FR3002185A1 - Counting device for use in letter opener for counting number of letters in stack, has friction surface axially fixed during scanning of letters from bottom of stack, and brake vertically movable between preset low and high positions - Google Patents

Counting device for use in letter opener for counting number of letters in stack, has friction surface axially fixed during scanning of letters from bottom of stack, and brake vertically movable between preset low and high positions Download PDF

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Publication number
FR3002185A1
FR3002185A1 FR1351349A FR1351349A FR3002185A1 FR 3002185 A1 FR3002185 A1 FR 3002185A1 FR 1351349 A FR1351349 A FR 1351349A FR 1351349 A FR1351349 A FR 1351349A FR 3002185 A1 FR3002185 A1 FR 3002185A1
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FR
France
Prior art keywords
mail
stack
reference
brake
body
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
FR1351349A
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French (fr)
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FR3002185B1 (en
Inventor
Vincent Rochette
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Silcap
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Silcap
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Priority to FR1351349A priority Critical patent/FR3002185B1/en
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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H3/00Separating articles from piles
    • B65H3/02Separating articles from piles using friction forces between articles and separator
    • B65H3/04Endless-belt separators
    • B65H3/042Endless-belt separators separating from the bottom of the pile
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H3/00Separating articles from piles
    • B65H3/46Supplementary devices or measures to assist separation or prevent double feed
    • B65H3/52Friction retainers acting on under or rear side of article being separated
    • B65H3/5207Non-driven retainers, e.g. movable retainers being moved by the motion of the article
    • B65H3/523Non-driven retainers, e.g. movable retainers being moved by the motion of the article the retainers positioned over articles separated from the bottom of the pile
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H3/00Separating articles from piles
    • B65H3/46Supplementary devices or measures to assist separation or prevent double feed
    • B65H3/52Friction retainers acting on under or rear side of article being separated
    • B65H3/5246Driven retainers, i.e. the motion thereof being provided by a dedicated drive
    • B65H3/5276Driven retainers, i.e. the motion thereof being provided by a dedicated drive the retainers positioned over articles separated from the bottom of the pile
    • B65H3/5284Retainers of the roller type, e.g. rollers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2301/00Handling processes for sheets or webs
    • B65H2301/50Auxiliary process performed during handling process
    • B65H2301/54Auxiliary process performed during handling process for managing processing of handled material
    • B65H2301/541Counting
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2701/00Handled material; Storage means
    • B65H2701/10Handled articles or webs
    • B65H2701/19Specific article or web
    • B65H2701/1916Envelopes and articles of mail

Abstract

The device has a drive unit for driving letters (17b-17d) of a stack (17a) along a transport path, which has an axial direction (18). A reference body (21) i.e. driving roller, and a brake (22) are arranged in the path. A detector is arranged downstream of the body and the brake. The brake has a friction surface (27) e.g. abrasive material cylinder surface, located face to face and above the reference body. The friction surface is axially fixed during scanning of the letters from a bottom of the mail stack. The brake is vertically movable between a preset low position and a high position. An independent claim is also included for a letter opener.

Description

DEVICE FOR COUNTING THE NUMBER OF MAIL ELEMENTS IN A BATTERY. FIELD OF THE INVENTION: The invention relates to the field of devices for counting the number of mail elements in a stack of mail elements, and in particular the field of high-speed devices making it possible to adapt to different thicknesses. of these mail items. An item of mail, sometimes called "postal mail" or "letter", for example means an envelope containing one or more sheets of paper. The field of stacks of mail elements differs from the field of piles of paper sheets in particular by the fact that the mail elements of the stack are at least of varying thicknesses of one element the other of the pile and sometimes of variable length and / or width. The domain of the device for counting the number of mail elements in a stack is different from the field of mail element processing machines, such as letter openers, by the need to separate mail items from each other.

