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Title:
TAPE GUILLOTINE AND FEEDER ARRANGEMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/011195
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tape feeder includes a guillotine for cutting off lengths of tape fed from a roll, the guillotine having a bore (53) in which is mounted a cutter (54) rotatable between feed and cutting positions. The housing has a tape feed passage (51) and a tape outlet passage (52), respectively leading to and from the bore. The cutter has a transverse surface (56) extending from the inlet passage to the outlet passage when in a tape-feeding position. The forward edge (59) of the transverse surface (56) cooperates with the edge (63) of the outlet passage (52) at the bore (53) upon rotation of the cutter whereby fed tape is severed upon rotation of the cutter. Forward edge (59) may lie at an angle to the axial direction of the cutter to give a scissorlike cutting action between said edges.

Inventors:
Martin
Derek
Christopher, Gibbons
Mathew
George
Jasper
Application Number:
PCT/GB1991/002264
Publication Date:
July 09, 1992
Filing Date:
December 18, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PORTALS ENGINEERING LIMITED MARTIN
Derek
Christopher, Gibbons
Mathew
George
Jasper
International Classes:
B65H33/04; B26D1/43; B65H16/02; B65H35/00; B65H35/06; B65H35/07; B65H35/08; (IPC1-7): B26D1/08; B65H35/08
Foreign References:
US4297930A
EP0061773A1
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A guillotine for cutting lengths of tape, comprising: a housing defining a bore, a tape feed passage leading to the bore and a tape outlet passage leading away from the bore; and a cutter mounted in the bore and rotatably movable between a feed position and a cutting position, the cutter having a transverse surface extending generally from the inlet passage to the outlet passage when the cutter is in its feed position so that tape may be fed from the inlet passage over the transverse surface of the cutter to the outlet passage, and the transverse surface of the cutter defining a forward edge which co¬ operates with an edge of the outlet passage at the bore when the cutter is moved to its cutting position, to sever tape passing through the housing.
2. A guillotine as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the cutter is in the form of a cylinder having a diametral or chordal slot through which the tape may extend.
3. A guillotine as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the surface of the slot opposed to said transverse surface lies at such an angle with respect to said transverse surface that the spacing between said surfaces reduces towards said cutting edge of the cutter.
4. A guillotine according to any of Claims 1 to 3, wherein means are provided to effect oscillatory movement of the cutter thereby to perform a cutting action.
5. A guillotine according to Claim 4, wherein the cutter is provided with a crank arm, there being a remotelymounted operating mechanism for the guillotine connected by a flexible cable to the crank arm.
6. A guillotine according to any of Claims 1 to 5, wherein said forward edge of the cutter transverse surface lies at an acute angle to the axis of the cutter, whereby a progressive cutting action occurs between said forward edge and said edge of the outlet passage.
7. A tape feed and guillotine arrangement comprising in combination a guillotine as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 6 and a tape feed chute having said guillotine mounted on the forward end thereof, said chute comprising a base member defining a channel along which tape is fed to the guillotine, and a cover for the channel, the base member having a pair of grooves disposed one each side of the channel, and the cover being shaped to have its two elongate edges slidably interengageable with the two grooves respectively, with the opposed faces of the cover and the base of the channel spaced apart by a distance sufficient to allow free movement of tape along the channel.
8. A tape feed and cutting arrangement as claimed in Claim 7, wherein the grooves on each side of the channel are formed in the side walls of the channel.
9. A tape feed and cutting arrangement as claimed in Claim 4 or Claim 5, wherein the two long edges of the cover are formed at an angle to the major surfaces of the cover such that the width of the outwardlyfacing major surface of the cover is less than the width of the major surface of the cover facing the base of the channel.
10. A tabber for inserting between the two sheets of a stack thereof a tape tab cut from a length of tape, which tabber comprises feed means to draw tape from a roll thereof, a tape guide chute extending from the feed means to a point adjacent the location at which a tab is to be inserted between two sheets in a stack, and a guillotine as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 6 and mounted on the end of the chute remote from the feed means which guillotine is operable to cut a length of tape fed through the guillotine from tape remaining in the guide chute.
Description:
TAPE GUILLOTINE AND FEEDER ARRANGEMENTS

This invention relates to a guillotine for cutting lengths of tape, such as of paper, being fed to some other process or operation. The invention finds particular application to a known kind of tape feeder, such as a so-called "tabber" as defined hereinafter. This invention further relates to an improved form of tabber.

