US 3862704 A
An adaptor system for use on a cigarette vending machine of the type in which the articles to be vended are in a tray-like magazine as a row of articles on edge with the leading article therein positioned to be engaged by a pick-up means which is carried by a vertically movable elevator, when a spring-actuating mechanism is coin-released to advance the magazine tray into vending position. The adaptor system includes stop means for predetermining the advanced position of the magazine tray in accordance with thickness of the article to be vended and attachment means which can be applied to the magazine tray to adapt it to articles of different thicknesses, widths and heights as well as attachment means which can be applied to the pick-up means to adapt it to articles of different sizes.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent (1 1 Millies et al.
1*Jan. 28, 1975 ADAPTOR SYSTEM FOR A VENDING MACHINE TO ADAPT IT TO THE VENDING OF VARIOUS SIZE ARTICLES  Inventors: Clarence Frederick Millies; Loren Vance Hughes, both of 727 Dixmyth, 605 Tower West, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 [21 1 Appl. No.: 386,394
 U.S. Cl. 221/242  Int. Cl. G07i 11/16  Field of Search 221/198, 226, 232, 231,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,757,998 Millies 221/242 Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Mahoney, Miller & Stebens 571 ABSTRACT An adaptor system for use on a cigarette vending machine of the type in which the articles to be vended are in a tray-like magazine as a row of articles on edge with the leading article therein positioned to be engaged by a pick-up means which is carried by a vertically movable elevator, when a spring-actuating mechanism is coin-released to advance the magazine tray into vending position. The adaptor system includes stop means for predetermining the advanced position of the magazine tray in accordance with thickness of the article to be vended and attachment means which can be applied to the magazine tray to adapt it to articles of different thicknesses, widths and heights well as attachment means which can be applied to the pick-up means to adapt it to articles of different sizes.
39 Claims, 40 Drawing Figures PATENIEB JAN 28 I975 SHEU 82 [1F 15 PATENIEU JAN 2 8 I975 sum 1130f 15 PATENIEB W628 I975 SHEET 0H [1F 15 lllll I/IQWII PATENTED JAN 2 8 I975 SHEET DSUF 15 PAIENIED 3,862,704
SHEET 0e 0F 15 MW m iml I l I 7 PATENTED SHEET 11 UP 15 LEE PATENIED 3.8625104 sum 13 0F 15 may;
PATENT [l] JAN 2 81975 saw in HF 15 all,
ADAPTOR SYSTEM FOR A VENDING MACHINE TO ADAPT IT TO THE VENDING OF VARIOUS SIZE ARTICLES A type of cigarette vending machine now in use is known as Tobacco Counter and is manufactured by the Seeburg Corporation of Chicago, Ill. and is disclosed in publications of that company entitled Parts Catalog No. 135,399, Installation and Operation Manual No. 135,315, and Service Manual No. 135,398."
This cigarette vending machine has tray-like package-receiving magazines mounted in laterally spaced relationship for horizontal reciprocation under the control of trigger-released spring arrangements. Each magazine tray is adapted to receive a row of cigarette packs with the packs disposed upright on an end edge in back-to-face contact and a spring-actuated pack pusher is provided in each magazine for pushing the row toward an outer vending position in an end of the magazine. At this end of the magazine, there is a product guide and stop arrangement which includes vertically extending, laterally spaced stop flanges with a slot formed therebetween through which a vertically moving pick-up finger or tang can pass after it engages the lower edge of the leading pack in the magazine so as to lift it therefrom. The pick-up fingers are on packreceiving buckets which are mounted in laterally spaced series of vertically spaced buckets on endless carriers forming part of a pack-delivery elevator system, the series of buckets are aligned with the respective magazine trays and are normally spaced outwardly therefrom and stationary. When the proper coins are inserted in the machine, the trigger-actuated spring mechanism is released to permit the selected magazine to be advanced into vending position and, simultaneously, the elevator is driven upwardly to move the proper pick-up finger into engagement with the leading pack in that magazine so as to strip it from the magazine into the adjacent upward-traveling elevator bucket. The bucket after reaching the peak of its travel, tilts outwardly and ejects the package onto a delivery counter.
