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Publication numberUS3926426 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 16, 1975
Filing dateNov 27, 1974
Priority dateDec 3, 1973
Also published asDE2456892A1, DE2456892C2
Publication numberUS 3926426 A, US 3926426A, US-A-3926426, US3926426 A, US3926426A
InventorsShiro Toriumi, Seiichi Yamagishi
Original AssigneeMinolta Camera Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sheet insertion and removing device
US 3926426 A
Images(4)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite 12 States Patent [1 1 Toriumi et al.

[ Dec. 16, 1975 1 SHEET INSERTION AND REMOVING DEVICE [73] Assignee: Minolta Camera Kabushiki Kaisha,

Osaka, Japan [22] Filed: Nov. 27, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 527,767

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data 271/265, 272, 84, 264, 227, 236; 353/114; 40/36, 79, 63 A, 64 A, 106.1; 214/1 BB [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Cobb 271/3 3,860,230 l/1975 Georges 271/3 Primary ExaminerEvon C. Blunk Assistant ExaminerBruce H. Stoner, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack [57] ABSTRACT An automatic sheet insertion and removing device for use in microfilm readers or the like which comprises a guide tray for sheet insertion or removing, a support board for the sheet which is adapted to reciprocate relative to the guide tray in a plane level with the surface of the guide tray and the line of engagement of a pair of feeding rollers which are disposed between the support board and the guide tray. The sheet inserted onto the guide tray is automatically fed through the feeding rollers to a predetermined position on the support board which advances to a data retrieval position in a reader apparatus and which returns to an original starting position after the data retrieval, so that the sheet subsequently returned, through the rollers, back onto the guide tray for removing, thus damage or wear to the sheets being advantageously reduced.

11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures US. atant Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet 1 014 3,926,426

FIG. I

US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet20f4 3,926,426

FIG. 4

US. atent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet3of4 3,926,426

FIG. 6 (a) M 1 (5 FIG. 6 (a) US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet4 of4 3,926,426

SHEET INSERTION AND REMOVING DEVICE The present invention relates to a sheet insertion and removing device, and more particularly to an insertion and removing device for sheets such as microfilm in card form which must be inserted and accurately positioned in an apparatus such as a microfilm reader and subsequently removed without damage thereto.

In many known processes it is required to insert and subsequently remove a sheet of comparatively delicate material into and from a particular apparatus, a common example of such a process being the retrieval of data stored on a sheet of microfilm by insertion thereof into a microfilm reader. Microfilm carrying data may be stored in the form in which it was exposed, i.e. in roll-form, or as separates frames, or groups of frames, which are mounted on special cards, or kept in special holders, to constitute individual units of information, and it is sometimes also found advantageous to film closely related data, for example successive pages of a report, on a single sheet of microfilm. To retrieve data stored on such sheets, it is necessary to accurately position the film in a microfilm reader, which comprises magnification means and an opaque or translucent screen onto or through which the contents of the film are projected at a readable size. In this process microfilm sheet wear has been a particular problem since loading of microfilm sheets, in conventional readers, is completely manual. In conventional readers a sheet of microfilm is initially laid on a support board, which may be transparent or opaque depending on the type of microfilm and reader, and it is usually necessary to make fine adjustments to the setting of the microfilm sheet, which is effected by manually applying slight pressure and sliding the sheet on the support board until it comes into the required position, this adjustment being inevitably accompanied by friction between the board and sheet. Also, to remove the microfilm sheet from the reader, it is always necessary to simultaneously press and slide the microfilm sheet manually until a holdable portion thereof is moved clear of the support board, again resulting in undue wear of the sheet mainly due to friction.

Accordingly, an essential object of the present invention is to provide an improved insertion and removing device for microfilm sheets or the like in which damage and wear to the sheets are advantageously avoided with substantial elimination of the disadvantages inherent in the conventional devices.

Another important object of the present invention is to provide an insertion and removing device of the above described type which permits automatic setting of sheets relative to a support board. I

A further object of the present invention is to provide an insertion and removing device of the above described type which is simple in construction, and accurate and efficient in functioning with consequent low cost. I

In accomplishing these and other objects there is provided, according to the present invention; a sheet insertion and removing device, which, while suited to many processes, is particularly adapted to use in association with supply of microfilm sheets into and from a microfilm reader, and wherein a sheet to be inserted into and subsequently removed from the device is initially fed manually onto a tray and into a passage wherein the sheet causes an actuation signal to be supplied to means for advancing the sheet into a required position on a movable and coverable carrier, in which position the sheet actuates means causing the carrier to move to a required position in the apparatus. Subsequently, when returning to its initial position, the carrier actuates means causing reverse actuation of the advancing means, whereby the sheet is again supplied onto the loading tray, from which it may be removed manually, and thus damage and wear of the microfilm sheets inherent in the conventional devices are advantageously eliminated.

