US 3430810 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 4, 1969 .A. H. BALLER ET AL 3,430,810
DISPENSER WITH SUPPLY HOLD-BACK MEANS Sheet 6 4 F m Q mw WWW M 6 3 2 M A .l \P 7.. u I l f 5 M A \8 m. u A A. 3 M 4 4 M. .5 4 T\ In 2 2 i C 2?; W .H W ,1: f
42 INVENTOR ALBERT H. BALLER LAWRENCE A. WILLETTE ATTORNEY March 4, 1969 A. H. BALLER ET AL 3,430,810
DISPENSER WITH SUPPLY HOLD-BACK MEANS Sheet F led May 6 INVENTOR ALBERT H. BALLER LAWRENCE A. WILLETTE AT TORNE Y March 4, 1969 A. H. BALLER ET AL 3,430,310
DISPENSER WITH SUPPLY HOLD-BACK MEANS Filed May a, 1967 Sheet 7f/lll/ddlllllll/ luv! F I G. 5
ALBERT H. BALLER LAWRENCE A. WILLETTE ATTORNEY March 4, 1969 A. H. BALLER ET AL DISPENSER WITH SUPPLY HOLD-BACK MEANS Sheet Filed May 5, 1967 ALBERT H. BALLER LAWRENCE A. WILLETTE BY @i ATTORNEY United States Patent DISPENSER WITH SUPPLY HOLD-BACK MEANS Albert H. Baller, 59 Beech St., Clinton, Mass. 01510,
and Lawrence A. Wiiiette, 764 Arnon Ave., Bronx,
Filed May 5, 1967, Ser. No. 636,483
U.S. Cl. 221205 15 Claims Int. Cl. B65h 3/32; B65g 59/06 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A dispenser for elongated articles including a housing in which there is a hopper, the hopper having an inclined ramp and there being a door in a wall of the housing pro viding an exit for articles, and including a hold-back means which is manually movable by the operator serving to divide the pile of articles from an initial article which is released by the hold-back means to move down the ramp under gravity and out through the door when the dividing holdback means is actuated.
This invention relates to a dispenser for discrete articles and particularly for elongated articles. The invention comprises in general a housing with an exit or door through which the articles are dispensed one-by-one upon the actuation of means from the exterior of the housing so ithat one may obtain a single article for each actuation of such means.
The principal object of the invention resides in the provision of a very simple and easily actuated device of the class described which however will operate repeatedly iwithout malfunction even regardless of the fact that some of the articles which are to be dispensed may be slightly frayed, damaged, bowed, or otherwise nonuniform. The principal parts of the mechanism reside in means for supporting the articles so that one-'by-one the same will drop .into a throat or chute, there being held until an article is desired to be dispensed whereupon a combination of mov- .4
able and fixed means provides splitting of all of the other articles from the one in the throat or chute, holding these articles back but at the same time allowing the aricle in the chute to be ejected through an exit door provided for the purpose; and the movable means being then returned to its original position, the next single article of a pile supported in the housing is automatically located in the chute where it is held ready to be dispensed by the next actuation of said movable means.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear hereinafter.
Reference is to be had to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view through a form of the device according to the invention and showing the parts in normal door-closed position;
FIG. 2 is a similar view showing the action approximately at a mid point;
FIG. 3 is a similar view showing the extreme position of the mechanism;
FIG. 4 is a view in elevation looking in the direction of arrow 4 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a modification;
FIG. 6 is a view showing the parts of FIG. 5 in partly actuated position;
FIG. 7 is a similar view showing the parts of FIG. 5 in the extreme position of actuation thereof;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a further modification;
FIG. 9 is an end view of the modification of FIG. 8, and
Fatented Mar. 4, 1969 FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic end view of another modification.
