|Publication number||US2810468 A|
|Publication date||Oct 22, 1957|
|Filing date||Sep 7, 1954|
|Priority date||Sep 7, 1954|
|Publication number||US 2810468 A, US 2810468A, US-A-2810468, US2810468 A, US2810468A|
|Inventors||Faeber Harry W, Williams Leo C|
|Original Assignee||Time Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (12), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Oct. 22, 1957 H. w. FAEBER ETAL 2,810,468
SIGNATURE CONVEYING MECHANISM Filed Sept. 7. 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet l FIG. I.
INVENTOR. HARRY W. FAEBER lj? 1/: ATTOPA/EKS' Oct. 22, 1957 w, FAEBER E AL 2,810,468
SIGNATURE CONVEYING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 7. 1954 INVENTOR. HARRY W. FAEBER BY W,
5/5 Arrow/EV! United States Patent PC) "ce SIGNATURE CONVEYING MECHANISM Harry W. Faeber, Larchmont, and Leo C. Williams, Pearl River, N. Y.; said Faeber assignor to Time, Incorporated, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application September 7, 1954, Serial No. 454,536
11 Claims. (Cl. 198-133) This invention relates to conveyors generally, and more particularly, to a continuous conveyor and a supporting structure therefor wherein the conveyor travels in a closed circuit, first across one stretch of the supporting structure to carry the conveyor past a series of collection points to a delivery point, and then across a return stretch of the structure to carry the conveyor back again to the starting position.
The conveyor of the present invention is especially applicable, although by no means limited, to a system for producing bound books or booklets in a continuous operation. In this system, a plurality of different folded sheets or signatures, each comprising a number of pages of a book or booklet, are stored in separate feeding bins, the signatures from each bin removed one at a time, opened and delivered to a delivery bar, and finally the signatures collected one at a time, one on top of another and in a predetermined sequence, from the delivery bars associated with each bin to make up a collated book or booklet ready for binding. This system is the subject of my copending application, Serial No. 442,149, filed July 8, 1954.
The present conveyor comprises a plurality of signature supporting segments flexibly connected in a closed loop. The conveyor is divided into a plurality of signature carrying lengths or compartments by partitions or separators which project outwardly from both sides of the conveyor. The partitions or separators of the conveyor are spaced at intervals, one behind the other, on each side of the conveyor, and the signatures comprising a book or booklet collated in each of the compartments between the outwardly projecting partitions or separators.
The delivery bars from which the conveyor collects the signatures are located directly above and in parallel relation with the conveyor, and the signatures are delivered to and supported by the delivery bars in such a way that the leaves of the signature straddle the bar with the folded edge at the top; that is to say, the leaves of the signature hang downwardly on both sides of the delivery bar, and, incidentally, on both sides of the moving conveyor. With the signature being so supported directly above the moving conveyor, the outwardly projecting partitions engage the edges of the hanging leaves of the signature and translate the signature across the bar to the discharge end thereof where the signature falls, by gravity, onto the conveyor. The signature is thus assembled on the conveyor in the same way that it was supported on the delivery bar, namely, with the folded edge at the top and the leaves hanging on either side. The conveyor continues its travel from the delivery bar associated with one bin to the delivery bar associated with the next bin, and so on down the line, picking up a signature from each, one on top of another so that the signatures collected between successive partitions comprise a book or booklet whose pages have been collated in proper order.
Assembled in this fashion, the signatures comprising an entire book are ideally supported for the stitching or 2,810,468 Patented Oct. 22, 1957 binding operation. Accordingly, the conveyor may, if desired, serve to carry the signatures to the stitching or binding apparatus which is the subject of my copending application, Serial No. 482,255, filed January 17, 1955, and the conveyor is designed to provide access for the stitching members of the stitching apparatus to engage the compiled group of signatures from opposite directions whereby the binding may be inserted through the folded edges of the signatures.
