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Publication numberUS3533620 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 13, 1970
Filing dateApr 22, 1968
Priority dateMay 29, 1967
Publication numberUS 3533620 A, US 3533620A, US-A-3533620, US3533620 A, US3533620A
InventorsVasse Jacques
Original AssigneeInd Bull General Electric Sa S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for selecting and stacking documents such as punched cards
US 3533620 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 13, 1970 J. VASSE 3,533,620

DEVICE FOR SELECTING AND STACKING DOCUMENTS SUCH AS PUNCHED CARDS Filed April 22, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet l W [M 5v $4100 a: lfimwu J. VASSE DEVICE FOR SELECTING AND STACKING DOCUMENTS SUCH AS PUNCHED CARDS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 22, 1968 Oct. 13, 1970 J. VASSE DEVICE FOR SELECTING AND STACKING DOCUMENTS SUCH AS PUNCHED CARDS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 22, 1968 United States Patent 3,533,620 DEVICE FOR SELECTING AND STACKING DOCU- MENTS SUCH AS PUNCHED CARDS Jacques Vasse, LHay Les Roses, France, assignor to Societe Industrielle Bull-General Electric (Societe Anonyme), Paris, France Filed Apr. 22, 1968', Ser. No. 722,876 Claims priority, application France, May 29, 1967, 108,217 Int. Cl. B65h 31/00 US. Cl. 271-86 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The device comprises a selecting flap arranged along a guide track in which cards are fed, the flap being movable to displace part of the flap between an inoperative position disposed outside the track and a selecting position disposed within the track to deflect selected cards into a magazine, there being at the magazine entrance, a rotatable blade wheel adapted, when a card has been deflected into the magazine and after return of the flap to the inoperative position, to engage the trailing edge of the card and to complete the introduction of the card into the magazine. Within the magazine is a deflector terminating in a curved portion and a narrow bearing shoulder, and a resilient abutment disposed behind and perpendicularly to the shoulder.

The present invention relates to improvements in devices for selecting and stacking documents such as punched cards, cheques, etc., which are employed as recording media in machines such as sorting machines, collating machines, document readers and other similar machines.

The invention also concerns improvements in means for selecting and stacking documents, more particularly adapted to be employed in high-speed machines, which are especially designed to process punched cards, called 80-column cards, the pattern of which is universally known, and it makes it possible to process cards of shorter length (comprising a smaller number of recording columns) which are advanced in machines at speeds of the order of five metres per second or even more.

Sorting machines, collating machines and similar machines are known which are provided with mechanisms for selecting and stacking cards or other documents, which are advanced along a guide track, in which the selection of the documents is effected by means of a member called a selecting flap, which comprises a movable flap, of which one end, which is normally maintained outside the track, can be temporarily engaged in the said track slightly before the instant when the leading edge of a card to be selected arrives at the said flap, in order to deflect the card from its path and to direct it towards a receiving compartment or magazine in which the selected cards are stacked, the said flap thereafter being automatically returned to its inoperative position after each selecting operation.

In very rapid machines, it sometimes happens that, in the selection of a card, immediately after the selection of the preceding card in the track, the rear end of the card first selected is still in contact with the flap at the instant when the latter is actuated to perform a fresh selection. In this case, either under the action of the suction produced between the card and the flap due to the movement of the latter, or by electrostatic attraction, or again as a result of an accidental deformation of a card, the rear end of the latter accompanies the flap in its movement and the card, which is thereafter selected, is inserted between the previously selected card and the cards already stacked,


whereby the order of the last two cards selected in the stack is interchanged.

The invention relates to very simple and reliably operating means which are particularly well adapted to prevent such incidents and which correctly effect the selection and stacking of cards, even when they are considerably deformed (bent in one direction or the other) and to process them under conditions such as to minimise the causes of deterioration of the edges of the cards or of the perforations. An apparatus designed in accordance with the invention for selecting and stacking punched cards comprises a receiving magazine disposed close to the substantially rectilinear card path of the card advance track, which is provided, close to its inlet, with at least one continuously rotating blade wheel, the axis of rotation of which is parallel to the said card path, in combination with a deflecting flap disposed in the neighbourhood of the entrance to the magazine and having an inoperative position outside the card path on the same side as the magazine, and with actuating means adapted first to bring the flap on the other side of the card path in order to deflect the leading edge of a card towards the magazine and thereafter to return the flap into the inoperative position, so that the trailing edge of the deflected card is engaged in the blades of the blade wheel by this movement, the said blade wheel terminating the advance of the card through the receiving magazine.