STATE OF THE ART: The application FR 2970672 describes a letter opener which progressively passes letters from below a stack of letters to knives. This document is not part of the field of the invention because it does not plan to count the letters but only to cut the edge. However, to reduce the number of embedded letters to the knives, this application describes a combination of stoppers each constituting an obstacle that holds the letters that are above that which scrolls to the knives. The level of letter separation achieved by this combination of fingers is not sufficient to prohibit multiple letters being shipped simultaneously to be cut. This document does not describe a means of separating the letters for counting the letters. US application 2008/0099977 discloses a module for separating leaves from each other.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION: The invention proposes a device for counting the number of mail elements in a stack of mail items that meets at least one of the aforementioned needs.

An object of the invention is to improve the separation of mail elements to count, for heterogeneous piles as to the thickness of the mail elements and for high rates of counting. According to one embodiment, the device for counting the number of mail elements in a stack comprises: a means of driving a mail element of the bottom of the stack along a scrolling path; which path has an axial direction, an axial retaining means disposed in the running path, and a counter disposed downstream of the axial retaining means. According to the invention, the axial retaining means 30 comprises a reference body and a brake, which brake has a friction surface located opposite and above the reference body. The friction surface is stationary axially during the scrolling of the bottom mail element of the stack. The brake is vertically movable between a predetermined low position and a high position.

In such a device, the trained mail elements can sandwich between the reference body and the friction surface. If at least one piece of mail is embarked by the driving means, simultaneously with the bottom mail element of the stack, for example due to a residual adhesion between these two mail elements, the friction surface does not will curb only the mail item with which it is in contact and thus axially separate this mail item from the mail item at the bottom of the stack. This axial separation makes it possible to isolate each mail element axially so that the counter acting after this axial separation will be able to take into account each of the mail elements of the stack. The fact that the brake is movable allows a separation effect substantially constant whatever the thickness of the mailpiece to remember. The fact that the friction surface is immobile axially opens the way to very simple brakes of cheap design and very stable suitable for high counting rates. Advantageously, the friction surface has a coefficient of friction on a reference paper greater than a threshold, for example greater than 0.3. The reference paper is advantageously representative of the type of mail to be counted. Advantageously, the device comprises a reference table and at least one main drive belt. The main drive belt protrudes above the reference table in an axial drive zone. Advantageously, the axial retention means is disposed axially in the axial drive zone, or downstream of the axial drive zone. In a variant, the reference body is located on a lateral side of the main drive belt. In this variant, the main drive belt 10 does not pass into the interface space between the friction surface and the reference body. This interface space may be zero if the friction surface in the low position is in contact with the reference body. This variant allows the sandwich effect between the reference body and the friction surface to produce axial retention forces which are not attenuated by the flexibility of the drive belt. More generally, this makes it possible to separately adjust the driving force generated by the main drive belt and the retaining force generated by the entire reference body and the brake. Advantageously, the distance between the reference body and the friction surface, when the brake is in the down position, is determined to be less than the smallest thickness of the mailpieces to be counted. Thus, all mail elements of the stack must move the brake of the reference element to pass through the axial retention means. This spacing requires a drive force greater than a non-zero threshold of the through-mail element or of all the traversing mail elements simultaneously. This necessary spacing makes it possible to guarantee minimal friction on the top of this element or of this assembly. Advantageously, the material of the primary belts may be chosen so that their coefficient of friction on a reference paper is much greater than the coefficient of friction paper on paper. Advantageously, the distance between the reference body and the friction surface when the brake in the low position is strictly less than the thickness of the main drive belt. Thus, the assembly consisting of the mail element or elements simultaneously passing through the axial retaining means is in direct contact, on the one hand with the friction surface by its upper surface, and on the other hand with the reference element. by its lower surface. Advantageously, the reference body extends at a fixed height during the scrolling of the mail element bottom of the stack. Advantageously, the brake comprises a deflector 20 inclined relative to the reference table and is arranged to be pushed by mail elements being driven by the drive means and to raise the brake depending on the thickness of said mail elements. Advantageously, the axial retaining means comprises a return means arranged to return the brake to the low position. Advantageously, the friction surface has a convex shape. Thus, the assembly of the mail piece (s) simultaneously traversing the axial retaining means may meet the friction surface a short time before reaching a low point of the friction surface. The necessary gap between the brake and the reference element means that this curved shape combines two axial retention mechanisms. On the one hand there is a force of retaining the upper surface of this assembly by its friction on the friction surface. On the other hand, there is an additional restraint force exerted by the curved shape on the upper downstream edge of this assembly. Advantageously, the convex shape of the friction surface extends below a low point of the deflector, a low point of the convex shape preferably having a difference in height with the low point of the deflector which is between 1 mm and 3mm, for example about 2mm. Advantageously, the deflector is of smooth metal or comprises a sliding surface with a low coefficient of friction. Thus, if two mail elements, at least one of which is thick, arrive simultaneously with the axial retention means, the low coefficient of friction of the deflector will help lift the brake without reducing the compression generated by the friction surface and the reference body. This increases the ability of the device to count mail items of different thickness without degrading the retaining force exerted to axially separate the mail elements from each other. According to one embodiment, the reference body is a motor roller, circular and rotated at the same time as the main drive belt. This embodiment is particularly useful for thick mail items. Thus, if two mail elements of which at least one is thick, arrive simultaneously between the friction surface and the reference body, the fact that the reference body continues to cause the mail element that touches it allows help to remove the brake to better receive these two items of mail. In addition, once these mail elements are between the friction surface and the reference body, these two mail elements are one braked axially by the friction surface and the other accelerated, not only by the main belt. but also by the motor roller. The spacing of the brake generates an additional drive effort by the motor roller. This additional training effort counteracts the risk that the bottom mail piece of the stack will be slowed down by the friction surface. This variant makes it possible to generate high retention forces without slowing down the piece of mail that must pass. Advantageously, the reference body comprises a rubber material periphery, the hardness of which is preferably greater than or equal to 60 shore A. The rubbery material at the periphery of the motor roller makes it possible to increase the additional drive force when one or several items of relatively thick mail compared to other mail items to count. The high hardness of the rubber makes it possible to achieve a significant compressive force of the mail elements to be separated. This effort can be adjusted by the brake return means. This makes it possible to exert sufficient axial restraint. In a variant, the reference body has a maximum height above a plane of the reference table which coincides with the maximum height of the main drive belt.

