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Publication numberUS2394262 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1946
Filing dateOct 9, 1943
Priority dateOct 9, 1943
Publication numberUS 2394262 A, US 2394262A, US-A-2394262, US2394262 A, US2394262A
InventorsMiller Albert F, Reifsnyder James D
Original AssigneeLily Tulip Cup Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multistack nested article dispensing apparatus
US 2394262 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 5, 1946. V J. D. REIFSNIYDER ETAL 94,

MULTISTACK NESTED ARTICLEDISPENSING APPARATUS Filed 001:. 9, 1943 6 Sheets-5heet 1 BY W mr 12;, ATTO N EYS Feb. 5, 1946. .1. D. REIFSNYDER ETAL 4,

MULTISTACK NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 9 1943 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Feb.'5, 1946. J. D. REIFSNYDER ETAL 2,394,252

MULTISTACK NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS I Filed Oct. 9, 1943 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 lNVNTORS v PEI/SN van? x I i JAMES 0. A4 BE/PT' MILLER fiATTORNEYiS Feb. 5, 1946. J. D. REIFSNYDER ETAL 2,394,262 v MULTISTAQK NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS e Sheets-Sh eet 5 Filed Oct. 9, 1943 Feb.'5, 1946. 2,394,262

MULTISTACK NES'IEED ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS Q J. D. REIFSNYDER ETAL 6 Sheets4heet 6 Filed Oct. 9, 1943 5 mm; Mm 0 N mwu R 5 MW m/ A 7 mm WM Patented F eb. 5, 1946 2,394,262 r I MULTISTACK NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS James D. Reifsnyder and Albert FLMiller, Flushing, N. Y., assignors to Lily-Tulip Cup Corporation, New York, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware Application (iotober 9, 1943, Serial No. 505,608

18 Claims.

This invention to dispensing apparatus of the multi-stack or magazine type wherein cup-shaped articles are dispensed successively in an axial direction from a given stack of nested articles, and when such stack has been depleted a fresh stack is moved into dispensing position. The invention is particularly useful in dispensing nested articles, such as cups and the like, from nested stack formation, and the invention will be described, by way of illustration, with reference to apparatus especially adapted for dispensing paper drinking cups. 7

In apparatus of this general type, the main purpose is to accommodate a greater number of articles than can be conveniently or practically arranged in a single stack. Therefore, the stacks are kept to a convenient height and in the case of paper cups, which are packed in nested condition in cartons (usually containing 100), it is convenient and customary to use the nested cups thus packed as the unit stack. By providing for multiple stacks of such height, a device of suitable height is possible, but the utilization of a is important forthe foregoing'reasons to provide plurality of relatively short stacks presents cer- I articles, such as cups, from the bottom of one of the stacks until the said stack has been depleted, and thereafter delivering a succeeding stack from the carrier to the dispensing station. In such an arrangement, however, the carrier could not be moved in a rearward direction for reloading purposes until the depletion of the active stack, nor "could the carrier be moved in the direction of feed until such depletion took place. Accordingly, in such a device, the attendant would have to wait until the entire magazine was empty or until that instant when an active stack has been depleted and before a fresh stack is fed from the carrier to the dispensing station, before the carrier could b moved for purposes of loading. Thus, from a service standpoint, it was first necessary to remove the cups by hand from the active stack, or to have access to all stack spaces in the magazine, so that those which happened to be empty could be refilled; and accordingly in practice such magazines were refilled from the top, which necessitated exposing the interior of the magazine by removal of its cover and required a free height above the magfor loading of such cup dispensers at a loading or filling station through a relatively small opening and to provide for filling one or all of the empty magazine spaces without interference with the active stack and regardless of the size of said stack.

Furthermore, in the accommodation of an unusually large number of stacks, heretofore difficulty has been experienced in keeping the size and contour of the magazine within reasonable proportions and this difliculty is increased when said ready access for loading is desired, and more especially so in connection with drinking cups which, for sanitary reasons, should not be touched from the time of manufacture until the time of use.

The present invention provides for the desirable features and overcomes the difficulties, both above indicated, and provides a sturdy and dependable mechanism which is reliable in operation over relatively long periods of use without necessitating repairs or adjustments.

Various further and more specific objects, features and advantages will more fully appear from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification and illustrate, "by way of example, present preferred embodiments of the invention;

The invention consists of the novel features, arrangement and combination of parts embodied by way of, example in the apparatus hereinafter described as illustrating present preferred forms of the invention, and the invention will be more particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

Y Fig, 1 is a plan view, partl in cross-section along the line l l of Fig. 2, illustrating an embodiment of the invention employing two turrets for accommodating a plurality of stacks of cups disposed in a sinuous path.

Fig. 2 is a front elevational section of the device shown in Fig. 1, taken along the line 2-2 .of Fig. 3, with certain parts broken away,

Fig. 3 is a plan view showing certain driving mechanism of the device of Fig. 1 as viewed from beneath.

Fig. 4 is a side elevation showing certain parts of the device shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

Fig. 5 is a plan view, partly in cross-section taken along. the line 5-5 of Figi 8 showing an embodiment of the invention wherein the stacks of cups are disposed about a single turret.

Fig. 6 is a plan view showing certain driving mechanism of the device of Fig. 5, being.a crosssection taken at the line 6--6 of Fig. 8;

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken at the line 1-7 of Fig. 8 showing furtherdetailsof said device.

