Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3857220 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1974
Filing dateAug 22, 1973
Priority dateOct 2, 1970
Publication numberUS 3857220 A, US 3857220A, US-A-3857220, US3857220 A, US3857220A
InventorsFergg B, Hujer F, Nagel E, Schneider H, Zahn W
Original AssigneeAgfa Gevaert Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Arrangement for processing printing orders
US 3857220 A
Timing, arrangement and interconnection of film and reproduction cutting means, sorters and packaging for maximum utilization of operator time.
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Schneider et a1.

1111 3,857,220 1451 Dec. 31, 1974 ARRANGEMENT FOR PROCESSING PRINTING ORDERS Inventors: Horst Schneider, Horrem; Berthold Fergg; Wolfgang Zahn, both of Munich; Friedrich Hujer, Grunwald; Erich Nagel, Anzing, all of Germany AGFA-Gevaert Aktiengesellschaft, Leverkusen, Germany Filed: Aug. 22, 1973 Appl. NOLI 390,563 g 1 Related US. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No, 185,163, Sept. 30, 1971, abandoned.


Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 2, 1970 Germany 2048552 U.S. C11 53/59 R, 53/123, 83/371 [51] Int. Cl. B65b 57/10 [58] Field of Search 53/59 R, 123, 131; 83/105, 83/371, 519

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,203,293 8/1965 Lee 83/371 X 3,631,979 1/1972 Frankiewicz. 83/105 X 3,789,571 2/1974 Tall 53/59 R 3,793,915 2/1974 Hujer 83/371 X Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Assistant Examiner-John Sipos Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael S. Striker [57] ABSTRACT Timing, arrangement and interconnection of film and reproduction cutting means, Sorters and packaging for maximum utilization of operator time.

17 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENIEDUEB3 1 I914 3', e57; 220


SHEET 5 0F 7 I J 120 0 I I G Fig. 5

ARRANGEMENT FOR PRocEssING PRINTING oRDERs CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to arrangements forcarrying out printing orders. Specifically, film is given into a dealer forprocessing by amateur photographers. The dealer forwards the film we printing station. In this printing station the film is processed with use of very little processing personnel, by gluing the stripsof film furnished by different dealers together and subjecting the resulting long film strips to automatic processing. The resulting pictures (reproductions) are subjected to visual inspection. Those pictures which are not adequate and whose printing is to be repeated have a mark affixed to them. This mark is scanned and during the cutting process the sO-marked pictures are separated from the good copies. For completing an order the cut pictures corresponding to a particular order must be put together with the film of the order.'The film has been cut into strips of predeterminedmaximum length, for example into strips each holding five or six negatives. Further, after the film and the pictures have been so put together it is necessary to compute the cost of the order. This requires the entering of various data into a computer, as for example how many copies of what size were delivered, what type of packaging and what type of processing the film was subjected toQAfter computing the cost of the order the film is then mailed back to the dealer who in turn returns it" to the customer. In conventional arrangements at the film processing station, most of the processing took place manually. This of course results in a longtime period for the processing of each order. V

It is the object of the present invention to automate the processing of a printing order.

The present invention therefore comprises first elongated signal carrier means having aplurality of first frames and a pluralityof first frame lines, each of said first frame lines separating successive ones of said frames. The elongated signal carrier means further have first end markings marking the end of an order. The invention further comprises second elongated signal carrier means having a plurality of prints. The second elongated signal carrier means further have second end markings indicating the end of an order. First cutting means are furnished for cutting said first elongated signal carrier means into strips having a predetermined maximum length in response to a first start signal. Second cutting means are provided for cutting said second elongated signal carrier means in response to a second start signal. Second transport means transport said second elongated signal carrier means past said cutting means. Finally, control means interconnect said first and second cutting means and furnish said start signal when said second end marking is in a predetermined position relative to said second cutting means.

With an arrangement of the present invention the film and the prints corresponding to the same order are assembled together at the same location at which the pictures have been cut and the film has been cut into 2 strips. By suitable timing of the various equipment required to carry:ou ttheseprocesses, the time of the operator can be almostcompletely utilized.

