US 3424345 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. R. PAYNE CRADLE MECHANISM Jan. 28, 1969 Filed Nov. 29, 1967 IN VENTOR BY HARRY R PAYNE Y W, Wm
TTORNEYJ Jan. 28, 1969 H. R. PAYNE 3,424,345
CRADLE MECHANISM Filed Nov. 29, 1967 Sheet 2 of 5 INVENTOR HARRY R PAYNE CFW ZLWTL, WQ MV ATTORNEYS Jan. 28, 1969 H. R. PAYNE CRADLE MECHANISM Filed Nov 29, 1967 INVENTOR HARRY R PAYNE ATTORNEY! United States Patent 3,424,345 CRADLE MECHANISM Harry R. Payne, Chattanooga, Tenn, assignor to The Seeburg Corporation, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 29, 1967, Ser. No. 686,629 U.S. Cl. 221116 Claims Int. Cl. G07f 11/08; B65g 59/06 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Articles are vended from front to back staggered stacks of articles alternatively by a motor driven cradle mechanism. This mechanism has front to back hollow semicylindrical article receivers opening oppositely, each receiver rotating 180 to dispense an article with the leading edge of the receiver separating the next article in the stack from the article being dispensed. A regulator is mounted in each receiver to control the rate of descent of the stack of articles and moves out of position as its receiver is rotated to allow the lowermost article in the stack to enter the receiver. A regulator trip assembly moves the regulator back to original position after the article has been dispensed.
Background of invention The present invention relates to dispensing of articles one at a time from front to back staggered stacks of articles with a plurality of front to back staggered stacks provided for selection of a desired article as in the case of bottled or canned soft drinks where the purchaser selects the desired flavor before the article is dispensed. In the invention the articles may be cooled so that the invention is broadly classified under cabinet structures with removal facilitating magazine article storage for stacked cylindrical articles. A rotary cradle having front to back receivers receives the articles from the stacks and dispenses one article at a time. A regulator is mounted in each receiver to control the descent of the stack of articles and moves out of position as the cradle is rotated to permit the article to enter the receiver for subsequent dispensing with the leading edge of the receiver supporting the next article in the stack to prevent more than one article at a time from being dispensed. Rotation of the receiver normally returns the regulator to original position by gravity but a trip assembly is provided to positively return the regulator to initial position should the regulator stick.
The 'most pertinent prior art known to applicant includes United States Patent No. 2,308,532 granted to Bert E. Mills on Jan. 19, 1943, and assigned on its face to Mills Novelty Company which patent has now expired. In this patent a motor driven rotary receiver is provided for each staggered stack of articles to be selectively vended. The receiver is a solid cylinder provided with an axial pocket to receive the article. A ramp leads into the pocket and the pocket and ramp may be lined with a resilient material to ease the shock of the bottle falling into the pocket. This construction does not entirely eliminate shock to the article nor does it control descent of the stack of articles. The shaped solid receiver is expensive to manufacture and is not adaptable to modern manufacturing procedures employing sheet metal. This patent does not employ or suggest the use of a regulator in each of front to back rotary receivers which regulator moves out of position to permit the article to move into the receiver with controlled movement thus controlling the rate of descent of the stack of articles. Obviously then this patent does not disclose or suggest a gravity return regulator with regulator trip mechanism to return the regulator should it stick for any reason.
Another patent particularly pertinent here is United States Patent No. 3,349,881 granted to Vernon D. Camp on Oct. 31, 1967, and assigned to the assignee herein, the Seeburg Corporation. This patent discloses and claims a vending cycle lockout circuit for energizing the motors actuating dispensing mechanisms of side by side stacks of articles allowing selective dispensing of an article from a selected stack as in the case of the selection of a particular flavor from a multi-flavor drink vending machine. The circuit of this patent is used to operate the driving motors of the cradle mechanisms of the present invention. Reference is therefore specifically made to this patent to disclose an appropriate electric circuit for use with the present invention. In view of the circuit of this patent it will be unnecessary to describe in detail a complete circuit for the preferred embodiment herein.
