US 3887176 A
A collator comprises sheet-loading pockets, sheet-feeding roller pairs arranged on top of the pockets, and sheet ejectors associated to each pocket, each ejector having a mechanical clutch retained in rest condition in the disconnecting position by means of a retractable bolt. The collator further comprises a sequencing switch for controlling the momentary and seriatim retracting of the bolts.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Paulus et al. 1 June 3, 1975 1 SHEET COLLATOR 3,108,797 10/1963 Me slre 270/58  lnventors: Jean Paulus, Anderlecht; Christian Pier" 50mg! "evillers, both of 3,580,563 5/1971 Bassett 270/58 Belgium  Assignee: C. P. Bourg, Belgium Primary ExaminerR0bert W. Michell Assistant ExaminerA. Heinz  Flled' 1972 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-McGlew and Tuttle  Appl. No.: 314,345
 ABSTRACT  U.S.CI. 270/58 A conatm Comprises sheeploading pockets sheet  ll'olt. Cl. B65|1 39/02 feeding roller pairs arranged on p of the pockets,  Field of Search 270/58, 12-15, and Sheet ejectors associated to each pocket, each 270/45-51 ejector having a mechanical clutch retained in rest condition in the disconnecting position by means of  Referemes C'ted a retractable bolt. The collator further comprises a se- UNITED S T S P T quencing switch for controlling the momentary and 2,089,861 8/1937 Schlensker 270/58 eriatim retracting of the bolts. 2,919,917 1/1960 Worswick 270/58 2,920,888 1/1960 Smith 270/58 6 Clams 15 D'awmg Flgul'es m s s 134 5 1.6 426 33122201.,135 69 32 Iii-55 2 L 91-1 7 I 7 .1 v L 50 ,1 1 7 l T ,4/ "i 1. 54 n u I i \A a 3 3 3 3 3 l i 5. c 1 z 11 1.- I I 5 2 52 llll it i 1 I'll n m 52 H Y PATENTED 3 SHEET FIG] sneer (OLLA'IUR FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THF. INVENTION This imention relates to a sheet collator which comprises loading pockets for sheet packets. arranged side by side between a so-called head end and a so-called outlet end of the collator. the pockets slanting upwards towards the outlet end. sheet feeding roller pairs arranged above the pockets with one roller pair to each pocket. baffle elements for guiding the sheets between the pockets and the rollers on the one hand and between the rollers on the other hand. a kinematic chain for driving at least one roller from each feeding roller pair and arranged along one longitudinal side of the collator and extending between the collator head and outlet ends. and a sheet ejector in each pocket for directing the sheets towards the feeding roller pairs.
A collator ofthis kind is already known front Belgian Pat. No. 731.447. This collator has the drawback of operating slowly and not allowing the collating of sensitive paper. Indeed in this known collator. the sheet ejection is performed simultaneously from all of the pockets by means of shoes operated by rodding. the shoes having a tendency to feed a plurality of paper sheets simultaneously from each pocket.
Another collator is known from US. Pat. No. 3.IOH 797. in which the pockets are located one above the other and the sheets at the outlet from the pockets are conveyed by a belt arrangement having a generally vertical side. In the known collator the sheets are ejected in sequence from the pockets by means of an ejector comprising wheels. conveying the sheets by friction. which are connected through a freewheeling mechanism to a driving shaft. The driving shafts of succeeding pocket ejectors are driven periodically and in sequence by a stud-hole rodding. This machine has the drawback of not allowing the collating of sensitive paper sheets due to the intricate path followed by the sheets at the outlet from the pockets. Moreover. the high inertia of the mechanical components substantially limits the preparing action for the following sheet to be ejected from each pocket. which might be expected from the free-wheeling arrangement of the ejector. The machine has moreo\ er the well-known drawbacks resulting from the use ol'conveying belts. Finally the machine does not allow the collating of bundles with a very high number of sheets due to the prohibitive collator height resulting therefrom and to the lost time due to the return movement of the stud-hole rodding by the cycle end.
