United States Patent [191 Behrens et al.
[ INTERCEPTOR FOR FORMING GAPS IN PAPERS CARRIED BY A CONVEYOR  Assignee: Graphic Engineers, Inc., Highland,
22 Filed: Mar. 29, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 346,043
 US. Cl 93/93 R, 93/93 D, 93/93 DP, 271/47  Int. Cl. B31b 1/98  Field of Search 271/46, 47; 93/93 R, 93 D, 93/93 C, 93 K, 93 DP  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,149,834 9/1964 Faeber 271/47 3,231,100 l/l966 Faeber 27l/46 UX 3,373,666 3/1968 Crampton 271/46 X 3,708,162 l/l973 Skudlarek 271/46 UX OTHER PUBLICATIONS Herron, Jr., Cut Forms lnterrupter, Vol. 15, No. 3, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, August, 1972.
[ Sept. 10, 1974 Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner.lames F. Coan Attorney, Agent, or FirmI-lerbert E. Kidder [5 7] ABSTRACT An interceptor for opening up gaps at measured intervals in a continuous stream of shingled papers carried by a belt conveyor, comprising a paper lift disposed below said papers, one end of which tilts up to raise the papers off the belt, while a spring-loaded plunger simultaneously moves downwardly from above to pinch the papers against the lift, allowing the last paper ahead of the gap to pull out, while the papers behind it are stopped. At the same time, a generally horizontal, elongated paper leveler moves downwardly from above and cooperates with the paper lift to form a long wedge-shaped space into which the papers crowd in a shortened shingle as the conveyor continues to advance. When the gap has been opened, the lift lowers the papers back onto the conveyor belts, and the leveler and spring-loaded plunger are simultaneously raised, releasing the stream of papers to move with the conveyor.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED SEFI 0:914
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INTERCEPTOR FOR FORMING GAPS IN PAPERS CARRIED BY A CONVEYOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains generally to conveyors for carrying continuous streams of shingled papers, such as are delivered by a sheet, or web-fed perfecting press. More specifically, the invention has to do with an interceptor mechanism for opening up gaps at predetermined intervals in the stream of shingled papers going to a counting and stacking machine of the type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,543,651. These gaps actuate the stack-forming mechanism in the said machine, and it is therefore essential that the gap-forming mechanism operate in a precise and accurate manner, so that the number of papers going into each stack will be the exact number wanted neither more nor less.
In addition to accuracy of count and precision of operation, it is also necessary for proper operation of the said counting and stacking machine, that the shingle be preserved (although it may be shortened) and that none of the papers over-run the papers ahead.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved interceptor mechanism for engaging and holding back the papers on a conveyor, thereby opening up gaps in the otherwise unbroken stream of shingled papers. Among the advantageous features of the invention is that it is accurate and precise in operation, and preserves the shingle of the stream of papers while opening up the gaps.
Another object of the invention is to provide an interceptor that is extremely versatile, and capable of accommodating itself to all sizes, shapes and thicknesses of papers, so that it can handle virtually anything that it is called upon to handle. In this connection, various adjustment are provided that allow the interceptor to be adjusted to fit any width or thickness of papers.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the accompa nying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, top plan view of a belt conveyor for transporting papers, showing an interceptor embodying the principles of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the same, showing a stream of shingled papers traveling on the conveyor;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, showing the interceptor in action, with the stream of papers stopped at the point of engagement by the apparatus; and
FIG. 4 shows the apparatus at the instant of releasing the papers, allowing the bunched-up accumulation of papers to resume movement along the conveyor belt, with a gap opened up in the line.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the drawings, the interceptor apparatus of the invention is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral l0, and is integrally associated with a conveyor system comprising a pair of belt conveyors 12 and 14, connected together, end-to-end. Each of the conveyors l2, 14 includes an elongated supporting framework made up of two laterally.-spaced, parallel side bars 16, which are connected by a top plate 18. Transverse shafts 20 and 22 are joumaled at the ends of the conveyor frame in bearings 24, and mounted on the shafts are pulley wheels 26, around which laterally spaced belts 28 are trained. Shaft 20 of conveyor 14 is driven from conveyor shaft 22 by a sprocket and chain drive 23.
The conveyor system, consisting of conveyors 12 and 14, is known as an accepting conveyor, as it receives a continuous stream of shingled papers 30 from a sheet or web-fed perfecting press, or other paper handling machine, such as a collator, folder, stuffer, or the like that delivers a continuous stream of shingled papers or other artiles, and transports these papers to a counting and stacking machine of the type shown and described in our US. Pat. No. 3,327,597. Papers 30 move along the conveyor on belts 28 from right to left, as viewed in the drawings, and conveyor 12 discharges the stream of papers onto conveyor 14. For the purpose of actuating the counting and stacking machine of our patent, it is necessary that gaps be opened up in the stream of papers at predetermined intervals, and this is accomplished by the interceptor apparatus 10.
