Mutilated coin separator
US 3121435 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 18, 1964 R. B. WHITE MUTILATED com SEPARATOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 16, 196
ROBY BYRON WHITE BY v 55mm way, ,L/
ATTORNEYS Feb. 18, 1964 R. B. WHITE 3,121,435
MUTILATED COIN SEPARATOR Filed Aug. 16, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 22 I24 ll8\%li o INVENTOR.
ROBY BYRON WHITE ATTOR N EYS Feb. 18, 1964 R. B. WHITE 3,121,435
MUTILATED COIN SEPARATOR Filed Aug. 16, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 |44 I42 '52 O 154 J .140 7 I50 I46 4-L.+-
Fl G. l2 INVENTOR.
ROBY BYRON WHITE BY fi m U17 M 0 M ATTORN EY United States Patent 3,121,435 MUTILATED COIN SEEARATQR Roby Byron White, Sharon, Mass, assignor to Electronic Coin Processing Corp., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 16, 196i), Ser. No. 49,909 3 Claims. (Ci. 133-6) This invention relates to coin handling machines and more particularly comprises a device for sorting coins of different denominations and removing from the sorted coins those coins which are mutilated. While this invention has numerous applications, it is particularly wellsuited for use in combination with the equipment disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 798,264 filed March 9, 1959, entitled Coin Handling Machine.
In my copending application I disclose a coin sorting device for separating coins of different denominations. The sorting device includes several concentric drums rotated in tandem and having progressively smaller openings in their cylindrical surfaces from the inner to the outer drum. Coins are fed to the innermost drum and all but the largest denomination of coins are permitted to pass into the next surrounding drum. The second drum in turn passes on all but the largest denomination of coins fed to it and in this manner coins are separated according to size.
To provide the mechanism described with a substantial coin capacity, the openings in each drum must be as large as possible and still retain the denomination of coin to be collected in it. In this manner all smaller coins will pass freely and quickly into the next drum. Thus, for example, ideally the drum used to separate quarters from smaller coins has openings in its cylindrical wall but a few thousandths of an inch smaller in diameter than quarters. However, while serving speed of operation, the selection of such dimensional tolerances allows excessively worn coins of a particular denomination to pass into the next outer drum, and sorting errors, therefore, occasionally result. A similar problem arises when Canadian specie is mixed with United States coins. For example, Canadian quarters are several thousandths of an inch smaller in diameter than United States quarters, and, therefore, in the type of concentric drum sorter described, Canadian quarters will sort with United States nickels. These false sortings not only result in errors of accounting but as well may cause malfunctioning of other equipment which, thereafter, receives the sorted coins. For example, the feeding device of the coin prover or authenticator disclosed in my copending application, supra, may become jammed by coins that are substantially larger than those coins for which the feed is adjusted.
Because of the difiiculties which may arise when sorting coins in the manner described, I provide, in combination with the sorters, a device which refines the operation of sorting coins and which also removes mutilated coins from the sorted groups. The device also finds application alone or in combination with other types of coin handling equipment.
To accomplish these and other objects, my invention includes a closed box, preferably square in cross section, which is rotated about an axis coincident with the centers of the ends of the box. Extending away from the inner surface of the trailing edge of each side wall of the box are a plurality of slots dimensioned to very close tolerances. The box is intended to handle coins of a single denomination. The slots have width and height dimensions but a few thousandths of an inch more than the diameter and thickness of a normal unmutilated coin of that denomination. The slots are somewhat elongated in length, having a length dimension which is approximately one half the diameter of the normal unmutilated 3,12 1,435 Patented Feb. 18, 1964 coin. As the box rotates about the described axis, the coins fed to it slide flat on a side wall toward the slots formed at the trailing edge of that wall. The coins which are of a proper size slide freely through the slots and are accepted as unmutilated coins of the proper size for the denomination under test. If a coin is somewhat mutilated as, for example, by having an enlarged diameter, it will not pass through any of the slots but rather will remain in the box. Also, those coins which are bent or have excessive edge damage will not slide through the slots and, therefore, will be trapped within the box.
