US 3651890 A
A device for self-service stores, in which in front of the withdrawal compartments from which the customer withdraws his purchased checked-out goods there is provided a conveyor belt while between the latter and said withdrawal compartments there are provided two pivotal confining plates movable selectively into an open or closed position depending on the respective withdrawal compartment to be charged.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
PATENTED MAH 2 8 |972 SHEET 1 UF 7 FIG-l FIG-2 United States Patent Potrafke [451 Mar. 28, 1972  DEVICE FOR SELF-SERVICE STORES  Inventor: Werner Potrafke, Hufeisenstrasse 6, 432
Hattingen, Germany  Filed: Dec. 21, 1970 [2 l] Appl. No.: 99,778
 Foreign Application Priority Data Dec. 20, 1969 Germany ..P I9 64 038.1
 U.S. Cl. ..186/1 A, 198/31 AB [5l] Int. CI ..E04h 3/04  Field of Search ..186/1, l A, 1 AC; 198/31 AB  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,219,055 10/1940 Pereslegin ....2 ..1978[l88 3,076,528 2/1963 Potrafke l 86/l A FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 253,737 4/1967 Austria ..186/l A Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Attorney-Walter Becker  ABSTRACT A device for self-service stores, in which in front of the withdrawal compartments from which the customer withdraws his purchased checked-out goods there is provided a conveyor belt while between the latter and said withdrawal compartments there are provided two pivotal confining plates movable selectively into an open or closed position depending on the respective withdrawal compartment to be charged.
21 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMARZE; |972 3,651,890
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PATENTED MAR 2 8 |972 SHEET 5 F 7 PTNTEUMARZB ma SHEET 7 UF 7 FIG 53,59
IIIII The present invention relates to a device for self-service stores for use in connection with shopping baskets or shopping carts, which comprises primarily a cash register stand, a deposit station for the filled shopping basket or a checkout plate for an intermediate deposit of the goods when employing shopping carts, and which furthermore comprises preferably three withdrawal compartments for the withdrawal of checked-out goods.
Various designs of cash register tables and devices for selfservice stores have been known for a longer period of time. These devices are normally equipped with two or three withdrawal compartments. Experience has shown, and tests have proved that a cash register stand with three withdrawal compartments are more economical than a cash register stand with two withdrawal compartments. For a fast servicing of a line of customers, particularly in peek shopping hours as they occur primarily on Fridays and over the week ends, cash register tables with three withdrawal compartments are a must. There exists the tendency in self-serving stores to reduce the number of cash register tables and to increase the economy of each individual cash register table.
A modern cash register table is expected to have as large withdrawal compartments as possible so that an individual withdrawal compartment will also be able to receive and handle the considerably greater assortment ofgoods which during week-end hours is bought by the customers. An enlargement of the withdrawal compartments as to volume, is counter to the requirement to keep the space requirement of a cash register table as small as possible in order to save floor space. To realize these requirements which partially counter each other is a rather difficult problem. With heretofore customary cash register tables comprising three withdrawal compartments, the above mentioned requirements are either hardly met or in a totally insufficient manner.
ln addition to the above mentioned requirements, a cash register table has also to be considered with regard to the extent to which it taxes the physical efforts of the cashier. Also, in this respect, many of the heretofore known cash register tables are insufficient. In spite of the employment of mechanical conveying means, such as conveyor belts, with various cash register tables, relatively long conveying paths prevail which have to be bridged by manual activities ofthe cashier.
