US 3809385 A
A method and apparatus for optimizing on-line production in a bindery by providing a signature gathering machine in which hopper pockets not being utilized in a production run may be made ready for the next production run without interrupting or interfering with the current production run. The individual hopper pockets may be removable and transportable to an off-line make-ready stand where make-ready adjustments may be made on each pocket individually or the pockets not currently in use may remain on-line but disconnected from the machine drive and, through automatic controls, the necessary make-ready adjustments are made at a single off-line pocket and transmitted simultaneously to all on-line pockets.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR OFF-LINE 3,002,746 10/1961 Lloyd et al 270/58 MAKEREADY 3,717,337 2/1973 McCain et al. 270/54 x  Inventor: Victoriano F. Rana, Easton, Pa.
 Assignee: Harris-Intertype Corporation,
Cleveland, Ohio  Filed: Sept. 25, 1972  Appl. No.: 291,716
52 us. Cl.
' 10/1958 Young 270/54 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-A. J. Heinz [5 7] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for optimizing on-line production -in' a bindery by providing a signature gathering' machine in which hopper pockets not being utilized in a production run may be made ready for the next production run without interrupting or interfering with the current production run. The individual hopper pockets may be removable and transportable to an off-line make-ready stand where'make-ready adjustments may be made on eachflpocket individually or the pockets not currently in use may remain on-line but disconnected from the machine drive and, through automatic controls, the necessary make-ready adjustments are made at a single off-line pocket and transmitted simultaneously to all on-line pockets.
11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PA TENTEDMAY 7 :914
' sum l or a FIG.
PATENTEUMAY 7 19M SHEET a 0F 4 QWRQQMQ NQQ METHOD AND APPARATUS ron OFF-LINE MAKE-READY any material assembled from signatures and that the term gathering machine is intended to include machines for both saddle gathering and flat gathering.
In magazine publishing there is an increasing desire by advertisers to direct their advertising at particular subscriber groups within a magazines total national subscription; To be responsive to this desire, the magazine publisher is faced with the problem of providing different issues of the magazine containing different combinations of advertising for different subscriber groups which, in turn, requires that for different groups of subscribers the magazine be made up of different combinations of signatures. In accordance with this approach, it is not at all unusual for a publisher producing a nationally distributed monthly magazine to produce 50 or more distinct issues of the'magazine in one month with the content of these different issues being varied according to geographic and demographic subscriber information possessed by the publisher. In addition, newsstand copies of the magazine and special reserve copies of each distinct issue would normally be produced.
In addition to the multiplicity of issues required, the production run of a magazine based on geographicdemographic information may be further complicated by the order in which the various issues are produced.
For example, mail room requirements may dictate running all issues that are to go to a specific geographic region as a group before producing the issues for another geographic region. This means that each of the different issues for a particular region must be run together with the newsstand issues for that region and, thereafter, doing the same thing for each of the other regions.
It is thus apparent that the production of a magazine, instead of being one long continuous run, is, in geographic-demographic geographicdemographic arrangement, made up of a plurality of runs each relatively short in length.
As is well known in the bindery field, with each run change the bindery equipment must be made ready for the 'next run. The specific changes that must be made in the equipment between runs vary depending on the type of equipment used and the variations in the signatures used in the different runs and, accordingly, specific data on change-over or make-ready time is not available. However, it has been estimated, as a general proposition, that it requires approximately 30 minutes per hopper pocket of the gathering machine to effect a change-over when the size of the signatures from one run to the next is to remain the same. When different sized signatures are to be used in the next run, the make-ready time may be as high as one-half hour per hopper pocket of the gathering machine. Of course,
while the make-ready or change-over adjustments are being made on the gathering machine, the entire pro- 5 duction line is shut down. As aresult', the between run change-over time may be a very significant portion of both the total time required to produce one months issue of a magazine and the labor cost for producing that magazine.
It is the primary object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus for minimizing the between run change-over or make-ready time in a bindery system.
In accordance with this primary object, the principles of this invention contemplate the use of a gathering machine in which the hopper pockets may be selectively and individually disconnected from the gathering machine drive, whereby a production run of a magazine may be made utilizing certain of the hopper pockets while others are disconnected and may be made ready for the next succeeding run. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, each of the hopper pockets are removable from the gathering machine and an off-line make-ready stand is provided at which each of the hopper pockets not in use may be set up and made ready for the next succeeding run. In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, an off-line make-ready stand is provided with one off-line pocket being used as a standard for the adjustments required for the next succeeding run. The adjustments made on the off-line pocket may be stored and, upon completion of the run then in progress, all hopper pockets on-line that are to feed the same type of signatures may be adjusted automatically in accordance with the adjustmerits previously established on the off-line pocket.
