PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0650852 24.02.2000
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0650852
Titel Nachverarbeitungsvorrichtung für Bogen
Anmelder Canon K.K., Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Takehara, Yoshifumi, Ohta-ku, Tokyo, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69422685
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB, IT
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 18.10.1994
EP-Aktenzeichen 941164295
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 03.05.1995
EP date of grant 19.01.2000
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 24.02.2000
IPC-Hauptklasse B42C 1/12

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a sheet post-processing apparatus according to the preamble of claim 1. More specifically, it relates to a sheet post-processing apparatus having a function to process sheet material after the sheet material such as copy paper or the like is discharged from an image forming apparatus such as copying machine, printing machine, or laser beam printer, following an image formation operation, and is sequentially sorted and deposited in a receiving tray (hereinafter, "bin tray").

In a conventional sheet post-processing apparatus (hereinafter, "sorter") comprising a binding apparatus (hereinafter, "stapler") which is disposed so as to be enabled to move to or away from the bin, the stapler is caused to invade into the bin region, where the sheets sorted and deposited in the bins are bound, bin after bin, by the stapler.

In an apparatus (Figure 27) which binds the sheets, at one of the corners, a stapler 700 is disposed on the front side or the like location of the bin B where the sheets are discharged by a discharge roller 980 or the like, wherein the binding apparatus is advanced into the bin space during the binding operation to bind the sheets, at the corner.

In the case of such a configuration, the discharge roller 980, a sheet guiding member 981, or the like are disposed so as to afford a gap 982, so that they do not interfere with the aforementioned stapler 700 during its advance.

In an apparatus which binds the sheets, at two points which are closer to the center portion of the bin stopper side edge, or in an apparatus which binds, at a single point which is near the rear edge, a sheet discharging roller 800 and a sheet guiding member 801 which discharge the sheets into the bin B interfere with the stapler 700; therefore, an additional bin Bc is provided in some apparatuses such as those disclosed in the specification of the JP-A-4 290,800, wherein the bin Bc is different from the bin B and the sheets are bound in this bin Bc in coordination with the stapler 700 (Figure 28).

However, in the case of the conventional apparatus described hereinbefore, the bin interval must be widened above the discharge bin Bb, above the bin Bc in which the sheets are bound, and above the bin Bd which is immediately below the bin Bc; in other words, it is necessary to widen the bin interval at three locations (Y) (in the case of the aforementioned apparatus which binds the sheets at a single corner, the bin interval must be widened at two locations since the bin in which the sheets are discharged and the bin in which the sheets ate bound are the same bin).

Therefore, there are the following shortcomings.

  • (1) Since an extra bin interval must be widened in comparison to the case of the single point binding apparatus, the apparatus height itself must be increased.
  • (2) The bin into which the sheets are discharged and the bin in which the sheets are bound are different, and therefore, a bin shifting operation must be carried out before the sheets are bound after the sheets are discharged into the bins. As a result, the overall processing time including the binding operation takes up more time.

    These problems occur when the sorting operation has been completed in the states as shown in Figures 29 and 30 (a reference numeral 800 designates a pair of discharging rollers, and 700 designates a stapler), wherein a three bin setup is illustrated. If the setup is such that the stapler can staple the sheets in the same bin as the one (B3) into which the discharging roller pair discharge the sheets, the bins are required to be shifted a distance equivalent to only two bin intervals in the direction designated by a reference numeral 970, whereas the setup shown in Figure 29 requires B1 to be moved to a location of Bx, that is, a distance equivalent to three bin intervals (Figure 29).

    In the case of the setup shown in Figure 30, after the sorting is completed, the bins are shifted in the direction of an arrow 970 to staple the sheets in B1, and then, the sheets in B2 and B3 are stapled as the bins are shifted in the direction of an arrow 971.

    Further, referring to Figure 28, because of the structural restriction, it is difficult to move a top guide roller 43 and a bottom guide roller 42 provided in a bin unit 9, which will be described later in detail, to positions F and G (close to the center portion of a lead cam 40), and therefore, a roller unattached to any bin must be disposed between the top-most bin and the guide roller 43, and between the bottom-most bin and the guide roller 42. As a result, the overall apparatus height must be further increased.

  • (3) Generally speaking, when the angle of the sheet discharge bin Bb is set at approximately 30°, the sheets can be most properly accumulated. However, in the case of the aforementioned setup, two intervals immediately below the sheet discharge bin are temporarily expanded, affecting the bin angle. The angle of the most affected bin Bd becomes rather steep in comparison to the case of the apparatus in which the discharge bin and stapling bin are the same, creating such a problem that the accumulated sheets are liable to buckle when they are of a large size.

In the case of a known apparatus of a different type, as illustrated in Figure 31, capable of carrying out various binding operations, the stapler 700 is moved to various positions corresponding to the selected binding mode: the single point front corner binding, two point binding, and single point rear corner binding; therefore, it is moved in the directions indicated by arrows 702A and 702B to positions 700b and 700c so that it does not interfere with the bins, and then, is moved forward relative to the stapler orientation (directions 701A, 701B, and 701C) to bind the sheets at a predetermined point or points (after the completion of the binding operation, it is moved back in the opposite directions of the arrows).

However, when the sheets are bound at the single front point (with a staple being positioned at a point 703A) using the apparatus described in the foregoing, the stapler 700 which is angled as indicated by a reference numeral 700a in Figure 31 is moved forward in the direction of an arrow 701A to the location 700A in order to bind the sheets; therefore, a width equivalent to a distance 704 which the stapler 700 travels is required, which makes it difficult to reduce the apparatus dimension in the direction of an arrow 790.

Further, when the sheets are bound at the single rear point (sheets are oriented as indicated by a reference symbol S2, and are bound by the stapler positioned at a location 700C, with a staple being positioned at a point 703), the edge Sa of the sheet S2 and staple are generally rendered parallel to each other due to the structural restriction. However, even in the case of the single rear point binding, the staple 703A is preferred to be slanted at an angle of &thetas; relative to the sheet edge Sa as it is in the aforementioned case of the single point front binding, and an apparatus capable of binding in such a manner has been long desired (Figure 31).

As a known apparatus having such a capability, there is one such as is illustrated in Figure 32, in which a stapler is supported by rollers 870 or the like, being enabled to move along a rail 871, wherein the sheets are moved in the direction of an arrow 875 and bound by the stapler having been moved to a location 700G in the drawing.

In order to devise the apparatus mechanism so that the sheets can be bound at a single rear point 876, it is only necessary to form the rail 871 in the shape designated by a reference numeral 871A in the drawing. However, as is evident from the drawing, the location of the sheet edge opposite to an aligning wall 874 varies depending on the sheet size; therefore, when such a structure is employed, it is difficult to handle a situation in which the sheets St are bound at a single rear point, that is, at a position 877, with the staple being slanted, as shown in the drawing.

A generic post-processing apparatus is known from the JP-A-4 047 989 and comprises sheet discharging means by means of which a sheet is discharged to at least one sheet receiving bin. The sheet discharging means are movable between a first location in which the sheets can be discharged into the sheet receiving bin and a second location which is spaced apart by a predetermined distance from the first location. The sheet discharging means are moved from the first location to the second location when a relative movement is imparted between the sheets and a post-processing means, so that the post-processing means can be activated at a predetermined location along the edges of the sheets in the sheet receiving bin. Both, the sheet discharging means and the post-processing means are movable along a linear guide means and both means are alternately associated to the sheet receiving bin for either discharging the sheet or for post-processing the sheets.

It is an object of the present invention to further develop a sheet post-processing apparatus according to the preamble of claim 1 such that the sheet sets can be smoothly post-processed.

This object is achieved by the features of claim 1.

Advantageous further developments are set out in the dependent claims.

With the provision of the aforementioned structure, the sheet discharging means and stapler do not interfere with each other even when the sheets are bound, for example, at two points closer to the substantial center portion of the sheet edge, enabling thereby the sheets to be bound right in the same bin into which the sheets are discharged; therefore, in order to accommodate the stapler advance, the bin interval needs to be widened only at two locations, right above and right below the bin into which the sheets are discharged, affording thereby reduction in the overall height of the post-processing apparatus (hereinafter, "sorter"), and in addition, the reduction in the processing time, since stapling can be started without shifting the bins after the sheet discharge.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, when the sheets are stapled at least at one corner, they can be stapled even when said sheet discharging means is at the first location, that is, the sheet discharging location; therefore, it is unnecessary to move the sheet discharging means in the case of the frequently used single point corner binding mode, which in turn makes it possible to increase further the processing speed and reliability of the apparatus.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the stapler is positioned at one of three locations during the binding operation: a first location where the actual stapling operation is performed, with the discharging means having been temporarily moved away from the discharging location to prevent the interference between two means; a second location where the stapler does not interfere with the sheet discharging means positioned at the discharging location; and a third location set up between the first and second locations where the stapler does not interfere with the bins and/or the sheets thereon while the bins are shifted; wherein during the stapling operation for stapling two or more sets of sheets on the bins, the stapler is reciprocated between the first and third locations, which reduces the moving distance of the stapler, reducing substantially the overall processing time.

