US 3475775 A
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PLASTIC BINDING AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING SAME Filed March 20, 1967 H. N. STAATS Nov. 4, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. 1%1 zzz y/M fims i/ ATTORNEYS Nov. 4,' 1969 H. N. STAATS I 3,475,775
PLASTIC BINDING AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING SAME Filed March 20 19s? 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
bzzzzg/l/Jaaa B WATTORNEYS Nov. 4, 1969 s s 3,475,775
' PLASTIC BINDING AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING DAME Filed March 20, 19s? I 4 Sheets-Sheet s -FJ'5.L3
A A i I N VEN TOR.
: BY 2: ATTORNEYS Nov. 4, 1969 H. N. STAATS 3,475,775
PLASTIC BINDING AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING SAME Filed March 20, 1967 4 Sheets-Sheet 4.
I N VENTOR.
.5222? l/Lj'aay K In M I a A'HORNEYS United States Patent 3,475,775 PLASTIC BINDING AND APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING SAME Henry N. Staats, Deerfield, Ill., assignor to General Binding Corporation, Northbrook, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 20, 1967, Ser. No. 624,317 Int. Cl. B42c 3/00; B65d 83/00 US. Cl. 11-1 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A novel binding component providing a combined supply package, or unit, of binding elements and improved dispensing means for cooperation with an improved binding machine to provide a high speed binding system. Conventional binding elements of the type having a backbone carrying a plurality of transverse curled fingers are releasably attached by their backbone to one or more flexible tapes and coiled or rolled up as thus attached with the axes of the binding elements parallel. This coil may be cut to a standard length, or number of bindings, and shipped as a coil to the ultimate user. A novel binding machine incorporates sequential detaping apparatus providing for the manual or semi-automatic sequential use of the coiled bindings, and their release from the tape one at a time in a properly aligned fashion in binding position on the machine.
Background of the invention As those skilled in the art of the manufacture and utilization of coiled plastic binding elements are aware, a large proportion of modern binding needs, particularly in the pamphlet field, have been resolved through the utilization of a plastic binding element comprising a backbone having a plurality of curled plastic fingers for cooperation with perforations along one edge of a stack of paper. Utilization of such plastic binding elements has become widespread and, in fact, commercial book materials are increasingly being bound With such plastic binding materials.
Since the introduction many years ago of the toothed plastic binding elements, much attention has been given to apparatus for effectively binding books or the like with such plastic binding elements at a high rate of speed. To date, however, no machine has been constructed capable of assembling plastic binding elements to paper being bound at a rate in excess of 500 bound booklets per hour. Although binding machines have been developed capable of electrically cycling the binding mechanism at the command of an operator, nevertheless, the actual functional steps of inserting a binding element into the machine, opening the binding by way of the machine, inserting a book to be bound onto the open binding, operating the binding machine to close the plastic binding, and removal of the book thus bound, have comprised essentially manual steps necessarily performed by an operator. In the past, increases in speed have been accomplished by reducing the delays inherent in manual operation of a binding machine by providing power operation of the binding machine to thereby minimize the amount of handwork required of an operator during the binding operation. The present operation, however, provides a very substantial improvement in total machine and operator output with a minimal additional cost.
Summary of the invention According to the present invention, individual bindings are serially mounted upon one or more tapes in a manner positively positioning the binding on the tape but permitting removal of the binding from the tape by the applica- 3,475,775 Patented Nov. 4, 1969 tion of nominal pressure, much in the same manner as the removal of adhesive tape from an article to which it has been applied by means of pressure. The plastic ring binding elements are placed on such tape and are fed serially by passing the tape through a binding machine. The binding machine may be a manually operated one, or an exceptionally satisfactory power-operated binding machine is provided. Further, with the present invention, it is preferred that the power-operated binding machine be cyclically operable continuously from a position in which a plastic binding element is placed upon the machine in a position with the binding fingers opened, through a binding cycle in which the book is placed upon the binding, the binding element fingers are released to curl into binding engagement with the book, the book is removed from the machine, a sequential insertion of the next adjacent binding is made, and the fingers thereof are opened to receive a book during the subsequent cycle. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the operator may spend his entire time adjusting the book into position for binding and disposing of the bound book. Energization of the binding machine to operate it through its binding cycle may readily be accomplished through the operation of a single electrical switch by the foot of the operator. As a result, it has been found through actual experimental operation of such an improved binding machine that operator capabilities have immediately increased fifty percent to a binding capability in excess of 750 bindings per hour on the basis of substantially unskilled operators. With training, the output is more than doubled, exceeding 1000 bindings per hour.
