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Publication numberUS2975935 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1961
Filing dateNov 7, 1957
Priority dateNov 7, 1957
Publication numberUS 2975935 A, US 2975935A, US-A-2975935, US2975935 A, US2975935A
InventorsFred Hebel
Original AssigneeFred Hebel Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing machine
US 2975935 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 21, 1961 F. HEBEL 2,975,935

DISPENSING MACHINE Filed Nov. 7, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 lr 5:3 ml nl Aili Il m74 ,Ir I/y hn gimp! March 21, 1961 F. HEBEL 2,975,935

` DISPENSING MACHINE Filed Nov.` 7, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 2l, 1961 F. HEBEL 2,975,935

DISPENSING MACHINE Filed Nov. 7, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 E rgl E g- 5 :s: JL

March 21, 1961 F. HEBEL 2,975,935

DISPENSING MACHINE Filed Nov. '7, 1957 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 March 21, 1961 F. HEBEL DISPENSING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 7, 1957 NOM,

EWE/Ra? DISPENSING MACHINE Fred (Hebel, Wilmette, Ill., assignor to Fred Hebel Corporation, Addison, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Nov. 7, 1957, Ser. No. 695,100

S Claims. (Cl. 221-14) This invention relates to a `dispensing machine and particularly to a dispensing machine for foods packaged in metal containers and the like.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel dispensing machine and a novel dispensing drawer sub-assembly for a dispensing machine.

lt is another object of the present invention to provide a dispensing machine accommodating containers of varying height.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel dispensing machine which is readily reloaded with containers and otherwise readily accommodates servicing operations.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a dispensing machine having novel means for sensing an empty condition in a section of the machine.

Another and further object is the provision of safety means for preventing inadvertent dispensing of an article.

A yet further object of the invention is to provide a dispensingA machine having novel means for agitating the contents of containers during delivery of the containers to the purchaser.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a dispensing mechanism particularly adapted to hot foods packaged in metal cylindrical containers Iand the like.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a novel control system yfor a dispensing machine.

Other and further 'important objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the `accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a p-artial perspective view illustrating a dispensing machine in accordance with the present invention with the front closure door opened to provide `access to the dispensing drawersfor servicing or the like.

Figure 2 'is a top plan View of a dispensing drawer removed from the dispensing machine of Figure l but illustrating the drawer in operative relation to the deliversl conveyor which extends vertically past the 'successive dispensing drawers in the machine Kfor receiving the articles to be delivered from the machine;

Figure 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view illustrating a container at the discharge position of the dispensing drawer of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is va vertical sectional view taken ygenerally along the line IV-IV of Figure l3 and illustrating the manner in which a container ismoved from the dispensing drawer discharge position into the delivery conveyor for delivery to the customer;

Figure 5 is a vertical lsectional view of the delivery conveyor of the present invention and taken generally along the line V--V of Figure 4;

Figure 6 is a rfragmentary enlarged top plan view illustrating the empty switch associ-ated with the dispensing drawer of Figure 2 in its normal condition;

Figure 7 'illustrates 'the switch of Figure 6 stepped to atent r"ice its lirst lposition position indicating a first revolution of the -dispensing drawer turntable;

Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 6 but illustrating the switch stepped to its second position indicating an empty condition of the dispensing drawer; and

Figure 9 is a schematic electric circuit diagram illustrating a control system for the dispensing machine of the present embodiment.

As shown on the drawings:

As illustrated Vin Figure l, a dispensing machine in accordance with the present invention may comprise a housing 10 including a hinged door 11 across the front thereof which may be opened'to provide `access tothe interior of the machine for servicing. The door 1l is normally locked in ya closed position to provide a closed interior space which may be suitably insulated if the articles bein-g dispensed are to 'be heated or refrigerated. In the illustrated embodiment, the interior space of the housing is divided into three separate compartments by means of horizontal partit-ions 13 Aand 114. The lower compartment indicated generally by the reference numeral 16 may receive the coin mechanism schematically indicated `by the blocks 17 and 1S and may also accommodate the lower `article delivery chute 20. Access is provided 'to the lower end of the chute 20 by means of a window 21 in the door 11 having a bar 22 thereacross to stop an article which rolls down the chute 20. The article is removed through the window Z1 by the customer from the exterior of the machine. The lower compartment 16 also provides a storage space 24 for storing further articles in excess of the capacity of the dispensing unitsof the machine.

