US 2522896 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 19, 1950 M. RlFKlN ETI'AL MERCHANDISE DISPENSING DEVICE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 2, 1946 5.3m r1 w 25% 2 "Z a j Sept. 19, 1950 M. RlFKlN ETAL MERCHANDISE DISPENSING DEVICE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 2, 1946 .lilllidlla I v l falallllnl.
p 9, 1950 M. RIFKIN ETAL 2,522,896
MERCHANDISE DISPENSING DEVICE Filed Dec. 2, 1946 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 iiH |i P 1950 M. RIFKlN ETAL 2,522,896
MERCHANDISE DISPENSING DEVICE Filed Dec. 2, 1946 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Patented Sept. 19, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,522,896 MERCHANDISE DISPENSING DEVICE Milton Rifkin, Chicago, Ill., and Sidney Everett Webster, Minneapolis, Minn., assignors to Frea- O-Mat Corporation, a corporation of Illinois Application December 2, 1946,- Serial'No.713,426
8 Claims. 1
This invention relates to improvements in dispensing cabinets and refers specifically to mechanism for urging articles, cartons or the like to be dispensed toward a dispensing door in the cabinet, the dispensing mechanism being actuated essentially by movement of the door.
In the type of dispensing cabinet wherein articles, cartons or the like are periodically moved forwardly within the cabinet to dispensing position adjacent a door-closed dispensing opening in the cabinet wall such as described in my previously issued Patents Nos. 2,446,788 and 2,460,396, it is desirable that the dispensing mechanism be such that an article, cartonor the like previously removed from the cabinet can be replaced in the cabinet through the dispensing opening without the necessity of manipulating levers or buttons to disengage the mechanism which urges the merchandise forwardly toward the opening. The same problem occurs when actuated by movement of the dispensing door to move a column of cartons forwardly toward the dispensing opening, when the door has been moved a predetermined distance means is actuated for disengaging the urging agency to permit the column to be moved rearwardly to accommodate one or more cartons which may be inserted through the dispensing opening and positioned at the forward portion of the column.
Such a situation frequently arises in connection with dispensing cabinets in so-called self service retail stores. The customer, after re- I'noving one or more cartons from the cabinet may find that through inadvertence the carton or article removed is not the merchandise desired or that too many have been removed. In such a situation the door need only be opened and the carton or cartons be simply replaced at the head of the column of articles in the cabinet merely by moving the column rearwardly in the Y cabinet.
The present invention also contemplates means for disengaging the urging agency when the actuating force reverses itself. This provision is important where a dispensing door has been partiall opened (the movement of theddor comprising the actuating force for moving the column forwardly) and for some reason or another the door is closed without completely opening the same and without removing a carton therefrom. For instance, in the retail store cabinet hereinbefore described, the customer may find that the wrong door was opened and the door had been only partially opened before theerror was discovered. In this case, partial openin of the door moves the column of articles or cartons forwardly which, of course, necessitates the urging agency being in operation which, however, becomes inoperative and disengaged when the door is closed, permitting free rearward movement of the column.
As another feature of my invention, means is provided for conveniently varying the for ward movement of the column of articles, cartons or the like with a movement of the door through a constant predetermined distance which permits of sequential dispensing of articles or cartons of predetermined width.
Other objects and advantages of my inven tion will be apparent from the accompanying drawings and following detailed description.
In the drawings,
Fig. 1 is a detailed sectional view of one unit mechanism in operative position.
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary View of an auxiliary means for rendering the dispensing mechanism inoperative.
Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Fig. 7.
Fig. 9 is a front elevational view, parts being broken away and parts being shown in section, of the pusher block.
Fig. 10 is a sectional view taken on line |0l0 of Fig. 9.
Fig. 11 is a sectional view taken on line H--H of Fig. 10.
rack surface 22 being disposed r beneath slot [3. The forward end portion of the Fig. 12 is a detailed perspective view of the variable pusher block control stop.
Fig. 13 is a, detail View of the device shown in Fig. 12.
