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Publication numberUS3819173 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 25, 1974
Filing dateSep 1, 1971
Priority dateSep 1, 1971
Also published asDE2243030A1
Publication numberUS 3819173 A, US 3819173A, US-A-3819173, US3819173 A, US3819173A
InventorsAnderson F, Reed D
Original AssigneeHarris Intertype Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for producing magazines or the like
US 3819173 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in a continuous process and which includes on-line printing and/or punching and insertion of individual subscriber's subscription renewal or information cards, on-line printing upon command of each subscriber's label and complete custody of the subscriber's magazine throughout the process so that if any particular subscriber's magazine is defective it is rejected and a new magazine is reordered.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

.United States Patent 1191 1111 3,819,173

Anderson et al. [4 June 25, 1974 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR 3,578,310 5/1971 PRODUCING MAGAZINES OR THE LIKE 3,606,728 9/1971 3,608,888 9/1971 [7 Inventors: Frederick Douglas Anderson, k r 3,608,893 9/1971 McCain a 111:: 270/56 x Heights, Ohio; David Austin Reed, Eastoni Primary ExaminerRobert W. Michell [73] Assignee: Harris-Intertype Corporation, Amman Examiner-Vance Hum Cleveland, Ohio 22 Filed: Sept. 1, 1971 [57] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in a contin- 21 App]. No.: 176,851

521 11.5. C1 270/54, 270/1, 270/58 nous Process and which includes im-line printing 511 1111. C1 B6Sh 39/02 /or Punching and insertion of individual Subscribers 58 Field of Search 270/54-58, subscription renewal or information cards, vii-line 270 14 15 2 37 printing upon command of each subscribers label and complete custody of the subscribers magazine [5 References Cited throughout the process so that if any particular sub- UNITED STATES PATENTS scribers magazine is defective it is rejected and a new magazine is reordered. 3,490,761 1/1970 Bell 270/58 3,550,930 12/1970 Brown 270/20 13 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures /0 INSERTEA M756,

w/a 11 1| 1| 1 1| 11 11 ST/I'CHEI? cnupekl a 5o .50 30 so TRIM/V19? 2 1 1 22 rwur/aurpar 4?, 6;

(.4551. 445a 1.4.954 PEI/V7 HEAD Mr fill E27 3%. PROCESS UN/T COMPUlZ-R mwms'oer SING/(ER PAIENTED JUNZ 51974 SHEET 3 OF 5 FIG .5

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MAGAZINES OR THE LIKE This invention relates to a method and apparatus for producing magazines or the like and, more particularly, to a highly automated production system which includes the on-line punching and/or printing of each individual subscribers subscription renewal card.

In the following specification and claims, it is to be understood that the word magazine is used to denote any material assembled from signatures, including but not limited to, journals, periodicals, catalogs, directories, books and pamphlets.

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.

There is disclosed in pending application, Ser. No. 141,331, filed May7, 1971, and assigned to the assignee herein, a method and apparatus which enables the magazine publisher to achieve the ends desired by the advertiser while minimizing magazine production time and cost. As disclosed in that application, the system utilizes a gathering machine having different sets of signatures located in different pockets with each pocket being individually instructed to feed or not feed during each gathering machine cycle, thereby, to provide the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for each individual subscriber. The operation of the gathering machine pockets is controlled from stored information based on known subscriber data which is also used, in one disclosed embodiment, to prepare the subscribers mailing label as that same subscribers magazine is being made up. The aforementioned application further discloses a system for maintaining complete custody of each individual subscribers magazine as it is being made up so that in the event a fault occurs rendering thatmagazine defective,the magazine may be rejected and a new magazine and label for that particular subscriber automatically reordered.

This invention carries forward the basic concepts of the above-mentioned application and provides a system which, in addition to the capability of producing different magazines for different subscribers, includes an online means for punching and/or printing and inserting subscription renewal cards or the like for selected individual subscribers as the subscribers magazine is being made up. Further, the system according to this invention, contemplates maintaining complete custody of each subscribers magazine as it is being produced so that in the event of a fault resulting in rejection of that magazine, the magazine is reordered, a new card is punched and/or printed for insertion in the magazine and means are provided for coordinating the downstream delivery of the reordered magazine so that it is properly coordinated with the sorting and mailing operation.

Other objects, features and aspects of the invention will be more apparent upon a complete reading of the following description which, together with the attached drawings, discloses but one form which the invention may take. I

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 side view of one portion of the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of another portion of the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of the divert mechanism which may be used in the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of a card inserter which may be used in the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of the functional operation of the computer used to control the opera tion of the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of the information storage and retrieval function performed by the computer for controlling the system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of the error identification function of the control system.

