US 3883131 A
A delivery table is equipped with a movable platform and is used in combination with a pair of dividing trays to rearrange a continuous progression of zig-zag folded forms into vertical stacks. The forms are supplied to the delivery table by a forms press equipped with a folder and are carried horizontally along the table by a conveyor which operates at a slower speed than that of the press. At the end of the delivery table the forms travel around a guide roll and drop onto the platform.
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United States Patent 1 Anderson, Jr. et al.
[ DELIVERY APPARATUS AND METHOD  Inventors: Ohmer Anderson, Jr.; Robert Eugene Stephens, both of Dayton, Ohio  Assignee: Harris-Intertype Corporation,
Cleveland, Ohio 22 Filed: Nov. 2, 1973 21 Appl.No.:4l2,l92
[52} US. Cl. 270/61 F; 270/79; 270/82;
270/85; 271/218; 214/6 H [5'1] Int. Cl B65h 45/00  Field of Search 270/39-40,
270/61 F, 73, 79, 82, 85; 214/105 R, 10.5 S, 6 H; 271/216-218; 93/93 D, 93 DP; 53/248, 244, 245, 255
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,205,767 6/1940 Lamb 214/6 H 2,344,022 3/1944 Brawn 270/39 2,675,747 4/1954 Greiner 270/39 3,236,162 2/1966 Reist 271/216 3,291,477 12/1966 Rehr 270/39 3,301,111 1/1967 Nystrand 270/61 F 3,374,902 3/1968 Mills 214/6 H Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant E.\'aminer-A. Heinz Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Biebel, French & Bugg 5 May 13, 1975  ABSTRACT A delivery table is equipped with a movable platform and is used in combination with a pair of dividing trays to rearrange a continuous progression of zig-zag folded forms into vertical stacks. The forms are supplied to the delivery table by a forms press equipped with a folder and are carried horizontally along the table by a conveyor which operates at a slower speed than that of the press. At the end of the delivery table the forms travel around a guide roll and drop onto the platform.
The trays are inserted into the forms as they progress in an upstanding shingled arrangement along the delivery table, and a pair of retractable ledges catch the trays as they round the end of the table. Means are provided to retract the ledges at an appropriate time and droo the trays from the ledges onto the platform. After each tray is dropped onto the platform the platform moves downwardly collecting a stack of forms thereon. Forms continue to stack upon the platform until catching of the next tray by the ledges. Thereafter the platform stops, and the operator pulls the stack of forms forward out from under the upper tray. At this point the lower tray is replaced into the progressing stream of forms and the platform is raised to repeat the cycle.
20 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures FATENTEU W 1 3 I975 SHEET 18$ 5 w oZmmEo J zQEwwEEE PAIENTED 1m 1 3197s FIG-6 SHEET 2 BF 5 PATENTED RAY I 3 I975 SHEET *4 OF FIG-ll 1 DELIVERY APPARATUS AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to delivery apparatus for use in combination with a high speed forms press or the like. In years past folding apparatus employed in connection with such presses has been relatively slow and the handling of the forms at the end of the press has not pres ented any particular problem. More recently, however, there have been developed presses which will print, perforate, and zig-zag fold a continuous web of nearly 3 ft. width at running speeds as high as 1200 ft. per. min. Moreover, such machines may slit such a web into two or three slightly joined sections which accumulate together on a delivery table in what is called double or triple streaming. Thus there is created a handling problem which involves collecting the accumulating forms into a stack of predetermined height, separating this stack along the joinder lines into two or three side by side stacks, and packaging or otherwise disposing of these stacks; all in time to keep up with the continuing output from the press.
Typical apparatus of the above described type may be constructed generally as described in Loase US. Pat. No. 3,250,528, and may deliver printed and zigzag folded forms in shingled progression onto a moving delivery table. At operating speeds such as above mentioned it has been impossible for one operator to keep up with the output. Consequently two or more operators have been employed, with an attendant greatly increased cost.
In the operation of the above mentioned apparatus it has been common practice to count the printed forms automatically and to identify the beginning of each collection stack by printing a stripe along the length of the first few forms thereof. This stripe is readily visible to the operators because of the shingled arrangement of the forms. Thus when the stripe has appeared, the operators have broken the performations at an adjacent or closely located fold line and have collected the forms thereahead into a stack. This stack has been separated as above mentioned and boxed as required.
