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Publication numberUS3270916 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 6, 1966
Filing dateApr 28, 1965
Priority dateApr 28, 1965
Also published asDE1474946A1
Publication numberUS 3270916 A, US 3270916A, US-A-3270916, US3270916 A, US3270916A
InventorsLyman Wallace R
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vending machine empty signal indicating mechanism
US 3270916 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 6, 1966 Filed April 28, 1965 W. R. LYMAN VENDING MACHINE EMPTY SIGNAL INDICATING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet l ATTORNEY P 6, 1966 w. R. LYMAN 3,270,916

VENDING MACHINE EMPTY SIGNAL INDICATING MECHANISM Filed April 28, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,270,916 VENDHNG MACHINE EMPTY SIGNAL INDICATING MECHANISM Wallace R. Lyman, West Springfield, Mass., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a

corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Apr. 28, 1965, Ser. No. 451,576 4 Claims. (Cl. 2216) This invention relates to vending machines and more particularly to empty signal mechanisms for vending machines.

Multi-column vending machines which are adapted to contain different stacks of articles to be vended in respective different column structures of the machine are well known. It is of course desirable to provide individual column empty signal mechanisms and also an all column empty signal mechanism to indicate a sold out condition of such machine. It is also desirable that such signal mechanism be as simple, reliable in operation and inexpensive as possible.

It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a simple and reliable empty signal mechanism for a multi-column vending machine that is operable to individually indicate empty conditions of respective ones of the vending machine columns and to also indicate by separate signal means the sold out condition of the machine when all storage columns of the vending machine are empty.

In accordance with the invention, a vending machine magazine frame arranged to have a plurality of side by side positioned article storage column structures is provided with a plurality of movable article sensing levers for each column structure adapted to contact an article in the respective column to assume a first position and movable to a second or operated position when the column is empty and no articles are present and sensed. In addition a common signal member is movably mounted on said frame to be interconnected with each of said article sensing levers to assume a first position when at least one of said individual column levers is in its first position and to be moved to assume a second or operated position when all of said levers are in their second positions. Individual column empty signal means is arranged to be responsive to the operated position of respective ones of said article sensing levers and in addition an all empty or sold out signal means is arranged to be responsive to the operated position of said common signal member.

In a particular embodiment of the invention, each of said article sensing levers is pivotally mounted on the frame to assume a raised position when an article to be vended is present in the respective column of the machine and to be moved by gravity to a lowered position when the respective column is empty. The common signal member is pivotally mounted on the frame in a position to bridge all of the individual column article sensing levers to be thereby supported in a raised position so long as any one of the article sensing levers is in the raised position and to be movable to drop by gravity to a lowered position when all of said article sensing levers are in their lowered positions.

Further objects, features and the attendant advantages of the invention will be apparent with reference to the following specification and drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective elevation of a vending machine magazine structure having a plurality of side by side positioned article storage columns together with the empty signal mechanisms of the invention mounted on the lower portions of the vending machine magazine;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view through the extreme left-hand column of the lower end of the magazine to show details of the article sensing lever; and

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary detail View partly in section to show the position of an individual column article sensing lever when the associated column is empty.

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings the vending machine magazine structure generally shown at 10 is arranged to have a plurality of side by side article storing column structures such as the six columns shown at 11 through 16. It should be understood that the article sensing and empty signal mechanisms of the invention are not limited to any particular number of side by side column structures as will be apparent from the following description. Each of the article storage columns 11-16 is provided with article vending release mechanisms generally shown at 17 through 22 and since these release mechanisms are not a part of the present invention and a detailed description of them is not required for an understanding of the present invention, no further description of the vending release mechanisms will be made. If a further description of the vending mechanism release is desired, reference may be made to the copending patent application of Francis A. Gasperini, Serial No. 451,579, filed April 28, 1965, and assigned to the same assignee as the present application for patent.