In German Pat. No. 254.581 there has been disclosed a collator which comprises a series of pockets arranged above a conveying belt for the sheets which are laid thereon. the collator laying down periodically on the belt a series of sheets originating simultaneously from all of the pockets. after which the belt is advanced over one step so as to bring the sheet bundles thus formed in sequence below each pocket down to the collator outlet. In this known collator. the sheet ejection from the pockets and the conveying thereof on the belt are performed by means of an intricate unit which comprises a transfer roller pair and a free-wheeling ejector. the transfer wheels being dri\en continuously from a driving mechanism with a separate motor which is independent from the kinematic chain and the driving motor for the sheet conveying belt. an electro-magnetic clutch being cut-in between the transfer roller driving unit and the ejector driving this. In said collator. the unit comprised of the driving members for the transfer rollers and the ejector is arranged on one and the same side of the collator. which leads to a very high bulkiness per pocket preventing the use ofthe machine for collating bundles with a large number of sheets. Moreover. this known collator is very expensive also due to the large number of mechanical and electric components required.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention has its object to obviate the drawbacks of the known collators by providing a machine which is very compact and allows a high output. The invention allows provides a collator of simple construction with a small number of parts with a discontinuous movement. which thus leads to a reliable action of the ejector for separating the top sheet from the sheet packets by the end of the ejection phase. Another object is also to allow keeping a determined output rate for the sheet bundles, said rate being high per se even with a large number of sheets per bundle. due to a novel division of the total pocket number and to the simultaneous operation thereof.
For this purpose according to the invention, each ejector comprises. in a way known per se. wheels for driving sheets by friction. so-called ejecting rollers which are mounted on a shaft connected through a free-wheeling transmission to a driving shaft having. on that collator lengthwise side opposite to the kinematic chain. a mechanical clutch for the connection to an operating gear which comprises a driving pinion made fast to that end opposite to the end associated to the kinematic chain. of the shaft of one roller from the feeding roller pair associated with the pocket. the mechanical clutch in the rest condition of the ejector. being retained in the disconnecting position by means of a retractable bolt. the collator further comprising a sequencing switch for controlling the momentary and seriatim retracting of the bolts. starting with the bolt associated to that pocket adjacent to the collator head end.
The invention also pertains to a method for collating sheets which comprises collating a plurality of sheet bundles simultaneously by ejecting periodically simultaneously a plurality of sheets from each one of pockets spaced by a fixed pocket number. the sheets from succeeding pockets being superposed with those sheets from the preceding pockets along the collator feeding direction. as fast as they are ejected, in such a way that a complete bundle will reach the collator outlet end while at least one other bundle is being formed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other details and features of the invention will stand out from the description given below by way of non limitative example and with reference to the accompanying drawings. in which:
FIG. I is a diagrammatic elevation view showing a sheet collator according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic plan view of the collator shown in FIG. I.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation view. on a larger scale and partly in section along line III--III in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation view in section along line I\'--\/ in FIG. I, on a larger scale with some elements not shown for clearness.
FIG. 5 is an elevation view partly in section along line \/--V in FIG. 2 and on a larger scale.
FIG. 6 is a plan view. with parts broken away. of the sequencing switch which is part of the collator shown in FIG. I, on a larger scale.
FIG. 7 is an elevation view of the reed contact platen which is part of the switch shown in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 shows the main circuitry of the collator in FIG. ll.
FIG. 9 and II) are simplified diagrammatic elevation views of another embodiment of the collator according to the invention. showing different moments in a working cycle of the collator.
FIG. II is a diagrammatic view of the sequencing switch of the collator shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.
FIG. I2 is a perspective view of part of the sequencing switch shown in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 shows the main circuitry of the collator shown in FIGS. 9 and 10.
FIGS. [3A and 13B are diagrammatic perspective views, partly in section, ofa helical spring clutch forming part of the sheet collator.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the various FIGS, the same reference numerals pertain to similar elements.
