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Publication numberUS3809384 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1974
Filing dateJul 13, 1972
Priority dateJul 13, 1972
Also published asDE2334071A1
Publication numberUS 3809384 A, US 3809384A, US-A-3809384, US3809384 A, US3809384A
InventorsZugel V
Original AssigneeHarris Intertype Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Saddle gathering machine
US 3809384 A
Abstract
Rotatable transfer drum removes signatures by their folded edges one at a time from a hopper and presents them to a supporting plate with their open ends extending beyond one edge of the plate. The first of a pair of rotatable signature opener drums is arranged to take the open end of each signature lying on the plate in such a fashion that a fairly sharp bend is put in the open end, thus enabling easy signature opening when the outer side is released for taking by a vacuum gripper on a second opener drum. The first opener drum is provided with long gripper fingers, short gripper fingers, and one or more vacuum grippers, for handling different types of signatures having high and low folio laps or no lap at all. The gripper fingers are operated by stationary cams on one side of the first opener drum, and a vacuum line to the vacuum gripper is provided at the opposite side of the drum and is connected to the rotor of a timing valve. The cams are coaxial with the opener drum and are held fixed in position by means of a stationary bracket extending radially from a frame member to the cams. Tamper plates or paddles are provided to engage signatures on the plate to provide a temporary steadying support when the grippers initially take hold of the open ends of signatures.
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Tlnite d Mates Patent [191 Zugei 1111 aaoasaa [451 May 7,1974

[73] Assignee: Harris-Intertype Corporation,

Cleveland, Ohio 22 Filed: Julyl3,1972

21 Appl. No.: 271,488

[75] Inventor:

[52] U.S. Cl. 270/54 [51] Int. Cl B65h 39/02 [58] Field of Search 270/54, 55

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,413,358 l2/l946 Kleineberg....; 270/54 3,554,532 1/1971 Cosgrove et a]. 270/54 3,275,315 5/1964 Zogel t 270/54 2,621,039 12/1952 Kleineberg et a1 270/54 R21,489 6/1940 Kleineberg et a1 270/54 3,572,684 3/1971 Gorig ..-270/54 McCain 270/54 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assisran! Examiner-A. J. Heinz [57] ABSTRACT Rotatable transfer drum removes signatures by their folded edges one at a time from a hopper and presents them to a supporting plate with their open ends extending beyond one edge of the plate. The first of a pair of rotatable signature opener drums is arranged to take the open end of each signature lying on the plate in such a fashion that a fairly sharp bend is put in the open end, thus enabling easy signature openingwhen the outer side is released for taking by a vacuum gripper on a second opener drum. The first opener drum is provided with long gripper fingers, short gripper fingers, and one or more vacuum grippers, for handling different types of signatures having high and low folio laps or no lap at all. The gripper fingers are operated by stationary cams on one side of the first opener drum, and a vacuum line to the vacuum gripper is provided at the opposite side of the drum and is connected to the rotor of a timing valve. The cams are coaxial with the opener drum and are held fixed in position by means of a stationary bracket extending radially from a frame member to the cams. Tamper plates or paddles are provided to engage signatures on'the plate to provide a temporary steadying support when the grippers initially take hold of the open ends of signatures.

13 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 SADDLE GATHERING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is primarily an improvement in the type of mechanisms shown in US. Pat. Nos. 2,251,943; 3,057,620; and my US. Pat. No. 3,275,315 issued Sept. 27, 1966. In the mechanism of the latter patent, a chain transport conveyor was used for moving sheets which have been released from a transfer drum in the direction opposite to transfer drum rotation, in order to present them to grippers on a first opener drum about which chains passed. Use of the chain mechanism imposed limits on its ultimate speed and productivity of the machine. In addition, the open ends of signatures taken by the first opener drum were gripped while FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the first opener drum which takes sheets from astationary plate;

