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Publication numberUS3757994 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1973
Filing dateApr 6, 1972
Priority dateApr 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3757994 A, US 3757994A, US-A-3757994, US3757994 A, US3757994A
InventorsSkoetsch P
Original AssigneeSkoetsch P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pill dispenser
US 3757994 A
Abstract
A transparent container holds a supply of tablets, such as vitamin pills, the container having a hinged lid which is color-coded to the type of pill. An ejector mechanism on the container is manually operated and ejects one pill at a time. By combining several units, a full spectrum of pill types is made readily available.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilited States ate Skoetsch 1451 Sept. 11, 1973 1 PILL DISPENSER [76] Inventor: Paul B. S. Skoetsch, 1428 N.

Madison, Stockton, Calif. 95203 [22] Filed: Apr. 6, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 241,685

[52] US. Cl 221/202, 221/269, 221/270,

[51] Int. Cl B65h 7/00 [58] Field of Search 221/269, 270, 299, 2-21/202, 204, 247, 268, 300

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,669,349 2/1954 Silver.... 221/269 1,715,498 6/1929 Gaston 221/269 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerH. Grant Skaggs, Jr. AttorneyRobert G. West et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT A transparent container holds a supply of tablets, such as vitamin pills, the container having a hinged lid which is color-coded to the type of pill. An ejector mechanism on the container is manually operated and ejects one pill at a time. By combining several units, a full spectrum of pill types is made readily available.

9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PILL DISPENSER The invention relates to improvements in dispensers for storing and delivering tablets one at a time.

The patent literature as well as the market place are replete with pill dispensers of various kinds. However, the previous devices so far as is known have required that the tablets be transferred to the dispenser from the original bottle by hand, thereby exposing the tablets to skin bacteria.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a pill dispenser which curbs product exposure to contamination.

It is another object of the invention to provide a pill dispenser which is compact insize, yet which is capable of receiving and storing a substantial number of tablets so that frequent refills are unnecessary.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a pill dispenser which reliably delivers but one pill at a time.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide a pill dispenser in which the contents are visible at all times.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a pill dispenser which can be color-coded to indicate the type of tablets dispensed therefrom.

It is another object of the invention to provide a generally improved pill dispenser. I

Other objects, together with the foregoing, are attained in the embodiment described in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. I is a top perspective view with a portion of the lid broken away to reduce the extent of the figure and a side wall broken away to reveal interior details of construction;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view, to a considerably enlarged scale, showing the ejector mechanism in stand-by position, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 2--2 in FIG. 4; e

FIG. 3 is a view comparable to FIG. 2 but with the ejector in operating position;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view to a somewhat-enlarged scale and with the lid removed;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 55 in FIG. 4; and,

FIG. 6 is a sectional view, taken on the plane indicated by the line 6-6 in FIG. 4.

While the pill dispenser of the invention is susceptible of numerous physical embodiments, depending upon the environment and requirements of use, substantial numbers of the herein shown and described embodiment have been made, tested and used, and all have performed in an eminently satisfactory manner. a

The pill dispenser of the invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 11, includes a vertically I elongated container 12 comprising a pair of side walls 13 and 14, a front end wall 15 and a rear end wall 16. Preferably, the walls are fabricated of a clear, impact type plastic" for durability and visibility of the contents.

The four vertical walls define a vertically elongated I chamber 17 divided for convenience into an upper storage chamber 18 (capable of accommodating the contents of a full bottle of pills plus an additional 10 percent for the balance of pills left from the previous load) and a lower pill orienting and aligning compartment 20.

The storage compartment 18 is maintained in sanitary condition by covering it with a lid 19 suitably hinged, as at 21 and 22 on the upper edge of the rear wall 16, and snap-fastened in closed position to the catch pin 23 on the upper edge of the front wall 15. Preferably, the lid 19 is opaque and is colored to correspond to a given type of pill. Thus, at a glance, the user can determine the variety of pill available in the dispenser.

The pill supply in the storage compartment 18 is supported by a plurality of inwardly jutting inclined plates mounted on the interior side of the four walls 13, 14, 15 and 16. The walls project inwardly at various angles and at various locations to define a multi-level floor, generally designated by the reference numeral 26, the floor 26 having but a single exit 27 for the pill reservoir area.