In accordance with its invention, further arrangements are also provided which allow semi-automatic computing of the cost of an order and the affixing of the price to the dealer to said order.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be bestunderstood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in con -nection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 shows the physical arrangement of the various I entities required for the film processing;

FIG. 2 shows the control circuit interconnecting the equipments shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a timing diagram showing the operating times of the various components;

FIGS. 4 and 5 depict a picture cutting and sorting arrangemen t; and

FIGS. 6a and 6b illustrate a film cutting and transport arrangement with FIG. 6c illustrating a control circuit 'for the film cutting and transport arrangement of FIGS.

6a and 6b.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT I a able for packaging. The cutting takes place at the frame lines. The film is herein referred to as first elongated signal carrier means. At the edge of the film are notches or perforations which have been affixed to indicate each exposed negative. Further, the film band has end markings which indicate the position of the glued junctions where film of two different orders has been pasted together. These end markings may for example be notches on both sides of the film or it may be recognizable by the relatively low transparency of a gluing strip. The so-cut strips are fed into an arrangement 4 in which they are stacked. Further, scanning means (herein referred to as third scanning means) are furnished at this station which furnish a signal when no film strips are present in the arrangement. The scanning means may for example comprise a microswitch or it may be photoelectric scanning means. Underneath this film stacking arrangement 4 is positioned a magazine 5 which holds packaging means in an upright position so that the stack of films can be transferred from the stacking arrangement 4 into the package.

A magazine 6 is arranged at the middle of work bench 1. This magazine contains the so-called order containers or packages. The order containers are the packaging units in which pictures and the film are both put. At this point these containers already contain a order number and a dealer number in coded form for automatic read out. The order number and the dealer number can have been entered by the dealer and furnished with the film of the order. Alternatively, the dealer and order numbers can have been affixed at the processing station. In any case they can be read out automatically. As shown in FIG. 1', the magazine 6 is arranged towards the rear of the table. At the front of the table a stamping arrangement is furnished which for the most parthas its operating parts underneath the work bench. Visible is only a slot 7 into which the order containers are inserted. An automatic read-out arrangement or scanning arrangement is situated near slot 7. This reads out the dealer and order numbers when the order containers are correctly positioned and furnishes these numbers to a central computer.

Second'cutting means, denoted by reference numeral 8 in FIG. 1, are arranged at the right-hand side of the work bench l.These cutting means cut the printed pictures in accordance with identifying markings which have been printed on the reverse side of the pictures. As they enter these cutting means, these pictures are in a large roll (second elongated signal carrier means) and contain the pictures of a plurality of orders. Second end markings denote the end of an order and were affixed to the back of the paper in the roll when scanned signals scanned on the film denoted a. glued junction on the film.

The cutting means 8 (second cutting means) start cutting the reproductions at the frame lines (second frame lines) upon receipt of a second start signal and continue to operate until the end of order marking is reached, whereafter the cutting arrangement stops.

Just prior to the cutting arrangement 8 is an arrangement denoted by reference numeral 9 which serves to drive the paper which is in a relatively heavy roll in order to diminish the tension in the paper when in the cutting arrangement. A sorter 10 follows the cutting arrangement. This sorter serves to sort the out pictures into acceptable and unacceptable copies. The unacceptable copies have corresponding marks on their reverse side and the sorting takes place in accordance with these marks; These marks are referred to herein as second additional markings. These second additional markings are scanned by firstscanning means which furnish first scanning signals in the presence of such markings. Further, within cutting arrangement 8 are also arranged counting means of a known type which count the number of activations of cutter 8 within an order and furnish a number corresponding to the total number of such cutting operations to a central computer. The sorting arrangement also has associated counting means which count the number of activations of the sorter so that the number of pictures within an order whose processingmust be repeated is also for the operator to make corrections if, forexa'mple, an

end of ordermarking has been skipped and too high a number of copies has been charged to a particular order.

FIG. 2 shows the control arrangement which interconnects the equipment shown in FIG. 1. The second cutting means 8 have an input for a start signal which is furnished by an AND gate 12 whose inputs in turn comprise a start signal which may be manually applied or applied by means of foot pedal by the operator. I-Iowever,,the AND gate 12 only furnishes an output in response tothis startsignal if a connection has'been made for automatic operation within equipment 8 so that a-signal is applied to the second input of AND gate 12. Further, a third input of AND gate 12 must also be energized. The energization of this input will be discussed below.

