Title:
Sheet media storage device and sheet media processing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sheet media processing device has a storage pocket. A feed roller for conveying checks into the storage pocket is disposed beside the upstream-side end wall of the storage pocket. The feed roller has a main roller part and a small roller part that is smaller in diameter than the main roller part. A reverse feed prevention plate disposed to the end wall covers at least part of the gap between the end wall and the feed roller. The distal end of the reverse feed prevention plate extends to a position between the outside surface of the main roller part and the outside surface of the small roller part.



Inventors:
Takami, Toru (Shiojiri-shi, JP)
Uehara, Shigehiko (Shiojiri-shi, JP)
Application Number:
12/221282
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
08/01/2008
Assignee:
Seiko Epson Corporation (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H29/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GONZALEZ, LUIS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NUTTER MCCLENNEN & FISH LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sheet media storage device comprising: a storage pocket for storing sheet media; and a feed roller for conveying the sheet media into the storage pocket; wherein the storage pocket has a reverse feed prevention member that closes at least a part of a gap between the storage pocket and the feed roller.

2. The sheet media storage device described in claim 1, wherein: the feed roller includes a main roller and a small roller part that is smaller in diameter than the main roller; and the reverse feed prevention member extends from the storage pocket toward an outside surface of the small roller part.

3. The sheet media storage device described in claim 1, wherein: the feed roller includes a main roller and a small roller part that is smaller in diameter than the main roller; the reverse feed prevention member extends from the storage pocket toward an outside surface of the small roller part; and a width of a distal end part of the reverse feed prevention member is substantially equal to or slightly smaller than a width of the small roller part.

4. The sheet media storage device described in claim 1, wherein: the feed roller has a feed pin protruding radially from an outside surface of the feed roller.

5. The sheet media storage device described in claim 1, further comprising: a pressure roller that pushes the sheet media to the feed roller.

6. A sheet media processing device comprising: a sheet media transportation path for conveying sheet media; and a sheet media storage device as described in claim 1 for storing the sheet media conveyed through the sheet media transportation path.

7. A sheet media storage device comprising: a storage pocket for storing sheet media; and a feed roller for conveying the sheet media into the storage pocket; wherein the storage pocket has a reverse feed prevention guide surface spanning from an upstream end wall of the storage pocket to an end part of the feed roller.

8. The sheet media storage device described in claim 7, wherein: the reverse feed prevention guide surface is positioned near a tangent to an outside surface of the feed roller.

9. The sheet media storage device described in claim 7, wherein: the feed roller has a feed pin protruding radially from an outside surface of the feed roller.

10. The sheet media storage device described in claim 7, further comprising: a pressure roller that pushes the sheet media to the feed roller.

11. A sheet media processing device comprising: a sheet media transportation path for conveying sheet media; and a sheet media storage device as described in claim 7 for storing the sheet media conveyed through the sheet media transportation path.

12. The sheet media storage device described in claim 2, wherein the reverse feed prevention member is a reverse feed prevention plate (53) that extends between an outside surface of the main roller (41) and an outside surface of the small roller (42).

13. The sheet media storage device described in claim 2, wherein a plurality of small roller parts (42) are disposed along an axial length of the feed roller (40).

14. The sheet media storage device described in claim 2, wherein the reverse feed prevention member is a reverse feed prevention plate (53) that is disposed perpendicular to a rotational axis of the feed roller (40).

Description:

Priority is claimed under 35 U.S.C. ยง119 from Japanese Patent Application Nos. 2007-203869 and 2007-203870 filed on Aug. 6, 2007, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a sheet media processing device such as a check processing device, and to a sheet media storage device that is used in the sheet media processing device. The invention relates more particularly to an improved sheet media storage device that delivers sheet media into a storage pocket by means of a feed roller.

