US 3423900 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 28, 1969 w. A. oR'slNGER COLLATING-INSERTING MACHINE R. S m .w uwwwwww e m 0 R NNW m@ t .k )Nh w/ A nh x uw N@ M .Q 0 @hk my Filed Jan. 18, 1965 Jan. l28, 1969 w. A. oRslNGER- 3,423,900`
COLLATING -INSERTING MACHINE Filed aan. 18, 1965 sheet ,a of u Jan. 28, 1969 w. A. oRslNGER COLLATING INSERTING MACHINE Filed Jan. 18, 1965 INVENTOR. h'zazz zagzzge By www ATTORNEYS United States Patent O y 3,423,900 COLLATING-I SERTING MACHINE Winston A. Orsinger, Easton, Pa., assignor to Bell &
Howell Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Jan. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 426,229
U.S. Cl. 53-29 13 Claims Int. Cl. B65b 43/02, 43/44, 43/26 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Inserts from one or more magazines are deposited on va. track and advanced by a pusher toward an envelope drum which presents a succession of envelopes into the path of movement of the inserts, and the envelopes are entered by pick-olf and guiding fingers on a synch-ronized conveyor. As the inserts reach the end of the track, respective lugs of an overhead overrunning con- 'veyor drive the inserts into the envelopes and then strip the lled envelopes from the pick-off conveyor.
the respective envelopes to operate for pushing the inserts 'from such position into the waiting envelopes. Consequently, definite limitations upon speed of operation have necessarily Ebeen in effect.
An important object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved icollating-inserting machine operable without hesitations or dwells, but constructed and arranged to operate in a continuously flowing manner such that inserts and corresponding envelopes are brought together and the inserts filled into the envelopes while both are in continuous movement. v
Another object of the invention is to provide novel lmeans for synchronizing delivery of inserts and envelopes to a common filling zone, and accomplishing filling of the inserts into the envelopes while both are in continuous onward movement.
A further object of the invention is to provide new and improved means for filling inserts into continuously moving envelopes.
Still another object of the invention is to provide new and improved means for bringing together inserts and envelopes from separate supply magazines and filling the inserts into the envelopes while the envelopes confinue uninterruptedly in motion toward a discharge point.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide a new method of filling inserts into envelopes, attaining high speed and large volume results.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily -apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: FIGURE 1 is a sectional elevational schematic or illustrative view showing the several cooperative features of a machine embodying features Iof the invention;
' FIGURE 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the continuously running envelope filling means of the machine; FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary detail plan view Pce of one of the envelopepick-off and insert guide fingers;
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view of the representative envelope pick-off and guide finger;
FIGURE 5 is an end elevational ViewV of the insert feeding end portion of the machine; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view taken substantially on the line VI-VI of FIGURE 5.
According to the present invention, a method of llng envelopes with inserts is provided, according to which envelopes and inserts are brought together in timed relation and assembled while moving uninterruptedly in a ow path. Although envelopes and inserts are fed from separate zones of supply, they are respectively moved toward an interception and filling area or zone in the flow path where the envelopes are, without pausing, successively prepared for reception of inserts and movement of the inserts is accelerated and they are thrust into the aligned, onmoving receptible envelopes.
For practicing the method, apparatus as schematically shown in FIGURE 1 may be used. This includes means for feeding successive inserts from one or more stacks, herein depicted as two such stacks contained in suitable magazines 10 and 11 mounted at suitable successive intervals over a conveyor ta'ble 12 for reception of the inserts on the table and advance of the inserts to an envelope feed device 13 which presents successive envelopes synchronized with delivery of the inserts to an envelope filling zone where the envelopes are taken from the feed device by pick-off, supporting and conveying assembly 14 and the inserts inserted into the envelopes by an inserting assembly 15 which has the dual function of then stripping the filled envelopes from the assembly 14 and discharging them to a stacker or takeaway conveyor 17, or the like. All of the insert and envelope feeding and assembly and filled envelope discharge functions of the machine are carried on synchronously and continuously.