FIG. 9 illustrates, in schematic block diagram form, a re-order sub-routine for comparing zip codes.

Referring now more in detail to the drawings, and

particularly FIG. 1, the system includes an inserter 10 having a plurality of pockets adapted to contain different sets of signatures. An inserter chain or conveyor 12 is adapted to receive the signatures from the inserter l0 and convey the signatures past a. master caliper 14, a card insert station indicated generally at 16 and to a stitcher 18. From the stitcher, the conveyor chain carries the magazines to a trimmer 20 and a labeling station indicated generally by the reference numeral 22 where a mailing label bearing the subscribers name and address is applied to the magazine. Thereafter, the conveyor carries the magazine to a divert unit indicated generally by the reference numeral 24 where it is either diverted to a divert conveyor 26 or passed through to a town-sort stacker 28.

The inserter 10 may be a conventional 24 pocket saddle inserter which is known perse and the details of which, for simplicity, have been omitted. In addition, the master caliper 14, the saddle stitcher 18, the trimmer 20 and the town-sort stacker 28 may also be of conventional construction and a detailed description of the specific structure, functioning and operation of these units is not deemed necessary except in respect to certain modifications which are described in more detail hereinafter.

THE SADDLE INSERTER The sets of signatures to make up the various editions of the magazine are placed in the various pockets, a, b, c, etc., of the inserter 10. Each inserter pocket is provided with a suitable feed-out mechanism such as a 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 and which is operative to feed-out one signature from each pocket on to the conveyor 12 for each cycle of the gathering machine 10.

In accordance with this invention, the feed mechanism for each inserter pocket includes a pocket instruction mechanism 30 which may be selectively engaged or disengaged in response to an electrical signal to enable or prevent, respectively, the feeding from the associated pocket feed mechanism of a signature at the appropriate point in the inserter machine cycle when that pocket is due to feed. Inhibiting the feed from selective pockets may be controlled in various ways such as by inhibiting the vacuum and calipering at the selected pockets or through the use of clutches which, when actuated, would disengage the drive to the selected pockets. The manner in which these pocket instruction mechanisms are selectively operated will be described hereinafter.

THE CARD INSERTION STATION The card insertion station 16 includes a card printer l and a card punch 17 which enables the magazine publisher to insert, on a selective basis, a subscription renewal or fulfillment information card which is individually punched and/or printed with the subscribers data and inserted in that subscribers particular magazine as it passes along the conveyor chain 12. The card insertion station may be used to insert punched cards, printed cards, or cards which have been both punched and printed with the desired information.

The cards to be inserted may be processed through a suitable high speed computer printer which prints the desired information on the card. One example of a high speed computer printer is available from Di/An Controls, Boston, Massachusetts. A suitable card punch mechanism which may, for example, be a model 70/236 card punch available from the RCA Company is then used to punch each card. That type of card punch is capable of feeding loose cards from a hopper past a punch device where punching is effected in a configuration in accordance with information instructions fed to the device. The printed and punched cards C are then fed in the order in which they are punched to a storage stack 32 where they are subsequently removed and inserted in the appropriate subscribers magazine.

It is to be understood, and it will be more apparent hereinafter, that the operation of the card printer l5 and the card punch unit 17 is controlled on command so that, for example, as the magazine for a subscriber whose subscription is up for renewal is being processed, the renewal card for that particular subscriber is being prepared for insertion in his magazine.

Various devices may be used to insert the cards in the magazine as it passes along the conveyor 12. FIG. 5 illustrates in schematic form one such arrangement which may be used for the card insertion. As shown, a rotary drum 34 is employed to extract the cards C one at a time from the stack 32. A vacuum sucker 36 is used to extract the lowermost card from the stack to a position where it can be picked up by suitable grippers on the drum 34. The vacuum sucker 36 is pivoted toward and away from the stack by any suitable mechanism such as a cam which is timed to reciprocate with the motion of the drum 34. The vacuum applied to the vacuum sucker 36 is controlled by a vacuum valve, schematically indicated at 38, which is also controlled by the control system so that vacuum is selectively communicated to the vacuum sucker 36 to render it operative to remove a card from the stack only when the subscribers magazine corresponding to the lowermost card is approaching the card insertion station.

The rotary drum 34 cooperates with insertion feed belts 40, 41, 42. Appropriate guides 44 adjacent the saddle conveyor chain 12 open the signatures of the magazine as it approaches the card insertion station so that a card may be fed by the belts 41, 42 between the open signatures in the manner illustrated in FIG. 5. The card may be loosely held between the signatures or, if desired, the cards may be bound in, in which event a suitable paster 46 may be used to apply glue to the card as it is being inserted between the signatures.

