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Publication numberUS3761079 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 25, 1973
Filing dateMar 5, 1971
Priority dateMar 5, 1971
Also published asCA951753A1, DE2210322A1
Publication numberUS 3761079 A, US 3761079A, US-A-3761079, US3761079 A, US3761079A
InventorsAzure L
Original AssigneeAutomata Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Document feeding mechanism
US 3761079 A
Abstract
A feeding mechanism receives a stack of documents, such as data-bearing cards, in a hopper, the hopper defining a feed throat through which the cards are fed individually and in succession. A feed roller is positioned for engaging the lowermost one of the stacks of cards, generally centrally of the planar surface thereof, the cards tending to bow about the feed roller and toward the support surface. The initial feeding effect of the feed roller in each cycle is to buckle or spring the card engaged thereby away from the stack and toward the support surface, thereby breaking frictional contact between that card and the adjacent card of the stack, greatly facilitating the feed operation. Drive rollers receive each card as it is fed through the throat from the hopper and transport the card from the hopper. In one embodiment, the feed roller is driven through a lost motion clutch from a drive shaft, in turn driven at a constant rotational speed. By virtue of the lost motion clutch, and the relative surface tangential velocities of the drive rollers and the feed rollers, the cards of the stack are fed individually and in succession, with uniform spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive cards regardless of the lengths of the cards. Means are provided in the support surface of the hopper for separating the stack from the feed roller, thereby to interrupt the feed cycle. In a second embodiment of the invention, the feed roller is driven at a constant speed without the use of a lost motion clutch, and control means are provided for automatically effecting the separation of the stacks of cards from the feed roller. The automatic control means includes suitable detection means for enabling the feed means to feed successive cards of the stack, and thus provide the individual and successive feeding of the cards with the uniform spacing therebetween as aforenoted. In a typical application, the drive rollers drive the card through a sensing station, such as for optical sensing of indicia presented on the cards, and provide a stabilizing control on the card in the region of the sensing station for improving the accuracy of the sensing operation.
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United States Patent [191 Azure, Jr.

[ 1 Sept. 25, 1973 DOCUMENT FEEDING MECHANISM Leo L. Azure, Jr., Richland, Wash.

[73] Assignee: Automata Corporation, Richland,

Wash.

[22] Filed: Mar. 5, 1971 [211 App]. No.1 121,411

[75] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl 271/41, 271/23, 271/57 Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Bruce H. Stoner, Jr. Attorney-Staas, Halsey and Gable [5 7] ABSTRACT A feeding mechanism receives a stack of documents, such as data-bearing cards, in a hopper, the hopper defining a feed throat through which the cards are fed individually and in succession. A feed roller is positioned for engaging the lowermost one of the stacks of cards,

generally centrally of the planar surface thereof, the

cards tending to bow about the feed roller and toward the support surface. The initial feeding effect of the feed roller in each cycle is to buckle or spring the card engaged thereby away from the stack and toward the support surface, thereby breaking frictional contact between that card and the adjacent card of the stack, greatly facilitating the feed operation. Drive rollers receive each card as it is fed through the throat from the hopper and transport the card from the hopper. In one embodiment, the feed roller is driven through a lost motion clutch from a drive shaft, in turn driven at a constant rotational speed. By virtue of the lost motion clutch, and the relative surface tangential velocities of the drive rollers and the feed rollers, the cards of the stack are fed individually and in succession, with uniform spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive cards regardless of, the lengths of the cards. Means are provided in the support surface of the hopper for separating the stack from the feed roller, thereby to interrupt the feed cycle. In a second embodiment of the invention, the feed roller is driven at a constant speed without the use of a lost motion clutch, and control means are provided for automatically effecting the separation of the stacks of cards from the feed roller. The automatic control. means includes suitable detection means for enabling the feed means to feed successive cards of the stack, and thus provide the individual and successive feeding of the cards with the uniform spacing therebetween as aforenoted. In a typical application, the drive rollers drive the card through a sensing station, such as for optical sensing of indicia presented on the cards, and provide a stabilizing control on the card in the region of the sensing station for improving the accuracy of the sensing operation.

28 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED SEPZSIBH SHEI 2 OF 4 I PATENTEDSEFZSIIITS saw u or 4 mm F169 SOLENOID DRIVER CONTROL BUTTON TIMING MARK COUNTER CHANNEL SENSOR TIMING MARK FIG. I0

FIG: u

1 DOCUMENT FEEDING MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a document feeding mechanism and, more particularly, to such a mechanism for feeding documents, such'as cards, from a stack thereof in succession and with precise and predetermined spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive documents. i

2. State .of the Prior Art I Various types of document feeding apparatus have been proposed heretofore in the prior art. Numerous applications of such apparatus are found in data processing systems, particularly as terminal units for deriving source data from source documents for supply to subsequent electronic processing systems. The documents may comprise cards of the data processing type, bearing data encoded indicia. Typically, the cards are combined in superposed relationship in a stack from which they are to be fed individually and in succession, or serially. The cards then pass through a sensing station for reading of the data indicia, such as by optical detection equipment. The data processing systems which receive the data process the data electronically, and thus at high speeds. For optimum efficiency therefore, the documents must be fed as rapidly as possible, while affording precise and uniform spacing between the leading and trailing edges of successively fed cards to assure accurate interpretation of the data. Prior art feed mechanisms, however, have not been completely satisfactory, however, both with regard to the feed rates which they provide and to the reliability and uniformity of the feed operation.

For example, the cards are typically received in a hopper with biasing means, such as a static weight, imposed thereon to urge the stack of cards into position for engagement with the feed mechanism. Relatively high frictional forces thus exist between the lowermost card of the stack and thenext adjacent card which tend to prevent the separation of these adjacent cards. As a result, a relatively high driving force is required to separate the cards and thereby permit individual feeding of successive cards. The necessity of using high driving forces impedes the effectiveness and particularly the speed of the feeding mechanism.

Many of the previous mechanisms designed for feed-. ing cards employ a picker finger which engages the trailing edge of the lowermost card in a stack to force it out of the stack. ln such a mechanism, the requisite driving force of the picker finger may result in damage of the trailing edge of the card which is to be fed. A potentially more serious defect is that if the trailing edge which is to be engaged by the picker finger is warped or mutilated, the lowermost card may not be fed, or the feed mechanism may attempt to feed both the lowermost and the next adjacent card of the stack simultaneously. In either case, the failure may result in loss of data and typically requires operator attendance to correct the defect.

