|Publication number||US3879032 A|
|Publication date||Apr 22, 1975|
|Filing date||Dec 19, 1973|
|Priority date||Dec 29, 1972|
|Also published as||DE2363558A1, DE2363558C2|
|Publication number||US 3879032 A, US 3879032A, US-A-3879032, US3879032 A, US3879032A|
|Original Assignee||Canon Kk|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (9), Classifications (16)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
I United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,879,032 Shirahase Apr. 22, I975  SHEET DISTRIBUTOR DEVICE 3.774.902 11/1973 Schulze 271/64 X  Inventor: Reiji Shirahase. Tokyo. Japan Prinmry Examiner-Lloyd L. King  Assigneec Canon Kabushiki Kaisha. Tokyo. A. Church Japan Almrnvy. Agvm. or Firm-Fitzpatrick. Cella. Harper 1221 Filed: Dec. 19. 1973 & scim  Appl. No.: 425.981
 ABSTRACT  Foreign A li fi p i Dam sheet distributor device capable of automatically Dec J m 48364 distnbutmg and collating thm sheets of paper. metal. plastics or the like comprises sheet conveyor means. a I sheet distributor tray including a plurality of tray 271/64 g gg members disposed in a multi-step form. and sheet dis- 58] 64 270/58 tributor means for distributing sheets on the tray 0 can members. The entrance of the sheet distributor tray is adapted to be wider when the sheets are distributed UNlTE :;S ENTS onto the tray members by the sheet distributor means. 3.721.435 3/1973 Zandcrs 271/173 6 C|aim- Drawing B II! 11111 I!!! PHENTEU 3.879.032
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SHEET DISTRIBUTOR DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a sheet distributor device which is capable of automatically collating thin sheets of paper. metal. plastics or the like such as copy medium. printing medium, microfiche. etc.
2. Description of the Prior Art The operation of producing a plurality of copies from an original of multiple pages by the use of a copying machine or the like has heretofore involved laborand time-consuming procedures known as the so-called collation which is the work of piling the copies in order of page numbers and compilling them into sets of copies after the copying operation.
This problem has also been the ease with the printing work effected by the use of simple printers or the like. as well as the distribution procedure for microfiche films or copy sheets used with microreaders or like equipments. To overcome these problems. there has already been proposed a sheet distributor device for automatically effecting the collation simultaneously with the copying or printing.
For example, in a distributor device having a multi' step tray adapted to receive one sheet at a time. the discharge of copy sheets onto the tray has required the entrance of the tray for discharged sheet to be wide enough to readily admit the copy sheet therethrough. and this has led to a great height of the device where the multi-step tray consists of numerous tray members. More specifically, in case where the original to be copied comprises a number of pages. the number of tray steps is necessarily increased and the tray must be of unusually great height and width because of the wider entrance required of the tray. thus increasing the overall size of the device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a sheet distributor device which is capable of automatically effecting the collation.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a sheet distributor device of the described type which is very compact.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a sheet distributor device of the described type which effects the distribution of sheets with ease and reliability.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a sheet distributor device of the described type which is generally of small height.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a sheet distributor device which is capable of distributing various sizes of sheets.
A feature of the present invention is that it comprises a sheet conveyor mechanism for substantially vertically conveying sheets discharged from a copier, printer or like machine while urging such sheets against a belt with the aid of wind pressure, a sheet guide mechanism for receiving the sheets during their conveyance and guiding them to a tray, and a multi-step sheet distributor tray consisting of multiple tray members provided in a multi-step form on stanchions with predetermined intervals between the steps. whereby the sheet guide mechanism may be moved down intermittently by an amount corresponding to each vertical pitch of the tray to thereby introduce the sheets onto successive ones of the tray members from top to bottom until it comes down to a level corresponding to the completion of a preset number of copies. whereupon the guide member may be moved up intermittently to distribute sheets representative of the second page. Such operation may be repeated as often as desired.