Referring in detail to the drawings, I, indicate horizontal frame members and 2, 2 indicate vertical frame members comprising a portion of the front wall of a dispensing cabinet. The entire cabinet, for purposes of clarity, is not shown inasmuch as the present invention is directed particularl to one of a number of similar units which are duplicated in the complete cabinet.
The frame members l and 2, 2 define a dispensing opening 3 which is normally closed by a hinged door 4. A lug 5 is positioned beneath, and adjacent each side of the opening 3 and a hinge pin 6 carried by the door 4 is journalled in the spaced lugs whereby said door may be swung into and out of closure position. In view ;of the fact that dispensing cabinets are frequently refrigerated, when used to dispense frozen foods or the like, the door may be insu- Ilated, being of relatively thick construction and having an inwardly extending block '1 upon its inner face. A handle 3 is carried upon the outer face of the door whereby the door can be con- .veniently opened and closed.
Extending rearwardly from the opening 3 and inwardly with respect to the cabinet front wall is a pair of merchandise supports or ways 9 which are preferably constructed of metal. Each of the ways 9 is similar having a horizontal supporting .portion In and a guide portion II, the terminating edge being flanged outwardly, as
shown best at l2. The opposite longitudinal edges of the ways are folded upon themselves and are spaced from each other to provide a :slot I3.
As will be hereinafter more fully described and a pusher block I5 is adapted to be guided for longitudinal movement along said ways by the slot l3.
A pair of channel members I6 having outwardly extending flanges H are secured, preferably by welding or the like, to the lower surfaces of the ways 9, said members being spaced longitudinally from each other. Each of the members It carries a pivot pin which in turn swingably supports a cam bar [9. A pair of arcuately spaced stops 2i! and 20' are also carried by the channel members it, stops 20 being adapted to 'limit counterclockwise rotation of the bars l9,
and stops 253' being adapted to limit clockwise rotation of said bars, as viewed in Figs. 1, 2, 5
and 6. The function of the cam bars l9 will be hereinafter more fully described.
A rack 2| is slidably positioned between the lwebs of each channel It and is supported upon the free ends of the cam bars l9, the upper or immediately rack 2| is provided with an inclined recess 23 forming a hook adapted for engagement with a cable 24. The opposite end of cable 24 engages .with a hook 23 secured to door 4, the block 7 be- .ing slotted, as shown best at 26 in Figs. 1 and 2,
to receive the cable. A threshold 21 having a curved forward edge 28 is positioned at the lower defining edge of the opening 3, the threshold .being also slotted, as shown best at 23 in Fig. 3,
for the reception of cable 24. A pulley or roller 3!] is positioned in the slot 29 and the cable 24 is adapted to pass thereunder intermediate its length.
The length of the cable 24 is such that when the door 4 is opened about hinge pins 6 the ratchet bar 2| moves forwardly within channels |6 a predetermined distance. To retract the bar 2| and also apply tension to the door 4 to resiliently resist opening thereof, a coil spring 3| is anchored at one end upon an intermediate portion of bar 2| and at the other end upon the U-bent portion of the rear channel [3. It will be noted that the spring 3|, by virtue of its anchorages exerts both a horizontal force, or force along the length of bar 2| and a vertical force, or force at right-angles to the length of the bar, the latter force tending to maintain bar 2| seated upon the free ends of the cam bars IS.
The lower surface of the ratchet bar is provided with two similar recesses 32 of generally trapezoidal contour. However, the rear defining edge of each of the recesses 32 is curved, as shown best at 33 in Figs. 5 and 6. The upper end of each of the cam bars I!) has a double curved O contour, shown best at 34 and 35 in Fig. 6, being the forward and rearward curved surfaces respectively. The radius of curvature of the surface 34 is substantially the same as that of the defining edge 33 of recess 32, as shown best in Fig. 5, whereby when the bar 2| is in the position shown in said figure the curved surface 33 of the recess and the curved surface 34 of the cam bar are in substantial coincidence.
