US 2927715 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 8, 1960 E. J. LUX 2,927,715
DISPENSING UNIT FOR vzmnmc MACHINES Filed Sept. 11, 1953 2 Sheets-Shet 1 I7 l8 I8! I l FIG. 2
EUGENE J. LUX
BY g figtk ATTORNEY March 8, 1960 E. J. .LUX 2,927,715
DISPENSING UNIT FOR VENDING MACHINES Filed Sept. 11, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
EUG ENE J. LUX
ATTORNEY United spatent O DISPENSING UNIT FOR VENDING MACHINES Eugene J. Lnx, Atlanta, Ga., assignor of one-half to Sunshine Biscuits, Inc., a corporation of New York Application September 11, 1953, Serial No. 379,547
12 Claims. (Cl. 221-108) This invention relates to a dispensing unit for vending machines and more particularly to a dispensing unit for vending machines wherein a plurality of articles are usually vertically stacked, the lowermost article being dispensed therefrom upon actuation thereof.
In the past, generally speaking, vending machines have been made having a plurality of juxtapositioned magazines which carry articles to be vended. Vending machines having these magazines are usually adapted to carry and dispense articles of a single size and thickness, major changes being necessary in event that the magazines or a specific magazine is to be adapted to other size articles.
Since articles such as candies, cigarettes and the like are available in various sizes and these articles comprise a majority of the products dispensed by vending machines, it would be highly advantageous to provide a versatile dispensing unit for vending machines which, with only minor adjustments, could be adapted to contain any one of a variety-of size aiticles, such adjustments being easily accomplished by the person replenishing the vending machine.
My dispensing unit for vending machines which is adapted for various size articles includes a magazine or chute which may be compartmented by an easily removable partition, the lower end of which is provided with a swing latch. With the partition removed, relatively long articles in a single stack may be carried by the chute, and with the partition installed, approximately wice as many relatively short articles in stacks in each compartment may be carried by the chute, the swing latch blocking the dipsensing of articles from one compartment until the articles in the adjacent compartment have been exhausted.- At the lower end of the chute is located a pivotally mounted dispensing gate, the upper end of which is provided with a curved blocking flange,
and the central portion of which is provided with an article supporting platform, the position of which may be vertically adjusted, for different thickness articles. The platform is pivotally mounted by one edge to the gate, the platform being normally supported by a skid bar whose effective height may be varied to maintain the platform in a horizontal position when the gate is in its normal position and allow the platform to pivot when the platform is in the discharging position.
It is a primary object, therefore, of my invention to provide a dispensing unit for vending machines which -is capable of receiving and dispensing stacks of articles of a given size and by minor adjustments thereto, may be adapted to dispense stacks of articles of other sizes. Another object of my invention is to provide a simple and easily manufactured dispensing unit for vending machines which has few moving parts and which is capable of being adjusted by a relatively unskilled person to dispense various size articles.
Another object of my invention is to provide a dispensing unit for vending machines which is durable in structure, simple in construction and inexpensive to manu facture;
Other and further objects and advantages ofmyfinvention will become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like characters of reference designate corresponding parts and wherein:
Fig. l is a rear plan elevation of a magazine for 'vending machines constructed in accordance with my invention, a portion thereof being shown as broken away.
Fig. 2 is a front plan elevation, of the magazine illustrated in Fig. 1. r
Fig. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of a detail taken along line 3-3 in Fig. 1, the dispensing gate being in the normal position. v
Fig. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional viewof'the detail illustrated in Fig. 3, the dispensing gate being in the dispensing position.
Referring now in detail to the embodiment chosen for purpose of illustration, the magazine of my dispensing unit for vending machines includes a back 10 and sides 11, 11, which define a vertically disposed chute wherein a stack of articles may be retained. The magazine or a pluralityof similar magazines are affixed in a vending machine in a manner well known in the prior artand thus needs no further description here.
As seen in Fig. 2, the magazine may be divided into compartments by a removable partition 12 which is provided with a plurality of cars 13, along one vertical edge. When partition 12 is installed, ears 13 project through appropriate vertically aligned apertures in back 10, park tition 1'2 being held in place by a Z-shaped wire 14 the ends of which project transversely through the'holes in ears 13. It is thus apparent that by removing wire 14 from the holes in ears 13, the partition may be removed. It is also apparent that other retaining means may be employed in place of the ears 13 and wire 14, without departing from the scope of my invention. It is also readily seen that even though I have illustrated but one partition 12, as many partitions as desired may be utilized.