Further advantages and details of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following description and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view, in section along the line 11 of FIG. 2, of the main elements of a mechanism for selecting and stacking punched cards, designed in accordance with the invention,

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the mechanism of FIG. 1, in section along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGS. 1 and 2, and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIGS. 1 and 2.

The mechanism illustrated as an example of the application of the invention in FIG. 1 to 4 comprises an upper plate 10 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) and a lower plate 11, both of which form part of the frame of a machine which may comprise a more or less large number of similar devices for selecting and stacking cards, such devices being disposed at intervals along a track in which cards which may have to be selected are advanced. Since all the selecting and stacking devices are generally identical, only one will be described. An intermediate plate 12 performs the function of a base plate for a card magazine in which the selected cards are stacked.

The cards coming from a card feeding mechanism of known construction are successively advanced along the track past the selecting and stacking mechanism. Although in some machines the cards are driven by means of belts and the use thereof is not excluded, the cards are driven in the illustrated mechanism by means of driving wheels 15 and 16 fixedly mounted on a shaft 17 arranged to turn in bearings 18 and 19 supported by the plates 10 and 11 of the frame of the machine. The shaft 17 is provided with a pulley 20 which is rotated by a belt 21, which also drives the pulley 22 of a shaft 23 on which there are mounted two wheels 24 and 25 also arranged to drive cards ad vanced along the track 14. Winding rollers 26 and 27 turn freely on spindles 28 and 29 fast with the lower plate 11 and are disposed in known manner to increase the angle of contact between the driving belt 21 and the pulleys 20 and 22.

For the sake of clarity of FIG. 2, the shaft 17 is assumed to have been removed with the wheels mounted thereon, but its positioning, and that of the wheels fast therewith, are indicated in dash-dotted lines. The shaft '17 is fully shown with its wheels in FIG. 4 and is partly visible in FIG. 1. The winding roller 26 of FIG. 1 has also been shown only in dash-dotted lines in FIG. 2. The belt 21 which drives the rotative elements of the mechanism can only be partly seen in the drawings. However, this driving system is also known and need not be fully described. In FIG. 1, the belt 21 moves in the direction of the arrow F1, assuming that it is actuated by an appropriate driving mechanism (not shown). The return run of the said belt moves in the direction of the arrow F2. The wheels and 16 which are fixedly mounted on the shaft 17 drive by contact two presser rollers 34 and 35, both of which are fixedly mounted on a shaft 36 which is adapted to turn freely in a support 37, which is so mounted as to be able to oscillate about a shaft 38 which extends through two fixed supports 39 and 40 fast with a fixed plate 42. The support 37 for the shaft 36 is provided (FIG. 1) with an extension 39 against which a spring 41 exerts a continuous pressure so as to maintain the rollers 34 and 35 under pressure against the Wheels 16 and 15 respectively. Situated close to the rollers 34 and 35 are two blade wheels 43 and 44 which turn in the same direction as the said rollers. The said wheels are preferably made of a strong flexible plastics material, so that the blades of the said wheels are sufficiently flexible to avoid any danger of damage to the selected cards. The wheel 43 is mounted on a shaft 45 which is adapted to turn in a support 47, which can also oscillate about the shaft 38. The shaft 45 is provided with a roller 49 which continuously bears against a driving wheel 51 under the action of a spring 53, which exerts a continuous pressure against an extension 54 of the support 47. The blade wheel 44 is mounted in the same manner as the wheel 43 on a shaft 46 which is driven by a wheel 52 through a roller fixedly mounted on the shaft 46, which is adapted to turn in a support 48 arranged to oscillate about the shaft 38. The wheels 15, 16, 24, 25, 51. and 52 are lined on their periphery by a material having a high coefficient of friction.

The card selection apparatus comprises a flap which is fast with a blade 61 situated opposite the pole pieces of an electromagnet 62. The flap 60 is mounted with its blade so as to pivot about an axis defined by two pivots 63 and 64 (FIG. 2). When the electromagnet is not energised, the blade 61 is pushed against a fixed stop 65 by a push member 66 under the action of a spring 67, the pressure of which is adjustable by means of a screw 68. In FIG. 1, the flap 60 and its blade are represented by dashdotted lines in the inoperative position, i.e. in the nonselecting position in which the electromagnet is not energised.