This type of cigarette vending machine is limited to the vending of packs of a certain thickness, due to the fact that each magazine must be advanced to a vending position, which is determined by the thickness of the packs being vended, in order for the elevator pick-up fingers to properly engage the leading pack in the magazine. Also, the magazine tray itself, and the product guide and stop flange arrangement at the vending end thereof, are designed for a certain thickness, width and height of pack:
It would be desirable to adapt this type of cigarette vending machine and other similar machines to the vending of other articles which may be of different dimensions, either in thickness, width or height, or all three. The present invention provides a simple adaptor system having parts which can be attached readily to this type of machine so that it can vend articles or packages of the different sizes.
This adaptor system includes, generally, stop means for changing the advanced vending position of the magwhich they were designed and including package or product guides at the vending ends thereof. These various elements can be used individually or in combination. In addition, the pick-up means associated with each elevator package delivery bucket can be provided with an adaptor which makes it adjustable so as to properly engage and eject packs of different heights in the magazine trays.
The best mode contemplated in carrying out this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top perspective view ofa magazine drawer assembly of a type of cigarette vending machine to which this invention is applicable.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one of the removed magazines.
FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the drawer assembly shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a rear portion of the drawer assembly and a portion of a cooperating package delivery elevator.
FIG. 5 is a view partly in side elevation and partly in vertical section of the elevator and its cooperating package ejector.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of magazine latching mechanisms of the drawer assembly showing them equipped respectively with different forms of a magazine stop arrangement according to this invention which adapts the machine to the vending of thinner articles.
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a stop plate of a type used in FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 is a similar view of another form of stop plate of a type used in FIG. 6.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a stop plate of a type used as in FIG. 11 to position a magazine.
FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view showing a magazine provided with the stop plate of the type shown in FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 is a vertical sectional view showing the inner or vending end ofa magazine and another form of stop plate cooperating therewith.
FIG. 12a is a perspective view of the stop plate used in FIG. 12.
FIG. 13 is a vertical sectional view taken longitudinally through one of the magazines and showing it equipped at its vending end with product guides for packages of varying thicknesses, widths and heights.
FIG. 14 isa transverse vertical sectional view taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 13.
FIG. 15 is a plan view of the structure of FIG. 13.
FIG. 16 is an elevational viewtaken from the position indicated at line I6-1,6 of FIG. 13 at the outer or vending end of the magazine.
FIG. 17 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken along line l7l7 of FIG. 13,.
FIG. 18 is a view partly in side elevation and partly in vertical section showing how an elevator bucket in its vertical movement cooperates with a magazine equipped with an adaptor arrangement of the type shown in FIGS. 13 to 17.
FIG. 19 is a similar view but indicating the elevator bucket raised to successively higher positions.
FIG. 20 is a similar view but showing the elevator bucket at a still higher position and equipped with a pick-up finger which is adjustable for packages of various heights.
FIG. 21 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 2l-2l of FIG. 20.
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the pick-up finger.
FIG. 23 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of the adaptor used in FIGS. 13 to 21 and showing it removed from the magazine.
FIG. 24 is a view showing an adaptor similar to that of FIG. 23 but having front plates of substantial thickness to adapt a magazine to the vending of thinner articles without the use of any of the magazine stops previously mentioned.
FIG. 25 is a view in side elevation, partly broken away, showing the adaptor of FIG. 24 positioned in a magazine and showing an elevator bucket cooperating therewith.
FIG. 26 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 25.
FIG. 27 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken along line 27-27 of FIG. 25.
FIG. 28 is a plan view of an adaptor in use with a magazine at the vending or outer end thereof as a package or product stop adjustable for packages of varying thicknesses and heights.
FIG. 29 is a perspective view of the structure of FIG. 28.
FIG. 30 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along line 30-30 of FIG. 29.
FIG. 31 is a view of an adaptor similar to that of FIG. 28 but also equipped with means for adapting to packages of varying widths as well as varying thicknesses and heights.