In another variant, the reference body has a vertex whose height above a plane of the reference table is greater than the maximum height of the main drive belt. The reference body has an access ramp arranged to guide the mail elements from the at least one main drive belt or from an extension of the main drive belt to the top of the reference body.

In one embodiment, the device comprises means for amplifying the axial separation between mail elements. The amplification means is disposed downstream of the axial retention means. Advantageously, the amplification means may comprise at least one secondary belt driven with a running speed greater than 1.3 times the running speed of the main drive belt. The overspeed of the at least one secondary belt relative to the at least one main drive belt amplifies the separation between two mail elements that have passed through the axial retention means. This allows mail items to be counted more reliably even if the axial restraint has not fully immobilized a piece of mail that was above the bottom mail item of the stack being scrolled. In another variant, the reference body is a circular roller free to rotate, preferably metal. This variant allows only the surface in contact with the friction surface to be retained. The surface in contact with the reference body does not undergo friction force and continues to be driven by the main belt. If these two surfaces belong to different mail items, these mail items are axially separated. The retaining force by the friction surface is set to remain lower with the driving force generated by the one or more main driving belts so that, if a single piece of mail arrives at the same time between the surface of friction and the body of reference, this element of mail can continue its way to the meter.

Advantageously, the friction surface belongs to a friction element taken from: a cylinder of abrasive material, a cylindrical or barrel grinding wheel, a body coated with an abrasive belt, a knurled metal cylinder, a rough molded body.