Summary This invention relates to cradle mechanisms for dispensing one article at a time from front to back staggered Stacks of articles, each mechanism having a hollow semicylindrical receiver for each stack disposed at with each other so that rotation of the cradle mechanism through 180" will rotate one receiver to dispensing position and the other to position to receive an article from its stack. Each receiver is provided with a regulator slidably mounted therein to prevent an article from entering the receiver completely until the regulator has been moved out of the way thus controlling the descent of the article into the receiver and controlling the descent of the stack of articles above the article entering the receiver. The regulator has an edge extending from and parallel to an axial edge of the receiver which regulator edge engages a fixed surface during rotation of the receiver through about 45 to limit movement of the regulator until the article is resting theron and the receiver is in position to accept the article. The edge of the regulator then moves off the fixed surface and the regulator moves aside in the receiver to allow the article to enter the receiver. Further rotation of the receiver then dis penses the article. When the cradle mechanism is again energized to dispense from the other receiver, the first receiver will be rotated and its regulator will move back to its initial position by gravity. A trip assembly positively moves the regulator back to initial position should it jam or freeze.
It is therefore the object of the present invention to provide a novel cradle mechanism for dispensing one article at a time from front to back staggered stacks of articles rotated by an electric motor energized :by a known vending cycle lockout circuit with the cradle mechanism simply and cheaply formed from sheet metal and including two article receivers opening at opposed 180 with each receiver having mounted therein a regulator for controlling the descent of articles in the stack and moved aside by the weight of the articles at appropriate time in the vending cycle to allow the articles to descend slowly with the lowermost article entering the receiver to be dispensed.
Another object is to provide such cradle mechanism requiring minimum servicing and which is positive and efiicient in operation.
Other and further objects will appear from the following description of a preferred and illustrative embodiment of this invention.
Brief description of the drawings In the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters indicate like parts, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present cradle mechanism as applied to front to back staggered stacks of articles or cans including the driving motor;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 showing the left receiver of the cradle mechanism in position to receive an article and the right receiver in article blocking position with the regulators in position therein;
FIG. 3 is a front view similar to that of FIG. 2 but with the receivers rotated through 180;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view from the front of the cradle mechanism of FIGS. 13 with the right receiver in article dispensing position;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cradle mechanism showing constructional details and details of the regulator construction; and
FIGS. 6-9 are cross-sectional views on the line XX of FIG. 1 showing the successive positions of a receiver and its associated regulator during an article dispensing cycle.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, front to back bins 10 and '11 for staggered stacks of articles 12, here shown as cans, are formed by spaced walls 13 and 14 with inturned front and back edges 15 and 16, respectively, to hold cans 12 in position with the bins separated by inturned channels 17 and 18. Bins 10 and 1'1 are of reduced cross-section adjacent their lower ends as at 19 and 20 to pass but one can 12 at a time. Frame member 21 supports and spaces walls 13 and 14 while front frame member 22 also supports and spaces walls 13 and 14 while providing a mount for the cradle mechanism, driving motor and electric circuitry as will be described hereinafter.
The cradle mechanism for dispensing one can 12 at a time from the staggered stacks of cans is shown generally at 23 and comprises receivers 24 and 25, receiver 24 being disposed beneath bin 10 and receiver 25 being disposed beneath bin 1'1. End 26 of receiver 25 is provided with a shaft 27 disposed in the rotary axis of receiver 23 which is journalled for rotation in frame member 21 at 28. Receivers 24 and 25 have a common wall 29. Receiver 24 has an end wall 30 provided with a drive shaft 31 which is journalled in and extends through plate 22 which closes a suitable aperture 33 formed in frame member 22 and is removably secured to frame member 22. Shaft 31 carries cam plate and coupling disc 34.
Motor base 35 supports electric motor 36 having motor shaft 37 which terminates in coupling disc 38 which is coupled to disc 34 by pins 39. Base 35 is suitably secured to plate 32 so that shafts 27 and 31 and motor shaft 37 are in the same line in the axis of rotation of cradle mechanism 23.
