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Publication numberUS3917252 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateMay 7, 1971
Priority dateMay 7, 1971
Also published asCA967668A1, DE2221689A1
Publication numberUS 3917252 A, US 3917252A, US-A-3917252, US3917252 A, US3917252A
InventorsHarder Donald C, Rana Victoriano F
Original AssigneeHarris Intertype Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for producing magazines or the like
US 3917252 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different groups of subscribers classified in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information. A gathering machine having different sets of signatures located in different pockets operates in accordance with instructions from a machine readable file. Machine reading of the file which contains information relating subscribers with their appropriate groups, instructs different combinations of some of the gatherer pockets to feed to provide differently constituted magazines for different subscribers. Labeling equipment, correlated with the operation of the gathering machine, insures that a name and address label for each subscriber is applied to a magazine composed of the appropriate combination of signatures for that subscriber. An arrangement using pre-printed labels and an arrangement for on-line printing of the labels are disclosed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Harder et a].

[11] 3,917,252 Nov. 4, 1975 [75] Inventors: Donald C. Harder, Cleveland, Ohio;

Victoriano F. Rana, Easton, Pa.

[73] Assignee: Harris-Intertype Corporation,

Cleveland, Ohio 22 Filed: May7, 1971 21 Appl.No.:141,331

Peterson, Rehn C., Look Whats Happening in Signature Handling, Printing Production Magazine, Oct. 1969, pp. 50, 51, 84, 85.

Harder, Donald C., Why Not a Computerized Bindery", Printing Production Magazine, Nov. 1969, pp. 40, 41, 71, 72.

COMPUTER 5/A/DER Cosden, Thomas B., For the Bindery, A New Technology for Assembling Custom-Built Products, Book Production lndustry, Mar. 1970.

Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant ExaminerVance Y. Hum

[57] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for producing different magazines composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures for different groups of subscribers classified in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information. A gathering machine having different sets of signatures located in different pockets operates in accordance with instructions from a machine readable file. Machine reading of the file which contains information relating subscribers with their appropriate groups, instructs different combinations of some of the gatherer pockets to feed to provide differently constituted magazines for different subscribers. Labeling equipment, correlated with the operation of the gathering machine, insures that a name and address label for each subscriber is applied to a magazine composed of the appropriate combination" of signatures for that subscriber. An arrangement using pre-printed labels and an arrangement for on-line printing of the labels are disclosed.

19 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures LABEL LEE U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of8 mom (IRS

warez/4N0" -TA M4 m M H G 0 m w A ORA/EMS Sheet 3 of 8 3,917,252

7'0 POCKET IA/smucr/(w 3 5 35 83 L J E 9/ WM w WM WWW WW mm E4 m W TII! |Ii| l IIIL HARDER we TORI/1N0 m4 NA DONALD U8. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Lfl M20 mwm 6m M M was mm W m S l 7 m is T H W 0 l. H 7 TF. W Z E K5 KM, ma wmw P8 P0 T FIG .6

GOA/7390A F/LE ATTORNEYS LABEL Pk/A/rER C005 A/VD DEMOGRAP/l/C GROUP LABEL PPM/7 CONTROL 77W? 5O ROLL 0F PR6- PR/A/TED b45626 US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet4 0f8 3,917,252

INVENTORS E RA/VA HARDER ATTORNEYS V/C TOR/A N0 DON 40 U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 5 of8 3,917,252

A 77'0R/VEYS U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 7 of8 3,917,252

FIGI6 Fl.l5

VIC TOR/AN O DOA/AL D C. H4205? 5y 14 TTO/Q/VEYS METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MAGAZINES OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method and apparatus for producing magazines, books, catalogs or the like by automatically assembling signatures in different combinations to provide differently constituted magazines for different groups of subscribers.

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.

ln magazine publishing, there is an increasingly significant desire of advertisers to direct their advertising at particular subscriber groups within a magazines total national subscription. Such groups may be selected in accordance with predetermined arbitrary criteria from known subscriber information, and may include geographic groupings by region and demographic groupings such as by income, occupation, or interests.

Furthermore, such subscriber groups may have combined geographic and demographic characteristics. For example, a surfboard manufacturer advertising in a magazine of national circulation may wish his advertisement to appear only in those issues of the magazine sent to subscribers living in the southeast with incomes below 10,000 a year, while by contrast, a snowmobile manufacturer may wish to reach only subscribers living in the northwest with incomes above $15,000 a year. The magazine publisher is thus faced with a problem of providing different issues of the magazine containing different combinations of advertising for different subscriber groups.

Using present methods, most magazines are assembled on gathering machines comprising a plurality of gatherer pockets containing different sets of signatures, spaced above a moving conveyor chain. On each cycle of the gathering machine, a signature is fed from each pocket in turn to make up an issue of the complete magazine on the underlying conveyor. A labeling machine may be positioned downstream to apply preprinted subscriber name and address labels to the magazines. 1

With the arrangement described, whenever, it is desired to change the particular combination of signatures making up the magazine in order to provide a differently constituted magazine for a different group of subscribers, it is necessary to shut down the gathering machine and the labeling machine to permit the various signatures in the pockets to be changed and a different set of subscriber labels to be placed in the labeling machine.

The lost time involved in shutting down the machine usually imposes severe limits on the degree to which the total subscription list may be refined into separate groups because an increased number of groups necessarily requires a greater number of shutdowns between groups and the aggregate shut down time may soon become so high as to render the overall printing time prohibitively long. This technical difficulty runs directly counter to marketing requirements which seek ever more specialized groupings and sub-groupings within the total subscription list in order to attract advertisers. This conflict poses a very serious problem for magazine publishers utilizing conventional equipment of the type previously described.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a method and apparatus for producing differently constituted magazines tailored to the characteristics of particular subscriber groups within the total magazine subscription, which is intended to avoid problems of the type previously discussed. In particular, the invention provides for the continuous production of differently constituted magazines for different groups of subscribers classified into different groups in accordance with predetermined criteria utilizing known subscriber information, without requiring repeated shutting down of the equipment.

More particularly, a gathering machine is utilized having different sets of signatures located in different pockets of the machine. The gathering machine is of a type in which each cycle of operation of the gathering machine causes successive 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. A machine readable file identifies the different subscribers with different predetermined combinations of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide the predetermined combinations of signatures constituting the appropriate magazines for subscribers in the different groups. The file is then machine read and, in accordance with the reading of the file, the gatherer pockets are instructed to feed in the predetermined combinations required to provide the different magazines appropriate for the corresponding different subscribers.

As an additional refinement of the invention, a labeling machine is associated with the gathering machine to apply subscriber name and address labels to the magazines with each subscriber label being timed to coincide with the arrival at the labeling machine of a magazine constituted by the appropriate combination of signatures required for the subscriber whose label is to be applied.

