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Publication numberUS3688085 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1972
Filing dateMay 24, 1971
Priority dateMay 24, 1971
Publication numberUS 3688085 A, US 3688085A, US-A-3688085, US3688085 A, US3688085A
InventorsTetar Claude R
Original AssigneeElectronique Appliquee
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for controlling deliveries of liquid products and the like
US 3688085 A
Abstract
The system comprises as many delivery control circuits as are delivery stations of products and, from each delivery station, the corresponding delivery control circuit may be loaded with data concerning the nature and quantity of the product to be delivered and the special nature of the delivery operation proper. After such settings of delivery control circuits, a pre-punched card is introduced into a cardreader of step-by-step operation, each step reading out a product nature code and a product quantity code. Each step activates a logics organization which interrogates the delivery control circuits for identification of the one loaded with corresponding data and activation of the thus identified delivery station.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I ,jr

Tetar Aug. 29, 1972 [54] SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING 3,519,989 7/1970 Houle et a1 ..235/61.7 B DELIVERIES OF LIQUID PRODUCTS 3,629,858 12/1971 l-layakawa et a1. ..222/2 AND THE LIKE Claude R. Tetar, Paris, France LElectronique trouge, France Filed: May 24,1971

Appl. No.2 146,065

Inventor:

Assignee: Appliquee, Mon- U.S. Cl. .....235/61.6 R, 222/2, 141/192 Int. Cl. ..G06k 7/00, B67d 5/10, 865d 5/373 Field of Search....235/61.ll R, 61.11 A, 61.7 B, 235/6l.6 R, 151.34; 222/2; 340/149, 149 A; 141/83, 95,113,192,198

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1961 Parsons et a1. ..235/61.7 B 5/1962 Noble ..235/61.11 R 5/1965 Brown, Jr. et al.....235/61.7 13

Primary ExamiherDaryl W. Cook AttorneyKemon, Palmer & Estabrook [57] ABSTRACT The system comprises as'many delivery control circuits as are delivery stations of products and, from each delivery station, the corresponding delivery control circuit may be loaded with data concerning the nature and quantity of the product to be delivered and the special nature of the delivery operation proper. After such settings of delivery control circuits, a prepunched card is introduced into a cardreader of stepby-step operation, each step reading out a product nature code and a product quantity code. Each step activates a logics organization which interrogates the delivery control circuits for identification of the one loaded with corresponding data and activation of the thus identified delivery station.

11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] M19 9 3.688.085

' sum 1 or 7 ATTORNEY minimum I972 SHEET 2 OF 7 ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAUBZQ 2 3.688.085

SHEET 3 0F 7 FIG- 3 INVENTOR C; an: 727m? ZmvW ATTORNEYS PATiNTEDmszs m2 SHEEI [1F 7 ATTORNEYS PMENTEDmszs I972 INVENTOR ATTORN EY S SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING DELIVERIES OF LIQUID PRODUCTS AND THE LIKE SHORT SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention concerns improvements in or relating to the control of delivery of liquid products or the like, i.e. pulverulent or granular products, to such receptacles as truck carried tanks from a number of delivery stations.

It more particularly concerns improvements of systems for controlling such deliveries which operate under the monitoring of a pre-punched card reader, each card defining a plurality of products and a plurality of corresponding quantities of said products.

It has been conventional to so provide such systems with a complete and unique control from the card reader, i.e. each card was due, in such systems to have recorded all the necessary informations:not only natures and quantities of products, but also identifications of the predetermined delivery stations, particular conditions of deliveries at such stations, and so forth.

Such an organization proved inadequate for free servicing of customers each of which the bearer of a prepunched card solely bearing the codes of varieties and corresponding quantities of products capable to be delivered each at several stations of a plant and each in one of a variety of delivery conditions which may also be satisfied at several stations of a delivery plant. In such a case, it has proved highly desirable that a customer be given the free choice of the delivery stations available to him as well for the natures of the products he wanted as for the delivery conditions he also wanted for his service.

It is an object of the invention to provide for a system satisfying such conditions.

According to the present invention, a delivery control circuit is attached to each delivery station and means are provided at each delivery station for introducing in the corresponding delivery control circuit under the control of the customer data concerned with the nature and quantity of the wanted product and the special delivery condition wanted for the delivery. The card reader is thereafter fed with a pre-punched card which solely carries the codes of the product natures and quantities. Said card reader operates in a step-bystep fashion as usual but, at each of its steps, an interrogation logics is activated for interrogating the delivery control circuits, determining which one carries the same product nature and quantity than the ones read out from the card at this reading step and concomitantly to the identification, ensuring the activation of the corresponding delivery station.

The invention will be described with respect to a system specially adapted for filling tanks carried by trucks or lorries with varied kinds of fuels, though it is not restricted to such an application for its practice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows a general arrangement of a system according to the invention, adapted for deliveries of liquid products of varied natures and under varied conditions to truck carried tanks;

FIGS. 2 and 3 together show a preferred embodiment of a card reader and associated logics to be used in such a system, FIG. 3 specially disclosing the circuits handling the signals from the reading heads of said reader;

FIGS. 4 and 5 respectively show illustrative embodiments of delivery control circuits, each adapted to a distinct condition of delivery operation, to be used in a FIG. 8 shows another partial modification of the system of FIG. 1, as adapted for a further condition of delivery operation of a product; and,

' FIG. 9 shows the modification of the delivery control circuit of FIG. 4 as adapted to the delivery condition of FIG. 8.

. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION:

With reference to FIG. 1, a pre-punched card 1 adapted for a system according to the invention comprises two separate zones 2 and 3, the beginnings of which are marked by special codes 4 and 5, zone 3 having for instance twice the length of zone 2. In zone 2 are punched codes defining the natures of the products requested for deliveries and in zone 3 are punched cor- 4 responding codes defining the quantities requested for deliveries of such products. In zone 2, for instance, are further provided perforations 6 on a special line, to be used for controlling a step by step read out of the card. The card reader is adapted for a simultaneous read-out of the two zones 2 and 3 from their respective beginning marks 4 and 5. The number of columns for each code is not the same from zone '2 to zone 3: a product code in zone 2 can for instance be read on one column whereas a corresponding quantity code in zone 3 must be for instance read on two columns. Consequently, in the described system, the card reader 7 is provided for reading a fixed punched card with two movable reading heads 8 and 10 which can be driven at distinct speeds across the card. With the above assumption, head 10 will move twice the speed at which moves head 8. Each reading head includes an appropriate number of photocells to read the significant rows of the card and head 8 includes an additional photocell to read the step-by-step controlling perforations or marks 6. The reading heads are driven from separate endless screws, 9 for head 8, 1-1 for head 10, the control of which will be herein below described.

The reading heads 8 and 10 deliver their signals to temporary storing registers 12 and 13, each of a suitable content of bit positions. The register 12 comprises as many bit positions as are bits in a code read-out from zone 2, for instance four bit positions receiving the outputs of the photocells a, b, c, d of the head 8, see FIG. 3. Similarly the register 13 comprises as many bit positions as are bits in a code read out from zone 3 of the card, for instance eight bits receiving the outputs of the photocells f to n in the head 10. An additional output is shown at 0 in FIG. 3 and its significancy will be later explained.

In head 8 there is a photocell for reading-out the perforations on the row 6 and the output of said photocell is connected to a circuit 20 which, responsive to each incoming pulse, issues two signals: a first one is applied back at 23 on the card reader 7 for inhibiting the motion thereof until a positive control signal reactivates the card reader. This positive signal will arrive through line 22, passing through a gate 48 when this latter is unblocked. The other signal from 20 is applied on a line 21' which is an interrogation line of the delivery control circuits 24 to 27 (actually, only four are shown though of course the system includes an important number of delivery stations, consequently of delivery control circuits associated to said stations. I

At each delivery station, each one comprising for instance such electro-valves as useful for the delivery operations, as for instance shown at 29, 30 and 31, means are provided for introducing data in the corresponding delivery control circuits 24 to 27. Said circuits are cascaded connected between the input interrogation line 21 and the output line 22. A signal activating line 21 is first applied to check the condition of the delivery control circuit 24, from which said signal is relayed to circuit 25, and so forth up to line 22 which, when so activated will mark the end of an interrogation operation of the delivery control circuits in the system. During such an interrogation operation, the signal will have determined which one of the delivery control circuits carries the same product nature and quantity data as are present in the registers Hand 13 and applied through gates 19 and 16 to said delivery control circuits. Identity will activate the said delivery control circuit for controlling the initiation of delivery by the corresponding delivery station from unlocking the supply electrovalve thereof. With such an organization, the interrogation and selection are simultaneous and consequently the overall operation is made with a minimum delay: at each step of the card reader from the initial positions 4 and 5 of the head carriages, a delivery operation may be initiated and, apart from a special condition of delivery, to be later explained, it can be considered that delivery operations are simultaneous in such a system. The initial positionings of the heads 8 and 10 are detected by comparator circuits 19 and 14 comparing the respective contents of the registers l2 and 13 to preset displays at terminals 18 and 15. At theactivation of the card readers, the carriages of the heads 8 and 10 are continuously driven up to positive answers from said comparators which stop such a progression and thereafter, gates 19 and 14 will remain unblocked so that at each step of the reader, the contents of the registers 12 and 13 will be actually applied to inputs of the delivery control circuits for the above defined interrogation-selection operation.

Each delivery control circuit is provided with a number of selectable inputs to be selectively activated from the corresponding delivery station by such actions of a customer as mere establishment of connections between members available at the station and/or the tank he wishes to be filled and inputs of data and parameter display means inserted between the leads from the delivery station and the said inputs of the delivery control circuit proper. Such means are each shown in FIG. 1 as comprising a sort of pluggable box, inputs of which may be selectively connected to a ground bus line and/or an electric supply bus line AL, outputs of which may be connected to inputs of the delivery control circuit proper, and further inputs may be connected to such local display members as existing at the delivery station, either fixed or carried by the tank brought to this station by the customer. Said data and parameter display means may comprise varied members for defining natures of products, quantities of products, conditions of delivery and, when needed, establishment of special securities such for instance application of the ground to a tank to be filled with a fuel product. FIG. 1 illustratively shows that to each feeding pipe of a product at a delivery station is attached at 39 an encoder displaying a representation of a specified nature of product, and that each tank carries at 40 another encoder displaying a representation of the capacity of product exhibited by the tank. Such representations may be illustratively electrical analog ones and, by establishing position repeating connections with the pluggable box, such representations can be displayed on such resistors as 36 and 37 in said box, such resistors being controlable from such a position repeating connection. Consequently, at each call" from a delivery station, the corresponding delivery control circuit will be set, ie preset prior the reading of a card, to be prepared for interrogation as to identify of the nature and quantity of a product with the corresponding items read out from the card at one significant step of the reader as herein above explained. At 38 is shown a switch in the plug box which may be used as an encoding of some kind, the function of which will be later identified.

