Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3613217 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateJan 9, 1970
Priority dateJan 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3613217 A, US 3613217A, US-A-3613217, US3613217 A, US3613217A
InventorsPerkins Howard R
Original AssigneeHarris Intertype Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stitcher assembly
US 3613217 A
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 19, 1971 H. R. PERKINS 3,613,217

STITCHER ASSEMBLY Filed Jan. 9, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG 7 //VI /Vr0/? HOWARD A. PER/0N5 5y MM United States Patent "ice 3,613,217 STITCHER ASSEMBLY Howard R. Perkins, Grafton, Ohio, assignor to Harris- Intertype Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio Filed Jan. 9, 1970, Ser. No. 1,680

Int. Cl. B42c 1/12 US. Cl. 29432.2 16 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved stitcher assembly for stapling groups of sheets in succession includes a stapler head operated cyclically with an automatic sheet feeding mechanism for driving a staple into each group of sheets in turn. A clincher assembly is actuated to clinch a staple from the opposite side of a group of sheets upon each operation of the stapler head. The clincher assembly is also additionally actuated between successive operations of the stapler head to eject clinched staples from the clincher assembly in the event sheets were not present during the previous stapling operation. In this manner, staples which were clinched while sheets of material were absent are automatically ejected from the clincher assembly before a next succeeding stapling operation to eliminate the need for discontinuing the stapling operation during the time sheets are absent, and at the same time to protect the stapler head and clincher assembly against damage from unused clinched staples lying on the clincher assembly.

This invention relates to an improved stitcher assembly and method wherein a staple which is clinched separately from sheets of material is automatically ejected from the stitcher assembly between successive clinching operations.

Stitcher assemblies for interconnecting a group of sheets of material commonly include a stapler head for driving a staple into the group of sheets of material and a clincher assembly for clinching the staple. If the stitcher assembly is operated without the group of sheets between the stapler head and clincher assembly, the clinched staple will remain in the clincher assembly. This clinched staple can cause the clincher assembly to become jammed or to otherwise malfunction upon a next succeeding stitching operation. In addition, this previously clinched staple can cause the stapler head to jam if the next succeeding clinching operation is also performed without a group of sheets between the stapler head and clincher assembly.

The tendency for staples which are clinched separately from sheets of material to jam a stapler head or clincher assembly is particularly acute in automatic stitching equipment. This is because when the stitcher assembly or associated apparatus is being adjusted, the stitcher assembly is frequently operated through a relatively large number of cycles without sheets of material between the stapler head and clincher assembly. Therefore, a relatively large number of clinched staples can lay loosely around the clincher assembly and stapler head. Of course, the presence of this relatively large number of clinched staples accentuates any tendency for the clincher assembly or stapler head to become jammed.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved stitcher assembly for sequentially interconnecting groups of sheets wherein the stitcher assembly includes a stapler head operable to drive a staple into each group of sheets in turn, means for clinching the staples, and means for automatically ejecting a previously clinched staple not secured to a group of sheets prior to a next succeeding operation of the stapler head.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved automatic staple clincher and ejector Patented Oct. 19, 1971 assembly comprising an actuator assembly for operating a clincher assembly to clinch staples and for automatically operating the clincher assembly to eject clinched staples after each clinching operation.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved assembly in accordance with the next preceding object wherein the actuator assembly includes a cam having a first surface portion for elfecting operation of the clincher assembly to clinch a staple and a second surface portion for effecting operation of the clincher assembly between clinching operations to eject any clinched staples which may be in the clincher assembly.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved method for operating an automatic stitcher assembly to sequentially staple successive groups of sheets of material, wherein the method includes the steps of operating a clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staples from the clincher assembly, thereafter driving an unclinched staple into a group of sheets of material, then operating the clincher assembly to clinch the unclinched staple to thereby interconnect the group of sheets of material, and thereafter repeating the aforesaid steps upon each operation of the automatic stitcher assembly in stapling succeeding groups of sheets of material.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved method of sequentially interconnecting a plurality of groups of sheets of material at a stitching station with an automatic stitcher assembly including the steps of moving a group of sheets to the stitching station, driving a staple into the group of sheets at the stitching station by operating a stapler head, clinching the staple by operating a clincher assembly, moving the group of sheets away from the stitching station, operating the clincher assembly after performing the clinching step and before moving a next succeeding group of sheets to the stitching station to eject from the clincher assembly any previously clinched staples which may be in the clincher assembly, and repeating these steps upon each operation of the automatic stitcher assembly to staple succeeding groups of sheets of material.