The cutting means 8 have a first output which is connected to a counter which counts the number of activations of the cutting means and thus determines the number of copies. This output of the cutting arrangement-8 is labelled 13. The number representing the total number of copies is furnished to the stamping arrangement located in the vicinity of slot 7 and to a data storage 33 of the computer. Scanning means associated with cutting means 8 fur-. nish the second output, labelled 14, which carries signals corresponding to scanned second end signals, that is a signal appears on line 14 at the end of each order. This signal, specifically a pulse, is furnished to the computer. Further, it is applied to one input of an AND gate 15 whose second inputis connected to the film cutting arrangement 3. This second input always receives a signal when a particular switch within the cutting a'rrangement3 has been set for automatic operation. Thus during automatic operation the scanned second end signal is always, transferred through AND gate 15 and serves to set a flip-flop 16 which thus stores the second end signal. When so set, flip-flop l6 furnishes a positive potential to one input of an AND gate 17. AND gate17 has a second input which comes from the previously mentioned scanning means 18 namely the scanning means which indicate when the receiving station, namely the arrangement 4 in which the film is stacked, is empty.

A differentiating circuit 19 is connected to the output of AND gate 17. This differentiates the signal furnished by AND gate 17, that is it furnishes a pulse when flipflop 16 is set. This pulse serves as a first start signal. Namely it starts the operation of film cutter 3. Film cutter 3 then operates to cut a film into strips at the frame lines. The pulse at the output of the differentiating circuit 19 is also applied to a storage 20 causing a change of state of this storage which is a monostable multi. After a predetermined time interval this change of state of storage 20 is utilized to reset storage 16. When storage 16 is in this reset state, a 1 signal appears at the abovementioned third input of AND gate 12, so that the cutting of the pictures by cutting means 8 can recommence upon receipt of an operator applied start signal.

Sorting arrangement 10 associated with cutting means 8 furnishes an output, labelled 21in FIG. 2, which carries a signal whenever the sorter is activated, that is when an unacceptable copy appears in the pictures being cut. This signal, a first scanning signal, is transmitted to the stamper and further to a flip-flop 22 which changes state when receiving such a signal. Flipflop 22 has a negative output connected with a differentiating circuit 23. Since flip-flop 22 is reset, as shown in FIG. 2, by the signal at the output of the differentiating circuit 19, its negative output is limited in time until the occurrence of the next end of order signal at cutting means 8. Differentiating circuit 23 differentiates the negative pulse at the output of stage 22 furnishing a sequence of a negative and a positive pulse. The negative pulse is shunted to ground via a diode 24, while the positive pulse sets a bistable circuit (second circuit means) 25, whose output when in this set state constitutes a second start signal for cutting means 3. Upon receipt of this second start signal the film is transported past cutting means 3 without operation of the cutter. It might be said that the second start signal impedes that part of the action of the first start signal furnished by differentiating means 19 which causes the cutting operation. Therefore if an unacceptable copy has been detected in the roll of copies cut by cutter 8, the corresponding film is pulled through without cutting until the end of order signal on the film at which point it is cut. The scanned first end signal signifying the end of the order as denoted by a corresponding mark on the film also serves to reset flip-flop 25. Flipflop 22 of course was returned to its original state by the output signalof differentiator 19 in response to the end of order signal on line 14, namely the signals signifying the end of the order on the reproductions.

FIG. 3 is a timing diagram showing the operation of the various components of the present invention and of the operator actions during the processing of a film printing order. In the top line the times during which cutting means 8 are operative are indicated. The operating times for cutting means 3, the film cutter, is shown in the line 'below. The various work phases for the operator are shown in the lines below. Specifically in line 32 the times during which data is entered on keyboard 11 are indicated. Line 27 shows the two time periods in which pictures are removed from cutting means 8 and put into the order container. In line 28 the time is indicated in which the film strips are taken from receiving station 4, while in line 29 the time is indicated for taking the container from slot 7. Line 30 shows the time for comparison of the pictures with the film, that is of the reproductions with the original and further the comparison with the order number on the container to make sure that all of these coincide. The time of operation of the printer which prints the data on the containers is shown in line 31.

