US 3623722 A
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Christer Sjogren River Edge;
 Inventors 3,565,423 2/1971 John R Green, west Milford both of NJ. Primary Exammer-Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Alfred N. Goodman Attorney-Ostrolenk. Faber, Gerb & Sofi'en ABSTRACT: A stream diverter for signature streams and the like including a mechanism for gripping and temporarily halting the stream to form a gap therein. Sensing means, upon den w o olmw w n 8 99 lllm L mm OOUOBI.
6ANAS a de N mm
. n i 00 P i P mas AFPA tection of the presence of the gap in a predetermined location, activates a deflector bar and a pivotable roller assembly to move the cooperating diverter elements between either an upper or lower position for diverting the signature stream to either an upper or lower conveyor level, respectively. lm-
R m E I. m n E II D m M m A n E m R n T m S n R m C n n m Wm w w 5" mm T0 U AUU 4 2 U 1| 198/133, 271/77  lat. B65h 29/58 mediately after movement of the pivotal roller assembly and  Field of [98/66, deflector lever, the gripping means is released to permit the 133; 27l/64, 77, 78; 93/93 R. 93 C, 93 DP flow of signatures to resume. The diverter is adapted to operate in either direction with equal effectiveness.
AUTOMATIC SWITCH FOR STREAM DIVERTER The present invention relates to conveyors and more particularly to a novel stream diverter for signatures and the like, including means for momentarily halting the stream, shifting the conveyor mechanism for delivery of the signature stream to either an upper or lower conveyor level, and enabling the stream to resume its flow to the desired output conveyor.
Conveyor mechanisms find widespread use throughout a variety of industrial applications. In the publishing field, conveyors are normally employed for moving signatures and the like from one location to another. For example, newspapers and magazines, after completion of the printing and binding or collating operations, are normally fed in overlapping fashion from the printing press location to a remote location where the signatures are typically counted, stacked and tied. Numerous occasions arise where it is desirable and often necessary to provide automatic means for rapidly diverting the signature stream from one conveyor to another. For example, it may be desired to alternate the signature stream flow between two output facilities (such as stacking devices). As another example, it may be desired to normally deliver the signature stream to a first conveyor and upon detection of a damaged or misaligned signature, to divert the stream to a second conveyor facility for removal of the damaged or misaligned copy (or copies). Once the misaligned or damaged copies are removed, it is then desired to return the signature stream to the normal output conveyor facility. As another example, in the case where the flow rate of the signature stream may be increased to the point where the stacker facility is incapable of stacking signatures at a rate at least as rapid as the flow rate, the diverter may be employed to divert the stream or a portion thereof to an auxiliary or spare stacker facility.
A number of stream diverter facilities exist in the prior art. However, it has been found that the prior art stackers are incapable of operating as a true two-way diverter, in that they are incapable of switching from a first to a second position and then automatically switching back to the first position.
The present invention is characterized by providing a novel stream diverter facility capable of delivering a signature stream normally fed in overlapping fashion to either one of two output conveyors and for automatically switching in either of two directions between the two output conveyors.
The present invention is comprised of an input conveyor facility and first and second output conveyor facilities positioned downstream relative to the input conveyor. A pivotally mounted roller assembly and deflector lever assembly are arranged between the input conveyor and the first and second output conveyors and are each movable between first and second positions to divert the incoming signature stream to either of the output conveyor facilities in a rapid and automatic fashion and under control of a gap sensing device.
A reciprocally mounted clamping mechanism is positioned in close proximity to the input conveyor and is normally maintained in an unclamped position. In the case where it is desired to divert the stream from the output conveyor to which the stream is being delivered to the opposite output conveyor, a control signal causes the clamping device to rapidly clamp the overlapping signatures moving past the clamping device so as to form a gap in the stream as it moves along the input conveyor. Means are provided for detecting the presence of the gap so as to operate the deflector lever and pivotable roller assembly from its existing position to the desired position as soon as the gap in the stream moves to the position occupied by the deflection lever and pivotable roller assembly. These components are operated to their new position in a rapid fashion, at which time the signal control signal causing the operation of the diverting mechanism is also employed to simultaneously move the clamping mechanism to the unclamped position, thereby allowing the signature stream to resume its movement whereby the pivotable roller assembly and deflection lever cooperate to deliver the stream to the desired output conveyor facility.
The diverting of the stream may occur as a result of a signal indicating damaged or misaligned signatures or may be employed to divert the signature stream between the two output conveyor facilities in a predetermined alternating fashion.
It is, therefore, one object of the present invention to provide a novel stream diverter facility for diverting the flow of signatures in either direction between the two output conveyor facilities.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel stream diverter for diverting an incoming signature stream of overlapping signatures in either direction between first and second output conveyor facilities whereby the signature stream is momentarily halted, the stream diverting components are actuated, and the signature stream is permitted to resume delivery in an automatic and rapid fashion.