A better understanding of the present invention may be had from the following full description when read in reference to the attached drawings, in which,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sheet insertion and removing device according to one embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device of FIG.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are electrical circuit diagrams of control circuits associable with the device of FIG. 1,

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a sheet insertion and removing device according to another embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 6a through c are detail views of sheet advance means employed in the device of FIG. 5, and

- FIGS. 7 and 8 are electrical circuit diagrams of control circuits associable with the device of FIG. 5.

Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a sheet insertion and removing device according to the invention which by way of example is shown as a device for insertion and removal of microfilm sheets into and from a microfilm reader, it being understood that the device is equally associable with other processes.

The device shown comprises a base 1 of rectangular shape, a horizontal guide tray 2 of similar rectangular shape with somewhat smaller dimension than the base 1 and with sides of the tray 2 disposed in parallel to the sides of the base 1, which guide tray 2 is supported above the base 1 by legs 2a each extending downward at right angles from the opposite side edges of the tray 2 and suitably secured to the base 1 and on which guide tray 2 a guide plate 3 is mounted in slightly spaced relation to the surface of the tray 2, a pair of vertical bearing columns 7a and 7b for supporting a pair of feeding rollers 4a and 4b, which columns 7a and 7b are suitably secured, in spaced relation to each other, to the base 1 in positions adjacent to front edge of the tray 2 and disposed in a direction parallel to the side edges of the tray 2, a small column 20a for supporting a microswitch 20 extendingupwardly at right angles from the surface of the base 1 at a position adjacent to the front edge of the base 1, a base block 8 of rectangular shape fixedly mounted on a carrier plate 15, which carrier plate 15 is horizontally supported on supporting means (not shown) for reciprocating motion, and the surface of which base block 8 is level with that of the tray 2 with engagement line of the rollers 4a and 4b therebetween, a support board 9 fixedly disposed on the surface of the base block 8, and a press board 10 hingedly secured to the base block 8 for covering the board 9.

The pair of rollers 4a and 4b which are in parallel and in rotating contact with each other are each fixedly mounted on a shaft rotatably joumaled, at opposite ends thereof, in the upperends of the bearing columns 7a and 7b. On the ends of the rotatory shafts extending through the bearing column 7a, gear wheels 6 and 6' are fixedly mounted; which gears afid 6' are in mesh 3 with each other and transmit drive from one of the rollers 4a and 4b to the other.

One of the rollers 4a and 4b, for example, the roller 4a, is driven directly by a reversible motor 5, which is mounted for example on the outside of bearing column 7b, or supported on a reader apparatus portion not indicated.