The cycle starts with the insertion of a roll of pictures and a roll of films and the corresponding stack of containers to the equipment. The film, reproductions and containers are first checked to make sure that they correspond to each other (see line 30). If the check is positive, the operator starts the cutting means 8 which commence to cut the pictures corresponding to the first order, for example 20 copies, from the roll of pictures. During this time the containers are inserted into slot 7 and data is entered into key field 11. See line 32. When all copies corresponding to an order have beencut, the end signal appears on line 14. This'causes the printer which prints data in the container to be enabled and at the same time the film cutter, 3, is started as described in relationship with FIG. 2. The film cutter cuts the film corresponding to the pictures already cut into strips of substantially equal length and the so-cut film arrives in a receiving station 4. Simultaneously with the actionof the film cutter as shown in line 3, the operator removes the pictures from cutting means 8 (see line 27). During this time also, as shown in line 31, the data stored, in the printer is transferred to the order container which is at this point situated in slot 7. After the stamping of the order bag, the operator, in accordance with line 27, puts the pictures into the container and, according to line 28, removes the film strips from the film receiving station 4. The film strips are also put into the container. The container is thus filled with the film and the pictures of an order and properly stamped with the data required prior to the mailing back of the container to the dealer. The data for computing the cost was furnished from the read-out means situated in slot 7, from keyboard 11 and from the counter associated with cutter 8 to the central computer or else to an intermediate storage, as for example a card perforating mechanism.

During the above step, the cutting means 8 are already operating for cutting the pictures of the next order. If the operator has not removed the film strips from the film receiving station 4 in time, the cutting means 3 do not receive a start signal starting the transport therethrough and the cutting of the film, since the third scanning signal, namely the signal on line 18 is missing (see FIG. 2). Only when the film strips have been removed can the film cutting arrangement start to operate. Immediately upon completion of the previous order, the order container for the next order is removed from magazine 6 and inserted into slot 7. The operation can then continue as described above. It will be noted that the operator operating this equipment is occupied almost all the time.

The third operating cycle shown in FIG. 3 will now be discussed. This is an operating cycle in which an unacceptable copy is found. This information is immediately transmitted to the film cutting arrangement 3 as described in relation to FIG. 2. The second start signal applied to cutter 3 causes the film to be wound through without cuttingjThe process continues until the next glue junction, indicating an end of the order, is found. At this point the film is cut. In this particular case the acceptable pictures are put into the order bag, thhe unacceptable ones however together with the uncut film, are put into a reprinting cycle, wherein printing of the poor copies with other correction factors takes place. The copies made after this second printing process are then added to the pictures in the order container, the film is cut in another arrangement and is also put into the order container. V

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a picture transport and cutting device such as the one indicated by numerals 8 and 10 in FIG. 1 including a sorter and end scan for reproductions in the form of photographic prints 103, 103a which form a succession or strip 103a stored on a supply reel 107 which is mounted on a hollow rectangular base or support 101. The prints 103 are satisfactory prints and the prints 103A are defective, i.e., their characteristics are different from those of the prints 103. Each defective print 103A is provided with a readily detectable identifying indicium or mark 103b which is applied thereto in the customary way. Furthermore, each print (i.e., each print 103 and each print 103A) is provided with a second identifying mark 103d which is scanned by a scanning device or detector 111 controlling the operation of a motor 112 (e.g., an electromagnet) which can actuate a severing device or cutter 102 serving to subdivide the strip 103a into discrete prints 103 and 103A. A transporting device including an upper roller 108 located above the path of travel of the strip 103a and a lower roller (not shown) disposed below such path are operated intermittently by a motor 109 so as to advance the strip 103a stepwise, always by the length of a print.

The marks 103d may constitute graphite lines scanned by an element of the device 111 which can dearrested strip 103a. The cutter comprises a movable upper knife located above the path of strip 103a and a fixed counterknife mounted in the base below the strip. The freshly severed print 103 or 103A then extends well beyond a shoulder 101a of the base 101 provided at the discharge end of the path for the strip 103a.

