|Publication number||US3356361 A|
|Publication date||Dec 5, 1967|
|Filing date||Jun 4, 1965|
|Priority date||Jun 4, 1965|
|Publication number||US 3356361 A, US 3356361A, US-A-3356361, US3356361 A, US3356361A|
|Inventors||Fuchs Jr Joseph A, Geisler Thomas J, Wells Rogers A|
|Original Assignee||Pitney Bowes Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (5), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Dec. 5, 1967 T. J. GEISLER ETAL 3,356,361
SHEET PACKAGING MACHINE Filed June 4, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 L F 3e 4 n n 1 V J 34 [I U T INVENTORS THOMAS J. GEISLER JOSEPH A. FUCHS,JR. ROGERS A. W ELLS ATTORNEY Dec. 5, 1967 T. J. G EISLER ETAL 7 3,356,361
SHEET PACKAGING MACHINE Filed June 1, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 9 l 7Z Qi 5 IN VENT 0R5 THOMAS J. GEISLER 30 JOSEPH A. FUCHS,JR.
By ROGERS AJMELLS zzdaew ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,356,361 SHEET PACKAGING MACHINE Thomas J. Geisler, Norwalk, C0nu., Joseph A. Fuchs, Jr.,
Rye, N.Y., and Rogers A. Wells, Stamford, Comm, assignors to Pituey-Bowes, Inc., Stamford, Conn, a corporation of Delaware Filed June 4, 1965, Ser. No. 461,252
3 Claims. (Cl. 270-58) This invention relates to sheet packaging machines and more particularly to an improvement in packaging machines of the type adapted to form packages of sheets gathered at different delivery stations.
In the operation of existing packaging machines involving a series of sheet delivery stations and means for assembling stacks of sheets wherein successive sheets in each stack are collected at successive stations, misfeeding Occasionally occurs due to wrinkling or bending of one or more sheets. Often, a misfeed involves undesirable interference of delivered sheets with a resultant pile-up at one or more stations. This not only interrupts production but often involves at least partial mutilation of one or more sheets. Misfeeding difficulties of this type are a chronic problem in machines which are used to assemble worn or old paper currency into neat packages of accurate count.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved means for preventing a misfeed of wrinkled or bent sheets in a sheet stacking and packaging machine.
Another object is to provide improved means for avoiding misfeeding of paper currency in packaging machines of the type having a plurality of currency delivery stations and means for accumulating currency delivered at each station.
A further object is to provide an improved machine for packaging paper currency which is adapted to handle worn and wrinkled money with the same speed and accuracy as new money.
Still another objectis to provide a multi-station paper currency stacking machine having improved sheet guiding means at each delivery station.
A more specific object is to provide simple, inexpensive and dependable sheet-guiding means for preventing nonfeeding or misfeeding'of sheets in a multi-feed sheet pack aging machine.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description which is to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the currency stacking section of a conventional multi-stat'ion currency packaging machine;
FIG. .2 is a cross-sectional view of the machine of FIG. 1 showing proper feeding of new currency at one of its sheet delivery stations;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating how misfeeding occurs with wrinkled or old currency;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but including the improvement of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view on an enlarged scale showing two of the sheet delivery stations of the machine of FIG. 1 modified to include the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view on'a still larger scale of a portion of one of the stations illustrated in FIG. 5.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the illustrated em-- bodiment of a conventional currency stacking machine comprises a row of sheet delivery stations identified generally as 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E disposed to one side of a sheet gathering section identified generally by the eference numeral 4 having means adapted to pick up 3,356,361 Patented Dec. 5, 1967 sheets at each station in the order named and advance them in discrete stacks to a conventional packaging station (not shown) where the stack are bundled for final handling.
Each sheet delivery station comprises a hopper having a floor 8 and side walls 10, the latter preferably including inturned guide portions 12 (FIG. 5) to help hold the sheets S of paper currency at an inclined angle of attack to facilitate single feeding at a rapid rate. Associated with each hopper and comprising an essential part of the delivery station is a main feed roller 14 which is operable to etfect feeding of sheets at a substantially constant rate determined by its speed of rotation. In accordance with established practice, each delivery station may include one or more booster rollers (not shown) for maintaining the leading edge of the foremost sheet S in the hopper in position to be engaged and delivered by feed roller 14. Although not shown, it is to be understood that the machine also includes conventional mechanism for driving the various feed rollers at the same speed in the same direction, plus associated mechanism for driving the operating mechanism of sheet gathering section 4 in synchronization with the main rollers.
