US 3839759 A
A novel method of binding pre-perforated book pages in a manner permitting the books to lie flat when open and permitting insertion of additional pages where subsequently desired, coupled with an apparatus specifically constructed and arranged to bind such book pages at high speeds by serially inserting individual single ring binding elements along one edge of the book pages through corresponding apertures.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Paten 91 Staats et al. Y v
[7111 5 3 ,839,759 [451 Oct, 8', 1974 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR BINDING BOOKS [751 Inventors: Henry N. Staats, Deerfield;.
Frederick H. Melull, Glenview, both of ill.
 Assignee: General Binding Corporation,
 Filed: May 31, 1973 v 211 App]. No.: 365,687
Related us. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 169,982, Aug. '9, l97l,
52 US. Cl 11/1 A 51 Int. Cl. ..B42c 19/08 58 Field ofSearch ..'...ll/l'A; 29/211,229
- I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 2,729,835 l/l956 Spinner ..-ll/1R Erdmunn 29/229 X 3,l0l,528 .8/l9o3, 3,448,507 6/1969 Jackson ct al. 29/2ll R 3,555,587 l/l97l Scaborn ll/l'A, 3,667,076 6/1972 Primary Examiner--Lawr ence Charles Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Hill, Gross, Simpson, Van Santen, Steadman, Chiara.& Simpson  ABSTRACT A novel method of binding pre-pert'orated book pages in a manner permitting'the books to lie flat when open v and permitting insertion of additional pages where subsequently desired, coupled with an apparatus specifically constructed and arranged to bind such book pages athigh speeds by serially inserting individual single ring binding elements alongoneedge of the book pages through corresponding apertures.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Aglaghanian ll/l'A mamm l 81514 I 3.939.159
SIEEI 2W 2 BY 1& .4ZM ta WWW METHOD AND APPARATUS 'FOR BINDING BOOKS This application is a continuation of our copending application Ser. No. 169,982, filed Aug. 9, 1971 and abandoned hereby in favor of this application.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION dars, and the like, has made it desirable to provide asingle ring entirely separate from a backbone of any sort. Further, an examination of the problem of binding books in a loose-leaf manner, at extremely high speeds, has been reviewed and prior art systems, particularly those employing integral backbone and fingerbinding elements, appear to be operating now at a nearly maximum rate. Such prior art integral backbone and finger binding elements are applied to a perforated sheet by the simultaneous spreading of all of the fingers and the transverse motion of the perforated sheets into position in the binding, followed by release of all of the fingers and their simultaneous engagement with all of the apertures of the sheets being bound. In accordance with the present invention, the perforated sheets being bound are introduced into the apparatus from a direction parallel to the line of perforations along the edge of'the sheets andindividual rings are inserted sequentially as the book passes through the apparatus. As a result of the sequential binding with a plurality of single rings, the speed of binding is tied only to the edgewise speed of the book conveyor, and, accordingly, we have'found that the capability of high-speed bookbinding has been increased at least .100 percent over previously known plastic binding systems. I Y By employing an individual ring having a physical configuration as shown in the drawings of this application, subsequent accidental orientation of the ring opening, in a manner to permit disassembly of a sheet from the ring is improbable and experimentation has shown that inadvertent disassembly does not happen in practice, and, in fact, intentional disassembly of a book bound by three or more rings of the type employed herein is extremely difficult.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present-invention, a ringbinding element is employed having a slit at one side thereof parallel to-the axis of curvature of the ring. The slit is normally closed and, the plastic ring has the char acteristic that following the separation of the slit for the insertion of the paper, the resiliency of the plastic material will cause the ring-binding element to close in a' permanent manner. Mechanical hook portions are employed in the interior surface of the ring to continually align any sheet being manipulated into a position'not in alignment with the slit whereby unintentional separa-' tion of the sheets from the ring or rings is prevented.
