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Publication numberUS3231263 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1966
Filing dateOct 15, 1963
Priority dateOct 15, 1963
Publication numberUS 3231263 A, US 3231263A, US-A-3231263, US3231263 A, US3231263A
InventorsBellinger Jr James E, Macneill John H
Original AssigneeSoroban Engineering Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card feed mechanism
US 3231263 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 25, 1966 J. ao ETAL 3,231,263

CARD FEED MECHANISM Filed Oct. 15, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS JOHN H. MACNElLL bJAMEs i. BELLING'FURR,

BY w K ma ATTORNEYS J. H. M NElLL ETAL 3,231,263

CARD FEED MECHANISM 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 v? r mm 2 Jan. 25, 1966 Filed Oct. 15, 1963 INVENTORS JOHN H.MAcNE.lLL {'gnJAMES E.E ELL1MGE2,1R

BY fpg ATTORNEYS 1966 J. H. M NElLL ETAL CARD FEED MECHANISM 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 1 1963 INVENTORS JOHN HMACNEILL. 'rjamesEBeLuujeR, 2. k

m m m m ATTORNEYS 1966 J. H. M NEILL ETAL CARD FEED MECHANI SM 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 15, 1963 INVENTORS 1 JOHN HMAcNEILL dimes E-Buuuemfi BY a w ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,231,263 CARD FEED MECHANISM John H. MacNeill, Indialantic, and James E. Bellinger, Jr., Eau Gallic, Fla., assignors to Soroban Engineering, Inc., Melbourne, Fla., a corporation of Florida Filed Get. 15, 1963, Ser. No. 316,305 23 Claims. (Cl. 271-3) The present invention relates to feed mechanisms and, more particularly, to a selectively controlled, intermittent, high-speed, shuttled-type, feed mechanism for punch cards or like sheet material.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a high-speed punch card feed mechanism capable of operating at 10,000 feed cycles per minute.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a selectively-actuable, shuttle-type feed mechanism for punch cards or like sheet material for advancing a card a prescribed number of columns at a time through a punch mechanism and for feeding as many as five hundred cards per minute through the mechanism.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently-operable, punch card feed mechanism having an exceptional degree of counterbalancing for low-noise, high-efficiency operation.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed intermittently operated, shuttle-type feed mechanism for punch cards in which all external bearings are eliminated from the mechanism and all bearings requiring lubrication are located in a sealed housing and operate in an oil bath.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently operated, feed mechanism for punch cards in which all bearings are located internally of a sealed housing and are bathed in oil and all connections between relatively movable parts located externally of the housing employ flexure members which have long life, no backlash and require no lubrication.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently-operated, shuttle-type punch card feed mechanism which is, considering its speed of operation, relatively simple to manufacture and of simple design.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently-operated, punch card feed mechanism for driving a card or like sheet material by means of arms directly coupled to an oscillating shaft so that the card is moved along a radius of curvature defined by the length of the arms.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a punch card feed mechanism for driving a card or like sheet material through a card perforating or punching mechanism by means of clamps secured to the ends of oscillatable arms and wherein the card feed mechanism is disposed on an opposite side of the card from the punching mechanism so as to be able to employ relatively short arms thereby minimizing whipping of the arms which might result in inaccurate feeding and skewing of the card.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a high-speed, intermittently operated, shuttle-type, punch card feed mechanism having symmetrical dynamic counter-balancing provided by a dummy load which 3,231,263 Patented Jan. 25, 1966 is caused to move in a direction opposite the feed mechanism and which has essentially the same moment of inertia and essentially the same radius of gyration as the feed load.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently-operated, shuttle-type, card feed mechanism which provides suflicient force to drive a solid card through the apparatus, but which clamps the card in such a manner that a fully laced card is not torn or otherwise permanently deformed during the high-speed feed operation.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently actuated, shuttle-type punch card feed mechanism which, as the result of use of flexure members, may accommodate cards having different thicknesses along their two opposite edges at which edges the clamping mechanisms are applied.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a high-speed, intermittently operated, shuttle-type card feed mechanism in which the card is clamped along two sides and in which the clamping mechanisms extend inwardly from the edges of the cardfro permit clamping to occur across at least one of the longitudinal webs of a fully laced card besides the web along the edges of the card.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a card delivery, advance and withdrawal system wherein a card is delivered at high speed against a raised gate mechanism which accurately positions the card in a mechanism which is to operate upon the card, sensing delivery of the card to the gate and thereafter withdrawing the gate, and wherein the card is intermittently fed through the mechanism and subsequently ejected there. from at high speed, the intermittent feed mechanism operating only after the gate is withdrawn and the high speed ejection mechanism operating only when the operation of the aforesaid intermittent feed is inhibited.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a gate disposed in the path of a card to accurately position it during initial delivery and mechanisms associated with the gate to terminate the delivery force on the card and following selectively controlled partial transport through the mechanism to permit subsequent actuation of a high-speed card-ejection mechanism.

