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Publication numberUS3920501 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 18, 1975
Filing dateMay 25, 1973
Priority dateMay 25, 1973
Publication numberUS 3920501 A, US 3920501A, US-A-3920501, US3920501 A, US3920501A
InventorsRobert D Carlton, Davis W Chamberlin, Thomas W Featherstone
Original AssigneeMinnesota Mining & Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sheet binding machine
US 3920501 A
Abstract
An automated machine for binding stacks of sheets along one edge. The machine has two spaced clamping stations for receiving stacks of sheets to be bound. A single cutting mechanism and a single heated platen are movable to either clamping station from a central location between the stations to respectively groove one edge of a stack of sheets therein and apply a length of binding material dispensed from a central dispensing mechanism to the grooved edge.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Carlton et a1.

1451 Nov. 18, 1975 SHEET BINDING MACHINE 2,646,104 7/1953 Hawkes 156/354 3,117,330 l/l964 Robbins et al7 11/1 R {75] Inventors Paul Park 3,280,413 /1966 Robbins et a1 11/5 Paul; 3,531,358 9/1970 ROSt et a1 156/216 Thomas Featherstone, North 3,560.311 2/1971 Blair 11/1 AD Paul, all Of Minn. 3,616,074 10/1971 Hoff et al. .1 156/477 B [731 Assignw Mining and 13113528 51333 E221f1???.?.f..i.1iJJJJJJJJJJ..T 511 13 llwmufacturmg Company Paul, 3,788,921 1/1974 Polit et al. 156/216 [22] Filed; May 25 97 Primary Examiner-Charles E. Van Horn Assistant Exammer-Basd J. Lewrls PP N93 363,836 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Alexander, Sell, Steldt &

' DeLaHunt [52] US. Cl 156/364; 11/1 R; 156/368;

156/477 B; 156/510; 156/535; 156/538; [57] ABSTRACT 156/583 An automated machine for binding stacks of sheets [51] Int. Cl. B42C 13/00 along one g Th ma hin has two spa d lamp- [58] Field of Search 156/477 B, 212, 216, 221, ing stations for receiving stacks of sheets to be bound. 156/257, 351, 354, 355, 359, 360, 361, 367, .A single cutting mechanism and a single heated platen 475, 477 R, 499, 510, 535, 364, 368, 538, are movable to either clamping station from a central 583; 11/1 R, 1 AD, 1 CP, 5; 281/21 R location between the stations to respectively groove one edge of a stack of sheets therein and apply a [56] References Cit d length of binding material dispensed from a central UNITED STATES PATENTS dispensing mechanism to the grooved edge.

1,248,254 11/1917 Bredenberg 156/477 13 6 C aims, 14 Drawing Figures 2,296,906 9/1942 Carlson ll/l R 23 /2 I 2.4 7 /4 0 I Q /4 :2 2/ /44 4 4 6:2: 7H4 7 444- I Y g 2124 n 4 I]: 143 1 a: 1" M 1 2;, n 1 5?- :1 7 d l, l M64 7 I j] 6- a w 5d 75 4 47 33 34 5 /0 3,53? 50 7 47 $34" '5 I 73 16 6b 67 g m n 5: 62 IL 1 1 712 o I11 Ill 7 43 17 32 51/ 24 3* a if: f 5/2 z7 1 I 1 9 9/ 93 66 {2 A m3 40 U.S. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet1of7 3,920,501

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clamp 16 which includes a first clamp member 34, and a second clamp member mounted on the first clamping member34 for relative movement from an open position with the members 34 and 35 spaced to receive the stack of sheets 23 (FIG. 3), and a clamping position with the clamp members 34 and 35 in clamping engagement with the stack of sheets 23 (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6). The first clamp member 34 is mounted on the frame 28 for vertical movement via a cam and follower assembly 33 (best illustrated in FIGS. 3a and 5a) between a first lowered position illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and a second raised position slightly above the position illustrated in FIG. 5.

The operational cycle is initiated to bind the stack of sheets 23 by manually actuating a control circuit. The control circuit first actuates a clamp operating mechanism 36 (later to be explained) to move the clamp 16 to the clamping position.

Next, the control circuit actuates the cutting mechanism 18 to transversely score the spine edge 32 of the stack of sheets 23. The cutting mechanism 18 includes a housing 37 movably mounted on the frame 28 and carrying projecting from its upper surface, a rotatably mounted roller 38 having eight rows of axially spaced tangentially projecting teeth 39. A housing drive mechanism 40 (to be explained later) moves the housing 37 from the central position spaced from the stack of sheets 23 (FIG. 3), along a path with the teeth 39 contacting the spine edge 32 (FIG. 4), and a cutting roller drive, including a gear reduction unit 41 driven by a cutting roller drive motor 42 supported on the housing 37, is actuated to rotate the roller 38 for a sufficient period so that the teeth 39 will score the spine edge 32. The housing 37 is then returned to the central position. The housing 37 is adapted to engage a pin 43 attached to the plate 27 to cause movement of the plate 27 with the cutter housing 37 along the path to space the plate 27 from the stack of sheets 23 during cutting engagement of the teeth 39 with the spine edge 32.

