Title:
Handling system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for the handling of paper products has a cross-stacker, a pressing module and a dispensing module which are arranged along a straight conveying path. A rotation device which permits a rotation of a stack of paper products by 180° is provided.



Inventors:
Gammerler, Gunter (Gelting, DE)
Meisel, Ronald (Kochel am See, DE)
Kunz, Peter (Geretsried, DE)
Schubart, Ralf Peter (Kochel am See, DE)
Application Number:
10/818665
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/06/2004
Assignee:
GAMMERLER AG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H31/30; (IPC1-7): B65H5/00; B65H31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCCULLOUGH, MICHAEL C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FITCH EVEN TABIN & FLANNERY, LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A system for handling of paper products supply in an overlapping stream, comprising: a cross-stacker for forming a stack of paper products with a plurality of part layers respectively rotated by 180°; a pressing module adjoining the cross-stacker and comprising a rotation device which permits rotation of the stack by 180°; and a dispensing module for presentation of the stack, wherein the cross-stacker, the pressing module and the dispensing module have conveying devices, which convey the stack from the cross-stacker along a straight conveying path up to the presentation.

2. A system in accordance with claim 1, characterized in that the cross-stacker has a conveying device which supplies the overlapping stream in the direction of the straight conveying path.

3. A system in accordance with claim 1, characterized in that the pressing module has an expulsion which extends at right angles to the straight conveying path.

4. A system in accordance with claim 1, characterized in that the pressing module has an electrostatic blocking device.

5. A system in accordance with claim 1, comprising a strapping device in the region of the pressing module or following the pressing module.

6. A pressing module for a system in accordance with claim 1, comprising a pressing device to press the stack in the vertical and/or horizontal direction, wherein the conveying device conveys the stack along the straight conveying path inside the pressing module.

7. A pressing module in accordance with claim 6, comprising an expulsion path which extends at right angles to the straight conveying path.

8. A pressing module in accordance with claim 6, comprising an electrostatic blocking device and/or a strapping device.

9. A method for handling of paper products supplied in an overlapping stream, comprising the following steps: a) conveying a plurality of products of a product stream of paper products into a cross-stacker and forming a stack including an even number of part layers arranged rotated by 180°; b) conveying the stack from the cross-stacker into a pressing module and compressing the stack and rotating the stack by 180°; and c) conveying the stack from the pressing module to a dispensing module and presentation of the stack, wherein the conveying of the stack from the cross-stacker up to the dispensing module takes place along a straight conveying path.

10. A method in accordance with claim 9, characterized in that the stacker in the pressing module is expelled at right angles to the conveying path in case of malfunction.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to a system for the handling of paper products supplied in an overlapping stream.

[0002] Such systems are generally known and serve to convey paper products provided with a fold, such as brochures or magazines, and to form stacks from the paper products which are subsequently presented for palletization or for further transport.

[0003] It is known in this connection to use so-called cross-stackers to form individual part stacks arranged rotated by 180° when forming the stack so that the paper products provided with a fold form a uniform stack in total. It is also known to compress the paper products formed into a stack which have left a cross-stacker with the help of a pressing device and, optionally, to strap them in order to obtain compact product stacks which can subsequently be palletized by a palletizing device, for example by a palletizing robot.

[0004] The overlapping stream of paper products conveyed to a cross-stacker is generally conveyed such that the products are oriented in the conveying direction with the fold to the front. If a stack is subsequently formed on the cross-stacker which includes an even number of part layers, this has the consequence that the fold of the bottommost part layer is oriented counter to the conveying direction. If the stack were conveyed out of the cross-stacker in such an orientation, this could damage the bottommost product layer since the bottommost paper product is open to the front, i.e. in the direction of transport. It is therefore necessary to rotate the already completely formed stack by 180° again in the cross-stacker so that the fold of the bottommost layer is oriented toward the front in the conveying direction.

[0005] It is the object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and a method for the handling of paper products supplied in an overlapping stream with which an increased speed of handling is possible and reduced space requirements are needed for the installation of the handling system.

[0006] This object is satisfied by the features of the independent claims.

[0007] In accordance with the invention, the system for the handling of paper products has a cross-stacker, a pressing module adjacent to the cross-stacker and a dispensing module, with the cross-stacker, the pressing module and the dispensing module having conveying devices which convey the stack formed in the cross-stacker from the cross-stacker along a straight conveying path up to being presented in the region of the dispensing module. In other words, the stack is conveyed only in a linear manner in the region of the system, without a deflection of the stack by 90° taking place. Furthermore, a rotation device which permits a rotation of the stack by 180° is provided in the pressing module which is adjacent to the cross-stacker. The rotation procedure which is required when a stack has been formed with an even number of part layers can hereby by carried out outside the cross-stacker, whereby the cycle time can be substantially shortened. Since a further rotation of the formed stack which is carried out outside the cross-stacker in the pressing module can be omitted in accordance with the invention, the cycle time inside the cross-stacker, which is decisive for the handling system, can be reduced by approximately 25% so that an increase in the total cycle time by approximately 25% is possible with the system in accordance with the invention. At the same time, a particularly gentle handling of the product is ensured and only small space requirements are needed, since the stack of paper products formed in the cross-stacker is conveyed only along a straight conveying path which has no corner turns, curves or the like.

[0008] Advantageous embodiments of the invention are described in the description, in the drawing and in the dependent claims.

[0009] In accordance with a first advantageous embodiment, the cross-stacker has a conveying device which supplies the overlapping stream in the direction of the straight conveying path. With this variant, a particularly gentle product treatment results, on the one hand, and particularly low space requirements, on the other hand, since—starting from the conveying device—all handling modules are oriented along a straight line.