According to another aspect, the invention relates to a letter opener comprising a mailpiece counting device and a cutter of a rim of the mail elements, which cutting device is retractable laterally. Thus, the same device can serve as a mail item counter without opening these mail items, or letter opener with or without letter counting. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention will be better understood on studying the detailed description of some embodiments taken by way of non-limiting examples and illustrated by the appended drawings in which: FIG. 1 is an end view of the counting device, viewed from the side receiving a stack of mailpieces to count, - Figure 2 is a top view, seen perpendicular to the reference table of the device, - Figure 3 is a detail of Figure 2 FIG. 4 is a front view of the detail of FIG. 3, and FIG. 5 is a partial section along the plane VV of FIGS. 3 and 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION: As illustrated in FIG. 1, a machine 1 is a letter opener able to count the number of letters 17 contained in a stack 17a of letters, illustrated in phantom. The machine 1 comprises a reference table 2, slightly inclined relative to a horizontal plane, at an angle between 0 ° and 30 °. The machine 1 also comprises a flange 3 perpendicular to the reference table 2. The machine 1 comprises a housing 30 extending under the reference table 2 and at the rear of the rim 3. It also comprises a cover 31 surrounding mechanisms located above the reference table 2. The housing 30 and the hood 31 are shown in dotted line to see the mechanisms they house.

The machine 1 comprises a series of three main belts 4, 5, 6 and secondary belts 7. The letter 17b is the bottom letter of the battery 17a, it is directly in contact with said belts. The letter 17c is the letter of the battery 17a which is immediately above the letter 17b of the bottom of the battery 17a. The letters 17 of the stack 17a which are above a lower edge 31a of the cover 31 are stopped by the cover 31. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the secondary belts 7 are tensioned between a driving pulley 8 connected to a motor 9 and an intermediate pulley. The main belts 4 and 5 are stretched between the intermediate pulley and an eccentric pulley 11. The eccentric pulley 11 in turn drives the third main belt 6. The driving pulley 8 drives a lower knife 12, which drives a knife 13 superior. When the machine 1 operates as a letter opener, cutting edges 12a, 13a of the two knives 12, 13 protrude from the rim 3. When the machine 1 operates as a single letter counter, the cost system 12, 13 is deactivated. For example, the upper stop 13a is retracted retracted inside the rim 3 by a 14 retraction mechanism. Finally, the machine 1 further comprises, above the reference table 2, a pressing pin 15 and an axial retaining means 16 which are both rotatable about an axis 15a and 16a, respectively, and are connected to the flange 3 with beams 15b, 16b parallel and extending above the reference table 2. The letters 17 are driven by the belts 4, 5, 6, 7 and run parallel to a plane 2a of the reference table 2, along a direction of travel 18 and which is parallel to the rim 3. The axes 15a and 16a of rotation may be perpendicular to the axial direction 18 of scroll.

The main belts 4, 5, 6 and the secondary belts 7 each form a closed loop contained in a plane which may advantageously be perpendicular to the reference table 2 and which may advantageously have an angle between 3 ° and 5 ° with respect to the direction. 18 scrolling. This angle facilitates the function of letter openers.

The pressing pin 15 and the axial retaining means 16 are both located axially in the vicinity of the intermediate pulley, i.e., in the vicinity of the transition between the main belts 4, 5 and the secondary belts 7. . More precisely, see FIG. 4, the pressing finger 15 has a pressing end 15c located vertically and axially above an upstream end portion of the upper strands 7a of the secondary belts 7, protruding above the table 2 of FIG. reference.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the end 15c may be located laterally between the secondary belts 7, as illustrated, or be located opposite one of them. The machine 2 may advantageously comprise a plating sled extending axially over most of the length of the strand 7a, downstream of the end 15a of the pressure finger. When the letter 17 scrolls parallel to the reference table 2, the plating sled plate this letter flat on all the secondary belts 7. Advantageously, the end 15a exerts a punctual effort and high plating intensity while the sledge is advantageously designed to exert a low intensity effort and distributed. The two tackings combine to quickly secure the scrolling of the letter 17 with the secondary belts 7. The set of secondary belts 7, the intermediate pulley 10, and the pressing finger 15 and / or the plating sled constitutes a means 36 for amplifying the axial offset between two successive letters. The operation of the means 36 will be explained later. The machine 1 further comprises a detector 19 of presence or absence of a letter 17 in front of it. The detector 19 is located downstream of the secondary belts 7 and is associated with a letter presence counter between two interrupts of this presence. As illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, the intermediate pulley is a one-piece assembly comprising main grooves 10a in which the main belts 4 and 5 are wound and secondary grooves 10b in which the secondary belts 7 are wound. The grooves 10a, 10b are concentric about an axis 10c of the intermediate pulley 10, parallel to the plane 2a and preferably perpendicular to the direction of travel. The grooves 10a, 10b have a cross section, adapted to that of the corresponding belts, for example circular.