According to a previous suggestion for a device for use in self-service stores, the space between the withdrawal of the goods by the cashier during her checking-out operation and the three withdrawal compartments has been reduced in a novel manner over previous arrangements. The withdrawal of the goods, which when employing shopping baskets corresponds to the depositing station of the filled shopping baskets and which when employing shopping carts is formed by a checkout plate located at the end of the conveyor belt, is, with this suggestion located directly in front of the inclined surface merging with the withdrawal compartments, and more specifically, in the center ofthe device, i.e., in front ofthe centra] withdrawal compartment.
lt is an object of the present invention to provide a device for self-service stores of the above mentioned type, which will materially improve the arrangement and design of the means for conveying the checked-out goods to the individual withdrawal compartments.
lt is another object of this invention to provide a device, as set forth in the preceding paragraph, which will result in a further enlargement of the withdrawal compartments while simultaneously the overall surface of the device is maintained and while simultaneously the servicing and handling of the devices provided for the loading of the individual withdrawal compartments is greatly simplified.
lt is still another object of this invention to provide a device, as outlined above, which will make it possible for the cashier for each charging position to adjust the two customary loading positions by a single control movement.
A still further object of the present invention consists in a device, as set forth in the preceding paragraph, in which the manually operable control movement will be a movement to be carried out only in two opposite directions.
Still another object of the invention consists in so designing the device according to the present invention that the means by which the checked-out goods are conveyed to the withdrawal compartments are such that structurally simple and operatively safe elements can be employed.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 diagrammatically illustrates a top view of a device according to the invention for selfservice stores while employing shopping baskets.
FIG. 2 is a section taken along the line Il-II of FIG. l.
FIG. 3 diagrammatically illustrates a top view of a device according` to the present invention for self-service stores for use in connection with shopping carts.
FIG. 4 is a section taken along the line IV-IV of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a top view of the conveyor belt, 'of the confining plates and the slide, said confining plates occupying their closing position.
FIG. 6 is a top view similar to that of FIG. 5, the confining plates occupying their open position.
FIG. 7 is a top view similar to that of FIG. 5, with the confining plates occupying their closing position and the slide occupying its central position.
FIG. 8 is a top view of the control and connecting elements of the confining plates and of the slide, but on a larger scale than in FIGS. l to 7.
FIG. 9 is a section taken along the line IX-IX of FIG. 8.
FIG. l0 is a top view of a modified mounting of the confining plates.
FIG. 1 l illustrates a cutout of a link-equipped conveyor belt in which the links are formed by pipe sections.
FIG. 12 diagrammatically illustrates a further embodiment of a driving device for the pivoting of the confining plates while employing a displaceable plate with curve guiding means.
FIG. 13 diagrammatically illustrates an arrangement according to FIG. l2 in which the plate with the curve guiding means occupies its left-hand end position.
FIG. 14 diagrammatically illustrates an arrangement according to FIG. 12 in which the plate with the curve guiding means occupies its right-hand end position.
FIG. 15 is a front view of the device according to FIGS. 12-16.
FIG. 16 diagrammatically illustrates a further driving device for tilting the confiningv plates while employing two driving worms.
FIG. 17 illustrates on a larger scale, a cutout of a driving shaft of the device according to FIG. 16 with a bushing mounted thereon.
FIG. 18 is a section through the bushing, said section being taken along the line XVIII-XVIII ofFIG. 17.
The device according to the present invention is characterized primarily in that in front of the withdrawing compartments in a cutout of the inclined surface there is provided a conveyor belt in the form of an endless metal belt or a conveyor belt with links. The upper section of said conveyor belt is located slightly above the inclined surface and parallel to the plane of said upper section while the length of said belt protrudes slightly beyond the width of the central withdrawal compartment, said conveyor belt being operable in both directions. Furthermore, between the conveyor belt and the withdrawing compartments there are provided two pivotable confining plates which are pivotable about axes perpendicular to the inclined surface. These confining plates are by means of links below the inclined surface interconnected for simultaneously carrying out oppositely directed pivoting movements while the confining plates may be arranged either along a rectilinear extension of separating walls (open position) confining the intermediate withdrawal compartment or may be in a position turned by 90 (closing position), in which they close the central withdrawal compartment in the manner of a twowing door. The device is furthermore characterized in that it comprises a slide which is reciprocable parallel to the conveyor plane of the conveyor belt or is reciprocable in the conveying direction. This slide, which extends directly above the conveyor belt over its full width, is located below said inclined surface and is adapted by means of control elements, for instance, abutments, or the like, to act upon the confining plates in such a way that when the slide moves into one or the other end position outside the partitions, the confining plates will be pivoted into their open position, or with an opposite movement will be pivoted into closing position into a position forming an extension of one of the two partitions.