For feeding out or stripping cards C from the insert magazine 10, a card feed-out or stripper pusher 18 is mounted to be reciprocated by means including a rotary cam 19 and a compression spring 20 adjacent to the bottom of the magazine hopper to engage edgewise with the successive lowermost cards C and advance such cards over a bottom gate 21 of the magazine hopper to extend substantially beyond the opposite edge of the bottom gate. Synchronized with such extension of each of the successive cards C as fed out from the magazine is a rotary deector cam 22 which presses the leading margin of the card against the perimeter of a rotary feed or transfer drum 23 mounted on a shaft 24 and having its perimeter disposed to receive the leading margin of the fed out card substantially tangentially. Rotation of the drum 23 is, as shown by directional arrow, in the feed-out direction of the cards C. Synchronization of continuous rotary movement of the transfer drum 23 with the card stripper 18 is such that as the leading margin of each of the cards engages the drum it is engaged by gripper means 25 on the drum by which the card is clamped onto the drum for onward movement therewith. For high speed operation a plurality of the grippers 25 is provided on the drum at suitable circumferential intervals, in this instance two such grippers being shown as located at diametrically opposite portions of the drum perimeter.
In a practical construction, as best seen in FIGURES 5 and 6, the transfer drum 23 comprises a pair of identical circular disks 23a mounted xedly on a hub 27 attached corotatively to the shaft 24 journalled through a bearing block 28 mounted on a supporting bracket or frame 29 of the machine at one side of the table 12. Each of the grippers 25 comprises a pair of curved resilient strip spring lingers 25a located at respectively opposite sides of the drum and preferably along the outer sides of the respective opposite drum disks 23a whereby to be movable into and out of insert gripping relation to a respective anvil block 30 fixed upon the adjacent drum disk substantially coincident with the drum perimeter.
Each set of the gripper fingers 25a is mounted xedly and coextensively upon a respective rock shaft 31 journalled through the drum and having opposite end portions on which the respective fingers are mounted. Normally each of the rock shafts 31 is biased to thrust the set of gripper fingers 25a carried thereby into insert gripping engagement with the associated anvil blocks 30. Such biasing is conveniently effected by respective compression springs 32 in each instance thrusting at one end against a fixed bracket 33 secured to the outer face of the drum plate 23a nearest the bearing block 28. At its opposite end, each of the springs 32 thrusts against a respective thrust collar 34 carried by a thrust rod 35 having lan end portion reciprocably guidedly extending through the bracket 33 and having its opposite end portion pivotally attached to one end portion of a cross arm 37 which is intermediately fixedly attached to the adjacent end portion of the associated rocker shaft 31 and carries on its opposite end portion a follower roller 38 which rides the perimeter of a disk cam 39 fixedly mounted on the bearing block 28. This cam is suitably contoured so that as the transfer drum 23 rotates with the shaft 24, the gripper fingers 25a are suitably controlled to be swung by the supporting rock shaft 31 between insert clamping position as shown at the top of FIGURE 6 and an open non-clamping position as shown at the bottom of FIG- URE 6. Synchronization of the opening and closing of the clamps 25 is thus effected with operations of the feeding mechanism 18 to clamp each of the inserts to the drum automatically as the leading margins of the respective inserts are presented to the drum. Each clamped insert is then carried by the transfer drum 23 downwardly and into position over the conveyor table 12 where, by opening of the clamp 25 the insert drops onto the table between spaced guide flanges 40 (FIG. 5) with a forward impetus along the table and at substantially the speed of onward movement of an endless conveyor 41 provided with a spaced succession of pusher lugs 42 which extend upwardly through the table to engage the trailing edges of the successively deposited inserts to push them on in the predetermined forward path along the table 12. Each of the pusher lugs 42 is so spaced along the endless conveyor 41 that it moves into position behind a freshly deposited insert in synchronized relation with engagement of the trailing edge of the insert with the table 12 and substantially coincident release from the engaging gripper 25, whereby a smooth transportation transition from the transfer drum onto the transporting conveyor table 12 is afforded without pause, for on-movement in insert track.
