US 3578310 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Joseph R. Carson, Jr.
Lancaster, N.Y. [21 Appl. No. 836,453  Filed June 25, 1969  Patented May 11, I971  Assignee J. W. Clement Company Depew, N.Y.
 SIGNATURE OR SHEET COLLATING SYSTEM 10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 270/54, 27 0/5 8  Int. Cl B65h 39/02  Field of Search 270/58, 54
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,019,012 1/1962 Sanford 270/58 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-L. R. Oremland AttorneyBean and Bean formed of N banks of functional elements driven in synchronization one with each group of feeders. The N banks are serially interconnected by spacer functional elements permitting delay in driving of a succeeding bank, so as to permit spacing between adjacent groups of feeders to exceed the spacing between individual feeders forming such groups.
Patented May 11, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN I 0R. J05PH R.CHRSONJR.
SIGNATUREOR SHEET COLLATING SYSTEM BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an improvement in the collating system monitoring device, disclosed in US. Pat. Ser. No. 71 l,04l,filed Mar. 6, 1968.
In the collating system disclosed in the above-mentioned application, feeders are arranged in an equally spaced apart relationship and are driven in synchronization such that signatures are simultaneously delivered by the feeders onto a collating conveyor. Each feeder is provided with a calipering device to detect malfunctions of such feeder and the several calipering devices are connected into a monitoring device, the latter being adapted to interrupt operation of the system only if there is indication more than a predetermined number of successive malfunctions of any one feederl Otherwise, the continuous high speed operation of the system is not interrupted and the monitoring device instead effects a delayed action rejection of a book rendered imperfect by a malfunction at a station beyond the last feeder of the system.
It has recently been proposed to modify the standard system for which the monitoring device of the above-mentioned application had u'tility by one wherein the feeders are arranged in N groups and such groups are driven out of phase one with another. By this arrangement the torque load imposed upon the drive motor of the system is substantially equally distributed throughout each operational cycle of the system. This new feeder arrangement requires that the "spacing between adjacent groups of feeders be in excess of that between adjacent feeders of each group in order to permitbooks being formed on the collating conveyor to be properly positioned beneath successive feeder groups, as the books being formed are passed through the system.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide improvements in the monitoring devices disclosed by the above-mentioned patent application, in order to permit its use with collating systems employing N groups of feeders.
The improvement in accordance with the present invention comprises forming a shift register into N banks of functional elements driven in synchronization one with each of the N groups of feeders, and providing intermediate each bank a spacer functional element permitting delay indriving of each successive bank so as to compensate for the variation in spacing between groups of feeders and feeders forming such groups.
DRAWINGS The present invention will now be more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. I is a semischematic side elevational view of a collating system embodying a monitoring device formed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of the monitoring device and related components;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view showing the spacial relationship between feeders and adjacent groups'of feeders; and
FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating the principal components of the monitoring device.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates a signature collating system comprising essentially a series of aligned feeders 10 adapted to deliver signatures 12 from associated magazines 14 onto a collating conveyor 16. Conveyor I6 is arranged tov travel from left to right, as viewed in FIG. I, in order to deliver books of assembled signatures at the right hand end of the conveyor to a book binding facility or the like, not shown.