According to a further development of the invention, the confining plates are equipped with pivots which relative to the mounting area of said plates extend downwardly and to which radially protruding levers are connected. Two of these levers which are located on different pivots and are offset with regard to their position by 90 are pivotally interconnected by a push and pull rod, whereas other levers are provided for translating the longitudinal movement of the slide into a turning movement of the confining plates. ln conformity with the present invention, the slide is connected to a frame with a sleeve which is displaceable on a rod, said frame having abutments for engagement with said levers.
In order to assure that the confining plates will automatically assume their closing position when a power action by the abutment of the frame is lacking, two levers have connected thereto an elastic element, for instance, a spring which is loaded in response to an opening movement of the two confining plates.
According to a further development of the invention, the frame is provided on one hand with two abutments in different planes for carrying out opening movements of the confining plates in the same direction, and is furthermore provided with a third abutment for carrying out a relatively small pivoting movement in the opening direction of the respective confining plate opposite the slide. For purposes of carrying out the relatively small pivoting movement of one or the other confining plate, the push and pull rod has an oblong hole on a connecting link. By means of this pivoting movement it will be assured that the abutting ends of the confining plates will not be located flush, one before the other, but will be offset somewhat while the butting area of the confining plate, which in conveying direction forms the front confining plate, will slightly protrude. This arrangement prevents goods, especially goods with sharp-edged wrapping, which slide along the confining plates, from getting stuck in the bap between the two confining plates.
A slight protrusion ofthe confining plate at the butting areas may also be obtained by a parallel displacement of the respective confining plate in the direction toward the conveyor. To this end, according to the present invention, a design may be provided according to which the pivots of the confining plates are arranged on latches which are displaceable to a limited extent in a direction transverse to the conveying direction and which are adjustable individually by an abutment on the frame against the force of an elastic element, for instance, against the thrust of a spring, in a direction toward the conveyor. The slight parallel displacement of the confining plate as well as the slight pivoting movement will occur when the slide is moved into a position between the withdrawal compartments along an extension of one of the two confining walls.
According to a further development of the invention, the confining plates have a cross section according to which the profile flares in a wedge-shaped manner from the free end thereof, while the pivot axes are offset in the direction toward that wall of the confining plate which faces the central withdrawal compartment. This offset arrangement of the pivot axes brings about that in the closing position of said confining plates, that wall thereof which faces the conveyor belt, protrudes somewhat beyond the edge of the conveyor belt, and that in the open position of said confining plates that wall which is located on the opposite side is located in about the same plane as the inner wall of the respective partition.
For purposes of actuating the slide, the invention provides at the upper end of the inclined surface a handling strip which extends substantially parallel to the conveyor belt and which is displaceable in the direction of its longitudinal axis and has a length corresponding approximately to a half the width of the device.
According to a further development of the invention, the bottom surfaces of the withdrawal compartments may be located along a rectilinear extension of the inclined surface. ln order to be able easily to remove the soil from certain goods, especially products of the soil, a drawer is arranged below the conveyor belt.
When employing a link conveyor belt, it is suggested according to a further development of the invention to form the links of pipe sections which have their ends rotatably mounted on correspondingly extended bolts of a roller chain. The diameter of the pipe sections and the pitching of the chain are so selected that only a relatively narrow gap remains between adjacent pipe sections. Furthermore, the diameter of the pipe sections or pipe pieces must be somewhat greater than the height of the chain links so that when the chain is covered, the zenith of the pipe pieces will be located higher than the cover which simultaneously forms the inclined surface.