These and other objects and features of the invention will become more apparent upon a consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary schematic illustration of a binder assembly which includes an automatic stitcher assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention' FlG. 2 is a partially broken away illustration of a staple clincher and ejector assembly which forms a part of the automatic stitcher assembly;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged elevational view of a clincher assembly included in the staple clincher and ejector assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view, taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3, further illustrating the construction of the clincher assembly;

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of the staple clincher and ejector assembly immediately prior to operation of the clincher assembly to clinch a staple to interconnect a plurality of sheets of material;

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of the clinching of a staple with the clincher assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration depicting the relationship between the clincher assembly of FIG. 3 and a loose staple which was clinched separately from sheets of material; and

FIG. 8 is a schematic illustration of the operation of the clincher assembly to eject the previously clinched staple of FIG. 7.

The present invention provides a new and improved automatic stitcher assembly which includes a stapler head and a clincher assembly. An actuator assembly operates the clincher assembly, in timed relationship with the stapler head, to clinch a staple driven into a group of sheets by the stapler head. Before the next succeeding operation of the stapler head, a staple which is clinched separately from a group of sheets of material is ejected from the stitcher assembly. In the specific illustrated embodiment of the invention, the staple is advantageously ejected by operating the clincher assembly between successive clinching operations. However, it is contemplated that other apparatus, in addition to the clincher assembly, could be provided to effect an ejecting of the previously clinched staple between successive clinching operations.

Although it is contemplated that a stitcher assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention can be utilized in many different environments, a stitcher assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 at a stitching station 12 of an inline binder assembly 14. The inline binder assembly 14 is selectively operable to saddle, side or cornerstitch unfolded groups of sheets or gathers. The binder assembly 14 includes a flat sheet collator 32 having a series of transfer stations (only one of Which is partially illustrated in FIG. 1) for transferring unfolded sheets of material to a sloping support surface or tray 36. The sheets of material are deposited in a flat, face-to-face relationship on the support surface 36 and are engaged by fingers 38 of a collator conveyor 40. The fingers of the conveyor 40 shove the gathers or groups 42 of sheets of material along the sloping support surface 36 to a pickup station 44 where each gather is clampingly engaged in turn by a reciprocatable shuttle assembly 46 and is transferred to the stitching station 12. The construction of the shuttle assembly 46 is more fully set forth in application Ser. No. 727,097, filed May 6, 1968 by Victor A. Zugel and entitled Shuttle Assembly, issued on Nov. 10, 1970 as U.S. Pat. No. 3,539,180.

At the stitching station 12, the gather is saddle, side or corner-stitched along a transversely extending stitch line by the automatic stitcher assembly 10. The stitched gather is then moved from the stitching station 12 into a folder mechanism 60 where the gather is folded, in the case of a saddle-stitched gather, along the stitch line and trimmed along a transversely extending surface or face by a trimmer knife (not shown). A suitable conveyor then transfers the stitched and folded gather to a receiving station. The folder mechanism 60 is selectively adjustable between an operative position or condition wherein saddlestitched gathers are folded along the stitch line and an inoperative or by-pass condition wherein side or cornerstitched gathers pass through the folder mechanism without being folded. A more complete disclosure of the folder mechanism 60 and trimmer is set forth in application Ser. No. 834,122, filed June 17, 1969, by Carl Heigl and Keith S. Macey and entitled Collator Folder Register Assembly.

