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Publication numberUS3792765 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 19, 1974
Filing dateMar 9, 1972
Priority dateMar 9, 1972
Publication numberUS 3792765 A, US 3792765A, US-A-3792765, US3792765 A, US3792765A
InventorsE Arp
Original AssigneeLarson A, Moody S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for crushing containers and dispensing tokens
US 3792765 A
Abstract
Apparatus for crushing containers, such as metal cans, so that the container material may be reused; and means for dispensing a token signifying acceptance and crushing of a container having predetermined physical characteristics. Control means, including a container engaging sensing element, renders the token dispensing means inoperative to dispense a token responsive to reception in the crushing apparatus of a container having physical characteristics other than those required by the apparatus, or to the absence of a container in the crushing area of the apparatus.
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United States Patent Arp [451 Feb. 19, 1974 APPARATUS FOR CRUSHING CONTAINERS AND DISPENSING TOKENS Ewald A. Arp, Hopkins, Minn.

Arnold W. G. Larson; Sheldon D. Moody, Minneapolis, Minn.

Mar. 9, 1972 Inventor:

Assignees:

Filed:

Appl. N0.:

US. Cl 194/4 C Int. Cl. G07f 7/06 Field of Search 194/4, 10, 4 C

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1968 Myers 194/4 R Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Merchant, Gould, Smith & Edell Apparatus for crushing containers, such as metal cans, so that the container material may be reused; and means for dispensing a token signifying acceptance and crushing of a container having predetermined physical characteristics. Control means, including a container engaging sensing element, renders the token dispensing means inoperative to dispense a token responsive to reception in the crushing apparatus of a container having physical characteristics other than those required by the apparatus, or to the absence of a container in the crushingarea of the apparatus.

ABSTRACT 9 Claims, 23 Drawing Figures 157 I n i z5 PAH-1min FEB 91914 SHEET 2 OF 8 PAIENIEU FEB 1 91914 SHEET 5 OF 8 ww RN sw M9 0Q PATENYED FEB Y 9 I974 SHEEI 6 BF 8 PATENTEDFEBWW 3.792.765

' SHEET 7 0F 8 I PATENTED FEB] 9 I974 SHEET 8 OF 8 APPARATUS FOR CRUSHING CONTAINERS AND DISPENSING TOKENS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION At the present time, large quantities of different beverages are sold in metal cans. Disposal of the cans, when emptied, presents a problem due to the handling costs involved. In their usable form, empty metal beverage cans occupy substantial space for the amount of metal thereof, so that storage and transport to a recycling or remanufacturing plant becomes a very costly and cumbersome operation. Moreover, there is little, if any, incentive for the average person to accumulate the bulky containers and periodically deliver them to a collecting area.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An important object of this invention is the provision of apparatus for crushing or flattening containers such as, for instance, metal cans, so that they occupy a minimum space.

Another object of this invention is the provision of container crushing apparatus having mechanism for dispensing a token of value for each container of a given type accepted by the apparatus.

Yet another object of this invention is the provision of control means for rendering the token dispensing mechanism inoperative when containers other than those having given physical characteristics, such as size, shape and weight, are introduced to the crushing apparatus.

Another object of this invention is the provision of apparatus as set forth, which is compact in size, relatively simple and inexpensive to produce, and rugged in construction, and efficient and durable in use.

To the above ends, I provide frame structure supporting a power driven ram for movements toward and away from a cooperating platen for crushing or flattening a container introduced to the space between the ram and the platen. A rotary container feeding member is disposed to feed containers in succession to said space in timed relationship to movement of the ram. A receiver is disposed below said space, and an ejector is provided to urge crushed containers toward the receiver. The platen is mounted for limited movements toward and away from the ram and is yieldingly urged toward the same with a force initially greater than that required to normally crush or flatten a given container. When a non-crushable object is subjected to ram pressure, the platen will yield. A token dispenser is operative to issue a token to the user with each container of predetermined physical characteristics accepted and crushed by the ram. Control means is operatively connected to the token dispensing mechanism for rendering the same inoperative whenever a container, other than one for which the machine is intended, is presented to the machine.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS tion, as seen from the line 2--2 of FIG. 1, some parts being removed;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragemntary view partly in side elevation and partly in section, as seen from the line 33 of FIG. 1, some parts being removed;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in end elevation, as seen from the right to the left of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a view in bottom plan of the mechanism illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5, turned end for end and inverted;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken generally on the line 77 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken substantially on the line 88 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9, sheet 1, is an enlarged fragmentary section taken substantially on the line 9--9 of F IG.5;

FIG. 10, sheet 1, is a fragmentary detail in section, taken on the line 10-10 of FIG. 9;

FIG 11, sheet 2, is an enlarged fragmentary detail corresponding to a portion of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 12 and 13, sheet 2, are enlarged fragmentary details taken on the lines l212 and 13-13 respectively of FIG. 2;

FIG. 14, sheet 3, is a fragmentary transverse section taken on the line l414 of FIG. 6; g

FIG. 15, sheet 3, is a view in perspective of the container crushing ram of this invention;

FIG. 16, sheet 4, is a view in perspective of a slide member;

FIG. 17, sheet 7, is a view in perspective of the token dispensing unit of this invention;

FIG. 18 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse section taken substantially on the line 18-18 of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken substantially on the line 19-19 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a transverse section taken substantially on the line 2020 of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a fragmentary section taken substantially on the line 21-2l of FIG. 19;

FIG. 22, sheet 7, is a fragmentary detail in section, taken substantially on the line 2222 of FIG. 19; and

FIG. 23, sheet 4, is a wiring diagram.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The embodiment of the apparatus shown in the drawings and hereinafter described, is intended to crush or flatten metal cans in present day use as beverage containers. Some of these containers are intended to be opened by piercing at one end thereof, others being scored in one end to provide a pullout portion which defines an opening in the container end. After being emptied, the containers are normally thrown away. Due to immense quantities of these types of containers in present day use, disposal thereof has become a nationwide problem, and has resulted in a substantial waste of reusable material.

