Envelope Openers Patents (Class 83/912)
  • Patent number: 7231859
    Abstract: A mail opener comprises a cuffily device which is movable between an operating position and a retracted position where it is inoperative. The position of the cutting device is controllable by a drive device controlled by the postage meter. The arrangement is such that a single post station can be provided for both applying postage and opening mail. The post station incorporates a safety measure to prevent newly franked outgoing mail from being inadvertently opened or damaged by the mail opener.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: Neopost Limited
    Inventor: Anthony Lawrence
  • Patent number: 6912827
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for processing mail by severing an edge of each envelope in a stack of mail. The apparatus includes an input bin for receiving a stack of mail. A feeder feeds the bottom envelope from the input bin to a transport that conveys the envelope along an envelope path. A cutter positioned along the envelope path severs one edge of the envelopes. A displaceable outfeed guide is provided for supporting the cut edge of the envelope as the envelop is being cut. Preferably, the outfeed guide is connected with the cutter so that the outfeed guide automatically adjusts position as the depth of cut is adjusted. The transport discharges the opened envelopes onto a return conveyor that conveys the opened envelopes to a stacking area where the opened envelopes are stacked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2005
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventor: John R. Forbes
  • Patent number: 6725752
    Abstract: A machine for processing envelopes includes a receiving assembly with a tray where envelopes are received and guided towards an envelope cutting assembly. A sensor determines the width of the envelope to align on of the two longitudinal cutting members. Another sensor detects the leading and railing edge of the envelope and with a circuit control the advancement of the envelope to cooperative positions that permit another cutter member to act transversally. The envelope is then passed to an unfolding assembly where the uppermost and lowermost sheets are loose and sandwich inbetween the contents. The uppermost sheet is pulled out to the display assembly that is hermetically closed. Subsequently, a transversally moving roller is used to lift the folds of the content, if any, and to affix the unfolded contents to protruding pins. The engagement with the protruding pins is slowly undone as the contents are pushed towards the display assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Catawa, Inc.
    Inventor: Eduardo S. Torrazza
  • Patent number: 6612211
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for processing mail by severing an edge of each envelope in a stack of mail. The apparatus includes an input bin for receiving a stack of mail. An agitator confronting the stack of envelopes in the input bin reciprocally displaces the bottom envelope in the stack of mail to provide separation between the bottom envelope and the remaining envelopes in the stack. A feeder feeds the bottom envelope from the input bin to a transport that conveys the envelope along an envelope path. A cutter positioned along the envelope path severs one edge of the envelopes. The transport discharges the opened envelopes onto a return conveyor that conveys the opened envelopes to a stacking area where the opened envelopes are stacked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Dominic Stigliano, John Forbes, Thomas DiBiaso, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20030115998
    Abstract: A method for expelling air out of mailpieces includes the steps of creating a stack of the mailpieces; cutting an opening in at least some of the mailpieces; jogging the stack of mailpieces; and subjecting the stack of mailpieces to at least one compression/decompression cycle during the jogging step thereby expelling air out of the at least some of the mailpieces through their corresponding openings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 24, 2001
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventors: Eric A. Belec, Michael M. Farrell, Jeffrey A. Gateman, Edward C. Miller, Denis J. Stemmle
  • Patent number: 6505534
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing mail is provided. Mail is placed into an input bin having a conveyor that conveys the mail towards a feeder. The feeder serially feeds the envelopes by engaging the lead envelope in the stack of mail and displacing the lead envelope transverse the stack of mail. The mail is fed into a shuttle that vertically displaces the envelopes to position the envelopes for entering a justifier. The justifier justifies the top edge of the envelopes and conveys the envelopes to a cutter that severs the top edge of the envelopes. A transport conveys the envelopes from the top cutter to an extractor. The extractor opens the edge-severed mail and presents the contents of the envelopes to an operator who manually extracts the contents. The transport conveys the empty envelopes from the extractor to a verifier that verifies that all of the contents have been removed from the envelope before the envelope is discarded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: James G. Robertson, Michael E. York, Eric P. Minbiole, Robert R. Dewitt, George L. Hayduchok, Glen J. VanSant
  • Patent number: 6439095