These as well as other objects of the present invention will become apparent when reading the accompanying description and drawings in which:
FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views showing the stream diverter facility of the present invention.
FIGS. 3 and 3a are elevational and top plan views, respectively, of the stream diverter facility of FIGS. I and 2.
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the system of FIGS. 1-31: showing the various conveyor belt arrangements.
The stream diverter apparatus 10 of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-4 as being comprised of an input conveyor section 11. Signatures (for example, newspapers) are delivered to the diverter apparatus from the left-hand end relative to FIG. 3 and are moved in the direction shown by arrow 12. The signatures 13 are arranged in overlapping fashion with their folded edges 13a aligned in the downstream direction as shown. The signatures are supported and conveyed by means of the input conveyor section 11 comprised of pivotally mounted rollers l4, l5 and 16. A plurality of spring wire belts 17 are arranged in spaced parallel fashion within grooves 14a provided in roller 14 and are entrained about roller 14 and at least one cooperating roller (not shown) spaced by a predetermined distance to the left of roller 14. The spring belts move in the direction shown by arrow 12 and roller 14 rotates in the clockwise direction (relative to FIG. 3) to deliver the signature stream to the diverter apparatus.
In a manner similar to that described hereinabove, rollers 14 and 15 are provided with a plurality of spring belts 18 which are arranged in spaced parallel fashion and are entrained about rollers 14 and 15 for conveyance of the signature stream in a manner similar to that described hereinabove.
Rollers I5 and 16 are likewise provided with a plurality of spring belts l9 entrained about these rollers. Rotation of the rollers is imparted by a mechanism to be more fully described.
A clamping mechanism 20 is positioned in close proximity to the input conveyor section 11 and is comprised of shaft 21 joumaled within bearings 22 and 23 (note especially FIG. 3a), which bearings are secured by suitable fastening means to a pair of upright plates 24 and 25, respectively. A pair of angle arms 26 and 27 have their first ends 264 and 27a rigidly secured to free wheeling shaft 21 by means of suitable drive pins. The downwardly depending arms are each provided with resilient grippers 28 and 29, respectively, which cooperate with the grippers of a second pair of clamping members, to be more fully described.
As shown best in FIG. I, a second shaft 30 has its ends journaled in a pair of bearings which are secured to support plates 24 and 25 and are arranged to lie beneath the signature stream 13. FIGS. 1 and 3 show one such bearing 31 fastened to support plate 24.
A second pair of angle arms are secured at spaced intervals to shaft 30 so as to be in alignment with their associated arms 26 and 27. For example, FIG. 3 shows one arm 32 whose upright arm portion is provided with a resilient gripping member 33 which cooperates with gripping member 28 when the gripper assembly is in the clamping position. The remaining pair of arms cooperatively operate in a similar fashion. It should be understood that the lower pair of arms are rigidly secured to the free wheeling shaft 30 in a manner similar to that described above with regard to arms 26 and 27.
During normal operation, the upper and lower pairs of arms are displaced from the signature stream to permit free movement thereof along the top surface of spring belts 19. For example, considering FIG. 3, upper arm 26 occupies the dotted line position 26' and lower arm 32 occupies the dotted line position 32', during free unimpeded movement of the signature stream along spring belts 19.
The mechanism for operating the clamping assembly 20 is comprised of an air cylinder 34 having a first end thereof pivotally connected to a mounting bracket 35 which, in turn, is secured to a bracket 36 which is secured to and suspended from the main frame 37 of the diverter assembly.
The air cylinder 34 is provided with a reciprocally mounted piston (not shown) coupled to a piston rod 38 whose forward free end is connected by pivot pin 39 to an angle arm 40. The opposite end of angle arm 40 is comprised of a fixed solid block 41 having an opening for receiving shaft 30 and is further provided with a suitable set screw (not shown) for rigidly clamping block 41 to shaft 30. Block 41 is further provided with a projecting arm 42 whose free end is connected by a pivot pin 43 to a tie rod 44 having its upper end pivotally coupled to arm 46 by means of a pivot pin 45. The opposite end of arm 46 is comprised of a solid block portion 47 having an opening for receiving shaft 21 and is provided with a suitable set screw (not shown) for rigidly clamping block 47 to shaft 21.
