|Publication number||US3819088 A|
|Publication date||Jun 25, 1974|
|Filing date||May 22, 1972|
|Priority date||May 21, 1971|
|Also published as||CA964599A, CA964599A1, DE2224586A1, DE2224586B2|
|Publication number||US 3819088 A, US 3819088A, US-A-3819088, US3819088 A, US3819088A|
|Original Assignee||Guigan J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (8), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Guigan 1 SELECTIVE DISPENSING OF STORED ARTICLES  Inventor: Jean Guigan, 9 rue Jean Mermoz,
Paris, France 22 Filed: May 22,1972
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 21, 1971 France 71.18429  US. Cl. 221/224  Int. Cl B65h 3/24  Field of Search 221/224, 225, .05; 340/1725  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,679,354 5/1954 Skillman 221/0.5
[ June 25, 1974 Nolde et a1. 221/0.5
3,034,643 5/1962 Keller et al. 221/0.5 3,084,334 4/1963 Martin et al. 22l/0.5
Primary ExaminerAllen N. Knowles Assistant ExaminerDavid A Scherbel Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Sughrue, Rothwell. Mion, Zinn & Macpeak  ABSTRACT Fixed modules carry a plurality of slides which, in
' turn, form a plurality of side-by-side storage compartments. The slides are selectively extracted along their longitudinal axis from the modules and an article is removed from a selected compartment by aligning the compartment with an evacuation device, which preferably passes through part of the compartment at right angles to remove the article.
20 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] JUNZ 51974 SHEET 1 OF 9 FIG/I PATENTEDJUN25I974 3.819.088
4 sum 3 or 9 FIG.3 50 40 PATENTED JUNZS I974 FIG.5
PATENTEDJUHZS I924 sum 5 [1F 9 FIG.6
PATENTEUJUNESISM SHEET 6 BF 9 I FIG.8
PAIENIED-JUNZSISH SHEET 7 BF 9 FIG/i0 PATENTEB JUN25 I974 SHEET -8 [1F- 9 FIG/l1 SELECTIVE DISPENSING OF STORED ARTICLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a device for the storage and dispensing of elements of any desired kind.
Such a device is advantageously applied to the storage and dispensing of pharmaceutical products in a dispensary or of labels, tags, cards, etc.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the object of the present invention to provide a device permitting the storage of an extremely large number of articles and the automatic dispensing thereof; at the same time the replenishment with said articles is to be capable of being readily effected.
The present invention relates to a device for the storage and dispensing of articles comprising:
at least one vertical slide disposed in a fixedmodule and constituted by a row of vertical compartments, the purpose of which is to contain the articles,
and means for the extraction of an article from one of the said compartments,
characterized by a step by step motor for extracting said slide from the said module (or unit) in a movement of translation, the direction of which is perpendicular to said compartments so as to put said compartment in a predetermined position relative to a means for evacuation of said article.
Further features and advantages of the invention will be disclosed in the description following hereinbelow, with reference to the accompanying drawings which are given purely by way of non-limitative illustration.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows, in perspective, an example of the verti- FIG. 2 shows, in perspective, an assembly of slides constituting a module (or unit) of a storage and dispensing device according to the invention.
FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate, respectively, as a plan view, a section view and a view in perspective, an example of the device permitting the extraction of a slide from its module.
FIGS. 6 and 7 are, respectively, a front view and a perspective view of a variant of the device permitting the extraction of a slide from its module.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a variant of the means for the extraction and evacuation of an article stored in a device according to the invention.
FIGS. 9 and 10 are, respectively, views in perspective and in section of a variant of a compartment associated with a device according to the invention.
FIG. 11 is an extremely diagrammatic plan view of a variant of the device according to the invention, comprising two storage modules and means for the dispensing of the articles extracted from said modules.
FIGS. 12a and 12b are diagrammatic perspective views of two modes of packaging articles dispensed by a device according to the invention and as illustrated in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a variant of the device according to the invention designed for the storage of flat articles such as labels, tags, etc.