The ratio of a winding radius of a secondary belt 7, considered in their neutral line, divided by a winding radius of a primary belt 4, 5 may be greater than or equal to 1.3, or may be between 1.1 and 3, preferably between 1.2 and 2, in particular between 1.3 and 1.5. When a letter 17 is driven by the main belts 4, 5, 6, and arrives above the upstream end of the upper strands 7a, this entire letter 17 is secured to the secondary belts 7 and begins to scroll with a overspeed corresponding to this report. The machine 1 has a support roller 20, axis 20a parallel to the reference table 2, and preferably perpendicular to the direction of travel 18. The axis 20a is arranged so that an apex 5b of the portions of the main belt 5 resting on the support roller 20 is situated at the same distance from the reference table 2 as a vertex 7b of the strands 7a. By an abuse of language and because the inclination of the reference table 2 is low, the distance of a point from the reference table 2, that is to say considered perpendicular to the plane 2a, will be referred to as a height of said point above the reference table 2. Because of the aforementioned ratio between the winding diameters of the primary and secondary belts, the primary belts plunge progressively below the reference table 2 into their portion extending between the support roller and the intermediate pulley. The eccentric pulley 11 is such that the upstream end of the main belts 4, 5, 6 do not permanently protrude above the reference table 2, as illustrated in FIG. 1. This allows the element stack mail or letter 17 to be driven only intermittently by the belts 4, 5, 6 primary. When the upstream end of the primary belts 4, 5, 6 rises above the reference table 2, the latter raise the stack and cause a tangential friction pulse on the letter 17b of the bottom of the stack. The machine 1 has an axial zone 35 for driving which extends on both sides in the vicinity of the support roller. This axial zone 35 is shorter than the shortest of the letters to be counted. This promotes the axial separation of this stack bottom letter from a letter immediately above it. With reference to FIGS. 3, 4, the axial retention means 16 proper will now be described. This comprises a reference body 21 and a brake 22. The reference body 21 is rotatable about an axis 21a, parallel to the reference table 2 and can be perpendicular to the direction of travel 18 or be perpendicular to the plane of the main belt. The reference body 21 is a wheel-shaped motor roller 21 advantageously having a peripheral crown 21b of rubber material, in particular of neoprene with a hardness of 60 shore A. The motor roller 21 has an upper part which projects above of the reference table 2 and a top 21c located vertically at the same height of the table 2 as the top 5b of the second main belt 5. In the illustrated variant, the axial retention means 16 may comprise a drive roller 23 arranged under the portion of the main belt 5 extending axially between the support roller and the intermediate pulley, so that this belt 5 main press slightly and drives the drive roller 23. The motor roller 21 is attached to the drive roller 23 so that the rotation of the motor roller 21 is directly related to the movement of the main belt. In another variant not shown, the motor roller 21 is rotated by a gear system or by a belt directly connecting the motor roller 21 to the intermediate pulley so that the tangential speed of the roller 21 at its top 21c is substantially equal to the speed of travel of the main belt.

