|Publication number||US3772972 A|
|Publication date||Nov 20, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 20, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3772972 A, US 3772972A, US-A-3772972, US3772972 A, US3772972A|
|Inventors||O Dutro, S Hewson|
|Original Assignee||Taylor M L|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (21), Classifications (22)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[' Nov. 20, 1973 United States Patent [1 1 Dutro et al.
ABSTRACT STACKER  Inventors: Orville V. Dutro; Sherman H.
Hewson, both of La Canada, Calif.  Assignee: Mildred L. Taylor, Pasadena, Calif.
; a n interest ports a stream of overlapped articles in a forward direction of movement to a batcher. The batcher has a 1972 discharge end adjacent to which there is a receiving  Appl. No.: 236,136
platform, preferably mounted to the frame. A stop member is disposed in the path of the articles and adjacent to the platform to stop the overlapped articles and to align them in an upright stack. A pusher member is provided adjacent to the stop member and is  US. 93/93 C, 93/93 DP  Int. B65h 33/12  Field of 93/93 DP, 93 C, 93 R; adapted to laterally push completed stacks to one side 271/69 86 of the direction of movement. The batcher includes interrupter means which periodically interrupts the flow of articles to the receiving platform after a predetermined number or size of articles has passed it. The steady flow of incoming articles can be accommodated by the batcher during the time that a completed stack is being'ejected from the machine.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS XX M 3 Hum 773 229 3,321,202 5/1967 2,672,079 3/1954 Chandler 3,543,651 12/1970 Donahue et a1 3,593,860 7/1971 Brenner.........
3,527,460 9/1970 Lopez.............
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Primary Examiner-Andrew R. Juhasz Assistant Examiner-James F. Coan AttorneyD. Gordon Angus et a].
STACKER This invention relates to a stacker for converting a stream of overlapped articles, such as printed signatures or completed newspapers, into stacked piles of the said articles.
The problem of gathering together stacks of articles which come in an overlapped stream from a source such as the outfeed of a printing press, or any other type of supply, has long been a troublesome one in the printing industry, largely because it requires so much hand labor. There have been numerous attempts to devise articles for converting these overlapped streams into stacks, and some have been successful, but only at the cost of considerable expense and complexity.
It is an object of this invention to provide a stacker which is rugged and reliable and which can be made relatively inexpensively. It can treat the steady-flow output of a supply mechanism at very substantial input rates, and convert this flow into stacks without interrupting the incoming stream. It does so with a minimum of hand labor, and utilizes such labor as is required in the most economic and efficient manner.
A stacker according to this invention comprises a frame which supports a feeder which receives and transports a stream of overlapped articles in a forward direction of movement to a batcher. A receiving platform is positioned adjacent to the batcher and receives articles from it and supports them in a stack. A stop member is disposed in the path of said articles to stop them and to align them. A pusher member is located adjacent to the stop member and above the platform member so as to shove a completed stack to the side of the direction of movement. An interrupter means in the batcher interrupts the steadily flowing stream of articles to the receiving platform during the time that a completed stack is being removed from the stacker.
According to a preferred but optional feature of the invention, the batcher is mounted to the frame in such manner that its discharge end raises as the top of the stack rises.
According to another preferred but optional feature of the invention, a sensor is carried by the batcher at its free end, which sensor is so disposed and arranged as to rest on top of the stack, and in which control means under the control of said sensor actuates vertical adjustment motive means which raises the free end to maintain it at a substantially constant elevation relative to the top of the stack as it rises.
The above and other features of this invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation, partly in cutaway crosssection, showing the presently preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-section taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a plan view taken at line 3-3 of FIG. 1, and including part of a source of articles to be stacked.
A stacker according to the invention is shown in FIG. 1 resting on a floor 11. It includes a structural frame 12 which is supported on the floor by casters 13 so that it can readily be moved from job to job.
The stacker includes a feeder 14 which, as best shown in FIG. 3, comprises conveyor belts 15 that project beyond the frame so as to receive articles from a stream 16 of articles 17. This stream issues from a supply source 17a (FIG. 3) which might, for example, be
the outfeed end of a printing press. The stream has a direction of forward movement 18.
In order to coordinate the speed of the stacker with that of the supply source, an idler wheel 19 rolls along the top of the stream on the source and provides a signal for a control 20, such as a tachometer generator, that in turn generates a control signal for motor 21. Motor 21 is the prime. motive force for the stacker. Control 20 causes motor 21 to drive the stacker at the precise speed of the stream of incoming articles. Accordingly, this stacker may be moved from source to source, and need not be physically connected to the source machinery except by means of the idler wheel 19. Similarly, the speed of the source machinery can be changed from time to time without having to make an adjustment to the stacker. The stacker is thereby made a slave to the source.