FIG. 14 is a view in cross-section of a slide associated with the device shown in FIG. 13.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In all figures, like elements have been given the same reference numerals.
A vertical slide 1, associated with a device according to the invention and illustrated in FIG. 1, comprises a plurality of vertical compartments l0, juxtaposed and defined by vertical partitions permitting the horizontal grouping of articles or stacks of articles. The spacing of the lateral walls 11, 12 of a compartment is optional and varies from one compartment to another.
Each compartment has two apertures located opposite each other, respectively in its front face 13 and in its rear face (no reference numeral), permitting the extraction ofa stored article; in the example illustrated, the apertures are located at the lower portion of the compartment.
The base 14 of the compartment 10 is formed with a slot 15 extending entirely through it.
The slide, suspended by horizontal and parallel slideways 10, co-operating with grooves formed in the faces 13, is associated with means permitting its displacement in its own plane, in a direction perpendicular to the compartments 10 (the direction of this translation movement is indicated by reference numeral 9).
The displacement means comprise, for example, a linear motor, the inductor (field magnet) 3 of which is stationaryand the armature 4 and yoke 5 of which are displaceable and are fast with the upper face of slide 1.
The linear motor may be replaced by an ordinary motor, associated with a locking means or by a step-bystep motor or the like.
It is a function of the aforesaid displacement means to put a compartment 10 into a predetermined position relative to the means for the extraction of an article from the compartment, and relative to means for evac-' uation of the extracted article, such means beinglocated at the level of the lower base of the slide 1, externally of the said slide.
In this case, the evacuation means is a horizontal conveyor belt 7 disposed perpendicular to the direction of the movement of translation 9.
The extraction means is an ejector lug 8 secured to the conveyor belt 7 and designed to enter into the slot 15 of the compartment 10 and to extract the article supported by the base 14 of the compartment 10.
' The movements of the slide 10 and of the ejector lug are synchronized by an electronic system (not shown).
FIG. 2 illustrates, diagrammatically and in perspective a module 20 comprising a plurality of slides of the aforesaid type.
Such a module comprises a frame 17 in which are disposed in juxtaposed relationship at their faces 13, an optional number of slides such as the slide 1. Associated with each module 20 is a single conveyor belt 7 permitting the conveying of an article extracted from a slide towards a central collecting means, for example, through intermediary of a conveyor belt 16.
A storage device according to the invention may comprise any optional number of modules as described hereinabove.
It permits the rapid extraction of any product, the position of which in the storage compartment is known.
By way of example, it will be assumed that it is desired to extract an element 18 from the compartment 19 of the'slide l of the module 20: i
The motor associated with the slide 1 of the module 20 displaces the slide in such manner that the compartment 19 passes into position at right angles to the belt 7;
The lug 8, driven by the belt 7, engages and extracts the lower element 18 of the stack of articles disposed in the compartment 19;
The slide 1 returns to its initial position while the element 18 is transported by the belt 7 and then by the conveyor belt 16 to the central recovery point.
FIG. 3 illustrates, as a plan view, a storage assembly comprising two modules 30 and 40, of a type analagous to that of the module 20 and disposed in such manner that the slides 31, 32, 33, etc., of the module 30 are in prolongation of the slides 41, 42, 43, etc., of module 40.
Interposed between these two modules is a device 50, the width of which is substantially equal to that of a module and the purpose of which is to permit the extraction of an element from one of the modules 30 and 40 and to replenish the slides of the said modules. Each slide (for example, slide 43) is displaceable in translation on two slideways 44 and 45. The device 50 comprises a first mobile arrangement 51, comprising two parallel slideways 54 and 55 adapted to pass into a position of prolongation of the slideways 45 and 44 of the slide 43 and of the slideways 34 and 35 of the slide 33.