The groups of sheets or gathersare continuously moved along the support surface 36 so that each gather in turn receives a sheet from each of the transfer stations of the collator 32. The fingers 38 maintain the trailing edges of the sheets of each gather in registration as the gathers are moved along the longitudinally extending support surface 36. The longitudinally extending support surface 36 sloper transversely downwardly at an angle of approximately thirty degrees, toward a longitudinally extending guide rail or section 64 which registers longitudinally extending lower edge portions of the sheets of each gather.

The reciprocatable shuttle assembly 46 clampingly engages each gather in turn at the pickup station 44 and moves the gather toward the stitching station 12 where a trailing edge portion of the gather is brought into engagement with a registration finger 66 to position the gather in a predetermined relationship relative to stapler or stitcher heads 68 and 70 of the stitcher assembly 10. The stapler heads 68 and 70 are moved downwardly toward the sloping support surface 36 to drive staples into the gather 42 on a predetermined stitch line. Identical clincher assemblies 74 and 76 of a staple clincher and ejector assembly 78 (FIG. 2) cooperate with the stapler heads 68 and 70 to clinch the staples. The stapler heads 68 and 70 are adjustable transversely of the support surface 36 to enable the distance between staples to be varied'with variations in the width of the gathers 42. The clincher assemblies 74 and 76 are movable along a slot 78 in a bracket 80 (FIG. 2) so that they can be aligned with the stapler heads 68 and 70 when they are adjusted.

A drive mechanism, indicated schematically at 82 in FIG. 1, moves the shuttle assembly 46 back and forth between the pickup station 44 and stitching station 12 at a relatively high speed. This enables the shuttle assembly 46 to complete a forward stroke from the pickup station 44 to the stitching station 12 and a reverse or return stroke from the stitching station to the pickup station while the next succeeding gather is moved to the pickup station by the collator conveyor 40. The stapler heads 68 and 70 are driven in a timed relationship with the collator conveyor 40 and shuttle assembly 46 by drive trains, indicated schematically at 86, 88 and 90 FIG. 1, so that there is a one-to-one operating relationship between the collator conveyor 40, shuttle assembly 46 and stapler heads 68 and 70. Therefore, each gather 42 is stitched in turn by the stapler heads 68 and 70 before passing into the folder mechanism 60. It should be noted that the drive train 86 effects operation of the stapler heads 68 and 70 independently of whether or not there is a gather 42 at the stitching station 12.

When a gather 42 is positioned in registration with the stapler heads 68 and 70, by engagement of a trailing edge portion with the registration finger 66, a predeter mined stitch line on the gather is aligned with the stapler heads. The automatic stitcher assembly 10 is then operated by downward movement of a pair of drive arms 94 and 96 which are operatively connected at their lower ends to the drive train 86 and at their upper ends to a support bar 98. Downward movement of the support bar 98 drives the stapler heads to form staples from wire obtained from supply coils 100 and 102. Continued downward movement of the stapler heads 68 and 70 causes these staples to be driven into the gather 42 along the predetermined stitch line and clinched by operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76.

The shuttle assembly 46 continues its reverse or return stroke toward the pickup station 44 while the automatic stitcher assembly 10 is stapling a gather 42 at the stitching station 12. After the shuttle assembly 46 has reached the pick-up station, the shuttle assembly clampingly engages a next succeeding gather at the pickup station. The shuttle assembly is then moved forwardly toward the stitching station 12 and the previously stitched gather 42 is moved away from the stitching station 12 by engagement of a pusher head or section 104 on a gripper bar 106 with a trailing edge portion of the stitched gather. A more complete description of the general mode of operation of the binder assembly 14 is set forth in application Ser. No. 738,031, filed June 18, 1968, now Pat. No. 3,554,531 by Carl H. Heigl and Keith S. Macey and entitled Binder Assembly.

