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Publication numberUS3503606 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1970
Filing dateJan 30, 1968
Priority dateJan 30, 1968
Publication numberUS 3503606 A, US 3503606A, US-A-3503606, US3503606 A, US3503606A
InventorsCastellanet Joseph M
Original AssigneeCastellanet Joseph M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Signature feeder
US 3503606 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31, 1970 n J, MgcAsTELLANET 3,503,606

SIGNATURE FEEDER INVENTOR.

BYJQsph M. Castellane 4Q/W ATTORNEYS l March 31, 1970 .1. M. cAs'rx-:LLANET 3,503,606

SIGNATURE FEEDER A Filed Jan. 30, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Q 6l 2o 46 1| I9d q:

i /7\ a5 6 37 f8 E 49 f8 1 /1 \{l l r 43 A 54n a6 5 43 Fig. 3 50 5f INVENTOR. ,9 7 90 BYJoseph M Castellanet ATTORNEYS United States Patent O Mice 3,503,606 SIGNATURE FEEDER Joseph M. Castellanet, 15207 Colina, Oak Forest, Ill. 60452 Filed Jau. 30, 1968, Ser. No. 701,675 Int. Cl. B65h 1/14 U.S. Cl. 271-61 10 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Feeder for retaining a relatively high stack of aligned sheets in a vertica-lly extending hopper and feeding the sheets to successively drop one from the bottom of the hopper into a low stack for withdrawal. Two facing relatively narrow resilient endless belts extend between two side walls of the hopper and are pressed into engagement with opposite sides of the stack of sheets in the hopper, to support the stack of sheets so they will arch about the center of the stack to give the stack the beam strength to allow the belts to support a relatively high stack of sheets. The endless belts are simultaneously driven in the same direction and release the Sheets to drop onto a table beneath the hopper into a relatively low pile, where they may readily be jogged and picked up by a conventional mechanical pick-up means.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION A sheet feeder particularly adapted for signatures in which feeding of the signatures is facilitated and handling of the signatures is reduced by providing a relatively high storage stack and a relatively low supply stack directly beneath the storage stack, and by supporting the high storage stack by resilient feeders gripping the sheets in the storage stack to give the sheets an arched configuration, and operable to successively release the sheets to drop to the low supply stack, to reduce the compressive force of the `bottom sheet of the stack of sheets that would otherwise be present if the sheets were in a high pile, and t0 accommodate ready withdrawal of the sheets from the bottom of the low storage stack one at a time and avoid tearing of the sheets as withdrawn.

A principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved method and apparatus for feeding signatures and the like, in which handling of the sheets and the liability of tearing the sheets when removed from the bottom of a pile for further treatment is reduced by providing two vertically aligned stacks of different heights, in which sheets are stored in the high stack and successively dropped into the low stack for jogging and removal for binding and like operations.

Another object of the invention is to provide a feeder for signatures and the like, in which a high stack of sheets is supported in a hopper by yieldable sheet gripping and transfer members having gripping engagement with opposite sides of the stack of sheets and movable to release the sheets from the bottom of the stack, to drop into a relatively low supply stack.

A further object of the invention is to provide a simplified form of sheet feeder for signatures, supporting the sheets in a relatively high hopper and releasing the sheets from the bottom of the hopper one at a time in which the feeding and retaining means for the sheets comprises 3,503,606 Patented Mar. 31, 1970 gripping belts biased into engagement with opposite sides of the stack of sheets and operable to support the stack of sheets and release the sheets from the bottom of the stack to drop into a relatively low supply stack.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved sheet feeder particularly adapted for feeding signatures, in which the signatures are supported in a relatively high vertically extending hopper by relatively narrow endless belts engaging opposite sides of the stack of sheets along the center line thereof, in which yieldable means are provided to bias the belts into engagement with the stack of sheets, and power means are provided to drive the belts under the control of the height of a next adjacent lower supply stack, to limit the heights of the supply stack to an extent which will avoid tearing the sheets therein as picked up from the bottom of the supply stack.