FIG. 3 is a plan view partly in section of the first opener drum illustrated in'FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the first opener drum, taken substantially along'lines 4 -4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a simplified side elevational view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating the manner in which high folio lapped signatures are handled by the opener drums;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, in which low folio lap (or unlapped) signatures are handled by the opener drums; and i FIGS; 7 and 8 are similar views showing insert cards which may be placed in booklets or the like, each view these open ends were substantially tangential to the drum surface. This prevents taking advantage of the tendency of a signature to move to its natural flat state, such as occurs when a sharp bend is put in the signature. A sharp bend, upon release, provides a radially outward movement of one lap of a signature, and facilitates its being grasped by the gripper means on the second opener drum.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the combination of a transfer drum, a stationary plate and a pair of opener drums, the first of which receives signatures lying at rest on the plate in such a fashion that they can be readily and easily gripped for removal from the plate. Subsequent release of a portion of the gripped edge of the signature results in the released portion nicely moving into position for receipt by suction grippers on the second opener drum, for ease of opening the signatures so that they may be released onto a saddle for delivery at right angles to the feed of signatures.

One specific improvement relates -to details of the mechanismon the first opener drum, in which two sets of gripper fingers, one long and one short, and a suction gripper, which may be used together with or alternatively in place of the short fingers, are utilized for handling various types of signatures, independent of whether there is no lap, high folio lap, or low folio lap at the unfolded or open ends. The long grippers are utilized in all cases to grip and remove signatures from the plate. The short grippers are used to grip the long, inner end of a high folio lap signature and to maintain the grip on the lap after the long grippers are opened until the signature is fully opened for dropping on the saddle. When a low folio or no lap is present on the signatures being handled, the short grippers are latched in an in operative position and the vacuum gripper is arranged to hold the inwardly facing side of the signature until it has been opened for release to the saddle.

Another aspect of the invention relates to the gripper and gripper anvil'arrangement combined with the manner of supporting and steadying the signatures at the time they are gripped by the long fingers, in order that a maximum gripper bite can be taken by the grippers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of asignature gatherer illustrating the relationship of the principal components of my invention;

illustrating the principal length of the card being on the side opposite that shown in the other view.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring'now to FIG. 1, a hopper 10 is loaded with signatures 11 from the operators side of the machine,

which is to the right of FIG. 1. The hopper consists of an intermittently operated conveyor mechanism 12 which maintains signatures 11 against a hopper plate 13 at the lower, leftward end of the hopper 10. The signatures 11 are loaded in the hopper with their folded ends downwardly against the surface of the conveyor 12. This mechanism and certain other elements to be described are illustrated in my US. Pat. No. 3,275,315. The lowermost portion of the hopper plate 13 is spaced above the conveyor belts 12 to provide an opening into which vacuum suckers 14 intermittently move once for each feeding cycle to pull the leftwardmost signature to the periphery of a transfer wheel or drum 15 Two sets of grippers 16 are spaced apart about the periphery of drum 15. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the suckers 14 have just pulled a signature against the drum 15, and one set of grippers 16have just closed on the signature and are about to withdraw it from the hopper. The signature, of course, moves with the gripper as the drum 15 rotates. The gripper operating mechanism may be conventional and will not be described in detail.

When the signature has reached the lowermost portionof the drum l5, it-moves into a relatively confined space between a plate or cradle 17 and the surface of the drum 15. The plate is shown extending from ap proximately the six oclock to the nine oclock position with respect to the drum 15. From the six oclock position, the plate extends horizontally as a flat section 170. The signature travels into this confined space until it reaches a stop 18, which is adjustably positioned to handle long or short signatures, as is well understood in the art. The grippers 16 are arranged to be operated by means (not shown) to release signatures as they arrive at the stop 18. Means (not shown) may be also provided for preventing bounce of the signatures away from the stop 18 upon release.

