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Publication numberUS3810560 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 14, 1974
Filing dateMay 21, 1973
Priority dateMay 21, 1973
Also published asCA986479A, CA986479A1, DE2405760A1, DE2405760B2
Publication numberUS 3810560 A, US 3810560A, US-A-3810560, US3810560 A, US3810560A
InventorsStegeman B
Original AssigneeStegeman B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispenser with adjustable paddle vending member
US 3810560 A
Abstract
A vending machine for cans or bottles having a dispensing mechanism comprising a pair of paddle vending members onto which the cans or bottles are fed and from which these items are finally dispensed. A two piece shaft with a vending member on each has its two pieces coupled together by a two position coupling member, the position of the coupling being easily changed to alter the positions of the paddle vending members relative to each to thereby allowing vending of either short cans or long bottles by such change.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[451 May 14,1974

United States Patent [191 Stegeman DISPENSER WITH ADJUSTABLE PADDLE VENDING MEMBER Primary Examiner- -Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-David A. Scherbel Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ridout & Maybee ABSTRACT A vending machine for cans or bottles havin [22] Filed:

g a dis-- pensing mechanism comprising a pair of paddle vending members onto which the cans or bottles are fed and from which these items are finally dispensed. A

11/24 two piece shaft with a vending member on each has its 221/116, 241,266 two pieces coupled together by a two position coupling member, the position of the cou [52] U.S. [51] Int Cl [58] Field of Search.....................

pling being easily changed to alter the positions of the paddle vend- S T N m n s SE QT A T ms e m H N U M h ing members relative to each to thereby allowing vending of either short cans or lon change.

g bottles by such 221/116 X Millard 1/1969 Payne 1,694,599 12/1928 Lear.......... 1,109,134

221/266 X 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEBIIAY 14 197 $810,560 SHEET 3 OF 4 PATENTEI] MAY 14 I974 SHE-ET u or 4 DISPENSER WITH ADJUSTABLE PADDLE VENDING MEMBER A very large variety of automatic vending machines dispensing many different kinds of products have been provided by the prior art and amongst the most common are those vending cans and bottles and, in particlar bottled and canned drinks. One of the problems associated with containerized drink vending machine is allowing for the difference in size of containers, particularly in length. In order to change any vending machine over to cans or bottles of different length, it has been necessary to make time-consuming and complex.

mechanical adjustments to a machine.

Typical of automatic vending machines which dispense products singly from a row containing more than one product are those disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 1,873,317 and 2,272,750. However, with both of these systems, it is necessary to use complicated and lengthy procedures to convert to the dispensing of containers of different size. In copending US. Pat. application No. 342,3ll filed Mar. 16, 1973, a vending machine for vending product items of different size is disclosed which has an easily and quickly operated converting mechanism. However, there are a number of moving parts associated with this vending mechanism, including lengthy endless drive and support chains. Elimination of such moving parts would be an advantageous improvement.

An automatic vending machine has now been discovered which has a simply arranged dispensing mechanism which is easily converted in a very short time to vend bottles or cans of different length.

The apparatus of the invention is a dispensing arrangement in a can or bottle vending machine comprising a stacking rack assembly holding items to be vended and a special rotatable feed mechanism accepting items from the rack assembly. The feed mechanism comprises a rotatably mounted shaft member driven by a motor, the shaft being separated into first and second sections. A double cam carrying member having a first cam and a second cam is connected to the end of the shaft opposite the motor and the two shaft sections are rigidly but separably connected together by a two position coupling member. First and second multi-vaned paddle vending members are rigidly attached to the first and second shaft sections respectively, the paddle members being adapted to receive items being vended from the rack assembly. The first shaft section is in driven engagement with the motor and the second shaft section has the double cam carrying member rigidly connected thereto and is spring mounted to allow longitudinal movement of the second section away from the first shaft section. The two position coupling member has an inner coupling position and an outer coupling position, the paddle vending members being in vane-alignment in one of the coupling positions and in vane-misalignment in the other coupling position such that the line of alignment of vanes in one paddle member substantially intersects the angles formed by adjacent pairs of vanes in the other paddle member. The first cam has a number of raised cam portions thereon equal to the number of vanes on each paddle member and the second cam has twice as' many raised cam portions thereon. A switching means controls the flow of power to the driving motor and a switch member thereon is in switching contact with one of the two cams. The switching means is controlled by the raised cam portions of the cams and the switch member is in contact with the first cam and the second cam with the paddle members in vane-alignment position and vanemisalignment position respectively. A delivery chute is located under the paddle vending members and is adapted to receive items being vended therefrom.

