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Publication numberUS3575408 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 20, 1971
Filing dateAug 6, 1968
Priority dateAug 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3575408 A, US 3575408A, US-A-3575408, US3575408 A, US3575408A
InventorsCole Willis S
Original AssigneeCole Willis S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary collator
US 3575408 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor [54] ROTARY COLLATOR 2,876,008 3/1959 Mestre 270/58X 2,922,640 1/1960 Fornell et al... 270/58 2,95 1,697 9/ l 960 Bemart 270/58 Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles AttorneyRobert W. Beach ABSTRACT: A circular platform carrying a pack of sheets standing on edge extending generally radially of the platform and leaning against a sloping backing is rotated about an upright axis so that the plane of the pack face moves successively into registry with inlet slots of narrow tilted bins arranged substantially radially edgewise around the rotating platfonn. A surface she t pusher and a feed roller move successive sheets from ihe face of the sheet pack into circumferentially succeeding bins as the platform rotates so that at the end of a complete revolution of the platform, one sheet can have been fed from the pack into each of the bins.

Patented April 20, 1971 v 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 IIWENTOF w/u/s 5. COLE BY Mam ATTORNEY Patented April 20, 1971 3,575,408

- 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 lNl/E/VTOE W/LL/S' 5. COLE BY ATTORNEY Patented April 20, 1971 3,575,468

4 Sheets-Sheet 5 lNl/E/VTOI? W/LL/5' 5. COLE ATTORNEY Patented April 20, 1971 3,575,408

4 Sheets-Sheet 4 .HUIHM mum roe mu /5 5: C045 BY Wan-(QM I ATTORNEY IIRO'IIAIRY CULLATOR A principal object of the present invention is to provide a compact and comparatively economical collator which can collate sheets reliably and quickly.

A particular object is to provide a collator which can operate at high speed because the sheets have a very short distance to travel between an uncollated stack and collated groups, while at the same time enabling sheets to be distributed to a large number of groups.

A further object is to provide such a collator which will have a minimum of moving parts and which will require little maintenance.

It is also an object to provide a collator which can collate different numbers of sheets and sheets of somewhat different size.

FIG. 1 is a top perspective of the collator.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective of the central portion of the collator with parts broken away.

FIG. 3 is a vertical section through the central portion of the collator taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 4, is a vertical section through the same portion of the collator taken perpendicular to FIG. 3 and on line 4-4 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 is a plan of the central portion of the collator with parts broken away.

FIG. 6 is a detail vertical section of the collator taken along line M of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a horizontal section through the central portion of the collator along line 77 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a detail vertical section through a portion of the collator taken on line M of FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is a detail plan of part of the central portion of the collator, parts of which have been broken away, and

FIG. 10 is a detail vertical section of part of the collator taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 9.

The collator is composed of two principal components, namely, a stationary component and a rotary component supported and guided for rotation by the stationary component. The stationary component includes a circular baseplate 1 from which posts 2 spaced circumferentially of the baseplate near its edge project upwardly to carry a circular mounting plate 3 on which the collator structure generally is mounted. Posts 2 can be of any desired length to support plate 3 at the proper elevation. Such plate is divided into inner and outer parts by two concentric circular walls. The outer wall 4 is spaced outwardly from the periphery of a rotating platform 5 located substantially at the level of the upper edge of wall 4. The inner wall 6 encircles the rotating platform and its drive mechanism.

Horizontally narrow receiving bins 7 for sheets being collated are supported on edge on the mounting plate 3 projecting edgewise substantially radially outward from the outer upright wall 4. Preferably such bins are tilted slightly with their upper edges in advance of their lower edges in the direction of rotation of platform 5 as shown best in FIG. 1 and FIG. 8. The bins are held in this relationship by a circular band 3 extending around the upper portion of the bin assembly and secured to the individual bins. The inner and outer edges of such bins are open to provide an inner bin inlet slot 9 and an outer bin outlet slot It) for each bin.

