US 2233379 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 25, 1941. R. M. COPE BOTTLE DISPENSING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 19, 1959 INVENTOR, fQu/mmw 77Z. @ope '-UCHA )4A/'Lw "A4/CM 'V www, ATTORNEY Feb. 25, 1941. R. M.l COPE 2,233,379
BOTTLE DISFENSING MACHINE Filed April 19, 1939 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 15 Z O O 20 43M l 29 g :$0 'H11 @1U INVENTOR.
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Feb. 25, 1941. R, M, COPE 2,233,379
BOTTLE DI SPENSING MACHINE Filed April 19, v193s 4 snntpsnut s ATTORNEYS;
Patented Fels. 25,1941
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 7 Claims.
This invention relates to improvements in bottle dispensing machines, in which the bottles, containing beverages, are cooled in a closed receptacle or compartment and are advanced by a step by step movement by a coin controlled mechanism, to a point where they are accessible and may be removed from the compartment, by hand.
One object of the invention is to provide equipment of this character in which only a small amount of power is required to advance the bottles.
Another object is to provide ample storage space for the bottles vby placing them vertically in a refrigerating compartment on a track which doubles back and forth on itself in substantially parallel spans, whereby, a row oi bottles oi considerable Alength may be stored in a compartment of moderate size.
A further object is to provide a bottle dispensing machine of this type in which the bottles are delivered one at a time to a chamber where they are readily accessible for removal by hand.-
Another object is to provide in such equipment a chamber having an automatically opened door provided with safety devices so that none of the bottles other than the one intended to be delivered, is accessible to the person operating the deup an inclined portion of the track to the elevated point of delivery.
Another object is to provide a dispensing machine having an endless conveyor to advance the bottles on the track with a step by step movement.
An additional object is to provide guiding means for a chain conveyor, to insure movement thereof 5 in a horizontal plane, without sagging or without substantial tilting of the individual links.
Another object is to provide a machine in which the bottles slide in a channel. being guided at the vsides and resting on rails to reduce friction, with 50 the conveyor chain mounted below the rails and having projecting arms at intervals. one to engage each bottle and advance the same on the rails.
An additional object is to provide means for shutting of! the machine by a pull-out bar con- 55 nected to a standard coin chute in such manner as to retain the coin until the bottle reaches the desired point of delivery, at which time the bottle moves said bar to drop the coin and stop they motor which actuates the conveyor.
Other objects-and advantages will be apparent from the description which follows.
In the accompanying drawings I have illustrated a commercial embodiment of the invention which will serve to illustrate the novel features. Said invention may, however, be embodied in various other forms.
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator containing the mechanism for moving the bottles to the delivery point;
Fig. 2 is a top plan view thereof with the cover removed;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged, sectional view taken on a horizontal plane through the delivery chamber;
Fig. 4 is a sectional elevationl through said chamber and the adjacent part of the cabinet;
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the parts shown in Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is an incomplete section on the line 6, 8 of F18. 2i
Fig'. 'l is an incomplete section in the inclined plane shown by the line l, 1 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 8 is a vertical section on the line 8, 8 oi Fig. 4, showing the same bottle in inclined position;
Fig. 9 shows a modified form of conveyor; and
Fig. 10 is a section on the line i0, i0, of Fig.v9.
The device as a whole is shown in perspective in Fig. 1 and comprises a cabinet ill having a re, movable or hinged top Ii with an elevated hoo'd I2 and an opening i3 through which o'ne bottle f at a time may be lifted after placing a coin on the slide and pushing in the handle i4. Every time that the coin controlled device is actuated, a motor operates to advance the bottles with a step by step motion, causing the top of one of them to appear at the opening I3, whereby it may be lifted out by hand.
