US 3808931 A
An apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like comprising means for supplying paperback books to a loading station, suction means at said loading station for partially rotating the cover of a paperback book away from the remainder of the book, means for conveying the paperback books serially from the station along a path, a cover deflector for maintaining the cover in a displaced condition, cutting means stationed along the path for severing each cover from the remainder of its book adjacent to the book's binding, and sorting means for depositing the covers in one location and coverless books in another location.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Vulcano [111 3,808,931 [451 May 7,1974
[ APPARATUS FOR STRIPPING COVERS FROM PAPERBACK BOOKS AND THE LIKE  Inventor: Vincent N. Vulcano, New York,
 Assignee: Compu-Sort Systems, Inc.,
 Filed: Mar. 27, 1972  Appl. No.: 238,190
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 92,350, Nov. 24,
1970, Pat. No. 3,722,342.
 US. Cl 83/409, 83/417, 83/418, 83/425, 83/501, 83/648, 83/925 MG  Int. Cl. B26d 7/06  Field of Search 83/925 MG, 501, 418, 402, 83/425, 648, 417, 409
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,584,346 2/1952 Havely 83/925 MG X 3,143,024 8/1964 Markowski 83/501 X 2/1966 Gilbert 83/925 MG X 3,234,833 3,431,804 3/1969 Marshall.... 83/925 MG X 3,722,342 3/1973 Vulcano 83/418 Primary ExaminerFrank T. Yost Attorney, Agent, or FirmGottlieb, Rackman &
Reisman [5 7 ABSTRACT An apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like comprising means for supplying paperback books to a loading station, suction means at said loading station for partially rotating the cover of a paperback book away from the remainder of the book, means for conveying the paperback books serially from the station along a path, a cover deflector for maintaining the cover in a displaced condition, cutting means stationed along the path for severing each cover from the remainder of its book adjacent to the books binding, and sorting means for depositing the covers in one location and coverless books in another location.
9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIAY 7:914
SHEET 2 BF 5 WMN lw l.
APPARATUS FOR STRIPPING COVERS FROM PAPERBACK BOOKS AND THE LIKE This is a continuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 92,350, filed Nov. 24, 1970, entitled APPARA- TUS FOR STRIPPING COVERS FROM PAPER- BACK BOOKS, not US. Pat. No. 3,722,342.
This invention relates to an apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like. Although at present, the invention has its greatest utility with paperback books, the apparatus may be utilized to remove covers from magazines, pamphlets, catalogs, hard cover books and from other similar printed matter. Thus, the term paperback books as used herein, shall be deemed to include all such printed materials which have covers.
It is an accepted practice in the paperback book industry that if a retailer of books decides, after having held some paperback books for a period of time, that for some reason he does not desire to carry these books on his racks for sale to the public any longer, the retailer can return the unsold books to his paperback book wholesaler for credit. The wholesaler in turn passes these books back to the distributor, who in turn passes them back to the book publisher, unless they can be otherwise sold. Relatively large transportation costs are involved in moving paperback books from one location to the other and the cost of sorting and handling such books is also significant. To reduce these transportation and handling costs, it has been found desirable to use the cover of the paperback book as a credit voucher. Under this system, the cover is detached from the book and is sent back up through the line of distribution so that the retailer, wholesaler, distributor, and publisher get appropriate credit for each cover returned.
To make this system operate properly, the industry has for some time felt a need for an apparatus for automatically, efficiently and quickly removing covers from paperback books so that the covers can be gathered together and sent through several levels to the publisher for appropriate credit. An apparatus for carrying out these functions is fully disclosed in my application Ser. No. 92,350. The present apparatus is an improvement over the apparatus disclosed there.
Thus, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books which operates automatically, in an efficient manner and which brings a system of using a cover as a voucher for a paperback book to its best advantage.
It is another object of the present invention to pro vide an improved apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books of the character described which includes sorting means for placing the covers which have been stripped from the books into one receptacle, while the books without their covers are placed into a different receptacle.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for stippping covers from paperback books of the character described which may operate upon a supply of such books of various thicknesses and handle them automatically without any necessity for adjusting or resetting the apparatus.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books of the character described which includes suction means for rotating the cover of the book away from the remainder of the book to thereby prepare the book and its cover for being severed, said suction means being efficient and positive in action.
