US 3327873 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 27, 1967 H. MALAMOOD ETAL 3,327,873
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FEEDING LIFTS OF LIMP SHEETS Filed July 1, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 x a a v I I T. 28 87 19 407 I04 L- In 1 Ill 7 Fig. 2. $2
INVENTOR. HERMAN MALMOOD ABRAHAM MALMOOD P w- M4,
ATTORNEYS June 27, 1967 MALAMQQD ETAL 3,327,873
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FEEDING LIFTS OF LIMP SHEETS Filed July 1, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I I4? 65 t I49 48 ese 46 v --ee INVENTOR. H ERMAN MALMOOD 'wRAH M MALMOOD United States Patent 3,327,873 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FEEDING LIFTS OF LIMP SHEETS Herman Malarnood, 6336 Grand Central Parkway, Forest Hills, NY. 11375, and Abraham Malamood, 2245 Prospect Ave., Bronx, N.Y. 10457 Filed July 1, 1964, Ser. No. 379,613 7 Claims. (Cl. 214-85) This invention relates to an apparatus and method for feeding lifts of paper sheets individually and successively from a stack of such sheets.
The invention particularly relates to the feeding of limp, flexible sheets of paper or the like of the type which would crumple, tear and otherwise respond disadvantageously if fed by conventional mechanism.
Single sheets such as box blanks, single articles such as collapsed cartons and single packages such as filled mailing envelopes, usually have enough resistance to bending to be fed individually from a magazine by a pusher blade, endless conveyor lugs, rotating friction wheels or movable suction cups. .Double feeding in such apparatus is undesirable. However, in this invention, multiple feeding is the principal objective, since the apparatus is primarily intended for the purpose of simultaneously feeding, for example, ten or more flimsy paper sheets in a unit, so that the unit may be passed through a punching, trimming, binding or similar treatment.
Such units, or groups, of limp, flexible, flimsy sheets are called lifts herein and the sheets are usually of relatively small area such as are suitable for the printing and publishing art to be assembled into books, calendars or the like.
The lifts are not contained in a folded outer sheet as in a signature, or bound at one edge, or provided with one extra long sheet usable for vacuum separation purposes, such packages being relatively easy to handle. Instead the sheets in the lifts, which are handled by the invention herein, are identical in dimensions, unconnected, unbound and without separators, thereby presenting a diflicult problem of accurate separation, segregation and withdrawal.
When such sheets are placed in an end feed magazine such as a gravity type, bottom feed hopper the weight of the stack creates such friction that pusher blade feeds merely crumple the lift, vacuum separators are not elfective and friction feeds affect only the bottommost sheet and tend to crumple the same.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus for feeding such lifts in which each successive lift in the magazine is mechanically and accurately separated from a stack, clamped on both faces of one edge and bodily rectilinearly pulled out of the magazine, thereby avoiding crumpling of the sheets.
Another object of the invention is to provide an automatic feeder capable of handling up to ninety thousand sheets per hour without danger of damaging the same and without danger of jamming of the feeder.
Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus for depositing individual and successive lifts of limp paper sheets on the feed conveyor of an automatic punching device, the sheets in each lift being free of edge marks, uncrumpled and automatically jogged into flush alignment of the edges, by urging the upper edges downwardly toward a lower side gauge in cooperation with gravity.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the claims, the description of the drawing and from the drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevation of an automatic punching apparatus, from the rear, showing the feeding apparatus of this invention incorporated therein,
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the device shown in FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary end elevation of the mechanical lift separation and segregation means and lift gripping mechanism of the invention,
FIGURE 4 is an end elevation of the device of FIG- URES 1 and 2, on the same scale, showing the nippers closed on a lift,
FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 4 showing the nippers releasing an extracted lift,
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevation of the pivoted separation and segregation element,
FIGURE 7 is a rear view thereof,
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the cam mechanism for controlling the action of the nippers.
FIGURE 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary end elevation of the lateral jogger mechanism.