Each of the side by side positioned article storage columns 11-16 is provided with a respective movable article sensing lever 31-36 which is adapted to have a first position such as the raised position shown by the article sensing lever 31 when an article to be vended is present in the storage column such as any of the articles 37-39 in column 11. The movable article sensing lever is pivotally mounted on the frame of the vending machine magazine 10 in a position adjacent the lower end of the respective column structure 11-16 and is movable to a second or operated position such as the lowered position shown by any one of the article sensing levers 32-36 when their respective column structures 12-16 are empty of articles to be vended.

Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawings, one of the empty sensing levers namely the empty sensing lever 31 for the vending column structure 11 will be described in more detail. It should be understood that all of the individual column empty signal sensing article sensing levers 31-36 are identical and therefore the specific description of the sensing lever 31 will sufiice for the rest of the sensing levers. The sensing lever 31 is essentially a bell crank pivoted at 40 and having a heel portion 41 adapted to contact the butt end of the article to be vended such as the can or bottle 37 and a cam surface end 43 adapted to contact the roller 44 of a suitable individual column empty signal such as the indicator, switch or light 45. Referring more particularly to FIG. 3 of the drawings, when the respective vending machine column is empty, the heel portion 41a, for example, of the empty signal lever 32 will not be contacting or sensing an article to be vended and the article sensing lever 32 will pivot about the pivot 40a to move the cam surface 43a into engagement with the cam roller 44a and activate the individual column empty switch or light 45a. By properly proportioning the weight of the cam end 43 or 43a for each empty sensing lever such as the lever 31 or 32 in relation to the heel end 41 or 41a, as will be obvious to one skilled in the art the respective empty sensing lever can be caused to pivot about its pivot such as the pivot 40 or 40a in response to the force of gravity when no article is sensed in the respective article storage column. However, to assure the pivotable movement of the individual article column sensing lever, a tension spring 46 may be connected as shown.

Referring now again to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the common empty signal means is shown to comprise the ar 50 pivotally mounted at each of its ends, one of which shown at 51 to the frame structure of the vending maliine magazine 10. It will be noted that the common gnal bar 59 is positioned to bridge all of the individual zipty signal levers 31-36 and to be supported in a raised osition so long as any one of the individual empty sensrg levers 31-36 is in the raised position. Therefore, the ommon signal means or bar is movable from a first osition, i.e., the raised position by the interconnection if any one of the individual column empty sensing levers 136. When all of the individual article sensing colmn empty signal levers 31-36 have moved to their secnd operated or lowered positions at the time when all f the columns of the vending machine are empty and 1e machine is sold out, the common signal bar 50 will rop downward by the force of gravity in the direction f the arrow as shown by FIG. 1 to a second position. he downward movement of the common signal bar 50 connected by a link lever 52 to a sold out switch 53 lhlCh is thereby activated when the bar 50 has moved ownward in the direction of the arrow to energize the ll empty or sold out signal light 54.

In the foregoing, there have been described extremely imple forms of empty signal arrangements for signalling he individual empty conditions of respective ones of a lurality of side by side article storage columns together llllll the sold out condition of the entire machine when ll of the columns are empty. Various modifications will occur to those skilled in the art.

I claim as my invention:

1. A vending machine comprising, a frame having a lurality of side by side column structures adapted to ontain articles to be vended, each of said column strucures having respective article sensing levers adapted to ontact an article in the column and to be movable to vssume a first position in response thereto and to assume second position when no article is present in the respecive column, a movable common signal member, means nterconnecting each of said article sensing levers and aid common signal member to move said common signal nember to a first position when at least one of said aricle sensing levers is in its first position and to move aid common signal member to a second position when 111 of said article sensing levers are in their second posiions, a respective individual column empty signal means 'esponsive to a respective one of said article sensing levers o be operated when the respective lever is in a selected )ne of its said positions, and an all column empty signal neans responsive to said common signal member to be )perated when said common signal member is in a seected one of its said positions.

2. A vending machine comprising, a frame having a ilurality of side by side column structures adapted to :ontain articles to be vended, each of said column strucures having respective article sensing levers adapted to :ontact an article in the column and to be movable to tssume a first position in response thereto and to assume 1 second position when no article is present in the respecive column, a movable common signal member, means nterconnecting each of said article sensing levers and ;aid common signal member to move said common signal nember to a first position when at least one of said article :ensing levers is in its first position and to move said :ommon signal member to a second position when all of ;aid article sensing levers are in their second positions,

a respective individual column empty signal adapted to be connected to a respective one of said article sensing levers to be operated when the respective lever is in the second position, and an all column empty signal adapted to be connected to said common signal member to be operated when said common signal member is in the second position.

