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Publication numberUS2692691 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 26, 1954
Filing dateApr 15, 1950
Priority dateApr 15, 1950
Publication numberUS 2692691 A, US 2692691A, US-A-2692691, US2692691 A, US2692691A
InventorsBernard Lambers, Harriss Lloyd J
Original AssigneeHarriss
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Nested article dispenser
US 2692691 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1954 J. HARRISS EAL ,69

NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSER Zia/72am Zamezs QW GQMV M; 46

1954 1.. J. HARRISS ETAL NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 15, 1950 MG 9 m,

6, 1954 L. J. HARRISS ETAL 2,692,691

NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSER Filed April 15, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet s %WW QMMMM 5 Oct. 26, 1954 L. J. HARRISS ETAL NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSER 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 15. 1950 Patented Oct. 26, 1954 NESTED ARTICLE DISPENSER Lloyd J. Harriss, Chicago, and Bernard Lambers, Oak Park, 111.; said Lambers assignor to said Harriss Application April 15, 1950, Serial No. 156,165

8 Claims.

This invention relates generally to an apparatus for dispensing nested articles from a stack one at a time and particularly to an apparatus for dispensing nested articles onto a conveyor. More particularly, the invention relates to an apparatus for dispensing pie pans which is adjustable to dispense pie pans of different sizes.

An object of the invention is to provide a new and improved dispensing apparatus for separating and dispensing nested articles which is easily adjustable to accommodate articles of diiierent sizes.

A further object is to provide a dispensing apparatus which will align a stack of nested articles.

Another object is to provide shiftable stack aligning means.

An additional object is to provide aligning means associated with dispensing units to proper- 1y align articles in a stack locally just before they are dispensed.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method for dispensing pie pans and the like from the bottom of a stack by means of an apparatus which is readily adj ustable for pie pans of different sizes and which is adapted to dispense pie pans from the bottom or" the stack at predetermined intervals.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent by reference to the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of one form of apparatus provided in accordance with the invention in which:

Figure 1 is a plan view of the apparatus;

Figure 2 is a profile view of the apparatus;

Figure 3 is a vertical sectional View taken along the line 33 of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a plan partial sectional view of one set of dispensing elements A just before the lowermost article is dropped;

Figure 5 is a horizontal partial sectional view of the dispensing elements of Figure 4 in another position just after the centering of the stack of nested articles and at the beginning of the separation of the lowermost article from the remainder of the stack;

Figure 6 is a horizontal partial sectional view of the dispensing elements of Figure 4 in stack aligning position;

Figure 7 is a vertical sectional view of one set of the dispensing elements in stack aligning position.

Figure 8 is an isometric view of one rotary dispensing element;

Figure 9 is an isometric view of one reciprocable dispensing element; and

Figure 10 is an isometric view of one of the movable base plates with parts broken away.

Generally stated, the invention provides a dispensing apparatus having spaced dispensing units for separating and dispensing nested articles from a supported and aligned stack thereof and means to shift said dispensing units to accommodate nested articles of difierent sizes.

A feature of the invention is the provision of means to maintain a driving relationship between the dispensing units regardless of their shifted positions.

A further feature is the provision of stack aligning or positioning means which are shiftable with the dispensing units.

Another feature is the provision of dispensing units having movable means associated with a dispensing element thereof to align each article of the stack just before it is dispensed.

Referring to Figures 1 and 2 of the drawings, the device will be seen to comprise a frame I having an opening or passageway 2 through which nested articles can be dispensed from the bottom of a stack one at a time.

The nested receptacles in the stack normally are provided with rims and may consist of a stack of pie pans 3 nested one within the other in an upright position. In order to keep the stack 3 in alignment a plurality of columns, 4, 5, 6 and l are provided at four points about the circumference of the stack. The columns are so positioned that there is a slight clearance between them and the circumference of the stack of nested receptacles to facilitate movement of the receptacles between the columns.

In Figures 1 and 3 the apparatus illustrated has two oppositely disposed sets of dispensing devices generally indicated by the letters A and B. Since the elements of each of these devices are identical the present description will be limited to only one of them. It should also be understood that a greater or lesser number of dispensing units may be used although the use of two oppositely disposed units A and B is preferred.

