US 3381634 A
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May 7, 1968 H. H. ROTHSCHILD SELF-LEVELING DEVICE 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 21, 1967 INVENTOR Henry HROThSChild yfi i:
May 7, 1968 H. H, ROTHSCHILD SELF-LEVELING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 21, 1967 FIG?) l/VVENTOR. Henrj H-Roiksc/ukl ATTORNEYS.
May 7, 1968 Filed July 21, 1967 H. H. ROTHSCHILD SELF-LEVELING DEVICE FIG. 5
5 Sheets-Sheet 3 H n r y H. Rothschdd ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,381,634 SELF-LEVELING DEVICE Henry H. Rothschild, Teaneck, N.J., assignor to Caddy Corporation of America, Secaucus, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 21, 1967, Ser. No. 655,107 8 Claims. (Cl. 108-436) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to a self-leveling storing and/or dispensing platform relying on coil spring compensation for changes in weight in which all of the self-leveling mechanism is held within the platform structure.
This invention relates to a storing and/or dispensing device of the type which employs coil springs for cornpensating for changes in weight supported by the platform.
Many forms of self-leveling devices of the type which employ coil springs to compensate or balance the changes in weight applied to the supporting platforms of the devices, are known in the art. In substantially all of such devices, the springs and their compensating mechanisms form a structure which is built into an auxiliary part of the device which is more or less separated from the platform itself. Most frequently the balancing mechanism for such devices are built into a housing that extends perpendicularly to the plane of the platform which multiplies the bulkiness of the assembled device for shipping, for example, or which if shipped unassembled requires expert mechanical skill to assemble when it reaches its destination. Such devices when encumbered by the auxiliary mechanisms require additional space when being built into a complex unit such as a section of a serving counter or refrigerated compartment for example.
This invention is based on the discovery that it is possible to devise a self-leveling platform that is substantially complete in itself in that it includes a chassis which contains all the self-leveling mechanism and only requires that the ends of the supporting cables thereof (which extend outside the platform) be secured to suitable spaced stationary supports. Thus, the cables can be attached to a frame, to a pair of cantilever brackets, to the upper end portions of two spaced tables, etc. All that is necessary to install the platform is to firmly secure the cable ends to a pair of supports which are suitably spaced to accommodate the platform and of suitable height to allow the platform to lower itself the desired distance. The supporting arms of the platform do not even need to be of the same height since differences in height can be compensated by extending the points of attachment of the respective cables.
Among the objects of the invention, therefore, is to provide a self-leveling device comprising a chassis which supports the platform and includes all of the self-leveling mechanism.
Among other objects of the invention is to provide a self-leveling device which does not require a specially built stand or mechanism-containing frame for installation therewith.
Among other objects of the invention is to provide a self-leveling device wherein the self-leveling mechanism and platform are compactly arranged so that the mechanism can all be included within a chassis or housing se- 3,381,634 Patented May 7, 1968 cured to the platform, the entire device not being much larger than a conventional platform.
The objects of the invention are attained by providing the support for the platform or supporting plate of the self-leveling dispenser with a chassis, by arranging for the lengths of supporting cables necessaryfor lowering of the platform to be wound on a plural grooved wheel rotatably mounted on a vertical axis within said chassis, and by providing means including coil springs which are adapted to resist and/or reverse the rotation of said grooved wheel depending on the load applied to the platform.
The platform and its chassis with one end of each supporting cable extending outside of the chassis can be employed as a self-leveling device merely by securing the ends of the supporting cable to a pair of suitable spaced supports which provide space for the downward movement of the platform therebetween. In one respect, therefore, the platform and its chassis provides a complete item. However, it is also frequently desirable to provide a frame or housing for supporting the platform especially where the dispenser is not being built into an assembly by diiferent units such as a continuous counter for a cafeteria, for example.
Preferably at least three or four supporting cables are provided and the cables are so positioned as to balance two opposite sides of the chassis and platform when the latter are rectangular in shape. For other shapes, the number of cables can be arranged to be suitable for the particular shape.
