Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3617048 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1971
Filing dateApr 17, 1970
Priority dateApr 17, 1970
Also published asCA936887A1, DE2118909A1, DE2118909B2, DE2118909C3
Publication numberUS 3617048 A, US 3617048A, US-A-3617048, US3617048 A, US3617048A
InventorsDonald J Albert
Original AssigneeEastman Kodak Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum paper feeder
US 3617048 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 2,262,109 11/1941 Miller 3,339,916 9/1967 Tregay Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Assistant ExaminerBruce l-l. Stoner, Jr. Attorneys-Robert W. Hampton and Gary D. Fields ABSTRACT: A series of sets of vacuum fingers are provided for feeding sheets seriatim from a stack. The stack is positioned on a paper support with movable side guides for positioning sheets of one of several preselected widths to be picked up by the vacuum fingers. Solenoid valves interconnect the vacuum fingers with a source of vacuum and are operated in response to the position of the side guides so that only those sets of fingers which are operative to engage sheets of the width of the paper on the support have a vacuum applied thereto.

vo'vmn {hm VACUU SUPPL 1 PATENTEDN V 2 l9?! FIGJ DONALD J. ALBERT INVENTOR.

ATTOR NEYS POWER SOURCE VACUUM PAPER FEEDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention relates to a paper feeder and more particularly to a vacuuin paper feeder for feeding paper seriatim from one of several preselected widths of paper.

2. Description of the Prior Art In the printing art, copy sheets are typically seriatim from a supply, such as a stack of copy sheets, to a printing or transfer position where an image is placed on the copy sheets. Copy sheets are fed from the top of the stack by means of vacuum fingers which pick up the top sheet and feed it to a transfer means, such as feed rollers, which feed the sheet to a transfer station. A paper support for supportingthe supply of paper is normally provided with adjustable side guides for holding sheets of different selected width and length. Vacuum pickup fingers are provided with valves which may be closed to shut off the vacuum source to fingers which are not used for the narrower widths of paper. Such vacuum fingers are shown in US. Pat. No. l,575,892 toAshby; U.S. Pat. No. 2,262,l09 to Miller; US. Pat. No. 1,820,469 to Low; and US. Pat. No. 2,986,392 to Buttner. With each of these devices, the vacuum fingers are individually controlled by a valve which is manually operable to disconnect the respective vacuum fingers from their source of vacuum. Thus, each time the operator of the printing device wishes to change the size of paper to be used, he must manually adjust some of the vacuum fingers so that each of those which will come in contact with the size paper to be placed in the machine are connected to the vacuum whereas those which will not come in contact with the paper will not be in communication with the vacuum source. Such an operation is time consuming and increases the downtime of the machine when changing from one size paper to another. Also, if adjustable side guides are provided, they must be manually adjusted in addition to adjusting the vacuum fingers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, a support is provided for supporting a stack of one of several sheet sizes. The support has movable sheet-positioning means for positioning the stack below a plurality of vacuum fingers which are mounted for movement toward and away from the support to feed sheets seriatim to suitable paper transport means. The vacuum fingers are connected to a source of vacuum. Valves are interposed between some of the fingers and the vacuum source and are controlled in response to movement of the sheet-positioning means to provide vacuum at. those fingers which are to be brought into engagement with the sheets but not to provide vacuum to those vacuum fingers which will not come into engagement with the sheets.

More specifically, the invention contemplates the provision of a paper support having adjustable side guides which are interconnected by a rack and pinion arrangement so that upon adjustment of one side guide, the opposite side guide is also adjusted. Several sets of movable vacuum fingers are provided above the support and are movable into engagement with the uppermost sheet of the stack to lift the sheet from the stack and feed it to suitable paper transport means. A first set of vacuum fingers engages the narrowest width paper whereas the next wider width paper is engaged by both the first set of vacuum fingers and a second set of vacuum fingers. An additional set of vacuum fingers is provided for each wider width of paper. Each set of vacuum fingers, except for the first set of vacuum fingers, is provided with a vacuum control valve which interconnects the vacuum fingers with a vacuum source. The vacuum control valves are respectively connected to switches positioned under the paper support. The switch which is connected to the valve for the second set of fingers is located so as to be operated upon positioning of the side guides to receive paper of the next wider width. Each of the other switches are positioned across the bottom of the paper support from the switch for the next narrower width at a distance equal to one-half the difference in width between the width of paper for which it is to be operated and the next narrower width. One of the paper guides is provided with one or more permanent magnets thereon positioned to operate the respective switches at the appropriate positions of the paper guides.