a prepunched perforation or perforations along one edge thereof in a direction generally parallel to that edge. Sensing means are provided for determining the position of an aperture into which a ring is to be inserted. A ring insertion element is positioned for transverse insertion of the ring into the aperture during the aforementioned alignment, and spreading means is provided for opening the ring to permit its transverse insertion into the respective aperture. Preferably, the function'of alignment of the apeitured sheets is improved by transporting the sheets on the edges thereof opposite from the perforations, with the sheets standing vertically upright. As a result of this arrangement, the pages of the book are maintained in a jogged'or aligned condition during transportation through the binding apparatus and misregistrations are substantially eliminated. Asa result of the sequential, serial, application of the binding rings to the book, we have found that binding speeds on the order of 1,500 l,800 books per hour can readily be achieved with hand feeding where the prior rate of book binding by way .of plastic binders provides a binding rate on the order of 350 700 books per hour. With automatic feeding the apparatus of the invention can accommodate on the order of 3,000 books per hour.
In accordance with the present invention, and in a preferred embodiment thereof, the transport mechanism of the apparatus comprises a pair of opposed continuously running closed-loop belts that frictionally engage opposite sides of the book adjacent the perforations thereof to clamp the book and carry it forward through the machine on a horizontally extending guide or track. A hopper is provided for supplying a continuous sequence of radially slit plastic C-rings and support mechanism is provided for positioning each ring above an insertion point with the slit therein facing the edge of the book to be bound. The .C-ring with slit properly aligned with the book openings is snapped individually into serially passing book openings. Speed of C-ring movement is such that the ring, having passedover an I opening wedge, does not reclose until the ring is within the confines of the aligned aperture in the sheets. Dur
ing the transverse positioning movement, and hence, Y
assembly of the ring, the book continues in its movement in' a direction along the axis of perforations until the next apertureadesignated for the insertion of the In accordance with thepresent invention, an apparatus is provided for transporting a stack of sheets having ring is in alignment with the ring insertion point. Preferably, electric-eyemechanism senses the approach of the book and the subsequent alignment of a book aperture at the insertion point. Activation of such sensing means activates the transverse motion and closing of the C-ring in the opening of the book. While the insertion of rings may be done with the book stopped it is preferred that the book travel continuously through the apparatus and that the rings be inserted on-the-fly. Onthe-fly insertion minimizes cycling and recycling the apparatus and materially increases the over-all speed of the system.
It will be clear that an individual ring separator may be employed manually to spread a ring for insertion in the aperture of a book to be bound. However, the specific embodiments of the apparatus illustrated-provide an extremely high speed assembly system for binding book sheets at a rate far beyond themanual capabilities of a typical'factory assembly-line workerbinding books with prior art'bindings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side-clevational view of an apparatus con structed for binding books in accordance with the present invention;
FIG..2 is an isometric view, somewhat schematic in nature, illustrating the ring insertion mechanism of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a modified form of apparatus shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line IVIV of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line V-V of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line VI-VI of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line VII- VII of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As may be seen from a consideration of FIG. 1 of the drawings, a book 10 is arranged to move in the direction of the arrow 11 past an insertion head generally indicated at 12 for the automatic insertion of C-ring binding elements. Although it will be clear that any number of conveyor systems might be employed in accordance with the system of the present invention, it is desired that the pages of the book proposed for binding be jogged on one edge into an aligned condition prior to automatic binding. This may be accomplished in accordance with the present invention by an initial manual jogging and then transporting the book binding materials on one edge thereof along a track 13 and through the binding apparatus. By transporting the booklet or pamphlets to be bound by resting it on an edge, preferably the edge remote fromthe binding apertures, gravity is employed in continually squaring up the sheets in preparation for binding. In accordance with the apparatus of the present invention the track 13 extends for asubstantial distance before and after the main ring insertion station. In operation, one, or a plurality of, persons may sequentially place unbound books on their edges, in the general position illustrated in FIG. 1, at
the right-hand end of a book feeding mechanism. The
books, thus positioned on the support l3 are frictionally gripped on opposite sides by the continuous, constantly rotating pair of rubber belts 15 by which the books are moved in the direction of the arrows ll along the support through the machine and beyond to a storage receptacle or automatic equipment for packaging.