Motor 21 is shown driving the stacker by means of a belt train 22. This train drives conveyor belts 15, and the belts of a batcher 23. It is the batcher which interrupts the stream of articles in order that the stream can be converted into stacks. Batcher 23 is based up a pair of swing arms 24, 25 which are pivoted to the frame by shaft 26. Accordingly, it has a pivoted end 27 and a free discharge end 28. End 28 can move through the are denoted by line 29. Batcher 23 is shown in its uppermost position in solid line in FIG. 1. A portion of it is shown in its lowermost position by dashed lines 30.
Vertical adjustment motive means 35 is pivotally mounted both to the frame and to the conveyor. A beam 36 extends transversely across the stacker and carries a bracket 37 to which a pivot 38 pivotally mounts one end of said means 35. Means 35 preferably comprises a fluid-powered motor, such as a pistoncylinder combination, which includes a cylinder 39 and a piston 40 having a piston rod 41. Other power means can obviously be substituted for this type of motor not only in this means, but also in other similar means in the stacker. The cylinder is pivotally mounted to the frame, and the rod is pivotally mounted by pin 52 to the conveyor. When extended, the piston rod will raise the conveyor, and when retracted, will lower it.
. The operative condition of this motive means is determined by a control 53. Control 53 governs a source of fluid under pressure, such as air or hydraulic fluid, obtained from conventional sources which are well known and require no discussion here.
Control 53 is under the control of a sensor 55. This sensor comprises an arm 56 which is pivotally mounted by a pivot pin 57 at the end of batcher 23. Its function is to maintain the discharge end of the conveyor at such a level that it is just above the level of the top of the stack. As shown in solid line, arm 56 rests atop stack 58, and as the stack begins to grow, the arm is raised by the articles added to the top toward the position shown in dashed line. As the arm reaches the position in dashed line relative to its pivot, the control will cause motive means 35 to operate and extend the rod. As a consequence, the batcher will swing upwardly. It will thereby be seen that this system constitutes a simple follower circuit which will cause the discharge end of the batcher to follow the rise of the stack. Such circuits are well within the skill of a person knowledgeable in the fluid mechanics art, and requires no further discussion here. At the time a stack is removed, arm 56 will drop to its lower position. This will cause the control to reverse the operation of means 35, to lower the discharge end of the batcher until equilibrium is again reached by contact with some structure or with the top of a stack of articles.
A receiving platform 60 is placed adjacent to the discharge end of the batcher. It is mounted to the frame and preferably is a plate that extends laterally relative to the direction of forward motion, preferably on both sides of the path of the articles as they are discharged from discharge end 28, the said path extending along the direction of forward motion. This lateral direction is indicated by arrow 61 (FIG. 3). Platform 60 supports stack 58. A stop member 62 comprises a plate disposed in the path of the flow of articles. It is held in place by a support 63 which rises from the receiving platform. It includes an adjustment 64 which enables the stop member to be moved toward and away from the discharge end of the batcher in order to accommodate articles to be stacked of different dimensions.
A pusher member 65 comprises a pair of paddles 66, 67 mounted to an upright post 68. The post is mounted to a carriage 69. The carriage has supporting rollers 70 which roll along a track 71 in the lateral direction. Accordingly, the pusher member can be moved by lateral motive means 72 between the position shown in solid line and the position shown in dashed lines in FIG. 3. The lateral motive means is preferably a fluid motor, the most useful type of which is a cylinderpiston assembly having a cylinder 73, a piston 74 and a piston rod 75. The cylinder is attached to the frame, and the rod to carriage 69.
The lateral motive means 72 is actuated by signals derived from a control 80. This control governs the flow of pressurized fluid from a source, just as in the vertical adjustment motive means. its function is simply to pressurize one side or the other of the piston relative to the other so as to cause the carriage to shuttle back and forth from one illustrated position to the other. It will be caused to do so each time the stack has reached a desired height or count.
One circumstance which would cause the shuttling operation would be the determination that the stack has reached an intended height, which would give an approximation to a count based upon an average thickness of the articles. This signal would be derived from a sensing of the elevation ofthe free end of the batcher. As another circumstance, and the more usual one, a counter 81 will count the number of articles which have passed a given point on the stacker, and signal when a predetermined number has passed. In either circumstance, after a predetermined condition is reached, i.e., a stack of predetermined content or an approximation thereto, control 80 will actuate the lateral motive means so as to cause the pusher member to shove the completed stack to supports 82 or 83 on one side or the other of the direction of forward motion. Supports 82 and 83 constitute parts of the platform in the sense of supporting a stack of articles received from the batcher, and constitute parts of the platform which extend laterally on both sides of the path of the articles.