In another variant, the reference body 21 is devoid of the drive roller 23. The body 21 can then be a simple circular roller, free in rotation and whose apex 21c is disposed at a height close to the height of the vertex 5b, preferably higher than the vertex 5b. In the variant shown, the brake 21 comprises a friction body 24 disposed at the end of an arm 25 movable about the axis 16a. The friction body 24 has a convex shape, for example cylindrical, and a low portion 26 of which is opposite the top 21c of the reference body 21, so that the letters 17 running above the belts 4, 5, 6, The main ones are sandwiched between the summit 21c and the lower part 26.

The lower portion 26 has a friction surface 27 whose roughness is similar to that of a grinding wheel. Many variants are suitable. The friction body 24 may in particular be a cylindrical grinding wheel, or a body coated with an abrasive belt, or a knurled metal body or a molded body. The brake 22 comprises a return means of the body 24 of friction down. The biasing means may be a spring 37 as illustrated in FIG. 4, or may consist of a weight. The brake 22 further comprises a deflector 28 in the form of a plane inclined by about 20 ° to 35 ° relative to the reference table 2 and fixed to the arm 25. The deflector 28 has a point 28a down. When the brake 22 is in the low position, as illustrated, the point 28a bottom of the deflector 28 is located above a point 27a low of the friction surface 27, for example between 1 and 2 mm above. The deflector 28 also comprises a high point 28b located above the lower edge 31a of the cover 31. The low point 27a of the friction surface 27 is above the top 21c of the roller 21. The point 27a down, when the brake is in low position, is either contact with the top 21c, or at a distance from the top 21c which is smaller than the smallest thickness of the letters 17 count for example of the order of 0.3mm to 1.5mm. Thus, a letter 17b of the bottom of the stack 17a necessarily passes below the edge 31a of the cover 31 and below the point 28a of the deflector 28, and is driven to hit the lower portion 26 of the friction surface 27. The tangent of the friction surface 27 at the location of the first contact by the letter 17b of the bottom of the stack 17a is very slightly inclined relative to the table, for example has an angle less than 10 °. Thus, despite the strong friction exerted on the letter 17b, it raises very slightly the entire brake 22. This allows the letter 17b of the pile bottom to continue its scrolling as shown in Figures 2 and 4. If l The thickness of the letter 17b of the bottom of the stack 17a is such that one or more letters 17c can pass between the deflector 28 and the letter 17b of the stack bottom, these letters 17c are stopped by the friction surface 27 because the effort drive induced by the scrolling of the bottom letter 17b of the battery 17a is much lower than the driving force by the belts 4, 5, 6 primary. Thus, most of the letter 17b scrolls before the next letter 17c comes into contact with the primary belts 4, 5, 6. The stack 17a of letters may comprise letters 17d which pass under the lower edge 31a of the cover 31 and strike the deflector 28. The inclination of the deflector 28 makes it possible to gradually bring the letters 17d to shift axially relative to each other. other. The training effort of the letter 17d induced by the scrolling of the letter 17b under this letter 17d is weak enough so that this letter 17d does not raise the arm 25. If the letter 17b of the bottom of the stack 17a is a thick letter, it directly collides with the deflector 28 without reaching the friction surface 27. However, the driving force generated by the primary belts 4, 5, 6 is sufficient to raise the arm 25 and that the friction surface 27 reaches the top of this letter 17b thick. The friction surface 27 then retains any finer letter which would have been embarked with this thick letter.

The letters 17 of the stack 17a which are above the lower edge 31a of the cover 31 are stopped and contribute to increase both the driving force by the primary belts 4, 5, 6 and also retain the letters that are lie below the rim 31a.

The fact that the primary belts 4, 5, 6 are mounted on the eccentric pulley 11 reduces the adhesion between the envelopes because the jolts generated by the rotation of the eccentric pulley 11 insert air between the different mail elements. Thus, the driving effect of a letter 17b running on a letter 17c is relatively stable and depends mainly on the coefficient of friction of the envelopes of said letters. Alternatively, the belts 4, 5 could be mounted mounted between two non-eccentric pulleys.