As above explained, the present invention contemplates the serial insertion of C-rings in the book in a continuous manner, preferably von-the-fly. Accordingly, a ring insertion station, generally indicated at I2, is provided. As can be seen from a consideration of FIGS. 1 and 2,the station 12 comprises a solenoid having a reciprocal ram 21 v'ertically movable against a C-ring 22 carried immediately above the travelling book 10. The ring 22 is the endmost of a continuous series of rings supported on a feed mandrel 23 extending from the insertion point to a feeder mechanism 30. The
' means. As shown in FIG. 1, the ring 36 may have any feeder can be of any conventional commercial type capable of dropping a plurality of rings 22a, 22b,'downwardly into a final position 22c in which the ring is horizontally aligned withv the ring supporting mandrel 23 and immediately at the right hand end thereof. We
have satisfactorily employed a Model 7VB-2FD feeder commercially marketed by Burklyn Vibrating Feeder Co., Los Angeles, California. The mandrel 23 is sup ported from the machine base 31 by way of supports 32 and 33. As each ring 22c'is positioned at the right hand end of the mandrel, it is sequentially fed toward the. left as viewed in FIG. 1 by means of a plunger 34 driven by solenoid 35.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the solenoid is in its retracted, or, right-hand, position, and-may be maintained in that position by means of a return'spring, not illustrated, or, by positive electrical retraction caused by energization of a reverse pull solenoid winding. In the condition of maximum lefbhand plunger movement, the forward edge of the plunger, and hence the rearward edge of the carried C-ring, is shown at 36. With this feed mechanism, individual C-rings are individually advanced toward the left a precise distance, and, in view of the consistent axial dimension of the individual rings 22, and the left-hand endmost ring 22 is consistently positioned precisely in the position shown in FIG. 1, over the opening 37 of the book at the instanbly resilient plastic but may comprise any stiff material having a memory causing it to return to the closed con- I dition illustrated in FIG. 4but permitting mechanical separation of the ends to an extent permitting-passage of a full book. Where a binding element of about threeeighths inch inside diameter is employed, a satisfactory design book thickness is about five thirty-seconds inch. Such an opening is relatively substantial and, precise positioning and force application is important for successful continuous high speed operation.
In the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, the ring 22 is, at its point of insertion, already separated slightly by an extension 23b of the mandrel 23. The ring 22 is, at that point, supported from below by a curved deflector 24 which, in turn, has downwardly directed bookconfining flanges 24a, 24b. With the ring 22 thus positioned, a downward movement of solenoid plunger 21 will force the ring 22 downwardly against the deflection surface 24 further spreading the ends 39, 40 outwardly past the flanges 24a, 24b, whereupon the ring will snap into the aligned book aperture 37. Typically, this insertion is, as above noted, accomplished on-the-fly and movement of the book 10 will carry the ring 22 to the left off the end of the deflecting support 24.
