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Publication numberUS3608891 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateAug 7, 1968
Priority dateAug 7, 1968
Also published asCA931595A1
Publication numberUS 3608891 A, US 3608891A, US-A-3608891, US3608891 A, US3608891A
InventorsHannon Charles N, Hannon Warren W
Original AssigneeHannon Charles N, Hannon Warren W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mechanism for successively delivering sheet articles from a stack thereof to a folding machine
US 3608891 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States atet Warren W. llannon;

Charles N. Hannon, both of 925 Grand Ave., Olathe, Kans. 64106 Aug. 7, 1968 Sept. 28, 1971 said Warren W. Hannon, by said Charles N. Hannon Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 665,540, Sept. 5, I967, now abandoned.

[72] Inventors [2|] Appl. No. [22] Filed [45] Patented [73] Assignec [54] MECHANISM FOR SUCCESSIVELY DELIVERING SHEET ARTICLES FROM A STACK THEREOF TO Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Att0rney-Schmidt, Johnson, Hovey and Williams ABSTRACT: Bottom delivery feeders are employed in conjunction with a newspaper folding and wrapping machine and serve to sequentially feed sections of a newspaper into the machine for collation with the main body of the newspaper. One, two or three of such feeders of varying design may be used with the folding and wrapping machine in various operational configurations, depending upon the nature of the sections to be collated with the main newspaper.

One feeder embodiment is particularly adapted to feed multileaved newspaper sections from a stack thereof. A hopper receives the stack of newspaper sections, a shelf beneath the stack being utilized to support the trailing edge portion of the lowermost section. A pair of stationary lingers supports the leading edge portion and feeding is effected from the bottom of the stuck by a plurality of oscillatory grippers which frictionally engage the lowermost section and withdraw the lead ing edge portion thereof from between the next to the lowermost section and the support fingers. The trailing edge portion of the lowermost section is then withdrawn by pinch rollers which receive the leading edge portion upon return movement of the grippers as the same are continuously oscillated to pro vide sequential feeding. in a modified form of this embodh ment, at single, reciproeable support linger is employed and is particularly adapted for use in the feeding of thin supplements with a hard edge at the fold only.

A second feeder embodiment is particularly suited for the feeding of tabloid size sheets which require folding prior to collation with the main newspaper. The same basic operational principles are employed in the withdrawal of the leading edge portion of the lowermost sheet from the hopper. However, continuously rotating grippers are used in conjunction with a roller against which force is applied by the grippers to pinch the loop (formed upon withdrawal of the leading edge portion) between the grippers and the roller to guide the same into a delivery conveyor that transports the withdrawn sheet in folded form to the folding and wrapping machine. The feeders of the first and second embodiments may both be mounted on the machine and used singly depending upon the nature of the paper to be fed. When the feeder of the first embodiment is in operation, the sections being fed therefrom are conveyed through the other feeder, the operating components of the latter being adapted to assist in the conveying of the sections to the folding and wrapping machine. When it is desired to employ such other feeder to feed tabloid sheets to the machine, it operates in the normal manner and the first feeder is inoperative at this time.

A top delivery feeder for sequentially delivering wrappers to the folding and wrapping machine operates in conjunction with either of the above feeders and employs a plurality of rotary grippers which are brought into frictional engagement with the uppermost wrapper of a stack thereof during each revolution of the grippers. The grippers are driven by a com mon shaft but are coupled with the shaft in a manner to permit the grippers to rotate ahead of the shaft free of the latter as each wrapper is advanced from beneath] the grippers by a conveyor that receives the leading edge of each wrapper as it is fed from the stack.

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PATENTED SEP28 IBYI 3'608'891 sum 9 OF 9 Q44 mvsmons. Warren W. Harmon Char/es N. Harmon MECHANISM FOR SUCCESSIVELY DELIVERING SHEET ARTICLES FROM A STACK THEREOF TO A FOLDING MACHINE CROSS REFERENCES This application is a continuation-in-part of a copending application, Ser. No. 665,540, filed Sept. 5, 1967, and entitled MECHANISM FOR SUCCESSIVELY DELIVERING MUL- TIPLE SHEET ARTICLES FROM A STACK THEREOF, now abandoned.

In the newspaper industry, it is becoming increasingly desirable to print metropolitan newspapers as late as possible prior to distribution in order to include late-breaking news. As the circulation of the paper increases, this becomes a greater problem since a longer time is needed to print the quantity of papers designated for each run. Since there can normally be no change in the composition once a run commences, the time between commencement of the run and distribution must necessarily be sufficiently great to permit the entire number of papers to be run through the presses, collated, and distributed.

Additionally, the desirability of including suburban supplements and similar matter which vary in content with the distribution territory is increasing. In this instance, a problem is presented in that the collation of such a section in the main body of the paper cannot be effected by the main collation machinery. Furthermore, a suburban section may vary in size from a single sheet to a number of pages, the latter being particularly the case with Sunday supplements.

As a solution to the problems discussed above with respect to the printing of late-breaking news and the inclusion of territorial supplements in the newspapers, it is proposed that the matter to be collated with the main paper be printed separately and collated therewith at the time of wrapping of the main paper at a substation or carrier pickup point. If it were necessary to collate by hand, it would not only be a burdensome task but would also be too time-consuming, particularly where the carrier either handles the papers by himself or has a route requiring the delivery of a considerable number of papers.

Late-breaking news may advantageously be printed on tabloid size sheets at a high rate by utilizing a number of the printing stands of a line, thereby multiplying effective press capacity by using its full tabloid printing capability to print identical single sheet tabloid sections. Thus, the composite paper from the folder of the press would comprise a plurality of identical sheets containing the late-breaking news. These sheets would be subsequently collated with the main edition at substation distribution points prior to delivery to subscribers.

Utilizing the procedure just outlined, it is apparent that main edition printing could begin on schedule with bulk delivery of finished papers made as usual by truck to substations. As soon as a press is free the late-news tabloid sheet could be run, come off the press folded, and immediately transported in bundles to the substations. At each substation, collation would be effected with the late-news sheet on the outside of each composite newspaper package and oriented the same as the copy on the main edition. Thus, the tremendous pressure and problems of holding press deadlines for late-breaking news would be eliminated.

It is, therefore, an important object of this invention to provide apparatus for successively delivering multiple sheet articles, such as newspaper sections or supplements, from a stack thereof in order to facilitate the collation of newspapers at distribution substations or carrier pickup points.

As a corollary to the foregoing object, it is an important aim of the instant invention to provide a feeder capable of delivering multileaved articles and which is insensitive to the number of pages of the individual articles, so that both thick and thin articles may be handled by a single feeder.

Furthermore, it is an important object of this invention to provide a feeder for successively delivering single or multiple sheet articles which is adapted for use in a variety of applications that may require, from time to time, that the feeder accommodate articles varying in size from a single sheet to several hundred sheets.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a feeder for successively delivering single sheet articles or those comprising a limited number of sheets, such as tabloid size newspaper pages, from a stack thereof, and in which folding of each article is effected as the same is fed from a hopper containing the stack. With respect to the collation of newspapers as discussed above, the tabloid sheets are advantageously provided with late-breaking news and are folded and wrapped with the main newspaper by an automatic folding and wrapping machine into which the tabloid sheets are fed.

