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Publication numberUS3076528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1963
Filing dateApr 11, 1960
Priority dateApr 21, 1959
Publication numberUS 3076528 A, US 3076528A, US-A-3076528, US3076528 A, US3076528A
InventorsWerner Potrafke
Original AssigneeWerner Potrafke
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cashier's station for self-service stores
US 3076528 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 5,1 1963 W. POTRAFKE CASHIERS STATION FOR SELF -SERVICE STORES Filed April 11. 1960 United States Patent Ofifice 3,076,528 Patented Feb. 5, 1963 The present invention relates to cashiers stations for self-service stores. In self-service stores the customer usually takes the goods to be bought by him to the cashiers station in a basket or the like whereupon the cashier checks the individual goods, enters the same into the cash register and collects the money for the goods.

After the cashier has returned the change, she would be able to take care of the next customer if it were not for the fact that she either has to wait until the customer has placed the goods into a bag or she herself has put the goods into a bag. This packing either by the cashier or the customer at the cashiers station considerably slows down the entire cashiering inasmuch as the next following customers have to wait till the goods last paid for have been packed.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention so to design a cashiersstation thatthe cashier after having taken in the money from a customer can immediately take care of the checking and cashiering of the goods of the next customer.

It is another object of this invention to provide a cashiers station which while speeding up the cashiering operation will still give the respective customer sufficient time to pack the goods bought by the customer.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a cashiers station of the above mentioned type which will be simple in construction and easy to operate.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a cashiers station according to the invention together with a turnable conveyor belt and a plurality of receiver stations.

FIG. 2 is a section along the line IIII of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2a illustrates a detail of FIG. 2 but on a larger scale than the latter. I

FIG. 3 is a top view of the entire arrangement.

' General Arrangement According to the present invention, there is provided a conveyorwhich picks up the cashiered goods and is adapted to be turned about a vertical axis so that it can be moved into a plurality ofpositions. Furthermore, there are provided a plurality of receiving stations remote from the cashier, with which receiving stations the said conveyor belt can be selectively aligned by the cashier so that the said conveyor belt will deposit the cashiered goods at the respective selected receiving station from where the customer will then pick up the goods and pack the same. The entry or loading side of the conveyor belt'is so located that the cashier can easily deposit the cashiered goods upon said conveyor belt. The receiving stations which receive the goods from the unloading end of said conveyor are spaced from the cashier by such a distance that the customer at said receiving stations will not interfere with the new customers at the cashiers place. The number of the receiving stations and the corresponding number of possible positions of said conveyor belt may be selected in conformity with the average requirements. As a rule, three possible positions of the conveyor belt will sufiice corresponding to three receiving stations. Any type of customary or standard locking means may be provided for securing the conveyor belt in the respective selected posit-ion, e.g. a pin and a bore to be engaged thereby.

According to a further development of the invention, the vertical axis of rotation for the turnable conveyor belt is arranged near the loading end of the belt, and the frame or support for the conveyor has its other end guided on a curved rail preferably by means of wheels. At both sides of the conveyor belt there may be provided side walls which are higher than the conveyor belt-proper for preventing goods on said belt from accidentally dropping off therefrom.

Structural Arrangement Referring now to the drawing in detail, the arrangement shown therein comprises a seat 10 for the cashier and a cash register 11 to be operated by the cashier. The reference numeral 12 designates the table in front of the cashier where the goods to be bought are placed within reach of the cashier so that. the latter can easily handle and cashier the same. Adjacent the table 12 there is arranged the loading end of an endless conveyor belt 16 which passes over the front roller 15 to and around the rear deviating roller 17. The conveyor belt 16 is supported by a supporting frame structure 22 which is rotatably journalled by means of a vertical stud or pivot 18 and is guided on a curved rail or track 19 by means of rollers 20. Signs 1, 2 and 3 respectively designate the three discharging stations 21, 21a and 21b respectively.-

FIG. 1 shows in full line the conveyor belt 16 in its intermediate position in which it is'aligned with the discharging station 21a so that the goods on the conveyor belt 16 will be discharged into the receiving station 21a. When the conveyor belt 16 occupies the position shown in dash lines in FIG. 1, it will feed the goods into. receiving station 21b, whereas, if the conveyor belt 16 occupies the position shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 1, the conveyor belt 16 will feed the goods to the receiving station 21. The conveyor belt 16 is flanked bylateral walls 23 for preventing the goods from accidentally leaving the conveyor belt. The various receiving stationsare separated-from each other by side walls 24. The bottom of the various receiving stations has been designated with the reference numeral 25. The receiving stations may be designed as rectangular compartments open at the top and at the front and may have a portion of their bottom inclined as shown in FIG. 2 so that the goods will slide from the conveyor belt 16 to the front of the respective compartment. However, if the local conditions should make it desirable, the receiving stations may be arranged in a star-shaped manner arround the axis of rotation of the conveyor supporting frame structure 22..