With reference to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the apparatus of this invention is enclosed in a generally rectangular housing, indicated generally at 1 and including a pair of top wall sections 2 and 3, opposite end walls 4, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, and front and rear walls, the former being indicated at 5, the latter not being shown. The front wall 5 is provided with an opening that is normally closed by a door 6 hinged at its upper edge to the front wall 5, as indicated at 7, and provided with a handle 8. Between the top wall sections 2 and 3, the housing 1 is formed to provide an open topped ramp 9 designed to support and feed containers, such as metallic cans 10 to the interior of the housing 1. Further, the housing 1 is formed to provide a recess 11 for a casing 12 which houses token or stamp dispensing mechanism hereinafter described. An open topped receiver 13 is disposed in the lower portion of the housing 1 behind the door 6 and removable from the housing 1 when the door 6 is opened.

CAN CRUSI-IING MECHANISM A rigid generally rectangular frame structure 14, suitably mounted within the housing 1, comprises a pair of laterally spaced parallel longitudinal plate-like frame members 15 and 16 disposed in vertical planes, vertically disposed cross-frame members 17 and 18, and horizontally disposed plate-like cross-frame members 19, 20 and 21. The frame structure 14 further includes a motor mounting bracket 22 bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to the cross frame member 17, and on which is rigidly mounted a drive motor 23 having a drive shaft 24.

The motor 23 imparts reciprocatory movement to a container engaging and crushing ram 25 comprising a flat head 26, a pair of laterally spaced parallel plate-like side portions or wings 27 and 28, and a generally horizontally disposed transverse connecting portion 29. The wings 27 and 28 longitudinally slidably engage the opposed inner surfaces of the side frame members 15 and 16 respectively, and are provided with bearing lugs 30 and 31 that are longitudinally slidably moveable in respective slots 32 and 33 in each of the side frame members 15 and 16. The ram head 26 is formed to provide laterally spaced flanges 34 having aligned openings 35 for reception of a wrist pin 36 that also extends through aligned openings in laterally spaced portions of a crosshead 37 rigidly secured to one end of an elongated connecting rod 38. At its opposite end, the connecting rod 38 is journalled on a crank pin 39 projecting laterally from a disk-like crank element 40 rigidly mounted on the side frame member 15. An endless link chain 43 in entrained over a sprocket wheel 44 mounted faston the shaft 41, and another sprocket wheel 45 mounted fast on one end of a jack shaft 46 journalled in a bearing 47 that is bolted or otherwise rigidly mounted on the side frame member 15. A gear 48 is rigidly mounted on the jack shaft 46, and has meshing engagement with a drive pinion 49 mounted on a drive shaft extension 50 journalled in a bearing 51 also bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to the side frame member 15. The drive shaft extension 50 is substantially axially aligned with the drive shaft 24 of the motor 23 and connected to the drive shaft 24 by means of a commercially available shaft coupling 52. The relative sizes of the gear 48 and pinion 49 and those of the sprocket wheels 44 and 45 are such that the shaft 41 and crank element 40 are driven at a substantially lower speed than that-of the motor drive shaft 24.

The ram 25, during its reciprocatory movement within the frame structure, cooperates with a rigid platen 53 to crush or flatten metallic cans. The platen 53 extends transversely between the side edges with a pair of laterally spaced parallel plate-like side members 54 each disposed closely adjacent a different one of the side frame members 15 and 16. Pairs of upper and lower guide screws 55 and 56 respectively are suitably mounted in the frame structure 14, and have opposing ends which are closely spaced from the upper and lower edges respectively of the side members 54 to aid in guiding the ram 53 for movements longitudinally of the frame structure 14. The platen 53 is mounted in the frame structure for movements toward and away from the ram 25 by toggle linkage 57 including a toggle link 58 pivotally secured at one end to the platen 53, as indicated at 59, and a pair of toggle links 60 pivotally secured at one end to the opposite end of the link 58, by means of a pivot pin 61, the opposite ends of the links 60 being pivotally secured to a bracket 62 by means of a pivot pin 63. The bracket 62 is bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to the cross frame member 21, see particularly FIG. 9. As is customary in toggle linkages, the pivot pins 59, 61 and 63 are disposed on parallel axes, these axes being preferably generally horizontal and extending transversely of the direction of movement of the ram 25. Movement of the platen 53 toward the ram 25 is limited by a downtumed flange 64 on the cross frame member 20 and by a pair of stop fingers 65 each mounted on a different one of the side frame members 15 and 16, by screws 66, and having portions engaging a cooperating plate-like stop member 67 bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to the platen 53, see particularly FIG. 9. As there shown, the toggle links 58 and 60 are yieldingly urged in a direction to move the platen 53 into engagement with the flange 64 and stop fingers 65 by a plurality of coil tension springs 67 each having one end anchored to a vertical partition 68, by means of machine screws or the like 59, the opposite ends of the springs 67 being secured to a transverse pin 70 extending transversely through one end of a pair of links 71, the opposite ends of the links 71 being secured to the pivot pin 61. A stop member or screw 72 is screw threaded in a nut 73 welded to the partition 20, the stop screw 72 having a lower end engaging the adjacent end portion of the toggle link 58 to limit swinging movements thereof in a platen advancing direction. As shown in FIG. 9, when the link 58 engages the top screw 72, the links 58 and 60 are slightly offset from dead center relationship. The disposition of the toggle links 58 and 60 in their full line positions of FIG. 9, together with thetension exerted thereon by the springs 67, causes the platen 53 to withstand pressure thereagainst substantially greater than is required to crush or flatten a given can 10. However, should the ram 25 engage a foreign uncrushable object, such as a stone or block of wood, not shown, and move the same against the platen 53, the toggle links 58 and 60 will collapse toward their dotted line positions of FIG. 9, against bias of the springs 67, and prevent injury to the ram operating mechanism. It will be appreciated that, once initial movement is imparted to the platen 53 to initiate collapsing movement of the toggle links 58 and 60, the pressure required to effect full collapse of the toggle links almost immediately decreases very substantially. As soon as the ram 25 moves away from the platen 53 and returns to its retracted position, the springs 67 will move the platen 53 to its full line position of FIG. 9, and the non-crushed object will be allowed to drop downwardly from between the ram and platen.