A flat sloping wall llll extending substantially diametrally of the rotatable platform 5 is carried by and projects upward from such platform to a level flat top 111' of circular segment shape slightly less than a semicircle. A ledge 12 projects outward from the lower portion of wall 11 for supporting a pack P of sheets on edge. The wall 11 is sloping so. that it can serve as a backing for such pack of sheets so that they will not tip over. An upright bracket 13 is mounted on the wall 11. Preferably such bracket is supported by vertically spaced pins engageable in horizontal slots so that the bracket can be adjusted horizontally to some extent. The slots are shown in the bracket and engage pins secured to the wall 11, but the pins could be secured to the bracket and received in slots in the wall Ill.

From the outer face of a pack of sheets supported on the ledge 12, individual sheets are slid edgewise, one at a time, into the inlet slot 9 of circumferentially successive receiving bins 7. Such sheets are moved by the engagement of ribbed rubber friction rollers 14 of a pusher head 14 mounted on the upper end of an upright horizontally reciprocable mounting post 15. The rollers 14 are mounted on a pusher head so that when the post 15 moves to the right as shown in FIG. 1, the rollers 14' cannot turn relative to the head. When the post is being moved in the opposite direction, however, the rollers can be turned relative to the head by their engagement with the outermost sheet.

The lower end of the pusher mounting post 15 is mounted on a slide rod 16 so that the upper end of such post and the pusher carried by it can swing between the solid-line position shown in FIG. 3 in which the pusher rollers are engaged with the outer sheet of the sheet pack P and the broken-line position retracted from such sheet pack. The rod 16 is reciprocably mounted in brackets 17 so as to effect shifting of the pusher mounting post and pusher substantially between the solid-line position and the broken-line position of FIG. 4 in feeding successive sheets edgewise from the sheet pack.

Reciprocation of rod 16 in brackets 17 is effected by a crank 18 having a crank pin 19 connected to the adjacent end of the rod 16 by a link 20 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Crank 18 is mounted on the upper end of an upright shaft 21 supported by a bearing carried by the drive mechanism mounting plate 22. An upright countershaft 23 is supported by another bearing carried by plate 22 and a chain 24 connects sprockets on shafts 21 and 23. A drive shaft 25 is connected to countershaft 23 by a chain 26 engaging sprockets on such shafts.

Drive shaft 25 can be the shaft of an electric motor 27 and the size of the sprockets on shafts 21, 23 and 25 is such, as shown in FIG. 7, that shaft 21 rotates at a speed several times as great as the speed of motor shaft 25 such as approximately seven times as fast. Such high speed rotation of shaft 21 will turn crank 18 at a speed to reciprocate rod 16, mounting post I5 and pusher 14 rapidly to feed successive sheets from the exposed side of the sheet pack P correspondingly rapidly.

The motor 27 is carried by an auxiliary mounting plate 28 beneath mounting plate 22 which is suspended from the latter plate by hanger posts 29. The motor 27 extends from plate 28 up through an aperture in mounting plate 22 into the cavity .behind the upright wall 11 and beneath the top 11 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The shaft of such motor not only carries the sprocket driving chain 26 but also carries a pinion 30 on its lower end which meshes with a gear 31 fixed on the lower mounting plate 3 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. As the pinion 30 is turned by motor 27, shaft 25 walks around the fixed gear to turn the platform 5 about the axis of gear 31. Consequently, such gear must be mounted on plate 3 coaxially with platform 5. i

Electric power is supplied to the motor 27 through leads 32 which are connected respectively to slip rings 33 concentric with each other and with the axis of gear 31. Brushes 34 carried by the auxiliary mounting plate 28 contact such slip rings, respectively, and in turn are connected to control mechanism for motor 27 which is housed in box 35 suspended beneath mounting plate 22.

As has been discussed above, all of the drive mechanism for the rotor, including platform 5, is supported directly or indirectly from the mounting plate 22. This mounting plate is supported within the cylindrical inner wall 6 by rollers 36 spaced circumferentially of such wall and carried by it. The margin of plate 22 rests on these rollers to maintain the rotor centered within the cylindrical wall 6. A stationary central upright post 36 has its lower end anchored in the center of gear 31 and extends upward through a lateral thrust bearing 36 mounted on plate 28 and then upward to and preferably through the upper mounting plate 22. Bearing 36" mounted on plate 23 is slidable over such post.