In accordance with the present invention, a novel binding component is provided. That component comprises a plurality of binding elements each secured by a pressure-sensitive adhesive or the like to a tape preferably spirally wound in a coil. With this arrangement, all of the binding elements are longitudinally mounted upon the supply drum of a binding machine with their axes substantially parallel to the axis of rotation of the supply drum and transverse to the mounting tape. This roll of binding is preferably constructed with a large number of binding elements thereon, for example, in rolls of 1000 binding elements. In such a roll, all of the elements are arranged with a backbone stuck to the outer peripheral surface of the tape and with their individual book binding fingers projecting upwardly away from the tape. Once the novel binding component is applied to a binding machine in a manner hereinafter more fully set forth, the machine individually strips the binding elements one by one from the tape backing material, opens the plastic fingers of the binding element for the reception of a plurality of pages to be bound, releases the fingers to permit their closure through the perforations of the book pages, and initiates a cycle in which the next subsequent binding is dropped into position and opened. In this operation, the operator may manipulate the book pages to place them in the opening of the binding element but need make only one additional motion, that of actuating the cycle switch of the apparatus. This may, of course, be accomplished by the operators knee or foot without interfering with the manipulation of the paper being bound. As a result of the present invention, it has been found possible to bind books with the equipment of the present invention at a rate in excess of 1000 books per hour.
It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide a novel binding supply component for the automatic feed of a book binding machine.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a book binding machine capable of utilizing automatically fed bindings mounted upon a pressure-sensitive tape or the like.
A feature of the invention resides in the provision of a plurality of bindings all sequentially mounted in precisely the same position along a strippable backing member.
Still a further feature of the invention resides in the provision of power-operated binding means for automatically and sequentially feeding binding elements from a storage drum by means of a strippable backing member and of rolling the backing member up for subsequent disposal.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a high speed semi-automatic binding machine capable of extremely rapid binding of perforated sheets and readily operable on a short run basis as well so that the apparatus may be employed equally as efficiently for small office operations as high speed installations.
Still other and further objects and features of the invention will be immediately apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the attched specification and drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown by way of illustration only.
Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a side-elevational view of an electric motor-driven binding apparatus constructed in accordance with the provision of the present invention;
FIGURE 2a is an enlarged partial view of the binding apparatus fingers and binding element showing them in their range of binding operations;
FIGURE 2b is an enlarged partial view, looking downwardly of the tape accommodating mechanism,
FIGURE 3 is a side view of a binding element;
FIGURE 4 is a side view of a binding component comprising a folded-over tape carrying binding elements releasably secured thereto;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of a plurality of binding elements secured to a tape;
FIGURE 6 is an elevational view of a component of bindings such as illustrated in FIGURE 5, folded to form a coil for dispensing purposes;
FIGURE 7 is an elevational view in partial crosssection illustrating a further embodiment of the binding apparatus shown in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 8 is a schematic electrical diagram of an illustrative control circuit according to the invention.
