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Publication numberUS3722744 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 27, 1973
Filing dateMar 8, 1972
Priority dateMar 8, 1972
Also published asCA957991A1
Publication numberUS 3722744 A, US 3722744A, US-A-3722744, US3722744 A, US3722744A
InventorsPayne H
Original AssigneeCavalier Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Split vend gate mechanism
US 3722744 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

finite Payne States atent 1 [54] SPLIT VEND GATE MECHANISM [75] Inventor: Harry R. Payne,

Tenn.

Chattanooga,

[73] Assignee: Cavalier Corporation, Chattanooga,

Ind.

[22] Filed: Mar. 8, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 232,779

[52] US. Cl ..221/129 [51] Int. Cl ..B65g 59/06 [58] Field of Search ,221/129, 125, 289, 295

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,300,084 1/1967 Payne 221/125 X Primary Examiner-Stanley l-l. Tollberg AttorneyWi1liam B. Kerkam, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT A vend mechanism for back-to-back staggered stacks of cans or for a single staggered stack of bottles has opposed vend gates for each stack. Each pair of opposed vend gates is actuated by a rotary cam and these cams are rotated by a single shaft which extends beneath the stacks of cans or bottles and acts to support the lowest can or bottle in the stack against the adjacent gate. An electric motor rotates that shaft in 90 increments for back-to-back staggered stacks of cans and rotates the shaft through 180 increments for a single staggered stack of bottles. A limit switch in the motor circuit is actuated by adjustable tabs rotated by the shaft to obtain the desired increments of rotation. One of the pairs of end gates is provided with a releasable portion when bottles are to be vended to prevent the bottle cap from sticking against the adjacent vend gate and blocking the vend mechanism.

10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SHEET 10F 3 PATENTEDHARZY m5 FIG 2 spur VEND GATE MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore, various vend mechanisms have been suggested for individually dispensing one bottle or one can at a time from staggered stacks of cans or bottles and from such stacks in back-to-back relationship. Various cam mechanisms have been proposed for actuating release mechanisms for this purpose. The following patents are considered to be representative of such dispensing mechanisms: U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,944,499; 2,267,525; 2,438,503; 2,585,011, 2,638,396; 2,834,512; 2,941,643; and 3,074,593.

Each of these patents operate a vend mechanism through cams and in Johnson and in Holt the vend mechanisms are driven in 90 increments so that the bottles or cans are dispensed alternately from side-byside stacks or from back-to-back staggered stacks. In Holt the cams for the release mechanism are at each end of a motor driven shaft while in Johnson the link arms and crank arms of the release mechanism are at the same end of the driving shaft and are connected to it through gearing. The Kemp patent discloses cams similar to those employed in the present concept.

This prior art does not disclose the concept of supporting the cans or bottles in staggered stacks on the drive shaft for the cams against the adjacent vend gate and rotating the drive'shaft in desired increments to dispense alternately from the stacks when the stacks are back-toback and to dispense alternately on each side of the shaft for each stack.

The prior art does not disclose such mechanism for dispensing cans in back-to-back staggered stacks which is readily modified for dispensing longer bottles from a One or more split vend gate mechanisms of the present invention may be employed in a single vending machine. The circuitry for energizing the electric motors will be the credit release circuit disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,486,601, issued to Raymond D. Bowman on Dec. 30, 1969 and owned by the assignee of the present invention and application.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown in the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters indicate like parts, and in which FIG. 1 is a front view of the vend mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view from above of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with the staggered stacks of cans or bottles omitted for clarity;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the lower portion of the embodiment of FIG. 1 as seen from the right in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation corresponding to that of FIG. 4 with the driving mechanism and side panel omitted and arranged for dispensing a staggered stack of bottles; FIG. 6 is a detail of a cam and tabs disposed for actuation of the limit switch for 180 increments of rotation of the cam shaft used when dispensing a bottle at a time from a staggered stack of bottles; and

FIG. 7 is a figure similar to FIG. 6 showing the tabs disposed for 90 increments of rotation of the cam shaft single staggered stack with the lowermost bottle of the staggered stack resting on the cam drive shaft and against the adjacent vend gate. The prior art does not disclose mechanism for dispensing bottles from staggered stacks having a portion of an adjacent vend gate which may readily be freed from actuation with its vend gate to prevent a bottle cap from sticking in the vend gate mechanism and blocking the machine.

" SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore the object of the present invention to provide a novel split vend gate mechanism for dispensing cans from back-to-back staggered stacks one at a time or for dispensing longer bottles from a single staggered stack one at a time which is easy to manufacture and to service and is durable in operation and may be employed with chilled cans or bottles without detriment to its operation in which a pair of opposed vend gates are used for each staggered stack and each pair of vend gates is actuated by a cam mounted on an electric motor driven shaft with the shaft extending beneath the staggered stacks of cans or bottles and supporting the lowermost can or bottle in each stack against the adjacent vend gate, the motor rotating the cam shaft in increments of 90 when dispensing cans from back-to-back staggered stacks and rotating the shaft in increments of 180 when dispensing from a single staggered stack of bottles, a limit switch controlling the motor and the rotation of the shaft with adjustable tabs mounted on the shaft and actuating the limit switch.

used when dispensing a can at a time from back-toback staggered stacks of cans.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, the mechanisms there disclosed are provided with a base tray 10 to receive the dispensed bottle or can. Tray 10 is provided with front wall 11 and rear wall 12 as well as with turned side walls 13 and 14. A motor base plate 15 is bolted or otherwise secured to front wall 11 and a suitable electric motor 16 is secured thereto. Rear wall 12 supports upstanding plate 17 and a corresponding plate 18 is secured in spaced parallel relationship thereo and with plate 15 by brackets 19 and 20. (FIG. 4). Side plates 21 and 22 extend between and are secured to plates 17 and 18 and are spaced apart to receive cans or bottles 23 in staggered stack as seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5. Plates 21 and 22 are of sufficient length to receive two staggered stacks of cans back-to-back or one staggered stack of longer bottles as seen in FIG. 5. Plates 21 and 22 are turned inwardly at each end as at 24, 25, 26 and 27, respectively, to prevent the cans or bottles from longitudinal movement and are inwardly directed at 28 and 29 to assure that only one can or bottle at a time from a stack is in dispensing position.

A cap 30 fits on top of plates 21 and 22 to hold them in position and the several plates may be aperturcd to reduce the weight of the structure.

A cam drive shaft 31 is rotated by motor 16 and extends through plates 17 and 18 medially between the lower ends of extensions 28 and 29 of side plates 21 and 22. As will be seen in the drawings, the lowermost can or bottle in each staggered stack rests in part on shaft 31. A front oblate hollow cam 32 is mounted for rotation on and with shaft 31 in front of plate 18 and a rear oblate hollow cam 33 is mounted for rotation on and with shaft 31, cams 32 and 33 being spaced by an angle of 90 in the direction of rotation of shaft 31, counterclockwise in FIG. 1.

The lower end of side 21 is provided at front and rear with outstanding lugs 34 and 35 supporting between them a pivot shaft 36. The lower end of side 22 is provided at front and rear with outstanding lugs 37 and 38 supporting between them and a pivot shaft 39.

Vend gates 40 and 41 are mounted for rotation on shaft 36 and similar vend gates 42 and 43 are mounted for rotation on shaft 39. Vend gate 40 has cam follower 44 mounted thereon and engaging in cam 32. Vend gate 42 has cam follower 45 mounted thereon and also engaging in cam 32.

Vend gate 41 has cam follower 46 mounted thereon and engaging in cam 33 and vend gate 43 has cam follower 47 mounted thereon and also engaging in cam 33.

Vend gates 41 and 43 are split, as clearly seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, and each gate has portion 48 provided with finger 49 and auxiliary portion 50 normally held inside finger 49 by compression spring 51 when backto-back staggered stacks of cans are to be vended. When a single staggered stack of bottles are to be vended then the auxiliary portion or gate 50 is moved to the left when adjusting the mechanism against spring 51, as seen in FIG. 4, and portion 50 is arranged to the position seen in FIG. on the outside of finger 49 for reasons which will appear more fully hereinafter.

Shaft 31 should be rotated in 90 increments when the mechanism is to dispense one can at a time from back-to-back staggered stacks of cans. To this end the electric circuit for energizing motor 16 as disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,486,601 referred to above includes a switch 52 actuated by arm 53. Arm 53 is inturn engaged and actuated by cam shoulders 54 and 55 (FIG. 7) carried by base 56 secured for rotation on shaft 31 and by shoulders 57 and 58 carried by base 59 mounted loosely on shaft 31 and held in four prongs 60, 61, 62 and 63 carried by base 56 by spring 64 which surrounds shaft 31 and bears against plate and base 59. Thus, when motor 16 rotates shaft 31 through 90 one of the shoulders 54, 55, 57 or 58 will engage arm 53 and actuate switch 52 to open the motor circuit.

When the mechanism is to be used for vending one bottle at a time from a single staggered stack of bottles as seen in FIG. 5, motor 16 should rotate shaft 31 through 180. To this end the mechanism is adjusted by sliding base 59 against the action of spring 64 out of prongs 60-63 and then rotating base 59 until shoulders 57 and 58 lie within shoulders 54 and 55 as seen in FIG. 6. Thereafter, spring 64 will hold base 59 in prongs 60-63 and only shoulders 54 and 55 will actuate switch 52 for each 180 rotation of shaft 31.