Next the control circuit actuates a clamp positioning mechanism. The clamp positioning mechanism includes a gear reduced clamp positioning motor 44 which through a shaft, worm gear 45 and gear 46 drives the cam and follower assembly 33. The cam and follower assembly 33 includes a cam 47 coupled to the gear 46. The cam 47 has a race engaged by a follower 48 on the first clamp member 34 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 3a The cam 47 is rotated to raise the clamp 16 along a vertical path to the second raised position which is slightly above the position illustrated in FIG. 5 and which is attained when the cam 47 is rotated slightly from the position illustrated in FIG. 5a. Upon movement of the clamp 16 to the raised position, the control circuit actuates the dispensing mechanism 21 which includes a pair of rollers 50 on opposite sides of a guide chute 51 for an end of a rolled supply 52 of the heat softenable binding material supported on a removable rotatably mounted core 53 in a hopper 54. Via a sensing means later to be explained, the control circuit drives the rollers 50 for a sufficient time to project a predetermined length of the binding material beyond an end 55 of the guidechute 51, which length is adapted (when centrally positioned) to extend beyond each side of the spine edge 32 by a predetermined distance. The projecting predetermined length of binding material is then severed by a knife 56 driven along the end 55 of the guide chute 51 by a knife drive mechanism 51 (to be explained later) and is retained adjacent the bottom of the hopper 54 above a heated support surface 58 of the platen 19 on a pair of support plates 59 spaced from the bottom of the hopper 54 and projecting toward each other from opposite ends of the hopper 54.

The heated platen 19 is mounted on the frame 28 for movement between its central position beneath the dispensing mechanism 21 and an applying position with the support surface 58 transverse of the path for the clamp 16. After the clamp 16 has reached its second position, the control circuit activates a platen drive mechanism 60 (to be explained later) to move the platen 19 to the applying position. During movement of the platen 19 from the central position, one pair of two pairs of pins 61 on the platen 19 engage an edge of the dispensed length of binding material on the support plates 59, thereby removing the length of binding material from the supporting plates and positioning it in a predetermined position against the pins 61 on the heated support surface 58 so that the binding material will be supported in a predetermined position extending equal distances beyond each side of the spine edge 32 when the platen 19 reaches the applying position.

The control circuit then causes further rotation of the cam 47 to move the follower 48 to an offset 62 in the race of the cam 47 (FIG. 5a thereby allowing the weight of the clamp to move it toward the platen and provide biasing means for pressing the spine edge 32 into engagement with the softened binding material on the heated support surface (FIG. 5). After a predetermined time the cam 47 is again rotated to move the follower 48 from the offset 62, thereby returning the clamp 16 and stack of sheets 23 to the second position, after which the platen drive mechanism 60 is again activated to return the platen 19 to its central or receiving position. The cam 47 is further rotated to move the clamp 16 and stack of sheets 23 toward the first position, thereby moving the applied strip of heat softenable binding material between a pair of smoothing jaws (FIG. 6) to press the edges of the strip extending beyond the sides of the stack of sheets 23 into engagement with the adjacent surfaces of the stack 23. The jaws include a jaw 63 fixed to the frame 28, and an opposed movable jaw 64 mounted for horizontal movement relative thereto. A pin 65 in the second clamp member 35 engages an opening in the movable jaw 64 when the clamp 16 is in its first position to initially position the movable jaw 64 with respect to the thickness of a stack of sheets in the clamp 16, and the pin 65 has a tapered end adapted to engage the opening in the movable jaw 64 to position and properly retain it as the binding material on the spine edge 32 of the stack of sheets 23 moves between the jaws 63 and 64 during the return of the clamp 16 to its first position.

Certain portions of the machine will now be described in more detail. Throughout the description those members of the second station 14 which are similar to members already described at the first station 12 will be similarly numbered and designated with the letter a.

The two clamp members 34 and 35, or 34a and 35a at each station each consist of a horizontally extending C-channel 67 supporting a guide plate 68 flanged at its upper end to guide a stack of sheets into the opening 26 or 26a. The first clamp member 34 or 34a has a pair of spaced bearings 70 slidably mounted on spaced vertical rods 71 attached to the frame 28 to afford vertical movement of the clamp 16 or 17 via the clamp positioning mechanism.

. BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION lhisinvention relates to. an improvement in sheet binding machines.

Prior art machines are known for binding a stack of sheets by applying flexible heat softenable binding material to one edge of the stack. Such machines are suggested in US. Pat Nos. 3,518,143 and 3,616,074. These prior art machines both include a clamp for releasably clamping a stack of sheets to be bound which clamp then provided means to support the sheets to movethem to various stations to carry out the binding operations. In the machine of Pat. No. 3,616,074 the clamped sheets are moved to a second position or station including a platen having a heated surface for heating a strip of the binding material and means for pressing the heated strip on the platen into engagement with one edge 'of the stack. The'sheets are then again moved to a third station. where the binding material is folded about the end sheets in the stack. At this third station the clamp is removed and the stack of sheets is moved manually downward between spring rollers to fold the strip about the stack. The machine of Pat. No. 3,518,143 requires a similar series of manual operations. The operations required to operate either of these machines, to'essentially manually perform each of the bookbinding operations, results in an inefficient use of the equipment and operator. Additionally the success of the binding operation is largely dependent 'upon operator performance and dexterity. It is there- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A machine for binding stacks of sheets according to the present invention provides two spaced stations, each of which receives a stack of sheets to be bound, and is automated so that after a stack of sheets is placed in one of the stations, the stack will be bound without further manipulations by the operator. Thus the operator remains free to alternate between the stations removing bound stacks and preparing and inserting new stacks.

