US 3655281 A
A billing system for a xerographic reproducing machine. Large copy sheets fed through the machine will register on a first billing meter. Copy sheets of a smaller size may register the copy on a second billing meter or on the first billing meter depending on the optical reduction employed. The billing system may be modified so that various combinations of copy sheet sizes and optical reductions may be registered on one of the plurality meters.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0 United States Patent [151 3,655,281 Warren 5] Apr, 11, 1972 54] BILLING APPARATUS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Inventor: Larry H. Warren, East Rochester, NY. 850,083 9/1939 France ..235/98.4  Assignee: Xerox Corporation, Rochester, NY. Primary Examiner samuel S Matthews 22 Filed; Dec 30, 19 9 Assistant Examiner-Robert P. Greiner I Attorney-James J. Ralabate, Norman E. Schrader and PP N05 889,023 Michael J. Colitz, Jr.
52 us. Cl ..355/3, 235/98 B, 355/55  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl ..G03g 15/00, G06n 7/06 A billing system for a xerographic reproducing machine.  Field of Search ..355/3, 11, 14,55, 56, 57, Large copy sheets fed through the machine will register on a 35 53 59; 235 93, 9 1 11 93 B first billing meter. Copy sheets of a smaller size may register the copy on a second billing meter or on the first billing meter  References Cited depending on the optical reduction employed. The billing system may be modified so that various combinations of copy UNITED STATES PATENTS sheet sizes and optical reductions may be registered on one of the plurality meters. 3,397,627 8/1968 Brunmg et al ..355/14 X 3,024,985 3/1962 l-leil ..235/98.4 X 6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures @FJEDEE PATENTEDAPR H I972 8,655,281
SHEET 2 OF 3 This invention relates to billing systems for reproducing apparatus and in particular to an improved billing system for xerographic reproducing machines wherein flexibility of billing is provided as a function of the size of the copy sheet and the optical reduction employed.
In the process of xerography, as disclosed for example in US. Pat. No. 2,297,691 issued Oct. 6, 1942 to Chester F. Carlson, a xerographic plate comprising a layer of photoconductive insulating material on a conductive backing is given a uniform electrostatic charge over its surface. The surface is then exposed to a light or radiation pattern of the object to be reproduced to discharge the charge in the areas exposed to the light. This selected discharge of the xerographic plate will thus create a latent electrostatic image of the object to be reproduced. Development of the image is effected with developing material comprising, in general, a mixture of suitable pigmented or dyed electroscopic powder hereinafter referred to as carrier, which functions to generate triboelectric charges on the toner.
In the development of the image, the toner particles are brought into surface contact with the latent electrostatic images whereupon the toner will adhere thereto in imagewise configurations. Thereafter the developed xerographic image is transferred to a support material such as paper as by electrostatic means. The xerographic surface and copy sheet are then separated to create, after fixing the toner to the support material, a permanent copy of the original object or document.
In conventional copying machines that are utilized on a leased basis, it is a common practice to bill customers at a rate related to the number of copies made. In some instances, the billing systems of reproducing machines are arranged such that customers will get a reduced copy rate on a copy run where multiple copies are made of a single document inasmuch as the use of the machine for many single or short copy runs will result in increased wear on the machine as compared with a smaller number of runs of multiple copies. It is thus preferred to adjust charges for copies on a basis proportionate to the actual wear or usage imposed upon the machine.
More sophisticated reproducing machines have been developed in recent years necessitating, in turn, a more sophisticated billing system to be employed therewith. For example, xerographic machines have been proposed wherein the copy sheet to which the toner image is transferred may be at a preselected size or characteristic as programmed on the machine by an operator. And in some instances, xerographic machines have been proposed which are capable of making optical reductions of the original document. With these variable operating modes available in reproducing machines, it is thus desirable to have machine flexibility in the billing of customers of leased machines having these characteristics to thereby charge the customer a rate proportionate with the service received.
It is therefore an object of the instant invention to improve billing systems in reproducing machines.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide for a billing system in a reproducing machine which bills as a function of the size of the copy sheet upon which the copy is produced.
A further object of the instant invention is to pulse to one of a plurality of billing meters as a function of the characteristic of the copy sheet fed through the machine and the optical reduction of the original document.
A further object of the instant invention is to bill users of a leased reproducing machine as a function of the service received.