2. Description of Related Art

Banks and other financial institutions use check processing devices (also called check readers) to image the checks and read magnetic ink characters to capture information from checks, promissory notes, and other check-like negotiable instruments, and to sort the checks based on the acquired information. Check imaging and magnetic ink character reading occurs while the check is conveyed through the transportation path of the check reading device. After the reading process is completed, the checks are collected and temporarily stored in a check storage device (sheet media storage device) located at the downstream end of the transportation path. The check storage device has a check storage pocket shaped like a long narrow box corresponding to the shape of the checks. A feed roller disposed at the upstream end of the check storage pocket conveys the checks into the storage pocket. See, for example, the check reading devices taught in United States Patent Application 2004/0257626 and Japanese Unexamined Patent Appl. Pub. JP-A-2004-206362.

The checks are read while being conveyed standing on their edges through a transportation path formed as a long narrow vertical slot. When processing is completed, the checks are delivered into the check storage pocket by the feed roller for storage with the checks still on their edges. So that this feed roller for discharging the checks into the storage pocket can reliably convey the checks, the checks are pressed by a pressure roller to the feed roller for discharge into the check storage pocket. The checks deposited in the check storage pocket are pushed to one side wall of the check storage pocket and are stored standing on their edges stacked sequentially from the side wall. A feed roller with external protrusions is used so that the feed roller can reliably advance the checks. See, for example, the check reading device having a feed roller with external protrusions described in Japanese Unexamined Patent Appl. Pub. JP-A-2005-161844.

The feed roller is disposed at one end of the end wall defining the upstream end wall of the storage pocket so that approximately half of the outside surface of the roller protrudes from the end wall into the storage pocket. The outside surface part of the feed roller that protrudes into the storage pocket pushes the checks or other sheet media from this end of the pocket into the storage pocket and stacks the media against the other sheet media that are already in the storage pocket.

A gap is formed between the edge of the end wall of the storage pocket and the outside surface of the feed roller on the opposite side as the side that advances the sheet media. This gap prevents interference between the outside surface of the rotating feed roller and the edge of the end wall of the storage pocket. The outside surface of the feed roller rotates in the direction travelling from inside the storage pocket through this gap to outside the storage pocket. As a result, if the end of a sheet medium already stored in the storage pocket contacts the outside surface of the feed roller, the feed roller could cause the sheet medium to reverse toward the gap. If the sheet medium is returned by the feed roller toward the gap and then enters this gap, the sheet medium could be torn or crumpled. The sheet medium could also become stuck at the end wall of the storage pocket in the gap, thereby preventing the next sheet medium from entering the pocket and causing a paper jam at the entrance to the storage pocket.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sheet media storage device according to at least one embodiment of the invention prevents sheet media stored in the storage pocket from becoming stuck in the gap between the end wall of the storage pocket and the feed roller.

A sheet media processing device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention uses this novel sheet media storage device.

A sheet media storage device according to a first aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention has a storage pocket of a predetermined depth for storing sheet media standing upright; an upstream end wall that renders the upstream end wall of the storage pocket on the upstream side in the sheet media transportation direction; and a feed roller that is disposed adjacent to the upstream end wall and conveys the sheet media into the storage pocket. At least a part of the outside surface of the feed roller protrudes from the end wall into the storage pocket. A reverse feed prevention member disposed to the end wall closes at least a part of the gap between the end wall of the storage pocket and the feed roller and thus prevents sheet media conveyed into the storage pocket from being picked and moved in reverse into this gap between the end wall and the feed roller.

Sheet media already stored in the storage pocket can thus be prevented from being fed back into the gap between the feed roller and the upstream end wall of the storage pocket and being torn or crumpled. In addition, because sheet media cannot be reversed into and trapped in this gap at the upstream end of the storage pocket and the path for the next sheet medium advanced into the storage pocket is therefore not blocked, the sheet media are prevented from jamming at the upstream entrance to the storage pocket.

In a sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the feed roller includes a main roller and at least one small roller part that is smaller in diameter than the main roller, at least part of the outside surface of the feed roller protrudes from the upstream end wall of the storage pocket to the inside of the storage pocket, the reverse feed prevention member projects from the upstream end wall toward the outside surface of the small roller part, and the distal end of the reverse feed prevention member extends to a position between the outside surface of the main roller and the outside surface of the small roller part.