Immediately after the staples have been driven into a gather 42 by operation of the stapler heads 68 and 70 and while the stapler heads are in a lowered position, an actuator assembly 110 (FIG. 2) operates the clncher assemblies 74 and 76 to clinch the staples in a known manner. Since the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 are of identical construction and operation, only the clincher assembly 76 will be described in detail herein to avoid prolixity of description. The clincher assembly 76 (FIG. 3) is of a construction which is known per se and includes a pair of clincher levers 114 and 116 which are pivotally connected at 118 and 120 between a base plate 122 and a guide plate 124 (FIGS. 3 and 4). When a staple is to be clinched, the clincher levers 114 and 116 are moved from an initial or retracted position (FIG. 5) to an operated or extended position (FIGS. 3 and 6) by movement of a slide member 130 relative to the base plate 122 by the actuator assembly 110. The clincher levers 114 and 116 include openings 134 and 136 which receive a slotted end portion 138 of the slide 130. The actuator assembly 110 is operable to reciprocate the slide 130 along a path extending perpendicular to the support surface 36 and at an angle of thirty degrees to a vertical plane, to operate the clincher levers 114 and 116 from the retracted position of FIG. 5 to the operated or extended position of FIG. 6. Upon movement of the clincher levers 114 and 116 from the retracted position of FIG. 5, leg portions 142 and 144 of a staple 146 and are pressed upwardly toward a body portion 148 of the staple to thereby clinch the staple against the lowered stapler head 70 in a known manner. A guide plate 151 is mounted on the base plate 122 to guide this reciprocating movement up the slide 130.

After the stapler heads 68 and 70 have been raised by operation of the drive mechanism 82, the shuttle assembly 46 moves the stapled gather 42 away from the stitching station 12 into the folder 60. Of course, the clinched staples are removed from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 by this movement of the stapled gather 42. However, the stitcher assembly is automatically operated in a timed relationship with the shuttle assembly 46 and conveyor 40 by the drive mechanism 82 even if a gather 42 is not located at the stitching station 12. During initial adjusting or setting up of the binder assembly 14, the stitcher assembly is frequently operated without a gather at the stitching station 12. When the stapler heads 68 and 70 are operated without a gather at the stitching station 12, clinched staples are not carried away by a gather but will remain loose in the clincher assemblies 74 and 76. This is illustrated schematically in FIG. 7 wherein a previously clinched staple 152 is illustrated in association with the clincher levers 114 and 116 of the clincher assembly 76.

If the stitcher assembly 10 is again operated with the loose staple 152 therein, the loose staple may jam or otherwise block operation of the clincher assembly and thereby cause a malfunction of the binder assembly 14. Further operation of the stapler head 70 without a gather at the stitching station 12, might result in the stapler head 70 being jammed by the loose staple 152. It should be noted that even if the loose staple 152 does not jam the clincher assembly 76 or stapler head 70 upon subsequent operation of the automatic stitcher assembly 10 Without a gather at the stitching station 12, a second clinched staple will lie loose around the clincher assembly 7 6 after this operation of the stitcher assembly 10. Of course this increases the chances of the clincher assembly 76 or stapler head 70 becoming jammed. The problem of jamming becomes particularly acute when the automatic stitcher assembly 10 is associated with a binder assembly 14 which is capable of stitching a large number of gathers in a relatively short time. This is because the automatic stitcher assembly 10 will usually be operated through a relatively large number of cycles without gathers when the binder assembly is being initially setup or adjusted.