Even ignoring the situations in which a picker finger mechanism fails to feed the cards properly, such mechanisms are inherently slow in operation, due to the necessity of limiting the force with. which a picker finger contacts the trailing edge of the cards.

Numerous other types of feeding mechanisms have also been proposed in the prior art. For example, the

2 prior art discloses the use of feed rollers for feeding various sheet-like materials including data-bearing cards as well as industrial sheet-like materials for use in various material-handling applications. Such prior art mechanisms, however, have been undesirably complex in construction or have imposed requirements as to the configuration of the mechanism and the relationship of the operating, moving parts thereof as to render them both inconvenient in use and of excessive cost and complexity. 1

One feed roller system known in the art requires the reciprocation of the entire supporting and drive structure for the feed roller to effect intermittent engagement of the feed roller and the successive cards of the stack. Such mechanisms are of undue complexity due to the requirement of the reciprocating movement of the feed roller and its associated driving mechanism.

' Another type of document feeding apparatus of the prior art requires the use of a plurality-of belts cooperating with a pneumatic system communicating through apertures in the rotating belts to effect engagement of a card of a stack with the belt for feeding. Such mechanisms are objectionable due to the complexity thereof and the noise attendant to the operation, in addition to their presenting severe maintenance problems in view of the tendancy of the pneumatic system to become clogged by loose particulate material carried by the cards. Furthermore, these various other types of prior art apparatus are not capable of reliably feeding the cards'at high rates of speed and at uniform velocities with precise and fixed spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive cards as required for high speed data processing systems. Furthermore, when a feed mechanism is employed for supplying documents to a sensing station for-reading, such as by optical detection equipment, it is important that the mechanism afford a stable condition of the document in the region thereof within the sensing station, thereby to assure accurate reading or sensing of data from the document. The mechanisms of the prior art, particularly when operated at a high speed, fail to afford these stable characteristics of the document to enable accurate reading of data therefrom.

A further defect of such prior art mechanisms, in-' tus operates in aprecise repeating interval such that a given mechanism is operable for feeding cards of only a single length. Even as to pior art mechanisms capable of feeding documents of varying lengths, such mechanisms do not afford a precise, uniform spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive documents.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The document feeding mechanism of the invention is of greatly simplified construction relative to prior art mechanisms, and yet affords greater versatility and reliability, with higher feed rates than heretofore attainable with such document feeding mechanisms. Generally, the mechanism of the invention provides for feed-. ing individual cards from a stack thereof, in succession, and with precise spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive cards regardless of the length of the cards of the stack, even when cards of different lengths are intermixed in a stack. In addition to the precise control of the relative longitudinal positions of the cards being fed, the system also affords precise positioning of. the cards. in a transverse direction with respect to a fixed reference location. In addition, and of particular importance when the mechanism of the invention is employed in' a system for sensing information from the cards being fed, the mechanism affords a region in the transport path of each card wherein the card is stabilized in its physical configuration, albeit being transported at high speed, to assure accurate and reliable sensing of data from the card. Stabilizing of the card as it passes through such a sensing region is of particular importance for optical sensing of data indicia from the card.

In one embodiment of the mechanismvof the invention, and as specifically disclosed herein, the documents comprise data-bearing cards which are received in a stack in a hopper, the successive cards of the stack lying horizontally in superposed relationship in a vertical stack. As later specified, however, the particular orientation of the stack, be it horizontal, vertical, or otherwise, is immaterial and accordingly the referenced relative relationship and position of the stack within a hopper is merely for purposes of illustration.

The stack of cards is received in a hopper and brought to a forward position with the leading edges of the cards, with respect to the direction of feed thereof, engaging a front, or forward, wall of the hopper comprising a stop structure. Egress of the cards from the hopper, as fed, is afforded by a throat defined by the stop and the support surface and providing an opening slightly greater than the thickness of a single card.

A feed roller protrudes from the support surface of the hopper, engaging the lowermost card of the stack in a generally central portion thereof. The stack is urged into engagement with the feed roller, the stack of cards thereby tending to bow about the feed roller and toward the support surface.

Means are provided for intermittently enabling the feed roller to feed the cards of the stack, and particularly the lowermost card of the stack, i.e.,'the card engaged by the feed roller. The initial effect of the feed roller in each feed cycle is to cause the card engaged thereby to buckle downwardly, or away from the stack, in the portion thereof between the feed roller and the throat, and thus toward the support surface, thereby breaking frictional contact between the two lowermost cards of the stack and greatly facilitating the feeding operation. The support surface limits the extent of buckling of the lowermost card and thus the card, having been subjected to the buckling effect, is fed through the throat.

Drive rollers positioned opposite the throat from the hopper receive and engage each card as fed through the throat to transport the card from the hopper. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, two pairs of drive rollers are provided, displaced longitudinally in the direction of the card transport. Typically, sensing means for sensing data from the cards is positioned to scan the cards in the region intermediate the two sets of drive rollers.

The first set of drive rollers includes one roller positively driven and a second, idler roller, the latter being skewed with respect to the longitudinal feed direction of the cards, so as to urge the card engaged by that first set of drive rollers toward a predetermined reference position. The cards preferably are printed so as to de' fine data indicia receiving positions relative to a given edge thereof and the sensing apparatus is correspondingly positioned relative to the noted reference position. Accordingly, precise positioning of the sensing elements relative to the location of data indicia on each card is assured.

The second set of drive rollers affords a slightly greater surface tangential velocity than the first, aforementioned set, whereby each card in the region between the two sets of drive rollers is subjected to a tensioning force, tending to flatten and stabilize each card during transport through the sensing region. The enhanced stability of the card in this sensing region thereby affords greater reliability of the data sensing operations.