In this aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the distal end of the reverse feed prevention member is positioned radially to the inside from the outside surface of the main roller. The reverse feed prevention member thus partially closes the gap between the feed roller and the end wall, and the sheet media are prevented from entering this gap even if the feed roller conveys the sheet medium to the gap. Sheet media pulled by contact with the outside surface of the feed roller to this gap are also prevented from slipping into this gap from between the reverse feed prevention member and the outside surface of the main roller.

In a sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the small roller part has a predetermined width along the rotational axis of the feed roller, the reverse feed prevention member is a flat member of a constant width extending from the end wall toward the outside surface of the feed roller, and the width of the distal end side of the reverse feed prevention member is equal to or less than the width of the small roller part.

This aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, partially closes a specific width of the gap between the end wall of the storage pocket and the main roller part of the feed roller. The distal end of the reverse feed prevention member is thus disposed near the outside surface of the small roller part without interfering with the main roller part of the feed roller. Sheet media can thus be reliably prevented from entering the gap.

In a sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the feed roller has a plurality of small roller parts disposed with a predetermined gap therebetween along the axis of rotation, and reverse feed prevention members equal in number to the number of small roller parts are disposed to the end wall. Providing a plurality of reverse feed prevention members reliably prevents the sheet media from reversing into the gap.

In a sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the small roller part is preferably disposed near the top end of the rotational axis of the feed roller. Because the sheet media are conveyed standing on edge into the storage pocket, the top edge part may be free and the top edge of the sheet media can easily enter the gap. If the small roller part is rendered at the top end of the feed roller and the reverse feed prevention member is disposed on this small roller part, the sheet media can be reliably prevented from being caught by the feed roller and reversed into the gap.

In a sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, the feed roller has feed pins projecting radially to the outside from the outside surface of the main roller part at both top and bottom ends in the rotational axis direction. These feed pins push the trailing end of the sheet medium conveyed into the storage pocket by the feed roller from the entrance to the side inside the storage pocket. This assures a path for the next sheet medium conveyed into the storage pocket, prevents the next sheet medium from colliding with the trailing end part of the preceding sheet medium, and thus prevents paper jams.

When such feed pins are disposed on the feed roller, the feed pins of the feed roller can easily pick the trailing end of a previously stored sheet medium, and the possibility that sheet media will be reversed into the gap increases. However, the reverse feed prevention member of at least one embodiment of the invention reliably prevents sheet media from being picked and fed into the gap even when such feed pins are disposed to the feed roller.

If the feed pins are formed at both ends of the main roller, a pressure roller preferably pushes the sheet medium to the main roller. The pressure roller pressing the sheet medium to the feed roller causes the sheet medium to be curved as it is fed into the storage pocket. This curvature makes the conveyed sheet medium effectively stiffer, and thus prevents the sheet medium from sagging or drooping as it is conveyed. Sheet media previously stored in the storage pocket are also prevented from interfering with the following curved sheet medium, and paper jams are thus prevented.

A sheet media processing device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention has a sheet media transportation path for conveying sheet media, and the sheet media storage device described above for storing the sheet media conveyed through the sheet media transportation path.

A sheet media storage device according to another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention has a storage pocket for storing sheet media, and a feed roller for conveying the sheet media into the storage pocket. The storage pocket has a reverse feed prevention guide surface spanning from the upstream end wall of the storage pocket to the end part of the feed roller.

Preferably, a reverse feed prevention guide surface that is part of the storage pocket and is disposed on the upstream end wall of the storage pocket prevents sheet media from being pulled into the gap after the sheet media are stored in the storage pocket. The reverse feed prevention guide surface is preferably formed toward the end part at a position offset to the outside of the feed roller along the axis of rotation.

