US 3608888 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,203,326 8/1965 Obenshain 270/60 X 3,207,017 9/1965 McCain 83/27 3,490,761 1/1970 Bell r 270/58 3,519,264 7/1970 Beacham et a1.. 270/58 3,525,516 9/1970 Bushnell et a1. 270/58 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-L. R. Oremland Att0rney-Kinzer, Dorn and Zickert ABSTRACT: Books (magazines) are compiled from signa tures demographically in that persons in the same mailing zone may receive books with signatures of different content The books are trimmed while superimposed one on another but nonetheless proper mailing sequence (zone separation) is maintained by shifting a trailing book forward to lie atop the next leading book just before trimming, and then the shifted book is returned to its former position before being mailed thereby to preserve the mailing zone sequence.
COUNTER STACKER ZONE STACKER STACKER DRIVE CONTROLLER UNSTACKER LA BE L READER BOOK REJECT con-m'oLLaR 800K COLLECTOR 3 AND TRIM ME R PROGRAMMER, MEMORY SYSTE M AND REFERENCE ANALOG I: 9 jjjj:
SENSING o DISCHARGE CONV. [a
4 @IQ @1 9 2 5. 52 81 7 I51 flos'rirch 37 CONTROL- FROM CAMPER l7 15 n 44 45 3 I I l 14- IPOCKET FEED CONTROL (MEMORY SYSTEM) SADDLE FEEDER (4 T0 \00 POCKETS) QEFE ENCE CALIPIPs (3 T016)! a f, 7
SIGNATURE GATHERING This invention relates to the production of books (e.g. stitch-bound magazines) compiled from signatures, and in particular to a method for so handling the books during the trimming operation as not to disturb the predetermined mailing zone sequence in which the books are produced.
The distribution of magazine-type books may involve compilation of demographic character in that subscribers within a given location, even a single city, will not necessarily receive copies which are identical. For example, an edition of a magazine may be compiled differently among professional groups, scholastic groups, social strata, etc., which is to say that the weekly edition of the magazine may contain signatures oriented for doctors or lawyers quite different from signatures specifically intended for the reading by college students or housewives.
At the same time the production of the weekly edition of a magazine entails, for best efficiency, an assembly line which terminates with all the magazines of a particular mailing zone (and only those) being packed into appropriate mailing bags. From this it will be realized that the magazines must be produced in accurate sequence which takes into account mailing zone separation.
The foregoing considerations, principally in terms of demographic compilation of the books together with maintenance of mailing zone separation, dictates that the weekly production must be accurately programmed if for no other reason that the plain fact that John Smith, M.D.; Mary Brown, R.N.; Dick Doe, Attorney; and Harry Jones, living in adjacent apartment units, may be mailed an edition of a magazine with somewhat different contents purposely selected as of special interest to doctors, nurses, lawyers, and the man-in-the-street.
Coincidental with all other aspects of magazine compilation, production and mailing is the trimming operation by which the front, the head and the foot of the magazine are trimmed. High-rate. production demands at the very least that two books he superimposed one on the other so that the two will be trimmed simultaneously in a single stroke of the knife, so to speak. Such a trimming operation performed on two books in itself is a common occurrence in the trade, but the manner of superimposing the books is such that as customarily practiced it would disrupt the mailing sequence described above, and the primary object of the present invention is to enable juxtaposed books to be trimmed without disturbing a predetermined mailing sequence.
Other and further objects of the present invention will be apparent from the following description and claims and are illustrated in the accompanying drawing which, by way of illus tration, shows a preferred embodiment of the present invention and the principles thereof and what is now considered to be a mode for applying these principles. Other embodiments of the invention embodying the same or equivalent principles may be used and changes may be made as desired by those skilled in the art without departing from the present invention.
In the drawing:
P16. 1 is a schematic and diagrammatic view illustrating one practice of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view at one of the hoppers; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view through the saddle conveyor.
For purposes of disclosure it is assumed that magazines produced in accordance with the present invention are to be bound by the saddle-stitching method, but book binding may be otherwise. In any event, signatures S, FlG. 1, from which the magazines or books are composed, are presented in individual stacks or piles 10, and the individual piles are associated with corresponding hoppers or pockets 11 of which there may be as many as 100 or as few as four. The arrangement is such that the folded signatures in the pile, P16. 2, are withdrawn therefrom, opened or spread and then dropped onto a so-called saddle 12, FIG. 3.
ln P16. 2 the signatures S1 are identical, being viewed as those of the first pile for the first pocket. The total number of signatures to compose a book, say S1, S2 and S3, FIG. 3, are dropped in proper sequence onto a conveyor or so-called gathering chain (not shown) which traverses the saddle 12. This collecting or gathering operation is well known in the art. Thus, the hoppers or feeders 11 may be of the construction described in application Ser. No. 815,299, filed Apr. 11, 1969 and may be controlled as disclosed in application Ser. No. 841,493, filed July 14, 1969. The saddle-type conveyor and stitcher is disclosed, for example, in Me Cain US. Pat. No. 3,087,721 and in application Ser. No. 748,380, filed July 29, 1968.
