US 3160411 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 8, 1964 FileG NOV- 29, 1962 M. FlEHL SHEET HANDLING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 lNl/EA/TOR. MICHAEL FIEHL Kay.
Dec. 8, 1964 M. FIEHL 3,160,411
SHEET HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 29, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Dec. 8, 1964 M. FIEHL 3,160,411
SHEET HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 29, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG.
United States Patent corporation of New York Filed Nov. 29, 1962, Ser. No. 240,837 11 lairns. (till. 271-4) This invention relates generally to sheet handling apparatus and more particularly to apparatus for feeding sheets from a stack into a tabulating device and conveying the sheets to a depository.
The processing of unit record sheets such as cards, checks and the like through high speed tabulating machines requires that the sheets be readily and timely supplied by a feeding mechanism and rapidly deposited in a stacking mechanism without damage to the sheets. Heretofore, the sheets have generally been fed successively from a stack by either reciprocating feed knives or friction rolls or belts operating in contact with the endmost sheet in the stack. At high speed operation, these devices possess several feeding disadvantages.
For example, feed knives are arranged to engage one edge of a sheet and slide it across an adjacent sheet so that the initial sliding friction requires that sheets slide easily on one another or possess suificient rigidity to withstand the initial acceleration. When the sheets have particularly rough surfaces or are relatively thin, feed .knives, usually operating in pairs,"occasionally mutilate,
skew, or fail to engage a sheet during a feed cycle. This results in damage to the document or'a misfeed resulting in a subsequent jam along the card path.
On the other hand, feed rolls or belts are usually arranged to engage the endmost sheet in the stack through elements possessing sufiicient friction to overcome the friction between adjacent sheets; however, friction between adjacent sheets varies widely so that a sheet is skewed or not fed to subsequent conveying rolls. With these devices a considerable time loss may result in the processing of a stack of sheets.
After a sheet has been moved through the various processing stations of a machine, it is generally deposited in a stacking pocket. Due to the high velocity of the record sheet, it usually lacks sutficient rigidity and must be decelerated upon approaching the pocket to avoid crumbling as it strikes the stationary pocket. The deceleration, however, presents difliculty in removing one sheet from the path of the following sheet when the time required for deceleration is too great for closely following, sheets. As a consequence, the sheets must be allowed to overlap as they overtake one another.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide sheet handling apparatus which is capable of feeding and stacking sheets with improved reliability and less damage at high speeds.
Another object of this invention is to provide sheet handling apparatus having improved sheet accelerating and decelerating mechanisms.
Another object of this invention is to provide novel sheet feeding apparatus wherein a sheet is partially offset from a stack in one direction in a pre-feedstation to expose a margin which .may be' easily gripped for feeding the sheet in another direction through the tabulating machine. 7
Still another object of this invention is to provide-sheet feeding apparatus which positions one sheet for feeding before a preceding sheet has been fed from the stack of sheets.
'Still another object of this invention is to provide sheet feeding apparatus adapted for efiicient asynchronous operation.
- A further object of this inventionis to provide sheet ice handling apparatus in which the moving sheets are passed through a decelerating station where faster moving sheets overlap slower moving sheets before entry into a depository.
In accordance with the foregoing objects, this invention provides sheet handling apparatus in which one end of a stack of sheets is supported in contact with sheet separating means operable to successively slide sheets from one end of the stack into means defining a feed channel and pre-feed station. The channels means serves to align and meter the sheets and is provided with a throat portion for admitting a single sheet edgewise therethrough and an enlarged portion capable of admitting a plurality of sheets edgewi-se therethrough. When the endmost sheet is fed by the separator means into both portions of the channel means, the throat portion is blocked from accepting additional sheets although the separator means still attempt to move additional sheets into the throat portion. Adjacent the enlarged portion of the channel means are transport means which can be selectively controlled to grip the exposed margin of the sheet and move the sheet through the throat and enlarged portions successively. As soon as the trailing edge of the sheet leaves the throat portion and before it leaves the enlarged portion, the separator means are effective to move each sheet one edge first concurrently into the throat and enlarged portions to pre-position that sheet within the channel means before the preceding sheet has been fed with a different edge foremost from the enlarged channel portion.