    Abstract: A paper cassette is provided with a first guide groove and a second guide groove. In these guide grooves, first and second cutter blades are respectively arranged. The first cutter blade is separated from a guide face of the first guide groove by a length L1. A recording paper is moved along the first guide groove under a condition that an edge of the recording paper abuts on the guide face. In this way, a right margin of the recording paper having a width L1 is cut off by the first cutter blade. Similarly, a left margin of the recording paper is cut off by the first cutter blade. Top and bottom margins of the recording paper are cut off with the second cutter blade by moving the recording paper along the second guide groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoshi Sugiyama, Hidemi Sasaki
  • Publication number: 20010022060
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing mail is provided. Mail is placed into an input bin having a conveyor that conveys the mail towards a feeder. The feeder serially feeds the envelopes by engaging the lead envelope in the stack of mail and displacing the lead envelope transverse the stack of mail. The mail is fed into a shuttle that vertically displaces the envelopes to position the envelopes for entering a justifier. The justifier justifies the top edge of the envelopes and conveys the envelopes to a cutter that severs the top edge of the envelopes. A transport conveys the envelopes from the top cutter to an extractor. The extractor opens the edge-severed mail and presents the contents of the envelopes to an operator who manually extracts the contents. The transport conveys the empty envelopes from the extractor to a verifier that verifies that all of the contents have been removed from the envelope before the envelope is discarded.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2001
    Publication date: September 20, 2001
    Inventors: James G. Robertson, Michael E. York, Eric P. Minbiole, Robert R. Dewitt, George L. Hayduchok, Glen J. VanSant
  • Patent number: 6260462
    Abstract: Cartons of the type used for domestic milk supply may be more readily opened if a portion of the ridge that extends above the wings of the carton is first severed between the wings and the heat sealed closure so that the severed portion of the ridge may be folded back from above the wings or removed by a further cut across the ridge to the first line of sever. The wings are then free to be folded back and pressed inward to open the carton to form a pouring lip. A device for opening cartons comprises a thin blade secured to a handle and hinged within a shrouded recess in a two-part housing. Handles act about the double action hinge to move the blade across the slot to sever a portion of the carton ridge positioned in the slot. A tongue (not shown) holds the device in alignment with the ridge to ensure that the severing is below the sealed portion of the ridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Inventor: William George Edward Daysh
  • Patent number: 6230471
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing mail is provided. Mail is placed into an input bin having a conveyor that conveys the mail towards a feeder. The feeder serially feeds the envelopes by engaging the lead envelope in the stack of mail and displacing the lead envelope transverse the stack of mail. The mail is fed into a shuttle that vertically displaces the envelopes to position the envelopes for entering a justifier. The justifier justifies the top edge of the envelopes and conveys the envelopes to a cutter that severs the top edge of the envelopes. A transport conveys the envelopes from the top cutter to an extractor. The extractor opens the edge-severed mail and presents the contents of the envelopes to an operator who manually extracts the contents. The transport conveys the empty envelopes from the extractor to a verifier that verifies that all of the contents have been removed from the envelope before the envelope is discarded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: James G. Robertson, Michael E. York, Eric P. Minbiole, Robert R. Dewitt, George L. Hayduchok, Glen J. VanSant
  • Patent number: 6125732
    Abstract: A letter opener, especially intended for manual operation, is proposed, which can open a conventional envelope without producing any waste. For this purpose, it has a round knife (3), mounted by way of spring-generated pretension (7) between two rails (4, 40), the diameter of the knife being slightly smaller than twice the smallest possible distance between the axis of the knife and the letter support surface (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Inventor: Werner Haug
  • Patent number: 5974929
    Abstract: The invention provides a device for cutting open envelopes and punching filing holes into documents, and includes a body coupled to a base, the base having a two-section feeding surface along which an envelope, or other one or more documents are introduced into the device. The base is provided with a slot extending across the base, and a cutting blade having at least one cutting edge and being slidably guided in the slot, at least a portion of an edge of the slot in the base serving as stationary counter-edge to the cutting blade. At least two hole punches are slidably guided in a first section of the body; a corresponding member of cutting die holes are located in the body. A pressure-applying handle is hingedly articulated to the body for causing both the cutting blade and the hole punches to move towards the two-section feeding surface. First and second restoring springs respectively cause the cutting blade and the punches to move away from the feeding surface when the pressure-applying handle is released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: D.G.D Haifa Ltd.
