|Publication number||US3765670 A|
|Publication date||Oct 16, 1973|
|Filing date||Sep 13, 1972|
|Priority date||Sep 13, 1972|
|Also published as||DE2344813A1, DE2344813C2|
|Publication number||US 3765670 A, US 3765670A, US-A-3765670, US3765670 A, US3765670A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (8), Classifications (10), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States tent [191 Johnson RETAINER FOR SHEET TRANSFER IN SORTING MACHINE  inventor: fialefichardjdhnson,Seatfle, 7
# AssigneefNBfinflbd, Seattle, Wash. 7 V
' 22 Filed: Sept. 13, 1972  Appl. No.: 288,531
Primary Examiner-Robert W, Michell Assistant Examiner-L. R. Oremland Attorney-Richard W. Seed et al.
[ Oct. 16, 1973 [5 7] ABSTRACT A sorting device which receives and path and in-faceto-face proximity sheets at preselected positions includes a distributor for receiving and distributing the sheets for reception by a receiver and sheet retaining means cooperating with the conveyor means of the distributor for holding the moving sheets against the conveyor while being conveyed to the position where the sheets are deflected into the receiver. The sheet retaining means includes flexible strands connected between the upper and lower ends of the conveyor path and in-facelto-face proximity with the conveyor means to hold sheets against the conveyor means while being moved to the position from which the sheets are deflected, and guide means for each of the flexible strands secured to a deflector assembly to divert the strands laterally outwardly from a point before deflection of the moving sheets to avoid interference of the strands with the moving sheets being deflected into the receiver.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Oct. 16, 1973 3,765,670
RETAINER FOR SHEET TRANSFER IN SORTING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a sorting device of the vertical conveyor, single deflector type, and particularly to improved sheet retainer means therefor.
2. Prior Art Relating to the Disclosure Sheet sorting devices of the type described herein are known, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,273,882; 3,414,254; and 3,561,753. In devices of this type, means are required for retaining the downwardly moving sheets along the vertical course of conveyor travel against the conveyor before deflection into a suitable bin, or shelf, of the receiver. The sheet retaining means described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,414,254 and 3,561,753 are spring-loaded reel units having tapes connected to the deflector assembly that are pulled downwardly as the deflector assembly moves upwardly. The tapes are vertically aligned with the conveyor tapes and are spaced in close face-to-face relationship to retain the downwardly moving sheets against the tapes. Sheet retaining means of this type presented certain problems, primarily that of ink transfer from freshly printed documents, smearing and maintenance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed to an improved sheet retaining means for the distributor of a sorting device which includes a distributor and receiver. The sheet retaining means includes flexible strands connected between the upper and lower ends of the path of travel of a conveyor for the moving sheets to hold the sheets against the conveyor while being moved to a position of deflection, and guide means for each strand secured to a movable deflector assembly to divert the strands laterally outwardly to avoid interference of the strands with the moving sheets being deflected into a bin of the receiver by the deflector assembly.
The objects of this invention are (1) to provide a sheet sorting device wherein the sheet retaining means is greatly simplified and provides positive means of retaining the sheets in position on the vertical course of the tape conveyor until it reaches the position at which it is positively deflected; (2) to provide an improved sheet retaining means for the distributor of a sorting device which does not transfer ink from one moving sheet to another; (3) to provide a sorting device including sheet retaining means which is essentially maintenance free and economical to manufacture.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the distributor assembly incorporating the sheet retaining means of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial perspective view of the deflector assembly of the distributor including guide means secured thereto to laterally divert the sheet retaining means; and
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-section along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 shows a distributor which separates and delivers sheets of paper or other suitable material to an upright receiver 11 located at the rear of the distributor and having one or more vertical columns of shelves or bins 12 for storage of the sorted sheets delivered thereto in proper order by the distributor. The exact details of the distributor and receiver form no part of the present invention and reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 3,414,254 for details of same. In general, the shelves of the receiver are arranged to be fed from the front by the distributor and manually emptied from the rear when the sorted material is completed. The various sheets to be sorted are fed in reverse order by printer or duplicator (not shown), one sheet at a time, into the conveyor portion of the distributor which includes a pair of laterally spaced inlet conveyor tapes 1313. The sheets are received at the infeed end of the conveyor and are moved in an upwardly inclined course and then downwardly along a vertical portion of the conveyor which faces the vertical column of receiver shelves or bins. During the downward course on the vertical portion of the conveyor the sheets are deflected by a deflector assembly 14 onto the respective shelves of the receiver, the deflector assembly indexing between positions deflecting moving sheets along the conveyor into the respective ones of the shelves. The indexing deflector assembly includes a vertical slide assembly and means to progressively index the slide assembly for deflection of the moving sheets by the plates or fingers 15 sequentially to the receiver trays. At the completion of a chosen group of index positions, the deflector assembly is recycled to again start an initial indexed position by a control circuit substantially as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,414,254, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Referring to FIG. 1 the distributor has a base frame 16 which may be rectangular or any other shape in plan view. The base frame is supported by means of conventional support wheels '17, the wheels either mounted to the base frame in a fixed position as illustrated or castered or otherwise pivoted as desired. Vertical supports 18 mounted on the base frame at the four corners thereof serve primarily to support the feed table of the inclined feed portion of the conveyor. Sheet metal enclosure members 19 are fixed to extend upwardly of the base frame and connected across the top by a transverse housing structure 19a about the distributor portion of the distributor. Additional supports 20 located inboard of the supports 18 and secured to the base frame 16 by welding or other suitable means serve to mount certain of the support members and drive shaft as well as to provide guide means for the deflector assembly.