Fixed to the frame side bars 16 on opposite sides of the conveyor, and projecting upwardly therefrom, are two pairs of arms 32 and 34. Two vertically spaced, parallel, transversely extending shafts 36 and 38 are rotatably supported at their ends in bearings. 40 mounted on the upper end portions of the arms 32. Another transverse shaft 42 is rotatably supported at its ends in bearings 44 mounted on the upper ends of arms 34.
Fixed to shafts 36, 38 and extending generally horizontally therefrom toward the left, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2, are three sets of laterally spaced, parallel arms 46. Parallel arms 46 are located in vertical planes in the spaces between adjacent pairs of conveyor belts 28, and the outer ends of each pair of parallel arms are pivotally connected to a head 48. In the drawings the outer two heads 48 each have a plunger 50 slidable vertically with respect to the arm; said plunger being springloaded downwardly by a helical coil compression spring 52. The spring-loaded plunger 50, 52 is removably mounted on the head 48 as a unit, so that two plungers can be used in any two of the three heads 48, depending upon the size or width of the papers, or other physical characteristics of the stream of papers on the conveyor.
Also extending downwardly and to the left at an angle from the lower shaft 38 are two arms 54, which are adjustable in length. The bottom ends of the arms are pivotally connected to brackets 56 fixed to the tops of two laterally spaced paper levelers 58. Each of the paper levelers 58 comprises an elongated, flat, substantially horizontal member with an upwardly curved end 60, so that the leveler resembles a ski. The member 58 extends parallel to the line of travel of papers carried by belts 28, and passes under shaft 42, to which it is connected by an arm 62. Arm 62 is also adjustable in length and, like arm 54, extends downwardly and to the left, at an angle, from shaft 42.
Extending transversely across the width of conveyor 12 below top plate 18 is a rock shaft 64, the ends of which are rotatably supported by bearings mounted on the side bars 18. Fixed to shaft 64 and extending upwardly and to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, is a first leveler arm 66, the outer end of which is connected by a link 68 to another arm 70 fixed to the shaft 38, and extending horizontally therefrom to the left. Link 68 passes upwardly through a hole 72 in the top plate 18, as shown in FIG. 1. counterclockwise rotation of shaft 64 causes arm 70 to be pulled downwardly by the link 68, which rotates chaft 38 in the counterclockwise direction, swinging the arms 44 and 54 down to the vertical position shown in FIG. 3. This lowers the paper leveler 58, and also causes the plunger 50 to move downwardly, so that the bottom end thereof contacts the papers.
Also fixed to shaft 64 and extending upwardly and to the right therefrom, as viewed in FIG. 2, are two other laterally spaced arms 74, the outer ends of which are connected by links 76 to brackets 78 on the underside of paper lifters 80. The two paper lifters 80 are located in the spaces between the outer and next adjacent belts 28, and are directly below the parallel arms 46 and plungers 50. Each lifter comprises an elongated, flat strip of metal, the right-hand end of which (as viewed in FIG. 1) is bent downwardly and hooked through an aperture 82 in top plate 18. The other end of the elongated member 80, to which bracket 78 is attached, is free to move vertically, when raised up by the link 76, thereby causing member 80 to pivot about the end that is hooked through aperture 82 as though it were hinged to top plate 18. Thus, when rock shaft 64 is rocked in the counterclockwise direction, link 76 is pushed to the left and upwardly, as viewed in FIG. 2, and since the paper lifter 80 cannot move to the left owing to the fact that the other end thereof is hooked through aperture 82, the only way that the left-hand, or downstream, end of the paper lifter 80 can move is upwardly, as shown in FIG. 3.
At the same time that paper lifter 80 is raised, the paper leveler 58 and plunger 50 are lowered, so that the bottom end of plunger 50 presses downwardly on the papers, pinching the trailing edge of the bottom paper against the end of the paper lifter, and stopping the paper from being pulled out by the underlying papers ahead, which are being carried along by the conveyor belts. Those papers that are lifted up from the conveyor belts lose their frictional contact therewith, and forward movement of the said papers immediately stops. The other papers ahead of the last one pinched by the plunger 50, move along the conveyor, opening up the gap that is required by the counting and stacking machine. Paper lifter 80 and paper leveler 58 cooperate to form a long, tapered, wedge-shaped space, into which the shingled stream of papers continues to crowd as the conveyor continues to advance. The paper leveler keeps the papers from over-running one another, and preserves the shingle, although the length of the shingle is considerably shortened during the operation of the interceptor.
