Title:
Feeding direction altering device for documents
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A feeding direction altering device for documents comprising a receiving device having a bottom plate and a top plate that form a gap therebetween to receive a document to be fed thereinto; a first transmitting mechanism provided on the receiving device for transmitting the document along a Y direction; a positioning device for positioning the document; and a second transmitting mechanism for transmitting the document along an X direction and out from the feeding direction altering device; wherein the Y direction and the X direction are substantially perpendicular to each other.



Inventors:
Hsieh, Elton (Hsin-Chu, TW)
Application Number:
10/342834
Publication Date:
07/24/2003
Filing Date:
01/15/2003
Assignee:
HSIEH ELTON
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
271/185
International Classes:
B65H29/12; (IPC1-7): B65H29/00; B65H5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BOWER, KENNETH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A feeding direction altering device for documents comprising: a receiving device having a bottom plate and a top plate that form a gap therebetween to receive a document to be fed thereinto; a first transmitting mechanism provided on the receiving device for transmitting the document along a Y direction; a positioning device for positioning the document transmitted by the first transmitting device; and a second transmitting mechanism for transmitting the document positioned by the positioning device along an X direction and out from the feeding direction altering device; wherein the Y direction and the X direction are substantially perpendicular to each other.

2. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 1, wherein the first transmitting mechanism includes a first power source and a first set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, the first set of rolls is provided below the bottom plate and is partially exposed to the gap; the feeding direction altering device further comprises a plurality of balls which are provided above the top plate and are partially exposed to the gap, and the balls are located at locations where the first set of rolls are provided.

3. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 2, wherein the positioning device includes a stop plate and two first sensors which are located substantially parallel with the stop plate for detecting the document traveling along the Y direction, the first power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the two first sensors.

4. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 1, wherein the second transmitting mechanism includes a second power source and at least one set of a second set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, each set of the second set of rolls including two rolls arranged above the top plate and below the bottom plate, respectively.

5. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 4, wherein the at least one set of the second set of rolls includes two sets of rolls, one set thereof has two rolls being in the shape of a complete cylinder; the other set thereof has at least one roll being in the shape of a partially cut cylinder so that the two rolls thereof are not in contact with each other for a certain period during rotation.

6. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 5, further comprising a second sensor for detecting the set of rolls in the shape of partially cut cylinder; the second power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the second sensor.

7. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 5, wherein the set of rolls in the shape of complete cylinders is further connected with a one-way bearing.

8. A feeding direction altering device for documents comprising: a receiving device having a bottom plate and a top plate that form a gap therebetween to receive a document to be fed thereinto; a first transmitting mechanism provided on the receiving device for transmitting the document along a Y direction; the first transmitting mechanism includes a first power source and a first set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, the first set of rolls is provided below the bottom plate and is partially exposed to the gap; the feeding direction altering device further comprises a plurality of balls which are provided above the top plate and are partially exposed to the gap, and the balls are located at locations where the first set of rolls are provided; a positioning device for positioning the document transmitted by the first transmitting device; and a second transmitting mechanism for transmitting the document positioned by the positioning device along an X direction and out from the feeding direction altering device; the second transmitting mechanism includes a second power source and at least one set of a second set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, each set of the second set of rolls including two rolls arranged above the top plate and below the bottom plate, respectively; wherein the Y direction and the X direction are substantially perpendicular to each other.

9. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 8, wherein the positioning device includes a stop plate and two first sensors which are located substantially parallel with the stop plate for detecting the document traveling along the Y direction; the first power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the two first sensors.

10. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 8, wherein the at least one set of the second set of rolls includes two sets of rolls, one set thereof has two rolls being in the shape of a complete cylinder; the other set thereof has at least one roll being in the shape of a partially cut cylinder so that the two rolls thereof are not in contact with each other for a certain period during rotation.

11. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 10, further comprising a second sensor for detecting the set of rolls in the shape of partially cut cylinder; the second power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the second sensor.

12. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 10, wherein the set of rolls in the shape of complete cylinders is further connected with a one-way bearing.

13. A feeding direction altering device for documents comprising: a receiving device having a bottom plate and a top plate that form a gap therebetween to receive a document to be fed thereinto; a first transmitting mechanism provided on the receiving device for transmitting the document along a Y direction; a positioning device for positioning the document transmitted by the first transmitting mechanism; the positioning device includes a stop plate and two first sensors which are located substantially parallel with the stop plate for detecting the document traveling along the Y direction; the first power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the two first sensors; and a second transmitting mechanism for transmitting the document along an X direction and out from the feeding direction altering device; wherein the Y direction and the X direction are substantially perpendicular to each other.

14. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 13, wherein the first transmitting mechanism includes a first power source and a first set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, the first set of rolls is provided below the bottom plate and is partially exposed to the gap; the feeding direction altering device further comprises a plurality of balls which are provided above the top plate and are partially exposed to the gap, and the balls are located at locations where the first set of rolls are provided.

15. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 13, wherein the second transmitting mechanism includes a second power source and at least one set of a second set of rolls connected therewith and driven thereby, each set of the second set of rolls including two rolls arranged above the top plate and below the bottom plate, respectively.

16. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 15, wherein the at least one set of the second set of rolls includes two sets of rolls, one set thereof has two rolls being in the shape of a complete cylinder; the other set thereof has at least one roll being in the shape of a partially cut cylinder so that the two rolls thereof are not in contact with each other for a certain period during rotation.

17. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 16, further comprising a second sensor for detecting the set of rolls in the shape of partially cut cylinder; the second power source is electrically connected with and controlled by the second sensor.

18. The feeding direction altering device according to claim 16, wherein the set of rolls in the shape of complete cylinders is further connected with a one-way bearing.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] This invention is related to a feeding direction altering device for documents. The documents may be printed paper or other types of medium. The device of this invention is primarily utilized in a series of document processing apparatus for altering the feeding direction of the documents coming out from a first document processing apparatus, such as a printer, tearing machine, press machine, folding machine or paper feeder, so that a second document processing apparatus, such as, folding machine, enveloping machine, printer or press machine etc., may perform subsequent series of operations continuously.

[0005] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0006] With the rapid growth of civilization, the consumption of various types of documents increases drastically. Thus, there has been a need for automatic and continuous processing techniques for the documents. Currently, there are devices which can automatically fold a document and put the folded document into an envelope. However, during an actual operation, the documents still need to be manually transferred from the printer to the folding machine or the enveloping machine. So far, it is still not possible to have the documents coming out from the printer being automatically and continuously folded and put into the envelopes. One of the reasons that such a continuous operation cannot be performed is that the feeding direction of the documents coming out from the printer is different from the desired feeding direction into subsequent document processing apparatus, such as the folding machine. Another reason is that the document coming out from the printer may be tilted and the pieces of the document are not neatly stacked together. Therefore, it is necessary to manually arrange the documents prior to subsequent operations.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] A primary objective of this invention is to provide a feeding direction altering device to alter the feeding direction of documents, for example, from landscape to portrait, or vice versa. Thus, various document processing apparatus may be connected together by incorporating the feeding direction altering device of the present invention and thus, the documents can completely be automatically processed.

[0008] Another objective of this invention is that if the document is tilted prior to entering the device of this invention or during the transporting process within the device of this invention, the document can be adjusted automatically so that it is accurately fed in the desired direction to subsequent document processing apparatus.

[0009] The primary technical contents of this invention are related to a feeding direction altering device for documents comprising: a receiving device having a bottom plate and a top plate that form a gap therebetween to receive a document to be fed thereinto; a first transmitting mechanism provided on the receiving device for transmitting the document along a Y direction; a positioning device for positioning the document; and a second transmitting mechanism for transmitting the document along an X direction and out from the feeding direction altering device; wherein the Y direction and the X direction are substantially perpendicular to each other.

[0010] The structures and characteristics of this invention can be realized by referring to the appended drawings and explanations of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing the appearance of one preferred embodiment according to the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a schematic exploded view showing the preferred embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a schematic assembly view showing the preferred embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a schematic cross-sectional side view showing a part of the preferred embodiment;

[0015] FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of FIG. 4, showing the arrangement of the balls and the first set of rolls;

[0016] FIG. 6 is an enlarged view showing the rolls of the second set of rolls in separated status according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 7 is an enlarged view showing the rolls of the second set of rolls in contact with each other;

[0018] FIG. 8 is a schematic view showing the document to be fed into the device according to the preferred embodiment of this invention; and

