US 3753560 A
Sheet feed apparatus for an automatic copy machine in which a plurality of tray members each support a corresponding stack of sheets of differing characteristic. A vertical transporter arranged at the delivery end of sheet tray members defines a common exit path leading to a paper tray of a copy machine and copy processing stations. A sheet feed roll associated with each of the stacks engages the topmost sheet thereof in response to electrical signals. A control circuit supplies electrical signals to the appropriate sheet feed roll to feed automatically a preselected number of sheets from a one of the stacks toward the common exit path, then a preselected number of sheets from another of the stacks, and so forth. When all of the desired sheets are in the paper tray of the copy machine, it is automatically activated for transport of the sheets past copy processing stations.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Kapral et al.
[4s] Aug. 21, 1973 AUXILIARY SHEET FEEDER  Inventors: John J. Kapral, Union Hill, N.Y.;
Thomas E. Coggin, Greensboro,
 Assignee: Xerox Corporation, Stamford, Conn.
 Filed: Jan. 3, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 214,039
2,536,356 1/1951 Dager 271/9 X 3,556,516 l/l97l Jones ct al. 271/36 3,395,913 8/1968 DclVccchio et al.. 271/64 2,989,181 6/1961 Dickinson 271/9 X r a Emmiwwfive C-Bhmk Assistant Examiner-James W. Miller Attorney-James J. Ralabate et a1.
[5 7] ABSTRACT Sheet feed apparatus for an automatic copy machine in which a plurality of tray members each support a corresponding stack of sheets of differing characteristic. A vertical transporter arranged at the delivery end of sheet tray members defines a common exit path leading to a paper tray of a copy machine and copy processing stations. A sheet feed roll associated with each of the stacks engages the topmost sheet thereof in response to electrical signals. A control circuit supplies electrical signals to the appropriate sheet feed roll to feed automatically a preselected number of sheets from a one of the stacks toward the common exit path, then a preselected number of sheets from another of the stacks, and so forth. When all of the desired sheets are in the paper tray of the copy machine, it is automatically activated for transport of the sheets past copy processing stations.
3 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Patented Aug. 21,1973
9 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented Aug. 21, 1973 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented Aug. 21, 1973 3,753,560
9 Sheets-Sheet :5
Patented Aug. 21, 1973 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 Patented Aug. 21, 1973 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 w a l on Patented Aug. 21, 1973 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 MN \J J r .II I I l h m IJ QQN QRN NNN Patented Aug. 21, 1973 3,753,560
' 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 Patented Aug. 21, 1973 3,753,560
9 Sheets-Sheet 8 Fig. IO.
Patented Aug. 21, 1973 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 1 AUXILIARY SHEET FEEDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to improvements in automatic copying machines and, particularly, to improvements in sheet feed apparatus for feeding cut sheets of different characteristics into an automatic copying machine for transport past processing stations.
As the number of office copying machines has grown in recent years, the uses to which such machines are put has also expanded. Organizations now require multiple copies of a source document, and frequently these copies must be on sheets of differing characteristics. While automatic copying machines are useful for producing either a small or large number of copies of a source document, their use becomes more cumbersome and less efficient when the supply of copy sheets must be changed after making a few copies, in order to produce additional copies on sheets of different characteristics. The desired sheet characteristics may include the use of preprinted forms, letterheads, and sheets of varying size, color or weight.
With the present invention, it is possible to reproduce information from a source document conveniently and economically, on sheets of differing characteristic, and to generally improve the speed and efficiency with which copies of this type are produced. This is effected with an auxiliary sheet feeder containing trays of copy paper of various characteristics, and associated feed rollers which feed sheets of a specified characteristic and number to the copying machine in a predetermined sequence, upon merely setting appropriate controls.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide apparatus to automatically feed sheets of different characteristic automatically into an automatic copying machine, for subsequent transport past copy processing stations.
It is another object of this invention to provide apparatus to automatically feed a predetermined number of sheets of a first characteristic, a predetermined number of sheets of a second characteristic, and so on, automatically into an automatic copying machine, for subsequent transport past copy processing stations.