These objects, features and aspects of the invention, as well as others, will be more apparent upon a complete reading of the following description which, together with the attached drawings, discloses but certain preferred forms of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate like parts in the various views:
FIG. 1' is a simplified schematic flow diagram of a system' for producing magazines in accordance with the principles of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view of a signature gathering line and illustrates the removability of selective pockets from the line for off-line make-ready.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a portion of the gathering machine of FIG. 2.
FIG. 3a is a fragmentary enlarged view illustrating a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 3 designated by the line 3A in FIG. 3.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the off-line makeready stand.
FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the drive to the hopper pockets in the gathering machine.
FIG. 6 is a view of a typical inserter which may be used as the gathering machine.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view of a servo-operated adjustment of a portion of the inserter of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a schematic top plan view of a servo control for the side guides of the hopper in the inserter of FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 is a schematic circuit diagram for automatically adjusting on-line pockets.
Referring now more in detail to the drawings and par- I plurality of pockets adapted to contain different sets of signatures. A gathering chain or conveyor 12 is adapted to-receive signatures from the gathering machine and convey the signatures to a stitcher 14, a trimmer 16, a labeling station 18 and a-town sort stacker 20.
The gathering machine 10 may either be an inserter for saddle gathering or a gatherer for flatgathering. However, for purposes of illustrating a specific embodiment, the gathering machine disclosed hereinafter will be an inserter. t
The setsof signatures to make up the various editions of the magazine are placed in the various pockets of the gathering machine 10. Each pocket includes a hopper which serves as a storage for the signatures and a suitable feed out mechanism such as av shaft driven rotary drum which may be of the type disclosed in US. Pat.
Nos. 2,251,943 and 2,855,195, both assigned to the assignee herein. As disclosed in those patents, the feedout mechanism is operative to feed out one signature from each pocket on to the conveyor or chain 12 for each cycle of the gathering machine 10. i
Gathering machines of the type disclosed in the aforementioned patents normally require various make-ready checks and adjustments before a run is commenced. Examples of some of these make-ready checks and adjustments are the following:
1. Checkmain drum gripper height at moment of closing. 2. Check the vacuum on setting of the sucker. 3. Check the main drum grippers in vacuum off setting. 4. Check and adjust the feed hopper settings.
5. Check main drum grippers for fully closed posit1on.- 6. Check register stop pressure rollers. 7. Check transfer drum grippers for adequate clamping pressure. 8. Check the opener drum grippers for proper' ten:
sion in fully closed position. 9. Adjust the inserter for reverse lap if necessary.-
As a specific example of two such adjustments, reference may be had to FIG. 6 in which there is schematica-lly illustrated one form of a saddle inserter. As illustrated, the inserter includes a hopper 22 having a pair 4 tion and, by suitable indicia on the arcuate piece 44, the position of the arm may be visually indicated.
It is to be understood that both the adjustment of the side guides 24 and the adjustment of the stop 32and gripper cam'42 are merely illustrative of the type of make-ready checks and adjustments which must be made before the inserter is placed in operation.
Referring now to FIG. 3, a typical station in the gathering machine 10 is illustrated. As shown, each of the inserter pockets includes a pair of side frames 46 with the two side frames being arcuately recessed at 47 to be received over and supported on a central conduit or pipe 48 which may run the length of the inserter 10. The pipe 48 may be used for housing the vacuum, air and electrical connections for each pocket. According to one form of the invention, each of the pockets is designed to be removable. To this end, the frames 46 are retained .in position by suitable threaded disconnect fasteners 50. By releasing the fasteners 50, each of the pockets may be removed from the gathering machine of side guides 24 (only one of which is shown). A suction extractor 26 is adapted to pull down the adjacent edge of the bottom signature in stack S so that a gripper 28 carried on a rotating drum 30 may withdraw the signature from the stack. The gripper carries the extracted signature around the drum to a stop 32 where it is released and, in a manner well known in the art, picked up by a transfer drum 34 which, in'cooperation with an opener drum 36, opens the signature and deposits it on a saddle 38.
