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Publication numberUS3885664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1975
Filing dateOct 5, 1973
Priority dateOct 5, 1972
Also published asCA994700A, CA994700A1
Publication numberUS 3885664 A, US 3885664A, US-A-3885664, US3885664 A, US3885664A
InventorsAkira Fujimura
Original AssigneeNippon Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Transport-direction reversing apparatus for an automatic mail handling system and the like
US 3885664 A
Abstract
A transport-direction reversing apparatus for flat articles such as articles of mail is disclosed. Flat articles transported along feed belts are guided to enter into a space between a pair of endless belts moving in the reverse direction to the flat-article transport. Responsive to the detection of the passage of the trailing edge of the flat article in the flat-article transport, the space between the pair of endless belts is narrowed by pressing one of the endless belts sideways with respect to the motion of the belt by means of a movable roller.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Fujimura 51 May 27, 1975 TRANSPORT-DIRECTION REVERSING APPARATUS FOR AN AUTOMATIC MAIL HANDLING SYSTEM AND THE LIKE [75] Inventor:

[73] Assignee: Nippon Electric Company, Limited,

Tokyo, Japan [22] Filed: Oct. 5, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 404,049

Akira Fujimura, Tokyo, Japan [30] Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 5, 1972 Japan 47-100442 [52] US. Cl 198/21; 198/165 [51] Int. Cl. B65g 47/04 [58] Field of Search 198/165, 162, 40, 203, 198/21, 37; 271/184, 64,199, DIG. 9

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,725,972 12/1955 Howdle 198/165 2,787,363 4/1957 l-lowdle 198/165 3,224,558 12/1965 Carlen 198/165 3,273,886 9/1966 Taylor, Jr. 271/DIG. 9

3,339,705 9/1967 Burkhardt et a1 271/184 3,476,384 11/1969 Thull et al. 271/184 3,612,249 10/1971 Schneider.... 271/184 3,717,249 2/1973 Faley 271/64 3,724,657 4/1973 Katagiri et al. 271/64 3,729,188 4/1973 Stephenson 271/64 3,789,973 2/1974 Kugler 198/165 Primary Examiner--Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Richard K. Thomson Attorney, Agent, or FirmSughrue, Rothwell, Mion, Zinn & Macpeak [5 7] ABSTRACT A transport-direction reversing apparatus for flat articles such as articles of mail is disclosed. Flat articles transported along feed belts are guided to enter'into a space between a pair of endless belts moving in the reverse direction to the flat-article transport. Responsive to the detection of the passage of the trailing edge of the flat article in the flat-article transport, thespace between the pair of endless belts is narrowed by pressing one of the endless belts sideways with respect to the motion of the belt by means of a movable roller.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures TRANSPORT-DIRECTION REVERSING APPARATUS FOR AN AUTOMATIC MAIL HANDLING, SYSTEM AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a transport-direction reversing apparatus for an automatic mail handling system and the like.

2. Description of the Prior Art In a conventional mail handling system, such flatarticles as cards, envelopes and postcards must be ocasionally reversed in their transport-direction. For this purpose, various kinds of transport-direction reversing apparatuses have been proposed. One of those conventional apparatuses is described in the United States Patent No.3,339,705. However, in those conventional apparatuses, it is difficult to secure flawless handling without being affected by the variety in size, paper quality and the like of the apparatuses matter. Further, the conventional apparatuses require a large space for installation, and have a relatively low reliability.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an improved automatic transport-direction reversing apparatus for flat articles, in which the transportdirection of the flat-article of a variety of sizes, paper qualities and others is unfailingly changed at high speed.

According to this invention, there is provided a transport-direction reversing apparatus for flat articles, in which the flat articles transported along feeding belts are guided to enter into a space between a pair of endless belts moving in the direction reverse to the flatarticle transport, and then the space is narrowed by pressing one of the endless belts sideways with respect to the motion of the belt by means of a movable roller, whereby the flat article is transported in the reverse direction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The features and advantages of this invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of this invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of this invention; and

FIGS. 2(A), 2(B) and 2(C) show plan views illustrating the operation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT stalled in a loop of the endless belt 17. The spacing D t of a gap C between the endless belts 16 and 17 is greater thanthickness of the thickest possible flat artiroller 21 is not actuated and remains in the state as shown in FIG. 2(A). Therefore, the distance D is greater than the thickness of the flat article. This allows the leading edge of the flat article to easily enter into the gap C. After a predetermined period of time from the passage of the trailing edge of the flat article between the lamp 15a and photodetector 15b, a signal is generated by which the moving roller 21 is actuated. This causes the moving roller 21 to press the endless belt 17 sideways so as to narrow the gap C and to hold the flat article by the endless belts 16 and 17, as shown in FIG. 2(B). At this moment, the trailing edge of the flat article Ma has passed by the roller 14. Furthermore, because the flat article Ma is pressed by the roller 18 and the moving roller 21, the trailing edge of the flat article for the transport direction A is pressed to the endless belt 17. Therefore, the flat article Ma is transported in the direction B by the endless belts 16 and 17. Then, the flat article Ma is fed by the endless belts l3 and 17 in the direction B, and the moving roller 22 is deactivated and returned to the initial state, as shown in FIG. 2(C). Thus, the transport direction of the flat article Ma is reversed from A to B. After the direction switching for the flat article Ma is accomplished, the following flat article Mb is fed to the gap C by the endless belts 10 and 13.