In another alternative, the letter pile could be shaken by a cam disposed next to a belt that would periodically lift the letter stack. The inventor has realized that for standard envelopes, and for a medium thickness range, it is possible to choose a clever combination between the material of the primary belts, the material of the friction surface 27 and the diameter. 23 of the friction body 17d so that the letter bottom 17d is systematically trained and a letter 17c above it is systematically stopped, and this whatever the height of the battery 17a. The fact that the axial training zone is systematically shorter than the letters to be counted allows that, while the letter 17b is scrolling, the letter 17c above it is not driven by the belts. primary as the scrolling letter 17b has not begun to leave the axial training zone 35. For example, if the axial driving zone extends over 1 / 5th of the length of a letter, the letter 17b travels 4 / 5th of its length 20 while the letter 17c of top is at the same time restrained by the friction surface 27 and is still not in contact with the primary belts. The letter 17c from above is then subjected to a significant effort of entrainment capable of overcoming the friction of the surface 27 only when the rear of the preceding letter 17b reaches the vicinity of the support roller. Thus, the axial offset between two successive letters 17b, 17c can be at least 80% of the length of the letter. The overspeed of the secondary belts amplifies by 30% the axial offset of two successive letters. The axial offset becomes greater than the length of the letters, and one day appears between two successive letters which is easily detected by the detector 19. For a minimum length of letters needing to be counted, the inventor realized that a clever combination of the axial drive length and an axial shift amplification coefficient made it possible to systematically show a day between two successive letters. This allows to count very simply the number of letters and this at high counting rate. Many machine variants may result from the combination of one or more of the following features: - being devoid of knives 12, 13, - being devoid of secondary belts 7 and plating comb, - presenting primary belts parallel to flange 3, have a table 22 of substantially horizontal reference; having an intermediate pulley consisting of several parts so that the secondary and primary grooves are of the same diameter, the secondary grooves being free to rotate relative to the primary grooves, and the primary and secondary belts being driven by other means have a reference body stationary during the run and / or comprising a material with a low coefficient of friction, have a friction surface axially movable between two letter passes or between two stacks of processed letters in order to avoid blunt the body 24 of friction and obtain a retention force stable over time.

Claims (12)