The position of the recesses 32, the stops '20, and th length of the cable 24 are socorrelated that when the door 4 is closed, the parts are in the position shown in Fig. 5, that is, the ratchet bar 2| is in its lowermost position and the cam bars l9 are in contact with the stops When the door 4 is opened, the cable 24 is tensioned pulling the ratchet bar 2| forwardly toward said door. This movement rocks the cam bars H3 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in Figs. 5 and 6, whereby the ratchet bar is raised against the Vertical component of the force of the spring 3|.
As the opening of the door progresses, the cam bars come into limiting position against the stops 20 and thereafter sliding movement of the ratchet bar takes place along the surfaces 34 of said cam bars, as shown best in Fig. 6.
The lower edge of the ratchet bar is provided with a pair of recesses 36 of substantially trapezoidal contour, which are spaced from the respective pair of recesses 32 a distance equal to substantially the horizontal .throw of the ratchet bar which in turn is dependent upon horizontal displacement of the hook in its movement from the vertical or closed position of door 4 to its horizontal or completely opened position. The curved upper portion of cam bars l9, coming into contact with the forward inclined defining edges of the recesses tend to move clockwise, or
rearwardly due to the vertical component of the force of the spring 3|. This rearward canting position of the cam bars moves them away from a dead center position and the force of the spring predominates in moving the cam bars to their clockwise or rearward limiting positions against stops 2D. This permits the ratchet surface 22 to be lowered under the influence of spring 31 to substantially the position shown in Fig. 5.
In order to insure that the ratchet bar will be completely lowered at the limiting forward movement of said bar, that is, when the door 4 is completely opened, a pair of transversely positioned aseegeo pins 31 is-carri'ed'by the -ratchet'bar- 21. Thor-earward edges of the webs of the channels it are tapered, asshown' best at 38 in Figs. 5, 6 and 7, whereby pins-3l come into contact with said tapered surfaces 38 to move the ratchet bar downwardly under the actuating force of the operator in the act of opening the door 4.
The =camming action of the tapered surfaces 38 cooperating with pins-3 takes placesimultaneously with ratchet bar lowering action hereinbefore-described as being attributable to spring St eam bars. lfiand recess 36, one being. auxiliary to the. other. It is to be understood that the present-invention broadly contemplates either or both expedients for lowering the ratchet bar.
Anotherdesirable feature of the present inven tionxresides: in the fact that when the ratchet bar is raised by the opening of the door and the forward movement of the ratchet bar ceases while said bar is supported by the cam bars [9 between the recesses 32 and 36 and while so supported the ratchet bars horizontally forward motion is reversed, the bar is permitted to drop, under the influence of spring 3|, toits lower inoperative position. This situation may occur when an operator partially opens door 4 and for some reason or another, possibly opening the door in error, permits the door to close before it has been completely opened. The partial opening of the door, moves the ratchet bar forwardly and upwardly whereit rides'upon the cam bars IS in their substantially dead center position. As long as the forward'movement of the ratchet bar takes place, the. cam bars remain in contact with the stops 20. However, when the motion of the ratchet bar 2| is reversed the cam bars l9 initially move rearwardly with said ratchet bar due to friction of the curvedsurfaces .34 and the straight surface of the ratchet bar. The cam bars [9 are unsupported in. this position by either of the stops and hence are easily rotated by the: vertical component of the. spring. force in a rearwardly direction and eventually the cam bars fall to their rearward limiting position against stops 20' and bar 2| falls to inoperative position.
The pusher block l comprises essentially a block 39 constructed of wood or other strong, rigid material upon which is carried a housing 40.. A. rod 4| is positioned in housing 4|] and carries a pawl42, the engaging edge of which is adapted to protrude downwardly through slot l3 when the block. is mounted in operative position upon ways 9. A coil spring 43 embraces rod 41 and bears against the pawl 42 resiliently confiningrit against the-rear wall of the housing 40.