It is yet another object of the present invention to pro vide an intermittent-feed mechanism for cards or like members in which the card is gripped by oscillatable arms which rotate through a prescribed angle during each feed cycle and wherein the card, upon initial delivery to the mechanism, is fed through an equal but opposite angle so that the plane of the card after complete feed through the device is parallel to its position before delivery to the mechanism.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a card delivery system wherein a card is delivered under and the bent portion being free to deflect transversely so as to take up the shock of the abrupt stop.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a selectively operable, intermittent-feed mechanism for punched cards or the like sheet material employing selectively operable card clamping jaws carried on the ends of oscillating arms and including, in a mechanism for selectively operating said jaws mechanisms for compensating for variations in thickness of the cards and for isolating the jaws so as to prevent bounce in the clamping action.

The above and still further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of one specific embodiment thereof, especially when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of a card feeding, punching and stacking system in which the apparatus of the present invention is employed;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view in elevation of the intermittent card feed mechanism;

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view in elevation of a portion of the intermittent feed mechanism illustrating particularly the apparatus for controlling selective operation of this portion of the system;

FIGURE 4 is a front view in elevation illustrating particularly one of the jaw mechanisms for clamping a punched card;

FIGURE 5 is a side view in elevation of the jaw mechanism and the apparatus for clamping the jaw;

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view in elevation illustrating the interrelationship between the intermittent feed mechanism and the card punch on which it is physically supported and with which it is adapted to cooperate during card punching;

FIGURE 7 is a top view of a portion of the card punch illustrating the rapid-eject mechanism; and

FIGURE 8 is a detailed view in section of one of the pins for sensing the position of a card.

Referring now specifically to FIGURE 1 of the accompanying drawings, there is illustrated a complete arrangement for picking a card from a supply bin, feeding it to a high-speed card punch, intermittently transporting the card through the punch to present successive portions of the card to the punch mechanism during each punching cycle and, when all areas of the card have been presented to the punch, or all areas of the card which are to be perforated have been perforated, ejecting the card from the punch and delivering it to a card stacker bin.

' In operation, the bottom-most card in a stack of cards in the card supply bin, generally designated by the reference numeral 1, is withdrawn from the stack by means of a selectively actuable picker mechanism 2, and presented to a high-speed card punch 3. Disposed above the punch 3 is the feed mechanism of the present invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 4, employed to selectively and intermittently advance the card through the punch mechanism so that, during each cycle of operation of the punch 3, a different region of the card may be presented to the punch pins of the punch for perforation thereby. The nature of the card punch mechanism 3 imposes certain requirements on the interrelationship between the various other elements of the system. As more fully described in co-pending US. patent application Serial No. 316,298, filed on concurrent date herewith, in the name of John H. MacNeill and James E. Bellinger, ]r., for High Speed Card Punch Mechanism, during each punch operation, information may be recorded simultaneously in four columns of a standard storage card. Therefore, the feed mechanism must advance the card during each feed cycle a distance equivalent to four columns, center-tocenter for the specific type of card being employed. The requirement that the intermittent feed mechanism advance the card a distance equivalent to four columns of the card relates only to a specific system. The apparatus of the present invention may advance the card through a specified distance equivalent to one or any la ge number of columns it in r ason of course),

the four column system being exemplary only and chosen since it relates to a specific system.

In addition to the above, all mechanisms are required to operate at high speeds, thereby imposing further lim its on the various mechanisms. More particularly, the card feed mechanism 4, having relatively little time available between each transport operation, must completely release the card during each punch cycle so that the feed mechanism may be returned to its initial position, clamp the card in this location, and then transport the card by swinging its arms through the described fixed arc. Since the card must be released by the feed mechanism 4 during the punch cycle, provision must be made for retaining the card in that position to which it had been moved during the previous feed cycle. This is accomplished by providing a plurality of leaf-spring fingers, only one of which is illustrated in FIGURE 1, and this being designated by the reference numeral 8. The card, upon being ejected from the picker mechanism 2, passes between the upper guide surface 6 of the punch and the spring fingers 8. The spring fingers 8 maintain friction force on the card generally of the order of Ai /2 pound and, therefore, the picker mechanism 2 must be such as to be able to deliver a card from the card supply bin 1 through a friction load at a relatively high speed. In the specific environment in which the apparatus is illustrated, the card must be delivered to the punch in no more than 18 milliseconds through the one-half pound load exerted thereon by the spring fingers 8. The mechanism by which card picking and feeding to this punch is described fully in co-pending patent application Serial No. 316,410 filed on concurrent date herewith by Silas R. Halbert for Card Picker Mechanism.