FIG. 32 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of the adaptor of FIG. 31.
FIG. 33 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along line 33-33 of FIG. 32.
FIG. 34 is a plan view of another type of magazine adaptor provided with adjustable wall and product stop means to adjust for articles of varying widths, heights and thicknesses. FIG. 35 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 3535 of FIG. 34 longitudinally through the magazine.
FIG. 36 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken along line 3636 of FIG. 35.
FIG. 36a is a sectional view showing the use of fastening tape on a lamination of the type shown in FIGS. 35 to 38.
FIG. 37 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken along line 3737 of FIG. 35.
FIG. 38 is a perspective view of the adapter of FIGS. 34 to 37 with parts separated.
With specific reference to the drawings, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate a drawer 40 used in a cigarette vending machine of the type previously disclosed. This drawer carries a series of cigarettepack magazines 50 which are of tray-like form and are disposed in laterally spaced relationship for longitudinal reciprocation for cooperation with a delivery elevator 60 which receives the packs as they are lifted from a coin-selected magazine tray and carried thereon upwardly to a delivery point where they are discharged on a counter top indicated generally at 70 in FIG. 5.
Several of the drawers 40 are usually provided in the cabinet of a machine of the type indicated at various levels. They are usually mounted in the cabinet of the machine for in-and-out sliding movement on roller guides (not shown) which cooperate with the guideways or slide channels 41 disposed at opposite sides of the drawer and extending longitudinally thereof. Each drawer has a front panel 42 on which are mounted the cigarette pack selecting buttons 43 which are substantially aligned with the respective magazines 50 and can be used to select a particular magazine containing packs P of cigarettes desired, when a proper coin is inserted. The coin-operated selecting mechanism is not illustrated as it is not important to the present invention. It will be noted (FIG. 3) that mounted beneath the drawer at its inner end. is a plate 44 which carries resilient tongues 45 at its extremity. This plate has notches 45a which permit vertical movement of certain parts of elevator 60. Above the plate 45 is fastened magazine stop bar 44a.
The structure of each of the magazines 50 is illustrated best in FIGS. 2, 4, I2 and 13. The magazineas indicated, is of drawer or tray-like form, being elongated and narrow, having a flat bottom 51 with upstanding opposed side walls 52 extending the full length thereof. The one end, which may be termed the loading end 53 can be open, and the other end, which can be termed the vending end 54, is provided with stop and guide flanges 55, with which the leading pack in the magazine is adapted to engage. The flanges 55 are in a pair of opposed flanges which extend inwardly towards each other at right angles to the side walls 52. They are spaced apart to provide a vertical slot 56 therebetween which communicates with an aligning slot 57 at its lower end that extends into the flat bottom 51. The upper edge of each wall 52 may be provided'with a re. inforcing lip 58 and each wall may be provided with an upwardly opening notch 59 adjacent its flange 55. One side wall 52 is provided with an outwardly extending pin 61 substantially midway of its length. This wall also carries a magazine return lever 62, pivoted thereto for vertical swinging movement by a pin 63 and adapted to be engaged in its upward swinging movement by a pin 64 carried by the side wall 52. The bottom 51 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced grooved guide rollers or collars 65 at one end and with a second pair of identical rollers or collars 66 at the other end. Substantially midway between the two pairs of collars 65 and 66, the bottom is provided with a depending guide and lock pin 67 located along its longitudinal center line.
Each of the magazines has formed on the upper surface of the bottom 51, a pair of opposed pusher guides 68 (FIGS. 13 and 14) extending the full length thereof for cooperating with the upstanding pack pusher 71. This pack pusher is biased on the guides 68 toward the vending end 54 of the magazine by means of a retractable winding spring unit 72 (FIG. 13) which is carried by the pusher and which has the free end of its spring anchored to the bottom plate 73 of the drawer 40 by means of a screw 74. It will be noted that the spring unit 72 is carried by a transverse shaft 72a. which is slipped into outwardly opening slots 76 formed in upright walls 77 which brace the puhser face plate that contacts flat with the last pack in the magazine 50. The slots 76 face in the opposite direction to the direction of pull by the spring of unit 72 and, therefore, the shaft 72a will be retained therein normally. However, the shaft can be pulled out of the slots, when desired, to disconnect the pusher 7 I from the spring unit. Normally the spring unit advances the pusher on the magazine 50 to push the packs P forwardly to vending position in the magazine as the levelling pack is successively removed. The magazine spring unit 72 serves another function of moving the selected magazine 50 forwardly into vending position in cooperation with the elevator 60, as will be described later.
