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Publication numberUS3379320 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1968
Filing dateSep 22, 1966
Priority dateSep 22, 1966
Publication numberUS 3379320 A, US 3379320A, US-A-3379320, US3379320 A, US3379320A
InventorsLoach Roy William, Procter James Frederick
Original AssigneeSheridan Loach Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Compensating stacker
US 3379320 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 23, 1968 R w, O C ET AL COMPENSATING STACKER 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 22, 1966 INVENTORS ROY. W. LOACH BY JAMES F. PROCTER f ATTORNEYS April 23, 1968 R. w. LOACH ET AL 3,379,320

COMPENSATING STACKER 7 Filed Sept. 22, 1966 a Sheets-Sheet INVENTORS ROY W LOACH JAMES F. PROCTER ATTORN EYS April 23, 1968 3,379,320

R. W. LOACH ET AL COMPENSATING STACKER Filed Sept. 22, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS ROY W. LOACH JAMES E PROCTER 7% I ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,379,320 COMPENSATING STACKER Roy William Loach, Aginconrt, Ontario, and James Frederick Procter, Milliken, Ontario, Canada, assignors to Sheridan-Leach Limited, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, a company Filed Sept. 22, 1966, Ser. No. 581,294 6 Claims. (Cl. 214-65) This invention is concerned with a compensating stacker machine which is a machine for stacking a plurality of articles, the thickness of each of which is tapered from one edge of the article to the opposed edge thereof. The articles are stacked by the machine in such a way that a predetermined proportion of the plurality of articles is disposed with the thicker of said edges of each article constituting said proportion in vertical alignment. The remaining proportion of the plurality of articles is likewise dispOsed with the thicker of said edges of each article constituting said remaining proportion in vertical alignment, said thicker of said edges of each article constituting the remaining proportion being in vertical alignment with the thinner of said edges of each article constituting the first-mentioned proportion.

While machines according to the present invention may be used for the stacking of any articles having a tapered thickness characteristic as specified above, they are particularly intended for the stacking of folded newspapers, the thickness of each of which is greater at the edge adjacent to the fold line than at the opposed edge remote from the fold line. This tapered thickness characteristic of folded newspapers is particularly marked in the case of thick newspapers, i.e., newspapers consisting of a large number of sheets such as the Sunday editions of many well known newspapers.

Newspapers after they have been discharged fro-m the printing presses and have been folded are usually stacked in predetermined numbers and wrapped or tied prior to dispatch to the news vendors. If the newspapers in each stack are all disposed with the thicker edges adjacent to the fold lines disposed at the same side of the stack, the stack becomes increasingly unstable as the number of newspapers in the stack is increased. This results from the fact that as each newspaper is added to the stack the supporting surface for the next following newspaper in the stack is disposed at an increasing angle to the horizontal and in practice a stack formed in this fashion and consisting of only a few copies of thick newspaper is quite unstable.

It is an object, therefore, of the present invention to provide a compensating stacker machine by which a plurality of folded newspapers can be disposed in a stack which is completely stable thereby facilitating subsequent wrapping or tying of the stack.

It is a further object of the invention to provide such a machine by the use of which a stable stack of folded newspapers can be provided in a simple manner.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a machine of the type referred to which is fully automatic in operation.

The foregoing and still further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a machine according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the machine being illustrated in a first operative condition;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the machine in a second operative condition; and

FIG. 3 is a view again similar to FIG. 1 but showing the machine in a third operative condition.

Conveyor means is provided for transporting newspapers to the machine, the means, in the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, comprising a newspaper delivery conveyor system 10 which includes a lower support conveyor and an upper bearing conveyor. The lower conveyor includes two end rollers, only one of which is shown at 11, and two endless conveyor belts 12 which are spaced apart and are entrained around the end roller 11 and around the other end roller of the lower conveyor. The upper conveyor comprises two end rollers only one of which is illustrated. Each end roller of the upper conveyor consists of a rotatable shaft 13 on which is fixedly mounted two spaced pulley wheels 14. Endless conveyor belts 15 are entrained one around one of the pulley wheels 14 and the corresponding pulley Wheel of the other end roller of the upper conveyor and the other around the other of the pulley wheels 14 and the corresponding pulley wheel of the other end roller of the upper conveyor.

One of the end rollers of the lower conveyor is connected to a drive unit (not shown) for rotation thereby.

Means is provided for counting the newspapers being transported to the machine, said means preferably comprising a light source 16 and a photo electric cell operated counter 17 which are so mounted that light rays from the source 16 can freely pass between the belts 12 and the belts 15 to the photo electric cell of the counter 17.