The machine has a novel arrangement of parts to provide two stations for processing stacks of sheets while utilizing a single mechanism for grooving the edges of the stacks to improve the adherence of the binding material, and a single material dispensing mechanism and heated platen to apply the binding material to the grooved edges. The cutting mechanism and platen are normally disposed at a central location between the stations with the platen at a binding material dispensing station. The cutting mechanism and platen are sequentially movable to either of the'stations to respectively groove and apply dispensed binding material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING 2 FIGS. 3 through 6 are fragmentary sectional views taken approximately along the lines 22 of FIG. 1 illustrating certain steps in the operational sequence of themachine according to the present invention, with FIG. 3a being a sectional view taken approximately along lines 3a3a of FIG. 3 and illustrating only a cam andfollower for moving a clamp in the machine, and FIG. 50 being taken along lines 5a5a of FIG. 5 and also illustrating the cam of FIG. 30;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the machine of FIG. 1 with portions broken away to show interior details;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken approximately along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view taken approximately along lines 99 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of a drive for a heated platen for the machine of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of a mechanism in the machine of FIG. 1 for dispensing heat softenable binding material to the heated platen; and

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of the electric circuitry for the machine of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing there is shown a machine 10 according to the present invention for binding a stack of sheets in the known manner of releasably clamping a stack of sheets to be bound, scoring an edge (called spine edge herein) of the stack intended to be the spine edge of the bound stack, heating a strip of heat softenable binding material on a heated support surface and pressing the strip of heated binding material on the support surface into engagement with the spine edge.

As is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the novel machine 10 according to the present invention has spaced first and second stations 12 and 14 each of which includes a clamp (16 and 17 respectively) adapted for receiving a stack of sheet material. A cutting mechanism 18 and a heated platen 19 are mounted for movement in either direction from a first central position between the stations 12 and 14 so that during the operational cycle of the machine 10 the cutting mechanism can groove the spine edge of a stack in either of the clamps 16 or 17, after which the heated platen 19 can apply to the grooved spine edge a strip of binding material dispensed to the platen by a centrally located dispensing mechanism 21.

The machine 10 will be more readily understood fromthe following brief description of its operational cycle (which is schematically illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 6) to bind a stack of sheets 23 at the first station 12, the operational cycle of the machine 10 to bind a stack of sheets at the second station 14 being essentially the same.

With the first station 12 of the machine 10 in a nonoperative condition (FIG. 3), the stack of sheets 23 is inserted into an opening 26 in the machine 10. The bottom of the opening 26 is defined by a plate 27 mounted on a frame 28 of'the machine 10 for horizontal sliding movement. The plate 27 is biased by a spring 29 to a first position at which an upper contact surface 31 on the plate 27 supports and aligns the spine edge 32 of the stack 23. The walls of the opening 26 adjacent the surfaces of the stack of sheets 23 are defined by the The clamp operating mechanism 36 for opening and closing the clamp 16 or 17 includes a pair of spaced horizontal shafts 73 extending between the clamping members on opposite sides of the opening 26 or 26a. Each shaft 73 is rotatably mounted and restrained for axial movement within a bearing 74 attached in the C- channel 67 of the first clamp member 34 or 34a and has a threaded end in engagement with a nut 75 fixably attached in the C-channel 67 of the second clamp member 35 or 35a. The threaded shafts 73 for the clamp 16 or 17 may be rotated in either direction (when the clamp 16 or 17 is in the first position) by activation of a reversible gear reduced clamp operating motor 77 mounted on the frame 28 and coupled to the shafts 73 by a pair of mated gears 78 and 79 driving an axle 80 rotatably mounted on the first clamp member 34 or 34a and carrying a pair of spaced worms 81 each engaging a worm gear 82 coupled to one of the spaced shafts 73. Movement of the clamp to the closed position is terminated when a predetermined pressure is reached between the clamp members 34 and 35 or 34a and 35a through the use of a pressure sensing limit switch 83 mounted on the first clamp member 34 or 34a and having a sensing member positioned to contact a stack of sheets in the clamp 16 or 17. When the clamp 16 or 17 is moved toward the second position the gear 78 (which is rotatably mounted on the frame 28) will separate from the gear 79 on the axle 80, but the clamping pressure will be retained by the engagement between the worms 81 and the worm gears 82.

The housing 37 of the cutting mechanism 18 is mounted by a pair of ball slides 84 for movement along a path in either of two opposed directions from the central position to afford engagement between the teeth 39 and the spine edge of a stack of sheets clamped at one of the stations 12 or 14. The term ball slide as' used herein refers to a slide of the type sold under the trade drive sprocket 90. A pin 91 projects upwardly from a link in the chain 86 and engages a slot 92 in a bar 93 fixed to the housing 37. The slot 92 extends transverse of the direction of movement of the housing 37 and the sprockets are positioned so that with the housing 37 initially in the central position, movement of the pin 91 for a distance equal to half the length of the chain 86 will cycle the housing 37 along its path beneath the clamp at one station 12 or 14 to afford grooving a stack, and return the housing 37 to the central position, and further movement of the pin 91 in the same direction for the same distance will similarly cycle the cutter assembly beneath the other station 12 or 14.

As is best seen in FIG. 7, the housing drive mechanism 40 includes a gear reduced high speed housing drive motor 94 to swiftly move the cutting mechanism 18 from the central position to a position adjacent a station 12 or 14, and a gear reduced lower speed housing drive motor 95 to move the housing 37 and driven cutting roller 38 along the path during the grooving of a stack of sheets. The high speed housing drive motor 6 94 is coupled by a chain 97 to' a sprocket 98 and the sprocket 98 is coupled through a first one-way clutch 99 to the first drive sprocket 89; and the low speed housing drive motor 95 is coupled by a chain 102 to a sprocket 103 and the sprocket 103 is coupled through a second one-way clutch 104 to the second drive sprocket 90. The one-way clutches 99 and 104 are of a conventional type and each is oriented to afford rotation of the associated drive sprocket 89 or at a speed greater than the associated sprocket 98 or 103. Thus the high speed housing drive motor 94 may be activated to swiftly propel the housing 37 to a position with the cutting roller 38 adjacent a stack of sheets in the clamp 16 or 17, which position is indicated by a limit switch interacting between the clamp 16 or 17 and the housing 37, whereupon the high speed housing drive motor 94 is deactivated and the low speed housing drive motor activated to move the housing 37 at a slower rate along the portion of the cycle at which the teeth 39 in the roller 38 grooves the spine edge of a stack, after which the high speed motor 94 is again reactivated by a second limit switch to return the housing 37 to its central position.

