US 3028045 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
5 Sheets-Sheet l W. J. SMITH PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE INVENTOR. ZU/nJSmh April 3, 1962 Filed July 5, 1960 A T TOPNEVS April 3, 1962 w. J. sMlTH PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 5, 1960 ATTORNEYS April 3, 1962 w. J. SMITH 3,028,045
PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 5, 1960 2a MWL A TTORNE YS April 3, 1962 w. J. SMITH PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 5, 1960 INVENTOR.
wm. J ,Smih
AToR/VEVS April 3, 1962 w. J. SMITH 3,028,045
PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE Filed July 5, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 42 /39 4Z "I lf3-9 ]IL 4, INVENTOR ATTORNEY5 3,028,045 PACKAGE VENDING MACHINE William J. Smith, Littleton, Colo., assignor to S & S Vending Machine Co., San Jose, Calif., a corporation of California Filed July 5, 1060, Ser. No. 40,834 Claims. (Cl. 221-10) age at a timein a predetermined ordermay then be vended; the removal of the last package of the row from the rack causing another row of packages from the coni veyor to be `deposited on said rack.
. vThe machine is designed to handle packages of relatively large size, and includes a package receiving bin below the package supporting rack, and another object of the invention is to provide a simple theft and tampery proof device between the rack and bin which will prevent vandalistic ltamperingvwith the essential working parts of the machine, or theft of any package on the rack.
Another. object of the invention is to provide a machine for the purpose which may be installed in a conventional form of cabinet with but few changes being made to the latter. y l
Still another object of the invention is to provide a practical and reliable package vending machine, and one which will be exceedingly effective for the purpose of which it is designed. The present application is a continuation-impart of. application Serial No. 714,290, led February l0, 1958, now abandoned; the foregoing objects being accomplished by means of such structure and relative arrangement of parts as will fully appear by a perusal of the following specification and claims.
In the drawings:
FIG. l is a side elevation of the structure as mounted in a freezing cabinet; the latter being shown in section. FIG. 2 is a foreshortened plan view of the structure, detached from the cabinet.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective View showing some of the bag supporting fingers as if loaded vand the control cam arrangement associated therewith;
the latter being in the position occupied just after a vending operation has started.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged side elevation of the structure, taken from the side thereof opposite that shown in FIG. l.
FIG. 5 is a Similar view, but taken on the same side as that depicted in FIG. 1, but on a larger scale and showing the intermediate position of the fingers when supporting a load .and before the fingers are released by rotation of the control cams.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional elevation taken on line 6 6 of FIG. 2, showing the initial or unloaded position of the fingers.
FIG. 7 is a similar view, but showing the position of the fingers when released, and as discharging a load.
FIGS. 8-11 are diagrams of the electric circuit arrangement of the machine, showing the different switch positions assumed during a complete cycle of operation of the machine.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings and to the characters of reference marked thereon, the strucvtend to swing the fingers down.
3,028,045 Patented Apr. 3, 1962 ICC ture is arranged to be enclosed within a conventional freezing cabinet 1 and comprises a frame structure, indicated generally at 2 and including upstanding corner legs 3 from the corners of the framework and resting on the floor of the cabinet.
The framework adjacent its ends and at the top supports the transverse end rollers 4 and 5 of an endless conveyor 6, the upper run of which is horizontal and supports transversely extending, closelyspaced rows of containers to be dispensed and here shown as upstanding bags 7 containing cracked ice.
The conveyor is driven by a chain and sprocket connection 8 vwith a reduction-gear electric motor unit 9 mounted `on the frame structure below the conveyor, as shown in FIG. l. This unit is arranged to drive the upper run of the conveyor in the direction of the roller 4, which is at the forward discharge end of the conveyor.