The sheet gathering section 4 includes a pair of horizontal sheet metal members 16 and 18 supported in fixed relation to the hoppers. Members 16 and 18 have depending portions 2% and 22 and spaced confronting offset marginal portions 24 and 26 respectively which define an open rectangular channel 23 extending along the front of the delivery stations in position to receive sheets 8 as they are discharged by rollers 14. The depending portions 29 and 22 constitute the side walls of channel 28 While the offset portions 24 and 26 form its floor. The broken line arrow in FIG. 2 illustrates the path normally fol lowed by fed sheets. In normal operation, the leading edge of each fed sheet hits the outside Wall 22 of the channel and quickly settles onto the channel floor or onto previously gathered sheets, as the case may be. The channel walls are spaced from each other a distance sufiicient to permit lengthwise sheet movement while simultaneously holding accumulated sheets in confined side edge alignment.
The sheet gathering assembly 4 also includes an endless chain conveyor 30 mounted on sprockets 32 and 34. The upper run of the conveyor travels parallel and immediately adjacent to the underside of the channel. The conveyor is provided with a plurality of spaced dogs 36 which are secured so as to project at right angles to the chain and the axis of rotation of the sprockets. In this connection, it is to be noted that the offset sheet metal portions 24 and 26 that form the floor of the channel are spaced from each other to form a longitudinally extending slot 38; also, that the conveyor is aligned so that lugs 36 can move freely into the slot upstream of the delivery stations, travel in it for its full length, and then move easily out of it at the downstream end of the channel. The lugs are long enough to project above the channel and thereby assure that they will engage any and all sheets in their path. The conveyor moves the lugs past the delivery stations at the same rate that each station delivers sheets to the channel. Hence each lug will pick up no more than one sheet at each station.
In normal operation, each delivery station Will feed a sheet into the channel in the manner shown in FIG. 2 in the interval between departure of one lug and the arrival of the next lug, i.e., when the lugs are located substantially as shown in FIG. 1. Hence, as each lug travels along the channel, it will pick up a sheet at each and every delivery station. The sheet picked up at delivery station 2A is pushed along to the next station 2B where a second sheet is deposited on top of it. The timing is such that the leading edge of the first sheet will be in front of the second delivery station at the time that the second sheet is delivered so as to assure that the latter will be deposited on top rather than in front of the latter. These two sheets continue to the third, fourth, and fifth stations 2C, 2D, and 2E where additional sheets are deposited one on top of the other. Hence each stack of sheets transported by conveyor 30 to the packaging station (not shown) comprises five sheets of currency which may or may not have a common denomination, depending upon the denominations supplied to the hoppers. It is to be appreciated that in practice the machines are used to assemble packages of predetermined value, e.g., five tens, and consequently, the number of delivery stations will vary according to the use requirements of the machine.
FIG. 3 illustrates the kind of difficulty which conventional machines of the type just described encounter when processing wrinkled or worn bills. This figure shows the fifth delivery station in the act of feeding a wrinkled bill S2 onto a stack which includes three unwrinkled bills partially covered by a wrinkled bill S1 fed by the fourth delivery station. Because of an upturned edge, the bill S1 has overfed and is extending otside of channel 28. Additionally it appears that the bill S2 will not lie fiat on the accmulated pile but is likely to assume a skew position because of foreshortening of its width. Such poor and unaligned stacking usually results in jamming and mutilation of one or more bills, sometimes at one or more of the delivery stations, but more often on transfer to the packaging station.
The present invention avoids the difficulties illustrated in FIG. 3 by modifying the sheet-gathering section in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 4-6. Essentially the invention comprises provision at each delivery station of a ledge which is made up of two ledge members 40 and 42 that are attached to sheet metal members 16 and 18 and are offset in a similar manner so as to reside in channel 28 in parallel spaced relation to its floor. The two ledge members 40 and 42 are spaced apart at their adjacent edges so as to form an auxiliary slot 38A that is in vertical alignment with slot 38. Also added to the sheet gathering section adjacent to each delivery station is an auxiliary sheet guide member 44. These guide members have extensions 46 at each end whereby they are secured to the ledge members 40. The points of attachment of extensions 46 are such as not to interfere with delivery of sheets from the hoppers. It is to be noted that each guide member 44 includes an upturned lip 48 which cooperates with the adjacent hopper floor 8 and the extensions 45 to define a chute or mouth-like aperture for receiving the leading edge of a fed sheet and guiding it down onto the ledge member 40. The edge of each guide member 44 opposite to its lips 48 terminates almost flush with the corresponding edge of the adjacent ledge member 40 so as to maximize its guiding eifect without obstructing movement of lugs 36. As shown in FIG. 5, each guide member 44 is longer than the ledge member 40 over which it is positioned, so that the upstream and downstream edges of each guide member 44 projects beyond the corresponding edges of the adjacent ledge member 40. Additionally, each guide member is shaped so that the spacing between it and the adjacent ledge member decreases toward the center line of the channel. With this arrangement, a wrinkled sheet will be guided down onto the ledge (in the manner illustrated by the broken line in FIG. 4) and is smoothed by the concerted effort of guide member 44 and ledge member 40 so that it will tend to lie flat on the ledge and thus be guided into proper alignment by the vertical portions 50 and 52 of the ledge members 40 and 42 respectively in the same manner as a new unwrinkled bill is guided by the side walls of the channel. The overall net eiiect is to prevent destructive jamming of sheets.
