Document feed out service
A document delivery device comprises a carriage (2) which is movable along a path system comprising a first path (10) which extends between a document receiving station for the carriage and a document delivery station for the carriage, and a second path (20) which is connected to the first path and defines an end position (22) for dumping of documents from the carriage. On each side the carriage has wheels (42) which are received in and run in guide tracks (43) on opposite sides of the path. The device also comprises a document holder (3) which is carried by the carriage (2), and means (91, 92) for displacing the document holder (3) in relation to the carriage at the document delivery station. The carriage carries a magnet (70, 71), and the device comprises one or more hall-element(s) in the movement path for the magnet, for detection of the position of the magnet (70, 71) along the path.
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 The invention refers to a device of the kind certified in the preamble of claim 1.
 A device of the inventive kind serves to receive documents in a receiving station and to deliver the documents to a remote delivery station by means of a document holder which is carried by a carriage which can be driven between said positions and which usually also can be driven to a dumping station. In a conventional manner, control devices can be provided between the receiving station and the delivery station, in order to sense that the documents are in prescribed condition, or whether the delivery shall be discontinued.
 The carriage has wheels which usually are positioned laterally and which run along guide tracks in the device. These guide tracks form a path system for the carriage. The path system comprises a first path, the ends of which defines the document receiving station and the document delivery station, respectively, and can also comprise a further path, one end of which adjoins to the first path between the ends thereof, and the other end of which defines a dumping station.
 Moreover, the path system can comprise a third path, one end of which connects to the first path between the ends thereof, and the other end of which defines a second document delivery station, at a distance from the first mentioned document delivery station.
 Drive means are provided for driving the carriage to said stations. When the carriage is in the document delivery station, the document holder can be displaceable along the carriage in the running direction thereof, into a document delivery position in which a customer can grasp the documents from the holder in its forward end position.
 A device of the indicated type is usually used in order to deliver an ordered number of bills of chosen denominations from a safety compartment into a delivery slot of a teller machine, but the device can of course also find use in similar corresponding circumstances. For the sake of simplicity, the device can in one embodiment be an equipment for delivery of ordered bills to a customer in a teller machine.
 In order to survey and control the velocity and acceleration of the carriage and also to monitor that the carriage arrives at the correct end positions in the path system, optical sensors have been used in a prior art device known from the practice. These optical sensors typically comprise a light emitter such as an LED which illuminates a phototransistor, which upon illumination gives off a first signal and which gives off another signal when the light from the LED no longer can be detected. The carriage can then carry screening elements which screen off the transistor when the carriage is located in a corresponding position along the path for example in an end position. In said prior art device which is known from the practise, a carriage wheel is for practical reasons used as a screening off element.
 A problem at the prior art device is that the carriage must be guided in the axial direction of the wheel, at least at the end positions of the carriage in the path system, so that the carriage wheel correctly screens off the optical path between light emitter and its sensor. In view of necessary tolerances, which in turn partly are due to the necessary transport velocities for the carriage, it was, in practice, necessary to give the carriage and thereby the wheels thereof a certain ability to move in the axial direction of the wheels, but this ability to move was incompatible with the requirement of a screening function for the carriage wheel, and therefore the wheel paths had to be completed with the guides in order to provide an accurate axial positioning of the carriage in the axial direction at the region of the end positions of the carriage.
 A further problem in connection with the prior art device is that the environment of the device is such that dust and dirt have adhered on the active surfaces of the optical sensors and disturb the optical path so that malfunction can occur. The dirt and the dust are often formed by fibres and fibre particles which are released from the documents (the bills) in connection to handling and transport in the device.
 An object of the invention is therefore to provide a device by which at least some of the above problems are completely or partly set aside. The object is attained by a device according to the appended independent claim.
 Embodiments of the inventive device are stated in the appended independent claims.
 Basically the invention recides in that the device is provided with hall-effect devices for sensing the end positions of the carriage in the path system, and for possible sensing of the carriage in other positions along the path system. The carriage can then be provided with one or more magnets, for example permanent magnets, and the transport device can be provided with hall-effect elements at those positions where it is desirable to be able to sense a magnet, that is the carriage, and the position thereof. The sensors can of course be connected to a monitoring computer which controls the control means for the carriage so that the velocity and acceleration of the carriage can be adapted in order to optimise the movement pattern of the carriage, in view of transport safety, wear and minimised transport time.
 By using hall-elements, a reduced position sensitivity in the wheel axial direction of the carriage is attained, so that it is possible to dispense with the guiding in the axial direction of the wheels which otherwise is required at devices with optical sensors.