THE LABEL STATION The label station 22 contemplates the on-line printing of each subscribers label as that subscribers magazine is being made up, and applying the label to that magazine as it passes beneath the label head. To this end, a label printer 49 which may be a conventional high speed computer printer such as is commercially avalable from Di/An Controls, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, is employed. This label printer is operative to print, on command, labels on a continuous roll of labels which then enter a conventional labeling head 49 where the labels are applied to the magazines as they pass therebeneath. It will be appreciated that each subscribers label is printed in the same sequence as that subscribers magazine is produced, so that, assuming no feed, trimming or binding errors, each subscribers uniquely tailored magazine should arrive at the label head at the same time that subscribers label arrives at the label head.

In the event there is an error in the system and the uniquely tailored magazine for a particular subscriber is rejected after his label has been printed, it is necessary to reject that label so it is not applied to the wrong magazine. To this end, a suitable label reject mechanism 51 is provided. This label reject mechanism may be simply a dummy book which is inserted beneath the label head 49 to receive the label in the manner described in the aforementioned co-pending patent application. Any other suitable device selectively operable for rejecting the unwanted label may be used.

THE DEVERT UNIT One form of a suitable divert unit 24 is schematically illustrated in FIG. 4. This divert unit comprises a set of deflector fingers 50 which are movable between an inoperative position where they are positioned beneath the conveyor raceway and an operative position where they project above the raceway. The movement of the deflector fingers is controlled by a suitable actuator 52. In the operative position, the deflector fingers cooperate with signatures traveling along the raceway to deflect the signatures upward between a pair of upper and lower belt conveyors 54, 56 which convey the diverted signatures to the divert conveyor 26.

The belt conveyors 54, 56 may be continuously driven by means not shown so that if at any time the deflector fingers 50 are actuated, the belt conveyors are immediately operative to convey the diverted signatures to the conveyor 26. Those signatures which are not diverted continue along the raceway beneath the belt conveyors 54, 56 and the conveyor 26 to the townsort stacker 28.

ERROR DETECTION It is contemplated that the system will be monitored for the occurrence of errors throughout the entire production process. To this end, each of the inserter pockets is provided with an appropriate error detection sensor which is operative to detect a missed feed of a signature at each pocket. One suitable form of an inserter pocket detector is disclosed in the aforementioned shown. In addition, a plurality of chain sensors are placed at strategic locations along the conveyor chain asshown in FIGS. 2 and 3. These sensors may be photoelectric cells which are controlled by the control system and are operative to sense the presence or absence of a magazine on the conveyor chain. 12.

It is contemplated that if, at any point in the production process,an erronously prepared magazine is detected or there is no magazine present when one should be present, this information will be used to signal reordering of that particular subscribers magazine and inhibit, where possible, all subsequent operations on that erronous magazine at the downstream devices. Suitable rejectmechanisms, one being shown at stitcher 18, may be employed at various locations to remove the defective magazine from the conveyor.

THE CONTROL SYSTEM It is contemplated that the above-described system will be controlled in all phases of its operation by a suitable process computer, indicated generally at 62. This process computer may be any commercially available process computer such as a PDPS. It is further contemplated that the information for each production run will be fedtothe process computer 62 by suitable means such as a magnetically coded control tape 64.

The tape 64 is prepared by suitable data processing techniques in which information provided by the subscribers including their names and mailing addresses and such items of demographic information as age, income, occupation, etc., are used to classify each subscriber in accordance with predetermined arbitrary criteriawhich allocates each subscriber to one of the different types of magazines to be produced. Thereafter, the name-address, subscriber identification number, and make up code for each subscriber is coded on the tape 64. For example, a subscriber may be in a group which is to receive magazines made up of signatures from inserter pockets a-n, r and s and this information is then coded on the tape for subsequent use by the process computer 62, during the production of that subscribers magazine. In addition, if the subscriber is to receive a subscription renewal or information card, that information is also associated with the subscriber in an appropriate manner on the tape 64.

To facilitate sorting and mailing, it is preferred that the subscribers be grouped on the tape 64 by zip code so that all subscribers in a particular zip code can be run as agroup. In addition, magazines which are to re- ,ceive special handling such as inspectors copies, are identified by a suitable code.

In summary, the tape 64, when it is ready to be used by the process computer 62, contains coded information in machine readable form for each subscriber who is to receive a magazine in the particular production run to be made. The subscribers are grouped by zip code and for each subscriber the tape contains information as to his name and address, his identification number, the particular inserter pockets which are to be operated in producing his magazine, information for punching and/or printing a card for insertion in his magazine and special processing instructions, if any.

