US 3888267 A
A method and apparatus for receiving sheets of paper of varying sizes, such for example as bank notes or paper currency, for use with automatic vending machines. The device has a first inner slot longer than the longest paper sheet expected to be received which is located in a revolving assembly composed of spaced discs. Fixed guide members located on each side of each disc having annular surfaces spaced concentric with the outer surfaces of the disc, form a second slot into which each currency sheet is transferred on an individual basis from the inner slot to the outer slot. At the completion of the transaction, the discs are revolved one revolution in the opposite direction to discharge a group of currency sheets into a repository, or alternatively into a compartment for return to the user of the device.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [19' Gautschi APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TEMPORARILY STORING SHEETS OF PAPER  Inventor: Kurt Gautschi, Onex, Switzerland  Assignee: Sodeco-Saia AG., Geneva,
Switzerland  Filed: May 24, 1 974  Appl. No.: 473,294
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 24, I973 Switzerland 7437/73  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,026,023 3/l962 Hirschfeld l94/DIG. 9 B
3,l62,439 Poland et al 27l/64 June 10, 1975 Mathis  ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for receiving sheets of paper of varying sizes, such for example as bank notes or paper currency, for use with automatic vending machines. The device has a first inner slot longer than the longest paper sheet expected to be received which is located in a revolving assembly composed of spaced discs. Fixed guide members located on each side of each disc having annular surfaces spaced concentric with the outer surfaces of the disc, form a second slot into which each currency sheet is transferred on an individual basis from the inner slot to the outer slot. At the completion of the transaction, the discs are revolved one revolution in the opposite direction to discharge a group of currency sheets into a repository, or alternatively into a compartment for return to the user of the device.
20 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJUH 10 I975 SHEET PATENTED JUN 1 0 I975 R I RUN l7 STOP RUN CLOCKWISE STOP RUN COUNTERCLOCKWISE i 0 We we H08 IHIH N 1 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TEMPORARILY STORING SHEETS OF PAPER This invention relates to a method and apparatus for temporarily storing sheets of paper of varying sizes, such for example as bank notes or paper currency, for use with automatic vending machines in connection with the selling of merchandise or services of substantial value where payment by a plurality of sheets of paper currency is contemplated.
ln automatic vending machines which are required to store substantial amounts of money, as for example in connection with automatic ticket or petrol selling machines, it is desirable that bank notes, vouchers or other types of paper currency which are introduced into the machine be held temporarily during the course of the transaction, in an intermediate storage region. This allows time for the total amount to be paid and a request to be made for the return of the money introduced. Return of the money previously paid in may be desired either because the customer rescinds the transaction and wants his money back, or perhaps because a second or subsequent note inserted into the machine is assessed as being unacceptable. This temporary storage as provided by the present invention requires the storage of currency sheets which have already been introduced. until this decision is arrived at, so that the currency can be returned, or definitively passed into the collecting receptacle.
Apparatus of this general type is disclosed in German Offenlegunschrift No. 2,028,694, which utilizes a rotary drum in which the periphery of the drum is, for the major part, surrounded by two endless belts. In the space between the belts and the drum, the notes are stored. The arrangement requires a plurality of light barrier monitoring devices with corresponding logic circuitry, and requires a fairly large amount of space for the return run of the endless belts.
A generally similar storage device is also disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,162,439, in which rotary discs have slots which open towards their outer periphery. Sheets or documents to be stored are introduced into the slots in the discs by conveyor rollers operating at a speed higher than the peripheral speed of the discs; when the discs continue to rotate, the sheets or documents are pushed into the slot in the disc, over approximately one-quarter revolution of the discs, by means of conveyor rollers which slide against the periphery of the discs also at a higher speed. An abutment is arranged outside the conveyor belts, stops the sheets, pushes them out of the slots, and deposits them in a sack. Such a device represents a permanent storage arrangement, but does not afford the possibility of returning one or more sheets of currency which have just been inserted.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel method and apparatus for the temporary storage of paper currency for use in connection with vending machines where the recently introduced currency sheets may, at the option of the user, be returned.
