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Publication numberUS3806111 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateSep 27, 1972
Priority dateSep 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3806111 A, US 3806111A, US-A-3806111, US3806111 A, US3806111A
InventorsLachman L, Le Grand R, Reinert W
Original AssigneeMotter J Printing Press Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Signature inserter
US 3806111 A
Abstract
A signature inserter for a signature gathering machine having two hoppers, arranged one above the other; two rotary extractor drums, each of which is associated with one hopper and provided with means for extracting individual signatures from that hopper; a rotary transfer drum for transferring individual signatures from one extractor drum to the conveyor and a rotary intermediate drum for transferring signatures from the other extractor drum to the first extractor drum. Finally, the signature inserter includes means for selecting the hopper from which the signatures will be extracted.
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United States Patent [191 Lachman et al.

[451 Apr. 23, 1974 SIGNATURE INSERTER [75] Inventors: Louis A. Lachman, Princess Anne,

Md.; Warren D. Reinert, York; Richard W. Le Grand, Wayne, both of Pa.

[73] Assignee: John C. Motter Printing Press Co.,

York, Pa.

[22] Filed: Sept. 27, 1972 [21] App]. No.: 292,680

[52] US. Cl. 270/54, 271/9 [51] Int. Cl B65h 39/04 [58] Field of Search 270/54-58; 271/9 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,523,685 8/1970 Ehlschide 271/9 3,371,924 3/1968 Nelson et al.. 270/58 X 2,855,195 l0/l958 Young 270/54 3,692,300 9/l972 Mebus 270/55 3,032,336 5/1962 Heigl et al. 270/53 931,099 8/1809 Ubham 27l/9 2,603,483 7/1952 Fischer et al. 271/9 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant ExaminerL. R. Dremlant 57 ABSTRACT 7 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures TATEMEUAPR 23 1974 11%. 8 06; l l l SHLU 8 BF 8 A I y 202 I92 84 d 1 uPPER 200 '96 HOPPER VACUUM SOLENOID ROTARY SUCTION CONTROL SOURCE 'VALVES VALVES CUPS l l f I LOWER I HOPPER A V MECHANICAL I98 I I DRIVE 3- L F/G. /0

F/G. //0 F/G. //b

F/G. //0' FIG. //6 FIG. //f

[ HO F ER v v v 252 Nc VALVE VACUUM f\ f I\ f f\ IL 3262 1 1 NC VALVE 266 272 All HOPPER n A 202 1% r\ 12k SIGNATURE INSERTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to signature gathering machines of the type in which signatures are extracted in succession from a plurality of hoppers and inserted on a conveyor to assemble a book.

More particularly, this invention concerns a portion or unit of a signature gathering machine known as a signature inserter. A signature inserter removes individual signatures from a hopper and transfers them to the conveyor in timed relation to the movement of the conveyor. Since each signature inserter conventionally feeds signatures to the conveyor from a single hopper, the signature gathering machine requires as many inserters, arranged side by side, as hoppers (signatures) are required to form the book.

Particularly in the case of periodicals which are sold to a large number of subscribers, it is useful to divide the subscribing public demographically into a plurality of classes and to tailor the periodical to each specific class. For example, the subscribing or purchasing public may be classified by place of residence, by occupation, by ethnic origin, by sex, by income or by some other useful demographic breakdown which is relevant either to reading preference or to purchasing habits or both. It is generally recognized that a periodical, such as a magazine, would be much more effective in conveying information and as a medium of advertising if it could be prepared with a specific reading public in mind. Until recently the formation of demographically oriented periodicals has been but a futuristic goal; very little machinery has been designed to effectuate this proposal.

Books, a term used in the printing art to include magazines, catalogs, pamphlets and the like, as well as conventional books, are composed of signatures which are simply folded sheets bearing printed matter. The signatures may present pages of the usual format,

or they may constitute inserts of a special size. Theindividual signatures which compose the book are fed from hoppers in a signature gathering machine and deposited or collected one atop another on a conveyor. The collected signatures are then transported by the conveyor to a station where they are joined into a book by stitching (for example, with staples) or by gluing,

depending upon how the book is bound.

The signature gathering machine thus includes the conveyor and a number of units or signature inserters" arranged side by side. In the conventional arrangement, each inserter supplies signatures to the conveyor from a single hopper so that if each book is to be identical, one signature inserter is required for every signature inserted in the book.

If the books are to be tailored to separate demographic classes of readers, it is necessary to select and insert a particular one of a plurality of alternative signatures at certain places in the book. The selection of signatures for an individual book or series of books has conventionally been effected in one of two ways:

1. A first series of books are formed on a signature gathering machine with a first set of signatures arranged in the hoppers of the machine. The operation of the machine is then interrupted while the signatures in one or more hoppers are replaced by different signatures. A second series of books are then formed on the machine from the second set of signatures, and so on. Obviously, the number of demographic series which can be generated in this way is limited since the machine must be stopped and the hoppers refilled for each separate run.

2. A signature gathering machine is employed which is much longer, in the direction of the conveyor, and contains more hoppers than would otherwise be necessary. Means are provided to inhibit the transfer of signatures from individual hoppers to the conveyor so that books may be formed from selected signatures, as desired. Obviously this arrangement lengthens the signature gathering machine considerably, requiring additional machinery, additional floor space, and even additional personnel to supply the signatures and supervise the operation of the machine. For example, in order to permit selection between two alternatives for each signature in a book, it is necessary to double the number of signature inserters and double the length of the conveyor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide a signature gathering machine capable of assembling books distinctively formed for different demographic classes of readers, which machine does not exhibit the disadvantages of the conventional signature gathering machines described above.

This object, as well as other objects which will become apparent in the discussion that follows, is achieved, according to the present invention, by providing the signature gathering machine with one or more signature inserters having at least two signature hoppers from which signatures may be fed to the conveyor. Means are provided for each multi-hopper inserter to permit selection of the hopper from which a signature or signatures are to be extracted.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the signature gathering machine is comprised of one or more signature inserters having two signature hoppers arranged one above the other. Although additional hoppers may be provided, arranged in a substantially vertical row, convenience in filling the hoppers with signatures prescribes a limitation -on the number of hoppers per machine.

The signature inserter according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention thus comprises two hoppers, arranged one above the other; two rotary extractor drums, each of which is associated with one hopper and provided with means for extracting individual signatures from that hopper; a rotary transfer drum for transferring individual signatures from one extractor drum to the conveyor and a rotary intermediate drum for transferring signatures from the other extractor drum to the first extractor drum. Finally, the signature inserter includes means for selecting the hopper from which the signatures will be extracted.