It is a further object of this invention to provide apparatus to automatically pre-collate sheets of different characteristic in the paper feed tray of an automatic copying machine, for subsequent transport past copying processing stations.
These and other objects of the invention are attained by a novel sheet feed apparatus which feeds cut sheets of different characteristic automatically into an automatic copying machine for transport past copying stations in accordance with a selected source document to be reproduced.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For better understanding of the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed description of the invention to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic section view of an embodiment of the sheet feeder apparatus of the invention in operative relationship with the processing stations of an exemplary copying machine;
FIG. 2 is a side sectional view of an embodiment of the sheet feed apparatus of the invention with parts broken away to show details thereof;
FIG. 3 is a right-hand perspective view of one of the sheet feed trays which may be employed in the invention;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the sheet feed tray of FIG.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of one of the paper separator rollers and associated elements which may be employed with each of the paper trays of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the paper separator roller drive and tensioning elements which may be employed with the paper separator roller of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a side sectional view of a vertical transport mechanism which may be employed in the invention;
FIG. 8 is an end view of the vertical transport mechanism shown in FIG. 7, with the sheet feed trays removed;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing cooperation of the sheet sensor switch with the tray of a supplemental copy feeder which may be employed in conjunction with the present invention;
FIG. 10 is a simplified schematic drawing of the drive train for a plurality of the paper separator rollers shown in FIG. 5; and
FIG. 11 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for an embodiment of the apparatus of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, the sheet feeder apparatus of the invention is shown adjacent a supplemental copy sheet feeder 102 which is in turn mounted on an electrophotographic copying machine 104. It will be appreciated that the present invention may be employed with essentially any automatic copying machine that accepts discrete sheets of copy paper. A complete description of the supplemental copy sheet feeder I02 will be found in U.S. Pat. No. 3,415,5I0 to Mileski, assigned to the same assignee as the instant invention, and while the present invention will be described with reference to use in conjunction with such a device, it will be understood that it is not so limited.
Understanding of the invention will be facilitated by consideration of its use in conjunction with an exemplary copying machine 104 which, as shown in FIG. 1, is an automatic xerographic copying machine. As explained in detail hereinbelow, pre-collated sheets of desired characteristic and number are delivered from the auxiliary sheet feeder apparatus 100 of the present invention to the supplemental copy sheet feeder 102. The automatic xerographic reproducing machine 104 includes a drum-shaped photoreceptive surface 110, including a conductive backing, joumaled in a frame to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrowto cause points on the surface sequentially to pass a plurality of processing stations.
For the purpose of the present disclosure, the several processing stations around the periphery of the surface may be described briefly as follows:
A charging station A at which an electrostatic charge is created on the photoreceptive surface;
An exposure station 8 at which image radiation representative of the document to be copied is supplied to the plate surface to render the surface selectively conductive in the exposed areas thereof, and thereby es tablish a latent image of the copy to be reproduced;
A developing station C at which developing material including toner particles form a toner image representative of the document to be copied;
A transfer station D at which the toner image is transferred from the surface 110 to a transfer material or a support surface fed by the sheet feeding mechanism 112 and registered in time sequence with the image formed on the surface 110 by the register mechanism 114; and
A drum cleaning and discharge station E at which residual toner particles remaining on surface 110 are removed, and the surface is exposed to a relatively bright light to discharge any residual charge remaining thereon.
It is felt that the preceding description of the xerographic process is sufficient for an understanding of this invention.
The sheet feeding mechanism 112 used to separate the topmost sheets one at a time from the top of the stack containing in the supplemental copy feeder 102, and to feed the sheets to the paper transport 116 may be formed as an integral unit of the copying machine or, as shown in the drawings, may be formed as a separate unit connected to the frame of the copying machine. Such a sheet feed mechanism is disclosed in .l. W. Wagner U.S. Pat. No. 3,241,830, assigned to the same assignee as the instant invention and reference is made to the disclosure contained thereinfor the specific details of such an apparatus.
The embodimentof the sheet feeder 100 of the invention shown in FIG. 1 comprises in its essential parts a plurality of sheet feed trays 120, 122, 124 supported between left and right frame plates (not shown), from which sheets 126, 128, 130, each of a different characteristic, are fed to the vertical transport mechanism 132, which defines a common exit path from each of the trays, and thence into supplemental copy sheet feeder 102.