Another object is to provide a novel storage device requiring a small amount of space and being of low cost, which can temporarily store a plurality of sheets of paper currency or bank notes of different sizes for future delivery, either to a permanent repository or to a currency return compartment.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a novel paper sheet storage device having an inner slot greater in length than the maximum length of any paper sheet to be received, an outer independent storage slot that is concentric with the inner slot for accumulating and holding several sheets of currency with means for rotating the storage device in one direction to transfer a paper sheet from the inner slot to the outer slot, and in the opposite direction to transfer the group of paper sheets from the outer slot either to a permanent repository or to a currency return compartment.
These and other objects of the invention will become more fully apparent from the claims, and from the description as it proceeds in connection with the appended drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation view in section taken along line A-A of FIG. 2 of the storage device of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the storage device of FIG.
FIG. 3 is an electrical circuit diagram of the motor and circuits used for controlling the motor driving the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an end elevation in section showing the drive mechanism for the rings;
FIG. 5 is an exploded pictorial view showing the preferred drive arrangement between a gear wheel and the ring unit employing a spiral spring;
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of the ring unit and fixed guide members showing the ring unit revolving in a direction to transfer a currency sheet from the inner slot to the outer slot;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing the ring member rotating in a direction to remove currency sheets from the outer slot; and
FIG. 8 is a timing chart illustrating the relative times of movement of the various parts in the storage device of FIGS. 1 through 7.
The document receiving and storage device of the present invention includes a first endless belt 3 which passes under roller 4 and around roller 5 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The insertion slot 1 for a bank note 2 is between the belt at roller 5 and guide plate 11, and a driven roll 10 together with belt 3 convey the bank note 2 into the opening 13 of the storage member. Each of the belts 3 and 30 may comprise three narrow individual bands which run one behind the other as shown in FIG. 2. Accordingly, the guide rolls 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are also each provided in triplicate. Further deflection rollers (not shown) are disposed on the left-hand side in FIGS. 1 and 2 and form a closed return path for the endless belts 3 and 3a. In front of the conveyor roll I0 is a signal transmitter for indicating the entry of a bank note to be stored. The signal transmitter 100 may be either a switch which is actuated directly by the bank note as by way of a sensing lever, or any radiation sensitive device in which for example a light beam is influenced by the bank note.
A guide plate 11, which is arranged along the belts 3 between the guide rolls 5 and 6, forms a passage 12 whose end is arranged opposite an opening 13 of a slot I4 in a rotational storage member which is shown in its starting position in FIGS. I, 2, and 4. In the described embodiment, the storage member comprises four identical rings 15 having an outer annular shaped surface and three spacer posts 16 which hold the rings apart and parallel to each other. The spacer posts I6 are secured to mounting flanges I8 which are mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis 18a between two outside fixed plates (see FIG. 2).
Fixed guide plates 23 are located on opposite sides of each of the four rings 15 as shown in FIG. 2. The guide plates 23 have a shape similar to that of an annular sector and have an inner diameter which is slightly greater than the outer diameter of the rings 15 to thereby provide a circular outer slot 24. The radial thickness of outer circular slot 24 should be sufficient to receive several bank notes placed one on top of the other. The thickness of the inner slot 14 needs to have a radial thickness sufficient only to handle a single bank note. Just beyond the end I30 of the inner slot 14, when ring I is in its document receiving position as illustrated in FIG. I, the fixed annular guide members each have a fixed abutment 26 which comprises a catch member 27 that extends radially inwardly to a distance closer to the rotation axis 180 than the end 13a of slot 14 in ring 15. The abutment edges 28 of the catch members 27 serve to form the abutment for engaging the edges of bank notes stored in slot 14 as illustrated in FIG. 6.