The punch 3 is provided with a quick-eject mechanism generally designated by the reference number 9 which, when it is desired to extract a card from the punch mechanism 3, is actuated and withdraws the card to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 1, at a very rapid rate. The quickeject mechanism 9 although physically secured to the punch housing is actually integrated with the card feed mechanism 4 of the present invention and described herein. The card passes through a series of rollers and guide members, generally designated by the reference numeral 111, and through a turn-around capstan and stacker mechanism, generally designated by the reference numeral 12, to a card stacker bin generally designated by the reference numeral 13.

If a standard twelve-rowby-eighty-column card with rectangular holes is to be processed by the system, the entire mechanism is designed to handle at least four hundred cards per minute. About percent of this time is employed to process a cardthrough the punch 3 and feed mechanism 4 when all columns of the card are to receive information. The remaining 10 percent of the interval is utilized for card feed from the picker mechanism and card extraction and stacking. With the punch operating at seven hundred twenty columns per second, it is capable of processing four hundred fifty of the eighty column cards per minute.

The arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 1, considering the apparatus as lying in the plane of the page of FIGURE 1, is inclined at about fifteen degrees with the horizontal about the lower edge of the page. However, for ease of description, in the subsequent figures, the apparatus is considered to be arranged vertically.

Referring now specifically to FIGURE 2 of the accompanying drawings, there is illustrated the mechanism for controlling clamping, and intermittent feeding of the card. A main power shaft 201 has a sprocket wheel secured to one end thereof, the sprocket being driven from an electric motor via a toothed belt, neither of these latter two members being illustrated since they form no part of the'pr'esent invention. A variable reluctant disc 203 is provided which cooperates with a variable reluctance pickup 204 to generate timing signals which are a function of the rate of rotation and position of the shaft 201. The shaft 201 is supported at four points by bearings, bearings 206 and 207 being disposed at opposite ends of the shaft. The shaft 201 adjacent the bearing 206 terminates internally of its housing and therefore the bearing 206serves only the function of the bearing. However, since the shaft 201 extends exteriorly of the housing adjacent bearing 207, this bearing is equipped with an oil seal. Two ball bearings 208 and 209 are also provided on the shaft 201 adjacent its lateral center. These bearings are disposed on opposite sides of a two-lobe feed cam 211 whose function is explained more fully subsequently. The bearings 208 and 209 are suitably supported in the housing of the feed apparatus.

The shaft 201 carries another cam 212, hereinafter referred to as the clamp cam. The cam 212 is located between the bearings 206 and 208. A feed shaft 213 is arranged parallel to the shaft 201, and is suitably supported by bearings 214 and 216. Formed integrally with the shaft 213, is a cam follower arm 217 which supports adjacent its lower end a cam follower roller 218. Because of the loading force of spring 233, as explained subsequently, the cam follower 218 engages the feed cam 211 on the shaft 201 so that, as the cam 211 is rotated with the shaft 201, the shaft 213 is caused to oscillate about its longitudinal axis.

Flats, such as the flat 219, are formed on both the top and bottom surfaces, as viewed in FIGURE 2, of each end of the shaft 213. Bolts 221 and 222 extend through the flattened regions of the shaft 213 and are employed to secure feed arms, such as the feed arm 223, to the shaft 213. A feed arm which is a mirror image of the arm 223 is secured to the right side of the shaft, but it is not seen in the figures. The flattened portions of the shaft 213 extend outwardly from the housing so that the two feed arms are arranged externally of the feed mechanism housing.

In order to reduce vibrations in the apparatus, the mechanism is counterbalanced by providing a cam follower mechanism on the side of the shaft 201, opposite to the location of the shaft 213. More specifically, a shaft 224 is located to provide a mirror image load relative to shaft 201 of the load of shaft 213. The shaft 224 is supported between bearings 226 and 227 supported internally of the housing. Secured to the shaft 224 is a large mass generally designated by reference numeral 228. The mass 228 carries a cam follower roller 229 that engages the cam 211 at a position diametrically opposed to the point of engagement of the cam with the roller 218. The mass 228 has the same moment of inertia and the same radius of gyration as the load on the shaft 213. The cam 211 is a two-lobe cam with the lobes diametrically opposed. Consequently, the shafts 213 and 224 have identical cyclic motions with opposite directions of rotation. Since the loads on the two shafts are dynamically balanced, complete counterbalancing is provided.

The mass 228 has an upwardly extending ear 231, and the arm 217 has an upwardly extending ear 232. A compression spring 233 extends between the two ears and maintains the cam follower rollers 218 and 229 in engagement with the cam 211. A dowel 235 is positioned internally of the spring 233 to prevent whipping thereof.