  1. REVENDICATIONS1. Device (1) for counting the number of mail items (17, 17b, 17c, 17d) in a stack (17a), comprising: - a means for driving a mail item (17b) the stack (17a) along a scroll path, which path has an axial direction (18), - axial holding means (21-22) disposed in the scroll path, and - a counter (19) disposed downstream of the axial retaining means, characterized in that the axial retaining means comprises a reference body (21) and a brake (22), which brake (22) has a friction surface (24) facing each other. and above the reference body (21), in that the friction surface (24) is stationary axially during the movement of the bottom mail element (17b) of the stack (17a) and in that the brake (22) is vertically movable between a predetermined low position and a high position.
  2. 2. Device according to claim 1, comprising a reference table (2) and at least one main drive belt (4, 5, 6), which main driving belt projects above the table (2). reference means in an axial driving zone (35) and in which the axial retaining means (21-22) is arranged axially in the axial drive zone (35) or downstream of the axial zone (35). drive.
  3. 3. Device according to claim 1, wherein the body (21) of reference is located on a lateral side of the belt (5) main drive.
  4. 4. Device according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the distance between the reference body (21) and the friction surface (27) when the brake (22) is in the low position is determined to be less than the smallest thickness the elements (17) of mail to count, and in particular is strictly less than the thickness of the main drive belt (5) and / or wherein the reference body (21) extends to a fixed height during scrolling the element (17b) of the bottom mail of the stack (17a).
  5. 5. Device according to one of claims 2 to 4, wherein the brake (22) comprises a deflector (28) inclined relative to the reference table (2) and is arranged to be pushed by elements (17c) of mail being driven by the driving means and for raising the brake (22) according to the thickness of said mail elements and / or wherein the axial retaining means comprises means (37) for biasing arranged to return the brake (22) to the low position.
  6. 6. Device according to claim 5, wherein the surface (27) of friction has a curved shape extending below a point (28a) down the deviator, (28) a point (27a) down the shape curved having preferably a difference in height with the low point (28a) of the deflector (28) which is between 1mm and 3mm and / or wherein the deflector (28) is of smooth metal or comprises a low sliding surface coefficient of friction.
  7. 7. Device according to one of claims 2 to 6, wherein the body (21) of reference is a motor roller, circular and rotated at the same time as the main drive belt (5), and / or in wherein the reference body (21) comprises a periphery (21b) of rubbery material, the hardness of which is preferably greater than or equal to 60 shore A.
  8. 8. Device according to one of claims 2 to 7, wherein the body (21) of reference has a maximum height above a plane (2a) of the reference table (2) which coincides with the maximum height of the main driving belt (5), and / or in which the reference body (21) has an apex (21c) whose height above a plane (2a) of the reference table (2) is greater than the maximum height of the main driving belt (5) and the reference body (21) has an access ramp arranged to guide the mail elements (17) from the at least one main drive belt or from an extension of the main drive belt (5) to the top (21c) of the reference body (21).
  9. 9. Device according to one of claims 2 to 8, comprising means (7-15) for amplifying the axial separation of the elements (17b-17c) mail, which means is disposed downstream of the means (21-22). ) and comprises at least one secondary belt (7) driven with a running speed greater than 1.3 times the running speed of the main drive belt.
  10. 10. Device according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the body (21) is a reference circular roller free to rotate, preferably metal.
  11. 11. Device according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the surface (27) of friction belongs to a friction element selected from: a cylinder of abrasive material, a grinding wheel, a body coated with an abrasive belt, a knurled metal cylinder a rough molded body.
  12. A letter opener (1) comprising a mail piece counting device according to one of the preceding claims and a cutter of a flange of the mail pieces, which cutter is retractable laterally.
FR1351349A 2013-02-18 2013-02-18 Device for counting the number of mail elements in a battery Active FR3002185B1 (en)

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FR1351349A FR3002185B1 (en) 2013-02-18 2013-02-18 Device for counting the number of mail elements in a battery

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FR1351349A FR3002185B1 (en) 2013-02-18 2013-02-18 Device for counting the number of mail elements in a battery

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FR3002185A1 true FR3002185A1 (en) 2014-08-22
FR3002185B1 FR3002185B1 (en) 2018-04-06

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR3047201A1 (en) * 2016-02-01 2017-08-04 Silcap Open-letter device

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2368519A (en) * 1942-03-11 1945-01-30 Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Co Letter feed and separator unit
US5946996A (en) * 1997-12-31 1999-09-07 The Staplex Company, Inc. Automatic feed chadless envelope slitter
EP1323653A1 (en) * 2001-12-24 2003-07-02 Neopost Industrie Selector device for mail items
US20080157458A1 (en) * 2006-12-28 2008-07-03 Pitney Bowes Incorporated Paper feeder having hard nip and flexible nip
FR2970672A1 (en) * 2011-01-26 2012-07-27 Silcap Letter opener for opening envelope of letter of stack of letters, has selection element whose end is axially provided around distance downstream of axial position of contact region and laterally provided with respect to reference surface

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2368519A (en) * 1942-03-11 1945-01-30 Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Co Letter feed and separator unit
US5946996A (en) * 1997-12-31 1999-09-07 The Staplex Company, Inc. Automatic feed chadless envelope slitter
EP1323653A1 (en) * 2001-12-24 2003-07-02 Neopost Industrie Selector device for mail items
US20080157458A1 (en) * 2006-12-28 2008-07-03 Pitney Bowes Incorporated Paper feeder having hard nip and flexible nip
FR2970672A1 (en) * 2011-01-26 2012-07-27 Silcap Letter opener for opening envelope of letter of stack of letters, has selection element whose end is axially provided around distance downstream of axial position of contact region and laterally provided with respect to reference surface

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR3047201A1 (en) * 2016-02-01 2017-08-04 Silcap Open-letter device

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