The selection means for controlling the extraction of signatures from the two hoppers preferably comprises at least one suction cup associated with and movable toward and away from the supply of signatures in each hopper for selectively withdrawing at least the leading edge of the leading signature in the hopper when a vacuum is applied. Control means, including a source of vacuum, is provided for. selectively applying the vacuum to the appropriate suction cups in timed relation to the operation of the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a signature inserter constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic end view of a typical signature showing the relative lengths of the legs thereof.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the intermediate drum of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3a is a side elevational view of the intermediate drum showing a modification thereof.

FIGS. 4 and 4a are end elevational views of the intermediate drum shown in FIGS. 3 and 3a, respectively.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a portion of the upper extractor drum of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the extractor drum of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view of a first modification of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic view of a second modification of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 9a and 9b are side and end elevational views, respectively,of a third modification of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 is a block diagram of the control system of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. Ila-11f are diagrammatic views illustrating the operation of the signature inserter shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of a logic circuit which may be employed in the control system shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 is a timing diagram illustrating the operation of the logic circuit shown in FIG. 12.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. l-13 in the drawings. Like elements which are depicted in the various figures are designated with the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 illustrates one preferred embodiment of the signature inserter according to the present invention. This inserter functions in a signature gathering machine to repetitively insert signatures onto a saddle type conveyor of conventional design. The conveyor is arranged to move successively past a plurality of signature inserters and thereby collect signatures to repeatedly form a' book. A signature inserter of the general type to which the present invention relates is disclosed, for example, in the U.S. Pat. No. 2,413,358 to Kleineberg.

The signature inserters in a given signature gathering machine may be either the conventional type which feed signatures to the conveyor from a single hopper, or they may be the multi-hopper signature inserter according to the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 1; the signature inserter according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention includes, essentially, upright frames 10 having a base 12; an upper hopper 14 and lower hopper 16 for the supply of signatures 18 and 20, respectively; a shelf 22 for jogging and storing fresh supplies of signatures;

an upper extractor drum 24 for withdrawing signatures from the upper hopper 14; a lower extractor drum 26 for withdrawing signatures from the lower hopper 16; a transfer drum 28; an intermediate drum 30; an opener drum 32; and a stationary saddle or bayonet 34 from which signatures may be received by a saddle type conveyor 36. Alignment of the frame 10 is maintained by frame rods 38 which extend the full length of the machine. Not shown, but extending parallel to the rods 38are lines or'pipes which provide the machine with compressed air and vacuum. A rectangular duct 40 extends along the top of the machine to house the wires providing the electric controls.

Also extending lengthwise of the machine are a main drive shaft 42; a jack shaft 44; an upper extractor drum shaft 46; a lower extractor drum shaft 48; an upper cam shaft 50; an intermediate cam shaft 52; a lower cam shaft 53; a transfer drum shaft 54; an intermediate drum shaft 56; and an opener drum shaft 58. A timing chain or belt 60 leads from a sprocket on thedrive shaft 42 to a sprocket 62 fixed to the jack shaft 44. A second sprocket 64 on the jack shaft cooperates with a drive chain or belt 66 to transmit power to the upper and lower extractor drum shafts 46 and 48, and to the upper, intermediate and lower cam shafts 50, 52 and 53. The intermediate drum shaft 56 is driven by a chain or belt 68 from the intermediate hopper cam shaft 52. The opener drum shaft 58 is driven by another chain or belt 70 from the transfer drum shaft 54. Various guide sprockets 72 are provided for the timing chain 60 and the drive chains 66 and 70.

The signature inserter operates in timed relation with the movement of the saddle conveyor 36. Each time the outstanding cars 74 on the conveyor 36 move a signature off the stationary saddle 34 onto the conveyor, the signature inserter completes a new cycle to place another signature on the saddle. A cycle of the machine is thus completed between the time that a signature 'is deposited on the saddle 34 and the time that the subsequent signature is so deposited. As will become appar: ent from the discussion of machine operation hereinbelow, the machine requires one complete revolution of the transfer drum 28 and opener drum 32 for each cycle of operation. Similarly, the machine requires one complete revolution of the intermediate drum 30 and the cam shafts 50 and 52 per cycle. The extractor drums 24 vand 26 must make a complete revolution for every two cycles of operation; accordingly, the extractor drums are driven at half the speed of the transfer drum, opener drum, intermediate drum and cam shafts.

The bottom wall of the hoppers 14 and 16 is formed by an endless belt or belts 76, suitably supported at 78 by the frame 10 and driven in the direction indicated in FIG. I to urge the signatures resting thereon against the forward walls 80 and 82 of upper and lower hoppers, respectively. The belts 76 may be moved continuously but are preferably driven only upon detecting the absence of a signature in the forward position; i.e., in the demand feed" mode. Chains or wires may, of course, be substituted for the belts 76.

Pivotally attached near the lower end of the front walls 80 and 82 of the upper and lower hoppers, respectively, are suction cups 84 and 86 which function to draw signatures out of the hoppers by application of vacuum. Since two or more suction cups are normally. arranged at each hopper in parallel, a vacuum is applied to the cups simultaneously through a common manifold 88 (in the case of the suction cups 84) and manifold 90 (in the case of the suction cups 86) extending lengthwise of the machine. Pivotal motion is imparted to the suction cups about their respective manifolds by a cam operated mechanism (not shown) actuated by the corresponding cam shafts 50 and 52. The suction cups 84 and 86 are alternately swung outwardly into engagement with the foremost signature in the respective hoppers and then inwardly toward the respective extractor drums 24 and 26. If a vacuum is applied to the suction cups, they will adhere to and pull the lower end of the foremost signature out of the hopper during the inward swing.

Rotation of the extractor drums 24 and 26 is timed relative to the pivotal motion of the suction cups 84 and 86 such that, when the cups are in the inward position, the fingers 92 and 94 carried by the extractor drums 24 and 26 close on the leading end of the foremost signature and clamp it against a seat 96 or 98 on the drum. Continued rotation of the drums 24 and 26 then causes the signature to be pulled from the hopper by its leading end. As is depicted generally in FIG. 1 and with more particularity in FIG. 2, the signatures 100 are normally positioned in the hoppers 14 and 16 with their closed end 100a extending downward, so that the closed end becomes the leading end clamped by the extractor drum. So positioned, the long leg of the signature is arranged forward of the short leg 100a so that it will come in contact with the extractor drum when withdrawn from the hopper. The purpose for this orientation of the signatures in the hoppers will become clear in the discussion which follows.

As is conventional in signature. inserters of a signature gathering machine, the gripper fingers 92 and 94 are automatically closed at the proper timed relation relative to the movement of the suction cups 84 and 86, respectively, so that a signature is gripped each time the fingers pass suction cups to which a vacuum has been applied. Current practice is also to extract two signatures from a hopper on each revolution of an extractor drum. For this purpose, a second set of gripper fingers 92a and 94a and cooperating seats 96a and 98a, respectively, are located on each extractor drum diametrically opposite to the first set of fingers 92 and 94. Each set of fingers 92, 92a, 94 and 94a is, of course, operable to close upon the leading end of a signature as it moves past the extracting position.