The conveyor system 10 is so positioned that newspapers disposed between the lower conveyor and the upper conveyor are discharged therefrom and descend under gravity to, with reference to the first operative condition of the machine as shown in FIG. 1, a first platform comprising a plurality of spaced, parallel fingers 18 on which the newspapers form a stack. One end portion of each finger 18 passes freely through a vertical slot 19 formed in a guide plate 20 and is securely fixed to a shaft 21 which is rotatably mounted in bearings 22, the bearings 22 being secured to the face of the plate 20 remote from the fingers 18. The fingers 18 are in alignment with the slots 19 for free passage of the fingers 18 therethrough on rotation of the shaft 21.

Fixed to and projecting from the shaft 21 is a second platform comprising a plurality of fingers 23 which are colinear, and identical in form and number, with the fingers 18.

The shaft 21 is connected through a magnetic clutch 24, operation of which is controlled by the counter 17 to an electric motor 25. The shaft 21 carries a cam plate 26 presenting two diametrically opposed cam lugs 27 which are engageable with a microswitch 28 on rotation of the shaft 21.

Disposed below the fingers 18 is a lower receiving tray 29 and an upper receiving tray 30, the tray 30 being spaced above the tray 29.

One corner of the tray 29 is secured to one end of a rotatable, vertical shaft 31 to which is secured one end of a crank arm 32, the other end of the crank arm 32 being pivotally mounted about a vertical axis at 33 to the piston of a pressure fluid operable piston and cylinder assembly 34.

One corner of the upper tray 30 is likewise connected to a rotatable, vertical shaft 35 to which is secured one end of a crank arm 36- the other end of which is pivotally connected about a vertical axis at 37 to the piston of a pressure fluid operable piston and cylinder assembly 38.

The trays 29, 30 are rotatable, about the shafts 31, 35, respectively, through from positions directly below the loading station, which is the position occupied by the fingers 18 when the machine is in the first operative condition as shown in FIG. 1, to positions, hereinafter referred to as the first and the second discharge stations, respectively, directly above a discharge conveyor comprising a frame 39 on which is freely rotatably mounted a plurality of spaced, parallel rollers 40. In moving from its position directly below the loading station to its position directly above the discharge conveyor the tray 29 rotates about the shaft 31 in one direction whereas the tray 30 rotates about the shaft 35 in the opposite direction; namely, the tray 29 rotates in the anti-clockwise direction as viewed from above whereas the tray 30 rotates in the clockwise direction as viewed from above.

A stack guide plate 41 is mounted adjacent to one edge of the receiving tray 29 when this tray is disposed in its position directly below the loading station. One end of the plate 41 is secured to a vertically disposed rotatable shaft 42 which is so connected through a system of mechanical linkages to the shaft 31 that on turning movement of the tray 29 from its position directly below the loading station to the first discharge station the guide plate 41 is caused to turn in the opposite direction thereby to move clear of the path of turning movement of the tray 29. The system of mechanical linkages by which the shaft 42 is connected to the shaft 31 comprises an arm 43, one end of which is secured to the shaft 42 and the other end of which is pivotally mounted about a vertical axis at 44 to one end of a link bar 45 the other end of which is pivotally mounted about a vertical axis at 46 to one end of a further arm 47. The other end of the arm 47 is secured to the shaft 31.

The trays 29, 30 are of hollow construction, the upper surface of each tray being formed with a plurality of small bore apertures 48 which communicate with the hollow interior of the tray. The hollow interior of each tray 29, 30 is communicable with a supply (not shown) of compressed air so that an air cushion effect can be produced on the upper surface of each tray 29, 30 by the flow of the compressed air through the apertures 48 from the interior of the tray.

Upstanding from the two adjacent edges 49, 50 of the lower tray 29 are two support side walls 51, 52 respectively. Similarly, upstanding from the two adjacent edges 53, 54 of the upper tray 30 are two support side walls 55, 56, respectively.

Disposed adjacent to the support side wall 51 of the lower tray 29, when the tray 29 is disposed directly below the loading station, are two substantially vertically disposed stack guide arms 57 which are mounted in vertical alignment with the inter-slot portions 58 of the plate 20. The arms 57 are pivotally mounted about a horizontal pivot rod 59 and are pivotally connected to the piston of a pressure fluid operable piston and cylinder assembly 60.