The inclined feed portion of the distributor includes an inclined feed table 21 connected at the upper end of the table to vertical supports 20 and at the lower end of the table to a suitable support 22. Details of the infeed table form no part of this invention and are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,414,254. The supports for the conveyor tape 13-13 as well as the indexing deflector assembly 14 include two rear vertical rails (not shown) and vertical posts 20 spaced forwardly thereof. The conveyor tapes 13 are driven by means of a drive motor (not shown) mounted on the base frame. The tapes pass about idler rolls 23 upwardly along the inclined feed table and at the top of the inclined infeed table pass over a relatively large diameter guide roller 24 having its shaft journaled for free rotation in posts 20 and thence downwardly and rearwardly about idler rolls 25 carried on stub axles fixed to the base frame 16.
The tapes 13-13 may be run parallel to each other along their upper travel along the infeed table or may be guided to diverge slightly in the upper direction to laterally tension the moving sheets.
Deflecting fingers 22, mounted for rotation between the position illustrated and that in the path of the oncoming sheets, divert the sheets for proofing until ready for sorting.
A central conveying belt 26 is trained about a lower roller (not shown) journaled for rotation in suitable bearings between upright posts 26a and trained around another such drum or roller at the upper end of the vertical run (not shown). Reference may be had to US. Pat. No. 3,56! ,75 3 for details of the central belt configuration and utilization as such. The belt 26 is provided with perforations 27 as indicated in FIG. 1. The belt, on its vertical course, passes over a vacuum plenum (not shown) in the form of a rectangular chamber closed at its top and back side but either entirely open or partially open at its front to the back side of the belt 26. The lower end of the chamber is connected to a vacuum conduit.
The indexing deflector assembly 14 is mounted for vertical movement along the vertical guide posts 20. Reference to US. Pat. Nos. 3,561,753 and 3 ,414,254 may be had for details of the indexing assembly, its structure and utilization. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the deflector assembly includes a series of deflecting fingers 15 mounted at spaced intervals on shafts 28 and 29 extending between the end deflecting fingers 15a on each side. Coil springs (not shown) extend between each of the deflecting fingers. The end deflecting fingers 15a, in turn, are secured by rods 30 and 31 to vertical end plates 32 on each side of the deflecting fingers. Only one of the end plate structures will be described in detail. The-end plate structures 32 are provided with three rollers 33 and 34 which engage grooves in the vertical posts 20 on each side thereof. The posts 20 act as guide rails for the vertical movement of the indexing deflector assembly and the deflecting fingers 15 carried thereby. The deflecting fingers l serve to deflect sheets moving along the conveyor tapes l3 and 26 into one of the bins 12 as the sheet contacts the deflecting fingers surface in its downward course. The mechanism for vertical movement of the deflector assembly is described in US. Pat. Nos. 3,561,753 and 3,414,254 and forms no part of this invention. A roller 35 journaled for free rotation to shaft 350 is secured to end plate 32 forward of the respective end deflecting fingers and directs the edges of the moving sheets over the deflecting fingers.
The distributor illustrated incorporates a simplified and improved sheet retaining means for retaining the moving sheets directed downwardly along the vertical course of the distributor against the conveyor belts 13 and 26 to retain the downwardly moving sheets against the conveyor tape. As the downwardly moving sheet encounters the deflector fingers 15 it moves from beneath the sheet retaining means under the roller 35 and is deflected by the lip of the deflector fingers 15 toward the receiver bin 12 aligned with the deflector fingers. The sheet retaining means described in US. Pat. Nos. 3,561,753 and 3,414,254 are spring loaded tape winding means connected at the upper end to the frame of the distributor and at the lower end to the indexing assembly so that as the deflector indexing assembly is moved downwardly the sheet retaining tapes are unreeled against the tension of the spring. Contrary to this the sheet retaining means of this invention is much simplified, less expensive to manufacture, and does not transfer ink from sheet to sheet. The sheet retaining means includes flexible strands 40 aligned in close faceto-face relationship with the conveyor tapes 13 to retain the downwardly moving sheets against the conveyor tape. The flexible strands of nylon, polyester or cotton or other suitable material, are secured at their upper ends to an elongated bracket 41 having a semicircular upper end secured around shaft 36. The lower ends of the flexible strands are secured to springs 42 which, in turn, are secured at their lower ends to forwardly extending brackets 43 attached to the base frame 16 of the distributor. Secured to the forward edges of plates 32 on each side of the distributor are guide means 44, such as the guide tube shown, which divert the strands 40 laterally outwardly a sufficient distance such that they do not interfere with the downwardly moving sheets deflected by the deflecting fingers 15 of the deflector assembly 14 as they are being deflected into the respective receiver bins of the re ceiver. If necessary, downwardly extending flexible or semiflexible strands 45 are suspended from the upper ends of the guide tubes 44 above the rollers 35.