The two marginal plates 17 on opposite sides of the storage device (see FIG. 2) are held together by the three spacer columns 29, 30 and 31 shown also in FIG. I (in FIG. 2 the spacer column 29 is partly cut away). At positions determined by the location of the fixed annular guide members 23. the spacer columns 29, 30 and 3] have recesses 32, 33 and 34 of a width corresponding to the thickness of the guide members 23. Guide members 23 are provided with two spacer columns 29 and 31 at their points of contact, which lie approximately diametrically opposite to each other with respect to the rotational axis 18a of the rings 15. Recesses 36 and 37 are adapted to the diameter of the recesses 32 and 34, respectively.
Opposite rollers 6 which carry belt 3, are rollers 19 which are mounted on shaft 22 carried by rings 15. Rings are provided with slots 2] and springs to allow rollers 19 to move in a radial direction to thus be spring biased against belt 3.
The rotatable rings 15 are each advantageously formed from stamped metal sheet portions, or they may be injection molded with a plastic material.
The plates I7 are secured to the spacer columns 29,30 and 31 by screws 50. To assemble the storage dsevice, only two of the diametrically opposed spacer columns 29 and 31 are screwed into place. Because the spacer column is not then in the way, guide members 23 can be introduced from the right, as viewed in FIG. 1. While this is done, the guide members 23 are compressed inwardly to such an extent that their recesses 36 and 37 engage with the correspondingly shaped recesses in the spacer columns 29 and 31, respectively. After the third spacer column 30 has been set in place, the guide portions 23 are then finally secured in a fixed position.
The rotatable rings contain an entrainment lever 38 shown in FIGS. 1, 6, and 7 which is mounted on a ring 15 for pivotal movement about pin 38a and biased to its outward position as illustrated in FIGS. I and 7 by a suitable spring, as illustrated. The lever 38 has an abutment edge surface 39 that extends radially outwardly beyond the outer surface of the circular slot 24, but which can be forced inwardly by a bank note to the position as illustrated in FIG. 6. Thus. the abutment edges 39 normally project beyond the outside diameter of the outer slot 24, except when that part of the entrainment lever 38 which projects beyond the outer diameter of the rings 15 is displaced radially inwardly relative to the rings 15 against this spring force. to such an extent that a bank note may pass over the outer edge of lever 38 while being transferred from the inner slot I4 to the outer slot 24, as illustrated in FIG. 6.
In the region of the opening 25 of the outer slot 24, fixed guide plates 40 having free ends extending into the spaces between two adjacent guide members 23 and in the region of the rings 15 are provided to deliver the bank notes from outer slot 24. A further fixed guide plate 42, which extends over the entire width between the plates 17, lies adjacent the lower ends of the guide members 23 and forms a passage 43 which leads over driven roll 46 to two driven conveyor rollers 44 at the inlet end of a main money box 45. The guide and directing plates 40, 4] and 42, the conveyor rollers 44 and 46, and the main money box 45 are not shown in FIG. 2. A switching plate 47 is arranged between the ends of the guide members 23 and the guide plate 41 on the one hand, and the guide rolls 7 and the driven roller 46 on the other hand, and is mounted for pivotal movement on a shaft 48.
Arranged between the outermost guide member 23 and plate 17 as shown in FIG. 2 are drive gears 49 and 490 that are used for driving the storage device rings 15 in either a clockwise direction, or a counterclockwise direction, one revolution at a time. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 a spiral spring 56 has its inner end 57 fixed to turn with the cam member 58 which is attached to turn with rings 15. The outer end 59 of spiral spring 56 is engaged with a pin 60 of the last gear 49a in the gear train 49. For the infeed of bank notes, gear 490 turns in the direction indicated by arrow A. The cam member 58 is unable at first to follow the rotation of gear 49 because a latch 61 engages an abutment surface 62. After gear 49 has rotated about 270, a trigger member 64 with an oblique surface 63 engages and lifts latch 61 so that cam member 58 begins to rotate also in the direction of arrow A. By the time latch 61 is raised, the bank note has been placed in slot 14. As cam 58 and rings 15 rotate in the counterclockwise direction as illustrated in FIG. 6, the bank note edge engages surfaces 28 of fixed guide members 23 and is backed out of inner slot 14 into outer slot 24 over the dcpessed edge of lever 38 as illustrated in FIG. 6. During this process. an alignment of the bank notes that may be obliquely oriented in slot 14, takes place. After one revolution of rings 15, the bank note is positioned in the outer slot 24.
