US 3929221 A
A paper sheet conveyor feeds separate or bundled sheets of paper on edge along a feed path and uses a vibrating element having its upper surface covered with pile material having resilient bristles inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed along the path. The tips of the bristles are flagged or split or bent transversely to the feed direction to support the bottom edges of the paper sheets on the tips of the bristles for feeding along the path as the bristles vibrate.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Armstrong Dec. 30, 1975  PAPER SHEET CONVEYOR  Inventor: Jack W. Armstrong, Baldwinsville,
 Assignee: Lipe Rollway Corporation,
 Filed: Apr. 11, 1974  Appl. No.2 460,128
 US. Cl 198/220 BA; 271/267  Int. Cl. B65G 27/00  Field of Search ..l98/220 BA, 220 BB, 220 BC,
l98/DIG. 16; 271/264, 267; 46/1 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,601,247 9/1926 Garbarini 46/1 C 3,253,696 5/1966 Szatkowski et a1. 198/102 3,667,590 6/1972 Mead 198/220 BA 3,767,084 10/1973 Bayha.... 198/220 BA 3,789,711 2/1974 Mead 198/220 BA 3,792,548 2/1974 l-lamano 46/1 C FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 78,294 10/1954 Denmark 46/1 C Primary Examiner-Richard A.. Schacher Assistant Examiner James M. Slattery Attorney, Agent, or FirmStonebraker, Shepard & Stephens  ABSTRACT A paper sheet conveyor feeds separate or bundled sheets of paper on edge along a feed path and uses a vibrating element having its upper surface covered with pile material having resilient bristles inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed along the path. The tips of the bristles are flagged or split or bent transversely to the feed direction to support the bottom edges of the paper sheets on the tips of the bristles for feeding along the path as the bristles vibrate.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 3,929,221
FIG- 4 PAPER SHEET CONVEYOR THE INVENTIVE IMPROVEMENT Paper sheet conveyors using endless belt drives are generally known for feeding separate or bundled paper sheets on edge along a path. Curves or corners in such a path are a special problem for such conveyors, and previous curve and corner drive arrangements have been separate from linear drive belts and have been relatively expensive and troublesome. The invention involves recognition of the problems encountered at curves and corners in paper sheet conveyors, and a realization that a different form of paper sheet conveyor can be made for easily solving the curve and corner problem and also providing a linear advance. The invention seeks to improve on paper sheet conveyors by reducing the expense, improving the efficiency, and providing a simple, trouble-free, and reliable paper sheet conveyor that does not suffer from corner and curve problems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventive conveyor is for moving separate or bundled sheets of paper on edge along a predetermined path established by a feed element and guide means above the feed element. The upper surface of the feed element has pile material with resilient bristles inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed along the path. A vibrator vibrates the feed element to move the bristles repeatedly against the bottom edges of the paper sheets to move the paper sheets along the path in the direction of feed, and the tips of the bristles are configured to support the bottom edges of the paper sheets on the tips of the bristles and to prevent the paper sheets from slipping down between the bristles.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially cut away, partially schematic, elevational view of a paper sheet conveyor according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of a cornering conveyor according to the invention;
FIG. 3 is a partially schematic side elevational view of one of the corner sectors of the device of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of a preferred embodiment of feed element for use in the inventive conveyor;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view of flagged bristles for use in the inventive conveyor; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective view of bent bristles for use in the inventive conveyor.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The inventive conveyor is for feeding paper sheets, meaning not only single or separate sheets of paper, but envelopes, relatively flat bags, multiple sheet forms, cards, bundled sheets, etc. All of these will be referred to as paper sheets, and they are fed in an upright position between generally vertically oriented guide rails with their bottom edges resting on the feed element. Such conveyors are generally known with endless belts serving as the feed elements, and a pair of such generally known conveyors ii are shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with endless belts l2 and vertical guide rails 13.
The invention involves recognition of a way that a vibratory pile feed element can be used in paper sheet 2 conveyor systems to solve corner and curve problems and even to provide linear motion drive. As shown in FIG. 1, vibrator l4 vertically vibrates a bed or base 15, the upper surface of which is covered with inclined pile 16 to support a paper sheet 17 for feeding in the direction of inclination of the pile bristles 16.
The bristles of pile 16 are preferably formed of synthetic resin material, are resilient, and generally have a uniform length and inclination. lBristles 16 are inclined from the vertical toward the desired direction of feed for paper sheet 17, so that when vibrator 14 vibrates bristles 16 vertically, they repeatedly move against the bottom edges of paper sheet 17 and advance it in the direction of the arrow. Then conveyor 10 carrying vibratory pile 16 can provide a curve or corner between endless belt conveyors 1 1, or conveyor 10 can be used independently of belt drive conveyors to provide the moving force to feed paper sheets 17 along linear paths of travel.
Vibratory pile feeders have been used for feeding other objects, but would not be expected to work well with paper sheets 17 that are fed on edge, because the paper would be expected to slip down between the tips of bristles l6 and be either slowed down or stalled in its travel. However, this can be avoided according to the invention by specially configuring the tips of bristles 16. The configurations for the tips of bristles l6 generally produce a support for the bottom edges of paper sheets 17 so that the paper sheets do not slip down below the tips of bristles l6 and :in between bristles 16, and the two generally preferred configurations are flagged bristle tips 18 as shown schematically in FIG. 5 and bent bristle tips 28 as shown schematically in FIG. 6.