A major difficulty with the above mentioned operation has been in collecting the shingled forms into the initially joined stacks. As the forms leave the press they are rather loosely shingled, and they occupy a considerable extent of the delivery table during their forward progress therealong. Therefore, in prior art forms handling operations the operators have been required to gather or bunch up the forms prior to stacking and have had to make space on the delivery table for accomplishment of this step. Commonly they have made this space by pulling the working stack forward along the delivery table and pushing the oncoming forms backwardly toward the press. This has created problems at times by interfering with the folding apparatus and jamming the press. Moreover, it will be appreciated that the delivery table has continued to move, thereby complicating the stack collection step. As a further complication the forms have been delivered in a rather horizontal position, while for handling ease a vertical stack would be preferred.
In some cases prior art machines have provided a movable platform or descender at the end of the delivery table. This has aided in the collection of the zig-zag folded forms into stacks, but the collection has still been a hand operation, and moreover there has been difficulty in feeding the forms around the end of the delivery table onto the descender.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides an improved delivery apparatus and method wherein a continuous progression of horizontally moving forms are rearranged into vertical stacks for boxing or other handling. The rearrangement of the forms is carried out by a delivery table equipped with a horizontal conveyor and a vertically movable platform at the end of the conveyor. Means are provided to guide the forms from the end of the conveyor onto the platform, and a pair of retractable ledges positioned slightly below the end of the conveyor catch a dividing tray which has been placed into the horizontally moving forms by an operator. When the operator places the tray into the stream of forms, he automatically segregates a downstream group of forms for accu mulation into a vertical stack. The operator merely places the tray into the forms at an appropriate point and need not push any part of the stream backward toward the press.
The platform moves downwardly at a speed slower than the horizontal movement speed of the conveyor, but the upward return of the platform is carried out somewhat rapidly. As the platform reaches its upper limit at the end of a return trip, the ledges are actuated to release the tray being held thereby, and the tray drops onto the platform. Then the platform moves slowly downwardly with forms collecting in a vertical stack thereon. Preferably there is provided a second tray also for insertion in the stream of forms and catching on the ledges in spaced relation behind the first tray. After collection of a stack of forms, the first tray is reinserted into the stream of forms behind the second tray, and the collected stack is removed from the platform. The entire process is thereafter repeated continuously.
Accordingly it is an object of this invention to provide improved apparatus and method for rearranging a continuous progression of horizontally moving forms into a series of vertical stacks.
It is another object of this invention to arrange a stream of zig-zag folded forms into vertical stacks as they are produced by a forms press and to do so without pushing the forms backwardly toward the press.
It is still another object of this invention to enable a single operator to separate and stack the forms produced by a high speed forms press.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a delivery table in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the top surface of a movable platform;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a dividing tray;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a platform and support apparatus therefor;
FIG. 5 is an end view of a delivery table;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a platform and dividing tray and support apparatus therefor;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged side view of a platform;
FIG. 8 is a partially cut away view of a delivery table showing retractable ledges in the extended position;
FIG. 9 is a partially cut away end view of a delivery table showing retractable ledges in the retracted position;
FIG. 10 is a view taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 11 is a pictorial drawing of a continuous progression of zig-zag folded forms;
FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of driving apparatus for a conveyor and a platform; and
FIGS. 13a through 13g illustrate a typical stacking sequence in accordance with this invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A preferred embodiment of apparatus according to this invention is illustrated generally in FIG. 1 as comprising a delivery table configured for mating engagement with a folding unit 40. A folding unit such as folding unit 40 normally is installed at the end of a printing press and comprises a pair of folding cylinders 71 which deliver a stream of zig-zag folded forms 70 to a conveyor 29 on delivery table 20. The forms 70 proceed in shingled or loosely assembled and forwardly tipped fashion along conveyor 29 to the end of delivery table 20 for collection upon a platform 21.