Further, position detecting means is disposed at the discharging location and the retract location of the discharging means, and also, position detecting means is disposed at the stapling and the stand-by locations of the stapler;

   wherein

  • (1) when the stapler is at the stapling location, the movement of the discharging means from the retract location to the discharging location is prohibited, and when the discharging means is at the discharging location, the movement of the stapler from the retract location to the stapling location is prohibited.
  • (2) when the stapler is at the retract location, the movement of the discharging means to the discharging location is permitted, and when the discharging means is at the retract location, the movement of the stapler to the stapling location is permitted.

Since the movements of the discharging means and stapler are regulated as described in the foregoing, they do not interfere with each other, enabling the stapling operation to be smoothly carried out.

Further, the movement of the sheet discharging means from the first location to the second location is directly linked to the movement of the post-processing means, relative to the sheets, for the post-processing operation, with the use of linking-driving means such as a cam or the like; therefore, the moving mechanism is simplified.

Further, an apparatus comprising at least one bin and a stapler for binding the sheets on the bin, further comprises a supporting member for supporting rotatively the stapler, wherein the supporting member is enabled to move substantially in parallel to the sheet edge along which the sheets are stapled, and after the stapler is selectively rotated at a predetermined location adjacent to the sheet edge, the sheets and stapler are moved relative to each other, in the direction substantially perpendicular to the sheet edge. Therefore, when the stapler is moved without moving the sheets during the stapling operation, in particular, when the sheets are stapled at a single corner point with a staple being placed at an angle, the above-described problem on the front side of the apparatus can be reduced, allowing the apparatus to be more compact.

Lastly, since the stapler can be oriented in any angle (with the use of a simple structure), a staple can be struck in at any angle relative to the line of the sheet edge, at either of the sheet corners, even when the sheet size is changed.

The object and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon a consideration of the following description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

  • Figure 1 is a longitudinal section of a sheet post-processing apparatus according to the present invention, and an image forming apparatus employing such a sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 2 is an oblique view of the same sheet post-processing apparatus, being partially cut away.
  • Figure 3 is a longitudinal section of the same sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 4 is an oblique view of the bin unit of the same apparatus.
  • Figure 5 is an enlarged side view of a portion of the same apparatus, depicting how the bin interval is widened by a lead cam.
  • Figure 6 presents cross-sections of a trunnion mounted on the bin and the lead cam for driving the trunnion, in the same apparatus.
  • Figure 7 is a plan view of the bin portion of the sheet post-processing apparatus in the same apparatus.
  • Figure 8 is a longitudinal section of the stapler portion of the same apparatus.
  • Figure 9 is a plan view of the bin and stapler portions, depicting the stapling operation.
  • Figure 10 is a plan view of the bin and stapler portions, depicting the stapling operation.
  • Figure 11 is a plan view of the bin and stapler portions, depicting the stapling operation.
  • Figure 12 is a plan view of the bin and stapler portions, depicting the stapling operation.
  • Figure 13 is a plan view of the bin and stapler portions, depicting the stapling operation.
  • Figure 14 is a plan view of a sheet post-processing according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • Figure 15 is a longitudinal section of a portion of the same apparatus adjacent to the stapler portion.
  • Figure 16 is a longitudinal section of a portion of the same apparatus adjacent to the stapler portion.
  • Figure 17 is a longitudinal section of a portion of the same apparatus adjacent to the stapler portion.
  • Figure 18 is a plan view of another sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 19 is a longitudinal section of the essential portion of another sheet post-processing apparatus to which the present invention is applicable.
  • Figure 20 is a longitudinal section of the essential portion of another sheet post-processing apparatus to which the present invention is applicable.
  • Figure 21 is a schematic side view of the essential portion of another sheet post-processing apparatus to which the present invention is applicable.
  • Figure 22 is a flow chart for the stapling operation of the sheet Post-processing apparatus according to the present invention.
  • Figure 23 is also a flow chart for the stapling operation of the sheet post-processing apparatus according to the present invention.
  • Figure 24 is a flow chart for the stapling operation of the sheet post-processing apparatus according the present invention, which continues from Figure 23.
  • Figure 25 is also a flow chart for the stapling operation of the sheet post-processing apparatus according the present invention.
  • Figure 26 is a flow chart for the stapling operation of the sheet post-processing apparatus according the present invention, which continues from Figure 25.
  • Figure 27 is a plan view of a conventional sheet post-processing apparatus according to a related art, and its stapler portion.
  • Figure 28 is a longitudinal section of a conventional sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 29 is a schematic drawing depicting the operational concept of the conventional sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 30 is a schematic drawing depicting the operational concept of the conventional sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 31 is a plan view of a conventional sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figure 32 is a plan view of a conventional sheet post-processing apparatus.
  • Figures 33(a, b, c, d) depict alternative driving means for the path end portion (sheet discharging means) according to the present invention: (a) is a side view of the bins, path end portion, and gripper portion; (b) and (c) are side views depicting the operational sequence; and (d) is a plan view of the bin and gripper.

Hereinafter, the embodiments of the present invention will be described referring to appended drawings.

Figure 1 gives an overall view of a sheet post-processing apparatus according to the present invention. As shown in Figure 1, an automatic original feeding apparatus 300, which automatically circulates the originals, is disposed on the top surface of an image forming apparatus 200. A sorting apparatus (hereinafter, "sorter") 1 comprising n pieces of bin trays B (B1, B2, B3 - Bn) is disposed on the downstream side the image forming apparatus 200.

The image forming apparatus 200 is one of such that employs a known electro-photographic system, wherein its detailed description will be omitted here. In the apparatus 200, the image on the original positioned on a platen glass 208 is projected on a photosensitive drum 201 by an unillustrated optical system, whereby a latent image is formed on the photosensitive drum 201. This latent image is developed by a developing device 202 disposed around the photosensitive drum 201, and then, the developed image is transferred onto a sheet by a transfer electrode 203. The transferred image is permanently fixed by a fixing device 205.

Referring to Figures 2 and 3, the sorter 1 comprises: a sorter main assembly 6 constituted of a pair of front and rear plates 3, a base 5, and a cover 4; and a bin unit 9 which can encase a large number of bins B and move them vertically along a pair of guide rails 7 provided on the sorter main assembly 6, on the front and rear sides, respectively.

The sorter main assembly 6 comprises: a receiving port through which a sheet S discharged from an image forming apparatus such as copying machine is delivered, a first sheet conveying path 11 extending from the receiving port 10 toward the bin unit 9, a sheet conveying path 12 branching from the first sheet conveying path 11, a top pair of discharge rollers 13 for discharging non-sort sheets (sheets which are not sorted), being disposed on the downstream end of the first sheet conveying path 11, and a bottom pair of discharge rollers 15, being disposed at the downstream end of the second sheet conveying path 12 for discharging sorted sheets.

At the portion where the second sheet conveying path 12 branches from the first sheet conveying path 11, a pair of receiving rollers 16 and a deflector 17 are disposed, wherein when a non-sort mode (mode in which the sheets are not sorted) is selected, the deflector 17 is oriented so as to guide the sheet S into the first sheet conveying path 11, and when a sort mode (mode in which the sheets are sorted) is selected, it is oriented so as to guide the sheets S into the second sheet conveying path 12.

Along the sorting path 12, a pair of relaying rollers 51 and a relaying roller 63 are disposed between the receiving roller pair 16 and discharging roller pair 15, at respective strategic locations so that even the sheet having the smallest size (smallest in terms of the dimension in the sheet conveying direction) can he conveyed after their discharge from the main assembly.

Further, the discharging end portion of the sorting path 12 constitutes a movable member (hereinafter, a path end portion 52), wherein the path end portion 52 can be rotated about the axis 51a' of a driving roller 51a, that is, one of the relaying roller pair 51.

During the normal sheet conveyance, the path end portion 52 is caused to take a position 52a illustrated by a solid line, and the tip portion 52c of the path end portion 52 is abutted on the abutment portions 6a disposed on the side walls, at the respective ends, whereby the position of the path end portion 52 is fixed. Then, this positioning is detected by detecting means 60 such as a microswitch.

The path end portion 52 is rotatable to a location 52b illustrated by a double-dot chain line, by driving means 2 described next.

In order to rotate the path end portion 52, a motor 53 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction, and its rotative force is transmitted to a pulley 56 mounted on the rotational axis 57 of a top path rotating lever 62, whereby the lever 62 is rotated in the direction indicated by an arrow mark 64.

A pin 58 located at the tip of the lever 62 engages with a guiding groove 59 provided in the path end portion 52; therefore, the path end portion 52 is rotated in the arrow 61 direction to the location 52b as the lever 62 rotates, wherein the detecting means 63 such as a microswitch is disposed at a location which is away from the location 52a by a predetermined rotational angle, to detect the presence of the path end portion 52 at the aforementioned location.

In order to move the path end portion 52 back to the previous sheet conveying location, the motor 53 is rotated in reverse, whereby the path end portion 52 is moved to the location 52a, where the tip of the path end portion 52c is abutted on the abutment portion 62, whereby the position of the path end portion 52 is fixed.

It should be noted that if a torque limiter is provided on the lever rotating axis 57 and the motor 53 is rotated by a predetermined amount of revolutions after the presence of the path end portion 52 is detected by the switch 60 as the tip 52c abuts on the abutting portion 6, the path end portion 52 can be accurately positioned (since the path end portion 52 does not move due to the function of the torque limiter, only the rotational axis 57 rotates).