The fingers 92, 92a, 94, and 94a are actuated by cam-following mechanisms which, for the sake of clarity, are not shown in FIG. 1.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, and in accordance with the principles of the present invention, the intermediate drum 30 is also provided with gripper fingers 102. These fingers clamp the leading end of a signature against a seat 104 as this leading end is brought tangent to the intermediate drum by the lower extractor drum 26. Upon clamping the signature by the gripper fingers 102, the gripper fingers 94 or 94a of the lower extractor drum 26 are released. The signature is then brought upward on the periphery of the intermediate drum toward the upper extractor drum 24.

When the leading edge of the signature gripped by the fingers 102 on the intermediate drum reaches the upper extractor drum, it is clamped by a second set of gripper fingers 106 or 106a on the upper extractor drum which pivot about the same axes as the fingers 92 and 92a, respectively. Like the fingers 92 and 92a, the fingers 102, 106 and 1060 are actuated by camfollowing mechanisms which, for the sake of clarity, are not shown in FIG. 1.

The cam-following mechanism for the fingers 102 will be discussed below in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4, and the cam-following mechanisms for the fingers 92, 92a, 106, and 106a will be discussed in connection with FIGS. 5 and 6. Suffice it to say, at this point, that the fingers 92 and 92a automatically close against their respective seats whenever they pass the suction cups 84 and the fingers 106 and 106a automatically close whenever they pass the intermediate drum 30. The fingers 92, 92a, 106 and 106a are simultaneously raised sufficiently to release a signature as the leading edge of the signature enters the upper left-hand quadrant of the upper extractor drum.

The dual sets of gripper fingers 92, 92a, 106, and 106a are therefore operative to clamp a signature originating from either the upper hopper 14 or the lower hopper 16. If signature is not drawn out of the hopper 14 by the section cups 84, the gripper fingers 92 and 92a will merely close against their respective seats 96 and 96a without clamping a signature. In this case, the machine will function to deliver a signature from the lower hopper 16 via the second extractor drum 26 and the intermediate drum 30. As the gripper fingers 106 or 106a pass the intermediate drum 30 they will clamp a signature against a respective seat 96 or 960.

Upon continued rotation of the upper extractor drum 24, the signature is carried by the drum until the lead ing end of the signature abuts against a notched stop 108 fixed to an arm 110 extending from the shaft 46. The stop 108 locates the trailing end of the signature at the proper position or point to be gripped by and transferred to the transfer drum 28.

In FIG. 1, a signature 1 12 is illustrated in the stop position. During its travel from either the upper hopper 14 or the lower hopper 16 to the stop position, the leading end of the signature 112 is supported by two generally cylindrical extractor drum sections 24a (only one of which is shown) that are spaced axially'on the shaft 46. The body of the signature and its trailing ends are supported between the extractor drum sections on one side and signature guides (not shown) on the other to keep the signature from flying outward by centrifugal force. These signature guides may be either solid, preferably chromium plated rails or constructed of brushes.

Since the point of transfer of these signatures from the extractor drum 24 to the transfer drum 28 is fixed, provision is made to adjust the position of the stop 108 to account for variations in the width of the signatures being inserted on the conveyor 36. Thus, the upper end of the arm 110 is adjustably received in an arcuate slot 114 formed in a bracket 116 conveniently anchored near the front wall of the upper hopper 14. By moving the arm along the slot 114, the position of the signature stop 108 may be adjusted so that signatures of different width may be handled without variation in the location of the point where the trailing ends of these signatures come to rest when the signatures are stopped.

To ensure that the signature 1 12 will fully engage the stop 108 and will remain in the stop position until gripped by the transfer drum 28, a guide roll 118, pivoted on the arm 110 and spring-biased toward the extractor drum 24, bears against the signature 112 causing it to be urged by frictional engagement with the surfaces of the drum sections 24a into contact with the stop 108. In accordance with conventional practice, the gripper fingers 92, 92a, 106, 106a are opened just before the leading end of the signature reaches the stop 108. A second guide roll 120, adjustably mounted on a frame rod 38, prevents the trailing end of the signature from flying outward away from the extractor drum 24 and, by bending the signature during the transfer phase, helps to open the legs thereof prior to gripping by the opener drum 32.

The transfer drum 28 is illustrated and described in detail in the copending US. Pat. application Ser. No. 234,076 filed Mar. l3, 1972 by Warren D. Reinert. Briefly, this transfer drum includes two axially spaced drum sections 28a (only one of which is shown) each arranged adjacent to, but off-set axially from, a corresponding extractor drum section 24a. Each section 28a is divided circumferentially into two segments, one segment 122 of relatively short radius, and another segment 124 of larger radius.

The radius of the segments 124 on the two axially spaced transfer drum sections 28a is such that these segments will enter within, i.e., overlap, the periphery of the extractor drum sections 24a when the segments 124 are in the region of closest approach to the axis of the first extractor drum 24. Due to their smaller radius, the segments 122 of the transfer drum sections 28a will remain outside the periphery of the extractor drum sections 24a spaced by at least the thickness of a signature. The rotational timing of the extractor drum 24 and the transfer drum 28 is such that when a signature is being carried by the extractor drum 24 past the transfer drum 28, the short radius segments 122 are adjacent to the extractor drum, thus allowing a signature to be moved between the drums without interference and to be brought into engagement with the notched stop 108. Immediately thereafter, the segments of 124 of larger radius enter within the extractor drum 24 behind the trailing end of the signature, as depicted in FIG. 1.

When the segments 124 of larger radius of the transfer drum 28 have rotated around to the position shown in FIG. 1, the two legs of the signature which has abutted the stop 108 are clamped against a seat 126 by short and long gripper fingers 128 and 130, respectively. The long gripper fingers 130 press both legs of the signature against the seat 126 whereas the short gripper fingers 128 press only the longer leg of the signature against the seat. Upon continued rotation of the transfer drum 28, the signature is pulled off the extractor drum 24 in reverse direction i.e., trailing end first and is moved toward the opener drum 32. I

The transfer drum 28 and the opener drum 32 thereafter coact, in a known manner, to open the legs of the signature so that the signature may be delivered in straddling fashion to the stationary saddle 34. Thus, at

, a predetermined point in the approach of the trailing end of the signature toward the opener drum 32, the longer gripper fingers 130 of the transfer drum 28 are opened releasing the short leg of the signature, while the shorter fingers 128 remain closed, holding the long leg of the signature against the seat 126.