[0019] FIG. 9 is a schematic view showing the document to be fed out from the device according to the preferred embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0020] This invention relates to a feeding direction altering device for documents and one of the preferred embodiments is shown in FIGS. 1 to 9. The device comprises a receiving device having a bottom plate 10 and a top plate 20 that form a gap 30 therebetween, as can be seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. One end of the bottom plate 10 and the top plate 20 slightly incline away from each other, as illustrated in FIG. 4, so as to provide an easy access for the document to be fed into the device. A first transmitting mechanism is provided below the bottom plate 10, as shown in FIGS. 2 to 4. The first transmitting mechanism includes a first power source 40, such as a motor, and a first set of rolls 42 connected therewith and driven thereby. Each of the rolls can be transmitted and rotated by the connection of belts 44. A plurality of square holes 12 (FIG. 2) are provided on the bottom plate 10, such that the first set of rolls 42 is partially exposed to the gap 30, as shown in FIG. 5. A plurality of balls 22 are installed above the top plate 20 and are partially exposed to the gap 30 through the circular holes 24 (FIG. 2) formed on the top plate 20. The ball 22 is positioned within a holder 26 such that the ball 22 can only move up and down or rotate within the holder 26. The positions for the first set of rolls 42 and the balls 22 correspond to each other, as shown in the enlarged views of FIGS. 4 and 5. When there is no document present between the balls 22 and the first set of rolls 42, the balls 22 downwardly resist against the first set of rolls 42 by gravity.

[0021] A positioning device is provided on the other side of the bottom plate 10 and the top plate 20. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the positioning device includes a stop plate 50 and two first sensors 52 which are located substantially parallel with the stop plate 50. The first sensors 52 are provided below the bottom plate 10 and are used to detect the situation in the gap 30 through the small holes 15 of the bottom plate 10. The first sensors 52 are further electrically connected with the first power source 40 for controlling the first power source 40.

[0022] The device of this invention further comprises a second transmitting mechanism, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, including a second power source 60, such as a motor, and at least one set, such as two sets of second sets of rolls 62 and 64 in the present preferred embodiment. The two second sets of rolls 62 and 64 are connected with the second power source 60 and driven thereby. Each set of the second sets of rolls 62 and 64 includes two rolls which are respectively arranged above a cover plate 21, provided substantially parallel with the top plate 20, and below the bottom plate 10. Each roll is adapted to rotation. In the present preferred embodiment, the cover plate 21 is separate from the top plate 20 for easy assembly and maintenance of the device. However, they may be integrally formed and do not have any effect on the features of this invention. Elongated holes 23 and 13 are provided on the cover plate 21 and the bottom plate 10 respectively and corresponding to each other. The second sets of rolls 62 and 64 may further be pressed by springs 74 to be in resilient contact with each other through the elongated holes 23 and 13.

[0023] One set of rolls 62 has two rolls being in the shape of a complete cylinder; the other set of rolls 64 has at least one roll being in the shape of a partially cut cylinder. In the present preferred embodiment, the two rolls of the set of rolls 64 are both in the shape of a partially cut cylinder, so that the two rolls 64 are not in contact with each other for a certain period during rotation, as can be seen in FIGS. 6 and 7. Of course, the rolls 64 may be in other shape different from those shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The set of rolls 64 is further connected with a sensible element 66, as shown in FIG. 2, which is under synchronous rotation with the set of rolls 64. When the sensible element 66 passes through a second sensor 68, the sensible element 66 will be detected by the second sensor 68 and thus, the rotating position of the set of rolls 64 is detected. The second power source 60 is electrically connected with and controlled by the second sensor 68.