It is needless to say that the abutment portion may be eliminated and the motor may be stopped in response to the detection of the tip portion 52c by the detecting means 60.

The bin unit 9 further comprises a bin frame 19 constituted of a pair of front and rear vertical portions 19a and 19b and a bottom portion 19b, wherein a pair of front and rear bin sliders 20 are fixed to the bin frame 19, at the bottom end, and to a bin cover 21, at the top end, along with top end of the vertical portion 19a of the bin frame 19.

Referring to Figure 4, on the far rear side of the base portion of the bin frame 19, a supporting plate 23 is affixed, and on this supporting plate 23, a rotational axis 27 which is fixed to a top arm 25 at the top end, and to a bottom arm 26 at the bottom end, is rotatively supported, with one end being supported by a pivot (unillustrated) provided on the supporting plate 23 and the other end being supported by a pivot 29 provided on the bin cover 21. Further, a segment gear 31 is disposed on the supporting plate 23, in such a manner that it can rotate about a rotational axis erected on the supporting plate 23, and the aforementioned bottom arm 26 is fixed to this segment gear 21. Below the supporting plate 23, a pulse motor 32 is disposed, and a gear 33 fixed to the output shaft of this pulse motor 32 is engaged with the segment gear 31. Across the end portions of the bottom and top arms 26 and 25, a jogging rod 35 is attached, wherein this jogging rod 35 is put through all of the bins B, through a hole 35 provided on each of the bins B, and is oscillated by the rotation of the segment gear 31. Further, the bottom arm 26 is provided with a light shielding plate 37, and as the light shielding plate 37 integrally rotates with the bottom arm 26, it turns on or off a retract location sensor 39 disposed on the rear side.

At the base portion of the bin B, a trunnion 30 is rotatively mounted, wherein the bins B are stacked in the bin unit 9 in such a manner that the trunnions 30 project through a slit 41 provided on the vertical portions 19a of the bin frame 19 and are fitted in the guide rail 7, being stacked on top of each other (Figure 3). The bottom-most trunnion 30 is in contact with the bottom guide roller 42 supported rotatively by the vertical portion 19a of the bin frame 19, and the top-most trunnion 30 is in contact with the top guide roller 43 supported rotatively by the vertical portion 19a of the bin frame 19. Therefore, the bins B stacked in the bin unit 9 hold intervals equal to the diameter of the trunnion 30.

The top and bottom guide rollers 43 and 42 of the bin unit 9 are fitted in the guide rail 7, whereby the bin unit 9 is enabled to move vertically.

On the front and rear side plate 3 and 4, a cam shaft holder 47 (Figure 2) is mounted at the location correspondent to the location of the bottom pair of the discharging roller 15, as shown in Figures 2 and 3. Between this cam shaft holder 47 and the aforementioned base 5, a lead cam shaft 50 is rotatively mounted with the provision of a bearing 49 which bears the thrust load. At the top end of the lead cam shaft 50, a lead cam 40 provided with a helical cam surface is fixedly mounted, and at the bottom end, a sprocket 51 is fixedly mounted. Between this sprocket 51 and a shifting motor 52, a chain 53 is stretched, whereby the lead cam 40 is selectively rotated forward or backward by the shifting motor 52 capable of rotating forward or in reverse.

The lead cam 40 is disposed so as to face the bottom pair of discharging rollers 15 disposed at the substantial center portion of the sorter main assembly 6. It catches, with its helical cam surface, the trunnion 30 of the bin B which is on its way to the Location where it comes to face the bottom pair of the discharging rollers 15, and vertically moves the trunnion 30 along the guide rail 7 (Figures 5 and 6). Referring to Figure 5, the trunnion 30c is moved to the center portion of the lead cam 40 as the lead cam 40 rotates once in the direction of an arrow A (location 30b in the drawing), and is moved to the edge of the lead cam 40 (location 30a in the drawing) as the lead cam 40 rotates once more. Meanwhile, two intervals X and X which are wider than the normal bin interval are formed between the bin Bb and the bin Ba which is above the bin Bb, and between the bin Bb and the bin Bc which is below the bin Bb, wherein the bin Bb is at the location where it is facing the bottom pair of the discharging rollers 15, and receives the sheet from the bottom pair of the discharging rollers 15.

On the other hand, on the front side bin frame 19 of the bin unit 9, a sheet jogging reference portion 19c is provided, against which the sheets S stored in the bin B are jogged to be aligned. Also, on the sorter main assembly 6, an electric stapler 70 for stapling the sheets stored in the bin Bb is disposed so as to face the bin which faces the bottom pair of the discharging rollers 15.

The electric stapler 70 is moved by a stapler moving mechanism, which will be described later, so that the discharged sheets can be bound at a single front point (with a stapler at a point 140), at two points (with staplers at points 141 and 142), or at a single rear point (with a stapler at the point 142) when the sheets are discharged in such a manner as illustrated by the sheet S2 in Figure 7.

It should be noted here that the bin B is provided with cutaways 500, 501, and 502 which respectively correspond to the stapling locations, so that the bin B does not interfere with the stapler 70.

The stapler 70 is movable in the directions indicated by arrow marks 504 and 503, wherein, after being moved in the arrow 504 direction to the respective locations, it is moved from a location 70a to a location 70c to staple the sheets.

Next, a description will be given as to the stapling apparatus 100 (Figures 8 and 9). As for the orientation of the stapler 70 shown in Figures 3 and 8, it corresponds to the staples placed at the points 141 and 142.

The stapler 70 is fixedly mounted on a first supporting member 101, and on the first supporting member 101, a supporting axis 110 is fixedly mounted.

The supporting axis 110 of the first supporting member 101 is rotatively supported by a second supporting member 102, being put through the hole of two supporting portions 111a and 111b of the second supporting member 102.

A spring 112 is attached to one side of the first supporting member 101 by one end, and the other end of the spring 112 is fixed to the second supporting member 102, whereby the first supporting member 101 is rotatively spring-loaded in the direction indicated by an arrow mark 113 about the supporting axis 110, being held at a stopper 114.

To the other side of the first supporting member 101, that is, the side opposite to where the spring 112 and supporting axis are, one end of a link 117 is connected, and the other end of the link 117 is connected to a solenoid 116 fixed on the second supporting member 102.

Further, the second supporting member 102 is provided with guide members 120, on the bottom portion. Each of the guide members 120 is engaged with one of two rails 118a and 118b provided on a third supporting member 103, enabling thereby the second supporting member 102 to advance or retreat in the direction indicated by an arrow mark 119.

The engagement holes of the guide member 120 are given a shape different from each other, one hole (or rail 118a or 118b) being circular and other being oval, so as to eliminate the unwanted movement (play) of the second supporting member 102, including the stapler 70, in the directions indicated by arrow marks 121A and 121B.

Further, the second supporting member is provided with a rack gear 122, which is engaged with a gear 124 of a motor 123 fixedly mounted on the third supporting member 103.

As this motor 123 rotates, the second supporting member moves in the direction of an arrow mark 119, being guided by the rails 118a and 118b.

Further, the third supporting member 103 is provided with a guide members 126a and 126b, on the bottom portion. They are engaged with two rails 125a and 125b of a fourth supporting member 104, respectively, enabling thereby the third supporting member 103 to move in the direction of an arrow mark 127. The hole of the guide member 126a and hole of the guide member 126b which engage with the rails 125a and 125b, respectively, are given a shape different from each other, one being round and the other being oval, eliminating thereby the unwanted movement (play) of the third supporting member in the direction indicated by arrow marks 121A and 119.

Further, on the fourth supporting member 104, a motor 130 and an idler pulley 134 are fixedly mounted, the idler pulley 134 being rotatively mounted on an axis 133, wherein the motor 130 drives a pulley belt 131 and a belt 132 is stretched around two pulleys 131 and 134. This belt 132 is fixed to a portion 136 of the third supporting member 103. A reference numeral 135 designates a belt tensioner. As the motor 130 rotates, the driving force is transmitted through this belt 132, whereby the third supporting member 103 is moved in the direction of an arrow 121B, being guided by the rails 125a and 125b.

In order to detect the stand-by locations of the first, second, and third supporting members, detecting means 136, 137, and 138, such as microswitches, are provided (Figure 9).

The fourth supporting member 104 is supported by a guide rail 139 or the like (accuride rail), and can be removed from the main assembly during the maintenance though it is normally fixedly positioned on the sorter main assembly by an unillustrated locking means.

The stapling apparatus 100 is constituted of the components described hereinbefore. The image forming apparatus 200 and sorter 1 are provided with controlling apparatuses (CPU) 200A and (CPU) 1A, respectively, which control various operations and the communications between the two.

This embodiment is structured as described hereinbefore, wherein the sheet S discharged from an image forming apparatus such as a copying machine is guided into the first sheet conveying path 11 or second sheet conveying path 12, by the deflector 17 which changes its orientation in response to the sorting mode selection, that is, depending on which sorting mode is selected, non-sort mode (sheets are not sorted) or sort mode (sheets are sorted).

Next, a binding operation involving two or more bins B will be described.

When carrying out the binding operation involving two or more bins B (S113), it is most efficient to start from the last bin B in which the sheets have been discharged and stored.