The various inclined plates forming the floor 26 include an inclined top plate 31 mounted on the inner side of the side wall 13 and spanning theopposite end walls 15 and 16. The inclined top plate 31 extends about one-third of the way across the width of the chamber 17 and terminates in an inner edge 32 which is somewhat skewed, in the sensethat the edge 32 is farther at the rear end from the wall 13 than at the front end, as appears most clearly in FIG. 4. Depending from the inner edge 32 of the top plate 31 is a first guide wall 33 extending vertically downwardly and terminating in a bottom edge 34 which slopes in a downward direction from rear to front. The guide wall 33 serves in conjunction with the opposite side wall 73 to maintain the pills in upright attitude.

Mounted on the bottom edge 34 of the first guide wall 33 is a bottom ramp 36 (see FIGS. 2, 3 and 6) spanning the opposite end walls 15 and 16, in a fore and aft direction, the bottom ramp 36 serving to support a plurality of pills 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 in rolling engagement.

The bottom ramp 36 is coplanar with the bottom wall 61 of the pill discharge passageway 62 formed in the front wall 15. Thus, when a similar sized port 63 in a vertically reciprocable carriage 64, or slide plate, of the ejector mechanism, generally designated by the reference numeral 66, comes into register with the discharge passageway 62, the adjacent pill 37 is free to emerge from the ramp area and drop into the catchment basin 68 mounted on the front end wall 15 so as to receive the ejected pill 37 (seeFIG. 3).

Mounted on the inner surface of the side wall 14 is a second inclined plate 71 spanning the opposite end walls 15 and 16, and arranged approximately in mirror symmetry with respect to the inclined top plate 31, but at a lower elevation. Depending vertically from the lower, inner edge 72 of the inclined plate 71 is the second vertical guide wall 73, previouslY referred to, having mounted on its bottom edge 74 the bottom ramp 36.

In other words, the first guide wall 33 and the second.

in aligned single file and in an upright attitude so that their bottom tangent edges are in rolling engagement with the bottom ramp 36 as they are urged downwardly by gravity toward and out the discharge opening 62.

An upper ramp 77 having a slope which is reversely inclined with respect to the lower ramp 36, but at a similar degree of angularity, support pills 43, 44, and 45 (see FIG. 2) in rolling engagement. The upper ramp 77 guides the pills 43 45 downwardly through the'onepill-at-a-time exit 27 defined by the forward edge 78 of a hood 84, or shield, and the subjacent portion of the upper ramp 77. At the lower apex end 79 of the upper ramp 77, the upper channel 80 (defined by the upper ramp 77 and the two vertical guide walls 33 and 73) merges with the beginning of the reversely sloping lower channel 76.

The hood 84 comprises a forwardly and downwardly sloping panel 83 which merges on one side with the inclined plate 31 and on the other side with a laterally sloping panel 81 (see FIGS. 1, 4 and 6). The hood 84 extends forwardly from the rear end wall 16 and supports the superposed pills in the vicinity of pills designated by reference numerals 48, 49 and 50. The slopes of the panels 81 and 83 slide forwardly and downwardly.

The panels 81 and 83, in other words, serve in conjunction with the inclined side plates 31 and 71 to funnel pills toward the one-at-a-time pill exit 27 leading down onto the upper ramp 77, around the lower end apex 79 of the upper ramp, and thence in a reverse direction down toward the lower ramp 36, ultimately to be ejected one-at-a-time by the ejector 66 through the discharge passageway 62 into the catch basin 68.

The funnel forming members 31, 71, 81 and 83 also serve, in combination with the subjacent spaced vertical side walls 33 and 73, on each side of the upper ramp 77, to tilt the pills into an upright attitude, i.e., with their cylindrical axes horizontal. The upper portion of the upper channel 80, for example, is wider than the lower portion, owing to the job 85 formed in the side wall 73 (see FIG. 6), the jog helping to deflect the pills into upright attitude as they descend onto the upper ramp 77, and subsequently roll down the ramp 77 and through the pill door 27, as previously described.

In order to agitate the reservoir of pills from time to time so as to prevent the pills from wedging and jamming, provision is made for a vertically reciprocable agitator blade 91 mounted adjacent its forward bottom edge on the upper sloping surface 88 of a ledge 86 projecting rearwardly from the vertically reciprocable carriage 64.

The carriage 64 itself slides in a suitable vertical recess 94 formed in the rear face of the forward wall 15. From the top of the slide plate 64 projects an operating tab 95 extending forwardly through a slot 89 in the wall 15, the respective top and bottom walls 90 and 90a of the slot 93 limiting the extent of vertical movement of the slide plate 64 between the upper, stand-by position shown in FIG. 2 and the lower, operating position shown in FIG. 3. Helping to confine the slide plate 64 in its recessed track 94 is a cover plate 96 enclosing the upper portion of the slide plate 64. The lower end of the slide plate 64 is guided by the forward end of the ramp 36.