The collator shown in the figures comprises a frame I, 2, the lower part 1 of which comprises a number of pockets 3, in the present case twelve pockets numbered from I to XII, for receiving packets of sheets to be collated. and the upper part 2 of which comprises pairs of conveying or feeding rollers 4, 5 with one pair to each pocket 3, so as to feed the sheets, as they come out of the pockets 3, between a so-called collator head end adjacent pocket I and the opposite end. the so-called outlet end, which is adjacent the last pocket, in the present case pocket XII.
To each pocket 3 is associated a sheet ejector generally shown at 6 and which will be further described hereinbelow.
To guide the sheets ejected, between the pockets 3 and the roller pairs 4, 5 on the one hand, and between the succeeding roller pairs 4, 5 on the other hand, the collator comprises baffles 7, 8, 9 which will be further described below.
The pairs of feeding rollers 4,5 are continuously driven when the collator is operating, by means of a driving kinematic chain which extends along one longitudinal side 10 of the collator and which drives one roller from each roller pair 4, 5. This kinematic chain comprises essentially a helical pinion ll which is mounted on a journal 12 of the lower roller 4, which pinion II meshes with a helical driving pinion 13 fast on a main driving shaft 14 which extends over the whole collator length provided with roller pairs 4, 5.
The sheet ejectors 6 of the pockets I to XII are operated in sequence for a short time. at least once during each collator working cycle. For this purpose each ejector 6 comprises rollers I5 for friction feeding of the sheets and rollers 15, mounted on a shaft 16, are driven by a belt I7 which is trained about a driving pulley I8 which is joined. through a free-wheeling clutch 19, to a driving shaft 20.
The driving shafts have. at the end thereof located on that longitudinal lengthwise collator side 2] which lies opposite the side [0 with the kinematic chain 11.
a mechanical clutch 22 which insures. in the connected position. the joining of driving shaft 20 with a driving gearing which comprises. on the one hand, a driven pinion 23 freely rotatable on shaft 20 and more particu' larly on an extension journal 24 joined through a coupling 25 to shaft 20, and, on the other hand. a driving pinion 26 mounted on the corresponding end of the lower roller in the pair 4, 5 associated with the pocket 3 the ejector of which is presently considered. The pinion 23 thus rotates continuously when the collator is working.
The mechanical clutch 22 of each ejector comprises a retractable bolt which retains the clutch in the disconnected position when the ejector is resting.
In the embodiments shown in the figures, the mechanical clutch is comprised of a spiral spring 27 connected to the turned portion ofa spindle 28 terminating the journal 24 of ejector driving shaft 20. Helical spring 27 also surrounds the hub of pinion 23 and ends in a stop-pin 29 against the movable armature 30 of an electro-magnet 31. In the disconnected position which cor responds to the unenergized condition of electromagnet 3|. armature 30 prevents the spring 27 tightening about the hub of pinion 23.
For connecting momentarily and in sequence the clutches 22, the collator comprises a sequencing switch 32 which is driven in synchronism with the kinematic chain ll, l3, 14.
The sequencing switch is preferably an electric switch which closes in sequence electric circuits energizing the electro-magnets 31 associated with the sue ceeding pockets 3, during a time period which is shorter than the time required for a 360rotation of stop-pin 29 of the clutch spring 28. In this way the driving shaft 20 performs during each ejection. a substantially complete revolution and the speed ratios between the gears of shaft 20 and ejector 6 are so selected that when shaft 20 is no more driven, a sheet. from a pocket which has been fed by the ejector rollers. will then have trvelled over the distance between the pocket thereof and the engagement generatrix of that roller pair 4, 5 which is associated to the considered pocket. As the speed of feeding rollers 4, S is higher than the speed of ejector rollers 15, the freewheeling clutch I9 of the ejector will then operate in such a way that the shaft 16 and the rollers 15 will go on rotating. no more under the action of shaft 20 but rather due to the action of the sheet which imparts thereto the movement of rollers 4.
When the sheet has moved enough inside the upper part of the collator and is disengaged from ejector rollers I5, rollers 15, due to the inertia therof, go on rotating over a portion of a revolution. thus forcing the fol lowing sheet to move away from the remainder of the sheets and to move slightly upwards. which prepares very advantageously the ejection of the following sheet.