The magazine in which the selected cards 13 are stacked comprises the base plate 12 on which are mounted two fixed lateral partitions 70 and 71. The partition 71 is provided with an extension 72 which is partly engaged between the rollers 34 and 35 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 4). A card pressing device 75 comprises a guided plate provided at one of its ends with a guide sleeve 76 adapted to slide on a fixed guide bar 77. Situated at the other end of the said plate is a lug 78 provided with a roller 79 which bears against an inclined rail 80, the inclination of which is the same as that of the bar 77, so that, the base 12 of the magazine being substantially horizontal, the card pressing device 75 is constantly urged by gravity towards the cards stacked in the magazine. A movable block 83 provided with a spring 84 is arranged to slide in a groove 74 in the card pressing device 75. Screws 85 are provided to secure the said block on the card pressing device in a position which is determined according to the length of the cards processed in the machine. The magazine comprises on the same side as the selecting flap a partition 86 which forms a rectilinear deflector for the cards and which is provided with a curved deflector 87 which, in the same way as the movable block 83, is arranged to slide in a groove 88 in which it may be fixed by a screw 82 in a position which is determined in accordance with the length of the cards to be stacked. In FIG. 1, the block 83 and the curved deflector 87 are shown in solid lines in a position adapted to receive cards of maximum length. In this same figure, there are shown in dash-dotted lines the curved deflector 87 and the spring 84 arranged for the stacking of cards of reduced length, i.e. cards having a smaller number of columns than standard cards. It will be observed that, in the absence of cards in the magazine, the spring 84 normally bears against a shoulder 89 formed on the deflector 87. It will be obvious that under these conditions the operation of the apparatus is substantially the same for processing cards of different sizes. The deflector 87 is provided with a resilient abutment against which the selected cards bear. This abutment comprises a strip 90 of cellular plastics which is let into a groove 93 behind a metal plate 91 which is very thin and very strong, in the absence of which the plastics bar would be rapidly destroyed under the action of the cards. In order that the cards may be withdrawn from the magazine Without stopping the machine, the deflector 87 is also provided with a support 92 (FIG. 3), on which there is fixedly mounted a retaining plate 95 arranged to maintain the selected cards upright in the magazine while the latter is being emptied.

Referring first of all to FIG. 1, in Which the apparatus is illustrated partially in section, the operation thereof is as follows:

The machine being in operation, i.e. the belt 21 moving in the direction of the arrows F1 and F2, the shafts 17 and 23 are rotated by the pulleys 20 and 22 respectively and the wheels 15, 16, 51 and 62 rotate, as also do the wheels 24 and 25 (FIG. 2). The wheels 15 and 16 directly drive the rollers 34 and 35, while the wheels 51 and 52 indirectly drive the blade wheels 43 and 44. The rollers 34, 35 and the blade wheels 43, 44 rotate at very similar speeds. When the electromagnet 62 is not energised, the selecting flap 60 and its blade are in the position shown in dash-dotted lines in FIG. 1. When cards are successively advanced along the track 14, they arrive from the left (FIG. 1) and pass between the wheels 15, 16 and the rollers 34, 35 (FIG. 4), whereafter they are advanced as far as the wheels 24 and 25, which transmit them (FIG. 1) by friction to another part of the machine arranged further to the right. For the selection of a card arriving from the left '(FIG. 1), the electromagnet 62 is energised in known manner at an appropriate instant, the blade 61 is attracted by the latter and the flap 60 is engaged on the other side of the card path so as to deflect the leading edge of the first card towards the magazine. This leading edge is first guided by the straight deflector 86 and then by the curved surface of the deflector 87. The leading portion of the card would then tend to leave the curved deflector owing to its rigidity, but a suction zone is produced between the card and the curved portion of the said deflector and tends to maintain the card against the said deflector until the leading edge of the card has reached the shoulder 89 of the said deflector. At about this moment, the electromagnet ceases to be energised and the flap 60 is returned to its inoperative position (dash-dotted lines in FIG. 1) under the action of the spring 67. As a result of this movement of the flap, the trailing edge of the card is engaged in the blades of the wheels 43 and 44. However, the card continues to move partly by reason of its momentum and partly under the action of the blades. The leading edge of the card then encounters the card stack (or the spring 84) at the level of the shoulder of the curved deflector, forces back the cards (or the spring) and engages between the latter and the said shoulder, while the blades bring the trailing portion of the card towards the card stack. At the end of its travel, the card abuts the thin plate 91 of the resilient abutment, which stops the leading edge of the card and determines the alignment of the latter in the stack.