These and other objects of the invention will appear from time to time as the following specification proceeds and with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE l is a vertical sectional view of a signature feeder constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic side view of the feeder shown in FIGURE 1 illustrating the arched form of the stack as supported by the gripper and feeder belts and looking in the direction of the arrows 2--2 of FIGURE l;

FIGURE 3 is a horizontal sectional view of the feeder shown in FIGURE l taken substantially along line 3 3 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary end view of the feeder, showing the drive to the gripper and transfer members; and

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary detail view illustrating the feeler for determining the height of the low stack of sheets delivered from the storage hopper.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIGURES l, 3 and 4 of the drawings, I have shown a sheet feeder including a main frame 10` having a storage hopper 11 for a stack of sheets A extending thereabove. The main frame 10 includes a plate 12 spaced above the ground between side frame members of the main frame and forming an adjustable support for a carrier frame 13, for a vertically extending endless gripper and transfer belt 15 extending vertically along the center of the carrier frame and along the transverse center of the stack of sheets A. The gripper and transfer belt 15 faces a similar gripper and transfer belt 16 backed up by a backup plate 17, connected at its opposite ends to inwardly extending vertical legs of angle irons 18, 18. The angle irons 18, 18 are connected to the frame 10 by spacer plates 19 connected to the legs of angle irons 20, the right angled legs of which angle irons extend outwardly. The angle irons 20 are suitably tied to the main frame 10 and are rigidly supported thereby. Spaced inwardly of the angle irons 20 are guide plates 21 extending for the height of the main frame and hopper and suitably connected to the main frame and defining the outer margins of the hopper. The guide plates 21 may be mounted on the main frame for adjustment toward and from each other, to form side guides for various selected lengths of sheets or signatures. The support and adjusting means for the guide plates 21 is no part of the present invention so need not herein be shown or described further.

Pivotally mounted on a shaft 24, mounted adjacent its opposite ends on the main frame on support brackets 25, is a mounting bracket 26, forming a support for a table 27 movable from a horizontal extending sheet supporting position to the downwardly inclined sheet release position shown in FIGURE 1. The table 27 forms a support for a relatively low supply stack of sheets B, and is lowered about the axis of the shaft 24, to accommodate a suction pick-up 28 to separate the bottom sheet or signature from the supply stack of sheets, to be picked up by a pick-up finger 29 and withdrawn from the bottom of the supply stack of sheets, and transferred to a conveyor 30, conveying the signatures for binding into a book and the like. A support finger 31 is movable in timed relation with respect to downward movement of the table 27 about the axis of the shaft 24 and the picker arm 29, to come into engagement with the bottom edge of the stack of sheets to support the stack as the table is pivoted downrwardly and the bottom sheet or signature is released to be picked up by the pick-up finger 29. The tiltable table 27, the pick-up finger 29 and support finger 31 are moved in timed relation with respect to each other by suitable mechanisms in a conventional manner commonly used on sheet or signature feeders, and are no part of the present invention so need not herein be shown or described further.

The gripper and transfer belts and 16 may be wellknown forms of timer belts made from fabric and covered with rubber. Said belts are shown as having spaced ribs 32 and 33 extending transversely of the respective belts 15 and 16, to increase the gripping effect of the belts on the sides of the stack of sheets A, in the hopper 11. As shown in FIGURE 1, the gripper and transfer belt 16 is backed up by the plate 17 connecting the angle irons 18, 18 together and is moved downwardly therealong by an upper drive sprocket 35 on a drive shaft 36 disposed outwardly of the plate 17 and movable within an. upwardly opening slot 37 in said plate. The belt 16 changes its direction about an idler 39 movable within a downwardly opening slot 40 at the lower end of the spacer plate 17. The lower direction changing idler 39 is mounted on a transverse shaft 41 for free rotation with respect thereto. The shaft 41 is suitable mounted on the back of the plate 17 at its ends, in spaced supports 42, 42. The drive shaft 36 is shown in FIGURE 3 as journalled in bearing brackets 43, 43 mounted on the angle irons 18, 18 and extending outwardly therefrom. The drive shaft 36 extends beyond one bearing bracket 43 and has a drive pulley 45 keyed or otherwise secured to its outer end and driven from a pulley 46 on a shaft 47 of a speed reducer 48 by. a belt 49.