The apparatus is also provided with a clamp control shaft 234, supported between bearings 236 and 237. The shaft 234 extends outwardly from the housing at each of its ends and therefore the bearings 236 and 237 are also equipped with oil seals as were bearings 214 and 216. It is to be noted that, at each location where the housing is penetrated, an oil seal is provided so that an oil bath and splash-type of internal lubrication may be employed.

The shaft 234 has formed integrally therewith, an arm 238 which carries on its lower end a cam follower roller 239. The roller 239 engages the cam 212 and is maintained in contact therewith by means of a torsion quill 6 241. The shaft 234 is hollow and the quill 241 extends through the shaft 234, being press-fitted into the left end of the shaft 234 as viewed in FIGURE 2 of the accompanying drawings. The torsion quill 241 is clamped externally of the apparatus generally in the region of the variable reluctance disc 203. The quill 241 is pretensioned such that the cam follower roller 239 can be maintained in contact with the cam 212, during the entire cycle of operation of the apparatus.

Secured to opposite ends of the clamp shaft 234 are clamp arms 242 and 243. The clamp arms 242 and 243 are L shaped members having a downwardly extending portion 244 which grips one end of a flexure member 246. Secured to the other or lower end of each of the flexure members 246 are struts 247. Since the clamp and clamp control structures on the two ends of the apparatus are mirror images of another, only the left side is described in detail. The apparatus is dimensioned such that the center of the flexure 246 is aligned with the axis of the shaft 213, when a card is clamped by the apparatus. The reason for this will be explained subsequently. Secured to the lower end of the strut 247 is a Ushaped clamp flexure member 248. Both the upper and lower arms of the clamp flexure 248 are secured to the strut 247. The base of the U-shaped member 248 extends around and is secured to a stub shaft 249 in turn secured to the bottom of the feed arm 223. Supported on the end of the strut 247 is a lower jaw 251 of a card clamp mechanism which includes an upper jaw 252 afiixed to the lower end of the feed arm 223. To maintain maximum rigidity while retaining minimum inertia, the feed arms 223 are hollow tubular structures.

In operation, the card is unclamped when the lobe on the cam 212 has rotated the arm 238 on the shaft 234 to its maximum counterclockwise position. Upon rotation of the shaft 201, the cam 212 permits the arm 238 and, therefore, the shaft 234 to rotate clockwise, thereby rotating the clamp arms 242 and 243 clockwise. Due to the arrangement between the clamp flexure 248 and the stud 249, the flexure 246 and strut 247 are pulled upwardly, raising both the lower clamp members 251 toward the upper jaw member 252. If a card is located between the upper and lower jaws 251 and 252 of both pairs of jaws, the opposite sides of the card are clamped.

The earn 211 now permits counterclockwise rotation of the shaft 213, and the card is advanced from the left to the right as viewed in FIGURE 2. The shaft 213 is rotated through an angle which, depending upon the precise distance from the jaws 251 and 252 to the center of the shaft 213 and the precise lift of the cam 211, moves along a radius of curvature through a precise distance determined by the number of columns to be punched and the type of card employed. For a punch which punches 4 columns of a standard IBM cards at a time, the arms are approximately two inches longer and are driven through an arc of approximately 10 degrees to obtain the required feed increment of about .348 inch. This is the distance from centerline-to-centerline of four columns of the standard IBM punch card. With the ap paratus as described, the deviation of this transport for an entire card; that is, after twenty transport movements, has been found to be at the worst, about .005 of an inch. Since both of the cams 2'11 and 212 are symmetrical two lobe earns, IJWO cycles of operation are provided for each revolution of the shaft 201. In a typical punch capa- 'ble of punching 4 columns of data, forty cycle degrees (twenty degrees of rotation of the shaft 201) are provided for clamping the card during which time the cam 211 retains the arms 223 in a dwell or stationary condition, one hundred sixty cycle degrees for card feed, forty cycle degrees for unclamping, during which time the arms 223 are again in a dwell condition, and one hundred twenty cycle degrees are provided for return of the feed arms 223 to their initial positions. Bringing the arms 223 to a complete stop prior to and during clamping and unclamping of a card is necessary to prevent differences in friction and thickness of a card from affecting the distance the card is moved. Each of the angular degrees recited above are divided by two to convert from cycle degrees to degrees of rotation of the shaft 201.

The various flexure members each serve a distinct function in the apparatus. The fiexure members 246 permit the strut and the jaws to rotate with the feed arms without reacting on the shaft 234. The flexure members 248 are employed to maintain the jaw formed by members 251and 252 in alignment during the feeding motion. The arms 242 and 243 are also flexure members although they are fairly stiff. They are employed to compensate for variations in thickness of the card between its opposite edges. These flexures permit tight gripping of the card but they have enough give to prevent crushing the edge of the card where the card is somewhat thicker than the standard thickness.