In one embodiment of the invention, the labeling machine applies pre-printed labels in a predetermined sequence while in another embodiment, an on-line label printer is employed to print the label for each subscriber as the magazine for that subscriber is being made up.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A system for producing magazines in accordance with the principles of the invention, is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a simplified schematic view of a system for producing magazines including a gathering machine, binder, trimmer and labeling head, assembled in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the manner in which a magazine subscription list may be classified into groups and sub-groups according to geographic region, Zip Code and demographic characteristic as an example of one application to which the system shown in FIG. I may be applied;

FIG. 4 is a block diagram providing a pictorial representation of certain steps performed in Elassifying subscriber information in some initial stages of of the system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram providing a pictorial representation of certain steps performed to provide a con trolfile, in some intermediate stages of operation of the system;

I FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of the operating sections of the process computer and the manner in which they are connected to the gathering machine;

FIGS. 7-10 illustrate magazines arriving at the labeling head shown in FIGv 1, showing the relation between the magazines and the address labels under different conditions of operation of the system;

FIG. 11 is a side view of an error detection system associated with each pocket of the gathering machine shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. l218 show, in schematic form, a defective cover detection sub-system forming a part of the sys tem shown' in FIG. 1, for detecting defectively applied magazine covers;

FIG. 19 is a schematic diagram of the process control system for an alternative form of the system for producing magazines;

FIG. 20 is a schematic diagram of an on-line label printing system used with the system of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 schematically illustrates one form in which data may be stored on the drum memory in the system of FIG. 19.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION System Components Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a system for producing magazines, constructed in accordance with the invention, is there shown.

The system includes a gathering machine 20 having a plurality of gathering pockets 22a-22n adapted to contain different sets of signatures, spaced above a conveyor 24. During a cycle of operation of the gathering machine 20, signatures are fed successively from the gatherer pockets 22 one at at time to build up a magazine on the underlying conveyor 24. The conveyor 24 carries the magazines to a binder 26 where the signatures are secured together and the covers applied. From the binder 26 the conveyor 24 taken the magazines to a trimmer 28 where the edges of the magazines are trimmed, and thus on to a labeling machine 30 where a mailing label bearing a subscribers name and address is applied to the magazine. Thereafter, the conveyor 24 takes the magazine to a stacking and unloading station (not shown). The operation of the gathering machine is coordinated with the motion of the conveyor 24 by a cycle timer 32 which arranges that the pockets 22 feed as the magazine is passing beneath the pockets.

The assembly of system components thus far described comprises a conventional system well-known to those skilled in the art of magazine production and detailed description of the structure, functioning and op eration of the gatherer 20, conveyor 24, binder 26, trimmer 28, labeler 30, and cycle timer 32 is not deemed necessary, except in respect of certain modifications to the conventional structure to be described in more detail hereinafter.

It is to be noted that the system is equally applicable to perfect binding and saddle binding. As is well known, in saddle binding, the gathering machine is an inserter gathering and the binder is a saddle stitcher.

operation Subscriber Breakdown Of particular interest in the present invention is the adaptation of the just described assembly ofsystem components for the production of different magazines,

constituted by different combinations of signatures, for

different groups of subscribers. Operating on information provided by the subscribers including their names and mailing addresses and such items of demographic information as maybe pro:

vided, e.g., age, income, occupation, etc., the subscribers may be broken down into groups and sub-groups according to predetermined arbitrary criteria. Thus,

using the exemplary application shown in FIG. 3, the

trarily determined to be appropriate for the characteristics of each group and sub-group. Much of the maga-. zine may constitute signatures which are common for all groups. In addition, there are other signatures and various combinations of these other signatures which are intended to be received only by different groups and sub-groups.

For thepurpose of description hereafter, a magazine y will be discussed in which the various editions are made up from ten standard signatures I-X which remain the I same for all editions of the magazine plus four variable signatures XI-XIV which are to be provided in different combinations and sub-combinations for the different sub-groups. It will be realized that the numbers of standard and variable signatures are entirely arbitrary and may be varied.

The magazine make up appropriate for each particular subscriber group is predetermined using arbitrary criteria. Thus, for example, it may be predetermined that a subscriber in region 1, sub-group B is to receive a magazine comprising signatures I-X, XII, and XIV while a subscriber in regional group 2,, sub-group A should receive a magazine comprising signatures I-X, XI, XII, and XIII.

The Gathering Machine The sets of signatures to make up the various editions of the magazine are placed in the various pockets 22a-22n of the gathering machine 20. Using the previously mentioned example of a magazine constituted by ten standard signatures I-X and various combinations and sub-combinations of four variable signatures, XI-

-XIV, the pockets containing the standard signatures are shown as unmarked in FIG. 1 while the pockets containing the variable signatures are marked with a cross. I I

At its lower end, each gather pocket 22 is provided with a shaft driven, rotary drum feed out mechanism,]

which may be of the type disclosed in US. Pat. Nos.

2,621,039 and 2,020,321, both assigned to the assignee.

herein, and which feeds one signature onto the underlying conveyor for each cycle of the gathering machine 22. As described in the aforesaid patents, after feeding.

of the first pocket in line, each downstream pocket feeds its signatures as the bundle of signatures move into registry beneath the pocket, thereby making up the magazine.

In the present invention, the feed mechanism has interposed therein a pocket instruction mechanism 34 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 gathering machine cycle when that the pocket is due to feed. Inhibiting the feed from selected pockets may be controlled in various ways such as by inhibiting the vacuum and calipering at the selected pockets on through use of clutches which, when actuated, would disengage the drive to the selected pockets.

For the pockets containing the standard signatures I-X which are to be fed for every edition of the magazine, the associated pocket instruction mechanisms 34 are instructed to feed with each cycle so that each pocket feeds one of its signatures at the appropriate point during each gathering machine cycle. For the gatherer pockets containing the variable signatures XI- XIV, the associated pocket instruction mechanisms 34 are selectively instructed to enable or prevent feeding from the associated pockets 22 in accordance with instruction signals supplied by a process computer 36.

The process computer is provided with information relating subscribers to the particular combinations of gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed (as will be described in more detail hereafter) to provide the combination of signatures appropriate for each subscribers group. Responsive to this information, the process computer 36 controls the feeding or non-feeding of each of the pockets 22 containing the variable signatures XIXlV of the gathering machine 20 during each cycle of gathering machine operation so that the different subscribers receive appropriate different magazines which include different combinations and subcombinations of the variable signatures.

Organization of Data In the practice of this invention, it is necessary at several points to store information concerning subscribers in machine readable form. The preferred method is by the storage of binary coded information on reels of magnetic tape, a technique which is sufficiently well known not to require further detailed description. However, systems based on other conventional methods of data storage such as, for example, punched paper tape, punched card systems or removable elements may alternatively be utilized.

Referring to FIG. 4, information concerning each subscriber, including his name and address and at least one item of demographic information, such as age, income, occupation, etc., is stored in machine readable form on a magnetic tape, subscription list 40.

