US 2968518 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 17, 1961 v H. BRAUNSBERG MULTIPLE MERCHANDISING VENDING MACHINE Filed Aug. 13, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet l ATTORNEYS 4 Sheets-Sheet '2 H. BRAUNSBERG MULTIPLE MERCHANDISING VENDING MACHINE IN VENTOR Jan. 17, 1961 Filed Aug 13, 1956 ATTORNEYS Jan. 17, 1961 H. BRAUNSBERG MULTIPLE MERCHANDISING VENDING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 13, 1956 ATTORNEYfi Jan. 17, 1961 H. BRAUNSBERG MULTIPLE MERCHANDISING VENDING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Aug. 13, 1956 INVENTOR BPflU/VBE/QCF BY Juv 1d ATTORNEYS United States Patent MULTIPLE MERCHANDISING VENDING MACHINE Heinz Braunsberg, 856 Burlington Ave., Bristol, Conn.
Filed Aug. 13, 1956, Ser. No. 603,727
3 Claims. (Cl. 3129-971) This invention relates to a commercial vending. machine, of the rotating tray type, designed to deliver a multiple. number of different types of goods, and comprisingmeans of limiting selection to only one item at a time.
Briefly, one embodiment of the vending machine comprises an outer box-like casing, housing a series of rotating shelves, vertically mounted on a central post one on. top of the other, andindividually rotated by separate motors. The invention further comprises separate compartments on each shelf, and a sliding door for each shelf the same size as the compartment opening, to make available. the contentsof the particular compartment facing the sliding door. A coin. selector mechanism and door latch arrangement in combination further limit selection to the contents of only one compartment. of one rotating shelf at. any particular time.
There are a considerable number of vending machines on the market today. A very common type is the cigarette type vending machine, which gravity feeds one of a variety of items. This particular vending machine has thedisadvantage of not being able to dispense fragile and destructible. items. It furthermore has the disadvantage that only items of a certain size for which the machine was constructed can be dispensed.
A second very common type of vending machine is the liquid vending machine. These machines are often capable of dispensing several types of drinks, but again depend upon gravity flow for functionability. A third type of vending machine very similar to the above two types is the ice vending machine or bottle vending machine type.
There are also on the market several vending machines of th e rotatable tray type, mostly for use as refrigerated storage uni-ts or bottle vending units, but none provide the features. supplied by the present invention.
A. primary object of this invention is to provide a vending machine of the rotating tray type, not dependent upon gravity feed, which is capable of vending a large number of different types of products at one time. It is also a purpose of this invention to provide avending machine which is capable of dispensing one type of product at one, andzanother type of product at another time. This versatility in products can refer to either the size or shape of the product, or the nature of the product. It is furthermore an object of this invention to provide a selector mechanism capable of automatic selectionof one particular type of the products being vended, at one time, and also capable when associated with a novel door locking mechanism oflimitingselection to only one item of the type. selected.
These and other objectswill become more evident on further disclosure of the invention.
In the accompanyingdrawings forming a part of this disclosure;
Fig. l is a perspective view of theoutside of the vending machine. This view discloses the panel arrangement of the disclosed embodiment, of the invention.
Fig. 2 is a horizontal cross sectional view showing the top of a rotating tray, compartmentation of the trays, and the electric motor drive mechanism.
Fig. 3 is a slide vertical cross sectional view of the vending machine disclosing the relationship between the rotating trays, the driving mechanism, and the tray locking arrangement.
Fig. 4 is a front vertical cross sectional view of the vending machine disclosing the rotating trays, sliding compartment doors, and tray driving mechanism.