The operation of the clamping mechanism 20 is as follows: to the opening 340 of air cylinder 34 to drive compressed air into the cylinder and thereby cause the piston (not shown) and piston rod 38 to move in a direction shown by arrow 48. This causes arm 40 to pivot about the longitudinal axis of shaft 30. Arm 40, which is rigidly secured to shaft 30, causes clockwise rotation of shaft 30 (relative to FIG. 3) to operate the lower arm 32 (for example) from the solid line position to the dotted line position 32'. Simultaneously therewith, arm 42 rotates clockwise about the central axis of shaft 30 imparting a generally diagonally upward movement of connecting rod 44 in a direction shown by arrow 49. This movement causes rotation of arm 46 in the counterclockwise direction (relative to FIG. 3) thereby rotating arm 46, shaft 21 and the arms 26 and 27 in unison. Thus, for example, arm 26 (see FIG. 3) moves from the solid line position of FIG. 3 to the dotted line position 26'. The air cylinder 34 thereby moves the cooperating pairs of anns by a suitable distance away from the signature stream to permit unimpeded flow of the stream.
The clamping operation is performed in the reverse manner whereby negative pressures applied to the air cylinder 34 cause the parts to move in the reverse direction whereby, for example, arms 32 and 26 move from their dotted line positions to the solid line positions 32 and 26, respectively, causing their gripping members 28 and 33 to firmly grip four or five of the signatures passing therethrough (as a result of the fact that the signatures are arranged in overlapping fashion) to momentarily halt the delivery of signatures beyond the location of the clamping members. It should be understood that both cooperating pairs of clamping members operate in an identical fashion to provide uniform gripping and clamping of the signature stream across the width of the stream diverter.
Each of the gripping members are provided with deflecting members 50 and 51 for guiding the signature stream flowing toward the clamping members (when in the closed position) to cause the bent forward edges of the signatures to be directed towards the gripping members 28 and 23 (for example). Considering FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that the upper arms 26 and 27 have welded to their rear ends the upper ends 50a and 51a of deflector members 50 and 51 whose main body portions are diagonally aligned relative to the horizontal plane when the arms 26 and 27 are in the clamping position. Each arm is provided with a small bent portion 50b at its free end, which bent portion is substantially horizontally aligned. As was previously described hereinabove, the pair of deflecting members 50 and 51 are arranged to guide or deflect the incoming signature stream downwardly toward the spring belts 18 and 19 during a brief interval in which the signature stream is clamped so as to cause the signatures delivered to the stream diverter to remain in close proximity to the spring belts l8 and 19 during the clamping operation.
The stream diverting section 60 is comprised of a pair of upright support plates 61 and 62 which are provided to support a plurality of rollers. The upper ends of plates 61 and 62 are arranged to support roller 63 which is rigidly secured to shaft 64 whose opposite ends are journaled in bearings 65 and 66, which bearings are mounted to support plates 61 and 62 by suitable fastening means.
A pair of diagonally aligned support plates 67 and 68 are rigidly mounted to support plates 61 and 62, respectively, by fastening means such as, for example, the fastening means 69 shown in FIG. 3 which secure support plate 68 to upright 62. Members 67 and 68 support a stationary (i.e., the nonrotating) shaft 69 which, in turn, is provided with a free wheeling roller 70.
Support plates 61 and 62 also support a shaft 71 having its opposite ends journaled within suitable bearings. For example, FIGS. 2 and 3 show one such bearing 72 which is secured to plate 62 by suitable fastening means.
The pivotable roller assembly 75, which is one major component of the diverter mechanism, is comprised of a pair of substantially trapezoidal shaped plates. H68. 3 and 3a show the plates 76 and 77 which are provided with a first set of suitable openings for receiving shaft 71. The plates 76 and 77 are provided with bearings 78 and 79, respectively, which mount plates 76 and 77 to shaft 71 in a free wheeling manner. A first pair of suitable openings are provided in plates 76 and 77 for mounting a nonrotating shaft 80. Shaft 80, in turn, is provided with a pair of outer rollers 81 and 82 and a pair of inner rollers 83 and 84 which are of greater length than the rollers 81 and 82. Each of these pairs of rollers are provided with bearings 81a-84a, respectively, to mount the rollers to shaft in a free wheeling manner. Spacer members 85-89 are positioned between and among the rollers and a pair of collars and 91, which collars are keyed to shaft 80 to hold the roller assemblies and spacers in their appropriate positions along shaft 80. A similar shaft and roller assembly comprised of shaft 92, rollers 93-96, spacers 97-101 and collars 102 and 103, is secured between pivotally mounted plates 76 and 77 in a manner similar to the shaft 80 and its associated rollers, spacers and collars. Shaft 92 is positioned below and slightly to the left of shaft 80, as can best be seen in FIGS. 3 and 3a.
The mechanism for operating the pivotally mounted roller assembly 75 is comprised of an air cylinder 105 having a first end thereof pivotally connected to a mounting bracket 107 by means of a pivot pin 106. The air cylinder is provided with a reciprocally mounted piston (not shown) connected to a piston rod 108 whose free end is provided with a bifurcated member 109 having a pair of arms 109a and 109b receiving a shaft 110 which pivotally connects the bifurcated member 109 to one end of a connecting rod 111, whose opposite end is connected to a downwardly depending arm 112 by pivot pin 113. The upper end of arm 1 12 is provided with a solid rectangular shaped portion 114 rigidly secured to a shaft 1 15. Block 114 is further provided with an integrally formed short arm 1140 having a keyhole shaped opening 114b for receiving shaft 1 16 which is provided with a small projection 1160 to be fitted within and conform to the shape of the keyhole l14b.
