US 3467275 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Se t. 16, 1969 a. w. VAUGHAN ETAL 3.
CONTAINER DISPENSER HAVING AN ESCAPEMENT ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 26, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 90 i I I L....]
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CONTAINER DISPENSER HAVING AN ESCAPEMENT ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 26, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 N WN G W VINVENTORS. m FORGE QUGHHN WALTER s. 5ARTON w M 'r E. SIMPSON ATT NEY 5 Sheets-Sheet on N I 00 zutzm rl. .53 55 INVENTORS G. W. VAUGHAN ETAL CONTAINER DISPENSER HAVING AN ESCAPEMENT ASSEMBLY A- tlrll"l"""" I I Sept. 16, 1969 Filed Dec. 26, 1967 lllllllllll IIIIIIIIIIIIIIl-ti .uill .llllll Illllllll l v. .I l1. .1 II
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ATT RNEY p 16, 1969 G. w. VAUGHAN ETAL 3,467,275
CONTAINER DISPENSER HAVING AN ESCAPEMENT ASSEMBLY 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec.
INVENTORS'. w Geoaes WVMGHAN WALTER 5. BARTON w Marv E. SIMPSON A'ITORN Y Sept. 16,
G. W. VAUGHAN ETAL CONTAINER DISPENSER HAVING AN ESCAPEMENT ASSEMBLY mam CON-M MU! M,
Gsoaes W VAUGHAN WALTER S. BARTON BY W M 1'1 E. SIMPSON ATTORNEI United States Patent f U.S. Cl. 221--197 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for selectively dispensing different classes of containerized merchandise wherein a gravity actuated and electromagnetically controlled star wheel unit dispenses containers from each class in response to a customers selection. The apparatus is specifically characterized by: front loading and front dispensing container chutes; a removably mounted dispensing unit for receiving containers from the front end of each dispensing chute; mechanism for obstructing simultaneous selection of two or more classes of merchandise for delivery; and mechanism automatically operable at the end of a vending cycle for preventing unauthorized delivery of a container through reverse rotation of the star wheel.
This invention relates to Vending apparatus for containerized goods such as foodstuffs, beverages and other packaged commodities, and more particularly to a series of selectively operable assemblies for dispensing various grades and types of commodities in response to a customers selection.
It is an object of this invention to provide a vending apparatus of the type described having the essential parts thereof arranged to conserve space; and positioned for ready access from a front opening common to all of such parts. In particular, the invention is featured by the ease of obtaining ready access from the front opening to the areas most frequently used and serviced including the entrances to the container supply chutes and the interior of the dispensing units.
It is another object of invention to provide a vending apparatus having a plurality of individually operable and electromagnetically controlled units for dispensing containerized goods, in combination with a lockout mechanism responsive to the operation of one of the units for blocking operation of the remaining units. This result is obtained by extending a flexible cable transversely across the paths of movement of the normally retracted press buttons which actuate the selector switches, and further, by providing only enough slack in the cable (that is, longitudinal and transverse cable movement) to permit a selected press button to move the distance to close its associated switch. Thus when a selected button is pressed to switch closing position, the entire cable slack will be absorbed while the remaining unslackened portion will block the movement of the other buttons. If two or more press buttons should be pressed simultaneously, only a fractional portion of the cable slackswould be available for each button thereby preventing both from moving to switch closing positions.
It is a further object of invention to provide a coin operated vending apparatus having an inclined chute for supporting containers to be dispensed, in combination with an electromagnetically controlled star wheel, said wheel being rotatable a partial revolution to deliver each lowermost container from the chute to the customer, and then automatically lockable against rotation in either direction to completea delivery cycle. The alternate rotation and locking of the wheel is effected by an oscillat- 3,467,275 Patented Sept. 16, 1969 able escapement pawl having the opposite ends thereof alternately engageable with the star wheel prongs.
Some of the objects of invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which,
FIGURE 1 is a front elevation of a vending apparatus with portions thereof broken away and in section to illustrate the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 22 in FIGURES 1 and 3;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional plan view taken along lines 33, 3-3A and 33B in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged elevational view of the opposite ends of the selector press button panel shown on a smaller scale in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a selectional plan view taken along line 55 in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken along line 66 in FIGURE 5, showing a selector press button in its normally retracted position;
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6, but showing the press button moved to switch closing position;
FIGURE 8 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken along line 8-8 in FIGURE 4; and
FIGURE 9 is an electrical wiring diagram, showing the circuitry and associated controlled elements in schematic form.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the numeral 10 broadly denotes a vending apparatus comprising a box 11 having a vertically disposed front opening 12 therein adapted to be closed by a door 14 hingedly secured to the box as at 15.