These and other objects of the instant invention are attained by a billing system employing a plurality of meters whereby a copy sheet being fed through the reproducing machine will cause the activation of one of the billing meters as a function of the characteristic of the copy sheet and the optical reduction. The system is flexible in that it is possible to vary the relationship between the copy sheet characteristic and the optical reductions so that certain combinations thereof will activate one of the billing meters or the other.
Other objects and advantages and further features of the in stant invention will be understood when reading the following specification and claims and the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an isometric illustration of the xerographic reproducing machine employing the billing system of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of the machine of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an electrical schematic of that portion of the reproducing machine of FIG. 1 and 2 pertinent to the billing system of the instant invention;
FIG. 4 is an isometric showing of the programming cardreceiver and a programming card for permitting the the billing system to operate in a predetermined manner;
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are schematic showings of various programming cards which could be employed in the circuit of FIG. 3.
A typical xerographic reproducing machine which is adaptable to employ the billing system of the instant invention is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The machine has a xerographic member including a photoconductive member on a conductive backing formed in the shape of drum 10. The xerographic drum is mounted on a shaft journaled in the frame of the machine to rotate in the direction as indicated by the arrow. This movement causes the drum surface to move sequentially past the plurality of xerographic processing stations.
For the purpose of the present disclosure, the several xerographic processing stations in the path of movement of the drum surface may be described functionally as follows:
A charging station A at which a uniform electrostatic charge is deposited on the photoconductive layer of the xerographic drum;
An exposure station B at which a light or radiation pattern of a copy to be reproduced is projected onto the drum surface to dissipate the drum charge in the exposed areas thereof, thereby forming a latent electrostatic image of the copy to be reproduced;
A development station C, at which the xerographic developing material including toner particles having an electrostatic charge opposite that of the latent electrostatic image is cascaded over the drum surface whereby the toner particles adhere to the latent electrostatic image to form a xerographic powder image in the configuration of the copy being reproduced;
A transfer station D at which the xerographic powder image is electrostatically transferred from the drum surface to the backing sheet which is moved into contact with the drum surface in registration with the toner image thereon; and
A drum cleaning and discharge station E at which the drum surface is brushed to remove residual toner particles remaining thereon after image transfer and at which the drum surface is exposed to a relatively bright light source to effect substantially complete discharge of any residual electrostatic charge remaining thereon.
The foregoing description is sufficient for the purpose of this application to show the general operation of the xerographic mechanisms. More complete descriptions of the various xerographic stations may be had by reference to US. Pat. No. 3,301,126 issued to Osborne et a].
In addition to the apparatus disclosed in the aforementioned Osborne et al. patent, the xerographic reproducing machine as illustrated herein is also provided with supplemental mechanisms to increase the overall utility of the machine. The operators basic position in using the machine disclosed herein is facing the control panel 12, the document support drum 14 of the document conveyor assembly and the first copy catch tray 16. An array of operational control buttons and dials face the operator and include buttons 18, 20, and 22 for controlling the optical reduction in association with the speed of rotation of a document supporting drum. Dials 24 permit the selection of the number of copies to be made. Also in the control panel are buttons 26 and 28 whereby trays 30 and 32 supporting sheet material of different characteristics are positioned for permitting the feeding of copy sheet material through the machine. Furthermore, a folder button 34 is provided whereby sheet material of a larger size may be folded prior to its movement to exterior of the machine at the second copy catch tray 36.
In using the machine, the operator places and secures the leading edge of the document to be reproduced beneath gripper fingers 38 of the document drum. Depression of the start print button 40 will then convey the original document past the illumination means 42 to flowingly project an image by the optical assembly 44 onto the rotating xerographic drum so that a latent electrostatic image may be created thereon for being transferred to a copy sheet fed through the transfer zone to exterior of the machine.
Prior to the depression of the start print button the operator has a plurality of options in selecting the characteristic of the copy to be made. For example, if the 100 percent reduction button 18 is depressed the optical assembly will seek the left hand position as illustrated in FIG. 2. In this orientation no add lenses will be in the optical path and the lens carriage will abut against the actuator arm of relay K-20. If the 50 percent reduction button 22 is depressed, the lens will seek the position on the right hand side of the optical assembly whereat one of the add lenses will be in the optical path and the actuator arm of relay K-22 will be depressed. At the 65 percent reduction mode, with button depressed, the lens is in an intermediate position with the other add lens in the optical path and no optical relay actuated.