The apparatus is attended by an operator who may have a reach as illustrated and who is preferably provided with a pair of trays 23. These trays 23 are inserted into the stream of forms 70 as described in detail below, and the trays proceed with the forms around the end of delivery table 20 to be caught by a pair of ledges 50 (FIG. 8). Ledges 50 are retractable so as to provide temporary support for a tray 23 and thereafter drop the tray onto platform 21. Platform 21 is vertically movable between upper and lower limits, and the operation of ledges 50 is coordinated with raising and lowering of platform 21 so as to facilitate stacking of the forms 70, all as described in detail below.
Trays 23 may be relatively simple devices as illustrated in FIG. 3. Thus they may comprise a blade 88, a stiffening channel 89 and a handle 90. Blade 88 may be somewhat sharpened as at 91 for severing'forms 70 upon insertion into the zig-zag folded stream thereof, or alternatively severing of the forms may be accomplished by use of a knife. It will be appreciated that such separation of forms 70 is necessary at some time prior to stacking thereof. Preferably trays 23 are made of aluminum so as to provide good strength at relatively low weight. In order to facilitate sliding of trays 23 along the top surface 27 of platform 21, the platform top may be provided with a series of nylon strips 28 as shown in FIG. 2.
As further shown in FIG. 1 delivery table 20 rides on wheels 33 for engagement with press 25. For this purpose press 25 is provided with a roller 31 and delivery table 20 as a ramp 30. As delivery table 20 moves into engagement with press 25, ramp 30 rides up on roller 31 lifting the front wheels 31 off the floor. There is a jack 32 for lifting rear wheels 33 off the floor and a latch arrangement 57 for maintaining table 20 in engagement with press 25.
The main drive for platform 21 and conveyor 29 is provided by a sprocket 37 mounted or press 25. Sprocket 37 is driven by a chain 41 and in turn drives a chain 36. Chain 36 passes around an idler sprocket 38 and also over a takeup sprocket 35. Takeup sprocket is connected to a spring 58 which maintains chain 36 in a state of tension. When table 20 is moved into engagement with press 25. a sprocket 34 which is mounted on table 20 comes into engagement with chain 36. Chain 36 then drives sprocket 34 which in turn drives another chain 62. Chain 62 is connected for driving platform 21 and conveyor 29 as hereinafter described in detail with reference to FIG. 12.
Depending upon the size of the forms 70 being printed and folded, conveyor 29 may move upwardly toward or downwardly away from cylinders 71. For this purpose table 20 is provided with a hydraulic cylinder 28. Hydraulic cylinder 28 is controlled by hydraulic lines (not shown) and is mounted on the main frame of delivery table 20. Hydraulic cylinder 28 has a piston rod 59 connected for raising or lowering conveyor 29 as required. Conveyor 29 comprises a series of rollers and a set of belts 69. Belts 69 are driven by a set of rollers 72 at a speed which depends upon the operating speed of press 25 and the thickness of the forms which are being processed.
Platform 21 is attached to one link on each of chains 42 as by a pair of lugs 51 (see FIG. 7). Chains 42 thus support the weight of platform 21, as well as any folded forms resting thereon, and the vertical movement of platform 21 is guided by a pair of guide bars 52 attached to the side frames 44 of delivery table 20. For cooperation with guide bars 52 platform 21 is equipped with four nylon bearings 53, two on each sidel As shown in FIG. 5 side frames 56 of platform 21 are supported by support bolts 55 which in turn are secured to nylon bearings 53. Four spacer sleeves 54 are fitted over support bolts 55, and these spacer sleeves maintain platform 21 in the correct position between the side frames of delivery table 20. FIG. 4 illustrates the range of vertical movement of platform 21, and FIG. 6 further illustrates the mounting of platform 21.
As mentioned above, delivery table 20 is provided with a pair of retractable ledges 50, and these ledges are automatically actuated by upward movement of platform 21. The operation of ledges 50 is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, which show ledges 50 in the extended and retracted positions respectively. Ledges 50 pivot about shafts and are urged into the extended position by springs 76. Ledges 50 are each provided with a cam surface 77 at one end thereof for engagement by a roller 78. Rollers 78 are attached to the side frames 56 of platform 21 and engage cam surfaces 77 to force ledges 50 outwardly to the retracted position when platform 21 reaches the upper limit of its vertical travel. When ledges 50 are extended as illustrated in FIG. 8, they are able to support a tray 23 with stacked forms 70 thereon. Then when ledges 50 are forced outwardly as illustrated in FIG. 9, the tray 23 drops onto platform 21. Further details of the mounting of ledges 50 are shown in FIG. 10.