As a result of the energy stored in the spiral springs 56 just before latch 61 releases the cam member 58, the rings I5 follow the rotation of gear 49a in the direction of arrow A. To prevent a sudden high velocity rotation of the rings IS, a centrifugal brake has been provided. Starting out from a gear 65 in FIG. 4, which is mounted on the rotational axis 18a of the rings 15, two or more centrifugal weights 68 mounted on spring arms 67 are put into rapid rotational movement by way of a pair of gears rotating with the rings 15. The weights deflect to the outside and brake the rotational movement of the rings 15 on a brake drum 69. The rings I5 rotate continuously until the latch 61 again abuts against the edge 62 of cam member 68, thereby stopping the rings at the position illustrated in FIG. I.
To remove the bank notes stored in the outer slot 24, the gear 490 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) and rings I5 are driven one revolution in the reverse direction as shown by arrow B in FIG. 5. The drive connection is by contact between pin 60 on gear 49a and block 75 on cam 58. As a result of the rotation of rings 15, the bank notes stored in the outer slot 24 are pushed by the leading edges 39 of levers 38 so that the bank notes are ejected through space 25 as shown in FIG. 7 either under or onto switching plate 47 of FIG. 1.
When the removal operation occurs, belt 3 and 3a are drive in a reverse direction so that the bank notes are fed over rolls 46 and belts 3a to rollers 44. However, when switching plate 47 is pivoted to the dotted line position as shown in FIG. 1, then the belts 3 and 3a are driven in their initial direction so that the bank notes are delivered back to the customer at a bank note return compartment.
Mode of Operation A bank note 2 is introduced into the insertion slot 1 and actuates the signal transmitter 100 which causes closing of the contact 51 shown in FIG. 3, which in turn causes energization of relay 52 having switch contacts 53 and S4. The electrical signal from the signal transmitter a starts the drive motor 55 for the storage operation which continues so long as switch 54 remains closed. The relay 52 is held closed by a circuit including contacts 53 and contacts 74 of normally energized relay 73. Switch 71 may include a magnetizable leaf contact and be located adjacent magnet 72 which is carried by gear 490, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the opening of switch 71 interrupts the current flow to relay 73; the opening of contacts 74 interrupts the current flow through relay 52; and the opening of contacts 54 stops the driving motor 55.
During one revolution rotation of gear 490, the bank note 2 is passed between the conveyor rolls 10 and the endless belts 3 along the guide plate 11 to the rolls 19 which run resiliently against the endless belts, and pushed into the inner slot 14 until the end of the bank note comes out from between the rolls 19 and the endless belts 3.
During this process, a spiral spring 56 arranged in the axis of the rotatable rings is simultaneously being tensioned by way of the drive wheel 49a (FIGS. 4 and 5). The end 57 of spring 56, which is stationary during this process, is connected to the rings 15, and the rings 15 are at first prevented from being rotated by means of the latch member 61. When the gear 490 tensioning the spiral spring reaches a given position, which ensures that the bank note to be stored is satisfactorily inserted entirely into the slot 14, the latch member 61 is mechanically released and a little later, the magnetic switch 71 is actuated by way of the magnet 72 inserted in the gear 490 with the temporary opening of the magnetic switch 71 stopping the drive motor 55. When the latch member 61 is released, the rings 15 are rotated in the counterclockwise direction through one revolution. as shown in FIG. 6. by the force of the spiral spring. A centrifugal brake arranged in the interior of the rings 15, as shown in FIG. 4, restricts the speed of rotary movement.
After the beginning of the rotary movement of rings 15, the bank notes have their end which was inserted first. placed against the edges 28 of the abutments 26, and are pushed out of the inner slot 14. When this occurs, any bank notes which were possibly positioned askew in the slot 14 are simultaneously aligned. After the rings 15 have carried out the rotary movement, the bank notes are in the second outer slot 24.