The sequencing switch 32 associated with the collator shown in FIGS. 1 to 8 is a rotating switch with reed contacts 33. The contact reeds Rl to RXll. each correspond to a respective energizing circuit for an electromagnet 31, and are distributed with an uniform angular spacing on a platen 34 which is mounted on the fixed portion of a bearing 35 which is provided as a support. together with another bearing 36, for a shaft 37 supporting a disk 38 provided with a permanent magnet 39. The bearings 35, 36 are supported by side-plates 97 which are in turn supported through angle-ions 98 by one of the side-members 2.
The shaft 37 is connected. through a coupling 40 and a speed-reductor 41, to shaft 14 which is driven by means of a variable pulley and belt transmission 42, 43. 44 from an electric motor 45.
The platen 34 of the rotating switch 32 comprises two auxiliary reed cont-actors Ru and RC which are ar ranged following the last reed contact RXIl controlling electro-magnets 31, so as to program the stopping and starting of the collator. as described below with refer ence to FIG. 8.
lt is well known that, in a switch of this kind. a rota tion of disk 38 closes the succeeding contacts 33 for a time period corresponding substantially to the time magnet 39 is moving past each one of the reeds 33.
To each pocket corresponds an on-off selector Sl to SXll and an indicator lamp.
There will now be described the successive removal of sheets from the pockets 3 up to the taking over thereof by the feeding roller pairs 4, associated to the pockets as well as the collating of the sheets extracted in sequence, with reference to the electric circuitry shown in FIG. 8.
A general low-voltage supply shown by lines L1, L2 is obtained by transforming and rectifying from the mains shown by lines L3, L4 through a main on-off switch 46. The collator motor 45 is connected across switch 46 through normally-open contacts tl, t2 of a relay T. Each of the reed contacts RI: Rll is seriesconnected with a respective electro-magnet coil EAI, EAII and a corresponding selector SI. SI] and is cut in respective line L5 connected across lines L1, L2 of the low-voltagee circuit. through a normallyopen contact C2 of a relay C. The reed contact Ra is cut in a line L6 parallel to lines L5, in series with a normally-open contact a2 of a relay A and the energizing coil of a relay F. The relay A is connected in a line L7 comprising a normally-open contactor 47 for cutting off the collator. The reed contact Re is cut in a line L8 connected across the lines Ll and L2, in series with a normally-open contact d2 ofa relay D and the energizing coil of relay C. The coil of relay D is cut in a line L9 in series with a normally-open contactor 48 for operating the collator.
When it is desired to operate the collator, the monentary operation of contactor 48 energizes relay D which is held energized through its own contact d1. A normally-open contact d3 of relay D energizes relay T which, through the closing of the contacts tl and t2 thereof, starts motor 45. However it is only when magnet 39 of the rotating switch disk 80 moves past reed contact Rc that relay C will be energized. Relay C is held energized through its own contact Cl. Another contact C2 of relay C is closed and allows the energizing in sequence ofthe lines as fast as the reed contacts Rl, Rll. l RXll close. By each 360-revolution of the switch, a bundle of 12 sheets is formed and as soon as magnet 39 lies again facing contact RI, the following bundle begins to form, while the preceding bundle comes out of the col lator.
When it is desired to stop the collator. closing of contactor 47 energizes relay A which is held energized through it own contact al. Another contact a2 of relay A closes the energizing circuit for relay F as soon as reed contact Ra closes. A normally-closed contact fl will open then in such a way that relay C will be cut off which causes opening of contact C2 thereof and the following cycle will not begin after the collator. irrespecthc of the moment where the contactor 47 has been operated. will have completed the working cycle thereof. This is due to the arrangement of reed contact Ra after the last reed contact RXll. The circuitry is so designed as to produce the same action in the case of cramming by means of microswitches 49, as well as in the case of missing or additional sheets.
The platen 34 is provided according to the invention with additional reed contacts for the synchronous control devices of the collator such as a planing device. a clipping device, a folding device, an ejecting device, etc.
