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Publication numberUS3773217 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 20, 1973
Filing dateApr 25, 1972
Priority dateApr 25, 1972
Publication numberUS 3773217 A, US 3773217A, US-A-3773217, US3773217 A, US3773217A
InventorsSchlaf S
Original AssigneeSchlaf S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing machine for bagged products
US 3773217 A
Abstract
A machine for displaying and dispensing bagged products includes a rectilinear housing which is open at its top and at one end. The opposite end of the housing is closed and supports three helices, two of which extend through the upper portion of the housing adjacent to the sides thereof, while the third is centered with respect to the two upper helices but is located below them and rests on the bottom wall of the housing. The three helices are connected through a drive train at the closed end of the housing and rotate at the same angular velocity. An electric motor drives a hub forming part of the drive train and thereby rotates the three helices. The bags are fitted between the convolutions of the three helices with the upper helices engaging the sides of the bags and the lower helix engaging the bottoms of the bags, and accordingly the bags are arranged in an orderly succession and display in an upright position. One full revolution of the helices drives the endmost bag out of the open end of the housing, thus dispensing that bag, and advances each of the remaining bags one convolution.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 Schlaf Nov. 20, 1973 DISPENSING MACHINE FOR BAGGED PRODUCTS [76] Inventor: Stanle 0. Sehlaf, Rt. 1, Box 355,

Winfield, Mo. 63389 [22] Filed: Apr. 25, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 247,455

[52] US. Cl. 221/75 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Attorney-Edward A. Boeschenstein et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A machine for displaying and dispensing bagged products includes a rectilinear housing which is open at its top and at one end. The opposite end of the housing is closed and supports three helices, two of which extend through the upper portion of the housing adjacent to the sides thereof, while the third is centered with respect to the two upper helices but is located below them and rests on the bottom wall of the housing. The three helices are connected through a drive train at the closed end of the housing and rotate at the same angular velocity. An electric motor drives a hub forming part of the drive train and thereby rotates the three helices. The bags are fitted between the convolutions of the three helices with the upper helices engaging the sides of the bags and the lower helix engaging the bottoms of the bags, and accordingly the bags are arranged in an orderly succession and display in an upright position. One full revolution of the helices drives the endmost bag out of the open end of the housing, thus dispensing that bag, and advances each of the remaining bags one convolution.

15 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures DISPENSING MACHINE FOR BAGGED PRODUCTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates in general to dispensing machines and, more particularly, to a machine which is ideally suited for dispensing bagged products.

One of the simplest and most reliable ways of dispensing bagged products is to suspend the bags in which the products are contained from a single helix and to rotate the helix a full revolution each time it is desired to dispense a bag. Machines capable of dispensing bags in the foregoing manner are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,294,281, 3,355,064, and 3,572,546. A single helix as used in this fashion, however, can only dispense bags having apertures or perforations adjacent to the top edges thereof, since such apertures or perforations are necessary to accommodate the helix. While many types of irnperforated bags may be provided with apertures merely by a simple punching operation, this is nevertheless a time consuming and bothersome procedure. Moreover, in the case of some irnperforate bags, an aperture can only be placed where it vents the interior of the bag, and this of course is entirely unacceptable when the bags contain food products.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a machine for dispensing imperforate packages. Another object is to provide a machine of the type stated for dispensing bagged products without crushing the bags or otherwise damaging the contents thereof. A further object is to provide a dispensing machine of the type stated which dispenses products on a first-in first-out basis. An additional object is to provide a dispensing machine of the type stated which displays the actual products scheduled for dispensing. These and other objects and advantages will become apparent hereinafter.

The present invention is embodied in a dispensing machine having three helices interconnected through a drive train. The helices are presented in a generally horizontal position with their axes parallel. One of the helices is disposed below and more or less centered with respect to the other two helices. Drive means rotates the helices through the drive train so that the helices will advance and dispense items positioned between the convolutions thereof. The invention also consists in the parts and in the arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings which form part of the specification and wherein like numerals refer to like parts wherever they occur:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dispensing module constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fore-shortened plan view of the dispensing module;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the back of the dispensing module with the motor detached therefrom;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are sectional views taken along lines 4-4 and 5-5, respectively of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an end view of the dispensing module with bags therein and showing three dispensing spindles in their starting position;