The tray 2 is generally equal in width to, and is slightly shorter than, a microfilm sheet S, and serves for feed-in and feed-out of microfilm sheets S to and from the rollers 4a and 4b, which may move a microfilm sheet S from the tray 2 onto the carrier 15, described below, or vice versa, according to whether motor is actuated to supply forward or reverse drive. The tray 2 constitutes a plane horizontal surface in line with the engagement line of the rollers 4a and 4b, and has an outer, rear edge which is curved downwardly, to permit smooth loading or unloading of microfilm sheets S thereonto or therefrom, and a front edge adjacent to the rollers 40 and 4b. Over the front portion of the tray 2, there is provided the guide plate 3, which has a width approximately half that of the tray 2, and short, rightangles edges which fix on opposite edges of the tray 2, and permit the main portion of the guide plate 3 to stand slightly clear of the tray 2, whereby there is formed a microfilm sheet passage p between the tray 2 and guide plate 3. The height of the sheet passage p is preferably made only slightly greater than the thickness of a microfilm sheet S. The edge of the guide plate 3 at the entry of the sheet passage p i.e., the end thereof remote from the rollers 4a and 4b is upwardly curved, to prevent catching of sheets S entering the passage p. In the interior of the passage p, near one side thereof, there is provided a microswitch 18 which is actuatable by a non-sensitive edge portion of a sheet S passing through the passage p.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, on the side of the rollers 4a and 4b opposite to the tray 2 there is the carrier plate 15, which is slidably supported on means not shown and may be moved, by drive means not shown, away from the rollers 4a and 4b to a requisite position relative to the optical system of a reading screen in microfilm reader apparatus, or back to the vicinity of the rollers 4a and 4b. The carrier plate supports the base block 8, which is in fixed attachment thereto, and on whose upper surface there is provided the sheet support board 9. The support board 9 provides reception, in a manner described below, for a microfilm sheet S to be carried into a reader apparatus, has an upper surface level with that of the tray 2 and is bordered along two edges by guide strips 11 and 12, which extend at right angles to the line of engagement of the rollers 4a and 4b, and are mounted on the base block 8 or the support board 9, the area of the support board 9 defined between the stips 11 and 12 being generally equal to that of a microfilm sheet S. The edges of the guide strips 1 l and 12 adjacent to the support board 9 are bevelled to preclude jamming of a sheet S during transfer thereof onto or from the board 9. The material of which the support board 9 is made depends on the type of microfilm sheet S employed. The board 9 is made of nontransparent material if an image of microfilm sheet S contents are obtained by reflection and the microfilm sheet S is opaque. If the microfilm sheet S is made transparent to permit projection of the contents thereof by a light source provided to the rear thereof, the support board also is made transparent. In the latter case, the carrier 15 and base block 8 are constituted as frames defining openings at least equal in size to the data-carrying portion of a microfilm sheet S. Adjacent to the outer edge of the support board 9, i.e., the edge thereof remote from the rollers 4a and 4b, there is provided on the base block 8 a pair of positioning studs 13 and 14, with which the leading edge of a microfilm sheet S fed onto the support board 9 comes into contact, and which ensure that a microfilm sheet S is properly squared on the support board 9, the line between the studs 13 and 14 being parallel to the outer edge of the board 9. For a microfilm sheet whose leading edge engaging the studs 13 and 14 is of a straight line, the studs 13 and 14 serves to position such a sheet only relative to the direction in which the sheet advances toward the carrier 15, but, for a microfilm sheet in which notches, for example, V-shaped notches, are formed in its leading edge at positions corresponding to the studs 13 and 14, the studs 13 and 14 serves for lateral positioning of the sheet as well as the positioning of the same in respect to the advancing direction.

In line with the studs 13 and 14 there is a microswitch 19 which is actuatable by a microfilm sheet S that has been fed completely onto the support board 9, and serves to actuate carrier 15 drive means.

Fixedly or integrally attached to opposite corners of the outer edge of the base block 8 there are provided fixed extensions 8a supporting fixed pins on which hinge portions 10b of a press board base are pivotally mounted. The base 10a is fixedly or integrally at tached on a press board 10 which is transparent, is weighted or made of a comparatively heavy material, and contacts the sheet support board 9 through the medium of a microfilm sheet S when allowed to move downwards under its own weight, and may have formed therein cut-out portions to avoid contact of the studs 13 and 14 or microswitch 19 by the press board 10. The hinged portions 10b of the base 100 extend above the level of the base block 8 to a distance such that, when unopposed, and allowed to lie on a microfilm sheet S on the support board 9, the press board 10 is generally horizontal. The press board 10 may be moved out of a horizontal alignment due to the engagement of a fixed, horizontal pin 16 by a vertically aligned lever 17 having an inclined end, the pin 16 being mounted in a block fixedly attached to the press board base 10a, and the lever 17 being fixedly mounted in a portion of a reader apparatus not shown. When the carriers 15 has been moved some distance from the rollers 4a and 4b, the pin 16 is not engaged by the lever 17, and the press board is allowed to move under its own weight into a horizontal alignment to press on a microfilm sheet S on the support board 9. When, however, the carrier 15 is moved to the vicinity of the rollers 40 and 4b, the pin 16 is engaged by and rides on the curved end portion of the lever 17, thereby causing the press board 10 to be moved upwards, out of contact with a microfilm sheet S on the support board 9. Also, when the carrier 15 is in the vicinity of the rollers 4a and 4b, a projection 15a affixed to the lower surface of the carrier 15 actuates the above-mentioned microswitch 20.

lt should be noted here that, instead of the pair of feeding rollers 4a and 4b described as employed in the above embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, a pair of side rollers which are rotatably mounted on the tray 2 so as to engage the side of the microfilm sheet S and which are shaft-connected to another side roller may be adopted, in which case, these side rollers are adapted to engage only the side of the microfilm S with the data stored surface of the microfilms S kept non-engaged condition with side rollers, which arrangement is further effective for avoiding wear of microfilm sheets.

