US20030141653A1 - Sheet determination apparatus - Google Patents

Sheet determination apparatus Download PDF

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US20030141653A1
US20030141653A1 US10351443 US35144303A US2003141653A1 US 20030141653 A1 US20030141653 A1 US 20030141653A1 US 10351443 US10351443 US 10351443 US 35144303 A US35144303 A US 35144303A US 2003141653 A1 US2003141653 A1 US 2003141653A1
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Prior art keywords
sheets
data
profile
means
thickness
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Abandoned
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US10351443
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Hiroshi Kumamoto
Hideyuki Yasugi
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Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions Corp
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Omron Corp
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/16Testing the dimensions
    • G07D7/164Thickness
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H7/00Controlling article feeding, separating, pile-advancing, or associated apparatus, to take account of incorrect feeding, absence of articles, or presence of faulty articles
    • B65H7/02Controlling article feeding, separating, pile-advancing, or associated apparatus, to take account of incorrect feeding, absence of articles, or presence of faulty articles by feelers or detectors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/17Apparatus characterised by positioning means or by means responsive to positioning
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/181Testing mechanical properties or condition, e.g. wear or tear
    • G07D7/183Detecting folds or doubles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2220/00Function indicators
    • B65H2220/09Function indicators indicating that several of an entity are present
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2511/00Dimension; Position; Number; Identification; Occurence
    • B65H2511/10Size; Dimension
    • B65H2511/13Thickness
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2511/00Dimension; Position; Number; Identification; Occurence
    • B65H2511/30Number
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2553/00Means for sensing, detecting or otherwise used for control
    • B65H2553/20Means for sensing, detecting or otherwise used for control using electric elements
    • B65H2553/22Magnetic detectors, e.g. Hall detectors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2557/00Means for control not provided for in groups B65H2551/00 - B65H2555/00
    • B65H2557/20Calculating means; Controlling methods
    • B65H2557/24Calculating methods; Mathematic models
    • 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
    • B65H2701/1912Banknotes, bills and cheques or the like

Abstract

In order to provide a sheet determination apparatus having a high reliability and capable of correctly determining the number and kinds of sheets even when sheets having a fold, breakage, tear, or the like are transported in an unfavorable state of overlapping transport, skew transport, or the like, there is provided a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of an identification transport passage along a widthwise direction of transport of the transport passage, on which sheets are to be transported, profile data of sheets are extracted from thickness data detected every thickness detection element, and the extracted profile data and profile basic data of sheets, which are stored in a storage unit to constitute standards, are compared with each other and judged to determine the number of sheets.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention relates to a sheet determination method applied to, for example, automatic transaction machines (ATM), automatic vending machines, or the like, and more particularly, to a sheet determination apparatus capable of correctly determining the number and kinds of sheets even when overlapping transport, skew (oblique advancement), a fold, breakage, or the like are generated. [0002]
  • 2. Description of the Related Art [0003]
  • Generally, a transport passage, on which sheets such as bills, notes, blanks, cards, or the like, are transported, is constructed such that opposed conveyance members such as conveyance rollers, conveyance belt, or the like are combined together to interpose and transport a sheet one by one. [0004]
  • Described in, for example, Patent Document 1 of a prior patent application is an apparatus for sensing the number of sheets transported in a transport passage. [0005]
  • In this apparatus, three sensing regions (three tracks) [0006] 153 a, 153 b, 153 c divided in a widthwise direction of transport are set in a transport process of sheets 152 conducted to a transport passage 151 as shown in FIG. 15A. A transport state of sheets and the number of sheets at the time of transport are sensed and confirmed on the basis of detection signals of first to third thickness sensors 154 a, 154 b, 154 c arranged corresponding to the divided tracks and data from an image scanner (not shown).
  • As a sensing method of this type, however, a thickness per scanning is calculated from an amount of sensor data (integral value) of the respective thickness sensors [0007] 154 a, . . . in areas, through which sheets 152 pass, as shown in FIG. 15B. Then the number of sheets is estimated from an amount of sensor data of the respective thickness sensors 154 a, . . .
  • In particular, all sensor data in individual sensing regions of the three tracks [0008] 153 a, 153 b, 153 c are set in a number determining condition. Therefore, it is recognized that one sheet 152 is transported only in the case where results of the numbers in all the tracks agree with one another.
  • When a sheet [0009] 152 skews much on the transport passage 151 as shown in FIG. 16A, however, it is possible that such much skewed sheet 152 passes through only portions of the first and second tracks 153 a, 153 b and not through a portion of the third track 153 c.
  • In this case, even if the first and second thickness sensors [0010] 154 a, 154 b for sensing positions of the first and second tracks 153 a, 153 b perform sensing and confirmation, the third thickness sensor 154 c for sensing a position of the third track 153 c does not perform sensing, with the result that although one sheet has passed, the number of sheets cannot be determined, and so it is feared that counting is erroneous.
