on the stack. As long as any part of the document contacts the roll, the spring will be maintained in its upper Patented Sept. 4, 1962 or nonelfective position so that it will not interfere with the guiding action of the guide rail against the leading part of the document; but, as soon as the trailing edge of the document passes beyond the roll, the spring will be unleashed and kick the trailing portion of the document down out of the way of the succeeding document.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of a stacking device embodying the invention shown associated with a transport portion of a document sorting machine;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of part of the transport system and of a plurality of underlying stacking devices with a portion of the transport system broken away to show details of some of the stacking devices;

FIG. 3 is a section view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a section view to enlarged scale taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3; and,

FIG. 5 is a section view to enlarged scale taken along the line 55 of FIG. 2.

Description Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, a plurality of stacking devices it) embodying the invention are shown in side-by-side relation applied to a document sorting machine. The sorting machine comprises, briefly, a plurality of pairs of feed rolls 11 which drive documents 12, such as checks, letters or cards, seriatim face upward along a main feed path in the direction of the arrow. Conventional means, such as chute blades 13, not forming part of the present invention, are selectively defiectable by a reading means (not shown) to divert each document from the main feed path downwardly to a selectable one of the stacking devices 10. Each stacking device 10 controls the stacking of documents on a vertically movable platform 14 in a respective receiving pocket or bin.

Each stacking device 10 comprises an outer guide member 15 along which a document is fed by a pair of feed rolls 16 after being diverted from the main feed path by the corresponding chute blade 13. Each guide member 15 curves downwardly and laterally to cause the document to be moved in a twistingcorkscrew-like path along said member so that it will be turned face downward, for reasons presently to be explained. After the leading edge of the document passes beyond the lower end of guide member 15, it is fed between a feed roll 17 and an overlying guide rail 18. t

The feed roll 17 has an annular groove 19 intermediate its ends and is substantially less than the width .of the document so that the ungrooved parts of the roll will straddle the longitudinal axis of the document and yet be spaced well within the side edges of the document so that any mutilations adjacent said edges cannot be engaged by said roll and cause jams. The guide rail 18 has a convexly curved undersurface which extends into the groove 19 so that, as the document is fed between the roll 17 and rail 18, it will be bowed longitudinally as shown in FIG. 4. This bowing of the document will increase its rigidity and facilitate stacking of documents which are inherently weak or flabby due to lightness of weight, direction of grain, high relative humidity and/ or mutilations. The guide rail 18 and a deflector spring 2t) carried by said rail also serve to hold the document firmly against the feed roll 17. The roll 17 is made of material having a high coefficient of friction to positively drive the document so that it will fiy to the stacked position in which it is shown in FIG. 3, and en route will enter between the toe 21 of the guide rail and the top surface of the platform 14 or the top surface of a preceding document already stacked.

Each grooved feed roll 17 is keyed to a shaft 22 journaled in a bearing 23 carried by a bracket 24 secured to one side 25 of the document receiving pocket. Each shaft 22 is suitably driven at a constant speed, such as by a pulley 26 driven via a belt 27 from another pulley 28 that is rotatably driven by a drive shaft 29. Shaft 29 preferably drives all the pulleys 28 for the respective stacking devices.

-At its upper end, the inclined quide rail 18 has an integrally formed heel 30 providing a curved guide surface 31. Adjacent its heel 30, the rail 18 has an upwardly extending lug 32. The rail '18 is keyed to, and carried on, a rockable shaft 33 which passes through the lug 3-2 and is journaled in a valve casing 34 carried by the bracket 24. The rail 18 is biased by gravity clockwise, as viewed in FIG. 3, about shaft 33 such that its toe 21 will rest lightly on the platform 14 or the top document stacked on the platform. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the portion 33a of the shaft 33 that extends into the valve casing 34 has a lapped pressure-tight fit with the casing and has an arcuate recess 35 in [its periphery.

. Portion 33a is in the nature of a plug valve or cock which controls the air pressure in a delivery port 36 that is connected via a hose 37 to the underside of a piston (not shown) of an air cylinder 38. This cylinder is mounted on a bed plate 39 and has a piston rod 40 connected to the platform 14 to control the height of the platform. More specifically, when valve 33a is in a neutral or normal position in which it is shown in FIG. 5, air under pressure will be bottled up in the air cylinder below the piston. As documents are stacked on the platform 14, the toe 21 of the rail 18 will tend to rise and thus cause shaft 3-3 and valve 33a to rock counterclockwise to an exhaust position. In this position, recess 35 registers with an exhaust port 41 (FIG. in the casing 34 to bleed air from the cylinder 38 and thus cause the platform 14 to lower slightly until the toe 21 drops enough to rock the valve 33a back to neutral position. -When a stack of documents is removed from the lowered platform 14, the toe 21 will drop and cause the shaft 33 and valve 33a to rock clockwise to a supply position. In this position, recess 35 connects delivery port 36 to a supply port 42 for causing the air cylinder 38 to be recharged from a source (not shown) of compressed air via a hose '43 and the ports 42, 36 until the platform 14 is elevated suficiently :to engage toe 21 and rock valve 33a back to neutral position.