At approximately the five oclock position with respect to the drum 15, a pair of tamper plates or paddles 19, one at each side of the drum 15, are arranged to move from their dotted-line to their full-line positions (as shown in FIG. 1) to have a wiping effect on the signature and cause its open end to lie in close proximity to the flat portion of the cradle 17. As will be discussed later, these tampers provide an important function in assuring proper gripping of the signatures for removal from the plate 17.

positioned with itsaxis slightly below the plate is a first opener drum 20 having two pairs ofgrippers, only one of which is shown schematically in FIG. 1. The grippers illustrated will be designated the long grippers 21, which are pivotable about a gripper shaft 22 carried by the opener drum 20. The grippers 21 cooperate with an anvil 23 to grip the open ends of signatures lying on the plate 17 as the drum 20 rotates in a clockwise direction. At the time the grippers 21 begin to take hold of the open end of the signature, thetamper plates 19 remain against the signature. This isv particularly important in feeding short signatures, which may not have entered onto the curved part of plate 17. This momentary backside support-for the signature, coupledwith the generally radially inwardly directed surface 23a of the anvil 23, enables the grippers 21 to take a greater-thannormal deep bite, thus enabling a firm gripping of the stockl'This is particularly important in the handling of high folio signatures, where the lap may vary, depending on the accuracy of the folder by which they were folded. Once the signature is gripped, the tampers 19 rapidly move from their full-1ine position back toward their dotted-lineposition, to get inwardly of the periphery of the drum priorto the'next signature arriving at that point. lt will be noted-that the surface 230 of the anvil 23 extends generally radially and is curved at its outer periphery. At thetime signatures are gripped the surface 23a is approximately evenwith the flat portion of the plate 17 as shown in 'FIG. 4. The surface 23a of the anvil, if continued radially 'acrossthe drum 20,

would tend to strike a chord .across the drum, so that as a signature moves upwardly and over the surface of the opener drum 20, a relatively sharp bend is'placed in the open end of the signature. The natural tendency of deflected sheetmaterial is to'return to'its flat state. Therefore, the sharp bend, indicated at A in FIG. 4, imposed on'the openend of the signature would tend to move the end outwardly of the drum 20 upon release. As will be shown subsequently, only the outer open end will be released and it will move outwardly of the cylinder 20 at the proper time to be gripped by a sucker 24 carried by a second opener drum25 rotating ina counterclockwise direction As is conventional in mechanism of this type, the open end of the signature, as it approaches a nip "26, is adapted to be retained partially by the drum 20 and gripped partially by, the drum 25. This spreads the signature to open condition for deposition onto a saddle 27 as the signature leaves the nip 26 and is released by the grip provided by the means on the drums 20 and 25. As is also conventional, the open signature straddling the saddle 27 will rest in that position until engaged by a pusher 28 carried on acontinuous chain '29 travelling over a horizontal track 30 past several similar saddle gatherer stations.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the plate 17 is of one-piece construction, but may, if desired, be

a series of parallel, spaced-apart strips. The spacing is provided for clearance of mechanism such as the grippers 16 on the drum 15. The tamper plates 19 are mounted on an oscillating shaft which passes below the plate 17. The drum 20 is mounted on a shaft 32 which extends the full length of the machine and has other drums 20 mounted thereon at other gathering stations. The flat extended end of the plate or cradle 17 has fastened thereto a fixed bracket 34 which extends radially toward the shaft 32. The bracket 34 supports a nonrotatable collar 35 on the shaft 32, the purpose of which will be discussed later.

The details ,of the mechanism on the first opener drum can best be understood by cross-referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. It will be seen that the drum 20 includes a pair of discs-36 which are spaced-apart on the shaft 32 and are connected together by means of clamping bolts 37. The gripper shaft 22 extends through both discs 36 and is pivotally journalled in bearings 39 in the discs. The shaft 22 has fastened thereto a gripper arm 40, which, together with a gripper plate 41, comprises a short gripper 42. On one end of the shaft 22 is a lever 43 fastened to the shaft. Supported at the extended end of lever 43 is a cam follower 44 which cooperates with a cam 45 non-rotatably positioned on the shaft 32. The short gripper 42 grips the inside lap of a high folio lapped signature, such as is shown in FIG. 5. In doing so, it maintains the inside lap gripped when the long grippers 21 release the unfolded ,end of the signature. Both the short gipper 42 and the the signature can be opened sufficiently for spreading its open end for release to saddle 27.