The opposite end of shaft 116 is provided with a similar small projection 11612 which together with shaft 1 16 fits within a similar keyhole shaped opening 117a provided within an arm 117. The opposite end of arm 117 is integrally mounted to a square shaped block 1 18 having an opening for receiving shaft 1 16. Block 1 18 is rigidly secured to shaft 116.
A'plurality of deflection fingers 119a-119e are each provided with suitable openings (not shown) for receiving shaft 116. The deflection fingers are arranged at spaced intervals along shaft 116 and are preferably welded to shaft 116 so as to move in unison therewith.
The operation of the deflection members and pivotally mounted roller assembly is as follows:
Let it be assumed that the deflection members 119 are in the solid line position, as shown in FIG. 3, and that the pivotally mounted roller assembly 75 is likewise positioned so that the plate 77 is in its solid line position as shown. In this position, the air cylinder 105, which receives air under compression, causes its piston (not shown) to be moved near its right-hand end (relative to FIGS. 3 and 3a) to cause the piston rod 108 to be moved to the position shown best in FIG. 3a. In this position, connecting rod 111 maintains arm 112 in the substantially vertical position, as shown best in FIG. 3. Thus, deflecting fingers 119 are maintained in the solid line position shown in FIG. 3.
The bifurcated member 109 is mechanically linked to a triangular shaped plate 120 which is provided with an opening near its right-hand end for receiving and being rigidly secured to shaft 92. The left-hand corner of triangular shaped member 120 is pivotally connected to bifurcated member 109 by means of shaft 110. The upper comer of triangular shaped member 120 receives and is rigidly secured to shaft 121 which has its left and right-hand ends rigidly secured to plates 76 and 77 by suitable fastening means 122,122. Thus, the state of air cylinder 105 (with piston rod 108 in a solid line position as shown in FIG. 3a) maintains the pivotally mounted roller assembly so that plate 77, for example, is retained in its solid line position.
Roller 72, rollers 81-83 and rollers 93-95 cooperate with a roller 125 (to be more fully described) to form a cooperating roller assembly having spring belts 126 entrained about these rollers (see FIG. 4) to form a stream conveying section which functions to convey signatures there along to deliver the signature stream to either the upper or lower output conveyor sections (to be more fully described) depending upon the position of the primary components of the diverted assembly. With the pivotally mounted roller assembly in the position whereby plate 77, for example, is in the solid line position as shown best in FIG. 3, the spring belts 126 support the signature stream as they pass along spring belts 19 to deliver the signature stream to the upper conveyor section to be more fully described. The deflection fingers 119 are so designed as to have their upper surfaces lying slightly below the portions of the spring belts 126 extending between rollers 72 and rollers 81-84. Thus, the deflection fingers 119 do not interfere with the conveyance of the signature stream to the upper output conveyor section and, in fact, fit between the gaps provided between the rollers 81-84 so as to bridge the short gap between the upper output conveyor section (to be more fully described) and the portion of the spring belts 126 extending between rollers 72 and 81-84.
Let it now be assumed that the driving source for air cylinder 105 exerts negative pressure upon cylinder 105. With the exertion of negative pressure upon air cylinder 105, the piston (not shown) contained therein, moves toward the left causing the piston and piston rod 108 to likewise move toward the left (relative to FIGS. 3 and 3a). This movement is mechanically linked to the triangular shaped plate 120 through shaft 110, causing the end plates 76 and 77 to rotate clockwise (relative to FIG. 3) about shaft 71 so as to move the plates and their associated rollers and shafts to the dotted line position represented by plate 77 It can clearly be seen that the rollers 81-84 mounted upon shaft 80 move to a point well below the horizontal plane occupied by spring belts 19 to form a gap at this point. Roller assemblies 93-96 act to maintain the required tension on spring belts 126, regardless of the position of pivoting roller assembly 75.
Simultaneously therewith, the movement of piston rod 108 toward the left is coupled through connecting rod 111 and arm 112 to cause short projecting arms 114a and 117 to rotate clockwise about shaft 115 thereby moving the deflection fingers from the solid line position 119 to the dotted line position 119', shown in FIG. 3. The simultaneous operation of the pivotally mounted roller assembly 75 and the deflection fingers 119 causes a gap to be formed in the previous conveying direction of the signature stream. The bent forward ends of the signatures 13 are thus caused to strike up against the lower edges of deflection fingers 1 19' so as to be guided downwardly to a lower output conveyor section to be more fully described.
