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Publication numberUS3527383 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 8, 1970
Filing dateOct 17, 1968
Priority dateOct 17, 1968
Publication numberUS 3527383 A, US 3527383A, US-A-3527383, US3527383 A, US3527383A
InventorsBorsum Adolph W, Borsum William K
Original AssigneeBorsum Adolph W, Borsum William K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for dispensing pills or the like
US 3527383 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 8, 1970 A. w. BORSUM E 3,527,383

APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING PILLS OR THE LIKE ATTORNEY Filed Oct, 17, 1968 MMV/if/AV /V/f/WW/ United States Patent O 3,527,383 APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING PILLS OR THE LIKE Adolph W. Borsum and William K. Borsum, both of 521 Pacific Ave., Solana Beach, Calif. 92075 Filed Oct. 17, 1968, Ser. No. 768,272 Int. Cl. B65g 59/00 US. Cl. 221-112 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The dispensing container is formed of a stationary cylindrical casing member and a rotatable top member mounted in an open upper end of the casing. Interiorly, the casing is formed with three distinct sections, the bottom one of which is a reservoir or chamber in which the pills normally rest. A top section is formed into a so-called pill-delivery chamber from which the pills are dispensed outwardly through the rotatable top. Stops are provided for holding the pills in fixed positions prior to actual delivery. Between the reservoir and the pill-delivery chamber are a plurality of longitudinal pilldelivery passageways sized to guide the pills from the reservoir into the delivery chamber when the casing is inverted. The rotatable top has a post portion extending axially into the pilldelivery chamber, the bottom end of the post portion having a radial flange sized to cover hte pilldelivery passageways as the top is rotated. The pill-dispensing opening preferably is formed in the post portion and dispensing is accomplished by inverting the container and rotating the top member of the casing to bring the radial flange into a position in which it lies beneath one of the fixed pills in the delivery chamber and over such pills as may be contained in the passageway beneath the fixed pill. The fixed pill then is free to drop by gravity through the opening in the post portion of the top end.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to dispensing apparatus and, in particular, to apparatus for dispensing pills and the like one at a time.

There, of course, are almost endless varieties of dispensers which may be utilized for dispensing pills as well as many other objects. For the most part, however, the dispensers are of a type in which the pill drops into a recess and then is carried by a rotary action to a delivery position, and in any such operation there always is the possibility of the pills becoming wedged, jammed and pulverized to the extent that the mechanism itself may become jammed. Other types of dispensers appear to be relatively complex and, in some instances, diificult to operate as well as unreliable to the extent that two or more pills accidentally may be dispensed instead of the single desired pill. In any event there appears to be a need for a reliable, simple dispenser for objects, such as spherical and encapsulated pills. The need is particularly acute when the pills are intended for use in dental-cleans ing operations employing certain accessory equipment which will be generally described.

THE OBJECTS The primary object of the present invention is to provide simple, reliable dispensing apparatus for dispensing pills one at a time.

A further object is to provide apparatus of this type in which the pill is held in a fixed position until actual delivery, such fixed position greatly minimizing the possibility of any grinding or jamming action.

Another object is to provide apparatus adapted for 3,527,383 Patented Sept. 8, 1970 use with particular dental-cleansing apparatus to the extent that the dispenser apparatus is capable of dispensing pills one at a time directly into the accessory dentalcleansing apparatus without intermediate handling, unnecessarily wetting and/or contamination of the pill.

Other objects and their attendant advantages will belcome apparent in the ensuing description which is to fol- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present container apparatus is formed with the upright casing member having an open top end and a plural- 1ty of partition walls providing a plurality of verticallyextending pill-delivery passageways adapted to feed pills into a pill-delivery chamber formed in the upper end of the casing. Most suitably, the pill-delivery chamber is of such a height that it contains only one pill at a time and further it is provided with means for holding the delivered pill in a fixed position until it is dispensed. A container top member closes the open top end of the casing and is rotatably mounted in this top end. Further, the top member carries a post portion that projects axially into the pill-delivery chamber of the casing, the lower end of the post portion being formed with a radial flange which, as the top is rotated, travels in a path closely proximate to the delivery ends of the vertically-extending passageways. The pill-dispensing opening through which the pills proceed for external use preferably is formed in the post portion. When the top is rotated, the radial flange moves under the pill held in its fixed position in the pill-delivery chamber and over other pills that may be contained in a passageway. Thus, when the top has been so rotated, the apparatus may be inverted and the pill is free to drop through dispensing opening of the post portion. In the preferred form of the invention, the post portion of the rotatable top end is extended outwardly of the rotatable top in the form of a nozzle and the dispensing opening is continued through this nozzle portion. The nozzle is adapted to be coupled to external apparatus capable of rotating the top end and promoting delivery of a pill from the dispenser into it. Other significant features will become apparent in the ensuing description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings of which FIG. 1 is a central longitudinal sectional view showing the dispensing apparatus in an inverted pilldelivering position;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are transverse sections taken along lines 2-2 and 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a central longitudinal sectional view of a casing member of the apparatus, the casing again being shown in an inverted position; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective of the rotatable top of the apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1, the dispensing apparatus, which, as has been stated, is illustrated in an inverted or upside down position, is formed generally of a cylindrical casing 1, which is a stationary member, and a top member 2 mounted in the open end of easing 1 in a manner to be described. The apparatus, which may be formed of plastic material or any other material desired, is adapted to contain and dispense encapsulated objects such as spherical pills 3. If desired, casing 1 can be provided with a removable bottom 4 to permit the filling and refilling of the apparatus.

