Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2569711 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 2, 1951
Filing dateAug 23, 1950
Priority dateAug 23, 1950
Publication numberUS 2569711 A, US 2569711A, US-A-2569711, US2569711 A, US2569711A
InventorsFoster Allan D
Original AssigneeFoster Allan D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Conveyer and switch means for checkout counters
US 2569711 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

CONVEYER AND SWITCH MEANS FOR CHECKOUT COUNTERS Filed Aug. 25, 1950 A. D. FOSTER Oct. 2, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet I INVENTOR 4 :9. FOSTER,

A. D. FOSTER 2,569,711

CONVEYER AND SWITCH MEANS FOR CHECKOUT COUNTERS Oct. 2, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 23 1950 INVENTOR.

#ZZfl/V D. FosTER ATTORN Y? A. D. FOSTER 2,569,711

CONVEYER AND SWITCH MEANS FOR CHECKOUT COUNTERS Oct. 2, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 25, 1950 h IIIFIIIIIII.

INVENTOR PM)! D. FOSTER.

MMW

4T7'0RN5).

Patented Oct. 2, 1951 CONVEYER AND SWITCH MEANS FOR CHECKOUT COUNTERS Allan D. Foster, Detroit, Mich.

Application August 23, 1950, Serial No. 180,993

8 Claims. (01. 198-68) The present invention pertains to a novel checkout counter for self-serve grocery stores and other establishments where merchandise is to be checked rapidly.

The conventional checkout counter is staffed by a cashier and one bagging clerk. It is a matter of experience that the cashier can ring up merchandise faster than the bagging clerk can arrange it in bags. As a result, the cashier must wait periodically for the bagging clerk to catch up. The output of each counter is thereby retarded, and the customers are required to wait longer in line. Also, the efliciency of the cashier is reduced by the necessity of pulling the goods manually to a position where she can see the price marks thereon.

The principal object of the invention is to provide a checkout counter that permits the cashier to work more steadily. This object is accom-- plished generally by a construction that provides a mechanically driven belt for bringing the goods to the cashier and accommodates two bagging clerks at each counter, with a device that enables the cashier to direct the merchandise to one clerk or the other.

Two bagging clerks may, however, be able to work faster than one cashier. In this connection another object of the invention is to provide means for facilitating the work of the cashier. Ordinarily she is required to pull or drag the inerchandise to a point within her reach for ringing up. The invention eliminates the time and effort consumed in this operation by providing a mechanical conveyor. operated at will by the cashier, to bring the merchandise within her reach. A checkout counter constructed according to the invention has twice the output of a conventional counter, since the output is determined by the work performed at the bagging end.

In the accomplishment of these objects, the counter is fitted with a pair of endless belt conveyors arranged in line and separated from each other at the cashier's station. The conveyor between the cashier and the bagger is in constant motion during the use of the counter and carries the merchandise to the bagging end after it has been rung up. The other conveyor receives the merchandise as it is initially laid upon the counter by the customer. To bring the merchandisc within her reach for ringing up, the operator depresses a pedal to operate a driving connection or other clutch for connecting the constantly running conveyor to the forward conveyor. The separation between the conveyors is bridged by a fixed smooth plate which stops each article and requires the cashier to handle it. As the articles are rung up, the cashier merely slides them across the plate to the discharge conveyor.

This conveyor carries the merchandise to a somewhat wider table which is divided by a partition into equal areas, each serviced by its own bag- 2 ging clerk. To this partition is hinged a deflector positioned to sweep across the discharge conveyor and adjustable by the cashier to direct the merchandise to one side or the other of the partition. Ordinarily the cashier distributes the orders alternately to the two bagging clerks.

The invention is fully disclosed by way of example in the following description and in the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the device;

Figure 2 is a plan view;

Figure 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of Figure 3;

Figure 5 is an enlarged detail of Figure 3;

Figure 6 is a section on the line 6--6 of Figure 5;

Figure '7 is a section on the line of Figure 3;

Figure 8 is a section on the line 8-8 of Figure 3;

Figure 9 is a section on the line 99 of Figure 3;

Figure 10 is a perspective detail view of the stop plate;

Figure 11 is a plan view of a modification, and

Figure 12 is a section on the line I2--l2 of Figure 11.

