US 3262697 A
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July 26, 1966 H. L. KRINKE CARD SHINGLING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed Aug. 12, 1964 I NVENTOR. fl/wz 4 A. AfQ/NKE BY WWMQ W 4770R/VE/5 United States Patent 3,262,697 CARD SHHJGLING MACHINE AND METHOD Harlan L. Krinke, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, St. Paul, Minn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 389,114 9 Claims. (Cl. 27133) This invention relates to the spreading or separating of data cards or the like from a-compact pack or stack into uniformly overlapping disposition, and has particular reference to mechanical devices for performing the spreading operation.
Data cards, whether they be library cards, stock inventory cards, punched cards, microfilm cards or other forms, are conveniently stored and handled in compact stack form. Separation or spreading of the cards within the stack is necessary for obtaining access to the data or information contained on a particular card or cards. As an example, sliding each card a short distance downwardly along the face of the card beneath exposes a narrow top edge portion of each card to view, so that identifying indicia inscribed along each such edge portion is exposed to view and the desired card or cards may easily be located and removed. The operation has been identified as shingling, from the overlapping position of the thus extended cards.
Hand shingling of small numbers of cards is possible but laborious and inexact. With very large numbers of cards some closely controllable mechanical separation means becomes imperative. One such device which has heretofore been suggested employs a regularly notched flat card-supporting surface over which is drawn an openbottomed hopper carrying the stack of cards held at an angle o that the leading edge of the bottom card meets the upraised edge of a first notch. The second card slides over the first card and notch and is caught by the second notch. The spacing of the shingled cards is fixed by the spacing of the notches. Relatively stiff cards of uniform thickness are required.
The present invention avoids these and other defects and deficiencies of prior machines and methods. There is provided a fully automatic and continuous device for the separation or shingling of stacked cards at any desired degree of overlap and at any desired speed. Cards of differing thicknesses are handled with equal effectiveness, and cards having roughened or otherwise damaged edges do not interfere.
The card-shingling device of the present invention incorporates a movable belt having a permanently lightly tacky surface and means for adjustably positioning and maintaining a stack of cards at one end of a straight, and ordinarily substantially horizontally positioned, reach of said belt. In operation, the belt grips or adheres to the bottom card and pulls it out from under the stack. As the said bottom card moves along the path of the belt the next succeeding bottom card is engaged by the belt and it likewise is pulled out from under the stack and moved along with said belt. The extent of overlapping is determined by the position of the stack relative to said end of the horizontal reach. Therefore, the extent of such overlapping is easily adjusted by a repositioning of said adjustable means. Furthermore, by reason of the manner in which the cards are engaged by the belt, said cards can be of any size or thickness; they can be slightly damaged; and they can be relatively flexible and the device will still function properly.
Other advantages may also be realized such as the provision of means to restack the cards. For further understanding of the advantages and uses of the invention, reference is made to the following detailed description and drawings in which:
Patented July 26, 1966 "ice - tangency of the horizontal reach with .the periphery of the support rollers. The reach can of course be any length to meet the needs of specific applications. A gate means 7 is mounted over the horizontal reach adjacent the outstart thereof and comprises a forward wall member 8 having a vertical sliding connection with support brackets 9. Said connection comprises bolt members 10 that are inserted through vertical slots in said wall member and screwed into threaded openings in the support brackets. Adjustable stop members'll are mounted on the bolts to fix the position of the wall member at theextended end of the bolts. Said brackets further support a shaft 12 having a lateral hole at each end and slidably mounted on rod members 13 afiixed within vertical slots in the brackets. Said rod members are aligned with the outstart of the horizontal reach and are provided with biasing means in the form of coil springs 14 that urge the shaft toward said outstart. Pressure rollers 15 are rotatably mounted on the shaft. Although not shown, said biasing means may be made adjustable so as to vary the pressure that is applied to a positioned card stack. Such adjustment would ,be particularly desirable where the device is employed in a sloping or vertical position, i.e. where the mentioned reach is not horizontal.
The outer surface of said conveyor belt is provided with card-retaining means as for instance by the application of a double coated strip of adhesive tape 16. It will be understood that the conveyor belt may also be provided with a non-tacky surface, such as by constructing the belt out of rubber which may by itself provide adequate frictional retention required for the present inventive purposes. However, the tape is deemed preferable for the reason that the adhesion can be easily revivedor altered by merely adding a new strip of tape over or in placeof the old strip. The present invention is believed to be particularly applicable in those services utilizing cards such as the commonly known Tabulating Cards identified under the 1940 Government specification as having the classification GC116. For such cards the conveyor is provided with an exposed adhering surface having an adhesion value of approximately ten to sixty ounces per inch of width with a range of from thirty to fifty ounces being preferable. Where tape is used, the preferred width thereof is 3 inches as opposed to the width of the Tabulating Cards which is 8% inches. Adhesion value here represents the removal effort in ounces, per inch of tape width, from a metal surface at F, and is determined as follows: Lay a strip of one-inch width tape, adhesive side down, on a clean polished steel panel. Press the strip into adhesive contact with the panel by passing a hard rubber roller weighing 4.5 lbs. once over the strip at a rate of 7.5 feet per minute.