3 A vending machine comprising, a frame having a plurality of side by side column structures adapted to contain articles to be vended, each of said column structures having respective article sensing levers pivotally mounted on said frame and adapted to contact an article in the column and to be movable to assume a first position in response thereto and to assume a second position when. no article is present in the respective column, a movable common signal member pivotally mounted on said frame, means interconnecting each of said article sensing levers and said common signal member to move said common signal member to a first position when at least one of said article sensing levers is in its first position and to move said common signal member to a second position when all of said article sensing levers are in their second positions, a respective individual column empty signal adapted to be connected to a respective one of said article sensing levers to be operated when the respective lever is in the second position, and an all column empty signal adapted to be connected to said common signal member to be operated when said common signal member is in the second position.

4. A vending machine comprising, a frame having a plurality of side by side column structures adapted to contain articles to be vended, each of said column structures having respective article sensing levers pivotally mounted on said frame and adapted to contact an article in the column and to be movable to a raised position in response thereto and to a lowered position when no article is present in the respective column, a movable common signal member pivotally mounted on said frame in bridging relation to said article sensing levers, means interconnecting each of said article sensing levers and said common signal member to support said common signal member in a raised position when at least one of said article sensing levers is in a raised position and to allow said common signal member to drop to a lowered position when all of said article sensing levers are in their lowered position, a respective individual column empty signal adapted to be connected to a respective one of said article sensing levers to be operated when the respective lever is in the lowered position, and an all column empty signal adapted to be connected to said common signal member to be operated when said common signal member is in the lowered position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,496,939 6/1924 Martin 133-5 2,348,927 5/1944 Runsvold et al 22l6 2,531,238 11/1950 Tandler et al. 22l6 2,784,871 3/1957 Gabrielsen 221-6 3,134,473 5/1964 Tremolada 19410 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

W. S-OBIN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1496939 *May 22, 1923Jun 10, 1924Charles L MartinChange-dispensing device
US2348927 *Dec 27, 1940May 16, 1944Runsvold Martin SDispensing and vending machine
US2531238 *Apr 17, 1947Nov 21, 1950Vendomatic Machine CorpMerchandise vending machine
US2784871 *Jun 7, 1952Mar 12, 1957Rowe Mfg Co IncEmpty signal for columnar merchandising machines
US3134473 *Oct 3, 1960May 26, 1964Goffredo TremoladaVending machine with hydraulic actuating mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3838663 *Jun 25, 1973Oct 1, 1974Focke HLight shutter system for detecting blockages in a cigarette feeder
US3976108 *Dec 18, 1974Aug 24, 1976Panduit CorporationAutomatic cable tie installation tool
US4301909 *Jul 25, 1979Nov 24, 1981Snavely John DVending apparatus
US4744489 *Nov 22, 1985May 17, 1988Tone Brothers, Inc.Store display fixture
US4872592 *Aug 3, 1988Oct 10, 1989Sanden CorporationArticle storage and dispensing device with sold out indicating mechanism
US5547105 *Oct 18, 1994Aug 20, 1996Royal Vendors, Inc.Can vending mechanism
US5575613 *Jun 27, 1995Nov 19, 1996Mcneall Engineering Pty. Ltd.Pallet dispenser
US20100096401 *Dec 14, 2009Apr 22, 2010Sainato Anthony VModular article storage and dispensing assembly
US20100193538 *Jun 18, 2008Aug 5, 2010Stephen William ClarkeDispensing device
US20140175119 *Aug 14, 2013Jun 26, 2014Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Automatic vending machine with switch module
EP0054090A1 *Dec 12, 1980Jun 23, 1982Bydale Engineering LimitedImprovements in and relating to the storage of handpropelled vehicles
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/6
International ClassificationA47F3/00, A47F3/026, G07F9/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F9/02
European ClassificationG07F9/02