Movement of the ring 22 to the insertion position combines a horizontal movement from the position 36 to the insertion position, coupledfwith a rotational alignment of the ring into a final position in which the slit is directed vertically downwardly. The rotational movement is accomplished by gravitational and guide rotary orientation upon discharge from the feeder 30. Typically, the slit will be generally at the bottom portion of the ring dueto gravity orientation of the ringsin the feeder itself. However, it is not important to the present apparatus that the slit be in any specific rotary position at the time it is placed on the mandrel 23 at the station 36. As the ring progresses toward the left, as viewed in FIG. 1, by successive impulses of the solenoid plunger 34, gravity will cause the slit portion of the ring to rotate downwardly. As can be seen in FIGS. 4 through 7, the ring of the present invention is preferably heavier at the portion adjacent the slit and this weight distribution causes the slit portion of the ring to gravitate downwardly. At the same time, a small bulbous protrusion 41 cooperates with a groove 42 in the upper surface of the mandrel 23. The groove 42 starts, adjacent the station 36, as a wide, almost non-existent groove and gradually narrows to a final position, as shown in FIG. 7 in which the slit is directed straight downwardly. The distance of horizontal travel for the ring to accomplish this slight rotation in practice may vary, and it will be understood that the distance shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings may be extended substantially if found desirable. As the ring reaches the support 32, it must be separated at the slit to accommodate the support. Typically, this may be accomplished by providing a razor-thin edge on the support 32 at a point horizontally of the mandrel 23 beyond which the groove 42 has positively located the ring in its position shown in FIG. 7. Preferably, however, the mandrel 23 may, as shown in FIG. 7, be enlarged radially to an interference-fit relation with the inside diameter of the ring to force the slit open immediately in advance of its passage over the support 32. Positive alignment may be assured by employing curved guide wires 23f which cooperate with hooked surfaces 3 on the ring to force the slit 38 into leftwardly as shown in FIG. 1. When springs are employed for returning the plungers 21 and 34 to their retracted position, the solenoid 35 will remain energized so long as plunger 21 is in its upward condition and will return to its right-hand, inoperative, position as soon as the solenoid 21 moves downwardly to insert a ring in the book. Under these circumstances, the solenoid 35 operates once with each operation of the plunger 21 and automatic, continuous, ring feed is satisfactorily provided. Due to the fact that individual sensing of apertures 37 is provided in accordance with the present apparatus, the precise positioning of the apertures in the edge of the book to be bound is unimportant. Accordingly, calendars or like booklets having relatively few, variously spaced, apertures 37, may readily be bound automatically in the present apparatus.
We have found that in actual runs that satisfactory binding of books at the rate of 800-l,000 books per hour is readily accomplished when hand feeding the present apparatus. The speed of movement of the belts 15, controls the output of the apparatus and a variable speed motor may be employed to drive belts 15 by way the vertical position shown. In the embodiment illustrated, once the ring has been slipped past over the support 32, the mandrel continues with downwardly dependent flange 23c forwardly to the point of contact and securement to the deflector element 24, as at 23d, shown in FIG. 2. The flange 23c and the upper portion 23a of the mandrel are discontinued in their horizontal direction, as shown in FIG. 2, immediately prior to the point of ring insertion, as shown at 23e. The slit is retained open in preparation for complete ring separation, by the small, remaining, upstanding portion 23b described above.
Timing of the energization of the solenoid 20 and the solenoid 34 is accomplished by mechanism responsive to the presence and specific position of the book 10. Thus, a switch having a sensing blade 46 deflectable downwardly upon passage of a book 10 thereover, initially senses the presence of the book 10. The presence of a binding aperture 37 is preferably sensed by an optical beam, or electric eye device. This may be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 as comprising a beam source 47 and a sensing switch 48. The conventional switch 48 will close upon the transmission of light from source 47, indicating the presence of an aperture. The circuit closed by switch 48 is in series with the switch 45 and the solenoid 20, and the electrical power source, so that upon closure of the switch 46 indicating the presence of a book coupled with closure of the switch 48 indicating the presence of an aperture 37 at the insertion point,
