US 3052468 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 4, 1962 A. CUTAIA ET AL STACKING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 12, 1960 INVENTORS ALFRED CUTAIA RICHARD H. HARRINGTON BY 524. 2
A7TORN Sept. 4, 1962 A. CUTAIA ET AL STACKING DEVICE 2. Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 12, 1960 United States Patent Ofllice Meme,
3,052,468 STACKING DEVHCE Endicott, and Richard H. Harrington,
International Business Ma- N.Y., a corporation of Alfred Cutaia,
Vestal, N.Y., assignors to chines Corporation, New York,
New York Filed Sept. 12, 1960, tier. No. 55,475 7 Claims. (Cl. 271-71) This invention relates to devices for stacking out forms, such as tabulating cards or envelopes having a certain degree of rigidity, and more particularly relates to devices for stackin g at high speed out forms which are advanced thereto serially, lengthwise and at high velocity.
In stacking cards at high velocity various problems are encountered. The card velocity must be reduced to zero in a manner which does not cause card damage. Cardedge to card-edge contact must be avoided to prevent card damage and/ or misstacking. Each successive card must commence the next of the sequential phases of the stacking operation as promptly as possible after its preceding card has completed such phase; and yet the cards must be stacked reliably in correct order. Also, the stacking device must be capable of stacking warped cards of varying contours, non-warped cards, and cards of slightly varying dimensions or characteristics due to manufacturing tolerances. Moreover, it should be possible to remove cards during, and without interfering with, the stacking operation.
It is broadly known to drive cards through feed rolls and into contact with a stationary deflector that deflects the cards downward in such manner that they will be stacked flatwise on the top of a stack. It is also known to use a stacking pocket or bin having a resilient bumper lining attached to a vertical bin side wall and engageable by the leading edges of successive metal sheets to cause them to rebound toward the opposite vertical side wall and be stacked flatwise on the top of a pile. Also it has heretofore been proposed to provide a means for bowing cut forms longitudinally to increase their regidity. However, while these previously proposed arrangements are suitable for low speed parallel stacking (i.e., with long edges of the cards disposed transversely of the card feed path), they are not practical or suitable for high speed serial stacking (i.e., with the short edges of the cards disposed transversely of the card feed path). For example, these previous arrangements do not embody means for positively snapping the trailing portion of a card out of the path of a succeeding card rapidly enough to permit high speed serial stacking without jams or collisions whic can result in card damage or stacking out of order. Also, they do not stack cards or other forms in such manner that they may be removed during, and without interfering with, the stacking operation; nor do they employ an adjustable deflector, the angle of which can be varied to assure optimum operation over a high range of stacking rates.
The principal object of this invention is therefore to provide an improved relatively inexpensive stacking device especially adapted to stack out forms, such as tabulating cards, serially lengthwise at high speed.
According to the invention, the improved stacking device comprises accelerating feed rolls through which the cards are fed successively. A flexible guide means straddles the rolls and is biased toward contact with an adjustably positionable inclined guide. As a card moves through the guide means, it will be bowed longitudinally thereby and flex the guide means away from the guide and create a gap through which the card advances in sliding contact along the guide until its leading edge eflectively contacts a deflector that is spaced from the guide and partially bends the card transversely. Thereupon the card will pass beyond the guide means and pivot about the forward end of the guide as it tends to straighten itself. This will snap the trailing edge of the card down out of the path of the succeeding card as the card moves toward contact with a resilient stop that cushions the impact to prevent card damage and also stores energy that will cause the card to rebound back through the space between the deflector and guide and toward an oscillating joggler element. This joggler element cooperates with a reciprocating member to joggle the cards onto a stack and maintain them compacted.
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 side elevation view of a stacking device embodying the invention;
FIG' 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1 showing feed rolls and deflectors, with a flexible one of said deflectors in a normal position;
FIG. 3 is a view like FIG. 2 except with the flexible deflector deflected by a card to an abnormal position; and
FIG. 4- is a section view taken along the'line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
Description As shown in the drawings, the improved stacking de vice comprises two pairs of cooperating upper and lower feed rolls 1, 2 (see FIG. 4) transversely spaced at substantially equal distances from the axis of a card feed path P. The upper feed rolls 1 are mounted on a shaft 3, and the lower feed rolls 2 are mounted on a shaft 4; and at least one of said shafts is positively driven by suitable means (not shown). Cards C are fed successively lengthwise along path P and into rolls 1, 2 by at least one pair of feed rolls 5, 6 of a card transport system. The rolls 1, 2 preferably have a peripheral velocity somewhat higher, such as 20% higher, than the peripheral velocity of rolls 5, 6 so that the cards C will be accelerated somewhat by the feed rolls 1, 2.
Two transversely spaced leaf-spring-like guides 7 extend downpath in straddling relation to the outer sides of the rolls 1, 2. Each guide 7 has a substantially vertical leg secured, as by screws 8, to a respective fixed member 9. The guides 7 also have curved legs which extend downpath from the upper ends of their respective vertical legs and generally horizontally but with slight upward curves past the outer sides of the adjacent rolls 1, 2. The free ends of the curved legs preferably normally project slightly into respective transversely spaced slots 10 in a guide 11 and resiliently contact the flat under surface 11a of guide 11 adjacent such slots. These slots 10 are formed in the guide 11 near its one end which is adjacent the exit side of feed rolls 1, 2.