In one embodiment of the invention, the feed roller is connected to a drive shaft by a lost motion coupler which permits relative rotation of the roller and the shaft through a predetermined slack angle defined by the coupler. In this embodiment, particularly, the drive rollers afford a greater surface tangential velocity than that of the feed roller, whereby each card, upon being engaged by the drive roller, is-transported at a greater speed than afforded by the feed roller. As a result, the

feed roller is rotated by the card at an angular velocity greater than that of its drive shaft, causing the coupler to advance through the slack angle. Typically, the coupler is advanced through the maximum slack angle and the card being driven slides, or slips, across the feed roller. As the card being driven breaks contact with the feed roller, the latter stops substantially instantaneously upon contacting the next card of the stack. The continuous rotation of the drive shaft, however, closes the slack angle of the coupler. During this interval, the card currently being driven by the drive rollers is completely removed from beneath the stack and the next superposed card of the stack comes into position to be fed. The size of the slack angle defined by the coupling is selected, in general, in relation to the basic geometry of the system and specifically such that the drive shaft closes the slack angle of the coupler to thereby effect drive of the feed roller at a predetermined time after the trailing edge of the preceding card passes through the throat. The optimum speed of card transport, of course, occurs when the feed of the next successive card is initiated substantially immediately following the passage of the trailing edge of the preceding card through the throat. In any event, since the distance from the feed roller to the throat is fixed, the spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successively fed cards is maintained constant, regardless of the length of the cards. A

Separating means are provided for displacing the stack of cards from the feed roller to thereby interrupt the feed cycle. It will be appreciated that any card al-' ready engaged by the drive roller will be removed from the hopper, thereby avoiding jamming of a card at an intermediate position in the feed operation. Furthermore, once feed is reinitiated, the precise spacing between successive cards is once more established.

In a second embodiment of the invention, the feed roller is directly connected to the constantly rotating drive shaft and the lost motion coupler is eliminated. Detecting means are provided for automatically controlling the separating means in each feed cycle. The detecting means determines, in effect, that a card has been engaged by the drive roller, thereby to separate the stack from the feed roller and furthermore to detect when the trailing edge of a card being driven has passed through the throat, thereby to release the separating means and effect engagement of the feed roller with the next successive card of the stack. The electronic timing afforded by this technique again assures the precise and uniform spacing of the trailing and leading edges of successively fed cards, regardless of the length thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS I FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a card feeding mechanism in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the card feeding mechanism of FIG. I with the top cover removed to reveal the operating elements;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the card feeding mechanism of the invention, taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the card feeding mechanism of the invention taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the card feeding mechanism, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2, and illustrating a first step in dispensing a card from the hopper;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating a second step in dispensing a card from the hopper;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating a third step in dispensing a card from the hopper;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating a fourth step in dispensing a card from the hopper;

FIG. 9 is a schematic view of a portion of the card feeding mechanism of the invention illustrating an alternative timing system for controlling the card feed cycles;

FIG. 10 is an illustration of a typical data card to be fed by the mechanism of the invention; and

FIG. 11 is .a schematic block diagram of an electronic timing circuit for controlling the card feed cycle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The card feeding mechanism of the invention is shown in perspective view in FIG. 1, as generally identified at 12', and includes a card feed hopper l4 defined by a forward wall 16, side walls 18 and 20, and a horizontal support surface, more readily seen in later figures. A plurality of cards 22 are stacked in superposed relationship and received in the hopper 14. As later discussed, the cards may be received in the stack shown, for feeding from the top or the bottom of the stack, as desired, or may be held on edge, i.e., a horizontal stack, by suitable modifications of the mechanism. The vertical stack hopper, as shown, is thus only representative of one possible configuration of the feeding mechanism of the invention. A discard or receiving hopper 24 is provided for receiving the cards after they have been fed from the card hopper 14 and through a scanning station 26 which may include, for example, an optical scanning head. A weight 28 is positioned on the cards in the feed hopper 14 providing a static biasing of the stack toward the feed mechanism, also as later detailed. A feed interrupt button 30 is provided to interrupt the feeding of the cards, as desired, as well as a main power on-off switch 31.

With concurrent reference to FIGS. 2 through 5, the horizontal support surface in the hopper is formed by a rear plate 32 and a front plate 34. Front plate 34 includes a rear slot 36 and openings 38 and 40 in the forward portion. A feed control plate 42 is pivotally mounted on a rod 44, intermediate the rear plate 32 and the front plate 34. A slot 43 opening into slot 36 plunger, or actuated rod, 48 of a solenoid 50. Solenoid 50 is energized by depressing button 30, through a suitable electrical circuit (not shown) to withdraw the rod 48, i.e., move the rod upwardly in the view of FIG. 3, and thereby rotate theplate counterclockwise, about the axis of rod 44. The front wall 16 is secured to the side walls such that the bottom thereof is spaced upwardly from the plate 34. A stop 17 is vertically supported on front wall 16 by bolts 17b which extend through slots 17a in the stop 17 to threadably engage the front wall 16. The stop 17 and plate 34 define a dispensing throat 102 aligned with the bottom card in the stack and just slightly greater in height than the thickness of a single card, and which permits passage therethrough of a single card at a time. The slots 17a permit vertical adjustment of the stop 17 with respect to the front wall 16 and the front plate 34', to adjust the height of the throat 102.

A feed roller 52 is rotatably supported on a drive shaft 60 in openings 36 and 43. The top of the feed roller extends above the plane of plates 32 and 34; the cards, as receivedthereon, thereby tend to bow slightly about the roller 52 and toward the support surface. The outer circumference of the feed roller is covered with a high friction material. The roller 52 thus serves as a frictional pick, as driven by shaft 60, to feed each card of the stack, individually and in succession, through the throat 102. i

In accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, the feed roller is driven through a lost motion coupler from the shaft 60 to afford a periodic or cyclic, automatically controlled intermittent feed operation. Particularly, an abutment 54 is fixed to the feed roller 52 and forms angularly spaced shoulders 56 and 58. The angular separation between the shoulders 56 and 58 defines an angle of lost motion, or override, between the clutch and the drive shaft 60, as explained more fully hereinafter. A pin 62 is fixed to the drive shaft 60 for engagement with shoulders 56 and 58. The roller 52 is driven in a forward direction by shaft 60 when pin 62 engages shoulder 56, and is free to rotate relative to the shaft 60 until shoulder 58 engages pin 62.

