US 3090521 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
C. FAZEKAS VENDING MEANS May 21, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec.- 5, 1958 INVENTOR CHARLES FAZEKAS W M M. JAM
ATTORNEYS May 21, 1963 Filed Dec. 5, 1958 C. FAZEKAS VENDING MEANS ll "HI -AA A A 4 A 4 Iv v IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2.
INVENTOR CHARLES FAZEKAS BYMA/MM Mm ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,690,521 VENDING MEANS Charles Fazekas, Charlotte, N.C., assignor to Pneumafil Corporation, Charlotte, N.C., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 5, 1958, Ser. No. 778,491 1 Claim. (Cl. 221-6) This invention relates to automatic vending, more particularly to vending means for discharging a single item from a plurality of such items, as selectively desired by the user.
Contemporary merchandising techniques have resulted in the development of a variety of merchandise vending apparatus which serves to minimize the handling required in the sale of merchandise, and the personnel needed. As with any machinery, so with vending apparatus, costs of production and maintenance are reduced in direct proportion to the reduction of the components of the equipment, and particularly the reduction of the number of moving parts. Generally, vending is accomplished in conventional apparatus by moving a single item from a storage place for a plurality of such items to a discharge point. The relative positions of the storage point, and the discharge point will determine what mechanisms are required to effect transfer of the vended item. As here used, the term item will .be taken to designate one or more articles so that reference to a vended item does not necessarily refer to a single article. Clearly, it is desired to be able to minimize or eliminate the transfer mechanism between the storage facility and the discharge point. Additionally, it is desirable to simplify the components necessary to effect delivery and discharge of said vended item and to effect this delivery with a minimum of motive effort. Other problems arise in connection with the replenishment of the vended items in the apparatus, and the maintenance of a constant supply of items for. vending. Additionally, it is necessary to insure that vending of an item occurs only upon actuation of the vendmechanism in proper fashion. Tilting of the vending apparatus, or tampering therewith, should not effect item delivery.
It is with the above desiderata in mind that the present means have been evolved, means implementing the rapid and efficient delivery and discharge of a vended item from a plurality of said items with a minimum of motive effort and with no possibility of effecting item delivery by tilting, said means having a minimal number of components, and moving components, requiring minimal maintenance and permitting ready replenishment of the vended item.
It is accordingly 2. primary object of this invention to provide improved and simple vending means.
Another object of the invention is to provide vending means having a minimal number of moving components.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a novel vending apparatus in which no transfer apparatus is required for moving the vended items from a storage point to a predischarge position.
An additional object of the invention is to provide vending equipment having maximum effective storage volume for the items to be vended.
It is also an object of the invention to provide an improved vending apparatus in which replenishment of the vended items is readily accomplished.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a I novel method for the vending of items.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a simple and efficient vending apparatus requiring relatively low power drives to effect operation of the apparatus.
3,090,521 Patented May 21, 1963 ice vending apparatus for selectively delivering a single item from a plurality of such items. The vending apparatus comprises a removable, replaceable, and interchangeable plurality of multicompartment storage chutes within which the items to be vended are tiered. Arranged beneath said storage chutes are vend mechanisms, one for each multicompartment chute. The weight of the items in the storage chutes tends to move the items into the vend mechanism. Positioned in said vend mechanism is a switch permitting flow of items from only one of the compartments of said chute at a time to a predischarge platform formed at the bottom of the vend mechanism where the item is retained prior to discharge and delivery. A solenoid actuated delivery carriage is pivoted to move over said platform to effect delivery of an item to a discharge chute beneath said platform and an antitilt bracket is secured to the carriage to prevent movement thereof by mere tilting of the vending apparatus.
A primary feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel vend mechanism having a simple pivotally mounted delivery carriage solenoid actuated to effect d livery of a vended item, by a simple arcuate motion, serving to laterally displace the item requiring minimum power.
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel replaceable and interchangeable multicompartment storage chute within which the items to be vended are tiered, whereby only one of the compartments of said chute is actively employed as a source of vended items at a time, with the other compartments serving .for storage purposes.
Another important feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel spring biased anti-tilt bracket coupled to the delivery carriage whereby the delivery carriage cannot be actuated without the solenoid, by mere tilting of the vending apparatus,
The specific details of a preferred embodiment of the herein disclosed inventive concept, and their mode of functioning will be made most manifest and particularly pointed out in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a novel vending machine with its front facadeidoor swun'g open to reveal some of the components of the novel vending apparatus; and
FIG. 2 is a schematic elevational cross section through the vending apparatus of FIG. 1 showing the novel storage chute and vend mechanism; and
ing 11 having a facade door 12 secured to said casing I 11 by means of vertically extending hinge 13 permitting said facade door 12 to be swung to the open position illustrated in FIG. 1.