A can feeding rotor 74, defining a plurality of circumferentially spaced radially'outwardly opening can receiving recesses 75, is mounted on a shaft 76 for rotation between a pair of vertical walls or partitions 77 and 78 extending upwardly from the frame structure 14, the rotation 74 being disposed on a transverse horizontal axis overlying the space between the ram 25 and platen 53, and disposed to receive cans from the ramp 9, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. With reference to FIG. 3, it will be seen that one end of the shaft 76 is disposed within an adjustable braking member 79 that is mounted on the adjacent wall or partition 78 by means of a mounting screw 80, whereby to prevent overrunning of the feeding rotor 74 as can feeding rotation is imparted thereto.

Intermittent feeding rotation is imparted to the feeding rotor 74 in a direction to deliver cans l0 successively from the ramp 9 to the space between the ram head 26 and platen 53 by a ratchet 81 and cooperating pawl 82, the former being keyed or otherwise rigidly mounted on one end of the rotor shaft 76, the pawl 82 being in the nature of an elongated toothed bar pivotally secured at one end, by means of a pivot pin 83, between a pair of plate-like mounting members 84 journalled on the shaft 76 at opposite sides of the ratchet 81. As shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, the ratchet 81 is mounted on a hub 85 that is'pinned or otherwise rigidly secured on the shaft 76, the mounting members 84 being connected at spaced points by spacer equipped connecting screws or the like 86. The pawl 82 is yieldingly urged into engagement with the teeth of the ratchet 81 by a coil tension spring 87, see particularly FIG. 11. Oscillatory movement is imparted to the mounting members 84 and pawl 82 is a direction to impart feeding rotation to the rotor 74 by a coil tension spring 88 secured at one end to the frame structure 14 and at its other end to one arm ofa bell crank lever 89 journalled on a stub shaft 90 that is mounted on the longitudinal frame member 15, see particularly FIG. 2. Said one arm of the bell crank lever 89 has it outer end pivotally connected to one end of an elongated rigid rod 91 having a downwardly curved end portion 92 that is pivotally connected to the mounting members 84, as indicated at 93 in FIGS. 2 and 1!. Rotary feeding movement of the rotor 74 is limited by engagement of the free end 94 of the pawl 82 with an adjustable stop member 95 secured to a mounting block 96 that is bolted or otherwise secured to the adjacent partition or wall 77. The bell crank 89 includes an arm 97-that is provided at its outer end with a roller 98 that has rolling engagement with the peripheral cam surface of a cam 99 keyed or otherwise rigidly mounted on the outer end of the shaft 41. Rotation of the cam 99 imparts movement to the bell crank 89 in a direction against bias of the spring 88 to move the rod 91 and pawl 82 in a return direction of oscillatory movement of the mounting members 84 and pawl 82. The arrangement is such that for each full rotation of the cam 99, the pawl 82 partakes of a complete cycle of oscillatory movement, one half cycle imparting feeding rotation to the ratchet 81 and feeding rotor 74, the other half cycle being a return movement. It should be here noted that, not only does the brake 79 prevent overrunning of the feeding rotor 74, but also frictionally holds the same against rotation in an opposite direction during return movement of the pawl 82 from its dotted line position of FIG. 11 to its full line return position thereof.

Means for supporting a can 10 in the space between the ram head 26 and platen 53 comprises a moveable gate element in the nature of a generally U-shaped bail 100 including a central portion 101 that extends transversely between the side frame members and 16, and side arm portions 102 having inner ends that are rigidly connected one to one end of a bell crank lever 103 and the other to a rigid arm 104 that is pivotally secured to the interiorof the side frame member 16, see particularly FIG. 7. The bell crank lever 103 is pivotally mounted intermediate its ends to a mounting block 105 that is bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to the opposite side frame member 16, see FIG. 6. The pivotal connections of the arm 104 and bell crank lever 103 are on aligned axes, so that the gate element 100 swings between an operative can supporting position, shown by full lines in FIGS. 6 and 7, and an inoperative position shown by dotted lines in FIG. 7. An elongated coil tension spring 106 is connected at one end to the connection between the gate element 100 and bell crank lever 103, and at its other end to one of the stop fingers 65 to yieldingly urge the gate element 100 toward its operative can supporting position.

Means for moving the gate element 100 from its operative can supporting position to its inoperative position out of the path of travel of the ram 25, and against bias of the spring 106, comprises a thrust bar 107 extending longitudinally of the direction of travel of the ram 25, and a cooperating slide member 108, see particularly FIG. 6. The thrust bar 107 has one end rigidly connected to a support bar 109 that is bolted to the wing 27 of the ram 25, the opposite end of the thrust bar 107 defining a sloping cam surface 110. The thrust bar 107 is adapted to move longitudinally through a passageway 111 in the mounting block 105, and slidably engage a similar sloping cam surface 112 on the lower end of the slide member 108, the slide member 108 being vertically disposed in a generally vertical passageway 113 in the mounting block 105. The upper end of the slide member 108 engages an arm 114 of the bell crank 103 to impart swinging movements thereto and to the gate element 100 responsive to upward movement of the slide member 108, caused by camming engagement of the surface 1 10 with the cooperating surface 112. It will be appreciated that the face of the ram head 26 engages a can 10 supported by the gate element 100 simultaneously with engagement of the cam surface 112 of the slide member 108 by the cam surface on the thrust bar 107, so that, as the ram 25 moves further toward the platen 53, the gate element 100 is swing downwardly out of the path of travel of the ram head 26.

