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Publication numberUS3528739 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1970
Filing dateMay 16, 1968
Priority dateMay 20, 1967
Publication numberUS 3528739 A, US 3528739A, US-A-3528739, US3528739 A, US3528739A
InventorsNoda Koji
Original AssigneeMinolta Camera Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Copying machine
US 3528739 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

KOJI NODA' comm MACHINE Sept 15, 1970 4 sheets-sheet 1 Filed May 16, 1 968 Ill MS'IMSIB 5 INVENTOR Kat/z NOD/I 'A TTO/PNE Y5 Sept. 15,1970

KOJI NODA COPYING MACHINE Filed May 16, 1968 FIG.2

4 sheet -sheet 2 JNVENTOR. KOJ/ N004 BY I I ATTORNEYS K0." NODA Sept. 15,1970. COPYING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 16, 1968 FIG .3

INVENTUR. KOJ/ N004 ATTORNE Ys Sept. 15, 1970 KOJI NODA X ,52

COPYING MACHINE v I File d May 16, 1968 4Sheets-Sheet 4.

INVENTOR.

KOJ/ 4 004 ATTORNEYS United tates Patent 3,528,739 Patented Sept. 15, 1970 3,528,739 COPYING MACHINE Koji Noda, Sakai, Japan, assignor to Minolta Camera Kabushiki Kaisha, Osaka, Japan, a corporation of US. Cl. 355-109 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A copying machine has a first feeding device which moves sheets from a stack of copying paper one at a time upwardly and at an angle and a second feeding device having a pair of suction bOX and endless belt assemblies. If more than one sheet of copying paper is fed between the assemblies, one is transported by one assembly to a discharge device, and the remaining sheets are returned by the other assembly to the stack. A rotatably-mounted drum defines a copying zone and receives a sheet from the discharge device upon application of a proper signal. A position regulator equalizes the distances traversed by the sides of the original. Finally, a regulator compensates for the time delay between the application of the signal to the copying paper feeding device and actual start of the movement of the copying paper.

The present invention relates to a copying machine. and more particularly to such a copying machine as comprising a device for automatically feeding a stack of copying papers one by one without fail to the copying zone. The machine also comprises a device for regulating the position of an original which is repeatedly and cyclically returned to said copying zone and for regulating the position of each sheet of copying papers to be supplied to said copying zone so that said original and the successively arriving copying papers may always assume a correct position relative to the copying zone and correct registration with each other.

It is desired to make a plurality of copies from a single original completely automatically in this type of copying machine. For attaining this purpose the copying papers housed in a stack must be fed to the copying zone one by one without fail and in a cycle correctly synchronized with the travelling movement of the original repeatedly and cyclically returned to the copying zone. When two or more sheets of copying paper happen to be fed at the same time to the copying zone, not only untreated copying papers would be produced but also various troubles in the copying machine would result thereby. Furthermore when timing of copying paper feeding is not correctly synchronized with the movement of the original in the copying device it will be obvious that the shear in copying will occur. In order to correctly register the original repeatedly brought into the copying zone such as the exposing zone in a photostatic copier, at least the following conditions must be satisfied; (i) The position of the original at the copying zone should not be deviated from that for the first copying operation, and (ii) Each time the original is fed to the copying zone the copying paper should be delivered from the copying paper feeding device in correct relationship with the original with regard to the position thereof. Other various problems must be solved for providing a commercially satisfactory copying machine of the type referred to. A

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide 3. copying machine comprising a copying paper feeding device which may pass only one sheet of copying paper at a time to the copying zone and which returns to the stack of copying paper all but one sheet when two or more sheets are taken from the stack.

Another object is to provide a copying machine comprising a copying paper feeding device adapted to hold the copying paper at the discharge portion thereof and to release and feed the paper to the copying zone upon receiving the signal therefor.

A further object is to provide a copying machine comprising a copying paper feeding device in which every operating means thereof may automatically start their respective operations necessary for satisfactorily feeding copying papers when a stack of copying papers are housed in the rack and the cover plate is closed.

Still another object is to provide a copying machine comprising a copying paper feeding device adapted to produce a signal indicating the absence or exhaustion of the copying paper stock and to stop the operation of the copying machine.

Still another object is to provide a copying machine comprising a copying paper feeding device adapted to Still another object is to provide a copying machine comprising a second position regulating device adapted to produce a signal to be applied to the copying paper feeding device to synchronize the feeding operations with the movement of the original passing through the copying zone.

Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by carefully referring to the following description made in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which;

FIG. 1 is a schematic sectional view of an automatic copying paper feeding device usable in the copying machine according to the present invention,

FIG. 2 is an electric circuit diagram of the copying paper feeding device,

FIG. 3 is a schematic sectional view of the photocopying device with a position regulating device for the original, and a second position regulating device for the copying papers,

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a travelling distance adjusting means for regulating the position of the original,

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the travelling distance adjusting means,

FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view of the second position regulating device, and

FIG. 7 is a schematic side view of the second position regulating device.

Like parts are designated by like numerals and symbols throughout the drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the present invention used with a photocopier or photostatic copying machine.

The copying paper feeding device to be used in the copying device according to the present invention comprises a rack means for housing a stack of copying papers, said rack means being located at the lowermost portion of the copying device and inclined; a first feeding means arranged thereabove and adapted to intermittently contact with the sheet of copying paper of the stack so as to feed the copying papers one by one upwardly and at an angle; a second feeding means having a pair of suction box and running belt assemblies and located diagonally above said rack means so that when two or more sheets of copying papers are occasionally supplied between said two assemblies one assembly feeds only one sheet to the next stage while the other assembly separates the remainder of the copying paper from said one sheet and returns it to said housing rack; and discharging means located above said second feeding means so as to receive each sheet of copying paper therefrom and .feed same to the copying zone upon receiving a signal therefrom.