Description of the preferred embodiment In accordance with a preferred arrangement of the present invention, an automatic coil of binding elements may be dispensed in a semi-automatic manner by means of an apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 1, 2a, and 2b. As may be seen from a consideration of FIGURE 1, a binding apparatus of a configuration generally known in the prior art is indicated at 10. The apparatus 10 is provided with a work surface 11, a backbone comb member 12 and uncurling fingers 13. A reversible motor 14 is provided for oscillating yoke 15 carrying the fingers 13 in a forward and backward direction. A cam member carried by the shaft 16 of the yoke 15 simultaneously reciprocates the comb 12 to initially shift the comb 12 slightly along its length, and along the aXis of the binding elements 17 to thereby engage the hook portions 13a of the hooks 13 with the fingers 17a of the binding elements 17 so that upon continued oscillation of the yoke 15 the fingers 13 will spring open the fingers 17a, thereby opening the binding into the position shown in the left-hand portion of FIGURE 2a for ready insertion of the open fingers 17a into perforations found in the edge of the stack of sheets to be bound, as at 20.
Apparatus of the type providing an initial shift of the comb 12 with subsequent oscillation of the fingers 13, in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1 may be seen in the previous United States Letters Patent No. 2,603,801 to Charles E. Emmer, and it will be understood that the specific structural features of the binding machine comb and finger shift are unimportant to the present invention so long as the apparatus is capable of supporting the backbone member 17b of the binding elements and uncurling the fingers 17a thereof into the general configuration shown in the open condition shown in FIGURE 2a. As is further well known in the art, General Binding Corporation, of Northbrook, Illinois, has for many years marketed a commercial machine under the designation 316EB Electro-Binder which is motorized in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1 to provide oscillation of the yoke 15 with an interrelated cam actuation of the comb 12 to provide the binding-opening and binding-closing actuation above described. In such prior devices, however, the normal sequence of operation started with the fingers 13 adjacent the comb 12 in a neutral condition wherein the bindings 17 could drop onto the comb freely from behind and above. In these and other prior devices a cycle of operation thus initially started in neutral and ended in neutral.
In accordance with the present invention, the normal semi-automatic operation of the device contemplates an initial position as shown in the dotted lines of FIGURES l and 2a in which the fingers 13 are in their left-handmost position wherein the fingers 17a of the binding element are spread for impaling of a sheaf of papers to be bound. Energization of a footswitch or other manual switch 22 energizes reversible motor 14 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 1 causing oscillation of the crank 14a in the clockwise direction which in turn pulls link 14b and yoke 15 to the right. Movement of the yoke 15 carries with it the fingers into the right-hand position shown in full lines in FIGURES 1 and 2a in which the binding is closed. Immediately prior to energization of the switch, the sheaf of papers to be bound is impaled upon the fingers 17a, as at 20 and upon movement of the yoke 15 and fingers toward the right, the book is bound and may be stripped off the binding machine by vertical movement upwardly parallel to the backbone 12. In view of the cam action described above, movement of the fingers 13a toward the right will simultaneously, at the end of their movement, be accompanied by a transverse movement of the fingers 13a relative to the comb 12 so that in the position designed for booklet removal, the fingers 13a are positioned immediately opposite the comb fingers 12, and, accordingly, the fingers 13 do not constitute any impediment to vertical removal of the booklet from the binding machine. Upon removal of the booklet 20 from the machine, switch 21 energizes unidirectional motor 24 to rotate one full turn causing link 25 to pull adjustable crank 26 downward in a clockwise direction to move binding tapes 27 in the direction of arrow 28 a predetermined amount, namely the centerline distance between adjacent bindings 17. Upon this movement of tapes 27, the binding 17 next adjacent the comb 12 is peeled off the tape by the sharp corner bend of tapes 27, at 27a, and spaced supports 63a for downward movement into the comb 12 for opening by the fingers 13. It will be seen that the timing of the system is such as to initiate movement of the motor 24 upon energization of the manually actuated switch 21 and the circuit of motor 24 is broken by the completion of one revolution of the motor 24. The cam surface 29 actuates switch 30 at the end of its one revolution with the next element 17 in the comb 12, to energize motor 14 to move the fingers 13 into the dotted line position above described. Thus, the binding operation moves sequentially from an initial position in which a binding is open to receive the book for binding, through the binding operation through book removal, through the binding element loading operation, and lastly, through the binding opening or stretching operation to the initial position for receipt of the next book.