Interiorly, caslng 1 is formed into three main portions or chambers, these being a pill reservoir chamber 6, pill delivery passageways 7 and pill-delivery chamber 8,

3 the latter two sections of the casing being shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 respectively. As may be noted, pill reservoir 6 simply is an open space from which the pills are delivered through passageway 7 into pill-dispensing chamber 8.

Passageways 7 may be formed as vertical bores in central portion 9 of the casing and, as best seen in FIG. 3, the bores are spaced radially at equal distances from the central axis of the casing. Also, as should be obvious, the bores are slightly larger than the pills to be dispensed so as to receive and guide the pills into chamber 8. Although passageways 7 are defined as bores it, of course, is possible to provide save material by molding a skeletonized structure. Pill-delivery chamber 8 is an open chamber of a height approximating the pill height, the chamber being formed with a plurality of flanges 10 forming pockets in which the pills are held in fixed positions until actually dispensed.

As has been stated, top 2 is rotatably mounted in the open end of casing 1 and, insofar as the present purposes of the invention are concerned, the rotatable mounting may be provided in any suitable manner. As shown in FIG. 1, top 2 is a two-part construction including a retaining ring or nut 11 provided with exterior threads 12 by which it is secured to matching threads of the casing. The retaining ring has an open center into which is closely fitted a rotatable post 13 that extends axially inwardly into chamber 8 (FIG. 1) and is provided at its inner end with a radial flange or tongue 14 which should be of sufiicient width to cover any of the pill delivery passageways '7. Post 13 also has a radial flange 16 to engage a shoulder formed in ring 11, the engagement permiting the threaded ring to rotatably secure the post in the illustrated disposition. Since post 13 is intended to be rotated into certain fixed positions for dispensing the spherical pills, the apparatus is provided with an indexing mechanism capable of indicating when the top is in these desired positions. Specifically, the indexing mechanism may be formed of a steel ball 17 adapted to be pressed into grooves or indentations 18 (FIG. 5) formed on the underside of the post. A spring 19 provides the resilient pressure for so pressing the ball into its indexing indentations.

When post 13 is secured in operative position and rotated, flange or tongue 14 is so disposed that is rides beneath a pill, such as pill 3a of FIG. 1, and over the other pills contained in the passageway. To facilitate the movement of flange 14 beneath pill 3a, the sides of the flange may be provided with bevels 21 which wedge or cam the pills apart. The actual delivery or dispensing of the pill is accomplished by permitting pill 3a to drop through a dispensing opening 22 formed in post 13. As seen in FIG. 1, opening 22 extends transversely a short distance and then axially of the post. Further, since the delivery of the pill is achieved by a gravity drop, delivery is facilitated by forming the underside of top 2 with an inclined wall 23.

Another significant feature of the present apparatus is that it is adapted to dispense or deliver the pills one at time into other apparatus which may be connected to post 13. For this purpose, the post is extended exteriorly of top 2 in the form of a nozzle 13a. By way of illustration, in one contemplated use of the dispensing apparatus, it is coupled to certain dental-cleansing apparatus shown and described in our copending patent applications Ser. Nos. 635,323, 627,595 and 632,156. Ser. No. 635,323, filed Apr. 27, 1967, entitled A Mixing, Dispensing and Metering Device, is a device adapted to receive a pill which, when received, is mixed and eroded hydraulically to form a solution then fed to a teeth-cleaning device, such as that described in Ser. No. 632,156, filed Apr. 17, 1967. The cleansing solution is delivered to the cleansing device under the control of a Stem Actuated Valve, which forms the subject matter of Ser. No. 627,595, filed Mar. 29, 1967.

Of greater significance, the connection to the cleansing apparatus is accomplished by means of a Push-Pull Connector forming the subject matter of copending application Ser. No. 606,465, filed Dec. 30, 1966. This connector member is of a type adapted to mate male and female joints, themale joint being a cylindrical, pipelike member. As related to the present invention, nozzle 13a is formed to provide the male portion of the pushpull connector to permit the dispensing member to be coupled to the mechanism of Ser. No. 635,323, A Mixing, Dispensing and Metering Device. For this purpose, the end of the Mixing, Dispensing and Metering Device adapted to be coupled to the dispenser is formed as the female joint for the push-pull connector. As will be appreciated, a detailed understanding of these other disclosures is not needed for an understanding of the present invenion.