  • Further, it is in some cases set that the number of sheets [0011] 152 can be determined with a ⅔ track (for example, the first and second tracks 153 a, 153 b) as shown in FIG. 16B. In this case, it is conceivable that a sheet 152 a passes only through the remaining ⅓ track (the third track 153 c) as shown by imaginary lines in the figure. Therefore, it is possible that the number of sheets is wrongly recognized, and there is consequently caused a fear of wrong counting.
  • Also, even when a sheet [0012] 152 skews to pass through all regions of the three tracks 153 a to 153 c, an end or ends of the sheet become hard to come to an endwise track or tracks at the time of much skew, so that a central track portion and endwise track portions generate differences in amounts 155 a, 155 b, 155 c of sensor data every track. Therefore, one sheet is sensed from amounts 155 a, 155 c of sensor data at both ends of the track and two sheets are sensed from an amount 155 b of sensor data at a center of the track. As a result, the number of sheets cannot be determined, which is responsible for wrong sensing.
  • Further, known as another example, described in, for example, Patent Document 2 is an apparatus, in which a thickness sensing mechanism and an image sensing mechanism are provided in a transport passage to discriminate a transport medium. With this apparatus, kinds and the number of sheets can be determined even in the case where skew is sharp at the time of transport and a plurality of sheets overlap one another. [0013]
  • More specifically, an image sensing mechanism such as image readers or the like reads a design pattern and an outward shape of a sheet, and presence and absence of overlap is checked from an output of a thickness sensing mechanism. Thereafter, a figure of a sheet is extracted from the outward shape as read to find sizes and the number of sheets. [0014]
  • In this case, as for thickness sensing, it is investigated whether sheets overlap each other or not, and the image sensing mechanism serves to read the outward shape. Also, as for image sensing, determination is impossible in the case where information of outward shape of a transport medium is not acquired from image data. For example, when bills are to be discriminated, there is caused a problem that in the case where corner portions of an outward shape are not distinct, discrimination and confirmation are made difficult due to use of the corner portions as standards, thus making it impossible to determine the number and denomination of bills. [0015]
  • Concretely, in the case where a bill [0016] 181 fully hiding as shown in FIG. 18 is present, it is not possible to determine the number and denomination of bills. Also, known as a further example, described in, for example, Patent Document 3 is a similar apparatus, in which it is only estimated in thickness sensing how many by how many bills overlap each other to be transported, and optical line sensors arranged in one dimension read an outward shape of a bill.
  • Therefore, in the case where a bill [0017] 181 fully hiding as shown in FIG. 18 is present, in which corner portions of an outward shape are not distinct, it is not possible to determine the number and denomination of bills in the same manner as described above. Further, while it is disclosed to analyze an overlapping state of bills by overlapping a whole image of a bill on an image of an entire transport configuration and to detect a fold, in which a bill or bills with a fold or folds at an edge or edges are considered to be present when no agreement with the whole image is found, but a fold is only detected, and no further disclosure is presented.
  • Patent Document 1: JP-A-2001-266105 [0018]
  • Patent Document 2: JP-A-5-46842 [0019]
  • Patent Document 3: JP-A-7-141547 [0020]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention has its object to provide a sheet determination apparatus capable of correctly determining the number and kinds of sheets even when sheets having a fold, breakage, tear, or the like are transported in an unfavorable state of overlapping transport, skew transport, or the like. [0021]
  • The invention provides a sheet determination apparatus comprising a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage, profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element, storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, comparison means for making comparison between profile data extracted from the profile extraction means and profile basic data stored in the storage means, and determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means. [0022]
  • Here, bills, notes, blanks, cards, or the like, are generally termed as sheets. [0023]
  • As a result, the number of sheets transported one by one or in an accompanying manner can be determined by making comparison between that profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which are found from detection waveform actually detected over an entire length in a widthwise direction of transport, and profile basic data stored in the storage means. [0024]
  • Specifically, the thickness sensor can cause a plurality of thickness detecting elements, which are arranged over an entire width of a sheet transport passage in a widthwise direction of transport, to subdivide thickness data over the entire width to detect the same. Therefore, it is possible to detect a whole region in the widthwise direction of transport with high accuracy. Then an outward shape of sheets passing can be correctly grasped from the profile data extracted from the detection waveform. [0025]
  • Also, a thickness distribution and transport state of sheets are clearly found from both the thickness data and profile data, so that it is possible to determine the number of sheets passing with high accuracy. Therefore, even when a thickness of two sheets is detected, it can be judged whether an associated portion is generated due to a fold or an accompanying transport. [0026]
  • Also, even when a corner portion of sheets extracted by the profile extraction means is not distinct, that three-dimensional data of sheets, to which thickness data are added, can be obtained, so that an overlapping state is made distinct and the number of sheets can be correctly recognized. [0027]
  • Accordingly, even when sheets are transported while skewing, or sheets being folded or torn are transported, it is possible to surely determine whether sheets are transported one by one, or in an accompanying manner. Therefore, there is no fear of wrongly counting the number of sheets, so that a high reliable management of counting can be made. [0028]