⟨Single Point Binding Mode⟩

First, as described hereinbefore, the second supporting member 102 is moved together with the stapler mounted on the first supporting member 101, and the stapler 70 is moved from the location 70a to the location 70c, where the sheets in the first bin are bound. Then, the motor 123 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction (S117) to return the stapler, wherein at this time, the stapler is not returned as far as the location 70a, being instead moved to the location 70b (midway stand-by location), and the motor 123 is stopped (S119). This location is detected by the detecting means 199 (S118) (Figures 3 and 10).

Next, in response to a bin shift completion signal (S12), the stapler 70 is moved by the same driving means as described before, from the location 70b to the location 70c where the sheets in the second bin are bound. Then, the stapler 70 is again returned to the midway stand-by location 70b. Next, the bins B are shifted in response to a signal indicating the completion of a single cycle of the stapler operation. The preceding steps are automatically repeated till all the sheets in all the bins B are bound. After the sheets in the last bin are bound, the second supporting member 102 is returned together with the stapler 70 mounted on the first supporting member 101, and then, the stapler 70 is returned from the location 70c to the aforementioned stand-by location 70a (Figure 9).

It is needless to say that the number of times the bins are shifted during the automatic binding operation is the same as that during the sorting operation.

The stapler moving distance 185 from the stapling location 780c to the midway stand-by location 70b is shorter than the distance 186 between the locations 70c and 70a (Figure 8). This is because the distance (185) which the stapler 70 retreats during the continuous stapling operation is set up to be a minimum distance which the stapler 70 must move in order not to interfere with the bins during the bin shifting operation; therefore, the time for reciprocating the stapler 70 is reduced, realizing thereby a reduction in the overall stapling time.

⟨Two Points Binding Mode⟩

Referring to Figures 23 and 24, as a two point sheet binding mode start signal is sent in from the controlling means (S201), the solenoid 116 is activated (S202), whereby the first supporting member 101 carrying the stapler 700 is rotated counterclockwise about the rotational axis 110 and is fixedly positioned (as illustrated by the double-dot chain line in Figure 11).

After the completion of its rotation, its location is detected by the detecting means 193 (S203). At this time, it is detected by the detecting means 137 and 138 whether or not the second and third supporting members 102 and 103 are at their stand-by positions, respectively, (S204, S206) and when not, they are returned to their stand-by locations (S205, S207).

At substantially the same time as the preceding step, the motor 130 is rotated counterclockwise (S208) to move rightward the third supporting member 103 from the location 103a to the location 103b, and then, the motor 130 is stopped (S210).

The arrival of the third supporting member 103 at the location 103b is detected by the detecting means 191 (Figure 11) (S209).

As for the motor 130, a DC motor or the like may be employed, and its rotation may be stopped by the detecting means 191. Also, a stepping motor or the like may be employed, wherein the motor 130 is stopped after the third supporting member 103 is moved a predetermined distance from the aforementioned stand-by location, that is, the location of detecting means 138; in this case, the detecting means 191 serves to confirm the accuracy in the positioning of the third supporting member 103.

At substantially the same time, the location of the path end portion 52 is detected by the detecting means 60 (S211), and the path moving motor 53 is counterclockwise rotated (S212) to rotate the lever 62, whereby the path end portion 52 is moved from the location 52a to the location 52b.

When it is detected by the detecting means 163 (Figure 3) that the path end portion 52 has reached the location 52b (S213), the motor 53 is stopped (S214), and the path end portion 52 is held at this location.

As soon as each of the detecting means 191, 193, 163, and 137 sends to the controlling means, a signal indicating that the relevant supporting means has reached the predetermined location, a signal is sent out from the controlling means to allow the second supporting means to move to the stapling position in the same manner as in the case of the aforementioned single point binding mode (S215), whereby the motor 123 is clockwise rotated (S216) to move the stapler 70 from the location 70a to the location 70c. Then, after it is detected by the detecting means 198 that the stapler has reached the location 70c (S217), the motor 123 is stopped (S218), and a staple is struck into the sheets S, at a point H (S219) (Figure 12).

Here, when the detecting means 163 fails to detects that the path end portion 52 has reached the position 52b, the movement of the second supporting means is prohibited.

The location 52b where the path end portion 52 is retracted is set up at the location where it does not interfere with the stapler 70 when the stapler 70 is moving to the location 70c during the preceding operation. Further, the stapler 70 is caused to operate after its location is confirmed through the detecting means 163, 191, 193, and 137 (in particular, 163); therefore, the stapler 70 does not interfere with the bins and path end portion 52. As for the movements of the path end portion 52, first supporting member 101, and third supporting member 103, they may be moved in any order or at the same time as long as they are moved while the presence of the second supporting means 102 is detected by the detecting means 137 and the stapler 70 is at the location 70a.

Thus, the binding by the stapler 70 ends.

In the case of a single bin operation (S220), the motor 123 is rotated counterclockwise (S225) to return the stapler 70 to the midway stand-by location 70b because of the same reason as described before, and is stopped after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70b is detected by the detecting means 199.

Next, the motor 130 is rotated counterclockwise (S228) to move the third supporting member 103 to the location 103c. The presence of the third supporting means 103 at the location 103c is detected by the detecting means 192 (S230) (Figure 13).

With the third supporting member 103 being at the location 103c, the motor 123 is clockwise rotated (S231) to move the second supporting member 102, that is, to move the stapler 70 from the location 70b to the location 70c, and is stopped (S233) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70c is detected by the detecting means 199 (S232). Here, a staple is struck into the sheets, at a point H,' that is, the second binding point of the double-point binding mode (S234). Since this operation is the single bin operation (S234), the motor 123 is counterclockwise rotated (S226) to move the stapler 70 from the location 70c to the stand-by location 70a, and is stopped (S338) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70a is detected by the detecting means 137 (S337), completing thereby the single bin operation.

When it is detected by the detecting means 137 that the second supporting means is at the stand-by location, the motor 53 is clockwise rotated (S239) to return the path end portion 52 to the location 52a, and is stopped (S241) after the presence of the path end portion 52 at the location 52a is detected by the detecting means 60 (S240).

Next, a description is given as to the binding operation involving two or more bins B.

First, the third supporting member 103 is moved to the location 103b (illustrated by a solid line in Figure 11) to bind the sheets in the last bin into which the sheet has been discharged, at a point 140 (stapler 70 from the location 70a to the location 70c).

Then, after steps S201 to S220 are carried out, the motor 123 is rotated counterclockwise (S221) to move the stapler 70 from the location 70c to the location 70b (Figure 12), and is stopped (S223) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70b is detested by the detecting means 199 (S222).

Then, at the completion of the same bin shifting operation as the one described before (S224), the aforementioned operation (moving the stapler 70 from the location 70b location 70c location 70c) is repeated to bind the sheets in each of the bins, the number of which corresponds to the number of copy sets, at the point 141, till the binding at the point 141 is completed.

Next, with the stapling apparatus being still at the location corresponding to the last bin in which the sheets have been bound at the location 141, the third supporting member is moved to the location 103c (Figure 13) (S220 - S230) as described previously.

Then, at this location, the stapler 70 is moved from the location 70b to the location 70c, where the sheets are stapled (S231 - S232), and the motor 123 is rotated counterclockwise (S242) to return the stapler 70 to the location 70b (S242), and is stopped (S244) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70b is detected by the detecting means 198 (S243).

Next, the bins are shifted in the direction opposite to that of the preceding shift (S245), the routine steps (movement of the stapler 70 from the location 70b location 70c location 70b) are repeated in coordination with the bin shifting operations to continue the binding operations (S231 - S234).

After the sheets in the last bin (the first bin in which the sheets are bound at the point 141) are bound at a point 142 (S235), the stapler 70 is returned to the location 70a, ending thereby the double-point binding operation involving two or more bins (S226, S237, S238).

Then, the third supporting member 103 is moved leftward from the location 103c to the location 103a with a predetermined timing, and as the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70a, that is, as the presence of the second supporting member 102 at the stand-by location is detected by the detecting means 137, the path end portion 52 is returned to the sheet discharging location (52a), and the returning of the path end portion to this location is detected by the detecting means 60 (S239 - S241).

When the return of the second supporting means 102 to the stand-by location is not detected by the detecting means 137, the movement of the path end portion 52 is prohibited.

Incidentally, referring to Figure 3, it is needless to say that the detecting means 60 and stapler 70 are disposed so as not to interfere with each other in the thrust direction (direction perpendicular to the surface of the drawing).

⟨Single Point Rear Binding Mode⟩

As a signal for binding the sheets at a single rear point (binding the sheets discharged to be oriented as indicated by a reference code S2 in Figure 13, at the point 142) is sent in by the controlling means (S301), the solenoid 116 is activated (S302) just as in the case of the preceding double-point binding operation, whereby the stapler 70 comes to be positioned as shown in Figure 13. The presence of the stapler 70 at this location is detected by the detecting means 193 (S303).

Then, the presence of each member at its retract position is detected by the detecting means 138 or 137 (S304, S306) in the same manner as in the preceding binding operation, wherein when not detected, each member is returned to the stand-by location (S305, S307). Next, the motor 130 is rotated counterclockwise (S308) to move the third supporting member 103 to the location 103c, and is stopped (S310) when the presence of the third supporting means 103 at the location 103c is detected by the detecting means 192 (S309).