It is an object of the invention to provide a can and bottle vending machine having a simple dispensing mechanism and which can be quickly and easily converted to vending items of different length.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description following taken in conjunction witn the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the inner portion of a vending machine, four separate rack assemblies being shown but only one dispensing arrangement embodying the invention being shown;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view through line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the essential dispensing portion of the arrangement embodying the invention but converted from that shown in FIG. 2 to dispense items of shorter length;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view through line 4-4 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the two section shaft and double paddle wheel dispensing arrangement of the invention, with shaft sections shown separated and portions broken away.

Referring specifically to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a front view in elevation of the inner storage and dispensing portion of a vending machine embodying the invention and FIG. 2 is an elevational view through line 2-2 of FIG. 1. Although four separate dispensing lines or units are shown in FIG. 1, only the right hand unit is shown with dispensing arrangement therein for the sake of simplicity. A stacking rack assembly 10 is loaded with items 11 to be vended, in this case as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, with soft drink bottles, such as 10 ounce bottles. Located under the rack assembly 10 is a rotatable feed mechanism 12 and inclined ramp member 13 directs the bottles 11 onto the feed mechanism 12. A switch mechanism 14 is advantageously located on the ramp 13 and spring-loaded switch 15 swings upwardly when the rack assembly 10 is empty, thereby closing a circuit and operating an empty indicating light (not shown).

The feed mechanism 12 comprises a shaft member 16 rotatably mounted at each end thereof, such as in bearing 17 at one end and onto motor shaft 18 at the other end. Driving motor 19 drives the shaft 18 and the shaft member 16 to which it is pinned. A double cam carrying member 20 is attached to the other end of the shaft 16 such as by pin 21 and the member 20 has a first cam 22 and a second cam 23 thereon. The shaft member 16 is separated into first and second shaft sections 24,25 and the sections 24,25 are rigidly but separably coupled together by a two position coupling member 26. First and second multi-vaned paddle vending members 27,28 are rigidly attached to the shaft sections 24,25 respectively such as by welds 29, the paddle members 27,28 being adapted to receive items being vended from the rack assembly 10. Thus, the paddle members 27,28 are located under the portion of the rack assembly 10 to which the items being vended are directed by the ramp l3 and members 27,28 receive the bottle 11 (as shown in FIG. 1) and the bottle rests between adjacent vanes of the paddle members (as shown in FIG. 2).

The second shaft section 25 has the cam carrying member attached thereto and the section is spring-mounted such as by helical spring located around the shaft. The spring 30 is located between the paddle member 28 and the bushing 17 and is in a compressed state thereby urging the two shaft sections together but allowing longitudinal movement of the shaft section 25 away from the shaft section 24 by pulling outwardly on the cam carrying member 20.

The coupling member 26 has an inner coupling position, that shown in FIG. 2, and an outer coupling position, described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. In the inner coupling position shown in FIG. 2 the vanes 31 of the first paddle member 27 are in alignment with the vanes 32 of the second paddle member 28, thereby providng a continuous even resting place for the bottle 11 being dispensed as shown in FIG. 2. As the motor 19 turns the shaft 16 a one quarter turn one of the bottles 11 is allowed to fall away from the paddle members 27,28, as shown in FIG. 1, and the falling bottle drops into a delivery chute 33 located under the paddle vending members 27,28, the chute 33 being adapted to safely receive items being vended by way of sloped surfaces 34,35.

Proper timing and operationofthe motor 19 is accomplished by way of the cams 22,23 on the cam carrying member 20 in cooperation with a switching means 36 which controls power supplied to the motor. With the coupling member 26 in the inner coupling position and vanes of paddle members 27,28 in aligned position, a switch member 37 is in contact with outer first cam 22 which has a number of raised cam portions 38 equal to the number of vanes on each of the paddle members 27,28 and in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, there are four of the raised cam portions 38 on the first cam 22 and four of the vanes 31,32 on each of the paddle members 27,28. Upon activation of the motor 19 by feeding of a coin through a standard coin feeding mechanism the shaft 16 and the paddle wheels 27,28 are rotated, thereby discharging an item being vended, in this case a soft drink bottle, off the vanes and down into the discharge chute 33. At the same time, the switch 37 is activated by riding onto one of the raised cam portions 38 on the cam 22. The switching means 36 is operated and it acts to stop the motor 19 after a one quarter turn of the shaft 16. The dispensing mechanism is then set up for the next vending operation, with one item 11 having been vended and another item 11 having been fed onto the paddle members 27,28 from the rack assembly 10.