A take-up idler 50` is provided to take up slack on the gripping and transfer belt 16. Said take-up idler 50 is shown in FIGURES 1 and 3 as being mounted between the legs of a yoke 51 on a shaft 54. An adjustment screw 52 threaded in a stationary bar 53 supported by the plate 17 engages a cross bar 55 of the take-up yoke 51, to press the take-up idler into engagement with the belt, and hold the belt to the required tension. Lock nuts may be provided to lock the adjustment screw 52 in position on the bar 53.

The opposite gripper and transfer belt 15 is carried by the carrier frame 13, and is backed up by a back-up plate 56, extending across the inner portion of said frame. The belt 15 is driven from a drive sprocket 57 at its upper end and is trained about a direction changing idler 59 at its lower end. The drive sprocket 57 is keyed or otherwise secured to a drive shaft 60, journalled in bearings 61, 61 mounted in opposite side plates 62, 62 of the carrier frame 13. A take-up yoke 65 is journalled on the drive shaft 60 on opposite sides of the drive sprocket 57 and supports a take-up idler 66 at its outer end for taking up tension on the gripping and transfer belt 15 to 4 maintain tension on the two gripping and transfer belts 15 and 16 equally. An adjustment screw 67 is threaded in a cross bar 68 extending across the plates 62 and engaging a bar 69 of the support yoke 65 for the tension idler 66.

The carrier frame 13 includes a base plate 70 mounted on the plate 12 of the main frame 10 for movement toward and from the gripper and transfer belt 16, in accordance with the width of signatures of the stack of signatures carried in the hopper 11. As shown in FIG- URES 1 and 3, a plurality of parallel spaced slots 71 are provided in the base plate 70. Bolts 72 extend through said slots and through the plate 12, to adjustably hold the carrier frame 13 in the proper spacing with respect to the gripper and transfer belt 16. Compression springs 73, 73 are shown in FIGURES 1 and 3 as being seated at their inner ends on bosses 74, 74 forming supports for the opposite ends of a transverse idler shaft 76, for the direction changing idler 59. The compression springs 73, 73 extend along rods 75, 75, secured to the bosses 74 at their inner ends and slidably extending through bosses 77, 77 extending upwardly of the base plate 70. The rods 75, are shown as having nuts and washers 79 on their outer ends to limit movement of the direction changing idler 59 toward the gripping and transfer belt 16. The compression springs 73 thus yieldably urge the gripper and transfer belt 15 toward the gripper and transfer belts 16 about the axis of the drive shaft 60 to provide the required gripping force between the two belts to support a stack of sheets or signatures A, loaded to the top of the hopper 11, as indicated by a broken line C.

The drive pulley 46 is shown as being a double grooved pulley and besides driving the belt 49 also drives a belt 81 having driving engagement with a pulley 82 on the projecting end of the drive shaft 60, to drive the gripper and transfer belt 15 to move downwardly along the backup plate 56 in the same direction of movement of the gripper and transfer belt 16 downwardly along the backup plate 17. As shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, the speed reducer 48 forms a mounting for a drive motor 85, shown as being a conventional electric motor. A belt drive 8(ab is provided to drive the speed reducer 48 from the motor 85.

In order to accommodate for adjustment of the carrier frame 13 and drive shaft 6) toward and from the drive shaft 36, the speed reducer 48 is mounted on a horizontal leg 86 of an angle bracket 87 for adjustable movement along said leg to compensate for adjustment of the drive shaft 60. The angle bracket 87 is also vertically adjustable to compensate for the difference in spacing between the shafts 60 and 36 as the shaft 60 is adjusted relative to the shaft 36. As shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, the plate 86 has parallel slots 88 extending therealong through which extend bolts 89 extending from the base of the speed reducer 47, for adjustably holding the speed reducer 48 in position on a bracket plate 86. The vertical leg 87 of the bracket abuts and is supported on the outer side of a connector plate 19, and has a pair of parallel spaced vertical slots 90, 90 extending therealong. Bolts 91, 91 extending through said slots and through the connector plate 19 are provided to accommodate vertical adjustment of the bracket and drive pulley 46, and to hold said bracket and the speed reducer 48 and motor 85 in position.