The total time required to open up the gap is only about a second, or less, and upon completion of the gap-forming process, the interceptor releases the papers and allows them to continue moving along on the conveyor. In FIG. 4, the gap is shown at 84, and while this gap may be as much as five to eight inches in distance at the time it is formed, the gap is usually closed up considerably in transferring the papers from faster running conveyors to slower running conveyors, either on the conveyor system leading to the counter-stacker machine, or on the machine, itself.
The interceptor apparatus 10 is actuated by an air cylinder 84 located on the underside of the conveyor frame, adjacent one of the side bars 16. The base of the cylinder 84 is mounted on a shaft 85 extending transversely across the conveyor frame from one side bar to the other, and the piston rod 86 of the cylinder is connected to an arm 88 projecting downwardly from rock shaft 64. The ends of the cylinder are connected by air lines to an electrically operated valve 90, and the latter is connected by a line 92 to a source of air pressure. The valve 90 is actuated by an electrical impulse from an electronic counting circuit on the counting and stacking machine, which determines the spacing between gaps 83.
The operation of the invention is as follows: When an electrical impulse is sent by the electronic counting circuit on the counting and stacking machine to the valve 90, air pressure is admitted to the lower left-hand end of cylinder 84, causing the piston rod 86 to be retracted, which turns the rock shaft 64 in the counterclockwise direction. Push rods 76 raise the downstream ends of the paper lifters 80, while link 68 rocks the shaft 38 in the counterclockwise direction, to lower paper levelers 58 and plungers 50. Plungers 50 pinch down on the papers, pressing the trailing edge of the end paper against the lifters 80 and holding it against being pulled out, while the other papers ahead of the raised papers move on with the conveyor to open up the gap 83. When the gap has been completed, the valve 90 is actuated to allow air cylinder 84 to drop the lifters 80 and raise the levelers 58 and plungers 50. The papers 30 then resume their forward travel on the conveyor.
While we have shown and described in considerable detail what we believe to be the preferred form of the invention, it willbe understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to such details, but might take various other forms within the scope of the following claims. The term papers as used in the claims includes any other material of generally similar characteristics.
, What we claim is:
1. In a conveyor for transporting a continuous stream of shingled papers, an interceptor for opening up gaps at predetermined intervals in said stream of papers, comprising:
a paper lift disposed beneath the stream of papers, and operable when actuated to lift the papers clear of the conveyor;
a vertically movable plunger disposed above said stream of papers, said plunger being operable to move downwardly to engage said papers when they are raised by said lift, said papers being pinched between said plunger and said lift, thereby stopping the papers thus contacted from being dragged along by friction of the underlying papers ahead;
said plunger being carried by a head mounted on a pair of vertically swingable, parallel arms arranged one above the other, said plunger being held perpendicular to the top surface of said papers, and being slidable vertically with respect to said head; and
spring-loading means extending said plunger downwardly, said spring-loading means being compressible when said plunger engages said papers, thereby exerting a yielding spring pressure on the papers.
2. In a conveyor for transporting a continuous stream of shingled papers, an interceptor for opening up gaps at predetermined intervals in said stream of papers, comprising:
a paper lift disposed beneath the stream of papers,
said lift comprising a first elongated member extending parallel to the line of travel of said papers, the downstream end of said member being movable vertically so that it can be elevated to lift the papers clear of the conveyor; vertically movable plunger disposed above said stream of papers and mounted on a pair of vertically swingable, parallel arms arranged one above the other, one of said arms being fixed to a transverse shaft extending across the conveyor above the papers, said plunger being operable to move downwardly to engage said papers when they are raised by said lift, said papers being pinched between said plunger and said lift, thereby stopping the papers thus contacted from being dragged along by friction of the underlying papers ahead; a paper leveler comprising a second elongated member disposed above said stream of papers and extending parallel to the line of travel thereof, said second elongated member being swingably supported on a pair of parallel arms so that it can swing downwardly toward said first elongated member at the same time that the latter is elevated, said first and second elongated members cooperating to form a converging, wedge-shaped space into which the papers are crowded as the conveyor continues to advance;
one of said parallel arms supporting said paper leveler being also fixed to said transverse shaft; and means for rocking said shaft at the same time said lifter is elevated, thereby lowering both said plunger and said paper leveler simultaneously.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said plunger is carried by a head mounted on said pair of vertically swingable, parallel arms said plunger being held perpendicular to the top surface of said papers, and being slidable vertically with respect to said head; and springloading means extending said plunger downwardly, said spring-loading means being compressible when said plunger engages said papers, thereby exerting a yielding spring pressure on the papers.
4. The apparatus of claim 2, which further includes a transverse rock shaft disposed beneath said conveyor,
said rock shaft having a first arm attached thereto which is connected by a link to said downstream end of said paper lift, and a second arm attached to said rock shaft which is connected by link means to said transverse shaft above said papers, whereby rocking movement of said rock shaft causes said paper lift to be raised and said plunger and paper leveler to be lowered simultaneously; and means for rocking said shaft.