In the operation of the device, the ratchet teeth 2 21 of the ratchet bar 21 operatively engage the pawl42 when theratchet bar is in its raised position thereby moving the block I5 forwardly along ways 9 when the door 4 is being opened. This forward movement of the block I5 moves the column of cartons l4 forwardly along the ways 9 bringing the foremost cartoninto dispensing position; As the column of cartons thus moves forwardly the foremost carton moves over the curved surface Z'Bof the threshold or sill 21 and tipsforwardly into: a reclining position upon the block I of the door 4 in a convenient position to be grasped by the operator.
When the door 4 has been completely opened; the ratchet bar 2| drops and is forced to inoperativepositionand; hence, if the operator so desires thecol'umn of cartons l4 may be pushed rearwardly. since the pusherblock i5 is then disen- 6. gaged and is free to slidably move in -either direc tion.
This aspect of the invention is of particular importance in the use of such device. For instance, the operator may find that upon ext'racting the carton that the wrong merchandise was inadvertently selected. In these circumstances the operator can conveniently replace the carton at the head of the column by merely moving the column rearwardly against the then inoperative pusher block, or the carton may merely be replaced in its reclining position upon block- I and the door released whereby the spring3l will close the door and the carton will be guided by the surface 28 and the curved surfaces of the block into its original position at the head of the column, the door forcing the column of cartons rearwardly along the ways 9.
Another aspect of the invention is of importance in use and is illustrated by the following situation. The operator may partially open the door 4 which moves the cartons forwardly. Then for some reason or another the operator may decide not to completely open the door nor extract a carton, but merely releases the door. The spring Si, in these circumstances, tends to reverse the movement of the ratchet' bar andthus said bar drops from operative position with respect to pawl 42 permitting the door'4 to slidably move the column of cartons and pusher block I5 rearwardly.
Both of these features of the invention. are: of particular importance where the cabinet is a refrigerating cabinet and the merchandise containedis perishable, since it is imperative thatthe doors of the cabinet be closed when no dispensing operation is taking place and not be obstructed by a jammed carton and, further, that the goods being perishable, it is imperativethat a convenient and simple means be provided for permitting the operator to return the goods to a refrigerated zone. In addition, units of the cabinet can very conveniently be charged or loaded through the dispensing openings which, of course, also involved a free rearwardly movement of the pusher block.
Another problem solved by the present invention resides in a pusher block construction which permits the degree movement of the pusher block to be independently controlled with respect to the degree of movement of the ratchet bar 2!. This featureof the invention is particularly important where cartons or other articles of merchandise in the cabinet are of different thicknesses or depth dimensions. The present invention contemplates a pusher block construction characterized by the fact that each unit of the cabinet may carry different sized cartons within selected ranges.
As has been hereinbefore described, the opera-- tive end of pawl 42 engages the ratchet teeth 22, and that said pawl is resiliently movable along the length of rod 4|. To control the movement of the pawl 42 upon rod 4|, a secondrod 44 is carried by housing 40 and a variable stop member 45 is mounted upon said rod within the housing. The member 45 is rigidly mounted upon rod 44 and a coil spring 46 embraces said rod and urges the rod and member 45 forwardly toward the forward wall of the housing. The rod 44' protrudes through the forward wall of the housing and the end thereof extends into a cavity 47 provided in the front face of the block 39. A knob 48 is mounted upon the extending end of therod' 4'4 within the cavity 47 whereby the rod 44 may be conveniently rotated, A plurality of appropriately spaced indicia 49 are radially positioned upon the face of the block 39 and indicate, in conjunction with the knob 48, the angular position of the rod 44.
The rear edge of the variable stop member 45 is provided with a plurality of stepwise arranged shoulders which may be rotated when rod 44 is rotated into the path of travel of the pawl 42. Thus, forward movement of the pawl 42 compresses spring 43 but does not move block I until said pawl comes into contact with one of the shoulders 58, at which time the pusher block is moved in step with the pawl and ratchet bar. It can readily be seen that the degree of free movement of the pawl can be predetermined by the angular position of the rod 44 and stop member 45, by bringing a selected spaced shoulder 56 into the path of travel of the pawl 42.