The vertical pitch ofthe step-like tray should preferably be as small as possible inasmuch as the overall height of the device should desirably be smaller. However. too small a pitch would offer an inconvenience to admission of sheets into the tray. In this connection. the present invention minimizes the pitch of the tray while enlarging the sheet admission space of the tray to ensure smooth admission of sheets into the tray.
With such construction. the vertical pitch of the tray can be reduced to a level corresponding to the overall thickness of total sheets to be contained in the tray. e.g.. the total thickness of maximum one hundred sheets. and this leads to a reduced overall height and smaller size of the device as well as to greater ease and reliability with which the sheets are admitted into the tray.
The sheet distributor device of the present invention is highly effective for use with sheets of copy paper and printing paper as well as lamina of paper. metal. plastics or other materials.
The invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a front view, in vertical section. of the sheet distributor device according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the sheet guide mechanism.
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line IIlIll in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line IVIV in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged. fragmentary, perspective view of the sheet distributing mechanism.
FIG. 6 shows, in perspective view. a tray memcber forming a part of the multi-step tray.
FIG. 7 is a view taken along line VII-VII in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 shows a locus depicted by a tray shifting arm as a result of rotation of crank arms.
FIG. 9 shows a locus depicted by the tray shifting arm moved relative to the support member.
FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating the copy sheet distributing operation.
FIG. 11 is a schematic cross-section of the sheet distributor tray according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS An embodiment of the present invention as applied to a copying machine will hereinafter be described with reference to the drawings.
Referring to FIG. 1, letter I designates the main body of the copying machine and II denotes the distributor device of the present invention which comprises a copy paper conveyor mechanism 1, a copy paper guide mechanism 3 and a copy paper distributor tray 7. The copy paper conveyor mechanism 1 consists of a copy paper receiving guide 1 l facing a copy paper discharging guide 9, a plurality of rollers 12-18 and copy paper conveyor belts 19, 20 passing over these rollers. A
motor 21 for driving the copy paper conveyor belts 19, 20 is drivingly connected to a pulley 22 through a belt 23, the pulley 22 being mounted on the shaft of the roller 16. The belt 23 may be replaced by a transmission gearing. An unshown blower may be operated to send air toward the copy paper conveyor belt 20 so that a copy paper sheet P when discharged from between the belts l9 and 20 may be urged against the belt 20 so as to be conveyed substantially vertically by the belt 20. A net 25 extends along and behind the vertical paper passage provided by the straight web portion of the belt 20.
The copy paper guide mechanism 3 includes a trans port bed 41 comprising opposite side plates 410 having upper and lower pairs of guide rollers 39, 40 journalled thereto with tabular posts 38 interposed between the roller pairs, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, front and back cross plates 411 interconnecting the opposite side plates 410, and a motor bed and reinforcing plate 412; opposite bearing plates 37 provided on the transport bed 41; separator belts 31, 32 for receiving the copy paper from the conveyor belt 20 which is supported by the bearing plates 37; transport rollers 33-36 for con veying the received copy paper toward the tray; and copy paper guide lines 413 attached to a plate 370 be tween the opposite bearing plates 37. A belt 48, indicated by chain lines in FIG. 2, is passed over roller shafts 42, 44 and 46, and the drive may be transmitted to one of these roller shafts. The shaft 50 of the guide roller 40 has mounted thereon gears 52 (FIG. 3) and gear 54, the latter one meshing with a gear 53 mounted on the output shaft 490 of a drive motor 49. The gears 52 mesh with pinions S20 journalled to the bearing plates 37, and the pinions 520 in turn mesh with racks 51 formed in the tubular posts 38. Guide members 55 are provided to deliver the copy paper discharged from the transport bed 41 to the tray.
The copy paper distributor tray 7, as is shown in FIGS. to 7, comprises four stanchions 71 formed with regularly spaced reception steps 72 and disposed upright on the main body 8 so as to provide four corners of a rectangle, and tray members 73 having support arms 74 engaged with associated ones of the reception steps 72, thus providing a multi-step tray.