The interior of box 10 has vertically disposed identical vending assemblies A, B, C, D and E therein (FIGURES l-3). The assembly A will be described below as typical; however, the cooperative relationship of the five assemblies includes additional elements.
The assembly A consists of at least one rearwardly inclined gravity feeding chute 17 for supporting a reserve supply of containers 18, a forwardly inclined gravity feeding chute disposed beneath chute 17, and a dispensing unit 22 for releasing the lowermost container 18 in chute 20 for delivery to the customer at the front opening 12 of the apparatus. A vertical chute 19 connects the rear lower end of chutes 17 to the rear upper end of chute 20. In order to insure that containers 18 will always feed from the uppermost chute 17, a pivoted U-shaped divider 21 is mounted at the junction of vertical chute 19 and each chute 17.
It will be noted from FIGURE 2 that the upper forward end of each chute 17 branches from and forms a continuation of the front opening 12 of the box, thereby rendering the chute inlets easily accessible for replenishment with containers. When chutes 17, 19 and 20 are filled, a column of contiguous containers tend to move by gravity from the upper levels toward the front end of the lowermost chute 20. Movement of the containers from chute 20 is controlled by a star wheel 26 which intermittently rotates in response to a customers selection to deliver the lowermost container in a manner hereinafter described.
Star wheel 26 is mounted for rotation about a shaft 27 and has radially extending prongs which successively engage the lowermost containers in the chute 20 therebelow and prevent delivery except during a regular delivery cycle.
During operation, the wheel is caused to rotate through an angle between the lowermost and next adjacent radial prong to deliver a container, and then stop in locked position at the end of a cycle.
Star wheel shaft 27 is rotatably mounted between spaced side plates 28, 28 of the dispensing unit 22 (FIGURE 3) and these plates are, in turn, positioned between and spaced 3 from the inner opposed surfaces of chute 20. The front ends of plates 28, 28 have flanges 30, 30 integral therewith which are detachably secured to the front end of chute 20 by means such as screws 31, thereby supporting the dispensing unit by means readily accessible from the front opening 12 of the box.
The star wheel 26 of dispensing unit 22 is alternately released for rotation and locked against rotation by escapement pawl 35 oscillatably mounted as at 36 between the walls 28, 28 of the unit (FIGURES 2 and The pawl and star wheel occupy the relative positions shown in FIGURE 2 at the end of a delivery cycle and until a new cycle has begun. Leg 37 of the pawl 35 is provided with an inverted U-shaped notch 37a which is adapted to be engaged by the uppermost star wheel prong 25 to lock the wheel against further counterclockwise rotation after a delivery cycle is completed. Notch 37a also prevents substantial clockwise rotation after completion of a cycle which, if permitted, would make possible an unauthorized delivery from the delivery opening 33 by opening the closure 32 and exerting rearward pressure upon the lowermost star wheel prong 25 (FIGURE 2).
Pawl 35 also has an oppositely extending leg 38 with an end hook 38a adapted to be positioned out of the path of movement of all of the wheel prongs 25 When the notch 37a is engaged by the lowermost prong as shown in FIGURE 2. When, however, the pawl is rotated in a counterclockwise direction to release the uppermost prong 25 from notch 37a, the hook 38a will move into the path of the released prong and, after wheel 26 completes onefifth revolution, will block further rotation. Concurrently with the blocking action by hook 38a, the pawl will be rotated in a clockwise direction to cause notch 37a to become engaged with the succeeding prong 25 adjacent the one previously released (FIGURE 2). Containers 18 may be dispensed from any one of the assemblies A through E in response to the deposit of a coin in the changer 63. The electrical circuitry for controlling the selective container delivery is illustrated in FIGURE 9 and described below.
Electrical controls In describing the elements common to assemblies A through E and substantially identical in function, the same numeral will be used in association with a prefix denoting the assembly. For example, the switch 41 of assembly A is designated as A41; for assembly B as B41; for assembly C as C41 and so on.
Briefly stated, the typical assembly A is provided with a number of important switches for controlling the delivery of the corresponding lowermost container 18 therefrom, namely, solenoid switch A39 of group 40; flavor selecting switch A41 of group 42; flavor-out switch A52 of group 53; time delay switch A57 of group 58; vend limit switch A69 of group 70; auxiliary switch A78 of group 79; and auxiliary switch A85 of group 86.
Certain elements or switches are common to all of the assemblies A through E, namely, coin changer 63, container opener 90, display light 91 and signal light 107, said elements being connected as later described.