In outline, operation of the abovedescribed device is as follows. A microfilm sheet S which is to be set in a microfilm reader, in order to retrieve data stored thereon, is fed manually onto the tray 2, and through the passage p, as far as the feeding rollers 4a and 4b, whose rotation has been started due to actuation of the motor 5 upon closure of the microswitch 18 by the microfilm sheet S. At this time the carrier 15 is adjacent to the rollers 4a and 4b, the press board being raised, as shown most clearly in FIG. 2, and the feeding rollers 4a and 4b feed the microfilm sheet S onto the support board 9 as far as the studs 13 and 14, at which time the microfilm sheet S also actuates microswitch 19. In this position of the microfilm sheet S, the rear edge thereof projects slightly clear of the rear edge of the support board 9, and just contacts the rollers 4a and 4b. If the leading edge of the microfilm sheet S has notches corresponding to the positioning studs 13 and 14 formed therein, the studs 13 and 14 may further serve to prevent any lateral displacement of the microfilm sheet S on the support board 9. Closure of microswitch 19 results in actuation of a carrier drive means which moves the carrier 15, and the microfilm sheet S away from the base 1 and to a required position in a microfilm reader apparatus, the carrier drive means being stopped upon actuation of a suitably located switch, not indicated, by the carrier 15 reaching this required position. During this movement, the pin 16 moves out of engagement with lever 17, and the press board 10 moves down onto the microfilm sheet S to hold it in place. As the carrier 15 moves away from the base 1, the projection 15a attached thereto moves out of contact with the microswitch 20, which is therefore permitted to open, whereupon action of the motor 5 and the feeding rollers 4a and 4b is stopped. After data on the microfilm sheet S has been retrieved, closure of a return switch, not shown, causes the carrier 15 to move back to the vicinity of the base 1 return motion being terminated upon closure of a switch by the can rier 15, for example. At this time the carrier projection 15a again comes into contact with and closes microswitch 20, whereupon motor 5 is caused to supply reverse drive to the rollers 40 and 4b, which, when the rear edge of the microfilm sheet S comes into engagement therewith, feed the microfilm sheet S from the support board 9, onto the tray 2, and through the passage p, to again close microswitch 18, until the rear edge of the microfilm sheet S projects to slightly beyond the rear, outer edge of the tray 2. The microfilm sheet S may now be removed manually, and after complete withdrawal thereof from the passage p, the microswitch 18 is again opened, which causes the motor 5 to cease, and terminates one sheet insertion and removing process. The speed of rotation of the feeding rollers 4a and 4b is made slow compared with the motion of-the carrier 15, to permit smooth engagement of the microfilm sheet S upon return of the carrier 15.

It should be noted here that, although only one microswitch 18 is described as employed in the passage p for the microfilm sheet S in the above embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 as a means for detection of correct positioning of the sheet S during insertion thereof into the device, two such microswitches 18 which physically lie on a line parallel to the line of engagement of the feeding rollers 4a and 4b and electrically connected to each other may be disposed in the passage p, and that two microswitches equivalent to the microswitch 19 may be provided.

It should also be noted that the horizontal pin 16 for engagement with the lever 17 described as mounted in a block fixedly attached to the press board base may be secured to the press board 10 itself or to any other places on the press board 10 so long as proper engagement or disengagement thereof with or from the lever 17 can be achieved in the above described manner.

Similarly, the base block 8 described as fixed to the carrier 15 in the above embodiment may be integrally formed with the carrier 15.

Control of the abovedescribed actions may be effected by the circuit shown in FIG. 3, to which reference is now had. The control circuit comprises relays A0, Bo, and Do, respectively controlling contacts A1 through A3, B1, and D1 through D5, the motor 5 actuation circuit, and signal generator SG constituted by capacitor C1, resistors R2 through R4 and transistor Q1, and able to supply triggering input to the gate terminal of a thyristor Q2, power to all these elements being suppliable along lines L1 and L2 from a supply not shown. The circuit also includes a transfer contact which controls actuation of relay Bo, has normally open terminal 20a and a normally closed contact 20b, and is actuated by microswitch 20. The motor 5 actuation circuit includes the contacts D2 and D3 which are transfer contacts provided on parallel lines and have, respectively normally closed terminals D2a and D311, and normally open terminals D2b and D3b, the motor 5 being actuatable to supply forward drive when the transfer contacts D2 and D3 are unactuated by relay Do and are closed on terminals D2a and D311, and being actuatable to supply reverse drive when the transfer contacts D2 and D3 are actuated.