The vertical agitator blade 91 moves up and down partly in a narrow fore and aft slot 92 formed in the hood 84 and partly in the space adjacent the vertical guide wall 73. Each time the ejector 66 is actuated, the pill supply in the vicinity of the blade 91 is agitated,

with the result that pills do not become lodged or jammed. A triangular-shaped corner filling plate located in the corner formed by the intersection of the ledge 86, the blade 91 and the slide plate 64 assists in the dislodging effect and adds to the funnel effect of the adjacent inclined plates and panels.

As appears most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, downward movement of the ejector 66 is opposed by upward urgency of a leaf spring 101 suitably mounted, as by an adhesive, at its after end 103, on the wall 16, and extending forwardly with a forward, upturned tip end 102 engaging the lower end of the slide plate 4, thereby urging the ejector 66 into upper, stand-by position.

As the operating tab is urged downwardly, the ledge 86 on the slide plate 64 depresses the tip 98 of a vertical pill-separating and ejecting blade 97. The blade 97 is movable downwardly through a registering slot 99 in the sloping ceiling panel 100 covering the top of the lower channel 76.

As canbe seen most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the pointed, downwardly projecting blade tip 98 impinges against the upper left quadrant of the leading pill 37 very near its area of tangency with the succeeding pill 38. The combination of the blade tip 98 and the adjacent arcuate camming portion 60, curving upwardly and forwardly, has the effect of first separating and then cammingly urging the pill 37 down the ramp and through the port 63 of the slide plate 64 and the registering downwardly inclined passageway 62 into the catch basin 68.

The dimensions and relative locations of the operating surfaces of the tip 98, the blade 97, the port 63 and the passageway 62 are such that registry of the port 63 and the passageway 62 occur substantially simultaneously with the actuation of the separator-ejector member 97:

As the separated and ejected pill 37 drops into the basin 68, the tab 95 is released by the user and the ejector mechanism 66 turns upwardly to stand-by basis. As the ledge 86 returns upwardly, the pills 45, 46 and 47 (which earlier followed the depressed ledge downwardly into the well 70 defined by the ledge surface 88 and the boundary wall 75 (as in FIG. 3)) are biased upwardly into their approximate original position, as indicated in FIG. 2. The up and down motion of the pills 4547, each time the ejector is actuated, cooperates with the vertical reciprocating agitator blade 91 to dislodge any pills which might' have become jammed against any of the surrounding surfaces.

It can therefore be seen that I have provided a pill dispenser which operates effectively not only with pills which are spherical in shape, but also with cylindrical tablets wherein the diameter exceeds the axial length, i.e., the thickness.

By using a plurality of individual dispensers side by side, each with its own color coding on the lid, on the operating tab, or, if preferred, on both lid and tab, an efficient array of a full spectrum of pills is afforded the user.

I claim:

1. A pill dispenser comprising:

a. a container having a pair of vertical side walls and a pair of vertical end walls defining a vertically elongated chamber;

b. a plurality of plates mounted on said walls and projecting into said chamber to form a floor capable of supporting a plurality of circular disc shaped pills superposed thereon, said floor including an exit dimensioned so as to pass only one pill at a time therethrough, said floor plates being inclined to funnel the superposed pills toward the exit;

c. a pair of spaced vertically depending-guide walls located on each side of the exit, said pair of guide walls being spaced apart a distance slightly in excess of the thickness of the pills for guiding pills emerging from the exit one at a time into upright attitude;

d. an inclined ramp spanning said pair of walls and forming therewith a channel extending from the exit in said floor angularly downwardly to terminate adjacent a pill discharge opening in one of said end walls, said channel having a width defined by said guide walls and being such as to maintain the pills emergent one at a time from the exit in single file and in an upright attitude so that the bottom tangent edges of the pills are in rolling engagement with the surface of said inclined ramp as the aligned pills are urged by gravity from the floor exit toward the discharge opening;

e. a vertically reciprocable' carriage translatably mounted on said one of said end walls, said carriage including ejector means for cyclically sepa rating and delivering the lowermost pill on said ramp through the discharge opening, said carriage being movable between a first upper pill retaining position and a second lower pill ejecting position, said carriage including a pill discharge port in registry with said discharge opening in said second lower position of said carriage; and,

f. pill agitator means mounted on said carriage for reciprocation therewith, said agitator means being located adjacent the exit of said floor for jostling the adjacent pills superposed on said floor in each cycle of operation of said ejector means.