While the basic operation of all the mechanisms covered by this invention operate on substantially the same theory and with more or less equivalent parts, nevertheless the details of the invention may assume several difiierent forms. One of these forms is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 wherein the articles to be dispensed are labeled A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, etc. These articles are contained in a housing 10 of any convenient description and which may be made of any convenient material such as paperboard, plastic, metal, etc. In the housing there is a generally fixed platform 12 which is arranged on an incline, articles on this incline normally moving by gravity to the right onto a member 14 which may be referred to as a sweep. This sweep is mounted to pivot on an axis at 16 which may conveniently be provided by projections extending to the end walls or into appropriate holding means thereon, one of which end walls is indicated for instance at 16. This sweep has a free longitudinal end edge portion arranged vin generally triangular form as shown although other forms are equally useful as long as there is provided the free end edge 18 and the angular forward edge surface at 20 which together with the bottom edge 22 forms a sharp nose, the surface 20 being arranged tangentially with respect to a circle drawn about the axis of pivot of the sweep at 16.
The sweep 14 has a lowermost position as shown in FIG. 1 and any kind of appropriate stop means can be utilized for maintaining it in this position although it is free to move upwardly or counterclockwise as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. It is movable upwardly by means of a pair of arms or bails 24 which are conveniently located adjacent the end walls of the housing 10 and which in this case move vertically upwardly having portions thereof contacting the bottom surface 22 so as to move the sweep as is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The arms 24 are mounted on a door member 26 which is vertically slidable in a guideway generally indicated at 28 as for instance between the front wall of the housing 10 and a fixed member 30 spaced therefrom and held in position with respect to the front wall of the housing by end spacers or tabs 32. The door 26 is provided with a handle or handles 34 and the operator desiring to have article A1 dispensed, grasps handle 34 and raises it, the door 26 and arms 24, 24 therefore pivoting the sweep 14 through the positions of FIGS. 2 and 3. The door and sweep, etc. will return to the normal down or door-closed position of FIG. 1 by gravity, or if desired, of course mechanical means may be provided to insure this action.
Mounted on the member 30 or in any other desired or convenient Way, there is a fixed projection 36 which essentially is a shelf extending down and to the left as clearly shown and having a clearly defined free end edge. This can be referred to as a divider or splitter as will be more clear hereinafter.
Also there is a projection or stop member 38 mounted as desired or convenient in fixed relation with respect to the divider or splitter 36 and extending down and to the left as clearly shown, for a slightly greater distance than projection 36, and also having a free end edge. The free edge of the stop 38 is in juxtaposition with respect to the free end edge at 18 of the sweep 14 when the latter is in the FIG. 1 down position. When the sweep 14 is lifted, the edge 18 approaches the free edge of the divider or splitter 36. Both the divider or splitter 36 and the stop 38 need not be continuous and as a matter of fact are located generally centrally of the front Wall of the housing 10 as shown in FIG. 4. Depending upon the articles which are to be dispensed, these members may merely be arms extending forwardly from the member 30 or from the front wall of the housing.
There is also a leaf or hair spring or springs indicated at 40 which are fixed as at 42 and extend upwardly to the left terminating in free end portions for a purpose to be described but perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 2.
There is also a ramp 44 to receive the articles one by one as they fall from projection or stop 38 thereonto, and they roll down the ramp to be caught in article catcher 46 which again need not be continuous but can be interrupted or merely be provided by a pair of outstanding fingers.
With the parts as shown in FIG. 1 and there being articles arranged in the housing as shown, it will be appreciated that the distance between the surface 20 and the spring 40 is such as to accommodate but -:a single article which is indicated as article A1 in FIG. 1. Article A2 bears down upon article A1 by gravity and articles A3 and A4 tend to bear down on article A2, being assisted by other articles. The articles are supported by the divider or splitter 36 by the sweep 14 and by the floor 12.
It being desired to dispense a single article, the handle 34 is grasped and raised and the action is as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The nose or forward edge portion 18 of the sweep 14 forces article A1 to the right against the action of the leaf spring 40. This is clearly shown in FIG. 2. At the same time article A2 is raised so that instead of resting on article A1, it rests on the divider or splitter 36 and also partially on surface 20 of the sweep 14. This action splits articles A1 from all of the other articles in the housing. The heart of the action is this splitting or dividing action which is accomplished by actually moving the articles toward the rear, i.e., the forward wall of enclosure 10.