An identical insert transfer drum 23' is associated with and located under the insert magazine 11. Since the magazine 11 is intended for handling document type inserts D of a thin and flexible paper type, a pneumatic sucker type of stripper 43 is afforded which is mounted on means such as a bell crank 44 pivoted to carry the sucker 43 between a position wherein it engages the leading margin of the lowermost insert D into a position where the sucker defiects the leading margin onto the perimeter of the drum 23 synchronized with rotation of the drum on its shaft 24 t0 effect gripping of the insert margin between a set of anvils 31 and associated gripping fingers 25 for transfer to the transport table 12. Normally, the sucker arm lever 44 is biased into insert engaging position by means of a compression spring 45 thrusting the follower arm of the bell crank against a suitable timing cam 47.
Synchronized with operations of the sucker 43 is a pivoted holdback arm 48 actuated by a timing cam 49 to carry a holdback finger 50 into position under the next succeeding insert after the sucker 43 has deflected the lowermost insert toward the transfer drum 23' and maintaining such holdback position until the lowermost insert has been withdrawn from the bottom of the stack in the continuing onward rotation of the transfer drum and until the sucker returns to engage and deflect the next succeeding insert.
Although the insert feed mechanisms including the transfer drums 23 and 23 are synchronized in operation with the conveyor 41, and thus when both running synchronized with one another collate the successively fed inserts C and D in the insert track, either of the tfeed mechanisms may be selectively shut down while the other remains in operation with the transport or pusher conveyor 41. Further, a sequential starting of the serially arranged insert feed rmechanisms at the beginning of operation of the machine may `be provided so as to attain complete collation of inserts by initially effecting deposit of the first insert `by the transfer drum 23 onto the transport table-conveyor to meet and be collated with the first insert deposited by the transfer drum 23. These same principles of operation, coordination and synchronization apply for any number of serially arranged insert feeding mechanisms, greater than the number shown. In any plurality of the feeding lmechanisms any suitable control means may be provided for coded selection, matching, sequence checking, and the like of the inserts, and lfor which electronic control devices and circuitry are available including detectors which may read holes, printed marks or other indicia, function in response to color sensing, and the like. Means may be provided for removing variable quantities of inserts from any selected insert magazine hopper. Although a particular drum type of transfer means has been exemplified in the insert feeding assemblies, any other preferred type of -feeding assembly may be employed alternatively or in synchronized relation with the depicted structure and capable of integration in the continuous, uninterrupted flow insert transport system of which the conveyor table 12 and the associated track 40 and pusher 41 are functionally integral parts.
As the inserts individually or by collated groups are transported along the insert track, envelopes E are transported by the drum 13 successively to the point of interception and filling therewith of the on-moving inserts. Construction of the drum 13 may -be similar to the Separated twin disk structure of the insert transfer drum 23, but on a larger diameter to accommodate a larger number of envelopes. Synchronized operation of the er1- velope drum 13 in respect to the insert feeding and transport mechanisms is effected through a shaft 51 on which the drum is corotatively mounted for presentation of its perimeter in uninterrupted on-running relation to the insert path at the forward end of the insert track.
