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Publication numberUS3128909 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 14, 1964
Filing dateNov 3, 1959
Publication numberUS 3128909 A, US 3128909A, US-A-3128909, US3128909 A, US3128909A
InventorsLansing P. Shield
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable control means for dispensing equipment
US 3128909 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 14, 1964 P. SHIELD ETAL 3,128,909

VARIABLE CONTROL MEANS FOR DISPENSING EQUIPMENT Filed Nov. 3, 1959 s Sheets-Sheet 1 LANSING P. s H 'i-ELD GEORGE. A. JUST INVENTORS ATTORNEY April 14, 1954 L P. SHIELD ETAL 3,128,909

VARIABLE CONTROL MEANS FOR DISPENSING EQUIPMENT Filed Nov. 5, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 l col/v ecu/v TEES 0;) E] 060000 66 $05 o oooo @oo gmlg 000000 10 CAT FOOD .19 74 11 VEG. SOUP 15 PEA P LANSING P. SHIELD GEORGE A. JUST INVENTORS ATTOPNE Y April 14, 1964 P. SHIELD ETAL 3,128,909 I VARIABLE CQNTROL MEANS FOR DISPENSING EQUIPMENT Filed Nov. 5, 1959 s Sheets-Sheet s F 5 LANSING P. SHIELD GEORGE A. JUST INVENTORS ATTORNEY Patented Apr. 14, 1964 3,128,909 VAREAEILE CONTROL MEANS FOR DISPENSING EQUIPMENT Lansing P. Shield, Saddle River, N.J., and George A. Just,

liironxville, N.Y., assignors, by mesne assignments, to

Grocerctte Vending Machines, Inc, Long Beach, Calif.,

a corporation of Colorado Filed Nov. 3, 1959, Ser. No. 850,694 9 Claims. (Cl. 221129) This invention relates to variable control means for electrical circuits and is directed particularly to dispensing equipment and control means adapted for use 1n the operation thereof.

When dispensing equipment is designed to handle a large number of items, such as a stock of groceries or toilet articles, for example, the control means are often quite complicated and expensive requiring frequent repa1r and adjustment. Furthermore, the prices and types of articles dispensed are changed frequently rendering it necessary to make adjustments in the control means almost daily. A further objection to control means of the prior art arises from the constant wear and arcing of the contact elements upon manipulation of the control means.

In accordance with the present invention, these objections and limitations of prior art control means are eliminated and novel constructions are provided whereby a large number of items can be dispensed and the types and prices of the articles can be changed readily without alteration in the circuitry. The construction further is provided with article selecting means which can be manipulated while the contact elements are disengaged and the circuit broken whereby wear and arcing of the contact elements is prevented.

Accordingly, the principal object of the invention is to provide a novel type of variable control means for electrical circuits whereby changes in the operation of circuits can be effected quickly and easily without changes in circuitry.

A further object of the invention is to reduce the cost of construction. and to eliminate the need for frequent repair or replacement of elements of control means for electrical circuits.

,A specific object of the invention is to provide dispensing equipment adapted for handling a large number of items while permitting ready change in the price of any individual item being dispensed.

These and other objects and features of the present invention will appear from the following description thereof wherein reference is made to the figures of the accompanying drawings:

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective of a typical form of dispensing equipment embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation showing one type of delivery control means which may be employed in the equipment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of a typical form of electrical circuit which may be used in actuating the delivery control means used in the dispensing equipment;

FIG. 4 is a perspective illustrating a preferred form of variable control means for electrical circuits embodying the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an end view of the construction shown in FIG. 4 as seen from the right hand end;

FIG. 6 is a front elevation of a portion of the construction shown in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a detail of the construction shown in FIG. 5.