It will thus be apparent that valve 33a acts to raise or lower the platform 14 as necessary to maintain the top of the stacked deck of documents at a constant preselected height at which the guide rail 18 is inclined to the platform and deck at a predetermined angle X.

As shown in FIG. 3, the front edge of each guide rail toe 21 is spaced slightly from the left-hand side of a corresponding stop or aligning member 44 against which the documents '12 are driven as they are stacked. This member 44 is laterally mounted to a generally vertical portion of a bent support gate 45, that at its upper end is supported on a hinge pin 46 carried by the side walls of the pocket. A stop bar 47 is connected to the lower end of the guide rail '18 above toe 21 and projects upwardly through a slot 48 in the bent part of gate 45. At its upper end, bar 47 terminates in a hook-like end 47a that overlies and is adapted to rest on the upper part of the gate. If the gate 45 is rocked manually counterclockwise far enough for the gate to engage and elevate the hook-like end 47a of the bar 47, the toe 21 will be raised and rock the valve 334: to exhaust position to lower the platform 14 to facilitate removal of documents from the platform.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, each deflector spring 20 comprises a piece of wire looped through parallel axially elongated slots 50 extending vertically through the guide rail 18 intermediate the lug 32 and toe 21 so as to overlie the upper side of the guide rail and provide two substantially identically spaced parallel strands. These strands project below the guide rail 18 and then normally angle back toward and through the groove 19 of the feed roll and thence upwardly through slots in the guide rail heel 30 to the upper side of the guide rail. The ends of these strands that project upwardly through these slots are suitably clamped to the upper side of the guide rail, such as by a clamping screw 51 and plate 52. Thus, the spring 20 is generally nose shaped and biased to a normal position, in which it is shown in FIG. 3. In this position, the strand-joining loop 20a rests on the upper surface of the guide rail 18, and the strands of the spring 20 project downwardly at an angle Y from the lower surface of the guide rail and lie within, but near, the outer transverse edges of the groove :19 in .the feed roll 17. Spring 20 is provided .to kick the trailing portion of a document down as soon as the trailing edge of the document passes beyond the grooved feed roll 17.

Summary of Operation Assume that a document 12, which is being driven face upward along the main feed path by rolls 11, is diverted from said path by a chute blade 13 and into contact with the outer guide member 15 of a stacking device 10. The document will then be driven by rolls 16 along the outer guide member 15 and, due to the twisting shape of said member, be constrained to follow a downwardly and laterally curving path, whereby the document will approach the grooved feed roll 17 face downward.

Immediately after the leading edge of the document leaves the lower end of the guide member 15, it will be guided by the curved surface 31 of guide rail heel B0 and then fed between the guide rail 18 and grooved feed roll 17. Due to the generally concave surface of the roll 17 and overlying convex surface of the rail 18, the document will be bowed or cupped longitudinally, as shown in FIG. 4, to increase it rigidity.

According to one feature of the invention, the roll 17 will positively drive the bowed document so that its leading edge will fly toward and under the toe 21 and into abutting contact with the stop 44; and, during such flight, only a small portion of the document adjacent its leading edge will actually slide along the top document of the existing document deck. Also, since the roll 17 is substantially narrower than the document, it will not contact any mutilated edges of the document. Also, since the documents are longitudinally bowed and guided to the stack by the rail 18, the documents will be stacked in good alignment. This permits the documents to be removed from the bin and reloaded into the sorting machine or another machine for further processing without requiring the use of a joggling device to properly realign the documents beforehand.

Meanwhile, according to another important feature of the invention, as the leading edge of the document moves into the roll 17, it will deflect spring 20 upwardly to the abnormal position, in which it is shown in FIG. 1, and which the angle Y is reduced to Zero and the looped part 20a projects above the guide rail 18. The spring 20 will be maintained flexed in its upper position so long as any part of the bowed document is passing through the roll 17; and, hence, spring 211 will not in any way deflect the leading part of the document as it flies toward the stop 44. However, as soon as the trailing edge of the document passes out of contact with roll 17, the flexing force on the spring will be removed. The energy previously stored in the spring 20 will thereupon snap the spring downward and kick the trailing part of the document downward as the spring moves to its normal position, in which it is shown in FIG. 3. Thus, the positive deflective action of spring 20 assures that a document will be shifted promptly out of the way of a succeeding document and will not pass under or collide with a preceding document.