As indicated in the introduction, the feed mechanism is selectively controlled or, more particularly, feed may or may not be affected as desired. Thus, a card, once having been fed into the mechanism, may be maintained therein at a given position if information is not available at any given instant-for punching the entire card. The card may be permitted to sit in the punching mechanism until more information is available, at which time the feed may be again instituted. Selective feed is accomplished by means of an electromagnet 253, which operates on a pivoted armature 254. The armature 254 which pivots about the boss 255 on the right end as viewed in FIGURE 3 is provided with a hook 256 at its left end. The armature 254 with its hook 256 is positioned under the shaft 234 and, more particularly, under a downwardly extending latch member 257 which is secured to the shaft 234. When the shaft 234 has been rotated to its full counterclockwise position, as a result of rotation of cam 212, the latch finger 257 is positioned to the right, as illustrated in FIGURE 3, of the hook 256, and if the armature 254 is in its upward position, being biased upwardly by means of a light spring 258, the latch arm 257 is retained in this position and prevents subsequent clockwise rotation of the shaft 234. The shaft 234 is therefore maintained in its clockwisemost position until subsequent actuation of the magnet 253. Actuation of the magnet 253 is timed from the variable reluctance pickup 204 so that it is energized only when the lobe on the cam 212 is in engagement with the cam follower roller 239 at which time the latch formed by members 256 and 257 is unloaded. This type of operation prevents undue wear on the latching mechanism. If the magnet 253 is energized at this time, it pulls its armature 254 downwardly and disengages the hook 256 from the latch arm 257. Upon continued rotation of the shaft 201, the cam follower roller 239 is permitted to follow the cam 212 and a clamping and feed operation is initiated. It should be noted that with power off the feed clamps are latched in the open condition and feed is inhibited. As described later this feature is important should a card be positioned againsta gate 262 in a position for punching so that cards will not be jammed against the gate on either close-down or start-up.

It will be noted from the above discussion that all members which extend through the housing are provided With oil seals so that the housing is oil tight. In operation, the housing is partially filled with oil and those parts located above the oil level are splashed with oil to provide complete lubrication. All movable members located externally of the housing which are interconnected, are interconnected by fiexure members which do not require lubrication. The fleXure members are employed to provide precise tolerance control completely free of backlash through components susceptible of extreme life for all interconnecting components external to the oil filled housing.

Referring now specifically to FIGURES 6 and 7, there is illustrated the relative arrangement of the feed mechanism with those portions of the punch mechanism which are necessary to a full understanding of the overall arrangement of the apparatus of the present invention. The feed mechanism is located in a sealed housing 261, positioned immediately above the punch mechanism which is generally designated by the reference numeral 3. A card, upon being fed from the picker mechanism 2, proceeds through a slot, in the punch mechanism, passing under a die plate 263 and over a guide block 264. Four columns of punches of twelve punches each are provided, these being generally designated by the reference numeral 266. Up to forty-eight holes, may be punched in. the card during each punch and feed cycle.

The card is initially positioned relative to the punches 266 by means of a gate 267. The gate 267 is comprised of a generally L shaped resilient member having its base leg arranged generally vertically and clamped by means of bolts against a wall268. The normally vertical length of the L shaped gate 267- extends generally horizontally and passes over a core 269 of an electromagnet 271. To the left of the magnet 271, the gate extends slightly downward and is generally formed with a radius of curvature, and when so formed the center of the shaft 213 of the feed mechanism is its center. The left leading edge 272 of the gate 267 provides the gate surface and it extends under a forward projection 273 of the die block 263. When the electromagnet 271 is energized, the gate 267 which is fabricated of magnetic material, is pulled downwardly so that its upper surface is in the same plane as the upper surface of the guide block 264 for the punch pins. Under these circumstances, the upper surface of the gate 267 provides a lower guide surface forthe cards. Dis-posed above the gate 267, is an upper guide 274 which extends from immediately to the right of the extension 273 of the die plate 263 to a position at the right end of the punch mechanism. The upper guide plate 274 is secured to the bottom of the housing 261 of the feed mechanism.