Shortly thereafter, the short leg of the signature is clamped momentarily by gripper fingers 132 against a seat 134 on the opener drum 32. With the short leg thus gripped by the opener drum 32 and the long 'leg gripped by the transfer drum 28, the signature legs are spread apart as the drums 28 and 32 rotate beyond the gripping point. When opening of the signature has-progressed to an extent that it will straddle the saddle 34,

the short fingers 128 of the transfer drum 28 and the.

fingers 132 of the opener drum 32 are opened, releasing both signature legs. Positive, non-slip feeding of the signature to the saddle 34 is effected by a layer of resilient material (not shown) provided on the opener drum surface to press the signature body between the opener drum and the large radius segments 124 of the transfer drum 28.

The stationary saddle 34 is suspended from the machine frame 10 by a bracket and extends forwardly in the direction of movement of the conveyor 36. As the conveyor 36 progresses from'station to station along the length of the signature gathering machine, it collects a signature from the stationary saddle of each signature inserter. This is accomplished by the outstanding cars 74 located at equidistant intervals along the conveyor. As the ears 74 move beneath a saddle, they strip the signature from the saddle so that the signature comes to rest on the associated conveyor saddle 136 or on the signatures collected by the conveyor at previous stations. In this way, a new signature is added to each moving saddle 136 until a complete book has been assembled.

As shown in FIG. 1, the overall length of the signature inserter may be reduced, thereby conserving floor space in the bindery, by positioning the transfer drum 28 optimally relative to the upper extractor drum 24 and the other machine components. The transfer drum 28 and its shaft 54 are preferably located such that their common axis of rotation lies below the first extractor drum 24 in a plane A-A which is tangent to the periphery of the extractor drum 24 and inclined at approximately 21 20 angle counterclockwise fromthe vertical. While a 20 angle is optimum, other inclinations may also be employed to advantage.

Similarly, the intennediate drum 30 and its shaft 56 as well as the lower extractor drum 26 and its shaft 48 are preferably located such that their axes of rotation are below the upper extractor drum 24 and lie in a plane 'B--B which passes through the axis of the upper extractor drum. The plane BB is inclined at approximately a 30 angle counterclockwise from the vertical so that the intermediate and transfer drums are separated slightly and the lower hopper 16 is moved outward (below the shelf 22) for easier access. While a 30 angle is optimum for the plane B B, other inclinations may also be employed to advantage.

Finally, the upper cam shaft 50, intermediate cam shaft 52 and the lower cam shaft 53 are preferably located such that their axes of rotation are equidistant from each other and lie in a plane C-C which is parallel to the plane BB. This permits the use of interchangeable parts (not shown) in the hopper feed and signature withdrawing mechanisms.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the intermediate drum 30 in greater detail. As may be seen in side viewin FIG. 3 and in end view in FIG. 4,'the gripper fingers 102 are arranged at the ends of a shaft 138 which is pivoted for rotational movement in the two sections 30a of the intermediate drum. The shaft 138, and consequently the gripper fingers 102, are biased in the direction of closing by a tension spring 140 connected between a pin 141 protruding from one of the drum sections 30a and a crank arrangement 142 mounted on one end of the shaft 138. The shaft 138, and consequently the gripper fingers 102, are rotated to an open position by a cam mechanism comprising a cam 143 and cam follower 144. The cam follower is rotatively mounted on a crank arm 145 which is attached to the opposite end of the shaft 138.

The cam 143 is held stationary with respect to the machine frame by means of bolts 146. The angular position of the cam may be adjusted, within limits, by loosening the bolts and rotating the cam about its axis, As the cam is rotated, the bolts slide in slots 147 of a stationary member 148. Tightening the bolts retains the cam against the stationary member.

The profile of the cam 143 is designed to open the gripper fingers 102 as these fingers approach the upper extractor drum 24 and to allow the gripper fingers 102 to close as they approach the lower extractor drum 26. When in the closed position, the spring mechanism 140-142 maintains a clamping pressure such that, if a signature is clamped, the forces of inertia and centrifical force cannot withdraw the signature from between the gripper fingers I02 and the seats 104.

FIGS. 3a and 4a show a modification of the gripper fingers 102 and seats 104 which may be incorporated in the intermediate drum 30 of the present invention to provide a more positive, non-slip grip of the signatures. In this case, a small needle 149 is arranged in each seat 104 to protrude slightly from the exterior surface thereof at the tip of each gripper finger 102. To ensure that the gripper fingers 102 will not come into contact with the needles 149, a small notch 150 is cut in the tip of the fingers surrounding the needles 149.

Operation of the gripper fingers with the modified embodiment of FIGS. 3a and 4a is identical to that described above for the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show the mechanisms for operating the gripper fingers 92 and 106 on the upper extractor durm 24. As discussed above in connection with FIG. 1, the gripper fingers 92 operate to close as they pass the vacuum cups 84 associated with the upper hopper 14, while the gripper fingers 106 operate to close as they pass the intermediate drum 30. both sets of gripper fingers 92 and 106 are opened simultaneously when they reach the signature stop 108.

The mechanism for closing and opening the gripper fingers 92 and 106 is similar to the actuating mechanism for the gripper fingers 102 of the intermediate drum 30 discussed above in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4. The gripper fingers 92 are arranged at the ends of a shaft 151 which is pivoted for rotational movement in the two sections 24a of the extractor drum. The gripper fingers 106 are connected to a second, hollow shaft 152 which is pivoted for rotation about the shaft 151 between the sections 24a of the extractor drum.

The apparatus for rotating the shafts 151 and 152, and thus actuating the gripper fingers 92 and 106, respectively, is arranged at opposite ends of the extractor drum. The shaft 151 is rotated by a gear 153 which is turned by a gear segment 154 pivoted on pin 155 extending through the adjacent drum section 24a. The gear segment 154 is biased in a direction tending to close the gripper fingers 92 by a compression spring 156 and is rotated in a direction tending to open the gripper fingers 92 by a cam follower 157 which rides on a stationary cam 158.

The shaft 152 is rotated in a similar manner by a gear 159, gear segment 160, compression spring 161, cam follower 162 and stationary cam 163. The compression spring 161 and cam follower 162 act on a pivot arm 164 which operates to rotate a pin 165 extending axially through the adjacent drum section 24a.

The relationship between the upper extractor drum 24 and the intermediate drum 30 is also illustrated in FIG. 5. As shown in dashed lines, the intermediate drum 30 is arranged between sections and gripper fingers of the upper extractor drum to avoid contact between the mechanical parts.

The gripper fingers 94 of the lower extractor drum 26 may be actuated by an arrangement identical to the mechanism for operation the gripper fingers 92 of the upper extractor drum, described above.

FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate modifications which may be made to the apparatus of FIG. 1. In FIG. 7 the lower extractor drum 26 and the intermediate drum 30 are each provided with at least one roller 168 that is mounted for rotation on an arm 170 pivoted on the frame at 172 and biased by a spring 174 or other suitable means in the direction of the respective drum. The rollers 168 thus maintain a non-slip pressure against each signature which is carried on the extractor drum 26 and intermediate drum 30 permitting the gripper fingers of the extractor drum 26 and intermediate drum 30 to be opened prior to the instant that the signature is to be released. Thus, for example, the gripper fingers 102 of the intermediate drum 30 may be opened as soon as they pass beneath the roller 168 which presses against the intermediate drum.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative arrangement whichmay be used in the apparatus of FIG. 1 to hold a signature against the intermediate drum 30. This arrangement consists of a plurality of belts 176 extended about rollers 178 so as to .wrap around a segment of the intermediate drum 30. If desired, an additional group of belts 180 arranged on rollers 182 may be employed in conjunction with the lower extractor drum 26 to direct the signature to the point where it is received by the intermediate drum 30. A signature received by the intermediate drum is pinched between the belts 176 and the drum sections 30a and carried upward to the upper extractor drum 24.

The belts 176 and 180 are preferably driven at the same speed as the circumferential surfaces of the extractor drum 26 and intermediate drum 30 by a suitable one of their respective rollers 178 and 182.

FIGS. 90 and 9b illustrate, in side and end views, respectively, another possible modification of the apparatus of FIG. 1. In this embodiment, the intermediate drum 30 comprises a single drum body 183 having a plurality of openings 184 for the passage of air. A separate disk or shoe 186, is arranged adjacent the drum body, and provided with a port or chamber 188 connected to a vacuum line 190. A vacuum established in the line 190 causes air to be drawn from the chamber 188 and from any of the openings 184 which are aligned therewith. A vacuum is therefore established along a certain sector of the outer periphery of the intermediate drum 30 causing any signature which may be situated along this sector to adhere to the drum.

The chamber 188 extends approximately halfway around the disk 186. As the openings 184 rotate past the chamber (in the direction indicated by the arrow), they pass a bleeder hole 187 in the disk 186. This hole causes the vacuum in the openings to disappear so that the signature adhering to the drum may be easily removed.

Like the cams described above in connection with the gripper finger actuating mechanism, the disk 186 is stationary with respect to the machine frame 10. It is anchored to the frame by means of a brace 189 which may, for example, be attached to one of the frame rods 38. The brace 189 is provided with a slot 191 to permit rotational adjustment of the disk 186.

FIG. is a block diagram of a preferred system for selecting and controlling the withdrawal of signatures from the two hoppers 14 and 16 of the signature inserter of FIG. 1. As explained above in connection with FIG. 1, the selection of signatures is effected by the timed application of vacuum to the suction cups 84 and 86. These cups are caused to swing toward and away from the signatures l8 and 20 arranged in the upper and lower hoppers 14 and 16, respectively; and, when vacuum is applied, they operate to draw the leading signature inward toward the adjacent extractor drum. When the signature is clamped by the gripper fingers of the extractor drum, the vacuum is removed so that the signature may be easily drawn away from the suction cups. After the trailing end .of the signature has passed the suction cups, the cups are pivoted back toward the hopper and, if another signature is to be withdrawn, the vacuum is applied again.

In the conventional signature inserter having only one hopper, the vacuum is intermittently applied to the suction cups in timed relation to the position of the extractor drum by means of a valve connected between the source of vacuum and the suction cups. Such a valve may, for example, be a rotary valve of the type disclosed in the U.S. Pat. No. 3,610,281 issued Oct. 5, 1971 to Warren D. Reine'rt. In the signature inserter according to the invention, two such rotary valves 192 and 194 are used in conjunction with the cups 84 and 86 at the upper hopper and lower hoppers, respectively. These valves are connected between a vacuum source 196 and the suction cups as shown in FIG. 10.

The rotary valves 192 and 194 are mounted onthe cam shafts and 52, respectively, in the signature inserter of FIG. 1 and are rotated at the same speed as the intermediate and transfer drums by the drive mechanism indicated generally in FIG. 10 at 198.

In addition to the rotary valves, the vacuum to the suction cups is controlled by a logic circuit 200 connected electrically to two solenoid valves 202 and 204 arranged in the vacuum lines between the vacuum source and the suction cups 84 and 86, respectively. Like the rotary valves, the logic circuit 200 receives an input from the mechanical drive l98.ln' addition, the A logic circuit is responsive to switches or push buttons which permit an operator to select whether the signatures are to be extracted from the upper hopper or lower hopper. If the signature inserter is used in a fully automated signature gathering machine, the logic circuit 200 may receive signals from a master control unit which automatically selects the hopper from which signatures are to be withdrawn. Such a master control unit is particularly useful if the individual books formed by the signature gathering machine are to differ according to the demographic classification. of the readers to whom the books will be directed. I

the structure and operation of an exemplary logic circuit 200 will be described below in connection with FIGS. 12 and 13. Before discussing this circuit in detail,

however, it will be useful to consider the operation of the signature inserter and, specifically, to consider its operation when the machine is switched from a mode in which signatures are extracted from the upper hopper to a mode in which they are extracted from the lower hopper, and vice-versa. This operation will now be explained with reference to FIG. 11.

As has been explained above in connection with FIG. 1, the intermediate and transfer drums of the signature inserter are rotated one complete turn during each cycle of machine operation. The period of one machine cycle is thus equivalent to the time between the instants that successive signatures are dropped onto the saddle 34. During this period the conveyor 36, which gathers signatures into books, moves from one station or signature inserter to the next or, after passing all stations, delivers a completed book at the end of the signature gathering machine. The machine cycle of the signature inserter is therefore identical to the book cycle of the signature gathering machine and these two terms will hereinafter beused interchangeably.

FIGS. Ila-11f diagrammatically show the' principal functional elements of the signature inserter illustrated in FIG. 1. In each figure there is shown the upper and lower hoppers l4 and 16, the upperand lower extractor drums 24 and 26, the transfer drum 28, the intermediate drum 30 and the opener drum 32. In each extractor drum 24 and 26 there is a circle 206 and 208, re.- spectively, which represents the vacuum line con nected to the associated suction cups. If an X appears in the circle, as it does, for example, in the circle 206 in FIG. 11a, this signifies that a vacuum is applied to the suction cups for that extractor drum and hopper. If an X is absent, as in the case of circle 208 in FIG. 11a, this signifies that vacuum is not applied to the corresponding suction cups. Specifically, ,if an -X is present, then the solenoid valve connecting the vacuum source to the corresponding suction cups is open, and if an X" is absent, the solenoid valve connecting the vacuum source to the correspondingsuction cups is closed. I

FIGS. 1 la-Il illustrate the signature inserter at successive moments in time as the signature inserter is switched from the mode of operation in which it withdraws signatures from the upper hopper 1 4 to the mode of operation in which it withdraws signatures from the v v lower hopper 16. Each successive figure shows the signature inserter atapproximately one-half book cycle later in time.