An intermediate i'comp"art'ment of the machine designated generally by the reference numeral 26 is illustrated as receiving six individual dispensing lunits or drawers 28 through 33 which may be identical and interchangeable. 'Ille units 'Z8-33 may Ibe slidably mounted in the housing 1'0 byfmeansof brackets such as indicated-at 35 so as to be horizontally slidable out of the compartment 26 to facilitate reloading of the units and the like. Each ot the units may be electrically connected with the control circuit 'by means of a detachable plug such as indicatedat 37 which may be temporarily disconnected in order `to slide outkthe associated dispensing unit. A suitable selector switch such as indicated at 39 may be associated with each dispensing unit 'for selecting the desired .price vat which articles in the dispensing unit will be sold. For example, the switch 39 may have three `positions corresponding to prices of tive cents, ten cents and twenty-live cents, and this selector switch would be yelectrically connected to the coin mechanism in the lower compartment 16 ina manner which will hereinafter be described vin connection with Figure 9.

A top space l1-may Abe provided within the housing for receiving additional articles. In the illustrated embodiment, the articles in the dispensing compartment 26 are heated by meansof an electrical heater element 306, Figure 9, extending -in an lair intake duct at the rear right of the machine. This duct discharges heated air at the lower part of the compartment Y26 which then flows upwardly through the successive dispensing units to heat the contents of the containers indicated'at 43v in Athe respective dispensing Preferably, the vpartition 14 is suitably apertured so that containers in the upper storage compartment 41 will be preheated.

The-.door 11 may be provided with a suitable space 47 for displaying containers yof the type to be found at the respective dispensing units. For example, each dispensing unit may have containers with a different type ofsoup therein, and containers with labels indicating the respective types of soup may be disposed in horizontal series in the-compartment l47 fand be visible from the exterior of the machine by means of a window. A suitable selector means may be provided which may be correlated with the various display positions in the compartment47 and suitable electric switch means may be associated with the selector in a compartment 49. The

selector switches in the compartment 49 may be con-v nected with the remainderV of the control circuit by means of a flexible cable 50 and may be correlated with the remainder of the control circuit in the manner hereinafter to be described in connection with Figure 9.

By way of example, the dispensing unit 28 of Figure l is illustrated in detail in Figure 2 and will now be described. The dispensing unit 28 which is identical to units 29-33, may comprise a tray 60 having a dat rectangular bottom 61 and upturned integral side walls 63, 64, 65 and 66. The bottom 61 may have suitable apertures for accommodating the upward flow of heated airfi compartment 26 ofthe machine. Within the tray is mounted a at circular disk member or turntable 70 which is mounted for rotation in a horizontal plane about a vertical spindle indicated at 72. Disposed over the turntable 70 is a stationary spiral `guide structure-including `a spirally disposed guide strip 74 mounted by means of Y stationary cross pieces 76 and 77 having leg portions 76a,

76h, 77a, 77b. The leg portions terminate in outturned foot portions 80 which are suitably secured to the bottom wall 61 of the tray 60. Suitable support strap members such as indicated ast 81 havev horizontal leg' portions such 'as 81a secured to the underside of the cross pieces 76 and 77 and have vertical depending portions such as 81b secured to the spiral strip 74 to support the same above the level of the turntable 70.