It will be seen, therefore, that for servicing purposes the entire rotor can be simply lifted out of the well defined by the cylindrical wall 6 and slid off the guidepost 36' because the brushes 34 simply engage the slip rings 33 in face contact and the pinion 30 is simply slidably in mesh with the fixed gear 31. The entire drive mechanism of the removed rotor is thus available. A rotor assembly thus removed from the collator can be replaced by a new or reconditioned rotor assembly and the defective one can be discarded, repaired or reconstructed as may be convenient without removing the collator from service.

Sheets which are pushed successively from the exposed surface of a sheet pack P on ledge 12 move edgewise behind a sheet guide plate 37. Such successive sheets pass into the slit between the sheet guide 37 and a portion 11" of wall 11 offset outwardly from the main surface of such wall an amount at least as great as the thickness of the thickest pack P of sheets to be fed. At least the offsetting portion of such wall and preferably the entire outer face of the wall is covered with a thin layer of rather high-friction material such as cork. The pusher l4 presses against the sheet pack sufficiently so that the leading edges of the sheets if projected against such offsetting wall portion will be stopped because of the greater friction between the leading edge of a sheet and such offsetting antifriction wall portion than the surface friction between adjacent sheets. Edgewise movement of the sheets will thus be limited until a particular sheet is gripped directly by the pusher rollers 14.

As the pusher shifts the outer sheet edgewise in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 4 into the slit behind the sheet guide 37, it will be moved into registry with a frustoconical live feed roller 38. This roller is mounted on the upper end of the upright shaft 39 of motor 40 which is supported by plates 22 and 28 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. The periphery of such feed roller projects through an aperture 41 in the offset portion 11" of wall 11 and is engaged by the periphery of a relatively narrow idler roller- 42, having a periphery of resilient friction material. The periphery of this roller projects through an aperture 43 in the sheet guide 37. Such roller is supported on the upper portion of a post 44.

The lower end of post 44 is mounted on pivot 45 so that the pressure idler wheel 42 can be displaced away from the feed roller 38 or moved to contact it by swinging of the post. Normally the post is held in a position such that the idler wheel 42 is pressed against feed roller 38 by a tension spring 46. The pusher 14 will move successive sheets from the pack P between the feed roller 38 and the idler wheel 42 so that these elements will pinch the sheet between them and accelerate its edgewise movement to withdraw it from the face of the pack P and shoot it into a receiving bin 7. The speed at which a sheet is thus moved can be altered by shifting the stationary core of idler wheel 42 along threads 42' on the upper portion of post 44 so that the periphery of such idler wheel will contact the periphery of the feed roller 38 at difi'erent axial locations which travel at different peripheral speeds because of the frustoconical shape of the feed roller.

The size ratio of pinion 30 and gear 31 and the size ratio of the sprockets carrying chains 24 and 26 will be selected with respect to the spacing of bins 7 circumferentially around the rotatable platform 5, such that as the pinion 30 rotates the platform 5 from registry of the slit of sheet guide 37 with one bin inlet slot 9 to registry with the inlet slot of the next bin, the pusher 14 will have made one complete reciprocation cycle from right to left and to the right again as seen in FIG. 4. As the sheet guide 37 moves past each bin inlet slot 9, therefore, the feed roller 38 and idler wheel 42 will shoot a sheet from the outer face of pack P into such inlet slot. Such coordination of the rotation of platform 5 and the feeding movement of pusher 14 will be maintained irrespective of the rotative speed of such platfonn. The only limitation on such speed, therefore, is the behavior of the sheets of the pack P. Such behavior will some other material and the weight of such sheets.

