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Publication numberUS3698537 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateJun 23, 1971
Priority dateJun 23, 1971
Publication numberUS 3698537 A, US 3698537A, US-A-3698537, US3698537 A, US3698537A
InventorsBlack Thomas J, Schmitt Werner H
Original AssigneeWestermann Werner F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coin sorting and conveying apparatus
US 3698537 A
Abstract
A tilted disc having openings therein rotates against a surface of a base member and the openings receive coins from a hopper and slide them upwardly along the surface. An upper portion of the surface slopes away from the disc and pins on the disc continue to propel the coins even though the coins have passed completely through the disc. The coins are propelled into the path of lugs on a linear conveyor moving at high speed and the parts are timed so that a lug engages a coin while it is still in contact with a pin and the lug accelerates and propels the coin along a linear path, thus the coin is always under the positive control of guiding and propelling means.
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[451 Oct. 17,1972

United States Patent Black et al.

Primary Examiner-Edward A. Sroka Attorney-Bacon & Thomas [54] COIN SORTING AND CONVEYING APPARATUS [72] Inventors: Thomas J. Black, Reston; Werner ABSTRACT A tilted disc having openings therein rotates against a H. Schmitt, Falls Church, both of Va.

surface of a base member and the openings receive F. Westermann, Falls [73] Assignee: Werner coins from a hopper and slide them upwardly along the surface. An upper portion of the surface slopes Church, Va.

away from the disc and pins on the disc continue to 221 Filed: June 23,1971

propel the coins even though the coins have passed Appl. No.: 155,983

completely through the disc. The coins are propelled into the path of lugs on a linear conveyor moving at high speed and the parts are timed so that a lug en- [52] US. Cl. AA, 198/103 gages a coin while it is still in contact with a pin and 1m. 47/24 198/33 AA, 103;133/3 A, 3 E,

the lug accelerates and propels the coin along a linear [58] Field of Search...

path, thus the coin is always under the positive control of guiding and propelling means.

[56] References Cited 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,145,827 Bonsignore ...........198/33 AA PATENTEDnm 11 i912 SHEET 2 0F 2 DIE E-ETAXEIETQZE H TTOP/VE Y5 COIN SORTING AND CONVEYING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to coin sorting and conveying means and particularly to high speed devices for picking coins from a random supply, arranging them in sequential order and conveying them along a generally linear path for sorting and counting.

Most existing coin sorting machines employ a coin wheel to achieve initial separation of coins prior to sorting and counting. The coin wheel generally comprises a thin circular plate revolving in close contact with a flat base plate usually inclined at some suitable angle. Coins loaded against the revolving coin wheel are caught in a series of circular holes around the periphery of the wheel and are subsequently carried up to the highest point on the wheel where they are transferred at a uniform rate to the sorting system, comprising a suitable rail or slot on or in which the coins are physically separated into their respective denominations. This point of transfer from coin wheel to sorting mechanism provides a serious problem in the design of high speed machines. In conventional low speed systems, the coins generally fall freely from the holes in the coin wheel onto the counting rail or slot. At this point they are essentially out of control momentarily. While this constitutes no serious difficulty at low speed in a well designed system, the problem becomes critical at high speeds since the dynamic forces acting on the coins increase with the square of the speed so that even very small disturbances in the motion of the coins during transfer can result in misalignment and jamming at high sorting speeds. v

Some machines have attempted to avoid the transfer problem by eliminating the coin wheel as an intermediate stop in the sorting process. For example, some utilize a series of pick up lugs on an endless chain to achieve both separation and sorting of the coins without the need for intermediate transfer from a coin wheel. The problem with this type of system is that the fast-moving lugs are required to pick up the coins from rest, on a stationary surface. The resultant inertial forces acting on the coins during this pick up procedure again limit the high speed capability of this type of machine.

There is no question that the coin wheel offers considerable advantage in high speed systems in that the flat revolving surface of the wheel provides the frictional drive to generate the initial motion of the coins from rest so that subsequent location of the coins in the holes on the wheel is accomplished relatively easily even at high wheel speeds.