  • Further, the invention provides a sheet determination apparatus comprising a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage, profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element, storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, comparison means for making comparison between profile data extracted from the profile extraction means and profile basic data stored in the storage means, and determination means for determining at least kinds of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means. [0029]
  • With this configuration, even when sheets are transported in an unfavorable state of overlapping transport, skew transport, or the like, it is possible to determine kinds of sheets from the data thus acquired. [0030]
  • Also, the invention provides a sheet determination apparatus comprising a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage, profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection wave form detected every thickness detection element, image data acquisition means provided facing the transport passage to acquire outward shape data of sheets in the transport course of the transport passage in image, tolerance calculation means for calculating a tolerance from the outward shape data and the profile data, storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, comparison means for making comparison between the profile data and the profile basic data on the basis of the tolerance calculated by the tolerance calculation means, and determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means. [0031]
  • Here, the tolerance is a value used as a value in the range of tolerance provided that profile data are present between the profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, and data obtained by adding the tolerance to the profile basic data, when comparison is made between the profile data and the profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, to determine the number of sheets. [0032]
  • With this configuration, since comparison is made between the profile data and the profile basic data to determine the number of sheets on the basis of a tolerance calculated from outward shape data acquired from the image data acquisition means, it is possible to further correctly determine the number of sheets. [0033]
  • Further, the invention provides a sheet determination apparatus comprising a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage, profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element, storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards, fold detection means for detecting a fold or folds of transported sheets from the profile data, comparison means for creating development data, in which the detected fold or folds are developed, from the profile data when the fold detection means detects the presence of a fold or folds, and making comparison between the development data and the profile basic data, and determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means. [0034]
  • Here, development of a fold is to fold back that portion, which is detected to have a fold, in a figure of linear symmetry to create data. [0035]
  • With this configuration, an original state free of any fold is found even in sheets with a fold or folds from developed data. Therefore, it is possible to surely determine the number of sheets.[0036]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a view showing an internal construction of a bill processing apparatus housed in an ATM; [0037]
  • FIG. 2 is a view showing a schematic construction of a bill determination device; [0038]
  • FIG. 3 is a vertical, cross sectional view showing an internal construction of a thickness detection element; [0039]
  • FIG. 4 is a view showing an outward appearance of a thickness sensor; [0040]
  • FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a control circuit of the bill determination device; [0041]
  • FIG. 6 is a view illustrating examples, in which profile data are extracted; [0042]
  • FIG. 7 is a view illustrating an example, in which a three-dimensional profile of bills is extracted; [0043]
  • FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a further example, in which a three-dimensional profile of bills is extracted; [0044]
  • FIG. 9 is a view illustrating an example, in which image data are acquired from a CCD image sensor; [0045]
  • FIG. 10 is a view illustrating an example of judgment processing of bills; [0046]
  • FIG. 11 is a view illustrating a further example of judgment processing of bills; [0047]
  • FIG. 12 is a view illustrating an example of judgment processing of a folded bill; [0048]
  • FIG. 13 is a view illustrating a development algorithm of a folded bill; [0049]
  • FIG. 14 is a flowchart illustrating a processing operation of a bill determination device; [0050]
  • FIG. 15 is a view illustrating a prior construction of sensing transport of sheets; [0051]
  • FIG. 16 is a view illustrating a prior example, in which transport of a sheet at the time of much skew is sensed; [0052]
  • FIG. 17 is a view illustrating a prior example, in which sheets are wrongly counted; and [0053]
  • FIG. 18 is a view illustrating a state of transport, in which a bill fully hiding is involved.[0054]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • An embodiment of the invention will be described below with reference to the drawings. [0055]
  • FIG. 1 shows a bill processing apparatus [0056] 11 housed in an ATM, the bill processing apparatus 11 comprising a bill transport group 13 provided in an upper portion of an apparatus body 12 for transporting and processing bills, and a bill storage group 14 provided in a lower portion of the body for allowing storage/paying out, thus the apparatus body 12 being divided vertically into a transport system and a storage system.
  • The upper-side bill transport group [0057] 13 has a bill inlet/outlet 15 in the upper portion of the apparatus body 12, and bills thrown into the bill inlet/outlet 15 are conducted to an identification unit 16 arranged in an intermediate position in the upper portion of the apparatus body to be identified with respect to validity, denomination, number, and front and back sides, and thereafter temporarily held in a temporary holding unit 17. In the case where the bills as taken in are determined to be in a back-side transport state, they are conducted to a front and back reversing unit 18 to be arranged properly with respect to front and back sides, and then conducted to the temporary holding unit 17, and further in the case where failure of identification is determined, the bills are conducted to a return holding unit 19 to be temporarily held therein, and returned to the original bill inlet/outlet 15. Then bills in the temporary holding unit 17 are stored in the bill storage group 14 provided in the lower portion of the body in optimum storage timing for operation.