Additionally, it is an important object of this invention to provide an improved feeder for delivering newspaper wrappers to an automatic folding and wrapping machine, the wrapper feeder being adapted for use in conjunction with feeders for supplements or late-breaking newssheets to facilitate the collation of the various sections of the newspaper and the wrapper therefor.

In the drawings:

FIG. I is a perspective view of the first embodiment of a feeder of the instant invention, showing the same in association with a newspaper folding and wrapping machine;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the mechanism within the cover at the left rear of FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the feeder of FIG. I;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the mechanism within the cover in the left foreground of FIG. I, the views of FIGS. 2 and 4 being taken from opposite sides;

figs. 5-8 are cross-sectional views of the first embodiment of the feeder illustrating the operation thereof;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, detail view of one of the paper grippers;

FIG. I0 is a side elevational view showing an assembly including the first embodiment of the feeder, a second feeder embodiment particularly adapted for feeding and folding tabloid size sheets, and a wrapper feeder for the folding and wrapping machine, such assembly being illustrated in association with the folding and wrapping machine;

FIG. II is a top plan view of the tabloid feeder showing a portion of the first feeder embodiment in association therewith;

FIG. 12 is a vertical sectional view taken along line I2I2 of FIG. 11 showing the tabloid feeder set up to receive newspaper sections delivered thereto from the first feeder embodiment;

FIG. 13 is a detail view of a lost motion coupling utilized with the tabloid feeder;

FIG. I4 is an end view of the coupling shown in FIG. I3;

FIG. I5 is a side elevational view of the tabloid feeder showing the same set up for a feeding operation and separated from the folding and wrapping machine to illustrate the conveyor that extends into such machine, the view of FIG. I5 being from the opposite side as compared with FIG. I0;

FIG. I6 is a side elevational view of the tabloid feeder and the conveyor taken from the opposite side as compared with FIG. I5;

FIG. I7 is a top plan view of the tabloid feeder and the conveyor;

FIG. I8 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 18-18 of FIG. I7 showing the wrapper feeder beneath the tabloid feeder;

FIGS. 19-21 are diagrammatic views illustrating the operation of the tabloid feeder;

FIG. 22 is a top, perspective view of a tabloid sheet after the same has been folded by the tabloid feeder;

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view of the composite newspaper after folding thereof within the folding and wrapping machine, illustrating the manner in which the tabloid sheet is wrapped around the main body of the paper;

FIG. 24 is a rear elevational view of the wrapper feeder;

FIG. 25 is a fragmentary, top plan view of the wrapper feeder;

FIG. 26 is a detail view taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 25 showing one of the guide bars and roller assemblies for the tray-receiving frame of the wrapper feeder;

FIG. 27 is a detail view illustrating the action of the releasable drive coupling between one of the grippers of the wrapper feeder and its drive shaft;

FIG. 28 is a fragmentary, detail view of the shiftable block utilized in the wrapper feeder to carry pins for impaling the trailing edges of the wrappers in the stack;

FIG. 29 is a top plan of a modified form of the first feeder embodiment of FIGS. 18, illustrated with an electrically operated clutch for temporarily interrupting operation of the feeder;

FIG. 30 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 3030 of FIG. 29;

FIG. 31 is a fragmentary, side elevational view showing the clutch illustrated in FIG. 29;

FIG. 32 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 30 but showing a version of the modified feeder which is not provided with the electrically operated clutch;

FIG. 33 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of the feeder of FIG. 29;

FIG. 34 is a frontal, vertical sectional view of the feeder of FIG. 29 taken in a plane through the reciprocable finger that supports the front edge portion of the stack of papers;

FIG. 35 is a detail view of the electrically operated clutch illustrated in FIGS. 29 and 31; and

FIG. 36 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 36-36 of FIG. 35.

DESCRIPTION-FIGS 1-9 Referring to FIG. 1, a feeder is broadly designated by the numeral and is shown mounted on a newspaper folding and wrapping machine 12 of the type disclosed in US. Letters Patent Nos. 3,161,000 and 3,255,569. The feeder 10 includes a hopper 14 defined by a pair of upright, rear guides 16, a pair of side guides 18, and a pair of front guides 20. A pair of covers 22 and 24 normally enshroud the various drive and timing components of the feeder mechanism to be subsequently described.

With reference to FIGS. l-9, the bottom of the hopper 14 is defined by an inclined table 26 from which the rear guides 16 and the side guides 18 extend in an upward direction. The front guides are rigid with a pair of crossbars 28 extending between side plates 30, and 32. A slotted plate 34 extends forwardly from each guide 20 and carries a support finger 36 which cooperates with table 26 to support a stack of newspaper sections or the like, as illustrated in FIGS. 2-8. The two front guides 20, therefore, are fixed, a bolt 38 through the slot in each plate 34 rendering each finger 36 adjustable toward and away from the table 26. The other four guides 16 and 18 are adjustable guides as is clear in FIG. 3.

The newspaper sections are also supported by a central support unit made up of four irregularly shaped plate elements 40 carried by a rocker shaft 42 and a cross-shaft 44 spaced therefrom, both of the shafts 42 and 44 extending horizontally between the two side plates 30 and 32. As is clear in FIG. 5, the lowermost paper 46 of the stack overlies the upper edges 50 presented by the elements 40 and extends between the front guides 20 and the rear guides 16, support for the opposed, front and rear edge portions of paper 46 being provided by the projecting fingers 36 and the portion 48 of table 26 which presents a shelf extending toward elements 40 from rear guides 16. It should be noted that the shelf 48 is inclined downwardly toward elements 40, and that the upper edges 50 of elements 40 are substantially rectilinear and are inclined downwardly toward the shelf 48.

A drive chain 52 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is trained around a sprocket 54 freely rotatable on a stationary shaft 56, sprocket 54 being connected to a larger sprocket 58 on shaft 56 which transmits power via chain 60 to the cross-shaft 44. A chain and sprocket assembly 62 forms a driving connection between cross-shaft 44 and a shiftable roller shaft 64, the latter having a pair of friction rollers 66 rotatable therewith and adjustably positionable therealong. A second roller shaft 68 spans the distance between side plates 30 and 32 and is journaled thereon, the shaft 68 having three friction rollers 70 rotatable therewith, the outer rollers 70 being aligned with rollers 66. The shaft 68 is driven from the opposite end thereof with respect to shaft 64 by a chain 72 trained over a sprocket 74 rigid with shaft 68. The chain 72 is also in mesh with a sprocket 76 rigid with cross-shaft 44, and is trained around an idler sprocket 78 rotatable on rocker shaft 42.

The sprocket 58 on stationary shaft 56 (FIG. 2) drives a chain and sprocket assembly 80 which transmits power to a rear shaft 82 spanning side plates 30 and 32 and journaled thereon. The opposite end of rear shaft 82 (FIG. 4) has a cam 84 keyed thereon which, during approximately one-half of each revolution, is in engagement with a follower 86 carried by the lower end of a rocker arm 88 which oscillates about the axis of a pivot shaft 90. The upper end of rocker arm 88 is pivotally coupled with a link 92 which, in turn, is connected to an L-shaped crank 94 by a pivot pin 96 received by a lost motion slot 98in link 92. The L-crank 94 is freely rotatable on cross-shaft 44 and carries the adjacent end of roller shaft 64, the latter extending through a clearance opening 100 in side plate 30. The L-crank 94 is biased in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 4, by a spring 102. In FIG. 2, it may be seen that the opposite end of roller shaft 64 is carried by an L-shaped crank 104 swingable on the adjacent end of shaft 44, a clearance opening 106 for shaft 64 being provided in the side plate 32 and aligned with the opening 100 in plate 30. The L-crank 104 is pivotally connected to a link 103 which is, in turn, pivotally joined to an idler arm swingable about the axis of pivot shaft 90. A spring 107 is connected to crank 104 and augments the action of the spring 102 connected to the L-crank 94 shown in FIG. 4.