 Moreover, the hall-element device has a hysteresis corresponding to that for optical sensors previously used in the device, so that the hall-element sensors can replace the previously used optical sensors without requiring that the device otherwise has to be modified in any essential extent, and also the control and monitor program which controls the device on the basis of information from the optical sensors can then be maintained with very little modification. Furthermore the hall-element sensors provide a positioning which is comparable to that provided by the optical sensors.
 The carriage supports one or more magnets. When the carriage has a document holder which is displaceable along the carriage, the document holder can carry the magnet, or a magnet, for positional detection of the document holder, for example in the position where the holder receives documents, or a position where the holder is given to a forward end position in relation to the carriage, in the document delivery position of the carriage.
 In the following, the invention will be described in the form of an example, with reference to the appended drawing.
 FIG. 1 shows schematically a side view of a devise according to the invention.
 FIG. 2 shows a section taken along line II-II in FIG. 1 through a carriage, as the carriage is located in a document delivery station.
 FIG. 3 schematically shows a partially sectioned side view of a carriage with a document holder, taken along line III-III in FIG. 2.
 FIG. 4 shows, in a side view corresponding to FIG. 3, a lock mechanism for the displaceable document holder of the carriage.
 FIG. 1 shows a device 1 comprising a carriage 2 which carries a document holder 3. The carriage is movable along a first path 10, one end 11 of which defines the document receiving station of the carriage, and the other end 12 of which defines a document delivery station. A second path 20 connects with one end thereof to the first path 10 and defines with the other end 22 thereof a dumping station for the carriage and the documents thereof, for example in the case that the document delivered by the carriage to the feed out position is not picked up from that position, so that the carriage and the document holder must be emptied before they can carry out a new document delivery.
 Furthermore, the device can comprise a third path, one end of which connects to the first path 10 between the ends thereof and the other end of which defines a second document delivery station 32. At the junctions of the paths, controllable switches 81, 82 can be provided. The device 1 can be considered to comprise an enclosure in which the paths 10, 20 30 are located, and a collection pocket 50 which is arranged to receive documents which have been dumped at the station 22.
 As can be seen in FIG. 4, the carriage 2 comprises a document holder 3 which is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the carriage 2 between a withdrawn position and a forward position 3′ which is shown by broken lines, in which the holder 3′ has been driven forwardly in the running direction of the carriage toward a document delivery location. The document holder 13 is provided with through-going apertures in which documents 5 are exposed. An optical recognition device 2 comprising for example a light emitter 61 and a light sensor 62, senses the presence of documents 5 in the holder 3 when the holder 3 has been moved forwardly from the carriage as located in the end position thereof, and can thus sense whether the documents 5 are removed from the holder 3 in the delivery station 12.
 FIG. 2 shows that the carriage 2 has wheels 42 which are received in and runs in pairs of tracks which define the paths 10, 20, 30. The position of the carriage along any of the paths can be sensed by a previously known structure, thereby that an element, for example a wheel 42 which is carried by the carriage 2, screens off an optical path between a light emitter and a light sensor. As a correct function of the lights sensor requires that the wheel 42 and thereby the carriage 2 has a well defined position in the axial direction of the wheels 42, while the carriage 2 in practice must have a certain play in the axial direction of the wheels in the respective path, it is in the prior art embodiment necessary that lateral guides are provided for the wheels, in order that the optical sensor shall be able to provide reliable signals. Dust and other dirt which occur within the devise 1 adhere to and can easily disturb the optical sensor of the prior art device.
 As can be seen from FIG. 3, the carriage 2 comprises a document holder 3 which is displaceable within the longitudinal direction of the carriage between a withdrawn position which is shown with full lines, and a forward position 3′ in which the holder 3 has been driven to a forward end position in relation to the carriage in the running direction of the carriage, toward a document delivery station. The document holder 3 is provided with through going openings (not shown) in which the document 5 held by the holder are exposed. An optical sensing device 61, 62 which as an example consists of a light emitter 61 and a light sensor 62 senses the presence of documents 5 in the holder 3 when the holder 3 has been moved forwardly to its forward end position in relation to the carriage 2, when the carriage is in its forward end position.
 FIG. 3 shows that the device has a wall 18 at each document delivery station. The wall 8 has an aperture through which the holder 3 can be extended. Outside the forward end of the extended holder 3′ there is a further wall 19 which has an opening through which the documents 5 which are carried by the holder 3, project so that the customer can grip them.