As illustrated, the guide 11 is rockably supported near its said one end on a pin 12 that passes through an upturned lug on the guide and is carried by side frames 13, only one of which is shown. A screw 14 passes through an arcuate slot 15 in another lug provided near the opposite end of the guide 11 and is screwed into one of the side frames 13 to permit the guide to be clamped in a desired angular position, for reasons hereinafter explained. As shown, the guide 11 is clamped so as to extend downwardly at an angle of approximately 10 to the card feed path P, and the guide surface 11a is slightly less than the length of a card C.
A stationary deflector 116 has a concave deflecting surface 17 which is spaced from the lower end of guide 11 to define an opening or gap 18 through which cards may be advanced in an upwardly curved path into contact with a resilient stop 19; thereupon they will rebound from said stop and fly downward in a path prescribed by surface 17 toward the concave surface of a concavo-convex sheet-like joggler element 20. More specifically, the lower end of surface 17 is below the lower end of guide surface 11a, and surface 117 curves upwardly and generally away firom the lower end of surface 11a. Deflector 15 has a suitable ear whereby it is secured to a fixed bracket 21. The resilient stop 19 is in the form of a block clamped between a U-shaped part of the deflector 16. When a card C strikes resilient stop 19, the step will yield, absorbing the impact and converting the kinetic energy of the card into potential energy in the stop. The card will be brought to a stop without damage, and then the energy stored in the stop 1? will act with gravity to drive the card downward through the opening 18 toward the joggler element 20.
Element 20 is secured at its upper end, such as by the screws 8 to the fixed member 9*. Element 20 is oscillated a limited degree relative to its fixed upper end by a suitable actuating means.
This actuating means may comprise a continuously or intermittently rotated cam 22 that acts through a roller follower 23, carried at one end of a generally horizontal member 24, to exert a force on the lower end of element 20 via an upwardly projecting part 25 of said member and a projection 26 extending from the convex surface of element 20. This force flexes the element 26 relative to its fixed upper end and toward an inclined card support 27. As the low point of cam 22 moves toward follower 23, the flexing force on element 2% will be relaxed. Due to its inherent resiliency, element 20 will tend to resume its normal unstressed position and, through projection 26 and part 25, shift member 24 rightward to maintain follower 23 in contact with the cam. Thus, element 20 will be oscillated by reciprocation of member 24 with a frequency determined by the velocity of cam 22.
Member 24 projects upwardly through a longitudinal slot 28 in the upper surface of a hollow longitudinally extending card-bed-providi-ng member 29. Member 2% houses a helical bias spring 30 hooked at one end to the lower part of inclined support 27 and at the other end to a stationary post 31 carried by a fixed member 32 to the top of which member 29 is secured by suitable means (not shown).
Summary of Operation As a card C is fed by transport rolls 5, 6 into the pairs of accelerating rolls 1, 2, it will be bowed by the beveled surfaces of the guides 7 (see FIG. 4) to increase its rigidity. The card will deflect the resilient guides '7 downwardly out of contact with the then stationary guide 11 and create a gap (see FIG. 3). As the card passes through gap 35, it will be deflected by guides 7, 11 into sliding contact with the under surface 11a of guide 11. After the leading edge of card C passes through gap 18, it will be deflected upwardly in a curved path by contact with guide surface 17 or with a preceding card.
Shortly after such contact is established, and before the leading edge reaches stop 19, the trailing edge of the card will pass beyond the left end of the guides 7. The trailing edge of the card will promptly snap down and leftward as the card tends to straighten itself and pivots due to sliding contact with the lower end of guide 11, as shown in FIG. 1. The leading portion of the card will then continue to slide upward along the curved surface 17 or flat side of a preceding card until the leading edge hits the resilient stop 19. The energy absorbed by the stop 19 in stopping the card C will cause the card to rebound off the stop and move back down through gap 18 in a curved path dictated by the guide surface 17. After the trailing edge of the card moves past the lower end of the guide surface 17, it will hit the joggler ele- 4 ment 2 and come to rest inclined against the inclined card support 27 or a preceding card.
As the joggler element 29 and member 24 are respectively oscillated and reciprocated in the manner already described, a gap will be created at 36 between the inclined card support 2'7 (or the cards already stacked thereon) and the left end of member 24; and the respective cards C will be joggled off the left end of member 24 and down onto the card bed member 29. As the leftward ly acting component of force exerted on the inclined support 27 increases due to the increasing weight of the cards C, the card support 27 will be moved correspondingly leftward against resistance of spring 30 and toward its extreme position as indicated by dotted lines in FIG. 1.