As set forth more completely hereinbelow, with sheets of different characteristic loaded into the respective trays, the operator dials the number of sheets desired from each tray and presses the start button. The sheets are fed automatically into the paper feed tray of the copying machine or, as shown in FIG. 1, onto the top of stack 118 in supplemental feeder 102. When the last sheet is received, the copying machine is automatically put in the ready" condition. It will be noted that the last sheet fed from the auxiliary sheet feeder of the invention is the topmost sheet in stack 118, and will be the first sheet to be fed into the automatic copying machine. This must be taken into account if the automatic copying machine is used in conjunction with a sheet distributor. A modular sheet distribution compatible with the equipment described herein is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,460,824 of K. E. Bahr et al., also assigned to the same assignee as the instant invention.
The embodiment of the sheet feeder apparatus of the invention shown in FIG. 2 generally comprises a frame 134 supporting three trays, a top tray 120; a center tray 122 and a lower tray 124, each of which holds a stack of sheets (not shown) and is adjustable for sheet size as will become more apparent hereafter. Of course, the number of trays employed may be varied. The range of sheet sizes accomodated by trays 120, 122, 124 should be equal to the sizes of sheets which the associated copying machine is equipped to handle. If the maximum sheet size the machine is equipped to handle is 8 A inches by 14 inches, for example, each of trays 120, 122 and 124 should be adjustable to accommodate that size, 8 inch by 14 inch, 8 #2 inch by ll inch and 8 inch by l 1 inch sheet material. If a broader range of sizes of sheet material is to be used, trays 120, I22'and 124 must be correspondingly adjustable. Each tray is similarly constructed and interchangeable and hence only one of the trays need be described, it being understood that all the trays function in a similar manner.
It will be appreciated that the design of the trays is not critical and paper feed trays of any appropriate type may be used. A tray satisfactory for use with the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4. In FIG. *3, the tray comprises a base member 136 having a center channel in the form of a slot 138. A stack of sheets (not shown) is positioned longitudinally and laterally on the tray by means of margin guides 140 and 142 which are adjustably mounted on the tray by means of a shaft 144. Margin guides 140, 142 are adjustable longitudinally on the tray by a back guide assembly 146 which is adapted to be selectively positioned along the length of the tray in locating holes 148 which correspond to a particular sheet length. Referring now to both FIGS. 3 and 4, back guide assembly 146 includes a back guide plate 150 which has guide members 152, 154 that are received in slot 138 and one or more pin members 156 which are adapted to be received in holes 148. To enable longitudinal positioning of back guide assembly 146, back guide plate 150 is lifted upwardly so as to remove the pin members 156 from holes 148 and then lowered to position the pin members into the particular holes for the corresponding length desired as conveniently indicated by guide lines 159 etched in base member 136. For ease of location of the back guide assembly an indicator member 158 is provided to facilitate alignment with the guide lines.
To enable lateral adjustment of the margin guides, each of the guides is bored to receive a detent 160 in the form of a ball which is biased by a spring 162 into one of the suitably positioned notches 164 formed on shaft 144 so that the margin guide can be readily indexed by an operator into the desired position for the various sheet widths. To facilitate location of the margin guides, guide lines and numerals are etched in shaft It is essential for proper operation that only a single sheet be fed from a stack at a time. Separation of a top sheet from the one directly below it is facilitated by side frictional retention, by means of a pair of pressure pads 166 made of rubber or other suitable material carried by margin guides 140 and 142. Pressure pads 166 are mounted in such fashion that they can be replaced whenever desired. To this end each pad 166 is secured as by cement to a carrier member 168 which is carried in a bracket member 170 formed as a bent leaf spring to normally bias the pressure pad against the side margin of the sheet stack. To facilitate placing or removal of a stack of sheets on the tray there is provided a cam 172 formed in lever arm 174 that is loosely journaled in the side of each margin guide whereby the free end of the bracket member 170 can be cammed away from the side of the sheet stack by rotation of lever arm 174 which has a lever portion 176 formed at one end thereof.