FIG. 7 is an end view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the dispensing spindles as they release the endmost bag; FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a modified dispensing module having a chain-type drive train; and FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the housing of the dispensing module and the motor separately mounted so that they may be easily detached from one another.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings, 2 designates a machine or dispensing module (FIG. 1) for displaying and dispensing bags 4 containing various products such as potato or corn chips. Usually the dispensing module 2 is installed in a cabinet with other modules 2 like it, and that cabinet has a glass front so that the customer may observe the bags 4 displayed on the modules 2 within it. In addition, the cabinet has selector switches for en ergizing the modules 2 therein so that each time a selector switch is closed, the module 2 associated with that switch will dispense one bag 4. Also, the cabinet has a retrieval slot located below all of the dispensing modules 2 therein for withdrawing the bags 4 dispensed by the modules 2. The cabinet does not form part of the present invention and will therefor not be discussed in detail. A cabinet suitable for the module 2 and others like it is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,294,281.

The dispensing module 2 (FIG. 1) includes a housing 8 composed of a pair of upright sidewalls 10 and 12 joined by a bottom wall 14. The top and one end of the housing 8 are open, and at the open end the bottomwall 14 is turned downwardly in the formation of an end flange 16. The open end of the housing 8 constitutes its discharge end. The opposite end of the housing 8 is closed by a pair of closely spaced end walls 18 and 20, which constitute an end member, and the space between these walls houses a drive train 30. The end wall 18 is presented forwardly toward the interior of the housing 8, whereas the end wall 20 is presented rearwardly and actually forms the back face of the housing 8.

The drive train 30 includes a drive hub 32 (FIG. 3) which is journaled in the two end walls 18 and 20 midway between the sides thereof. Secured to hub 32 between the two walls 18 and 20 is a drive pinion 34 (FIG.

4). The hub 32 projects rearwardly beyond the end wall 20, and at its end is provided with a land 36. The drive pinion 34 meshes with three idler gears 38 (FIG. 4), the axes of which are positioned apart around the axis of the hub 32, and the axis of one of the idler gears 38 is located directly below the axis of the hub 32. Moreover, the idler gears 38 rotate about sleeves 40 (FIGS. 2, 4 and 5) which are secured in place by bolts 42 (FIGS. 3 and 4) extending through them and through the end walls 18 and 20. The sleeves 40 serve as spacers for maintaining the proper spacing between the end walls 18 and 20. Additional spacers 40 and bolts 42 are presented outwardly from the idler gears 38 for further stabilizing the walls 18 and 20.

Completing the drive train 30 are three driven gears 44 (FIG. 4), each of which meshes with a different idler gear 38. Like idler gears 38, the driven gears 44 are spaced 120 apart around the axis of the drive hub 32 and intersect lines radiating from the axis of the hub 32 and passing through the axes of the idler gears 38. Thus, one driven gear 44 is located directly below the axis of the hub 32, while the remaining two, being spaced 120 therefrom, are located to the sides of and somewhat above the hub 32. Indeed, the lowermost driven gear44 is located near the bottom wall 14, while the other two driven gears 44 are located near the sidewalls 10 and 12. Each driven gear 44 has two hub portions 46 (FIG. 2-5), one of which is journaled in the end wall 18, while the other is journaled in the end wall 20. Each driven gear 44 possesses the same number of teeth as the drive pinion 34 so that a one-to-one gear ratio exists between them.

The driven gears 44 support three helical dispensing spindles 50, 52 and 54 (FIGS. 1-3 and which extend therefrom through the housing 8 to the open end thereof. In particular, the lowermost dispensing spindle 50 is connected to the driven gear 44 located. near the bottom wall and extends through the bottom of the housing midway between the sidewalls l0 and 12. The dispensing spindles 52 and 54, on the other hand are connected to the remaining driven gears 46 and extend through the upper portion of the housing 8 adjacent to the sidewalls 10 and 12, respectively.

Each helical dispensing spindle 50, 52 and 54, possesses a shank 56 (FIG. 2) which extends through and issecured to its driven gear 44 so that each shank 56 will rotate with its driven gear 44. The shank 56 of each dispensing spindle merges into a helical portion 60 composed of a series of convolutions, and the spacing between each convolution is large enough to accommodate the thickness of a single bag 4 (FIG. 1). The helical portions 60 for all three dispensing spindles 50, 52 and 54 have the same diameter, pitch, and length and they further spiral in the same direction. However, the

