|Publication number||US3361505 A|
|Publication date||Jan 2, 1968|
|Filing date||May 24, 1966|
|Priority date||May 24, 1966|
|Also published as||DE1574277A1|
|Publication number||US 3361505 A, US 3361505A, US-A-3361505, US3361505 A, US3361505A|
|Inventors||Newberry Meigs W|
|Original Assignee||Westinghouse Electric Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (14), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
M. W. NEWBERRY Jan. 2, 1968 VENDING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 24, 1966 FIG-l.
M. W. NEWBERRY VENDING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 24, 1966 r 0 m" m m" m r m m B a 5 w \L F a E F m m 1 w L w -&- ----m m 5 FIG.6.
United States Patent C 3,361,505 VENDING MACHINE Meigs W. Newberry, Springfield, Mass., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed May 24, 1966, Ser. No. 552,461 1 Claim. (Cl. 312-45) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vending machine having vertically positioned side by side article storage columns, each column having first and second vertically positioned spaced side guide members with adjustment means to simultaneously adjust both the vertical and horizontal position of one of said guide members in a predetermined relation.
In the copending patent application, Ser. No. 442,664 in the name of Meigs W. Newberry, filed Mar. 25, 1965, and assigned to the same assignee as the subject patent application, there is disclosed a corded stack storage compartment arrangement for a bottle or can vending machine in which the individual storage columns are formed of pairs of opposed side guide members having converging lower portions to converge the corded stack columns of articles to a single column of articles at the lower dispensing or vending end. In view of the many different sizes of cans, bottles or other circular cross-sectional articles that may be vended, it has been found desirable to enable the storage compartment of a can or bottle vending machine to be adjustable either to contain circular articles of a large diameter or articles of a smaller diameter.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved compartment arrangement for a vending machine that may be adjustable to contain respective different diameter articles of circular cross-section during respective different storage times.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved corded stack column storage compartment arrangement of the type using converging article guide members at the sides of the compartment similar to that shown in the aforementioned pending application but having an arrangement for adjusting the spacing between each pair of guides so that a different size of article of circular cross-section may be stored in corded stack relation during different storage times.
In accordance with the invention as it relates to a corded stack vending machine, each corded stack funnelshaped column of a multiple column storage compartment is comprised of a pair of elongated side guide members secured to the compartment frame structure in generally vertical positions spaced from each other. The securing means for at least one of the guide members is adjustable to enable the spacing between pairs of guides to be changed to thereby accommodate a different diameter size of circular cross-sectional article in corded stack relation. Since each pair of giude members are curved at their lower ends to converge towards each other to reduce the corded stack of articles to single article outlet spacing, it is a feature of the present invention that the adjustable securing means is so constructed and arranged that each movable guide member is moved simultaneously both vertically and horizontally in a predetermined relation to the fixed position of the article releasing gate at the lower end of the column when the spacing between each pair of side guides is changed to change the storage stack to accommodate a different size of articles for vending.
According to a presently preferred embodiment of the invention as used with a multiple stack vending machine having a plurality of side-by-side columns, one guide of each pair of sid guides for each column is fixedly and non-adjustably secured to the compartment frame structure while the other guide element of each pair of guides is adjustably secured to a fixed guide element of a next adjacent pair of side guide elements forming an adjacent side-by-side column structure. Alternatively, the movable and adjustable one of each pair of side guide members may be adjustably secured to a fixed intermediate member or support of the frame structure instead of to and adjacent non-adjustable fixed guide element.
Another important feature of the invention is the simple arrangement of adjustable securing elements which may comprise a pin on the adjustable guide member received in an inclined slot on either an extension of a next adjacent fixed guide element or the intermediate frame structure so that the movement of an adjustable guide element during its adjustment is constrained to follow the path of the inclined slot to thereby be moved simultaneously in both horizontal and vertical directions in a predetermined manner or relation. Obviously, it is immaterial whether the pin be secured to the adjustable guide member or the slot be formed on the adjustable guide member and vice versa.