When containers such as indicated at 43 are loaded on the turntable 70 within the guide 74 as shown in Figmre 2 and turntable 70 is rotated inthe direction of the arrow 86, it will lbe understood that the guide 74 causes the containers 43 to slide radially outwardly on the turntable 70 as the containers move arcuately with the turntable. By this means, containers in the dispensing unit 28 will be delivered to the discharge position indicated by the dotted circle 88. When a container has reached this discharge position 88, rotation of the turntable 70 is interrupted, and the dispensing unit is ready to dispense a containerupon receipt of the proper coins. Each dispensing unit carries a motor 100 mounted on the tray bottom Wall 61 and' including an output shaft 101 having -a suitable driving worm 102 meshing with a worm wheel on shaft 104 to drive'a friction roller 107 which engages the rim of the turntable 70. This rim maybe may be operative to interrupt energization of the motor y as will hereinafter bev describedvin connection with Figure 9. The switch controlled by arm 111 controls a coin lock-out solenoid 345, Figure 9, so that coins are accepted only when a container is at the discharge position 88. l j

In discharge position, a container is embraced by an ejector arm which is mounted for movement about a vertical shaft indicated at 121 in ejecting containers from the discharge position.v The arm 120 is locked in its normal position shown in Figure 2 by means of a bell crank lever 124-secured to the larm 120 by means of a pivot pin 125. The bell crank .124.has. a-*notch 1-24a therein which receives a tixed pin 127 and the bell crank isnormally urged against the pin 127 by means of a spring 130 extending between a pin 131 fixed to the arm 120 and a pin 132 `iiXed to the bell crank 124 so as to tend to rotate the bell crank in the clockwise direction on its pivot 125. Rotation of the arm 120 on its shaft 121 is prevented by the pin 127 which engages la shoulder on the bell crank `124. In normal locked position, an arm portion 120e of the eject a-rm 120 prevents the container 43 in discharge position 88 from being moved from the discharge position without insertion of the proper coins. The container is securely held lin discharge position and cannot be removed therefrom by tilting or shaking of the machine.

For actuating the ejector arm 120, a solenoid 1f40 has an armature 141 connected with the pin 132 by means of a linkage 143 so that upon energization of the solenoid 140, the bell crank 124 is iirst rotated slightly in the counterlockwise direction about pivot pin 125 and against the action of spring 130, after which further retraction'of the armature 141 causes the rotation of the arm 120 about the shaft 121 against the action of return spring 147 to eject a container from the discharge position 88. A pin 149 on the ejector arm 120 is disposed to limit counterclockwise rotation of the bell crank 124 so that as soon as the notch 124:1 is disengaged from the pin 127, further retraction of the armature 141 is transmitted through the bell crank 124 and pin 149 to cause rotation of the ejector arm 120. The pin 149 is further disposed to actuate a switch arm 151 of a switch 152 to cause deenergization of the solenoid 1'40 as soon as it has performed a complete eject stroke.

When the ejector arm 120 is in actuated position, arm portion 120b moves to a position overlying the discharge position 88 so that a succeeding container on the turntable 70 is prevented from moving into the discharge position `as long as the ejector arm 120 is in actuated position. This construction positively prevents more than one container from being delivered from a dispensing unit for a given energization of the solenoid 140. In normal position of the arm portion 120b as seen in Figure 2, an auxiliary guide rail piece 74a is provided which guides the containers into the discharge position 88 without being engaged by the arm portion 120b. It will be noted that the solenoid 140, switch 152 `and arm 120 may all be mounted on a horizontal portion -tz of a bracket 160 which as seen in Figure 3 projects above the top of the side wall 66 and may have its vertical leg secured thereto by means of bolts such las 162. The arm 120 as seen in Figure 3 thus engages the containers near the top thereof and above the center of gravity.

The shaft 104 which serves to drive the turntable 70 through the roller 107 may be supported bymeans of la pair of spaced yoke members and 171 and the worm wheel (not shown) fixed to the shaft 104 is disposed between the yoke portions 170 and 171 which are secured to the motor housing. The motor housing may advantageously be mounted by means of a hinge leaf 174 secured to the bottom wall 61 of the tray land a relatively strong wire spring (not shown) may be provided for normally urging the motor housing downwardly about the hinge axis indicated at 175 so as to press the wheel 107 into driving engagement with the turntable 70.