A motor 66 is mounted beneath the back plate 52 and has an output shaft 68 connected to a pulley 70. Electrical current to motor 66 is controlled by on-off switch 31. This output shaft 68 drives belt 72 through pulley 70 which is affixed thereto. The belt 72 engages a pulley 74 which is fixed on the drive shaft 60.

Drive rollers 76 and 78 are provided at the forward end of the front wall 16 and cooperate with idler rollers 80 and 82, respectively, to pull the cards from the hopper as each is fed into engagement therewith by the feed roller. A bracket (not shown) resiliently urges the idler rollers 80 and 82 against the drive rollers 76 and 78 for rotation therewith. The rollers 76 and 78 are secured to shafts 86 and 88 respectively, which are journaled in suitable supports (not shown) in the machine. A large pulley 90 fixed to the drive shaft 60 drives pulley 92 affixed to shaft 86, through a belt 94. A pulley 96 secured to shaft 86 drives belt. 100, to, in turn, drive pulley 98 affixed to shaft 88.

The first idler roller 80, with its associated shaft, is

skewed with respect to the direction of transport of the r cards, so as to impart a transverse force to each card, urging the card toward the side wall 18. An angle of skew of from to 10 is-normally adequate, although the necessary angle may vary for different apparatus and materials being transported Whereas the drive rollers 76 and 78 have a high friction surface material, preferably the idlers 80 and 82 both have a low friction surface materiaL'such as nylon. Thus, the skewed idler 80 will impart the desired transverse force to the cards without tending to smudge indicia, such as pencil marks, on the cards. Note also that the associated high friction drive roller 76 is in parallel axial alignment with the rollers 52 and 78, simplifying the assembly and alignment of the components of the system. This dynamic transverse positioning control of the skewed idler assures that each card is accurately positioned in the lateral direction when passing through the scanning station, and particularly with respect to a fixed reference position, as defined by the wall 18. This further permits of a slight enlargement of the transverse dimension of the hopper, facilitating insertion and stacking of cards therein, as well as movement of the cards in the hopper during feed operations. The latter result is of particular significance with respect to a second feature of the invention, to be described.

Preferably, each card, an example of one of which is shown at 22' in FIG. 10, is printed with a pattern of indicia receiving areas and various preprinted indicia such as timing marks, referenced in position to the longitudinal edge of the card which engages the reference wall 18 of the hopper and transport mechanism. Correspondingly, the sensing means of the system are positioned with respect to the wall 18 for scanning the respectively associated columns of indicia receiving areas and preprinted indicia of the card. The dynamic card positioning control, in association with the preestablished dimensional relationships, thereby assures that accurate sensing of data from the cards will obtain.

The pulley sizes are such that the tangential surface velocity of drive roller 76 is faster than that of feed roller 54; thus, the card is driven by roller 76 at a greater speed than that atwhich it is fed by roller 54, Further, the tangential velocity of drive roller 78 is slightly greater than that of drive roller 76. This differential velocity of the drive rollers positively ensures that the cards are maintained taut, and do not become creased or jammed in the intervening space between the drive rollers, and even tends to straighten out or flatten any bent or creased cards. Desirably, the optical scanning head 26 has optical probes 26a extending to-' ward the plate 34 and in the intervening space between the idler rollers 80 and 82 for scanning the surface of the cards as they pass therebeneath.

The operation of the card feeding mechanism in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 5 through 8. As noted, the cards 22 tend to bow slightly about the feed roller 52. In FIG. 5, the roller 52 is assumed to be at rest, the pin 62 of drive shaft 60 having rotated to a position just prior to engaging the shoulder 56. The drive shaft 60, which rotates at a constant speed, then drives the feed roller 52 when the pin 62 comes into contact with shoulder 56 of abutment 54. The feed roller 52 then begins rotational movement in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIG. 5, the surface of the roller, having a high coefficient friction, engaging and advancing the lowermost card 22a in the stack, causing it initially to buckle downwardly in the region intermediate the feed roller 52 and the front wall 16 and stop 17, and toward the support surface 34. This buckling of the card 22a reduces the frictional engagement between the bottom two cards 22a and 22b in the stack, greatly facilitating the feed operation.

As the rotation of the feed roller 52 continues, the bottom card 220 advances through the throat 102 as a result of the frictional driving force of the rotating feed roller 52. As seen in FIG. 6, the forward or leading edge of the card 22a having passed through the throat 102, is engaged by the drive roller 76 and idler roller 80. Since the tangential surface speed of the drive roller 76 is greater than that of feed roller 52, the card 220, when driven, or pulled, by the drive roller 76, moves faster and by so doing increases the surface tangential speed, and thus the rotational velocity, of the feed roller 52. The drive shaft 60, however, maintains its constant rotational velocity. Accordingly, shoulder 62 disengages from pin 62 and feed roller 52 continues in more rapid counterclockwise rotation with respect to shaft 60 until shoulder 58 of abutment 54 engages the pin 62. This relationship is maintained, even though shaft 60 continues rotation, due to the greater speed of the card as driven by drive roller 76; the card effectively drags across feed roller 52 despite the high frictional contact therewith due to the positive engagement of the card by the drive roller 76 and idler 80.

In the transport of the card and during the foregoing, the leading edge of the card is subsequently engaged by the second drive roller 78 and its associated idler 82, the latter having a slightly greater surface tangential velocity than the roller 76 and its associate idler 80. This is conveniently achieved by making roller 76 of slightly greater circumference, in proportion to the increase in driving speed desired, and providing the same speed of angular rotation. As a result, the card is made taut in the intervening space, as aforedescribed.

When the trailing end of the card 22a has reached the position illustrated in FIG. 7, at the point of tangential contact with the feed roller 52, the pin 62 normally is in contact with shoulder 58 of abutment 54. At the next instant, and thus when contact between card 22a and the feed roller 52 is broken, the next card 22b in the stack comes into contact with the feed roller 52 and cause the roller 52 to stop, substantially instantaneously. At the same time, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the drive roller 60 continues to rotate, advancing the pin 62 through the angle of lost motion from shoulder 58 to shoulder 56. During this movement of pin 62, the card 28 is withdrawn from the hopper through throat 102 by the drive rollers 76 and 78. The card 22a thus is completely withdrawn from the hopper by the time pin 62 reaches shoulder 56. A new dispensing cycle then commences.