In association with the lens assembly seeking its proper location upon the depression of a particular optical reduction button, the document conveyor assembly will be automatically geared to move at a rate correlated to the optical reduction sought to thereby create latent electrostatic images on the moving drum in proper proportions. Further details of the optical system employed in the instant invention are disclosed in US. application Ser. No. 829,605 filed June 2, 1969 in the name of George D. DelVecchio. The particular optical assembly disclosed herein is by way of example only since various numbers of optical reductions or magnifications could be employed to determine the characteristics of the copy.
The A and B buttons, 26 and 28, on the panel of the machine will function to move either the A tray 30 or the B tray 32 into operative positions beneath the sniffer tubes 46 for being forwarded to the xerographic transfer station D. These trays are adapted to support copy sheet material of diverse characteristics as for example, copy sheets of different size, color or quality. In a preferred mode, the A tray is adapted to support A size copy sheets, i.e., about 8 /2 X 11 inches while the B tray is adapted to support B size copy sheets, i.e., about 11 X 17 inches. When feeding sheets from the A tray, the B tray will be in a lower-most position as shown in FIG. 2 contacting and depressing the actuator arm of relay I(23. When positioned to feed copy sheets from the B tray and the A tray is moved horizontally with respect to the B tray away from the sniffer tubes and both the A tray and the B tray are raised to operatively position the copy sheets of the B tray adjacent the sniffer tubes. In this position, the actuator arm of relay I(-23 is unactuated. Further details of a copy sheet support tray of this type are disclosed in pending application Ser. No. 829,607 filed June 2, 1969 in the name of George D. DelVecchio et al.
Provided in the xerographic reproducing machine are a pair of billing meters 47 and 48 preferably referred to as the A meter and the B meter. In the preferred mode, all xerographic reproductions made onto the copy sheet material in the B tray are recorded as a predetermined number of impulses to the B meter, as for example, one copy sheet, one pulse to the billing meter and the stepping of the meter one count. This is readily accomplished by the movement of the leading edge of the copy sheet across the actuating arm of relay K-46 to actuate it and momentarily close contact K-46-l. Since Bsize copy sheet is being fed, the B tray is in its up position inactivating relay K-23 to render K-23b closed and K-23a open for providing a through electrical path to the B meter only upon the momentary closing of K-46-l regardless of the state of the optical reduction relays [(-20 and K-22. In this mode, the other contact of K-23, i.e. K-23a remains open so that no pulse may be registered on the A meter.
With the arrangement as shown in FIG. 3, the system has employed the second programming card 200, as shown in FIG. 6, coupled into the circuit by the programming card receiving member 50 which has leads 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55 thereto. The programming cards 100, 200 and 300 are circuit jumper boards of an insulating material with conductive prongs 101-105, 201-205 and 301-305 engageable with the five apertures of the card receiving member 50. Conductive connector member or strips 106, 206, 207 and 306 can thus couple selected leads 51-55 of the circuit while rendering other leads non-functional.
In this mode, copy sheets from the A tray will be pulsed onto the B meter if 50 percent reductions are desired. More specifically, with the A tray in position for feeding sheet material, the tray assembly is lowered actuating K-23 to open K-23b and close K-23a. K-20 the percent reduction relay is unactuated rendering K-20b closed and K-20a open. But with the lens in the 50 percent position, the actuator arm of K-22 is contacted reversing K-22 to close K-22a and open K-22b. In this mode, the closing of K-46 by the movement of a copy sheet through the machine will cause the pulsing of the B meter through I(23a, K-20b, strip 206, I(-22a, strip 207 and K-46-1 which is momentarily closed by the passage of the sheet. Note is taken that the finger 201 contacting lead 51 is non-conductive and is of no consequence to this mode of operation. Conductive strip 206 couples fingers 202 and 205 to couple leads 52 and 55 while conductive strip 207 couples fingers 203 and 204 to couple leads 53 and 54 in this operational mode.
When feeding sheet material from the A tray in the 100 percent or 65 percent mode, the A meter rather than the B meter will be pulsed. In the 100 percent optical position and the A tray in operative position, K-23 and K-20 will both be activated. This will thus provide a path to the A meter from the power source PS-l through K-23a, K-20a and momentarily closed K-46-2. With the tray in the A position and the 65 percent reduction button depressed, the path to the A meter is completed through K-23a, I(-20b, strip 206, K-22b and K-46-2.