Such link conveyor belt will, under normal conditions, assure a proper transport of all goods involved, but in view of the rotatable pipe pieces has the advantage that in case relative velocities occur between the conveyor belt and the goods to be conveyed, for instance, in view of temporary accumulations, the conveyor belt will be able unimpededly to move below the goods. The rotary movements of the individual pipe pieces which occur in such an instance aids the separation of soil particles within the region of the conveyor belt and thus aids the transfer of soil particles onto the drawer below the conveyor belt. In this way, the withdrawal compartments are preceded by a so-to-speak cleaning zone.
ln conformity with the invention, for introducing the goods into the three withdrawal compartments, there are provided for movement in opposite directions, a movable conveyor belt, a reciprocable slide movable back and forth in the conveying direction, and two pivotable confining plates. Slide and confining plates are, by links and guiding means, interconnected to such a way that by means of a single adjusting movement, the slide plates on the other hand will be moved simultaneously. The side may occupy two positions outside the separating walls in which the confining plates occupy their open position and thus permit the loading of the central withdrawal compartment. ln this instance, the conveyor belt is at a standstill and its upper or taut section serves as sliding surface.
ln two further positions of the slide in which the slide is located along an extension of one or the other partition, the two confining plates occupy their closing position while simultaneously forming an abutment surface for the goods to be conveyed to the right-hand or left-hand outer withdrawal compartment by means of the conveyor belt. ln this instance, the slide serves as rearward confinement of the conveyor belt with regard to the withdrawal compartment which has not been released for charging.
All adjustments are effected by means of a single control member while with the adjustment of the slide to one of the possible positions of operation, simultaneously an electric contact is actuated which turns the driving motor for the conveyor belt on or out or reverses its direction of rotation. lnasmuch as the cashier from each of the possible positions of operation, when adjusting the device for a different position of operation, always has to carry out only one single control movement, faulty adjustments are made impossible.
A further important advantage of the device according to the invention consist in that the distance between the start of the inclined surface and the ends of the two partitions between the three withdrawal compartments can be reduced to a value which practically corresponds to the width of the conveyor belt. The width of the conveyor belt is dependent on the maximum width of the goods offered for purchase. The obtained reduction in the length of the inclined surface in front of the withdrawal compartments may be taken advantage of for decreasing the overall length of the device or for a corresponding extension of the withdrawal compartments.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the detail illustrated therein has a rectangular base contour and comprises a cash register stand 1, a space 2 for the cashier 3, a deposit station 4 for the shopping baskets 5, a place 6 for a helper 7, and adjacent to an inclined surface 8 has three withdrawal compartments 9, 10, 11 arranged alongside each other. At the end face ahead of the withdrawal compartments there is provided a board 12 which serves as a table, or the like, upon which the shopping bags may be deposited or rested during the packing from the withdrawal compartment into the shopping bags. The withdrawal compartments are separated from each other by partitions 13, 14.
FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a device according to the invention for use in connection with shopping carts. The shopping car is moved adjacent to the device. The purchaser takes his goods out of the shopping cart and places said goods onto a conveyor belt 15 which is followed by a checkout plate 16 for an intermediate deposit of the goods during the time the cashier checks out the goods. As to the remaining construction, the design of FIGS. 3 and 4 corresponds to that of FIGS. 1 and 2. Therefore, the same parts in FIGS. 1 and 2 on one hand and FIGS. 3 and 4 on the other hand have been designated with the sarne reference numerals.
At the start of the inclined surface 8 in a cutout 17 (FIG. l) there is provided a conveyor belt 18 which is located transverse to the longitudinal axis ofthe device. This conveyor belt has such a length that the upper or taut section of the belt is located slightly higherthan the inclined surface 8. The conveyor belt 18 is provided with a suitable drive, not shown in the drawing. By corresponding switch means the drive may be turned on and off and may be reversed for one or the other direction of rotation.