By this mechanism, the spacing between the trailing edge of one card and the leading edge of the next, successive card is precisely determined and maintained constant, in accordance with the relative rotational speeds of the drive shaft 60 for the feed roller 52, and of drive roller 76, as selected for the geometry of the device and particularly the distance from the tangential point of each card with the feed roller 52 and the throat 102. It will be appreciated that this distance is constant, regardless of the overall length of a card. Thus, when dispensing cards of different lengths by this mechanism, the trailing edge of one card will always be a fixed distance from the leading edge of the successive card, so long as the cards are long enough to cause rotation of pin 62 between shoulders 56 and 58. This will be true regardless of whether cards of different size are interspersed within the stack.

When it is desired to interrupt the feeding of the cards, such as when a partial stack remains in the feed hopper 14, the interrupt button 30 is pushed to energize solenoid 50, which in turn raises the control plate 42. By this action, the stack of cards is lifted upwardly so that the lowermost card in the stack is not in contact with the feed roller 52. However, the feed roller 52 and the drive rollers 76 and 78 continue to rotate and complete the feeding process for any card whose feeding cycle has commenced. When the solenoid is deenergized, the interrupt plate is lowered so that the bottom card in the stack contacts the feed roller 52 and feeding of the cards continues.

A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 9, in which elements identical to elements previously identified and. described herein are identified by identical numerals. As contrasted to the previously described embodiment, in FIG. 9, the cyclic or intermittent feed operation for successive cards of the stack 22 is afforded by automatic actuation of the control plate 42 in timed relationship to the feeding of each card through the throat 102. In this instance, the feed roller 52' is affixed to and continuously driven by the continuously rotating drive shaft 60. Again, the feed roller 52' has a high friction surface to operate as a frictional pick for feeding each card presented in engagement therewith.

Automatic control of the plate 42 is afforded by an electro-mechanical sensor identified as a micro-switch 110 including a feeler 112. The feeler 112 normally extends through an aperture 114 in the support surface intermediate the drive rollers 76 and 78, and preferably directly adjacent the roller 76.

Normally, the feeler 112 projects above the surface and is deflected or pushed downwardly as a card proceeds thereover, substantially as illustrated in FIG. 9. Solenoid driver circuit 116 receives a signal from micro-switch 110 when the feeler 112 is depressed to energize the solenoid 50 and thereby raise the control plate 42. The stack of cards 22 is in turn lifted from engagement with the feed roller 52' and the feed cycle thereupon is discontinued. Subsequently, when the card 220 being fed is transported by the drive rollers to the position that the trailing edge passes over the feeler 112, the latter is released and projects upwardly. The circuitry including micro-switch 110 and driver 116 thereby de-energizes solenoid 50, releasing plate 42 and thereby enabling engagement of the stack of cards 22 with the feed roller 52'. The feed cycle is thereupon reinitiated.

The feed control technique of FIG. 9 thus affords precise spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successive cards, that spacing substantially being equalto the distance between the throat 102 and the feeler 112 of the micro-switch 110. It will be apparent that other locations of one or more position sensing switches may be selected to effect this same operation. Particularly, it is necessary to sense that a card has been engaged by the first drive roller 76 prior to actuation of control plate 42 to separate the stack 22 from the feed roller 52', and.to determine that the trailing to initiating feeding of the next card of the stack through that same throat 102 upon engaging the stack 22 again with the feed roller 52'.

If desired, the solenoid driver circuit 1 16 may be activated by a control button actuated by the operator to override the signals provided by micro-switch 110 and thereby to actuate control plate 42 to the raised position when it is desired to manually interrupt the feeding of cards. Again, however, it is desirable that the engagement of the card by the drive roller 76 be assured, prior to actuation of the control plate 42 from the external control button actuation, to assure that any card, once in the process of being fed, is fed completely through the sensing station. A suitable signal for this purpose may be derived from the micro-switch 110 and the requisite control circuitry provided in the solenoid driver circuit 116, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

A generalized representation of a card of the type which may be fed by the mechanism of the invention is shown in FIG. 10, sufficient for explaining a further embodiment of the invention shown in block diagram form in FIG. 11. This latter embodiment comprises an optical detecting system for affording energization of the solenoid with resultant actuation of control plate 42 in an automatic manner to effect timing of the feed cycles.

Referring to FIG. 10, the card 22a includes a column 120 of timing marks, as are typically provided in such data cards. Each timing mark 120 is aligned with a row of indicia receiving areas aligned in columns A, B, C, and D. In the disclosed example of the data card 22a, there are provided 50 such timing marks corresponding to the 50 rows of indicia receiving areas.

In FIG. 11 is shown a block diagram of the control circuitry for automatic actuation of the control plate 42. A timing mark channel sensor 130 is provided in the sensor 26 for sensing the column of timing marks 120, as is typical, in addition to the sensors for the columns of data indicia receiving areas A through D. The sensor 130 produces an output signal, upon detection of each of the timing marks, to a timing mark counter 132. Counter 132 produces an output pulse upon the accumulation thereby of a count equal to the number of timing marks on each of the cards being fed.

A flip-flop and solenoid driver circuit 134 receives the output of sensor 130 at the set terminal S thereof and the output of counter 132 at the reset terminal R edge of that card has passed through throat 102 prior thereto. The circuit 134 thereby supplies an energizing signal to the solenoid, when set upon receipt of a first timing mark signal from sensor 130, and remains set until detection of the last such timing mark in accor dance with the output of counter 132, whereupon the solenoid energizing signal from flip-flop 134 and its associated driver circuit is terminated, as the flip-flop 134 is reset.

In relation to the discussion of FIG. 9, it will be appreciated that the circuit of FIG. 11 provides for energization of solenoid 50 and thus actuation of control plate 42 and separation of the stack 22 of cards from feed roller 52 when the card has been transported into the sensing region and the first timing mark thereof sensed by sensor 26. Furthermore, this assures engagement of the card by the first drive roller 76 at that time. The solenoid remains actuated, therefore, until the card has been transported through the sensing station and the last timing mark thereof detected. By appropriate selection of the geometry of the structure, suitable dimensions of the preprinted timing mark with respect to the trailing edge of each card, and of the mechanism, may be selected to assure that the trailing edge has passed through the throat 102 at the time the last timing mark of each card is detected. Thereupon, the solenoid is de-energized and the stack engages the feed roller 52 to reinitiate the feed cycle.