ends of the helical portions 60 for the three helices are not in the same position relative to their respective axes when the helices 50, 52 and 54 are at rest, that is when they are in their starting positions (FIG. 6). In particular, when the helices 50, 52, and 54 are merely displaying the bags 4, but not dispensing them, the bottom helix 50 is positioned such that its free end is presented upwardly. As the helix 50 rotates its free end of course describes a circle, and using the top of this circle as the point of reference and measuring angles clockwise therefrom, then it can be said that the free end of the bottom helix 50 is at 0 when that helix is in the starting position. Using the same point of reference for the two other helices 52 and 54, the helix 52 is at 225 when in its starting position, and the helix 54 is at 45 when in its starting position. When the helices 50, 52 and 54 are so disposed, the spaces between the corresponding convolutions generally align, and the bags 4 fit into these spaces so that they are presented in a generally upright position and are arranged in an orderly succession. The bottom helix 50 leads the two top helices 52 and 54 slightly, at least in regard to the portions threreof engaged by the bags 4, and the bags 4 are accordingly canted a few degrees, with their lower ends presented slightly ahead of their upper ends. When the drive hub 32 revolves the entire drive train 30 is set in motion, and as a result the three helices 50, 52 and 54 rotate in unison, in the same direction, and at the same angular velocity. With regard to the direction of rotation it should be such that the bags 4 are advanced toward the open end of the housing8. Looking into the end of the housing 8 for the module 2 illustrated, the rotation should be counterclockwise. A full rotation of the spindles 50, 52 and 54 drives the leading; bag past the end of the housing and free of the ends of those helices so that the leading bag 4 falls downwardly bottom first. Each of the remaining bags 4 advances one convolution.

To maintain the upper helices 52 and 54 in the proper position, restraining bars 64 (FIGS. 1 and 2) are secured to the shanks 56 thereof ahead of the first convolution such that the shank may rotate relative to them, and these bars 64 extend rearwardly through the helical portions 60 adjacent to the sidewalls l0 and 12. The opposite ends of the bars 64 are connected to the sidewalls 10 and 12 beyond the ends of the respective helices 52 and 54. Thus, the restraining bars 64 extend through the upper helices 52 and 54 and prevent them from departing from the sidewalls l0 and 12. The lower helix 50 rests on and is supported by the bottom wall 14.

Extending through the bottom of the housing 8 for the entire length thereof is a sold-out lever (FIGS. 1 and 5), which is positioned to one side of the lower helix 50 and is normally depressed against the bottom wall 14 by the weight of the bags 4 disposed between the convolutions of the three helices 50, 52 and 54. To accommodate the sold-out lever 70 the end walls 18 and 20 are provided with apertures 72 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which are configured such that they permit the lever 70 to swing upwardly and downwardly, but not laterally any significant amount. Beyond the aperture 72 in the rearmost end wall 20, the lever 70 turns 90 laterally in the formation of a hinge portion 74 (FIG. 3) which extends horizontally along the back side of the wall 20. The hinge portion 74 is held against the end wall 20 by hinge brackets 75. At its opposite end the hinge portion 74 merges into an operating arm 78 which extends upwardly and is urged away from the rearmost end wall by a leaf spring 80. When the sold-out lever 70 is depressed against the bottom wall 14, the operating arm 78 is generally against the back wall 20. A single bag 4 in the last convolution of the dispensing helices 50, 52 and 54 is enough to depress the sold-out lever 70 against the bottom wall 14. However, when no bags 4 remain in the housing 8, the spring 80 exerts enough force on the operating arm 78 to urge it away from the end wall 20, and this in turn swings the sold-out lever 70 upwardly away from the bottom wall.

Bolted against a frame 88 extending across the end wall 20 is a drive motor 90 (FIGS. 2 and 5) provided with a hollow drive shaft 92 into which the drive hub 32 of the drive train 30 projects. This drive shaft 92 is internally configured to engage the land 36 on the hub 32 so that the hub 32 is locked to the drive shaft 92 and rotates with it. The motor 90 is wired into the selector circuit of the cabinet in which the module 2 is supported and is constructed and wires such that once energized it will rotate the hollow drive shaft 92 one full revolution and then automatically shut itself off. The motor 90 also has a sold-out switch 94 which aligns with the upper end of the operating arm 78 for the soldout lever 70. When the sold-out lever 70 is depressed, the sold-out switch 94 remains extended from the housing of the motor 90 and does not affect the operation thereof. However, when no bags 4 rest on the sold-out lever 70, the spring 80 urges the operating arm 78 away from the end wall 20 and causes it to depress the soldout switch 94 of the motor 90. When depressed, the sold-out switch, prevents the motor from operating and rotating the drive hub 32. An electric motor suitable for use as the motor 90 is disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,294,28l and 3,355,064.