A second bank note can now be inserted in inner slot 14 after which a further rotary movement of the rings in the counterclockwise direction occurs, thereby placing the second bank note in the outer slot 24 on the inside of the first bank note. A plurality of notes can be stored in this way.
The storage means is unloaded by rotating the rings 15 in the clockwise direction, as shown in FIG. 7. When this occurs, the bank notes which are stored in the outer slot 24 are pushed out along the periphery of the slot 24 by the abutment edges 39 of the lever 38 that is mounted to turn with the rotatable rings 15. When this occurs, with the switching member 47 in the horizontal position shown in FIG. 1, the bank notes which are pushed out of the slot 24 pass between the conveyor rollers 46 and the endless belts 3a which pass them to the two conveyor rollers 44 and thus into the main money box 45. This process takes place when a preceding check on authenticity of the bank notes gave a positive result and the correct amount of bank notes has been introduced into the vending machine. If, however, the check on authenticity of the inserted bank notes gave a negative result, or if the customer wishes his money back before the whole amount of money required has been stored. the switching member 47 is then pivoted into the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 1. When the storage means is unloaded, after passing through the opening 25 of the outer slot 24, the bank notes pass the guide rolls 7 between the two belts 3 and 3a which are moving in the same direction. The belts 3 and 3a carry the notes to a return slot (not shown) which lies away to the left of FIG. I.
The resilient arrangement of the lever 38 on the r0- tatable rings 15 is required because the abutment surface 39 thereof must project beyond the outside diameter of the outer slot 24 in order to remove the bank notes when the rings 15 are rotated. When the rings are rotated in the clockwise direction, the guide plate 41 serves as an inclined run-on surface for the outer surface of the lever 38 so that as the lever 38 passes the guide roll 6, it is pressed into its inwardly displaced position. In the opposite direction of rotation, the lever 38 itself is shaped to have the necessary run-on surface.
The described drive of the rings 15 for the rotation necessary for the storage of a bank note and with the use of a spiral spring and of a latch, represents a me ferred embodiment of the invention. However, the drive of the rings 15 may also be accomplished in other manners, such for example as with the use of a second reversible motor. One of the motors may always run in the same rotational direction and serves to drive belts 3 and 3a. The second reversible motor. causing always one full rotation of the rings 15, is put into operation either running forward or in reverse, depending on the command of either storage or discharge.
The method of operation will be explained with reference to the diagrams of FIG. 8. At the point in time I, a bank note is fed in and as a result of the signal from signaling device 10a, the first motor runs until the bank note safely left the conveying rollers 19 and 6 and reached the inner slot 14. At the point in time II the second motor is switched on with a right-hand rotation. which causes the transfer of the bank note from the inner slot 14 to outer slot 24. The first motor is switched off. At the point in time III, the first bank note is stored in the outer slot 24 and the second motor is turned off.
Whenever a second bank note passes the signaling device 100, the previously described process is repeated at the points in time I to In. Now two bank notes are located in the outer slot 24.
At the point in time IV, the return of the bank notes from the storage takes place. Both motors begin to run, the second motor now with the left hand rotation. The bank notes are now discharged as illustrated in FIG. 7 and are either returned or directed to the tellers department 45. After a single revolution, the second motor is turned off at the point in time V. and the first motor turned off at the point in time Vl.