Details of the drive mechanism for platform 21 and belts 69 are illustrated in FIG. 12. As previously mentioned with respect to FIG. 1, the driving power for delivery table 20 is supplied by a chain 41, and chain 41 drives another chain 62 through intermediate mechanism as illustrated pictorially by FIG. 12. Chain 62 is connected to provide input driving power to two differential drive units 73 and 74, and differential drive units 73 and 74 drive belts 69 and chains 42 respectively. Differential drive unit 73 has a control shaft 79, and differential drive unit 74 has a control shaft 80. Control shafts 79 and 80 may be either mechanically or manually positioned to control the output speeds of the differential drive units. Thus the driving speed of belts 69 will be a fraction of the speed of chain 41 as determined by the position of control shaft 79, and the speed of platfrom drive chains 42 will be a fraction of the speed of chain 41 as determined by the position of control shaft 80. However, it is to be noted that control shaft 80 and differential drive unit 74 control only the downward driving of platform 21. Thus the output from differential drive unit 74 is supplied to an electric clutch 81 which may be controlled by circuitry as illustrated in simplified form in FIG. 12.
Clutch 81 is activated by a relay, as described below, and when the clutch is activated, the output from differential drive unit 74 is applied to the input shaft 82 of a gear box 83. The output from gear box 83 is connected through a chain 67 and sprocket 68 for driving a pair of sprockets 47. Sprockets 47 are the driving sprockets for chains 42, and when clutch 81 is engaged, chains 42 drive platform 21 slowly downward. Meanwhile belts 69 are transporting forms 70 at somewhat faster speed around the end of the delivery table for stacking upon the downwardly moving platform.
The circuit which controls the operation of clutch 81 includes the timing unit 105, a first relay 100, a second relay 106, a current rectifying bridge 107 and three switches 86, 87, and 94. Switches 86 and 87 are spring biased into closed positions, and are temporarily opened by a lug 95. Lug 95 is attached to chain 42 for opening of switch 86 at the upper travel limit of platform 21 and opening switch 87 at the lower travel limit of the platform. Switch 94 is pushbutton operated and is normally in the up position. Switches 86, 87 and 94 control activation of clutch 81 at the appropriate time for downward driving of platform 21, and they also control the deactivation of clutch 81 and the activation of motor 85 for upward return of platform 21.
The operation of the platform control circuitry may be understood by considering first the condition when platform 21 is at its lower travel limit and is stopped thereat. At this time switch 94 is in the up position, switch 86 is closed, and switch 87 is being held open by lug 95. Further at this time, relay 100 is deenergized, so that contact 101 is closed, and contacts 102, 103, and 104 are open. It will be seen that the open condition of contacts 103 and 104 results in an open circuit for the power supply to motor 85, so that shaft 82 receives no driving input from either motor 85 or clutch 81. Further it will be seen that the open condition of switch 87 disconnects relay 106 from the power supply transfromer 108. Thus at this time relay 106 is deenergized, so that contacts 109 are open. With switch 87 and contacts 109 being open, no power is supplied to bridge 107 for energizing clutch 81.
When the operator is prepared to commence a platform operating cycle, he depresses pushbutton 94 thereby activating relay 100 (through the normally closed switch 86). Activation of relay 100 opens contacts 101 and closes contacts 102, 103 and 104. The closing of contacts 103 and 104 energizes drive motor 85, and the closing of contacts 102 holds relay relay 106 because of the above mentioned opening of contacts 101.
When platform 21 reaches its upper travel limit, lug 95 opens switch 86, thereby deenergizing relay 100 and terminating the power supply to motor 85. At the same time contact 101 closes thereby applying current through switch 94 (now in the up position) and switch 87 (now closed) into timing unit 105.