The control system may operate on the coded information on tape 64 in different ways depending on the particular computer utilized and the particular programming of that computer. However, in general, the control system:

a. With each cycle of the inserter, instructs each pocket to feed or not to feed depending on the particular subscribers magazine beneath each pocket.

b. Determines whether a renewal or information card is to be produced for a particular subscriber and, if so, instructs the printing and/or punching of that card and instructs insertion of the card at the appropriate point in the cycle when the particular subscribers magazine is at the card insertion station 16 c. Orders printing of each subscribers label and instructs application of that label at the appropriate point in the cycle when the magazine corresponding to the appropriate label is beneath the label head 49.

d. If there are four or less subscribers in a particular zip code group, instructs the divert unit 24 to divert those magazines from the town-sort stacker.

e. Recognizes changes in zip code, instructs the stacker 28 to start a new stack with the first magazine in the zip code group.

f. Recognizes special magazines such as bulk mail ings, inspector copies, or other high priority copies, and instructs the divert unit 24 to divert those magazines for special handling.

g. Continuously monitors the entire system for any errors that may occur.

In the event of an error at any point in the cycle, the control system is operative to:

h. Ascertain the subscriber whose magazine was affected by the error, reject the magazine and reorder that particular subscribers magazine. I

i. If the error occurred in the inserter, discontinue all further feeding of signatures for that particular subscribers magazine.

j. If the error occurred after a label has been printed, reject the label at the appropriate point in the cycle.

k. If the reordered magazine is made up after a new zip code run has commenced, advise the divert unit to divert the reordered magazine so that it may be manually assembled with the proper zip code group.

The foregoing functions may be coordinated by the process computer in various ways, but illustrated in FIGS. 6-9 is a schematic presentation of the operative functions of the computer to accomplish the desired results. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the computer art that other internal computer arrangements to achieve the functional results described may be employed.

As schematically illustrated, the control tape 64 is interrogated by a read unit 66 and information is transferred to a buffer storage 68 and thereafter to the core memory of the computer where it is stored for use in controlling the production process. More particularly, the information from the buffer store is fed to a store instruct unit 70 which assigns the information to different addresses in the core for use at the proper time. As shown, the pocket instructions for each subscriber are stored in a pocket instruct store 72, the name and ad dress information for the subscriber is stored in a label instruct store 74, the card instruction information for the subscriber is stored in a card instruct store 76 and special process instructions for the subscriber are stored in a process instruct store 78. It will be appreciated that each of the store units 72, 74, 76 and 78 represents a block of addresses in the core memory and are illustrated as separate blocks merely to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

The information stored in units 72, 74, 76, 78 is read by a read and instruct unit 80 which, in accordance with the information taken from the store units, issues instructions to the appropriate system devices. Since, at each cycle in a continuous production run, a number of different subscribers magazines are in process at one time, it is necessary for the computer, for each cycle, to issue appropriate instructions to all of the devices in the system. The coordination of the instructions for each cycle may be accomplished in various ways, the following description being but an illustrative example of one suitable technique. Thus, referring to FIG. 7, the information stored in the core memory may, for conceptual purposes, be considered to be entered in a table in which each row contains the information for a particular subscriber, together with an identification number which is assigned to the subscriber by unit 70 as the subscriber is entered in the table. The

number assigned to the subscriber corresponds to the cycle in which that subscribers magazine will be started, with the subscribers being numbered consecutively. In addition, the row assigned to each subscriber is provided with a defect record and a divert record for a purpose to be described hereinafter.

The process computer 62 uses the information in the table in the following manner. Each location in the system at which a device is positioned and which requires instructions from the process computer may be expressed in terms of chain spacings from the entrance to the inserter. For example, the 7th inserter pocket is seven chain spacings downstream from the entrance to the inserter. Similarly, the card insertion station 16 may, for example, be located thirty-two chain spacings downstream from the entrance to the inserter. In addition, lead time requirements for such actions as printing and punching of the insertion cards or the printing of labels may also be expressed in terms of chain spacings from the entrance to the inserter. To control the system, the process computer 62 must, in advance of each cycle, determine the appropriate instructions to be issued to control the devices at the various locations in the system. In effect, this requires a determination by the computer of which subscribers magazine is at which point in the process and, thereafter, employ a look-up routine to determine from the table the instructions to issue for that particular subscribers magazine.