This feeding device can be used in various types of copying machines such as mimeographic, photographic,

,xerographic, and so on, and consequently the copying paper may be not only photosensitive paper but also usual plain paper so far as said feeding device is concerned.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is provided a discharge means which comprises a pair of cooperating guide plates 1, 2 so as to provide a passageway for the copying paper therebetween. A pair of arms 4 are pivotally supported by pins 3 on either side of the passageway. The arms 4 are biased counter-clockwise by a spring 7 secured to the lower end thereof, as seen in the figure, while a solenoid 6 is associated with the arms 4 through a link secured thereto, so as to rotate the arms 4 clockwise upon actuation of the solenoid 6. The arms 4 are pivotally supported by the shaft of spaced rollers 8, made of a suitable frictional and resilient material, such as rubber. Rollers 9 made of the same material as the rollers 8, are provided on the opposite side of the passageway, so as to cooperate with the rollers 8. The shaft of the rollers 9 are pivotally supported by a side wall 10 of the machine frame and rotated in synchronism with the copying paper feeding speed in a following operation. The free ends of the pair of arms 4 are interconnected by a stopper plate 12 to support a suitable number of stopper pieces 11. The stopper pieces 11 are related with a microswitch MS through an actuator M5 disposed in the proximity of the stopper pieces. The microswitch MS is turned ON when the leading edge of a copying paper travelling through the passageway strikes the stopper pieces 11, and turned OFF after the trailing edge of the copying paper passes through the stopper pieces 11, by means of the actuator MS In this particular embodiment, the cooperating guide plates 1, 2 have suitable notches and openings to allow proper disposition and movement of the rollers 8, 9, the stopper pieces 11, the

actuator MS and the stopper support plate 12.

When the solenoid 6 is actuated, the arms 4 are angularly displaced clockwise, so as to move the rollers 8 away from the passageway and position the stopper pieces 11 across the cooperating guide plates 1, 2 for blocking the passageway therebetween. Upon de-energization of the solenoid 6, the arms 4 are angularly moved counter-clockwise to bring the rollers 8 on the passageway, or toward the cooperating rollers 9, and remove the stopper pieces 11 from the passageway to clear it.

There is provided second feeding means underneath said passageway defined by the cooperating guide plates 1 and 2, which second feeding means comprises a pair of suction boxes 15, 16 connected to a drafting machine (not shown) through openings 28, 29 and having small holes 13 and 14 bored in the opposedly arranged surface walls thereof, as shown in the figure. A pair of belts 17, 18 are extended around series of rollers 19, 20, 21, and 22, 23, 24, respectively. Springs 25 and 26 are connected to the rollers 20 and 23, respectively, so as to keep the belts 17 and 18 in tension. A reversible motor 27, such as a condenser motor, is provided to drive the belts 17, 18 in either of the forward and the rearward directions through suitable transmission means. The orifices 13 are distributed over the entire span of the passageway wall of the suction box 15, while the orifices 14 in the other suction box 15 are formed onl on a part of the passageway while leaving the inlet area of the passageway wall of the box 16 imperforated. A microswitch MS is mounted on the suction box 16 so that its actuator MS extends across the passageway but is retractable therefrom when engaging with the entering copying paper.

A suitable number of copying papers 30 can be held in the casing as shown in the lower portion of the figure. The position of a lower wall 31 for supporting a stack of copying papers can be adjusted to keep the leading edge of the copying papers at a predetermined constant level, regardless of the size of the copylng papers. A housing rack 32 for supporting the papers has a notch at the upper end thereof, so that the actuator MS of a microswitch M5 can be engaged with the copying papers stacked thereon. The position of the microswitch M8 is such that the distance between the aforesaid microswitch MS and the leading edge of the copying papers 30 is considerably shorter than the distance between the trailing edge of the stacked copying papers 30 and the microswitch M5 Above said housing rack 32, there is arranged first feeding means which comprises an arm lever 35 pivoted on a shaft 34 fixed to the machine frame 1 0, on which shaft 34 is rotatably mounted a pulley 33 to be driven by the reversible motor 27 through any suitable gearings. On the free end of said arm 35 is mounted a shaft 41 on which a pulley 40 is rotatably mounted so as to be driven by said pulley 33 through a driving endless belt 42 extended around said pulleys. On said pulley 40 is integrally and coaxially mounted a frictional feed roller 39 which may be made of rubber or any other substitute suitable for frictionally contacting with and forcingly feeding upwardly the uppermost copying paper of the stack when said roller 39 is rested thereon and driven. Said roller 39 is normally rested on the stack of copying papers on the housing rack 32 owing to the gravity and a spring means 36 provided at the other end of said arm 35. The arm 35 is connected with a solenoid 38 so that when said solenoid 38 is energized said roller 39 may be angularly displaced (clockwise in FIG. 1) about the shaft 34 into its inactive position (as shown by a dotted line).

Another microswitch M5 is mounted on the machine frame 10, so as to be actuated by a cover 43 of the copying paper feeding device. The microswitch M5 is turned 0N when the cover 43 is closed on the device, while it is turned OFF upon opening the cover 43.

Now, referring to the circuit diagram of FIG. 2, the control circuit further comprises a pair of diodes D and ing machine according to the present invention, comprises the aforesaid microswitches M8 M8 M5 and MS, for detecting the position of the copying paper being fed to the copying zone of the machine and for detecting availability or presence of paper on the housing rack. Relays RY RY RY and RY, are respectively connected to normally open contacts of said microswitches; namely between common contacts S S S S and normally open contacts S 2c, S30, S respectively. Another relay RY is connected in parallel with the relay RY through its own normally open contacts 5a-5c. Each relay has normally closed contacts and normally open contacts; namely normally closed contacts la-lb, 1a'-1b', 2a-2b, 2a'-2b', 2a"2b", 3a-3b, 3a'3b', 4a-4b, 4a"4b, and 5a-5b, and normally open contacts la-lc, 1a-1c', 2a2c, 2a'-2c', 2a"2c, 3a 3c, 4a-4c, and 5a-5c. The reversible motor 27 has a coil S another coil S and a capacitor C connected in series with the coil S The control circuit for regulating the operation of the copy- D' copying paper feed order signal terminal P, and an empty signal terminal Q for indicating the non-availability or absence of the copying paper on the housing rack. Terminals X, X represent positive and negative terminals of a DC power source for actuating the relays, while terminals Y, Y represent AC. power source terminals for actuating the reversible motor 27.