If the end of a sheet medium stored in the storage pocket contacts the feed roller and is conveyed by the feed roller toward the gap, the one end of the sheet medium stops against the reverse feed prevention guide surface before entering the gap. The sheet medium is then guided by the reverse feed prevention guide surface as it is pushed to the end wall inside the storage pocket without entering the gap. This reverse feed prevention guide surface and the reverse feed prevention member thus reliably prevent sheet media from entering the gap.

The reverse feed prevention guide surface is preferably positioned near a tangent to the outside surface of the feed roller. This prevents the trailing end part of sheet media stored in the storage pocket from contacting the outside surface of the feed roller rotating toward the gap, and reliably prevents the sheet media from being pulled into this gap.

Further preferably the reverse feed prevention guide surface is preferably formed on both axial ends of the feed roller. The respective reverse feed prevention guide surfaces thus guide both top and bottom edges of the sheet medium pulled by the feed roller toward the gap, and reliably prevent the sheet medium from being wound into the gap.

Further preferably the feed roller has a feed pin protruding radially to the outside from the outside surface of the feed roller.

Yet further preferably, a pressure roller pushes the sheet media to the main roller part of the feed roller.

Another aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention is a sheet media processing device for processing checks and other types of sheet media, which has a sheet media transportation path for conveying checks and other sheet media, and a sheet media storage device for storing the sheet media conveyed through the sheet media transportation path, which sheet media storage device is the sheet media storage device described above.

This sheet media processing device according to at least one embodiment of the invention stores the processed sheet media in the sheet media storage device without tearing or crumpling the sheet media. The sheet media are also prevented from jamming in the sheet media storage device. The sheet media processing device can thus process sheet media efficiently without damaging the sheet media.

Other objects and attainments together with a fuller understanding of the invention will become apparent and appreciated by referring to the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B are an oblique view and a plan view, respectively, of a check processing device according to at least one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an oblique view showing a part of the check storage unit in the check processing device shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

FIG. 3 describes the end wall part of the first storage pocket shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B describe the function of the reverse feed prevention plate (reverse feed prevention member).

FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B describe the function of the reverse feed prevention rib (reverse feed prevention guide surface).

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of a sheet media processing device according to at least one embodiment of the invention is described below with reference to the accompanying figures. The embodiment described below simply describes one example of an embodiment of the invention and does not specifically limit the invention to the following embodiment.

General Configuration

FIG. 1A is an external oblique view and FIG. 1B is a plan view of a check processing device 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

The check processing device 1 has a case 2 on the main unit and a pair of left and right access covers 4 and 5 that open and close pivoting on a vertical support pin 3 disposed at the back end of the case 2. A check transportation path 7 for conveying checks 6 is formed between the case 2 and the access covers 4 and 5. The check transportation path 7 also can be formed in a single case that does not have access covers 4 and 5.

The check transportation path 7 is a narrow vertical slot that curves in a basically U-shaped configuration when seen from above. The 7 can be a path that is not U-shaped. The upstream end of the check transportation path 7 in the check transportation direction is connected through a check infeed path 8 that is a narrow vertical channel that is connected to a check supply unit 9, which is a wide vertical channel. The downstream end of the check transportation path 7 is connected to a check storage device 10.

The check storage device 10 has first and second branch paths 11 and 12 connected to the downstream end of the check transportation path 7, and first and second storage pockets 13 and 14 connected to the downstream ends of the first and second branch paths 11 and 12, respectively.

A flapper 15 that directs checks 6 discharged from the check transportation path 7 to the first or second storage pocket 13 and 14 is disposed at the junction of the first and second branch paths 11 and 12. The check storage unit 10 can alternatively have only a single storage pocket.

As shown in FIG. 1A, each check 6 has an MICR line 6A printed along the long bottom edge on the front 6a of the check 6. Also recorded on the front 6a against a patterned background are the check amount, payer and payee, various numbers, and the payer signature. An endorsement is recorded on the back 6b of the check 6.