In general, and in accordance with the teaching of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for stippping covers from paperback books which is an improvement over such apparatus set forth in my aforesaid pending patent application. The improved apparatus includes means for supplying paperback books, one after another, to a loading station. At this station, suction means partially rotates the cover of the book at the station away from the remainder of the book. Then, conveying means moves the paperback books serially from the loading station along a path. While such movement is proceeding, a cover deflector keeps the cover in its position rotated away from the remainder of the paperback book, with its cover rotated away from the remainder of the book, to cutting means, which severs the cover from the book adjacent to the binding of the book. Then, sorting means places the covers in one bin and the coverless books in another bin.
Other objects, features and embodiments of the invention are contemplated and will be apparent from the following more detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a three-quartered prospective view of the apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books, the apparatus having its apparatus cover in place;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of said apparatus, with its cover being removed, taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the apparatus taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2 and particularly showing the paperbook book supply means and the suction means;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are cross-sectional views of the suction means, FIG. 5 being a view of said means in the retracted position and FIG. 6 being a similar view in an extended position;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2 and particularly showing the cutting means; and
FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of a portion of the apparatus, taken along the line 88 of FIG. 7.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, the apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books 10 is seen in its entirety, in an outside view, in FIG. 1 and in front elevation, with its cover removed, in FIG. 2. The apparatus hasa cover 12 within which the several components of the apparatus are contained. An appropriate instrument panel 14 is exposed on the cover for operation by a user. The apparatus includes a flat elongated tilted frame place 16 which is supported on the lower frame portion. 18 of the apparatus. As will be subsequently seen, paperback books are slid along this frame plate 16 from one side of the apparatus to the other and from the left to the right as seen in FIG. 2. Accordingly, the frame plate defines an operative path along which the paperback books are conveyed.
Supply means feeds paperback books one at a time to a loading station at one end of the aforesaid path. The supply means includes an inclined book chute 20 fixed to the frame plate 16 (see especially FIG. 3), the
chute including a pair of upright side walls 22 for guiding the paperback books in their movement towards the loading station. As indicated in my previously-filed patent application, the paperback books may simply slide down towards the loading station under the influence of their own weight. However, it is desirable to convey the paperback books in the supply chute 20 down towards the loading station. For this purpose, a conveyor belt 24 is trained between a pair of rollers 26, the top reach of the belt 24 constituting the major portion of the bottom supporting surface of the chute 20. The belt is coated with a low-friction coating, such as Teflon, and is driven via a link belt 28 and a pinion 30 so as to drive the belt in the direction A, FIG. 3, causing the paperback books to descend towards the loading station. The pinion 30 is driven by a motor 32 mounted on a lower segment of the frame plate 16.
The paperback books are loaded on the chute 20 in an orientation such that the bindings B of the books are upward and so that the covers C of the books are nearest the frame plate 16. The supply means, including the chute 20 and the conveyer belt 24, moves the books towards the loading station at one end of the operative path, one at a time.
A conveyor moves the paperback books one at a time from the loading station along the frame plate 16, along the operative path, and from left to right as seen in FIG. 2. In this movement, the paperback books B lean against the frame plate 16 (see FIGS. 3 and 7), the bottom edges E of the books riding along a shelf 34 extending along the operative path and fixed to and protruding perpendicularly from the frame plate 16. The conveyor includes an endless-loop chain belt 36, driven in the direction indicated by the arrows F and G in FIG. 2. The chain belt carries a number of equally-spaced book pushers 38, each such book. pusher including a blade 40 (see FIG. 3) which is adapted to contact a book adjacent to its binding. The chain belt 36 is trained along a number of gears 42 situated so that the chain belt 36 has a lower reach 44 which runs generally parallel to the shelf 34. The reach 44 is located by these gears such that when a book is on the shelf 34 the blades 40 of the book pushers 38 contact and push it from left to right as seen in FIG. 2. One of the gears 42a may be an idler gear which is spring loaded to keep a desirable amount of tension on the chain belt 36. One
of the gears 42b, desirably the gear at the right hand end of the apparatus as seen in F IG. 2, has its shaft journaled in the frame 16 and carries a drive gear 46 (see FIG. 8). This drive gear is driven via a chain belt 48 and a piniongear 50 by a motor 52 mounted on a portion of the frame plate 16.
Means are provided to retain the paperback books moving along the operative path from the left to the right as seen in FIG. 2, snugly against the frame plate 16. To this end, a wheel 54 located at one end of the operative path has its shaft biased by a bracket 56 so that the periphery of the wheel presses against a portion of the frame plate 16. Therefore, any books passing underneath the wheel 54 will be pressed against the plate 16. Another wheel 58 is provided for similar purposes at the other end of the operative path. Further, elongated spring blades 60 are positioned and held by similar brackets so that they will press any paperback books passing beneath them against the plate. The position of the wheel 54 without a paperback book beneath it is shown in solid lines in FIG. 4, and the position of the same wheel with a paperback book beneath it is shown in dot-and-dash lines in the same figure.