Fig. 8 is a front elevation, partlyih section, of the device shown in Fig. 5. V

Fig. 9 is a view similar to thatshowzr in Fig;v 1; illustrating a somewhat modified form of arrangement for supporting the stacks of cups in atwo=turretzdevicec Fig. 10. is a plan viewshowingsomewhatdiagrammatically a device in. which four'turrets are employed-for: holding a relatively large number oftstacks in asinuous'path andillustratesa fur ther modifi'cation of the device- Referringmore:particularly toFigs. 1i and 2: The device c'omprises'yin' general a supporting structureidesignatedin generalas I which in the present embodiment is. shownasa; pedestal support", butwhichmay be a part ofaibeveragedisp'ensing apparatus in. which the invention is adapted tobe'employe'd; asuitable cup dispensing unit 2. for dispensing individual. cups, and which in the present emb'odimentiis illustrated as the dispenser described and claimed in Reifsnyder and Miller Patent No. 2,268,421; December 30', 1941; and a magazine or reservoir, designated in general as 3, for holding a supply ofcups arranged in vertical stacks to be fed as requiredtothe dispensing unit 2 at such time as the stack inregister with said unit'ha's beenide pleted' to a predetermined degree'.

The supporting structure I comp'risesa; suitable base 4 which has rigidly secured thereto upwardly extending legs, such asli', 6, 7 and 8', which rigidly carry a supporting plate 9. The plate S carries rigidly secured theret'oa vertically upwardly extending: journal sleeve l which passes upwardly through an opening in the. plate 9 andwhose lower end carries integrally formed therewith, asby welding, a flange H which is rigidly secured-t0 the lower face of'the plate 9. The journalsleeve Ill carries adjacent its upper end a suitable anti-friction bearing, such as I2, which serves as a supporting bearing for a verticalspindle l3 whose lower end is held centrally within the bearing sleeve l 0 by asuitable hearing, such as M; The upper end of the spindle I3 is provided with a flange l to which is rigidly secured the'hub of a turret l 6. V

For convenience of assembly, the turret It comprises an upper'section H anda-lower'section l8 joined together at the flange l5'by screws l9 and screw rods 20, the latter of which also serve to rigidly secure to the bottom of the portion I8 a plate shelf 2! which servesas a bottom support for the stacks, designated S, of nested cups C. In the preferred embodiment, the stacks are bodily supported vertically; and are carried horizontally and partially supported laterally'by the turret I6. The turret l6- (Fig. 1)is provided'with peripherally disposed longitudinally extending recesses 2-2 circumferentially spacedso asto provide therebei','weeri outwardly extending longitudinally disposed projecting portions 23. The cross sections of recesses 22 throughout the vertical extent of the section I! conform to a radius somewhat larger than the radius of the maximum diameter of the cups to be dispensed (see also Fig. 2), and in the lower section [8, this radius decreasesdownwardly-in general. conformit with thetapero'f the-cup.

Disposed rearwardly of the turret [5 (Fig. 1) is a second similar turret ISa suitably mounted on. the. plate 8 in the manner similar to that previously described so that its axis of rotation is parallel to that Of the turret l6. The axes are spaced apart so-that when respective recesses 22" of one-turret are oppositely disposed to the respectivelyjcooperating recesses of the other turret, the space provided therebetween serves to accormnodate: a stack of cups. A suitable casing is provided for the turrets comprising side wall sections designated in general respectively as 24 and 251 (Fig; 1-). and a. top or cover: section. 26 (Fig. 2) The side wall section 24 issupported by posts 2", 28* and. 29 whose lower ends: are rigidly secured to and: extend upwardly from the plate 9, as shown in Fig. 2. The side wall is spaced outwardlyfrom the turret leso as to provide a. space between: the side: wall and: therecesses 22- slightly wider. than. the diameter of the cups to be dispensed,.exceptat thei'bottom of the sidewall where'thereiis provided an inwardly extending. wall. portion 30' which, in the present embodiment, is conveniently made of woo'd having an inner face conforming general to the taper" of the cup; The upper portion of the side wall above the blocha-flriszmade ofsheet material; suchas-metal' or, preferably, a transparent plastic materiali- Thdsheetcwallsectioni 24' is'providedrwith" a; door-portion: 3.|i hinged along'a' ver tical pivot 32: and: provided with a releasable catch. 33 engageable': with. the post 29;thusproviding" an openi'ngfor. filling the magazine with a fresh supply Of stacks of. cups, as will be more particularly pointed out hereinafter. The rear section; 25 is similarly supported on posts, such as: 34;. 35, 3.8: and 37, andiissimilarly. spaced with respectto the: turret. IS-ai as previously: described in connection with the first turret;- This section is similarly providedi with: a lower wall portion, such as 38; which forms acon-tinuation of the side. wall as previously described inconnection withltheblo'ckifl. For the purposes to be hereinafter more fully apparent", a cupslide shoe 39 (Fig'LI is secured to the platezB-betweeh the converging? arcs defined by the turrets l6 and V 1 6ato thelleft of theiraxe's and the corresponding shoe Ellis simiIarlydisposedto the right of their axes, these shoes having their upper surfaces on a plane with the upper surface of the cup sup-port plates ZI'and 21a, so that the bottoin'ofthe stacks of cups carried on-t'he turretswill he held at the" proper level durin the transfer from one turret tothe o'tlienand' tapering downwardly and outwardly toward their outer en'ds' toward the level of theplate 9. A cup'slide shoe 4'1 is similarly securedt'o the plate Sadjac'ehtthe' peripheryof the turret l6 contiguous-the dispensing unit 2'. This. shoe at its left endtapers'upwardly from adjacent the l'evelpf'the table- Q for a pertion-ofitslength and its right-handportion has an upper surface disposed in the plane ofthe upper surface of the-turretplate 2 so that as a stackis" fed" forward toward the dispensing unit 2. the plate 6 serves to maintain the bottom 'of the sta'ck'oma level feed plane and also acts as'a; base for loadingstacks. A cupdefleetcr cam 42 is secured at its right-hand end to the supporting plate 9 and projects to the left into an annular groove provided in the turret portion 18 (Fig. 2), so as to extend into the path of movement of a stack of cups and thereby serve to deflect said stack from its path of travel on the turret into register with the dispensing unit 2. An-arcuate stop or abutment wall 43 is secured at its forward end to the post 29 and extends rearw'ardly and around to the. left so as. to provide a vertical wall disposed circumferentially in register with the dispensing unit 2, thereby serving as a positive stop for a stack of cups being fed by'the turret into the dispensing unit.