In FIG. 6, a can 10 is shown by dotted lines as being crushed or flattened between the ram head 26 and platen 53. Normally, when the ram 25 is retracted away from the platen 53, the flattened can drops by gravity downwardly into the receiver 13 underlying the space between the ram 25 and platen 53. In many cases, cans 10 with paper labels on them become wet and tacky, and tend to adhere to the ram head 26 or platen 53 as the ram 25 is retracted. For this reason, I provide an ejector element in the nature of a resilient plate-like member 115 that is mounted on the connecting portion 29 of the ram 25 and rigidly secured at one edge to the connecting portion 29 as by the use of machine screws or the like. The opposite side edge of the ejector 115 is downturned to provide a flange or lip 116 that engages the can 10 as it is flattened. As shown by dotted lines in FIG. 6, the flattened can 10 bends the ejector 115 upwardly to produce a downward yielding bias thereon. Then, as the ram 25 begins to retract away from the platen 53, the resilient ejector 115 forces the flattened can 10 downwardly out of engagement with either the platen 53 or ram head 26. It will be appreciated that, when the ram 25 moves in a direction away from the-platen 53, and the thrust bar 107 recedes from the passageway 111, the spring 106 will move the gate element 100 into its operative position shown in FIG. 6 and by full lines in FIG. 7, the bell crank lever 103 moving the slide member 108 downwardly in its passageway 113 so that the cam surface 112 is again disposed in the passageway 111.

TOKEN DISPENSING MECHANISM The casing 12 of the token dispensing apparatus of this invention comprises inner and outer side walls 1 17 and 118 respectively, a bottom wall 119, end walls 120 and 121, a top wall portion 122, a vertical wall portion 123 projecting upwardly from the top wall portion 122 intermediate the end walls 120 and 121, and a cover element 124. The cover element 124 is hinged to the end wall 121, as indicated at 125, and is held in a closed position by means of a conventional lock 126, shown fragmentarily in FIG. 17. A second lock 127, also shown fragmentarily in FIG. 17, is utilized to lock the casing 12 in position on the housing 1, in any suitable manner, not shown.

The tokens dispensed by the mechanism within the casing 12 are in the nature of stamps 128 that are supplied in a pair of rolls 129 thereof, each roll 129 being journalled on a different one of a pair of mounting shafts 130. Each mounting shaft 130 is provided with an axial stud 131 that extends through a suitable opening in an adjacent one of a pair of partitions 132 and 133disposed in spaced parallel relationship to a respective one of the side walls 1 17 and 118, see particularly FIGS. 18 and 20. The shafts 130 are releasably held in place by washer-equipped locking nuts or the like 134 screw threaded on the studs 131.

Dispensing mechanism for feeding stamps 128 from a selected one of the rolls 129 thereof comprises a rock shaft 135 disposed normal to the partitions 132 and 133 and journalled in bearings 136 mounted in the partitions 132 and 133, a plate-like drive member 137 rigidly mounted on the rock shaft 135 by means of a set screw 138, a pair of ratchet members 139 and 140 having elongated tubular hubs 141 and journalled on the shaft 135 at axially opposite sides of the drive member 137, a pair of pawls 142 and 143, and two pairs of disclike stamp-feeding elements 144 and 145, the feeding elements 144 being rigidly mounted on the hub 141 of the ratchet 139, and the feeding elements 145 being rigidly mounted on the hub 141 of the ratchet 140 for common rotation therewith. Each of the feeding elements 144 and 145 is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced radially outwardly projecting points 146 that are adapted to be received in cooperating longitudinally spaced pairs of laterally spaced openings 147 in the stamps 128 to impart positive feeding movement to the stamps 128 responsive to rotation of their respective ratchets 139 and 140. As shown in FIG. 21, the pawls 142 and 143 are pivotally mounted, by means of a pivot pin 148 on opposite sides of the drive member 137, and are yieldingly urged toward engagement with the teeth of the ratchets 139 and 140 respectively by coil tension springs 149. Further, each ratchet 139 and 140 is provided with a respective cam portion 150 that is engaged by an individual one of a pair of resilient fingers 151 to prevent overrunning of their respective ratchets 139 and 140 when stamp feeding rotation is imparted thereto. The fingers 151 are also effective in preventing reverse movement of the ratchets 139 and during oscillatory movement of the drive member 137 in a direction opposite that of feeding movement thereof. Each of the pairs of rotary stamp feeding elements 144 and is provided with an arcuate guide member 152, one of which is shown in FIG. 19. Each guide member is pivotally mounted on a different one of a pair of stub shafts 153 that projects laterally inwardly from an adjacent one of the partitions 132 and 133. The opposite end of each guide member 152 is releasably secured to another one of a pair of laterally inwardly projecting stub shafts 154 similar to the shafts 153, by means of spring clips 155, one of which is shown in FIG. 19. Adjacent the stub shafts 154, elongated guide elements 156 strip the stamps from their respective feeding elements 144 and 145 and guide the same upwardly through the top wall portion 122 of the housing 12.