The classifying apparatus further comprises a sorting device including a pivotable guide or platform 104 located at the discharge end of the aforementioned path and turnable about a horizontal axis which is parallel to the direction of transport of prints 103, 103A along the upper side of the base 101. The platform 104 is located below the level of the plane of the strip 103a on the base 101 and includestwo parallel edge portions 104a, 104b one of which is closely adjacent to the upper side of the base 101 in each of the two angular positions of the platform 104. The means for pivoting the platform between such end positions through an acute angle alpha, preferably an angle of between 60 and 70 and most preferably an angle of 65, includes a rotary electromagnet'l14 which is electrically connected with a second scanning device having a mechanical, pneumatic, conductivity-detecting or photoelectric scanning element which detects the presence of marks l03b and causes the electromagnet 114 to change the position of the platform 104. The purposeof the platform 104 is to direct satisfactory prints 103 to a first collecting station which accommodates a first receptacle or tray 106 and to direct defective or unsatisfactory prints 103A to a second collecting station which accommodates a second receptacle or tray 105. The two trays are preferably immediately adjacent to each other and their dimensions are selected in such a way that the prints 103 and 103A are neatly stacked therein, with the image-bearing surfaces facing in the same direction. ln each of its two end positions, the platform 104 is oriented in such a way that its upper surface makes an angle of about 35 with the horizontal plane of the path for the strip 103a along the upper side of the base 101. As shown in FIG. 1, the width of the trays 105 and 106 is selected in such a way that each print 103 or 103A is caused to move all the way to the outer longitudinal side wall of the respective tray. Such positioning of the trays renders it possible to use a given tray for stacking of smaller or larger prints.

The marks l03b are applied to defective prints 103A while the strip 1030 is guided past an examining station, not shown. If the marks 1031) are in the form of graphite lines, they can be detected by a'scanning device which can discriminate between the conductivity of the strip material and that of the graphite lines. If the marks 1031; are in the form of notches, holes or the like, they can be detected by a mechanical, photoelectric or pneumatic scanning element. The signals produced by the scanning device 113 are delayed to insure that the platform 104 is pivoted at an optimum time for directing the respective unsatisfactory print 103A into the tray 105.

The motor 109 receives signals from a control circuit 110 which is responsive to signals from the scanning device 111 and which also serves to control the operation of the motor 112 for the movable component of the cutter 102. The line 110a represents an operative connection between the control circuit 110 and the motor 14 for the platform 104.'This connection insures that the electromagnet of the motor 114 remains energized for a certain interval of time following severing of an unsatisfactory print 103A, i.e., an interval which is long enough to ensure that the unsatisfactory print 103A slides along the top surface of the platform and into the tray 105. The motor 114 comprises one or more springs which permanently bias the platform 104 to one of its end positions, preferably to that position in which the platform directs satisfactorily prints into the tray 106.

The prints of the strip 103a are furthermore provided with markings 103e which indicate the end of a particular order. When an end-marking 103:: is sensed by the respective sensor 120, sensor applies a signal to a time-delay stage 121, which in turn furnishes an end-oforder signal at output 14, at the e'nd'of the time delay. The time delay is equal to the time required for the sensed print to reachthe cutter, be cut and drop onto one of the two stacks.

A resettable counter l22, having a reset input R, has an output connected to that output of control circuit 110 which applies an activating pulse to the cutter unit motor 112. Thus, resettable counter 122 counts the number of prints cut and thereby the number of prints in an order. At the end of an order, the output signal appearing at output l4, after the stacking of the last print of the'order, is appliedto the reset input R of counter 122,'resetting'the counter to zero. Also, the appearance at output 14 of the end-of-order signal indicates to the computer that the current count of the counter 122 equals the number of prints in the complete group of prints just stacked.

FIG. 6 illustrates in schematic detail the construction of the film-cutting equipment designated with reference numeral 3 in the schematic diagram of H0. 1.