It will be appreciated that, depending on the size of the signatures, the side guides 24 must be adjusted inward or outward to accommodate the particular signavThe inserter further includes a drive shaft 52 from which each of the pockets is driven. The drive to each pocket from the shaft 52 may be taken off in any suitable manner with a drive chain 54 being illustrated. The drive from the drive chain 54 is connected to the pocket drive shaft by a suitable single position clutch of any known construction such as a positive engaging jam clutch illustrated at 56in FIG. 5. The clutch, when disengaged, permits the removal of the particular pocket without interfacing with the drive to the remaining pockets in the gathering machine. As shown in FIG. 5, adjacent pockets may be driven from a common drive chain 54 with individual solenoids 58 used to selectively clutch in or out each of the pockets.
It will be appreciated that with separate clutches for each of the pockets, any pocket not currently in use may be declutched and at least make-ready checks and adjustments can be performed on that pocket while it remains on line. However, the pocket cannot be driven to test feed signatures while a production run is in progress, and certain on the run adjustments can not be made. Accordingly, to enable all make-ready checks and adjustments to be made on an inactive pocket, as well as to test feed that pocket, the principles of this invention contemplate the use of an offline make-ready stand 60 such as that illustrated in FIG. 4. This off-line make-ready stand is essentially a duplication of a portion of the inserter but positioned off-line so that checks and adjustments can be made on each pocket without interfering with the production run. To transport the pockets from the gathering machine 10 to the make-ready stand .60, suitable equipment, such as the overhead crane 62 shown in FIG. 2, may be employed. A pocket that is to be made ready for the next run may be removed from the line simply by releasing the connectors 50, disengaging the associated clutch S6 and releasing the quick connect couplings for the vacuum, air and electrical connections. Thereafter, by the crane 62, the pocket may be lifted out of position and transported to the make-ready stand 60 where it can be reconnected and made ready for the next run.
It will be noted that the station or location in the gathering machine from which a pocket is removed may be replaced with another pocket previously made than stations and alternating certain of these pockets between the inserter and the make-ready stand, fewer inserter stations are required and all stations of the inserter may be used for each production run. Thus, while 13 stations a-m are shown in FIG. 1, additional hopper pockets may be provided. For example, if a thirteen signature magazine is to be produced with up to three signatures varying from one issue to the next, three extra pockets may be used to permit all makeready adjustments to be performed in advance of each run and while all stations at the gathering machine are in operation. When a change-over is to be made, the previously made ready pockets at the make-ready stand are substituted for the appropriate pockets in the gathering machine and production can commence immediately.
At the make-ready stand, all adjustments that may be required to ready the pocket for the next production run may be made. In addition, signatures to be fed from that pocket may be placed in the pocket and test runs made at operating speeds both to verify the proper adjustments and to make those adjustments which must be made on the run.
In addition to make-ready adjustments, the makeready stand may also be utilized to check each pocket for incipient failure and excessive wear. To this end a diagnostic device 64 is provided. This diagnostic device may be provided with various types of equipment depending on the investigations to be made. For example, the device may be provided with thermocouples or other types of heat probes which may be connected to the bearings to investigate the condition of the bearings in the pocket before it is placed back on the line. Also the vacuum at the suckers may be checked by a trace comparison in which the vacuum at each sucker is traced and compared with a standard.
Once a pocket has been made ready and checked at the make-ready stand, it may then be placed back on line, secured by the fasteners 50 and all electrical, vacuum and air connections reconnected. Thereafter, when a run is to be made utilizing that particular pocket, all that is required is to re-engage the clutch 5 and the pocket is ready for operation.
An alternative approach to off-line make-ready is to use as a standard a single off-line pocket on which the make-ready checks and adjustments are made and, thereafter, through appropriate control circuitry, establishing the same settings on each on-line pocket. This may be accomplished, for example, by associating a servo device with each element of the pocket requiring adjustment and, based on the settings and adjustments at the off-line pocket, actuating the servo devices to establish the same settings or adjustments on the on-line pockets. To this end, FIG. 7 illustrates a bidirectional motor 66 which drives an adjusting screw 68 connected to the lever arm 40 such that by appropriate actuation of the motor 66, the lever arm 40 may be selectively positioned to establish the correct setting of the adjustable stop 32 and the gripper cam 42.