Means for imparting rocking movements to the rock shaft 135 comprisesa second rock shaft 157 disposed above the shaft 141 and journalled in a bearing bracket 158 secured to the cross frame member 19, see FIG. 7. The rock shaft 157 extends laterally outwardly through an opening in the side frame member 16, and through an opening in the inner side wall 117 of the casing 12, and has tongue and groove engagement with the adjacent end of the rock shaft 135, as indicated at 159 in FIG. 20. A torsion spring 160 yieldingly urges the rock shaft 157 in a direction of rocking or oscillatory movement, said direction being the direction of return movement of the drive member 137. At its opposite or inner end, between the side frame members 15 and 16, the rock shaft 157 is provided with a crank arm 161 having journalled to its outer end a roller 162, see particularly FIG. 7. The roller 162 is engaged by the crank pin equipped end of the connecting rod 38 to inpart rocking movement to the shafts 157 and 135 in one direction against bias of the torsion spring 160, and as shown by full and dotted lines in FIG. 7. As the shaft 41 rotates in a clockwise direction with respect to FIG. 7, the crank pin equipped end of the connecting rod 38 moves laterally outwardly and downwardly with respect to the roller 162 and the torsion spring 160 rocks the shafts 157 and 135 and crank 161 to the normal or return position of the crank 161 shown by full lines in FIG. 7. It should here be noted that movement of the crank 161 between its full and dotted line positions of FIG. 7 is sufficient to cause rotation of a selected one of the ratchets 139 and 140 to a degree that will issue one stamp 128 from the guide elements 156.

The stamp dispensing mechanism within the housing 12 is arranged so that stamps are dispensed from one roll 129 thereof until that roll is exhausted, after which stamps are automatically dispensed from the opposite roll 129. To accomplish this purpose, one of the pawls 142 and 143 is rendered inoperative to engage its respective ratchet 139 and 140 while being oscillated together with the drive member 137 on which the pawl 142 and 143 are mounted. In the arrangement illustrated, the pawl 142 is operative, the pawl 143 being and 164 is formed to provide an enlarged head at its inner end, each of the enlarged heads defining a relatively deep circumferential channel 166 and a relatively shallow circumferential channel 167, the channels 166 and 167 being disposed to selectively receive an elongated finger 168 on a respective one of the pawls 142 and 143. As shown in FIG. 20, the spool 163 is positioned so that the finger 168 of the pawl 142 is disposed to be received in the channel 166 of the spool 163, the spool 164 being positioned so that the finger 168 of the pawl 143 is aligned with and received in the shallow channel 167 of the spool 164. The actuator spools 163 and 164 are moved between their pawl operative and pawl inoperative positions by a pair of respective T-shaped levers 169 and 170 respectively that are mounted on pivot pins 171 carried by a frame member 172. The lever 169 overlies a pair of solenoids 173 and 174 carried by the frame member 172, the lever 170 overlying the solenoid 174 and another solenoid 175, as shown in FIG. 20. In FIG. 20, the solenoid 173 is energized so that the armature 176 thereof moves the lever 169 in a direction to align the channel 166 of the spool 163 with the finger 168 of the pawl 142. In this position of the actuating spool 163, the spring 149 of the pawl 142 is enabled to move the pawl 142 into operative engagement with its respective ratchet 139, so that the feeding element 144 operates to feed stamps 128. At the same time, the solenoid 175 is de-energized so that the spool 164 is positioned to align the shallow groove 167 thereof with the finger 168 of the pawl 143 to hold the pawl 143 out of engagement with its respective ratchet 140. The solenoid 174 is a cancelling solenoid for both levers 169 and 170, as will be hereinafter described. As shown in FIGS. 19-21, the drive member 137 is formed to provide a radially outwardly projecting flange 177 that is disposed between the adjacent enlarged inner end of the spools 163 and 164, and at one end thereof is formed to provide cam surfaces 178 at the opposite sides thereof for engagement with said adjacent ends of the spools 163 and 164. As the drive member 137 approaches the limit of its oscillatory movement in a stamp feeding direction, the fingers 168 move out of their respective channels 166 or 167 in a direction to align their respective channels 167 with their respective fingers 168. Then, as the drive member 137 oscillates in the opposite direction, the energized solenoid 173 moves its respective spool 163 to a position wherein its channel 166 receives its respective finger 168 of the pawl 143, permitting the spring 149 thereof to move the pawl 143 into operative engagement with its respective ratchet member 139. When the cancelling solenoid 174 is energized, both pawls 142 and 143 will be rendered inoperative to engage their respective ratchet members 139 and 140.

The solenoids 173 and 175 are disposed in an electrical circuit which, for the purpose for the present example, is shown in FIG. 23 as being connected to a pair of power leads 179 and 180, the latter thereof being grounded. The solenoids 173 and 175 are disposed in parallel relationship in a lead 181 having a portion 182, the solenoid 173 being disposed in series with one side of a double throw switch 183, the solenoid 175 being disposed in the lead 182 in series with a second double throw switch 184. Also interposed in the lead 181 in series with the solenoid 173 and 175 are a manually operated main switch 185, a door operated safety cut-off switch 186, a cam operated switch 187, and a sensor operated switch 188. The switches 183 and 184 are operated by an actuator lever 189 shown diagrammatically in FIG. 23 and which may be assumed to be pivotally mounted in the housing 1 or casing 12, by means of a pivot pin 190 shown in FIG. 23. The actuator lever 189 is disposed between the switches 183 and 184 and is moved between operative engagement with said switches by a pair of actuator solenoids 191 and 192,

one end of the lever 189 having a pin and slot connection 193 with an armature 194 that is adapted to be reciprocally moveable in opposite directions by the coils of the solenoids 191 and 192. The opposite end of the lever 189 is operatively engaged by a spring pressed detent roller 195 to releasably hold the actuator lever 189 in either of its switch engaging positions. It should be here noted that the door operated switch 186 is a normally open interlock switch, and is closed by closing of the housing door 6 so that when the door is open, electrical current to the machine is shut off. The switch 187 is normally open, and is closed during a portion of travel of the ram 25, by means of acam element 196 mounted on the cam 99, see particularly FIG. 2. The switch 188 is a normally closed switch and is opened by other means hereinafter to be described.