[0024] As illustrated in FIGS. 4, 8 and 9, for performing the transportation and direction-altering of the document, a document 70 coming out from a printer (not shown) is directly fed into the gap 30 between the bottom plate 10 and the top plate 20 along a Y direction, as can be seen in FIGS. 4 and 8. After entering the device of this invention, the document 70 continues to be moved along the Y direction by the rotation of the first set of rolls 42, in association with the friction force between the document 70 and the rolls 42 introduced by the weight of the balls 22 pressing on the document. The friction forces between the first set of rolls 42, the balls 22 and the document 70, are set to be smaller than the friction force between the rolls of previous document processing apparatus, such as the printer, so that the document 70 will not be improperly pulled by the device of this invention prior to complete separation from the printer. As the document is 70 transported by the first set of rolls 42 and the balls 22, it gradually moves toward the stop plate 50 at the end of the path. The stop plate 50 is used to stop and position the document 70. According to the design of the device of the preferred embodiment, only if the two first sensors 52, which are substantially parallel with the stop plate 50 and located below the bottom plate 10, are both covered by the document 70, the document 70 is deemed as detected by the two first sensors 52 and then the first power source 40 will be stopped. Thus, if the document 70 is deviated in the feeding direction, either prior to entering the device or during the transporting process within the device, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the first power source 40 will keep driving the rotation of the first set of rolls 42, until the edge of the document 70 is completely in contact with the stop plate 50. Accordingly, the device according to the present preferred embodiment is able to ensure the accuracy of the output feeding direction of the document 70. The first sensors 52 or the first power source 40 may be further electrically connected with the second power source 60. After the document 70 arrives at the accurate position besides the stop plate 50, the second power source 60 will be started to feed the document 70 along an X direction, as shown in FIG. 9. The X direction is substantially perpendicular to the Y direction. Thus, the feeding direction of the document 70 is altered.

[0025] In the present preferred embodiment, the set of rolls 64 is in the shape of a partially cut cylinder, so that the two rolls 64 are separated and not in contact with each other when the rolls 64 are not rotated, as shown in the enlarged view of FIG. 6. Thus, the document 70 can be moved freely into the gap between the two rolls 64 when it is fed along the Y direction shown in FIG. 8. After the second power source 60 is activated, the set of rolls 64 is rotated and comes in contact with the document 70 to transport the same. As a result, the set of rolls 64 and the other set of rolls 62 are employed to feed the document 70 along the X direction shown in FIG. 9. During the rotation of the set of rolls 64, the sensible element 66 shown in FIG. 2 is rotated synchronously. After a complete rotation, the sensible element 66 will be detected by the second sensor 68. The second power source 60 of the present embodiment is set to be stopped when the set of rolls 64 completes an integral number of rotations, such as once or twice. That is, the second power source 60 is stopped after the second sensor 68 detects the sensible element 66 once or twice. At this time, the set of rolls 64 is back to the stopped condition as illustrated in FIG. 6, in which the two rolls 64 are separated and not in contact with each other, so as to allow the incoming feeding of next document 70. In the present preferred embodiment, the set of rolls 62 is connected with a one-way bearing 72, such that when the second power source 60 is activated, the set of rolls 62 is actively and synchronously rotated for transporting the document 70; after the second power source 60 stops, the set of rolls 62 can still be rotated passively and independently. Thus, after the document 70 enters a next document processing document (not shown in the figures) and is pulled thereby, the set of rolls 62 may be rotated synchronously by adjusting the rotation speed thereof according to the feeding speed of the next document processing apparatus. Accordingly, the document will not be improperly pulled between the next document processing apparatus and the device of this embodiment due to different feeding speed.

[0026] By the above device, this invention is able to alter the feeding direction of the document 70, for example, from landscape to portrait, or vise versa. Accordingly, various document processing apparatus may be connected in series by employing the present feeding direction altering device for document and thus, the documents may be processed in a completely automatic manner. In addition, if the feeding direction of the document 70 is slightly deviated, it can be automatically adjusted by the device of this invention so that the document may be accurately transported along the desired direction to the subsequent document processing apparatus.

[0027] This invention is related to a novel creation that makes a breakthrough in conventional art. Aforementioned explanations, however, are directed to the description of preferred embodiments according to this invention. Various changes and implementations can be made by persons skilled in the art without departing from the technical concept of this invention. Since this invention is not limited to the specific details described in connection with the preferred embodiments, changes to certain features of the preferred embodiments without altering the overall basic function of the invention are contemplated within the scope of the appended claims.

Sequence Listing

[0028] 10 bottom plate

[0029] 12 square holes

[0030] 13 elongated holes

[0031] 15 small holes

[0032] 20 top plate

[0033] 21 cover plate

[0034] 22 balls

[0035] 23 elongated holes

[0036] 24 circular holes

[0037] 26 holder

[0038] 30 gap

[0039] 40 first power source

[0040] 42 first set of rolls

[0041] 44 belts

[0042] 50 stop plate

[0043] 52 first sensor

[0044] 60 second power source

[0045] 62 second set of rolls

[0046] 64 second set of rolls

[0047] 66 sensible element

[0048] 68 second sensor

[0049] 70 document

[0050] 72 one-way bearing

[0051] 74 springs