In this embodiment, because the movable roller 21 is activated in response to the detection of the trailing edge of the flat article, it is possible to handle the flat articles of a variety of sizes. Furthermore, this invention does not require the suction chamber needed in conventional apparatuses. Therefore, the installation of the apparatus of the present invention involves smaller amount of noise and space.

What is claimed is:

1. A transport-direction reversing apparatus for such flat articles as postal matter, comprising:

means for transporting a fiat article in a first transport direction;

means for detecting said flat article;

a pair of endless belts moving in a second direction substantially opposite to said first direction, the distance between said belts being greater than a thickness of the thickest flat article to be processed; and

moving roller means installed in a space surrounded by one of said endless belts for reducing said distance between said endless belts in response to said detecting means so that said flat article fed from said transporting means is transported by said endless belts.

2. A transport-direction reversing apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for detecting said flat article comprises a lamp and a photodetector on either side of said means for transporting a flat article in a first transport direction, said means for detecting being sensitive to the passage of said fiat article.

3. A transport-direction reversing apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein said means for transporting a flat article in a first transport direction comprises a second pair of endless belts, the belts of said second pair 4 means for reducing the distance therebetween, and said fiat article is thereafter transported in said second direction by the contacting belts of saidfirst and second pairs of endless belts.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2725972 *May 7, 1954Dec 6, 1955Cutler Hammer IncMechanism for conveying and counting flat, flexible articles delivered in a stream
US2787363 *Nov 5, 1953Apr 2, 1957Cutler Hammer IncApparatus for handling sheet-like articles
US3224558 *Dec 2, 1963Dec 21, 1965Bonnierfoeretagen AbReversing belt conveyor apparatus
US3273886 *Dec 9, 1964Sep 20, 1966Warren S D CoReverse transport for flexible sheets
US3339705 *Dec 28, 1965Sep 5, 1967Telefunken PatentArticle conveying
US3476384 *Jul 14, 1967Nov 4, 1969Sta Hi CorpNewspaper-stream reversing apparatus
US3612249 *Mar 9, 1970Oct 12, 1971Ralfs Kg OrgVertical conveyor transfer means
US3717249 *Feb 22, 1971Feb 20, 1973Moore Dry Kiln CoSorter and stacker for veneer sheet and strip material
US3724657 *May 14, 1971Apr 3, 1973Nippon Electric CoSwitching device for delivering sheet-like articles
US3729188 *May 12, 1969Apr 24, 1973Xerox CorpDocument stacker apparatus
US3789973 *Dec 29, 1972Feb 5, 1974W KuglerMaterial conveyance system for feeding workpieces to a processing tool
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4359217 *Sep 2, 1980Nov 16, 1982Xerox CorporationInverter with proportional force paper drive
US4692020 *Nov 18, 1985Sep 8, 1987Ricoh Company, Ltd.Sheet reversing in copying machine and other sheet-handling machines
US4701617 *Oct 17, 1985Oct 20, 1987Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Stimulable phosphor sheet conveyance apparatus
US4704530 *Oct 17, 1985Nov 3, 1987Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Radiation image read-out apparatus
US4802665 *Jul 29, 1987Feb 7, 1989Compagnie Generale D'automatisme Cga-HbsConveyor device for flat objects
US4955964 *Dec 12, 1988Sep 11, 1990Ncr CorporationSheet handling apparatus
US5449166 *May 6, 1994Sep 12, 1995Licentia Patent-Verwaltungs-GmbhApparatus for reversing the direction of flat items
US7306219 *Apr 20, 2005Dec 11, 2007Siemens AgDevice for reversal of direction of planar letters
US20050067765 *Aug 17, 2004Mar 31, 2005Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaSheet reverse controller
US20070215438 *Apr 20, 2005Sep 20, 2007Goeran KeilDevice for Reversal of Direction of Planar Letters
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/572, 271/902, 271/184, 198/605
International ClassificationB07C3/00, B65H29/58, B07C1/18
Cooperative ClassificationB07C1/18, Y10S271/902
European ClassificationB07C1/18