The conveyed sheets are passed through processing stations of the tabulating machine and eventually through decelerating means prior to entry into a depository. The decelerating means include a power roll with an. idler roll running in contact therewith and the two rolls are spaced from the last sheet conveying roll at a distance greater than the dimension of the sheet longitudinally of the sheet path so that the sheet enters thedecelerating means under free flight. These sheets are directed to the decelerating means by converging guides, The power and idler rolls are arranged so that a line drawn between their centers intersects the sheet path obliquely and, as the sheet enters the rolls, its trailing edge is defiected transversely of the sheet path to permit a suc-' ceeding faster moving sheet to overlap the sheet being decelerated. directed into a depository in a shingled or overlapping fashion.
This invention has the advantage of providing a prefeed station into which a sheet may be moved before a preceding sheet has been fed therefrom. Asa result of this, friction separating means may be employed to first advance the sheet because extra time is available in the channel, means which serves as an aligning station, before feeding into the processing station occurs. Furthermore, with the sheet offset from the stack to expose its margin, the sheet can be easily gripped by the transport means to insure accurate .-and reliable feeding when feeding is signaled by the machine.
'The feeding arrangement of the invention is well adapted to asychronous or random feeding because the feeding signals can be eftectuated at only a part-i'cular point in the cycle of the reciprocating knives.
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantagestof the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred em bodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the, accom panyingdrawing's, wherein: I
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view of a portion of Patented Dec. 8, 1 964 I In this manner the conveyed sheets are d record sheet handling apparatus embodying the feeding mechanism of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the feeding mechanism mechanism of the invention shown in conjunction with the feeding mechanism as used in a sheet handling system. Referringto FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, record sheets are supported as a stack in a feed hopper generally desig-' nated 11, comprised of a pair of side plates '12 and bottom plate 13. Although not necessary, the hopper is preferably inclined, as shown, to urge the stacked sheets to move downwardly toward the end of the hopper and ceding apparatus. An inclined hopper accommodates an increased quantity of stacked sheets without creating excessive frictional forces between adjacent sheets. The
below bottom hopper plate 13 adjacent the enlarged channel portion. The gripping rolls are comprised of a pair of power rolls 25, 26 fixed to respective shafts 27, 28 rotated at the same velocity in a counterclockwise direction (FIG. 2) by a common source. The power rolls extend to or slightly beyond the channel surface of end plate portion 14b. Opposite each power roll 25, 26 is :a mating idler roll 29 and 30 freely rotatable on respective shafts 31 and 32 commonly secured to an armature 33 of electromagnet 34. Armature 33 is urged away from the magnet by spring 35 so that a gap is provided between the power and idler rolls when the 'electromagnet is not energized. This gap is sufiiciently wide to permit the acceptance of at least two sheets freely therein. The idler rolls are preferably retractable to a position where they cannot interfere with a sheet being offset into the channel. Two sets of gripping rolls are preferred, as shown, to prevent skewing as a sheet is moved.
A sheet resting on edge on plate 14a of the feed channel is selectively movedto the left in FIGS. 2 and 3 by energizing electromagnet 34 through a suitable control circuit lower end of the stack abuts against an L-shaped end plate 14 having'a right angle portion 14a (extending to the left in FIG. 1) below bottom plate 13; Portion 14a serves as a support channel in conjunction with the end of bottom plate 13 to receive sheets cifset downwardly from the stack and aligns the offset sheets prior to their being fed into the machine.
The channel, which receives the margins of the sheets, has .a throat portion forreceiving a single sheet edgefrom the processing machine or peripheral control device. When the idler rolis 29- and 39 are urged by magnet 34 through slots (not shown) in platefil-ta toward respective,
' constantly rotating power rolls, the'mar'gin of the sheet is gripped between the 'powe'r'and idler rolls so that the wise therein and an enlarged portion capable of accepting two or more sheets edgewise therein. Although not necessary, a throat block 15 is preferably secured to bottom plate 13 to permit accurate adjustment so that only one sheet is admitted between the block and plate 14 in the throat portioncf thechannel. The throat block may be eliminated if bottom-plate 13 is accurately adjusted to the thickness of a single sheet from end plate 14. In'order to admit two sheets edgewise in a large channel portion, the end plate 14 is formed with approximately the left half thereof 14b (FIG. 2) set back from the bottom plate at 16. The amount of set back is approximatelyequal to the thickness of the'sheet which is .007 to .010 inch in the case of tabulating cards;
A sheet is fed downwardly into the channel from the end of the stack by a pair of separator rolls 18 secured to a common shaft .19 driven in a counterclockwise direction (FIG. 1) by any suitablesource. tor rolls extend partially into the hopper cavity and are covered at their periphery with a material having a. relatively high coefficient of friction such as rubber. frictional contact between the endmost sheet and rolls, the sheet is voffset from the stack-between throat block 15 andend plate 14 and portion 14b so that an edge of the sheet rests on portion 14a of the end plate. .The U the throat block and bottom plate 13. While thesheet is separator rolls are placed sufficiently near the top of the hopper so that once a sheet reaches the, bottom of the channel it will no longer-be urged downwardly by the rolls. The separating rolls are rotated continuously and, after having ,oifset the sheet into the channel through the throat portion, will attempt to urge the succeeding sheet of the stack also through the throat.
