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Publication numberUS3591165 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 6, 1971
Filing dateFeb 20, 1968
Priority dateFeb 20, 1968
Also published asDE1817006A1
Publication numberUS 3591165 A, US 3591165A, US-A-3591165, US3591165 A, US3591165A
InventorsWilliam J Byrne, John O Mccahon
Original AssigneeNorth American Rockwell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for handling sheet material, signatures and the like
US 3591165 A
Abstract  available in
Images(17)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1,845,412 2/1932 Hathaway United States Patent [72] inventors John 0. McCahon West Simsbury, Conn.; William J. Byrne, Pearl River, N.Y. [2t 1 Appl. No. 706,926 [22] Filed Feb. 20, I968 [45] Patented July 6, I971 [73] Assignee North American Rockwell Corporation Pittsburgh, Pa.

[54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HANDLING SHEET MATERIAL, SIGNATURES AND THE LIKE 46 Claims, 38 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 270/54 [5 l] Int. Cl B65h 39/02 [50] Field of Search 270/54, 55

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,311,368 3/l967 Sarringetal... 3,420,516 1/1969 Guggisberg ABSTRACT: Apparatus for feeding signatures from a stack thereof in gathered predetermined sequence to a book-sewing machine or the like, comprising means for transferring signatures one at a time from a feed hopper by rotary grippers and feed rollers to linearly traveling grippers, suction and lap-engaging means for opening signatures suspended from the traveling grippers, and means for rotating the suspended, opened signatures through 1800 and depositing the same on a pusher-type saddle conveyor for movement thereby through fold-conditioning means and for delivery to the sewing saddle of a book sewer or the like, including operational programming means for the feeding and sewing apparatuses and means for detecting improper functioning thereof.

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SHEET 17 0F 17 k mo INVENTORS W///////////////////////// wgmrg ATTO NEYS The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for automatically handling sheet material, signatures and the like.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide novelly constructed means for handling folded signatures in a novel manner.

Another object of the invention is to provide novel apparatus whereby folded signatures are transferred from a rotary or planetary conveyor to conveyor means for supporting the signatures in suspension and moving the same edgewise in a direction parallel to the axis of the rotary conveyor.

Another object is to provide novel simplified mechanism for separating the pages of and hence, opening a signature while thesame is in motion and suspended with backbone fold uppennost.

A further object is to provide novel apparatus for controlling the sequential operation of a plurality of functional mechanisms of a machine for handling signatures and the like.

Still another object is to provide novel apparatus for turning an opened signature end-for-end withoutpermitting closure thereof while the same is being simultaneously linearly con veyed.

A still furthe'r'object isto'provide novelly constructed apparatus for acting'on a fold of sheet material, such as the backbone fold of a signature, to condition the same for a 'snugger fit on and better seating on the apex of the saddle of a conveyor or book-sewing machine.

' Another object is to provide novel simplified apparatus for automatically withdrawing flat closed signatures from an onedge stack and transferring the same to a saddle conveyor in open condition.

The above and further objects and. novel features of the present invention will more fully appear from the following detailed description when the same is read in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

. In the drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, I

FIG. I is a partially diagrammatic front elevation view of one form of apparatus embodying the invention;

FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 are isometric views illustrating some representative forms of signatures which the apparatus of FIG. 1 is adapted to handle;

FIG. 5 is a partial end elevation view of the apparatus as seen from lines 5-5 of F IGS..1 and 6 with the guard removed;

FIG. 5a is a detail view taken on line 5a-5a of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a partial top plan view of the inserter or feeder section of the apparatus taken substantially on line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an elevation view, partly in section, taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6;.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are detail views taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 6 and showing the parts in different cyclic positions following the positions thereof shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a detail elevation view, partly in section, taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 11 is a detail sectional view of one suitable form of signature-gripping device, the section being taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 13a;

FIGS. 12 and 120 are complementary top plan views with parts broken away of opposite ends of the gripper conveyor C as viewed from the top in FIG. I and FIGS. 13 and 13a,

respectively; I

FIGS. 13 and 13a are front elevation views partially in section taken substantially on lines 13-13 and 13a-13a of FIG. 12 and FIG. 12a, respectively;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15a, 15b and 15c are diagrams illustrating successive positions of agripper device as viewedfrom the plane of line FIG. 16 is a partial top plan view from the plane of line 16-16 of FIG. 1 showing one suitable form of apparatus for opening signatures on the run;