A means is provided to govern the height of the supply stack B and to prevent energization of the motor when the supply stack reaches a predetermined level. As shown in FIGURE 5 this stack governing means includes a feeler arm 93 pivoted intermediate its ends on a pivot pin 96 supported in ears 94 extending rearwardly of the plate 17. The feeler arm 93 is movable within a slot 95 formed in the plate 17. The feeler arm 93 has a control arm 98 extending outwardly of the.pivot pin 96 and engageable with the button of a switch 99, which may be a conventional limit switch. The switch 99 has conductors 100 and 101 leading therefrom and connected in the energizing circuit to the motor 85, to momentarily deenergize said motor each time a signature moves the feeler arm 93 from the solid line position shown in FIGURE to the dotted line position shown in FIG- URE 5 and to hold the motor 85 deenergized when the feeler arm cannot return to its solid line position. The feeler arm 93 is biased into its solid line position by a compression spring 103 seated on the arm 98 at one end and on an ear 104, extending outwardly of the back-up plate 17, at its opposite end. Y

As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the gripper and transfer belt 15 and 16 are relatively narrow and grip the lower part of the stack of sheets A along its transverse center and hold the sheets to arch about the transverse center thereof and to release the sheets to be deposited onto the top of the aligned supply stack B under the control of the feeler or limit arm 93. This arching of the stack of sheets A increases the transverse compressive and beam strength of the stack of sheets to enable sufficient pressure to be applied to the stack of sheets by the gripper and transfer belts 15 and 16 to support a relatively high stack of sheets for the full height of the hopper 11 and thereby reduce the number of times the hopper must be lled, and to enable the sheets to be successively fed to a relatively low supply stack B beneath the stack A, for jogging and to be picked up from the bottom of said stack for binding or further processmg.

While I have herein shown and described one form in which the invention may be embodied, it may be readily be understood that various variations and modications in the invention may be attained without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts thereof.

I claim as my invention:

1. A feeder for sheets, such as signatures and the like comprising (1) a vertically extending hopper having:

(a) parallel guides for receiving and storing a stack of sheets for delivery from the bottom thereof,

(b) a pair of movable endless facing sheet gripper and transfer members between two of said guides having sheet gripper faces for engagement with opposite sides of the stack of sheets along the transverse center thereof, at least one of said sheet gripper and transfer members being biased toward the other to engage and support the stack of sheets to arch about said sheet gripper and transfer members,

(c) and means for moving said sheet gripper and transfer members to move the sheet gripper faces thereof in the same downward direction to successively release individual sheets to a low height storage pile directly beneath said hopper, to accommodate ready withdrawal of the sheets from the low height storage pile.

2. The sheet feeder of claim 1,

wherein the resilient sheet gripper and transfer members are relatively narrow with respect to the width of the stack of sheets and engage opposite sides of the stack of sheets along the transverse center thereof.

3. The structure of claim 2,

wherein a table is provided directly beneath said hopper to support the low height supply stack of sheets for withdrawal and wherein means are provided to limit the height of said low height stack of sheets.

4. The structure of claim 3,

wherein the resilient sheet gripper and transfer members are endless belts,

'wherein means are provided to positively drive said belts at the same rates of speed to uniformly lower the stack of sheets, and

wherein yieldable means are provided to grippingly engage said endless belts with opposite sides of the stack of sheets in said hopper, to support the sheets to arch about the line of gripping engagement of said belts with the stack of sheets.

5. The structure of claim 4,

wherein back up plates back up the runs of said belts engaging the stack of sheets, and

wherein parallel ribs project from the outer surfaces of said belts to increase the gripping action of said belts.

6. The structure of claim 3,

wherein the resilient sheet gripping members are endless timer belts,

wherein drive sprockets are provided at the upper ends of said belts for driving said belts at the same rates of speed,

wherein back up plates back up the vertical runs of said belts engaging the stack of sheets,

wherein means are provided to maintain tension on said belts, and

wherein at least one of said belts is movable about the axis of the drive sprocket therefor and is biased about the axis of said drive sprocket to provide the compressive force to grippingly engage the two belts with the stack of sheets along the center thereof.