In FIGURES 1, 2, 4 and 5 an automatic punching machine 20 is shown, as exemplary of the type of machine in which the lift feeding apparatus 21 of this invention is intended to be used. All of the machine 20, except the lifting feeding apparatus claimed herein is shown and described in detail in our co-pending US. patent application, Ser. No. 230,929, filed Oct. 16, 1962, now Patent No. 3,215,014, and entitled Feeding Apparatus for Lifts of Limp Sheets. In that application an endless conveyor feeds the lifts to the punching apparatus and in this application the lifts are automatically fed from a hopper onto the endless conveyor.
The automatic punching machine 20 includes the frame and housing 22, the lift feeding zone 23, the lift treatment zone 24 and the lift discharge zone 25. The paper line 26 of machine 20 is preferably titled so that the lifts advanced therealong by the upper stretches '27 and 28 of the endless lift conveyors 29 and 30 will tend to slide by gravity toward the upstanding side guage 33 for alignment of the side edges of the sheets in each lift before arrival in the treatment zone. The endless conveyors 2-9 and 30, and the other parts of machine 20, are driven in synchronization by power trains forming no part of this invention, there being a main, longitudinally extending powered drive shaft 34 rotated by reducer 35 and motor 36 by means of power train 37. Conveyors 29 and 30 are shown as registration chains, with spaced upstanding lugs 38 because in the particular machine illustrated intermittent drive and timed registration is desirable. However, the feed apparatus 21 may be used with any type machine to deliver lifts onto any type conveyor such as untimed carrier belts if desired.
MAGAZINE MEANS An upstanding stack 49 of sheets 41 is supported in a sheet magazine, or hopper, 42 which preferably is of the gravity actuated, bottom feed type. While the sheets 41 can be of any material with any desired characteristics, it will be apparent that if they were relatively stiff with resistance to bending, conventional pusher elements could probably successfully expel each successive bottommost lift by pressure on the trailing edges. However, the sheets 41, in this invention can be relatively thin, limp, flimsy, flexible paper usable as paper in a school notebook, commercial calendars, or even sheets of tracing paper. The magazine 42 is tiltably mounted on the machine 20, in feeding zone 23 by a pair of brackets 43, having suitable arcuate slots 44 and tightening bolts 45 so that the magazine bottom 46 may be at any desired angle relative to paper line 26 within a range of about 20. Preferably bottom 46 is parallel to the tilted paper line 26 and alongside the path of the lifts on the conveyors 29 and 30, on the same side thereof as the upstanding gauge 33, there being a lift feed gateway 47 in the forward portion of the at bottom proximate, and slightly above the side gauge 33. The brackets 43 include the hinge pivot 48 for the bottom, or bed plate, 46. The magazine 42 has adjustable side guides 49, an adjustable back plate 51 and a forward wall '52 which includes the upstanding stop strips 53 and a cross bar 54.
The side guides 49 and back plate 52 may be adjusted, in a well known manner, to suit the size of the paper to be treated in the machine 20. The pivot 48 coincides with the bottom front, or leading, edge 55 of the paper sheets in the magazine and with the feed gateway 47.
LIFT SEGREGATION MEANS The mechanical lift separation and segregation means 57 of the invention includes stack splitter means in the form of an elongated stack splitter element 58, having its upper end pivoted to the cross bar 54 as hinge pivot 59, and having a rearwardly projecting, sharp-edged, hooked barb 60 at its lower free terminal end. A suitable spring 62 spring loads the splitter element outwardly and the element 58 is preferably in two overlying slidable parts so that its length may be adjusted by the wingnut screw 63 to split off a lift of any desired thickness from the bottom of the stack. 7
The fiat face 64 of the element 58 moves into contact with the forward edges 65 of the stack 40, with each oscillation of the element to serve as a movable magazine front wall for confining the sheets while the bottommost lift is pulled out from under the stack. The upper face 66 of the barb 60 is at right angles to the face 64 so that it is substantially parallel to the sheets in the stack when moved thereint-o, but the lower face 67 of the barb is inclined, and provided centrally with an inclined projecting central flange 68 of greater inclination. Thus the sharp edge 69 of the barb enters the stack, at a predetermined distance from the end of the stack formed by bottom 46 to split off each successive endmost, or bottommost lift 71 with the inclined flange 68 turning the leading edges 55 of the lift downwardly around the leading edge 72 of the magazine bottom 46 and away from the sheets of the next successive lift 73 of the stack.
