Title:
Printer medium or currency thickness / double sheet detection method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Media thickness and double sheet detection system includes a CPU for managing input and outputs to/from each operational module, media input handling and storage hardware, a pickup controller manages the input of media from the media input handling and storage hardware into the system, a speed sensor, detecting the speed of the media moving through the system, a thickness sensor detecting the thickness of the media moving through the system, a direction sensor detecting the movement direction of the media through the system, a friction sensor detecting tension of the media when movement of at least one roller that makes up a pair of complimentary pinch rollers is reversed while the other roller is held in a brake position, and a reverse roller and brake roller control module managing the reversal of the least one pinch roller and braking of the complimentary roller.



Inventors:
Goetz, Ronald J. (Freeport, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/156382
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
06/17/2005
Assignee:
Honeywell International Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H7/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MCCULLOUGH, MICHAEL C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Claims:
1. Media thickness and double sheet detection system, comprising: a CPU for managing input and outputs to/from each operational module; media input handling and storage hardware; a pickup controller manages the input of media from the media input handling and storage hardware into the system; a speed sensor, detecting the speed of the media moving through the system; a thickness sensor detecting the thickness of the media moving through the system; a direction sensor detecting the movement direction of the media through the system; a friction sensor detecting tension of the media when movement of at least one roller that makes up a pair of complimentary pinch rollers is reversed while the other roller is held in a brake position; a reverse roller and brake roller control module managing the reversal of the least one pinch roller and braking of the complimentary roller.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the speed sensor is used to measure linear media travel through the system based on the number of rotations counted at a continuous feed roller located along the media's path.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein upon activation of the thickness sensor, the rollers will stop the forward feed before and prior to reaching the second set of pinch rollers.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the speed and/or direction sensor is collocated with or on the roller system.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein the braking roller is adapted to sense a pinch and stop the reverse motion of the top roller.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein free reversal of the top roller signifies a double sheet condition, and wherein the reversal is also noted by the thickness sensor which register a change in media height after a specified distance equivalent to the reversal.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein the roller mechanism will again feed in the forward direction if a double feed is not indicated, but if a change was registered on the thickness sensor during reverse feed, the media can be considered double feed and can be diverted through the system as invalid.

8. Media thickness and double sheet detection within a media dispending system, comprising: media input handling and storage; a pickup system for moving media from the input handing and storage into a media path within the system, which can provided in the form of a roller mechanism to feed the media down a specified path; continuous feed rollers deployed along the media path; a thickness sensor detecting the thickness of the media moving through the system; a direction sensor detecting the movement direction of the media through the system; a friction sensor detecting tension of the media when movement of at least one roller that makes up a pair of complimentary pinch rollers is reversed while the other roller is held in a brake position; a reverse roller and brake roller control module managing the reversal of the least one pinch roller and braking of the complimentary roller.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the continuous feed rollers are provided in the form of top and bottom pinch roller devices deployed along the media's path.

10. The system of claim 9 further comprising output hardware deployed at the end of the media's path.

11. The system of claim 10 wherein the media output hardware is provided in the form of a slot for at least one of an ATM dispenser or photocopier output tray.

12. The system of claim 8, wherein the media input handing and storage is an input tray.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the thickness and speed/direction sensors can be located in close proximity to the input tray.

14. The system of claim 8 wherein the thickness sensor is at least one of: optical, electronic, mechanical.

15. The system of claim 8 wherein the direction sensor is located near the pickup system.

16. The system of claim 8 wherein the direction sensor is part of the first set of pinch rollers.

17. The system of claim 9 wherein a first set of pinch rollers following at least one of the thickness sensor and/or speed and direction sensor is adapted so that at least one of the top or bottom roller is reversible while the other roller is held in a brake position.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein reversible action by at least one of the rollers and the brake status of the other roller enables the system to measure friction on the surface of the media being moved between the adapted pinch rollers.

19. A method, comprising the steps of: drawing media from storage into the dispensing system; measuring linear media travel within the dispensing system; acquiring first thickness measurement; stopping media at first and second pinch rollers adapted as a double feed sensor; reversing direction of the first pinch roller while maintaining a brake condition at the second pinch roller; and measuring friction on the media using a sensor associated with the second pinch roller; wherein if friction is measured on the media, continue normal job processing, but if friction is not measured on the media then acquire second thickness measurement and compare to first thickness measurement.

