US 3591170 A
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v United States Patent  Inventors Kenneth William Doughty 2,129,230 9/l938 ONeil Stanlord, Biggleswade; 2318,132 5/1943 Welk 271/57 X 7 Cyril Winstanley, St. Albans, both of. OTHER REFERENCES [2 App NO 53222: Amundson et 31., IBM TECHNICAL DISCLOSURE BUL- 1 Filed M". 12,1969 LETIN Vol. 7,No. 8, January l 965,pg. 7l5,cl. 101-322  Patented July 6, 1971 Primary Examiner-loseph Wegbreit  Assignee International Computers Limited Attorney-Ham & Baxley London, England  Priority Mar. 22, 1968  Great Britain [3 n 13'953/68 ABSTRACT: A device is disclosed for detecting the presence of overlapping documents in a document feed. The device includes a member rotatable about a pivot and having a surface  ERRQR INDICAFIMF DEVICES which, in the unoperated position, is spaced from the feed bed 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Flgs.
by a distance of approximately 1% times the thickness of the  US. Cl 271/57 documents being fed, The u-face is formed so that on rota- [5i] lut.Cl. B65h 7/06 tion of the member from its unoperated position the Spacing-  Field of Search 271/57,56, b t he fa e and the feed bed remains constant or 101/322 slightly decreases. Documents in overlapped relationship will 56 therefore rotate the member which in turn may interrupt a l Rdennces light beam and stop the document feed. The member may also UNITED STATES PATENTS carry a marking device to mark the overlapped document for 1,250,353 12/ 1917 Rickenbacher 271/56 subsequent identification.
cei- 12.5 l4, 1 2O 2] 1s 11 l o 15 4 o j mommcrmc DEVICES 1 BACKGROUND F THE INVENTION The present inventionrelates to error-indicatingdevices, and in particular to such devicessuitable for application to document-feeding apparatus. l '1 A detector for sensing the correctoverlappingof sheets is disclosed in the US. Pat.-l\ lo. .3,l 7.6,9.8l. in which a pivotable SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention an error-indicating device for indicating incorrect feeding of documents includes a feed bed along which documents normally are fed in nonoverlapping relationship; a member having a surface and being pivotally supported; means biassing the member to an unoperated position; indicating means operated by rotation of said member about its pivot away from said unoperated position; the surface-of the member when in theunoperated position =being spaced from'the feed bed by a distance greater than the thickness of a single document and less than twice the thickness of a single document; the surface having a form such that on rotation of the member from its unoperated position the'spacing of the surface from the feed bed remains substantiallyunchanged or decreases; said surface being frictionally engaged by a document fed in overlapping relationship to a second document to pivot the member from its unoperated position and thereby produce an indication of incorrect feeding.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a plan view of part of a document-feeding apparatus,
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of part of a document-feeding arrangement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a document feed bed 1 has pairs of feed rolls 3 spaced apart along its length. Document guides 4 are provided parallel to and spaced away from the surface of the feed bed 1. Abracket 5, secured to one side of the feed bed 1 supports a plate 6 vertically over the feed bed I. A spaced-apart pair of side cheeks 7 are'supported by the plate 6, the checks 7 being maintained in spaced relationship by three pins 8, 9, 10 secured at their opposite ends respectively to the cheeks. The cheeks support a pivot pin 11 between them. A member 12 is pivoted about the pin 11 and lies vertically between the side checks 7. The member 12 is biassed by a tension springin an anticlockwise direction as shown in FIG. 2, the spring'acting between the pin 8 and a further pin 14 carried by the member 12. The movement of the member 12 in an anticlockwise direction is limited by the pin 10. The surface 15 of the member 12 adjacent the feed bed I is formed with a profile such that the gap between the surface 15 and the feed bed 1 is maintained at a substantially constant dimension during movement of the member '12 about the pivot pin 11.
The member 12 also carries a marking device consisting of a soft pencil lead 16 held in a chuck 17. The chuck 17 is carried in a'hole provided in the member 12, and is spring loaded by a compression spring 18. In response to clockwise movement of the member 12, the pencil lead 16 is brought towards the feed bed 1.
The member 12 also has a tail 19, and the tail 19 is interposed by clockwise movement of the member 12 between a photoelectric cell 20, carried in a block 21 on one of the cheeks 7, and a lamp .22, held in a lamp house 23 secured to the plate 6.
.In operation, the space between the lower surface 15 of the member 1'2 and the upper surface oflthefeed .bed 1 is adjusted .not critical, the limitsbeing that it shouldbe greater than the thickness of one document but such documents. F v
Documents are normally, advanced from right to.left,'-as shown in the drawing, along thefeed bed 1 by the feed rolls 3.
Feeding of documents along a feed bed'in this way is well less than the t-hicknessof: two
.known and it will readily be understood that for this purpose the lower feed rolls 3 are rotated in an anticlockwise direction while the upper feed rolls 3 rotate in a clockwise direction, a document being advanced by being passed from the grip' of one pair of feed rolls 3 to that of the next pair along. the feed bed I.