The operation of the copying paper feeding device of the aforesaid construction will now be described in three stages; namely, preparatory operation, copying operation, and paper replacing operation.

( I) PREPARATORY OPERATION When a main power source switch (not shown) is closed, the rollers 9 are rotated by a main driving motor (not shown) at a revolving speed synchronized with the driving speed in the subsequent copying operation. At the same time, actuating voltages are applied across the terminals X, X, and across the terminals Y, Y, respectively.

Let it be assumed that there is no copying paper available on the housing rack 32 and the cover 43 is closed. Under such conditions, the microswitches M8 M3 and M8 are turned OFF, to keep the relays RY RY and RY de-energized or OFF, while the microswitch M5 and the RY, are turned ON. Such conditions will be referred to as State 1, hereinafter.

Under State 1, the solenoid 6 is not actuated, to keep the rollers 8 and 9 in contact with each other, while retracting the stopper pieces 11 out of the passageway between the guide plates 1 and 2. The solenoid 38 is energized by a circuit tracing from the terminal X, through the contacts S -S of the microswitch M5,, the contacts 3a-3b of the relay RY the diode D the relay contacts 2a2b, and the winding of the solenoid 38 itself, and to the terminal X. Thus, the arm 35 rotates counter-clockwise, to move the frictional feed roller 39 away from the stacked copying paper 30 toward the position shown by the broken line in FIG. 1. At the same time, the voltage of the terminal X is branched off from the circuit of the solenoid 38 behind the relay contacts 3a'3b', and delivered to the empty signal terminal Q through the normally closed relay contacts 2a-2b of the relay RY By actuating any alarm means such as an indicating lamp or a buzzer (not shown) with the voltage on the terminal Q, the situation of non-availability of the copying papers 30 at the housing rack can be indicated. Since the RY 'is energized in conjunction with the relay RY through the microswitches M8 and M8 respectively, under such conditions, no driving voltage is applied across the terminals Y", Y, or across the winding S of the reversible motor 27. Thus, the reversible motor 27 remains inactuated.

Then, upon opening the cover 43 for placing the copying papers 30 on the housing rack 32, the microswitch MS., is turned OFF, to de-energize the relay RY Accordingly, a driving voltage is applied across the terminals Y, Y, to start the reversible motor 27. The reversible motor 27 rotates in either direction, upon application of the driving voltage across the terminals Y", Y, depending on whether the relay RY is energized or not; and consequently whether the contacts 4a-4b and 4a-4b" are closed or the contacts 4a-4c and 4a-4c are closed. In the illustrated embodiment, the belts 17, 18 and the feed roller 39 are assumed to rotate in the direction as shown by arrows in FIG. 1, when the contacts 4a'-4c and 4a-4c are closed.

.Upon stacking the copying papers 30 on the rack 32, the microswitch M5 is turned ON, to close the contacts 3a-3c' of the RY while opening the contacts 3a-3b', and hence, the voltage is removed from the empty signal terminal Q, to diminish the empty signal therefrom. However, as long as the microswitch M8 is turned OFF, the solenoid 38 is kept energized. Thus, the feed roller 39 is kept at the position shown by the dotted line in FIG. 1, or away from the copying papers 30. Such conditions will be referred to as State 2 hereinafter.

When the cover 43 is closed, the microswitch MS, and the relay RY are turned ON, to interrupt the circuit through the solenoid 38, so that the feed roller 39 is brought into contact with the copying paper 30, by the clockwise rotation of the arm 35. At this moment, the microswitch M8 is kept ON, while the microswitches M8 and M8 are kept as turned OFF, so that the driving voltage is applied across the terminals Y, Y, through the normally open contacts 3a-3b of the relay RY and the normally closed contacts 1a-1b' of the relay RY The windings S S and the capacitor C of the reversible motor 27 are energized, to rotate the reversible motor 27 and other related devices in the direction as represented by the arrows in FIG. 1. Such conditions will be referred to as State 3 hereinafter.

As a result the uppermost sheet of the copying papers 30 is fed forward by the feed roller 39 into the passageway between the running belts 17, 18. When the leading edge of the copying paper 30 reaches the lower end of the suction box 15, the copying paper 30 is attracted by the suction force through the orifices 13, to the belt 17, so that the copying paper may be fed through the passageway by the travelling belt 17.

If two or more sheets of the copying papers are simultaneously fed by the feed roller 39 between the belts 17, 18, both sheets are initially attracted to the belt 17 in the manner described above. The lower sheet will proceed together with the upper sheet for a time, until it is attracted by the holes 14 in the suction box 16, whereupon the lower sheet is attracted to the belt 18 by the suction force of the air flow through the holes 14 and the weight of the copying paper 30 itself. Since the belt 18 runs in the direction shown by the arrows, the lower sheet of copylng paper, upon arrival at the roller 24, will drop by its own weight and return to the housing rack 32.

The copying paper 30 now present in said passageway further proceeds and moves the actuator MS to turn on the microswitch M5 The solenoid 38 is, thus energized through the normally open contacts 2a2b of the relay RY which contacts are now closed, so as to move the feed roller 39 away from the stacked copying paper to the dotted line position. The movement of the traveling copying paper is thus not affected by the rotation of the feed roller 39. While being attracted by the endless belt 17, the leading edge of the sheet of copying paper enters between the rollers 8 and 9, which are to rotate in opposite direction while being in contact with each other. The copying paper is then fed at the same speed as the surface speed of the driven roller 9. The linear speed of the belt 17 is preferably selected to be the same as the surface speed of the roller 9, but, even if the linear speed of the belt 17 differs slightly from the surface speed of the roller 9, the copying paper 30 can be fed satisfactorily, as long as the frictional force between the copying paper 30 and the rollers 8, 9 is greater than the suction force through the perforations 13.