Illustratively in FIG. 1, two conditions of delivery of aproduct to a tank are shown, two other ones being disclosed in the partial representations of FIGS. 6 and 8. Basically, a tank may be filled from the bottom; the nature of this operative condition will be said to be a springlike one; or it may be filled from the top; the nature of this operative condition will be said to be a vaultlike one. In the right bottom part of FIG. 1 is shown a tank adapted to be filled in springlike condition with a control ensured from product level sensors within the tank. Illustratively, three level sensors are shown: a bottom one, 43, sensing if or not the tank is evacuated; an upper one, 45, sensing if or not the tank is completely filled; and another one, 44 slightly under the level of the upper one, 44, which may be used, as it will be herein later described, for a control of the speed of flow of the product within the tank. According to an embodiment more fully disclosed in FIG. 4 the lower sensor may be used for autorizing the filling of the tank when detecting an empty condition thereof. According to another embodiment, which will be described in relation to FIG. 9, said lower sensor may be used for controlling a reduced flow of the product within the tank. In the left hand bottom of FIG. 1 on the other hand, another delivery condition is shown for a tank, i.e. a vaultlike condition controlled from an external flowmeter 32 having incorporated therein an electrical counter delivering codes of the progressively distributed quantity of the product to a code comparator circuit 33 the other input of which receives the quantity code from the register 13 of the card reader logics. A flowmeter controlled delivery operation must stop the advance of the card reader so that the delivery can be safely ensured. To this purpose, each time the comparator 33 is activated, it delivers on a line 46 a signal which then inhibits the gate 48: so doing, it inhibits the action of the signal of return of interrogation from 22 on the advance control of the reader 7. When, on the other hand, comparator 33 delivers a signal of identity of its incoming codes, from line 35 it sends to the appropriate s delivery control circuit s a disabling signal for stopping operation thereof. Though in FIG. 1, line 35 is shown distributed to all the delivery control circuits, it must be understood that said line is only distributed to selected ones of said circuits which are adapted for a delivery control including a flowrneter such as 32.

Establishment of special securities such as application of the ground tothe tanks'will be described with respect to the examples of FIGS. 4, 5 and 9, it being understood that non-establishment of such securities will inhibit the operation of the corresponding control circuit and consequently ofthe delivery operation controlled from said circuit.

Obviously the above described conditions for delivery of liquid products may be directly used for deliveries of other products, either granular or pulverulent or even viscous, to such receptacles as tanks 0 batches.

In the above assumption, the encoder 40 exhibited the actual capacity of the tank. Of course, a partial filling may be only wanted in certain cases. This may be obtained by providing adjustable said encoder 40 or, of desired, by substituting to said encoder 441, in the display control on the corresponding delivery control circuit, another encoder equally available for this purpose, and equally connectable to a repeater circuit for a corresponding adjustment of the resistor 36. In such a case, and for a springlike operation, the sensors 43 to 45 may be inhibited by means also available to the customer, with the possible exception of sensor 45 the activation of which may then be used as an alarm sensor if the request of quantity proves wrong.

It may be noted that a system according to the invention may easily be adapted, when required, to deliveries of varied items instead of products such as liquid ones. The items or articles may be carried to the delivery stations to be supplied to receptacles wherein either sensors may be used for automatically checking their introduction (photoelectric barrier sensors for instance from which are actuated item counting means and/or filling condition controlling means).

Referring now to FIG. 2, the carriages of the heads 8 and may be driven along their respective endless screw shafts 9 and 11 through gear trains controlled by a motor 50. The shaft 1 1 will, as said, be driven at twice the speed of the shaft 9. The drive is efiective when electrically controlled clutches 51 and 52 are activated. The rotation of shaft 9 may be stopped from activation of an electrically controlled brake 53 and similarly the rotation of shaft 11 may be stopped from activation of an electrically controlled brake 54. The travelling lengthes of the heads 8 and 10 are defined by respective pairs of mechanically controlled electrical contacts: eight moves between stroke end contacts 57 and 58, 10 moves between stroke end contacts 55 and 56.Contacts 55 and 57 mark the end positions of a forward stroke, contacts 56 and 58 mark the end positions of a backward or return stroke. The relative lengths of the strokes are not actually shown on the drawing as, as previously said, one length must be twice the other one. The motor 5% can be rotated both ways according to the position of an inverter contact of a relay 63, made responsive to the end positions of the forward and backward strokes of the head 10. Another relay 62 is similarly responsive to the end positions of the forward and backward strokes of the head 8. Relay 59 controls the stopping of the card reader when the two head carriages have reached their backward stroke end positions. Said relay then cuts, through a rest contact of 63, the electrical supply at B6 to the terminal L through which said 12 volt supply is applied to the photocell amplifiers and to the relays they control in the read-out temporary storing registers as may be seen on FIG. 3 from identical references applied to input terminals thereof.

During the activity periods of the card reader, said relay 59 is maintained at work by the electric charge available across a condenser 60 through a rest contact of a relay 62 and the contact 56 to the ground. This ground will be cancelled at the end of the backward stroke of the head 10 so that the circuit 59 is cut off. Relay 62 hasbeen activated at the end of the forward stroke of the head 8 but the lower inverter contact of 62 applied to the 12 volt supply from B6 through the rest contact of 59 to the coil of 59 through a series resistor 61, said inverter simultaneously connecting in the circuit the condenser 60 for recharging it and the time constant of the circuit 60-61 avoided any undue control of 59.