On some machines the coins leaving the coin wheel fall directly into slots behind the wheel in which sorting is achieved. A major problem in these machines, particularly at higher speeds, is that jamming can result from two coins entering the sorting slot simultaneously. When this occurs, major servicing of the machine is generally required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention comprises generally a rotatable disc having a portion extending into a hopper containing a random supply of coins of different denominations. The rotary disc is provided with openings in each of which a single coin rests and is carried by the disc along a supporting surface.

while that coin is still in engagement with propelling means on the disc. Thus, the coins are at all times under the positive control of the apparatus and at no time are they in free fall or in a free and uncontrolled sliding or rolling condition.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of an ap'- paratus involving the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view, partly in section, as

seen along the lines 22 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective sectional view of a portion of the apparatus, taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT I As shown in the drawings, the apparatus embodying the present invention is mounted on a suitable support or base 2 and comprises a fixed base member 4 supported by brackets 6, 8 and 10 on the base 2, in a manner to position a front planar surface 12 of the base 4 in a generally upright but slanted attitude. Approxi mately the lower half of the generally cylindrical base 4 supports a hopper 14 in which a supply of random denomination coins 16 may be placed. The hopper 14 holds the coins 16 so that they gravitate toward the surface 12 of base 4. The base member 4 is'provided with a central opening 18 in which a shaft 19 is journalled. A relatively thin disc 22 is fixed to the forward end of shaft 19 closely adjacent the surface 12 of base 4. The disc 22 is provided with a series of circular openings 24 adjacent its periphery (see FIG. 2) and which openings overlie the surface 12. The disc 22.is spaced from the surface 12 only sufficiently to permit rotation of the disc without undue frictional drag on the surface 12. The openings 24 are each slightly larger in diameter than the diameter of the largest coin to be sorted by the apparatus. As is known in the art, coins 16 will enter the openings 24 in the lower regions of the disc 22 and will assume a position therein lying flat against the surface 12 so that rotation of the disc carries such coins upwardly, as will be described. As is known, openings 24 of a size to loosely receive the largest coins from the supply 16 will receive only a single coin of the smallest denomination. For example, the openings 24 are only slightly larger than a 50 cent piece and only one of the smallest coins, a dime, can be received within each opening.

A drive shaft 20 is the output shaft from a motor 26 which is shown as driving through a suitable reduction gear box 28 to the drive shaft 20. A sprocket wheel 30 fixed to shaft 20, drives an endless chain 32 trained over a sprocket wheel 34 on shaft 19. The sprocket wheel 34 is fixed to the shaft 19 which in turn has the disc 22 fixed thereon. Also fixed to the shaft 20 is a bevel gear 36 which meshes with a smaller bevel gear 38 fixed to a shaft 40 journalled in bracket 8. A

which will be described in greater detail later. It is to be noted, however, that the shaft 19 and disc 22 rotate at the same speed as shaft 20 whereas, due to the relative sizes of gears 36, 38 and 42, the conveyor chain 44 is driven at a higher linear speed than the linear speed of the portion of disc 22 in which openings 24 are located.

The surface 12 of base 4 defines an annular coin track around the periphery of that surface, which coin track is planar throughout most of its extent. However, the upper left hand quadrant of that coin track (as seen in FIG. 2) is defined by a sloping surface 48 which slopes away from the disc 22 from about the transition line 49, reaching its lowest point at the top of the coin path. The radially inner edge of the sloping portion of the coin path defined by surface 48 is defined by a shoulder 50, substantially coincident with the inner edges of openings 24, which limits the radially inward travel of coins being sorted. FIGS. 1 and 3 illustrate the sloping'portion of the coin path, and as can be seen in FIG. 1, the surface 48 is several coin thicknesses away from the disc 22 at the top of the disc.

The base member 4 is provided with a pair of concentric circular grooves 52 extending therearound intermediate the inner and outer edges of the openings 24. Adjacent each opening 24, near the trailing edge thereof, the disc 22 is provided with a pair of rearwardly or downwardly projecting pins 54. The pins are fixed to the disc 22 and rotate therewith, being positioned to extend downwardly into and to move along within the grooves 52. The length of the pins 54 and the depth of grooves 52 are at least equal to the distance from disc 22 to the surface 48 at the top of the coin path. Thus, it will be seen that coins entering the openings 24 will first be caused to slide upwardly along the surface 12 until they reach the point 49 where the sloping surface 48 commences. They will then follow that surface 48, as indicated in FIG. 1, but will no longer be in contact with the edge of an opening 24. At that time the pins 54 engage the rear edges of the coins and propel them along the coin track toward the top portion thereof. FIG. 3 illustrates how the pins 54 drive coins along the surface 48. It is to be noted that the shoulder 50 holds the coins being propelled by pins 54 on their circular coin track, previously referred to.

