US 3370749 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 1968 J. NATHAN ET AL.
ARTICLE POSITIONING DEVICE FOR VENDING MACHINES Filed July 7, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS.
JEROME NH THAN m C a a i 1968 J. NATHAN ET AL ARTICLE POSITIONING DEVICE FOR VENDING MACHINES 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed July 7, 1966 JNVENTOR. JEROME N/r THfl/V. THO/Wis H. CRO TEA u.
flTTORNEK United States Patent 3,370,749 ARTICLE POSITIONING DEVECE FUR VENDING MACHINES Jerome Nathan, Manchester, and Thomas H. Croteau,
Hartford, Conn., assignors to The Seeburg Corporation, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 7, 1966, Ser. No. 563,450
7 Claims. (Cl. 221-493) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLQSURE A device for positioning articles in a vending machine wherein the articles are released one at a time by a gate which is pivotally and slideably movable. A deflecting member is mounted upon said gate and deflects a released article towards a delivery position as the gate is rotated and returned toward its normal position and the article is moved to a dispensing position. The said member then pushes the article from the dispensing position to the delivery position by sliding movement of the gate.
Description of the invention This invention relates to an article positioning device for vending machines and more particularly to a device for placing articles, such as cans or bottles, into a position wherein they can be easily and conveniently grasped with the fingers for removal from a vending machine or the like after they have been dispensed thereby.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved article positioning device for such vending machines as shown and described in our co-pending US. patent application Ser. No. 394,869 filed Sept. 8, 1964.
Further objects and advantages of this invention will be clearly understood from the following description and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a portion of a vending unit for a vending machine embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a similar view thereof, in vertical section.
FIG. 3 is a rear view thereof.
FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 are sectional plan views of said unit illustrating the operation of our improved article positioning device.
FIG. 8 is a sectional rear view of an article dispensing gate for said unit with our improved positioning device attached thereto.
FIG. 9 is a bottom view thereof.
In this instance the vending unit illustrated is as used in vending machines for vending drinks, or like goods, in cans but the same unit may be used for vending goods in bottles with only a few minor adjustments being required. If desired, the same unit may be used for vending both bottles and cans.
As shown in the drawings, and fully described in said co-pending application, the said vending unit has a frame 9 providing front and back walls 10 and 11, respectively, and a side wall 12. A desired number of inclined shelves 13 are pivotally mounted at 13a between said front and back walls and are selectively adjustable for cans or bottles of various diameters by means of supporting bars 14 which are insertable in different holes 15.
Chutes 16 are provided for storing cans, indicated at 17, from which said cans will roll onto the shelves 13 as they are dispensed by vending operations of said vending unit.
Each of the shelves 13 has associated therewith a dispensing mechanism which includes an elongated gate 18, that is cross-sectionally of inverted U-shape, and disposed parallel to said side wall 12. The said gate is pivotally and slideably mounted in said front and back walls by means of an elongated hub 19 extending through the 3,37,749 Patented Feb. 27, 1968 bearing 20 in the front wall 10 and a shaft 21 which extends through the bearing 22 in the back wall 11 and has an operating lever 23 rigidly connected thereto.
The said lever 23 has a locking projection 26 which is insertable into a locking hole 27 in the back wall 11 to lock the gate 18 against rotation when in its normal position. Said projection is biased into said hole by a spiral spring 28 which is disposed between the back wall and the inner end of the gate to bias said gate forwardly into its normal position in said vending unit, as shown in FIG. 4.
A push knob 29 is provided on the front end of said gate for manually moving the gate longitudinally against the force of the spring 28 to remove the projection 26 from the hole 27 and thereby permit rotation of said gate for a dispensing operation.
The gate 18 is retained in its normal position by means of a common operating bar 31 which normally abuts the free end of the lever 23 to prevent longitudinal movement of the gate and thereby retain the projection 26 thereof in locking position within the hole 27. Said operating bar is vertically slideable on bearings 32 that project from the back wall 11 and have screws 33 threaded thereto which extend through slots 34 in said bar.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the operating bar 31 is movable vertically by a crank 35 on a shaft 36 which is driven by a suitable electric motor 38 and is connected to the operating bar by a stud 39 extending throu@ a transverse slot in said bar.
Said operating bar is normally disposed in lowered position and is provided with a corner notch 40, for each of the levers 23, and said notches are normally out of register with the ends of their respective levers.