To this end, the computer is programmed to perform a sequence of table look-up routines for each cycle. The sequencing of these table look-up functions may vary but, in general, a block representing a sequence unit 82 controls the squence of operation of the computer. In accordance with instructions from the sequence unit 82, a locater unit 84, together with a subtracter 86 and an address register 88, locate the information in the table appropriate for the next machine cycle. The locater unit 84 contains a list of each location in the system at which some action is or may be taken during each cycle and the sequence unit 82 is used to actuate the locater unit to run through its list in a predetermined sequence. For example, to determine the pocket instructions for the next cycle of the inserter, the locater unit 84 would, in sequence, instruct the subtracter unit 86 to read the cycle count unit 87 and subtract from that count each number, starting with 0, corresponding to pockets a-s. For example, assuming the cycle count reads thus indicating that the magazine for the subscriber assigned number 80 is to be commenced in that cycle, the subtractor 86 would first subtract 0 from 80 with the result being used by the address register 88 and coordinate lead 89 to locate in the table the appropriate row for the subscriber assigned to number 80. The proper column is determined by the lead 90 which, under control of sequence unit 82, steps in sequence from the first pocket column to the last during this pocket information lookup routine.

In the example given, the pocket instruction infonnation for pocket a as determined by the coordinates 89 and 90 would be read by the read instruct unit 80 and fed to the input/output interface equipment 92 for use in instructing the feeding of pocket a. A similar routine would be performed for each other pocket. Thus, the sequencer 82 in the next sequence of operation would actuate locater 84 to cause the subtractor 86 to subtract from the cycle count the number corresponding to the location of the next operative device in the system. In this example, this would be pocket b so that subtracter 86 would subtract the number 1 from the cycle count which, in the example given is 80, thereby establishing the number 79. The address register 88 would then, through its contact 89, move to the row corresponding to subscriber 79, the contact 90 would index to the next column and the pocket instructions for subscriber 79 would be read and transmitted to the input/output equipment for controlling pocket b. The same sequence would be followed for establishing the instructions for controlling each of the pockets during the 80th cycle.

The same look-up routine is followed for all other actions to be taken during the 80th cycle. For example, lead time requirements may require inscribing of an insert card to be initiated ten cycles, or chain spacings, in advance of the card insertion station 16. Accordingly, a part of the routine for ascertaining the instructions for the 80th cycle would include determining, in the manner described, the subscriber whose magazine will be, during the 80th cycle, ten spaces upstream from the insertion station, and reading from the table the information to be inscribed on the card.

The same look-up routine will be followed by the computer for the next machine cycle. Thus, for machine cycle 81, the computer will go into and out of the core, under the control of the sequence unit 82, to establish the appropriate pocket information for each subscriber whose magazine is in the inserter as well as to establish the insert card to be printed and/or punched and inserted and the label to be printed during that machine cycle.

In this manner, the insertion cards and the labels are prepared in the proper sequence so that as each uniquely tailored magazine arrives at the card insertion station and at the label head, and assuming no feed stitching or trimming errors, the proper card is inserted and the proper label is applied.

In the event there is an error in the system and the uniquely tailored magazine for a particular subscriber is rejected, a potential mismatch situation is presented. To avoid such an occurrence, an arrangement is provided which not only avoids mismatches but which also is capable of reordering the rejected magazine while the run is being made. The accomplishment of this function involves not only the detection of the error but also the determination of the particular subscriber whose magazine is defective, the reordering of that magazine, insertion card and label, and making certain that the reordering magazine is grouped with the proper zip code grouping for mailing.

FIG. 8 presents, in block diagram form, one technique by which this error identificationrmay be accomplished. As illustrated, three chain sensors 60 and two inserter pocket sensors are shown, it being understood that each chain sensor and pocket sensor would have a similar arrangement. Each of the sensors is connected to a subtract'unit 94 with each subtract unit being preset to subtract, upon receipt of an error signal, a preset value which corresponds to the location of the particular sensor expressed in terms of chain spacings from the entrance to the inserter. When one of the sensors signals an error, this signal activates the associated subtract unit to subtract from the current cycle count its preset value thereby establishing the number of the subscriber affected by the error. For example, assume the magazine for the subscriber assigned number 60 is found to be missing at the sensor immediately before station 16. Assuming that sensor is 30 spaces downstream, the inspection should have taken place in the 90th machine cycle. The subtract unit, upon receiving the error signal, subtracts 30 from the cycle count which, in this example, is 90 thereby identifying the subscriber as number 60.

The subtract unit then sends this information to the input/output unit 92 which issues a retrieve-reorder instruction to the read unit 80, instructing it to retrieve the information for the subscriber assigned number 60 and reorder that magazine. Upon receipt of the retrieve-reorder signal, the computer reads the information stored in memory for the subscriber assigned to number 60 and re-enters that information in the table as a new subscriber. Upon re-entering the information, a new number is assigned to that subscriber which is the next number in sequence. In addition, a bit of information is entered in the defect record for the appropriate subscriber which, in the example given, is subscriber number 60.