The order in which subscribers appear on the subscription list 40 is usually random with the most recent subscribers, for example, being added on at the end. It is necessary to process this information in accordance with predetermined criteria in order to sort the subscribers into groups by geographic region and Zip Code and sub-groups within each group classified demographically.

For this purpose, the subscription list 40 is processed through a general purpose computer 42, such as for example, IBM 360, manufactured by International Business Machines of New York, N.Y., operating in accordance with a predetermined sort program contained on a sort instruction tape 44. Sorting the information in accordance with the program, the computer 42 produces a label print file 46 on magnetic tape containing in machine readable form the names and addresses of all subscribers sorted into groups by geographic region and Zip Code and by demographic sub-groups'within each region. The groups and sub-groups are arranged in a predetermined order. The order in which this information appears is pictorially represented in FIG. 3.

Concurrently, the computer 42 produces a magnetic tape subscriber file 48 containing, in machine readable form, a listing of the groups by region and Zip Code and of the demographic sub-groups within each Zip Code in the same predetermined order as the label print file 46. In addition, file 48 identifies each subgroup with the corresponding number of subscribers in the sub-group.

The label print file 46 is then processed, for example, through the computer 42 in a separate run without the sort instruction tape 44, using the computer as a label printer to produce a pre-printed stack or roll 50 of labels bearing each subscribers name, address and Zip Code, in the same predetermined order of groups and sub-groups.

Prior to commencing assembly of the magazines, a determination is made as to which particular sets of signatures are to be contained within which particular pockets 22a-22n of the gathering machine 20. Thus, usingthe previous example, it might be decided that the variable signatures XI XIV are to be put into gath erer pockets 22a, 22c, 22g and 22h (FIG. 1), respectively, with the standard signatures I-X being put in the other pockets 22 of the gathering machine. This information must be combined with the previously determined relations between the various predetermined combinations of signatures for the various sub-groups.

Thus, using the previous example of the group 1, subgroup B subscribers which are to receive a magazine comprising variable signatures XII and XIV and the ten standard signatures IX,.it will be necessary on each cycle of the gatherer machine to instruct feeding only of pockets 22c and 22g (containing signatures XII and XIV respectively) and the other pockets 22, which contain the standard signatures I-X. For each sub-group of each group, it is similarly determined in advance what predetermined combination of gatherer pockets is to be instructed to feed. It is apparent that, for a magazine containing twelve signatures, twelve cycles of the machine will be required to produce a completed magazine.

A magnetic tape instruction file 54 (FIG. 5) is then prepared identifying in machine readable form for each different sub-group in each different group, a different predetermined combination of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle. The predetermined combination of pockets to be instructed to feed for each sub-group is the combination which will provide a magazine constituted by the signatures predetermined to be necessary for that particular group and sub-group.

The instruction file 54 and the subscriber file 48 are then processed through the previously mentioned computer 42 and the information contained on those files is combined on a magnetic tape control file 56 produced by the computer. The control file 56 contains information in machine readable form identifying each sub-group of subscribers in each group with (i) the number of subscribers in that sub-group, and (ii) the predetermined combination of gatherer pockets to be activated to produce the appropriate magazine for that sub-group. The groups and sub-groups are arranged in the control file 56 in the same order as the groups and sub-groups are arranged on the roll 50 of the preprinted labels.

The computer may also be used to produce a fanfolded, print-out sheet 58 containing the same information in printed form, if desired.

The Process Computer The previously mentioned process computer 36, which may comprise any standard, commercially available process computer, includes separate electrical output connections 70 .(FIG. 1) to each of the separate pocket instruction mechanisms 34 associated with the gatherer pockets 22a22n. Each of the pocket instruction mechanisms 34 may thus be individually instructed to enable or prevent feeding from the associated gatherer pocket 22 during a gathering machine cycle, by a separate electrical signal from the process computer The operating sections of the process computer 36 are illustrated schematically in FIG. l6, although it will be appreciated by those skilled in computers that other internal computer arrangements to achieve the results about to be described, may be employed.

The previously mentioned control file is interrogated by a tape reader 72 and an advance unit 74 advances the tape incrementally past the tape reader upon instruction. As a particular sub-group moves into registry with the tape reader 72, the information concerning the predetermined combination of gatherer pockets to be activated for that sub-group is read and fed to a pocket selector register 76. Operating on this information, the pocket selector 76 instructs the necessary pocket instruction mechanisms, via the connections 70, to engage so that during each gathering machine cycle, a signature is fed from each of the pockets 22 instructed to feed. The tape reader 72 also reads the number of subscribers in the sub-group and the information is fed to an add unit 78 where an additional number of predicted defective magazines for the sub-group is added (as will be described hereinafter) to provide a total number of magazines to be produced forthe sub-group. The total number from the add unit 78 is passed to a store total unit 80. t

On successive gathering machine cycles, successive magazines are produced constituted by the predetermined combination of signatures necessary for that sub-group. Each cycle is counted by a cycle count unit 82 connected with the previously mentioned cycle timer 32. The cumulative total in the cycle count unit 82 is compared with the total in the store total unit 80 by a comparison unit 84. It will be appreciated that as a sub-group run is being concluded, the pockets upstream of the last magazine being produced should stop feeding for that run but the gatherer must, of course, continue cycling to complete production of the last magazine. Thus, when enough magazines have been started in process, that is, when pocket 22a has made its last feed for the particular sub-group, the gathering machine will have performed enough cycles for the totals in the units 80 and 82 to be equal but the gatherer has yet to complete producing all of the required magamay be disabled is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,519,264

zines. Accordingly, when the totals in the unit and 82 are equal, the compare unit 84 sends a signal toa pocket disable unit 120 which sequentially disables the gatherer pockets behind the last magazine in the gath-.

erer for the sub-group. 7

Moreover, it is necessary that the last magazine be at least through the gatherer before the file 56 is advanced and a new set of pocket instructions are sent to the gatherer. To this end, an additional store total unit 81 is employed to receive the total number from add unit 78. However, the store unit 81 is preset at a num ber equal to at least the number of gatherer pockets.

For example, if the gatherer has fifteen pockets, unit81 would be preset at fifteen and the number from unit 78 would be added to fifteen. The number in unit 81 is compared with the cycle count unit 82 in a compare unit 83. When the totals in the two units are equal, the

last magazine in the run will have cleared the gatherer and a signal is sent to a set zero unit 86 to which it is connected. The set zero unit 86 is connected with the store total units 80, 81 and the cycle count unit 82, and upon being signalled by the compare unit 83 sets the units 80 and 82 back to zero and unit 81 back to its preset total. At the same time, the compare unit 83 instructs the advance unit 74 to advance the controlfile 56 so that the next sub-group is interrogated by the tape reader 72. The process is then repeated for the next subgroup.