FIG. 8 illustrates a similar technique for controlling the adjustment of the side guides 24. More particularly, the two side guides are supported for sliding movement toward and away from each other on a support shaft 70 carried by the hopper frame. Adjusting screw 72 threadingly engages with left and right hand threads the two side guides 24. By rotating the adjusting screw 72, the two side guides are moved toward or away from each other. A bidirectional DC motor 74 is provided '6 for rotating the adjusting screw 72 and a position sensing potentiometer 76 is operatively associated with the adjusting screw 72, with the potentiometer measuring and providing electrical information regarding the posijustments. In any event, the off-line pocket, like the online pockets, has a side guide adjusting mechanism of the type shown in FIG. 8.
The circuit of FIG. 9 has an analog-to-digital converter for converting the analog signal from the position indicating potentiometer of the standard pocket to digital form for convenience of storage and data handling. It also has data registers for storing the digital data and has gates for gating data into and out of the data registers. The circuit further includes a digital-to analog converter for reconverting the digital data stored in the data registers to analog form for use as positioning command signals to the motors 74 associated with each of the on-line pockets.
The details of the circuit will be described in connection with the following description of operation.
The side guides 24 of the off-line pocket are adjusted either by manually rotating the screw 72 or through rotation of the screw by its associated motor 74 until the proper setting is obtained. Thereafter, a signal from the position indicating potentiometer 76 associated with the off-line pocket is connected via terminal F to an analog-to-digital converter 80 which converts the information to digital data form. The digital data is then transmitted over multiple lines to data registers and gates 82 where the data are gated into the data registers for storage.
The stored information is retained until it is desired tion stored in the data registers 82 is gated back out of the register and transmitted to a digital-to-analog converter 84. The output of that converter is an analog voltage signal which stands on a bus K. Bus K is connected to terminal T of all of the on-line pockets. The operator selects which of the on-line pockets are to receive the voltage signals standing on the bus K by actuation of suitable selector switches S1, S2, S3, etc. Thereafter, a starting push button 86 is depressed and an OR circuit 87 receives a signal at one of its inputs. An output current from the OR circuit energizes a relay coil 88 which causes the relay to close its contacts and apply the output voltage of an amplifier 89 to the reversible motor 74 of a selected pocket. Because the output voltage of the amplifier is also directly connected to a second input of the OR circuit and to a third input of the OR circuit through an inverter 90, the relay 88 remains energized even after the push button is released so long as the output voltage of the amplifier is not zero. Consequently, a non-zero voltage of either polarity at the reversible DC motor 74 will energize the output of the OR circuit and hold the relay in an energized state. At the earliesttime thereafter at which the output of the amplifier becomes zero, and assuming the push botton has been released by the operator, the out- .put signal from the OR- circuit becomes zero, deenerrepresents a desired setting of the side guides 24 as determined by the position of the potentiometer 76 associated with the off-line pocket while the other signal is derived from th position potentiometer of the on-line pocket. When the motor 74 associated with the on-line pocket has moved its associated side guides to a position corresponding to-the setting of the potentiometer on the off-line pocket, the voltage of the on-line poten- .tiometer is equal inmagnitude and opposite in direction to that of the off-line potentiometer and the net current from the two signals, which is the current which flows in the feedback resisterR, is zero. The amplifiers output voltage is therefor zero, the relay 88 opens its contacts because its holding circuit through the OR gate now has zero voltage and the on-line motor 74 stops operating.
- Instead of storing the position information in the data register 82, an alternate approach would be to use ei- 'ther punched cards or magnetic tape as a storage means. As shown in FIG. 9, a card punch unit 92 is provided forreading out data from the data registers onto cards. A card reader 94 is also provided whereby the card punched by the card punch device 92 may be inser'tedin the card reader 94 and the card reader than enters the card data into the data register 82; The punched cards may include not only information as to the desired settings but also data asto which of the online hoppersis to be adjusted. ,To this end, certain storage locations in the data register 82 may be used to control the output lines D which connect to the OR gate-to select the on-line hoppers that are to be adjusted. A manual-automatic selector switch 96 may be included in the circuit to enable either the automatic selection of hopper pockets or manual selection of the hopper pockets by use of the selector switches S1, S2, etc.
The use of storage means such as cards or magnetic tape is particularly desirable where runs are made by geographic area since it may be necessary with such a production .approachto produce thesame magazine 1 several different times during the'production run. By
storing the settings on cards or tape, the settings can be duplicated for as many different runs as may be required without the necessity of repeating the makeready adjustments on the hopper at themake-ready stand.