In that form of the invention chosen for purposes of illustration in the drawings, the equipment in which the invention is embodied is a coin operated dispenser for groceries, toiletries, or other articles, and includes a cabinet 2 within which are arranged a plurality of inclined article supporting channels 4 from which articles are discharged into receiving spaces 6 closed by doors or windows 8. The release of articles from the channels 4 to the receiving spaces 6 is effected by operation of delivery control means 10 associated with each delivery channel. Such control means preferably are of the type shown and described in the eopending application Serial No. 767,813 and comprise a platform 5 movable to and from the raised position shown in FIG. 2 by means of a cam member 7 actuated by a motor or other electrically responsive means 9 under the control of a relay 13. When energized, each motor 9 is caused to continue in operation through a single cycle of operation and is stopped at its initial starting position by the timing switch 15 When the platform 5 is thus raised above the stop means 11, the foremost article in the channel 4 is delivered from the channel to the receiving space 6. Each delivery control means is actuated upon the closing of its relay 13 by an electrical circuit including the conductors 12 which, in turn, are connected to contact buttons 14 mounted on a commutator plate 16 positioned adjacent the end of the variable control means indicated generally by the reference numeral 18.

The circuit control means is preferably of the type shown in FIG. 4 and embodies a drum 20 fixedly mounted on a shaft 22 rotatably supported on the bearing blocks 24. One portion of the drum 20 is arranged to be viewed through an opening 28 in the front of the cabinet 2 and is provided with slots for removably receiving tags or slips 30, 32 and 34. The tag 30 may refer to the item by number; the tag '32 gives the name of each article available for delivery by the equipment, and the tag 34 indi-. cates the price of each article. These tags will, of course, be changed from time to time as the prices and type of the articles to be dispensed is varied.

Annular ribs 36 on the drum 2!) project through slots in the cabinet adjacent the opening 28 to permit the drum to be rotated by a purchaser to bring the name of any item to be purchased into view. When so rotated, the commutator 38 secured to the shaft 22 is rotated with respect to the contact buttons 14 on the commutator plate 16 for completing a contact through the conductors '12 associated with the delivery control means for releasing the selected article from its delivery channel 4 to one of the article receiving spaces 6. The door 8 to the space 6 is then released and can then be opened for removal of the selected article by the purchaser.

The equipment described is designed to be operated by coins and for this purpose, the circuit including the control device 10, conductors 12 and commutator buttons 14 also includes coin evaluating relays indicated generally at 40 which may be of any suitable or conventional type. Therefore, when the proper coins amounting to the price indicated by the tag 34 exposed through opening 28 are inserted in the coin slot 42 in cabinet 2, the evaluating relays are actuated to complete a circuit including the contact elements 44.

Contact elements 44 preferably consist of micro switches and are mounted side by side upon a carrier block 46 secured to a shaft 48 extending parallel to the surface of drum 20. The shaft 48 is rotatable to rock the carrier block and move the contact elements 44 toward I and away from the surface of the drum 20 as shown in FIG. 7. The drum 20 is in the form of a cylinder having parallel rows of holes extending lengthwise of the drum as indicated at 50. These rows are in alignment with the tags 30, 32 and 34 so that each row of holes will correspond with one of the articles to be dispensed. The

holes are also arranged in parallel rows in a circumferential direction as shown at 51, and the contact elements 44 on carrier block 46 are aligned with such circumferentialrows of holes. Ten circumferential rows of holes indicated at 50A represent pennies, the ten circumferential rows of holes 50B represent dimes and the circumferential rows of holes 50C represent dollars. Each hole in the drum 20 is a size to receive a screw having a head 52. Therefore, by proper placement of screws in the holes in the drum, the price of an article such as Baked Beans represented by a longitudinal row of holes 50 may be indicated by screws in the circumferential rows of holes 50A, 50B and 50C. Thus if the price of the beans is 13 cents, a screw 52 may be inserted in the hole in row 50A representing 3 cents and another screw may be placed in the row 50B representing cents.

In operation, the drum 20 may be rotated to present the tag 32 bearing the notation Baked Beans and the price tag 34 bearing the price 13 cents in the front of the cabinet. Such rotation will thereby position the screws 52 on drum 20 opposite the contact elements 44 representing 10 cents and 3 cents. The contact element then may be actuated by pressing an operating button 54 located on the front of the cabinet adjacent the inspection opening 28.