Although the dispensing arrangement of the invention as set up in FIGS. 1 and 2, with vanes of the paddle members 27,28 in vane-alignment, has been described with reference to the vending of one long product at a time, it can be appreciated that two short products at a time could be vended instead of one long one merely by having two rows of short products stacked in the rack assembly 10 rather than the one row of long products. Thus, for example, one row of 10 ounce soft drink bottles, or two rows of 10 ounce soft drink cans, can be vended. Vending of no return 10 ounce shorter bottles can be handled merely by moving spacer back plate 50 of the rack assembly forward (see FIG. 2). In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the spacer back plate 50 is shown supported by angle support members 51 in its most forward position. The support members 51 slide back and forth through rear plate 52 of the rack assembly and have notches 53 therein which engage in the rear plate 52 to hold the spacer plate 50 in position. The spacer plate 50 is shown adjusted to two other positions by broken lines 54,55 with the support members 51 in corresponding positions 56,57. Retaining spring 58 holds the support members 51 downwardly in engaged position in the rear plate 52.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, the dispensing arrangement of the invention is shown converted to the vending of short items, one at a time. FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of this arrangement, with two rows of short items 39,40, in this case 10 ounce soft drink cans, in the rack assembly 10 feeding down onto the paddle members 27,28. FIG. 4 is a front elevational view through line 4-4 of FIG. 3. As shown in FIG. 3 the coupling member 26 is pulled apart, by pulling outwardly on the cam carrying member 20, into an outer coupling position whereby the shaft sections 24,25 are pulled apart, but still remain rigidly coupled together, and the paddle member 28 is rotated, in the arrangement shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, by 45 inrelation to the paddle member 27. At the same time the cam carrying member 20 moves outwardly so that the second inner cam 23 is in contact with the switch member 37. The cam 23 is seen to have eight raised cam portions 41 thereon or twice as many as the number of vanes on each of the paddle members 27,28. With the paddle members 27,28 in vane misalignment as in this arrangement, the line of alignment of vanes in one paddle member substantially intersects the angles formed by adjacent pairs of vanes in the other paddle member.

In the operation of the dispensing arrangement of the invention with the paddle members 27,28 in misalignment by in the order of 45, the motor 19 operates, as before, upon feeding of a coin to the vending machine and the shaft 16 turns along with the paddle members 27,28 and the cam carrying member 20. As the cam 23 rotates on the member 20 the switch member 37 on the switching means 36 rides onto one of the raised cam portions 41, the switching means 36 is operated and the motor 19 is stopped, having acted to turn the shaft 16 only one eighth of a turn or 45. The dispensing arrangement after one dispensing action would move from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that shown in FIG. 4 with the paddle members 27,28 having rotated 45, the item 40 falling away from the paddle member 28 down into the chute 33 and the item 39 being carried around on the paddle member 27 to be dispensed on the next dispensing action.

In vending machine the dispensing arrangement is advantageously provided with a product support or retaining rod 42 which can be swung into supportinng position under product items in the rack assembly 10 by way of handle 43 (see F IGS. 1 and 2) and the items remaining in the system can be held in position in the event that the dispensing mechanism is being worked on or needs to be withdrawn for cleaning. The retaining rod 42 is held in supporting position by way of retaining member 59 over which the handle 42 is clipped.

The two position coupling member 26 of the dispensing arrangement is shown in an enlarged perspective view in FIG. 5, the two halves 44,45 of the member 26 connected to the ends of the shaft sections 24,25 being shown pulled apart. A portion of one of the vanes 32 on the paddle member 28 rigidly located on the shaft section 25 is shown broken-away and the paddle member 27 is shown rigidly located on the shaft section 24. Each of the portions or halves 44,45 of the coupling member 26 has long teeth 46 and short teeth 47 and also deep slots 48 and shallow slots 49. In the inner coupling position with the paddle members 27,28 in vane alignment, the position shown in FIG. 5 but with the coupling member 26 closed, the two portions 44,45 couple rigidly together with the long teeth 46 in the deep slots 48 and the short teeth 47 in the shallow slots 49. In the outer coupling position the shaft section, and along with it the paddle member 28 and the coupling portion 45, are rotated by 45 and the coupling halves 45,46 are brought rigidly together with the long teeth 46 in the shallow slots 49 and the short teeth 47 in the deep slots 48. With this re-arrangement the shaft section and with it the cam carrying member (see FIGS. 2 and 3) are adjusted outwardly and inwardly as desired.