As an additional feature, the mutilated coin separator may include means for removing coins which lodge in the slots and cannot pass through them. This mechanism includes cams rotated about an eccentric axis adjacent the entrance to the slots. During that portion of the cycle when the box Walls are so disposed that the coins slide down them toward the slots at the trailing edge, the cams are spaced a distance from the wall to permit the coins to slide under them. However, when the wall reaches a vertical position, weights secured to the ends of arms extending from the cam assembly cause the cams to turn about their eccentric axis so that the cam surfaces move toward the wall and away from the slots at the trailing edge of that wall. This action causes the cams to engage coins lodged in the slots and withdraw the coins from them so that those slots temporarily closed by the improperly sized coins will be free to perform the sorting action during the next cycle of the box.
The cooperative action between the drum type sorter and the mutilated coin separator has many advantages. Most obviously, the drum type sorter serves to sort each coin denomination by minimum dimension limitations while the mutilated coin separator examines the coins by placing limitations on their maximum dimensions. Thus, the two devices in combination serve to place limited minimum and maximum tolerances upon the dimensions of each denomination of coin. Because the tolerances are so limited and because the length of the slots in the separator are considerable, mutilated coins will be separated from the authentic coins in good condition.
These and other objects and features of my invention will be better understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of several embodiments thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of coin sorting equipment constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of the mutilated coin separator employed as part of the combination shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an elevation view of a portion of the assembly of FIG. 1;
FIGA is a cross sectional view of a second embodiment of mutilated coin separator constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken along the corresponding section line in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a part of the device shown in FIGS. 4 and 5;
FIGS. 7-10 comprise a series of cross sectional views illustrating the operation of the mutilated coin separator of my invention; and
FIGS. 11-14 comprise a series of cross sectional views illustrating another embodiment of my invention.
The embodiment of my invention shown in FIG. 1 includes in its general organization a coin sorter 20 and a mutilated coin separator 22. A chute 24 is disposed between the sorter 20 and the separator 22 and serves to convey coins from the sorter to the separator. A second chute 26 is suggested in FIG. 1 and this chute would be employed to convey coins from a different part of the sorter to a second separator (not shown).
The coin sorter 20 is disclosed in part in my copending application, supra, and includes three concentric drums 28, and .32 supported in fixed position with respect to one another by means of a spider (not shown) or any other convenientexpediency. .A motor 34 having a pulley 36 connected to its shaft serves to rotate the assembly of drums .28, 30 and 32 by means of the belt 33 which extends aboutand engages the surface of the outer drum 32. Obviously the mechanism shown to rotate the assembly of drums is merely illustrative of numerous drive means which may be employed. The drum assembly rotates about the common axis of the drums, and this axis is disposed at a sl'i ht angle to the horizontal for reasons which will become clear below.
The three-drum coin sorter 20 illustrated may be employed to sort as many as three denominations of coin. To serve this function, only coins of the three denominations to be sorted maybe fed to the assembly through the hopper 4b. In the following description, it will be assumed that the sorter 29 is fed coins of only three denominations specifically, pennies, nickels, and dimes. It is to be understood that with additional drums more denominations may be sorted, and in my copending application, supra, a sorter is shown capable of sorting coins of all denominations. The coins introduced into the hopper 40 are directed into the inner cylinder 28 which is covered with a lattice of perforations 42 of a diameter a few thousandths of an inch smaller than the diameter of newly minted nickels. Therefore, when nickels, pennies and dimes are introduced into the hopper 4i), the rotation of the drums causes the coins to pass over the perforations 42 and the pennies and dimes drop through the perforations 42 into the drum 3%). The nickels, however, are retained in the innermost drum 28 as they are too large to pass through the perforations 42. The pennies and dimes fed to the drum 30 in turn pass over the perforations 44 formed in that drum, and as the perforations 44 are sized a few thousandths .of an inch smaller in diameter than the diameter of newly minted pennies, the pennies are retained in the drum 3.0 while the dimes pass to the outermost drum 32. As the axis of the drum assembly is inclined slightly, being higher at the hopper end of the assembly than at the discharge-end 46, the coins pass generally from the hopper end to the discharge end as the assembly rotates. The chute 26 conveys all the nickels retained in the inner cylinder 28 to the mutilated coin separator (not shown) provided to reexamine the nickels, the chute 24 conveys the pennies retained in the drum 33 to the mutilatedcoin separator 22, and yet another chute (not shown) may be employed to convey the dimes passed to the outer cylinder 32 through the assembly to still a third mutilated coin separator (not shown).