Because the gap between the surface 15 and the upper surface of the feed bed 1 is greater than the thickness of a document, it will be seen that while documents continue to be fed one at a time they pass freely through the gap; However, in the event of an error in feeding, such that two documents are fed in overlapping relationship, at some point in the feeding operation a double thickness of document is presented at the gap. Because the gap is less than this double thickness the upper surface of the top document engages the cam surface 15 and, as the feed rolls continue to feed the documents,friction between the top document and the surface 15 causes the member 12 to pivot in a clockwise direction.
In this position the tail 19 of the member 12 is interposed between the lamp 22 and the photoelectric cell 20. The photoelectric cell is connected into the control circuit of the document-handling apparatus of which the indicating device presently described is a part. For example, the indicating device may form part of a record card reader associated with a computer. In this case the photoelectric cell might well be arranged, for example, in a control circuit to provide an indicating signal which is applied to arrest the operation of the card reader, and at the same time to indicate to the computer operator that the card reader requires attention.
The movement of the member 12 into its clockwise position also brings the pencil lead 16into contact with the uppermost document. It will be realized that the lead 16 projects from the member so that it contacts the document before the clockwise movement is completed, and that the spring 18 allows the lead 16 to be retracted into the end of the member 12 once contact has been made with the document. The movement of the document while the lead 16 is in contact with it produces a line on the document. It will be realized that instead of a pencil lead a felt or fiber wick fed with a marking ink may be substituted to produce the mark on the document. It is preferred, however, to mark the documents with an erasible mark, since the mark is required, as will be explained, only to identify misfed documents, and it will be apparent that, where documents are to be fed a number of times through the apparatus,'a permanent mark may lead to imprecise identification if misfeeding occurs on a subsequent occasion.
In order to avoid damage to the overlapped documents or to successive documents which might otherwise pile up behind those which have been misfed it is desirable that the indicating device should be so resiliently mounted that it yields to allow the misfed documents to pass, rather than thatit should grip the overlapped documents so positively that they are arrested. In the present device, the bracket 5 is so constructed that it can flex slightly to allow the documents to pass the member 12 after it has been moved clockwise to its full extent. It will be realized that other forms of support may be provided to allow the member 12 to move away from the feed bed 1 for this purpose. For example the entire device may be supported on a spring-loaded bracket. In this case, it will be clear that the spring :loading ofv the bracket must be related to the relative Alternatively the member 12 may be resiliently mounted.
For this purpose either'the member 12 may carry a resilient member 12 with the document toensure positive movement of the memberl2 to its fully clockwise position; it will be realized that the profile of the surface 15 may be such that the gap between the feed bed 1 and the surface 15 diminishes very slightly as the member 12 moves clockwise.
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a record card feeder and shows the device described in the foregoing paragraphs in relation to a card-feeding arrangement. Record cards 24'are contained in a stack in a supply hopper 25 and are fed sequentially, one at a time, from the top ofthe stack by a feeding idler 26. The feeding of cards from a stack in this way is well known in the art and the feeding arrangements may be similar, for example, to the arrangement shown in British Pat. application No. 23215/65.
A card 24 fed from the top of the stack is delivered to the feed rolls 3 and is passed along the feed bed I, as described above, beneath the surface 15 of the member 12. it will be seen that with this arrangement the topmost card 24 in the feed. hopper 25 is always the next to be fed. Hence, if misfeeding occurs, so that, say, two cards 24 are fed in overlapping relationship, the upper card is the earlier of the sequence. Thus, the action of the marking device,such as the lead 16, is to mark the earliest card 24 of the sequence at the point when misfeeding occurred. By examining the documents to find the marked card, the operator can then readily determine which cards are required to be reread, since the marked card will be the first of these.
it will be seen that the indicating device described provides an indication that misfeeding of documents in overlapping relationship has occurred and thatattention isitequired tothe document-feeding arrangement/At the same time the device also marks misfed documents to permit the ready 'identification of thosewhich were involved in' th misfee'clin'g'.v
- 1. An error-indicating device for indicating incorrect feeding of documents including a fced bedalong which documents normally are fed-in nonoverlapping relationship; a member having a surface; a pivotal support for said member; means biassing the member tovan unoperated position; indicating means operated by pivoting of said member. about the pivotal support away from said unoperated position; marking means operative in response to rotationof said member about its pivot away from said unoperated position; the surface of the member, when in the unoperated position, being spaced from the feed bed by adistance' greater than the thickness of a single document and less than twice the thickness of a single document; the surface having a form such that on pivoting of the member from its unoperated position the, spacing of the surface from the feed bed remains less than twice the thickness of a single document; frictional engagement of said surface by a document fed in overlapping relationship to a second document being effective to pivot the member from its unoperated position and thereby produce an indication of incorrect feeding and to mark said overlapping documents.
2. A device as claimed in claim l in which the marking means is carried by said member.
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the marking means produces an erasible mark.