2. A pill dispenser as in claim 1 wherein said inclined ramp includes a first, downwardly sloping run extend ing from the exit to a location adjacent the other of said end walls; and a second, downwardly sloping run extending from the lower end of said first run adjacent the discharge opening in said one of said end'walls.

3. A pill dispenser as in claim 1 wherein each of said plates is mounted at a different height on said walls to form a multi-level floor.

4. A pill dispenser as in claim 1 in which said pill agitator means includes a vertical blade having a portion thereof located adjacent the exit and between said pair of guide walls in substantially parallel relation thereto, said portion of said blade being disposed adjacent one of said pair of guide walls to define a vertical passageway between said blade and the other of said pair of guide walls, the width of the passageway between said blade and said other of said pair of guide walls being slightly less in excess of the thickness of a pill, said blade being thereby effective to'engage and tilt the adjacent pills into upright attitude in each cycle of opera tion of said ejector means.

5. A pill dispenser as in claim 4 in which said agitator means includes a sloping ledge mounted on the bottom of said blade and inclined toward the floor exit, said ledge being effective to urge pills downwardly through the passageway between said blade and said other of said pair of guide walls and through the floor exit.

6. A pill dispenser as in claim 4 including biasing means mounted on said container for urging said carriage from said second lower position toward said first upp r position; and limit stop means to determine the v extent of movement of said carriage between saidfirst position and said second position and to effect registry between said pill discharge port in said carriage and said pill discharge opening in said one of said end walls.

7. A pill dispenser as in claim 6 wherein said carriage includes a pill engaging cam having a tip portion extending toward the point of tangency between a leading pill located at the lower end of said channel and the adjacent pill up-channel therefrom, said tip being capable of restraining the advance of said adjacent pill as said carriage is urged into said second lower position with said pill discharge port in registry with said discharge opening, said tip portion having an arcuate portion capable of engaging and biasing said leading pill outwardly through said port and said opening when said port and said opening are in registry. I

8. A pill dispenser as in claim 7 including a lid provided with an indicium capable of identifying the type of pill within said container.

9. A plurality of pill dispensers as in claim 8 in which each of the indicia is a different color which is coded to the contents.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1715498 *Nov 11, 1927Jun 4, 1929Gaston George LCigarette dispenser
US2669349 *Mar 3, 1952Feb 16, 1954Silver Edward CPocket dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4948012 *Nov 30, 1988Aug 14, 1990Chicago Show Printing CompanyDispenser for solid comestibles
US7311205Jan 25, 2005Dec 25, 2007Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle system including label
US7413082Jan 25, 2005Aug 19, 2008Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle system including label
US7415815Aug 1, 2005Aug 26, 2008Conopco, Inc.Tube dispensing magazine device and method
US7628427Jan 25, 2005Dec 8, 2009Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy label system
US7661533Sep 27, 2007Feb 16, 2010Target Brands, Inc.Bottle with spine label
US7942451Jun 28, 2006May 17, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Medication packaging and labeling system
US7980391Feb 15, 2010Jul 19, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle system including a container having a recessed surface
US8025314May 14, 2003Sep 27, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Medication packaging and labeling system
US8281929Sep 2, 2010Oct 9, 2012Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy label with securable tab and systems associated therewith
US8752705Jul 18, 2011Jun 17, 2014Target Brands, Inc.Packaging system with pharmacy bottle and label
US8870004Oct 25, 2011Oct 28, 2014Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle, system, and method
US9033151May 8, 2014May 19, 2015Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle system and method
US9085396Oct 27, 2014Jul 21, 2015Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle, system, and method
US20070023445 *Aug 1, 2005Feb 1, 2007Conopco, Inc., D/B/A UnileverTube dispensing magazine device and method
US20080017602 *Sep 27, 2007Jan 24, 2008Target Brands, Inc.Bottle with label
US20100140133 *Feb 15, 2010Jun 10, 2010Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy bottle system with label
US20110155625 *Sep 2, 2010Jun 30, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Pharmacy label with securable tab and systems associated therewith
DE2925432A1 *Jun 23, 1979Jan 8, 1981Alfred Von SchuckmannContainer dispensing single tablets - has tablet outlet in wall below storage chamber with spring tensioned slider forming inner channel moving in front of opening
DE3018041A1 *May 10, 1980Nov 12, 1981Schuckmann Alfred VonBehaeltnis zur einzel-portionierten ausgabe von tabletten
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/202, 221/270, 221/299, 221/269
International ClassificationA47F1/00, A47F1/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/10
European ClassificationA47F1/10