Whereas the system of FIG. 11 implies knowledge of the number of timing marks on each card to be fed, variable length cards may nevertheless be fed provided the same number of timing marks appears on each. Conversely, means may be provided to change the preset count of counter 132 in accordance with a different number of timing marks on each group of cards to be fed.

As a further alternative, optical detection means may be utilized to detect the entry of a card into and exit from a given position in the drive roller region of the transport mechanism, similar to the mechanicalelectrical sensing scheme of FIG. 9. As a further alternative, a special control track may be afforded on each card 22a adaptable for optical or other detection for automatically recognizing the entry into or exit of a card relative to the drive roller region of the mechanism for correspondingly energizing and de-energizing the solenoid to actuate the control plate.

In any of these various embodiments, there is provided the intermittent, or cyclical, feeding effect of the feed roller with respect to the stack of cards, either mechanically through the provision of the lost motion clutch or by electro-mechanical means including the various types of detecting means for identifying the condition of transport of a card through the drive roller region affording automatic actuation of the control plate, and thus timed control of the engagement of the stack of cards with the feed roller. With respect to each of these alternative feed control functions, the stack of cards is urged into engagement with the feed roller, tending to bow thereabout in the direction ofa support surface through which the feed roller protrudes lt will be appreciated that the noted support surface is adequate so long as it restricts the degree of buckling of the cards u'pon initial feeding thereof; in the disclosed embodiments, that support surface is also utilized as, or is integral with, the surface which, with the stop 17, defines the throat 102 through which the cards are individually fed.

It will also be appreciated, as previously noted, that the stack 22 of cards may be oriented in any position, as desired, such as for side feed or inverted feed. In the side feed, the cards are stacked on edge and the feed and drive rollers are positioned in the same relationship with respect to the stack as hereinabove specifically disclosed. In the inverted arrangement, the cards are received on a support plate which is then raised to engage the top-most card of the stack into engagement with the feed roller, now positioned above the stack. Resilient biasing means, such as negator springs, then are utilized in conjunction with a support plate for the stack to urge the stack into engagement with the feed I roller. In any of these embodiments, and even where the stack is urged in sideward or upsidedown fashion into engagement with the feed roller, the same driving functions as hereinabove described obtain. Thus, reference to the lowermost card of a stack implies that card which engages or is in position to engage, the feed the relative transport speeds of the drive rollers assure that the card is maintained taut and flat in the region therebetween to permit accurate reading of data therefrom. In addition, the dynamic alignment technique afforded by the skewed idler of the first drive roller provides precise lateral positioning of each card in the sensing region, with respect to a fixed lateral or transverse reference position, assuring accurate positional relationships of the columns of data indicia positions of the cards as transported through the'sensing region with respect to the data sensing means of the sensing station.

The card feed mechanism can be operated at high speeds with a high degree of reliability. Speeds as high as 1,700 cardsper minute have been easily attained by this mechanism. The moving elements operate continuously in rotation and avoid the problems presented by reciprocatory feeding mechanisms. The only element in the feed mechanism of the invention which is subject to any intermittent motion is the drive roller, and this has extremely low inertia. Thus, the total inertia involved in starting and stopping each card in each successive feed cycle is essentially that of the single card being fed. In any of the embodiments, to increase the rate of feeding of the cards, substantially all that is required is to increase the speed of the drive motor, thereby proportionally increasing the speed of each of the drive rollers and the feed roller.

The circumferential, card-engaging surfaces of the drive and feed rollers are made of material which has a high coefficient of friction. Preferably a layer of polyurethane is molded onto the outer surface of each of these rollers. Alternatively, the rolls can be covered with rubber or other such high friction materials. A suitable polyurethane material can be purchased from Industrial Science of Portland, Ore., as Shore B 60-70 durometen' It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that nu merous modifications and adaptations of the system of the invention may be made, and thus it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such modifications and adaptations as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A card feeding apparatus comprising:

means for receiving a stack of cards, and having associated therewith a support surface,

means defining a throat of a height to pass a single card and communicating with said support surface, feed means positioned to protrude from said support surface to engage the stack of cards generally centrally of the surface of the card next adjacent thereto, said cards, when engaged with said feed means, being supported on said feed means and thereby displaced by said feed means in said cen- 4 tral portion thereof from the plane of said support surface andsaid cards tending to bow toward the plane of said support surface at the opposite ends thereof and the ends immediately adjacent said throat being received on and supported by said support surface, and

means for selectively enabling said feed means to frictionally engage and feed the said next ajdacent card of the stack, initially to buckle the card in the portion thereof intermediate the feed means and the throat toward said support surface to break contact thereof with the successive card of the stack and thereby to facilitate feeding of the cards, individually and in succession, from the stack and through the throat.

2. Apparatus as recieved in claim 1 wherein said feed means comprises a roller mounted on a drive shaft to be driven in rotation thereby.

3. Apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein the surface of said feed roller includes a high friction material.

4. Apparatus as recited in claim 3 wherein said high friction material comprises polyurethane.

5. Apparatus as recited in claim 1 furthercomprising drive means for receiving and engaging each successive card fed through said throat by said feed means from said hopper and completing transport of said card from said stack and through said throat.

6. Apparatus as recited in claim 5, further comprising:

means defining a lateral reference position for one longitudinal edge of said cards as engaged and driven by said drive means, and

said drive means includes a positively driven drive roller and an idler roller engaged therewith, said drive and idler rollers receiving and engaging a card therebetween when fed through said throat by said feed means, and said idler roller being skewed with respect to the direction of transport of said cards by said drive means to urge each said card as engaged and driven thereby toward said reference position.

7. Apparatus as recited in claim 6 wherein said cards include indicia receiving areas thereon arranged in columns and positioned in relation to a selected lateral edge of each said card, and wherein said skewed idler roller urges the said selected edge of each said card to said reference position.