It will be noted that a group of cards C next to the inclined support 27 may be removed at will during, and without interfering with, the stacking operation; and the spring 3-8 will move the support correspondingly rightward to maintain the cards compacted. Also, the cards are accelerated by rolls 1, 2 to provide a high stacking rate; and guides 7 not only bow the cards to increase their rigidity, but also hold the cards up out of the path of a preceding card. The cards rebound from the resilient stop 19 which absorbs their kinetic energy and converts it to potential energy which later acts to propel the cards in a generally opposite direction toward the joggler element 2%. The angularity of guide 11 can be adjusted by screw 14 to provide optimum operation at various preselected stacking rates, which rates are a function of the velocities of the rolls 1, 2; generally, this angularity should be increased for increased stacking rates, the angularity illustrated having been found optimum for stacking at the rate of about 1500 cards per minute.
It will be understood that, if preferred, the slots 10 may be eliminated and the guides 7 provided with nonbeveled edges which normally engage the under surface 11a of guide 11; and the guides 7 need not bow a form if it has sufiicient inherent rigidity. Also, the flexible guides could exert suflicient upward force on the under side of a non-bowed form to create a gap only wide enough to permit the form to ride through the gap, so that the form will be lightly pinched between surface 11a and the guides 7. Also, the guides 7 need not be flexible but could intersect the guide surface 11a at a fixed acute angle except for a slight fixed gap at the apex of such angle.
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 form stacking device, the combination of two guides having straight portions substantially intersecting at an acute angle, one of said guides extending a distance less than the length of a form forward of the apex of such angle, means feeding the forms successively through the apex to cause each form to slide successively along said one guide, and a deflector spaced from the forward end of said one guide for deflecting a form angularly after its leading edge passes beyond said forward end, said form being bowed transversely by being constrained between said forward end and deflector to cause the trailing portion of the form to snap away from said one guide after its trailng edge passes through said apex and beyond the other guide, whereby a form will be snapped promptly out of the path of a succeeding form and the succeeding form will be directed by said other guide into contact with said one guide.
2. In a form stacking device, the combination of two guides substantially intersecting at an acute angle, one of said guides extending a distance less than the length of a form forward of the apex of such angle, means feeding the forms successively through the apex to cause each form to slide successively along said one guide, resilient stop means, and a deflector spaced from the forward end of said one guide for deflecting a form toward said stop means after the leading edge of the form passes beyond said forward end, said form being bowed transversely by being constrained between said forward end and deflector to cause the trailing portion of the form to snap away from said one guide after its t'r-ailng edge passes through said apex and beyond the other guide and before said leading edge hits said stop means, said stop means resiliently stopping the form and causing it to rebuond back through the space between said forward end and deflector.
3. A card stacking device comprising feed rolls through which cards are fed successively, a guide having an effec tive portion forward of the rolls and inclined to the card path into the rolls, flexible guide means straddling and extending forward of said rolls and biased toward contact with said guide, said guide means being flexed away from said guide by a card as it moves through the rolls to create a gap through which such card can advance in sliding contact with said effective portion, and a deflector spaced from the forward end of said portion to deflect a card and bow it transversely around said forward end before its trailing edge leaves the guide means thereby to cause the trailing portion of the card to snap away from said guide as soon as said trailing edge leaves the guide means due to its inherent tendency to straighten itself as it pivots around said forward end and moves through the space between said deflector and forward end.
4. The combination according to claim 3, including resilient stop means disposed adjacent the deflector and contacted by the leading edge of a card after it has snapped away from said guide, said stop means yieldably stopping said card and storing energy to rebound the card back through said space in a path generally defined by the deflector.
5. The combination according to claim 4, including joggler means into contact with which said card is rebounded by said stop means, and means for actuating said joggler means to joggle cards successively off the joggler means and onto a stack.
6. In a form stacking device, the combination of a stationary guide having a flat guide surface inclined downwardly and forwardly at a slight angle to the horizontal,
flexible guide means having a curved guide portion biased into cont-act with said surface near the rear end thereof so as to form an acute angle with said surface, means for driving the forms successively through the apex of said acute angle to cause each form to slide successively downward and forward along said surface, and a deflector having a concave surface spaced from the forward end of said flat surface and extending from a point generally below said forward end and upwardly and generally away from said forward end, the distance between said guide means and said concave surface being less than a form length to cause a form to be successively partially deflected by the deflector after its front edge passes beyond said forward end to bow the form transversely by contact with said forward end and then, as soon as the rear edge of the form leaves the guide means, cause the rear portion of the form to be snapped down out of the path of a succeeding card as the form advances along a curved path substantially as dictated by said concave surface.
7. In a form stacking device, the combination of two guides substantially intersecting at an acute angle, one of said guides extending a distance less than the length of a form forward of the apex of such angle, means feeding the forms successively through the apex to cause each form to slide successively along said one guide, a deflector spaced from the forward end of said one guide for deflecting a form angularly after its leading edge passes beyond said forward end, said form being bowed transversely by being constrained between said forward end and deflector to cause the trailing portion of the form to snap away from said one guide after its trailing edge passes through said apex and beyond the other guide such that a form will be snapped promptly out of the path of a succeeding form and the succeeding form will be directed by said other guide into contact with said one guide, and means for preadjusting the angular position of said one guide in an arc to vary the angularity of its said forward end relative to the deflector to permit optimum operation over a wide range of stacking rates.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,363,490 Avery Nov. 28, 1944