In various manufacturing or other industrial processes, it is necessary to supply pieces of tape each cut to a predetermined length, the tape being drawn from a roll thereof. For example, in a counting operation performed on sheets of paper in a stack, it may be desirable to insert a plurality of paper tape tabs between sheets of the stack as the counting progresses, to mark each count of some predetermined number of sheets. This is conveniently performed by apparatus which draws marker tape from a roll and which inserts a length of drawn tape to lie between the required two sheets as the counting progresses, the apparatus simultaneously cutting off the inserted tape to the required length.

One known form of such apparatus comprises feed means to draw paper tape from a roll thereof, a tape guide chute extending from the feed means to a point adjacent the location at which a tab is to be inserted between two sheets in a stack, and a guillotine mounted on the end of the chute remote from the feed means to cut an inserted tab from tape in the guide chute. Such apparatus is hereinafter referred to as a "tabber of the kind described".

The tape used with a tabber of the kind described generally is a smooth paper tape, provided in roll form. The feed means draws tape from the roll and drives it along the guide chute to the guillotine

disposed at the remote end of that chute; when a tab is to be inserted, the feed means is operated for a predetermined period to project a required length of tape beyond the guillotine, whereafter the feed means is stopped and the guillotine is operated and then returned to its initial position, ready for the insertion of a further tab.

The guillotine of a tabber of the kind described has to be reliable in its operation, in order cleanly to cut an inserted tab from tape remaining in the guide chute. A known form of guillotine has a first cutting blade mounted at the remote end of the paper guide chute, and a second cutting blade rotatably mounted beyond the first cutting blade for co-operation therewith such that rotation of the second cutting blade severs a projecting tape tab from tape remaining in the chute. A particular disadvantage of this arrangement is that the cut end of the tape still within the chute tends to stick to the rotary cutting blade, especially if the tape is still being pushed by the feed means, so that on return of the second cutting blade to its non-cutting position, the tape remains jammed thereagainst, inhibiting the insertion of a further tab through the guillotine. Also, a considerable length of a cut-off tab remains within the guillotine, and there is a tendency for the tape to become caught therein.

A principal object of the present invention is to mitigate the above disadvantages of the known form of guillotine used in a tabber of the kind described.

Accordingly, one aspect of this invention provides a guillotine for cutting lengths of tape, comprising: a housing defining a bore, a tape feed passage leading to the bore and a tape outlet passage leading away from the bore; and a cutter mounted in the bore and rotatably movable between a feed position and a cutting

position, the cutter having a transverse surface extending generally from the inlet passage to the outlet passage when the cutter is in its feed position so that tape may be fed from the inlet passage over the transverse surface of the cutter to the outlet passage, and the transverse surface of the cutter defining a forward edge which co-operates with an edge of the outlet passage at the bore when the cutter is moved to its cutting position, to sever tape passing through the housing.

It will be appreciated that the guillotine of this invention is particularly suitable for use in conjunction with a tabber of the kind described. In this case, the housing should be mounted at the remote end of the tape guide chute with the inlet passage communicating with that chute. The outlet passage will serve to control the insertion of a length of tape propelled by the feed means to lie between counted sheets, and to constrain the end of an inserted tab whilst the severing takes place, but only a short part of the cut of the tab will remain in the guillotine housing. Moreover, by having the cut edge of the tape remaining within the guide chute in engagement with the moving cutter, that cut edge is less likely to jam or stick to the cutter on opening of the guillotine, so allowing more reliable operation.

Most preferably, the cutter is in the form of a cylinder having a diametral or chordal slot through which the tape may extend. The surface of the slot opposed to said transverse surface may lie parallel thereto, or may lie at such an angle with respect to said transverse surface that the spacing between said surfaces reduces towards said cutting edge of the cutter. In this way, as the cutter is rotated back to its feed position, said surfaces of the cutter may serve to guide the cut edge of tape remaining in the

inlet passage towards the outlet passage, for further feeding.

The cutter preferably is arranged for oscillatory movement between its said feed and cutting positions, the cutter being provided with a crank arm which is driven to and fro to effect such movement of the cutter. Conveniently, the crank arm is driven by a Bowden cable connected to a suitable reciprocating actuator at a point remote from the guillotine housing. Said forward edge of the cutter transverse surface may lie along a generator of the cutter - that is to say, strictly parallel to the axis of the cutter - or said transverse surface may be formed such that the forward edge thereof lies at a slight angle to a true generator. In this way, on rotation of the cutter a scissor-like action will occur between said forward edge of the transverse surface and the co-operating edge of the outlet passage in the housing.

A further problem associated with a tabber of the kind described is that should the cut end of tape lying within the chute jam at the guillotine, perhaps for the reason described above, if then the feed means pushes a further length of tape along the chute to form a fresh tab, the tape tends to crumple within the chute and jam completely, even if the cut end of the tape comes free. The counting operation must then be stopped to allow an operator to remove the crumpled tape from the chute - and this has to be done by opening the chute, removing the crumpled tape and threading fresh tape along the chute ready for further operation.