At the ends of the forward strokes of the head carriages, both relays 62 and 63 are activated and, at a work contact of 63, the connection X to the circuits of FIG. 3 is cut. In said circuits, relays 81 and 79 and relays 82 and they control are deactivated. The lower inverter contact of 63 controls the reversal of the direction of rotation of the motor 50 and, through work contacts of 62 and 63, the clutches 52 and 51 are fed with a 24 volt supply. The head carriages are driven backward to the contacts 58 and 56, the actuations of which cut off the supply of 62 and 63, whereby the clutches are cut too. The direction of rotation of the motor 50 is reversed but nothing occurs before a new card is introduced in the card reader for controlling a new forward stroke of the two head carriages. Contacts 57 and 55 were blocked until the return of the carriages resulting in the actuation of the contacts 58 and 56. The introduction of the new card resets relay 59 and, through L, re-activates the circuits of the registers of the heads 8 land 10 of FIG. 3, on which has been reapplied the voltage of the connection X from the return to rest of the relay 63. The clutch 52 is fed from the terminal marked Q and the head 10 is driven. When the code marking the reading start position of zone 3 is reached, the comparator circuit 14 of FIG. 3 issues a coincidence signal as the fixed voltage across the resistor 15 is applied on one of the inputs of said comparator in opposition to the decoder voltage across the resistance 77, the other input of the comparator circuit 14 being grounded. Said coincidence signal sets to work a relay 79 which, through the connection N1 which is fed from MI since a relay 67 of FIG. 2 is at rest (said relay, a part of the step-by-step control equipment to be herein below described), controls the application of the brake 54 to the shaft 11. The carriage of the head 10 has thus been brought to its position wherefrom significant date codes will be read out from the card.

The relay 79 is provided with a holding circuit at one of its work contacts. When coming to work, it controls to work a relay 80 which, at one of its work contacts, applies the 12 volt supply to the reading register 12 through the connection L, consequently aurotizing the positioning of the head 8 when its carriage, driven by the clutch 51 fed through a cork contact of a relay66 (of the above mentioned step-by-step control equipment) at half the speed of the drive of the head 10, reaches the position where on the card there exists the code marking the beginning of data significant codes in zone 2 of the card. The comparator circuit 17, which compares the voltage across the decoder resistor 76 applied to one of its inputs through a rest contact of 82 and the fixed voltage across the resistor 18 fed from X, issues a coincidence signal. Said signal actuates the relay 81 which is provided with a holding circuit at one of its work contacts. Said relay 81 controls the application of the brake 53 to the shaft 9, said brake being fed from N2 supplied through M2 and a rest contact of the above-mentioned relay 67. Both brakes being applied to the shafts 9 and 11, the card reader is stopped in a condition from which, at any further step-by-step move, significant data will be read from the zones 2 and 3 of the card.

It may be noted that the motor 50 permanently rotatesas being fed from a phase PHl of the mains, its direction of rotation being controlled from an inverter contact of 63 supplied from the other phase PH2 of the mains for instance.

Once the head carriages so positioned, the output B9 of the circuits of FIG. 3 is, through a work contact of 82, connected to the decoder output of the register 12 through a resistor 76. An analog representation of the product nature codes will consequently be directed to all the inputs B9 of all the delivery control circuits existing in the system, such as the ones detailed in FIGS. 4, and 9. The register 13 as said comprises two decades, the head simultaneously reading two columns of the card in zone 3. A series resistor 78 separates the two decoders of said decades, as being indexed to the ground in any condition of the relay 80 as obvious. The output of the first decade is, through 80, applied to the rest contact of the relay 83. The output of the second decade of the register 13 is applied to the rest contact of said relay 83. According to the condition of 83, it will be the content of the first decade or the content of both decades which will be compared to the quantity value set in the delivery control circuits. The condition will be selected according to the output of the photocell In reading out a mark on a special row, the output signal of which is amplified at 72 and applied to relay 84. In one of its conditions, said relay connects the ground to the terminal B11 and in its other condition, it short-circuits the terminals B11 and B13. Said terminals are connected to identical reference terminals in the delivery control circuits.

As soon as the heads 8 and 10 are respectively positioned on the columns 4 and 5 of the punched card as just explained, the step-by-step control equipment is activated as the terminal H in FIG. 2 is electrically supplied from the terminal H of FIG. 3. This equipment includes the two relays 66 and 67. The normal condition of 67 is the rest condition which holds the brakes activated through rest contacts connected to M1 and M2, which terminals are connected to N1 and N2 through the circuits of FIG. 3. When 66 is in its work condition,

. 8 it ensures the electrical supply of the brakes 53 and 54 I through contacts connected to live connections P and V. The end of the coil of 66 is connected to the output of an amplifier 61' the input of which is connected to a photocell 60 which detects the perforations 6 in the zone 2 of the card. Each time said photocell is illuminated, the relay 66 is actuated to work as long as the upper contact of relay 67 is closed. Each actuation of the relay 66 ensures the discharge of a condenser 64 through the interrogation line 21 to the delivery control circuits. Said condenser is charged during the intervals of rest of the relay 66 through a resistor 65 connected to the live terminal P. The interrogation is relayed through the delivery control circuits which are factually in cascade connection for such a relaying operation: interrogation input B7, interrogation output B9, see the circuits of FIGS. 4, 5 and 9. A return signal from the last one of said delivery control circuits appears at 22 and actuates the relay 67 to work, consequently cutting off the energization of the brakes 53 and 54 and cutting off the energization of the relay 66 which was held by a holding circuit at the upper work contact thereof. The head carriages of the card reader advance by one-step and the brakes are re-activated as soon as a further control perforation appears before the photocell 60 and/or the upper contact of 67 re-applies the H supply to the relay 66 after the end of the activation of the return line 22.

The initiation of the step-by-step advance is automatically obtained as soon as the heads are positioned on their starting positions from an activation of 66 which will send in line 21 an interrogation signal. Though this signal will unaffect the delivery control circuits, it will produce a return signal on line 22, hence a one-step advance of the head carriages from the above explained mechanism. When a further perforation of line 6 reaches its position of illumination of the photocell 60, the contact of 67 supplied from H is already are rest but the contacts of 67 controlling the application of the brakes are suitably delayed not to stop the advance prior illumination of 60. 66 is again actuated, the brakes are consequently applied and a new interrogation signal a positive answer from one of the delivery control circuits since the card reader has introduced data concerning the nature and the quantity of a product into the registers 12 and 13. When the line 22 is activated, the same operation is repeated except for a delivery according to the scheme shown at the right-hand bottom of FIG. 1.