Since the cup dispenser unit 2 is fully shown and described in said Patent No. 2,268,421, a detailed description will not be necessary; but only such features thereof will be described as are useful in explainin its operation in conjunction with other features of the present invention. The dispenser 2 is provided with an inlet throat 44 (Fig. l) to receive the lower end of a stack of cups from which individual cups are to be dispensed. Projecting into the inlet throat are a plurality of stack supporting and cup dispensing cam members, such as 25, which are actuated by a dispensing arm 26. In the particular dispensing unit herein shown, rearward (anti-clockwise) movement of the arm 46 dispenses a cup and forward (clockwise) movement of the arm resets the device for the next operation and lowers the stack an increment of movement corresponding to the spacing between adjacent cups of the stack; therefore, a complete cycle of operation of the arm iii comprises first a rearward movement of the arm to the extent of its travel and the return movement of the arm to its initial position. The cups so individually dispensed fall out through the discharge throat ll.

ACTUATING MECHANISM Referring more particularly to Fig. 3, it will be seen that the lower end of the spindle I3 carries rigidly secured thereto a gear 68 which is in mesh with an idle gear 29 which in turn is in mesh with an idle gear which is in mesh with a gear 5| (see also Fig. 2) rigidly secured to the lower end of the spindle 13a. A pinion gear 52 is also rigidly secured to the lower end of the spindle l3a and is in driven engagement with a gear 53 which is journaled on a stud shaft 54 supported on the underside of the plate 9. A pinion gear 55 is rigidly secured to the gear 53 and is in mesh with a gear segment 56 formed integrally with a gear arm 51 which is pivotally mounted on a stud shaft 53 rigidly supported on the underside of the plate 9. The arm 57 carries a pair of stud pins 59 to which are secured corresponding ends of a pair of helical tension springs 60 whose opposite ends are anchored to the supporting plate 9 as by a pair of stud bolts 6|. The turret spindle I311 also carries rigidly secured thereto, interposed between the gears 5| and 52, an escapement wheel 62 carrying a plurality of teeth, such as 23, equal in numberto the number of recesses 22 in the turret It. An escapement pawl 6:3 is pivotally supported from the plate 9, as at 65, and is provided with a pair of detents, such as 66, for alternate engagement with the teeth 53, so that in a complete reciprocation of the arm 64 back and forth, one of the detents 66 will release one of the teeth 63 and the other detent 66 will catch the succeeding tooth during one throw of the arm 64, and the reverse throw of the arm 64 will release the tooth 63 from one detent 66 and catch it on the other detent 66, i. e. the complete reciprocation back and forth of the arm 64 will permit two increments of movement to the escapement wheel 52 aggregating the angular space between two of the teeth 63. It will, therefore, be seen that under the driving power of the springs 60, upon reciprocation of the arm 84 back and forth, the turrets l6 and 3a will be caused to rotate in synchronism the angular distance corresponding to the displacement of one stack of cups. The escapement pawl 64 is actuated by a solenoid 61 whose armature is connected to thepawl 64 by means of a suitable linkage 68.

Electric current is supplied to the solenoid 61 by suitable means (not shown), and thecircuit is controlled by a suitable switch, such as a micromatic switch 69 (Fig. 2) rigidly secured to the frame I by means of screws 10 (Fig. 4). The switch 69 is actuated by an engaging pin ll adjustably carried on the outer end of an arm 12 pivotally mounted on the frame by means of a gudgeon bolt 13. To insure closing of the switch 69, the arm 12 is .preferably urged downwardly by a light leaf spring, such as 14, which is an chored by the bolt 13., The arm 12 is provided on the opposite side of its pivot with a downwardly extending feeler finger 15 which is held in retracted or outward position by the stack of cups at the dispensing station in register with the dispensing unit 2. The lower end of the finger .15 is positioned below the upper surface of the turret plate 2!; and the distance, between the lower end of the finger and the cams 45 of the dispensing unit 2 determines the number of cups remaining in the dispensing unit at the, time that a fresh stack of cups is fed into register with the dispensing unit 2. It will therefore be seen that, upon a predetermined diminution of the stack of cups at the feeding station, in so far as the active stack is concerned, the finger 15 is permitted to move inwardly, and the switch 69 to be closed to complete the circuit to the solenoid 61. It is desirable to have the finger (5 releasably held from engagement with the stack normally, so as to avoid resistance against the cups and interference with freedropping of the stack downwardly in the dispensing unit. In