It is to be noted that the stacking device is especially suitable for stacking intermixed documents, such as checks or letters, of varying lengths because the time at which the spring moves to its normal or deflecting position is in each instance controlled by the length of the particular document it is to deflect. This device constitutes a distinct improvement over a synchronously operated deflecting mechanism which, at the end of each successive constant interval of time, pats or kicks the documents because, if the sizes of the documents vary appreciably, the patting action would tend to get out of phase with the uneven rate of presentation of the documents.

As documents are successively stacked on the platform 14, the valve 33a will be operated, in the manner already fully described, to cause the air cylinder 38 to lower the platform as necessary to maintain the top of the stack of documents at a constant height. Since the documents are turned over and deposited face downward on the stack, they will be stacked in the same order as they originally had when fed into the sorting machine.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a document stacking device, the combination of a roll and a guide member cooperating to provide a constriction through which documents are fed serially; and a deflector spring secured to the member and forcibly displaced one way by a document while and so long as any portion thereof is within the constriction between the roll and member to render the spring ineffective to deflect such document, said spring, as soon as such document passes beyond the roll, being freed from such forcible displacing force to permit it to be deflected the opposite way by the energy stored therein for deflecting the trailing portion of such document.

2. In a document stacking device, the combination of a driving feed roll; a guide member; means for advancing documents serially between said roll and member; a stop engageable by the leading edges of successive documents under the driving action of the feed roll; and spring means carired by said member and extending generally longitudinally past the roll toward said stop, said spring means, when a document engages the roll, being forced by such document to an abnormal position in which it is ineflective to deflect such document, the power stored in said spring means thereafter being eifective, as soon as sush document moves out of engagement with said roll, to snap the spring means to a normal position for deflecting the trailing portion of such document away from said guide member.

3. In a device for stacking documents, the combination of a driving feed roll having an annular groove which straddles the longitudinal center line of the feed path of the documents, said roll being narrower than the width of the documents so as not to engage the documents at or immediately adjacent their side edges; a guide member providing a surface which is adapted to project longitudinally through and beyond the groove and cooperates with said roll to bow a document longitudinally to increase its rigidity as it is fed by and past said roll; a stop into contact with which the documents are successively driven by the positive action of the feed roll, said documents as they are driven toward said stop being maintained in substantially transverse alignment by said projecting surface of said guide member; a deflector member movably connected to said guide member for striking and deflecting the trailing portion of each document out of the path of the following document; and means, including each document,

for eifecting operation of the deflector member only after the trailing edge of such document leaves said groove.

4. In a device for stacking documents, the combination of a driving feed roll having an annular groove which straddles the longitudinal center line of the feed path of the documents, said roll being narrower than the width of the documents so as not to engage the documents at or immediately adjacent their side edges; a guide member having a surface which is adapted to project into the groove to how a document longitudinally to increase its rigidity as it is fed by and past said roll toward a stop; and spring means anchored to said member and extending between the roll and member so as to be forced toward said member by a document Whenever any portion of the document is engaged by said roll, said spring means being freed and effective when the trailing edge of the document passes beyond the roll to positively strike and deflect the trailing portion of the document away from the member promptly to clear it out of the path of a succeeding document.

5. In a device for stacking documents, the combination of a driving feed roll having an annular groove which straddles the longitudinal center line of the feed ath of the documents, said roll being narrower than the width of the documents so as not to engage the documents at or immediately adjacent their side edges; a platform on which the documents are adapted to be stacked; a stop near the end of the platform remote from the roll; and a hinged guide member having a toe which lightly rests on the top of the document stack, in proximity of the stop, said guide member being inclined to the stack and hinged on an axis spaced from the axis of the roll and lying in a plane normal to the feed path and passing through the axis of said roll, said guide member having a curved surface which faces the groove and is capable of projecting into said groove to cause a document to be bow-ed longitudinally to increase it rigidity as it is fed by and past said roll, said documents being successively driven positively toward said stop by said roll and concurrently being maintained in substantially transverse alignment by sliding engagement with said curved surface, said roll imparting sufficient velocity to the documents to cause them to fly clear of the top of the stack until their leading edges approach the toe and then slide under the toe into contact with the stop, thereby to minimize the possibility of tearing or jamming of documents due to imperfections in their side edges or the top faces of the preceding document.

6. The combination according to claim 7, including deflector spring means comprising two spaced strands of wire which are adapted to project generally tangentially through the groove and straddle the guide member, said spring means being anchored to said guide member and normally inclined to the guide member execept when a document engages the roll and deflects the spring means to an abnormal position in which it is substantially fiush with the guide member, said spring means being effective after such document passes beyond said plane to positively strike and deflect the trailing portion of such document toward the platform to clear it from the path of a succeeding document.

