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Publication numberUS3348733 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1967
Filing dateNov 8, 1965
Priority dateNov 8, 1965
Also published asDE1474927A1
Publication numberUS 3348733 A, US 3348733A, US-A-3348733, US3348733 A, US3348733A
InventorsJohnson Elmer C
Original AssigneeVendo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article dispensing apparatus having an electrically controlled article releasing assembly
US 3348733 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1967 E JOHNSON 3,348,733


ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS HAVING AN ELECTRICALLY CONTROLLED ARTICLE RELEASING ASSEMBLY Filed Nov. 8, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 if 50 I050 G INVENTOR [/mer' C. Johnson 3 ltc States Patent [ice 3,348,733 ARTICLE DISPENSING APPARATUS HAVING AN ELECTRICALLY CONTROLLED ARTICLE RE- LEASING ASSEMBLY Elmer C. Johnson, Raytown, Mo., assignor to The Vendo Company, Kansas City, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Nov. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 506,637 1 Claim. (Cl. 221298) This invention relates to improvements in dispensing machines, particularly those of the type utilized to dispense canned beverages.

The primary object of this invention is to provide a dispensing or vending machine wherein the article-containing compartments occupy a minimum of space, and wherein each compartment is employed in conjunction with a dispensing mechanism of reduced complexity which is positive in operation, trouble-free, and inexpensive to fabricate and maintain.

As a corollary to the foregoing object, it is an important aim of the invention to provide such mechanism having an article-release gate which is normally latched in the closed position but which, during operation of the mechanism, is unlatched to permit operation of the gate solely by the weight of a gravitating article to be dispensed.

Another important object is to provide a dispensing machine wherein the articles of each compartment successively gravitate onto an inclined dispensing platform, and wherein the aforesaid mechanism is provided with a stop which is shiftable to a position engaging the next to the lowermost article of the stack and which, during initial movement of the stop toward its article-engaging position, releases the gate to permit the same to operate under the weight of the lowermost article of the stack in order to dispense the latter while the remainder of the stack is retained by the stop.

Further objects include the provision of adjustable structure for adapting the dispensing mechanism to cans of varying diameters so that the stop will be effective in its retaining function regardless of can size, and the provision of a compartment for each stack having sheet members of identical configuration mounted in a manner to provide an article-support ramp of serpentine configuration which is readily fabricated.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a front elevational View of the lower end of two article compartments showing the dispensing mechanism of each;

FIG. 2 is a vertical, sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1 showing the components of one mechanism in their stand-by positions;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the mechanism components in their operated positions during article dispensing;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of one of the mechanisms showing the components in their stand-by position as in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a detail, plan view showing one of the plate members utilized to adapt the apparatus to cans of various diameters; and

FIG. 6 is an electrical schematic diagram of a control circuit for the apparatus.

The numerals 10 and 10a designate a pair of side-byside compartments of identical construction. Compartment It and its associated dispensing mechanism will be described in detail, it being understood that components associated with compartment 10a are designated by the same reference numerals with the addition of the a notation.

The two compartments are divided by a common wall 12 parallel with the opposite wall 14 of compartment 10 and the opposite wall 14a of compartment 10a. A plurality of horizontal rods 16 extend through wall 12, 14 and 14a, together with a pair of horizontal rods 18.

Referring particularly to FIG. 2, it may be seen that compartment 10 is provided with a plurality of elongated, J-shaped sheet members 20 of identical configuration, two of the members 20 being fully shown. Each member has a linear stretch 22 integral with an arcuate stretch 24 which defines a concavity 26. Each member is attached to three of the rods 16, adjacent members being disposed such that their linear stretches 22 are inclined in opposite directions. Furthermore, the linear stretch 22 of each member 20 extends partially into the concavity 26 defined by the arcuate stretch 24 of the adjacent member 20 therebelow. Thus, a serpentine support ramp is presented for the .articles A, thereby forming the latter into a serpentine stack.

A generally semicircular sheet 28 receives the articles gravitating from the stretch 22 of the lowermost member 20 and directs such articles downwardly onto an inclined dispensing platform 30 secured to walls 12 and 14. A control mechanism 32 is mounted adjacent platform 30 and includes a gate 34, a stop 36, a vend solenoid 38 having an armature 40, a link 42 interconnecting armature 40 and stop 36, and coil springs 44 and 46 coupled with gate 34 and stop 36, respectively (FIG. 4).