It is preferred that upon the occurrence of an error, all downstream functions relating to the defective magazine be disabled. This can be accomplished by the computer inspecting the defect record for each subscriber in advance of issuing any instructions pertinent to that subscriber. Using the tabular example illustrated in FIG. 7, this would simply require lead 90 moving to the defect column each time in advance of indexing to the next column from which information is to be read. For example, before reading instructions for the inscribing of an insert card, the computer may be programmed to first inspect the defect record column so that if the subscriber whose insert card is to be inscribed during a particular machine cycle has been found to be defective, the bit of information stored in that subscribers defect record will be used to prevent inscribing of the card. However, if an error occurs after a card has been inscribed for the magazine'affected by the error, the error is ignored and the card is either inserted in the defective magazine, if it remains on the conveyor 12, or if the magazine has been removed from the conveyor the card inserter is triggered and the card will simply fall into a suitable tray.

Similarly, if a magazine is rejected prior to printing of the subscriber's label, instructions to the label printer are withheld in accordance with the defect re cord for that magazine until the reordered magazine is at the appropriate stage in the process. However, if the error occurs after the subscriber's label has been printed, the defect record will be used to trigger the label reject mechanism 52 as the empty chain space corresponding to the rejected magazine passes beneath the label head.

The defect recordmay also be used by the computer to disable caliper 14 in the event of an error upstream so that there is no calipering operation as the defective magazine or empty chain space passes the caliper.

A separate pocket disable mechanism such as that disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,519,264 and 3,525,516, schematically indicated at 95, may be used to sequentially disable further feeding of the inserter pockets upon detection of an error until the defective magazine has cleared the inserter.

With the described system, it is desirable to re-order a defective magazine as soon as possible thereby to assure that the reordered magazine is produced during the zip code run in which it is grouped. However, if the error occurs at the end of the zip code run and the magazine cannot be reordered before a new zip code group has been started, it is contemplated that the divert unit 24 will be utilized to divert the reordered magazine on to conveyor 26 where it may be manually assembled with its proper zip code group. This can be accomplished by programming the computer such that each time a magazine is reordered, the computer performs an additional sub-routine which compares the zip code run in which the re-ordered magazine is properly grouped with the current zip code run being produced. If the comparison indicates that the re-ordered magazine is in a zip code run different from the zip code run currently being produced, the computer, in addition to reordering the magazine, inserts a bit of information in the divert record for that magazine so that when the reordered magazine reaches the divert unit, the stored bit of information is used to actuate the divert fingers 50 to divert the magazine to the divert conveyors 26. At the same time, a suitable visual or audible signal may be actuated to signal the personnel downstream that a divert magazine is on its way so that they can manually place the magazine in its appropriate zip code group. To facilitate an understanding of this reorder sub-routine, FIG. 9 illustrates in block diagram form the manner in which the zip-code comparison may be made. Thus, the information for the subscriber is read from memory and, prior to re-storing it, it is temporarily held in register 96. The zip code for that subscriber is then entered in a register 99 while the zip code of the subscriber whose magazine was started in the immediately preceeding cycle is retrieved from memory and entered in register 98..The two zip codes are compared by comparator 100 and, if a difference is found, a divert bit is entered in the divert record for the subscriber whose date is standing in register 96. Thereafter, the data in register 96 is re-stored in memory by the store instruct unit and used for re-ordering the magazine.

The processing of special magazines such as inspectors copies or the like may be handled in a similar manner. Thus, the tape 64 may be coded with special process instructions to divert a certain number of magazines. When those magazines are ordered, the read instruct unit 80 utilizes the process instructions to insert a bit of information in the divert record for those magazines which will then actuate the divert mechanism at the appropriate point in the production cycle.

The divert unit may also be used for the special handling of zip code groups having four or less in the group. In this connection, it is conventional to use indicia to indicate the beginning or end of zip code runs and by scanning the zip codes stored in memory, together with counting the magazines between consecutive indicia, groups of less than five can be quickly identified and a divert instruction stored in the divert record for each subscriber in the group.

While various schematic block diagrams have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that these have been utilized merely as a convenient means to describe the functional operation of the system. Obviously, various types of computers using different types of information storage and information retrieval techniques can be used to control the system. In using a process computer such as a PDP8, the functional components corresponding to the various block diagrams disclosed would be embodied in the computer program. However, a special purpose computer using standard components which perform the functions described in the block diagrams may be used as well.

