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Патент USA US3059780

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Oct. 23, 1962
F. FICHTMULLER
ARTICLE SORTING ARRANGEMENT
3,059,770
Filed Nov. 12, 1958
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVENTOR.
FRIEDR/Cf/ F/Cf/TMUlLfR
BY
MM.ATTORNEY
WW
Oct. 23, 1962
F. FICHTMULLER
3,059,770
ARTICLE SORTING ARRANGEMENT
Filed Nov._ 12, 1958
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INVENTOR.
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ATTORNEY
United States Patent O?lice
3,059,770
Patented Oct. 23, 1962
2
2
3,059,770
horizontal conveyor 2 for moving articles within the
hopper toward a chute 3. The outlet of chute 3 is adja
ARTICLE SORTING ARRANGEMENT
Friedrich Fichtmuller, Malsch, near Karlsruhe, Germany,
assignor to International Standard Electric Corpora
tion, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware
Filed Nov. 12, 1958, Ser. No. 773,458
Claims priority,j__application Germany Nov. 11, 1§57
5 Claims. (Cl. 209-91)
cent one end of a main conveying path 5 so that articles
from the chute arrive on path 5. The outlet end of
chute 3 rests on a support 4 which maintains path 5 and
chute 3 separated. As can be seen with the aid of FIG. 3,
path 5 is tilted about its longitudinal axis and is vibrated
by an agitating system 6. Agitating system 6 is located
below the path 5 and the vibrating portion of the system
This invention relates to materials handling, and more 10 contacts the lower side of path 5 causing it to vibrate.
ticularly to sorting machines.
Conveying path 5 is surmounted by an edgewise belt con
Arrangements are known which serve to sort mail arti
veyor 7 that extends diagonally across path 5. Conveyor 7
cles and similar objects according to their dimensions
has spaced driver studs or sprockets 11 extending out
and especially in the case of outgoing mail, serve to have
wardly from one surface thereof. The conveyor 7 is
standard sized letters and post cards sorted out in order 15 spaced above path 5 at an angle to form a uniform
that they may then be subjected to a further treatment,
clearance through which articles of varying sizes can
letters and post cards constituting the major portion of
pass, that is, belt conveyor 7 is mounted so that the lower
the mail. This treatment consists in positioning the
edge of its belt is maintained a uniform distance above
articles for reading and in sorting them as to the desti
path 5 through its entire traverse of path 5. Along
nations, and also deals with the cancelling of the stamps. 20 the lower edge of the inclined path 5 an edgewise
Mail articles are different among themselves as to shape
belt conveyor 8 is provided and which conveyor may
and size, being, for example, packages, boxes, letters and
have
studs or sprockets v8a similar to the stud 11.
post cards.
Conveyor 8 is spaced from path 5, to form a lat
In the arrangement according to Belgian Patent 558,940,
eral gap through which articles of certain smaller di
for instance, articles are supplied to a main conveying 25 mensions can fall onto an additional conveying path 9,
path by which the articles are led onto side or branch
FIG. 3, by means of which they are transferred to a re
paths predetermined by the sizes of the articles. To
ceptacle (not shown).
achieve this, the main path has lateral guides as well as
This arrangement operates as follows: The articles
guides provided in its bottom. The articles on the main
of random size are thrown into receptacle 1. By the
path are moved along it by agitating means, for instance, 30 conveyor 2 they are moved continuously toward chute 3
acting on this path. At ?rst, articles of certain thick
from which they fall onto the conveying path 5 con
nesses are guided onto the side paths. The other arti
structed as a shaking table, where the sorting begins. All
cles will then reach these in ‘accordance with other dimen
the ?at articles pass through the clearance between path
.sions.
5 and conveyor 7 due to the pull of gravity. Articles
The arrangement as described in said patent has the 35
not
flat, such as packages, mail, boxes and the like, are
drawback that several agitating systems must be pro
de?ected by conveyor 7 from path 5 in order to be con
vided, so that the operation is somewhat noisy and lacks
ducted to a further collecting receptacle (not shown).
maximum e?iciency. Hence, if the working capacity is
This
is accomplished by conveyor 7 and studs 11 which
to be great the plant must be relatively large and will
contact
the thick articles and convey them to one side
40
have a corresponding high power requirement.
of table 5 as the conveyor belt 7 traverses the face of table
This invention is to avoid these shortcomings.