Reference to these views will now be made by use of like characters which are employed to designate corresponding parts throughout.

The checkout counter, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, comprises an elongated rectangular frame I which is widened at 2 at one end and entirely at one side of the narrower portion. The exposed portion of the frame consists of a vertical wall structure 3 built on a suitable skeleton, parts of which will presently be described. On the same side of the narrower portion I and approximately midway between the ends thereof is mounted a separate stand 4 which supports a cash register 5. The clerk stands in the space between the stand 4 and the wider portion 2 and faces the register 5 or the free end ofpthe section I. The customers approach from that direction and along the opposite side of the counter. For the purpose of description, the forward end of the counter will be regarded as the end which the customers reach first, or the previously designated free end. The sections l and 2 are enclosed in a marginal wall 6 for confining the goods which are laid on the horizontal supporting surfaces that will presently be described.

In the forward end portion of the section I is mounted a pair of transverse shafts I in the same horizontal plane and one behind the other. The shafts carry rollers 8 over which is passed an endless belt 9. Similarly, the rearward portion of the section I carries a pair of transverse shafts It in the same horizontal plane as the shafts 1 and also one behind the other. The shafts l0 carry rollers H around which is passed an endless belt l2 having its upper lap in alinement with the upper lap of the belt 9. The forward roller H is spaced from the rearward roller 8 fora purpose that will presently be described.

The belt I2 is intended to be driven continuously while the counter is in use. For this purpose a motor i3 mounted on the framework drives a sprocket wheel 14 through a reducer ii. The forward shaft it carries a sprocket wheel l6 which is connected to the wheel l4 by a sprocket chain il. The circuit for the motor is controlled by a manual switch II on a side of the framework at the space occupied by the clerk.

It will be seen in Figure 3 that the belt 9 is not permanently connected to the drive for the belt i2. The customer deposits his purchases upon the belt 9. This belt is driven intermittently through a mechanism controlled by the clerk in order to move the goods within reach of the clerk at her convenience.

The selective drive for the belt 9 is operated from a pedal or treadle l8 pivoted at l9 to a floor piece or base lying near the stand 4 and thus within convenient reach of the clerk. Above the pedal, a portion 2| of the frame structure carries a. pair of pillow blocks 22 across which is journalled a transverse shaft 23, as shown more clearly in Figure 8. The shaft 23 is crossed by a pair of arms 24 secured thereto. The forward end of one of the arms is connected to the free end of the pedal i8 by a link 25 with an inserted coil spring 26.

The forward end of each arm 24 has inserted therein a transverse stud 21 which is held frictionally and is capable of turning under pressure. At one side of the arm 24, the stud 21 is formed with a tapped head 23 (Figure 7) and receives a cotter pin 28 at the other side of the arm. In each head 28 is screwed a substantially vertical stem 30 which, after adjustment, is secured by lock nuts 31. In the upper ends of the stems is mounted an idler or roller 32 which normally lies between and spaced below the rearward roller 32 which normally lies between and spaced below the rearward roller 8 and the forward roller H, as shown in Figure 3. It is now apparent that the belt 9 is driven, when desired, by pressure on the pedal i8 thus bringing the roller 32 into engagement with both belts at the rollers just mentioned. The belt 9 is driven in this manner to bring the goods within more convenient reach of the clerk. By proper control of the belt 9, the operator can avoid mixing the orders of successive customers. Such mixing of orders is a serious objection to a continuously moving belt between the customer and the cashier.