As the leading edge of the copying paper moves the actuator MS, the associated microswitch MS is turned ON, to energize the solenoid 6 by a circuit tracing from the terminal X, through the normally open contacts S S of the microswitch MS which is now closed, the normally closed through contacts are 5a-5b of the relay RY through the winding of the solenoid 6 itself, and to the other terminal X. Thus, the arms 4 rotate clockwise, to move the idler rollers 8 away from the cooperating driving rollers 9 and to block the passageway between the guide plates 1, 2, by projecting the stopper pieces 11 therebetween. At the same time the relay RY is energized to open the normally closed contacts 1a'1b-. Thus, the current through the winding S and the capacitor C is interrupted to stop the reversible motor 27 after some rotations by inertia. Thus, the copying paper is held against the belt 17 at the trailing portion thereof while maintaining the leading edge thereof in abutment with the stopper pieces 11. Such condition will be referred to as the State 4 hereinafter.

If a feed order signal pulse is applied to the terminal P under such condition, the copying paper is ready to be 11 COPYING OPERATION In the aforesaid State 4, the copying paper is ready to be supplied to the copying zone with the leading edge thereof abutting with the stopper pieces 11, while the microswitches M8 M3 M M5 are turned ON, the solenoids 6, 38 are energized, and the relay RY is deenergized.

If a feed order signal pulse is applied to the terminal P in this state, the relay RY is energized to close its normally open contacts 5a-5c to complete the self-hold circuit, while opening its normally closed contacts Sal-5b. Accordingly, the solenoid 6 is de-energized, to cause the arms 4 to rotate counter-clockwise for retracting the stopper pieces 11 from the passageway between the guide plates 1 and 2, so that the copying paper can be fed to the next copying operation. As the trailing edge of the copying paper 30 passes through the actuator M8 the microswitch M8 is turned OFF. The voltage from the solenoid 38 is blocked by the diode D and no voltage is applied to the terminal Q.

When the trailing edge of the copying paper passes the actuator M8,, the microswitch M8 is turned OFF, to release the self-holding of the relay RY and de-energize the solenoid 38. Thus, the arm 35 rotates clockwise, so as to bring the feed roller 39 into operative engagement with the copying paper 30 on the housing rack 32. At the same time, the driving voltage is applied across the terminals Y", Y, to start the reversible motor 27. Now the copying paper feeding device is in the aforesaid State 3, and hence, the next sheet of copying paper 30 is fed from the rack 32 toward the passageway, so that the device moves into the State 4.

If a feed order pulse signal is applied to the terminal P during the period of time when the copying paper is proceeding from the State 2 to State 4, the copying paper cannot jump to the next copying process abruptly. However, such application of the feed order signal pulse is harmless, as long as the linear speed of the belt 17 and the surface speed of the feed roller 39 are determined, corresponding to the copying paper feeding speed in the succeeding copying operation.

The operation in the case where the copying papers stacked in the casing are used up during the copying operation, will now be described. Let it be assumed that the last sheet of the copying paper in the rack 32 is taken out and the copying paper feeding device has moved into the aforesaid State 2, then the microswitch M8 is turned ON at first, to energize the solenoid 38, the limit switch M5 is turned ON to actuate the solenoid 6, and the reversible motor 27 stops. At this moment, the only difference in the circuit condition from the preceding case where the copying papers 30 are present on the rack 32 is in that both the microswitch M5 and the relay RY are turned OFF and de-energized, respectively. Therefore, upon application of a feed order signal pulse on the terminal P, the copying paper in the discharge means is forwarded to the copying zone, and at the same time the microswitch M8 is turned OFF to de-energize the relay RY The circuit conditions become identical with the aforesaid State 1, so that the empty signal is produced at the terminal Q. The empty signal can be used to hold starting of the next copying operation, or to automatically expel the original out of the copying machine, or any other suitable operation for alarming. By following through the aforesaid preparatory operation, the conditions of the State 4 can be achieved, to resume copying.

(III) EXCHANGING OPERATION Generally speaking, any practical and useful copying machine should be capable of making copies of various dimensions, by using copying papers of different sizes.

In this particular embodiment of the present inven tion, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, exchange of the copying papers on the paper holder 32 can be carried out as follows.

Upon opening the cover 43, the microswitch M5 is opened to de-energize the relay RY and the direction of current through the winding S of the reversible motor 27 is changed, with respect to that in the winding S thereof. Thus, the reversible motor 27 begins to rotate in the opposite direction, so as to drive the belt 17 in a direction opposite to the arrow in FIG. 1. Thus, the copying paper held by the belt 17 with its leading edge in contact with the stopper pieces 11 is now retracted. The relation among the operative characteristics and the disposition of the microswitch MS the relative position of the rollers -8, 9, and the movement of the belt 17 are such that, the leading edge of the copying paper passes through the gap between the rollers 8 and 9 before the gap is closed by turning OFF the microswitch MS in response to the separation of the leading edge from the actuator MS After the copying paper reaches the lower end of the belt 17, or at the roller 21, the copying paper drops by its own weight onto the rack 32. Thereafter, the copying papers on the housing rack 32 can be replaced with a stack of copying papers of a different size. Thereby, the circuit conditions of the aforesaid State 2 are established, to allow the copying operation to be effected in the aforesaid manner.

Even when the circuit conditions of the copying paper feeding device are not in the aforesaid State 4, the reversible motor 27 begins to rotate in the opposite direction upon opening of the cover 43, so as to insure satisfactory replacement of the copying papers on the rack 32.

As described in the foregoing, with the automatic copying paper feeding device, the copying machine of the present invention can store a stack of copying papers of any desired size and feed the copying papers without fail one sheet at a time responsive to each feed order signal. The salient features of the feeding device are as follows.

1) Upon closing the cover after placing a stack of sheets of copying paper onto the paper holder, the copying paper feeding device automatically becomes ready for next operation.

(2) Each copying paper taken out of the paper holder is held at a predetermined position, so as to be forwarded to the copying zone from said position in the feeding device responsive to a suitable electric signal. Thus, the relationship of the copying paper to the original to be copied can be accurately controlled in the next copying process.