When the last container has been ejected from the turntable 70, it is necessary to provide means for preventing indenite rotation of the turntable. Further, such means should allow for a reasonable amount of rotation of the turntable before signaling an empty condition, since it is possible that there may be a considerable space between successive containers in the dispensing unit. The means herein utilized for this purpose comprises a stepping switch device including an actuating plate 181 mounted for rotation on a central vertical pin indicated at 182. Figures 6, 7 and 8 illus- 192 and is urged to rotate in the clockwise direction about the pin 192 by means of a spring 195 extending between the ratchet pin 1&8 and the pivot pin v182. A second Spring 197 extends between pivot pin 192 and a pin 199 carried on the plate 181 to tend to rotate the plate in the clockwise direction. The ratchet pin 188 as shown in Figure 7 prevents this counterclockwise rotation so long as the pin is engaged with the tooth 18119. If a container travels past the ratchet Iarm 190, it engages the arm portion l190a which extends into the path of travel of the containers in the dispensing unit as seen in Figure 2.' The ratchet arm '190 will then be rocked in the counterclockwise direction as seen in Figures 2 and 7 `against the actionof the spring l195 whereupon the spring 197 Vwill rotate the plate 181 Vin the clockwise direction back to the position shown in Figure 6. Rotation of the plate 181 in the .clockwise direction may be limited by engagementvof a pin 261 depending from the plate 181 with a .stop .(not shown) carried by the bottom wall 61 of the dispensing tray.

If, with the plate 181 in the position shownintFigure 7, no container is advanced into a position to engage the ratchet arm portion 19th/z, the pin 185 on `the turntable will engage a tooth 181e on the actuating plate 181 to rotate the plate a further amount. After the pin 185 has moved past the tooth 181C, the indexing plate tends to rotate in the clockwise direction, but is prevented from fully returning to its former position by engagement of the ratchet pin 188 with tooth 181d of the plate 181 `as indicated in Figure 8. In the position of Figure 8, pin 2(31 engages a switch arm 210 of la switch 211 to maintain the contacts of the switch in open condition and thus to interrupt the motor energizing circuit and lstop rotation of the turntable 70. Upon reloading of the dispensing unit, the ratchet arm 190 may be manually released to allow the actuating or stepping plate 181 to return to its initial position shown in Figure 6. In this condition, switch arm 21) returns to its normal deactuated position with the aforementioned contacts of switch 211 closed to accommodate energization of the motor l100.

Figures 3, 4 and 5 illustrate the manner in which the containers are tipped from a vertical to a horizontal position in a preferred method of delivering the containers to the chute 2t) seen in Figure l. Alternatively, the containers may be delivered to an inclined chute in their vertical disposition. In the illustrated embodiment, each tray side wall 66 has a notch 66a therein in alignment with the discharge position 8S seen in Figure 2 so that the container 43 is moved through this notch upon actuation of the eject arm 12). The bottom wall 66b of the notch may be disposed below the top surface of the turntable 70 a slight distance. As seen in Figure 3, the width of the notch 66a at the level of the top of the turntable 7 t) is preferably slightly less than the diameter of the rim 43u of the container so that the container is forced to tip before it can move completely through the notch 66a. The side edges 66C and 66d ot the notch preferably slope so that the diameter of the container can pass through the notch at a level somewhat above the level of the top of the turntable 7i).

By way of example of specic dimensions, a metal can containing seven fluid ounces may have a rim diameter of 213746 inches and a height of approximately 3 inches. The notch 66a may have a Width along the bottom edge 6611 of approximately 21/2 inches, and a width at the level of the turntable 7i) o approximately 2.9/16 inches. The notch may be approximately one-inch deep and have a width at the top of 2% inches. Thus, the can 43` in being ejected will engage the edges 66C and 66d at points on the circumference of the can corresponding to a chord of between 2% and 29A@ inches. The edges 66C and 66d must at least have the slope of the tangents to the can rim at these respective points of contact of the can with the edges of the notch so as to allow the remaining larger v diameter portions of the can rim to move through the notch `as the can pivots on these points of contact as illustrated in Figure 4. The points of contact just reterred to may be located ygenerally as indicated at 220 `in the can shown in solid outline and in dotted outline in Figure 4. It will be readily appreciated that this form of tipping mechanism for the cans is not critical and can readily accommodate manufacturing tolerances and other slight variations encountered in practice.