It has been my experience in the field with experimental structures constructed in accordance with the present invention, that the optimum timing is such that even skilled operators lag slightly behind the electrical motors 24 and 14. Thus, in operation, the binding element is always positioned in readiness for impaling of the perforated sheets to be bound before the operator has completed the task of stacking the previously bound book, jogging or otherwise aligning sheets for the next book to be bound, and positioning the sheets for the next book to be bound immediately adjacent the position of the spread fingers. The movement of the binding element into position on the comb 12, with its subsequent manipulation has proven more than twice as fast as any semiautomatic binding operation heretofore known. It will be appreciated, in accordance with this invention and sequence of operational steps, that the operator has not, in any way handled the binding element 17 itself. Once this coil of bindings has been loaded into the machine, as set forth more fully below, the machine may be sequentially operated without in any way manually manipulating the individual binding element. Further, it has been observed that the average untrained operator is able to perform well on the present machine with a much lower level of manual and mental dexterity than was the case with the prior systems in which the binding element had to be manipulated manually, at least occasionally, and in which the operator first had to open the binding, insert the paper, and then close the binding, a sequence requiring at least one more manual switching and at least some additional handling of the binding elements.
The specific interrelationship between the electrical and mechanical components may readily be accomplished in various ways through the employment of time delay switches and so forth. One manner of accomplishing the sequential operation is schematically illustrated in FIG- URE 8. As there shown, a source of electricity 40 is provided for energization of the motors 14 and 24. A central control switching element 31 is provided with a central bar 32 electrically connected to the main conduit 33. The bar 32 is pivoted or spring-mounted about point 34 and is actuatable upwardly by pushbutton switch actuator 22, or the like, for contact with contactor 35. Alternately, movement downwardly of the bar 32 by energization of a solenoid actuator 37, will cause contact of the bar 32 with the contactor 36. A junction bar 38 is carried by the bar 32 and insulated therefrom, and is arranged so that when bar 32 is in contact with contact 35, bar 38 joins contacts 39a and 39b. Alternatively, when bar 32 contacts contact 36, the junction bar 38 joins contact 41a and 41b. Holding solenoids 42 and 43 are provided for maintaining the bar 32 in its upward or downward position and maintain the bar 32 in its selected position through oscillation of the motor 14 throughout its desired arc of movement which is limited by cam projection 44 carried by cam link 45 or 14a driven by the motor 14 through a shaft connection 46, or the like. Thus, when pushbutton 22 is actuated manually, the bar 32 is moved upwardly to cause current to flow via conduit 33 from source 40 through contact 35, through the motor 24, through contacts 39a, 39b, and junction bar 38, through holding coils 42, and via limit switch 47 to ground, as at 48. As motor 14 rotates, it will rotate in the cam plate 45 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG- URE 8 until the projection 44 opens switch 49 at which time power through the motor is cut off and holding coil 42 is deenergized causing switch bar 32 to return to its neutral condition. At this point, the fiingers 13 will have returned from the dotted line condition shown in FIG- URES l and 2a to the full line, right-handmost position, shown in these figures. At this junction, the pages 20 will be securely bound in the binding element.
Upon binding of the pages 20, as above described, upward movement of the bound pages will cause actuation of switch 21 momentarily. This will close the circuit from source 40 through motor 24 via contact 50, 51, causing rotation of the motor through one revolution. One revolution power stop control is provided by the holding coil 52 which maintains switch 21 in its closed condition until such time as the cam 53 driven by motor 24 opens the holding circuit by way of actuation of the switch 54. Immediately upon completion of the cycle, cam 55 similarly driven by motor 24 will momentarily close switch 30 by way of cam projection 29 to energize solenoid actuator 37 which will, in turn, initiate rotation of the motor 24 in the clockwise direction, as above described so that immediately upon feeding of the binding elements 17 onto the comb by the motor 24, the comb will be oscillated to the left-handmost position shown in FIGURES 1 and 2a. This position is the initial" position and when the motor 14 has moved the projection 44 to its terminal point, the switch 49 is open and the motors are both stopped until such time as the operator actuates switch 22 to bind another book.