The rotating speed of the switch is determined by the time required for the sheets, after extracting from the pocket thereof, to clear under the action of the upper rollers 4, S the spacing between two succeeding roller pairs, The following cycle of the described collator may start as soon as clutch electro-magnet 31 of that pocket 3 nearest the receiving station 50 has been energized and well before the sheet bundle has been completely taken over by the receiving station 50 under the action of the upper rollers 4, 5. Due to the peculiar design of the collator according to the invention, the output thereof is much higher than the output of the presently known collators of this kind. By way of example, a collator according to the invention with l2 pockets allows pulling out 43,200 sheets per hour, thus allowing collating of 3,600 bundles per hour when all 12 pockets are in action.
There will now be further described some parts of the above collator.
The collator frame is comprised of the base skeleton l to the top of which are attached the two spaced parallel side-members 2, which are comprised of U-sections with the backs thereof facing one another, and braced over a substantial length therof by the baffle elements 7 and, on the collator head side, by a frame which receives the switch 32 for motor 45, the selecting elements 5, the indicator lights L and other possible control elements. The skeleton 1 has an intermediate deck 51 to which are attached, at regular intervals. parallel slides 52 which form. together with shoes 53 attached to the lower portions of the baffle elements 7, guide and bearing surfaces for the removable pockets 3. Pockets 3 have, in a way known per se, sheet holding flaps 54, a bottom 55 and a pair of stops 56 in the top corners.
The U-sections 2 bear on skeleton l with the one flange 57 thereof while the web 58 lies on the side of the frame lengthwise axis so as to form respective housings 59 which may be reached from the front side 21 and the back side 10 of the collator, respectively. The flanges 57 of side-members 2 end in an inner rim 60 which is used as a seat, on the one hand for stiffening braces 61, and on the other hand for a facing section 62. To the lower flanges 57 of side-members 2 are attached, at regular intervals, angle-irons 72 for supporting the baffle elements 7.
Such a frame structure allows an easy conveying of the collator as the elements comprising the same may be packed separately and assembled on location. Moreover the composition of the collator as regards the number of pockets is easy,
Each ejector 6 comprises a cradle formed by a pair of spaced arms 64 joined by a pair of braces 65. The shaft 16 of the ejector rollers 15 is rotatably supported on the cradle lower portion, The cradle is rotatably mounted in turn on the driving shaft 20. Each cradle may be raised separately so as to put out of action the ejector. as this has been shown in FIG. for the righthand ejector. For this purpose. a cranked rod 66 di rected cross-wise to the collator main direction. is associated at the one end 67 thereof to an intermediate plate 68 of the cradle and at the other end thereof. which is supported in the rim 60 of the side-member 2. to a crank 69 witih a crank-pin 70. Crank pin 70 is slid ably mounted in the crank 69 in such a way that the end thereof may be laid. to obtain the cradle raising position. on the front edge of a strip 7I. Strip 7] is so mounted as to be slidable lengthwise between flange 57 of side-member 2 and suporting brackets 72. and strip H is provided with stud-holes 73 through each of which passes a finger'74 integral with one of the rods 66, in such a way that. by moving strip 71. it is possible to raise or lower simultaneously all of the ejector cradles.
Finally to each rod 66 is attached. on the crank side. a counter-weight 75 the mass of which helps to secure a substantially constant pressure of the ejector rollers IS on the sheets irrespective of the thickness of the sheet packet in each pocket. In FIG. 5 has been shown the counterweight position relative to two succeeding pockets. respectively in the raised position of the cradle and in the position where no more sheets remain in the pocket.
The electro-magnets 31 are attached to brackets 76 which are in turn attached to the web of side-member 2 of the collator skelton. The brackets 76 of non- Magnetic material are provided with platforms 77 for holding the electro-Magnet cores 30.