l'For conveying the containers vertically lfrom the respective dischargepositions 8ste-the chute 20 seen in Figure l, a conveyor structure ,generally indicated by the reference numeral 240 is provided. 'The conveyor unit, .as seenin Figure 2, is disposed at the right side of the dispensing units. The conveyor unit extends vertically within the housing 10 and is disposed between the side wall 10a of the housing .and the dispensing units 28-33 4and is secured to the housing. The dispensing units are free to `slide out of the housing as previously described and are not secured to the conveyor structure. The conveyor structure comprises a pair of vrtical chan- -nel-members 241 and 242`having respective side wall -portions .24111 and'242a and respective inturned rear wall portions 241b and 24212. The side Walls 241a and 242a have a series of horizontal bars 245 extending therebetween to define a zig-zag path fora container 43 as it travels downwardly in the passage as .indicated in Figure 5. At the lower end of the conveyor structure 240, the container drops into the rear end of the chute 20 seen in Figure l and rolls to a forward `position against the bar Y22, from which the container .may be removed through the opening 21. The container 43 is jarred by its successive engagements with the bars 245 in such a manner as to shake up the contents .of the container. Further, the speed of descent of the container is controlled by its successive contacts with the bars 245 so as to avoid any danger of damaging the container.

The containers` are delivered to the vertical passage of the conveyor structure through 4a series of inlet openings at the level of the respective dispensing units by means of inclined guide structures such as indicated at 256 in Figure 5. Each guide structure comprises a sheet metal member including a front wall portion ZSa, a side wall portion 256b, a sloping bottom wall portion 256C and a side wall 256d with an inclined edge portion 256e for guiding the bottom of the container into proper position on the inclined bottom Wall 256C. The guide structure also has a front edge 256f as seen in Figures 2 and 5.

As seen in Figure 4, the container as it moves through the notch 66a in side wall 66 of the dispenser tray tips into the conveyor structure 240 so as to have its periphery in rolling engagement with the bottom wall portion 256C of the guide structure. The container then rolls rearwardly relative to the dispensing machine on the bottom sloping wall 256e of the guide structure through an opening such as 25d and into the vertical passage of the conveyor structure, following the zig-zag downward path as previously described.

The actual movement of the ejector arm in the illustrated yembodiment extends through a distance such that the arm 120 engages the pin 127 as seen in Figure 2. This distance, in itself, need not be suiicient to tip the container into a position such as shown in Figure 4 where the center of gravity of rthe can is beyond the Contact points 220, since the eject arm may give the container sutlicient momentum by a rapid stroke to carry the container past this position due to its own velocity of movement. It will be understood that containers from each of the dispensing units are discharged at the lower end of the conveyor structure in the direction of the arrow 270 in Figure 5 with the long axis of the container extending honizontally and generally laterally With respect to the front of the machine. The container drops directly into the rear end of the chute 20 in this lateral disposition Electric control circuit 'Figure 9 illustrates the electrical control circuit for the machine which may be connected to any 115 volt 60 cycle supply, for example, to energize supply lines 300 and 301. When a switch 302 is closed, voltage is supplied to the line 304 to energize heater 306 and blower motor 307 in parallel. As previously mentioned, the heater is disposed in an air intake duct from which heated air is forced into the dispensing compartment 26 by a suitable blower driven by the motor 307. A suitable switch 309 may be thermostatically controlled to control the temperature' within the compartment 26. A fluorescent lamp 312 may also be associated with the machine, for example in the space 47 in Figure l, and may be energized upon closure of the switch 302.