Semi-automatic operation is thus above described, The bindings themselves, an important aspect of the invention, are mounted, as can be clearly seen from a consideration of FIGURE 1, in the form of a helical coil, generally indicated at 60 rotatably carried on a loading sleeve 61 carried by extension 62 rigidly mounted on the frame 10. The elements 17 are, as above indicated, mounted upon one or more tapes 27 by a pressure sensitive cement. In the preferred embodiment, which I have satisfactorily constructed and operated, a pair of tapes 27 are spaced axially of the bindings 17. With this arrangement, the pair of tapes pass over the support board 63, are turned thereunder and returned over drums 64, pass downwardly over idler pulleys 65 and then to a collecting spool 66 which is preferably a discardable tube. In view of the use of two tapes, the drums 64 are seperately carried upon the supporting shaft 67 via oneway spray type clutches 68. Thus, the crank 26 operated by motor 24 in an oscillatable manner, drives shaft 67 in an oscillatory fashion which, in turn, drives one-way clutch hub 69. Oscillation of hub 69 provides intermittent unididectional motion to the drum 64 in a clockwise direction was viewed in FIGURE 1 by way of the conventional one-way sprag 68. At the same time, the drum 64 may at any time be advanced in a clockwise direction relative to the shaft 67 by means of a manual friction knob 70 which projects through the support 63 via a slot 71. As a result of this arrangement, the pair of elements 70 on opposite sides of the machine may individually be selectively advanced to take up any slight misalignment that may occasionally develop between the tapes 27, thereby permitting the operator to maintain the binding element 17 parallel at all times to the comb 12. The movement of the given binding element 17 upon oscillation of the crank 26 is determined by the distance the pivot 25a of link 25 is from the center of shaft 67. This distance is adjustable, by way of a slot 26a in which the pin 25a is adjustable in any convenient manner. The tapes 27 are wound upon drum 66 which is maintained under tension by a friction belt 66a driven by a friction pulley 66b driven by the motor 24. Manual adjustment of it as any time is available by way of a knurled external knob 66b. Although only a single collection roll 66 is illustrated, it will be observed that the roll 66 may be split into as many segments as there are tapes. It has been found that by employing a silicone rubber material on the roller 64, pressure-sensitive tape materials conventionally provided on the market will have a tackiness relative thereto but will strip completely clean therefrom by the tension continuously provided via the collection drum 66.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that although the semi-automatic machinery above described cooperates with-a coil of bindings mounted upon a tape, to detape the bindings and bind books in a particularly efiicient way, nevertheless, the taped bindings provide an excellent product in and of themselves for use with manual machines. This may readily be seen from a consideration of FIGURES 3 through 7. The bindings may readily be packaged in double layers as shown in FIG- URE 4, in which the tape or tapes 27 are folded back upon themselves to provide a double layer package. Alternatively, as illustrated in FIGURE 6, the bindings, mounted upon tapes 27, may be rolled, with or without the benefit of a central positioning arbor into a generally helically coiled package. At the site of use, the packages, either flat such as in FIGURES 4- or 5 or coiled as in FIGURE 6 may be stored in a hopper such as 80 attached to a conventional binding apparatus 81 (not provided with automatic detaping mechanisms such as shown in FIGURE 1). The tapes 27 are then coiled about a manually operated take-up spool 82 which may readily be operated by a knurled or otherwise configurated knob 83. With this arrangement, the knob 83 may be moved in a clockwise direction, causing a binding element 17 to be positioned on the comb 12 and stripped from the tape 27. Movement of the binding fingers, not illustrated in FIGURE 7, by any conventional means, either manual or power, will cause binding of a book, and upon subsequent removal of the book, a subsequent book may be bound after a further movement of the take-up roll 82 to position a new binding element 17 upon the comb 12.
