US 3263857 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. Z, 19766 M, KRAKAUER ETAL ,2,87
MULTILEVEL FIRST-IN FIRST-OUT MERCHANDISING MACHINE Original Filed May 25, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENToRs /WAR/ LL /f/wfwuz/e F55 3 BY ggf@ FITTOENE Y Aug- 2, 1966 M. KRAKAUER ETAL 3,263,857
MULTILEVEL FIRST-IN FIRST-OUT MERCHANDISING MACHINE 5 SheetsSheei'. 2
Original Filed May 25. 1961 i w mw N W4 P En m WMZ T IKN Qn @KI R R Rm EE MPLA Y B o SLWW fr /6 6 J I /o 9 Aug- 2, 1956 M. KRAKAUER ETAL MULTILEVEL FIRST-IN FIRST-OUT MERCHANDISING MACHINE Original Filed May 25, 1961 PE TER 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INV EN TORS MERRILL /NRmfm/ER H TTOP/VE Y United States Patent O 3,263,857 MUL'IILEVEL FIRST-IN FIRST-OUT MERCHAN- DISING MACHINE Merrill Krakauer and Ieter Katz, Livingston, NJ., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Automatic Canteen Company of America, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Delaware Continuation of application Ser. No. 112,620, May 25, 1961. This application Sept. 8, 1964, Ser. No. 396,797 4 Claims. (Cl. 221-85) This .application is a continuation of our copending application vSerial No. 112,620, iled May 25, 1961, now abandoned.
Our invention relates to a merchandising machine and more particularly to an improved machine for dispensing articles of merchandise, such for example :as candy, which machine is extremely simple and which provides an effective display of the merchandise dispensed by the machine.
Many various forms of merchandising machines are known in the prior art. Some of these machines are especially adapted to dispense articles of merchandise such as candy. yOne form of candy machine known in the prior art includes a plurality of shelves which are successively tripped from the bottom shelf to the uppermost shelf of a column. Other machines include conveyors or the like which deliver .an article to a dispensing mechanism such, for example, as -a trap door. While these machines accomplish their purpose .of dispensing articles of merchandise such as bars of candy, they embody a number of defects. First, a machine of the tripped-shelf type requires that lall the shelves be re-erected before the machine is loaded with a fresh supply. of candy. It will readily be apparent that this is a tedious and time consuming procedure. Moreover, machines of the tripped-shelf type as well as machines of the latter type mentioned above are relatively complicated in their construction and in their operation. These machines of the prior art ygenerally do not provide as effective .a display of the available articles of merchandise as is desirable.
We have invented an improved merchandising machine especially adapted to dispense articles of merchandise such as bars of candy. Our machine is extremely simple in its construction and lin its operation. Our improved merchandising machine delivers articles `of merchandise in rst-in-rst-out or FIFO order so that the possibility of stale 'articles of merchandise being delivered to a customer is minimized. Our machine is so constructed as to permit it to be loaded in a rapid and expeditious manner. Owing to the arrangement of our machine, a very large number of articles is displayed to a potential customer.
One object of our invention is to provide -a multilevel FIFO candy machine which is especially adapted to dispense larticles of merchandise such as 'bars of candy.
Another object of -ou-r invention is to provide a multilevel FIFO candy machine which is extremely simple in its construction and in its operation.
A further object .of our invention is to provide -a multilevel FIFO candy machine which permits a loading operation to be accomplished in a rapid and expeditious manner.
Yet another object of our invention is -to provide a multilevel FIFO candy machine which displays a large number of the articles contained in the machine.
Patented August 2, 1966 lCe A still Ifurther object of our invention is to provide a multilevel FIFO candy machine in which articles are dispensed by the machine in the -order in which they are loaded into the machine.
Other and further objects of our invention will appear from the following description.
In general, our invention contemplates the provision of a merchandising mach-ine in which a plurality of superposed, elongated, merchandise-carrying, conveyor belts are inclined to the horizontal in `a direction transverse t0 the belt length. We provide means for retaining articles on the 'belt at all points throughout its length except at a dispensing end `of the conveyor. IIn response to the deposit in the machine o-f a sum in coins equalling the purchase price of an article and the operation of a selecting button, Ia 'belt is moved through one step of movement to cause an article to be delivered by gravity to the customer through -a delivery chute.