order to accomplish this, provision has been 7,

made to lock the arm 12 in raised position so as to hold the switch 59 open during the intervals between the dispensing of individual cups from the unit 2. This is provided for by the cam plate 16 (see also Fig. 4) which is mounted on a fixed pivot 1'! and is restrained in its travel by the screws 10 which are disposed in corresponding slots provided in the cam plate 16. The lower edge of the cam plate 15 is provided with a cam surface 78 which rests on the dispensing arm 46 so that upon the forward motion (return stroke) of the dispenser arm 46, the cam plate 16 is raised and its upper edge 19 engages the arm 12 to hold the same in raised position; conversely, as the dispensing arm 46 is moved rearwardly (dispensing stroke), the arm 12 is permitted to move downwardly into engagement with an active stack, or beyond provided the stack of cups has been sufficiently depleted to clear the finger 15. This release andlocking of the finger 15 takes place at each individual dispensing of a cup from the dispensing unit 2 and avoids an'y interference with the proper axial feed of an active stack in the dispensing unit 2 and thus prevents interference with the proper operation of the unit 2. This is particularly important where a dis pausing. device or. this character is utilized; asa; part or a beverage dispensing machine wherein at each actuation. of thebeverage dispensing. marchine a cup must be disposed in position to. receive the beverage being. dispensed. This. arrangement also provides a convenient control for usein loading.

of the stack'resting on the: turret plate 21 and shoe-4|; In order to load the: cups into: the device without having? the: operators hands touch the cups, it is preferable to open the bottom of the containerorcartoniin whichithe cups are packed in nested form, and insert the end of the container' in. the open door and allow" the stack to slide into position; and by gradually'raising'the carton and slipping the top of thestaclrinwardly as: it passes out of the carton, the stack may be readily inserted laterally through the: side opening and beneath the top or cover 26. The operat'or then rotates the turret ['6 in a clockwise direction by means of alsuitable hand-wheel 80 (Fig. 2) which is held indriving engagementiwith the turret-by suitable means including a screw rod 8|, which passes through the hub of the turret and is in screw-threaded engagement with the upper end of the" spindle 13, thus permitting ready removal of the hand -wheel 80 so that the cover 26 maybe removed for purposes of inspection or'such cleaning of the interior of the casing as may be desired from time to time. It is noted; however, that the device is so" constructed and arranged that the cups are substantially fully protected against dust and dirt from the exterior. Such rotation of the hand-wheel 80 causes the next succeeding recess 22 to be brought opposite the filling opening provided by the'open door 31; and asecond' stack is inserted as above described. The operation is continued by successive rotation of theturret. By means" of the gear train (Fig; 3), the clockwise rotation of the turret I 6 is accompanied by the anti-clockwise rotation of turret [6a in step with the turret [8. After the third recess 22 has been filled in the turret l6, and as the turret is rotated during the next step, the bottom of the stack first inserted in the turret passes over the cup slide shoe 39 to assure the positioning at the bottom of the stack in the plane of the upper surface of the turret plates 2| and 2 la; and as the next succeeding stack is inserted in the turret ii, the first stack is positioned between oppositely disposed recesses of the turrets Hi and 1611. It will be noted that as the bottom of the stack is engaged by the shoe 39, it is deflected towards the axis of the turret ('6' by a portion of the side wall 24- adjacent the post 28', to thereby guide the cup toward its transfer position. Upon the next step of rotation of turret IS, the first stack loaded into said turret is deflected from turret" l'6 by means of that portion of the side wall 25 contiguous the posts 36 and 37-, and during this transfer, the cup slide shoe 40 serves to maintain the bottom of the stack thus being transferred in the plane of the turret plate 21a: (The cups are successively loaded into the recesses 22. oiv turret l6 and; successivelytransferredtoz turret" [6w until nine. stacks have thus been loadedinto the supply mechanism; During this reverse or loading-rotationoi the turrets, the rotation of the spindle 13a (Fig.4 3), through a gear train 52-53'--55-56, has moved the .arm 51 in a clockwise direction to tension the springs 60, and one of. the detents 66 engages a toothof the escapement wheel 62 to hold the parts in the=positionindicated.

Feeding stocks to dispensing station A stack of cups is. now fed to the dispensing. unit 2 by moving the dispensing arm 46 rearwardly to lower the cam plate 16. to the solid line position of Fig. 4 and thus permit the arm 72 to move downwardly, and since. no active stack is yet in place, the spring 14 now movesthe arm I2 downwardly to close the switch 69 and energize the solenoid 61 (Fig. 3) whiohmoves the arm 64 in a clockwise. direction to release one of the teeth 63 and engage a succeeding tooth 63, thus effecting a first incrementof movement. The dispensing arm 46 is now moved forwardly to the dotted position (Fig. 4-) thereby lifting the cam plate 16 and causingthe arm 72 to move upwardly to open the switch 69 and deenergize the solenoid G7, whereupon spring 68a returns the arm 64 to the position shown in Fig. 3, thus causing one detent 66 to release a tooth and the other detent 66 to engage said tooth so as to effect the second increment of movement. The said two increments of movement-thus cause. the turret to move one index step or angular distance corresponding. to the angular displacement of one stack. During this step of. movement, the cup slide shoe M engages the bottom of the stack being fed to the dispensing. station and raises it to the level of the turret plate 2|, which relieves the stack of frictional engagement with the wall of the casing 24 and assures alignment of the stack". vertically. The cup deflector cam 42 de heats the stack outwardly from its recess, and the stack is thus discharged from its curvilinear path of travel past the turret projection 23 and over the throat 44; Due to the tapered shape-of the cups, the register of the stack at the dis chargestation is facilitated and the stop 43 serves to' assure accurate verticalalign-ment of the cups for about half. of the circumference of the stack, and theturret portion adjacent the discharge station is so disposed as: to come to rest adjacent the periphery of the stack opposite the stop plate 43 so as to: effect registration and prevent any possibility of the stack falling away from the plate 43. As the stack comes into register, it falls downwardly until the rimof. the lowermost cup restsupon the cams 45 of the dispensing. unit 2. If it is desired to completely fill the magazine so as to replace the stack fed into the disperiser 2, thismay be-dcne initially inthe manner to be described following under Reloading Upon the forward movement of turret It to feed cups to the dispensing unit, the recesses in the turret 16' as they successively become empty (i; e., as said recesses move pastv and beyond the dispensing'station) arefilled with stacks of cups which are transferred thereto from the turret lid in a manner similar to that previously described heretofore relative to the loading. That is, as the turrets are rotated in the forward. or feed direction, a stack is deflected from turret Hit; by means of that portion of the side wall 24 contiguous the post 28, and during this transfer the cup slide shoe 39 serves to maintain the bottom of the stack, thus being transferred, in the plane of the turret plate 2|.