The conveyor travels upon and is guided by a support which extends from the starting point of the signature pick-up operation, that is, the delivery bar associated with the first bin, and continuous to the point at which the bound books or booklets are discharged from the conveyor. The conveyor then reverses its direction returning via another support of the structure to the start position, the conveyor again reversing its direction before starting the next operative pick-up and delivery cycle. Since the conveyor is continuous, one portion thereof is always engaged in the operation of picking up and collating signatures, transporting them to a binding machine and finally to a delivery point, While another stretch or portion of the conveyor is the process of returning in the opposite direction to the start position of the cycle.
In the present embodiment of the invention, the segments comprising the conveyor are adapted to be suitably driven, such as, for example, by one or more rotating sprocket wheels. Also, the supporting structure and the conveyor are provided, on the one hand, with suitable guideways, such as tracks or rails, and, on the other hand, with companion rotatable members which are guided thereby, so that the conveyor will be in rolling contact with the supporting structure, and at the same time, be suitably guided.
A special feature of the conveyor and the supporting structure therefor, is that the operative pick-up and delivery stretch or span of the supporting structure and the return stretch or span thereof are on different levels, and, hence, the conveyor is inverted after leaving one stretch and before starting the other. In other words, the length of the conveyor traveling along the return stretch of the supporting structure is upside down with respect to the length of the conveyor traveling along the pick-up and delivery stretch of the supporting structure. that this characteristic requires special design of both the conveyor and supporting structure to insure that the con-' veyor is provided with means for its support and to enable it to make rolling contact with the supporting structure on both levels, not only in its upright position, but its inverted position as well.
The details and features of the present invention are more fully set forth and explained in the description of the invention which follows, and in the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a vertical elevation, partly in cross section, showing a broken-away portion of the upper span of the conveyor traveling in one direction and a brokenaway portion of the lower span of the conveyor traveling in the opposite return direction, as well as part of the supporting structure for the conveyor;
Fig. 2 is a cross-section view taken along the line 2--2 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 3 is an illustrative view of the entire conveyor and the supporting structure therefor; and
Fig. 4 is a perspective, broken away, view of a portion of the conveyor.
Referring to the drawings, and especially to Fig. 3, a conveyor, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, travels across an upper stretch 11 of a supporting structure, generally designated 12, carrying a plurality of collated books or signatures xbetween outwardly projecting partitions or separators 13, and returns across a It is evident lower stretch 14 of the supporting structure. The upper horizontal support 11 and the lower horizontal support 14 are supported by and in front of vertical columns 16 of the supporting structure 12, and the upper ends of the columns 16 are connected by braces 17 which lend additional support to the structure. The conveyor travels in a closed circuit operatively engaging a pair of sprocket wheels 15, one at each end of the upper stretch of the circuit, and a pair of sprocket wheels 15a, one at each end of the lower return stretch. The sprocket wheels 15 and 15a are rotatably supported in brackets attached outboard of the first and last vertical columns of the frame structure. Obviously any or all of the sprocket wheels'may be power driven. Ina preferred alternative, especially suited for long conveyor lines, the upper sprocket on the delivery end may bepower driven by positive gearing from the feeding mechanism and, at the opposite end, a torque motor may be applied to one of the sprockets 15 or 15a. The purpose of the torque motor is to reduce the stretching of the chain conveyor caused by friction along the guides. The torque of this motor is so adjusted that the return (bottom) branch is kept under slight tension without introducing a slack in the upper (working) branch of the conveyor.