Upon movement of the adjustable side guides, the magnets will operate the appropriate switches for the vacuum control valves so that vacuum is supplied from the vacuum source to those vacuum fingers only which are to come in contact with the selected paper width. It is apparent that by one single, simple operation the paper-feeding device may be adjusted to handle a different size paper. Thus, the operator need only move one of the side guides which in turn moves the other side guide to the proper position and causes adjustment of the valves so that only those vacuum fingers which will come in contact with the paper supply to be placed in the paper-feeding apparatus will have vacuum supplied thereto.

Additional advantages of this invention will become apparent from the description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the paper-feeding device constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a section, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, with parts omitted for clarity of illustration, showing further details of the paper feeding device;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section, taken along line 33 of FIG. 1, showing a rack and pinion arrangement for adjusting the side guide; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic circuit diagram which can be used with the valves of FIGS. 1 and 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In accordance with this invention, a paper-feeding device is provided which includes a paper support 2 for supporting stacks of paper of predetermined width between adjustable side guide 4 which is movable in slot 5 and adjustable side guide 6 which is movable in slot 7. Conveniently, an end guide 8 is adjustable in slot 9 to the length of copy paper, such as a stack 10, as illustrated. In addition to the relatively wide copy paper 10, the apparatus is adapted to feed an intermediate width copy paper 12 as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. I and the narrow width copy paper 14, also indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 1. The copy paper is fed seriatim by a vacuum pickup device 16 and fed to a sheet-transport device such as opposed feed rollers 18 and 20, best seen in FIG. 2.

The vacuum pickup device includes a plurality of sets of pickup fingers, such as pickup finger set 22 which includes a pair of pickup fingers 24 and 25 for feeding a narrow sheet of paper 14; a pickup finger set 26 which includes pickup fingers 28 and 29, which together with pickup finger set 22, feed sheets 12 of intermediate width; and pickup finger set 30 which includes fingers 32 and 33, which together with sets 22 and 26, feed wide copy sheets 10 through the feed rollers 18 and 20. For purposes of illustration, only three sets of pickup fingers have been illustrated and each set comprises two pickup fingers. However, it will be understood that additional sets could be provided and additional fingers could be pro vided in each set, as needed to accommodate widths of paper other than those shown.

All of the pickup fingers are connected through a tee 34 to vacuum supply 36. In addition, pickup finger set 26 is connected to tee 34 through a solenoid valve 38 whereas pickup finger set 30 is connected to tee 34 through a solenoid valve 40, which solenoid valves are adapted to be closed when the paper to be fed is not wide enough to be engaged by the vacuum fingers of the respective sets.

Conveniently, side guide 4 is provided with a rack 42 extending below support 2, and side guide 6 is provided with a similar rack 44, extending parallel to rack 42. These racks engage opposite sides of a pinion 46 which is illustrated in FIG. 3 as being rotatably mounted below support 2 by means of a screw 48 extending through a bearing 50 which is held in place by a washer 52. With this arrangement, movement of one side guide will cause a corresponding movement of the opposite side guide so that they will always be in proper position with respect to each other.

In addition, one of the side guides, such as side guide 4 is provided with an arm 54 extending under support 2 and having a pair of spaced pennanent magnets 56 and 58 which are spaced apart along arm 54 so as to control valves 38 and 40 in response to the position of the side guides, as more fully described below.

Conveniently, a pair of switches 60 and 62 are illustrated as being attached to the bottom of support 2 above the path of arm 54 and are spaced a distance apart equal to one-half the difference in width of the two paper widths for which they are to be used. Alternatively, the switches could be mounted on a frame member (not shown) spaced below support 2. These switches are connected in series with solenoid valves 38 and 40, respectively, which are connected to a power source 64, as shown in FIG. 4. Advantageously, when the side guides 4 and 6 are moved to the intermediate position indicated as 4 and 6, magnet 56 will be positioned under switch 62 to cause solenoid valve 40 to shut ofi" the vacuum to vacuum finger set 30 since this finger set would not be used with intermediate size paper 12. if the side guides are moved to the position for narrow width paper as illustrated in FIG. 2 as positions 4" and 6", magnet 56 will be positioned under switch 60 and magnet 58 will be positioned under switch 62 so that both solenoid valves 40 and 38 are operated to shut off vacuum finger sets 30 and 26 so that the vacuum goes only to set 22 for lifting a narrow width paper 14 from a stack. If desired, one long magnet can be used in place of the two magnets shown. Of course, it can be seen that end guide 8 may be adjusted to the respective paper sizes or for some applications this guide may be omitted entirely. lf support 2 is movable from a storage position in which the support is filled with a supply of paper to the work position shown in the drawings, it may be desirable to provide a memory circuit so that upon adjusting of the side guides while the tray in the storage position a signal will be provided to the memory circuit which in turn will provide a signal to the solenoid valves upon positioning of the tray in the work position. In addition, although three sets of fingers and three sizes of paper have been illustrated it will be understood that a lesser or greater number of sets of fingers and sizes of paper can be accommodated by providing an appropriate number of switches and magnets for the additional sizes.