The effective capacity of this stacker can be doubled, enabling stacks to be formed at a rate which requires two persons to carry away the formed stacks by waiting for a stack to be formed before moving the pusher in either direction instead of cycling the pusher in both directions between the formation of each stack. Then the stacks will be pushed alternately to positions 82 and 83. Should the intended capacity not be so large, then only one person can handle the output from one side. In such an arrangement, the pusher will be cycled back and forth between the formation of each stack, thereby pushing the stack off the platform and returning to its starting point before the next stack is started, and always pushing the stacks to the same side, rather than pushing them alternately to each of two sides. The control circuitry is readily adapted for either type of operation.
The batcher includes interrupter means 85. in the operation of this device, the batcher does not affect the operation of the supply source, or of the feeder. It is intended for the batcher to receive a steady flow of articles, and to interrupt the flow at the batcher by holding back the stream after a suitable stack has been formed, and while it is being moved to one side, and, when the stacker delivers to one side only, while the pusher returns to its starting point.
interrupter means 85 comprises an overhanging pivoted arm 86 with a finger 87. In the lowermost position, as shown in FIG. 1, the finger will interrupt the flow of articles. Arm 86 can pivot to an upper position out of contact with the stream. Arm 86 may be plate-like, and the finger formed by bending its edge.
The interrupter means also includes a plurality of lifter bars which are pivoted to the frame by pins 96. The free ends of the bars can pass between and be raised above the tops of the conveyor belts. When the flow of articles out of the batcher is to be interrupted,-
arms 86 are lowered, and the free ends of bars 95 are raised. The effect is two-fold. First, the leading articles to be retained are lifted off the conveyor belts so that they will not be smeared, and so that they will not be driven, and second, the leading articles are pinched between the arm and bars to make for a still more positive retention. Other techniques for stopping the articles can readily be devised, still remaining within the scope of the invention. For example, finger 87 could depend vertically downward so as to form an abutment, and the lifter bars could be eliminated, if the abrasion of the moving belts would not harm the articles.
The interrupter means is actuated by a pair of motive means 88 and 97. These motive means are preferaby piston-cylinder assemblies. Means 88 has a cylinder 89, piston 90, and a piston rod 91. Means 97 is similarly constructed. The arm and bars are in lever-type connection with the respective piston rods. When the rods are extended, arm 86 is lowered and bars 95 are raised. The stream is interrupted. When the rods are retracted, arm 86 is raised and bars 95 are lowered, and flow out of the batcher will resume.
Counter 81 includes a delay 98. This delay may count an additional one or more articles into the stream, an amount which will correspond to the average distance the last-to-befed article must move from the interrupter means to leave the batcher. The delay acts to withhold the movement of the pusher until the last article reaches the stack, and the lateral motion will therefore not tangle or fold the last article. Notice that the delay only suspends the operation of the pusher. it does not affect the count.
The count continues during the shuttling operation, the retained articles simply sliding up toward and upon one another at the interrupter means. Then, when the pusher is at its next starting point, control 80 will release the interrupter means, and the flow out of the batcher will resume. The first part of the flow will include a lump of retained articles, but they fall neatly into the stack when they leave the batcher.
The delay device is not necessary to the operation of the invention. Instead, the counter or the sensor responsive to the elevation of the batchers free end could constitute the sole sequencing signal. However, the delay device does smooth out the operation. Further, to adjust the delay as a function of counting a number of articles enables the same sensing circuit to be used for sequencing and delay, to be independent of the rate of operation of the device, and to be adjustable for different delays. Accordingly, this is the preferred control technique.
It should be noted that the counter does not necessarily count the articles in a specific stack, although it could. Instead, its operation is to provide for actuation of the interrupter means and pusher means every time a group of the selected count has passed some point in ths system. Accordingly, the operation of the interrupter means, wherever it is located in the stream, will still permit the passage of a group of the selected number. In this batching technique, a reasonably consistent overlap is assumed.
The receiving platform, stop member and pusher member are simply the preferred embodiment of means whereby a stack may be moved laterally relative to the flow direction. If desired, wheeled bins or other means may be substituted. However, in every case, there will be some means for supporting the stack, and for moving the stack as a unit laterally relative to the forward direction of movement.
