US 3584869 A
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United States Patent Peter A. Traphagen;
Karol T. Dyczynski, both of Erie, Pa. 788,466
Jan. 2, 1969 June 15, 1971 llanley Postal Supply, Inc.
Inventors Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1900 Vail et a1. 5/1928 Staude.... 3/1960 Martin 3,078,089 2/1963 Maidment Z7 l/87X FOREIGN PATENTS 440,157 12/1935 Great Britain 271/87 Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Attorney-Charles L. Lovercheck ABSTRACT: A stacking device for letters, to be used with a mail cancelling machine, made up of a base plate, a guide plate supported over said base plate, a stop plate at one end of said base plate, a star wheel adjacent one end of said guide plate and a backing plate slidably supported over said base plate and adapted to engage a stack of letters. A pair of fingers are supported below said' base plate. The fingers are operated by a mechanism by which they are moved up through the base plate then toward said backing plate. The fingers then move down so that the upper ends of the fingers clear and move past the bottom of the letters as they move toward the guide plate for another engagement of the letters. Thus the letters on the stack are kept out of the line of flow of letters from the cancelling machine.
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PATENTEDJUMS SHEET 4 OF 5 INVENTOR. PETER A. TRAPHAGEN BY KAROL TI DVCZYNSKI PATENTED JUN1 519m SHEET 5 BF 5 INVENTOR. PETER A. TRAPHAGEN BY KAROLT DYCZYNSKI M W Z MAIL HANDLING MACHINE STATEMENT OF INVENTION This invention relates to stacking devices and, more particularly, to devices for stacking envelopes containing letters as they move from a cancelling machine.
STATEMENT OF PRIOR ART This invention constitutes an improvement over the stacking device disclosed in U.s. Pat. No. 2,926,910 in thatthe said patent utilizes a plurality of rotating belts that extend through a plate in a table to move letters away from a guide strip and toward a stack. In the present invention, the applicant has devised a mechanism which will give positive deflection of articles to be stacked. The mechanism has a plurality of fingers that move up through the base plate into engagement with letters and then move the letters away from the guide plate with the letter toward a stack. The fingers then move down below the base plat and then move toward the guide plate for engagement with another letter as used herein letter and envelope are used synonymously.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a top view of the cancelling machine according to the invention. 7
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the finger actuating device used in connection with the device shown in FIG. I.
FIG. 3 is an end view of the machine.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are views of another embodiment of the finger actuating device rotated 90 from the corresponding position of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Now with more particular reference to the drawings, the cancelling machine shown is supported above a floor by means of a stand indicated generally at 11 in a usual manner. A star wheel 12 is rotatably supported on the device and it rotates about an axle shaft 20. The star wheel is driven by pulley 23, a belt 18. The belt 18 is in turn driven through a belt 17 from a pulley 32 and belt 19. The belt 18 engages pulley 23 which, is fixed to the star wheel. The belts l8 and 19 both engage the pulley 16 which is fixed tothe drive shaft 13 which is in turn supported in suitable bearings in the machine.
The guide plate 25 is supported on the top plate 26 by means of bolts 28. The guide plate 25 has a bent end substantially parallel to the plate 59 and a trailing end 54. The rods 40, 31 and 42 are attached at one end to the end plate 34 and at the other end to the end of plate 50. The backing plate 59 is fixed to the bearing member 48 which has holes in it which are slidably received on the rod 41. A rocker arm 47 is supported on a pivot member and held in place thereon by retaining ring 29. The rocker member has a rocker arm roller on its distal end as shown. The feed roller 39 is pivotally supported on the machine frame adjacent the slide bar 37. The entire unit is supported on the machine table 10. The feed roller plate 38 is fixed to the member 37. The idler spring member 45 is fixed to the machine by the bolts 24 and the spring member 43 engages the rocker arm 47. The device is bolted to the stand by means of bolts 27 and the plate 26 is bolted in place by means of bolts 33. A stop plate 44 is fixed to the machine as shown.
The star wheel shown has recesses that receive the leading edge of the letters 51 as they pass from the source of letters 52 and the letters are moved away from the guide plate 25 by the star wheel.
