US 2222862 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 26, 1940. w. A. TRATscH VENDING MACHINE Filed Oct. 14, 1957 2 SheeiZs-Sheei'l l 59 Waef'Ajasc/ INVENTOR.
NGV. 26, 1940- w. A. TRATscH VENDING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 14. 1937 WzaefAfT/wSc/z/ INVENTOR. .f/ Bum@ HIJ AT TORNEY.
oooooao Patented Nov. 26, 1940 UNITED STATESA PATENT .oFFicE I t I Walter A Tratvsclgiiarg 111;.. 168,982
This invention is concerned with improvements in vending machines, and has among its principal objects the provision of such a machine particularly adapted to vend packaged articles, such as candy bars and the like.
. A further object of the invention is the provision of a vending machine of increased storage capacity and adapted to position one packaged item in view at a time.
l0 Another object is the provision of a vending machine provided with a cabinet having a sight opening disposed at the eye level and movable means for maintaining a quantity of packaged items in columnar form with the topmost package in view before the eye level sight opening.
Still another object is the provision of coin actuated motor driving mechanism for ejecting the topmost article from the column and thereafter raising lthe column a distance of one package responsive to the deposit of a coin.
Yet another and more particularv object is the provision of a vending machine including a cabinet adapted to extend from the floor level to a height at or above the average eye level and having a sight opening in its upper portion at the eye level, and a substantially vertically extending conveyor member adapted to hold a plurality of packaged articles in columnar arrangement 3 and dispose the topmost package before the sight opening, together with automatic coin operated control mechanism including an ejector for displacing the 'topmost package for movement into a discharge opening and move the column upwardly a distance to dispose another package before the sight opening.
A still further object isthe provision of a simplied sprocket gear driving mechanism for the ejector and column moving means, as well as 4 automatic circuit control mechanism actuated by a deposited coin to start the motor and drive the sprocket mechanism through a cycle of operation and thereafter stop the motor.
Other novel aspects of the invention both in 45 construction and operation will appear as the following description, develops in view of the draw- I ings in which:
Fig. l is a front elevation ofthe vending machine cabinet; 50 Fig. 2 is an enlarged vertical section through the cabinet along lines 2 2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a circuit diagram; Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary rear elevation of the upper sprocket and column mecha- 55 nism viewed along lines 4 4 of Fig. 2;
(Cl. S12-97) Fig. 5 is a side view of the structure-of Fig. 4 viewed in the direction of lines 5 5 thereof;
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional detail of the lower sprocket and column drive mechanism as viewed along lines 6 6 of Fig. 2, 5 and is turned 180 degrees with respect to the showing in Fig. 2;
Fig. '1 is a side elevation of the mechanism of Fig. 6 as viewed along lines 1 1 thereof; while Fig. 8 is a side elevation of the mechanism 10 of Fig. 6 as viewed along line 8 8 thereof.
In accomplishing the several objects of the invention, I provide in one embodiment an upstanding cabinet I0 with a front panel I I having a sight opening I2 disposed in the upper portion 15 thereof substantially at the average eye level. If desired, the sight opening I2 may extend downwardly to provide a space for instruction cards I3 or the like, there being, of course, a glass panel closing the opening. At the lower end of the V20 sight opening there is disposed a discharge outlet I4 into which the merchandise is deposited in a manner hereinafter to be described.
In the form of device shown herein, the discharge outlet I4 may desirably form part of a 25 mounting plate I5 in which are disposed a plurality of coin deposit openings I6, each positioned substantially before a vcorresponding column I1 of merchandise. Below the mounting plate I5 is a removable panel or door I8 in the face of which 30 is disposed a coin return cup I9, the panel being locked in position.
Interiorly of the cabinet, as viewed in Fig. 2, there is arranged a metal apron having a lower portion 20 fixed behind the inside of the door I8 35 and an intermediate portion 2l extending diagonally upwardly to the lower margin of the eye level, opening where it is turned back upon itself to provide a discharge chute portion 22 terminating at its lower end in the discharge outlet or cup I4, one article of merchandise I1' being normally positioned at the upper edge 22' of this discharge chute from which position the article is ejected or dislodged by a special ejecting mechanism, which includes a top ejector bar 23, having depending ngers 23', and which is attached at one end 24 (Fig. 4) to avertical arm 25 pivotally mounted, as at 2B, on a bracket member 21 attached to the inner top Wall of the cabinet.
At its lower end the vertical ejector mounting bar 25 is provided with a small roller 28 adapted to be engaged by a cam nger 29 mounted on a sprocket sleeve 30 which in turn floats on a shaft 3I supported within the upper portion of the cabinet below the sight opening. Thus the bar 23 once duringeach revolution into the dotted line position seen in Fig. 5, which movement is sumcientto dislodge the topmost package I1 from the column and cause the same to gravitate over the upper edge 22' of the chute 22 down into the receptacle I4. At the conclusion of each ejecting stroke, the ejector 23 is returned to normal position by means of a spring 32.