In the accompanying drawings which form part of the instant speciiication and which are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used -to indicate like pants in the various views:
FIGURE l is a perspective vielw of our multilevel FIFO candy machine.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional v-iew of our multilevel =FIFO candy machine.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of our multilevel FIFO candy machinetaken along the line 6 3 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 .is a sectional view of our multilevel FIFO candy machine taken along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary View showing the belt drive of our multilevel FIFO candy machine.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view illust-rating one form of one revolution clutch which we may employ on our mul-tilevel FIFO candy machine.
FIGURE 7 is a schematic view of one form of electrical circuit which can be used to control our multilevel FIFO candy machine.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawing-s our multilevel FIFO candy machine indicated generally Iby -the reference character 10 includes a cabinet 12 supported on stands 14 and 16. We mount a Iwindow 18 of a transparent material such for example as glass in `a suitable frame 20 in the front of the cabinet 12. A door 22 at the back of the cabinet 12 is adapted to be opened in a manner to be described hereinafter to permit access to the machine from the rear thereof to permit loading of the machine.
The front of the cabinet 12 carries a coin slot 24 in which coins are deposited and a plurality of selecting buttons 26 adapted to be actuated to permit a purchase to be made in a manner to be described hereinafter. A coin return lever 28 may be actuated to cause coins deposited in the machine to be returned to the customer before he makes a purchaser A delivery tray 30 in the iront of the cabinet 12 permits the customer to receive the article he has purchased.
Referring now to FIGURES 2 to 4, cabinet 12 houses a iframe including an upright 32 and a pair of panels 34 and 36 which separate the merchandise carrier, to be described, from the article delivery chute, indicated generally by the reference character 38, which leads to the tray 30.
Our multilevel FIFO candy machine includes a plurality of respective dispensing units indicated generally by the reference character 40 mounted in superposed relationship at var-ions levels Within the cabinet 12. Each uni-t 40 includes a belt 42 carried by -a pair of rollers 44 and 46. Each roller 4'6 has a shaft 48 one end of which is supported in a bearing 50 carried by a merchandise retainer 52 and the other en-d of which is supported in a bearing bracket 54 extending bet-Ween one side 56 of the cabinet l112 and a partition 58 defining a space on the other side o-f the cabinet which houses a coin mechanism i60 of the machine.
Referring now to FIGURES 2 to 5 each of the belts 42 is provided with a plurality of luprights 62 spaced along its length. Adjacen-t'upright 62 form a space indicated generally by the reference character 64 for the reception of an article of merchandise such Yas a bar of candy. We form each retainer 52 with a first wall 66 extending along the side of the conveyor formed by--belt 42 to prevent articles of merchandise from falling out of the conveyor in the direction of the axis of shaft 48. A second wall 68 of the retainer 52 extends under under the Ibelt 42 to prevent articles of merchandise disposed in the spaces 64 formed by the uprights 62 on the lower length of the belt 42 from dropping out of the conveyor. Any suitable means such as rivets 70 or'the like extending through tabs 72 on the wall 66 secure this wall to the panel 36. Rivets or the like 74 extending through a ange 76 on the wall 68 secure this wallto the panel 34.
As can be `seen by reference to FIGURES 3 and 4 the end of each of the retainers 52 Iadjacent the delivery chute 38 is open while the other end is formed with a curved retaining wall 78 in a manner to be described hereinafter. A bracket 480 carried by the wall 78 Vis secured to the side 56 of the cabinet 12 by rivets 82 or the like.