Timing unit 105 may be any convenient device which will close a circuit at a predetermined time after being energized. Preferably timing unit 104 is a commonly available solid state time-delay device sold as a unit with relay 106. Timing unit 105 may be adjusted for time delays over a range from about 0.1 second to about 10 seconds. Typically timing unit 105 may be set for a delay of about 5 seconds, so that relay 106 will be energized about 5 after the closure of contacts 101 of relay 100. During this 5 second timer period platform 21 remains stopped at its upper travel limit, and a group of forms begin stacking up upon the tray 23 which has been dropped upon platform top 27 by the retraction of ledges 50.
At the end of the predetermined time delay period, timing unit 105 applies current to the control coil of relay 106. This energizes relay 106 thereby closing contacts 109. The closure of contacts 109 applies current to bridge 107 for energizing clutch 81, and clutch 81 remains energized so long as switch 87 and contacts 101 of relay 100 remain closed.
When clutch 81 is energized platform 21 begins a slow speed descent as described previously. During this descent relay 100 remains deenergized, and relay 106 remains energized. Then when platform 21 reaches its lower travel limit lug 95 opens switch 87 thereby deenergizing relay 106 and clutch 81 to complete the operating cycle.
During cyclic operation of platform 12, drive shaft 82, chain 67, and chains 42 move first in one direction and then in the other, as motor and clutch 81 are alternately energized. This produces the alternate upward and downward movement of lug for opening of switches 86 and 87 as well as the upward and downward movement of platform 21 and the actuation of the retraction mechanism for ledges 50, all as described in detail above. However, it will be appreciated that other mechanical and electrical arrangements may be provided. In particular regard to the ledges it will be seen that the above disclosed release mechanism could be replaced by a manual release or a solenoid operated latch arrangement. In the case of the solenoid arrangement the solenoid conveniently could be connected to be energized by the opening of switch 86 and deenergized by the activation of relay 106.
FIG. 11 illustrates in detail the flow of a double stream of zig-zag folded forms 70 with one tray 23 inserted therein and moving therewith. Another tray 23 is shown as resting on ledges 50, thereby stopping movement of the forward end of the stream. Accordingly the rearward tray is moving forward toward the forward tray, and the forms therebetween are being rearranged from an upstanding loosely assembled lengthwise progression into a compact vertical stack. The condition illustrated by FIG. 11 corresponds to the cycle period discussed below with reference to FIG. 13d so that platform top 27 is moving upwardly. At a later time in the cycle the forward tray 23 will drop on the platform top, and the platform will begin moving downwardly.
Preferably press 25 is provided with a counter to count the forms being printed and means to print a longitudinal stripe therealong at the end of a predetermined count. Typically the stripe may be printed along the length of several forms after a count of about 3000. In a double streaming operation as illustrated by FIG. 11 there are two streams forms lightly joined along a performation line 46, and the longitudinal stripe may be printed along this line. Since the forms are loosely gathered and forwardly tipped during travel along conveyor 29, the stripes appear as reference marks 92. The operator inserts trays 23 into the stream of forms at these reference marks to insure a reasonably accurate count for the stacks being assembled.
As the forms 70 approach the forward end of delivery table 20 they flow downwardly around a guide roll 93. Preferably guide roll 23 is sized to promote a smooth transition from horizontal to vertical flow, and for fairly light forms which stand up about 11 inches on conveyor 29 guide roll 93 may have a diameter of about 3 inches. To further facilitate the flow of forms 70 around the end of delivery table 20 there may be provided a pair of side panels 22 and a pair of end panels 24. Side panels 22 may be flared outwardly as best illustrated in FIG. 5. End panels 24 extend inwardly as shown in FIG. 8 to limit the forward movement of the forms and promote stacking thereof upon a tray 23 therebelow. Side panels 22 adjust the lateral positioning of trays 23 and also restrain lateral shifting of the forms 70 as they round guide roll 93.
