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Publication numberUS3232400 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 1, 1966
Filing dateNov 29, 1963
Priority dateNov 29, 1963
Publication numberUS 3232400 A, US 3232400A, US-A-3232400, US3232400 A, US3232400A
InventorsHendrickson William W
Original AssigneeUniversal Match Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control system for vending machine
US 3232400 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 1, 1966 w. w. HENDRICKSON 3,232,400

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR VENDING MACHINE Filed Nov. 29, 1963 United States Patent 3,232,400 CQNTROL SYSTEM FOR VENDiNG MACHENE William W. Hendrickson, St. Louis County, Mo., assignor to Universal Match Corporation, Ferguson, M0., a corporation oi Delaware Filed Nov. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 326,701 18 Claims. (Cl. 1942) This invention relates to a control system for vending machines, and more particularly to an electrical control circuit for multimotor vending machines.

Among the several objects of this invention may be noted the provision of an electrical circuit for controlling the operation of a multimotor vending machine, for example of the type disclosed in US. Patent 3,085,711, issued April 16, 1963; the provision of such a control which insures a proper correlation between the amount of money deposited by a purchaser and the price of an article to be vended; the provision of control apparatus of the class described which is fail-safe, i.e., wherein a vend cycle cannot be initiated without insertion of a proper amount of money even if one or more of the control components of the machine should malfunction; the provision of a control circuit of the class described having a wholly electrical lockout arrangement which positively prevents the vending of two or more articles or items during a single vend cycle; the provision of a control for a. vending machine having a coin return wherein an electrical lockout prevents the vending of an item or article after actuation of the coin return control by a purchaser; and the provision of a control of the class described which is relatively inexpensive, simple in con struction, and. highly reliable in operation. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

The invention accordingly comprises the constructions and circuits hereinafter described, the scope of the invention being indicated in the following claims.

In the accompanying drawing, in which one of various possible embodiments of the invention is illustrated, the single figure is a circuit diagram illustrating the electrical components of this embodiment and their interconnectron.

Corresponding reference characters responding parts throughout the drawing.

In the above-mentioned US. Patent 3,085,711, a vending machine is illustrated which has a plurality of vend motors each adapted when energized to initiate a vend cycle during which a packaged item, for example a candy bar, is vended. To provide a three-price operation, i.e., to vend differently priced articles, this vending machine includes a. coin-controlled unit which includes three solenoid-controlled switches (designated LS, MS and HS in the patent), these switches being selectively actuated depending upon the amount deposited. The present invention relates to an improved control system for multimotor vending machines of the type shown in this patent, and in this regard constitutes an improvement on the control system illustrated in FIG. 6 thereof. It will be understood, however, that the system of the present invention is applicable to any multimotor vending machine having a similar or analogous mode of operation.

Referring now to the drawing, the control system is shown to comprise a plurality of purchaser-operable switches generically designated by the reference character PS and specifically designated PS1, PS2 and PS3. Each of these is related, for example, to a respective column or shelf containing one type of article to be vended. Only three purchaser-operable switches are shown to simplify the wiring diagram; any number may be provided in any specific application. These purchaser-operable switches indicate cor- 3,232,460 Patented Feb. 1, 1966 are single-pole, double-throw push-button switches biased to assume the positions illustrate-d. These switches may be mounted, for example, on the front door of the vending machine for convenient operation. Suitable displays may be provided to indicate the type and price of the item obtainable upon actuation of a particular switch. Associated with switches PS1, PS2 and PS3 are three vend motors M1, M2 and M3, respectively. These correspond, for example, to the vend motors similarly referenced in the above-mentioned patent.

Each motor has a cam-operated motor switch associated therewith designated M51, M52 and M53, respectively. The movable contact of each of these switches is cam operated to assume the position illustrated, i.e., to contact its respective upper contact, when the output shaft of a respective motor is in its home position. Upon energization of a particular motor, rotation of the output shaft thereof causes the arm of a respective switch to be actuated to its lower position; it remains in this position during one complete revolution of the output shaft, and is then returned to its upper position. The movable contacts of switches M51, M82 and M83 and the upper contacts thereof are connected in series as indicated to provide a port-ion of a motor series circuit described more fully hereinafter.