The rocker shaft 42 is operated by a crank arm 108 (FIG. 4) rigid with shaft 82 and pivotally connected to a link 110 which is, in turn, pivotally joined to a crank arm 112 rigid with the rocker shaft 42. During one complete revolution of crank arm 108, the crank arm 112 is oscillated through a displacement of less than 180.

Five paper grippers 114 are rigid with shaft 42 and are spaced therealong with each of the three center grippers 114 being disposed between a corresponding pair of plate elements 40. One of the grippers 114 is shown in FIG. 9 where it may be seen that the gripper comprises an arm extending radially from shaft 42 having a projecting portion 116 spaced from shaft 42. A continuous band 118 of rubber or similar material fits over projection 116 and is provided with a serrated, outer surface 120, thereby presenting a continuous, generally ovalshaped tread. Each of the grippers 1 14 includes two bands 118 which, as is clear in FIG. 3, are slipped over the projecting portion 116 in side-by-side relationship.

A pair of capscrews 122 are threaded into the projecting portion 116 of each gripper 114 and clamp a pin or spike 124 against the face of portion 116 beneath washers associated with screws 122. The degree to which the spike 124 projects beyond the serrated surface is thus readily adjustable by loosening screws 122, shifting the spike 124 to the desired position, and then retightening the screws 122.

OPERATION-FIGS. 1-9

As mentioned hereinabove, the feeder 10 is illustrated in association with a newspaper folding and wrapping machine 12 and, when utilized with machines of this type, serves to sequentially feed sections of the paper into the machine 12 where each of such sections is collated with the main newspaper. After collation, the composite newspaper is then folded and wrapped in the machine 12 as described in the aforesaid U.S. Letters Patent. In order to facilitate proper timing of the feeder 10 and the machine 12, the drive chain 52 for feeder 10 would be trained around a sprocket on the drive shaft of machine 12, thereby accomplishing both the necessary timing of the two apparatuses and providing a primer mover for feeder 10.

The newspaper sections to be collated with the main body are loaded into hopper 14, the guides 16, 18 and thereof being set in accordance with the size of the section. Normally, each of the sections will comprise a number of sheets of paper having a single fold along one edge, this edge being placed against the front guides 20. Referring to FIG. 5, it may be noted that, at the outset, the grippers 114 are disposed with their gripping surfaces 120 spaced from the underside of the lowermost paper 46. It should be understood that all of the grippers 114 are arranged on shaft 42 in the same orientation; therefore, the views of FIGS. 5-8 are representative of the positions of all of the grippers 114.

The motion of drive chain 52 effects rotation of rear shaft 82 via sprocket and chain assembly 80 to, in turn, drive cam 84 and crank arm 108 (FIG. 4). The positions of the various components of the mechanism are the same in FIGS. 4 and 5; thus, rotation of cam 84 and arm 108 in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 4 (clockwise) first causes link 110 to shift rearwardly, resulting in swinging of crank arm 112 in a counterclockwise sense. As link 110 continues to be driven to the rear during approximately 180 of rotation of shaft 82 from the position thereof illustrated in FIG. 4, the grippers 114 are rocked rearwardly with the motion of rocker shaft 42 to the position illustrated in FIG. 6. Also, cam 84 engages the follower 86 to advance link 92 in a forward direction to, in turn, lower the roller shaft 64 against the bias of springs 102 and 107 to separate the lower rollers 66 from the upper rollers 70.

In swinging from the FIG. 5 position to the FIG. 6 position, each of the grippers 114 moves into engagement with the lowermost paper 46 and withdraws the leading edge portion thereof from between the next to the lowermost paper and the two supporting fingers 36. This action is effected by the serrated gripping surface of each gripper 114 which is brought into pressure contact with the paper 46 at approximately the center thereof. In this regard, it should be noted that an opening 126 is provided beneath the stack of papers which is defined at the rear by the edge of the shelf 48, and at the front of the feeder by the tips of the supporting fingers 36. Thus, except for the presence of the supporting edges 50 of plate elements 40, the papers are free to gravitate from the hopper once their front and rear edges are freed from support fingers 36 and shelf 48.

As the gripping surfaces 120 move into engagement with the lowermost paper 46, the stack of papers is lifted somewhat at the center by virtue of movement of the surfaces 120 into and through the opening 126. The gripping surfaces 120 are thus brought into pressure contact with the lowermost paper 46 against the weight of the stack of papers, and the lowermost paper 46 is pulled from between the paper thereabove and the support fingers 36 by the positive frictional interengagement. This causes the paper 46 to buckle as indicated at 128 of FIG. 6, such buckle forming between the grippers 114 and the edge of the supporting shelf 48. At this time, the leading portion of paper 46 rests upon a curvilinear segment 130 of the upper edge of each plate element 40 which merges with the rectilinear segment 50 thereof.

The buckling action just discussed above is facilitated by the inclination of the edge segments 50 and the shelf 48 which form a slight depression in the stack of papers. Thus, upon engagement of the grippers 114 with paper 46, the latter readily forms the smooth buckle 128.

Continued rotation of shaft 82 commences return movement of grippers 114 as illustrated in FIG. 7. The buckle 128 has now disappeared and the leading edge of paper 46 has shifted to a position between the friction rollers 66 and 70. The paper is guided to a position between rollers 66 and 70 by the curvilinear segments 130 of the plate elements 40. As return movement of the grippers 114 continues, the gripping surfaces 120 clear paper 46 and the rollers 66 close upon the rollers 70 to .pinch the paper 46 therebetween and withdraw the trailing edge of the paper 46 from between the paper thereabove and the supporting shelf 48. This closing action of the rollers is effected by disengagement of cam 84 from its follower 86, permitting springs 102 and 107 to swing L-crank 94 and 104 to, in turn, raise the rollers 66. It is, of course, important that the pinching of paper 46 between rollers 66 and 70 occur only after the gripping surfaces are clear of paper 46 to avoid tearing or jamming. In FIG. 8, the paper 46 is shown being conveyed by rollers 66 and 70 along a delivery path defined in the illustration by a ramp 132. The cycle then repeats to effect successive delivery of the paper sections as long as the hopper is loaded.

To assist in rendering the feeder insensitive to the number of sheets or leaves of the papers to be sequentially fed, the spikes 124 are provided for use in the feeding of thicker multileaved articles. The spikes 124 are shown retracted in FIGS. 5-8 but may be extended beyond surfaces 120 a desired length to impale the lowermost paper during the withdrawing and buckling operation illustrated in FIG. 6. For thinner articles, the spikes 125 are left retracted as illustrated.

Automatic shutoff of the feeder may be provided by mounting a normally open switch on the crossbars 28 having an ac tuator arm which is held by the presence of papers in hopper 14. Thus, when the paper supply is exhausted and the switch arm is released, the switch may be employed to open a circuit to a motor relay controlling the prime mover of the equipment.