Retention means enables the apparatus to accommodate and operate on paperback books of mixed thicknesses, which may range from a book of approximately one-half inch thickness to a book of 1% inches thick ness, without adjustment by a worker. For this purpose, a holder 62 affixed to one side wall 22 of the chute 20, carries a pair of inwardly protruding fingers 64, each finger being attached to the holder via a coil spring 66.
A doorway 68 is formed in this side wall topermit movement of a paperback book through the wall without interference, and the fingers 64 protrude into this doorway (see FIG. 3). The fingers 64 are spaced from the plate 16 so that they overlie the interface between the book at the loading station and the book immediately next to it in the chute 20. Accordingly, when the conveyor urges the paperback book at the loading station along the frame plate 16, the conveyor will impart sufficient force to the book at the station to overcome the resistance of the fingers 64 and the fingers will bend out of the way (see FIG. 4). However, since the conveyor applies force only to the paperback book at the station, and not to the book immediately above it, in the chute, only the paperback book at the loading station will actually move along the operative path. Should any friction between the book at the loading station and the book immediately behind it in the chute cause this latter book to attempt to move along the operative path, its movement will be resisted by the fingers 64. By this arrangement, only one book will be transported by the conveyor, regardless of its thickness and regardless of the thickness of the next uppermost book. It should be noted that the book pushers 38 are positioned by the chain belt 36, which in turn is positioned by the gears 46, sufficiently close to the frame plate so that the book pushers always contact only the book at the loading station (see FIG. 4).
Suction means is provided adjacent to the loading station for bending the cover C of the book at the loading station partially away from the remainder of the book. Said means comprises a power-operated suction plunger mechanism 70, including a suction tip 72. The suction tip'72 shifts along an axis perpendicular to the cover C of the paperback book at the loading station, which axis is generally parallel to the stack of books in the chute 20. The tip moves from an extended position, seen in solid lines in FIGS. 3 and 4, to a retracted position indicated by the cover C in FIGS. 3 and 4. The
mechanism 70 is held by a plate 74 to the frame plate 16. The mechanism 70 (see FIGS. 5 and 6, where the mechanism is seen in enlarged cross-section) includes a hydraulic cylinder 76, into which a hydraulic line 77 leads. The cylinder includes a bleed hole 75. A piston 78 adapted for sliding movement within the cylinder 76, has an elongated piston shaft 80 which extends through the front end of the cylinder 76. A coil spring 83 surrounds the shaft 80 within the cylinder 76 behind the piston 78. When hydraulic pressure from a high pressure source (not shown) is fed through the line 77, which is controlled by a conventional solenoidoperated valve 79 shown schematically in FIG. 6, into the cylinder 76 as a result of the opening of valve 79, the piston is shifted to the right, as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, compressing the spring 83. Conversely, when valve 79 is closed and the cylinder 76 is thereupon exhausted through bleed hole 75, the piston 78 will move to the left as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, under the force of expansion of the coil spring 82.
The suction tip 72, desirably made of a rubber-like material and in the form of a suction cup, is fixed to the end of the piston shaft 80 by a collar 84. The forward or right hand portion of the shaft 80 includes an elongated bore 82 which passes without interruption through the suction tip 72. The shaft 80 also carries an inlet 85 which connects with the bore 82 and which also connects at its outer end to a low pressure or suction source SO (not shown). Opposed to the inlet 85 and within the piston shaft 80, is a port 86. A valve sleeve 88 circumscribes the piston shaft 80 and is biased against the cylinder 76 by a coil spring 90 which also surrounds the piston shaft 80 and is situated between the collar 84 and the valve sleeve 88, biasing the sleeve 88 towards the cylinder 76. The sleeve 88 has an elongated slot 92 on one side thereof to permit reciprocating movement of the inlet 85, and has an exhaust 94 on its opposed side which is in alignment with the port 86 in the piston shaft 80, when the piston is in its retracted position as seen in FIG. 5.