Error Detection Using a gathering machine of the type disclosed in the previously mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 2,621,039,]

each of the gatherer pockets 22a-22n is provided with an associated caliper device 90 for detecting a feed error from the associated pocket. The caliper device 90 includes pivot arm 92 having a roller 94 at its lower end biased by a spring 95 towards a calipering cam E. Signatures being fed from the associated pocket pass between the roller 94 and the cam E. The pivoted lever 92 carries a projecting electrical contactarm 96 having its upper end spaced between two opposed electrical contacts 98. A single signature between the roller 94 and the cam E positions the contact arm 96 midway between the contacts 98 out of contact with either. in the.

event of a double feed, the increased signature thickness moves the roller 94 further away from the cam E bringing the contact arm .96 into electrical contact with the lower of the contacts 98 to complete an appropriate error electrical circuit. Conversely, if no signature is fed, the roller 94 moves relatively closer to cam B so that the electrical contact arm 96 makes contact with the upper electrical contact 98, thus also completing the error circuit.

Whenever a feed error is detected at any of the gatherer pockets 22a-22n, the error signal produced by the associated caliper unit 90 is fed to a pocket disable 'unit 120 (FIG. 6) within the previously mentioned process computer 36. The pocket disable unit100 which is con nected with the pocket instruction mechanisms 34, thereupon instructs all the pockets 22 downstream of the pocket at which the error occurred, not to feed for the remainder of the gathering machine cycle in which i the error occurred. This offers the considerable advantage that good signatures do not continue to be fed from the pockets on to a defective magazine, thereby significantly reducing the loss of signatures due to errors. One technique by which the downstream pockets to Beacham et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 3,525,5l6 to Bushmell et al.

The pocket disable unit 120 also triggers a reject mechanism 121 (FIG. 1) positioned downstream of the gathering machine 20 to automatically remove the defective magazine from the conveyor 24 as the defective magazine leaves the gatherer 20.

For detecting an erroneously bound magazine leaving the binding station 26, a binding error detection system is provided (FIGS. 12-18). The binding error detection system includes two longitudinally spaced potocells 100a and 102a positioned above the conveyor 24 at a fixed location downstream of the binding station 26. The photocells are aligned with light sources 100b and 102b. The photocells 100a and 100b control (by conventional circuitry not shown) switches 106 and 108 arranged in series with an error detecting circuit. With light beams uninterrupted, each photocell maintains its associated switch open to break the error detection circuit. The longitudinal spacing betwen the photocells (100 and 102) is such that a magazine with correctly applied covers will not cause closing of more than one of the switches 106 and 108 at a time (FIG.

16). If, however, the covers are incorrectly applied to a magazine, parts of the magazine may project longitudinally beyond the cover (FIG. 15). If a book with such defectively applied covers passes the photocells 100 and 102, it will, at some stage of its progress, simultaneously obscure both photocells thus closing simultaneously both switches 106 and 108 (FIG. 18) and completing the error detection circuit.

To detect incorrect lateral application of the covers, a photocell 110a and corresponding light source l10b are provided adjacent the open edge of the magazine. If the cover is properly applied, the beam is uninterrupted. If, however, the cover extends too far beyond the open edge of the magazine because of misapplication, the beam between the photocells 110 is interrupted closing another switch 114, in parallel with the switches 106 and 108, to complete the error detection circuit (FIG. 17).

A similar photocell error detection system is employed downstream of the trimming station to detect erroneously trimmed books.

Both the binding error detection system and the trimming error detection system would be connected to suitable reject mechanisms for rejecting the defective magazines.

Allowance For Defective Magazines If there were no errors, the system thus far described would provide, for each subscriber sub-group, a number of magazines equal to the number of pre-printed subscriber name and address lables for that sub-group on the pre-printed roll 50. Rejected defective magazines, however, create a mismatch and it is a significant feature of the present invention that the number of defects is predicted and an extra number of magazines made up in order to minimize the degree of mismatch between the number of magazines for a particular subgroup and the number of subscriber name and address labels to be applied for that sub-group.

To this end, each gatherer pocket 22a-22n has associated with it a prediction sub-system 122 within the process computer 36 (FIG. 6). Each prediction subsystem 122 for each pocket 22 includes an error count unit 124 connected with the caliper device 90 associated with the pocket which maintains a cumulative count of the feed errors occurring at that pocket. Each prediction sub-system 122 also includes a cumulative count unit 126 associated with each pocket maintaining a cumulative count of each actuation of the pocket. The total of errors from the error count unit 124 is compared with the total from the cumulative count unit 126 in a predicted error rate unit 128 which derives a predicted error rate for that gatherer pocket. The prediction sub-systems 122 for the other gatherer pockets derive corresponding predicted error rates for them.

Similar prediction sub-systems 130 and 132 for errors occurring at the binder 26 and trimmer 28, derive predicted binder and trimmer error rates.

The various predicted error rates thus derived, are added in an adding unit 134 to provide a cumulative predicted error rate. The cumulative predicted error rate is applied to the number of subscribers in the subgroup currently being interrogated by the read tape unit 72 in a multiply unit 136, to derive a predicted number of defective magazines for that sub-group. The predicted number of defective magazines is then added to the number of magazines for that subgroup in the previously mentioned add unit 78, and the total of magazines for the sub-group plus the predicted number of defects is transferred to the store units 80 and 81 as previously discussed. The predicted number of defective magazines is also stored in a predicted defects store unit 137, for a purpose to be discussed.

If the predicted number of defective magazines is accurate, then the number of magazines for a sub-group arriving at the labeling head for application of labels will be equal to the number of subscriber labels for that particular subgroup, thereby maintaining a match as shown in FIG. 7 and FIG. 8. In FIG. 7,-for example, with four remaining labels for subscribers in an A subgroup, there are four remaining unlabeled A magazines approaching the labeling head, despite the existence of a gap in the stream of books where a defective magazine was rejected. The gap is detected by a photocelllight source pair 138 (FIG. 2) positioned just before the labeling head 30, which signals the labeling head not to apply a label as the gap passes underneath. This system reduces to a minimum the number of subscribers who will not be provided with magazines due to feed, trimming and binding errors.

For each sub-group, during the production run therefore, the total of actual defective magazines produced is accumulated by an actual defect total unit 140 connected with the error detection devices previously described. At the conclusion of the run, as signalled by compare unit 83, the total of actual defects in the unit 140 for that sub-group is compared with the predicted defects stored in unit 137 in a substract unit 141 and the difference between them is transferred to a store unit 142. The units 140 and 137 are then set back to zero by the set zero unit 86 as the control tape file 56 is advanced to the next subscriber sub-group, in the manner previously described.

As shown, it is a signal from the set zero unit 86 which first actuates the subtract unit 141 and then resets units 140 and 137. If desired, the units 137,140 and 141 may operate continuously so that, at any instant, unit 141 reflects the difference between units 137 and 140. A gate positioned before store unit 142, operated by a gating signal from compare unit 83, would, at the conllisibli Bl the run, receive the difference figure from unit 141 at that moment and a signal from set zero unit 86 would reset units 137 and 140.