Means are provided to guide each of the cables from outside of the chassis into its particular groove in the plural-grooved wheel and low friction devices such as ballbearing mounted pulleys are very satisfactory for this purpose.
Other and more detailed objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification and appended claims when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a self-leveling device made according to the invention installed in a very simple frame and partially depressed to show how it is supported.
FIG. 1A is a detail view illustrating a method of attaching a cable to a support.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the interior of the chassis of the device without the cover plate.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but with portions of the springs removed.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional View taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a detail cross-sectional view taken in line 66 of FIG. 2.
In the device illustrated, the chassis 1t and its platform 11 are rectangular in shape but it will be under stood that it can take any form that is suitable for the material being dispensed. Thus it may be round, oval, polygonal, elliptical, semi-elliptical, etc. As shown in FIG. 1, the chassis 10 shown is supported for vertical movement by 4 flexible cables 12, 13, 14, 1.5, one end of each cable extending outside the chassis and being attached beneath the top 17 of the frame 16 by suitable means such as the loops 18 formed in the end of the cable and secured to the frame 16 by means of bolts 19 and nuts 20 as shown in FIG. 1A. All of the mechanism for lifting the chassis and platform as the load is de- Q creased or lowering the same when the load is increased is contained within the chassis 111. Since the only purpose of the frame 16 is to secure the ends of cables 18-20, it is obvious that various conventional types of supports .such as a pair of cantilever brackets, the ends of two spaced tables, etc., may be substituted for the frame 16 and that the means for securing the ends of the cables to the supports therefor may also take various forms.
As better shown in FIG. 2, each of the cables 12, 13, 14 and 15 is guided into the chassis by a pulley 22, 23, 24, 25, respectively. Each of the cables 12-15 passes to a particular one of the grooves or sheaves of the four grooved wheel 30 (see FIGS. 4 and 5). As shown in FIG. 2, cables 12 and 14 pass directly to the lower grooves 31 and 32 respectively whereas, cables 13 and 15 have their direction changed by pulleys 26 and 27, respectively before passing to their respective grooves 33 and 34. The inner end 12-1, 13-1, 14-1, 15-1 of each cable 12-15 passes through a hole 12-2, 13-2, 14-2, 15-2 in the rim of the wheel 30 and is secured to a holding means 1 -3, 13-3, 14-3, 15-3, each projecting from one of the spokes of the wheel 30. The wheel 30 is mounted for rotation on axle 35 (see FIG. 4) which in turn is secured between the bottom 9 of casing and a cross piece 28 extending across the upper portion of the casing.
The wheel 31] includes a block or drum portion 36 extending upwardly from the grooved or sheaved portion and said drum portion 36 contains a pair of grooves 37 and 38 and means (not shown) for fixing a pair of cables therein. Thus, the cablcs 4t 41 may have their ends secured in the grooves 37 and 38, respectively. The attached ends of cables 41), 41 may also be connected whereby it is only necessary to attach the pair of cables at one point to the drum 36. The cables 41) and 41, respectively, pass from said drum 36 over pulleys 42 and 43, respectively (see FIG. 6) thence to pulleys 44 and 45, respectively (to reverse their direction), and finally have their ends 46 and 47 secured to the angled portions 51 and 51, respectively, of the floating cross bar 50. As shown in FIG. 2, 3 pairs of coil tension springs 53-53, 54-54 and 55-55 have one end attached to the angled portions 51, 51. It is known in this art to employ calibrated springs as the weight compensating devices, the calibration of the springs depending on the weight of the objects being dispensed. A considerable variation in the load-supporting characteristics of this device can also be obtained by omitting one or two pairs of said springs. The opposite ends of spring pairs 53-53, 54-54 and 55-55 are secured to the angle 56 which is fixed by welding, for example, to a side 57 of the chassis 10. The pulleys 42, 43, 44 and 45 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6 are rotatably mounted in brackets 66, 67 and 63 held in a U-section 52 which is secured to a side of the casing 10.