There will now be described with reference to FIGS. 3 and 5, the structure and mounting of the rollers 4, 5
as well as of the baffle walls for the sheets, arranged above pockets 3. As described above. in each one of the roller pairs, the lower roller 4 is continuously positively driven by the kinematic chain ll. l3, [4 while the upper roller is driven by friction from the lower roller. The lower rollers 4 are rotatably mounted by means of journals 12 in bearings supported by the sidemembers 2 and the journals bear. at opposite ends. a pinion I] and a pinion 26. respectively.
The upper rollers 5 are each freely-rotatably mounted through the cheeks 78 thereof on an axle 79 which is supported at the ends thereof in attachment means 80 which comprise a pair of arms 81 joined at one end by axle 79. Arms 81 bear. on the outside at the other end thereof. a pivot pin 82 on either side. Pivot pin 82 is received in a supporting plate 83 which is attached to the web 58 of the side-members 2 adjacent the roller 5 of the adjacent feeding roller pair 4. 5 which is located on the side of the collator head end. The attachment means further comprise the upper baffle wall 9 which is attached by means 84 between the side arms 8I thereof. Consequently. the upper roller 5 bears. under its own weight as well as under the weight of the attachment means 80 thereof. on the lower roller 4.
Each lower baffle wall comprises the section 7 which is curved about the lower roller 4. in which area the section is provided with recesses 85 for clearance of annular shoes 86 which are attached on roller 4. The section 7 is extended by a section in the shape of a birds bill 8 which is attached. on collator side l0. to the hear ing 87 supporting the shaft which drives the ejector and. onlside 21, to an angleiron 88 attached to web 58 of side member 2.
The crammingcontrol microswitches 49 are secured to web 58 ofside-member 2. on side I0. The arm 89 of each microswitch 49 is operated by a bracket 90 which projects from the side of sidemember 2. on the one arm 81 of the attachment means for each upper roller 5.
In FIGS. 9 and I3 has been shown very diagrammat' ically. by leaving out the upper rollers 5, the ejectors 6 and the transmission means. another embodiment of the collator according to the invention. with which the output is very substantially increased by forming simultaneously a plurality of bundles. For this purpose. the pockets have been divided into a plurality of series of succeeding pockets and the sheets from a pocket of each series are ejected simultaneously. To this end. the sequencing switch comprises as many series of contacts as there are series of pockets and the sequencing switch operates simultaneously a contact in each contact series in such a way that. as the cycle is performed. the succeeding contacts in each series are operated at the same time.
In the modified embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 13, the pockets are divided into two series. from I to VII and from VIII to XII. This means that the rotating sequencing switch 40 (FIG. ll) comprises. spaced evenly over the circumference thereof. a first series of microswitches Rl to RVII and a second series of microswitches RVIII to RXll. Microswitches Rl. RVIII are operated simultaneously. microswitches RII. RIX are operated simultaneously. etc. At the same time microswitch RVI is operated. so is end-of-cycle microswitch Ru. and microswitch RVII is operated together with begin-of-cycle microswitch Re. Michroswitches Rl to RXII and Ru. Re are equivalent to the reed contacts in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 8 and they are secured by pairs to a stationary platen 34, and brush 39 mounted on shaft 37 is equivalent to the rotating permanent magnet in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 8.
In FIGS. 9 and 10, there has been shown the outlet 50 of the sheet bundles with a collecting plate 91 having a retractable stop 92. a transfer belt 93 and a counter-roller 94.
In FIG. 9. which shows the collator in operation. at a moment corresponding to the beginning of a cycle. a bundle LA of [2 sheets comes out form the collecting means 50 while a following bundle L8 is being formed. The front edge of bundle L8 is coming near the feeding roller pair 4. 5 of pocket VIII. Simultaneously with the ejection of a sheet from pocket VIII there occurs the ejection of a sheet from pocket I. Then. and in sequence. there occurs simultaneously the ejection of a sheet from pocket IX and from pocket II; from pocket X and from pocket Ill. from pocket XI and from pocket IV. This moment has been shown in FIG. 10 where the planed bundle LA is discharged. the bundle L8 is being completed with a series of sheets and a following bundle LC is being formed and lies above pocket IV. Fi nally there occurs the ejection from pocket XII and from pocket V. At this moment the bundle LB will be taken in charge by collecting means 50 and the bundle LC will be completed with the sheets from pockets VI and VII. It is only when bundle LC comes near the pocket Vlll that the conditions of FIG. 9 are found again and that the bundle following bundle LC will begin to form The lag between the moment where the sheet comes out form the last pocket (in this case Xll) and the moment at which there begins the formation of a new bundle at the level of pocket 1 is desired to give to the bundles the time required for being planed and discharged.