The mechanism 51 is displaceable in translation in a direction indicated by the arrow 56, perpendicular to that of the slides; it is guided, for example, by two parallel rails 52 an 53. It may be set in motion through intermediary of a rack or a travelling chain or even a linear motor (not shown).
FIGS. 4 and illustrate, respectively in section and in perspective, the two slides 33 and 43 associated with the device 50.
In this variant, the device 50 comprises a fixed member 57 having the shape of an upturned U, supporting on the one hand the slideways 44, 45, 34 and 35 and on the other hand, the rails 52and 53. The structure of this member is such that the displaceable mechanism 51 is able to take up a position therein when the slideways 54 and 55 are disposed in prolongation of the aforesaid slideways.
The means for displacing the slide 33 or the slide 43 in translation are constituted by a second mobile arrangement 60 guided, for example, by two rails 61 and 62 parallel to the direction of the slides 43 and 33.
The mobile arrangement may comprise the mobile armature of a linear motor, the fixed inductor of which has been given reference numeral 63.
It comprises, at one of its ends, an electromagnet 64 designed to co-operate with a stop 46 associated with the wall of the slide 43 and, at its second end, an electromagnet 65 adapted to cooperate with a stop 36 associated with the slide 33. The member 57 is formed with a recess 58 permitting passage of the stops 36 and 46.
With each arrangement 60 there may be associated a fixed inductor 63. According to a further embodiment, the mobile arrangementassociated with all the slides of the modules 30 and 40 are mechanically integral and are simultaneously rendered mobile by a single inductor. The sleection of the slide is then effected by tripping the electromagnet associated therewith.
' The evacuation of the articles is effected with the aid of two conveyor belts 37 and 47 associated respectively with the modules 30 and 40 and each provided with at least one ejector lug 48.
Depending upon the product to be extracted, the compartment and the associated slide 33 are selected; the mechanism 51 is disposed in prolongation of the slide 33 and the electromagnet 65 and the motor 63 are tripped in such manner as to put the compartment at right angles to the belt 37. In this case, it is the function of the mechanism 51 to guide the slide during its displacement.
In the case of FIGS. 4 and 5, the slide 33 has been shown at 33' completely extracted from its module 30 and accepted by the mobile mechanism 51, in a travel path indicated by an arrow 56.
The slide, which is readily accessible, may then be replenished.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show a front view and a perspective view of a variant of the mobile mechanism 51 in FIG. 5, permitting the guiding of a slide when it travels out of its module and the extraction thereof from the storage device, for replenishment thereof.
This mechanism comprises two ridged conveyor belts and 71 disposed one above the other between the two modules 30 and 40, the gap separating the lower portion of the belt 71 and the upper portion of the belt 70 being smaller than, or equal to the height of a slide, in such manner as to enclose the latter.
The gap between the two ridges 73 and 75 of the belt 71 is substantially equal to the thickness of a slide; the same applies to the ridges of the belt 70. When the belts are stationary, the ridges permit the guiding of the slide 33 at the instant of extraction thereof from the module 30.
The travelling belts 70 and 71 permit entrainment of the slide to the exterior of the storage device in the direction indicated by the arrow 72, for restocking the same.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a variant of the means for extraction and evacuation of an article stored in the module 20.
In this variant, the extraction means is not tied to the evacuation means; it is constituted by an element disposed at the lower base of the said module, parallel to the latter and comprising a plurality of ejector fingers 81, 82, associated respectively with the slides of the module 20. The element 80 preferably has imparted to it a reciprocating movement, imparted by a linear motor, the armature of which it constitutes and the inductor 89 of which is fast relative to the module; the reciprocating movement is indicated diagrammatically by the two arrows 83 and 84. The element 80 may be guided in its movement by two slideways 87 and 8 mined compartment passes into alignment with the element 80.
During its movement, the finger associated with the aforesaid slide engages and extracts the article bearing on the base of the compartment; the article slides on the surface 85 and is conveyed through intermediary of the conveyor belt 86 towards the central recovery point.
