Mechanized Card File

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mechanized Card File


a device for storing cards in which, unlike a conventional card file, the process of card retrieval is mechanized.

In mechanized card files the data carriers (cards) are arranged in boxes (magazines) or directly on shelves, usually vertically. During compilation of the card file, the cards are grouped according to a particular characteristic (alphabetically or according to address, type of information, or nature of the data entered on the card), and each group is given its own index (code). To retrieve a card, the operator enters its index or the index of its group on the control console. The operator’s instruction is converted into a control signal for an electric drive that indicates the direction and degree of displacement of the shelves.

The control unit of a mechanized card file includes a selectis . device, which automatically delivers the necessary shelf to the operator by the shortest path; this is particularly important in the case of large card files. The number of cards stored and the volume of information recorded on them depend on the card format, the size of the boxes (magazines), the number of shelves, and the design of the file. A distinction is made between drum-type and elevator-type card files. The capacity of drum-type mechanized card files is usually 10,000–50,000 cards (three to eight shelves); elevator-type files may have 20,000–500,000 cards (six to 30 shelves). Card formats range from 70 X 100 mm to 200 X 300 mm.

Drum-type mechanized card files, in which the card shelves are freely suspended between two disks (wheels) with a common axle connected to the electric drive, are most common. The drum diameter is 500–800 mm; the average time for a full cycle of the drum is 16–20 sec. The drum and shelves (magazines) are mounted in a frame with a retractable top, which also serves as a work area (desk). Where necessary the card file is equipped with an attached desk.

Mechanized card files are used in the offices of industrial enterprises, in scientific and technical information departments of institutes and organizations, and at registration offices. A mechanized card file significantly simplifies work with cards (the operator has access to any card directly from his work place) and speeds up the process of retrieving the necessary card by a factor of 1.5–2.0.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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