A pair of brushes 106 extend across the housing 37 parallel to and on opposite sides of the roller 38. The brushes 106 are adapted for engagement with the frame 28 and clamp members 34 and 35 or 34a and 35a during grooving of a spine edge to retain paper chaff within the housing 37. The paper chaff is directed by an inclined wall 107 of the housing 37 to a compartment within the housing 37 from which it may be withdrawn by a vacuum means (not shown) attached as by a flexible hose at an opening 108.

The platen 19 is mounted on the frame 28 for movement from the receiving position to the applying position by a ball slide assembly 110 transversely attached at each end thereof. Each ball slide assembly 110 includes two ball slides positioned one above the other with the outer member 111 of the upper ball slide attached to the platen 19, the adjacent inner and outer members of the two ball slides attached together to form a central portion 112 of the slide assembly 110, and the inner member 113 of the lower ball slide attached to the frame '28. This relatively short ball slide assembly 110 affords the required degree of movement between the central and either applying position of the platen 19. The central portion 112 of each ball slide assembly 110 has a rotatably mounted idler gear 114 in engagement between a first rack 115 on the portion attached to the platen 19 and a second rack 116 on the portion attached to the frame 28 to insure return of the central portion 112 to a position between the members 111 and 113 when the platen 19 returns to its central position.

The platen drive mechanism 60, best seen in FIGS. 2, 5, 7, and 10, includes a gear reduced platen drive motor 120 coupled to a shaft 121 carrying a worm 122 in engagement with a gear 123 rotatably mounted on the frame 28. One end of an arm 125 is fixedly attached to the gear 123. The other end of the arm 125 is formed with a longitudinally extending slot 124 in which is slidably mounted a block 126 supporting a pin 127 and biased away from the gear 123 by a spring 128 mounted over a guide rod. The pin 127 has a projecting head 129 adapted to engage a mating groove 130 in the platen 19 extending transverse to the direction of movement thereof. Upon activation of the platen drive motor 120 to move the platen 19 from its central position, the arm 125 will be swung about the gear 123 from a position generally parallel with the groove 130 and the head 129 of the pin 127 will slide along the groove 130 and drive the platen 19 to its applying position at one of the stations 12 or 14. When the platen reaches the station 12 or 14, a pair of dependent pins 132 spaced at the opposite ends of the second or horizontally movable clamp member 35 or 35a will contact mating tabs 133 on the ends of the platen 19 (as is illustrated in FIG. to center the binding material beneath the spine edge of a stack of sheets in the clamp 16 or 17. Upon further rotation of the arm 125, the block 126 supporting the pin 127 will slide within the slot 124 against the bias of the spring 128 until the arm 125 is disposed at right angles to the platen 19, after which still further rotation of the arm 125 will allow the block 126 and pin 127 to return to the end of the slot 124 and subsequently return the platen 19 to its central position.

The sensing means for determining the predetermined time of operation for the rollers 50 to project a proper length of the binding material beyond the end 55 of the guide chute 5 1 includes means for sensing the spacing between the first and second clamp members 34 and 35 or 340 and 35a (and thus the thickness of a stack of sheets therebetween) and for rotating the rollers 50 for a time proportionate to that spacing to dispense the binding material. The guide plates of the second clamp members 35 and 35a each have a tab with a vertically extending slot 135 (FIG. 2). A pair of brackets 136 and 137 (FIG. 9) are mounted for horizontal sliding motion on the side of the frame 28 at the ends of the clamps 16 and 17 by a pair of pins 138 which slidably engage slots 139 in the brackets 136 and 137, and by rods 142 and 143 attached to the brackets 136 and 137 respectively, each of which extends through a horizontal slot 144 in the frame 28 and engages one of the vertical slots 135 in the clamp members 35 and 35 a. The brackets 136 and 137 carry limit switches 146 and 147 respectively. Thus the horizontal position of the limit switch 146 is determined by the horizontal position of the clamp member 35 at the first station 12, and the horizontal position of thelimit switch 147 is determined by the horizontal position of the clamp member 35a at the second station 14. A pair of racks 149 and 150 are each slidably mounted in a bearing block 151 attached to the frame 28 for movement in a horizontal direction and are positioned so that when the rack 149 is positioned under the limit switch 146, the rack 149 will contact and operate the limit switch 146, and that when the rack 150 is positioned over the limit switch 147, the rack 150 will contact and operate the limit switch 147. A pinion 152 is in driving engagement with the racks 149 and 150 and may be driven by a reversible gear reduced roller drive motor 154 through a pair of gears 155 and a shaft 156 rotatably mounted on the frame 28. The shaft 156 is attached through a one-way clutch 157 to a gear 158 in driving engagement with gears 159 fixed to the shafts of the rollers 50. The oneway clutch 157 is oriented so that the shaft 156 can only drive the rollers 50 in a direction to dispense material from the chute 51. To cycle the dispensing mechanism 21 to dispense a length of the binding material, the control circuit activates the roller drive motor 154, which rotates the pinion 152 and moves both racks 149 and 150 away from predeterminedstarting positions, and rotates the rollers 50 to dispense the binding material. The material is dispensed until the rack 149 or 150 associated with the clamp 16 or 17 for which the binding material is being dispensed loses contact with its associated limit switch 146 or 147 and thereby allows that limit switch to assume its normal condition. A proper length of binding material having thus been dispensed, the control circuit then reverses the roller drive motor 154 to return the racks 149 and to their starting positions which are determined by limit switch 161 at the end of the rack 149 (FIG. 9). During the return of the racks 149 and 150 the clutch 157 prevents rotation of the rollers 50 so that the binding material will not be returned to the hopper 54.