The suction tip 72 in its path of movement in the direction indicated by the arrow R in FIG. 5, is in a position ready to contact the cover C of a paperback book at the loading station (see FIG. 2). In operation, and starting with the position of the mechanism 70 as shown in FIG. 5, hydraulic fluid passes through inlet 77, driving the piston 78 in the direction indicated by the arrow R from its retracted position to its extended position, and in so doing the coil spring 83 is compressed. The low pressure source S0 is connected to the bore 82 through the suction tip 72 at this time so that when the suction tip 72 contacts the cover C, the cover will be drawn tightly against the suction tip. When the port 86 in the piston shaft 80 moves clear of the port 94 in the valve sleeve 88, there is no longer a passage to atmosphere. When the fluid pressure in the cylinder 76 is decreased, the piston 78 shifts to the left in the direction of the arrow S as in FIG. 6, and the suction tip 72 carries the cover C also in the direction indicated by the arrow S, since at this point suction is still maintained. Suction is maintained until the port 86 comes into alignment with exhaust 94, and when the port 86 comes into alignment with the exhaust 94, atmospheric pressure is introduced into the bore 82 and the suction tip 72 no longer holds the cover C.
A cover deflector 100 is provided to further open and deflect the cover of a paperback book away from the remainder of the book, after operation of the suction plunger mechanism 70, as the book is being conveyed from the loading station through its operative path along the frame plate 16. The deflector includes a low wall 102 at the loading station (see FIGS. 2 and 3), an inclined wall 104 gradually increasing in height immediately adjacent to the loading station (see FIGS. 2 and 4) and an elongated high wall 106 which runs from approximately the center of the plate 16 toward its right hand end as seen in FIG. 2, terminating in a downwardly-slanting discharge portion 108. An elongated slot 110 is formed in the frame plate 16 immediately above the various portions of the cover deflector 100. As will be described in greater detail subsequently, the cover deflector 100 engages each paperback book between its cover and the remainder of the book, so that as the paperback book passes along the operative path, the
cover is rotated to and maintained at an approximately orientation with respect to the remainder of the book. An apron 112 is situated immediately to the rear of the inclined wall 104 and the high wall 106, to maintain the cover C in its desired extended position.
Cover cutting means is situated along the operative path adjacent to the right hand or discharge end of the apparatus 10. The cutting means includes (see FIGS. 2, 7 and 8) a cutting wheel 114, having a scissors-edge periphery 116, mounted for rotation on a shaft 118. The shaft is journaled for rotation in a pair of bearings in a portion of the frame plate 16. The cutting wheel 114 bears against an anvil wheel 122 which is fixed to a shaft 124 mounted on bearings 126 in a portion of the frame plate. THe shaft 118 of the cutting wheel 114 and the shaft 124 of the anvil wheel 122 are intercon-- nected for rotation in opposed directions by a gear 127 on the shaft 118, which meshes with a gear 129 fixed to the anvil wheel shaft 124. A pinion 130 is also fixed to the cutting wheel shaft 1 18, and is driven via a chain belt 132 from the motor 52. A cover bin 134 is disposed immediately behind the cover cutting means and a coverless book bin 136 is situated at the discharge end 108 of the operative path. The shelf 34 slopes downwardly at this point to enable movement of the coverless book into this bin.
To insure the proper cutting of a cover, the cutting wheel 114 is mounted for movement along its shaft 118 to a limited degree, such movement being enabled by a key 138 on the shaft 118 and a keyslot in the wheel, whereby the cutting wheel 114 may shift. A coil spring 140 encircles a protruding end of the shaft 118 and is maintained in position between a head 142 on the shaft and the wheel 114. The coil spring 140 biases the cutting wheel 114 so that its edge contacts the outer face of the anvil wheel 122, causing cutting of a cover C by scissors action.
Having thus described in detail the structure and the mechanisms of the apparatus 10, it will be advantageous to briefly review its several functions. Paperback books are first loaded on the chute 20 of the apparatus, with their bindings B up, with their edges E opposed to their bindings abutting the bottom wall of the chute and with their covers C oriented towards the frame plate 16. The books are urged towards the loading station at the lower end of the chute 20 by the continuous rotation of the conveyor belt 14 which makes up a major portion of the bottom wall of the chute 20.
The suction plunger mechanism 20 operates upon the paperback book at the loading station to partially rotate its cover away from the remainder of this book. To this end, the suction tip 72 shifts from its retracted position (FIG. 5), to its extended position (FIG. 6), and again retracts to its initial position, and by this reciprocation, suction causes the cover C to temporarily be affixed to the suction tip 72. In its reciprocative movement, the suction tip 72 causes the cover C to shift from one side of the low-level wall 102 to the other side thereof (see FIGS. 3, 5 and 6).
The book at the bottom of the stack at the loading station is now engaged by a pusher 38 carried by the chain belt 36, and is pushed from the loading station along the operative path defined by the frame plate 16. Each book in such movement, is tilted flat against the plate, and is maintained in this position by the tension wheels 54, 58 and the spring blades 60. The spring fingers 54 insure that only one book at a time leaves the loading station and moves along the operative path.