With the circuit in the condition illustrated in Figure 9, it will be observed that each of the motors 100 for driving the respective turntables 70 would be energized through a circuit extending from line 304 through the motor 100, through contact 315 of the switch associated with switch arm 110 in Figure 2, and through contact 317 of the single pole double throw switch 211 associated with the stepping mechanism 180 and operated 'by the switch arm 210. As soon as a container reaches the discharge position 88, switch arm 110 will be actuated to open switch 315 of the associated dispensing unit to deenergize the associated motor 100 and interrupt rotation of the turntable 70. It will be 'understood that, whiletwo dispensing unit circuits including motors 100 are illustrated in Figure 9, there would actually be six such circuits for the illustrated embodiment. Switches 39 seen in Figure 1 control movable switch arms such as l 320 in Figure 9 to connect the respective solenoid enerthe line 304 by means ot contacts '326, 327 and 328 which in turn are controlled by totalizer relays 330, 331 and 332. By way of example, the relays 330, 331 and 332 may be associated with a conventional coin mechanism in such a manner that the switch 363 is actuated and relay 330 is energized when a live cent coin has been received, switch 364 is actuated and relay 331 is energized when ten cents has been received, and switch 365 is actuated and relay 332 is energized when 25 cents has been received. Thus by adjustment of the switch arm 320 by means of the switches such as 39 in Figure l, each dispensing drawer may be adjusted to dispense a container at a price of tive cents, ten cents or twenty-five cents, for example. With the switch arm 320 in the position indicated, it is necessary to deposit twenty-live cents to energize the relay 332, to thus close contact 328 and energize the associated eject solenoid 140 to eject a container from the `discharge position 88 seen in Figure' 2. The specific one of the solenoids 140 to be energized is controlled by means of a suitable selector switch operated by the customer which selectively closes pairs of contacts such as 335er, 335b or 33651, 336b depending on the choice of the customer. By way of example, an energizing circuit for the lirst solenoid 140 illustrated in Figure 9 would include conductor 304, contact 328, line 324, switch arm 320, solenoid 140, contact 335b, contact 317 and line 301.

The coin mechanism may be provided 'with a lock-out solenoid such as indicated at 345 which must be energized before the coin mechanism will accept coins. It will be observed that one side of the lock-out solenoid 345 is connected to line 304 through lines 346 and 347, while the other side of the solenoid is connected with line 301 under the control of contacts such as 350 as well as the selector switch Contact pairs such as 335a, 335b. Thus, in order to energize the lock-out solenoid to accept coins, the contact 350 which is associated with the actuating arm 111 in Figure 2 must be closed indicating that a container is in the dispensing position in the associated dispensing unit ready to be delivered to the customer. It for some reason, switch arm 11'1 is not properly actuated in a given dispensing unit, the coin mechanism will not accept coins as long as the customer selects this dispensing unit.

When an eject solenoid 140 is energized, a switch contact corresponding to that solenoid, such as 360 of switch 152 is actuated by the arm 151 in Figure 2 to close momentarily, energizing reset solenoid 361 which then opens the coin switches 363, '364 and 365. These Vcoin switches control the energization of the relays 330- lthe control of switch arm 1'10 will be closed and the motor energized to bring a new container into the dispensing position. It will be understood that deenergization of the solenoid 361 upon reopening of the switch 360 as the eject arm returns to normal position does not cause closure of the coin switches 363-365.

Summary of operation The operation of the machine may now be summarized as follows.

To load the machine with containers, the door 11 is unlocked and opened as shown in Figure 1, preferably lwith the switch 302 seen in Figure 9 in open condition to deenergize the electric circuit. Each of the dispensing drawers 28-33 may now be successively pulled out, having tirst removed the corresponding plug 37, to load containers on the turntable 70 within the spiral guide 74 of each unit. Additional containers may be inserted in the preheat storage space 41 and in the unheated storage space 24. The switches 39 are set at the price of the articles of the respective dispensing units. Items correspending to the respective dispensing units may be displayed in the compartment 47 in association with a suitable selector switch which is to be operated by the customer.