The top or platform 11 of the casing is constructed to cover and be held on the inwardly projecting edges 57, 57', 58, 53 (see FIG. 2) of the rasing 10.
In operation, the device is attached to a suitable support such as frame 16 of FIG. 1 by securing the ends of cables 12-15 which extend outside of the casing 10 to the upper supporting surface 17. The ends of said cables 12-15 are obviously secured at points thereon such as make the casing substantially level. When a load is applied to the top of the platform regardless of whether it is centrally positioned or not, all of the cables will be released an equal amount and the casing and platform will be lowered to various levels 66 (see FIG. 1) depending on the calibration of the pairs of springs 53-53, 54-54 and/or 55-55'.
The features and principles underlying the invention described above in connection with specific exemplifications will suggest to those skilled in the art many other modifications thereof. It is accordingly desired that the appended claims shall not be limited to any specific feature or details thereof.
1. As a self-leveling storing and dispensing platform containing the self-leveling mechanism within the platform structure comprising a substantially horizontal top plate providing the supporting surface for the material to be stored or dispensed,
a chassis extending below the top plate and adapted to support the top plate and the self-leveling mechanism, said chassis having sides of relatively short depth and a base so that the self-leveling mechanism can be supported between said base and the top plate,
said self-leveling mechanism comprising a pluralgrooved wheel positioned substantially centrally within said chassis with its axis substantially at right angles with respect to the plane of the top plate,
axle means on said plural-grooved wheel and means for rotatably supporting said axle in a substantially vertical position within said chassis,
said plural-grooved wheel having a block concentrically attached thereto whereby rotation of the pluralgrooved wheel produces the same angular rotation of the block,
at least one cable having one end thereof secured to said block,
a plurality of supporting cables each having an outer end extending on the outside of said chassis and inner ends extending into the chassis and at least partially around one of the grooves of the plural-grooved wheel, low-friction guide means in said chassis for guiding each cable into its particular groove of the plural-grooved wheel,
means for securing the inner ends of each of said cables to the plural-grooved wheel, whereby pulling of the cables outwardly with respect to said chassis rotates said plural-grooved wheel,
coil spring means having one end thereof which is fixed with respect to said chassis,
means connecting the cable of said block to the other end of said spring means in such a way that rotation of said plural-grooved wheel by pulling on the cables attached thereto, winds up the cable of the block in a direction that is resisted by the elasticity of said coil spring means.
2. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said block is of smaller diameter than the diameter of said plural-grooved wheel.
3. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 1 wherein the low friction guide means for guiding the cables of said plural-grooved wheel comprise pulleys.
4. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said block has said cable attached thereto so as to provide two cable ends extending therefrom,
said coil spring means comprising at least one pair of matched coil springs,
said means connecting the cables of said block to the coil springs comprising a floating cross bar, the two cable ends extending from the block being attached to opposite balanced portions of the floating cross bar,
and pulley means for guiding the cables from said block to the floating cross bar to provide a balanced pull on the floating cross bar.
5. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said plural-grooved wheel has four grooves, and wherein four cables extend from the chassis for attaching to a supporting means.
6. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 4 wherein said plural-grooved wheel is rotatably mounted close to the base of said chassis with the block portion thereof extending toward the top plate having an upper portion and a central open portion of 5 a size to permit up and down movement of the chassis, and means to fix the outer ends of the supporting cables to said frame.
8. The self-leveling, storing and dispensing device as claimed in claim 1 in combination with a pair of cantilever brackets, means on said cantilever brackets to fix the outer ends of the supporting cables to said arms.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Boekius 108-436 Harrison 108-136 XR Korngold et a1 108136 Bronson 108136 Vaught 108-136 XR Maslow 108136 10 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.
GLENN FINCH, Assistant Examiner.