The mechanism by which the dispensing operation is carried out comprises two principal dispensing elements. One of the elements is a reciprocating element 8 (Fig. 9) and the other is a rotating element 9 (Fig. 8). The operation of the dispensing elements 8 and 9 can be seen by reference to Figures 3 to 6. Since the detailed operation of these elements is clearly described in our patent U. S. 2,389,905 it will not be necessary to repeat the description, except insofar as it pertains to the subject matter of this invention.

The invention is not limited to any particular means for receiving the dispensed receptacles. For illustrative purposes a suitable moving conveyor of the type shown at C in Figure 2 is employed. In this type of conveyor mechanism a plurality of receiving stations are provided at spaced intervals on a pair of movable chains or link belts. Thus, as shown at Figure 2, each receiving station may comprise a plurality of upright elements l0, l and a transverse element i I connected at either side to sprocket type belts !2, -12. The links of the conveyor preferably ride over the pair of tracks I3, [3 which in turn are supported by the angle irons M, M.

The adjustability of the present apparatus to dispense pans of different sizes is an'important and distinguishing feature of the invention. The siftable stack aligning means comprising columns 4, 5, 6, and 1 adjacent the sides of the stack serve to maintain the stack 3 substantially in vertical alignment as illustrated in Figure 2. According to the invention the area bounded by said columns may be varied by changing the position of the columns with respect to each other. The area bounded by the columns necessarily determines the size of the pan which may be dispensed from the apparatus. Hence, in order to adjust the apparatus to dispense pans of different size the position of the columns is changed and at the same time the position of the dispensing units Aand B is also changed so that each will approximately maintain contact with the edge of the stack of pie pans 3.

The dispensing units A and B are each mounted on a supporting platform l5 and 16, respectively (Figure 1). The platforms I5 and iii are slidably mounted on the frame I so that they may be advanced or retracted while carrying with them all of the elements mounted thereon. The advancement or retraction of the platforms l5 and I5 is operated and controlled by the rods I1 and i3.

Each of the rods I! and i3 is threaded near either end as illustrated in Figure 1. As shown, the rod I! has threaded portions i9, i9 near opposite ends thereof, the threads at either end being pitched in different directions. rod l8 has threaded portions 20, at opposite ends thereof. The threaded portions of the rods are adapted to engage the tapped receiving elements 2|, 2! and 22, 22. These receiving elements are rigidly secured to the supporting platforms l5 and I6. Hence, when the rods H and 18 are rotated about their axes the platforms I5 and IE will be brought closer together or forced further apart, depending upon the direction of rotation of the rods.

The rod [8 is connected to a crank 23 and the rod I1 is drivingly connected to the crank 23 by means of the sprockets 24 and 25 and the driving chain 26. Rotation of the crank 23 will cause the rod I8 to rotate while the rod I! will be correspondingly rotated by means of the sprocket and chain drive mechanism described above. Hence, by turning the crank 23 it is possible to change the relative position of the platforms l5 and IS with respect to each other. In so doing the aligning columns 4, 5, 6 and 7 will move generally radially inwardly or outwardly as the case may be. Since the dispensing units A and B are mounted on the platforms I5 and I6 they will be positioned to contact the rim of nested articles of different size.

The dispensing units A and B are driven by means of a sprocket and chain arrangement which will be hereinafter described in greater detail. The rotating element 9 is drivingly connected with the sprocket member 21 by means of the machine screws 28, 28 (Figure 3). The teeth 29 of the sprocket 27 are operatively associated with and driven by an endless sprocket chain 30. It will be understood that other suitable drive Similarly, r

means may be employed in place of the sprocket and chain arrangement illustrated herein.

Referring to Figure 1, the chain 30 engages each of the sprocket wheels 21, 3t, 32, 33, 34 and 35. The sprocket 3| is operatively associated with a rotating element in the dispensing unit B which is similar in all respects to the element 9 in Figure 8. The sprockets 32, 33 and 33 operateas guide sprockets and serve to keep the chain 30 from becoming slack upon adjustment of the dispensing mechanism. The sprocket which rotates freely on shaft 311) is connected to a main drive mechanism (not shown) by a clutch. The knob 36 is the head of a clutch pin 3'! which can be readily adjusted upward or downward through a hole in sprocket 35 to engage or disengage the sprocket 35 with collar 31a fixed to the drive shaft 311), shown with parts broken away.