When the handle has been pushed to its topmost extent, see FIG. 3, the nose or edge 18 of the sweep 14 passes the center of article A1 sufiiciently to release it and it merely falls by gravity down stop 38 onto ramp 44 and on down to the catchers 46. However, all of the other articles are still maintained in the FIG. 3 position; but when the sweep starts to return to original position, it will be seen that article A2 will fall down between surface 20 of sweep 14 and the springs 40 but only article A2 can be accommodated at this time even though the articles should be comparatively different in diameter from those here illustrated. Any articles can be accommodated as long as their combined diameters are not exceeded by the distance between the free edge of the divider or splitter 36 and the surface 20. When the sweep returns to the FIG. 1 position, the dispenser is of course once more in condition for operation for the dispensing of one more single article.
A modification of the invention is shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. In this case the enclosure is more or less the same as before and is generally indicated by the reference character 50. It has catchers 52 as before and it may have if desired a fixed platform such as that at 12 in FIG. 1 but as shown in FIG. it has a movable platform 54 for the same purpose which may be depressed however against the action of magazine spring 56 in order to load more articles, i.e., below the level of the articles A1, A2, etc., gradually moving upwardly as the articles are dispensed.
A stop 58 may be used to catch the forward edge of the floor 54 to prevent it from rising above the dispensing area.
There is a divider or splitter 60, this being in the form of an upright wall having a dividing shelf or the like 62 extending down and to the right. There is a ramp 64 and there are free-ended leaf springs 66 which are normally positioned as shown in FIG. 5, but which can be flexed by the articles as they are dispensed, see FIG. 6.
At 68 there is shown an element which is more or less equivalent to the sweep 14 but has definite characteristics similar to the divider 36 and stop 38. It is conveniently made in one piece and is mounted on a vertically movable door 70 which has a handle 72 as before by which it may be lifted. The door can be guided by any simple guide means such as shown at 74. Member 68 comprises essentially a distorted M-shaped member having an upper inclined projection 76 extending down and to the left, turning at substantially a right angle into a surface extending down and to the right at 78, this again turning into another projection 80 extending down and to the left but at a slight angle with respect to the shelf 76, and an in-turned terminal portion 82 which is fastened to the door.
The distance between springs 66 and the surface 80 will be seen to accommodate but a single article A1 although smaller articles of course can also be dispensed in a oneby-one relationship as long as the diameters of the articles exceed the distance between the ramp 64 and the junction 86 between surface 80 and surface 82.
The operation of the device is similar to that described previously although the construction is somewhat different. The handle 72 upon being lifted raises the member 68 through the FIG. 6 position into the topmost or extreme FIG. 7 position. As the FIG. 6 position is approached, the free end edge 86 of the member 68 moves article A1 back up the ramp 64 against the action of spring 66 tensioning the spring. Thereupon it will be seen that passing through the FIG. 6 position to the FIG. 7 position the article A1 is split or divided from all the other articles in the enclosure 50 and the other articles are lifted upwardly to the FIG. 7 position where the article A2 now rests on the shelf 62 being held there by the end edge portion 86 of the member 68. The article A1 is substantially ejected by spring 66 down the ramp and out the opening similar to the action previously described as to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. When the handle is pushed back down again or when gravity moves the door down, then article A2 comes down into the FIG. 5 position being then borne down upon by the articles A3, A4, etc., so that the parts will appear as in FIG. 5 except that article A1 has been dispensed and article A2 is now in position to be dispensed.
As before, the member 68, also ramp 64 and spring 66 need not be continuous and as a matter of fact the sweep member 68 is preferred to be located centrally as before described as to the divider and splitter arrangement at 36, 38 in FIG. 1, for the same reason.