  • Meanwhile, the bill storage group [0058] 14 provided in the lower portion of the body comprises first to third stackers S1 to S3 fixedly installed, and an operation cartridge C1 and a recovery cartridge C2, removal and mounting of which are permitted. Among these elements, the first to third stackers S1 to S3 posses bill stacking and paying-out functions such that bills in 10,000 yen, 1,000 yen and 5,000 yen denominations are stored by denomination, and bills are paid out one by one from an optional one of the stackers S1 to S3 to be conducted to the identification unit 16 to be checked with respect to denomination to be transported to the original bill inlet/outlet 15.
  • Also, the operation cartridge C[0059] 1 delivers and stores bills in the respective stackers S1 to S3 when business is opened and when bills are to be replenished, and recovers bills from the respective stackers S1 to S3 when business is closed and when the stackers are full of bills. Also, the recovery cartridge C2 recovers reject bills such as bills of bad identification, bills left behind, or the like, generated at the time of receipt/paying-out transaction and replenishment processing.
  • Hereupon, the identification unit [0060] 16 in the course of transport comprises a bill determination device 21, described later, for determining the number and denomination of bills passing through the identification unit even when the bills are transported in an inconvenient state.
  • FIG. 2 shows the bill determination device [0061] 21, and the bill determination device 21 is configured to comprise a one-dimensional CCD image sensor 23 and a thickness sensor 24 arranged in, for example, an identification transport passage 22 of the identification unit 16 as shown in FIG. 2A to read a bill A transported with two sensing means.
  • The identification transport passage [0062] 22 drives upper and lower opposing transport rollers R1, R2, which are provided to extend in a widthwise direction of transport as shown in FIG. 2B, to interpose therebetween and transport a bill A having been conducted one by one in a horizontal state, in which the bill is long from side to side, to a subsequent stage. At this time, torque from a transfer motor (not shown) is transmitted to drive the transport rollers R1, R2 at constant rotational speed.
  • The CCD image sensor [0063] 23 is provided to extend over an entire width along the transport rollers R1, R2 in the widthwise direction of transport, and acquires outward shape data of a bill, which passes through the sensor, in the form of image.
  • The thickness sensor [0064] 24 comprises a plurality of thickness detection elements 25 arranged in a line over the entire width of the identification transport passage 22 in the widthwise direction of transport on a side of an upper transport surface to be close to each other without any gap therebetween for enhancement in resolution, and a sensor corresponding roller R3 arranged similarly over the entire width in the widthwise direction of transport on a side of a lower opposing transport surface. When a bill A is conducted horizontally and passed between upper and lower opposing surfaces of the thickness detection elements 25 on the upper surface side and the sensor corresponding roller R3 on the lower surface side, which are provided to be opposed to each other, the thickness of the bill A is operatively detected.
  • FIG. 3 shows an internal construction of one thickness detection element [0065] 25, which constitutes the thickness sensor 24, FIG. 3A being a front, cross sectional view showing the thickness detection element 25, and FIG. 3B being a side, cross sectional view showing the thickness detection element 25.
  • The respective thickness detection elements [0066] 25 comprise a T-shaped movable metallic piece 33 mounted on a lower portion of a socket body 31 to be biased downward by a coil spring 32 and projected biasingly from a lower surface of the socket body 31, and an output terminal 35 housing a magnetic coil 34 in an upper portion of the socket body to project from an upper surface of the socket body 31, the output terminal 35 being connected to a control unit.
  • The thickness detection elements [0067] 25 have a detection configuration of a proximity sensor, and operate in detection such that extending and contracting actions of the coil spring 32 in a vertical direction move the movable metallic piece 33 up and down, and the movable metallic piece 33 is pushed up an amount corresponding to a thickness of a bill when the bill A passes by the movable metallic piece. A mechanical displacement when the movable metallic piece is pushed up to be displaced is converted into a voltage change by the magnetic coil 34 provided in the upper portion of the socket body 31 (due to a change in a spacing between the movable metallic piece 33 and the magnetic coil 34) to be output as an electric thickness detection signal from the output terminal 35.
  • FIG. 4 shows in enlarged scale the thickness sensor [0068] 24 having the plurality of thickness detection elements 25, which are mounted on the elongated socket body 31 arranged in the widthwise direction of transport to be spaced equally and close to each other in a straight arrangement, FIG. 4A being a plan view showing an arrangement of the output terminals 35, and FIG. 4B being a side view showing an arrangement of the movable metallic pieces 33.