In accordance with the present invention, loose staples which have been previously clinched are ejected from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 between successive clinching operations. Therefore, any loose staples which may be present in the clincher assemblies 74 or 76 are ejected from the clincher assemblies before the next clinching operation so that the clincher assemblies and staples heads 68 and 70 are not jammed by the loose staples. It is contemplated that the loose, clinched staples could be ejected from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 by many different types of apparatus in association with the clincher assemblies, such as air blast equipment or a separate mechanical ejector. In a specific preferred embodiment of the invention the necessity of providing separate apparatus for ejecting loose staples is eliminated by operating the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 from the retracted position of FIGS. 5 and 7 to the extended or operated position of FIGS. 6 and 8 between each clinching operation. Therefore the clincher levers 114 and 116 are moved upwardly to flick or eject a loose staple, such as the staple 152, out of the associated clincher assemblies 74 and 76 between successive clinching operations.

To provide for operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 to eject staples between each clinching operation, the actuator assembly includes a double lobed cam (FIGS. 2 and 5) which is rotatable to effect actuation of the clincher assemblies through a linkage assembly 162. The cam 160 effects actuation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 twice during each cycle of operation of the shuttle assembly 46. Thus, a clinching lobe 164 on the cam 160 actuates the linkage assembly 162 to clinch the staple 146 and thereby stitch the gather 42. After the stapler heads 68 and 70 have been raised and a stitched gather removed from the stitching station 12, an ejector lobe 168 on the cam 160 effects operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 to eject any loose staples which may be in the clincher assemblies.

Accordingly during operation of the binder assembly 14, the shuttle assembly 46 is operated to move a gather 42 to the stitching station 12. The stapler heads 68 and 70 are then lowered to drive staples into the gather 42 (FIG. 5) and the clincher cam lobe 164 effects operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 to clinch the staples (FIG. 6). The stapler heads 68 and 70 are then raised and the stitched gather 42 is moved away from the stitching station 12 by operation of the shuttle assembly 46. Before the next succeeding gather 42 is moved into position between the stapler heads 68 and 70 and the clincher assemblies 74 and 76, the ejector lobe 168 on the cam 160 is moved into the engagement with a cam follower 172. This actuates the linkage 162 to thereby operate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 from the initial or retracted condition of FIG. 7 to the operating condition of FIG. 8. If a clinched staple, similar to the staple 152 had been lying loose in either of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 it would be ejected, in the manner illustrated schematically in FIG. 8, from the associated clincher assembly before the next succeeding gather 42 is moved between the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 and the stapler heads 68 and 70. Thus, between each clinching operation the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 are operated to eject any loose staples which may be lying in the clincher assemblies. Therefore, there will be no loose staples in the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 to jam them or the stapler heads 68 and 70 even if the binder assembly 14 is operated through a plurality of cycles without gathers 42.

The ejection of loose, clinched staples 152 from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 is facilitated by the downward slope of the support surface 36 (see FIGS. 1 and 3). This downward slope enables ejected staples to move sidewardly away from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76. Thus, upon operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 from the retracted condition of FIG. 7 to the extended condition of FIG. 8 under the influence of the ejector cam lobe 168, a loose staple 152 is flicked upwardly and sidewardly since the line of action of the slide 130 is perpendicular to the sloping support surface 36. Therefore, the ejected staple 152 tends to move downwardly and sidewardly under influence of gravity (see FIG. 8). This sideward movement ensures that the ejected staples will clear the clincher assemblies 74 and 76.

The linkage assembly 162 operates the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 under the influence of the cam 160. The linkage assembly 162 includes a clincher cam lever (FIGS. 2 and 5) upon which the cam follower 172 is mounted. The clincher cam lever 180 is pivotally mounted 7 at 184, on a fixed portion of a frame 186 of the binder assembly 14 and is connected at a ball joint 188 with a link 190. The link 190 is pivotally connected to a clincher actuator member 192 at a ball joint 194.

Upon reciprocating movement of the link 190, the clincher actuator member 192 is pivoted about a connection 198 (FIG. 2) on a pair of fixedly mounted support plates 200 and 202. This reciprocating movement of the actuator member 192 is transferred to the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 by a clincher drive bar 206. The clincher drive bar 206 is fixedly connected to the actuator member 192 and has a slot 208 so as to enable an upper lip 210 of the drive bar 206 to engage recesses or slots 212 in the lower end portions of the clincher slides 130 (see FIGS. 2, 3 and 5). A biasing spring 218 (FIG. 2) urges the drive bar 206 downwardly so that the follower 172 engages the cam 160.