The blade of movable arm of switch M81 is connected to one terminal T1 of an AC. power source, the other terminal of which is connected to ground. Typically, terminal T1, along with terminals T2, T4 and TS referred to hereinafter, will be connected to the hot side or line of a V. AC. source, the other side of which constitutes a grounded neutral conductor. Distinct reference characters have been employed for terminals T1, T2, T4 and T5 in the interest of clarity. The lower terminal of each of switches M81, M52 and M83 is connected to one side of its respective motor, the other side of which is interconnected with respective contacts RLlA, RLIB, RLIC of a relay RLl. The latter includes a coil RLIX adapted when energized to cause contacts RL1ARL1C to close. This relay also includes a set of normally closed contacts RLID connected between terminal T2 and a terminal T3. A back-Wave or transient-suppressing diode D6 is connected in shunt with coil RLlX, between a resistor R1 and ground.

The left terminal of each of motors M1, M2 and M3 is connected by a respective diode D7, D8 and D9 to one of the terminals of a coin-controlled mechanism or recorder CM. Thus, motor M1 is connected by diode D7 and a conductor L with the low-price terminal of recorder CM; motor M2 is connected by a diode D8 and a line M with the medium-price terminal of recorder CM; and motor M3 is interconnected through diode D9 and a line H with high-price terminal of coin-controlled mechanism CM. This recorder functions upon insertion of a proper amount in coin selectively to interconnect one of conductors L, M and H with a conductor L1. Any one of various known prior-art recorders may be employed as recorder CM.

Interconnected with purchaser-operable switches PS1, PS2 and PS3 are three empty switches E1, E2 and E3. Each of these switches is associated with a shelf or rack carrying items to be vended, and each includes a sensing arm, for example, which actuates the movable contact of the switch to contact the lower terminal if a respective rack or shelf has been emptied of items. When there are items to be vended in a respective shelf, rack, etc., the switches are actuated to the position illustrated. An empty light EL is connected between the lower terminal of each of the empty switches and ground.

Further included in the control system are three relays RL2, RL3 and RL4. Relay RL2 includes two sets of contacts RL2A and RL2B and a coil RLZX. The latter is connected by a diode D1 and a current-limiting resistor R2 between terminal T3 and ground. A back-wave diode D4 is connected in shunt with coil RLZX, while a diode D3 interconnects the lower terminal of contacts RL2B with resistor R2. The movable arms of switches RLZA and RL2B assume the positions illustrated when coil RLZX is energized.

Relay RL3 constitutes a delay relay and includes a coil RLSX and one set of contacts RL3A. The movable arm of contacts RL3A and the lower terminal of coil RL3X are connected to ground as indicated. A capacitor C1 is connected in shunt with coil RL3X between resistor R3 and ground. This capacitor serves to maintain coil RLISX energized for a preselected period of time after the upper terminal of the coil RL3X is disconnected from a power source. The movable arm of switch RLSA is actuated to the position shown upon energization of coil RLSX.

Relay RL4 constitutes a synchronizing relay which serves to insure a proper sequence of operation in the control. This relayincludes a coil RL4X and three sets of contacts RL4A, RL4B and RL4C. The movable arm of contacts RL4A is connected by means of a rectifying diode D2 with terminal T4; whilethe movable arms of contacts RL4B and RLCare connected to terminal T5. Current-limiting resistor R3 interconnects the bottom terminal of contacts RL4A with coil RLSX.

A cancel or coin-return solenoid is shown at RLS. This solenoid includes a coil RLSX which functions when energized to return to the purchaser coins inserted into the controller. Mechanically interconnected with the solenoid is a set of contacts RLSA, the movable arm of which assumes the position illustrated when coil RLSX is deenergized. A coin-return or scavenger switch SC is provided selectively to energize coil RLSX. Switch SC includes a first portion SCA and a second portion SCB. Upon actuation of switch SC, the arm of portion SCA is first moved to itslower position; thereafter switch SCB is closed. This insures against a coin-returncycle after initiation of a vend cycle.