The pivotally mounted roller assembly 75 and deflection finger assembly comprised of deflection fingers 119 are prevented from being operated until the gap in the signature stream is formed by the clamping members.
A gap sensing apparatus is comprised of a housing 180 which is secured to a supporting strut 181. Supporting strut 181 has its opposite ends mounted to upright support plates 61 and 62. An angle arm 183 is employed as the means for mounting housing 180 to plate 181. Housing 180 is provided with a combined light source and light detector element 184 whereby the light source directs light downwardly in the direction shown by arrow 185. Prior to a stream diverting operation, the light reflected from the signatures of the stream passing beneath light rays 185 is insufi'icient to cause the operation of the photodetector element.
As soon as a stream diverting operation is called for, air cylinder 34 is operated to cause the clamping devices to clamp the signature stream in the manner previously described. Those signatures which lie downstream of the clamping members 28 and 33, shown in FIG. 3, will be free to move along spring belts 19 so as to be delivered to the output conveyor section to which the signature stream was previously being delivered prior to the initiation of a stream diverting operation. As soon as the rearward edge of the last signature to clear the clamping members 28-33 passes beyond the light rays 185, light rays 185 will be free to strike a reflector plate 186 supported upon bracket 187 and support arm 188 which causes the light ray striking the reflector plate to be reflected back toward the detection unit and be picked up by the photodetection element (see arrow 185'). The upper surface of reflector plate 186 is preferably highly reflective so as to cause substantially all the light impinging upon the reflector plate to be reflected vertically upward and thereby strike the photodetector element. The intensity of the reflected light is now sufficient to cause energization of the photodetector element which generates an enabling pulse to initiate operation of the air pressure source which operates air cylinder 105.
The enabling pulse also initiates the air pressure source (not shown) which controls the operation of air cylinder 34 to cause the clamping devices to release the signature stream. Even through the diverting components (assembly 75 and deflection fingers 119) are being operated simultaneously with the opening of the clamping members, the diverting members will have moved into their new position prior to the time that the signature stream, after having been unclamped, will arrive in the vicinity of the stream diverting components.
As an alternative arrangement to that described hereinabove, the air cylinders 34 and may each be provided with a pair of inlet openings (not shown) located near the ends of each air cylinder. One of the openings is designed to receive air under pressure to operate its associated piston in a first direction, while the remaining opening is adapted to receive air under pressure to drive its associated piston in the reverse direction.
An additional conveyor guiding section which cooperates with the deflection fingers 119 is comprised of rollers 70, 63 and 127. Roller 172 is mounted in a free wheeling manner upon shaft 128 which has its ends rigidly secured to a pair of upright arms 129 and which, in turn, are rigidly secured to the main frame 37 of the apparatus.
A first plurality of spring belts 131 are entrained about rollers 70 and are arranged at spaced intervals, as can best be seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. A second plurality of spring belts 132 are entrained about rollers 63 and 127 and are arranged in substantially spaced parallel fashion as can best be seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The manner in which these rollers and spring belts are driven will be more fully described. However, it can clearly be seen that when the deflection fingers are in their upper position, as shown by the dotted line representation 119', the forward free ends of the deflection fingers extend slightly above the lower portions of spring belts 132 thereby causing spring belts 131 and 132 and the lower edges of deflection fingers 119' to act as a guiding means for guiding the signature stream generally downwardly and to the right when the deflection fingers and the pivotally mounted plates occupy the positions 1 19' and 77', respectively.
When these members are in their opposite positions, as represented by designating numerals 119 and 77 in FIG. 3, spring belts 131 and 132 act to guide the signatures generally downwardly so as to cause them to be delivered in a uniform manner from spring belts 19 and 126 to the upper output conveyor section, to be more fully described.
The upper output conveyor section is comprised of shaft 115 (which was previously described) having a plurality of free wheeling roller sections l33a-133l having bearings 134a-134I, respectively, enabling these roller sections to be free wheelingly mounted upon shaft 115. The upper output conveyor section is further comprised of shafts 135 and 136 each of which has mounted thereto a roller 137 and 138, respectively. Shaft 135 is provided with bearings 139 and 140 for mounting shaft 135 in a free wheeling manner. Bearings 139 and 140 are secured to the machine frame 37 by suitable fastening means. in a like manner, shaft 136 is provided with bearings 14] and 142 for mounting shaft 136 in a free wheeling manner. The bearings 141 and 142 are rigidly secured to the machine frame 37 by similar fastening means. A roller 143 is mounted between opposing sides of the main frame 37 so as to rotate in a free wheeling manner and so as to cooperate with selected spring belts, as will be more fully described. A plurality of spring belts 144 are entrained about roller 138 and selected ones of the roller sections 13311-1331, as shown best in FIG. 4.