The knife drive mechanism 57 includes a carriage 163 for the knife 56 slidably mounted on a bar 164 extending parallel with, and positioning the knife 56 to travel along, the end 55 of the guide chute 51. Two lengths of wire cable 166 are attached to opposite ends of the carriage 163. The lengths of cable 166 extend in opposite directions and then around a pair of pulleys 167 rotatably mounted on the hopper 54, and have their ends wrapped around a shaft 168 also rotatably mounted on the hopper 54 axially parallel with the bar 164. Rotation of the shaft 168 in either direction .will wrap one length of cable 166 and unwrap the other causing the carriage to move along the bar 164. A reversible gear reduced knife drive motor 171 is coupled to the shaft 168. When the binding material is to be severed the control circuit activates the knife drive motor 171 in the proper direction to move the knife 56 along the end 55 of the guide chute 51 from one end to the other and sever the material, the motor 171 being deactivated at the end of the guide chute 51 by engagemer of the carriage 163 with one of a pair of limit switches 173. Subsequent activation of the knife drive motor 171 to sever a length of material will return the carriage 163.

As is best seen in FIG. 11, the machine 10 also includes means for properly positioning a dispensed length of the binding material on the support plates 59 for engagement by the pins 61 as the platen 19 moves to the applying position. A bearing rod is rotatably mounted across a lower corner of the hopper 54. A drive rod 182 extends radially from one end of the bearing rod 180 and the distal end of the drive rod 182 is coupled to the plunger 184 of a solenoid 186. A pair of spaced parallel bars 188 are attached at one end to the bearing rod 180 and extend tangentially therefrom to the opposite side of the hopper 54. Each bar 188 carries a normally projecting pin 190 at its end opposite the bearing rod 180. The pins 190 extend through openings in a heat shield forming the bottom wall of the hopper 54 and each pin 190 supports a pressure foot 192. The pressure feet 192 extend toward the bearing rod 180 parallel to the bars 188 along the lower surface of the heat shield and are positioned above the support plates 59. The solenoid 186 can rotate the bearing rod 180 to move the pressure feet 192 from a release position against the heat shield spaced from the support plates 59, and urge the pressure feet 192 toward the upper surface of the support plates 59. The solenoid 186 is normally deactivated to allow a spring 193 to maintain the pressure feet 192 in the release position. After a length of binding material has been dispensed to the support plates 59, the control circuit activates the solenoid 186 thereby causing the pressure feet 192 to press the dispensed binding material against the support plates 59 to insure that it is flat and in the proper position for engagement by the pins 61 when the platen .19 is moved to the applying position.

"The binding material or bookbinding tape comprises a thermoplastic-elastomeric hot melt adhesive adhered to a flexible polymeric backing. The binding material is dispensed to position the polymeric backing on the heated surface 58 of the platen 19 'so that the adhesive is heated through the backing. The adhesive is selected .to adhere well 'to the edge of each sheet in the stack and to have elastic propertiessuch that it will allow adjacent sheets to lay flat whena bound stack of sheets is opened (i.e. is not sufficiently elasticto tend to close the sheets) and yet will elastically recover to its original shape after a-user has closed the bound'stack. The backing is selected for strength, for adhesion by the adhesive, and to afford flexing without fracture during repeated openings of the bound stack. The binding material should be resistant to curl and resist the tendency of the adhesive to flash out under pressure.

A preferred binding material is disclosed in a copending application, Ser. No. 363,835, (Attorney Docket No. 28,204) filed concurrently with this application, the content of which is incorporated by reference herein. In the preferred binding material the backing material is biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate film, and the adhesive contains a segmented polymer of the A B A type comprising styrene and butadiene segments. Such an adhesive is sold under the trade designation 34-1080 by the National Starch Corporation. The backing is preferably about 2 mils thick and carries an adhesive coating about 10 to mils thick covering one surface of the backing.

Referring now to FIG. 12, there is shown a schematic diagram of a portion of the electrical circuitry that provides means for controlling the operational cycle of the machine 10 and includes 14 circuit branches 200-214. Only that portion of the control circuitry which relates to a binding operation performed in the first station 12 is shown and described since the circuitry for performing a binding operation in the second station 14 is generally the same.

The circuitry of FIG. 12 is shown in a standby condition with a power switch 240 turned on in readiness to begin a binding operation at the first station 12, thereby activating a motor 242 on the vacuum system for removing paper chaff from the housing 37 (circuit branch 200) and a thermostatically controlled resistance heating element 244 (e.g. 550 watts controlled at 350F.) in the platen 19 (circuit branch 201). The clamp members 34 and 35 are in their open position, the clamp 16 is in its first position, platen 19 is in its central position, and the cutting mechanism 18 is in a position slightly on the side of its central position adjacent the clamps 16. In this position the housing 37 of the cutting mechanism 18 is just out of contact with a normally closed limit switch 250 (circuit branch 202), thereby energizing a relay 251 connected in series with the switch 250 having two normally open relaythe clamp 16 so that the end of .the stack engages and closes a normally open limit switch 255 (circuit branch 10 203). The switch 255 provides a sefety feature to restrict operation of the machine unless a stack of sheets is in the clamp. The operator then starts the binding operation by pressing a push button 256 (circuit branch 203) so that a complete circuit is momentarily established through the relay contact 251a, the limit switch 253, the push button 256, the limit switch 255, a normally closed contact 260a (circuit branch 203) of a relay 260 (circuit branch 213), and a relay 261 (circuit branch 203). Accordingly, the relay 261 is energized to close normally open contacts 261a and 26lb (circuit branch 203) associated with the relay 261. Closing of the contact 261a seals the relay 261 in an. energized condition around the push button 256. Also, as a result of closing both of the relay contacts 261a and 26lb actuated to open the contact 830 and close a normally open contact 83b, thereby disrupting the closed circuit for the clamp operating motor 77.