Prior to sheet insertion, the circuit state is as shown in the drawing, all circuit elements being unactuated, except microswitch 20, which is closed by the projection of the carrier 15. Closure of microswitch 18 by a microfilm sheet S fed into the passage p energizes relay Ao, which thereupon actuates contacts Al through A3, thus closing the power circuit to motor 5. Motor 5 supplies forward drive to the feeding rollers 4a and 4b, which draw the microfilm sheet S from the tray 2 to the support board 9. Contact A3 being closed, actuation of the rollers 40 and 4b ismaintained after the rear edge of the microfilm sheet S passes microswitch 18, and microswitch 18, and microswitch 18 opens. When the microfilm sheet S has fed completely onto the support board 9, the front edge thereof actuates microswitch 19 as noted earlier, causing actuation of a carrier drive means, not indicated. As the carrier 15 moves away from the feeding rollers 4a and 4b, mic roswitch 20 is released by the projection 15a and closes on contact 20b, thereby energizing relay Bo, which opens Bl, thus resulting in de-energization of relay Ao, closure of contact Al on terminal Ala, opening of contacts A2 and,A3, and halting of motor 5. At the same time capacitor C1 is charged through relay Bo acting as a resistor. In practical terms the time required for retrieval of data from the microfilm sheet S is always sufficient for capacitor C1 to be fully charged. After data retrival, when the carrier 15 is returned, the projection 15a thereof again closes microswitch 20, which moves to contact 200. Hereupon, relay B0 is deenergized and permits contact B1 to close, and capacitor Cl is allowed to discharge through resistor R2 and to supply input to the base of transistor Q1, which is thereby rendered conductive and supplies a trigger input to the gate of thyristor Q2. If the capacity of capacitor C1 is sufficiently large. the signal generator SG may not be essential and discharge from capacitor C 1 may be supplied simply through a suitable resistor to thyristor Q2 gate terminal. Thyristor Q2 now conducts, resulting in energization of relay Do, closure of contacts D1 and D4, opening of contact D5, and closure of transfer contacts D2 and D3 on their respective terminals D2b and D3b. Power is now supplied to the motor actuation circuit, and motor 5 is actuated to supply reverse drive to the feeding rollers 40 and 4b, which draw the microfilm sheet S off the carrier 15 onto the tray 2, the microfilm sheet S again closing microswitch 18 while in the passage p. Microswitch 18 being closed. relay A is again energized, the contacts A2 and A3 are closed, and contact Al moves to its Alb terminal, thus short-circuiting thyristor Q2, which therefore turns off. Relay Do remains energized, since it is still connected across lines L1 and L2 through contacts A1 and D1, and the motor continues to actuate the feeding rollers 4a and 4b to move the microfilm sheet S outwards until the rear edge thereof projects beyond the outer edge of the tray 2. Manual withdrawal of the microfilm sheet S now permits microswitch 18 to open, whereby, since contact D5 is open, relay A0 is de-energized. Contact A1 therefore returns to terminal Alb, resulting in deenergization of relay Do and return of circuit elements to their original states.

Control may also be effected by the circuit of FIG. 4, in which relay Bo and contacts A3 and D5 are dispensed with. relay Ao being connectable to line Ll directly through microswitch 18, and there is included a resistor R5 through which capacitor C 1 is charged upon release of microswitch 20, and a capacitor C3, which is in parallel with relay A0. and serves as a timedelay element. In this circuit, relay Ao action is not dependent on the state of microswitch 20. When microswitch 18 is closed by a microfilm sheet S, relay A0 is energized and at the same time capacitor C3 is charged. After the microfilm sheet S has passed the lo cation of microswitch 18, capacitor C3 discharges to maintain relay Ao energized for a time dependent on the value of capacitor C3 and the resistance offered by relay Ao, the capacitor C3 value being selected with reference to relay Ao resistance, and being made such that discharge time is sufficiently long for the feeding rollers 4a and 4b to be able to advance the microfilm sheet S completely onto the support board 9 during sheet insertion. After discharge of capacitor C3, relay A0 is de-energized, and remains so until next closure of microswitch 18. Other circuit actions are as described above in reference to FIG. 3.

In a second embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 8 in which motor drive transmission means A is further incorporated in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4, the rear edge portion of a microfilm sheet S remains engaged by the rollers 40 and 4b during carrier l5 movement, thereby avoiding problems such as displacement of position for the microfilm sheet S due to vibration of the carrier during return motion thereof resulting in failure of the microfilm sheet S to come into proper engagement with the rollers 40 and 4b.