Between the rear roller 3 and the forward roller II is a transverse frame piece 33 lying somewhat below the upper laps of the belts I and I2. On this piece is secured a board 34, by screws 35, substantially bridging the space between the belts. Upon the board is laid a stop plate 38 held only by its downturned ends 31 which are notched at 33 to receive the piece 33. The end portions 31 are cut arcuately at 33 and the transverse edges of the plate 36 are sharpened at 40, so that the upper surface of the plate 36 is continuous with the upper surface of the upper laps of the belts When merchandise is carried near to the part 36 by the belt 9, the clerk should stop the belt, ring up this merchandise on the register, and slide it manually across the plate 36 to the constantly moving belt l2. However, if she does not stop the belt 3 quickly enough, the merchandise will be moved onto the plate 34 and will remain there since this plate is not in motion, thus providing a positive check on each item and allowing the clerk somewhat more time to ring up the merchandise. A fairly competent clerk will not delay so long as to permit more oncoming merchandise to move articles from the plate 36 onto the belt [2.

The wider section 2 of the counter is provided with a floor 4i hinged at its forward transverse edge to a frame member 42 by means of a piano hinge 43. The floor may be supported by a transverse frame piece 44 (Figure 3) in a plane slop ing downward from the hinge 43. However, it may also be supported in a horizontal position by means of a latch 43 carried by and receivable in an aperture 46 in the rear end of the wall 2. This part of the wall has a number of openings 41 to receive paper bags. At this part of the wall is also mounted an external shelf 43 to support bags while being filled. Tl: floor is adjusted to horizontal position when the cashier is not busy and has enough time to do the bagging.

Upon the floor 4! is secured a partition or divider 49, extending generally in the lengthwise direction of the counter. The forward end of the divider lies between the projections of the longitudinal edges of the narrower section I, so that the section 2 may receive merchandise at either side of the divider. The angle of divider is such as to divide the floor 41 into substantially equal areas.

To the forward end of the divider is hingedly attached a deflector 40 adapted to sweep across the belt l2 and of such length that its free end may lie at one or the other of the stop plate 35, as shown in Figure 2. The connecting structure includes a U-shaped member II engaging opposite vertical sides of the divider 43 and attached thereto by a pivot pin 52. The back of the member Ii carries upper and lower angle brackets 53 (Figure 5) which overlap similar brackets 44 on the rear end of the deflector. The brackets 53 are joined to the brackets 44 by vertical pivot pins 55 which constitute the previously mentioned hinge connection. The pivot pin I2 accommodates the raising and lowering of the divider 43 with the floor 4| as described.

In the normal operation of the apparatus, two bagging clerks are stationed at the end of the shelf 44. Each baggin clerk works from a different side of the divider 43. The cashier directs the mechandise to one bagging clerk or the other by alternately setting the deflector 40 to the position shown in Figure 2.

It has been found by experience that a cashier can ring up merchandise faster than one bagging clerk can arrange it in bags. Consequently, where there is only one bagging clerk to a checkout counter, the cashier must wait until the bagging clerk catches up with her. and the wait in line is thereby prolonged. The present invention overcomes this dimculty by providing for the direction of merchandise to two bagging clerk at each counter. The work of the cashier is also speeded up since she is not required to pull or drag the merchandise to a position where she can manipulate it for ringing up. Instead she merely depresses the pedal II to operate the belt 3 as required. Each article, on being rung up, is merely slid across the plate 34 to the discharge belt l2.

In the modification shown in Figures 11 and 12, the delivery belt 44 Ls passed around a drive roller 4| and a rear roller 82 at a lower level. Between the two rollers is an idler roller 63 nearer the roller 62 and having a common horizontal tangent with the roller 6|. Thus, the major portion of the upper lap of the belt is horizontal but provides a sloping portion 64 between the rollers 63 and 62. This portion furnishes a drop for the merchandise from the belt to the floor 65 over the sloping metal plate 66 that bridges the gap between the belt and the fioor. As a result there is no binding or catching of merchandise in this area.

These figures also show a preferred form of deflector mechanism. The partition 61 thereof is pivoted at 68 to the fioor 65 near the rear edge. To the forward end of the partition is joined the deflector by a simple horizontal hinge 69 to follow adjustment of the floor as previously described. The deflector comprises two sections 10 and H fastened together at an angle, near the roller 63, by a tie plate 12 and bolts I3. In one position at least, the deflector runs along a side of the frame structure without crossing the belt 60 and leaves the entire belt exposed, with an unreduced passage to the floor 65. In the other position of the deflector, the unavoidable restriction of the passage is considerably less than in the full line position in Figure 2.