Reloading At any time, when desired, the magazine may be refilled or supplied with stacks of cups regardless of the length of the stack of cups at the dispensing station and without in any manner interfering with the stack at the dispensing station, the lower end of which stack is engaged within the dispensing unit 2. This is one of the main features of the invention and is of particular importance in permitting the supply of cups in the magazine to be replenished at such time as the device is reached for servicing. For example, in devices of this general type where provision is made to feed a fresh stack to the dis pensing station after a predetermined diminution of the active stack, there will always be present in the active stack a suflicient number of cups to bring the height of the stack above the bottom of the other stacks in the magazine. As soon as the active stack is depleted, a fresh stack will be supplied to the dispensing station! Accordingly, at no time when the magazine is to be replenished with a fresh supply of stacks will the active stack of cups have been diminished to a height below the level of the stacks in the magazine. For this reason, it has heretofore been necessary to load the magazines of devices of this general type from the top, i. e. axially, or to have access around the entire periphery of the magazine, and this is impractical in many instances, more especially where'the dispensing unit is to be used in a limited or enclosed space, such as in the cabinet of a beverage dispensing unit.

In the present invention, however, this difficulty has been overcome by ofisetting the dispensing station so that the means for supplying the cups thereto from the magazine may operate forwardly or rearwardly while a stack is present at the dispensing station. By referring to Figs. 1 and 2, it will be seen that if the magazine is to be reloaded with one or more additional stacks, the turret l6 may be moved in a clockwise direction as previously described to bring the turret cavity or recess 22 past the dispensing station to the filling station, and by opening the door 3|, 9. fresh stack may be placed in the empty cavity, and any succeeding empty cavities in the magazine may be similarly filled by successive movements of the turret in a direction reverse to the feeding direction. As the fresh stacks are fed into successive recesses in the turret Hi, the preceding stacks are successively fed in an anticlockwise direction by the turret lfia. For example, when the machine is initially loaded, and after the first stack has been deposited at the filling station, the turret It may be moved in a clockwise direction so that the recess from which a stack has been fed to the filling station may be refilled, at which time thedevice will contain ten stacks of cups, one in the dispensing unit 2,

four in the turret IS, one'jointly carried by the turrets i6 and 16a, and four carried in the turret lfia.

Dispensing is then positioned for the next dispensing operap the active stack has not been so depleted, the

feeler 15 engages the active stack and serves to hold the arm 12 upwardly against the action of spring M, thereby preventing the energization of the relay.

As is well-known in the art, when the apparatus is utilized as apart of a beverage dispensing unit, the dispensing arm, such-as 46, will be actuated by suitable mechanism in timed relation with the beverage dispensing mechanism in order that the cup dispensed may receive the beverage. For this reason, in such use of the apparatus, it, is especially important that a large supply of cups be provided for in the magazine so that the cup will likewise be available without too-frequent servicing.

MODIFICATION (FIGS. 5-8 INCL.)

'In Figs. 5-8 inclusive, an embodiment of the invention is disclosed in which a single turret is employed and in which a slightly modified form of turret drive is provided; otherwise the essential features are similar to those previously described. In order to avoid undue duplication, a detailed description will be omitted of such parts of this embodiment asare identical with or substantially identical with the embodiment previously described, and such parts will be designated by the same numerals as the corresponding parts of Figs. 1-4 inclusive with a prime suffix added. I

Referring more particularly to Figs. 6 and 8, the turret spindle l3 carries rigidly secured to its lower end an escapement wheel 62' which is engageable with the detent portions '66 of the escapement pawl 64', pivotally supported on the outer end of an arm 65 which is rigidly supported from the plate =9 by means of the sleeve Ill. The pawl 64 is attached by means of a linkage 68' to the armature of solenoid 61, in the manner similar to and for the purposes previously described in the foregoing embodiment. The pawl 64' in Fig. 8 is shown moved to a positlon opposite that shown in Fig. 6, to better show the parts in elevation. The turret spindle It also carries rigidly secured to its lower end a driving arm 82, the outer end of which is attached to one end of a convolute spring 83 which rests on a spring wheel 84, and the inner end of the spring 83 is anchored to said wheel by a fixed stud. The wheel 84 is rigidly mounted on'a hanging bracket 85 rigidly secured to the supporting frame and extends downwardly from the sup.- porting plate 9'. It will thus be seen that upon rotation of the turret It in a clockwise direction (Fig. 5), the spring 83 is placed under drivin tension, and after the turret has been rotated to the degree desired, one of the detents 66' engages the fac of one of the teeth 63" to prevent feed movement of the turret It in an anti-clockwise direction. The turret I6 is loaded by inserting stacks through the side opening provided by opening the door 3| (Fig. 5),and the turret if is successively rotated step by step in a clockwise direction until the turret is filled similar to the manner previously described (in the present embodiment, five stacks are held in the turret), and

in the event that it is attempted to bring the remaining sixth recess 22' opposite the filling station, the inner end of the plate 43' prevents the continued movement of the turret 'by engagin with the stack :of cups in the succeeding space '22. -As in theprevious embodiment, the turret may be "given a feeding movement by manipulationof the dispenser arm 46' to its rearward positionto cause the turret to feed a stack -of cups into the dispensing unit 2', and thereafter upon returning the'dispehsin-g arm 48' to *its forward position, the turret mayberotated in a clockwise direction to bring the recess from which thestac'k has thus been ejected to the filling-station, and a stack of cups can then be inserted; whereby the apparatus will contain five stacks in the turret andone at the dispensing station.