Referring to FIG. 5, the feeding rollers 40 and 4b and associated gear wheels 6 and 6' in the second embodiment are rotatably mounted on boards and has fixedly mounted on a and 7b, which are fixedly attached to and extend vertically upwards from opposite sides of the rear end portion of the carrier 15. In other words, the feeding rollers 4a and 4b do not change location relative to the carrier 15, and are carried transversely together therewith away from or back towards the tray 2. The rotatory shaft for one of the rollers 4a and 4b, for example, the shaft for the rollers 4b, projects to the exterior of the mounting board 7b, and has fixedly mounted on the outer end thereof a transmission roll 4, which is engageable between rollers 23 and 27 rotatably mounted on ends of pivotal levers 22 and 22', respectively. The levers 22 and 22' are mounted on a vertical board 21, which is fixedly attached to one side of base 1. and also provides mounting support for the motor 5. Referring now to FIGS. 60 to 60. one end of the lever 22 is pivotally mounted on the output shaft 5a of the motor 5, which extends through the mounting board 21. In the other end of the lever 22 there is rotatably mounted a pin 22a, on which the abovementioned roller 23 and a pulley 25 are fixedly mounted, the roller 23 and pulley 25 being on opposite sides of the lever 22. A pulley 24, which is fixedly mounted on the motor output shaft 5a, between the lever 22 and mounting board 21, is connected to the pulley 25 by a belt 26, whereby rotation of the drive shaft 5a for forward or reverse drive is transmitted to the roller 23. One end of the other lever 22' is pivotally mounted on a pin 28 which is fixedly attached to the mounting board 21, and in the opposite end thereof there is fixedly mounted a pin 22a, on which the abovementioned roller 27, which serves as an idle roller, is rotatably mounted. The levers 22 and 22' are connected by a compression spring 29, which draws the levers 22 and 22 together as far as is permitted by a separator element 30 which has large and small radius portions, and is provided between and contacting the lever 22 and 22. The separator element 30 is fixedly mounted on a rotatory shaft which is controlled by a rotary solenoid 31 mounted on the board 21. When the rotary solenoid 31 is actuated, the separator element 30 is turned so that the small radius portions thereof come into contact with the levers 22 and 22', which are drawn by the spring 29 to positions in which the rollers 23 and 27 mounted on the ends thereof may engage the transmission roller 4, as shown in FIG. 6a, in which configuration drive from the motor 5 may be transmitted to the rollers 4a and 4b. When the rotary solenoid 31 is unactuated, the separator element 30 is turned so that the large radius portions thereof come into contact with the levers 22 and 22', as shown in FIG. 60, whereby the levers 22 and 22 are pushed apart and the rollers 23 and 27 are moved out of engagement with the transmission rollers 4. The rotary solenoid 31 is always actuated when the motor 5 is actuated, whether in forward or reverse drive.

Referring back to FIG. 5, with the abovedescribed device, initially, when the carrier 15 is adjacent to the guide tray 2, the rollers 23 and 27 are in line but not in engagement with the transmission roller 4, but are brought into engagement therewith simultaneously with actuation of motor 5 resulting from closure of microswitch 18 by a microfilm sheet S passing through passage p. The rollers 23 and 27 remain in engagement with transmission roller 4 and motor drive continues to be supplied to the feeding rollers 4a and 4b until the leading edge of the microfilm sheet S reaches and closes microswitch 19, closure of which simultaneously actuates a carrier 15 drive means, stops the motor 5 and de-energizes the rotary solenoid 31 whereby the separator element 30 is turned to push the levers 22 and 22' apart, to move the rollers 23 and 27 out of engagement with the transmission roller 4. At this stage, opposite side rear edge portions of the microfilm sheet S are still engaged by the rollers 4a and 4b, and remain engaged thereby during the whole time in which the carrier 15 is moved to a required position, data is retrieved from the microfilm sheet S, and the carrier 15 is moved back to the vicinity of the tray 2, thus ensuring that the microfilm sheet S may be subsequently supplied accurately back onto the tray 2. When the carrier 15 returns to the vicinity of the base 1, closure of microswitch 20 by the projection 15a, simultaneously actuates the motor 5 and rotary solenoid 31, whereby the separator element 30 is turned, and through the action of the spring 29, the rollers 23 and 27, which are cur rently rotated by drive supplied from the motor 5, are brought into engagement with the transmission roller 4, which supplies reverse drive to the rollers 4a and 4b to draw the microfilm sheet S from thesupport board 9 onto the tray 2. Reverse drive continues to be supplied until the rear edge of the microfilm sheet S extends over the rear edge of the tray 2, after which manual withdrawal of the microfilm sheet S causes the microswitch 18 to re-open, the means thus being made ready for another sheet insertion and removing process.

Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown a circuit diagram of a control means suitable for accomplishing the abovedescribed actions. The circuit may be seen to be the same as that described in reference to FIG. 3, except that signal generator capacitor C1 is charged through a resistor R5 upon release of microswitch 20, relay B is energized upon closure of microswitch 19, and power line L2 comprises an extra loop L2a, on which rotary solenoid 31 is provided in parallel to the motor actuation circuit, whereby rotary solenoid 31 is energized when motor 5 is actuated to supply forward or reverse drive. Microswitch 19 also connects through means not shown to a carrier drive means. During insertion of a microfilm sheet S, closure of microswitch 18 causes rotary solenoid 31 to be energized and the motor 5 to supply forward drive until the front edge of the microfilm sheet S closes microswitch 19. This action starts the carrier 15 drive means, and simultaneously energizes relay Bo, which opens contact B1 to de-energize relay Ao, thus resulting in opening of contact A2, to stop motor 5 and de-energize rotary solenoid 31. The rollers 23 and 27 therefore disengage transmission roller 4, and the carrier 15 moves to a required position in a reader apparatus. When the carrier 15 returns to the vicinity of the base 1, the action of the signal generator SG and tyristor Q2 causes the motor 5 to supply reverse drive to the roller 23, and energizes rotary solenoid 31, to bring the rollers 23 and 27 into engagement with transmission roller 4, whereupon the microfilm sheet S is drawn from the support board 9, simultaneously moving out of contact with microswitch l9. Relay B0 is therefore de-energized and contact B1 closes, thus permitting energization of relay A0, to maintain action of motor 5 and rotary solenoid 31, when the microfilm sheet S closes microswitch 18. After complete withdrawal of the microfilm sheet S from the tray 2, microswitch 18 again opens, and the control circuit elements return to their original states. FIG. 8 shows a modification of the circuit of FIG. 7 in which relay Bo and contact B1 are dispensed with, and

film sheets due to friction during handling or manual positioning of the sheets inherent in the conventional device have been reduced to a great extent, which arrangement, if applied to an automatic information retrieval apparatus, serves the purpose most efficiently.

Furthermore, in the modification of FIGS. 5 to 8, since the rear edge of the microfilm sheet remains held between the feeding rollers, displacement of the sheet due to vibration arising from the movement of the carrier is advantageously eliminated.

Moreover, if a pair of side rollers are employed instead of the pair of feeding rollers so that the microfilm sheets are fed by these side rollers engaging only the side of the sheets with the data stored furface of the sheets adapted to be free from contact with roller surfaces, further improvement for avoiding damage or wear to the microfilm sheets can be expected.

Although the present invention has been fully described by way of example with reference to the attached drawings, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications are apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the feeding rollers described as adapted to stop when the microfilm sheet has been fed into the carrier are not necessarily be stopped, but may be adapted to rotate continuously from the object of the present invention. Therefore, unless otherwise such changes and modifications depart from the scope of the present invention, they should be construed as included therein.

What is claimed is:

1. In a sheet insertion and removing device for use in microfilm readers or the like apparatus which comprises a sheet carrierincluding means for positioning a sheet supplied thereon in a required position and means for holding said sheet on said carrier for retrieval of data stored on said sheet, an improvement thereof for automatic insertion and removing of the sheet into or from said carrier comprises feeding means for sheet feeding, a guide member forming a passage for said sheet, a carrier member provided thereon with sheet positioning means and sheet holding means and adapted to reciprocate relative to said guide member, an upper surface of said carrier member being adapted to be level with that of said guide member, first switch means provided in said passage on said guide means and actuated by insertion of said sheet into said passage for causing said feeding means to feed said sheet onto said carrier member, second switch means for driving said carrier member forward away from a starting position to a predetermined position which second switch means is disposed on said carrier member and actua tEfi when said sheet has been positioned on said carrief member, said carrier member being adapted to stop at said predetermined position during retrieval of said data stored on said sheet and to subsequently return back to said starting position, third switch means dis posed between said carrier iijfiliiber and aid giild member so as to be admired wli'li saia earner member 1 1 has returned to said starting position for causing said feeding means to discharge said sheet back onto said guide member.

2. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said third switch means is further adapted to be actuated for stopping action of said feeding means when said carrier member moved from said starting position.

3. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said feeding means comprises a pair of rotatable feeding rollers driven by a motor which are in parallel and in contact with each other for simultaneous rotation and disposed in a direction parallel to a corresponding front edge of said guide member.

4. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said carrier member further comprises a base block fixedly mounted on a movable carrier plate said base block being disposed level with a surface of said guide member.

5. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 4, wherein said carrier member includes a press board pivotally connected to said base block for covering a support board provided on said carrier member, said press board being provided thereon with a pin member disposed in a direction parallel to the surface of said press board and adapted to engage with a curved end portion of a lever member fixed to a hous ing of a apparatus when said carrier member has reached the position adjacent to said guide member so that said press board is turned upward about said pivotal connection, and to disengage from said curved end portion of said lever member when said carrier member has reached said predetermined position away from said guide member so that press board is turned downward about said pivotal connection to cover said support board.

6. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first switch means comprises a microswitch disposed in said passage on said guide member.

7. In a sheet insertion and removing device for use in microfilm readers or the like apparatus which comprises a sheet carrier including means for positioning a sheet supplied thereon in a required position and means for holding said sheet on said carrier for retrieval of data stored on said sheet, an improvement thereof for automatic insertion and removing of the sheet into or from said carrier comprises a carrier member which has a sheet positioning means and sheet holding means thereon and which is provided with feeding means mounted on an edge of said carrier member adjacent to a guide member which forms a passage for said sheet, said carrier member being adapted to reciprocate relative to said guide member with an upper surface of said carrier member being level with that of said guide member and with one edge of said sheet being held by said feeding means during reciprocation of said carrier member, first switch means provided in said passage on said guide means and actuated by insertion of said sheet into said passage for causing said feeding means to feed said sheet onto said carrier member, second switch means for driving said carrier member forward away from a starting position thereof adjacent to said guide member to a predetermined position and also for stopping action of said feeding means, which second switch means is disposed on said carrier member and actuated when said sheet has been position on said carrier member, said carrier member being adapted to stop at said predetermined position during retrieval of said data stored on said sheet and to subsequently return back to said starting position, third switch means disposed between said carrier member and said guide member so as to be actuated when said carrier member has returned to said starting position for causing said feeding means to discharge said sheet back onto said guide member.

8. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said feeding means comprises a pair of rotatable feeding rollers driven by a motor which are in parallel and in contact with each other for simultaneous rotation and disposed in a direction parallel to a corresponding front edge of said guide member.

9. A sheet insertion and removing device disengage claimed in claim 7, wherein said carrier member further comprises a base block fixedly mounted on a movable carrier plate, said base block being disposed level with a surface of said guide member.

10. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said carrier member includes a press board pivotally connected to said support board for covering a support board provided on said carrier member, said press board being provided thereon with a pin member disposed in a direction parallel to the surface of said press board and adapted to engage with a curved end portion of a lever member fixed to a housing of an apparatus when said carrier member has reached the position adjacent to said guide member so that said press board is turned upward about said pivotal connection, and to disengage from said curved end portion of said lever member when said carrier member has reached said predetermined position away from said guide member so that said press board is turned downward about said pivotal connection to cover said support board.

11. A sheet insertion and removing device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said first switch means comprises a microswitch disposed in said passage on said guide member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3799537 *Jun 11, 1971Mar 26, 1974Dennison Mfg CoDocument feeding mechanism
US3860230 *Dec 20, 1972Jan 14, 1975Georges Michael PSheet transport and flattening apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3984098 *Nov 28, 1975Oct 5, 1976Xerox CorporationPneumatic registration and clamping apparatus
US4026542 *Nov 28, 1975May 31, 1977Xerox CorporationDual registration apparatus
US4033574 *Nov 28, 1975Jul 5, 1977Xerox CorporationDocument handling apparatus
US4055340 *Nov 28, 1975Oct 25, 1977Xerox CorporationAssisted pneumatic transport and registration apparatus
US4131273 *May 13, 1977Dec 26, 1978Oce-Industries Inc.Record card feeding apparatus
US4135808 *Nov 26, 1976Jan 23, 1979Pitney-Bowes, Inc.Document feeder for a copier
US4188028 *Oct 11, 1977Feb 12, 1980Pitney Bowes Inc.Document handling apparatus and drive control
US4244642 *Jun 19, 1979Jan 13, 1981Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaAperture card reader with automatic and manual card feed
US4661870 *Jan 22, 1986Apr 28, 1987Media Systems Technology, Inc.Automatic micro-floppy disk drive loader
US4688124 *Feb 6, 1985Aug 18, 1987Media Systems Technology, Inc.Automated floppy disk drive loader
US4875768 *Apr 1, 1988Oct 24, 1989Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaMicrofiche reading apparatus
US4952052 *May 6, 1988Aug 28, 1990Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaMicrofilm reader for microfiche films
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/3.15, 271/902, 271/236
International ClassificationG06K13/02, G03B21/11
Cooperative ClassificationG03B21/116, G06K13/02, Y10S271/902
European ClassificationG06K13/02, G03B21/11C1