At uniform intervals about its periphery, the envelope drurn 13 has means for releasably gripping and retaining on the perimeter a succession of envelopes to be presented at the interception and filling point to receive the respective inserts or groups of collated inserts while moving uninterruptedly in the onward or forward direction in the predetermined fiow path. For this purpose, each uniform segmental envelope-carrying area of the drum 13 carries a set of envelope gripping fingers comprising in each set a forward envelope-bottom-margin gripping finger assembly 52 and an envelope flap gripping finger assembly 53. These finger assemblies are mounted on respective rock shafts 54 suitably journalled on the drum. Respective flap-receiving recesses 55 are provided in the periphery of the drum in order to deflect the respective envelope flaps, identified at F, safely out of the path of the leading edges of inserts to be filled into the envelopes and to have the fiaps serve as a lead-in ramp into its envelope in each instance as presented for fil-ling. Further, in order to 4assure that the mouth of the envelope will be efficiently agape a breaker device 57 is provided at each envelope carrying section of the drum and operable to thrust against the back of the envelope adjacent to the hinges of the flaps F while the respective envelopes are 'carried into the filling position, but remaining retracted at other times in the continuous operation of the envelope drum. Suitable actuating means, which may be on the order of the actuating cam means for the gripping fingers of the insert transfer drums, are provided for timing the operation of the gripping fingers 52 and 53 and the breakers 57.
At a suitable interval in the direction of rot-ation of the envelope drum 13 beyond the filling zone, suitable envelope supply means are provided comprising a magazine 58 having its discharge end suitably located adjacent to the drum periphery. In the magazine 58, `the envelopes E are stacked with their front or address Afaces toward the drum periphery and their closed ends oriented generally in the direction of rotation of the drum, whereby the open ends of the envelopes are directed generally opposite to the druml rotation with the flaps F in the usual loosely folded relation against the backs of the respective envelopes. From the magazine 58, the envelopes E are Successively fed to the drum 13 by stripper means conveniently comprising one or more suckers 59 mounted on oscillating arm structure 60 operating synchronously with the drum.
As each envelope-supporting segment of the drum 13 move toward the supply magazine F8, the gripper fingers 52 and 53 of that section or segment are in the retracted or open position. At the proper moment the stripper 59 deflects the closed end portion of the endmost envelope in the stack against the periphery of the drum 13 in position to be gripped by the gripping finger structure 52 which snaps into the gripping position and in the continuing rotation of the drum withdraws the gripped envelope from the magazine.
Immediately beyond the envelope magazine, a flap opener 61 engages the envelope and unfolds the flap F. In a desirable form, the opener 61 comprises a synchronously rotatably mounted wiper finger having a suitably shaped lfree end portion which thrusts against the back of the envelope in `a timed cycle tof rotation which carries the opener finger in the direction of rotation of the envelope drum so that the opener finger engages with the central portion of the back of the envelope and at least slightly depresses it to break it away from the flap. Then a heel portion 62 of the finger works in between the fiap and the envelope back and `wipes the Hap open as the envelope is carried past the finger. This arrangement enables high speed operation and thus peripheral speed of the envelope drum 13 and smoothly transitional opening on the envelope flap without damaging strain on the flap. This opener may be of the suction cup type if desired.
Beyond the flap opener 61, the envelope is carried past a stationary holddown or plow 63 which prevents the flap F from spontaneous closing until an immediately succeeding flap depresser 64 can engage the flap and depress it into the aligned flap recess 55 in the drum Where the associated flap-gripping finger assembly 53 then snaps into gripping engagement with the flap. Desirably, the fiap-depresser 64 is similar in construction to the liap opener, comprising a finger which is rotatably synchronized with the envelope drum and having a free head portion 65 which wipingly engages the fiap in the onward rotation of the envelope drum and presses the flap into the recess 55. As the clamped flap moves on beyond the depresser finger 64, the depresser head `65 is received within the clearance between the side plates of the drum 13 and uninterruptedly moves on in the next rotary cycle.