Various other 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 fragmentary front elevational View, partly in section, of a vending machine embodying the adjustable compartment guide structures and showing two side-by-side column structures for corded stacks of articles with the righthand column structure adjusted to contain a smaller size of articles of circular cross-section than the left-hand column structure;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-section generally on the line IIII of FIG. 1 but taken at the front of the column structure;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross'sectional view along the line III-III of FIG. 1 and otherwise similar to FIG. 2 of the drawings;
FIG. 4 is a cross-section along the line IVIV of FIG. 1 extending from front to back through the guide structure of the storage compartment;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view looking from left to right of the portion of the frame structure shown by FIG. 2 of the drawings;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary simplified view of a modified form of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but taken on the line VIIVII of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but taken on the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 6 showing the second embodiment of the invention.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 through 5 of the drawings, the presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described in detail. It should be understood that details of the complete vending machine embodying the column guide structure of the invention have been omitted for sake of clarity and only such details as are necessary for an understanding of the present invention are shown. For example, the gating mechanism at the lower end of each corded stack column of articles which is operated during each vending operation to release a single lowermost article for vending is not shown in detail. However, such gate mechanism may comprise a star wheel device such as generally shown at 10 rotatable about the axis 19 and having article releasing rods 11, 12 and 13 for articles at the front of the corded stack, such as the article 15 shown by FIG. 4 of the drawings,
together with other article releasing rods 16, 17 and 18 for controlling the release of articles at the rear of the corded stack column, such as the article 2%) shown by FIG. 4 of the drawings. Thus, in effect, each column of corded stack articles is in reality a tandem stack of front and back corded stack columns of articles such as the cans, for example shown at 15 and 26 by FIG. 4 of the drawings. The tandem columns of articles may be kept separated from each other by a floating spacer mem'- ber 21, such as shown by FIG. 4 of the drawings, and it will be understood that ditferent lengths of cans may be accommodated in the corded stack column by simply changing the size of the floating vertical spacer member 21 to alarger size, for example, such as shown by dotted outline at 22 when accommodating the smaller length cans that are also shown by the dotted outline at 25 and.
30. Referring again to the gating member or star wheel 10, it will be seen that the forward release rods 11, 12 and 13 and the rearward release rods 16, 17 and 18 are equally angularly spaced with relation to each other in such manner that cans will be vended alternately from the front row and from the rear row for each alternate respective vending operation when the star wheel is rotated an angular amount equal to the angular spacing. For example, the star wheel vending gate 40 for the adjacent right-hand column is shown with a small size can 41 resting on its article release bar 42 in such manner that upon the next vending operation to rotate the star wheel 40 about its axis .-3 by an angular amount equal to the angular spacing between each of the release rods 42, 45, 46, 47 and 48, the can 41 to be caused to be released and vended with the can 49 thereafter supported on article release rod 47 and prevented from being vended. The next angular rotation of the star wheel 40 during a subsequent vend will move the article release bar 47 to the position previously shown to be occupied by the article release bar 42 and the can 49 will be lowered to the position shown by the previouslyvended can 41 ready to be released upon a second subsequent vending operation.
'The details of the arrangement for imparting the requisite angle of rotation to the star wheel gate 40 or the star wheel gate about their respective axis 43 or 19 during each vend operation are not a part of the present invention and are not shown since they may take any well known form to those skilled in the art.
Each column of corded stack articles is formed by a pair of elongated side guide members, such as the guide members 50 and 60 forming the left-hand corded stack column and the guide members 7% and 80 forming the right-hand corded stack column. One of the guide members of the pairs of guide members forming the next adjacent columns, such as the guide elements 90 and 100 are also shown, it being understood that any desired numbers of pairs of elongated guide members may be used to provide the desired number of side-by-side corded stack storage columns within the vending machine cabinet structure. The cabinet structure includes a plurality of internal frame members, most of which are not shown in order to simplify the drawing, but upper and lower rear frame cross members 110 and 111 are shown. Each of the right-hand elongated guide members 98, 69 and 80 of each pair of guide members is fixedly and nonadjustably secured to the cross members 110, 111 of the frame structures, by means of spot welding or the like. According to one preferred form of the invention, each of the left-hand elongated guide members for each pair of guide members forming each side-by-side column structure are adjustably secured to respective ones of the fixed guide members 9%, 60 and 80.