The long grippers 21 are supported on the shaft 22 by means of the bearings 39. The bearings extend 'outwardly of the discs 36 to provide journals. Each finger 21 includes a gripper arm 46 which has mounted at its gripping end a gripper plate47 for performing the actual gripping function in conjunction with the anvil 23.

The gripper plate 47 has a sponge rubber pad cemented to the face of the plate to engage and grip the material. Since each gripper arm 46 is freely pivotal on its bearing 39, means must be provided for their operation in unison. This means is a connecting rod 48 fastened to extensions of the'arms 46 on the sides of shaft 22 remote from the ends carrying the gripper plates 47. This rod 48 has mounted on one end thereof a cam follower 49 which cooperates with a fixed cam 50 concentric with the shaft 32. The earns and are held stationary by means of bolts51 which pass through holes in the bracket 34, the collar 35, the earns 45 and 50 and a collar 52. These bolts are tapped into a collar 53 adjacent one of the discs 36. It will be noted that this construction enables both'cams 45 and 50 to be placed on the same side of the drum 20. Common gripper shaft 22 therefore provides not only the oscillation of the short gripper 42 from cam 45, but also provides the pivotal support for the long grippers 21 from cam 50.

At the end of the shaft 22 remote from that end mounting the lever 43, there is provided a collar 54 which is provided with an arm and pin which form an abutment for one end of a torsion spring 55, the other end of which is anchored against a groove near the end spring-closed and cam-opened. This same construction enables the long grippers 21 to be positively-closed for better gripping action, particularly when the signature lying at rest on the plate 17 is first taken by the opener drum 20. The grippers 21 are positively-closed by the high dwell of cam 50 acting on the cam follower 49 to move the cam follower counterclockwise with respect to the axis of the shaft 22 and, when the follower 49 rides off the high dwell of the cam 50, the torsion spring 55 acts to move the cam'follower 49 clockwise about the axis of shaft 38 and thus permit the long grippers 21. to open.

The importance of the gripper construction just described is not only its relative simplicity, but also-that it enables placing both c'ams 45 and 50 on thesame side of the drum 20. This enables use of a vacuum sucker 56 at the approximate plane of the gripping surface of the anvil 23 or the periphery of the drum for handling of low folio signatures or cards as shown in conjunction with FIGS. 6 and 8, respectively. Sucker 56 is preferably mounted as shown in FIG. 3 but may also be mounted at the dotted-line position shown at 56a in FIG. 2 at the left of the drum, if desired. If necessary, a pair of suckers may be used at both positions simultaneously. A flexible vacuum line 57 is connected to the sucker 56. The line 57, as can be seen in FIG. 3, is connectedto a rotary vacuum timing valve 58 which may be of the structure shown in my US. Pat. No. 3,275,315. The use of the flexible line is permitted due to the fact that there is no bracket similar to bracket 34 supporting a stationary cam on the shaft '32 on that side of the drum 20 to which the vacuum line 57 is connected to the sucker. Since the vacuum line travels with the drum 20 and a rotor 59 of the valve 58, any member such as bracket 34'extending to shaft 32 on the right side of drums 36, as viewed .in FIG. 3, would necessarily interfere with the flexible line 57. Thus, the utilization of the common shaft 22 which both mounts the short gripper and provides the pivot for the long grippers 21 has enabled the cams, cam followers and levers for operating the grippers to be placed on the same side tains the usual air passagesand slots to enable the tim' ing of the vacuum to the sucker 56 to take place from the time a signature is gripped and removed from the plate 17 to a time just beyond the nip 26 for properly opening or spreading the signature. Details of the type of mechanism described in connection with the valve 58 can be seen in my aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,275,315.