A group of spring belts 145 are entrained about roller 137 and the remaining ones of roller sections 133a-133k so as to form a guiding conveying section for the lower output conveyor section in a manner to be more fully described.
Still another plurality of spring belts 146 are entrained about rollers 137 and 143 for the purpose of preventing signatures passing beneath roller 137 from curling around roller 137. Slots 137a in frame 37 are provided for adjusting the position of roller 137 to accommodate signatures of varying thickness.
The roller 138, in addition to receiving the spring belts 144, which are entrained about roller 138 and selected ones of the roller sections 1330-1331 further receives and has entrained thereabout, spring belts 174 which cooperate with rollers 138 and 147 to feed the signature stream delivered to the upper output conveyor section to a utilization device which may, for example, be a signature stacker.
Previously mentioned roller 125 is mounted upon shaft 148 which has its opposite ends journaled within bearings 149 and 150, which bearings are rigidly fastened to the apparatus main frame 37 by suitable fastening means. As was previously mentioned, spring belts 126 are entrained about roller 125, roller sections 81-84, roller 72 and roller sections 93-96. in addition thereto, roller 125 has a group of spring belts 151 entrained about roller 125 and roller 152 which forms a portion of the lower output conveyor section to convey the signature stream to a second output utilization device which may, for example, be a signature stacker.
OVERALL OPERATION A brief summary of the operation of the stream diverter will now be given in connection with the upper and lower output conveyor sections.
Let it first be assumed that the incoming signature stream delivered to spring belts 18 are to be diverted to the'upper output conveyor section. Assuming that the appropriate operation of the clamping and diverter assemblies (which operation was described hereinabove in detail) has already taken place, the signature stream will pass over spring belts 18, spring belts 126, the very short gap covered by deflection members 119, spring belts 144 and spring belts 174. During this operation,
spring belts 131 and 132 act to guide the signature stream downwardly along the above mentioned horizontal path.
Let it now be assumed that the signature stream is to be guided to the lower output conveyor section. 1n this description it will again be assumed that the stream diverting operation (described hereinabove in detail) has taken place. With the appropriate stream diverting operation having been completed, the signature stream passes along conveyor belts l8 and is guided downwardly by the joint cooperation of spring belts 131 and 132 and the lower edges of deflection fingers 119' so as to be conveyed upon the portion of spring belts 126 which extend between roller 72 and roller 125. With the signature stream moving in this direction, spring belts 145 operate very much in the fashion as spring belts belts 131 and 132 to form a tapering guideway for the signature stream which compresses the signature stream between spring belts 126 (extending between rollers 72 and and spring belts 145. The signature stream then exits between spring belts 126 and to move along spring belts 151 where they are delivered to an output facility positioned adjacent the end of spring belts 151. Obviously, if desired, any length conveyor section may be employed between the output utilization devices provided at the ends of the upper and lower output conveyor sections with the exact length of conveyor sections being dependent only upon the needs of the particular user.
As an obvious alternative, one output utilization means may simply be a table upon which damaged or misaligned signatures may be collected. Obviously, either the upper or the lower output conveyor sections may be utilized as the normal conveyor section with the remaining output conveyor section being utilized as the alternate or spare conveyor section. In cases where the rate of delivery of the signature stream is greater than the output utilization means provided at any one of the upper or lower output conveyor sections (or for any other reason), timing means (not shown) may be provided for actuating the air cylinders previously described in an alternating fashion in order to feed signatures to the output utilization devices in an alternating fashion.
A motor 160, shown best in FIG. 1, is provided with an output shaft (not shown) which is coupled to the shaft 136 of roller 138 in order to move the spring belts 144 in the direction shown by arrow 12. This rotation is imparted to gear 161 provided at the opposite end of shaft 136 which meshes with gear chain 162. Gear chain 162 meshes with gear 161 and with the gears 163, 164, and 166. Gear 163 is mounted to shaft 71 carrying roller 72; gear 164 is mounted in a free wheeling manner upon shaft 167 which is adjustably secured within an elongated slot 168 in main frame 37 to maintain proper tension in gear chain 162; gear 165 is mounted to shaft 148 which carries roller 125; and gear 166 is mounted to shaft 135 which carries roller 137. Thus, with the rotation of gear 161 in the counterclockwise direction, as shown by arrow l6la, gears 163, 164 and 165 are likewise rotated in the counterclockwise direction (relative to FIG. 1) as shown by arrows 163a, 164a, 165a and 166a, respectively, so as to rotate their associated rollers in the associated directions. The rotation of shaft 135 in the clockwise direction (relative to FIG. 1) is imparted to shaft 64 (which carries roller 63) by means of a second gear 169 carried by shaft 135, a gear 170 carried by shaft 64 and a gear chain 171 entrained about gears 169 and 170. Since shaft 135 rotates in the clockwise direction as shown by arrow 1660, this rotation will be coupled to shaft 64 to cause it to likewise rotate in the clockwise direction as shown by arrow 64a. It is thus possible to appropriately drive the above mentioned rollers by means of a single motor through the use of the aforementioned gears and gear chains. Those rollers not directly driven by motor means 160 are caused to rotate as a result of the spring belts entrained about these rollers and their associated motor driven rollers. For example, the rotation of roller 63 which is driven by motor 160 through gear 161, chain drive 162, gear 166, shaft 135, gear 169, gear chain 171, gear 170 and shaft 64, causes its rotation to be imparted to rollers 127 and 70 by means of spring belts 132 and 131, respectively. This causes rollers 70 and 127 to rotate in the clockwise direction (relative to FIGS. 1 and 4) as shown by the arrows 70a and 127a, respectively, of HO. 4.