The means for disposing the packaged items in a column is a conveyor which includes pivoted shelves 33 each of a widthcorresponding substantially to the width or length of the merchandise package, and each being pivotally attached, as at 33', at their sides to spaced sprocket chains 34 which are trained over upper idling sprockets 35 mounted on shaft 3l, and at their lower end over special timing sprockets 38 which float on a pin 18 supported in a bracket 1I on the floor of the cabinet I0. As seen in Fig. 4, each shelf 33 has a portion thereof cut away to allow passage around the sprocket 35 after the ejector has returned to full line position and the chain conveyor is elevated to place a vendible article in ejecting position I1' for the next operation.
At its normally lower end, the conveyor'chain 34 is also trained over an idling sprocket 39 adjacent the normally lowermost bottom shelf 38 and disposed forwardly of a vertical line through the upper shaft 3| so that the chain is inclined an amount corresponding to the inclination of the apron 28-2I which is positioned in front'of the chain at a distance substantially equal to the width of a package. The sprocket 36 'is spaced from the sprocket 39 in the bottom of the cabinet and o n the opposite side of the vertical line through the upper shaft 3 I, and there is provided a second idling sprocket 49 in the top of the cabinet and spaced horizontally from 40 the shaft 3|. Thus a large number of merchandise packages may be stored, one above the other, on the shelving 33 with the topmost article I1 in view before the sight opening I2, and as articles are removed from the top of the column,
the conveyor chain 34 is moved upwardly by automatic mechanism now to be described.`
The drive means, of which the sprocket 36 is a part, includes a driven sprocket 4I (Figs. 2 and 8) having driving connection through a sprocket chain 42 to an electric motor 43. Also forming part of, or mounted for rotation with the gear 4I on shaft 49 is an insulated commutator block 44 on which is mounted a commutating ring 45 having a circuit breaking interruption 46 (Figs. 3 and 8), and against which normally bear a pairof spring contact ngers 41 and 48 (only contact 41 can be seen in the view of Fig. 8) arranged in circuit with the motor 43 in a manner hereinafter to be described.
The sprocket 4| and commutating ring 45 are fixed to a drive shaft 49 which extends across the cabinet I8 and which is common to each of the clutch operated intermediate drive means 36, there being one of these for each chain conveyor unit as illustrated in Fig. 6.
One side of the lower sprocket 36 is provided with a plurality of laterally projecting, annularly arranged rollers 13, each engageable by the teeth 14' and 14 on -a driven cam member 14 rotatably mounted, as at 15, on the bracket 1I (Fig. '1) A gear portion 16 of the cam 14 meshes with a similar gear 11 formed as a part of a sprocket unit 18 (which includes a pawl engaging `ring 19 of the clutch member 88), Figs. 6
and 8. The gear 11, sprocket 18 and clutch ring 18 noat on the drive shaft 49 and are normally at rest unless put into operation in a manner to be presently described.
The clutch includes a collar 8| which rotates with the drive shaft 49 and carries a pin 82 upon which is pivotally mounted a pawl 83, the dogging end 84 of which is urged outwardly away from the shaft 49 by a spring 85. The nose 84 of the pawl-is engageable in a notch 86 formed in the innerperipheral wall of the ring 19 and is normally held out of such engagement by an arm 81 which pivots the pawl 83 (clockwise, Fig. 8) against the action of spring 85, by its engagement with a laterally extending pin 88 carried by the pawl 88.
The clutch operating mechanism consists of a lever 89 pivotally mounted at 90 on a wall member. The arm 81 is -a part of the lever 89 which has another arm 81 `releasably engaged by a -.by a sprocket 5| (Figs. 4 and 5) over which is trained a sprocket chain 52 driven by the sprocket' gear 18 which is rotated with the clutch means 88 and driven sprocket 4|. t each operation of the arm 25 from full to dotted line position (Fig. 5) the arm 25 engages an extended pin of a switch element and causes a switch 53 mounted in the cabinet I0 to be put into circuit completing position.
The motor control circuit shown in Fig. 3 includes a plurality of coin switches 55 (one for each bank of merchandise) connected by conductor 56 through the primary coil of a transformer t'o energize the solenoid 99, and thence to the motor 43. 'Ihe conductor 51 is connected to one terminal 58 of a power source, the opposite side of the motor 43 being directly connected by conductor 59 to the other terminal 58 of the power source. Contact iingers 41 and 48 are connected in shunt around the switch 55 and are effective to bridge the latter through engagement with the commutator ring 45.