Another switch may be mounted on crossbars 28 and util ized advantageously by providing such :switch with an actuator arm or feeler which senses the presence of a paper on the delivery ramp 132. The operation of the delivery switch may be synchronized with an additional switch operated by the drive components of the feeder in a manner such that continuous delivery of papers is required or the prime mover will be automatically decnergized. To effect this function, such additional switch would be open during the time that the delivery sensing switch is closed by the presence of a paper on delivery ramp 132. Thus, by connecting the two switches in a parallel control circuit, the closed condition of at least one of the switches at all times would be required.

DESCRIPTIONFIGS 29-36 A modified form of the feeder 10 of FIGS. 1-8 is shown in FIGS. 29-36 and is particularly adapted to feed relatively thin or single-sheet newspaper sections, such as magazine supplements that have a hard edge at the fold only. The modified feeder is broadly denoted 10a and employs a shelf 48, grippers 114, and friction rollers 66 and 70 that cooperate in the same manner as discussed hereinabove to effect bottom delivery of successive newspaper sections from the stack thereof in hopper 14v Like components of the feeder 10 of FIGS. 1-8 and the feeder 10a of FIGS. 2935 are designated by the same reference characters; therefore, the remaining description is directed to the modifications of the feeder structure appearing in feeder 10a.

To support the leading edge portion of the lowermost paper of the stack, the feeder 10a utilizes a single, elongated, longitudinally reciprocable finger 200 carried within a track 202 mounted on the lower crossbar 28 at the front of the feeder. The finger 200 is relatively thin in horizontal dimension and is centered with respect to the stack of paper supplements or other articles as is clear in FIG. 34.

The finger 200 is reciprocated by the rotation of the rear shaft 82, the latter carrying a rotary drive cam 204 which is rigidly mounted on shaft 82 and is engageable with a follower roller 206 joumaled on a rocker arm 208. The rocker arm 208 has its lower end pivotally mounted on shaft 56, the rear end of a forwardly extending linkage 210 being pivotally connected to the upper end of rocker arm 208. The forward end of the linkage 210 is, in turn, pivotally joined to one end of a bar 212 mounted for oscillation about a vertical axis defined by a pivot 214. The pivotal axis provided by pivot 214 is intermediate the ends of bar 212, the end 216 thereof remote from linkage 210 being cylindrical in configuration and inserted within an oversize opening 218 in the forward end of finger 200.

The cam 204 provides drive for finger 200 in one direction only, return movement in the version of feeder 10a illustrated in FIG. 30 being effected by an eccentric lug 220 carried by shaft 42 and engageable with a forwardly extending arm 222 which has its rear end pivotally joined to rocker arm 208 at 224. Downward swinging of arm 222 about pivot 224 is limited by an adjustable stop 226 carried by arm 222, the stop 226 being effective to force arm 222 to ride over lug 220 at the termination of return movement of the reciprocating apparatus.

The inner end of finger 200 is believed to define an inclined, downwardly facing guide surface 228. A plurality of irregu- Iarly shaped plate elements 230 are carried by shafts 42 and 44 and are spaced along shaft 42 with the grippers 114. The elements 230 provide support for the central portion of the stack and are each provided with a downwardly and rearwardly extending upper edge 232 which aids in the buckling of the lowermost paper of the stack in the manner as discussed previously for feeder 10. Additionally, each of the support elements 230 has a straight, forwardly facing, inclined edge 234, the various edges 234 of respective elements 230 cooperating with the inclined undersurface 228 of finger 220 to define a guide for directing successive papers into the friction rollers 66 and 70 during operation of the feeder 10a.

The version of feeder 10a illustrated in FIGS. 29-31 (utilizing the lug 220 and arm 222 for return motion of finger 200) is provided with an electrically operated clutch 236 between the rear shaft 82 and the crank arm 108 of the drive linkage that effects oscillatory movement of rocker shaft 42. The clutch 236 is shown in detail in FIGS. 35 and 36 where it may be seen that a pair of coaxial coupling members in the form of a circular plate 238 and a collar 240 are rigidly secured to the end of shaft 82 and to the crank arm 108 respectively. The plate 238 is slotted at 242 adjacent its periphery, and the collar 240 has a central, circumferential groove 244. The collar 240 is also provided with an elongated. groove in its periphery that extends in parallelism with the axis of collar 240, such groove receiving a plunger 246 that is slidable into and out of the slot 242 in plate 238. The plunger 246 has a central recess 248 adapted to eomplementally receive awedge element 250 rigid with the end of the armature 252 of a solenoid 254 secured to a mounting plate 256. A radially projecting stop 258 is an integral part of collar 240 and substantially fills a portion of the circumferential groove 244 as is clear in FIG. 35. A small coil spring 260 is compressed between the tail'end of plunger 246 and the adjacent end of the groove within which plunger 246 slides, as may be seen in FIG. 36.

In FIG. 29 a coil spring 262 is shown connected to the armature 252 of solenoid 254, the spring 262 urging armature 252 toward the extended position thereof shown in FIGS. 35 and 36 where the wedge element 250 holds plunger 246 retracted from slot 242. Energization of solenoid 254 withdraws armature 252 and wedge element 250 to engage the clutch and thereby form a drive connection between shaft 82 and crank arm 108.

A second version of the drive apparatus for reciprocating the single finger 200 is shown in FIG. 32. The drive is the same as illustrated in FIGS. 29 and 30 and described hereinabove with respect to the action of cam 204 in effecting movement of linkage 210 to the right to cause inward movement of the finger 200. However, in the version illustrated in FIG. 32 the clutch 236 is not employed in the feeder drive and crank arm 108 is thus directly connected to shaft 82. Therefore, since no means is provided for disengaging the rocker shaft 42 from the feeder drive for purposes of momentary shutdown of feeding operation, return motion or withdrawal of the finger 200 to the position thereof illustrated in FIG. 32 is expediently effected by the use of a return spring 264 having its opposed ends joined to side plate 32 and the upper end of rocker arm 208a respectively.

The basic manner of operation of the modified feeder 10a is the same as illustrated in FIGS. 5-8 for the feeder 10. In FIG. 32, the gripper 114 there shown is illustrated during counterclockwise movement at the time that its gripping surface is beginning to engage the lowermost paper of the stack (not shown). At this time, the finger 200 is withdrawn to a position of minimum support for the stack to facilitate withdrawal of the leading edge portion of the lowermost paper to produce the buckling action as illustrated and described hereinabove with respect to FIG. 6. During forward, feeding motion of the grippers 114 (clockwise rotation about the axis of shaft 42 as viewed in FIGS. 30 and 32) the finger 200 is extended and assumes a position of maximum support for the stack shown in FIG. 30. The forward, inclined upper edges 234 of the support plate elements 230 cooperate with the inclined undersurface 228 of finger 200 during such forward feeding to define a guide channel for directing the leading edge of the paper into the friction rollers 66 and 70.

Referring to FIG. 34, it may be seen that the finger 200 is centrally disposed beneath the stack and is effective to form a center ridge 266 in the stack. The ridge 266 increases the rigidity of the paper articles so that each article will separate readily from those above it during the sequential feeding operation. As mentioned above, this feeder configuration is particularly adapted for paper articles which are difficult to handle, such as thin magazine supplements for newspapers having a hard edge at the fold only. In loading the hopper 14 of feeder 10a with supplements of this type, the hard edge is disposed against the front guides 20.