The magazines 50 are slidably carried on the drawer plate 73, for individual reciprocation, in laterally spaced relationship. For mounting each magazine, the pairs of flanged guide collars or rollers 65 and 66 are disposed for longitudinal movement in respective pairs of guide slots formed in the plate 73, the flanges being above and below the plate, respectively. Slots 75 are shown in FIGS. 6 and 11 for receiving the collars 65 and slots 78 are shown in FIGS. 3, 12, and for receiving the collars 66. Also, the plate 73 is provided with a longitudinal slot 79, as shown in FIGS. 3, 6 and 11, through which the stop pin 67 of the magazine depends and reciprocates.
In this type of vending machine, the selection of a particular magazine 50 for dispensing packs P therefrom, is by the respective buttons 43. The magazines are locked in their non-vending position by magazine latching units 80, which are shown best in FIGS. 3 and 6, and which cooperate with the depending lock pins 67 on the bottoms of the respective magazines. These units are mounted at the lower side of the plate 73.
Each latching unit is substantially of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,493,144 to Johnson, issued Feb. 3, 1970. Each of these units functions substantially in the manner described in said patent and is actuated by means of a slide 30. The slides are mounted for reciprocation below the plate 73 by means including a transversely extending inner support plate 81 (FIG. 3) and outer laterally spaced support plates 82 which are aligned with the respective magazines, the plates 81 and 82 being spaced below the plate 73. Each plate 30 (FIG. 7) slidably extends through an upstanding flange 83 in the plate 81 and adjacent its outer end is provided with an upstanding lug 84 which is spaced inwardly from an upstanding flange 85 at its outer extremity. Between the lug 84 and flange 85 is a compression spring 86 which has its inner end fitting in a cup 87, fixed to the lug 85, and its outer end fitting into a cup 88 carried on the inner end of the rod 89 slidably mounted in a depending flange 90 on the outer end of the plate 73. The associated hinged button 43 engages the outer end of the rod 89 and when pushed will move the rod inwardly, partially compressing the spring 86 and sliding the plate 30 inwardly. A tension spring 69, secured to slide plate 30 (FIG. 6) and anchored to the flange 90, tends to return the plate 30 to its normal or outer position after being stretched by inward movement of the plate.
Inward movement of a plate 30 by its cooperating selection button 43 results in actuation of the respective latching unit 80 to release the stud or pin 67 of the selected magazine 50, which carries it, so as to permit spring 72 to move it to vending position as determined by its collars 66 engaging stop bar 44a (FIGS. 3 and 12). The latching units function as described in said patent so that when button 43 is pushed and actuator slide plate 30 is advanced, the magazine latch 14 is pivoted to release the stud 67 allowing the magazine to slide rearwardly into vending position. A safety latch 32 locks the slide 30 in its rear position holding the selection button 43 inwardly. The auxiliary latch 6 is positioned to catch the magazine stud 67 in relatching if the button 43 is held in. After vending, the stud 67 is returned to latched position in a manner to be described later.
The actuator slide plate 30, in its rearward or inward movement, also actuates a series of laterally slidable lock bars 91. These lock bars are slidably mounted between the plate 81 and the plate 73. These bars are moved laterally by means of a pair of rollers 92, carried on the lower side of each slide 30, and which engages corner surfaces 93 on adjacent pairs of the bars 91 to spread them apart. This lateral movement of these bars controls the sequence of operation of certain units of the machine, including the elevator unit 60, but the details of this control mechanism are not important to the present invention.