Light 91 is installed in a conduit 93 connected between current supply conduits 48 and 49. Changer 63 has a terminal 95 connected to the supply conduit 48 by means of conduits 96 and 97, said changer also having terminals 73 and 100 respectively connected to the other supply conduit 49 by means of conduits 75 and 101. The conduit 101 includes solenoid switches A50 through E5 0.
Another conduit 104 bypasses changer 63 and connects and has contact 105 therein, said conduit connecting the conduits 48 and 101. Signal light 107 is disposed in conduit 109 which connects conduit 48 with changer terminal 108. Finally, a normally closed switch 110 is dis posed in conduit 112 which connects changer terminal 111 to the junction of conduits 96, 97 and 102.
Referring again to the circuitry for typical assembly A, it will be observed from FIGURES 2 and 9 that the oscillation of pawl 35 and the resulting alternate release and locking of star wheel 26 is actuated by the solenoid A39 which, in turn, is controlled by press button switch A41 of flavor-select switch group 42. Pawl 35 has a third leg 43, the upper free end of which is pivotally connected as at 44 to link 45, said link having its opposite end pivotally connected as at 46 to solenoid core 47 of the mechanism A39.
The mechanisms A39 through E39 are respectively connected to press button switches A41 through E41 by the detailed circuitry shown in FIGURE 9. Referring specifically to the circuitry of typical assembly A, the mechanism A39 in conduit 54 is provided with switch A50 of group 51, one end of conduit 54 being connected to flavorout switch A52 of group 53 and the other end to time delay switch A57 of group 58. Switch A57 is also connected to terminal 62 of changer 63 by means of conduits 65 and 66, the conduit 66 having contact 67 therein.
The above-mentioned switch A52 is also connected to one side of the vend limit switch A69 of group 70 by means of conduit 71, the other side of switch A69 being connected to changer terminal 73 by conduits 74 and 75.
The flavor-select switches A41 through E41 are serially connected with changer 63 through the intermediate elements consisting of conduit 66, contact 67, double contact switches A through E85, and conduits 113. Switches A85 through E85 are also connected to double contact switches A78 through E78 of group 79 and with double contact switches A57 through E57 of group 58 by conduits 65 and 66.
One of the contacts of each of switches A85 through E85 is connected to time delay relay coil 60 by conduit 115, the other side of said coil being connected to conduit 49 and to changer terminal by an intermediate group of elements consisting of conduits 101 and 115 and solenoid switches A50 through E50. The other contact of each of the switches A85 through D85 is com nected to one side of switches B78 through E78 respectively by wire 117, said last-named switches being respectively connected to wires 114 by means of wires 118. Wires 114 contain relay coils A1 through E1 respectively, said wires cooperating with wires 54 to connect flavorselect switches A41 through E41 to flavor-out switches A52 through E52. Each of the switches A57 through B57 is connected to a flavor-out switch of group 53 and a solenoid mechanism of group 40 by a wire 54.
The vend limit switches A69 through E69 and the flavor-out switches A52 through E52 function automatically in response to the absence of a container 18 thereon, said switches being located at the junction of the lowermost chute 17 with the vertical chute 19 (FIGURES 2 and 3).
Mode of operation When the machine is connected to a power source, current flows from lines 48 and 49 to display light 91 and can opener 90. Then when money is deposited in changer 63, it operates in a conventional manner to complete its cycle during which lines 48, 96 and 97 are connected to line 101 to energize relay coil 39a. Relay 39a closes its contact 105 which is locked in energized condition until later de-energized through any one of solenoid switch contacts A50 through E50. Relay 38a opens its contacts which de-energizes the changer 63 to prevent it from receiving more money. Also, relay 39a closes its contacts 67 and connects line 48 through the changer to lines 65 and 66, to relay contacts A85 through E85, and to push button switches A41 through E41 at line 113. I
At this time, any one of the switches A41 through E41 may be operated. For example, when A41 is operated, the line 113 is connected to line 114; and if merchandise is available, and if the switch A52 is closed to connect lines 71 and 141, the A1 relay is energized to complete the circuit.
Upon energization of relay Al, the latter operates contacts A85, A78 and A57. Contact A85 closes to connect lines 66 and 115 and thereby energizes the time delay relay. Also, the contacts A85 opens line 66 to line 113 so that neither of the relays B1, C1, D1 nor E1 can operate from their respective push buttons 124. The contacts of A78 close to connect lines 117 and 118 to lock relay A1 energized when push button switch A41 is released. The contacts of A57 close and, after one second time delay, the line 65 is connected through the time delay relay contacts to line 54 to energize vending solenoid A39 which releases the lowermost container 18 in chute 20 for delivery.