The operating'button 54 serves to close a circuit including a relay 55 which serves to energize actuating means which may include a solenoid or the like but as shown, is a small motor 56. A link 58 is connected at one end to a crank pin '60 on the motor 56 and is connected at the other end to carrier block 46 by which contact elements 44 are carried. The motor when energized, therefore, rocks the carrier block and contact elements about shaft 48 toward the drum 20 from the full line position of FIG. 7 to thedotted line position shown therein. The motor 56 is caused to stall or is deenergized when it has rotated through an arc of about 90 degrees. Thereafter it is returned to its initial position by the action of a spring 57 which has one end thereof connected to the arm 74 and the other end connected to the post 59 supporting the block 24. Ordinarily a time delay device 53 is associated with the relay 55 to hold the relay closed with the motor energized so as to prevent premature return of the motor under the action of spring 57 and premature disengagement of the contact element 44 from the drum contact 52. In this way, the screws 52 which project from the drum 20 in the proper positions cause the contact elements representing 10 cents and 3 cents (or other predetermined contact elements) to be actuated. When the correct amount of money has been deposited in the coin slot 42 to cause operation of the proper totalizing relays connected with the proper contact elements, the entire circuit is completed and the delivery control means 10 is actuated to cause the selected article to be delivered to the purchaser. It will be noted that only the contact elements representing 13 cents are actuated by the screws 52 on drum 20 and, therefore, the equipment will not be actuated unless and until the proper coins have been deposited in the coin slot 42. Upon conclusion of a proper operation, the motor 56 is de-energized and the carrier block 46 and contact elements 44 are moved away from the drum 20 by the spring 62 whereupon the equipment is prepared for renewed operation.

If, for any reason, the customer decides not to purchase an item after the equipment has been set up for operation, the cancel button 61 may be actuated to break the circuit whereby the money is released in a conventional manner and returned to a coin return slot 63, whereas the parts will be restored to position'for another operation.

In order to assure accurate positioning of the drum 20 and the screws 52 with respect to the contact elements 44, the drum is provided with positioning means 66 secured to the end thereof adjacent motor 56. The positioning means 66 is notched to correspond to the rows of article designating holes 50 and a detent 68 is positioned to enter the notches to hold the drum in position during operation of the motor. For this purpose, detent 68 is carried by an arm 76 pivotally mounted at 72. A link 74 connected at one end to arm '70 is connected at its other end to the crank pin 76 on motor 56. The position of crank pin 76 is such as to cause the detent 68 to be drawn against the positioning means 66 just before the carrier block 46 and contact elements 44 are pulled against the drum 2-0. The drum is thus positioned accurately and held in place during each operation of the contact elements. At the conclusion of the operation, the detent is withdrawn from the positioning means 66 by the spring 78 and the detent can then ride freely over the notches in the positioning means.

Whenever it is desired to change the price of an article, it is only necessary to change the position of the screws 52 on the drum 29. No electrical circuits are changed. Therefore, the operation may be altered quickly and easily without employing an electrician or otherwise requiring any special skill on the part of the person making the change.

The number of articles which can be dispensed with this equipment is limited only by the size of the drum 20 and in practice, fifty or more different articles can be delivered without difiiculty.

The equipment may, of course, be supplied with coin return means, money indicating lights, empty indicators and other incidental elements and the circuit arrangements maybe varied greatly to adapt the equipment to various applications and uses. The equipment may thus be operated by remote control, by printing or perforated tape responsive means, and the control means may be used with equipment other than vending machines.

In view thereof, it should be understood that the particular embodiment of the invention described above and shown in the drawings is intended to be illustrative only and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

.We claim:

1. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles'from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a series of contact elements positioned adjacent said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, and means for establishing a circuitincluding said contact elements and said control means.

2. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a series of contact elements positioned adjacent said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, means for rotating said drum to position projections corresponding to the price of a selected article in locations adjacent predetermined contact elements of said series, and means for establishing a circuit including said contact elements and said control means.

3. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a series of contact elements positioned adjacent said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, manually operable means for rotating said drum to place predetermined price indicating projections in position adjacent said contact elements, and coin actuated means operable to establish a circuit including said contact elements and said control means.

4. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a series of contact elements positioned adjacent said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, manually operable means for rotating said drum to place predetermined price indicating projections in position adjacent said contact elements, coin actuated means operable to establish a circuit including said contact elements and said control means. and manually operable means movable to complete said circuit.

5. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, control means associated with each of said channels and operable independently for the release of articles from said channels, a drum having rows of holes therein extending lengthwise of the drum and corresponding to one characteristic of each of the articles in said channels, said holes being arranged in rows extending circumferentially of the drum and corresponding to another characteristic of each of the articles in said channels, operating means removably located in said holes to correspond to the latter characteristic of each of said articles, and movable contact elements positioned adjacent said drum and engageable with said operating means to actuate a selected control means.

6. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, control means associated with each of said channels and operable independently for the release of articles from said channels, a drum having rows of holes therein extending lengthwise of the drum and corresponding to one characteristic of each of the articles in said channels, said holes being arranged in rows extending circumferentially of the drum and corresponding to another characteristic of each of the articles in said channels, operating means removably located in said holes to correspond to the latter characteristic of each of said articles, movable contact elements positioned adjacent said drum and engageable with said operating means to actuate a selected control means, and manually operable actuating means movable to effect the movement of said elements toward said operating means to actuate a selected control means.

7. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a rotatable shaft mounted parallel to the surface of said drum, a carrier block secured to said shaft, a series of contact elements supported by said carrier block adjacent said drum and normally spring biased out of contact with said projections and said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, manually operable means for rotating said drum to place predetermined price indicating projections in position adjacent said contact elements, and coin actuated means operable to establish a circuit including said contact elements and said control means.

8. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a series of contact elements positioned adjacent said drum, means for moving said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, manually operable means for rotating said drum to place predetermined price indicating projections in position adjacent said con tact elements, positioning means for accurately positioning said drum in a selected position with respect to said projections and holding it in said position during the dispensing of an article, and coin actuated means operable to establish a circuit including said contact elements and said control means.

9. Dispensing equipment comprising a plurality of channels having articles therein to be dispensed, electrically actuated control means controlling the delivery of articles from said channels, selecting means including a rotatable drum having projections thereon positioned to correspond to each article to be dispensed, said projections also being positioned to correspond to the prices of said articles, a rotatable shaft mounted parallel to the surface of said drum, a carrier block secured to said shaft, a series of contact elements supported by said carrier block adjacent said drum and normally spring biased out of contact with said projections and said drum, a motor for moving said carrier block to move said contact elements toward and away from the drum and into and out of position to actuate said contact elements, manually operable means for rotating said drum to place predetermined price indicating projections in position adjacent said contact elements, a first circuit for actuating said motor actuated by manually operated means, and a second circuit including coin evaluating relays, said contact elements and said control means and being coin actuated.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,443,925 Osborne June 22, 1948 2,578,503 Burrichter Dec. 11, 1951 2,593,102 Caruso Apr. 15, 1952 2,612,710 Fuller Oct. 7, 1952 2,748,619 Glover et al June 15, 1956 2,818,473 Geder Dec. 31, 1957 2,881,832 Leonard Apr. 14, 1959 3,031,055 Soulc Apr. 24, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS 680,714 Great Britain Oct. 8, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2443925 *Jun 25, 1947Jun 22, 1948Wurlitzer CoSelector device for vending machines
US2578503 *Oct 3, 1945Dec 11, 1951Thomas G BurrichterElectrical switch means
US2593102 *Dec 26, 1946Apr 15, 1952C 8 LabVending machine
US2612710 *Aug 17, 1945Oct 7, 1952Wurlitzer CoRemote-control selector device
US2748619 *Nov 24, 1952Jun 5, 1956Bill Glover IncPerforated drum control for automatic washing machines
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4109207 *Oct 27, 1976Aug 22, 1978S. P. Radio A/SCoding member for programming of a radio communication apparatus
US4214133 *Dec 22, 1977Jul 22, 1980Rose John FRotary shaft position switch
US4831350 *Nov 30, 1987May 16, 1989Proximity Controls, Inc.Rotary shaft position reed switch
US6682156Aug 23, 2002Jan 27, 2004Supply Point Systems Ltd.Apparatus for controlling access to a plurality of drawers
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/129, 194/220, 221/5, 200/38.0CA
International ClassificationG07F5/18
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/002, G07F5/18
European ClassificationG07F11/00B, G07F5/18