8. Apparatus as recited in claim further comprising means for determining the engagement by said drive means of each card fed through said throat for actuating said selective enabling means to displace said stack of cards from said feed means as each card is engaged by said drive means, and for determining when passage of each such engaged card through said throat has been completed, thereupon to actuate said selective enabling means for engaging said stack of cards with said feed means for feeding a successive card through said throat.

9. Apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein said determining means comprises switching means and a sensing element, said sensing element being positioned to be contacted by a card when engaged and driven by said drive means and thereby to actuate said switching means.

10. Apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein said determining means comprises photoelectric sensor means for detecting when each card has been engaged by said drive means and producing an output signal to effect actuation of said selective enabling means to displace said stack of cards from said feed means until passage of a card through said throat has been completed.

11. Apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein each said card includes a predetermined number of timing marks disposed longitudinally thereof in accordance with the direction of transport of the card and there is further provided: r

means for sensing the timing marks from each said card during transport thereof by said drive means and producing an output timing pulse in response to sensing of each mark,

means responsive to sensing of a first timing mark from each card by said sensing means to actuate said selective enabling means 'todisplace said stack of cards from said feed means,

counter means preset to produce an output signal upon accumulation of a count corresponding to the predetermined number of timing marks on each said card and responsive to said sensing means for counting the output timing pulses therefrom, and

said selective enabling means being responsive to the output signal from said counter to release said stack of cards for engagement with said feed means.

12. Apparatus as recited in claim 5 wherein said feed means comprises:

a shaft and means for rotating said shaft at a constant rotational velocity,

a feed roller rotatably mounted on said shaft and positioned thereby to protrudefrom said support surface, means coupling said feed roller to said shaft for rotation of said feed roller by said shaft, and providing relative rotation therebetween through a predetermined slack angle,

said drive means transporting each said card at a greater speed than said feed roller, and

said feed roller being rotated by each said card when engaged by said drive means at a greater rotational velocity than that of said drive shaft to advance through said slack angle and said feed roller terminating rotation upon engagement thereof with the successive card of the stack as said drive means withdraws each said card from said stack and through said throat, and said shaft, at said constant rotational velocity thereof, closing the slack angle of said coupler to thereupon again produce rotation of said feed roller by said shaft.

13. Apparatus as recited in claim 12 wherein said coupling means comprises:

a hub fixed to said feed roller and having a pair'of shoulders angularly displaced with respect to the axis of said drive shaft and defining therebetween the maximum lost motion angle of said coupler,

and

said drive shaft includes a pin positioned thereon for rotation therewith, said pin engaging one of said shoulders of said hub for effecting rotation of said feed roller and said feed roller, when rotated relative to said drive shaft in advancing through the lost motion angle, causing the other of said hubs of said coupling means to engage said pin, whereby said other hub limits the advance of said feed roller relative to'the drive shaft to the maximum slack angle.

14. Apparatus as recited in claim wherein said drive means comprises a first drive roller and associated idler roller for receiving and engaging each successive card fed through said throat by said feed means,

a second drive roller and associated idler roller for receiving and engaging each card following engagement thereof by said first drive roller,

said second drive roller having a higher surface tangential transport speed than said first drive roller thereby to assure that each card in the portion thereof intermediate said first and second drive rollers and the respectively associated idler rollers is maintained taut during the transport thereof.

15. Apparatus as recited in claim 14 further comprising:

means defining a lateral reference position for one longitudinal edge of said cards as engaged and driven by said drive means, and

said idler roller associated with said first drive roller is skewed with respect to the direction of transport of said cards by said drive means to urge each said card as engaged and driven thereby toward said reference position.

16. Apparatus as recited in claim 15 wherein said cards include indicia receiving areas thereon arranged in columns and positioned in relation to a selected lateral edge of each said card, and said cards are driven by said drive means such that said skewed idler urges said selected lateral edge of each said card to each said reference position.

17. Apparatus as recited in claim 16 further comprising scanning means disposed to scan the indicia receiving areas of said cards in the region intermediate said first and second drive rollers and the respectively associated idler rollers and including a plurality of scanning elements positioned in relation to said reference position for scanning respectively associated ones of said columns of indicia receiving areas of said cards.

18. A card feeding apparatus comprising:

a hopper for receiving a stack of cards and including a support surface and a throat communicating with said support surface, said throat being of aheight 'to pass a single card therethrough,

feed means positioned to protrude inwardly of said hopper relative to said support surface to engage a stack of cards received in said hopper generally centrally of the surface of the card next adjacent said feed means, said cards, when engaged with said feed means, being supported on said feed means and thereby displaced by said feed means in said central portion thereof from the plane of said support surface and said cards tending to bow toward the plane of said support surface at the opposite ends thereof and the ends immediately adjacent said throat being received on and supported by said support surface,

said feed means being cyclically operable to frictionally engage and feed the said next adjacent card of the stack, individually and in succession for the plurality thereof, said feed means in each cycle of operation thereof initially buckling the portion of the card intermediate said feed means and throat toward said support surface to break contact thereof with the successive card of the stack and thereby to facilitate feeding of said cards through the throat, and

drive means for receiving each card fed through the throat by said feed means for completing transport of the card from the hopper and through'the throat to thereby define the timing of each successive cycle of operation of said feed means.

19. Apparatus as recited in claim 18 wherein said feed means comprises:

a feed roller,

a shaft for said feed roller adapted to be driven at a constant rotational velocity,

means coupling said feed roller to said shaft for rotating said feed roller in response to the rotation of said shaft, and affording a slack angle through which said feed roller is rotatable relative to said shaft, and

said drive means transports each said card at a rotational velocity in excess of that of said shaft, such that each card, when engaged and driven by said drive means, rotates said feed roller to advance the same through said slack angle of said coupling means until said feed roller engages the next successive card of the stack and thereupon terminates rotation substantially immediately, and said shaft closes said slack angle of said coupling means while rotation of said feed roller has terminated, to reinitiate rotation of said feed roller for feeding a successive card of the stack.

20. Apparatus as recited in claim 18 wherein there is further provided:

separating means selectively operable to separate said stack of cards from said feed means to interrupt feeding of the stack of cards.