The separa I Upon , past point 16, the throat portion of thechannel is cleared. The enlarged channel portionprovides sufficient space to motion of the power rolls istangentially transmitted to the sheet and it is moved longitudinally along the channel. The hopper side plate 12 is positioned fromend plate portion 1.45 to permit only a single sheet to leave the stack. An easily adjustable side throat may be obtained by providing a secondithrc'at block 36 secured to the left hopper sidewall 12. As the gripped sheet is moved to the left FIGS. 2 and 3) the leading edge of the sheet enters the bite of conveying rolls 37 that move the sheet past a processingstation such as photosensing elements generally indicated at 33.
The power roils25 and 26 are driven at approximately the same veiocity-asfconveying rolls 37 to avoid damaging the'sheets as theyare gripped by the latter rolls. The conveying rolls govern the speedwith which the sheet is moved through the various processing stations of the machine. As soon as the sheet passes into the bite of pressure rolls 37', these rolls move the sheet out of the feed 7 channels so that the accelerating and gripping rolls 24 are no longer necessary; Electromagnet 34- isthen deenergized to permit spring 35 to withdraw the idler rolls from the power rolls. Thus, the idler rolls are engaged to .gripthe sheet margin only for the time required to move the left end of the sheet (FIG. 2) into the conveyingrolls." C I As the record sheet is moved along the feed channel by conveying rolls 37, its trailing edge willpass beyond throat block 15 and enter the enlarged channel portion at point 15 whereend plate portion 14b is set back from being moved through the channei, the vacuum and re.- maimng stacked sheets urge the moving sheet toward the end plate 14 and portion Mb so that as the sheet moves permit a succeeding sheet rnow'to be moved downwardly a plurality of holes ZG-(FIG. 3 )'may be provided in end plate 14 and portion 14b adjacent the rolls which communicate with the suitablei vacuum source through. a
an evacuated -'=chanrber 21 and pipe.22. The vacuum drawsthe sheet toward the separator rolls and yet permits "oneisheet to slide'relati've totheend plate and succeeding sheet.
. To insure that sufficient friction'exists between the mm IfiWhanHflbY ssiiaraterlmus A succxflmg h separator rolls 18 and the sheet. which is tobe offset, 1
may thus be'moved down soiastoexpos'e a margin thereof in feeding channel while the preceding sheet is being moved leftward through theenlarged channel porg-tion. 'Because of the overlap'permitted'between the two sheets in the feed "channel, friction separator rolls may 7, V be relied upon to pre-registera sheet in the channel. This overlap makesavaiiable additional time 7 I M h in which the rolls may 'otfset the succeeding-sheet. V p
In the instaneethat anoifset sheet is not fed promptly 7 after being moved into the feed channel, it maybe desirablethat separator rolls who disengaged from prolonged trornagnet 65.
rotation against the succeeding sheet in the stack to avoid possible mutilation or wear. Therefore, a control circuit and mechanism are provided, as shown in FIG. 4, by which the remaining sheets in the stack may be selectively disengaged from the separator rolls. mechanism comprises a pair of electromagnetically operated lifters which move through end plate 14 and portion 14b thereof to overcome the vacuum and engage the stack, lifting it free of separator rolls 18. The two lifters are identical so that one only will be described.