In order to assure a smooth movement of the goods from the conveyor belt 16 to the bottom of the individual receiving station compartments, a guiding or discharging panel 27 may be arranged at the discharging end of the conveyor belt so that it will form a continuation of the upper belt portion and will just protrude from the discharging end of the conveyor belt into the respective compartment over the adjacent bottom portion thereof. This panel may be designed as a flap which is tiltably mounted on arms or supports 28 (see FIG. 2a) and is adapted to be tilted about a horizontal shaft 26; i .The flap or gate 27 will rest on the bottom 25 of the respective receiving compartment either by its own weight or by a spring (not shown in the drawing).

For receiving the change from the cashier, a changereceiving tray 30 may be providedwhich extends above the receiving stations and extends in a direction transverse to the feeding direction of the conveyor belt 16. The .tray 30 is supported by supports. 29 mounted on the side walls 24 of the receiving stations The tray has to be arranged so that it can easily be reached by the cashier and also by the customer standing at the receiving stations. The cash-receiving tray is preferably channel-shaped. The receiving tray is at that side thereof which is adjacent the unloading end of conveyor belt 16, provided with a number of inclined plates 31 leading into the change-receiving tray 30.

When the cash register is provided with an automatic change dispenser 32, the latter may be mounted above the conveyor belt 16 and may be supported by the frame structure 22 by means of a frame 33. In this way, the change dispenser 32 can be turned together with the conveyor belt. The change dispenser 32 is connected to the cash register 11 by means of a control cable 34 (FIG. 2). The dispensing spout 35 of the change dispenser 32 is so arranged that said spout will be located above the inclined plates 31 when the conveyor belt is brought into alignment with the respective receiving station. The dispensing spout may be provided with a central opening 36 through which the change will drop onto the respective plate 31 from where it will slide onto the tray 30. This arrangement has the advantage that the path of the discharge spout of the change dispenser 32 is located outside the tray so that the customer will be able in an unimpeded manner to withdraw his change from the tray. Instead of providing individual inclined plates 31, the tray 30 may be adjacent a continuous upper inclined plate.

Operation The arrangement according to the present invention operates in the following manner. The customer places the goods to be purchased upon the table 12 in front of the cashier who then ascertains and registers by means of a cash register the value of each individual purchased item. Already prior thereto, she may allot a certain receiving compartment 1, 2 or 3 to the respective customer who may immediately move directly to the respective compartment. The cashier wiil at that time have brought the conveyor belt into alignment with the respective allotted receiving compartment. With the registering of each item, the cashier places the respective item on the conveyor belt 16 which then conveys the respective item to the allotted compartment.

After the cashier has totalled the individual amounts and advised the customer accordingly, the latter places the required amount of money upon the tray 30. If the amount of money placed upon the tray 30 exceeds the actual purchase price, and if the payment is effected by means of a larger money bill, the change in coins is dispensed by the change dispenser. change consists of money bills, these will be placed manually by the cashier on the tray 30.

While the customer is now busy with the collecting of the change and the packing of the goods, the customer is completely out of the way for the next customer so that the goods of the latter can immediately be registered by the cashier.

It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the particular arrangement shown in the drawing but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. In an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing table having a level surface for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of: a horizontal conveyor belt means substantially coextensive with said table surface and having a loading section adjacent said depositing table and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing table for receiving goods from said discharging section of said conveyor belt means, and substantially vertical stud means pivotally supporting said conveyor belt means for selectively turning the same about said stud means into posi- If a part of the I tion for registering with any one of said compartments to unload thereinto the respective goods on said conveyor belt means.

2. An arrangement according to claim 1, which includes wall means along the sides of said conveyor belt means for preventing accidental discharge of goods from said conveyor belt means to either side thereof.

3.1m an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing table having a level surface for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of: a horizontal conveyor belt means substantially coextensive with said table surface and having a loading section adjacent said depositing table and also having a discharging section, supporting means for supporting said conveyor belt means, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing table for receiving goods from said discharging section, substantially vertical stud means arranged near said loading section and pivotally supporting said conveyor belt m ans for selectively turning the same about said stud means into position for registering with any one of said compartments to unload thereinto the respective g ods on said conveyor belt means, curved track means arranged adjacent said compartments, and wheel means supporting the discharging section of said conveyor belt means and movably supported by said curved track means.

4. In an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing table having a level surface for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of: conveyor belt means substantially coextensive with said table surface and having a loading section adjacent said depositing table and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing table for receiving goods from said discharging section of said conveyor belt means, said compartments being of a substantially rectangular contour and being arranged alongside each other, partition means separating said compartments from each other, and substantially vertical stud means pivotally supporting said conveyor belt means for selectively turning the same about said stud means into position for registering with any one of said compartments to unload thereinto the respective goods on said conveyor belt means.

5. In an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing table having a level surface for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of conveyor belt means substantially coextensive with said table surface and having a loading section adjacent said depositing table and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing station for receiving goods from said discharging section, frame means supporting said conveyor belt means, said frame means including substantially vertical stud means pivotally supporting said conveying means for selectively turning the same about said stud means into position for registering with any one of said compartments to unload thereinto the respective goods on said conveyor belt means, and gate means tiltable about a substantially horizontal axis and connected to said conveyor belt means for pivotal movement therewith about said stud means, said gate means being selectively placeable into any one of said compartments depending on the respective position of said conveyor belt means and forming a bridge between the discharging section of said conveyor belt means and the respective compartment.