Finally included in the control system is a coinhandling motor MC connected between the upper terminal of switch LR4C and ground. In addition to resetting the coin-controlled mechanism during a vend cycle (or during a coin-return cycle), this motor actuates two sets of coin-operated contacts MCA and MCB. Switches MCA and MCB are shown in the positions they assume when the output shaft of motor MC is in its home position. Energization of motor MC, or more specifically rotation of the output shaft thereof, actuates the arms of these switches to their upper position where they remain during one complete revolution of the output shaft. Motor MC operates at a lower speed than vend motors M1, M2, etc.; for example, the latter may operate at 33 r.p.m. while the former operates at 20 r.p.m. As explained hereafter, this insures proper sequencing during a vend cycle.

Operation of the control system is as follows:

In the ready state, i.e., with the control circuit energized but prior to a vend cycle, the coils of relays RL2, RL3 and RL4 are energized; coil RL2X from terminal T2, through contacts RLlD (which are closed), diode D1 and resistor R2; coil RL3X from terminal T4, through diode D2, the lower of contacts RL4A and resistor R3; and coil RL4X from terminal T1 through the motor switches MSl-MS3 (which are closed on their upper contacts), and through contacts RLSA and MCB. This latter circuit, which energizes the coil RL4X of synchronizing relay RL4, constitutes the motor series circuit referred to above. In the ready state, motors Ml-MS and MC, relay RLl and solenoid RL5 are deenergized. All of the contacts are shown in the drawing in the positions they assume when the control is in its ready mode or condition.

Upon deposit of coin in appropriate amount in the coin-controlled mechanism CM, an interconnection is provided between line L1 and one of the price lines L, M or H, depending on the amount inserted. Thereafter, actuation of a proper purchaser selector switch completes a circuit which energizes coil RLlX of relay RLl. For example, if a sufficient amount is inserted in recorder CM to connect line L1 with conductor M, actuation of switch PS2 causes energization of coil RLlX. The relevant circuit may be traced from terminal T5, through contacts RL4C, through contacts SCA and switch PS1, through the movable arm and lower terminal of PS2, through switch E2 (assuming there are items in stock associated with switch PS2), through diode D3, line M, recorder CM to line L1, from line L1 through contacts RL2B and resistor R1 to the upper terminal of coil RLlX. This latter circuit will be referred to hereinafter simply as the select series circuit.

Energization of relay RLl closes contacts RLlA-RLiC and opens contacts RLlD. The closing of contacts RLIB in turn causes energization of vend motor M2 through a circuit which may be traced from terminal T5 through contacts RL4C, switch SCA, purchaser-operable switches PS1 and PS2 (the arm of the latter being in its lower position), through switch E2 to the left terminal of the motor; and from the right terminal thereof through contacts RLlB, RL2A and RL3A to ground. As motor M2 begins to rotate, thereby to cause an item to be vended, it actuates the arm of switch MS2 to its lower position. This does two things: First, it completes a holding circuit for the motor M2 from terminal Tl through switch MSl and MS2 to the left terminal of M2 (this holding circuit maintaining the motor M2 energized even though the select series circuit is subsequently interrupted). Secondly, actuation of the motor switch MS2 interrupts the motor series circuit through which relay coil RL4X was energized, thereby causing this relay to be deenergized.

Deenergization of relay RL4 and the attendant actuation of contacts RL4ARL4C: (l) interrupts the select series circuit, thereby preventing or insuring against the vending of a second item during the vend cycle; (2) energizes the coin-handling motor MC through contacts RL4C; (3) disconnects the upper terminal of the delay relay coil RL3X from terminal T4; and (4) causes, or rather maintains, energization of coil RLlX from terminal T4, through contacts RL4A and contacts RL2B to coil RLlX.