An ejector plate 61 is mounted on one end of an operating beam 62 which is supported on freely rotatable guide rollers 63 secured to a support member 64. Movement of the operating beam 62 is controlled by a fluid operable piston and cylinder assembly 65, the piston of which is pivotally mounted about a horizontal axis at 66 to a lever arm 67, one end of which is pivotally mounted about a horizontal axis at 68 to the support member 64, and the other end of which is pivotally mounted about a horizontal axis at 69 to one end of a link arm 70. The other end of the link arm 70 is pivotally connected about a horizontal axis at 71 to the operating beam 62.

Secured to the operating beam 62 is a switch operating bracket 72 which, when the beam 62 is retracted and is disposed at one end of its path of movement, operates a microswitch 73 and which, when the beam 62 is advanced and is disposed at the opposite end of its path of movement, operates a further microswitch 74. A still further microswitch 75 is operable by the bracket 72 when the beam 62 is at a position intermediate the ends of its path of movement. The microswitches 73, 74 and 75 are mounted on the support member 64, the position of the microswitch 74 being adjustable in the direction of the path of movement of the beam 62.

Secured to the shaft 31 is a cam quadrant 76 which, as the shaft 31 is rotated from the position in which the tray 29 is disposed directly below the loading station to the position in which the tray 29 occupies the first discharge station, operates three microswitches 77, 78 and 79 in the manner hereinafter described. Furthermore, a cam quadrant 80 is secured to the shaft 35 and operates two microswitches 81 and 82, in the manner hereinafter described, as the tray 30 is turned from its position directly below the loading station to the second discharge station on turning of the shaft 35.

The corner of the lower tray 29 remote from the shaft 31 is formed with a notch 83 with which the ejector plate 61 is engageable when the tray 29 is disposed in the first discharge station.

Considering the operation of the machine with the parts initially in the first operative condition, as shown in FIG. 1, in which the lower tray 29 is positioned directly below the loading station, the upper tray 30 is located at the second discharge station, and the ejector plate 61 is in the fully retracted position, newspapers in the folded condition one of which is indicated at 84 in FIG. 1, are fed along the conveyor system10 between the belts 12 of the lower conveyor and the belts 15 of the upper conveyor. The fold lines of the newspapers as they pass along the conveyor system 10 are identically directed and may conveniently constitute the leading edge of each newspaper as shown in FIG. 1.

,The newspapers are spaced apart as they pass along the conveyor system 19 and are counted by the counter 17. After a predetermined number of newspapers, as detcrmined by the setting of the counter 17, has passed along the conveyor system 10 the counter 17 causes operation of the magnetic clutch 24 to connect the shaft 21 to the electric motor 25 which runs continuously while the machine is in use. The magnetic clutch 24 is arranged to be in the engaged condition for only half a revolution of the shaft 21.. Rotation of the electric motor 25 and hence rotation of the shaft 21. is arranged to be in a direction such that the fingers 18 descend from the position illustrated in FIG. 1 when the magnetic clutch 24 is engaged. The predetermined number of newspapers which have been stacked on the fingers 18 drop under gravity onto the tray 29 which is. disposed directly below the loading station.

As will be understood the fingers 23 take up the position previously occupied by the fingers 18 and begin receiving the further newspapers discharged from the conveyor system 10.

Depending on the speed of operation of the conveyor system 10, the position of each newspaper, in relation to the position of discharge thereof from the system 10, at which. the leading edge thereof is registered by the counter 17, and the speed of turning of the shaft 21, the newspapers stacked on the fingers 18may be dropped onto the tray 29 before the last newspaper of said predetermined number thereof has been discharged from the conveyor system 10. In this case said last newspaper constitutes the first newspaper to be stacked on the fingers 23 once they attain the position previously occupied by the fingers 18.

It will be clear that each stack of newspapers dropped from the fingers 18 or the fingers 23 will, however, consist of said predetermined number of newspapers with, of course, the exception of the first stack dropped from the fingers 18 or 23 after the machine is started up. The deficiency in the number of newspapers in this first stack can readily be made up simply by placing a newspaper on the fingers 18 or 23 which occupy the loading station prior to starting up the machine.

During the above-mentioned half revolution of the shaft 21 the appropriate one of the cam lobes 27 on the cam plate 26 operates the microswitch 28 which, in turn, initiates the supply of pressure fluid from a convenient source thereof (not shown) to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 34 to move the piston thereof in the direction to cause the lower tray 29 to be moved, through the arm 32 and the shaft 31, from its position directly below the loading station to the first discharge station. This movement of the lower tray 29 is permitted by the simultaneous movement, through the shaft 42, the arms 43 and 47 and the link bar 45, of the stack guide plate 41 to the position clear of the path of turning movement of the tray 29.