Referring now specifically to FIGURE 7 of the accompanying drawings, a top view is presented of the punch mechanism in this region. It will be noted that the width of the gate 267 is less than the width of a card or particularly, is equal to the width of the card from the second column on one side to the eleventh column on the other side. The upper guide member 274 throughout its entire length is equal to the entire width of the card except in this same region; that is, the region of the gate 267, where the width of the gate and the guide are necked down to the same width. The reason for providing the region of reduced width in this area is to permit insertion of the jaws of the feed mechanism so that the edges of the card may be clamped in this region. The length of the region in which the upper plate 274 is of reduced width is sufficient to permit the arms to swing through a ten-degree arc and have a slight clearance on each end of its stroke. As previously indicated, the travel required to move a card through four columns is roughly .348 inch and therefore, for this reason is roughly one-half of an inch in length along the direction of travel of the card. The starting and finishing positions of the clamp jaws 251 and 252 are illustrated in solid lines and dashed lines, respectively. It will be noted that each pair of jaws extend inwardly from adjacent each edge of the card to a point at the outer edge of the second row of information areas. The jaws therefore, clamp two solid areas of the card on each edge, one area being along the outer edge and the other area being between the two outermost rows on each side. It has been found that such support is sufficient to permit high speed transport of even a fully laced card without damage.

Upon initial delivery of a card .into the apparatus, the electromagnet 271 is die-energized so that the gate 267 is open so that its upper surface touches the lower surface of the extension 273 of the die plate 263. As a card is pushed from the picker mechanism into the punch, it abuts the front surface 272 of the gate 267 and is abruptly stopped. The card is thus accurately positioned by the surface 272 so that the first four columns of the card lie immediately above the four columns of punch pins 266. When punching is to commence the gate is withdrawn by energization of the magnet 271, the card being held at this time by means of the friction-brake leaf springs 8 located to the left of the punch pins. Upon completion of each punching cycle, both pairs of jaws 251 and 252 are clamped and advance the card through a distance of .348 inch. During the next punching operation, the jaws are released and are returned to their full-line position as illustrated in FIGURE 7. At. the conclusion of each punching cycle, the jaws may be again clamped so that the card will be translated to the right and the next four columns of cards are presented to the card punch pins 266.

It should be noted that the card feed mechanism 4 is located on an opposite side of the card from the card punch 3. This feature is important in maintaining the feed arms 223 short enough to maintain rigidity of the bottom light weight arms. If the card feed mechanism were placed on the same side of the card as the punch mechanism, the arms would have to extend from below the punch mechanism to the region of the card and would be of such a length that arms of a mass that could rearward-1y be operated if the rates involved would whip and produce skewing of the card and/ or inaccurate feeding thereof.

The feed magnet 253 is wired in a circuit (see FIG URE 6) such that it cannot be actuated unless a set of contacts 290 associated with a pin 288 is closed. The pin 288 is located adjacent the leading edge 272 of the gate 267 and is positioned under the gate so that, when the gate is withdrawn from the path of a card, the pin 288 is depressed and its contacts are closed. Closure of the contacts 290 primes; that is, permits subsequent energization of, the magnet 253 of the feed mechanism. A mechanical switch 300 schematically illustrates the means (a central circuit) for selectively energizing the feed magnet 253 under external control.

Referring now specifically to FIGURE 8, located immediately forward of the leading edge 272 of the gate 267 isa second depressible pin 289 again fabricated from a non-conductive material. The pin 289 is provided with a set of contacts 294 including spacially and electrically isolated stationary contacts 296 and 297 and a movable contact 298. The movable contact 298 engages the bottom surface as viewed in FIGURE 8, of the insulating pin 289, biasing it upwardly and into engagement with the stationary contact 296. Upon depression of the pin 289, by the introduction of a card, the movable contact 298 engages the stationary contact 297. The movable contact 298 is connected to a reference potential such as ground through a suitable power supply generally designated by the reference numeral 299. The stationary contact 296 is returned to ground through a coil 301 of the feed solenoid of the card picker mechanism 2 while the stationary contact 297 is returned to ground through the coil or coils of the electromagnets 271. Thus, when the pin 289 is raised, the card feed mechanism is energized. When the pin 289 is depressed, the gate 267 is withdrawn to the position illustrated in FIGURE 6 from the position illustrated in FIGURE 8.

Continuing with the description of the physical arrangement of the pin 289 in the punch apparatus, the pin enters the region of the punch immediately to the right, as illustrated in both FIGURES 6 and 8, of the guide block 264. The leading edge or gate edge 272 "of the gate 267 is recessed as at 292, and the pin 289 rises above the surfaces of the guide mechanism at this point. The upper surface 291 of the pin is conical so as to provide proper operation in spite of rotation of the pin. The pin enters this region at an angle with respect to the plane of the cards so as to facilitate withdrawal of the pin when the card is presented thereto. In the region of the pin 289, the lower surface of the extension 273 of the guide block 263 is recessed only sufficiently to receive the upper region of the tapered portion of the pin. The guide surface is continuous on the two sides of this recess so that the stiffness of the card is sufficient to force the pin to retract instead of the card bowing around it.