The collected signatures, FIG. 3, compose a book, and in order to assure that the book is complete, it is customary to perform a calipering operation by which the thickness of the book is measure. Calipering operations in specific terms are disclosed in McCain US. Pat. No. 3,191,925, and in application Ser. No. 748,380, filed July 29, 1968. In accordance with such customary practice a caliper station 15 is presented including a master caliper 16 associated with a plurality of reference calipers 17 which may be three to 10 or more in number. The manner in which the master and reference calipers cooperate will be explained below.
After being calipered each book is then carried by the conveyor or gathering chain along the saddle 12 to a stitching station 20 where staples (preferably) are applied to the back of each book thereby to complete the book. The stitched or stapled books are then advanced in sequence to a conveyor 25 incidental to additional operations including the application of a mailing label 26 to each magazine. Each mailing label 26 is cut or otherwise removed from an endless tape 27 which features prominently in the present invention as will now be described.
It was mentioned above that the present invention assumes demographic production of books and magazines as well as their delivery in terms of mailing zones. To enable such sequential production to be realized certain operations described above and to be referred to hereinafter are controlled by data on a tape, and in accordance with the present invention the tape may be the same tape 27 which presents the mailing labels 26. The control data may be in the form of punched holes, magnetic spots or the like, and such data are inclusive of instructions to be delivered to memory units and control systems 30 which monitor the signature feed means.
Thus, the magazine which Dr. John Smith receives will be represented by an appropriately addressed mailing label 26 on the tape 27, and associated with this same mailing label will be control data specifying, for example, that Dr. Smith (and all other doctors in the same mailing zone) is to receive a magazine inclusive of all signatures, say with the exception of signatures S11 and S99. The next subscriber may be nurse Mary Brown, who, like all other nurses in her mailing zone, is to receive a magazine containing all signatures, say, with the exception of S98; and so it goes with the formation of the control tape 27 so far as concerns demographic sequences.
As for zone-sequencing, the tape need only be punched or bear other control indicium specifying the end or beginning of a particular mailing zone. Thus, to continue with the example, it may be that Brown, Doe, Jones and Smith (alphabetical order) represent all the persons in mailing zone 60602, namely, four in number. This zone need be represented on the tape only in connection with the mailing label for Smith since it is assumed that he is the last (alphabetical) subscriber in that zone. On the other hand, the mailing label following Smith (the last one in zone 60602) could be punched or otherwise marked to signify that a different mailing zone now starts, if desired.
The data on the mailing tape 27 are sensed at a sensing station 35. The sensed information, for each book, is transmitted to a programmer and storage unit 36 where the information is separated and stored until it is to be used. Thus signals from the program unit 36 are selectively channelled to caliper controls 37 of which there are as many in number as there are demographic divisions or separations. For each caliper control 37 there is a reference caliper 17 as will] be explained in more detail below.
Also, signals from the program unit 36 are channelled selectively to the signature feed control units 30 so that for each book the correct signatures are delivered from the pockets or hoppers 11 in accordance with the information fed to the pocket feed control units 30.
The number of reference calipers 17 and control units 37 will depend upon the demographic units. In the example given involving Smith, Brown, Doe and Jones there are four demographic units, namely, doctors, nurses, lawyers and the manin-the-street; hence four reference calipers l7 and the control units 37 therefor will be active. The programmer 36 will direct which caliper control 37 is to govern the appropriate caliper 17 when the corresponding book arrives at the master caliper 16. At this time, the master caliper will compare the actual book at the calipering station to the reference analog, or to an actual book, known to be good, in the active reference caliper 17 to determine if the actual book thickness as measured or calipered indeed complies with the reference analog in the reference caliper. Timing will be under control of the control unit 37.
If the book is of correct thickness, no signal is generated, but if the book is of incorrect thickness (too many or too few signatures) then a no stitch" signal is generated and delivered for storage and ultimate action to the stitcher control unit 38 signifying that the book is not to be stitched when it arrives at the stitching station. Concurrently, a signal is generated for delivery and ultimate action to a book reject controller 39, further signifying that the unstitched book is to be rejected when it is delivered to conveyor 25. Further details of the master caliper and the reference (comparator calipers are described in aforesaid copending application Ser. No. 748,380, filed July 29, 1968, together with the stitch, nostitch and book reject functions.