Advantages By means of stacking bank notes of different sizes, in accordance with the above-described arrangements, the bank notes are aligned in the storage device. The size of the storage device having a capacity to store a large number of bank notes can be kept small, which is important for vending machine installations. By virtue of the mechanical positive control, no electronic means, apart from the electrical pulses for starting and stopping the drive motor, are required for monitoring or controlling the storage of bank notes thereby giving a high degree of operating reliability.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and intended to be covered by Letters Patent is:
l. A method of temporarily storing sheets of paper currency for use with the vending of products or ser vices having substantial value requiring payment with a plurality of paper sheets comprising:
introducing through an inlet opening a single sheet of currency;
conveying said currency sheet into an inner slot in a rotatable member while stationary;
transferring said sheet from said inner slot to an outer slot by revolving said rotatable member one revolu tion in a first direction; introducing a second currency sheet into said inner slot in said rotatable member while stationary;
transferring said second sheet into said outer slot in a position under said first sheet by revolving said rotatable member one revolution in said first direction; transferring both sheets out of said outer slot to a switching station by revolving said rotatable member one revolution in the opposite direction; and
transporting said currency sheets along a sheet passageway selected by a sheet deflector located at said switching station.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
detecting the leading edge of said currency sheet to energize a motor connected to drive said rotatable member;
delaying the start of the revolution of said rotatable member until said currency sheet has been introduced into said inner slot; and
de-energizing said motor in response to a predetermined position of a drive wheel for said rotatable member until a further currency sheet is introduced into said inlet opening.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the motor is connected to drive the rotatable member in said first direction by means including a spiral spring having one end connected to said rotatable member and the other end connected to said drive wheel and by an abutment and lever member combination by:
maintaining said rotatable member stationary while tensioning said spiral spring; and
releasing said lever from said lever abutment member combination in response to a predetermined position of said drive wheel.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the rotatable member contains outer substantially circular surface portions and fixed guide members contain inner substantially circular surface portions that are concentric with said outer surface portions to thereby form said second slot and said fixed guide members contain also fixed abutment portions that extend radially inwardly beyond the inner slot; and wherein the currency sheet is transferred from the inner slot to the outer slot by engaging the leading edge of the currency sheets with said fixed abutment portions as said rotatable member revolves in said first direction thereby to back said cur rency sheet out of said first slot onto the outer surface of said rotatable member and into said outer slot.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the rotatable member includes a plurality of levers mounted for pivotal movement on the periphery of said rotatable member, said levers each having a currency sheet abutment surface which is spring biased radially outwardly beyond the outer edge of the outer slot and shaped to pass under the currency sheet during the transfer from the inner slot to the outer slot, and the sheets are transferred out of said outer slot by engaging the leading edge of the currency sheets with said lever abutment surfaces.
6. A paper currency handling apparatus for use with the vending of products or services having substantial value requiring payment with a plurality of paper sheets comprising:
means responsive to the introduction of sheets of paper currency one at a time, for transporting each sheet into an inner slot of a rotatable sheet storage device while said device is stationary;
means for rotating said storage device one revolution in a first direction after each sheet is introduced into said inner slot to transfer said sheet to an outer slot; and
means for rotating said storage device one revolution in the opposite direction for removing simultaneously a group of sheets from said outer slot to a sheet deflector for optionally directing said group of sheets to either of two sheet transfer paths, one of said paths leading to the outside of said apparatus for return of said sheets of currency and the other of said paths transporting said sheets of currency to a repository.
7. The paper currency handling apparatus of claim 6 wherein the rotatable sheet storage device has an inner slot which extends inwardly from a tangential opening in a spiral pattern and a fixed abutment member and wherein said fixed abutment member has a portion which extends radially inwardly to a position adjacent the end of said inner slot so that rotation of said storage device in said first direction causes the leading edge of said currency sheet to be backed out of said inner slot onto the outer surface of said rotatable member which forms one side of said outer slot.
8. The paper currency handling apparatus of claim 6 wherein the rotatable sheet storage device includes:
a plurality of rings mounted in a spaced parallel relationship for rotation, each of said rings having aligned slots having a tangential opening at one end and being closed at the other end to form said inner slot; and
a plurality of guide members fixed to said frame and having portions located between said adjacent ring members to engage an edge of the currency sheet when the storage device is rotated in said first direction thereby to cause said currency sheet to back out of said inner slot to said outer slot.
9. The paper currency handling apparatus of claim 8 wherein said rings each have substantially circular outer surface portions forming one wall of said outer slot and said guide members each have substantially annular surface portions concentric with said circular outer surface portions forming the other wall of said outer slot.