As indicated by the dotted lines in FIG. 1B, a front contact image scanner 21 for imaging the fronts of the checks 6, a back contact image scanner 22 for imaging the backs of the checks 6, a magnetic head 23 for reading magnetic ink characters, and a printing mechanism 24 for printing ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER, for example, on the check front, are disposed in this order along the check transportation path 7.

The orientation of the check 6 and the positions of the scanners and magnetic head are relative and can be changed. The scanners or magnetic head may also be omitted.

After a check 6 is delivered from the check supply unit 9 through the check infeed path 8, the front and back sides of the check 6 are imaged and the magnetic ink character line 6A printed on the check front 6a is read as the check 6 travels through the check transportation path 7. If the information is read correctly, ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER or other information is printed on the check 6, and the check 6 is delivered to and stored in the first storage pocket 13. Checks 6 that cannot be scanned or read correctly are not printed and are diverted to and stored in the second storage pocket 14.

FIG. 2 is a plan view showing the main parts of the check storage device of the check processing device. FIG. 3 describes the upstream end wall part of the first storage pocket.

As shown in FIG. 2, the check storage device 10 has first and second branch paths 11 and 12, and first and second storage pockets 13 and 14 disposed to the downstream ends of the first and second branch paths 11 and 12, respectively.

Because the first and second storage pockets 13 and 14 are basically identical, only the first storage pocket 13 is described below. Corresponding parts in the first and second storage pockets 13 and 14 are identified by the same reference numerals, and further description of the second storage pocket 14 is omitted.

The first storage pocket 13 is a vertical channel with a predetermined depth that is generally rectangular with the long side basically aligned with the front-back direction of the check processing device, and has a first side wall 31 and parallel second side wall 32 on the left and right sides, an upstream end wall 33, and a bottom 35. An inclined guide surface 36 continuing from the upstream end of the second side wall 32 diverges and moves away from the first side wall 31 as the second side wall 32 approaches the upstream end wall 33. The upstream end of the inclined guide surface 36 communicates with the one inside wall 37 of the first branch path 11.

As shown in FIG. 3, a vertically long rectangular portion of the end part of the upstream end wall 33 on the inclined guide surface 36 side is removed, leaving only the top portion 34 and rendering a space in which the feed roller 40 for conveying checks 6 into the first storage pocket 13 is located. A narrow vertical gap B is thus formed between the feed roller 40 and the vertical edge of the cutout in the upstream end wall 33 as will be known from FIG. 3.

A pressure roller 45 for pressing the checks 6 to the feed roller 40 protrudes from the one inside wall 37 of the first branch path 11 opposite the feed roller 40. As shown in FIG. 2, two vertical pressure plates 51 and 52 that incline to the back at a predetermined angle from the second side wall 32 to the first side wall 31 are disposed inside the first storage pocket. 13.

Referring primarily to FIG. 3, the feed roller 40 includes a roller body 41 and a small roller part 42 that is smaller in diameter than the roller body 41 and is rendered coaxially to the roller body 41. The small roller part 42 is formed near the top end of the center axis of the roller body 41 with a short roller body part 41a formed above the small roller part 42 and a long roller body part 41b formed below the small roller part 42. The small roller part 42 can alternatively be rendered at a position other than this position near the top of the roller body 41. Four feed pins 43 are formed projecting radially from the outside surface at the top and bottom end parts of the feed roller 40, that is, at the top end of the top roller body part 41a and at the bottom end of the bottom roller body part 41b. The four feed pins 43 are formed at equal intervals around the circumference of the roller. Alternatively, there can be only one feed pin 43. The feed pins 43 can also be rendered only at either the top or the bottom of the feed roller 40.