Flagged bristle tips 18 means split or forked bristle ends having one or more branches, arms, or divisions at the bristle tip to provide a multitude of forks straddling and supporting the bottom edge of any paper sheet 17 resting on pile material 16. Such flagged bristle tips 18 have been preferred for paint brush bristles, and methods are known in the art for forming frayed, split, or flagged bristle tips suitablefor use in the inventive conveyor. Preferably, the flagged tips 18 are relatively short splits or flags near the tips of bristles 16 to straddle and hold the bottom edge of paper sheet 17 before it moves very far below the tips of bristles 16.
The tips 28 of bristles 16 of FIG. 6 are bent transversely of the direction of feed indicated by the arrow, and tips 28 are preferably bent down at least to a horizontal position. Tips 28 are preferably all bent in the same general direction transverse to the direction of feed and are intermingled to form a sort of matted tip surface supporting the bottom edge of a paper sheet and preventing the paper sheet from slipping below bent tips 28. There are several different bends that can be used for tips 28, and several different ways that bristle tips can be bent. Also, the tips of bristles 16 can be enlarged or flattened or blunted by heat application to reduce the space between bristles 16 and prevent the bottom edge of a paper sheet from slipping down below the tips of bristles 16.
Another way to insure that paper sheets 17 are supported near the tips of bristles 16 is to form the feed element 15 as a portion of a cylinder to have a concave upper surface. Then bristles l6 tend to extend radially inward from feed element 15 so that the bristle tips are packed more closely together than the bases of bristles 16. This makes relatively dense bristle tips so that the bottom edge of paper sheet 17 rides along the top of the pile and moves efficiently without settling in between bristles l6.
Bristles 16 can be inclined at various angles from the vertical, and are preferably inclined from to 30 from the vertical. Bristles 16 can also be vibrated at various angles including vertical, horizontal, and angles within a few degrees of the bristle inclination. For example, a vibration angle within of the bristle inclination angle works quite well. Various angles of vibration and pile inclination can be used depending on the feeding speed desired and the size and weight of paper sheet material to be fed.
Vibrators l4 and 19 can be made in many ways and can be operated electrically, pneumatically, magnetically, etc. Their frequency, amplitude, and vibrational angle is preferably selected for optimum cooperation with bristle resilience and inclination.
FIG. 2 shows a corner arrangement using three vibratory pile conveyors formed as sectors of a corner between belt feed conveyors 11. Each conveyor element 20 is driven by a vibrator 19 as shown in FIG. 3, and each has three feed channels 21 covered with inclined pile bristles 16 having an inclination as shown by the arrows. Each of the channels 21 lies on a chord of a curve extending between conveyor belts 12 of conveyors 11 so that a paper sheet is guided around the corner in three stages as illustrated. Belts 12 deliver paper sheets into channels 21 which vibrate and move the papers in three successive angles around the corner to deliver the papers to the belts 12 of the receiving conveyor 11.
A conveyor corner can be driven by a single vibrator to move papers around the corner in a single turn if desired, and pile bristles 16 can be used for linear feed as well as for cornering. Stands, mounts, vibrators, support beds, and pile characteristics can be varied widely, and straight line and corner constructions can be made in various ways. The flagged bristle tips 18 as shown in FIG. 5 combined with a partial cylindrical feed element 15 as shown in FIG. 4 cooperate to give secure support to the paper sheets and move paper sheets reliably and swiftly along paths of any shape desired.
Persons wishing to practice the invention should remember that other embodiments and variations can be adapted to particular circumstances. Even though one point of view is necessarily chosen in describing and defining the invention, this should not inhibit broader or related embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate how to apply the invention to different paper sheet conveyors.
1. A conveyor for moving paper sheets on edge along a predetermined path established by a feed element, said conveyor comprising:
a. the upper surface of said feed element having pile material with resilient bristles inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed along said path;
b. means for vibrating said feed element to move said bristles repeatedly against the bottom edges of said paper sheets to move said paper sheets along said path in said direction of feed;
0. the tips of said bristles being at a uniform height and having surfaces angled relative to said bristle inclination angle to extend under and support said bottom edges of said paper sheets on said angled surfaces to prevent said paper sheets from slipping down between said bristles; and
d. said tips of said bristles being bent transversely of said direction of feed to form said angled surfaces.
2. A conveyor for moving paper sheets on edge along a predetermined path established by a feed element, said conveyor comprising:
a. the upper surface of said feed element having pile material with resilient bristles inclined from the vertical toward the direction of feed along said p b. means for vibrating said feed element to move said bristles repeatedly against the bottom edges of said paper sheets along said path in said direction of feed;
c. the tips of said bristles being at a uniform height and having surfaces angled relative to said bristle inclination angle to extend under and support said bottom edges of said paper sheets on said angled surfaces to prevent said paper sheets from slipping down between said bristles; and
(I. said tips of said bristles being forked to form said angled surfaces.