7. A feeder for signatures and the like comprising:

a main frame,

a hopper projecting upwardly of said main frame and having:

(a) parallel guides engageable with opposite ends of a stack of sheets,

(b) facing parallel spaced endless gripper and transfer belts disposed between said guides and engaging opposite sides of the stack of sheets along the transverse center of the stack,

(c) upper drive sprockets and lower idler sprockets for said belts driving said belts to form vertically extending downwardly movable sheet gripper and transfer runs,

(d) a motor,

(1) a drive connection from said motor to said drive sprockets for simultaneously driving said belts in the same direction,

(e) back-up plates extending along the insides of said belts backing up the gripping runs thereof,

(f) a pivotal frame supporting one of said belts and the back-up frame therefor and mounted on said frame for pivotal movement about the axis of the drive sprocket for the associated belt, and

(g) means biasing said pivotal frame and the belt carried thereby into engagement with the side of the stack of sheets, to clamp the stack of sheets between said belts.

8. The structure of claim 7,

wherein tension idlers are provided to take up tension on said belts, and

wherein said belts are timer belts having spaced ridges projecting from the outer surfaces thereof to increase the frictional contact between said belts and a stack of sheets.

9. The structure of claim 8,

wherein a carrier frame is mounted on said main frame for adjustable movement toward and from the stack of sheets,

wherein said carrier frame has bearings at the upper end thereof,

wherein a sprocket drive shaft is journalled in said bearings and driven from said motor,

wherein said pivotal frame is pivotally supported on said sprocket drive shaft, and supports said idler sprocket, and

wherein compression springs are interposed between said carrier frame and said pivoted frame to bias the gripping and transfer belt carried thereby into engage- References Cited ment with the side of the stack of sheets along the v UNITED STATES PATENTS transverse center thereof, to clampingly support the Stack of Sheets between said belts. 21963177 :l2/1960 Shlelds 19g-165 10. The structure of claim 9, FOREIGN PATENTS wherein a support table for a lower height supply stack 843,527 7 /1952 Germany of sheets is mounted in sheet receiving relation with 446,188 10/1957 Switzerland,

respect to said table, and wherein a feeler engageable by the sheet deposited on RICHARD E' AEGERTER Primary Examiner said table is provided for limiting the height of the 10y U,S CL X,R stack of sheets on said table. 271--61

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2963177 *Mar 13, 1957Dec 6, 1960S & S Corrugated Paper MachBlank stacking, straightening and delivery device
CH446188A * Title not available
DE843527C *Jan 27, 1951Jul 10, 1952Werner DreyerVerfahren und Vorrichtung zum Abwaertsfoerdern von Flaschen
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3767189 *Aug 4, 1972Oct 23, 1973Sig Schweiz IndustriegesDevice for substantially relieving in an upright stack of sheet-like articles the lowermost article from the weight of the articles above the same
US3947018 *Dec 19, 1974Mar 30, 1976Xerox CorporationUniversal feeder-stacker
US4026452 *Apr 26, 1976May 31, 1977Oce-Van Der Grinten N.V.Magazine for storing zigzag folded belt material
US4122457 *Sep 13, 1976Oct 24, 1978Bell & Howell CompanyInk jet printer with deflected nozzles
US4349186 *Mar 6, 1980Sep 14, 1982Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki KaishaThin sheet feeding apparatus
US4442874 *Jun 17, 1982Apr 17, 1984John L. MacfarlaneAutomatic valve bag placer
US4558859 *Mar 15, 1984Dec 17, 1985Harris Graphics CorporationStack top control method and apparatus
US4582315 *Sep 15, 1983Apr 15, 1986R. A. Jones & Co. Inc.High speed carton feeder
US5222720 *Jan 23, 1992Jun 29, 1993Newsome John RHopper with third lifter
US5772200 *Apr 25, 1996Jun 30, 1998Sorensen; Alan M.Feeder for sheet form elements
US6585257 *Apr 3, 2001Jul 1, 2003Pitney Bowes Inc.Sheet feeder with counteracting forces
DE4218202A1 *Jun 3, 1992Dec 9, 1993Kolbus Gmbh & Co KgContinuously sorting out individual sheets from stacking magazine - involves cogged rotatable restraints acting on upper stack part and supports for lower stack part coupled to brake acting on restraints
EP0016376A1 *Mar 5, 1980Oct 1, 1980Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaThin sheet feeding apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/166
International ClassificationB65H1/24, B65H1/14, B65H1/06, B65H1/26, B65H1/08
Cooperative ClassificationB65H1/26, B65H1/14, B65H1/24, B65H1/06
European ClassificationB65H1/06, B65H1/24, B65H1/14, B65H1/26