The entire module 2 may be mounted on rollers or on a slide so that it may be withdrawn from its operating position to a position more suitable for loading.

OPERATION The module 2 is loaded by inserting the bags 4 into the openings or spaces between the convolutions of the three dispensing spindles 50, 52 and 54 with the upper helices engaging the sides of the bags 4 and the lower helix 50 engaging the bottoms of the bags 4 (FIG. 1). With regard to the two upper spindles 52 and 54 these openings or spaces open inwardly toward the center of the housing 8, while the openings or spaces of the lower spindle 50 open upwardly. In any event, the helical portions 60 of the three spindles 50, 52 and 54 are configured and timed such that corresponding spaces in the three of them are positioned generally at the same place along the housing to form a succession of nests in which the bags 4 are supported in an upright position and extend truly crosswise in the housing 8. As previously mentioned, the lower spindle 50 leads the other two spindles 52 and 54 slightly insofar as the spaces are concerned, so that the lower ends of the bags 4 are slightly ahead of the upper ends, or in other words, the bags 4 are canted a few degrees backwardly in the housing 8. The bags 4 depress the sold-out lever 70 and thereby maintain the operating arm 78 withdrawn from the sold-out switch 94.

When the module 22 receives an order for one of the bags displayed within its housing 8, the motor 90 rotates its drive shaft 92 through a single revolution, and the drive hub 32 of the drive train 30, being coupled with the drive shaft 92, also rotates through a single revolution. Since the drive hub 32 is connected to the dispensing spindles 50, 52 and 54 through the drive train 30 at a one-to-one ratio, the spindles 50, 52 and 54 all rotate in the same direction through a single revolution. For the dispensing module 8 illustrated in the drawings, the spindles 50, 52 and 54 rotate counterclockwise when observed from in front of the open discharge end of the housing 8.

Thus, when the motor 90 is energized, the free end of the lower spindle 50 rotates counterclockwise from its starting 0 position (FIG. 6) to the lateral or 270 position and when this occurs the lower end of the leading bag 4 is advanced toward the discharge end of the housing 8, and likewise so is the upper end of that bag 4, since the upper convolutions 52 and 54 also rotate. As the free end of the lower spindle 50 approaches its lowermost position, that is the 180 position, the lower end of the bag becomes disengaged with the lower spindle 50, and while the free ends of the upper spindles 52 and 54 still remain in front of the bag 4, the bag 4 will usually fall downwardly and thereby leave the module 2 (FIG. 7). Indeed, the end convolutions'of the two upper spindles 52 and 54 tend to guide the leading bag 4 as it falls. Should the bag 4 remain engaged with the upper spindles 52 and 54 and hence fail to fall, continued rotation of the upper spindles 52 and 54 for approximately anothe'r 45 will bring the free ends of the upper spindles 52 and 54 to the sides of the leading bag 4 and the following portions of the three spindles 50, 52 and 54 will further push the bag 4 completely free of the housing 8 and spindles 50, 52 and 54, before the spindles return to their initial or starting positions. Thus, the leading bag 4 will fall downwardly.

The remaining bags 4, of course, advance one convolution, so that empty convolutions exist at the back of the housing. The other bags 4 are discharged in the same manner.

When the module 2 is replenished, the new bags 4 are placed in the empty spaces between the convolutions of the spindles 50, 52 and 54, and hence will not be dispensed until the bags 4 already in the module 8 are dispensed. In other words, the module 2 dispenses on a first-in first-out basis.

After the last bag 4 has been dispensed, nothing remains to keep the sold-out lever depressed, and as a result the leaf spring urges the operating arm 78 away from the rearrnost end wall 20 and swings the sold-out lever 70 upwardly. The spring 80 also forces the operating arm 78 toward the sold-out switch 94 and depresses the same. Thus, the motor cannot be energized until the housing 8 is again loaded with bags 4.

MODIFICATIONS Instead of using an all gear drive train 30, a chaintype drive train may be employed (FIG. 8). In such a construction the drivengears 44 are replaced with sprockets 102 located between the end walls 18, and 20, and the spindles 50, 52 and 54 are of course supported by these sprockets. The sprockets 102 in turn are connected through a ladder-type chain 104 trained around them, so that all of the sprockets 102 rotate in unison. The drive spindle 32 projects rearwardly from one of the sprockets 102.