It is assumed that it is desired to produce 50 copies of an original comprising a set of 20 pages. The first page of the original is set on the copying machine I, a copy number setting device 100 (FIG. is set to 50 copies, and a copy start switch 101 (FIG. 10) is closed to cause continuous operation of the copying machine I. whereupon a first copy paper sheet P1 is introduced from the guide 9 into the guide 11 of the sheet distributor ll.
When so introduced into the guide 11, the copy paper sheet P1 is conveyed by and between the conveyor belts 19 and 20, and after it has passed the conveyor belt 19, the copy paper sheet P1 is urged against the conveyor belt by the wind pressure and conveyed vertically to the separator belts 31, 32, by which the paper sheet P1 is separated from the conveyor belt 20 and delivered upwardly onto the transport rollers 33-36, whereby the paper sheet P1 is transported on the transport bed toward the tray for discharge onto the uppermost one of the tray members 73.
On the other hand, a detector member 105 (FIG. 10) provided on the transport bed 41 detects the passage of the copy paper sheet P1 and produces a signal, which LII energizes the drive motor 49 which in turn rotatively drives the shaft through gears 53 and 54 so that the gears 52 on the shaft move the pinions 520 along the racks 51 to displace the sheet transport bed 41 downwardly. When the gear 56 meshing with the gear 54 has made a complete rotation, a motor stop signal is produced to deenergize the motor, whereupon the transport bed 41 is stopped at a position where it faces a next tray member which underlies the previous one by an amount corresponding to one pitch 1 of the tray member 73 (FIG. 9), so that a second copy paper sheet F2 for a second copy of the first page of the original may be introduced to said next tray member.
By repetition of the above-described operation, 50 copy paper sheets P1-P50 all representing the first page of the original are successively distributed onto respec tive ones of the 50 tray members from top to bottom. When the last or fiftieth copy of the first page has been completed in the copying machine I, this is detected by an operation reversing device 106 (FIG. 10) which produces and applies a one-cycle stop signal to the sheet distributor device II, in which a lower-portion reversal detector mechanism 107 (FIG. 10) responds to the signal to operate a one-cycle stop device 113 to prevent the motor 49 from rotating even if the fiftieth copy sheet PS0 has passed the detector member 105. As a result, the transport bed 41 is stopped and maintained at the position where it faces that particular member which has received the fiftieth copy sheet PSO.
Subsequently, the second page of the original is set in the copying machine I to effect continuous production of 50 copies of such page and, when the first copy sheet has passed the detector member 105, the motor 49 is reversed to move the transport bed 41 upwardly, whereafter the same operation as described above is repeated to distribute successive ones of the secondpage copies onto the respective tray members 73. When the set number of copies for the second page of the original has been completed, a signal is applied from the operation reversing device 106 to an upperportion reversal detector mechanism 111, which thus restrains the transport bed 41 from moving for the last one of the copy paper sheets. Thus, the transport bed 41 is stopped and maintained at a position where it faces the uppermost tray member, that is, the tray which has received the last copy sheet for the second page of the original.
A similar cycle of distribution may be repeated with respect to copy paper sheets for each of the third to twentieth pages of the original has been completed,
each of the 50 tray members from top to bottom has now a set of 20 copies regularly piled thereon and thus, there are provided 50 sets of copies in total. Thereafter, these copies may be removed from the respective tray members by opening the door of the copy sheet distributing mechanism.
In the foregoing, the distribution of copy paper sheets has been described as starting from the uppermost tray member, whereas it may also start from the lowermost tray member.
Where the copy sheets are introduced onto the tray members 73 with the image-bearing sides thereof facing upward, copying may be started from the last or twentieth page of the original and in this case, resultant copies in each set may be piled in the order of the original pages. If the operation for such inverse page sequence should be inconvenient, a copy sheet reversing device may be provided between the copying machine and the distributor device of the present invention.