Coin switch 55 (Fig. 2) is arranged at the discharge end of a coin chute 5| having communication through a conduit 62 with the coin deposit opening I6 oi the particular column in the front of the cabinet. As deposited coins are discharged from the coin chute 6I down the discharge chute 63 toward a receptacle 64, they transiently engage a pivoted switch operating finger 65 and momentarily close the master coin switch 55 so as to complete a circuit through the line through solenoid 93 and motor 43, the switch 55 remaining operated long enough to permit the motor to pick up and drive the sprocket and commutator ring a distance sufficient to move the open circuit portion 46 of the commutator ring (Fig. 7) off of the contact ngers 41 and 48 to permit the latter to be bridged by the commutator ring 45, thus completing a shunt circuit around the master switch 55, so that when the latter opens after the coin has passed the operating iinger 65, the motor will continue to run until the commutator ring is turned through a complete revolution so as to position the interruption 46 therein again in the position shown in Fig. 3 to open the circuit through the wiper fingers 41 and 48 and stop the motor.
During this cycle of movement, the solenoid 93 causes the latch 9| to release the lever 89 o for movement by the spring 9D out of engagement with the pin 88, thereby permitting the pawl 83 to engage its nose 84 in notch 86 of the clutch ring 18. The ejecting means for the particular column of merchandise chosen by the vendee is thereupon put into operation, the sprocket 18 by chain 52 rotating the cam 29 to operate the ejector 23. When the ejector returns to normal (full line, Fig. 2), the iirst tooth 14' of the cam 14 (Fig. '7) will begin to engage one roller 13 of the sprocket 35, moving the latter half its distance; the second tooth 14" engaging the next roller 13 to move the sprocket 38 its remaining distance, whereupon the chain 34 will have lifted an article of merchandise into vending position l1'.
The movement of the arm into dotted position and its engagement with switch 53 completes a circuit through a transformer to solenoid 92, which when energized will pull up its armature and the lever 89 to again cause the latter to be latched by the member 9i and place the arm 81 in a position to prevent nose 84 of pawl 83 from acting to permit operation of unit unless again released by operation of a coin.
When the machine is serviced, the front panel I8 may be removed and the lower trays or shelves refilled.
It will be apparent that various rearrangements may be made in the specific embodiment described in detail herein for purposes of illustration, and it is intended that all such changes and all other modifications and rearrangements of the herein specifically described embodiment of the invention are to be included within the 40 fair scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. In a device of the class described, an endless conveyor mounted for movement in a vertical plane and including serially arranged means thereon for positioning articles in columnar form one above another, means providing a discharge chute positioned adjacent the top of a column of merchandise on said conveyor, and a movable ejector member also arranged at the top of the column of merchandise for movement into engagement with the topmost article to dislodge the same for movement into said discharge chute,
motor means and mechanism providing a driving connection between said motor means and said endless carrier and said ejector member and arranged and constructed to eiect operation of said ejector to dislodge an article as aforesaid and thereafter move said endless carrier a distance to position the next succeeding article at the top of said column, and control means for energizing said motor means for the purpose aforesaid.
2. In a device of the class described, a continuous conveyor arranged for movement in a vertical plane and provided with serially aligned article supporting means for supporting articles of merchandise one above another, a periodically movable ejector mounted adjacent the top of the column of articles and movable during each period of operation to engage the topmost article and dislodge the same from said conveyor, and
mechanism including a motor and driving connections between the same, said conveyor, and said ejector, for operating both of the latter in timed relation whereby to effect operation of said ejector and thereafter to effect movement of said conveyor a. predetermined amount adequate to position the next succeeding article in position for engagement by said ejector, and control mechanism for said motor and arranged and constructed for operation to energize the motor for a predetermined time to effect a'predetermined number of ejecting operations.
3. In a vending machine, means for movably stacking merchandise units one above another in an approximately upright column, /means for moving said stacking means in steps upwardly so as to position the merchandise units successively at the top of the column, a housing for said machine and means providing a sight opening in said housing opposite said top of the column and through which only the topmost merchandise unit is in view at all times prior to dislodgment for delivery to the patron, means for ejecting said 4topmost unit from the column toward said sight opening, means for receiving the ejected unit and delivering the same to a position of access to the patron exteriorly of the housing, and drive mechanism for actuating said ejecting means in ejecting operation to eject one unit and subsequently moving said stacking means to position the next succeeding unit before the sight opening as' aforesaid, together with means under the control of the patron for starting operation of said drive mechanism, and means for automatically stopping said mechanism when one unit has been ejected as aforesaid.
4. In a vending machine, in combination, a housing having a display window in the upper portion thereof, merchandise stacking means including a continuous conveyor mounted to move in a vertical plane with its uppermost terminal positioned substantially opposite said display window, said conveyor including article supporting means arranged to support articles one above another with an article at said terminal in view of said display window, means for dislodging a displayed article at said terminal by movement of said conveyor in a direction generally toward said display window, means within said housing positioned to receive a dislodged article and guide the same in gravitating movement to a position of access from the exterior of the machine, means for actuating said dislodging means for the purpose aforesaid and subsequently moving said conveyor a distance sumcient to position the next lowest article at said terminal in view of said display window, together with control mechanism for efiecting operation of the actuating means as aforesaid.
WALTER A. TRATSCH.