To further assure the feeding of sheets singly from the stack there is provided one or more drag rollers 178 that is adjustably positioned to rest on .the topmost sheet of the stack. Drag rollers 178 are rotatably journaled on apair ofarrn members 180 rotatably mounted on shaft 144 on opposite sides of back guide plate 150. Each of the drag'rollers 178 is preferably made as a solid piece and is arranged in its operative position adjacent to the rear end of the sheet stack so that as .a trailing edge of .the topmost sheetof the stack is advanced only a short distance from under the drag rollers, they will be immediately effective to place a drag resistance on the next sheet .to prevent its advance to any undesirable degree by friction from the topmost advancing sheet. When a stack of sheets is to be inserted into the tray, drag rollers 178 are placed in an inoperative position by merely rotating the arm members 180 around shaft 144.
The tray is slidably supported in the frame 134 by a right-hand bracket 182 and a left-hand bracket 184 which receive a bracket portion 186 secured to the frame. Detent members 188 are secured on each of the brackets 182, 184 at the ends to facilitate locking the tray in the frame but may be overriden forremoval of the tray from the frame.
Each of the paper feed trays 120, 122 and 124 has associated therewith near the feed end a roller which normally rests on the top sheet in a stack and which drives that sheet from the stack when rotated. For this purpose, as shown in FIG. 5, there is provided a paper feeding and separating means comprising intermittently driven rollers 190 fixedly mounted upon shaft 191 journaled in bearings 192 mounted in am 193 adapted to swing about the axis of shaft 194. As shown in FIG. 5, the arm 193 consists of arm shells 195 and 196 butted together and held in place by screws 197 extending through the arm shells to be threaded into spacers 198.
The means for driving the rollers 190 comprises pulley 199 secured to a conventional slip clutch 200, and pulley 201 mounted on shafts 191 and 194, respectively, and operatively connected together by means of timing belt 202.
The slip clutch 200 permits the rollers 190 to be rotated either by timing belt 202 or by frictional contact with a sheet of transfer material as it is pulled forward by feed rollers of sheet transport mechanism 132, described below.
Shaft 194, which is journaled by bearing 203 in frame 134 and by bearing 204 in arm shell 195, is normally biased to the left as seen in FIG. 5 by means of spring 205 interposed between snap ring 206 on shaft 194 and shaft encircling washer 207 butted against frame 134. As shaft 194 is forced to the left, the notched end of said shaft is forced into the aperture in the end of shaft 194' to engage drive pin 208 secured therein. As shown in FIG. 6 shaft 194' is journaled in bearings 209 positioned in the side plate of the machine and bearings 209 in sleeve 210, mounted in frame member 135. Shaft 194 is provided with a Bendix 90 volt clutch 211A and a drive pulley 21 1B journaled thereon. Energizing clutch 211A causes pulley 2118 to rotate shafts 194' and 194. Washers 212 and 213 ride against a shoulder on shaft 194' to prevent axial movement of said shaft to the left as seen in FIG. 6.
It is desirable to be able to adjust the pressure of rollers on'the stack of transfer material in a paper tray, andtothis end the arm 193 is'fixed to one-end of arm shaft .214, the opposite end of the arm shaft being notched to engage drive pins215 secured to the counterbored end of sleeve 210 journaled in frame 135, the sleeve being retained against axial movement to the right as seen in FlGS. 5 and 6 bysnap ring 216*secured in asuitable groove formed in the sleeve 210.
A springtension sleeve 217, having gear 218 secured thereon by pins 219, is loosely mounted by a bearing 209' adjacent to sleeve 210 on shaft 194', and is axially aligned onthe shaft by thrust bearing 220 abutting snap ring 221 positioned in a suitable ,groove on the shaft. Torque is appliedby means of coil spring 222 secured at one end by spring pin 223 to sleeve 210 and at its opposite end to spring tension sleeve 217 by having the end of the spring forcedinto a suitable aperture in said spring tension sleeve. By rotating gear 218 by'means of chain 224 operated in a suitable manner (not shown) by a control lever, roller pressure on the stack ofpaper in a paper tray can be adjusted by an operator to accommodate any weight paper used as a transfer material. This is an optional and not a necessary feature, however.
