Feeder system for a mail sorter

  • US 5,398,922 A
  • Filed: 10/27/1993
  • Issued: 03/21/1995
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/19/1991
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A feeder system for a mail sorter comprising a feed conveyor station for initially receiving a plurality of individual items of mail, a singulation station downstream from said feed conveyor station for removing items of mail one at a time from said feed conveyor station, and a delivery station downstream from said singulation station;

  • said feed conveyor section including a feed conveyor belt having a horizontal upper run with a feed end and a downstream discharge end, a stack maintaining mechanism disposed over said horizontal run for maintaining the items of mail on said horizontal run in a vertical side by side stack;

    said singulation station including initial hold means located juxtaposed partially across said discharge end for holding a downstream-most item of mail, transfer means extending juxtaposed across a remainder of said discharge end and adjacent to said initial hold means for removing the downstream--most item of mail away from said initial hold means and conveying the downstream most item of mail to said delivery station, said initial hold means includes a first vacuum chamber having continuously exposed holes disposed toward said discharge end for drawing an item of mail in contact with said first vacuum chamber, said transfer means including a second vacuum chamber having a plurality of holes disposed toward said discharge end a vertically mounted belt mounted for movement around said second vacuum chamber;

    said vertically mounted belt having a plurality of holes disposed for cyclical registration. With said holes in said second vacuum chamber whereby the item of mail is drawn to said vertically mounted transport belt when said holes of said transport belt and said holes of said second vacuum chamber are aligned for removing the item of mail away from said initial hold means upon rotation of said transport belt, said transport belt being mounted at a non-perpendicular angle with respect to a longitudinal center line of said horizontal run, said transport belt being disposed inwardly of said first vacuum chamber where said transport belt is juxtaposed said first vacuum chamber, and said transport belt extending to at least the longitudinal center line of said horizontal run.

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