In FIG. 11a the vacuum is applied to the suction, cups of the upper hopper 14 as indicated by the X in the circle 206. At the illustrated moment in time, the signature inserter has withdrawn a signature 210 from the upper hopper and is about to withdraw another.

In FIG. 1 1b the upper extractor drum has rotated approximately one quarter turn, carrying the signature 210 upward to a position where its trailing end may be clamped by the transfer drum. Sincethe vacuum has been maintained at the suction cups at the upper hopper, the upper extractor drum has also withdrawn another signature 212 from the upper hopper. In addition, the vacuum has been applied to the suction cups at the lower hopper so that the lower extractor drum may also begin to withdraw signatures from this hopper.

In FIG. 11c the upper and lower extractor drums have each rotated approximately one quarter turn,

whereas the transfer drum and opener drum have each rotated approximately one-half turn. As may be seen, the signature 212 has been completely withdrawn from the upper hopper by the upper extractor drum. In addition, the lower extractor drum has clamped a signature 214 and has partially withdrawn it from the lower hopper. The transfer drum and the opener drum have drawn the signature 210 downward and have opened its two legs in preparation for dropping it on the saddle.

In FIG. 11d the signature inserter has released the signature 210 and has withdrawn an additional signature 216 from the upper hopper. Signatures 212 and 214 have been rotated around on their respective extractor drums approximately one quater turn.

In FIG. lle the signature inserter has withdrawn a new signature 218 from the lower hopper and has rotated the signatures 214 and 216 approximately one quarter turn on their respective extractor drums. The signature 212 has been drawn downward by the transfer drum and opener drum and is about to be dropped on the saddle. Vacuum applied to the suction cups at the upper hopper has been switched off but the vacuum continues to be applied to the suction cups at the lower hopper.

The signature inserter is now operating to withdraw signatures from the lower hopper only. FIG. 11f illustrates how these signatures are transferred from the lower extractor drum to the upper extractor drum by the intermediate drum. In this case, the signature 214 was released by the lower extractor drum and clamped by the intermediate drum. The intermediate drum has drawn the signature 214 upward to the position shown in FIG. 11f in readiness for clamping by the upper extractor drum.

It will be appreciated from the above discussion of the operation of the signature inserter that signatures withdrawn from the lower hopper require some time to be brought upward to the position at which they are clamped by the upper extractor drum. In particular, the signatures withdrawn from the lower hopper must be withdrawn I-Vz book cycles ahead of signatures withdrawn from the upper hopper to bring them to the point of transfer between the intermediate drum and the upper extractor drum.

Thus, when switching from the mode of operation in which signatures are withdrawn from the upper hopper to the mode in which signatures are withdrawn from the lower hopper, it is necessary to apply a vacuum to the suction cups at the lower hopper l-l cycles prior to the time at which the vacuum applied to the suction cups at the upper hopper is removed. Conversely, when switching from the mode of operation in which signatures are withdrawn from the lower hopper to the mode in which they are withdrawn from the upper hooper, it is necessary to remove the vacuum from the suction cups at the lower hopper l-% cycles in advance of the application of vacuum to the suction cups at the upper hopper.

FIG. 12 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a logic circuit 200 which may be used to actuate the solenoid valves 202 and 204 in the vacuum line to the suction cups 84 and 86 at the upper and lower hoppers, respectively. The control functionsin this circuit are executed by a plurality of electronic gates. It will be understood, however, that any suitable logic circuit may be substituted for the circuit shown. For example, the logic circuit may be comprised of a plurality of relays and associated contactors forming a conventional switching circuit or it may be formed of a plurality of fluidic gates interconnected by fluidic paths forming an equivalent fluidic circuit. In the latter case, fluidactuated valves may be employed in place of the solenoid valves 202 and 204 to control the vacuum at the suction cups.

In the circuit sh'own, a timing wheel 220 is employed to synchronize the circuit operation with the mechanical operation of the signature inserter. The timing wheel 220 is driven in 1:1 relationship with the intermediate drum 30; that is, the timing wheel makes one revolution per book cycle of the signature gathering machine. During each revolution, the timing wheel interrupts the voltage V applied to lines 222 and 224 through limit switches 226 and 228, respectively.

Reset pulses may be applied to lines 230 and 232 by momentarily pressing reset buttons 234 and 236, respectively. When the machine is turned on and a voltage is originally applied to the logic circuit, the circuit gates should be manually set to their proper states by depressing either one of the reset buttons 234 or 236. The reset button 234 sets the circuit to cause signatures to be withdrawn from the lower hopper whereas the reset button 236 sets the circuit to cause signatures to be withdrawn from the upper hopper.

During operation, the logic circuit may be switched either manually or automatically from upper hopper operation to lower hopper operation-or vice-versa. The circuit may be manually switched to cause withdrawal of signatures from the upper hopper by pressing the push button 238. Similarly, the circuit may be manually switched to cause signatures to be withdrawn from the lower hopper by pressing the push button 240. The logic circuit may be switched automatically either to upper hopper or lower hopper operation by applying a logical l (a pulse of voltate V) to either terminal W or Z, respectively, of gates 241 and 243.-

The two solenoid valves 202 and 204 are normally closed so that a vacuum will be applied to the respective suction cups only if a voltage is applied to the valves. As will be understood from the above discussion of the operation of the signature inserter in connection with FIG. 11, the machine cannot be instantaneously switched from upper hopper operation to lower hopper operation, or vice-versa. Specifically, the signal applied to the logic circuit indicating a switch from one mode of operation to the other must anticipate the actual change-over by I-% book cycles. Stated another way, an input signal indicating a switch from one mode of operation to the other sets in motion a switching cycle which takes lv book cycles to complete. This switching cycle will now be explained with reference to FIG. 13.

As noted above, the logic circuit shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 12 consists of a plurality of electronic gates, referenced 241-272. These gates are so-called NOR-gates: they produce a logical 1" output if and only if a logical 0 appears at each input. Typical outputs of these various gates are illustrated in FIG. 13 which is an exemplary timing diagram of the entire logic circuit 200.

Also shown in FIG. 13 are representative signals pro duced by the limit switches 226 and 228 and, at the bottom of the figure, the reset buttons 234 and 236.

At the start of the time period illustrated in FIG. 13 the signature inserter is operating to withdraw signatures from the lower hopper. The timing wheel 220 is in the position shown in FIG. 12 so that the limit switch 226 has opened the circuit from the voltage supply V to the line 222, and the voltage on line 222 is zero. The limit switch 228 is closed, however, so that the voltage V appears on line 224.

At time T the limit switch 226 is allowed to close, switching on the voltage V to the line 222. This voltage is applied to gates 242 and 246; however, there is no change in the output of these gates since an input voltage is also applied thereto via gates 241 and 243, respectively.