The sorting action thus far described is disclosed in general terms in my copending application, supra. The action of the mutilated coin separator 22 described hereafter is not suggested in that application. In FIGS. 2 and 3 one embodiment of my mutilated coin separator is shown in detail. The separator includes four side walls collectively numbered and separately identified 50a, 50b, 59c and 50d secured together with lapped edges to form a box closed at one end by wall 52 and partially closed at its other end by wall 54. An opening 56 in the end wall 54 provides access into the box for the coins passing down chute 24.
In FIG. 3 it will be noted that the separator 22 is carried by a shaft 58 supported on bearings 60. The shaft 58 extends through the opening 56 in the end wall 54 and supports the separator by means of the spider 62 disposed in the box and by its engagement with the small opening provided in the end wall 52. A motor 62 drives the shaft 58 through a pulley 64, belt 66 and second pulley 68. Thus, the motor serves to rotate the separator 22 about the shaft axis.
A plurality of parallel slots are formed along one edge of each of the walls 5iia5iid as is clearly shown in FIG. 2. In wall 50a a plurality of parallel slots 7% are provided which are defined on one side by the inner surface of wall 50b. Similarly, slots 72 formed along the lower edge of wall 5% are defined in part by the inner surface of wall 560, and slots 7 4 formed in the edge of Wall Site are defined in part by wall 59d. Similar slots (not shown) are also formed along the upper edge of Wall 59d.
Each of the several slots 70, 72 and 74 as well as those formed in the wall 5M are dimensioned to rather close tolerances. As the separator 22 shown in FIG. 1 is employed to examine pennies, each of the slots '70, 72 and 74 are provided with a width dimension w a few thousandths of an inch greater than the diameter of newly minted pennies. The height h of each slot is a few thousandths of an inch greater than the thickness of pennies. The walls 5i a5ttd are of a thickness approximately one half that of the diameter of pennies and, therefore, the slots 7%, 72 and 74 have a length dimension L approximately one half that of the diameter of pennies. Therefore, the slots formed in the separator 22 are just large enough to pass unmutilated pennies, and those pennies which are deformed in any way will be retained in the box.
When the separator 22 is rotated in a direction indicated by the arrow 753 (clockwise as shown in FIG. 2), the slots formed in each wall extend upwardly from the inner surface of the trailing edge of the adjacent wall.
As the separator rotates slowly, at approximately 1 r.p.s., the pennies deposited in the box by the chute 24 slide along the bottom wall in the direction of the slots formed at its trailing edge. Very little tumbling action occurs and those coins Which are not oversized or mutilated slide along the walls and through those slots. Coins discharged through the slots are deposited in the collector 8-3 and may be directed by the chute 82 to any desired destination such as a coin prover of the type shown in my copending application, supra.
Because the sorter rotates slowly and because the density of the slots along the trailing edge of each wall is great, the device can handle a great quantity of coins. In a test model made of the device shown in FIG. 2, the box was approximately four inches square and eight inches long; the slots were spaced inch apart and each slot was .010 inch wider and .005 higher than the diameter and thickness of the denomination of coin handled; the slot length was approximately equal to one half the diameter of that denomination of coin; and the model had a capacity of approximately 325 coins per minute.
The width and height dimensions of the slots obviously cooperate to separate out those mutilated coins of excessive thickness or diameter. The length dimension of the slots as determined by the thickness of the walls serves to separate coins which may be bowed or bent. In FIGS. 7- 10 primarily presented to illustrate the operation of a clearing device to be described in detail below, I nevertheless show the manner in which a bowed coin is trapped in the slots. It will be noted in those series of illustrations that the coin slides down the wall 50c toward the slot 72 formed at the bottom of the wall 50b but is trapped in the slot because of its curvature. In the absence of a clearing mechanism which is disclosed in the embodiment of my invention to be described below, the coin will remain in that slot until such time as the machine may be shut down and cleared manually.