A special arrangement of parts is provided in order to maintain the endless sprocket chain 30 in driving relation with each of the sprockets 2'1, 3|, 32, 33, 34 and 35 during the adjustment of the apparatus to accommodate pans of different sizes. In this arrangement the sprockets 27 and '34 are freely mounted on their respective shafts which are secured to the movable support member I5. The sprocket 35 is freely mounted on a shaft which in turn is mounted on the stationary frame I. Thus the sprockets 2'1 and 34 change position with respect to the sprocket 35 when the apparatus is adjusted to dispense pans of different sizes. Similarly the sprockets 3| and 32 are freely mounted on their respective shafts which are rigidly secured to the movable support member l6. The sprocket 33 is similarly freely mounted on a shaft which is secured to the stationary frame l.

When the platforms l5 and are advanced toward one another the distance between the sprockets 33 and 34 will be shortened. Similarly the distance between the sprockets 32 and 35 will be shortened. The endless chain 35 is maintained taut and in driving relation with each of the sprockets, however, because the distance between the sprockets 2? and 35 and between the sprockets 3| and 33 will be lengthened by a corresponding amount. Conversely, when the platforms l5 and [5 are retracted from one another the ehanging position of the sprockets with respect to each other will compensate for any differences in space between sprockets and will maintain the chain 30 onand in driving relation with each of the sprockets.

As previously indicated, another important feature of the invention is the provision of means for aligning the pie pans just before they are dispensed. Even though the stack is in general alignment local disarrangement such as slight overlapping of rims of nested pie pans may occur making it difficult for the separating elements to function properly. It will be apparent that the smooth and uninterrupted operation of the dispensing apparatus will depend in part upon the'precision with which the nested receptacles are presented to the separating and dropping elements. In Figures 4, 5, 6 and '7 an article aligning means is illustrated and its cooperation with the separating and dropping elements is shown.

As illustrated in Figures 6 and 7 the rotating element S'hasa raised portion 38 at one point on the circumference of the element. The dimensions of'this raised portion or article centering element are such that it wi l contact the rim 39 of an article in the stack just before it is dispensed. Since the rotating element 9 is being continually rotated through its driving attachment with the sprocket 21, it will be understood that upon each complete rotation of the element 9 the article aligning element 38 will be brought into contact with the rims of the stack 3. The importance of the article aligning element 38 becomes more apparent when it is understood that the annular separating element 40 of the rotating element 9 must insert itself between the rims 39 of two of the nested articles. To assist in this insertion a knife edge 4| is provided on the annular separating element 44 and is positioned to immediately follow the article aligning means 38 in the rotation cycle. As shown in Figure 8 the article aligning means 38 extends beyond the beginning of the knife edge 4! and above the separating element a short distance so as to push against or hold the rims of the articles even after the knife edge has begun to separate one article from another. The annular separating element 40 is also characterized by a cut-away area 42 which precedes the article aligning means 38 in the rotation cycle and allows the supported stack 3 to drop onto the supporting finger 43 of the reciprocating element 8.

The reciprocating element 8 and the rotating element 9 are cooperatively connected by means of the pin 44 which is rigidly secured to the reciprocating element 8 and adapted to travel in the groove 45 of the rotating element 9. The groove 45 is annular in shape with the exception of the straight cam portion 48 thereof. In a part of the dispensing cycle the pin 44 will ride in the annular portion of the groove 45, at which time the slidably mounted reciprocating member 8 will be maintained in advanced position so that the supporting finger 43 will be in position to support the rim 3.9 of the lowermost pan in the stack 3. During a small portion of the rotation of the element 9 the pin 44 will travel in the straight portion 45 of the groove 45 at which time the reciprocating member 8 will be forced backward and the supporting finger 43 will be withdrawn from its position beneath the rim 39 of the lowermost pan in the stack 3. At this time the remainder of the stack 3 will be supported by the annular separating element 40 so that only the lowermost pan will drop onto the conveyor.