Although specific embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be understood that any alterations may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as indicated by the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving fioor at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas, a pivotally mounted deflector attached to said partition and extending to said plate, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

2. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas, a pivotally mounted deflector attached to said partition and extending to said plate, an idler for establishing a driving connection from the first conveyor to the other conveyor, and operator actuatable means for controlling the engagement of said idler with said conveyors.

3. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas, said floor being wider than said conveyors, a defiector hinged to said partition and extending to said plate, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

4. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas, said floor having one edge alined with one edge of said conveyors and being widened from the other edge of said conveyors, a deflector hinged to said partition and extending to said plate, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

5. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving fioor hinged at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas, a pivotally mounted deflector attached to said partition and extending to said plate, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

6. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor at the discharge end of the first named conveyor, a partition dividing the surface of aid floor into two areas, a pivotally mounted deflector attached to said partition and extending to said plate, said deflector being angular and formed to lie, in one position, alongside one edge of said first conveyor, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

7. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair of conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor hinged at the discharge end of the first named conveyor. 8. partition dividing the surface of said floor into two areas and pivotally mounted on said 11001, a deflector attached to said partition and extending to said plate, said deflector being angular and formed to lie, in one position, alongside one edge of said first conveyor, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

8. In a checkout counter, a support, a pair 0! conveyors alined thereon horizontally with each other, a fixed bridging plate between said conveyors, means for driving one of said conveyors continuously, a receiving floor slightly below'the discharge end of the first named conveyor, said conveyor having a portion sloping downward toward said floor, a sloping bridging plate between said portion and said floor, and operator controlled means for driving the other conveyor.

ALLAN D. FOSTER:

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,527,495 Torske Feb. 24,1925 2,003,455 Myers June 4, 1935 2,107,419 Ketchpel Feb. 8, 1938 2,131,907 Surdy Oct. 4, 1938 2,237,080 Muse Apr. 1, 1941 2,242,408 Turnham May 20, 1941 2,317,438 Bradley Apr. 27, 1943 2,536,961 Smith Jan. 2, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 18,525 Great Britain Dec. 3, 1890