(3) Even when two or more sheets of the copying papers should be occasionally taken out of the paper holder at a time, only one of them is forwarded through the regular route of feeding while the rest of the sheets are automatically returned to the paper holder.

(4) The presence of the copying paper is checked automatically, and when there is no copying paper available on the paper holder, an empty signal is produced, and the copying paper feeding device is automatically stopped. The empty signal can be used to automatically prevent a subsequent copying operation or to expel the original to be copied out of the copying machine.

(5) The replacement of the copying papers with those of a different size can be easily done, without mixing the two different size papers, because upon opening of the cover, all the copying papers held by the feeding device are automatically returned to the paper holder.

A regulating device for position of the original in the copying machine according to the present invention will now be described, referring to an embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 7. In FIG. 3, a transparent cylinder 54 is pivotally supported by a frame wall 51 of the copying machine, so as to rotate around a light source 52 for exposure and a reflector 53, both secured to the frame wall 51. Substantially half of the circumference of the rotary transparent cylinder 54 is in contact with a plurality of endless belts '60, which are guided by rollers 55, 56, 57 and 58, so as to have a pair of horizontal parallelly running portions 60a and 60b adjacent to the transparent drum 54. The roller 55 is driven by a main driving motor (not shown), to turn the endless belts 60 in a direction as shown by arrows in the figure. A spring 62 is provided between the frame wall 51 and the roller 57, in order to keep the endless belts stretched with tension. The provision of the spring 62 is not, of course, limited to the roller 57, but it can be provided for any other rollers, e.g. the roller 56 or 58.

The other half of the circumferencial surface of the transparent drum 54 is engaged with holding wheels 64. As best shown in FIG. 4, each holding wheel 64 is pivotally supported by an associated holding wheel shaft 63, which is in turn mounted on a holding member 65 secured to the frame wall 51 by a screw 73. The holding member 65 has a transversely elongated position adjusting slot 72, and the screw 73 passing through the slot 72 secures the holding member 65 to the frame wall 51.

There is provided opposite the guide wheels 58, associated idle wheels 59 which guide the endless belts 60 therebetween. A guide plate 61 is placed above the horizontal running portion 60b of the endless belt 60, with a suitable spacing therebetween, so that a passageway is formed.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the position adjusting device for the original is illustrated in more detail which device is used to make fine adjustment of the position of the transparent drum 54 by moving the holding wheels 64 parallel to the horizontal flights 60a, 60b of the end less belt 60, in the space between the guide wheels 55 and 58. The adjustment is made by turning an adjusting nut 68, which threada'bly engages a threaded shaft 71, the shaft being carried by a U-shaped adjusting shaft holder 66. The adjusting shaft holder '66 is secured to the frame wall 51, and each leg thereof has a notch 67, as shown in the figures. The ends of adjusting shaft 71 are respectively held in the notches 67, so that the shaft 71 is neither rotatable nor movable relative to the adjusting shaft holder 66. The adjusting screw 68 is mounted at about the longitudinal mid-point of the adjusting shaft'71, so that as the adjusting screw 68 is rotated, the adjusting screw 68 can move relative to the adjusting shaft 71. The adjusting nut 68 is connected to the holding member 65 through a connector 70 which is inserted between the bent-portion or leg '69 of the U-shaped plate 65 and the adjusting screw 68 itself. The leg 69 is always urged against the adjusting nut 68 by means of the spring 62 (FIG. 3)

Referring to FIGS. 3, 6 and 7, the second position regulating device for copying papers shall be explained, together with its associated elements. A perforated cylinder 77 having fine holes 74 formed in the circumferential wall thereof is also rotatably mounted on the frame wall 51 of the copying machine, substantially in parallel with the transparent cylinder 54. A- sealing member 76 is disposed on the light source side of the perforated drum 77, by securing one end thereof to a sealing member holder 75, while leaving the opposite end thereof free. The sealing member 76 is made of flexible material and its light source side surface is adapted to reflect the light therefrom. One end 78 of the perforated drum 77 passes through a duct with a drafting means or suction means (not shown), so as to attract the sealing member 76 to the perforated drum 77 by air flow through the orifices 74 over the surface of the drum 77.

A scraper 79 is disposed between the transparent drum 54 and the perforated drum 77. One end of the scraper 79 is resiliently urged against the transparent cylinder 54, while the opposite end thereof is brought in the proximity of the perforated drum 77.

A driving wheel 80, to be driven in one direction by a motor (not shown), is integrally mounted on one end of the perforated drum 77, as best seen in FIG. 6. An end disk having an opening 78 is mounted on the opposite end of the perforated drum 77 so as to be sealingly connected with said duct for suction. Said perforated drum 77 is made of electrically insulating material, such as plastics, or sheet metal coated with insulating compound, such as aluminum plate covered with aluminum oxide film and iron sheet with plastic coating. An annular groove 82 is formed on the peripheral surface of the perforated dum 77 approximately at the longitudinal center thereof so as to have an electrically conductive ring 81 embeded therein.