It can thus be seen that the present invention provides a novel two-way stream diverter mechanism which is capable of rapidly and automatically diverting a signature stream in either direction from of two output conveyor sections by means of a mechanism which momentarily clamps the incoming signature stream, blocking any further delivery thereof to form a gap in the otherwise continuous stream. The gap is detected by suitable detection means which prevents actuation of the deflection fingers and pivotaily mounted roller assembly until the gap moves above the immediate region of the deflection fingers and pivotally mounted roller assembly, at which time these members are then actuated to move to either one of their two possible positions whereby completion of their movement is immediately followed by a release of the clamping mechanism to permit the signature stream to resume its flow whereby the signature stream is diverted to the appropriate output conveyor section.
Although there has been described a preferred embodiment of this novel invention, many variations and modifications will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, this invention is to be limited, not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appending claims.
ll. The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive privilege or property is claimed are defined as follows:
1. Means for diverting the flow of a signature stream being delivered to the diverting means between a pair of output delivery means comprising an input conveyor section for supporting and moving said signature stream in a first direction;
clamping means located in said input conveyor section and having first and second cooperating clamping assemblies positioned above and below the plane occupied by said signature stream;
first means for moving said clamping assemblies toward one another to clamp selected signatures along said input conveyor section and for moving said clamping assemblies apart to permit unimpeded movement of signatures along said input conveyor section;
a pivotally mounted roller assembly positioned adjacent to the downstream end of said input conveyor section;
a stationary roller assembly positioned a spaced distance from the downstream end of said roller assembly;
conveyor belts being entrained around said pivotally mounted roller assembly and said stationary roller assembly for supporting and conveying the signature stream as it leaves said input conveyor section;
second means for moving said pivotally mounted roller assembly between a first horizontally aligned position and a second diagonally aligned position;
a first output conveyor section having its upstream end positioned a spaced distance from the downstream end of said pivotally mounted roller assembly, said first output conveyor section being adapted to support and convey the signature stream delivered thereto when said pivotally mounted roller assembly is in said first position;
a second output conveyor section positioned a spaced distance below said first output conveyor section and having an output roller assembly and conveyor belts entrained about said output roller assembly and said stationary roller assembly for supporting and conveying signatures delivered thereto when said pivotally mounted roller assembly is in said second position;
deflection means being pivotally mounted at its downstream end adjacent the upstream end of said first output conveyor section;
means coupled between said second means and said deflection means for moving the free end of said deflection means downwardly to a first position for spanning the gap between the upstream end of said first output conveyor section and the pivotally mounted roller assembly when said pivotally mounted roller assembly is moved to said first position and for moving the free end of said deflection means upwardly to a second position above the plane of movement of said signatures passing along said input conveyor section to deflect said signatures away from said first output conveyor section and toward said stationary roller assembly.
2. The diverter means of claim 1 further comprising means positioned downstream of said clamping means for detecting the gap formed in the signature stream by said clamping means to enable said second means to operate only after the last unclamped signature passes said detecting means.
3. The diverter means of claim 2 wherein said detecting means is comprised of a light source and photodetector means positioned to one side of the said plane of movement of said signature stream;
reflector means positioned to the opposite side of said plane of movement of said signature stream for reflecting light rays emitted from said light source toward said photodetector means when said last unclamped signature passes said detecting means.
4. The diverter means of claim 2 wherein said detecting means is comprised of a light source and photodetector means positioned on opposite sides of the said plane of movement of said signature stream;
said photodetector means being adapted to receive the light rays emitted from said light source when said last unclamped signature passes said detecting means.
5. The stream diverting means of claim 1 wherein said first clamping assembly is comprised of at least one arm pivotally mounted at one end above the plane of movement of said signature stream, the free end of said arm being directed toward said signature stream;
said second clamping assembly being comprised of at least one arm pivotally mounted at one end below the plane of movement of said signature stream, the free end of said arm being directed toward said signature stream.
