US 3637203 A
Apparatus for intermittently feeding sheet material over a table which is automatically arrested by a stop projecting through the table in the path of the sheet material, and at the moment of freeing the sheet material the stop is retracted, and the feeding mechanism automatically brought into operation to advance the sheet material over the stop, and means for resetting the apparatus to quiescent condition immediately the feed has taken place.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Patent 1151 3,637,203
1451 Jan. 25, 1972  APPARATUS FOR FEEDING SHEET 2,693,357 11/1954 Davidson ..271/53 MATERIAL FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Imam" Bryan French 646,181 8/1962 Canada ..271 53 don, England [73.] Assignee: The Sulby Engineering Development Com- Primary Examiner-Joseph wegbreit pany Limited, Worcester Park, Surrey, AltomeyGfeene & England  ABSTRACT  Filed: Feb. 16, 1970 Apparatus for intermittently feeding sheet material over a PP 11,445 table which is automatically arrested by a stop projecting through the table in the path of the sheet material, and at the  Foreign Application Priority Data moment of freeing the sheet material the stop is retracted, and the feeding mechanism automatically brought into operation Feb. 19, 1969 Great Britain ..9,027/69 to advance the heet material over the stop, and means for resetting the apparatus to quiescent condition immediately the U-S. feed has taken place,  Int. Cl ..B65h 9/06 58 Field of Search ..271 53 58 59 60 The Operamr merely Sets the Sheet mama agams the P and awaits the signal to make the feeding apparatus automati-  References Cited Cally 3 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures 1,683,635 9/1928 Thatcher ..27l/53 X mam Jmzsmz INVENTOW LJ 5. fE/TPENCr ".Illl
ATTORNEY APPARATUS FOR FEEDING SHEET MATERIAL This invention relates to apparatus for feeding to an operational station sheet material which is basically flat, such as paper sheets, folded section of paper sheets, synthetic materials or thin metal sheets, and is particularly applicable to the feeding of single or folded sheets of paper and card or similar material.
On many machines it is necessary to feed sheet material in timed relation to the cycle of the machine and where completely automatic feeders are used they are necessarily somewhat complicated.
The present invention provides a simple feeding device as a compromise between the fully automatic feeding of sheets and hand feeding.
Where hand feeding is used to supply sheet material to a machine it is necessary for the operator to feed the sheet material at exactly the right time which requires not only continual attention on the part of the operator but also considerable skill of the operator.
A main object of the present invention is to simplify the hand feeding so that the aspect of skill involved in achieving accurate timed feeding is eliminated.
Apparatus for feeding materials in sheet form along a table constructed according to the present invention is characterized by a longitudinal apertured table, a rocking lever fulcrumed under the table transversely of the aperture carrying at one end an upstanding stop for preventing sheet material from leaving the table and at the other end a free-running roller located in a vertical plane passing through the table aperture, a vertically displaceable support under the lever, resilient means normally holding the support in raised position, means for displacing downwardly the resilient support, complementary contacting faces under the lever and on the support to normally hold the lever set with the stop projecting through and above the table aperture and the free-running roller located below the table surface, said lever being spring biased to rock clockwise and to follow the said support as the latter is being displaced to withdraw the stop below the table surface and to simultaneously raise and ultimately present the free-running roller through the table aperture to sheet material resting on the table, and a driven roll located over the table coplanar with the free-running roller to cooperate with the free-running roller and advance the sheet material on the table when the free-running roller is so raised.
The feeding apparatus constructed according to the present invention may comprise a lever which is biassed by a coiled spring encircling the fulcrum pivot, with one end anchored to the pivot and the other to the lever so that as the lever is allowed to rock, the feed stop is retracted below the table surface and the free roll raised to engage sheet material on the table through the longitudinal aperture thereof to press the sheet material against the driven feed roll, the bias on the lever being insufficient to displace the support.
The apparatus may comprise a support and lever having a configuration such that the lever is held set to keep the feeding roll inoperative and to obstruct the path of feeding the material on the table. Preferably the configuration is such that in the normal position of the lever and the support therefor the said contracting faces are in overall face to face contact, the plane of the surfaces being inclined to the plane containing the surface of the table at an angle holding the feed stop projecting through the longitudinal aperture and the free roll below the table and during displacement of the support the descending end of the lever remains in contact with the contacting surface of the support to continually restrain the clockwise bias on the lever.
In order thatthe present invention may be more clearly understood, a preferred embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows in elevation the feeding device in inoperative position and the feed stop in operative position under the con trol of a solenoid, and shows in chain line the feeding device in operating position, and the feed stop retracted;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation partly in section of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. ll viewed from the left hand side of FIG. 1.
In the drawings like references indicated the same parts.