Indexing of the deflector assembly from one receiver bin to the next is done in response to passage of a sheet from the deflector assembly through a suitable control means which are described in the aforementioned patents, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,56l,753 and 3,414,254.
The embodiments of the invention in which a particular property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. In a distributor for receiving and distributing sheets at preselected positions for reception by a receiver having (1 sheet conveyor means for moving the received sheets past the shelves of a receiver, (2) a movable sheet deflector assembly operatively associated with the conveyor means, (3) means mounting the deflector assembly for movement along a course of travel of the conveying means past the shelves of the receiver for deflecting moving sheets therefrom into selected shelves of the receiver, and (4) sheet retaining means cooperating with the conveyor means for holding the moving sheets thereto while being conveyed to the position where they are deflected, the extremities of the conveyor including at least the extent of the shelves of the receiver, the improvement comprising sheet retaining means including (1) flexible strands connected with stationary points adjacent the extremities of the conveyor and extending along the course of travel of the conveyor means and in faceto-face proximity with the conveyor means for holding sheets against the conveyor means while being moved to the position of the deflector assembly, and (2) guide means for each strand secured to the deflector assembly for diverting the strands laterally outwardly from a point before deflection of the moving sheets to avoid interference of the strands with the moving sheets being deflected into the receiver.
2. In a distributor for receiving and distributing moving sheets into a receiver having an upright column of spaced shelves, the distributor including (1) vertically moving sheet conveyor means opposite the receiver for conveying sheets in a substantially vertical course with the sheets being disposed in a substantially vertical plane, (2) a movable sheet deflector assembly operatively associated with the conveyor means, (3) means mounting the deflector assembly for movement along the conveyor, and (4) sheet retaining means in face-toface proximity with the moving sheets to hold the same in contact with the conveyor means during conveyance and during the positioning of a deflector assembly, the improvement comprising providing sheet retaining means including flexible strands connected with stationary points adjacent the upper and lower ends of the conveyor means in face-to-face proximity with the moving sheets for holding the sheets against the conveyor means while being moved to the position of the deflector assembly, guide means for each strand secured to the deflector assembly for diverting the strands laterally outwardly from a point before deflection of the moving sheets into the receiver to avoid interference of the strands with the moving sheets being deflected into shelves of the receiver.
3. The distributor of claim 2 wherein the guide means includes guide tubes through which the strands are directed secured to each side of the deflector assembly guiding each strand laterally outwardly of the deflector fingers of the deflector assembly.
4. The distributor of claim 2 wherein spring means are connected between one of the ends of the strands and the frame of the distributor.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4648590 *||Apr 4, 1984||Mar 10, 1987||Helmut Steinhilber||Transport device for paper sheets|
|US4772010 *||Mar 30, 1987||Sep 20, 1988||Duplo Seizo Kabushiki Kaisha||Guide mechanism for paper sheets in an elevator type sorter|
|US4819931 *||Apr 21, 1987||Apr 11, 1989||Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd.||Sorting apparatus|
|US5011131 *||May 3, 1989||Apr 30, 1991||Daverio Ag||Sorting apparatus|
|US5090687 *||Dec 20, 1990||Feb 25, 1992||Daverio Ag||Method of sorting printing plates|
|US5326093 *||May 24, 1993||Jul 5, 1994||Xerox Corporation||Universal interface module interconnecting various copiers and printers with various sheet output processors|
|US5449158 *||Jun 25, 1993||Sep 12, 1995||Konica Corporation||Sorter for distributing a plurality of sheets to a plurality of sheet holding bins|
|US6244594||Mar 2, 1999||Jun 12, 2001||Tohoku Ricoh Co., Ltd.||Apparatus for storing sheets driven out of an image forming apparatus|
|U.S. Classification||271/296, 198/633|
|International Classification||B07C1/04, B65H39/11, B07C1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B07C1/04, B65H2408/112, B65H39/11|
|European Classification||B07C1/04, B65H39/11|
|Mar 11, 1988||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PACCOM LEASING CORPORATION, 1221 SW YAMHILL, SUITE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NORFIN INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004862/0406
Effective date: 19880222
Owner name: PACCOM LEASING CORPORATION, A OREGON CORP., OREGON
|Feb 9, 1987||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NORFIN INTERNATIONAL, INC., 526 FIRST AVENUE, SOUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SNELLMAN, DONALD L.;REEL/FRAME:004688/0034
Effective date: 19870114
Owner name: NORFIN INTERNATIONAL, INC.,WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SNELLMAN, DONALD L.;REEL/FRAME:004688/0034