US 3622149 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0 t a United States atent inventor Albert G. Enskat Barrington, lll.
Appl, No 864,708
Filed Oct. 8. i969 Patented Nov. 23, l97l Assignee Xerox Corporation Rochester, N.Y.
ARTICLE DESTACKING APPARATUS 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 271/35, 2 l4/8.5 B Int. Cl B65h 3/04, 865g 59/12 Field of Search 271/35, 37,
38,18, DIG. 7; 2l4/8.5 A, 8.5 B, 8.5 G, 8.5 SS
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2.097.0l3 l0/l937 Bartholdt 27 N37 2.l33,263 l0/l938 Wolff 27l/87 Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Assistant Examiner-Bruce H. Stoner, Jr.
A!t0n|eys-.lames .I Ralabate. Norman E. Schrader and Frederick E. McMullen ABSTRACT: Apparatus for destacking a stack of articles for subsequent handling, the apparatus including a displaceable destack arm arranged to intercept the oversized portion of an article stack; a stack support arm spaced upstream of the destack arm. the stack Support arm being normally held out of the path of movement ofthe article stack; and means responding to contact of the oversized stack portion with the dcstack arm to move the stack support arm into supporting position behind the article stack to support the stack during destacking thereof.
PATENTEUN V 23 I971 3 6 22. 14 9 INVEN OR ALBERT c. NSKAT ATTORNEY ARTICLE DESTACKING APPARATUS The invention relates to an apparatus for handling oversized article stacks, and more particularly, to an apparatus for destacking such article stacks to facilitate subsequent handling thereof.
In article processing systems such as systems for addressing or labeling articles for mailing, the supply of articles is often in the form of stacks. Where the articles are to be individually processed, for example, addressed, the article supply stack is reduced or broken down into the individual articles. One way of doing this is to rearrange the articles into overlapping or shingled relationship one with another. Unfortunately, the size of the article stack which most shingling devices can handle is limited since the lateral displacement of the articles one upon the other efiected by the shingling device may so unbalance the article stack that the stack collapses with the topmost articles turned over end for end. Usually this condition results in an article jam at the shingling device or downstream thereof in the article processing system. It may also result in some articles being processed on their wrong side.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a new and improved article destacker.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved article destacker effective to reduce the overall height of an article supply stack without disrupting the article order.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a destacking apparatus for article supply stacks incorporating means to automatically support the article supply stack against undesired collapse while the articles are being destacked.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an article destacker with a stack support member and means to move the stack support member into a stack supporting position in response to engagement of the article stack with the destacker destacking means.
This invention relates to an apparatus for reducing the size of an oversized stack of articles to facilitate handling thereof, the combination comprising, article conveying means for carrying the article stack forward; at least one destacking member arranged above the conveying means so as to intercept the oversized portion of the article stack and offset articles comprising the oversized stack portion relative to one another into partially shingled relationship whereby the overall size of the stack is reduced, the destacking member permitting the conveying means to carry the remainder of the stack forward underneath the destacking member; and at least one stack supporting member adapted to support the trailing side of the article stack while the size of the article stack is reduced so as to prevent undesired changes in article orientatton.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the ensuing description and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view in section showing the article destacking apparatus of the present invention in the ready position;
FIG. 2 is a side view in section of the destacking apparatus shown in FIG. 1 in article destacking position; and
HO. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of the destacking apparatus of the present invention.
Referring to the drawings there is shown the destacker of the present invention. As will appear, destacker 10 serves to reduce the size of an oversized article stack 12 to facilitate subsequent handling thereof. Destacker 10 may be used in an article labeling system wherein articles such as newspapers l8, conveniently supplied in the form of stacks 12, are fed forward in seriatum to an automatic addressing machine (not shown) for addressing thereof. To facilitate handling of newspapers 18 by the addressing machine, a shingling mechanism 14 is provided, shingling mechanism 14 serving to reduce the stack 12 of newspapers to overlapping or shingled form.
While the shingling mechanism 14 is intended to operate with stacked article input, the stack height which the shingling mechanism 14 can effectively accommodate is limited. Where the stack height is too great, as with oversized stacks 12, the lateral displacement of the articles making up the stack by shingling mechanism 14 may so unbalance the stack that the upper articles thereof tumble backwards onto conveyor 26 turning over end for end. This results in the articles being addressed on the wrong side thereof. And where articles such as newspapers 18 are being handled, the newspapers are normally fed folded end first. 1f turned over such that the open or looseleaf end of the newspapers is first, the shingling mechanism 14 or the other newspaper handling components of the system may tear or rip the newspapers and cause resultant jamming of the system. To obviate such undesired effects where large or oversized article stacks are supplied, the destacker 10 of the present invention is provided upstream of shingling mechanism 14.