, upon release of the long gripper 21. This is of the drum 20. It thus permits the use of a single bracket 34 to hold both the cams 45 and in fixed position on the same side of the drum. This frees the area at the rightward side of the drum, as viewed in FIG. 3, to enable use of the flexible line 57 for interconnecting the rotor 59 and the sucker 56.

When the sucker 56 is used for low folio laps as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, the short gripper 42 serves no function. It may be latched in inoperative position by means of latch bar 60 which cooperates with a notch in the gripper arm 40'to maintain it against the biasing action of the spring 55. In this fully opened position, the cam follower 44 is maintained slightly above the high dwell of the cam 45.

At the right side of FIG. 3, the valve 58 can be seen as comprising the rotor 59, a stator 61 and a bracket and clamp assembly 62 which enables the angular position of the rotor 59 to be changed with respect to the stator 61. The stator 61 is mounted on a frame member 63 of the gathering machine and is connected to a vacuum source by means of a line 64. The stator 61 con- Referring now to FIGS. 5 through 8, which illustrate different types of signatures handled by the abovedescribed mechanism, it should be understood that the second opener drum 25 the mounted thereon the sucker or suckers 24 in a fashion enabling angular adjustinent of the suckers with respect to the axis of the shaft 65 on which the drum 25 is mounted. The suckers 24 are similarly connected to a valve by means of a flexible line and another rotor (not shown) similar to that shownat the right end of FIG. 3 in connection with the vacuum line to the first opener drum 20. As shown in FIG. 5, a high folio lap signature is shown.resting on the plate 17in dotted-line position. The drums 20 and 25 are illustrated inthe position in which the open or unfolded end of a signature is gripped by means on both the first and second opener drums at the nip 26, just prior to spreading for dropping onto the saddle 27. In this instance, being a high folio, lap signature, the inner section of the signature is held by the short gripper 42 against the anvil 23 and the long grippers 21 are illustrated as being opened at this point. The suckers 24 on the drum 25 have taken the outer section of the signature and it is ready to be spread for delivery to the saddle 27. If, instead of the signature having a high folio lap, the signature is unlapped, i.e., the sides of the signature are of the same length, the gripper 42 would have been latched out of positive position by means of the latch bar 60 prior to commencing machine operation.,lnstead of the inner section of the signature beingheld by the short grippers, it would be held in such instance by means of the sucker 56, which may have its mouth at the approximate surface of the anvil 23. Whether held in that condition by either the sucker 56 or the short gripper 42, the sharp bend in the signature tends to make the end of the signature which is to be taken by the suckers 24 to be sprung rightwardly as viewed in FIG. 5, for easier receipt by the suckers 24 particularly true in the case of a high and low folio lap, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6, respectively, where the long grippers 21 provide the sharp bend in both the inner and outer sections of the open end of the signature. When the long grippers 21 release the outer section of the signature for taking by the suckers 24, the release of the sharp bend results in the outer section'of the signature moving nicely toward the suckers 24 as the outer section tends to restore itself to its flat normal condition. The sharp bend thus supplements the slight bend already imposed by the curvature of the drum.