At the top of the coin path the surface 48 merges with a guiding surface 56 on a conveyor track 58, which surface is sloped at substantially the same angle as the surface 48 so that coins can move smoothly from the surface 48 to the surface 56. The coin track 58 is provided with a supporting flange 60 which supports coins thereon, the flange 60 extending substantially in alignment with the upper straight portion of shoulder 50, indicated at 62 in FIG. 2. The coin track 58 is provided with a longitudinal slot 64 therethrough and through which the lugs 46 on conveyor chain 48 extend. It is to be noted that the lugs 46 are of such length that they extend forwardly to a position closely adjacent the inner or bottom surface of disc 22 and the parts are all so arranged and positioned that the path of movement of lugs 46 extends between the pins 54 of each pair of pins, all as clearly shown, at the top of FIG. 2. Alternatively, the path of the lugs may be below both pins 54 at the top of the coin path.

As shown in FIG. 2, the lug 46 at position A is just about to make contact with the coin being pushed by pins 54 at that position. The forward speed of the lugs 46, however, is considerably greater than the speed of pins 54 so that lug moves forwardly between the pins, engages the coin and accelerates it along the track 58. By the time the lug at position A reaches the position B, the pins 54 that have advanced the coin being pushed by that lug have fallen behind so that when the lug reaches position B, the corresponding pins have only reached position C and they can then move downwardly away from the coin track before the next lug 46 arrives to interfere with such movement. In like manner pins and a coin being pushed thereby approaching the position A are in advance of the lug 46 that will eventually engage that coin and can move upwardly to position A in advance of the next succeeding lug 46. Thus, there is no interference between the pins and lugs.

It is to be noted that coins entering the openings 24 are at all times under positive control of the apparatus and this permits unusually high speeds of operation. The disc 22 accelerates the coins from standstill to a substantial velocity around the circular path and then the lugs 46 again accelerate the coins to an even higher speed along coin track 58 and the coins are at all times in engagement with propelling means so that no high impact or accelerating forces are necessary. Apparatus of the type described is capable of sorting and advancing coins at the rate of at least 900 coins per minute, which is considerably in excess of speeds heretofore possible.

It is contemplated that the coin track 58 convey the coins, in random denominational arrangement to means for sorting, collecting, and counting the coins in accordance with their size or denomination. Such means are not illustrated herein since they are not part of the present invention.

While a single specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described herein, other embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art and the foregoing description is merely illustrative of the principles involved.

We claim:

1. A high speed coin sorting and conveying device comprising:

a base member having a guiding surface tilted from the vertical and defining a generally annular coin track;

a disc rotatably mounted closely adjacent said surface and having an annular series of coin receiving openings therethrough overlying said annular coin track;

hopper means for holding a supply of coins adjacent the lower portion of said disc whereby a coin may enter each opening;

drive means for rotating said disc in one direction to slide coins in said openings along said surface;

at least one circular groove in said base, extending around said coin track;

at least one pin means fixed to said disc adjacent the trailing side of each coin receiving opening and extending into said groove for movement therealong as said disc rotates;

a portion of said surface defining said coin track, in the upper quadrant on the rising side of said disc, being progressively sloped away from said disc to a distance greater than one coin thickness away from said disc at the top of said coin track whereby coins are propelled therealong by said'pin means;

a coin supporting and guiding rail means substantially tangent to said coin track at the top thereof; and

a conveyor having spaced lugs movable along said rail means, said drive means being arranged to drive said conveyor in timed relation to rotation of said disc whereby successive lugs engage successive coins at the top of said coin track while said coins are in engagement with said pin means and then propel said coins along said rail means.

2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said base member is provided with a pair of said circular grooves and said disc is provided with a pin means for each groove adjacent each coin receiving opening, said grooves being spaced apart.