Between the conveyor belt 18 and the withdrawal Compartments` along the extension ofthe two partitions 13, 14, pivotable confining plates 19, 20 are provided which have a pivot axis arranged perpendicularly with regard to the inclined surface. The two confining plates have the profile shown in FIG. 1 and as far as length is concerned are so dimensioned that when occupying their closing position (FIG. 3) their ends will be closely located one in front of the other.
Furthermore, above the inclined surface there is provided a slide 2l which has connected thereto a handling strip 22. By means of this handling strip, the slide is adapted to be moved transverse to the longitudinal axis of the device and into two end positions outside the partitions 13, 14. The lower edge of the slide is slightly spaced from the upper or taut section ofthe conveyor belt 18.
The height of the slide is less than the height of the confining plates 19,20, which, as evident from FIG. 2, when occupying their open position have the high edge not protrude with regard to the portion of the device containing the withdrawal compartments.
The mounting of the slide 21 and the two confining plates 19, 20 is located below the inclined surface 8. Slide bearings 23 or antifriction bearings are provided for journaling the confining plates. For journaling the confining plates, downwardly extending pivots 24 (FIG. 0) are connected to the confining plates. These pivots 24 have the portion thereof which protrudes beyond the bearing 23 provided with radially protruding pivot arms. A pivot arm 25 (FIG. 8) connected to the pivot 24 of the confining plate 20 is through the intervention of push and pull rod 26 pivotally connected to a pivot arm 27 on the pivot of the other confining plate 19 while the two pivot arms are offset relative to each other by so that when one confining plate carries out a movement in one direction, the other pivot plate will move in the opposite direction. At one area of the joint of the push and pull rod, the push and pull rod is provided with an oblong hole 28, the meaning of which will be explained further below.
The pivot of the confining plate 20 comprises two additional pivot arms 29, 30, whereas the pivot of the confining plate 19 has only one additional pivot arm 31. By means of these pivot arms, the rectilinear movement of the slide 2l is converted to a corresponding pivot movement of the confining plates 19, 20.
The slide 21 located above the conveyor belt 18 is below the inclined surface 8 through the intervention of a web 33 provided with a sleeve 32. Additionally, the handling strip 22 is connected to the web 33. Sleeve 32 is easily movabl)I mounted on a rod 34 and forms a component of a frame 35, which frame has a rod 36 extending parallel to sleeve 32 and forming an abutment for a slight pivot movement of the confining plates 19, 20. Two additional abutments 37, 38, located in different planes (FIG. 9) are connected to the rod 36.
The operation of the arrangement for conveying the checked-out goods is as follows: When it is desired to charge the central withdrawal compartment l0, the confining plates 19, 20, and the slide 21 occupy the position shown in FIG. l.
The conveyor belt is standing still. The goods can thus slide via the conveyor belt at a standstill into the central withdrawal compartment l0.
If, after charging the central withdrawal compartment 10, it is desired to charge the outer withdrawal compartment 9, the slide 21 is, by means of the handling strip 22, displaced up to the level of the partition 14. During this displacement, the arresting means for the pivot arm 27 are made ineffective by the abutment 37 so that the confining plates 19, 20, in view of the thrust of a tension spring 39 can be pivoted into their closing position (FIGS. 5,10). The confining plate 20 is, shortly prior to reaching its end position, held fast by the arm 3l in cooperation with the rod 36 serving as abutment and thus protrudes somewhat at the butt area with regard to the confining plate 19. In this way, when viewing in conveying direction, a backwardly extending butt area between the two confining plates will be created so that an edging of parts of the goods will be avoided.
If it is desired, after the outer withdrawal compartment 9 has been loaded to load the other outer withdrawal compartment 1l, the slide 2l moved beyond its central position to the level of the partition 13. In this instance the end of the confining plate 19 protrudes at the butt area (FIG. 3).