Moreover, while the control information has been disclosed as being coded on a tape from which it is transferred into a memory for subsequent use, it is contemplated that any suitable form of information storage may be used for the control system. In general, this invention contemplates the use of a file or store of information, whether on tape, a disk, a drum or in memory cores or any combination thereof, form which information can be taken to control the disclosed system.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed l. A system for producing magazines containing different inserts for different subscribers in accordance with known subscriber information, the system comprising;

source means for feeding the magazines,

conveyor means for carrying the magazines from said source means,

storage means for storing information identifying each subscriber with the predetermined information to be included in the insert for that subscribers magazine,

a source of blank inserts,

inscribing means for inscribing information on said blank inserts in accordance with the information stored in said storage means,

inserting means for placing an insert in a magazine as it is being carried by said conveyor means, and control means connecting said storage means with said source of inserts, said inscribing and inserting means for instructing the feeding, inscribing and inserting of the inserts in accordance with the information in said storage means as said magazines are being fed by said source means and carried by said conveyor means.

2. The system of claim 1 and further including error detecting means for detecting an error in the production of a magazine,

error identifying means for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified to instruct said insert inscribing means and said inserting means in accordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber.

3. The system of claim ll wherein said storage means further includes information as to each subscribers mailing address,

means for preparing mailing labels,

means for applying mailing lables to the magazines as they are carried by said conveyor means,

said control means being connected to said label preparing and applying means for instructing the preparation and application of each subscribers mailing label in accordance with the information in said storage means as the subscribers magazine is carried by said conveyor means.

4. The system of claim 3 and further including error detecting means for detecting an error in the production of a magazine,

error identifying means for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified to re-instruct said insert inscribing means, said inserting means and said label preparing and applying means in accordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein the subscribers are grouped in accordance with predetermined criteria with each group of subscribers defining a run,

said control means using the information in said storage means in the order in which the subscribers are grouped whereby the feeding of magazines for each subscriber in one group is instructed before the instructing of feeding of magazines for subscribers in the next group,

divert means for diverting magazines from said conveyor means,

error detecting means for detecting an error in the system,

error identifying means operative upon the detection of an error for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified, to instruct said source means to feed another magazine for said particular subscriber and instruct said inserting means in ac cordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber,

said control system further including means operative upon re-ordering a magazine for comparing the group in which said particular subscriber is grouped with the group of subscribers for which magazines are then being fed, and

means operative when said particular subscriber is from a group different from the group then in process for actuating said divert means to divert said particular subscribers magazine from said conveyor means.

6. A method for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures and different inserts for different subscribers in accordance with predetermined cirteria from known subscriber information, utilizing different signatures located in different pockets of a gathering machine of the type in which each cycle of operation of the gathering machine causes feeding of signatures from at least some of the pockets to make up each magazine and in which each pocket may be individually instructed to feed or not feed during each gathering machine cycle, the method comprising the steps of:

preparing a machine readable file identifying the different' subscribers with different predetermined combinations of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed to provide the predetermined combinations of signatures constituting the appropriate magazines for the subscribers and identifying each subscriber who is to receive an insert and the predetermined information to be included in that insert,

progressively machine reading the file,

in accordance with the information read from the file, instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets in the predetermined combination required to provide the different magazines appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers,

in accordance with the information read from the file automatically inscribing the information for each subscriber on an insert card as each subscribers magazine is being prepared in the gathering machine, and

inserting the different inscribed insert cards appropriate for each subscriber in the different magazines appropriate for the corresponding subscribers as the magazines are being fed from the gathering machine.

7. The method as defined in claim 6 wherein the step of preparing the machine readable file includes the step of providing at least the name and address of each subscriber in machine readable form and the method further including the steps of:

responsive to reading the file, automatically printing labels bearing the name and address of each subscriber, and

utilizing a labeling head to apply the label for each subscriber to a magazine constituted of the predetermined signature combination and inscribed insert card appropriate for that subscriber as the magazine arrives at the labeling head.

8. The method of claim 6 and further including the steps of:

monitoring the process for the occurence of an error as the magazines and insert cards are being produced,

detecting an error when it occurs and identifying the particular subscriber whose magazine is affected by the error, and

in accordance with the information read from the file, re-instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets and the inscribing and inserting of the insert card appropriate for that subscriber.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the step of preparing the machine readable file includes the step of grouping the subscribers in accordance with predetermined criteria with each group of subscribers defining a run and with the file means being read in the order in which the subscribers are grouped,

said method further including the step of feeding the magazines to a collection point for assembly by groups, the step of re-instructing including the step of comparing the group in which said particular subscriber is grouped with the group then being fed, and

when the particular subscriber is in a group different from the group then being fed, diverting the particular subscribers magazine from the stream of magazines prior to the collection point.