FIGS. 9 and 10 are, respectively, the perspective and sectional views of a variant of the storage compartments of a device according to the invention.
Consideration will be given, by way of example to a compartment 92 of a slide 91 associated with a module 90. The compartment 92 is intended to contain a stack of articles which are not identical. To this end, it comprises an inner set of pigeon holes 93 adapted to be driven in a movement of vertical translation (direction diagrammatically indicated by the arrow 98). I
This movement is imparted by a linear motor, the inductor 94 which is secured to the module 90 and the armature 95 which is associated with the set of pigeon holes 93.
The evacuation means is constituted by a conveyor belt 97 disposed parallel to the module 90, the gap provided between -'the belt and the module being sufficiently wide to permit the descent of the set of pigeon holes, which is wider, contained in the module 90.
The extraction means is advantageously a lateral gripping means 96. r
The device described hereinabove permits the extraction of a predetermined article stored in the module 90 and optional reintroduction thereof into the module after utilization. It is advantageously applied to the storage of cards of the microfilm type, diapositives etc.
FIG. 11 illustrates very diagrammatically as plan view, a variant of the device according to the invention, I
comprising two storage modules 100 and 104 and a dispensing means for the articles extracted from the said modules. a
The module 100 comprises slides 101, extraction means 102, evacuation means of the funnel type comprising an inclined surface 103 associated with a conveyor belt 108; similarly, the module 104 comprises slides 105, extraction means 106 and evacuation means comprising an inclined surface 107, and the conveyor 108.. Disposed at the outlet of the conveyor 108 is dispensing means 114 constituted by a chain of receptacles 115 displaceable in the direction of the arrow 116.
The sequence of all the dispensing .operations may be automatically carried into effect by means of an electronic system 119 controlled from a panel 110. The computer is connected to means 113 for'controlling the movement of the slides in'the corresponding module, to means 117 for controlling the movement of the chain 114, to means 111 adapted to write on the receptacles 1 15 identification data, by optical, magnetic, mechanical, etc., means and to means for'controlling the extraction and evacuation means.
FIG. 12a illustrates an example of the receptacle 120 suitable for use in the chain 114; the receptacle 120, which is preferably made from plastics material is separated from the adjacent receptacle by tongues 121 which are perforated and may be'ruptured by bending. Thus, the receptacles may readily be separated from each other. They comprise a strip 122 for displaying data.
FIG. 12b shows a variant of the chain of receptacles manufactured in situ from a sheet of plastics material 123, upstream of the outlet of the conveyor belt 108. The various phases in the manufacture of the said chain are indicated very diagrammatically by the arrows 124 to 128:
124: folding of the sheet 123,
125: introduction into the fold thus formed of an article which has arrived at the outlet of the conveyor belt 108,
126: the writing of identification data on a window provided for this purpose (the nature of the article, its destination. etc.),
127: formation of a receptacle 129 closed by heat sealing,
128: separation by cutting, of the receptacle 129. r
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a variant of the slide 131 associated with a module 130; the compartments of the slide 131 are defined by guide means pemiitting the arrangement of the articles in horizontal line, for example, of the type employing suspension means. The slide 131 maintained in the module 130 at its upper portion 132, constituting preferably the armature of the linear motor which sets it in motion, comprises two inner bars and 136 secured to its front face 133 and to its rear face 134. The bars 135 and 136 are preferably parallel to the direction of translation of the slide 131 and are at different vertical levels; they are formed with notches 139 defining narrow compartments intended for example for the storage of cards such as are illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 14. The card 144 comprises index tabs 142 and 143 designed to co-operate with the notches formed in the bars 135 and 136.