The operation of the present apparatus should be relatively apparent from the foregoing description. Pills 3 are fed into the apparatus by removing either bottom 4 or top 2. When filled, the apparatus may be inverted and pills 3 automatically will fall through passageways 7 into pill receiving chamber 8. Post 13 of top 2 then may be rotated manually, or if the dispenser is used with the dental-cleansing system previously described, the top is rotated by rotating the coupled portion of the system. Rotation proceeds until tongue 14 wedges between a pill, such a pill 3a, and the other pills in underlying passageways 7. Pill 3a then drops by gravity through opening 22 and, when another pill is desired, the top simply is rotated or indexed to the next passageway containing a pill. The indexing mechanism facilitates the operation by indicating when flange 14 is in pill-delivery position.

In general, the apparatus is realtively simple in structure and inexpensive to fabricate. Functionally, it is unusually reliable since it assures the delivery of only one pill at a time and it materially minimizes the possibility of wetting, jamming. or grinding the pills prior to delivery. When the apparatus is used with the dentalcleansing system, it is highly important that this reliability be maintained. Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings.

We claim:

1. Container apparatus for dispensing pills comprising:

a stationary container casing member having an open top end,

said casing being formed with partition walls providing a plurality of longitudinal pill-delivery passageways terminating at their upper ends in delivery ends spaced from said open top for providing a pill-delivery chamber,

said delivery ends being spaced radially equidistantly from the longitudinal axis of said casing and said chamber having means for holding pills delivered to it from said passageways in relatively fixed positions circumferentially,

a container top member rotatably mounted in the open end of said casing,

said top member carrying a post portion projecting axially into said casing delivery chamber holding pills in the chamber in a relatively fixed position radially,

a tongue-like flange carried by said post and extending radially thereof in close proximity to said pilldelivery passageway ends,

said flange being sized to cover any one of said delivery ends whereby rotation of said container top member moves said flange beneath a fixed pill in said chamber and over other pills disposed in the passageway from which said pill was delivered to the chamber, and said top member post portion being formed with a pill-dispensing opening axially aligned with said radial flange,

whereby said pills may be dispensed by inverting said container and permitting a pill to drop through said dispensing opening when said flange is rotatably moved beneath said pill.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said casing is formed with a bottom pill reservoir chamber and said passageways extend between said reservoir chamber and said delivery chamber.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein passageways are formed as radially-spaced bores in a central portion of said casing interior.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 further including means for indexing the rotation of said top member for aligning said tongue flange with said delivery openings of said passageways.

5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said casing is formed with a bottom wall and said wall is detachably secured to said casing for facilitating the filling of said reservoir chamber with pills.

6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said apparatus 20 is adapted for use with a pill-receiving tubular member,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 560,039 5/1896 Mackin 2211 12 X 1,067,211 7/1913 Birsfield 22l-113 1,741,033 12/1929 Neidlinger 22-277 X 2,433,873 1/1948 Tawney et a] 221-113 X 3,079,043 2/ 1963 Le Blanc et a1 221265 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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US1067211 *Jul 1, 1910Jul 8, 1913Jules A BirsfieldVending-machine.
US1741033 *Jul 27, 1926Dec 24, 1929Peerless Tube CompanyFeed mechanism
US2433873 *Oct 1, 1941Jan 6, 1948Demarco Jr Salvatore JVending machine
US3079043 *Apr 7, 1960Feb 26, 1963Le Blanc Gerard JTablet dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831574 *Jan 24, 1973Aug 27, 1974Strand LLoading device for spherical objects
US4142649 *Feb 9, 1978Mar 6, 1979Seth PomeroyDispensing apparatus for tampons
US4460108 *May 13, 1982Jul 17, 1984Sony CorporationApparatus for feeding electric circuit elements
US4465191 *Jun 14, 1982Aug 14, 1984Darbo Rolf EPersonal tablet dispenser
US5630525 *Dec 17, 1993May 20, 1997Novo Nordisk A/SDispenser for consecutive dispensing of tablets
US6701944 *Jan 23, 2002Mar 9, 2004Unilever Home & Personal Care Usa, Division Of Conopco, Inc.Detergent dispenser system
US7097068Jun 8, 2004Aug 29, 2006Ecolab Inc.Tablet dispenser with isolated delivery sensor
US7604124Jun 14, 2007Oct 20, 2009Rexam Healthcare Packaging Inc.Dispensing container and package for pelletized products
US20050269348 *Jun 8, 2004Dec 8, 2005Ecolab Inc.Tablet dispenser with isolated delivery sensor
US20150151899 *May 29, 2013Jun 4, 2015Balda Medical Gmbh & Co. KgDispensing device for solid portions and method for dispensing solid portions
EP0002403A1 *Nov 16, 1978Jun 13, 1979LABORATOIRES SUPPO-STERIL Société à responsabilité limitée dite:Counting and dispensing closure for granules disposed in a container
EP0261617A2 *Sep 19, 1987Mar 30, 1988Knoll AgDosage dispenser
EP0261617A3 *Sep 19, 1987Sep 28, 1988Knoll AgDosage dispenser
WO2005122860A1 *Mar 28, 2005Dec 29, 2005Ecolab Inc.Tablet dispenser with isolated delivery sensor
WO2013182459A1 *May 29, 2013Dec 12, 2013Balda Medical Gmbh & Co. KgDispensing device for solid portions and method for dispensing solid portions
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/112, 221/122
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2583/0495, B65D83/0409
European ClassificationB65D83/04A