7. In a device for stacking intermixed forms of random varying lengths, the combination of two members having adjacent portions separated by a small clearance space, means for advancing the forms successively through and past said space, and deflecting spring means extending generally through and past said space such that whenever any part of a form is. at a certain point within said space such form will forcibly displace the spring means to an energy-storing position in which it is substantially ineifective to deflect such form, and whenever the trailing edge of such form passes beyond said point such force will be removed and free the spring means to cause the latter to strike the form a deflecting blow to divert it out of the path of a succeeding form, whereby the instant at which the spring means is freed to strike such blow will vary asynchronously according to the length of each successive form.

8. In a device for stacking forms, the combination of two members providing closely spaced surfaces between which =forms are successively feedable en route to a stack, and deflecting means extending generally between said surfaces and toward the stack and resiliently biased such that whenever any part of a form is between said surfaces such form will divert said deflecting means against such bias and to one side of the path of the form 5 from said path.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Clegg Ian. 12, 1943 2,805,858 Hayes Sep. 10, 1957 2,944,813 Smith July 12, 1960 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 O52 467 September 4, 1962 Frank L. Fertig rs in the above numbered pat It is hereby certified that error appea atent should read as ent requiring correction and that the said Letters P corrected below.

Column 6 line 5O for the claim reference numeral Signed and sealed this 29th day of October 1963.

(SEAL) Attest: ERNEST W, SWIDER EDWIN L. REYIJOLDS A i Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2308155 *Jun 21, 1940Jan 12, 1943Baker Perkins LtdFolding of sheets such as tablecloths and the like
US2805858 *Jul 20, 1955Sep 10, 1957Hayes Thomas EMoney counting machine
US2944813 *Nov 13, 1958Jul 12, 1960Burroughs CorpDocument handling apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3137499 *Nov 20, 1962Jun 16, 1964Burroughs CorpDocument stacking device
US3220569 *Nov 27, 1963Nov 30, 1965SpartanicsConveying apparatus
US3224760 *May 9, 1963Dec 21, 1965Gen ElectricDocument transferring apparatus
US3304083 *Sep 3, 1964Feb 14, 1967Control Data CorpHigh speed card stacking device
US3315955 *May 20, 1965Apr 25, 1967Honeywell IncComputer device
US3537704 *May 9, 1968Nov 3, 1970Int Computers & Tabulators LtdSheet feeding apparatus
US3578159 *Feb 18, 1969May 11, 1971Westinghouse Learning CorpDocument-handling apparatus
US3628788 *Jan 19, 1970Dec 21, 1971Burroughs CorpJam detection device for document stacking
US3814415 *Jul 27, 1972Jun 4, 1974Burroughs CorpDevice for aiding the stacking of documents
US3815899 *Mar 19, 1973Jun 11, 1974Xerox CorpSheet delivery device
US4056264 *Apr 26, 1976Nov 1, 1977Agfa-Gevaert N.V.Stack forming device
US4106766 *Dec 8, 1976Aug 15, 1978Bell & Howell CompanySheet handling and stacking methods and apparatus
US4441702 *Nov 7, 1980Apr 10, 1984Agfa-Gevaert AgDevice for collecting and stacking photographic prints
US4493484 *Sep 29, 1982Jan 15, 1985Hotchkiss-Brandt-Sogeme-H.B.S.Device for guiding and receiving letters at the exit of a mail-sorting machine and a machine equipped with said device
US4669721 *Apr 21, 1986Jun 2, 1987Bell & Howell CompanySheet transport with bowed guide
US4723773 *Oct 17, 1986Feb 9, 1988Bell & Howell CompanySheet feeding methods and apparatus
US4805894 *Jun 12, 1986Feb 21, 1989Transtechnology CorporationStacking methods and apparatus
US4940220 *Mar 1, 1989Jul 10, 1990Mechelen Lambertus M VanSupporting device
US5154410 *Jun 7, 1990Oct 13, 1992Agfa-Gevaert AktiengesellschaftApparatus for straightening and stacking envelopes for photosensitive materials
US6994220 *Oct 2, 2001Feb 7, 2006Siemens AktiengesellschaftMixed mail sorting machine
DE2804043A1 *Jan 31, 1978Aug 17, 1978Nederlanden StaatSortierfach
DE19828050A1 *Jun 24, 1998Dec 30, 1999Will E C H Gmbh & CoSheet stop in conveyor track to define collection station
EP0077251A1 *Oct 1, 1982Apr 20, 1983HbsLetter guidance and reception device at the exit of a letter sorting machine, and machine equipped with such a device
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/188, 414/794.8, 271/217, 271/177
International ClassificationG06K13/02, G06K13/12
Cooperative ClassificationG06K13/12
European ClassificationG06K13/12