LIFT EXTRACTION MEANS The lift extraction means 75 of the invention includes a carriage 76 movable toward and away from the magazine 42 by an endless chain 77, trained around spockets 78 and 79 in a frame piece 80, extending across the machine 20 and supported by the bracket 81. The carriage 76 is connected to the lower stretch '82 of chain 77 and the lower stretch reciprocates by mechanism to be described hereinafter.
A stationary nipper member 84 projects from carriage 76 toward the magazine 42 and downwardly toward the gateway 47 and a movable nipper member 85 is pivoted thereto at 86 so that the nipper jaws 87 and 88 may enter the gateway 47 to clamp on the opposite faces 89 and 90 of the downturned leading edge portions 72 of each successive lift. The barb 60, has provided the opening 92 in the stack for the entrance of the upper jaw 87 as explained above. While a solenoid could be used to actuate the splitter element 58, it is preferred to provide a rubber impact plate 93 on the element 58 and a plunger 94 on the cross feed carriage 76 to actuate the same.
Plunger 94 is backed up by a spring 95, in a tubular housing 96, the spring compressing to allow the nipper jaws to continue on into the gateway 47 into position to clamp onto the lift. When the nipper jaws 87 and 88 reach clamping position (FIG. 4) they are closed under the action of the nipper jaw spring 97 by signal from the cam mechanism of FIGURE 8, which de-energizes the solenoid 98. Solenoid 98 actuates the nipper jaw member 88 by the bell crank lever 99 pivoted at 100 to the carriage 76 and pivoted to the armature 101 of the solenoid at 102. The carriage 76 then moves away from the magazine 42, across the paper line 26, while extracting the' limp flexible lift from under the stack and pulling the lift across and above the endless conveyors 29 and 30, in a rectilinear path parallel to the plane of the sheets in the stack and in parallelism with the plane of the paper line. At a predetermined location, remote from magazine 42, the cam mechanism of FIGURE 8, causes solenoid 98 to be energized, thereby pivoting lever 99 and opening the nipper jaws 87 and 88 to unclamp the leading edge portion of the lift. The leading edge portion 72, of the so released lift preferably strikes an impact target element 104 in the path thereof, which causes the lift to be deposited in the desired position on the upper stretches 27 and 28 of endless conveyors 29 and 30 for advancement along paper line 26, for example by chain lugs 38.
While only one pair of nipper jaws and only one target have been described above, preferably another set of nipper jaws 106, jaw actuating mechanism 107 and another target 108 are provided, so that the extraction operation is balanced on each opposite side of the splitter element.
The targets 104 and 107 are preferably curved as shown and each is mounted at the lower end of a hanger 108 de pending from a block 109 slidable on a rod 110 extending along frame piece 80, there being suitable set screws 111 and 112 for adjustability of the target.
LATERAL JOGGER Preferably an upstanding side gauge 115 is mounted on paper line 26, on the opposite side therefrom side gauge 33, the side gauge 115 being laterally shiftable to consti tute a jogger in the feed zone 23. The gauge, or jogger 115 is mounted on a rod 116 slidably and rectilinearly movable in suitable bearings, transversely of machine 20, the rod being spring loaded at 117 in a direction toward the opposite side gauge 33 but moved away from the gauge 33 by a cam 118 rotated by a power train 119 from the main drive shaft 34. The gauge, or jogger 115, is thus synchronized to spring toward gauge 33 to impact the adjacent edges of a lift as the lift advances thereby, under spring controlled pressure, and to align the adjacent edges of the sheets in the lift in cooperation with, and against, the side gauge 33. During this lateral jogging action, the trailing edges of the lift are aligned by, and being pushed by, the chain lugs and the gauge 115 stops short of a position in which it might bind the edges of the lift between the gauges.