Since solenoid switch A50 is mechanically linked to solenoid A39, it opens contacts and removes the power from relay coil 39a, thereby de-energizing and causing all of the circuitry to return to normal upon completion of the vending cycle. The above sequence is substantially the same for any one of the five assemblies A through E.
Should any of the flavor-out switches A52 through E52 be operated because the merchandise is exhausted or not available in the respective assemblies, the corresponding switch will prevent the associated solenoid and relay from operating, even though the flavor push button is pressed.
Switches A69 through E69 are connected in parallel so that when the machine is empty, the line 49 is opened to line 75, thereby de-energizing the coin changer 63 so that it rejects any money deposited. However, should any one of the assemblies A through E have merchandise available, the machine will vend such merchandise until the available supply is exhausted.
The function of the manual switch 103 is to bypass the changer "63 and continuously energize relay 39a; and when a flavor-select push button is operated continuously, the machine will vend once every second to unload that flavor for service reasons. Also, the switch 103 may be used for testing purposes.
Press button interlock Each of the press button switches A41 through B41 is in normally open position and adapted to be closed by a push button 124 (FIGURES 1 and 4-7). In order to prevent simultaneous operation of two or more switches A41 through E41 during a vending cycle, a flexible and substantially non-stretchable cable or cord 123 is extended across the paths of inward movement of the five press buttons 124 and then anchored to door 14 as at 125, 125. The intermediate portion of the cable between the points of anchorage is slidably confined at points 126 between adjacent press buttons 124. It is important to note that only enough slack is provided in the cable between points 125 to permit a single selected push button to move inwardly to a switch-closing position such as shown in FIGURE 7; consequently, only one of the vending assemblies may be actuated during a vending cycle. The simultaneous pressing of two or more buttons 124 will not actuate either of the corresponding switches since only a fractional amount of the required cable slack to close a switch will be available to each of the pressed buttons.
In the drawings and specification a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed; and although specific terms are employed, these are used in a descriptive sense and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of invention being defined in the following claims.
1. Vending apparatus for containerized merchandise comprising:
(a) a box having a vertically disposed front opening and closure means for said opening;
(b) a rearwardly inclined gravity feeding chute having a container receiving inlet forming a continuation of said front Opening;
(c) a forwardly inclined gravity feeding chute having an upper container receiving inlet communicating with the lower end of said first chute, said forwardly inclined chute having its outlet communicating with said front opening, whereby a substantially V-shaped compartment will be formed between said chutes and communicating with the front opening;
(d) a rearwardly extending housing disposed in said compartment;
(e) means for detachably securing the front end of said housing to the front end of said compartment; and
(f) a star-wheel rotatably mounted in said compartment and having radially extending prongs engageable by successive lowermost gravity-fed containers in said chute as the wheel rotates,
(g) an escapement pawl having one arm engageable with one of said prongs to block forward rotation of said wheel and disengageable with the latter prong to release the wheel for said forward rotation and thereby release the lowermost container from the chute, said pawl having a second arm alternately operable with the said first arm and engageable with another of said prongs to block further rotation of the wheel upon said container release,
(h) means carried by said pawl and operable upon the blocking of the said last-named container for locking said wheel against reverse rotation.
2. Vending apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said reverse rotation blocking means comprises a notch in said first-named pawl arm and engageable by said prongs.
3. Vending apparatus for containerized merchandise comprising:
(a) a box having a vertically disposed front opening and closure means for said opening;
(b) a forwardly inclined gravity feeding container chute having an outlet communicating with said front opening;
(0) a rotary star wheel having radially extending prongs engageable by successive lowermost gravity-fed containers in said chute as the wheel rotates,
(d) an escapement pawl having one arm engageable with one of said prongs to block forward rotation of said wheel and disengageable with the latter prong to release the wheel for said forward rotation and thereby release the lowermost container from the chute, said pawl having a second arm alternately operable with the said first arm and engageable with another of said prongs to block further rotation of the wheel upon said container release,
(e) means carried by said pawl and operable upon the blocking of the said last-named container for locking said wheel against reverse rotation.
4. Vending apparatus as in claim 3, wherein said reverse rotation blocking means comprises a notch in said first-named pawl arm and engageable by said prongs.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,534,273 4/1925 Krema 221-295 2,304,484 12/ 1942 Smith 221-109 X 2,570,516 10/1951 Bowman 221-109 X 2,956,660 10/1960 Nordquist 221-6 X 3,068,984 12/1962 Timms 194-10 3,137,377 6/1964 Johnson 194-10 3,294,286 12/ 1966 Zibbell t 221-6 3,343,641 9/1967 Robinson 194-10 FOREIGN PATENTS 920,154 10/ 1954 Germany.
640,922 8/ 1960 Italy.
345,189 471960 Switzerland.
WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.