The second position regulating device for detecting the position of the original travelling in the copying machine and for producing a signal ordering copying paper comprises, in addition to said perforated drum 77, the following cooperative members. Collector rollers 84 are rotatably mounted an electrically conductive resilient holder 83 to be urged against the conductor ring 81 embedded around the perforated drum 77 Lead wires 104 are resp ctively connected to the collector rollers 84 for a purpose to be explain hereinafter. The collector roller holder 83 is supported by a support arm 85 in such a way that the position thereof may be adjusted, which support arm is made of electrically insulating material or metallic material with insulating material inserted between the holder 83 and the arm 85. In other words, the support arm 85 is electrically insulated from the lead wires 104 and from the perforated drum 77 so that electrical current to be supplied through the lead wires 104 is interrupted while the copying paper, which is of electrically insulating property, is passing between said drum 77 and the collector rollers 84 The support arm 85 is also provided with a speed control dial 86 of the copying machine driving motor, as shown in FIG. 7. The support arm 85 is secured to a shaft 92, which adapted to rotate through a small angle in response to rotation of the speed control dial 86. The dial 86 is coupled to a shaft 87 which carries, a pulley 88. Another pulley 91 is secured to the driven shaft 92, and a flexible and inextensible endless belt 89 extends between the pulleys 88 and 91 through an intermediate guide pulley 90. In the particular embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7, the shaft 92 is adapted to move the support arm 85 clockwise in response to an increase in the operative speed by turning the speed control dial 86 in one direction and counterclockwise response to speed reduction by turning the dial 86 in the other direction. The collector rollers 84 move up and down in response to the clockwise and the counterclockwise movement of the support arm 85, respectively. The mechanical connection between the speed control dial 86 and the support arm 85 is not limited to the aforesaid combination of the pulleys and belts, but it can be accomplished by an other suitable means, such as linkage, cam and followers, gearings, etc. A movable scraper 94 to control feeding of the original is pivotally supported by a pin 93 secured to the frame wall 51, so as to extend over the collector rollers 84 (FIG. 3). The scraper is biased counterclockwise in FIG. 3 by a suitable means, such as a spring (not shown) so as to urge the free end of the scraper 94 against the perforated drum 77. The opposite end of the scraper 94 is connected to a solenoid 96 through a link 95. The scraper is adapted to be pulled by the solenoid 96 upon actuation thereof to assume the position shown by the broken line n FIG. 3. On the other hand, as long as the solenoid 96 1s not energized, the scraper 94 is in contact with the perforated drum 77, whereby the feeding of the original is controlled depending on the desired number of copies to be made.

Furthermore there are preferably provided means for guiding the travel of the original and the copying papers; original expelling means; treated copying paper feeder adapted to discharge the copying paper after copying treatment; electric control means to control the entire original position regulating device. More particularly, the original guide means includes a shutter means (not shown) to control the insertion of the original, a pair of guide plates 97, 98 for guiding the original during the initial insertion or introduction, and a pair of second guide plates 100, 101 for guiding the original during the repeated copying operation. The second guide plate has a scraper 99 formed at the upper end thereof so as to be kept in contact with the perforated drum 77 and the lower end thereof disposed adjacent to the horizontal guide plate 61. The copying papers guiding means includes a pair of guide plates 102, 103, to receive the copying paper, from the copying paper feeding device. The exposed copying paper guiding means includes a transfer means which serves to separate the treated copying paper from the original laminated thereto and to transfer the thus separated copying paper toward the subsequent operation zone.

The operation of the position regulating device of the aforesaid construction will now be described. When a main power source switch (not shown) is turned ON, the light source 52, a driving motor (not shown), and a fan for suction (not shown) are actuated. At the same time the passageway between the guide plates 97, 98 is blocked by a shutter means (not shown), and a sheet of the copying paper is brought to a predetermined ready position and held thereby the stopper pieces in the copying paper feeding device as described in the foregoing referring to FIGS. 1 and 2. A sheet of original is inserted into the original guide means so that the leading edge of the original moves the shutter member. The desired number of copies to be taken from the original is set on a counter (not shown). Then, the start switch is turned N.

Under such conditions, the solenoid 9 6 is actuated, to turn the scraper 94 clockwise to the position shown by a dotted line in FIG. 3. At the same time, the shutter of the original guide passageway and the stopper pieces of the copying paper feeding device are released, so that the original and the copying paper proceed through the passageway between the guide plates 97, 98 and another passageway between the guide plates 102 and 103. The original is automatically overlaid and registered on the copying paper, as the two passageways merge into a common passageway leading to the endless belt 60. The thus registered original and copying paper are fed by the rollers 58, 59 onto the horizontally running portion 60b of the endless belt 60, and further to the copying zone or the radiation portion of the transparent cylinder 54 to be exposed.

When the original is fed to the perforated drum 77, it is attracted to the periphery of the cylinder '77 by suction force of the air flow through the orifices 74, so that the original moves into contact between the conductor ring 81 and the collector rings '84. On the other hand, the exposed copying paper is forwarded to the succeeding operation by the exposed copying paper feeder.

As the trailing edge of the original passes through the shutter means, the original passageway is blocked again by the shutter means, while as the trailing edge of the copying paper passes through the stopper pieces 11, a succeeding copying paper is automatically brought to the predetermined positions and held there by the stopper pieces.

When the contact between the conductor ring 81 and the collector rollers 84 is broken by the original passing there, the current through the lead wires 104 is interrupted. This current interruption can be used as a pulse signal for releasing the stopper pieces 11, by any conventional means obvious for those skilled in the art. Thus, the succeeding copying paper proceeds through the passageway between the guide plates 102 and 103. Simultaneously, the original enters the passageway defined by the guide plates 100 and 101, and it is automatically overlaid and registered on the copying paper and fed onto the endless belt 60, in the manner similar to the first copying operation as described in the foregoing.

When the number of copying papers passing through the stopper pieces 11 amounts to the predetermined number of copies, which has been programmed into the counter, the solenoid 96 is de-energized responsive to the passage of the original through the contact between the foil conductor 81 and the collector rollers 84, whereby the movable scraper 9 4 is turned counterclockwise to the position as depicted by the solid line in FIG. 3. As the original is fed to the perforated drum 77 next time, it is guided by the thus turned scraper 94, so as to be expelled to a certain outlet position by the original expelling means against the suction force over the drum 77.

The production of the desired number of copies from the single original can be automatically carried out in the aforesaid manner. In order to correctly register the original, repeatedly brought to the copying zone or the exposing portion, with each copying delivered from the copying paper feeding device, however, at least the following four conditions should be satisfied.

(a) When the original is introduced into the copying machine, the position of the leading edge of the original should be in a proper position with the leading edge of the first copying paper, which is going to be delivered out of the copying paper feeding device.

(b) When the original is moving into the passageway between the guide members 97 and 98, the side edges in the feeding direction (to be referred to as both sides) should be in a proper position relative to the corresponding both sides of the copying paper being delivered from the copying paper feeding device.