21. Apparatus as recited in claim 20 wherein said separating means comprises:

a plate mounted adjacent said feed roller, and

an actuator for moving said plate to displace the stack from said feed roller to interrupt further feeding of cards therefrom.

22. A card feeding apparatus comprising:

a hopper for receiving a stack of cards and having associated therewith a support surface and a throat communicating with said support surface, said throat being of a height to pass an individual card therethrough from said stack,

a feed roller positioned to protrude inwardly of said hopper relative to said support surface to engage a stack of cards received in said hopper, generally centrally of the surface of the card next adjacent thereto, said stack of cards when engaged by said feed roller, tending to bow toward said support surface,

said feed roller frictionally engaging and feeding the said next adjacent card of the stack through said throat individually and in succession for the plurality of cards of the stack, and, for each card, initially buckling the card in the portion thereof intermediate the feed means and the throat toward said support surface to break contact of the card with the successive card of the stack and thereby to facilitate feeding of the successive cards, and

means for selectively displacing the stack of cards from said feed roller to interrupt the feed operation thereof, said selective separating means including means for detecting engagement of each successive card with said drive roller to separate the stack of cards from the said feed roller and to determine completion of passage of each said cardv through said throat to deactivate said separating means and enable engagement of the next successive card of the stack with the feed roller for initiating a successive feed cycle.

23. Apparatus for automatically and selectively feeding cards individually and in succession from a stack of cards, and providing precise spacing between the trailing and leading edges of the successively fed cards, comprising:

means for receiving a stack of cards to' be fed, said receiving means including defining a throat of a height to pass a single card fed from the stack, said throat defining means comprising a stop against which the leading edges of the cards are positioned anda support surface adjacent said stop, said stop being spaced from said support surface to define said throat, and

said support surface receiving thereon and supporting said stack of cards, and positioning the card immediately supported thereon in alignment with said throat for being fed therethrough, a shaft and means for rotating said shaft at a constant rotational velocity, i

a feed roller rotatably mounted on said shaft and positioned thereby in fixed axial relation to said receiving means to support a stack of cards received in said receiving means, by engaging said stack at a position displaced from the leading edges of the cards of said stack,

means coupling said feed roller to said shaftfor rotation of said feed roller thereby, for feeding a card of the stack engaged by said feed roller through said throat, said coupling means providing relative rotation between said feed roller and said shaft through a predetermined slack angle,

drive means for receiving and engaging each card as fed through said throat for completing transport of said card from said'stack and through said throat, said drive means transporting each said card at a greater speed than the feed speed of said feed roller when coupled to said shaft for rotation at the constant rotational velocity thereof, said feed roller, while engaged with a card being transported by said drive means, being rotated at a greater rotational velocity than that of said drive shaft to advance through said slack angle of said coupling means, and terminating rotation upon engagement thereof with the successive card of the stack as the trailing edge of the card being transported by said drive means is withdrawn from engagement with said feed roller, said constantly rotating shaft thereupon closing said slack angle of said coupling means while rotation of said feed roller has terminated, to reinitiate' rotation of said feed roller for feeding a successive card of the stack, and

said slack angle of said coupling means being selected in accordance with the rotational velocity of i said shaft, the radius of said feed roller, the displacement of the feed roller from said throat, and the card transport speed of said drive means so as to effect the reinitiation of rotation of said feed roller to feed each successive card of the stack with a fixed spacing between the trailing and leading edges of successively fed cards.

24. Apparatus as recited in claim 23 wherein said stack of cards is urged against said feed roller and said support surface and wherein said feed roller is positioned relative to said support surface such that the said stack of cards tends to bow about the feed roller.

25. Apparatus as recited in claim 23 wherein:

said support surface extends in a generally common plane toward said feed roller for at least a portion of the distance between said feed roller and said throat, and

said feed roller, when rotation thereof is reinitiated, initially causes the card with which it is engaged to buckle in the portion thereof intermediate the feed roller and the throat and toward said support surface to break contact of that card with the next successive card of the stack, thereby to reduce frictional engagement therewith and facilitate feeding of the card from the stack.

26. Apparatus as recited in claim 25 wherein said feed roller is positioned to protrude from the plane of said support surface, thereby to space said cards in the portion thereof engaged by said feed roller from the plane of said support surface.

27. Apparatus for automatically and selectively feed ing cards individually and in succession from a stack of cards, and providing precise spacing between the trailing and leading edges of the successively fed cards, comprising:

means for receiving a stack of cards to be fed and defining a throat of a height to pass a single card fed from the stack,

said receiving means including a surface defining said throat and supporting the stack of cards received in said receiving means adjacent the leading edge of the card of the stack which first passes through said throat during feeding of said cards, in succes sion, from said stack,

a feed roller positioned in fixed axial relation to said receiving means and displaced from said throat to support a stack of cards received in said receiving means, said feed roller being positioned relative to said support surface to cause said cards, when engaged'therewith, to bow toward said support surface from the location of the engagement thereof with said feed roller, and

drive means for receiving and engaging each successive card fed through said throat by said feed roller and completing transport of each said card from said stack and through said throat, and

means for selectively enabling 'said feed roller to feed the next acjacent card of the stack in timed relationship to the passage of the trailing edge of the next previously fed card through said throat.

28. Apparatus for automatically and selectively feeding cards individually and in succession from a stack of cards, and providing precise spacing between the trailing and leading edges of the successively fed cards, comprising:

means for receiving a stack of cards to be fed and defining a throat of a height to pass a single card fed from the stack,

said receiving means including a surface defining said throat and supporting the stack of cards received in said receiving means adjacent the leading edge of the card of the stack which first passes through said throat during feeding of said cards, in succession, from said stack,

a feed roller positioned in fixed axial relation to said receiving means and displaced from said throat to,

of the stack with which it is engaged to effect feeding of said card to said throat and exerting a transverse force on said card tending to buckle said card away from said stack, and

restraining means intermediate said throat and said feed roller for limiting the extent of buckling produced by said transverse force, thereby to direct the engaged card to move through said throat in response to said longitudinal force.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification271/116, 271/23, 271/10.3
International ClassificationG06K13/103, G06K13/02, G06K13/10
Cooperative ClassificationG06K13/10, G06K13/103
European ClassificationG06K13/103, G06K13/10