In Figure 4 the apparatus is in position just before the lowermost article is dropped. The remainder of the stack is supported by the annular element 40. In Figure 6 the rotating element 9 has just dropped the stack onto the supporting finger 43 and the article aligning means 38 has rotated into position to align the stack prior to the separation step. In Figure 5 the separation step has begun and the knife edge 4! is being inserted between the lowermost pan and the remainder of the stack 3.

To facilitate the operation and adjustment of the dispensing apparatus to accommodate pans of different sizes the invention provides a dial indicator which is operatively associated with the adjustable dispensing apparatus. In Figures 1 and a rack 4'! is shown rigidly attached to the movable support platform IS. The pinion 48 engages the rack 47 but is mounted for rotation upon the stationary frame I. As the platform i6 is advanced or retracted the rack 41 moves correspondingly beneath the pinion 48, thereby causing the pinion to rotate. Movement of the pinion 48 is transmitted by means of the shaft 6. 49 to the pointer 50 which is mounted for rotation with respect to the stationary dial 5|. The dial may be suitably calibrated to show the various sizes of receptacles which may be dispensed by the apparatus. Thus, upon movement of the platform I6 to adjust the dispensing apparatus to accommodate a different size pan the pointer 50 will change position with respect to the dial face 51 and will indicate when the preferred setting for any given size of receptacle has been reached.

It will be noted with respect to Figure 10 that the columns 4 and 1 are secured to the platform l6 by means of the movable arms 52 which are suitably pivoted at 53. The four columns are maintained in relative position with one another (Figure 1) upon advancement or retraction of the dispensing units by means of the levers 54 each of which is welded at one end to an arm 52. When the dispensing units A and B are retracted from one another the distance between column 4 and column I will be increased through the operation of the cooperating lever arrangement 54. Similarly the distance between column 5 and column 6 will be correspondingly increased. When dispensing units A and B are moved toward each other the columns 4, 5, 6 and I move generally radially inwardly with respect to the stack center. The radial movement is produced partially by the guide pins 55 which are fixed to the frame i (Figure 2) and guide the movement of guide arms 54 by means of slots 55 in arms 54 (Figure 1).

From the foregoing disclosure it will be apparent that the present invention provides an adjustable apparatus for dispensing nested articles of varying sizes. The apparatus may be readily and simply adjusted without requiring a protracted shutdown of the equipment and without the services of a skilled mechanic. The invention has the further advantage of smooth and uninterrupted operation.

The invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a pair of movable platforms, 2. pair of spaced dispensing units mounted on said platforms and adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said stack, means to shift said platforms one with respect to the other tovary the space between said units to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, a pair of upright columns mounted on said platforms adjacent each of said units and adjacent the space which is to receive the stack of nested articles to assist in aligning the stack of articles in said space, outwardly extending arms on said columns and stationary guide means operatively connecting an arm associated with one of said columns with an arm associated with another of said columns to cause all of said columns to move generally radially during said shifting.

2. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a plurality of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said stack, movable supporting means for said units to vary the space to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, and means to drive said dispensing units including a constant length endless chain and a plurality of sets of sprockets, each set comprising a main sprocket operatively associated with a dispensing unit, a guide sprocket mounted on a stationary frame and another guide sprocket mounted on said movable supporting means, the sprockets of each set being arranged cooperatively to contact said chain andmaintain it in driving contactwith said dispensing units regardless of the movement of said supporting means.

3. A dispenser for nested articles comprisinga pair of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested pie pans and operatively connected with a chain and sprocket drive means to dispense articles from said stack, a movable supporting platform for each of said units, means for moving said platforms comprising a pair of rotatable rods threadedly associated with said platforms, drive means for rotating said rods thereby to move said platforms and vary the space between said unitsto accommodate pans of different sizes, and means for maintaining driving contact between said sprocket drive means and said dispensing units including a constant length endless chain and a pair of sets of sprockets, each set comprising a main sprocket operatively associated with a dispensing unit, a guide sprocket'mounted on a stationary frame and another guide sprocket mounted on said movable platform, the sprocketsxof each set being arranged cooperatively to contact said chain and maintain it in driving contact with said dispensing units.