The fingers 35 extend up through openings 53 in the plate 26. The fingers are connected to the operating mechanism shown in FIG. 2. Each finger'has a nonlinear motion. This motion includes (a) upward motion through the opening 53, (b) horizontal motion toward the backing plate 59, (c) downward motion, and (d) horizontal motion away from the plate 59 while the finger is under the plate 26. This orbital motion causes the fingers to operate in alternation with each other, that is, one finger 35 engages and pushes the letter toward the plate 59 while the other is below the plate 26 and moving away from the plate 59. These fingers relieve the back pressure of mail against the stack. The letters are advanced one at a time from the cancelling machine and the letters are pushed one at a time away from their path of travel from the cancelling machine by the fingers 35. The leading edges of the letters engage end stop plate 44. v
The fingers 35 are fixed to the levers 62, best shown in FIG. 2. They are supported on the body 60, and body 60 may be attached to the frame 10. Body 60 receives the shaft 63, which has the crank discs 65 fixed to its end. The crank discs 65 have the levers 62 pivoted thereto at 64 at a position approximately 180 from each other. The shaft 66 is geared to the shaft 65, and shaft 66 is driven by pulley 67. The pulley 67 is driven by a belt similar to belt 32 in FIG. 1. The guide support 68 is fixed to the body 60 and held in placed relation thereto by the brackets 69. The support 68 has rollers 71 and 72 supported in it, and these rollers ride under the lower sides of the levers 62. Since the end of lever 62, which is fixed to the crank pin 64, moves in a circular path, the fingers 35 will move up and down as they ride on top of rollers 7l'and 72.
In the embodiment of the finger actuating mechanism of FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, a device which may be used instead of the device shown in FIG. 2 is shown rotated from the corresponding showing in FIG. 1. FIG. 2 shows fingers that are supported on the sliding rods 136 and which are moved vertically up and down by the arms I57. The blocks I38 slide in ways I39 in the base block 140 which is supported on the machine and the fingers I35 extend up through the openings 53 in the machine as shown in FIG. I The pulley I41 is supported on shaft 142 and it rotates the gear 143. The gear 143 rotates gear 144 which in turn rotates the crank member 153.
Crank member 153 is fixed to a crank pin 160 on gear 144 and crank pin 149 is fixed to gear 143 and to the crank member 150 on the machine. The arms I57 and 157' are pivoted to crank member 150 by pin 152. The crank member 153 is journaled to arms 157 and 157' by pin 154. Thus, as the pulley 141 rotates the gears I43 and 144, the pins 149 and 162 are rotated in a circle as are pins 160 and 161, and the slide members 138 are caused to reciprocate in grooves 139. At the same time, the fingers I35 are caused to reciprocate up and down by the rocking movement of the arms I57 and 157'. Thus the fingers will have substantially the same action as the fingers in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2, that is, the tips of fingers will move in a rectangular path.
1. A document handling device for letters of various lengths comprising means to feed said letters in sequence to said device,
a frame including a plate for supporting letters on their lower longitudinal edges,
an end stop in the path of leading edges of said letters,
continuously rotating means having fingers engageable with the back surface of each letter to urge a part of the letter out of the way of the next succeeding letter,
and spaced fingers,
means to move said fingers in a path generally perpendicular to said plate,
means to intermittently move said fingers to bring an end portion of said fingers upward through a slot in said plate, then horizontally toward said plate and into engagement with said letters, then downwardly through said plate, then horizontally away from said plate and to move successive said letters out of the path of incoming letters and for urging said letters into stacked position.
2. The device recited in claim 1 wherein a stacker plate is disposed on said machine,
means for supporting said backing plate for movement in a direction generally at right angles to the direction of travel of said letters.
3. The device recited in claim 1 wherein a guide plate is disposed on said machine for maintaining said letters in upright position as said letters move between said fingers and said rotating means,
said guide plate having a bent end substantially parallel to said stacking plate and a trailing end substantially out of the way of the next succeeding letter.
4. A device for handling letters comprising a frame for supporting letters on their longitudinal edges,
means for advancing letters one at time edgewise along a determined path to a stacking position on said frame,
a backing plate angularly converging in the direction of and toward the path of travel of said letters,
means for pushing said letters a few at a time away from said determinate path of travel and toward said backing plate, an end stop against which the leading edges of said letters engage,
and fingers supported below said frame, means connected to said fingers to move said fingers up through said frame and into engagement with said letter at a position adjacent said path and to move toward said 5 backing plate a substantial distance and then to retract belowsaid frame whereby letters are urged toward said stack. 5. A device for handling letters comprising a plate having a vertically extending stop at one end,
means to feed said letters a few at a time edgewise through a determinate path over said plate into engagement with said stop, and means to urge said letters into a stack out of said determinate path with one end of each said letter in engagement with said stop,
said means comprising a plurality of fingers, means to urge said fingers in sequence up through said frame into engagement with a said letter, then toward said stack, then down and toward said determinate path.
6. The device recited in claim 5 wherein a star wheel is disposed adjacent said stop,
said star wheel has recesses to receive the ends of said letters and is adapted to move the leading edges of said letters out of said determinate path.