  • When the thickness sensor [0069] 24 is used, thickness data over the entire width can be subdivided and sensed by the plurality of thickness detection elements 25, which are arranged over the entire width of the identification transport passage 22 in the widthwise direction of transport. Therefore, a whole region in the widthwise direction of transport can be sensed with high accuracy, so a state of a whole thickness distribution of a bill A passing by the thickness sensor 24 is correctly grasped. Thereby, it is possible to extract a three-dimensional profile, described later, of a bill.
  • FIG. 5 shows a block diagram of a control circuit of the bill determination device [0070] 21, the control circuit comprising a profile extraction unit 51 connected to the thickness sensor 24, a tolerance calculation unit 52 connected to the CCD image sensor 23, a volume arithmetic unit 53, a storage unit 54, a profile comparison unit 55, and a determination unit 56.
  • In the profile extraction unit [0071] 51, thickness data of a bill A detected every thickness detection element 25, which constitutes the thickness sensor 24, and subdivided in the widthwise direction of transport are obtained, and profile data representative of an outward shape of the bill are extracted from the subdivided thickness data.
  • FIG. 6 shows examples of detection waveform detected every thickness detection element [0072] 25, the detection waveform as a temporal change of an output voltage conformed to a thickness of a bill being output every thickness detection element 25 along with transport of a bill.
  • When two bills A[0073] 1, A2 of the same size are overlappingly transported (attended by each other) in an obliquely shifted state as shown in, for example, FIG. 6A, an output waveform detected by the respective thickness detection elements 25 of the thickness sensor 24 in the widthwise direction of transport is obtained to comprise a one-sheet detected waveform W1 and a two-sheet detected waveform W2. It can be correctly extracted from these waveform data that overlapping transport occurs and the bills are put in an obliquely shifted and overlapping state.
  • Likewise, when two bills A[0074] 3, A4 having different sizes are overlappingly transported in a state, in which they overlap each other as if they form a single bill, as shown in FIG. 6B, an output waveform detected by the respective thickness detection elements 25 of the thickness sensor 24 in the widthwise direction of transport is obtained to comprise a one-sheet detected waveform W3 and a two-sheet detected waveform W4. In this case, it can be correctly extracted from these waveform data that overlapping transport occurs and two bills having different sizes are put in an overlapping state.
  • FIG. 7 shows an example of an extracted profile of bills, and an explanation will be given to an profile extraction processing of bills in the case where two bills A[0075] 1, A2 of the same size are overlappingly transported in an obliquely shifted state as illustrated in FIG. 6A.
  • When waveform data from the respective thickness detection elements [0076] 25 are obtained in an overlapping transport, the waveform data are joined together as shown in FIG. 7A and data between the respective thickness detection elements 25 are subjected to interpolation processing by straight lines to create a three-dimensional FIG. 71. Apices of the three-dimensional FIG. 71 are connected to each other by straight lines to extract a profile of bills overlappingly transported as shown in FIG. 7B.
  • FIG. 8 shows an example of an extracted profile of bills, and an explanation will be given to an profile extraction processing of bills in the case where two bills A[0077] 3, A4 having different sizes are overlappingly transported in a state, in which they overlap each other as if they form a single bill, as shown in FIG. 6B.
  • When waveform data are obtained in an overlapping transport, waveform data from the respective thickness detection elements [0078] 25 are joined together as shown in FIG. 8A and data between the respective thickness detection elements 25 are subjected to interpolation processing by straight lines to create a three-dimensional FIG. 81. Apices of the three-dimensional FIG. 81 are connected to each other by straight lines to extract a profile of bills overlappingly transported.
  • The interpolation processing of waveform data is performed such that in the case where resolution (in proportion to a spacing, at which the plurality of thickness detection elements [0079] 25 are arranged) of the thickness sensor itself is in the order of several millimeters, a three-dimensional profile is found with good accuracy by using linear interpolation to compensate for data between the detection elements. In this case, the smaller a spacing between the thickness detection elements 25, the higher the resolution, and so there is no need of interpolation when fine setting is made.
  • Meanwhile, when in making comparison between profile data and profile basic data in the storage unit [0080] 54, profile data is present between the profile basic data and data, which are obtained by adding a tolerance to the profile basic data, the tolerance calculation unit 52 calculates a tolerance as that value in an allowable tolerance, which can be judged to agree with the profile basic data.
  • Here, a tolerance is calculated from a divided difference between outward shape data of a bill image acquired from the CCD image sensor [0081] 23 and the profile data.