In the drawings the bottles are indicated by i5. Bottles as used in a dispensing machine of this character usually contain beverages and may be of any suitable shape. Certain parts of the mechanism are adapted for dispensing. containers'of other kinds and shapes, other than bot- `i words, it is formed of the two horizontal shelves or ledges which comprise the false bottom I1, made preferably of metal and spaced apart to provide the slot. These ledges each have a ridge or track I9 thereon which may be struck up from the metal or may comprise a separate strip of metal. The bottles rest on these elevated ridges and thus may be slid along the horizontal track very readily, with little friction. Each bottle is adapted to be engaged by a vertical arm or pusherl 20 lwhich is mounted on the conveyor chain indicated as a whole by 2 I. Said chain comprises alternate pairs of spaced links 22 held together by the usual rivets each surrounded by a roller 23. The remaining alternate links comprise the usual pairs of metal strips 24 but spaced farther apart than the links 22. This chain is shown in perspective in Fig. and in section in Figs. 6, '1 and 8 and is of standard construction. The dlameter of the rollers 23, it will be noted, is less than the width of the links 22 and 24. Said chain, which is an endless chain, is supported on a series of idler sprocket wheels 25, including an adjustable sprocket 25' and a driving sprocket wheel 26, all shown in Fig. 2, the sprocketwheels being mounted to rotate in a horizontal plane and so positioned that the chain travels horizontally back and forth in spans which are substantially parallel to each other and which underlie the slot in vthe track or false bottom of the channel I8, which channel also doubles back/and forth on itself to parallel the chain, as shown in Fig. 2. Said chain is driven by a suitable motor 21 of conventional design, (Fig.`4) having a switch for starting and stopping the same, which is actuated ,by any suitable coin controlled mechanism. The
4motor rotates the vertical shaft 28, the upper part of which is surrounded by a tube 23' which turns with it and on which the sprocket wheel 26 is mounted. The tension of the chain may be adjusted by adjusting the position of the sprocket 25. by means of a suitable adjusting screw 29 which moves the support 30 in which saidsprocket is mounted, in a. direction to lengthen or shorten the first of the horizontal spans, without disturbing its alignment or registration with the track above it. The channel I8 and the sprockets 25, 26, are mounted on a base 3|, having the form of an inverted channel. i
One of the features of the invention is the provision of means for supporting the chain between thel sprocket wheels to prevent any sagging or lateral movement thereof and to make feasible the use of the pusher arms 20. This construction permits the bottlesv to be lowered from above onto the track instead of hanging the same from a chain above said bottles, which latter arrangement interferes with or renders less simple the filling of the refrigerating chamber with the bottles. The means for supportingand guiding the -chain to provide an easy moving but substantially rigid conveying unit, 'will nowv be described. The track or channel member is, ineffect, a
double bottom channel having ahorizontai base I6 as shown in Fig. 6 with the ledges I1 spaced above it. A lsecond pair of longitudinal flanges is provided'beneath the flanges I1. which anges may be conveniently provided by means of Z bars 82 secured to the base, and having their upper ends spaced apart to form a slot of less width than the slot between the ledges I1. These horizontal upper anges are spaced from the ledges l1 by means of metal spacers 33 secured thereto and to the ledges I1 in any suitable manner, as for example by small screws 34 or by welding. The endless chain rides in the narrower of the two slots,.being supported `on the/upper flanges of the YAZ bars, the width of the links 22 being greater than the width of the lower ofthe two slots. The rollers 23 minimize friction with the side walls of -said slot. f
'I'he pusher arms 20, as shown in Figs. 5 and 6, are securedto certain oi the links of said chain but when ysaid. arms bear against the bottles' to advance then along the track, `the tendency is to rock the links about a horizontal axis thus tending to cramp the chain, except as-it is constrained to follow 'the predetermined path defined by the guide bars formed by the upper flanges of said Z bars. Thus the links of the chain are maintained in definite horizontal alignment, forming in effect a rigid member. Said guide bars also prevent the span of the chain between two sprocket wheels from sagging and hence from approaching the sprocket wheels on an upward incline which might cause them to climb the sprocket teeth and jam.