The pivot arm 29 and 31 thus in cooperation with the rod 36 serve the purpose of securing a slight pivot movement of the front confining plate (with regard to the conveying direction) when one or the other outer withdrawal compartment is to be charged. In order to permit a relative pivoting movement of one confining plate relative to the other one, the push and pull rod 26 is at one portion of the joint provided with an oblong hole 28 (FIG. 8).
Merely in the central positions of the slide 2l between the two partitions 13, 14, none of the pivot arms 29, 31, is in contact with the rod 36 so that in these positions, the confining plates 19, 20, will at the butt area form a continuous plane (FIGS. 7 and 8). The two other arms 27 and 30, however, serve for carrying out the opening movement of the two confining plates when the slide 21 is moved toward one or the other side beyond the end of the conveyor belt 18. In this instance, the respective pivot arm 27, 30 is engaged by the abutment 37, 38 and is pivoted by a fourth of a revolution.
Within the region of the path of movement of the frame 35, limit switches are arranged for the control circuit of the drive motor of the conveyor belt 18, which limit switches are adapted at the two end positions of slide 21 outside the partitions to interrupt the circuit and on the other hand are adapted in the two positions located along an extension of the tary movement.
FIG. illustrates another embodiment for adjusting a backwardly extending edge at the butting area of the two confining plates. With this embodiment, the pivots of the confining plates are respectively located on a displaceable latch 39, 40. By means of this latch, the entire confining plate may be displaced to a slight extent in the direction toward the conl veyor belt (FIG. l0). For carrying out the displacement, a
running-up path 41 is located on sleeve 32, which path cooperates with a counter bearing 42 of the displaceable latch 39. The latch is engaged additionally by a pressure spring 43 which continuously urges the latch to its rest position. As soon as slide 2l is moved into a position along the extension of one or the other partition 13, 14, the running-up path or plate 41 on sleeve 32 engages the counter bearing 42 and presses the latch 39 against the thrust of pressure spring 43 by the thickness of the path 4l in the direction toward the conveyor belt 18. The confining plate 19 mounted on the latch will occupy a position protruding with regard to the other confining plate 20.
FIG. ll illustrates a cutout of a conveyor belt according to which the individual links consist of pipe sections 44 which are rotatably mounted on correspondingly extended bolts 45 of a roller chain 46. The diameter of the pipe sections 44 is connected to drive shaft 66, 67. The rotatably journaled drive shafts 66 and 67 which are parallel to each other have a cirsomewhat greater than the height of the chain links. The conveyor belt is in cutout 17 of the inclined surface 8 so arranged as to its height that the plate forming the inclined surface will overlap the link chain up to the vicinity of the end surfaces of the pipe sections but will not protrude relative to the plane which passes through the zenith lines of the pipe sections.
The pipe sections 44 are furthermore located alongside each other in such a way that a small gap remains between adjacent pipe sections. Soil particles which adhere to the conveyed goods will be able to drop through the narrow gap between the pipe sections and to drop into a drawer below the conveyor belt.
The employment of a link belt as conveyor belt has the advantage that the soil which adheres to various types of goods, particularly fruits of the soil, or the like, will not pass into the withdrawal compartments but can be separated therefrom before the goods reach the compartments. In view of the fact that the drawer can be withdrawn, the collected soil can easily be removed from the device.
FIGS. 12 to l5 illustrate a further embodiment of a drive for carrying out the pivot movement of the confining plates 19, 20. A pivot lever 48, 49 is again below the inclined surface 8,
respectively connected to each pivot. These pivot levers are,
through connecting rods 50, 51, respectively pivotally connected to a rotatably journaled joint plate 52. The locally stationary pivot of plate 52 is indicated by 53. Plate 52 has the shape of a triangle and at its third corner carries a guiding pivot l54 which engages a curved part 55 of a displaceable plate 56. Plate 56 preferably consists of a suitable synthetic material and is displaceably mounted on a profile bar 57 in a plane parallel to the plane of plate 52. Plate 56 is, through a nonillustrated connecting link, connected to slide 21 in such a way that plate 56 will carry out the same movement as slide 2l. FIGS. l2 to 14 show a bottom view of the driving device. When the plate 56 occupies the position shown in FIG. 13, the slide 2l is located in front ofthe withdrawal compartment 9, whereas when the slide 2l occupies the position shown in FIG. 14 the slide 2l is located in front of the withdrawal compartment ll. ln view of the path 25, the plate 52 carries out a pivotal movement of' about 90 and thereby causes the confining plates 19, 20 to carry out a pivotal movement from the closing position to the opening position and vice versa.