5. Due to the slope of path 5 the articles ?at enough
According to the invention the main conveying path is
to pass through below conveyor 7 move toward conveyor
surmounted by a belt conveyor spaced therefrom to form
8 and, according to their dimensions, either fall
a clearance for the passage thereunder of those articles to
through the gap between path 5 and conveyor 8,
be sorted out which are of the permissible thickness. 45
or slide across, slide 110’ into contact with conveyor
This conveyor extends diagonally across that path, is of
8 and are transferred by conveyor 8 to its collecting re
the type known as edgewise, and, preferably, has driver
ceptacle. The articles passing through the gap between
Articles too thick to pass under the
path 5 and conveyor 8 fall onto the conveying path 9
conveyor will be expelled from the main path by the
studs.
50 and thence into a receptacle arranged to collect them. '
The invention enables large quantities of mail articles
According to a further development of the invention
to be sorted as to their sizes within a short time.’ Since
the main path is inclined transversely of the direction
articles of 2.20‘ x 11.15 millimeters are the greatest part of
of conveyance. The articles passing through the clear
standard
mail, the arrangement here disclosed will readily
ance below said conveyor move toward a second lateral
edgewise belt conveyor whichis parallel to the main path 55 sort same preparatory to further treatment. The rela
tively small percentage of packages, boxes and over-size
and spaced from it to form a gap through which articles
letters,
will in most cases be separately and manually han
of certain smaller dimensions can fall onto a third con
dled.
veying path.
While I have described above the principles of my_in
The above-mentioned and other features and objects
vention
in connection with speci?c apparatus, it is to be
60
of the invention and the manner of attaining them will
studs or sprockets.
become more apparent and the invention itself will be
best understood by reference to the following description
of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction
with the accompanying drawings in which:
clearly understood that this description is made byway
of example and not as a limitation to the scope of my
invention, as set forth in the objects thereof and in the
accompanying claims.
.
i
What is claimed is:
1. A device for separating articles having predeter
by the invention;
mined dimensions from other ‘articles having at least two
FIG. 2 is a plan view; and
dimensions larger than those predetermined comprising a
FIG. 3 is an end view thereof.
hopper
for holding said articles, a horizontal ?rst belt
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown at the input end
conveyor disposed within said hopper, a chute arranged
of the sorter a receptacle or hopper 1 for receiving arti 70
adjacent to the discharge end of said ?rst belt conveyor to
cles to be sorted. Located within this receptacle is a
direct said articles in a given path, and a planar
FIG. 1 is an elevation of an arrangement as provided 65
3,059,770
4
in a given path; conveying and agitating means to posi
table adjacent the discharge end of said chute to re
tion and move all said ?at articles in a common plane
ceive said articles, said table being titled from the hori
along said path so that their shortest dimension is es
zontal around its longitudinal axis to form said path
sentially vertical; means in said path for intercepting
for said articles, agitating means operatively connected to
said articles having said vertical dimension greater than
vibrate said planar table and position said articles thereon, 01 predetermined and permitting passage of said articles
whereby said articles are urged across said table by the
having said vertical dimension smaller than predeter
attraction of gravity and are therefore conveyed obliquely
mined, and for diverting said intercepted articles into a
downward in the direction of the tilt of said table, an
second path.
edgewise second belt conveyor mounted a predetermined
4. A device is in claim 3 wherein said conveying and
distance above said tilted table and parallel to the surface 10 agitating means includes a planar table disposed at the
of said table and extending diagonally across said table
bottom of said holding and feeding means and tilted
whereby articles moving along said table which have
from the horizontal around its longitudinal axis, and said
a vertical dimension greater than the distance between
agitating means being operatively connected to vibrate
said table and said second belt conveyor are intercepted by
said table and cause said articles placed on said table to
the lower edge of said second belt conveyor and diverted
move across said table by the attraction of gravity and to
by movement thereof in a second diagonal path across
be conveyed obliquely downward in the direction of tilt
said table away from the remaining articles which continue
of said table.