Also, as will be seen in FIG. 6, guide members 55 are designed for vertical movement through cut-away portions 750 formed in each tray member 73 so as to meet various selected sizes of copy sheet.
For example, where the copy sheets in use are of a large size, the guide members 55 are positioned lower than the level of the tray member 73 so as to permit each incoming copy sheet to fall on each preceding sheet, thus enabling the copy sheets to be piled one upon another in succession. However, where a small size of copy sheet is in use. the described lower position of the guide members 55 might possibly cause each incoming copy sheet to fall short of its preceding copy sheet. To avoid this in the latter case, the guide members 55 are projected upwardly of the tray member 73 to change and control the falling position for the incoming copy sheets falling onto the tray member 73. The copy sheets employed are not restricted to the above-described large and small sizes, but it will be apparent that other sizes may be used by designing the guide members 55 so as to provide threeor four-step positions, or by employing other discrete guide mem bers specifically for the additional size or sizes of copy sheet.
Each tray member 73 may be downwardly inclined from its copy sheet inlet side to the other side in the manner as shown in FIG. 5 and also inclined laterally thereof in the manner as shown in FIG. 7, that is, the tray members 73 each may be two-dimensionally inclined and disposed in a multi-step form, whereby the edges of each copy sheet adjacent one corner thereof may bear against the right-angled receiving portion 75 of each tray member 73, thus accomplishing the distribution and the registration of copy sheets at a time. Each tray member 73 has four support arms 74 provided forwardly and rearwardly thereof and engageable with corresponding reception steps 72 formed in each of four corner stanchions 71. Each tray member 73 also has copy sheet keep members 76 secured to the back side thereof and each of these keep members has its tip end acting to keep the copy sheets on the underlying tray with the aid of its own gravity or resiliency. The groups of transport rollers journalled to the transport bed 41 are also inclined so as to match the lateral inclination of the tray member 73 shown in FIG. 7.
According to the present invention, as will be appreciated from the foregoing, a copy sheet guide mechanism capable of intermittently moving up and down is disposed between a copy sheet conveyor mechanism for conveying substantially vertically the copy sheets discharged from the copying machine and a copy sheet distributing mechanism provided in a multi-step form with predetermined intervals, so that the copy sheets being vertically conveyed are successively directed onto the respective tray members. This leads to a recluction in size of the device and an increase in number of copies to be distributed within the same volum of the device as that of the conventional one. The pitch 1 of the tray member 73 should preferably be as small as possible inasmuch as the entire device must desirably have a least possible height. However, too small a pitch 1 would offer an inconvenience to admission of copy sheets.
Therefore, the present invention also provides smooth admission of copy sheets by minimizing the pitch 1 while maximizing the space overlying each tray member for receiving the copy sheets. This will more particularly be described hereinafter.
A pair of crank arms 58 and 59 are secured to the shafts of the pinions 56 and 57 meshing with the gear 54. Connector rods 60 and 61 are pivotally connected at one end to the respective crank'arms S8 and 59 by means of pins 580 and 590, respectively, and at the other end to a tray shifting arm 62 by means of pins 610 and 600, respectively. The connector rods 60 and 6] are respectively formed with slots 64 and 65, in which pins 66 and 67 provided on a side plate 410 are received. The tray shifting arm 62 is provided at the opposite ends thereof with reception means 620 for the support arms 74 of the tray member 73.