If there is an excess of magazines resulting from an actual number of defects less than the predicted number (the situation illustrated in FIG. 9) the stored difference figure transferred to the store unit 142 is used to activate another reject unit 143, (FIG. 1) positioned just before the labeling head 30 to remove the excess books from the conveyor 24. After the last excess book is rejected by reject unit 143, the store unit 142 is cleared in readiness for the next reject instruction and reject unit 143 is deactivated.

If the number of actual defects exceeds the predicted number of defects for a particular sub-group, there will be a deficiency of magazines arriving at the labeler 30, as shown in FIG. 10. The deficiency figure, stored in the store unit 142, signals activation of a dummy book 150. The dummy book 150 comprises a roll of paper 152 wound on two longitudinally spaced, parallel, laterally extending spools 154. The spools 154 are moved laterally beneath the labeling head into the position cupied by the missing book to actuate the photocell 128 and receive the label that would be applied to the book if it were there. The spools 154 are then retracted laterally as the conveyor chain 24 moves past the labeling head. After the last excess label has been applied, store unit 142 is cleared and the dummy book is deactivated.

In a further refinement, one of the spools 154 may be indexed upon each withdrawl so that the labels are not applied on top of each other to the roll of paper 152 and may subsequently be peeled off.

It is contemplated that the predicted error rate may be updated with each run. To this end, the predicted error rate from each unit 128 would be re-added before each run so that the number of additional magazines produced for each run is based on the immediate past history of the system.

Alternative Embodiment The preferred embodiment of the invention, heretofore described, utilizes a pre-printed stock of labels in conjunction with a process of sorting the subscribers into groups and sub-groups in a predetermined order. In an alternative embodiment, the labels are printed concurrently with the production of the magazines by utilizing the subscription list to prepare a control file containing information identifying each subscriber with his name and address, and the gatherer pocket combination to be instructed to feed for his magazine. Then at the same time the information from the control file is used to instruct feeding of the appropriate pockets to constitute the magazine for a particular subscriber, his mailing label is printed and later applied as the magazine arrives at the labeling head.

One form which the alternative embodiment may take is illustrated in FIGS. 19 to 21. Referring first to FIG. 19, a control file 56 in the form of binary coded information on a reel of magnetic tape is prepared. The control file 56' may be prepared by processing the subscriber file and the instruction file through the general purpose computer 42 in the manner mentioned above. However, the control file 56' differs from the control file 56 of the first embodiment in that the complete name and address of each subscriber is coded on the magnetic tape in machine readable form. In addition, the control tile 56' contains information identifying, in machine readable form, each individual subscriber with a predetermined combination of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during the gathering machine cycle to produce the predetermined combinations of signatures for that subscriber. Thus, the control file 56' contains, in machine readable form, each subscribers name and mailing address together with information for controlling operation of the gatherer to make up that particular subscribers predetermined combination of signatures. To facilitate town sorting and mailing, it

is preferred that the subscribers be organized on the" control file by region and Zip Code so that runs by Zip Code can be made.

Since there is no demographic, organization of the subscribers on the control file 56', it is to be understood that with successive cycles of the gatherer, suc' cessive magazines may be composed of different combinations of signatures.

As illustrated in FIG. 19, the control file 56' is fed into the process computer 36 which, as in the embodi ment of FIG. 1 may be any commercially available process computer such as a PDP8. Only the operating sections pertinent to this embodiment are illustrated, it being understood that other internal arrangements may be employed.

The name address and signature pocket information, on the control file tape is read by the tape reader 72, transferred into a buffer storage and then, by a suitable write unit 200, transferred into a drum memory 202. During operation of the system, the information onthe drum memory for each individual sub scriber is subsequently entered into the computer core and used by the computer 36 to control operation of the gatherer and the printing of the label for each subscriber.

FIG. 21 illustrates one form in which the information on the control file may be recorded on the drum, it being understood that various ways may be employed. As shown, the pocket instruction information for each subscriber is entered according to a drum diagonal format. This format provides, for each machine time frame corresponding to a gatherer cycle, a file of commands which are the instructions for each pocket during that cycle. In addition, since, for each cycle of operation of the gatherer, a different subscribers magazine is started, the name address information for each.

subscribers may be stored on the drum in the manner shown in FIG. 21. Thus, for each machine time frame the name and address of the subscriber whose magazine will be started in'that time frame together with this pocket instruction information, is entered in that file of information. For example, as John Does pocket instruction information is entered in the diagonal format shown, his name, address and pocket instruction information are also entered in the file of time. frame 1 since his magazine will be started in that cycle. Similarly, John Smith, whose magazine will be started in time frame 2, is entered in the file corresponding to that time frame.

A read unit 204 reads the information on the drum by file, that is, across the drum and transfers this information a few machine time frames at a time to the core memory of the computer where it is stored for use in.

controlling the production process. Thus, the information read by the read unit 204 is fed to a store instruct unit 206 which assigns the information to differentad-f dresses in the core for use at the proper time.-As

- shown, the information for each machine time frame governing the pocket operation is stored in a cycle instruct store 208. The name and address information is stored in a name address store 210 and the pocket instruction information is stored in a pocket instruct store 212. It will be appreciated that each of the store units 208, 210, 212 represents a block of addresses in the core memory and are illustrated as separate blocks merely to facilitate an understanding of the invention;

In operating the bindery system, a core read unit 214 reads the information stored in the cycle instruct store 208 in the same squence in which it was entered and, by the output connections 70, sends separate electrical signals to each of the separate pocket instruction mechanisms 34 associated with the gatherer pockets 22a-22n. Thus, the signals sent by the read unit 214 during the first cycle of operation of the gatherer would correspond to the pocket information illustrated in the file of time frame 1 on the drum 202. During the next cycle of operation of the gatherer, the pockets would be instructed to feed or not feed in accordance with the information corresponding to the information illustrated in time frame 2 on the drum. In this manner, each of the pocket instruction mechanisms 34 is individually instructed to enable or prevent feeding from the associated pocket 22 during each cycle of the gathering machine.

The read unit 214 also is used to instruct printing of the subscribers labels ini the same sequence in which the subscribers magazines are produced. Thus, the read unit 214 reads the information stored in the name address store 210 in the same sequence in which it was entered and transmits this information to a label printer 216. The label printer may be a conventional high-speed computer printer such as is commercially available from Di/An Control Inc, Boston, Mass. in accordance with the instructions from the process computer, the label printer 216 prints a label on a continuous roll 218 of labels. The roll of labels 218 then enter a conventional labeling head 220 which applies each subscribers label to that subscribers magazine as it arrives at the label head. As in the emboidment of FIG.

1, a photocell 138 positioned just before the labeling head may be used to actuate the labeling head to apply the labels to the magazines. It will be appreciated that since the labels are printed in the same sequence as the magazines are produced, and assuming no feed, trimming or binding errors, each uniquely tailored magazine arriving at the label head should correspond to the correct subscribers label.