From the foregoing, the advantages of this invention are readily apparent. A paper-feeding device has been provided which can accommodate any one of several widths of copy paper. By adjusting paper-positioning means, such as side guides, sets of vacuum fingers for the different sizes of paper can be controlled so that vacuum is provided only to these fingers which will come in contact with the size paper positioned on the support. This is accomplished by providing spaced magnets on at least one of the side guides which are positionable under one or more switches in accordance with movement of the side guides to provide a control signal to solenoid valves which interconnects the respective sets of vacuum fingers with a vacuum supply.

The invention has been described in detail with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.

l Claim:

1. Apparatus for feeding sheets seriatim from one of a plurality of stacks of sheets of varying width positionable in said apparatus, said apparatus comprising:

a sheet support having a first side for supporting any one of the plurality of stacks of sheets at a time;

a plurality of vacuum fingers movable toward and away from said support for feeding said sheets seriatim from a stack on said support;

means for supplying a vacuum to said vacuum fingers;

valve means interconnecting at least one of said fingers with said vacuum supply means and movable between an open position wherein vacuum is supplied to said finger and a closed position in which vacuum is not supplied to said finger;

movable sheet-positioning means movable along a path for positioning one of said stacks of sheets on said support; and

means for controlling said valve means in response to movement of said sheet-positioning means so that vacuum is supplied only to those fingers which are engageable with a stack of sheets positioned on said support.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control means includes:

spaced switches on one of said sheet support and said positioning means; and

spaced means on the other of said sheet support and said positioning means for operating said switches when moved along a path to a position adjacent said switches.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said positioning means includes:

at least first and second side guides on said support movable toward and away from each other to center a stack of paper thereon;

a rack extending from each of said side guides toward the other side guide on a second side of said support opposite said first side, said racks being generally parallel to each other; and

a pinion rotatably mounted on said second side of said support and engageable by both of said racks so that upon movement of one of said side guides in a first direction the other of said guides is moved correspondingly in an opposite direction to said first side guide.

4. A paper-feeding apparatus for feeding copy sheets seriatim from one of a plurality of stacks of paper of narrow, intermediate or wide width positionable in said apparatus, said device comprising:

a paper support having a top side for supporting any one of the plurality of stacks of paper at a time;

first and second sets of vacuum fingers movable together toward and away from said support for engaging said copy sheets to feed them seriatim from a stack on said support;

means for supplying a vacuum to said first and second sets of vacuum fingers;

a first control valve movable between an open and closed position and interconnecting said second set of fingers to said vacuum supply means;

movable paper-positioning means for positioning a stack of any one of said narrow, intermediate or wide width copy paper on said support; and

means for moving said first control valve so that vacuum is supplied only to said first set of vacuum fingers responsive to the positioning of said narrow paper on said support and vacuum is supplied to both sets of fingers responsive to the positioning of said intermediate paper on said support.

5. A paper-feeding apparatus, as claimed in claim 4, further including:

a third set of vacuum fingers movable with said first and second sets of vacuum fingers;

a second control valve movable between an open and closed position and interconnecting said third set of vacuum fingers with said vacuum supply means; and

first and second control means which include said moving means, said first control means being responsive to a position of said positioning means for holding said intermediate width paper to close said second control valve to shut off vacuum to said third set of vacuum fingers and said first and second control means being responsive to a position for holding said narrow width paper in said positioning means to close said first and second control valves to shut off vacuum to said second and third sets of vacuum fingers, respectively.

6. A paper-feeding apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein each of said control valves further include:

first and second solenoids for moving said first and second control valves respectively;

spaced first and second switches below said support and connected in circuit, respectively, with said first and second control valves and spaced from each other a distance equal to one-half the difference in width between said narrow width paper and said intermediate width paper; and

magnet means movable in response to movement of said paper-positioning means along a path adjacent said switches to operate said switches in response to the position of said paper-positioning means.

7. A paper-feeding apparatus, as claimed in claim 6, wherein said magnet means includes:

first and second magnets spaced apart a distance substantially equal to the spacing of said first and second switches.