In the same manner as in the preceding double-point binding mode, after the presence of the path end portion 52 at the location 52a (S311) is detected by the detecting means 60, the motor 50 is rotated counterclockwise (S312) to move the path end portion 52 to the location 52b, and is stopped (S314) when the presence of the path end portion 52 at the location 52b is detected by the detecting means 163 (S313).

As for the ordinal relation among the movements of the path end portion 52, and the first, second, and third supporting members, any order is acceptable.

As soon as it is confirmed by the detecting means 192, 193, 137, and 163, in the same manner as in the binding mode described before, that all the members are at their relevant locations, a signal allowing their movements is issued (S315), whereby the motor 123 is clockwise rotated (S316) to move the second supporting member 102 to the stapling location, that is, to move the stapler 70 from the location 70a to the location 70c, and is stopped (S318) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70c is detected by the detecting means 198 (S317), where the sheets are bound at the point 142 (S319). In the case of the single bin mode (S320), the motor 123 is rotated counterclockwise (S321) to move the stapler 70 to the location 70a, and is stopped (S323) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70a is detected by the detecting means 137 (S322), concluding thereby this mode. When the presence of the path end portion 52 at the location 52b is not detected by the detecting means 163, the movement of the second supporting member 102 to the stapling location is prohibited.

When it is detected by the detecting means 137 that the second supporting means is at the stand-by location, the motor 53 is rotated clockwise (S323), whereby the path end portion 52 is returned to the location 52a. Then, after the presence of the path end portion 52 at the location 52a is detected by the detecting means 60 (S324), the motor 53 is stopped (S325).

Here, when the presence of the second supporting member at the stand-by location is not detected by the detecting means 137, the movement of the path end portion is prohibited.

Next, the binding operation involving two or more bins B will be described.

In the same manner as in the preceding binding operations, the third supporting member 103 is moved to the location 103c; the path end portion 52, to the location 52b; and the stapler 70, from the location 70a to the location 70c, in the same manner as in the case of the single point front binding mode described hereinbefore, where the sheets are stapled (S301 - S320). Then, the motor 123 is counterclockwise rotated (S326) to move the stapler 70 to the location 70b, and is stopped (S328) after the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70b is detected by the detecting means 199 (S327).

After the sheets in the first bin is bound at the point 142, the bins are shifted one interval (S329), and the sequence of moving the stapler 70 from the location 70b to the location 70c, stapling the sheets, and returning the stapler 70 to the location 70b, is repeated. After a predetermined number of sets of sheets are bound (S316 - S320, S326- S329), the stapler 70 is returned to the location 70a (S321 - S323).

In the same manner as described previously, when the presence of the stapler 70 at the location 70a is detected by the detecting means 137, the path end portion 52 is moved back to the location 52a (when not detected, the movement of the path end portion 52 is prohibited), and the third supporting member 103 is also moved back to the location 103a (S324, S325).

Hereinbefore, the stapling operation modes - single point front binding mode, double-point binding mode, and single point rear binding mode - have been described in combination with the single set binding mode and multiple sets binding mode.

As far as the binding mode is concerned, it may be of a "post-stapling" type in which an unillustrated start button or the like is pressed to start the stapling operation, after the sheets have been sorted and accumulated in the bins; or of a "stapling-sorting" type in which the stapling operation is automatically started after the completion of the sorting operation.

Further, the aforementioned operations may be carried out in a group mode (mode for sorting and accumulating the same copies into the same bin).

⟨Other Embodiments⟩

As for the structure of the embodiment of the present invention described so far, the stapler is moved toward the bin of the sorter, to be advanced into the cutaway portion of the bin, where the sheets are bound. However, the same results can be obtained with the use of a different configuration in which the sheets are moved toward the stapler during the stapling operation. Such a configuration will be described hereinafter, referring to Figures 14 and 15.

The stapler 70 is movable in the direction of an arrow mark 750, wherein it is moved from a stand-by location 700A to a sheet binding locations 700B, 700C and 700D, while changing its orientation to change the staple orientation as illustrated in Figure 14. However, it is not movable in the direction of an arrow mark 753 from any of the locations illustrated in Figures 14 and 15.

The path end portion 751 comprising a discharging roller pair 752 is movable between a sheet discharging location 751a where the sheets are discharged into the bin Bb and a retract location 751b where it is retracted during the stapling operation. In the state depicted in Figure 14, the path end portion 751 (positioned at the location 751a) and stapler 700 (positioned at the location 700B) are disposed so as not to interfere with each other in the direction of the arrow mark 750.

The sheets S on the bin B are aligned with the use of a reference wall 754, a jogging member 755, and a bin stopper.

When the stapling operation is carried out, a bin stopper B' is retracted from a jogging location B'a to a retract location B'b after the sheet S are held by a gripper 755 at an illustrated point. Then, the gripper 755 is moved from a location 755a to a location 755b, whereby the sheets S are moved from a location SA to a location SB, advancing a sheet edge Sa into the stapling location. After the sheets S are stapled, they are returned to the location SA on the bin. At this time, the bin stopper B' is also returned to the location B'a.

In the sorter having the configuration described in the foregoing, the stapler 700 is at the stand-by location 700A while the sheets are discharged into the bins, and at this time, the path end portion 751 discharges the sheets in the bins at the location 751a.

When the sheets are going to be stapled, the path end portion 751 is moved from the location 751a to the location 751b, and then, the stapler 700 is moved from the location 700A to one of the stapling locations 700B - 700D. After the movement of the stapler 700, the sheets S are moved by the gripper 755 toward the stapler, and stapled there.

This configuration also allows the discharging bin and stapling bin to be the same. In addition, in this modified embodiment of the present invention, it is not required to advance the stapler between the bins. In other words, the interval between the discharge bin Bb and the bin Bc immediately below has only to be just enough to prevent the interference between the bins Bb and Bc during the sheets movement; therefore, the interval can be further reduced, enabling thereby the apparatus to be more compact.

Further, when the structure is modified in the following manner: the stapler 700 is kept at the stand-by location 700E, where it does not interfere with the path end portion 751 and sheets S while the path end portion 751 delivers and discharges the sheets S at the location 751a, and then, it is moved in one of the directions of arrows 750 and 760 to carry out the same operations as described in the foregoing; the stapling operation at the location 700B (single point front binding mode) can be carried out while the path end portion 751 remains at the location 751a (without being retracted).

Also in this case, when the stapler 700 is moved from the stand-by location to the locations 700C or 700D, it is of course acceptable for the stapler 700 to be moved from the location 700E, first, in the direction of an arrow 761, and then, in the arrow 760 direction.

Further, the apparatus further comprises: stapler stand-by location detecting means for detecting the presence of the stapler 700 at the stand-by location 700A or 700E; stapling location detecting means for detecting the presence of the stapler 700 at the stapling location 700C or 700D, where the stapler 700 in the stapling operation interferes with the path end portion 751 if the latter is at the location 751a; discharge detecting means for detecting the presence of the path end portion 751 at the discharging location 751a; and retract location detecting means for detecting the presence of the path end portion 751 at the retract location 751b; wherein when the presence of the stapler 700 at the location 700C or 700D is detected by the stapling location detecting means, the movement of the path end portion 751 from the location 751b to the location 751a is prohibited, and when the presence of the path end portion 751 at the discharging location 751a is detected, the movement of the stapler 700 from the retract location to the stapling location is prohibited.

When it is detected that the stapler 700 is at the retract location (700A or 700E), the movement of the path end portion 751 from the location 751b to the location 751b is permitted, and when the presence of the path end portion 751 at the location 751b is detected, the movement of the stapler 700 from the retract location to the stapling location is permitted. Therefore, the stapler 700 and path end portion 751 are prevented from interfering with each other during their operations.

Hereinbefore, the description was given as to the structure by which the sheets alone were moved toward the stapler to be stapled. However, the same results can be obtained with the use of a structure by which the sheets are moved together with the bin toward the stapler (in the direction of an arrow mark 777) (Figure 16).

Next, referring to Figure 17, a modified embodiment of the moving mechanism for the path end portion 767 will be described.

The path end portion 767 is moved by the motor 53 as described with regard to the first embodiment (Figure 3).

In this embodiment, the movement of the path end portion 767 is linked to the movement of the stapler 700 in the direction of an arrow mark 766.

The path end portion 767 is under the pressure exerted in the direction of an arrow mark 769 from a pressure applying means 767P such as a spring, whereby its tip portion remains in contact with an abutment portion 770 provided on the sorter side; in other words, the path end portion 767 is fixedly disposed at the discharging location where the sheets are discharged into the bin Bb. The abutment portion 770 is disposed so as not to interfere with the stapler in the direction perpendicular to the page of Figure 17.

Further, a cam member 765 is disposed on the stapler 700. In the case of an apparatus in which the orientation of the stapler 700 is changed in response to the change in the stapling location, this cam member 765 is disposed on the second supporting member 102 (Figures 8 and 9).

The stapler 700 and first supporting member 101 (Figures 8 and 9) are moved together by the same driving mechanism as the one described previously in the direction of an arrow mark 771, whereby the cam member 765 is brought into contact with the path end portion 767, and pushes it up.