As previously indicated, the card enters the punch mechanism on a ten-degree radius of curvature and leaves the pun-ch mechanism on a ten-degree radius of curvature, the first ten-degree curvature being downward and the second ten-degree curvature being upward. As a result of this, the card exits from the punch along a horizontal line. A further reason for providing the tendegree radius of curvature upon entry of the card is to provide a curved region in which to absorb compressional waves and bending resulting from the rapid stopping of the card by the gate 267.

Although the mechanism described here illustrates a particular embodiment of an invention specifically designed for feeding cards through a punch mechanism capable of simultaneously recording data in four adjacent rows or columns, variations in the geometry of the feed arms and life of the cams which drive the arms will permit the same mechanism to be used to transport recording media through a tape or card punch wherein data might be recorded in fewer than four columns, or more than four columns. The use of the mechanism may be applied to any recorder or reader wherein intermittent controlled transport of a card or tape is required.

It will be noted that, upon initial feed of the card, the outer portions of its forward edges are not lying under the guide 274. On subsequent advances of the card, the unguided portions of the leading edge of the card must be brought under the guide 274 without permitting abutment to occur. This is accomplished by beveling the leading adges 278 of the upper guide 274, so so that if the two edges of the card tend to curl upward, they are guided back under the plate 274. The upper guide 274 to the left of the beveled adges 278 is curved along the same radius of curvature of the left portion of the gate 267 so as to provide properly contoured upper and lower guides for the card. To the right of this genenal region, the card is unguided along its lower surface but is caused to pass between the upper guide 274 and belts 279 of the quick-eject mechanism. The quick-eject mechanism includes the belt 279, a follower roller 281, and the power roller 282. The power roller 282 is constantly driven at a fixed speed by a suitable source of rotary motion. The roller 281 is carried on an end of a lever 283 pivoted about a shaft 284. The shaft of the roller 281 is carried on one end of the lever 283 and the other end extends over the end of the punch housing and is connected to the armature of an electromagnet 286 by means of a rod 285. Normally, the lever 283 is positioned by means of a spring 287 so that there is a space between the upper surface of the belt 279 and the bottom surface of the guide 274, which space is sufficient to permit the card to pass between these two members without being clamped. However, upon termination of punching of the card, the lever 283 is pivoted clockwise about the shaft 284 by energization of the electromagnet 286 so as to raise the roller 281. The card is now clamped between the belt 279 and the lower surface of the guide 274 and is rapidly ejected from the mechanism. Consequently, the belt 279 not only serves as a lower guide for the card during punching but is employed as a part of the rapid card-eject mechanism of the apparatus. In the present embodiment the eject 11 magnet 286 may be energized after a standard IBM card has been advanced at least to the 20 column position provided the operation of the feed magnet 253 is interlocked therewith to insure that the clamps 251-252 are maintained open during card eject.

While I have described and illustrated one specific embodiment of my invention, it will be clear that variations of the details of construction which are specifically illustrated and described may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What we claim is:

1. A feed mechanism for cards or like sheet material comprising a first means for delivering a card from a stack to a slot lying at a predetermined angle relative thereto, a gate initially disposed in the path of movement of the card to stop the card at the gate, a second means responsive to delivery of the card to said gate to inactive said means for delivery, a third means for withdrawing said gate from the path of the card, a fourth means intermittently advancing the card through predetermined distances which are small relative to the length of the card in its direction of movement, said fourth means turning the card through an angle equal and opposite to the angle through which the card is turned upon delivery to said slot, at quick-eject mechanism for the card located to receive the card from said means for intermittently advancing the card, said quickeject mechanism rapidly removing the card from the vicinity of said fourth means.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said quick-eject mechanism provides means for guiding the card during advancement by said means for intermittently advancing.

3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said second means also actuate said third means to withdraw said gate.

4. The combination according to claim 1 further comprising means responsive to withdrawal of said gate to prime said fourth means.

5. A feed mechanism for punch cards or like sheet material comprising a pair of spaced parallel arms, means for mounting said arms for rotation about a common axis passing through one end of each of said arms, a pair of jaws mounted on the other end of each of said arms, means for oscillating said arms simultaneously through a predetermined are, means for clamping said jaws when said arms are stationary at one end of said are and maintaining said jaws clamped during the entire movement of said arms to the other end of said arc and means for releasing said jaws when said jaws are stationary at said other end of said are and maintaining them released during the entire movement of said arms from said other end to said one end of said arc.

6. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said means for oscillating comprises a first shaft mounted for rotation, means for supporting said arms at spaced locations on and for oscillation with said shaft, a second shaft mounted for rotation, a cam secured to said second shaft for rotation therewith, a further arm having one end secured to said first shaft, a cam follower secured to the other end of said further arm and means for maintaining said cam follower in engagement with said cam.

7. The combination according to claim 6 further comprising a third shaft, a counterweight, means supporting said counterweight on said third shaft, cam follower means engaging said cam for oscillating said counterweight, said counterweight being located such and having a mass distribution such that its radius of gyration and moment of inertia is substantially the same as the combination of said arm, jaws, cam follower, and said first shaft.