The conveyor 25 may be termed a delivery conveyor in that it delivers the stitched or bound books to a trimmer station 40 and from thence to a discharge conveyor 50 where the books are stacked in zone separations for mailing. In connection with trimming, it will be noted that the books moving from the stitcher station to the conveyor are in tandem sequence, one behind the other (B1, B2, B3) in singular order, and in an order corresponding to the order of the mailing labels 26 on the tape 27. in fact, a labelling unit 41 is located upstream of the trimmer station 40, and as each book passes therebeneath a label is applied thereto even though the book may not have been stitched as one which is to be rejected. If the book was not stitched (book B3) then a trap door 42 located in the upper path of the conveyor 25 is depressed at the proper time to reject the unstitched book from the conveyor 25.
When a book as B1 (and the next trailing book B2) is stitched on the other hand, then the trap door 42 (or an equivalent finger or panel 42A) is elevated, and this is timed to be substantially concurrent with an accelerator or kicker finger 44 arriving at the trailing edge of book B2 accelerating book B2 up the panel 42A and on to the next leading book or magazine which is book B1. The accelerator 44 may be nothing more than a finger on an endless belt 45.
Thus two books are superimposed for trimming, but in an unusual way, and in fact in a way which assures that the mailing sequence will be maintained as will be seen from the following.
The books may be trimmed by any appropriate, known means but after trimming, the uppermost (elevated) book B2 of the trimmed pair is to be shifted rearward to occupy its previous in-line position on the conveyor 25, immediately behind book B1. This may be accomplished in different ways, but as shown in FIG. 1, it may be done by retarding finger 47 on a belt 48 so timed and positioned as to engage the forward edge of the topmost book of-the trimmed pair, shifting this book rearward to the open space on the conveyor 25 which is formerly occupied prior to being elevated for trimming.
The unstacked books B1 and B2 emerging from the unstacker in proper mailing sequence are dropped one atop another onto the stacker 50 which may be represented by an endless belt 51, although it may be of any appropriate form.
Quite naturally the stack may become excessively high or heavy, and in order to avoid excesses of this kind a sensing or counting element 52 or other measuring unit is used to detect a limit on weight, count or height, or any combination, whereupon an appropriate signal is originated. The signal may be transmitted to controller 53 which would then be effective to cause the conveyor belt 51 to be stepped forward one step (a little more than one stack width). The stack on the conveyor 51 is independently monitored for distinct zone separations by the controller 53 in that the controller 53 will receive a signal signifying a change in mailing zone or region, which signal originates from and is delivered by the memory unit 36. When an end-of-zone signal is received by the controller 53 it is effective to advance the drive for the collector or discharge conveyor belt 51 forward at least two steps (two book widths) thereby to clearly indicate for the supervisor that a different mailing zone has been reached.
It will be seen from the foregoing that under the present invention it is possible to both collect signatures demographically for books and to trim the books in superimposed relation without disturbing any predetermined mailing order; and it will be clear that any rejected book bears a mailing label so that there can be no oversight as to the subscriber. Thus, the rejected books will receive special handling.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of compiling books to be mailed to persons in the same and in different mailing zones, said books being composed of signatures selected demographically in that books for trimming operation.
persons may have signatures of different content even though the persons are in the same mailing zone and comprising: affording supply sources of signatures for all the books, feeding control data including the demographic data and the mailing zone data for each book to a sensing station where the data for each book are sensed in sequence, collecting signatures to compose each book in accordance with the demographic and mailing zone sequence, binding the collected signatures into books and moving the books onto a conveyor means, advancing a trailing book forward from the position occupied by it on the conveyor means to lie atop the next leading book on the conveyor means, trimming the superimposed books simultaneously and then shifting the top one of the trimmed books rearward to its previous position on the conveyor means thereby to preserve the mailing zone sequence as the books are delivered to a collecting station by the conveyor.
2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the data are carried on a tape which is itself a mailing tape bearing printed label addresses for the persons to receive the books and wherein the individual mailing labels are applied to the books prior to superimposing the books for trimming.
3. A method according to claim 2 in which the control tape bears an analog reference of the correct thickness for each book, wherein the reference analog is transmitted to a caliper station where the signatures of a collected book are compared to the corresponding reference analog, wherein the books are bound by stitching and wherein a book of incorrect thickness is not stitched and is rejected from the conveyor prior to being superimposed for trimming.
4. A method according to claim 1 wherein the mailing zone data identifies the mailing zone separations calling for a corresponding signal to be generated when a zone separation is detected.
5. A method according to claim 4 wherein the delivered books are separated by mailing zones in accordance with said signal.
6. A method of compiling books from signatures and trimming the books comprising: compiling individual books from a predetermined number of signatures and moving the books one behind another in line on a conveyor toward a trimming station, elevating a trailing book and superimposing the same on the leading book immediately in advance thereof on the conveyor, trimming the two books simultaneously, and then shifting the topmost one of the two books rearward to its previous position in line on the conveyor following the