When the clinching lobe 164 on the cam 160 engages the cam follower 172, the cam lever 180 is pivoted upwardly (FIG. 2) to actuate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 by moving the link 190 and drive bar 206 upwardly to clinch a staple in the manner illustrated schematically in FIG. 6. Upon continued rotation of the cam 160, in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 5, the spring 218 operates the linkage assembly 162 to press the cam follower 172 against a non-operating surface portion 224 of the cam 160. This effects operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 from the actuated condition of FIGS. 2, 3 and 6 to the retracted condition of FIGS. 5 and 7.

As the rotation of the cam 160 continues the ejector lobe 168 actuates the linkage 160 to again operate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 and eject a loose staple, such as the staple 152, from the clincher assemblies in a manner illustrated schematically in FIG. 8. The cam 160 will continue to rotate while a next succeeding gather is moved to the stitching station 12. Accordingly the follower 172 will engage a surface portion 230 of the cam 160 and the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 will remain in the retracted condition of FIG. 5 until the clinching lobe 164 is again brought into engagement with the cam follower 172. The foregoing rotational movement is imparted to the cam by a drive shaft 232 which is rotated through one complete revolution of the drive mechanism 8-2 on each cycle of operation of the shuttle assembly 46. Thus, the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 are actuated through a clinching and ejecting operation on each cycle of operation of the shuttle assembly 46 independently of the presence of a gather 42 at the stitching station 12.

It is contemplated and under certain operating conditions it will be desirable to manually operate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 from the initial or retracted condition of FIG. 5 to the operated or extended condition of FIG. 6. Accordingly, a manual actuator lever 240 is connected to the drive bar 206 and can be manually operated to move the drive bar 206 upwardly to thereby operate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76. It should be noted that the double lobed cam 160 automatically elfects operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 between each successive clinching operation to eject any loose staples which may be in the clincher assemblies. It is contemplated that the manual actuator lever 240 will be operated only during unusual circumstances to effect operation of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76.

The extent to which the legs 142 and 144 (FIGS. 5 and 6) of a staple 146 are pressed toward the gather 42 can be adjusted by varying the length of the link 190. Thus, by turning a screw 244 (FIG. 2) the link 190 can be extended so that the slides 130 of the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 move the clincher levers 114 and 116 further upwardly toward the gather 42. When the link 190 is so adjusted, the clincher levers 114 and 116 will press the legs 142 and 144 of the staple 146 tightly against a relatively thin gather. By turning the screw 244 in the opposite direction, the link 190 can be contracted so the clincher levers 114 and 116 are pivoted to a relatively small distance to clinch a staple against a relatively thick gather.

From the foregoing description it can be seen that the automtic stitcher assembly 10 includes a staple clincher and ejector assembly which is operable to clinch a staple driven into a gather by the stapler heads 68 and 70 and to eject a previously clinched staple from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76. Although it is contemplated that a previously clinched staple could be ejected from the clincher assemblies '74 and 76 by an air blast or other means, the clinched staple is advantageously ejected from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 by merely operating the clincher assemblies between successive clinching operations. To this end the actuator assembly 110 includes the double lobed cam which has a first surface portion or lobe which effects operation of the linkage assembly 162 to actuate the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 to clinch a staple. A second lobe or surface portion 168 of the cam 160 operates the linkage 162 to eject a loose staple from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 between each clinching operation. This occurs when the stapler heads 68 and 70 are in a raised position spaced from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76. Since the support surface 36 slopes downwardly (see FIG. 3), the ejected staples tend to move away from the clincher assemblies 74 and 76 so that the clincher assemblies do not become jammed upon subsequent operation of the automatic stitcher assembly.