CONTROL MECHANISM The solenoids 191 and 192 are operated by respective ones of a pair of relays 197 and 198 each including a double throw switch 199 and 200, respectively. Operation of the relays 197 and 198 is controlled by a respective pair of switches 201 and 202. The switches 201 and 202 are spring closed and are provided with actuator members 203, each of which engages a strip of stamps 128 at a point where the strips of stamps tangentially engage a respective one of a pair of circumferentially channeled rolls 204. As shown in FIGS. 19-21, the rolls 204 are journalled on stub shafts 205 that are carried by adjustable clamping devices 206 mounted on the partitions 132 and 133. As shown particularly in FIG. 22, the actuator member 203 of switch 201 is disposed radially outwardly of the channel of the adjacent roll 204, the strip of stamps 128 engaging the actuator 203 of switch 201 to hold the switch 201 in an open position. The actuator 203 of the opposite switch 202 is engaged by its respective strip of stamps 128 to hold its respective switch 202 in an open position in the same manner. As shown, switch 201 is carried by a bracket 207 mounted on the partition member 132, the switch 203 being carried by similar bracket 207 that is mounted on the partition element 133. With further reference to FIG. 23, it will be seen that the switches 201 and 202 also control operation of a pair of signal lamps 207 that may be strategically placed on either the housing 1 or casing 12 to indicate that one or the other rolls 129 of stamps 128 is exhausted, and that a new supply roll should be installed on a respective one of the shafts 130.

The relays 197 and 198 control operation of the motor 23 through the switches 199 and 200 in one position thereof, and a switch 208 controlled by the coil of a time delay relay 209, the switches 199 and 200, and the time delay relay 209 being interposed in a lead 210 connected to the lead 181 and the motor 23. The switches 201 and 202 are connected to the lead 210 and to the coils of respective ones of the relays 197 and 198. Energization of either of these relays causes energization of a respective one of the solenoids 191 and 192 to shift the armature 194 thereof and swing the actuator lever 189 from a position to de-energize one of the solenoids 173 and 175 and energize the other thereof. The solenoid 191 is connected to the switch 184 and the solenoid 192 is connected to the switch 183, by respective leads 211 and 212.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated, as above indicated, is intended to issue a token in the nature of a stamp 128 only when cans of a given size, weight and design are crushed in the machine. For the purpose of controlling the token dispensing mechanism to dispense a token or stamp 128 only when beverage cans having at least a substantial portion of both ends intact, are crushed in the machine, a sensing device for controlling the switch 188 is provided. The sensing device comprises a pair of sensing arms 213 each pivotally mounted on a different one of a pair of brackets 214, as indicated at 215, and having a pair of sensing fingers 216 moveable laterally inwardly through the slots 33 in the side frame members 15 and 16. Pairs of elongated rods 217 are pivotally connected at one of their ends to each of the sensing arms 213 by pivot pins 218, and at their opposite ends to a different one of a pair of cross-heads 219 adjacent the outer surfaces of respective-side frame members 15 and 16. A pair of coil tension springs 220 are each connected at one end to a different one of the cross-heads 219 and at their opposite ends to one of a pair of bell crank levers 221 each pivotally mounted on a different one of the side frame members 15 and 16. Each of the bell crank levers 221 are connected to a respective one of a pair of bifurcated crank arms 222 by rigid links 223, see particularly FIGS. 2, 3 and 5. As shown in FIG. 3, one of the cross-heads 219 is adapted to engage and move a switch actuator 224 operatively associated with the normally closed switch 188 that is mounted on the side frame member 16 by means of a bracket or the like 225. The crank arms 222 are rigidly mounted on opposite ends of a transverse shaft 226 that is journalled adjacent its opposite ends in the side frame members 15 and 16. Intermediate its ends, the shaft 226 is provided with another crank arm 227 the outer end of which is connected to one end of a coil tension spring 228. The opposite end of the spring 228 is anchored by a bolt 229 screw threaded into the side frame member 16, see FIGS. 5 and 7. Spring imparted pivotal movement of the shaft 226 is limited by engagement of the lower edge of the side frame member 16 with a stop lug or roller 230 mounted on the outer end of a stop bar 231 the inner end of which is rigidly mounted on the shaft 226.

The shaft 226 is rotated in a direction to cause the sensing fingers 216 to move toward each other through their respective slots 33 and into the space normally occupied by a container 10, by means of a cam 232 keyed or otherwise rigidly mounted on the shaft 41, the cam 232 engaging a cam follower roller 233 on the outer end of a lever 234 that is rigidly mounted on the shaft 226, see particularly FIGS. 5 and 6.

The cam 232 is positioned on the shaft 41 in definite angular relationship with respect to the crank pin 39 and is so shaped tha the sensing fingers 216 are moved into the space between the ram head 26 and platen 53 as the ram 25 begins its forward motion toward the platen 53, and withdrawn from the space before being touched by the ram head 26. If the space is occupied by a container 10, supported by the bail 100, the inner ends of the sensing finger 216 will engage opposite ends of the container and be held thereby against further inward movement. The rods 217 being rigid, the cross heads 219 will be moved longitudinally of the machine only as far as permitted by the sensing fingers 216. Further rotary movement of the shaft 226, imparted thereto by the cam 232, will result in the springs 220 stretching until the limit of rotary or rocking movement of the shaft 226 is reached. It should here be noted that, when an acceptable can or container is disposed in the space between the ram head 26 and platen 53 and engaged by the inner ends of the sensing fingers, the cross-head 219 adjacent the switch actuator 224 will remain out of engagement with the actuator 224 and the switch 188 will remain closed to energize a given one of the stamp feeding control solenoids 173 and 175. However, when no container 10 is fed to the space between the ram and platen, or when a container having one open end is fed to the space, one of the sensing fingers 216 will enter the open end of the can, permitting both sensing fingers 216 to move laterally inwardly to an extent that the cross-head 219 adjacent the switch 188 will engage the actuator 224 and open the switch 188 to de-energize the operating one of the solenoids 173 or 175, so that no stamp will be issued by the token dispensing mechanism. Should a container having an open end be fed to the machine, the container will be crushed but, being a type of container not desired, no stamp will issue. It should be apparent that, when the main switch 185 and door operated switch 186 are closed, the motor 23 will operate to impart continuous reciprocatory movement to the ram 25, even though no containers 10 fed to the machine. Only when the proper containers are fed to the machine during operation of the motor 23 will stamps or suitable tokens be dispensed to the user.