As each of the envelopes E reaches the insert interception and filling zone, it is taken from the envelope drum 13 by the envelope pick-off supporting and conveying assembly 14 and moved, without interruption, onward in the path of and with the insert or inserts assembled therewith. For this purpose, the assembly 14 comprises pairs of complementary synchronously coordinated and coacting envelope pick-off and supporting and insert guiding fingers 67 (FIGS. 2-4) endlessly guided in continuous cyclical circuits at a speed which is synchronized with the speed of rotation of the envelope drum 13. Convenient cycling means for the fingers 67 comprise respective endless carrying members 68 in the form of sprocket chains trained over suitably spaced vertical axis sprockets 69 mounted on vertical shafts 70 and at least one of which shafts is driven in the desired synchronized relation to the other parts of the machine by the driving means which may derive power from a common source such as a motor (not shown).
Each of the envelope entering and supporting and insert guiding fingers 67 may be similarly constructed from suitably formed sheet metal in an elongated generally channel-shaped cross-section having its forward end shaped and constructed to facilitate entry into an envelope. In each instance, the finger channel opens laterally away from the supporting chain 68 to which the respective finger 67 is attached by means of a bracket 71 which is preferably of generally U-shaped construction and receives a hinge lug or ear 72 of a supporting block body 73 carried by ear links 74 on the associated chain 68. A bolt 75 attaches the ear link structure 74 to the body 73 and secures fast to the body a bearing plate 77 which projects into underlying supporting bearing relation to the finger bracket 71 and on which the bracket is pivotally slidable about a bolt-like pin 78` which extends therethrough and through the hinge ear 72 and is secured into the bearing plate. Normally the finger 67 is maintained in substantially parallel relation with the carrying link 74, wherein the yoke portion of the bracket 71 engages a stop shoulder 79 provided by the hinge ear 72. This relationship is maintained yieldably by means comprising a compression spring 80 which thrusts at one end against a rearward abutment extension 81 on the bracket yoke and at its opposite end against an abutment extension 82 on the body 73. Swinging of the linger 67 about the axis of the pin 78 in opposition to the bias of the spring 80 is enabled by a rounded off clearance-bearing surface 83 which leads from the shoulder 79 toward the yoke web of the bracket 71.
A suitable number of successively operable pairs of the envelope engaging fingers 67 is provided, in the present instance comprising five such pairs. At its rear end, the assembly 14 is located in coordination with the periphery of the envelope drum 13 and in alignment with the front end of the insert track in the envelope filling zone. Each aligned pair of the fingers 67 is carried by the -conveyor chains 68 in a rearwardly moving outside return run and then the fingers are swung around syn- .chronously with carrying of one of the envelopes E into the filling zone by the envelope drum 13, so timed that as the pair of fingers swings around forwardly it enters the gap in the envelope mouth. Thereupon, the closed end margin of the positioned envelope is released by snapping open of the engaging gripping finger 52 while the flap gripping finger 53 remains in control of the envelope until the pair of fingers 67 has fully entered the envelope as shown in dash outline in FIGURE 2. As the fingers 67 assume the full forward projecting position, they exert a frictional retaining outwardly thrusting grip within the ends of the envelope as safely permitted by the resiliently biased yieldabiilty of the fingers toward one another through the medium of the springs 80.
Within the engaged envelope, the fingers 67 provide, in effect, an insert receiving funnel opening rearwardly. To facilitate reception of inserts into the funnel thus provided, the fingers are desirably provided on their lowerl rear portions with cooperative respective guiding and ramp flanges 83a which extend into close proximity to one another over the envelope flap F.
As each envelope E is thus readied Without stopping in the filling zone, one of the inserts C or a collated group of the inserts C and D is thrust by the inserting assembly into the envelope. For this purpose, the inserting assembly 15 conveniently comprises an overhead conveyor or pusher including a flexible endless member 8-4 such as a sprocket conveyor chain having at suitable uniform intervals pusher lugs or fingers 85 and running over sprocket wheels 87 which mount the same to project the fingers 85 into the path of the inserts in the insert track starting a limited distance from the front end of the forward run of the pusher chain 41 and coordinated with the pushers 42 to swing in behind the latter and take over onward movement of the inserts for filling into the respective receptible envelopes.