When the answering delivery control circuit is one denoting a delivery operation having recourse to the flowmeter and associated electrical counter, no further step of the card reader can be made prior the end of the delivery operation, as the quantity code must remain unafi'ected within the register 13 for comparison to the variable code from the flowmeter 32. The relay 66 must be maintained at work though the relay 67 is actuated by the return signal at 22. Illustratively, in FIG. 2, a control input 46 is shown which will be activated each time such a delivery condition is detected for simulating by the output of 61 a condition of illumination of the photocell 60 and applying to the other end of the coil of the relay 66 a voltage equivalent to that which was previously applied to it from the upper contact of 67. Assuming a response of the activated delivery control circuit faster than the delay of application of the return signal on line 22, the signal of activation of 46 may be derived from the comparator circuit 33, as shown in FIG. 1, i.e. a signal detecting a variation of the difference between the code applied to 33 from 32 and the code applied to 33 from 34 and existing up to the issuance at 35 of a signal denoting the identity between these two codes. If such an assumption cannot be made, the signal of activation of 46 will, illustratively, be derived from the output signal from the activated delivery control circuit to the control of the corresponding electro-valve 30, which signal is obviously maintained up to the end of the delivery operation.

Such a limitation of the speed of operation of the system may be at least partially avoided, i.e. for the first delivery having recourse to a counter 32 at least, from a transfer of the content of the register 13 to a specialized store. 34 in FIG. 3 is a special decoder circuit of the content of the register 13 for application to the comparator 33 which, on its other input receives the code from the flowmeter 32. When 34 is made with a storing capacity and provided its inputs may be inhibited by the signal 46 (the application of which to 61 and 66 will in this case be cancelled), a further step may normally occur for a next delivery provided said delivery does not concern the same recourse to a counter such as 32.

In any condition, once a delivery involving the recourse to such a flowmeter as 32 comes to an end, the output A4 (35) of the comparator circuit 33 being activated, the signal is cancelled on 46'and the operation then comes back to the normal step-by-step control: tie-activation of 66 followed by a re-activation for application of an interrogation signal on line 21, and so forth. The said re-activation will be due to the normal delay or response of the amplifier 61 when 46 is cancelled which delay is sufficient for avoiding the holding of 66 from the illumination of the photocell 60. If necessary a time constant circuit may be inserted between the line 46 and the control input of the amplifier 61.

Examples of delivery control circuits will now be described with references to FIGS. 4 and 5. The circuits shown in FIG. 4 is adapted for a springlike delivery controlled from sensors as indicated in the right-bottom part of FIG. 1. FIG. 5 shows a circuit adapted to a vaultlike delivery controlled from a flowmeter, as shown in the left-bottom part of said FIG. 1.

Any delivery control circuit of the system is provided with a manual control comprising a start control pushbutton M, an emergency stop push-button AU and a signalling visual member V0. Further signallings R, A, V, C, P and G may be provided for a visual control of the customer of the operation of the circuit after the delivery operation is started. The starting condition consists of applying appropriate voltages to B5 and B6 such as 24 and 12 volts respectively. The emergency stopping operation consists of supressing the ground from the equipment.

When a customer wishes to occupy a delivery control circuit by connecting a feed pipe provided with an electro-valve controllable from said circuit to the inlet pipe of his tank, fifteen connections are made between the inputs from All to A15 of the delivery control circuit and corresponding members located at the delivery plant, i.e. the pipe, the trunk and the tank:-

In the concerned case of fuel deliveries, the ground must be connected to the truck, and consequently the tank. This is obtained in the delivery control circuit by connecting the ground to an input A1 of an amplifier AT (such connection may be automatically made when the customer connects the ground to his truck and tank). Application of the ground to the said amplifier AT will actuate a relay 101 to work. This relay will then authorize the operation of the control circuit as, at one of tis work contact, it will apply the 12 volts to the manual control push-button M so that, when said pushbutton will later be operated, said 12 volt supply will be applied to B6.

Further functions may be fulfilled by said relay 101 as it will later on appear.

The input terminals A2to A9 are provided for the control of the delivery operation proper. Their purpose and connections will be herein below detailed.

The terminals A10 to A13 are provided for the comparator circuits CP and CC, respectively adapted for the comparisons of the set values of the nature and quantity of the product and the corresponding values read from the punched card.

The comparators operate responsive to an interrogation resulting from an application on B7 of the pulse from line 21 of FIG. 2, directly for the first delivery control circuit, from the next preceding control circuit for any other one. Said pulse on B7 controls to work both the relays and 111. From work contacts of 110, the analog read-out components are applied to corresponding inputs .of the comparators CP and CC.

Simultaneously, from relay 111, the condition of the relay of FIG. 3'is applied to CC for defining therein the encoding condition. Said condition is determined, at the setting operation, from the connection to the ground of the one or the other of the two terminals A 15 and A14, the other terminal remaining unconnected. The relay 111 at work translates to B12 the condition of the terminal A15: when said terminal is grounded, the relay 83 is activated in the registers of the card reader and transfers to B10, for comparison by CC, the analog voltage significant of the code contained in the register 13 as a whole; when said terminal is unconnected, the relay 83 is not actuated and it is only the content of the first decade of the register 13 which is used for the comparison made in CC. The condition of A14 always is the reverse of that of A15: when actuated, the relay 111 transfers such a condition through B11 to the work contact of the relay 84. When said relay remained in its rest condition, no other action is produced except the connection to the ground on the comparator CC through B13; when said relay has been actuated, the condition transfered through B13 is that of the encoding terminal A14: with the ground on CC,

the relay 83 is a rest; terminal A14 unconnected, the relay 83 is at work.