With the arrangement described, the'weigh-t of the bottles is not carried by .the chain but is carried independently by the small rails I9, leaving the chain to run freely and act through its vertical arms as a pusher only. i As shown in Fig. 2 the-bottles travel back and forth along the channel member as agulde, for a substantial distance, as compared with the area of the chamber, thus allowing ample time for cooling purposes. Toward the end of the runway and approaching the delivery station, there is provided an upwardly inclined track 35, as shown in Figs. 4 and'5, composed of spaced strips of metal, which, in effect, are continuations of the metal ledges I1 and which inclined strips terminate in horizontal extensions 36. On opposite sides of the inclined runway are guide bars 31 and 38, the former having a horizontal extension 39 and the latter being yieldingly mounted on pins 40 which pass through openings in the adjacent wall 4I defining the exit chamber. Said pins are normally pressed inwardly by a spring 42 secured to said wall. As shown in Figs. 7 and 8, the guide bars 31 and 38 yieldingly engage the bottle at the point of least diameter and thus prevent 4it from tipping over backwards as it rides up the incline, as shown for example in dotted lines in Fig. 4. The pusher `arm 20, immediately behind each bottle, also aids in preventing backward tipping of the bottle. Said arms are long enough to engage the bottles at a point at least as high as the zone of reduced diameter I6, as shown in Fig. 4. They are also long enough to continue to advance the bottle after it reaches the highest point on the incline and in fact said bottles are advanced into said chamber along the horizontal portions 36 of the track.
The delivery chamber normally is empty and.
having a suitable spring 45 which normally maintains it in closed position. Said door has preferably an upward extension or baille 46 and travel, may push open the door 43.
' aassva a horizontal baille wall 41 as shown in Fig. 5, the latter serving to render the compartment inaccessible through the opening above it, except when the door swings open to the position shown in Fig. 3. Said door is normally held in closed position by a bevelled latch 46 mounted on a nat spring 49 which engages va downward extension 59 at one end and is adiustably secured at the other end to the outer wall i of the compartment. To permit the bottles to automatically unlatch the door, a rounded protuberance 52 is mounted on one end of a vfiat spring 53, the other end of which is also adjustably mounted on said wall 5I by means of4 a screw passing through a lslot in the other end of said spring, as shown in Figs. 3 and 5. .As one of the bottles near the top of the incline, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 4, it presses aside the protuberance 52, causing the fiat spring 53 to press outwardly on the upward extension 50 of the other flat spring 49, and thus withdraw the latch 46 so that the bottle, as it continues its upward The bottle does not engage the door directly but engages a horizontal rail 54 near the bottom thereof and pushes the door open to the approximate position shown in Fig. 3. Said rail serves to keep the bottle against or near the horizontal railv 39 on the opposite side and thus compels it to advance in a straight line. This insures that said bottle will engage the yielding stop 55 which is mounted on an arm 56, sliding under the roller 51 mounted on the bracket 56. Said arm 56 is pivoted at 59 to a depending link 60, pivoted at 6I and arranged so that its upper end, when it moves in a direction opposite to the advance of the bottles, will push rearwardly the lower end of the pivoted link 62 and cause the upper end to push forwardly on the rod 63 and thus 4move forwardly a coin controlling rod 64 which is mounted in a sleeve 65, all as shown in Fig.'5.
. The forward movement of said rod 64 is opposed by the spring 66 but the rear end 61 of said rod which extends downwardly, withdraws the pin 66 from the coin 69 which has previously been deposited in the machine, permitting the later to drop. Thus the starting switch 10, shown diagrammatically in this figure is opened to stop the motor and to stop the movement of the conveyor.
