Patent Number: 6,166,346

Title: Apparatus for sorting sheets or the like

Abstract: An apparatus for sorting and distributing sheet-like items, such as postal matter. A feeder successively feeds the sheet-like items to a stacker which is positioned above the feeder and on which the sheet-like items are stacked in an upright position. Both the feeder and the stacker have a bottom surface. The bottom surface of the stacker is normally positioned at a first distance above the bottom surface of the feeder. A bottom surface opening mechanism is able to open the bottom surface of the stacker to permit sheet-like items stacked in the stacker to be transferred to the feeder. A bottom surface moving mechanism is able to move the bottom surface of the feeder unit and the bottom surface of the stacker unit toward each other so as to position the stacker bottom surface at a second distance above the feeder bottom surface, with the second distance being less than the first distance, and is able to return the bottom surfaces to a position in which they are spaced by the first distance.

Inventors: Yamashita; Taichiro (Tsuchiura, JP), Hamada; Yasunori (Tsuchiura, JP), Yoshida; Kazushi (Ibaraki-ken, JP), Osaka; Tadashi (Ibaraki-ken, JP), Tamamoto; Junichi (Ibaraki-ken, JP)

Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.

International Classification: B07C 3/02 (20060101); B07C 1/00 (20060101); B07C 1/02 (20060101); B07C 005/36 (); B65H 085/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017