Within casing 11 the vending apparatus 15 may be seen. In the illustrated embodiment the vending appa- 'ratus 15' has been shown as comprising several multicompartment chutes-17,-and-several vend mechanisms 18, one for each chute.
Each multicompartment chute 17 in the disclosed embodiment comprises two compartments 19 formed of sheet metal orthe like and joined by spot welding into -a unit-chute 17 as best seen in FIG. 4. Each compartment-19 isformed with an upper lifting tab 20 and a lower lifting tab 21 so as to permit handling and removal of the'cornpartrnent. A U-shaped loading pin'22 is provided a-leg of which isadapted'for insertion into pin apertures 23 and 24 formed in' the front and rear wall, =respectively, of each compartment at'a bottom part there of. A front seat flange 2S, and rear seat flange 26 is I formed, respectively, on the front and rear walls of each compartment 19 above loading pin apertures 23 and 24. "Engaging and aligning lip 27 on the bottom of compartments'19 permits telescoping of the lower part of compartments 19'Wlih the upper part ofvend'mecham'sm 18. The front walls of the compartments are spaced from the rear walls-of the compartments by a distance sufiicient to accommodate the item s vended. Diiferent sized items may be handled by the same chute. In order to permit secure positioning of the chute 17 within casing 11, spacer bracket 28 isformed on the rear wall of the compartments 19, and stop 29 is arranged on the front door 12-as viewed in FIG. 1. Additionally'guide channels are arranged at the top of the cabinet for aid in orienting the chutes. r
The vend mechanism 18, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, is also formed of a relatively rigid sheet material such as sheet steel or the like. Each vend mechanism 18 is of a width to accommodate at least two-chute compartments 19. An orienting guide chamber 30 is formed within vend mechanism 18-and permits the controlled passage therethrough of the vended items. Above the guide chamber30-isa deflector lip 31 and a switch 32.
Switch 32 is supported on-pivot shaft 33 and has stop lip I 34 formed onthe end of the switch 32 adjacent its pivot. The switch 32 is. mounted so that the weight of the switch-will normally tend to bias the switch into .alignment on a line between compartments 19. Inthe illustrated embodiment where each vend mechanism accommodates a storage chute having two compartments .19, the switch 32 is centrally positioned in the vend mechamsm.
'As;best seen in FIG. 3, delivery carriage 35 having side walls 36 and 37 respectively ispivoted on pivot bar 3.8. to move over item receiving predischarge platform 40. Therear wall of the carriage is formed of a channel member the lower part of which forms an ejector 45,
- and the upper arm of whichformsan item stop 46 Whose function may be performed by the channel back in the eventof large can diameter. The front wall of carriage .35serves.as,an'itemguide-47 whenthe carriage is moved to. delivery position.
Beneath platform 40, discharge chute 50 is arranged to receive an item-displaced from platform 40 by carriage 35.
Anti-tilt bracketSShaving an L-shape is slideably 'secured as best seen in FIG. 3 with one leg of the bracket hooked over the front item guide wall 47 of carriage 35. A spring-56 has one end thereof secured to the outwardly extending leg of bracket 55, and the other end secured to'a fixed detent 57 at apoint beneath bracket 55 whereby the bracket, andthe carriage will be downwardly biased as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3. 7
1A depletion detector 60 comprising a microswitch 61 Y and. asswitch arm 62 of flexible spring material is positionedon one:wall of orienting guide chamber 30, with arm;,62cextending into thechamber. to contact the low- -;ermos't.of theitems passing therethrough.
Solenoid 65 having armature 66 is arranged onthe exteriorof vend mechanism 18. Bracket 67 on the carriage -iscoupled to link 68.:extending from armature 66. .A
limit switch arranged in the solenoid circuit deactivates the solenoid after a can has been vended untilthe carriage returns to a normal pre-vend position.
Operation The aforedisclosed structure has been illustrated in FIG. 1 in connection with sci-called cold can vending machine wherein the items vended are containers of chilled potables such as soft drinks or like beverages. It will be understood, of'course, that a variety of other items could be vended by employing similar methods and ,apparatus within the scope of this invention.
Where the instantly disclosed cold can vending machine is employed, the casing 11 and its facade 12 are provided with heat insulation, and an appropriate refrigeration system is arranged within the casing to provide temperatures of desired level.