The comparators CC and CP respectively control the relays 109 and 108. A work contact of 108 has its moving armature to the ground and a work contact of 109 has its moving armature to the useful voltage for actuation of a relay 107. When the both comparators CC and CP issue coincidence signal, said relay 107 is actuated, which marks the selection of the delivery control circuit as its own date coincide with the data read out from the punched card, so that the delivery control circuit must be activated. When only a coincidence is detected, the relay 107 is not activated.

1 1 When, on an interrogation, the relay 110 is actuated, a charging voltage is applied to a condenser 201 through a resistor 203. When said relay de-activates at the end of the interrogation signal, the same work contact, returning to its rest position, carries on the interrogation by supplying for the next delivery control circuit in such a cascade by discharging the condenser 201 to the connection issuing from the terminal B8 to the input terminal B7 of said next circuit. The last delivery control circuit of the cascade has its terminal B8 connection to the return interrogation line 22.

Referring now specifically to FIG. 4, which shows a delivery control circuit adapted for a springlike condition of delivery controlled from level sensors, The sensor 43 is connected to the terminals A8 and A9 which are input terminals for a circuit D1. D1 is an amplifier the output of which controls a positive servo-circuit ASl the output of which controls a relay 106. The sensor 44 is similarly connected to the terminals A5 and A6, inputs of an amplifier circuit D2 which, through a positive servo-circuit AS2 controls a relay 104. The sensor 45 is connected across the terminals A3 and A4 of an amplifier D3 which, through a positive servo-circuit, controls the relay 102. The terminal A2 receives the ground for application to D3. A7 similarly receives the ground for application to the amplifiers D1 and D2.

A relay 103 is connected between a work contact of the relay 102 and a rest contact of the relay 104. When 102 and 104 are at rest, a condenser 202 is charged to the 24 volt battery.

The initial conditions of the amplifiers D2 and D3 are tested by a circuit 100 in which a condenser is discharged when the relay 101 is actuated to work, so that the discharge pulse from said condenser through 100 checks the operative conditions of D2 and D3 in order that the relays 102 and 104 cannot be actuated when said amplifiers and/or the sensors to which they are connected prove defective.

A relay 112 receives the 24 volt supply and the other end of its coil is connected to a work contact of the relay 107.

The relative interconnections of the contact of the above described relays will now be explained with relation to the operations thereof. Assuming the customer made the connections to the terminals A1 to A15, he presses the push-button M and the signalling lamp V is lighted for informing him that the circuit is ready to operate. The circuit of V0 passes through a rest contact of the relay 102. From M, the 24 volt supply available at B5 is applied to the amplifiers At, D3, D2 and D1 and to the moving armatures of the lower contacts of the relays 108 and 109. When the ground is actually applied to Al, the amplifier AT controls the actuation of the relay 101 to work. Through a work contact of 101 the voltage applied at B16 is connected to the contact M and consequently, the output terminal B6 is fed for controlling the overall activation of the system. Through another work contact, the B16 voltage, 12 volts for instance, is applied on the amplifiers D3, D2, D1, and simultaneously the condenser controlled by said relay is discharged into the test circuit 100 for the amplifiers D2 and D3. A further work contact of 101 applies the voltage at B5 to another output B15 for use in other circuits of the system.

The 24 volt supply is also applied to the resistor 20 cooperating with the relay 1 10, without any immediate action though, as said, it will later serves for charging the condenser 201 for relaying the interrogation signal through this delivery control circuit. The same supply is applied to the servo-circuits A81, AS2 and A83, the comparators CP and CC, the moving armature of the lower contact of 108 and the two moving armatures of the inverter contacts of the relay 109.

When the tank is duly evacuated, the amplifier D1 actuates to work the relay 106 through AS1. This relay operates a signalling lamp V for informing the customer that the tank is actually evacuated. At its other work contact, the relay 106 closes a circuit from the lower inverter armature of 107 to the middle work contact of the relay 104 which has been actuated from D2 so that, from said armature, the circuit is carried on to the moving armature of the upper inverter contact of 103. When 104 is actuated, the condenser 202 discharges through the coil of 103 which is consequently activated. From the moving contact of the upper inverter contact of 103, the circuit is further carried on through the upper inverter contact of 102, which is in its work condition, up to the ground at the closed (rest) contact of the emergency stop push-button.

In such a condition, the actuation circuit is prepared fro the relay 112 and, at the first detected coincidence by an interrogation between the values set on CP and CC and the values read out from the punched card, the relay 107 then coming to its work condition as previously explained, the relay 112 will be actuated to its work condition. The electrical voltage of B14 is applied through the lower work contact of 112 to the lower work contact of 102 which feeds the output B18 of the electro-valve control for delivery of the product to the tank. Simultaneously, B14 is connected through the inverter contact of 104 to the terminal B17 also affected to such an opening control of said electro-valve-of the delivery station. Consequently, said electro-valve will be controlled for delivery at the maximum speed or flow of the product. A visual signalling G is operated for informing the customer that such delivery is processed; on the other hand, V0 will be deenergized.

When the sensor 43 is reached by the product, it controls the tie-activation of the relay 106 but the relay 112 is held through its upper inverter connected to the middle inverter contact of 104 and the inverter contacts which are the upper ones of 103 and 012 to the ground.