It can be appreciated that the paddle member 28 could be arranged differently on the shaft section so that the paddle members 27,28 were in vane misalignment with the coupling member 26 in the inner coupling position and in vane alignment with the coupling member 26 in the outer coupling position. In such case the cams 22,23 would be reversed on the cam carrying member 20 with the cam 22 having four raised cam portions on the inside and the cam 23 with eight raised cam portions on the outside.

It can also be appreciated that three or more vanes could be used on the paddle members 27,28 up to any practical number which would provide for supporting items to bevended between adjoining vanes. In cases where other than four vanes were used the number of raised cam portions on the cams 22,23 and the number and positioning of teeth in the coupling member 26 would have to be changed accordingly.

The dispensing arrangement of the invention has been described with reference to the vending of cans or bottles of soft drinks but it can be appreciated that items other than containers for soft drinks can be vended through the dispensing arrangement described herein.

What we claim as our invention is:

1. In a can or bottle vending machine a dispensing arrangement comprising a stacking rack assembly for holding items to be vended, a rotatable feed mechanism located under the rack assembly, said feed mechanism comprising a shaft member rotatably moujted on each end thereof, a driving motor for the shaft driving one end thereof, a double cam carrying member connected to the other end thereof, said shaft being separated into first and second shaft sections, the sections being rigidly but separably coupled together by a two position coupling member, and first and second multivaned paddle vending members rigidly attached to the first and second shaft sections respectively, said paddle members being adapted to receive items being vended from the rack assembly, the second shaft section having the cam carrying member rigidly mounted thereon and being spring-mounted to allow longitudinal movement of the second shaft section away from the first shaft section, the coupling member having an inner coupling position and an outer coupling position, the paddle vending members being in vane-alignment in one of the said coupling positions and vane-misalignment in the other coupling position whereby the line of alignment of vanes in one paddle member substantially intersects the angles formed by adjacent pairs of vanes in the other paddle member, and said double cam carrying member having a first cam with a number of raised cam portions thereon equal to the number of vanes on each paddle member and a second cam with twice as many raised cam portions thereon, a switching means controlling the flow of power to said driving motor and having a switch member thereon in contact with one or the other of the first and second cams, said switching means being controlled by the raised cam portion on the first and second cams and the switch member being in contact with the first cam and the second cam with the paddle members in vane-alignment position and vane-misalignment position respectively, and a delivery chute located under the paddle vending members and adapted to receive items being vended therefrom.

2. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein each paddle vending member has four vanes located thereon and the first and second cams have four raised cam portions and eight raised cam portions respectively.

3. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein with the paddle vending members in vane alignment, the vending machine is adapted to vend one long item or two short items at a time and with the paddle vending members in misalignment the vending machine is adapted to vend one short item at a time.

4. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein the coupling member has two portions, one on each shaft section and each portion has long and short teeth and deep and shallow slots, the two portions coupling rigidly together in the inner coupling position with the long teeth in the deep slots and the short teeth in the shallow slots and in the outer coupling position with the long teeth in the shallow slots and the short teeth in the deep slots.

5. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein a product retaining rod is provided at the bottom of the rack assembly, said rod being swingable into a position for supporting product items in the rack assembly.

6. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein the second shaft section has a compressed helical spring around it between the vanes of the second paddle and the mounting for the shaft member, said spring biasing the first and second shaft sections together.

7. The dispensing arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein a spacer back plate is provided in the stacking rack assembly, said back plate being variably positioned to provide for items to be vended of different length.

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Referenced by
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US4354615 *Nov 6, 1980Oct 19, 1982Cavalier CorporationAlternator mechanism for dispensing machine
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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/116, 221/241
International ClassificationG07F11/24, G07F11/16, B65G59/06
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/24
European ClassificationG07F11/24