US 3598399 A
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United States Patent n 1 3,598,399
 Inventor cm lqldid Cottrell' I ,689,668 l0/l928 Gray 27 l/S7 UX LlI'f0I",Elhlld l,745.6l6 2/1930 Hansen... 27l/6l [2i] Appl. No. 30665 2.016.7ll l0/l935 Ford 271/43 UX  Filed Mar-12.1959 2.631.85l 3/l953 Jones... 27l/62 I45] Patented Au. l0. I971 2.790.639 4/l957 Kilgariff 271/18  Asslgnee lltemtionalCompIten Limited Primary mmin" Joph wcgbrc-n Emu Anome Hane & Baxle [:21 Priority Mar. 22.1968 Y Y  Greet Britain [3|] 13.954/1968 [s4] UMm FEEDING mAuws ABSTRACT: Apparatus is disclosed for feeding documents.
The apparatus includes a feed bed having an upper and a  US. B wer pan gonngctgd by a step, Documents are fed along thc feed bed from the upper part to the lower part. Positioned Fhudsfil'dl 271/43 A. above the step is a holdback member which engages the top 52 25 6| edge of the leading document on the upper part of the feed bed. Thus the combined action of the ate and the holdback  Ram cm member is to allow a trickle feed of documsnts from the upper U TED STATES PATENTS to the lower part to maintain a substantially constant number $l3.678 l/l894 27l/84 UX ofdocumenton the lower part.
PATENTFU AUG 1 0 1971 INVENTOR Gannon: Rzoxmuoco-rrnlu fiovu,
ATTORNEYS WCUMENT mNG APIMIATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to document feeding apparatus.
SUMMARY OF THE INVEN'HON According to the present invention document feeding apparatus includes a feed bed for supporting documents on edge and having an upper part and a lower part with a step therebetwaen; means operable to feed documents, extending BRIEF DESCRIP'WON OF THE DRAWING The FIGURE shows a side elevation of a document feeding apparatus. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EM DOD]- MENT Referring now to the drawing a document feed bed i includes an upper platform 2 and a lower platform 3 joined by a step 4 in the form of a downwardly sloping ramp. Documents Ssrosu onend ontheuppsr surfaccdofthsbed l and a conventional pressure plate I is freely movable along the feed bed ion a rod 8. The pressure plate is urged from lcftto right as shown in the drawing by a weight 9 suspended on a cord to. The cord In pssses over a pulley It and is secured to the pressure plate I.
The entire feed bed i is supported on leaf springs ll from a main base member IS. The springs 13 are inclined at an angle to the feed bed i and a further tension spring N is provided between the feed bed i and a lug l! on the main frame "of the apparatus. The tension of the spring 14 is adjustable by a threaded rod l9 and a nut 30 on the lug id. The feed bad lis vibrated on the supporting sprin by a iinlt l'f having an eccentric coupling to the shaft an electric motor II. The upper surface of the feed bed is lightly toothed, the teeth It acting as abutmsnts to prevent substantial movement of the documents in opposition to the normal feeding movement. from left to right as shown in the drawing. To further assist the feeding movement. the feed butt I is inclined at a small angle to horizontal, the normal feeding movement being down the slope ofthe bed i.
The main frame 16 extends above the feed bed i and document-restraining means consisting of a holdbaclr arm 23 is carried by the frame I above the step 4 in the bed i. The and of the hoidbaclr arm 32 carries a pad I! of resilient material fecing the direction from which documents are fed along the bed I. and the arm 23 is proportioned and positioned so that the pad 38 is approximately above the junction of the upper platform 2 and the step 4 of the feed bed i and is separated from the surface s of the upper platform 2 by a distance slightly less than the height of a document. At the right-hand and of the feed bad 1. as shown in the drawing. a hollow bloclt 34 forms an end wall to the bed. The block 34 forms the feeding member of a document-feeding arrangement substantially as described in detail in British Pat. application No. 233N165. Briefly. the block I4 has a bsvslisd edge II in which are formed apertures ii communicating with the interior of the block 34. A pipe 37 is connected to the interior of the block 34 and is connected to a vacuum pump (not shown). A bevelled feeding roiisr II is set into the bevelled sdgs ii of the block I, and a gripper roller 1!. actuated through a linitage 30 and a bailcranlt lsvsr Si by a solenoid 33 is arranged selectively to hold the edge of a document 14 at the feeding face of the stuck into frictional driving contact with the feedto lie along the bevelled edge 28 by the vacuum pressure introduced into the interior of the block 2. The feed roll 28 is rotated clockwise, as shown in the drawing, to feed the deformed document past a throat block 38 into conventional pairs of feeding rollers 34 spaced apart along a feeding channel formed by sideplates 35 secured to the main frame 16.
in operation documents are stacked on edge on the upper surface oi the feed bed. The leading documents of the stack are arranged on the lower platform 3. the remainderof .the documents being stacked on the upper platform 2 The vacuum pump is turned on and the document at the feeding face-of the stack, the right-hand end aashown in the drawing, is deformed to bring its edge into contact with the bevelled surface 25 of the block 24. Energization of the solenoid 32 by a utilization device, such as a computer, for example, moves the gripper roller 29 towards the bevelled edge 25 to cause the deformed edge of the leading document to be fed by the feeding roller 28 vertically upwards out of the stack into the grip of the constantly rotating feed rolls 3!. The document is then fed under control of the rolls 3 in the conventional manner to a worit station (not shown) which is typically a document-reading station whose output is applied to the controlling utilization apparatus. for example. the computer.