At the lower end of partition 12 is a swing latch which is pivotally attached therto by a piano hinge 15. The swing latch includes two arms 16 and 17 arranged at substantially right angles to each other so that when one arm projects down, the other arm will be in a position projecting across one of the compartments. A swing plate 18 is pivotally mounted by one end to side 11, its pivoted end 19 being in substantially the same horizontal plane with piano hinge 15 so that when arm 17 projects across the partition it may support plate 18 as shown in Fig. 2. According to my invention, swing plate 18' defined by side 11 and partition 12, the side of these articles will cause arm 16 to project downwardly until the last article in the stack is removed and then arm 16 may be free to swing to a position shown by broken lines in Fig. 2. At the same time, if a stack of articles were carried in the compartment defined by side 11 and partition 12, the lowermost article in the stack would rest on plate 18 which, in turn, would be supported by arm 17 only so long as there was an article blocking rota tion of arm 16.
It will now be seen that when the compartments are properly loaded, articles will be dispensed from the stack of articles in the compartment defined by side 11 and partition 12 and-the stack of articles carried by the com- 2,927,715 Patented Mar. 8, 1960 partment defined by side 11 and partition 12 will rest on plate 18; however, as the last article from the first mentioned stack is dispensed, the weight of the articles in the other compartment will rotate arms 16 and 17 so that arm 17 and plate 18 will project down to allow the latter stack to move downwardly in the compartment to a position where each successive lowermost article therein, may be dispensed.
It is obvious that with partition 12 removed, including arms 16 and 17, articles, substantially twice thelength of the articles adaptable to be carried in the compartments, may be carried in the chute defined by sides 11, 11'. In this event, of course, platform 18 will project downwardly and will not interfere with the operation of the chute.
To dispense the lowermost article in either the chute or the respective compartments, a dispensing gate is provided below the chute, this gate being supported by brackets 20, 2%), which depend from sides 11, 11 respectively. The gate includes a transverse shaft 21 carried by brackets 20, and an upstanding platform carrying member 22 pivotally mounted by one end to shaft 21. Platform carrying member 22 may be pivoted from a normal position shown in Fig. 3 to a dispensing position shown in Fig. 4 by actuation of a push bar 23 of the vending machine. Since the means for actuation of the push bar constitutes no part of the present invention and is wellknown in the prior art, no further description is included herein.
After actuation by the push bar 23, and upon being moved to the dispensing position shown in Fig. 4, spring means such as spring 24 returns platform carrying member 22 to its normal position. One end of spring 24 is attached to a block 25 on the vending machine and the other end thereof is connected to a hook 26 fixed to platform carrying member 22. Then a complete cycle of the machine would be from the normal position to the dispensing position and back to the normal position.
As seen in Figs. 1 and 2, platform carrying member 22 is provided with a pair of spaced vertical slots 27, 27 through which bolts 28, 28 respectively project and engage pivot axle retaining bar 29. A pair of protuberant members 30, 30 extend from the ends of bar 29 and support a pivot axle 31 therebetween. Pivotally mounted by one end to axle 31 is an article supporting platform 32 which normally projects horizontally below the chute, its lower side being provided with runners 33, 33 which are adapted to slide on a skid bar 34. The ends of runners 33, 33' are diagonally cut at 35, to provide a can ima ing surface which allows platform 32 to rotate down about the hinge member formed by protuberant members 30, 3% and axle 31 as the gate approaches its dispensing position and to return to its normal hori zontal position after dispensing an article.
According to my invention, platform 32 is normally in a'horizontal plane when the gate is in its normal position; however, the position of this platform may be changed to raise or lower it vertically, by loosening bolts 28, 28 and shifting them to another position within slots and then tightening them, provided skid bar 34 is relocated vertically also. To provide means for relocation of skid bar 34, a pair of adjustment rods 36, 36 project from the ends of skid bar 34 and are respectively slideably journaled by bearings 37, 37 which are respectively fixed to arms 20, 29. To prevent sliding of adjustment rods 36, 36' within bearings 37, 37 locking screws 38, 38' threadably project into bearings 37, 37 and engage adjustment rods 36, 36 respectively. It is obvious that in order to relocate skid bar 34, screws 38, 38' need only be loosened, the adjustment rods 36, 36' repositioned and screws 33, 33' tightened.
The upper end of platform carrying member 22 is bent to provide a curved blocking flange 39 which projects in a direction opposite that of platform 32. Platform carrying member 22 is of such length that when the gate is actuated, blocking flange 39 will move under the chute, as shown in Fig. 4, to provide a base for all articles stacked therein except the lowermost article which is urged rearwardly by that portion of platform carrying member 22 between platform 32 and flange 39.
To prevent more than one article from being carried rearwardly by the lowermost article and to cooperate with flange 39 as it slides under the remaining articles, an abutment shoulder 40, preferably formed of resilient material such as rubber, depends from a projection 41 which is formed integrally and extending from the bottom edge of back It To further aid in retaining the stacks of articles in a proper position, a casing 42, formed of sheet metal material partially encompasses the lower portion of back 10 and sides 11, 11 as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2.