Having described a specific preferred embodiment of the invention, the following is claimed:

1. An assembly for use in interconnecting a plurality of sheets of material, said assembly comprising a longitudinally extending support surface for supporting groups of sheets, conveyor means for moving each group of sheets in turn to a stitching station associated with said support surface, and stitcher means located at said stitching station for stitching each group of sheets in turn, said stitcher means including a stapler head operable to drive a staple into each group of sheets in turn and means for clinching end portions of the staples and means for automatically ejecting from said stitcher means a previously clinched staple not secured to a group of sheets prior to a next succeeding operation of said stapler head to thereby remove the previously clinched staple from said stitcher means before the next succeeding group of sheets is stitched.

2. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said longitudinally extending support surface is disposed in a transversely sloping relationship with a horizontal plane at said stitching station whereby previously clinched staples e ected from said stitcher means tend to move away from said stapler head under the influence of gravity after being ejected from said stitcher means.

3. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 "wherein said means for clinching staples includes at least one clincher member which engages at least one end portion of a staple to clinch the staple and said means for automatically ejecting a staple includes means for effecting movement of said clincher member relative to said stapler head to eject a staple from said stitcher means.

4. An assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein means for effecting movement of said clincher member includes a cam and linkage means for operatively interconnecting said cam and said clincher member, said cam including a first portion for actuating said linkage means to move said clincher member to clinch a staple and a second portion for actuating said linkage means to move said clincher member to eject a previously clinched staple from said stitcher means.

5. An automatic staple clincher and ejector assembly for clinching staples to thereby interconnect associated sheets of material and for ejecting clinched staples which are independent of sheets of material, said assembly comprising clincher means for engaging opposite legs of a staple and pressing the legs of the staple toward a body of the staple to clinch the staple and to thereby interconnect any sheets of material which may be associated with the stapler, and actuator means for operating said clincher means between a first condition and a second condition to clinch a staple and for automatically operating said clincher means between said first and second conditions to eject the clinched staple from said assembly after each clinching operation of said clincher means.

6. An assembly as set forth in claim wherein said actuator means includes a cam having first and second operating surfaces, linkage means for operatively interconnecting said cam and said clincher means, and drive means for effecting relative movement between said cam and said linkage means to enable said first operating surface to effect operation of said clincher means to thereby clinch a staple and to enable said second operating surface to effect operation of said clincher means to eject a clinched staple before another staple is clinched.

7. An assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein said clincher means includes a base, a pair of clincher members pivotally mounted on said base for movement between a retracted condition and an extended condition upon operation of said clincher means between said first and second conditions.

)8. An assembly as set forth in claim 7 wherein said linkage means includes means for adjusting the position of said clincher members relative to said base to adjust the distance through which the legs of a staple are moved toward the body of the staple upon operation of said clincher means.

9. A method of operating an automatic stitcher assembly which includes a stapler head and a clincher assembly for sequentially stapling successive groups of sheets of material, said method comprising the steps of operating said clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staples from said clincher assembly, thereafter driving an unclinched staple into a group of sheets of material, then operating said clincher assembly to clinch the unclinched staple to thereby interconnect the group of sheets of material, and thereafter repeating said steps upon each operation of the automatic stitcher assembly in stapling succeeding groups of sheets of material.

10. A method as set forth in claim 9 wherein said step of operating said clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staple from said clincher assembly includes the step of moving at least one clincher member upwardly toward the stapler head from a first position to a second position, and wherein said step of operating said clincher assembly to clinch the unclinched staple also includes the step of moving at least one clincher member upwardly toward the stapler head from the first position to the second position.