Associated with each of the feeders 10 is a signature pickup device, not shown, which serves to transfer signatures one at a time from magazines 14 onto a feeder, and a calipering device 18, which serves to detect or sense the occurrence of a malfunction in the delivery of a signature by the feeder onto the conveyor 16. A malfunction may be in the form of a failure of the pickup device to timely deliver a signature to the feeder, the delivery of more than an intended number of signatures, or the delivery of a signature which is rendered faulty because of having more or less than a predetermined number of pages or because of being torn or otherwise mutilated. The structure and mode of operation of feeders 10 and calipering device 18 may be conventional and thus form no part of the present invention. However, to facilitate understanding of the present invention, feeders 10 are shown as being of the type adapted to dispense only one signature during each full rotational cycle thereof, whereas calipering devices are operable to produce a signal, such as the closing of an electrical switch 20 each time a signature delivery malfunction is detected thereby.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be understood that the feeders of the collating system with which the present invention has utility are arranged in N identical groups of feeders. As is conventional, each group includes four feeders, so as to permit the machine to be formed from modules of a size which may be readily fabricated and transported. Thus, for example, if it were desired to provide a conventional 40 feeder collating system, 10 machine modules would be assembled to provide l0 groups of feeders, indicated as 25a-25j. In such an arrangement, the individual feeders forming each group, e.g. feeders l0a-l through'l0a-4 would be simultaneously driven. However, each successive group of feeders would be driven 36out of phase with respect to an immediately preceeding group, such that only one tenth of the total torque load of the system is imposed upon the collating system drive motor, not shown, at any given time and the total torque load is substantially equally distributed throughout each operational cycle of the system. Thus, in FIG. '3 the signature delivery portion of the rotational cycle of feeders 10b forming group 25b is shown as lagging by 36the signature delivery portion of the rotational cycle of feeders 10a forming group 15a.
As in conventional forty feeder collating systems, each of the system feeders may be employed to deliver a different signature, such that as conveyor 16 travels beneath groups 250-25 books having forty different signatures may be formed. It is desired to-form books having fewer than 40 signatures it is merely necessary to withdraw an appropriate number of feeders adjacent the outlet end of the system from operation and disable the calipering devices associated with such feeders, so that a malfunction indicating signal is not generated thereby.
Again referring to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the spacing A between adjacent groups ,of feeders is in excess of the spacing B between the feeders of the respective groups; the difference in spacing compensating for the 36 lag between the signature delivery portions of the rotational cycles of the feeders forming successive groups. This arrangement is necessary to permit conveyor 16 which is driven at constant speed through the same linear distance during each full operation cycle of the collating system, to properly position partially formed books beneath the feeders of the succeeding groups.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, it will be understood that caliper operated electrical switches 20 are arranged to send an electrical impulse to I a monitoring system, generally designated as 30, whenever the feeders with which the switches are associated malfunction in any respect.
Monitoring systems 30 is driven by signals produced by a transducer 32. Transducer 32 may be of any desired form, which may be driven in synchronization with the drive means for the system, but is shown for purposes of illustration in FIGS. 1 and 2 as including a rotatably supported cam disc having a magnetic element 34 adapted to sweep past annularly arranged pickups 36a-36j, such that each of the pickups produces one shifting pulse during each operational cycle of the collating system. It will be understood that when employing a 10 feeder group arrangement, pickups 36a-36j are disposed at 36 intervals, such that the shift input system pul- 3 ses produced thereby are timed to shift the monitoring system subsequent to operation, if any, of the switches 20 associated with feeder groups 2511-251.
To better appreciate the operation and function of the monitoring system 30, reference is not made to FIG. 4, wherein the system is shown as including groups of functional elements 40a40j, which are serially interconnected by spacer elements 42. The functional element group 40a-40j includes four elements, e.g., 40a-l through 400-4, such that the total number of such functional elements corresponds to the number of feeders forming the feeder groups performing the building of completed signature books, whereas the number of spacer elements 42 employed correspond in number to the A spaces between adjacent feeding groups. Further, there is provided an ejector element 44, which corresponds to an ejector or reject station, positioned beyond the last feeder in the series, and one or more intermediate elements'46 corresponding to the stations between the last feeder in the series and the reject station, the purpose of which will be presently apparent.
