Sheet sorting apparatus

- Gradco (Japan) Ltd.
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2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the helical shaped guideway encompasses approximately one complete coil turn of the first pitch and a fraction of a coil turn of the second pitch.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further including a center rod for mounting the coil, each end of the center rod having a traverse through hole for accepting one end of the coil, the rod being positioned coaxially through the coil, and wherein the attachment means has a clearance hole for passage of the center rod, the center rod acting to restrain the tray lift block from tilting out of planes orthogonal to the axis of the coil.

6. First and second apparatus as set forth in claim 5 in fixed spaced apart positions and control means for synchronizing the associated means for rotating.

10. A sheet sorting apparatus of the shifting tray type for receiving paper sheets fed into the trays from a copier or printer, comprising:

a pair of helical cams providing coils, each coil of said pair of helical coils being predominantly wound with a plurality of turns of a first pitch, and containing at least one turn of a second pitch, the second pitch being coarser than the first pitch, each coil having a longitudinal axis;
means for rotational support, the support means holding the coils in positions wherein said longitudinal axes of the coils are approximately parallel to each other;
means for rotational drive, the drive means rotating each coil about said longitudinal axis, both coils rotating in the same speed of rotation;
a plurality of trays arranged in a stack, each said tray being separated from an adjacent said tray by a space determined by the first and second pitch, each tray having a leading end facing upstream of the paper sheet infeed direction for receiving the sheets and a downstream end and two side edges extending between said leading end and downstream end;
one of said coils being positioned at about the center of each of said side edges;
means for moving said trays in response to operation of said means for rotary drive including follower members on the opposite side edges of each tray for engagement with the coils so that as the coils rotate the follower members cause said trays to move along the respective coils in accordance with the direction of rotation of the coil;
said apparatus including a pair of vertical guides, each of said side edges of said trays including extensions adjacent one of said ends of said trays for engaging said guides to maintain the trays parallel;
whereby the stack of trays moves along the pair of coils as the coils rotate, the space between each pair of adjacent trays being approximately equal for adjacent trays moving on the coil turns of the first pitch, the space between each pair of adjacent trays growing to a larger spacing as each tray moves into the coil turns of the second pitch, the larger spacing facilitating the ingress of the sheet of paper, so that each tray in turn may receive the sheets of paper..Iaddend..Iadd.

11. A sheet sorting apparatus as defined in claim 10 wherein said vertical guides and said extensions on said trays are located at the leading end of said trays..Iaddend.

Referenced Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

4397069 August 9, 1983 Camossi
4671505 June 9, 1987 Hidaka
4747634 May 31, 1988 Hoke
5169144 December 8, 1992 Aaron
5351947 October 4, 1994 Aaron

Foreign Patent Documents

0246585 November 1987 EPX

Patent History

Patent number: RE35846
Type: Grant
Filed: Oct 4, 1996
Date of Patent: Jul 14, 1998
Assignee: Gradco (Japan) Ltd. (Tokyo)
Inventor: Jack Aaron (Tustin, CA)
Primary Examiner: H. Grant Skaggs
Application Number: 8/725,812