Desirably the speed of forward movement of the inserts is accelerated by the inserting assembly 15 so as to overtake and enter the receptible envelope in each instance substantially coincident with full entry of the insert guiding and envelope carrying lingers 67 into the envelope and with release of the envelope flap F by the gripping fingers 53 or momentarily before such release. To this end, the interval between the pusher finger lugs 42 is sufficient to clear each of the successive pusher lugs 42 from the insert track before the next succeeding pusher lug 42 comes within range of the inserting assembly pusher lng 85 intended to cooperate therewith to take over lfurther advance of the associated insert or inserts. Furthermore, in order to enable accelerated insertion movement of the inserts by the pusher finger lugs 85 without disruption or damage to the inserts, the length of the inserting assembly conveyor chain 84 is sufficiently greater than the chain 41 and the spacing between the finger lugs 85 is sufficiently greater than the spacing between the finger lugs 42 to swing the respective finger lugs 85 smoothly in behind and in overtaking relation to the respective pusher finger lugs 42 for smooth accelerated overrunning movement of the inserts along the balance of the insert track and into the aligned envelope E.
Not only does the inserting assembly 1S serve as the insert filling means, but it also serves as means for stripping the filled envelopes from the envelope pick-off and supporting conveying assembly 14. For this purpose, the envelope drum 13 and the assembly 14 are coordinated to run at a slower speed than the inserter assembly 15 and slightly slower than the speed of the insert track pusher 41. For example, the relationship may be such that while the insert track pusher 41 travels eleven inches, the inserting assembly chain 84 travels thirteen inches, and the envelope drum periphery and the envelope pickoff and insert guiding finger chains 68 travel nine inches. In such cycling relationship, not only does the inserting assembly effectively fill the inserts into the successively aligned envelopes, but by having the chain 84 travel in its forward run to approximately the forward end of the chains 68, a progressive forward stripping movement of the filled envelope is effected by the respective pusher finger lug 85 which has thrust an insert fill into the envelope. As the filled envelope approaches the forward end of the assembly 14, stripping from the associated fingers 67 is completed and the envelope is ejected onto the stacker or take-away conveyor 17 to be transported to a stacker or other filled envelope receiver. While being handled by the delivery conveyor 17, or subsequently, adhesive on the envelope flaps may be moistened, or if absent adhesive may be applied, and the flaps closed and sealed.
If the filled envelope has not quite left the fingers 67 when their chain link couplings 74 begin to swing toward the return run about the foremost sprockets 69, yielding of the respective biasing springs 80 affords safety relief enabling the fingers to remain in parallel relation in the envelope without damaging it and until vthe enevelope is fully ejected. This feature is illustratively indicated in dotdash manner at the left side of FIGURE 2.
It will be apparent that once the inserts and envelopes have been respectively fed from their supply sources, they remain continuously in motion toward the delivery point,
not only while moving toward the interception and filling zone, but also during filling of the inserts into the envelopes, and after the envelopes have been filled. As a result, high speed and high volume envelope filling are attained.
Various attachments, accessories and safety or fail-safe devices may be utilized on or in association with the machine, in addition to any that may have been hereinbefore mentioned or indicated, namely, postage stamp applying or permit printer attachment, open window envelope attachment, insert nesting device, counting devices, and various other associated devices such as insert and envelope miss detectors and rejectors controlled thereby, double envelope and insert detectors :and associated rejectors, envelope or insert mutilation or jam detectors, and the like.
It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.
I claim as my invention:
1. A method of filling envelopes with inserts cornprising:
moving successive envelopes uninterruptedly in a path 4to a filling zone,
moving a succession of inserts uninterruptedly in the same direction in said path to overta-ke the envelopes,
and while the envelopes and inserts continue uninterruptedly in motion in said same direction, filling successive inserts into successive envelopes.