10. A system for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information, the system comprising:

source means for feeding magazines having different predetermined combinations of signatures,

means for storing information identifying each subscriber with the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subscriber, i

a source of inserts to be inserted in selected subscriber's magazines,

means for inserting inserts in said magazines,

said storage means further including information identifying each subscriber that is to receive an insert,

control means connected to said source means, said inserting means and said storage means for instructing said source means to feed magazines having the different predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers and instructing said inserting means to place an insert in the appropriate subscribers magazine in timed relation with the feeding of magazines by said source means,

further including insert inscribing means for inscribing information on the inserts in timed relation with the placing of inserts in the magazines,

said storage means including information as to the content of each subscribers insert, said control means being connected to said insert inscribing means, i

said insert inscribing means being responsive to the information in said storage means for automatically inscribing an insert for a subscriber as that subscribers magazine is being fed.

11. A system for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber infor mation, the system comprising;

source means for feeding magazines having different predetermined combinations of signatures,

means for storing information identifying each subscriber with the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subscriber,

a source of inserts to be inserted in selected subscribcontrol means connected to said source means, said inserting means and said storage means for instructing said source means to feed magazines having the different predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers and instructing said inserting means to place an insert in the appropriate subscribers magazine,

further including error detecting means for detecting an error in the production of a magazine,

error identifying means operative upon detection of an error for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified to instruct said source means to feed another magazine having the predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for said particular subscriber and instruct said inserting means in accordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber.

12. A system for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information, the system comprising;

source means for feeding magazines having different predetermined combinations of signatures,

means for storing information identifying each subscriber with the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subscriber,

a source of inserts to be inserted in selected subscribers magazines,

means for inserting inserts in said magazines,

said storage means further including information identifying each subscriber that is to receive an insert,

control means connected to said source means, said inserting means and said storage means for instructing said source means to feed magazines having the different predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers and instructing said inserting means to place an insert in the appropriate subscribers magazine,

wherein the subscribers are grouped in accordance with predetermined criteria with each group of subscribers defining a run,

the information in said storage means being used by said control means in the order in which the subscribers are grouped whereby the feeding of magazines for each subscriber in one group is instructed before the instructing of feeding of magazines for subscribers in the next group,

conveyor means for conveying the magazines through the system to a collection point,

divert means for diverting magazines from said conveyor means,

error detecting means for detecting an error in the production of a magazine,

error identifying means operative upon the detection of an error for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified to instruct said source means to feed another magazine having the predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for said particular subscriber and instruct said inserting means in accordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber,

said control system further including means operative upon re-ordering a magazine for comparing the group in which said particular subscriber is grouped with the group of subscribers for which magazines are then being fed, and

means operative when said particular subscriber is from a group different from the group then in process for actuating said divert means to divert said particular subscribers magazine from said conveyor means.

13. A system for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different subscribers in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information, the system comprising;

source means for feeding magazines having different predetermined combinations of signatures,

means for storing information identifying each subscriber with the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subscriber,

control means connected to said source means and said storage means for instructing said source means to feed magazines having the different predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers,

wherein the subscribers are grouped in accordance with predetermined criteria with each group of subscribers defining a run,

the information in said storage means being used by said control means in the order in which the subscribers are grouped whereby the feeding of magazines for each subscriber in one group is instructed before the instructing of feeding of magazines for subscribers in the next group,

conveyor means for conveying the magazines through the system to a collection point,

divert means for diverting magazines from said conveyor means,

error detecting means for detecting an error in the production of a magazine,

error identifying means operative upon the detection of an error for identifying the particular subscriber affected by the error,

said control means including means operative when an error has been identified to instruct said source means to feed another magazine having the predetermined combination of signatures appropriate for said particular subscriber and instruct said inserting means in accordance with the information in said storage means for said particular subscriber,

said control system further including means operative upon reordering a magazine for comparing the group in which said particular subscriber is grouped with the group of subscribers for which magazines are then being fed, and

means operative when said particular subscriber is from a group different from the group then in process for actuating said divert means to divert said particular subscribers magazine from said conveyor means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification270/52.4, 493/320, 493/379
International ClassificationB65H39/00, B65H39/055
Cooperative ClassificationB65H2301/4311, B65H39/055
European ClassificationB65H39/055
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
Jan 27, 1989AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, 333 WEST WACKER DRI
Effective date: 19881006
Owner name: HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION
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