To permit the rollers 190 to clear a stack of transfer material in a tray as the tray is moved to its normal operating position, or when the tray is removed from its normal operating position,'there is provided a cam arm 225 and cam follower 226 to pivot arm 193 to elevate the rollers 190.
As shown, cam arm 225, having a cam riser at one end thereof is secured at its opposite end, as by welding, to sleeve 210 connected by means of arm shaft 214 and arm pins 215 to the arm 193, whereby movement of the cam arm 225 effects an equal movement of arm 193. To effect movement of cam arm 225 as the tray 136 is moved into or out of its normal operating position, the cam follower 226 is secured to a cam follower support 227 fixed to the side of a tray.
The vertical transport mechanism 132 is shown on the right-hand side of FIG. 2 and in schematic detail in FIGS. 7 and 8. At the exit end of each of the feed trays 120, 122 and 124, a plurality of deflector fingers 234 are mounted on tie rods 236 attached to left and right frame plates forming sides of the invention (not shown). Each deflector finger 234 has a paperengaging frontal surface 238 which is upwardly sloping and leads to the nip between one of the drive feed rollers 240 and an idler roller 242. The frontal surface 238 of each deflector finger 234 is of sufficient length and slope to accommodate sheet material coming from a full tray or a nearly empty one.
Each of the drive feed rollers 240 is supported between the left and right frame plates (not shown) and is driven by an endless belt 244, which also engages idler rolls 246 secured to one frame plate only. An endless drive belt 248 engages one of the idler rollers 246 and a timing sprocket 250 and is drivenby main drive motor (not shown).
Each of the idler rollers 242 is individually rotatably mounted on a bifurcated bracket 252 supported on tie rods 254 secured to the right and left frame plates (not shown). The idler rollers .242 are biased into slight pressure contact with the drive feed rollers 240 by means of leaf springs 256 secured to the outer portion of bifurcated brackets 252 by means of an outtumed lip with the other end of the leaf spring secured in suitable slots provided in spring retaining brackets 258.
A pair of vertical base plates 260 and 262 form a channel 264 through which the sheet material is vertically transported. Parallel guide rails 266 secured to base plate 260 are in cooperative relation with the deflector fingers 234 and the drive feed rollers 240 to guide the sheet material therethrough.
A last set of deflector fingers 268 is mounted on a tie rod 270 over the uppermost of drive feed roller 240, and has its sloping edge at the read, so as to divert sheet material from the vertical direction into the horizontal direction and out of the machine. In particular, a pair of horizontal base plates 270 and 272 form a horizontal channel 274 therebetween for travel of sheet material as directed by the deflector fingers 268. An additional power feed roller 276 and idler roller 278 in this section are constructed and function as set forth hereinabove, the former also being driven by endless belt 244.
FIG. 9 shows the exit portion of the invention in more detail, and also includes the sheet feeding tray 280 of the supplemental copy feeder (102 in FIG. 1) disclosed in the above-noted US. Pat. No. 3,415,510 of Mileski.
The tray 280 includes a lower face 282 of a width approximately equal to the largest sheet of paper to be forwarded by the tray. It is preferably formed of sheet metal with upturned paper guiding side edges 284 at its extremities. Supplemental edges 286 are formed by upwardly bent portions of the lower face of the tray. These supplemental edges are equally spaced from the side edges 284 at a spacing equal to the size of alternate widths of paper to be forwarded by the tray.
The rear end of the tray is formed with a downward extension 288 of the lower face of the tray for supporting and alignment functions. The tray support arms 290 adjacent the edges of the tray within the angled space between the lower face and downward extension entirely facilitates the support of the tray. These arms may conveniently be formed by extension of the downward extension, cut to conform with the upper edge of the machines standard horizontal bracket. In this manner, the tray may be supported by its arms 290 being matingly positioned on the machine bracket (not shown).
