Browse Prior Art Database

Edge Feed Loader for Mail Transport

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000086113D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, TL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A stack of mail pieces, to be fed singly into an address-reading or sorting machine, may contain randomly intermixed items from postcard size to 6.35mm thick legal-size envelopes. It is difficult to maintain a correct force and obtain immediate response to increase the edge-feed rate to prevent skipped feed cycles, both contributing to possible double or multiple feeds and to a decrease of the available throughput.

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Edge Feed Loader for Mail Transport

A stack of mail pieces, to be fed singly into an address-reading or sorting machine, may contain randomly intermixed items from postcard size to 6.35mm thick legal-size envelopes. It is difficult to maintain a correct force and obtain immediate response to increase the edge-feed rate to prevent skipped feed cycles, both contributing to possible double or multiple feeds and to a decrease of the available throughput.

Fig. 1 is a side view of a loader having two cascaded sets of drive chains and a stack-position sensor. Silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) controlled motor 10 drives input belt 11, trained about input drive shaft 12. Shaft 12 drives rear chains 13 at a constant speed whenever motor 10 is turned on. Shorter front chains 14 are normally driven at the same tangential speed as chains 13 by input drive shaft 12. Overrunning clutch 15 on drive shaft 12 (shown in Fig. 2), however, allows constantly running motor 16 and idler assembly 17 to drive front chains 14 at a higher speed via pneumatic clutch 18 and belt 19.

Chains 13 and 14 drive edged mail stack 20 toward pressure plate 21 against a reaction force indicated schematically at 22. When a mail piece is close enough, reflective proximity sensor 23 clutches vacuum feeder 24 to remove it from stack 20. Motor 10 detects the immediate reduction in reaction force on plate 21 through a conventional maximum-torque sensing circuitry, not shown. The maximum torque is set low eno...