In FIG. 8 there is shown a modification of the pivoted sweep construction of FIG. 1. In this case the enclosure is generally shown at 80 and it may be more or less as generally before described particularly with respect to floor 12 or the follower 54, etc., not shown in FIG. 9. It has a catcher 82 upon which the articles will be held when discharged through the opening generally indicated at 84 in the forward wall 86 of the enclosure 80. -In this case the forward wall 86 and in fact the entire enclosure may be made of a flexible material such as cardboard or possibly plastic and the lower portion thereof which is integral and indicated at 88 is pivoted on an axis indicated at 90; whereas the portion of the wall 86 above this axis is fixed, the portion 88 below it may be pivoted inwardly. There is a ramp 92 on which the articles will roll to the catcher 82. There is a splitter or divider which is in the form of the parts at 30, 36 and 38 of FIG. 1, and this is indicated at 94 extending forwardly toward the pivoted member 88, and it may also be provided with article ejection springs 96.
The pivoted portion 88 of the wall 86 is provided with an enlarged rounded surface 98 and a single article will be held between the springs and this enlarged portion 98 generally as shown in FIG. 9, it being noted that the rounded surface at 98 is more or less the equivalent of the top surface and the forward inclined surface 20 of the sweep 14 in FIG. 1. That is, the article A1 as seen in FIG. 9 is held in the chute on ramp 92 and is retained there by the rounded surface at 98 on the sweep 88 as shown in solid line position in FIG. 9.
When the sweep 88 is moved upwardly, as by a handle 102, i.e., counterclockwise from the solid line position to the dotted line position thereof, FIG. 9, the article A1 is gradually pushed toward the rear against the action of springs 96 tensioning the same and finally reaching the dotted line position thereof whereupon the nose portion 100 of the sweep passes the central or diametrical position with respect to article A1 in the dotted line condition thereof, whereupon the article is free to be ejected out through the opening 84.
At the same time however it will be seen that the projection 104 together with the sweep 88 have raised and divided or split off the other articles A2, A3, etc., which are now of course supported on the projection 104 and the top surface 98 of sweep 88 and there is nothing in the chute. However as sweep 8 8 now returns to its original position, the next article A2 in effect slides down it and into the solid line position formerly held by article A1 whereupon the parts are of course ready for the next operation.
The springs 96 can be hair type springs or wires or the like and are spaced sufiiciently to provide for smooth operation of the parts without interfering therewith. One good location for these springs is about one-third of the way in with respect to each end wall of the enclosure.
In FIG. 1 the divider 36 is best located centrally with respect to the articles and the sweep and of about one-third of its length and the same is true as to the divider 76 in FIG. 5 and 92 in FIG. 10. With these proportions or approximately, the operation of the device is smooth and without malfunction regardless of damaged, frayed or bowed condition of the articles themselves. Also of course the articles may vary in size to a great extent but it is clear that they should be of a size with relation to the exit chute therefor so that only one article will be held at a time in the chute. For instance looking at FIG. 1, the article A1 can be much smaller than it is shown, down to just over one-half of the diameter shown, but anything smaller than this would allow more than one article to be dispensed which is not desired.
In FIG. there is shown a further modification. In this case the housing is indicated at 106 and it has an article exit opening at 108. A shelf 110 extends downwardly to the right toward a projection indicated at 112, these parts being fixed and defining between them a chute or throat through which the articles A1, A2, A3, etc., can pass one-by-one.
A sweep member 114 is pivoted on a fixed axis 116 and is provided with a longitudinal pocket or the like 118 for the reception of the articles one at a time from the chute between members 110 and 112. There is a leaf or hair spring or springs 120' projecting into the pocket and the article A1 tensions this spring.
The sweep is provided with a closure member formed on an arc and indicated at 122 which normally closes the opening 108 but when the sweep is moved in a clockwise direction it is clear that the article A1 will move into the dotted line position thereof and be dispensed through the opening 108. At the same time the upper forwardly projecting edge 124 forming a part of the pocket acts as a splitter to divide all of the articles A2, A3, etc., from article A1 and to maintain them in this position until the sweep 114 is once more returned to the solid line position shown in FIG. 10.
