US 3367346 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1968 R. c. GDANSKI y 3,367,346
COIN S ORTER vFiled oct. 26, 1966 2 sheets-shew l Feb. 6, 1968 R. C. GDANSKI G01N soRTER Filed Oct. 26, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheei f;
United States Patent O COIN SORTER Ronald C. Gdanski, 3 Park Ave. E., Grimsby, Ontario, Canada Filed Oct. 26, 1966, Ser. No. 589,714 Claims priority, application Canada, Oct. 17, 1966, 973,214 15 Claims. (C1. 133-3) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Sorter for coins and similar circular articles, fed at random, and of differing diameters. The articles slide flat along a series of inclined channels, alternating in direction to form a zig-zag, the channels in the same nclined plane. The width of the channels are successively reduced, and a ramp is provided at each corner of the zig-zag to lift the largest size of article reaching that corner. This size then slides into a collecting station, the smaller articles passing to further successive sorting positions.
This invention relates to the sorting of circular articles, for example coins, which are fed at random to be sorted into their various sizes, or denominations.
In coin sorting, it is desirable that the assorted coins should be capable of being fed in bulk and sorted with extreme rapidity. Known forms of coin sorters fall into two main forms, so far as feeding is concerned. One form is fed with coins singly, which is a very slow process. The other form has a hopper or similar receptacle for accepting coins in bulk, but is provided with means for releasing the coins singly, which again restricts the speed of operation. The single feeding is to provide spacing between adjacent coins.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a sorting apparatus which accepts coins and similar circular articles in bulk and rapidly sorts them into their different sizes.
One of the reasons for the feeding of coins singly and spaced apart, in known sorters, is to prevent jamming of coins at various positions in the apparatus. It is another object of the present invention to provide a sorting apparatus which is constructed so as to avoid jamming even when coins are fed so as to be in contact with each other.
A further object is to provide a sorting apparatus in which the articles move Iby gravity and does not require any form of mechanical operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a sorting apparatus in which the articles, after sorting, are stacked ready for removal in known, predetermined numbers.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following description of certain embodiments, by way of example, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan View of one form of sorting apparatus according to the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic side elevation of the apparatus of FIGURE 1, to a smaller scale;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-section on the line 3 3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a cross-section on the line 5 5 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a cross-section on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 7 is a cross-section on the line 7-7 of FIGURE i;
FIGURE 8 Iis a cross-section on the line 8--8 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 9 is a plan view of an alternative form of sorting apparatus in accordance with the invention; and
FIGURE 10 is a cross-section similar to that of FIG- URE 4, illustrating a modification thereof.
As illustrated in FIGURE 1, the apparatus comprises a series of channels, alternating in direction, and all in the same plane. The width of the channels are successively reduced and means are provided at the beginning of each channel to lift one edge of a particular size of coin or similar article. The number of sorting positions will depend on the number of different sizes of articles. Thus if only two sizes are `being sorted, or alternatively, articles are to be sorted only into two fractions, one of those articles above a certain size and the other of those articles at and below that size, only one sorting or sizing position is required. Stated generally, one less sorting, or sizing, position is required than the number of sizes to be sorted.
The arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 1 is for sorting coins of four denominations and sizes, It therefore has three sorting positions but more or less sorting positions can 'be provided, depending on the number of coin sizes to be sorted.
The apparatus comprises a flat base member 1 provided with upstanding side members 2. This provides a rigid structure which can be supported in an inclined position, as indicated in FIGURE 2, to cause the coins to slide down through the apparatus by gravity.
The coins, or similar articles, to be sorted are fed, in bulk, into the feed hopper 4 at the top of the apparatus. The coins slide down into contact with guide 5 which deflects them sideways. While many of the coins will fall flat onto the base 1, some will tend to stand on edge against the guide 5. Such coins could then tend to continue on edge through the apparatus, at least for some way. To prevent this, the upper guiding surface 7 of the guide 5 is inclined to tilt any coins on edge, so that when these coins leave the guide S at its lower end 8, they wall fall fiat. As shown in FIGURE 1, the guiding surface is more steeply inclined at its upper end than at its lower end. This assists in ensuring that coins will fall flat.