6. An arrangement according to claim 5, in which said gate means has a width substantially equalling the width of said conveyor belt means.

7. In an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing table having a level surface for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of: conveyor belt means substantially coextensive with said table surface and having a loading section adjacent said depositing table and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing table for receiving goods from said discharging section of said conveyor belt means, substantially vertical stud means pivotally supporting said conveyor belt means for selectively turning the same about said stud means into position for registering with any one of said compartments to unload thereinto the respective goods on said conveyor belt means, and a money tray extending above said receiving compartments and within reach of a cashier at said depositing table for receiving money from said money tray and placing change into said money tray, said money tray extending in a direction transverse to the feeding direction of said conveyor belt means.

8. In an arrangement for self-service stores, which comprises a depositing station for depositing the goods to be purchased and to be cashiered, the combination of: a conveyor belt having a loading section adjacent said depositing station and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing station for receiving goods from said discharging section of said conveyor belt, supporting means for supporting said conveyor belt, a frame structure comprising a substantially vertical stud pivotally supporting said supporting means for permitting movement of said conveyor belt about the vertical axis of said stud, money a conveyor belt having a loading section adjacent said depositing station and also having a discharging section, a plurality of receiving compartments spaced from said depositing station for receiving goods from said dischargingsection of said conveyor belt, supporting means for supporting said conveyor belt, a frame structure comprising a substantially vertical stud pivotally supporting said supporting means for permitting movement of said conveyor belt about the vertical axis of said stud, money tray means arranged above said receiving compartments, change dispensing means connected to said supporting means for movement together with said conveyor belt about the vertical axis of said stud, said change dispensing a, means including spout means extending over said tray means when said conveyor belt registers with any one of said compartments, and a plurality of inclined plate means respectively mounted on said money tray means above each of said compartments and extending in the direction toward said conveyor belt, said inclined plate means being located Within the range of the path of movement of said spout means but at a lower level than the latter so that in the various positions of said conveyor belt when registering with said compartments said spout means will be located above the respective inclined plate means.

10. An arrangement according to claim 9, in which said spout means is provided with a central opening for the passage of coins therethrough.

11. An arrangement according to claim 8, in which said tray means comprises an upwardly inclined portion extending toward said conveyor belt below the path of said spout means.

12. In an arrangement for self-service stores, the combination of: a table for depositing and cashiering the goods to be bought, a plurality of discharge compartments adjacent thereto from which the individual customers withdraw their goods, a money tray extending over all said discharge compartments, said money tray being accessible to said customers and to the cashier, a change dispenser positioned over said money tray and reciprocal- 1y movable along substantially the entire length of said money tray, said change dispenser having a change dispensing opening above said money tray.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,222,219 Lafont Apr. 10, 1917 1,507,301 Williams Sept. 2, 1924 2,679,354 Skillman May 25, 1954

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1222219 *Jan 20, 1916Apr 10, 1917William A LafontApparatus for unloading and distributing materials.
US1507301 *Jun 3, 1922Sep 2, 1924 williams
US2679354 *Jun 7, 1951May 25, 1954Punch Engineering Pty LtdMultiple predetermined quantity selector for article dispensing systems
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3651890 *Dec 21, 1970Mar 28, 1972Werner PotrafkeDevice for self-service stores
US3688873 *Dec 28, 1970Sep 5, 1972Potrafke WernerDevice for self-service stores
US4401189 *Nov 23, 1981Aug 30, 1983St. Charles Manufacturing Co.Start/stop control system for conveyor means
US4938317 *Jul 22, 1988Jul 3, 1990Tokyo Electric Company, Ltd.Check-out counter with stopping elements
US4988851 *Sep 22, 1988Jan 29, 1991Tokyo Electric Company, Ltd.Apparatus for reading commodity data having an adjustable bar code reader
US5183135 *Nov 15, 1991Feb 2, 1993Tokyo Electric Co., Ltd.Apparatus for inputting commodity data
US5195613 *Jun 3, 1991Mar 23, 1993Tokyo Electric Co., Ltd.Commodity data reader
US5207294 *Aug 21, 1991May 4, 1993Tokyo Electric Co., Ltd.Apparatus for inputting commodity data
US5424534 *Aug 2, 1993Jun 13, 1995Rodlin Instruments, Inc.Retail checkstand device with removable controller
US5706912 *Aug 15, 1995Jan 13, 1998Load King Manufacturing Co., Inc.Checkstand counter with dual accumulation zones
US6427915 *Nov 2, 1999Aug 6, 2002Ncr CorporationMethod of operating checkout system having modular construction
Classifications
U.S. Classification186/68
International ClassificationA47F9/04, A47F8/02, A47F9/00, A47F8/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47F9/04, A47F8/02
European ClassificationA47F9/04, A47F8/02