' Because the separator is subjected to considerable frictional wear and further because the slots formed in the walls must be machined to rather close tolerances, the walls 50 preferably are made of metal. In the embodiment of my invention shown in FIGS. 46, the weight of the separator is somewhat reduced by using thinner stock, and the slot length is controlled by a separately formed insert. In this embodiment the walls are collectively identified by numeral and are made of sheet metal of rather thin gage. The long edges of each wall are folded so that the sheet has a Z-shaped configuration as is clearly shown in FIG. 4. The walls, separately numbered 100a, 100b, 1000 and 100d are made stiff by the folds 162 and 164. Disposed between the inner surface of one wall and the bend 164 of the adjacent wall are metal blocks 1% shown in detail in FIG. 6. One side of each block is provided with recesses 168 having a width w and a height h a few thousandths of an inch greater than the diameter and thickness of coins to be handled by the sorter. The thickness of the block 106 is such that the grooves 108 have a length L equal to approximately one half the diameter of coins to be examined.
The blocks 106 ase assembled between the folds 1M and the inner faces of the walls 100 in a position such that the grooves 108 open against the inner surfaces of the walls to form the slots through which the coins pass. Thus, the separator made in accordance with the showing of FIGS. 4-6 is functionally identical to the separator shown in F168. 2 and 3. However, the weight is reduced by confining the thick wall section to the location of the slots. The remaining portions of the walls are made of thin gage metal but are provided with sufficient rigidity by means of the folds or bends 1G2 and 104 along their long edges. The ends of the separator of the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 are closed by means of walls 110 and -112, and an opening 114 in end wall 112 provides access for the coins into the separator. As in the other embodiment, a web 62 is provided inside the separator and cooperates with the end wall 110 to support the separator on the shaft which rotates the device.
Although the separator of FIGS. 5 and 6 functions identically to that described in FIGS. 2 and 3, it includes an additional feature which enhances its operation. As indicated above, coins which are so mutilated that they cannot pass through the slots provided in the box are retained in the box. Often these coins lodge in the slots and remain there until manually cleared. That is, they do not fall by their own weight from the slots in which they are wedged and the separator does not provide sufiicient agitation to shake the coins from the slots. As a result, the capacity of the separator is somewhat reduced by each coin which lodges in a slot. The clearing mechanism 116 shown in detail in FIG. 5 serves to retract coins lodged in the slots, and the mechanism is duplicated at each row of slots. Each clearing mechanism includes a shaft 118 upon which are mounted cams 120 made of yieldable material and disposed adjacent each of the slots. The shaft is controlled by a weight 122 carried on the end of an arm .124. Two such weights, one at each end of the shaft 118, may be employed. In FIGS. 7-10, the manner in which the cams 120 serve to clear coins caught in the slots is clearly illustrated. In those series of illustrations, the separator is shown for simplicity in the form of the embodiment of FIG. 2. It is to be understood that the clearing mechanism is suitable for use in both of the illustrated embodiments of my invention.
The cams 120 are eccentrically' mounted on the shaft 118. When a wall is in a horizontal position, the cams 120 of the clearing mechanism adjacent it are positioned above the inner surface of that wall a distance at least as great as the height of the slot at that walls trailing edge. Therefore, as in FIG. 7, a coin disposed on the wall 500 may slide under the cam 120 into the slot 72 without interference. A stop in the form of a pin 13b provided adjacent the arm 124 limits the movement of the weight 122 to the position shown in that figure. The cams 120 remain in the position shown in FIG. 7 as the wall 500 inclines to the position shown in FIG. 8, and coins disposed on that wall slide toward the slots 72. However, when the wall 500 passes the vertical position and reaches the position shown in FIG. 9, the weight 122 falls away from that wall toward wall 50b and turns the shaft 118 and the cams mounted thereon, as suggested in FIG. 9. Because of the eccentricity of the cams 120, the cam surface or periphery moves closer to the inner surface of wall 500 and rotates in a direction away from the slot 72. The cam is so mounted that its periphery moves closer to the inner surface of wall 5011 than the upper edge of the slot 72 and, it grips the coin as dis closed in FIG. 9. The continued movement of the cam caused by the moving weight 122 toward the position shown in FIG. 10 pushes the coin away from the slot. Because the cam v121! is yieldable, it will compress somewhat if necessary to allow the weight 122 to swing as described. It, of course, is only necessary that the cam free the coin of its frictional engagement With the slot so that the coin may fall back into the box when the slot is inverted. That is, when the wall 50c passes the horizontal position that it is approaching in FIG. 10, the coin will be free of the slot and fall from it. Continued rotation of the separator beyond the position shown in FIG. 10 will also cause the arm 122 to swing again toward the stop and away from the stop 132 so that the cam surface is again spaced from the inner surface of the wall 50c a distance greater than the height of the slot so that the slot will again be able to receive and pass those coins properly sized without interference from the cam.