This movement of the lower tray 29 in addition causes the cam quadrant 76 to operate the microswitch 77 which in turn initiates the administration of pressure fluid to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 38 to cause movement of the upper tray 30 from the second discharge station towards its position directly below the loading station. Operation of the microswitch 77 also initiates the admission of pressure fluid to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 60' to cause the stack guide arms 57 to be pivoted, about the pivot rod 59, to a position clear of the path of movement of the tray 30 as it moves towards its position directly below the loading station.

As the lower tray 29 reaches the first discharge station the microswitch 79 is operated by the cam quadrant 76, the switch 79 controlling the admission of pressure fluid to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 65 whereby to cause the operating beam 62, through the lever arm 67 and the link arm 70, to be advanced to bring the ejector plate 61 into engagement with the notch 83 formed in the lower tray 29. Operation of the microswitch 75 by the bracket 72 causes advance movement of the ejector plate 61 to be terminated in the above mentioned position.

The machine has now attained the second operative condition as shown in FIG. 2.

As the upper tray 30 attains its position directly below the loading station the stack guide arms 57 are caused to return to their initial position as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The above operation of the microswitch 75 by the bracket 72 also causes pressure fluid to be admitted to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 34 to cause the lower tray 29 to be returned to its position directly below the loading station. During this return movement of the lower tray 29 the stack of newspapers on this tray is prevented from returning with the tray by the influence of the ejector plate 61 and glides from the tray 29 onto the rollers 40 with the assistance of the air cushion which is initiated when the bracket 59 releases the microswitch 73.

Operation by the cam quadrant 76 of the microswitch 73, as the lower tray 29 returns to its initial position directly below the loading station, causes pressure fluid to be admitted to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 65 to cause the operating beam 62 and hence also the ejector plate to be retracted to its initial position as illustrated in FIG.1 in which position the bracket 72 again engages with the microswitch 73 to cause the supply of compressed air to the hollow interior of the tray 29 to be cut off.

With the upper tray 30 in its position directly below the loading station the cam quadrant 80 operates the microswitch 81. When the predetermined number of newspapers have been stacked on the fingers 23 the magnetic clutch 24 is again engaged, under the control of the counter 17, to cause the shaft 21 to execute a further half revolution thereby causing the newspapers to be dropped from the fingers 23 onto the upper tray 30, the resultant operation of the microswitch 28 by the appropriate one of the cam lobes 27 of the cam plate 26 causing, since the microswitch 81 has also been operated, the admission of pressure fluid, not to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 34, but to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 38 to cause the upper tray 30 to be returned from its position directly below the loading station to its initial location at the second discharge station.

As the upper tray 30 executes this movement the stack arms '57 are pivoted by operation of the piston and cylinder assembly 60 out of the path of movement of the tray 30 but return to their initial position as illustrated in FIG. 1 once the tray 30 reaches the second discharge station. With the upper tray 30 in this latter position the cam quadrant causes operation of the microswitch 82 which initiates the supply of pressure fluid to the cylinder of the piston and cylinder assembly 65 to cause advance movement of the ejector plate 61, disconnects the microswitch 75 so that this microswitch is no longer operable to terminate advance movement of the ejector plate 61, and initiates the supply of compressed air to the hollow interior of the upper tray 30 to create the air cushion effect between the tray 30 and the stack of newspapers disposed thereon.

As the advance movement of the ejector plate 61 continues the ejector plate causes the stack of newspapers to be ejected onto the top of the stack of newspapers previously discharged from the lower tray 29. At this stage the machine has attained the third operative condition as shown in FIG. 3. The resultant compensated stack of newspapers is pushed along the rollers 40 of the discharge conveyor during continued advance movement of the ejector plate 61, which movement is terminated when the bracket 72 engages the adjustable microswitch 74, operation of which causes the ejector plate 61 to be retracted to its initial position.

The cycle of operations of the machine is now completed and is repeated.

The compensated stacks of newspapers pass along the discharge conveyor, or alternatively are removed therefrom, for wrapping or tying prior to dispatch to the newsvendors.