In the event that a container of the correct size, but having weight greater than that desired, be fed to the machine, the heavier container will move the bail downwardly and out of its path of downward travel, so that the unwanted container will fall right through and into the receiver 13. The machine will continue to operate as if no containers were being fed thereto, and no tokenwill issue. Obviously, should smaller containers or particles or foreign matter be fed to the machine, they will normally fall through the crushing space between the bail 100 and ram head 26 or'platen 53, without interfering with operation of the machine, and without causing a token to be dispensedv In the event that a light weight object, such as a block of wood or piece of metal having the size and weight characteristics of a desired container, but requiring substantially greater crushing effort than a desired container, be accidentally or otherwise fed into the machine, the sensing fingers 216 may ready the token dispensing mechanismfor operation to dispense a token 128. However, the greater crushing effort required by such a different article will cause the toggle linkage 57 to buckle, against bias of the tension springs 67. Such buckling of the linkage 57 is shown by dotted lines in FIG. 9. One of the toggle links 60 is provided with a cam element 235 that is operative to close a normally open switch 236 mounted on a bracket 237 that is rigidly secured to the cross-frame member 21, see particularly FIG. 9. The switch 236 is interposed in a lead 237 in series with a coil of solenoid 174, the lead 237 being connected at one end to the main lead 181, and

grounded at its other end. Thus, when the switch 236 is closed, the solenoid 174 is energized to move the levers 169 and 170 in directions to cause both pawls 142 and 143 to be held out of engagement with their respective ratchet members 139 and 140. Thus, no stamp or token 128 will be delivered.

When the platen 53 is moved away from its operative position, as above described, the springs 67 will cause the same to return to its operative position as the ram 25 retracts. When this occurs, it is necessary to prevent the undesired object which caused the platen 53 to be retracted from again engaging the gate element 100 and held against dripping into the receiver 13. For this purpose, a lever 238 is utilized to hold the gate element or bail 100 in its container releasing position out of the path of travel of the ram head 26. With reference particularly to FIG. 7, it will be seen that the lever 238 is pivotally secured intermediate its ends to the side frame members 16, by means of a pivot pin or the like 239, and at one end is provided with a hook portion 240 that is adaptedto releasably engage a laterally outwardly projecting pin portion 241 of the gate element 100. The lever 238 is pivotally connected to the armature 242 of a solenoid 243 the coil of which is interposed in a branch lead 244 connected at one end to the lead 37 between the switch 236 and solenoid 174, and grounded at its other end. Thus, when the switch 236 is closed by buckling of the toggle linkage 57, the solenoid 243 is energized to cause the lever 238 to engage the gate element 100 and hold the same in its retracted position, as shown by dotted lines in FIG. 7. Then, as the ram 25 is moved to its fully retracted position, the object therebetween and the platen 53 will fall by gravity to the receiver 13. Then, as the ram 25 again moves forwardly toward the platen 53, the connecting rod 38 engages a roller 245 mounted on one end ofa lever that is pivotally mounted intermediate its ends on the shaft 226, the opposite end of the lever 246 having an upstanding button or finger 237 that engages the adjacent end of the lever 238 to pivotally move the same in a direction to release the gate element 100. The lever 246 is yieldingly urged in a direction of its pivotal movement away from engagement with the lever 238 by a coil tension spring 248, this swinging movement being limited by a stop pin 249 projecting laterally away from the adjacent'side frame member 16.

During operation of the machine as above-described in connection with a non-crushable object, it is necessary to prevent feeding of subsequent containers to the crushing zone until the same is clear. To accomplish this purpose, a stop finger 250 is disposed to be moved into and out of adjacent pockets or recesses 75 of the feeding rotor 74. With reference to FIGS. 2, l1 and 13, it will be seen that the stop finger 250 is disposed to be abuttingly engaged by the end of an extension portion 251 of the rod 91, the stop finger 250 being mounted on the upper end of a generally vertically disposed bifurcated lever 252 that is pivotally mounted intermediate its ends on a pivot pin 253 projecting outwardly from the partition 77. A friction bushing 254 on the pivot pin 253 permits the lever to be rather easily pivotally moved but yieldingly holds the lever in different positions against accidental movement. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 13, the pin 250 extends transversely through a slot 255 in the adjacent partition 77 toward engagement with the feeder rotor 74. During normal feeding rotation of the rotor 74, the stop finger 250 is disposed radially outwardly with respect to the rotor 74 and remains so disposed during normal operation of the machine. The lower end of the lever 252 is pivotally connected to the armature 256 of a solenoid 257 suitably mounted on the partition 77. The coil of the solenoid 257 is interposed in a grounded branch lead 258 that is connected to the branch lead 244 is a parallel circuit arrangement with the solenoid 243.

With the immediately above described arrangement, as soon as the switch 236 is closed by buckling of the toggle arrangement 57, the solenoid 257 will be energized to move the stop finger 250 into an adjacent recess 75 of the feeding rotor 74 to hold the feeding rotor 74 against rotation until the ram 25 has made one advancing movement toward the platen 53 after the noncrushable object has dropped into the receiver 13. During this time, the platen 53 has returned to its operative position, and the solenoid 157 is de-energized, permitting the rod 91 and its extension portion 251 to move the stop pin 250 out of holding engagement with the feeding rotor 74.