The pressure roller 45 includes a rotating shaft 46 disposed vertically parallel to the feed roller 40, and two pressure rollers 45a and 45b disposed coaxially on the rotating shaft 46 with a vertical gap between the pressure rollers 45a and 45b. The pressure roller 45 rotates while pressing the checks 6 toward the roller body 41 of the feed roller 40. The diameter of the pressure rollers 45a and 45b is the same, and this diameter is smaller than the diameter of the roller body 41 of the feed roller 40. The length L (45) between the outside ends of the pressure rollers 45a and 45b is less than the length L (41) of the roller body 41 of the feed roller 40, and in this embodiment of the invention, is also shorter than the axial length of the lower roller body part 41b L (41b)1 of the feed roller 40 opposite the pressure roller 45. In this embodiment of the invention the pressure rollers 45a and 45b are elastically pressed to the outside surface part of the lower roller body part 41b between the feed pins 43 formed at the top and bottom ends of the roller body 41. 1 This length L (41b) should be added to FIG. 3.

The nipping part A of the feed roller pair including the feed roller 40 and pressure roller 45 is substantially on the same plane as the end face 33a of the upstream end wall 33 facing the inside of the storage pocket. As a result, the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 protrudes from the end face 33a to the inside of the first storage pocket 13.

A reverse feed prevention member is disposed on the upstream end wall 33 of the check storage unit 10. The reverse feed prevention member prevents a check 6 inside the first storage pocket 13 from being returned by the feed roller 40 into the gap B and becoming jammed in the gap B. This embodiment of the invention has a reverse feed prevention plate 53 disposed as a reverse feed prevention member, and a reverse feed prevention rib 54 as a reverse feed prevention guide, although only the reverse feed prevention plate 53 or the reverse feed prevention rib 54 is needed.

The reverse feed prevention plate 53 is described next. The reverse feed prevention plate 53 is disposed on the end face 33a of the upstream end wall 33 of the first storage pocket 13 protruding toward the feed roller 40 so that at least a part of the gap B between the feed roller 40 and upstream end wall 33 is closed. The distal end part of the reverse feed prevention plate 53 is slightly narrower than the width of the small roller part 42 of the feed roller 40, and extends parallel to the end face 33a. The distal end part of the reverse feed prevention plate 53 extends perpendicularly to the rotational axis of the feed roller 40, and the distal end 53a extends to a position between the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and the outside surface 42a of the small roller part 42. The distal end 53a does not touch the outside surface 42a.

The reverse feed prevention rib 54 is described next. The top portion 34 on the feed roller 40 side of the upstream end wall 33 of the first storage pocket 13 extends above the top of the feed roller 40. The distal end portion 34a of the top portion 34 is a convex curved surface that protrudes into the first storage pocket 13, and the end of the distal end portion 34a continues to the inside wall 38 of the first branch path 11. The reverse feed prevention rib 54 that prevents checks 6 that have been conveyed into the first storage pocket 13 from reversing into the gap B is disposed to the bottom edge of the top portion 34.

As shown in FIG. 5B, the surface of the reverse feed prevention rib 54 facing inside the first storage pocket 13 is a reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a. When seen from above (in line with the rotational axis of the feed roller 40), the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a spans the gap between the end face 33a and the feed roller 40. In this embodiment of the invention, the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a is positioned along a tangent to the outside surface 41c of the feed roller 40.

Check Storing Operation of the Check Storage Device

In the check storage unit 10 according to this embodiment of the invention, the checks 6 that are conveyed into the first storage pocket 13 from the upstream end thereof by the feed roller 40 and pressure roller 45 enter the first storage pocket 13 with the leading end of the checks guided by the inclined guide surface 36 toward the first side wall 31. The check 6 is pushed to the first side wall 31 by the pressure plates 51 and 52, and stored in a stack that grows across the width of the storage pocket.

The feed pins 43 are formed at both ends of the feed roller 40, and the pressure roller 45 presses the check 6 to the outside surface of the roller body 41 between the feed pins 43, and more specifically to the outside surface of the lower roller body part 41b in this embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 3, therefore, the checks 6 are fed into the first storage pocket 13 with a curvature imparted to the checks 6 by the feed roller pair (rollers 40 and 45). This curving of the checks 6 as they are conveyed increases the check stiffness and thus prevents the checks 6 from sagging while being conveyed. In conjunction with rotation of the feed roller 40, the end feed pins 43 push the trailing end of the check 6 fed into the first storage pocket 13 to the side away from the nipping part A. This clears the path for the next check 6 conveyed into the first storage pocket 13, and prevents the next conveyed check 6 from colliding with the trailing end of the preceding check 6 and jamming.