Summary of operation It is apparent to those skilled in the art that the dispensing unit described heretofore may be mounted in juxtaposition, each being operated by a separate push bar such as push bar 23 and that upon rearward movement of any of the push bars, one of a plurality of articles, stacked within the dispensing unit associated therewith, will be urged rearwardly and dropped into a dispensing chute (not shown) which delivers the articles to the consumer operating the machine.
In the present embodiment, one stack of long articles or two stacks of short articles may be carried by the chute defined by sides 11, 11 or the compartment defined by side 11, partition 12 and side 11'. In event that long articles are to be dispensed, partition 12, is removed by removing wire 14 from engagement with ears 13; thus, the articles may be stacked, the lowermost article resting on platform 32. The height or thickness of the article determines the positioning vertically of platform 32 since just sufficient space should be maintained between platform 32 and abutment shoulder 40 to allow curved flange 39 to slide beneath the article next adjacent the lowermost article, as the lowermost article is being dispensed by rearward movement of the gate.
After the gate moves to a position shown in Fig. 4, dispenses the single article carried by platform 32 and returns to its normal position shown in Fig. 3, the stack of articles carried by the chute, moves down with the article previouslycarried by flange 39 becoming the lowermost article and resting on platform 32.
With partition 12 in place as shown in Fig. 1 the operation of my magazine is substantially the same; two stacks of short length articles are now carried, one being in the compartment defined by side 11 and partition 12 and the other being in the compartment defined by partition 12 and side 11. The stack carried by the compartment defined by partition 12 and side 11 rest on plate 18 while the stack carried by the compartment defined by side 11 and partition 12 rests on platform 32.
It is thus seen that with proper positioning of the platform as previously described, articles may be successively dispensed from the stack carried in the compartment defined by side 11' and partition 12 by operation of the gate until the last article in that stack is dispensed; then, with no articles blocking rotation of arm 16, the weight of the stack carried in the other compartment causes rotation of the swing latch and dropping of plate 18, thereby allowing this other, stack to movedownward andcome to rest with the lowermost article on platform 32 and in a position to be dispensed.
When the chute or compartment of my dispensing ,un it isto be loaded with articles of uniform but of a different thickness than those previously carried, the position of platform 32 may be raised or lowered by loosening bolts28, 28' and lock screws 38, 38" and shifting the platform up or down as the case may be, skid bar 34 being moved up or downto maintain platform 3 2 in a sperm distance between'platform 32 and abutment shoulder-40' substantially corresponds to the thickness of the articles to be dispensed, my dispensing unit is again ready for operation. s
It is apparent to those skilled in the art that many variations may be made in the single embodiment chosen for purpose of illustration without departing from the scope of my invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. Dispensing unit for dispensing machines having a magazine, defining a. chute wherein a plurality of articles chute to divide said chute into vertical compartment s f o'r carrying relatively short articles successively stacked in the respective compartments, a swing plate pivotally mounted on the'side of said magazine and adapted to ex tend substantially across the compartment adjacent thereto to support relatively short articles stacked therein, a swing latch pivotally mounted at the lower end of said partition and having a pair of arms perpendicularto each other for supporting said swing plate by one arm when lateral pressure is applied to said otherarm by articles in the other compartment, said swing latch pivoting to a position to 7 release said swing plate when said lateral pressure is not are stacked, a platform carrying member pivotally mounted at the end of said magazine to be pivoted across said chute upon actuation of said dispensing unit,
a hinge member mounted on said platform carrying memher, a substantially fiat platform pivotally mounted by one end to said hinge member and normally disposed in said chute in a position to support theendmost article in said chute, the axis of the pivot of said platform carrying member being disposed vertically below said chute, a skid bar disposed below said chute to support said platform in its normal position, said platform sliding along the surface of said skid bar as said platform carrying member is moved across saidchute and rotating downwardly about said hinge member as said platform carrying member approaches the end of its travel across said chute to dispense the endmost article on said platform, and means for blocking movement of said stack of articles toward said platform as said endmost article is dispensed.
2. Dispensing unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said platform is provided with a runner which rides on said skid bar.
3. Dispensing unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said platform is provided with a runner which projects from said platform, said runner riding on said skid bar and being provided with a camming surface adjacent the' pivoted end of said platform for pivoting said platform from its normal position as said platform carrying member approaches the end of its movement across said chute.
4. Dispensing unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said platform carrying member includes an axially extending plate provided with a vertical slot therein within which the hinge member is adjustable along the surface of said plate of said platform carrying member.