Fasten the far end of the strip to a suitable scale, and move the steel plate away from the scale at a rate of 7.5 feet per minute and so that the portion of the tape removed comes back adjacent but not quite touching the portion still adherently attached. Read the adhesion value in ounces. For double coated tape, i.e. with a coating of pressure-sensitive adhesive on each surface, it is necessary to cover the outer surface with a thin flexible 3 protective film or liner such as polyethylene, prior to application of pressure. The adhesion value of the other surface of the tape is not critical provided it is suflicient to hold the tape onto the belt.
In operation, a card stack is positioned behind the wall member between the pressure rollers and the outstart of said belt. The wall member is adjusted with respect to said outstart by turning the bolt members in or out of the fixed bracket so that the card stack when abutted against the wall member 8 will extend beyond the outstart, i.e. to the left as shown in FIGURE 2, a distance (a) equal to the desired spacing of the cards in a shingled arrangement.
Drive means 17, here indicated as a hand-operated crank forming an extension of the axial of drum 4, is activated to cause movement of said belt in a direction along the horizontal reach away from said outstart. The belt, by reason of its adhesive coating, retains the bottom card of the card stack and forces it against the beveled edge 18 of the wall member 8. The force applied is adequate to raise the wall and also to overcome the friction between said bottom card and the next succeeding bottom card of the card stack. Thus the bottom card is caused to move along the horizontal reach with the moving conveyor belt whereas the wall member 8 holds back the remainder of the stack of cards.
When said bottom card has traveled along the horizontal reach a distance (a), the trailing edge thereof will pass over the outstart. At such time the pressure rollers will urge contact between the conveyor belt and the next succeeding bottom card. The adhesion between said next succeeding bottom card and the moving belt is again sufficient to raise the wall and overcome the friction of the then next succeeding bottom card. It follows that each card in turn will be engaged by the belt and moved along the horizontal reach and that its forward edge will be spaced from that of the preceding shingled card by the distance (a).
It will be noted that by reason of the spacing between the head of the bolt members and the stop members, the wall member is free to tilt slightly. Accordingly, during operation of the machine, the forcing of the cards against the lower part of the wall will cause a tilting of the upper part of the wall toward the card stack. Thus as the card stack is urged against the wall, the slight angle of the wall will tend to urge the leading edge of the cards downward to thereby facilitate proper positioning of the stack and to direct the lowermost card of the stack against the bevel 18.
The present invention is also adapted to provide a restacking mechanism 19. While in a shingled arrangement, the leading portion of each card is riding atop the preceding card and thus is not in contact with the belt. Thus as the cards pass over roller 5, whereas the belt makes a tight bend around the roller, said leading portion of each card continues in a horizontal path beyond roller and thereby becomes momentarily separated from the belt. By placing a peeler bar 29 and stacker 21 adjacent roller 5 so that the peeler bar is positioned at the point of said separation, the cards are merely pushed by the belt onto the peeler bar and directed thereby into the stacker.
It will be apparent that the first card off the stack does not have a preceding card upon which the leading portion can ride and therefore said leading portion is in contact with the belt. If the card is relatively rigid, it will resist making the tight bend around the roller and consequently there will still be a separation and the card will be peeled off the belt and directed to the stacker. When the cards are not suflicienlty rigid, a stiff starter card may be added to the bottom of the stack.
Furthermore, it may be desirable to provide means to prevent the wall member of the gate means from engaging the adhesive coating when not separated therefrom by the shingled cards, e.g. as just prior to the feeding of the card stack into the machine. Such means can take many forms, one of which is illustrated in the drawings as comprising a cut out portion in the central bottom edge of the wall and of slightly greater width than the width of the adhesive-coated area. This allows free passage of the tape strip while permitting the wall member 3 to rest on platform 6.
In a demonstration of the effectiveness of the device, fifty cards having the classification ,GC116 were individually identified by a three digit number located on the upper left hand corner. The cards were stacked in random order and were run through the present device. The spacing (at) was maintained at inch and the belt had an adhesion value of fifty ounces. The operator was requested to visually inspect and count the number of cards in the stack having a specific number as the third digit. Three runs were made and each time a different third digit was selected. The average time for each run was approximately 15 seconds with the operator correctly identifying the cards bearing the selected digit.
The operator was then asked to perform the same test by manually thumbing through the stack. The average time required in this second group of tests was 30-35 seconds.