As each sheet is shot by the feed roller 38 and idler wheel 42 into a bin 7, its radial, outward movement will be stopped by impact of its leading edge with the band 8 encircling the upper portion of the bins 7 or with the outer edges of such bins if the bins are closed above the outlet slots 10. The sheet will then drop to the bottom of the bin and thus be jogged automatically so that when several sheets have been fed into a bin, they will all rest on the bin bottom. The height of the outlet slot 10 of each bin is greater than the upright width of the sheets being fed into the bin so that a collated pack of sheets can be removed from each bin through the outlet slot 10 without having to open a door or release any retaining mechanism. The tilt of each bin will cause successive sheets fed into such bin to drop downward tightly against sheets previously fed into the bin, and all of the sheets will lean in the direction in which the bin is tilted to avoid edge interference of a succeeding sheet with a preceeding sheet and to maintain the collated sheets in proper order of sequence.

The number of sheets provided in each pack P initially will correspond to the number of bins into which the sheets of such pack are to be collated. Consequently, a fresh pack of sheets is placed on the ledge 12 during each rotation of the platform 5. In order to place such a sheet pack on the ledge, the pushersupporting arm 15 must be swung from the solid-line position of FIG. 3 into the broken-line position of that figure. Such swinging can be accomplished automatically at the end of each revolution of the platform 5 by energization of pusherretracting solenoid 47. Such solenoid energization will draw into the solenoid a movable core 48 which is connected by chain 49 to a portion of the pusher-mounting post 15 offset from reciprocating rod 16.

The weight of the pusher I4 is sufficient so that when it has been swung into the retracted position shown in broken lines in FIG. 3, it will remain in that position so that the operator can place another pack of sheets on ledge 12. The operator can then swing the pusher from the retracted broken-line position of FIG. 3 into the solid-line operative position of that figure. The reciprocating rod 16 will be spaced from the packbacking wall 11 sufficiently so that the weight of the pusher will hold it against the pack of sheets with sufficient force to enable the pusher to feed sheets from the pack effectively as it recrprocates.

Alternative mechanism for swinging the post 15 between the operative position of the pusher and retracted position of the pusher is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. This mechanism includes a retracting arm 50 mounted on the upper end of a rotary shaft 51 journaled in plates 22 and 28. Normally such arm is held against a stop post 52 on plate 22 by a tension spring 53. The lower end of the post 15 carries a roller 54 beneath reciprocating rod 16, as shown in FlG. 10, which is engageable by arm 50 when such arm is swung by rotation of shaft 51. When arm 50 is swung into engagement with roller 54 by clockwise rotation of shaft 51 as seen in FIG. 9 in opposition to the force of spring 53, the mounting post 15 will be swung from the solid-line position of FIG. 10 to the retracted broken-line position. Such rotation of the shaft is effected by swinging crank arm 55 on its lower end by engagement of roller 56 on such crank arm with a cam 57 fixed on mounting plate 3.

Energization of the motors 27 and 40 to effect turning of the platform 5 is initiated by pushing momentary contact switch 58 on the top 11 of the rotor. Deenergization of the motors to interrupt rotation of the platform 5 is effected by engagement of a limit switch 59 mounted on plate 28 with an actuating member 60 mounted to plate 3. A stop switch 61 can also be provided on the top 11' by actuation of which the motors 27 and 40 can be deenergized at any time. Also, a master switch 62 can be provided on the stationary mounting plate 3 which will internipt the circuit through the supply leads 32.

lclaim:

1. A collator comprising a series of stationary sheetreceiving bins arranged in a circular arc, and sheet feed means 5 located inside such circular arc of stationary sheet-receiving bins and operable to project sheets edgewise sequentially into bins of said series.

2. The collator defined in claim 1, and means supporting the sheet feed means for rotation about the axis of the circular arc in which the stationary sheet-receiving bins are arranged.

3. The collator defined in claim 1, in which the sheet feed means includes rotatable sheet-pack-supporting means located inside the circular arc of the stationary sheet-receiving bins for supporting a pack of sheets from which sheets are projected edgewise into bins in the circular arc, and means mounting said sheet-pack-supporting means for rotation about the axis of the circular arc of stationary sheet-receiving bins.

4. The collator defined in claim 3, in which the axis of the circular arc of stationary sheet-receiving bins is upright, and the rotatable sheet-pack-supporting means includes a circular platform rotatable about such upright axis.