5. Dispensing unit for vending machines having a magazine defining a chute wherein a plurality of articles are stacked, a platform normally disposed at one end of said chute to receive the lowermost article in said chute, supporting means beneath said platform on which said platform is slideably supported, means for varying the position of said supporting means, actuator means for sliding said platform along said supporting means, said platform being pivoted to said actuator means and adjustably positionable along said actuator means, said actuator means moving said platform across said supporting means so that said platform rotates down by gravity to dispense said lowermost article and moving said platform up and back across said supporting means to its normal position to receive the article in said stack next adjacent said lowermost article, said supporting means and said platform being so constructed and arranged that said platform remains in substantially a horizontal position until rotated by gravity, and means for blocking downward movement of all other articles stacked in said chute until said platform is returned to its normal position by said actuator means.
6. A dispensing unit for vending machines comprising a magazine having a back and sides which define a substantially vertical chute for carrying relatively long articles successively stacked therein, a partition adapted to be removably connected to said back of said magazine when said relatively long articles are removed from said applied, and means below said chute for successively removing said articles from saidchute and compartments, each of said arms being of sufiicient length to block articles in one of said chutes when the other arm is in substantially a vertical position.
7. In a dispensing unit for vending machines wherein articles to be dispensed are retained in a chute, a dispensing gate characterized by a platform carrying member pivotally mounted below said chute for reciprocating movement across said chute, a platform so constructed and arranged as to be movable along the face of said platform carrying. member and projecting from said platform carrying member in a position to receive the endmost article in said chute, a blocking flange on said platform carrying member in a position to be moved between said endmost article and the article next adjacent theretoupon movement of said platform carrying member across said chute, means for pivoting said platform downwardly as said platform carrying member approaches the end of its travel across said chute, and means for varying the position of said means for pivoting said platform to maintain said platform in a substantially horizontal position except when the same is pivoted.
8. A dispensing unit for vending machines comprising,
extend substantially across said compartment defined by that side and said partition, said swing latch being rotatable by articles in one of said compartments into a position to support said swing plate in a substantially horizontal position for blocking movement of articles in the other compartment toward said gate, said gate being characterized by a platform carrying member, a platform pivotally mounted by one end to said platform carrying member for pivoting about an axis perpendicular to the plane of said partition, a skid bar below said platform and normally supporting said platform in a position to receive the endmost article in said chute, a blocking flange projecting from the other end of said platform carrying member, means for adjusting said platform along the I surface of said platform carrying member, means for ad.- justing the position of said slide bar to normally maintain said platform in a horizontal position, means for rotating said platform carrying member toward said skid bar to rotate said platform about said skid bar to dispense said endmost article as said blocking flange is moved under the article next adjacent said endmost article, and means for returning said gate to its original position.
9. Dispensing unit for dispensing machines having a magazine defining a vertical chute wherein a plurality of articles are stacked, a platform carrying member pivoted for movement across said chute, said member being pivoted about an axis arranged perpendicularly to the axis of said chute, said member having flat surface, an arcuate shoulder projecting rearwardly from the end of said member, a platform pivotally mounted on the surface of said member and adjustable along the surface thereof,
",7 i a skid bar carried by said chute and on which said platform rides, andmeans for adjusting said skid bar to maintain said platform in substantially horizontal position until said member is pivoted to a position substantially adjacent said skidbar.
10. The structure defined in claim 9 wherein said platform is provided with runners having camming surfaces normally riding on said skid bar.
11. Dispensing unit for dispensing machines having a magazine defining a vertical chute wherein a plurality of articles are stacked, a platform carrying member pivoted for movement across said chute, said member being-pivoted about an axis arranged perpendicularly to the axis of said chute, a shoulder projecting from the end of said member, a platform pivotally mounted by one end to an intermediate portion of said platform carrying member for receiving the lowermost article in said stack, a skid bar connected to said chute and on which said platform rides, and means for pivoting said platform carrying member toward and away from said skid bar, the distance from said axis to the pivot of said platform being greater than the distance from said axis to said skid bar whereby said platform pivots about its pivot as said platform carrying member approaches said skid bar to release said lowermost article.
1 2. The structure defined in claim 11 including means connected between said chute and said skid bar for varying the position of said skid bar with respect to said chute.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 769,063 Dougherty et al. Aug. 30, 1904 892,956 Haverly July 7, 1908 982,812 Grover et al Jan. 31, 1911 985,235 Walter Feb. 28, 1911 1,455,241 Colosi May 15, 1923 1,666,849 Fry Apr. 17, 1928 r 1,783,479. Nagle Dec. 2, 1930 1,824,851 Watters Sept. 29, 1931 1,938,843 Leve et al. a; Dec. 12, 1933 2,546,986 Dressler Apr. 3, 1951 2,738,102 Shepherd Mar. 13, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 319,797 Great Britain Sept. 24, 1929 647,589 Germany July 8, 1937 663,332 Great Britain Dec. 19, 1951