As each pusher moves a paperback book along the path, various portions of the cover deflector 100 engage the cover, between the cover and the remainder of the paperback book. Specifically, as the book moves from left to right as seen in FIG. 2, first the inclined wall 104 along with the apron 112 starts to rotate the cover until it reaches a point at which it is in a position at right angles to the pages of the book, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 7. Further movement of the books along the frame plate 16 by the action of the book pushers 38 causes the book to move with its cover at a right angle thereto, as the cover moves along the high wall 106, until the book reaches the cutting means. At this point, the action of the cutting wheel 114 against the anvil wheel 122 severs the cover from the remainder of the book, the severing of the cover taking place where the cover joins the book binding. The cover then falls under its own weight into the cover bin 134. The coverless book is pushed further along the frame plate until it reaches the discharge portion 108, at shelf portion 34a, at which point it slides into the coverless book chute 136.
Circuit means as more fully described in my aforesaid pending patent application may be used with the present apparatus. Sensing means, such as a photoelectric cell and detector unit 109, may be situated along the operative path at an appropriate location, so that when the sensing means detects that a book pusher has crossed it, it will send a signal by conventional circuitry to the valve 79 associated with mechanism 70, to momentarily open the valve causing reciprocation of suction tip 72.
If for any reason, the cutting means fails to sever a cover from a paperback book, book ejection means may be utilized to remove such book from the normal path of flow of paperback books within the apparatus. Such ejection means and appropriate circuitry therefor, are described in my aforesaid pending application. In connection therewith, photocell sensing means 107 may be located withinthe apparatus on the frame to count the quantity of covers which have been severed from paperback books and deposited in the cover receptacle 134.
It will thus be seen that an apparatus has been provided which automatically strips covers from books in an efficient and continuous manner. The apparatus need only be tended by a single worker who is required to load the paperback books on a supply chute. The aforesaid apparatus enables retailers, wholesalers and distributors to quickly sever covers from paperback books and then to use such paperback book covers as vouchers to enable them to receive credit for unused paperback books.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed Without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
There is claimed:
1. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like, comprising:
a. a supply of paperback books;
b. a frame;
0. means conveying the paperback books from the d. means in the path on the frame for rotating the cover of a paperback book away from the remainder thereof and maintaining the cover in such position, said means comprising a deflector wall having an inclined portion adapted to rotate the cover from a position adjacent to the remainder of the book to a position swung away from the remainder of the book, and suction means adapted to engage the cover and move said cover from one side of said wall to the other side thereof, said suction means including a member with a suction tip and means for reciprocating said member between extended and retracted positions, toward and away from a book cover, and
e. a cutter in the path on the frame for severing the cover of the paperback book adjacent to the binding thereof, while the cover is rotated away from the remainder of the book.
2. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the supply includes a downwardly inclined chute fixed to the frame and adapted to hold a stack of paperback books and means urging the paperback books of the stack down said chute, said means including a conveyor belt comprising a portion of the bottom wall of said chute and mounted for movement along a path defined by said chute.
3. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the conveying means includes a chain belt mounted on the frame for movement along the operative path, an elongated shelf located along the operative path along which the paperback books are adapted to slide, and a series of pushers carried by the belt, each pusher being adapted to urge a paperback book along the path.
4. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein means on the frame restrains more than one paperback book from being conveyed from the supply at a time, said means comprising at least one spring mounted finger mounted adjacent to the end of the chute, the chute including a doorway into which the finger protrudes.
5. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the deflector wall has an initial low-level portion, has an intermediate inclined portion and a terminal high-level portion.
6. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 5 wherein a shelf protrudes from the inclined wall portion.
7. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the cutting means comprises a cutting wheel, an anvil wheel, means for rotating said wheels in opposed directions, and means for biasing the cutting wheel against the anvil wheel in a direction parallel to their axes of rotation to yield a scissors-like cutting action.
8. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the member includes a bore leading to said tip, means for introducing low pressure into said bore, a sleeve surrounding said member and having an exhaust, and a port in the member, the port being in alignment with the exhaust in the sleeve when the member is in its re- 3,808,931 9 10 tracted position whereby the bore is at atmospheric 9. Apparatus for stripping covers from paperback pressure, and the port being blocked by the sleeve books and the like as set forth in claim 1 wherein the when the member is in its extended position whereby tip is a suction cup. the bore is at low pressure.