When the sensor 44 is reached by the product, relay 104 is de-activated, which cuts the supply of the terminal B17 and thus reduces the speed of the flow of the product within the tank by half-closing the electrovalve. The relay 112 finds a holding circuit at the rest contact of the middle inverter contacv of the relay 104, one of its own work contacts and the upper inverters of the relays 103 and 102.

When in turn the sensor 45 is reached by the product, the relay 102 comes at rest and consequently the relay 112, the electro-valve is closed from suppression of the electrical control supply at B18.

The signalling lamps P and C has been lighted for displaying the identities of the natures and quantities of the product in the delivery control circuit and on the card. A remained light as long as the delivery has been pursued and B displayed the condition of reduced speed of delivery of the product.

Referring now to the example of FIG. 5, a delivery control circuit adapted for a vaultlike delivery condi tion controlled by a flowmeter 32. All the data comparison part of the circuit is the same as in FIG. 4 and the same relays are shown in FIG. as in FIG. 4 The part of the circuit related to A1 and the application of the ground for autorizing the operation of the circuit is also the same as in FIG. 4 However the controls of the relays 1112 to 1116 are no longer responsive to conditions of level sensors but to other conditions, mainly the outputs of 32 and 33. The terminal A2, when the relay 112 is at work responsive to a positive comparison of the values of nature and quantity of product set on the circuit and read out from the card, is connected to the supply voltage for the actuation of the electrical encoder circuits of the flowmeter 32.

The terminal A3 receives a signal which is only cut 011' when the delivery operation is ended, it is connected to an output of 33, as well as A4 which, as soon as 1112 is at work, closes the electrical encoder circuits of the fiowmeter 32. circuit on A5 for actuation of the relay 1113 and its holding on the work position from application of the ground on A4. Said ground is deconnected, as also is the suppressed the signal at A3 once the comparator 33 in the condition where the set and read values of the product quantity are made identical.

The relay 104 is maintained to work condition from a signal applied on A6 until the output of 33 reaches a predetermined value, neighboring zero, produces a slowing of the delivery by suppression of the electrical supply on B17.

A7 may be used, as shown, for a ground terminal of the system. The relay 1% is actuated to work at the beginning of the operation for simulation of an evacuated condition of the springlike condition of operation. At said activation, A9 receives the ground for instance for a check by an external equipment (unshown) of the condition of the circuits.

Once such modifications detailed, the operation is carried on as for the circuit of FIG. 4.

HG. 6 shows a partial modification of the system wherein a tank 41 is filled in a springlike condition but does not contain any sensors. On the other hand, the feeder pipe comprises between the electro-valve 30 and a coupler 1319 to the tank a flowmeter 32 including an electrical encoder as in the system of FIG. 1. The connections to the logics circuitry is obvious and, obviously too, the delivery will be controlled from a delivery control circuit according to FlG. 5.

When, in a system according to the invention wherein a tank must be filled according to the sensor controlled arrangement which has been herein above described, the delivery is authorized only when the sensor 43 detects an evacuated condition of the tank, it may be wishable to eliminate the action of the said sensor when, for instance and as previously evoked, a delivery must be made for a complementary filing of a non-evacuated tank. FIG. 7 shows implementation of the described circuits in A8-A9 of the delivery control circuit includes a relay 142, fed from 43 through an amplifier 143 and it is only when said relay is actuated to its work condition that, normally, the terminals A8 and A9 are supplied with the electrical supply +the When the sensor 43 is under the level of the product in the tank, the relay 142 is de-activated and the circuit of +111 to the terminals A8-A9 is cut. The customer may which however simulates a condition of activity of the sensor by closing a manually operable contact across the contact proper of the relay 142. Said manually operable contact is shown at and, for instance and for security purposes it may be operated only through a lock the key of which is shown at 141. 7

With reference to FIG. 8, a further tank delivery arrangement is shown wherein the delivery is made in a springlike condition by means of a delivery pipe section articulated at which is introduced from the vault within the tank and carries the three sensors 43, 44 and 45. The deliveryoperation can be controlled from a delivery control circuit according to FIG. 4 the only difference residing in the fact the sensors are mechani cally linked to the pipe, not to the tank.

In such an arrangement, however, it may be wished not to further use the sensor 43 as a sensor of the evacuated condition of the tank but, on the other hand, as a sensor up to the level of which the product must be delivered at a reduced speed within the tank. FIG. 9 shows the modification of the delivery circuit of FIG. 4 when such a modification of use of the sensor 43 is required. In FIG. 9 the complate circuit of FIG. 4 is preserved with the exception of the relay controlled from the sensor 43, connected to the terminals A9-A8, which is converted into a single rest contact relay 406 the moving coil of which is still controlled from the servo-circuit A81 through the amplifier D1. The moving armature of said rest contact is connected to the B17 terminal of the electrical supply of energization of the delivery electro-valve. As long as the sensor 43 is above the level of the product within the tank, the relay 466 is in its work condition and the supply of B17 from B14 through the lower inverter work contact of 112 and the lower work contact of 104 is cutoff at the contact of 406. When the relay 112 is activated, on the other hand, the terminal B18 of the electro-valve is fed with the electrical supply at B14 through the same lower inverter work contact of 112 and the lower contact of 102. The delivery will consequently be inittated with a reduced speed until the product within the tank reaches the level of the sensor 43 and the relay 406 comes back to rest, the terminal B17 is fed and the delivery occurs at full opening of the electro-valve.

When the level of the product in the tank reaches the level of the sensor 44, the relay 104 returns to its rest condition. The circuit of B17 is cut off at its lower contact and the delivery of the product is carried on with a reduced speed as only the terminal B18 is supplied with the electrical energizing voltage, and the electro-valve is half-shut. The relay 112 is maintained in its work condition by a holding circuit through its upper work contact and the upper work contacts of 103 and 102.