Many arrangements for adjustably securing the movable ones of the pairs of guide element structures, such as the guide elements 50, 70 and 100, may be employed as will be obvious to those skilled in the art, but according to a presently preferred embodiment of the invention,
4. each movable guide element is provided with a pair of extension members such as the members 51 and 52 to which are secured respective pins 53 and 54. A supporting strip, such as shown at 55, is fixedly secured to the fixed non-adjustable guide member and is provided with inclined slots 56, 57 in which the respective pins 53, 54 are received. Similarly, the adjustable guide member 70 is adjustably secured to the fixed guide member 60 by means of the extensions 71 and 72 carrying pins 73 and 74 received in slots 76 and 77 of the supporting strip 75 that is secured to the fixed guide channel 60. It will be noted that the inclined slots, such as shown at 56, 57 and 76, 77 are formed in bumped out portions or recesses 55a and 55b for support member 55 and 75a and 75b for support member 75. The respective extensions 71, 72 or 51 and 52 of the respective adjustable guide members 70 and 5t] are movably received within the respective recesses. As shown by FIG. 2 of the drawings a wing nut W may be threadedly secured to the pin 53 and such wing nut may be tightened or loosened to enable the'position of the movable channel member to be changed and thus secured in the newly adjusted position, as will be obvious to those skilled in the art. Similarly, each of the pins 54, 73 and 74 may also be provided with wing nuts for purposes of securing the guide in a desired adjusted position.
It should now be apparent, that when moving an ad justable one of the elongated guide members 50 or, 70 to change the spacing of the respective pair of side guide members for accommodating a different size article, the adjustable guide member will be moved both horizontally and vertically simultaneously since it will be constrained to follow a predetermined path of movement defined by the pairs of inclined slots, such as the slots 56 and 57 or 76 and 77.
It should be noted that the lower ends of each of'the' pairs of guide members, such as the guide members 50 and 60 or 70 and 80, are curved to converge towards each other and, with the position of the discharge gate fixed by the fixed axis for the discharge gate, such as the axis 19 or 43, the lower end of the movable guide member 50 or 70 is required to be moved upwards as it is moved inward to maintain the desired outlet relationship to the fixed axis of the respective star wheel gate members 10 and 40.
In order to readily predetermine certain adjusted positions for each of the movable guide elements 50 or 70 to accommodate known predetermined different sizes of circular articles, a plurality of alignment apertures, such as shown at and 121 and 122 may be provided on the support strip, such as the support strip 75 that is effectively an extension of the non-adjustable-guide 60. Similar alignment apertures are provided such as shown at 130, 131 and 132, for example, on an extension plate 135 secured to the lower end of the respective adjustable guide member, such as the guide member 70. A locking pin such as shown at 136 may be inserted through any aligned ones of the apertures 120-122 on the fixed supporting strip 75 and the apertures 130432 formed in the extension 135 of the adjustable guide 70, and thus a predetermined adjusted position for the adjustable guide member is easily obtained.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 through 8 of the drawings, a modified arrangement of the invention will be described. In this form of the invention the fixed right-hand guide element is secured to a compartment framework cross members 151 and 151a through a spacer member 152. The left-hand adjustable guide channel member is adjustably secured to a vertically extending support member that is fixedly secured to the frame cross members 151 and 151a. The vertically extending support 170 is provided with a plurality of vertically spaced parallel inclined slots 172 and 173 in which are received the respective pins 174 and 175 carried by the movable elongated guide channel member 160. Upon loosening the wing nut W1 and the corresponding wing nut (not shown) carried on the lower stud 1'3'5, the adjusted position of the movable channel member 160 may be changed, and it will be noted that the inclined slots 172 and 173 will predetermine that the movable guide channel 160 be moved simultaneously both in a horizontal and a vertical direction with a predetermined relation.
Various modifications may occur to those skilled in the art. For example, various arrangements of slots and guide pins and locking devices may be used in place of the presently preferred arrangement of inclined slots and threaded studs. For example, the pins or studs may be secured to the fixed element while the slot may be formed in the movable channel member. The invention is not to be limited to its application to a corded stack structure since the adjustability of the movable channel guide memher in both horizontal and vertical directions simultaneously With a predetermined relation to the vending gate is a desirable feature of the invention, considering the fixed position of the rotational axis, for the vending gate, regardless of Whether or not the articles are maintained in a corded stack relation Within the storage column.