Energization of the coin handling motor MC in turn causes actuation of contacts MCA and MCB. Two results follow: Actuation of contacts MCB insures that the synchronizing relay RL4 remains deenergized until the end or" a cycle; while actuation of contacts MCA interconnects the lower terminal of contacts RL2B to ground, thereby maintaining vend motor M2 energized.

After a predetermined time delay (determined for the most part by the size of capacitor C1) following disconnection of the upper terminal of the delay relay coil RL3X from terminal T4 (i.e., following deenergization of synchronizing relay RL4), relay RLS becomes deenergized. This actuates contacts RL3A, disconnecting the lower terminal thereof from ground. This disconnection occurs, however, after contacts MCA have supplied a ground connection for the right side of motor M2, and accordingly deenergization of delay relay RL3 does not, under normal operating conditions, cause deenergization of the vend motor. If the coin-handling motor MC (which resets the recorder CM, thereby to open the circuit between lines M and L1 during a vend cycle) or any of its associated components should malfunction, the deenergization of relay RL3 would cause deenergization of motor M2 and prevent subsequent energization of any of the other vend motors. In this sense then, delay relay RL3 is in eliect a fail-safe device which, by rendering the vending machine inoperative, prevents subsequent vend cycles in the event of a malfunction in the coin-handling motor and associated components.

Energization of coil RLlX causes contacts RLlD to be opened. This transfers control of relay RL2 to the recorder or coin-controlled mechanism CM and to the synchronizing relay RL4. That is, after energization of relay RL1, relay RL2 receives power (1) from a circuit which includes recorder CM as a component and (2) from a circuit which includes contacts RL4A of relay RL4. Circuit (1) may be traced from terminal T1 through switches M51 and M52, diode D8, line M, the recorder CM, line L1, contacts RLZB, diode D3, and resistor R2; while circuit (2) includes terminal T4, diode D2 and contacts RL4A to line L1. If a malfunction should occur in the recorder and the synchronizing relay, relay RLZ will be deenergized. This causes deenergization of relay RL1, which action in turn disconnects the right terminal of motor M2 and each of the other vend motors from ground.- This serves not only to terminate the vend cycle prior to its completion; it also provents the initiation of any subsequent vend cycles.

Assuming that all of the components are operating properly, coin-handling motor MC continues to run and at a predetermined point during the vend cycle resets the recorder CM, interrupting the inter-connection between line M and conductor L1. Since the synchronizing relay RL4 is still deenerg-ized, this does not cause deenergization of coil RL2X. The vend motor also continues to run, thereby to cause an item to be vended, for example in the manner outlined in the above-cited patent. When the vend motor M2 completes its cycle, motor switch MS2 is actuated to its upper position. This deenergizes motor M2 and concurrently reestablishes the motor series circuit connected to terminal T1.

Thereafter, coin-handling motor MC (which has a cyclic period somewhat greater then the vend motor) continues its cycle until its switches are returned to their lower positions. This removes the ground from the right terminal of the vend motors and also completes the motor series circuit, thereby energizing synchronizing relay RL4. This in turn: (1) reestablishes the select series circuit; (2) deenergizes coin-handling motor MC; (3) concurrently deenergizes relay RL2 and RL1 by opening the circuit from terminal T4; and finally (4) reenergizes delay relay RL3 which functions after a preselected time delay to reestablish a ground connection to the right terminal of the contacts RLlA-RLIC. Deenergization of relay RL1 actuates the switches thereof to the position illustrated, which action in turn reenergizes relay RLZ through diode D1. At this point, the control system is reset for a subsequent vend cycle to be initiated by the insertion of the proper amount of money into the recorder and the actuation of an appropriate purchaser-operable selector switch.