When the selected magazine is moved as indicated to its vending position, the elevator (FIGS. 4 and 5) is simultaneously actuated to cause the buckets 95 thereof to move upwardly, one series of these buckets being aligned with the selected magazine. The buckets 95 are supported in series of vertically spaced buckets on transverse supports 96 which are carried by endless chains 97, one of which is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Each bucket is open at its top but carries at its lower end a pick-up finger or tang 100. The bucket will move upwardly past the end of the selected extended magazine 50, the pick-up finger I00 passing upwardly through the slot 57 at the end of the magazine to engage the bottom end of the leading pack P in the magazine and strip it from the exposed end of the magazine so that it will be disposed in the rearwardly tilted bucket as shown in FIG. 4. As the elevator reaches the top of its travel, a projection 101 on the bucket assembly hits a stop bracket 102, carried by a vertical support 103, and causes the bucket to swing about its pivotal mounting 104. The inner run of the chain moves upwardly and its outer run moves downwardly so that the pin 106, carried by the latch 105, engages with cam edge 107 on a bracket 108 carried by the upstanding elevator support 109.
This removes the latch notch 110 from the pin 104 and swings the bucket 95 forwardly or outwardly, causing the pack P to tilt downwardly out of the bucket onto an inclined chute 111 so it will slide down onto the counter top 70. Reverse movement of the elevator 60 will occur at the proper instant and this will tilt the bucket back or outwardly to its original position and again latch it in that position.
As shown in FIG. 4, the inner run of the chain carries a cam bracket 114 at a selected position and this bracket has fixed thereto a cam 115. As the packreceiving bucket 95 is raised by the elevator, this cam engages and swings upwardly a magazine reset cam rocker arm 116 which is pivoted to the side of the drawer 40 and is normally biased downwardly by a spring 117. This arm 116 rocks a transverse shaft 118 which carries a series of magazine reset cranks 119 provided for cooperation with the respective magazine return levers 62 previously mentioned. Thus, the lever 62 of the selected magazine 50 will be swung upwardly to engage the stud or pin 64 of that magazine and will slide the magazine forwardly to its original position, where the stud 67 of that magazine is again positioned in its cooperating latching unit 80 to hold the magazine in non-vending position until it is again selected.
The various units of the machine so far described are present in a vending machine of the type to which the present invention is applicable. The adaptor system of this invention, which makes it possible for that machine to handle articles of different thicknesses, widths and heights, than the articles for which it was designed to vend, will now be described.
It will be apparent from the above that in the operation of this machine without the adaptor system of this invention, the vending position of a selected magazine is accurately determined by the collars 66 of that magazine striking the stop bar 44a and specifically the curved stop rib 44b (FIG. 12) which is at the inner edge thereof, the bar being bolted to the lower surface of the plate 73. This will determine the extended or vending position of that particular magazine relative to the elevator 60. This position will be predetermined in accordance with the thickness of the package to be stripped from the extended magazine, since the stop flanges 55 locate the leading pack P at a predetermined position in the vending end of the magazine and the collars 66 engaging stop rib 44b, locate the magazine in an advanced position relative to the pick-up finger 100 which is to lift the leading pack from the magazine. The adaptor system of the present invention provides additional, preferably variable, stop means for determining the advanced position of a magazine 50 so that packs of a different thickness than that for which the machine was designed, can be vended. This additional stop arrrangement is illustrated in FIGS. 6, and 8 to 12.
In the form of the stop arrangement shown in FIGS. 6 and 9 it comprises a flat stop lug which is associated with the respective slot 79. Thus, in FIG. 8 there is shown a stop lug 125 which has a pin-engaging stop tang extension 126. The body of the lug is provided with longitudinal slots 127 for mounting the lug on the lower surface of the drawer plate 73 which supports the associated latching units 80. The stop lug is mounted on the lower surface of the plate 73 by means of clamping screws 128 which are passed through the slots 127 and threaded into the plate 73. In this form of stop, the flat tang extension 126 will extend over the slot 79 and between the auxiliary latch 6 and the plate 73 as shown in FIG. 6.The tang 126 will have its end extremity positioned along the slot 79 to stop the movement of the pin 67 and the magazine 50 which carries it at a precise vending position determined by the thickness of the articles in that magazine to be vended. Variable thicknesses may be accommodated by adjustment of the lug 125 relative to the slot 79 which will be permitted by loosening and re-tightening of the screws 128.