    Inventors: Ofer Kugel, Eliahu Doron
  • Patent number: 5946996
    Abstract: A beltless automatic feed chadless envelope slitter device is disclosed. A separator-alignment assembly assures that only the lowermost envelope received from an infeed zone is passed downstream to a slitter and the envelope so-passed has its marginal edge aligned with a guide fence. The separator-alignment assembly is comprised of a pair of drive wheels having upper peripheral portions projecting above the table in combination with a pair of drag levers having high friction portions at the lowermost ends thereof. The high friction portions are preferably spring urged toward the table, and are shiftable upwardly and downwardly to accommodate envelopes of varying thickness and envelopes which themselves include varying thickness portions. The high friction components are urged toward the table at positions laterally offset from the peripheries of the drive wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: The Staplex Company, Inc.
    Inventors: James J. Oussani, Jr., Gregory B. Oussani
  • Patent number: 5474414
    Abstract: A substantially enhanced and improved automated mail or envelope handling system is obtained by incorporating therein the envelope content separating or staggering system of this invention. By positioning separating means in the envelope content pathway which cooperate with the envelope contents to physically separate and/or longitudinally stagger one content element relative to the second content element, the staggered portion of the rear element is easily readable by the operator in addition to the readability of the forward element. In this way, the operator is able to initiate processing of the envelope contents without being required to physically remove and separate the elements before processing the information. In the preferred embodiment, vacuum means are employed to attract and hold one of the content elements for a pre-determined duration of time, while the other element continues to advance. In this way, the desired longitudinally separation is efficiently attained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1995
    Assignee: Agissar Corporation
    Inventors: Gianluca Tovini, James E. Foley
  • Patent number: 5440861
    Abstract: Envelopes of different dimensions opened on three edges, namely one short edge and two long edges, are fed standing on one of the opened long edges to a removal device, in which both envelope sides (U and V) are deflected to the left and right by approximately 90.degree.. The envelope contents (Z) is conveyed linearly out of the removal device. The removal device is formed by two vertical suction cylinders (25, 26) positioned to the left and right alongside the envelope and which, under sensor control, engage the envelope sides, deflect them by approximately 90.degree. and consequently separate the sides from the envelope contents. The envelope is then ejected at one side, and the unopened short edge at the rear of the envelope assists the linear movement of the contents out of the apparatus. A third cutting or opening mechanism (23) for the lower long edge forms, together with the suction cylinders (25, 26) and the other rotated parts of the removal device, a compact constructional unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Stielow GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Bernd Lund
  • Patent number: 5374152
    Abstract: A substantially enhanced and improved automated mail or envelope handling system is obtained by incorporating therein the envelope content separating or staggering system of this invention. By positioning separating devices in the envelope content pathway which cooperate with the envelope contents to physically separate and/or longitudinally stagger one content element relative to the second content element, the staggered portion of the rear element is easily readable by the operator in addition to the readability of the forward element. In this way, the operator is able to initiate processing of the envelope contents without being required to physically remove and separate the elements before processing the information. In the preferred embodiment, vacuum devices are employed to attract and hold one of the content elements for a pre-determined duration of time, while the other element continues to advance. In this way, the desired longitudinally separation is efficiently attained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: Agissar Corporation
    Inventors: Gianluca Tovini, James E. Foley
  • Patent number: 5188504
    Abstract: Numbers of similar, loaded envelopes having side edge folds and end edge folds joining two rectangular panels are arranged in a stack in a drawer-like portable holder having a side opening. The drawer is installed with the envelopes disposed as a vertical slack in an elevator compartment. An elevator platform at the bottom of the stack is urged upwardly. Each successive top envelope is transferred from the stack to rollers that impel the envelope forcibly against a barrier wall to jog the load against a side edge fold. Cutters sever the other side edge fold and both end edge folds. A vacuum cup moves one of the panels to engage between stripper rollers that draw the entire envelope and the load apart. Conveyors take the separated envelope to a trash receiver and take the load to a receiver tray. There are various electrical driving, timing and performance checking devices, some optically responsive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Assignee: Systems Mailing Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry L. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5156515