Each lifter is a bell crank 49 pivotally mounted at the junction of its two armsv 41 and 42 on a fixed pivot stud 43 adjacent the end plate. Arm 41 has formed at the end thereof a tip 44 substantially at a right angle relative to the arm and passes through an opening 45 in the end plate adjacent the separator roll 13. Arm 42 extends outwardly from the pivot stud and end plate to form an armature for electromagnet as supported adjacent thereto. When the electromagnet is energized, bell crank 49 rotates clockwise around pivot stud 43 and moves tip 44 sulficiently through opening 45 to push the stack of sheets out of engagement with the separator rolls.
The two lifters operate simultaneously andare connected in parfllel to a common control circuit. The control circuit includes a normally open switch 47 having a pair of resilient Icontact arms and is closed by movable plunger 48 extending through the bottom of the feed channel adjacent throat block '15. When a sheet is ofiset from the stack, its edge depresses the plunger to close the switch and completes a circuit from battery 49 to the lifter magnets on lines 59 and 51 and returns on lines 52 and 53 through the switch to the battery. As soon as the sheet actuating the switch is moved from the throat porchannel for subsequent feeding therefrom by the gripping rolls 24.
In view of the foregoing description, there are modifications that may be made in the feeding apparatus that will not alter its function. For instance, the feed hopper need not be operated in an inclined position but may be used in a vertical position. Separator rolls 1% may be replaced with a single roll or an increased number of rolls. The number and location of the rolls used, however, should be spaced along shaft 19 so asto avoid skewing of the sheet about throat block as the sheet is being urged into the feed channel. Another modification is that of using a single pair of gripping rolls 24 is the feed channel or providing a continuously running belt instead of power rolls against which the sheets may be pinched by idler rolls.
While the feeding mechanism of the invention is particularly adapted for reliably feeding and accelerating record sheets to a high processing speed, the sheets must eventually be decelerated prior to entering a depository so' that they are not damaged. Therefore, apparatus is provided which decelerates the sheets and permits the faster moving sheets to overtake those being slowed. This apparatus is shown in FIG. 5.
As sheets successively leave reading station 38 they are moved by conveying rolls, as necessary, between fixed guides on to a selector station 61 where the individual sheets are directed to appropriate stacker pockets 6?.
or 63 as determined, for instance, at the reading station. The sheet may be deflected by any suitable mechanism such as a pivotally mounted selector blade 64 and elec- If electromagnet 65 is not energized a sheet will continue between guides 66 and conveying The disengaging 6 and is accomplished by driving a power roll with a pe ripheral speed slower than the speed with which the sheet approaches the roll. The slower moving power roll is spaced along the sheet path from the last conveying roll at a distance sufiiciently greater than the length of the sheet so that the sheet approaches the power roll in free flight. Rotating in contact with the decelerating power roll is an idler roll resiliently urged toward the power roll to hold the sheet in contact therewith. Assume, for example, that asheet is directed to guides 66 and con- 7 veying rolls 67 at the selector station. Along this path there are provided two deceleration stations 70 and 71 which each slow the sheet to some degree. The number of deceleration stations provided, of course, is dependent upon the amount which the sheet must be slowed and length of card path available in which to locate the deceleration stations.
The deceleration mechanisms at each station are similar so that only station 70 will be described in detail. A power roll 72 is driven by any conventional power source through a suitable arrangement of pulleys and belts at a peripheral velocity slower than that of the conveying roll or preceding deceleration power roll. The velocity reduction is governed by the sheet retardation requiredat a particular station and sheet rigidity. Opposite the power roll and freely rotating in contact therewith is an idler roll 73 rotatably mounted on a shaft 74 which is fixed to one end of an arm 75 pivotally mounted on a support shaft 76 fixed to the frame (not shown) of the sheet processing device. A spring 77 is attached to the opposite end of the arm to urge the idler roll into contact with power roll 72. Support shaft 76 and arm 75 are positioned relative to the power roll so that a line drawn between the roll centers through the point of contact between the rolls obliquely intersects the general sheet path indicated by line7tl. j
The sheets are guided tothe' deceleration rolls by a pair of guide plates 79 which converge toward the sheet path at the rolls. A curved leaf spring 79a, mounted on the guide plate adjacent the power roll 72, extends through a hole (not shown) in the plate toward the mating guide plate so as to engage a moving sheet and urge it toward the bottom in the figure. As a sheet moves between the deceleration rolls, it is also skewed relative to the general sheet path by the oblique arrangement of power and idler rolls. In this manner, edge-to-edge contact avoided between the trailing edge of one sheet and the leading edge of another during deceleration.