At time T, the push button 238 is momentarily depressed signaling a change in the mode of operation of the signature inserter from withdrawl of signatures from the lower hopper to withdrawal of signatures from the upper hopper. The push button 238 applies an input to gate 241, causing this gate to drop its output to zero. No change of state of any other gate occurs until time T when the limit switch 226 turns off the input voltage to the gates 242 and 246. Since none of the three input terminals of gate 242 receives a voltage or logical 1, this gate will produce an output until time T when the limit switch 226 is allowed to close. An output from gate 242 inhibits the output produced by gate 244 which, in turn, allows gate 248 to produce an output. The disappearance of an output from gate 244 also allows the solenoid valve 204 to return to its normally closed position. The closing of valve 204 removes the vacuum from the suction cups 86 at the lower hopper preventing the further withdrawal of signatures.

At time T, the limit switch 228 is opened switching off the voltage on line 224. The absence of an input at gate 254 causes this gate to produce an output which, in turn, inhibits the output from gate 252. Loss of an output from gate 252 permits gate 256 to produce an output. This output is fed back to gate 252 so that gate 252 will not change its state when the input received from gate 254 disappears. Gate 254 loses its output at time T when the limit switch 228 is allowed to close.

The next sequence of the events occurs at time T when the limit switch 226 is opened. The gate 262, which has lost an input from gate 252, is now allowed to produce an output due to the loss of voltage on line 222. This output, which is produced until time T, when limit switch 226 is allowed to close, inhibits the output produced by gate 260. The loss of this output causes gate 264 to produce an output which, in turn, is impressed on an input of gate 260, so that gate 260 will not change its state when the input received from gate 262 disappears.

At time T the limit switch 228 is again opened, removing the voltage from line 224. Since gate 270 now receives no input from gate 260, loss of the voltage on line 224 causes gate 270 to produce an output. This output continues until time T when the limit switch 228 is allowed to close.

The output voltage from gate 270 is impressed on an input of gate 268 causing the output of gate 268 to disappear. The loss of the output from gate 268 permits gate 272 to produce an output which, in turn, is supplied to an input of gate 268 so that gate 268 will not change its state at time T upon the disappearance of the output from gate 270.

The output from gate 272 is impressed on and opens the solenoid valve 202. A path of vacuum is therefore opened to the suction cups 84 at the upper hopper 14 causing signatures to be withdrawn from this hopper.

As is indicated at the bottom of FIG. 13, the period between the time that the vacuum is removed from the suction cups 86 at the lower hopper to the time that the vacuum is applied to the suction cups 84 at the upper hopper is exactly 1- /2 book cycles. This delay fulfills the requirements of the signature inserter discussed above which are due to the difference in the length of signature travel from the upper and lower hoppers to the point of transfer between the intermediate drum 30 and the upper extractor drum 24.

After the change of inode of operation of the signature inserter which was initiated by pressing the button 238 at time T and which was completed when the output of gate 270 fell to a logical 0 at time T the signature inserter can continue to operate indefinitely in this new mode in which it withdraws signatures from the upper hopper. Thus, each of the gates 241-272 will remain in the states which are shown at time T If, at any time, the power to the logic circuit is switched off, the circuit gates may be reset to the states which occurred at time T when the signature inserter was operating to withdraw signatures from the lower hopper, or reset to the states which occurred at time T when the signature inserter was operating to withdraw signatures from the upper hopper. Resetting the states of the gates to the configuration required to withdraw signatures from the lower hopper is accomplished by momentarily depressing the reset buttons 234. Resetting the states of the gates to the configuration required to withdraw signatures from the upper hopper is accomplished by momentarily depressing the reset button 236. When the buttons 234 and 236 are depressed, a voltage is applied to lines 230 and 232, re spectively; this voltage is impressed on the inputs of various ones of the gates 241-272 to set all the gates of the circuit to the desired states.

Once the signature inserter is operating to Withdraw signatures from the upper hopper and the push button 240 is depressed, the states of the gates 244, 248, 252, 256, 260, 264, 268 and 272, will be changed during a 1- /2 book cycle period in the same operational sequence as the changes which occurred when the signature inserter was switched from the lower to upper hopper operation. Specifically, after depressing the button 240 at time T the gate 246 causes gate 248 and, in turn, gate 244 to change their states. Gate 244 produces an output which opens the solenoid valve 204 to apply a vacuum to the suction cups 86 at the lower hopper. Thereafter, at time T the gate 250, gate 256 and, in turn, gate 252 change their states in response to a logical 0 produced on line 224 by the limit switch 228. Subsequently, at time T the gates 258, 264, and 260 change their states in response to a logical 0" on line 222 produced by the limit switch .226. Finally, at time T the gates 266, 272, and 268 change their states in response to a logical 0 on line 224 produced by the limit switch 228. The output of gate 272 falls to a logical 0" so that the solenoid valve 202 can return to its normally closed position, removing the vacuum from the suction cups 84 at the upper hopper. Thereafter, all of the gates 241-272 will retain their states until the push-button 238 is next depressed to again change the mode of operation of the signature inserter.

The description of the preferred embodiments of the signature inserter according to the present invention is not complete. However, it will be appreciated that these preferred embodiments are susceptible to various changes, modifications, variations and adaptations as will occur to those skilled in the art.

For example, whereas the lower extractor drum 26 has been illustrated and described as having the same diameter as the upper extractor drum 24, it may be desirable to construct the lower extractor drum with a slightly larger diameter than the upper extractor drum so that the surface speed of the signatures carried thereby will be slightly greater than the surface speed of the signatures carried by the intermediate drum 30. Thus, at the moment of transfer between the lower extractor drum 26 and the intermediate drum 30, the signatures will beinserted in positive fashion beneath the gripper fingers 102 so that the opening and closing action, respectively, of the gripper fingers 94 and 102 need not be as critically timed to effect the signature transfer.

Similarly, it may be preferable to slightly increase the diameter of the intermediate drum 30 relative to the diameter shown so that the surface speed of the signatures carried by the intermediate drum will be slightly greater than the surface speed of the signatures carried by the upper extractor drum 24. As in the case of the transfer between the lower extractor drum 26 and the intermediate drum 30, the slow-down of the signatures at the moment of transfer between the intermediate drum and the upper extractor drum 24 will make the transfer more positive and permit the transferring gripper fingers to be opened and closed less abruptly.

The preferred embodiments of the signature inserter described above may be further modified, for example, by providing means for declutching the lower extractor drum 26, the intermediate drum 30 and the cam shaft 53 when feeding signatures from the upper hopper 14. By silencing the extracting and transferring mechanisms for the lower hopper, the signature inserter may be operated without wear to these parts so that the entire machine will function in the conventional manner to supply signatures to the conveyor 36 from the upper hopper only.

The preferred embodiments of the signature inserter described above may be further modified, for example, by connecting additional switch means in the circuit that powers the solenoid valves 202 and 204 so that both solenoid valves may be switched off. With such switch means the signature inserter may be caused to exhibit three modes of operation: a first mode in which signatures are extracted from the upper hopper; a second mode in which signatures are extracted from the lower hopper; and a third mode in which signatures are not extracted from either hopper.