It is to be noted that in mounting each of the units 40 on the frame within the cabinet 12, we incline the axes of the shafts 48 to the horizontal in a direction transverse to the direction of the length of belt 42. It will readily be apparent that articles of merchandise such as bars of candy disposed in the space 64 between the uprights 62 on the upper length of the belt 42 tend to slide downwardly and to the right as viewed in F'IG'URE 2 off the belt. Wall 68 disposed under the belt 42 prevents articles in the spaces 64 between the uprights 62 of the lower length of the belt from dropping straight down out of the spaces 64 while wall 66 prevents these ar-ticles from sliding out of the spaces along the wall vv68. It will be appreciated that when the upper length belt 42 is driven in the direction of the arrow A through a sucient distance, an article disposed in a space 64 will fall into the chute 38 and down to the tray -30 from Which'it can be removed by the customer. Each of the retainers '52 is formed with a platform or guide 84 which suppor-ts fthe upper length of the belt 42 extending between rollers 44 and 46.
We provide our machine With means for selectively driving the belts 42 through predetermined distances to permit articles of merchandise to be dispensed from the various levels. Referring now to FIGURE each of the belts 42 has a plurality of teeth or ribs 86 spaced along the inner surface thereof. Each of the rollers 44 and 46 tis formed with la plurality of grooves 88 adapted to receive ribs or teeth 86 of the belt 42. In the particular embodiment illustrated in -FIGURE 5 each roller 46 has tve grooves `88. Further, an upright 62 is diposed over every other tooth 86 of the belt 42. With this arrangement, it will be seen that when r-oller 46 has been driven through 144 then an upright 62 has moved from the position at which it forms one wall of a space 64 to a position 4at which the article contained in that space has been delivered to the chute 38. We form the belt 42, upright 62 and teeth 86 in any convenient manner. They may be made of any suitable material such, for example, -as rubber or plastic or the like.
A plurality of brackets mounted on the upright 32 in spaced relationship carry a plurality of bearings 92 which support a shaft 94 adapted to be driven by a motor 96 mounted on a bracket 98 secured to the upright 31-2. A bracket 100 extending `from the upright 32 to frame 20 adjacent -the top of Ithe machine carries bearing 102 which receives shaft 94. Shaft 94 carries a plurali-ty of respective one revolution clutches indicated generally by the reference characters 104 each of the which is adapted to be actuated to engage a bevel gear 106 with the shaft 94 for a single revolution thereof. Each gear 106 meshes with a gear 108 carried by the shaft 48 of a roller 46 for rotation therewith. A plurality of respective linkages 1-10 are adapted to be actuated by the push butt-ons 26 to actuate the clutches -104 in a manner to be described hereinafter.
Referring now to VFIGURE 6, we have shown one form of -a one revolution clutch 104 which may be employed on our multilevel FIFO candy machine. Each clutch 104 includes adisk or plate 112 rotatably carried on the shaft 94 at a position determined by collar 113. A latch 114 has an endformedwith a hook 116 adapted to engage the wall of a notch 118 formed in a disk 112. We pivotally mount the latches 114 on brackets 120 carried by the partition 58. Springs 122'normally urge the latches 114 to positions at which the hooks 116 are in the notches 118. Upon rotation of the linkage it pivots the as sociated latch 114 to move the hook 116 out ofthe notch ,118. A spring-126, having one end thereof secured to disk 112 and having its other end secured to a hub `128 on gear 106, normally tends to wind itself up on a drum 124 lcarriedby shaft'94 for rotation therewith. The arrangement of our clutches 104 is such that when the hook 116 is out of the notch 118 spring 126winds itself up on drum 124 to provide a-driving connection between shaft 94-and hub 128., When the hook 116-again moves into the notch 118, disk 112 is stopped and spring 126 unwinds to release the clutch. Thus an actuation of hook 116 permits a single revolution of gear 106 in response to rotation of sh-aft 94.
From the structure just described it will be apparent that when a hook 116 is in the recess or notch 118 of the disk 112 of a clutch 104 even though shaft 94 is rotating, disk'112, spring 126, hub 128 and gear 106 do not rotate. If, however, with the shaft 94 rotating in a direction of the arrow B in FIGURE 6 hook 116 moves out of the notch 118, then disk 112 is free to rotate. When the disk is thus released, spring 126'winds up on the drum 124 to clutch hub 128 and gear 106 to shaft 94. When this occurs, hub 128 and bevel gear 106 are driven with shaft 94 until the hook 116 again falls into the notch 118 after shaft 94 has completed a revolution. We so arrange gears 106 and 108 that a single revolution of a gear 106 produces 144 of revolution of the associated gear 106 with the result that the Icorresponding belt 42 is driven through a single step and an article of merchandise is dumped into the chute 38.