8. A paper-feeding apparatus for feeding copy sheets seriatim from one of a plurality of stacks of paper including at least stacks of paper of narrow width, intermediate width and wide width positionable on said apparatus, said apparatus comprising:

a paper support having a top side and a bottom side, said paper being supportable on said top side;

at least first, second and third sets of vacuum fingers, said first set of fingers being engageable with paper of each of said widths, said second set of vacuum fingers being engageable with said intermediate width paper and said wide width paper only and said third set of vacuum fingers being engageable with said wide width paper only, said sets of vacuum fingers being movable toward and away from said support for feeding paper from a stack of paper on said support;

means for supplying a vacuum to said first, second and third sets of vacuum fingers;

a first energizable solenoid valve interconnecting said second set of vacuum fingers with said vacuum supply means and being movable between an open and closed position;

a second energizable solenoid valve interconnecting said vacuum supply means and said third set of vacuum fingers and being movable between an open and closed position;

first and second paper guides movable on opposite sides of a stack of paper to center said paper on said support;

a rack extending from each of said paper guides on the bottom side of said support;

a pinion interconnecting said racks so that movement of one of said paper guides causes a corresponding movement of the other of said paper guides;

at least first and second activatable switch means on the bottom of said support in circuit with said first and second solenoid valves, said switch means being spaced apart a distance equal to one-half the difference in width between said narrow width paper and said intermediate width paper; and

first and second spaced magnets on one of said paper guides for activating said switches spaced apart a distance equal to the spacing of said first and second switch means and movable with said side guides so that when said guides are in position to center said narrow width paper both of said first and second switches are activated so that both said first and second solenoid valves are energized to shut off vacuum to said second and third set of fingers and when said paper guide is in position to center said intennediate width paper, said second switch is activated to close said second solenoid valve ener ized to shut off vacuum to said third set of vacuum mgers and when sand paper guide is in position to center said wide width paper neither of said switches is activated so that vacuum is supplied to all three sets of vacuum fingers.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1820469 *Sep 10, 1929Aug 25, 1931Lisenby Mfg CompanyAutomatic paper feeding mechanism for printing presses
US2262109 *Jul 29, 1940Nov 11, 1941Robert F FoardAutomatic feeder for printing presses
US3339916 *Mar 19, 1965Sep 5, 1967Addressograph MultigraphSheet feeding assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3767186 *Jul 23, 1971Oct 23, 1973S & S Corrugated Paper MachSheet feeder having suction assist
US4029009 *Jul 17, 1975Jun 14, 1977Veb Polygraph Leipzig Kombinat Fur Polygraphische Maschinen Und AusrustungenPrinting machine construction
US4096941 *Nov 29, 1976Jun 27, 1978Rengo Kabushiki KaishaConveyor system for a cutter for a web of corrugated fiberboard
US4168829 *Jun 20, 1977Sep 25, 1979Eastman Kodak CompanyControl valve for vacuum sheet feeding apparatus
US4236710 *May 18, 1978Dec 2, 1980Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Sheet supplying apparatus
US4245831 *Jan 26, 1979Jan 20, 1981Eastman Kodak CompanyAdjustable tray
US4513957 *May 3, 1983Apr 30, 1985Ncr CorporationItem dispensing system
US4564186 *Jun 4, 1984Jan 14, 1986R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyApparatus for gathering printed signatures for saddle stitching
US4615520 *Mar 26, 1984Oct 7, 1986Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgApparatus and method for aligning sheets
US4648588 *Jun 12, 1985Mar 10, 1987Rca CorporationArticulated manipulation device
US4701094 *Jan 30, 1986Oct 20, 1987Compagnie Generale D'automatisme Cga-HbsSeparator for heterogenous flat objects
US4702469 *Mar 28, 1986Oct 27, 1987Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgApparatus and method for aligning sheets
US4712784 *May 31, 1985Dec 15, 1987Rca CorporationAdjustable vacuum pad
US4728092 *Mar 21, 1986Mar 1, 1988Astro Machine CorporationSuction control system for suction cup sheet feeding apparatus
US4874160 *Nov 12, 1987Oct 17, 1989Sharp Kabushiki KaishaPaper cartridge with paper aligning means
US5088716 *Mar 5, 1990Feb 18, 1992Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgDevice for scanning the length of a sheet in a sheet processing machine, such as a sheet-fed rotary printing press particularly
US5429348 *Mar 7, 1994Jul 4, 1995Xerox CorporationAdjustable top vacuum corrugation feeder
US5615875 *Apr 13, 1995Apr 1, 1997Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgDevice for receiving sheet piles thereon in a sheet-fed printing press
US6571709 *Jan 10, 2002Jun 3, 2003Agfa CorporationApparatus and method for picking printing plates of various sizes
EP1327593A1 *Jan 10, 2003Jul 16, 2003Agfa CorporationApparatus and method for picking printing plates of various sizes
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/108, 271/171
International ClassificationB65H3/08, B66C1/02
Cooperative ClassificationB66C1/0243, B66C1/0256, B65H3/0891, B66C1/0212, B65H3/0883
European ClassificationB66C1/02O, B66C1/02C, B66C1/02M1, B65H3/08B6, B65H3/08B8, B66C1/02