If desired, an accelerator belt (not shown) can be added to the batcher at its free end. This belt would run at a faster linear speed than the other belts, such as by means of a gear reduction, and this would speed the departure of the articles from the batcher to the stack.
It will be seen from the foregoing that this invention provides a simple and rugged construction for the stacking of articles which are presented in a steady flow, overlapping stream. For slow rates, the stacks of articles will be fed out only to one side. With higher rates of production, stacks will be shoved to the two opposite positions so that two persons can work to handle the output of the mechanism. This stacker is adaptable to a wide range of types of supply sources, and is completely responsive to their input rate without requiring it to be connected or adapted to their power or drive means.
This invention is not to be limited by the embodiments shown in the drawings and described in the description, which are given by way of example and not of limitation, but only in accordance with the scope of the appended claims.
1. A stacker for converting a stream of overlapped articles into stacked piles of said articles, comprising: a frame; a batcher supported by the frame for receiving and transporting a stream of overlapped articles in a forward direction of movement, said batcher having a discharge end; a recieving platform adjacent to the discharge end to' receive articles from the batcher and support them as a stack; a stop member disposed in the path of said articles and adjacent to the platform to stop the overlapped articles and align them as a stack; a pusher member adjacent to the stop member and disposed at an elevation above that of the platform member; lateral motive means mounted to the platform, to
which lateral motive means the pusher member is attached for movement in a direction transverse to said forward direction, whereby to push a stack of articles on the receiving platform out of the path of the stream of articles; interrupter means for interrupting the flow of articles to the receiving platform after articles sufficient to constitute a stack of predetermined content has passed the interrupter means, and at least until the passed articles have formed the stack and said pusher member has shoved the stack away from its position in said path; and a speed control mounted to the frame and adapted to sense the linear speed of the stream of articles and to cause the batcher to operate so as to move the articles at substantially the same linear speed.
2. A stacker according to claim 1 in which the stacker includes a feeder mounted to the frame for receiving articles from a supply source and conveying them to the batcher.
3. A stacker according to claim 1 in which the batcher is mounted to the frame in such a manner that its discharge end raises as the height of the stack increases.
4. A stacker for converting a stream of overlapped articles into stacked piles of said articles, comprising: a frame; a batcher including a plurality of conveyor belts supported by the frame for receiving and transporting a stream of overlapped articles in a forward direction of movement, said batcher having a discharge end; a recieving platform adjacent to the discharge end to recieve articles from the batcher and support them as a stack; a stop member disposed in the path of said articles and adjacent to the platform to stop the overlapped articles and align them as a stack; a pusher member adjacent to the stop member and disposed at an elevation above that of the platform member; lateral motive means mounted to the platform, to which lateral motive means the pusher member is attached for movement in a direction transverse to said forward direction, whereby to. push a stack of articles on the receiving platform out of the path of the stream of artices, the platform extending laterally on both sides of said path, whereby the pusher member, upon being moved back and forth acrossthe path, pushes successive stacks to opposite sides; interrupter means for interrupting the flow of articles to the receiving platform after articles sufficient to constitute a stack of predetermined content has passed the interrupter means, and at least until the passed articles have formed the stack and said pusher member has shoved the stack away from its position in said path; means included in the interrupter means to lift articles off the batcher; a feeder mounted to the frame for receiving articles from a supply source and conveying them to the batcher; and counter means for countingarticles in the stream and providng a control signal for actuating the interrupter means each time a predetermined number of articles has passed the counter means.
5. A stacker for converting a stream of overlapped articles into stacked piles of said articles, comprising: a frame; a batcher supported by the frame for receiving and transporting a stream of overlapped articles in a forward direction of movement, said batcher having a discharge end; a receiving platform adjacent to the discharge end to receive articles from the batcher and support them as a stack; a stop member disposed in the path of said articles and adjacent to the platform to stop the overlapped articles and align them as a stack;
being moved back and forth across the path, pushes successive stacks to opposite sides; and interrupter means for interrupting the flow of articles to the receiving platform after articles sufficient to constitute a stack of predetermined content has passed the interrupter means, and at least until the passed articles have formed the stack and said pusher member has shoved the stack away from its position in said path.
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|U.S. Classification||414/788.9, 414/790.3, 414/794.5|
|International Classification||B65H29/18, B65H29/00, B65H31/32, B65H31/30|
|Cooperative Classification||B65H33/12, B65H29/001, B65H31/3081, B65H29/18, B65H29/50, B65H29/66, B65H2301/42266, B65H31/32|
|European Classification||B65H33/12, B65H29/66, B65H29/50, B65H31/30F, B65H29/00B, B65H29/18, B65H31/32|