20. The method of claim 19, including the step wherein if second thickness measurement is larger than first thickness measurement, then job is terminated.

21. The method of claim 19, including the step wherein if second thickness measurement is the same as the first thickness measurement, then job is continued.

22. The method of claim 19, including the step wherein if second thickness measurement is larger than first thickness measurement, then the media is redirected.

23. The method of claim 19, including the step wherein if second thickness measurement is larger than first thickness measurement, then the system is recalibrated.

24. The method of claim 19, including the step wherein if second thickness measurement is larger than first thickness measurement, then media is considered double feed and is diverted through the system as invalid.

25. The method of claim 19, wherein the method can be repeated until both friction and consistent height readings are obtained from input media.

26. The method of claim 19, wherein the height measurement will be logged for the job and used to validate all future media processing during that job.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is generally related to automated paper dispenser control systems and methods. More particularly, the present invention is related to a system and methods controlling printer/currency medium dispensing utilizing at least one of sheet thickness and sheet handler control.

BACKGROUND

Paper and printer mediums can be multiple thicknesses. Printing systems often experience difficultly dispensing paper without misfeed. Similarly, currency can stick together creating problems when being dispensed.

Printers and other machines that handle thin sheets of media such as paper, plastic laminates and cloth have a tendency to double feed the media. Also, depending on the state of the last job performed, additional media may be left in the machine that is not correct for the next job to be processed.

What is needed are systems and methods that can detect whether the medium being presented is one sheet comprised of a specific thickness, or two or more sheets that can create a false indication of thickness. The present invention can poll the first item processed by the machine to detect and register any variation that may occur during a batch, or new job process.

BRIEF SUMMARY

In accordance with features of the present invention, a method is outlined allowing the first article, or media of a varying thickness to be measured accurately. This measurement can then be stored and used to determine and gauge future measurements as they relate to processing a job. In this case, job refers to the manipulation of the media from an input location to an output location.

In accordance with the embodiment, a media thickness and double sheet detection system includes a CPU for managing input and outputs to/from each operational module, media input handling and storage hardware, a pickup controller manages the input of media from the media input handling and storage hardware into the system, a speed sensor, detecting the speed of the media moving through the system, a thickness sensor detecting the thickness of the media moving through the system, a direction sensor detecting the movement direction of the media through the system, a friction sensor detecting tension of the media when movement of at least one roller that makes up a pair of complimentary pinch rollers is reversed while the other roller is held in a brake position, and a reverse roller and brake roller control module managing the reversal of at least one pinch roller and braking of the complimentary roller.

In accordance with a method of carrying out the embodiment, a method is provided including the steps of drawing media from storage into the dispensing system, measuring linear media travel within the dispensing system, acquiring first thickness measurement, stopping media at first and second pinch rollers adapted as a double feed sensor, reversing direction of the first pinch roller while maintaining a brake condition at the second pinch roller, measuring friction on the media using a sensor associated with the second pinch roller, wherein if friction is measured on the media, continue normal job processing, but if friction is not measured on the media then acquire second thickness measurement and compare to first thickness measurement.

The described procedure will also take into account if the first item in the media movement process is in a fault, or “double sheet” condition.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The accompanying figures, in which like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally similar elements throughout the separate views and which are incorporated in and form part of the specification, further illustrate embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates modules of a media thickness and double sheet detection system.

FIG. 2 illustrates components of a media thickness and double sheet detection system.

FIG. 3 illustrates a method of carrying out an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The particular values and configurations discussed in these non-limiting examples can be varied and are cited merely to illustrate at least one embodiment of the present invention and are not intended to limit the scope thereof.

To make and use the invention as intended, a method of speed and direction will be required. Similarly, a method to do accurate thickness measurements will also be required. When used in combination the speed and direction will help to measure and stop the first item long enough to poll the thickness, query the media using a reverse friction process and re-poll the thickness in its new state.