2. A method of filling envelopes with inserts comprising:
successively stripping inserts from a supply of inserts and moving the inserts toward an interception and `filling zone,
successively stripping envelopes from an envelope supply and moving the envelopes in substantially the same direction as said inserts to said interception and filling zone,
\while the envelopes are in continuous motion from said supply toward said zone preparing the envelopes with openings thereinto trailinfgly disposed relative to said direction of movement to receive inserts therein,
simultaneously moving said envelopes in said direction into said zone and said inserts in said direction and filling them into the envelopes,
and uninterruptedly moving the filled envelopes in said direction from said zone,
whereby the inserts and envelopes remain in continuous flow until moved in filled envelope relation from said zone.
3. A method of inserting inserts into envelopes comprising:
moving a succession of inserts continuously in one direction in a given path,
moving into a downstream zone and in the same direction in said path a succession of envelopes respectively oriented in open ended receptive relation to the successive inserts,
accelerating movement of the inserts in said direction and filling them into the respective envelopes in said path,
and uninterruptedly lmoving the filled envelopes and inserts to a delivery point.
`4. A method of inserting inserts into envelopes comprising:
moving inserts toward a yfilling zone,
moving envelopes into said filling zone and in the same direction of movement as the inserts, accelerating the movement of respective inserts as they approach respective envelopes to overtake the envelopes,
inserting the inserts into the envelopes as the inserts overtake the envelopes,
and continuing onward movement of the filled envelopes from the filling zone at the accelerated speed of movement of the accelerated inserts lled into the envelopes.
9 5. Apparatus for filling envelopes with inserts comprising:
means operable to move successive envelopes uninterruptedly in one direction in a path to a filling zone, means operable to move a succession of inserts uninterruptedly in said path in said one direction to overtake the envelopes, and means operable to fill successive inserts into successive envelopes while theenvelopes and inserts continue uninterruptedly in motion in said direction. 6. Apparatus for filling envelopes with inserts comprising:
means defining an insert supply, means operable to strip successive inserts from said supply and to move the inserts totward an interception and filling zone, means defining an envelope supply,
means operable to strip ene-velopes successively from said supply and to move the envelopes to said interception and filling zone, means operable while the envelopes are in continuous motion with said envelope moving means to prepare the envelopes to receive inserts therein, means operable to fill the inserts into the prepared envelopes, and means operable toy lmove the filled envelopes from said zone, said insert and envelope movin-g means and said envelope preparing means as well as said filled envelope moving means being synchronized so that the inserts and envelopes remain in continuous tiow movement. 7. Apparatus for filling inserts into envelopes comprismg:
means operable to move inserts toward a fillin-g zone, means operable to move envelopes into said filling zone and in the same direction of movement as the inserts, means operable to accelerate the movement of respective inserts as they approach respective envelopes to overtake the envelopes and to fill the inserts into the envelopes as the inserts overtake the envelopes, and means operable to carry the filled envelopes from the filling zone at the accelerated speed of movement of the accelerated inserts filled into the envelopes. 8. In apparatus for filling envelopes with inserts, means defining an insert track: means for supplying inserts into said track, means movin-g continuously in one direction in said track vto convey the inserts uninterruptedly in said direction n the track,
means aligned with said track for delivering envelopesv into the track in intercepting relation to the inserts,
means operative to prepare the envelopes for receiving the inserts and moving in the direction of movement of the inserts,
and means operative to thrust the inserts from said track into the envelopes while the inserts continue in said one direction.
9. A machine for filling envelopes comprising:
means operative to convey inserts runinterruptedly to a lfilling zone,
means synchronized with said conveying means for presenting successive envelopes for receiving the inserts thereinto,
and means synchronized to move continuously |with said insert conveying means and said envelope presenting means to take the envelopes from the presenting means and assist feeding of the inserts into the envelopes while both the envelopes and the inserts are in continuous unidirectional movement and then conveying the filled envelopes from said conveying means and said presenting means.