In the event there is an ewrror in the system and the uniquely tailored magazine for a particular subscriber is rejected, a potential mismatch situation is presented in which the uniquely tailored magazine arriving at the label head would not correspond to the printed label. It is an important aspect of this embodiment of the invention to provide an arrangement which not only avoids mismatches but which also is capable of reordering that particular subscribers magazine as the run is being made.

To this end, a conventional photoelectric sensor 222 is positioned adjacent the conveyor 24 and between the trimmer and the label head 220. The photoelectric sensor 220 is operative to inspect the conveyor 24 at predetermined intervals to sense the presence or absence of the magazines. This inspection by the sensor'222 is timed in its operation to coincide with the spacings of the conveyor 24 so that for each space on the conveyor where a magazine should be present, a photoelectric inspection is made. With each inspection where a magazine is present, a signal is sent by the sensor 222 to the process computer so that the information concerning the particular subscriber, which has been held in the computer core, may be removed from the core. Should an error occur at the gatherer, the trimmer or the binder resulting in rejection of the defective magazine, a space will occur on the conveyor 24. As this space passes beneath the sensor 222, the absence of a magazine will be detected and a signal will be sent to the process computer which indicates that a particular subscribers magazine is not present. As this space on the conveyor then moves beneath the label head 212, a label reject mechanism 224, activated by a signal from the sensor, receives the label of the particular subscriber whose magazine was rejected. At the same time, the process computer transfers the information concerning the particular subscriber whose uniquely tailored magazine has been rejected, from the core into a reserve section of the drum memory 202. At the conclusion of a run, preferably at the end of the particular Zip Code sub-group, the information stored in the reserved section of the drum is transferred back into the computer core and uniquely tailored magazines for each of these subscribers are again produced.

It should be understood from the foregoing that, at any given moment in a continuous production run, the links or spacings on the conveyor 24 contain uniquely tailored magazines for a plurality of different subscribers. For example, the conveyor may have eighty spaces from the first gatherer pocket to the sensor 222 nd there would, therefore, be eighty magazines for eighty different subscribers in process simultaneously. Since an error may occur at various points from the first gatherer pocket up to the sensor 222, it is necessary that the information for each subscriber whose magazine is in process be retained at least until the sensor 222 has made its inspection. Thereafter, if no errors occurred and the subscriberss magazine has passed to the label head, that subscriberss information may be removed from memory.

However, the computer, upon receipt of an electrical signal from sensor 222 indicating absence of a magazine, must ascertain which subscribers magazine was rejected and, as discussed above, arrange to have a replacement made.

There are several ways in which the computer can keep account of the magazines in process so as to be able to ascertain whose magazine was rejected when an absent magazine is detected by sensor 222. One suitable technique when the information is stored in the core memory will be described. In storing the information from the drum in the store units 210, 212, the store instruct unit 206 may be used to associate a number with each subscribers name address and pocket instruction information. For example, as John Does name and address and pocket instruction information is entered in the core, a number is assigned to that information. A different number would be assigned to John Smith, and so on. As will be more'apparent hereinafter, the first number assigned should correspond to the number n of spacings or link lengths on conveyor 24 with each number being consecutive thereafter. Using the example of a conveyor with eighty spacings, the first number assigned would be and that number would be associated with the information stored for John Doe in both units 210, 212. The number 81 would be assigned to John Smith, and so on. No number need be associated with the information stored in unit 208 since that information pertains to gatherer cycle sequencing and not to any particular subscriber.

A cycle count unit 226, connected to the master timer 32, counts each cycle of the gatherer. When the total in the count unit reaches 80, John Does magazine should be at the sensor 222 and with the next cycle 81, John Smiths magazine should have reached the sensor. As the first magazine reaches the sensor and for each cycle thereafter, the computer would then send a signal actuating the sensor and an inspection would then be made. If no magazine is present, a gating signal is sent by the sensor to a retrieve unit 228. Upon actuation by the signal from the sensor, retrieve unit 228 takes the current number on the cycle count unit 226 and instructs the read unit 214 to retrieve from the store units 210, 212 the information associated with that number. That information is then transferred to a write unit 230 which transfers the information to a reserved area 232 on the drum 202. For example, if at the time an inspection was made and an absent magazine detected, the count on the cycle count unit was at 81, then the information in the store units 210, 212 assigned the number 81 by the store instruct unit 206 would be transferred back to the drum memory. In the example given above, if John Smiths information had been assigned the number 81, his name and address would be retrieved from unit 210 and his pocket instruction information from unit 212 and transferred to the drum 202. At the conclusion of the run, preferably at the end of the Zip Code, John Smiths information would be transferred back to core and his uniquely tailored magazine would be re-made in the manner described.

The label reject mechanism 224 may take various forms. For example, a dummy book arrangement similar to 150 might be used to receive the label with the lateral movement of the dummy book beneath the labelhead being controlled by the signal from the sensor 222.

While the system of FIG. 19 contemplates transfer of the stored information on the drum memory to the core memory, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other techniques might be used. For example, instead of transferring the information to the core, it may be entered into shift registers from which it is used by the computer logic to operate the system. Moreover, it is within the contemplation of this invention to eliminate the drum memory and use the core memory of the computer both for initial storage of the information to be used in a run and for storage of the information for subscribers whose magazines were rejected during the run.

If shift registers are used, as suggested above, each subscribers name address and pocket instruction information could be shifted through a number of shift stages corresponding to the number of magazines simultaneously in process. For example, and using the previous example of eighty spacings on the conveyor 24, each subscribers data would be shifted through eighty stages. The last stage would correspond to the inspection step and, depending on the signal from sensor 222, the data for the particular subscriber whose magazine is being inspected would exit from the shift register and be lost or returned to the drum memory.

It is to be noted that, with the embodiment of FIGS. 19 21, the error prediction system of FIG. 6 is eliminated since complete custody of each uniquely tailored magazine is maintained throughout the process. In other words, each subscribers magazine and label are made on command and if an error occurs, both the magazine and the label are rejected and re-ordered.