In the version of feeder 10a provided with the clutch 236, reciprocation of the finger 200 is effected by the mechanism best illustrated in FIG. 30 where it is evident that the drive cam 204 forces rocker arm 208 forward to, in turn, swing the end 216 of bar 212 rearwardly, thereby shifting finger 200 inwardly. Since the clutch 236 is provided in the event that a momentary pause in the feed is desired without the necessity of effecting complete shutdown of the feeder, the return of the finger 200 to its outer position is desirably under the control of shaft 42 so that movement of finger 200 as well as the grippers 114 will cease when clutch 236 is disengaged. Therefore, return motion is effected by the lug 220 eccentrically carried by shaft 42 which engages the forward end of arm 222 to rock the arm 208 rearwardly and withdraw finger 200. The stop 226 carried by arm 222 causes the latter to ride over lug 220 at the end of the return stroke. The clutch 236 is useful in article feeding applications where the necessity to periodically momentarily interrupt feeding is likely to arise in order to preclude unnecessary jamming in the'apparatus receiving the articles fed from the feeder.

When it is desired to cause a pause in the operation of the version of feeder 10a provided with the clutch 236, solenoid 254 is deenergized to permit the armature spring 262 to extend the armature 252. This shifts wedge element 250 into the groove 244 in collar 240. Before the collar 240 completes its next revolution, the plunger 246 will be brought into engagement with the tip of wedge element 250, whereupon the recess 248 receives the tip of the wedge to cause the plunger 246 to retract against the action of spring 260. This forces the head of the plunger 246 out of the slot 242 in plate 238 to thereby uncouple the collar 240 from the plate 238 and break the drive connection between shaft 82 and crank arm 108. Operation ofe the grippers 1 14 and the reciprocating finger 200 ceases since shaft 42 is no longer oscillated. As discussed above, movement of lug 220 is required in order to reciprocate the finger 200; therefore, the finger 200 will be left in an extended position beneath the stack by the drive cam 204 (which continues to rotate) but the cam 204 will thereafter be ineffective until the clutch 236 is reengaged since the follower roller 206 will not return to a position for actuation by cam 204 on subsequent rotations thereof.

In the clutchless version of feeder 10a reciprocation of finger 200 is effected in substantially the same manner as described above, with the exception that it is no longer required that the rocker shaft 42 control the return movement of the finger 200. Therefore, as illustrated in FIG. 32, such return movement is effected by the return spring 264 which swings arm 208a in a counterclockwise direction once the lobe of drive cam 204 moves out of engagement with the follower roller 206.

DESCRIPTIONFIGS. 10-28 Referring initially to FIG. 10, a wheeled assembly 300 is shown secured to a wheeled carrier 302 that supports the newspaper folding and wrapping machine 12. The feeder 10 of the type illustrated in FIGS. 1-8 is disposed above and to the rear of a tabloid sheet feeder and folder 304, the latter being mounted above and to the rear of the frame of the wheeled assembly 300.

A wrapper feeder 306 is mounted within the frame of the assembly 300 beneath the tabloid feeder 304. The wheeled assembly 300 with its various feeders is disposed adjacent the opposite end of the folding and wrapping machine 12 as compared with the disposition of the feeder 10 with respect to machine 12 shown in FIG. 1. Therefore, the direction of feed of newspaper sections, tabloid sheets, and wrappers into the machine 12 to be subsequently described is opposite to the direction of feed of newspaper sections into the machine 12 illustrated in FIG. 1. The machine 12 as disclosed in the aforesaid Letters Patent is capable of receiving paper articles from either direction of feed; thus, a very versatile arrangement is provided since a second feeder 10 (not shown) may be added to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 10 by position ing such second feeder in the manner as shown in FIG. 1 to thereby permit newspaper sections to be fed into the machine 12 from two directions for collation with the main body of the paper. Manifestly, this makes it possible to collate both a territorial supplement and a late-news sheet with the main newspaper, together with a wrapper which is ultimately secured around the composite newspaper by machine 12 as disclosed in the aforesaid Letters Patent. Alternatively, the modified feeder 10a may be substituted for either of the feeders 10 as desired.

In FIGS. 15-18, the feeder 10 illustrated in FIG. 10 has been removed from assembly 300 to permit operation of the tabloid feeder 304. As will be discussed hereinafter, the tabloid feeder 304 is inoperative as a separate feeder when feeder I0 is in operation, the latter being removed when it is desired to utilize feeder 304 to permit a pair of front guides 308, side guides 310, and a pair of rear guides 312 to be attached to the support table 314 of feeder 304. Thus, the guides 308, 310 and 312 define a hopper 316 for receiving a stack of sheet articles shown in FIG. 18.

The table 314 is horizontally disposed and has a rectangular opening 318 therein extending laterally across the table 314 and spaced rearwardly of the front guides 308. A rotary shaft 320 is spaced beneath opening 318 and is journaled in the side plates 322 and 324 of the feeder structure. Six grippers 114 (shown in detail in FIG. 9) are rigidly mounted on shaft 320 and spaced longitudinally therealong. As is clear in FIGS. 15 and 17, the shaft 320 has a sprocket 326 on one end thereof driven by a chain 328, the latter receiving power from a jackshaft 330 coupled with an input shaft 332 by a sprocket and chain assembly 334. A drive chain 336 coupled with input shaft 332 is shown in broken lines in FIG. 15 and is trained around a sprocket on the drive shaft of machine 12, thereby accomplishing both the necessary timing of the two apparatuses and providing a prime mover for feeder 304.

The sprocket 326 is freely rotatable on the end of shaft 320 and is provided with a pair of spaced, inwardly projecting wings 338 welded to the hub of sprocket 326. Referring to FIGS. 13, 14 and 17, it may be seen that a collar 340 is fixed to the end of shaft 320 and fits within the wings 338, a threaded stud 342 being screwed into a mating hole in collar 340 and engaged by one of the wings 338. This arrangement provides a lost motion coupling between the sprocket 326 and the shaft 320 for a purpose to be discussed hereinafter. Note the provision of a second tapped hole 344 (FIG. 13) in collar 340 cir cumferentially spaced from the stud 342 for receiving the latter to define an alternative position thereof for retarding the timing when the feeder mechanism is being used only as a conveyor for papers delivered by feeder 10, also to be subsequently discussed.

A pair of support elements in the form of stationary discs 346 are carried by shaft 320 and are rotatable thereon but are held in fixed positions by a pair of angle members 348 received within slots 350 in the peripheral edges of the discs 346 (FIG. 18). The two support discs 346 directly underlie the opening 328 in table 314 and present arcuate supporting edges in underlying contact with the stack of sheets within hopper 316.

An antifriction member in the form of an elongated, segmented roller 352 is rotatable on a shaft 354 nearly spanning side plates 322 and 324 rearwardly of shaft 320, the opposed ends of the roller shaft 354 being carried by a pair of upright arms 356. The lower ends of respective arms 356 are pinned to corresponding side plates 322 and 324 as shown at 358 (FIG. 18) to provide a pivot mounting for the arms 356 that permits the roller 352 to shift forwardly and rearwardly during operation of the feeder. The limit of forward travel of roller 352, urged by a pair of springs 360, is defined by a pair of stops 362 against which the arms 356 bear.