Further, when the mechanism is to be used for vending one bottle at a time as in FIG. 5, bottles being longer than cans and the mechanism for vending from back-to-back staggered stacks of cans then being too short for back-to-back staggered stacks of bottles, a guide plate 64 is placed within side plates 21 and 22 to loosely engage the bottle caps and keep the bottles in position. Plate 64' is held in place by upper comb 65 and lower'comb 66 which frictionally engage between side plates 21 and 22.

With the mechanism constructed as above-described and when dispensing from back-to-back staggered stacks of cans and assuming earns 32 and 33 to be in the positions shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 rotation of shaft 31 counterclockwise through will bring shoulder 57 into position to actuate switch 52 and open the motor circuit and at the same time cam 32 will rotate to position to free cam follower 53 and permit gate 40 to open and let the can resting on shaft 31 and gate 49 fall into tray 10 and be dispensed or vended. The next 90' counterclockwise rotation of shaft 31 brings cam 33 into position to release gate 43 and the can resting on shaft 31 against gate 43 drops to tray 10 for dispensing or vending. The next 90 counterclockwise rotation of shaft 31 rotates cam 32 to position to release gate 42 and the can resting on shaft 31 and against gate 42 falls to tray 10 and is dispensed or vended. The next 90 counterclockwise rotation of shaft 31 brings cam 33 into position to release gate 41 and the can resting on shaft 31 and against gate 41 drops to tray 10. As noted above the 90 increments of rotation of shaft 31 are caused by fingers 54, 58, S5 and 57 in turn engaging arm 53 and opening switch 52.

When bottles are to be vended the mechanism is adjusted to the positions shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 and only gates 40 and 42 are used to dispense the bottles. These gates alternately open on ever rotation of shaft 31 and permit the bottle resting on shaft 31 and against the opened gate to fall to tray 10 and be dispensed. In practice it was found that since gates 41 and 43 are always closed when either gate 40 or gate 42 is opened, the cap of the bottle to be vending sometimes caught on the adjacent portion of gate 41 or 43 and could then block the mechanism. To prevent this, portions 50 of gates 41 and 43 are disposed outside of fingers 49 to swing freely and prevent catching of the bottle caps. This in effect shortens the effective length of gates 41 and 43 when dispensing bottles but provides full support of cans by gates 41 and 43 when dispensing cans by engaging portions 50 behind fingers 49 as in FIG. 4.

It is to be understood that a plurality of the mechanisms as above-described can be used in a single refrigerated vending machine so that various flavors of canned or bottled beverages may be vended. For example, and using the circuitry of US. Pat. No. 3,486,601 above referred to, four such mechanisms may be used to vend four flavors or types of beverages. Some of these mechanisms may vend cans and others bottles or all may vend cans or all may vend bottles. Great flexibility of use is therefore obtained.

Changes may be made to the preferred embodiments described above without departing from the present inventive concept. Reference should therefore be had to the appended claims to determine the scope of this invention.

What I claim is:

1. A vend mechanism for back-to-back staggered stacks of cans or a single staggered stack of bottles comprising vertically disposed means for holding said stacks, a lower opening defined by said means beneath the stacks, a pair of opposed vend gates carried by said means partially closing said opening beneath each stack, a shaft extending medially between said pairs of vend gates and medially of said opening, the lowermost can or bottle of the stacks resting on said shaft and against the adjacent one of said vend gates, a cam for each pair of said vend gates mounted for rotation on and by said shaft, and electric motor means for driving said shaft in predetermined increments of rotation, said cams opening and closing said vend gates in predetermined sequence whereby one can or bottle is released for vending for each increment of rotation of said shaft.

2. A vend mechanism as described in claim 1, said cams being oblate and hollow and a cam follower for each of said gates mounted in the adjacent one of said cams, said cams being offset by an angle of 90 in the direction of rotation of said shaft.

3. A vend mechanism as described in claim 1, one of said pairs of vend gates including for each of said gates a separate gate portion, a finger on the adjacent one of said gates engaging said gate portion and spring means urging said gate portion toward said finger.

4. A vend mechanism as described in claim 1 including electric switch means for said electric motor and means rotated by said shaft opening said switch means at predetermined increments of rotation of said shaft.