FIG. 6 shows the manner in which a low folio lap is handled by a saddle gatherer unit according to my invention, particularly a low folio lap having its short section such that it does not extend over the anvil 23. In this case, either the sucker 56 can be repositioned but preferably an auxiliary sucker 66 is provided, as shown in FIG. 6, and in dotted lines in FIG. 3. This auxiliary. sucker 66 is mounted to. be angularly adjustable about the shaft 32 at that side of the drum 20 to all positions except the area occupied by the shaft 22 extending through the disc 36. When running such a 'low folio lapped signature with the auxiliary sucker 66,the vacuum line 57 can be removedfrom the sucker 66, the vacuum line 57 can be removed from the sucker 56 located at the anvil 23. It can then be connected to the sucker 66, which is so positioned about the drum 20 as to grip, the low folio lap near its forward end, as viewed in FIG. 6. Such a low folio lapped signature is shown in dotted lines in its condition at rest on the plate 17, and is shown in solid lines shortly after opening at the nip 26. The short gripper 42 is latched in its inoperative position under this condition, and the long grippers 21 are utilized as the sole means for gripping the sheets and removing them from the plate 17. When the sucker 66 engages the inner sectionof the signature, andas the outer section approaches the suckers 24 on drum 25, the long grippers 21 will release the signature and the suckers 66 and 24 will perform the sole function of opening the signature for deposition on the saddle 27.

signatures with either high folio or low folio laps. Obvi- 'ously, the drums and 25 are angularly adjustable about their respective shafts to enable taking and releasing of various lengths of folded subject matter.

What I claim is: Y 1. In a saddle gatherer, a. a hopper for supporting a stack of folded signa-- tures each of which has an inner facing side, b. a rotatable transfer drum partially below and to one side of said hopper and having its periphery closely adjacent a feeding opening in said hopper,

c. grippermeans on said transfer drum for taking signatures one at a' ti'me from said hopper by their folded edges and transporting them downwardly in an arcuate path about said transfer drum,

d. a signature-supporting, plate having an arcuate signature-confining portion closely adjacent to and substantially coaxially with the transfer drum and extending upwardly from the lowermost part of the drum in the direction of drum rotation, said plate having a substantially flat portion extending from said lowermost part in the opposite direction generally horizontally and tangentially to said drum to support the open ends of signatures due to their natural tendency to assume a flat condition,

e. stop means adjustable along the arcuate portion of .the plate for engaging the folded edge of a signature upon release by said grippermeans to bring" each signature to a registered rest condition on said plate,

. a first rotatable opener drum having a peripheral gap therein, said drum having its axis of rotation below and having its periphery located with respect to the end of the extending flat portion of the plate 3 whereby .a signature at rest on said plate has its open end extending inwardly into the gap in a generallychordal direction which is below the uppermost portion of the opener drum periphery,

g. means for rotating said first opener drum in an upward direction with respect to the open end of a signature supported on said plate,

h. a gripper anvil on said first opener drum for engaging the inner-facing side on the open extending end of each signature as the-first drum rotates, said anvil having a gripping surface extending generally in said chordal direction,

1'. first gripper means comprising fingers carried by said first opener drum for gripping the open end of each signature in cooperation with said anvil to grip the signature and to carry it up and over said first drum,

j. second gripper means on said first opener drum for gripping only the inner-facing side of each signature, I i

. k. a second rotatable opener drum adjacent said first opener drum on that side remote from said plate, said second drum having its axis spaced horizontally from,and, its surface closely adjacent to, said first opener drum,

i. means for rotating said second opener drum to cause its surface to travel in the same direction with said first drum at a nip therebetween,

m. gripper means on said second opener drum for taking the outer-facing side of the open end of each signature from said first opener drum at the nip between said opener drums to spread the signature at the exit side of said'nip in cooperation with the second gripper means on said first opener drum, and

n. saddlemeans below said nip adapted to receive the opened signaturefor delivery in a direction parallel to the axes of the opener drums.

2. A saddle gatherer as defined in claim 1 wherein said hopper is spaced vertically above and on the same side of the saddle gatherer as said opener drums.

3. A saddle gatherer as defined in claim 1 wherein said second grippermeans on said first opener drum comprises a vacuum sucker, said vacu'um sucker being adjustable about the first opener drum'periphery for gripping 'a' low. folio lapped signature independently of said anvil and first gripper finger means.