Receivers 24 and 25 which may be formed of semicylindrical shells of sheet metal 40 and 41 (FIG. 5) are suitably secured to ends 26 and 30 and to common wall 29 as by spot welding with receivers 24 and 25 opening at 180 in the axis of rotation whereby when one receiver is in position to receive a can 12 from its bin the other receiver will be bottom up to its bin blocking displacement of a can 12 from its bin. A regulator generally indicated at 42 is mounted in receiver 24 and an identical regulator 43 is mounted in receiver 25. Since regulators 42 and 43 are of identical construction a description of one will sufiicc for both.
Regulator 42 is formed of a plate of sheet metal 44 having extensions 45 to bear on and slide over the inner surface of receiver 24. Arms 46 extend at an angle of about 60 from plate 44 and are joined by frame 47 with the assembly stiffened and weighted by intermediate piece 48.
The trailing edge of receiver 24 is longitudinally slotted at 49 to receive arms 46 and frame 47. Elbows 50 are suitably secured to receiver 24 adjacent slot 49 and extend within arms 46 and frames 47 to hold regulator 42 for sliding movement in receiver 24.
A spacing plate 51 may be mounted on piece 48 as by metal screws 52 to compensate for variations in can diameter and to provide extra weight for the gravity actuation of the regulator as will be described hereinafter.
A spaced pair of bearing members 53 are mounted in receiver 24 and receive crank 54 for rotation therein. Crank 54 is connected to regulator 42 by a clip 55 suitably secured thereto by rivets 56. Crank 54 has an outwardly extending end 57 extending through a slot 58 in receiver 24 adjacent end plate 30 to engage a pin 59 fixed to plates 32 and 21 at appropriate time in the dispensing cycle to rotate crank 54 and return regulator 42 or 43 to position within receiver 24 should regulator 42 or 43 fail to return by gravity as will more fully appear hereinafter.
The sequential positions of a receiver and of its regulator during the dispensing of a can 12 from the appropriate bin are shown in FIGS. 6-9. The respective positions of cam plate 34 and limit switch 60 in the motor energizing circuit are shown adjacent each of these figures. Assuming that the mechanism is in the condition shown in FIG. 1, the receiver 24 will be bottom up as seen in FIG. 6 and receiver 25 will be in position to receive a can 12 from its stack 11 as seen in FIG. 8. However, can 12 cannot enter receiver 25 because regulator 42 is within the receiver and cannot move because frame 47 is in engagement with wall or surface 61 which is mounted between frame members 21 and 22 (FIGS. 2 and 3) and is spaced from and adjacent to receivers 24 and 25.
When the mechanism is actuated to dispense a can 12 as by the insertion of a coin into a coin actuated switch in known manner as in the Camp US. Patent No. 3,349,881 referred to above, motor 36 will be energized rotating cam plate 34 and cradle mechanism 23. The receivers 24 and 25 will then be rotated in a clockwise direction as seen in FIGS. 6-9. Receiver 25 will then rotate and frame 47 will remain in engagement with wall 61 through an angle of about 45 and regulator 42 will move from beneath can 12 by reason of the weight of the cans thereon to case can 12 into the receiver and control the descent of the stack of cans. Ultimately the receiver 25 will rotate to the position shown in FIG. 9 with its regulator 42 in its extreme outer position and the can 12 moves downwardly out of the receiver over wall 61 and is dispensed. In the meantime, however, the leading edge 62 of receiver 25 has rotated into position beneath the next lower can 12 in the stack of cans and prevents dispensing of but one can.
Motor 36 is energized until the receiver of the dispensing bin reaches the position shown in FIG. 1 at which time cam plate 34 opens limit switch 60 and motor 36 is deenergized. As the receiver rotates toward the position shown in FIG. 6 from the position shown in FIG. 9, regulator 42 should return to its normal position within the receiver by the forces of gravity. If, however, the regulator is stuck or jammed in outer position, as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 6, then arm 57 of crank 54 engages pin 59 and rotates crank 54 to positively move regulator 42 into the receiver.
When the mechanism is next actuated to dispense a can 12, the front stack 10 of FIG. 1 will become the dispensing stack and the mechanism will start its cycle, as above-described, from the position seen in FIG. 2. Receiver 24 will then be rotated by motor 36 through the several positions between those of FIGS. 8 and 9 where the can is dispensed and then to the can blocking position of FIG. 6 when motor 36 is deenergized and the dispensing cycle ends.