When the stapler 700 is at the stapling location 700C, the path end portion 767 is at the location 767b and the sheets are stapled. Then, the stapler 700 is moved by the same driving means as the one described before in the direction of an arrow mark 772 to be returned to the location 700a. Meanwhile, the path end portion 767, being under the pressure from the spring 767P in the arrow 769 direction, is moved, being guided by the cam member 765, to the location 767a, where it is stopped and held by the abutment portion 770. When the stapler 700 is at the location 700a, the cam member 765 is not in contact with the contact portion of the path end portion 767; therefore, the path end portion 767 is accurately positioned by the abutment portion 770.

With the provision of the structure described in the foregoing, there is no need for a path end portion moving motor such as the one described before; therefore, the overall structure can be further simplified. It is of course acceptable to employ different path end portion moving means such as path end portion driving linkage.

In the preceding embodiment, the movement of the path end portion 767 was linked with the movement of the stapler 700. However, it is quite acceptable to link the movement of the path end portion 767 to the movement of the gripper or the like to retract the path end portion to the retract location, in an apparatus in which the sheets are moved toward the staple 700 as shown in Figures 14 and 15.

Referring to Figure 18, an embodiment of a different mechanism for rotating the stapler 700 will be described.

In this embodiment, a gear 861 is provided on the first supporting member 860. The gear 861 is supported in such a manner that it rotates on the second supporting member 862 about an axis 863.

The second supporting member 862 is provided with a motor 864, wherein a driving force is transmitted to the gear 861 by a gear 865 mounted on the motor 864, whereby the first supporting member 860 is rotated with the stapler 700.

Since the rest of the mechanisms are the same as those illustrated in Figures 8 and 9, their descriptions are omitted.

When the sheets S are going to be bound at the single front point 140, the stapler 700 is oriented in the direction 700N, and is moved to the stapling location as the third supporting member 103 is moved to a predetermined location, where the sheets S are stapled. In the cage of the double-point stapling mode (at the points 141 and 142), the stapler 700 is caused to orient in the direction 700M, and then, the sheets are bound in the same manner.

Now, when the sheets S are bound on the edge Sx side, that is, the side opposite to the reference wall 19c, the stapler 700 is oriented in the direction 700L, and then, is moved to a stapling location 866, where the sheets are bound at an angle of approximately 45° relative to the sheet edge as illustrated in the drawing.

With the provision of the aforementioned structure, the sheets can be easily bound even in the single point rear binding mode in which a staple II is placed at an angle.

Further, even when the sheets have a different size (Se), they can be bound at the aforementioned angle by moving the third supporting member to a predetermined location with the stapler 700 being oriented in the 700P direction as shown in the drawing.

It should be noted that this embodiment is applicable whether the structure is such that the stapler is moved toward the sheet set, or that the sheet set, alone or together with the bin tray, is moved toward the stapler.

Hereinbefore, the effects of the present invention were described with reference to the sorter of a type in which the bins are shifted with the use of a lead cam. However, it is needless to say that the present invention is effectively applicable to a sorter of a type in which the bin interval is changed by a linkage 999 illustrated in Figure 19 (JP-A-58 17 063), a sorter of the Geneva type illustrated in Figure 20 (JP-A-60 223 764), or a post-processing apparatus such as a finisher having only a single tray.

Further, the same effects can be obtained when the present invention is applied to a fixed-bin type sorter illustrated in Figure 21 in which the bins are fixedly disposed, and instead, the stapler is moved in the direction of an arrow mark 780, wherein the path end portion 781 is retracted from this side of the page so that the stapler can be advanced, or the sheets can be pulled out, for the stapling operation.

Next, referring to Figure 33, a description will be given as to another mechanism for moving the path end portion from which the sheets are discharged into the bins.

In this drawing, the path end portion 1000 as the discharging means is movable between a discharging location 1000a illustrated by a broken line and a retract location 1000b illustrated by a solid line. A gripper 1001 and a stacker 1002 are disposed on the stopper side of the bin B, wherein the gripper 1001 can be advanced toward or moved away from the bin B, and the stacker 1002 is vertically movable in the direction of an arrow mark 1007.

The path end portion 1000 is retracted to the retract location 1000b after discharging the sheets S at the discharging location 1000a. The gripper having been positioned away from the bin B is advanced into a cutaway portion Bx provided on the bin (Figure 33(d)), where it is caused to grab the sheet set S on the bin B at the location 1001a (Figure 33(a)), and then, is moved to a location 1001b shown in Figure 33(b), moving thereby the sheet set S to the location 1001b.

At this time, the sheet sets S to be grouped may be those having been stapled or those having not been stapled. The sheet sets S to be grouped are further moved from the location 1001b to a location above the stacker 1002 shown in Figure 33(c), being sequentially placed on the stacker 1002, where the movable bottom portion 1005 of the gripper 1005 is moved to a releasing location 1005a, whereby the sheet sets S are stacked on the stacker 1002.

The movement of the path end portion 1000 to retract location 1000b is linked to the movement of the gripper 1001 toward the bin B, through an unillustrated linking mechanism.

As is evident from the description given above, the same preferable effects as those of the preceding embodiment can be obtained even when the path end portion 1000 is moved during the post-processing operation.

While the invention has been described with reference to the structures disclosed herein, it is not confined to the details set forth and this application is intended to cover such modifications or changes falling under the scope of the following claims.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät mit:
    • zumindest einem Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) zum Aufnehmen von Blättern (S),
    • einer Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) zum Herauslassen der Blätter (S) in den zumindest einen Blattaufnahmebehälter (B);
    • einer Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1001; 1002; 1005) zum Nachbehandeln der in dem zumindest einen Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) aufbewahrten Blätter (S);
    • einer Stützeinrichtung (51a) zum Stützen der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) für eine Bewegung zwischen einem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) zum Herauslassen der Blätter (S) in den zumindest einen Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) und einem zweiten Ort (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) bei einem vorbestimmten Abstand von dem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a); und
    • einer Bewegungseinrichtung (53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62; 765) zum Bewegen der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) von dem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) zu dem zweiten Ort (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b), wenn eine Relativbewegung zwischen den Blättern (S) und der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) durchgeführt wird, so daß die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) an einem vorbestimmten Ort entlang der Ränder der Blätter (S) in dem zumindest einen Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) betätigt wird,

         dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

      die Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ort (52a, 52b; 751a, 751b; 767a, 767b; 781a, 1000a, 1000b) drehbar ist, um eine Beeinträchtigung der Blattauslaßeinrichtung und der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) zu verhindern.
  2. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) im wesentlichen parallel zu dem Blattrand so bewegbar ist, daß ein Nachbehandlungsvorgang an den Blättern (S) an einer vorbestimmten Stelle oder an vorbestimmten Stellen entlang des Blattrandes ausgeführt werden kann, wobei eine Steuereinrichtung die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) so steuert, daß sie bei an dem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) befindlicher Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) betätigt wird, wenn der Nachbehandlungsvorgang an den Blättern (S) an einer Ecke entlang des Blattrandes ausgeführt wird, und die Steuereinrichtung die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) so steuert, daß sie bei an dem zweiten Ort (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) befindlicher Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) betätigt wird, wenn der Nachbehandlungsvorgang an dem Blatt (S) an einem im wesentlichen mittleren Abschnitt entlang des Blattrandes ausgeführt wird.
  3. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    eine Steuereinrichtung die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) so steuert, daß sie ihre Position an einem ersten Ort (70c; 700B, 700C, 700D; 700P; 700G, 700F, 700H), an dem sie den Nachbehandlungsvorgang ausführt und an dem sie die Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) beeinträchtigen würde, wenn die letztere nicht wegbewegt werden würde, an einem zweiten Ort (70a; 700a; 700A; 700M) an dem sie die Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) unabhängig von dem Ort der letzteren nicht beeinträchtigt, oder an einem dritten Ort (70b; 700b; 700E; 700L) der zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Ort eingerichtet ist, an dem sie den Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) und / oder die darauf befindlichen Blätter (S) während der Bewegung des Blattaufnahmebehälters (B) nicht beeinträchtigt, einnimmt.
  4. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       gekennzeichnet durch

    eine erste Erfassungseinrichtung zum Erfassen des Vorhandenseins der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) an einem Nachbehandlungsort (70c, 700B, 700C, 700D) und eine zweite Erfassungseinrichtung zum Erfassen des Vorhandenseins der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) an einem Auslaßort, wobei, wenn das Vorhandensein der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) an dem Nachbehandlungsort durch die erste Erfassungseinrichtung erfaßt worden ist, die Bewegung der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) von einem Einfahrort zu dem Herauslaßort verhindert wird, und wenn das Vorhandensein der Blattauslaßeinrichtung 52; 751; 767; 1000) an dem Herauslaßort von der zweiten Erfassungseinrichtung erfaßt worden ist, die Bewegung der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) zu dem Nachbehandlungsort verhindert wird.
  5. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Drehbewegung der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) von dem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) zu dem zweiten Ort (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) durch eine Verbindungsantriebseinrichtung bewirkt wird, die die Drehbewegung der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751; 767; 1000) mit der Bewegung der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) relativ zu den Blättern (S) zum Ausführen des Nachbehandlungsvorgangs direkt verbindet.
  6. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 751a; 767a; 1000a) von dem ersten Ort (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) zu dem zweiten Ort (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) durch eine elektromotorische Einrichtung verändert wird.
  7. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) an einem Ort benachbart zu dem Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) so angeordnet ist, daß sie dem Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) an der Seite der Herauslaßeinrichtung zugewandt ist, und zu dem Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) hin oder von diesem weg vorwärtsbewegt werden kann.
  8. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    ein Blattsatz zu dem Nachbehandlungsort bewegt wird.
  9. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    der Aufnahmebehälter (B) zu dem Nachbehandlungsort bewegt wird.
  10. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 7,