4. ln a saddle gatherer,

a. a hopper for supporting a stack of folded signatures,

b. a rotatable transfer drum partially below and to one side of said hopper and having its periphery closely adjacent a feeding'opening in said hopper,

c. gripper means on said transfer drum for taking signatures one ata time from said. hopper by theirerally chordal direction which is below the uppermost portion of the opener drum periphery,

g. means for rotating said first opener drum in an upward directionwith respect to the open end of a signature supported on said plate,

h. a gripper anvil on said first opener drum for engaging the open extending end of each signature as the first drum rotates, said anvil having a gripping surface extending generally in said chordal direction,

i. first gripper means comprising fingers carried by said first opener drum for gripping the open end of each signature from both sides in cooperation with said anvil to remove the signature from said plate and carry it up and over said first drum,

j. second gripper means on said first opener drum for gripping only the inner-facing side of each signature,

k. a second rotatable opener drum adjacent said first opener drum on that side remote from said plate, said second drum having its axis spaced. horizontally from, and, its surface closely adjacent to, said first opener drum,

1. means for rotating said second opener drum to cause its surface to travel in the same direction with said first drum at a nip therebetween,

. m. gripper means on said second opener drum for taking the outer-facing side of the open end of each signature from said first opener drum at the nip between said opener drums to spread the signature at the exit side of said nip in cooperation with the second gripper means on said first opener drum, I

n. saddle means below said nip adapted to receive the opened signature for delivery in a direction parallel to the axes of the opener drums,

0. tamper means at the side of said transfer drum for urging and substantially confining each signature on the flat extended end of said plate during gripping by the fingers of said first opener'drum, and

p. means intermittently operating said tamper means between an inoperative position inwardly of the periphery of the transfer drum and an operative position adjacent said plate, said operating means being arranged to move said tamper means away from the plate as a signature is being engaged by the anvil, whereby to provide support for the uppper side of a signature during gripping.

5. A signature opener for grasping the open ends of folded signature, irrespective of whether the signature folio lap is high or low, or is of even length, said signature opener comprising 6 a. a plate for supporting the signature and having a relatively flat end portion adjacent which the open end of the signature is to be grasped,

b. a first opener drum comprising a pair of spaced segmental discs each of which having axially outer side surfaces;

0. arotatable drum shaft supporting said first opener drum for rotation therewith,

d. means for rotating said drum shaft,

e. a gripper anvil and a first gripper finger on said drum between said discs,

f. agripper shaft mounting said first gripper finger,

said shaft extending parallel to said drum shaft between said discs and being journaled therein,

g. a first cam follower mounted on one end portion of said gripper shaft adjacent to an outer side surface of one of said'discs,

h. a first cam disposed on said drum shaft adjacent to said outer side surface of said one of said discs and cooperating with said first follower for moving said first gripper finger away from said anvil to an opened condition,

i. a pair of second interconnected gripper fingers journaled on said gripper shaft, each of said gripper fingers being disposed adjacent to the outer side surface of an associated one of said discs,

j. a secondcam follower disposed adjacent to said outer side surface of said one of said discs and operably connected to one of said second gripper fingers,

k. a second cam disposed on said drum shaft adjacent to said outer side surface of said one of said discs and cooperating with said second follower for urging said second gripper fingers to grip the ends of a signature supported by said plate between the second gripper fingers and said anvil,

1. spring means continuously biasing said first and second cam followers toward said first and second cams respectively during drum rotation,

m. said cams being disposed in a coaxial relationship with said drum shaft and journaled thereon adjacent to each other on the said outer side surface of said one of said discs,

n. non-rotatable bracket means connected with both of said cams for maintaining said cams against rotation,

b. a rotary vacuum valve comprising a rotor mounted on said drum shaft for rotation therewith and a stator coaxial with said rotor and fixed against rotation, said valve being located on the drum shaft on that-side of the drum remote from said fixed cams and bracket,

- v p. a vacuum gripper on .said first openerdrum and having its open face approximately coplanar with a sheet-gripping surface of said gripper anvil,

q. a vacuum line interconnecting said valve rotor with said vacuum gripper on the side of said first drum remote from said fixed bracket,

r. and a rotatable second opener drum having a surface travelling in the same direction as the first drum at a signature-opening nip, said second drum carrying means for gripping the outer open end of a signature gripped by said first drum for spreading the signature to opened condition for release onto a saddle.