It will'be appreciated that instead of storing the infor-- mation regarding the appropriate settings either in data registers of in the form of punched cards or tape, the settings on the off-line pocket may be transmitted directly to the on-line pockets. in this event, the analogto-digital converters and the data registers shown in the circuit of FIG. 9 may be eliminated. 6 From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the described method and apparatus for performing off-line make-ready permits a wide variation of approaches, all
, of which enable a user to minimize the change-over time between production runs and thereby optimize the productivity of the bindery lines. It is to be understood that the specific inserter, as well as the illustrative make-ready adjustments specifically disclosed, have been described merely for purposes of facilitating an understanding of the invention.- Other types of inserters, as well as gatherers for flat gathering, and other make-ready adjustments may be used without departing from the principles of the invention. Accordingly, neither the illustrated embodiments nor the terminology employed in describing them is intended to be limiting; rather, it is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims. I
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed I. A system for production gathering of signatures for magazines or thelike comprising an on-line gathering machine having a base, a plural.- ity of feeder stations on the base with each feeder station including a hopper for storing signatures in a stack and feed means for withdrawing signatures from the stack, chain means movable along the base beneath said feeder stations to receive the signatures and drive means for synchronously operating said chain means and said feed means, each of said feeder stations including setting means for adjusting the feeder station to accommodate variations in the signatures to be fed therefrom, an off-line make ready stand comprising a base having at least one feeder station position and chain means movable along the base beneath said feeder station position, a feeder station at said otT-line stand including a hopper for storing signatures in a stack, feed means for withdrawing signatures from the stack and setting means for adjusting said feeder station to accommodate variations in the signatures, drive means for synchronously operating said chain means and said feed meanson said off-line stand independently of said on-line gathering machine whereby make ready operations to establish the settings of the feeder station on said off-line stand may be performed while said gathering machine is being operated, and i a means for transmitting the settings of said feeder station at said off-line stand to at least selected ones of said feeder stations on said on-line gathering ma- 50 chine.
2. The system of claim 1 and further including means for selectively disconnectingat least selected feeder stations on said on-line gathering machine from said drive means whereby said gathering machine may be operated independently of the disconnected feeder stations, and
said transmitting means includes station selector means for selecting the feeder stations on said online gathering machine for receiving the settings to be transmitted by the circuit means.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein said transmitting means includes storage means for storing the settings of said feeder station at said off-line stand, and
station selector meansfor selectingthe stations on 4. The system of claim 1 wherein each of said feeder stations on said on-line gathering machine includes a frame supporting said hopper and said feed means and releasable fastener means for releasably securing said frame to said gathering machine base said feeder station position on said off-line make ready stand being adapted to receive said detachable feeder stations from said on-line gathering machine, and
means for transporting feeder stations between said gathering machine and said off-line stand.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein said setting means for said feeder station on said off-line stand includes means for generating electrical signals indicative of the settings established at said feeder stations,
7 said setting means for said feeder statons on said online machine including means responsive to electrical signals for adjusting the settings of said feeder stations, and
said transmitting means comprises circuit means for transmitting electrical signals from said feeder station at said off-line stand to said feeder stations on said on-line machine. 6. The system of claim 5 wherein said transmitting means includes storage means for storing the electrical signals generated at said off-line feeder station. 7. The system of claim 5 wherein said transmitting means further includes station selector means for selecting the feeder stations on said on-line machine for receiving the transmitted signals. 8. The system of claim. 7 and further including means for selectively disconnecting feeder stations from said on-line gathering machine drive means whereby said gathering machine may be operated independently of the disconnected stations.
9. A method of make ready for the production gathering of signatures for magazines or the like by using an on-line gathering machine having a plurality of feeder stations with each feeder station including a hopper for storing signatures in a stack and feed means for withdrawing signatures from the stack, chain means mov' able along the base beneath said feeder stations to receive signatures and drive means for synchronously operating said feed means and said chain means, each of said feeder stations including setting means for adjusting the feeder station to accommodate different sizes and types of signatures to be fed therefrom, said method comprising the steps of:
operating the gathering machine to feed signatures from selected feeder stations to make up a production run of the magazine, while the production run is being made, performing make ready operations on a feeder station at an offline position to establish the settings for a feeder station to feed a particular type of signature to be used in a subsequent production run, and
transmitting the settings established at the off-line position to the on-line machine adjusting each of the on-line feeder stations that are to feed said particular type of signature.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein the step of transmitting is performed as the settings are established at the off-line position.
1 l. The method of claim 9 wherein the settings established at the off-line position are first stored and then transmitted to the on-line station.