The novel vending apparatus 15, including storage chute 17 and vend mechanism 18, are positioned within this casing. Depending on the quantity of items which it is desired to vend without requiring replenishment, and on the variety of such items, either as to flavor or size, the number of vending mechanisms and storage chutes is determined. In the instantly disclosed structure, four vend mechanisms, along with four storage chutes, each having two compartments, are employed. It will be understood, of course, that the vend mechanisms may accommodate storage chutes having either one or more compartments.
At the outset, each of the compartments is removed from the vending machine, by manually gripping the lifting tabs 20 and 21 respectively, elevating the compart .partments '19, the legs serving to block the flow of items through said compartment. Thereafter the compartments are'filled with cans and the chute 17 is repositioned in combination with the vend mechanism 18. Loading pin 22'is removed and the cans permitted to move by gravity therethrou'gh.
With both compartments filled, the cans in the righthand compartment as viewed in FIG. 2 will move downwardly causing switch 32 to assume a vertical orientation with stop lip 34 extending into the path of the cans in lefthand compartment l9 preventing the flow of cans therefrom. Thus, left'hand compartment 19 functions as a static storage compartment while the righthand com partment is active.
The items, in this case, cans, move downwardly from the active compartment of the storage chute '17 into orienting guide chamber 30 of the vend mechanism 18. In the guide chamber '30 they bear against depletion detector switch arm 62 to open the circuit containing switch 61.
The lowermost can rests on predischarge platform 40 until solenoid 65 is actuated, whereupon link 68 is drawn by solenoid armature 66 to cause carriage 35 to pivot about pivot bar 38 to the dotted line position seen in FIG. 2. Ejector 45 on carriage 35 forces the lowermost can on platform 40 laterally into discharge chute 50. Simultaneously item stop 46 serves to retain the next to the lowermost can'Wi-thin the orienting chamber 30. With cylindrically shaped cans the lateral motion produces a rolling action requiring minimal force.
When the righthand compartment 19 as viewed in FIG. 2, has its contents exhausted along with the cans therebeneath in the vend mechanism, the switch 32 moves to the righthand position as viewed in FIG. 2, about pivot --33 under the action of the lowermost can on stop lip 34.
by spring 56 with a force suflicient to prevent motion of carriage 35 under its own weight, is provided.
Upon the delivery and discharge of all of the cans, flexible switch arm 62 of the depletion detector 60 springs upwardly closing switch 61 to complete the circuit therethrough which is usually coupled to some signal indicating that the particular storage chute of the vending machine is empty. Thereafter the compartments are again removed and the supply of cans replenished.
It is thus seen that a novel vending apparatus comprising a storage chute and vend mechanism have been provided for use in selectively delivering a single item from a plurality of such items. The novel apparatus permits replenishment or replacement of the vended items without interfering with the vend mechanism by employing a plurality of storage compartments in the storage chute, at least one of said compartments providing static storage. Delivery and discharge of the item is accomplished by a simple delivery carriage requiring a minimal force to laterally displace the vended item to discharge position. Additionally, the novel apparatus permits a variety of difterent sized items to be handled by the vend mechanism, and delivery cannot be efiected by tilting. I
The above disclosure has been given by way of illustration and elucidation, and not by way of limitation, and it is desired to protect all embodiments of the herein disclosed inventive concept within the scope of the appended claim.
What is claimed is:
Vending apparatus for selectively delivering a single item from a plurality of such items, said apparatus comprising: a multicompartment storage chute within which the items to be vended are tiered; an aligning engaging lip at the lower edge of said chute; :a vend mechanism aligned and engaged with said chute by said lip; a switch pivoted at an upper part of and within said vend mechanism, said switch tending to extend on a line between said compartments forming an extension thereof within said vend mechanism; a stop lip on said switch extending into one of the compartments in said storage chute when said switch is aligned with said partition wall; an orienting chamber beneath said switch in said vend mechanism permitting only the contents of one of said compartments to pass; a depletion detector in said chamber indicating the presence or absence of an item; a delivery carriage pivoted in said vend mechanism; an item stop on said carriage; an item guide at the front of said carriage; an item receiving predischarge platform beneath said carriage receiving a single item and retaining same prior to discharge by pivotal movement of said carriage; a bracket secured to said carriage; a spring secured to said bracket and biasing same with said carriage to a non-delivery position; a discharge chute receiving an item delivered by said carriage from said platform; and carriage moving means permitting selective movement of said carriage, whereby upon movement of said carriage an item which has previously been stored in said storage chute will be discharged from said delivery chute.
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