IReferring now to FIGURE 7 one form of electrical circuit which may be used to control the operation of our machine includes a pair of conductors 130 and 132 connected respectively to the terminals 134 and 136 of a suitable source of `control potential. We connect the coin mechanism 28 Vof our machine in series with a plurality lof parallel-connected switches 138 responsive to actuation of the push buttons 60 and a motor-controlled relay winding 140 between conductors 130 and 132. When a sum in coins aggregating the purchase price of an article has been deposited in the coin mechanism, -a circuit is complete from conductor 130 to the switches 138. Actuation of a push button 128 closes a switch 138 to complete the circuit of a relay winding. When the winding 140 is thus energized, it closes a pairv of normally open switches 142 and 144 by means of a linkage 146.
We connect switch 142in series with a normally closed switch 148 between the upper terminal of side 140 as viewed in FIGURE 7 and the conductor 130. It will be apparent that when switch 142 is closed it completes a holding circuit for winding 140 through switches 142 and 148. We connect switch 144 in series with motor 96 between conductors 130 and 132. Switch 144 when closed completes the circuit of motor 96 to cause the motor to rotate. A cam 150 carried by shaft 94 for rotation therewith has a projection 152 adapted to actuate a follower 154 adapted to open switch 148 through .a linkage 156 when motor 96 completes a revolution.
It is to be understood that the electrical circuit of FIG- URE 7 is given by way of example only. The articles carried by the respective dispensing units 40 of our machine may be sold at different prices. It will further be appreciated that the drive system including the motor 96 and the one revolution clutches 104 is but one example of a drive means which could be employed on our machine. Alternatively, an individual motor could be provided for each unit. In the particular system shown, the one revolution clutches 104 ensure that the belt 42 of an actuated unit 40 will move through only a single step though the motor 96 remain energized. The cam 150 which interrupts the motor circuit after one revolution of the motor prevents a customer from obtaining more than one article for a deposit of a sum in coins equalling the purchase price of a single article.
In operation of our multilevel FIFO candy machine a customer who desires to make a purchase rst deposits in the coin mechanism through slot 24 -a ,sum in coins equalling the purchase price of the article. When this has been done, he actuates the button 26 corresponding to the unit 40 containing the desired article. Actuation of the button 26 causes a switch 138 to complete the circuit of winding 140 through the coin mechanism 28. Winding 140 causes switch 142 to complete its own holding circuit through switch 148. Winding 140 also causes switch 144 to complete the circuit of motor 146. When the motor is thus energized it starts to rotate shaft 94. When push button 26 was actuated in the manner described above it not only closed a switch 38 but also operated a linkage 110 to move the hook 116 of the selected dispensi-ng unit out of the recess 118 in disk 112 to permit the clutch 104 to make a single revolution in the manner described above. One revolution of the bevel gear 106 produces 144 of revolution of bevel gear 108 to step the belt 42 of the selected unit through a distance which is suicient to cause an article such as a bar of candy to be delivered to the chute 38.
It is to be noted that owing to the fact that we incline our belts 42 in the manner described above all the articles of merchandise on the upper belt portions can be viewed by a customer through the window 18. Conveniently we mark window 18 with a vertical line 158 which frames the articles next to be dispensed by the various units 40.
When our machine is to be loaded, door 22 is opened along a hinge 160 which connects the door to the cabinet 12. With the door open, -articles of merchandise may readily be slipped in-to the spaces 64 between adjacent uprights 62 on the belts 42. With the back door open, all the spaces are readily accessible to the serviceman so that the loading operation can be accomplished in a rapid and expeditious manner.