Thus, as a sheet leaves the conveying rolls, it enters the deceleration station by its own momentum where it is slowed to the peripheral velocity of the power roll andmoved into a stacker pocket or to another deceleration station. Because the idler rolls are resilientlyurged toward the power rolls, two or more sheets may pass between the power rolls and idler rolls at one time without adversely affecting the function of the deceleration station.
As the sheets leave decelerating station 71, they are directed into stacking pocket 62 by curved guide plate 80 on which a leaf spring 81 is attached that serves to urge the sheets against stacked sheets 82 or movable stacker plate 83. When'the sheets enter the pocket they slide against a second leaf spring 84 secured to block 85. The free end of spring 84 has a pad 86 of relatively soft material secured thereto such as rubber. To insure that the sheets remainaligned at the left side of the stacker on coming torest, a constantly rotating friction belt 87such as rubber of polyvinylchloride is resiliently urged against the incoming sheets to slide them to the left side of the rolls 67 toward pocket 62; if the magnet is energized, the
7 sheet will be deflected between guides 68 toward pocket 63.
This friction aligning device also serves as a control a collar secured thereto is an arm 91 which serves as a plate to move away from the mm; The stacker supportv plate 83 is mounted. for movement in a pair of opposing channel members 94 and is moved along the channel by belts 95 which rotate on driving pulleys 96 and idler' pulleys 97. The support plate '33 is secured by a hinge to base portion 98 and has slotted extensions which fit around the respective belts so that when sheets are loaded on the support plate it rotates to the position shown and the slots of the plate extensions distort the belts 'to i'rictionally' grip them. However, when the sheets have been removed from the support plate itis rotated relative to the base by spring Q9 so as not to distort the belts and the spring then causes the support plate and base plate to move to the top of the stacking pocket.
As sheets accumulate on the support plate and. cause support arm 91 to rotate in a clockwise direction, portion 91a of the arm closes the contacts of a switch 109 that is used to complete a circuit (not shown) to connect rotary power to driving pulleys for the stacker platebelts and thus move the stacker plate further into'the pocket until arm portion fin permits the switch contacts to open. With this arrangement the belts are selectively rotated in one direction only and a spring return for the stacker support plate may be used. v
The sheet stacking mechanisms and decelerating de vices are similar for each of the two stackers shown, and
are provided as required in a sheet processing machine.
The number of stackersprovided [in a sheet processing machine varies, of course, with the functions to be performed by the machine. For example, if the machine was to operate merely as a sheet reading device, only a single stacker is necessary; however, if the machinegis' to sort the record sheet into a number of groups, a plurality of stackers would be used. 7 I
While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood bythose skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein' without departing from the spirit aud I scope of the invention.
What is claimed is: i 1. Apparatus for feeding sheets from a stack compris ing: v a p means adjacent one end of said stack for receivinga portion of a sheet therein, said receiving means having a throat portion for receiving a single sheet edgewise therein and an enlargedportion for receiving a plurality of sheets edgewise therein;
separator means for offsetting in one direction the end- I 1 most sheet of said stack concurrently into both said portions of said receiving means; and
transport means for gripping said offset portion and portion for admitting a plurality of sheets edgewise therein; i V I V separating means adjacent said stack and operable to move the margin of a sheet into said throat and enlarged portions concurrently when said throat portion is clear; and
transport means in said enlarged portion operable to grip the margin of a sheet in said enlarged portion and move the sheetlongitudinally of said channel means through said throat and enlarged portions to clear said throat portion prior to said enlarged portion whereby said separator means are rendered operable to move the margin of a succeeding sheet into said channel means.
3. Sheet feeding apparatus comprising:
a hopper for supporting'a stack of sheets therein, said hopper having a bedplate with a surface adjacent said stack arranged in two parallel planes, one planar surface'being oifset from the other an amountequal to the thickness of one of said sheets;
' throat means adjacent one end of said stack and said other planar surface for admitting a single sheet edgewise therethrough; a Y
separator means for successively urging sheets partially through said throat means to expose margins thereof beyond said stack and block said throat means;
' transport means for gripping said exposed margins and moving the unexposed portions of said sheets transversely of the direction in which the sheets were olfset across both said planar surfaces of said bedplate to clear said throat means and admit. succeeding sheets therein. Y
4. Apparatus for feeding sheets from a stack comprising: a a
channel defining means adjacent one end of said stack for receiving a margin of a sheet therein; said channel means having narrow and Wide portions respectively less thanand greater'than the thickness of two sheet separator means for partially offsetting the end rator means areefiective to offset-a succeeding sheet concurrently'into said channel means as soon as the trailing edge leaves sa'id narrow portion and permit overlap of said'endmost sheet and succeeding sheet in said wide portion. 5. Apparatus for feeding sheetsfrom a stack, comprising:
moving the trailing edge of said sheet substantially transversely of'the direction in which said sheet was oifset through said throat portion and enlarged por-' tion successively whereby said separator means is.
