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Publication numberUS3355064 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1967
Filing dateDec 22, 1966
Priority dateDec 22, 1966
Publication numberUS 3355064 A, US 3355064A, US-A-3355064, US3355064 A, US3355064A
InventorsSchlaf Stanley O
Original AssigneeSchlaf Stanley O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Merchandise dispensing machine module including a helical article discharge means
US 3355064 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1967 s. o. SCHLAF 3,355,064

MERCHANDISE DISPENSING MACHINE MODULE INCLUDING A HELICAL ARTICLE DISCHARGE MEANS Filed Dec. 22, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG 1957 s. o. SCHLAF 3,355,064

MERCHANDISE DISPENSING MACHINE MODULE INCLUDING A HELICAL ARTICLE DISCHARGE MEANS Filed Dec. 22, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,a wfmw United States Patent 3,355,064 MERCHANDISE DISPENSING MACHINE MODULE INCLUDING A HELICAL ARTICLE DISCHARGE MEANS Stanley 0. Schlaf, Rte. 1, Box 233,

Winfield, Mo. 63389 Filed Dec. 22, 1966, Ser. No. 603,823 Claims. (Cl. 221-14) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improvement in a dispensing or vending machine having replaceable dispensing modules with a motorized drive behind a support panel and a helix shaped dispensing and merchandise supporting helix protruding from the front side of the panel. An integral, one piece hollow plastic member combines a socket portion journaled in the support panel for receiving the helix, a gear portion for driving the helix when the motor is actuated and a cam portion for deenergizing the motor. The helix is a one piece wire spring having closely adjacent flattened turns on the rear end snugly engaging the socket. A one piece wire sold out switch actuator and security member is pivotally mounted in a bracket above the helix with the outer end engaging and extending beyond the outermost package with a depending finger on the inboard end to engage a sold out switch to prevent energization of the motor when the helix is devoid of merchandise.

The present invention is a continuationdn-part of my copending application Serial No. 416,966, filed Dec. 3, 1964, now Patent No. 3,294,281, issued Dec. 27, 1966, which in turn was a continuation-in-part of application Serial No. 269,320, filed Apr. 1, 1963, now abandoned.

In my copending application Serial No. 416,966 I have disclosed particular embodiments of a replaceable motor driven merchandise vend module which is reniovably mounted on a support panel and is engagea-ble witha helix shaped dispensing and merchandise supporting screw which projects from the front side of the panel. In the present application I am claiming improved constructions in the mechanism of Serial No. 416,966 which results in economics of manufacture and assembly and more reliable and practical operation.

Summary of the invention Briefly, the present invention comprises a one piece plastic member positioned within the module and combining a cylindrical receptacle journaled in a support panel, a gear portion engageable with the drive means to rotate the receptacle and a cam portion projecting out of the gear casing and engage-able with a cam to deenergize the drive means after a predetermined period of activation. The invention further comprises a one piece wire dispensing helix having closely adjacent turns on the inboard end with the top surface of the turns flattened t-o frictionally engage the receptacle. In addition, the invention comprises the construction of the gear casingand motor box and in the provision of a one piece sold out switch activator and security member which is simply assembled and manufactured.

Further aspects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent hereinafter.

Description of the drawings In the drawings, wherein like numbers refer to like parts wherever they occur: I

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view ofthe present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front view showing a single module;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a sold out switch and security bar;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view partly in section showing a single vend module;

FIG. 6 is a Sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 88 of FIG. 6 with part of the gear casing broken away;

FIG. 9 is a back view partly in section of the module with part of the housing broken away;

FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view of the one piece socket, gear and cam;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary elevational view of the spindle, and

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary elevational view of the switch mechanism with the cam follower in its active position and the sold out switch in an inactive position.

Detailed description of the invention FIG. 1 shows the present invention embodied in aveuding machine 15] or merchandise dispensing device.

As may be seen in detail in FIG. 1, a support panel 11 is mounted in the dispensing machine 10. A plurality of modules 12 are positioned on the back surface of the panel 11 thereof with a hollow hub 13 projecting through the panel 11 and having means 14 fastened to the hub 13 and bearing against the front surface of the panel 11 to fix the module 12 to the panel 11.

In the present arrangement (FIG. 6) the hub 13 is part of a back wall 15 having upturned edges 16 (FIG. 5)

and a sheet metal cover 17 having wrap-around edges 7a (FIG. 8) is engageable with the edges 16 to close the back of the module 12. The wall 15 forms the front closure panel for an open faced gear casing 18. Screws 19 positioned through the back wall 15 are threaded into bosses 20 cast in the gear casing 18 to secure the parts together. The screws 19 bear against the back side of the support panel 11. Positioned within the gear casing 18 is a series of plastic gears 21 which are engageable with the output shaft 22 of an electric motor 23. The motor windings 24 are mounted on the outside of the gear casing 18 and the output shaft 22 extends into the gear casing 18. When the motor 23 is energized, the rotor 25 is pulled into the gear casing 18 and engages the gears 21 mounted therein.