When the product reaches within the tank the level of the sensor 45, the relay 102 is reset to its rest condition and the electrical supply of B18 is cut off.

What is claimed 15:

1. A card reader monitored system for controlling deliveries of liquid products and the like at a plurality of delivery stations, each step of the reader delivering a code which is significant of a nature of a product and a code which is significant of a quantity of this product, wherein each delivery control circuit, attached to a corresponding delivery station of said plurality, includes means for electrical representations of a nature and of a quantity of a product and of particulars of a delivery operation proper, comparator means of the said electrical representations of a nature and of. a quantity of a product to electrical representations of a nature and a quantity of a product derived from said read-out codes and means responsive to a positive response of said comparator means for activation of the delivery control circuit and the consequent activation of the delivery station to which it is attached, said delivery station including means for controlling in said delivery control circuit the settings of said electrical representation means, and wherein interrogation means attached to the card reader are activated at each step thereof for forming said electrical representations of nature and quantity of a product from said read-out codes and applying same to all the said comparator means in said delivery control circuits and for activating said comparator means in each one of the delivery control stations.

2. Card reader monitored system according to claim 1, wherein each one of the said delivery control circuits, including means for receiving the signals from said interrogating means, includes means for relaying the signal of activation of its comparator means irrespective of the answer of such comparator means to another one of the said delivery control circuits, which, from such a relaying operation, are cascaded connected in an interrogation arrangement starting from an output interrogation line from said interrogation means and ending in a return line from the last delivery control circuit of such a cascade to the step-by-step control equipment of the card reader.

3. Card reader monitored system according to claim 2, wherein, the moving carriage of said card reader being permamently sollicitated for advance from a permanently rotating electrical motor, said advance being stopped from application of electrical brake means to the drive of said carriage, said interrogation means includes means for activating said brake means during at least any interrogation period.

4. Card reader monitored system according to claim 3, wherein part at least of the delivery stations present particulars of their delivery operation adapted for a self-control of the delivered quantity of a product and wherein said interrogation means further includes means for deactivating said brake means from the activation of said interrogation signal return line.

5. Card reader monitored system according to claim 4, wherein part at least of the delivery stations present particulars of their delivery operation adapted for a control of the delivered quantity from a code comparison with-the quantity code read out from the card and wherein said interrogation means includes means for inhibiting the deactivation of said brake means from the activation of said interrogation signal return line and for substituting thereto a signal significant of an identity between the code of quantity read out from the card and a code permanently measuring the actual quantity of the product delivered in a delivery operation.

6. Card reader monitored system according to claim 3, wherein, the card reader being of a type wherein the l6 card is fixedand the moving carriage drives the readout heads, in two separatetand independantly moving arts ach of 'ch rea s a se arat one of the a d, gne 0% them di playing he c es 0 the natures 0% the products to deliver, the other one displaying the codes of the quantities of such products to deliver, each zone of each card presents prior the data codes a special code distinct from any data code and marking the beginning of the useful pan of said zone and wherein said carriage parts starting from respective rest positions at each introduction of a card into the reader, said interrogation means includes means for detecting the respective passages of these parts over said marking codes, applying the .brake means to the respective drives of said parts and initiating an interrogation operation of the delivery control circuits, the response of which initiates the first step advance of the head car riage parts.

7. Card reader monitored system according to claim 6, wherein said interrogation means includes means for separately decoding the decades of the digital registers of the read-out data from the card for deriving thereof analog representations of said codes, means for routing said analog representations to the delivery control circuits for comparison thereat with the corresponding analog electrical representations set in said circuits from the attached delivery stations, and local comparator means for comparing the decoded marking codes to preset electrical representations thereof.

8. Card reader monitored system according to claim 7, wherein in one at least of the zones of the card at least one additional mark position is present and means are included in said interrogation means to route to said delivery control circuits complete or partial representations of the read out codes from the said decade decoders in accordance with the read-out of the said additional mark position in the said zone of the card.

9. Card monitored system according to claim 4, wherein said self-control of a delivery operation includes level sensor means at the concerned delivery station connected to inputs of the attached delivery control circuit for monitoring therein means responsive .to the sensed conditions from said sensors, during a delivery operation.

10. Card reader monitored system according to claim 5, wherein code comparison controlled operation includes an encoder actuated from a flowmeter at the concerned delivery station, the output of said encoder being brought back to a comparator in said interrogation means, and outputs of said encoder are connected to inputs of the attached delivery control circuit for monitoring therein means responsive to the passage to appropriate values of the output of said encoder.

11. Card reader monitored system according to claim 1, wherein each one of the said delivery control circuit includes means responsive to the application of a special electrical condition, i.e. ground, at the attached delivery station for authorizing the activation of 0 said delivery control circuit upon selection thereof

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3796239 *Jul 22, 1971Mar 12, 1974Instrumentation Labor IncDispenser system
US4174806 *Aug 2, 1978Nov 20, 1979Ulrich ZahnRecording device for the dispensing of goods
US4263945 *Jun 20, 1979Apr 28, 1981Ness Bradford O VanAutomatic fuel dispensing control system
US6578763Sep 15, 1999Jun 17, 2003Restore ProductsMethod and apparatus for vending a containerized liquid product utilizing an automatic self-service refill system
US6772944Aug 30, 2001Aug 10, 2004Laurie J. BrownMethod and apparatus for vending a containerized liquid product utilizing an automatic self-service refill system
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/381, 141/192, 222/2
International ClassificationG07F7/02, G07F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07F7/025, G06Q20/342
European ClassificationG06Q20/342, G07F7/02E