The conveyor actually comprises two oppositely disposed conveyors traveling side by side in parallel relation, the one conveyor formed by a plurality of pivotally or flexibly connected upstanding plates or segments 20, and the other formed by a plurality of pivotally or flexibly connected upstanding plates or segments 20a, the upper ends of both of the plates or segments 20, 20a being angularly inclined toward each other, but with a separation between the extreme converging ends to permit certain apparatus of the stitching mechanism to engage the bottom signature, thereby facilitating the insertion of the binding means through the folded edges of the signatures. In both cases, the plates or segments 20, 20a are pivotally or flexibly connected at their bases or lower ends by links 21. If desired, the links may take the form of chains, and the plates 20, 20a attached to the outside of the chains. The partitions 13 preferably are removable spring clips, so-called Moyer Chain Clips, readily replaced or shifted to another position along the chain. As shown in Fig. 4, the clips are provided with oppositely disposed ears 13a which engage slots 13b in the platesor segments 20, 20a. The clips are also providedwith flanges 130 to distribute the pushing force on the signatures and thus minimize the danger of crimping or bending in the edges of the leaves of the signa tures.
The upper and lower horizontal supporting guideways 11, 14 for the conveyor are suspended by, and in front of, the vertical columns 16. As best. shown in Figs. 1 and 2, heavy auxiliary frames 23 are mounted to the front of each of the vertical columns 16 by means of the bolts 23a; also, auxiliary frames 24 arernounted to the front of each of the vertical columns 16 near the base thereof and below the frames 23. The auxiliary frames 23, 24 extend forwardly in respect to the vertical columns, and serve as supports for the upper and lower horizontal conveyor supports 11, 14, respectively. The upper conveyor support 11 is suspended above each of the auxiliary frames 23 by means of upstanding brackets 25, held to the frames 23 by means of bolts 25a, and the lower L- shaped conveyor support or bracket 14 is mounted directly to and above the lower auxiliary frames 24 by means of bolts 26.
' The upper support 11 for the conveyor comprises two separated, oppositely disposed, parallel beams or sheaths 11a attached by means of screws 34 to opposite sides of T-shaped blocks 32. The blocks 32 each rest upon and are bolted to the top surfaces of the brackets 25 by bolts 33. V
The upper surfaces of the beams 11a are provided with rails or tracks 30 upon which rollers 31, rotatably mounted to the inside faces of the plates or segments 20, 20a, are adapted to run. To prevent the conveyor from being derailed or accidentally removed from the rails 30, an upper downwardly disposed guide or rail 36 is suspended directly above and in parallel relation to each of the conveyor supporting'and guiding rails 30. The necessary clearance is provided between the rollers 31 and the downwardly disposed rails 36, so that the rails 36 do not actually engage the rollers, but rather serve to maintain the rollers upon the rails or tracks 30, to prevent the rollers from jumping or leaving the said rails and to prevent the twisting of the chain by guiding the rollers 31, thus maintaining plates 20 and 20a in the position shown. As shown in Fig. 2, the downwardly disposed rails 36 are each formed along the lower surface of a long horizontal bar 360, and the bars 36a are so disposed that the side plates or segments 20, 20a of the conveyor travel on opposite sides of the bars 36a; As best shown in Fig. 2, the outside surfaces of the bars 36a are beveled in order to conform to the shape of the adjacent plates or segments. The bars 36a are supported in their proper suspended positions by vertical plates 38, which plates are adjustably mounted to the top surfaces of the T-blocks 32 by long vertical screws 38a, adjustment being provided for by the use of shims 38b. Thus, the heights of the rails 36 may be accurately located. The bars 36a, in turn, are mounted to opposite sides of the plates 38 near the upper edge thereof.
The above-described arrangement permits the conveyor 10 to travel in rolling contact across the upper supporting structure 11, and, of course, the invention is not to be limited to the precise arrangement described. For example, it is evident that the rollers may be mounted on the support 11 and the conveyor provided with recessed guideways, or the conveyor provided with raised guide rails which travel upon rotatable pulley wheels mounted in the structure 11.