The sequence for handling and stacking of forms is illustrated generally in FIGS. 13a through 13g. Preferably two trays 23 are employed for the handling and stacking operation, but it will be appreciated that a somewhat different operating sequence might employ only a single tray, or alternatively might employ three or more trays. For clarity of description the two trays 23 of FIGS. 13a through 13g are labeled A and B. The operation comprises a repeated sequence, and FIG. 13a illustrates tray A moving horizontally along with a stream of forms 70 during a typical cycle of operation. In FIG. 13b tray A has rounded roll 93 and has been stopped by ledges 50. Meanwhile the other tray B is sitting on platform 21 under a stack of forms I which had previously moved along conveyor 29 ahead of tray A. As shown in FIG. 13b platform 21 is stopped at the lower limit of its downward travel.
In FIG. 13c tray B has been pulled by the operator toward the forward end of the platform. After pulling tray B forward with a stack of forms thereon, the operator pulls tray B out from under the stack and reinserts tray B upstream into the horizontally advancing forms at the visibly apparent stripe. As mentioned previously, the I forms may be severed at the location where the tray is inserted.
After the stack of forms I has been moved forward on platform 21 to the position shown in FIG. 13c, the operator initiates upward movement of platform 21. He initiates upward movement of the platform by tripping switch 94, as above described, and this energizes drive motor 85. Since the stack 1 has been moved forward, it clears tray A during ascent as illustrated in FIG. 13d.
When platform 21 reaches the upper limit of its travel (FIG. 13s), it causes retraction of ledges 50, as above described, thereby causing tray A to drop onto platform 21 with a fresh supply of forms thereon. At this time switch 86 is also tripped to deenergize drive motor 85, energize clutch 81 and begin slow speed descent. After the descent of platform 21 has begun, stack 1 may be boxed in place or merely shifted from platform 21 to a convenient handling location as shown in FIG. 13f. If a double or triple streaming operation is being carried out, then stack I may be separated to removal from platform 21. In any event the forward part of platform 21 is now clear for continuing operation.
The completion of the operating cycle is illustrated in FIG. 13g which corresponds to FIG. 13]). Thus in FIG. 13g platform 21 has reached the lower limit of its travel, tray A is sitting on the rearward portion thereof with a new stack of forms Ii thereon, and tray B is supported by ledges 50. The entire process may be repeated indefinitely, with each new stack of forms being shifted from the rear of platform 21 to the platform forward end to provide clearance for collection of the next stack. The relatively slow downward movement speed of platform 21 provides ample time for the operator to remove the stacks from the forward end of the table to a stacking location, and allows him to make the removal when the forms are at a convenient waist level. Obviously the removal and further handling of the forms may be done by machine if desired.
An alternative stacking method may employ only a single tray 23, but requires that the stack of forms be removed from the platform while the platform is stopped at its lower travel limit. In such a case the tray is removed from under the forms immediately after dropping onto platform 21 and thereupon inserted back into the advancing stream of forms. The forms on the platform then ride downwardly with no tray thereunder. While such an operation eliminates one tray and permits shortening of platform 21 it is deemed to be less efficient than the preferred method.
While the methods herein described, and the forms of apparatus for carrying these materials into effect, constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise methods and forms of apparatus, and that changes may be made in either without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. For stacking a continuous series of forms of predetermined length, improved delivery apparatus comprisa conveyor for transporting said forms along a horizontal path in an upstanding loosely assembled lengthwise progression,
a platform at the end of said conveyor,
means for raising and lowering said platform,
means for directing said forms from the horizontal path along said conveyor to a vertical path toward said platform, and
means including a pair of retractable ledges mounted above said platform, for segregating a group of forms at the end of said series from the other forms in said series by catching an outwardly extending dividing tray inserted in said forms and moving together therewith and thereby restraining the advance of said other forms onto said platform.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 said platform having a length at least about twice said predetermined length for accommodating said group of forms in a vertical stack at a forward portion thereof while the platform ascends for reception of a new group of forms at a rearward portion thereof.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising means for retracting said ledges at a predetermined point during the ascent of said platform.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3 said ledges each having a cam surface and said retracting means comprising a pair of rollers mounted on said platform and positioned for engaging said cam surfaces to cause said retraction.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 further comprising a pair of springs to maintain said ledges in a normally extended tray-receiving position.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising means for moving said conveyor horizontally and means for moving said platform downwardly at a slower speed than said conveyor.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 further comprising means for moving said platform upwardly at a speed greater than said downward movement speed.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 further comprising a lower limit switch for automatically stopping downward movement of said platform and an upper limit switch for automatically stopping upward movement of said platform.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8 further comprising timing means for initiating downward movement of said platform at a predetermined time after the stopping of said upward movement.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9 further comprising a manually actuated switch for initiating upward movement of said platform.