8. The combination according to claim 7 wherein said means for maintaining said cam follower in engagement with said cam comprises a compression spring dis osed be- 12 tween said counterweight and a transverse member secured to said first shaft.

9. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said jaws each comprises a jaw member secured to said other end of said arm and a movable jaw member, a pair of struts, each of said movable jaw members being secured to a different one of said struts, a rotatably mounted shaft, means for, at will, oscillating said shaft and means for pulling on said struts to clamp said jaws when said shaft is rotated in a first direction during oscillation thereof.

10. The combination according to claim 9 wherein said means for pulling includes a pair of flexure members each secured to a different one of said struts.

11. The combination according to claim 9 wherein said means for pulling comprises for each of said struts a bendable arm secured to saidshaft, and a flexure member extending between said strut and said bendable arm.

12. The combination according to claim 11 further comprising a pair of flexible members, each of said flexible members extending between a different one of said mo-vable jaws and its associated arm.

13. The combination according to claim 9 wherein said means for oscillating said shaft comprises resilient means for biasing said shaft to a position in which said jaws are clamped, cam means for rotating said shaft against the biasing force to open said jaws and selectively operated electromagnetic means for holding saidshaft in the latter position.

i 14. The combination according to claim 13 wherein said electromagnetic means includes a latch for said shaft and means for latching and unlatching said latch, said carn means unloading said latch during latching and unlatch-ing operations.

15. The combination according to claim 14 wherein said latch comprises an arm on said shaft and an armature for said electromagnetic means, said armature engaging said arm during a latching operation.

16. The combination according to claim 13 wherein said resilient means is a torque quill extending through the center of said shaft, said torque quill being secured to said shaft at one axial location only.

17. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said means for oscillating said arm includes means for limiting said oscillations to a prescribed arc.

18. Thecombination according to claim 5 wherein said means for clamping said jaws includes means for compensating for variations in thickness of said cards.

19. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said means for clamping said jaws includes means for preventing misalignment of said jaws.

20. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said jaws each comprises a stationary ja-w member and a movable jaw member, each of said stationary jaw members being fixedly secured to an end of a different one of said arms, a pair of reciprocable members, a different movable jaw member secured to each of said reciprocable members, and a pair of flexure means each extending between a different one of said arms and its associated movable jaw member.

21. The combination according to claim 20 wherein said flexure means each comprises at least a pair of spaced, generally parallel, flat, wide flexible members, the width dimensions of which lie in a plane generally perpendicular to the axis of movement of said reciprocable members.

22. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said means for clamping said jaws includes means for selectively inhibiting operation of said means for clamping so as to maintain said jaws released during the entire movement of said jaws from one end of said are to the other end of said arc.

23. A feed mechanism for punch cards or like sheet material comprising a first rotatably mounted shaft, a pair of arms secured to said shaft for rotation therewith, a pair of jaws each supported on an end of said arms remote from said first shaft, a second rotatably mounted shaft, a counterweight mounted thereon, a drive shaft, a first cam on said further shaft, said cam having an even number of equally spaced lobes, cam follower means for rotating said first and second shafts in opposite directions, a further shaft, means for at will oscillating said further shaft, connecting means extending between said jaws and said further shaft for clamping and opening said jaws upon movement of said further shaft in opposite directions, said connecting means including flexure means, a housing for said feed mechanism, said arms, jaws and said connecting means being external to said housing, and means for maintaining said housing oil tight.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,404,183 1/1922 Augustine 74-592 1,826,463 10/1931 Gibson 271-57 X 2,115,760 5/1938 Black 83276 X 2,947,917 8/1960 OBrien 271-57 X 3,049,076 8/1962 Ritzerfeld 271-53 X M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner.

ROBERT B. REEVES, RICHARD A. SCHACHER,

Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1404183 *Nov 18, 1919Jan 24, 1922Chester Machine Co IncBalanced cam shaft
US1826463 *Jun 17, 1929Oct 6, 1931Gibson Art CompanyAutomatic sheet associating mechanism and control
US2115760 *Oct 31, 1935May 3, 1938 Ticket issuing machine
US2947917 *Mar 1, 1956Aug 2, 1960Harris Intertype CorpSheet detector for printing presses
US3049076 *Nov 17, 1959Aug 14, 1962Gerhard RitzerfeldRotary lithographic multicolor printing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3934869 *Dec 20, 1973Jan 27, 1976Xerox CorporationSheet separating and feeding apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/3.18, 271/267, 271/268
International ClassificationG06K13/02, G06K13/077
Cooperative ClassificationG06K13/077
European ClassificationG06K13/077