US 3918703 A
A stacker for thin and relatively stiff cards, such as IBM cards, guides successive cards travelling on an edge and is so arranged with respect to a tray that the cards fall by gravity sideways to be stacked on top of each other in an orderly stack on the bottom of the tray.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[451 Nov. 11,1975
United States Patent [191 Mano et al.
[5 CARD STACKER 3.092.380 6/1963 Anderson et al. 271/126 Z 220 i 9 19 W' 271 I85  Inventors: Hiroshl Mano, Yokohama; Hlroshl 6 H/ 65 mm at Yamada, lchikawa, both of Japan Ricoh Co., Ltd
Dec. 18, 1974 T k Japan Prinmry E.\'uminerEv0n C. Blunk ASSISIUHI E.rwnuzer-Robert Smfer  Assignee:
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cooper, Dunham, Clark, Griffin & Moran Appl. No.:
 Foreign Application Priority Data Dec. 19. 1973 ABSTRACT A stacker for thin and relatively stiff cards, such as IBM cards, guides successive cards travelling on an edge and is so arranged with respect to a tray that the cards fall by gravity sideways to be stacked on top of Dump MW M 420nw4 2H72 5 510 E70 1 .72 1 Q ,5 7 H 2 1 u 4 .7 "m2 m mmmO mmm mmmfl mmf muh NC r ""8 ""e Us L C d s xm UIF HUN 555 [.lfl.
each other in an orderly stack on the bottom of the tray.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures 2.036.409 4/1936 Gollnick et al. l36/l00 US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 FIG.2
CARD STACKERr BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OFTHE INVENTION I roller 3, but the upright wall 5 has, in additiona to a cutout Safor the feed roller 2, a larger cutout 5b which corresponds to the length of the card 1 but starts at a vertical distance a from the bottom wall 8 which is less than the distance b between the facing surfacesof the upright walls'4 and 5. The tray 7 has two upright walls 70 and 7b connected at their bottom edges'by a bottom wall-7c. The guide 6 and'the tray 7 are supported by a suitable fixed bracket9 such that the walls of the guide and of the tray extend along the same direction p, the bottom wall 8 of the guide is at the height of the top "edgeof the upright wall'7b of the tray and adjacent moved on their flat sides and are allowed to drop on top I of each other onto a traybelow the card path to form a stack thereon.
While the prior art devices discussed above may be satisfactory for certain uses, it is desirablein certain other uses to have a device in which successive processed cards are moved on an edge but are then arranged in a neat stack, flat over each other, so that the stack can be conveniently moved to anothe'r processing step without further need for manual rearrangement. The invention is directed to providing a stacking device of this type. i I The card stacker which reflects the invention is designed to work with thin and relatively stiff'cards, such as tabulator cards commonly known as IBM cards: The card stacker includes a channel-shaped guide having a first and a second upright wall connected at their bottom edges by a bottom wall. The guide extends along the top edge of one of the upright walls of a card tray, and the top end of the guide leans toward the other upright wall of the tray. The bottom wall of the guide and the bottom wall of the tray are substantially horizontal. The upright wall of the guide which faces the far upright wall of the tray has an opening which is larger than a card, so that a card aligned with the opening can fall through it toward the bottom of the tray due to gravity and the inclined position of the guide. The far upright wall of the tray may be inclined in the same direction as the guide, so as to cause the top edge of a card which falls sideways through the opening in the guide to strike the inclined far wall of the tray and slide therealong toward the bottom of the tray, so that the edges of all the cards in the stack can be aligned against the same tray wall to form a neat stack. A stop may be provided in the guide if the cards are travelling along the guide at such speed that their inertia would not allow them, without the stop, to fall through the opening, or if the cards do not travel at a steady speed along the guide.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a card stacker in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view along line 22 of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Successive cards 1 are moved in the direction of the arrow P along a guide 6 by a feed roller 2 and a keep roller 3 and fall sideways, as indicated by the arrow Q, into a tray 7 where they are stacked in a neat stack over each other and parallel to the bottom wall of the tray 7. The guide 6 comprises a pair of parallel upright walls 4 and 5 and a bottom wall 8 connecting the bottom edges of the upright walls 4 and 5. The upright wall 4 may be continuous, except for a cutout 4a for the keep thereto, and the top of the guide is inclined towards the far wall 721 of the tray, The cutout 5b of the guide faces I the far wall 7a of the tray. The far wall 7a of the tray i'sinclined in the same direction from the vertical as the guide 6, and the bottom wall of the tray is sufficiently wide to accommodate a card lying flat thereon. The upper edge of the far wall 70 is preferably at a level higher than the horizontal extent of the cutout 5b in the upright wall 5 of the guide. The feed roller 2 and the keeproller 3 engage each other and the feed roller2 may be rotated by suitable drive means (not shown) to move a card 1 introduced, between the rollers in the directionof the arrow. P. i