10. The paper currency handling apparatus of claim 9 wherein the means for removing said group of sheets from said outer slot includes a plurality of levers each having a currency sheet abutment surface and being mounted for pivotal movement on said rings, and means for spring biasing said levers to a first position where the abutment surfaces extend radially beyond said annular surface portions for effecting removal of currency sheets from said outer slot and are depressed in a radial direction to pass under currency sheets when the sheets are transferred from the inner slot to the outer slot.
11. A paper sheet storage unit having:
a sheet receptacle for receiving paper sheets one at a time;
a pair of sheet transport paths for expelling said sheets in groups;
deflector means for optionally directing said sheet groups in one or the other of said sheet transport paths;
said storage unit further comprising:
a plurality of spaced rings mounted for rotation as a unit, said rings having an outer substantially annular surface portion and an inner slot which has a tangential opening at one end and is closed at the other end, said slot having a length at least as long as the length of the longest sheet to be received;
a plurality of fixedly mounted guide members interleaved between said rings and having an inner substantially annular surface portion that is concentric with the outer annular surface portion of said rings, the annular surface portions being spaced apart by a distance to form an outer slot having a width sufficient to receive a plurality of said paper sheets stacked as a group one on another; said guide members having at one end an abutment surface extending radially inwardly beyond the closed end of said inner slot and at the other end a portion which forms a tangential exit opening for said outer slot;
a plurality of entrainment levers each having a sheet abutment portion and being mounted for pivotal movement on one of said rings, means for spring biasing said levers to a position where the abutment portions extend radially outwardly beyond the periphery of the inner annular surface portion of said fixed guide members;
drive means for introducing a sheet into said inner slot while said rings are stationary and then rotating said rings in a first direction to transfer said sheet over the outer surface of said lever from the inner slot to the outer slot; and
means for rotating said rings in the opposite direction to cause the abutment portion on said levers to push all sheets as a group that are stored in said outer slot through said exit opening to said deflector means.
12. The paper sheet storage unit of claim I] further comprising:
a pair of plates secured to said frame and located on opposite sides of said ring unit to provide side edges for said inner and outer slots; and
a plurality of spacer columns secured to each of said rings for forming the rings into a rigid unit.
13. The paper sheet storage unit of claim l2 wherein:
the fixed guide members have circular recesses at a plurality of positions around the outer periphery thereof;
a plurality of spacer columns are mounted to said pair of plates and located at each of said circular recesses adjacent said guide members each of said spacer columns having recesses having a length corresponding with the width of said guide members and a shape and size corresponding to the shape and size of the circular recesses in said guide members; and wherein two of said spacer columns are at approximately diametrically opposite positions.
14. The paper sheet storage unit of claim 11 wherein the guide members are flat plate-like members and have a sector shape with the abutment surface being part of an inwardly extending portion located in the plane of the guide members; the rings are flat plate-like members; and two guide members are located on opposite sides of and closely adjacent to each ring member.
15. The paper sheet storage unit of claim 11 further having means including an endless belt at the receptacle for receiving currency sheets and for delivering the currency sheets to the tangential opening of said inner slot;
a first roller mounted for rotation on said rings and adapted to engage said endless belt as currency sheets are being fed into said inner slot, said roller being mounted for resilient movement in a radial direction relative to the rotational axis of said rings; and
a second roller mounted for rotation parallel to the axis of rotation of said rings and guiding said endless belt to the tangential opening for the inner slot, said second roller being located so that a line intersecting the axis of said first and second rollers passes behind the tangential opening of said inner slot, and said second roller being located above the tangential exit opening for said outer slot when said rings are positioned for receiving currency sheets.
16. The paper sheet storage unit of claim 11, characterized in that the levers mounted resiliently on the rotatable rings to have abutment portions projecting beyond the outer diameter of the outer slot are shaped so that when the rings are rotated in said first direction, the part of the levers which projects beyond the outer diameter of the rings is displaced resiliently inwardly radially relative to the rings against said spring force so that in the inwardly displaced position, the levers lie within the outside diameter of the rings 17. The paper sheet storage unit of claim ll, characterized in that the inner slot which extends inwardly from the peripheral surface of the rings forms a spiral.
from plastic material or a light metal alloy.