11. Apparatus according to claim 6 said means for moving said conveyor and said means for moving said platform being connected for driving by a common mechanical drive.
12. Apparatus according to claim 1 said means for directing said forms from said conveyor to said platform comprising a guide roll and a cooperatively arranged end panel.
13. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising attachment means for releasably attaching said delivery apparatus to a production press for said forms.
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 further comprising means for adjusting the vertical position of said conveyor.
15. In apparatus for producing a continuous series of forms of predetermined length and zig-zag folding said forms at their connections, improved delivery apparatus comprising:
a conveyor for transporting folded forms from said apparatus,
a platform for stacking of the forms at the end of said conveyor,
means for lowering said platform from an initial raised position and for subsequently raising said platform,
means for directing said forms from said conveyor to said platform, means including a divider tray for segregating a first group of forms at the end of said series from a second following group of forms in said series,
means for restraining the advance of said tray and the second group of forms while the first group of forms collects in a stack on said platform and is manipulated to make room for the second group of forms,
and means for releasing said restraining means upon upward return of said platform.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15 further comprising a second divider tray for segregating said second group of forms from the forms therebehind.
17. In apparatus for continuously producing a relatively loosely-comprised stream of flexible forms to produce individual multiple-count stacks improved stack delivery apparatus comprising:
a generally horizontal delivery table,
means for advancing the stream of forms along said table with one side of the stream contacting the table and slightly lagging the upper, opposite side whereby to cause a forward tipping of the forms in -the advancing stream,
a generally horizontal platform at the end of said table, means for raising and lowering said platform between an upper level slightly below the level of the table to a lower level substantially below the upper level,
means for moving said platform downward from its upper limit to its lower limit at a speed slower than the speed of advance of said forms along said table and moving said platform upward from its lower limit to its upper limit at a speed faster than the speed of said downward movement,
means defining a radius at the end of said table whereby movement of said forms to the end of said table causes redirection of the forms from a horizontally moving stream to a downwardly moving stack supported by said platform,
portable means temporarily insertable into said stream at a point between individual stacks,
horizontal support means for horizontally supporting said portable means at a level above the upper limit of the platform in position to temporarily restrain the end of the advancing stream at said level when the platform has received a full stack, whereby the stack may be removed from its position on the lowered platform and the platform may be rapidly raised to its upper level for receipt of the stream for forming the next stack thereupon, and
means for operating said horizontal support means to discontinue restraint of the advancing stream.
18. Method of unloading a continuously generated se'ries of zig-zag folded forms from a delivery table comprising the steps of:
l. inserting a first tray into said series of forms,
2. transporting said series of forms and said first tray to the end of said table and downwardly therefrom,
3. stopping the downward descent of said first tray whereby the forms behind said tray begin stacking thereon,
4. inserting a second tray into said series of forms behind said first tray,
5. separating the forms ahead of said second tray from the forms therebehind,
6. resuming the lowering of said first tray,
7. transporting said second tray together with said series of forms to the end of said table and downwardly therefrom,
8. stopping the downward descent of said second tray whereby the forms between said second tray and said first tray define a stack on said first tray,
9. removing said stack of forms from said first tray.
10. reinserting said first tray in said series of forms behind said second tray, and
l l. repeating aforesaid steps.
19. Method according to claim 18 further comprising the step of separating said stack into at least 2 stacks each of height equal to the height of the original stack.
20. A method of unloading a continuously generated progression of upstanding loosely assembled forms from a horizontal delivery table comprising the steps of:
l. transporting said forms horizontally to the end of said table,
2. inserting a tray into said horizontally progressing forms for transporting together therewith,
3. guiding said forms and said tray around the end of said table for downwardly directed movement therefrom,
4. stopping the downward movement of said tray at a predetermined stopping point, so that the forms 10. repeating aforesaid process.
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