The elements 40013 40j, 42, 44 and 46 are shifting elements connected serially to form a shift register, wherein functional elements 40 a40j are connected as shown to the shift input signals produced by pickups 36a36j, respectively, Spacer elements 42 are connected through OR gates 48 to shift input signals produced by pickups 36a36j associated with each adjacent group of functional elements. Thus, as shown in the case of spacer element 42 disposed between functional elements 40a-4 and 40b1, an input is received successively from pickups 36a, 36b.
function is achieved in the specific example shown in FIG. 4 by providing a second means in the monitoring system (the first means being the shift register) which is capable of detecting the presence of a train of successive malfunction signals from any one of the switches 20,. which is in excess of some predetermined maximum. For example, in the specific example shown in FIG. 4, any switch which indicates two successive malfunction signals will cause the collating system to be stopped.
This second means, as shown, comprises a plurality of AND gates associated one with each of the shifting elements 40a- 40j. One input to each AND gate, indicated by the reference character 58, is connected directly to the associated feeder detector switch 20, while the other input, indicated by reference character 60, is connected to the transfer leg of the next succeeding functional element. In the case of the AND gate 56 corresponding to the last feeder of the series, the
' second input 60 is connected to the transfer leg of the next Each of the functional elements a-y40j is also provided with an input from one of the detector switches 20 associated with feeders 25a--25j, respectively, so that an information bit" produce by closure of any one of the switches will be inserted into its corresponding element 40a-40j. It will be understood of course that a detector switch 20 is closed only in response to a malfunction associated with that particular feeder. Y
The above described operation may be better understood by referring to FIG. 4 and assuming for purposes of illustration that the third feeder l0a-3 of group 25a experiences a malfunction. Upon the occurrenceof such a malfunction, corresponding switch 20 is closed so as to enter a malfunction indicating bit" into functional element 40a-3. During the next operational cycle of transducer 32, pickup 360 will operate to shift the information bit" to functional element 400-4 by which time conveyor 16 will have transported the book previously rendered imperfect by the malfunction to a point beneath feeder 10 1-4. During the next succeeding operational cycle of transducer 32, pickup 36awill first operate through OR gate 48 to shift the information bit" from functional element 40a-4 to adjacent spacer element 42. After a lag of 36, pickup 36b will operate through OR gate 48 to shift the information bit out of spacer element 42 into functional element 40b-1, by which time conveyor 16 will have transported the imperfect bookinto a position beneath feeder 10b-l.
Accordingly, it will be understood that subsequent to actuation, if any, of any one of detector switches 20, the next operational cycle of transducer 32 will cause shift input signals to be applied to the shifting elements, whereby the malfunctioning indicating "bit is advanced forwardly to the next succeeding functional element of the shift register. Thus, during succeeding operational cycles of the system, the malfunction indicating bit" follows the imperfect book stemming from the malfunction, such that when the imperfect book reaches the reject station, a reject mechanism 48 is actuated to reject the imperfect book, as by means of a solenoid 50 connected through a suitableamplifier 52 to the output of ejector functional element 44. a
The monitoring system is capable of rejecting individual books without causing stoppage of the collating system, while permitting the stopping of the collating system if there is an indication of gross malfunction at any one feeder. This latter succeeding intermediate shifting element 46. It will be appreciated that if both of the inputs 58 and 60 indicate a ma]- function signal, this corresponds to two successive malfunction signals from the same switch 20. In this situation the output 62 of the particular AND gate 56 involved will pass to OR gate 64, which in turn produces an output 66 for actuating a relay 68 serving to interrupt thedrive to the collating system.
It has been found that from a practical standpoint, a train of two pulses from the same switch 20 usually means that a gross malfunction has occurred incidental to that particular feeder. However, if desired, means other than AND gate 56 may be employed to accumulate more than two malfunction signals before effecting stoppage of the system.
It will be appreciated that the presence of the intermediate shifting element 46 is necessary to perform the logic for stopping operation of the system due to gross malfunction at the last feeder. Also, it will be understood that ejector 48 in the particular instance shown in FIG. 4, will be required to be displaced from the last feeder of the series by a distance corresponding to two feeder stations.
