|Publication number||US3361506 A|
|Publication date||Jan 2, 1968|
|Filing date||May 24, 1966|
|Priority date||May 24, 1966|
|Publication number||US 3361506 A, US 3361506A, US-A-3361506, US3361506 A, US3361506A|
|Inventors||Newberry Meigs W|
|Original Assignee||Westinghouse Electric Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (15), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Ja 1968 M. w. NEWBERRY VENDING MACHINE COLUMN STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 24, 1966 I INVENTOR Melgs W Newberry Jan. 2, 1968 M. w. NEWBERRY 3,361,506
VENDING MACHINE COLUMN STRUCTURE Filed May 24, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet '2 ZgO I United States Patent ()fiice 3,361,506 Patented Jan. 2, 1968 3,361,506 VENDING MACHINE COLUMN STRUCTURE Meigs W. Newberry, Springfield Mass., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed May 24, 1966, Ser. No. 552,538 1 Claim. (Cl. 312-45) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vertical storage column vending machine is provided with at least one respective adjustable rear retaining memher for the articles stored in each column, the rear retaining member being slidably connected in vertically spaced slots of a column sidewall, the slots being downwardly inclined towards the front of the column and the lower ends of the retaining member being flexible to conform to sidewall curvatures at the lower ends of the column.
Vending machines having one or more vertical article storage columns are well known. One form of conventional storage column is comprised of first and second spaced generally parallel and generally vertical side walls with the forward edges of the side walls having flanges extending inwardly towards each other to retain articles in the column against lateral and forward movements. If the column is desinged to contain cans for example, a rearward retaining means is also provided in the column to abut the ends of the cans and retain the cans against rearward movement. It is desirable to adjust the position of the rearward retaining means in order to adjust the column structure to contain cans or articles of dilferent length. Since the refilling of a vending machine is a routine service performed frequently, and since it may be desirable to change the length of cans or articles being stored for vending during a routine service refilling of the machine, it is very desirable that the column structure rear retaining means be easily and quickly adjustable to accommodate different article lengths.
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a vertical column article storage vending machine with an improved adjustable rear retaining arrangement for the articles in each column.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a simple and quickly adjustable article rear retaining arrangement for a vertically positioned article storage column of a vending machine.
In accordance with the invention, at least one side Wall of a pair of side walls forming a vertical storage column is provided with at least two parallel spaced inclined slots along its wall surface. The slots are inclined downwardly from the rear edge of the side Wall towards the forward edge of the side wall. Each of the side walls having the inclined slots are provided with a respective vertically extending retaining member projecting inwards of the side wall and slidably connected thereto in the inclined slots so that the force of gravity causes the retaining member to move forwards toward the front of the compartment to abut the ends of cans stored therein in retaining relation. Thus, it will be understood that the adjustment of a storage column is easily obtained simply by inserting a can of the desired length in the column causing the rearward retaining member contacted by the rear end of the can to be moved to the required adjusted position against the force of gravity. If desired, thumbscrews or the like may be provided to be tightened to secure the retaining member in an adjusted position.
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 diagrammatic view partly in section through a single vertical column of a vending machine as may be seen looking towards the front of the column;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view taken on the line IIII of FIG. 1 as seen in the direction of the arrow; and
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the rear retaining member in the position assumed for retaining articles or cans of short length.
Referring now to the drawings, it should be understood that the adjustable rear retaining arrangement of the invention is suitable for application to all forms of vertical column vending machines. As shown by FIG. 1 of the drawings, however, the retaining means of the invention is shown as it may be applied to a so-called corded stack vertical column structure in which the side walls of the column are curved at their lower ends to converge inwardly towards each other. In the socalled corded stack column arrangement, the spacing between the vertical side Walls above their curved portions is such as to accommodate two rows of cans in the vertically staggered overlapping corded stack arrangement. It should be understood however that the article retaining means of the invention may be applied with equal advantage to a conventional straight sided vertical storage column adjusted to contain a single vertical row of articles. The rear retaining arrangement of the invention may be used with any form of article releasing gate structure at the lower end of the column and for purposes of the present description such article release gate is shown to be a rotatable cage 10 having article release rods 11, 12 and 13 alternately brought into retaining and releasing engagement with the lowermost article to be vended from the vertical storage column.