5. The collator defined in claim 4, in which the rotatable sheet-pack-supporting means further includes means on the platform for supporting a pack of sheets on edge, and the bins are narrow in directions generally tangentially of the platfonn.

6. The collator defined in claim 5, in which the sheet-packsupporting means includes a sloping backing on the platform and disposed generally radially of the platform for supporting a sheet pack in tilted position, and the bins are tilted generally correspondingly.

7. The collator defined in claim 5, in which the bottoms of the bins are disposed at an elevation substantially lower than the elevation of the platform.

8. The collator defined in claim 5, in which the sheet.- supporting means includes an. upright backing wall against which a pack of sheets can bear, the sheet feed means includes a sheetengaging member engageable with the outer sheet of such pack, and retracting means operable by rotation of the platform to retract the sheet-engaging member away from said wall.

9. The collator defined in claim 8, in which the retracting means includes a solenoid and a movable core connected to the sheet-engaging member.

10. The collator defined in claim 8, in which the retracting means includes an arm engageable with the sheet-engaging member and cam means operable by rotation of the platform to swing said arm for retracting the sheet-engaging member.

11. A collator comprising a series of stationary sheetreceiving bins arranged in fixed relationship to each other in a circular arc with the axis ofsuch are upright and having slots opening generally radially of such are with their lengths upright, sheet feed means located alongside said sheetreceiving bins and operable to project successive sheets in upright planes edgewise through said upright generally radially opening slots into said bins, and means effecting rotation of said sheet feed means about the upright axis of said bin circular arc to place said sheet feed means successively in registry with the slots of different bins of said series.

12. The collator defined in claim 11, and guide means between the sheet feed means and the bins to guide edgewise movement of sheets from the sheet feed means to the bins.

13. The collator defined in claim 12, in which the guide means defines a slit through which sheets can be fed from the sheet feed means to the bins.

14. The collator defined in claim 13, and feed roller means adjacent to the guide means for effecting movement of a sheet through the guide means slit.

15. The collator defined in claim 14, in which the feed roller means includes a live feed roller and a cooperating idler pressure wheel engageable with said feedroller for movement of sheets therebetween.

16. A collator comprising a series of sheet-receiving bins arranged in fixed relationship to each other in a circular arc and having slots opening inwardly generally radially of such arc, sheet feed means located inside the circular arc of said sheet-receiving bins and operable to project successive sheets edgewise outwardly through such inwardly opening slots into said bins and means effecting relative rotation of said series of bins and said sheet feed means about the axis of said bin circular arc to place said sheet feed means successively in registry with the slots of different bins of said series.

17. A collator comprising a series of sheet-receiving bins arranged in a circular arc, rotatable sheet pack supporting means located inside said circular arc of sheet-receiving bins and including a platform rotatable about an upright axis for supporting a pack of sheets on edge and a sloping backing on said platform disposed generally radially of said platform for supporting the sheet pack in tilted position, said bins being tilted generally correspondingly, and sheet feed means including a live feed roller and a cooperating idler pressure roller engageable with said feed roller for projecting successive sheets from said sheet pack edgewise into successive bins of said series, respectively.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2589676 *Aug 5, 1947Mar 18, 1952Scriptomatic IncSheet distributing machine
US2876008 *Nov 9, 1954Mar 3, 1959Luis MestreCollating apparatus
US2922640 *Jul 15, 1953Jan 26, 1960Fornell Bertil SCollating machine
US2951697 *Nov 23, 1956Sep 6, 1960Pitney Bowes IncCollating machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4497488 *Nov 1, 1982Feb 5, 1985Plevyak Jerome BComputerized card shuffling machine
US4832342 *Aug 5, 1988May 23, 1989Computer Gaming Systems, Inc.Computerized card shuffling machine
US5765823 *Oct 30, 1996Jun 16, 1998Ferag AgApparatus for combining sheet-like products
US6354590 *Oct 20, 1999Mar 12, 2002Hewlett-Packard CompanyRotary bin sorter
Classifications
U.S. Classification270/58.22
International ClassificationB65H39/105, B65H39/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65H39/105
European ClassificationB65H39/105