In lieu of mounting the drive motor 90 directly on the module 2, it may be mounted (FIG. 9) on the supporting wall of an existing cabinet as are the motors illustrated in US. Pat. Nos. 3,355,064, 3,512,546 and 3,601,281. In such a case, the motor 90 is on one side of the wall 110 and a supporting cradle 112 is secured to the opposite side. The hollow drive shaft 92 is somewhat elongated and is exposed through aligned apertures in both the wall 110 and the cradle 112, and likewise so is the sold-out switch 94. The cradle 112 supports the housing 8 such that the drive hub 32 aligns with the hollow drive shaft 92 of the motor 90 and also the upper end of the operating arm 78 aligns with the sold-out switch 94. The cradle 112 is provided with a catch 114 which engages the end flange on the discharge end of the bottom wall 14 and secures the housing 8 to the cradle 112.

This invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A machine for dispensing non-rigid bags containing items which expand the bags so that the front and back walls of each bag are spaced apart, said machine comprising: an end member; a pair of upper helices and a single lower helix extended from the end member in the same direction to alone form a retaining structure capable of holding the bags in an upright position with the upper helices being along the sides of the bags and the lower helix along the bottoms of the bags and generally centered with respect to the upper helices, the helices having the same pitch and terminating at dispensing ends located adjacent one another, the positions of rotation for the helices relative to one another being such that the inwardly presented openings between the convolutions of the helices generally align to form a succession of nests for receiving the bags, the pitch of and the spacing between the helices being such that the sides of a bag will fit in corresponding inwardly presented openings in the upper helices while the lower end of the bag will fit into the corresponding inwardly presented opening in the lower helix, the lower helix being positioned to provide subjacent support for the bags whereby the bags rest on the convolutions of the lower helix; and drive means for rotating the helices in unison and at the same angular velocity, the direction of rotation being such that the bags are moved in unison toward the dispensing ends of the helices, whereby upon each revolution for the helices a bag will be disengaged therefrom.

2. A machine according to claim 1 and further characterized by upright sidewalls positioned adjacent to the upper helices and restraining bars attached to the sidewalls beyond one end of the upper helices and extending through the upper helices in close proximity to the sidewalls so that the convolutions of the upper helices pass between the restraining bars and the sidewalls and are restrained thereby.

3. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises a drive train which includes three sprockets, one connected with each helix, a chain trained around the sprockets, and a drive hub projecting axially from one of the sprockets, the drive hub being engaged and rotated by the drive means.

4. A machine according to claim 1 and further characterized by a sold-out means comprising a lever hinged about an axis located adjacent to the end member and extending along the bottom wall to the side of the lower helix, an operating arm connected to and movable with the lever such that when the lever swings upwardly away from the bottom wall, the arm pivots away from the end member, and a spring for urging the lever to its position away from the bottom wall; and wherein the operating arm aligns with a switch connected with the drive means for preventing the drive means from operating when the switch is depressed, whereby the switch will be depressed when the sold-out arm is in its elevated position.

5. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the bottom wall and end member form part of a housing in which the helices are contained; wherein the machine is further characterized by a cradle for supporting the housing; and wherein the drive means is fixed in position relative to the cradle and the drive train is detachable therefrom so that the housing can be withdrawn from the cradle.

6. A machine according to claim 1 and further characterized by a bottom wall extending from the end member and providing subjacent support for the lower helix.

7. A machine according to claim 6 wherein the drive means includes a drive train which comprises a drive hub, a pinion connected with the drive hub, a driven gear connected with each helix, and idler gears between the pinion gear and driven gears.

8. A machine according to claim 7 wherein the pinion gear is centered with respect to the driven gears and the driven gears are spaced at 120 intervals around the driven gear.

9. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the ends of the helices located remote from the end member are free.

10. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the lower helix starts rotating from a position wherein its free end is disposed generally at the uppermost position in the circle it describes.

11. A machine according to claim 10 wherein one of the upper helices starts rotating from a position wherein its free end is disposed generally at 45 from the uppermost position and the other upper helix starts rotating from a position wherein its free end is disposed generally at 225 from the uppermost position.