The supply of articles 18, arranged in the form of stacks 12, is carried on supply conveyor 20 upstream of destacker 10 and shingling mechanism 14. Conveyor 20 has one or more endless feed belts 22 stretched across suitable supporting rollers 23 (only one of which is shown in the drawing) and is intermittently operated by suitable means (not shown) to advance the supply stacks 12 one at a time forward onto article conveyor 16. A suitable demand switch 25 may be provided adjacent article conveyor 26, switch 25 responding to a minimum supply of articles 18 on conveyor 26 to operate conveyor 20 and bring the next stack fonavard. Side guides 28 may be provided to prevent article stacks 12 from falling off supply conveyor 20.
Article conveyor 26, downstream of supply conveyor 20, includes one or more endless feed belts 30 stretched across drive and idler rollers 31, 32 respectively. Drive roller 31 is driven by a suitable motor means (not shown) in response to the demand of the system for articles.
A suitable bridging roller 34 may be provided between supply and article conveyors 20, 26 respectively to facilitate carryover of stacks 12 from conveyor 20 to conveyor 26. It is understood that conveyors 20, 26 include suitable framework (not shown) to support conveyors 20, 26 from the ground.
In order to control the feed of articles to the system, the article shingling mechanism 14 is provided proximate the discharge end of article conveyor 26. Shingling mechanism 14 includes a shingling gate pair 35 suitably supported at a predetermined angle above the surface of article conveyor 26 on shaft 40 carried by the article conveyor framework (not shown). The distance between the bottom 36 of gates 35 and the upper surface of conveyor 26 as well as the angle of inclination of gates 35 is chosen to provide the desired shingling effect for the articles being handled. such as newspapers l8. Desirably, the supporting mechanism for gates 35 includes means to provide incremental angular and height adjustment of gates 35.
Preferably, an article control roller 37 is provided adjacent shingling gates 35, Roller 37 is supported between the pair of shingling gates 35, the bearing 37' thereof being carried by depending arms 39. Anns 39 are in turn joumaled from shaft 40 such that roller 37 rests by its own weight on the articles passing therebelow. Suitable bias means (not shown) may be provided to augment the weight of roller 37.
In operation of the shingling mechanism 14, the stack of articles carried forward on article conveyor 26 contact the fixed shingling gates 35, which impede the continued forward movement of the article stack. Due to the angular disposition of gates 35, the successive articles comprising the stack are displaced laterally relative to one another to a partially overlapping condition. At the same time, the sustained operation of article conveyor 26 carries the lowermost articles forward underneath the lower end 36 of shingling gates 35 with the result that the overall height of the stack is decreased. The articles fed forward overlap or are shingled one upon the other as they pass underneath gates 35.
Destacker 10 is supported from a shaft 50 which is suitably mounted a predetermined height above article conveyor 26 on the conveyor frame (not shown). A clamp member 53, supported on shaft 50 at approximately the midpoint thereof, has an upwardly projecting support arm 75. Support arm 75 has a slotlike aperture 74 therein within which mounting pin 73 is secured, it being understood that the slotted configuration of aperture 74 pennits the position of mounting pin 73 on support arm 75 to be adjusted. it is understood that clamp member 53 itself is releasable to permit the angular position of clamp member 53 on supporting shaft 50 to be adjusted.
Clamp member 53 preferably includes a bearing collar 53' on which a support 59 is joumaled for rotation about the axis of shaft 50. Depending destack arm 55 is secured to support 59 by suitable means (not shown).
Preferably, lower end 56 of destack arm 55 is curved in the direction of article movement to facilitate movement of articies l8 thereunder.
A rearwardly extending link 58 is attached to support 59 by suitable means (not shown). The length of link 58 is sufficient to accommodate the length of the articles 18 being destacked.
A stack support arm 62 is pivotally carried by link 58 from the rear portion thereof as by mounting pin 63. To permit the destacker H) to accommodate various length articles, a longitudinally extending adjusting slot 64 is provided in link 58 for mounting pin 63.
End 65 of support arm 62 has an intumed shovellike member 68 secured thereto. As will appear, stack support arm 62 is adapted to move behind the stack 12 of articles being destacked, with the shovellike member 68 thereof slightly underneath the lower articles.
As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, stack support arm 62 moves from a raised or neutral position to a lowered or operative position behind the stack during the destacking operation. To operate stack support arm 62, a control link 70 is provided, link 70 being connected between the stationary clamp member 53 and stack support arm 62 by mounting pins 73, 71 respectively. As can be seen, control link 70 cooperates with support arm 75, link 58 and stack support arm 62 to effectively form a four bar or parallelogram-type linkage serving on rotation of destack arm 55 to swing stack support arm 62 through a predetermined are.