Disposed below said discharge end of the conveyor and projecting forwardly therefrom is. a bag supporting rack comprising a row of fingers 10 arranged in parallel and spaced relation and extending lengthwise of the conveyor; the row spanning the full width of the conveyor, as shown in FIG. 2. The width of the fingers and their spacing is such relative to the widthof each bag 7 that a bag dropping off the discharge end of the conveyor will span and rest on at least an adjacent pair of fingers, V as shown. Also, the length of the portion ofthe ngers which projects from under the conveyor is greater than Ithe length of a bag'. j
The fingers are pivoted-intermediate their ends, and back of the forwardly projecting portions thereof-on a transverse frame-mounted shaft 11; the fingers being independently turnable on the shaft. The fingers are each weighted back of the shaft 11, as shown at 12; this lweight being less than that of a bag A7 so that the latter, when supported on the fingers, will overcome such Weight and When, however, the weights 12 of the various fingers are free to be effective, they will swing the fingers so that their forward portions are tilted at an upward slope; such tilting movement being limited by thev engagement of the rear end of the fingers with a transverse frame-mounted stop plate 13, as shown in FIG. 6.
Rearwardly of the pivotal shaft 11, the ngers in all positions are engageable with the rear end of a transverse trigger plate 14 fixed at its rear end on a framemounted cross shaft 15. Downward tilting of the forward portion of any finger tilts the plate 14 upwardly and turns the shaft 15 through a certain arc.
Fixed on one end of said shaft are spaced cams 16 and 17, arranged to successively actuate separate switches 18, 19, and 19a, respectively l(see FIG. 3), upon rotation of shaft 15 accompanying an upward tilting of plate 14, and as the forward portions of the plate-tilting fingers 10 tilt downwardly. The purpose of this feature will be seen later.
Mounted in the frame in a position above the rear end of the fingers when the latter are horizontal, and clear of the arc of swinging of such rear end, as shown in FIG. 7, is a cross shaft 20. Fixed on this shaft is a plurality of cams in the form of semi-circular discs 21, one for each finger 10 to engage the same and alined therewith. The radius of these discs is such that when the periphery thereof engages the fingers, the latter are held in a horizontal position when loaded with a bag 7, as shown in FIG. 5.
The cam discs are disposed on the shaft with a progressive spiral soV that from one end of the shaft toward the other, the cams will successively drop off and back from the rear ends of the corresponding ngers as the shaft rotates. This relationship of the cam discs to the fingers is clearly shown in FIG. 3. The shaft 20` is driven by chain and sprocket connections 22 with an electric motor unit 23 mounted on the frame structure 2, as shown in FIG. 4.
The shaft at one end carries an elementr24 to actuate .a switch 25 when the shaft 20, and the battery of cam discs thereon, reach a certain position, as will lbe later set forth.
The switches 18, 19, 19a, and 25 are all supported from a frarne-rvrlounted plate 2a through which the shafts 20 and 15 project.
Below the forwardly projecting portion of the fingers 10, and clear of the same when said fingers are titled downwardly to their limit, is a trap door 26 which adjacentits rear end--is pivotally supported from the forward legs 3 of the frame structure, as at 27. This trap door, when disposed in `its normal horizontal position, just clears the front `wall28 of the cabinet 1. The trap door is yieldably held against downward movement from such horizontal position by tension springs 29' at the sides thereof, clear of the endmost fingers 10, and which springs are connected to the trap door and to brackets 30 projecting from the ladjacent corner legs 3.
The trap door 26 is prevented from being pulled or swung np by the springs 2:9 above a horizontal position by frame-mounted lugs 26a engaging under the door 26 rearwardly ofthe pivot 27.
` The bottom wall 3-1 of the cabinet 1 is spaced from the oor or ground, as shown in FIG. l, and said wall is cut away from the front wall 28 rearwardly a certain distance to provide an opening 32. This opening extends the full width of the cabinet, and its extent-lengthwise of the cabinet-is suiiicient to enable a bag 7, discharged from the l'lgrs 10 Onto the trap door 26 and sliding down off the latter, to pass without restraint through the opening 32. An openwork catch bin 33 is mounted on the cabinet in position to receive the bag passing through the opening; said bin projecting forwardly from the front wall of the `cabinet some distance so that the bag may bewithdrawn from the bin `from in front of the cabinet.