It is known that standard record cards called 80- column punched cards have at each of their ends a portion of a width of about five millimetres which is never punched. This arrangement is also provided in those cards or portions of cards which are employed as reduced cards. The shoulder 89 of the deflector 87 has a width of slightly less than five millimetres so that the leading edge of a selected card arriving at high speed cannot encounter the punched portion of a previously selected card and thus possibly damage the perforations. It will also be observed that, with these arrangements, as soon as the trailing edge of a selected card is engaged in the blades of the wheels, the selecting flap 60 may again be actuated to select the next card without danger of driving in its movement the trailing edge of the previously selected card. This makes it possible to reduce the distance required between two consecutive cards in the track to ensure successive selections. It will also be observed (FIG. 1) that the blade wheels are so arranged that, during the introduction of a selected card into the magazine, the blades of the wheels move at a sufiicient distance from the card to avoid all contact of the said blades with a punched portion of the card although the relative speed between the card and the blades is very small. The plate 12 on which the cards are stacked on edge is adapted to vibrate, so that it is possible to stack a large number of cards in one magazine without en counting any ditficulty in introducing the cards into the stack.

The invention has been described in its application to a machine in which the cards are advanced on'edge in the direction of their length, selected and then stored upright in a horizontal stack. It will be obvious to any skilled person that the arrangements which have been described may readily be adapted without any technical i difficulty for use in a machine in which the cards are advanced in a horizontal plane, selected and then stacked flat in a vertical stack formed on a horizontal plate provided with known means for balancing the weight of the plate and of the card stack. Likewise, any intermediate arrangement may be envisage in which the plate 12 (FIGS. 1 to 4) which supports the cards is inclined to a smaller or greater extent in an appropriate direction. Thus, all modifications and adaptations could be made to the described arrangements depending upon the circumstances and applications without departing from the invention.

I claim:

1. In a record card machine comprising a guide track and means for advancing cards successively along said track, and a receiving magazine arrranged close to the path of the cards, a card selecting and stacking arrangement comprising in combination a selecting flap disposed along the guide track in the neighborhood of the entrance of said receiving magazine; actuating means operable to bring one end of said flap selectively into either of two positions, i.e. an inoperative position in which the end of the flap is maintained outside the track, and a selecting position in which the end of the flap is engaged in the track in order to deflect the leading edge of a card advanced along the track and to introduce it into said magazine; and a continuously rotated blade wheel arranged in the neighborhood of the entrance of said magazine with its axis of rotation parallel to said card path for completing the introduction of a card into said magazine, the latter comprising a deflector terminating in a curved portion and a bearing shoulder of small width substantially parallel to said card path, said magazine further comprising a resilient abutment disposed behind said bearing shoulder and perpendicularly to the latter, said abutment comprising a strip of rubber or cellular plastics covered, on the card side, by a thin, strong metal plate against which the cards bear and become aligned.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,087,724 4/1963 Snowden et a1 27l87X 3,100,113 8/1963 Bennett et a1 27171 3,325,165 6/1967 Davis 271-86X EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner D. D. WATTS, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3087724 *Sep 15, 1960Apr 30, 1963Cummins Chicago CorpDocument delivery and stacking apparatus
US3100113 *Nov 1, 1960Aug 6, 1963Ncr CoCheck feeding and alining mechanism
US3325165 *Aug 25, 1965Jun 13, 1967Burroughs CorpDocument stacking apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3704793 *Apr 2, 1971Dec 5, 1972Burroughs CorpSheet stacking device
US3952183 *Jun 21, 1974Apr 20, 1976Glory Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaSheet counting apparatus
US3971554 *Jan 9, 1975Jul 27, 1976Xerox CorporationSheet stacker
US4219294 *May 11, 1978Aug 26, 1980S.A. MartinMachine for separating and discharging products in sheet form
US6634852 *Aug 30, 2001Oct 21, 2003Gbr Systems CorporationSheet understacking feeding mechanism
US20040218404 *Feb 4, 2004Nov 4, 2004Liang YanIntegrated magnetic isolated two-inductor boost converter
U.S. Classification271/212
International ClassificationG06K13/02, G06K13/12
Cooperative ClassificationG06K13/12
European ClassificationG06K13/12