Thus, if at any time any one of the caliper devices 18 sends, due to operation of switch 20, an impulse to the monitoring system 30, the shift register will follow" the signature collation or book, which has thus been identified as defective, throughout the extent of the collating system, such that upon arrival of the defective book at the reject station it will be kicked out of the delivery line; and that this is accomplished without any slowdown or interruption of the collating and delivery processes.
l. A collating system comprising, in combination:
a continuously driven collating conveyor;
a series of signature supply devices arranged along said conveyor;
a series of feeders, one associated with each of said signature supply devices;
continuous drive means for said feeders, each of said feeders including feed means for periodically delivering a signature from an associated signature supply device to said conveyor whereby a peak load imposed on said continuous drive means by each of said feeders is of periodic nature, said series of feeders being arranged in a plurality of groups in which the spacing between feeders of each group is the same but with the spacing between adjacent groups being different from the spacing between feeders of each group, said feed means of the feeders of each group being actuated synchronously and the feed means of successive groups being actuated asynchronously by amounts accommodating for the said different spacing between groups so as to progressively build .books of signatures along the conveyor while avoiding coincidence rejection means for rejecting an imperfect book at a station beyond a last feeder of said series of feeders; and
monitoring means actuated by said detector means for actuating said rejection means, said monitoring means comprising a shift register having shift elements associated one with each of said feeders and additional shift elements corresponding one to each of the spacings between adjacent groups of feeders, said detector means being adapted to insert a bit into the associated shift element in response to a detected malfunction, and means for producing a shift register input for every signature delivery operation of said feed means, whereby a malfunction indicating bit in any one of said associated shift elements is shifted through said shift register and to ultimately actuate said rejection means.
2. In a collating system of the type having a collating conveyor; a series of feeders for delivering individual signatures to the conveyor progressively to build books of signatures at spaced stationsalong said conveyor, each of which books is completed at the last feeder of the series, said feeders being arranged in a plurality of groups; detector means associated one with each feeder for detecting a malfunction which would produce an imperfect book; and means for driving said groups of feeders so that the signature delivery operations of successive groups are out of phase one to another, the spacing between successive groups being different from the spacing between feeders in each group by an amount accommodating for the out of phase relation between groups; the improvement comprising;
rejecting means for rejecting an imperfect book at a station beyond a last feeder of said series of feeders;
monitoring means actuated by said detector means for actuating said rejecting means, said monitoring means including a shift register having shifting elements associated with each of said feeders for receiving a' malfunction indicating bit from the associated detector means, said feeder associated shifting elements being divided into banks of elements corresponding in number of the number of said groups, and at least one shifting element corresponding to the spacing between each of said groups to shift a malfunction indicating bit between banks associated with such groups in phase relation with the signature delivery operation of feeders of a next succeeding group; and
means for producing a shift register input for every signature operation of said feeders to shift'a malfunction indicating bit through said shift register and to ultimately actuate said rejecting means.
3. A collating system as defined in claim 2, wherein said monitoring means includes secondary monitoring means for interrupting said drive means in response to a predetermined number of sequential malfunctions detected at any one of said feeders.
4. A collating system as defined in claim 3, wherein said associated and corresponding shifting elements are serially interconnected by malfunction indicating bit transfer legs connected into a next succeeding shifting element, and said secondary monitoring means includes an AND gate associated with each of said feeder associated shiftingelements, each of said AND gates having one input connected to a corresponding detector means and a second input connected to the transfer leg of a next succeeding feeder associated shifting element.
5. A collating system as defined in claim 2, wherein said shift register input is divided between said banks in phase relation to the signature delivery operation of feeders of said groups with which said banks are associated, and said means for producing said shift register input includes an OR gate associated one with each of said spacing shifting elements, each of said OR gates having a first input connected to the shifting input of a preceeding bank and a second input connected to the shifting input of a next succeeding bank.