5. A vend mechanism as described in claim 4, said means for opening said switch means including a first base secured for rotation on said shaft, cam shoulders extending from said base and diametrically opposed on each side of said shaft, a second base freely mounted on said shaft and fitting in said first base at right angles thereto for rotation therewith, second cam shoulders extending from said second base and diametrically opposed on each side of said shaft and spring means holding said second base in said first base, said second base being rotatable to bring said second cam shoulders within said first cam shoulders whereby said switch means may be opened at 90 increments of rotation of said shaft or at 180 increments of rotation of said shaft.

6. A vend mechanism for back-to-back staggered stacks of cylindrical containers or a single staggered stack of longer generally cylindrical containers comprising vertically disposed spaced side plates for holding said stacks, a lower opening defined by said side plates beneath said stacks, a pair of opposed vend gates mounted on the bottom of the adjacent one of said side plates partially closing said opening beneath each of said stacks, a shaft extending medially between said pairs of vend gates and medially of said opening, the lowermost cylindrical container in said stacks resting on said shaft and against the adjacent one of said vend gates, a cam for each pair of said vend gates mounted for rotation by said shaft and an electric motor for rotating said shaft in predetermined increments of rotation, said cams opening and closing said vend gates in predetermined sequence whereby one lowermost cylindrical container in said stacks is released for vending for each increment of rotation of said shaft.

7. A vend mechanism as described in claim 6, said cams being hollow and eccentrically mounted on said shaft and a cam follower for each of said gates mounted in the adjacent one of said cams, said camsbeing offset by an angle of in the direction of rotation of said shaft.

8. A vend mechanism as described in claim 6, each gate of one of said pairs of gates including two gate components, a finger on one of said components and resilient means urging the other of said components toward said finger.

9. A vend mechanism as described in claim 6 including an electric switch for said motor and means actuated by said shaft opening said switch at predetermined increments of rotation of said shaft.

10. A vend mechanism as described in claim 9, said means for opening said switch including an arm

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4460107 *Feb 8, 1982Jul 17, 1984Cavalier CorporationPlural mode multi-column dispensing machine
US4511059 *May 26, 1983Apr 16, 1985Cavalier CorporationVending machine with side mounted escrows
US4511060 *Jun 9, 1983Apr 16, 1985Cavalier CorporationAntitheft side mounted escrows for vending machine
US5368190 *Sep 30, 1993Nov 29, 1994Hieb; Larry E.Apparatus for vending work objects
US5881911 *Oct 9, 1996Mar 16, 1999The Coca-Cola CompanyVending machine
US6199720Mar 20, 1998Mar 13, 2001The Coca-Cola CompanyVending machine
US6556889Dec 21, 2000Apr 29, 2003The Coca-Cola CompanyVending machine
US6582037Jun 2, 2000Jun 24, 2003The Coca-Cola CompanyVending machine and a shelf support assembly
US7401710 *Oct 6, 2003Jul 22, 2008Dixie-Narco, Inc.Vending machine dispensing system
US7451891Feb 25, 2005Nov 18, 2008Sandenvendo America, Inc.Vending machine and component parts
US7823750Oct 30, 2007Nov 2, 2010Sanden Vendo America, Inc.Product delivery systems for vending machines
US7837059Oct 30, 2007Nov 23, 2010Sanden Vendo America, Inc.Product acquisition devices and methods for vending machines
US7886930Oct 30, 2007Feb 15, 2011Sandenvendo America, Inc.Modular cabinet for vending machines
US7904199Oct 30, 2007Mar 8, 2011Sanden Vendo America, Inc.Calibration systems for machines
US8132691Jul 21, 2008Mar 13, 2012Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.Vending machine dispensing system
US8162174Oct 30, 2007Apr 24, 2012Sandenvendo America, Inc.Retrieval systems for vending machines
WO1998015926A1 *Oct 3, 1997Apr 16, 1998Coca Cola CoVending machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/129
International ClassificationB65G59/06, G07F11/08, G07F11/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65G59/062, G07F11/08
European ClassificationG07F11/08, B65G59/06B2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 17, 1988AS06Security interest
Owner name: CAVALIER ACQUISTION CORPORATION
Owner name: CONNECTICUT BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, THE, N.A., 100
Effective date: 19880104
Oct 17, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: CONNECTICUT BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, THE, N.A., 100
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CAVALIER ACQUISTION CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004985/0311
Effective date: 19880104
Owner name: CONNECTICUT BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, THE, N.A., A N
Mar 7, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: CAVALIER ACQUISITION CORPORATION, A TENNESSEE CORP
Owner name: CAVALIER CORPORATION
Effective date: 19880224
Mar 7, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: CAVALIER ACQUISITION CORPORATION, A TENNESSEE CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CAVALIER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004835/0657
Effective date: 19880224
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CAVALIER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:4835/657
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CAVALIER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004835/0657