4. A dispenser for nested articles comprisinga plurality of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack ofnested articles and to dispense articles from said stack, movable supporting means forsa-id'units to vary the space therebetween to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, and means for driving said dispensing units including a constant length endless chain and a plurality of sets of sprockets, each set comprising a main sprocket operatively associated with a dispensing unit, a guide sprocket mounted on a stationary frame and another guide sprocket mounted on said movable supporting means, said chain contacting each said guide sprocket outwardly thereof and each said main sprocket inwardly thereof, thereby maintaining said chain in driving relationship with said dispensing units regardless-of the movement of said supporting means.

5. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a plurality of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said stack, each said unit including a rotary supporting and dispensing element and a reciprocating supporting and dispensing element positioned below and cooperating with said rotary element, initial stack aligning means adjacent the space between said units for generally aligning said articles above said rotary element, and eccentric final stack aligning means comprising a protuberance on a portion of the circumference of said rotary element constructed and arranged to closely align the lower penultimate member of said articles after said stack of articles has dropped from a supported position on said rotary element to a supported position on said reciprocating element and immediately prior to separation for dispensing of the lowermost of said articles by said rotary element.

6. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a plurality of spaced dispensing units adaptedcooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said stack; each said unit including a rotary supporting and dispensing element, initial stack aligning means adjacent the space between said units for generally aligning said articles above said rotary element,. eccentric final stackaligning means comiii prising a protuberance on a portion of the circumference of said rotary element constructed and arranged to closely align the lower penultimate member of said articles while supported by said units and immediately prior to the dispensing operation, movable supporting means for said units to vary the space therebetween to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, and means to drive said dispensing units including a constant length endless chain and a plurality of sets of sprockets, each set comprising a main sprocket operatively associated with a dispensing unit, a guide sprocket mounted on a stationary frame and another guide sprocket mounted on said movable supporting means, the sprockets of each set being arranged cooperatively to contact said chain and maintain it in driving relationship with said dispensing units regardless of the movement of said supporting means.

7. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a plurality of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said'stack, each said unit including a rotary supporting and dispensing element, shiftable initial stack aligning means adjacent the space between said units for generally aligning said articles above said rotary element, eccentric final stack aligning means comprising a protuberance ona portion of the circumference of said rotary element constructed and arranged to closely align the lower penultimate member of said articles while supported by said units and immediately prior to the dispensing operation, means for moving said dispensing units relative to each other to vary the said space between them to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, and means for shifting said initial stack aligning means radially responsive to movement of said dispensing units.

8. A dispenser for nested articles comprising a plurality of spaced dispensing units adapted cooperatively to support a stack of nested articles and to dispense articles from said stack, means for moving said dispensing units relative to each other to vary the space therebetween to accommodate nested articles of different sizes, shiftable stack'aligning means adjacent the said space between said units'means for shifting said stack aligning means radially responsive to movement of said dispensing units, drive means operatively associated with said-dispensing units and selfadjusting for maintaining driving relationship including a constant length endless chain and a. cooperating arrangement of a plurality of sprockets adapted to contact said chain and maintain it' in driving relationship with said dispensing units regardless of the movement of said units.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 931,003 Warme Aug. 10, 1909 1,058,372 Kruse Apr. 8, 1913 1,070,182 Robinson Aug. 12, 1913 1,448,301 Hotchkiss Mar. 13, 1923 1,663,288 Ulrich Mar. 20, 1928 1,919,238 McCarthy July 25, 1933 2,345,937 Joa Apr. 4, 1944 2,378,948 Paxton June 26, 1945 2,389,905 Harrisset a1; Nov. 27, 1945 2,445,958 Lindstrom' July 2'7, 1948 2,561,723 Berger July 24, 1951

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2860549 *Jun 8, 1954Nov 18, 1958Robert E BauerBox forming machine
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US8210364Nov 6, 2006Jul 3, 2012Dixie Consumer Products LlcDispenser for disposable cutlery and components therefor
US8297473Nov 7, 2007Oct 30, 2012Dixie Consumer Products LlcCutlery dispenser and method of dispensing cutlery
US8360273Oct 8, 2008Jan 29, 2013Dixie Consumer Products LlcCutlery utensil dispenser
US8701932Apr 7, 2011Apr 22, 2014Dixie Consumer Products LlcCutlery dispenser trays
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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/795.6, 414/797.7
International ClassificationB65G59/00, B65G59/10
Cooperative ClassificationB65G59/102
European ClassificationB65G59/10D2