The tray 280 is partially covered by an overplate 292 secured at its sides to the top of edges 284 as by spot welding. The overplate and lower face are spaced from each other to define a sheet passage space for the movement of at least the largest desired length of paper to be moved therethrough. Removably secured to the top of the overplate 292 by pairs of set screws 294 are a pair of deflector loops 296. The deflector loops are formed of a stiff, but flexible, material, as for example, Delron. These loops extend a distance beyond the front of the tray to guide the paper held by the tray in an orientation so that the front edge of the paper is in horizontal alignment with the paper in the stack 118 (FIG. 1).
The lowerhorizontal base plate 270 is at the same level as tray 280, or just above it, so that sheet material issuing from passage 274 passes onto tray 280. Upper horizontal base plates 272 supports a tie rod 298 and a pair of idler rollers 278 with the structure and function as previously described. The tie rod 298 also supports a third idler roller 300 which is mounted and functions as described before, but which contains a circumferential groove 302 adopted to contain an endless belt 304. A pair of arms 306 are rigidly mounted on tie rod 298 on either side of idler roller 300 and extend toward, but not to, the tray 280. Arms 306 support another tie rod 308 at their extended end, to which is rotatably mounted a second pair of arms 310. Arms 310, when not upwardly rotated as indicated by the arrow (the position employed when the machine is not in use), extend over tray 280 and support a shaft 312 on which a grooved wheel 314 is rotatably mounted. Endless belt 304 connects grooved wheels 300 and 314 and is under sufficient tension so that the former drives the latter. Also attached to one of the arms 310 is sheet sensor switch 316, the function of which is described herebelow.
The arrangement for continuously driving the paper feed rolls in each of several paper feed trays is shown schematically in FIG. 10. Three shafts 194 with pulleys 21 1B are aligned one above the other (see FIGS. 5 and 6 for details of shaft 194' and the paper feed rolls). An endless belt 326 passes around each of the pulleys 21 IS with idler rolls 328, 330 positioned so that belt 326 passes over a substantial portion of the circumference of each pulley and drives each pulley in the same direction. Two additional idler rolls 332, 334 provide a path for belt 326 to return to timing wheel 336, mounted on shaft 338 of the main drive motor (not shown). Upon energizing any of the clutches 211A (FIG. 6) the corresponding shaft 194' will be rotated, feeding paper from its associated tray.
FIG. 11 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram of an embodiment of the invention. As shown, the input is from lines 1 and 41 of a Model 2400 or 3600 Xerox copier, but it will be appreciated that other copies or an independent power source could be employed. An auxiliary paper feeder having three feed trays is described.
With the main on" so that an appropriate energizing potential is applied across lines 1 and 41, and the feed station selector switches are at zero as indicated, relays K7, K8 and K9 will be energized. Under these conditions relay contact sets K7-A and K7-C, K8-A and K8-C and K9-A will be closed, while normally closed contact sets K7-B, K8-B and K943 are opened. Closing of contact sets K7-A, K8-A and K9-A causes relay K5 to be energized. Further, with potential across lines 1 and 41, v DC is provided to the clutch circuit through the conventional diode bridge, but the clutches remain disengaged since step switches l, 2 and 3 are open.
In an exemplary mode of operation, the operator starts by selecting the desired number of copies of each characteristic by appropriately setting dial station switches 1 and/or 2 and/or 3. Presuming sheets are desired from all three stations, this causes relay K7, K8 and K9 to de-energize, and opens the circuit to relay K5 by opening contact sets K'I-A, K8-A and K9-A.
The operator then presses the load switch. Closing the load switch energizes relay Kl through normally closed contact set K2-A. Once relay K1 is energized the load switch may be released, since Kl remains in an energized condition through holding contact set KI-B. The motor is also energized and remains in this condition. Energizing relay Kl also closes contact set Kl-A to prepare the stepping coil circuits for subsequent operation, and contact set Kl-C opens, turning off the ready" light on the processor.
The motor operates the vertical transport means and, through the stepping coils, the paper feed rolls, and has cam switches lLS and 2LS mounted adjacent the shaft thereof. A cam on the shaft closes switch lLS when the motor is energized. Closing switch lLS energizes relay K6, which is maintained in the on condition through holding contacts K6-A, and relay contacts K6-B are also closed, which further prepares the stepping coil circuit for operation.