A known form of chute for a tabber of the kind described has an elongate member defining a tape- receiving channel, a lid being fitted over the channel and held in place by means of spring clips embracing both the lid and the member. The cover may easily be removed by releasing the spring clips, but if the

elongate member is to be curved out of the plane of the channel, it is difficult to ensure proper fitting of the cover to the member. In turn, this gives a variable height to the tape-receiving channel, and so jamming is more likely.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a tape guide chute suitable for use with a tabber of the kind described, which chute comprises a base member defining a channel along which the tape may be fed, and a cover for the channel, the base member having a pair of grooves disposed one each side of the channel, and the cover being shaped to have its two elongate edges slidably inter-engageable with the two grooves respectively, with the opposed faces of the cover and the base of the channel spaced apart by a distance sufficient to allow free movement of tape along the channel.

By having the cover positively inter-engaged with the base member, it is possible to maintain a constant and uniform spacing between the opposed surfaces of the cover and the base of the channel, even if the base member is curved to some extent out of the plane of the channel. Despite this, the cover may easily be removed from the base member by sliding the cover with respect to and along the length of the base member, so giving access to the interior of the channel should this become necessary.

Most preferably, the grooves on each side of the channel are formed in the side walls of the channel. The cover may then lie wholly within the height channel, conveniently with the top surface of the cover substantially co-planar with the top surface of the base member.

Advantageously, the two long edges of the cover are formed at an angle to the major surfaces of the cover such that the width of the outwardly-facing major

surface of the cover is less than the width of the major surface of the cover facing the base of the channel. Each of the two grooves in the base member should have a similar complementary form, such that the edges of the cover are a close sliding fit within those grooves.

By way of example only, one specific embodiment of a tabber of the kind described, but constructed and arranged in accordance with the present invention, will now be described in detail, reference being made as appropriate to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic view of the embodiment of tabber;

Figure 2 is a diagrammatic sketch showing the tape drive mechanism used in the tabber of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a cross-section through the tape guide chute used in the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a front view on the guillotine housing used at the remote end of the chute in the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 5 is a front view on the guillotine cutter; and

Figures 6 and 7 illustrate the cutting action of the guillotine of Figures 4 and 5. Referring initially to Figure 1, there is illustrated diagrammatically a tabber constructed and arranged in accordance with the present invention, and suitable for use in conjunction with apparatus intended to count the number of sheets in a stack, the tabber inserting a paper tab between two sheets each time the count reaches a predetermined value - for example, after each 100 counted sheets. The tabber has a reel 10 mounted on a support bar 11 and arranged to carry a roll of paper tape from which the tabs are to be cut, the bar 11 being adjustable to allow variable positioning of the tabber. A motor-driven tape feed

mechanism 12 draws tape from a carried roll, and feeds the tape to tape guide chute 13, for supply to a guillotine indicated generally at 14, disposed at the end of the chute 13 remote from the feed mechanism 12. The guillotine 14 is operated by a flexible Bowden- cable 15 connected back to an actuator (not shown) within the feed mechanism 12. The guide chute 13 may be relatively long (and perhaps up to 750 mm, or even more) and curved, in order to allow the accommodation of the support arrangement 10 and feed mechanism 12 at a position remote from the stack of sheets being counted, with the guillotine 14 being disposed closely adjacent that stack to permit the insertion of tabs at appropriate points therein, as the count proceeds. Referring now to Figure 2, there is shown in diagrammatic form the feed mechanism 12 of the tabber of Figure 1. Tape 20 initially passes between a pair of fixed guide pins 21 and 22 supported on a frame (not shown) of the feed mechanism, the pins being disposed so that the tape may enter the mechanism from any position over a wide angular range, to allow accommodation of the paper tape reel at a position to suit a particular installation. From the pins 21 and 22, the tape passes over the periphery of a detector roller 23, and then through a drive nip 24, from where the tape is fed into the chute 13. The detector roller 23 is freely rotatably mounted on the mechanism frame, and carries a flange 25 having four notches 26 formed in its periphery. The flange 25 passes through a photoelectric slot switch 27 which produces an output every time a notch 26 passes therethrough, the switch being connected to a controller (not shown) for the tabber, as a whole.

The nip 24 is defined by the output shaft 30 of an electric motor 31 (such as an induction motor) and a pinch wheel 32 carried in a stirrup 33 and urged by

spring 34 into engagement with the shaft 30. The pinch wheel is conveniently defined by a ball bearing assembly. The stirrup 33 is formed integrally with a spindle 36 arranged for sliding movement within a bush 37 adjustable with respect to a base-plate 38, to allow the spring force to be varied.