According to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 16 to 18 the turning movement of the confining plates 19, 20 is caused by a driving worm 58, 59 respectively, which meshes with a gear 60, 61 respectively on the pivot of the confining plates 19, 20, respectively. Each worm is located on an intermediate shaft 62, 63, which through a chain drive 64, 65 is respectively cumferential helical groove 68, 69, respectively. Mounted on each shaft are bushings 70, 71, respectively, which are interconnected by a web 72 and in this way are secured against rotation.
The bushings 70, 71 have a radially inwardly protruding pivot 73 engaging the grooves 68, 69, respectively. The web 72 is connected to a guiding slide 72a which is displaceably mounted on a profile rail 74. The guiding slide 72a is, through a nonillustrated connecting member, operatively connected to the slide 2l. When slide 21 is displaced, slide 72a and thereby bushings 70 and 71 carry out the same movement as slide 7l. A longitudinal displacement of bushings 70 and 71 will in view of the pivot engaging grooves 68, 69, respectively, bring about a rotation of the drive shafts 66 and 67. ln order to obtain an opposite pivot movement of the confining plates 19 and 20, either one of the grooves 68, 69 in the drive shafts or one of the worm windings in the drive worms 58, 59 may have a pitch direction opposite to that of the other groove or the other worm.
lt is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the particular embodiments illustrated in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
What l claim is:
1. An apparatus for self-service stores for use in connection withvshopping baskets and shopping carts, which includes: a cash register stand, a cashiers stand adjacent said cash register stand, a deposit station within manual vreach of said cashiers stand for depositing and checkingout purchased goods, a central withdrawal compartment and two additional withdrawal compartments respectively arranged on opposite sides of said central withdrawal compartment and separated from said central withdrawal compartment by partitions for respectively and selectively receiving the checked-out goods, means provided with a cutout and having an inclined surface arranged to receive goods checked-out from said cashiers stand and to convey said goods to a selected one of said compartments, endless conveyor means arranged within said cutout and having the plane of its taut section at a level slightly higher than the adjacent portion of said inclined surface and substantially parallel thereto, the length of said conveyor means exceeding the width of said central withdrawal compartment, two confining plate members arranged between said conveyor means and said withdrawal compartments and being` respectively pivotable about an axis vertical relative to said inclined surface toward each other into a closing position and away from each other into an open position, linkage means arranged below said inclined surface and interconnecting said plate members so that one of said plate members will move in said plate members so that in response to a movement of said slide means in either direction to an end position outside the partitions between said compartments said confining plate members will move to their open position and in response to a movement into a position along an extension of said partitions will shift to their closing position.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1, in which said conveyor means is movable selectively in either one of two opposite directions.
3. An apparatus according to claim l, in which said conveyor means forms an endless metal belt.
4. An apparatus according to claim l, in which said conveyor means forms a link belt.
5. An apparatus according to claim l, in which said confining plate members are journaled in bearings and include pivots extending downwardly with regard to said bearings, and which comprises pivot levers connected to and radially protruding from said pivots, two of said pivot levers respectively being connected to different pivots and being offset with regard to each other by 90 while two other pivot levers are operable to convert a longitudinal movement of said slide means into rotary movements ofsaid confining plate members.