The left hand side member 2, as seen in FIGURE 1, has an inclined inner surface 10. This incline assists materially in preventing blocking of the feed to the feed channel 12, It will be appreciated that if two coins sliding in contact arrive at the lowest part of the feed hopper at the same time, they could jam or bridge across the entry .to the 4channel 12. By providing the inclined surface 10 the coin in contact with this surface is lifted on one edge and prevents jamming. If a large number of coins arrive simultaneously, then many will be tilted up on edge and will fall down again into channel 12. The avoidance of jamming is further assisted by the slight drop of the coins in contact with guide 5 into the channel 12.
The guide 5 and the upper part of the left side member 2, with incline 10, act as a funnel to feed the coins into the top end of a feed channel 12 inclined to the longitudinal axis of the apparatus. The feed channel 12 has a bottom surface 13, and two spaced apart side surfaces, 14 and 15. The lower side surface 14 is normal to the base 1 and provides the lower, guiding surface for the coins to roll on. The upper side surface 15 is inclined at an angle to the base 1. The distance between the guide surface 14 and the top limit of inclined guide surface 15 is slightly more than the diameter of the largest coin to be sorted. Preferably, the distance between the guide surface 14 and the bottom limit of the inclined guide surface 15 approximates the diameter of the smallest coin.v The lower side surface 14 may also `be inclined in a similar manner to that of surface 7.
By providing the inclined guide surface 15, coins sliding down channel 12 are supported on the extreme limits of a diameter, with substantially only point contact. This considerably reduces friction and also the production of static electricity which can slow do'wn or even stop the coins. Further, if coins are more than one deep, as the coins roll down the channel 12, they will rock, which assists in causing the coins to assume a single layer.
Feed channel 12 is connected at its lower end to a further feed channel 18 which is also inclined to the longitudinal axis of the apparatus but in the other direction to the inclination of feed channel 12. Feed channel 18 is somewhat similar to channel 12, with a bottom surface 19 and side surfaces 2t) and 21. However, in channel 18, the upper side surface 20 is substantially normal to the bottom surface 19 and it is the lower side surface 21 which is inclined. The inclined surface 21 extends for only part way to ensure coins are fiat before they arrive at the lower end of the channel 18. To provide a guide surface for the coins to roll on, a guide member 22 is provided, extending normal to the base 1.
The action of channel 18 is similar to that of channel 12, the coins rolling with substantially point contact on a diameter, and the coins rocking if more than one deep.
The feed channels 12 and 18, plus the feed hopper 4, serve to reduce the bulk of coins fed into the hopper 4 into a continuous stream of coins, rolling along one behind the other in very close proximityeven touching. Depending upon the length of feed channel provided, the coins will be more or less effectively reduced to a single layer. It is a matter of economics in size of apparatus whether sufiicient length of feed channel is provided, or whether some other provision is made for removing any coins still on top of the bottom layer, after reaching the end of the feed channel.
In the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE l, an overflow channel is provided at 25. The overflow channel 25 is situated below the bend 26 connecting the lower end of feed channel 18 to the upper end of the first sorting channel 27. The bend 26 has an outer concave surface 28 and an inner convex surface 29. The form of the inner surface 29 will be described later. The outer surface 28 has a short vertical portion of a height slightly less than a coin, and an inclined portion. Any coins carried on top of the bottom coin layer will slide over and fall down into the overflow channel 25. The `bottom ycoin layer is guided round by the vertical portion of surface 28 to enter the upper end of the first sorting channel 27. Sorting channel 27 is inclined to the longitudinal axis of the apparatus, in the opposite direction to feed channel 18.
The width of the feed channel 18 is equal to, and preferably slightly more than, the diameter of the largest coin. The first sorting channel 27 has a bottom surface 30 and spaced apart side surfaces 31 and 32. The distance between the side surfaces 31 and 32 is less than the width of the largest coin. Specifically, in using the present invention to sort coins of 1, 5d, 10d and 9.5a values, the feed channels are slightly wider than a 25 coin, and in the present embodiment, the first sorting channel is slightly wider than a coin but narrower than a 25e coin.