  • In such processing, even in the case where the thickness sensor itself is low in resolution, a tolerance is calculated from a divided difference between outward shape data of an image having a high resolution and the profile data and comparison is made between the profile data and the profile basic data on the basis of the tolerance, so that it is possible to determine the number and denomination of bills with a high accuracy. [0082]
  • FIG. 9 shows an example, in which image data are acquired from the CCD image sensor [0083] 23. When two bills A1, A2 of the same size are overlappingly transported in an obliquely shifted state, the CCD image sensor 23 gets image data 91 of overlapped bills and the image data 91 are subjected to binary coded processing to determine an outward shape of bills. In this determination, an outward shape of bills can be determined by finding corners of bills from the image data 91.
  • The tolerance calculation unit [0084] 52 calculates a tolerance by calculating a difference between image data (outward shape data) and the profile data. Since, for example, image data from the CCD image sensor 23 are higher in resolution than those from the thickness sensor, both the image data and the profile data are subjected to collation.
  • In the case where a difference of, for example, 2 mm is present in a bill longitudinal direction as a result of calculation of a divided difference (data of the thickness sensor minus image data) between outward shape data from image data of the CCD image sensor and the profile data from the thickness sensor, a tolerance of 2 mm in the bill longitudinal direction is added to the profile basic data in the storage unit [0085] 54 in making comparison between the profile data and the profile basic data.
  • Concretely, in the case where 121 mm in the bill longitudinal direction is extracted in the profile data and 119 mm in the bill longitudinal direction is extracted in the image data, a tolerance of (121−119)=2 mm is calculated. Therefore, in comparing with the profile basic data (120 mm), a tolerance of 2 mm is added to judge that a bill in discussion is of denomination in agreement with the profile basic data when in the range of 120 mm to 122 mm. [0086]
  • Further, the volume arithmetic unit [0087] 53 can correctly recognize the number and denomination of bills by making comparison between a volume calculated from a three-dimensional data of a bill, which has been transported, obtained from thickness data and profile data, and volume basic data stored in the storage unit 54.
  • The storage unit [0088] 54 stores profile basic data and volume basic data, which constitute standards for length, width, and volume determined every circulating bill by denomination.
  • In the case where, for example, two denominations are transported and used, a A denomination transported in a state of being long from side to side has a volume of 840 mm[0089] 3 when it has a thickness of 0.1 mm, and length and width of 70 mm×120 mm. Also, a B denomination has a volume of 660 mm3 when it has a thickness of 0.1 mm, and length and width of 60 mm×110 mm. The both volumes are stored for standards of judgment.
  • The profile comparison unit [0090] 55 makes comparison between profile data actually detected and profile basic data stored in the storage unit 54 to perform judgment processing of bills.
  • FIG. 10 shows an example of judgment processing of bills, in which profile data of bills are extracted from detected waveform acquired from the thickness sensor [0091] 24 as shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B. Comparison is made between the extracted profile data and the profile basic data stored in the storage unit 54.
  • As a result, a A denomination of two bills stored in the storage unit [0092] 54 and a quadrangle (50 mm×100 mm) of a different size not stored in the storage unit 54 are found as shown in FIG. 10C. Accordingly, it can be judged that the quadrangle of a different size constitutes invalid data.
  • FIG. 11 shows a further example of judgment processing of bills, in which profile data of bills are extracted from detected waveform acquired from the thickness sensor [0093] 24 as shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B. Comparison is made between the extracted profile data and the profile basic data stored in the storage unit 54.
  • As a result, a A denomination stored in the storage unit [0094] 54 and a quadrangle having the same size as that of a B denomination are found as shown in FIG. 11C. Thereby, it can be judged that two different denominations are transported in an overlapping state.
  • The determination unit [0095] 56 makes collation between volume data of bills calculated in the volume arithmetic unit 53 and results of comparison in the profile comparison unit 55. At this time, the number and denomination of bills are determined when the error is within tolerance.
  • In the case where the number and denomination are to be determined as described in, for example, FIG. 10 when bills of the same size happen to be accompanied by each other, it is judged whether data, from which a A denomination of two bills is found, and a volume calculated in the volume arithmetic unit [0096] 53 are in the range of 840 mm3×2± volume tolerance. At this time, it can be determined that-two bills of A denomination are accompanied by each other in the case of the error being within tolerance (the error is within the allowable limits).
  • Similarly, in the case where the number and denomination are to be determined as described in, for example, FIG. 11 when bills of different size happen to be accompanied by each other, it is judged whether data, from which a A denomination and a B denomination are found, and a volume calculated in the volume arithmetic unit [0097] 53 are in the range of 840 mm3+660 mm3± volume tolerance. At this time, it can be determined that two bills of A denomination and a denomination are accompanied by each other in the case of the error being within tolerance.
  • Further, while either of volume data and profile data makes it possible to estimate the number of bills to some extent in such determination, accuracy in determination is further enhanced by the use of two data. Further, since profile data representative of an outward shape of bills can be extracted from thickness data of the thickness sensor arranged over the entire width of the transport passage, the number and denomination of bills can be accurately determined even in the case where skew is large. [0098]
  • FIG. 12 shows an example of detection in the case where a folded bill is transported. As shown in FIG. 12A, the CCD image sensor [0099] 23 reads an image of a bill having a fold a at a corner thereof and transported.