to pass downward between said table and second belt
5. A device for separating ?at surfaced articles having
conveyor, a third belt conveyor spaced apart from said
predetermined dimensions from other articles having at
planar table so as to form a slot between said table and said
least one dimension larger than those predetermined com
third belt conveyor, a fourth belt conveyor disposed below
prising holding and feeding means to direct said articles
said third belt conveyor whereby said remaining articles
in a given path, said holding and feeding means including
having the dimension larger than the width of said slot
a hopper, a horizontal ?rst belt conveyor disposed within
pass across said slot and into engagement with said third
said hopper, and a chute arranged adjacent the discharge
belt conveyor and are expelled, and articles having a di
end of said ?rst belt conveyor; conveying and agitating
mension smaller than the width of said slot pass through
means to position and move all said ?at articles in a com
said slot and are expelled by said fourth belt conveyor.
mon plane along said path so that their shortest di
2. A device for separating articles having predeter
mined dimensions from other articles having their dimen
sions larger than those predetermined, comprising a hop
mension is essentially vertical, said conveying and
agitating means including a planar table disposed at the
per for holding said articles, a horizontal ?rst belt con
around its longitudinal axis, and agitating means opera
tively connected to vibrate said table and cause said articles
placed on said table to move across said table by the
attraction of gravity and to be conveyed obliquely down
ward in the direction of tilt of said table; means in said
veyor disposed within said hopper, a chute arranged ad
jacent to the discharge end of said ?rst belt conveyor, a
planar table disposed adjacent the discharge end of said
chute and tilted from the horizontal around its longitud
inal axis to form a path for said articles, agitating means
operatively connected to vibrate said tilted table and posi
tion and articles thereon, whereby said articles are urged
across said table by the attraction of gravity and are
therefore conveyed obliquely downward in the direction
bottom of said chute and tilted from the horizontal
path for intercepting said articles having said vertical
dimension greater than predetermined and permitting pas
sage of said articles having said vertical dimension smaller
40
of tilt of said table, an edgewise second belt conveyor
mounted a predetermined distance above said tilted table
and parallel to the surface of said table and extending
than predetermined, said intercepting means comprising
an edgewise second belt conveyor mounted at a predeter
mined distance above said tilted table and parallel to
the surface of said table and extending diagonally across
said table, whereby articles moving along said table which
diagonally across said table whereby articles moving
have a vertical dimension greater than the distance be
45
along said table which have a vertical dimension greater
tween said table and said second belt conveyor are inter
than the distance between said table and said second
cepted by the lower edge of said second belt conveyor and
belt conveyor are intercepted by the lower edge of said
said smaller dimension articles pass between said second
second belt conveyor and diverted by movement thereof
belt conveyor and said parallel table surface; and means
in a second diagonal path across said table with the re
for diverting said intercepted articles into a second path.
maining said articles passing between said table and sec
ond conveyor, a third belt conveyor spaced ‘apart from
said tilted table and forming a slot between said belt con
veyor and said table, a fourth belt conveyor disposed be
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
low said third conveyor, slides mounted at predetermined
intervals across the slot between said third belt conveyor
and said tilted table, whereby articles having a horizontal
dimension less than the width of said slot and less than
said predetermined intervals between said slides fall
through said slot between said slides and are expelled by
said fourth conveyor, while articles having a horizontal 60
dimension greater than the width of the slot and the pre
determined intervals of said slides pass over said slot and
said slides and are expelled by said third belt conveyor.
3. A device for separating ?at surfaced articles having
predetermined dimensions from other articles having at
least one dimension larger than those predetermined com
prising holding and feeding means to direct said articles
425,705
660,611
764,919
1,292,820
1,582,820
2,186,652
2,446,320
2,701,638
2,821,301
Smallwood __________ __ Apr. 15,
Zehnder et al ___________ .._ Oct. 30,
Crum ________________ __ July 12,
Lindsley ______________ _- Jan. 28,
Hungerford _________ __ Apr. 27,
Orth et al ______________ __ Jan. 9,
Andrews ______________ __ Aug. 3,
Petro _________________ __ Feb. 8,
Montague ____________ -_ Jan. 28,
1890
1900
1904
1919
1926
1940
1948
1955
1958
FOREIGN PATENTS
65
21,977
Great Britain __________ .. July 16, 1914
of 1913
805,542
France ______________ __ Aug. 22, 1936
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