The scale or indicia 49 is calibrated with respect to the position of the respective shoulders 50 whereby the throw of the pusher block may be controlled. This throw in turn determines the degree of movement of the column of cartons with each complete opening of the door 4 and is so correlated with the thickness or depth of the cartons as to move the carton column one or more complete carton thickness forwardly.
In order to appropriately set the variable stop member 45 so that one or the other of the shoulders 50 is in proper alignment with the path of travel of the pawl 2, a plurality of notches or scallops 5| are provided upon the edge of the member opposite the shoulders 55. The forward wall of the housing 4!) is provided with a struck-up bead 52 which cooperates with one or the other of the notches 5i to orient the member 45, said member being resiliently urged to the forward wall and the bead 52 formed thereon by the spring 46.
As can be readily seen in Figs. 9 and 10, walls of the housing is terminate in a pair of opposite U-shaped beads 53 which slidably embrace the oppositely disposed edges of the supporting surfaces Hl of the ways 9. guided in its longitudinal movement along the ways.
Depending upon which shoulder 50 is disposed in the path of travel of the pawl 42, movement of the ratchet bar 2! will impart more or less free movement to the pawl 42 against spring 43 without moving block 55. During this free movement or lost motion, however, a degree of potential energy is stored in the spring 45 which tends to move the block l5. Therefore, in order to prevent movement of the block due to the compression of spring 45 and only permit said block to move when positive contact of the pawl 42 with one of the shoulders 58 occurs, a pair of pins 54 are slidably mounted within oppositely positioned bores in the block 39. The pins 54 are preferably constructed of rubber or other material having a relatively high coefficient or friction and are each pressed by a coil spring 55 so that the ends of said pins are resiliently urged into frictional contact with the upper surfaces of the supporting surfaces it. To prevent unintended removal of the pins 54, keys 55 engage in notches 5i provided in the pins, said keys being removably positioned in the block 39.
It can readily be seen that herein is provided a dispensing device which has features which render it adaptable for the semi-automatic dispensing of merchandise, the device being simple and convenient to operate making it ideally suited The block I5 is thus for use by retail trade in self-service stores. The device is also flexible in its ready adaptation to cartons or articles of diiferent thickness or depth dimensions, the adjustments necessary being reduced to a minimum.
We claim as our invention:
1. In a dispensing cabinet having a dispensing opening in a wall thereof, a door swingably mounted adjacent said opening forming a closure for said opening, stationary supporting means for merchandise mounted within said cabinet adjacent said opening, means for slidably moving merchandise on said supporting means to dispensing position adjacent said opening, comprising a pusher block slidably mounted upon said supporting means, means connecting said moving means to said door comprising a rack slidably positioned adjacent said supporting means, and a cable connecting said rack and door whereby opening of said door moves said rack toward said door, a pawl carried by said pusher block for engagement with said rack, and means for rendering the connection between the pawl and rack inoperative by predetermined movement of said door.
2. In a dispensing cabinet having a dispensing opening in a wall thereof, a door swingably mounted adjacent said opening forming a closure for said opening, stationary supporting mean for merchandise mounted within said cabinet adjacent said opening, a pusher block slidably mounted upon said supporting means in pushing position with respect to said merchandise, a rack positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to said supporting means, a pawl carried upon said pusher block, means connecting said rack and the door to move said rack toward the dispensing opening when the door is opening, swingable means for moving said rack into engagement with said pawl when said rack moves toward said opening to slide said merchandise upon said support, and mean for retracting said rack from engagement with said pawl by predetermined movement of said door.