ACTUATING MEANS The various operating parts of the feed apparatus 21, derive their mechanical power from drive shaft 34. As shown in FIGURE 1 a sprocket 121 on shaft 34, through chain 122, drives a sprocket 123 on a feed shaft 124. The cam mechanism of FIGURE 8 is mounted on the shaft 124 and comprises a double earn 125 formed by the relatively rotatable earns 126 and 127. Each cam 126 and 127 includes a projection at 128 and 129 so that by suitable angular adjustment of the cams on the shaft the length of the cam path can be shorter or longer. A roller follower 131 rides on the cams and is carried by the arm 132 of a limit switch 133, so that the limit switch is actuated by the rotating projections for as long as the projections remain in contact with the roller follower. The switch 133 energizes and deenergizes the solenoids 98, in the desired synchronization, as explained above, and by a suitable circuit including a source of power and the helical cable 134.
The feed shaft 124, is journalled in suitable bearings 135, 136 and carries a feed drive disc 137, which constitutes a crank, having a connecting rod 138 which imparts a reciprocating motion to a rack bar 139 slidably mounted in the machine 20. The rack 141 of rack bar 139 is meshed with a rack gear 142, connected by a short shaft 143 to a sprocket 144. The sprocket 144, through a drive chain 145, drives the compound gear and sprocket 146 located in the housing 147 mounted at the magazine end of the machine 20. Thus the rotation of the drive shaft 34 is converted to a reciprocating sine wave motion of the compound gear and sprocket 146.
The reciprocating motion is transmitted through the two intermediate gears 148 and 149 and a cross feed gear 150 to the cross feed gear stud 152 and coupling hub 153. The coupling hub 153 permits slight misalignment of the shafting connecting to the cross feed mechanism. A swing arm 155 is provided to break the drive so as to position the cross feed carriage 76 in relation to the conveyors 29 and 30. For example, with the crank pin 156, of crank disc 137 at dead bottom centre, the carriage can be moved forward by hand until the nipper jaws are in the desired full forward position. The swing arm 155 is then returned to position to bring the gears 148 and 149 back into mesh and the arm locked by the bolt 157 in the slot 158.
Thus when the rack 141 is at one terminus of its path the carriage is fully advanced with the nippers in position to grasp a lift and the limit switch 133 then actuates to close the jaws. When the carriage has reached the other terminus of its path the switch 133 is again actuated to open the jaws and release the lift. The length of travel of the carriage is governed by the setting of the feed drive disc pin 156 in its radial slot 159.
The carriage 76 is moved toward and away from the magazine gateway 47 by the chain 77 in accordance with the reciprocating motion imparted thereto by the sprocket 78 which is driven by the coupling hub 153. The carriage is slidable on suitable rods 161 within frame piece 80, the rods 161 being straight so that the reciprocation of the carriage and nippers is rectilinear.
1. Apparatus for feeding lifts of identical limp flexible sheets from a stack of such sheets, said apparatus comprismg:
sheet magazine means supporting a stack of said sheets with the endmost lift thereof continually urged into position proximate an end feed gateway;
mechanical sheet separation and segregation means, including splitter means operable at said end feed gateway to automatically split off and segregate the marginal edges, of each successive endmost lift of said sheets to be fed, from the remainder of said stack;
and extraction means, including rectilinearly reciprocating nippers operable in said gateway to move toward said magazine, clamp onto the segregated marginal edges of each said successive lift of sheets, pull said lift out of said stack and magazine and release said lift.