Referring to the drawings:
The feeding device comprises a table 1 above which is mounted a driven feed roll 2 on a shaft 3 driven in an anticlockwise direction as indicated by the arrow 2a. The lower peripheral surface of the driven roll 2 is a little above the surface of the table. The table is apert'ured lengthwise as indicated at la for the purposes which will become apparent.
The flat feed table 1 may be provided at each side thereof with an adjustable lateral guide (not shown) arranged to overlie the edges of the sheet material supplied to the table in a regular form and also engage the edges: of successive sheets so that they can be moved forward in a substantially straight and even manner. The table is dimensioned and the guides adjustable so as to accommodate the largest size of sheet it is proposed to feed and to permit a stack of the sheets to be located between the guides. One end of the table, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the far end." of the table, is positioned with respect to, or attached to a receiving machine e.g., a book binding machine as hereinafter explained into which machine the sheets of paper material are arranged to be fed.
A bracket 4 is attached to the underface of the table 1, and a lug 5 is attached to bracket 4. An electromagnet coil 6, commonly termed a solenoid is seated on the bracket 4 and an armature 7 located coaxially with the solenoid. Such an armature is normally constructed of a series of superimposed laminations of rectangular section to slide freely in a similar shaped recess in the coil 6. A support in the form of a plate is secured on the armature 7, and a lever 9 is fulcrummed on a headed stud 10 (FIG. 2), in turn mounted in the lug 5 of the table structure. A free-running roller 11 is mounted on an axis pin 12 attached to lever 9 to be coplanar with the driving roll 2.
On the stud 10 carrying the lever 9, is mounted adjacent to the head 10a of the stud 10 a coil spring 13 encircling the lever fulcrum attached by one end of the head 10a and by the other end to the lever 9 as indicated at 9b, this spring being biassed to tend to turn the lever 9 in a clockwise directionso that the end carrying the free roller 11 is urged upwards towards the roller 2.
An upstanding pin 14 is attached to the lever 9 and a helical spring 15 is housed in a is recess 15a in armature 7 This spring 15 exerts sufficient force to overcome the bias of the spring 13 and thus in static (normal) condition keeps lever 9 in the position as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
The plate support 8 is formed with a sloping upper face 8a the inclination of which is upwardly from the left to the right towards the plane containing the surface of the table, as viewed in FIG. 1. The lever 9 is formed with an inclined underface 9a which conforms with the slope on the support 8 so that in the position of rest there is overall face to face contact between the support and the lever.
These faces gradually separate under the concomitant actions of the armature 6, when energized, and of the spring 13, which latter causes the face 9a at the descending end of the lever 9 to follow the descending face 8a of the support 8, thereby imposing a restraint on the clockwise bias imposed by the spring 13 on the lever and thereby avoiding a slap action, as the free-running roller approaches the longitudinal slot la in the table l, and achieves the operative position of the apparatus as shown in chain lines in FIG. 1.
0n deenergizing the solenoid 6, 7, the energy conserved in the spring 15 is utilized to return the lever to quiescent (normal) position through the agency of the support 8 as shown in FIG. 1.
In FIG. 1 there is shown a sheet 16 of paper lying on the table 1 so that at the "far end of the table the sheet abuts against the pin 14 which pin, as hereinafter explained constitutes a retractable stop which stop prevents sheet material from leaving the device until the pin is retracted either to the surface of the table or below that surface. Accordingly when the solenoid coil 6 is energized the armature 7 will be drawn downwards carrying with it the support plate 8 and conserving energy in the spring 15, this movement permitting the lever 9 to rock clockwise about the stud 10 under the bias of the spring 10 which bias is decreasing as the armature 7 descends until the free roller 11 has risen through the aperture 10 and a little above the surface of the table 1 pressing the sheet material 16 (which may be a paper cover for a book) against the lower face of the roller 2 so that the driven roller 2 and the traction thereby obtained advances the sheet 16, without hindrance from the supporting and free-running roller 11, over the table 1, in the direction of the arrow 16a free of superficial defects arising from the drive.
The clockwise pivoting of the lever 9 automatically retracts the pin 14 through the aperture la in the table. This condition of the pin 14 is also shown in chain lines in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
From the foregoing it will be appreciated that under the influence of spring 15 the support 8 holds the lever 9 in a reset position, in which the apparatus is quiescent (normal) position, through the intermediary of the complementary plane surfaces 8a and 9a on the support 8 and the lever 9 respectively which surfaces are in overall face to face contact, and the moment the support is displaced downwardly, the lever is permitted to rock under the bias of its spring 13, effect retraction of the stop pin 14 and simultaneously cause the free roller 11 to rise and present the free roller 11 through the aperture la to the underface of the sheet material on the table, and raise the body of the sheet material into driving relation with the driving roller 2 under the restraint of the descending end of the rocking lever which remains in contact with the upper surface of the support.
The pivoting of the lever 9 can be carried out by mechanical means instead of the solenoid arrangement described above.