The stop arrangement shown in FIG. 9 is slightly different from that shown in FIG. 8. In this instance, the tang extension 126a is in a different plane from the body 125a. As shown in FIG. 6, this makes it possible for the extension 1260 to extend beneath the auxiliary latch 6, it being remembered that FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view. This stop extension 126a works exactly as before in contacting the stud 67 but will be located in a different horizontal plane as compared to the extension-l26. This stop 126a is used if the latch 6 is located too close to the plate 73 to permit insertion. between these members.
Instead of the stops cooperating with the studs 67 to determine the final vending position of the respective magazines 50, the stops may cooperate with either guide collars 65 or guide collars 66 for the same purpose. Thus, in FIG. there is shown a stop lug 130 which has a pair of laterally projecting tang extensions 131. Also, this member is provided with mounting slots 132 which can be used, as shown in FIG. 11, for receiving clamping screws 133 to adjustably clamp the member to the plate 73. A pair of these lugs 130 will be used with the respective collars at opposite sides of the magazine 50 which is to be stopped thereby. The collar 65 at each side (FIG. 11) is shown disposed between the tangs 131 for reciprocation with the magazine. The inner tang 131 at each side, will contact with the cooperating collar 65 to determine the advanced or extended position of that magazine.
The stop arrangement shown in FIG. 12 and 12a is somewhat different but accomplishes the same purpose as the stop arrangement of FIG. 11. This stop comprises a plate 135 havingslots 136 for receiving clamping screws 137, shown in FIG. 12, to clamp the plate adjustably to the plate 73, as shown in FIG. 12. At a lower level the plate is provided with a pair of extensions 138, each having an upstanding stop shoulder at its outer extremity. The plate 135 is so mounted that its extension 138 will be below the guide collars 66 of the magazine 50. To limit the extended vending position of the magazine, the collars 66 thereof will contact with the upstanding shoulders 140 carried at the outer extent of the extension 138 rather than with stop rib 44b. The longitudinal position of shoulders 140 may be varied by the screw and slot adjustment including the screws 137.
Thus, it will be apparent that various adjustable stop structures are provided for accurately determining the final extended or vending position of a selected magazine 50. This final position will be selected in accordance with the thickness of the packs P which are contained within that magazine and are adapted to be stripped therefrom by the pick-up finger 100 of the elevator 60. If necessary, because of the change in the stopped final vending position of the magazine, the pin 64 on that magazine may be provided with a sleeve 64a (FIG. 4) to advance the time of engagement of the lever 62 and the stud assembly. Also, the pin 61 may be provided with an elevator start bar cam 61a to change the timing of the elevator start switch (not shown).
In FIGS. 13 to 21 and 23 a magazine 50 is shown equipped with an adaptor system for adapting it to the vending of packages P of various thicknesses, widths, and heights. This system can be used with any of the magazine stops previously described.
This adaptor system includes a pair of front mounting plates which are adapted to be disposed upright in face contact with the inner surfaces of the respective flanges 55 at the vending end of the magazine 50. These plates are mounted in fixed outwardly spaced relationship, to permit movement of the pick-up finger 100 upwardly therebetween, by means of clamping screws 146 (FIGS. 13 and 16) passing through the magazine flanges 55 into the plates.
The plates 145 also carry the vertically disposed lower product guides 148 which are of angular crosssection. These guides are provided as a pair, and are mounted so that one flange 149 is parallel to its associated plate 145 and the other flange 150 is parallel to the associated side wall 52 of the magazine 50. The guides 148 are supported in laterally spaced upright position by means of the threaded studs 151 which are rigidly carried by the flanges 149 and project outwardly through the transverse slots 152 on the plates 145 adja-