(c) When the original is repeatedly fed into the copying zone, the position of the original should not deviated from that in the first copying operation.

(d) Each time the original is fed to the copying zone, the copying paper should be delivered from the copying paper feeding device in a correct relationship with the original, with respect to the position thereof.

Among the aforesaid four conditions, (a) and (b) are related to the first copying operation and can be achieved easily, while the conditions (c) and (d) related to the second and subsequent copying operations are not easily satisfied. However, for successful production of a plu rality of copies in an automatic and continuous manner, all the four conditions must be strictly satisfied.

The first and second position regulating devices of the present invention as referred to intend to satisfy the conditions (c) and (d).

As regards the condition (c), travelling distances of the original at the both sides thereof, which correspond respectively to the total spans at the both sides starting from the contact between the rollers 58, 59 and extending along the half of the circumference of the transparent cylinder 54, the guide plate 79, the upper half of the perforated drum 77, and the passageway between the guide plates 100, 101, and back to the rollers 58, 59, should be exactly equal. Such distances of the original travel can be controlled by the first position regulating device as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, whereby the position of the holding wheels 64 is finally moved without affecting other conditions of the copying machine. More particularly, the travel distance of either side can be adjusted by loosening the screw 73 (FIG. 4), Which secures the holding plate 65 to the frame wall 51 of the copying machine, and turning the adjusting nut 68 so as to move the transparent drum 54 in the desired direction by a necessary distance, and upon completion of the adjustment, tightening the screw 73 again to secure the holding plate 65 to the frame wall 51 at the thus adjusted position. It has been ascertained by experiments that the travel distances of the original at both sides can be so adjusted as to eliminate the deviation of the actual posi tion of the original from the desired position during the considerably many repeated copying operations.

As regards the condition (d), the timing of the feed order signal, for starting to feed the copying paper from the copying paper feeding device, should be selected correctly corresponding to the movement of the orignal through the aforesaid route. In other words, such timing can be successfully controlled by applying the feed order signal to the copying paper feeding device when the original passes through the contact between the conductor ring 81 and the collector rollers 84 to interrupt the current though the lead wires 104 so as to provide a suitable feeding interval. Upon receiving the signal, the stopper pieces 11 in the feeding device are released to allow the further movement of the copying paper toward the copying zone. However, there is inevitably a time delay between the application of the feed order signal to the feeding device and the actual start of the copying paper movement, due to various mechanical inertias in the feeding device. During such delay time period, the original travels over a certain distance, which can be represented by A1. The magnitude of A1 is, in general, proportional to the travelling speed of the original. Accordingly, an error due to such time delay can be corrected or compensated for, by adjusting the contact position between the conductor ring 81 and the collector rollers 84. More specifically, referring to FIG. 7, the angular position of the support arm 85 which holds the collector rollers 84 can be changed by setting the dial 86 to the travelling speed of the original. Such setting is transmitted through the pulley 88 secured to the shaft 87 of the dial 86, the other pulley 91 secured to the shaft 92 of the support arm 85, and a belt 89 extending between the pulleys 88 and 91. In other words, when the original travels fast, the support arm 85 is turned clockwise to raise the collector rollers 84, so that the feed order signal can be generated slightly earlier to compensate for the aforesaid A1 for this fast travel of the original. It is apparent that similar compensation can be made for slow movement of the original. Thus, the position of the copying paper for each copying operation can be maintained properly, relative to the movement of the original.

As described in the foregoing, according to the present invention, the original is always registered properly with the copying paper for each of the repeated copying operations by using the travel distance adjusting means, to keep travelling distances of the original at both sides substantially equal; and each other, and the detecting means for position of the original to adjust the timing of copying paper feeding responsive to the travelling speed of the original. The copying machine according to the present invention, thus, can attain following advantages.

(1) The original can be registered correctly with each of the copying papers for each copying operation for producing a plurality of copies from a single original. The adjustment of the travel distances can be made simply by carring out fine adjustment of the transparent drum position by manually turning the adjusting screw, without adversely affecting the function of other portions of the copying machine. Thus, it has become unnecessary to manufacture the parts of the copying machine very accurately and to assemble the parts with excessive care. Therefore, the copying machine can be manufactured easily and a lower cost.

(2) The registration of the original with the copying paper is not affected by the difference in the travelling speed of the original, because the timing of the start of the copying paper feeding is adjusted automatically in response to the travelling speed of the original, by using the setting on the speed control dial. Thus, very accurate registration of the original and the copying paper can be insured.

(3) The deviation of the position of the copying paper relative to the original can be minimized for repeated and many copying operations, by using the special copying paper feeding device. Thus, considerably many copies can be satisfiably produced.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it should be understood that the above illustration has been made only by way of example and that various changes and modifications in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

What is claimed is:

1. A copying machine for automatically producing a plurality of copies from a single original repeatedly brought into the copying operation zone, which includes a copying paper feeding device comprising a rack means for housing a stack of copying papers, a first feeding means adapted to intermittently contact with the uppermost sheet of copying paper of the stack so as to frictionally feed the copying papers one by one upwardly and at an angle, a second feeding means having a pair of suction box and running endless belt assemblies and located diagonally above said rack means so that when two or more sheets of copying paper are occasionally supplied between said two assemblies one of said assemblies feeds only one sheet while the other one of said assemblies separates the remainder of the copying paper from said one sheet and returns it to said rack means by gravity, discharging means located diagonally from said second feeding means so as to receive each sheet of copying paper therefrom and hold same there for discharging same to be fed to the copying zone upon receiving each signal; a rotatably mounted drum, said copying zone being defined by the space between one-half of the circumferential surface of said drum and a running endless belt extended around a plurality of rollers; means for regulating the position of the original and adapted to finely and horizontally shift one end of said drum so as to equalize distances traversed by both sides of the original; means for detecting the position of the original and including a drum made of electrically insulating material and having an electrically conductive ring embedded around the circumferential surface thereof, and two electrically conductive members insulated from each other but normally in contact with said conductive ring so as to produce a pulse signal when the travelling original interrupts contact between said two conductive members and said conductive ring for actuating said discharging means of said copying paper feeding device to release the sheet of copying paper; a position regulating means for moving said conductive members relative to said conductive ring so that the time delay between application of said signal to the copying paper feeding device and actual start of movement of the copying paper is compensated for; and guide means for allowing the original to repeatedly travel around said two rums.