The front end part of the first and second storage pockets 13 and 14 in the check storage unit 10 according to this embodiment of the invention is an extension unit 19 that can be pulled out to the front of the check storage device. Pulling the extension unit 19 out from the position shown in FIG. 1 extends the storage pocket 13, 14 to the front so that longer checks 6 can be stored.

FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B describe the reverse feed prevention plate 53. FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B are plan views showing the upstream end part of the first storage pocket 13. FIG. 4A shows the check storage device 10 without the reverse feed prevention plate 53 attached to the upstream end wall 33, and FIG. 4B shows the check storage device 10 with the reverse feed prevention plate 53 attached to the upstream end wall 33. The figures also show the check 6 conveyed into the first storage pocket 13 and left near the feed roller 40. The trailing end part 6c of the check 6 is left near the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 of the feed roller 40 on the opposite side of the axle 40a as the nipping part A.

When the feed roller 40 then rotates to deliver the next check 6 into the first storage pocket 13, the feed roller 40 may catch the trailing end part 6c of the check 6, and pull the check 6 back. The part of the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 on the side opposite as the nipping part A may also contact the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 and pull the check 6 back to the upstream end side of the first storage pocket 13. If the reverse feed prevention plate 53 is not present as shown in FIG. 4A, the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 will be pulled into the gap B between the upstream end wall 33 and the feed roller 40. If this happens the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 caught in the gap B may be torn, crumpled, or otherwise damaged. The check 6 stuck in the gap B also remains at the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13, obstructing the path for the next check 6 entering the storage pocket and causing a paper jam at the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13.

If the check storage device 10 has a reverse feed prevention plate 53 as shown in FIG. 4B, however, and the feed pins 43 or the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 pull the check 6 back to the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13, the trailing end of the check is stopped by the reverse feed prevention plate 53 that closes at least a part of the gap B.

The check 6 can therefore not be pulled into the gap B, and problems such as tearing or crumpling the check 6 can be avoided. Because the check 6 also cannot enter the gap B and is not left blocking the upstream end of the stop, a path is left for the next check 6 entering the storage pocket. Problems such as the check 6 causing a paper jam at the upstream end of the storage pocket can thus be avoided.

Because the reverse feed prevention plate 53 extends between the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and the outside surface 42a of the small roller part 42, the distal end 53a is positioned to the inside radially from the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41. As a result, a check 6 that is caught by the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and is pulled toward the gap B cannot slip between the reverse feed prevention plate 53 and the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and enter the gap B. The check 6 is thus reliably prevented from entering the gap B.

The reverse feed prevention rib 54 is described next with reference to FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B. FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B are plan views showing the upstream end part of the first storage pocket 13. FIG. 5A shows the check storage device 10 without the reverse feed prevention rib 54, and FIG. 5B shows the check storage device 10 with the reverse feed prevention rib 54. The figures also show the check 6 conveyed into the first storage pocket 13 and left near the feed roller 40. The trailing end part 6c of the check 6 is left near the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 of the feed roller 40 on the opposite side of the axle 40a as the nipping part A.

When the feed roller 40 then rotates to deliver the next check 6 into the first storage pocket 13, the feed roller 40 may catch the trailing end part 6c of the check 6, and pull the check 6 back. The part of the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 on the side opposite as the nipping part A may also contact the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 and pull the check 6 back to the upstream end side of the first storage pocket 13. If the reverse feed prevention rib 54 is not present as shown in FIG. 5A, the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 will be pulled into the gap B between the upstream end wall 33 and the feed roller 40. If this happens the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 caught in the gap B may be torn, crumpled, or otherwise damaged. The check 6 stuck in the gap B also remains at the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13, obstructing the path for the next check 6 entering the storage pocket and causing a paper jam at the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13.