The mode of operation of the machine of FIG. 1 modified in accordance with the present invention is the same as previously described except for the function of the ledge members 40 and 42 and guide members 44. At each station, a lug 36 engages a sheet resting on the ledge (i.e., the sheet S3 in FIG. 5) and drives it downstream to the next station. As the sheet is transported downstream, it rides off of the supporting ledge members and settles to the bottom of the channel (if this is the first sheet being accumulated) or on top of the sheets previously collooted by the same lug. When a sheet or pile of sheets moves from one station to another, it moves easily under the ledge of the next station (in the manner of sheet S4 in FIG. 5). Hence, undesired interference is avoided between each newly fed sheet and sheets accumulated at upstream delivery stations. Because each fed sheet is guided and smoothed substantially all the while it travels from the supply hopper to channel 28 and until it is picked up by a lug 36, the invention permits operation at higher rates of speed than has been possible heretofore. A distinct advantage of this invention is that the currency in the conveyor channel is accessible to the machine operator, so that any misfed or damaged bills can be repositioned or removed.
Although the illustrated embodiment involves a currency stacking machine, it is to be appreciated that the invention is applicable to other sheet feeding and stacking machines where sheets are delivered at individual stations and are picked up at the individual stations and transported to a common discharge point, with stacks naturally occurring by reason of the accumulation at each of the successive delivery stations. Thus, for example, the invention is applicable to machines designed to stack different printed leaflets fed in at each of several delivery stations.
It is to be understood also that although it is preferred that a ledge assembly be provided at each station, in most instances satisfactory operation may be achieved without benefit of such an assembly for the first delivery station 2A since the fed sheet is deposited directly onto the channel fioor at that point.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts specifically described or illustrated, and that within the scope of the appended claims, it may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described or illustrated.
1. Apparatus for compiling sheets of paper currency from different supply points into discrete piles comprising a plurality of sheet delivery stations arranged side by side in an extended row, each station including a hopper for holding a supply of sheets of paper currency and a feed roll disposed in position to engage the leading edge of the foremost sheet in said hopper and operative to remove sheets from said hopper one at a time and deliver them to a predetermined delivery point in front of said hopper; structural means providing a horizontally extending floor and spaced vertical side Walls defining an elongate channel along which sheets delivered from said hoppers are to be conveyed, said side walls being spaced from each other a distance sufficient to permit lengthwise movement of said sheets while simultaneously holding accumulated sheets in confined edge alignment, said channel located immediately adjacent to and in front of said hoppers and extending parallel to said row of sheet delivery stations past each said delivery point, said floor having a longitudinally-extending slot, a like plurality of ledges located in said channel in front of said hoppers so as to intercept and support sheets removed from said hoppers by said feed rolls, each ledge comprising first and second substantially coplanar ledge members supported by said structural means, said ledge members all being located above and disposed in parallel spaced relation to said floor with each pair of first and second ledge members having adjacent edges that define a longitudinally-extending slot aligned with the slot in said fioor, guide means for guiding sheets removed from said hoppers by said feed rolls onto said ledges, said guide means comprising a like plurality of parallel plates attached to said structural means immediately in front of said hoppers, said plates located above but spaced vertically from said first ledgemembers, said plates extending away from said hoppers and terminating close to but just short of the slots defined by the said adjacent edges of said first and second ledge members, each plate defining a longitudinally extending aperture in position to admit sheets fed from the adjacent hopper into the space between said each plate and the first ledge mem ber located below said each plate, the distance between each aperture and the feed roll adjacent to said each aperture being such that the leading edge of a sheet fed by said adjacent feed roll will enter said aperture while said sheet is still engaged by said adjacent feed roll, the spacing between said plates and said first ledge members being greatest adjacent said apertures and smallest in the region adjacent to the slots between said first and second ledge members, said plates being sufiiciently close to said first ledge members to tend to hold fed sheets substantially flat on said first ledge members, each plate having an upturned lip at the edge of its said aperture to facilitate entry of sheets into the said space, and an endless conveyor with a run which extends parallel to said slots, and lugs carried by said conveyer that travel along said channel in said slots and are adapted to remove sheets from said ledges and accumulate them in discrete piles as they are conveyed along said channel.
2. Apparatus as defined by claim 1 wherein said plates are at least coextensive with said first ledge members.
3. Apparatus as defined by claim 1 wherein said plates extend beyond said first ledge members in a direction parallel to the direction of travel of said lugs.
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|U.S. Classification||270/58.29, 271/198|