The film, glued together at the ends of the'respective short strips to form a very long strip, is wound off a supply reel 151. The film leader is inserted into a pair of opposing cooperating conveyor belts 200a, 200b, driven by a motor M1, and travels between the opposed horizontal runs of the conveyor belt'system 200. Thereafter, the film crosses a short gap, greatly exaggerated in the drawing for the sake of clarity, and enters into a second conveyor belt system 201, formed by two opposing conveyor belts 201a, 201b. The width of the conveyor belts 201a, 201b is substantially less than the width of the film and accordingly, the conveyor belts 201a, 20lb engage only the median portion of the film leaving the edge portions unengaged by the belts. Two elongated side walls 204, 205 engage the edges of the film, to precisely guide the film along its path of travel. A first detector X is positioned above one edge of the film, and a second detector Y is positioned further downstream above the other edge of the film. The detectors X, Y detect notches in the edges of the films.

The operation of the arrangement is as follows: Film crosses the small gap between the belt system 200 and the belt system 201. At this gap are positioned two opposing knife blades 203a mounted on and controlled by respective electrically activated blade actuators. The film travels alongthe second conveyor belt system 201a, until the sensor Y detects that seven negatives have past the knife blades 203. Each negative is marked with a small notch along the edge at which is positioned sensor Y. Sensor Y generates a signal at this time, the knife blades come together, and the group of seven negatives extending from the blade area to the sensor Y are severed from the remainder of the film strip. Then the thus-severed group of seven negatives is passed onto a stacker 202, which receives successive strips of seven negatives each.

The end of an order is. indicated by the notching of the last negative of the order at the edge thereof at which is positioned the sensor X. Sensor X is so positioned that when the end-of-ordernotch is detected, the trailing end of the negative in question will be in the cutting region, and the knives will out. After the last negative of the order has been cut, the strip of which it is a part, which may consist of that negative only or of additional negatives, is passed along to the stacker 202 and there stacked. Beneath the stacker 202 there is a magazine 5 for envelopes. The stacker has a recessed portion 210 at which the stacked film strips are exposed. The operator manually engages the stack of film strips at the opposite edges of the stack of strips, pulls the stack of strips out, and inserts them into one of the envelopes in the magazine 5. The stacker 4 is provided with a photoelectric detector Z which generates a signal on line 18 in FIG. 2 when no strips are contained in the stacker.

A circuit which sequences the above operations is shown in FIG. 6c. The inputs designated a, b, and c respectively correspond to the inputsa, b, and c of unit 3 shown in the circuit diagram of FIG. 2.

The operation of the circuit of FIG. 60 is as follows:

When a signal is applied to input b, flip-flop 216 changes its 1 state. The resulting output signal is applied via OR-gate 217 to inputs of AND-gates 218, 219. The other inputs of AND-gates 218, 219 are ordinarily enabled, and accordingly I signals are generated at their outputs, causing motors M1 and M2 to be turned on. These motors drive their respective conveyor belts at the same speed, and the film is transported past the cutting location.

When seven negatives have passed the cutting region, the notch on the first of such seven negatives is sensed by sensor Y, which applies a signal to one input of AND-gate 210. The other input of AND-gate 210 is normally enabled, and a l signal appears at the output ofAND-gate 210. This signal is transmitted via OR- gate 211 to two monostable multivibrators 212, 213.

ting off of the strip of seven negatives from the remaining upstream film portion.

The astable period of monostable multivibrator 212 is shorter than that of 213, and accordingly motor M2 begins to drive conveyor belts 201a, 201b, while motor M1 remains stopped. Motor M2 drives at least long enough to deliver the sheared-off strip of seven negatives to the stacker 4. After this, the astable state of monostable multivibrator 213 terminates, and motor M1 begins to operate, so that both motors are driving. Film again advances, and the cycle is repeated.