Gate 34 is swingable on a pivot rod 48 extending between walls 12 and 14, spring 44 being telescoped over rod 48 with its ends connected to the gate in a manner to bias the latter toward the stand-by or closed position shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. Platform 30 is rectangular in configuration and extends lengthwise in the direction of the line of fall of the articles A. A cutout or opening 50 communicates with the lower edge of platform 30 and receives gate 34 when the same is closed. The gate is provided with a blocking element 52 in the form of a plate which engages the lowermost article A when the gate is closed. Movement of the gate under the bias of spring 44 is limited by a pair of opposed cars 54 which shift into engagement with the underside of platform 30 adjacent its lower edge.

A pivot rod 56 extends between walls 12 and 14 in parallelism with rod 48 and mounts stop 36 for swinging movement from a stand-by position shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, to an operated position shown in FIG. 3 Where the stop engages the next to the lowermost article A. Stop 36 is constructed of sheet metal, the upper edge thereof being bent over to form a lip or projection 58 which extends upwardly through a rectangular opening 59 in platform 30 and engages the next to the lowermost article when the stop is in the FIG. 3 position. A pair of opposed side flanges 60 of stop 36 serve to mount an axle 62 adjacent the lower edge of the stop which rotatably carries a pair of rollers 64 engagea-ble with a pair of opposed, laterally extending tabs 66 of gate 34. In this manner, the rollers 64 serve to lock gate 34 in its closed position when the stop is in its stand-by position.

A plate member 68 extends in parallelism with platform 30 and is provided with a pair of upwardly extending side flanges 70, each having a pair of slots 72 and 74- therein receiving rods 18. A leaf spring 76 overlies the lower or forwardmost rod 18 and has one of its ends secured to the upper side of plate member 68. As is clear in FIGS. 2 and 3, the ends of each slot 74 are notched to provide a catch for the rod 18 extending therethrough When the rod is at either end of slot 74. Thus, two positions of plate member 68 are provided depending on the desired spacing between member 68 and platform 30. The bias of spring 76 holds member 68 in either position until manual pressure is applied to change the position thereof.

A solenoid hold switch 78 and a sold-out switch 80 are illustrated in FIGS. 2-4 and shown schematically in FIG. 6. The actuator arm 82' of switch 78 is released by stop 36 when the latter is shifted to its article-retaining position (FIG. 3), the actuator arm 84 of soldout switch 80 being disposed so as to be responsive to the presence of articles behind projection 58. In FIG. 4 it may be seen that arm 84 extends into a clearance aperture 86 in platform 30, FIG. 3 illustrating the. position of arm 84 when all of the articles have been dispensed from the compartment.

The various control components of the two mechanisms illustrated in FIG. 1 are shown schematically in FIG. 6. The sold-out switches 80 and 80a are of the singlepole double-throw type and are each shown in the position which does not correspond to a sold-out condition. Operating voltage for the components is supplied by a pair of lines 88 and 90, additional components not previously described comprising a single-pole double-throw vend credit switch 92; a coin return electromagnet 94; a credit relay 96 having a relay coil 98 and three relay switches 100, 102 and 104; a normally closed delivery switch 106; a pair of push button operated selector switches 108 and 108a having movable poles 110 and 112 and 110a and 112a respectively; and sold-out lights 114 and 114a operated by sold-out Switches 80 and 80a. The delivery switch106 is located in the delivery chute adjacent the customer access station and is momentarily opened by a vended article regardless of the compartment of its origin. It should also be understood that credit switch 92, electromagnet 94 and credit relay 96 form a part of conventional coin-control mechanism not shown in fullherein. It will be appreciated, of course, that the coin-control mechanism and associated control circuitry may be omitted if operation of the apparatus as a dis pensing machine without the deposit of coinage is desired.

The various switches illustrated in FIG. 6 are shown in normal positions corresponding to stand-by operation of the apparatus prior to depositof coinage and vending of a selected article. The electromagnet 94 is normally energized since it is the function of this device to return coins to the depositor upon de-energization, which will occur when the credit relay coil 98 is energized or during the time that one of the selector switches is being operated.

In operation, deposit of a coin of appropriate (161101111? nation momentarily engages the credit switch 92 with its righthand contact to energize credit relay coil 98. This establishes a holding circuit through delivery switch 106 and relay switch 100. The customer may then select the desired article by depressing one of the selector switches 108 or 108a. Assumingthat switch 108 is depressed, vend solenoid 38 is energized by the closure of switch 112 via a current path through switches 112a, 78, 78a, and 102. This swings stop 36 from the position shown in FIG. 2 to the position shown in FIG. 3 and, during initial movement of the stop, releases gate 34 by disengagement'of rollers 64 from tabs 66. Movement of stop 36 toward the FIG. 3 position also releases arm 82, thereby shifting the movable pole of switch 78 into engagement with its n'ghthand contact to establish a holding circuit for vend solenoid 38 should the selector switch 108 be released by the customer. The weight of the lowermost article A immediately swings gate 34 to the open position, whereupon the article gravitates from platform 30 into a delivery chute (not shown) toward the customer access station.