    Abstract: Machine for extracting the contents from envelopes for presentation to an operator. The envelopes are stacked at an input station and fed one at a time from the input station to a cutting station. At the cutting station, the envelopes are severed along their edge portions to provide access to the contents. From the cutting station, the envelopes are transported to a separating station, where the contents are separated from the envelopes. The contents from one envelope at a time are conveyed to a pick-up station for presentation to an operator at a work station. When the operator removes the contents of one envelope from the pick-up station, the contents of another envelope are conveyed to that station and presented to the operator. As each envelope leaves the separating station, it is checked to verify that the contents have been removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1992
    Assignee: Omation Corporation
    Inventors: William F. Charron, Edward A. Krupotich, George H. Bingham, James R. Sencenbaugh
  • Patent number: 5117524
    Abstract: An easily assembled and disassembled device for cutting a tape from a roll of tape and opening an envelope which includes a push button member having a cutting blade and a push button, a tape guiding member supported on an envelope inserting member and a roll tape supporting member assembled therewith and the push button member, whereby when push button is downwardly pushed, the tape disposed on the tape guiding member or an envelope inserted into the envelope inserting member is easily and straightly cut by the cutting blade of the push button member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1992
    Assignee: Hanseung Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Key Yia Chang
  • Patent number: 5096360
    Abstract: Numbers of similar, loaded envelopes having side edge folds and end edge folds joining two rectangular panels are arranged in a stack in a drawer-like portable holder having a side opening. The drawer is installed with the envelopes disposed as a vertical stack in an elevator compartment. An elevator platform at the bottom of the stack is urged upwardly. Each successive top envelope is transferred from the stack to rollers that impel the envelope forcibly against a barrier wall to jog the load against a side edge fold. Cutters sever the other side edge fold and both end edge folds. A vacuum cup moves one of the panels to engage between stripper rollers that draw the entire envelope and the load apart. Conveyors take the separated envelope to a trash receiver and take the load to a receiver tray. There are various electrical driving, timing and performance checking devices, some optically responsive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Assignee: Systems Mailing Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry L. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5061146
    Abstract: Numbers of similar, loaded envelopes having side edge folds and end edge folds joining two rectangular panels are arranged in a stack in drawer-like portable holder having a side opening. The drawer is installed with the envelopes disposed as a vertical stack in an elevator compartment. An elevator platform at the bottom of the stack is urged upwardly. Each successive top envelope is transferred from the stack to rollers that impel the envelope forcibly against a barrier wall to jog the load against a side edge fold. Cutters sever the other side edge fold and both end edge folds. A vacuum cup moves one of the panels to engage between stripper rollers that draw the entire envelope and the load apart. Conveyors take the separated envelope to a trash receiver and take the load to a receiver tray. There are various electrical driving, timing and performance checking devices, some optically responsive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1991
    Assignee: Systems Mailing Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry L. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5054700
    Abstract: An apparatus for severing envelope edges in continuous fashion comprises a plurality of devices for severing an envelope edge and a conveyor mechanism for carrying envelopes past the plurality of severing devices, and for rotating the envelopes to present envelope edges to the plurality of severing devices in orientations which permit the edge-severing of each presented envelope edge. Also a severing device for use in connection with the severing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1991
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert R. DeWitt
  • Patent number: 5054620
    Abstract: An apparatus for extracting contents from a plurality of envelopes comprises a device for severing edge portions of the envelopes and for discharging the edge-severed envelopes serially and one at a time, and a device for extracting the contents from the edge-severed envelopes including a pair of conveyor belts which diverge from a nip for receiving the edge-severed envelopes from the severing device, and vacuum ports cooperating with the conveyor belts to separate faces of the envelopes from one another, and a device for separating contents from the separated faces of the envelopes, for discharge from the apparatus. Also a device for receiving the separated contents and envelope faces, and for testing them to verify that only effectively extracted contents are passed on for further processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1991
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, William R. Lile, Paul Mitchell, Albert F. Stevens
  • Patent number: 5052875