It is noted that in Fig. 3, the active stack is shown as having been depleted to a point :peomitting the finger 15' to move inwardly, thus per 'm'itting the switch 69 to close in a manner previously described in connection with the previous embodiment, ancLthis is the point in the cyclao'f operation at which the solenoid 61" (Fi-g. 6) is energized to start the ieedingstepof the turret l6. Relay v5'! is shown de-energized in Fig. 6 Iorpurposes of clarity.

MODIFICATION (FIG. '9)

Instead of having the stacks bodily vertically supported on the turrets, 'as in the previous one bodiments, other features :of the invention previously described have been embodied in a pa- ::ratus wherein the cups :are not bodily supported by the iturrets but rest upon a feed table over which they aremovedibythe turrets. Fig..9-illustrates such :a :devicewherein the various-partisans arranged and disposed as previously described in theem'bodiment of Figs. 1-&-inc1llSiV ,,=BXCi-}Pt as --mor.e particularly pointed out following hereinafter. The supporting ;plates,;such as 2;! and 21a of Figs. 1-4,;have been omitted from the turrets and-the stacks of cops rest in a-sinuous groove .86, sofa :width slightly greater than thebottom of the cup and having side walls "conforming in general to-the taper of th :cup (as indicated by the double lines :of the groove #6) '-comparable to the inner"wall'of the iblOCk 30 (Fig. 2),. Accordingly, when the magazine is filled, the bottom oi the stacks will rest in the groove and be supported by the bottom :of the groove and will be disposed withinthe recesses orthe respective turrets which,

together with the surrounding casing, will sup- "portzthe stacks laterally. The recesses u'nthe turrets-1E this modification are shown with straight Walls, instead :of the lower portions being tapered asin' Figs. 1-4;;:but it is tobe understood that the tapered form ,may be used if desired. In this modification-the bottoms of the stacks remain on substantially the same plane defined :by .the bottom of the groove 85, and hence no slide shoes '(suchas :39, and-41 of -Fig. l) are-needed;and the nontou-r-of the groove path at .the region :81 is :such as to deflect the bottom of the stack .outwardly from its curvilinear path and into the opening 8.8 of the dispensing unit (notshown) thus :obviating the necessity i or :a deflector -cam {such ask of Fig. :1). This embodiment {of the invention v.is not considered as desirable as the embodiment previously :described because of the friction encountered in :moving a number of stacks and the possible damage to the bottoms of the cups :in moving :along a supporting track, such as the bottom of the groove :86; but this embodiment has :heen successfully operated.

-MonmoArroN (FIG. 10) The invention'lends itself to almost unlimited senses 'possibilitiesrespectingthenumberof cups accommodated in the magazine and the configuration (in plan view) of the magazine casing or outer contour. For example, in Fig.,10, there is some- "5 what diagrammatically illustrated an embodient of-the invention in which the stacks are dis- ;posed in along sinuous Path which passes successively around ,four centers, such as llll, I02, I03 and 104, corresponding to the axes of turrets arranged as disclosed in the previous embodiment Figs 1-4) -a casing, designated in general as I05, serving to define the boundary of said path of travel and to protect the stacks, as 'hereabove set M forth. 'The active stack, at the dispensing sta-. tion, is designated as Ill-B, the feed path is designated by the sinuous dot line and the ejection path by the dot-dash line. By arrangin the axes of the respective turrets, in the desired geometric order, the configuration of the casin '20 I05 in plan view can 'be varied 'tofit various requirements as to space. It will 'be understood by those skilled in the art, after understandin the invention, that the 'four turrets about centers Hi l-I04 inclusive are interconnected for synchronous movement and that the other details of construction and operation will be in accordance with the previous description.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the invention is applicable -to apparatus comprising one or a relatively large number .of turrets and that the diameter of the turrets maybe proportioned in accordancewith the size of the articles being dispensed and the number of stacks desired to he carried'by each turret up to a maximum diameter which 'may be accommodated :in the desired space. Furthermore, when a very much larger number of stacks is to be provided for than may be carried conveniently in one group about a central axis, the invention provides for an 40 arrangement of the stacks in a sinuous path which may be madeto follow such a course as is desired, to fall within the compass of -'a given space. Furthermore, whether the-stacks are arranged about :a common center asin arone-turret device, or about .a plurality of centers as in a -multi-turret device, the magazine may be refilled through a relatively small :side opening without disturbing the active stack, regardless :of its length, and without necessitating the touching 0 of the .cups :or stacks "by the operator servicing the equipment.

Having thus described our invention 'with particularity with reference to the preferred :embodiment .of the same, and having referred 1120591116 of the :possible modifications thereof, .it will be obvious to those 'skilledin the art, after understanding .our invention, that other changes and modifications may be made therein without departingfrom the spirit and scope of the invention,.and"we aim in the'appended claimsto cover .such changes :and ;modifications as ;are within "the. scope of the invention.