Referring to Fig. 1, the frontv panel 4 of the vending machine shows a selector mechanism 1, a. coin slot 2, a series of openings 11 in the front panel, and a tier of vertically sliding. doors 3 behind said openings. The individual wishing to operate the vending machine merely selects, by means of the selector mechanism the particular items desired, places the required coins in. the slot, and operates the sliding door behind which the particular item desired is contained, by lifting up on thedoor handle 25. For example, if the vending machine contained eggs of four different sizes, the purchaser would select the de sired size on the selector mechanism, and then would operate the correctly designated sliding door. It would then merely be a matterv of withdrawing the item desired to complete the transaction. The specific directions would be on a plate 23 attached to the front panel.
The mechanism which achieves this simplicity is a combination of mechanical and electrical components.
The present embodiment of the vending machine comprises an outer casing 5, Fig, 2. This casing is composed of two thin metal panels with. insulation contained between the panels. A refrigeration unit: 26, Fig. 4, is disclosed, for perishable products, and can be of any standard make.
Within the outer casing, a rectangular box-like frame made of L members supports the mechanical working parts of the vending machine. This frame is mounted on Wheels 24, Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, and hence can be rolled out from the outer casing for necessary rep-airs to the working parts. Basically, the mechanical components of the vending machine comprisea central post, 6 in Figs. 2 and 4, a series of rotating trays 7 rotating about the post on bearing surfaces 8, Fig. 4, compartments 9 on said trays, an electric motor 10, Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, to drive said rotating trays, and a rotating tray locking mechanism 13 attached to the sliding compartment doors 3. Fig. 2 is a top view of a rotating tray and illustrates the compartmentationj of saidrotating trays.
The rotating trays 7 are fiat diskashaped members revolving on the bearing surfaces 8 and supported by rollers 29', Fig. 3; mounted on cross members of frame 16. There are three rollers for each tray. The trays are divided into compartments 9 rigidily attached to the trays and adaptable to enclosing different types of merchandise and further adaptable to separating items of merchandise from each other. Basically, the compartments comprise three walls of a height limited only by the position of one rotating tray relative to the next one above or below it, and with a fourth side open and facing the periphery of the rotating tray. Consequently, it will always be that the open side of one of the compartments on a tray will be facing a sliding door 3 located behind an opening 11 in thefront panel. In the present embodiment of the invention, the rotating tray. is divided into 15 compartments; but ofco-urse this. number can be varied.
Each rotating tray has an individual driving mechanism comprising a motor 10, and pulleys 15 and 15A shown in Fig. 2. The pulley 15 is attached to the bearing sleeve '8 as shown in Fig. 4. Anuelectric motor I'll-mounted on panel. 'each compartment and contacts the merchandise 28 loing machines.
frame member 16 and supporting pulley 15A, engages with pulley 15 through belt 27 and thus imparts angular motion to the rotating tray.
The sliding doors 3 are slidably mounted on rods 14, Fig. 2 and Fig. 4, extending between the uppermost and bottom members of frame 16. Located on the sliding doors are handles 25, Fig. 2, for raising said doors, and locking lugs 13, Fig. 3. Referring to Fig. 2, it should be noted that near the periphery of each rotating tray, there are holes 12 located between the compartments. These holes are adaptable to receive the lugs 13 attached to the sliding doors 3 such that as the sliding doors 3 are raised, the lugs 13 engage holes 12 and prevent the rotating tray from revolving.
The invention also comprises a means of stopping such rotating tray at the desired position such that one compartment directly faces the sliding door, and further such that the hole 12 lines up with locking lug 13. This is accomplished by means of the micro switch member 17,
stops are located in relationship to each other such that 'the micro switch is tripped when a compartment is orientated directly in position in front of a sliding door 3.
The invention also comprises a means of indicating when a compartment is empty. The frame member 16 supports a micro switch 19. This micro switch is electrically connected to the Empty light 22 on the front The lever 20 of the micro switch extends into cated there. Fig. 2 discloses a micro switch positioned for counter-clockwise motion of the rotating tray. As
shown in Fig. 2, as long as the compartment positioned angularly to the left of the sliding door 3 contains merchandise, the lever 20 is pressed outward opening the micro switch circuit. However, when a compartment positioned as above indicated is empty, lever 20 springs inwards closing the micro switch circuit and activating the 4 Empty light 22 of the front panel.