solenoid 20 is energized forcing a ring downwardly into the aperture'37. The plunger 21 of solenoid 20 preferably carries a switch actuating abutment which energizes a reverse pull solenoid switch upon completion of the V movement of the plunger 21. Return of plunger 21 to its uppermost position closes a position-responsive switch energizing solenoid 35 forcing a new ring 22c of rotational shaft 15a if adjustable output is desired. Such adjustment may be considered practical during personnel training with respect to the machine since the manual jogging and positioning of the books on the track 13 at high machine speeds typically requires initial periods of training. The apparatus can bind books at the rate of 3,000 books per hour if the feed can provide that rate. Accordingly, training of personnel provides a direct benefit in output. 1
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 3,4, 5 and 6, transverse insertion by a solenoid such as solenoid 20, is eliminated. Instead, the mandrel 123 is provided with a flared left-hand end 124 which mechanically swells the ring 22to the point sufficient to permit passage of the book 10 therethrough. In this embodiment, energization of switch 48 upon sensing of the light beam from source 47 energizes the single impulse feed solenoid 35 to force the end ring 22 off the end of the mandrel 123, 124 allowing it to snap into the aperture 37. As in the case of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the mandrel 123 must be supported rela tive to the fixed base 31 of the apparatus, and this is accomplished in the apparatus of FIG. 3, by means of a support 132. Passage of the rings 22 over the support 132 is accomplished in FIG. 3 by the enlarged portion 133 which swells the ring 22 sufficiently to pass the support. The initial, or feed end of the mandrel v123 is provided with a very gradually narrowing groove 42 as illustrated in FIG. 5 so that gravitational positioning of the ring 22 occurring between the sections'shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 will provide vertical upright positioning immediately in advance of the position of the support 132. v
It will be seen from the above that we have provided a novel apparatus and method of book binding. In our experience, the binding of books by single binding elements applied serially in the manner above described is entirely absent in the prior art of looseleaf book binding. It has increased the practical rate of binding books and, at the same time, provides an inexpensive binding particularly useful in large volume bookbinding operathe scope of the invention be limited solely by that of the hereinafter appended claims.
We claim as our invention:
1. The method of binding books having a plurality of apertures spaced serially along and equidistantly spaced from one edge of the pages thereof, comprising the steps of moving said book along a path parallel to said one edge, serially positioning C-rings adjacent the said one edge, said C-rings each having an unspread substantially completely closed condition, serially spreading said C-Rings open to a width in excess of the thickness of the book being bound, positioning such open C-ring to overlap said one edge at the location of an aperture, and releasing said ring to snap into said aperture.
2. The method of binding books set forth in claim 1 wherein said book is continuously moved along said path without interruption, and said last recited positioning comprises placing the said one edge within the open C-ring with the legs of the open C-ring overlapping opposite sides of the pages.
3. Apparatus for binding books having a plurality of apertures spaced serially along and spaced equidistantlyfrom one edge of the pages thereof comprising a longitudinally extending book guide, drive means contacting said book for moving said book along said guide, ring insertion means for snapping a resilient C- ring into each said aperture at an insertion station, means sensing the position of said aperture at said station, said inserting means including means opening said ring, positioning the open ring in overlapping relation to said book and releasing said open ring at said station when said aperture is at said station to thereby place 8 said ring in said aperture.
4. The apparatus set forth in claim 3 wherein said drive means moves continuously to thereby move said book continuously without interruption past said insertion means, and said last recited positioning comprises placing the said one edge within the open C'ring with the legs of the open C-ring overlapping opposite sides of the pages.
5. The apparatus set forth in claim 3 wherein said ring insertion means includes mandrel means extending generally parallel to said one edge for supporting said C-ring in a position with the opening thereof facing said book.
6. The apparatus set forth in claim 5 wherein said inserting means includes a reciprocal member movable transversely of said book for moving said ring from said mandrel into said aperture.
7. The apparatus set forth in claim 4 wherein said means sensing the position of said aperture at said station comprises first switch means energized by the presence of said book at said station and second switch means energized when an aperture in said book is present at said station, and means responsive to closure of both said switches for moving said open ring into released position in said aperture.
8. The'apparatus'set forth in claim 7 wherein said second switch comprises an electric eye switch and wherein means are provided for transmitting a light beam to said second switch interrupted by the presence of a book at said station and uninterrupted in the absence of a book at said station or' in the presence of a book apertureat said station.