10. In an envelope filling machine: a rotary envelope drum,
means operative to supply successive envelopes to said drum,
means on said drum releasably engaging the successive envelopes onto the drum including means for holding 'fiaps on the envelopes open,
means on the drum active to cause the open ends of the envelopes to gape,
means for.v conveying successive inserts substantially tangentially to the drum and synchronized with the dnum to drive the inserts into the open ends of the envelopes,
and means lsynchronized with the drum and said conveying means and operative to enter the open ends of the envelopes as they are presented by the drum for receiving the inserts and operative to assist in reception of the inserts into the envelopes and then to carrythe filled envelopes away from the drum 'while theA inserts and the envelopes remain continuously in motion.
.'11. In an envelope machine:
a rotary envelope drum,
means operative to supply successive envelopes to said drum,
means on said drum releasably engaging the successive envelopes onto the drum including means for holding aps on the envelopes open,
means on the drum active to cause the open ends of the envelopes to gape,
means for conveying successive inserts substantially tangentially to the drum and synchronized with the drum to'drive the inserts into the open ends of the envelopes,
and means comprising continuously moving pairs of complementary envelope entering and insert guiding fingers synchronized in operation with saidv drum and said` conveying means and respectively entering the envelopes as they reach said tangential position for assisting in reception of the inserts into the envelopes 'while in continuous movement and then carrying the filled envelopes from the drum.
12. In an envelope filling machine:
an insert track and continuously running conveyor,
means for supplying a succession of inserts to said conveyor,
an envelope Idrum to lwhich said insert track is tangentially related for presenting successive inserts for filling into respective envelopes carried into filling position by the drum,
envelope-entering and insert-guiding fingers mounted to enter the envelopes as they are carried into said position,
and means operative to engage the inserts on said track and accelerate the same as guided by said fingers into the envelopes and then operating to strip the filled envelopes from the fingers.
13. An envelope filling machine of the character described comprising:
an insert track,
a continuously running pusher operating in and toward one end of said track,
a rotary insert transfer drum over said track,
an insert magazine adjacently over said drum and having means associated therewith for stripping and presenting to the periphery of the insert drum successive inserts from the magazine,
means on the insert drum to grip the inserts and the drum rotating continuously in synchronism with said pusher to deliver the inserts to the track in the direction of movement of the pusher,
a rotary envelope drum located adjacently below said end of the insert track and toward which the insert track is substantially tangentially directed,
envelope supply means adjacent to the periphery of the envelope dnum and having means associated therelwith for stripping envelopes successively from the envelope supply means and onto the periphery of the envelope drum,
means on the envelope drum for gripping the successive envelopes thereto,
means operative to prepare envelopes on the envelope drum for reception of inserts thereinto,
an envelope pick-off and supporting assembly comprising a conveyor extending tangentially from the envelope drum in general alignment with and in the opposite direction from said insert track and including a series of coactive complenmentary envelope entering and pick-off and insert guiding fingers synchronized with said envelope drum so that a set of said fingers enters each successive envelope as it moves with the envelope drum into alignment with the insert track,
said conveyor and envelope drum running at a slightly slower speed than said pusher,
and a continuously running overhead conveyor extending over the portion of the insert track adjacent to the envelope dnum and over said pick-off conveyor,
said overhead conveyor running in the direction of said pusher and said pick-off conveyor at a slightly greater speed than said pusher and having a series of insert advancing lugs synchronized with the pusher and said envelope drum and said fingers and operative to engage behind successive inserts advanced by the pusher to accelerate said inserts from the insert track into envelopes picked from the envelope drum by said fingers and thenoverrunning the yfingers whereby to strip the filled envelopes from the fingers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,037,431 6/1962 McGihon 53--48 X 1,421,835 7/1922 Russ 53-266 X 2,736,999 3/1956 Rouan et al 53-266 X 3,217,464 ll/ 1965 Feingold 53-259 X TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE', Primary Examiner.
20 R. L. FARRIS, Assistant Exdmner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.