       gekennzeichnet durch

    ein Stützelement (101) zum Stützen der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) in drehender Weise, wobei die Stützeinrichtung (101) in der Lage ist, sich im wesentlichen parallel zu dem Rand der Blätter (S) auf dem Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) an der Seite zu bewegen, an der die Blätter (S) nachbehandelt werden, wobei nach dem wahlweise erfolgten Drehen der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) an einem vorbestimmten Ort benachbart zu dem Blattrand die Blätter (S) und die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) relativ zueinander in einer derartigen Richtung bewegt werden, daß der Blattrand sich mit dem Nachbehandlungsort kreuzt, damit die Blätter (S) nachbehandelt werden.
  11. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 10,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    der Ort, an dem die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) wahlweise gedreht wird, benachbart zu zumindest einer der Ecken des Blattrandes ist, und die Drehrichtung der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (70; 700; 1002, 1005) derart ist, daß eine im wesentlichen dreieckige Form durch die beiden Ränder von einer der nachzubehandelnden Blattecken und der Linie der Klammerausrichtung gebildet wird.
  12. Bilderzeugungsgerät mit einem Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 11, wobei

    die Blätter (S), auf denen Bilder unter Verwendung des Bilderzeugungsgerätes zu erzeugen sind, zu dem Blattnachbehandlungsgerät geliefert werden, um nachbehandelt zu werden.
  13. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Blattauslaßeinrichtung eine schwenkbare Führungsplatte (52) mit einer Auslaßrolle (15) an ihrem Ende aufweist.
  14. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Bewegungseinrichtung einen mechanischen Mechanismus (765) zum Übertragen einer Bewegung der Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (700) zu der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (767) aufweist.
  15. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Bewegungseinrichtung einen Motor (53) zum Bewegen der Blattauslaßeinrichtung (52; 767) aufweist.
  16. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung eine Greifeinrichtung (1001) zum Ergreifen und Zuführen der Blätter (S) ist.
  17. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung ein Hefter (70; 700) ist.
  18. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 17,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    der Hefter (70; 700) zu dem Aufnahmebehälter (B) bewegbar ist, um die Blätter (S) zu heften.
  19. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 17,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Blätter (S) auf dem Aufnahmebehälter (B) sich zu dem Hefter (70; 700) bewegen.
  20. Blattnachbehandlungsgerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    eine Vielzahl an Blattaufnahmebehältern (B) vorgesehen ist, die im wesentlichen vertikal angeordnet sind, wobei sowohl die Blattauslaßeinrichtung (781), die für jeden von der Vielzahl der Blattaufnahmebehälter (B) angeordnet ist, als auch die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung (700) sich im wesentlichen vertikal relativ zu den Blattaufnahmebehältern (B) bewegen.
  21. Gerät gemäß Anspruch 1,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    die Blattauslaßeinrichtung eine schwenkbare Führungsplatte (52) mit einer Auslaßrolle (15) an ihrem Ende aufweist, wobei die Nachbehandlungseinrichtung ein Hefter (70; 700) ist, der zwischen einer Heftposition und einer eingefahrenen Position bewegbar ist, wobei die Bewegungseinrichtung ein Teil (765) des Hefters (70; 700) bildet und ein Drehen der schwenkbaren Platte (52) zu der eingefahrenen Position zusammen mit der Auslaßrolle (15) in Zusammenwirkung mit einer Bewegung des Hefters (70; 700) zu der Heftposition vor einer Bewegung des Hefters (70; 700) zu seiner Heftposition bewirkt.
  22. Gerät gemäß Anspruch 21,

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß

    eine Vielzahl an Blattaufnahmebehältern (B) vorgesehen ist, wobei diese vertikal und schrittweise bewegbar sind, um der Auslaßrolle (15) zugewandt zu sein, wobei der Hefter (70) sich in einer derartigen Höhe befindet, daß er die Blätter in einem Behälter (B), der der Auslaßrolle (15) zugewandt ist, heftet.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A sheet post-processing apparatus comprising
    • at least one sheet receiving bin (B) for receiving sheets (S);
    • sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) for discharging the sheets (S) into said at least one, sheet receiving bin (B);
    • post-processing means (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) for post-processing the sheets (S) stored in said at least one sheet receiving bin (B);
    • supporting means (51a) for supporting said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) for movement between a first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) for discharging the sheets (S) into said at least one sheet receiving bin (B) and a second location (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) at a predetermined distance away from said first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a); and
    • moving means (53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62; 765) for moving said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) from said first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) to said second location (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) when relative movement is imparted between the sheets (S) and said post-processing means (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) so that said post-processing means (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005) is activated at a predetermined location along edges of the sheets (S) in said at least one sheet receiving bin (B),

      characterized in that

      said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) is pivotable between said first and second location (52a, 52b; 751a, 751b; 767a, 767b; 1000a, 1000b) in order to avoid an interference of said sheet discharging means and said post-processing means (70; 700; 1001, 1002, 1005).
  2. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) is movable substantially in parallel to the sheet edge so that a post-processing operation can be performed on the sheets (S) at a predetermined point or points along the sheet edge, wherein control means control said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) to be activated with said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) at said first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) when the post-processing operation is performed on the sheets (S) at one corner along the sheet edge, and said control means control said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) to be activated with said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 781; 1000) at said second location (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) when the post-processing operation is performed on the sheet (S) at substantially a center portion along the sheet edge.
  3. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    control means control said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) to take its position at a first location (70c; 700B, 700C, 700D; 700P; 700G, 700F, 700H) where it performs the post-processing operation and where it would interfere with said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) if the latter were not moved away, a second location (70a; 700a; 700A; 700M) where it does not interfere with said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) regardless of the location of the latter, or a third location (70b; 700b; 700E; 700L) set up between said first and second locations where it does not interfere with said sheet receiving bin (B) and/or the sheets (S) thereon during the movement of said sheet receiving bin (B).
  4. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized by

    first detecting means for detecting the presence of said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) at a post-processing location (70c, 700B, 700C, 700D) and second detecting means for detecting the presence of said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) at a discharging location, wherein, when the presence of said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) at the post-processing location is detected by said first detecting means, the movement of said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) from a retract location to the discharging location is prohibited, and when the presence of said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) at the discharging location is detected by said second detecting means, the movement of said post-processing means (700; 700; 1002, 1005) to the post-processing location is prohibited.
  5. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    the pivot movement of said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) from the first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) to the second location (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) is caused by linking-driving means which directly link the pivot movement of said sheet discharging means (52; 751; 767; 1000) to the movement of said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005), relative to the sheets (S), for performing the post-processing operation.
  6. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said sheet discharging means (52; 751a; 767a; 1000a) is changed from the first location (52a; 751a; 767a; 1000a) to the second location (52b; 751b; 767b; 1000b) by electromotive means.
  7. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) is disposed at a location adjacent to said sheet receiving bin (B) so as to face said sheet receiving bin (B) on the discharging means side, and can be advanced toward or moved away from said sheet receiving bin (B).
  8. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    a sheet set is moved to the post-processing location.
  9. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said receiving bin (B) is moved to the post-processing location.
  10. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 7,

    characterized by

    a supporting member (101) for supporting rotatively said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005), said supporting means (101) being enabled to move substantially parallel to the edge of the sheets (S) on said sheet receiving bin (B) on the side where the sheets (S) are post-processed, wherein after said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) has selectively been rotated at a predetermined location adjacent to the sheet edge, the sheets (S) and said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) are moved relative to each other in such a direction that the sheet edge crosses into the post-processing location so as for the sheets (S) to be post-processed.
  11. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 10,

    characterized in that

    the location where said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) is selectively rotated is adjacent to at least one of the corners of the sheet edge, and the rotational direction of said post-processing means (70; 700; 1002, 1005) is such that a substantially triangular shape is formed by the two edges of one of the sheet corners to be post-processed and the line of the staple orientation.
  12. An image forming apparatus comprising a sheet post-processing apparatus according to one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the sheets (S) on which images are formed with the use of image forming means are delivered to said sheet post-processing apparatus to be post-processed.
  13. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said sheet discharging means comprises a swingable guide plate (52) having a discharging roller (15) at its end.
  14. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said moving means comprises a mechanical mechanism (765) for transmitting movement of said post-processing means (700) to said sheet discharging means (767).
  15. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said moving means comprises a motor (53) for moving said sheet discharging means (52; 767).
  16. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said post-processing means is a gripping means (1001) for gripping and feeding the sheets (S).
  17. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said post-processing means is a stapler (70; 700).
  18. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 17,

    characterized in that

    said stapler (70; 700) is movable toward said receiving bin (B) to staple the sheets (S).
  19. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 17,

    characterized in that

    the sheets (S) on said receiving bin (B) move toward said stapler (70; 700).
  20. A sheet post-processing apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    there are provided a plurality of said sheet receiving bins (B) arranged substantially vertically, and said sheet discharging means (781) being disposed for each of said plurality of said sheet receiving bins (B) as well as said post-processing means (700) move substantially vertically relative to said sheet receiving bins (B).
  21. An apparatus according to claim 1,