Referring now to the inner convex surface 29, this connects the guide surface of guide member 22, on feed channel 18, and the upper side surface 32 of sorting channel 27. The convex surface 29 extends for the transition between the wider feed channel 18 and the narrower sorting channel 27. If the convex surface was always normal to the bottom surface 19 and 30, the largest coins would jam. However, the convex surface 29 has a ramp 33 formed on it, this ramp being the sorting feature of this invention. As coins pass round the bend 26, they will roll in contact with the convex surface 28. Any coins of smaller diameter than the largest, e.g., ln, 5,'. and 10g? coins, will pass freely into sorting channel 27, The larger coins, e.g., 25g? coins, will have one edge lifted by the ramp 33 and these coins will roll down sorting channel 27 with one edge in Contact with surface 31 and the other edge extending over surface 32.
The lower end of sorting channel 27 is connected to the upper end of a second sorting channel 36 on the base member 1, by a bend 37. Sorting channel 36 is inclined to the longitudinal axis of the apparatus, in the opposite direction to that of the first sorting channel 27. The second sorting channel has a bottom surface 38 and spaced apart side surfaces 39 and 40. The bend 37 has an outer concave surface 41 and an inner convex surface 42. The width of the second sorting channel is slightly less than that of the first sorting channel, e.g., slightly less than a 5 coin and slightly wider than a le coin.
Two events occur at bend 37. The largest coins, which have been rolling down, guided on the lower edge by surface 31 and resting on the top of surface 32, slide, under gravity, on fiat surface 43 into a first collection station 44. Formed on the inner convex surface 42, of the bend 37, is a ramp 45. This ramp acts in the same manner as the ramp 33. At this position, the next largest coins have one edge lifted up, e.g., the 5e coins. The remaining, smaller coins slide down channel 38 between surfaces 39 and 40. The next larger coin, with its edge lifted, passes down channel 38 with one edge rolling on side surface 40 and its other edge extending over surface 39.
A further, third, sorting channel 47 is positioned below channel 38. It is inclined in the opposite direction to that of channel 38. The lower part of channel 38 is connected to the upper part of channel 47 by a bend 48, having an outer concave surface 49 and an inner convex surface 50. A ramp 51 is formed on the convex surface 50.
At bend 48, the next largest coins, guided on one edge by surface 40 and extending over the surface 39, drop down into a second collection station 52. Also the ramp 51 lifts the edge of the next coins down in size, e.g., the le coins. The channel 47 is of a width a little less than the diameter of the le coins and a little more than the diameter of the 10d: coins.
At the lower end of channel 47 is a bend 53 where the le coins fall down into a third collection station 54, while the remaining, smallest, coins, e.g., the 10d coins, pass through a further channel 55 to a fourth collection station 56.
The sequence of sorting is, briefly, as follows. Coins are fed in bulk into the hopper 4 and slide, or otherwise fall under gravitational effect, against the guide 5. The coins then slide sideways and downwards towards the upper end of feed channel 12. Coins stacked on top of each other will be partly sorted into single layers, and any coins on edge will be tilted by the inclined surface 7 so as to fall flat into the feed channel. The coins then roll in a plane parallel to the base member 1, along feed channel 12, having opposed point contacts with side surfaces 14 and 15. From channel 12 the coins pass to, and roll along, feed channel 18, again with opposed point contacts, this time on side surfaces 20 and 21. The major part of any stacking of coins is dealt with in the feed channels 12 and 18, t-he majority of the coins being in a single layer by the time the lower end of channel 18 is reached.
At the lower end of channel 18, any coins still on top of the bottom layer of coins, slide off into the overflow 25 and are stacked for removal and re-feed into the hopper 4.
Passing round convex 26, the largest coins are lifted on one side by ramp 33 and these coins roll along supported on one edge by the top of surface 32 and also in contact with side surface 31. As soon as bend 37 is reached, these largest coins will slide down into collection station 44.