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1527495 *May 12, 1922Feb 24, 1925John TorskeVegetable sacker
US2003455 *Oct 28, 1932Jun 4, 1935Standard Stoker Co IncLocomotive and tender
US2107419 *Oct 26, 1933Feb 8, 1938Standard Stoker Co IncLocomotive tender
US2131907 *Mar 23, 1935Oct 4, 1938Standard Stoker Co IncConveying mechanism
US2237080 *Jan 29, 1940Apr 1, 1941C D TounsleyStore furniture
US2242408 *Oct 28, 1938May 20, 1941Joe WeingartenMerchandise handler
US2317438 *Mar 22, 1940Apr 27, 1943Bradley Herbert NChecking station for self-service stores
US2536961 *Mar 28, 1949Jan 2, 1951George T Smith IncConveyer end connector and gap plate
GB189616525A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2709514 *Jun 9, 1954May 31, 1955Miller Eugene JConveyors for sand, gravel, and the like
US2710125 *Sep 13, 1952Jun 7, 1955Brown Kenneth GMachines for bagging potatoes
US2723728 *Aug 31, 1951Nov 15, 1955Modern Village Stores IncCheck stand
US2776730 *May 25, 1953Jan 8, 1957Modern Village Stores IncCheck stand
US2784043 *Oct 14, 1953Mar 5, 1957Modern Village Stores IncImproved check stand
US2884094 *Jul 31, 1956Apr 28, 1959Deer Lodge Mfg CompanyCheckstand
US2899086 *Jan 17, 1957Aug 11, 1959 Thaon de saint-andre
US2909020 *Jun 23, 1958Oct 20, 1959Almor CompanyCheckout bagging counter
US2924053 *Feb 16, 1956Feb 9, 1960 Bisen
US2976653 *Oct 10, 1955Mar 28, 1961Jerome Peterson WSystem of merchandising and equipment therefor
US2978069 *Nov 29, 1957Apr 4, 1961Fogarty Mfg CompanyCheck out counter
US2993265 *Nov 25, 1957Jul 25, 1961Western Electric CoConveyors for fabricating installation
US3036722 *Jul 21, 1959May 29, 1962Alan H SharawayMarket cart
US3090467 *Feb 6, 1959May 21, 1963Modern Village Stores IncAutomatic checkstand
US3109515 *May 19, 1960Nov 5, 1963Schild Edwin FCheck out counter
US3126981 *Dec 17, 1959Mar 31, 1964 Figure
US3186515 *Feb 26, 1962Jun 1, 1965Werner PotrafkeCashier's table for self-service stores
US3253696 *May 7, 1962May 31, 1966Continental Can CoFabricated channel sections for belt conveyors
US3265298 *Apr 4, 1962Aug 9, 1966Jorgen Sigurd LienCash register with remote indicator
US3266442 *Aug 31, 1962Aug 16, 1966American Mach & FoundryFood preparing apparatus
US3306398 *Oct 15, 1965Feb 28, 1967American Metal ProdAutomatically actuated shopping cart
US3311197 *Mar 14, 1966Mar 28, 1967American Metal ProdAutomatically actuated shopping cart
US3707826 *Mar 11, 1971Jan 2, 1973Peters ECheck-out counter
US3792565 *May 5, 1972Feb 19, 1974Rottneros AbWrapping machines
US4386679 *Sep 4, 1980Jun 7, 1983Societe AlserTransfer device especially for product checkout systems in stores
US4779715 *Oct 7, 1987Oct 25, 1988Apv Douglas Machine CorporationLane divider
US4943044 *Oct 23, 1987Jul 24, 1990Roscart Charles WRails of an inserter machine
US5044485 *Oct 31, 1990Sep 3, 1991Loderway Pty. LimitedMoving walkway
US5054760 *Aug 15, 1989Oct 8, 1991Ferag AgApparatus for conveying flat products
US5584373 *May 26, 1995Dec 17, 1996Span Tech CorporationConveyor system with passive roller transfer assembly
US5706912 *Aug 15, 1995Jan 13, 1998Load King Manufacturing Co., Inc.Checkstand counter with dual accumulation zones
US5749454 *May 2, 1996May 12, 1998Span Tech CorporationConveyor system with driven roller transfer assembly
US7516818 *Sep 2, 2005Apr 14, 2009International Business Machines CorporationItem accumulation area divider for a checkout counter
US7648020 *Mar 3, 2008Jan 19, 2010International Business Machines CorporationTransition plate position sensor for safe check-out counter conveyor operation
US7967112 *Dec 3, 2007Jun 28, 2011Royston, LLC.Check stand with a two belted input and a slidable scanner
US8783438 *Nov 30, 2012Jul 22, 2014Heb Grocery Company, L.P.Diverter arm for retail checkstand and retail checkstands and methods incorporating same
DE1217843B *Oct 18, 1962May 26, 1966Ncr CoPack- und Abfertigungstisch fuer Laeden
DE1253425B *Jun 19, 1963Nov 2, 1967Traebolaget I Malmoe AbKassentisch fuer Selbstbedienungslaeden
WO1996037426A1 *Apr 3, 1996Nov 28, 1996Span Tech CorpConveyor system with passive roller transfer assembly
WO2013040500A1 *Sep 14, 2012Mar 21, 2013Karl FischerHigh speed checkstand having multiple product pathways
Classifications
U.S. Classification186/68, 198/600, 53/390, 198/539, 198/568, 235/1.00R, 198/575, 53/391, 312/140.3
International ClassificationA47F9/04, A47F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47F9/04
European ClassificationA47F9/04