6. In a collating system of the type having a collating conveyor; a series of means for delivering individual signatures to the collating conveyor so as to progressively present at spaced stations along the collating conveyor books of signatures each of which books is completed at the last means of the series and for detecting a signature delivering malfunction which would produce an imperfect book, said series of means being arranged in a plurality of successive groups; and means for driving said groups so that the signature delivering operations of successive groups are out of phase one to another, the spacing between successive groups accommodating for the out of phase relationship between groups, the improvement comprising:
rejection means for rejecting an imperfect book at a station beyond said last means of said series;
monitoring means actuated by said series of means for actuating said rejection means, said monitoring means including a shift register having serially interconnected shifting elements, some of said shifting elements being associated one with each of said means of said series such that a malfunction indicating bit may be inserted thereinto, said associated shifting elements being divided into banks of elements corresponding in number to the number of said groups, and others of said shifting elements corresponding to the spacing between each of said groups to shift a malfunction indicating bit between banks associated with such groups in phase relation with the signature delivery operation of means of said series forming a next succeeding group, each of said shifting elements having a malfunction indicating bit transfer leg connected to a next succeeding shifting element; and
means for producing a shift register input to said shifting elements for each signature delivery operation, whereby a malfunction indicating bit inserted in any one of said associated shifting elements is shifted through said shift register, and to ultimately actuate said rejection means.
7. A collating system as defined in claim 6, wherein said shift register input is divided between said banks in phase relation to the signature delivery operations of means of said series forming said groups with which said banks are associated, and said means for producing said shift register input includes an OR gate associated one with each of said corresponding shifting elements, each of said OR gates having a shift input connected to the shifting input of a preceeding bank and a second input connected to the shifting input of a next succeeding bank.
8. A collating system including, in combination:
a collating conveyor;
means for driving said collating conveyor;
a series of means spaced along said conveyor for delivering signatures to said conveyor progressively to build books of signatures at spaced stations therealong and for detecting a signature delivering malfunction which would produce an imperfect book, each of said books being completed'at a'last'means of said series, said series of means being arranged in a plurality of successive groups;
drive means for operating all of said means of said series during one complete drive cycle and for operating said groups so that the signature delivering operations of successive groups are out of phase one to another to spread the drive load imposed on said drive means by said series of means over each drive cycle, the spacing between successive groups accommodating for the out of phase relationship between groups;
rejection means for rejecting an imperfect book beyond said last means; and
shift register means actuated by said series of means for actuating said rejection means when an imperfect book reaches said rejection means.
9. A collating system according to claim 8, wherein said shift register means includes a shifting element associated with each of said means of said series and further shifting elements accommodating for said out of phase operation of saidmeans of said series, said means of said series are adapted to insert into an associated shifting element a malfunction indicating shift register input is divided between said associated shifting elements in phase relation to operation of said means of said series with which they are associated, and said means for producing said shift register input includes an OR gate associated with one with each of said further shifting elements, each of said OR gates having a shift input connected to the shifting input of a preceeding associated shifting element and a second shift input connected to the shifting input of a next succeeding associated associated shifting element.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 578 310 Dated May l1 1971 Inventor(s) Joseph R Carson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 16, "indication" should read indicated line 75, after "of" cancel "the"; line 75, "a" should read the Column 2, line 2, after "onto" cancel "the"; line 16, after "of" cancel "an"; line 38, "15a" should read 25a line 42, "25 ,-25" should read 25a-2Sj line 43, before "It" insert If line 54, after "ing" insert the line 56 "operation" should read operational line 75 after "input" cancel "system"; Column 3, line 5, "not" should read now line 21, "40al340j" should read 40a-40j line 35, "produce" should read produced line 43, cancel "a"; Column 4, line 11, after "gates" insert S6 Column 5, line 13, after "bit" insert inserted line 47, before "operation" insert delivery Column 7, line 4, after "succeeding" insert shifting Column 8, last line, cancel "associated",' second occurrence.
Signed and sealed this 7th day of December 1971.
EDWARD M. FLETCHER ,JR ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents