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Publication numberUS3794219 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1974
Filing dateSep 6, 1972
Priority dateSep 6, 1972
Also published asCA984794A, CA984794A1
Publication numberUS 3794219 A, US 3794219A, US-A-3794219, US3794219 A, US3794219A
InventorsMueller R, Pitel I
Original AssigneeRowe International Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Charged cup beverage merchandising machine
US 3794219 A
Abstract
A charged-cup beverage merchandising machine in which in response to the deposit of money a cup delivery mechanism is actuated to deliver a cup containing a charge of dry beverage concentrate to the drain area of a delivery shelf, and then to open a valve to deliver a charge of water to the cup to make the beverage and in which a shallow tray removably supported below the shelf receives a float adapted to operate a switch to disable the machine when the level of liquid overflow or drippings accumulated in the tray is above a predetermined level and which tray can be slid clear of the cabinet for emptying and can be reinserted without disassembly of any of the float or float switch-actuating mechanisms.
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Pitel et al. v

[ 4] CHARGED CUP BEVERAGE MERCHANDISING MACHINE [75] Inventors: Irving Pitel, Edison; Richard J.

-Mueller, Mountain Lakes, both of NJ.

[73] Assignee: Rowe International, Inc., Whippany,

22 Filed: Sept. 6, 1972 211 App]. No.2 286,576

52 US. Cl 222/108, 141/88, 221/96, 222/129.3 51 1111.0 ..B67d1/16 [58] Field of Search 222/65, 108, 129.1, 129.4; 221/96; 141/86, 88; 200/80 R; 73/308 [56] References Cited Berry 222/129.4

[45 1 Feb. 26, 1974 1,643,239 9/1927 Drabing ..222/65 2,800,152 7/1957 Sloier ..222/129.4

Primary Examiner-Stanley l-l. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Attorney, Agent, or Firm'-Shenier & OConnor [5 7] ABSTRACT A charged-cup beverage merchandising machine in which in response to the deposit of money a cup delivery mechanism is actuated to deliver a cup containing a charge of dry beverage concentrate to the drain area of a delivery shelf, and thento open a valve to deliver a 'charge of water to the cup to make the beverage and in which a shallow tray removably supported below the shelf receives a float adapted to operate a switch to disable the machine when the level of liquid overflow or drippings accumulated in the tray is above a predetermined level and which tray can he slid clear of the cabinet for emptying and can be reinserted without disassembly of any of the float or float switchactuating mechanisms.

15 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures CHARGED CUP BEVERAGE ,MERCI'IANDISING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various machines are known in the prior art for dispensing beverages such as coffee. Some machines are adapted to supply a quantity of powdered concentrate from a supply to a cup at a delivery area and then to deliver a charge of hot water to the cup to mix a beverage. Other machines of the prior art are provided with mechanisms for internally brewing a cup of coffee on each operation of the machine and then discharging the brewed coffee toa cup in the delivery area. All of these machines are generally large, complicated and expensive. They require relatively frequent servicing in order to replenish the supply of concentrate or ground coffee, as well as the supply of cups. All of these machines further are provided with some means for handling overflow or drippings or the like. In most of these systems, the spilled liquid and the like is carried from the delivery area to a container inside the cabinet, which container must be removed and cleaned by the serviceman during his periodic visits to the location.

A .need has arisen for a small, easily serviced simple, money responsive beverage mechandiser for use in locations such as small business offices and the like. Such a'machine should be able to be serviced with a miniumum of difficulty by secretarial or clerical personnel. It should not require that a person servicing themachine be confronted with complex mechanisms which might give rise to confusion or idle curiousity. It should be provided with means for handling overflow and the like without requiring either a large container or opening of the machine cabinet for the removal and disposal of drippings and the like. While the beverage merchandising machines of the type described above are suitable for use in large, high volume installations where relatively frequent servicing by qualified personnel is economically justified. they are not suitable for small, relatively low volume installations where servicing is to be done by regular office personnel, for example.

We have invented a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine which overcomes the defects of beverage merchandising machines "of the prior. art pointed out hereinabove. Our machine is especially adapted for use in small, relatively low volume installations. It is easily serviced by regular office personnelpDisposal of overflow and the like can be easily accomplished without opening the cabinet and without disassembling any operating parts of the machine. Our machine is provided with means for indicating when the overflow reaches a predetermined level. Ourmachine requires only a small space. It is relatively inexpensive to construct'for the result achieved thereby.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One object of our invention is to provide a chargedcup beverage merchandising machine which is especially adapted for use in small, low volume installations.

Another object of our invention is to provide a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine which can easily be serviced by regular office personnel.

A further object of our invention is to provide a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine including means for indicating that the overflow or drippings have reached a predetermined level.

Still another object of our invention is to provide a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine in which waste in the form of overflow or drippings can be disposed of without disassembling any of the operating mechanism of the machine. I

Yet another object of our invention is to provide a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine which is relatively inexpensive to construct.

A still further object of our invention is to provide a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine which is automatically disabled in response to removal of the overflow tray thereof.

Other and further objects of our invention will appear from the following description.

In general our invention contemplates the provision of a charged-cup beverage merchandising machine in which means responsive to the deposit of money activates a cup delivery mechanism to deliver a cup containing a charge of dry beverage concentrate to a shelf provided with a drain and then to feed a charge of water to the cup to make the beverage. A tray slidably supported below the drain opening of the delivery shelf receives a float which actuates a switch when overflow and drippings exceed a predetermined level and in which the tray can be slid out of the cabinet for emptying and then back into the cabinet without disassembly of any of the float responsive mechanisms. Removal of the overflow tray automatically disables the machine. A portion of the coin return mechanism is an integral part of the cash box of our machine. A hinged lid in the top of the cabinet permits the cup delivery mechanism to be reloaded in a simple and expeditious manner without exposure of the operating mechanism of the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings which form part of the instant specification and which are to be read in con- 40 junction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views: FIG. 1 is an elevation of a portion of a stack of charged cups used in our machine with one of the cups shown in section.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view from the rightfront of our charged-cup beverage merchandising machine.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of our charged-cup beverage merchandising machine with the operating mechanism cover removed. I FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of our charged-cup beverage merchandising machine taken chine viewed from the inside thereof.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the cash box of our merchandising machine.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of a further embodiment of our charged-cup beverage merchandising machine.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the form of our charged-cup beverage merchandising machine illustrated in FIG, 10.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings our machine is adapted to receive stacks, one of which is indicated generally by the reference character 10, of cups 12, each of which has a bead 14 around the bottom thereof. The bead 14 of one cup is received in an internal annular recess 16 of the cup immediately therebelow to form a space between the cup bottoms for re- The top closure is completed by a lid 34 which extends laterally from the inner edge of panel 32 to side 24 and which extends forwardly to the front edge of the panel 32. We mount the lid 34 for swinging movement from a closed position indicated in full lines in FIG. 2 to an open position indicated in broken lines. As will be explained more fully hereinbelow, the lid 34 permits loading of the cup mechanism in a manner to be described without exposing the operating mechanism to view.

We provide the cabinet 22 with a'generally horizontally disposed delivery shelf 36 formed integrally with an upright cover plate 38 secured to respective flanges 40 and 42 at the front edges of sides 24 and 26 by any suitable means such as screws 44. Drain holes 46 in tray 36 permit drippings and overflow and the like to flow from the shelf to a receptacle to be described more fully hereinbelow.

Our machine 20 includes a cup delivery mechanism indicated generally by the reference character 48 mounted in the cabinet 22 in any suitable manner and extending forwardly of the sides 24 and 26 to a location inside the forward edge of lid 34 in its closed position.

- We employ a cup delivery mechanism of any suitable type known to the art which includes a turret 50 adapted to receive a plurality'of stacks of cups 12. For example, we may use a cup delivery mechanism such as that shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,374,168 and 2,433,736. Such a cup delivery mechanism includes a timer motor 52 and is adapted to be actuated to deliver a cup 12 from one of its stacks 10 through assembly 54 to a cup-holder 56 located over the drain holes. A bracket 58 carrying the cup-holder 56 may be secured to plate 38.

Our machine includes a hot water tank 60 of any suitable type known to the art mounted within cabinet I position at which the operating mechanism is exposed and a closed position over the operating mechanism. If desired, a lock (not shown) may be provided to lock the cover in its closed position. We provide the cover 70 with a coin slot 72 through which coins are adapted to be inserted so as to pass into a coin mechanism 74 of any suitable type known to the art adapted to enable the machine in a manner to be described. We mount a cash box 76 adapted to receive accepted coins on the inside of the front of cover 70 below the coin mechanism 74.

As is known in the art, the coin mechanism 74 has a chute 146 through which coins or slugs which are not accepted leave the register 74. The mechanism 74 includes another outlet chute 148 through which accepted coins pass out of the register. Our arrangement is such that coins passing outwardly through chute 148 fall into the cash box 76. Other coins which are not accepted pass out of the chute 146 and into a guide 150 on the inner surface of the front wall of box 76. Coins of that type are directed by the combined guide and tray 150 to an opening 152 in the front wall of cover 70 so as to be accessible to the customer.

A partition 78 extending from front to back of the cabinet 22 at approximately thelevel of the shelf 36 forms an overflow tray housing 80 within the cabinet for slidably receiving the overflow tray 82. Tray 82 is provided with a removable cover 84 formed with a handle 86 which facilitates withdrawal of the cover and tray as a unit from the housing 80. We form the cover 84 with an opening 88 which in the home position of the tray and cover registers with the drain holes 46 so that liquid flowing through the drain holes falls downwardly through opening 88 into the tray 84.

A switch 90 has an actuating arm 92 adapted to be moved in a manner to be described when the amount of liquid in tray 84 reaches a predetermined level to disable the machine. In the form of our invention shown in FIG. 4, we provide the partition 78 with an opening 94. This opening 94 registers with an opening 96 in the cover 84. A guide 98 above opening 94 receives a sphericalfloat 100. We so arranged our machine that opening 84 has a diameter slightly less-than that of the ball or sphere 100. Thus, the ball cannot fall out of the opening. With the tray 82 in position the lower portion of the float 100 extends downwardly through openings 94 and 96 to within the tray 82.'In this position of the float it is out of contact with actuating arm 92. However, as the'level of liquid within the tray 82 rises, float 100 moves upwardly until ultimately it moves arm 92 to a position at which switch 90 is actuated. When that occurs tray 82 can be removed and the liquid collected therein can be disposed of. It is to be noted that this operation of removing the tray is achieved without requiring disassembly of anyparts. As the tray is withdrawn, the edge of opening 96 merely cams the float 100 upwardly until it slides on the upper surface of cover 84. When the tray has been completely withdrawn the float 100 is retained in guide 98 owing to the fact that the diameter of opening 94 is slightly less than the diameter ofthe float. After the tray has been emptied it can be reinserted so as to move the float upwardly onto the upper surface of cover 84 until opening 96 registers with opening 94 at which time the float 100 again moves to its operative position and switch 90 is unactuated.

Referring to FIG. 6, we have shown an alternate construction in which we have replaced the ball float 100 with a flaot 102 having a generally cylindrical configuration. Float 102 is provided with a hanger 104. A link 110 connected at one end to hanger 104 by a pin 106 is connected at its other end to one end of a lever 112 by a pin 1 l 1. A pin 114 pivotally supports lever 112 on a bracket 116 carried by partition 78. A stop 118 on bracket 116 limits movement of lever 112 in a counter clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 5. When the level of liquid in tray 82 rises, float 102 moves upwardly to move lever 112 in a clockwise direction until the end thereof remote from pin 111 strikes arm 92 to actuate the switch 90. This form of our level sensor also permits removal of the tray 82 and its cover 84 without disassembly of any operating parts. As the tray is withdrawn, float 102 pivots on pin 106 in a clockwise direction as indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 6. When the tray is returned to the housing 80 the float is pivoted in a counterclockwise direction as indicated by the broken lines in the FIGURE until openings 94 and 96 are again in registry.

Referring now to FIGS. and 11 in a further form of float-responsive mechanism, a bracket 156 mounted on a partition 78 by means of a flange 158 is formed with a step 160 extending from one side toward the center of the opening 94. In this construction the rod 162 of float 102 carries a pin 164 connected by a link 166 to a chain 168 the other end of which engages the resilient actuating arm 170 of a switch 172. As will be explained more fully hereinbelow, float 102 normally urges arm 170 to a position at which it engages the switch button 174 to close the switch.

Pin 164 extends through a vertical slot 176 in the by the tray cover 84 when the tray. is in housed position.

Referring now to FIG. 7, one form of electrical circuit which can be used to control the operation of our machine incudes a pair of conductors 120 and 122 connected to a suitable source of electrical energy having terminals 124 and 126. We connect normally closed switch 90 and a winding '1 28 in series between the conductors. Winding 128 which is thus normally energized actuates the coin mechanism 74 in a manner known to the art to cause coins inserted in slot 72 to be directed to the coin box 76 rather than to the return .guide' 150. If power islost or if switch 90 opens, coins inserted in the slot 72 will be directed to the coin return 150.

V We connect a coin mechanism indicated by block 130 and a relay winding 134 between switch 90'and conductor 122. In response to the deposit of money,'

Cam 142 holds this circuit for a period of time sufficient to ensure the flow of a full charge of hot water from tank 60 to the cup 12. v

In operation of our charged-cup merchandising machine, the customer inserts money aggregating the price of a cup of the beverage in the slot 72. When that occurs, winding 134 is energized to energize timing motor 52 which completes its own circuit for a full revolution by means ofcam 138. At the same time, the cup delivery motor (not shown) of the mechanism 48 delivers a cup 12 containing a charge 18 to the cup-holder 56. After the cup is in position on tray 36, cam 142 closes switch 144 to energize winding 146 to deliver the required charge of water to the cup.

In the forms of our liquid sensing arrangements illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6, when sufflcient liquid resulting from spillage or overflow'or dripping'flows into the tray 82 either float 100 or float 102 rises sufficiently to actuate switch 90 to open the circuit of winding 128 and of the coin mechanism 130. When that occurs, any money inserted in the slot 72 is directed to the coin return 74 and the machine is disabled indicating that tray 82'should be emptied. In both forms of our level sensing arrangement the tray can be withdrawn, emptied and replaced in the cabinet without disassembling the operating mechanism. It is to be noted also that the area of the delivery tray 36 is open at the sides of the machine so that it may readily be cleaned merely by 4 passing a sponge or rag across the surface of the tray 36. When the supply of cups is. to be replenished, lid 34 is moved to its open position and stacks 10 of cups 12 can be slipped into the columns ofturret 50. As this is done, the person servicing the machine is not faced with the operating mechanism of the machine which might lead to some confusion about the reloading operation on the part of an inexperienced person.

In operation of the form of our sensing arrangement shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, with tray 82 removed from the machine spring 188 urges arm 180 to pivot in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 10 to the broken line position shown therein. In this position of the arm pin 164 is moved upwardly along slot 176 for a distance to permit spring arm 170 to move to the broken line position shown in FIG. 11 to permit switch 172 to open. In this manner, the machine is disabled so long as the overflow tray 82 is nothoused. When the machine is to be rendered operative, tray 82 is slid home so that its lid 84 engages offset 192 to move arm to the full line position shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. In this position of the parts, the machine is enabled. As the level of liquid in tray 82 rises, float 102 tends to be displaced upwardly. The resultant upward force on pin 164 together with .the action of spring 188 causes aslight bending in the portion of the resilient arm 180 to the left of pivot 182 as viewed in FIG. 10 so that pin 164 moves upwardly in slot 176. When the pin moves upwardly through a sufficient distance, switch 172 opens and the machine is disabled. Thus in this form of our invention, the machine is disabled both when the overflow tray is removed from its housing and when the level ofliquid in tray 82 is above a predetermined level.

It will be seen that we have accomplished the objects of our invention. We have provided a charged-cup beverage dispenser which is especially adapted for use in low volume installations such, for example, as small offlces. Our machine is able to be serviced with ease by regular office personnel. A simple overflow sensing system disables the machine when the overflow reaches a predetermined level. One form of our machine is disabled both in response to a predetermined level of overflow and in response to removal of the overflow tray from the machine. Our machine incorporates a simple construction in which the coin return chute comprises a part of the cash box of the machine. The overflow container can be withdrawn and replaced without disassembly of any operating parts. Our machine is easily cleaned. lt is relatively inexpensive to construct.

It will be understood thatcertain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of our claims. It is further obvious that various changes may be made in details within the scope of our claims without departing from the spirit of our invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that our invention is not to be limited to the specific details shown and described. Having thus described our invention, what we claim is:

1. A beverage dispensing mechanism including in combination, a cabinet provided with a delivery shelf, means within said cabinet for positioning a cup of beverage on said shelf, said shelf adapted to receive waste liquid, a receptacle for collecting said waste liquid from said shelf, means mounting said receptacle below said shelf for manual movement into and out of said cabinet, means including a switch adapted to be actuated to disable said cup positioning means, a float, means mounting said float on said cabinet and adjacent to said receptacle for movement from a first position at which said float extends within said receptacle to a second position in response to a certain level of liquid in said receptacle and to a third position clear of said receptacle, means responsive to movement of said float to said second position for actuating said switch and means responsive to movement of said receptacle out of said cabinet for moving said float to said third position.

2. A beverage dispensing machine as in claim 1 in which said positioning means includes coin responsive means and in which said disabling means disables said coin responsive means.

' 3. A dispensing machine as in claim 1 in which said float is generally spherical and in which said mounting means comprises means forming an opening over said receptacle through which said ball is adapted to extend and guide means extending upwardly around said opening, said opening having a diameter less than that of said float.

4. A dispensing machine as in claim 1 including means mounting said float for vertical movement and i for swinging movement.

5. A dispensing machine as in claim 1 in which said positioning means comprises a cup dispenser adapted to be loaded from the top, means mounting said cup dispenser in said cabinet with a generally vertical orientation, said cabinet including a lid at the top adapted to having a coin return outlet and an accepted coin outlet, said machine including a cash box adapted to receive coins from said accepted'coin outlet, and a guide within said cash box for directing returned coins from said coin 'return outlet to said coin return opening.

8. A beverage dispensing machine as in claim 1 including means mounting said receptacle for movement into and out of said cabinet and means responsive to movement of said receptacle out of said cabinet for disabling said positioning means.

9. A machine as in claim 8 in which said positioning means comprises a switch and in which said means responsive to movement of said receptacle comprises a feeler arm adapted to be engaged by said receptacle to actuate said switch.

10. A machine as in claim 1 including a feeler, means mounting said feeler in said cabinet formovement between an active position and an inactive position, means responsive to movement of said feeler to its active position for actuating said switch, said feeler being biased to its active position, said feeler adapted to be held in its inactive position by a receptacle in said cabinet.

11. A machine as in claim 10 in which said switch is a normally open switch having an actuating arm biased to switch open position, and in which said float mounting means comprises means for suspending said float from said switch arm, and in which said feeler mounting means mounts said feeler for pivotal movement in said cabinet, and in which said means responsive to movement of said feeler comprises means connecting said feeler to said float at a location spaced from said pivotal mounting means.

12. A machine as in claim 11 in which said feeler is resilient.

13. A beverage dispensing machine including in combination a cabinet provided with a delivery shelf having a drain, a cup dispensing mechanism within said .cabiand feeding a charge of water from said tank to said cup, means forming a receptacle housing in said cabinet below said shelf, a waste liquid tray received bysaid housing for movementinto and out of the housing, 'a float, means mounting said float on said cabinet adjacent to said tray for movement from a' first position at which the float extends into said tray through an intermediate position when the liquid in said tray is at a certain level to a second position clear of said tray, a switch, means responsive to movement of said float to said intermediate position for actuating said switch, and means responsive to movement of said tray out of said housing for moving said float to said second position.

14. A dispensing machine as in claim 13 in which said cabinet is formed with alaterally extending open-ended recess over said shelf, said tray extending below said shelf and rearwardly of said recess in its housed position, said float being located insaid cabinet behind said recess.

15. A dispensing machine as in claim 14 in which said tray is provided with a cover, said cover formed with a first opening registering withsaid'drain and with a second opening registering with said float in the housed position of the tray.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3976225 *Jul 15, 1974Aug 24, 1976Umc Industries, Inc.Flood control for beverage vendor
US4181162 *Nov 23, 1977Jan 1, 1980General Foods LimitedVending apparatus
US4273259 *Sep 27, 1979Jun 16, 1981Umc Industries, Inc.Flood control for a beverage vendor
US4624395 *May 11, 1984Nov 25, 1986Lykes Pasco Packing Co.Hot beverage dispensing machine
US4807780 *Jul 24, 1987Feb 28, 1989Eurocup (Crosby) LimitedVending machine for beverage
US4898303 *Oct 27, 1988Feb 6, 1990Liqui-Box CorporationCup-type drink merchandiser with bag-in-box product supply system
US5027698 *Feb 20, 1990Jul 2, 1991Munroe ChirnomasIce cream vending machine
US5447256 *Aug 16, 1994Sep 5, 1995Graham; Michael J.Bottle enclosure with drip tray
US6292547Mar 15, 1999Sep 18, 2001Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P.Telephonic-interface statistical analysis system
US20140007777 *Sep 10, 2013Jan 9, 2014Bobbi J. SweetLiquid overflow capture device for small appliances
WO2006130919A1 *Jun 8, 2006Dec 14, 2006Ronald Allen ChappleChemical spillage prevention device
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/108, 141/88, 221/96, 222/129.3
International ClassificationA47J31/00, G07F13/10, G07F13/00, G07F13/06, A47J31/10
Cooperative ClassificationG07F13/10, G07F13/065
European ClassificationG07F13/10, G07F13/06B