Image Number 13 for United States Patent #4232861.
A sorting machine receives M successive groups of copies, each group consisting of N identical copies, to be converted into N complete sets of copies. N may considerably exceed the number of collecting bins of the sorting machine. In a first sorting operation, the cards are distributively sorted into a predetermined number of the collecting bins, until all cards have been deposited into bins. The stacks in the bins are then removed and laid one atop the other to form a new infeed stack, which is deposited into the infeed bin of the machine, and a second sorting operation is performed, until all cards have again been deposited into bins. This is repeated, if and as necessary, until the desired conversion has been accomplished. The sequence in which the cards are distributed into bins during especially the second and any subsequent sorting operations is so controlled that the desired sets are actually formed, no matter what the values of M and N and no matter what the number of collecting bins available.