When the door is open, thehorizontal baille 41 is swung to one side and as the bottle has been elevated a predetermined amount in reaching the delivery station, its top may be caused to appear through the opening in the cover, where it may readily be grasped and lifted from the compartment. The door 43 thereupon swings shut immediately, latches automatically and the stop member 55 is returned to the normal position in which it is shown in Fig. 3 and the pin 66 is projected suiliciently to arrest the next coin dropped into the machine so thatsaid coin will effect the closing of the switch and start the motor. Inl the meantime, it is impossible to insert the hand in the delivery compartment and take out another bottle because of the obstruction provided bythe closed door. Furthermore, the -inclined guides 31 and 38, which fit the narrow part of the bottle, would prevent lifting the bottle upwardly from thel inclined runway even if the bottles on said runway were accessible from above. The further function of said hinged door is to prevent a free circulation of air into the cooling chamber with the resulting loss of refrigeration. A depending baille 1| or baffles may also'be mounted adjacent the hingedy door as a further obstruction to the free exit of cold air, as well as serving to limit the size of the opening kto prevent unauthorized meddling with athe apparatus.
The reciprocablebar 64 is related to the coin chute in such a way that a standard coin chute may be used. 'This device, in conjunction with the hinged door 43, is very simple and avoids the necessity of any complicated timing device and also insures dependable operation of the machine.
, The refrigerant may, of course, be of any desired type.- It may circulate in closed coils installed in the cabinet or it may be used to cool water in which the bottles are nearly immersed as they rest on'the runway. The refrigerating. compartment has a bottle partition 12, providing a storage space in the lower part of the box in which the motoria housed. Fig. 4 shows the inverted channel members 3| on opposite sides of the refrigerating compartment, which members serve as the base on which the entire mechanismincluding the sprockets, is mounted. The driving shaft 26 passes through the wall of the .channel 3l, shown at the left hand side of said figure, being protected against leakage of the refrigerant by a suitable packing device 13. The coin mechanism is shut oi from the refrigerating compartment by an additional wall 14,
also shown in Fig. 4.
In the form of vapparatus thus far described, water is used in the refrigerating compartment, of a depth equal to about'two-thirds of the height of the bottles. Said water may be cooled by any suitable means.
In order to adapt the conveying mechanism to a refrigerating container for Coca Cola bottles of a. well known type now on the market, I have provided a slightly modified arrangement of the conveyer lengths, as shown in Fig. 9. The box or container is indicated by and has a standard, vertical water cooling coil 16 built into the same and enclosed in part by a casing 11 through which the water to be cooled may circulate tocontact with the cooling coil. The individual back and forth spans of the conveyer 18-61 inclusive, are so arranged as to be fitted into the outer casing and provide suiiicient clearance to avoid the coils in the housing 11. For this purpose the spans 62 and 63 are a little shorter than some of the other spans, as will be noted. The conveyer chain 66 is shown also in this figure.
The runway or track shown in Fig. 10 is also a modification of the track shown in the form of invention first described. The channel member comprises a pair of angle irons 69, 96, mounted on a base 9|. A filler member 92 is positioned between the vertical walls 69, 90, and has the narrow plates 93, 94 secured thereto, as for example by means of screws, said plates being spaced so as to provide a slot as before. The filler member has a slot in its upper face, as
slot between said plates 93, 94, as will be understood. Small angle irons 95 provide the rails on which the bottles slide. The bottles are advanced with a. stepv by step movement as in the case of the mechanm first described. The .conveyer and track construction just described is some.. what simpler and certain parts are more readily 'accessible for installation and removal than in the channel with the false bottom, as previously described.
This modied form of conveyer has the adinvention, makes it possible to operate the device with a fractional horse power motor, whereby the operation is very efficient. Also, the compartment is readily iilled with bottles after removing the top, as said bottles are simply lowered into the compartment so as to rest in the chan- Y nel and iill the same more or less completely from one end lto the other. If the runway is not entirely filled with bottles, i. e. if there are not; as many bottles as there are upright pusher arms projecting up through the slot, and a coin is dropped by the slide |44 the machine will operate until a bottle is delivered at the exit point, after which the insertion of another coin will cause the delivery of another bottle to the exit point regardless of whether the two bottles were initially traveling one immediately behind the other or whether there was a gap or several uniilled spaces between said bottles.
