Patents by Inventor Larry Hieb

Larry Hieb has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20190110611
    Abstract: The present invention provides shelf adjustment systems and methods that may be used in merchandiser display cases and other applications to accommodate changes in product offering, giving the user increased flexibility in the use of merchandiser display cases. The shelf adjustment systems of embodiments of the present invention provide methods and apparatus for coordinating shelf adjustment, such that adjusting the display angle of one shelf of the invention causes the display angle of another shelf or shelves to also be adjusted by the same amount as the adjusted shelf.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2018
    Publication date: April 18, 2019
    Applicant: Sanden Vendo America, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Randall Meyer
  • Patent number: 9795228
    Abstract: The present invention includes various types of open-air display cases for displaying, storing, and/or vending food, beverages, or other products having a movable barrier that can be automatically positioned over an open front or side of such a unit to prevent access to the products therein when temperatures, component failure, lost power supply, or other variables affect the condition of the items stored in the display case, and methods of using such units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: SANDEN VENDO AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Robert Scott Winters, Chad Kielmeyer, Vishal Dali, Larry Hieb
  • Publication number: 20160249748
    Abstract: The present invention includes various types of open-air display cases for displaying, storing, and/or vending food, beverages, or other products having a movable barrier that can be automatically positioned over an open front or side of such a unit to prevent access to the products therein when temperatures, component failure, lost power supply, or other variables affect the condition of the items stored in the display case, and methods of using such units.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2016
    Publication date: September 1, 2016
    Applicant: Sanden Vendo America, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Scott Winters, Chad Kielmeyer, Vishal Dali, Larry Hieb
  • Patent number: 8162174
    Abstract: This is an improved retrieval mechanism for vending machines that includes a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the gripper through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The gripper is extended in the Z-direction, and its fingers grasp the foremost product container in the queue. The gripper is raised in order to clear a retaining lip in the queue and then retracts, and the positioning system transports the gripper carrying the product container to a delivery port. The gripper then releases the product which slides down a chute into a delivery port for customer pick up. Unique product storage trays are provided which work in conjunction with the gripper to allow only the foremost product to be removed from a tray queue. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: SandenVendo America, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Daniel Carter
  • Patent number: 7837059
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, catcher and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the catcher through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The catcher is extended in the Z-direction, and lifts the foremost product container from the queue, moving one or more gates out of the way. The catcher then retracts, closing the gate, and the positioning system transports the catcher carrying the product container to a delivery port. The catcher then releases the product container which slides into a delivery port for customer pick up. Unique product storage trays are provided which work in conjunction with the catcher to allow only the foremost product to be removed from a tray queue. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Daniel Carter
  • Publication number: 20090057096
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods and apparatus for reducing or preventing sunlight from reaching the interior of a vending machine through its front panel, and also providing for the placement of advertising, information, and/or identification of the products inside the machine. Embodiments of the invention include an obscuring peripheral border provided around a viewing area of the front panel of a vending machine. Other embodiments include methods and apparatus for scrolling specialized film behind the front panel of a vending machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2008
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Daniel Carter
  • Publication number: 20080135574
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, catcher and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the catcher through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The catcher is extended in the Z-direction, and lifts the foremost product container from the queue, moving one or more gates out of the way. The catcher then retracts, closing the gate, and the positioning system transports the catcher carrying the product container to a delivery port. The catcher then releases the product container which slides into a delivery port for customer pick up. Unique product storage trays are provided which work in conjunction with the catcher to allow only the foremost product to be removed from a tray queue. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Daniel Carter
  • Publication number: 20080078778
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. A unique initialization and calibration system is implemented at start up to determine the positions of shelves and trays of product containers in the machine, and may be implemented at other times if trays or shelves are added or removed, or if tray or shelf positions change. These positions are then used by the positioning and gripping systems to accurately and efficiently retrieve products from the trays.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: April 3, 2008