. FIG. 17 isa detail elevation view, partly in section taken on lines 17-17 of FIGS. 1 and 16;

FIG. 18 is a detail isometric view of the signature turnaround saddle;

FIG. 19 is a detail top plan view of the pusher saddle conveyor B with parts broken away, the view being taken on line 19-19 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 20 is a detail sectional view taken substantially on line 20-20 of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a detail sectional view taken on line FIG. 19;

FIG. 22 is a partial end elevation view taken substantially on line 22-22 of FIG. 1; 7

FIG. 23 is a detail side elevation view taken on line 23-23 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a detail view partly in section taken substantially on lines 24-24 of FIGS. 19 and 22;

FIG. 25 is a detail side elevation view partly in section taken on line 25-25 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 26 is a detail sectional view taken on line 26-26 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 27 is a partial front elevation view partlyv in section taken on line 27-27 of FIG. 29; I

FIG. 28 is a detail sectional view taken on line 28-28 of FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is essentially a detail top plan view taken on lines 29-29 of FIGS. 1 and 27;

FIG. 30 is a detail isometric view illustrating several links of a programmer belt; FIG. 31 is a detail sectional view taken on line 31-31 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 32 is a detail side elevation view of the vacuum valve unit of the programmer as viewed from line 32-32 of FIG. 29; and

FIG. 33 is a sectional view taken on line 33-33 of FIG. 32.

One embodiment of novel apparatus adapted for use in practicing the novel method contemplated by the invention is illustrated in front elevation, partly diagrammatically, in FIG. 1 of the drawings. This apparatus is capable of handling closed head right-angle signatures (FIG. 2), inserted signatures (FIG. 3), open head signatures with front lap (FIG. 4) and a variety of other lap and no-lap signatures with or without end sheets, cutaways, tips and the like. Speaking generally, the illustrated machine as shown in-FIG.'l comprises ahopper-type rotary signature feeder F which transfers signatures one at a time from an on-edge stack S to an endless conveyor C equipped with a series of grippers G. The signatures are transported by conveyor C in suspended on-edge position through a signature-opening section 0 controlled in part by a programmer P and then through a signature-tuming section T before being dropped astraddle a pusher-type saddle conveyor B. The latter moves the signatures through a backbone fold conditioner R and thence to the infeed saddle conveyor (not shown) of a known type of book-sewing machine, such as the Smyth No. 12 sewing machine. The entire signature-handling machine is powered by a motor through a main drive shaft D, and the sewing machine is preferably powered by the same motor in predetermined timed relation to the signature-handling machine.

HOPPER FEEDER AND TRANSFER MECHANISM I (FIGS. 1 to 10) The novel apparatus contemplated by the invention for handling folded signatures and delivering the same to a saddle conveyor, book-sewing machine or the like in accordance with a novel method comprises a novel hopper-type signature feeder. One form of such feeder is illustrated, by way of example, in FIGS. 5 to 10 as having a supporting frame comprising end plates 1, 1' on which is mounted signature hopper I-I that may be of any suitable known construction. A stack S of signatures gathered in the order or sequence in which the same are to be sewn together in book form is supported on-edge by slightly inclined bars 2 and endless belts 3 and rests forwardly against a plate 4 (FIGS. 6 and 7). The folded backbone edges 6 of the signatures 5 in stack S, which edges will constitute the sewn spine of the book, should be down, and the closed ends or heads 7 of the signatures should be toward the left and hence, the leading edge in FIG. 1 of the illustrated embodiment. The bottom edge of the leading signature, at the right in stack S as viewed in FIG. 7, may engage adjustable stops 8, and as signatures are withdrawn one at a time from the forward end of the stack, the latter may be moved forwardly against stops 8 by intermittent operation of belts 3 in a manner well known in the art, such as by the cam-actuated linkage L shown in FIG. 10.