6. The stream diverting means of claim 5 wherein said first moving means is comprised of an air cylinder having a reciprocally mounted piston;
a piston rod coupled to said piston;
a first connecting rod being coupled between one arm of one of said first and second clamping assemblies and said piston rod for moving its associated arm between the clamped and unclamped positions.
7. The stream diverting means of claim 6 further comprising a second connecting rod coupled between said first connecting rod and the arm of the remaining one of said first and second clamping assembly arms for operating its associated arm between said clamped and unclamped positions in unison with the arm of said one of said first and second clamping assemblies.
8. The stream diverting means of claim 1 further comprising a second air cylinder having a reciprocally mounted piston;
a piston rod coupled to said piston;
means for pivotally coupling the free end of said piston rod to said pivotally mounted roller assembly.
9. The stream diverting means of claim 8 wherein said means for moving said deflection means is comprised of a connecting rod coupled between said deflection means and the free end of said piston rod to operate said deflection means in unison with said pivotally mounted roller assembly.
10. The stream diverting means of claim 1 further comprising a guiding conveyor section positioned a spaced distance above said first output conveyor section and said pivotally mounted roller assembly and having at least a portion thereof confronting said first output conveyor section being downwardly inclined from its upstream end toward its downstream end for guiding the signature stream to pass along said first output conveyor section.
11. The stream diverting means of claim 10 wherein said deflection means is comprised of a plurality of deflection fingets;
said guiding conveyor section being comprised of at least two spaced parallel roller assemblies having a plurality of conveyor belts entrained about said roller assemblies in spaced parallel fashion;
the forward free ends of said deflection fingers being adapted to extend between said conveyor belts when in said upward position whereby said inclined portion cooperates with said deflection fingers to guide the signature stream toward said second output conveyor section.
12. The stream diverting means of claim 1 further comprising a stream compressing conveyor section having at least a pair of spaced parallel roller assemblies and a plurality of conveyor belts entrained around said roller assemblies;
said compressing conveyor section and the portion of the conveyor belts extending between said pivotally mounted roller assembly and said stationary roller assembly cooperating to form a guide path for the signature stream which tapers to form a narrow exit path at the downstream end of said compressing conveyor section.
13. The stream diverting means of claim 1 further comprising a conveyor driving motor;
means coupled between the output of said motor and said input and first and second output conveyor sections for conveying said signature stream between its input and output ends.
14. The stream diverting means of claim 1 wherein said pivotally mounted roller assembly is comprised of a pair of spaced parallel support plates;
first, second and third roller assemblies arranged in spaced parallel fashion in a triangular arrangement;
a shaft for pivotally supporting the upstream ends of said support plates;
a second shaft mounted between said support plates and being connected to said first drive means;
said conveyor belts being entrained around said first,
second and third roller assemblies and said stationary roller assembly.
15. The stream diverting means of claim 14 wherein the roller assembly of said pivotally mounted roller assembly positioned in close proximity to said deflection means is comprised of a plurality of split roller sections arranged at spaced intervals along a shaft;
said deflection means being comprised of a plurality of deflection fingers having their free ends adapted to be positioned in the gaps between adjacent roller sections of the split roller assembly when signatures are being delivered to said first output conveyor section to thereby enable the upper edges of the deflection fingers to lie slightly below the signature stream when the deflection fingers are spanning the gap between said split roller assembly and the upstream end of said first output conveyor section.
16. The stream diverting means of claim 1 wherein said signature stream is arranged in overlapping fashion.
17. A reversible stream diverter comprising first and second output conveyor sections each being adapted to support and convey a signature stream delivered thereto;
said second output conveyor section being positioned a spaced distance beneath said first output conveyor section;
a third input conveyor section being adapted to support a signature stream and convey said signature stream downstream toward said first and second conveyor sections;
means adjacent said first conveyor section for temporarily clamping selected signatures in the stream being conveyed;
said first and second conveyor sections being substantially coplanar;
a fourth conveyor section comprised of at least first, second and third roller assemblies;
said first roller assembly being positioned adjacent the downstream end of said third conveyor section; said second roller assembly being positioned ad acent the upstream end of said second conveyor section;
said third roller assembly being movable between a first position adjacent to and coplanar with the upstream end of said first conveyor section and a second position below the upstream end of said first conveyor section;
deflection means having a downstream end pivotally mounted adjacent to the upstream end of said first conveyor section and being rotatably mounted to move between a first position whereby said fingers are substantially horizontally aligned to span the gap between said movable roller assembly and the upstream end of said first conveyor section and a second position whereby the free ends of said fingers extend above the conveying surface of said third conveyor section whereby the lower surfaces of said fingers guide the signature stream to said second conveyor section;
linking means coupled between said movable roller assembly and said deflection means for moving said deflection means to said first and second positions when said movable roller assembly is being respectively moved to its first and second positions.
Citas de patentes