It will now be apparent that cans are alternately dispensed, one at a time, from stacks 10 and 11 with one can dispensed for each time the dispensing cycle is actuated as by the deposit of a coin. The regulator in each receiver eases the lowermost can in its adjacent stack of cans into the receiver and controls the descent of the stack of cans above the lowermost can.
It should also now be apparent that as many front to back bins can be arranged in side by side relationship as may be desired for choice of contents of the cans or within the limits prescribed by the overall dimensions of the dispenser. Each front to back pair of bins will then be provided with a cradle mechanism as above-described and selection of the desired can will then be made by the purchaser who will insert a coin into the appropriate coin receiver of the vending cycle lockout circuit of the Camp patent referred to above and used to selectively energize the appropriate one of the several driving motors 36 to dispense a single can of the choice of the purchaser.
Changes in or modifications to the above-described illustrative embodiment may now be suggested to those skilled in the art without departing from the present inventive concept.
1. Cradle mechanism for dispensing one article at a time from front to back stacks of articles comprising two receivers each receiver being mounted for rotation beneath an adjacent stack, said receivers being rotated together and opening oppositely and at 180", motor means for rotating said receivers through 180 for each actuation of said motor means, each of said receivers having a leading edge and a trailing edge in the direction of rotation of said receivers, a regulator mounted Within each of said receivers blocking entry of an article into the receiver and movable in the receiver to permit entry of an article therein, an extension of said regulator extending outwardly from said receiver adjacent said trailing edge and fixed means engaging said extension during a portion of the rotation of said receiver the trailing edge and fixed means controlling movement of the regulator whereby the weight of the articles resting on said regulator moves said regulator in said receiver for gradual entry of the lowermost article into said receiver.
2. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 1 including a regulator trip for each of said regulators and means for actuating said trip after dispensing of an article to return said regulator into article blocking position in the associated one of said receivers.
3. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 1, said leading edge upon rotation of the associated one of said receivers toward article dispensing position entering between the article to be dispensed and the next article in the stack of articles prior to dispensing of the article in said receiver whereby dispensing of more than one article from the stack of articles is prevented.
4. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 1 including a slot in said trailing edge of said receiver, said extension of said regulator extending through said slot, clip means secured to said receiver holding said extension for sliding movement in said slot, said means engaging said extension comprising a surface adjacent to and spaced from said receiver.
5. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 2, said regulator trip comprising a crank journalled in said receiver and engaging said regulator, an extension for said crank extending from said receiver and said means for actuating said trip comprising a stop engaged by said extension and rotating said crank whereb said regulator is returned to article blocking position in said receiver.
6. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 1, each of said receivers comprising an open semi-cylindrical sheet metal body, a common wall between said bodies, an end wall for each of said bodies, a shaft mounted on each of said end walls in the axis of rotation of the cradle mechanism, one of said shafts being rotated by said motor means and the other of said shafts supporting said receivers for rotation.
7. Cradle mechanism for dispensing one article at a time from a stack of articles comprising a receiver mounted for rotation beneath the stack, motor means for rotating said receiver, said receiver having a leading edge and a trailing edge in the direction of rotation thereof, a regulator mounted within said receiver blocking entry of an article into said receiver and movable therein to permit entry of an article into said receiver, an extension of said regulator extending outwardly from said receiver adjacent the trailing edge of said receiver and fixed means for engaging said extension during a portion of the rotation of said receiver the trailing edge and said fixed means controlling movement of the regulator whereby the weight of the articles resting on said regulator moves said regulator in said receiver for gradual entry of the lowermost article into said receiver.
8. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 7 including a regulator trip for said regulator and means for actuating said trip after dispensing of an article to return said regulator into article blocking position in said receiver.
9. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 7, said means for engaging said extension comprising a surface adjacent to and spaced from said receiver.
10. Cradle mechanism as described in claim 8, said regulator trip comprising a crank journalled in said receiver and journalled to said regulator, an extension for said crank extending from said receiver and said means for actuating said trip including a stop engaged by said extension and rotating said crank.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,156,196 4/1939 Romanoski 22ll 16 X 2,308,532 1/ 1943 Mills 22167 2,393,961 2/1946 Almgren 221266 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.