operableto move the margin er a succeeding sheet into said receivingmeans as the trailing edge'ot said transportedsheet' enters said enlarged portion. 1
2. Apparatus for feedingsheets' from a stack comp ris-Q channel defining means adjacent one end of said stack for receiving the margins of' sheets therein, said channel means having a throat portion for admitting a single sheet edgewise therethrough and an enlarged separator means for urging sheets edgewise successively V in one direction from one end of said stack; channel means adjacent said, one stack end for partially admitting single sheets edgewise thereintoin response to urging by said separator means; 1 a" support, plate partially \aligned with said stak end and displaced. therefrom at lea'stthe thickness of a sheet;
is path; and a 1 j transportmeansadjacent said stack end selectively operable for gripping the portion of a sheet admitted into said channelmeans and moving said sheet in conveying meansfor directing a sheet along a designated another; direction substantially transversely to said one direction to said conveying means so that the trailing edge of the gripped sheet moves out of said channel means across said displaced plate enabling said channel means to admit another sheet therethrough while a part of the preceding sheet still remains on said plate. 6. A device for feeding sheets from a stack of sheets comprising, in combination:
means adjacent one end of said stack defining a guide channel for accepting a sheet edge therein, said channel defining means having a throat portion for admitting a single sheet edgewise therethrough; means for conveying a sheet along a designated path; separating means at said one end of said stack selectively operable for advancing a sheet in one direction through said throat portion to expose a margin thereof; rotatable means in said channel means for gripping said sheet margin and moving said sheet in another direction into engagement with said conveying means; and
control means operated by a sheet in said throat portion for disabling said separating means. 7. Apparatus as described in claim 6 wherein said rotatable means includes a constantly rotating member and an idler element movable toward said member to grip said sheet margin therebetween.
8. Apparatus for removing sheets from a stack comprising:
channel defining adjacent one end of said stack coextensive with one edge of the sheets in said stack for receiving a sheet edgewise therein, said channel defining means having a throat portion aligned with the endmost sheet at said one end of said stack for admitting said sheet edgewise therethrough, and another portion with a wall ofiset away from said sheet to provide an opening at least twice the thickness of a sheet in said stack;
separating means selectively. enabled to move a margin of said endmost sheet concurrently into both portions of said channel defining means;
sheet conveying means aligned with the channel surface of said wall for conveying said sheet along a designated path;
rotatable gripping means in said other channel portion selectively operable to grip said margin and move said sheet longitudinally of said channel into engagement with said conveying means; and
control means responsive to the absence of a sheet in said throat portion for enabling said separating means to move a succeeding sheet from said stack concurrently into both said channel portions,
9. Apparatus for conveying sheets from a stack comprising:
means adjacent one end of said stack defining a channel for receiving a portion of a sheet therein, said channel means having a throat portion and enlarged portion having Widths respectively less than and greater than the thickness of two sheets;
separator means effective for ofisetting a portion of the endmost sheet of said stack in one direction concurrently into both said portions of said channel deceleration means includes:
a rotating member positioned along. said path at a distance from said conveying means greater than the dimension of said sheet longitudinally of said path, and having a peripheral velocity less than said pre determined velocity;
an element adjacent said path for urging said sheet into contact with said member and deflecting the trailing edge of sheet transversely of said path; and
a plurality of sheet guides for directing said sheet from said conveying means to said member.
11. Apparatus as described in claim 9 wherein said deceleration means comprises:
a rotating member with a peripheral velocity less than said predetermined velocity and spaced from said conveying means a distance greater than the dimension of said sheet longitudinally of said path;
an element resiliently urged into contact with said member; and
a plurality of guide walls for directing said sheet from said conveying means between said member and said element.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Pavlic Aug. 28, 1962 Krag on. 8, 1957 V