What is claimed is:
1. A vending machine column structure for a stack of articles comprising:
a frame structure;
first and second elongated side guide members for retaining said articles against lateral and endwise movement;
means to secure said first guide member to said frame structure in a generally vertical position;
means to secure said second guide member to said frame structure in a generally vertical position spaced from said first guide member;
at least one of the securing means for said first and second guide members having adjustment elements to simultaneously change both the vertical and horizontal position of the respective guide member in a predetermined relation when adjusted and comprised of a plurality of vertically spaced inclined slots on said frame structure with vertically spaced pins secured to the respective guide member and received in a respective one of said slots;
and locking means for predetermining the adjusted position for an adjustable one of said guide members comprising a plurality of apertures in inclined spaced relation to each other through said frame structure and a plurality of apertures in inclined spaced relation to each other through the adjustable one of said guide members with a lock pin to be rem-ovably positioned through aligned ones of the apertures of the frame structure and the adjustable guide memher at a given adjusted position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 945,126 1/1910 Karr 221-242 2,272,682 2/1942 Srodulski 22l242 X 2,511,099 6/1950 Case 221295 X 3,145,066 8/1964 ONeal 221-242 X BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.
DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Examiner.
J. L. KOHNEN, Assistant Examiner.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US945126 *||Mar 18, 1909||Jan 4, 1910||Vending-machine.|
|US2272682 *||Aug 25, 1939||Feb 10, 1942||Srodulski Joseph W||Vending machine compartment structure|
|US2511099 *||Mar 1, 1946||Jun 13, 1950||Case Co||Means for guiding objects through dispensing machines|
|US3145066 *||Jul 12, 1962||Aug 18, 1964||L W Menzimer||Vending machines|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3437239 *||Sep 15, 1967||Apr 8, 1969||Rock Ola Mfg Corp||Can vending mechanism|
|US3713715 *||Jul 6, 1970||Jan 30, 1973||Kinematics & Controls Corp||Article delivery systems for vending machines|
|US4191296 *||Nov 3, 1976||Mar 4, 1980||Morgan J Robert||Article dispensing rack|
|US5713490 *||Apr 9, 1996||Feb 3, 1998||Royal Vendors, Inc.||Adjustable vending mechanism|
|US6012604 *||Aug 21, 1997||Jan 11, 2000||F.I.C., Inc.||Article ejecting device of automatic vending machine|
|US7404501 *||May 14, 2004||Jul 29, 2008||Dixie-Narco, Inc.||Product positioning mechanism for a vending machine|
|US7823749||Jul 28, 2008||Nov 2, 2010||Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.||Product positioning mechanism for a vending machine|
|US20050252925 *||May 14, 2004||Nov 17, 2005||Maytag Corporation||Product positioning mechanism for a vending machine|
|US20060074524 *||Nov 23, 2005||Apr 6, 2006||Munroe Chirnomas||Method and apparatus for storing articles for use with an article handling device|
|US20090045215 *||Jul 28, 2008||Feb 19, 2009||Paul Hayward Kelly||Product positioning mechanism for a vending machine|
|EP0724240A2 *||Jan 25, 1996||Jul 31, 1996||ROYAL VENDORS, Inc.||Adjustable retainer system for vending machine storage compartments|
|EP0801366A2||Jan 9, 1997||Oct 15, 1997||ROYAL VENDORS, Inc.||Adjustable vending mechanism|
|EP0875869A1 *||Aug 21, 1997||Nov 4, 1998||F.I.C., Inc.||Article ejecting device of automatic vending machine|
|EP0991034A1 *||Jan 12, 1999||Apr 5, 2000||Sanden Corporation||Vending machine with adjustable article storage space|
|U.S. Classification||312/45, 221/242|
|International Classification||G07F11/04, A47F1/10, A47F3/026, A47F3/00, A47F1/00, G07F11/08|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F11/007, G07F11/08, A47F1/10|
|European Classification||G07F11/00D, G07F11/08, A47F1/10|