    Abstract: By providing a pair of vacuum manifolds positioned on opposite sides of an envelope travel path with the vacuum manifolds being laterally spaced apart, a unique, effective and dependable envelope handling system is achieved whereby the envelope sides are consistently separated and the contents removed therefrom and positioned in a readily accessible channel. Preferably, the envelope handling system also incorporates a sensor for automatically and separately inspecting each side of the envelope to determine the presence of additional material which should be processed. In this way, any such material is automatically discovered for handling by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1991
    Assignee: Agissar Corporation
    Inventors: Lester Miller, Szee M. Yao
  • Patent number: 5001833
    Abstract: A device for opening envelopes which comprises a rotatable shaft having an elongate recess in line with the axis of the shaft. A first cutting blade is located on the top edge of the recess and a second cutting blade is secured to a base which supports the shaft. The first and second blades are positioned such that they co-act in a shearing action on rotation of the shaft. To open an envelope, the edge of the envelope is positioned within the recess and the shaft is rotated causing the blades to co-act resulting in a sliver being cut from the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1991
    Inventor: Dieter Haage
  • Patent number: 4934892
    Abstract: An extraction apparatus which is particularly suited to the processing and extraction of contents from cumbersome envelopes and mail pouches incorporates a planar transport path which is sufficiently wide and appropriately oriented to receive relatively large or otherwise awkward envelopes, irrespective of their characteristics and the weight of their contents, for unimpeded transport through the apparatus without subjecting the envelopes to bending or other such distortions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1986
    Date of Patent: June 19, 1990
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: James G. Smith, Paul E. Haley
  • Patent number: 4926729
    Abstract: An envelope opener having a pair of entries in its opposite sides through which an envelope may enter the opener from either side to have its head automatically cut as it passes through the opener, comprises: cutters driven by a reversible electric motor; a lane for guiding the envelope, interrupted by the cutters; a pair of bar-type sensors swingably mounted crossing the lane, each being positioned in opposite sides of the cutters; a link connecting the sensors with each other to swing the sensors in synchronism when one is swung by an envelope passing through the lane; and contact assemblies coupled with the sensors, one of the assemblies being operated by the of the sensors to establish rotational directions of the motor and the cutters when the envelope entered the opener from either side swings one of the sensors to bring the other through the link into a position where the other of the contact assemblies coupled with the other of the sensors remains opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 22, 1990
    Assignee: Elm Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hideo Igarashi
  • Patent number: 4921388
    Abstract: Numbers of similar, loaded envelopes having side edge folds and end edge folds joining two rectangular panels are arranged in a stack in a drawer-like portable holder having a side opening. The drawer is installed with the envelopes disposed as a vertical stack in an elevator compartment. An elevator platform at the bottom of the stack is urged upwardly. Each successive top envelope is transferred from the stack to rollers that impel the envelope forcibly against a barrier wall to jog the load against a side edge fold. Cutters sever the other side edge fold and both end edge folds. A vacuum cup moves one of the panels to engage between stripper rollers that draw the entire envelope and the load apart. Conveyors take the separated envelope to a trash receiver and take the load to a receiver tray. There are various electrical driving, timing and performance checking devices, some optically responsive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1990
    Assignee: Systems Mailing Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry L. Nelson
  • Patent number: 4866915
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for assisting in the removal of contents from an envelope by cutting an opening in the envelope along a first peripheral edge thereof, gripping the envelope along a second peripheral edge thereof opposite the first peripheral edge, penetrating the envelope with a picker to engage the contents, and moving the picker and the contents engaged by the picker in the direction transverse to the opening while the envelope is gripped and maintained stationary, the envelope being slit as a result of the lateral movement of the picker to permit the lateral movement of the picker and the corresponding movement of the contents engaged by the picker so as to move the contents partially out of the envelope, through the opening therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1989
    Inventor: John D. Wise
  • Patent number: 4863037
    Abstract: An apparatus for the automated processing of bulk mail in a continuous and automatic procedure includes an operative combination of processing stations including an input station for receiving incoming mail in bulk fashion and for separting the pieces of mail for individual delivery to the remainder of the apparatus; a station for detecting irregularities in the contents of the envelopes, such as metal items, folded contents, or oversized items; a station for out-sorting envelopes rejected in accordance with the determinations made at the detection station; a station for opening the envelopes, preferably along multiple edges; a station for removing the contents from the opened envelopes, for subsequent processing of the contents; and a series of stations for handling and orienting the contents for subsequent delivery to a plurality of output stackers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1989