If the check storage device 10 has a reverse feed prevention rib 54 as shown in FIG. 5B, however, and the feed roller 40 pulls the check 6 back to the upstream end of the first storage pocket 13, the trailing end part 6c of the check collides with the reverse feed prevention rib 54 directly above the feed roller 40. The check 6 is then guided by the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a and pushed to the side of the upstream end wall 33 inside the first storage pocket 13 without entering the gap B.

Because the check 6 also cannot enter the gap B and is not left blocking the upstream end of the stop, a path is left for the next check 6 entering the storage pocket. Problems such as the check 6 causing a paper jam at the upstream end of the storage pocket can thus be avoided.

When seen from above the feed roller 40 (in line with the axis of rotation), the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a is positioned near a tangent to the outside surface 41c of the feed roller 40. As a result, the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 in the first storage pocket 13 is guided smoothly from the outside surface 41c along the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a, contact with the outside surface 41c of the feed roller 40 rotating toward the gap B is avoided, and pulling the check 6 into the gap is reliably prevented.

Furthermore, even if the feed pin 43 formed at the top of the feed roller 40 catches the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 and pulls the check 6 toward the upstream end wall 33, the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a guides the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 to the side so that the check 6 separates from the feed pins 43.

As described above the reverse feed prevention plate 53 partially closes the gap B between the upstream end wall 33 and feed roller 40 so that checks 6 cannot be pulled into this gap B in the check storage device 10 according to this embodiment of the invention. The checks 6 are also prevented from slipping between the reverse feed prevention plate 53 and the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and entering the gap B by means of the reverse feed prevention plate 53 extending to between the outside surface 41c of the roller body 41 and the outside surface 42a of the small roller part 42.

In addition, because the reverse feed prevention plate 53 covers a prescribed length of the feed roller 40 in line with the axis of rotation, checks 6 that contact the reverse feed prevention plate 53 are reliably prevented from entering the gap B.

Furthermore, because the small roller part 42 of the feed roller 40 is formed near the top where the feed pins 43 are formed, the reverse feed prevention plate 53 closes the gap B near the feed pins 43. In addition, because the checks 6 can be easily pulled to the gap B by the feed pins 43, closing the gap B in this area reliably prevents the checks 6 from being pulled into the gap B.

A reverse feed prevention rib 54 with a reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a is formed above the top end of the feed roller 40. This reverse feed prevention rib 54 prevents the trailing end part 6c of a check 6 reversed to the gap B by the feed roller 40 from entering the gap B. The trailing end part 6c of the check 6 is guided smoothly to the side by the reverse feed prevention guide surface 54a, and the trailing end part 6c of the check 6 separates from the outside surface or the feed pins 43 of the feed roller 40. The trailing end part 6c of the check 6 is thus reliably prevented from being pulled into the gap B.

The feed roller 40 has one small roller part 42 in the foregoing embodiment of the invention, but a plurality of small roller parts 42 can be disposed along the axial length of the feed roller 40. In this case, the same number of reverse feed prevention plates 53 as small roller parts 42 are disposed on the upstream end wall 33 at positions corresponding to the small roller parts 42.

The reverse feed prevention plate 53 is attached extending parallel to the end face 33a in the foregoing embodiment, but the reverse feed prevention plate 53 can be disposed perpendicularly to the rotational axis of the feed roller 40 inclining from the end face 33a toward the inclined guide surface 36. In this case the distal end 53a of the reverse feed prevention plate 53 preferably extends to a position between the outside surface of the roller body 41 and the outside surface of the small roller part 42.

The foregoing embodiment of the invention is described using a check processing device by way of example, but the invention is not so limited and can be used as a sheet media storage device for a sheet media processing device that processes checks and sheet media other than checks, including promissory notes and invoices and regular paper. The invention can, for example, be used in a sheet media storage device that is used in a sheet media processing device such as a printer or scanner.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are to be understood as included within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims, unless they depart therefrom.