If, before seven more negatives pass by the cutters,

there passes by a negative marked with an end-of-order notch, this is detected by sensor X, which applies a signal to one input of OR-gate 211, and also via delay stage 234 to the 0 input of flip-flop 216. The delay afforded by stage 234 is just slightly shorter than the astable period of multivibrator 213. When sensor X applies this signal to OR-gate 211, both multivibrators 212, 213 are triggeredto their unstable states, causing both motors M1, M2 to halt. Also the blade actuators 215 are activated, and the film is cut at the trailing end of the end-of-order negative. Multivibrator 212 now resumes its stable state, causing motor M2 to turn on and drive the cutoff negative or negatives to the stacker 4. Before multivibrator 213 can resume its stable state, which would turn on motor M1, the signal applied to delay stage 234 becomes applied to the O input of flip-flop 216. This results in immediate halting of both motors M1, M2, and the motors remain halted, until a new triggering pulse is applied to input b of flip-flop Finally, it is to be noted that if a signal is applied to input a shown in FIG. 6c, corresponding to input a of film cutter 3 of FIG. 2, the earlier described operation occurs. Namely, the entire length of strip associated with one order is passed through the cutter, without being cut into groups of seven, and is then cut off from the next-following order by the cutter. With regard to FIG. 60, a signal appearing at input a passes through OR-gate 217 and AND-gates 218, 219, causing turn-on of both motors M1 and M2. The film is transported through the cutters until the end-of-order mark is detected by detector X, whereupon a signal is applied by detector X to the input of delay stage 234 and to one input of 211. As a result, the motors are stopped, the

- strip is cut at the frame line of the last negative of the order, the motor M2 becomes reenergized, so that the cut-off strip is passed out of the cutter unit 3, and then motor M2 becomes de-energized, with the operation reset and waiting for the next triggering pulse at input b.

The arrangement shown in FIGS. 6a-6c is exemplary, and other arrangements can be shown. An arrangement which can be used in the present invention is disclosed, for example, in German Offenlegungsschrift No. 1,497,400.

The computing of the cost of the order has already taken place prior to this second correction cycle and therefore is not required again.

The above-described interconnected group of equipment allows a single operator to control the large output of a commercial printing station. The amount of equipment required is not much greater than would be the case for operating the same equipment without control interconnections. Further, equipment now in use can be readily adapted to furnish the relatively few signals required for the above automatic control arrangement. The output of the arrangement is determined for the most part by the length of time required for cutting the pictures, namely the length of time required for the operation of cutting means 8. These cutting means can be almost immediately restarted after the-pictures pertaining to a particular order have been removedtherefrom.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that'others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:

1. Photographic arrangement, comprising, in combination, first elongated signal carrier means having a plurality of first frames and a plurality of first frame lines each separating two consecutive ones of said plurality of first frames, each of said first frames having an original; second elongated signal carrier means having a plurality of prints, each constituting a reproduction of a corresponding one of said originals; first cutting means for cutting said first elongated signal carrier means at said frame lines into strips having a predetermined maximum length, upon receipt of a first start signal; second cutting means for cutting said second elongated signal carrier means upon receipt of a second start signal; and control means inter-connected between said first and second cutting means, for furnishsing said first start signal in dependence upon the operation of said second cutting means.

2. A photographic arrangement as set forth in claim 1 wherein a selected plurality of consecutive ones of said first frames and corresponding ones of said prints constitute an order, said first and second elongated sig-. nal carrier means having, respectively, first and second end markings signifying the ends of said orders; further comprising second transport means transporting said second elongated signal carrier means along a predetermined path past said second cutting means; second scanning means located along said predetermined path for scanning said second elongated signal carriermeans and furnishing scanned second end signals in response to said second end markings; and wherein said control means comprise logic circuit means furnishing said first start signal in response to said second scanned end signal.

3. An arrangement as set forth in claim 1, wherein said second elongated signal carrier means further comprisesecond additional markings, each of said second additional markings indicating an unacceptable reproduction; further comprising sorting means receiving said second signal carrier means after cutting by said cutting means, said sorting means comprising first scanning means for scanning said second additional markings and furnishing first scanning signals in response thereto, said sorting means sorting said reproductions into unacceptable and acceptable reproductions in dependence upon said first scanning signals.

4. Arrangement as set forth in claim 3, further comprising transport means for transporting said first elongated signal carrier means along a predetermined path past said first cutting means; and wherein said control means further comprise second circuit means for activating said transport means to transport said first elongated signal carrier means past said first cutting means without activation of said first cutting means, upon re ceipt of said first scanning signal.