Referring to FIG. 1, modules of a media thickness and double sheet detection system 100 are illustrated. The system 100, whether an ATM machine, photocopier, or manufacturing process, includes a CPU 110 for managing input and outputs to/from each operational module. A pickup controller 170 manages the input of media (e.g., form a tray) into the system. A speed sensor 120, detects the speed of the media moving through the system. A thickness sensor 130 detects the thickness of the media moving through the system. The thickness sensor 130 can be provided in the form of an optical, an electronic or a mechanical. A direction sensor 140 detects the direction of media's movement through the system. A friction sensor 150 detects tension of the media when the movement of at least one roller that makes up a pair of complimentary pinch rollers is reversed while the other roller is held in a brake position. A reverse roller 170 and brake roller 180 control modules can be provided to manage the reversal of the least one pinch roller and braking of the complimentary roller.

Referring to FIG. 2, components of a media thickness and double sheet detection system 200 in accordance with the embodiment is illustrated. Large media handling devices, such as photocopiers, have a tray 210 (or in the case of cash dispensing systems, automatic teller machines), which can be referred to as a media input handling and storage device. To move the media 205 a pickup system 215 is employed, which can provided in the form of a roller mechanism to feed the media down a specified path. The media path will generally include continuous feed rollers 220. Continuous feed rollers 220 typically are provided in the form of top and bottom pinch roller devices deployed along the media's path through the dispensing system, wherein the media passes between oppositely rotating rollers that move the media along the path. At the end of the media's path is media output hardware 230. The media output hardware 230 can be in the form of a slot (e.g., as with ATM dispenser) or tray (e.g. as with photocopiers).

In accordance with features of the embodiment, thickness 240, speed 345 and direction 247 sensors can be located in close proximity to the input tray 210. The thickness sensor 230 can be optically based. The speed 245 and direction 247 sensor 235 can be located near or as part of the pickup system 215, and/or as part of the first set of pinch rollers. The first set of pinch rollers 225 following at least one of the thickness sensor 240 and/or speed 245 and/or direction 247 sensors is/are adapted so that at least one of the top or bottom roller is reversible while the other roller is held in a brake position. Reversible action by at least one of the complementary rollers and the brake status of the other roller enables the system to measure friction on the surface of the media being moved between the adapted pinch rollers 225.

Referring to the flow diagram 300 of FIG. 3, a method of carrying out an embodiment is shown. Upon start up of a job in a media dispensing system, media is initially drawn into the system as shown in block 310. As discussed above initial media pickup can be from a tray using pickup rollers. As shown in block 320, linear media travel within the system is measured. Speed sensors described above can be used to measure linear media travel based on the number of rotations counted at any of the continuous feed rollers located along the media's path. Upon activation of the thickness sensor, the rollers will stop the forward feed before and prior to reaching the second set of pinch rollers. As shown in block 330, a thickness measurement is acquired and stored for future comparison. As shown in block 340, the media can be stopped at pinch rollers adapted as double feed sensors. As described in the system above, pinch rollers can be adapted so that one roller is reversed while the other is maintained in a brake condition. As shown in block 350, a brake condition is maintained on the bottom pinch roller, while the top roller will be reversed for a short distance. It should be appreciated that the top roller could be placed in a brake condition instead while the bottom roller is reversed for step 350.

As shown in decision triangle 360, if a high level of friction is placed on the bottom roller, (pinch resistance), then the job processing continues as shown in block 370. But if high friction is not sensed, it can be determined as decision block 380 whether increased thickness was acquired (sensed) in block 330. If so, the job will terminate 385. If not, the system can be programmed so that the job will continue at block 370, or the job can also be terminated if friction determined at decision block 360 is given higher weight than decision block 380. The process can then end as indicated at block 390 or continue from the beginning at block 310 with the next sheet of media.

During friction analysis as shown in block 370, a speed and direction sensor can be collocated with or on the roller system. The braking roller can be adapted to sense a pinch and stop the reverse motion of the top roller. If the top roller reverses freely, it would signify a double sheet condition as the two media separate and the top media slides backwards with the roller. This reversal would also be noted by the thickness sensor which can register a change in media height after a specified distance equivalent to the reversal. The roller mechanism will again feed in the forward direction. If a change was registered on the thickness sensor during reverse feed, the media can be considered double feed and can be diverted through the system as invalid.

The process can be repeated until both friction and consistent height readings are obtained from input media. At this point, the height measurement will be logged for the job and used to validate all future media processing during that job.

It will be appreciated that various of the above-disclosed and other features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably combined into many other different systems or applications. Also that various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives, modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be encompassed by the following claims.





 
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