    characterized in that

    said sheet discharging means comprises a swingable guide plate (52) having a discharging roller (15) at its end, wherein said post-processing means is a stapler (70; 700) movable between a stapling position and a retracted position, and wherein said moving means constitutes a part (765) of said stapler (70; 700), and is effective to pivot said swingable plate (52) to the retracted position together with the discharging roller (15) in cooperation with a movement of said stapler (70; 700) to the stapling position before a movement of said stapler (70; 700) to its stapling position.
  22. An apparatus according to claim 21,

    characterized in that

    there are provided a plurality of said sheet receiving bins (B) arranged vertically and movable step-by-step to face said discharging roller (15), wherein said stapler (70) is at such a level so as to staple the sheets in a bin (B) facing said discharging roller (15).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles comprenant
    • au moins un bac (B) de réception de feuilles destiné à recevoir des feuilles (S) ;
    • un moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767, 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles destiné à décharger les feuilles (S) dans ledit au moins un bac (B) de réception de feuilles ;
    • un moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1001, 1002, 1005) de post-traitement destiné à assurer un post-traitement des feuilles (S) stockées dans ledit au moins un bac (B) de réception de feuilles ;
    • un moyen (51a) de support destiné à supporter ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuille pour déplacement entre un premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) pour décharger les feuilles (S) dans ledit au moins un bac (B) de réception de feuilles et un deuxième emplacement (52b ; 751b ; 767b ; 1000b) à une distance prédéterminée à l'écart dudit premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) ; et
    • un moyen (53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62 ; 765) de déplacement destiné à déplacer ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767; 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles dudit premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) vers ledit deuxième emplacement (52b ; 751b ; 767b ; 1000b) lorsqu'un déplacement relatif est donné entre les feuilles (S) et ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1001, 1002, 1005) de post-traitement de façon que ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1001, 1002, 1005) de post-traitement soit activé à un emplacement prédéterminé le long des bords des feuilles (S) dans ledit au moins un bac (B) de réception de feuilles,

      caractérisé en ce que

      ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles peut pivoter entre des premier et deuxième emplacements (52a, 52b ; 751a, 751b ; 767a, 767b ; 1000a, 1000b) afin d'éviter une interférence dudit moyen de décharge de feuilles et dudit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1001, 1002, 1005) de post-traitement.
  2. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement est mobile sensiblement parallèlement au bord de feuille de façon à pouvoir assurer une opération de post-traitement des feuilles (S) en un point, ou points, prédéterminé(s) le long du bord de feuille, dans lequel ledit moyen de commande commande ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement pour qu'il soit activé avec ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles audit premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) lorsque l'on effectue l'opération de post-traitement des feuilles (S) au niveau d'un coin le long du bord de feuille, et en ce que ledit moyen de commande commande ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement pour l'activer avec ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 781 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles audit deuxième emplacement (52b ; 751b ; 767b ; 1000b) lorsque l'on effectue l'opération de post-traitement des feuilles (S) à une partie sensiblement au centre le long du bord de feuille.
  3. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    le moyen de commande commande ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement pour l'amener à sa position à un premier emplacement (70c ; 700B, 700C, 700D ; 700P ; 700G, 700F, 700H) où il assure l'opération de post-traitement et où il interférerait avec ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles si ce dernier ne s'éloignait pas, à un deuxième emplacement (70a ; 700a ; 700A ; 700M) où il n'interfère pas avec ledit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles quel que soit l'emplacement de ce dernier, ou à un troisième emplacement (70b ; 700b ; 700E ; 700L) établi entre lesdits premier et deuxième emplacements où il n'interfère pas avec ledit bac (B) de réception de feuilles et/ou avec les feuilles (S) qui se trouvent sur celui-ci pendant le déplacement dudit bac (B) de réception de feuilles.
  4. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé par

    un premier moyen de détection destiné à détecter la présence dudit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement à un emplacement (70c, 700B, 700C, 700D) de post-traitement et un second moyen de détection destiné à détecter la présence dudit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles à un emplacement de décharge, dans lequel, lorsque ledit premier moyen de détection détecte la présence dudit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement à l'emplacement de post-traitement, on interdit le déplacement dudit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles d'un emplacement en retrait à l'emplacement de décharge et, lorsque ledit second moyen de détection détecte la présence dudit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles à l'emplacement de décharge, on interdit le déplacement dudit moyen (700 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement vers l'emplacement de post-traitement.
  5. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    le déplacement pivotant dudit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles dudit premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) vers le deuxième emplacement (52b ; 751b ; 767b ; 1000b) est provoqué par un moyen d'entraînement par liaison qui met directement en liaison le déplacement pivotant dudit moyen (52 ; 751 ; 767 ; 1000) de décharge de feuilles avec le déplacement dudit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement par rapport aux feuilles (S), pour assurer l'opération de post-traitement.
  6. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce qu' :

    un moyen électromoteur amène ledit moyen (52 ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) de décharge de feuilles du premier emplacement (52a ; 751a ; 767a ; 1000a) au deuxième emplacement (52b ; 751b ; 767b ; 1000b).
  7. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la

    revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement est disposé à un emplacement adjacent audit bac (B) de réception de feuilles de façon à faire face audit bac (B) de réception de feuilles du côté moyen de décharge, et peut être avancé vers ledit bac (B) de réception de feuilles ou en être écarté.
  8. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce qu'

    un ensemble de feuilles est amené vers l'emplacement de post-traitement.
  9. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit bac (B) de réception est amené vers l'emplacement de post-traitement.
  10. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 7, caractérisé par

    un élément (101) de support destiné à supporter en rotation ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement, ledit moyen (101) de support pouvant être déplacé sensiblement parallèlement au bord des feuilles (S) situées sur ledit bac (B) de réception de feuilles du côté où les feuilles (S) font l'objet d'un post-traitement, dans lequel dès que l'on a fait tourner sélectivement ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement à un emplacement prédéterminé adjacent au bord de feuille, les feuilles (S) et ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement sont déplacés l'un par rapport à l'autre dans une direction telle que le bord de feuille coupe l'emplacement de post-traitement de façon que les feuilles (S) fassent l'objet d'un post-traitement.
  11. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 10, caractérisé en ce que

    l'emplacement où l'on fait tourner sélectivement ledit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement est adjacent à au moins l'un des coins du bord de feuille, et en ce que le sens de rotation dudit moyen (70 ; 700 ; 1002, 1005) de post-traitement est tel qu'une forme sensiblement triangulaire est formée par les deux bords de l'un des coins de feuille devant faire l'objet d'un post-traitement et la ligne de l'orientation d'agrafage.
  12. Appareil de formation d'image comprenant un appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 11, dans lequel les feuilles (S) sur lesquelles sont formées des images par l'utilisation d'un moyen de formation d'image sont délivrées, pour post-traitement, audit appareil de post-traitement de feuilles.
  13. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen de décharge de feuilles comprend une plaque (52) de guidage oscillante comportant un rouleau (15) de décharge à son extrémité.
  14. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen de déplacement comprend un mécanisme mécanique (765) destiné à transmettre le déplacement dudit moyen (700) de post-traitement audit moyen (767) de décharge de feuilles.
  15. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen de déplacement comprend un moteur (53) destiné à déplacer ledit moyen (52 ; 767) de décharge de feuilles.
  16. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen de post-traitement est un moyen de saisie (1001) destiné à saisir et à avancer les feuilles (S).
  17. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de post-traitement est une agrafeuse (70 ; 700).

  18. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ladite agrafeuse (70 ; 700) est mobile en direction du bac de réception pour agrafer les feuilles (S).
  19. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 17, caractérisé en ce que

    les feuilles (S) du bac (B) de réception se déplacent vers ladite agrafeuse (70 ; 700).
  20. Appareil de post-traitement de feuilles selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    l'on a prévu une pluralité de bacs (B) de réception de feuilles agencés sensiblement verticalement, et ledit moyen (781) de décharge de feuilles étant disposé pour chacun desdits plusieurs bacs (B) de réception de feuilles de même que ledit moyen (700) de post-traitement se déplace sensiblement verticalement par rapport auxdits bacs (B) de réception de feuilles.
  21. Appareil selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que

    ledit moyen de décharge de feuilles comprend une plaque (52) de guidage oscillante comportant un rouleau (15) de décharge à son extrémité, dans lequel ledit moyen de post-traitement est une agrafeuse (70 ; 700) mobile entre une position d'agrafage et une position en retrait, et dans lequel ledit moyen de déplacement constitue une partie (765) de ladite agrafeuse (70 ; 700), et sert à pivoter ladite plaque oscillante (52) vers ladite position en retrait conjointement avec le rouleau (15) de décharge en coopération avec un déplacement de ladite agrafeuse (70 ; 700) vers la position d'agrafage avant un déplacement de ladite agrafeuse (70 ; 700) vers sa position d'agrafage.
  22. Appareil selon la revendication 21, caractérisé en ce que

    l'on a prévu une pluralité desdits bacs (B) de réception de feuilles agencés verticalement et mobiles pas-à-pas pour faire face audit rouleau (15) de décharge, dans lequel ladite agrafeuse (70) est à un niveau tel qu'elle agrafe les feuilles dans un bac (B) faisant face audit rouleau (15) de décharge.






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