Novel means are provided for withdrawing the leading signature 5 from stack S and transferring the same to the continuously operating endless gripper conveyor C in suspended inverted position, i.e. with the backbone fold 6 uppermost, and the open edge portions of the signatures freely suspended from the conveyor grippers G. In the form shown, said means comprises a shaft 9 rotatably supported in plates 1, l and driven by power means M in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in FIGS. 5 and 7, through a gear train including gears 10, II and timing belt 12 (FIG. 5) which is driven from main power shaft D. I

In a conventional manner, the lower edge 6 of each signature in stack 8 is engaged and drawn to the right below plate 4 (FIG. 7) by a plurality of vacuum suckers 13 of known construction mounted on stub shafts 14, 14 for pivotal reciprocation as indicated by arrows. Timed operation of the suckers and linkage L is efi'ected by a disc cam 15 driven by shaft 9. The suckers are carried on hollow arms I6 mounted on and projecting radially from a hollow bar 16, the ends of which are carried by arms 17, I7 pivotally mounted on said stub shafts I4, 14'. A lever 18 integral with arm 17 carries a cam follower roller 18 which is held in engagement with cam 15 by suitable resilient means,'such as a spring 15 connected to lever 18 (FIGS. 6 and The cups or heads of suckers 13 are connected to a source of vacuum at appropriate intervals and in timed relation with the other functions of the apparatus through hollow arms 16', hollow bar 16, a flexible hose 20, a rotary disc valve 21 concentric with and driven by shaft 9, and a flexible hose (notshown) leading from the valve to a source of vacuum, such as a motor driven pump 19 (FIG. I) all in a manner well known in the art.

The lower edge 6 of a signature 5 withdrawn by vacuum suckers 13 (FIG. 7) is then engaged by mechanical or suctiontype gripper means carried by shaft 9 in a known manner. In the form shown, a plurality of mechanical grippers are mounted on a plurality of discs 22, 22 which may be identical and in effect constitute a drum. The discs 22 are in turn mounted on shaft 9 for rotation therewith and constructed to perform a dual function. Said gripper means comprises blocks 23 mounted on drum discs 22 near the periphery thereof and having arcuate gripping surfaces that form lateral extensions of the peripheral or rim surfaces of the discs for cooperation with gripper fingers 24 fixedly mounted on a shaft 25 that is eccentrically journaled in discs 22 and a disc 26 on shaft 9 for angular reciprocation relative thereto. A pinion 27 on one end of shaft 25 meshes with a gear segment 27' which forms one arm of a bellcrank pivotally mounted at 28 on disc 26 which rotates with shaft 9. The gear segment 27', carries a roller 29 which is held in engagement with a cam 29 by a compression spring 30 connected to the other arm of the bellcrank, said cam being secured to frame 1. Thus, at the proper time in the cycle of counterclockwise rotation of drum 22, 22, as viewed in FIGS. 7 to 9, gripper fingers 24 are moved into cooperative relation with blocks 23 togrip the lower edge 6 of a signature 5 which, sis-assessed above, has been segregated from the stack S bysq'ckers' 13 (FIG. 7). Upon continued rotati'on of drum 22', 22"t'he gripped signature is withdrawn downwardly from the stack and carried in an arcuate path by the drum (FIG. 8). j i 4 1 In addition to carrying gripper means 23 24 for removing and conveying signatures from stack S, the drum 22, 22 cooperates with a sector drum 31 to provide a friction or rolltype sheet or signature feeder to which signatures are delivered'by said gripper means. In the form illustrated, sector drum 31 also consists of a plurality of discs which mate with the discs of the first drum 22, 22. As shown, the latter may also be a sector drum; that is, a drum having only a sectoral rim or peripheral surface of maximum diameter. Drum'3l bomprises two identical sector discs mounted on a shaft 32 for rotation therewith. Said shaft is parallel to shaft 9 and is preferably driven by a gear 32 which is in constant mesh with drive gear 1 l on shaft 9, whereby drums 22 and 31 are driven in opposite directions as indicated by arrows in FIG. 8.