3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said drive means is arranged to drive said conveyor at a higher linear speed than the linear speed of said pin means whereby said lug means accelerate successive coins onto said rail means.

4. A device as defined in claim 3 wherein said lug means are spaced apart on said conveyor a distance greater than the spacing between successive pin means on said disc.

5. A device as defined in claim 2 wherein said conveyor is so arranged that the said lugs thereon pass between corresponding pin means at substantially the top of said coin track.

6. A device as defined in claim 2 wherein said grooves and pin means are substantially symmetrically arranged between the radially inner and outer edges of said coin receiving openings.

7. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said base member, at said sloping portion of said coin track, is provided with a coin guiding wall generally perpendicular to said disc and substantially aligned with the radiopenings there-through overlying said annular coin track;

hopper means for holding a supply of coins adjacent the lower portion of said disc whereby a coin may enter each opening;

drive means for rotating said disc in one direction to slide coins in said openings along said surface;

a portion of said surface defining said coin track, in the upper quadrant on the rising side of said disc, being progressively sloped away from said disc to a distance greater than one coin thickness away fromsaid disc at the tog of said coin track; propelling means on San disc, ad acent the trailing edges of said openings, for engaging coins on said sloped surface to propel the same therealong;

a coin supporting and guiding rail means substantially tangent to said coin track at the top thereof; and

a conveyor having spaced lugs movable along said rail means, said drive means being arranged to drive said conveyor in timed relation to rotation of said disc whereby successive lugs engage successive coins at the top of said coin track while said coins are in engagement with said propelling means and then propel said coins along said rail means.

9. A device as defined in claim 8 wherein said drive means is arranged to drive said conveyor at a higher linear speed than the linear speed of said propelling means whereby said lug means accelerate successive coins onto said rail means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3145827 *Feb 1, 1962Aug 25, 1964Emsig Mfg CompanyDistributor for disks
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4043445 *Feb 10, 1975Aug 23, 1977S.I. Handling Systems Inc.Centrifugal rotary transfer apparatus
US5167571 *May 14, 1991Dec 1, 1992International Game TechnologyCoin handling machine
US5232398 *Feb 20, 1991Aug 3, 1993Himecs Co., Ltd.Disc conveyor
US5240099 *Apr 5, 1991Aug 31, 1993Tst International Pty. Ltd.Coin receiving and validation apparatus
US5326312 *Oct 8, 1992Jul 5, 1994Boardwalk Regency Corp.Coin/token dispensing unit
US5474496 *Oct 28, 1993Dec 12, 1995Perkitny; JerzyCoin bank
US5516293 *Apr 7, 1994May 14, 1996Bally Gaming International, Inc.Gaming machine coin hopper coin sensor
US5688166 *Jul 10, 1996Nov 18, 1997Chen; Chih-NanApparatus for counting coins
US5863331 *Jan 31, 1997Jan 26, 1999Braden; DenverIPC (Chip) termination machine
US6220954 *Apr 30, 1997Apr 24, 2001International Game TechnologyMultidenominational coin output hopper
US6345714May 12, 2000Feb 12, 2002Deere & CompanyPart sorting and aligning apparatus
US7591362Jun 22, 2005Sep 22, 2009Countr GmbhMethod and device for sorting, counting, and/or examining objects
US8210336 *Sep 11, 2006Jul 3, 2012Glory Ltd.Coin depositing and dispensing machine
USRE36966 *Aug 19, 1996Nov 21, 2000Perkitny; JerzyCoin bank
DE10261819A1 *Dec 22, 2002Jul 8, 2004Winau, Dominik, Dr.Verfahren und Vorrichtung zum Sortieren, Zählen und/oder Prüfen von Gegenständen
DE10261819B4 *Dec 22, 2002Apr 21, 2005Winau, Dominik, Dr.Verfahren und Vorrichtung zum Sortieren, Zählen und/oder Prüfen von Gegenständen
WO2004053803A1 *Dec 5, 2003Jun 24, 2004Axlon Int AbDevice for coins
WO2006076226A2 *Jan 6, 2006Jul 20, 2006Gregory F StringHigh speed coin processing machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification453/57, 198/443, 198/397.2
International ClassificationB65G47/14, G07D9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07D9/008, B65G47/1478
European ClassificationB65G47/14B6, G07D9/00F