With the drawers 28-33 and plugs 37 returned to the operative positions the electric circuit is now energized by closing the switch 302, and the respective motors 100 will be energized to rotate the turntables 70 until an article is moved to dispensing position as indicated at 88 in `Figure 2 for each dispensing unit, `after which the motor is deenergized through the action of the switch arm seen in Figure 2 which opens switch 315 seen in Figure 9.

The customer may now select the desired dispensing unit by closing the corresponding contact pair such as 335a, 335b seen in Figure 9. The customer then inserts the required coins to actuate the corresponding coin switch such as 365 in Figure 9, thereby energizing totalizer relay '332 and closing contact 328 to energize the selected ejection solenoid 140. Energization of solenoid as seen in Figure 2 swings the ejector arm 120 in a clockwise direction to eject the container in discharge position through notch 66a as seen in Figure 3. As the container such as 43 moves through the notch 66a, it is tipped into a horizontal orientation as indicated in dash outline in Figure 4, whereupon it rolls upon the corresponding guide structure inclined wall 256C, through the corresponding opening Z50-255 .of the conveyor structure 240 and descends in a zig-zag path as indicated in Figure 5, being discharged as indicated by arrow 270 in Figure 5 into the rear end of the delivery chute 20, seen in Figure 1. The container then rolls down the delivery chute 20 amasar) to bar 22 and is removed through window 21 in the door 11 of the machine.

As soon as a container is ejected from the discharge position 88, Figure 2, switch arms 110 and 111 return to normal position closing switch contact 315 seen in Figure 9 and opening contact 350 seen in Figure 9. In this condition motor 100 is energized to rotate turntable 70 until a further container moves to the discharge position. If no further containers are present on the turntable 70 of a given dispensing unit, the turntable 70 rotates until the pin 185 seen in Figures 6 to 8 has successively engaged the teeth 181a and 181e of stepping plate 181, whereupon switch arm 210 is actuated as seen in Figure 8 to move switch contact arm 317, Figure 9, to its right hand position to cause energization of the corresponding empty lamp 370 and to deenergize the associated motor 100. If a customer later moves the selector switch to select the dispensing unit which is empty, the contact 350 of the dispensing unit will be open because of the lack of a container at discharge position, so that lock-out solenoid 345 Will not be energized and coins will not be accepted.

It will be apparent that many modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a dispensing machine, a housing having an interior space, a series of dispensing units disposed in superposed relation in said space, each of said dispensing units comprising a turntable and a tray removably disposed in the housing, each of said trays having a discharge position to which successive articles are delivered by the turntable, a delivery conveyor extending vertically in adjacent relation to the discharge positions of said trays and having article receiving openings at the level of each dispensing unit and in alignment with the respective discharge positions for receiving articles in succession from said dispensing units, and means providing an article delivery outlet in said housing communicating with the lower end of said conveyor.

2. In a dispensing machine, a housing having an interior space, a series of dispensing units disposed in superposed relation in said space, each of said dispensing units comprising a rotatable member and a tray supporting said member, each of said trays being removably disposed in the housing and having a discharge position to which successive `articles are delivered by the rotatable member, a spiral guide structure disposed above each said rotatable member and operative to engage articles resting on said rotatable member, said guide structure having a configuration to move articles radially on said rotatable member as said rotatable member rotates toward said discharge position, and a delivery conveyor extending vertically in adjacent relation to the discharge positions of said dispensing units for receiving successive articles from said dispensing units.

3. In a dipensing machine, a housing having an interior space, a series of dispensing units disposed in superposed relation in said space, each of said dispensing units comprising a turntable and a tray removably disposed in said housing, each of said trays having a discharge position to which successive articles are delivered by the turntable, a delivery conveyor extending vertically in adjacent relation to the discharge positions of said trays and having' article receiving openings at the level of each dispensing unit and in alignment with the respective discharge positions for receiving articles in succession from said dispensing units, means providing an article delivery outlet in said housing communicating with the lower end of said conveyor, and arm means at the discharge position of each dispensing unit for moving each article at such position radially outwardly from said turntable to said delivery conveyor including bell crank means normally preventing discharge movement of said arm means.