These gears 21 rotate and drive a one piece plastic member 26 which has a gear portion 27 inside the gear casing 18 adjacent to the inner surface of the wall 15 and a cylindrical portion 28 which is rotatably journaled in the hub 13. Also forming a portion of the member 26 is a cam portion 29 which extends through the gear casing 18. The cylindrical portion 28 is provided with a counterbored receptacle 30 which terminates in an inwardly di-. rected positioning slot 31. A bearing washer 32 is positioned between an internal shoulder 33 of the member 26 and the inner surface of the back wall of the gear case 18.

The merchandise retaining and dispensing spindle 34 is a helix shaped one piece spring Wire with spaced convolutions over a major portion of its length but with closely adjacent engaged windings 35 at its inboard end. The outer surfaces 36 of the closely adjacent windings 35 are flattened and frictionally engage the internal counterbore 30 of the cylindrical portion 28. An inwardly projecting finger 37 engages the slot 31 and is adapted to position the outboard end 38 (FIG. 5) of the helix 34 at about the 3 oclock position (as measured facing the helix) to lessen the possibility that merchandise can be shaken off the end of the helix 34.

A cam follower 39 is pivotally mounted at 40 on the gear casing 18 and is urged by a spring 41 against the cam surface 29 of the one piece member 26. When the gear portion 27 is rotated as the motor 23 is energized, the cam portion 29 rotates to pivot the cam follower 39 which moves a switch 42 into engagement with a contact 43 to provide a holding circuit for the motor 23. This circuit maintains the motor 23 energized until a complete revolution of the member 26 is made, at which time the cam follower 39 drops and the switch contact 42-43 is broken to deenergize the motor 23. The operation of this circuit is more thoroughly shown and described in application Serial No. 416,966. The motor 23 may be energized by dropping a coin into the mechanism and pushing a selector button a. Also, the circuitry can be arranged so that the motor is energized merely by pushing a selector button 10a.

A support bracket 44 is mounted on the front face of the support panel 11 and is provided with opposed openings 45 and 45a above the helix 34. Fitted into the openings 45 and 45a is a security rod and sold out switch actuator 46. The security rod and sold out switch actuator 46 is a one piece wire member having a free end 47 inturned and pivotally mounted in a first bracket opening 45a. Opposed rails 48 and 49 parallel the helix 34 and terminate in downturned portions 48a and 49a connected by a bar 50 which projects beyond the end of the helix 34 to act as a security member and prevent merchandise from being shaken from the helix 34. The rail 48 is connected to the end 47. The rails 48 and 49 engage the outermost merchandise package 51 to sense the presence of this package 51. The second rail 49 is connected to an inwardly directed portion 52, which is pivotally mounted in the second bracket opening 45, and turns to a downwardly directed leg 53 connected to an inwardly directed switch actuating finger 54 and terminates in a curled end 55 which is aligned with a sold out switch push-button 56 movable through a bushing 57 mounted on the wall and projecting into the support panel 11. The opposite end of the push-button 56 is aligned with a switch 58 which will interrupt current through the contact 59 to the motor 23 when the helix 34 is emptied of merchandise and the sensing bar 46 drops downwardly so that the finger 54 engages the push-button 56 to move the switch 58 rightwardly in FIG. 12 and prevent energization of the motor 23. The circuit and operation too are further described in Serial No. 416,966.

Thus it is apparent that the present invention achieves all of the objects and advantages sought therefor.

The invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the examples of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a merchandise dispensing machine comprising replaceable merchandise dispensing modules mounted on a support panel with drive means mounted in a casing positioned against the back side of the panel, means for energizing the drive means, switch means for deenergizing the drive means when a dispensing cycle has been completed, said switch means including a cam and cam follower, a hollow hub connected to the casing and projecting through the panel, retainer means connected to the hub and bearing against the front side of the panel to fasten the modules to the panel, and helix shaped dispensing and merchandise supporting rod means projecting from the front side of the panel, the improvement comprising:

(a) an integral one piece hollow member having a cylindrical leading portion whose outer surface is journaled in the hollow hub, a gear portion engageable with the drive means and positioned within the casing and the aforesaid cam portion projecting from the casing, and a counterbored receptacle in the leading portion, and

(b) the dispensing and merchandise supporting rod is a one piece wire helix having closely adjacent windings at the trailing edge and spaced windings over the major portion of its length, the top surfaces of the said windings being flattened to a size to frictionally engage the counterbored receptacle to fasten the helix to the hollow member.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the counterbore terminates in an inwardly directed positioning notch and the helix has an inwardly projecting tail engageable in the notch to position the leading edge of the helix in approximately the 3 oclock position when facing the helix.

3. The device of claim 1 including a motor box comprising a back panel positioned against the support panel and having upturned edges, an outer cover engaged with the edges of the back panel, the back panel forming the closure for a gear casing mounting the gear portion of the hollow member, the hub being on the back panel, an electric motor mounted on the outside of the gear casing and having an output shaft extending into the gear casing and engageable with a gear train positioned therein, said gear train engaging the gear portion of the hollow member, said cam follower pivotally mounted on the outside of the gear casing and engageable with the cam portion of the hollow member and movable therewith, and said switch means mounted on the back panel and operated by the cam follower to interrupt current to the motor and deenergize the motor after a predetermined period of activation.