5. Arrangement as set forth in claim 4, further comprising first counting means connected to said second cutting means for counting the number of activations thereof during one of said orders and furnishing a first counting signal signifying said number of activations. 6. Arrangement as set forth in claim 5, further comprising computing means receiving said first counting signal and computing the charge for an order at least "in part in dependence thereon.

7. An arrangement as set forth in claim 6, further comprising verification means for verifying the processing of said order; and printing means for printing numbers corrsponding to said first counting signal and said verification means.

8. An arrangement as set forth in claim 7, wherein said verification means have first and second verification markings corresponding,respectively, to a dealer number and an order number; furthercomprising readout means for furnishing read-out signals corresponding to said dealer number and order number and transmitting said read-out signals to said computing means.

-9. An arrangement as set forth in claim 8, wherein said verification means comprise packaging means, said packaging means being adapted to hold the originals and reproductions constituting one of said orders.

10. An arrangement as set forth in claim 9, wherein said read-out means comprise a slot for inserting said packaging means; and wherein said printing means is mounted in said slot.

11. An arrangement as set forth in claim 10, further comprising keyboard means for furnishing signals to said computing means and said printing means under operator control.

12. An arrangement as set forth in claim 11, wherein said signals furnished by said keyboard means include signals signifying the size of the reproduction, the type of film, the packaging, the date, and the processing equipment.

13. An arrangement as set forth in claim 2, further comprising a receiving station for receiving said first elongated signal carrier means after cutting by said first cutting means; and third'scanning means for scanning said receiving station and furnishing a third scanning signal when said receiving station is empty.

14. An arrangement as set forth in claim 13, wherein said control means comprise digital control means.

15. An arrangement as set forth in claim 14, wherein said control means comprise logic circuit means furnishing said first start signal in the simultaneous presence of said third scanning signal and said scanned second end signal, in the absence of said first scanning signal.

16. An arrangement as set forth in claim 15, further comprising operator controlled means for furnishing a start signal to said second cutting means; and means blocking said operator controlled start signal from said second cutting means until receipt of said scanned second end signal.

17. An arrangement as set forth in claim 16, wherein said blocking means comprise an AND gate.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3203293 *Feb 28, 1962Aug 31, 1965Lee Richard GStrip cutter with photoelectric control means
US3631979 *Mar 12, 1970Jan 4, 1972Agfa Gevaert AgApparatus for classifying photographic prints or the like
US3789571 *Apr 14, 1971Feb 5, 1974Cx Processing LaboratoriesProcessor{40 s photographic print sorting and packaging machine and method
US3793915 *Sep 28, 1971Feb 26, 1974Agfa Gevaert AgFilm cutting apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4034973 *Dec 19, 1975Jul 12, 1977Bell & Howell CompanyAutomated in-line mailing system
US4086836 *Feb 10, 1977May 2, 1978Pako CorporationMultiple frame projector for TV viewing system
US4115981 *Jun 7, 1977Sep 26, 1978Agfa-Gevaert, A.G.Apparatus for assembling and packing photographic prints with associated developed films
US4870257 *Feb 24, 1988Sep 26, 1989Ciba-Geigy CorporationMethod and apparatus for packaging processed film
US5287141 *Jun 11, 1993Feb 15, 1994Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Print processing method, photographic printer, and print stacking device and method
US5453815 *Jan 18, 1995Sep 26, 1995Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Print processing method, photographic printer, and print stacking device and method
US5583610 *Jun 6, 1995Dec 10, 1996Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Print processing method, photographic printer, and print stacking device and method
US5734463 *Sep 9, 1996Mar 31, 1998Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Print processing method, photographic printer, and print stacking device and method
US6601368 *Oct 20, 1999Aug 5, 2003Metso Paper, Inc.Method and arrangement for forming a group of rolls
EP0024342A1 *Aug 13, 1980Mar 4, 1981EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY (a New Jersey corporation)Photographic print inspection method and apparatus
U.S. Classification53/500, 83/371
International ClassificationG03D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationG03D15/00
European ClassificationG03D15/00