All the smaller coins pass round convex 26 and along the channel 27. At the next convex 37, the next largest coins are lifted on one side by ramp 45, and eventually fall into collection station 52. This sequence of operation is repeated again at bend 48.
The coins received at the collection stations can either be fed t0 separate final collecting, or stacking, positions,
or be stacked ready for removal, as they arrive at the stations. In the arrangement of FIGURE l, stacking channels 60, 61, 62 and 63 are provided (see also FIGURE 7). It has been found that if the stacking channels are of a diameter which is substantially equal to diameter of coin to be received, coins can stand or roll on their edges along the channel and do not readily fall and slide to a at position from which they turn to a position normal to the plane of the apparatus, as is required for stacking. By making the stacking channels with a diameter slightly larger than that of the coin to be received, the coins tend to slide on the flat, and to rock freely. The jolt carried by any other coin coming behind causes the sliding coin to tilt and assume the correct altitude for stacking.
A further convenient feature, illustrated more clearly in FIGURE 8, is to form the stacking channels with two or more sections slightly displaced vertically, relative to the plane of the base member 1. Thus as shown in FIG- URE 8, stacking channel 60 has a lower section 60a and an upper section 60h. The coins sorted into channel 60 first till lower section 60a. Section @0b is displaced vertically and once section 60a is filled, further coins lill section 60b. There will be a readily seen step in the stack of coins and this step can be positioned to coincide with a predetermined number, or value, of coins. In removing the coins from the lower section 60a, the tip of a nger is positioned at the step and the upper stack of coins, in upper section 60h, pushed up and back slightly. The coins in the lower section are then readily removed. The stacking channels can be graduated to shown values of coins stacked.
If desired a transverse groove or channel can be provided at the bottom of the apparatus in which coins can be positioned for packing into rolls.
FIGURE 9 illustrates an alternative arrangement in which instead of the coins being sorted entirely sequentially, they are iirst sorted into two groups, each group containing coins of more than one size, each group then being sorted sequentially. Such an arrangement can be useful where coins, or similar articles, of many various sizes are to be sorted. The apparatus of FIGURE 1 sorts four sizes in the form illustrated. If six sizes were to be sorted, for example, it can be appreciated that the apparatus could become very long and unwieldy. By iirst sorting into two groups and then separately sorting the groups, the length of the apparatus can be reduced, the Width being increased.
In the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 9, the hopper and feed channels are not shown, these being as in the arrangement of FIGURE l. The feed channels are of the same form as in FIGURE l and feed coins to the upper end of a first sorting channel 80. The feed channels connect to the upper end of channel 80 by a bend 81. Bend 81 is of the same form as bend 26 in FIGURE l, having an outer concave surface 82 which has a short vertical portion of a height slightly less than the thickness of a coin, so that any coins carried on top of the bottom coin layer will slide otf and fall into the overow 83.
Bend S1 has an inner convex surface 84. A ramp 85 is formed on the inner surface S4. Assuming the apparatus of FIGURE 9 is to sort four sizes of coins, e.g. ld, Sql, l0 and g?, the width of sorting channel 80 is slightly less than a 5d coin and slightly larger than a le coin. Thus 5 and 25 coins will be lifted on one side, rolling down channel 80 supported on the top of the side surface 36 of channel 80 and guided by the opposite side surface 87. The smaller coins, i.e., l and 5 coins, slide along channel 80 between the side surfaces 36 and 87.
The sorting channel 80 is connected to the upper end of sorting channel 90 by a bend 91. Bend 91 has an outer concave surface 92 and an inner concave surface 93. The two smaller coins pass round the bend 91, the larger of the two being lifted on one side by a ramp 94 formed on the inner surface 93. Channel 90 is slightly wider than the smallest coin but narrower than the next size up, e.g.
wider than the 10d coin but narrower than the lq?. The lOtL coins slide through channel round a bend 95 and into a further channel 96 leading to a collection station 97. The ld coins pass down channel 90 with one edge supported by the edge on side surface 98 and then at bend fall into collection station 99.