    Inventors: Daniel Carter, Christopher Craven, Walid El-Aouar, Craig Greiner, Larry Hieb, Dean James, Sandra Southard, Rolando Williams
  • Publication number: 20080067189
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the gripper through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The positioning system uses a movement assisting member that may be in the form of a torsion spring or counter weight for improved efficiency. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 20, 2008
    Inventors: Daniel Carter, Christopher Craven, Walid El-Aouar, Craig Greiner, Larry Hieb, Dean James, Sandra Southard, Rolando Williams
  • Publication number: 20080067183
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a product retrieval and delivery system deployed within a uniquely designed, insulated cabinet that includes an adjustable ventilation system, and a conveniently located compact, easily removable modular climate control unit. A unique product delivery port and chute are provided as part of the cabinet. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 20, 2008
    Inventors: Daniel Carter, Christopher Craven, Walid El-Aouar, Craig Greiner, Larry Hieb, Dean James, Sandra Southard, Rolando Williams
  • Publication number: 20080061070
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated product retrieval and delivery system. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports a retrieval device to the front of a tray queue where a product container is retrieved. The positioning system transports the gripper carrying the product container to a delivery port. The product is released and slides down a specially designed chute into a specially designed delivery bucket that is then tilted outward for customer pick up. Sensors associated with the bucket detect the delivery and removal of the product container. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 13, 2008
    Inventors: Daniel Carter, Christopher Craven, Walid El-Aouar, Craig Greiner, Larry Hieb, Dean James, Sandra Southard, Rolando Williams
  • Publication number: 20080061076
    Abstract: This is an improved retrieval mechanism for vending machines that includes a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the gripper through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The gripper is extended in the Z-direction, and its fingers grasp the foremost product container in the queue. The gripper is raised in order to clear a retaining lip in the queue and then retracts, and the positioning system transports the gripper carrying the product container to a delivery port. The gripper then releases the product which slides down a chute into a delivery port for customer pick up. Unique product storage trays are provided which work in conjunction with the gripper to allow only the foremost product to be removed from a tray queue. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 13, 2008
    Inventors: Larry Hieb, Daniel Carter
  • Patent number: 7032776
    Abstract: The disclosed invention is a dispensing apparatus and method for dispensing product from a vending machine. The invention employs a motor for bi-directionally rotating a dispenser bucket between two bumpers which physically obstruct and limit the rotational travel, a motor controller for monitoring the current drawn by the motor and signals received from a product vend detection sensor. The motor controller uses monitored information to control the rotational direction and stopping positions of the dispenser bucket. The invention eliminates the need for timing cams and switches and eliminates the need for anti-theft device to prevent product theft from the dispenser bucket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: The Vendo Company
    Inventor: Larry Hieb
  • Publication number: 20050189370
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports the gripper through the X-Y plane to the front of a tray queue containing the selected product. The gripper is extended in the Z-direction, and its fingers grasp the foremost product container in the queue. The gripper then retracts, and the positioning system transports the gripper carrying the product container to a delivery port. The gripper then releases the product which slides down a chute into a delivery bucket that is then tilted outward for customer pick up. Unique product storage trays are provided which work in conjunction with the gripper to allow only the foremost product to be removed from a tray queue. A specially designed door is provided to accommodate the X-Y positioning system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2005
    Publication date: September 1, 2005
    Inventors: Daniel Carter, Christopher Craven, Walid El-Aouar, Craig Greiner, Larry Hieb, Dean James, Sandra Southard, Rolando Williams
  • Publication number: 20040030444
    Abstract: The disclosed invention is a dispensing apparatus and method for dispensing product from a vending machine. The invention employs a motor for bi-directionally rotating a dispenser bucket between two bumpers which physically obstruct and limit the rotational travel, a motor controller for monitoring the current drawn by the motor and signals received from a product vend detection sensor. The motor controller uses monitored information to control the rotational direction and stopping positions of the dispenser bucket. The invention eliminates the need for timing cams and switches and eliminates the need for anti-theft device to prevent product theft from the dispenser bucket.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Publication date: February 12, 2004
    Applicant: The Vendo Company
    Inventor: Larry Hieb