When cam switch 2LS is closed by the cam, it energizes stepping coil 1 through normally closed contact set K7-B, which in turn closes stepping switch 1. This energizes clutch station 1, which feeds the paper and causes dial station switch 1 to step toward zero for each sheet of paper fed. Stepping coils 2 and 3 remain disabled due to contact sets K7-C and K8-C being open.
The first sheet of paper fed into the processor closes the sheet sensor switch (316 in FIG. 9) and this switch remains closed until the sheet disengages the switch. The function of the sheet sensor switch is to retain the motor in an energized condition until the last sheet is fed and received in the processor, as more fully described below.
When the desired number of copies have been fed from station 1 and the select dial reaches its zero position, relay K7 is energized. This causes normally closed contact set K7-B to open, thereby disabling step coil and step switch 1, while contact set K7-C closes, to enable step coil 2 through normally closed contact set K8-B. Contact set K7-A is also closed to partially prepare the shut-down circuit for subsequent operation. Energizing step coil 2 closes step switch 2, engaging clutch station 2, and paper is thereby fed from station 2 in the same manner as described above for station 1.
When the desired number of copies have been fed from station 2 and the select dial reaches its zero position, relay K8 is energized. This causes normally closed contact set K8-B to open, thereby disabling step coil 2 and step switch 2, while contact set K8-C closes, to enable step coil 3 through nonnally closed contact set K9-B. Contact set K8-A is also closed, further preparing the shut down circuit for subsequent operation. Energizing step coil 3. closes step switch 3, engaging clutch station 3, and paper is thereby fed from station 3 in the same manner as described above.
When the desired number of copies have been fed from station 3 (the last station in this embodiment) and the select dial reaches its zero position relay K9 is energized. This causes normally closed contact set K9-B to open, thereby disabling step coil 3 and step switch 3. Contact set K9-A is also closed and this activates the shut down circuits by energizing relay K (contact sets K7-A and K8-A having previously closed as-described above). Energizing relay K5 closes contact set KS-A, to energize time delay relay TD. The time delay provided by relay TD is a sufficient period for a sheet from the lowest tray to reach the sheet sensor switch, generally a few seconds. At the end of the delay period, the time delay contacts TD close, energizing relay K2. This opens normally closed contact set K2-A, disabling relay Kl. Contact set Kl-A is thereby opened wile contact sets Kl-C reverts to the normally closed condition, turning the ready" light on the processor back on. Disabling relay Kl also opens contact set Kl-B, which would normally serve to de-energize the motor. However, if the last sheet of paper being fed has not cleared the sheet sensor switch, the motor remains energized until it passes into the processor and the sheet sensor switch opens.
When power to the motor is shut off by opening of the sheet sensor switch. This places the feeder in the stand-by condition.
Various changes in the details, steps, materials, and arrangements of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated inorder to explain the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. Sheet feed apparatus for an automatic copying machine comprising:
a plurality of tray members supported by said frame in a vertical array; each said tray member adapted to support a stack of sheets of a particular characteristic;
vertical transport means arranged at a delivery end of said frame to det'me a common exit path leading toward processing stations;
sheet feed means associated with each of said'stacks including drive rolls for engaging the topmost sheet of a corresponding stack in response to electrical signals; and
circuit means to supply electrical signals to the appropriate sheet feed means to feed automatically a preselected number of sheets from a one of said stacks toward the common exit path for transport past copy processing stations in accordance with a desired sheet characteristic;
lateral sheet guide mean arranged on said tray members to be adjustable within minimum and maximum limits to accommodate stacks of different widths and end stop means adjustably positionable along said tray members to engage and position the trailing edge of an associated sheet stack;
said vertical transport means includes deflector fingers for deflecting sheets from each of said stacks into said common exit path when moved by said drive rolls, for moving said sheets into said path; and
wherein said vertical transport means includes a plurality of pairs of rollers, each pair comprising a drive roller and an idler roller, for advancing said sheets along said path.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said circuit means supplies electrical signals to the feed means associated with each of said stacks in a desired order.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, including sensor means for returning the sheet feed apparatus to a standby condition after delivery of desired sheets to said automatic copying machine.
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