As explained above, the outward projections 13, which serve to partition the conveyor into a plurality of different receptacles or pockets for receiving signatures, are adapted to engage the edges of the signatures as they are suspended from delivery bars (not shown) and to effect the discharge of the different signatures'one at a time onto the conveyor in such a way that the signatures fall onto the plates or segments 20, 20a with the folded edges at the top and the leaves of the signatures in contact with the plates or segments 20, 20a and hanging down beyond the said plates. The flanges 13s of the partitions or clips 13 which engage the edges of the signatures also serve to register and insure correct alignment of the signatures comprisinga book. As explained above, and as more fully explained in my above-identified copending application, the signatures are so assembled in between successive partitions 13 that when all of the signatures have been thus collected and assembled, an entire book or booklet is assembled in each pocket or receptacle of the conveyor. It may be mentioned at this point, that thecollated books or booklets are transported to a stitching or stapling machine so that the sheets may be bound, and finally the books are transported by the conveyor to a delivery point where the signatures are removed.
At the stapling or stitching machine, the conveyor of the present invention presents the signatures to be stitched between stitching heads which are disposed above the signatures and clinching elements which are disposed beneath the signatures, lying between the pair of endless chains spaced transversely apart. The overhead stitching heads insert staples through the folds of the signatures, and the clinching elements are raised between the plates 20, 20a to bend the inserted ends of the staples against the folded edge of the center page. Thus, the separation between the upper edges of the plates 20, 20a is necessary to, provide access for the clinching elements to engage the staples.
As mentioned above, the conveyor passes around and operatively engages sprocket wheels and 15a at both ends of the upper and lower horizontal supporting structure 11. The teeth of the sprocket wheels are so designed as to engage the spaces between the rollers 31 of the conveyor. As shown in Fig. 3, as a given portion or length of the conveyor reaches the end of the upper supporting structure, it reverses its direction and begins its return travel upon a pair of lower guides or rails 40, which rails 40 are disposed below, but in parallel relation, to the rails 30 of the upper stretch. As the conveyor passes around the sprocket wheel 15 to reverse its direction, the conveyor is, of course, inverted, so that the plates 20, a are downwardly disposed with the guideways or rails 40, like the abovedescribed rails 36, running lengthwise between the plates 20, 20a.
The guides or rails 40 are formed on the upper surfaces of parallel bars 40a, and the bars 40a mounted to opposite sides of the lower support 14 by means of screws 42. As shown in Fig. 2, the separation between the converging ends of the plates 20, 20a is sufficient to permit the vertical upstanding portion of the bracket 14 to be accommodated therebetween, and at the same time, to permit the conveyor to be moved along relatively to the bracket 14 without causing undue interference. If desired, the lower converging ends of the plates 20, 20a may make sliding contact with the vertical walls of the bracket 14 to lend additional support and balance to the conveyor, for example, to prevent each half of the conveyor from toppling ofi its respective guide rail 40. However, the design of the embodiment shown is such that, in the inverted position shown, the chain rides rail 40 in stable equilibrium, because the center of gravity falls below the rail and is laterally within the width of roller 31. As a given portion of the conveyor reaches the end of the horizontal span of the supporting structure, it travels upwardly around the other pair of sprocket wheels 15 and 15a, reversing its direction preparatory to starting the next pick-up and delivery cycle of the conveyor.
The lengths of the conveyor which travel upwardly at one end and downwardly at the other, may be unsupported. In addition, it is obvious that the rails 40 which support the lower span of the conveyor may, in fact, be continuous with the upper downwardly disposed rails 36, and, furthermore, the rails 30 may also be continuous, serving to support the rollers 31 along the upper stretch of the conveyor, and be disposed above the rollers 31 along the lower stretch of the conveyor, serving the same function in the lower stretch that the rails 36 serve in the upper stretch. In other words, the rollers 30 may, if desired, travel at all times between two uniformly separated, continuous parallel rails.
The invention has been shown and described in but a single preferred form and by way of example, and obviously many modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention is not to be limited to any specified form or embodiment except insofar as such limitations are set forth in the appended claims.