12. A machine for dispensing non-rigid bags containing items which expand the bags so that the front and back walls of each bag are spaced apart, said machine comprising: an end member; a pair of upper helices extending generally horizontally from the end member and having their axes parallel; a lower helix extending generally horizontally from the end member below the upper helices, the lower helix having its axis parallel to the axes of the upper helices and being generally centered with respect to the upper helices, the helices having the same pitch with the convolutions thereof spaced apart sufficiently to enable the openings between the convolutions to receive individual bags, the positions of rotation for the helices relative to one another being such that the inwardly presented openings between the convolutions of the three helices generally align to form a succession of nests for receiving the bags, the spacing between the helices being such that the sides of a bag will fit in the aligned inwardly presented openings between the convolutions of the upper helices, while the bottom of the bag will fit into the corresponding aligned opening between the convolutions of the lower helix, whereby the bags will be supportedin an upright condition and in succession along the helices, the helices terminating at adjacent ends; and drive means connected to the helices for rotating the helices at the same angular velocity and in a direction which causes the bags to move toward the dispensing ends, whreby a bag will be disengaged from the helices with each revolution of the helices.

13. A machine according to claim 12 wherein each helix comprises a rod having a portion thereof in a helical configuration with the helical portion being spaced outwardly from the center axis of the helix and with no portion of the helix occupying the center thereof along the helical portion, whereby the bags can be extended transversely into the helices past the center axes thereof.

14. A machine for dispensing non-rigid bags containing items which expand the bags so that the front and back walls of each bag are spaced apart, said machine comprising: an end member; a pair of upper helices extending generally horizontally from the end member and having their axes substantially parallel; a lower helix extending generally horizontally from the end member below the upper helices and generally centered with respect to them; the helices being substantially the same length and having adjacent dispensing ends located remote from the end member, the helices having the same pitch, the spacing between upper helices being such that bags fitted between them will have their sides in the inwardly presented openings between convolutions of the upper helices, the spacing between the upper and lower helices being such that the lower ends of the bags will fit into the upwardly presented openings between convolutions of the lower helix when the sides of the bags are fitted in the openings between convolutions of the upper helices, whereby the bags will be supported in an upright position, the relative positions of rotation for two upper helices being such that the inwardly presented openings between convolutions of the two helices are directly opposite each other so that the sides of each bag will be disposed approximately the same distance from the dispensing ends of the helices, the position of rotation for the lower helix relative to the upper helices being such that the upwardly presented openings between the convolutions thereof lead the inwardly presented convolutions of the upper helices so that the lower ends of the bags will be presented ahead of the upper end with respect to the dispensing ends of the helices; and drive means for rotating the helices in unison and at the same angular velocity, the direction of rotation being such that the bags are moved in unison toward the dispensing ends of the helices, whereby upon each revolution for the helices a bag will be dispensed with the lower end of each dispensed bag becoming disengaged from the lower helix before the sides are disengaged from the upper helices.

15. A machine according to claim 14 wherein the dispensing ends of the helices are along cylinders defined by rotation of the helices; wherein the drive means rotates the helices one revolution at a time in the same direction; wherein the lower helix starts rotating from a position wherein its dispensing end is disposed at the uppermost position in the circle it describes; and wherein one of the upper helices starts rotating from a position wherein its dispensing end is disposed generally 45 from the uppermost position and the other upper helix starts rotating from a position wherein its dispensing end is disposed generally 225 from the uppermost position.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3929255 *Jan 31, 1974Dec 30, 1975Fawn Eng CorpVending machine divided helix apparatus
US4023704 *Mar 25, 1974May 17, 1977Rowe International Inc.Helical feed merchandising machine
US4368829 *May 27, 1980Jan 18, 1983Gross-Given Manufacturing CompanyCan dispensing unit for spiral vendor
US5129601 *Sep 3, 1991Jul 14, 1992Rockwell International CorporationJack screw payload deployment system
US6474501 *Oct 24, 1997Nov 5, 2002Mireille VolpattiAutomatic dispenser of fresh cut flowers making bouquets on request
US7559437 *Dec 7, 2007Jul 14, 2009Displays Plus, Inc.Merchandise dispenser with coil actuation
US8038018 *Mar 24, 2009Oct 18, 2011Vendmore Systems, LlcVending machine product stabilizer
US8386074May 25, 2010Feb 26, 2013Interactive Vending CorporationVending machine
US20100280655 *Mar 2, 2010Nov 4, 2010Fawn Engineering CorporationApparatus, method and system for dispensing merchandise or individual selectable vendible items
US20120247246 *Mar 30, 2011Oct 4, 2012Gemberling Jr GeorgeReversible multi-position gearmotor and storage tray for vending machines
WO2001027739A1 *Oct 11, 2000Apr 19, 2001Daniel D KozlakVending machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/75
International ClassificationG07F11/60, G07F11/46
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/60
European ClassificationG07F11/60