In FIGS. 11-14 yet another embodiment of my invention is suggested. This embodiment combines many of the features of the other embodiments and includes a clearing mechanism which operates somewhat differently from that shown in FIGS. 7l0. In the embodiment shown in FIG-S. ll14, the cam of clearing mechanism 142 serves to define in part the length dimension of the slot through which the coin passes. In the other embodiments of my invention, the wall thickness alone defines the length dimension of the slots in the wall. In those embodiments, the walls or the part of the walls defining these slots have a thickness substantially equal to one-half the coin diameter. In this embodiment, the walls 144 and 146 as well as the other walls: (not shown) are relatively thin and, therefore, do not provide a length dimension for the slots formed in them of any appreciable size. As shown in FIG. 11, the slot 148 formed at the lower end of the wall 144 has a length which is a minor fraction of the diameter of coin 150. However, the cam 140 which in the position shown in FIG. 11 is spaced from the wall 146 a distance equal to the height of the slot 148, cooperates with the slot 148 to define a passage having a length substantially equal to one-half the diameter of coin 150. Therefore, dimension L shown in FIG. 11 is substantially the same as dimension L in FIG. 6.
The cam 140 is mounted on a shaft 152 identical to the shaft 118 in clearing mechanism 116. Similarly, shaft 102 carries an arm 154 at the end of which is mounted a weight 156 which serves to turn the shaft and the cams 140 supported thereon in response to rotation of the separator. Unlike the cams of the clearing mechanism 1116, cam 140 in this embodiment is initially in a position wherein it is closest to the adjacent wall 146. When the cam moves in response to rotation of the separator from the position shown in FIG. 11 to that shown in FIG. 14, the cam turns away from the wall 144 and the slot 148 and its periphery moves away from the surface 146. Thus, when a coin lodges in the slot 148 and beneath the cam 140 due to some deformation of that coin, the cam pulls the coin from the position shown in FIG. 12 to that shown in FIG. 14 away from the wall 144, so that the coin may drop back into the separator and clear the slot so that it may again be used in the next cycle of the device.
From the foregoing description, it will be recognized that the separator is particularly adapted to be used in combination with the sorter and together they serve to sort coins according to size within a small tolerance and separate coins which have been mutilated. Alone, the separator may be employed to remove any mutilated coins from unmutilated coins having dimensions below maximum limits.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous modifications maybe made of the illustrated embodiments of my invention without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention. It is not my intention to limit the breadth of this invention to the specific embodiments illustrated and described. Rather, it is my intention that the scope of this invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. A coin sorter comprising walls defining a closed box square in cross section, means for rotating the box about an axis coincident with the center of the section, means for introducing into the box coins to be sorted, means defining slots extending upwardly from the trailing edge of each wall, said slots having a width and height substantially equal to the diameter and thickness of authentic unmutilated coins of one denomination, cams disposed adjacent the slots in the box and spaced from the walls from which the slots extend a distance greater than the height of the slots when the walls are in a substantially horizontal plane, and means secured to the cams for moving their surfaces toward the walls and away from the slots when each wall reaches a vertical position for returning to the box interior coins lodged in the slots.
2. A coin sorter comprising walls defining a closed box having a polygon cross section, means for rotating the box aboutan axis coincident with the center of the section, means for introducing into the box coins to be sorted, means defining slots extending upwardly from the trailing edge of each wall, said slots having a width and height substantially equal to the diameter and thickness of anthentic unmutilated coins of one denomination, cam means disposed adjacent the slots in the box and spaced from the walls from which the slots extend a distance greater than the height of the slots when the wall is in a substantially horizontal plane, and means secured to the cam means for moving the surface of the cam means toward the wall and away from the slots when the wall reaches a vertical position.
3. In a coin sorter, a flat surface, means defining openings extending upwardly from the surface and having a Width and height a few thousandths of an inch greater than the thickness and diameter of unmutilated coins of one denomination, means for directing coins in one direction over the surface and through the openings, and means disposed adjacent the surface for moving coins in the opposite direction on said surface when said coins lodge in the openings.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,472,279 Nordstrom Oct. 30, 1923 1,556,660 Williamson a Oct. 13, 1925 1,585,242 Hageman May 18, 1926