Closure of the limit switch contact 83b energizes a relay 267 through the relay contacts 261a, 261b, 83b

and 251b, (circuit branch 203), thereby closing associated normally open relay contacts 267a (circuit branch 203) and 267b (circuit branch 205). Closure of relay contact 267a seals the relay 267 in an energized condition. Upon the closure of the relay contact 267b (circuit branch 205), a circuit is completed through a normally closed relay contact 268a of relay 268 (circuit branch 204), a normally closed contact 269a of a relay 269 (which is not shown but opens when the cutting mechanism 18 is set for movement to the second station 14), and the high speed drive motor 94 for advancing the cutting mechanism 18 toward the clamp 16. when the toothed roller 38 nears the stack of sheets in the clamp 16, the housing 37 contacts and closes a normally open limit switch 274 (circuit branch 204), thereby completing a circuit through a normally open limit switch 275 (which is contacted and closed by the clamp 16 when the clamp 16 is in its first position) and energizing the relay 268 to open normally closed contact 268a (circuit branch 205) and close normally open contact 268b (circuit branch 206) and 268C (circuit branch 204). Closure of the contact 2680 seals the relay 268 in an energized condition around the switch 274. When the contact 268a opens, this breaks the closed circuit for operation of the fast drive motor 94 (circuit branch 205), and concurrently, the closure of the relay contact 268b completes a circuit for both the slow drive motor 95 and the cutter motor 42 (both in circuit branch 206) to advance the cutting mechanism 18 at a slow speed to groove the spine edge of the sheets.

After the cutting mechanism 18 has passed through the stack of sheets the housing 40 momentarily closes a normally open limit switch 278 (circuit branch 212), thereby energizing a relay 279 to close normally open contacts 279a (circuit branch 208), 27% (circuit branch 213) and 279c (circuit branch 212). The relay 279 is held energized by contact 2790 which seals around the limit switch 278. The closure of contact 279a (circuit branch 208) actuates a relay 285 closing normally open contacts 285a (circuit branch 208) and 285b (circuit branch 207) and opening a normally closed contact 2850 (circuit branch 213). Upon closure of the contact 27% (circuit branch 213) a complete circuit is made through the clamp positioning motor 44 which drives the cam and follower assembly 33 to raise the clamp 16. As the clamp 16 raises it allows the limit switch 275 to open (circuit branch 204) thereby breaking the circuit of relay 268 so that contacts 268b (circuit branch 205) and 268C (circuit branch 204) return to their normal open state, and contact 268 a (circuit branch 205) returns to its normal closed state. Accordingly, the cutter mechanism 18 is driven again by the fast drive motor 94 and is returned to a position slightly on the side of its central position away from the first clamping station 12 at which the housing 37 will engage and open the limit switch 250 (circuit branch 202), thereby deenergizing the relay 251, so that the opening of contact 251b (circuit branch 203) will break the latch of relay 267, opening contacts 267b (circuit branch 205) and deenergizing the fast drive motor 94.

When the clamp 16 is raised to a position at which the spine edge of the stack is slightly above the upper surface of the heated platen 19, the clamp 16 engages and actuates limit switch 292 to close normally open contact 292a (circuit branch 213) and open normally closed contact 292b (circuit branch 214). When the clamp 16 reaches its second or uppermost position (with the follower 48 adjacent the offset 62 in the race of the cam 47) it engages and opens a normally closed limit switch 284 (circuit branch 212) to break the closed circuit of relay 279, whereupon contact 27% (circuit branch 213) returns to its normal open condition and the clamp positioning motor 44 is deenergized.

Although contact 279a (circuit branch 208) opens when the circuit of relay 279 is broken, the relay 285 remains on because of the contact 285a that seals around contact 279a. Accordingly, contact 285b remains closed and because the heated platen 19 is centered, the platen 19 engages and operates a limit switch 287 (circuit branch 207) to open normally closed contact 287a and close normally open contact 287b. The closing of contact 287b completes a circuit through contact 285b and a normally open contact 146a of the limit switch 146 which is initially maintained in a closed position by contact with the rack 149 (FIG. 9) as was previously described, so that a first winding 154a of the roller drive motor 154 is actuated to begin dispensing binding material. If the heated platen 19 is not centered, as when it is applying a strip of binding material at the second station 14, the dispense mechanism will remain inoperative via the open contact 287 b until the platen 19 is centered.