The invention has been described with reference to two specific embodiments, in both of which information concerning the subscribers isstored on a file in machine readable form and subsequently machine read ,to control the. magazine production process. In the first embodiment, the machine reading of the file occurs in timed relation to the cycles of operation of the gathering machine while in the second embodiment the information read from the file is temporarily stored in a memory and read from the memory to control the production process. Still further modifications will occur.

to those skilled in the art without departing from the principles of the inventiontand it is intended that all such modifications are to be included within the scope within each group by demographic characteristics in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information which includes for each sub-.

scriber his name and address and at least one item of demographic information, utilizing different sets of signatures located in different pockets of a gathering machine of the type in which each cycle of the gathering machine causes successive 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 cycle, the method comprising the steps of:

preparing a machine readable file identifying each subgroup in each different group with; (1) the corresponding number of subscribers within the subgroup, and (2) a predetermined combination of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine forthat sub group,

preparing a preprinted stock of subscriber namesand address labels arranged by group and subgroup in the same order as the groups and subgroups are ar-. ranged in the file,

progressively machine reading the file in timed relation to the cycles of operation of the gathering machine, in accordance with the reading of the file, instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets in the predetermined combinationsto produce, for each subgroup, a number of magazines of the appropriate predetermined signature combination equal to the number of subscribers in that subgroup,

feeding the preprinted stock of labels to a labeling head operating in timed relation to the gathering machine with the labels for each subgroup being. timed to coincide with the arrival at the labeling head of the particular magazines produced for that subgroup,

monitoring the feeding of signatures at each gathering pocket to detect a misfeed or nonfeed at each pocket instructed to feed during each machine cycle,

whenever an error is detected, tracking the defective magazine affected by the error in its subsequent passage through the gathering machine,

rejecting the defective magazine after iti leaves the gathering machine,

maintaining a cumulative count of each actuation of each pocket of the gathering machine,

comparing the cumulative error count with the cumulative actuation count and deriving an error rate,

for each subgroup, applying the error rate to the number of magazines to be produced for the subgroup to estimate a predicted number of defective magazines for that subgroup, and

for the same subgroup, operating the gathering machine for an additional number of cycles in excess of the number of subscribers in that subgroup to produce an additional number of magazines equal to the predicted number of defective magazines.

2. The method as defined in claim 1 but whenever the predicted number of defective magazines exceeds the number of actual defective magazines produced during completion of the magazines for a particular sub-group, thereby leading to at least one excess magazine for that sub-group passing to the labeling head, including the step of:

rejecting the excess magazine to maintain a match between the number of preprinted labels for the particular sub-group and the number of magazines for that sub-group arriving at the labeling head. 3. The method as defined in claim 1 but whenever the predicted number of defective magazines for a particular sub-group is less than the actual number of defective magazines upon completion of the magazines for the particular sub-group thereby leaving at least one gap caused by a missing magazine between the magazine arriving at the labeling head, including the step of: rejecting the excess magazine to maintain a match between the number of preprinted labels for the particular sub-group and the number of magazines for that sub-group arriving at the labeling head.

moving a dummy beneath the labeling head as the gap arrives at the labeling head to receive the label for the missing magazine.

4. A system for producing different magazines, composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures, for different subscribers classified in different geographic groups by region and in different subgroups within each group by demographic characteristic in accordance with predetermined criteria from inown subscriber information which includesfor each subscriber at least his name and address and one item of demographic information, the system comprising:

pocket instruction means for instructing the associated said pocket to feed or not feed during each gathering machine cycle,

file means for storing information in machine readable form identifying for each different subgroup in each different group l a predetermined combination of at least some of said gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide a predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subgroup and (2) the number of subscribers in that subgroup,

reading means connected with said pocket instruction means, said reading means reading said control file means in timed relation to the cycle of operation of said gathering machines for instructing feeding of said gatherer pockets, in the predetermined different combinations corresponding to the different subgroups to produce for each subgroup a number of magazines of the appropriate prede termined signature combination equal to the number of subscribers in that subgroup,

labeling means connected with said gathering ma chine adapted to apply a preprinted stock of subscriber name and address labels arranged by a group and subgroup in the same order as said groups and subgroups are arranged in said subscriber file means to the magazines,

a plurality of monitoring means associated with said gatherer pockets, said monitoring means monitoring the feeding of signatures at each said gatherer pocket to detect a feed error at each pocket instructed to feed during each machine cycle,

memory means connected with said monitoring means for storing information identifying any magazine rendered defective by a feed error,

- reject means connected with said memory means for rejecting the defective magazine after it leaves said gathering machine,

disabling means connected with said gatherer pockets and with said monitoring means for preventing feeding from all said gatherer pockets downstream from the gatherer pocket where a feed error occurs, as the defective magazine passes each pocket, total count means connected with said gathering machine for maintaining a cumulative count of all the magazines produced by said gathering machine,

error count means connected with said monitoring means for maintaining a cumulative count of all the feed errors,

comparing means connected with said error count means and total count means for deriving an error rate,

predicting means connected with said comparing means for applying the error rate to the number of magazines to be produced for each subgroup to derive for that subgroup a predicted number of defective magazines, and

ordering means connected with said predicting means for operating said gathering machine for each subgroup for an additional number of defective magazines, and

ordering means connected with said predicting means for operating said gathering machine for each subgroup for an additional number of cycles in excess of the number of subscribers in that subgroup to produce an additional number of magazines equal to the predicted number of defective magazines.

S. The system as defined in claim 4 further including:

sub-total means connected with said monitoring means for counting the actual number of defective magazines produced during the production of magazines for a particular sub-group, and

second comparing means connected with said sub total means and with said predicting means for comparing, for each sub-group, the actual number of defective magazines produced with the predicted number of defective magazines for the same sub-group.

6. The system as defined in claim 5 further including:

second rejection means connected with said second comparing means, said second rejection means rejecting the excess magazines produced when the predicted number of defective magazines is in excess of the actual number of defective magazines.

7. The system as defined in claim 5 further including:

dummy means for receiving the excess labels for a particular sub-group whenever the actual number of defective magazines produced for the sub-group exceeds the predicted number of defective magazines.

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

a gathering machine having a plurality of pockets adapted to contain different sets of signatures, said gathering machine operating in cycles, each cycle of operation of said gathering machine causing suc cessive feeding of signatures from at least some of said pockets to make up each magazine,

each said gatherer pocket having connected therewith pocket instruction means for instructing the associated said pocket to feed or not feed during each gathering machine cycle;

file means for storing information in machine readable form identifying the different subscribers with different predetermined combinations of at least some of said gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide a predetermined combinations of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for each, subscriber,

means connected with said pocket instruction means for reading said file means and instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets in the predetermined combinations required to provide the different magazines appropriate for the corresponding subscribers,

the information stored in said file means including at least the name and address of each subscriber in machine readable form, and the system further including:

label printing means responsive to reading of said file means for automatically printing labels bearing the name and address of each subscriber; and

label application means connected with said gathering machine for applying a printed label for each subscriber to a magazine constituted of the predetermined signature combination appropriate that subscribers group, sensor means for sensing the presence and absence of a magazine and generating a signal in response to the sensed condition, and I means responsive to a signal from said sensor means for when a subscriber+s magazine is absent for storing for a reuse the information pertinent to that subscriber.

9. The system as defined in claim 8 and further iIl-i cluding label reject means operative upon sensing of an absent magazine to remove the printed labelfor said subscriber from said label application means.

10. A system as defined in claim 8 and further comprising means responsive to said signal from said sensor means when a subscribers magazine is absent for actuating said pocket instruction means to produce a magazine to replace the absentmagazine.