The foregoing description of the operation of the machine is directed to a manner of operation in which the newspapers are individually spaced apart as they pass along the conveyor system 10 and are individually counted by the counter 17. In an alternative method of operating the machine, however, the newspapers as they pass along the conveyor system 10 are disposed in groups each of which consists of a predetermined number of newspapers. The newspapers in each group overlap and the groups of newspapers are spaced apart as they pass along the conveyor system 10, the means for so grouping the newspapers constituting, however, no part of this invention. The counter 17 in this alternative method counts not the individual newspapers but the groups of newspapers.

This alternative method of operating the machine has the advantage that an increased rate of stacking the newspapers can be achieved.

For the event that it may be desired to use the machine to stack a plurality of articles the thickness of each of which is constant or is tapered from one edge of the article to the opposed edge thereof to such a small degree that the provision of compensated stacks of the articles is not required the machine may be provided with means operation of which renders the upper tray 30 inoperative at the second discharge station. When the machine is in this condition with the upper tray 30 inoperative the newspapers are transferred from the position directly below the loading station only by the lower tray 29 so that the stacks of newspapers discharged onto the discharge conveyor are not compensated.

What we claim as our invention is:

1. Compensating stacker machine comprising a first platform, a second platform disposed in fixed relationship to said first platform, a substantially horizontal pivot shaft about which said first and second platforms are so rotatably movable as alternately to occupy a loading station, means for counting articles being loaded on the one of said platforms occupying said loading station, drive means, operation of which is controlled by said counting means, for causing said rotation of said first and second platforms on loading of a predetermined number of articles, a lower receiving tray pivotally movable about a substantially vertical axis from a position below said loading station to a first discharge station, an upper receiving tray pivotally movable about a substantially vertical axis from a position below said loading station to a second discharge station located directly above said first discharge station, said lower and upper receiving trays being angularly displaced relative to one another when in said discharge stations through substantially 180 relative to the angular setting of said trays in the positions below said loading station, power means for alternately pivoting said lower and said upper receiving trays to and from the respective positions below said loading station and said discharge stations in phase with said rotation of said pivot shaft, ejector means for removing articles from said lower receiving tray at said first discharge station, a supporting structure for supporting articles so removed, said ejector means serving to remove articles from said upper receiving tray at said second discharge station for depositing on top of said articles removed from said lower receiving tray.

2. Machine according to claim 1 in which said first and second platforms each comprise a plurality of projecting fingers, and the machine includes an article guide plate having a plurality of slots which correspond in number to the number of said projecting fingers comprising each platform and with each of which said projecting finger of each said platform is in alignment for free passage of said fingers through said slots on rotation of said pivot shaft.

3. Machine according to claim 1 in which said lower and upper receiving trays each comprise a base portion having an upper surface, compressed gas outlet means formed in said upper surface of said base portion, and compressed gas supply means which is connectible to said compressed gas outlet means for exhaustion. of compressed gas through said compresed gas outlet means at least When said tray occupies said appropriate discharge station.

4. Machine according to claim 1 in which an article guide bar is mounted adjacent one edge of said lower receiving tray, a pivotable rod is journalled in the machine with said guide bar fixedly secured to said pivotable rod for causing pivotal movement of said guide bar to a location clear of the path of pivotal movement of said lower receiving tray from said appropriate position below loading station to said first discharge station, and linkage means connects said lower receiving tray to said pivotable rod for causing pivotal movement thereof during said pivotal movement of said lower receiving tray.

5. Machine according to claim 1 in which first switch means operable by one of said lower and said upper receiving trays when in the appropriate discharge station initiates operation of said ejector means, further switch means operable by said ejector means, when initiation of operation thereof is controlled by said lower receiving tray, terminates operation of said ejector means in a position at which articles on said lower receiving tray are restrained at said first discharge stations, and still further switch means operable by said ejector means, when initiation of operation thereof is controlled by said upper receiving tray, terminates operation of said ejector means in a further position at which discharged articles from said lowering receiving tray together with superimposed articles discharged by said ejector means from said upper receiving tray are displaced from said discharge stations.

6. Machine according to claim 1 in which means is incorporated in the machine for rendering the upper receiving tray inoperative at the second discharge station.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,266,737 5/1918 Wood et al. 1,365,741 1/1921 Speer. 2,109,050 2/1938 Quick et al.

ROBERT G. SHERIDAN, Primary Examiner.

R. J. SPAR, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/788.3, 414/901, 414/903, 414/789.1, 414/792.2, 414/790.3, 414/791
International ClassificationB65H33/08
Cooperative ClassificationY10S414/101, Y10S414/115, B65H33/08, B65H2301/42112
European ClassificationB65H33/08