It is understood that the foregoing description is directed to a presently preferred embodiment only and that variations may be made in the device without departing rom the scope of the invention.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed 1s:
1. A device for shingling cards comprising a movable belt, means for supporting and advancing said belt along a pathway defining in part a substantially straight reach, means for positioning a stack of cards on the belt at the outstart of said reach and including a freely movable gate means to resist movement of the stack along the reach, and card-retaining means extending along at least the central portion of the face of said belt for releasably retaining each successive bottom card of said stack of cards in moving said bottom card along the reach of said pathway against the resistance of :said gate means and against the friction between said bottom card and the next succeeding bottom card.
2. A device for shingling cards comprising a movable belt, means for supporting and advancing said belt along a pathway defining in part a substantially straight reach, means for positioning a stack of cards on the belt at the outstart of said reach and including a freely movable gate means to resist movement of the stack along the reach, and card-retaining means extending along at least the central portion of the face of said belt for releasably retaining each successive bottom card of said stack of cards in moving said bottom card along the reach of said pathway against the resistance of said gate means and against the friction between said bottom card and the next succeeding bottom card, and including means to adjust the spacing of said gate means from said outstart to provide an overhanging end portion of said positioned stack of cards beyond said outstart equal to the desired exposed edge portion of the shingled cards.
3. A device for shingling cards as defined in claim 2 including a means for urging card-retaining contact between the belt at the point of said outstart and the adjacent surface of the lowermost card in the stack of cards.
4. A device for shingling cards comprising an endless belt mounted on rollers that form a pathway for said belt including a substantially horizontal reach between a first supporting roller and a second supporting roller, drive means to impart movement of the belt along said path in a direction from the first roller toward the second roller, a gate means having a wall member mounted with a vertical sliding connection above the belt and positioned between said rollers at a predetermined distance from the end of the reach adjacent the first roller, said wall member having a bevel on its lower edge adjacent the bottom card of a positioned card stack, and card-retaining means extending along at least the central portion of the face of said belt for releasably retaining the contacted bottom card of said positioned card stack in moving said bottom card against the bevel to raise the wall member and permit passage of said bottom card while said wall member prevents passage of the remainder of the stack not in contact with said belt, and said horizontal reach having an outstart determined by the point of tangency between the horizontal reach and the first support roller and wherein said predetermined distance is established to provide overhang of the positioned stack of cards beyond the outstart a distance equal to the desired exposed edge portion of the shingled cards and including means that provide adjustment of the position of the wall member from the outstart to thereby provide adjustment of the overhang.
5. A device for shingling cards as defined in claim 4 including a pressure roller slidably mounted over and in alignment with said first roller, said card stack positioned between said pressure roller and the movable belt, and bearing means to urge the pressure roller toward the first roller to urge card-retaining contact between the belt at the point of said outstart and the adjacent surface of the lowermost cards in said card stack.
6. A device for shingling cards as defined in claim 5 wherein said means on the upper surface of said belt comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive tape, and including a card peeler and stacker adjacent the second roller to peel off and restack the cards as they pass over the second roller, and means to prevent contact between the lower edge of said wall member and said adhesive coated surface on the belt when said retainer and adhesive are not separated by the shingled cards.
7. A method of converting a group of cards from a stacked arrangement to a shingled arrangement which includes applying a direct contact forwardly advancing movement continuously against a selective portion of the bottom surface of a stack of cards, and by said advancing movement, discriminately advancing only the successive cards forming the said selective portion of the bottom surface of the stack, while restraining the remaining cards of the stack from forward movement.
8. A method of converting a group of cards from a stacked arrangement to a shingled arrangement, as defined in claim 7, which includes continuing said advancing movement of the cards along a horizontal reach, and peeling the cards from the end of the reach for restacking.
9. A device for shingling cards comprising an endless belt mounted on rollers that form a pathway for said belt including a substantially horizontal reach between a first supporting roller and a second supporting roller, drive means to impart movement of the belt along said path in a direction from the first roller toward the second roller, a gate means having a wall member mounted with a vertical sliding connection above the belt and positioned between said rollers at a predetermined distance from the end of the reach adjacent the first roller, said Wall member having a bevel on its lower edge adjacent the bottom card of a positioned card stack, and card-retaining means extending along at least the central portion of the face of said belt for releasably retaining the contacted bottom card of said positioned card stack in moving said bottom card against the bevel to raise the wall member and permit passage of said bottom card while said wall member prevents passage of the remainder of the stack not in contact with said belt.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 566,671 8/ 1896 Dummer 27135 704,444 7/ 1902 Dummer. 2,093,654 9/ 1937 Bellamy 27l35 2,414,059 1/ 1947 Powers 271-68 X 3,083,961 4/ 1963 Arbter 271-33 M. HENSON WOOD, IR., Primary Examiner.
I. ERLICH, Assistant Examiner.