2. A copying machine as set forth in claim 1, in which said first feeding means comprises an arm lever pivotally mounted on the machine frame and having a frictional roller rotatably mounted at the free end thereof, a spring means for urging said roller to contact the uppermost copying paper in the stack to forcingly feed said copying paper upwardly when driven, and a solenoid for moving said arm lever against the force of said spring means so as to disengage said frictional roller from the copying paper when energized.

3. A copying machine as set forth in claim 2, in which said second feeding means comprises a pair of endless belts respectively extending around a plurality of rollers so as to produce a diagonal passageway for feeding the copying paper between the oppositely arranged running portions thereof, a pair of suction boxes respectively arranged behind said oppositely running portions of the endless belts and formed with perforations in the respective opposite surface Walls thereof so that when the leading edge of the copying paper supplied from said first feeding means arrives at the inlet of said passageway one of said suction boxes attracts and forwards said copying paper with the aid of the associated belt while the other suction box attracts excess copying papers for separation thereof from said first copying paper and expels same with the aid of the associated running belt from the passageway toward said rack means, and a microswitch provided at said passageway so as to energize said solenoid of said first feeding means when the leading edge of the entering copying paper engages with an actuator thereof to move said first feeding means away from the stacked copying papers on said rack means.

4. A copying machine as set forth in claim 3, in which said discharge means comprises a pair of plate members for producing a passageway therebetween for feeding the copying paper, a pair of rollers oppositely arranged at the inlet of said passageway, one of said rollers being forcedly driven While the other is freely rotatably mounted on a pivotally mounted arm so as to normally contact said freely rotatable roller with said driven roller with the aid of a spring means, said arm having a stopper at the free end thereof, a solenoid for moving said arm when energized to disengage said freely rotatable roller from said driven roller and bring said stopper into said passageway for blocking the same, and a microswitch provided ap proximately at the outlet of said passageway so as to energize said solenoid when the leading edge of the copying paper engages with an actuator of said microswitch.

5. A copying machine as set forth in claim 3, in which said rack means comprises a casing adapted to house a stack of copying papers and positioned so as to be inclined, the lower end wall of said casing being adapted to move along the casing bottom wall so that the leading edge of the copying papers housed in a stack in said casing may always occupy the same position regardless of the size of the copying paper, and a microswitch provided approximately at the upper end of said casing so that the distance therefrom to the trailing edge of the copying paper stacked in the casing is substantially longer than the distance between the leading edge of said copying paper and said microswitch of said second feeding device, whereby opening a cover member for access to the casing for exchanging the copying papers present in said feeding means with sheets of copying paper of a difierent size, said lastmentioned microswitch reversely driving a main motor with aid of a microswitch provided at said cover to expel all copying papers present in various portions of said feeding device back to said casing and when the last copying paper has passed over said last-mentioned microswitch of the casing with said cover member kept closed an alarm signal is produced for informing absence of the copying paper stock.

6. A copying-paper machine as set forth in claim 1, in which said means for regulating the position of the original comprises a holder member for supporting one end of said copying operation drum so as to freely rotate with the half circumferential surface thereof which contacts said running endless belt, an externally threaded rod journalled into flanges integral with a frame for said copying machine, and a notched nut screwed on said rod and abutting with said holder member so that rotation thereof may cause fine shift of said nut relative to said rod and consequently the machine frame so that said holder member abutting with said nut may be accordingly shifted for causing fine horizontal movement of the copying operation drum.

7. A copying machine as set forth in claim 1, in which said further position regulating means comprises a dial disk and mechanical connecting means for transmitting turning movement of said dial disk to said conductive members so as to be finely moved circumferentially relative to said perforated suction drum while resting on said conductive ring.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,941,653 6/1960 Kriemelmeyer 198--3l JOHN M. HORAN, Primary Examiner R. L. MOSES, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 271-64; 355-l02 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,528,739 Dated Sept. 15., 1970 Inventor (s) j i Noda.

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, line 1, after "the", first occurrence, should be -uppermost--. Column 4, line 52 after "circuit" should be --for regulating the operation of the copying-; lines 52-53, delete "further comprises a pair of diodes D and ing"; line 71, delete "for regulating the operation of the copy-" after "circuit" and insert -further comprises a pair of diodes D and-. Column 6, lines 59-60, after "which" delete "is now closed, the normally closed through contacts are" and insert Column 10, line 13, "embeded" should be --embedded-; line 19,

before "an" should be --on-; line 23, "explain" should be -explained----; line 48, before "response" should be --in; line 55, "an" should be -any--. Column 12, line 19, after "copying should be -paper--; line 34, "deviated" should be --deviate-. Column 13, line 4 "orignal" should be -original--; line 10, "though" should be through-; line 46, and" should be -to; line 62, after "and" should be --at-.

DECK

-contacts are now closed, through the normally closed contact- FORM PO-OSO (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 us. aovnuuzwr nmmnc ornct: I!" 0-366-"4

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2941653 *Dec 2, 1957Jun 21, 1960Emerson Radio & Phonograph CorMail handling apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3933349 *Mar 7, 1974Jan 20, 1976Lumoprint Zindler KgDocument copying machine
US5163673 *Feb 25, 1991Nov 17, 1992Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgSheet-processing machine that prevents double feed by diverting the extraneous sheet
EP0166565A1 *Jun 17, 1985Jan 2, 1986Xerox CorporationSheet feeder
EP0194510A2 *Feb 26, 1986Sep 17, 1986Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Förderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V.Apparatus for separating and conveying sheet-like articles
Classifications
U.S. Classification355/109, 271/283, 271/122, 271/301, 355/102
International ClassificationG03B27/58
Cooperative ClassificationG03B27/586
European ClassificationG03B27/58S1