  • Image data [0100] 121 of a shape having a fold at a corner and not corresponding to a quadrangle is obtained, as shown in FIG. 12B, in the CCD image sensor 23 having read an image.
  • Also, profile data [0101] 122 of a shape having a fold at a corner and not corresponding to a quadrangle is obtained, as shown in FIG. 12C, in the thickness sensor 24.
  • Then the profile extraction unit [0102] 51 develops the fold a at a corner of the profile data along a profile as shown in FIG. 12D, when the profile data 122 having a fold at a corner are extracted. The profile comparison unit 55 makes comparison between the developed data and the profile basic data to thereby enable collation and confirmation.
  • The profile data [0103] 122 not corresponding to a quadrangle cannot be collated in the profile comparison unit 55 with the profile basic data stored in the storage unit 54 to be determined, and generation of a fold at a corner can be also detected since a triangular portion having a fold at an upwardly right corner is twice in thickness in the figure. In this case, development data are created by performing a development described later. As a result, the determination unit 56 can correctly determine the number and denomination of bills even when bills having a corner fold is transported.
  • FIG. 13 shows a development algorithm of the above bill having a corner fold, profile data of a bill having a corner fold is graphically indicated, the number of respective apices and the number of branches are found. [0104]
  • In this case, a bill having a corner fold has six apices (corners), the apices are numbered 1 to 6, and matrix representation (apex number, number of branch) is adopted. Then [0105]
  • ([0106] 1, 2)
  • ([0107] 2, 2)
  • ([0108] 3, 3): capable of folding back at number of branch 3
  • ([0109] 4, 2)
  • ([0110] 5, 3): capable of folding back at number of branch 3
  • ([0111] 6, 2)
  • As a result, since folding-back can be made in a position of the number of branch [0112] 3 (folding-back can be made in positions of the number of branch 3 and the number of branch 5 in FIG. 13), respective sides of the upwardly right corner have a thickness of 2 on the basis of the thickness data, and in the case of development from the profile data, positions, in which a corner folding is folded back, are determined by adapting to a condition that a profile defines a quadrangle.
  • In the case where two apices corresponding to the above number of branch [0113] 3 are absent, or four or more apices are present, it is thought that a bill involves overlap.
  • A processing operation in the case of determining the number and denomination of bills with the use of the bill determination device [0114] 21 thus constructed will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 14.
  • When a bill passes on the identification transport passage [0115] 22, the thickness sensor 24 detects a thickness of the passing bill and the CCD image sensor 23 gets an image of the bill (STEP n1).
  • The profile extraction unit [0116] 51 extracts profile data representative of an outward shape of a bill from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element 25 of the thickness sensor 24 (STEP n2).
  • Also, the tolerance calculation unit [0117] 52 calculates a tolerance from a divided difference between outward shape data found from an image of a bill acquired in the CCD image sensor 23 and profile data extracted in the profile extraction unit 51 (STEP n3).
  • The profile comparison unit [0118] 55 makes comparison between profile basic data, into which the calculated tolerance is taken, and the profile data (STEP n4).
  • At this time, the profile comparison unit [0119] 55 judges from results of the comparison whether a fold is produced in bills (STEP n5), and in the case where it is judged that there is no fold in bills, denomination and the number of bills are estimated (STEP n6).
  • Also, the volume arithmetic unit [0120] 53 finds a volume from thickness data and profile data (STEP n7), and on the basis of results of comparison between the volume thus found and volume basic data stored in the storage unit 54, the determination unit 56 judges whether the volume is in the range of a tolerance (STEP n8).
  • At this time, bills are judged to be determinable provided that the volume is in the range of a tolerance, and denomination and the number of the bills are determined (STEP n[0121] 9).
  • In the case where the volume is outside the range of a tolerance in the STEP n[0122] 8, however, determination is impossible and so the reject processing is performed.
  • Also, in the case where presence of a fold is judged in the STEP n[0123] 5, the reject processing is performed provided that a fold is judged to be data, which cannot be developed.
  • Hereupon, even in the case where presence of a fold is judged in the STEP n[0124] 5, development data, in which a fold in a bill is developed, are created and the data processing is performed by converting the bill into one without a fold, when the fold is data, which can be developed by folding back a portion of the fold in a figure of linear symmetry (STEPn10). Thereafter, the processings in STEP n6 and the subsequent STEPs are performed to implement determination of denomination and the number of bills (STEP n11).
  • In this manner, since the thickness sensor [0125] 24 has the plurality of thickness detection elements 25 to subdivide the entire width of the identification transport passage 22 in the widthwise direction of transport to detect thickness data over the entire width, a whole region in the widthwise direction of transport can be detected with high accuracy.