1. In a conveying mechanism, the combination of a conveyor and a supporting structure therefor, said supporting structure comprising a pair of rails for guiding the conveyor in one direction along an operative stretch of its cycle, a pair of rails for guiding the conveyor in the opposite direction along a return stretch of its cycle, said operative and return lengths of rails being at different levels, the conveyor being inverted in passing from one stretch to the other, and the conveyor comprising a plurality of pivotally connected vertically disposed segments having side walls to support a folded sheet thereon, said segments being provided with rollers mounted between the side walls which travel along the rails of both the operative and return stretches.
2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 including projections to divide the conveyor into a plurality of compartments for receiving and transporting folded sheets or signatures.
3. A combination as set forth in claim 1 including a rotatable sprocket wheel, the teeth of which enter the spaces between the rollers.
4. A combination as set forth in claim 1 including guides disposed above the conveyor supporting rails to prevent the rollers from leaving the said supporting rails.
5. In a conveying mechanism, the combination of a movable conveyor and a supporting structure therefor, the supporting structure comprising a pair of parallel rails for guiding the conveyor in one direction, a pair of parallel rails at a different level from said first pair of rails for guiding the conveyor in the opposite direction, a support for at least one of said pair of rails, and the conveyor comprising a plurality of pivotally connected segments forming one side wall of the conveyor, a plurality of pivotally connected segments forming the other side wall of the conveyor, said segments forming the side walls being oppositely disposed, with the upper ends separated when the conveyor is in the upright position, a plurality of rollers to which the segments are attached, said rollers being in rolling contact with the upper and lower rails, the conveyor being inverted in passing from the rails at one level to the rails at the other level, the arrangement being such that the separation between the side walls permits the conveyor to travel in the inverted position with the side walls passing on opposite sides of said rail support.
6. A combination as set forth in claim 5 including guides disposed above the conveyor supporting rails and between the oppositely disposed side walls of the conveyor to prevent the rollers from leaving the said supporting rails.
7. A combination as set forth in claim 5 wherein the one pair of rails lies between the oppositely disposed side walls of the conveyor when the conveyor is in the inverted position.
8. A combination as set forth in claim 5 wherein the oppositely disposed side walls slope in converging directions.
9. A combination as set forth in claim 5 wherein the rail support is substantially perpendicular to the pair of parallel rails supported.
10. In a conveying mechanism a movable flexible conveyor formed by a pair of endless chains spaced apart side by side to support a folded sheet thereon in straddling fashion, each of said chains comprising a plurality of pivotally coupled, upstanding links angularly inclined toward the longitudinal center of the conveyor, the links of said pair of endless chains together forming an inverted V-shaped saddle support for said signatures with the upper ends of said links terminating short of the apex of said'saddle support so as to provide a space therebetween for access to the folded sheet from both above and below while the sheet is supported on the conveyor, a supporting structure therefor, said supporting structure including means for guiding the conveyor in one direction at one level and means for guiding the conveyor in inverted fashion in the opposite direction at another level, and rollers carried by the conveyor between the pair of endless chains for making rolling contact with said guiding means at both levels, said space separating the apex of each of said saddle supports permitting said rollers to engage said guide means while the conveyor is inverted.
11. In a conveyor for transporting signatures thereon in straddling fashion between overhead and underneath elements of a stitching mechanism, a pair of parallel endless chains spaced transversely apart to provide for location therebetween of the underneath elements associated with the stitching mechanism, means for driving said chains in unison, each of said chains comprising a plurality of interconnected, upstanding supporting means angularly inclined toward each other which move with 7 therespective chain, said supporting means of said chains together forming a moving inverted V-shaped saddle support for said signature groups, terminating short of the apex of said saddle support so as to provide a space therebetween for the underneath elements associated with the stitching mechanism, thereby rendering the signatures accessible to both the overhead and underneath elements of the stitching machine while the sheet is supported on the conveyor.
' References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Christensen s MayZS, 1915 Christensen I an. 18, 1927 Hotfert Nov. 29, 1927 Lacy Dec. 30, 1930 Currie May 9, 1933 Gegenheimer etal Dec. 30, 1952
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|Cooperative Classification||B65H5/32, B65H2404/32|