When the predetermined length of the binding material has been dispensed, which is indicated by the rack 149 moving from beneath the limit switch 146 (FIG. 9), the normally open contact 146a opens and a normally closed contact 146b of the limit switch 146 closes (circuit branch 207) to energize a first winding 171a of the knife drive motor 171 and drive the knife 56 across the end 55 of the guide chute 51 to sever the binding material. When the knife 56 reaches the opposite end of the guide chute 51 the normally closed limit switch 173 (circuit branch 208) is opened deenergizing the relay 285, and thereby the motor 171 as the contact 285b opens (circuit branch 207). Also, the contact 285C (circuit branch 213) returns to its normally closed 12 condition, completing a circuit to energize the relay 260 and close its normally open contact 2600 (circuit branch 209) to provide current to the platen drive motor and to the solenoid 186 for moving the pressure feet 192 to press the dispensed binding material against the support plates 59 (FIG. 11). The motor 120 drives the platen 19 toward the first station 12, removing the dispensed binding material from the support plates 59, and positioning it on the platen 19.

When the platen 19 leaves its central position it moves out of contact with the limit switch 287 (circuit branch 207), thereby allowing the contact 287a to close and energize a second winding 154b of the roller drive motor 154 through the normally closed limit switch 161 positioned adjacent an end of the rack 149. The motor 154 drives the rack 149 toward the limit switch 161 until the rack contacts and opens the limit switch 161 with the rack 149 in its home or starting posltion.

The motor 120 drives the platen 19 until it is located in its material applying position under the clamp 16, and the arm extends generally at a right angle to the platen 19. As is best seen in FIG. 10, in this position of the arm 125 a limit switch 294 mounted on the frame 28 of the machine 10 is actuated by a pin 295 extending axially parallel to the gear 123 from a projecting portion of the arm 125. Activation of the limit switch 294 closes its normally open contacts 294b (circuit branch 213) and 2940 (circuit branch 214) and opens its normally closed contact 294a (circuit branch 213). When contact 294a opens, the relay 260 is deenergized which, in turn deenergizes the platen drive motor 120 (circuit branch 209) because the contact 260c returns to its normal open position.

When the contact 29412 closes (circuit branch 214), the clamp positioning motor 44 is again energized and moves the follower 48 into the offset 62 in the cam race to lower the clamp 16 toward the platen 19 and apply the binding material on the platen 19 to the spine edge of the stack of sheets; whereupon the limit switch 292 (circuit branch 213) is deactivated, thus opening contact 292a (circuit branch 213) to deenergize the clamp positioning motor 44, and closing contact 292b (circuit branch 214). Closing of the contact 292b energizes a relay 296 which closes its normally open contact 2961; (circuit branch 210) to start a timer 300; and energizes a relay 301 to close its normally open contact 301a which seals around contacts 294a and 292b, and close its normally open contact 301b (circuit branch 211). When the relay 296 is energized its normally open contact 296a (circuit branch 213) closes.

Timer 300 is preset for a period of from 5 to 10 seconds to afford time for the heated platen 19 to melt the binding material and fuse it to the stack of sheets. After the preset time has elapsed, a normally open contact 300a (circuit branch 213) of the timer 300 closes. This completes a path of current flow to the clamp motor 44 through the contact 296a and normally open contact 302b which is held closed by a relay 302 (circuit branch 212) that is normally activated. The clamp positioning motor 44 raises the clamp 16 until the clamp 16 contacts and opens the limit switch 284, (circuit branch 212) thus deenergizing the relay 302 so that contact 302b opens (circuit branch 213) and a contact 302a closes. The opening of the contact 302b breaks the path of current flow to the motor 44, and the closure of contact 302a energizes relay 260, closing contact 2606 (circuit branch 209).

13 Closure of the contact 2606 energizes the platen drive motor 120 to drive the platen 19 to its center position. Upon reaching the center position, the platen 19 operates the limit switch 287 (circuit branch 207) to close contact 28712 and open contact 287a, thereby energizing a relay 303 (circuit branch 207) to close its normally open contact 303a (circuit branch 213) and open its normally closed contact 30312 (circuit branch 213). Opening of the contact 30311 deenergizes the relay 260 to open the contact 260C (circuit branch 209) and deenergize the platen motor 120. Upon closure of contact 303a, the clamp positioning motor 44 is once again energized and now drives the clamp 16 downward through the smoothing jaws 63 and 64 to its first position at which it contacts and opens a normally closed limit switch 304 (circuit branch 214) to deenergize the relay 296 (circuit branch 214). Consequently, the contact 296a (circuit branch 213) opens and terminates operation of the motor 44 and a normally closed contact 296b (circuit branch 211) of the relay 269 closes to energize a timer 305 through the closed contact 301b. The clamp 16 is held in this position for a preselected time of from 1 to 4 seconds which is counted by the timer 305 so that the binding material between the smoothing jaws 63 and 64 and the stock will have time to set. After the preset time has elapsed the contact 305a (circuit branch 214) of the timer 305 closes to energize a second set of windings 77b of the motor 77 (circuit branch 214) to open the clamp 16. The clamp 16 opens until the second clamp member contacts and opens a normally closed limit switch 307 (circuit branch 214), thereby turning off the motor 77 and completing the binding cycle for the first station 12.

While the present invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, modifications thereof will be evident to one skilled in the art which can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, while for the most secure bond with presently available adhesives it is preferred to score the spine edge of a stack of sheets to be bound, more inexpensive machines may be made which afford lesser degrees of adhesion in which this step is accomplished by abrading the spine edge as with sandpaper moved into contact with the spine edge on the housing 37, or is eliminated. Thus the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiment disclosed herein, but only by the scope of the claims.