After traversing channel 90, the two larger coins fall downwards at bend 91 into a feed channel 100. The lower part of feed channel 100 is connected to the upper part of sorting channel 101 by a bend 102. Bend 102 has an outer concave surface 103 and an inner convex surface 104. On this inner surface 104 is formed a ramp 105. Feed channel 100 is wider, at its narrowest point, than the largest coin, i.e. 25 while channel 101 is slightly wider than the smaller coin, i.e., 5. At bend 102, the larger, 25 coins are lifted on one side by the ramp 105 and pass down channel 101 guided by side surface 106 and resting on side edge or surface 107.
Channel 101 is connected at its lower end to a further channel 108 by a bend 109. At bend 109, the larger coins fall down into collection station 110 and the smaller coins slide down channel 108 to a collection station 111.
The collection of sorted coins can be as desired, and, for example stacking channels can be provided, as in FIGURE 1.
From the arrangements described, which are only two examples of many varying layouts, it will be seen that the essence of the invention is the sliding of coins, or similar articles, down an inclined member having channels in a substantially common plane, the channels alternating in a zig-zag form and having sequentially reducing widths. At a bend connecting two channels, a ramp is provided which lifts one side of each of the largest coins in the preceding channel and these coins slide down with one side elevated out of the channel. At the next bend these coins fall out into a collection station. The coins not lifted slide through the channel, either to another collection station or to one or more further channels for subsequent sorting. The length and disposition of the feed channels is a matter of efliciency and economics. Instead of two channels, 12 and 18 in FIGURE l, in zig-zag arrangement, a single longer channel can be provided or even three or more channels in zig-zag arrangement. The particular arrangement selected will normally be decided by the desired dimensions of the sorter.
All the sorting is done under the action of gravityno moving parts being required. The coins move very rapidly and an appropriate angle for supporting the apparatus is of the order of 35-45 to the horizontal.
The speed of the coins through the various stages of sorting is enhanced if, where coins impinge on guiding surfaces, these surfaces are arranged to deflect the coins in the direction of required travel. Taking as an example bend 26 in FIGURE 1, this bend is made of a sufficiently lar-ge radius that coins sliding down channel 18 hit the outer side on surface 28 such that a downward reaction is imposed on the coins assisting their passage through channel 27.
In FIGURE l, the channels 12 and 18 have been described and illustrated as having at bottom surfaces 13 and 19. The cross-section of channel 12 is readily seen in FIGURE 4. FIGURE l0 illustrates a modification in which the bottom surface 13 and the inclined side surface 15 of FIGURE 4 arc formed as a curve or are 112. Such an arrangement would improve the separation of articles.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. Apparatus for sorting coins and similar disc-shaped articles of at least two differing diameters, comprising: a first channel and a second channel each having upper and lower ends, said channels extending successively in a common plane in alternate directions, each channel comprising a bottom surface parallel to said plane and two spaced apart side surfaces substantially normal to the bottom surface; feed means for feeding articles to the upper end of said first channel, said feed means including a feed channel extending in said plane at an angle to said first channel, said feed channel having a bottom surface parallel to said plane and spaced apart upper and lower side surfaces and of a width to pass the largest article, the feed channel connected to the upper end of the first channel by a first bend having convex and concave side surfaces joining the respective side surfaces of said feed channel and said first channel and forming a first sorting position, the first channel having a width slightly less than the diameter of the articles to be sorted at that position; a ramp formed on the convex side surface of said bend to lift one edge of said articles whereby said one edge is supported out of said first channel, smaller articles remaining in said first channel; a further bend connecting the lower end of said first channel to the upper end of said second channel; to deect said smaller articles into said second channel; the articles sorted at said first bend and supported at one edge out of said first channel sliding out of said further bend to a first collection position; and means for supporting the apparatus whereby said plane is inclined to the horizontal, said channels positioned successively down the incline.