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Albert F. Stevens, Robert R. DeWitt, William R. Lile, Paul Mitchell, Stephen Tentarelli
  • Patent number: 4649694
    Abstract: An envelope contents extraction system in which adjacent edges of an envelope are opened to make the contents of the envelope accessible from two edges. The stations at which the envelope edges are opened and the contents removed are located along a single straight-line path. The envelopes are delivered to these stations by a straight-line conveyor which receives the envelopes and moves in one direction to move the envelopes to a side edge cutter and then in the opposite direction to move the envelope to a top edge cutter and an envelope spreader.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1987
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventor: Paul E. Haley
  • Patent number: 4553459
    Abstract: A method of opening an envelope along three edges, in which the envelope is moved to an opening or edge removing device along a supply path, one edge being guided along said device for cutting open or removing the edge. Next, the envelope is rotated through 90.degree. to be subsequently guided again along the opening or edge removing device for opening the second edge, which cycle is repeated for the third edge. An apparatus for performing this method includes a housing having an inlet path leading to the supply path along which the opening or edge removing device is arranged, a first set of members for moving and guiding the envelope co-extensively with the inlet path, and a second set of members for moving and guiding the envelope in a direction perpendicular to the inlet path along the opening or edge removing device, and a third set of members for guiding and moving the envelope along a quarter-circular path, which returns the envelope, turned 90 degrees, to the first set of members in the inlet path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 19, 1985
    Assignee: Hadewe B.V.
    Inventor: Jacobus F. Gombault
  • Patent number: 4527455
    Abstract: A device for opening envelopes includes a movable knife blade which is mounted on a swingable knife holder and is urged towards a complementary edge which is preferably formed by a further knife blade. The movable knife blade is inclined in its longitudinal direction. A cutting operation is effected at the point of engagement of the movable knife blade with the stationary one. Movement of the movable knife blade causes the edge of an envelope be gradually severed. The knife blades are supported on a base part which preferably has, underneath the cutting parts, a removable waste drawer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1985
    Assignee: DELTA-REAL Establishment
    Inventor: Francois Morax
  • Patent number: 4419915
    Abstract: An envelope opener device is provided characterized in that the envelope, which is automatically fed, is slit through only a single face of the envelope whereby no portion of the envelope is severed entirely, thus minimizing the possibility of loss of the contents. A further characterizing feature resides in a unique device for adjusting the cutting depth to achieve a precisely desired cutting effect, the depth adjustment means being actuatable for the slitting of envelopes of thinner stock, such as air mail envelopes. The device is resistant to feeding an envelope which is so disposed that the envelope contents are in registry with the cutting mechanism, thereby minimizing the possability of damaging the contents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1983
    Assignee: The Staplex Company, Inc.
    Inventor: James J. Oussani
  • Patent number: 4388847
    Abstract: Envelopes are opened by standing each envelope on an edge thereof in a guide channel and moving the envelope on edge along the channel into and through a cutting zone where one or more knives being rotated on a flywheel rotor continually move past an anvil and slice off a succession of narrow elongate segments of the border of the envelope. The segments are thrown from the cutter and fall by gravity into a collecting receptacle. Each knife has a cutting edge formed with at least one leading point and with cutting edge portions trailing from the point. Each segment is sliced off by first puncturing the envelope at a point in its border and then slicing it from that point across and along its edge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 21, 1983
    Inventor: Oscar W. Stoeckli
  • Patent number: 4360970
    Abstract: A device for opening sealed bags containing foods of various types. A lever is pivoted to one end of a base plate and carries a serrated cutter wheel which is mounted for free rotation. The base plate has a recess which receives the cutting edge of the cutter wheel when the lever is pressed toward the base plate to a cutting position. The bag is inserted between the lever and base plate and is pulled through the device such that the peripheral teeth of the cutter wheel cut or perforate the bag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1982
    Assignee: Rival Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Richard J. Ostroski, James B. Aberer, Gary Best
  • Patent number: 4356679
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed in which a plurality of envelopes are arranged and aligned in face-to-face relationship to form at least one batch of envelopes with at least a first edge of each envelope in the batch disposed substantially in a common plane and with a second edge of each envelope normal to the first edge and disposed substantially in a common plane. The first edges of the envelope are sprayed with a liquid envelope material degrading agent that functions more effectively when heated. The spraying is effected in a substantially planar fan spray pattern that is substantially parallel to the plane of the envelopes. The spray is moved along the batch in a direction normal to the planes of the envelopes to apply the agent to the first edges. The second edges of the envelopes are also sprayed with the liquid agent with a substantially planar fan spray pattern oriented substantially transversely to the planes of the envelopes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1982