  • Then, by extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of a bill from the thickness data, a three-dimensional profile of the bill can be correctly grasped. Therefore, the number and denomination of bills can be correctly determined without image data. [0126]
  • Further, even when accompanying transport is effected involving a bill fully hiding as shown in FIG. 18, it is possible to correctly determine the number and denomination of bills from three-dimensional data of bills. [0127]
  • As described above, when a bill determination device is incorporated into an identification unit of an ATM, in which bills are handled, the device causes a plurality of thickness detecting elements, which are arranged over an entire width of an identification transport passage in a widthwise direction of transport, to subdivide thickness data over the entire width to detect the same, so that a whole region in the widthwise direction of transport can be detected with high accuracy and bills can be correctly grasped in spite of skew transport. Therefore, there is no fear that wrong judgment of non-passage is made, and a high reliable management of counting can be made. [0128]
  • Also, it is possible to correctly determine the number and denomination of bills even without image data, and since three-dimensional data of bills based on thickness data of high accuracy are obtained even when accompanying transport is effected involving a bill fully hiding as shown in FIG. 18, it is possible to correctly determine the number and denomination of bills. [0129]
  • In correspondence of the constitution of the invention with the constitution of the embodiment, a sheet determination apparatus of the invention corresponds to a bill determination device [0130] 21,
  • a transport passage corresponding to the identification transport passage [0131] 22,
  • sheets corresponding to bills A, A[0132] 1, A2, A3, A4,
  • profile extraction means corresponding to the profile extraction unit [0133] 51,
  • storage means corresponding to the storage unit [0134] 54,
  • comparison means and fold detecting means corresponding to the profile comparison unit [0135] 55,
  • determination means corresponding to the determination unit [0136] 56,
  • image data acquisition means corresponding to the CCD image sensor [0137] 23, and
  • tolerance calculation means corresponding to the tolerance calculation unit [0138] 52, while the invention is applicable on the basis of technical thoughts described in the claims and not limited to the constitution of the embodiment.
  • According to the invention, a three-dimensional profile of sheets is acquired from a detected waveform issued from a thickness sensor whereby it is possible to determine the number and kinds of sheets transported with high accuracy and high reliability. [0139]

Claims (7)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A sheet determination apparatus comprising
    a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage,
    profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element,
    storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards,
    comparison means for making comparison between profile data extracted from the profile extraction means and profile basic data stored in the storage means, and
    determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means.
  2. 2. A sheet determination apparatus comprising
    a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage,
    profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element,
    storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards,
    comparison means for making comparison between profile data extracted from the profile extraction means and profile basic data stored in the storage means, and
    determination means for determining at least kinds of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means.
  3. 3. A sheet determination apparatus comprising
    a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage,
    profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element,
    image data acquisition means provided facing the transport passage to acquire outward shape data of sheets in the transport course of the transport passage in image,
    tolerance calculation means for calculating a tolerance from the outward shape data and the profile data,
    storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards,
    comparison means for making comparison between the profile data and the profile basic data on the basis of the tolerance calculated by the tolerance calculation means, and
    determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means.
  4. 4. A sheet determination apparatus comprising
    a thickness sensor with a plurality of thickness detection elements arranged over an entire width of a transport passage for detecting a thickness of sheets, which pass the transport passage,
    profile extraction means for extracting profile data representative of an outward shape of sheets, which pass the transport passage, from detection waveform detected every thickness detection element,
    storage means for storing profile basic data of sheets, which constitute standards,
    fold detection means for detecting a fold or folds of transported sheets from the profile data,
    comparison means for creating development data, in which the detected fold or folds are developed, from the profile data when the fold detection means detects the presence of a fold or folds, and making comparison between the development data and the profile basic data, and
    determination means for determining at least the number of sheets from results of comparison in the comparison means.
  5. 5. The sheet determination apparatus according to any one of claims 1, 2, and 4, wherein the determination means causes the comparison means to make comparison between size data of sheets in the profile data and size data of sheets in profile basic data stored in the storage means and determines that number, in which agreement is made in results of comparison, as the number of sheets.
  6. 6. The sheet determination apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the determination means causes the comparison means to make comparison between size data of sheets in the profile data and size data of sheets every kind in profile basic data stored in the storage means and determines that number, in which agreement is made in results of comparison, as the number of sheets.
  7. 7. The sheet determination apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the fold detection means makes detection as presence of a fold or folds when the profile data contain data except a quadrangle.
US10351443 2002-01-28 2003-01-27 Sheet determination apparatus Abandoned US20030141653A1 (en)

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JP2002334488A JP3693993B2 (en) 2002-01-28 2002-11-19 Paper sheet fixed equipment
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JP3693993B2 (en) 2005-09-14 grant
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JP2003288628A (en) 2003-10-10 application

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