2. Apparatus as Claimed in claim 1 comprising a series of channels, each connected to the next succeeding1 channel by a bend, each bend forming a sorting position and having a ramp formed on its convex side surface, the channels decreasing successively in width to a dimension slightly smaller than the next smallest article to be sorted, and a series of collection positions, one related to each bend and one related to the final channel.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 for sorting articles of at least four different diameters, wherein said first channel is of a width slightly less than the diameter of the second largest article, whereby said articles are sorted into two portions each of articles of at least two different diameters.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein said first collection position comprises a feed channel to a further arrangement of first and second channels and connecting bend, and wherein the first mentioned second channel is part of another arrangement of first and second channels and connecting bend, and including a series of collection positions, one related to each bend and one related to each f'lnal channel.
5. In apparatus for sorting disc-shaped articles of at least two differing diameters, a feed hopper for feeding said articles to an outlet without jamming comprising; a substantially fiat base member inclined at an angle to the horizontal along which articles are adapted to move in face contact; side members inclined with respect to each other to form a converging feed funnel extending from an upper portion to a lower portion forming an outlet; one of said side members having a guide surface inclined to said base member and forming an obtuse angle therewith, the angle of inclination steeper at the upper portion of said funnel and varying to a shallower inclination at the lower portion of the funnel; the other of said side members having a surface inclined to said 4base member and forming an obtuse angle therewith; whereby articles fed to the upper part of said upper portion pass down said funnel, articles rolling in face contact with said one of said side members being tilted to fall from said outlet into face Contact with said base member, and whereby if two articles approach said outlet on the fiat simultaneously, the inclined surface of said other of said side members tilts one of said articles to permit both to pass to said outlet.
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein said other of said side members extends substantially parallel to the direction of inclination of the base member.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim S, for feeding coins to a coin sorter.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said feed channel includes an inclined side surface, said articles supported in said feed channel only at extreme diametrical positions.
9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bend connecting the lower end of the feed channel and the upper end of the first channel has concave side surface of a height slightly less than the thickness of an article to be sorted, and including an overflow channel for the collection of articles entering said bend riding on top of another article.
10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein a collection position comprises a semicylindrical channel, the axis of which is substantially parallel to said plane.
11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein a collection position comprises a semi-cylindrical channel having a diametrical measurement slightly larger than the diameter of the article to be collected therein, and the axis of which channel is substantially parallel to said plane.
12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein a collection position comprises a semi-cylindrical channel of two portions, an upper portion and a lower portion, the axes of the portions substantially parallel to said plane, the axis of the lower portion displaced downwardly relative to the axis of the upper portion.
13. Apparatus for sorting coins of differing sizes, comprising; a base member adapted to be supported in an inclined position; a series of channels formed on said base member, said channels extending down said incline, alternating in direction in a zig-zag path, each of said channels comprising a bottom surface and two spaced apart side surfaces extending from said bottom surface, the first of said channels of a width to accept all coins to be sorted; each succeeding channel of a decreased width relative to the preceding channel and being slightly narrower than a predetermined coin diameter; a series of bends formed one between each adjacent pair of channels to connect said channels, each bend having a bottom surface and spaced apart convex and concave side surfaces, a ramp formed on the convex side surface of each bend except the last bend, said ramps acting to lift one edge of coins wider than the next succeeding channel, the lifted coins travelling with one edge supported out of said next succeeding channel to the next bend, to slide downward out of said channel at said next bend, the remaining, smaller, coins sliding through said channel; and a series of reception means on said base member one below each of said bends to receive coins leaving the channels at said bends.
14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 including coin stacking means associated with each reception means.
15. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein the 'rst of the channels has an inclined side surface to support said coins only at extreme diametrical positions.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATETS 1,066,076 7/1913 Campbell et al 133-3 1,280,539 lO/l9l8 Pollock 194-102 1,365,469 1/1921 Egan 133-3 1,823,829 9/1931 Jones et al 133-3 1,93 5,035 1.1/1933 Sherman 133--3 FOREIGN PATENTS 45,929 2/1889 Germany. 523,069 4/1931 Germany.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.