 FIG. 3 shows that the holder 3 is carried by a sled 4 which is displaceably received in a slide track in the carriage 2. The slide track is formed by an elongated slot 90 through a respective side plate 28 of the carriage 2. The sled comprises a pair of runners 45 each of which is received in a corresponding slot 90. The sled 4 carries a through-going shaft 46 which in turn carries a gear 48 which meshes with a toothrack 19 that delimits one of the longitudinal edges of the slot 90. A drive motor (not shown) is carried by the sledge 4 and is arranged to drive the shaft 48 to rotation in a chosen direction and thereby drive the sled 4. Hereby the sled 4 is displaceable between the ends 92, 93 of the slot.
 FIG. 4 shows that the carriage 2 has a locking device which holds the sled 4 and thereby the holder 3 in the retracted end position thereof, until the carriage 2 hits the wall 18 in the document delivery position.
 The locking device comprises a two-armed lever 50 which is pivotally journalled on the carriage 2 around an axis 67 in the vicinity of the forward end of the carriage. The lever 50 comprises a first arm 43, which forms with the wall 18 an acute angle so that the other arm 54 of the lever 50 can be lifted from the locking position when the arm 53 is swung upon engagement with the wall 18. The free end of the arm 54 comprises a head 55 having a locking surface which engages the forward edge of the sled (runner) 45. The arm 54 has a protrusion 56 which is received by a spring 57 which urges the arm 54 (the locking device) toward the locking position thereof.
 When the head 55 of the arm 54 is swung away, against the action of spring 57, the sled 4 is permitted to pass the head 55 under the influence of the drive motor so that the sled 4 will take the end position shown with broken lines in FIG. 4, in which the sled engages the end 93 of the slot.
 The shaft 46 carries the rear wheel pair of the carriage. In its forward portion, the carriage has a shaft 47 which carries the forward wheel pair 42 of the carriage. FIGS. 2 and 3 reveal that the magnets 70 of the carriage pass in the vicinity of a stationary hall-element 72 when the carriage 2 moves toward its end position. The hall-element 72 can then give off a signal which can be used to control the displacement movement of the carriage, for example. The hall-element 72 also senses the magnet 71 of the sled 4, when the sled 4 has taken a correct advanced position in relation to the carriage 2.
 With reference to FIG. 4 it can be seen that the sled 4 is moving back to its start position under the influence of its drive motor, and then the sloping cam surface 59 of the head 55 will lift the arm 54 as it is affected by the passing runner 45. As soon as the runner 45 has passed the head 55, the head is returned by the spring 57 to a locking position in which the head, in its locking position 58 locks the sled 4 in its retracted position.
 In the station 11, the magnet 70 can again be sensed by a hall-element which confirms that the carriage 2 has arrived in to a correct position. A further hall-element can then sense the position of the sled 4 (the magnet 71) in a chosen position for the sled 4 in relation to the carriage 2.
 The document holder 3 can have a grip function in order to firmly grip the documents when the holder is withdrawn to the carriage 2 and permit release of the documents 5 as the holder is ejected.
1. A document feed out device comprising a carriage which is movable along a path system comprising a first path which extends between a document receiving station for the carriage and a document delivery station for the carriage, and a second path which is connected to the first path and defines an end position for dumping of documents from the carriage, said carriage having on each side wheels which are received in and run along guide tracks on opposite sides of the path, a document holder which is carried by the carriage and means for displacing the document holder in relation to the carriage at the document delivery station, wherein the document holder carries a magnet, and wherein the device comprises one or more hall-element(s) along the movement path of the magnet, for detection of the position of the magnet(s) along the path.
2. A device according to claim 1, wherein a hall-element at the document receiving station is located in order to sense that the magnet of the document holder has attained a position in which the holder has been driven forward in relation to the carriage, to a forward end position, in a direction toward the adjacent document delivery station, while the carriage is located in a forward end position at the document delivery station.
3. A device according to claim 1, wherein a magnet is stationarily mounted on the carriage in order to be detected by a hall-element.
4. A device according to claim 3, wherein the magnet which is stationarily mounted on the carriage, and the magnet which is supported by the holder, are positioned to be detected by one and the same hall-element.
5. A device according to claim 1, wherein the path system of the device comprises a third path which connects to the first path and extends to a second document delivery station which is separate from the first mentioned document delivery station, one or more hall-element(s) being arranged in the vicinity of the second document delivery station in order to sense the position for one or more magnets which are carried by the carriage.
International Classification: B65H005/00; B65H039/10;