6. A signature opener according to claim 5 wherein said spring means comprises a single member biasingsaid gripper shaft in one direction and said second gripper fingers in the opposite direction.

1 l 7. 'A signature opener according to claim 5 wherein said vacuum line is flexible, and wherein said first 'opener drum is angularly adjustable about its rotatable shaft.

8. A signature opener as defined in claim 5 further including tamper means disposed adjacent to said plate and said first opener drum for pressing a signature against said plate during gripping bythe fingers of said first opener drum.

9. In a signature opener,

.a. a plate having a relatively flat end portion for supporting the open end of asignature in position to be grasped,

b. a first opener drum, i v

c. a rotatable drum shaft supporting said first opener drum for rotation therewith,

d. means for rotating said drum shaft and first opener dr'um, L

e. a. gripper anvil disposed on said first opener drum,

f. a first gripper finger disposed onsaid first drum and cooperating with said anvil,

; g. a gripper shaft mounting said first gripper finger,

said gripper shaft extending parallel to said drum shaft between opposite end sides of said first opener drum and being journaled thereon,

h. a first cam follower mounted on one extended end of said gripper shaft adjacent to one side of said first opener drum,

. a first cam disposed on said drum shaft adjacent to said one side of said first opener drum and cooperating with said first cam follower for moving said first gripper finger in one direction relative to said anvil,

j. second gripper finger means rotatably journaled on said gripper shaft and cooperating with said anvil,

opener crating with said'second follower for urging saidsecond gripper finger means in one direction relative to said anvil,

- m. means for holding said cams in anon-rotatable relationship with said drum shaft,

n. spring means continuouslybiasing said first and second cam followers toward said first and second cams respectively during rotation of said first opener drum, said spring means comprising a torsion spring encircling said gripper shaft adjacent to a side of said first opener drum opposite from said one side of said first opener drum, said torsion spring having opposite ends connected with said gripper shaft and said second gripper finger means to maintain both of said cam followers biased against their respective cams, and o. a rotatable second opener drum having a surface travelling in the same direction as said first opener.

drum at a signature-opening nip, said second opener drum carrying means for gripping a signature gripped by said first opener drum to spread the gripped signature to an open condition.

10. A signature opener according to claim 9 wherein one of said gripper finger means is cam-closed with respect to said anvil, and the other is cam-opened.

11. A signature opener according to claim 10 wherein a first portion of a latching means is provided on said first drum and a second portion is provided on that gripper finger means which 'is cam-opened, said latching means being operative to selectively maintain a latched gripper finger in its open, inoperative condition during drum rotation.

12. A signature opener according to claim 11 including a vacuum sucker carried on said first drum adjacent said anvil and having its mouth approximately coplanar with a gripping surface on the anvil, a rotary timing valve on said first drum shaft, and a vacuum line between a rotor of said valve and said vacuum sucker.

13. A signature opener according to claim 12 wherein the vacuum line is connected to said vacuum sucker at the side of said drum remote from said cams, and a fixed bracket extending radially toward said drum shaft and maintaining said cams against rotation.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification270/52.28
International ClassificationB65H5/08, B42C1/00, B65H5/12, B42B9/00, B65H5/30, B42C1/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65H5/307, B65H2301/4531, B65H2301/4351, B65H5/12
European ClassificationB65H5/30C4, B65H5/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 27, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, A DE. CORP., ILLINO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005018/0144
Effective date: 19881006
Oct 17, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION MELBOURNE, FL A DE CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004227/0467
Effective date: 19830429