When the paper feed is accomplished the operator causes the support 8 to be reset, feed a sheet up to the stop 14 and await the next signal to withdraw the support and thereby permit automatic operation of the feed.
When the sheet material has been advanced by the roll 2 a sufficient distance the sheet 16 can then be picked up by means such as a series of feed rollers, graspers, pins chains and other elements (not shown) to an assembly station where the advanced sheets become associated with complementary binding devices e.g., covers for the assembly.
Accordingly a feeding device according to the present invention is advantageously associated with a book binding machine in which covers are being applied to the backs of books.
In associating the device with such machines it is necessary to arrange the timing of the feeding device according to the invention so that the covers are fed into the machine in the correct time, to be joined up with the books and as required according to when books are being passed through the machine.
In such an association of the feeding device with a book binding machine all the operator has to do is to keep a sheet of the cover material (e.g., a paper back) on the table 1 against the stop pin 14. A simple contact device operated by the books within the associated machine will then at the correct time energize the solenoid 6 and feed the sheet of material into the book binding machine, no exact timing being required from the operator who merely has to replace a new cover as one is taken away from the feeding device according to the invention, the timing being carried out by the books within the associated book binding machine.
A feeding device according to the present invention may also be used for overcoming to a considerable extent any unreliability in an automatic feeder of sheet material to an associated machine.
For this purpose the feeding device constructed according to the invention may be placed between the automatic feeder which would be driven at a speed substantially faster than the associated machine itself, and to employ the feeding device in this way a detector mechanism l7, l8, e.g., a photo electric cell 17 being the projector lamp above the table and 18 the receiver cell under the table 1, the table being additionally apertured as indicated at 19 in FIG. 1 to permit the light to pass through the table to the cell. except when a sheet of material is in position against the pin 14.
Thus if the automatic feeder is run constantly but independently of the book binding machine and at sufficiently higher speed it could feed a sheet of material unless the light was obturated by sheet material on the table, in which circumstance the automatic feed feeding would stop. This result can also be achieved by using a sensing pin having a rounded end resting on the table, and the stopping of the automatic feed effected by utilizing the axial displacement of the pin when raised by the passage of sheet material on the table towards the pin 14 to interrupt the power supply to the automatic feeder.
Moreover should the automatic feeder fail to feed on one cycle it would continue to operate and make a further cycle on which it can reasonably be assumed it would feed a sheet of material and thus the consequence of misfeeding of the automatic feeder would not necessarily result in the bookbinding machine being long delayed by lack of sheet material.
From the foregoing it will be appreciatedthat the feeding device herein described may be advantageously used to simplify the hand feeding of paper sheets into either a printing machine or a bookbinding machine. In use with a printing machine a stack of sheets is placed on he feed table between the lateral guides and closely adjacent the edge of the table at which the operator is positioned.
A single sheet is removed by the operator from the top of the stack and fed in a forward direction between the lateral guides until its forward travel is arrested by the pin 14 projecting above the level of the table at the far end thereof. The sheet remains against the pin until energization of the solenoid winding causes the small pin to be withdrawn below the level of the surface of the feed table, simultaneously, the free roller 11 on the lever 9 is raised such that the sheet of paper is pressed against the driven roll 2 by the free roller 11 and fed between them.
The feeding device constructed as herein described may be used for feeding any substantially flat articles and may be adapted in many ways to reduce the need for human accuracy in timed feeding processes, or as a safeguard against the misfeed of an automatic feeding device.
1. Apparatus for feeding materials in sheet form along a table, characterized by a longitudinally apertured table, a rocking levei', fulcrumed under the table transversely of the aperture, and the lever carrying at one end an upstanding stop for preventing sheet material leaving the table and at the other end a free-running roller located in a vertical plane passing through the table aperture, a vertically displaceable support under the lever, resilient means normally holding the support in raised position, means for displacing downwardly the resilient support, complementary contacting faces under the lever and on the support to normally hold the lever set with the stop projecting through and above the table aperture and the free-running roller located below the table surface, said lever being spring biased to rock and to follow the said support as the latter is being displaced to withdraw the stop below the table surface and to simultaneously raise and ultimately present the free-running roller through the table aperture into contact with sheet material resting on the table, and a driven roll located over the table coplanar with the free-running roller to cooperate with the latter and advance the sheet material on the table when the free-running roller is so raised.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the lever is biased by a coiled spring encircling the lever fulcrum, with one end anchored to the fulcrum and the other to the lever so that as the lever is allowed to rock said upstanding stop is retracted below the table surface and the free-running roller is raised to engage sheet material on the table through the longitudinal aperture thereof, to press the sheet material against the driven roll, the bias on the lever being insufficient to displace the support.
and the free-running roller remains below the table, and whereby during displacement of the support the descending end of the lever remains in contact with the contacting surface of the support to continually restrain the bias on the lever.