A suitable torsion spring 77 is provided to bias destack arm 55 in a clockwise direction shown by the solid line arrow in F lGS. l and 2 of the drawings. Stop 78 is provided to limit movement of destack arm 55 in the clockwise direction. As can be seen in F l0. 1, spring 77 and stop 78 cooperate to hold destack arm 55 in a substantially vertical position. With destack arm 55 in the position shown in FIG. 1, the aforedescribed linkage including control link 70 cooperate to hold stack support arm 62 in a raised position out of the path of stacks 12.
To obviate the possibility of articles 18 slipping off article conveyor 26, upstanding side guides 80 are provided along the opposite sides of conveyor 26 at the destacking position.
A demand for articles is responded to by switch 25 which actuates supply conveyor 20. Conveyor feeds the supply stacks l2 forward, the foremost of which passes over bridging roller 34 onto article conveyor 26. Conveyor 26 carries the stack forward underneath destacker t0, the destack arm 55 of which is disposed in the stack intercepting position shown in F l6. 1 by spring 77. it is understood that switch responds to the supply of articles on conveyor 26 to shutdown supply conveyor 20.
As conveyor 26 brings the stack 12 forward, the leading edge thereof contacts destack arm 55 and swings arm 55 in a counterclockwise direction about shaft 50 against the bias of spring 77. Link 58, which is carried by destack arm support 59. is similarly moved to carry stack support arm 62 downwardly and forwardly into position behind the stack and prevent the topmost articles of the stack from falling downward onto the article conveyor 26. The stack 12 carries the destack arm 55 forward until the leading edge of the stack contacts gates 35 of shingling mechanism 14 which inhibit further forward movement of the stack proper. At this point,
destack arm 55 is substantially parallel with shingling gates 35 as seen in FIG. 2.
The continued movement of article conveyor 26 carries the lower articles of stack 12 forward under destack arm 55 and shingling gates 35 to provide a shingled article output at the discharge side of article conveyor 26. At the same time, the articles comprising stack 12 are laterally offset relative to one another through engagement of their leading edges with destack arm 55 and shingling gates 35 so that the entire stack is arranged in a substantially shingled form. Stack support arm 62, disposed behind and partially underneath the article stack, prevents the topmost articles of the stack from falling down onto the conveyor 26.
While the invention has been described with reference to the structure disclosed, it is not confined to the details set forth, but is intended to cover such modifications, or changes as may come within the cope of the following claims.
1. in an apparatus for reducing the size of an oversized stack of articles to facilitate handling thereof, the combination of,
article conveying means for carrying said article stackforward;
at least one destacking member arranged above said conveying means so as to intercept the oversize portion of said article stack and offset articles comprising said oversized stack portion relative to one another into partially shingled relationship whereby the overall size of said stack is reduced, said destacking member permitting said conveying means to carry the remainder ofsaid stack forward underneath said destacking member as said stack overall size is reduced, and
at least one stack supporting member adapted to support the trailing side of said article stack while the size of said article stack is reduced so as to prevent undesired changes in article orientation.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 including means mounting said stack supporting member for movement from a neutral position out of the path of movement of said stack to a stack supporting position behind said stack trailing edge and,
means responsive to interception of said stack oversized portion by said destacking member for moving said stack supporting member into said stack supporting position.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2 including means supporting said destacking member for limited movemment by said stack form a stack intercepting position to a destacking position; said stack supporting member moving means comprising said destacking member.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3, including means for returning said destacking member to said stack intercepting position and said stack supporting member to said neutral position on reduction of said article stack to a predetermined normal size.
5. An apparatus for reducing the size of a stack of articles to facilitate handling thereof, comprising,
a destacking member adapted to be disposed in the path of movement of the stack of articles at a predetermined height above the lowermost article of said stack such that any portion of said stack above said predetermined height is intercepted by said destacking member;
means supporting said destackimg member for limited lost motion in the direction of movement of the stack from a stack intercepting position to a destacking position;
a stack supporting member upstream of said destacking member and normally positioned out of the path of said stack so as to permit said stack to pass thereby unimpeded toward said destacking member;
means supporting said stack supporting member for movement into a position behind the stack; and
means drivingly connecting said stack supporting member with said destacking member such that movement of said destacking member from said stack intercepting position to said stack destacking position moves said stack supporting member behind said stack whereby to support the stack support means adapted to move into supporting position behind any stack intercepted by said intercept means to support the intercepted stack upper portions against excessive rearward displacement while said stack is in contact with said intercept means; and
means operatively connecting said stack support means with said intercept means such that movement of said intercept means following contact thereof with a stack moves said support means into supporting position behind said stack.
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