During this time, the projection 58 of stop 36 is in engagement with the next to the lowermost article A to retain this article and hence the remainder of the stack against gravitation down the line of fall of the platform. Should the lowermost article, for some reason, become lodged or move slowly down the inclined platform, projection 58 also serves to impart a kick or push to the lowermost article to assure that it will rapidly gravitate from platform 30.

As the vended article approaches the customer access I station, delivery switch 106 momentarily opened,-ther by breaking the holding circuit to credit relay coil 98, thereby de-energizing the latter. This, in turn, by virtue of the reopening of switch 102,'breaks the holding circuit to vend solenoid 38 and permits stop 36 to return to its stand-by position under the bias of spring 46. Prior to this time, however, gate 34 under the action of spring 44, hasalready returned to its closed position. Therefore, when stop 36 reaches its stand-by position illustrated in FIG. 2, rollers 64 move into engagement with tabs 66 to latch gate 34 in the closed position.

The adjustability of plate member 68 is an important feature since articles gravitating along the surface of platform 30 tend to ride over projection 58 due to their weight unless their upward movement is restricted. There fore, the plate member 68 isshifted into closely spaced relationship to the articles on the platform and is adjustably mounted as shown so that its position may be varied in accordance with the diameters of the particular articles loaded in the compartment. This is particularly important in canned beverage dispensers where cans of various diameters will be encountered depending onthe particular beverage.

Additionally, the compartments of the instant invention are readily fabricated to the desired height through the use of identical sheet members 20. Note that compartments of various heights may be fabricated from rods 16 and members 20 simply by utilizing sidewalls of the (le sired height and employing the number ofrods 16 and members 20 needed.

Having thus described theinvention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

Apparatus for dispensing articles from a stack thereof comprising:

an inclined platform for supporting said articles for gravitational movement of successive articles to a consumer access station;. an article release gate; means mounting said gate adjacent said platform for movement, under the weight of the lowermost article on said platform, from a closed position retaining said lowermost article, and hence said stack, against gravitational movement, to an open position permitting gravitation of said lowermost article from said platform; a stop; means mounting said stop adjacent said platform for movement between an actuated disposition engaging the next to the lowermost article on said platform, and a normal disposition clearing said articles,

said stop having means engageable with said gate for latching the latterin said closed position when said stop is in said normal disposition;

control means coupled with said stop for shifting the latter from said normal to said actuated disposition thereof to release said gate and holdsaid next to the lowermost article, and hence said stack, against gravitation, whereby the lowermost article is dispensed while the remaining articles of said stackare re-.

tained by said stop; and

first yieldable means coupled with said gate and biasing the latter toward said closed position,

said control means including ,anelectrically operable actuator for elfecting said shifting of the stop to said actuated disposition, second yieldable means coupled with said stop and biasing the latter toward said normal disposition, and circuitry coupled with said actuator for operating the latter and for maintaining the actuator in operation until the lowermost article clears said gate, whereby to permit said first yield able means to close the-gate prior to return movement of the stop to said normal disposition under the action of said second yieldable means.

(References on following page) Royden 221295 Smith 221298 X Gabrielsen 2216 Moeltzner et a1. 221-298 Wilcox 221-295 Nordquist 221-6 Bendot 221298 6 Krakauer et a1. 221-129 X Blake 221-295 Patzer 221295 Haefele et a1. 221-298 FOREIGN PATENTS 10/ 1930 Great Britain.

WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3420404 *Aug 9, 1967Jan 7, 1969Vendo CoSold-out control mechanism for double-depth stack article vender
US3464589 *Mar 22, 1968Sep 2, 1969Dixie Narco IncSerpentine can vender mechanism
US3507419 *Oct 14, 1968Apr 21, 1970Seeburg CorpCan release mechanism
US3737070 *May 20, 1971Jun 5, 1973Vendo CoInclined shelf vending machine
US4136762 *Jul 14, 1977Jan 30, 1979Rosinbaum Jacky RLog dispenser for fireplace
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US4287992 *Feb 21, 1979Sep 8, 1981Shimoda Kogyo, Ltd.Rack structure
US4289254 *Nov 26, 1979Sep 15, 1981La Crosse Cooler CompanyArticle dispenser with cam actuated gate
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U.S. Classification221/298, 221/129, 221/6, 221/242
International ClassificationG07F11/34, G07F11/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/34
European ClassificationG07F11/34
Legal Events
Mar 29, 1982ASAssignment
Effective date: 19820301