    Assignee: AES Technology Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James B. Ellis, Raymond E. Sims, Joseph Savit
  • Patent number: 4356684
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for opening envelopes by applying an envelope material degrading chemical to the edges of the envelopes. The edges are contacted with a planar heating member and the envelopes are bent inwardly so that the edges are laterally displaced out of the planes defined by the major portions of the associated envelopes to promote more effective contact of the envelope edges with the heated member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1982
    Assignee: AES Technology Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James B. Ellis, Raymond E. Sims
  • Patent number: 4356683
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are disclosed for opening envelopes by chemically degrading the envelope material at the envelope edges. A chemical degrading agent which functions more effectively when heated is applied to the envelope edges. The envelopes are arranged and aligned in face-to-face relationship to form at least one batch. The batches of envelopes are conveyed around an endless conveying loop oriented in a substantially vertical plane and defining upper and lower horizontal conveying paths. Heating platens are moved against the agent-applied edges of the envelopes to contact the agent-applied edges of the envelopes and to flex the envelopes inwardly of the edges to laterally displace the edges against the platens and transfer heat by conduction to the edges whereby the envelope material is degraded along the edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1982
    Assignee: AES Technology Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James B. Ellis, Raymond E. Sims, Mieczyslaw J. Lisiecki
  • Patent number: 4333300
    Abstract: The present invention provides a machine and method wherein envelopes are removed from a supply hopper, one by one, and then transmitted to a plurality of sequentially disposed cutting stations wherein one end edge of the envelope is first severed, and thereafter an adjacent side edge of the envelope is severed. The envelope with two adjacent edges thus severed is transmitted to a processing station at which the envelope is opened and held open by suction cups, for removal of contents by an operator. The envelope is thereafter transmitted to a detector station to confirm content removal and then to a recovery station, and then to a point of discharge. Means is provided for adjusting the opening of the suction cups at the processing station, and stop means is provided for positioning the envelope as it reaches the processing station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1982
    Assignee: Mail-Ex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert J. Russell
  • Patent number: 4318322
    Abstract: There is disclosed an envelope processing machine in the form of an improved envelope cutter apparatus adapted to sever one edge of envelopes in one by one relationship. The apparatus includes a supply hopper for retaining the envelopes to be processed, cutting means for severing one edge of the envelopes, means for removing envelopes in one by one relationship from the supply hopper and for transmitting the removed envelopes to the cutting means, and means for orienting the envelopes in respect to the cutting means. The orienting means includes a plurality of angularly disposed feed belts operable upon the envelope and an abutment member against which an envelope is engaged in its movement to the cutting means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1982
    Assignee: Mail-Ex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert J. Russell
  • Patent number: 4295321
    Abstract: An extractor for removing contents from pre-opened envelopes which have two panels connected along three side edges and contents disposed in juxtaposition therebetween comprises an envelope magazine, a vacuum feed mechanism for sequentially withdrawing envelopes from the magazine and feeding the envelopes to cutter assemblies, which severs each successive envelope along opposite side edges to separate the panels thereof along said opposite side edges. The cutter assemblies feed the envelope into a separating mechanism which includes a rotatable vacuum drum. One panel of the envelope is gripped by and moves with the rotating drum whereas the other envelope panel and the envelope contents move away from the drum in a direction generally tangent to the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1979
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1981
    Assignee: Docutronix, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. DeHart, Robert A. Majewski
  • Patent number: 4233800
    Abstract: An improved envelope opener comprising first, second and third shear stations for shearing three edges of an envelope in sequence one edge at a time. Each shear station sequentially aligns the envelope by contacting the edge to be sheared, shears the contacted edge, and then releases the envelope. Each shear station includes a self-sharpening and self-aligning anvil assembly comprising a pivotable anvil which is spring-urged to an adjustable home position. The home position of the anvil is adjusted by means of a rotatable eccentric stop. During a shearing operation, the anvil is pivoted away from and then back towards the home position. An overly thick envelope will keep the anvil pivoted away from the home position to avoid a jam condition at the shear station. A peel back station downstream of the last shear station peels back the top panel of the envelope to expose the contents thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1978