11. A method of sequentially interconnecting a plurality of groups of sheets of material at a stitching station with an automatic stitcher assembly which includes a stapler head and a clincher assembly, said method comprising the steps of moving a group of sheets to the stitching station, driving a staple into the group of sheets at the stitching station by operating the stapler head, clinching the staple by operating the clincher assembly, moving the group of sheets away from the stitching station, operating the clincher assembly after performing said clinching stop and before moving a next succeeding group of sheets to the stitching station to eject from the clincher assembly any previously clinched staple which may be in the clincher assembly, and repeating said steps upon each operation of the automatic stitcher assembly to staple succeeding groups of sheets of material.

12. A method as set forth in claim 11 further including the method step of maintaining the stapler head in an unoperated condition during said step of operating the clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staple from the clincher assembly.

13. A method as set forth in claim 12 wherein said step of moving the group of sheets away from the stitching station is performed before said step of operating the clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staple from the clincher assembly.

14. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein said step of operating the clincher assembly to eject any previously clinched staple from the clincher assembly includes moving a clincher member in a direction which at least initially extends transversely to a vertical aXis to thereby enable any ejected staple to move away from the clincher assembly.

15. A method of operating a machine which includes an automatic stitcher assembly having a stapler head and a clincher assembly for stapling sheets of material at a stitching station, said method comprising the steps of adjusting the machine to provide desired operating characteristics, operating said stapler head and clincher assembly to clinch a staple during said adjusting step without any sheets of material at the stitching station, ejecting the clinched, staple from the clincher assembly upon each operation of the stapler head and clincher assembly during said adjusting step by operating the clincher assembly between successive operations of the stapler head, repeating the step of operating the stapler head and clincher assembly to sequentially staple succeeding groups of sheets of material after completion of said adjusting step, and operating the clincher assembly to eject any clinched staples from the clincher assembly between successive operations of the stapler head after completion of said adjusting step.

16. A method of forming individual sheets into stapled groups of sheets, said method comprising the steps of machine assembling the individual sheets into groups, feeding groups of sheets cyclically to a stitching station, forming and driving a staple at the stitching station on each cycle independently of whether a group of sheets is present at or absent from the stitching station, ejecting staples from the stitching station once for each cycle to assure removal therefrom of any staple formed and driven when a group of sheets was not present to receive the staple.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 412,712 10/18-89 Lynam 227- X 2,320,703 '6/ 1943 Maynard 227-99 2,513,276 7/1950 Belluche 227155 X 2,585,807 2/1952 Mackechnie, Jr W 227--l55 GRANVILLE Y. CUSTER, JR., Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4416046 *Jun 10, 1982Nov 22, 1983Xerox CorporationMethod of binding sheets using stitchers
US4479642 *May 4, 1982Oct 30, 1984K. S. Macey Machine Company, Inc.Reciprocating stitcher assembly operable along signature path
US4519599 *May 11, 1984May 28, 1985R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyMethod and apparatus for tandem stitching of books in a bindery line
US4522383 *Sep 29, 1982Jun 11, 1985K. S. Macey Machine Company, Inc.Reciprocating stitcher assembly
US4641825 *May 22, 1985Feb 10, 1987Harris Graphics CorporationCollator with moveable stitcher over saddle conveyor system
US4711440 *Nov 17, 1986Dec 8, 1987Mccain Manufacturing CorporationSignature machine with counterpulse weight shuttle bar drive
US5009355 *Apr 2, 1990Apr 23, 1991Max Co., Ltd.Electric stapler
US5120036 *Jul 9, 1991Jun 9, 1992R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyPress stitcher transfer mechanism
US5328076 *Oct 4, 1993Jul 12, 1994Pitney Bowes Inc.Stabilized clincher for stitcher
USRE32410 *Dec 20, 1985May 5, 1987R. R. Donnelley And Sons CompanyMethod and apparatus for tandem stitching of books in a bindery line
Classifications
U.S. Classification29/432.2, 270/58.29, 29/432.1, 227/100, 227/155, 270/58.14
International ClassificationB42B4/00
Cooperative ClassificationB42B4/00
European ClassificationB42B4/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 17, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION MELBOURNE, FL A DE CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004227/0467
Effective date: 19830429