Shaft 32 is journaled near its end in corresponding arms 33 of bellcranks 33, 33 which are pivoted on a transverse crossbar 34 between the main frame plates 1, l. The bellcranks 33, 33' are resiliently urged in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 5 and 10 by compression springs 35 interposed between the arms 33' of the bellcranks and fixed brackets 35'. Said springs urge arms 33' against adjustable stops 36 which determine the minimum clearance between the sectoral rim surfaces a and b of drums 22 and 31, respectively. Suitable known means including a threaded member 36' may be provided for adjusting the compression of each spring 35 and thereby the pressure applied to a signature gripped between the sectoral surfaces a and b of the cooperating drum discs 22 and 31. r Y

The sectoral rims (and b of sector drums 22 and 31 may but need not be of equal radius. The rotationalvelocities of the two drums are, however, so chosen that the sectoral surfaces thereof are face-to-face when passing through the plane containing the drum axes (FIG. 9) at the same time-to bite or grip a signature 5 therebetween under the pressure of springs 35 and to thus frictionally feed the signature upwardly. The relative speeds of rotation of the two drums 22 and 31, as determined by the diameters of drive gears 11 and 32, are such that the linear speed of the sectoral rim surfaces a and b which engage opposite sides of the signatures are substantially equal.

Thus, when the leading edge 6 of a signature 5 engaged by gripper means 23, 24 has been moved from the position illustrated in FIG. 8 to the plane containing the parallel axes of shafts 9 and 32, the adjacent sectoral surfaces a and b will cooperate to bite .and frictionally grip the edge 6 of the signature while at about the same time, cam 29' will operate to actuate gripper fingers 24 to open position (FIG. 9) and thus release said edge of the signature. Following such release the signature is fed upwardly by drums 22 and 31 and is preferably guided by a plurality of stationary depending bars 37 in inverted position from that which it occupied in the hopper II. The now upper edge 6 of the signature, which may be the backbone fold thereof, is directed into one of a plurality of gripper mechanisms G of the endless conveyor C to be next described. Each gripper G, as it passes above drums 22 and 3l, is moving continuously and horizontally toward the left (FIG. 1) in a line parallel to the axes of said drums and perpendicular to the direction in which the signature is being fed by said drums. The timing of the cooperating mechanisms is such that an open gripper G receives the edge of the signature and closes to support and convey the same in suspended position (FIG. 7) at the same time that the signature is released from the grip of drums 22 and 31; that is, when the trailing end of at least one of the sectoral rim surfaces 0 and b moves above the plane containing the axes of said drums, thereby freeing the signature for movement in a line parallel to said axes toward the signature-opening section 0. The discs making up drum 31, 31 are preferably angularly adjustable on shaft 32

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1845412 *Jul 16, 1923Feb 16, 1932Hathaway Edward AStuffing machine
US3311368 *Jul 10, 1963Mar 28, 1967T W & C B Sheridan CoHigh speed signature gathering machine
US3420516 *Sep 24, 1965Jan 7, 1969Graphicart IntMethod of and apparatus for stuffing printed matter with inserts
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5547066 *May 2, 1995Aug 20, 1996R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyGathering chain pin
US5853081 *Jul 12, 1996Dec 29, 1998R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyGathering chain for high speed bindery lines and pusher member therefor
US5865300 *Oct 4, 1996Feb 2, 1999Newsome; John R.Presser assembly for turning conveyors
US6581753 *Jul 28, 1999Jun 24, 2003Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgTransport apparatus
US6652698 *Jan 28, 2000Nov 25, 2003IdentisMethod and installation for manufacturing personalized coupons
US7942397 *May 16, 2008May 17, 2011Ferag AgMethod and device for opening printed products
US8113498 *Aug 13, 2010Feb 14, 2012Mueller Martini Holding AgMethod and device for the transfer of signatures
US8413977Mar 21, 2012Apr 9, 2013Mueller Martini Holding AgDevice and method for delivering printed products from a saddle-shaped support
US20080284084 *May 16, 2008Nov 20, 2008Ferag AgMethod and device for opening printed products
US20110036685 *Aug 13, 2010Feb 17, 2011Mueller Martini Holding AgMethod and device for transfer of signatures
EP0976672A2 *Jul 5, 1999Feb 2, 2000Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AktiengesellschaftTransporting device
EP2505533A1 *Mar 26, 2012Oct 3, 2012Müller Martini Holding AGDevice and method for delivering printed products from a saddle-shaped support
Classifications
U.S. Classification270/52.29
International ClassificationB65H5/08, B65H29/04, B42B2/02, B65H5/12
Cooperative ClassificationB65H2301/323, B65H5/12, B65H5/32, B65H29/003, B42B2/02, B65H2301/4479, B65H5/085, B65H2701/1932, B65H2301/44712, B65H2301/44714
European ClassificationB65H29/00D, B65H5/08B, B65H5/32, B42B2/02, B65H5/12