The electric circuit diagram of FIG. 13 is very similar to the diagram shown in FIG, 8. However it does coniprise the circuits required by the beginning ot'the collator operation. to have a sheet come out of pocket \'lll only after a 36tlrevolution of brush 91, that is when a first bundle reaches the level of pocket VIII. and by the stopping of the collator. for preventing sheets coming out of pockets l to V1! while the last bundle is being completed by sheets from pockets Vlll to Xll.
For this purpose. the circuits L of contacts Rl to RVl are connected in parallel through line L in circuit Ll, by means of a normally-closed contact a 2 of a relay W while the circuits L5 that of contacts RVll to RXll as well as of contact Ra are connected in parallel through a line Lll in circuit Ll by means of the normally-open contact ul for selfholding of a relay U. Relay W comprises a normally=open contact W] for self-holding and a contact W3 in series with the contact a2 in the circuit of the coil of relay F.
When starting the collator operation by means of contactor 48 and when the cycle contact Rc has been operated. which results in energizing relays C. D and T. line L10 is energized through relay contact C2 in such a way that the succeeding closure of contacts Rl to RVI energizes in sequence the electromagncts EAl to EAVI. Line Lll remains cut out until the momentary closure of contact RV! which, through a diode 95., results in energizing of relay U. which is held through its own contact at, and thus energizing of line L] I. From this moment on. the collator operates by the momentary closure of two electro-magnet circuits at the same time, such circuits corresponding to the contact pairs Rl. RVlll; Rll. RlX. etc.
When it is desired to stop the collator. which occurs by means of push'button 47. the immediately following passing of brush 39 over contact RVll results. through diode 96, in energized relay W opening. by means of the contact w2 thereof. line l H). line Lll will remain energized up to the passage of brush 39 over end-ofcycle contact Ru. which closes the circuit of relay F which opens circuit Ll arid the circuits of relays D and T.
The number of pocket series might of course by larger than twov Such a division has all the more importance as the collator comprises a higher total number of pockets. In such a way. it is possible to increase manyfold the number of pockets ith respect to a basic pocket number without substantially decreasing the output of the collator computed as number of bundles per time unit.
It must be understood that the invention is in no way limited to the above embodiments and that many changes may be brought therein without departing from the scope of the imention as defined by the zip pended claims.
I. ln a sheet collator including a plurality of loading pockets arranged along a horizontal line between a head end and an outlet end of the collator with each pocket having an injection end. ejector rollers mounted in each loading pocket and engaging the top sheet of a packet of sheets therein to project. responsive to momentary activation of the ejector rollers. the top sheet partially out of its loading pocket. mounting means for the ejector rollers in each pocket. each mounting means including a rotatable roller shaft carrying the ejector rollers; an ejector drive shaft for the roller shaft. and a driving connection between the drive shaft and the roller shaft, ejector operating means operable to rotate the drive shaft. clutch means interposed between the operating means and the ejector drive shaft. and conveying means located at the ejection ends of and adjacent to the loading pockets for engaging each projected sheet to complete the withdrawal of the sheet from its pocket and to direct the sheet toward the outlet end of the collator: the improvement comprising. in combination. a respective ejector pinion mounted for free rotation one each ejector drive shaft and constituting said operating means. each ejector pinion having a hub portion; driving means operable to continuously rotate said ejector pinions'. a respective spindle means secured to each drive shaft in coaxial alignment with the hub portion of the associated ejector pinion; each clutch means being contsituted by a respective helical spring having a number of turns fixedly embracing the associated spindle means and a number of turns embracing the hub portion of the associated ejector pinion and biased to wind around such hub portion in a direction to tightly grip the hub portion to establish. in the tightened condition, a driving connection between the associated ejector pinion and the associated spindle for driving of the associated drive shaft; each helical spring having a respective stop means on the turns thereof embracing the hub portion of the associated ejector pinion; and respective retainer means arranged in the path of movement of each stop means around the hub portion of the associated ejector pinion to engage the latter to retain the associated helical spring in a non-tightened condition for free rotation of the associated ejector pinion on the associated drive shaft; respective electro-mechanical operating means operable to retract each retainer means out of the path of the stop means of the associated helical spring for tightening of the associated helical spring to couple the associated ejector pinion to the associated drive shaft for conjoint rotation; and a sequencing electric switch device in controlling relation with said electromechanical operating means and operable to energize said electro-mechanical operating means momentarily and in seriatim, beginning with the electro-mechanical operating means of the first loading pocket adjacent the head end of said collator and continuing to the last loading pocket adjacent the outlet end of the collator.
2. In a sheet collator, the improvement claimed in claim 1. in which each conveying means includes a pair of conveying rollers positioned one above the other with their axes parallel to each other to engage each projected sheet to complete the withdrawal of the sheet from its pocket and to direct the sheet toward the following pair of conveying rollers in the direction of the outlet end of said collator; means rotatably mounting each roller of each pair of conveying roller; operating means including a rotating shaft for said conveying rollers; respective transmission means connecting said ro tating shaft to one roller of the associated pair of con veying rollers to drive the one roller; each operating driving means for continuously rotating a respective ejector pinion comprising a gear connection between the rotated conveying roller of the respective pair of conveying rollers and the respective ejector pinion; each ejector pinon having a hubv portion; each ejector drive shaft having a hub portion axially aligned with the hub portion of the associated ejector pinion; each helical spring embracing the hub of the associated ejector pinion and the hub of the associated drive shaft to connect the associated ejector pinion with the associated drive shaft upon tightening of the spring.
3. In a sheet eollator, the improvement claimed in claim 2. in which said electric switch device comprise a series of electric switches each incorporated in a respective control circuit for a respective electro mechanical retainer operating means, and a switch operating member operable to operate said electric switches individually in sequence for a time which, for each electric switch is shorter than the time required for one complete revolution of the associated ejector drive shaft; and transmission driving means interposed between said switch operating member and the operating means for said conveying rollers, to drive said switch operating member.
4. in a sheet collator. the improvement claimed in claim 3, in which each electro-mechanical retainer operating means comprises a respective electro-magnet; each electromagent having an armature movable between two positions, one corresponding to the energized condition of the associated electro-magnet and the other corresponding to the non-energized condition of the associated electro-magnet; each armature having a respective projecting bolt-like part positioned in the path of movement of the stop means of the associated helical spring, in the non-energized condition of the as sociated electro-magnet.
5. In a sheet collector. the improvement claimed in claim 3, in which said switch device comprises a first series'and at least one second series of said electric switches; said switch operating member simultaneously operating corresponding electric switches of each of said series; each switch of a series being incorporated in a respective control circuit for a respective electromechanical retainer means associated with a respective loading pocket of a series of loading pockets; said first series of electrical switches corresponding to that first series of successive loading pockets having its first pocket adjacent said head end of said collator. and each further series of switching means corresponding to a series of loading pockets having their respective first loading pocket adjacent to the last loading pocket of the preceding series thereof.
6. In a sheet collator. the improvement claimed in claim 2, in which said conveying rollers extend transversely of said horizontal line of loading pockets between opposite longitudinal sides of said collator; said rotating shaft for said conveying rollers extending along one of said longitudinal sides; respective shaft means mounting the rotated conveying roller of each pair; gearing connecting said rotating shaft and each shaft means and located on said one longitudinal side of said collator', each gear connection between the rotated conveying roller of each pair and the associated ejector pinion comprising a driving pinion secured coaxially on the shaft means rotatably mounting the respective rotated conveying roller, and located on the opposite longitudinal side of said collator.