2. An automatic feeder for lifts of limp, flexible sheets comprising:
and endless conveyor having a stretch advancing along a predetermined path from a lift feeding zone to a lift treatment zone, said conveyor stretch being tilted to one side and having an upstanding gauge along said one side of said path for aligning the adjacent edges of the sheets of a lift advancing therealong;
a sheet magazine mounted in said feeding zone, said magazine having mechanical lift separation and seggregation means, including splitter means for splitting otf and positioning each successive endmost lift with one edge thereof spaced from the next successive lift, and
lift extraction means including nippers moving rectilinearly from said magazine over said stretch for grasping the said edge portion of each successive endmost lift, pulling said lift out of said magazine over said stretch and releasing the same to advance with said stretch.
3. An automatic feeder as specified in claim 2 wherein:
said sheet magazine is mounted in said feeding zone alongside said conveyor path and on the same side thereof as said gauge, and
said lift extraction means includes a carriage, supporting said nippers, and movable in a path transverse to said conveyor path and extending from said magazine across said path;
whereby each successive lift is pulled from said magazine across said conveyor with its leading and trailing edges parallel to said conveyor path and to said side gauge but is advanced by said conveyor with said edges constituting side edges parallel to said side gauge.
4. An automatic feeder as specified in claim 3 plus:
an impact target element fixed on the opposite side of said conveyor path from said magazine and side gauge in the path of the leading edges of each lift extracted from said magazine and released by said extraction means, said target aligning the leading edges of the sheets in said lift as said lift is deposited on said conveyor.
5. An automatic feeder as specified in claim 3 plus:
an upstanding side edge jogger mounted in said feeding zone on the opposite side of said conveyor path from said side guage, and
means for shifting said jogger laterally and rectilinearly toward said side gauge for aligning the adjacent edges of each successive lift on said conveyor while pushing the opposite edges thereof toward contact with said side gauge in co-operation with the force of gravity thereon.
6. Apparatus for feeding lifts of identical, limp, flexible sheets individually and successively from a stack of such sheets, said apparatus comprising:
a sheet magazine for supporting a stack of said sheets, with said sheets continually urged toward one end thereof;
mechanical lift separation and segregation means including splitter means movable to enter said stack at a predetermined distance from said end to split off, and bend the leading edge portions of each successive endmost lift away from the remainder of said stack, said splitter means being normally spring loaded outwardly away from said magazine;
lift extraction means movable toward and away from said magazine, said means including gripping mechanism clamping on the opposite faces of the leading edge portions of each such segregated lift to extract said lift from said stack;
yieldable mechanism, operable in synchronization with said lift extraction means, to overcome the bias of said spring and move said splitter means toward the stack in said magazine, and
means for actuating said mechanical lift segregation and separation means and said extraction means in synchronization.
7. Apparatus for feeding lifts of identical limp, flexible sheets individually and successively from a stack of such sheets, said apparatus comprising:
a sheet magazine for supporting a stack of said sheets, with said sheets continually urged toward one end thereof;
mechanical lift separation and segregation means including splitter means movable to enter said stack at a predetermined distance from said end to split 01f, and bend the leading edge portions of each successive endmost lift away from, the remainder of said stack;
lift extraction means including a carriage reciprocating rectilinearly between said one end of said magazine and a position remote from said stack, said carriage having gripping mechanism in the form of a pair of nippers, mounted on the side thereof facing said stack, said nippers closing to clamp on the opposite faces of the leading edge portions of each successive endmost lift so segregated, said carriage withdrawing said nipper clamped lift in a path parallel to the plane of the sheets in said stack to extract said lift from said stack and said nippers opening to release said clamped lift at said remote position, and
7 means for actuating said mechanical lift separation and 2,128,316 segregation means and said lift extraction means in 2,273,689 synchronization. 3,155,244
References Cited 5 UNITED STAT S PATENTS 219,032 152,237 90,482 5/1869 Barth 27161 348,021 8/1886 Kelsey 271-61 685,535 10/1901 Smyth. 1,209,110 12/1916 Bradshaw 271-19 8 23/1938 Paul 271-89 2/1942 Boron 27189 11/1964 Rogers 214-85 FOREIGN PATENTS 7/ 1924 Great Britain. 11/1955 Sweden.
GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, A. J. MAKAY, Examiners.