Three friction rollers 364 are spaced beneath the segmented roller 352 and are rotatable on a shaft 366. As is clear in FIG. 18, a belt 368 is partially trained around each roller 364 and is trained around a second roller 370 and a pair of idlers 372 and 374. The three rollers 370 are rigid with a shaft 376 spanning side plates 322 and 324 and journaled therein, one end of the shaft 376 being driven by a sprocket and chain assembly 378 which, in conjunction with an intermediate shaft 380 and a sprocket and chain assembly 382, couples shaft 376 with the input shaft 332.

The upper idler 374 of each of the three roller and belt assemblies just described is carried by a self-adjusting belt-tensioning device including a pivotal arm 384 biased by a spring 386 in a direction to force the idler 374 upwardly to hold tension on the belt 368. The three arms 384 are spaced longitudinally of a shaft 388 and are carried by the latter shaft as is clear in FIG. 17.

A pair of irregularly shaped plate members 390 are pivotally mounted on shaft 366 between the belts 368 and extend downwardly and forwardly at an inclination as is clear in FIG. 18, each of the members 390 presenting an elongated holding finger 392 which is disposed to bear against the surface of a paper being carried by the belts 368. A spring mounting 394 is provided for each of the members 390 to bias the same downwardly to yieldably hold the finger 392 in contact with the surface of the paper.

The three belts 368 terminate at the lower ends of their paths adjacent the mouth of a conveyor 396 that extends upwardly into the folding and wrapping machine 12. The conveyor 396 includes a lower frame 398 secured to the front of the frame assembly 300 by braces 400. The shaft 380 extends horizontally through the rearward end of frame 398 and has a pair of friction rollers 402 mounted thereon for rotation therewith, a pair of belts 404 being trained over rollers 402 and a pair of rollers 406 at the forward end of frame 398 rigid to and rotatable with a cross-shaft 408. An upwardly inclined platform 410 extends from the mouth of conveyor 396 upwardly to a point adjacent the rollers 406, and is disposed in directly underlying relationship to the upper stretches of the belts 404. Tension is maintained on the belts 404 by a spring biased idler assembly 412 partially revealed in FIG. 18.

The upper portion of the conveyor 396 comprises a pair of floating arms 414 extending in substantial parallelism to belts 404 and having their lower, rearward ends pivotally mounted on a cross-shaft 416. A pair of friction rollers 418 are rotatably carried by shaft 416 and have a pair of belts 420 trained thereover and over a second pair of friction rollers 422 rigid with a cross-shaft 424 spanning the arms 414 at the upper, forward ends thereof. The cross-shaft 424 is journaled on the arms 414 and also has four additional rollers 426 keyed thereto as may be seen in FIG. 17. A pivotal idler assembly 428 employs a pair of rollers 420 which bear against the upper stretch of belts 420 to maintain tension on the latter. To provide the floating feature, the ends of shaft 416 are held in vertical guides 432.

Two pair of closely spaced, elongated delivery fingers 434 are secured to arms 414 and frame 398, the fingers of each pair being vertically spaced from each other sufficiently to permit papers carried by belts 404 and 420 to pass therethrough into the machine 12. To complete the conveyor 396, four additional friction rollers 436 are keyed to the lower cross-shaft 408 at the delivery end of conveyor 396 and are disposed beneath and in opposed relationship to the four upper rollers 426.

When the feeder 304 is not being utilized to successively feed sheets from the hopper 316 thereof and, instead, the feeder is in operation, the feeder 304 is set up as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 and serves only as a portion of the conveyor means for transporting papers delivered by feeder 10 to the machine 12. Drive for the feeder 10 is obtained from the drive end of input shaft 332 seen in FIG. 16, the drive chain 52 (FIG. 2) extending from shaft 332 to the sprocket 54 of feeder 10, these latter components being hidden from view in FIG. 10 by a chain guard 438. It should be noted that a removable ramp 440, held on table 314 by wing bolts 442, replaces the ramp 132 illustrated in FIGS. 2-8 and is disposed to receive the papers delivered by the friction rollers 66 and 70. Additionally, a pair of spring leaf guide fingers 444 are secured to the outer ends of the support fingers 36 and extend downwardly to terminations adjacent ramp 440. A newspaper section S fed from feeder 10 is shown on ramp 440 as it enters the feeder 304 which is now set up for conveyor operation only.

In order to set up the feeder 304 for conveyor operation, the two discs 346 are rotated on shaft 320 to bring a second peripheral slot 446 in each disc into alignment with the respective angle member 348. For this purpose, the angle members 348 are suspended beneath table 314 on spring mounts 448 to permit the members to be quickly withdrawn from slots 350 and reinserted into slots 446, or vice versa. With the discs 346 thus positioned as illustrated FIGS. 11 and 12, a notch 450 in each disc 346 is brought into alignment with the leading edge of section S as it 'gravitates from the ramp 440.

Furthermore, a 3-fingered stop 452 is secured to table 314 by wing bolts 454 and serves to guide the section S into the notches formed by stop 452 which are aligned with the notches 450 in the discs 346. To this end, each of the fingers of the stop 452 includes ah upwardly extending, inclined finger segment 452a which forms a right angle with the portion of the finger-joining segment 452a at its base. The guides 308, 310 and 312 forming the hopper 3160f feeder 304 are removed to complete setup of the feeder for conveyor operation with the stud 342 of the lost motion drive coupling now threaded into hole 344 (FIG. 13).

With reference to FIGS. 18 and 24-28, the wrapper feeder 306 is there shown in detail and includes a rectangular frame 456 disposed at an inclination and supporting a base for the stack of wrappers W in the form of a tray 458. The rear of the tray 458 supports a pair of posts 460 which serve as guides for an elongated block 462 spanning posts 460 and provided with a pair of rollers 464 permitting up and down movement of block 462 along the posts 460 with the latter captured between the rollers 464 and the adjacent, rearwardly facing (FIG. 28) impaling the uppermost wrappers of the stack. Upward movement of the block 462 is limited by a pair of stops 468 rigidly suspended from the top of the frame assembly 300.

A pair of upwardly extending, inclined guide bars 470 are disposed within the frame assembly 300 on opposite sides of frame 456, the latter being provided with a mount 472 at each side thereof adjacent the corresponding bar 470. Each of the mounts 472 supports a pair of upper and lower roller assemblies 474 and 476 which receive the bar 470 as is clear from a comparison of FIGS. 25 and 26. Thus, the frame 456 and the tray 458 therein are mounted for movement up and down along bars 470, the frame 456 being normally biased upwardly by the provision of a pair of coil springs 478 surrounding respective bars 470 with their upper ends abutting the bottom of the frame 456 and their lower ends engaging the lower frame members 480 of assembly 300 to which the lower ends of the bars 470 are secured.

The tray 458 is held in place on frame 456 by a pair of upstanding stop fingers 482 abutting the rear edge of tray 458, the fingers 482 receiving a pair of threaded shanks 484 and being internally threaded to permit adjustable positioning of the fingers 482 by rotation of handles 486 rigid with the outer ends of respective shanks 484. To lower the tray 458 for loading purposes, the rear edge portion 488 of the frame 456 presents a footrest to permit the frame to be depressed by the foot against the bias of springs 478 until a catch 490 is received by a latch 492. The upper portion of latch 492 has a hook configuration and hooks over the catch 490 as is clear in FIG. 18, the lower end of latch 492 being pivoted at 494 and biased forwardly by a spring 496 against a stop 498.