`In operation, after the conveyor belt is loaded with the transverse row of bags 7, the motor 9 is initially operated by manual control until the bags of the -foremost row have fallen olf the forward end of the belt and are deposit- ,ed on the tngers 10, tilting the same downwardly until their rear ends engage the peripheral edges of the overhanging cam discs'21, as shown-for instance-in FIGS. `1 and 5. The motor is then stopped, the mechanism then being in position for a vending operation.
Such operation is initiated by the closing of a normally open, momentary-contact, coin operated switch 34 of conventional form, and which is enclosed in a coin box 35 mounted on the front vvwall of the cabinet, as shown in FIG. 1. 'Ihis switch is interposed in a circuit arrangement in which the hereinbefore mentioned motors and switches are also interposed, such arrangement being shown in FIGS. 8-11, and `describedvas follows:
A wire 36 leads from the terminal of switch 34 to one contact i37 of switch 19, while another wire 38 leads from the terminal of said switch to one lead 39 of a supply circuit.
Another wire 40 leads from the contact 41 of switch 34 to the other Alead 42 of said supply circuit; an initially deenergized relay coil 43 being interposed in said wire 49 and functioning when energized to close an initially open switch 44.
A wire 45 extends from the terminal of switch 44 to a connection with wire 38, the switch 18 being interposed in said wire 45.
A wire '46 is connected at one end to wire 40 at a point between the supply lead 42 and relay coil 43, and at the other end to one contact 47 of switch 25; vthe belt drive motor 9` being interposed in said wire 46. Another wire 48 leads from the terminal switch 25 to the other .contact 49 of switchA 19.
A wire 50 is connected at one end to wire 40 at a point between the connection of wire 46 therewith and the relay coil 43, and at the other end to the terminal switch 19a; the cam drive motor 23 being interposed in said wire 56. Another wire 51 leads from one contact 52 of switch 19a to the other contact 53 of switch 2.5, while still another wire 54 connects the other contact 55 of switch 19a and thercontact 56 of the relay switch ,44.
When a bag 7 is on the rack fingers 10 in position to be dispensed or vended, and before a coinis deposited in box 35 to momentarily close switch 34, switch 18 is spring-closed, switch 19 is springc1osed to contact 37, switch 19a is spring closed to contact 55, switch 25 is spring-closed'to contact 47, while relay switch 44 is open. This positioning of the different switches is shown in FIG.'8. As will be recognized from this showing and description, .switches 19, 19a, and 25 are of the doublethrow or two-position type, while switch 18 is of the single-throw type,
As soon as switch 34 closes, a circuit is closed through wire 40 including the relay coil 43, and through wire 3 6 to contact 37, switch 19, Aand wire 38; said wires 38 and 40 being connected to the supply leads as previously described.
Energizing of therelay coil instantly closes switch 44, which establishes a holding circuit through wire 4i), said switch 44, wire 45, switch 18, and wire 38, and which circuit `remains Vclosed `even though switch 34 becomes immediately reopened, as will be evident. At kthe same time, a circuit is also closed through wires 38 and 45, switch `18, switch 44, wire 54 to contact 55, switch 19a, wire 5t), the motor 23 interposed therein, and wire 40 lto the supply lead. This setting of the circuit system, at the instant lof closing of the coin actuated switch 34, is shownin FIG. 9.
Motor 23 then functions to rotate cam discs 21 until certain ones thereof leave the adjacentngers 10, so that said fingers are free to tilt down and allow the bag 7 to slide olf said fingers, as previously described. As soon as the lingers thus tilt, the shaft 15 of the trigger plate 14 is rotated in a direction to cause Vthe cam 16 to open switch 18 and break the holding circuit; thus stopping the motor, as indicated in FIG. 10.
As soon as the lingers are relieved of their load, they swing back to an initial above-horizontal position of themselves, and the switch 18 becomes reclosed, ready for the next closing of the holding .circuit as initiated by the deposit of another coin to close switch 34.