The vertical storage column is shown to comprise a pair of side walls 15 and 16 having inwardly extending flanges 17 and 18 along their forward edges to retain articles such as cans 20-22 against lateral and forward movements. At least one of the side walls 15 and '16 and preferably both of the side walls are provided with at least two parallel spaced inclined slots such as the slots 25 and 26. The slot 25 is formed in a reinforcement member 27 that is welded to the side wall 15 while the slot 26 extends through both the side wall 15 and the reinforcement funnel outlet member 30. Obviously the manner of forming and positioning the inclined slots 25 and 26 in the respective side wall 15 may differ from the exact arrangernent shown as will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
The adjustable rear retaining members of the invention are shown at 35 and 36. The rear retaining member 35 for the side wall 15 is slidably connected to the respective inclined slots 25 and 26 by means of pins 37 and 38. Similarly the adjustable rear guide 36 is slidably received in the appropriate slots on the side wall 16 by means of the pins 39 and 40.
It will be noted that the inclined slots 25 and v26, for example, are inclined downwardly from the rear side wall portion 15a towards the front flange 17 of the side wall 15. Thus the rear guide member 35 that is slidably connected within the slots 25 and 26 is normally moved by the force of gravity towards the front of the machine to abut the rear end of the can such as the can 22 shown by FIG. 2 of the drawings. If a short length can such as the can 22a shown by FIG. 3 of the drawings is placed within the vertical column then the adjustable rear guide member 35 will have moved forward in response to the force of gravity to contact the rear end surfaces of the short can 22a and assume the adjusted position shown by FIG. 3 of the drawings. Thus it can be readily seen that to accommodate a long length article or for that matter any length of can, it is only necessary to insert such article or can into the column structure and the rear retaining member or members 35, 36 will be automatically repositioned to the required position for abutting the ends of such length cans to be stored. A respective thumbscrew (not shown) may be provided to be tightened to secure the respective rear retaining members 35 or 36 in an adjusted position and when changing the machine to accommodate a different size can it is only necessary to loosen the thumbscrew so that the rear guide member 35 or 36 will move under the force of gravity against the end of the can to be stored in the desired retaining relation. Also if desired, spring means (not shown) may be provided to interconnect the adjustable rear retaining members 35 and 36 with stationary portions of the compartment structure in a manner to add to the force of gravity in moving the retaining members 35 or 36 towards the forward edges of the compartment walls and the rear ends of the stored articles.
Although onlytwo vertically spaced inclined slots such as the slots 25 and 26 for each vertical wall such as the wall 15 are shown it should be understood that for extremely long columns, additional inclined slots and the associated connecting pins would be provided for each movable rear retaining member.
As shown by FIG. 1 of the drawings the invention has been shown as it is applied to a corded stack column structure in which the lower ends of the side walls 15 and '16 are curved inwardly to converge towards each other to provide a single article outlet width. When the adjustable rear retaining member 35 or 36 of the invention is applied to such a corded stack column structure, it is desirable to provide a respective resilient finger extension 35a or 36a on the lower end of the respective rear retaining member 35 or 35. Each resilient finger extension such as the extension 35a will be sprung inwardly as the respective retaining member 35 is moved forward and downwardly along the path of the inclined slots 25 4 and 26 to thus conform to the inward curved lower ends of the side wall 15.
Various modifications will occur to those skilled in the art.
I claim as my invention:
-1. In a vending machine having at least one vertical column structure for storing articles to be vended, the column structure comprising first and second spaced generally parallel and generally vertically extending side walls that are curved at their lower ends to converge towards each other, said side walls having flanges extending inward towards each other along their forward edges to retain articles in the column against forward movement, at least one of said side walls having at least two parallel spaced slots therein downwardly inclined from the rear edge towards the forward edge, and a respective vertically extending retaining member for a respective one of said side walls slidably connected in respective slots of the side wall to extend inwardly of the column to be movable by the force of gravity against the rear ends of the articles stored in the column to thereby adjust for different length articles to be stored, the lower end of each respective retaining member being comprised of a flexible finger to conform to the curvature at the lower end of the respective side wall when the retaining member is moved along the path defined by the inclined slots upon adjustment of the retaining member for storing different length articles.
References Cited 9/1962 Mortara 312-43 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.
DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Examiner.
JAMES L. KOH NEN, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||312/45, 221/242|
|International Classification||G07F11/08, G07F11/04|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F11/08, G07F11/007|
|European Classification||G07F11/00D, G07F11/08|