Having thus described our invention and the advantages thereof, we do not wish to be limited to the details herein disclosed, otherwise than as set forth in the claims, but what we claim is:
1. A dispenser for discrete articles comprising a hopper in which the articles may be assembled in piled-up relation, an inclined ramp, a door in a wall of the hopper adjacent said ramp providing an exit for the articles one-by-one,
and means in said hopper for dividing a single article from the pile of articles and holding the same in isolated position to be released alone, and means for actuating said means,
said first-named means comprising a pair of members,
one of said members comprising a pair of projections arranged in mutually spaced relation sufficient for receiving one of said articles between them,
including a single element extending toward the firstnamed projections, both projections and the single element having cooperating free end edges,
and means providing a relative motion between said members so that the free end edge of said single element is selectively substantially capable of alignment with the free end edge of either one of said projections,
one of said mutually spaced projections holding back the pile of articles at the time when said single element is in alignment therewith and at the same time allows the single article between projections to exit through the opening.
2. The dispenser of claim 1 including spring means for ejecting the article from the space between the projections.
3. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said projections are located on an incline downwardly toward their free end edges.
4. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said single element is movable and the projections are fixed.
5. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein the member with the projections is movable and the single element is fixed.
6. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said single element is arranged to swing on a pivot in the form of a sweep on an axis removed from the free end edge thereof.
7. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said member with the two projections moves rectilinearly and the single member is fixed.
8. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said single element is swingable on an axis removed from and generally parallel to its free end edge, said axis being located intermediate the sides of the hopper and the member with the two projections being located adjacent to and just above the opening.
9. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said single element is swingable on an axis removed from and generally parallel to its free end edge, said axis being located intermediate the sides of the hopper and the member with the two projections being located adjacent to and just above the opening, a door for closing said opening, the member with the two projections on it being mounted on said door for motion therewith.
10. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said single member is mounted to swing on an axis removed from the free end edge thereof and generally parallel thereto, said axis being located adjacent said opening and just above the same so that said movable member extends from the wall of the hopper inwardly thereof and the member with the two projections on it is located intermediate the side walls of the hopper.
'11. A dispenser for discrete articles comprising an enclosure in which the articles may be assembled in a piled relationship, an opening in a wall of the enclosure for providing an exit for the articles, a ramp leading on an upward incline from said opening towards the interior of the enclosure,
means in said hopper for dividing a single article from the pile of articles and holding the same in isolated position to be released alone,
said means comprising a fixed projection in the hopper,
said projection having a free end edge, a second projection in the hopper, said second projection having a free end edge extending toward the free end edge of the first projection, the second projection being movable between positions where its free end edge is separated from the free end edge of the first projection to a position where it is adjacent the same, and means for moving said movable projection, and said means including further means cooperating with the movable projection when the latter is in its position separate from the fixed projection to form 14. The dispenser of claim 11 wherein the movable a chute for a single article received therein between projection includes another projection siding in the mothe free end edges of the projections when the movation of the articles in their piled-up relationship so as ble projection is remote from the fixed projection, to allow the splitting olf of the single article.
said movable projection upon being moved by the 5 15. The dispenser of claim 11 wherein the fixed promeans to move it toward the first projection, moving jection is provided with another projection in spaced the divided ofi" articles in order to pass it, and the relation with respect to the first-named fixed projection. free end edge of the movable projection passing the single article sufiicient to release the article to move Refe ences Cit d down the ramp to said opening while at the same time maintaining all of the other articles generally 10 UNITED SCFATES PATENTS supported by the two projections in their free end 1,806,399 5/1931 PP 221-205 edge adjacent relation, and said movable projection 2,310,933 2/1943 Burger 221-405 then moving to its remote position once more allow- FOREIGN PATENTS ing a single article between the two projections to 15 be held in said chute in divided condition of the said 49,769 11/1889 Germanysecond single article. I I 12. The dispenser of claim 11 wherein the movable STANLEY TOLLBERG Pnmary Emmmer' projection is swingable on a fixed axis. US. Cl. X.R.
13. The dispenser of claim 11 wherein the movable 20 221290 projection is movable rectilinearly.