We claim:

1. A machine for binding a stack of sheets by applying a strip of flexible heat softenable binding material to a spine edge of the stack, said machine including:

a frame; first and second clamps each having two clamp members relatively movable between an open position affording manual insertion of a said stack of sheets between said clamp members and a clamping position adapted to clamp a said stack of sheets between said clamp members on opposite surfaces thereof;

cutter means adapted for transversely scoring the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in either of said clamps when its clamp members are in said clamping position, said cutter means being mounted on said frame for movement along a cutter path from a disengaged position between said clamps in a first direction to afford cutting engagement with the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in said first 14 clamp and in a second opposite direction to afford cutting engagement with the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in said second clamp;

a platen having a support surface, said platen being mounted onsaid frame. for movement from a receiving positionbetween said clamps to a first applying position with said support surface adjacent the spine edge-of a saidstack of sheets in said first clamp and in an opposite direction to a second applying position with said support surface adjacent the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in said second clamp;

dispensing means adapted for dispensing a said strip of binding material to the support surface of said platen when the platen is at said receiving position;

means for heating said support surface adapted to heat and soften a said strip of binding material on said support surface; and

means affording relative movement between either one of said clamps and said platen when said platen is adjacent the clamp for pressing the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in the clamp into engagement with a said strip of heated binding material on said support surface.

2. A machine according to claim 1, wherein each one of said clamps is mounted on said frame for independent movement along a clamp path between a first position and a second. position, said cutter means is adapted to engage a said stack of sheets in either one of the clamps upon movement along the cutter path toward that clamp when the clamp is in the first position, said platen is movable to the applying position to position a said strip of binding material thereon in closely spaced relationship from the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in either one of the clamps when the clamp is in said second position, and said machine further includes;

biasing means for biasing each of said clamps toward said first position when the clamp is in said second position;

clamp operating means coupled to each of said clamps for moving said clamp members between said open position and said clamping position;

cutter drive means for cycling said cutter means along said cutter path from said disengaged position to afford cutting engagement with the spine edge of a said stack in either one of said clamps and back to said disengaged position;

platen drive means for moving said platen between said receiving position and said applying position;

clamp positioning means coupled to each one of said clamps for sequentially (1) moving the clamp from said first position to said second position, (2) allowing movement of the clamp toward said first position to afford emgagement between the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in said clamp and a said strip of binding material on said platen under the influence of said biasing means when said platen is in said applying position, (3) moving said clamp to said second position, and (4) returning said clamp to said first position; and

control means for operating said clamp operating means, cutter drive means, dispensing means, platen drive means and clamp positioning means to initially position one of said clamps at said first position with its clamp members in the open position, said cutter means in the disengaged position, and said platen in said receiving position, and upon manual insertion of a said stack of sheets in the clamp sequentially to (b move the clamping members to the clamping position, (2) cycle said cutter means to transversely groove the spine edge of the stack of sheets, (3) move the clamp to the second position and dispense a said strip of the binding material to said platen, (4) move said platen to said applying position adjacent the clamp, (5) allow movement of the clamp towardsaid first position to engage the spine edge of the stack of sheets with the heated strip of binding material, (6) return the clamp to said second position and said platen to said receiving position, (7) move the clamp to said first position, and (8) move the clamping members to said release position to afford manual removal of the bound stack.

3. A machine according to claim 2, wherein said dispensing means is adapted to dispense a said strip of binding material having a predetermined width which is wider than the width of the spine edge of a said stack to which it is to be applied, and includes means to position a said dispensed strip of binding material on said heated support surface to center said strip of binding material beneath the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in the adjacent clamp when said platen is in said applying position; and said machine further includes jaw means positioned on said frame along the clamp path of each one of said clamps adapted for engagement with the edges of a said strip of binding material extending beyond the spine edge of a said stack of sheets in the clamp to press said edges into engagement with the adjacent surfaces of the stack of sheets upon movement of the clamp from said second position to said first position.

4. A machine according to claim 1, wherein each clamp in said machine further includes:

a plate having a contact surface and being mounted on said frame for movement between a first position with said contact surface extending across an end of said clamp members to engage the spine edge of a said stack of sheets inserted between said clamp members when the clamp members are in the open position, and a second position with said contact surface spaced from said end of the clamp members, said plate being adapted for engagement by said cutter means to move said plate toward said 16 second position upon movement of said cutter means along said cutter path toward the clamp; and means for biasing said plate toward said first position. 5. A machine according to claim 1, wherein said dispensing means comprises:

a hopper adapted to receive a roll of said binding material, said hopper including means adapted for rotatably mounting a said roll of said binding material in said hopper, and wall means for providing a guide chute for an end of a roll of binding material rotatably mounted in said hopper, said guide chute having an outlet end adjacent one side of said support surface when said platen is in the receiving position;

a knife;

means mounting said knife for movement along the outlet end of said guide chute to sever a said strip of binding material projecting beyond said outlet end of the guide chute;

a pair of rollers rotatably mounted on opposite sides of the guide chute and adapted for driving engagement with the opposite surfaces of a said end of a said roll of said binding material in the guide chute;

roller drive means for rotating said rollers to drive the end of said roll of binding material through said guide chute;

support plates projecting toward each other from opposite ends of said hopper between said hopper and said platen to receive a said strip of binding material severed by said knife; and

means on said platen adapted to engage and remove a said strip of binding material from said support plates upon movement of said platen from said receiving position toward one of said applying positions.

6. A machine according to claim 1, wherein said machine further includes means coupled between the clamp members for each of said clamps and said dispensing means to operate said dispensing means for a time proportionate to the spacing between said clamp members in said clamping position to dispense a said strip of binding material having a width proportionate to the thickness of a said stack of sheets in said clamp.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification156/364, 412/37, 412/16, 156/583.7, 412/900, 156/535, 156/510, 156/538, 156/908, 156/368
International ClassificationB42C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S156/908, B42C9/0068, Y10S412/90
European ClassificationB42C9/00C1B