'22 will not be activated until all of the compartments on a particular tray are empty.
The micro switch 19 is also electrically connected to -the coin exchanger and selector mechanism, such that if a selection is made, and the particular item selected is exhausted, the Empty light 22 will be activated, and
the coins deposited will be returned.
The electric circuit coordinating the different elements -of the vending machine is a basic circuit used in many vending machines, and typical of those used in ice vend- It mainly comprises a selector switch which closes one part of the circuit leading to the motor driving the desired rotating tray. The micro switch stop part of the circuit is normally in a closed position. The circuit is completed when a coin is dropped into the coin mechanism closing the coin switch. The motor revolves turning the rotating tray until the micro switch relay is broken by the stop mechanism located on the tray. The circuit also comprises an empty switch relay, such that when the micro switch is closed due to the absence of merchandise in a compartment the coin return circuit and Empty light circuit will also be closed. In operation, the invention is relatively simple. At the beginning of each cycle, an empty compartment faces 'each sliding door. The individual contemplating purchase 'makes a selection on the selector switch. The purchaser then places the necessary coins in the coin slot activating thecoin switch and completing the circuit. The particular rotating tray selected and driven by the particular motor activated by the selector switch revolves until stopped by the micro switch. A compartment containing one of the items desired is then made available to the purchaser, upon the purchasers act of raising the sliding door. When the sliding door is raised the finger mechanism as indicated locks the rotating tray such that one compartment only is made accessible to the purchaser. This combination thus provides a completely positive means of making available one, and only one, item from a wide variety of items.
Because of the particular design of the vending machine, namely the compartments supported by the rotating trays, there is practically no limit to the nature of items of which the machine is capable of vending. For instance, the machine could vend bottles, eggs, milk cartons, refrigerated items, meats, and any number of other items, without the necessity of building or designing the machine for any particular one item.
Furthermore, the individual drive mechanism for each of the trays provides certainty that only one tray will be actuated to expose merchandise.
Furthermore, having individual compartments, plus a locking mechanism attached to the sliding door, plus the electrical selector mechanism and associated rotating drive mechanism, assures one with absolute certainty that only one item upon a rotating tray will be exposed to a purchaser. 1
In view of the above description, it is felt that further explanation of the construction and operation of the invention is unnecessary. What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A vending machine comprising a cabinet, a post mounted vertically in the cabinet, a series of horizontally disposed trays each mounted for rotation about the post, means dividing each tray into a plurality of circumferentially spaced compartments oriented radially about the post and having open outer peripheral ends, individual electric motor power means for driving each rotatable tray, said cabinet having an opening at the level of each tray adapted in size to expose a single compartment, means for activating the electric motor power driving means for the tray, electrical deactivating means associated with said driving means, and means on each tray engageable with said electrical deactivating means for stopping the tray when each consecutive compartment thereon lies radially opposite the opening, a door mounted to slide in a vertical plane between each opening and the compartment opposite it, a U-shaped lug mounted on each door and extending inwardly of the cabinet, and means disposed on each tray in the spaces between compartments and engageable by the lug when the door is opened to lock the tray against rotation.
2. A vending machine according to claim 1 wherein said electrical deactivating means comprises a microswitch associated with said driving means, and said means on each tray engageable with said electrical deactivating means to stop the tray comprises a lug depending from the tray below each compartment.
3. A vending machine according to claim 1 further comprising means for indicating when all of the compartments of a tray are empty.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,032,989 Cawley July 16, 1912 1,975,364 Kindred et al Oct. 2, 1934 2,017,078 Schwab et al Oct. 15, 1935 2,279,558 Clerc Apr. 14, 1942 2,360,241 Kuhl Oct. 10, 1944 I 2,680,052 Delf June 1, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 50.605 Denmark Sept. 2, 1935 735,627 France Aug. 30, 1932