As soon as the first document has been fed from the block 24. the solenoid Si is deerrerglsed and the gripper roller 29 moves away from the feeding roller 3!. The nest document. which is now at the feeding face of the stack is then deformed by the vacuum pressure and upon reenerglzation of the solenoid 38 is fed out of the staclt in the manner described.
it will be seen that the documents on the lower platform 3 are fed successively from the feeding face of the staclt. The documents on the upper platform are restrained by the action of the holdbaclt member 22, the pad 13 of which engages the top edge ofths 'ieadin document on the upper platform. Thus the action of the hold cit member is to prevent the applicatio'nofsogreat a pressure on the document to be fed out of the stock that the frictional engagement of the feeding roller 1! is unable to feed the document.
The documents on the lower platform I move down the slope of the platform as successive documents are removed from the feeding face of the stack. As these documents move along the lower platform 3. other documents from the upper platform I are allowed to slide down the step 4 under the infiusncs of gravity. As the documents from the upper platform 2 descend the slope of the step 4. their upper edges are brought clear of the pad 23 on the holdbaclt member 22 to fall into place behind the documents on the lower platform 3. Thus the combined action of the step 4 and the holdbuck member 22 is to allow a trickle feed of documents from the upper to the lower platform to maintain a substantially constant number of documents on the lower platform 3.
it will also be appreciated that yet anothsr function of the hoidbaclt member 33 is to isolate the documents on the upper platform I from those on the lower platform 3. Thus, it will readily be seen that additional documents may be loaded onto the upper atform I while the feeding of documents from the lower pie rm 3 continues undisturbed. in this connection a further advsntsgs of the hoidbaclt member becomes apparent. The pressure plate 7 is blessed by the weight 9 to apply only sufficient pressure to the back of the document stack to support the documents and to urge them along the surface 6 of the upper platform 3. However. in loading a further supply of documents onto the upper platform. it is common for an operator to apply considerably greater pressure to the stack than would normally be applied by the pressure plate 7. if the upper and lower platforms were not isolated by the holdback msmbsr. this increased pressure would be transmitted through the entire stack of documents and would intsrfsre with the correct feeding of documents by the feeding roller 2!. if escasslva pressure is applied to the staclt on the upper platform in the present apparatus. the frictional engagement between the documents and the pad 13 of the holdbaclt member 22 is lug rollcr 1I.thu cllgc of thc document huvlng been deformed increased to the point where documents are held on the upper platform 2 and cannot descend the step 4. Hence feeding of documents from the lower platform 3 is not disturbed.
Vibration of the feed bed 1 has been found to be effective in ensuring the constant movement of documents along the bed 1. The provision of the teeth 21 in the upper surface of the bed 1 is also of considerable help in preventing the expression of the stack. due. for example. to the presence in the stack of bowed documents. from influencing the smooth feeding of documents. in particular along the lower platform 3.
I. Document feeding apparatus including a feed bed for supporting documents on edge and extending transversely of the feed bed, said feed bed including an upper part and a lower part and a step therebetween; means operable to feed documents along the feed bed from said upper part to said lower part; an abutment operative to isolate documents supported on the lower part from forces acting on documents supported on the upper part by engaging the leading face, adjacent its upper edge, of a leading document supported on the upper part of the feed bed and thereby being effective to restrain movement in the direction of feed of the upper edge of the leading document supported on the upper part and to permit movement of the upper edge of said document only when the lower edge of said document has descended the step from the upper part toward the lower part.
2. Document feeding apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which the step of the feed bed consists of a ramp extending from the upper part "to the lower part and sloping downwards in the direction of feed.
3. Document feeding apparatus as claimed in claim 2 in which the abutment is operative to permit movement of the upper edge of the leading document only when the lower edge of the leading document has descended substantially the whole of the ramp.
4. Document feeding apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which the abutment includes a pad of resilient material positioned to engage the leading document.
5. Document feeding apparatus as claimed in claim I including means to vibrate the feed bed; and a plurality of abutments on said feed bed operative to engage the lower edges of documents to be fed to prevent movement of the documents on the feed bed in a direction opposite to the direction of feedmg.
6. Document feeding apparatus as claimed in claim I including means for removing documents in succession from the lower part.