In FIG. 15, it may be seen that a shaft 500 extends beneath the feeder 304 and is driven by a sprocket and chain connection with the jackshaft 330. In FIGS. 18 and 24, attention is directed to a pair of grippers 114a rotatably mounted on shaft 500, each of the grippers 114a being similar to the gripper 114 of FIG. 9 except for the provision of a pin 502 projecting therefrom in parallelism with shaft 500. A collar 504 is fixed to shaft 500 adjacent each gripper 114a and is provided with a radially outwardly extending lug 506 engageable with the pin 502, the latter and the lug 506 forming interengageable parts of a drive connection between shaft 500 and the respective gripper 114a. The parts 502 and 506 are normally held in engagement under the bias of a spring 508 coupled with gripper 114a and collar 504 and in tension between gripper 114a and a point radially spaced from the axis of shaft 500.

OPERATIONFIGS. 10-28 FIGS. 19-21 diagrammatically illustrate the operation of the tabloid feeder 304 as setup for feeding operation pursuant to FIGS. 13-18. As mentioned above with respect to the newspaper industry, the feeder 304 is particularly adapted for feeding thin paper such as tabloid-size sheets from a stack thereof. In the printing of late-breaking news, the tabloid-size is particularly suitable but, when unfolded, is longer than the surface of block 462. The block 462 is utilized as a means of width of the main body of the folded newspaper with which it is to be collated. This is particularly evident in FIG. 18 where the scalloped configuration of the stack of tabloid sheets in hopper 316 may be seen, such configuration being a result of a fold initially present in the tabloid sheets during previous handling in groups or bundles prior to unfolding of individual bundles and loading of the same into the hopper 316. In order to reduce the effective size of the tabloid sheet and assure that the edges thereof are not easily torn when collated with the main newspaper, it is necessary that the feeder 304 also serve as a folder for the tabloid sheets to provide one folded edge, as will be discussed below.

The general operation of the feeder 304, as illustrated in FIGS. 19-21, is similar to the feeders 10 and 10a discussed hereinabove. A first difference lies in the use of a rotary gripper 1 14 rather than oscillatory; secondly, the action of the segmented roller 352; thirdly, the employment of the conveyor delivery belts 368 in conjunction with the friction rollers 364; fourthly, blocks 510 are disposed on table 3114 beneath the margins of the leading and trailing edges of the lowermost sheets and carry upstanding pins 512 which impale such lowermost sheets.

The two discs 366 in opening 318 support the sheets and assure that only one is buckled and fed at a time. As the grippers 114 rotate, frictional contact with the lowermost sheet commences as illustrated in FIG. 19 and continued rotation of grippers 114i buckles the sheet to form a loop M. When the grippers 11141 are in the approximate positions illustrated in FIG. they begin to pinch the lowermost sheet between the grippers and the roller 352, having withdrawn the leading edge portion of the lowermost sheet from between the table 3114 and the sheets thereabove. In the withdrawing action, the leading edge of the sheet is pulled from the impaling pins 512 but the tearing at the edge resulting therefrom is not objectionable. As pinching continues by further rotation of grippers 1M, roller 352 shifts against the action of springs 360, as is clear in FIG. 21.

Thus, the fold defined by the loop 516 is directed into the nips and received between the belts 368 and the rollers 364, resulting in the long, trailing edge portion of the sheet being withdrawn from the hopper by a pulling action provided by belts 368 and rollers 364. Therefore, the folded sheet is advanced along a delivery path into the mouth of the conveyor 396 for transporting into the machine 12. Separation of the lowermost sheet from the sheets thereabove is assured by a snap action effect produced as the lowermost sheet is withdrawn and the peaked center straightens under tension. Since gripper H4 is located forwardly of the central area of the sheets, engagement of such gripper with the underface of the lowermost sheet causes the latter to readily shift rearwardly as depicted in FIG. 20 because only a limited part of the sheet near the forward edge thereof is subjected to the force of the gripper. No problem is encountered with separation of the lowermost sheet from the one above at the rear part of the stack notwithstanding the fact that the major part of the weight of the stack bears on the lowermost sheet at this section thereof because of the snap action separation of such sheet as previously described.

The significance of the lost motion drive coupling illustrated in detail in FIG. 13 may now be appreciated. As the belts 368 and rollers 364 begin to pull on the sheet, this force is transmitted to the grippers 114 which have not as yet moved into clearing relationship to the partially withdrawn sheet. In order to prevent possible fouling or tearing of the sheet and excess wear on the grippers, the latter are permitted to advance ahead of the drive by virtue of the space between the wings 338 extending from sprocket 326. Thus, stud 342 momentarily moves away from the wing 338 normally in engagement therewith, and then returns once the grippers 114 are clear of the sheet.

FIG. 22 shows a tabloid size sheet 515 after folding thereof by the feeder 304i and illustrates that the leading edge 516 thereof is now defined by a fold. Therefore, a hard edge is presented by the fold 516, the significance of this being exemplified in FIG. 23 where the folded sheet 515 is shown collated with the main body 518 of a newspaper. Such collation is effected within the machine 12 in a manner to lap the folded edge 516 over the trailing edge of the sheet 515 as the latter is wrapped around the outside of the main body 518. Thus, the unfolded", trailing edge is not exposed and a double thickness of the tabloid sheet is provided at one of the edges of the folded composite newspaper so that, upon ultimate wrapping and tying, tearing of the tabloid sheet will be precluded.

When it is desired to operate the feeder it), the feeder 304 is set up as illustrated in FIGS. Ill and 112, the feeder 110 is mounted on the table 314 as shown, and the ramp M0 is positioned thereon as illustrated. The section S delivered by the friction rollers 66 and 70 of feeder i0 is momentarily stopped when its leading edge reaches the notches $50 in discs 346 and the notches defined at the bases of the three finger segments 452a. The rotating grippers 11M of the feeder 304 pick up the leading edge of the section S, bend the same around the roller 352, and then direct the section S into the nips defined by the three belts 368 and friction rollers 36 4. The various sequentially fed sections S are then carried to the mouth of conveyor 396 for movement into the machine 112. Since the stud 34l2 of the lost motion drive is now inserted into hole 344, the timing is retarded with respect to tabloid feeding operation since the sections S are shorter than the folded tabloid sheet 5115 and it is desired that the wrappers from feeder 306 lead the sections S into machine 12. Operation of the wrapper feeder 306 will now be discussed.

The springs 470 hold the stack of wrappers W against the stop provided by the pin carrying block 462. The feeder 306 is of the top delivery type with a wrapper sheet being fed therefrom upon each rotation of the grippers 11140. It is ap' parent that, as the grippers 114a pass through the lower arcs of their rotational paths of travel, the uppermost wrapper will be forced from beneath the block 462 and its leading edge delivered into the mouth of the conveyor 396.

When the opposed belts 404 and 42.0 of the conveyor 306 receive the leading edge of each wrapper, the speed thereof increases prior to the time that the grippers 1140 move into clearing relationship to the wrapper being fed. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 27, interference of the grippers 114a with advancement of the wrapper by the conveyor 396 is precluded by the releasing of the drive connection between the shaft 500 and the grippers 114a. This is effected by the separation of the interengageable drive parts 502 and 506 of each gripper 114a against the action of the spring 508. Thus, the grippers 114a are permitted to momentarily advance ahead of the rotating drive shaft 500 until they clear the wrappers therebeneath, whereupon the springs 508 return the grippers 114a to the position illustrated in FIG. 13. This prevents excessive wear on the gripping surfaces of the grippers and also precludes tearing of the wrappers as they are advanced by the conveyor 396.