While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of many modications.
Changes, therefore, in the construction and ar-v rangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed in the appended claims.
l. In a bottle dispensing machine, a substantially horizontal runway on which the bottles may slide -in an upright position, said runway comprising rails spaced apart less than the width of a bottle, a support for a chain between said rails consisting of horizontal flanges mounted to provide a slot, said runway curving back and forth in an elongated path to provide a large storage capacity in a relatively-small area, a conveyor chain, horizontal sprockets on which said chain is mounted to move in a path adjacent said elongated runway path, said chain having horizontal upper and lower links connected by vertical pins, said upper links sliding along said horizontal flanges to prevent saggin-g of said chain and said vertical pins being confined in said slot against lateral movement, and pusher arms secured to said chain at intervals and extending into said runway path, whereby each bottle may be engaged by one of said arms and advanced on said runway.
2. In a bottle dispensing machine, a substantially horizontal runway on which the bottles rest and may slide, a conveyor chain, means confining the movement of said chain to a path substantially parallel to said runway, pusher arms secured to said chain in spaced relation and arranged to. engage said bottles, to advance them.
on said runway, a yielding stop positioned to be engaged by said bottles, one at a time,.a motor for operating said'conveyor, a coin controlled switch for starting and stopping said motor. to move all of said bottles with a step bystep movement, and means actuated by said stop and Acooperating with said switch to determine the period of operation thereof.
3. In a device of the class described, a runway having a logitudinal slot therein, a conveyor chain having links and connecting pins, a roller on each pin, certain oi said links being wider than said slot, overlying the same, and supported substantially horizontal runway on which the bottles may slide, a conveyor chain, means for supporting said chain and confining the movement of said chain to a path substantially par-- allelto said runway, pusher arms secured to said chain in spaced relation and arranged to engage said bottles individually, to advance them on said runway, and an upwardly extending delivery section in said horizontal runway terminating beneath said opening and up whichsaid bottles are pushed by said arms, to render them accessible.
' 5. In a bottle cooling and dispensing machine,
and having a horizontal runway therein on which the bottles may slide in an upright position, said.
runway curving back and forth to provide an elongated path of travel and a large storage capacity, in a relatively small area, a conveyor a refrigerating cabinet with an apertured top chain supported by part of said runway, horizontal sprockets on which said chain is mounted to move in a horizontal path adjacent said closed runway path, pusher arms secured to said chain at intervals and extending into said runway path substantially above the same whereby each bottie may be engaged by one of said arms and advanced on lsaid runway, and an upwardly extending, inclined delivery section in said runway up which said bottles are pushed by said arms one at a time, said delivery section being located beneath the aperture in said top whereby each of saidbottles is rendered accessible in turn and may be lifted from said cabinet.
6. In a machine for dispensing beverages in bottles which have an intermediate zone of reduced diameter, an inclined track, a conveyor having upwardly extending arms to engage said bottles at said intermediate zone and move them up said inclined track to a delivery station, and a pairv of parallel guide members on opposite sides of said inclined track and substantially parallel thereto, one of said guide members being yieldingly mountedand spaced from the other member a distance sufiicient to cause said members to frictionally engage said reduced diameter zone of said bottles and prevent them from tipping over backward, as they ascend said in' clined track.
'7. In a device of the class described, a conveyer for bottles comprising a supporting base, a pair of upwardly extending guides lthereon spaced apart slightly in excess of the width of a battle to guide the same, a pair of rails between' said guides to support said bottles whereby they may be moved with little friction, a pair of spaced apart flanges below the level of said rails, and a conveyer chain having upper and lower link a horizontal axis when the upper parts thereof engage said bottles.
RAYMOND M. 'cora