I have found as a result of a test program that the novel coil package of binding elements herein disclosed provides an extremely efiicient way of transporting the individual binding elements as a unitized package and the employment of the taped bindings with the apparatus of the present invention provides an unusually, and remarkably efiicient over-all binding machine capable of satisfactory operation by ordinary machine operators at a continuous production rate remarkably greater than that heretofore possible. Further, the binding component comprising a group of bindings consecutively pressurereleasably, or strippably, mounted on a tape provides a convenient number base, such as 100 bindings, for example. I have successfully used commercially purchased pressure-sensitive tape with binding elements constructed of vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride, but other materials will be obvious to those in the art. In this respect, it is noted that the pressure-sensitive tape should be chosen to be chemically inert relative to the binding element.
In practice, I have observed that when binding operations cease for an extended period on the semi-automatic binder of FIGURE 1, and the apparatus is in its initial position, the binding should be released to its closed condition to prevent a permanent set in its fingers. Shutdown of the machine may be accomplished by pushing switch 22, and subsequent reactivation of the system is accomplished by manual momentary operation of actuator 37.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other variations in the apparatus, method of binding, and binding component hereinabove set forth may be made without departing from the scope of the inventive concepts described. It is, accordingly, my intent that the scope of the present invention be limited solely by that of the hereinafter appended claims.
I claim as my invention:
1. Apparatus for binding a plurality of sheets perforated along an edge by means of a binding element comprising a backbone having a plurality of transversely extending curled fingers, comprising means for storing a supply of binding elements having the outer surface of the backbones pressure releasably secured serially to a backing material comprising a pair of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, a binding support having spaced teeth for supporting the backbone of the binding element, means conveying said backing material to a position adjacent said support for positioning said binding on said support, means peeling said backing material away from said binding element adjacent said binding support with said fingers extending between said teeth, means movable relative to said support to contact the fingers of a binding 8 supported by its backbone against said teeth for uncurling said fingers, said last-named means being reversible to release said fingers upon the application of said perforated sheets to said fingers, and means for collecting said backing material.
2. Binding apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the at-rest initial condition comprises a position at which said binder opening means has moved to open said fingers, said apparatus including motor means energizable to open said binder opening means, motor means energizable to close said binder opening means, means responsive to removal of a bound sheet and its binding element from said support for conveying a new binding element to said support, and means responsive to completion of said conveying to energize said first-named motor means to move said binder opening means to the at-rest position.
3. A semi-automatic binding apparatus for binding a plurality of sheets perforated along an edge by means of a binding element having a backbone with a plurality of transversely extending curled fingers, comprising a.
housing, a supply of binding elements pressure releasably secured to an adhesive surface of a flexible backing material by said backbone, a binding support providing a plurality of teeth for supporting the backbone of a binding element on said housing, means conveying said backing material to a peel support adjacent said binding support for positioning consecutive bindings on said backing material sequentially a length equalling the centerline distance between adjacent bindings thereon for peeling consecutive binding elements from said backing material at said peeling support and positively positioning said fingers between and extending beyond said binding support teeth, opening means movable relative to said binding support contacting the fingers of a supported binding for uncurling said fingers, said last-named opening means being reversible to release said fingers upon the application of said perforated sheets to said fingers.
4. The apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 3 including reversible oscillatory motor means energizable to move said binder opening means and to reverse to close said binder opening means, means responsive to removal of a bound plurality of sheets and their binding elements from said binding support to actuate said means for moving said backing material thereby conveying a new binding element to said peeling support, and means responsive to completion of said conveying to energize said first-named motor means to remove said binder openings means to an at-rest, binder-open, position.
5. A binding apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 4 wherein said means responsive to removal of a binding of a plurality of bound sheets includes switch means positioned adjacent said binding support for actuation by the binding element upon its removal from said support.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,334,589 11/ 1943 Spinner. 2,367,189 1/1945 Avery 156-584 2,603,800 7/1952 Emmer. 2,603,801 7/1952 Emmer. 3,038,596 6/ 1962 Anstett. 3,050,186 8/1962 Niles. 3,240,652 3/1966 Mers 156-584 FOREIGN PATENTS 987,117 3/ 1965 Great Britian.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl, X.R. 206--56