The force exerted by the spring 34 is selected having due regard to the physical properties of the tape 20, such that should movement of the tape be blocked downstream of the nip 24, slippage occurs between the motor shaft 30 and the tape 20, upon operation of the motor 31. If the motor is driven but no movement of the tape occurs, the detector roller 23 will not be turned so that the switch 27 provides no varying output; upon detection of this condition, further operation of the motor 31 may be inhibited until the tape blockage has been corrected. Equally, should the roll of tape run out, no varying output will be obtained from the switch 27 and again further operation of the motor 31 may be inhibited. Simultaneously, a suitable alarm may be issued to warn an operator that attention is required.

Figure 3 is a cross-section through the tape guide chute 13 which receives tape from the drive nip 24 of the feed mechanism (Figure 2). This chute comprises an aluminium alloy base member 40 defining a channel 41 for tape, the channel having a base wall 42 and two side walls 43. Adjacent the upper edge of each side wall 43, the wall is shaped to define a groove 44 of a saw-tooth cross-sectional shape.

A planar cover 45 for the channel 41 is slidably inter-engaged with the grooves 44, the long edges of the cover 45 having a complementary form to the shape of the grooves 44. The height of the channel 41, between the base wall 42 and the opposed surface of the cover 45, is thus closely controlled, to allow tape

freely to pass therealong, but to minimise the likelihood of tape crumpling within that channel 41. Should however any such crumpling occur, the cover 45 may easily be removed from the base member 40, by slidably disengaging the cover from that base member.

The cover 45 is manufactured from a flexible material such as an aluminium alloy or a plastics material; the tape chute may thus be bent out of the plane of the base wall of the channel as appropriate to suit the particular installation for the tabber, with the spacing between the cover and the base wall 42 being maintained constant notwithstanding any bending of the chute.

Figures 4 to 7 illustrate the guillotine 14 provided at the remote end of the chute 13. This guillotine comprises a housing 50 coupled to the chute 13, the housing defining an inlet passage 51 communicating with the channel 41 of the chute 13, and an outlet passage 52 for tape projected from the chute by the feed mechanism 12. The housing also defines a bore 53 in which is mounted a rotatable cutter 54 (Figure 5). The outlet passage 52 is generally aligned with the channel 41, so that when the cutter is in a feed position (Figure 6) tape may pass freely from the channel 41, through the inlet passage 51, through the cutter 54 and out of the outlet passage 52.

The cutter 54 is of a generally cylindrical form, but has a slot 55 extending generally diametrally therethrough. The slot includes a transverse surface 56 and also a guide surface 57 lying at such an angle with respect to the transverse surface 56 that the width of the slot tapers towards the end thereof adjacent the outlet passage 52, as best seen in Figure 6. Though the cutter could be formed in one piece, the slot 55 is conveniently formed by providing a cylindrical cutter body which is machined away to form

the transverse surface 56; a separately-formed insert

58 (Figure 5) is then fitted into the machined-away part of the cutter body, to leave the slot 55. As will be appreciated from Figure 5, machining of the transverse surface 56 is performed in such a way that the edge 59 of that surface at the end of the slot adjacent the outlet passage 52 lies at an angle to the true axial direction, for a purpose to be described below. Formed integrally with the cutter body are a pair of arms 60 projecting radially therefrom; a terminal blade (not shown) fitted to the cable drive 15 may be pivoted between the arms 60, such that actuation of the cable causes the cutter 54 to turn in the housing 50. An annular groove 61 is formed in the body at the opposite end thereof to the arms 60, to receive a roll pin which retains the cutter in the housing. At the lower part of the bore 53, the housing is provided with a transversely-extending dust trap 62 to collect paper particles generated during operation of the guillotine, to minimise the likelihood of seizure of the rotary motion of the cutter.

Edge 59 of the cutter 54 co-operates with edge 63 of the outlet passage 52 at the bore 53, so that rotation of the cutter 54 to the position illustrated in Figure 7 performs a severing action on tape (not shown) passing through the guillotine. By forming edge

59 at an angle to the true axial direction (as described above) the cutting action against edge 63 will be progressive, so reducing the cutting effort required.

It will be appreciated that in view of the arrangement of the guillotine described above, though the cut end of the tape blocks movement of the tape within the channel 41 as cutting occurs (Figure 7), surface 56 guides the tape as the cutter 54 returns to

its feed position (Figure 6), so that the tape may freely be fed through the cutter and out through the outlet passage 52. During the return movement of the cutter 54, the guide surface 57 lifts the tape clear of the housing bore and guides the cut edge of the tape to the outlet passage 52, so ensuring the cut edge will not be blocked against any part of the guillotine.