The disclosed machine has the capability to direct not only the A size copy sheets with 65 percent and 100 percent reduction to the A meter but also be adapted to direct only A size copy sheets with 100 percent reduction to the A meter. This is done by simply replacing the programming card 200 with circuit 100 in the card receiving member 50. This second programming card will remove the electrical couplings between the lines 52 and 55 and between lines 53 and 54 and replace them with an electrical coupling on fingers 104 and 105 between lines 54 and 55 only. Non-conducting fingers I01, 102 and 103 inactivate leads 5], 52 and 53. Thus, in this operating mode, pulses to the B meter as caused by B size copy sheets being fed through the machine will function in the same manner as that described on the first programming card. When, however, A size copy sheets at 100 percent reduction are to be made, pulses to the A meter will be supplied through K-23a, K-20a and a momentarily closed K-46-2. Pulses to the B meter will be supplied as A size copy sheets are fed through the machine in either the 65 percent or 50 percent reduction. In the 50 percent reduction mode, the line to the A meter is through K-23a, K-20b, lead 106 and the momentarily closed K-46-1. This is the same path to the B meter if the 65 percent reduction is desired since the state of K-22 will not change this last mentioned path.
In the third billing mode, the third programming card 300 is employed to couple lines 51 and 55 only through the conductive lead 306 on fingers 301 and 305. Fingers 302, 303, and 304 are non-functioning to inactivate leads 52, 53 and 54. In this mode, like in the first two mentioned modes, the B meter is pulsed by the movement of a B size copy sheet through the same circuit path as previously described. With the A tray in position, the contact 14-23 is energized regardless of the optical reduction mode desired. If 100 percent reduction is desired, the path to the A meter is through K-23a, K-20a and K-46-2. If the 50 percent reduction is desired, the path to the A meter is through K-23a, K-20b, lead 306 and K-46-2. The reversing of K-22 has no effect on this arrangement.
As can be seen from the foregoing, the billing system of the instant invention is readily adapted to vary the billing mode depending on the particular copy sheet support tray employed and the optical reduction desired. The pulses to be recorded on the various billing meters are readily varied by the proper choice of the programming card. In all instances the feeding of copy sheets from the B tray will register on the B meter while the feeding of copy sheets from the A tray will register on the A meter for at least some, and in one instance all, of the optical reductions desired. With the FIG. 5 card, only A sized sheets at 100 percent magnification will register on the A meter, all others on the B meter. With the FIG. 6 card, A sized sheets at 100 percent and 65 percent will register on the A meter, all others will register on the B meter. And with the FIG. 7 card, all A sized copy sheets will register on the A meter while all B sized copy sheets will register on the B meter.
While the instant invention as to its objects and advantages as described as being carried out in the particular embodiment hereof, it is not intended to be limited thereby but it is intended to cover the invention broadly within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. Reproducing apparatus including means for supporting a document to be reproduced,
optical means for projecting light rays from the document for use in creating a copy of the document,
means to vary the optical means to create the copy at a preselected optical reduction,
means for supporting sheet material of a first characteristic thereadjacent,
means for supporting sheet material of a second characteristic thereadjacent,
means to feed sheet from a preselected sheet supporting means through the apparatus for receiving an image thereon corresponding to the original document, and circuit means including a plurality of indexable meters,
means to pulse one of said meters as sheet material is fed through the apparatus,
means to detect which of said sheet material supporting means is feeding sheet material,
- means to detect which optical reduction is being employed, and
means to pulse a preselected meter as a function of the state of said last two detecting means.
2. Reproducing apparatus of the type wherein a copy of an original is reproduced upon a sheet of final support material including first selectively operable means for feeding sheets of final support material having a preselected characteristic through said reproducing apparatus wherein an image of the original is placed on said sheet,
second selectively operable means to reduce the size of the original reproduced upon said support sheet,
a plurality of meters being arranged to record the copies reproduced,
circuit means to selectively actuate one of said meters in response to the state of said first and second selectively operable means whereby a count indicative of both the sheet characteristic and the image size contained therein is recordable on said actuated meter, and pulsing means to reg1ster a count upon said selectively actuated meter in response to the feeding of a sheet of final support material through said reproducing apparatus.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein one of said meters is pulsed for each sheet of final support material of a first characteristic produced by said apparatus.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said one of said meters is pulsed for each sheet of final support material of a second characteristic processed therein having recorded thereon a reduced image of said original.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein another of said meters is pulsed for each sheet of final support material of a different characteristic produced by said apparatus.
6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said circuit means includes programming means for actuating said meters in response to various preselected combinations of sheet characteristics and image size reductions.