4. The structure of claim 1 including sold out switch means comprising a push rod movable through the support panel and engageable with switch means positioned on the back side thereof to prevent current flow to the drive means when the spindle is devoid of merchandise, and means for actuating the push rod comprising:

-(a) a bracket mounted on the front of the panel, said bracket having outwardly directed flanges on each side of the helix, and opposed openings in the flanges positioned above the helix,

('b) and an integral one piece security bar and sold out lever having a rodlike shape with an inturned free end positioned in one bracket opening, opposed side rails positioned above the merchandise packages on the helix, and resting on the outermost package, and a downturned connecting bar connecting the outermost ends of the rails, the second rail terminating in an inwardly directed portion positioned in the second bracket opening, and a downwardly directed push rod actuator having a curled end aligned with the push rod and adapted to move the push rod through the support when the helix is emptied of merchandise.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the counterbore terminates in an inwardly directed positioning notch and the helix has an inwardly projecting tail engageable in the notch to position the leading edge of the helix in approximately the 3 oclock position when facing the helix, a motor box comprising aback panel positioned against the support panel and having upturned edges, an outer cover engaged with the edge of the back panel, the back panel forming the closure for a gear casing mounting the gear portion of the hollow member, the hub being on the back panel, an electric motor mounted on the outside of the gear casing and having an output shaft extending into the gear casing and engageable with a gear train positioned therein, said gear train engaging the gear portion of the hollow member, the cam follower pivotally mounted on the outside of the gear casing and engageable with the cam portion of the hollow member and movable therewith, and said switch means mounted on the back panel and operated by the cam follower to interrupt current to the motor and deenergize the motor after a predetermined period of activation, and a sold out switch means comprising a push rod movable through the support panel and engageable with switch means positioned on the back side thereof to prevent current flow to the drive means when the spindle is devoid of merchandise,

and means for actuating the push rod comprising:

(a) a bracket mounted on the front of the panel, said bracket having outwardly directed flanges on each side of the helix, and opposed openings in the flanges positioned above the helix,

(b) and an integral one piece security bar and sold out lever having a rodlike shape with an inturned free end positioned in one bracket opening, opposed side rails positioned above the merchandise packages on the helix, and resting on the outermost package, and a downtumed connecting bar connecting the outermost ends of the rails, the second rail terminating in an inwardly directed portion positioned in the second bracket opening, and a downwardly directed push rod actuator having a curled end aligned with the push rod and adapted to move the push rod through the support when the helix is emptied of merchandise.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1122365 *Mar 11, 1914Dec 29, 1914Charles F BurchConveyer mechanism.
US1195963 *May 28, 1914Aug 29, 1916 Card-delivering device eor vending-machines
US2719651 *Nov 18, 1950Oct 4, 1955Rowe Mfg Co IncRefrigerated package vending machine
US3036730 *Aug 29, 1958May 29, 1962Westinghouse Electric CorpDispensing apparatus
US3085711 *Aug 23, 1961Apr 16, 1963Nat Vendors IncVending machine
US3174646 *Sep 17, 1962Mar 23, 1965Vendo CoMechanism for vending articles from inclined support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3572546 *Dec 30, 1968Mar 30, 1971Schlaf Stanley OCellular magazine-type article dispensing machine
US3601281 *Feb 18, 1969Aug 24, 1971Schlaf Stanley OVending machine with screw conveyor-type cellular magazine
US3690510 *May 10, 1971Sep 12, 1972Vendmart IncConveying rod for vending machines
US3731841 *Mar 30, 1971May 8, 1973Schlaf SVending machine with screw conveyor type cellular magazine
US3734345 *Jun 2, 1971May 22, 1973Garner LProduct vending apparatus
US4560088 *May 11, 1984Dec 24, 1985Tan Larry KVending machine with dispensing operating system movable in X-Y coordinate axes
US4638922 *Jun 6, 1985Jan 27, 1987Stoco Industries, Inc.Shake compensated hole-punched product vending system
US6021626 *Jul 31, 1997Feb 8, 2000Goodvest CorporationForming, packaging, storing, displaying, and selling clothing articles
US6217273 *May 29, 1998Apr 17, 2001Exper S.A.S. Di Peroni G.&C.Method and apparatus for transferring objects
US6499270Jan 5, 2001Dec 31, 2002Pyxis CorporationMethod and apparatus for transferring objects
US7287669 *Mar 17, 2005Oct 30, 2007Aruze Corp.Article transfer device
DE2142389A1 *Aug 24, 1971Mar 1, 1973Stanley Orville SchlafVerkaufsvorrichtung
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/14, 221/129, 221/75
International ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/42, G07F11/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/42, G07F11/46
European ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/42