In the operation of the vending machine, which is fully described in the above mentioned co-pending US. patent application, the said operating bar is first raised by the motor 38 to bring all the notches 40 into register with their respective levers 23 and thereby permit selection of the article which is to be vended. The knob 29 of the vending mechanism for the selected article is then pushed inwardly and this will move its respective gate longitudinally and cause the end of the respective lever 23 to enter its respective notch '40. This longitudinal movement of the gate will cause the locking projection 26 to be withdrawn from the opening 27 and also cause further operation of the motor 38 to raise the operating bar and rock the lever 23, as illustrated in FIG. 3, and thereby rock the gate and release the vended can 17 as illustrated in FIG. 2.
The operating bar will then be returned downwardly to its normal position and this will also return the lever 23 and its gate 18 to their normal positions wherein the locking projection will register with the hole 27 and cause said projection to snap into said hole and thereby also cause the gate to snap forwardly into its normal position.
This invention is particularly directed to the provision of the positioning member 41 on the gate 18 which will now be described:
The said positioning member 41 is preferably mounted upon the gate in the position best shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 by inserting a lug 42 into a hole 43 in said gate and securing said member with a screw 44 through a hole 45. An extra set of said holes 43 and 45 is provided to permit adjustment of the positioning member for cans or bottles of different sizes; said member being disposed at an angle to gate 18 to deflect the can forwardly towards the delivery position as it is released by the gate and it rolls down the inclined surface of the shelf 13 into the dispensing position against the side wall 12 and in the delivery opening 46 in the front wall 10 of the unit.
As will be clearly seen in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, when the gate 18 is in its normal position shown in FIG. 4, a push on the knob 29 will slide it inwardly against the tension of the spring 28 and withdraw the locking projection 26 from its locking hole 27. The said gate will then be rocked by the operating bar 31 to the open position, shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, whereby it will release the can 17 which will then roll down the shelf 13 into the dispensing position.
The gate 18 will then be rocked towards its normal closed position whereby the said member 41 will push the can further forward, with its end portion 41a which is disposed at a greater angle to the gate, and thus locate the can in the position shown in FIG. 6. Then, as the gate reaches its normal position, shown in the upper two mechanisms in FIG. 2, the locking projection 26 will register with the locking hole 27 and cause the gate to snap forwardly under the influence of the spring 28 as said projection enters the locking hole. This snap movement will cause the end portion 41a to give the can a final push which will throw it still further forward in the delivery opening to the delivery position shown in FIG. 7
wherein it may be easily and very conveniently grasped with the hand and removed from the vending machine.
1. In a vending machine, a gate mounted for pivotal and sliding movement, means for rocking said gate to release articles one at a time and permit movement thereof to a dispensing position, and positioning means moveable with said gate and operable to deflect said article towards a delivery position during the rocking movement of the gate and to push said article from the dispensing position to the delivery position upon sliding movement of said gate.
2. The subject matter set forth in claim 1 wherein said positioning means comprise a deflecting member mounted upon said gate and having an article deflecting surface at an angle to the pivotal axis of said gate.
3. In a vending machine, a chute having an inclined surface to support articles, a gate pivotally and slideably mounted, means for rocking said gate to release one of said articles and permit movement thereof upon said inclined surface to a dispensing position, a positioning member mounted upon said gate and engageable with said article, and means for slideably moving said gate whereupon said positioning member will engage said article and push it from said dispensing position to the delivery position.
4. The subject matter set forth in claim 3 wherein said gate moving means include a spring member causing said positioning member to throw said article into delivery position. 7
5. The subject matter set forth in claim 3 wherein said positioning member comprises a plate like member having a deflecting surface disposed at an angle tothe pivotal axis of said gate to deflect said article towards the delivery position during the rocking movement of said gateand said member also has an end portion to engage the article in the dispensing position and push it to delivery position upon sliding movement of the gate along said pivotal axis. 7
6. The subject matter set forth in claim 5 wherein. said gate has adjusting means to mount the positioning member thereon to accommodate articles of differentlengths.
7. In a vending machine, a chute having an inclined surface to support articles to be vended, a gate for dispensing said articles mounted for pivotal and longitudinal movement, a locking projection rnoveable with said gate, 1
a housing, a locking hole in said housing to receive said projection, a spring biasing said gate longitudinally and said projection into said hole, means for rocking said gate on its pivotal axis to release one of said articles, a
positioning member mounted upon said gate and having 'a deflecting surface for deflecting said article towards a.
delivery position as it moves down said inclined surface during rocking movement of the gate, and an angular end portion on said positioning member for further deflecting said article as said gateis rocked to return to its normal position and then finally pushing said article and throwing it into the delivery position as said gate is snapped longitudinally into normal position by said spring member upon said locking projection registering with the locking hole.
WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.