It will be seen -that we have accomplished the objects of our invention. We have provided a multilevel FIFO candy machine which is extremely simple in its construction and operation. Our machine displays a very large number of articles of the supply contained in the machine. Our machine permits a loading operation to be accomplished in a very rapid and expeditious manner. Our machine dispenses the article of merchandise in the order in which they were loaded into the machine.
It will ybe understood that certain features and subcom- Ibinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated .by and is within the scope of our claims. It is further obvious that various changes may be made in details within the scope of our claims without departing from the spirit of our invention. It is, therefore, to -be understood that our invention is not to -be limited to the specific details shown and described.
Having thus described our invention, what we cla-im is:
1. A machine for dispensing articles of merchandise including in combination a housing having a window, a conveyor having an upper article supporting surface adapted to support a plurality of articles to be dispensed and a lower portion below said upper article supporting surface, said conveyor having a discharge end, means forming a delivery chute adjacent said discharge end of said conveyor, means mounting said conveyor -in said housing with the length of said upper article supporting surface extending generally transversely of said housing adjacent to said window for movement in a direction to deliver articles to said chute with said conveyor upper surface being inclined toward said window to form an acute angle with the plane of said window to permit said articles to be viewed clearly through said window, means for retaining articles al-ong said lower portion of said conveyor between its other end and said discharge end and means for driving said conveyor to cause it to deliver an article to said chute.
2. A machine for dispensing articles of merchandise including in combination a housing having a window, a plurality of iiexible conveyors each having an upper article supporting surface and a lower portion below said upper article supporting surface, means forming a plurality of merchandise compartments on each of said conveyors, each of said conveyors having a discharge end and having an end remote from said discharge end, means forming a delivery chute adjacent said discharge ends of said conveyors, means mounting said conveyors in said housing with the lengths of said article supporting surfaces extending generally transversely of said housing adjacent said window for movement in a direction to deliver articles to said chute with each conveyor being inclined from the horizontal toward said window in a direction transverse to its direction of movement to permit said articles to be viewed clearly through said window, respective longitudinal walls associated with said conveyors for preventing articles from slipping out of said compartments on said upper surfaces and on said 'lower portions in the direction of inclination of said conveyors, mean-s for retaining articles in said compartments along the lower portions of said conveyors and respective end Walls adjacent said remote ends of said conveyors for retaining articles in said compartments as said conveyors reverse their direction of movement.
3. A machine for dispensing yarticles of merchandise including in comlbination a cabinet, a generally vertically extending window formed in the cabinet, a plurality of conveyors each having an article supporting surface, each conveyor having a discharge end, means forming a delivery chute adjacent the discharge ends of said conveyors, means mounting said conveyors within said cabinet in generally vertically superposed partially overlapping relationship with the lengths of said article supporting surfaces extending generally transversely of said cabinet adjacent said window for movement in a direction to deliver articles to said chute with said conveyors inclined from the horizontal in a direction transverse to their direction of movement and toward said Window to permit a plurality of articles on said conveyors to be viewed through said window, article retaining walls extending along the edges of said conveyor surfaces adjacent said window, each of said walls having a height less than the width of a conveyor and means for selectively driving said conveyors to deliver articles to said chute.
4. A machine for dispensing articles of merchandise including in combination a housing having a window, a conveyor having an upper article supporting extent and a lower extent, means forming a plurality of merchandise compartments along the length of said conveyor, said conveyor having a discharge end, means forming a delivery chute adjacent said disch-arge end, means mounting said conveyor in said housing with its length extending generally transversely of said housing and With said upper extent adjacent sa-id Window for movement in a direction to deliver articles to said chute with said upper extent inclined toward said window to form an acute angl-e with the plane of said Window to permit articles carried' thereby to be viewed clearly through said window,
means for retaining articles'in the compartments on said 10 lower conveyor extent and means for stepping said conveyor through the extent of one compartment to deliver an varticle of merchandise to said chute.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,940,005 12/1933 McKee et al. 221-83 2,272,750 2/1942 Miller 221-155 2,735,578 2/1956 Woodruff 221-11 2,923,392 2/1960 Gabrielsen 221--77 RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.
LOUIS I. DEMBO, Examiner.
W. SOBIN, Assistant Examiner.