If at any time prior to actuation of one of the selector switches a purchaser wishes to have his inserted money returned, he can do so by actuating the scavenger or coin-return switch SC. This causes switch SCA to be actuated to its lower position, thereby to interrupt the select series circuit and prevent the initiation of a vend cycle. After a brief delay, contacts SCB close, energizing the cancel solenoid RLS, in turn casuing switch RLSA to be actuated. Since the latter is connected in series with the motor switches MSl-MS3, actuation of switch RLSA in effect initiates a complete cycle of operation of the machine, but one in which the money which has been inserted is returned to the purchaser. When switch RLSA is actuated by the cancel solenoid RLS, it remains mechanically actuated until reset by motor MC, which occurs after switch MCB actuates.

If a rack or shelf associated with one of the purchaseroperable switches is empty of items to be vended, i.e., if the supply of items to be vended is depleted, the corresponding empty switch is actuated, whereby its move- 6 le arm contacts the lower terminal. Thereafter, selection by a purchaser of this purchaser-operable switch merely completes a circuit from terminal T5 which lights empty light EL. The purchaser may then make a different selection or may alternatively call for a coin return by actuating switch SC.

In view of the coaction between relays RL1, RL2, RL3 and RL4 during a vend cycle, it is apparent that there is virtually no possibility of a vend cycle being initiated without insertion of a proper amount into the recorder CM. This is true even though one of the more critical components of the system, for example coin-handling motor MC or relay RL1, should malfunction. If. for example, relay RL1 should fail to be deenergized at the end of a cycle, or if its contacts should hang up, the deenergization of relay RL2 prior to the end of the cycle positively prevents the initiation of a subsequent cycle. Also, the series-connected motor switches MSl-MS3 provide an electrical lockout which prevents a higher priced motor from being actuated upon insertion of less than a proper amount of money.

Ordinarily, the output shafts of all the vend motors M1, M2 etc. are in their home position. It may occur, however, that when a serviceman services the machine, after he has disconnected the machine from the power supply, he may inadvertently cause rotation of the output shaft of one or more vend motors out of home position. The circuiting is such that any such vend motor will be automatically energized and its output shaft will return to home position when the connection to the power supply is re-established.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

As various changes could be made in the above constructions and circuits without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

i What is claimed is:

1. A control system for a vending machine having a plurality of vend motors each adapted when energized to initiate a vend cycle, said system comprising a plurality of purchaser-operable switches, one for each vend motor, coin-controlled means, means electrically interconnecting said switches and said coin-controlled means with said motors and a source of electrical energy whereby upon insertion of an appropriate amount in coin into said coin-controlled means and actuation of an appropriate purchaser-operable switch the respective vend motor is energized initiating a vend cycle, reset means responsive to energization of any one vend motor for resetting F said coin-controlled means thereby to prevent energizetion of other vend motors during said cycle, and means for deenergizing said one vend motor and preventing energization of each of the other vend motors in the event said reset means malfunctions.

2. A control system for a vending machine having a plurality of vend motors each adapted when energized to initiate a vend cycle, said system comprising a plurality of purchaser-operable switches, one for each vend motor, coin-controlled mean-s, means electrically interconnecting said switches and said coin-controlled means with said motors and a source of electrical energy whereby upon insertion of an appropriate amount in coin into said coin-controlled means and actuation of an appropriate purchasenoperable switch the respective vend motor is energized initiating a vend cycle, reset means including a coin-handling motor responsive to energization of any one vend motor for resetting said coin-con trolled means thereby to prevent energization of other vend motors during said cycle, said coin-handling motor being adapted when energized to complete a first circuit between said one vend motor and one terminal of said power source, and means for deenergizing said one vend motor and preventing energization of each of the other vend motors in the event said reset means malfunctions including a delay relay which interrupts a second circuit between said vend motors and said one terminal of said power source a predetermined time after energization of said coin-handling motor whereby if said second circuit is interrupted prior to completion of said first circuit, said vend motors are deenergized.

3. A control system as set forth in claim 1 further including a plurality of motor switches, one associated with each of said vend motors, whereby energization of a vend motor causes actuation of a respective switch, saidmotor switches upon initial actuation of said one vend motor completing a holding circuit therefor whereby subsequent deactuation of the respective purchaser operable switch does not cause deenergizationof said one vend motor.