The motor 23 and transmission mechanism driven thereby drives the ram 25 at such speeds that cans are fed by the feeding rotor 74 and crushed between the ram head 26 and platen 53 at the rate of one can per second. By utilizing the spring 88 to impart feeding rotation to the feeding rotor 74, the rotor will yield in the event that a foreign object such as a container that is too large to be received in its entirety in a recess 75, or if the operators hand, should be thrust into one of the recesses 75 in the area of the feeding ramp 9. Thus, injury to the machine or to the operator is avoided. It will be further appreciated that, by controlling operation of the drive motor 23 by two switches 199 and 200 in parallel arrangement, the machine will continue to operate properly and dispense tokens or stamps 128 even after one roll 129 thereof is exhausted; but that, after both rolls 129 are exhausted, both warning lights 207 will be illuminated and the drive motor will be de-energized. This arrangement assures a user of the receipt of a stamp 128 for each acceptable can crushed by the machine.

While I have shown and described a commercial embodiment of my can crushing and token dispensing apparatus, it will be understood that the same is capable of modification without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the claims.

What is claimed is: i

1. Apparatus for crushing containers comprising:

a. a frame structure;

b. a pair of crushing elements mounted in said frame structure, one being moveable relative to the other thereof in a given path, said crushing elements defining a container receiving space therebetween;

0. container feeding means for feeding containers successively into said space;

(1. drive means for imparting feeding movements to said container feeding means and crushing movements to one of said crushing elements relative to other thereof;

. token dispensing mechanism operative responsive to movement of said one of the crushing elements to dispense a token for each container crushed between said crushing elements;

f. control means including a container sensing element for rendering said token dispensing mechanism inoperative responsive to introduction into said space of any object other than a container of predetermined physical characteristics;

g. and a movable gate element mounted in the frame structure for movements into and out of the path of movement of said one of the crushing elements between said crushing elements to engage a container delivered to the space between said elements by said feeding means and support the container in said path, said drive means including mechanism for imparting said movements to the gate element.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 in which said gate element includes a container engaging bail normally disposed in spaced apart relation to said crushing elements within said space, the distance between said bail and said crushing elements being less than the width of a given container but sufficient to permit passage therebetween and one of said elements of an object of lesser size than said given container.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 in which said drive means includes a biasing member yielding urging said gate element toward said space, said biasing member being disposed to yield sufficiently to permit movement of said gate element out of said space responsive to engagement of said gate element by an object in said space of substantially greater weight than said containenwhereby to permit said object to fall through said space.

4. Apparatus for crushing containers comprising:

a. a frame structure;

b. a ram including a container engaging head mounted in said frame structure for predetermined reciprocatory movement;

c. a platen facing said ram head;

d. collapsible means mounting said platen in said frame structure for movement toward and away from a normal operative position facing said ram head at a predetermined distance therefrom;

e. yielding means urging said collapsible means in a direction to normally hold said platen in said operative position thereof with a predeterminedpressure greater than the pressure required to crush a given container, the arrangement being such that the bias of said yielding means imparted to said platen will be substanitally reduced upon initial collapsing movement of said collapsible means responsive to exertion of ram pressure against said platen greater than said predetermined pressure;

f. container feeding means for feeding containers successively to the space between said platens and ram head when said ram is moved to a predetermined position remote from said platen;

g. a moveable gate element limiting movement of a container delivered to said space;

h. drive means for imparting movement to said container feeding means, ram and gate element, for successively feeding a container, moving said ram in a container crushing direction toward said platen, and moving said gate element out of the path of movement of a container and away from said space;

. token dispensing mechanism operative to dispense a token for a given container crushed between said ram and platen;

j. and control means for dispensing mechanism comprising sensing means mounted on said frame structure for movement into and out of the space between said ram head and platen and engaging a container of given physical characteristics to initiate token dispensing operation of said dispensing mechanism, and means for imparting said movements to said sensing means.

5. The apparatus defined in claim 4 in which said token dispensing apparatus includes, a rotary feeding member, drive connections for said feeding member and operatively associated with said ram to be moved thereby in a feeding member driving direction, clutch means for drivingly connecting said drive member with said feeding member, clutch operating means, and control means for said clutch operating means.

6. The apparatus defined in claim 5, in which drive connections include shaft means journaled in said frame structure for oscillatory movement, a crank arm on said shaft means operatively engaged by said ram during reciprocatory movement of the ram to impart movement to said shaft means in one direction of said oscillatory movement thereof, and yielding means urging said shaft means in the opposite direction of said oscillatory movement of said clutch means comprising a pawl and ratchet one carried by said shaft means and the other operatively coupled to said rotary feeding member. v

7. The apparatus defined in claim 6 in which said clutch operating means comprises a solenoid and an electrical operating circuit therefore, said pawl being operatively carried by said oscillatory shaft means, said solenoid operatively engaging the said pawl.

8. The apparatus defined in claim 7 in which said control means for the clutch operating means includes a switch in said operating circuit, and container engaging sensing means operatively coupled to said switch.

9. The apparatus defined in claim 1 in which said token dispensing mechanism comprises:

a. a pair of token holders;

b. a pair of moveable token feeding members each disposed to receive tokens from a different one of said holders;

c. drive means responsive to movements of said ram to impart feeding movement to said feeding members selectively;

d. and electrically operated control means including a pair of token engaging control switches each engaging the tokens of a different one of said holders and each operative responsive to absence of respective tokens to cause said drive means to impart feeding movement to the feeding member receiving tokens from the other holder.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification194/209, 100/902
International ClassificationG07F7/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S100/902, G07F7/0609
European ClassificationG07F7/06B