The device according to FIG. 13 comprises furthermore, means for evacuation of the stored cards, such as, for example, a conveyor belt 1.37 and means for extraction of the articles such as, for example, grasping or gripping means, illustrated diagrammatically at 138; the gripping means is shown fast with the conveyor belt 137 and is adapted to impart to the card 144 a reciprocating movement represented diagrammatically by the storage module.
At all events, whatever the field of application thereof, such a device simultaneously makes possible:
storage of maximum compactness and thus a reduction of the ground surface required;
a diminution in personnel requirements or in the amount of labor required for handling and storage work;
the employment of a computer permits automatic handling of the stock, i.e.:
permanent monitoring of the condition of the stock,
monitoring of the extraction of products, the preparation of restocking operations. What is claimed is:
' 1. A device for the storage and distribution of articles comprising at least one fixed module containing at least one horizontally movable vertical slide formed by two lateral walls and divided into vertical compartments by guide means for the articles, each compartment containing at least one article of a particular type, the two lateral walls of the slide comprising in each compartment opposing apertures designed to allow the passage of an article contained in the compartment, these two apertures communicating with each other by way of a slot provided in the base of said slide,
a step-by-step motor for removing the slide from said module according to a horizontal translation so as to bring a given compartment in front of evacuation means disposed in a fixed manner along said module, and
extraction means for horizontal translation movement orthogonal to said horizontal translation movement of the slide and introduced into said slot in order to eject an article through said apertures in said evacuation means for extracting an article therefrom.
2. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that each compartment is provided with guide means enabling identical articles to be staked and in that said extraction means is disposed at the level of the base of said slide.
3. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said compartments of said slide are'defined by suspension means enabling articles to be arranged in a horizontal row, each compartment being adapted to contain a single article, said extraction means being disposed at the level of the base of said slide.
4. A device according to claim 3, characterized in that said suspension means comprise at least one notched bar which is parallel to the direction of said horizontal translation of the slide.
5. A device according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of slides form a row and said extraction means is common to all slides in a particular row of said module.
6. A device according to claim 5, characterized in that said extraction means is secured to said evacuation means.
,7. A device according to claim 6, characterized in that said evacuation means is a conveyor belt disposed perpendicular to the direction of said slide translation and in that said extraction means is an ejector lug secured to said belt.
8. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said extraction means consists of an element situ- 'ated at the level of the base of said module parallel to the latter bearing a plurality of ejector fingers associated respectively with each of said slides of said module and subject to a reciprocating movement.
9. A device according to claim 8, characterized in that said movement is insured by a linear motor, the element of which is integral with the armature.
10. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that said step-by-step motor is a linear motor.
11. A device according to claim 10, characterized in that the inductor of said linear motor is secured to said module and that the armature is integral with said slide.
12. A device according to claim 11, characterized in that said armature is rendered integral with said slide by means of a controllable electro magnet cooperating with a metal portion of the slide.
13. A device according to claim 12, wherein a plurality of slides form a row and said armature is common to all the slides of said module.
14. A device according to claim 1,.further comprising means for ejecting said slide out of said module to enable it to be restacked with articles.
15. A device according to claim 14, characterized in that it also comprises an outer'element of said module capable of guiding at least part of the slide during its displacement.
.16. A device according to claim 15, characterized in that a plurality of vertical slides are disposed side by side and in parallel in said module, said guide elements being displaceable in translation in such a manner as to pass into the extension path of any one of said slides.
17. A device according to claim 15, characterized in that said elements comprise slideways lying parallel to the movement of said slide.
18. A device according to claim 15, characterized in that said elements comprise two conveyor belts provided with transverse notched lines disposed one above the other and separated by a distance no greater than the height of said slides.
19. A device according to claim 14, characterized in that said means for ejecting said slide out of said module'is constituted by mobile support and guide means adapted to pass into the extension of this slide.
20. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that it further comprises a central computer operatively connected to control elements of said step-by-step motor, of said extraction means, and of said evacuation means.
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|International Classification||B65G1/00, B65G59/06, B65G1/10|