When the motor 49 is energized in response to a detection signal representing the passage of copy paper Pl to move the transport bed 41 downwardly or upwardly. the rotation ofthe crank arms 58 and 59 causes the connector pins 600 and M0 connecting the connector rods 60 and 61 to the tray shifting arm 62 to be moved elliptically as indicated in FIGS. 2 and 8. As a result, and in relation to the upward or downward movement of the transport bed 4], the tray shifting arm 62 is moved elliptically as shown in FIG. 9. During the latter half e-d-e of such elliptical movement (i.e., during the downward movement of the transport bed), the reception means 620 of the tray shifting arm 62 engage the support arms 74 of a particular tray member 73 which has completely received a copy sheet, and then lift that tray member up to a tray receiving portion 72 two steps above in the illustrated embodiment. Thus, a spacing three times wider than the tray pitch I is provided between the shifted tray member and the underlying tray member which is to receive a next copy sheet, and such wide spacing is sufficient to readily admit the copy sheet from the copying machine.
When the motor 49 is reversed to effect the distribution with the transport bed being intermittently moved upwardly, a particular tray member which is about to receive a copy sheet is shifted to the tray receiving portion 72 two steps below during the first half a-b-c of the elliptical movement of the tray shifting arm 62.
In this case, however, it should be noted that small clearances TI and T2 are provided above and below the step-like tray mcmbcr. Removal of copy sheets from the tray member 73 may be accomplished by opening the door of the copy sheet distributing mechanism and operating a manually operable tray shifting switch 2 (FIG. I0).
Alternatively, as is shown in FIG. 11, each tray member 73 may be designed such that one end 73 thereof is pivotable while the other end 73 is free so that the other end 73 is shiftable, for example, from a position a to a position a after a copy sheet has been discharged onto a tray member. Then, the next tray 73 is positioned with its other end at a position b, thus providing a wide entrance extending from b to a which is sufficient to readily admit a discharged copy sheet. The positions a, a, h, b, and so on may of course be set as desired.
The utilization of such mechanism will provide a highly practical and stable tray.
I. A sheet distributor device comprising:
sheet conveyor means;
a plurality of tray members;
tray supporting members having a plurality of stages for receiving said tray members;
means for distributing sheets onto said tray members;
means for shifting said tray members;
said tray members being shiftable by said shifting means from one to another of the stages of said supporting member by two or more stages to provide. between the shifted tray and the adjacent tray. a wider entrance for a sheet material through which said sheet distributing means distributes the sheet material.
2. A sheet distributor device according to claim 1 wherein said sheet conveyor means includes a sheet guide member for guiding a sheet to said tray members. said sheet guide member being selectively movable to control the falling position of the sheet.
3. A sheet distributor device according to claim I, wherein said sheet distributor means distributes sheets onto successive ones of said tray members. whcreafter said sheet distributor means distributes subsequent sheets onto successive ones of said tray members beginning with the last one of said tray members 4. A sheet distributor device according to claim 1, wherein said tray supporting means includes a sawtoothed receiving portion.
5. A sheet distributor device according to claim 1, wherein said tray members are inclined to provide uniform arrangement of leading edges and lateral edges of sheets thereon.
6. A sheet distributor device according to claim 2, wherein said tray members have cut-away portions for passing therethrough said sheet guide member.
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|US3774902 *||Aug 25, 1971||Nov 27, 1973||Addressograph Multigraph||Sheet separator with increased pocket opening|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US4872663 *||Mar 21, 1988||Oct 10, 1989||M.T.S.L. Associates||Sheet sorter apparatus|
|US5078385 *||Aug 30, 1989||Jan 7, 1992||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Sorting apparatus having variable length guide plates|
|US6142470 *||Apr 8, 1998||Nov 7, 2000||Minolta Co., Ltd.||Sorter with bin movement control system|
|US8326209 *||Mar 26, 2010||Dec 4, 2012||Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.||Printer with bracket for holding paper tray|
|US20110129272 *||Jun 2, 2011||Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.||Printer with bracket for holding paper tray|
|U.S. Classification||271/293, 270/58.15, 271/296|
|International Classification||G03G15/00, G03B27/14, B65H39/11, B65H29/60, G03B27/02, B07C3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B65H29/60, B07C3/00, B65H2408/113, B65H39/11|
|European Classification||B07C3/00, B65H39/11, B65H29/60|