4. In a dispensing machine, a rotatable support member, means mounting said support member for rotation on an upright axis, a spiral guide structure disposed above said support member and operative to engage articles resting on said support member, said guide structure having a configuration to move articles radially on said support member to a discharge position as said support member rotates on said axis, means for receiving articles in succession at said discharge position, means for ejecting articles from said discharge position in an ejecting position thereof, means for sensing an empty condition of said rotatable member, and switch means preventing rotation of said rotatable member in response to an empty condition sensed by said sensing means, said sensing means including a pin on said rotatable support member, a stepping plate having teeth adapted to succesively engage the pin upon rotation of the rotatable support means in an empty condition thereof, and a pin on said stepping plate actuating said switch means in response to said succesive engagement of said teeth.

5. In a dispensing machine, a rotatable support member, means mounting said support member for rotation on an upright axis, a spiral guide structure disposed above said support member and operative to engage articles resting on said support member, said guide structure having a configuration to move articles radially on said support member to a discharge position as said support member rotates on said axis, outlet means for receiving articles in succession at said discharge position and means for ejecting articles from said discharge position for delivery from the machine, said ejecting means including an arm portion movable to a position overlying the outlet means when the ejecting means is in an actuated condition.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 876,291 Blakeslee Jan. 7, 1908 1,698,888 Laxo Jan. 15, 1929 2,058,637 Scott etal. Oct. 27, 1936 2,105,929 Rehnbe'rg Ian. 18, 1938 2,189,740 Mills Feb. 6, 1940 2,261,910 Wright Nov. 4, 1941 2,272,750 Miller Feb. 10, 1942 2,282,269 Tone May 5, 1942 2,289,807 Schaevitz et al. July 14, 1942 2,304,455 Guerard Dec. 8, 1942 2,348,927 Runsvold et al. May 16, 1944 2,512,183 Stewart June 20, 1950 2,590,736 Tandler et al. Mar. 25, 1952 2,595,456 Hinkel May 6, 1952 2,599,173 Hamilton June 3, 1952 2,616,776 Jones Nov. 4, 1952 2,686,612 Curlee Aug. 17, 1954 2,719,651 Gabrielsen Oct. 4, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 778,006 Great Britain July 3, 1957 1,124,809 IFrance July 2, 1956

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US2304455 *Oct 2, 1940Dec 8, 1942Guerard Jr Albert SDispensing machine
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US2719651 *Nov 18, 1950Oct 4, 1955Rowe Mfg Co IncRefrigerated package vending machine
FR1124809A * Title not available
GB778006A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3269595 *Oct 2, 1964Aug 30, 1966Merrill KrakauerArticle vending machine
US3294281 *Dec 3, 1964Dec 27, 1966Schlaf SPackage vendor with helix shaped delivery spindle
US3344953 *Feb 18, 1965Oct 3, 1967Merrill KrakauerArticle vending machine having helical feeder coil
US3442174 *Nov 24, 1961May 6, 1969Vend A Key CorpKey-blank dispenser-and-cutter apparatus
US3752287 *Jun 10, 1971Aug 14, 1973PolyvendPrice selection vending machine arrangement
US4023704 *Mar 25, 1974May 17, 1977Rowe International Inc.Helical feed merchandising machine
US4269325 *May 23, 1979May 26, 1981Polyvend, Inc.Can vending apparatus
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EP1600901A1 *Apr 12, 2005Nov 30, 2005Jofemar, S.A.System for removing the selected product in automatic vending machines
WO1989000826A1 *May 20, 1988Feb 9, 1989John Denton LockwoodGravity feed dispenser and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/14, 221/261, 221/236, 221/130, 194/346, 221/193
International ClassificationG07F11/36, G07F11/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/36
European ClassificationG07F11/36