11. A method for producing different magazines,

composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures, for different subscribers grouped in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information, utilizing different sets of signatures located in different pockets of a gathering machine of the type in which each cycle of operation of the gathering machine causes successive feeding of signatures from at least some of the pockets to make upeach 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 ofz 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 during a gathering ma-,

chine cycle to provide the predetermined combinations of signatures constituting the appropriate magazines for the subscribers,

progressively machine reading the file,

wherein the step of machine reading the file is followed by the step of storing the information from the file in a memory,

reading the information in the memory to instruct;

feeding of the gatherer pockets,

retaining the information in the memory for each.

known subscriber information which includes for each subscriber his name and address and at least one item of demographic information, utilizing different sets of signatures located in different pockets of a gathering machine of the type in which each cycle of the gather-i ing machine causes successive feeding of signatures from at least some of the pockets to make up eachmagazine and in which each pocket may be individually instructed to feed or not feed during each gathering cycle, the method comprising the steps of:

preparing a machine readable file identifying each subgroup in each different group with; (l the corresponding number of subscribers within the sub- 7 group, and (2) a predetermined combination of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for that subgroup,

preparing a preprinted stock of subscriber name and address labels arranged by group and subgroup in the same order as the groups and subgroups are arranged in the file, progressively machine reading the file in timed relation to the cycles of operation of the gathering machine, in accordance with the reading of the file, instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets in the predetermined combinations to produce, for each subgroup, a number of magazines of the appropriate predetermined signature combination equal to the number of subscribers in that subgroup,

feeding the preprinted stock of labels to a labeling head operating in timed relation to the gathering machine with the labels for each subgroup being timed to coincide with the arrival at the labeling head of the particular magazines produced for that subgroup,

monitoring the feeding of signatures at each gathering pocket to detect a misfeed or nonfeed at each pocket instructed to feed during each machine cycle,

whenever an error is detected, tracking the defective magazine affected by the error in its subsequent passage through the gathering machine,

rejecting the defective magazine after it leaves the gathering machine,

preceding the step of labeling at the labeling head, of

binding each magazine at a binding station, and subsequent to binding, trimming each magazineat a trimming station,

detecting erroneously bound magazines subsequent to the binding step,

rejecting each erroneously bond magazine,

making a cumulative count of errouneously bond magazines,

making a cumulative count of all magazines passing through the binding station,

comparing the cumulative total of the erroneously bound magazines with the cumulative total of magazines passing the binding station, and deriving a binding error rate,

for each subgroup, applying the binding error rate to the number of magazines for that subgroup to estimate a predicted number of defective magazines, and

operating the gathering machine for an additional number of cycles in excess of the number of subscribers in that subgroup to produce an additional number of magazines for that subgroup equal to the predicted number of defective magazines.

13. A method for producing different magazines, composed of different predetermined combinations of signatures, for different subscribers classified in different geographic groups by region and different subgroups within each group by demographic characteristics in accordance with predetermined criteria from known subscriber information which includes for each subscriber his name and address and at least one item of demographic information, utilizing different sets of signatures located in different pockets of a gathering machine of the type in which each cycle of the gatering machine causes successive 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 cycle, the method comprising the steps of:

preparing a machine readable file identifying each subgroup in each different group with; l) the corresponding number of subscribers within the subgroup, and (2) a predetermined combination of at least some of the gatherer pockets to be instructed to feed during a gathering machine cycle to provide the predetermined combination of signatures constituting the appropriate magazine for the subgroup, preparing a preprinted stock of subscriber name and address labels arranged by group and subgroup in the same order as the groups and subsgroups are arranged in the file, progressively machine reading the file in timed relation to the cycles of operation of the gathering machine, in accordance with the reading of the file, instructing feeding of the gatherer pockets in the predetermined combinations to produce, for each subgroup, a number of magazines of the appropriate predetermined signature combination equal to the number of subscribers in that subgroup, feeding the preprinted stock of labels to a labeling head operating in timed relation to the gathering machine with the labels for each subgroup being timed to coincide with the arrival at the labeling head of the particular magazines produced by that subgroup, monitoring the feeding of signatures at each gathering pocket to detect a misfeed or nonfeed at each pocket instructed to feed during each machine cycle, whenever an error is detected, tracking the defective magazine affected by error in its subsequent passage through the gathering machine, rejecting the defective magazine after it leaves the gathering machine, preceding the step of labeling at the labeling head, of binding each magazine at a binding station, and subsequent to binding, trimming each magazine at a trimming station. detecting erroneously trimmed magazines subsequent to the trimming step, rejecting each erroneously trimmed magazine, making a cumulative count of the erroneously trimmed magazines, making a cumulative count of all magazines passing through the trimming station, comparing the cumulative total of erroneously trimmed magazines with the cumulative total of magazines passing the trimming station, and computing a trimming error rate, for each subgroup, applying the trimming error rate to the number of magazines for that subgroup to estimate a predicted number of defective magazines, and operating the gathering machine for an additional number of cycles in excess of the number of subscribers in that subgroup to produce an additional

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Classifications
U.S. Classification270/52.5
International ClassificationB65H43/00, B42C1/12, B65H39/04, B65C9/00, B65H39/00, B65C9/40
Cooperative ClassificationB65H39/04, B65H39/00, B65C9/40, B65H43/00, B42C1/12, B65H2301/4311
European ClassificationB42C1/12, B65H39/00, B65C9/40, B65H43/00, B65H39/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 20, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: BT COMMERCIAL CORPORATION, ILLINOIS
Free format text: MEMORANDUM OF AMENDMENT OF PATENT COLLAERAL ASSIGNMENT.;ASSIGNOR:AM INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006732/0030
Effective date: 19931013
May 25, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: BT COMMERICAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT, ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AM INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006548/0656
Effective date: 19930517
May 25, 1993AS06Security interest
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Effective date: 19930517
Owner name: BT COMMERICAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT 5200 SEARS TOW
Dec 9, 1992AS17Release by secured party
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL, INC. SUITE 900 333 WEST WACKER C
Owner name: BT COMMERCIAL CORPORATION
Effective date: 19921123
Dec 9, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BT COMMERCIAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:006355/0750
Effective date: 19921123
Nov 19, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: FOOTHILL CAPITAL CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AM INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006300/0645
Effective date: 19921110
Nov 19, 1992AS06Security interest
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Effective date: 19921110
Owner name: FOOTHILL CAPITAL CORPORATION 11111 SANTA MONICA BO
Nov 18, 1991AS06Security interest
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL, INC., A CORP. OF DE
Effective date: 19911112
Owner name: BT COMMERCIAL CORPORATION
Nov 18, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: BT COMMERCIAL CORPORATION
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AM INTERNATIONAL, INC., A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005919/0163
Effective date: 19911112
Jan 27, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, A DE. CORP., ILLINO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005018/0144
Effective date: 19881006
Oct 17, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION MELBOURNE, FL A DE CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004227/0467
Effective date: 19830429