[0010] In accordance with a further advantageous embodiment, the pressing module can have an expulsion path which extends at right angles to the straight conveying path. It is advantageously possible hereby to expel product stacks to the side if a malfunction occurs in the region of the subsequent conveying path such that it is not necessary to stop the printing machine.

[0011] The pressing module in accordance with the invention has, in addition to the rotation device for the rotation of the stack by 180°, a pressing device which compresses the stack in the vertical and/or horizontal direction.

[0012] The present invention will be described in the following purely by way of example with reference to an advantageous embodiment and to the enclosed drawings. There are shown:

[0013] FIG. 1 a plan view of an embodiment of a system for the handling of paper products; and

[0014] FIG. 2 a perspective view of a pressing module.

[0015] FIG. 1 shows a system for handling paper products supplied in an overlapping stream comprising a cross-stacker 10, a pressing module 20, strapping devices 40 and a dispensing module 50. As FIG. 1 shows, in this process all modules are arranged along a straight conveying path.

[0016] The cross-stacker 10 has a conveying device 12 which supplies the overlapping stream of paper products in the direction of the straight conveying path with the fold at the front. The paper products then fall into a collection chute in the region of a stacking chamber 14 provided with a rotation device 15 and are stacked on top of one another there, with a plurality of part layers each rotated by 180° being formed with the help of the rotation device 15. Such cross-stackers are sufficiently known from the prior art. Purely by way of example, reference is made in this connection to the German patent application 198 00 162.2 of the present applicant whose content is taken into this application by reference.

[0017] The stack formed in the cross-stacker is conveyed by a conveying device, for example an ejector 16, provided in the region of the cross-stacker 10 in the direction of the straight conveying path to the pressing module 20 which compresses the stack of paper products and rotates it by 180° as required. The compressed stack is subsequently passed on to the strapping devices 40 with the help of conveying devices 24 (cf. FIG. 2) provided in the region of the pressing module, said strapping devices strapping the stack and conveying it on along the straight conveying path to the dispensing module 50 which presents the stack for palletization in the region of the straight conveying path.

[0018] FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the pressing module 20 in FIG. 1. The pressing module 20 has a base rack 22 which is provided with a plurality of conveying elements 24 to convey a product stack along the straight conveying path. A pressing unit 26 is provided in the upper region of the pressing module 20 and compresses the stack in the vertical direction after it has previously been aligned in the horizontal direction by lateral alignment plates 28.

[0019] A rotation device 30 is provided in the region of the pressing module 20 and permits a rotation of the stack located in the pressing module 20 about a vertical axis. In this process, the stack can be rotated by 180°.

[0020] An expulsion path 32 is provided at right angles to the conveying direction of the conveying devices 24, i.e. at right angles to the straight conveying path, and product stacks can be expelled with its aid onto an expulsion table 34 (FIG. 1) if a malfunction occurs subsequent to the pressing module 20 such that the printing machine does not have to be stopped. In this case, a product stack located in the region of the pressing module 20 is ejected transversely to the straight conveying path into the expulsion path 32 by an ejector.

[0021] An overlapping stream of paper products is conveyed via the conveying device 12 into the cross-stacker 10 with the fold at the front using the system shown in FIG. 1 for the handling of paper products, with a stack being formed from the individual paper products there which has a plurality of part layers each rotated by 180°. As soon as the stack formed inside the cross-stacker is complete, the stack is ejected from the stacking chamber 14 of the cross-stacker 10 with the help of the ejector 16, irrespective of whether the bottommost part layer is oriented with the fold to the front or to the rear.

[0022] The stack is subsequently conveyed into the pressing module 20 with the aid of the conveying device 24 of the pressing module 20 following the cross-stacker 10, is laterally aligned with the aid of the alignment plates 28 and is vertically compressed with the help of the pressing unit 26. If it is a case of a stack with an even number of part layers, the stack located in the pressing module 20 is rotated by 180° with the help of the rotation device 30 such that the bottommost part layer is oriented with the fold to the front and is not damaged on the further transport along the straight conveying path.

[0023] The stack is subsequently conveyed along the straight conveying path into the region of the strapping devices 40 with the help of conveying devices and is there strapped in the longitudinal direction and/or in the transverse direction.

[0024] After leaving the strapping devices 40, the stack moves via conveying devices 52 into the region of the dispensing module 50 in which the stack is presented for palletization with the help of the palletization device 60.

[0025] If a malfunction occurs in that section which follows the pressing module 20, every stack located in the region of the pressing module 20 is ejected into the expulsion path 32 at right angles to the straight conveying path and from there to the expulsion table 34. This is carried out until the malfunction has been eliminated.

[0026] The present invention is not limited to the embodiment shown. The pressing module 20 can, for example, also be provided with a combined blocking device with the help of electrostatic devices. It is also possible to integrate strapping devices into the pressing module 20.

[0027] Reference Numeral List

[0028] 10 cross-stacker

[0029] 12 conveying device

[0030] 14 stacking chamber

[0031] 15 rotation device

[0032] 16 ejector

[0033] 20 pressing module

[0034] 22 base rack

[0035] 24 conveying device

[0036] 26 pressing unit

[0037] 28 alignment plates

[0038] 30 rotation device

[0039] 32 expulsion path

[0040] 34 expulsion table

[0041] 40 strapping devices

[0042] 50 dispensing module

[0043] 52 conveying device

[0044] 60 palletization device