4. A control system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means electrically inter'connectingsaid purchaseroperable switches and said coin-controlled means with said motors and said source includes a series circuit including said purchaser-operable switches, said control further'iricluding means for-interruptingsaid series circuit' upon energization of said one vend motor whereby energization of a second vend motor is prevented.

5. A control system as set forth in claim 4 wherein said interrupting. means comprises a normally energized synchronizing relay, and means for deenergizingsaid relay in response to energization of said'one vend motor.

6. A control system as set forth in claim 4, further including a coin-return switch and a'coin-return solenoid, said solenoidbeing' adapted to return to a purchaser prior to a vend cycle'coins inserted into said coin-controlled mechanism, said coin-return switch being adapted upon actuation to interrupt said series circuit including said purchaser-operable switches, and thereafter to energize said coin-return solenoid.

7. A control system as set forth-in claim 1, further including a plurality of empty'switches adapted to be actuated upon depletion of an associated supply of items to be vended, said empty switches preventing initiation of 3 a vend cycle if the supply of items associated with the actuated purchaser-operable switch is depleted.

8. In a vending machine having a plurality Of vend motors each adapted when energized to initiate a vend cycle of the machine, a control system for selectively energizing said motors, said system comprising a plurality of purchaser-operable switches con-nected in series, one for each of said vend motors, coin control means adaptedupon insertion of an appropriate amount in coin to complete a circuit between a source of electrical energy and at least one of said purchaser-operable switches, a relay interconnected with said purchaser-operable switches and adapted to be actuated upon actuation of said one switch to energize the respective motor and thereby initiate a vend cycle, a set of contacts operated by each vend motor for completing a holding circuit'for the energized vend motor to maintain the motor energized during a vend cycle, and a synchronizing relay having a set of contacts connected in series with said series-connected purchaser-operable switches, which contacts open upon completion of said holding circuit thereby to prevent-subsequent energization of others of said vend motors during a vend cycle.

9. In a vending machine as set forth in claim 8, said control further including a coin-handling motor adapted to be energized upon energization of any of said vend motors for resetting said coin-controlled mechanism thereby to interrupt said circuit between said source and said purchaser-operable switches to prevent a subsequent vend cycle, and means for inhibiting a subsequentvend cycle in the event of a malfunction of said coin-handling'motor.

10. In a vending machine as set forth in claim 9, said means for inhibiting a subsequent vend cycle including a delay relay which functions to cause and maintain deenergization of each of said vend motors in the event of a malfunction of said coin-handling motor.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,102,762 9/1963 Johnson et al 221127 X 3,158,247 11/1964 Gale 194- -10 RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3102762 *May 31, 1960Sep 3, 1963Vendo CoUniversal vending machine
US3158247 *Apr 28, 1961Nov 24, 1964Victor Products CorpDispensing machine for beverages in bottles or cans
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3340979 *Jul 20, 1966Sep 12, 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpVending machine and electrical control circuit therefor
US3349881 *Jun 6, 1966Oct 31, 1967Seeburg CorpVending cycle lockout circuit
US4111332 *Dec 16, 1974Sep 5, 1978Hurst Kerney JArticle counting device
US4220235 *Feb 16, 1979Sep 2, 1980Cavalier CorporationVending machine control circuit including credit release relay
US4696413 *Jan 15, 1986Sep 29, 1987The Vendo CompanyVending system and method for preventing multiple product vends
US4835412 *Jul 28, 1988May 30, 1989Mars IncorporatedMotor home/soldout detection apparatus
US5613620 *Apr 10, 1995Mar 25, 1997Recot, Inc.Co-dispensing snack food products and beverages from a vending machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/200, 221/21, 194/240, 221/129
International ClassificationG07F5/20, G07F5/22
Cooperative ClassificationG07F5/22
European ClassificationG07F5/22