Accordingly, all such changes, modifications, variations, and adaptations are intended to be included within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

We claim:

1. A signature inserter for a signature gathering machine comprising, in combination:

A. a first hopper for feeding a supply of signatures;

B. a first rotary extractor drum associated with the said first hopper having means for extracting individual signatures from said first hopper;

C. first signature transfer means, mounted adjacent to said first extractor drum, for receiving individual signatures in succession from said first extractor drum and transferring them to a conveyor;

D. a second hopper for feeding a supply of signatures,

said second hopper being arranged in a common vertical plane with said first hopper, said vertical plane extending transverse to the axis of said first rotary extractor drum;

E. a second rotary extractor drum associated with the said second hopper having means for extracting individual signatures from said second hopper;

F. second signature transfer means mounted adjacent to said first extractor drum and said second extractor drum, for receiving individual signatures in succession from said second extractor drum and transferring them to said first extractor drum;

G. means associated with said first and second hoppers for selecting the extraction of signatures from said first and second hoppers, said selecting means comprising means for selectively withdrawing at least the leading edge of individual signatures from said first and said second hoppers including:

1. first suction cup means associated with said first hopper, said first suction cup means being movable toward and away from the supply of signa tures in said first hopper;

2. second suction cup means associated with said second hopper, said second suction cup means being movable toward and away from the supply of signatures in said second hopper; and

3. means, connected to said first and second suction cup means, for applying a vacuum thereto, said means for applying a vacuum to said first and second suction cup means comprising, in combination:

a. a source of vacuum;

b. a first control valve, connected between said source of vacuum and said first suction cup means, for selectively applying a vacuum to said first suction cup means;

c. a second control valve, connected between said source of vacuum and said second suction cup means, for selectively applying a vacuum to said second suction cup means; and

d. control means for actuating said first and second control valves in timed relation to the operation of the signature inserter to control the application of vacuum to said first and second suction cup means, said control means comprising, in combination:

i. switch means for selecting the hopper from which signatures are to be extracted; ii. means for sensing the rotational position of said first and second extractor drums; and iii. logic circuit means, connected to said switch means and to said sensing means, for actuating said first and second control valves to control the application of vacuum to said first and second suction cup means; whereby said control means is operative to cause the signature inserter to insert one signature on the conveyor of the signature gathering machine during each cycle of operation. 2. The signature inserter defined in claim 1, wherein said second signature transfer means is a rotary drum,

mounted intermediate said first extractor drum and said second extractor drum.

3. The signature inserter defined in claim 2, wherein said intermediate drum includes gripper means for gripping the leading edge of each signature received from said second extractor drum, for holding said leading edge while said signature is being transferred to said first extractor drum, and for releasing said leading edge when said signature is received by said first extractor drum.

4. The signature inserter defined in claim 3, further comprising at least one roller arranged adjacent to, and to roll with, the surface of said intermediate drum for holding signatures transferred thereby against the surface of said intermediate drum, whereby said gripper means on said intermediate drum may be opened to release the signatures before the leading edge of the signatures are received by said first extractor drum.

5. The signature inserter defined in claim 3, further comprising'at least one belt arranged adjacent to said intermediate drum for holding signatures transferred thereby against the surface of said intermediate drum, said at least one belt being movable in the direction of movement of the surface of said intermediate drum to prevent slippage between the signatures and the belt surfaces.

6. The signature inserter defined in claim 5, wherein said at least one belt is driven in the direction of movement of, and at the same speed as the surface of said intermediate drum.

7. The signature inserter defined in claim 1, wherein said first rotary extractor drum includes gripper means arranged on the drum periphery for gripping individual signatures received from said first hopper and from said second signature transfer means, said gripper means comprising:

first gripper fingers and first cam means, associated therewith, for repeatedly closing said first gripper fingers as these fingers pass said first hopper, thereby gripping any signature withdrawn from said first hopper by said selecting means; and second gripper fingers and second cam means, associated therewith, for repeatedly closing said second gripper fingers as these fingers pass said second signature transfer means, thereby gripping any signature withdrawn from said second hopper and transferred to said first rotary extractor drum by said second signature transfer means.

@2 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, Dated p 3, 97

Invenmfls) Lachman et a1.

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

P- a rf l 1 First page, 3rd line of Item 50], "Ehlschide" should be %lscheid--5 Col. 9 line 39, "durm" should read --drum--;

line M, "both" should be --Both- C01. 10 line 15, "operation" should read --operating--;

Col. 11, line 66, "the" should be -The--;

C01. 13 line 1 4, "quater" should read --quarter--; and

C01. 17 line 3, "not" should read --now--.

Signed and sealed this 1st day of October 1974 (SEAL) Attest:

MCCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4241907 *Apr 9, 1979Dec 30, 1980Mccain Manufacturing CorporationSignature machine having an adjustable timing control of the extraction means
US4564186 *Jun 4, 1984Jan 14, 1986R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyApparatus for gathering printed signatures for saddle stitching
US4844433 *Apr 11, 1988Jul 4, 1989R. R. Donnelley & Sons CompanyPacker box undersized signature handling kit
US4934685 *May 28, 1985Jun 19, 1990Eastman Kodak CompanySheet feeder for two stacks of sheets
US5137264 *Jul 16, 1991Aug 11, 1992Atelier D'usinage Cloutier Inc.Self-actuated book section feeder
US5164906 *Nov 20, 1990Nov 17, 1992Pitney Bowes Inc.Submodule feeder arrangement for an inserter
US5419541 *Dec 1, 1993May 30, 1995Wallace Computer Services, Inc.Method for selectively binding pre-personalized inserts
US6547240 *Apr 20, 2001Apr 15, 2003Grapha-Holding AgGripper drum for gripping printed products
US6578838 *Mar 30, 2001Jun 17, 2003Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Sheet collecting apparatus with integrated staple mechanism
US7007951 *May 26, 2000Mar 7, 2006Grapha-Holding AgTransport disc for an opening device of a printed sheet feeder
US7306222 *May 14, 2003Dec 11, 2007Goss International Americas, Inc.Sheet material feeder
US20040245697 *May 14, 2003Dec 9, 2004Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AgSheet material feeder
US20080018043 *Jul 9, 2007Jan 24, 2008Goss International Americas, Inc.Sheet material feeder
Classifications
U.S. Classification270/52.28, 271/9.11
International ClassificationB65H39/00, B65H5/12, B65H5/08, B65H5/30, B65H39/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65H5/307, B65H2301/4351, B65H5/12, B65H2301/4531, B65H2301/4311, B65H2301/4492, B65H39/04
European ClassificationB65H5/30C4, B65H5/12, B65H39/04
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