I claim:

l. A feeder for articles such as newspapers or the like comprising:

a hopper for receiving a stack of said articles;

means for supporting a stack of said articles in the hopper and including spaced, front and rear support structures disposed to underlie opposed leading and trailing edge portions respectively of the lowermost article of the stack as disposed in the hopper, said support structures presenting an opening therebetween;

a central support unit located beneath the opening between said structures in spaced relationship from the latter and disposed to engage and support the central portion of said lowermost article that overlies said. opening;

a shiftable article gripper associated with said support unit;

operating means coupled with said gripper for first shifting the latter into engagement with said central portion of the lowermost article and thence toward the rear support structure through a displacement to pull said leading edge of the lowermost article from between the article thereabove and the front support structure to cause the rear section of the central portion of the article to buckle and thereby extend downwardly into the area of the opening between said support unit and the rear support structure,

said operating means thereafter being operable to shift the gripper toward the front support structure through a displacement to substantially unbuckle the lowermost article while still partially supported by the support unit and thereafter release the lowermost article as said leading edge thereof is moved toward a position in underlying relationship to said front support structure; and

article delivery means in said opening between the support unit and the front support structure for receiving said leading edge of the lowermost article to withdraw the latter from said stack as the trailing edge of the lowermost article is withdrawn from between the article thereabove and said rear support structure.

2. The feeder of claim 11,

said support unit having an inclined, upwardly facing, article-engaging margin inclined in a direction toward the rear support structure to cause the section of the lowermost article between the support unit and said rear support unit to assume a slightly draped configuration to facilitate buckling thereof by the gripper.

3. The feeder as claimed in claim 1,

said gripper having an outwardly facing, frictional gripping surface.

4. The feeder as claimed in claim 1,

said gripper being provided with a spike for impaling the lowermost article during said shifting of the gripper in said direction.

5. The feeder as claimed in claim 1,

said operating means shifting the gripper in said direction along a path of travel extending upwardly through said opening with said surface in pressure contact with the lowermost article, whereby said surface is forced into engagement with the lowermost articles against the weight of said stack.

6. The feeder as claimed in claim 1,

said rear support structure including a shelf member disposed to underlie said trailing edge portion of the lowermost article,

said support unit including a plurality of spaced support elements in said opening disposed to engage the central portion of the lowermost article and spaced from said member,

said member and said elements being inclined downwardly toward one another,

said gripper being disposed between a pair of said elements and said direction of shifting thereof being toward said member, whereby the latter and said elements cooperate to produce said buckling of the lowermost article in the space between the member and the elements.

7. The feeder as claimed in claim 6, said article delivery means being spaced beneath the front support structure in underlying relationship to said leading portion of the lowermost article,

said elements having means for guiding the lowermost article into the article delivery means as the lowermost article is unbuckled by return motion of said gripper.

8. The feeder as claimed in claim 1, said front support structure including an inwardly extending finger disposed to underlie said leading edge portion of the lowermost article,

said article delivery means being disposed beneath said finger.

9. The feeder as claimed in claim 8,

there being a plurality of said fingers spaced along said one edge portion when the stack is in the hopper.

10. The feeder as claimed in claim 8,

said finger being disposed to underlie said one edge portion centrally thereof, whereby to form a ridge in said stack to aid in separation of each article from the article thereabove,

said finger being reciprocable beneath the stack toward and away from said other edge portion of the lowermost article between positions of maximum and minimum support for the stack; and

means coupled with said finger for reciprocating the latter and synchronized with said operating means to retract the finger from its position of maximum support to its position of minimum support as the gripper is shifted in said direction into engagement with the lowermost article.

11. The feeder as claimed in claim 10, said supporting means further including a plurality of spaced support elements in said opening disposed to underlie the central portion of the lowermost article,

said finger having a beveled inner end presenting a downwardly facing, inclined lower surface,

said elements having means spaced beneath said surface and cooperating therewith to define a guide for directing the lowermost article into the article delivery means as the lowermost article is unbuckled by return motion of said gripper.

12. The feeder as claimed in claim 1,

said gripper being mounted for movement about a generally horizontal axis extending transversely of said direction of shifting thereof, and having an outwardly facing, frictional gripping surface,

said operating means being operable to oscillate said gripper about said axis toward and away from said normal position thereof.

13. The feeder as claimed in claim 12, said support unit including a plurality of support elements in said opening spaced along said axis and disposed to underlie and engage the central portion of the lowermost article,

there being a plurality of said grippers spaced along said axis with said elements.

14. The feeder as claimed in claim 12,

said article delivery means including a pair of relatively shiftable, normally spaced, article-receiving rollers, means coupled with one of said rollers for rotating the latter, and actuatable means for effecting relative move ment of the rollers toward each other,

said mechanism further including drive means coupled with said operating means and said actuatable means for repeatedly actuating both of the same in synchronism to successively deliver articles from said stack along said path.

15. A feeder as claimed in claim 1, said apparatus having a rotatable driven component, a rotary shaft for driving said component, and a selectively operable clutch for providing a drive connection between said shaft and said component, said clutch including a pair of coupling members coaxial with said shaft and rigid with the latter and said component respectively, a plunger carried by one of said members and reciprocable in general parallelism with the axis of said shaft toward and away from a position locking said members together for rota tion in unison, means coupled with said plunger and biasing the latter toward said position, a wedge element reciprocable generally radially of said axis, and an electrically responsive actuator coupled with said element for shifting the latter into engagement with said plunger to cam the latter away from said position thereof against the action of said biasing means to release the members from each other and thereby disengage the clutch.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3777929 *Apr 16, 1971Dec 11, 1973Hannon CNewspaper vendor
US4157692 *Feb 23, 1977Jun 12, 1979Opelika Manufacturing Corp.Label dispensing system for use with sewing apparatus
US5280900 *Jan 4, 1993Jan 25, 1994Stepper, Inc.Convertible metering hopper for thin single sheet and bulky multiple sheet articles
US5572940 *May 27, 1994Nov 12, 1996Burton & NoonanFolding and sewing apparatus
US5630581 *Jan 5, 1996May 20, 1997Rodesch Associates, Inc.Apparatus for dispensing lightweight sheet-style articles from a stacked supply of articles
US5704304 *Jan 13, 1995Jan 6, 1998Burton & NoonanLevel lining apparatus and method
US6196147Jul 7, 1998Mar 6, 2001Perry E. BurtonFolding and sewing apparatus
US7967285 *Dec 20, 2007Jun 28, 2011Nidec Sankyo CorporationCard sending device
US8662346 *Sep 28, 2005Mar 4, 2014Infostop, B.V.Apparatus and method for dispensing and folding of sheets from a stack
US20080197142 *Sep 28, 2005Aug 21, 2008Johannes Christina LangenApparatus and Method for Dispensing and Folding of Sheets From a Stack
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/23
International ClassificationB65H45/26, B65H3/02, B65H1/06, B65H45/12, G07F11/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65H3/02, B65H1/06, G07F11/045, B65H45/26, B65H2513/50
European ClassificationB65H1/06, B65H45/26, B65H3/02, G07F11/04B