The switches 19 and 19o however are so far not affected or disturbed, lsince they can only be reversed upon upward swinging of all the lingers 20 to their limit of movement above a horizontal position and the accompanying downward swinging of the trigger plate 14. As long as any lingers remain loaded, therefore, the trigger plate cannot thus move, and the switches 19' and 19a will remain in their original position.
When, with successive dispensing operations, all the bags 7 have been vended and all the lingers are relieved of their load and swing up to their limit of movement, the trigger plate 14 swings down somewhat, and the switches 19 and 19a are reversed in position by the action of cam 17 on said switches.
The `circuit to the cam drive motor 23 is then again closed through wire 50, switch 19a, wire 51, switch 25, wire 48, switch 19, and wire 38 to the supply line 39, thus rotating the cam discs 21 and the cam shaft 20 until the cams are returned to a fully reset position. At this time switch 25 is actuated by element 24, as shown in FIG. 5, so that said switch is reversed in position and engages contact 47. The circuit to motor 23 is thus broken, while a circuit for motor 9 is closed through wire 46, switch 25, wire 48, switch 19, and wire `38 to the supply line 39, as shown in FIG. 11.
Motor-9 then operates and advances -the belt 6 until a new supply of bags 7 is deposited on the lingers 20.
This causes the turning of the cam 17 so that the switches 19 4and 19a vare released to return to their initial position, as shown in FIG. 8. The circuit to motor 9 is thus broken -and the movement of the belt 6 stops.
The switch 25 remains engaged with contact 47, but is immediately reversed or returned to its original position by the releasing action of element Z4 on said switch, as soon as the cam drive motor 23 is again placed in opera-tion to rotate the cam discs 21 and shaft 20. The circuit to motor 9 thus remains broken until the switch 25 is again closed to contact 47 following the sequence of operations above described.
A bag having been received from the fingers onto the trap door, the latter tilts downwardly, and the bag slides into the bin 33, from which the customer may remove the bag.
Since the trap door cannot be swung upwardly from a horizontal position, it forms a safeguard against the insertion of a tool of some kind through the opening 32 for vandalistic or theft purposes, in an endeavor to damage the bags resting on the finger assembly and so cause the contents to drop between the fingers and fall into the bin for removal.
It is to be noted that while this device has been particul-arly developed to vend bags containing cracked ice, and has been so described, its use is of course not limited to this one purpose, and the merchandise to be vended may be in the form of or contained in packages of various sizes and shapes.
From the foregoing description it will be readily seen that there has been produced such a vending machine as will substantially futill the objects of the invention, -as set forth herein.
While this specification sets forth in detail the present and preferred construction of the device, still in practice such deviations from such detail may be resorted to as do not form a departure from the spirit of the invention, as defined bythe appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, the following is claimed as new Iand useful, and upon which Letters Patent are desired:
1. In a vending machine, a rack comprising a row of separate fingers arranged to support a row of packages on the forward portions thereof, means pivoting the fingers rearwardly of their forward portions for yieldable downward movement of said forward portions, a movable unit including a transverse rotary shaft having cams normally engaging the fingers and preventing such downward tilting of the ngers, -the cams being arranged on the shaft so that the fingers will be successively released and may then be tilted down at their forward end by the weight of a package thereon upon rotation of the shaft, an electric motor to rotate said shaft, a switch interposed in the circuit of the motor, and means functioning upon and actuated by downward tilting of a loaded finger when released by the corresponding cam, to open the switch; the last named means comprising a transverse trigger plate disposed above the rear portion of the fingers, a shaft journaled on the machine on which the plate at its forward end is fixed, the said plate being positioned to be tilted and the shaft thereof to he turned upon downward tilting of any loaded finger; the switch kbeing mounted in a fixed position adjacent the trigger plate shaft, and a switch engaging element on said shaft positioned to open the switch upon tilting of the plate.