3. In a dispensing cabinet having a dispensing opening in a wall thereof, a door swingably mounted adjacent said opening forming a closure for said opening, stationary supporting means for merchandise mounted within said cabinet adjacent said opening, a pusher block slidably mounted upon said supporting means in pushing position with respect to said merchandise, a rack positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to said supporting means, a pawl carried upon said pusher block, means connecting said rack and the door to move said rack toward the dispensing opening when the door is opening, swingable means for moving said rack into engagement with said pawl when said rack moves toward said opening to slide said merchandise upon said support, and means for retracting said rack from engagement with said pawl, when said rack has moved a predetermined distance toward said opening.
4. In a dispensing cabinet having a dispensing opening in a wall thereof, a door swingably mounted adjacent said opening forming a closure for said opening, supporting means for merchandise mounted within said cabinet adjacent said opening, a pusher bloc-k slidably mounted upon said supporting means, a rack positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to said supporting means, a pawl carried upon said pusher block, means connecting said rack and the door to move 7 said rack toward the dispensing opening when the door is opening, swingable means for moving said rack into engagement with said pawl when said rack moves toward said opening, and means for retracting said rack from engagement with said pawl when said door is moved toward closed position.
5. In a dispensing cabinet having a dispensing opening in a wall thereof, a door swingably mounted adjacent said opening forming a closure for said opening, supporting means for merchandise mounted within said cabinet adjacent said opening, a pusher block slidably mounted upon said supporting means, a rack positioned adjacent said supporting means, means connecting said rack and said door to move said rack toward said door when the door is opening, a pawl movably carried by said pusher block for engagement with said rack, an adjustable stop carried by said pusher block said pawl being resiliently biased toward a rearward position with respect to said stop and block permitting a predetermined independent movement of said pawl with respect to said block, and means for disengaging said rack and pawl by a predetermined movement of said door. 1
6. In combination, a rack, means for moving said rack forwardly in a longitudinal direction, single resilient means for resisting said forward movement and tending to urge said rack rearwardly and downwardly, movable means for supporting said rack, said rack being slidably supported upon the upper portion of said movable means in an upper position and in a lower position, forward movement of said rack raising said movable means to upper supporting position and rearward movement of said rack lowering said movable means to said lower supporting position, and a pawl positioned a predetermined distance above said rack and engageable with said rack when said rack is in its upper position and disengageable from said rack when said rack is in its lower position.
7. In combination, a rack, means for moving said rack forwardly in a longitudinal direction, single resilient means for resisting said forward movement and tending to urge said rack rearwardly and downwardly, movable means for supporting said rack in an upper position and in a lower position, forward movement of said rack raising said movable means to upper supporting ent means, said movable means comprising an eccentrically pivoted member upon which said rack is supported, and means upon said rack for swinging said member about its pivot toa substantially dead center position when the rack moves forwardly to position the rack a predetermined maximum distance above said pivot, rearward movement of said rack moving said member away from dead center position to its lower supporting position.
8. In combination, a rack, means for moving said rack forwardly in a longitudinal direction, single resilient means for resisting said forward movement and tending to urge said rack rearwardly and downwardly, movable means for supporting said rack in an upper position and in a lower position, forward movement of said rack raising said movable means to upper supporting position against said resilient means and rearward movement of said rack lowering said movable means to said lower supporting position, and a pawl positioned a predetermined distance above said rack and engageable with said rack when said rack is in its upper position and disengagefrom said rack when said rack moves to its lower position under the influence of said resilient means, said movable means comprising a lever pivoted adjacent one end upon the free end of which said rack is supported, and means upon said rack for swinging said lever about its pivot to a substantially dead center position when the rack moves forwardly to position said rack a predetermined maximum distance above said pivot, rearward movement of said rack moving said lever away from dead center position to its lower supporting position.
SIDNEY EVERETT WEBSTER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,060,007 Matthews Apr. 29, 1913 1,572,263 Ash Feb. 9, 1926 1,804,534 Jones May 12, 1931 1,829,140 Hitchman Oct. 27, 1931 1,856,038 Garis Apr. 26, 1932 1,925,953 Cox Sept. 5, 1933 2,216,980 Miller Oct. 8, 1940 2,460,396 Rifkin Feb. 1, 1949 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 458,987 France Q. of 1913