In operation, a card l .is introduced between the rollers 2 and 3 to be engaged thereby and is moved by the rollers in the direction of the arrow P in an upright position, with the bottom edge of the card sliding along the bottom wall 8 of the guide 6. The card continues travelling along the guide 6 by inertia after its trailing end leaves the nip between the rollers 2 and 3 until its trailing edge moves within the cutout 5b in the upright wall 5 of the guide. At that time, since the guide 6 is inclined as seen in FIG. 2, the card starts falling sideways by gravity, along the direction of the arrow Q shown in FIG. 1. Note that at this time the bottom edge of the card 1 is still supported by the bottom wall 8 of the guide 6, so that the card 1 falls sideways in a pivoting motion, with its top edge inscribing an arc along the arrow Q and with its lower end resting either on the bottom wall 8 of the guide or on the short portion of the upright wall 5 below the cutout 5b. As the upper edge of the card 1 continues its falling motion along the arc Q, it engages the far wall 7a of the tray and slides downwardly along the far wall 7a as the opposite edge of the card 1 clears the guide 6 and the entire card starts falling downwardly into the tray 7 and ultimately comes to rest in a position parallel to the bottom wall 7c of the tray 7, with one of its edges against the upright wall 7a of the tray. As successive cards are introduced in the nip of the rollers 2 and 3, and go through the same path, successive cards 1 are piled in a neat stack in the tray 7, with one edge against the upright wall 7a of the tray. If the speed of travel of the cards 1 along the guide 6 is so great that inertia carries them too far past the cutout 5b, or if the speed of the cards is irregular, a stop 10 may be provided to stop all cards at the same position and ensure that a neat stack is formed in the tray 7.
The invented card stacker relies on a unique relative arrangement of a guide and a tray which can use the force of gravity so that cards which move one by one in an upright position, on an edge, can be stacked flat, one over the other, in a neat stack having the corresponding edges of the cards arranged along a single upright plane. The invented card stacker is simple in construction and operation, inexpensive and reliable.
1. A stacker for prising:
a guide having a first and a second upright wall connected at their bottom edges by a bottom wall, said walls defining therebetween a path for a card travelling in a plane parallel to the planes of the upright walls, with an edge of the card supported by the bottom wall of the guide;
a card tray having a first and a second upright wall connected at their bottom edges by a bottom wall, said upright walls of the tray being spaced from each other by a distance exceeding the upright dimension of the card when the card is travelling along the card path in the guide;
means for supporting the guide and the tray in a position in which the upright walls of the guide and of the tray extend along the same direction, the bottom wall of the guide is at the height of the upper edge of the first upright wall of the tray and adjacent thereto, the upright walls of the guide lean toward the tray, and the second upright wall of the guide is closer to the second upright wall of the tray than the first upright wall of the guide;
means defining an opening in said second upright wall of the guide which is larger than thecard and thin and relatively stiff cards comis aligned with the tray along the direction of the,
successive cards which fall by gravity through said i opening come to rest stacked flat over each other i and parallel to the bottom wall of the tray. 2. A card stacker as in claim 1 wherein the second upright wall of the tray is inclined from the vertical away from the first upright wall of the tray and is positioned to engage the edge ofeach falling card opposite the edge on which the card has travelled along the card 1 path and to guide each falling card toward a position in which an edge of the card isiagainst said second upright wall of the tray.
3. A card stacker as in claim 1 wherein said opening in the second upright wall of the guide is spaced uptwardly from the bottom wall of the guide by a distance which is less than the distance between the facing sides of the upright walls of the guide.
4. A card stacker as in claim 1 including stop means disposed on said card path to cause each card travelling therealong to stop at a position aligned with said opening in the second upright wall of the guide.