6. An apparatus according to claim 5, which includes: rod means, and frame means supporting said slide means and comprising sleeve means displaceably mounted on said rod means, said frame means also comprising abutment means for engaging said pivot levers.
7. An apparatus according to claim 5, which includes elastic means having one end connected to a pivot lever of one pivot and having another end connected to another pivot lever of another pivot, said elastic means being loaded in response to said confining plate members moving toward their open position.
8. An apparatus according to claim 6, in which said frame means comprises two abutment means located in two different planes for causing said confining plate members to carry out opening movements in the same direction and also comprises third abutment means for causing the respective confining plate member located opposite said slide means to carry out a relatively small pivotal movement in its opening direction, and connecting lever means pivotally interlinking said two offset pivot levers, one of said two offset pivot levers having a pivotlongitudinal slot connection.
9. An apparatus according to claim 5, which includes: latch means displaceable to a limited extent in a direction transverse to the conveying direction of said conveyor means and having said pivots connected thereto, yieldable resilient means urging said latch means in one direction, and control means associated with said latch means and operable individually to adjust said latch means against the thrust of said resilient means in the direction toward said conveyor means.
10. An apparatus according to claim 1, in which the cross section of said confining plate members is wedge-shaped flaring in the direction away from the free end of the respective plate member, the pivot axes of said plate members being offset in the direction toward that wall ofthe respective confining plate member which faces toward said central withdrawal compartment.
1l. An apparatus according to claim l, which includes handle strip means arranged at the upper end of said inclined surface and extending substantially parallel to said conveyor means for actuating said slide means.
l2. An apparatus according to claim l, in which the bottom surface of said withdrawal compartments form an extension of the plane ofsaid inclined surface.
13. An apparatus according to claim l, which includes movable drum means arranged below said conveyor means for collecting soil particles loosened from the conveyed by said conveyor means.
14. An apparatus according to claim 4, in which said link belt comprises substantially parallel roller chains having link means including tubular section and bolts frictionally rotatable on said bolts, said tubular sections having a diameter in excess of the hight of the links of said roller chains.
15. An apparatus according to claim l, which includes: bearing means, pivots connected to said confining plate members and journaled in said bearing means while protruding in downward direction from said bearing means, two pivot levers respectively fixedly connected to said pivots, track plate means provided with a track, a wrist plate pivotally supported by said track plate means, two connecting levers respectively connecting said pivot levers to a pivot point of said wrist plate, a guiding pin carried by said wrist plate and guided by said track, said track plate means being operatively connected to said sliding means so as to be displaceable simultaneously therewith, said guiding in in cooperation with said track being operable to bring a out a pivotal movement of said wrist plate by approximately 16. An apparatus according to claim l5, in which said wrist plate has an approximately triangular contour with the pivotal connection said wrist plate with said track plate means located near one comer of said triangular contour and the guiding pin and the pivotal connection of said pivot levers with said pivot points respectively located near the other two corners of said triangular contour.
17. An apparatus according to claim l5, which includes profile rod means slidably guiding said wrist plate substantially parallel to the movement of said slide means.
18. An apparatus according to claim l, in which said confining plate members respectively comprise pivots with worm wheels respectively connected thereto, a pair of worms respectively meshing with said worm wheels, drive shaft means respectively drivingly connected to said worm wheels, and means operatively connecting said slide means to said drive shaft means to cause one of said worm wheels to rotate in one direction and to cause the other one of said worm wheels to rotate in the opposite direction.
19. An apparatus according to claim 18, in which said drive shaft means are respectively provided with two helical grooves of opposite pitch with regars to each other, two bushings respectively meshing with said helical grooves, and connecting means rigidly interconnecting said bushings and being movably connected to said slide means for corresponding movement therewith.
20. An apparatus according to claim 18, in which said drive shaft means include two substantially parallel shafts having oppositely located ends in driving connection with the respective adjacent worm.
2l. An apparatus according to claim 18, in which said bushings for said drive shaft means are firmly connected to each other.
goods on and being