What claim is: :1. .rIna-multi-staok dispensing device ior nested articlestheicomhination;of;means:for supp r n and :moving in :a curvilinear path ,a plurality of vertical stacks of nested articles to be dispensed,

'means for individimlly dispensing said nested articles successively from a vertical stack offset 701lateral1yirom said path, and means for trans- Ien'ing successive stacks from said path to said dispensing -means.

.2. lnamulti-stack dispensing device-for nested .articl sthe combinationotmeansfor u portin and moving in a sinuous path a plurality of vertical stacks of nested articles to be dispensed, means for individually dispensing said articles successively from the bottom of a vertical stack offset laterally from said path, and means for transferring successive stacks from said path to said dispensing means.

3. In a multi-stack cup dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of means for supporting and moving in a curvilinear path a plurality of vertical stacks of nested cups to be dispensed, said means comprising a rotatable carrier defining the inner limit of said path and having portions for driving engagement longitudinally of said respective stacks, and guide means spaced outwardly from said carrier and defining the outer limit of said path, means for disengaging successively said stacks from driven engagement by said rotatable carrier and positioning said successive stacks at a dispensing station, and cup dispensing means in register with said station positioned for dispensing individual cups from the lower end thereof successively.

4. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested engagement by said carrier during its forward rotation and moving said successive stacks beyond the periphery of said carrier, article dispensing means disposed to receive the lower end of said stacks as they are successively disengaged from said carrier, said side wall having an opening longitudinally of said carrier for the passage of successive stacks therethrough to said carrier,

whereby said carrier may be rotated rearwardly past a stack in dispensing position and said carrier reloaded with stacks.

5. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of a rotatable turret provided with peripherally disposed axially extending recesses for respective stacks of nested articles to be dispensed, said recesses being adapted to receive said stacks radially of said turret, means for holding said stacks in said recesses during a part of the cycle of rotation of said turret, means for positioning successive of said stacks beyond the periphery of said turret at a dispensing station during another part of said cycle, and a dispensing unit positioned at said dispensing station for successively dispensing individual articles from stack in said station, said turret being rotatable in a reverse direction past the dispensing station to thereby successively refill empty recesses in said turret without interference with the articles at the dispensing station.

6. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested cups, the combination of a vertical turret mounted for rotation in forward and reverse directions and provided with peripherally disposed axially extending recesses for respective stacks of nested cups, said recesses being adapted to receive said stacks radially of said turret, means for rotating said turret in a forward direction intermittently, means for holding said stacks in said recesses during a part of the cycle of forward rotation of said turret means for positioning successive of said stacks beyond the periphery of said turret at a dispensing station during another part of said cycle, a dispensing unit positioned at said dispensing station for successively dispensing individual cups from the lower end of a stack in said station, said turret being rotatable in a reverse direction past the dispensing station to thereby successively refill empty recesses in said turret without interference with the cups at the dispensing station, and means for controlling the intermittent forward rotation of said turret, said control means comprising a laterally movable feeler member mounted adjacent said dispenser unit for yielding engagement with th'e outer periphery of cups of the respective stacks at said dispensing station.

'7. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of a rotatable turret for supporting nested articles in a plurality of vertical stacks arranged in a circuitous series, means for rotating said turret to advance said stacks to a dispensing station, a dispenser unit for dispensing individual articles successively from the bottom of a stack at said dispensing station, said unit being oifset laterally from said turret so that a stack at said station will be positioned out of the path of movement of said turret, and means for guiding said stacks in a curvilinear path and successively to said station.

8. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of a plurality of rotatable turrets for supporting nested article in a plurality of vertical stacks arranged in a sinuousseries, means for rotating said turrets forwardly to advance said stacks to a dispensing station adjacent one of said turrets, a dispenser unit for dispensing said articles successively one at a time from the bottom of a stack at said dispensing station, said unit being offset laterally from said adjacent turret so that a stack at said station will be positioned out of the path of movement of said turret, and means for guiding said stacks in a sinuous path and successively to said station.

9. In a multi-stack cup dispensing device for nestedcups', the combination of a dispensing unit for successively dispensing individual cups from the bottom of a stack of nested cups, a magazine having, fixed substantially vertically extending guide walls formed of curved sections and movable means for jointly holding and feeding a series of vertical stacks of nested cups forwardly along a substantially horizontally disposed and laterally sinuous path laterally offset adjacent the outer extremity of which said dispensing unit is secured to said magazine means for arresting the forward travel of the foremost of said stack and positioning the same in register with said dispensing unit, said magazine having a side filling opening providing access thereto, said movable means being operable in a reverse direction independently of the number of cups in the stack in register with said dispensing unit, whereby said magazine may be filled through said opening by the reverse movement of said movable means while a stack of cups is in register with said dispensing unit.

10. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of a turret mounted for rotation about a vertical axis and provided with axially extending peripherally spaced outwardly projecting portions between which respective stacks of nested articles are adapted to be received, a casing spaced outward- 1y from said turret and providing means for holding said stacks in position about said turret, a

discharge throat for receivingthe lower end of a stack :or said articles to be dispensed and through which said articles are adapted to pass, said throat being laterally oiiset relative to said turretso that astackin-register with said throat will be disposed beyondthe outer diameter .ofsaid turret,'and means ,for 'guiding successive of said stacks into'register with said throat and out of the path of rotation of said turret. i

1 l. Ina,multi-stack dispensingidevice for nested articles; the combination of a turret --mounted for rotation about a vertical axis and provided with axially extending peripherally spaced outwardly, projecting portions between which respective stacks of nested articles are adapted to be received, a casing spaced outwardly from saidturrot and providing means for holding said stacks in position about said turret, a discharge throat forreceiving the lower end of a stack of said articles to be;dispensed;and through which :said articles are adapted ,to-pass, said throat being laterally offset relative to said turret so that a stack of said nested articles in register with said throat will be disposed beyond theouter diameter of said turret, and means for guiding successive of said stacks into register withsaidthroat and out of the path of rotation of said turret, said casing being provided with" a refill opening disposed axially of said turret andthrough which individual stacks may be inserted-in the spaces between said turret portions, whereby said turret may be rotated .in a rearward direction past a registered stack and empty turret spaces may be brought past said opening and stacks successively placed in said spaces.

12. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, the combination of a turret mounted -f r rotation about a vertical axis and provided with axially extending peripherally spaced outwardly projecting portions between which respective stacks of nested articles .are adapted to be received, a casing spaced outwardly from said turret'and providing means for holding said stacks in position about said turret, a discharge throat for receiving the ,lower end of a stack of saidarticles to be'dispensed .and through which said articles are adapted to pass, said throat being laterally offset relative tosaid turret-sothat a stackin register with said throat will be disposed beyond the outer diameter of said turret, means for guiding successive of said stacksinto register with said throat and out of the path of rotation of said turret, and means for rotating said-turret step by step for respective registration :of successive stacks with said throat and forpositioning successive turret projections adjacent said registered stack delivered to said throat, whereby said projection provides a vertical support for said registered stack.

.13. In a multi-stack dispensing device for nested articles, .the .combination of dispensing mechanism for successively-dispensing said nested articles one by one from the lower end of a vertical stack of said articles in active position and thereby decreasing the height ofsaid-stack by successive increments, means for holding a plurality of stacks in inactive position .and moving successive of said stacks to said active position upon predetermined-diminution of said active stack, mechanism for controlling said movement comprising a member disposed Iorengagement with the outer wall of an activestack, said member being urged inwardly toward said stacklfor engagement therewith and being ldisposeda predetermined distance above said dispensing mechanism, and means for inhibiting the inward movement of said member during that period in the actuation of said dispensing mechanism at which said incremental decrease takes place, whereby upon said active stack being diminished to a predetermined height said member moves inwardly, thereby causing a successive stack to be moved from inactive to active position during an interval between the dispensing of individual articles. a

14. In a dispenser for cup-shaped articles, a plurality-of holding means, each capable of holding a plurality of stacks of nested articles to be dispensed and constructed and arranged to advance the stacks from one holder to the other in the operation of the dispenser, a dispensing station, and means for transferring the stacks of nested articles from one of said holding means to said dispensing station.

15. In a dispenser for cup-shaped articles, a plurality of rotatable turrets constructedand arranged to hold a plurality of stacks of nested articles to be dispensed and to advance such stacks from one turret to another in the operation of the dispenser, a dispensing station located adjacently outside the periphery of one of said turrets and means for successively transferring the stacks of nested articles from such turret to said dispensing station.

16. In a dispenser vfor cup-shaped articles, a plurality of rotatable turrets constructed and arranged to hold a plurality of stacks of nested article to be dispensed and to advance such stacks from one turret to another in the operation of the dispenser, a dispensing station located adjacently outside the periphery of one of said turrets, a sinu- 0115 track defining the path of movement of the stacks and supporting such stacks as they are advanced to the dispensing station, and mean for successively transferring the stacks from one of said turrets to said dispensing station.

17. In a dispenser for cup-shaped articles, ro-

' tatable means provided with a plurality of radially extending members forming a plurality of recesses adapted to receive stacks of nested articles to be dispensed, means for intermittently rotating said means to cause said members to advance the stacks positioned therebetween, a dispensing station located adjacently outside the outside radius of said members, means for maintaining the stacks between said members as they are being advanced towards said dispensing station and means for successively shifting the tacks from between said members to said dispensing station during the movement of said members.

18. In a dispenser for cup-shaped articles, a plurality of rotatable turrets, each provided with radially extending portions forming a plurality of vertically disposed recesses adapted to receive stacks of nested articles to be dispensed, said turrets being so constructed and arranged that the vertical recesses of one turret will successively come into opposed registered relation with the respective recesses of another turret during the rotative movements of such turrets, means for transferring a stack disposed in opposedregistered recesses from one turret to another as such ,recesses move from their opposed relation, a dispensing station adjacent to a receiving turret and means for successively shifting the stacks from such turret to saiddispensing station.

JAMES D. REIFSNYDER. ALBERT F. MILLER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2497718 *Jan 10, 1945Feb 14, 1950Westinghouse Electric CorpDispensing apparatus
US2708531 *Feb 10, 1950May 17, 1955Dixie Cup CoCup-carrying structure for a bulk beverage vending machine
US2732098 *Feb 9, 1952Jan 24, 1956 Hot beverage vending machine
US3311260 *Apr 26, 1965Mar 28, 1967American Can CoCup dispensing apparatus
US4066218 *Sep 29, 1975Jan 3, 1978W. Schlafhorst & Co.Method and device for supplying empty conical coil cores to the individual winding stations of a textile machine
US4351452 *Jun 10, 1980Sep 28, 1982Rowe International, Inc.Turret cup supply and delivery apparatus
US5172828 *Oct 1, 1991Dec 22, 1992Unidynamics CorporationCup dispenser
US5605249 *Dec 12, 1994Feb 25, 1997Gonyea; GeraldBattery operated vending machine having a carousel stacking arrangement and plunger-type dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/11, 221/104, 221/281
International ClassificationB65G59/00, G07F11/54, G07F11/46, B65G59/10
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/54, B65G59/102
European ClassificationG07F11/54, B65G59/10D2