2. A vending machine having a horizontal conveyor arranged to support transverse rows of packages to be vended, an electric motor to actuate the conveyor, a rack below the conveyor comprising a row of separate fingers the forward portions of which are normally positioned to receive and support a row of packages from the conveyor, means pivotally mounting the fingers intermediate their ends, the said fingers when loaded tending to tilt downwardly at their forward ends, a transverse shaft above and clear of the path of upward swinging movement of the portion of the fingers rearwardly of the pivot means thereof, a row of cams fixed on the shaft and disposed thereon to aline with the said fingers and arranged to overhang and engage the fingers at their rear end when the fingers are loaded and disposed on the shaft with a progressive spiral from one end of the rack to the other so that upon rotation of the shaft in one direction the cams will successively move clear of the fingers to allow the same to tilt down at their forward end by the weight of a package thereon; means to rotate the cam shaft to reset the cams only after all the packages of a row have been dispensed from the rack and the fingers thereof have been returned to their initial position, a circuit for the conveyor motor, a normally open switch in the circuit, means between such switch and the cam shaft to close said switch upon the cams reaching a re-set position whereby the motor then functions to advance the conveyor so as to deposit another row of packages on said lingers, and means functioning upon such deposit being effected to break the motor circuit.
3. vIn a vending machine, a rack comprising a row of separate ngers arranged when in an initial position to support a row of packages on the forward portions thereof, means pivoting the fingers rearwardly of their forward portions for yieldable downward movement of said forward portions, a movable uni-t including a transverse rotary shaft having cams normally engaging the fingers to prevent such downward tilting of the fingers, said cams being arranged so that the fingers may successively tilt down at their forward end by the weight of a package thereon upon rotation of the shaft, an electric motor to rotate said shaft, alternately functioning circuits for the motor, a double-throw switch to alternately close the circuits and initially closing one circuit, a normally closed single-throw switch in said one circuit, a first means functioning upon downward tilting of any finger when released by a corresponding cam to open said single-throw switch whereby to open said one circuit, and a second means included in part with said first named means and functioning only upon return of all the fingers when unloaded to their initial position to actuate said double-throw switch to close the other one of said circuits whereby to then place the motor in operation for the resetting of the cams to their initial position.
4. A structure, as in claim 3, with another normally closed switch in said other circuit, and means to open the last named switch upon the cam shaft reaching the end of its cam resetting movement.
5. A vending machine having a horizontal conveyor arranged to support transverse rows of packages to be vended, rollers supporting the conveyor and an electric motor to drive one roller and lactuate the conveyor, a rack below the conveyor comprising a row of separate fingers the forward portions of which are positioned to receive and support a row of packages from the conveyor, means pivoting the fingers rearwardly of their forward portions for yieldable downward tilting movement of said forward portions, a movable unit including a transverse rotary shaft having cams normally engaging the fingers and preventing such downward tilting of the fingers, the cams being arranged on the shaft so that the fingers will be successively released and may tilt down at their forward end by the weight of a package thereon upon rotation of the shaft, an electric motor to rotate said shaft, said fingers being disposed in a substantially horizontal position when loaded, at an upward slope toward their forward end when unloaded, and at a downward slope toward their forward end when loaded but released by the cams, a transverse trigger plate disposed above the rear portion of the fingers, means mounting the trigger plate for tilting movement in response to tilting movement of the fingers; a circuit for the last named motor, means between the trigger Plate and the motor circuit to hold the same closed as long as any fingers are in said horizontal position and to open said 7 8 circuit upon tilting movement of the trigger plate as Ocin said lastnamed circuit opened upon movement ofthe casioned by til-ting of anyl loaded linger when released trigger plate occasioned by the movement of the ngers by a related cam; a normally open circuit for the conveyor totheir loaded substantially horizontal position. motor, a switch in the last named circuit, and means between the trigger plate and the last named switch to close 5 References Cited in the le of this patent the latter upon movement of the trigger plate occasioned UNITED STATES PATENTS by the return of al1 the fingers to their unloadedy position whereby to advance the conveyor so as to transfer a row 2 gein. 'l g of packages therefrom onto the rack, and another switch a ne Sen C