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1980
    Assignee: Amer-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Long, Larry W. Roberts, H. Ross Williams
  • Patent number: 4222216
    Abstract: A process is provided for the opening of envelopes made of cellulosic paper by the action of a chemical degradation agent in the presence of radiant heat in which the radiant heat is generated from a source maintained at a temperature high enough to produce a substantial amount of radiation having a wave length of 2 microns or less and by applying to the edges to be opened a darkening material capable of absorbing a substantial portion of the incident radiant energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1980
    Assignee: AES Technology Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin T. Abrams
  • Patent number: 4194342
    Abstract: A process is provided for the opening of envelopes made of cellulosic paper in which there is applied to at least one envelope edge as the sole reactant with the cellulose therein a non-noxious organic acid having at least one pK value at room temperature between about 1.5 and about 5, followed by the application of heat and mild mechanical action to the envelope edge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1980
    Assignee: AES Technology Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph Savit
  • Patent number: 4159611
    Abstract: The present invention provides a machine and method wherein envelopes are removed from a supply hopper, one by one; transmitted to a cutting station wherein one edge of the envelope optionally may be severed; the envelope then being transmitted to a processing station at which the envelope is opened and held open by suction cups, for removal or insertion of contents by an operator. The envelope is thereafter transmitted to a detector station and then to a recovery station and then to a point of discharge. The dwell time of the envelope at the processing station may be adjusted as desired by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1977
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1979
    Assignee: Mail-Ex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert J. Russell
  • Patent number: 4144786
    Abstract: In an envelope edge slitter having a base, apparatus for feeding the envelopes one-by-one from the bottom of a stack at an input station to slitter blades in which an endless elastic belt extending around an eccentric pulley has an upper reach disposed in a slot n the base at the input station. The eccentricity of the pulley alternately brings the belt into and out of engagement with the lowermost envelope in the stack while the elasticity of the belt, the eccentricity of the pulley and the speed with which the belt is driven are such as to produce a whipping action of the upper reach of the belt which ensures that adjacent envelopes of the stack are separated and are fed one-by-one to the slitter blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 20, 1979
    Assignee: Stephens Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Beard, Gene F. Beck
  • Patent number: 4142430
    Abstract: An envelope opener comprising first, second and third shear stations for shearing three edges of an envelope in sequence one edge at a time. Each shear station sequentially aligns the envelope by contacting the edge to be sheared, shears the contacted edge, and then releases the envelope. A microcomputer monitors the advance of the envelope through and between the shear stations and causes the shear stations to cyclically align, shear and release the envelope. A peel back station downstream of the shear station peels back a panel of the envelope to expose the contents thereof. If an envelope is jammed at or between any of the stations, the microcomputer actuates a display to indicate a jam condition. The microcomputer also shuts off power to the opener to prevent damage to the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 6, 1979
    Assignee: Amer-O-Matic Corp.
    Inventors: William J. Long, Charles A. Long, Jr., Robert L. Babanats, Larry W. Roberts, H. Ross Williams
  • Patent number: 4123890
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for opening an envelope upon three sides. The apparatus employs a circular rotating wheel which supports a plurality of complementary pairs of paddles which are designed to open at predetermined times to receive an envelope and close upon the envelope in a protective manner. The envelope is first received in the paddles with the leading edge thereof slightly exposed. As the paddles progress in their circular motion, the leading edge is engaged by means which weaken the edge. Thereafter, the paddles are opened and a conveyor below the paddles repositions the envelope between the paddles so as the trailing and bottom edges thereof are slightly exposed. As the paddles progress, the trailing and bottom edges are likewise weakened after which the envelope is discharged to an opening means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1976
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1978
    Inventors: Robert J. Russell, William Young, Barry D. Nuss
  • Patent number: D260133
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1978
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1981
    Assignee: Swingline Inc.
    Inventors: John J. Power, Raymond H. Van Wagener, John C. Costello, Arthur J. Pulos